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AA Target Priority


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#1 John Shaw

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 07:43 PM

Hi,
Had great fun learning the tactical air rules using a cut-down Coral Sea scenario.

At one point we had 3 flights of SBDs attacking a carrier.
One CAP and the escorting fighters were tied up in a dogfight.
The SBDs movement ended just past the carrier, so they were able to attack.
Due to starting at lower altitude, the 2nd CAP moved to attack the SBDs after the latter had moved.

1. You resolve the passing attack by the 2nd CAP during its movement. But since the 2nd CAP moved after the SBDs, are any kills/damage assumed to occur at the end of the SBDs move. That is, after the SBDs attack the carrier. Even though you resolve the AA and then any bombing after all aircraft and ship movement (but knowing the bombing would have happened part way through).

Some questions also arose around target priority:
“When multiple formations are in a battery’s 180°
arc, half the AA factor must be used to engage the closest
attacking formation. If a friendly and a hostile formation
are at the same range/altitude, dice to select the target.”

2. Does the “attacking formation” mean attacking a particular ship rather than generally attacking?
For example, the Carrier would have to put at least half AA against the SBDs because they were attacking the carrier. But would a nearby cruiser have to put at least half AA against the SBDs, since the SBDs are not attacking the cruiser?

3. We assumed that friendly aircraft are not considered “attacking”. So the carrier would have to put the first half of the AA against the SBDs. Since they both passed over the carrier at the same height, then would you dice for whether the other half of the AA goes against the 2nd CAP or the SBDs?

Regards,
John
Cheers,
John Shaw
www.nwa.org.au

#2 Dave Franklin

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 07:12 AM

I don't think friendly aircraft are exempt, since 2.9.4 AA Fire Resolution states "AA batteries must engage formations that come into range

during an Air Phase - both friendly and hostile."  It appears to me the phrase "attacking formation" in the "Priority" bullet means the AA ignores enemy aircraft that have expended their ordinance.

 

Perhaps WRT friendly aircraft it means the AA ignores friendly aircraft that aren't actually moving to engage an enemy formation?

 

I suppose the former might be to prevent a "gamey" tactic of using aircraft that have expended their ordinance to soak off AA on following aircraft.  Of course, on occasion this actually happened (e.g. something like Max Leslie at Midway comes to mind), but wasn't the norm.

 

All that being said, I don't play the Tactical Air Rules, so I would wait for an ODGW response...

 

Dave



#3 John Shaw

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 06:31 PM

Hi,

Yes the questions all relate to the sequence of play for aircraft and the priority of targets.
I am confused by some of wording. May be just the way I am reading it.
For example:
2.1 AIR PHASES, dot point Aerial Combat - “Air combat is simultaneous and resolved immediately as each attack occurs during movement.” Not sure how it can be simultaneous when you sequentially move different flights and resolve during each move. Unless this is meant to mean the opposing flights simultaneously resolve their shooting at each other, but different aerial combats are resolved sequentially.
2.5 MOVEMENT, “Unlike ships and submarines, aerial movement and combat is sequential with each formation’s movement and aerial combat or air strike resolved before moving the next.” Aerial combat yes. Air strikes no, as aren’t they resolved after all aerial movement and AA?

I think our group mostly understands how to do the aerial, it is just a bit more understanding of some details. We had a great game yesterday, with the table split in two for a carrier battle. The Enterprise and escorts defeated the first wave of Japanese torpedo bombers, who had arrived early. The Wildcats on CAP were tied up by the escorting Zeroes. Although shooting down one flight of Zeros, 2 elements of Wildcats were now out of action and the remaining 2 elements were now outnumbered.
However, the first US wave of dive bombers and torpedo bombers arrived simultaneously and pressed home their attack. Despite some losses, several torpedoes and one bomb struck home, leaving the Shokaku dead in the water (2 engineering hits), with only one hull box remaining and on fire.
The escorting Wildcats and defending Zeros were still tussling to no effect.

Unfortunately we ran out of time (due to teaching new rules and debating aerial target priority). The main Japanese attack was about to arrive. So was the 2nd group of US dive bombers, hoping to finish off the Shokaku. Great fun and everyone keen, with lots of ideas for other tactics to try next time.

Regards,
John
Cheers,
John Shaw
www.nwa.org.au

#4 Phil Callcott

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 12:52 PM

Hi John,

 

"would a nearby cruiser have to put at least half AA against the SBDs, since the SBDs are not attacking the cruiser?"

 

IMHO - YES!

 

A carrier's escort were there there for one purpose and one purpose only - PROTECT THE CARRIER!

 

Any and all targets were to be engaged by the escort until destroyed.

 

Regards Phil



#5 John Shaw

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 04:56 PM

Thanks Dave and Phil.

Good point about purpose Dave. What we will do is have 50% go against enemy attacking any ship in the group. If there is more than one flight of attackers, then this 50% will go against 1 of these enemy flights based on mission profile (e.g. defend the CV, BB, tanker, troop carrier, hospital ship, etc) and then proximity.
The other 50% will be randomly put against enemy or friendly flights based on closest proximity during the move. Here we will be reasonable and not measure to the nearest mm (0.04”) . If lucky, then all the fire may end up directed at the attackers. But it also encourages friendly aircraft to keep their distance.

Cheers,
John
Cheers,
John Shaw
www.nwa.org.au




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