Description of different kinds of planes
The general plane types currently available in Empire are:
A general offense/defense plane. Historical examples include the FE.2B, the Sopwith Snipe & Camel, the Nieuport V-XVII, the Spad, and the Fokker planes. From WWII are the Me-109, the FW-190, the English Spitfire & Hurricane, the Japanese Zero, the American P-39, P-40, P-38, and the Soviet Yak series.
Later planes include the Me-262, the Gloster Meteor, P-80, Mig-15. Korean War vintage planes are the F-87 Sabre, F-100 SuperSabre, and the Mig-17. Vietnam Era planes are the F-4 & Mig-21. Later, NATO & WP models include the F-16 & F-15 and the Mig-23, 25, and 29.
The main points of similarity are: 1 or 2 high performance engines, a single pilot, and plenty of guns/missiles. Duties include patrol/interception, escort, and light bombing.
These are planes optimized for escorting, with superior range, sometimes at the expense of fighting capacity. Examples are the Me-110 & the P-51. Note that this type is relatively rare, as long range heavy bombing was rare.
These planes all sacrifice range and/or fighting power in order to fit on a carrier and carry the gear necessary to operate from one. Examples are the series of Short biplanes built in Britain, the Sopwith Baby & Cuckoo, the Gloster Gladiator, the American Wildcat & Corsair, versions of the Japanese Zero, the F8 Corsair, the F-4, F-14, and F-18. Many of the planes were multi-role, due to the relatively small plane capacity of their carriers. They were almost always inferior in performance to land fighters. Many of them carry dual engines.
light bomber Edit
These planes are tactical bombers, suited for strafing, combat support, etc. These range from the first trench bombers, such as the Junkers J-I and the Sopwith Snark & Dolphin, the Ju-87 Stuka, the American P-47, various ground-attack versions of the Yaks, the Japanese Val and Kate, the British Typhoon, and many others. Modern versions are the A-3 SkyWarrior, the A-4 Skyhawk, the A-6 Intruder, the Su-22 Frogfoot, the Su-27, and various British models. A modern and most effective example is the A-10
The common factors are maneuverability, the ability to take damage and still fly, and the ability to hit targets precisely. (Either through low-speed bombing, dive-bombing, or rocket or guided bombs/missiles) Their performance against fighters of any sort is poor, with few exceptions (notably the P-47, which was designed as a fighter, and used as a ground-attack plane due to its toughness) Many are naval, or have naval versions, since the requirements of a naval plane do not affect them as greatly as fighters.
heavy bomber Edit
These planes are build for long range and great load-carrying ability, and the ability to defend themselves against fighters. (Although that never worked more than middling well) Examples are the Handley-Paige bombers of WWI (especially the O/400), the German Gothas and Giants, the B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-24 Liberator, the B-29 SuperFortress, the Avro Lancaster, the Short Sterling, and the Vickers Wellington, as well as the more modern B-36, B-47, B-50, B-52, B-1, and the Soviet Ant-4, Tu-20 Bear, Tu-2? Backfire, and others.
The common factors are the extreme range, the ability to carry several tons of bombs, the wide range of defensive armament, and four engines.
medium bombers Edit
These were basically an intermediate stage between the light & heavy bomber, and were used for both purposes. Examples are the He-111, the Do-17, the B-25 Mitchell, B-26 Marauder, the A-20 Havoc, the Avro Manchester, Armstrong Whitworth Whitely, the Russian Il-4 & I-15, and the Japanese Betty & Sally.
These planes were essentially compromises, and were phased out as time went on. They could not bomb as precisely as a light bomber, nor as heavily as a heavy bomber.
Initially, these were basically similar to civilian airliners. They could carry supplies or troops. (In Norway, the Germans captured airports and flew in troops) Later, they were used for paratroop landings. Eventually paratrooping became too dangerous for these planes (with the introduction of SAMs) and they were replaced by helicopter assault, with the transports going back to carrying supplies and equipment.
transport helicopters Edit
These were made to transport assault troops. They also carry supplies & wounded, but their main duty was to deliver troops with greater precision, rapidity, safety, and cohesion than was possible with paratrooping. (They were also to replace the landing craft, as the Marines looked at the odds of an invasion fleet standing up to nukes)
attack helicopters Edit
These supplement the light bombers, and specialize in the very precise application of firepower, as well as evading interception, by use of terrain.
recon planes & satellites Edit
These provide precise information about enemy troop dispositions and movements. The first recon planes had no protection. Then, it was attempted to make them un-interceptable. This was done by simply being faster than anything the enemy had, such as the stripped down British Hurricanes, US P-38's & P-51's, or German FW-190's or Blitz-Bombers. Later, emphasis shifter to also being able to fly higher, as with the U-2 & SR-71. These planes are largely superseded by satellites now (for good or ill).
ssm's & icbm's Edit
The first ssm's were used as strategic harassing weapons, and were almost useless. (German V-1 & V-2) There were also combat rockets, such as the Russian Katayusha's and the German Nebelwerfers, but these were essentially similar to artillery.
The first true SSM's were the Russian missiles in the 1950's, such as the Frog. They were intended to deliver nuclear or chemical warheads at medium ranges, and to be un-interceptable. Later missiles increase payload & range.
However, since we've artificially restricted the blast effects of nuclear weapons, I am merging these in with tactical missiles. (no need for an icbm unless you've got big nukes)
marine missiles Edit
These are modern smart-missiles. They are naval weapons, such as the Harpoon, Penguin, Exocet. They are accurate missiles which may be launched at ships.
The first sams were nuclear-tipped, and intended to break up large attacking bomber forces. Later, they were made smaller and more accurate, and were intended to hit single targets at any speed or altitude.
These are to shoot down missiles, and are mostly fantasy.
asw planes Edit
These are either long-range bomber type aircraft, with some sort of equipment for locating & killing submarines, or also helicopters, able to fly from most naval vessels.
These plane types differ in their fundamental capabilities; some can fly bombing missions, other carry cargo, others exist to shoot down other planes.
Missiles are special; they are planes which fly one-way missions and cannot be shot down by opposing planes.
The technology level at which the plane was built is very important. The same model plane built at a higher tech level will outperform the planes built at a lower tech level.
The particular planes available and their attributes are given by the show command. The fields given in the output are as follows. For building:
- lcm the amount of lcm to build the unit,
- hcm the amount of hcm to build the unit,
- crew the number of military this plane has as crew
- avail the amount of avail used to build this plane
- tech minimum tech level to build this unit,
- $ cost of the unit in dollars,
For the stats report the fields are:
- acc bomb accuracy, low is best; a 0 accuracy implies no ability.
- load bomb load/cargo capacity.
- att air-to-air combat attack rating (reduced by low eff, can't go below 1/2 of base).
- def air-to-air combat defense rating (reduced by low eff, can't go below 1/2 of base).
- ran base range (in sectors).
- fuel amount of fuel used each trip.
- stealth the percentage chance this plane has of evading detection
The abilities are given as a set of attributes for each plane. These include:
- tactical Pinpoint bombing ability. Can be put on interdiction and support missions. Tactical missiles may be launched at sectors unless they have "marine" ability in which case they may only be fired at ships.
- bomber strategic bombing ability
- intercept Interception and escort ability. May be put on escort or air defense missions.
- cargo cargo-carrying ability
- VTOL vertical take-off ability -- no need to use airports
- missile missile -- one shot, can be launched (see Info: launch). "marine" missiles may only be fired at ships, "tactical" missiles which don't have "marine" capability may only be fired at sectors.
- light light, can land on carriers or be carried on a submarine
- spy spy ability, for recon missions (see Info: recon, Info: bomb, Info: satellite)
- image full imaging capability - satellites with this ability show much more (see Info: satellite)
- satellite a satellite - stays in orbit until shot down
- SDI Intercepts tactical missiles.
- x-light xtra-light, can be carried and used on any ship or land unit with a non-zero xl capacity. (see Info: Ship-types)
- helo ship-helicopter, can be carried and used on any ship with a non-zero hl capacity. (see Info: Ship-types)
- ASW Has ASW (anti-submarine warfare) ability. May use sonar & bomb subs.
- para may be used to paratroop
- escort Escort ability only. May be put on escort missions.
- mine Can lay mines (see Info: mine).
- sweep Can sweep mines (see Info: sweep).
- marine Missiles with this ability may only be launched at ships.
Each plane has a stealth rating. The stealth rating of a group of planes is that of the plane with the LOWEST rating.
As an example of the output
[##:##] Command : show plane build
lcm hcm crew avail tech $ Zeppelin 6 2 3 6 70 $1000 f1 fighter 1 8 2 1 7 90 $400 lb1 lt bomber 1 10 3 1 9 100 $550 nf1 naval fighter 1 8 2 1 7 100 $500 hb1 hvy bomber 1 20 6 2 17 110 $1100 as1 anti-sub plane 1 10 3 2 9 110 $550 f2 fighter 2 9 3 1 8 150 $600 es escort 9 3 1 8 150 $700
[##:##] Command : show plane stats
acc load att def ran fuel stlth Zeppelin 60 2 0 -3 15 2 0% f1 fighter 1 90 1 3 2 7 1 0% lb1 lt bomber 1 50 2 1 2 7 1 0% nf1 naval fighter 1 80 1 2 2 7 1 0% hb1 hvy bomber 1 90 5 1 3 15 2 0% as1 anti-sub plane 1 85 2 1 2 15 2 0% f2 fighter 2 60 1 6 4 9 1 0% es escort 60 1 4 5 15 2 0%
[##:##] Command : show plane cap
capabilities Zeppelin tactical cargo VTOL spy f1 fighter 1 tactical intercept VTOL lb1 lt bomber 1 bomber tactical VTOL nf1 naval fighter 1 tactical intercept light hb1 hvy bomber 1 bomber as1 anti-sub plane 1 tactical ASW f2 fighter 2 tactical intercept es escort tactical escort