Ares Games

Ramblings Over the Front

Five Pegs and Altitude

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Quote Originally Posted by predhead View Post
In looking at altitude but realizing that how our group currently plays with the four-peg option and moving drastically away from that is probably not going to happen, using the advanced altitude rules is most likely a direction we would head as we like the simplicity of four pegs, plus we are most likely not enamored with the thought of changing flight stands that would represent the advanced altitude stats. And one cannot use multiple pegs to represent the advanced altitude as the pegs will tumble...broken planes are not a desired outcome.

However, five pegs are sturdy enough to not worry about tip overs and would provide a little flexibility for altitude bands. Therefore, I went through the exercise and gathered historical data for dozens of planes and determined a five peg rating system. Along the way I also looked at climb rates, but that will be a different post. What I discovered is that several of the game ratings simply did not align with the historical data, as questionable as it could be for planes from the Great War.

Method - the plane with the lowest altitude was the FarmanH.F.20, coming in at 2,667 meters. The plane with the highest altitude was the Siemens-Schuckert D.III with a height of 8,050 meters. Knowing that I wanted the lowest height to be two pegs, and then balancing the other aircraft I had data for, I came up with these bands:

One peg – below 2,667 meters
Two pegs - 2,667 to 3,450 meters
Three pegs - 3,500 to 5,150 meters
Four pegs - 5,200 to 7,000 meters
Five pegs - 7,100 to 8,050 meters

Maybe not a perfect bandwidth representation, but now I was on to something. I then started comparing the advanced ratings in the game (also using the Wings of Linen site for aircraft not rated in the rules) to balance the historical data. Some aircraft align nicely, while others are a tad out of whack.

As an example, let’s use the 250 hp D.H.4. Historically its ceiling was 4,900 meters. However, the game’s advanced altitude rating is 15. Using the historical ratings, it should have an advanced altitude of 11 (as compared to other aircraft with the same historical ceiling), and in the five-peg system it would have a max height of three pegs (the 375 hp version would be four pegs).

Changing the generic four peg system to five pegs, then using the historic data to place parameters does have an impact on early war aircraft. For example, the Albatros C.III would only have a two-peg altitude in the five-peg system. It would not be able to, using the current rules, be able to attempt an over dive to reduce the impact of a fire. I would also venture to state that the current over dive process is overkill as again each peg represents a massive amount of vertical space. I would change the over dive rule to along the lines of the following:

Over dive One – If a plane has no climb counters it executes the dive, removing a peg and placing the number of climb counters for the type of aircraft being used, minus one. For the straight card that follows, remove all climb counters. Thus, the change is just one total peg, but with climb counters factored in, there is an impact on firing on the diving plane (explained later).

If the plane does have climb counters, then the dive maneuver removes those, and then the straight card that follows drop one peg.

Height advantage for firing needs to have a drastic change as well since the vertical space is far, far more than the range of a machine gun. To gain a height advantage both planes need to be at the same number of pegs, but the firing plane would have to have at least one climb counter while the target plane would have none. This makes the vertical space a bit more realistic within the game but reduces the number of times this advantage would appear. And when used with the over dive offering above, one can see that altitude is now a fickler beast.

I have a climb rates and altitudes file now added here on the forum:

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