| Thursday, March 03, 2005 - 07:34 pm |
Having an attack limit without having a defence limit makes large countries virtually invincible. If the smaller country attempts to counter attack their offence is toast, due primarily to the behaviour of the defending airforce.
It is unrealistic to think that the entire airforce can be everywhere at once. When 911 happened and the US scrambled its airforce all planes were not sent to defend new york and washington, they didn't know where the next attack was going to be directed at. Ok, now you are probably thinking well that was a surprise attack, war is different you know where the attack is coming from. Lets assume that the soviets are at war with the US, have a dozen aircraft carriers, and are doing a SC style attack against the US. Half the soviet fleet is in the pacific and the other half is in the atlantic, they've launched all fighters (up to the SC attack limit from each carrier) to attack cities along the US east and west coast simultaneously. All 12 of these soviet attacks are happening at the same time (or if you'd prefer, you can think of the attacks as being one SC attack round apart), these attacks are of a force equal to the SC attack limit against one target city at a time. Somehow, magically, the US airforce manages to defend all the cities with full force against this barrage of soviet attacks, even against attacks on opposite sides of the continent. Incredible.
One of Badkarma's countries with a population of 59 million has 47 cities, 61 towns and 84 counties, that is a lot of population centres that the defensive airforce would want to defend, and doesn't count factories, fortifications, bases, etc. My country of just under 8 million people has 6 cities, 8 towns, and 11 counties, far fewer population centres to defend. The smaller country with fewer targets should be able to give equivalent air protection (on a per city basis) with far fewer aircraft.
I suggest a new way of determining airforce deployment for defence. The game would assume that your airforce is split evenly between all your cities (plus your capital which gets a triple dose of air cover). For any attack against targets in your country the 4 nearest cities would scramble half their aircraft to defend against the threat (though the capital never sends off its extra protection, it just sends the same amount of aircraft as any other city, this is after all where you, the president, live).
Thus the air defence share of:
a capital would be (3 + 4*1/2)/(cities + 3)
a city would be (1 + 4*1/2)/(cities + 3)
any other land target would be (0 + 4*1/2)/(cities + 3)
So for the 59M pop country, 5/50 = 10% of the airforce would defend for attacks against its capital, and 2/50 = 4% would deploy for attacks against a factory. For the 8M pop country 5/9 = 55% of the airforce would defend against attacks against the capital, and 2/9 = 22% of the airforce would deploy for attacks against a factory. This means that for 1000 interceptors to turn up defending the capital, the 59M pop country would need 10000 interceptors in the country (or 169 interceptors per million population), the 8M pop country would need 1800 interceptors, (or 225 interceptors per million population).
The airforce deployment I described gives a capital:city:other ratio of 5:3:2, and does not incorporate a role for the number of defensive airports in the country to airforce readiness. This could be introduced by changing the share of the defending airforce that a city scrambles when a target closeby is attacked from one half to (1 + 1.25*defensive airports)/(1 + cities + defensive airports) with a hard minimum value of 1/4 and a hard maximum of 3/4.
6 cities, and 3 defensive airports would give a city scramble percentage of 47%, the same country with 9 or more defensive airports would give the maximum city scramble percentage of 75%.
47 cities and 12 or less defensive airports would give the minimum scramble percentage of 25%, the same country with 25 defensive airports would give a scramble percentage of 44%, 40 airports would give a 58% scramble, and it would take 70 defensive airports to reach a maximum scramble of 75%.
Countries would need to have about 1.5 airbases per city to give maximum air defence. The 59M pop country with minimum airbases would get a capital defense of 4/50 = 8% of the defensive airforce, and with maximum airbase coverage would get a capital defense of 6/50 = 12% of the defensive airforce. The variation is more stark for the defence of a less valuable target such as a factory, with maximum airbase coverage three times as many aircraft defend against attacks compared to the situation with minimal airbase coverage. For the 8M pop country, min defensive airports would give a capital defense of 4/9 = 44% of the defensive airforce, and with max defensive airport coverage 6/9 = 66% of the defensive airforce would rock up to defend the capital.
Naturally attack limits would have to be adjusted to accomodate the weaker air defence, and the weightings to the deployment scenarios I detailed could be tweaked. Air defence would be on a much fairer footing to the current situation, it would be a big change and transitional measures would need to be put in place so that the large countries have time to build a decent defence.