Fighter dogfight ranking

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Zeus, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. Zeus

    Zeus New Member

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    I'm trying to come up with some simple yet realistic rules for using aircraft in a miniatures boardgame.

    I want to express a fighter's dogfight ability in a number, preferably ranging from 1 to 10 (10 being the best).

    I'd like to be able to add as many aircraft as I see fit, so I'm not just looking for what the best fighter or dive bomber was. Instead, I'd like your opinions on the dogfoghting prowess of all planes below, hoping to get a reasonable idea of what plane was better or worse than what other plane.

    BTW I searched for similar topics, but could only find "BEST xxx" topics for the most part... if anyone knows a topic which already handles this matter, please point me to it!

    Obviously, you don't have to rank each and every plane in my list, please feel free to add any comments and comparisons about any planes there!

    With dogfighting, I don't just mean turning inside each other, but anything to try and get in a position to shoot down the enemy without fleeing, ie rolling, diving, pulling up, ....

    OK, now for the list (I'm interested in variants too, as long as they are clearly better or at least different).

    Spitfire Mk I, V, IX
    Hawker Hurricane
    Hawker Typhoon
    Gloster Gladiator
    Gloster Meteor
    Messerschmitt Bf 109E
    Messerschmitt 110
    Messerschmitt 262
    Messerschmitt 163
    Focke-Wulf 190A-x
    Dornier 335
    F4U Corsair
    P-51 Mustang
    Lockheed Lightning
    Any early war US fighters
    Any Russian fighters
    Zero
    N1J Shiden-Kai

    Any dogfighting info on any of these (and any WW2 plane for that matter) is very welcome!
     
  2. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Well what time of WW2 are you looking for.

    The reason I ask is because if you look at what aircraft you have, they are from all different time frames.

    If you are talking 1939 and 1940 and have the Spit, Hurricane, and Bf 109E you cant have the Me 163 or Me 262 or Meteor up there as well as others.
     
  3. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    You have a lot of reading to do. The problem you pose is very complex and has a matrix of options:

    Which variants of Aircraft? Zero A6M3 or Zero A6M5? P-51D or P-51 H?
    What altitude?
    weapons load out?
    pilot experience?
    Maueverabilty?
    speed in a dive?
    speed in a climb?

    ... and many other variables


    This may seem overly complicated but it's not. Different tactics were developed to exploit the weakness of your enemy and accentuate your own strengths..

    What does it mean to be a good dogfighter? The Zero was more maneuverable than the Hellcat but if a Hellcat pilot new what he was doing and used the proper tactics, the Zero was meat on the table.



    without including a whole range of variables, any values you assign to planes would be circumspect... u may as well draw values randomly out of a hat.

    This would be a fun project for a computer programmer. That way you could include a myriad of variables.

    The old Windows 95 game, SSI's Allied General, assigns values to different fighters for initiative, attack, defense, ground attack ect bu it all was to random for me.
     
  4. Zeus

    Zeus New Member

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    Thanks for your quick replies!


    Theoretically, aircraft from any time period could meet each other in the game (with most late war models easily defeating most early war models), however I would already be very happy with comparisons between planes of the same period and theatre, ie how did the me262, me163 and meteor compare dogfight-wise etc.


    I understand what you mean. It would make the game way too complicated to have stats for all these properties of an airplane. What I'm trying to get at is something like: if two aircraft (let's say the meteor and the me 262) would engage each other, with all their strengths and weaknesses it should be possible to say which one would clearly or only just win the engagement, or if they're pretty equally matched, or whether one would easily win but the other could easily break off the engagement etc.

    I understand the circumstances are important too, so let's assume they start the engagement coming right at each other, both knowing the other is there, and both being of equal skill.

    I have done a lot of reading btw (though by far not as much as most people here, hence asking you :lol: ), but often just the differences on paper between two versions of the same plane are noted - armament, a new aileron, lengthened wingtips etc - without going into its actual performance compared to other planes.

    But by all means refer me to some good reading on this matter!
     
  5. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I agree there is way too much to take into consideration than just dogfighting and so forth.


    I understand but what I am getting is, why take the Bf 109E when you got Bf 109F, Bf 109G and so forth or the P-51D and not the P-51A,B, or C.
     
  6. Zeus

    Zeus New Member

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    In the game, a year or scenario (ie "Battle of Britain") restriction might apply, so I can't just pick the 1945 versions of all aircraft series :) . And on the other hand, a player might have just enough points left to add an Bf 109E to his mainly 1943 force etc etc.
     
  7. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Zeus,

    >I want to express a fighter's dogfight ability in a number, preferably ranging from 1 to 10 (10 being the best).

    Hm, I think you'd have to tell us more about the game engine itself. Is the winner supposed to shoot down the loser, or is he supposed to expel him from the contested hex? (Presuming you are using a hex grid.)

    The answer to your question would be radically different in both cases (and I've just listed the two most obvious cases :)

    As a rule, the fighter pilot does not flee, but he "extends" to come back and strike again (though he might decide against it after considering the overall tactical situation ;) If you have a small scale hex grid, you can afford to be interested in dogfighting capability (which is defensive in nature), but if you have a large scale grid you are only interested in the overall fighting capability, which is largely independend of the dogfighting capability.

    The sequence is really "attack - defense - extension", with the attack depending on speed, surprise and firepower, defense on "dogfighting capability" and tactical prowess, and extension on speed.

    So I'd spontaneously say that you'd need three figures to quantify fighters' capabilities: Speed, firepower and dogfighting capabability.

    You could have one resolution for losses on the defending side after the attack, losses increasing with the attacker's speed advantage and his firepower, another one for losses on both sides in "dogfighting", based on dogfighting capabilities and firepower, and a third resolution for losses in the extension phase, with the losses of the extending side decreasing with speed advantage and increasing with the "non-extending" side's firepower.

    A Me 262 for example would easily achieve kills against the defenders in the attack resolution phase (though much depends on the tactical factor surprise). It would also get away unscathed easily in the extension phase, but it would not look good in the dogfight phase at all.

    (This method would work best for units of roughly 4 - 16 planes. In larger units, dogfights become random melees, in smaller units it's too much a question of tactics to realistically resolve it by throwing dice.)

    These are just some thoughts in case you are interested - there might be other ways to handle it just as well (or better).

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  8. Zeus

    Zeus New Member

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    Thanks for your insights. Definitely very interested in these thoughts! :D

    A little background: the game is Axis Allies miniatures, a mainly land units-based tactical/skirmish level board game. The way aircraft are handled by default is just to place them on a hex and have them attack a target in range from there, with only AA units in the vicinity getting a slim chance to make it harder for them to make their "attack run".

    There's little if any real chance for fighters to stop enemy aircraft from attacking ground units, and that's what I'm trying to introduce.

    The game is a "beer and pretzels" game, so by no means an accurate war/battle simulation, and I'm trying to have my aircraft rules match this criterium ("keep it simple") while still yielding somewhat realistic results.

    Basically this means I will have aircraft duke it out with each other before being able to teleport to the hex board and attack ground units. So I do have to catch an aircraft attacking another one and ultimately destroying it or fighting it off in just a few dice rolls.

    I do happen to have separate stats for speed, dogfight prowess, firepower, and defense/armor, hence my interest in just the chances of one plane getting a shot at another one; the shot itself and whether it damages the enemy enough to put him out of the fight is handled separately. I cannot however add stats for climb rate, service ceiling, dive/roll/turn etc, as this would make it all way too complicated for the purposes of this game. I'll have to catch these features in the single "dogfight" stat, hence this topic :) .

    Thanks again for reading this rant :p , and keep the thought coming!
     
  9. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    How about playing the game a little like "Risk," with a couple of dice trown in for engagments. Therefore, 10 Bf 109's agains't 3 P-38's will likely win, but there is always chance thrown in.

    Of course in "Risk", each little army is equal to the other, so that makes it easier. It makes it harder if 1 Me 262 is about as superior as 4 P-51 Mustangs or so.
     
  10. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    A note - depends on a lot of knowledge about aero and ACM Energy equations which few people have access to for modern a/c and difficult to develop for WWII fighters.

    I had access to the CDC 6600/ then 7600 then Cray Simulators at Vought Aircraft in 70's and was able to fly simulated combat with F8U and A-7 against Mig 17, 19 and 21 on the simulator.. very realistic in stall warnings, energy bleed, turning CAPABILITY as the actual turn/climb/scissor characteristics in viloent energy bleeding manuevers is hard to program..

    If you had the basic profiles at SL, 10K, 20K and 30K for turn, acceleration, intial climb and dive for each of the a/c you might be able to develop a program in which a control input 'Too great" puts you in a stall warning and temporary lack of any more control input - to complete loss if past that point

    Guess if you have to - just be consistent so players can adapt to your rules

    Regards,

    Bill
     
  11. delcyros

    delcyros Well-Known Member

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    I suggest to spent some minutes reading the old rule buke of the "Crimson Skies" tabletop game (not the new Wizkids made one). It had quite an interesting rule setup which could be enhenced for Your purpose.

    The Fighters do not only have one satistic but several, here some suggestions:

    One of the more important figures is initiative. Under this term You could subsumize initial advantages, such like altitude advantage, dive speed, acceleration, environmental conditions (Out of the sun!) and crew relative factors.

    Another one is attacking power, describing how much punishment a plane delivers to another (airplane!). This not only includes pure firepower but should also reflect gunsights and precision (recoil issues!).

    Last but not least You have defensive power, describing the target size, maneuverability, energy keeping abilities, construction ruggedness and engine sensitivity to damage (radials should get an advantage) to name a few.

    Assuming a combat takes place in equal altitude with equal pilots my estimations for the planes in question are:

    Plane------Initiative-----Attack-----Defense
    Spitfire I------4-------------4-----------5
    Hurricane-----3-------------4-----------6
    Spitfire V-----5-------------6-----------5
    Spitfire IX----6-------------6-----------5
    Spitfire XIV--7--------------6-----------5
    Typhoon-----6-------------8-----------6
    Tempest-----7-------------8-----------6
    Gladiator-----2-------------4-----------4
    Meteor-I-----6-------------8-----------5
    Meteor-III----8-------------8-----------6
    BF 109E3-----4-------------5-----------4
    BF 109F2-----5-------------3-----------5
    BF 109G2-----6-------------4-----------5
    BF 106G6-----5-------------6-----------5
    Bf 109G10----6-------------6-----------5
    Bf 109K4-----7-------------6-----------5
    BF 110C------3-------------5-----------6
    BF 110G------3-------------7-----------6
    Me-262A-----9------------10-----------4
    Me-163A-----10------------6-----------5
    Fw-190A4----6-------------6-----------6
    Fw-190A8----6-------------7-----------6
    Fw-190D9----7-------------6-----------5
    Ta-152H-----8-------------8-----------5
    Do-335------8-------------8-----------7
    He-162A2----9-------------5-----------6
    P-38F--------5-------------6-----------6
    P-38L--------6-------------6-----------7
    P-39Q--------5-------------5-----------5
    P-40E--------4-------------4-----------5
    P-47C--------6-------------6-----------7
    P-47D--------6-------------7-----------7
    P-51B--------7-------------4-----------5
    P-51D--------7-------------6-----------5
    P-80---------9-------------6-----------5
    MS 406-------3-------------4-----------4
    D 521--------4--------------4-----------5

    Lancaster----3-------------(5)----------8
    B-17---------3-------------(7)----------10
    B-24---------3-------------(6)----------9
    B-25---------3--------------6-----------8
    B-26---------4--------------(6)---------8
    B-29---------4-------------(7)----------10
    Ju-87--------2--------------2-----------3
    Ju-88A-------3-------------(3)----------6
    Ju-188-------4-------------(3)----------6
    Ju-288-------5-------------(5)----------7
    Ju-388J------5-------------6------------7
    He-111H-----3-------------(4)----------5
    Do-17-------3-------------(3)-----------5
    Do-217------3-------------(5)-----------6
    He-177------4-------------(7)-----------8
    Ar-234------8--------------(1)----------5


    Note: #pretty subjective#
     
  12. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    I'd at least have to include variables for altitude, survivability and pilot experience...

    great project for a computer programmer
     
  13. Hunter368

    Hunter368 Active Member

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    If you want amazing detail, best on the market go with Over the Reich and Achtung Spitfire and Whistling Death. But they can be overly difficult to learn and slow to play. By Clash of Arms games.

    You want fast pace and exciting but at the lose some realness go with Down in Flames series. Which includes Corsairs and Hellcats, Rise of the Luftwaffe, Eighth Air Force by GMT games.

    The above games are all played with small cardboards pieces or cards. I have owned them all and played them all. In the end I like Down In Flames series better, b/c it is faster pace, stream lined rules, more visual. But I could see people liking Clash of Arms also b/c its extreme details on planes and flying.

    One of my experiences with owning many air combat games is this, I am a WW2 air combat fan.......but none of my friends are. So I buy these games but if it is too hard to learn or play no one will play them or slow to play (like Clash of Arms games). I found that I am willing to give up some realism for stream lined rules which mean faster play and more enjoyment for everyone.

    But if you play with a group of air combat fans then they might get into the deep rules of Crash of Arms games. But I find there are few of us out there. :lol:

    I would suggest buying one from each the Clash of Arms and Down in Flames series of games and that will give you a good idea what I am talking about.

    Here is some plane examples from Down in Flames series:

    DiF

    I must say also what you need to include in your game if you make it is a must is missions! Campaigns! Plus add a section about pilot improvement and green pilots, ace pilots, ground attack missions, etc. It adds so much to the game experience for players.

    Hope that helps you out.
     
  14. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I believe Cosimo mentioned one factor that must be added and that is pilot experience. Sure 10 Bf 109s against 3 Lightnings might be a foregone conclusion but with an experienced P-38 pilot against green Messerschmitt pilots, the outcome could be equal. I don't think you can leave out that factor.
     
  15. delcyros

    delcyros Well-Known Member

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    Some notes about how I understand this system two work:

    You compare the initiative at first, the better initiative is allowed to deal the damage before it can receive damage. If initiative is equal, both share damage contemporary. If one player has an initiative advantage of two or more points he may refuse entering a dogfight and instead disengage if he cooses to.

    None of the factors is fix.

    You could introduce cards, reflecting pilot experience or conditions of combat, for example:
    sustainable cards:
    rookie - initiative / defense -1
    regular - no changes
    veteran - defense + 1
    ace - initiative / defense +1
    top ace - initiative / defense / attack +1
    tight formation - initiative -1 / defense +1


    quick effect cards (for own):
    out of the sun - initiative + 2
    steady hand - attack + 1
    Altitude advantage - initiative +1 (cannot be played twice)
    rapid climb - defense +1 (no attacks in this turn allowed)
    Nitro boost - defense +1
    tight turn -initiative -1 / defense +1

    quick effect cards (to enemy):
    lucky hit - instead of damaging one plane, a single, enemy plane explodes (cannot be played twice, the defender chooses the plane)
    stalled - defense -2
    engine failure - defense -1
    guns jammed - attack -1


    others are possible...
     
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