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Early aircraft use and airbase build times

 
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Early aircraft use and airbase build times - 9/6/2021 7:13:28 AM   
Zanotirn

 

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At the moment I find that aircraft see little use until mid-to-late game, when repeatables bring the range of decently armed aircraft to at least 25. While the range of early aircraft of around 9 hexes is perfectly in line with WWII numbers, the airfiels actually take too long to construct. In fact during Pacific campaign (which matches more fluid SE frontlines more than European one) airfields for at least medium aircraft could be constructed in a month (even if they were to lower standards than permanent home territory airbases).

I think it would help the use of aircraft (and realism) to tone down the construction times needed for an airbase supporting given aircraft size.
A simple way to do so could be for example to increase the aircraft size supported by all airbases by 1 (level 1 base supports light, level 2 supports medium... and level 5 are removed) and make ultra-light aircraft able to operate from any hex containing a road.

< Message edited by Zanotirn -- 9/6/2021 7:14:55 AM >
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RE: Early aircraft use and airbase build times - 9/6/2021 10:54:57 AM   
zgrssd

 

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Pacific theather airplanes had a ludicrous range for their size.

The Carier based (low weight) A6M Zero had a range of 2600 km.

The Bf109 was a land based short range interceptor, with 660km Range.

In hearts of Iron, there is the distinction between light and heavy fighters. With heavies having more firepower, worse dogfighting, but a lot of extra range (to escort bombers or range over the pacfic).

(in reply to Zanotirn)
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RE: Early aircraft use and airbase build times - 9/6/2021 12:37:19 PM   
bvoid

 

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Airbase is constrained by city level as well - so it's impossible to have lvl 2+ airbases at frontline outposts. You have to grow the pop of zone first...

Thus having pacific-island-style remote airbases is not possible currently. Needs to be changed imo!

(in reply to zgrssd)
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RE: Early aircraft use and airbase build times - 9/6/2021 2:47:54 PM   
zgrssd

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: bvoid

Thus having pacific-island-style remote airbases is not possible currently. Needs to be changed imo!

Island warfare is not possible period.
The Logistics System requires a street connection. Rail and Airbridge are not enough for assets. So you would need at least one SHQ per island, which is infeasible with the current rules.

There is literally a dozen things Vic has to solve before that problem scenario becomes even possible. Nevermind relevant.

And OP's problem seems to utterly ignore the totally different design Paradigms between Pacific and Eurasian Airplanes.

(in reply to bvoid)
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RE: Early aircraft use and airbase build times - 9/6/2021 5:26:21 PM   
Soar_Slitherine

 

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Yes, but if it's possible to construct airbases capable of operating large aircraft on isolated islands in real life, it follows that the population requirements for them in the game are not realistic any more than they are balanced.

I agree that the airbase build times are highly excessive. In the game, it takes 6 Earth months to build an airbase capable of supporting anything bigger than an ultralight, when in WWII in real life, the US military was capable of building airstrips able to support bombing missions with 4 engine heavy bombers in only 6 weeks.

(in reply to zgrssd)
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RE: Early aircraft use and airbase build times - 9/6/2021 7:17:48 PM   
zgrssd

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Soar_Slitherine

Yes, but if it's possible to construct airbases capable of operating large aircraft on isolated islands in real life, it follows that the population requirements for them in the game are not realistic any more than they are balanced.

I agree that the airbase build times are highly excessive. In the game, it takes 6 Earth months to build an airbase capable of supporting anything bigger than an ultralight, when in WWII in real life, the US military was capable of building airstrips able to support bombing missions with 4 engine heavy bombers in only 6 weeks.

Some problems with that:
- this is just one airport. Where the Stars might have alligned. We need some average values.
- Airports locations are dicated by the wind. Good land is pointless, if it is not in the right place and shape: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QZ3eozyQfU
- most islands are way smaler then a hex with 200km short diagonal
- most islands are unlikely to have a Shadow Empires Settlement in the first place, never mind a high tier one. I would not expect a free folk town on them
- those "island airports" propably need to get all supplies delivered via sea, meaning they would not belong to any city

So the whole "Pacific Theather" argument is unfortunately flawed and pointless to make.
Look at the European theather instead for figures.

(in reply to Soar_Slitherine)
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RE: Early aircraft use and airbase build times - 9/6/2021 8:46:51 PM   
Soar_Slitherine

 

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You appear be listing factors that would make building airbases in the Pacific harder compared to in Europe. I fail to see how that supports your assertion that if rapid airbase construction happened in the Pacific, it shouldn't count.

(in reply to zgrssd)
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RE: Early aircraft use and airbase build times - 9/6/2021 9:42:18 PM   
postfux

 

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A light recon aircraft can take of from any field and doesnt need a lot of infrastructure.

Most modern armies can build improvised airfields within days using existing highways, which can be built instantanous in game.

I would also like to see aircraft earlier in game. Faster building of airfield or some mobile unit to improvise airfields would be great.

(in reply to Soar_Slitherine)
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RE: Early aircraft use and airbase build times - 9/7/2021 1:28:59 PM   
zgrssd

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Soar_Slitherine

You appear be listing factors that would make building airbases in the Pacific harder compared to in Europe. I fail to see how that supports your assertion that if rapid airbase construction happened in the Pacific, it shouldn't count.

The whole "Pacific Theather" Argument is pointless:
Planes were differently designed for hte Pacific and the European theather. Pacific Planes had 4 times the range, at the tradeoff in durability, weapons and maneuverability.
Saying "my European shortrange design needs to many airports" is a no go. Planes had to adapt 4 times the range in the same weight range to even be a option in the pacific. European planes needed that many airports, to be a option in the European theater of war at their short range.

When you got a plane design that can reach 11 Hexes, the argument might have merit.


Airport build times are unclear.
A single instance is not a baseline. It is a single instance.
I might as well argue that the Because the BER took 14 Years to open, 14 years is the average!

And btw., that 6 weeks things was far from ideal. They operated B-24 Liberator Bombers. Not the B-17 flying fortress.
I am unsure they could use relevant amounts of B-17 in the Pacific, given the Airplanes requirement in

quote:

ORIGINAL: postfux

A light recon aircraft can take of from any field and doesnt need a lot of infrastructure.

Most modern armies can build improvised airfields within days using existing highways, which can be built instantanous in game.

I would also like to see aircraft earlier in game. Faster building of airfield or some mobile unit to improvise airfields would be great.

A single light recon aircraft can take off from any field.

Aircraft come in groups of 10, that have Air and Ground Crew of 100.
That is a order of magnitude more then "a single Aircraft on a field".
Nevermind Air Fighter groups starting around 50 planes with 500 total crew.

Unless that field can be used to operate 50 fighter planes on a month by month basis, it is not really a airport as used in Shadow Empires.



I would say that Ultralights might be reclassified as "STOL" Aircraft. A slightly more limited thing from "VTOL", they should be able to land and start from any non-mountain Hex.

(in reply to Soar_Slitherine)
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RE: Early aircraft use and airbase build times - 9/8/2021 3:40:45 PM   
Soar_Slitherine

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: zgrssd


quote:

ORIGINAL: Soar_Slitherine

You appear be listing factors that would make building airbases in the Pacific harder compared to in Europe. I fail to see how that supports your assertion that if rapid airbase construction happened in the Pacific, it shouldn't count.

The whole "Pacific Theather" Argument is pointless:
Planes were differently designed for hte Pacific and the European theather. Pacific Planes had 4 times the range, at the tradeoff in durability, weapons and maneuverability.
Saying "my European shortrange design needs to many airports" is a no go. Planes had to adapt 4 times the range in the same weight range to even be a option in the pacific. European planes needed that many airports, to be a option in the European theater of war at their short range.

When you got a plane design that can reach 11 Hexes, the argument might have merit.

The only argument for less airbases anybody made in this thread is the original post asking for ultralights to not require them, and at the end of your post you seem to agree with that suggestion, so I'm not sure what you're trying to have an argument about here.

The actual problem is that in the game, around 11 hexes is a minimum for light aircraft to be able to perform useful missions consistently during offensive campaigns, because the construction of a new base capable of flying anything bigger than ultralights taking half a year means it's very easy for the ground offensive to outpace new airbase construction, and it gets worse for heavier fixed-wing aircraft because the increase in airbase construction time is generally greater than the increase in range and capability, and the city level requirement for the airbases becomes increasingly awkward. People are bringing up the Pacific theatre because it features good examples of rapid construction of airbases in remote locations.

quote:

Airport build times are unclear.
A single instance is not a baseline. It is a single instance.
I might as well argue that the Because the BER took 14 Years to open, 14 years is the average!

And btw., that 6 weeks things was far from ideal. They operated B-24 Liberator Bombers. Not the B-17 flying fortress.
I am unsure they could use relevant amounts of B-17 in the Pacific, given the Airplanes requirement in

In the game, no 4-engine fixed wing aircraft can ever fly without 20 months of construction work on the airfield, full stop. Given that turning a patch of jungle into an airbase capable of supporting 4-engine strategic bombers was possible in 6 weeks at all, I feel confident in stating that whatever the "average" construction time for such an airbase was in WWII, it must have been closer to 6 weeks than 80.

You didn't finish your thought regarding the B-24 versus the B-17, but there doesn't appear to be very much difference between them in terms of size, weight, bombload or role. Arguing that the B-17 required higher-quality airfields to fly than the B-24 doesn't help your point if the B-24 can do pretty much the same job as a B-17 anyway.

(in reply to zgrssd)
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RE: Early aircraft use and airbase build times - 9/9/2021 9:14:19 AM   
zgrssd

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Soar_Slitherine

The actual problem is that in the game, around 11 hexes is a minimum for light aircraft to be able to perform useful missions consistently during offensive campaigns, because the construction of a new base capable of flying anything bigger than ultralights taking half a year means it's very easy for the ground offensive to outpace new airbase construction

If your ground forces move faster then your Airbase construction, you do not need aircraft. Period!
You are already beating the heck out of the enemy groundforces, so you do not need air support as a stalemate breaker!

The entire surface area of germany fits into 11 hexes.
And it contained 18 Airfields:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:World_War_II_airfields_in_Germany
You can propably look at any European country in WW2 and will find that every Hex had at least a T1 Airport. With several T4's.
Actuall European aircraft had 3 Hex range and they were plenty usefull for a combat that was actually close.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Soar_Slitherine

In the game, no 4-engine fixed wing aircraft can ever fly without 20 months of construction work on the airfield, full stop. Given that turning a patch of jungle into an airbase capable of supporting 4-engine strategic bombers was possible in 6 weeks at all, I feel confident in stating that whatever the "average" construction time for such an airbase was in WWII, it must have been closer to 6 weeks than 80.


As we say in germany: One sparrow does not make it spring.

How long did they need to build/upgrade those huge Airfields in Britain for the Strategic Bombing campaign in Europe?


quote:

ORIGINAL: Soar_Slitherine

You didn't finish your thought regarding the B-24 versus the B-17, but there doesn't appear to be very much difference between them in terms of size, weight, bombload or role. Arguing that the B-17 required higher-quality airfields to fly than the B-24 doesn't help your point if the B-24 can do pretty much the same job as a B-17 anyway.

Can you provide us a source that lists values for both planes?
You claim they are very similar, so I asume you have a source.

(in reply to Soar_Slitherine)
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RE: Early aircraft use and airbase build times - 9/9/2021 7:33:38 PM   
postfux

 

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quote:



A single light recon aircraft can take off from any field.

Aircraft come in groups of 10, that have Air and Ground Crew of 100.
That is a order of magnitude more then "a single Aircraft on a field".
Nevermind Air Fighter groups starting around 50 planes with 500 total crew.

Unless that field can be used to operate 50 fighter planes on a month by month basis, it is not really a airport as used in Shadow Empires.




If a single plane can take off from a field so can 50.

Tank brigades (270 tanks) have more personal than a recon squadron (30 planes).

To operate even a single light tank takes more infrastrucure than to operate a recon plane, which is essentialy a durable engine with wings.

Tank brigades can deploy anywhere anytime for any length of time.

Edit: So do helicopter squadrons. A helicopter is a much more complex machine than a typical recon plane.


< Message edited by postfux -- 9/9/2021 8:07:21 PM >

(in reply to zgrssd)
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RE: Early aircraft use and airbase build times - 9/9/2021 10:08:45 PM   
Soar_Slitherine

 

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Presumably, if ultralights were changed to use VTOL-like mechanics, they would take a penalty to readiness recovery and maximum readiness when not operating from an airbase, just like VTOLs currently do.

quote:

ORIGINAL: zgrssd
quote:

ORIGINAL: Soar_Slitherine

In the game, no 4-engine fixed wing aircraft can ever fly without 20 months of construction work on the airfield, full stop. Given that turning a patch of jungle into an airbase capable of supporting 4-engine strategic bombers was possible in 6 weeks at all, I feel confident in stating that whatever the "average" construction time for such an airbase was in WWII, it must have been closer to 6 weeks than 80.


As we say in germany: One sparrow does not make it spring.

How long did they need to build/upgrade those huge Airfields in Britain for the Strategic Bombing campaign in Europe?

The combined US and British bomber fleet in Europe included over 14000 bombers at its peak. Supporting that level of air operations is not relevant in the context of the game.

Pointing at other, fancier airfields that also flew strategic bombers also doesn't negate the fact that rapidly constructing ones capable of supporting them was clearly possible. The game has a mechanic separate from the minimum airbase level for the number of aircraft an airbase can maintain.

quote:

ORIGINAL: zgrssd
quote:

ORIGINAL: Soar_Slitherine

You didn't finish your thought regarding the B-24 versus the B-17, but there doesn't appear to be very much difference between them in terms of size, weight, bombload or role. Arguing that the B-17 required higher-quality airfields to fly than the B-24 doesn't help your point if the B-24 can do pretty much the same job as a B-17 anyway.

Can you provide us a source that lists values for both planes?
You claim they are very similar, so I asume you have a source.

I checked their specifications on Wikipedia. The B-24, if you look at its design and development history, was explicitly an attempt to create an aircraft that fills the same role as the B-17, but better.

(in reply to postfux)
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RE: Early aircraft use and airbase build times - 9/10/2021 1:32:33 PM   
Zanotirn

 

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My main point was exactly the issue of airbase construction not being fast enough to support shifting front lines.

Making ultralights operate without airbases was just a part of one possible way of addressing it (shifting airbase sizes by 1)


quote:

The entire surface area of germany fits into 11 hexes.
And it contained 18 Airfields:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:World_War_II_airfields_in_Germany
You can propably look at any European country in WW2 and will find that every Hex had at least a T1 Airport. With several T4's.
Actuall European aircraft had 3 Hex range and they were plenty usefull for a combat that was actually close.


The main air war Germany was engaged in was vs Britain, and the target areas involved stayed exactly the same till the last year of the war, and even in the last year the changes were not big. So there was no need for either side to either build bases quickly from scratch (now repairing them on the other hand...) or to get longer range aircraft. In Germany's initial advance on USSR they did run into range problem, but that was addressed just by taking over soviet airfields and repairing/upgrading them (USSR had a lot of airfields close to western border, supposedly built in preparation for its own planned advance to Europe), the same worked the other way in the last year of the war - so that theater was in general not a good example for SE - with the large number of troops involved the front lines just didn't change that fast unless one side is caught off-guard.

(in reply to Soar_Slitherine)
Post #: 14
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