Like all things in WITE, nothing is ever simple. The feedback you receive is not always clear. Your ground support attacks are buried in a ground attacks. You can watch the combat resolution at a high message level and look at the report to decipher the numbers. The downside is this takes a lot of time. Commanding the entire East Front calls for clear cut feedback.
Did I take the ground (hex) I am attacking.
That is the feedback Stavka and OKH needs. Nothing more. All the other data is not going to get you a Medal or keep you from the firing squad.
The following are basic guidelines to receive the feedback. It concerns ground attacks involving air attacks. As your experience grows and your method becomes more effective you can apply and modify to affect conditions in other combat types.
Your attacks consist of two elements. Input and feedback. Input is the selection of location, forces, and methods. Feedback consist of the hex being occupied at the end of the attack. Location is the hex, weather, and terrain. Forces are air and ground units. Methods are hasty and deliberate attacks.
Read Rule 9.4 Fatigue. Air attacks cause disruption, which causes fatigue, which lower CV. A defending unit with a lower CV (and morale) loses the ability to defend allowing you to force a retreat. This is another subject, but Air Attacks are not important to cause losses. Air attacks cause disruptions making hexes easier to take. When you look at the combat results, look at disruptions, losses do not matter.
I disrupted 125 air units and 1153 men. That is significant. This attack was conducted at 75% ground attack. As you can see this menu does not tell you how many men are in the hex, but even if it is 10000, I inflicted 10%+ disruption.
16.1.1. Air Group Unit Miles Flown. This is the problem with 200/200. Since you are flying twice the aircraft than normal you will burn through their air miles quickly. If you play from north to south in your game, you are not always using your air assets for critical attacks. If fact, you may get to your critical attack and have no air assets. They have flown all they can.
1. Conduct your critical offensive or defensive operation first. If you are defending Moscow or assaulting Stalingrad, start there. Do not start in Leningrad. You want your critical assets to accomplish your primary mission for that week in the steppe. Then you can go back to north to south, or Army group by army group, etc.
2. Conduct all your Ground Attacks (F6) first. If you have Ground Support turned on, you will use up some of your assets for Ground Attacks. Use your air assets for ground attack, ground support is secondary. Your ground attack will cause the disruption/fatigue/CV loss you need.
3. Press F6. Bomb unit.
4. Select the staging air bases. The 2nd LW. If you do not select the staging bases the AI will and it does not always pick the obvious or best choice causing an unnecessary loss of air miles. This is the most often overlooked step!
5. Hold down the shift key and right click the target You will see a visual indicator depress, the up arrow in a square box button. Now you see basically what the AI would pick to send based on your air doctrine and the AI selection process. This is called a Deliberate Air Attack.
6. Now Commander, select the forces you want to participate in the attack. Click on the unit to select or deselect or use the select/deselect all. Look at how many fighters, bombers you are sending. Also note how many air miles under Used. Here it shows 0%. This is percentage base of the air mile used. All my units are fresh. Ready is the number of aircraft.
*Weasel - this is how you make sure your bombers have escorts.
7. Click Launch. This is your input phase.
8. Review the results via the combat message or hit F11 after to view battle results.
Pro Tip: You can conduct two attack per hex. If the defended retreats you can conduct two more against the new hex after the ground combat. Hit them again and again.
9. Conduct all other air attacks in this attack. If you are trying to breach a line, attack all three hexes with air, then ground attack.
10. Hit F1 - Conduct your ground attack. If you want to do not want to use air assets for ground assault, say in a small soak off or an attack to cause the enemy loss of supplies, hit the "x" key
to turn Ground Support to ON or OFF. Look on the top of the screen to see if GS is ON or OFF. Look at the menu mode pictured in previous post.
11. Did you take the hex? This is feedback.
12. Rinse and repeat.
13. After you finish all your critical sectors, then go north to south. This is when I just do hasty air attacks (just right click, no shift key). It is faster, honestly. Whatever air assets are left are used, but you ensured your air assets for the critical sector were available.
Air and ground attacks alone do not take a hex. You have to occupy
it. So there is more involve than covered here. This is basic, a starting point. What is presented to you is a method to evaluate input and feedback. You can determine how many bombers and what types cause an effective amount of disruption. Are Stukas better at Airfield attacks than J-88? (This works with F7 & F8 also). Can I gain air superiority in this sector or is the enemy too strong. Best of all when you attack Moscow you can send in everything. Fly all of it. Don't let the AI tell you what to do.
The beauty of WITE is you do not have to dig too deep into the micro if you care not to. If you are taking hexes then you are receiving positive feedback. I. myself do not know much of the under the hood numbers, but I can see when I take a hex or not. The road to Moscow is paved in hexes.
Your air assets are a critical tool in your arsenal. Unfortunately the manual is mess, the information is spread across the What's New PDF making it difficult to understand. Hopefully this method here will allow you as the Commander to establish tactics to achieve your strategic goals or quickly identify when victory in one hex from your grasp.
Good luck, see you on the Steppe.