Dog fights would be cool, but very costly especially at full values (just think of how dog fights have cut down SBR and it uses lower values). As you said you could force air
combat to knock out your opponents defending planes. The flying tiger was a good example, but would still get destroyed even if there was ground units involved because Japan could overwhelm it, in even a one round dog fight. China needs the final battle to go several rounds so the tiger can roll 2-3-4 times to take out some Japanese ground units.
The battle for Moscow would be another major blow to the defender. Imagine a 1-2 punch with Japan or Italy forcing the Russian/allied fighters to a dual to weaken the overall defense of the Russian capital, then the Germans hammer the ground units. The ground game is balanced partially on having defending fighters rolling higher, and surviving till the end. If you allow the attacker to call those defending planes out into a dog fight, you have taken away what was a defensive advantage and given a huge advantage to the attacker IMO.
With that said, I agree with you that it is silly for the fighters to be the last unit standing in a ground battle and you can't call them out to some degree. We have tinkered with some stuff in the past. One of those house rules were to have the ground battles as normal, but if a fighter or tac rolled a 1 (attacker or def) that casualty had to be applied to an air
unit. If no air
on the other side, then to a tank and so on (higher ranking units). In sea battles it was similar (1's rolled by ftr/tac applied to air
units, then to capital ships ect...). That way some of your air
hits went to something other then infantry or destroyers. I will say in sea battles sometimes you would rather take out a destroyer then air
(scrambles or subs involved) so it could back fire if you use this at sea. We have also just allowed the person who rolled the "1" with an air
unit to choose the opponents casualties (targeting). As an option you could allow attacking strat bmrs that roll a 1 to choose causalities as well. We have also at times given defending carriers AA defense at sea allowing them to roll as normal each round, but if they hit (2 or less) it goes to attacking air
I'm not saying that I'm against some kind of air
combat, but I think something would have to change in the game mechanics to incorporate a full fledged dog fight. I would also be interested in Larry's view on this subject, and some of his own house rules or test runs involving air
. I know that initially the tac bomber was given target capabilities (but that was scrapped).
There is even some talk of limiting the dog fight in AA1914 to only one round because of attrition. In AA1914 the fighters don't have much strength in battle, but air
supremacy gives your ground units a boost (art). Below are some quotes from an AA1914 thread. AA1914 has many new game mechanics that could be brought into G40.
You can read the entire thread here:
http://www.harrisgamedesign.com/phpBB3/ ... 44&t=18616
Krieghund wrote:How about one round, and whoever has the most planes left gets air supremacy?
Flashman wrote:On the other hand, if both sides end up with planes after the dogfight maybe they both get to spot enemy positions and promote artillery, leading to bloodier battles all round.
I was thinking more in terms of only the side with the greater number being able to spot and attack land units, and then only with the planes in excess over the enemy (the others being tied up in ongoing dogfights). This would achieve the same effect as the current rule, but there would be less attrition of fighters.