A bit late now, but that lack of fighter success at Manila could be because of fatigue in the unit after transfer. Flying in a cramped fighter for hours seems to really fatigue pilots.
I checked and fatigue was in the mid to high teens because I made sure to rest them for a turn. At the end of the day not everything will go my way, I just have to set up enough good opportunities and on average I will rack in the results. It's the nature of the game, not unlike real life too tbh.
In a different AAR, I posted this on 27 April 2020.
In very general terms the following applies. Bear in mind, not all the applicable factors are mentioned.
1. Pilot skill ratings are used exclusively in combat situations.
2. Non combat situations factor pilot experience level.
3. Combat situations which are not directly addressed by the aptly named skill, use as one of the relevant factors, the experience level. Experience feeds into and modifies pilot Morale, Fatigue, Disruption levels in combat.
4. In a fighter on fighter confrontation, the jockeying for position is influenced by the relevant skill rating; A2A to engage, DEF to evade.
5. In a fighter on fighter confrontation, after the jockeying for position is determined, an energy state check is made. This check is partly influenced by the respective pilot experience level. It determines the actual combat speed at which combat occurs.
6. The combat speed may result in adjusted MRV ratings of the airframes for that specific combat.
In classical WITP only experience mattered. This is not the case in AE which has "sub contracted" many of the old classical WITP experience checks to the relevant skill ratings.
The player does not know what were the modified values used in the combat. What the player sees are the "base" unmodified values.
Thanks Alfred. I remember reading that post of yours but good to read it again as a reminder.