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Calculating rates for Bag The Hun

We see a lot of posts on the group requesting stats for different aircraft, ranging from the
commonly seen to the totally bizarre. This section hopefully provides some explanation of how
rates can be calculated so that those keen to get that new squadron into action can do so without
having to wait days or weeks for me to post a reply!
Apologies to those who have asked this question before and who already know the secret, please
bear with me while we share it formally with many new players that have taken a dip into the
world of Lard over the past 12 months.
Speed: As a rule I give 1 speed point for every 50mph. However, seeing as speed is also a
function of loading and altitude it's hard to take stats straight off technical specs and say X or Y.
I will trim the top speed up or down one if I think it fits more neatly in the other band and against
comparable aircraft.
Manoeuvrability: This is more subjective, and as such is much more of a 'ranking' than a
calculate rating. Most good quality monoplane fighters ought to be 5 or 6. Some that handled like
dogs could be a 4. Agile fighter bombers might get a 3 or 4 or even a 5 most bombers will get a 1
or 2.
Ceiling: This corresponds with the altitude bands in the rules. For instance, most aircraft will a
ceiling of over 30,000ft will be 6's.
Rate of Climb: To keep BTH simple planes can climb one or two altitude bands per turn. This
basically means that nearly all fighters will be ROC 2, and nearly all bombers will be ROC 1.
Having clear bands does not offer very much differentiation, but I wanted to keep the rules
simple and that was a cost of doing so. What I have been toying with is that whilst it is not
relevant during general flying, it can become relevant if somebody is 'up your jacksie' (in RAF
parlance!) such as I giving a minus to aircraft attempting to stay on the tail of a climbing
aircraft that has a significantly improved ROC.
Robustness: This is a little like manoeuvrability in as much as it is not so formulaic. Most early
war fighters will be a 1 or 2, depending on their armour plate and general reputation for being
able to withstand damage. Most bombers could absorb a lot of damage. The rest fall in between.
Again, the rating is relative rather than absolute.
Size: This is purely an assessment of how much the target fills the gun sight, on the basis that the
bigger it is, the harder it is to miss! I originally started by determining the volume of each
aircraft, but in time, just looking at the overall dimensions gives a good enough picture. Once
again this is a range, with a small aircraft like the Rata being at the low end of the scale and
giants like the Flying Fortress sitting lard-like on the other.
Weapons: This is probably the most contentious, especially when the cannon versus mg debate
gets going. As a general rule, I count anything smaller than 12.7mm/0.5inch MG's as 1, and
MG's of that calibre and 20mm cannon as 2. 30mm cannon will get a 3. I might also apply a

bonus for paired weapons if the case merits it. For instance, I may well give an aircraft with
4x20mm cannon a higher fire factor than one with 4x.50cal MG's as the weight of fire is
potential so much more damaging. Likewise, if a plane has a reputation for being an unstable gun
platform I might downgrade it, or upgrade it if it was known as an excellent firing platform. So
again, it starts with a formula but is tuned to a level I feel is appropriate.
***
So there, in nutshell, is it. Theres no secret formula, but rather the rates are an assessment my
assessment of the fighting qualities of the aircraft. It's not easy categorizing all the aircraft of
WW2 into six boxes each, but simplicity dictates thats what has to be done to get a set of rules
that is acceptable. The other thing is that I could (and frequently do!) look in two different
reference books and get two different tech specs for the same aircraft not very helpful! The
aircraft of WW2 were built in so many versions and with so many potential differences from one
plane to the next that blanket factors can always be sniped at. I don't have a problem with that,
and I am quite happy for players to change ratings as they see fit if that's what they think gives a
better game. I am sure that you could go down the list of available stats and quite comfortably
make a dozen changes - none of which I would argue against at the end of the day they are
your rules, change them to give the result that you feel is the most realistic.