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The Importance of Gunners in Vehicles and Other Observations

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  • The Importance of Gunners in Vehicles and Other Observations

    For preface: I am not intending to suggest that there is a complete and total lack of willing gunners in vehicles; however I have noticed, in a broad sense, a lack of personnel autonomously entering the gunner seat.

    Much like throwing out ammo packs, med hubs, motion balls, and reviving teammates, there should be an intrinsic desire to hop in the gunner seat of a vehicle.

    HELOS

    Probably one of the most important seats to occupy is the gunner seat(s) of helos, whether it's the transport or attack, not having these slots occupied in flight makes these vehicles useless.

    Blackhawks (and their rarely seen Russian equivalent) can do excellent strafing runs in contested areas, and with the improved hit detection it's actually possible to kill an enemy now. Too often I see the transports used for these one-off squad drops when it could be better utilized for aerial harassment, even if you get zero kills, if you can distract the opposing team enough with suppressing fire they'll have to focus on the chopper and not the rest of your team.

    For the Apache and MI-28, the gunner seat is also incredibly important, since the vast majority of damage is going to come not from rockets, but from a sharp gunner dispensing death from above. If a pilot hops into an attack helicopter, you should automatically run to get in the gunner seat.

    Thankfully, I rarely see helicopters without gunners, as for some reason being in the air going pew pew pew seems to strike most people as fun.

    Nonetheless I do see on regular basis attack helo's taking off without gunners, and while the pilot may be great, without the gunner seat occupied the threat of it is pretty minimal, thus the importance of having personnel occupy both seats.

    TANKS

    Whether it's an Abrams, a T90, a BMD, or a Bradley, these vehicles without a gunner are sitting ducks and woefully under utilized without the machine gun manned. A good driver should be focusing on taking out enemy armor, and demolishing buildings, while the gunner should be focused on removing threats to the tank.

    ENGINEERS ARE YOUR PRIORITY TARGETS

    All to often the biggest bane to armor isn't enemy armor, but rather Engineers and C4 armed infantry able to outmaneuver or simply avoid/dodge the main gun, without the gunner focusing on infantry, the effectiveness of armor is greatly diminished and only marginally useful.

    All tanks should be feared, and with a gunner, that fear becomes justified and real.

    BRADLEY'S AND BMD'S

    I'm making a subsection here to simply voice a subjective opinion:

    I firmly believe that IFV's are far more powerful when all 4 seats are occupied as opposed to simply driver and gunner.

    Often I hear that these things are death traps, but I wholly believe the opposite. IFV's are death dealers. With a smart driver (see below section on drivers) the largest threat is going to be sneaky C4 guys. With the side slots occupied, not only does the IFV now have more guns and more eyes, but it also diminishes blind spots, the only way to sneak up on a fully manned IFV is from behind, and even then it's dubious if the primary gunner is watching the area.

    Also keep in mind, that attack power is no different in the side slots than that of the primary gunner, despite the different sound clip, the damage is the same, and it WILL rip infantry up.

    Give it a try.


    DRIVERS

    First and foremost: IF you are going to drive/pilot a vehicle, you should have the vehicle smoke perk. Once a vehicle is traced, unless you have a very sharp eyed good Samaritan assault with a smoke launcher, your time is limited, and there will be very little you can do as every engineer in the world now sees a beautiful red target box to lock onto, fire, and forget.

    What you should be doing

    1. Focus on enemy armor and enemy fortifications. Rockets, Tank Main Guns, and even IFV Cannons are best used on enemy armor, while it can take out infantry quite well, your primary targets should be enemy armor, and buildings that the enemy has dug into.

    2. Stay mobile. With very few exceptions you should not be sitting idle trying lob shots willy nilly hoping to score a hit, you make yourself a target to dumb fire AT weapons, tracer darts, mortar strikes, as well as mobile enemy armor.

    3. Keep your eyes and your armor pointed forward. Just like those fun filled tips during the loading screen tell you, you are better protected and take less damage when you are facing forward. The gunner is going to be your eye's and ear's around you

    4. SPOT, SPOT, SPOT. This is important, because the gunner can't see everything everywhere. Help them out and spot infantry that you see. Even in Hardcore, the audio cue of "Bad guys over there!" is integral to your gunner saving your ass, because at a minimum it tells him that YOU can see bad guys, thus, the both of you are not safe.

    GUNNERS

    Take whatever perk you want, I recommend either the bullet or reload perk, but that's simply preference.

    Remember, your job is to remove infantry (and on rare occasion deal with a helo)

    Target Priority

    Engineers, C4 Infantry, Medics, Recons, Assaults.

    Engineers are your number one target, if you see that big ugly AT weapon poking out from behind a box, spot it, and light it up. Engineers are out to ruin your day, do a rain dance at your wedding, and do disgusting things to your mother.

    C4 Infantry is next, look for their primary weapon, if it looks generic, blast em. If you can't tell, (Usually Recons) blast em.

    Next are medics, because revives are bad for business.

    Sniper-cons and vanilla assault's should be lower on your priority list, they often aren't direct threats to you, but feel free to up your kill count if you get the chance.

    What you should be doing

    1. Focus on Infantry. Infantry is out to ruin your day, so you should be focused on ruining theirs. Follow the target priority list, and focus on keeping the vehicle alive.

    2. Keep your head on a swivel. Since your driver should be focused on keeping their eyes forward, it's up to you to watch everything else. Constantly scan your surroundings and let rip as soon as you can and as often as you can. Vehicles aren't stealthy, so don't worry about giving away your position. There is some mild bullet drop at distance, so far away targets you may have to aim a little high.

    3. Help out your team. Occasionally you may notice that for whatever reason, nobody is actively trying to make you go boom. In cases such as these, look for your teammates and where they are, and lend some firepower, either to help them get away, or to suppress the enemy so they can advance. Or, alternatively, just look for red triangles and send a lead storm their way. You have infinite ammo, remember?

    4. SPOT, SPOT, SPOT. If you see an enemy. Spot him. Give your driver the situational awareness they need to survive, and give yourself a nice bullseye to aim at.

    Summary

    I hope to see more gunner seats occupied in the servers, and I hope that someday myself, or anybody else, won't have to harass the team to get somebody to hop into the seat. It does your team no good to drive your vehicle out into the battlefield, fire off a few shots from your gun, and then get blasted by enemy AT weapons because you couldn't deal with infantry.

    Having a gunner(s) increases the survivability dramatically of a vehicle, and vehicles, when properly manned, are devastating. The longer the your vehicle is alive and kicking, the more damage you will do to the enemy team.

    Not to mention, it's an easy job to be a gunner, you have a high power machine gun, that doesn't run out of ammo, is very accurate, and absolutely rip's infantry apart. You don't even have to worry about moving! You can sit back with a beverage of your choice and just swivel your little death cannon around and have a nice relaxing evening.

    The bottom line?

    If you see a vehicle, run up to it and hop into the gunner seat, everybody wins and I'll give you a high five.

  • #2
    Re: The Importance of Gunners in Vehicles and Other Observations

    Very good write up Eclipse! +rep!

    Personally, I love gunning.. I just have a problem actually getting in the vehicle before the pubby driver blasts off.. solo.

    sigpic


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    • #3
      Re: The Importance of Gunners in Vehicles and Other Observations

      That post was filled with awesome. I've been thinking about squads devoted solely to armor usage lately. If they are rolling in a tank then a good layout would be 2 engi, one medic, one assault. Two guys would be in the tank obviously and two others would be on each side providing cover from the constant stream of C4 equipped enemy found on TG servers. Assault guy would have smoke grenades to neutralize tracers. Maybe that's redundant if driver has smoke but I prefer the zoom scope as driver. I'm also one of the few people that likes the vehicle sensor perk. It's like a mobile motion mine and it has saved me a few times.

      The Bradley/BMD is pretty sweet if you have 4 dedicated guys sticking with it. Pretty hard to kill with all the repairing going on.
      aka spartan421
      Bad Company 2: Kill dudes heal bros.

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      • #4
        Re: The Importance of Gunners in Vehicles and Other Observations

        Just my 2 cents, but on maps with lots of armor, EX, Atacama, Panama, Valdez conquest, I personally like to take the improved warheads perk with the T90/Abrams while having your gunner be an engi. With the warheads, essentially you are the most powerful weapon on the map and you should be able to take down any armor your encounter unless you get ganked in a vast open area (where you shouldn't be to start with). With smart cover, the only thing that can ever take you down is C4 (if your gunners blind) or 5 engineers popping up on your position all at once.



        Former TG-21st
        Swift Mobile On Target

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        • #5
          Re: The Importance of Gunners in Vehicles and Other Observations

          Originally posted by MacLeod View Post
          Just my 2 cents, but on maps with lots of armor, EX, Atacama, Panama, Valdez conquest, I personally like to take the improved warheads perk with the T90/Abrams while having your gunner be an engi. With the warheads, essentially you are the most powerful weapon on the map and you should be able to take down any armor your encounter unless you get ganked in a vast open area (where you shouldn't be to start with). With smart cover, the only thing that can ever take you down is C4 (if your gunners blind) or 5 engineers popping up on your position all at once.
          The real problem with that though, is that, as I pointed out, as soon as you get traced, which, on big vehicle maps is highly likely, there's only so much you can do once that happens.

          Given that MBT's are basically the most powerful weapon already, upping up the damage on them is slightly redundant.

          Longevity strikes me as far more important than damage, because the longer you are alive the more aggregate damage you can dish out. Additionally, even with armor/warhead perks, the majority of time head to head tank battles come down to either who hits who first, or who has an engineer repairing.

          Now granted, parking a tank in lots of cover CAN be useful, and I've seen some players here park their tanks right on the wall of Charlie facing Bravo on Atacama and dish out lots of damage, but because it wasn't mobile it was avoidable, or worse, dumb fired on.

          However, there is a caveat to this, and that's bringing smoke with you, like Penny mentioned.

          Either the Driver or Gunner can go Assault with a smoke launcher, then you can take a weapon or armor perk

          The downside is that you have to exit to remove tracer darts, and many times that's not always feasible when you need it most.

          I suppose it comes down to personal philosophy's on armor, I've personally found that longevity trumps all for vehicles, hence I rarely drive without smoke. If an encounter goes bad I can run away and repair, but if I'm traced it doesn't matter where I run too or how much I repair, every engineer on the map knows where I am and can blast me from afar.

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          • #6
            Re: The Importance of Gunners in Vehicles and Other Observations

            nice info... thanks i've learned a lot.. :)
            If you show your head then your dead....

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            • #7
              Re: The Importance of Gunners in Vehicles and Other Observations

              Originally posted by Eclipse View Post
              as for some reason being in the air going pew pew pew seems to strike most people as fun.
              It is very fun.

              I'm happy to gun if I'm anywhere near the vehicle in need, and TS is your best bet when it comes to getting my attention. Tank gunners and people in seats 3&4 in IFV's should be engis whenever possible so they can repair when needed (not if but when needed).

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              • #8
                Re: The Importance of Gunners in Vehicles and Other Observations

                Cool post man. Anything to see more people using armor.

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                • #9
                  Re: The Importance of Gunners in Vehicles and Other Observations

                  You're just saying that because you like the fireworks and shower of points after RPG-ing it in the butt. ^_^




                  "Cum bellum clamavit, nos respondivi..."


                  "I've given everything I can... There are no heroes left in man..."

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