From: Alien spacecraft
Guys, who's to say what a 'trained' pilot is? Anyone done combat testing of different skill and experience levels to such extent as they can honestly say they know what an effective training level is?
I sure can't. I train my Jap guys to 70 skill and send them into the fray. They'll do what they do.
I go by the old school method (from past wargames, like the original Steel Panthers and the 8 bit games based on a normal scale of 10-100 (or 99) Steel Panthers expanded on this by having a system of 10 to 140.
I'll use some specific past examples per the game manuals:
War in Russia (the original)
Normal conscripts (untrained) of new units built started with exp 10. They auto trained up to a max value of 50. After that they can only gain experience through combat.
an exception to this was Ger side, up to a set date (up to end 1942 IIRC). New units built at exp 70. This was done to represent a decently/well trained cadre of soldiers that could be tapped (from whatever given source) After the expiration date, they built at exp 10 as Soviet. This prevented the Ger side from losing exp too fast. A similar system was in USAAF only for the US player. Their 'replacement' pilots came in at 2/3rds the exp level of the gaining unit whilst the Ger side gained replacements at 10% of the exp level of the gaining unit so their exp levels would drop faster if they suffered heavy losses. This rule was in place to represent the larger more lengthy training period of the incoming US pilots. System worked well......as initially (1943) the US side would suffer heavy losses but their exp levels wouldn't drop too much below 50 unless the unit in question kept getting slaughtered.
WiR considered any unit at exp level 80 to be elite. At this level on the Soviet side, the unit became a "Guards" unit.
Steel Panthers designated exp levels as follows (including WAW)
10-49 - Green/untrained/partially trained
50-69 - trained but green (aka little to no combat based on actual value. 50 for example is fully trained...no combat exp. 60 would be halfway to veteran and unbloodied but fully trained)
70-99 "Veteran" (trained and experienced)
Personally i always felt it was a shame that scenario designers were so conservative in assigning values so the 100+ were rarely if ever used. One exception was Bill Wilder who's views on HMG effective led him to create scenarios where those units had 100+ exp to make them more effective prior to later patches of WAW. Another chronic problem was that every nation....minor or major had at least one "Champion" who complained loudly that their nation (men) were not fairly represented so alot of scenarios were reworked so that almost everyone had near identical exp levels. (between 60 and 75) Making the game very generic. A symptom of the age of the Internet IMHO. Some designers/devs felt that it was more "historical" to reprsent better armies/units via their leader skill ratings.
PacWar was pretty much the same.
scale 10-99. 50 was considered fully trained. 70 veteran/very well trained. 90+ elite
Training in pacwar from 10 to 50 generally took 6 months of game time which matched latewar USN estimates for graduates. PacWar's advantage over WitP was that you couldn't exploit the model with "training by combat" missions. The weekly turns prevented this tactic so players had to use the actual "training" mission or else commit the partially trained units to combat by necessity. Japan's downward curve on the exp graph was well represented.
My take on UV/WitP/AE training issue is that op losses never matched the exp ratings presented thus allowing the exploit. My reasoning was, if you put me into a combat plane (definately exp level 10) and i try to fly a bombing mission against even an empty base. Assuming i get off the ground my odds of not dying are low because i've not only never piloted an aircraft, its doubly difficult to handle a high performance aircraft (vs. say a trainer)
So if this were fully represented....anyone who put exp 20 or 25 pilots any type of combat mission should suffer heavy operational losses so prohibitive that its not a viable tactic. But in original WitP/UV, it was. AE improves things, but one can still forgo training missions largly. I remain of the view that a game of this scale should never attempt to represent indiv pilots. What's next? representing soldiers and their skill sets? Oy!
AE hasn't changed things so much nor have i seen combat results to make me think differently re: the exp levels. There was a deliberate dumbing down of certain exp levels on the reasoning that excessive results were being generated by said very high exp values. Similar reasonology was used for future versions of SP:WAW.