Waves of bombers dropping tons of bombs on industrial
targets - itís a captivating picture in old WWII reels, but how
effective is this strategy?
Letís do the math:
A 15 IPC bomber will destroy on average 3.5 IPCs. The
AA gun that is protecting the factory gets to roll as well though, and
has a 1/6th chance of getting a hit. 1/6 * 15
IPCs = 2.5 IPCs. That means that you destroy 3.5 IPCs and have 2.5 IPCs
destroyed of your own on average each time you strategic bomb, a
mediocre investment at best that has a 1 IPC yield (3.5 IPCs Ė 2.5
But wait, itís worse than that.
That AA gun gets to fire BEFORE you get to roll your
strategic bombing roll. That means that 1/6th of the time, you wonít
get the 3.5 IPCs. So in other words, youíll only get 5/6ths of 3.5
IPCs, or 2.9 IPCs. So now it comes to 2.9 IPCs Ė 2.5 IPCs, or a return
of only 0.4 IPCs, and thatís for a 15 IPC investment.
Bottom line: donít have a long term strategy of
strategic bombing your opponent into submission, because itís not
going to happen. And this is not all just Axis and Allies fiction- few
people realize that German industrial production actually peaked in
1944, during the most intense strategic bombing. The Germans simply
moved production to forests and basements.
You should only strategic bomb when you have nothing
better to use your bomber for. If your opponent builds a new factory
without protecting it with an AA gun, then your expected return is the
full 3.5 IPCs, because there is no risk- so bomb away with impunity
until your opponent recognizes the error of his ways!