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#1 Banichi

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 10:00 PM

Hi guys.

Does anyone know if there are any rules to represent things like planes fighting at night time.  I've getting a second gotha, (still can't find a 1/144 scale zepplin staaken bomber) and as they were used in night raids against the UK, I think it would be cool to be able to represent that on the table top.

Unfortunatly I'm completely at a loss for thinking up houserules for the different conditions that night fighting presented.  Having  things like searchlights would be cool, but how to do it on the tabletop???

Any ideas.



#2 derros87

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 10:48 PM

hmmm i cant really think of a way to represent that in the game but it sounds like a great idea i would love to hear more



#3 Bluedevil_be

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 09:43 PM

I don't know if there was that much night fighting in WWI...Suppose they tried to counter the Zeppelin attacks but real night dog-fighting?

Anyway I can't se how this could be implemented in the game right now...

But it sure gives us stuff to think about !

 



#4 sagitar

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 08:30 PM

I think 'devil' is right. 

I'm not an expert on the subject, but logic dictates that nightfighting must have been near impossible in those days, not to mention suicidal.

For starters getting off the ground would be near impossible I reckon. The airstrips these chaps used weren't lit like modern soccer pitches. Besides having gotten airborne you'd probably never find the airfield again.

Than why would they want to get off the ground?  Recon would be impossible as it was to dark to see the ground, untill you hit it.

Dogfights? impossible, how would you find another idiot willing to take to the skies in pitchdark, as far as I know WW1 planes didn't have any lights on them.

Bombing, well as I understand it they simply carried one or two bombs with them wich they manually threw out of the plane, but..

what to throw these at, the only things you could see would probabl not be worth all the risk. The world simply wasn't as well lit as it is today.

No I think we can savely say there was no night flying  in WW1, but if someone knows more than I do, please be so kind aso ad your knowledge and elighten us.

Now WW2 there's a whole different subject and if you want nightfighting I reckon you should go  for wings of war ww2.

The idea of how to work this out in the game is rather interesting, if we all put our brains together (I've got just the right jar for this ) we should be able to figure something out. For starters you have to do something about your line of sight as it would be dark, but than again, there is dark and dark. Some nights can be as clear as day, while others....

but as said, it would be interesting to figure something out for this.



#5 Banichi

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 11:03 PM

sagitar said:

No I think we can savely say there was no night flying  in WW1, but if someone knows more than I do, please be so kind aso ad your knowledge and elighten us.

Around about August/September the German bombers started to launch night raids against the UK due to the losses.  One of the first of  these was carried out by only 4 gothas on the 3/4 September, and struck the naval barracks at Chatham, and killed over one hundred ratings.  The last major night raid took place on 19/20 of May 1918, and involved 28 gothas, and 6 zeppelin-staaken bombers (very big, for the day, 4 engine bombers).  6 of the gothas on this raid were bought down by night flying sopwith camels and S.E.5As, as well as the gun defences.  On the British side of things there was No 207 squadron which was the first British squadron used solely for long ranged night raids.  They flew handley page 0/400 bombers.

These bombers were far beyond one or two bombs that were manually thrown out of the plane.

Handley Page 0/400,  max bombload  900kg

Gotha GIV,  max bombload 500kg

Zeppelin-Staaken R series, max bombload 2000kg (for short range missions)

Not to mention that earlier on in the war a couple of zepplin airships were bought down by night flying British fighters.  In 1916 Lieutenant Alexander Warnford, flying a morane-saulnier parasol monoplane was the first to do so I think.  For which he got a VC.  Also on the same night the RFC bombed a zepplin shed at Evere, and destroyed the LZ-38. 

I'm no pilot, so I have no idea how they managed it, but some form of nighttime navigation musthave been possible, even in those days.

As for ideas, I've been thinking about an idea for searchlights.

They would have an implacement on the ground, and say two or three rulers range.  Since they basically scanned the sky (I'm still trying to find info on searchlight tactics, so if I'm wrong in my thinking, please forgive)  I was thinking of putting a counter on the table that represented were the beam of light was.  The defending player would use movement cards, (a  bit like airplane movement cards, and played at the same time) to move the beam around in its area of range to try and light up any planes crossing that area.  If a beam catches a plane/crosses its base with one of its sweeps, it stops on the plane, and said plane would be lit up until it could get out of the searchlights range.  If a plane is lit up it would convey some sort of bonus to any AA guns shooting at it. 



#6 sagitar

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 06:53 AM

Well as I said I'm not an expert on the subject. But you can understand my reasoning for thinking why they wouldn't have flown at night. As you say it's hard to imagine how they'd manouvre. I understand manouvering in those days was done by finding landmarks, church steeple etc. So what is there at night you could aim for. Would they be able to manouvre with a good map and a compass? Hmm I reckon you could get really lost if something unexpected happened.

If anyone knows.......

Funny that, when thinking of ww1 airwar, I was only thinking of dogfights over the battle field. I really should do some reading on the subject, if only to not make such stupid observations in future

I blame the movies, in movies on that airwar they never bother with nightflying etc.

asto your ideas about searchlight, and lets see if I can explain what's in my head (and trust me there's loads of room  up there).

Let me try and explain as simple as I can, if only I knew how to upload pictures I could show you a drawing.

Okay Imagine a circle as the base.

now imagine a sort of long cone shape, (sort of the shape of the licht beam of a search light.

attach the cone to the circle, so you can move it. That way you'd allways have the perfect range without having to fiddle about with rulers. In fact you'd have a constant beam that way, wich would enable planes to avoid the area, or try to do so.

Now the circle base should be positioned at a point on the map where your searchlight is.

Than you could move the cone-shape left and right or any direction that would complie with the way they used them things back than and the airplane that hits the 'beam' is found.

Am I wrong in thinking that your idea is very simular to what I've just written?

I'm not sure if you'd use cards to move the searchlight. I imagine that rather than moving the thing about randomly, they'd listen and direct their light to where the noise seemed to come from. So the closer the plane gets the more chance of being detected. I'm not sure how you could realistically direct searchlight movement with cards.

Maybe Dice could be used for this?  Okay I reckon many will not like that, finally find a game without dice and now he wants to bring some in.

I'm not thinking about normal dice obviously but you could have a '+'  or a '-'  sign on the dice (plus or minus) and if you throw a plus you'd move your beam a certain distance to the left. and with minus to the right (or even go for dubble plus and dubble minus to have the ligt move two distances) now to avoid any unneccesary measuring you could simply draw lines on the circle to indicate this 'distance'

so if you threw plus, you'd move your beam to the left untill the next line.. and so on.

I don't know if this description makes any sense, but with the picture in my mind, it sounds like a good suggestion.

Hm that leaves me ofcourse to find a solution for the fact they's have an idea where the plane was, so they obviously wouldn't move it in the totaly opposite direction. That would be stupid and make the use of the things in the game a bit silly. So we would have to have rule wich allows the searchlights to be pointed in the general direction of an approaching plane without immedeatly giving the position away.

Would you allow an attack on searchlights in the game, or simply assume they'd be protected by AA and assume this to be impossible.

Speaking of AA, I was wondering if the game takes weather conditions into account. Possibly I'm taking matters too far now, but if you had low clouds AA would be rather pointless (well they could fire blindly I reckon) I could just imagine random cloud movement on the 'game-board'

Just imagine, you'd put clouds on sticks (like the planes) to indicate altitude of the clouds and if a plane was flying over or under the cloud cover, well that would be obvious and it would be blocked from the view of lower planes and AA. (I'm ofcourse thinking of a game with miniatures, I don't think this would work without them).

But maybe the whole idea is just silly. Well I just put to paper what popped up in my head and I may have become a bit too enthusiastic.

Afterall if you started messing about with clouds, you'd also have to take the sun into account i.e. planes attacking 'out of the sun'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#7 sagitar

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 09:45 PM

Adding to the previous, I than considered a half circle, centred on the general direction of the approaching plane.

If the searchlight is dice controled that would mean the dice can not take it all around the circle and just make it silly.

Than I suddenly realised this idea won't work at all if you're playing miniatures and have to deal with different altitudes.

Or maybe we could throw another special altitude dice, wich indicated at wich altitude the beam was aimed at. Hm, no that seems a bit silly to, as light doesn't simply stop at a certain altitude. So maybe it's not so  bad the way I planned it afterall.

Do you think it realistic to simply assume the beam will light up any plane from ground to top level.  I really seem to get sucked in by this searchlight idea. In real live the plane would ofcourse be trying to avoid the beam of light, but how to make this work in the game......

I'm starting to think we are making this game only more complicated than it needs to be. Are there any sceanrios for nightflight?

If not, what do we worry about.

 



#8 Banichi

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 10:47 PM

Its not far off what I was thinking.  But if the player controling the beam is using movement cards that are played at the same time as the plane movement cards it could help to create a bit of a cat and mouse feel to it.  I'm not sure how well this would represent searchlight tactics of the day, but my attempts to find any info havn't been so sucessful.  I realise now that for movement cards to work, the beam token would have to have a 'front', which seems a bit odd, but I can't see a way around it.

Another problem is what bonus the searchlight would confer to the defender if they manage to light a bomber up. 



#9 Sheppard1972

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 05:42 AM

What about the Moon. I read somewhere that WW1 pilots used the moon to help with nightflight (as well as all pilots after). Also the artilley at night would help and also the crews did light the fields with fire so the planes could return but I believe that this did not start until late in the war. If someone has better info then please share as I am not that much into WW1 and would love to hear more.



#10 sagitar

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 08:23 PM

Banichi said:

Its not far off what I was thinking.  But if the player controling the beam is using movement cards that are played at the same time as the plane movement cards it could help to create a bit of a cat and mouse feel to it.  I'm not sure how well this would represent searchlight tactics of the day, but my attempts to find any info havn't been so sucessful.  I realise now that for movement cards to work, the beam token would have to have a 'front', which seems a bit odd, but I can't see a way around it.

Another problem is what bonus the searchlight would confer to the defender if they manage to light a bomber up. 

 

Banichi, I don't want to push dice into this game as obviously many people would not like that, but in this case, well.... I wonder what instructions you'd put on the card?

Hm..... I can see your point, I think, about prefering cards to dice, as they could actually solve the level problem. You could have one saying raise beam two levels and stuff like that.

The beam token (wouldn't a miniature be great fun) has to have a front side, because you'd obvioulsy point it at the plane. I suppose you don't like my 'long- cone shaped- token, wich would make it very easy to see if you've caught a plane, but would only work if you're only using card planes.

Asfor a bonus, well it would seem to me that if the defender didn't have searchlights, he might aswell throw rocks as he'd just be shooting randomly into the sky, so there would be little chance of hitting anything, while with a searchlight, while you could see what you're aiming at, so obviously there's a much better chance at thitting anything.

Wich made me wonder. Would AA actually be able to see the difference between ours and theirs? I mean could the markings of a plane be seen from the ground at night. Wich than makes me wonder if AA would even get involved if t here were own planes in the sky. Probably not.

Funny that, how a game can suddenly make you want to know things you previously couldn't care less about. Maybe we should try and compose a list of reading material so any suggestions. Wich reminds me, yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaars ago I bought an almost complete series of little book on ww1 (wich is the only thing I have on the subject) and I deffinatly must go and find them and see if there is anything of interest in there.

 

Sheppard:  artillery at night would help? You mean cause they'd fire at you?  No that would be AA or maybe that's what you mean. Well that would surely tell you where you wouldn't want to be

 

 

 

 

 

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#11 Banichi

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 10:30 PM

I don't think we would have to worry about raising the beam up levels.  If you look at shots of searchlights in action they sort of go strait up from the ground, so it would be safe to say that they would reach the highest level automatically.   Unless a cloud gets in the way of course.

I didn't dislike your idea of the cone token, I was just thinking along different lines about the viewpoint that you're looking at the battlefield from.  The idea of the round token is that it only represents the top (or the pool of light cast by the beam) of the beam.  The rest of the beam is automatically considered to be between it and the emplacement.  As for movement cards, I was thinking of simply having north, south, east, west, sweeps of the beam.  maybe several lenghts of each. 

It could work like this

Play plane movement card, play searchlight sweep card.  If the beam counter crosses over the mini at any part of its sweep, stop its movement.  The plane is lit up, and the counter stays on the plane until it leaves the searchlight's range.  Until the plane gets out of range you don't need to play any more sweep cards, the beam counter automatically stays on the plane.

Maybe to represent a bonus you could make it that AA guns shooting at unlit planes have to place the flak counter (or whatever it's called) three moves ahead of the plane.  But if a plane is lit up the AA can shoot as normal.



#12 sagitar

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 09:08 PM

Rather than reply using my limited knowledge on the subject and state what I assumed would have happened, I decided to go check the internet to find out more.

It wasn't as helpfull as I would have hoped, untill I stumbled upon a company who makes a living with searchlights. I think they rent them out for special occasions.

So I decided to send them a message and to my surprise I got  a reply and actually a very interesting one, well I thought it was anyway.

Searchlights can momentarily blind the pilot as his night vision is gone and can no longer see his instruments. An added 200 to 500 hundred meter cable was added for remote servo control of searchlights so the searchlight operator was not the prime target.Also in conjunction with the servo control of searchlights-a series of microphonic horns were arranged in such a way to detect aircraft by sound similar to how radar works today ( used in conjunction with the remote control station.

 

Now I for one didn't know that and it may put the use of searchlights in a whole different light (no pun intended). So this means that I was basically right  in that they would listen for the planes, to find out their position. But I had no idea they actually had the technology of listening devices. This ofcourse means that searchlights, when incorparated in the game, will have to be used less random as they actually 'know' where the plane is. So we're back to dice roles?  ods means you find the plane, evens means you don't ....

 

 

I don't think our italian designer friend could have dreamt his game would actually inspire people to go find out more about the subject.

 



#13 csadn

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 09:31 PM

Banichi said:

Unfortunatly I'm completely at a loss for thinking up houserules for the different conditions that night fighting presented.  Having  things like searchlights would be cool, but how to do it on the tabletop???

Using the ancient engineering principle of "simplicate, and add lightness":

It is assumed that an airship is always "illuminated" (they were slow, and easy targets for the searchlights); however, due to issues concerning night vision (for ex., looking from the lit airship to the non-lit areas surrounding it), attacks are only possible at short-range (the firer still draws two cards).

An airplane (fixed-wing) is somewhat faster, and not as easy a target -- not only are attacks only possible at short-range, the firer draws *one* card, not two. Note that this also applies to the gunners on a bomber or airship -- they would be firing into darkness, and would be hard-pressed to see incoming fighters.



#14 Biggles_downunder

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 09:12 PM

If you look on this French Wings of War site you will find cards for searchlights and their beams (as well as lots of other goodies).

Wayne






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