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The function of AA?

Posted: Fri 19 May 2017 12:24
by Pleb Squasher
I'm making this post, as I am unsure as to the purpose of the AA options available in this game. AA seems totally useless, in fact it seems better to avoid spending anything on it altogether to avoid wasting points.

AA doesn't seem to have the capacity to ever shoot down aircraft, I've had matches where I've had around 300-400 points worth of AA in a spot, with a leader, and seemingly not shot a single thing down. What's up with this?

AA doesn't seem to stun aircraft particularly fast either, until I've invested what seems to be a ludicrous amount into AA units, enemy aircraft seem to usually drop/fire their payloads before being routed.

Put simply, I can't get AA to work. I've tired everything suggested to me, pairing with leaders, massing my AA in one spot, mixing up the AA options I'm using. Nothing seems to kill aircraft, and a lot of the time I don't even seem to be stunning enemy planes in time to protect my troops.

I have a few questions for the devs:
- Can ground based AA options shoot down aircraft?
- If the above is true, are ground based AA options supposed to be able to reliably shoot down aircraft, provided reasonable investment?
- Is AAs only purpose to rout aircraft?
- Is the role of AA set in stone, or still subject to change?

Re: The function of AA?

Posted: Fri 19 May 2017 12:51
by Terracos
1. They think can but the chance is really low so dont bet on it.
2. No they are not they have a different task than shooting down Aircrafts
3. Yes it is
4. Idk

The way AA works is not in any-case to shoot down the enemy aircraft rather then to root it. Now the closer your AA is to the front the higher the chance to stun it before it can drop the payload. In general the amount of points you need to rout the enemy is about the equal points in AA.

The way more usefull trait of ground AA is to protect your planes. The most vulnerable time of your planes is during evac. This always happens over your lines. If you have AA you can rout enemy ASF before they can shoot down your plane. Additionally to this if you are able to lure enemy ASF in your AA they rout and your ASF can shoot it down, if the enemy has no AA to rout yours.

Also AA is a really good in suppressing enemy infantry and HTs due to the higher range. Therefore it is always good to include AA but it has to be combined with an ASF.

On blue i use normally 2 Bofors (one i buy in phase A when i have points to spare) the second in phase B and one ASF. This normally grants at least retaliation and protects my ASF from getting shot down. But same will work also for Red, just exchange the Bofors for a german AA.

Re: The function of AA?

Posted: Fri 19 May 2017 13:02
by foxdie
I only bring in AA if it can serve the ground purpose too. Specifically the tri polston (even post nerf) and Flak 88. Which can reliably scare off attacks if well placed. My primary method of defeating planes is covered by my own ASF.

But the points loss from attacking planes doesn't generally justify heavy use of counters. If they taking the tip off your spearhead using planes its because you've threatened them and they've not got any other more efficient counters, so your better replacing the threat with another than re mission yourself to defending against the planes, and let the enemy invest his defending points into more planes giving ground to you.

Alternatively if your on the defending end of a enemy spearhead and he's cleared out your defences with aircraft, then you've let him pool too many points by being too static in the early game.

Re: The function of AA?

Posted: Fri 19 May 2017 17:21
by CUALEB_Operator
Do not use AA primarily for ground targets. HMGs and support tab units are always better and more cost-effective. You don't want to lose your AAs to artillery right after opening fire at a squad of cheap infantry.

In-game there're two types of CAS behaviors: strafing and payload-dumping. The strafing refers to the tank-attackers and phase A ASFs that they dive and circle above your head, strafing back and forth to maximize damage. A single decent AA piece is good enough to prevent that from happening.

Dog fighting and air dominance are similar, ASFs draw big circles above the field,they would inevitably walk into an AA bubble, often results in an earlier auto-evac. Air supremacy players hate AAs because they cost their fighters valuable in-air time to maintain air dominance. They can't raise enough fighters in every intercepting and escorting if most of them are in cool down. And I don't need to stress more on how important it is to have AAs cover your own evacs, going pure ASF is just as dumb as going pure AA.

Sure you can't rout the dump-and-go types from their attacks every single time, but you don't have to protect every front unit from airstrike either. If you opponent seems to have unlimited air resources you are already lost. Do not cluster infantry and tanks too close if you know there's an air threat. ATs and artillery should not be deployed too forward, and need to be kept in your AA bubble. Only heavy bombers can single-handed breakthrough for deep strikes, but they are costly, slow to reload and vulnerable to ASF retaliations.

At the current state I wouldn't mind buffing the AA furthermore. But the best counter to the enemy air supremacy is to create and explore your own.

Re: The function of AA?

Posted: Fri 19 May 2017 18:37
by D-M
AA is mainly there to prevent ennemy plane from moving freely around your airspace and thus providing cover for bombers to fly away and fighters to get an advantage fighting a superior force and number.

It mostly useful if you or your team rely on aircraft.

Re: The function of AA?

Posted: Fri 19 May 2017 18:38
by ElBubba

Re: The function of AA?

Posted: Sat 20 May 2017 01:46
by Mister Maf
AA more than anything exists to ward off fighter-bombers, which evac at half suppression, and to protect your airplanes as they evac by deterring pursuers. Most AA units will shoot down very little on their own, but they don't really need to. They have to be used in combination with your own planes, and vice versa.

Re: The function of AA?

Posted: Sat 20 May 2017 06:06
by Pleb Squasher
Alright so the responses clear things up a bit.

You need to spend equivilant points on AA and pick the right type of AA to stop aircraft

Relying purely on fighters to down aircraft seems to place way too much emphasis on them. The inability for AAA to pose a significant level of danger to aircraft also seems a bit exploitable as even with a decent AA net, there's very little reason for players not to send aircraft after anything that moves as there's a very low level of risk when fighters are taken out of the equation.
While I understand that it's only fair that you have to spend equivilant points on AA to route aircraft, and that the points cost is offset by their secondary role as ground support weapons, even against ground targets their kill power seems minimal, the idea that these units have no kill potential is very off putting, as their are plenty of other options for this. Additionally, I feel like AAA will be totally redundant in many battlefield situations, as fighters are just so much better for dealing with aircraft people might avoid the usage of AA entirely.
Finally, fortunately I haven't encountered this yet but what about situations where we see certain aircraft absolutely smashing ground forces, I can imagine that the anti tank aircraft in game may become unpleasantly good at this. AA may need to be made more potent to help deal with these threats.

These are just my thoughts on the matter, while I appreciate AAs new role, I still think that massing AA should present a proper threat to aircraft, as spending large numbers of points should result in at least some power, currently even a hail of AA only has a miracle chance of downing aircraft.

Re: The function of AA?

Posted: Sat 20 May 2017 08:13
by Mister Maf
As I and others said, relying exclusively on planes, unless you achieve a critical mass of them, gives your opponent a lot of leeway to chase your own planes down with little risk. Losing fighter planes can be a big hit that's often avoidable by having even a little bit of anti-air to force their fighters to retreat in your territory. It also stops them from doing free strafing runs on your emplacements. Fighter planes are strong for securing the kill, but they don't have the constant field presence that AAA does.

It could arguably be a bit stronger, but it still has its role.