THE SUN Facing into or nearly into the sun causes serious visibility problems for pilots. Before the advent of radar, enemy pilots would often try to take advantage of this fact by setting the sun at their backs, thus avoiding visual detection. Since none of the aircraft in 1942 THE PACIFIC AIR WAR is equipped with radar, this tactic is viable, useful, and dangerous. If Sun Blinding is enabled, you and your opponents will be at a serious visibility disadvantage whenever facing into the sun. If not, the sun will be no more than a landmark in the sky.
BLACKOUTS One of the limitations of the human body is that it tends to perform poorly at high accelerations. Tight turns at high speed, pulling out of dives, and other high-speed maneuvers can overcome the heart’s ability to get blood to the brain, causing a pilot to lose consciousness. This is called a “blackout”. A partial blackout is known as a “greyout”. Pushing the stick forward to dive can also be a problem. At a negative acceleration of about minus 2 g’s, the blood pressure in a pilot’s head becomes too great, and the capillaries in the eyes burst. Brain damage and death can also result. This is called a “redout”. If you have Blackouts enabled, you will be subject to these limitations, though redouts will not cause brain damage. If not, you will be able to perform incredible, high-acceleration maneuvers without losing vision or consciousness.
ENEMY SKILL When you fly into combat, you never know whether you’re squaring off against a rookie pilot or a seasoned veteran. In the seconds it takes you to find out, you could have already lost the fight. For the sake of those players whose combat flying is a little rusty, 1942 THE PACIFIC AIR WAR includes a choice of enemy skill level. If you select Enemy Pilots are Skilled, prepare to face experienced, well-trained pilots and vicious dogfighting tactics. If not, air-to-air combat against rookie pilots should be easier, but don’t expect a turkey shoot.
DUD TORPEDOES In 1942, torpedo failure was a big factor for the Americans. Failure to explode was only part of the problem; many torps just went wildly off-course, sometimes turning completely around. In air-launched torpedoes, this was usually attributed to the extreme sensitivity of the missile to the drop conditions. Overall, U.S. torpedoes had a failure rate of almost 50%. The Japanese torpedoes, though by no means perfect, had a much lower rate of failure. If you choose Torpedoes Can Be Duds, any (or all!) of the torpedoes you fire could go astray or fail to explode, according to historical averages. If not, you can depend on a straight shot and a satisfying blast, but only if your aim is good.