Help me pick a Pirate dogfighter?

Covering the FASA version of Crimson Skies.
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Help me pick a Pirate dogfighter?

Postby Neo-Tanuki » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:44 pm

Hello folks!

Having skimmed through the "Zeppelins and Bombers" supplement, it's motivated me to pull out my old Crimson Skies boardgame box and supplements and work on putting together a pirate band using the campaign rules.

However, it's been a very long time since I've actually played, (and then only with planes from the box and "Crimson Veil") and I was hoping I might get some recommendations from forum members on choosing a light fighter type for my group. (I'm pretty much settled on the M210 Raven or Blackflag Firestorm for heavy support).

I mainly played the GM-1 Tempest during our few previous games, and was really disappointed. Great looking plane, armor and maneuverability, but I couldn't seem to damage anything with that puny weapons loadout. But I haven't tried a lot of the TN 6 and above fighters from the Aircraft Manual or Airman's Gazetteer, so I was wondering if anyone could share their game experiences and opinions of the following possibilities:

-Hughes P-21J MkIII Devastator: This is, to me, one of the iconic pirate planes from the original box set. It's fast, maneuverable, has a good rocket load, but a bit weak on guns and easy to hit. I've only played it once with mixed results, and read some disparaging comments about it here on the boards. What are people's opinions based on their games? (P.S. I know Grant and the guy at Wings of Honor have tweaked the stats by swapping the Speed and Max G's, I'd be interested in how that works too, because I'd be OK with that for our games.)

-Curtiss-Wright J2 Fury: I love the Black Swan's story, and this plane is pretty darn cool looking, even though I've never had a chance to take it out for a spin. My only concern is the number of negative special characteristics (Poor Stall Speed, Difficult To Bail, inferior 70 cal). But man, it's a small plane with a Big Ol' Gun on it...

-Fairchild F9 Kingfisher: Speaking of Big! Decent manuverability, armor, TN and four .50 cannons? Yes please! These are the stats I think the Devastator should have. So what's stopping me? it petty to say that it's a very, very, ugly-looking and ungainly design? But I have seen some nice paint jobs like Grandpapa Nurgle's that really offset the ugliness. Thoughts?

-Northrop Z2 Black Bat: This is a strong contender. Neat design, VERY high TN and maneuverability. A little light on guns, but it has a .50 and 2 rockets, which is more than the Tempest has. Can it hold its own in a dogfight?

-Blackflag Nightingale: I love Blackflag's Firestorm. I love the backstory for Blackflag. I love the look and design of this parasite fighter. But I'm still waiting to see if I can clarify a couple of questions about the stats and how parasite fighters work. (For example, do they all have no hardpoints, or not? The book wasn't 100 percent clear.)

If anyone is willing to offer some recommendations, or if there's a plane not on this list you'd suggest, please feel free to post. Thanks in advance!

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Re: Help me pick a Pirate dogfighter?

Postby Thom » Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:41 am

Great question and 18 guys will have 18 different opinions!

Kinda hard to go wrong with a Devastator or a Fury.
Flying the Crimson Skies

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Re: Help me pick a Pirate dogfighter?

Postby Carthaginian » Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:58 am

Two aircraft you cannot go wrong with are the Devastator and the Bandit.
Though they are both 'mediocre' in all respects, they won't let you down!

The Aguila is, IMO, an unsung hero in BtCV- especially if your opponent picks expensive aircraft. Use that cheap pricetag to your advantage and outnumber him 3:2 or 5:4... or even 5:3 if he picks the right planes!

My favorite plane is not a popular one... I like the Kestrel.
Push those fancy British engines to get in fast, and go in guns blazing... and throw the occasional flack rocket for 'encouragement.'
Southrons, hear your country call you!
Up lest worse than death befall you!
To arms, to arms, to arms in Dixie.

All my planes are made with parts from:

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Re: Help me pick a Pirate dogfighter?

Postby Cyagen » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:38 pm

If you are willing to go BTN 8 the Wind Saber is a nice light figther with a lot of punch.

But as Thom said 18 guys, would get 20 opinions....
Malphas, over and out

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Re: Help me pick a Pirate dogfighter?

Postby Grant » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:59 am

Making the devastator speed 3 and G's 4 (while adding 40LB of armor to the wings) in my opinion made it more realistic. A bi-plane's main points were agility, the Italians Bi-planes in WW2 were remarkably agile but couldn't match modern aircraft in speed.

I will admit....I haven't played much...because I'm the only opponent around :( I have played myself a bit, then some PBEM, then just some observations on what I have seen:

A good all-around pirate dogfighter is average and has wing armor of 40 or better. 30 armor or less and your wingspars and internals get shot up fast. I think pirates would have tht consideration as well (if they could afford it).

Alot of people rag about the slow acceleration, my mediocre piloting skills I have actually found the M210 Raven to be "ok". a little light on armor for it's size, but pretty good.

The Fury, Devastator, Bandit are good choices. Stuff like the Warhawk, Kestral,etc. big numbers, average armor, slow,etc. are not so much. Likewise you have to be a GOOD pilot to take advantage of BTN8 fighters with 4 speed and 4G's. (which I am not. I prefer modified heavies with more armor :lol: )

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