The solution we will be experimenting with is to have each aircraft base counting as two. This means that a two base strike (the maximum from the aforementioned HMS Illustrious) will in effect represent four squadrons of twelve aircraft. Most ships are only able to engage in AA fire once per attack so this means that the two base strike will lose a maximum of one squadron to AA leaving three to make the attack. A further refinement will be that should the AA fire destroy the squadron then the remaining squadron represented by the base is driven off - Aborted in game parlance. An aircraft base that has lost a squadron should have a hit marker placed on it.
I am hoping this will ensure a number of things:
- Aircraft will last longer - they will still be able to be driven off though, especially if attacking in small numbers.
- Aircraft users will want to concentrate strikes so that the defences will be overwhelmed.
- Ships will need to ensure that they take the aerial threat seriously as a four base strike (the maximum allowed under the rules) now represents eight attacks. If a ship is in a sector unsupported then it will have to face a minimum of six attacks assuming that it successfully destroys the first squadron with its AA fire (the second squadron would then be counted as driven off).
I will report back when we have tested the aircraft amendments and should they prove satisfactory then I shall incorporate them in the forthcoming Mediterranean mini campaign.