Posted 01 January 2007 - 02:56 AM
Bravo and co-diver,You both make some good points on "one of the more subjective areas." Here are some additional aspects to consider which may help in building some consensus.The ACE and Dogfight values are meant as expressions of fighter vs. fighter combat: maneuverability, firepower and engine power which predominate when fighters get into a furball and actually dogfight. Thus, a light, highly maneuverable plane like the Gladiator will get a fairly good rating. But, there's more to consider. Speed, climb and dive capacity are separately listed and here the Hurricane, Spitfire, etc. leave the Gladiator far behind. Clean speed gives them 2,000 or more yards of horizontal movement per Air Phase, climbing ability means less movement reduction for climbing an altitude Level and Dive capacity gives them the ability to make better tactical use of a height advantage. Thus, they have better ability to dictate when and where both firing passes and fighter vs fighter combat takes place.This is even more pronounced when you use the optional aerial combat rules on pages 5-4 and 5-5. Now, a fighter flight needs half its movement to engage in a dogfight. This gives the faster fighter a reater advantage in engaging from distances slower, highly maneuverable biplanes like the Gladiator can't match. These capabilities should be used along with dogfight ability (ACE factor) to assess the value of a fighter. Further, in the optional rules, attacks can be made as firing passes, rather than dogfights. Thus, P40s and F4Fs can use height and speed to avoid dogfights with the nimble Zero. Similarly, a 109 can use this tactic to take the measure of more nimble British fighters. Assessing all these tactical factors together along with campaign cruise speed and range shows, I think, why a British player would want to replace the Gladiator.With the movement to combat already distinguished through speed, climb and dive ratings, the ACE factor concentrated on maneuverability, firepower and raw engine power. The Dogfight factor listed in the Bonus files was an earlier attempt to evaluate true dogfight maneuver combat. Thus, maneuver is accentuated in the Dogfight factor while power is valued more highly in the more generalized ACE factor. One could argue that there should be a greater deduction in both these approaches for the limited firepower of aircraft like the Gladiator and many Italian fighters. This rating was chosen to maintain some distinction between the resulting low value ACE and Dogfight ratings of these fighters, Fulmars and dive bombers which had a limited dogfighting capability. This gets fairly subjective. Your thoughts?