Yeah, I don’t think that’s gonna cut it 😉
Here’s some thoughts that were passing by, from another conversation:
“I very much want to get into ground attack games of the type Thresher described above: P-47s combing the battlefield, shooting up tanks, troops, supply vehicles, trains, bridges, etc… And I really want to get to some Vietnam ‘strike’ gaming, both USAF and USN.
But my immediate, pressing need is for air-to surface of the WWII naval variety. I’m playing out the Battle of Midway right now and I’d really love to give some SBD Dauntlesses the opportunity go after some Japanese cruisers (this is following the sinking of the Japanese carriers), and get it worked out so I can play those types of games in the future. Torpedo attacks later, too. So…
Critical thinking. I agree with what you’re saying, but I’m kind of limited here: Dauntlesses dive bomb, Avengers drop torpedoes, Hellcats strafe. But I definitely want to work in aspects of decision making on how to press home the attack, in ways that lessen the danger to the aircraft but lessen the chances of a hit.
But not too much critical thinking. Definitely; I’m a solo gamer, and I like to play lots of games, so I need relatively simple (and thus quick) rules. My current rules are exceedingly simple, but very fun for me: roll a dice to see how far they can move (on a gridded surface), D6 combat and morale mechanisms. They don’t even have altitude as a part of the game, though is suspect I’ll need to introduce a simple altitude concept in order to add to the critical thinking of the ‘how’ of the attacks.
I.e., a dive bomber can approach from a nice, safe, height, and drop from that nice, safe, height, but he only has a 10% chance of scoring from there. If he dives to medium height, AAA gets more effective, he’s subjected to it longer (assuming he’s diving over the target), but his accuracy goes up to, let’s say 50/50. Or he can dive all the way to low altitude, making it more likely he gets hit by AAA as he’s 1) easier to hit, and 2) exposed to AAA for longer, but his accuracy goes up to 80%.
I’d imagine that, sticking with the high-medium-low altitude bands, torpedoes can only drop at low altitude, but in real life you need to be real slow for the drop as well, so maybe I need to bring a simple speed mechanism into the rules (and do away with the D6 roll for movement, though I really like diced-for movement to throw some stuff in the game), so the lower, slower, and straighter the Avenger runs, the more likely his torpedo strikes.
Flak and fighters. Figuring out AAA is of the utmost importance; I don’t mind adding an interceptor or two to the game, but this is not where I want to do my dogfighting, and I don’t want airplanes shooting down other airplanes to take over this type of game; the purpose of adding an interceptor would really be just to give the bomber pilots something else to think about, do they alter how they make their run or not.
It’s really tough to think about moving AAA around; it’s all on ships, and the ships I don’t think would really be moving in the context of these games (given the tremendous disparity between ship speed and airplane speed, although I could see ships taking evasive action, making them harder to hit but throwing off their aim, or not taking evasive action, making them easier to hit but higher chance of hitting). I could see giving different classes of ships (CV, BB, CA, CL, DD, DE) set amounts of dice for AAA, and they decide how to apportion it each turn to various targets, I guess. I was thinking of a mechanic where an aircraft fore and aft is safer than an aircraft broadside as the ship can’t bring all its guns to bear, but I’m not sure how that would work with dice apportionment, and I sure as heck don’t want to get into differentiating different types of AAA (5″, 40mm, 20mm, etc…) with different ranges.”