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For some reason the post in my signature related to this same ship was deleted, not sure why. So this is a re-post of the original build. I created this ship over a period of two weeks from start-to-finish, including the digital design process, all the way back in early 2018. Once the build was complete, I took the finished model to New York City on a trip of mine and photographed it next to the larger LEGO model that they have there made by Ed Diment. It is still alive today, sitting in a water base on my display desk, waiting for the time she will be needed in combat again. Without further ado, I present to you the USS Intrepid in 1:600th scale. USS Intrepid, "The Fighting I" 1943 configuration Type: Essex Class Aircraft Carrier Commissioned: August 16th, 1943 Decommissioned: March 15h, 1974 Re-Commisoned/refitted to attack carrier: CVA-11 (October 1st, 1952) Struck: February 23rd, 1982 Fate: Museum ship currently berthed on the Hudson River in the United States.
In my last post on this subject (CV Play) the CV Rework was just coming out, and I said I'd keep an open mind, and try it out for awhile, then see how it went. Well, here's my take pm it, at this point (6 Apr 19): The current Update to Carrier Play has caused quite a few players I know personally, as well as others I chat with during matches to simply refuse further CV Play, and many former CV players have even sold-off their carriers in disgust. I have tried to keep an open mind, hoping further "fixes" will make CV Play viable and enjoyable, but so far, have found it to be neither, and in fact, an extremely annoying WASTE of my precious gaming time, particularly when my Tier VIII CV is pitted vs. Tier IX and X ships—even a single, lone CL wipes out my planes before they can drop a single bomb. The CV aircraft flight model continues to be "jerky" (due to the time compression needed) and overall, CV Play has become increasingly "unrealistic" with each new "fix", causing some players resort to unrealistic "work-arounds" to "game the system" --departing even further from logic and historical practice so as to succeed in the faulty CV Play system. Although with practice, I will no doubt develop the proper technique for accurate aerial attacks-- while losing most or all of my attacking squadron by the end of my 2nd pass-- in its current state, I doubt I will ever find CV Play "enjoyable," much less "rewarding" and thus, will avoid it, keeping a token CV for "Spotting" tasks and little else. I have so far resisted selling-off my last CV in disgust, and have not enjoyed even a single mission yet. HOWEVER— aside from a much-needed toning down the fantastic hyper-lethality of AA in general, with some minor "fixes" using existing game mechanics, some of the more frustrating aspects of Carrier Play for both carrier and surface combatant players might be alleviated, as follows: SUGGESTION #1: British Dive Bombers should be allowed to carry, at minimum, 500-lb/230 kg bombs, and ideally, 1,000-lb/500 kg and heavier bombs, just as they did in real life. No aviation force would ever seek to attack armored warships with piddly little 250-lb General Purpose bombs, though they may have been adequate vs. small craft (E-boats, F-lighters, armed trawlers) and coastal freighters-- 500 lb bombs were the rule vs. smaller combatants, such as frigates and destroyers, and were the minimum vs. armored warships. E.g., in a 1944 attack, Fairey Barracudas attacked the battleship Tirpitz with with 1,600 lb (730 kg) and 500 lb (230 kg) bombs, scoring 14 direct hits, which even so, only put the Tirpitz out of action for 8 weeks. Had they used mere 250-lb bombs to which the game currently limits them, there likely would've been no significant damage whatsoever. [Note that of 42 attacking Barracudas, only ONE was lost to enemy AA-- a far cry from the uber-hyper-collossal lethality of AA as it currently exists, and I'm primarily a surface ship operator, and yet I'm embarrassed by just how unbelievably lethal even my little Leander's AA is-- enemy planes just melt away and do nothing, and I've removed all my AA builds, upgrades, and skills-- they're no longer needed, and I pretty much ignore attacking planes.] SUGGESTION #2: Have the ENTIRE attack aircraft squadron, whether Torpedo, Dive Bomber, or Rocket Aircraft launch its ordnance near-simultaneously with the "Squadron Leader" (the central aircraft on the screen the carrier player "flies"). When the player hits his mouse key to "launch ordnance", remaining aircraft of the flight also launch their ordnance, but with a delay of, say, 0.1 seconds to 5 seconds. This will prevent unrealistic "robotic perfection" in the resulting bomb or torpedo pattern that surface ship players used to complain about. In the same manner, the Squadron Leader's (center aircraft) places its strike at the exact center of the "crosshairs" (or torpedo arc), subject to normal "dispersion", and remaining aircraft of the squadron launch their ordnance subject to dispersion from that point, as well possibly a short time delay, just as a volley of warship shells deviates within its "Maximum Dispersion" ellipse already. This is already included in the game mechanics, I believe, but it should be able to be "improved" via certain "Captain Skills" and/or via ship "Upgrades" (see further below). E.g., for dive bombers, bombs other attacking aircraft would have a similar "dispersion" within the "ellipse" that appears on the aiming diagram the player uses, and torpedoes deviate a few mils left or right (randomly) from the "center" of their assigned point in torpedo squadron formation. I.e., torpedoes would also have a "dispersion" of a few mils, left or right, and in time of drop, for each torpedo the squadron successfully drops. Thus, mass torpedo drops will have an appearance similar to a volley of shells, with each individual torpedo deviating slightly, at random, within the Maximum Dispersion parameters for the ship/squadron, just as in real life, and as surface ship shells do already. This would eliminate the unrealistic (and silly) game mechanism that allows only 1 or 2 bombs/torpedoes to "launch" from an entire flight of 4 to 8 aircraft, while the remaining aircraft of the squadron do nothing but fly along as targets, waiting their turn on the next target pass (which is utterly unrealistic, and NEVER done in combat). But it would also prevent the target ship from being overwhelmed with huge numbers of "un-dodgeable" torpedoes or bombs, as many will certainly miss, unless the attacking player is very lucky (as per warship volleys now). So— having the entire squadron attack at once, but with a slightly varying "time of drop" by say, 0.1 to 5 seconds after the "Leader" aircraft (reduced by certain "Crew Skills", as well instituting a "Maximum Dispersion" variance for torpedoes, etc.), targeted ships won't be overwhelmed by a concentrated "perfect" swarm of torpedoes, especially as they "shoot holes" into the attacking formation, and carrier aircraft will be far less exposed to the (already excessively lethal) ship AA defenses, but make attacks like their historical counterparts did, and with similar results.As a starting point, I suggest that the "mil dispersion" for Torpedo Aircraft be placed at +/-10 mils dispersion for early (Tier IV) carrier planes, and reduced slightly for each carrier tier above that, i.e., +/-8 mils @ Tier VI, 7 mils @ Tier VIII, and +/-6 mils @ Tier X, to reflect improved aiming equipment, torpedoes, aircraft, and training of torpedo pilots as the war progressed. Note that this mil dispersion is from each individual plane's position in the FORMATION, not from the Squadron Leader's aim point, as torpedo planes attacked in an on-line formation, spaced at intervals of 50 to 100 meters or more, ensuring a wide "spread" to increase the possibility of a hit for the squadron as a whole. Note that this also assured that it was virtually impossible for every torpedo, or even most of the torpedoes in the squadron's "volley" to hit the target, as many would automatically miss, depending on the target ship's relative course and subsequent reaction. [A "mil" (short for "milliradian) is a measure of angle, typically used in ballistics, i.e., a minute fraction of a circle. Easy to look up, if you're unfamiliar.]kills such as "Basic Firing Training" and "Advanced Firing Training" could be modified to give air squadrons a tighter Maximum Dispersion pattern, by, say, 2 mils each, as well as a "tighter" ordnance drop time relative to the Squadron Leader, say, by 1 second each. Thus a Tier VIII torpedo squadron with both Basic and Advanced firing training would improve its Maximum Dispersion to +/-6 mils, left or right, and drop their torpedoes within 0.0 to 3 seconds of the Squadron Leader's torpedo. For Dive Bombers, the Maximum Dispersion ellipse (that already exists) could be reduced in a similar manner, by say 5 mils "tighter" for both Basic and Advanced Firing Training, each. Thus, a dive bomber squadron with both skills would have its Maximum Dispersion ellipse reduced by 10 mils width and length. [A "mil" (short for "milliradian") is a measure of angle used in ballistics , surveying, etc. I.e., a tiny fractional "slice", if you will, of a circle. Easy to look up if you're unfamiliar.] "Sight Stabilization" Skill would remain as-is; "Aiming Systems Modification-1" might be extended to include reduced aircraft ordnance Maximum Dispersion as well. Later-war (Tier VIII and X) aircraft should be able to attack from higher up, and at much faster airspeeds, as improved torpedoes obviated the need for very low, very slow torpedo drops to prevent destruction of the torpedo. SUGGESTION #3: Aircraft Spotting of Surface Ships— THE PROBLEM: Aircraft are able to spot an enemy ship, so that other ships can fire upon it too easily and in real time, and yet, the range for aircraft spotting of an enemy ship is so limited that a flight of planes often loses sight of its target between passes. Currently, aircraft not only reveal far too much information to allied players, enabling any enemy ship they spot to be fired upon by all; they are also often taken under intense AA fire without even being able to spot the enemy ship that is firing upon them. DISCUSSION: Carrier aircraft of the period were totally unable to provide more than an enemy ship type and rough location and course to distant stations, and typically were, at most, in radio contact only with their own ship's Combat Information Center, assuming it was even in radio range, and long-range radios of the day were often Morse Code key sets, not voice comms, and the enemy ship type and course reported was typically vague at best, and more than not, inaccurate. So as to go undetected, attack aircraft typically flew on "radio listening silence" until commencing their attack, could not communicate with other ships in real time, and went silent again for their return to their carrier, so as to not reveal its location. SOLUTION: To reflect this and improve Aircraft Spotting of Ships, non-spotter aircraft should be able to see enemy surface ships well before they enter the enemy's AA zone— but unable to pass anything more than that ship's type and location for at least 6-12 seconds afterward. Thus, non-spotter, attack aircraft and fighters should UNABLE to spot targets spot enemy ships in real time as if they were a surface ship—they could only reveal an enemy ship's basic type (not name), and only on the Mini Map. Sighting of surface ships by non-spotter aircraft should provide a player's allies ONLY a "shaded red/dashed red" outline of an enemy ship on the Mini Map ONLY, in exactly the same way an enemy ship obscured by bad weather, or spotted by others beyond one's ship's sighting range is currently shown on the Mini Map. Such "spotting" should be revealed to friendly players only after a slight delay— of say, 6 to 10 seconds, to reflect the time required for an aircraft's "home" ship to pass enemy location data to other friendly ships. Spotting Aircraft Use and aspects would continue unchanged. PROBLEM: Overly Lethal AA's Severe Impact on Game Balance: AA is so lethal now that I pretty much ignore incoming planes unless they're from a Tier X CV. The rest just "evaporate" and even if they hit me, they do about as much damage as an 8-inch shell strike, and torp hits virtually never flood. When operating a CV, I suffer from having my planes wiped out on approach to higher-tier and even sometimes to lower-tier ships. My planes are often "surprised" by hidden enemy ships and downed before they can escapey, even with Engine Boost and calling for Fighters to help absorb attacks. Such hyper-lethal AA guarantees that I can never even make it into the upper half of scorers on my team, and am almost always at or close to the bottom. SOLUTION A: Have dual-purpose guns (e.g., Atlanta's 5" guns; the 105mm dual-purpose guns of Prinz Eugen or Tirpitz; 100mm guns of Akizuki…) either fire upon surface targets, or vs. aerial targets, BUT NOT BOTH at the same time. The player must choose, or let the ship's AI decide— When under aerial attack, it fires all guns vs. attacking aircraft, or at least all guns on the "Priority AA" Side, unless the player chooses otherwise, by clicking on a surface target. Medium and Short-range AA guns, of course, would continue to defend the ship, as usual. SOLUTION B: Halve the Hit Probability of all ships— Really now, Continuous Damage Ph's of 88% and 95% (Tier VIII) and 100% (Tier X) are ridiculous for that era, and even for today. Leave Continuous Damage and Burst Radius Damage as is, but entire squadrons vanishing as they approach a lone Leander CL is just awful. Even if this is done, I predict that another "halving" will be needed in the future to bring CV Play into balance with surface ships. This will work, and be balanced as well, if the changes above are implemented I think. SOLUTION C: Stop listening to whiny surface ship players that complain they "…can never see an enemy CV, and therefore can't fight vs. such an "unseen enemy"— That's the just way it was, and is. A ship fights vs. an enemy CV's AIRCRAFT, as the enemy CV is hundreds of kilometers away, not lurking on a tiny map, trying to avoid surface detection and destruction by nearby enemy surface ships, as in the game. In all history, only three (3!) CVs are recorded as lost to enemy surface gunfire. If anything, CV players should be whining about the tiny maps. But don't think because I say this that I'm a CV fan boy, or even "enthusiast"— as, so far, I hate CV Play, and plan to run a CV only as a last resort for a battle task, as it's become a waste of my precious gaming time, unless things improve. Obviously, all this needs to be play-tested, but such changes, using existing game mechanics, could be easily incorporated to make Carrier Play more rewarding and enjoyable, while at the same time allow players to use Naval History (somewhat) as a guide for their tactics. OK-- Thoughts, anyone? Trolls need not reply-- we already know what you (don't) think...