Okay, on to something new and different. I'm playtesting another set of rules, this time some air to air combat rules. In this, my first game with the rules, we have a flight of four USN F-18 Hornets taking on a flight of four Iraqi MiG-29s. For my purposes everything is equal: the planes are equally maneuverable, each carries four IR missiles, four radar missiles, and three sets of countermeasures, and the pilots are of equal quality (apparently these are the cream of the Iraqi Air Force, and a USN ROTC aerial club). In any case, the action picks up with each flight at opposite ends of the table, over barren Iraqi desert...
I give a 'straight up' D6 roll to see who will go first, and the Iraqis win.
This could help by getting Iraqi head-on shots at Badgers 01 and 02, probably forcing them off Romeo 03 and 04's tails, but Badgers 03 and 04 (bottom left) are sure to follow, thus royally screwing up Romeo 03 and 04's shots on them. I hope that's not too convoluted...
The first roll is a kill, but the CM re-roll turns it into a straight-up miss! The gambit failed, and now Romeo 03 is in big trouble.
The first roll is a kill, so the Iraqis hit the CM re-roll...
I'm not sure why I didn't shoot there, probably got caught up in the moment...
In response (I forgot to take a photo), Romeo 04 turns hard left to get into position to break Badgers 03 and 04 off his comrades' tail, but he can't get locked on with his partners in the way and won't risk taking a shot. So Romeo 02 is in big trouble with Badger 04 locked on.
It's the next Iraqi turn, and Romeo 01 makes good his escape (I remove his aircraft from play).
(Romeo 04 is at bottom left, green Locked On marker shows the successful Tailing test result)
So, Yankees 3, Iraqis 0.
The game took about ten minutes to set up (Good Lord I'm loving that!), but it took a lot longer to play than I expected (two hours and ten minutes!). Granted some of that was learning new rules, playing stuff I hadn't played before. I also had the issue of using the fantastic markers; it's not that they take a long time to put on and take off, but they take longer than 'regular' markers (beads you just sit next to the stand). There was also the issue of 'ergonomics;' I was playing on the floor (for some unknown reason) rather than at a table, so I had to keep scooting around from one side of the 'table' to the other, which took longer than just stepping over. Lastly, there was quite a bit of time before the shooting started.
I played on a surface that is about 42 inches by 36 inches (not sure how many hexes that is each way), which was certainly plenty of room for all the maneuvering you'd want to do, maybe even more than you need. So that took some time as well.
My usual rolling for enemy course of action takes a little time, but I really spent a lot of time 'analyzing' each move, working then re-working it each time (move one hex, move one hex and turn 45 degrees, move one hex, wait, how many hexes was that? Or move, look at it, 'nah, I don't like that,' do it again). I'm sure I'll get better about 'eye-balling' that type of stuff as I continue to play.
I thought the game was pretty fun, with the best way I can describe it being firstly it was totally up in the air as to who would be the victor, but once the first kill was had it really seemed like the situation was firmly in hand (though I could be wrong, and maybe a lucky dice roll could have swung it the other way).
Regarding the rules themselves:
Things I changed pretty much straight away:
1) If you're fired at and have to take evasive action, you are not marked as 'exhausted' afterwards (and not move during your next turn). Instead, you must make a 'Normal' move, straight and level, your next turn. It just felt better than having the jet sort of 'hang there' in the air.
2) I changed it so that a successful tailing test gave you +1K and 1S for shooting. I think if our guy is on the enemy's six, locked in, it should be pretty much game over. That may be a bit too lethal though, and I should probably try it as originally written.
Things I'm thinking about changing:
1) Take away "Zoom" as an option from "Normal" activation, just stick with Normal (then shoot, if eligible), then Wingman or Evasive (and not shoot).
2) I'm thinking about taking away CM. They slow the game down with the re-rolls, plus it seems kind of silly with planes running out of CM (though I don't know, maybe that can happen). It seems to me it may be better to just assume CM is already factored in to the Kill and Shock dice. Though I'm thinking maybe to give the target a 'react' move where he can make an Evasive Maneuver (gives the CM re-roll?), but then he has to take a 'Normal, Straight and Level' during his turn.
We'll see, though I'd love to hear what you guys think.
Stay tuned, and thanks for looking.