Firstly, I want to stress that this isn`t meant as a thread for complaints relating to the game. It`s meant to be constructive in making the best with what`s available. And that btw is something left to the regular users since SRCW development has ended so this isn`t meant as a thread for SRCW requests made to BG either.
Now, what are people`s thoughts on the multirole fighter class from this game? The SR wiki defines this as:
Multi-Role if Any Ground Attack >= 20 and Any Air Attack >= 30
The problem with the multirole category in my opinion is that the "refit to" option has not been implemented in the game. As a consequence you can`t take the air superiority version of the Gripen (higher air-to-air stats then air-to-ground stats) and refit it to the ground attack version of the Gripen. Both exist in game, but in the absence of refit to, they`re different planes in your arsenal.
The second approach I`ve seen in game is to make a version of an aircraft the fighter-interceptor (class 9) and another version the fighter-bomber (class 10). For example, in game, the F-16A is an interceptor (which isn`t that clear cut in reality when it comes to all A types of the F-16) and the F-16 is a bomber (which is not so in reality, where the C is a multirole). This leaves the "bomber" F-16C with a mid air attack of 20 and an air range of 8. To put this into perspective, the Mig-17 Fresco-A in game has a mid air attack of 28 and an air range of 9 and a Mirage IIIC has a mid air of 44 and an air range of 18. Of course, the F-16C in game has much better ground attack values than these, but what`s obvious is that you can`t use it for anything other than air to ground, which is not how it is in reality. Countries like Turkey for example only have the C version for both air to air and air to ground. Either you stuck Turkey with fighter bombers so it can`t intercept anything or you give it the F-16A (or maybe ADF) version too as a substitute which does not seem great either.
Now, someone`s gonna make the argument that in game a multirole fighter can`t have both the full high values of a bomber and the full high values of a fighter because it would be a super plane compared to the regular bombers and interceptors. Also that when a multirole aircraft takes both air to air and air to ground weapons on board it will have a smaller amount of each than if it were to be dedicated to a single mission type. And that the large amount of bombs and missiles would also affect its maneuvrability and so its air-to-air values and so on.
Ok, but if we balance both ground and air values of a multirole by lowering them proportionately to be in between so it can do both at the same time the result in game will be that the plane will be defeated in air combat by almost everyone from the interceptor class and would still have just modest ground attack values compared to a fighter-bomber. That means that, in game, it would be better (better values and better costs) to have an old interceptor and an old fighter bomber than two modern multirole fighters. Incidentally, that would also generally mean going for older aircraft types.
The other possibility, as I`ve said, is to have the aircraft split into two versions, one for air to air and one for air to ground, like it is now with the Eurofighter, Gripen and others. The problem here is that one can`t convert to the other so the starting inventory of nations would be affected. For example Sweeden would either start with the ground attack Gripen and have no decent air-to-air aircraft or would start with the regular Gripen and have neglijable air-to-ground.
Having both for the same aircraft unit by splitting the total between the two would still affect its ability to respond to threats. When you`re playing a small country you`d like to be able to deploy all of your multirole fighters in the air to air role if you fight a nation with a large airforce. If you fight against a nation with no airforce(or a small one) than your air-to-air dedicated multirole fighters would largely just seat by instead of helping with the fighting which is on the ground.
Any thoughts on how this is best represented in game with what we have at our disposal in SRCW? Or alternatively, do people find the current situation preferable to anything else that could be done with the current engine?
Personally I don`t like spliting the same multirole aircraft into two different bomber and interceptor units. I`m also not found of the idea to artificially dedicate different versions of the aircraft to either the bomber or the interceptor class. Currently I`m leaning towards having the same aircraft do both missions well at the same time, with the air-to-air being the most important. Very broadly speaking, for example keeping the F-16C` air-to-ground values (with only minor reductions maybe) and adding the air-to-air values of the F-16A ADF. Maybe some adjustments could be made to range, combat time and similar values to compensate for the full load carried. In another example I`d merge the JAS-39 Gripen with the JAS-39 Attack Gripen by largely keeping the best of each.
It would create a very powerful unit, but, in the end, these multirole fighters aren`t just jack of all trades. They also tend to be more modern, better equipped aircraft(better radar, better weapons, better engines, better ECM and stealth etc.) than most fighter aircraft from the game that are specialised in the interceptor or bomber roles. There is also the fact that there are relatively few true multirole/swingrole aircraft types in the world so changes here won`t affect too many units directly.
Of course, ideally, the multirole fighters should be reequipped depending on the mission type you want them to perform so that they have good ground or good air attack stats in one or the other. Unfortunately this can`t be done currently so I`d like to hear other ideas if anyone has put some thought into it.