I think we’re approaching a meeting of the minds, here.
That’s a scary thought…for one of us, at least! ; )
I’m satisfied to symbolically represent altitude on a dice or a dial, while I physically move my models around on a flat table and point them at one another.
No disagreement on altitude representation – it is one of the chief obstacles to the genre (whether in constructing stands or learning to see the third dimension via markers).
Where new ground can be broken, imo, is when it comes to applying the ‘theater of the mind’ to the ‘point them at one another’ facet ubiquitous in games. The ‘pilot/maneuver check’ in “…Coffins” seems to do this, insofar as it represents movement of the aircraft not displayed by the model on the tabletop (or directed/controlled by the player) but is instead abstractly represented by a die roll – the details of that movement are left to the players’ imaginations. (This is exactly the way I use a ‘movement test’ in my rules, btw, so it stood out to me.)
My question (to all, though sort of directed at Tom since it’s his game…) is whether the other ‘pointing’ of the model (within the scope of combat maneuvering, not moving around the battlefield) can be treated in the same manner?