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 aa vs high altitude bombers

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momfreeek



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Join date : 2008-10-03

PostSubject: aa vs high altitude bombers   Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:10 am

Hey Smile

Had a familiar discussion with a new player today.

<noob> ground based aa is so weak, it does nothing to bombers
<me> you need flak & fighters
<noob> I know, but flak does nothing, I had loads and didn't kill a single bomber!
<me> it does work, you need a lot of it
<noob> but my flak did nothing and its expensive.

---

So whats going on?

Heavy aa fire that can kill a single bomber outright is rare. The only thing I can think of is the missile launcher on an aa cruiser. Seeing as bombers are quite tough and you have only low damage attacks to use against them, they have survivability like heavy tanks, you need concentrated fire to kill even one.

Bombers are harder to pinpoint than a heavy tank (flying relatively fast, high overhead). Also, with heavy tanks, the closest tanks will get targetted automatically and get the brunt of defensive fire till they die, but as bombers fly overhead, the closest target changes and the bombers get targetted in turn. If the lead bomber doesn't die before it has passed overhead, you probably won't kill any, even if you're dealing a lot of damage overall. If you have enough flak to kill the lead bomber, you are likely to down many of them. The result seems more akin to a 'kill zone' than random flak filling the skies.

Patrolling fighters attack more randomly. The more bombers there are, the more spread the damage as its more likely a fighter will change targets before killing a bomber outright. Vs a large pack of T2 bombers, split up fighters will just get killed by the combined fire of the bombers little machine guns, further skewing the balance.

Bombers automatically return to repair. So even in an extended engagement, its possible the only bombers killed are those that stray from the pack. As they make their round trip they naturally form a single-file line so damage is spread evenly between them.

---

Not enough aa and you cause no damage at all. A little bit more and you will cause heavy casualties. I don't know if this behaviour is a real problem or how it might be fixed, but its not the behaviour most expect, it makes it hard to gauge the value of aa and it doesn't promote the combined arms approach. Vs weaker, easier to kill air units the effect is not nearly so pronounced.

--

Note this post by 123 about large groups of flying wings. I think this is the same issue (heavily scattered damage on large groups of tough aircraft which automatically return to repair):
http://nota.forumotion.net/to-be-fixed-or-improvements-f10/v150-wings-t44.htm
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thor
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PostSubject: Re: aa vs high altitude bombers   Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:29 pm

I do agree with you that the way strategic bombers work is a little weird and counter intuitive and probably offputting for new players.. I haven't wanted to mess with them in the hope that next spring version would have fixed the problem they have with their aa not firing when they're out of fuel ( since that would have changed the balance quite a bit), but it looks like that isn't going to happen.


strategic bombers can in fact be killed by a lucky flak hit. It's something written into their script to make them more killable by flak while still having the hp to withstand some damage from fighters. So if they're flying over a single flak gun, , there is a chance they will be killed, while most of the time it will seem the flak is doing little to no damage at all.
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123vtemp



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PostSubject: bomber and aa blance   Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:14 am

I can assure you that flack vs bombers is very well balanced.

But fighters are a huge problem.

Their targeting of ground units completely ruins their reliability, dragging them away over enemy units and aa when they are needed at home killing bombers or wings. This must be changed.

Noobs that come from BA obviously have a different understanding of flack. NOTA flack has a range of easily x2 and it also costs 1/2 as much as the BA version. further more NOTA has the critical hit which is very painful for an air player. After a few (6 +) flack, it becomes too costly for an air player to use bombers or even keep up with the losses. 20 NOTA flack = 10 BA flack for cost and cover a lot more air. They will not let much through and tbh I would happily take them over BA flack.
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PostSubject: Re: aa vs high altitude bombers   Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:43 am

123vtemp wrote:
Their targeting of ground units completely ruins their reliability, dragging them away over enemy units and aa when they are needed at home killing bombers or wings. This must be changed.
I tested this in the next spring version, and it appears to be fixed. Fighters no longer attack ground units when given fight commands or when flying over. They will, however, make dry attack runs on a ground unit if specifically ordered to do so.
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momfreeek



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PostSubject: Re: aa vs high altitude bombers   Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:52 pm

thor wrote:
strategic bombers can in fact be killed by a lucky flak hit. It's something written into their script to make them more killable by flak while still having the hp to withstand some damage from fighters. So if they're flying over a single flak gun, , there is a chance they will be killed, while most of the time it will seem the flak is doing little to no damage at all.
ah ok. I thought this was the case but wasn't sure... I thought the damage changed when they start crashing and that confused me. High inaccuracy and small chance of a critical means the chance of a lucky strike is very small? I guess this works for balance but its not intuitive. Nothing else uses a 'critical hit' type system does it? it seems this would make sense for all planes, ships, tanks and most things.. but is only use in this one case.

The thing im interested in is how flak chooses its targets. Are these statements correct?

1- Flak and fighters both target the closest enemy bomber. They do not prioritise damaged bombers.
2- They change target as soon as another bomber is closer.
3- bombers that take a 'critical hit' start to fall rather than explode.
4- Flak will target a crashing bomber if it is the closest.
5- A crashing bomber is determined to be closer than a flying bomber directly above it.

Another point: mobile flak vehicles are useless vs high altitude? Is this behaviour due to an issue, or has this changed?
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123vtemp



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PostSubject: Re: aa vs high altitude bombers   Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:14 pm

Mobile flack is not for killing bombers it is for fighting ground attack air craft.

I was pretty sure that fighters stick with a targeted bomber.

I would have thought that it would have been the same for flack.

Are you absolutely certain that both will target a new target each time they fire Mom? If they do not that should probably be changed.

I think falling bombers are awesome but I do not think it is fun to try to kill a bomber 10 4 times over. (If they take a critical hit before being destroyed their health changes - some times for the better) Their health should not increase if any thing. Falling bombers can take out targets and should probably be a primary target.

Yes it would be awesome if they targeted weaker targets. But I do not think it would be a good idea.

I like the idea of a bombing force coming home crippled and taking a long time to repair before they can head out again. If they were as intelligent aiming the flack would be very effective. There would be few units in between, as units would either be dead or alive with far fewer in between.
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momfreeek



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PostSubject: Re: aa vs high altitude bombers   Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:18 am

123vtemp wrote:
Mobile flack is not for killing bombers it is for fighting ground attack air craft.
yeah this is rather odd though. I don't have any solution, perhaps I just think it needs to be stated more clearly in the units description.

123vtemp wrote:
I was pretty sure that fighters stick with a targeted bomber.
I watched a few last night. They do stick with the targeted bomber for a while.. but not necessarily till its dead. Perhaps its just when another bomber gets in the way (which seems to happen rather easily.). They target the lead bomber first.. as they chase. they come behind and move on to the rear bombers which are now in the way. 3 fighters scattered damage across 4 badly damaged bombers and only killed one when over enemy airspace. They then finished them all off easily. Any enemy aa fire and all the bombers would have survived.

Perhaps damaged bombers should lose speed? This seems realistic and gives the fighters a better chance to finish the damaged ones off. This would reduce fighters chasing the whole pack into enemy aa for no gain. Allied fighters coming to save the limping bombers!

123vtemp wrote:
I would have thought that it would have been the same for flack.

Are you absolutely certain that both will target a new target each time they fire Mom? If they do not that should probably be changed.
not at all, I'm asking the question.

123vtemp wrote:
I think falling bombers are awesome but I do not think it is fun to try to kill a bomber 10 4 times over. (If they take a critical hit before being destroyed their health changes - some times for the better) Their health should not increase if any thing. Falling bombers can take out targets and should probably be a primary target.
Falling bomebrs are cool, but I disagree with you about he flak behaviour 123 (not that I'm even sure of the behaviour, I'm just trying to understand why/when bombers get off too easy). IMO, if there's flying bombers to target, they should absolutely be the priority:
- group of bombers
- heavily scattered, random flak that each has a chance of killing another bomber if it hits.
- 1 dead bomber that may or may not cause more damage that is fast moving away from the pack. The only bomber i cannot cause a critical on. It might get killed by ground fire anyway (the odd cheap aa machine guns to back up the flak?)

If I've got enough flak to kill bombers with attritiion, I might be far better off without the critical hit. Maybe I'd kill them all, at least I might cause more criticals, but all my flak is aiming at the dead bomber that got left behind.

123vtemp wrote:
Yes it would be awesome if they targeted weaker targets. But I do not think it would be a good idea.

I like the idea of a bombing force coming home crippled and taking a long time to repair before they can head out again. If they were as intelligent aiming the flack would be very effective. There would be few units in between, as units would either be dead or alive with far fewer in between.
Yeah, overall I have no problem with the balance, its just in certain situations where bombers and wings rule the skies and its very difficult to have any impact on them at all. It'd be interesting to see how the behaviour of fighters can improve.
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123vtemp



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PostSubject: Re: aa vs high altitude bombers   Sun Oct 12, 2008 6:53 am

If I have not said it before.... With the current balancing fighters cost much less than bombers but do not have a balanced build tiem to that of bombers while fighters are balanced with ground attack aircraf. which are inturn balanced with both land and sea. I guess the moral is that we can not simply rely on air to hold our skies and land alone. It is costly and time intensive as I guess it should be. Still I too feel the pain. A solution would be to make bombers more effient so that they could have a longer build time, not that I think that should be done.
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123vtemp



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PostSubject: Re: aa vs high altitude bombers   Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:19 am

also remember mom, it costs a tone of mony to get a fleet in the airi and to keep it healthy and fueled. On top of that bombers are not very effective in many situations. A counter should not be easy for some hing that is so costly

A sizable bomber force requires a lot of infrastructure. It needs 4-6 air labs which will cost between .8 and 1.7k a piece. On top of that it take a lot of energy production to run, and energy does not come cheap either. on top of that he will need to spend nearly half the cost of his bombing force on air pads if he wants to have his fleet in the air. So tell me if you thing it would be fair for the defender to have an easy time killing these things, whose bombs fan out so much that only huge targets receive a decent dose of dmg. Bombers are really inefficient killer and as a result do not just roll over else there would be no reason to build them. It is not more efficent to field an airforce tho I wish it were. As I sit here wishing fighter production was better matched with that of bombers I realize that is is quite well balanced at T1. As for T2 I have not played enough games that lasted to T2 for me to be sure XD.
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