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Thread: Umm, what's -supposed- to be Pfalz D.III/a ace skills/custom rules packet?

  1. #1

    Question Umm, what's -supposed- to be Pfalz D.III/a ace skills/custom rules packet?

    I think I might have received at least one Pfalz that's missing cards from the shrink-wrapped set of cards that contains the aircraft card, aces and ace skills and the link. (All came sealed from Miniature Market.) I'd like to check what I've got versus what should be there.

    What I have:
    Pfalz D.IIIa (Holtzem): No special/optional rules cards, ace skills Itchy Trigger Finger, Intuitive, Lucky Pilot, Bullet Checker, Acrobatic Pilot, Daredevil, Good at Escaping, and Height Control, but no ace card that would use them.
    Pfalz D.IIIa (Berthold) - 1 Ace card for Berthold, the ace skills Double Ace, Firm Hand, Lucky Pilot, Single Arm, Sniper, Strong Constitution, and Team Coordination (which match the ace card, no problems there), and no special/optional rule cards.
    Pfalz D.III (Voss) - A level 6 and level 7 ace card for Voss and the proper skills that go with them, special rule cards Unreachable Machine Guns (not the D.IIIa model, shouldn't be in the other versions), (so no problems with either of them) and the optional/special rule card High Speed Dives - but not in the other two Pfalz? They had the same diving advantages.

    So since the Holtzem model is almost certainly missing a card, are any of them missing optional/special rule cards as well? I wouldn't have thought so, except that one of them is clearly missing another card from the same packet.

    Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Those are all the cards I have too. No Holtzem ace card.

    Voss is the only one labeled as a III so I can see the unreachable machine guns. Was a III better in diving compared to a IIIa? No clue. Maybe this is a play balance to give the III an advantage to offset the unreachable guns? Who wants to play a plane that once it jams you can never shoot again.

  3. #3

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    So since it seems the problem is universal, I guess the better is question is what was intended to be in the box. Best to ask Andrea, I suppose. I also wouldn't risk a steep dive if not an ace; a 1/3rd chance is being instantly destroyed makes it nowhere near worth the risk. Humm... Was the D.IIIa intended to have a different version of the card that's safe for non-aces?

  4. #4

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    Max Holtzem never made "Ace"!

    That's why there is no "Ace" card for him.

    Both the D.III and D.IIIa were renowned for their structural strength, and ability to dive steeply away from enemy planes to allow evade and escape tactics. I would hope that the card would be safe for all D.III/D.IIIa pilots.

  5. #5

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    Holtzem was a test pilot & flight instructor for Pfalz for a couple of years during the war as well as a combat pilot toward the end. Post war he was a stunt pilot in south America so he was obviously very skilful on the stick - he just wasn't a recognised ace by the usual standard of victories.
    See 'in memoriam' section on this page: http://www.earlyaviators.com/eholtzem.htm

    "He is wise who watches"

  6. #6

    Lindinho's Avatar
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    I received my Berthold and Voss models this week and can confirm the cards Brasel mentioned. I skipped Holzem because I already have the old Wings of War model. Did you notice the difference between Holzems old and new Model? The upper Wing is missing the lozenge camouflage on the reprint. I don't know which version is historical accurate. He probably flew more than one Pfalz aircraft with almost similar painting.

    BUT there is one thing that bothers me most. The Pfalz D.III has the same maneuver deck as the Albatros D.III (J deck). This is allright. Both planes had nearly the same maneuverability and engine horsepower. But this is not true with the Pfalz D.IIIa. The engine was more powerfull (20 hp more) and the top speed was comparable to the Albatros D.V. Why does the Pfalz D.IIIa not use the B deck the Albatros D.V has? Can someone explain? There is a huge difference between the J and B deck.

    Regards,

    Lindinho
    Last edited by Lindinho; 01-15-2020 at 07:36.

  7. #7

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    I noticed this, too.

    In Avalon Hill's "Richthofen's War" game, the Pfalz D.IIIa has a higher speed in hexes than the D.III - it never translated through to WGF, though.

  8. #8

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    Nexus probably didn't want to to put differing decks into the models, and then Ares followed suit.
    Doesn't stop those of us with 'B' decks from using those instead.

  9. #9

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    As much as I would love to see the Pfalz D.IIIa with a B deck I don't think it would be right or accurate. It goes back to speed banding in the game again.
    The Pfalz D.IIIa even with its better engine was not much quicker than the D.III and just about gets into the 161-180kph band of average speed, and though its speed would have matched the early Alb D.V (which were noted for being little better than the Alb D.III) the later D.Va models that we use had further improved engines that put them into the 181-200kph band of the fast speed, about 20kph faster than the Pfalz.
    Maybe the changes made to the DIIIa - exposed guns, wing, tail & length scrubbed some speed off but it had better climb rate by the looks of it.

    "He is wise who watches"

  10. #10

    Lindinho's Avatar
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    My sources (German Wikipedia) tell me these stats:

    Albatros D.Va 185 HP 187 km/h (max speed) 937 kg (weight)
    Pfalz D.IIIa 180 HP 181 km/h 834 kg
    In my eyes this makes the D.IIIa valid for a B deck. The differences are minimal.

  11. #11

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    Aircraft performance data are probably THE MOST VARIED values for any kind of military hardware.

    Taking maximum speed alone - the same plane will perform differently in different weather conditions, with different wire rigging tautness, with older engine oil, at different altitudes, when pushed harder by different pilots, and when the speed is recorded by different speedometers.

    Anecdotal evidence is often ignored or discredited, and figures published can always be "massaged" by the publisher to try to prove/disprove a point.

    I have a book with a quote from a British Ace (I forget who!) who praised the Sopwith Triplane in all regards except its lack of speed; yet in WGF it is the fastest plane in the sky!
    Another tome clearly states the Pfalz D.III being FASTER than the Sopwith Camel at operational altitudes, but if the Camel was faster at sea level then that set of data might have been used to give it a higher speed band than the Pfalz in the game.

    When I last looked at 6 books on WW2 aircraft including the Spitfire, ALL SIX gave it different top speed values!


    With the Speed-Banding system used in WGF, a slight adjustment of the band boundaries would probably produce a cascade of deck changes! Probably not worth attempting.


    Eventually, someone has to make a decision somewhere (I don't envy them this job at all!) and hopefully stick to it (case in point: the Sopwith Triplane used to have the 'D' deck under Nexus, but was upgraded to the newly-created 'U' deck under Ares , which hugely increases its power within the game.
    I have seen sources which support both speed bands, slow and fast - which one should be used?)

    All we can do as players is learn and practice how to outfly the pilots of those planes we think might have over-powerful decks, and beat them that way!
    Then any deck controversy is moot.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Helmut View Post
    Aircraft performance data are probably THE MOST VARIED values for any kind of military hardware.
    Very true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Helmut View Post
    Taking maximum speed alone - the same plane will perform differently in different weather conditions, with different wire rigging tautness, with older engine oil, [...]when pushed harder by different pilots, and when the speed is recorded by different speedometers.
    All minor for our level of precision.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Helmut View Post
    at different altitudes,
    A colossal factor, and indicated airspeed (if the figure uses true airspeed it's pretty much worthless unless converted) is critically dependent on altitude; at higher altitudes thinner air makes for less drag, but also less air to feed into the engine to produce power. In fact, speed will be different at every altitude. Of course, the precise engine model makes a big difference. The Germans had strategic reconnaissance aircraft with supercharged engines and reliable long-duration pilot oxygen that could operate as they pleased at altitudes that no allied plane could reach.

    Both of these, especially the pilot oxygen, were developed for use in zeppelins, interestingly, that pioneered high altitude flight, to operate above any British fighters that could shoot them down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Helmut View Post
    When I last looked at 6 books on WW2 aircraft including the Spitfire, ALL SIX gave it different top speed values!
    -For a WWII era aircraft, particularly once supercharging is involved, the only real valid figure is top speed at it's best altitude. You can actually make a chart (and many did so from direct flight testing back then) showing top speed IAS (indicated as opposed to true - true airspeed is completely worthless for anything except navigation) versus altitude, with the altitude at which airspeed is the highest depending heavily on the exact nature of any supercharging or turbocharging, it's critical altitude, and a whole host of other parameters on what are still some of the most complicated engines ever built. (In airliner service postwar, they needed overhaul every 100 flight hours and maintenance cost more than the fuel! And this was for the civil versions.)

    Also, there are a lot of different marks of Spitfire, and top speed is different for all of them. Later ones used a completely different engine! A figure would only be valid for a specific mark. (These are the Brit equivalent of model numbers.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Helmut View Post
    With the Speed-Banding system used in WGF, a slight adjustment of the band boundaries would probably produce a cascade of deck changes! Probably not worth attempting.
    Agreed, but changing outliers is a different matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Helmut View Post
    Anecdotal evidence is often ignored or discredited, and figures published can always be "massaged" by the publisher to try to prove/disprove a point.

    I have a book with a quote from a British Ace (I forget who!) who praised the Sopwith Triplane in all regards except its lack of speed; yet in WGF it is the fastest plane in the sky!
    Another tome clearly states the Pfalz D.III being FASTER than the Sopwith Camel at operational altitudes, but if the Camel was faster at sea level then that set of data might have been used to give it a higher speed band than the Pfalz in the game.
    A pilot with an opinion a plane is too slow is one thing; being slower than a specific model plane at some attitudes is another story. All the numbers cited are correct, the critical difference is what the number refers to. The basic question for us is whether to use speed at sea level for all aircraft, speed at some chosen altitude for all aircraft, or speed at it's best altitude for all aircraft. Speed versus altitude curves for all of them would make any of the options quick and easy; most significant WWII aircraft have some; few if any WWI planes do.

    I actually bought a highly (and I mean highly) detailed WWI flight sim a couple days ago, and I think I'll try it out and produce some speeds at something like 2000 ft intervals for a bunch of them; for our purposes they're accurate enough to have some validity, and have the huge advantage of being standardized. It should provide a decent set of data for whichever speed you want to use, with the advantage they all refer to the exact same thing.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by BraselC5048 View Post

    Also, there are a lot of different marks of Spitfire, and top speed is different for all of them. Later ones used a completely different engine! A figure would only be valid for a specific mark. (These are the Brit equivalent of model numbers.)
    I know; these were all for the Spitfire Mk.I

    Mentioning six different speeds for six different Marks of Spitfire would have been pointless!

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by BraselC5048 View Post

    I actually bought a highly (and I mean highly) detailed WWI flight sim a couple days ago, and I think I'll try it out and produce some speeds at something like 2000 ft intervals for a bunch of them; for our purposes they're accurate enough to have some validity, and have the huge advantage of being standardized. It should provide a decent set of data for whichever speed you want to use, with the advantage they all refer to the exact same thing.
    I am curious. Is this "Rise of Flight"? The developers of this Flight Sim have very detailed information about these aircraft we are talking about. I wonder where this information came from.

    Regards,

    Lindinho

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lindinho View Post
    My sources (German Wikipedia) tell me these stats...
    Max speeds quoted are usually those registered at sea level in ideal conditions with specially prepared test aircraft - at operational levels under operational conditions things can be quite different. Tim & Brasel are quite right though but I'll stick with the books I consulted & the opinions of the pilots who'd flown both aircraft types.

    "He is wise who watches"

  16. #16

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    And the flight test results are in! (With a full load of fuel), the Pfalz tops out from 1000 to 3000 meters at 175 kph. Which is upper Average speed band, but not so close to Fast as to make it controversial. So Average it is. On a different note, if the Pfalz D.IIIa used the B deck, nobody would ever play an Albatross D.Va, as it has 15 hp to the Pfalz's 16, so there's that factor too. And yes, it's Rise of Flight. Tests with 65% fuel didn't show any significant difference.

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    Thank you for the test Brasel. So I think using the J deck for both Pfalz Versions (D.III and D.IIIa) is more a designers decision. At least the new special rule card "High Speed Dives" makes the Pfalz a competitive fighter compared to the Albatros D.V imho.

    Regards,

    Lindinho

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lindinho View Post
    Thank you for the test Brasel. So I think using the J deck for both Pfalz Versions (D.III and D.IIIa) is more a designers decision. At least the new special rule card "High Speed Dives" makes the Pfalz a competitive fighter compared to the Albatros D.V imho.

    Regards,

    Lindinho
    ……..especially with the Pfalz climb rate of 3 to the albatross DVa's 4

    Also if you "house rule" damage to Albatri from D.III onwards drawing a damage card for any overdive, as I like to do, then the Pfalz High Speed Dive is even better.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Helmut View Post
    ……..especially with the Pfalz climb rate of 3 to the albatross DVa's 4

    Also if you "house rule" damage to Albatri from D.III onwards drawing a damage card for any overdive, as I like to do, then the Pfalz High Speed Dive is even better.
    Like it! Curious Tim, do you choose an 'A' or 'B' damage card?

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teaticket View Post
    Like it! Curious Tim, do you choose an 'A' or 'B' damage card?
    'A' deck - structural damage akin to an illegal move.

  21. #21

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    Maybe planes known to be good at diving only take a 'B' while others take an 'A'?

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teaticket View Post
    Maybe planes known to be good at diving only take a 'B' while others take an 'A'?


    Planes known to be GOOD at diving don't take any damage at all..........

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Helmut View Post


    Planes known to be GOOD at diving don't take any damage at all..........
    Glad I could muddy the water! The best planes at diving would take no damage. The worst at diving take an A while the in-between take a B?
    I guess this could be taking it a bit too far.

  24. #24

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    In order to keep things simple, my House Rule only picks on those planes which had a historical tendency to shed wings or tails in steep dives.
    Sesqui-planes mostly; Albatros D.III, D.V, D.Va,and Nieuport 11, 16 and 17.
    All take an 'A' card per "dive" card component of an overdive move - no-one takes a 'B' or anything else.



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