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A more elegant solution to the Zero-Sen?

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:31 pm
by James C
So did F4Fs versus Zeros this morning. I won’t go into details, but it didn’t quite capture the reality I was trying to model. But after thinking it over during a run (I live in Texas so I can run outside as long as I stay 1 alligator length away from my neighbors, I do more alligators as a courtesy) I think I hit upon something more elegant and more in keeping with the Zero’s special strengths and weaknesses. First, I would rate the Zero as a MAN 6 with no underline or star. Then in the notes section I would put very simply:

“Any climbing or level maneuver that requires a roll gets a +1. Any diving maneuver that requires a roll gets a -1. Does not apply to Maneuver Test or Staying In Formation Test.”


So how would this work in the game? Areas where the Zero would get a bonus:

Break Turn: A Zero that attempts a Break Turn gets a +1 to its dice when determining if there is an altitude loss. Additionally, if that same Zero has a fighter on its tail, the Zero gets a +1 on its maneuver rating for the staying on the tail test (which would make it MAN 7 for that particular test).

Chandelle or Tight Chandelle: When executing a Chandelle, a Zero that has a fighter on its tail gets a +1 on its maneuver rating for the staying on the tail test.

Barrel Roll: Gets a +1 for Sprog altitude loss checks

Lufbery Circle: When in a Lufbery, a Zero that has a fighter on its tail gets a +1 on its maneuver rating for the staying on the tail test.

Immelmann Turn: When executing an Immelmann, a Zero that has a fighter on its tail gets a +1 on its maneuver rating for the staying on the tail test.

Snap Roll Evasive: Zero pilot gets a +1 on the altitude loss test.

Snap Roll Aggressive: Zero pilot gets a +1 to his MAN for the SPECIAL TEST.


Areas where the Zero would get a penalty:

Hard Dive: Zero pilot gets a -1 when taking the staying on the tail test versus a defender executing a Hard Dive.

Split-S: Zero pilot gets a -1 when taking the staying on the tail test versus a defender executing a Split-S.

Overhead Attack: Zero gets -1 dice for an Overhead Attack (his ailerons are getting stiff).


Spiral Climb (Zeros are too slow for this maneuver so no change. Corsair pilots take note).

Again an important note, the +1 or -1 would not apply to either the maneuver test nor the staying in formation test. So Sprog pilots would still have to roll to do a Break Turn, but if they have the situational awareness to do it, there’s less of a chance of losing altitude. This also means that more senior pilots who wouldn’t have to test for a break turn, still get a bonus in that they are less likely to lose altitude (low wing loading in both cases). For an F4F pilot with a Zero on his tail diving away in any form stiffens those Zero ailerons as they head downstairs helping with the escape.

I’m pretty excited to try this out and think it’s a much better solution to my previous. And despite the advantages they get from level or climbing maneuvers, the Zero will still blow up quite nicely if you hit it with six 50s. What do you guys think? I’d like to hear if anybody else tries it.

Fly Navy
James

Re: A more elegant solution to the Zero-Sen?

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:08 pm
by Baldie
Will give it a try next time we get BTH out.

Re: A more elegant solution to the Zero-Sen?

Posted: Sun May 17, 2020 1:56 pm
by James C
So simpler is better, thus I've paired down the above to the following for the A6M (all versions):

Gets a +1 on Break Turn altitude adjustment roll; -1 to staying on the tail roll against a defender in a hard dive.

That's a little wordy to make it into the margins, but you get the idea. There is one other thing I'm doing to get the table to match the history I've been reading. Even into 1944 US Navy pilots talk about how they are able to defeat Japanese pilots because they break up into singles to individually dogfight. It's basically an addition to the Shotai rules. If a Shotai is shot at, it will break up into singles regardless of results.

I'll let everybody know how it goes.

Re: A more elegant solution to the Zero-Sen?

Posted: Mon May 18, 2020 4:02 pm
by James C
The playtesting continues. I’m not happy with the above. I’d like to have any aircraft with no more than 1 rule to remember, the above basically has 2. AND I’d like to capture the specific flavor of the Japanese pilots and their Zero. So next I’m going to try the following…

A6M pilots get to an additional D4 if they execute the Hineri-Komi maneuver.

So they would get Pilot skill + Difference in MAN + D6 + D4 while the defender gets Pilot skill + D6. Did test rolls with both an additional D6 and and additional D4, but I’m going to go with a D4 for now. I initially wanted to just say an additional D6 for simplicity but that seemed too powerful. I want there to be a shred of “well maybe” just to leave some doubt.

The big thing I wanted to capture was two tenants of the Pacific War (play the period), the Japanese use of the Hineri-Komi, and the Allied admonishment to “never dogfight a Zero” which in this instance I’m taking to mean “never take the getting on the tail test.” Hopefully the above change captures both. We’ll see.

Try this and let me know if you like it. I’m more hopeful for the above than the previous.