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Game #3 : Computer Air Combat !

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So, upcoming in June there should be Computer Air Combat.

The game is very, very technical, and impossible to make into an interactive Let's Play.

Extract from the manual, for fun :

5.61 Climbing

The nose of your aircraft must be in the H1 or H2 nose attitude in order to gain altitude by climbing. Aircraft in a steep bank attitude, R2 or L2, can only climb if in H2 nose attitude; for them the H2 attitude is like H1 , and H1 is equivalent to LV. The H1 attitude is used for normal climbing, while the H2 attitude is used only to trade speed for altitude in a "zoom" climb, or to enter a climbing half-loop. Inverted aircraft may not be in an H2 nose attitude. Maximum altitude gain for a complete turn spent in the H1 nose attitude is shown on the capabilities display obtained using the CK command (section 5.71); minimum altitude gain is 0.01 kft. Aircraft which spend more than half a turn in an H1 nose attitude must climb at least 0.01 kft, unless they are in a steep bank attitude. For purposes of making this determination, time spent diving will offset time spent climbing. Maximum climb ability while in the H2 attitude is increased by an amount which depends upon the speed and type of aircraft.

On the other hand, the game allows to create endless scenarios (with English, US, Japanese and German planes), and I don't want to call my pilots "pilot #1, pilot #2" etc so I need names for this non-interactive thing.

So :

  • Who wants to be a pilot when I will cover the game ?
  • What is your preference in terms of time period and in country played and faced (and no, I won't do English vs Americans) ?

The game has an expansion with Italian planes and Koreans planes from the Korean War, but I cannot find the reference cards, if any - so base game it is.

I'm ready to serve!

how about German vs Japanese? 😉

If not, 1942, British vs German, when the British started to bomb continental Europe

If not, 1942, British vs German, when the British started to bomb continental Europe

This, but in 1944 if you need a different scenario.

I can be you Player #2! PVC Andnjord's brother, Matnjord had volunteered to serve in the Royal Air Force back at the height of the Blitz, and he's now got some payback to get for his family.

Quote from baud on 20 May 2021, 23h58

how about German vs Japanese? 😉

+1

But we get the Japs!

Hello folks,

Good news, I managed to find the data disk documentation. It adds Finnish, Polish, Italian, Soviet and Romanian air force, in addition to UN and NorKor from the Korean war.

 

So you can pick Italy (or the other "new") ones. The only thing I require is historical match-up, so no Germany vs Japan either.

And specially for Dayyalu :

Dayyalu has reacted to this post.
Dayyalu
Quote from The Wargaming Rat on 24 May 2021, 16h44

Hello folks,

Good news, I managed to find the data disk documentation. It adds Finnish, Polish, Italian, Soviet and Romanian air force, in addition to UN and NorKor from the Korean war.

 

So you can pick Italy (or the other "new") ones. The only thing I require is historical match-up, so no Germany vs Japan either.

No French? sad :`(

Though post Vichy it would fine just using UK/US equipment and soviet for the Normandie-Niemen squadron

Ach, no Japs against Germans?

That said, I then vote for the Mediterranean Air War!

The ελληνοϊταλικός Πολεμος could be aptly simulated by the fact that both the CR42 and the PZL fighters are in-game (the Greeks used Polish equipment!) but sadly no Gladiators, thus we would be stuck with Hurricanes. I nonetheless vote for Italy VS RAF!

Quote from baud on 24 May 2021, 21h10
Quote from The Wargaming Rat on 24 May 2021, 16h44

Hello folks,

Good news, I managed to find the data disk documentation. It adds Finnish, Polish, Italian, Soviet and Romanian air force, in addition to UN and NorKor from the Korean war.

 

So you can pick Italy (or the other "new") ones. The only thing I require is historical match-up, so no Germany vs Japan either.

No French? sad :`(

Though post Vichy would fine just using UK/US equipment and soviet for the Normandie-Niemen squadron

The Romanian Air Force in the game uses Bloch-152, MS-406, Dewoitine 520 and even Potez 631 so you have all the French fighters that mattered in 1939-1940 except the Hawk 75 [aka P-36 anywhere outside France]. Some of those planes are pretty surprising and I don't think the Romanians ever used the Dewoitine 520 for instance.

The Potez 631 is a pretty terrible plane (imagine a Bf110, but slower and even more sluggish) so I am surprised it is ingame.

baud has reacted to this post.
baud

I want to be a Japan.

I've got two words for you: kamikaze. The second word is kamikaze.

First flight : Aviatori Dayyalu, Baud, Andjnord against the RAF.

Second flight (maybe) : 비행사 Strange and someone else (any taker) against USAF over Korea.

 

I will post directly on the blog, in one take.

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Brutus Trump

Update & Spoiler

Dayyalu, Baud and Andnjord (leader : Dayyalu) patrolling in MC202 meet 3 Spitfires escorting 2 Wellington.

Dayyalu instructs Baud and Andnjord to engage the escort while he goes after the 2 Wellington. TheSpitfire are above the MC202 so the Italian planes start to climb. The Spitfire dive on them...

 

... and Baud is immediately shot down :

 

 

Dayyalu goes too fast for a frontal pass, but does a perfect Immelman and is now hot on the bomber's tails. Meanwhile, Andnjord is in trying to survive 2 or 3 Spitfires (not clear) and managed to shot at two of them, hitting one. I believe the MC202 has a smaller stalling speed, and the Spitfires are not trying to boom & zoom, so he has a chance to survive... maybe ?

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DayyaluStrange FellowBrutus Trump

Brutus Trump would like to be a Korean fighter pilot.

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Claudio von Panjim

Well,

 

@brutus-trump You are in for the second battle, that I called "Quadrille in MIG Alley"

First air battle result (don't read if you don't want a spoiler) :

 

 

 

 

2 Italian planes down and one damaged, pilot wounded. 1 English bombers down, + 2 Spitfires damaged. One of them it is a miracle it made it home.

Well, last minute change. Brutus Trump and Strange Fellow will not be Korean pilotsafter all.

 

I wanted to see how the game resisted to high speed, and well it does not. The problem is that

  • speed (in mph) determines how much kilofeet planes move in one turn (=7 seconds) in the gameboard. Eg : 300 mph = 3000 feet by 7 seconds (you can do the math)
  • the game is "movement phases"(for both sides) then "shooting phase" (for both sides),
  • max gun range is 2.5kf

What it means is that for fast planes (400-600 mph for Korean era planes), it is almost impossible to shoot at someone in frontal pass (one turn you are out of range, the next turn you are well past each other), exceptionally difficult to shoot at someone on a side pass, don't talk me about boom & zoom which requires to be correct on altitude AND X/Y coordinates, and your only chance is for the other plane to go relatively straight at a constant speed so you can adjust.

Meanwhile I got a Wellingon trying to dive AND turn to escape with a MC202, because the speeds are much more manageable.

Hence, my "Korean battle" was 80 turns (2 hours of playing time) of 4 planes trying to out turn one another. At some point I just stopped

 

So... welcome in the Japanese Air Force. Today is the 7th of December 1941 and you are instructed to fly cover for your friends ! Hopefully this WILL work

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DayyaluBrutus Trump
Quote from The Wargaming Rat on 11 June 2021, 22h18

2 Italian planes down and one damaged, pilot wounded. 1 English bombers down, + 2 Spitfires damaged. One of them it is a miracle it made it home.

I am SURE my superior skills managed to get me through with a bomber kill

 

entirely sure

Quote from The Wargaming Rat on 11 June 2021, 0h44

 

 

starts playing bombastic, patriotic music

... and Baud is immediately shot down :

switches to funeral march 🙁

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The Wargaming ScribeBrutus Trump

Kamikaze for the win!

A patrol near Pearl Harbor

The 7th of December 1941, a day that will leave infamy due to the attack of Pearl Harbor...

 

... and around 150 miles South of Pearl Harbor, another Sunday for Santō-kūi Strange and his trainee, the Kūsō-chō "Brutus Trump". They had been detached for the main attack and told to patrol in case any aircraft from Pearl Harbor airport or from the Carriers would come back from patrol at the wrong moment. A simple mission, but Brutus Trump was the most junior pilot in the fleet, his family had migrated in USA where he acquired his strange name, and now he was fighting for the Emperor. Strange was trying to make a reliable pilot out of the Americanized young man.

Suddenly, Brutus Trump signals something to the horizon.... F4F Wildcats. Two of them.

 

Strange and BrutusTrump had A6M2, called "Zekes" or "Zeroes" by the Americans and Rei-Sen by the Japanese.

The Zekes had incredible turning rate, and a speed comparable to the Wildcat, but they were extremely fragile. A frontal pass was out of question.

Strange's plan was to run perpendicularly to the Americans, turn at the last moment using the superior turning rate, and then shoot them !

The Japanese roll to their left :

but when the Americans arrive, they realize they miscalculated, either they let the Americans in their tail, or it is frontal pass.

Frontal pass it is, then :

 

 

Zekes have a bit less firepower than the Wildcats, and a lot less armor, and consequently :

... BrutusTrump is now alone.

The Wildcats split, one of them dive, possibly to do an inverted U-turn, the other one tries to turn by his left.

BrutusTrump tries to get into the tail of the latter, but he slowed down too much, and stalls !

His nose pointing down, he is overshot by the American trying an inverted U-turn :

 

 

An opportunity he does not miss :

 

Only one to go.

Levelling his plane, BrutusTrump sees the Wildcat zooming past him !

A U-turn (almost stalling, but this times he makes it) allows the Japanese pilot to be in the Wildcat's tail :

 

 

 

 

But BrutusTrump has lost a lot of speed during the U-turn, and the Wildcat remains just out of range - so Brutus has to follow. The Wildcat turns left, and BrutusTrump turns left, again and again. All this turning does not help with BrutusTrump's speed.

This way, the two planes do a whole turn - they were facing North-West, they are now facing South-East :

With a lot of altitude lost, BrutusTrump has gained some speed. It should allow him to finally get in range. Of course, it also means its turns are less sharp... and now the Wildcat can outturn him, should he miscalculate a turn. 7 seconds after the screen above, this happens :

 

The Wildcat has managed to turn twice in 7 seconds when BrutusTrump only turned once  at the beginning of those 7 seconds. Not great, but maybe an opportunity ?

BrutusTrump believes that the Wildcat will pass him on his left, so he just has to carry on turning, and he should be able to have it in his crosshair...

Another miscalculation :

 

BrutusTrump is just in front of the Wildcat, and of course the latter knows how to leverage his luck :

 

 

And logically, given the Zero is made of paper :

 

 

Good luck with reminding the US sailors who will fish you out about the PoW status, BrutusTrump.

 

And once again, I am beaten.

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DayyaluAndnjordStrange FellowBrutus Trump

I fought valiantly. Perhaps I can convince the Americans that I was brainwashed by the Japanese after all.

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