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Fighting Fools (until I think of something better)

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  • Fighting Fools (until I think of something better)

    ... and I better think fast.

    This is an idea for a war-game on a micro-level. I can either have this for 5 guys leading one team each... but that gets us back to the usual problems of waiting for someone to show up and get his thing done.

    So, instead of that, here is something that is independent of all that bothersome teamwork.

    In a semi-dark future, an idea comes about to defuse Global Tensions via a proxy-war with a twist. In 2019 an area of land and water is set aside for a Gladiatorial competition unlike anything seen before. In a box 300 x 240 miles, five "Teams" go to war over control of 10 islands with a variety of resources. This war is fought for media consumption... thus providing an outlet for societies that demand entertaining violence, and Heroes.

    The Technology is limited to what was in operational condition in the 1940s (and there are other restrictions, as we shall see) in air, land and sea units. Everything involved is a faithful reproduction, and everyone involved is a volunteer.
    Some are more enthusiastic than others.

    Where we will be concerned is in the air. This is the heart of the operation, and competition is fierce to be one of the Glory Boys who have replaced the Sports Stars of the decades before.

    The original idea (from Japan, of all places) was for 25 aircraft, 2,500 tons of ships & boats, and 25,000 for each Army. Volunteers and gear came up short for the Armies, a single Regiment of Brigade is what they field now. 2,000 tons is all any navy has, enough to shuttle small units around but not enough to protect them very well.
    However, 25 aircraft turned out to be easy to fulfill for everyone involved.

    The year is 2025, 4 teams have been eliminated, to be replaced with 4 new ones over the years. While lacking the "hook" it once had, the game remains fascinating to the planetary audience because of the ever-changing nature of the (truly) unscripted action.

    The small number of participants over such a wide area works in favor of the games. Aircraft generally operate in ones or twos, a handful of armed boats will struggle to control a whole channel between islands, and the "armies" are too small to fully control any island. Mechanized task-forces have to confront each other in ways that have not been seen since the days of Cavalry and Lancers... there simply are not enough men to fortify enough of an island to be considered "in control" of the place.

    Role-playing is an open-ended option- you can get by with the minimum if the players want to go that way. Or, if you have others on your team, you can go into as much detail as you like.

    We will start simple, with 5 Stats;
    Piloting ..... your ability to maneuver, land in fog, ect.
    Gunnery ..... aim
    Charisma..... Does the camera like you?
    Toughness... How long will you be down after a wreck?
    Instinct....... That tiny speck; yours, enemy, or something else?

    Start with one pip in each, and 5 to distribute as you will.

    As a pilot, you can state your 1st and 2nd preference for an aircraft. A roll based on your first 3 stats will determine what you get.

    The five teams are;
    Team J (Japan)
    Team Alfa (American)
    Team Zulu (Arabic)
    Team 88 (Germany)
    Team Black (EU)
    Team "X" (non-player, 4 planes that come and kill you for breaking the rules of engagement in a big way)

    that was a lot for one post, I'll do team histories later

  • #2
    The Teams

    Gents, before you ask, there are NO JETS in the teams. They are only present with the game enforcers who's main job is Enforce the containment area. They will also retaliate if any team is found guilty of massive and deliberate attacks on civilians.

    The Teams;
    J - Japan
    20 x Zeros (later mods)
    2 x JM2 "Raiden"
    1 x Nakajima J1N "Irving"
    1 x Mitsubishi J5N
    1 x Constellation 4-engine (recon, primarily)
    Total = 25 (recent re-fit)

    In since the start, this team originally flew some odd-looking pusher Fighters. They turned out to be treacherous to new pilots, but worst of all they were not recognizable as a national statement. Aesthetics count for something in this war.
    The Zeros were introduced after modifications including an up-rated engine that allows for armor and better fuel tanks, and most importantly better flight controls that allow for great maneuverability at high speeds... something the original was lacking.
    The Raidens are top-notch rides for the best aces in the unit.
    The Irving is a night fighter, and the other twin-engine aircraft, the J5N, has been relegated to ground-attack.
    The Constellation is a capture, and has never been used for bombing.

    These folk keep to themselves, and are rumored to be using clones despite the surplus of volunteers for the air service, and the fact that the Army is mostly Chinese.

    Alpha - Americans
    9 x P-51 Mustangs
    2 x P-38
    3 x P-40
    2 x P-47
    1 x Hellcat
    1 x B-17
    1 x B-24
    Total = 19

    For political reasons, the entry of a US-based team did not come until the 2nd year. Despite fine aircraft they have the smallest remaining group because their navy is weak in AAA and the army also needs support for the same reason. In addition, they are the only team with an antipathy with two opposing teams. More about that later

    Zulu - Pan-Arabic
    23 x Me-109 (including a pair of K-model)
    1 x Stuka
    1 x Condor
    Total = 25
    (recent re-fit)

    Taking over from the Hispanic team (thus the 109s) This team entered a year and a half ago, and has the only antipathy with another team that is based on real-world animosity.
    Animosity; the affected teams are especially hostile to each other and will avoid rescue of enemy lost at sea, rarely take captives and if they do it is for immediate ejection from the game.
    Good Will; these teams will go out of the way to rescue those lost at sea, exchange captives regularly and will avoid combat with each other unless a major operation is at stake.
    (and yes, we just had to have some Zulus here! )
    This team is largely funded by the oil-rich Princes, established after a mainly Egyptian/Moroccan team was annihilated by the following team;

    88 - German
    9 x He 100
    4 x FW-190D
    6 x FW-190A
    1 x Hs-129
    1 x Ju-88
    1 x Fl 282 v23
    1 x Fl 223 v14
    Total = 23

    Named for an operational vintage 88mm guarding the main airfield, this team was delayed for a year by the infamous feud among the Europeans that gave rise to two teams.
    Bitterly disappointed by the disqualification of Me-262s from the events (for which there is already a firm making replica aircraft) the Germans broke from the Eu project and formed their own highly successful group. The Fl are helicopters, proving useless for anything by pilot recovery in the later case, but the army demands the retention of the v23 for its own use.
    The animosity with the Alfas stems from a suggestion from a US Ace that a Mustang pilot could not consider himself a real wonder-boy until he downed a FW-190. The 88s objected to this "barbaric practice of counting coupe'". Since the suggestion had originated with the son of an Apache Timber Baron, the Alpha response was.. colorful, to say the least.
    This team currently has goodwill towards none.

    Black - EU (a.k.a.; the flying 8-balls)
    2 x Spitefire IX
    2 x Corsair (RN)
    1 x Wildcat (RN)
    2 x IAR-81 (Romania)
    2 x Mc.202 (It.)
    1 x Mc.205 (It,)
    1 x Cr.42 (It.)
    1 x Brewster Buffalo (Finn)
    1 x P-39 (Fr)
    1 x Bk 534 (Cz)
    7 x Me-110 (3 have radar)
    1 x Lancaster
    Total = 22

    Salvage from the non-German side of European project, a genuine Hodge-podge and the Black-Sheep of the whole game. The name comes from the predilection of certain elements of the team for night-fighting (imagine a Lanc being escorted to its target by Me-110s!) and thus many all-black aircraft.
    The exuberant Italians are the sticky-stuff that holds the herd together. Attrition has whittled them down here, but they still have a large presence in the navy.
    Yes, there are a pair of BiPlanes, kept in use because they are the only aircraft that are able to use the cratered grass runways on the islands. The Buffalo is also surprisingly effective, being the light-weight Finnish variant. The other US-built fighters are the Royal Navy versions, minus the useless tail-hook.
    Animosity- J
    Goodwill - Alfa

    Team "X"
    1 x Do-335
    3 x Ta-152
    This shadowy group is thought to have an airfield somewhere inside the containment area, but it has never been found.
    Functioning as both a form of internal enforcement and as the ultimate challenge, these planes are painted pearl-white from end to end to ensure proper identification. What makes them especially deadly is the pilots, who's identity is kept secret, but are known by the frightening cal-signs of "Teacher", "School-master" and the like. Indeed, these men are taken from the training commands and can be expected to be highly skilled and to be familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of the pilots them encounter.

    Infractions that might earn you an (often fatal) meeting with one of these guys can include; shooting another pilot while dangling from a parachute {repeat offenses guarantee it} masquerading and civilians, deliberate targeting of civilians, and "teaming"... ie; when two teams work together to destroy another.

    Obviously, new pilots cannot join this team.

    Maps and rules to follow.


    • #3
      Don't Panic.
      I will go back and ink this in later, we still have a week or two before it starts anyway;

      It still amazes me how this hookup washes the definition out, going with color next time.

      Team Black is lower right, the rest should be obvious.

      The lower island is Koloras, and the resource it offers is Medical. There are two Fuel islands, 3 food islands and 4 mineral islands.
      At this time, Alpha has Gonda and Koloras, Black has Umred and Mizo, 88 has Rihand and Pendra, J has Comorin and Dhoda, Zulu has Makari and Tandur.

      Here is the kind of view of the action you will have-

      From now on, I'm using magic markers...

      Some fights will need just one of these, others will need half a dozen.

      In the WW1 game, I allowed the players to learn as they went.
      This time, the capabilities of every machine involved will be spelled out in advance... once you have chosen a team the particulars on your own machines will be revealed in detail. Overall, they are the same as they were in WW2.

      More to follow....
      Last edited by The Exorcist; 19 Dec 12, 21:37.


      • #4
        To continue-

        You are looking to gain points here, to win the game and get ranking.
        Yeah, sophomoric, but the structure of the game is for individual achievement. You get extra points for being on the winning side, but it's still possible to be the most prestigious Ace and be on the loosing side.

        I'm still working on the exact points for each type of win. Some aircraft are worth more than others...

        There will also be points for ground and naval targets, some folks that specialize in those can get big recognition, but nothing will be worth as much as a 1st-line fighter.

        If you are shot down with 0-2 kills under your belt, you might be put in a lesser aircraft next. 3-4 and you will probably get another of the same type as a replacement. 5 or more an you stand an increasingly good chance of getting an upgrade.

        On a daily basis, there is a one in four chance you will be assigned a mission, which will be as part of a group from 4 to a dozen. Unless your side is involved in a major operation, you will be free to chart out your own path the rest of your time. At the start, you can ask to tag along as someone else's wingman, go it alone or escort a Heavy if the opportunity comes up.
        If you have a one-of-a-kind aircraft, you won't be (or have) a wingman.
        Later, depending on how fast you rise in the ranks, you can get a wingman, plan larger ops, and eventually take charge of a 'wing' of 4 aircraft. If you survive a year and have enough true victories you can re-up to take charge of your squadron.
        But... that would take a while.

        The mechanics of creating pilots is minimal, but a certain amount of back-story and personality is needed IF you are planning to go the Charismatic route up the ladder.
        One word of caution; too much show-boating is the other way to earn yourself a visit from the X-flight. NObody likes a smart-ass.

        Many aircraft have different armament options, you can do as you like with that but everything is a compromise of some sort.
        Example; the P-51 can have 4 or 6 50-cal. MGs. Why would anyone want 4? Because with only 4 you can carry more ammo, something a pilot with a high gunnery rating might consider.

        I mentioned civilians...
        There are many here, they add to the drama.
        Why would anyone want to live in what is essentially a permanent war-zone?
        No taxes, for one thing. To keep things under control, no international Bankers are allowed to use blaze-orange (the color that denotes civilians) and thus their holdings are free to be seized, or just bombed for the heck of it if you like. Their government is the responsibility of the Team that occupies their land, and without the incentive of taxes or other extortion that Govt is generally minimal, townships basically administer themselves.
        A few years ago, there was an atrocity, and the Team behind it tried to justify it by claiming that the civilians in their area had been passing information to an opposing Team. They might even have been right.
        The evacuation of the Containment Area was contemplated, but in a crowded world so much land cannot be abandoned for the sake of this sort of thing. So, a million or so people had to be found that had no real sympathy for any team, an aversion to violence and hopefully be coming from a nation with an excess population to begin with.

        Enter the Hindus.
        We'll call them that, like everyone else does, despite the large proportion of Buddhists. Like the Teams, they re restricted to a 1940s level of technology... a step up for many of them. They farm, trade, make things and generally just live in a relatively normal way.
        Even on "those bloody islands".
        They can be depended on to be indifferent to the Teams, supply what you pay for, and to have bomb-shelters on every residence. They live reasonably well, despite the fact that they could loose their homes in an instant (no insurance) and about 10% live a nomadic life, either on land or at sea.
        Their roofs, boats, vehicles and clothes all have blaze-orange borders. Leave them be, or bad press will only be the start of your problems.

        Any questions so far?


        • #5
          Oh yeah, the best thing of all;
          There will be no waiting for other players, due to the structure of the game, there will be no need for it.

          Medieval Knights didn't wait for the rest of the army before they went looking for something to kill, after all.

          On weeks when you don't feel like taking part, or are otherwise detained, your aircraft will be "down for maintenance". That can mean anything from a blown tire to a cracked engine block (you wouldn't want to fly it either way) and there are also medical problems. Players who have an intense run of many weeks will still face such things, its litterally a roll of the dice to see how much you and your machine can take.

          Also, I will allow an extra character for each player, if desired, but they have to be on the same Team.
          Chars will be of the same basic Nationality as the Team, Female pilots are not allowed in Team Zulu or Team J.

          It is possible, but rare, for Pilots to have started in the Army and worked their way up to the Air Service. This takes about 3 years, so is not allowed for Zulu or Black Teams.

          The Navy and Army exist in General terms for you Pilots. I have it all written up in detail, but until you make Captain (and 'wing' leader) nobody is going to tell you all the details anyway.

          Over-all, the other services are as such;
          J - Navy- two of the largest ships, a Gunboat and a Minesweeper over 600 tons each. ((by nescessity, each team has mines and a way to remove them)) The Rickety fleet of 400 tons worth of barges is insufficient to meet the needs of the Army anymore so the Army took it's Special advent to bolster its "support". Thus the Army has a selection of Mike-Boats, and LST and a good bit of light Flak.

          "Special" advantages are held by each Army, part of a program (successful) to make them more interesting to viewers and to recruits.

          Zulu - Several good transports with insufficient escorts, putting pressure on the Fighters for escort. The Army Special is unique; 4 x Strumoviks for support. This is not counted against the Air Service total because they never do anything but support the ground troops.
          (Bakshesh, anyone?)

          Alfa - like the above, excelent logistic support with barely adequate escort. This army chose a Special consisting of an additional Task-Force of about 300 men, fully mechanized.

          88 - a Navy of many small, sophisticated light craft and ferries, as well as ferries and an infamous "Flak-Lighter". This Army also chose an additional Ttask Force, or Kampfgruppe.

          Black - A well-balanced force that includes a tiny hospital ship and a Hydrofoil that lays mines, this Navy works well in most cases. The Army went with Commandos for its Special, including a Tetrarc light tank with it's own glider (don't loose that Lancaster!).

          I'll get more done with this after Xmas.


          • #6
            ONE LAST THING-
            Some of you are wondering about the selection of aircraft for the teams, and the seeming bias there.

            Well, partly to keep it random, and partly because of the ideas it inspired, I took all of these from one issue of an aviation history magazine.
            This particular issue, the only one I have at hand, was focused on Axis fighters of WW2.
            Truth- every individual plane here was pictured in that one magazine.

            I'll have to come up with something else when it comes time for replacements...


            • #7
              It's very interesting. I just don't feel comfortable jumping in before the new year and all this holiday crap, both at work and home, is taken care of. Especially since I had to back out of the Napoleonic game (even if only temporarily).
              Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene


              • #8
                I will be setting the scene around New Years, should have the point system done by then for you all to look at.
                Like I said, absences of weeks or even months won't have any effect, you'd just fall behind in the point-standings.

                And if everyone takes the same team, the competition could get awfully damn fierce.


                • #9
                  Things to be recorded before I forget them, again.
                  (no, I'm serious about running this someday, why are you looking at me like that?)

                  Point scoring, part one;
                  Shooting down an equivalent enemy fighter; 100 points.
                  Enemy bombers; 50 points per engine.
                  Sinking an enemy vessel; 1 point per ton, shared among all aircraft taking part.
                  Strafing enemy troops; 1 point per man killed, 2 for each wounded.
                  Soft vehicles; 5 points
                  AFVs; 10 points

                  1st-line Fighters; P-51, FW-190, Corsair, Spitfire, Raiden, Me-109K,
                  2nd-line fighters;P-39, J5N, Me-110 (daylight), P-40(?)
                  Everything else is in between, including the Me-110 at night.
                  At least, that's what I am thinking, so far, BiPlanes are even further behind. I have to come up with a scale for the differing values/odds.

                  Two teams have mostly a single type of fighter. This will help with maintenance and speed recovery from damage, obviously. Compensating for that advantage will be the fact that they are not 1st-line machines, and it might be harder for pilots to really stand out. Each squadron also had a pair of top-notch machines for the best aces.

                  Meet the first non-player character; sub-zero Nell.
                  Part of the omnipresent media, Nell goes from airfield to airfield making cool, detached reports without a trace of any emotional involvment, even if that airfield is being bombed at the time. The only crack in the ice-cold exterior came after an extended tour of the field hospitals, and even that is only visible in the interpretive dancing she now does for the troops at random intervals;
                  (shameless plug, I'm actually curious about who that mystery dancer might be)

                  And more- a traveling Circus!
                  Or not... suddenly having second thoughts about this one.
                  How could a group survive if all the teams suspected they were spying for the other teams?


                  • #10
                    Better pics;

                    Here is the Containment area;

                    Better, eh?
                    Let me know if it shows up poorly. Looks 100% better to me.

                    And here is an example of a practice engagement;

                    Lt. Smith takes his P-47 north-west from the advanced base in Alfa territory. Before he can reach the reservoir he sees the following scene;

                    He is on a converging course with 2 Zeros, who don't seem to have spotted him yet- they appear to be focused on the unknown aircraft ahead of them.
                    Smith elects to pass on a long-range deflection (high angle, and therefore difficult) shot and instead attempts to slip in behind his quarry for the easier tail-shot. Smith also relieves his wing-man of watch-duty and will allow him to take a shot at the #2 enemy aircraft.
                    This last part is important; the P-47 has a massive firepower advantage, but stands little chance in a dogfight with a healthy Zero. Trying to take both down at the same time is a pretty good strategy.

                    Default move; if the initial attack fails, Smith plans to go to full power and zoom away. The hills and mountains in front of him make a dive dangerous... to say the least.
                    (Smith has a much higher gunnery rating than piloting)

                    As the attack is joined, the J-team wingman makes his Intuition roll and spots the P-47s at the last second (he was not ordered to join the planned attack on the mystery plane). The Zeros take an evasive maneuver; a Loop. Astonishing Smith, the Zeros complete the maneuver 1,000 feet higher than they began it, still in formation. They are now above and well behind the P-47s... who are now zooming away into the mountains.

                    Smith can now, among other options (which are limited only by his imagination, and the performance of his aircraft) include;
                    -continue on. leaving the Zeros behind
                    -continue on, searching for the mystery plane and hope his next intuition roll gives him a clue as to what it is
                    -using the peaks for cover, come back around and hope for another crack at the Zeros
                    -change course slightly and go on to 88's area, and look for some ground targets to 'beat-up'... which was the scheme he used in the first place to convince his wingman to come along on his little raid into 88 home-turf.

                    Turning back to tangle with the Zeros is also an option, and a foolish one to all appearances... but you never know.



                    • #11
                      A few more things about the main map-

                      the scale in miles is shown along the bottom and right edges. These can also be used for at 240/20.

                      Main population centers have initials next to them. You will note that some have set up nest to military airbases and ports. These places are inhabited by people who accept the danger of falling bombs in exchange for a more profitable lifestyle. This is especially the case in the right side of the map.

                      Aircraft; Range and Radius are two different things; Range is a straight-line distance at optimal cruising speed. Radius is how far out you can go from one base, fight, and return to that same base. It includes some combat at full throttle and major changes in altitude.
                      For example; the Mc.202 has a Range of 475 miles... and a combat radius of 150 miles.

                      There are many aircraft on short leashes in this game, which is why there are minor airfields closer to the action than the main airbases.
                      And, again, there are two biPlanes in the game because those are the only ones that can use what is left of the island airfields.

                      Back to points for shoot-downs;
                      100 points if for a victory in your own class. 150 for beating one a class above, and 200 for beating one two classes over yours... if you can.
                      For Bombers, there is not "class", you get 100 points per engine. Yes, a B-17 is worth 400 points, which makes teamwork very profitable in this case.

                      The Me 110 is a crazy variable in this case. 1st class at night, 2nd class by day, and a twin-engine bomber worth 200 points if used that way on that mission.
                      No other aircraft has such variable points.


                      • #12
                        Well... maybe this wasn't such a great idea?

                        I'll leave this up for another week. If there is not interest in it, I'll withdraw the whole idea.


                        • #13
                          I will jump in ex it does sound interesting


                          • #14
                            I'm intrigued, what will turns be like? i could handle WW1 wargame pace i think.
                            Task Force Regenbogen- Support and Paras


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dashy View Post
                              I'm intrigued, what will turns be like? i could handle WW1 wargame pace i think.
                              Oh HELL no, that game turned me into a wreck!

                              I will post the weather and tactical situation for a particular Day, and PM you if there are any particular conditions that you and you alone need to be aware of. This includes the condition of your aircraft (you DO have the option of flying on a promising day even if your machine is not 100%).
                              Then, you tell me WHERE you will head out from your airbase and what you intend to do, and what location you intend to patrol. Time of takeoff is important.

                              Once you have chosen a side, details on your team and equipment will be revealed to you, especially the performance of your particular aircraft. Your Navy will be covered as well, to make sure you don't blow up any of your own! You will not be told much about your own army, to make sure you can't tell anyone else, but the situation on the islands your side is fighting for will be made clear to you.

                              As a beginner, you make 1,000 Euros a week, over and above living expenses. Discipline is enforced by fines, which can be heavy, and cost you Points as well.

                              The location is equatorial, so sunrise and sunset vary little over the course of the year. Occasionaly, heavy weather ground all flight ops. This is generally when the higher ranks go looking for a reporter to brag to. Grounds crews spend the day in the hangar working on your birds.
                              (the more aircraft of one type on hand, the greater the overall readiness is)

                              I suggest you have 2 Chars ready, you can even play them both at the same time. Give them whatever detail yu want, but the one that makes it longer can be given more attention and background as things go on.

                              "Pips" for char development are awarded for every 25 missions flown, and for every 200 points gained in victories.

                              One Turn can last as little as the 6 days grace period allowed for actions after I post the daily brief. If nobody will (or can) do anything that day, 24 more hours later I just flip ahead to the next day.
                              And, if you just don't feel like logging in that day, no sweat, the "war" will still be there tomorrow.
                              A Heavy Day can make the turn last for more than a week, maybe two. That would be the case if we have a fight between PCs and one of the other is slow to respond in one of those rare long-term Dogfights. It could also be the case if you bail-out, survive and land in hostile territory. There are a lot of Grunts that will shoot a pilot if given half a chance.

                              Typically, you show me a flight plan (very basic) and maybe 2 out of 3 times you won't see any other aircraft. You will learn to hunt better as you go along, so its nightly variable. If you make contact, I show you the situation as pictured above, and you send me your response, as well as a back-up plan.
                              Usually, that will be it. Few fights will last more than a panel or two. Ammo goes fast, and so do your planes!

                              New players can join in, old ones can go on "furlough", at any time.

                              Hopefully, I have come up with the right format for an ACG game. But, I would like at least 3 people involved before I crank this one up.
                              Last edited by The Exorcist; 04 Jan 13, 15:28.


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