I had some concerns about using the template on an 8 x 8 portable wargame board. I worried that the move distances would allow the planes to fly off the board too easily. It recently dawned on me that I could adopt the A&A approach whereby a slow maneuver moves 0 spaces, a cruise moves 1, and a fast moves 2 (instead of 1, 2, and 3). While it seems weird that a plane can move 0 spaces, I explain it on the grounds that the plane models are actually oversized with respect to the ground scale. Therefore, when a plane moves 0 it is actually flying very slowly through the space and did not exit during the turn.
This experiment was run on an 8 by 8 board gridded with offset squares. The template was greatly simplified:
The simpler template made automating the enemy a lot simpler. I also added a feature where the planes can make a pilot check to add an extra space on a fast move or turn an extra side.
Combat was similar to my WISER rules - roll a certain number of D6s (depending on the situation) with hits on a 4+. The target gets to make saving rolls. Three hits will destroy a plane.
An SE-5a spots a Fokker in the distance.
The Fokker is unaware of its impending doom.
It sees the enemy and turns. Too late! The SE-5a riddles the Fokker and damages it.
Yet the Fokker manages to outmaneuver the Brit and get in a shot. It misses.
The SE-5a flies into a cloud as the Fokker zooms past.
The SE-5a pursues.
The Fokker turns upon its pursuer.
And gets the better of the confrontation.
The Fokker now tries to line up a shot.
But the Brit pulls away.
And turns back into the fray.
But the Fokker manages to escape.
I felt that the rules generally worked well for my purposes. Maneuvering was simple and quick. The pilot rolls added a great deal of flexibility to movement. They also added uncertainty, which is great for solo gaming! I think I still need to fiddle with the combat rules, especially how many dice the planes get.
Despite being pleased with this experiment, these rules will go on hold for now. I really enjoyed Spandau and Lewis and plan to give those rules a thorough trial.