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RAF: The Battle of Britain 1940» Forums » General

Subject: Modeling aircraft losses based on combat results rss

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Mike Fulghum
United States
North Carolina
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Question to all. I am thinking about doing a RAF campaign and AAR and as part of the AAR, I want to do a bit of a narrative similar to the RAF Campaign Diaries entries
< >.

To do this, I needed to model aircraft losses based on the game results. I will give you a group of assumptions and then the results as I see them and I want to know what you all think of these.

Just a bit of background, I was an aircraft technician for the US Air Force for 20 years and basing some of these assumptions on my own experiences.

Squadron and Gruppen counters: While the counters represent actual RAF squadrons and German Gruppen, it does not mean the all of the serviceable aircraft are on a particular sortie. The game mentions that each RAF Squadron has 10 to 15 operational fighters and German Gruppen have 25 to 30 aircraft each. But it is not uncommon for a unit to have a couple of spare aircraft available not assigned to a mission in case of possible maintenance issues found during pre-flight or during launch operations. So for the purposes of this narrative, each counter represents elements of a Squadron or Gruppen, not the entire operational strength on every raid. Not to mention that as the day goes on, unserviceable aircraft will become operational due to the efforts of the ground crews.

Damage and Destroyed for a No Effect results: I look at these as even if the unit gets a No Effects results for combat does not mean that the unit gets off with no damage or losses. All it takes during the stress of combat is the loss of situational awareness and you have an aircraft either flying into the ground or mid-air collision. Not to mention various in-flight maintenance issues like an engine failure in flight and actual combat with enemy forces that could cause a loss of aircraft or damage but leave the unit able to continue to fight at its rated combat factor.

Abort Results: Abort results represent such things as unit being low on fuel and/or ammunition and returning to base or a unit that was driven away from the main action by enemy action. The reason that reduced units take a Light Loss while reduced when receiving an Abort results is due to being caught low on fuel or ammunition or being dispersed and/or separated due to a previous Disrupt results and being unable to support each other.

Disrupt Results: Disrupt results represent a unit that has become dispersed and separated over a large area with some elements now unable to provide support to other elements of the unit.

Damaged: When I mention an RAF aircraft as damaged, it means that it is considered not mission capable for at least morning missions. This aircraft may or may not become mission capable depending on ground crew efforts as mentioned above in the Squadron counters assumption.

German Tally: For the narrative, the numbers of German aircraft damaged or destroyed is what the RAF pilots are claiming. We know that these claims tend to be exaggerated as were the German claims of RAF losses. I am just trying to model these as well.

And now for the table as I have it currently:

Aircraft losses
Country Damaged/Destroyed
British No Effect 0-3/0-1
Abort 0-4/0-1
Reduced 0-4/0-2
Light Loss 1-3/1-3
Heavy Loss 2-4/2-6

German No Effect 0-3/0-2
Abort 0-4/0-3
Reduced 0-4/0-3
Light Loss 1-5/1-4
Heavy Loss 2-10/2-8

For British Pilot losses: Roll 1d6x10. Convert this to a percentage verses the total of aircraft damaged or destroyed and represents the number of pilots recovered and returned to duty rounded to the nearest whole number. Example: if 2 aircraft are damaged and 2 are destroyed and you roll a 4, this becomes 40% and 40% of the total of 4 equals 1.6 rounded to the nearest whole number of 2. Two pilots are returned to duty, the other 2 being either wounded or killed from this squadron's losses.

These number may be changed based on feedback and/or playtesting results. Please tell me what you think? Are my numbers high or low? How would you model loss rates?
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Craig H
United States
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Sounds cool looking forward to the AAR.
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Simon Blackwell
East Sussex
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I've actually done this very same thing for the last 2 years playing the game live with a campaign diary after each day BUT using the original game as I don't own the new version (yet). My AAR for one campaign is on the RAF (original game) forum

I made some arbitrary decisions so as to not slow the game-play with too much book keeping. Now these won't translate 100% to the new game but might help as a baseline

RAF Sqn strengths (ready/fatigued)
12/6 Spitfire, Hurricane, Defiant, Fulmar, Grumman Martlet (F4F)
10/5 Blenheim, Beaufighter
15/5 Gladiator (although 247 Sqn was just a single flight which could warrant reducing by half)

Luftwaffe Gruppen strengths
25/15 fighters - Bf109, Bf110, Cr42, G50
30/15 bombers - Ju88, Do17, He111, Fw200,
25/12 dive bombers - Ju87

For recording casualties/losses I worked out rates based on the 3 types of damage that are incurred and against each aircraft type but in general some examples

RAF - Ready Side Light/Heavy/Eliminated
2/4/6 Spitfire, Hurricane
3/6/9 Defiant
2/4/6 Blenheim, Beaufighter

RAF - Fatigued side L/H/E
1/2/3 Spitfire, Hurricane
1/3/5 Defiant
1/2/3 Bleheim, Beaufighter

Luftwaffe - Ready side L/H/E
2/5/10 - Bf109
3/6/12 - Bf110
3/7/14 - Ju88, Fw200
4/9/16 - Do17
3/8/15 - He111
4/9/14 - Ju87

Luftwaffe - Fatigued side L/H/E
1/5/8 - Bf109
2/6/8 - Bf110
2/6/10 - Ju88, Fw200
3/8/10 - Do17
2/7/10 - He111
3/6/9 - Ju87

In general I have loaded the losses against the most vulnerable types and taken into consideration that German Gruppen were much larger than RAF Sqns.
I have kept the generic strengths at 12 for a standard British Sqn even though there were frequently 1 or 2 less in flying order just for convenience. The numbers work out quite well when looking at the relative strength of an enemy raid (e.g. 100+ would be about 4 German gruppen) Since playing the game on countless occasions the losses by day seem to reflect satisfactorily especially against the exaggerated pilots "reported" claims made at the time. Most recently I play campaigns keeping records of an individual Sqn and allocating kills against the actual pilots from that Sqn at the time. My method of allocating kills to a particular Sqn probably needs a bit more thought as the kills sometimes seem a bit high for some Sqns (maybe I need to share the losses a bit better amongst the attacking Sqns) but its the best way that I have found without spending too long on the book-keeping vs game play. Again, I like to keep it that way and think of it as the pilots claims against the actual losses. Last year I did a day by day blog for 111 Sqn which didn't pan out as heroically as I had wished! This year its the turn of 266 Sqn.

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