Friday, September 4, 2015

Air Combat Rules

Last week I experimented with a set of home-brew air combat rules using my Tumbling Dice 1/600 scale WW2 miniatures (P-51 Mustangs vs. FW 190s)  Here are a few snapshots.

Set up - Each side had 6 planes in flights of 2. I used the Song of Blades and Heroes-style activation system, with each flight (rather than each aircraft) rolling for activation.

The battle ensues - I used wads of rolled-up tissue as damage markers. Each plane could take 3 hits.

A Furball in the center.

An American goes down - I whipped up a quick marker to show downed aircraft.

Followed by a bunch of Germans

The last German (center) flees.

I want to run fairly large air battles rather than smaller dogfights so my rules are fairly abstract: IGOUGO, SBH activation, move 2 spaces per activation with an additional space per activation point spent, and turn 90 degrees per space moved. Combat was like Memoir '44, rolling 3 dice, looking for a 4-6 to hit. Modifiers altered the number of dice thrown. I added a saving throw, to give the planes more survivability.

The game created the swirling, chaotic furball that I wanted. However, it seemed to move slower than my typical games. I think the saving rolls slowed things down to much. I was thinking of removing them, but now I'm pondering an entirely different approach. With the 1/1200 miniatures I ordered, individual basing probably won't work. Because I plan to put 3 planes to a base, I think I'm going to move to an even higher level of game. Each base will be a unit and will represent a squadron. Movement will be more fluid; I'm going to allow squadrons to turn any number of sides - essentially I am assuming a larger ground scale so that a squadron can turn 180 degrees within a square. I'll have to play out a battle with my new rules to see how they work.

I am also toying with working up rules for smaller scale dogfights (1-2 planes per side) and getting some 1/600 or even 1/300 miniatures. That may be a later sub-project.

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