Spitting Fire

Squadron-level WW2 aerial combat
mj12games
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Spitting Fire

Postby mj12games » Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:39 pm

So, here's the playtest version of the rules, plus two fighters, the Spitfire and Bf 109.

Rip 'em apart. :)

http://www.mj12games.com/spfire.zip
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Postby go0gleplex » Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:55 am

The initial read through is...WOW!

I like the whole concept Dan. The only thing that gives me the heebies a bit is the movement and activation system...but that's more a personal dislike for markers and chits than anything. The combat system promises to be pretty straight forward and bloody. The plane cards are easily followed. And the button markers can double as stylish accessories at wargaming conventions. Your entire airforce worn on your hat. :lol:
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Postby mj12games » Tue Mar 28, 2006 3:14 am

Go0gleplex wrote:The initial read through is...WOW!


Glad you like it so far... :)

The only thing that gives me the heebies a bit is the movement and activation system...but that's more a personal dislike for markers and chits than anything.


Can you be more specific? From the reference to markers it sounds like you're concerned with the activation system, but you also say "movement". Is there something about the way planes move that you disagree with (or is unclear)?

The combat system promises to be pretty straight forward and bloody.


That was the idea...

The plane cards are easily followed. And the button markers can double as stylish accessories at wargaming conventions. Your entire airforce worn on your hat. :lol:


Indeed. I've got several buttons already finished, and they are tres chic...

:D
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Postby go0gleplex » Tue Mar 28, 2006 3:27 am

sometimes it takes me a bit to mull things over in my head...I get an initial impression...enough to say what I think then the troubling bits percolate for a while. :)

The elevation counters I can see being needed...or some sort of marker but it makes me want to do a clicky base. *chuckles*

The activation chits...definitely make for a varied initiative...but I can see some folks who prefer a more 'regulated' order junking it and just alternating activations.

I think the big sticker for me though is the plotting maneuver cards and movement. To me it would almost be simpler just to have the maneuver card with the plane movement points on it...though thinking it through that in itself is highly problematical. :? As I said...mostly it's just a personal dislike for all the chit sort of things...I can see the intent. The plotting provides that 'guess what the other guy is doing' factor...and it should work really well. :D
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Postby themattcurtis » Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:09 pm

http://www.wtj.com/store/gameshop/shop5/


These'd help, I'm bettin'. :)

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Postby mj12games » Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:38 pm

Apropos of not much, I suppose, but here's the Polikarpov I-16 -- cute little bugger, ain't it?

:)

files/ishak_106.png
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Nicely done!

Postby jygro » Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:11 pm

I am in agreement on that these rules are nicely done. I'll put my impressions and hopefully they won't be too long! I use to play a lot of WWI / WWII dogfight games with homegrown rules so my experience is with that.

Aircraft disks: I like the aircraft disks. I'm not sure why exactly they have a disk number. For a moment, I thought you had gone collectable! :)You haven't gone collectable have you?

Markers/Cup: I have no problem with the altitude markers. There has to be a way to show 3D on a 2D board.

I actually really like the maneuver markers and how they function. A lot of airplane dogfight games that I played came down to climbing as bloody fast as you can and wait up at high altitudes until a suck..uh.. plane was in your dive range and go get it. Having to state with direction you want to fly will be a wonderful touch!

The only problem that I have in this section is the activation markers. I'm not sure that many games these days have this kind of "chit-in-a-cup" system anymore, but that doesn't mean it won't work.

Flight Groups: Every game that I played for dogfights had each player 'flying' a single plane (and with 8+ players, the skies were full of planes!) so I am a bit wary about how flight groups work. This might be a personal taste more than anything, but IMO why would pilots in a flight group not split up to attack separate juicy targets and then use common sense the 'next' turn and chase after a second juicy target which might require 1 or 2 planes in the group to dive and the others remain at their current altitude?

Maneuver marker: I said I really like the maneuver marker, right? The idea of having to follow the arrow you picked will lead to more of a dog fight feel IMO.

Turn rating: I'm sure that the "no carry over" rule is for ease of play, but if something has a high turn number and a low MP, it might never turn! Perhaps allow half of forward movement to carry over and a box on the aircraft data sheet for recording purposes (either 0 or half MP of a plane's turn rating carry over, always rounding down).

Tight turn/Half loop: Very nice mechanic here and I think plays the Immelmann very well.

Tailing: When I first read it, I thought it stated that one tailing plane got to take a free attack EACH time your opponent moved any plane! I was like sweet Jesbus that's deadly, but after rereading it, it isn't as bad as I had thought. Why only one plane tailing it however? Perhaps a little too rough if I can get a full squadron behind a plane.

Stacking: What happens if I try a tight turn, fail and end my movement in a space already occupied by a second plane. Is there a collision or as a pilot, I take some evasive maneuver (suffering some penalty)?

Firing and Altitude: I can understand that since altitude levels are so large in the game that there isn't any firing between them. Has this proven to be a maneuvering nightmare? Perhaps this keeps the 3d aspect from being a mjor headache, but have you considered that each altitude level difference adds 5 to the range and allow planes to fire that have 'range'? Might be something to playtest to see if you like it (be mindful that those who can't think in 3D will hate this rule - if you don't like it, perhaps make it a optional rule)

Optional Rules:

Critical Hits: Where are the rules for critical hits? There is nothing finer then ripping a plane to shreads and laughing as the climb and level flight speed has sunk below the minimum movement required. Thus the only way the plane can legally fly is to dive slowly to its death!

Not sure if this will work considering the deadliness of the weapons fire if I'm reading the game right, but it is something to consider. With criticals, you can lower the MP at dive, climb and level flight, lower weapon ROF and DMG, change the altitude that it can fly and even change the turn rating.

Power Dive: Allowing a plane to power dive lowering its altitude by 2, but not without a price. Once a plane is in a power dive, all turns (regular, tight and half loop) must be done with a +1 to turn rating. Also, it must be assigned a dive maneuever on the following turn and when activated, must roll a d6 and if the die roll is less than the original "turn rating" of the plane, it is STILL in a power dive lowering its altitude by 2 before using its dive MP rating! Such a costly maneuver to get your sights on a plane below you, but worth the risk if you can get your enemy out of the sky! (please do not try with a plane that has a turn rating of 7+ for obvious reasons).

Thoughts,
-Bren
Edit for spelling/grammar errors

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Re: Nicely done!

Postby mj12games » Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:25 pm

jygro wrote:Aircraft disks: I like the aircraft disks. I'm not sure why exactly they have a disk number. For a moment, I thought you had gone collectable! :)You haven't gone collectable have you?


Err... no... ?

Seriously, it depends on what you mean by "collectible". I'm certainly not advocating randomly-packed sets or anything (although it may be an option-- i.e., by a set of six random disks at a discount or something, just so that I can clear out the stock... ). But I am planning on a set of 100 planes for the initial release -- and I'm hoping people will like the disks so much that they hafta get'em all!

The only problem that I have in this section is the activation markers. I'm not sure that many games these days have this kind of "chit-in-a-cup" system anymore, but that doesn't mean it won't work.


Well, another option is to use the ARES/Defiance system of cards for activation order...

Flight Groups: Every game that I played for dogfights had each player 'flying' a single plane (and with 8+ players, the skies were full of planes!) so I am a bit wary about how flight groups work. This might be a personal taste more than anything, but IMO why would pilots in a flight group not split up to attack separate juicy targets and then use common sense the 'next' turn and chase after a second juicy target which might require 1 or 2 planes in the group to dive and the others remain at their current altitude?


This game is meant to involve each player flying as many as a dozen or so planes; it's not a "dogfight" game by any means. Because of this, I wanted to keep the number of markers on the table to a minimum -- restricting flight groups to a single altitude and a single maneuver is my way of doing that.

Turn rating: I'm sure that the "no carry over" rule is for ease of play, but if something has a high turn number and a low MP, it might never turn! Perhaps allow half of forward movement to carry over and a box on the aircraft data sheet for recording purposes (either 0 or half MP of a plane's turn rating carry over, always rounding down).


I've made sure that no plane will be in the position of being unable to turn. (obviously, many planes are unable to do a tight turn, and only a select few can do a half-loop)

Tailing: When I first read it, I thought it stated that one tailing plane got to take a free attack EACH time your opponent moved any plane! I was like sweet Jesbus that's deadly, but after rereading it, it isn't as bad as I had thought. Why only one plane tailing it however? Perhaps a little too rough if I can get a full squadron behind a plane.


I wanted to keep the game moving... but in theory I have no objection to letting multiple planes use the tailing advantage.

Stacking: What happens if I try a tight turn, fail and end my movement in a space already occupied by a second plane. Is there a collision or as a pilot, I take some evasive maneuver (suffering some penalty)?


Nothing so drastic -- I'd just make the moving plane stop when it makes contact with the non-moving one.

Firing and Altitude: I can understand that since altitude levels are so large in the game that there isn't any firing between them.


There can be an optional rule, I suppose.

Critical Hits: Where are the rules for critical hits? There is nothing finer then ripping a plane to shreads and laughing as the climb and level flight speed has sunk below the minimum movement required. Thus the only way the plane can legally fly is to dive slowly to its death!


These are the bare-bones rules -- I'm open to suggestions for more stuff...

Power Dive: Allowing a plane to power dive lowering its altitude by 2, but not without a price.


I wanted to add both the power dive and "zoom climb".
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Postby go0gleplex » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:59 pm

There been anything more done with this Dan? :)
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Postby mj12games » Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:19 pm

So, we playtested this at Archon over the weekend...

Went well, all things considered, and the game played pretty much as I expected it to.

Of course, it did remind me why I vowed never to do an historical game again after Grand Fleets. :)
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