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Thread: Plane Cards: denoting unusual firing arcs and gun-sets

  1. #1

    Default Plane Cards: denoting unusual firing arcs and gun-sets

    I wanted to see if there was any consensus on these questions, or whether we could form one. I only got into making cards recently, so I don't know if there are existing conventions.

    Question 1: I know this only matters if you're playing with altitude, but... How do we denote unusual firing arcs on cards? In a different thread, the question of the trap-door ventral gun on an A.E.G. G.IV came up. That's a gun that could only be fired at a target at a lower altitude. It couldn't even fire at something at the same altitude, since it only points "downward". Similarly, the gun above it was mounted basically on the rear deck of the bomber and could only fire level and upward. The front gun on an A.E.G. G.IV, however, could be swivelled around and used on targets below, level, and above the plane. The auxiliary Lewis guns (if any) on a Sopwith Dolphin could only be fired at an upward angle.

    We'd have to cover these cases:
    1. can fire above, level, and below
    2. can fire level and above
    3. can fire level and below
    4. can fire above only
    5. can fire below only

    If we don't already have a convention, I'd propose that the color of the "gunfire arc lines" on the card give a clue. (Edit: see a post below for a proposal.) Those using altitude and who care about such things can pay attention to the color and others can ignore it.

    Question 2: For planes with gun-sets that do not converge, like the main Vickers and upward-firing Lewises on the Dolphin or the main gun and upward-firing Lewis on some Sopwith Babys, how do we denote the guns on the card? (For simplicity, let's assume they're both single "B" guns for now.) "B/B" is usually used for two separate guns by different gunners (like the pilot's gun and an observer's gun). "B+B" implies that both could shoot at the same target, drawing two "B" damage cards. Maybe "B|B"?
    Last edited by ReducedAirFact; 06-07-2023 at 07:26. Reason: emphasised colours

  2. #2

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    Rather like the differentiating colors for the firing arcs to indicate altitude!

  3. #3

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    The only convention I see ARES using is the lower firing is in yellow on the WW2 planes.

  4. #4

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    I can see the value in having varying colors for firing arcs but for me the lack of conventions plus no common source of production mean I often have to kludge together a card or base from pre-existing product which doesn't lend itself to showing the differences, or I lack the skills and tools to make it happen. For example, adapting a plane card to become an overlay for a base and I can't easily alter the color of the arcs. Also some may be tough to distinguish (gray/black) etc.

    tbh, I struggle to get the correct non-standard firing arcs design and implementation for bases for certain planes. It's enough to consider buying a laser cutter or looking into service options

  5. #5

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    This was an aircraft configured with machine guns aimed through the floor, for trench straffing:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The asterisk on the front arc was to denote that the guns were not used against aircraft at the same altitude.
    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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    I've had a pair of these on the table. Amazingly one got a shot at a plane that flew below and in front of it! Not a kill but I never expected to see it have a shot at a plane as it was a trench strafing mission.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teaticket View Post
    I've had a pair of these on the table. Amazingly one got a shot at a plane that flew below and in front of it! Not a kill but I never expected to see it have a shot at a plane as it was a trench strafing mission.
    Some pilots just have no luck (or are careless).
    Karl
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by malachi View Post
    I can see the value in having varying colors for firing arcs but for me the lack of conventions plus no common source of production mean I often have to kludge together a card or base from pre-existing product which doesn't lend itself to showing the differences, or I lack the skills and tools to make it happen. For example, adapting a plane card to become an overlay for a base and I can't easily alter the color of the arcs. Also some may be tough to distinguish (gray/black) etc.

    tbh, I struggle to get the correct non-standard firing arcs design and implementation for bases for certain planes. It's enough to consider buying a laser cutter or looking into service options
    If you buy blank bases from Litko, you can print out a clear label with the design, and carefully apply to the base.
    I have this on my to-do list.
    Karl
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

  9. #9

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    Okay, here's my suggestion:
    • Above, Level, and Below (the standard arc): Red (includes most fully-articulated rear guns and pilot-aimed fixed guns, since the pilot can adjust the plane to get a shot)
    • Level and Above: Green, because grass and trees are green
    • Level and Below: Brown, because earth is brown
    • Above Only: Blue, because the sky is blue (includes some upward-firing guns meant for anti-Zeppelin work)
    • Level Only: Black (such as between-the-wings arcs on some BE2c's and Aviatik C.I)
    • Below Only: Yellow, because of precedent (includes some guns meant for ground-attack and in the rear trap-door of bombers)


    Again, if you're not playing with altitude, you can just ignore the colors. I don't have a good idea for color-blind players.

    I need to redo some of my cards to be consistent, e.g. the A.E.G. G.IV lower gun that only fires downward, and I'm currently working on a BE2c whose gun only fires upward (for anti-Zeppelin work).
    Last edited by ReducedAirFact; 06-07-2023 at 07:35. Reason: add Black for level-only

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jager View Post
    If you buy blank bases from Litko, you can print out a clear label with the design, and carefully apply to the base.
    I have this on my to-do list.
    Karl
    Thanks Karl, I've done some of those and they work fine. Some get a lot of air bubbles and didn't look so great. Litko will also do custom clear etching similar to what the Aerodrome store used to sell so I'm working on an order for several unofficial planes including 68x66mm size bases and will have a few extras.
    F2A Felixstowe (both bases, one with port front gun arc)
    AEG G.IV
    Blackburn Kangaroo
    Bristol Scout
    Caudron G.4
    Caudron R.11
    Donnet Denhaut DD8
    Farman F.40
    Freidrichshaven FF33 and FF49
    Gotha Ursinus
    HB W12 and W29
    Letord 2
    Lohner L/T
    Rumpler G.III
    Voisin Vca

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by malachi View Post
    ......
    ...
    Caudron G.4
    ....
    Oh no Peter/Teaticket, we've turn Chris to the dark side

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrashCraig View Post
    Oh no Peter/Teaticket, we've turn Chris to the dark side
    lol - had them forever but not got them painted yet

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReducedAirFact View Post
    Question 2: For planes with gun-sets that do not converge, like the main Vickers and upward-firing Lewises on the Dolphin or the main gun and upward-firing Lewis on some Sopwith Babys, how do we denote the guns on the card? (For simplicity, let's assume they're both single "B" guns for now.) "B/B" is usually used for two separate guns by different gunners (like the pilot's gun and an observer's gun). "B+B" implies that both could shoot at the same target, drawing two "B" damage cards. Maybe "B|B"?
    You could show the different colour arc halfway along the span on the card/base to denote it's firing upward and is at half range ruler ?

    Sapiens qui vigilat... "He is wise who watches"

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReducedAirFact View Post
    ...

    Question 2: ... "B+B" implies that both could shoot at the same target, drawing two "B" damage cards. Maybe "B|B"?
    Not. Sure about the intent of this, but for a firing arc with multiple guns, Ares just adds them up. Two MGs covering a certain arc would be shown as "A". Three MGs have been shown as "AB" (the three MG Eindekker, IIRC).

    I would possibly consider a Bomber card for something really complicated. The FE2c is one of those planes with complicated arcs, and mulitple guns.

    The game combines a lot of things for simplicity, and looses much of the 'simulation' (realism) aspect some may desire.
    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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