Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
7 Posts

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

Subject: Trench Small Arms Fire vs. Aircraft rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
. .

Apex
North Carolina
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
This post stems from an experience in Scenario 7 where the RFC sends out 2 BE2 squadrons of 1 plane each for trench recon for 10 hexes a piece. Statistically speaking, you're going to have 20 rolls, and you should see at least 2 of those rolls be a hit in the current system.

Every trench hex is considered to have inherent small arms capacity vs. planes flying at all Deck altitudes.

I'll describe what happens with this rule in Scenario 7 below and discuss some potential options to make this less gamey after:

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM:

The to-hit number is 17. On 2d10 there's a 10% chance of a hit.

It is my current understanding that there are no DRMs for this roll. If there's LOS at Deck, then it fires and all is good regardless of whether the plane is detected or undetected or the altitude band.

Given a BE2 at 3,550ft being viewed by a solider standing in a trench the plane would appear something a little more than 3.3 inches in size. ((27*37)*12)/3550 = 3.376"

That's a pretty fantastic feat with a Maxim 08 which had an effective range of around 6,000 feet and no adjusted scope for firing at aircraft to fire at a 3" target at just over half it's effective range.

OUTCOME

If the cloud cover does not allow greater flight than Deck level the RFC can lose Scenario 7 on the weather roll before the game begins given the current way Small Arms fire vs. aircraft is handled. Statistically, you'll have anomalies, but given the current rules and the weather chart it means the RFC has a pretty good chance of not being able to compete with 2 of its flights at all.

In March:
Mostly Sunny - 20% Chance w/ 60% chance recon has to happen at Deck
Mostly Cloudy - 10% Chance w/ 60% chance recon has to happen at Deck
Rain - 30% Chance w/ 70% chance recon has to happen at Deck
Fog - 10% Chance w/ 100% chance recon has to happen at Deck
Snow - 10% Chance w/ 70% chance recon has to happen at Deck

So for Scenario 7 you have an 80% chance on your initial weather roll to trigger an average of about 72% chance you're going to have to do recon at deck vs. the current small arms fire. Roughly 3 of 4 times this scenario is played the RFC player is statistically out of the game on the weather roll for those two flights.

Recommendations

I totally agree that small arms fire brought down planes in WW1. The Vickers toward the end of the war was mounted on a pole for just this task. It's likely that a Vickers brought down the Red Baron even. I don't suggest throwing the baby out with the bathwater by any means.

My two recommendation is:

Detected & VID DRMs - My solution is much easy to deal with. For small arms fire to actually target a flight it must have detected it. At detected it gets the 17 to hit number. At VID the to hit number gets a -2 to the die roll modifier.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
. .

Apex
North Carolina
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
It occurs that this problem is most magnified in Scenario 7. When it's a true flight of multiple aircraft ... it's hard to say how this might play out given the distribution of damage to the flight. I just know how tight Scenario 7 is.

At BEST the flight going from the southern airfield can only make it's recon flight in 23 turns if it only makes one climbing move in neutral wind conditions.

Likewise for other flights taking off it's a problem of TtC for that scenario.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Terry Simo
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
10% Chance to Hit and then you have to roll for Damage which is 12 or higher. So actually a lower chance of being hit. Dangerous work no doubt. Your house rule sounds pretty good - let me know how it works out.

On timing to complete tasking - Use Rule 4.42 to help expedite getting your flights into position. They still burn endurance to get to altitude but gives you more time to complete tasking.

T-Mo
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
. .

Apex
North Carolina
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
Thanks!

There was a discussion about this scenario at CSW that seemed appropriate.

We played on, at my insistence, as the other guy on CSW with poor weather.

The recommendation there was keep re-rolling until you get acceptable weather.

My concern with that, however, is that the weather is supposed to be random. I understand that commanders would scrub flights, but there's no rules to cover a scrubbed flight. It's merely a mutually agreed upon change of weather. If you're going to do that, why not just hand pick mutually agreeable weather? hehe

I definitely think starting in the air would resolve some issues. One of the biggest ones being that the DLS player doesn't do anything but monitor movement rules for the first 10-15 turns or so if you don't start in the air.

Fun game. This particular scenario feels a bit wonky though it may be historical and there's value in learning that!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Terry Simo
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
All the scenarios are historical and taken from combat reports, pilot anecdotes and historical reporting.

For weather, I play what I roll. Someone learning the game might need less wx effects. One thing to remember is that every 10 game turns something wx related will happen. Shifting winds, wind gusts, wx clearing or getting worse. Pilots of the era had to deal with it. None of the conditions totally preclude any flying just make it tough. Days where wx cancelled flying are modeled out of the scenarios.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jared
United States
Holly Springs
North Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
T-Mo wrote:
10% Chance to Hit and then you have to roll for Damage which is 12 or higher. So actually a lower chance of being hit. Dangerous work no doubt. Your house rule sounds pretty good - let me know how it works out.

On timing to complete tasking - Use Rule 4.42 to help expedite getting your flights into position. They still burn endurance to get to altitude but gives you more time to complete tasking.

T-Mo


As the DLS player in Keith's game, I have to say that I burned up all my lucky rolls for the game on those two shots. I think the combination of weather & circumstance led to his recon over the trenches being performed by a generic undetected flight at deck altitude. I can understand AA projecting a flak barrage into a hex containing an undetected flight (rumors of flight activity, etc), but it's a little harder to justify the soldiers in the trenches deciding to fire blindly into the air against a generic undetected flight that may or may not be overhead (when they could be shooting the British ground troops right in front of them).

Now, under more normal circumstances, that flight would have had a few more chances to be detected before reaching the point where it would be subject to small arms fire, but given the impenetrable clouds in the low band, at best I only had three hexes in which to pull off a ground observer detection at deck altitude, so he really did drop in unexpectedly right on top of his recon objective.

I think this is all my long-winded way of saying that even though I scored two aircraft kills right there, it didn't really feel like success I'm actually a pretty big fan of limiting small arms fire to targets which are definitely there (either detected or VID). I'm happy to try a little playtesting on the house rule and report back on how it turns out.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian Wedge
United Kingdom
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
For many of the troops in a hex marked as containing trenches it wouldn't come down to a choice between shooting at enemy ground troops and shooting at aircraft. The bulk of the men would be in support trenches or in the second line of defenses, well back from the front line where shooting at opposite trenches might be an option - not that ground troops spent their days blazing away at each other with rifles anyway, unless there was an actual attack under way. So I don't see that as an issue.

I might be out of sync with Terry's thinking here, but I'd thought of detection as showing whether a flight had been spotted by the air defence 'system', i.e. ground observers with field glasses and a telephone, AA positions, or flights in the air. A BE2 trundling along at 2,000 ft may well be spotted by a machine gun crew who give him a hot welcome, but the fact that the incursion hasn't been spotted yet by an observation officer doesn't mean the MG crew are shooting blindly.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.