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How YOU can help the air force

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  • How YOU can help the air force

    Edits in blue

    Having logged quite a few hours in the jets, I've learned the pitfalls (all of them, I believe :) ), and the pain points of flying. As such, I thought I'd share some tidbits with the rest of the TGs so's we can all learn to help each other out.

    Feel free to add your own stuff in.

    1. Spot enemy aircraft.
    If you see an enemy aircraft fly by, chances are real good there's a friendly aircraft either right in front or right behind him.
    In either case, it's vitally important to the friendly pilot that he know where the enemy is. :)
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but spots last somewhere between 5 and 10 seconds. Then they vanish. If you still see that aircraft after 5 seconds, spot it again! Keep spamming it until it's gone! No one will yell at you for spot spam.

    2. Spot enemy Anti-Aircraft
    Better yet, TAKE IT OUT!!! If your team has a good air force going, and they are helping you out, then help them out. If your squad sees 2 tanks, an APC and an AA vehicle, spend everything you have to take out the AA vehicle. The air force will reward you by removing the tanks, the APC, the truck you didn't see, and 3 other ground-pounders. You do the math.
    But if you just can't take the thing out, at LEAST spot it. There's nothing more painful than searching for that AA that keeps getting a lock on you, preventing you from doing the job of supporting the trewps. But if the bomber knows where it is ... it's all over in one pass.
    Again - spam it.

    3. Request air strikes.
    Yeah, you can ask for artillery for that Tank and APC you see. But the CO's not likely to authorize an arty strike for two lousy vehicles with a driver each. (He's gonna saturate that infantry concentration to the east which is taking an undefended CP.)
    If you're faced with a couple vehicles that are keeping your squad pinned down, ask the CO for an airstrike. Seconds later, the Bomber squad will get an attack order, and they'll know just what to do.
    With a well-oiled chain of command and air crew, that tank will be down in 20 seconds, possibly less. The APC in the same pass, or the next.
    We're here to help.

    4. Bombers are blind to infantry.
    Sometimes we give tough love. We might just take you out along with the enemy.
    Bombers get targetting info on vehicles only. Infantry, friendly or enemy are pretty invisible at our altitude, and our avionics don't pick up human-body heat. So if we dump on an enemy target and take a couple infantry out with it - we are really sorry. Honest. We'll personally send the letter to your mom.
    But don't punish. We didn't do it on purpose.
    The other side of the coin is that we CAN saturate-bomb an enemy infantry squad into oblivion - if you tell us where they are.
    Arrange this with your CO ahead of time.
    Mark a request for artillery on the map. Let the CO know that it's not artillery, it's an airstrike request. He'll mark the spot with an attack order for the Bomber squad and inform them that the target is infantry. They'll know what to do. He'll even update the location if the infantry move in the time it takes for the bomber to reach the target.

    COs - if the bomber shows up and there are no vehicles there, expect a request for new orders, followed by a VOIP message, "No targets at that location, Commander." If you know the targets are infantry, let him know ahead of time to saturate bomb, despite no target acquisition.

    5. AA station missiles are NOT IFF (they don't distinguish between friend and foe).
    Yes, the station is - but the missiles are not. That is, when you're peering thru the scope and get a lock on the enemy aircraft, you definitely know you're firing at an enemy - but once that missile is loose, it could just as easily follow the friendly fighter whose chasing down that enemy jet. They're heat-seeking, and our jets are as hot as theirs.
    Careful when you shoot - if you're in doubt, don't fire at all. That's advice from a pilot. If you've flown for a while, you likely know what to do in that situation - but that's a different thread.

    6. COs - understand the Air War
    The air war is dynamic, and seemingly unrelated to the ground war. There's 2 things you have to know about what's going on in the skies:
    1. Air superiority is priority 1 for the air force.
    If your jets are threatened by enemy air, they will do nothing else until that's taken care of. Don't expect any of your ground-attack orders to mean a thing until your pilots can keep the fighters off their tails long enough to line up a target. Usually, within 5 minutes of map start, pilots know what they're up against on the other team. They'll have an idea of whether they're going to be able to operate in their ground-attack mission, or whether the rest of the map will be a war to prevent the enemy from having that freedom. This balance can flux and shift, particularly on a public server, when different players man up aircraft at different times. Pilots should inform their CO as to the status of the air war, and let them know when they are unavailable for duty because of enemy air threat.
    2. No single thing in the game is as important.
    Nothing is more devastating than a capable bomber crew when they have air supremacy. Under these conditions, enemy vehicles are manned no longer than 45 seconds or so. If you have trouble believing this, we can arrange a demonstration. If enemy vehicles cannot be manned, your team WILL WIN THE MAP. Any arguments? Any questions?

    Win the air war.

    7. COs - know your Jets
    First, be sure to give your jets orders. They really don't have time to give themselves orders. It's a bit hard to look at the map while you're flying 1200 mph. It's much easier for them to just accept CO orders. If they're a smart crew, the gunner is squad leader. Still...

    Don't bother sending fighters on ground attack missions. Even the most skilled of pilots just can't do much with those things. Fighter's missions are air-superiority. Send them to areas you know to be hampered by enemy choppers, if you need to. Otherwise, leave them on a Combat Air Patrol (CAP) mission where they
    1. Take out enemy helos
    2. Take out enemy jets who are trying to take out your helos.

    Bombers are a different story. But remember that, skill for skill, they're NOT gonna be able to do their job if they're hounded by an enemy fighter. They just don't perform in a dogfight like the fighters.
    If things are going well, expect a bomber to request orders every 2 minutes or so. Give him a target, and in a few passes, expect that there will be no more enemy vehicles there - perhaps a few infantry left. Be ready to give him a new target with a concentration of vehicles. If you can't find a concentration, ask the squad leaders who wants an airstrike. If they don't respond, tell him to find his own targets. He'll just patrol around taking out targets as he sees.

    8. COs - specify ground/air targets
    Despite what I put in point 7 about the different kinds of aircraft, when you give orders to a jet, specify target. If you want, set up a default - "Bomber squad, by default my orders are ground targets. I'll tell you if it's a helo or something."

    9. Bomber pilots - start a squad. Somebody - join and Co-pilot

    Duh. Good comms are essential betwixt Pilot/RIO, whether it's ground-attack or dogfighting. At the MINIMUM you should have squad chat. But VOIP is da bomb. Coordinated air forces will set themselves up as a squad in-game, and use that VOIP for all-squad chat across multiple aircraft. At the same time, Teamspeak provides Pilot<->Gunner chat for specific aircraft, or Wingman<->Wingman chat for multiple fighters.
    Along the same lines, infantry squads form in game, along with one helo-transport squad with a few pilots. At the same time, a teamspeak channel for the infantry squad leaders and the pilots allows pickup/dropoff coordination VOIP traffic.
    Last edited by StrikeFear; 07-11-2005, 09:10 PM.
    "You live and learn. Or you don't live long."
    - Lazarus Long

  • #2
    Re: How YOU can help the air force

    That was a really good and useful post.

    However, I disagree with point 6. Winning the air war is not the be all, end all that you make it out to be. Yes, I do understand how effective bombers can be (the jet machine guns are also very effective against ground targets), but air assets only dominate when they are unopposed in their bombing, strafing and reloading runs. As soon as there are enemy aircraft in the sky, the ground-effectiveness of the airforce goes way down.

    Even if the airforce is better then the opposition's airforce, they will have to spend most of their time dealing with enemy aircraft rather than hitting ground targets. Even when you shoot down enemy jets they respawn in 20 seconds, so you basically get one clear bombing run before they are on your ass again.

    So if you spend all your efforts on the air war it's not hard for the enemy to blunt your efforts and then beat you where it counts: on the flags.


    • #3
      Re: How YOU can help the air force

      You know, RandomGuy - I gotta agree with everything you said. It's NOT the be-all end-all. Because things are often as you describe them - a constant fight for a clear bombing run. Even if you're winning in the air, you're still dogged constantly, even if they're shmucks.

      But ... if you manage to obtain Air Supremacy .... where your bomber is free to fly around happily bombing because your fighter is able to keep the enemy jets flying defensively (this is only likely to happen on the pubs, including the TG server, not in a scrimmage. But I HAVE seen it several times) .... then your truly do suppress the enemy's ground war down to 10% effectiveness.
      "You live and learn. Or you don't live long."
      - Lazarus Long


      • #4
        Re: How YOU can help the air force

        7. honestly fighters can be just as useful against single ground targets as normal bombers. Earlier today on (if I remember right) wetlands where theres only one jet per team, the commander was giving me coordinates on a caravan of tanks and apcs. I went ahead in my JSF and took out a majority of the caravan using multiple bombing runs before they even reached the base.

        2. If you can just spot the AA and take out tanks that are more of a threat to the ground troops, that is way better for the team because taking out an AA gun is easy once its been spotted. Because a direct run towards an AA gun by a jet is easier than it sounds.

        4. Look on the minimap, I can see where all the friendly infantry are with ease if I just flick my eyes for a millisecond. And during a reload run I also take the time (2 seconds or less) to spot out and see where the troops are and if they need any help using at a certain location using the full sized map

        Btw Atxl if you're reading this... let the last missile kill you instead of running into the mountainside!!! SOB...
        [age-c1] [gchq-c1] [air2] [tog-c1][tpf-c1]


        • #5
          Re: How YOU can help the air force

          Nice post, Strikefear.

          Note: I always "spam-spot" helicopters and ground vehicles. The planes can be much more difficult to spot, depending on their speed / altitude. But I'll make sure I spam-spot them too :-)



          • #6
            Re: How YOU can help the air force

            And also if the CO has a dedicated air squad let the SLs know that there is air support available, and that no-one in their squad should be pinching planes. ;)

            Really good post - hopefully we can get this into action :)


            • #7
              Re: How YOU can help the air force

              Originally posted by Bommando
              Great post. I have been on the receiving end of a strong opposing Air Force and it's a powerful thing indeed. Spotting of all kinds is essential, but I never until now thought of calling for a specific strike against vehicles bugging my squad. The worry I have is that you don't always know if you have competent pilots, so if you wait in vain, you will often be dead.

              If you know you are a good pilot, make sure you announce yourself to your CO. When I CO, most of the pilots I run across are loners looking for a bit of arcade action. It's such a relief when I get a competent flying SL in my ear asking where he's needed.
              This is exactly right. A talented bomber/chopper for close air support is a TREMENDOUS asset.

              I've seen way too many pilots that think they're good and really just waste slots. If you aren't a good pilot (good pilots include... Alpocylopse (sp?), Rincewind, some others) ...please...get on the ground!

              4-6 people flying around mediocrely is just a waste of a potential squad.


              • #8
                Re: How YOU can help the air force

                Old school trick is for pilots to fly with their mini-map expanded to full screen and set to 90% to 100% transparency. You can see anything and everything.

                As a dedicated ground-trooper, I have my forward/backward set to W/S, my strafe left/right to Q/E, my general radio (commo rose) set to D and my squad/lead radio set to A. I can spot anything I see super super quick with the commo rose set so close to my WQSE.

                Last night, I think I saw the counter to the Blackhawk full of engineers. Just wait for them to cap and leave (never leaving the zone yourself). You take the flag right back. As long as you are concealed and have overhead cover, it works every time.



                • #9
                  Re: How YOU can help the air force

                  Originally posted by Batknight23
                  If you aren't a good pilot ...please...get on the ground!
                  4-6 people flying around mediocrely is just a waste of a potential squad.
                  I dunno - rotten pilots have every bit as much right to the jets as the aces. I started out kinda sucky, but I think I'm pretty good now. There's a point at which you need "real" practice.

                  I think it might be more appropriate to say it this way:

                  "If you're not a decent pilot, capable of pulling your load, wait till you have a little more practice flight-time in an empty server before grabbing the jet during a multiplayer game."
                  "You live and learn. Or you don't live long."
                  - Lazarus Long


                  • #10
                    Re: How YOU can help the air force

                    Strike and all,
                    nice thread.

                    It is coming right when I needed it. It's been a few days in fact that I am only concentrating on air assets.

                    Since I'm sure that most of you are more skilled than me - though I come from the Falcon series of combat flight sims ;) - how about opening a thread about suggestions to pilots/wannabe pilots?


                    • #11
                      Re: How YOU can help the air force

                      And give away my secrets!??!?? :)
                      "You live and learn. Or you don't live long."
                      - Lazarus Long




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