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Table Air Combat: Ki-43 Oscar» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Drag & Bag AAR rss

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Chris Buhl
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Drag & Bag, part 1



This scenario is nice because it highlights three of TAC's many great qualities.

First, it can be played with minimal setup on nearly any flat surface. To wit, the desk in my hotel room:




I haven't decided if the light will move as needed, or act as a cloud bank.


Second

It allows you to see in stark relief the differences in the performance characteristics of different planes. To wit, the P-47D Thunderbolt vs. the Ki-43 Oscar:



Remember the initiative rules for this one. The listed winner moves second, with the Japanese always moving an element last when they outnumber the Americans.


T1 American



The Thunderbolt opts to climb (gain energy) while turning away from the trailing Japanese fighters.


T2 American



The lead Oscar gains 1e while the P-47 does the same.


T3 American



More of the same, but note that losing initiative (and choosing the lead plane) forces the lead Ki-43 to turn out to be certain the Americans wouldn't be able to train all 8 .50 cal MG's on them.


T4 Japan



I think the Japanese may have already lost their tactical advantage. The Thinderbolt has regained full energy.


T6 American



The Japanese are trying to anticipate how they might trap the P-47.


T7 American





T8 American



The Americans are happy to just fly on at max speed. Laying their own trap perhaps?


T9 American



The Japanese are getting no closer.


T10 American



The Thunderbolts are apparently trying to get into the fight now.


T11 Japan





T12 American



The Americans close for a shot but the second Oscar element does the same.

Japan scores 1 hit for no damage, the US 2 hits for no damage (snake-eyes on the damage rolls)!


T13 Japan



Unable to perform an Immelmann due to potential stacking problems, the P-47 pilots think that they can fly past the Japanese safely. The Oscar's one benefit, though, is maneuverability, and both planes close for a shot!

They manage a total of 1 hit for (barely) no damage.


T14 American



An Immelmann for the American, another round where everyone shoots.

Both sides score 1 hit for 1 damage!


T15 American

Eleven out of fifteen?!?! I wonder if there needs to be a house rule about initiative?!?!?



The P-47!power dives but it isn't enough to get clear of the nimble Oscars, which use 1 energy to close, score 2 hits but no damage.


T16 Japan

Now left with no energy the Thunderbolt looks to flee the scene.




T17 American



Possessing a huge speed advantage the American plane climbs and banks, not yet ready to flee the scene.


T18 Japan




T19 Japan




T20 American



Everyone is full energy now


T21 American



No shots


T22 American

Japan first move



Followed by a US Immelmann and a Ki-43 element closing in.



And everyone misses


T23 American



Another power dive and the US is on the deck again


T24 American



To stay in the fight the Thunderbolt is going to have to take some chances.


T27 American




T28 American




T29 Japan




T30 American



It is technically still on the table!


T31 Japan



The Japanese think they have him penned in, but he is so fast.


T32 Japan




T33 American



"Tracers!"

Missed...


T34 American



Another Immelmann is no use...


T35 Japan



Another power dive for the US, another loop around for the Japanese.


T36 American



The Japanese are trying to keep their foe penned in by anticipating where the faster plane will end up. That may have backfired here.


T37 Japan



P-47 turns its hardest at stall speed



And both Oscars get into shooting position. Even at such high deflection the Japanese score a hit, but do no damage to the tough as nails US plane.


T38 Japan



Knowing it couldn't move fast enough to get out of range, the P-47 climbed as quickly as possible to regain an energy, but still had three enemies in its tail. Both miss their shots.


T39 American




More speed last turn would have let the American escape. Lesson learned, if it's not too late.

And it is too late - the Japanese score 1 hit for 1 damage and shoot the lone survivor down.

And so there is yet another AAR where I'm unable to utilize an energy fighter to defeat a turn fighter. This scenario was fun though, it was a blast trying to move the slow Japanese planes in a way that would keep the P-47 penned in. It seemed to me that even when I used the P-47's speed advantage, the Oscars were able to force it to at best trade shots. So this was a long one, but it was fun and informative.
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Keith Anderson
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Did I overlook the third referred to quality?

I will bring this on my next work trip.
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Chris Buhl
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GamePlayer wrote:
Did I overlook the third referred to quality?

I will bring this on my next work trip.


Forgot to edit that put. I was going to say "it plays quick," but 39 turns later I didn't think this particular game emphasized that point. Check this AAR for a quick game.
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Allen Dickerson
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A few things I noticed...

1) When the P-47 climbs, he does not GAIN energy, rather he *expends* it in climbing. What he does gain is POTENTIAL energy which he can later trade for speed. An important difference.

2) When the P-47 "power dives" that should be game over, at least in terms of proximity between the Japanese and US planes. No way an Oscar is going to stay anywhere close to a Jug in a dive.

3) Scenario setup (on the card): If the leading IJAAF pair is being pursued in a level tail chase, the Jugs will almost certainly catch them, unless they climbed to reach their trailing position to begin the engagement. The "bagging" Oscars would have to time their bounce to within an inch of their lucky lives, and then would have to be extremely lucky to deal enough damage, even if this is a late Oscar with heavier 12.7mm MGs than the measly 7.7mm pair the early Oscars had. *If* the Oscars manage to get in a decent bounce, the Jugs will extend away long before they sustain any telling damage.
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Chris Buhl
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Energy is a game term that is tracked so gaining energy refers to how much potential energy it has, but that's an extra word in an already looking my AAR.

It would have been very easy for the P-47 to fly away without taking any damage, I wanted to fight it out to the end. The Oscars never had a chance of catching the Thunderbolt. What they were able to do was keep themselves in position to ensure that any time the P-47 was able to get a shot at one of them, at least one other Oscar got one too. The rest was up to the dice.

My review of Table Air Combatngoes into exhaustive detail about the game. You can also get a free download of the complete rules at Wargamevault.com.
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Allen Dickerson
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That shot-exchange strategy is a real losing proposition for the IJAAF... 8 x 50s on target per shot against a plane that can take only a fraction of the damage a Jug can withstand isn't going to work out on the dice... unless the Oscar can score a freak critical hit.

I'd think if you were trying to illustrate how Drag n Bag tactics work, your matchup should be more something like Zeros vs. Wildcats over Guadalcanal. Demonstrate the effectiveness of the Thach Weave (I think that's probably the more historical term for "Drag 'n Bag) with planes that are a little more evenly matched.
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Chris Buhl
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I've heard of the Thatch weave but don't know what it looks like in practical terms.nim generally, I think, a below average pilot.
 
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Keith Anderson
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Stiglr wrote:
That shot-exchange strategy is a real losing proposition for the IJAAF... 8 x 50s on target per shot against a plane that can take only a fraction of the damage a Jug can withstand isn't going to work out on the dice... unless the Oscar can score a freak critical hit.

I'd think if you were trying to illustrate how Drag n Bag tactics work, your matchup should be more something like Zeros vs. Wildcats over Guadalcanal. Demonstrate the effectiveness of the Thach Weave (I think that's probably the more historical term for "Drag 'n Bag) with planes that are a little more evenly matched.


I think Drag n Bag is just this scenario name to suggest the idea of leading the P-47 into an ambush. With only one counter the P-47 cannot do a Thach Weave.
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Chris Buhl
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Yes Drag & Bag is the scenario name. I took Allen to mean that I should have had the Oscars do the Thatch weave, which is probably true.
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J.D. Webster
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Fascinating AAR

Thanks. For a simple system, looks like it highlights some accuracy in the combat dynamic between these two foes.. The Oscars are more agile, the Jugs faster.

Even in a complex game like FW, the dogfight would probably end up being similar with the Oscars always cutting inside the Jugs and the Jugs going for the bullish head on charges pitting their durability and firepower against the Oscars which would have to try and dance out of the way then get a shot as the Jugs go by.

I am not familiar with the game system or its scale though, so can't really comment on its accuracy or inaccuracy with regards to modeling flight.

But - its always good to see more airplane games out there.

cheers,

J.D. Webster
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Chris Buhl
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jdakapluto wrote:
Fascinating AAR

Thanks. For a simple system, looks like it highlights some accuracy in the combat dynamic between these two foes.. The Oscars are more agile, the Jugs faster.

Even in a complex game like FW, the dogfight would probably end up being similar with the Oscars always cutting inside the Jugs and the Jugs going for the bullish head on charges pitting their durability and firepower against the Oscars which would have to try and dance out of the way then get a shot as the Jugs go by.

I am not familiar with the game system or its scale though, so can't really comment on its accuracy or inaccuracy with regards to modeling flight.

But - its always good to see more airplane games out there.

cheers,

J.D. Webster


Wow, thanks for commenting! Whistling Death and Buffalo Wings are on my bucket list, high on it actually.

You can download the Table Air Combat game rules for free on Wargame Vault, if you're interested.
 
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James Brown
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Stiglr wrote:
That shot-exchange strategy is a real losing proposition for the IJAAF... 8 x 50s on target per shot against a plane that can take only a fraction of the damage a Jug can withstand isn't going to work out on the dice... unless the Oscar can score a freak critical hit.

I'd think if you were trying to illustrate how Drag n Bag tactics work, your matchup should be more something like Zeros vs. Wildcats over Guadalcanal. Demonstrate the effectiveness of the Thach Weave (I think that's probably the more historical term for "Drag 'n Bag) with planes that are a little more evenly matched.


I think the Thach Weave is modeled into a two plane set, and when it is flipped over all planes have their defense drooped by at least one. In this game it is hard to module the defense of a weave except by having a two plane counter have better defense.

Just my 2
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Keith Anderson
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Multiple counters can cover each other including thatch weave like maneuvers especially if you have the last moving counters.
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Andy Nelson
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topman1 wrote:


I think the Thach Weave is modeled into a two plane set, and when it is flipped over all planes have their defense drooped by at least one. In this game it is hard to module the defense of a weave except by having a two plane counter have better defense.


The Thach weave is kind-of modeled into the two-plane "element". Mostly, defense is having a wingman off to one side to watch in the leader's blind spot (which was horrendous on the Wildcat, Hellcat, and early Thunderbolts). The Thach weave does work with two elements against each other, but if you really want to do it realistically, use two individual planes (half-elements) instead of a full one. The planes should be separated by the same distance as their turn circle. This will allow either plane to circle and cover his partner's tail when an enemy attacks.
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