Home Forums Air and Sea Air Pacific Battle – Even Dogfight

This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Just Jack 2 months ago.

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  • #65057
    NKL Aerotom
    NKL Aerotom
    Participant

    A Pacific dogfight – US Grumman Wildcats vs. Japanese A6M Zeroes.
    Game is Lacquered Coffins, Aircraft are 1/600 from Tumbling Dice, Decals from Doms Decals.
    These 2 aircraft are roughly equivalent in Lacquered Coffins, so we’ll see how the nimble Japanese fighters hold up against the sturdier US aircraft. All the pilots are average quality for this battle.

    Start of the game, a good old fashioned 4 v 4 dogfight:

    Wildcats attempt to knock out a zero head-on:

    It works! one of the zeroes are destroyed, while another is damaged. The Japanese respond

    One of the Zeroes damages a Wildcat with the two 20mm cannons. The 2 light machine guns are ineffective in a head-on pass with the enemy pilot going evasive…

    Mandatory moves: The aircraft zip past each other. Mandatory moves happen at the start of every turn – aircraft can’t just stay still! Each aircraft moves a distance in inches equal to 2 times the number on it’s speed dice (the green dice).

    A Zero races past 3 wildcats, leaving them in the dust and confident in the knowledge they won’t be able to turn hard enough to catch him…

    The wildcats pull around, diving to gain speed. They are all either too low (The White dice is altitude – can only attack targets at your altitude or 1 altitude above or below) or too slow or facing the wrong way to get an attack in.

    The game around turn 4: Some of the wildcats are wounded and have some damage, but there are still 3 zeroes vs 4 wildcats so it could go either way…

    One of the zeroes gets on the tail of a wildcat…

    One of the wildcats finds himself out of the fight, too far away to really help, he brings his aircraft around, but he’s missing at a crucial time! A wildcat tails the Zero who is tailing his buddy. Another zero was shot down, but in the confusion no one seems to notice…
    The game is now 4 Wildcats vs 2 Zeroes. The odds aren’t that good for the Japanese!

    The zero climbs up slightly from below to target the Wildcat – who is already damaged and with a wounded pilot! Another wildcat tries to shake the zero off his buddy’s tail…

    The wildcat is able to wound the Japanese pilot, and his buddy turns hard to escape, but another zero turns sharply behind a 3rd wildcat and 20mm gunfire rips through the wildcat’s air frame – it explodes!

    The wounded wildcat pilot sees a squad-mate annihilated just below him:

    The Tailing Zero swoops in for the kill, fighting through the pain from his wounds. 20mm cannon fire and fire from his light machine guns cause the Wildcat to explode! shrapnel fills the air and he narrowly avoids it

    Overview of the game at this stage. It is now 2 V 2!

    One of the zeroes comes around and funnels 20mm cannon fire into the wildcat with the wounded pilot. His aircraft bursts into flames! it is destroyed. The game has gone from 2 Japanese vs 4 US, to now 2 Japanese vs 1 US. What a turn around!

    In the final turn of the game, one of the zeroes lines up the advancing wildcat, the one who was out of the fight briefly… 20mm cannon rounds tear through the wildcats canopy and kill the pilot outright. The aircraft makes a lazy left turn and descends towards the water…
    Quite the reversal for the Japanese! They pull off a solid victory with 4 kills and only 2 aircraft lost.

    #65060
    kyoteblue
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Thanks !!

    #65170

    Just Jack
    Participant

    Tom,

    What the hell!!!???  You’re killing me!  Two great fights, but things are not definitely not going the US’s way!  I can’t believe it went from 4 v 4 to 4 v 2 to 0 v 2!!!  And them Wildcats were tough little bastards, they shouldn’t be blowing up!  Must have been Navy pilots, Marines ain’t having that! 😉

    Anyway, very cool, glad to see you getting some games in and posting.  You don’t put all the details on, so I’m really curious if you’re failing as many pilot tests as I am.  I picked some up though, and you know I love the mandatory move, really puts some stuff in the game and gives you that dynamic feeling, planes aren’t just hanging there.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #65171

    Cool. How would it play solo, do you think?

    http://prufrockian-gleanings.blogspot.jp/

    #65172

    Just Jack
    Participant

    TlA,

    I’m not sure if Tom is playing solo or not, looks like he has an opponent.  But I’ve played seven games so far, all solo, and I think they work great.  I use cards for activation, i.e., I take playing cards and write “Wildcat 1,” “Wildcat 2,” “Zero 1,” “Zero 2,” etc…  That helps by randomizing activation, and then you there are two mechanisms in the rules that aid solo play:

    1) the ‘mandatory move,’ which occurs at the beginning of each turn.  Each aircraft flies straight and level for a certain distance, before the normal player activation occurs.  This helps to add a dynamic aspect to the rules, and it throws some stuff in the game that makes it harder to see exactly how things are going to shape up.  Combined with the card-based randomized activation, all predictions of the future are out the window.

    2) in order to perform certain maneuvers, the pilot has to test, and his ability to pass the test is based on his ability and the shape of him and his aircraft.  Again, more ‘stuff’ in the game to make a solo game less formulaic, less predictable (if not completely so!).

    Another mechanism I typically use in wargames is a ‘course of action roll.’  So, in this case, when an enemy aircraft’s activation card came up, I would assign three courses of action, then roll 1D10 to see what he ‘decides’ to do:

    1-2: enemy’s most dangerous course of action
    3-9: enemy’s most likely course of action
    10: enemy’s craziest/most reckless/silliest course of action

    For the more daring, go 1-3, 4-8, 9-10.  And don’t kill yourself trying to overthink this, it needs to be quick.  Sometimes the most dangerous COA is the most likely COA.

    Hope that helps.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #65173
    NKL Aerotom
    NKL Aerotom
    Participant

    Jack – Those wildcats are certainly tough (being armored and -1 to all damage rolls), but yet the Japanese 20mm cannons were more than a match for them. The Japanese did get “lucky” in the last 2 or 3 turns, rolling plenty of 5’s and 6’s with their damage rolls for cannons.

    Killing the pilot of the last wildcat was the result of rolling 2 6’s for damage. Wildcat is usually -1 to damage for armor/robustness, Wildcat went evasive (so -2 in total), then 20mm cannon gets a +1 to damage, so -1 in total. 2 6’s and it was a double result of pilot wounded!

    As for pilot checks, there were a few failures but mostly we were pretty lucky. I’m not sure if you do this in your games, but we always allow an aircraft to perform the maneuver it wants to, then roll pilot check, and apply any speed/altitude changes after that. That way failing a pilot check you’re still facing the way you want to face – you just wont get any attacks in and will likely be shedding energy.

    Cool. How would it play solo, do you think?

    From the look of Jack’s games, it would play fine solo – I would follow his advice and have some cards made up, or write up a table that allows you to use standard playing cards to randomize enemy maneuvers. Often the game isn’t all that free-form, with aircraft mostly trying to line up shots on the enemy – and this fact would probably help it play solo.

     

    #65195

    Thanks to you both. Will put this on the birthday shopping list.

    http://prufrockian-gleanings.blogspot.jp/

    #65205

    Just Jack
    Participant

    Tom – No man, I decide what the pilot wants to do, then I make him test, and if he fails he heads straight ahead, -1 speed -1 altitude.  For me it simulates the guy that’s got too much going on, can’t process and react quick enough, the very definition of ‘getting inside the OODA loop.’

    And, for what it’s worth, I’ve never been a fan of pulling cards for maneuvers.  It certainly makes it random, but for me it’s too random.  My ‘course of action’ roll has its limitations as well (primarily the fact that the only options are going to be what the player can/will think of and use), but at least it has context to the current situation.  And it’s pretty easy, like this:

    Most dangerous: he flips an Immelman and runs nose to nose with the good guy following him.
    Most likely: he pulls into a shallow right turn to work on getting onto the tail of another good guy next turn, leaving his tail vulnerable to the good guy following him.
    Third way: nervous about the good guy on his tail, he decides to break hard left and disengage.

    V/R,
    Jack

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