Question about half loops

Squadron-level WW2 aerial combat
elsyr
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Question about half loops

Postby elsyr » Fri Dec 22, 2006 3:21 am

I had a chance to play a game of SF tonight with my wife. Just to get us familiar with the rules, we kept it simple - 2 P-51s on 2 FW-190s. Needless to say, she sent both of my Wurgers into the ground with nary a scratch on either of her Mustangs. :oops: The only game I can consistently beat her at is LOTR Risk - she has the damndest luck with dice. I really need to take her to Vegas. :wink:

At any rate, I came across something I found odd - it is virtually impossible to half loop a FW-190. Obviously, you have to dive into the maneuver, which makes sense, but even then (unless I'm reading somethng incorrectly) with a dive speed of 18, and a turn rating of 6, you have only a 1 in 36 chance of pulling it off. First you move 6 forward, leaving you 12mp. Then you roll 2d for the half loop. If you roll double 6, you can make the half loop (and your movement is over, as it costs 12 points). With any other result, you're stuck moving forward either the result on one die or the sum of the dice, and either way you cannot half loop, and your maneuver is also over.

Was it intentional to make the half loop so difficult to do, particularly with planes with a turn rating of 6? The P-47 is a little better off, due to it's greater dive speed, but even it only has a 1 in 12 chance of getting it.

Doug

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Re: Question about half loops

Postby underling » Fri Dec 22, 2006 4:35 am

elsyr wrote:At any rate, I came across something I found odd - it is virtually impossible to half loop a FW-190. Obviously, you have to dive into the maneuver, which makes sense, but even then (unless I'm reading somethng incorrectly) with a dive speed of 18, and a turn rating of 6, you have only a 1 in 36 chance of pulling it off. First you move 6 forward, leaving you 12mp. Then you roll 2d for the half loop. If you roll double 6, you can make the half loop (and your movement is over, as it costs 12 points). With any other result, you're stuck moving forward either the result on one die or the sum of the dice, and either way you cannot half loop, and your maneuver is also over.
Was it intentional to make the half loop so difficult to do, particularly with planes with a turn rating of 6? The P-47 is a little better off, due to it's greater dive speed, but even it only has a 1 in 12 chance of getting it.

I don't know whether it was intentional or not, but we don't play it that way. We've been playing it wrong (unintentionally), but I like the way we play it better.
We roll one die for both tight turns and half loops. I can't think of any reason why you'd make a half loop that much more difficult to perform.
Other than a design flaw in the rules. Besides, it already costs 8 MPs when successful.
;)
On a different topic, I ran a game last night for four of my gaming friends, three of which are long time hard core wargamers. They had no serious issues with the rules, other than the following.
For banking, we restricted them to only the direction of the current order marker. For a left turn, you can only bank left. For a right turn you can only bank right. And for a straight maneuver you can bank either direction, and even both during the same movement phase.
Tailing was the other area of concern. They like the concept, but there are a couple of situations where it's probably a little too effective.
The case we had was where a plane flew in behind another and got a rear shot off. The plane being tailed then activated later in the turn, and was shot at again by the first plane.
Simply put, we're going to restrict tailing shots to those planes that have yet to be activated during a turn. Once a plane has been activated, it no longer gets a tailing shot.
There also is the case where a plane is tailing another plane, but has to activate before the plane being tailed. Per the rules, the tailing plane can make an attack before it actually moves. This makes sense. But the fact that it can't attack at the end of it's move kind of contradicts other situations when a tailing plane can attack two times during a turn.
I don't have a "release" version of the rules, so the above areas may have already been addressed.
Kevin

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Re: Question about half loops

Postby mj12games » Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:39 pm

elsyr wrote:s it intentional to make the half loop so difficult to do, particularly with planes with a turn rating of 6? The P-47 is a little better off, due to it's greater dive speed, but even it only has a 1 in 12 chance of getting it.


It is intentional to make the half-loop more difficult than the tight turn, yes... but I can't say that I went into it saying "Gosh -- the Wurger shouldn't be able to do a half-loop". ;)

There are going to be some planes that just can't half-loop -- and more of them when the bombers show up.
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Re: Question about half loops

Postby elsyr » Fri Dec 22, 2006 8:11 pm

underling wrote: I don't know whether it was intentional or not, but we don't play it that way. We've been playing it wrong (unintentionally), but I like the way we play it better. We roll one die for both tight turns and half loops. I can't think of any reason why you'd make a half loop that much more difficult to perform. Other than a design flaw in the rules. Besides, it already costs 8 MPs when successful. ;)


I'll give that approach a try in my next game. It does seem to me that the 2xturn cost in MP is sufficient to differentiate a half loop from a tight turn - one die might suffice for both. I do like, by the way, that you pretty much have to dive into a tight turn or half loop - makes wonderful aerodynamic sense.

Doug

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Re: Question about half loops

Postby elsyr » Fri Dec 22, 2006 8:13 pm

cricket wrote: It is intentional to make the half-loop more difficult than the tight turn, yes... but I can't say that I went into it saying "Gosh -- the Wurger shouldn't be able to do a half-loop". ;)

There are going to be some planes that just can't half-loop -- and more of them when the bombers show up.


The problem seems to be most prevalent when you have a speed rating that is a multiple of a (high) turn rating. I can certainly see why a B17 should not be able to half loop - at least not easily. Maybe it should have that 1 in 36 chance of success. :-)

Doug

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Re: Question about half loops

Postby underling » Fri Dec 22, 2006 9:32 pm

cricket wrote:
elsyr wrote:s it intentional to make the half loop so difficult to do, particularly with planes with a turn rating of 6? The P-47 is a little better off, due to it's greater dive speed, but even it only has a 1 in 12 chance of getting it.

It is intentional to make the half-loop more difficult than the tight turn, yes... but I can't say that I went into it saying "Gosh -- the Wurger shouldn't be able to do a half-loop". ;)
There are going to be some planes that just can't half-loop -- and more of them when the bombers show up.

But you already do that by having a half loop cost double the movement points of a tight turn.
I can't think of any fighter that just flat out can't perform a half loop. And having the mechanic you do now pretty much eliminates some of them from even trying one.
Just keep the maneuver attempts at a single d6 regardless of the maneuver being attempted, while adjusting the MP expense based on the maneuver being attempted, and you'll be pooping in tall cotton.
Pooping in tall cotton I say!
:D
Kevin
PS: While it might not seem like it, pooping in tall cotton is considered a good thing.

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Re: Question about half loops

Postby underling » Fri Dec 22, 2006 9:37 pm

elsyr wrote:
underling wrote:
I'll give that approach a try in my next game. It does seem to me that the 2xturn cost in MP is sufficient to differentiate a half loop from a tight turn - one die might suffice for both. I do like, by the way, that you pretty much have to dive into a tight turn or half loop - makes wonderful aerodynamic sense.

The guys I had playing weren't necessarily diving every time they tried a TT or a HL. But we did have a number of occasions where when they didn't make their maneuver roll (always on 1 die) they ended up finishing the move by flying straight ahead because of a lack of remaining movement points. And that really messed with their formations too.
So I like the (single) d6 maneuver roll for attempted maneuvers.
It really makes you think about trying to get too fancy.
Kevin

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Postby elsyr » Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:53 pm

A thought occurred to me today (it happens sometimes, despite the meds :shock: ) about this subject. What if you simply remove the restriction that an aircraft must begin each turn with it's TR in straight ahead movement? If you allow a plane to begin it's movement with an immediate turn, there is more buffer for the die rolls, allowing more chances for a plane with a high TR to successfully complete a maneuver. This could be done in place of, or in conjunction with, using just the one die roll for half loops.

This approach will, it's true, arbitrarily making the planes more maneuverable by allowing them to go directly from one maneuver into another across the turn-turn gap, but so what? The original way is arbitrarily making them LESS maneuverable. The obvious middle road, of course, is to carry over hexes of forward movement from turn to turn. This could be done fairly easily with a D6 on the flight stand, but I'm not sure I want the additional record keeping and/or focal point for disagreements.

What do y'all think?

Doug

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Postby mj12games » Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:34 pm

elsyr wrote:What do y'all think?


I'd more readily allow maneuvers to start a move than tracking movement across turns...
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Postby elsyr » Sun Feb 04, 2007 12:22 am

Me too. It'd be ok with just a few planes, but a few planes is not the point. :?

Doug


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