Well the conversation started pretty arrogantly So you know from which I speak from .. I was a systems architect for Lucent Technologies ..solving software problems was a way of life :) I have never flown fighter jets, but I do understand math, systems thinking, and programing algorithums
I think a minor step in the right direction would be very doable and worthwhile .. simply abstract intercept like the ol' Luftwaffe game .. first base crossed initatates detection/ intercept as per the current rules with current leaky CAP/LRCAP rules. That is the first base crossed becomes a "target" for intercept purposes
The ramifications of the current system means concentrating aircraft at potential targets and generating huge furballs ... which also taxes the current system .. . games like Greyjoy vs. Radier stopped because of these furballs ....If I know I at least get a crack with my early CAP .. I use them on defense rather than focus on sweep or whatever to get an offensive operation in ...
Anyway there are lots of constraints that keep this engine from being an historical similation and no amount of home rules is going to get players to get this game to act as a similator ..so .. I gleefully accept this is an excellent game!
I'm not a systems architect but I can see a lot of ways this could be gamed too. If as the attacker I send a 2-plane element to max range I can trigger every CAP package on the way and use up defender op points doing nothing useful. Or, as the defender, I have my carefully rendered CAP to protect my vital whatever base go galivanting off in a tail-chase on faster transiting bombers, leaving the base they're supposed to protect naked.
I also think witpqs brings up an excellent point. Neither side had integrated air defense systems with real time comms to alert downstream bases of approaching strikes. This isn't the ETO or Germany.
You could probably put in ways to constrain each and every air unit on each turn to prevent these sorts of ploys, but pretty soon it becomes Bombing the Empire and not a 3D balanced game of naval/land/air. Not every theater is Burma either. It's a dense case.
Hmmm Interesting .... I can buy that detection at the target makes a more interesting game. One premise I might disagree with is the thought of "ETO or Germany". I believe a problem is that we look at Scenario #1 to compare history, and then play scenario #2, which is nothing like history. So for the games that have lasted to 1944, like Rader vs. Greyjoy you get a situation of having to defend targets rather than paths to targets. Thus the cloak and appear at a target becomes a real problem.
My thoughts on a more dynamic interception algorithm are based on my AH Luftwaffe experience, which I enjoyed and thought was a 1/2 way decent Operational portrayal. That game presented the defense with many options including defending forward.
The current model works for CV's because there was rarely detection beyond the target. However, the model breaks down when you have multiple base targets possible and the defense has to cover a wide range giving the offense a real advantage.
Things like 2 plane gamey moves are solvable by algorithms such as probability outcomes based on % of strike package. That is all platforms in the AO are considered for intercept by platforms on LRCAP to that range. Then calculate P((package) / package + rest of platforms in the area)) for each strike package. Move interceptors one hex in that direction. Allow for react into an adjacent hex .. do this until combat done. This would cause multiple intercepts and multiple results. I believe in simulation this produces a series of combats rather than one big furball over a target. In my vision the battle looks like the current surface actions I see with react set .... with some additional constraints such as probability to intercept based on package size ... However, you might be right Moose that using the WitP Ship model and modifying it will not work because of scalability of the numbers of air platforms and the use of small packages. We do stress the ship system with 1 ship TF's ....
Ok .. .good post Moose ...
A lot of ways into this post. Let me try to group . . .
Scen 1 vs Scen 2. I agree 2 is ahistorical, but nothing in the differences is tactical air combat related. Scen 2 has resource windfalls, more DDs, extra LCUs, and a different pilot replacement model, but A2A is no different between them.
ETO vs. PTO. You simply can't adopt German air defense norms to the PTO. Germany had a continental defense problem. They had connected, land-line comms, not Morse-code tactical nets vulnerable to Pacific weather or as slow as Morse is. They had radar. They had dense flak zones over heavy urban environments. The AE designers had to devise air algorithms that work not only for Burma and CV vs. CV, the extremes of the distribution, but also for island chains such as the Marianas or the gaggle near Timor. You can't hand-wave fighter-direction infrastructure into place for Japan. They didn't have it. Handing off repsonsibility for a transitting Allied strike wasn't possible in the way it was for Germany, or even GB in the Battle of Britain. The geography, hardware, and C&C didn't exist in the Pacific. Every CO at every island with some CAP had to decide what to do on his own. Some of them were near help, as in dense Burma. Some of them were out on a limb alone, as at Marcus I. All of them had to assess the size and composition of the passing raid with very imperfect information.
Game phases. To really do what you propose you need to give the game, and the planning player, visibility and control intra-phase to time slice the strike phasing. So each package passes by each possible interception base in sequence, with interception decisions made in hourly sequence and the results of those (fuel, ammo, damage, pilot fatigue) carried forward in data structures to be used in later phase slices. The game isn't built that way. The 12-hour phases are deeply embedded in multiple algorithms. Sweeps and strikes get sequenced based on randoms and interactions behind the scenes based on multiple stats, but that's it. A 12-hour phase is the operating "chunk", not hours or fractions of hours as you would need in some geographies such as the HI in air-defense terms. The flight times between some HI bases is minutes, not hours.
Player workload. You could devise an interface to get very granular in player orders to do all this, and some games which are purely strategic bombing games have such interfaces. But as above, they are designed fundamentally to play the air game, not a five-year integrated air/land/sea operational-level macro game. If players had to not only worry about point-defense of bases as now, but also insert sensitivty inputs to allow degrees of freedom for mid-transit intercepts by their CAP, the per-turn planning would become immense, especially in the late war. And there would still be randoms, leading to even more frustration by the ADHD player crowd when their fighters "didn't do what I told them to do!"
Interesting topic, but I think the devs considered point defense versus alternatives and went that way for good reasons. Our system isn't perfect, but I think with LRCAP and range spinners it gives players about all the flex most can handle on a per-turn basis. Make a day turn take 4-5 hours to input and people stop playing the thing.
< Message edited by Bullwinkle58 -- 5/15/2013 3:42:31 PM >