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I'd posted this idea on the Facebook group and there was some good discussion about it. You can see that here, if you're interested: 


Here's where I got to at the end of all that. The "No hull total" column is the plane's max speed + top manoeuvre + throttle - handling. It's "no hull" because at one point I was thinking of subtracting hull, but decided against. It didn't change the order much and resulted in negative numbers, which was odd. People felt that this gave us too big a range of numbers, so I halved those values in the next column (rounding up). I then gave all planes with only 2 hull a +1 bonus, to represent the advantage of having a light weight fighter*.




So the idea is that, in the movement phase, planes should activate in the order of their score in the right hand column. Grot Bommers and Marauder Destroyers would be first with lightnings and barracudas with afterburners last. Ties would alternate as in the standard rules, so if barracudas and lightnings fought, whoever was going first would move the first one.


Lockdown has meant I haven't yet tested this system. I think it removes the advantage of having more planes, which is good. It also means that, in general, the tougher, shootier planes will have to move before the flimsy, lightly armed ones. I might actually take a lightning instead of a thunderbolt in this system, for example.


However it might be a problem that it's a bit fixed. A dakkajet always moves after a thunderbolt, for exmaple. So there's an option to add some randomness. At the start of each turn you'd roll a D6 for each plane and add that to its initiative score. You'd need to keep track of that with something like a D20 by each plane. I think I prefer this as it means a pilot might sometimes have a moment of inspiration to do better than expected (or less well!). But it adds to the complexity, which is not ideal.


*AKA the "but why would you take an avenger?" bonus.

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Beaky Brigade

Beaky Brigade


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It looks like a well thought out system, I do sort of like the idea of fighters having an innate reaction advantage, as it's just common sense that a fighter on the tail of a un-manoeuvrable bomber is less likely to be shaken off than a bomber on the tail of a fighter, no matter how much of an ace the bomber pilot is.

My main constructive critiques/feedback/Heretic's Advocate for the system would be:
  • Extra admin (potentially) slowing down the game
  • Should aces have a better value than the stock value for their aircraft or should that just be a specific ace ability for some aces?
  • The numbers you've come up with are logical for the aircraft but presumably would be arbitrarily changed based on testing/balance if actually published, and may not work as intended with future factions (Eldar?).
  • What if you want to activate a faster aircraft bomber first to move it out the way of another aircraft, land or occupy a certain hex before an opponent to achieve an objective? This may be important with the new FAQ rules for 'hopping' over aircraft and the risk of damage or flying off the table. Currently AI has strategy elements as well as realistic air combat sim elements, and removing the choice of moving certain aircraft first alters that. So order of movement is more determined by list selection than tabletop situation. It may be a worthwhile trade off but it should be considered.
  • Fighters with a certain speed can already out climb bombers so can sometimes avoid the fire from 'gunships' by keeping out of altitude until they can come in for the kill.
Personal observations that may only affect me so should be taken as such!
  • This may be a good system but it would effectively have to be a new edition of the game and all aircraft would need to be rebalanced to ensure they operated as
    intended. I'm not personally ready for that yet!
  • With narrative play you may not need this system as you might be less likely to use a bomber as a 'heavy fighter' (Not intended as judgement of your play).
In terms of the ground defences issue, it does reduce the number of activations you have, but the trade off is they can be effective at protecting objectives. In a lot of missions it's impossible for the attacker to win no matter how many defender aircraft they kill if they haven't scored on the objective. In your last mission it looks like you called it before you dropped troops? I guess though with so many transports victory was still inevitable right?

I'd be interested to see you develop and test your system, it might be worth a separate thread so it's not lost in your other hobby updates. At the moment I'm not playing enough to test this myself but I'd like to see how it gets on.

BTW The AI FAQ email is AeronauticaImperialisFAQ@GWPLC.com

Edited by Beaky Brigade, 09 September 2020 - 10:45 PM.

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