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[SADT]Stockalike Aerial Dogfight Tournament

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Posted (edited)


While there are other BDA AI styled dogfight challenges out there, i wanted to try something with a new flavor that uses only stock parts to create the aircraft and utilizes stock aerodynamics with all its ups and downs that allow for quite a different approach then the other challenges that use mostly FAR.  While regular BDA was originally planned to be used for weapons, aviator arsenal was found to have better variety of less overpowered guns and thus will be used for this challenge.


The Tournament:

Players will submit a squadron consisting of 4 aircraft for the competition.  For more variety, up to 2 different aircraft models may be present in a squadron (for example 3 model A fighters and 1 model B heavy fighter).

Winning will be king of the hill style, with player ranking based on how many wins your aircraft had in a row.  Each contestant will go up against the current king of the hill with their squadron.  Battles will be the best 3 of 5 (or 2 of 3 if time becomes a concern) using BDA AI only.  The built in aircraft competition setting in BDA will be used to start the game, and each squadron will take off from the grass to either side of the KSC, fly to the default distance of 8km, and then engage the enemy.

Retries are allowed provided others arent waiting already for a fight and all aircraft are new entries (you may use your old aircraft after modifying them physically in at least some way such as adding wings, changing weapon set, moving engines, ect but an actual modification is required for reentry, just swapping weapons out does not count).  A retry will override your old score if it scores higher (as in gets more wins in a row).  One entry allowed per player at any given time to prevent fighting yourself.  Altering the ratio of aircraft within the squadron, any AI settings, and the weapons complement of your fighters will not invalidate your current entry, but any alterations to the plane's airframe itself will result in it counting as a completely new entry and equal a loss to your current entry (if its the leader).

The winner is the side with the last standing functional plane.  Functional means that it remains airborne on its own.  In the unlikely event of both sides having functional planes after all ammo has been used, the side with more planes in the air will be the winner.  If a plane runs out of fuel and lands/crashes, it counts as if it was shot down, so be sure to bring enough fuel to stay in the air.



Eidahlil: 2 wins with 4 Loligator-2s




(may be a good idea to have vessel switcher and vessel mover as well to make spawning planes and spectating the battle much easier)

Aviator Arsenal


Planes and Loadouts:


Minimum weight of 4 tons.

Engines consist of 2 Juno with 40kN thrust total (you may use more Junos but make sure to dial down their thrust accordingly to keep the total at 40kN).  Alternatively a single Wheesley is allowed at 45kN thrust maximum when set to 37.5% (the extra 5kN is to offset the increased size, weight, and vulnurability of the engine compared to the Junos, and in practice ive found the Junos to be better anyways, but its an option for those so inclined).

[100] total weapons points allowed.

Heavy Fighter:

Minimum weight of 7 tons.

Engines consist of 3 Junos (or 60kN of total thrust).  Alternatively 1 Wheesley at 55%.

[120] total weapons points allowed.


Minimum weight of 10 tons.

Engines consist of 4 Junos (or 80kN of total thrust).  Alternatively 1 Wheesley at 75%.

[150] total weapons points allowed.


Breda:                                   [5]               Note: first 4 are free to use and cost [0] points (lets face it, these things are so bad might as well give you 4 freebies).  Any additional ones past 4 cost the [5] points.

Browning M2/Mg131:           [15]

BDA's Browning                  [20]             Note: this is the only weapon currently allowed from regular BDA mod, its slightly better then the AVA's 0.50 so hence the extra points.

UBK/Dual M2 pod:                [25]

Mg151/20:                             [30]

Hispano/Shvak:                     [70]



Max part count of 300 per squadron (add up the 4 planes' part counts to get this).  This rule is somewhat flexible (if you go over a bit and i can run the dogfight without too much lag ill let it go, otherwise ill ask to redesign it with less parts) but please dont go overboard and dont include aesthetic parts if you are nearing this limit without them.

All craft contain at least 1 kerbal (more are allowed if you are sadistic inclined) that is located either inside a cockpit with frontal visibility (so no lander cans or the mk1 rocket pod) or in a external command seat that is inside a custom cockpit (has to be at least partially enclosed, head in the air stream is fine, seat placed on the outside of the fuselage is not).

No excessive clipping of fuel tanks into each other or into fuselage parts.  Exception: the standard enclosed cockpits (such as the mk1 inline) may have up to 200 units of LF clipped inside them, and the 2 tail connectors can have up to 100 LF units inside.

Engines may be placed anywhere and may be enclosed as well provided they still are able to produce thrust.  I was originally going to not allow things like engines inside the fuselage, but ive found battles to be much more interesting when every other plane didnt die to engines shot off and the fights drew out for a while with both sides shooting bits off the planes until one finally died off in a blaze of glory.

No excessive wing clipping.  A bit for aesthetics or protection is ok, but do not just stack multiple wings together.  Also, make sure that all control surfaces are exposed to the air, while stock aero does allow you to place them inside the fuselage, its not really in the spirit of the challenge to abuse the concept of hidden indestructible wings and control surfaces.

AI pilot module must be visible externally on the craft.  Clipping it in some to protect it is recommended, but I need to be able to check the AI settings and searching through a plane's guts to get to it is not fun.  Both the Aviator Arsenal antenna or the BDA weapons manager+AI pilot combos are allowed, although it is preferred to use the antennae since its harder to shoot off and has everything you need built in that one part.  No more then 1 total weapons manager allowed per craft, so choose its placement well.

No "excessive" abuse of the offset tool.  Small gaps between parts are fine, a wingtip floating in mid air after the wing root was shot off is not.

Default altitude on the autopilot must be set to 1500, and minimum altitude must be set to 500 (lets actually dogfight and not use the ground as a weapon).  All other AI/guard mode settings are up to you.

No more then 2 of the smallest radiators may be active during the flight.  While I want to avoid near indestructible planes that are plated from every side with radiators and abuse BDA's heat damage model, you get 2, so use them wisely to protect those few key components that need to be cooled as much as possible (like the kerbal :D).  Also, the active radiators should be exposed to the airflow, it just makes no sense for them to work otherwise.

No reaction wheels (disable the cockpit ones too).

Any weapons not listed in the table below the airplane classes may not be used as they are either broken or OP.  And in case it wasnt obvious, no turrets either, they are not fun to fight against since they shred planes without any effort right now.

Your submission must be tested to work with BDA AI autopilot in some way before submitting it here.  The best way to do this is to try your plane out against my  Sample Fighter to prove its worth, but even spawning 2 fighters and having them face each other until one dies is enough proof that it will fly and fight.



Unlike most of the other challenges, im actually opening the door to truly armoring your craft against fire.  While nothing is invincible, with the current weapon limitations as well as the rules that allow part clipping, armoring via structural panels, ect, i do not expect these dogfights to end super quickly and i think its alot more fun and interesting when planes take a beating to go down.  In this regards ive found using redundant wings and control surfaces, and building wings up off of structural parts to be helpful, but i do not discount the effectiveness of sheer maneuverability and glass cannons, and i think with my weight limits ive opened the door to both styles of combat, be it super heavy tanky plane or light nimble interceptors that die when sneezed at.  Everything has its place here except for land planes (obviously they must fly to be in the challenge :D).

Its not a rule or anything and i do not require it, it is strongly suggested you give your craft a shot against this Sample Fighter.  This will ensure that you will at least be able to put up some sort of fight against an actual opponent.  Being a sample, it is intentionally very badly armed, so you may want to increase its firepower by adding some guns or replacing the ones currently on it with more powerful and effective models for a real fight, but even then its not that great a fighter aerodynamically.  You can also take a look at it and the way i build the engines/fuel system to take maximum advantage of the rules.

I may end up doing away with it if it proves unbalanced and or too complex for people, the squadron system actually allows one to mix and match up to 2 different planes for maximum effectiveness and its not necessarily going to be won by stacking up on one feature such as maneuverability but a good combination of maneuverability and armor.  While i cannot speak for others, the many mock dogfights ive done have shown that having some damage tanks and some glass cannons is actually a very good idea, although its also a matter of luck that the AI doesnt decide to gang up on the weaker planes early in the match.

Im having some issues with my screen capture so the first few battles will likely not be recorded.  I will still be sure to take plenty of screenies but ill try and get my screen recorder functioning again ASAP so that i can make videos of these fights, afterall, images arent that epic.

Ohh, and please post some screenies of your plane(s) when submitting, while i will accept either way, id like to see what it looks like before i load it up and get it slaughtered :D...





And ofc here is my own submission:

Squadron composition:
3 FW-190s and 1 BF-109.





Edited by panzer1b
scoreboard update

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Here's a big slow target for you to shoot at. Show us what you've got. :D

I tested it against the sample craft (4v4), and it won. Though, granted, after 15 minutes of shooting, Jeb realized the guns don't actually do anything, and rammed three planes, two of them fatally. The third one was a friend, so, I suppose, all is well that ends well?

Also, @panzer1b, is the BDA Browning M2 also 15 points, or is it disallowed?

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Posted (edited)

Ok well i did the battle, and your planes beat mine, albeit super close as it was 3 to 2.  First game the FW-190s slaughtered your side 4-0 (seems to be a bit of a luck factor, if one side's AI starts to focus fire on a single target it dies instantly), 2nd battle was the loligators at 2 to 0, 3rd was FWs 1 to 0, the last 2 were both Loligator wins as well, 1 to 0 and 4 to 0 respectively.  there was one fluke game that i cut out as 5 planes were lost via destruction of their weapon manager antennas (i consider that some sort of hack, wish my screen recorder worked as thatd defenetely be worth watching again and again).
















So sofar you are the record holder at 1 win.  Ill let other take their turns and ill come back in a while with new planes that will hopefully stand a chance :D  Im actually quite impressed at the sheer volume of fire these monsters can take especially from my FW-190s that have 6 13mm guns on them.  Your achilles heel seems to be a weak joint somewhere near the front of the plane that often results in the destruction of the frontal section but not the entire plane.  The vast majority of kills from my side were caused by that weakness although the good thing is that it then took multiple continuous attack runs to take down what remained (the frame is incredibly tough!).  Id say the survivability of those skeletons is what got you the win, the fact that 1-2 of these degunned skeletons remained airborne kept my side from focusing fire on the leftover armed craft leading to eventual loss for me.  Also worth mentioning is that there were 7 planes brought down by collisons :).  One of my victories was because 2 of your own planes crashed headon into each other and tore themselves apart...

Also in case you are wondering why your aircraft are burning so badly, there seems to be a bug with destruction fx and the new feature in 1.2 that lets you have free struts to heaviest/root/whatnot.  Every time there is a part change it made every single part light on fire...


Also, updated the rules to add the standard BDA .50 cal, its a hair more powerful then the AVA one so its 20 points instead of 15, but they are roughly similar in capabilities with the AVA one overheating more and doing slightly less damage with more accuracy.

Edited by panzer1b

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So... I made a really tiny and super maneuverable fighter. In one on one tests it was able to shoot the sample fighter down effectively. Only problem is that on takeoff, the wheels can bounce and cause the entire thing to flip and crash


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Alright, did the 2nd battle between the Loligator-2 and the Tiny-Fighter.










The results were 3 wins for the Loligator-2 in a row, with 4-0, and 3-0 twice respectively.  The Tiny fighters lacked the armor to sustain a long term engagement and with the randomness of the AI, only had luck destroying the Loligators (1 neutering and 1 complete kill by lithobraking) when they happened to focus fire.  This is essentially the exact same issue my FW-190s had (and a large reason why they lost), since the only way for them to reliably neuter/kill the massively heavy and tough Loligator was 2 or more focusing fire at the same time or within a short enough time interval to deny the target the ability to cool down and recover from the barrages.  While the planes had very good luck evading attacks at least for the first minute or so, eventually the Loligators managed to get lucky and destroy the exposed fuel tanks which resulted in the loos of one wing, at which point the craft tumbled out of the sky.  Also, 2 Tiny losses were due to flat spinning and crashing into the ground without sustaining damage.  A tip to avoid this in the future is to make sure that the tail surfaces are far enough backwards, since then the plane is resistant to flat spinning and is much more likely to be able to recover from one.

Nice try btw.  Also while it was not important to the tournament, i tested the crafts in a 1 vs 1 situations and the results were much more in favor of the Tiny-Fighter.  It seems that maximizing maneuverability helps in 1 vs 1 situations as you deny the enemy the ability to get a firing solution, whereas in 4 vs 4 the high maneuverability allowed the Tiny to avoid one or 2 attackers, but eventually was taken down by one of them that happened to get a good angle.

Thusfar Eidahlil is the victor and has 2 consecutive wins.

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To be honest, I'm not upset. If I have time later on the weekend or so, I might give this another go

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