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What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game?

 
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What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/18/2021 4:32:22 AM   
Tanaka


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Playing Andy Macs updated Scen 1 and I have tried everything but cannot get anything but worse or even odds in airfights as Japan early war. I remember you used to sweep the skies early war way back. What changed?

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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/18/2021 4:33:24 AM   
Tanaka


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Ah found the answer...

Well damn things are much harder now!

https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2752914&mpage=1&key=�

< Message edited by Tanaka -- 3/18/2021 4:34:19 AM >


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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/18/2021 9:17:21 AM   
Sardaukar


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Zeros will still murder most Allies in 1941 - early 1942. Even when used by AI.

USN pilots and AVG are few exceptions that do well vs. elite early war IJN pilots.

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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/18/2021 4:10:50 PM   
geofflambert


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I think the Wildcat is really underrated by many people.

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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/18/2021 4:29:37 PM   
Q-Ball


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quote:

ORIGINAL: geofflambert

I think the Wildcat is really underrated by many people.


I guess I am one of those underraters, because playing both sides I see them get shredded over and over. F6F can't come fast enough. Range is OK with drop tanks so there's that, but they are rather SLOW, and it shows

Maybe myself and my opponent are using them wrong?

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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/18/2021 4:46:05 PM   
Sardaukar


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Wildcat was OK, could have done with better turbo/supercharger.

Very sturdy plane too.

But as AVG's success (and also Finnish Air Force success with Buffalos) came from simple rule: Do not dogfight more agile opponent. Energy fighting aka Zoom & Boom was the thing.

Of course game does not get into these intricacies.





< Message edited by Sardaukar -- 3/18/2021 4:49:31 PM >


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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/18/2021 5:06:37 PM   
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The F4F-3 was very agile and nimble. Slightly faster than the Zero, good climb rate and in the right hands would outturn a Zero. But then they went and packed her full of additional weight (around 500lb extra) for the -4 variant, which dramatically reduced her maneuverability.

The same comparison holds when evaluating British Buffalo Is with Dutch B-339s. The Brit Brewsters were very heavy compared to Dutch 339s with a similar power plant. End result - Dutch 339s were much better dogfighters than Brit Buffaloes. British pilots started tearing whatever could go from their Buffaloes to bring down weight.

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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/18/2021 6:12:05 PM   
Sardaukar


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Well...value of pilot armour and self-sealing tanks became apparent very quickly.

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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/18/2021 6:13:40 PM   
dwesolick


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quote:

ORIGINAL: geofflambert

I think the Wildcat is really underrated by many people.


I think one of the enduring myths of the Pacific War is that the Zero reigned supreme and slaughtered all Allied opponents until the Corsair and Hellcat came along and saved the day.

As most on this forum know, the Wildcats and P-40s more than held their own and had already turned the tide in the air by 1943, mainly by using superior tactics (speed dives/hit and run/Thach weave). The Zero was superb but once its weaknesses were figured out (about mid-42) it became obsolescent really fast.

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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/18/2021 6:45:42 PM   
Dan1977

 

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The British & Dutch Buffalos were all produced with the export version of the single-stage supercharger that was inferior by design to those made for the USN air units. The British required their aircraft (import or domestic) to have pilot armor & self-sealing fuel tanks, which was later adopted by the USN, USMC & USAAF as a requirement for future fighters. Yes the Dutch aircraft were lighter because they mounted four .303 cal MG instead of the British & US versions with the .50 cal MG, and they lacked the protection of the British versions. The Dutch & British export versions all suffered performance deficiencies above 15,000, regardless of how you lightened the aircraft. The Finnish version had a better single-stage supercharger, better firepower (almost as good as British), but little to none protection of pilot & fuel. The British & US versions had more than four times the killing firepower (Kinetic Energy-measured in joules) vs the Dutch version.

The problem with Allied air units trying to lighten up the Buffalos is that they will never out-turn an Oscar, Nate, Claude or Zero. They are attempting to fight on the Japanese terms (low-speed turning & climbing). That is a losing tactic. As others have mentioned, the more successful tactic is higher altitude, higher speeds, mutual protection, zoom climbing, head-on passes, dive-out to disengage and only turn with the enemy at higher speeds while slightly diving (corkscrew). A big lesson is: know when NOT to engage, know when it is time bug-out, the best way to escape, and know how to work with your wingman. The Allies suffered most from inferior tactics in those early months of the war, with the exception of the AVG. I think the USN & USMC were fortunate to have the five month respite (Dec-April) to pick-up the lessons learned & come up with better tactics before Coral Sea & Midway.

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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/18/2021 8:16:07 PM   
Hrafnagud

 

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Most of it comes down to pilot quality, numerical parity and suitable tactics. The Dutch CW-21s and even the export Curtiss Hawks could perform adequately with Zeroes and Oscars in a dogfight but they faced numerical superiority and were whittled down.

The Zero and Oscar were fantastic designs piloted by experienced guys - but the Zero was not some mythical beast. It was a product of tradeoffs. The right tactics saw it easily countered.

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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/18/2021 8:28:41 PM   
Hrafnagud

 

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Fully agree with you re the Brewsters with export Cyclones. At low altitude a Buffalo I or B-339 stood some sort of chance, at higher altitudes they were slaughtered.

The real weakness of Japanese aircraft design was the lack of properly powerful engines. They therefore decided to focus on low-speed maneuverability at the cost of durability. The US Navy decided to focus on high speed, survivability and firepower.

As Thatch said: A Zero was not that hard to shoot down, you just had to be able to land some hits (which was easier said than done). The Zero's 20mm cannon was also not a great weapon initially - even the Japanese termed it a machine gun.

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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/18/2021 8:33:14 PM   
Hrafnagud

 

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The Japanese Type 99 20mm cannon (the Mark 1) was a continuation of the design philosophy behind the Zero - low weight at all costs. This meant low muzzle velocity and a low rate of fire. The heavier IJAAF 20mm Ho-5 cannon was far superior.

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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/18/2021 8:38:23 PM   
Dan1977

 

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Yes, you are correct. Japanese aircraft weapons were generally poor compared to US, British, Russian & German. The Zero's 20mm was a poor performer, and barely improved as the war went on.

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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/18/2021 8:41:06 PM   
RangerJoe


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Some of the Dutch Buffaloes were sent with second hand, ex-civilian engines as well.

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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/18/2021 9:06:33 PM   
Hrafnagud

 

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The B-339-C's had the 1,000 hp G105 Cyclones. The B-339-Ds had the more powerful Cyclone 40s (1200 hp). The B-339-23s (most of which went to Australia) had the G205.

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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/18/2021 9:44:10 PM   
geofflambert


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball


quote:

ORIGINAL: geofflambert

I think the Wildcat is really underrated by many people.


I guess I am one of those underraters, because playing both sides I see them get shredded over and over. F6F can't come fast enough. Range is OK with drop tanks so there's that, but they are rather SLOW, and it shows

Maybe myself and my opponent are using them wrong?


I won four PBEMs (my opponent quit) after, in each case, I sank the entire KB without losing a CV. Three times the battle happened in early '42, once in either late '42 or early '43. Mostly I won those battles with Wildcats. Twice it was the same opponent and the battle was in about the same place (near Noumea) at about the same time.


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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/18/2021 10:47:05 PM   
Ian R

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sardaukar

Wildcat was OK, could have done with better turbo/supercharger.

Very sturdy plane too.

But as AVG's success (and also Finnish Air Force success with Buffalos) came from simple rule: Do not dogfight more agile opponent. Energy fighting aka Zoom & Boom was the thing.

Of course game does not get into these intricacies.



RAAF #1 Wing was trading Spitfire Vcs for Zeros in turning fights at 8000 ft over Darwin, until Clive Caldwell went to Melbourne on leave and met up with Joe Foss. After that the Spitfires used "Corsair tactics" and shredded the flimsy Zeros.

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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/18/2021 11:28:02 PM   
RangerJoe


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The game does reward those "Zoom and Boom" tactics, just have your aircraft fly higher than the enemy. Even escorting bombers, my fighters have had success against the A6M2+.

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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/19/2021 12:29:29 AM   
Moltrey


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In my relatively short full campaign experience as Allies I have seen both sides of the "luck of the die" equation.
Sometimes my efforts at Clark, Bataan and Manila bear decent fruit, mostly it is a bad game of attrition due to my pilot experience levels- as it should be.
Thing is, I CAN see it flow mostly in the IJN's favor and then back a bit at times under the right circumstances.
I agree with an earlier sentiment that the OP just had a run of bad luck.

To paraphrase my own parents who were 18 when Pearl Harbor happened, every day the papers were filled with accounts of defeats at the hands of the Japanese. It was a very scary and disturbing time and most people realized we were not at all ready for the war when it started.
Pop was a AO2 with VBF-16 on the USS Randolph late war, he joined in Nov '42.

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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/19/2021 12:49:56 AM   
WriterNotViking


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Two minor corrections:

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dan1977
Yes the Dutch aircraft were lighter because they mounted four .303 cal MG instead of the British & US versions with the .50 cal MG,


The Dutch B-339s were equipped with two .303 and two .50 caliber weapons. The Wikipedia article on the plane claims they carried four of the lighter guns, but the source referenced for this claim (The Loss of Java, P.C. Boer 2006) clearly lists the heavier armament. Earlier works by the same author give the same data. The point about differing levels of protection is entirely valid.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Hrafnagud
[...]and even the export Curtiss Hawks could perform adequately with Zeroes and Oscars in a dogfight but they faced numerical superiority and were whittled down.


Unfortunately, by the time the war started, the Hawks had been in service for some time and their engines were nearly worn out. They first saw action in 3 February 1942 during a Japanese raid on Maospati airfield by 27 G4Ms, 17 A6Ms, and a single C5M observer. The Hawk pilots had little warning and were forced to take off while bombs were already falling.

Two of the eight combat-ready aircraft suffered engine failures shortly after takeoff and the pilots were forced to return to base. Both were attacked by Zeroes while trying to land, but both pilots managed to land their planes before they went up in flames, and both managed to get out alive by jumping out of their burning, still-moving fighters.

Of the other six, the group commander broke off and attacked a group of six Zeroes by himself (likely no one followed him due to poor commmunications caused by weather) which cost him his life, and the remaining five attacked the retreating bombers. They were recalled before engaging and directed to Soerabaja to defend against another air raid, but only three received this message. Two of those were shot down on their way to Soerabaja when they ran into eight Zeroes. The third, which made it to Soerabaja, was flown by Sergeant De Wilde, who managed to surprise two Zeroes:

quote:

He surprised the Japanese fighters and believed he had hit both. One of the Japanese fighters turned away. De Wilde noticed in the dogfight with the second Navy o that his Hawk was the lesser. He withdrew from the fight with a steep dive. His craft had nearly no ammunition and fuel left, reason why he landed at Perak.


The two Hawks who did not receive the recall order fired all their ammunition at the retreating G4Ms at Maospati, damaging five, but all bombers managed to return to base.

Only two Hawks remained operational after this day, although ground crews were working on another five. Work was slow because many Indonesian workers stopped showing up, the state of the engines was poor, and reserve engines were not available. On 5 February the Japanese attacked Soerabaja again, and the two operational Hawks were among the Dutch fighters sent to intercept. Zeroes found them first; one was shot down immediately, the other barely escaped with heavy damage after fifteen minutes of treetop-level maneuvering. Pilot Sergeant Hermans managed a wheels-up landing at Maospati and walked away, but the plane was totalled.

After this, the Hawks were forbidden to take off until at least six were combat-ready, but by 18 February Commando Militaire Luchtvaart (Military Aviation Command) ordered that the Hawks not be used operationally again, due to severely unreliable engines.

The Brewsters more than held their own during the war and, as said elsewhere, were hampered mostly by circumstance and numerical inferiority. The Interceptors also had their brief but spectacular moment of glory, but the Hawks were sadly unsuited for frontline service even before the first shots were fired. It hurts to think of these brave men who had to take to the air and face a numerically and qualitatively superior enemy in such unreliable machines.

Source: De luchtstrijd om Indië, P.C. Boer et al., unavailable in English to my knowledge, which is a shame because it and its companion about the fight over Borneo are fantastic works.

Dutch Hawks in better days:




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by WriterNotViking -- 3/19/2021 12:51:37 AM >


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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/19/2021 8:18:05 AM   
Buckrock

 

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Some of what you mentioned at least is repeated in Boer's "The Loss of Java" which is available in English. I got hold of it a while ago to complete the DEI operational picture as I already had read US, Commonwealth and Japanese accounts of the final military operations. Very informative. More analytical than a straight narrative, which is what I was after.

< Message edited by Buckrock -- 3/19/2021 8:24:54 AM >


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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/19/2021 9:42:18 AM   
Sardaukar


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Some might also want to read Japanese official history about DEI operations:

https://www.cortsfoundation.org/about-us/projects/senshi-sosho

Couple of volumes translated to English (rarity) out of official Senshi Sosho's (Japan's official military history) 102(!) volumes (that is 60 000+ pages altogether).

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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/19/2021 8:41:20 PM   
WriterNotViking


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Buckrock

Some of what you mentioned at least is repeated in Boer's "The Loss of Java" which is available in English. I got hold of it a while ago to complete the DEI operational picture as I already had read US, Commonwealth and Japanese accounts of the final military operations. Very informative. More analytical than a straight narrative, which is what I was after.


I agree, it's a great work. The author gives a clear picture of just how close the struggle actually was, how great opportunities were wasted on the Dutch side due to poor communications and leadership at high levels, and how each side's respective use of air power proved decisive. For whatever reason, though, the author concentrates on the battle at the Tjiater pass and the battles leading up to it, to the complete neglect of ground operations in the east of Java. If anyone knows of a good source (English or Dutch), I'd be grateful for a link.

I have "Every day a nightmare" by Bartsch for the US perspective on the air war and a link to Japanese sources has been posted, but I'd love to hear what you read for the Commonwealth account. Does Bloody Shambles vol. 2 cover operations in Indonesia? Still need to read the series.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Sardaukar

Some might also want to read Japanese official history about DEI operations:

https://www.cortsfoundation.org/about-us/projects/senshi-sosho

Couple of volumes translated to English (rarity) out of official Senshi Sosho's (Japan's official military history) 102(!) volumes (that is 60 000+ pages altogether).


This looks like a great resource. Thanks for posting the link.


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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/19/2021 9:51:10 PM   
Buckrock

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: WriterNotViking

I agree, it's a great work. The author gives a clear picture of just how close the struggle actually was, how great opportunities were wasted on the Dutch side due to poor communications and leadership at high levels, and how each side's respective use of air power proved decisive. For whatever reason, though, the author concentrates on the battle at the Tjiater pass and the battles leading up to it, to the complete neglect of ground operations in the east of Java. If anyone knows of a good source (English or Dutch), I'd be grateful for a link.

Don't know of any books that comprehensively focus on the whole ground campaign in Java from the Dutch perspective. I've seen a few articles in historical journals that touch on aspects of the campaign but none that put it all together with high detail.

quote:


I have "Every day a nightmare" by Bartsch for the US perspective on the air war and a link to Japanese sources has been posted, but I'd love to hear what you read for the Commonwealth account. Does Bloody Shambles vol. 2 cover operations in Indonesia? Still need to read the series.

Shores Volume 2 covers the Feb/Mar air campaign over Java solidly for the Commonwealth (as well as the other participants) but it can make for dry reading at times. Still one of the best works around though. I've also used the British Archives about 10 years ago to access various records of the RAF Command and squadrons involved but that's not a fun way to get more details. The Archives do have a lot of those records digitalized and online now but you have to pay for access/download (and know what records you need in advance).

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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/20/2021 12:28:20 AM   
Nikademus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Buckrock

Some of what you mentioned at least is repeated in Boer's "The Loss of Java" which is available in English. I got hold of it a while ago to complete the DEI operational picture as I already had read US, Commonwealth and Japanese accounts of the final military operations. Very informative. More analytical than a straight narrative, which is what I was after.


hmmm. sounds interesting. sadly only paperback version. oh well. I can add it to the Bergstrom volumes and the BoB book ordered.




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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/20/2021 10:55:04 PM   
WriterNotViking


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Buckrock

Shores Volume 2 covers the Feb/Mar air campaign over Java solidly for the Commonwealth (as well as the other participants) but it can make for dry reading at times. Still one of the best works around though. I've also used the British Archives about 10 years ago to access various records of the RAF Command and squadrons involved but that's not a fun way to get more details. The Archives do have a lot of those records digitalized and online now but you have to pay for access/download (and know what records you need in advance).


Thanks for the suggestions. I'll keep an eye out for a reasonably-priced copy.

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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/21/2021 12:28:12 AM   
fcooke

 

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I thought Shambles was really detailed, maybe that's why it might come across as dry. As far as the game goes I had an a player hitting Balikpaken every day with close to a hundred Netties, but after a month he dropped the escort. I had been saving and training all my Dutch fighters and then launched an ambush in Feb 42. About 100 Dutch fighters against 100ish Netties. About 50% of the Netties did not get home. But tactics matter. I'm sure Gladiators could have taken out a similar number if used in bulk.

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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/21/2021 1:27:37 AM   
Nikademus


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Shores is "dry" because his first and foremost objective as author and researcher/research lead is to just present the facts, interspaced in places with classic restrained English humor. In comparison, Lundstrom, was presenting a biopic of the USN fighter VF's in the period covered, the "First Team" so there's a lot of storytelling inserted along with the research he did.

Think of it as looking thru combat records. its a long and tedious job and best taken in spurts. I just got my copy of BoB: then and now. THAT lot put Shores to shame. pages on pages on pages of records for every combat aircraft they could find data on presented concisely but in detail. in very very small print and no storytelling whatsoever.

Yikes. :). but it beats watching C-SPAN. mostly.

< Message edited by Nikademus -- 3/21/2021 1:28:45 AM >


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RE: What happened to the Zero Bonus in this game? - 3/21/2021 3:15:00 PM   
fcooke

 

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I liked both the Shores and Lundstrom works. And I would rather read a dictionary than C-SPAN. At least the dictionary could teach me new words.

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