Air power in a wargame

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Air power in a wargame

Post by UshCha »

I alkways think a board needs somthing divisive to get the creataive juices going ;-). So here is my analysis for your review. No quarter is expected or given :-), but if all else failes you could be constructve but it kinda kills the fun.

Airpower in Wargames
As some may be aware Manouvre Group Issue 2 has bee held up by considerations of air power. When we released Issue 1 we had included some work on airpower but testing was limited as it became increasingly clear that putting it in 1/72 games, which was what we played at the time was really a bit of a farce in realism terms. We were aware of other games that concentrated on the models and not the simulation and it was clear these were pure fantasy.
With the rise of 1/144 with a groundscale of 1mm represents 1m we needed to look at it again. We have now run through a new set that has definitely captured some aspects that are pluasible. However it is interesting how limited the scope that can be covered is.
Much aripower post WW2 has ranges of 3000m or more, even the humble Hydra 70 has that range. As our boards are at most 2.4km, most sophisticated airpower is just an off board effect and even if the AAA or SAM’s are onboard the effect is resolved almost entirely off board so we put them out of scope of the rules.
So what is left, well we get just about a:-
1) Strafeing run by a spitfire or an A10 (both by the way have similar top speeds).
2) Drop of bombs by modern low level jets using retard bombs.
3) The last bit of a Suka dive bomb, Stukas pulled out at about 1500 to 1200ft (460 to365 m) even at ground scale that’s 365 mm above the board at ground scale! If anybody has better data please correct me. Starting its run at about 15 009 ft to 13 000 ft to that’s well over a board height and we admit defeat at 20 000 ft as an arbitary but not reasonable cut off for any attempt at a plausible on table model as its much further than the length of the board in ground scale.
4) Low level rocket release if its under 3000m Which is about the limit for dumb rockets. Even than its pushing it a bit, but rockets are notoriously inacurrate so we could drop that to near 1000m to get acceptable but still grim accuracy.

We have decided to release it as a Free buletin for owners of issue 1 and as an Appendix for Issue 2 on the basis that its scope is very narrow and really only of use in a very narrow scope of scenarios.

The same will be true with helicopters but in the very near ground regieme they are essentially higyh speed ground vehicles in some sectors of their operation so again can be represented if they get closer than 3000m to their target.

Clearly with more experience we have done better, but airpower in a real tabletop game is going to be very limited to remain plausible. The price we pay for credibility

I would encourage folk to write rules the reasearch is fun even if the results like this result in a fairly limited set of rules.
Richard B.
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Re: Air power in a wargame

Post by Richard B. »

We play exclusively in 20mm.

Basically we call aircraft are on-call asset - player decides what turn they arrive over the table (sometimes randomly applied ie turn 6 + 1d6, etc) at which point the aircraft has 3 combat turns to deliver its bombs or conduct an 18" line-of-sight straffing run (depending on the load & model) :ugeek:

We tend to try and keep things very simple
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Re: Air power in a wargame

Post by hammurabi70 »

Played as off-table artillery.

(1) Bombing aircraft arrive and attack target when air card drawn.
(2) Small risk of target misidentification but otherwise will only attack targets that are at least 400 metres from any friendly troops.
(3) Flak defences defined by proximity to target and fighter cover of defender.
(4) Roll for effects.

We put aircraft models over battlefield for aesthetic effect (and photographs) and use artillery models at base edge to mark as used.
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