Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Some Flyer Thoughts

A-10 Warthog, Lou Drendel
While I've been working on the visibility stuff, I've had some thoughts about how we might handle Flyers in the game. Particularly after dusting off my old Apoc book and noting some general things that I like about that system. Not that we won't massively improve on those rules, of course. :)

1) Flyers Start In Reserve.

Logical really. They're flying around off-table when the game starts.

2) Flyers Come On Automatically

I had thought about rolling for them, a la Flames of War. But I think that we really need to have them be more reliable than in that game. So you simply bring them on whenever you want to.

Though we might make you wait a turn before they can come back on after a strafing run. :)

3) You Only Ever Have One Flyer

In Flames, purchasing air support means that you (in theory) actually have a whole squadron of planes flying around overhead. Each attack run is made by a fresh plane. So if one is shot down, no problem. Another one can potentially come on next turn (if you pass your roll).

But... I like the idea of only having one Flyer. One that starts the game fresh and whose performance gets degraded over the course of the battle. Particularly if our vehicle rules make it difficult to simply kill a vehicle outright. So you might blow off half it's wing and injure the pilot. But he'll fight on for another turn or two before he goes down.

4) Flyers Can Be Intercepted

If you have a long range AA gun (above) , or a flyer of your own, you can attempt to 'Intercept' an enemy flyer. Which just means not letting it enter the table for a turn. Instead it has to circle around again. Of course doing so means that your own flyer can't swoop in. 

For long range AA guns, we'd probably make them draw LoS to the point at which the Flyer is considered to have entered before firing. With some standoff distance from the edge of a wood that lets them see over it.

4) Flyers Enter During The Action Phase.

During the Action Phase, you'd bring your Flyer on. Placing them anywhere you like on the table within range of the target that you want to strafe. Then you blaze away. Probably with a visibility bonus of 1-2 points.

5) Flyers Exit During The Reaction Phase.

Your Flyer has to stick around during your opponent's action phase, so they can shoot their light AA weapons (like pintle-mounted machine guns) at it.

Then your flyer exits the board. For flyers making bombing runs, they would pick a point along their flight path to drop their bomb before they leave. Which gives your opponent a turn to run laterally away from the flyer's flight line.

This is also where Flyers with the VTOL rule would convert to skimmer/hover mode. Though this should probably be declared when they come on, so that their Evasion gets penalized for moving slower than normal. You'll still have the option NOT to convert during the Reaction Phase, but even if you wave off, your Evasion would still be penalized.


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