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trentdep
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Air Pack - Yes or No ? Mon, 03 September 2012 02:20
I have been reading the Air Pack rules in preparation for upcoming Ladder matches.

My first impression is.. Yeah - maybe...

Am curious as to the general consensus of whether or not AP is a plus for most scenarios.
      
clexton27
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Mon, 03 September 2012 03:16
Airpack is not for MOST scenarios, but it adds an element of interest I am glad to see in certain scenarios. As an expansion, I have enjoyed it a bunch. I would not want to play Air Rules with EVERY game but it is an enhancement I am glad to have to bump up the pizzazz.

[Updated on: Mon, 03 September 2012 03:18]

      
Dietrich von Kleist
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Mon, 10 September 2012 13:41
stevens wrote on Mon, 03 September 2012 03:16

Airpack is not for MOST scenarios, but it adds an element of interest I am glad to see in certain scenarios. As an expansion, I have enjoyed it a bunch. I would not want to play Air Rules with EVERY game but it is an enhancement I am glad to have to bump up the pizzazz.


The Air Pack expansion is created especially for breathtaking battles or games that take a while.

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/DiederC/airpack4-1.jpg

http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j383/DiederC/airpack5.jpg

[Updated on: Mon, 10 September 2012 13:50]

      
clexton27
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Mon, 10 September 2012 16:02
LOVE IT!
      
JFKoski
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Mon, 10 September 2012 17:04
I assume you mean Air Rules.

I'm thinking Air Pack must not have sold very well, or not been very popular. Nearly every official scenario that came out since then says "Air Rules are not in effect". For instance the entire Mediterranean Pack says that. The Battle Map including Tobruk is one of the few exceptions.

Besides plane figures and Air Sortie cards the Pack comes with some tiles for winter & desert hills, air fields, trenches, gullies, exit circles and maybe some rectangular pieces. These aren't that useful, although I've used the exits.

What's more useful is the reference cards. I use these all the time. Some people have asked if they can be sold separately now that Air Pack is out of print. I've been printing out the new ones I don't have from the card compendium.

The last thing in the Air Pack is the book of scenarios, all classified, but there's unclassified versions that came out before them. Air Pack came out after Pacific expansion, so there's scenarios from Basic, Terrain Pack, East, and Pacific, many modified to use Air Rules, some not.

I've only played a score of games or so with Air Rules; they do help the hard side of unbalanced scenarios like Kasserine Pass, etc. I expected to be playing more, but it's just not that much fun.


      
50th
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Mon, 24 September 2012 00:06
I like the airplanes, the card compendium, and the terrain tiles, hate the rules. I use only my own rules, available here:
http://cdn.daysofwonder.com/uploads/userpages/272628/_5693.p df

I never could see a tank moving at 24mph and an aircraft at 100+ mph and the aircraft only gets one more hex than the tank.
      
tank commander
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Mon, 24 September 2012 01:21
50th wrote on Sun, 23 September 2012 18:06

I never could see a tank moving at 24mph and an aircraft at 100+ mph and the aircraft only gets one more hex than the tank.


Of course, if taken in that context the comparision (speed vs speed) seems ludicrous. One may even state that how can tanks only move 3 hexes while infantry can move 2 when armor should move at least 4 or 5 times as far in a turn.

But planes did not just zip over battlefields at their max speed, if they did there would be no point of having a model represent them on the Mem '44 board. Even in real life, such a thing would have entirely prevented close ground - air cordination which in fact did happen in WW II.

I think the current 4 hex move presents a plane (perhaps even in using a different time scale in comparsion to the ground forces) flying to a battle, loitering over a given section of ground and targeting the enemy.

That being said I am happy with the Air Pack rules as written and use them on occasion. But please note that their use in some scenarios can really tilt the balance on way or the other. I have seen plane strafing do some very heavy and key damage to one side. If one side has the ability to strafe more often (Blitz Rules) than the other, this can lead to a very difficult situation for the other side.
      
OldBloodandGuts
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Mon, 24 September 2012 17:25
I'm with 50th; I love all the Air Pack Stuff, but will not play with the Air Pack Rules. I've said this on these boards often in the past, but air power played primarily a strategic role in WW2, and M44 is primarily a tactical game (although it is sort of in a gray area because of the lack of definitive scale).
      
50th
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Tue, 25 September 2012 21:54
Oh, but the airplane, while the tank moves at a paltry 24 mph, comes out of nowhere and either strafes or drops a bomb on it, only to disappear into the clouds again. Thus in my rules, air units are only on the board when making an attack, and now ground units can shoot back! If the other side has an air unit flying about, they can make an air interdiction and shoot down the offending air unit! Or you can bomb that train station to keep reinforcements from being delivered, or bomb the bridge!

      
tank commander
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Wed, 26 September 2012 00:26
OldBloodandGuts wrote on Mon, 24 September 2012 11:25

I'm with 50th; I love all the Air Pack Stuff, but will not play with the Air Pack Rules. I've said this on these boards often in the past, but air power played primarily a strategic role in WW2, and M44 is primarily a tactical game (although it is sort of in a gray area because of the lack of definitive scale).


Well, of the Allies, the US lead the way with strategic bombing with England usually a distant second. The Soviets never really operated at that level as between the US / England it was pretty well covered. This allowed the Soviets to mainly use their airforce to directly influence many a battle via operational and tactical air attacks.

As for the Axis powers, none of them had any real strategic bombing forces. Germany pretty much built the Luftwaffe as a force which would directly influence the battlefield .

Certainly the strategic air campaigns of the Western Allies in Europe and the US against Japan played a major role against the Axis. But, the tactical and operational air attacks by those nations in Europe were no less devastating (if not greater) to the enemy. I wonder how many German tanks were destroyed from the air in 1944 in France before they ever fired a shot at their opponent.

In WW II, tactical aircraft outnumbered strategic ones by far (I am only including those that performed the actual attacks-not long range fighters that served as escorts).

      
tank commander
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Wed, 26 September 2012 00:39
50th wrote on Tue, 25 September 2012 15:54

Oh, but the airplane, while the tank moves at a paltry 24 mph, comes out of nowhere and either strafes or drops a bomb on it, only to disappear into the clouds again. Thus in my rules, air units are only on the board when making an attack, and now ground units can shoot back! If the other side has an air unit flying about, they can make an air interdiction and shoot down the offending air unit! Or you can bomb that train station to keep reinforcements from being delivered, or bomb the bridge!


Your version just allows different ways to down an enemy plane other than the existing AC rule from the Air Pack. Bombing of bridges and RR stations sounds more operational than tactical to me, which may be why such missions are not in the Air Pack.

Of course there is the major stumbling block in that your rules are not official.

I just do not think the official Air Rules are that bad (IMO) to justify a home brewed set of rules to replace them. In fact, I have enjoyed using them on many occasions after getting used to how well they can work in Memoir '44.

Of course you are more than welcome to use whatever rules you deem fit and if you find opponents who agree to use them,more power to you.
      
Sgt Storm
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Wed, 26 September 2012 18:04
I think the air rules are acceptable. Maybe they could have been better, but they seem abstract enough to fit the general tone of the game. I don't think the fact airplanes move only 4 spaces versus a tanks 3 spaces is much to get upset about given the abstract nature of the game to begin with.

There are other inconsistencies in the game due to its abstract nature that are just as glaring but no one complains about them, such as the scale/distance inconsistencies in beach scenarios. Look at the typical beach scenario with the 3 hexes of beach and the additional mile of inland terrain. To be scale accurate most of these scenarios should have 1 hex of beach. But we don't worry too much about it in Memoir '44 because the game is a huge abstraction. It would matter in games such as Adv. Squad Leader or Conflict of Heroes where scale and accurate modeling of units and their properties (e.g., firepower, range etc.) are important.

As for the original question:

Quote:

Am curious as to the general consensus of whether or not AP is a plus for most scenarios.


I wouldn't say AP is necessarily a plus in the sense it makes the scenarios more accurate or balanced. Its more a matter of how much fun you get from playing with air rules (or airplanes). On occasion I like to play with air rules, and I love the figures, which is half the fun of Memoir '44 anyway. But most of the time I don't play with air rules, mostly because my regular opponents don't like the added complexity.

But I am eager to play the Air Aces campaign in campaign book 2. Just haven't had the time to play it yet.
      
OldBloodandGuts
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Fri, 28 September 2012 22:51
tank commander wrote on Tue, 25 September 2012 18:26

OldBloodandGuts wrote on Mon, 24 September 2012 11:25

I'm with 50th; I love all the Air Pack Stuff, but will not play with the Air Pack Rules. I've said this on these boards often in the past, but air power played primarily a strategic role in WW2, and M44 is primarily a tactical game (although it is sort of in a gray area because of the lack of definitive scale).


Well, of the Allies, the US lead the way with strategic bombing with England usually a distant second. The Soviets never really operated at that level as between the US / England it was pretty well covered. This allowed the Soviets to mainly use their airforce to directly influence many a battle via operational and tactical air attacks.

As for the Axis powers, none of them had any real strategic bombing forces. Germany pretty much built the Luftwaffe as a force which would directly influence the battlefield .

Certainly the strategic air campaigns of the Western Allies in Europe and the US against Japan played a major role against the Axis. But, the tactical and operational air attacks by those nations in Europe were no less devastating (if not greater) to the enemy. I wonder how many German tanks were destroyed from the air in 1944 in France before they ever fired a shot at their opponent.

In WW II, tactical aircraft outnumbered strategic ones by far (I am only including those that performed the actual attacks-not long range fighters that served as escorts).




Yeah, but the way aircraft were utilized was primarily strategic, at least in everything I've read. Even in blitzkrieg, fighter-bombers operated well in advance of the infantry/armor. True combined arms was pretty rare in WW2, for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the difficulty of identification and communication.

"Tactical" to me in this usage refers to the influence of air power on two ground forces that are already engaged (that is what the game represents), and that was rare. You just don't see a lot of accounts of a group getting pinned down and calling for air power in WW2, although it is common enough since Vietnam. In WW2, that type of tactical role was more often played by artillery.

More often air power (even tactical air power) was used to attack retreating forces, harass reinforcements, blow up bridges and lines of supply/advance/retreat, etc. -- things that happened behind the combat represented by M44. The only real exception I've read about is American air power late in the Pacific war, but that was a much different experience than the relatively mobile warfare in the European theater.

      
50th
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Sat, 29 September 2012 00:06
But in WW2 air power was used for ground interdiction for the first time to great effect (tacking out communication, bridges, trains, tunnels, ect) to keep enemy units from communicating or moving more units up to the front. In my mind, this can be tactical. Look at D-day when they took out roads, railroads, ect to keep the Germans from moving other units to the front to reinforce the front line troops. This did make a big difference in the tactical realm!

      
tank commander
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Sat, 29 September 2012 03:01
OldBloodandGuts wrote on Fri, 28 September 2012 16:51

tank commander wrote on Tue, 25 September 2012 18:26

OldBloodandGuts wrote on Mon, 24 September 2012 11:25

I'm with 50th; I love all the Air Pack Stuff, but will not play with the Air Pack Rules. I've said this on these boards often in the past, but air power played primarily a strategic role in WW2, and M44 is primarily a tactical game (although it is sort of in a gray area because of the lack of definitive scale).


Well, of the Allies, the US lead the way with strategic bombing with England usually a distant second. The Soviets never really operated at that level as between the US / England it was pretty well covered. This allowed the Soviets to mainly use their airforce to directly influence many a battle via operational and tactical air attacks.

As for the Axis powers, none of them had any real strategic bombing forces. Germany pretty much built the Luftwaffe as a force which would directly influence the battlefield .

Certainly the strategic air campaigns of the Western Allies in Europe and the US against Japan played a major role against the Axis. But, the tactical and operational air attacks by those nations in Europe were no less devastating (if not greater) to the enemy. I wonder how many German tanks were destroyed from the air in 1944 in France before they ever fired a shot at their opponent.

In WW II, tactical aircraft outnumbered strategic ones by far (I am only including those that performed the actual attacks-not long range fighters that served as escorts).




Yeah, but the way aircraft were utilized was primarily strategic, at least in everything I've read.



I do not know how non-strategic aircraft (those with limited range and bombload) could primarily be used in a strategic role.

[Updated on: Sat, 29 September 2012 03:01]

      
OldBloodandGuts
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Mon, 01 October 2012 02:42
tank commander wrote on Fri, 28 September 2012 21:01



I do not know how non-strategic aircraft (those with limited range and bombload) could primarily be used in a strategic role.


I guess it's semantics. Like I said, I consider blowing up a bridge or strafing a column of advancing (or retreating) troops to be strategic, not tactical. Aircraft with limited range and bombload (ie fighters, fighter/bombers) were used in those situations all the time.

Maybe I'm using the word wrong. To me, tactical air means interdiction with two ground forces who are already engaged -- what we see on a Memoir board. And to my knowledge, air power was rarely used in those instances, primarily because (with a few exceptions) poor communications (and equipment) between the air and ground made it hard to coordinate, and non-precision "dumb" weapons made the risk of hitting one's own side too high.

Whatever. If people like playing with the air rules, they should. I just find them unrealistic. Smile
      
Fred the Obscure
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Mon, 01 October 2012 08:01
Greetings All,

I have read the arguments and counter arguments around the DOW Air rules, and personally I play with the rules as DOW presented.

I played "Hedgerow Breakout", Campaing book 2, the other day, and thought I'd do some back ground reading on "Operation Cobra". I picked up "The struggle for Europe", Chester Wilmot. and came accross the following in chapter "The Break-out" on pg 436, : I quote:

" Each American combat command had two or three columns on the move simultaneously, and above each clumn flights of four Thunderbolts maintained a standing patrol in half hour shifts.
An air support control officer, riding with the foremost tanks, was in constant touch with the pilots by radio. Thus the fighter-bombers became "aerial artillery" directly controlled from the ground. Sometimes they spotted the opposition and delt with it themselves or gave the colmn due warning.More often, because of the closeness of the country, resistence was discovered only when the troops on the ground bumped into it.Then the Thunderbolts were called in, the target area was marked with smoke-shells fired by the tanks, and the dive -bombers attacked. Occasionally they planted their bombs on tanks or stongpoints barely 100 yards ahead of their own troops. Such close and direct liaison between armour and aircraft had never been acheived before."

Here I see the DOW air rules comming into play, with the aircraft "lurking" around on the battle field and attacking an ememy unit adjacent to a friendly unit.

I know this is not true for all fronts/scenarios, and not detracting from the house rules played with the planes whizzing in and off again.

However I found this interesting, and felt I had to share.
Happy gaming, with whatever air rules you use.

Fred the Obscure,
Durban, South Africa.
      
OldBloodandGuts
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Mon, 01 October 2012 17:40
Great passage, and like I said, there were exceptions, especially for late-war American units. I think basically we're saying the same thing.

It's worth noting that by July of '44, the Allies had air superiority (bordering on air supremacy) that allowed them to do these types of patrols. I haven't played with the air rules enough to know if that is what is depicted in M44, but my impression has been that it is not.
      
Sgt Storm
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Mon, 01 October 2012 19:45
OldBloodandGuts wrote on Sun, 30 September 2012 20:42

Whatever. If people like playing with the air rules, they should. I just find them unrealistic. Smile


Very little about Memoir '44 is realistic. At least its much more unrealistic than most of the WWII war games I've played.

I say this because I don't think others should get hung up on basically irrelevant semantics (no offense). Memoir '44 is so abstract I don't see how the requirement for this level of realism is relevant. There are so many other unrealistic rules and units. But whatever. To each his own.

But anyway, when I have used air rules I have typically used air sorties to strafe behind the lines, weakening positions prior to attack and I've used air interdiction sparingly, and not as a close support function. Ground support I rarely use. So at least for me ground support has been an exception in the game, which appears to not contradict your realism requirement.
      
JFKoski
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Tue, 02 October 2012 01:22
I'd have liked to use Air Recon once or twice to draw Winter/Urban Combat cards, but I'm told that only the Recon cards do that.
      
Almilcar
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Tue, 02 October 2012 07:50
OldBloodandGuts wrote on Mon, 01 October 2012 02:42

tank commander wrote on Fri, 28 September 2012 21:01



I do not know how non-strategic aircraft (those with limited range and bombload) could primarily be used in a strategic role.


I guess it's semantics. Like I said, I consider blowing up a bridge or strafing a column of advancing (or retreating) troops to be strategic, not tactical. Aircraft with limited range and bombload (ie fighters, fighter/bombers) were used in those situations all the time.

Maybe I'm using the word wrong. To me, tactical air means interdiction with two ground forces who are already engaged -- what we see on a Memoir board. And to my knowledge, air power was rarely used in those instances, primarily because (with a few exceptions) poor communications (and equipment) between the air and ground made it hard to coordinate, and non-precision "dumb" weapons made the risk of hitting one's own side too high.

Whatever. If people like playing with the air rules, they should. I just find them unrealistic. Smile


Talking about semantics, I'd say that strategy is linked to a goal. On the other hand, the tactic is the way you try to achieve that goal.

So I'd say that the way we use the units in game to achieve a goal is a "tactical" matter rather than strategical.

Cheers

[Updated on: Tue, 02 October 2012 07:51]

      
OldBloodandGuts
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Tue, 02 October 2012 15:24
Sgt Storm wrote on Mon, 01 October 2012 13:45


I say this because I don't think others should get hung up on basically irrelevant semantics (no offense). Memoir '44 is so abstract I don't see how the requirement for this level of realism is relevant. There are so many other unrealistic rules and units. But whatever. To each his own.

But anyway, when I have used air rules I have typically used air sorties to strafe behind the lines, weakening positions prior to attack and I've used air interdiction sparingly, and not as a close support function. Ground support I rarely use. So at least for me ground support has been an exception in the game, which appears to not contradict your realism requirement.




haha...good points. I never thought about why the air rules would be the straw that broke the camel's back for me. (In my own defense, I'm pretty sure I'm on record in these forums as thinking the BEL card is even worse than the air rules). I guess it is all pretty arbitrary.

So based on how you play the air rules, how do you find them different than playing the air power card in the standard game?
      
Sgt Storm
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Re:Air Pack - Yes or No ? Tue, 02 October 2012 18:07
OldBloodandGuts wrote on Tue, 02 October 2012 09:24

Sgt Storm wrote on Mon, 01 October 2012 13:45


I say this because I don't think others should get hung up on basically irrelevant semantics (no offense). Memoir '44 is so abstract I don't see how the requirement for this level of realism is relevant. There are so many other unrealistic rules and units. But whatever. To each his own.

But anyway, when I have used air rules I have typically used air sorties to strafe behind the lines, weakening positions prior to attack and I've used air interdiction sparingly, and not as a close support function. Ground support I rarely use. So at least for me ground support has been an exception in the game, which appears to not contradict your realism requirement.




haha...good points. I never thought about why the air rules would be the straw that broke the camel's back for me. (In my own defense, I'm pretty sure I'm on record in these forums as thinking the BEL card is even worse than the air rules). I guess it is all pretty arbitrary.

So based on how you play the air rules, how do you find them different than playing the air power card in the standard game?


Yeah, there are some rules that annoy me, for example, the early war antitank and mortar infantry rules. Those units in my experience end up being worse than just a plain infantry unit, given they can't move and attack. It just begs for a rule where the unit can drop the heavy machinery and actually contribute to the fight, but that makes no sense.

But overall I love the game, despite the quirks.

As for air rules versus air power, the chief difference is you can keep the airplane on the board for a bit to do more than one attack and there are more opportunities for air sorties. However, each strafe attack usually can target only 1 or 2 units, whereas with air power you can potentially hit 4 adjacent units in one go.

So maybe its a wash, i.e., air rules probably don't change the average scenario all that much. But, occasionally I like pushing airplane figures around on the board and making aircraft engine sounds as I strafe the enemy. Laughing
      
    
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