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Thread: Feedback on Ammunition Rules

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Feedback on Ammunition Rules

    So I'm writing rules for a fighter sweep mini-campaign, and I wanted to keep track of ammunition so players couldn't just continue to sweep northern France indefinitely looking for targets if their plane has an insane range. I've written up some rules for this, and I was wondering if I could get some advice and feedback on this - if the rules are good/bad, easy/hard to understand, etc.

    Ammunition
    Fuel is not the only limiting factor of how long a Rhubarb can last – if a plane runs out of ammunition, there’s not much more damage they can do to enemy targets or fighters. This prevents planes with large fuel reserves being able to do a complete tour of France and racking up a career’s worth of kills in one sortie.

    To avoid overcomplicating things, ammo is measured in seconds of firing instead of individual bullets. Each time a plane fires at a target, one second of ammo is removed from its stores. This means that a plane with 21 seconds of ammo can fire regularly a total of 21 times throughout the whole sortie.

    However, there may be situations where a pilot wishes to conserve ammo, or wants to ensure that they hit their target. We allow for this in allowing bursts to last for half a second and two seconds, as well as for the regular one second.

    Half-Second Bursts
    It is possible to fire in a half-second burst, dealing lower damage to any given target but conserving ammunition and allowing you to make more attacks over the course of a Rhubarb.

    After declaring which target you are going to fire against, before damage counters are drawn, you may declare that you are firing a half-second burst. This can be declared against both targets on the ground and in the air. For each counter that would be drawn, draw two and use the one with the lower value, discarding the other one. This process is known as “halving” your damage.

    Example: A Spitfire Mk. I is firing at a small Fi 156 Storch desperately trying to fly away. The Spitfire player declares they are firing a half-second burst. The attack is at short range, so the attack deals two B counters of damage. First, a 0 and a 2 are drawn, so the 2 is discarded and the first damage counter is a 0. Then, a 5 and a 7 are drawn, so the 7 is discarded and the second damage counter is a 5. Since this comparison is done with each counter during the attack, the final damage dealt is 0 and 5 instead of the overall lower values of 0 and 2.

    If two counters have the exact same damage value, but one has special damage, the one with special damage counts as being higher. Otherwise, only consider the damage value on the token for the purposes of comparison. Any special damage applicable to the target is applied.

    Example: In a later turn, the Spitfire is still firing at the Storch. This is also a half-second burst at close range, dealing two B counters of damage. Two counters are drawn – a 2, and a pilot wounded with a 2. Since the pilot wounded with a 2 is special damage, it counts as being higher than the regular 2 and is discarded. For the second counter, a 5 and an engine damage with a 3 are drawn. Since the 5 has a higher damage value, the engine damage with a 3 is used. The Storch suffers all the effects of having a damaged engine for the rest of the encounter.

    When removing ammo from your ammo count, instead of removing one full second of ammo, remove one half of a second.

    Example: Before the Spitfire fired a half-second burst at the Storch, they had 21 seconds of ammo left. Afterwards, they had 20 ˝ seconds of ammo left.

    If you would be forced to “halve” your damage by another rule, you may not fire in a half-second burst.

    Two Second Bursts
    If ammo conservation isn’t considered important, but staying out of the target area is, then firing a two second burst might be a good idea to ensure the target is hit. This only applies to ground targets, as their stationary nature (or extremely low relative speed when moving) makes firing longer bursts a more likely way to hit – most planes will simply take evasive manoeuvres and spoil the shot.

    After declaring which ground target you are going to fire against, before damage counters are drawn, you may declare that you are firing a two-second burst. A ground target is defined as any target that isn’t a plane flying in the air (including naval targets, planes on airfields, etc.). For each counter that would be drawn, draw two and use the one with the higher value, discarding the other one. This process is known as “doubling” your damage.

    Example: A Hurricane Mk. IIc is firing at a flak gun on the ground. Hoping to kill the gun in one shot, the Hurricane player declares they are firing a two second burst. The attack is at long range, so the attack deals two C counters of damage. First, a 0 and a 5 are drawn, so the 0 is discarded and the first damage counter is a 5. Then, an 8 and a 6 are drawn, so the 6 is discarded and the second counter is an 8. Since this comparison is done with each counter during the attack, the final damage dealt is 5 and 8 instead of the overall higher values of 6 and 8.

    If two counters have the exact same damage value, but one has special damage, the one with special damage counts as being higher. Otherwise, only consider the damage value on the token for the purposes of comparison. Any special damage applicable to the target is applied (although since two-second bursts are only applicable to ground targets, there aren’t many situations where this is useful).

    Example: In a later turn, the Hurricane is firing at a He 111 on the ground at an airfield. This is also a two second attack at long range, dealing two C counters of damage. Two counters are drawn – a 3, and an engine damage with a 3. Since the engine damage is a 3 with special damage, it counts as being higher than the regular 3, and the regular 3 is discarded. For the second counter, an 8 and a smoke with a 5 are drawn. Since the 8 has a higher damage value, the smoke with a 5 is discarded. The He 111 suffers from having a damaged engine as normal.

    When removing ammo from your ammo count, instead of removing one second of ammo, remove two seconds.

    Example: Before the Hurricane fired a two second burst at the He 111, they had 7 seconds of ammo left. Afterwards, they had 5 seconds of ammo left.

    If you would be forced to “halve” your damage by another rule, firing a two-second burst will only negate the effects of this “halving” and result in damage being drawn normally.

  2. #2

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    There have been threads on ammo usage in the past Aidan that might be worth searching out. The main feature of which is the selective fire using the machineguns & cannons which had different amounts of ammo and could be used together or individually.
    Off the top of my head the Spits had 15 seconds of mg ammo and less cannon, the Me's had more, but I'm sure one of the WGS chaps will be able top point you in their direction if you can't find it on a search. Happy hunting.

    "He is wise who watches"

  3. #3

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    So far we experiment only in limiting cannon ammo in our group. It is 4 shots per game, MGs unlimited. It is allowed to fire just MG according the players will if there is a combination.
    BUT, why I write it: I can hardly recall game where planes reached the limit. Some time, some plane.
    The limitation is fine to me, but count in say until 21 seem quite high number..

  4. #4

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    See this link for BoB planes: BoB Ammunition Rules

    For the cross-Channel aerial combats, the planes had advanced beyond BoB versions. I'm not sure that Mk V Spitfires were much different for ammo loadouts, so they should be similar. Bf-109 F models might be different, as they went to single cannons (not much liked by German pilots).

    FW-190s were brutal, but I'd have to check ammo loadouts there, too. They might have similar issues to the Bf-109s.

    As always, whenever discussing Ammo Limits, I would enforce a strict firing decision rule. A player has to declare intent to shoot BEFORE measuring.

    If the taget is discovered to be out of range, the ammo is wasted. Also counts for close range shot decisions. Have to declare what guns are being used, BEFORE measuring range. This is a penalty for rookies, but is realistic.
    Last edited by OldGuy59; 11-22-2021 at 21:29.
    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

  5. #5

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    Spitfire Mk Vb: Offensive armament (same as Mk IIb)
    Weapon 1
    2 x 20 mm Hispano Mk.II cannon
    Ammunition 120 rounds (60 rpg)
    Fire rate 600 shots/min

    Weapon 2
    4 x 7.7 mm Browning machine gun
    Ammunition 1,400 rounds (350 rpg)
    Fire rate 1,000 shots/min

    FW 190 A-1: Offensive armament
    Weapon 1
    2 x 20 mm MG FF/M cannon
    Ammunition 120 rounds (60 rpg)
    Fire rate 520 shots/min

    Weapon 2
    4 x 7.92 mm MG 17 machine gun
    Ammunition 3,800 rounds (950 rpg)
    Fire rate 1,200 shots/min


    FW 190 A-4: Offensive armament
    Weapon 1
    2 x 20 mm MG 151 cannon
    Ammunition 500 rounds (250 rpg)
    Fire rate 700 shots/min

    Weapon 2
    2 x 20 mm MG FF/M cannon
    Ammunition 180 rounds (90 rpg)
    Fire rate 520 shots/min

    Weapon 3
    2 x 7.92 mm MG 17 machine gun
    Ammunition 1,800 rounds (900 rpg)
    Fire rate 1,200 shots/min

    Bf 109 G-2: Offensive armament (same as F variant)
    Weapon 1
    20 mm MG 151 cannon
    Ammunition 200 rounds
    Fire rate 700 shots/min

    Weapon 2
    2 x 7.92 mm MG 17 machine gun
    Ammunition 1,000 rounds (500 rpg)
    Fire rate 1,200 shots/min
    Last edited by OldGuy59; 11-23-2021 at 09:28.
    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

  6. #6

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    "TEN OF MY RULES FOR AIR FIGHTING" - Adoph 'Sailor' Malan, DSO & Bar DFC

    1. Wait until you see the whites of his eyes. Fire short bursts of 1 to 2 seconds and only when your sights are definitely 'ON'.

    2. Whilst shooting think of nothing else, brace the whole of the body, have both hands on the stick, concentrate on your ring sight.

    3. Always keep a sharp lookout. "Keep your finger out!"

    4.Height gives You the initiative.

    5. Always turn and face the attack.

    6. Make your decisions promptly. It is better to act quickly even though your tactics are not the best.

    7. Never fly straight and level for more than 30 seconds in the combat area.

    8. When diving to attack always leave a proportion of your formation above to act as top guard.

    9. INITIATIVE, AGGRESSION, AIR DISCIPLINE, and TEAM WORK are the words that MEAN something in Air Fighting.

    10. Go in quickly - Punch hard - Get out!

    Note: Two rules, one and ten, speak to getting in close before touching the trigger.

    Also, if considering ammo limits, I'd not allow rookies to make controlled bursts at all.

    In modern aerial combat training, it takes a LOT of time and discipline to learn trigger control. With the modern Vulcan 20mm cannon, it takes almost no time to empty out the entire ammo loadout (CF-18 Hornet: five seconds). A 'long burst' would be about a second (100 rounds).
    Last edited by OldGuy59; 11-22-2021 at 21:34.
    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

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldGuy59 View Post
    FW 190 A-1: Offensive armament
    ...Weapon 2
    4 x 7.92 mm MG 17 machine gun
    Ammunition 3,800 rounds (250 rpg)
    Fire rate 1,200 shots/min..
    Shouldn't that be 950rpg with that load ?

    "He is wise who watches"

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldGuy59 View Post
    ..

    As always, whenever discussing Ammo Limits, I would enforce a strict firing decision rule. A player has to declare intent to shoot BEFORE measuring.

    If the taget is discovered to be out of range, the ammo is wasted. Also counts for close range shot decisions. Have to declare what guns are being used, BEFORE measuring range. This is a penalty for rookies, but is realistic.
    It would bring something into the game. Though interesting it would qualify "other" skill.
    But back to the experience we have (not applying this): Players still solve situation whether fire cannon or not. Measuring distance can be considered as pilot evaluation of situation/distasnce. So far players do not feel overlimited, but still considering the precious ammo. As the shot count is not huge in game. Waste the shot/ammo by misjudging can be a little over players comfort. There are still "0" chits.. But this is individual of course.

    Interesting is to feel the effect of armament strength (Now flying early WW2 with often B/A MGs in campaign) on games. So the number of shots/hits/chits per game/kill rises a little and suddenly BB/B stands a bit better but this is something different.

    Main target of cannon limitation is for me to prevent repeating "high number" chits from "random/awkward" long range shots, which is typical situation where ammo should be saved in reality.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by flash View Post
    Shouldn't that be 950rpg with that load ?
    Yeah. That. Editing on a phone from three sources. Fixed.
    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



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