From: Oakland, California
However, there are only two kinds of people who play computer games, control freaks and adrenal freaks. The latter are off playing Doom, so I have to write games for the former. A truly 'realistic' game would frustrate the players so much, we could only sell to people who lived on the first floor, for fear of the fall. As theatre commander, the player could only give general, written orders and there would at least a day of two delay before the subordinate commanders would receive and decode the orders could start working up a plan to execute them. The subordinate would often misinterpret the orders. The player most likely would not hear anything for several days, and would then receive reports based on the Intel of the subordinate. So, the icons on the map would usually be in the wrong locations, the numbers of planes at the bases would be out of date, positions and compositions of the task forces would be out of date, he might not hear anything at all from a subordinate for several more days, as he waited to find out what happened. And, even then the reports received would be the inaccurate guesses of the subordinate, flavored by his own prejudices and fears.
Past experience with this series has shown that as supreme commander of all allied or Japanese forces on half the planet, players wanted specific and individual control over every airplane, every tank and every infantryman digging a latrine. The most common 'bug' report I have received has traditionally been that subordinate commanders took self initiative, disobeyed orders or did not do what the player thought he intended to order them to do.
Until now, if a target is socked in, the group turns around and comers home. This new rule simulates the existence of secondary, tertiary targets or targets of opportunity and gives the player a greater control over what targets of opportunity might be attacked. The new radio rule also allows the player to manually abort missions, in case he decides to run away and wants the aircraft to get back to the carrier. It allows him to change altitudes as the weather changes. It gives him a greater degree of control over the flights. Even if not used, I believe most players will want the option to have that control.
Players who have continually complained that their strike went after a tanker and a destroyer and not the carrier task force clearly showing on the map will now be able to manually direct the strike to that carrier task force and not blame my artificial intelligence. Of course, once the strike gets there and attacks a seaplane tender and two patrol boats which had been incorrectly identified, they may still suffer come angst. And, they will learn that the Japanese and some allied commanders (and some players) intentionally had screening forces travel in front of the carrier task force, so that enemy strikes would attack them instead.
As far as being able to radio flights and change orders, I talked with Joel Billings about that very issue, just today. There are disadvantages to so doing. The first is that a radio message may increase enemy detection of the flight or carrier sending the message. Too much time on the radio and the enemy will know exactly where your carrier is and where your flight is and is headed. The second is that new targets have had no preparation for attack and attacks against them will not fare so well. The third is that the flight in question may not have proper ordnance or enough fuel to accomplish the new mission or attack the new target and will abort the attack, anyway. These are some of the main reasons that carrier commanders did not talk a lot with the strike commanders. But, they could have and so we have added the option.
Hope this helps clarify my logic...
ORIGINAL: Mike Wood
Each type of bombing has unique code and is handled differently. Some are more accurate, undergo more or less anti-aircraft fire, are more useful against shipping or land based targets and when combined with the different out loads cloud base, cloud density and aircraft airspeed should take a while for the players to learn what attacks they feel are the optimal for any particular aircraft in specific weather conditions with a crew of a given experience level. As conditions change, the player can radio the flight and change orders, although so doing may allow enemy radio interception to increase detection level.
This does not seem very historical and strikes me as being very "gamey". I have been trying hard to think of a time when a Superior used a radio to change strike orders of the on scene commander. I can think of no such example.
I do not think any on scene commander leading a strike group would ever listen to someone back at base about how to conduct the tactics on scene. This strikes me as being over controlling.