COMMAND NAME Edit
bomb - Dispose of inconvenient enemy assets with air power.
[##:##] Command : bomb <BOMBERS> <ESCORTS> mission-type <SECT> route|destination
The "bomb" command is used to rain destruction upon helpless enemy ships, planes, land units, and sectors. It represents a complete mission for one or more bombers and escorts taking off from one place and returning to base at the end of the mission.
<BOMBERS> represents a list of planes to carry out the bombing run. Only planes with a bomb bay and sufficient mobility, based in a sector stocked with petrol and shells, will be successfully selected for the mission.
<ESCORTS> represent a list of fighter planes which are capable of escorting the bombers all the way to the target. To be selected, escorts must have fuel and mobility.
Mission-type must be one of "pinpoint" or "strategic". Each mission has different objectives for the planes performing it. Pinpoint missions allow bombers to attack ships, sector efficiency, commodities in sectors, land units, and planes on the ground in the target sector. Strategic missions damage all commodities in the entire target sector, while not damaging any ships resident (similar to the "fire" command).
Nuclear bombs can only be used for strategic bombing. They damage everything in the sector; planes, ships, and commodities. Only missiles in hardened silos can avoid damage from a nuclear attack.
<SECT> represents an assembly point, where all of the planes in the mission meet before proceeding on to the target sector. The assembly point must be owned by you or an ally, or you or an ally must have a ship there. It must not be more than four sectors away from any of the planes selected for the mission.
Route is a normal empire path specification. You may also give a destination sector on the command line, or at any time while giving the route, and empire will use the best path from the current sector to the desired destination sector.
When getting a path interactively, empire will show you a small map (from your bmap) concerning the current area, to help you plot your course.
Light bombers (with the tactical capability) are used primarily for pinpoint bombing. They perform as well as fighters do for strategic bombing. Heavy bombers (with the bomber capability), while they can perform pinpoint bombing, are notoriously inaccurate and in general miss what they are aiming at. They are used mainly for strategic bombing.
Bombing missions can be intercepted just like any other mission. See Info: Interception.
When bombing ships/planes/units, entering a '~' character will cause a particular plane not to bomb. Other planes on the mission will still be asked for their targets.
If your plane has anti-submarine (ASW) capabilities, you will be told when you arrive in a sector whether it has submarines in it. If you then choose to pinbomb ships, each plane in turn will attempt to find submarines (this ability varies with the plane's accuracy rating). Each plane can only bomb the subs it can find. (It is assumed that planes on anti-sub missions split up to cover the area)
Planes have differing air-to-air combat abilities, differing ranges, and load-carrying capacities. Some airplanes don't need runways, but can operate out of any sector which has fuel in it.
When you pin-bomb a land unit, it will fire flak at the plane bombing it, unless it has an AA fire rating of 0.
In the case of pinpoint bombing, see Info: Hitchance for the formula determining whether a plane hits its target.
Note that a plane must be at least 40% efficient before it can leave the ground.