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Wing Leader: Victories 1940-1942» Forums » Rules

Subject: Bombing Table issues rss

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Aaron Sibley
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Ramsgate
Kent
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Been playing my way through the scenarios with my regular opponent and we just played v12 - The Rain Upon the Sea.

I lost the scenario as the US due to two bad rolls on the bombing table by the Dauntless dive bombers.

My question is why the table is designed the way it is. The game was decided by those two rolls, which was unfortunate. Why could the table be more gradual say 4 - 10% / 5 - 20% / 6 - 30% / 7 - 40% / 8 - 50% / 9 - 60% / 10 - 70% / 11 - 80% / 12 - 90% / 13+ - 100%

I rolled a 3 and 5 on which are bad rolls each had a net +1 modifier. According to the actual chart I did 10% damage from those two squadrons. 1 hit. With the above spread shown it would have been 4 hits.

The reason I ask is that the Raider player gets the majority of their vp from hitting the target. Some bad rolls and its game over.

I find this the only issue I have with the game. Air losses seem accurate as there are multiple die rolls the "luck" factor evens out.

 
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Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
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Ely
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Hi Aaron,

The table is what it is because I wanted to catch some of the 'hit and miss' nature of bombing. Without the benefits of precision (i.e. low-altitude attacks or some species of dive bombing) attacks tended to be ineffective, doing no or light damage unless they were fortunate. Only precision techniques promised any good chance of high damage. And in the absence of precision only a large number of sorties launched against a target and lots of restrikes would do the job.

This means that you're right that the number of bombing attacks in any scenario are few and therefore a bad run of dice will kill the scenario. This is kind of a feature rather than a bug because I think it reflects plausible results. A table such as you suggest would be more ludic but I feel it would be less authentic.

As a designer I'm in an odd place with regards to the bombing system.

(1) I feel if anything the bombing mechanics overstate the effectiveness of bombing. Some of this comes from the desire to keep the mechanics simple and drive everything off a 2d6 roll. The modelling is crude and the probability curve may be insufficiently steep. In places the game makes bombers almost cartoonishly effective.

(2) I try to balance the scenarios based on spreadsheet modelling of the bombing results. Obviously, these are based on average results and are vulnerable to bad dice.

(3) I can sympathise with players who find their game over because of bad results. But in part the game is attempting to deliver some historical lessons, and one of those is about how hard it was to hit anything with a bomb. Bombing was very much a business of percentages, which is why the strategic bombing campaign was dominated by the results derived from very low probabilities of success.

- lee
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Carl Sizmur
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I'm Aaron's regular Wing Leader opponent and I've been giving this some thought since the post-game discussion we had following the dive-bombing debacle in The Rain Upon the Sea. Having read Lee's response, it struck me that the problem may not be with the table, but more with the number of opportunities to roll on the table. When it's one squadron making one roll, good or bad luck can easily swing the result of the scenario quite badly.

One idea that occurred to me is to make bomb attacks at the flight level. So basically, for a good order squadron, make two attack rolls at half bomb value. A flight or disrupted squadron would still only get one roll at half bomb value. This increases the number of attack rolls but still uses all existing mechanics. This should probably not be applied to medium/high altitude level bombing attacks where most of the squadron are relying on the leader to line up the attack - This should probably still be a single all-or-nothing roll.

The theory is that statistically the more rolls that are made, the more likely it is you'll get a combined result close to the average. There could be some rounding issues to sort out, maybe it would be best to add the two results together before rounding. The maths involved may be slightly more complex but it's nothing too serious.

I'd be interested in any comments on this - Have I missed something important that would blow a hole in this idea?

It's important to add that for me this is a relatively minor issue. I play for the enjoyment of the game (as does Aaron) but extreme rolls on both the bombing and cohesion tables can have a major effect, especially in the smaller scenarios. But I guess that's the same for many games. This is an incredible, innovative game that captures the whole air raid/intercept process better that any other game I've played. I'm very much looking forward to taking the Japanese in 'Hey Rube!', our next game. Looks like flak hell though...
 
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Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
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Obviously, increasing the number of die rolls by breaking up bombing into discrete chunks will mitigate the effects of failure and have the effect of evening out towards the mean. Extreme results become unusual or rare.

To give you an example of how this works in the game, let’s assume a bomber squadron with a Bomb value of 20 attacks.

If the final die modifier is +0, its mean damage is 3.81
If the final die modifier is +3, its mean damage is 10.14


Now, we conduct the same experiment by splitting this into two attacks with a Bomb value of 10

If the final die modifier is +0, its mean damage is 2.03, doubled to 4.06
If the final die modifier is +3, its mean damage is 5.19, doubled to 10.38


You can see the effect of evening out towards a mean. Doing this shifts the results in the attacker’s favour.

At the end of the day I play the game according to the rules, because the scenarios have been balanced to those numbers and it is my preferred solution. However, there’s nothing stopping you guys from modding the game how ever you want. If you prefer your method then use it, but be aware that the balancing will skew in favour of the raider.
 
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