Air Combat in the Jet Age
by Alan Butler, Andrew Finch and David Manley
These rules simulate tactical level jet fighter combat from 1950 onwards. They are specifically designed for jet versus jet combat and unlike other products that go into too much detail, each player can handle several aircraft. The rules operate in three dimensions while only physically using two, height being indicated beside an aircraft. There are guns, air to air rockets, Infrared and Radar guided air to air missiles, SAM sites, etc. Data for over 200 aircraft in use by many nations from the 1950’s onward are included.
The skill of aircrew is important, and the system provides for this. The players can decide how good the crew are by deciding the level of training they think is appropriate, though a random system for skill generation is also provided.
Radar and electronics are handled within the rules by means of a Tech Level system that allows for systems to be improved or obsolete within the game, but without extra complication. Ground attacks are possible as part of the game mission mix, though the effect of the attack will depend on using the right weapon. SAM and AAA sites are also included.
The game rules were developed specifically with jet fighters in mind and the data calculation reflects this. We took a decision NOT to include propeller driven aircraft (with a very few specific exceptions), and this has provoked comment from some users, especially if fighting the Korean war. In response to several requests we assembled the calculation algorithms in a downloadable PDF file, so you can carry out the calculations for propeller craft. Bear in mind that their characteristics will be similar, and the overall aircraft performance will be feeble.
If you wish to have the aircraft you have "assembled" put onto our website so that other users can play with the results of your calculations, we will be happy to prepare them for use in a suitable format.
When accessing the files laid out below, the following rules apply:
If you Left-click on a link it will open in a new Tab.
If you Right-click you will see more options about what to do with this file. If you want to download the file to save onto your computer use the menu option 'save link as...' (on a Windows PC) or the equivalent on a Mac.
Quick Reference Sheets
There are no Quick Reference Sheets for this title at the moment.
Blank Fighter and Bomber Record Sheets for use with these rules, as well as Squadron Campaign Rosters to record aircraft and aircrew, Missions flown and their success are available in the following PDF:
A set of Templates for use when manoeuvring aircraft has been created. These are calibrated for movement in centimeters or inches with angles of 30 and 60 degrees.
The following Clarification document covers some thoughts about the use of ECM and Stealth in the game:
There is a text correction required because of a cut and paste error (sorry !) where “gunnery skill” should be replaced by “weapons skill”.
To take account of Stealth Technology we have prepared the following additional rules:
A closer examination of Air to Air Missiles caused us to produce the following revised table of these weapons:
If players wish to expand their horizons and work out game statistics for aircraft not included in the rules, the following file has the Algorithms used in the current edition of the rules.
We have added one new aircraft: