What to do about Zero (Sen that is) or what to do about the Hineri-Komi … your thoughts?

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James C
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What to do about Zero (Sen that is) or what to do about the Hineri-Komi … your thoughts?

Post by James C »

So I’m tooling up for some Pacific War gaming, mostly A6M “Zero” versus F4F Wildcats. As usual I’ve done way too much reading and it has led me to overthink the whole thing as usual.

So currently all marks of the Zero in BTH get the “Tailing a/c get -1 to stay on tail in Break Turn”. This makes sense at a basic level as the Zero had a low wing loading and could turn horizontally quite well. BUT, I have two issues with this as I gear up for my Pacific battle:

1) This simply makes the Zero just like the Spitfire in game terms, which isn’t terrible, but I’d a) like these two iconic aircraft to “fly” somewhat differently in the game and b) when them met over Darwin they were quite different. And even more importantly …

2) The whole “Tailing a/c get -1 to stay on tail in Break Turn” seems rather defensive in nature whereas we know that the Japanese pilots and tactics are quite offensively minded. So what to do?

Here’s what I’m thinking: Replace “Tailing a/c get -1 to stay on tail in Break Turn” with something involving the Snap Roll / Hineri-Komi (just Snap Roll from here for discussion) maneuver. (By the way, last year’s Osprey A6M Zero-sen Aces 1940-42 has probably the best description and picture of the Hineri-Komi maneuver I’ve ever seen in a book.)

I’d like to do something with the Snap Roll maneuver because it seems more “offensive minded” which would be keeping with a Japanese mindset. Also, it would more accurately depict the Allied maximum of “never dogfight with a Zero”. As it would play out, if you’re an Allied pilot and you get behind a Zero, do you take the tailing test (ie slow down to stay behind them, dogfight) or do you skip the test so that you don’t fall into the Snap Roll trap? The Snap Roll could represent either an actual Hineri-Komi or just using his low wing loading to do a tight turn in the horizontal – either way the result is the same, I had him in my sights & now I’m in his.

Any thoughts on this would be welcome?

A complicating factor is that the A5M Claude has in its notes: “Hineri Komi manoeuvre counts as tricky manoeuvre”. What does that even mean since only Veterans and Aces can attempt the Snap Roll? For modeling the Zero (or Claude for that matter), does that mean I should allow Regular pilots to attempt the maneuver?

Again, thoughts?

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Re: What to do about Zero (Sen that is) or what to do about the Hineri-Komi … your thoughts?

Post by Emilio »

I agree with you, the Zero would be able to use Hineri Komi. In this interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=824I_anxW-w , Saburo Sakai says the Zero was very agile in VERTICAL maneuvers, loops and the like. Curiously, Zero´s roll rate was worse than a P-40, for instance, so it is not as good in a break turn, but is better in a sustained turn because its lower wing loading. And aleirons became stiffer with speed.

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