Some more fleshed out ideas:
- Aircraft Carriers will be the most “specialized” units:
When they arrive they will be equipped with a full flight of carrier-based aircraft of various roles. This can differ between each carrier type, for instance Escort Carriers will obviously have fewer types than Fleet Carriers.
Carriers will need some method of toggling between different types of attack, with each attack type launching a specific set of aircraft. For instance, if selected to Air Superiority the carrier will launch its flight of carrier-based fighters; if Torpedo Bomber attack is selected it will launch a flight of torpedo bombers.
These different sorties will need to be kept track of in terms of losses. After their air time they will return to the carrier and losses must be “remembered” so that the next time the flight is launched it will be with reduced numbers.
That said, carriers will have the ability to replenish a sortie’s losses. This should only be possible if that particular flight of aircraft is currently “on-board” (or completely destroyed).
So for instance lets say a Carrier launches a torpedo bomber attack of 10 aircraft and 5 are destroyed by the time the sortie returns to the carrier. That leaves 5 available for the next time that sortie is called. However after returning the player can buy a new full flight of replacements to bring it back up to 10.
When reinforcement sorties arrive they will fly on from some map edge to the carrier and “land” (this doesn’t need to be too spectacular, just the same gimmick used by Gliders or whatever).
Carriers can be modeled to give a visual representation of its air arms. They will be quite big (I imagine around the current size of the Corvettes in S44). This can be done by having each aircraft type represented on the deck of the carrier with a lua-placed model that can be independantly selected; when selected all it needs to show is its flight number, like 6/10 if there are 6 aircraft left out of 10 max it can have.
Actual launch animation can be whatever. Eventually it would be cool to see aircraft being actually launched, taxiing in a group onto the deck and then launching off the catapult one after the other, but initially it doesn’t matter if they simply appear in the air over the damned thing.
- Aircraft behaviour will be different than in S44. They will be controlled as a whole squadron/flight (via KDR’s squad code) instead of individually.
Land-based aircraft will also be present in the form of larger aircraft not available from carriers. These include things like heavy recon/bombers like the PYB Catalina and FW-200 Condor, as well as high-level medium bombers and mine-laying aircraft and stuff. They will operate exactly like S44 aircraft currently do (except being controlled as a group).
Mines can play an important role. Most shiptypes, from torpedo boats to cruisers were used to lay minefields during the war. We could similarly allow many different ship types to lay mines or have only one type do it. I also think minelaying should be instant; to lay a mine from as ship simply requires heaving one overboard. Of course, ships are slow so laying large minefields would take a lot of time.
Something being experimented with by Nemo and Flozi, compartment/section damage. Most of our ships will be large enough to be able to have specific areas able to be damaged during fighting, such as:
Bridge Tower (damage to which can reduce LOS and remove radar ability)
Individual Turrets (knock out individual turrets)
Deck (can be split into several sections, damage will knock out the various small-caliber secondary and AA guns)
Engine (stops the ship dead)
Propeller (slows the ship down)
Ammunition Stores (causes massive explosions and the most common method of actually destroying a ship)
Hull (the most heavily armoured part of a ship, but eventually enough damage will sink it)
Some weapon types will be better at killing certain parts of the ship than others. Mines and Torpedoes for instance will primarily impact the outer Hull and never do damage to turrets, bridge towers and the deck section. Bombers however are the opposite; they will fall on the deck, tower and turrets, not hulls. Guns fired from other ships can hit almost anywhere.
Size factors will be important but sizes aren’t as severely different between different ship classes as some might think. See the image below:
From left to right that is a Destroyer, Battleship and Cruiser.
The smallest ship types will be the PT, MTB and S-Boots, the fast torpedo-armed powerboats. Ideally and going by pure guestimation they’d be about the size of a light vehicle like the Sdkfz 250 in S44, maybe a bit smaller.
Will still play a role. Everyone’s navies operated differently during the war. The US and Japan had carrier-heavy forces and relied heavily on naval aircraft. Britain had fewer carriers but a large surface fleet. Germany never fielded a carrier but one was under semi-construction so it could make an appearance; otherwise for the most part they would rely on land-based aircraft. Soviets had no aircraft carriers to speak of and few large ships so will rely on a myriad of various small to medium-sized shiptypes.
I’m tired of talking now.