View Full Version : BFG House Rules For Fighter Waves (Accounting For Outnumbering)

09-08-2005, 14:01
Generally the current rules for fighters seem to be a bit too one-dimensional.
The effects of outnumbering the enemy in a dogfight are not accounted for, a single fighter squadron will always take out one enemy squadron of attack craft - even wehn outnumbered badly.
That's not realistic. A single fighter squadron attacking a group of four enemy fighter squadrons shouldn't be able to take out one of them. It's more realistic that they get overwhelmed quickly, having caused only minimal damage. That's how things are in all other situations in the game too: Two ships fighting five enemy ones of the same class aren't really expected to take out two of the enemy ones before they get shot up themselves. They'll rather only seriously damage one of the five enemy ones until they go down.

Because of this lack of accountance for the effects of outnumbering there is hardly a reason to field fighters in waves right now. These only have disadvantages over individual fighters (vulnerability to ship weapons) but are not more effective against the enemy than individual ones, as their "teamwork bonus" is not accounted for.
Furthermore, bombers are just like fighters right now. The player with superior carrier capacity can just swamp the enemy in bombers, as there isn't really a benefit in launching escorting fighters beyond those somewhat apologetic suppressing turrets rule. A bomber currently is just as effective against defending fighters as a fighter is - both take out each other regardless of any other factors.

Generally i have two similar suggestions how this could be solved, they are only different in details.

Version 1:
When two waves of attack craft meet each other, determine which side has more fighters in that wave. For each fighter that one side has more than the enemy, it may roll a D6. On each 4+ one of the own fighter squadrons which otherwise would have to be removed as casualties may remain in the game.

With this, a wave of four fighters fighting against two fighters would get 2D6. In average only one of the four fighter would get destroyed, which is fairly realistic when four fight against two.
A wave of four fighters against a wave of four enemy bombers would get a full 4D6, and thus suffer only two own losses in average. This represents bombers not fighting back as strong as fighters would. Furthermore, there would be a benefit in including fighters in bomber waves - the enemy gets one less D6 against such a wave.
If a single fighter attacks a wave of two bombers and two fighter, then even the defending fighters would get a D6, as they outnumber the enemy fighters.

Generally with this the effects of outnumbering would be accounted for, and it would become possible to set up a fighter screen which is more effective than 16 bombers than it would be against e.g. twelve bombers escorted by four fighters - that's just realistic.

It's based on the assumption that bombers aren't really able to fight back though. If bombers are not supposed to be sitting ducks, the version 2 becomes interesting:

Version 2:
For determining the number of outnumbering dice, not only fighters are counted but also bombers. The outnumbering dice can only be used to keep fighters in the game though.

With this version bombers would not get massacred by fighters even if they outnumber the fighters, as they can fight back with gun turrets and so on. There would still be a reason to include fighters in bomber waves though, as even though a wave of four bombers would get two outnumbering dice against a wave of two fighters, it has nothing which could be kept in the game with these dice.
A wave of three bombers and one fighter however would have a 75% chance that the fighter stays in the game though, and lose one bomber against two fighters (one avoidable fighter casualty, one bomber casualty that cannot be avoided are caused by the two attacking fighters). This represents the two enemy fighters being too busy with their main objective of shooting down bombers and evading from the gun turrets. They don't put up a serious fight against the escorting fighters.

The normal effects of outnumbering would still be accounted for in full, but bombers don't suffer from this version.

Mad Doc Grotsnik
10-08-2005, 23:12
The trouble is, the removal rules aren't so much about destruction, as tying the vessels up, until they can no longer complete their mission, returning to re-fuel and re-arm.

I agree that the rules aren't particulary detailed, but it's about the big ships and not the little ones!

12-08-2005, 12:17
The trouble is, the removal rules aren't so much about destruction, as tying the vessels up, until they can no longer complete their mission, returning to re-fuel and re-arm.Still, a single fighter squadron fighting against a wave of four enemy fighter squadrons will make their enemy spend less fiel than they have to spend themselves to evade from four times as many enemies as they are themselves. Casualties and fuel/ammo expenditure are exchangeable in this regard.

I agree that the rules aren't particulary detailed, but it's about the big ships and not the little ones!
Of course. But i'm not suggesting anything beyond what there already is a precedent for with bombers, which are used in waves as that has a point. Furthermore my suggestion would give a reason to include fighters in bomber waves as escorts, which makes more sense than just wave upon wave of unguarded bombers.
Since rules were released for fighters in bomber waves suppressing turrets it evidently is desired by the game designers to have fighters in bomber waves having a point.

The rules as they stand seem to do a good job of either letting you represent being outnumbered by fighters. Simply split your fighters into single fighter squadrons and spend them against their opposites in the hope of getting one at the bomber wing that homing in on your flagship.
Exactly this splitting fighters into individual squadrons is what i don't like about the rules! There is totally no reason to field fighters in waves, and a fighter squadron facing three or four enemy fighter squadrons at once is still just as effective as if it was fighting 1vs1. That's extremely unrealistic. Such a lonesome fighter squadron should be dispatched quickly when facing these odds, with their enemy suffering only minimal losses/fuel and ammo expenditure.