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aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 4:52:01 PM   
mariandavid

 

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I am very hesitant to suggest corrections after so early in the game's life as for all I know my experiences are an aberration. However the Zero's over the Philippines and elswhere have consistently failed to destroy enemy aircraft, instead of merely damaging, which with the US types seems to mean that they get back into the fight. As a result the P-40's are achieving an exchange rate of better than 1-1.5 against a Zero. This was not (to put it mildly) the historic case, especially in 1941/early 1942. The pattern seems to be identical to that inflicted by Nates and Oscars. One possibility is that the game does not allow for the much greater effectiveness (no not accuracy or rate of fire!) of their 20mm cannon compared with an HMG. The USN considered that one 20mm (admittedly the much superior Hispano) equated to three .50 and this is probably a fair estimate - if anything a bit understated since the service seems to have had serious problems maintaining them. I believe this was because the armament technicians had only been trained to handle the much simpler Browning HMG.

Does anyone know if the 'effect' gradient - 2 for an LMG, 3 for an HMG, 4 for a 20mm etc - is arithmetic or other in its impact?
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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 4:57:33 PM   
Shark7


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The bloodiness of air combat was purposely reduced. It could be the fact that the manuevre ratings have been greatly reduced compared with Vanilla or CHS, resulting in less capability for all fighters over all.

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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 4:59:35 PM   
Sardaukar


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Whole air combat routine was re-written, so looking at single values is pointless. The Elf can probably answer to questions about new model.

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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 5:01:08 PM   
Shark7


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Understanding the routine would be nice.

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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 5:09:02 PM   
keeferon01


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sardaukar

Whole air combat routine was re-written, so looking at single values is pointless. The Elf can probably answer to questions about new model.



This is being reported up and down the board mate, and making a comment on a forum is not pointless, thats just being unnecessarily rude to the poster , my zeros are having a hard time over the PI against P40E to be honest thank god they don't have more squadrons of them, taking away the jap players dominance in the air and quite frankly the fun of it is for the first few months of the war, just dont understand that.

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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 5:10:46 PM   
JuanG


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Penetration also plays a role, according to WitpStaff manual.

WitpStaff uses a term called 'Pentrating Gun Value', with the formula of;

SQRT(effect*accuracy*LOG(range))*(1+penetration)*number_of_forward_guns/2

for the total forward firepower.


From this we can see that it is;

SQRT(effect*accuracy*LOG(range))*(1+penetration)/2

for each gun.


Thus, according to this;
Browning .50 has a PGV of ~10.86
7.7mm Type 89 has a PGV of ~5.08
20mm Type 99 has a PGV of ~15.69

These are more reasonable than the flat out 2/3/4, though I agree, like WitP, the game still undervalues cannons.

There was a good article posted on the old forums comparing relative firepower of various air to air guns, and cannons won out because of HE ammunition basically.

Found it;
http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/WW2guneffect.htm

< Message edited by JuanG -- 8/6/2009 5:11:45 PM >


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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 5:43:58 PM   
BeastieDog


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I haven't run any tests but against the AI in the PI I noticed an improvement in air to air results against the P-40s when I upped the altitude to 20,000 from 15,000.

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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 5:48:09 PM   
mariandavid

 

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Thanks to those who made constructive replies. Another good source (in addition to the more accessible one posted by JuanG) is

"Flying guns : the development of aircraft guns, ammunition and installations, 1933-45  by  Emmanuel Gustin and Anthony G. Williams. ". This is one of a series of three books covering aircraft machine-guns and cannon from 1913 to the present day.  Among other fascinating information it evaluates the differences between IJAF and IJN aircraft weapons. My first mod (showing a more formidable but very plausible Japan) would be to equip Japanese aircraft with Army cannon and Navy machine-guns! Although Sardauker in his incisive way may be correct about single factors I suspect this is one that cannot be overlooked.    

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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 9:17:00 PM   
dpazuk


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quote:

ORIGINAL: mariandavid

Thanks to those who made constructive replies. Another good source (in addition to the more accessible one posted by JuanG) is

"Flying guns : the development of aircraft guns, ammunition and installations, 1933-45  by  Emmanuel Gustin and Anthony G. Williams. ". This is one of a series of three books covering aircraft machine-guns and cannon from 1913 to the present day.  Among other fascinating information it evaluates the differences between IJAF and IJN aircraft weapons. My first mod (showing a more formidable but very plausible Japan) would be to equip Japanese aircraft with Army cannon and Navy machine-guns! Although Sardauker in his incisive way may be correct about single factors I suspect this is one that cannot be overlooked.    


I was under the impression (maybe a false one) that the slower rate of cannon fire negated, to some degree, it's potential destructive power?

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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 9:19:47 PM   
JuanG


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quote:

ORIGINAL: dpazuk
I was under the impression (maybe a false one) that the slower rate of cannon fire negated, to some degree, it's potential destructive power?



If it was just a slug like most HMG ammunition, then yes, that would the case more or less. Cannon would still generally have a longer range though, and probably carry less 'total damage' worth of rounds.

The thing is, once HE ammo comes into play, the chemical (ie. boom) component of the projectile puts its damage potential far out of the reach of normal AP or API ammo (unless these strike a fuel tank or the pilot - a reasonable prospect vs fighters, not so much vs heavy bombers). The article I posted makes this point very clear.

The chemical factor is also completely independent of range - 5 grams of explosive goes just as boom at point blank as it does at 500 yards. This means the effective range of cannon is extended even further than one would just expect from their heavier shells.


I would imagine ingame the cannon effect is toned down because we cannot properly (to my knowledge) model them as having generally much more limited ammo than HMGs.

My 2 pence...

< Message edited by JuanG -- 8/6/2009 9:29:56 PM >


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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 9:39:44 PM   
Tazo


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This question of the inefficiency of zeros and the low number of kills during dogfights has been adressed in several threads.
Some tests are being conducted in the CAP thread, mainly by Rominet, any other "repetead data" (= sample data) are welcome, see

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2186324

It takes time to fix variables with the editor then look at the air combat animation to count the kills (+comparing to report).
I'll try to contribute this week end, don't hesitate too. The new air routine is very nice but most players are disappointed
with the kills ratio and CAP efficiency. It seems that raising altitude has an unexpected positive impact, to be confirmed.
Using the usual settings (from WitP) as many players I've seen the same results that they describe there and there (Coral
sea and Guadalcanal where carrier clashes are immediate and repeated, compared to GC).


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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 9:54:57 PM   
Scott_USN

 

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I once lost in WITP north of PM if I remember correctly 160 p-40e's in one fight against KB. I had the big FG's in PM and they escorted the bombers. The bombers were wasted too, I was frustrated with those numbers to say the least since maybe 25 Zero's died.

I realize the zero was a decent to above average fighter but not that damn good.

I like it now how it is with at least a chance I lose most air battles or lose more aircraft but at least it isn't deletion of who Fighter Groups

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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 10:01:49 PM   
88l71


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Hmm...the Zero's armament never really impressed me. IMHO it didn't carry enough ammo for the 20mm's and the 2 rifle-caliber MG's just weren't effective enough.

Add to this Allied fighters were overall quite a rugged bunch of airframes. Furthermore the US .50 was quite capable of tearing apart fragile Japanese aircraft and US planes generally carried a good size ammo load.

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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 10:03:26 PM   
Scott_USN

 

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I had full confidence in my ability to destroy the Grumman and decided to finish off the enemy fighter with only my 7.7 mm machine guns. I turned the 20mm. cannon switch to the 'off' position, and closed in. For some strange reason, even after I had poured about five or six hundred rounds of ammunition directly into the Grumman, the airplane did not fall, but kept on flying. I thought this very odd—it had never happened before—and closed the distance between the two airplanes until I could almost reach out and touch the Grumman. To my surprise, the Grumman's rudder and tail were torn to shreds, looking like an old torn piece of rag. With his plane in such condition, no wonder the pilot was unable to continue fighting! A Zero which had taken that many bullets would have been a ball of fire by now.[10]

Japanese Ace forgothisname dude.

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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 10:06:14 PM   
Scott_USN

 

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Regardless of the classroom theory debates the US Kept the .50 in her fighters for several reasons and one was because it was very deadly. 8 .50s could spew a wall of copper lead and steel that would shread anything it touched to ribbons especially Japanese aircraft. A couple of seconds on the trigger and boom.

I will take the fighter pilots point of view on the subject, the US fighter pilots seemed happy enough with the firepower.

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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 10:18:33 PM   
EUBanana


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Scott_USN
I realize the zero was a decent to above average fighter but not that damn good.


Plenty of examples in 1942 of Zeroes getting their ass handed to them by P40s of various types.

I think the overall kill ratios for P40s was, after the first couple of months, pretty good. Not so in WITP. Look at what the RAAF managed at Port Moresby/Milne Bay, in WITP if you tried that you'd lose three months of fighter production in three days of annihilation. Its WW2 not War of the Worlds.

So I really don't get the griping. You want history, no? AE is much closer to it.

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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 10:23:21 PM   
Tazo


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I share your opinion 100% and like the new air routine very much, and especially the large number of damaged bombers by AA fire from TFs, operational
loses and the overall decrease of kills in direct airfight. But still I feel that the "damaged" results should a little more often turn into kills during dogfights,
so I need to understand some of the results I've seen and reported by others too (large CAPs on clear days unable to score hits on small escorts with
quite a lot bombers, 1-3 kills for 30 interceptors looks too few). 

Maybe an explaination is in the routine, planes take hits for damage then are shot down only if damaged several times (or unlucky at the first shot) so as
a consequence damages are uniformly spread and few kills occur. Now, during a dogfiht the fire is concentrated on a few opposing A/C, the unlucky ones pursued
by several enemies, this is not a sum of one to ones... And some pilots never manage to enter the heart of the fight, or with so few experience that a couple of
enemies takes them immediately with no hope of missing the easy kill. I have continue my tests to learn more about new CAPs. By no way I want to come
back to the massive overkillings you mention of course.

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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 10:28:36 PM   
Feltan


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Too early to tell, but I wonder if the game would allow a repeat of the Battle of the Phillipene Sea (a.k.a. The Mariana Turkey Shoot). Up until now, the gripes have all been that the Zero is underperforming early in the war as compared to historical results (I agree with this). Later in war, the Allies had occasion to shoot down a couple of hundred Japanese aircraft in one day. Will that historical situation be nerfed too?

Regards,
Feltan

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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 10:29:06 PM   
JuanG


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A fair point, but the US never had to shoot down large heavy bombers consistently with those .50s. The largest things they probably had to worry about were the large flying boats, and those were not exactly plentiful.

Had the roles been reversed and the USN would have been using those 6 or 8 .50s to shoot down B-17s or B-24s, or even B-25s, their inadequacy would have become apparent, and fast. Worse is that the US had a lot of trouble getting a reliable 20mm into service despite efforts to do so, and it wasnt until the 20mm M24 after the war that they finally did so satisfyingly.


So I think the main argument would be 'the US chose the right weapon for the right job historically, but this does not by any means downplay the effectiveness of the cannons used by other nations for different jobs'.

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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 10:31:28 PM   
Scott_USN

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: EUBanana


quote:

ORIGINAL: Scott_USN
I realize the zero was a decent to above average fighter but not that damn good.


Plenty of examples in 1942 of Zeroes getting their ass handed to them by P40s of various types.

I think the overall kill ratios for P40s was, after the first couple of months, pretty good. Not so in WITP. Look at what the RAAF managed at Port Moresby/Milne Bay, in WITP if you tried that you'd lose three months of fighter production in three days of annihilation. Its WW2 not War of the Worlds.

So I really don't get the griping. You want history, no? AE is much closer to it.



I don't think you understood anything I wrote. To start with I wasn't gripping and if I were you would know it I am far different in gripping mode. Secondly I said I lost 160 fighters in one battle around port morseby in WITP. Perhaps you quoted the wrong person?

My point WAS exactly what you said. The Zero HISTORICALLY wasn't a Death Star from Star Wars but a fast agile yet weak easy to kill fighter. The p-40s had at least near a 1:1 ratio with the Zero and it only grew as the war went on.

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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 10:34:48 PM   
EUBanana


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Here is the genuine early war Allied experience, which does after all take into account pilot experience and initial commanders.  I just loaded up a head-to-head GC, and made sure to arrange a little tussle over the Philippines.  Default settings for all (didnt even notice the Zero altitude there but there we go).


AFTER ACTION REPORTS FOR Dec 08, 41
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morning Air attack on San Fernando , at 80,74

Weather in hex: Overcast

Raid spotted at 34 NM, estimated altitude 26,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 11 minutes

Japanese aircraft
     A6M2 Zero x 12



Allied aircraft
     P-40B Warhawk x 1
     P-40E Warhawk x 10


No Japanese losses

Allied aircraft losses
     P-40B Warhawk: 1 destroyed
     P-40E Warhawk: 3 destroyed



Aircraft Attacking:
      9 x A6M2 Zero sweeping at 23000 feet

CAP engaged:
24th PG/Hq Sqn with P-40B Warhawk (0 airborne, 0 on standby, 0 scrambling)
     (1 plane(s) diverted to support CAP in hex.)
     0 plane(s) not yet engaged, 1 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
     Group patrol altitude is 10000
     Time for all group planes to reach interception is 1 minutes
24th PG/17th PS with P-40E Warhawk (0 airborne, 0 on standby, 0 scrambling)
     0 plane(s) not yet engaged, 5 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
     Group patrol altitude is 10000
     Time for all group planes to reach interception is 1 minutes
35th PG/21st PS with P-40E Warhawk (0 airborne, 0 on standby, 0 scrambling)
     0 plane(s) not yet engaged, 5 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
     Group patrol altitude is 10000
     Time for all group planes to reach interception is 2 minutes


The combat report lies, its actually 7 P40s for 0 Zeroes.

OK, its a one off, and there was an altitude advantage, but really - that seems plenty lethal, even too lethal, to me.  Thats a third of a months replacements gone in a day, so assuming the Allied player makes a mistake like that, thats a third of a month gone, poof.  I really don't think the P40 is overplayed here.



I think what I would like to see was fighters of drastically altitudes missing other a/c completely.  I've not seen bombers or fighters manage to get in under CAP ever, yet.  If you have some Schnellbomber like a Betty coming in at 6000' and enemy fighters are 25,000', then surely theres a pretty good chance the bombers will be in and gone before the fighters even know whats going on.  As it is, surely the ideal altitude for fighters is always maximum?


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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 10:36:00 PM   
Scott_USN

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JuanG



So I think the main argument would be 'the US chose the right weapon for the right job historically, but this does not by any means downplay the effectiveness of the cannons used by other nations for different jobs'.



I agree totally, cheap, easy to maintain, reliable, ammo in the 10s of millions of tons most likely and already in mass production.


As for bombers yeah I agree the US would have had to use some Cannons which wasn't the P-39 designed for that with its huge cannon? Maybe not a success but it was obviously in the minds of designers of German Bombers roaming the USA.

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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 10:49:58 PM   
Tazo


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>>> The combat report lies, its actually 7 P40s for 0 Zeroes.

OK in your case I'm happy with 4 kills (and 7 is quite severe) in a 12 vs 11 dogfight, but I've seen many times the same 1-3 kills in 29 vs 32 dogfights,
this is my only concern, keeping proportions and killing ratios when everything is equivalent (fatigue, leaders, experience, skills : all this fool us all the
time, many parameters are involved for our great enjoyement !). Just play with A/C quality and maybe altitude to confirm that all is going well and to
know what to expect when planning CAPs.

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The good ones almost always fail under unexpected circumstances that often make the bad ones succeed.
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With AE immortality is no more a curse.
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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/6/2009 10:55:10 PM   
EUBanana


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tazo

>>> The combat report lies, its actually 7 P40s for 0 Zeroes.

OK in your case I'm happy with 4 kills (and 7 is quite severe) in a 12 vs 11 dogfight, but I've seen many times the same 1-3 kills in 29 vs 32 dogfights,
this is my only concern, keeping proportions and killing ratios when everything is equivalent (fatigue, leaders, experience, skills : all this fool us all the
time, many parameters are involved for our great enjoyement !). Just play with A/C quality and maybe altitude to confirm that all is going well and to
know what to expect when planning CAPs.


I do wonder how it scales. Small combats in WITP worked well, things fell apart when you had 50, 100 fighters in action.

I've not seen any huge air battles yet. The mechanics make them difficult to arrange.

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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/7/2009 3:10:02 AM   
mariandavid

 

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Again thanks for the responses. It is exceedingly satisfying to discover that reviews of all kinds are under way. On a couple of points raised: I am not at all sure that there were many cases of P-40's dominating over Zero's in 1942 - the most cited case, that of the AVG in Burma has been questioned. I would also disagree with Scott on the retention of the .50 - this was probably caused by institutional inertia not pilot satisfaction!

I should add that I have noted that the discrepancy in loss (which I consider to be more Zeros lost than P-40's!) seems to be most common in the first escorted raid on a site - in this case Manila and Clark Field. I wonder if the USAF fighters taking off for subsequent raids are already damaged.

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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/7/2009 3:40:10 AM   
Brady


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quote:

"Flying guns : the development of aircraft guns, ammunition and installations, 1933-45 by Emmanuel Gustin and Anthony G. Williams. ". This is one of a series of three books covering aircraft machine-guns and cannon from 1913 to the present day.


Its a great book.

The US kept the 50's in most of its planes because of institutional inertia (love that).

The US wanted to go bigger and tryed to from the get go prety much but the Hispanons it was building had problems, and in the end they were more or less mostly stuck with the 50 cal. Which did work well enough, but prety much anyway you would want to meashure it with regard to aircraft weaponery of the time, it comes up on the poor end of the scale. (Again the US Army and Navy both wanted a diferent weapon).

Generaly speaking most WW 2 20mm Cannons were equated to a 50 cal at a rate of about 2 to 3 50's per a Single 20mm for equivelancy (lethality). Japanese 20mm Cannons were amongst the best fielded during the war, both the Type 99's and the H0-5's had their strong points.

Conidering the above most US fighters had about the same overall firpower as their Japanese contempoarys.

Later in the war when Japan started to buld more robust airframes, the field evened out more, of course the shear weight of numbers made this irelevent.

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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/7/2009 4:11:58 AM   
treespider


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P-40s vs Zeros Kill ratios of 1.5 to 1 ????

You guys have to figure out how to use them early on....


Sweep, Sweep, Sweep....did I mention Sweep?

Sweep a targetted airfied a few days in a row...then hit it with bombers. Only use a a few A6M2's to escort.

Range is long enough on the A6M2 that you can stay out of sweep range of the P-40.

In my game with Prz...granted FoW is on...through Dec 27, 1941 ....A2A Losses:
P-40E - 41 (Edit: There are an additional 14 to Op Losses I did not include in the total)
P-40B - 9
Total - 50
vs
A6M2 - 12 (Edit#2: There are an additional 16 to OpLosses I did not include in total)

Looks to me like 4:1 in the A6M2s favor.


Edit: Granted not all of these were A6M2 vs P-40... there have been some Nates massacred by P-40s on occassion.
Edit #2 - I did not factor in Ops Losses as i cannot determine source - was it from damage and written off or simply a bad landing.

< Message edited by treespider -- 8/7/2009 4:17:11 AM >


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RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/7/2009 7:50:21 AM   
ChezDaJez


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quote:

Hmm...the Zero's armament never really impressed me. IMHO it didn't carry enough ammo for the 20mm's and the 2 rifle-caliber MG's just weren't effective enough.


Well, the armament is basically the same as the Me-109 which seemed to do well enough.

The primary problem with the A6M2's armament was that the cannon carried only 60 rounds and had a slow velocity. The ballistics were completely different than the 7.7mm MGs and that made it tough to be accurate with the cannon unless you got really close.

Chez

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Post #: 28
RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/7/2009 8:03:50 AM   
Sardaukar


Posts: 9566
Joined: 11/28/2001
From: Finland/Israel
Status: offline
Originally Zero's guns were definitely not the best of the world (Type 99-1). Their 20 mm were quite short-barreled and muzzle velocity was low, lowering both range and accuracy.

Good article by Anthony G. Williams is here:

http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/WW2guneffect.htm

some more stuff:

http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/ideal.htm

http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/CannonMGs.htm



< Message edited by Sardaukar -- 8/7/2009 8:07:51 AM >


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(in reply to ChezDaJez)
Post #: 29
RE: aircraft cannon underrated? - 8/7/2009 8:05:00 AM   
Brady


Posts: 10701
Joined: 10/25/2002
From: Oregon,USA
Status: offline

Only Early Zeros carried the Type 99 MK I with the 60 round drum, later models had 100 rounds then 120 rounds per gun and the Type 99 MK II, longer barel higher MV but the same Prodjectile.

Given that prety much all A to A combate took place withen a 400 yard envelope the lower MV of these weapons was not as much a hinderance as one would think, Particulay for the Type 99 MK II.

Another aspect to consider is that to be efective the Ammo from these weaponse neaded only to strike the target with suficient engery to efect the detonation of their charge, Japanese ammo chains were primary comprised of HE and HEI rounds, with an APT every 5th round generaly.

Interestingly though even the Oscars wih their enemic gun packages acheaved considerable suxcess throught the war, I was prety suprised to hear how well they did over Burma throught 42 and 43.

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