Carriers and Aircraft

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Carriers and Aircraft

Postby Greg Smith » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:03 pm

Carriers

We playtested a game with a big carrier on either side. Americans vs Brits. And ithis left us with a number of points to raise.

I will be talking in game terms, not historical terms.

Carriers are really expensive points wise for what they are. Given that I have to play for planes, the only thing carriers offer is a place to rearm planes. I bought a Yorktown class carrier at 200 points and 20 flights at 10 points each. For this same 400 points I could have brought 40 flights and had the equivalent of every one of 20 flights having been rearmed once.

Carriers are slow. I don’t mean through the sea, they are slow to launch flights. I brought a carrier with 20 aircraft (not even full). Over a 10 turn game I launched 12. With two in the air that means I had 6 left on board. Granted my scramble rolls were poor, but that still a desroyer’s worth of point left behind. I also had 10 flights with expended bombs, torpedoes and cannons following the carrier like seagulls following a trawler.

Wind direction was side to side in our game, but what if I’d had to sail my carrier toward my edge of the board to launch. Should I have started a close to the enemy as possible and sailed 1” towards the board edge every turn launching fighters? That would suck.

If I do have to include carriers then deep deployment seems to be the way to go. You avoid wind direction. And you can launch half your planes instead of two.

Aircraft

Can flights listed with multiple roles change when they rearm? Ie the Fairey Baracuda II can be either dive bomber or torpedo bomber.

When aircraft attack ships, do any modifiers apply? It seems like destroyers and fast moving ships should be harder to hit. Similarly topedo bomber should perhaps get the large silhouette bonus.

Similarly, does plunging fire and armoured deck affect bombs DD?

Bombers seem to be rubbish. Dive bombers and torpedo bombers are devastating. Bombers do 2DD with no AP. In our game we only scored two hits with planes. A torpedo bomber did 10 damage and blew a destroyer sky high. A bomber hit a destroyer and did one damage.

My opponent bought expensive seafires at 30 points a pop. I bought Gruman F4F fighters at 10 points. One gruman with a supporting fighter equalled his dogfight. Three Grumans exceeded it for the same points. I appreciate there are a lot of pointing still to do, but this is something to look at.

That's enough for now. I still questions about AA and dogfighting.
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Re: Carriers and Aircraft

Postby Greg Smith » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:35 pm

Anti Aircraft

Do DP guns used to fire as AA fire at the start of the attack phase? If so, is this all ships' guns that are being used as AA?

Can AA fire at a flight in a dogfight?

Dogfights

A bomber moves into contact with a ship. If a fighter then engages the bomber, can the ship use AA? Does the dog fight happed before AA, does it happen before the bomber attacks? Can the bomber attack while engages in a dogfight? If the bomber wins the dogfight can it attack the ship? This was a debate we had and the rules did not give us what we needed. We discussed whether the friendly fight might get shot, whether the ship would hold fire and so on.

When do dogfights take place?

If a plane is engaged in a dogfight, can it attack a ship?

Can two planes engage a single target? Or is one considered supporting.

Do Supporting fighters run out of ammo in a victorious dogfight.

If a supporting flight is in contact we an enemy flight and the enemy wins, is the enemy locked in a dogfight still. This is a dogfight it can never win.

If a fighter with +3 dogfight and depleted ammo engages a bomber with -2 dogfight, are they locked in a never ending dogfight for all eternity?

To be honest Call to Arms had thorough and tested fighter rules that would work well here.

The fights depleting ammo rule is a fiddley rule. It is something else to track. It is even more planes that need rearming.

CAP – can we have a rule for fighters escorting ships?
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Re: Carriers and Aircraft

Postby Greg Smith » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:04 pm

One further question that came to mind:

A fighter is escorting a bomber, and an enemy fighter engages it must engage the fighter in dogfight. If a second enemy fighter joins the dogfight can it engage the bomber?
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Re: Carriers and Aircraft

Postby msprange » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:03 am

Got a question for you here... If we allowed Carriers to take whatever aircraft they liked for free (subject to the year the battle may or may not be set in), would that imbalance things massively (given that the same will apply to both players)?

It would mean certain aircraft would not get used in competitive play, but they will more than show their worth in historical scenarios... so it is really just the balancing I am concerned about. The restrictions carriers generally face in how many aircraft start in the air/getting them off the deck would, I think, go some way to balancing this and free aircraft are always going to make carriers look more attractive...
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Re: Carriers and Aircraft

Postby msprange » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:08 am

Greg Smith wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:03 pm
Bombers seem to be rubbish. Dive bombers and torpedo bombers are devastating. Bombers do 2DD with no AP. In our game we only scored two hits with planes. A torpedo bomber did 10 damage and blew a destroyer sky high. A bomber hit a destroyer and did one damage.
Working as intended :)

Level bombers in this era were not marvellous at attacking a moving ship, for all manner of reasons. Dive bombing is the way to go (torpedo bombing is effective too, but you would not get me in the pilot seat of one of those...). However, sometimes you have to use what you have got.
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Re: Carriers and Aircraft

Postby Greg Smith » Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:01 pm

msprange wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:08 am


Working as intended :)
In which case the needs to be a points differential :D

[Edit: that was a big smiley - that's what I get for posting on my phone!}
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Re: Carriers and Aircraft

Postby Greg Smith » Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:31 pm

msprange wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:03 am
Got a question for you here... If we allowed Carriers to take whatever aircraft they liked for free (subject to the year the battle may or may not be set in), would that imbalance things massively (given that the same will apply to both players)?
Two things need to happen:
1) Either include planes in the points or downgrade the points. The Essex-class costs the same as 4 light cruisers, and without planes it is nowhere close.

2) Make it possible to use ( and reuse) the flights it carries. The Essex carries 22 flights. It has to launch all of those (and recover and relaunch some) in an 8 turn game. There has to be a way to make this a better option than just bringing 22 flights separately.
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Re: Carriers and Aircraft

Postby Condottiere » Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:50 pm

The air group tends to cost as much as the carrier; however, it's easier to upgrade them.

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