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Aircraft armor

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All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> War in the Pacific: Admiral's Edition >> The War Room >> Aircraft armor Page: [1]
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Aircraft armor - 1/9/2013 6:48:04 PM   


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I am embarrassed to ask this having been playing this game for so many years but I have to admit I still don't really understand how aircraft armor works in the air combat model (maybe this is because I only play as Japan!).

For instance, my bomber force in Burma right now is made up of the unarmored Ki21IIa and the armored Ki49IIa. They both have the same durability rating (40) so I think these two are great for comparison. Obviously I try to fly them on missions where I can limit their exposure to allied fighters, but when the occasional CAP trap is sprung on me and I lose bombers it is hard to see where the armor really helps. How does it work exactly (in game of course, I know how it works in the real world)? Does it buff the durability rating? Does it increase the chance that a hit aircraft gets damaged instead of destroyed? Or does it simply reduce pilot deaths following their aircraft being destroyed (if so, armor would be of limited use in any offensive aircraft like a bomber because the "saved" pilots would just end up MIA anyway.. I know they sometimes do come back but that is besides the point)?

Finally, does the type of aircraft weapon effect armor? For example is one 20mm cannon (like in the Ki45) treated the same as 2 7.7mm mgs?

I have tried to look this info up on the forum (I would be surprised if it hasn't been brought up before) but could not find anything specific enough.

As per my example with the Ki21 vs armored Ki49 they just seem to die just the same when under attack from enemy fighters.

< Message edited by Dora09 -- 1/9/2013 6:49:47 PM >
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RE: Aircraft armor - 1/9/2013 10:57:30 PM   

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All weapons have a penetration value. This is an indication of your chances to defeat armor. Remember there are no armored aircraft. Armor means protection for vital areas such as sealing fuel tanks and some pilot protection. I would also say that is also represents that some planes are tougher than others-especially Allied planes.

Armor does affect survival. It is not dramatic but it helps. It also affects combat in that I have noticed that US fighters with an armor factor will take some damage and still remain in combat while virtually all unarmored Japanese fighters will break off the mission as soon as they take any damage.


I am the Holy Roman Emperor and am above grammar.

Sigismund of Luxemburg

(in reply to Dora09)
Post #: 2
RE: Aircraft armor - 1/9/2013 11:22:05 PM   


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Essentially you will have a difficult time destroying "armor 1" planes with rifle calibre MG's as there's no guarantee your hits will do any real damage. This is only really a problem for the IJAAF/IJN as most allied planes other than a few starting models are quite well armed with multiple heavy MG's at least.

The common aircraft weapons are light MG, Heavy MG and 20mm cannon. The light MG has a penetration of 1, Heavy MG of 2 and 20mm of 3. Heaviers guns have a much higher chance of actually doing damage with each hit and will do more damage (this is based upon the 'effect' rating however not the penetration.) I'm afraid I don't know the formula or odds of penetrating armored planes (I doubt anyone does) but the jump between 1 (LMG) and 2 (HMG) is significant and 20mm cannons will tear things apart.

Try comparing the Oscar 1a and the 1c in combat, only difference is the bigger MG's but it makes a massive difference when fighting allied planes.

(in reply to crsutton)
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RE: Aircraft armor - 1/10/2013 2:12:07 AM   


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Thank guys. I always was under the impression that the "penetration and effect" values for aircraft guns only were used in terms of anti-shipping (naval attack missions). It is good to know they have meaning for air to air engagements. The heavier guns are obviously better but I wasn't sure if that was working only on the durability rating alone. Also, i was unsure if the individual types of guns were modeled or if it was just the collective "gun value" that was used in the air combat model. This is why I brought up 1x 20mm cannon vs 2x7.7mm mg. Both would equal a gun value of 4 so I always wondered if they were treated the same even though they would have different effects on say a B17 in real life. If the penetration and effect are utilized then it would make more sense. For example is the Ki45Ia with 1x20mm and 2x12.7 (gun value 10) better against B17s than Ki44IIa with 2x7.7mm and 2x12.5mm (gun value 10). In my experience in my current game it does seem like the Ki45 is better but in the past it was hard to say. I know there are a lot of other variables (ie pilot skill etc.) that effect all of this so it is hard to evaluate I guess.

It seems with the Japanese bombers armor doesn't make much of difference but maybe that is becasue allied fighters are all so heavily armed.

So it sounds like armor just gives a second (and distinct) die roll to avoid being destroyed after a successful kill hit on that aircraft.

(in reply to Saros)
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RE: Aircraft armor - 1/10/2013 10:10:47 AM   

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Also keep in mind that accurancy has a great impact on guns performances in a2a combat.

Take the Hispano Cannon for example. Put it in the centerline (like the P-38) and it's deadly. Put 4 of them on the front wings (like on the Hurricanes) and it becomes not better than 6 50cal guns.
That's why the KI-45 is a very good plane for the 1942/43 japanese air army. it only has 1 20mm Ho-5 cannon, but it's placed in the centerline and, when it hits something, it really does!
To be honest i'd prefer to have a single CL 20mm Ho-5 cannon than 4 99type 20mm cannons on the wings

To get back on track, never look at the gun value: it's misleading! The real values you have to combine togheder are Effect, Penetration and accurancy (which changes a lot if "F" or "CL")

(in reply to Dora09)
Post #: 5
RE: Aircraft armor - 1/10/2013 3:03:24 PM   


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Thanks GreyJoy.

I had this suspicion for a long time that only the gun value was used in the model which was depressing to me. It is good to know that there is more to the actual weapons used.

(in reply to GreyJoy)
Post #: 6
RE: Aircraft armor - 1/12/2013 10:06:37 AM   
CT Grognard


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Good posts everyone.

Having centreline armament doubles the accuracy for a given device.

Actual gun values should be calculated on the basis of accuracy and effect (you need to be able to land the round on the target to have an effect). As such, something like the Japanese 37mm Type 98 cannon is utterly useless (only a 3% hit chance, 6% if centrelined!).

Looked at from that perspective, the finest Japanese air armament is the 20mm Ho-5 cannon.

Effective gun values for some Japanese fighters:

A6M2 Zero - 3.92
Ki-27b Nate - 2.16
Ki-43-Ia Oscar - 2.16
Ki-43-Ib Oscar - 2.82
Ki-43-Ic Oscar - 3.48
Ki-44 Tojo - 3.9
Ki-45 KAIa Nick - 5.56
Ki-84a Frank - 5.72
Ki-83 - 7.08

Now here are some disappointments:

A7M2 Sam - 3.68
A7M3-J Sam - 3

Compare this with the P-40E Warhawk (5.22), the P-39D Airacobra (5.28) and the P-38E Lightning (9.04!).

(in reply to Dora09)
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RE: Aircraft armor - 1/12/2013 11:00:53 PM   

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To see how the above table compares to real life,

An excellent site, Emmanuel Gustin & Tony Williams have spent years on this topic


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(in reply to CT Grognard)
Post #: 8
RE: Aircraft armor - 1/13/2013 12:30:02 AM   


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Thanks guys. Lots of amazing information. I am always impressed with the responses I get from you all on these forums.

(in reply to JeffK)
Post #: 9
RE: Aircraft armor - 1/18/2013 1:49:17 AM   


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Wait the number given in the plane stats as accuracy is a pure % chance to hit? How is this modified by things like defence/air skill then?

(in reply to Dora09)
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RE: Aircraft armor - 2/11/2013 11:37:15 PM   


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I imagine those things help prevent a pilot from even being shot at.

(in reply to Saros)
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