Friday, September 15, 2017

Air Movement and Combat Wargame Rules


            Aircraft rules are complex enough to reflect the general characteristics of the individual aircraft types, but similar weapons will be grouped together, just with the ground weapons.  Charts, protocols, and procedures mirror the ground rules for ease of play.


            In air combat maneuver is more important than the weapons.  In dogfights, aircraft use speed and maneuver to gain a favorable position and range to shoot down the enemy.  The skill of the crew is also a very important factor and will increase the chance of defeating the enemy.

            A single seat fighter can shoot down even large and powerful aircraft if it is close, in a good position and gets a lucky hit.  A large aircraft with multiple engines will be more difficult to bring down than a small single seat aircraft.

Aircraft Altitude Levels

Geostationary satellites and other space vehicles fly in high orbit.  High orbit is one inch below the ceiling.

Photo reconnaissance platforms and near Earth space vehicles.  Low orbit is five inches below the ceiling.

Limited reconnaissance aircraft only, no ground attacks.  Extreme is ten inches below the ceiling.

Ground attack by level bombers, takes place on the D chart but if the target is illuminated then use the C chart.  High is thirty inches above ground level.

Ground attack by medium bombers, uses the C chart unless the target is illuminated then use the B chart.  This is the maximum altitude level for open cockpit aircraft.  Medium is twenty inches above ground level.

Dive bomber aircraft, use the B chart.  Start at Medium Level and move to Low Level to drop the bomb.  Descend one level per phase.  Dive Bombing is considered as a subset of Medium Level.

Ground attack by any aircraft, B chart unless the target is illuminated, then use the A chart.  Low level is ten inches above Ground Level.

NOE is one inch above ground level.  Modern aircraft and helicopters are the only aircraft that can fly NOE.  Nap of the Earth is considered as a subset of Low Level.  ATGM must be fired from NOE.

The ground is the surface of the land, water, trees or buildings.

Take Off and Landing

            Aircraft require a ground distance equal to the bank distance in order to take of or land.  Aircraft cannot fire or maneuver, during the take off, or landing turns, even while at higher altitudes.  For simplicity, aircraft dive at the same rate that they climb.  Aircraft firing at targets that are taking off or landing receive a 10% “to hit” bonus.


            Aircraft have a minimum endurance of a take off turn and a landing turn.  Aircraft may stay airborne an additional four game turns for the first 100 miles of aircraft range and one additional game turn for every additional 100 miles of aircraft range.  Aircraft must land on or before their landing turn or crash due to lack of fuel.

Aircraft Movement

            In normal flight aircraft move at a rate of one inch for every two miles per hour, plus three inches.  Divide the maximum speed of the aircraft at sea level in miles per hour by two, and then add three to the result.

            Aircraft conducting ground attacks move at a rate of one inch for every two miles per hour, plus three inches up to the speed of sound, 720 mph at sea level.  Divide the maximum speed of the aircraft at sea level in miles per hour by two, and then add three to the result.  That gives the maximum number of inches per turn that the aircraft may move in a turn in which they conduct a ground attack.  Aircraft conducting ground attacks cannot fly faster than the speed of sound, 720 mph at sea level.

            720 miles per hour / two = 360 + 3 = 363 inches per turn maximum, then divided by three for aircraft making ground attacks.  363 inches per turn / three phases = 121 inches of movement per phase is the maximum movement while making ground attacks.

            Aircraft must move each phase.  Aircraft, except lighter-than-air craft, helicopters, and V/STOL aircraft are subject to turning limits.  At the end of a movement phase an aircraft may fire any guns that it can bring to bear on a target aircraft.

Aircraft Type    Phase 1            Phase 2            Phase 3
Airship              Ground             Noe                  Low
Rotary              Ground             Noe                  Low
Piston               Ground             Ground             Low
Jet                   Ground             Ground             Low
Rocket             Ground             Medium                        Extreme

            On take off, aircraft move along the ground one or two-phases worth of movement.  After the take off turn piston aircraft lose 50% movement per phase to gain one altitude level.  Jets move two altitude levels per turn at a 50% cost.  Rockets move three altitude levels per phase at a cost of 50% per phase.  Aircraft must move straight ahead the first phase.

Aircraft use one phase speed to take off.  A plane that flies 200 mph moves 103 inches per turn, or 34 inches per phase.  It requires 34 inches to become airborne or land, up to 84 inches maximum runway length for any plane.

Dive bombing and NOE are special altitude levels that only certain types of aircraft can use.  In most cases consider Dive Bombing to start at medium level.  NOE is a special sub-set of low level.

Aircraft Turning and Banking

            Aircraft turn or bank in segments of up to 90 degrees per phase.  Aircraft may move and then turn; or turn and then move.  Aircraft that bank must move the full banking movement.  Aircraft may only bank once per phase.  To make a turn of 90 degrees or less, the aircraft must make a deduction from the forward speed equal to the amount arrived at by this formula.  Aircraft move forward the “banking” speed.

-1 inch for a triplane
-5 inches for a biplane
-10 inches for a monoplane
-15 inches for a wingless heavier-than-air craft
-5 inches for each piston engine
-10 inches for each jet engine
-15 inches for each rocket engine
-1 for every 100 horsepower or
-1 for every 100 pounds of thrust for jets and rockets

            Aircraft are limited in their ability to turn based on engine type, power, and wing configuration.  Three factors contribute to the turning radius of aircraft; engine type, number of wings, and horsepower or thrust.  Engine type; every piston engine adds 1 inch, every jet engine adds 5 inches, every rocket engine adds 10 inches.

            Wings add to the turning radius in the following manner: triplanes add 1 inch, biplanes add 5 inches, monoplanes add 10 inches, and wingless aircraft add 15 inches.  Horsepower adds to the turning radius based upon a formula of one inch for every 100 horsepower.

            Pounds of thrust add to the turning radius based on a formula of one inch for every 100 pounds of thrust per engine.

Welcome to my readers from Australia.

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