Air Combat Tips from tazman88
Here are some relevant terms that you will read in this article and online:
- con - enemy aircraft (used very often online)
- grab - climb
- zoom - climb rapidly
Grabbing after take-off is vital because having an altitude advantage gives you a considerable measure of control over an engaement. With this, the con's orientation with respect to you is irrelevant (even if they are directly behind you at a lower altitude). When sufficiently higher than your foe, you can easily reposition yourself to an offensive perch. Offensively, altitude allows you to choose the most convenient path by which to attack your foe. Defensively, altitude allows you to delay engagement with your foe and convert a height advantage to a speed advantage to flee if necessary. For small arenas where fields are often less than 1 map sector apart, climbing to 9,000 or 10,000 feet is usually enough. However, for larger arenas where fields are more widely spaced, you may have to climb as high as 14,000 feet in order to be safe or be well positioned to ambush cons.
- Situational Awareness
Eventually, after reaching your desired altitude you will arrive at the target area. The most important thing to keep in mind when searching for cons is that you are are a spec in a three dimensional world. Ideally, the enemy will be below you but do not neglect to check the airspace on your altitude as well as the space above your aircraft. Be sure to make slight turns left and right in order to check your six oclock and six oclock low position. Also, keep track of radio chatter. Your airspace might be clear but there may be a big fight going on one sector away.
Always before attacking a con that is unaware of your presence, you stalk them and position yourself in the most advantageous spot. This is the six o'clock low position. The reason that this position is ideal is that when your enemy pilot checks his rear view, he will not see any part of your plane. Against planes that have turrets, you will find that surprising the pilot is impossible because the turret gunners report everything they see. But the low six oclock position is still ideal for these planes because many of them have no belly gunner or insufficient belly protection. If executed correctly, you can approach in this position, briefly rise up to their level with guns blazing and kill the gunners on the enemy plane. After this, downing the plane is simple. The following is MOST IMPORTANT when you have finally found a con: The enemy is not AI. Very often they will set traps for you by sending one of their courageous to fly below you while the others hide in wait on your altitude or even above. When you engage the decoy, the other cons give chase. Thus, ALWAYS check all around your aircraft thoroughly before you engage a con. If you encounter several cons that are below your altitude, always attack the highest one first.
- Speed is life
You will find that in air combat, speed is very important offensively and defensively. It can often make the difference between a favorable and an unfavorable outcome. In offense, engaging a foe at high speed makes it more likely that the enemy will be trapped and unable to flee from combat. It also increases the likelihood that you will be able to counter their defensive maneuvers. With sufficient speed you can zoom up as high as possible. This is useful in both offense and defense. In defense, having high speed makes it more likely that you can outrun your pursuer. When fleeing is not an option, having sufficient speed makes it more likely that you can elude and perhaps even turn the tables on your opponent with well executed maneuvers.
The most important part of gunnery is to GET AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE (less than d3) BEFORE SHOOTING! The closer you are to the enemy, the larger the target will loom in your sights thus ensuring more hits.
Level Bombing Tips from tazman88
Here are some relevant terms that you will read in this article and online:
- buff - multi-engine bomber
- ack - anti-aircraft artillery guns on either a land or sea target
- final approach - the last direction that the bomber is traveling just before the first wave of bomb release. It is usually on this approach when the first target or targets are aligned for the bombing run
- N - North
- NE - Northeast
- E - East
- SE - Southeast
- S - South
- SW - Southwest
- W - West
- NW -Northwest
A buff pilot must have a genuine plan for a flight. Although a flight in any aircraft requires planning, for buffs this is particularly the case because of their vulnerability and general low rate of climb. Generally a pilot wants to plan the flight such that before the buff is within radar range of the field it has already reached its planned height and is ready to release payload. Thus direct flights to enemy airfields that have been untouched by previous bombing and have working radar are not advisable. Another reason why this is the case is that airfields are laid out in such a way that makes bombing much more efficiently executed in a particular direction format. For example, small fields only have one runway and all of the important buildings as well as defending ack are laid out along either side of this runway. If the runway runs NW to SE, it would not be efficient to start your final approach NE of the field. There are many tools that can aid the planning of a bombing raid such as Glars maps that identify each target by letter or number.
A buff must fly at a certain minimum altitude to be safe from ack. This altitude usually varies from 8000 feet to as high as 24000 feet. The FH arena has an interesting feature when it comes to radar detection. The radar has a maximum detection altitude of 12000ft (4km), above which all planes have no radar signature. For bombers, this is especially useful so that raids can be carried out with maximum surprise. When climbing above the maximum radar detection height is not an option, another choice is the usage of ECM if the plane possesses them. ECM stands for electronic counter measure. Essentially it masks the plane's true position in the sky as indicated by the radar of potential foes. Only a few interceptors in the game actually have onboard radar. A few examples are DeHavilland Mosquito, Bristol Beaufighter, Petlyakov Pe-3, Messerschmit Me-110, Kawasaki ki-45.
- Location Notation
FH has a dot command that if entered into the radio bar will automatically broadcast your location and bearing on the map to all of your allies. The command is ".pos". You can send this information to anyone else with an added entry such as ".pos 110" which will transmit to that radio channel. Or, you can choose to enter a player's screen name ".pos -exec-" for example. Just a standard ".pos" only transmits to your country channel. You will also need to be able to interpret this information when team members broadcast their position. The map is divided by a grid into many squares or sectors. Each sector is assigned 2 numbers (separated by dots) indicating its row and colum position. The sectors are also subdivided into 9 regions. These regions are referenced as though there were a number pad layout superimposed with the sector. For example, the most NW region of sector X.X would be referred to as "X.X.7" while the center region of the sector is referred to as "X.X.5". Some users further subdivide the regions using the same method. This adds a fourth number into the code.
- Bombs away!
As you approach the enemy field, you need to do a few things: First, make sure that your plane is set on "autotrim-on-level". The default key for this is [X]. Your plane is in autotrim-on-level mode if you see that a blue light is illuminated in your cockpit view. Second, set your throttle to 60%~70%. Next switch to bombadier view. The default key for this is [Y]. Once in this view, press your "back view" button. If you use the number pad to change your views, then number pad does this. For those that are using joysticks with hats, simply pull the hat back with your thumb. This brings you to the bomb-sight view.
The bombsight view displays where the bombs will be when they strike the ground. But it only does this accurately if the plane has been flying straight and level for a sufficient amount of time. How much time? There is a scale visible in a corner of the bomb-sight view above which is inscribed "bomb-sight deviation". The needle of this scale must be centered after which a green light will illuminate in the bomb-sight view that indicates that the plane is ready to accurately drop bombs. You can still destroy targets with the needle not perfectly in the center so if you find that the plane is not perfectly aligned to a target feel free to adjust, but the farther the needle drifts from the center, the less accurate your bombing will be.
The general order for destroying targets should be as follows.
1-radar 2-ack (beginning with the most heavy duty ack guns) 3-all other targets other than hangars and armory 4-Hangars and armory 5-Enemy jeeps
Ideally, the first target to be destroyed on the enemy airfield should be the radar The enemy can still hear your bombs explode but at least you will not show up on the radar. This also is important in the case where your bomber is shot down almost immediately as it arrives at the enemy airfield. When this happens other players or even you will be able to return to the enemy field without fear of radar detection. For medium and larger sized fields, the radar is in the center of the field. Its fine if, instead of being the first target, the radar is destroyed in the first pass over the field. When your bombs destroy their targets, the radio bar displays a message to you that shows the amount of time it will take before the target is repaired. If enemy jeeps appear, kill them AFTER the field has been closed.
Do NOT bomb the tower! Once the tower is destroyed, the field cannot be captured until it is rebuilt.
After all the targets on the field are destroyed, the field is closed. Whether or not you have bombs remaining it is always a good idea for the bomber to descend to around 5000ft and wait for the field to be captured. If an enemy shows up looking for your troop aircraft, you need to lure him away from the field by acting as bait or even shoot him down using your automatic gunners so that a team mate can capture the field.
Dive Bombing Tips from tazman88
The main idea of dive bombing is that a plane can still accurately hit a targets even without the convenience of a bombsight. The point of the bombsight is to account for the fact that the plane is traveling forward as it releases bombs, but if the plane is diving straight downward upon its target the bomb will also fall stright down. Thus, a dive bomber does not need a bombsight. In addition to the dive bomber, most fighter aircraft also make pretty decent dive bombers. Be very careful when dive bombing with fighters though. Some of them, such as the KI43 or P40 may encounter compression and require use of the elevator trim to escape the dive.
As with almost any situation in the game, altitude is your friend when you are dive bombing. It is bad enough that you will have to dive head-on into anti-aircraft fire. The last thing you need is the enemy shooting accurately at you well before you are directly over the target. Therefore, always climb as high as you possibly can before you begin your dive. Most artillery severely lose accuracy above 7,000 feet, so 8,000 feet or 2.5 km usually is enough.
Once you have arrived at your desired altitude, fly towards the target without decending. When the target is almost directly below your plane, roll the plane inverted, keep your wings level, and look "up" at the ground (Number pad ). As you approach the ideal starting point for the dive, the target will appear to drift closer to the middle of your monitor. When the target is in the middle of your monitor activate your dive brakes, set your throttle to "idle", haul back on the joystick, and aim your plane directly at your target. Release your bomb when ready. Generally, the longer the dive the more accurate the bombing will be. Be careful not to get too close to the ground as shrapnel can easily cripple or destroy your aircraft.
Once the dive has been completed, you have two options. The most attractive option is to use some of the excess speed of the dive to climb as high as your plane can. If there are anti-aircraft guns shooting at you, however, it is better to take the shortest path away from the field and then climb when a safe distance has been reached.
Torpedo Bombing Tips from tazman88
Torpedo bombing is similar to dive bombing in that aiming only requires that to you point your plane toward your target. In some ways, it is even simpler since you do not have the vertical dimension to contend with. That being said, unless released from far away torpedo bombing is even more dangerous than dive bombing as it requires your flying LOW AND SLOW for some time before the torpedo is released. During this time, you are vulnerable to enemy aircraft as well as the defensive guns of your target. Simply put, torpedo bombing is the least common bombing that players attempt to use because the chances of survival are slim, but torpedoes are more effective at destroying ships than bombs, so a successful attack is very beneficial.
Assuming that the target has already been visually acquired, the first step of torpedo bombing is to position your aircraft for the attack. Some pilots prefer for the target to be sailing perpendicularly to their fight path. The advantage of this approach is that the target appears larger, but the disadvantage is that the fact that the boat is moving requires the pilot to aim his torpedo ahead of the target. Other pilots prefer for the boat to be travelling parallel to their flight path. In this situation, the speed of the boat is irrellevant but it appears smaller which forces the pilot to fly closer to the target before actually releasing the torpedo. You can combine these two approaches in varying proportions to adjust to your liking.
- Aiming and Release
When in an ideal position, begin your descent to sea level. Level out at sea level and throttle down. Above 150mph, the torpedo simply disintegrates when it touches the water. All torpedo bombers can aim the torpedo with their bombsight, but most pilots prefer just to use the nose of their plane as a reference since the torpedo is never mounted crooked with respect to the plane's nose. When you are sufficiently close to the target release the torpedo, set the throttle to 100%, and adjust your flight path to take you away from your target as fast as possible.
By this point, there is flak exploding all around your plane. Because of this some pilots find it easier to not turn all the way around. They make a slight direction adjustment and fly full throttle above the water until it is safe to start climbing again.