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Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback

 
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Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 1/26/2008 10:26:30 PM   
Nemo121


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Hi all well as I'm about to release a new version of Empires Ablaze ( and the first version which I think should be balanced enough for general play ) I thought I'd start a thread where feedback, questions and suggestions for improvement could be made... I doubt there will be much traffic as this mod won't appeal to most but I think there's a benefit to having that feedback concentrated in one place. This is that place.


Most recent changes:
1. Reduction of Avenger monthly replacement rates from 142 to under 100.
2. Increased P-40E, Kittyhawk I and SBD rates by 20 to 22 each ( basically re-allocating historical production from Avengers to rarer and more useful planes ).
3. Delayed entry of Ki-109, Me-264 Angel, Me-264 Behemoth and G-9 Marlina by 3 to 6 months each.
4. Increased P-51 XP production rate from 15 to 30 - this plane comes available September 1942.
5. Delayed entry of Yamato and Musashi CVAs by 3 months each ( so, Spring 42 and Summer 42 as opposed to December 41 and Spring 42 )
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RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 2/3/2008 1:44:52 AM   
Captain Cruft


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Where can I download the existing version please?

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RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 2/3/2008 2:05:26 AM   
Gary Childress


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My question as well. Where is the download available? This looks interesting.

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RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 2/3/2008 2:16:49 AM   
Captain Cruft


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I think this is it.

http://www.akdreemer.com/ahs/kelly/intro.html

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RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 2/4/2008 12:07:36 PM   
Nemo121


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Hi, yes that is the link to the old version of the files. Unfortunately the update has been delayed after I accidentally wrote over the latest version of the mod when I was doing my final pre-release run-through of data *  .

I have stuff on till Wednesday and will then finish updating the data fields to the previous standard. It should be out by the end of the week. In the meantime the link above will give you a good idea as to what the updated version will look like. The vast majority of changes are simply tweaks to the play balance.

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RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 2/4/2008 7:35:04 PM   
Gary Childress


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nemo121

Hi, yes that is the link to the old version of the files. Unfortunately the update has been delayed after I accidentally wrote over the latest version of the mod when I was doing my final pre-release run-through of data *  .

I have stuff on till Wednesday and will then finish updating the data fields to the previous standard. It should be out by the end of the week. In the meantime the link above will give you a good idea as to what the updated version will look like. The vast majority of changes are simply tweaks to the play balance.


Doh! I know how that feels.

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RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/10/2008 5:03:18 PM   
Hanti

 

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Hi Nemo.
I liked the idea of play balance during 44-45, so I'm interested in this mod.
Just a short question: did you manage to upload new tweaked version of your mod?

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RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/10/2008 9:23:13 PM   
ny59giants


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Another question would be making the changes to the P38s that Cid did in response to poor performance issues.

A few early Allied bombers that could have either 1000lb AP or torpedoes as standard loads would add a little flavor.

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RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/11/2008 6:40:04 AM   
Mifune


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Good luck Nemo, it will be good to see how your scenario evolves.

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RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/15/2008 12:21:57 PM   
Nemo121


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Hanti, nope, no offers of upload space anywhere - which is a pity.

ny59, after testing the P-38 in my current game ( and then testing it extensively outside of that ) I find that the P-38, technically speaking, sucks more than the suckiest black hole ever. It is abysmal.

So, I'm currently working on V1.1 while I wait for someone to offer space to host the mod. V 1.1 is going to feature tweaks to twin-engined fighter + fighter-bombers to make them function as they should. I'd be more than happy to discuss this with others as I'm no expert on plane performances except to know when a performance in-game seems utterly wrong compared to history. The problem with the performance really seems to fall in the Mvr category. I've experimented and giving twin-engineds a manoeuvre modifier of x +1.6 seems to yield relatively reasonable results. e.g. the P-38G becomes a plane with 26 Mvr vs 16 and the P-38L becomes a plane with 32 Mvr vs the current 20. Plugging these values in in-game the P-38G tends to get kills in dogfights but find it somewhat difficult to shake the better 2nd generation IJN and IJA fighters when they get on its tail. This jibes well with what I've read about the P-38s in combat ( generally speaking ).

It also has the effect of making Ki-45s much more viable in the fighter-bomber role and turns the Ki-93 into a real threat to Allied fighters ( which it would have been ).

I am MORE than happy to discuss this with others though as I'm not the fount of all knowledge on aerodynamics and am interested in getting the plane ad ship performances closer to historical accuracy etc ( whilst allowing strategic divergence )... FWIW I've read the "discussions" on P-38s on this forum although most of the time that consisted of one side just talking past the other side and wasn't really a give and take IMO.


Allied planes with 1000lbers and torpedoes from the start.... Well, I think I'm developing a soft spot for the B-19. For some reason when it has extremely highly experienced crews it seems to fly with 1000lbers right from the start of the war. In one of my tests when the raid on Hawaii failed to launch a B-19 on managed to put a 1000lber right through the armoured flight deck of Zuikaku. Ruined my whole day . You don't get many of them but they do pretty well when you do have them.

B-26As. Carry bombs and torpedoes. In my game so far they've already sunk 2 IJN BBs in a single day and they've savaged many smaller ships ( DDs, PCs, APs, AKs etc ). Once their experience gets up into the 70s those B-26s hit hard. You also get a high enough monthly replacement rate that you can afford to use them i combat without too much fear.

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RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/15/2008 6:07:17 PM   
el cid again

 

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Mifune can post it to the RHS site - he has the password to do that.


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RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/16/2008 1:22:06 AM   
witpqs


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nemo121

Hanti, nope, no offers of upload space anywhere - which is a pity.

ny59, after testing the P-38 in my current game ( and then testing it extensively outside of that ) I find that the P-38, technically speaking, sucks more than the suckiest black hole ever. It is abysmal.

So, I'm currently working on V1.1 while I wait for someone to offer space to host the mod. V 1.1 is going to feature tweaks to twin-engined fighter + fighter-bombers to make them function as they should. I'd be more than happy to discuss this with others as I'm no expert on plane performances except to know when a performance in-game seems utterly wrong compared to history. The problem with the performance really seems to fall in the Mvr category. I've experimented and giving twin-engineds a manoeuvre modifier of x +1.6 seems to yield relatively reasonable results. e.g. the P-38G becomes a plane with 26 Mvr vs 16 and the P-38L becomes a plane with 32 Mvr vs the current 20. Plugging these values in in-game the P-38G tends to get kills in dogfights but find it somewhat difficult to shake the better 2nd generation IJN and IJA fighters when they get on its tail. This jibes well with what I've read about the P-38s in combat ( generally speaking ).


Those figures look like good starts for the P-38 (G=26 and L=32). If you are keeping the J model in your mod then it belongs between the G and L models. The J was the first model with the powered control surfaces, so it belongs a bit closer to the L than to the G. Given G=26 and L=32, suggest J=30. The powered controls were a big boost in starting a turn, which is where the early model P-38's fell behind in head to head testing vs single engine fighters (P-40, P-47, P-51) - it held pretty well with them in turns after the slow start. These were the comments on the (previously posted) test documents with the P-38F or G (I forget) versus the P-47C, P-51B, and P-40 (forget which model).

Regarding other twin-engined fighters: The formula that was used seemed to do a good job overall, certainly for single-engine planes. It seems to me that there is a little more to aerodynamics than just the factors input to that formula - various shapes in various places make a big difference. This means that even though the formula did a good job, the door is always open for aircraft of designs that perform outside of the formula's predictions. Given the evidence available it is clear that the P-38 was one such plane. How many others were there? I simply do not know.

In general, while it is true that having two engines mounted on the wings requires more torque to roll than with one engine mounted centerline, there is a mitigating factor for many (or perhaps all) twin-engine fighters. On single engine fighters most of the weapons are wing mounted (I know some are not). In twin-engine fighters all weapons are centerline. In other words, when you go from a SE to a TE fighter, you double the engine weight and move it out to the wings, but you also take the weapon weight and move it in from the wings. Moving the weapon weight inward is a mitigating factor versus moving the (increased) engine weight outward.

Did the formula account for this? If not, then that is one justification for all TE fighters to get at least a small boost.

Aside from those two considerations (1-designs outside the capabilities of the formula, 2-weapons moving inward), I do not know if the modifiers for other Two-engine and four-engine planes is too severe or not.

quote:


It also has the effect of making Ki-45s much more viable in the fighter-bomber role and turns the Ki-93 into a real threat to Allied fighters ( which it would have been ).


I do not know about those particular airplanes so I must withhold comment.

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RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/16/2008 1:48:27 AM   
el cid again

 

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This is a complex subject - and we probably beat it to death within the limits WITP permits -

but - to start at the end -

Yes - there is a separate "nose .50" gun - not an RHS invention but inherited from CHS - which is the same bullet weight but greater accuracy (meaning ROF in WITP talk) - and the P-38 - having 4 of those - gets more boost than any other fighter (but not more than some amazing US bombers - which have as many as a dozen such weapons).

The above discussion confused torque and turning with angular momentum as the issue with a twin engine fighter. Indeed - a twin engine fighter need NOT have the problem - and RHS now has one of these - I think it is called Ki-62 - a plane with two CENTERLINE engines does not have the problem (neither would Pfiel - although it has a radically different centerline solution). But when the MASS of the engines is NOT on the centerline - you have a problem with conservation of angular momentum which no amount of aerodynamics or powered flaps can address: it is one reason a four engine plane is a dog at dogfighting (pun intended).

What WITP designers did - I suspect - was create a code creature called "fighter bomber"

then they classified 2 engine planes in two different ways

1) Bombers or transports were all divided by 2 - as in RHS

2) Fighters were NOT divided by 2 - but got classified as "fighter bombers" which could never be as good as fighters.

We went for a more consistent system - and we divide all 2 engine planes by 2 - but in the case of P-38 we classify it as a fighter -
and then we boost it for its nearly unique flap system. IF you boost for flaps - be sure to give the boost to the Ki-43 - both I and II -
both of which planes were grossly underrated - and not because armament or durability or range were wrong - but because maneuverability was way wrong. This plane was a technical surprise - and if the numbers do not show that somehow - it won't simulate properly.

It may be there was a different function in the original system: all 4 engine planes divide by 8 - while we use only divide by 4 - which we call "divide by number of engines" - but why the divide by eight has never been clear to me? The original system was a rough thing - and it is indeed hard to get a simple system to do well for all sorts of different aircraft. But the problem here is structural - we lack the kinds of maneuverability factors we need to do a good job - and it will never be right in every possible sense. It is simply impossible to show the relative advantages and disadvantages in a single number: P-38 had an admitted maneuverabilty problem - tactics had to take that into consideration - and if the right tactics were used it was actually better - while if not it was actually worse - than whatever composite value "should be" adopted. The same thing applies to many planes - which are not equal in vertical and horizontal nor at all altitudes nor at ROC - and indeed ROC is not the same at all altitudes - absoutely or relatively. Here we are afoul of a oversimplified system - and we cannot fix it beyond making things reasonable compromises - which must in my view include the flaws of P-38 - not ony virtues.

< Message edited by el cid again -- 3/16/2008 2:00:28 AM >

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RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/16/2008 2:21:24 AM   
Nemo121


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Cid,

What precisely are the differences between fighters and fighter-bombers according to the WITP code... Not in real life ( we all know that ) but in the code as thats what we're tryig to work with. Personally while I think roll rate definitely should be accounted for in the code ( particularly initial roll rate as that was one of the areas in which the FW-190 ruled supreme and we all know what a difference initial roll rate made there... same thing with the F-86/MiG thing in Korea ) I'm more interested now in just what the reason was for dividing by number of engines. If the formula gives a twin-engined plane a Mvr of 32 then why go dividing that by 2? At this rate the Ki-51 Sonia can outmanoeuvre the P-38 which is a bit silly.

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RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/16/2008 2:42:49 AM   
Mifune


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To answer part of this problem, in an effort to standardize by using formulas. We used what factors were readily available in reference books. Remember that the "manuever rating" is something of a misnomer to begin with.

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RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/16/2008 2:53:31 AM   
Historiker


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I still have some hundreds MB webspave with traffic flatrate left as well.
If needed, just ask...


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RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/16/2008 6:21:13 AM   
witpqs


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quote:

ORIGINAL: el cid again

The above discussion confused torque and turning with angular momentum as the issue with a twin engine fighter.


Torque is force applied in rotation. Angular momentum is momentum in rotation. Torque is applied to overcome angular momentum to make the plane roll. When an aircraft is made to roll, the control surfaces convert some of the force of the oncoming air into torque, which rolls the aircraft because it changes the angular momentum.

I did not go into it, but since you mention it in your post - larger control surfaces will generate more torque which will change the angular momentum more quickly. If the formula did not account for that, it could be one of the design issues that causes the performance of certain aircraft to lie outside of the formula results. BTW, control surfaces farther away from the centerline also generate proportionally more torque than those closer to the centerline, so even exactly where each surface is matters. Those details are way outside of my knowledge of these aircraft.

There was no confusion between torque and angular momentum in my post, nor do I assert it is "the issue" with a twin engine fighter.

Regarding engine torque, the P-38's two engines rotated their propellers in opposite directions, thereby canceling each others torque so there was no bias when rolling one way or the other. I presume that many twin engine fighters were designed that way.

Regarding the weapons, I addressed only placement and it's effect on angular momentum. Accuracy for centerline weapons should be higher as you say. The last time I looked at RHS, the P-38 had the exact same device for .50 cal machine guns as did those fighters with wing-mounted weapons. Obviously one or the other was wrong, or you ran out of devices. Similar considerations apply for the 20mm cannon - it should be a device with higher accuracy that that for wing-mounted 20mm cannon. I do not know what the weapons set is in Empires Ablaze so I had not commented.

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RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/16/2008 6:23:30 AM   
witpqs


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Nemo,

If you look in the AE Air thread you will find that they responded to my query about Fighter versus Fighter-Bomber to the effect that there is no difference when the FB is being used as a fighter. There is only a difference in how the FB behaves when it is carrying bombs. In other words, changing a plane from a FB to an F does not improve its air-to-air performance.

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RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/16/2008 6:30:14 AM   
witpqs


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Here is a photograph of the P-38 Lightning together with the prototype F-35 Lightning. Notice how small is the cockpit of the P-38. I've seen comments that it was among the most cramped of WWII fighter cockpits. Note too that the wingspan exceeds that of the modern/future jet fighter. Maybe some of these things contribute to the performance that it did achieve.



BTW, I realize that Sid wants a consistent formula and methodology. In my view the objective is an accurate portrayal of the various aircrafts' capabilities. Using a formula to get close, then making any fine adjustments warranted by historical information seems sensible and practical.






Attachment (1)

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RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/16/2008 7:51:08 AM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nemo121

Cid,

What precisely are the differences between fighters and fighter-bombers according to the WITP code... Not in real life ( we all know that ) but in the code as thats what we're tryig to work with. Personally while I think roll rate definitely should be accounted for in the code ( particularly initial roll rate as that was one of the areas in which the FW-190 ruled supreme and we all know what a difference initial roll rate made there... same thing with the F-86/MiG thing in Korea ) I'm more interested now in just what the reason was for dividing by number of engines. If the formula gives a twin-engined plane a Mvr of 32 then why go dividing that by 2? At this rate the Ki-51 Sonia can outmanoeuvre the P-38 which is a bit silly.


Not so silly - for it could.

The focus of air combat discussion on "maneuverabilty: by gamers (I am a simulator - a different breed entirely) is more silly:

it only matters in a tiny minority of cases. Worse - the factor named that in WITP is NOT maneuverabilty at all - and this leads to

almost hopeless confusion - because we are using the word - so people imagine it means - well "agility" - the ability to roll being

one example of several forms of that.

The game wanted the air combat routine to be very simple - here I mean the sub routine that says' "when plane A makes a firing pass at plane B, what is the chance it achieves firing position?"

this routine did NOT want to look at speed - cruising or maximum

it did NOT want to look at ROC

and yet it was felt SOMETHING had to be done about the relative ability of the two planes - attacker and target - to "change position in the sky"

A senior programmer (who was NOT there when this was designed - in the 1980s apparently - for another game) guesses that the original
"maneuverabilty" was PURELY speed. Some of the data works out that way - it is just speed / 10 - and that is the ONLY thing that is then considered.

I found other data suggested that it might be a composite value - speed / 10 plus ROC / something I forget - and it was marginally stronger - and anyway better - so we went with that approach - and then added other things to it - careful NOT to change the fact that SPEED is the dominant component of this wierd form of "maneuverabilty."

ROC is different at different altitudes - in a radical way. ROC is essentially zero at absolute cieling, it is 100 feet per minute (that is the definition for all aircraft) at service cieling - and it is usually maximum at take off (sometimes it increases for a while, then decreases). IF we use ROC at full altitude - it will be a non factor - so instead we use initial ROC - where it shows a clear advantage to good climbers. But it is not true that the plane really has that ROC at all altitudes. Nor is theoretical ROC what matters in a real fight - your energy state and altitude can be used to actually permit you to do things quite differently - and it simply must be beyond our analysis - but in my world (of air combat simulation) - we normally figure out exactly where the plane is in the sky - and all aspects of how it is moving.

Roll is one of those - and it is NOT a factor at ALL in WITP - CHS - RHS or any other system I know of. We ultimately did figure out that it is related to some things - one of them is wing loading- and we did put wing loading and power loading in as minority factors - to boost the better performing aircraft relative to the poor ones.

Number of engines is one of the few things we did NOT invent - just "reformed" - if to make it consistent is a reform. The orignal WITP system DID divide 2 engine planes by 2 (but was inconsistent - it ignored 2 engine fighters - even if it was the very same airframe - one as bomber - one as fighter). It also divided 4 engine planes by 8 - apparently in order to insure they were stable targelts almost impossible to hit. But I noticed this was close to a consistent factor - the number of engines - and as an experienced builder of algorithms I played with it - and the factor works better than the seat of the pants original system - at least in general. The reason it works is that it neatly accounts for the issue of conservation of angular momentum - which at several points a PhD explained to us - as also have I attempted to explain. Nothing you can do can more than mitigate the basic problem this represents: any attempt to NOT divide by 2 is far more flawed than a system that does so - inj the context of this particular admittedly simplified system. In lay English- if the mass of the aircraft is predominantly on the centerline - rolling the plane is far more practical - while if it is spread over a great distance - the "moment" for the heavy masses becomes a problem. One multiplies the mass times its distance from the centerline to find the moment.

Now with a single engine plane that has NO contra rotating props - the torque of a rotary engine tends to help it roll one way - but not the other. That is not a problem with reverse spin props on a P-38, or props that are contrarotating - as a Ki-62 - which perfectly balance the tendency of one engine on the centerline to want to spin the plane.

And Ki-51 is in important respects more "maneuverable" than a P-38 - just not in all respects. Our results mask good features with bad ones - because they are composit values. This MUST be the case where one value shows lots of things. The more factors we add to the forumula - the worse the composite effect becomes. And the P-38 case is an extreme one - because while it is superb in some ways - it is not in all way - and can never be with respect to some of the things we consider - such as conservation of angular momentum. That does not make it wrong to include it - and is why it was done in the game for 2 engine "target" planes (bombers, transports, everyting but fighters)>

Must go - will explain the other part later.




< Message edited by el cid again -- 3/16/2008 8:02:34 AM >

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RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/16/2008 9:29:04 AM   
el cid again

 

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OK - now for the other question: what is the meaning of the fighter bomber classification

The manual says it means a plane is not so good at being a fighter as a fighter is nor as good as being a bomber as
a bomber is.

It may be the thinking was this was for something like a Bf-110 - or a Ki-45 - planes that seem to do poorly relative to their
cost and performance - particularly in air combat. There is also a British example in this class that - if it had bombs - had
no trace of a bombsight (the pilots would line up two rivits on the nose with the target - if you can imagine that).

Regardless of what it was meant for - it is a weak modifier in the air combat routine - and it may be the code has changed its significance
over time. [I can tell what the relative value of a factor is by controlled testing]

And regardles of what it was meant for - it is not something I like in a theoretical sense. It is better - theory wise - to base your variable on something - and not an arbitrary thing. Consider the many cases of an aircraft with different roles: a Ventura (or a Ju-88) as night fighter is actually WORSE at maneuvering than it is as a bomber (there is more weight for weapons, and performance robbing primitive antennas). Yet in the original WITP system - you would treat this same airframe differently - because the fighter version would not be divided by 2 - but the bomber version would be. Ultimately a system using arbitrary values unrelated to physical reality is less corect - at least in simulation theory.

I try to avoid using the fighter bomber classification at all. But when a plane is a dog - e.g. the Ki-45 - I use it to help skew game resuilts in the direction I think is better. And when someone pointed out the P-38 was so classified - I removed it. P-38 is a strange creature - but it was designed to be a fighter - not a fighter bomber. Its success in the latter role is an accident of development history. In the beginning what USAAF wanted was a LOCAL air superiority fighter - and the power to get the performance desired was not possible on one power plant. They also wanted a lot of punch - and a nose free of engine - never mind propeller arms - was also a technical trick to get punch. They mounted a cannon and four heavy MG up there - and none of them had to sync with the propeller which was not there. The raw power of two engines always gave the plane speed and ROC - and over time they just used ever bigger engines to get more of the same. This was NOT a fighter bomber at conception - and its record hardly justifies using the classification as a penalty - which is how I use "fighter bomber" in WITP.

But I speculate that it is possible the original system intended this classification for P-38 as such: since they were NOT dividing by 2 (as they do for all other 2 engine aircraft not fighters) and since they knew that was "wrong" - that it was a problem in air combat - this may have been intended as a way to simulate the penalty rather than divide by 2. That way the 2 engine fighters would have clear superiority over 2 engine "target aircraft" (non fighters). It is crude - but typical of GG design style.

Overall - we in RHS in particular have become too analytical. We have by this means added many things that were never intended for WITP - but sometimes - and this is the premier example - we try to go farther than is possible in this system. Modding is above all an art of compromises - and what I like (or what you like) may not be universally loved. In this case - since the compromise involves do many desparate factors that at least MIGHT be included in "maneuverability" - there is no way to get a really satisfactory result. The frustration you feel is also felt by everyone else - it only varies slightly with point of view about what is "wrong" vs what? In fact ALL single engine planes are "more maneuverable" than all multi engine planes - the ONLY exception being centerline engine aircraft. It is a fact of physics. Similarly, all biplanes are more maneuverable than all monoplanes - if one thinks about maneuverability in horizontal terms. On the otehr hand, a faster plane is in a basic sense "more maneuverable" than a slower one - and in that sense - the original WITP system was dead on target. Similarly - a high ROC is an indicator of a different kind of maneuverability advantage. So is wing loading, so is power loading - but these are negative modifiers - they subtract rather than multiply - and the less loading you have - the less it detracts from basic performance - something most people have a hard time bending their minds around. In WWII the dominance of raw speed and also ROC began to emerge (and it continued big time in the jet age which followed) - yet it was never absolute: my own initiation to air combat saw US fighters of vastly greater cost losing EVERY air battle for 5 months running - and half the air battles of a long war - in spite of greater speed and ROC - because the enemy exploited better horizontal maneuverability to escape. [For a while we trumped that by using propeller driven A-1 Skyraider bombers as fighters- ironically escorting F-4 fighters acting as bombers] Absolute "this plane is better at air combat" is also not really a performance thing we can show in statistics alone: surprise and initiative and initial position matter far more - and win hands down in all eras. A dog of a loaded air transport has a 10:1 shot of surviving IF it spots the enemy fighter first - and it is very likely to do that - becuase it has more eyes lookinjg around the sky. There is more to the story than a strait up - both want to fight - both are closing - both are at the same altitude - both have the same skill. The biggest factor of all is - who saw whom first?


< Message edited by el cid again -- 3/16/2008 9:44:53 AM >

(in reply to el cid again)
Post #: 21
RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/16/2008 9:49:15 AM   
el cid again

 

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Yet another problem is that "historical air combat statistics" are not right or safe to use as a guide.

They are not the product of scientifically designed controlled testing. They are not complete. They are not even clear in many instances. I once did a study of the 1982 Falklands war - and to my surprise I was able to discover the fate of every machine - even two Harriers that probably killed each other - by hitting each other moving side by side in bad weather. But in spite of knowing "everything" from both sides and from forinsic evidence - there remain uncertainties - and the data is nothing like what I need to build an entirely correct air war model for the conflict. I need at least 30 - preferably more - instances of each kind of event - and I need complete confirmed knowledge of every outcome to do that. It is not possible in any air conlfict to have this sort of data.

Problems include but are not limited to:

1) You don't know what someone who didn't come back would report to you - most of the time. You may assume mechanical failure - but the plane may have been shot down (see the case of the Ki-76 en route to Germany - we can guess - but we do not know: whatever its fate - it is the only such plane and the event is not a statistically valid indicator of anything). Just because it was shot down does not tell us much: the vast majority of the time the plane shot down never even knew the shooting plane was there. It is more like a shooting problem at an amusement park than something our air combat routines can recreate most of the time: the performance matters no a whit if the pilot is not using it to get away. So we just don't have complete data - and if we did - I promise the totals would look a lot different then they do.

2) When you DO have a report from a participant, it is unreliable. He has a point of view - and only one point of view. He may not be telling the truth - who wants to admit "I screwed up and lost an expensive airplane - my crewmen - and my ability to believe I am the greatest"???
Air combat claims are ALWAYS inflated in all air forces in all eras - often grossly so - and lead to even outrageous claims (like 17:1 over Korea - which modern scholarly analysis with incomplete data can show must be false). A long war with vast numbers of sortees should be more statistically meaningful: and if it is Vietnam may be instructive: best data indicates USAF achieved no better than 1:1 by the end of the war - way up from infinity to 1 against us when air combat began (because we lost EVERY engagement). Now you will read other numbers - and hear passionate arguments about the matter - but that is the way we study it. As an eyewitness at the time - in operations centers on board ship - it certainly appeared to be grim. And the sorts of things that really happened are not the sorts of stories anybody but me will tell: they do not imply absolute American technical superiority in all things at all times. Things like using rocks and dynamite to bring planes down, using the OLDEST of the possible planes available because they were MORE likely to win against us than using newer - and faster - planes. Wht your intuition says - and what your pilots say - is not all there is to the story.

3) Air combat statistics are too broad. A "kill" is anything that is killed. A P-38 shooting down Adm Yamamoto in a two engine bomber-transport is just as much a kill as taking out a Zero is. But we do not konw how many "kills" are vs what? A great score can be run up by exploiting operational factors - hit them after a long - and unarmed- transit - when they are tired - out of gas - and unable to shoot back. [We even had propeller planes hunt jet fighters over Germany - not for combat like our routines would have it - but simply by hanging out watching for em to land - and then hitting them when they could not fight - but were strait and simple - and often unarmed - targets. Now this is as valid a kill as any other is - but it is not an indicator of which plane is better at air combat or which is more maneuverable in any sense at all.


I used to care for very expensive flight simulators - very elaborate things that have something like movie screens outside on which what you see is projected - and the whole thing moves - under such power the controls once broke the legs of a pilot "flying" one of them. Using such machines one can "fly" anything - even something that does not exist - or does not exist in our country - or in our time. We can learn things no pilot in old times could - and our pilots have practiced things like crash landings under conditions worse than they will ever have to deal with - so that any real crash will be within their experience curve. As a resident computer engineer on such machines, I got to the point I could fly anything - against anything else if we hook two of them up to simulate air combat. After a certain point - a person with enough experience no longer cares what he flies: you simply exploit what you have vs what they have. I can "proove" any plane you want can beat any other plane you want - but it is not meaningful - because it is not the plane that is in combat - it is the mind of the pilot. Ultimately air combat is about the same thing as any other form of combat: an enemy is not defeated until he is defeated in his mind, then he is defeated utterly. A flight of Argentine fighters took on a British helo in the Falklands - at that time NATO helo defense tactics were untested in actual combat - but after they failed to come close to hitting it - the four fighters gave up and went home. Helo pilots were told - on theoretical grounds - "face your enemy" - and as he comes in - move to the side. He will not be able to score - and with the weapons of that era - it turned out to be entirely true. Yet normally - by most lay analysis - a helo is nothing but a target to a combat jet. The idea it cannot even be hit would not occur to most people.

What we are trying to do is set up statistically average models - and to indicate to them relative indexes of performance of various aircraft. Some of the names of the fields are unfortunate - "accuracy" is not exactly accuracy - "maneuverability" either is not maneuverability - or it is an average of many kinds of maneuverability - at all altitudes - and it does not distinguish the meaning of things like "this is a biplane" - "this is a great preforemer at low altitude and a dog up high" - or a dozen other things I could name. UNLESS the composite values in these fields are AVERAGES of the strengths AND weaknesses of a plane - they are "wrong" in some theoretical sense. But there is no way to know when we get it right - and opinion of reasonable people may reasonably differ even if we come close.

< Message edited by el cid again -- 3/16/2008 10:15:32 AM >

(in reply to el cid again)
Post #: 22
RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/16/2008 10:24:09 AM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: witpqs

quote:

ORIGINAL: el cid again

The above discussion confused torque and turning with angular momentum as the issue with a twin engine fighter.


Torque is force applied in rotation. Angular momentum is momentum in rotation. Torque is applied to overcome angular momentum to make the plane roll. When an aircraft is made to roll, the control surfaces convert some of the force of the oncoming air into torque, which rolls the aircraft because it changes the angular momentum.

I did not go into it, but since you mention it in your post - larger control surfaces will generate more torque which will change the angular momentum more quickly. If the formula did not account for that, it could be one of the design issues that causes the performance of certain aircraft to lie outside of the formula results. BTW, control surfaces farther away from the centerline also generate proportionally more torque than those closer to the centerline, so even exactly where each surface is matters. Those details are way outside of my knowledge of these aircraft.

There was no confusion between torque and angular momentum in my post, nor do I assert it is "the issue" with a twin engine fighter.

Regarding engine torque, the P-38's two engines rotated their propellers in opposite directions, thereby canceling each others torque so there was no bias when rolling one way or the other. I presume that many twin engine fighters were designed that way.

Regarding the weapons, I addressed only placement and it's effect on angular momentum. Accuracy for centerline weapons should be higher as you say. The last time I looked at RHS, the P-38 had the exact same device for .50 cal machine guns as did those fighters with wing-mounted weapons. Obviously one or the other was wrong, or you ran out of devices. Similar considerations apply for the 20mm cannon - it should be a device with higher accuracy that that for wing-mounted 20mm cannon. I do not know what the weapons set is in Empires Ablaze so I had not commented.


There is a great deal of truth in most of these statements - but there is something far more profound:

you cannot really figure out how a plane is maneuvering UNLESS you get ALL the details of THAT PARTICULAR plane at that particular moment into the calculation. At Boeing - we did this - even for planes and missles not yet extent. We built the control surfaces - hooked them to whatever controlls them in a real plane - and then "fly" the apparatus in a computer. We change altitude, speed, name it - and we MEASURE the EXACT movement of the surfaces - and we know how big they are and where they are on the plane - so we then can calculate how they will change the flight of the plane in the air. NOTHING like this is possible for us here: we do not have comprehensive data on the control surfaces, and other physical data for every plane - just gross data - and some of that we must estimate. [We may know gross weight, empgy weight, maximum speed at sea level - and 20 other things - but we don't have all we need to do precisce calculations - which run to hundreds of perfoermance data points and thousands of physical layout / size data points for each machine. If we DID have all that data - we would NEVER be done doing WITP data entry - because it would take a couple thousand years to enter it all.]

It is perfectly true that P-38 engines spin were opposite - and I agree - this is likely SOP for a two engine plane - and not a source of trouble for them. What IS a problem is that the mass of the engines is far from the axis of the aircraft - so an aircraft of equal mass and power in which these masser were NOT on the wings would have an inherant advantage over P-38 in that respect. P-38 pilots in combat generally DID try to make a firing pass in a dive at great speed - which in a sense is a "maneuver" - and even "changing position in the sky" - but it isn't trying to out turn them. Given the powerful armament- and that a plane in a dive is even faster than it is on paper using level data - this was a very successful way to fight. It does not imply that a plane which knew it was under such attack would lose - and indeed surely it would usually not lose - because in all eras a plane that knows it is under attack is almost certain to survive any given firing pass. To the extent planes in WWII "cheated" - so that a fighter under attack could end up shooting down the attacker ON THAT PASS - it was planes like Oscar and Zero which were doing it - although there were Allied pilots who did that on some occasions - particularly after they learned they could out dive a light Japanese fighter. [Let him go past you - then come up behind him]

What we need is data that guides the air combat routine about RELATIVE OVERALL performance of aircraft. Not putting in engines is a mistake - which is why the original system had divide by 2 for 2 engine planes and divide by 8 for 4 engine planes. The exception they made for all 2 engine fighters was a mistake IMHO - but ultimately you may believe a Ventura night fighter is twice as maneuverable as a Ventura bomber if you want to - IRL is is slightly less maneuverable - and nothing I can say will change your mind.

.

< Message edited by el cid again -- 3/16/2008 10:50:30 AM >

(in reply to witpqs)
Post #: 23
RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/16/2008 10:53:58 AM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: witpqs

Nemo,

If you look in the AE Air thread you will find that they responded to my query about Fighter versus Fighter-Bomber to the effect that there is no difference when the FB is being used as a fighter. There is only a difference in how the FB behaves when it is carrying bombs. In other words, changing a plane from a FB to an F does not improve its air-to-air performance.


This might be what they said in the AE thread - and it might even be true in AE (but I doubt it)

but it is neither what the manual says

NOR what I can show in testing.

I can show a statistical difference in the same situation with the same plane - if run a statistical number of times both ways - classified as fighter and as fighter bomber.

Whatever they posted, in WITP and in fact, the manual is right: but the difference is not great - on the order of a few per cent.

(in reply to witpqs)
Post #: 24
RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/16/2008 10:57:56 AM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: witpqs

Here is a photograph of the P-38 Lightning together with the prototype F-35 Lightning. Notice how small is the cockpit of the P-38. I've seen comments that it was among the most cramped of WWII fighter cockpits. Note too that the wingspan exceeds that of the modern/future jet fighter. Maybe some of these things contribute to the performance that it did achieve.



BTW, I realize that Sid wants a consistent formula and methodology. In my view the objective is an accurate portrayal of the various aircrafts' capabilities. Using a formula to get close, then making any fine adjustments warranted by historical information seems sensible and practical.

And for the record - Sid agrees: with focus on "sensible and practical" we devised a modifier which is so far only used by two planes in the set -for special flaps - including all P-38 versions. So we did use the formula to get close - then we adjusted to get it more correct - and we also reclassified the aircraft (which I think WITPQS suggested as well) - and I tested both changes - and found both DID matter - but not enough to skew the plane to the point of NOT being reasonable. P-38 is not something you want to see on the screen as a Japanese player. It reminds me of what a combat Marine once told me about a .50 cal: "it sounds very good when it is yours, and it sounds very bad when it is theirs" IF reasonable is the standard- P-38 should be significantly better than any other multi engine it meets in any situation - and it should be competative with any enemy fighter it meets - in an overall sense. Overall sense means just that - not that it must have the highest statistic in every category. Since NO single engine fighter can EVER have the durability rating of a P-38 - it MUST have an edge there- and indeed the reason number of engines is a factor in durability is that it really is a factor. Nobody complains about that. It is true, it is fair - what more can you want than getting it right. But there is a price to pay for those engines out on the wings - and if they wanted not to pay it - they could have done - puttiing an engine in the front of a P-39 (it already had one in back driving by extension shaft) - and got a sort of American Ki-62. Since they did not do that - it is not fair to pretend they did.







< Message edited by el cid again -- 3/16/2008 11:02:45 AM >

(in reply to witpqs)
Post #: 25
RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/16/2008 12:41:44 PM   
Nemo121


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Cid,

You are using obfuscation and language to play games now. So let's focus on what we're actually trying to discuss as opposed to all the errors everyone else brings to the party.

1. Mvr means more than just sustained rate of turn. Given and obvious.

2. Twin-engined planes which don't have any adjustement made to their Mvr end up being ueber-manoeuvrable. So you divide by 2 and say that's better. I agree. On the other hand I think divide by 2 is excessive. It is a WAG ( Wild-ass guess ) you came up with and to defend it to the death as you are doing is highly questionable.

Personally I think that the divisor should be somewhere between 1 and 2. Currently I'm using inductive methods and am getting reasonable results across the range of twin-engined fighters/fighter-bombers when I use a multiplier of between 0.8 and 0.875. Obviously this should be applied to twin-engined bombers, night-fighters etc as well. I have no problem with A-20s and Frances' being pretty manoeuvrable since their low top speed will still make them easy meat.

quote:

The biggest factor of all is - who saw whom first?

Yeah, sure. If I'm a Stuka pilot flying towards a target in the English channel which is being LRCAPPED by a couple of squadrons of Hurricanes and Spitfires I'm really going to be delighted that I've seen them before they've seen me since my plane is SOOOO ueber-manoeuvrable and so long as I've seen them I can avoid them. No, oftentimes no matter if I see them first its my JOB to go where they are, push through their attacks and deliver ordnance on target. In that situation anyone who knows anything about the reality of things and doesn't go down the proverbial statistical rabbit-hole with Alice is going to realise that the Spitfires are likely to have a field day ( absent confounders such as 1,000 Me-109s flying escort or something equally "rabbit out of a hat"ty ).



Question:
How much better are fighter-bombers at naval strafing or ground attacks than fighters?

(in reply to el cid again)
Post #: 26
RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/16/2008 6:37:04 PM   
witpqs


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mifune

To answer part of this problem, in an effort to standardize by using formulas. We used what factors were readily available in reference books. Remember that the "manuever rating" is something of a misnomer to begin with.



I realize this and I have great respect for the work that you did. The ultimate would be if test data were available for all aircraft, then actual known data could be used. The second best approach is to use a formula, and modify it's results where historical information is available. Note that historical information does not mean merely combat results statistics (I have said this many times before but I keep getting wrongly credited with fanboy type nonsense). Third best would be a rigid formula where all formula results were accepted as gospel.

I and others have pointed out that it is impossible for a formula - any formula that we could use - to be so accurate in predicting the aerodynamic performance that we should adhere to it rigidly. It's inevitable that there will be outliers where the formula just fails to predict their actual performance. Given that it makes sense to use relevant historical information to modify the results of the formula where available and appropriate.

In addition, Nemo believes he has found reason to believe the formula itself should be modified because it over penalizes 2E and 4E aircraft. That last point I have no opinion on at this time.

We must also realize that while we might want to compare formula results, what really matters is how the code uses those results. For example, it's been identified that MVR ratings above 36 have a disproportionate impact. That one we know about. What else is in the formula that we don't know about?

When we see MVR of 30 versus MVR of 33 we think of that as a 10% difference. However, the code might use it in such a way that it has a 50% impact on results (all other things being equal). In our hypothetical example, IRL does a 10% difference beget 50% impact? The point is that the formula that gives us the MVR rating is only a very small part of the picture.

< Message edited by witpqs -- 3/16/2008 6:38:18 PM >

(in reply to Mifune)
Post #: 27
RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/17/2008 6:13:53 AM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nemo121

Cid,

You are using obfuscation and language to play games now. So let's focus on what we're actually trying to discuss as opposed to all the errors everyone else brings to the party.

REPLY Not sure I follow that - but I am sure you are sincere - and if it seems so - I don't mind your saying so. My skin is thick - and I do not require every perception to be the same as mine. But I NEVER deliberatly obsuscate - except maybe under pressure in a legal fight.

1. Mvr means more than just sustained rate of turn. Given and obvious.

REPLY Not sure why you say that - but we do agree - so I am with you so far.


2. Twin-engined planes which don't have any adjustement made to their Mvr end up being ueber-manoeuvrable. So you divide by 2 and say that's better. I agree. On the other hand I think divide by 2 is excessive. It is a WAG ( Wild-ass guess ) you came up with and to defend it to the death as you are doing is highly questionable.

REPLY Maybe. Maybe it isn't so wild. They used divide by 8 for 4 engine planes - and THAT seemed excessive. They used divide by 2 for 2 engine planes and divide by 1 for 1 engine planes - so it was not really my idea at all. I just cut out the exception for 2 engine fighters - and made 4 engine bombers consistent with the 1 and 2 engine case. It really is Matrix idea - I just cleaned it up. And further - since I have built air combat models for decades of a more complex sort - I must say I think it is a brillant concept on the part of GG - I can show it is indeed in the ball park - even for 3 and 6 engine cases.

Personally I think that the divisor should be somewhere between 1 and 2. Currently I'm using inductive methods and am getting reasonable results across the range of twin-engined fighters/fighter-bombers when I use a multiplier of between 0.8 and 0.875. Obviously this should be applied to twin-engined bombers, night-fighters etc as well. I have no problem with A-20s and Frances' being pretty manoeuvrable since their low top speed will still make them easy meat.

REPLY: I did propose square root - but no one liked it. I did play with it - and for 4 engine bombers it becomes 2 - and that seems excessive. It is still in the ball park though. The real reason it was not popular is that the P-38 maneuverability advocates still don't want to divide by 1.4. But I think that might be acceptable. Even if bombers and transports become more survivable - that is probably right. ANY plane is LIKELY to survive IF it knows it is being attacked - on any given pass it is a 10 to 1 shot it will maneuver enough to live. So while I tend to think "divide by number of engines" is closer - I think "divide by square root of number of engines" is also in the ball park - and I have only done suggestive tests to show it may not be quite as good - not statistically valid exhaustive tests. I am saying you might be right - and resubmitting a proposal I made on the board for your consideration.

quote:

The biggest factor of all is - who saw whom first?

Yeah, sure. If I'm a Stuka pilot flying towards a target in the English channel which is being LRCAPPED by a couple of squadrons of Hurricanes and Spitfires I'm really going to be delighted that I've seen them before they've seen me since my plane is SOOOO ueber-manoeuvrable and so long as I've seen them I can avoid them. No, oftentimes no matter if I see them first its my JOB to go where they are, push through their attacks and deliver ordnance on target. In that situation anyone who knows anything about the reality of things and doesn't go down the proverbial statistical rabbit-hole with Alice is going to realise that the Spitfires are likely to have a field day ( absent confounders such as 1,000 Me-109s flying escort or something equally "rabbit out of a hat"ty ).

REPLY: One plane vs many is not exactly an ideal or normal situation. The point remains - a Stuka pilot who actually SAW the enemy would probably not keep flying towards them - and if he did not - he has the initiative to engage or deny combat - because he had first contact. At first sighting planes are so distant there is a good chance they do not see you yet. It isn't maneuverability that matters though - it is time and distance. Even in the case where the pilot elects to close - he gets to pick the altitude - and that may be a significant factor. He may get to pick other things - like being up sun. The point remains - we are dealing with an exceptional case - and even if it is 1 vs 1 in classical dog fighting - the guy who had the initiative should have advantages (aside from the choice not to be in the fight at all).

I do have a point here: gamers think that air combat is about strait up relative maneuverability and firepower - but IRL it is not. Victory - both offensively and defensively - is NOT decided by the relative merits of the plane - and by an order of magnitude. Lots of things matter - but total focus on speed - ROC - turn rate - the whole some of maneuverabilty - is not the dominant thing people in these debates usually believe it is. I am not saying we don't want a fair and consistent rating system - rather the opposite: I oppose special cases unless there is a special cause - and I worked long and hard to get things fair and consistent in a relative aircraft vs aircraft sense. But when things to not work out for your pet airplane - instead of saying "the P-38 should have won" (it might be "the zero should have won") remember that the GG idea of letting die rolls modify the strait up situation - is right - and no plane should always win. I am pleased we no longer have uber cap - and there are almost always penetrators in RHS.


Question:
How much better are fighter-bombers at naval strafing or ground attacks than fighters?


I did not test that - just fighter bomber vs fighter ratings for air combat. But I believe the Forum and the Manual are likely right. IF the air combat data I gathered is right - it is about 3 per cent - in the range 2 to 5 per cent better for air combat in every test - never the same - never less.




< Message edited by el cid again -- 3/17/2008 6:29:42 AM >

(in reply to Nemo121)
Post #: 28
RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/17/2008 6:31:35 AM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: witpqs

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mifune

To answer part of this problem, in an effort to standardize by using formulas. We used what factors were readily available in reference books. Remember that the "manuever rating" is something of a misnomer to begin with.



I realize this and I have great respect for the work that you did. The ultimate would be if test data were available for all aircraft, then actual known data could be used. The second best approach is to use a formula, and modify it's results where historical information is available. Note that historical information does not mean merely combat results statistics (I have said this many times before but I keep getting wrongly credited with fanboy type nonsense). Third best would be a rigid formula where all formula results were accepted as gospel..


For the record - every statement here is correct - and we have no disagreement - and if anythign I said implied I think otherwise - it is not what I meant to say. I do NOT think WITPQS is unreasonable - in spite of intense disagreements he has had with me in this matter - and he DID say what he says he said.

(in reply to witpqs)
Post #: 29
RE: Empires Ablaze Scenario Feedback - 3/17/2008 6:35:45 AM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: witpqs

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mifune

.
In addition, Nemo believes he has found reason to believe the formula itself should be modified because it over penalizes 2E and 4E aircraft. That last point I have no opinion on at this time.

.



I think Nemo is in the range of reasonable opinion - and it might be a better thing to have a different function re number of engines. There are several ways to do it - the easiest is to apply a K - a constant multiplier. Another approach is to use a mathmetical function - as in square root. It is not obvious to me what the K or function should be? The original system used a K of 1 - that is number of engines - just not consistently - and I moved in that direction deliberately - and I like the result. But it is entirely possible another factor would be better. It is not easy to see how we can tell that? I do not have confidence in any sort of data enough to build a simple index or test. I could build complex models - but for 250 planes - it would take years.

(in reply to witpqs)
Post #: 30
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