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Bloody April, 1917: Air War Over Arras, France» Forums » Rules

Subject: Small problem with TtC rss

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Pavel Hammerschmidt
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We played our first game last night and a small problem came up with the TtC numbers. Our weather roll was mostly cloudy at low altitude. So both sides mostly flew on the Deck to carry out taskings.

The Germans had TtC 3D and I believe the British had TtC 5D. So the Germans had to stay at Deck +2 in order to spot the British flights. The British with slower rate of climb could go to Deck +4.

The problem was that now when when we engaged the British would have the height advantage, 4/5 being higher than 2/3. If the Germans went to the Low altitude band they lost line of sight and couldn't spot the British. The slower climbing planes actually had an advantage over the faster climbing planes when there was an artifical cap, like clouds on line of sight.

Is there a way for the Germans to say that they are climbing to the top of the deck altitude band and not actually entering the low band? Is our interpretation of the TtC rules wrong? Or is this just a rule that we will have to work around when clouds obscure a certain altitude band?


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Christopher O
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We ran into this exact problem today, coincidentally - a mostly cloudy band at LOW.

The rule section that covers exactly this issue is 13.22.

If you read it, I think it answers your question:

Quote:
An attacker who is unable to climb above the altitude of the defender due to cloud cover may declare Climbing Flight to engage a higher flying defender and, if successful in engaging it, is considered to be at the defenders altitude. If unsuccessful, the attacking flight is considered to remain at their current Time to Climb but is marked with a Climb marker. If attacked by another flight it is considered to have climbed for Manoeuvre rating value determination.


I have a different question regarding clouds at the LOW band when dogfights break up, but it's not the same issue as this, so I'll be posting it shortly in a different thread.
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Pavel Hammerschmidt
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Here is the reply from one of my gaming partners.

There are two problems with the answer. 1) you are only at the targets altitude if you successfully engage. To do that you suffer a -2 DRM on the engagement table because the enemy has a pre-engagement height advantage. 2) if you don't succeed then you suffer a -2 DRM on maneuvering if you get bounced by another flight because you tried to climb up to another target.

Considering the chances of having bad weather and so many different rate of climbs in the game I would think this problem would occur quite often.

With the plethora of counters in this game how come they couldn't come up with a few more that said "max deck", "max low" or simply "max".

This is a bad game mechanic and easily solved. Makes me wonder why they didn't bother. It certainly deserves a house rule.
 
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Christopher O
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pvhammer wrote:
Here is the reply from one of my gaming partners.

There are two problems with the answer. 1) you are only at the targets altitude if you successfully engage. To do that you suffer a -2 DRM on the engagement table because the enemy has a pre-engagement height advantage. 2) if you don't succeed then you suffer a -2 DRM on maneuvering if you get bounced by another flight because you tried to climb up to another target.

Considering the chances of having bad weather and so many different rate of climbs in the game I would think this problem would occur quite often.

With the plethora of counters in this game how come they couldn't come up with a few more that said "max deck", "max low" or simply "max".

This is a bad game mechanic and easily solved. Makes me wonder why they didn't bother. It certainly deserves a house rule.


When we encountered this on Saturday (and before finding the correct rule cited above), we did an improvised house rule that Low +0 (when mostly cloudy layer are at low, Medium +0, when cloud at medium band, etc.) can be considered to be flying just underneath the cloud deck.

If you were flying right at the bottom of the cloud deck, you had LOS to everything below and co-alt, but not above.

Easy fix house rule, if you prefer that way instead.
 
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Frederic Delstanches
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Ran into the same problem today playing scenario 2 with an overcast layer in the medium band. The Albatros flight would stay at low+4 to maintain LOS and the engaged DH2 was at low+7. It seems unfair that the German flight has to suffer a -2 MR penalty and the various movement restrictions caused by the climbing flight requirement. I would assume that both flights are flying just below the deck in those cases, there would be no advantage to leave 1000 ft between you and the deck.
I wonder if we could get the designer's opinion on the rationale of 13.22 or maybe an official errata/change to fix this.
For now I will just consider that a flight below the deck at its max TtC in that band is flying just below the clouds with no altitude advantage if engaged/engaging.
 
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