From: What is left of Spain after the Socialists...
7. Helo refuel and refit: designate specific hexes along the map border for helos to move to and stay for specific numbers of turns to get refurbished. If you try to move before refit pop a warning box up.
That could be a possible solution, but I find it also problematic. For example:
a) if you make the specific hexes on the map border fixed, after playing the scenario for a couple of times, or opening it with the editor, everybody will know were the enemy has to set down their helos. You just have to set one off-map artillery battery for tree barrage neutralizing fire-missions against these hexes, and sooner or later you can kiss goodbye your helos. (I shake at the effect of a real-life barrage fired by battery of eight 152mm howitzers during a refuelling/rearming operation. Talk about fireworks.)
b) if you make the specific hexes random, and tell their position to the player at the start of the game, you may end up having very unrealistic hexes for refuelling helos. Refuelling in a hex river, in the middle of a forest, or in a city hex. You see the trend. The problem with this approach is that in real-life, excluding emergencies, nobody will refuel and rearm that close to the edge of the battle area. That's not the way it works in real life.
My approach would be different:
1) Abstract approach (More realistic):
- Give the option at the start of the game to have helo-operations abstracted, as with the other air units.
- If the scenario has a helo counter, and the user wants the abstract option, then have the program automatically remove it and set it as a unit in the air unit menu.
- Then have the player call them as an air unit. The difference would be they have a larger search area (6 hexes instead of 2), and they have a slower recycle time (insteead of 20-30 min for air-units, make it 40-60min).
2) On-Map approach (Less realistic):
- If the user selects the on-map approach, the counter will appear on map as a normal reinforcement unit during the game, or at the start of it, depending on scenario design.
- Change the SOP option for helos to cover more autonomous options. For example: Search and destroy on designated area, or stealth recon a specific area, etc. A helo can do many things in half an hour, and its not too realistic to have it follow wayponts.
- Once the helo counter has spent a number of turns in the map (no more than 1.5-2 hours), have it pop a message box saying it's leaving the battle area.
- If the battle is long enough, have them return after a given number of turns.
My magic words for the developers are these : Please, oh please. Consider some of this ideas. Please, please, please. :-)