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Air Ops Questions


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#1 BKeirns

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Posted 07 January 2023 - 04:32 PM

Hello all,

 

I'm new to the game and really want to figure out air ops so I can begin launching and recovering aircraft from the "Big E" and here's what I've got so far. There are three air phases where aircraft move first then ships. Ship movement is 1/3 total movement per AP i.e. the Enterprise moving at 21 knots would move 7cm each air phase. During takeoff aircraft move 1/3 their total clean airspeed then move at full Clean/Loaded movement there after. My first question is in the AP after takeoff does the aircraft move it's total Clean/Loaded distance or is aircraft movement still in thirds?  Also, when I want to launch multiple flights and form them into an attack formation of say, torpedo bombers, do I have to move them their entire movement then have them circle in a subsequent AP or can I move them some of their move distance and then have them begin to circle in the same AP?



#2 Dave Franklin

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Posted 09 January 2023 - 08:19 AM

Sorry, can't help you.  I keep to the Campaign Air Ops rules, except floatplanes for gunnery spotting.

 

Dave



#3 BKeirns

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Posted 09 January 2023 - 08:32 PM

So, I think I've answered my own question and I want to share just in case anyone else is interested or knows better and can correct me. In the rules it states :

 

2.5.2 Horizontal Movement

  Flights can accelerate or decelerate

  without restriction in an Air Phase. They may
  even circle in place for multiple Air Phases.

 

 This may be pretty self evident to some but it took some deep contemplation on my part to see "accelerate or decelerate" means aircraft can move any distance within their unload/loaded movement values. This very simply simulates throttle movement i.e. shorter distances equate to low power settings and longer distances, higher power settings. Add to this that aircraft can also circle in place and it now makes more sense when the rules say aerial movement is voluntary. It gives a lot of freedom in aircraft movement. Once again I am plagued by overthinking and over analyzing something that in reality is very simple. 

 

 Just thinking out loud here but the next thing I want to figure out is a house rule for how many rounds carrier strike groups need to be "in transit" to enemy carriers. Given the real world distances involved in carrier battles while trying to keep the game flowing I'm thinking 2-3 game rounds before reaching the enemy fleet. Maybe even a small table to put aircraft on to where they might be spotted or intercepted en route. I hope I can be forgiven if something in the rules already covers this that I haven't read yet. 



#4 Kenny Noe

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Posted 10 January 2023 - 06:31 AM

I asked Lonnie to review and chime in.  Hopefully he will have some input in the next few days.

 

Thanks



#5 BKeirns

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Posted 10 January 2023 - 03:47 PM

That would be great thank you!



#6 Lonnie Gill

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Posted 14 January 2023 - 02:57 AM

G' Day BKerins,

 

Sorry for the delay; my Internet has been down for a couple of days due to the rain in SoCal.  

 

Sounds like you've pretty well got it, but here are the answers to your original questions to ensure we're on the same wavelength:

1. Aircraft can move up to their max Clean/Loaded movement each AP, except when taking off or landing.  Section 2.5.2  Taking off is limited to 1/3 of the aircraft's Clean movement to simulate increasing speed from stationary to flying speed and climbing to Altitude Level 1 in the take off Air Phase.  Similarly, landing is reduced to 1/3 Clean movement in the Air Phase landed to simulate the deceleration from Altitude Level 1 to a full stop on a carrier or runway.  Section 2.5.5

2. The distance moved in other Air Phases can be any distance desired by the gamer up to the aircraft's maximum Clean/Loaded distance.  This maximum horizontal distance is decreased by a climbing decrement (Section 2.5.3), turn decrement (Section 2.5.2 or expanded by a dive increase (Section 2.5.4).  Thus, you can move flights straight part of an Air Phase to gain some distance from the carrier or airfield and spend the rest of the Air Phase circling for aircraft to form up.  Generally, forming up would be done in sight of the carrier or airfield, but a reasonable distance away from to to avoid hindering other aircraft taking or forming up.  These forming up movements would also be decremented for increasing the altitude of the formation.  When unopposed, this can be assumed to be completed in a couple of Game Turns (each 3 Air Phases) to allow all aircraft in the formation to take off and form up without having to go through the details of each Air Phase's movement.  The time needed to form up and fuel burned was one of the reasons strike groups didn't assemble into just one giant formation.  The take off and landing details are provided primarily for those situations where aircraft are taking off or landing during an attack by opposing aircraft.   Then, the take off and landing Air Phases can become quite critical as the aircraft are sitting ducks in the event of opposing firing passes or strafing attacks.

 

In answer to your question about how many "rounds" strike groups need in transit to their targets, you will find that is covered in Section 4.5 which deals with air ops beyond the tactical battle area of one side's carriers or airfield - which was, of course, the normal situation in WWII.  In this context, the rules in Part 2 cover the detailed, tactical air ops in the immediate vicinity of a carrier, airfield or task force while Part 4, Campaign Ops, covers air ops to scout for opponents and getting to and from the tactical area of opposing task forces and target areas.  In effect, carrier battles are mini-campaigns that take place in one day most of the time.  You will find the bottom of the Formation Cards contain the data needed for ranges and movement between Campaign Hexes which simulate the distances involved.  Further, Part 4 also contains streamlined procedures for resolving searches, aerial interception, air attacks and AA defense for those don't want to spend a lot of time simulating all the tactical details of those activities.  You can choose to use the Part 2 detailed procedures for tactical attack resolution in the target hex or the streamlined Part 4 procedures as your gamers prefer.  

 

I would add that there are few things more nerve-wracking than sitting around with your team while the referee determines which side spots the other first or you have to decide whether to launch and hope a contact report comes through to get a jump on the opponent or decide to wait until your scouts find them.  Very much like the tension real commanders had to go through.  Carrier battles are usually quite exciting for both sides. 

 

LL GILL


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#7 BKeirns

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Posted 14 January 2023 - 02:09 PM

Thank you Lonnie! First off I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions in detail. I will use your answers as a sort of supplement to the rules from now on. If I may ask another question in regards to how to reference the torpedo CRT. In the rules for aerial torpedo attacks the rules state:

 

He consults the TORPEDO CRT, cross-
referencing the “Aerial” range row (measured from drop
point to the target’s forward funnel) with the three-torpedo
spread column, to determine if any torpedoes hit.

 

Looking at the chart am I correct in assuming if I drop a torpedo at a range up to 3,300 yards I use one that row to cross reference with the three torpedo spread and the row below it for beyond 3,300 and up to 6,300 yards?



#8 Lonnie Gill

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Posted 20 January 2023 - 05:25 PM

G' Day BKerins,

 

Glad to be of help.  As for your new question, you are correct for the ranges of American aerial torpedoes on the TORPEDO CRT per Chart 2E.  Use the 3,300 yds row up to 3,300 and the 6,300 yd row for drops greater than 3,300 yds up to the maximum of 6,300 yards. 

 

Good hunting; it can be pretty rough if your aircrews are still flying the near obsolescent TBDs.  Only a few years back in 1938, they were cutting edge, but how things had changed in just a few years.

 

Cheers,

 

LONNIE 






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