Author Topic: Have you ever wondered, what the GTVA thinks of Alpha 1?  (Read 6140 times)

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Offline MatthTheGeek

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Re: Have you ever wondered, what the GTVA thinks of Alpha 1?
I would use Playing Judas as the perfect example of this.
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Offline StarSlayer

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Re: Have you ever wondered, what the GTVA thinks of Alpha 1?
Whether or not disengaging is difficult in Freespace(either because of narrative purposes or game mechanics), that nearly every engagement demands complete annihilation of the enemy doesn't present typical air combat.  Most real pilots were not required to wipe the skies clean every time they went up.  Even at the Marianas Turkey Shoot were the combat was heavily lopsided in favor of the USN of the 373 aircraft the IJN Carriers put up to strike at the USN roughly 130 made it back to the bird farms. 

I was attempting to make a point about combat sims in general not specifically Freespace.  Player performance will always be a little atypical since nearly every mission involves heavy combat and OpFor almost never attempts to husband its forces.  Obviously realistic hours long sorties with no contact with the enemy or fights that end indecisively because they AI doesn't want to get shot down would make for a game with the same sales potential as Call of Duty: Go Dig a Latrine Devildog III.

Though a parody campaign similar to John Scalzi's Red Shirts where the rest of the Freespace Universe acts normally except when Alpha One shows up would be potentially hilarious.
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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Have you ever wondered, what the GTVA thinks of Alpha 1?
If anything it most resembles those World War II carrier battles where they'd launch strikes at each other and sometimes a whole strike would just never come back.

Have to agree with Starslayer here. In the entire Pacific War, this only happened once that I can think of off the top of my head; Hiyo launched 18 aircraft to land at Henderson Field, which was presumed to have just been taken by Japanese ground forces. Marine Wildcats and AA got them all.

On nearly every other carrier mission of the war, at least a quarter of the aircraft launched actually came back. It could be deeply skewed in type (torpedo vs. dive bombers, US at Midway, escort fighters vs. strike aircraft, Japanese at Santa Cruz) but overall at least a quarter came back. (Not always fit for combat.)
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Re: Have you ever wondered, what the GTVA thinks of Alpha 1?
The numbers launched in WW2 though are much larger, Freespace has tiny numbers.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Have you ever wondered, what the GTVA thinks of Alpha 1?
If anything it most resembles those World War II carrier battles where they'd launch strikes at each other and sometimes a whole strike would just never come back.

Have to agree with Starslayer here. In the entire Pacific War, this only happened once that I can think of off the top of my head; Hiyo launched 18 aircraft to land at Henderson Field, which was presumed to have just been taken by Japanese ground forces. Marine Wildcats and AA got them all.

On nearly every other carrier mission of the war, at least a quarter of the aircraft launched actually came back. It could be deeply skewed in type (torpedo vs. dive bombers, US at Midway, escort fighters vs. strike aircraft, Japanese at Santa Cruz) but overall at least a quarter came back. (Not always fit for combat.)

Right, but zoom in to the scales you're operating on at the FreeSpace level. A quarter of a destroyer's air wing coming back translates to potentially quite a few FreeSpace missions of total wing losses.

 
Re: Have you ever wondered, what the GTVA thinks of Alpha 1?
In the whole game you'll probably end up with ~300 kills, some of which might be on caphips. That's about 2 destroyers' air wings. And that's over 36 missions. So you end up killing around 1/8th of a destroyer's air capacity per mission.
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Offline niffiwan

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Re: Have you ever wondered, what the GTVA thinks of Alpha 1?
.... Obviously realistic hours long sorties with no contact with the enemy or fights that end indecisively because they AI doesn't want to get shot down would make for a game with the same sales potential as Call of Duty: Go Dig a Latrine Devildog III.

Very important point here about gameplay/player agency vs simulation/realism.
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Re: Have you ever wondered, what the GTVA thinks of Alpha 1?
In the whole game you'll probably end up with ~300 kills, some of which might be on caphips. That's about 2 destroyers' air wings. And that's over 36 missions. So you end up killing around 1/8th of a destroyer's air capacity per mission.

It would be hilarious if a B-52 bomber came back from each mission having killed 30 Su-22s, a carrier, and two cruisers.

 
Re: Have you ever wondered, what the GTVA thinks of Alpha 1?
To be fair, the closest FS equivalent to a B-52 is the Ursa and you won't be getting any fighter kills in that unless you get really lucky with the turret or treb spam.
An Artemis or Bakha are more like the Ju-87 Stuka and there are some Stuka aces who would qualify as fighter aces(5+ A2A kills).
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Offline Mongoose

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Re: Have you ever wondered, what the GTVA thinks of Alpha 1?
To be fair, the closest FS equivalent to a B-52 is the Ursa and you won't be getting any fighter kills in that unless you get really lucky with the turret or treb spam.
Speak for yourself.  At least in FS1, I used to love KO'ing light fighters with a few shots of tri-Prometheus goodness. :D

 
Re: Have you ever wondered, what the GTVA thinks of Alpha 1?
Well if you're playing on Easy you can ram start ramming them too  :rolleyes:
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Offline Lorric

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Re: Have you ever wondered, what the GTVA thinks of Alpha 1?
The Killboard in the original Wing Commander is rather amusing.



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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Have you ever wondered, what the GTVA thinks of Alpha 1?
Right, but zoom in to the scales you're operating on at the FreeSpace level. A quarter of a destroyer's air wing coming back translates to potentially quite a few FreeSpace missions of total wing losses.

You misunderstand us both.

A quarter came back from any particular mission; since they did not disperse effort in such a way. Realistically, "breaking" a unit for a single combat rarely requires more twenty or thirty percent casualties. Over the long term they're much more durable, but for the course of a single combat encounter?

These are not things simulated by this game, or any other outside of perhaps Steel Panthers and Close Combat.
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: Have you ever wondered, what the GTVA thinks of Alpha 1?
FreeSpace does disperse its efforts, though, and it's really hard to disengage in FreeSpace. The really high casualty rates on a tactical level make a lot of diegetic sense. I don't know if the casualties make any sense strategically given the number of NTF destroyers you can impute.

 
Re: Have you ever wondered, what the GTVA thinks of Alpha 1?
Also one other thought, consider how many people are inside a GTVA destroyer, I believe they said 30,000 at one point. Those smaller ships are carrying thousands of people assuming it scales linearly to size. Many of those ships can be killed by a few fighters or bombers even with AI pilots. Those fighters are only carrying one to two people. It's a bit of a lopsided tradeoff, especially since I can't think of why you need so many people for ships with so few turrets.

 

Offline The E

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Re: Have you ever wondered, what the GTVA thinks of Alpha 1?
We only know that Koth had 10000 people with him when he tried to ram the Colossus. Comparing that to what modern military ship's companies are like shows that FS capships require a lot fewer personnel to run, relatively speaking.
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Re: Have you ever wondered, what the GTVA thinks of Alpha 1?
Also one other thought, consider how many people are inside a GTVA destroyer, I believe they said 30,000 at one point. Those smaller ships are carrying thousands of people assuming it scales linearly to size. Many of those ships can be killed by a few fighters or bombers even with AI pilots. Those fighters are only carrying one to two people. It's a bit of a lopsided tradeoff, especially since I can't think of why you need so many people for ships with so few turrets.

With large ships you also have maintenance, cooks, security detail and a bunch of other roles who exist just to keep the ship functional all running on a 3 or 4 shift per day rotation so there are 3 or 4 people per position in most cases
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Offline The E

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Re: Have you ever wondered, what the GTVA thinks of Alpha 1?
Also one other thought, consider how many people are inside a GTVA destroyer, I believe they said 30,000 at one point. Those smaller ships are carrying thousands of people assuming it scales linearly to size. Many of those ships can be killed by a few fighters or bombers even with AI pilots. Those fighters are only carrying one to two people. It's a bit of a lopsided tradeoff, especially since I can't think of why you need so many people for ships with so few turrets.

Consider that a Nimitz class Aircraft Carrier, which is about the size of a Fenris, carries about 5000 crew.
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Offline AdmiralRalwood

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Re: Have you ever wondered, what the GTVA thinks of Alpha 1?
We only know that Koth had 10000 people with him when he tried to ram the Colossus.
That and the crew of the Hecate class is stated to be 10,000 in the tech room. The Psamtik is also described as holding "thousands on board". It's possible that Koth's crew size was nonstandard for an Orion for some reason, but it's more likely that GTVA destroyers (or at the very least the Terran ones) pretty much all hold a crew of 10,000.
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Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: Have you ever wondered, what the GTVA thinks of Alpha 1?
If you're comparing FreeSpace kill counts to WW2 aerial victories, remember that overclaiming was pretty common in WW2 kill counts but not present at all in FreeSpace. There are some fairly hilarious examples of overclaiming listed on that article...


That said, while the "fake physics" of FreeSpace are obviously geared to make the gameplay feel somewhat like what uninformed people think WW2 air combat (in space) would be like, there are a lot of things that make it completely different. Situational awareness is easy to maintain with 3d radar and sensor displays, and you don't need to worry about fuel or altitude at all. You also don't need to maintain airspeed to be able to maneuver effectively (or to not fall out of the sky in a death-spin). Altitude is meaningless since the fighting occurs in microgravity environment. And while secondary weapons run out of munitions, there's no ammo count for primaries (in retail) so you can continue fighting more or less indefinitely as long as you can stay alive. FreeSpace fighters are also much, much tougher than aircraft; even without shields, their critical systems are much better protected and they are much less vulnerable to total existency failures - one hit from any caliber weapon can kill the pilot or disable the engine or flight controls in a real aircraft, while on FS2, one-hit-kills only really happen if you don't avoid the beam and get hit by it. Of course on Insane difficulty you can get shredded pretty damn fast by concentrated primary weapon fire as well, but a single hit won't be able to kill you.

But ignoring the differences between real air combat and FreeSpace combat, even then there's the matter of vastly more concentrated action. Pilots in Axis air forces could fly hundreds of combat sorties during their careers; for Allied pilots, their "tour of duty" was shorter (mainly because they could afford it) and they rotated experienced pilots back to homefront to train new pilots. And most of those sorties, even for aces, did not result in confirmed kills. I guess it's possible that the FreeSpace games omit a lot of the uneventful "bread and butter" missions that Alpha 1 participated in but ended up not worth portraying, but even then the sheer number of kills that Alpha 1 can regularly achieve would be highly exceptional in real life air combat.


But, if an ace pilot was not limited by concerns about fuel and had unlimited ammo, and didn't have to worry about a stray shot potentially killing them - I guess in that situation, from the perspective of pilot abilities, it wouldn't be so far-fetched.
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