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P-39 Worthless

 
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USS Archerfish
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PostPosted: Mon 8 Jan - 19:42 (2018)    Post subject: P-39 Worthless Reply with quote

The P-39 in its current format is worthless. The primary reason is fuel consumption. The F4F has a fuel CAP of 13 where the P-39 has only 7.  In most scenarios for the US Fuel is a precious commodity, so it make no sense to fly the P-39.  It’s best to keep them grounded to save fuel for aircraft that can stay in the air longer.  


So I’m wonder if there is something that can be done to improve this? I have 2 proposals.


1. Give the P-39 it’s full fuel capacity.


2. Give the P-39 a 0.5 fuel consumption.  


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larsenjp
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PostPosted: Tue 9 Jan - 00:01 (2018)    Post subject: P-39 Worthless Reply with quote

This was one of the problems with the P-39 (plus it was outmanoeuvred like may others Allied fighters) but the Allies had noting else at the time as fighters.
This is part of the problem to solve for the US player.

Sorry Archerfish but i am afraid i am against any modification of the performances of this plane... like any other.

But what do you mean by give to it its full fuel capacity. Do you think that 7 is below its actual capacity?


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USS Archerfish
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PostPosted: Tue 9 Jan - 01:53 (2018)    Post subject: P-39 Worthless Reply with quote

larsenjp wrote:
This was one of the problems with the P-39 (plus it was outmanoeuvred like may others Allied fighters) but the Allies had noting else at the time as fighters.
This is part of the problem to solve for the US player.

Sorry Archerfish but i am afraid i am against any modification of the performances of this plane... like any other.

But what do you mean by give to it its full fuel capacity. Do you think that 7 is below its actual capacity?



It’s not it’s fighting capacity’s that I have issues with, it’s fuel consumption.  


In the game the F4F has a CAP endurance of 13 and 9 for P-39.  The reason for the difference is because of the size of the fuel tank.  The F4F carries a 147 gallon tank and the P-39 a 67 gallon tank. But even though the P-39 consults less than half of what the F4F, it still consumes 1 point of fuel.  Because of this it creates a economic imbalance that renders the plane useless.


Now to answer your last question.  In the game fighters have 3 fuel endurance levels.  
1. Fuel Tank - This is the fighters long range combat endurance.  When escorting and or strafing is considered to be using “Drop Tanks”
2. CAP - When flying CAP the fighters are considered NOT to be using “Drop Tanks” (Thus the shorter range) because they are just flying over the airfield and is not needed.
3. Bombing - Fighters are using “Drop Tanks” but have a shorter range due to heavier payload.  


So when I say to give the P-39 it’s full range for CAP.  I’m asking to allow the P-39 fly CAP with “Drop Tanks”.  This would make the plane more economically usable within the game mechanics. 


As it is right now, I never use the P-39 in the game because it’s not worth wasting precious fuel because of its poor endurance.  I basically use it as airfield fodder to hopefully absorb hits and save more important aircraft.  The only time I will use it is if I have no other fighters left.  


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USS Archerfish
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PostPosted: Tue 9 Jan - 02:14 (2018)    Post subject: P-39 Worthless Reply with quote

I understand that I’m being a bit picky and that I am potentially opening a can of worms. If we were to go by fuel tank size the P-39 would use 0.5 barrels, the F4F 1 barrel and the P-38 2 barrels because it has a 300 gallon tank. 


The current game mechanics uses a simple 1 barrel equals a full tank per aircraft counter regardless aircraft fuel tank size.  This helps the player easily calculate how many flights they have left.  I don’t really want to change this but it does render aircraft with vey short range pretty much useless under this system.  I thought by bending the rule a bit by allowing the P-39 to fly CAPs with drop tanks would help bring a little balance and make the aircraft more playable in the game.  


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larsenjp
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PostPosted: Tue 9 Jan - 21:06 (2018)    Post subject: P-39 Worthless Reply with quote

Yes i understand.
So my remarks are:

- regarding the game and the three "fuel levels" for the fighters, i admit it is still a bit difficult to understand for me. Basically fighters have a normal range with normal fuel/ammo payload. Then some fighters may carry additional fuel drop tanks in order to increase their range, but not all the fighters had this ability especially at the beginning of the war. Then some fighters were able to carry some additional ordnance, typically bombs (but not all of them); generally this decreased their range but some were also able to carry additional fuel tanks together with the bombs (quite a few of them actually). So actually their are at least 4 possible cases.
Then of course, the use of drop tanks depend rather on the distance to target than of the type of the mission. The game system is very simplified by respect to this but i can admit this. But some fighters really did not have drop tanks. So their range for escort mission/CAP should be the same.

- regarding fuel expense, yes this is typically unbalanced but as you said, except for going to something very complex, there is no other choice. I think it might be possible to get the relevant data by respect to this point (i mean more or less the quantity of av gas necessary for each mission for each type of aircraft) but i do not think it would be worth the huge work behind.

I think the system should remained unchanged till the whole topic about fuel/fuel supply/fuel expenses would be revised.

Regarding the P-39, i think they were mainly used in defense of PM and as escort for the raids on the other side of the Owen Stanley Range, typically on Lae/Salamaua etc. Over Guadalcanal, the famed "Jagdstaffel" was mainly used as close support for the Marines. So i think the way the plane is treated in the game is OK.


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larsenjp
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PostPosted: Tue 9 Jan - 21:09 (2018)    Post subject: P-39 Worthless Reply with quote

USS Archerfish wrote:
As it is right now, I never use the P-39 in the game because it’s not worth wasting precious fuel because of its poor endurance.  I basically use it as airfield fodder to hopefully absorb hits and save more important aircraft.  The only time I will use it is if I have no other fighters left.  


Same for me.
Same for the US in 1942.

The P-39 is basically a "front fighter". That's why the Russians were very happy with this plane (low altitude, low range missions). And all the others were very unhappy.


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USS Archerfish
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PostPosted: Tue 9 Jan - 22:35 (2018)    Post subject: P-39 Worthless Reply with quote

I get what you’re saying. Let me explain it this way.  Perhaps you’ll understand what I am saying. 


Under the “Air Inventory” chart. It list several fuel range categories. The first one is “CAP”. The second one is “Fuel Tank”.  I asked BR why the two are different. He’s said the CAP represents the aircrafts max combat range WITHOUT Drop Tanks.  “Fuel Tank” represents an aircraft max combat range WITH Drop Tanks. Hi assumption was that since CAPs flew over the airfield they did not need drop tanks, thus the shorter range.  I fully agree with this.  


But because of the fuel mechanism in the game it puts the P-39 fuel range puts the US at a economic disadvantage which is already struggling with a lack of fuel. My proposal was to just let the P-39 fly CAP with fuel tanks.


Another option is to revise the P-39 fuel stats in the game.  Currently the P-39 CAP or max range without drop tanks is 7. One hex = 30 miles, that give the P-39 210 mile combat range. Doing research most data give the P-39 either 300 or 525 miles combat range without tanks.  That equals 10 hex (300) or 17 hex (525) range. Even if we go with the lowest rating, that means the P-39 should have a CAP range of 10 and a Fuel Tank range of 18. Even this would be a great improvement. 


http://ww2warbirds.net/ww2htmls/bellp39.html

I used the data from the website above which gave the lowest range.
Combat range is 300 on a 87 gallon fuel tank + 75 gallon drop tank = 589 miles or 18.63 hex.


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larsenjp
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PostPosted: Sun 14 Jan - 16:01 (2018)    Post subject: P-39 Worthless Reply with quote

Archerfish,

Yes, i get very well what you say.

Actually maybe we may review the performances of all the planes into the game and discuss it in order to have something fully acceptable by everybody.
However, due to the scale of the hexes, that is most probably not very well adapted, i am afraid it will be difficlut to have something very accurate.
But we can try... quite a lot of work however.


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Bladerunner
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PostPosted: Tue 16 Jan - 19:15 (2018)    Post subject: P-39 Worthless Reply with quote

Also keep in mind that range values are very often far above the real combat radius

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USS Archerfish
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PostPosted: Tue 16 Jan - 20:14 (2018)    Post subject: P-39 Worthless Reply with quote

Bladerunner wrote:
Also keep in mind that range values are very often far above the real combat radius


Yes, I know.  It’s like buying a new car.  Actual fuel mileage is always less.


Unfortunately I could not find a consistent answer.  The one I chose above was on the lower end of range. I also chose that one because it clearly gave range with and without a drop tank.


But I just remembered. My friend knows a friend and his friend’s friend actually owns a P-39. (Did you follow that?)  I’ll go straight to the source and see what kind of answer I get from them.  


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Bladerunner
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PostPosted: Fri 19 Jan - 10:53 (2018)    Post subject: P-39 Worthless Reply with quote

The Carrier board game gave only an endurance of 7Some big wargame like WIF also allow low range 
Based on some historical reports of attack carried out by P-39 on Munda from Henderson Field, I decided to increase it to 12 to comply with this report


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USS Archerfish
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PostPosted: Fri 19 Jan - 19:05 (2018)    Post subject: P-39 Worthless Reply with quote

Bladerunner wrote:
The Carrier board game gave only an endurance of 7 Some big wargame like WIF also allow low range 
Based on some historical reports of attack carried out by P-39 on Munda from Henderson Field, I decided to increase it to 12 to comply with this report.








I’ve spent a lot of hours now researching the P-39 combat range.  Here is what I found.


Most statistics I found show the internal fuel combat range of the P-39 C/D is 525 miles (17.5 hex) or 975 miles (32 hex) with a 75 gal drop tank.


Now in reality aircraft combat mission range was usual dropped by 20% to 25%.  This was primarily to compensate for dogfight fuel consumption (15 min combat power and 5 min emergency combat power) but also for unseen issues such as wind change, slight navigation errors and for loitering time over airfields. So if we reduce 525 by 25% we get 393.75 miles or (13.13 hex) that coincides with P-39 being able to perform escort missions over Munda (150 West Of Guadalcanal).


So, if the real internal combat fuel range is 13 hexes then it’s CAP should also be 13 hexes and not 7.  I would even be happy with 12.  It’s  escort range with drop tanks should be (24 hexes) and 7 hexes with a 500 lb bomb load.


Based on my research, the 7 hex CAP range is inaccurate.  I have no idea where the other board games came up with a 7 hex CAP range.  My guess is that it was an error and that the 7 hex was its bombing range with a 500lb bomb. 


My only issue with the P-39 is its CAP range.  As it is right now at 7 hexes, I simply do not use them because of their poor fuel consumption under the games fuel consumption mechanics (which I do like for its simplicity).  For every time I can fly the P-39 once I can fly the F4F twice. Because of this they sit on the airfield in every game there is limited fuel.  The only time I use them is if I run out of other fighters. It’s essentially a dead game piece.  Increasing its CAP range to 13 makes it usable.


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Bladerunner
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PostPosted: Fri 19 Jan - 20:51 (2018)    Post subject: P-39 Worthless Reply with quote

I had assumed that CAP fighters do not carry drop tanks 
And it seems to make sense or ?


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USS Archerfish
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PostPosted: Fri 19 Jan - 21:57 (2018)    Post subject: P-39 Worthless Reply with quote

Bladerunner wrote:
I had assumed that CAP fighters do not carry drop tanks 
And it seems to make sense or ?




Yes BR, I understand that.  What I’m saying is that the from the research I’ve done says that the P-39 flying CAP with no drop tanks should be 13 hexes and not 7


Here is how I came to this conclusion.


Range 520 miles. (NO DROP TANK)
(This seemed to be the most reliable answer by website that also included statistics on max and combat weight and fuel tanks size with and without drop tanks).


 -25% fuel reduction (To simulate actual flying conditions such as to compensate for extra fuel spent for dogfight, minor navigation errors, changing winds and time loitering over airfields.)


520 miles -25% = 393.75 miles /by 30 hex = 13.13 hex rounding down to 13 hexes.  That represents its CAP range.  


Im also saying that the P-39 was capable of attacking Munda airfield WITHOUT fuel tanks.  However, as of this time I haven’t been able to find any information verifying if the P-39 did or didn’t use drop tanks while flying escorts to Munda airfield. 


The farthest air attack by P-39 from Guadalcanal I could find was a report mentioning that they attack Vila Airfield on Kolombangara just west of Munda or about 200 miles from Guadalcanal.  But again no confirmation if drop tanks were used or not.


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