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Thread: Some observations on turns

  1. #1

    Default Some observations on turns

    For the Coral Sea scenario I put on at Doncaster this year, I created some custom decks for the A6M2s, giving them a 60° turn card so they could easily out turn the opposing Wildcats. The card was based on the official cards for the WGS BoB Spitfire, but scaled to match the C deck speeds. Whilst creating these cards I began wondering about how the various in game decks actually stack up in terms of manoeuvrability. Given, with few exceptions, most decks are limited to 45° turns, the differentiator really becomes the radius of turn, which is simply a function of speed- all the arrows seem to scale proportionately.

    Fortunately the maths is actually pretty simple, by measuring the x and y distance of the arrow on the manoeuvre card, and adding on the 1/2 base length at the start and end (rotated of course) we can determine the movement of the aeroplane centre. We can then use the distance moved by the centre and the angle of rotation of the base to determine the turn radius and origin using simple trigonometry.

    This also demonstrates an interesting result; as the card arrows move the base further in the y (fwd) than x (lateral) direction, the origin of the turning circle is in front of the aircraft centre. This is perhaps an approximation of sideslip in turning flight.

    As the turn radius is basically a function of speed, aircraft with slower decks turn tighter. This should not be a surprise to anyone who has played, but it does give some interesting results and means faster aircraft may have to slow down to fight slower opponents in a turning fight. If we compare the Battle of Britain aircraft, in a 45° slow turn the Spitfire, Bf109 and Hurricane are evenly matched, at high speed, the Hurricane turns tighter. However, the WGS Spitfire deck has a single 60° card, so if we throw this in with the 45° as often as possible, the Spit gains an advantage. The turn radius for the Spit is somewhat tricky though, as it no longer flies a true circle- if you persist in this turn the flightpath will look familiar to anyone who owned a spirograph as a child! The radius can however be approximated by measuring the theoretical displacement after 180° of turn, noting that this occurs during the 4th card. Results for the BoB aircraft are thus:

    Note: dimensions given are radius, so if you are about to start a turn closer than that to the edge ahead, or twice that to the edge to your side, then it's not your day!
    Further note: these figures are based on general rules i derived for deck scaling from approximate measurement of cards in my collection, they may not be 100% relaiable or accurate.

  2. #2


    And in summary:
    Deck 30° 45° 60° 90°
    L 152 90 81 40
    I 156 93
    J,U 156 93
    K 172 102
    A,B,C,F,I 177 105 95
    O,Q,S,L,J,U 187 111 100 49
    D,H,G,R 197 117
    K,M 199 118
    P 207 123
    C,T 218 129
    M 229 135
    A,B,E,F,G,H,N 238 141 127
    Q 249 148
    O 261 154 139
    P,R,S,T 270 160

  3. #3


    Nice bit of work Mark, I think

  4. #4


    Very interesting. While "known" at the playing level, it's nice to see this as a diagram.
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

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