View Full Version : Musings on rules

21-02-2007, 17:36
I was thinking about AI, pondering the differences between it and the crimson skies game by FASA that I own and one of the ones that occurred to me was the way in which you had to land at the end of a game (if memory serves it's a simple skill test). I was pondering that maybe it's something that could be included in AI - especially where campaigns are run. Rules could look something like:

"At the end of a game any surviving aircraft must test to see whether they are able to land safely. Usually a relatively straight forward skill for any pilot this may netherless be complicated if the aircraft has been damaged.

Using the skill values given in the rulebook each player must make a skill test for each surviving aircraft. A successful test indicates that the aircraft has landed safely whilst on a failed skill test the aircraft is damaged or destroyed upon landing and must be replaced. The number required to pass the skill test is modified by the values below.

Undamaged: -2
Extra Fuel Remaining (the plane left the table before turn 12): -1 (it's assumed the pilot is able to use the fuel to make several passes before they land)
Damaged: Skill roll with no + or - modifier.
Last Point of Damage: +1 (the planes on it's last point of damage and is therefore pretty beat up!)
Bad weather / Night Fight - +1 if the game used either of these rules.

A roll of a 6 is an automatic pass, a roll of a 1 is an automatic fail.

So e.g. An imperial flight is returning from a successful sortie during a clear blue sky day. The 3 surviving planes attempt to land. Plane 1 has no damage and is crewed by a regular pilot (skill level 4+) and so needs a 2+ to land successfully. Plane 2 is damaged and is again crewed by a regular pilot so needs a 4+ to land successfully. Plane 3 is crewed by an ace pilot (skill 3+) but is on it's last point of damage and so needs a 4+ to land safely"

Rough and ready I know and would need to establish exactly what happens to pilots involved in a crash - maybe a 50/50 chance of surviving or a basic skill roll or something like that? I'm sure a lot of people won't like the idea but planes don't just land - especially when they are shot to ribbons!

21-02-2007, 18:17
if a 1 is an automatic fail, that's 16% of all flights that crash. I don't think that's too realistic, given that pilots train to do that sort of thing day after day. Perhaps a 1 and another roll of 1 is auto fail...

21-02-2007, 19:02
So 1/3 of chaos fighters that go out on patrol and don't find anyone to shoot at return to base undamaged and then just crash on landing?:wtf:

21-02-2007, 19:58
Hey like I said I was just musing over ways of expanding the game - constructive criticism is good and if you thing somethings borked (no doubt) why don't you suggest how you would amend it rather than just going :wtf:

21-02-2007, 21:18
How about only damaged aircraft having to test to land, the others assume to have done it successfully. Might represent the added difficulty in landing something which has lots of holes in it and is less than perfectly aerodynamic ;)

21-02-2007, 23:31
I like this idea.

One addition I would add is that aircraft can continue to fight past their 12th turn. However they run the risk of running out of fuel before they return to base. So 1 more turn = 2+ fuel check. 2 more turns = 3+ fuel check. 3 more turns = 4+ fuel check any more after that is a 5+ save to not suffer crash landings.

21-02-2007, 23:52
Something I want to try is a different stalling rule - you do not just crash on a stall. Pilots practice recovering from stalls.

On the landing rolls, I think it should just be kept simple - pilot check to land a damaged aircraft. If a pilot is not able to safely land an aircraft he does not make it out of flight school and so would not see combat. If a pilot fails to land a damaged aircraft, ejection - a second pilot check.

Cry of the Wind
22-02-2007, 02:58
@orangesm: I think the rules already cover that. If you stall or end up higher than your max altitude or hit the ground you just make a pilot skill check. If passed your pilot did some 'by the seat of their pants' flying and avoided the crash.

As for tests for crashing on landing, I think only testing when damaged would make sense. To keep it simple you could just make a skill check for landing with serious damage, if failed the plane crashes, then make skill check as normal for seeing if the pilot makes it out alright. This means it won't effect a one off game but adds the chance of a damaged plane being removed from the roster in a campaign while making it unlikely to lose many pilots that way (even orks and chaos have a better than 50% chance of staying alive in a damaged aircraft landing).

22-02-2007, 04:17
I dunno. I mean, in the Army where we don't have the luxury of ejecting, we train to land a helicopter with all sorts of battle damage. I can safely land a flyable blackhawk with one engine, loss of tailrotor control, loss of pilot assist hydraulics, etc. Even as of late trying to pick up a civilian fixed wing rating, we train for landing under emergency conditions. I would imagine Imperial Navy pilots would have pretty good odds of putting a damaged bird down.

I think the victory points for disengaged damaged aircraft fits well enough to abstract the costs of taking hits. Although perhaps what may fit better for folks looking to expand the rules for the aftermath is an aircraft damage table.

1-3 Aircraft makes it back to base and is repaired as normal,
4 Aircraft suffers serious damage and will be unavailable for next campaign turn
5 aircraft suffers serious damage to its controls and or powerplant.
Pilot may opt to:
-Eject with a +1 bonus OR make a skill check to land the aircraft successfully.
-If failed, he may opt to eject and the aircraft is lost, OR take a second landing test at a -1. If failed, both the aircraft and pilot are lost.
6 Aircraft suffers serious damage to powerplant and/or fuel system. The pilot can limp the aircraft back to friendly territory, but is unable to make it back to base. Must eject (with a +1 bonus) and the aircraft is lost.

So a 6 is the most serious thing as it garauntees the aircraft is lost. A 5 is serious too, but lets a pilot have two attempts to save himself or the aircraft. The first representing having the altitude and options to set up a good approach and the second being a botched approach but pulling off a miracle moments before touchdown. Using this table, a damaged IN Thunderbolt pilot has a 7/9 chance of landing the aircraft and a 2/9 chance of loosing it. I think that or 8/9:1/9 would be about right.

22-02-2007, 04:32
The only thing is that you get a single roll to recover the aircraft if you 'stall' regardless of altitude. I think that your altitude should play into how long you have to recover an aircraft. If you stall at Alt 9 it is very different from stalling at Alt 1. If you stall I think falling (so no forward motion) 1d3+1 Alt if you do not recover and you can opt not to recover. If you recover you regain airspeed up to your min.

Cry of the Wind
22-02-2007, 04:35
Just because you've trained to do it doesn't mean it'll always work what the stuff really hits the fan, greenmtvince I can auto safely with no hydraulics during training but that doesn't mean I can do it under the stress of battle damage or with a piece of my anti-torque pedal sticking out of my foot or a sucking chest wound from a stray round...

That said I like your table a lot, little more complicated then my idea but has cooler narrative potential. Imagine the background you could write during a campaign with one of your damaged birds coming home and having the pilot eject on landing because of battle damage, great stuff for those who like to flesh out their characters and add some in-between battle action.

As for the stalling idea there orangesm, nice touch with the altitude loss for stall, maybe even make a minimum of of loss of 1 altitude even when passed, I'm sure a fighter will fall a few hundred feet at least before recovering (of course that's beyond my experince).

23-02-2007, 10:39
So 1/3 of chaos fighters that go out on patrol and don't find anyone to shoot at return to base undamaged and then just crash on landing?:wtf:

Actually, that might not be so insane as you think. I imagine Chaos planes as being none too stable, though perhaps this might apply better for Ork planes (much better), and so may have a tendency to...explode on impact with the ground. It could hark back to the first days of jet propulsion. The germans had a wonderful little jet plane in WWII that was a nightmare to fly and often exploded on trying to land.

The thing is with these rules is that there are already rules for landing in the game, though it is a simple affair. Really then you'd have to apply these rules to combat landings as well, though surely in the game they would be harder under fire?

23-02-2007, 17:21
Yeah but like you say the current rules are terribly simple and am I right in thinking (I don't have AI with me as I write this) that you need to be able to fly at speed 0 to land?

Anyway I agree that even orks and chaos ought to be able to land without exploding and agree that probably the most straightforward way od doing it is to say that the rules only apply to damaged planes (so removing the reference to undamaged planes in the chart).

23-02-2007, 17:35
I am fairly certain that is for a vertical landing like Thunderhawks, Mantas, Orcas, Valkyries, and the like do in game. I do not think there are any rules for a horizontal traditional landing, but aircraft's horizontal airspeed is slow, but not stalling when landing in the traditional fashion.

If rules were going to be developed for non-ground insertation aircraft landing in game I would say they have to be at their min speed at altitude 1 to land.

23-02-2007, 17:56
In fact, to land an airplane, one have to fly at minimum speed and altitude 1. Only planes with min speed 0 could land vertically (ie. Valkyrie).

23-02-2007, 22:42
Yeah but like you say the current rules are terribly simple and am I right in thinking (I don't have AI with me as I write this) that you need to be able to fly at speed 0 to land?

Anyway I agree that even orks and chaos ought to be able to land without exploding and agree that probably the most straightforward way od doing it is to say that the rules only apply to damaged planes (so removing the reference to undamaged planes in the chart).

I like that idea...as it does make more sense in both the rules and reality. Any damage is very likely to have hit something like the landing gear etc.

You do have to be at speed 0 when you land, but only reduce to that speed by the adjustment you make to your speed during that turn I believe.

On teh further point of verticle landings, I'm not sure that they are possible in the rules. Though the rules state that it should be able to land at speed 0, they do not allow them to make any adjustment to altitude in any other situation. If they were to include this in the rules, I don't think that it would apply to all planes capably of hovering. For example, whilst I can imagine a Vulture being a VTOL, in my mind a Manta should not fall into the same category due to the method of propulsion, with no way to angle the engines it seems (though the orca seems not to suffer the same, being able to angle in the same way as a Harrier might). There would also have to be limits though in how much an aircraft can change its altitude when stationary. I would put it down as being no more than the thrust value of the craft.