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Thread: Higher Gun House Rule Option

  1. #1

    Default Higher Gun House Rule Option

    Following a discussion elsewhere over the merits of the 'Higher Machine Gun' optional rules it seems I'm maybe not the only one who has an issue with it, particularly when used in a head to head pass.
    To quote Tim;
    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Helmut View Post
    I managed to eradicate the card in my gaming group, when I pointed out that a plane could shoot horizontally at long range against an on-rushing opponent, then, on the next card (when the two planes overlap) the pilot could unlock the gun, pull it back into an upward-firing direction, lock it again, then aim and fire (gaining two damage cards, both at +1 for consecutive fire) all within a 2 second time duration!!!!!
    And, of course, the enemy cannot shoot back.

    Clearly, ridiculous.
    And to my mind very gamey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Officer Kyte View Post
    Quite agree Tim.
    I only ever let Ball use the Higher Machine Gun as no other Ace I have ever read about mentions using it.
    Rob.
    Quote Originally Posted by gully_raker View Post
    I totally agree Rob!
    I never use the SE's Lewis for anything except straight ahead shooting.

    Had to sneak in Baz's 'favourite' in a N.17 ...

    So here are the rules in question:

    Higher Machine Gun: (Basic & Standard rule)
    The machine gun on the upper wing of an aircraft can be used to fire upward.
    If a pilot does not execute a steep manoeuvre, it can fire on an airplane overlapping its base if part of the target base is within the firing arc. the shot is considered to be short range.


    Higher Machine Gun: (Advanced rule)
    The machine gun on the upper wing of an aircraft can be used to fire upward.
    If the altitude rules are in use, the aircraft does not execute a steep manoeuvre, it can fire at long range on an airplane overlapping its firing arc exactly one altitude level above.
    It can also fire at short range at airplanes overlapping its firing arc at the same altitude level unless the firer has climb counters and the target does not.


    N.16

    And some suggestions to improve their use in play:
    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Helmut View Post
    I'm toying with the idea of re-introducing the card, with the following rules..........

    1) Play a long straight, and announce re-positioning of the gun (plane may not fire pilot guns at all on this card). Place the 'Higher Machine Gun' card on the console.
    2) Play any number of cards - plane may only fire the 'Higher Machine Gun' in an overlap situation (any other gun may fire normally instead, ie SE5a cowling Vickers may fire as a 'B' gun, but not both on the same card!)
    3) On any long straight, the pilot may return the gun to horizontal firing (may not fire on this card, and must announce the cessation of the 'Higher Machine Gun' card). The card is removed from the console.

    Needs more play-testing.
    I suggest it be only used when attacking through the blindspot below the tail - as that's how it was really used. Getting into such a position in WoG might be nigh on impossible without serious forward planning- unless your opponent was asleep - and combined with Tim's house rule suggestions unlikely to happen by chance.
    I also think the amount of damage caused should be curtailed - you can fire between altitudes already but only deal 1 card at close range - maybe the same should apply to the Higher machine gun rule.
    You'd get a shot at close range (within blindspot) dealing 1 card damage and a shot if overlapped dealing 2 card damage to make it worth the effort, or, make it 1 card with a +1 same as when firing down on a plane.


    N.11

    So mashing this about into the format of the original rules we could end up with something like this:

    Higher Machine Gun House Rule: (Basic & Standard rule)
    The machine gun on the upper wing of an aircraft can be used to fire upward if it has previously taken a phase to tilt the weapon upward and if the pilot does not execute a steep manoeuvre when firing.
    It can fire on an airplane overlapping its base if part of the target base is within the firing arc and the shot passes through the targets blindspot to reach the peg. The shot is considered to be long range at +1.

    Higher Machine Gun House Rule: (Advanced rule)
    If the altitude rules are in use: The machine gun on the upper wing of an aircraft can be used to fire upward if it has previously taken a phase to tilt the weapon upward and if the pilot does not execute a steep manoeuvre when firing.
    It can fire on an airplane if it is in the targets blindspot, or overlapping, exactly one altitude level below. The shot is considered to be long range with +1.
    It can also fire at airplanes overlapping its firing arc at the same altitude level unless the firer has climb counters and the target does not.
    and shot passes through the targets blindspot to reach the peg. The shot is considered to be long range with +1.

    Or something along those lines.


    N.23

    "He is wise who watches"

  2. #2

    Default

    Interesting that the quotes presented with the above discussion only support one side of the argument.

    Again, I am no expert in gun mounts, nor how easy it would be to: 1) fly the plane; 2) disengage a locking mechanism; and 3) aim and shoot another plane.

    The image of the French Ni.16 above shows a ring and wire release, probably with a spring-loaded lock on the front support. As 'easy' as grabbing the ring and pulling it. Having to spend an entire phase to affect this is too much. Getting it back in the mount, might take a bit more effort, though, and a phase pause might be in order.

    Rethinking the original comments, and situations where the equipment card would be employed, especially in a head-on encounter, I'd almost want to consider that the use of the Higher Machine Gun option would be a different firing arc (IE: no longer the straight ahead, fixed position), and not allow the +1 Aim bonus.

    Other than that, I'd have to play a few games to see if this equipment card really unbalanced the game. I have test-flown the Vimy Ridge scenario a few times, and used the Higher Machine Gun cards, but we also introduced a "flip the jam counter" 50/50 house rule. If the jam counter lands face up, the other plane is at a lower altitude, and no shot is possible. Within the Vimy scenario, using Ni.17 B-gunned planes against Albatros D.III A-gunned planes, it adds a bit more balance. I don't think we've run into the situation where we have had head-on passes, but I haven't really kept track. Now I will, to see if this is too much of a bonus.

    Oh! Albert Ball has Sharp Eye, and Perfect Aim in my set. So, he can do two cards at long range, and add +1 to the shot, and use Higher Machine Gun.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  3. #3

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    Very nicely done thanks for the info

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OldGuy59 View Post
    Interesting that the quotes presented with the above discussion only support one side of the argument.
    There's a couple of reasons for that - firstly there were no positive comments for the rule where the quotes came from and secondly because this is not a discussion on the pro/cons of the optional rule but an idea for a solution for those who've already decided they have something against it as it stands.
    Like your thoughts on the arc of fire & consec +1; and flipping the token to see who's on top.

    "He is wise who watches"

  5. #5

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    Default

    Interesting idea, however I would play it as requiring one non-steep maneuver card to reposition the lewis gun on its Foster mount from forward to upward firing and reverse. Of course one can always preposition the weapon in the upward firing position when Zep, bomber and balloon hunting before your attack.

  6. #6

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    There is perhaps another factor to consider in the head on attack scenario. If the Biggles books are to be believed, the R.F.C. 'tradition' in head to head encounters was never to give way to the enemy, so the pilots would not have dipped below the oncoming enemy and tried to rake its belly with an upward pointing Lewis gun. Leaving the choice of evasive action to the enemy would probably not give the R.F.C. pilot time to react, if the enemy tried to climb over his plane.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Naharaht View Post
    If the Biggles books are to be believed,



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