Dog Fight '68

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Dog Fight '68

Postby Francisco Duarte » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:06 pm

I am fascinated with air war ever since I can remember. As soon as I started playing MFZ that I imagined ways to make an air combat simulator out of it, however it never felt right to me. However, as soon as Vitor Faria posted his Dog Fight rules I knew I had found my answer.

This mod is thus an adaptation of Vitor Faria's Dog Fight and everything not stated otherwise can be assumed to behave like that rule set: http://www.mobileframehangar.com/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=8360

These rules I’m posting here are for running air battles set in the late 1960s. You will notice that there are plenty of SSRs flying around, making the game quite lethal, as it should given that real-life dogfights are usually solved with one or two shots. On the other hand, fighters do have less chances to cause damage. However, it still requires proper testing, so feedback is welcome.

I also provide ideas for systems and weapons, so you could create your own aircraft in case you wish to go full alternate history, or maybe just offer your take on how real aircraft could be built under this system.

Given that this system is intended to portray battles between real aircraft from the mid Cold War I ask for commenters to remain civil about the topic and maintain a neutral view of these aircraft and their feats and capabilities.

Image


Systems
Systems work roughly the same way they work with Dog Fight – each fighter has two white dice, up to three systems and a floating d6G, which does not count for the systems’ count.
Fighters are also divided in two classes: light fighters, which take two systems, and heavy fighters, which take three systems.
All fighters carry a gun, which counts as the white die that can be used for an attack on burst range.
Each fighter can take two SSRs for direct fire range.
If a fighter equips at least one yellow system, it can also carry two SSRs for support fire range.
A fighter can fire up to two SSRs for the same range at the same time.

The systems a fighter can carry are the following:
d6Rh For burst range a fighter carries a HtH system if it carries one gun in addition to the first one.
d8Rh For burst range, a fighter adds one HtH d8 if it carries three or more guns.
d6Rd For direct fire range a fighter can equip a long-range cannon.
d6Rd For direct fire range a fighter can equip an air-to-air rocket launcher.
A fighter can also carry an “additional missile rails” system that allows it to carry 4 direct range SSRs and also 4 support range SSRs if it can carry the latter. A fighter can carry up to two of these systems for a maximum of 6 missiles in both ranges. If a fighter loses this system, it also loses any additional missiles it carries (for example, if it carries 3 DR SSRs and loses this system, it also loses the unused third SSR).

d6B For defense a fighter can carry an ECM system.
d6B For defense a fighter can carry a Decoy Dispenser system.
d6B For defense a fighter can equip the Sturdy Airframe system.

d6G For movement a fighter can equip the Advanced Afterburner system.
d6G For movement a fighter can equip the Canard system.
d6G For movement a fighter can equip the Light Frame system.

d6Y For spotting a fighter can carry the Advanced Radar system.
d6Y For spotting a fighter can carry the InfraRed Tracking System (IRTS) system.
d6Y For spotting a fighter can carry the Datalink System.


Cover
Cover works as described in Dog Fight (offering cover at a 2 unit distance,), but with a twist. There are two kinds of cover:

Mobile Cover – mostly clouds, these are large patches of cover, that behave like normal cover. However, at the end of a round, each patch of cover moves one die in a direction predefined at the outset of the game. Once this cover reaches the edge of the table, it leaves the game.
Furthermore, if a fighter is inside a piece of terrain classified as "cloud" it has cover from any direction. However, it cannot attack or spot.

Stationary cover – hilltops, roofs of tall buildings, big trees, this is cover that simulates a low-altitude dogfight. It behaves like normal cover. The exception are the hilltops, which are indestructible.
Furthermore, if a fighter’s movement ends on top of a piece of static cover, the fighter takes damage.


Stations
Because of the nature of the mod, there’ll be two types of stations:
For battles in high altitude stations should be helicopters or transport aircraft. They could also move, in the same fashion mobile cover does, but controlled by the player. Generally, they should follow the alternative station rules for station movement as presented in the MFZ:RA book.
When buildings or, especially, hilltops are present, stations could be communication antennas or other fixed high-priority asset that can behave like normal stations.

Example Fighters:

USA
F-4C Phantom II
Advanced Radar + ECM + Additional missile rails + 4 DR SSRs + 4 SR SSRs - d6W d6W d6Y d6B :arrow: d8Rr d8Rr d8Rr d8Rr d8Ra d8Ra d8Ra d8Ra
NOTE: In fact this aircraft could only carry a gun in an external pod; if you so wish you can forego the option to make burst range attacks and instead add an additional red d6 to each SR SSR launch.

F-5C Freedom Fighter
Additional Gun + Sturdy Airframe + 2 RD SSRs - d6W d6W d6Rh d6Rh d6B d8Rr d8Rr


URSS
Su-15 Flaggon
Additional Gun + Advanced Radar + Advanced Afterburner + 2 RD SSRs + 2 SR SSRs - d6W d6W d6Rh d6Rh d6Y d6G d8Rr d8Rr d8Ra d8Ra

MiG-21
Advanced Afterburner + Additional missile rails + 4 DR SSRs - d6W d6W d6G :arrow: d8Rr d8Rr d8Rr d8Rr


Europe
Sea Vixen
Advanced Radar + Datalink + ECM + 2 RD SSRs + 2 SR SSRs - d6W d6W d6Y d6Y d6B d8Rr d8Rr d8Ra d8Ra
NOTE: In fact this aircraft could only carry a gun in an external pod; if you so wish you can forego the option to make burst range attacks and instead add an additional red d6 to each SR SSR launch.

J-35 Draken
IRST + Advanced Afterburner + 2 RD SSRs - d6W d6W d6Y d6G d8Rr d8Rr d8Ra d8Ra


I will try to provide models in the future, but I really wanted to get the rules here as soon as possible.

Thanks to Vitor Faria for coming up with Dog Fight in the first place.
Last edited by Francisco Duarte on Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:51 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Dog Fight '68

Postby VitorFaria » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:52 pm

I really enjoy this, Francisco! It's a huge honor to see you going forward with this!

That said, I'm afraid your version, as is, would favor attackers way too much.

In Dog Fight, the fact that less cover is on the table and each fighter has one less "life point" than a traditional frame is balanced out by the difficulty of always being both in range and in a firing arc.

Here you have a considerable amount of fighters going with even less "life points" and you have a huge number of SRR style weapons on top of it.

I know that the point is to make fighters feel more fragile by design, but that can also affect game balance.

I would suggest either cutting down on the rockets or inventing an unique way of giving the defender an extra edge.

(In fact, one of my methods of balancing Dog Fight will be adjusting the quantity of SSRs, if I feel defenders are winning too much, I'll add to the number, on the contrary, I will subtract.)
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Re: Dog Fight '68

Postby Francisco Duarte » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:32 am

Thank you for the feedback!

Regarding your question, I have actually been contemplating that issue since day one, actually. How to make the combat feel unique and thematic without compromising the "simulation" side too much. Keep in mind, the firing arc of your rules still holds and you need to be in the right place to use the SSRs, regardless of their respective range. Moreover, the limited amount of attacks you're provided means that you need to contemplate your attack rolls carefully. Simply put, there aren't many red dice being thrown around, albeit most of them would be d8s (usually only one per attack, though).

That said, when the attack does take place, it can be a little too lethal. After reading your post I started to contemplate maybe treating the missiles like normal attacks, although limited in number (ie, you fire one missile, you throw two red d6s, you throw two, you get an additional d8), but this means that combat is still treated normally, except you have a limited amount of them. Another option would be to allow using green d6s for defense, along with the normal blue ones and the white ones, which would increase the defense options but could cause additional issues - I'm actually curious about what you think of this.

But, yeah, creating fun new rules is cool, but balancing things out is really hard.
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Re: Dog Fight '68

Postby Francisco Duarte » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:53 am

I've also contemplated a less drastic mod for your system which I've christened Dog Fight 2025.

Within this mod you keep my rules for cover, movement abilities and stations, but the rest remains similar to your rule set. Furthermore you get two SSRs per fighter and no more (they are akin to self-defense missiles like the AIM-9X and equivalent missiles - I think this could also be a solution for your SSR problem).

The thematic systems would be the following (because of the characteristics of modern combat aircraft, weapon systems work normally here, given that they normally carry enough missiles to last for the normal duration of a MFZ battle):

d6Rh d6Rh for one cannon in addition to the normal one
d8Rh For 3 or more cannons

d6Rd for a long-range gun
d6Rd for a battery of SACM missiles
d6Rd for a Combat Drone

d6Ra For a battery of long-range missiles
d6Ra for a Laser

d6B for Stealth Coating
d6B for Decoy Dispensers
d6B for ECM

d6G for Supercruise
d6G for Canards
d6G for Vectored Thrust

d6Y For AESA Radar
d6Y For IRTS
d6Y For a Sensor Drone

Of course, this is no solution for the inherent problem of '68, but could be a way to play your rule set with a more "modern warfare" flair.

PS: sorry for the double post, but I thought the different topics warranted two posts.
Last edited by Francisco Duarte on Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dog Fight '68

Postby VitorFaria » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:45 pm

Really interesting, mod, Francisco!

Gave me some really great ideas for coming up with systems for Dog Fight!
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Re: Dog Fight '68

Postby Francisco Duarte » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:26 am

VitorFaria wrote:Really interesting, mod, Francisco!

Gave me some really great ideas for coming up with systems for Dog Fight!


Thank you! I've put a lot of love into this one. Aviation is one of my greatest passions.

I do hope the twin SSR idea holds some water, and apart from that I'm eager to see what other inspiration I might have provided. :)

I still want to make the core '68 mod work, though. I think I'll run a few tests making all missiles d8s and others where they are considered normal attacks with limited ammo, and see what happens on both.

NOTE: I've updated the rules regarding cloud cover - now you can hide in clouds for cover, but you lose the ability to spot or attack while inside one.
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Re: Dog Fight '68

Postby VitorFaria » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:37 am

Francisco Duarte wrote:NOTE: I've updated the rules regarding cloud cover - now you can hide in clouds for cover, but you lose the ability to spot or attack while inside one.


That alone helps the balancing problem as more cover and less attacking/spotting favors the defender.
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Re: Dog Fight '68

Postby Francisco Duarte » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:00 pm

VitorFaria wrote:
Francisco Duarte wrote:NOTE: I've updated the rules regarding cloud cover - now you can hide in clouds for cover, but you lose the ability to spot or attack while inside one.


That alone helps the balancing problem as more cover and less attacking/spotting favors the defender.


I guess this was the unique way of offering some advantage to the defender. Haven't really realized it until seeing your comment. Sometimes stuff like this sneaks of us without us realizing it.
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Re: Dog Fight '68

Postby Francisco Duarte » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:25 am

Question regarding the rules, people:

regarding this rule

In addition to the standard Dog Fight movement rules, if a fighter equips at least one movement system if can also perform one of two maneuvers at the end of its movement assuming it moved at least 2 units.
It can turn 90º.
Or it can perform a snapshot, allowing the fighter to target any target in front of it (outside the normal cone of engagement).
If a fighter has two movement systems it can both things.


Should it stay as it is (you use your movement and can perform the maneuver if you want to) or should you spend another green die (or a white one) to perform the maneuver?
I was thinking about this after reading the base Dog Fight tread, and it made me think if these maneuvers are too overpowered or not. Alternatively, maybe you can get the free use if you have two green systems.
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Re: Dog Fight '68

Postby VitorFaria » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:36 pm

I frankly didn't get the snap shot rule all that well at first, you might consider rewording it a bit.

The only way to know for sure would be game testing, but I'm afraid the optional 90º would make a ship able to shoot everyone that isn't right behind it really easy, may be way too "turret-ish" to keep balanced.
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Re: Dog Fight '68

Postby Francisco Duarte » Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:45 am

VitorFaria wrote:I frankly didn't get the snap shot rule all that well at first, you might consider rewording it a bit.

The only way to know for sure would be game testing, but I'm afraid the optional 90º would make a ship able to shoot everyone that isn't right behind it really easy, may be way too "turret-ish" to keep balanced.


Got it. After some consideration I came to the conclusion that these rules are really extraneous when we have the movement options in consideration. I think I'll mostly get rid of them, simply. It was an attempt to have some extra options.
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Re: Dog Fight '68

Postby VitorFaria » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:01 pm

Makes sense, keep it simple at first and add more detail later, if needed.

Yet, I must say, your missile ideas stroke me as very odd at first but they are really growing on me. I can't wait to see how would they work in practice!
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