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Air War: Modern Tactical Air Combat» Forums » General

Subject: Why "Suitability for Solitaire Play: Very Low"? rss

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Dave Johannsen

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Why, may I ask, is this game described as having "very low" solitaire suitability? This sort of "study sim" has a lot of appeal to me, but I do almost all of my gaming as solitaire. Does this game have aspects of finding the enemy (like, say, "Flat Top") that make it unsuitable for solo play? Can you just play it once the fight is joined and make best effort for both aircraft? Thanks for any comments.


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robert lindsay
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No, there isnt any hidden elements in Air War. You should be able to solo it if that's your thing.
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Ian Raine
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It's because of its very nature - it is a paper simulator where 30 seconds of real time takes multi-minutes of simulation time to calculate out.

Some people enjoy this level of immersive effort. Some buy computer flight sims. Depends what you want.

Quote:
This sort of "study sim" has a lot of appeal to me


Then you can solo it. Put helmet A on and do as seems appropriate.Then put Helmet B on, think of three or 4 options and randomly determine which one to take. Actually, you'll probably think those through while doing the player A turn orders, so it'll just be the die roll.

If you're flying your F4 and you think its really, really obvious that the Mig 23 should do X now, as opposed to anything else, weight it to a 50% chance on the DR, or as suits.
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Dave Johannsen

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lcrl wrote:
No, there isnt any hidden elements in Air War. You should be able to solo it if that's your thing.


Thank you for the information. Solo isn't necessarily by choice, but just the reality of my situation - maybe someday I'll stumble across someone who would be interested in playing. Again, thank you.


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Jim
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Shouldn't be a problem, though solo gaming anything more than say a 4v4 might be laborious.
AFA 'after the fight is joined', AirWar is in fact pretty a much a WVR sim, though you can game out BVR engagements. But, it just doesn't "do" them very well. Partially it's the bias of the game design (WVR again), and partially due to the very incomplete data available to the designers when the game was produced ca 79-80.
 
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Dave Johannsen

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grumblesa10 wrote:
AirWar is in fact pretty a much a WVR sim, though you can game out BVR engagements.


Is there any mechanism for ground attack? My instinct is that I would need to purchase Air Superiority and Air Strike if I want to simulate ground attack; i.e., that this is just beyond the scope of Air War.

No matter, I have ordered a copy of this. I don't know if I will ever "play" it, but I look forward to learning this "paper sim."
 
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Russell Gifford
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The reason for the low solo rating is because of the nature of the dogfight. Much depends on the lead plane 'out guessing' the tailing plane since once you are on their tail weapons come online and juking left or right, up or down and choosing the precise moment to put out chaff to distract rockets becomes vital!

That said I played it solo many times in small dogfights and found it rewarding.

Realize though that before ASL this was easily the most detailed / complex game ever. And unlike ASL, with lots of unit types, terrain, special rules etc, in Air War ALL that complexity was solely on the movement and firing of the game units, all of which are planes!

It was the coolest game of its era!

---Russ
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Nigel Wright
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grumblesa10 wrote:
Shouldn't be a problem, though solo gaming anything more than say a 4v4 might be laborious.
AFA 'after the fight is joined', AirWar is in fact pretty a much a WVR sim, though you can game out BVR engagements. But, it just doesn't "do" them very well. Partially it's the bias of the game design (WVR again), and partially due to the very incomplete data available to the designers when the game was produced ca 79-80.


I recall seeing a comment back in the day that the level of detail in the aircraft data exceeded what was actually available at the time.

Solo games along the lines of a pair of Delta Daggers intercepting a flight of Russian strategic bombers were interesting exercises though.
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djohannsen wrote:
grumblesa10 wrote:
AirWar is in fact pretty a much a WVR sim, though you can game out BVR engagements.


Is there any mechanism for ground attack? My instinct is that I would need to purchase Air Superiority and Air Strike if I want to simulate ground attack; i.e., that this is just beyond the scope of Air War.

No matter, I have ordered a copy of this. I don't know if I will ever "play" it, but I look forward to learning this "paper sim."


Sounds like you've already made your choice but I have to say I found Air Superiority a far more enjoyable game than Air War. Air War is as dry as a bone. I think it's the scale (I'm going from decades old memory here). I think Air War is 2-3 seconds per turn and Air Superiority about 15 seconds per turn. The former busies you out manually running a physics simulation of a flying plane. The latter allows the focus to be more on the tactics of air combat and hence makes a better game in my opinion.

I recall the Air Superiority designer explaining 15 seconds per turn was chosen to represent the decision cycle of a pilot. I can't speak to the veracity of that statement but it certainly sounds plausible. The idea is pilots make a choice of manoeuvre, execute it, then choose again and that 15 seconds is about right for that decision cycle.
 
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Dave Johannsen

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Russ G. wrote:
Realize though that before ASL this was easily the most detailed / complex game ever. And unlike ASL, with lots of unit types, terrain, special rules etc, in Air War ALL that complexity was solely on the movement and firing of the game units, all of which are planes!

It was the coolest game of its era!

---Russ

This is precisely why I want to climb aboard and take her for a spin. I'm looking forward to really getting inside the model and figuring out the flight dynamics and how aircraft react to inputs, and doing so in a way very different from, say, flying a computer simulation. So, I'm very interested in trying this, and not so concerned with its value as a game (I hope that this makes some sense).


Dave
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Dave Johannsen

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rayofsunshine wrote:

Sounds like you've already made your choice but I have to say I found Air Superiority a far more enjoyable game than Air War.


Ah, what the heck. I just ordered an unpunched copy of Air Superiority from Noble Knight (couldn't beat the price). Now, I may need to look for a copy of Air Strike (once the credit card cools down a bit).


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Air War/Air Superiority/Air Strike are all worth playing. Look also for
The Speed of Heat an updated Air Superiority/Strike focused on Vietnam.
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Jim
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Yes, there are rules for Air-Mud including SEAD/DEAD. On a related note, rules for AAA/SAMs as well. The ancient fighter guy in me says AFA a SIM it's got more limfacs than come with any two-dimensional re-fighting of air combat; but if you wish to play it by all means. I'd also ensure you get the counters and rules from AirWar 80 I think it is. More jets, more SAMs IIRC, and some better rules.
If you want my 'put, and being a fighter guy well I'm going to tell you regardless , Air Superiority/Air Strike is a better game system. Though it is also a prisoner of its time ca. 1989-1992.
YGBSM,
jim
 
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Air War. Ugh. I'm sure I would've loved it, if I had decided to go with that advanced aeronautics degree.

The Air Superiority/Air Strike system is definitely crunchier, but AH's Flight Leader is more accessible.

 
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Dave Johannsen

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grumblesa10 wrote:
Yes, there are rules for Air-Mud including SEAD/DEAD.


Good to hear that it's got rules for ground attack. I was just a dumb grunt during my time as a Marine, so I find the ground attack role at least as compelling as dog fighting.

grumblesa10 wrote:
I'd also ensure you get the counters and rules from AirWar 80 I think it is. More jets, more SAMs IIRC, and some better rules.


I did buy the TSR ('83) version of Air War.

grumblesa10 wrote:
Air Superiority/Air Strike is a better game system. Though it is also a prisoner of its time ca. 1989-1992.
YGBSM,
jim


I worked out a trade here at BGG, so I do have the air strike game on the way. I will poke through both systems and decide which elephant to eat first.

Whichever way I go, these three games along with a copy of Shaw's "Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering" (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0870210599/ref=od_aui_deta...) should keep me off the streets and out of trouble for a while.


Dave
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