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Today the Silicon Valley Air Combat Maneuvering club met to play Birds of Prey: Air Combat in the Jet Age. Since we had two players, we settled on a 1-versus-1 scenario with a neutral start.
(aka Jelly) played a Hunter FGA.Mk 9 and
(aka Duke) played an FJ-4 Fury.
Initial set up: neutral meeting engagement.
Jelly pitches down 30-degrees and begins a tight turn. Duke does the same, but pitches up.
The turning fight continues for two more turns. Duke, in the more maneuverable Fury begins to get his nose on the less maneuverable Hunter.
Jelly suddenly reversed, but Duke anticipated this and rolled to follow (a lucky guess, but continuing to turn with Jelly could have led to an overshoot, so reversing made sense). The Fury is now behind the Hunter but somewhat high.
The jets enter a scissors, with the Hunter in the lead. The Fury can "fix" the Hunter on a roll of 4+ (meaning the Hunter has to plot and move before the Fury plots its move). Duke fails the roll (a 40% chance).
Jelly reverses the Hunter again. Duke guessed the reverse and makes a gentle reverse also, but no chance for a fix this turn.
Near corner velocity the FJ-4's performance is very sensitive to its velocity. A change of as little as 5-10 knots of effective air speed can mean an extra 0.5 Gs. It also keeps its speed in a turn rather well.
Not a gratuitous cat picture, this one was helping keep track of the turn.
In order to keep up with the Hunter, Duke pulled the Fury hard to get a fix attempt. With the Hunter right on the Fury's nose, he blew the 2+ roll for a fix (The two fix failures: 8% chance of happening).
The Hunter had to pull 6G in a dive, but the Fury rolls to follow with an easy 0.5 G turn. Duke needs to roll 3+ to get a fix but fails (three failures: 2.4% chance). Without a fix Duke has to aim for where the Hunter was this turn, making it unlikely to have a gunshot lined up.
This would be a gratuitous cat picture, but the orange cat was handling the play aids.
Both jets pulled up hard. The Hunter managed to get the Fury somewhat farther off its tail. Duke follows and needs a 4+ to get a fix, and... fails! (Cumulative chance of all these failures, 0.96%.)
Jelly pulls the Hunter around hard and gets away from the Fury's nose. Duke dose not have a chance to roll for a fix.
Jelly dives the Hunter for the deck in an attempt to get away. The Hunter hits 500 knots, leaving the Fury behind at 375 knots. Duke follows and has a chance for a fix. If this attempt is unsuccessful, the Hunter should be able to escape. Duke is still behind the Hunter, and needs a 4+, but fails! (Total chance of failing all the fix attempts: 0.384%.) Sigh. The dice were not with the Fury driver today.
The Fury is the "angles" fighter in this encounter. The Hunter has much more powerful engines and is the "energy" fighter.
Jelly made the mistake of putting the Hunter into an angles fight with the Fury. The Fury was maneuverable enough to get behind and follow the Hunter even without a fix. Really bad dice rolling (and I don't invoke that often) saved the Hunter until it could dive away and disengage by speed.