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Table Air Combat» Forums » General

Subject: Optional Rule for Speed Questions rss

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Chris Buhl
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I want to make sure I'm following this.

Assume that a P-51D starts a scenario by moving 5 ticks, its speed is five. On turn 2 it can move 4 or 5 ticks without expending energy.

On turn 2, it moves only 4 ticks, so its current speed is now 4.

On turn 3, it can move either 3 ticks, 4 ticks or 5 ticks if it doesn't expend energy. Let's assume it moves 3, now its speed is 3.

On turn 4, it can move 2, 3 or 4 ticks without expending energy. Let's assume it expends 1 energy to move 5 ticks. Its current speed is now 5.

So please tell me if I've got that right.

As an aside, and not wanting to make this rule aircraft specific but just curious, were there some aircraft that were more effectively able to slow down than others (I know that the Bf-109 has the Zoom Climb special maneuver, so I presume some aircraft are better at climbing faster).

Regarding this part of the rule:

Quote:
if an element moves in a straight line, it can reduce current speed by 1 tick AND increase energy by 1 tick, but only if it moves in a straight line.


Does that mean that aircraft cannot regain energy while turning (essentially, that aircraft cannot climb and turn at the same time)? That may be true of WWII aircraft, I don't know much about them. I just want to check it out.
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Gabriele Z.
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fatgreta wrote:
Quote:
if an element moves in a straight line, it can reduce current speed by 1 tick AND increase energy by 1 tick, but only if it moves in a straight line.


Does that mean that aircraft cannot regain energy while turning (essentially, that aircraft cannot climb and turn at the same time)? That may be true of WWII aircraft, I don't know much about them. I just want to check it out.

It is so even if you don't use the optional rules about speed change: to regain Energy a plane has to move in a straight line.


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Chris Buhl
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Right, I have been doing that wrong. Thanks for pointing that out.
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Andy Nelson
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fatgreta wrote:
I want to make sure I'm following this.

Assume that a P-51D starts a scenario by moving 5 ticks, its speed is five. On turn 2 it can move 4 or 5 ticks without expending energy.

On turn 2, it moves only 4 ticks, so its current speed is now 4.

On turn 3, it can move either 3 ticks, 4 ticks or 5 ticks if it doesn't expend energy. Let's assume it moves 3, now its speed is 3.

On turn 4, it can move 2, 3 or 4 ticks without expending energy. Let's assume it expends 1 energy to move 5 ticks. Its current speed is now 5.

So please tell me if I've got that right.


Yes, you have that right.

Note that special maneuvers are done independently. A plane can have a current speed of 1 or 5 and still move perform an Immelmann by moving 3 ticks and then turning 180°. It's the same with zoom climb or wingover. The short distance moved on the table is due to the plane moving vertically (or moving further as a result of diving prior to performing a half-loop and rolling upright).

Quote:
As an aside, and not wanting to make this rule aircraft specific but just curious, were there some aircraft that were more effectively able to slow down than others (I know that the Bf-109 has the Zoom Climb special maneuver, so I presume some aircraft are better at climbing faster).


The Me-262 had difficulty with slowing down (prompting this optional rule).
Dive bombers have speed brakes and can reduce speed very rapidly (Stuka, SBD, Val, Ju-88). Perhaps those planes can drop 2 speed each turn.
Conventional aircraft can drop flaps to slow down, but only if below a specified speed (usually under 200 mph). Dropping flaps above this speed will damage or remove the flaps. Lowering landing gear has the same effect.

Usually, fighter pilots didn't want to lower speed. Instead, they'd convert it into altitude, which can be converted back into speed. That's the goal of those optional rules, to simulate trading speed and altitude.


Quote:

Regarding this part of the rule:

Quote:
if an element moves in a straight line, it can reduce current speed by 1 tick AND increase energy by 1 tick, but only if it moves in a straight line.


Does that mean that aircraft cannot regain energy while turning (essentially, that aircraft cannot climb and turn at the same time)? That may be true of WWII aircraft, I don't know much about them. I just want to check it out.




In TAC, planes can't regain energy while turning, but that's due to an issue with the game mechanics. In real life, WWII planes could perform climbing turns. However, they would lose energy in tight corners. Pulling Gs meant losing speed. That speed could be maintained by losing altitude. Prolonged combat could start at high altitudes (15,000 feet) and drop down to tree-top level. This was result of planes trading altitude for speed, which would then be bled off during hard maneuvers. The pilot who remained at a higher altitude kept an advantage.

But in playtesting an early version of the game, planes would regain energy whenever they moved less than maximum speed (such as to avoid passing over an enemy plane). A plane could turn hard and simply move one tick less than maximum speed and actually gain energy. This is why a plane can't regain energy unless moving in a straight line. An option is to have a colored section on the performance ruler (similar to the Me-262) where a plane could gain energy while in shallow turns.

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Chris Buhl
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That all clicks, thanks for the explanation. I do expect that not gaining altitude while turning is going to make my struggle to have energy fighters beat turn fighters even out quite a bit. I look forward to that test in my next dogfight, maybe Thunderstorm (I think the Ki-84 is the only plane I've yet to get on the table).

EDIT - No, I still need to fly the Hellcat. But that won't be an energy vs. turn fight, so I'll hold off.
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Chris Buhl
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After a plane performs an Immelmann or a Wingover is its speed set at 3 / 1 for the next turn?

I'm in my first dogfight tracking speed and wow, does that ratchet up the intensity and fun factor. I am a big fan of that rule after less than a full play through.
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Andy Nelson
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fatgreta wrote:
After a plane performs an Immelmann or a Wingover is its speed set at 3 / 1 for the next turn?


A maneuver doesn't change the speed, as it moves in a third dimension. That should also make tracking simpler.

Quote:

I'm in my first dogfight tracking speed and wow, does that ratchet up the intensity and fun factor. I am a big fan of that rule after less than a full play through.


The Me-262 was supposed to have that rule standard. But playtesting revealed it hurt the plane significantly. However, even a simple duel vs the P-47 was much more interesting. I'm glad someone else found out the same thing!
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Chris Buhl
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Would it make sense to allow the Me-262, before it moves, to increase speed by 2 ticks? To account for faster acceleration?
 
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James Brown
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fatgreta wrote:
Would it make sense to allow the Me-262, before it moves, to increase speed by 2 ticks? To account for faster acceleration?


That on the surface looks good, give it a try and let us know!
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Andy Nelson
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fatgreta wrote:
Would it make sense to allow the Me-262, before it moves, to increase speed by 2 ticks? To account for faster acceleration?


The Me-262 actually had poor acceleration when compared to propeller fighters of the day. Jet engines don't have the quick throttle response of a piston engine, but can take several seconds to spool up to maximum speed. This is the reason that jet aircraft landing on a carrier go to full throttle on touchdown: If the tailhook misses the wire, the engines will be at full rpm by the time the plane runs off the edge of the deck.
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