Jump to content
Game-Labs Forum
Skeksis

Simple Spotter Plane Introduction

Recommended Posts

5 hours ago, RAMJB said:

It's not "inherently false". It's strictly true: No floatplane had any involvement in any surface engagement

 

...but that's not true....

Battle of the Komandorski Islands, the Japanese had floatplane spotting.

First Guadalcanal, the Japanese launched at least one scout floatplane.

Cape Esperance, the Americans launched cruiser scout planes.

Savo Island, Japanese spotters were dropping flares to illuminate the Americans.

 

Anyway, that is separate from the wisdom of planes in this game. I don't know the best way going forward, personally, although I like the idea of aircraft. I wonder if a very abstract system could be implemented, where a catapult merely gives a ship a scouting radius bonus, accuracy bonus, or reduces risk of submarine attack. Kinda lame, but it would require very little effort. Most catapults look similar enough that one or two visual models would work pretty good. The Italian heavy cruiser hull already has a catapult, as that's what the rails on the bow are.

Edited by disc
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, disc said:

...but that's not true....


I'm not going to even argue against the night battles, even while I think what's in mind of people when talking about "floatplanes launched in battle" refers to their use as gunfire spotters, and not as means to drop a couple flares and mostly do nothing more than loiter around while being blinder than a bat, or doing anything really impactful on their own (while the flares themselves did nothing really meaningful on their own, in all cases had them not been around the battle outcomes would've been the same).

And I'm not going to because I did not make that kind of distinction myself on my posts and I probably should have. Talking in absolute terms has the risk that even the very instance of a single counterexample, no matter how extreme, or factually right but practically meaningless, can be used  as an argument against it. 
Henceforth, I'll concede those ones without a discussion, and learn the lesson to be even more anal in my referral to historical facts in the future so things like this can't be leveraged against any historical arguments that I make ;).

So consider the point given and conceded, and adequately consider every reference I made in the past that included the instance of the useless floatplane in the River Plate engagement, corrected to extend to the night Guadalcanal battles with the "flare floatplanes" as extra exceptions that confirmed the norm, too.


But that you name the battle of the Komandorskis I find truly funny. Nachi pretty much shot away the plane that was on top of one of her catapults when she opened fire, Nachi's own guns blast wrecking it so bad it had to be thrown overboard. So, the one sitting on top of the other catapult was launched in a hurry so it wouldn't share the same fate, doing pretty much nothing but feeling very lonely and a bit stupid for the rest of the engagement...

And we still should count that as a "floatplane that was used in battle"?...


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalrighty then 😁

Edited by RAMJB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, RAMJB said:

And we still should count that as a "floatplane that was used in battle"?...

Well, it did act as a spotter, so what more do you want? Shall I count each shell for you, dividing them by which shell was successfully spotter-guided? I think that the cruisers were able to fire through the smoke-screen is enough to say that it was active and working to spot salvos. (I wonder what ever happened to Maya's planes? Did they ever launch? Did Abukuma and Tama have their planes?)

As for discounting night spotters, I fear your words are speculation. By what cause do you say they were blind? Binoculars work on planes about as well as on ships. Certainly no IJN radar was to be found.

Finally, there were spotters or scouts at the greatest surface battle of WWII, the Battle of Leyte Gulf. There were several E13A1s in the air during the titanic daylight attack off Samar.

I believe at least one was shot down by a TBF Avenger, oddly enough.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, RAMJB said:

Talking in absolute terms has the risk that even the very instance of a single counterexample, no matter how extreme, or factually right but practically meaningless, can be used  as an argument against it. 

If you quote history you gotta expect some googling verification.

WW1, there were floatplane carriers in the role of spotting for on-shore bombardment, rescuing and lots of search and patrol missions but for everything I look over I could only find the common reason for spotter planes installation, "to search out the enemy", plenty of those references. But next to nothing for ship launched spotter planes in ship to ship battles.

There are some spotting refences but I suspect most cruiser spotter plane contact documentation just hasn't been uploaded yet or isn't important enough for common sites to list like Wikipedia. Probably needs specialized WW1 floatplanes/spotter planes guy to enlighten us.

Even without alot of contact accounts or events, historical installation "to search out the enemy" is still good enough 'intent' to implement spotter planes into game. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not discounting night spotters ;). I counted them in and said your correction and point was accepted.

I do dismiss them as truly cases of floatplanes being used in battle as nothing other than a gimmick at best, not something that made any difference in the final result of any battle they were present in that form.
But that I was just not including them in my statements (because of my opinion that really those don't ammount for any kind of meanigful use) does not detract from the fact that they **were** used.

Hence, my statements about no other instance of floatplanes being used in battle than the River Plate instance are wrong. That they were wrong because my own opinion about the usefulness of those things by night doesn't change the fact that they were used, so I should've included them in my posts, so they still were wrong, and your correction was perfectly appropiate. I already conceded as much :).
 

Now as for why do I think that they did nothing useful (and in all cases whatever starshells they fired didn't add much to the own detection capabilities of the ships involved in the battle, be it via background fires of other ships burning, be it via optical detection from surface ships, be it via radar, be it via flashlight, or starshells fired by those ships on their own), well it's pretty much obvious that night affects vision quite a bit, specially so in planes, that unless they fly pretty much overhead an enemy ship (and even then depending on ambient lightning, if any, coming from the moon) wouldn't really see much on it's own. Night vision came only some decades later ;).


Anyway, back to the Komandorskis: No, Neither Tama nor Abukuma were loading any planes, neither did Maya. It's been a while since I last read about this engagement, but I think Maya offloaded them on port for mainteinance or something - whatever the case there were none aboard. The american side did have floatplanes, but the comanding officer (which, top of my head, had a flight background too!) made the conscious decision of not using them at all during the battle.

As for Nachi, well, as I already mentioned, launched that plane because she had ripped the other one off with her own guns blast so badly it had to be thrown overboard. That the only reason the other plane was launched was to prevent the same happening to it too... I mean, ok, she was launched. Ok, she was aloft during the battle. BUt no, I just won't count a plane that the only reason that was flown off was to avoid shooting it to pieces on her catapult by her mothership's guns, as a valid instance of using floatplanes during battles. I'm sorry, but that's just too funny to be given a go XDDDDDD.

As for Samar, whatever floatplanes were launched (which there were a good number of) were so for scouting purposes and for obvious reasons - the japanese were really on their toes about the american fleet not biting the feint at Cape Engaño and showing up in force against their main fleet -. But they did not intervene in the battle itself in any meaningful way, so again it's an instance of operational use of floatplanes in the role of searching for the enemy, not in-battle usage of them for actual tactical purposes.

Edited by RAMJB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Skeksis said:

If you quote history you gotta expect some googling verification.

WW1, there were floatplane carriers in the role of spotting for on-shore bombardment, rescuing and lots of search and patrol missions but for everything I look over I could only find the common reason for spotter planes installation, "to search out the enemy", plenty of those references. But next to nothing for ship launched spotter planes in ship to ship battles.


Indeed I should, and let be noted I'm not complaining. The same I correct others with factual information that might make me look as if I'm being really pedantic about something (When it's not the intention at all, rather I'm just trying to set the record straight because I think anyone who likes history wants to get it right), I'm perfectly open to be corrected in the same way too when the one in the wrong is myself.

And not only I accept it without any issue, but I wouldn't have any other way.  What I said in my post was more of a self-reflection of how easy it is to fall in the trap of just making general statements because, even if you KNOW the counterexamples happened, you discard them off the bat because you know they weren't really that important or meaningful.

That's the case here. I knew of all the instances mentioned in the answer posts, I just had not included them in my previous statements because of how I see them as instances of planes being used, yet contributing nothing really meaningful in the end.
Still those instances, they existed, I still didn't count them, and thus, they still make my statements wrong. It's not the first time I fall for something like this, making generalistic statements that are factually wrong (even while in the grand scope of things aren't necessarily so), and I really should know better at this stage. Seems that I still don't ;).


As for land bombardment spotting roles go, floatplanes did it. A lot. Not only in WW1, in WW2 there are multiple cases ranging from North Africa, to Sicily, to Salerno and even to Overlord. No discussion there, floatplanes were useful in that role and were actively used for that role.

As for naval engagement roles "ship to ship" spotting as you mention, the same that applies to a gunnery officer on a ship applies to a guy radioing from the sky. You can spot the fall of shot on an enemy warship. But unless you know which ship is firing at what, your ability to "correct the solution" is pretty much nonexistant. This was a massive issue in the case of the Battle of the River Plate. The floatplane that was launched actually spent part of the battle spotting the wrong set of splashes (Achilles' instead of Ajax) causing Ajax to hit absolutely nothing for the first part of the engagement until the problem was noticed. And by that stage Ajax was just firing on her own solution, whatever the plane would say be damned (for understandable reasons, I guess XD).

"gunnery spotting" against other ships is one of those ideas that looked good on paper and written doctrine in the mid 30s but that as soon as put to the test of battle was proven as just useless in practice. Accordingly, nobody else really bothered with those roles anymore (well, we could exclude the case of Nachi's plane here XD...but I still just won't count it as valid, I'm sorry XDDDDDDD).

But for land target spotting it was really a different story, and floatplanes were indeed used rather extensively in that role..

Edited by RAMJB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, RAMJB said:

BUt no, I just won't count a plane that the only reason that was flown off was to avoid shooting it to pieces on her catapult, as a valid instance of using floatplanes during battles. I'm sorry, but that's just too funny to be given a go XDDDDDD.

Yes, but this floatplane was used for spotting during that daylight gunnery duel. Why should this not count as valid? Could the Japanese have fired through the smokescreen without it? Does the use of the 5in guns on the escort carriers at Samar count as invalid? Would the Japanese not have launched one or both planes even if the one was not destroyed?

I guess I am too slow to understand the mirth, so I am sorry if I missed something obvious....

 

I would love to know where you learned that about Maya, Abukuma, and Tama, if you can dig it up.

 

41 minutes ago, RAMJB said:

But they did not intervene in the battle itself in any meaningful way

Though several of Kurita's floatplanes had been detached to scout away from the fleet, at least a few spotters remained with the main force during the Battle of Samar. At least one was used for direct attacks on the escort carriers in the main attack. Another was shot down close to one of the heavy cruiser divisions.

One of Mogami's scout floatplanes had spotted the great US battleship force at Surigao Strait the day before the battle, incidentally. I have wondered at that.

Edited by disc
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, disc said:

Yes, but this floatplane was used for spotting during that daylight gunnery duel. Why should this not count as valid?


Because it didn't do any such spotting. And not only the reports says it didnt: the battle itself shows it didn't. That plane was launched during the stern chase portion of the engagement (meaning, already well into the battle), and only because after Nachi having set her own other side's floatplane aflame with her own guns with her initial salvo. Given the situation, it was decided to rather launch the one on the other catapult rather than seeing it also destroyed by the muzzle blast of the japanese's rear turrets when it was clear it was about to become a risk.

The japanese line at this stage was zig zagging between a pure chase in the zig, to a broadside in the zag (to fire with as many guns as possible), to a chase again in the subsequent zig. THe japanese ships were faster but not enough to keep the distance while giving the broadside. Hence the zig-zags.

The rear turrets at that moment had to be aimed at their max bearing forward for the "zag" (so the ships could return to the "zig" ASAP to try to keep distance with the fleeing american ships), which meant the plane on the catapult was at risk of sharing the same fate as what the other one had gotten.

The deployement was rushed, unplanned and totally useless. The plane tried to actually provide for spotting but American AAA fire kept it away and spent the rest of the battle unable to do anything of any use. It's participation was rendered as "inconsequential" by every source I've read (which is backed up by how the battle developed, as I'll talk about in a second), and it's clear that had it not been for the tactical situation being what it was, it'd been never launched to begin with.

Sorry, I still don't qualify that as a valid instance of a combat use of a floatplane during a naval engagement. It was a rushed measure just to avoid having to dump two planes because they had been blasted off their catapults by japanese guns, and the plane did nothing useful in the battle. As funny as the story can be, it still cannot seriously be argued that this instance counts at all.



As for your question: " Could the Japanese have fired through the smokescreen without it?", that's the point - they didn't. And, plane aloft or not, they couldn't. 

Each time Salt Lake City was covered by smoke, the japanese lost track on her for good and were unable to hit her until the smoke dissipated. For instance, after the series of hits SLC took at around 10:00am, particularily so the one that flooded her engine room, the destroyers covered her with smoke. No further japanese hit happened until well past 11am; that one being what caused the serious flooding (that later spread to the boilers and shut down the ship's powerplant) that forced the US formation to turn southwards under yet another smoke screen to try to shake the japanese force off. Which they achieved, because the japanese didn't notice the change of course in time because of the smokescreen. And the distance duly increased as a result, which is the only reason SLC could be saved when her engines died.

I would say that if a plane was "Spotting the shot" or even "Radioing the location" of the enemy ships, it wasn't doing a very good job, was it?. Summing up that plane, that had been launched more as an expediency measure out of necessity of not destroying it on her catapult rather than because anyone really cared wether it was flying or not, TRIED to do spotting, and was driven away by AAA. So it just spent the rest of the engagement feeling rather lonely, and quite stupid and doing pretty much nothing for it's ships efforts during the battle.

So, well, it's not a case of wether "the japanese could've fired through smokescreens without that plane"...is that, plane-ly (Ahem...pun intended) stated,  they didn't. At all. Even with the plane aloft.

 

And as an ironic sidenote of sorts, during the engagement an 8'' hit from Maya's on Salt Lake City hit squarely on her catapult, setting her floatplane ablaze - which also had to be dumped overboard because of the understandable major hazard it had turned into. I wouldn't call that a very good day for floatplanes.


As from where to find info about this engagement, I can only highly reccomend "The aleutians 1942-1943 campaign" by Brian Lane Herder, or "the battle of the Komandorski islands" by John Loretti.

Edited by RAMJB
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice, I think that is a good explanation of why one might take Komandorski with a grain of salt. I will definitely check those books out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was one of the most strange encounters of the whole war. Just by looking at both side's ships it's clear the japanese should've made sharkfin soup out of the american ships. Specially because instead of just turning tails and running like mad, the american formation initially went agressive and charged in.

Yet not only they did not, but and at the very moment they had a complete overwhelming victory in their reach they just turned tails and sailed away scared of a handful of destroyers doing a suicidal desperate charge to try and save the crippled and dead on the water Salt Lake City (american sailors on those destroyers were pretty much bidding their goodbye to each other when they received the order to charge, it was *that* bad).

But once again we see a case of a japanese commanding officer losing his cool and calling it quits when he had a massive victory on his hands, forfeiting it when he was on the verge of inflicting devastating damage to the americans.
Not as influential as Mikawa on Savo Island or Kurita on Samar, nor as potentially horrendous for the americans (in this one the only transports in the area were japanese), but it happened just too many times during the war for it to be a mere coincidence.

 

Edited by RAMJB
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I looked around and found some other instances that spotter planes were used.

 

During the Sea Battle off Surabaya (the Battle of the Java Sea):

First, cruisers Nachi and Naka each launched one scout during the search phase, around noon. Nachi's scoutplane located the enemy and tracked it. Soon before the attack was made, cruiser Jintsu launched an observation plane (probably to spot). Cruisers Nachi and Haguro then sent up four spotter planes (two each).

Thus at least six aircraft were used in the daylight battle. I do not know if the seventh, Naka's plane, was in that area. I think it may have been recovered before the gunnery action began, though it may have been still in the air. After the daylight battle ended, Nachi and Haguro recovered their five planes. The Japanese account appears to indicate the Allies launched no aircraft.

Jintsu's plane stayed up and was used to scout the enemy into the night. Flares were used for illumination. Naka's plane was sent and relieved Jintsu's after a time. However, communications with Naka's aircraft were somehow lost, so contact had to be remade by surface vessels later. Thus began the night attack.

After the night battle was over, Nachi launched a scout plane. It was unsuccessful in finding the enemy. At some point, Naka and Nachi recovered their aircraft.

The next day, two observation planes were launched shortly before the attack on HMS Exeter. I think they were launched by Nachi and/or Haguro. The planes were used for that action, and Exeter and a destroyer were sunk.

 

During the Sea Battle off Batavia (the Battle of the Sunda Strait):

Mikuma launched a "probing" plane shortly before it joined the fray. I do not know what role this plane played during this night engagement (eg if it spotted gunfire, dropped flares, or just acted as a scout). Mikuma's other planes were not launched due to a technical error. I do not know if Mogami or Natori used their aircraft (I imagine not).

 

During further actions in the Java Sea:

3rd Battleship Division (Kongo, Hiei, Kirishima, and Haruna) launched three spotters for the attack on the destroyer USS Edsall. The planes were probably from Hiei and Kirishima, which directly engaged Edsall. Cruisers Tone and Chikuma apparently did not launch planes.

This one-sided long-range daylight battle, featuring one destroyer against two battleships and two cruisers, had a very high expenditure of ammunition. Because the surface ships failed to hit the radically maneuvering Edsall at range (~20-28 kilometers), carrier dive-bombers attacked and disabled the destroyer -- the surface ships then closed in and sank it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, disc said:

During the Sea Battle off Surabaya (the Battle of the Java Sea):

I own two books about the Java Sea Campaign of 1942. Both cover the battle of the java sea in detail. Both of course make extensive reference to the japanese use of their floatplanes to keep the allied ships under constant vigilance. They also mention the use of flares in the night part of the engagement (first time anything like that had even been done, it took the allied officers totally by surprise). All of that happened.

All of that is pretty much operational rules of searching&shadowing. No reference is made ,on either book, of actual gunlaying done by any of the japanese planes in any of the encounters you mentioned.

For one exception, as it mentions the desperation of the japanese in the engagement again Edsall and that Hiei's floatplanes were launched with the specific task of trying to help with the gunnery - as for how well it worked and for how effective that gunlaying was, I'll put in the same words as one of the books I currently have on my lap:

"it didn't do any good." (literal words).


None of the books mentions spotting (as in radioing gunlaying info to the gunnery crews of any of the ships involved, obviously they spotted a lot in what refers to looking for the enemy and keeping it under watch) in any other part of their narration. Which I think it's significative because when spotting for gunnery was done, it's mentioned.



The books in question are "Java sea 1942: Japan conquest of the Netherlands East Indies" by Mark Stille & JimLaurie, and "Rising sun, falling skies, the Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II" by Jeffrey Cox. 

Edited by RAMJB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, very well. I found my examples in Senshi Sosho, Volume 26, the official Japanese account of the Dutch East Indies campaign.

To my knowledge, this information is directly taken from the Action Reports of 5th Cruiser Division, 3rd Battleship Division, and 7th and 8th Cruiser Divisions, as well as the 2nd and 4th Destroyer Squadrons.

There is a fine English translation available online.

The four planes launched by Nachi and Haguro in the first daylight phase of the action off Surabaya are explicitly said to be artillery spotters. I do not know that the two planes launched the next day for the attack on Exeter were spotters, but I do not know for what other purpose these observation planes might have been used: the Exeter was already in sight.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With how close the two side are at a start of battle it is almost impossible for the two side to miss each other removing any use for float planes in battle scenarios.

 

The only use i can see are all campaign level stuff like having better intel before battles(knowing what kind of ships will be in the battle), and higher chance of encountering enemy surface raiders and other intel related benefits.

Edited by khang36
Edit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/18/2020 at 9:07 PM, disc said:

I do not know that the two planes launched the next day for the attack on Exeter were spotters, but I do not know for what other purpose these observation planes might have been used:


For very much the same reason most other planes were launched. Spotting means that, to spot the enemy: to keep a look on the enemy forces. Spotting does not equal gunnery correction roles (not necessarily). Specially not when said artillery spotting could (and probably would) do more to screw the firing solution, than help the firing ships (it was rather easy, specially with the numerical superiority of the japanese, to end up messing up the spotting, and the firing corrections done by an overhead spotter could be misleading for someone looking at the fall of shot from a firing ship, as the relative positions of fall of shot for both would be different, specially bearing corrections being complicated to measure).

By far and large every mention to the campaign of the java sea states that the reason why floatplanes were an issue for the allies was that they were picking a fight against much larger forces, yet they couldn't do anything without being observed.
 
So we have lots of information about how disruptive those planes were for the allied fleet. There was no effective disengaging when the enemy had floatplanes overhead all the time that let the enemy know your whereabouts and your heading. There was no option for getting the tactical surprise when the enemy knew you were coming and from where well before you actually arrived. There was no chance to withdraw and reposition properly when the enemy knew which way you were heading and at which speed. The allied fleet was fighting a far superior enemy in strenght and the only weapon they could explot to try and present an effective opposition (surprise, hit and run attacks, the enemy being unaware of their wereabouts), was taken away from them because they were being under a constant watch of japanese floatplanes.
The books I mentioned also make plenty of comments about how much of a moral sapping weapon those things were - each time a floatplane was seen, the allied force knew the japanese knew exactly where they were- most of the times when themselves didn't know the exact position of the japanese, something that of course wasn't missed by the crews aboard of those ships.

They make no comment about japanese gunnery being any better when those things were overhead vs when they were not, however.

I'll have to insist once more than Gunnery correction is a very particular role where those planes didn't seem to have done much at all. That several books covering in truly painstaking detail the destruction of the allied surface forces across the actions that happened during the japanese offensive in the DEI make only one mention of floatplanes doing gunnery correction roles (against Edsall), but that meanwhile they are almost continuously highlighted as the main operational reason why the allies couldn't either flee nor try to fight, is revealing. Or should be.

That anyone who knows about Fire Control systems and practices of the 40s can tell you that a plane overboard could do a lot more harm that help to a ship's firing solution is just the final nail in the coffin. That japanese torpedoes, not gunnery, accounted for the most important kills kind of underscores it all.

So I'll have to insist that the main role those planes covered was the operational one - intelligence and observation roles. I'm interested in your source tho. I'll try to find the online translation you mention :).

Edited by RAMJB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, khang36 said:

With how close the two side are at a start of battle it is almost impossible for the two side to miss each other removing any use for float planes in battle scenarios.

The only use i can see are all campaign level stuff like having better intel before battles(knowing what kind of ships will be in the battle), and higher chance of encountering enemy surface raiders and other intel related benefits.

Unless one side is on the run, including oneself, now that’s interesting and alittle bit of realism too, ‘to be on the run’.

Also Nick has said that he’s working on retreat intelligence, spotter planes is the countertactic to that. With countertactics it opens up Nick and his team to developing this AI as far as they can, to perfect this AI evolution.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it is most unwise to discount the potential use of observation planes as spotters the day after they were used for that role at Java Sea, without a source saying so. That said, I have no information on their precise use, so I cannot say for certainty they were. I will have to consult more sources. I am pretty sure Dull deals with the subject. I suspect this because they did not seem to be tracking the destroyers very well. USS Pope escaped in a squall.

Either way, we have four major daylight surface battles in the Pacific War: Java Sea (Sea Battle off Surabaya), Komandorski Islands, Samar, and Cape Engaño. We know for sure that spotters were used at Java Sea; that an attempt was made at Komandorski, regardless of its results (Commander Miura commented that it was planned to launch spotters from the start); that reports were made of Japanese seaplane use at Samar. Rear Admiral Koyanagi reported that two or three spotters remained with First Battleship Squadron, so I wonder if these were the planes involved. Of the four, the only one I have any surety that spotters weren't used is Cape Engaño.

Were artillery spotters used at Cape Matapan? Friedman indicates they were, but I don't know anything about that battle.

Spotters are more-or-less essential to long range fire without radar. The Royal Navy estimated that air spots doubled accuracy outside 22000 yards (20.1km). Of course radar changed this calculus.

Edited by disc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/20/2020 at 12:29 PM, Skeksis said:

Unless one side is on the run, including oneself, now that’s interesting and alittle bit of realism too, ‘to be on the run’.

Also Nick has said that he’s working on retreat intelligence, spotter planes is the countertactic to that. With countertactics it opens up Nick and his team to developing this AI as far as they can, to perfect this AI evolution.

 

Yes but with the current time constraints the likelihood that you will be able to catch a fleeing ship before time runs out is pretty low. As i said with the current constraints imposed on battles right now even using float planes as scout are of limited utility, both side spawns close enough to spot smoke so we will know where they are with out the need for scout planes. With the limited time available for combat if they manage to flee far enough that we can not spot smoke we will never be able to close the distance fast enough to engage before time runs out.

I am all for planes but the dev will need to revamp combat first for them to be relevant in combat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, khang36 said:

Yes but with the current time constraints the likelihood that you will be able to catch a fleeing ship before time runs out is pretty low

Academy has timers to force the tutorial objective.

If the campaign is modelled on an open world map then it would be very unlikely for battles timers but very likely for searches.  But if as to the 'ultimate' series, set & fixed battles and a scripted campaign then yeah, searching would be pointless. 

1 hour ago, khang36 said:

I am all for planes

One thing is clear, there is a huge interest in aircraft and as limited as spotter/float planes are, they would appease some of the audience. 

Edited by Skeksis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can think of at lease 20 things that I consider infinitely more important, and some of them absolutely critical, before considering scout planes even for the potential of increased STRATEGIC level intelligence. I know some of those are already in the plans,, so I suppose there's that.

The fact that it's very difficult to find clear sources as to the specific use of such aircraft for EFFECTIVE artillery spotting and correction, let alone that we've a clear case of when one definitely was used but in fact was DETRIMENTAL to artillery accuracy the point it was ignored, suggests to me this is a case of wanting something included because "people like planes".

I know Graf Spee used her Arados extensively in the recon/intel role. I've read several accounts of the Battle of the River Plate. Yet I'd never read the Brits were using a spotting plane that proved a hinderance (maybe they purged it out of embarrassment, lol). Why is that?

It seems fairly remarkable to contemplate that they were used even semi-regularly in surface combat for artillery spotting and correction AND proved demonstrably valuable in doing so YET remain largely unspoken of in anything other than VERY detailed accounts of specific battles.

With the potential exception of non-tactical spotting advantages I'm not at all in favour of them. And they STILL will require additions to the ship builder.

Seems like a lot of effort for minimal return and, in the case of the artillery spotting and correction role, very questionable with respect to fidelity in modelling the experience of using the technology of the period being covered.

Besides which, if spotting planes ARE going to be introduced even for solely a strategic level recon role, it's rather hard to defend doing so WITHOUT FIRST putting in LAND BASED RECON. And land based recon will, I suspect, have a FAR greater effect on the game at a strategic level. I hadn't, for example, noticed reference to seaplanes at Jutland. I did know of land based recon planes and airships, however.

But, sure, put them in. Probably no sooner than at least 6 months after release.

My objections otherwise would be theoretical and opportunity cost based, which is to say I find it hard to imagine there aren't other things I would see as being more beneficial the devs could be working on even if it's 6 months after release.

I'd retain my previous position on the general matter of planes: I'd like the option to enable/disable them regardless. If that's there, I don't really care what the devs do because if I don't like the effects OF their inclusion on MY game play enjoyment I can turn them off. 

That's still the best result IMO. People who want planes get them, people who don't, don't. We all get to choose what version of game play we want to experience without affecting or restricting any other players' choices.

Being able to play with none, recon or a full suite of planes would add to the potential variety of game play too.

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You lost me at 'air to air damage', I'm afraid.
Which implies that this is not a simple 'just add spotter planes' exercise. Spotter planes do not engage in air to air combat. You want this to be something more. I do not believe this is really the game for those elements.

Ultimately, the game defines itself as a project by its title 'dreadnoughts', just as the prior title was 'age of sail'.
Explosive shells completely killed age of sail naval tactics. Aircraft carriers - when present - completely killed off the dreadnought era of battleships slugging it out and the associated tactics so I would not expect to see them in this game. It's out of scope of the game's aims. I strongly suspect that this is the reason that the game 'stops' in 1940, just before everyone got the idea that the battleship was going to be obsolete in theatre, when opposed by a carrier fleet. November of that year saw the first naval battle in which one side just launched a carrier strike, and that of course preceded Pearl Harbour in '41. Nobody ever built another battleship once the writing was on the wall. That era - and the manner of fleet engagements which are the scope of this game - ended.

Heck: I really do not want to see CVs in this game, or any major air influence in its tactical elements (air scouting can play a part of the campaign, but have no place in the tactical engagement and do not require representation within such). Carriers utterly destroy the entire premise of the game and the core naval tactics employed. Their use and the strategies behind them are of course valid, but would completely dominate play, to the point of eclipsing the very word which defines this title. We can play 'Harpoon' or 'red storm rising' another day, - though I assure you that waving planes off to perform over-the-horizon airstrikes is strategically a lot less fun, especially when the game becomes almost entirely 'dependent on who gets first detection, and becomes akin to 'rocket tag': The first person to locate a fleet and launch an overwhelming airstrike at it wins.

Floatplanes and airships can be implemented in a simulationist manner without ever needing to be on the tactical map: Put a floatplane hanger on a ship, then - if the weather isn't awful - there can be a passive modifier to spotting and potentially accuracy. No graphics or air to air combat required. There is a place in the game for that, I believe.

TL;DR: Please not in this game. Where armed airpower is able to make any measurable input to fleet actions, it obsoletes everything else. Make 'Ultimate Admiral: Carrier era' another time if there is sufficient interest, and focus this game on its stated purpose, carrying lessons over to future games, as appropriate. 'Dreadnoughts' should dominate the game that bears their name and 'ends' at the end of their era, and 'carrier strikeforce' is worthy of its own, later-set title.
 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Siranui said:

You lost me at 'air to air damage', I'm afraid.

Planes need to be shot down, not only surface to air but 'air to air', figured this had to be part of the application otherwise too little effort becomes impractical. 

Should of read the thread, it covers alot of what you have posted.

And...

EzuhNAT.jpg

Hansa-Brandenburg W.12, was a German fighter floatplane of World War I
Role                     Floatplane Fighter          
First flight           Early 1917 
Number built     181
Crew                    2 
Armament          1 or 2 × fixed forward 7.92 (0.312 in) IMG 08 machine guns
                             1 × 7.92 (0.312 in) Parabellum MG14 in rear cockpit

11 hours ago, Siranui said:

TL;DR

 since you didn't, CVs/air power are off topic, find another thread to discuss them.

Edited by Skeksis
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The demise of the battleship is rooted in the Washington Naval Treaty. The battleship holiday stunted dreadnought development, and efforts were forced into other avenues, most notably aircraft. The US realized very quickly that the number one priority of carriers was to neutralize enemy carriers. In the 1920s, it was even envisioned that US battleships would carry both fighters and torpedo planes. That this did not occur is probably not from a lack of interest, but rather the advent of carriers.

The long-range battleship gunnery duel envisioned in the 1920s was predicated on the idea of air superiority. From a 40 meter tall battleship mast (eg Yamato), the horizon is at 22600 meters (24700 yards). Beyond 22000 yards, the US believed that artillery air spotters would double accuracy. At 34000 yards, a battleship could not be reasonably expected to make any hits without an air spotter -- or, as it eventually developed, radar.

Edited by disc
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would rather see the foundation of the game laid down before planes.

theres 2 kinds of float plane as well. observation and scouting.

Then theres the issues of having a float plane on deck. Theres a reason towards the end of the war people put them at the aft of the ship. Its because theyre a fire hazard. So just the aviation facility is going to need a bunch of 3d modeling, a bunch of balance passes, and someone would need to work out all the numbers involved with bonuses and penalties. Its a lot of work for a feature that really isnt critical to the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Hangar18 said:

I would rather see the foundation of the game laid down before planes.

theres 2 kinds of float plane as well. observation and scouting.

Then theres the issues of having a float plane on deck. Theres a reason towards the end of the war people put them at the aft of the ship. Its because theyre a fire hazard. So just the aviation facility is going to need a bunch of 3d modeling, a bunch of balance passes, and someone would need to work out all the numbers involved with bonuses and penalties. Its a lot of work for a feature that really isnt critical to the game.

That is a rather poor argument. Firstly, any feature would require work. If you were to support advanced damage control, an argument could be made that it would be just as historically inaccurate/wrong/whatever, because admiral of task force does not manage DC on every ship under their command. Secondly, spotter planes are critical for campaign and certain scenarios. An argument could be made it'd be better, or at least more immersive to have them on screen, fire hazard or not. Like you said - we can always move them to the stern, lol. Thirdly, only devs can determine which features will or won't make it. Spotter plane is certainly not the least important feature and in opinion of many people, it deserves to be implemented.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...