Rob Zacny

Three Moves Ahead 399 - Air Combat

12 posts in this topic

Three Moves Ahead 399:

Three Moves Ahead 399


Air Combat
Bruce sits down with James Crate, a former naval aviator, and discusses various efforts at designing and playing games about air combat. Crate discusses how a lot of Cold War era wargames reflected US military doctrine, but not necessarily air engagements as pilots would experience them in the field. How did the lessons learned from actual air combat match the expectations reflected in wargames? Also, prepare to learn that air-to-air missiles don't work like you think they do.

Tac Air, Flight Leader, Air Superiority, Check Your Six, Bag the Hun

 

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There's some really nice insights into air combat and how it comes out in games here.  I much appreciate James' input for this show and it's wonderful!

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Really interesting. Especially about the effective range of air to air missiles. Fascinating.

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Really enjoyed this episode and will be looking into Bag the Hun. I like the idea of not modeling air combat as a closed 1v1 or 2v2 system but rather as something that draws more attention from outside the immediate combat area ("the merge"?) the longer it progresses. The game of Go models this in a very simple way since the edges count as opponents' pieces for the purposes of counting liberties.

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When Bruce said they'll explain things for people not familiar with air combat games I hoped it wouldn't fly over my head. But it did.

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Dr. Bruce:

Great episode, highly credible guest; knew early-on it was to be a must-listen episode.

 

While I have not played a large number of air combat games, I can appreciate the challenges/complexities of trying to make a believable game where the battle dynamics can change so rapidly.  It was refreshing to hear your guest speak favorably of air combat games that look at the bigger picture of winning the air war instead of digging too deeply into the nuts, bolts, and mathematics of it all.  Pilots, engineers, and diehard enthusiasts do love that stuff, but I've just never been sold on the idea that a heavy dose of simulation should be emphasized ahead of strategy where air combat board games are concerned.

 

I've got Wing Leader on the shelf; hopefully on the table soon.  Have you played this yet, Bruce?  If so, do you have a favorable opinion of it?

 

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Sorry guys, noob alert, where are the notes and links to the games and books discussed?  I am ready to be humiliated as well as informed.  I want to get my hands on that book he mentioned in the first minuet, The Illustrated Guide to Wargames.

 

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6 hours ago, kevlar871 said:

Sorry guys, noob alert, where are the notes and links to the games and books discussed?  I am ready to be humiliated as well as informed.  I want to get my hands on that book he mentioned in the first minuet, The Illustrated Guide to Wargames.

 

Just the short listing at the top of page, that I can see.  Here are links to the BoardGameGeek listings:

 

Tac Air

 

Flight Leader

 

Air Superiority

 

Check Your Six

 

Bag the Hun 

 

 

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@spacerumsfeld, perhaps it's about a lack of English language background. I've enjoyed your comparisons to reality but I had to understand basic rules of tabletop air combat by tidbits. Like the fact that changing course works in specific ways and hit calculation involves heavy math. I also didn't know what is trick-taking game. It was still interesting to listen a real pilot talking about tabletop air combat.

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Early in the episode, your guest mentioned something called the '8 Types of Wargamer'.  Is there a link or reference to this someplace?  (And did I hear this correctly?)

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I enjoyed this conversation a lot! Feels more like a Wild Weasel segment than a 3ma episode, but that's not a complaint; I eagerly consume Wild Weasel when it comes out. 

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