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Night Fighters and how to fix them...

 
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Night Fighters and how to fix them... - 6/15/2008 8:23:34 AM   
sjohnson

 

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It turns out that if you give night fighters an airborne radar device with penetration of 500, they actually work; otherwise night fighters appear to behave not much different than day fighters flying at night.

Set up a test - created three types of C6NS Japanese night fighters.
1) Standard C6NS
2) C6NS with an airborne radar version of the Type 13 radar front mounted
3) C6NS in a day fighter variant

Placed 3 20plane groups of each type of fighter in Sasebo. Cleared Sasebo of all units except for an aviation regiment to provide support. All same exp 70; morale 70.

Placed 5 B29 groups (48 planes each) in Chungking with a USAAF HQ and 300,000 supplies. Set B29s on City attack, night, naval shipyard in Sasebo.

TEST SERIES ONE
Only Standard C6NS set on night ops, LRCAP (100%). 60 planes total flying; all other groups stood down.
Ran five tests, randomized by issuing new orders to other units on map.
Planes in mission Damages (kills) in air to air combat
Run B29 C6N B29 C6N
1 123 46 5 3
2 125 33 4 3
3 117 50 9 6
4 133 42 6 4
5 160 41 11 5

TEST SERIES TWO
C6NS groups with radars set on LRCAP 100%, 60 planes total CAP available, all other groups stood down.
Ran five tests...
Planes in mission Damages (kills) in air to air combat
Run B29 C6N B29 C6N
1 95 34 34 16(1)
2 158 41 29 25
3 137 50 37(1) 23(1)
4 132 55 44(1) 37
5 143 50 44 23

TEST SERIES THREE
C6NS day fighter version set on night ops, LRCAP 100%; 60 planes total CAP available; all other groups stood down.
Ran three tests...
Planes in mission Damages (kills) in air to air combat
Run B29 C6N B29 C6N
1 95 34 6 2
2 160 30 3 5
3 117 50 5 2
At three tests it is obvious that probably about 25-30 runs would be required to determine if any meaningful statistical variation actually exists between "Night Fighters" and "Day Fighters Flying at Night" so I stopped.

Thought some folks might find this interesting.
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RE: Night Fighters and how to fix them... - 6/15/2008 8:28:59 AM   
sjohnson

 

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didn't post well.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by sjohnson -- 6/15/2008 8:37:59 AM >

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RE: Night Fighters and how to fix them... - 6/15/2008 10:00:41 AM   
JeffroK


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Test series 1 seems to be close to IRL

Test 2 has too many attacks by the NF, and probably attrit the NF too fast.

Test 3 would also approach IRL.

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RE: Night Fighters and how to fix them... - 6/15/2008 2:56:05 PM   
Terminus


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I think you should do that test again with a proper, radar-equipped night fighter, and not a kludged one, and then compare the results.

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RE: Night Fighters and how to fix them... - 6/15/2008 2:56:36 PM   
Terminus


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And night fighters didn't work too well by themselves, you know.

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RE: Night Fighters and how to fix them... - 6/15/2008 4:19:33 PM   
m10bob


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Did not always work too well even with a radar "leader plane" to guide them.
Butch O'Hare lost his life during one of those night missions.

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RE: Night Fighters and how to fix them... - 6/15/2008 9:00:11 PM   
Nikademus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Terminus

And night fighters didn't work too well by themselves, you know.


Not intially and not often. Excluding the air war over Germany, which ultimatly became more deadly for Bomber Command @ night vs. the Eighth AF by day. However there the Germans didn't just use radar equippped fighters but were supported by an entire air defense network. Most average result of indiv. NF efforts was zip. A single kill was the next most common and it helped alot to have radar. I suspect that a substantial % of night time op losses may have involved NF's of both sides. Scoring multiple kills in a single night was very rare. Rare enough that when it happened, awards might be handed out, such as in the case on 13Jan43 when a Beaufighter, operated by a veteran team of Flt. Sgt. Arthur Pring and Wt. Ofc. Cyril Prang (radar operator) shot down 3 x K-21's near Khulua. This was considered an "outstanding" achievement and the two men were immediately awarded a DFM and DFC. Prior to their posting to the Burma theater the team had operated over Egypt and Malta were they had been credited with 3 kills during their night missions.

"3" kills over time was thought to a "considerable success"

In general, multi crew planes seem to be the best platforms....esp if they have airborne radar with a dedicated operator. Ground control helps still further. The Japanese were limited largely to single engine day fighters harnessed for night ops. Largely hit or miss but they too had their occasional successes. On Feb29, 44 2 x B-24's were shot down by a pair of Ki-43's operating at night, aided by searchlights over Rangoon.


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RE: Night Fighters and how to fix them... - 6/15/2008 9:11:48 PM   
Terminus


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The point I was trying to make is that night fighters were less than optimal until they got the support of a fully integrated network, as Nik mentioned.

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RE: Night Fighters and how to fix them... - 6/15/2008 9:26:59 PM   
sjohnson

 

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I guess my main points, outside of just innate curiousity, are the following:

1)  The night fighters that actually carry airborne radar (all Allied); based on other testing, the radar seems to have no effect unless the Penetration is set to 500.  I will rerun these when time permits and post.

2)  As such, without any special detection "device"; night fighters appear to behave little different than day fighters flying at night - except maybe for ops losses which I haven't tested.

As far as how effective they should be, I have no clue.  I am not sure what a fair #of intercepts should be per sortie.  Looking at German NF intercepts vs. Bomber Command might be a good start.  I would not expect the Japanese to be anywhere near that though.

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RE: Night Fighters and how to fix them... - 6/15/2008 9:41:04 PM   
Nikademus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: sjohnson

I guess my main points, outside of just innate curiousity, are the following:

1)  The night fighters that actually carry airborne radar (all Allied); based on other testing, the radar seems to have no effect unless the Penetration is set to 500.  I will rerun these when time permits and post.

2)  As such, without any special detection "device"; night fighters appear to behave little different than day fighters flying at night - except maybe for ops losses which I haven't tested.

As far as how effective they should be, I have no clue.  I am not sure what a fair #of intercepts should be per sortie.  Looking at German NF intercepts vs. Bomber Command might be a good start.  I would not expect the Japanese to be anywhere near that though.


Don't get me wrong. Its an interesting discovery, game-wise. Thx for taking the time to post it.

Looking at the charts, the main problem i would be concerned about, again, "game-wise" is that too many aircraft might engage as a result if the radar "works" better. The "typical" NF mission tended to be small. The majority being singular aircraft patrolling an assigned patrol vector......no "mass" formations of NF's. Besides being hazardous, so many birds in the air, even with IFF might confuse the radar operator. Another reason why interceptions to loss ratio tended to be very small.....with an individual kill on a given night being considered successful. In the case over Germany, you'd see many more NF's patroling but over the entire area that a bomber stream was operating so losses in terms of cumulative effect would be higher.

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RE: Night Fighters and how to fix them... - 6/15/2008 9:47:00 PM   
sjohnson

 

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No worries, I agree wholeheartedly that the radar could be made too good.  Just an interesting find that in its current state it seems not to work at all, which then again doesn't surprise me too much.

I think I may when time permits try radars with different "effect" and "range" values to see what their effect is as well as set up a radar network of Type 13s on the ground to see what, if any, guidance they give to the night fighters.

By the way, Nik, I forgot to mention the mod is CHS 158 Nik Mod.


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RE: Night Fighters and how to fix them... - 6/15/2008 10:35:33 PM   
Dili

 

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Besides to much or too few kills IRL case what this shows is that NF like they are today are not much diferent than a plain day fighter. I think that is a problem.

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RE: Night Fighters and how to fix them... - 6/16/2008 8:32:44 PM   
panda124c

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nikademus


Looking at the charts, the main problem i would be concerned about, again, "game-wise" is that too many aircraft might engage as a result if the radar "works" better. The "typical" NF mission tended to be small. The majority being singular aircraft patrolling an assigned patrol vector......no "mass" formations of NF's. Besides being hazardous, so many birds in the air, even with IFF might confuse the radar operator. Another reason why interceptions to loss ratio tended to be very small.....with an individual kill on a given night being considered successful. In the case over Germany, you'd see many more NF's patroling but over the entire area that a bomber stream was operating so losses in terms of cumulative effect would be higher.


A way around this would to make all Night Fighter units have a max of say 12 A/C this should give you a more realist intercept rate.

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RE: Night Fighters and how to fix them... - 6/17/2008 2:55:31 PM   
Bogo Mil

 

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I see one big problem that modification: Too many night fighters are damaged. I think it is not realistic, that ca. 50% of them are hit - those bombers don't have radars themselves, do they?

If it is possible to make the NF much harder to hit (maybe huge maneuverability?), it could be possible to "fix" them. They should have a very short range (to reflect the need for support from the ground), and the units should be quite small. But houserules would be necessairy: They must fly at night only (because they would be very hard to hit in daylight, too), and stacking of many small NF units should not be allowed.

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RE: Night Fighters and how to fix them... - 6/17/2008 3:47:19 PM   
Feinder


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I think this is a very interesting discusssion.

I'd only say that, while most of us want WitP to be as historically accurate as possible, I would conceed that, the NF effectiveness should be commisserate with the effectiveness of night bombers within the WitP engine.  While I rarely use night bombing, if night bombing is more or less effective than it was historically, then NF should be adaquately adjusted match that threat.

Along those lines, while large night bomber formations were rare in WW2 (as opposed to the bomber streams historically used by the RAF), if that is the way that WitP would handle the mission, perhaps a bonus to detection/intercept for the NFs if the formation is larger.

Furthermore, if this does help to "solve" some of the issues in Night Fighters, it sure would be nice if you had time to play around with night bomber attacks (like those night varient TBMs with radar).

Interesting.  Keep it up!

(I sure wish I had a turn in my in-box)

-F-

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