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  • #21624
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    A vague title, but I figured to give fair warning to any that wish to avoid seeing my odd blatherings.  ; )

    Sparked by two recent AARs (Just Jack and War Panda) I figured an attempt at resurrecting a discussion I started on the Game Design forum (as well as on many other sites in the past… ) was worth my time on this rainy day.

    Just Jack’s efforts at solo play (specifically: deciding/plotting moves without acting as too-much the multi-omniscient/-potent pilots – if I understood correctly) made me think that applying my (odd) POV to the system may help.  By equating the decisions of a fighter-pilot in a dogfight game to those of a martial artist in a hand-to-hand game (typical RPG stuff, I imagine), the choices can be presented in a more basic/limited fashion, allowing the player the freedom/flexibility to tailor the resulting action (in a narrative way) to the specific moment.

    Since specific aircraft locations are not presented on the table, the player* takes no time choosing/randomizing/resolving the exact flight paths and/or maneuvers done.  Instead, objectives are chosen (eg: attack him, get over there, run away…) along with the difficulty level to be taken (involving stress on both aircraft and pilot performance).  A dice roll produces a result (degree of success) that the player then ‘spins’ to fit, eg: the pilot failed to spot the enemy and was caught drifting along, or the rookie panicked and shoved everything into a corner, or the hi yo-yo was executed to perfection, or…?

    *I’m imagining solo play here, but the idea applies to multi-player gaming as well

    Dunno…my efforts have concentrated on WW1 stuff (since the speeds and gun ranges are smaller = easier to manage?) but I think it would scale up to WW2 (I tried it a bit), though would most likely fall apart in the jet age…especially with missiles.

    Apologies to those sick of me banging on this old, tired drum, but War Panda asked for alternatives (in his CY6 AAR) so I’m going to blame him. 

     

    Don

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #29154
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    Just a shameful/less bump.

     

    Dunno…I’d really like to explore the concept.

    I understand the pool of potential interest is small, but am also confident that such a concept would apply to the ‘everyday gamer’ (if there is such a beast) that would be interested in a skirmish-level game that involves a minimal financial/figure/terrain outlay that would require few players (even only one) and produce ‘heroic’ games with the potential for campaigns and/or character development.

    I understand that the advantages of the system I propose are not really unique, and ‘why bother?’ is an expected response, still…

    I figure “Why not?”  If a new/different game can provide fun, what’s the harm?  It costs little (the bits and bobs are typical of aircombat gaming) and -like tasting someone’s dish in a restaurant- can only suffer from a “nah…not my taste” result: not exactly what I’d call world-wrecking.  On the other hand, if “Hey, that’s pretty tasty” results, then only good (ie: fun) can come from it, and that -imo- makes it worthwhile for me to embarrass myself in this way over the years…

     

     

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #29164
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    I like the idea.  You are in the square/hex with the enemy.  how are you fighting?   I have aways wanted to do something like this for cross channel air warfare BOB to 1944.Just as my military genius needs a division on the table to show its full acumen, I feel that I am more cut out to be a wing commander than a sergeant pilot.

     

    Idon’t see why it shouldn’t work for jet age.  Bigger squares and some sort of multi square attack for BVR.

     

    Please continue, I am all ears.

    #29185
    RogerBW
    Participant

    I think many wargamers have a tendency to focus on the hardware and its capabilities; I’m certainly prone to this. Calibres, rates of fire, g loadings… The thing I love about Chain of Command is that it gives you a ruleset in which you have to use not just good tactics but the right tactics for your force mix: handle a British platoon as if it were a German one and you’ll get nowhere.

    Not sure how much that can be achieved in an air combat game, since the physics seem to have forced everyone into a single tactical approach, but NATO pairs vs Soviet ground-controlled formations might well be doable.

    #29231
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    “I don’t see why it shouldn’t work for jet age.”

    I think the introduction of missiles and -perhaps more importantly- the greater disparity between maneuvering space and effective weapon range messes too much with the ‘like hand-to-hand combat’ premise.  It’s the equivalent of adding ranged weapons to a barroom brawl or street fight – perhaps mechanics can be devised to handle it, but the ‘spirit’ of the thing is radically different so I’m not sure it would produce enough of a distinction from what’s already out there rule-wise.

     

    “…a tendency to focus on the hardware and its capabilities…Calibres, rates of fire, g loadings…”

    Judging by the popular rulesets in air combat, there’s certainly an appeal of the ‘sexiness’ of heroically guiding a fighter through a tricky maneuver – the reward being the physical placement of the model on the table on the opponent’s ‘six’.

    I’ve no beef with that sort of fun, but I observe that similarly heroic actions/accomplishments in other skirmish genres (fantasy, wild west, pulp, whatever…) are resolved by numbers and dice rather than the physical control/manipulation of the models.  The details are left to the players’ imaginations, and the challenges presented in the game revolve around what to do and not how to do it.

    It’s the application of a similar system to air combat that interests me.  Granted, you don’t get to ‘fly’ the little model around on the tabletop, but you can still go “Takka takka takka” when you fire on your enemy!

     

    “Not sure how much that can be achieved in an air combat game, since the physics seem to have forced everyone into a single tactical approach…”

    The same could be said about hand-to-hand situations: all characters are restricted/governed by the physics.  Introducing modifiers in the form of equipment types/quality and -more importantly- character quality produces variation in results from the same input, and would guide players towards choosing those actions that take advantage of their personal attributes: success would be the reward for making the correct use of resources (in the same way failure would result from a poor choice/use of resources).

    Players would, I imagine, be faced with the same sort of decisions common to most (all?) games: Here’s what I’ve got to work with…now: How do I use those things to achieve my goal?

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #29248
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Takka takka boom and wooosh boom are vital parts of air wargaming.

    #29412
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    “Takka takka boom and wooosh boom are vital parts of air wargaming.”

    Bingo.  Outside the (very, very…VERY) small group of gamers interested in the genre, this is, perhaps, the key to the popular appeal (among the gaming community).

    My (albeit personal) problem/question is: How do you get gamers (in both groups) to consider/examine a different (admittedly quite radical) game system that provides (imo) that vital ‘takka takka’ element without the ‘point and shoot’ factor that every other game available has? …and I mean every other: if someone can point out a 1:1 scale aircombat game that doesn’t involve pointing a model at another to determine a firing opportunity I sincerely want to learn of it.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by Don Glewwe.

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #30082
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EXGVHs-fUM 

    self-indulgent twaddle…which makes it stand out from every other post…

     

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #34532
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    A bit of a bump, caused by encountering a discussion elsewhere that lamented the inability to game what I would term ‘big sky’ scenarios on the table while retaining (I inferred) the same sort of player/pilot decision connection.

    The problem raised was in addressing the fact that while aircombat takes place in a ‘no boundaries’ region of the sky, most games (d)evolve into twisting/turning battles confined to the edges of the table.

    The accepted premise is that in order to model flight physics with a workable groundscale for the aircraft models, more space is used than is available (I assume a maximum of 6′ to accommodate reach) to allow the display of actions/tactics such as setting up a ‘bounce’, withholding a reserve or top cover, or even executing a simple ‘boom and zoom’.  The conclusion is that there simply isn’t room to play anything more than a restricted furball with model airplanes on a tabletop.

     

    My POV is that the premise needn’t be accepted in order to game aircombat effectively (by which I mean that players are confronted with choices/consequences that relate to those experienced by the pilots being represented in the little models, and have fun doing so).

    Once the burden of modeling flight physically with the models on the tabletop is discarded, a workable groundscale can be used to allow ‘big picture/sky’ action.  For example: WW2-era games (using 1/600 models) could be done at a scale of 1 foot = 1 mile.  Even increasing that by a third (to allow for a better visual presentation of the action relative to the space occupied) would yield a 4.5 x 4.5 mile square on a 6 foot table – an average figther would take around 10 turns to cross that.

    With that much room to work with, players would have the opportunity to game the challenges associated with it.  Another way to have fun with toy airplanes, that’s all I see.

     

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 7 months ago by Don Glewwe.

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #41013
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    Industry note: Two Hour Wargames has/is developed/-ing a game that appears to avoid the ‘point and shoot’ facet common to most/all other games available.  Happily, this means you (will) have a chance to try/examine the concept in a for-real game instead of via my faulty attempts.

    Hopefully it will get discussed here (TWW).

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #41191
    John D Salt
    Participant

    I have been waiting for many months for inspiration to strike me on this topic, and so far it seems not to have struck anywhere within hearing.

    Last time we discussed this, if my memory fails me correctly, I blethered out of myself about wanting some kind of bidding game where opposing pilots bid quantities of altitude, airspeed and ‘g’. My idea was to see if you can include some of the tension of poker; poker is a thumpingly suspenseful game. I also imagine that successfully cheeky bidding would perhaps reflect some of the personality of an aggressive fighter pilot, who can get away with bluffs that less confident players never could (although I suspect that Bubi Hartmann, modelled as a poker player, would have been a stone-cold professional who folded whenever the odds were against him but still beat the bank).

    I think I might also have rambled a bit about showing the relative advantage of each side in a 1v1 fight, based on a DTIC paper I found that described a dogfight as a five-state Markov chain. In this model, the fight had five possible states; Blue attacking position, Blue position of advantage, neutral, Red position of advantage, or Red attacking position. So I would see a dogfight as being a short series of bids, with the winner each time being rewarded by an improvement of his position, and, when an attacking position is reached, earning the right to take a hack at the enemy in exchange for the risk of reducing his ammo state (ammo plus, ammo minus, ammo zero are the only ones I can find brevity codes bothering with).

    It occurred to me that it would be possible to represent the relative advantage of opponents in a dogfight by butting together two rectangular counters showing the opposing aircraft. It seemed natural to me to show rather more than just “position of advantage” and “attacking position” for WW2 aircraft, because of the possibility — if you think you can afford the ammo — of taking head-on and high-deflection shots. Relative positions could be shown as:

    1. Nose-to-nose. Neither side has the advantage; both can try a head-on shot.
    2. Nose-to-wing. The aircraft with its nose on has the advantage, and may try a high-deflection shot.
    3. Nose-to-tail. The aircraft with its nose on has the advantage, and is in an attacking position. Dakka dakka dakka.
    4. Wing-to-wing. Neutral or stalemate position: neither side has the advantage.
    5. Tail-to-tail. Neither side has the advantage, and either may attempt to break off the combat.

    If bidding turns could be adjudged to be a draw, a small win, or a big win, then a small win might permit the player to rotate his own arcraft counter by a right angle, and a big win entitle him to rotate the opponent’s aircraft.

    As described, this shows only the state of a 1v1 battle, and it needs to be able to show at least a 4v4, and I want to be able to do squadron fights. I am wondering how one might frame rules for wingmen to join in, and how to make the system show some aspects of the importance of spotting. I think aircraft counters might need to have two states, “padlocked” when conducting an attack, and “searching” otherwise, with “padlocked” aircraft very easy to sneak up on unless their wingman is watching their tail. I have aso been wondering about the possibility of dropping unspotted (or perhaps just height advantaged) aircraft into play, a bit like captured pieces in Sho-Gi.

    It’s all jolly difficult, and I need to find time to muck about experimentally with these ideas, and ideally some beer and like-minded friends.

    All the best,

    John.

    #41207
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    The issues raised appear to follow directly on the path I’ve been treading for over ten years.  The only significant difference I see (on first reading) is that I incorporate the combat resolution into a ‘normal’ miniatures format that has the aircraft models moving on the tabletop between and/or into ‘engagement areas’ – a little like what occurs in an ‘Axis and Allies’ type boardgame.  Ed’s game looks to follow the theme proposed of abstractly-located areas wherein the models (or counters or whatever) are in a sort of limbo and only placed ‘in action’ when a combat is resolved.*  Dunno…like I said: first reading, so may very well have misunderstood.

    *This would, I think, make it ideal for resolving combats that occur in the course of a campaign/board game such as “Bloody April”.

     

    …successfully cheeky bidding would perhaps reflect some of the personality of an aggressive fighter pilot, who can get away with bluffs that less confident players never could…

    I like the betting/gambling theme, but I’m not sure if bluffing is possible?  No matter how aggressive/cocky a pilot may be, threatening something that isn’t possible (definition of bluffing) like a Defiant pilot showing signs of getting on an opponent’s tail – such a position holds no danger since he can’t shoot from it, so where’s the threat/bluff?

     

    …the fight had five possible states; Blue attacking position, Blue position of advantage, neutral, Red position of advantage, or Red attacking position. So I would see a dogfight as being a short series of bids, with the winner each time being rewarded by an improvement of his position, and, when an attacking position is reached, earning the right to take a hack at the enemy in exchange for the risk of reducing his ammo state (ammo plus, ammo minus, ammo zero are the only ones I can find brevity codes bothering with). It occurred to me that it would be possible to represent the relative advantage of opponents in a dogfight by butting together two rectangular counters showing the opposing aircraft.

    This sounds to be straight from my game, though my ‘advantage scale’ is done with numbers (eg: an aircraft’s relative position/status is indicated by a numeral -positive or negative- that defines how good it is).  Players ‘make bets’ each turn by choosing how much of their aircraft/pilot abilities to risk and roll for the outcome.  As with gambling, the greater risk yields the greater reward but also carries with it a greater penalty for failure.  The advantage may ebb and flow as each succeeds or fails in varying degrees.

    ‘Cashing in’ the advantage by shooting costs ammo in increments of 1-second bursts – an arbitrary step that could easily be simplified to ‘plus, minus, zero’ if desired.

    Since my bases are hexagonal (large nuts, actually) I would, in the past, indicate relative states between aircraft by placing them adjacent to one of the four sides of an opponent (front, front-quarter, rear-quarter, rear).  Now I just rely on the number to show the scale of the advantage and arrange the models on the table so they look cool.  

     

    …a small win might permit the player to rotate his own arcraft counter by a right angle, and a big win entitle him to rotate the opponent’s aircraft.

    This is something similar to how Mike Clinton handles dogfights in “Watch Your Six!” – the victor can use winning dice to alter the positions of the models, with a large success allowing one to be placed on the opponent’s ‘six’.

     

    …frame rules for wingmen to join in, and how to make the system show some aspects of the importance of spotting.

    Like Mike, I impose a ‘no spot, no shot’ restriction on both gaining any sort of advantage as well as firing.  Wingmen become part of the process through this rule because an advantage/attack made upon the leader leaves one vulnerable to the wingman – the risk can be taken, but the price must be paid.  A 1v1 contest holds no such threat (as has been repeatedly demonstrated in the ‘100 years ago’ AARs posted) but a crowded sky produces few opportunities to concentrate one’s attention on a single enemy without his friends taking exception.

     

    …I need to find time to muck about experimentally with these ideas, and ideally some beer and like-minded friends.

    I’m right there with you! 

    Now it’s off to the cellar for today’s ‘100 Years Ago’ installment…

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #56126
    Don Glewwe
    Participant
    Copied/Pasted (ie: screwed up) from another thread:

    Again: The relative time/motion actions are the same. The time to carry out a maneuver in an aircraft is exactly the same as that of the opponent: not ‘vastly greater’. Melee between humans on foot is exactly as mobile/static as that between aircraft (relative to the respective ‘kill zones’).

    Again, absolutely not.  I am a bit puzzled here.  You keep on asserting that a WW2 multi-aircraft combat in 3-dimensions is pretty much like Bruce Lee fighting Jackie Chan – it is “relatively the same”.

    The claim of similarity is based on the relationship between weapon range (hands/feet and machineguns/cannon) and ability to land/evade an attack.  A martial artist can move to hit an opponent with the same general ability the opponent has to dodge that attack.  In the same way, a fighter pilot can maneuver to line up an attack within the same framework the potential target has of getting out of the line of fire.  The time/space used by the first pair is much smaller, but each pair shares a similar time/space combat box (or kill zone).

     

    The position/stance of the trooper (within the combat box) is not modeled on the table at all, much less fudged.

    I think you must be using combat box in a way I don’t understand.  The position of troopers in skirmish games is very clearly defined versus each other and the terrain.

    Not within the hex/space/whatever the figure occupies that is being used to represent the combat box (within which an attack can be made).  The stance, foot position, arm movements are not detailed in the same manner that an aircraft’s position is modelled on the tabletop.

     

     

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by Don Glewwe.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by Don Glewwe.

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    #56238
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Not within the hex/space/whatever the figure occupies that is being used to represent the combat box (within which an attack can be made). The stance, foot position, arm movements are not detailed in the same manner that an aircraft’s position is modelled on the tabletop.

    Granted (in general), but I don’t think the situations are analagous because the positioning of the aircraft model or aircraft counter is in turn far less detailed than the position of a foot soldier in a skirmish. So:

    1:1 land wargame: position of the figure plotted within one square metre or so (usually).

    1:1 air wargame: position of the model/counter plotted within 900 cubed metres (i.e. a 100 foot box/hex) [and this would be a very detailed air wargame].

    So, to my mind, it looks like in the land wargame that the game emphasizes* accuracy of position rather than stance (which makes sense – humans can change stance very quickly compared to position); whereas in the aircraft game the design emphasizes “stance” (which makes sense – aircraft change position very quickly relative to their attitude).  All this is fine, until you add in a third or more aircraft – unfortunately then, position becomes nearly as important as it does in the ground game.

    *and I mean this – emphasizes one, but does not include the other.  For instance, fantasy RPGs and Wild West games tend to emphasize the physical readiness of the weapons of combatants, since that takes longer than minor changes of stance.

     

     

     

     

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #56240
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Rubbish – I have just deleted a post about the other bit.  I will resume later!

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #56249
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    1:1 land wargame: position of the figure plotted within one square metre or so (usually).

    That seems quite small.  That would mean a ground scale of 1″ = 1m ?  I guess I don’t understand the amount of space you feel a figure occupies on the tabletop.  Regardless, my issue is with the amount/type of movement represented in a game, which (I think?) you addressed with:

    So, to my mind, it looks like in the land wargame that the game emphasizes accuracy of position rather than stance (which makes sense – humans can change stance very quickly compared to position); whereas in the aircraft game the design emphasizes “stance” (which makes sense – aircraft change position very quickly relative to their attitude).

    Agreed.  The stance of the land fighter is not shown/controlled but that of the air fighter is.  My exploration asks ‘why?’  The stance of each can (and is) altered constantly in response to both offensive and defensive objectives within the range (both time and space) of combat.

    A land fighter can quickly dodge a punch aimed at his head, as can an air fighter dodge a maneuver (equally quickly relative to the attack) intended to bring the opponent’s guns to bear – but it is only the latter move that gets detailed/controlled/displayed in a game setting.  I’m just wondering if -since it doesn’t seem to be necessary to include such detail in land games- it is possible to exclude it in air games.

    I’m not trying to assert that hand-to-hand and aircombat are exactly the same, only that they share enough characteristics to allow similar gaming mechanisms to represent them.

     

    All this is fine, until you add in a third or more aircraft – unfortunately then, position becomes nearly as important as it does in the ground game.

    I’m not sure I understand this. I think an extra combatant messes up an air game no more than it would in a land one?  Dunno.

     

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by Don Glewwe.

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #56324
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    The claim of similarity is based on the relationship between weapon range (hands/feet and machineguns/cannon) and ability to land/evade an attack. A martial artist can move to hit an opponent with the same general ability the opponent has to dodge that attack. In the same way, a fighter pilot can maneuver to line up an attack within the same framework the potential target has of getting out of the line of fire. The time/space used by the first pair is much smaller, but each pair shares a similar time/space combat box (or kill zone).

    Okay, there are some similarities, definitely – but some really big differences too:

    The kill zones are similar in some ways but not others.  A martial artist has a large variety of options within the kill zone (hands/arms/feet/legs can go in different directions without changing the rest of the stance or position on the terrain); whereas a fighter pilot with cannon/MGs has to manoeuvre the plane to move the kill zone onto the target – a kill zone which is actually quite narrow compared to the movements of the aircraft (And even the size of the aircraft).  Everything has to work as a whole. This maybe one reason why air games concentrate on this.

    Fighters cannot usually stay within each other’s kill zones.  They are either doing a fast head-on-pass, or a chase, or a fleeting deflection shot.  This makes position important in a way not true of “duel” games* as aircraft will be moving into and out of kill zones very quickly (not in proportion to martial arts’ fights, where two combatants can stay in the kill zone as long as they like as long as they can evade or take the punishment; no target fighter would choose to do this).

    As a follow on from this, to my mind this creates a very different dynamic in air games (involving more than two aircraft), because aircraft will move into and out of several different kill zones in an air game; this is much less likely in “duel” games.

    *Martial arts/gladiators/some wild west gunfights. I think we have to be quite specific about the various types of 1:1 games:

    Skirmish games involving c.3 – 20.

    Duel games involving 1 – 1; possibly 1 -2.

    Typically, as I alluded to in the other post, skirmish games are very accurate in regards to position but pretty indifferent to stance.  Duel games are often very interested in stance, or at least action.

    Air combat games are often skirmish game sized.  I think your idea has most merit in an air “duel” game, if you are prepared to abstract the rest of the battle – I think it will break down when there are more than a few aircraft per side, where position can’t be ignored –  and the “stance” (attitude) of the aircraft is such a vital determinant of future position it will be very difficult to abstract much more than games do already.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #56540
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    Okay, there are some similarities, definitely – but some really big differences too: The kill zones are similar in some ways but not others. A martial artist has a large variety of options within the kill zone (hands/arms/feet/legs can go in different directions without changing the rest of the stance or position on the terrain); whereas a fighter pilot with cannon/MGs has to manoeuvre the plane to move the kill zone onto the target – a kill zone which is actually quite narrow compared to the movements of the aircraft (And even the size of the aircraft).

    First: My use of ‘kill zone’ was a poor choice to describe the combat area – perhaps what I use in my rules is better = engagement area?  This is best defined as effective weapon range, and so encompasses the entire 3d area within that radius – not just the cone of fire for an aircraft’s guns.

    Second: The stance (ie: body position, incl limbs) of a martial artist restricts/determines the direction and type of attacks that can be made in a manner similar to how the ‘stance’ of an aircraft creates restrictions/boundaries a fighter pilot is limited by.  While the options available to a martial artist may indeed be greater as granted by those imposed limitations and the time/space values for the actions of the martial artist are much smaller (perhaps by a factor of 100?), the same range of limitation values apply equally to the opponent and so have no relevance to the similarity of the two genres (land and air).

    My point is that the stance of the martial artist is not determined/displayed/controlled in most/all games (I’m thinking RPGs are the best example of the most detailed hand-to-hand rules and none of them -to my knowledge- cover arm/leg/body positioning) without much impact on the acceptance of the game as a means to play those events.  What a fighter pilot does in the way of thinking/decision-making is similar, and so I wonder if it would be possible to use similar gaming mechanics (eg: RPG-type combat) to play aerial combat.

     

    Fighters cannot usually stay within each other’s kill zones. They are either doing a fast head-on-pass, or a chase, or a fleeting deflection shot. This makes position important in a way not true of “duel” games* as aircraft will be moving into and out of kill zones very quickly (not in proportion to martial arts’ fights, where two combatants can stay in the kill zone as long as they like as long as they can evade or take the punishment; no target fighter would choose to do this).

    Again: My bad for using a poor label for the engagement area.  Using the intended definition (as above) the difference cited for land v air encounters doesn’t exist, since the idea that two combatants can stay in the kill zone[engagement area] as long as they like as long as they can evade or take the punishment applies equally to martial artists and fighter pilots.  If you were a pilot within 500′ of Werner Voss’ triplane you were only a “Hey, Presto!” away from taking fire.  Granted he was exceptional, but even everyday pilots could be expected to put their sights on a target within that range (or double that for WW2 era?) within the course of a ‘turn’.  How well and how easily was a matter of their skill and the aircraft capability – both matters of modifiers as far as gaming is concerned?  Exactly the sort of thing RPG/skirmish land games handle as a matter of course.

     

    Air combat games are often skirmish game sized [3-20 figs]. I think your idea has most merit in an air “duel” game [1 v 1 or 1 v 2], if you are prepared to abstract the rest of the battle and the “stance” (attitude) of the aircraft is such a vital determinant of future position it will be very difficult to abstract much more than games do already.

    I may very well be misunderstanding the above.  If stance is important in duel games, it seems that existing air combat games would be put into that category since they detail/display/control the ‘stance’ of the aircraft to a much greater degree than most (all?) land duel games (if the latter do so at all) rather than assign a game type (duel or skirmish) based on the number of figures involved.

     

    To make an air combat skirmish game as I propose, it needs simply to use the ‘position’ emphasis that land combat games use -ie: position/location detailed to within combat range only.  Figures are moved generally around the battlefield, and when within the ‘engagement area’ of one or more other figures combat takes place.  What happens in the fast-and-furious flurry of action is not detailed or displayed by the figures themselves (and most importantly: not controlled by the players), but is resolved/tracked abstractly via stats and dice rolls.

    Again: the time/space for action/reaction within an engagement area differs by (perhaps) a factor of 100 between the two, but that doesn’t seem to me to be a deal-breaker when it comes to pinching the ideas of land games and using them in the air.

     

    …I think it will break down when there are more than a few aircraft per side, where position can’t be ignored…

    Misunderstanding on my part again.  I don’t see how more aircraft are a hindrance to the idea.  I’m guessing it’s to do with the term ‘position’, which I take to mean as it (generally) does in land games: location detailed to within combat range (maybe ~10′ or so at most?).  For an air game this would be as much as 100 times as much – so location detailed to within 1000′.  Since they (aircraft) are always on the move as well as changing direction (within an engagement area, anyway, just like their land counterparts) not plunking the model down in a particular spot with a particular facing at a random moment in time seems like an okay thing to do (just as it -displaying a particular stance- isn’t done in land games).

     

    That’s most likely too much blather for one sitting, so I’ll let it go for now.

     

    PS- two important things genre-wise: For the purposes of my exploration, ‘land’ means hand-to-hand (not missile weapons) and ‘air’ means the first 30 years when the weapons(guns) and speeds of aircraft create a viable meaning of an ‘engagement area’ – jets and missiles are a whole different can o’ worms!

     

    PPS – Just to bring over the relevant stuff from the other thread, I think it may be valuable to post this again:

     BTW, none of this is to suggest that there couldn’t be a very good game that doesn’t require (relatively) accurate plotting of aircraft position: just that I at least find it much harder to intuit what that game might look like.

    My reply: Take a look at these (esp. entries for 13 and 21 May for multiple pics):  http://www.thewargameswebsite.com/forums/topic/100-years-ago/

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #62854
    William Minsinger
    Participant

    So I absolutely understand why you’re interested in this sort of system, but I would argue that while your theory on what could work is sound, in practice, it misses the primary ‘zeitgeist’ of what makes air combat particularly interesting, which is that on a plane-to-plane basis in air combat maneuver and combat opportunity are linked far more directly than in other field of battle.  I suspect that even if you could work out such an system, you’d find it didn’t actually feel like you were commanding an aircraft in battle at all.

    If you’re looking for a higher-level game where the player is more concerned with mission planning and execution, well there are several games that fit that particular bill.  But I get the sense that’s not what you are after.

    -Will

    #62991
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    …while your theory on what could work is sound, in practice, it misses the primary ‘zeitgeist’ of what makes air combat particularly interesting…you’d find it didn’t actually feel like you were commanding an aircraft in battle at all.

    I completely agree that the path I’m exploring is ‘off the beaten path’ from where the ‘primary zeitgeist’ leads most gamers when it comes to assessing air combat games.  I don’t believe, however, that the basis for this commonly accepted POV has anything more to support it than historical dominance.

    My guess (and that’s all it really is) is that the common understanding (and the basis for rating) of what is ‘correct’ or ‘feels right’ in air combat gaming is shaped by the dominance of the ‘point-and-shoot’ variety of games available.  How well a game addresses/represents/displays the physical behavior of an aircraft becomes the stick by which it is measured.

    What led me to my (odd) POV is that what’s missing in this is a lack of (or, at best, a diminishment of) an assessment of how well the game addresses/represents/displays the mental behavior (ie: decisions) of the pilot.  Personal (albeit very limited) experience in open cockpit biplanes (along with the usual ‘indoor’ stuff of Cub variety) makes me hold the notion that planning/plotting/executing the movement of a little model on the tabletop has very little (if anything) to do with making the decisions a pilot makes.

    Based on similar (very limited) experience on the fencing strip, I theorized that what may better address/represent/display the decisions a pilot makes in a game would be the sort of system common to many RPGs = dice rolls to meet a specific challenge, with modifiers for skill, environment, etc.  I would stipulate that the success/popularity of such systems make them as good a rating device for air combat games as the commonly held ‘zeitgeist’.

    How well they address the ‘feels right’ test is, imo, a matter of personal taste and -importantly- the stick by which a game is measured.  For myself, modelling the behavior of the aircraft is not as satisfying as modelling the decisions of the pilot. YMMV.

    Exploring the concept is what I’m about, and only ask that the odd POV I propose be judged by how well it meets its stated goal of representing a pilot’s decisions and not by how well it measures up on the usual stick of how well it represents an aircraft’s behavior.

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #63001
    William Minsinger
    Participant

    So I guess I’m still not sure I grasp what you’re aiming for.  I do not fly aircraft, but I do play a fair number of virtual flight simulators, and I don’t think I see the disconnect between the decisions I make while ‘flying’ a computer-simulated aircraft versus ‘flying’ one on the tabletop that you perceive.  When I am dogfighting a virtual Zero in my virtual Wildcat I’m keeping in mind the same inherent strengths and weaknesses and I make the same choices about relative direction/speed/destination that I would if I was pushing a pewter Wildcat across the table.  Yes the representation of those actions are different, but the same inherent actions are taking place; the two different mediums lead to different approaches to achieve the same result.

    I am also not sure I find your RPG argument convincing.  Yes, in (most) RPGs I don’t know or care exactly how my imaginary fighter is swinging his sword; that’s the die roll for attacking. But in (many) RPGs I *DO* care if I’m directly next to the Orc or if I’m 10 feet from the Orc or if I’m flanked by the Orc or if I’m flanking the Orc or if I need to get between the Orc and the Wizard or if by turning to face the Orc the next Orc has a clear shot at my back….  In the exact same vein I don’t know or care if my imaginary fighter pilot is slightly leading the target or heavily leading the target or fires a short burst or fires a long burst or fired too soon or too late; that’s the die roll for shooting. I definitely DO care if can get into a tailing position or need to avoid being tailed or need to pick up energy or have shed too much energy or he is outclimbing me or….  So I think (many) RPGs and (many) ‘Flight Games’ actually hit upon nearly the exact same level of abstraction.  The swing of the sword of the pull of the trigger is a die roll; but the actions that lead me that die roll are simulated with a fairly fine degree of fidelity.

    I can see a case that when actually flying a lot of these decisions and the information that informs them is done by ‘feel’ rather than numbers; but that is the inherent limitation of the table top medium.

     

    EDIT: Though I absolutely due owe you a read through your air combat rules before I offer any other critique.  Are you discussing ‘WAD’ or ‘Aerial Craps’ ?

    -Will

    #64695
    hammurabi70
    Participant

    Have you tried GMT’s DOWN IN FLAMES system; these would seem to be in line with what you are trying to achieve.

    #64757
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    Have you tried GMT’s DOWN IN FLAMES system; these would seem to be in line with what you are trying to achieve.

    Thanks for pointing them out – hadn’t known of them.  A quick read of an internet review gave me the basics – apologies if I miss something important…

    While it does dispense with the ‘point and shoot’ aspect, it appears to lack any representation of the larger battlefield beyond any specific dogfight/engagment (ie: playing of cards in a particular matchup of opponent aircraft).  “Where to be/go?” is a question I’d like to see players confronted with based on a viewing of a ‘big sky/picture’ that extends beyond an individual dogfight on a battlefield/tabletop measuring at least ten such dogfights.

    The ‘war-style’ card play is (broadly speaking) the sort of adversarial contest I use – the main difference being that I use dice challenges that are modified by equipment, skill, and (most importantly) how much of a risk -to gain a greater advantage- players wish to take to achieve their goals.

    The state of any particular aircraft within an engagment in my game generally matches the “Down in Flames” system = neutral, advantaged (being on the wrong end, I assume?), and tailing (having the upper hand).  The difference is that I use a numerical scale to indicate the degree of how good/bad a position an aircraft is in (relative to another), ie: Being at, say, a -2 is not so bad, while holding a +8 on another would represent a fairly solid lock on their tail.  The specific relative positions are left to players’ imaginations as well as the decision to attack (and how much of any existing ‘advantage’ will be expended on that attack).

    The specific maneuvers on the cards (scissors, roll, etc…) are the sort of things that I leave to a player’s imagination to flesh out the (admittedly) boring dice rolls.  Again, I point out that such ‘dressing up’ of dice rolls is a standard RPG facet that doesn’t do anything to diminish the enjoyment players have, however much one may miss pushing the little model around the tabletop.  The “Lacquered Coffins” system also uses dice rolls to represent some movement/maneuvering: Check out the battreps posted by Just Jack ( http://www.thewargameswebsite.com/forums/topic/modern-dogfight-using-lacquered-coffins-modified/ ) for examples of such rolls being given a story.

     

    ’nuff for now.

    Don

     

    PS – Will, I appreciate you responses.  I’ll try to find time to answer your post later today.

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #64901
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    So I guess I’m still not sure I grasp what you’re aiming for.

    Simply put, it’s trying to present a different POV for the decisions a player/pilot makes.  In many of the game/AAR discussions I’ve seen/participated in the issues/decisions  expressed have rarely had anything to do with specific maneuvers/movement.  Instead, the posts have expressed intents and/or tactical objectives.  The truth is that point and shoot games don’t address (or even involve) those type of decisions beyond a vague implication, ie: I moved there and in such a manner as to attack that opponent.  The truth is that that intent/objective has nothing directly to do with the move executed in game terms.  The lack of that representation is (part of) what motivated me to go down the strange path currently tread.

    I do not fly aircraft, but I do play a fair number of virtual flight simulators…

    Nothing personal, but I can’t resist repeating my oft-used reply:

    Flight simulators are to the real thing as dryer lint is to sexual intercourse: either you haven’t done the latter, or your experience is not one to reference in comparison.

    The gist = it is very much as stated: “…when actually flying a lot of these decisions and the information that informs them is done by ‘feel’ rather than numbers…”.    ‘Numbers’  is, imo, the same as plotting/planning/executing any sort of movement of the aircraft that traces its path within the sort of hectic, gut-reaction, think-and-its-too-late turn sequence of an air combat game.

    Most of the discussions I’ve had over the past decade have agreed on this point: What is done in the heat of combat is based on ability. training, and experience in a visceral reaction to the environment, and has nothing to do with plotting/planning.  Imposing an arbitrary FREEZE to all units on the tabletop makes this even more strange, imo, in a genre in which everything -you, your allies, your opponents, the terrain itself- is constantly moving.

    The player involvement in a  digital game would, I think, support this hypothesis – It’s real time, and you don’t have the luxury of pondering what to do next, you just do it.

     

    Yes, in (most) RPGs I don’t know or care exactly how my imaginary fighter is swinging his sword; that’s the die roll for attacking.

    In (most) RPGs that die roll also includes every crouch, step, duck, lunge, skip, hop…everything within the combat zone.

    In the same manner, I propose that the die roll includes every zig, zag, roll, slip, whatever that occurs within the combat zone.

    same same.

     

    I *DO* care if I’m directly next to the Orc or if I’m 10 feet from the Orc or if I’m flanked by the Orc or if I’m flanking the Orc or if I need to get between the Orc and the Wizard or if by turning to face the Orc the next Orc has a clear shot at my back…. I definitely DO care if can get into a tailing position or need to avoid being tailed or need to pick up energy or have shed too much energy or he is outclimbing me…

    That’s all in my system.  I don’t see what contradicts that.  Everything you want is there, so I’m confused by any objection.

     

    … (many) RPGs and (many) ‘Flight Games’ actually hit upon nearly the exact same level of abstraction. The swing of the sword of the pull of the trigger is a die roll…

    Nope- the die roll includes so much more in both cases.

     

    Are you discussing ‘WAD’ or ‘Aerial Craps’ ?

    The latter, though the version you can see online is nothing like the latest.

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #64944
    William Minsinger
    Participant

    Flight simulators are to the real thing as dryer lint is to sexual intercourse: either you haven’t done the latter, or your experience is not one to reference in comparison.

    In this case then there’s only one rules set I am aware of that has been played and endorsed by military pilots that have seen combat action, and that is Ad Astra’s Birds of Prey.  So apparently someone else has already nailed it.

     The player involvement in a digital game would, I think, support this hypothesis – It’s real time, and you don’t have the luxury of pondering what to do next, you just do it.

    Again, inherent limitation of the tabletop gaming medium, not a problem with representing air combat per se.  All combat is real time, but tabletop games are not.

    In (most) RPGs that die roll also includes every crouch, step, duck, lunge, skip, hop…everything within the combat zone.

    In the same manner, I propose that the die roll includes every zig, zag, roll, slip, whatever that occurs within the combat zone.

    same same.

    Not the same; most air combat games don’t track my exact pitch/yaw/roll, like an RPG they only capture my general location and general facing, not exactly what my pilot did at every step to get there. The only difference is that due to the nature of flight what I can do from a given location is dependent on several factors that your fantasy RPG fighter doesn’t care about, so the game needs some notion of the aircraft’s energy state.

    That’s all in my system. I don’t see what contradicts that. Everything you want is there, so I’m confused by any objection.

    I guess I just don’t get your system then, since I don’t see those sort of decisions at all; as far I can suss out the movement system is pick a location you want to be and dice to see the result, which I don’t consider the same, though I could also be fundamentally misreading the rules.  I have no doubts that your game is interesting and fun, but I’m clearly not the target audience since I can’t fathom what you’re trying to accomplish.  I’ll stick with the old-fashioned CY6 and BoP.

    -Will

    #65033
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    The only difference [between RPGs and aircombat] is that due to the nature of flight what I can do from a given location is dependent on several factors that your fantasy RPG fighter doesn’t care about, so the game needs some notion of the aircraft’s energy state.

    Aaaarrrgh! I’ve heard this a kazillion times, and it still doesn’t hold water.  Land-based fighters are as restricted in their potential actions by the laws of physics as aircombat fighters.  “They’re different!” doesn’t have any basis.  None.  Nada.  Zip.  “Cuz” doesn’t qualify as a reason.

    I guess I just don’t get your system then…

    No fault of yours.  My ability to communicate via writing (being a modeller by nature) has been recognized as poor at best -and that’s being complimentary!  I appreciate the time you’ve taken to explore the idea.

     

    I have no doubts that your game is interesting and fun…

    Thanks.  I think it might be as well – and that’s the whole point: Presenting a new option for gaming air combat…not ‘better’, just a different way to have fun pushing little airplane models around on a tabletop.

    I don’t look to replace, but to supplement the libraries air combat gamers have – and to, perhaps, give ‘normal’ gamers another vehicle to have some fun with the genre.

     

    … I’m clearly not the target audience

    Fair enough.  Like I said: I’m just trying to generate interest in an idea/concept that may prove interesting to some.

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #65132
    William Minsinger
    Participant

    Aaaarrrgh! I’ve heard this a kazillion times, and it still doesn’t hold water. Land-based fighters are as restricted in their potential actions by the laws of physics as aircombat fighters. “They’re different!” doesn’t have any basis. None. Nada. Zip. “Cuz” doesn’t qualify as a reason.

    Well yes, which is why (most, I bet there is an exception) RPGs don’t allow my fighter to moonwalk out of combat up on to the ceiling  (without magic at play) or similar ‘impossible’ maneuvers; same way that in air combat my fighter can’t just hover in place even if I’d like it to.   What is *possible* to do from a given location and given energy state in a given stretch of time is different for a human being with two feet on the ground than it is for a fighter aircraft in mid-air though.  So there are still different factors to track.

    Anyway, best of luck with the game.

    -Will

    #65395
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    What is *possible* to do from a given location and given energy state in a given stretch of time is different for a human being with two feet on the ground than it is for a fighter aircraft in mid-air though. So there are still different factors to track.

    Yup, there are different factors to track: But that doesn’t mean the two genres (land-air) are different in any fundamental way.

    Everyone says “But a swordsman can’t fly” or “An airplane can’t hover”.  So what!  Neither can their opponent!  That’s the key: A warrior (in whatever genre) can’t do anything his/her opponent can’t do (barring skill differences).

    I’m tired of hearing strawman objections to my proposal.

     

    *sigh*

     

    All I’m looking at is another/different avenue for gaming aircombat.  Others have dipped their toes into the idea (Mike Clinton’s WY6!, THW’s card game, and most recently the “Lacquered Coffin” offerings)  of representing the maneuvering/movement of aircraft with something other than direct/specific physical placement/movement of models on the tabletop.  I’m simply looking to expand/develop the discussion/idea.

     

    Everone’s eating hamburgers.  Fine.  I like a good hamburger…really (fought/talked with Lou Zocchi…really, I liked it).

    The thing is, it’s not the only way to have beef in a sandwich – and you don’t have to stipulate/restrict it to ground beef to confine the discussion.

    Air combat can be gamed in a different manner.  Not better.  Different.  Gaming it in a different manner doesn’t mean the other ways are wrong or bad.  I’m frustrated by the resistance to this.

    I’m just looking at the possiblity of putting…dunno…broccoli on the sandwich…would it kill you to try it?

    I’m not saying the usual burger is bad, just that something different might be good as well.

     

     

    *sigh*

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #67748
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    …it misses the primary ‘zeitgeist’ of what makes air combat particularly interesting, which is that on a plane-to-plane basis in air combat maneuver and combat opportunity are linked far more directly than in other field of battle. I suspect that even if you could work out such an system, you’d find it didn’t actually feel like you were commanding an aircraft in battle at all.

    Apologies for the resurrection, but I just spotted this*

    The bold text struck me as key.  Fighter pilots, imo, don’t ‘command’ aircraft in battle, anymore than land warriors ‘command’ swords or axes.  This is a fundamental discrepency in perception that I feel prevents understanding of the odd POV I have for aircombat gaming.

    Most aircombat games have players commanding aircraft, which results in the games dealing primarily (if not exclusively) with the behavior of the aircraft (in the same way other genres deal with the behavior of companies or battalions).  This, imo, is just as silly as having a hand-to-hand skirmish game have players commanding the weapons of the combatants.

     

    dunno.

     

    *blame photobucket for making me review old threads  ; )

     

    PS-  http://www.thewargameswebsite.com/forums/topic/100-years-ago/page/2/   – the  imaginary 1916 scenario is a decent example of what I see as the result of my ramblings.

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #69677
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

     

    Having rudely messed up the “Air Wargaming Set-up” thread once, I didn’t want to mess things up again so I’m putting this here (where I think all have ‘fair warning’   ).

     

    On that thread, this was posted:

    “As for the arguments about A/C facing their opponents start with Richtofen and go straight through to Shaw. If you have your nose on the enemy you are 90% of the way there. It hasn’t changed in 100+ years.”

     

    To clarify (at least my side of the mess…) :

    The discussion dealt/deals not with A/C facing in actual aircombat but with model facing in gaming aircombat.  Real aircraft have to face their target (well, most of them, anyway) but there is no reason for model aircraft to be moved/placed in such a position in order to game the situation, ie: the relative/firing positions of the real aircraft can be modelled in a way other than the manipulation/orientation of the little models.

    I admit that this is an odd POV (thus the title of the thread), and welcome any questions/opinions.

     

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #69682
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Just a note on solo play air-to-air games:  Two Hour Wargames has a system, and it basically involves no miniatures, or at least not in the fashion of plotting moves and the like.  If you’ve seen their car racing game, it’s sort of like that, you just put the minis in position and roll dice vs. the pilots REP to get a result.  Different maneuvers and positional advantages/disadvantages factor into the rolls.  No real tactical maneuvering and moving across the playing surface as we are used to, a lot more abstract.  Probably models combat well, but may not be as satisfying as pushing the lead around.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #69716
    madman
    Participant

    If you are looking for an operational level game where facing is of less import, then the hexes, or other “area” would have to be say 100 kms or so across. If you are talking a knife fight, any period, facing defines direction and weapons engagement. Any game worth its while also must address altitude and in a reasonable method. In the game of CY6 I played our planes only had about 6 levels of altitude from the dirt to ceiling. No biggie, except flight characteristics change drastically over those differences. Also while the scale of the level flight distances were OK we were able to gain or loose such altitude that I would have to be piloting a space shuttle to climb that fast.

    100 kms takes a WWI fighter about half an hour to cross, WWII say 5 to 10 minutes, modern day fighters take 5 minutes at most. Now the other guy is coming towards you halve these figures.

    OK you want to represent similar mechanics of a dog fight and a kung fu game. Lets check reality. IF you are saying a hand to hand combat by two land bound fighters is no different consider this. In a face to face battle between 2 WWI era fighters they are in range for only one SECOND. Then they pass by each other and spend the next 5 minutes or so getting back to where one or the other or possibly both can attack again. How many actions can a couple of kung fu guys take in 1 second? What if one jumped off the second floor of a building passes the other guy and lands in the basement. This is they type of action you would have to be representing.

    #69728
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    Just a note on solo play air-to-air games: Two Hour Wargames has a system, and it basically involves no miniatures, or at least not in the fashion of plotting moves and the like. If you’ve seen their car racing game, it’s sort of like that, you just put the minis in position and roll dice vs. the pilots REP to get a result. Different maneuvers and positional advantages/disadvantages factor into the rolls. No real tactical maneuvering and moving across the playing surface as we are used to, a lot more abstract. Probably models combat well, but may not be as satisfying as pushing the lead around.

    I recall crowing about this when it appeared, as it was the first (that I knew of) system that mirrored my own efforts, insofar as it eliminated the need to point the little model at its target in order to make an attack (as every other game requires).

    The difference between Ed’s game and mine is that I have those abstract combats occur on a tabletop wherein pilots can move between areas of engagement (the land-combat equivalent I used years ago was of a saxon village being raided by vikings, ie: A warrior could engage where he was, or move to another location).  The movements (and decisions) made by pilot/players become not only tactical (ie: How will I fight this fellow here?) as well as grand tactical (ie: Should I be here, or is it better that I go over there?).

    Whether this sort of thing is as satisfying as ‘pushing the lead around’ on a micro-tactical level is -as I’ve said all along for the past 10 years or so- a matter of individual taste, NOT a matter of functional simulation.  I don’t pretend to refute personal taste (I don’t like green olives…so sue me), but I refuse to accept rejection of my ideas based solely on that.

    I think ‘pushing the lead around’ in a more grand-tactical situation is fun.  I think other gamers may find the same to be true.  I think providing gamers with more ways to have fun is a good thing.

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #69729
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    If you are looking for an operational level game where facing is of less import…

    Nope, not trying to do that.

     

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by Don Glewwe.

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #70001
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    IF you are saying a hand to hand combat by two land bound fighters is no different consider this. In a face to face battle between 2 WWI era fighters they are in range for only one SECOND.

    Agreed (assuming you mean head-to-head) – that’s why I limit the effectiveness of those sort of attacks (however popular they may be in the movies).

     

    Then they pass by each other and spend the next 5 minutes or so getting back to where one or the other or possibly both can attack again.

    Nope.  An aircraft going 100 mph can turn 180-degrees in a 300-ft radius in around 6 seconds (all figures rough, but certainly within the ‘5 minute’ range).  This means that a target aircraft is not out of effective range. and is therefore vulnerable to attack/engagement within a few seconds.  Of course, an opponent can choose to flee the engagment and get out of range -but the same can be said of a martial artist who chooses to turn and run.  Both can be pursued, but both have succeeded in removing themselves from immediate attack.

     

    How many actions can a couple of kung fu guys take in 1 second?  This is they type of action you would have to be representing.

    Agreed.  I do.  The key is that however many actions a combatant may take -whether a kung fu guy or a fighter pilot- his opponent can take as many actions in response.   Hand-to-hand games don’t get in a twist by considering the myriad action-reaction loops that exist in combat – and most importantly to my thesis: they don’t even attempt to represent them specifically.

    A hand-to-hand combat is represented on the tabletop as two (or more) figures placed in proximity to each other – specific positioning, stance, or facing is not represented by the figure.  The combat is resolved with dice or some other system that reflects/represents the specifics of positioning, stance, facing, and ability.

    I’m simply proposing that the same gaming mechanic be used for air-to-air combat.

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #70037
    madman
    Participant

    Then they pass by each other and spend the next 5 minutes or so getting back to where one or the other or possibly both can attack again.

    Nope. An aircraft going 100 mph can turn 180-degrees in a 300-ft radius in around 6 seconds (all figures rough, but certainly within the ‘5 minute’ range). This means that a target aircraft is not out of effective range. and is therefore vulnerable to attack/engagement within a few seconds. Of course, an opponent can choose to flee the engagment and get out of range -but the same can be said of a martial artist who chooses to turn and run. Both can be pursued, but both have succeeded in removing themselves from immediate attack.

    I assume roughly equal pilots with roughly equal planes. They are in a knife fight and neither is going to give any edge to their opponent except through mistakes, fatigue or fuel level.

    In your case lets assume one pilot goes on their way happily tripping for home in a straight line. The other pilot immediately reverses at the merge. By the time the turning pilot gets turned around the target is 1000 feet away. Way out of effective range. Again let’s assume the target just flies on straight and level not a care in the world. IF the hunter has a 20 mph speed advantage (say they have a fighter and the target a spotter type plane) it will take a minimum of half a minute to close with the target again. Now they are placed in the ideal position safely tucked away at the target’s six.

    This never happens in reality. The target dives and picks up speed opening the range faster than the maneuvering plane can, all the while firewalling the throttle. The turning plane is only pulling just over 2 G but that still causes drag which slows them down further increasing the range (not much but these things all add up).

    In the case of dueling pilots they will be doing all sorts of maneuvers and tricks hoping to get behind the other guy. All the while the other guy is doing likewise. Even when one gets lined up it takes some time to both reel them in to effective range and deal with all the hijinks in order to get even a hope for shot. They don’t just stand there exchanging shots.

    Probably the closest analogy to what you are describing (again assuming I am understanding your points correctly) is a plane passing through a bomber formation. All the gunners are able to take a shot at the attacker. IF the attacker is coming from the front it is a one time snap shot. Even the tail gunner will only get a fleeting shot as he won’t even be starting tracking until the firer is well past. If the attacker is coming from the rear everyone has some time to exchange shots. That is why they never attacked from the rear. The nose gunner is going to see the fighter a lot closer than the fighter will see the bomber giving them less time to aim.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by madman.
    #70088
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    I assume roughly equal pilots with roughly equal planes. They are in a knife fight and neither is going to give any edge to their opponent except through mistakes, fatigue or fuel level…In the case of dueling pilots they will be doing all sorts of maneuvers and tricks hoping to get behind the other guy. All the while the other guy is doing likewise. Even when one gets lined up it takes some time to both reel them in to effective range and deal with all the hijinks in order to get even a hope for shot. They don’t just stand there exchanging shots.

    I agree with this entirely – and believe my method works to represent it.  In addition to mistakes/fatigue, there is also aircraft capability thrown into the mix.  In game terms, such ‘chance’ variables end up being dice rolls – but it is the player’s responsibility to decide where to “lay one’s bet”.  “Living to fight another day” may very well be the smart choice – but that’s only when the mission/objective allows it: An escort fleeing combat to save itself only to leave the observer/bomber as easy prey doesn’t ‘win’.

    Fighters that choose to ‘mix it up’ put their fates in the hands of chance – but they can influence the roll by choosing the level of risk/gain they want to wager.  Between even opponents it may take a while (witness Richthofen v Hawker), but sooner or later a mistake will be made and/or a maneuver performed just that much more cleanly and/or an engine hiccup (or roar to life) to give one or the other an edge – and at that moment the issue is (usually) decided. (examples of this sort of thing can be seen in the “100 Years Ago” thread)

    Of course, that’s in the case of an ’empty sky’ one-on-one fight.  My game concentrates on the ‘crowded/big sky’ venue, where spending many seconds (much less minutes) in dogged, tunnel-vision pursuit of a single foe is a sure way to find oneself falling victim to one of your target’s allies.

     

    As to fleeing (which I referenced in my previous post) :

    …lets assume one pilot goes on their way happily tripping for home in a straight line. The other pilot immediately reverses at the merge. By the time the turning pilot gets turned around the target is 1000 feet away. Way out of effective range. Again let’s assume the target just flies on straight and level not a care in the world. IF the hunter has a 20 mph speed advantage (say they have a fighter and the target a spotter type plane) it will take a minimum of half a minute to close with the target again. Now they are placed in the ideal position safely tucked away at the target’s six. This never happens in reality. The target dives and picks up speed opening the range faster than the maneuvering plane can, all the while firewalling the throttle. The turning plane is only pulling just over 2 G but that still causes drag which slows them down further increasing the range (not much but these things all add up).

    I agree with all the stipulations, but not necessarily the conclusions (especially the “never happens” one).  Pursuit is not uncommon in aircombat, and seconds -though covering many miles- are not significant measures of time.  Any tactic available to the prey (diving, full throttle) is equally on hand for the hunter.  Sometimes the prey gets away, and sometimes the hunter catches up.  (again: examples can be seen in  the “100 Years Ago” thread)

    Specifically to the scenario described above: A fighter that chooses to go head-to-head with a fleeing prey(observation ‘craft) and loses them as a result of the subsequent turn/speed loss deserves it because the pilot made a bad choice!  I see no reason to design a game that excuses poor decisions.

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    #70511
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

     

     

    https://brawlfactory.net/

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