Jump to content
D6 Online 3.0
Jamfke

ACES Aerial Combat

Recommended Posts

I was originally going to post this in the All Things D6 group, but social group posts can only be 1000 characters long, and this one was just too big.

 

Anywho. First, I suppose I should mention that my project for D6 publication is called ACES, a WWII rpg where the players portray members of a multinational group of specialists who are both expert pilots, and are also experts in various other fields. One might be a sniper, another an explosives expert, while another might be an excellent tech engineer capable of figuring out, and using, new gadgetry. The characters are sent on secret missions, flying their aircraft behind enemy lines to land, or even bail out, and perform a specific task. Missions could include finding a hidden Nazi base where the latest doodad is being secretly constructed, which must be either destroyed or captured, or to steal a couple of prototypes of a new aircraft, etc.

 

While traveling to, and from, their targets, there is always the possibility of running into enemy patrol craft, which can either be avoided if they haven't spotted you, or eliminated. Of course, you can always be sent on standard patrols, or be assigned as an escort for bombers as part of your entry to a mission area, and that will always ensure some dogfighting fun.

 

One of the very first things I want to toss onto the table concerns the possible addition of Maneuver Cards for dogfights in ACES. I want the aerial combat system to be fluid, and fast-paced. First, I'll describe how I envision combat beginning, and then I'll get to maneuvers.

 

Once the group's mission has been established, and they are in their planes and in the sky, the GM will have all the players make Observation skill checks (or default to Perception) at regular intervals. Travel time to a mission's LZ will be quick, but the GM will have the players make a few checks every so often just to keep the tension up. If an enemy patrol is planned, or randomly generated, Observation checks are made for both parties. The GM will only make a single roll for the enemy. If anyone on the players side makes a successful check, then the enemy is spotted, and plans can be made accordingly. If only one side makes a successful Observation check, then they have an opportunity for surprise.

 

The first round of combat will either consist of one side making a surprise attack on the other, or, if both parties have spotted each other, a dogfight will begin. If it's a surprise situation, the stealthy party can make a single pass through a formation, making shots as they go. If there are any survivors, then the dogfight begins.

 

In a dogfight, each player, and NPC, will choose a target and begin angling toward them. There will likely be several rounds of maneuvering to get into the best position in order to make a shot. I've got several ideas on how to handle maneuvering, but the following is the most attractive to me. I present it to you now for opinion:

 

I'm modeling combat, both personal, and aerial, on the 1st edition Star Wars method. All actions being declared at the beginning of the round, in order of Perception (or Observation skill) from lowest to highest (this allows for those with higher Perceptions or Observation skills to see what their opponent is doing and react accordingly), and then everyone rolls their dice at the same time. If you get hit before your action comes around, then either your action doesn't happen, or you take a penalty (probably in the form of a Difficulty modifier) to your action attempt.

 

Instead of having each player declare their maneuver for the round, I'm thinking of implementing Maneuver Cards. Players will place their cards face up in order of Perception, or Observation skill level, and the GM will place maneuver cards for each enemy plane.

 

Maneuver Cards will show the required Energy* needed to perform the maneuver listed, as well as any modifiers to the pilot's, or opponent's, skill roll when attempting the maneuver. Example:

 

Vertical Scissors

Type: Defensive

Energy Cost: 4

Piloting Difficulty: Moderate 12

Modifier: +5

Description: This maneuver is best used by a pilot who is flying a slower aircraft than that of his/her opponent. The defending pilot puts his/her plane into a shallow dive to gain 1.5 times its listed Energy (round down), and then pulls it into a steep climb while zigging and zagging. If the enemy pursues, the defender makes his/her Piloting skill roll and adds +5 to the total. This sets the pursuer's difficulty number that must be beaten to prevent roll reversal (pursuer becoming defender).

 

Example: A Spitfire (Energy: 4) is being chased by a BF-109 (Energy: 4). The Spit's pilot noses down to gain an additional 2 points of Energy, and then pulls up hard into a steep climb. The pursuing Nazi pilot mirrors the Spit's maneuver, but doesn't perform the shallow dive to gain the 2 extra points of Energy. The Limey rolls his piloting skill roll (5D + Spits Maneuverability code of 1D+1) and adds the Maneuver's modifier for a total of 28, more than enough of a roll, and a big difficulty for the Nazi's attempt to maintain his role as pursuer. Nazi rolls his skill dice (4D + 109's Maneuverability code of 1D+1) for a total of 23. The Nazi plane stalls, due to using up all of its energy, and the Spit pilot reverses the roles to become the pursuer, and a new round begins.

 

*Energy is generated by dividing an aircraft's top speed by 10, and rounding up. If a plane runs out of energy before the end of of a round, it stalls, and essentially becomes a sitting duck for the enemy.

Edited by Jamfke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While you know I like the whole idea of ACES, and look forward to seeing what you come up with, I must admit a little bit of trepidation. Not at the maneuver cards...but at the "energy".

 

What is the reason for this? And is a stall really a stall, meaning the engine stalls out? Or is that just another word for "doesn't do anything"?

 

I'm just not seeing why there's an "energy" when you could just use the speed of the aircraft (since energy is based off speed).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First and foremost, I'm including these rules to give the game a bit more of a realistic flavor, and if folks want to use miniatures to show their place in combat, you can use the Energy points for forward movement in hexes. I plan to make their inclusion optional, and there will be some simplistic rules for the use of maneuvers.

 

Energy is an integral part of combat fighter terminology when describing maneuvers, so it adds to the flavor of the setting. It is a direct translation of the plane's speed. The real world mechanics of Energy are relatively simple, you pull a maneuver that requires a lot of uphill climb, you slow down and lose Energy. You pull into a dive, you pick up Energy. Almost any maneuver that requires a turn, or even a simple roll, will use some Energy.

 

As for stalls, once a plane slows to its minimum airspeed (runs out of energy) it stalls; the engine is still running, but it can't pull anymore due to gravity and lack of lift. The plane must then dive to build up airspeed.

 

In game, a shallow dive only gives you a partial boost (1.5 times max speed), a steep dive doubles your Energy. I cut speed down to the division of 100 to make things a bit more manageable, though I might change the divisor to get a bit larger number.

 

If you are the pursuer, and have enough Energy left at the end of the round, you can take a shot at your opponent (minus a D for MAPs, of course). If you're the defender, and have enough points left, you can attempt another maneuver to break away, or possibly reverse roles, if you haven't done it already.

 

Energy adds the factor of some record keeping, and limits your choices in the types of maneuvers you can pull, but I think it's worth it for the feel.

 

Please, if anyone else thinks this is a dumb idea, feel free to say so! I want to make the game fun to play for everyone, not just for me!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
First and foremost, I'm including these rules to give the game a bit more of a realistic flavor, and if folks want to use miniatures to show their place in combat, you can use the Energy points for forward movement in hexes. I plan to make their inclusion optional, and there will be some simplistic rules for the use of maneuvers.

 

Energy is an integral part of combat fighter terminology when describing maneuvers, so it adds to the flavor of the setting. It is a direct translation of the plane's speed. The real world mechanics of Energy are relatively simple, you pull a maneuver that requires a lot of uphill climb, you slow down and lose Energy. You pull into a dive, you pick up Energy. Almost any maneuver that requires a turn, or even a simple roll, will use some Energy.

 

As for stalls, once a plane slows to its minimum airspeed (runs out of energy) it stalls; the engine is still running, but it can't pull anymore due to gravity and lack of lift. The plane must then dive to build up airspeed.

 

In game, a shallow dive only gives you a partial boost (1.5 times max speed), a steep dive doubles your Energy. I cut speed down to the division of 100 to make things a bit more manageable, though I might change the divisor to get a bit larger number.

 

If you are the pursuer, and have enough Energy left at the end of the round, you can take a shot at your opponent (minus a D for MAPs, of course). If you're the defender, and have enough points left, you can attempt another maneuver to break away, or possibly reverse roles, if you haven't done it already.

 

Energy adds the factor of some record keeping, and limits your choices in the types of maneuvers you can pull, but I think it's worth it for the feel.

 

Please, if anyone else thinks this is a dumb idea, feel free to say so! I want to make the game fun to play for everyone, not just for me!!!

 

I love the use of energy. It is one of the concepts trained to fighter pilots every day... trade altitude for airspeed to increase your energy or "bleed off energy" as you perform manuevers. If you want to add another element, include some energy-related stats for the aircraft themselves. For example, a Mitsubishi Zero can out-turn a Wildcat (it bleeds off less energy in a turn) but the Wildcat could escape away since it can dive better than a Zero.

 

Part of the challenge of dogfighting is playing to the strengths of your aircraft while at the same time forcing your opponent into a place of weakness. Fight your kind of fight, don't let your enemy fight his.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's it exactly! I'd love to introduce that into the game, but I don't want to slow down action too much. Maybe I could give situational Maneuverability modifiers for each plane, like those you mentioned for the Zero and the Wildcat. Something like "Maneuverability: 2D+1 (+1D in turning battles)" for the Zero, or a modifier to the Energy cost for a P-38 when climbing. There are so many variables you can figure into it when it comes to the old warbirds, but too much can bring the action to a halt. I have to draw the line on some things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's it exactly! I'd love to introduce that into the game, but I don't want to slow down action too much. Maybe I could give situational Maneuverability modifiers for each plane, like those you mentioned for the Zero and the Wildcat. Something like "Maneuverability: 2D+1 (+1D in turning battles)" for the Zero, or a modifier to the Energy cost for a P-38 when climbing. There are so many variables you can figure into it when it comes to the old warbirds, but too much can bring the action to a halt. I have to draw the line on some things.

 

Yeah, that's the balance. I think if you go with your manuever cards idea, it would be doable. the players can have all the stats precalculated on the cards for each manuever. So on the "climb card" there's an default energy cost, modified by any bonus or penalty from the aircraft. So a Zero pilot would really wanna play his "bank" or "jink" manuever cards while a Wildcat pilot would prefer the "dive" and "climb" manuever cards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent idea, and easily doable! I'll have some sample maneuver cards posted later for everyone's perusal. I've already got some put together, but I need to tweak some things on them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Slightly off-topic, but a game you should try some time is Wings Of War.

 

It is a WWI card based game (they now have a WW2 version), and you get to spell out what you want to do the next turn. Then people flip over one card at a time and you can fire at any stage there-after. You can do an immelman for example, but you have to use a straight card before and a straight card after. It is an extremely intuitive system. Not that you should do everything similar, as you need to be able to plug n play it with D6.

 

Good luck with your product.

 

Their product listing:

 

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_minisite_sec.asp?eidm=24&esem=2&esum=64

 

And links to their manuals:

 

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_minisite_sec.asp?eidm=24&esem=4

 

I liike the idea of attempting to bring in similar card based maneuver choices into D6. I'm sure I'll have opinions to share once I see the full game mechanics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, I've already got their WW II game. Picked it up a few months ago. The cards I'm working on will be similar, but tied directly to the D6 system. Modifiers and such going to the necessary skills and attributes, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This looks good. It looks like it's more for one player controlling many fighters and ships, but it also looks like it has some good rules that could be implemented. I'll have to read through it more thoroughly. Thanks for the link.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting that rule-set. It looks very well done. I may have to crack out some micro-machines star wars minis and run something with them at my FLGS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...