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How to Bomb, Recce and Survive... Multiseat Airplane Essentials

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DrZebra

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How to Bomb, Recce and Survive... Multiseat Airplane Essentials

Post by DrZebra on Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:21 am

It is not unusal for new players to have some scepticism towards multicrew planes, as in both employing.. AND fighting them propperly you need to understand some basic stuff. We´ve all watched the movies about glorious fighter pilots and and fast paced, tough heroic action... and obviously the blue collar working class aircrafts exist only as targets, that were shot down in droves. WRONG.

The war in the air was ALL about them and the whole concept of a fighter airplane was only born, because you needed to stop the enemies working planes and protect your own.

ONE glorious fighter kill deprived the enemy of a tad bit wood and fabric, an engine, one or two machineguns and maybe a skilled, special trained man. ONE uneventfull non-combat encountering recon or artillery mission on the other hand could litterally spell doom to hundrets or thousends of men with their equipment.
And while the workhorses indeed were the most shot down, because they were the most nummerous employed and targeted planes, they also contained leading aces in shooting down planes. Yes, that clumsy Fe2b actually denotes "Fighter Experimental" or the nickname "brisfit" stands for "Bristol FIGHTER"

Twoseaters can fight? How is that?
the idea of a fighter aircraft with a forward fixed armament, superior speed and agility was born out of the need of chasing down aircraft.
But the difference in those qualities in WW1 between those planes, with number of guns beeing nearly always just about 1 or 2 pointed at the enemy as well as not so large speed and maneuverability differentials made life actually difficult for the fighter pilots. Yet still, their partly marginal superiority in these qualities made them superior in a fight, if these qualities were employed right.
SO: in order to know how to fight in a multiseat plane, you need to unterstand how a fighter fights against them efficently, and then trying to deny them that!

So, how then does a fighter shoot a multicrew plane down?
obvious, with its guns! tadda! Yes, that simple. If you get into a gunfight for life and death, you obviously DON`T want a fair fight or a throw of the dice, you want to win by bringing the more accurate, larger, faster deadlier gun...

And why are the guns fixed? Firing through the propeller, which lowers their rate of fire? Isn´t that worse then a mobile gun which is faster firing has a much larger area it can cover?

yes, it is worse.. IF you stay on a level. Look at one of the first fighters, the dh2: it has actually a mount (despite its functionallity not beeing modeled in RoF) that allowed for inclination and swivel, because thats obviously better.. or so, the top brass thought and pilots who actually had to go up in that contraption and had to fly a marginally stable aircraft while handling a gun spend long hours and weeks to argue with them that this idea was bullshit. Finally, a compromise was reached, and the mechanism remaind in place, but locked with the gun fixed...
And pilots carried that useless dead weight up, without ever thinking of using it again.. it was a pure "keep the brass at home happy" form of avoiding further arguments... and this wasn´t only due to usability:

Off course the obvious OTHER solution, was, to include a 2nd man to actually do the shooting and let the other man fly in peace... enter the Fe2b. Yes, Fighter Experimental. With a gun to the front, so you could actually shoot at what you´re chasing, heck even with some firing to the side and rear...  totally ÜBERkiller.

errm. NOT. Despite some successes of well trained and coordinated crews that even made  it to the list of the leading aces in aircombat, unfortunatly, as I said above, it turned out, that the usability reason was only the minor one.. the main trouble, and at that, I REALLY dare you to fly the Fe2b in RoF, is that a fast more agile plane can decide when and from WHERE to shoot you. Flying where you can´t really shoot someone well, THAT is the main job of the intercepting fighter. ALWAYS remember:

If you fly, as a fighter, behind a 2 seater, you are giving the enemy equal, if not more (because of the better area coverage in swivel-gun) time and place to shoot you. More time beeing shot at results in more invitations to desaster, it really is simple math.  
So your job is to give the enemy an as difficult as possible firing solution, while you want a simpler one... remeber more shooting at him then he can at you. that is ALL the secret. The more the difference between flight vectors in speed AND angle, the harder it is for the reargunner. And with angled deflection shots, diving in at high speed from above, at best from the front or side arcs of the enemy, you give him a very much harder job. thats why fighters have still today speed, agility and FIXED guns.  
 
if you attack from below, make sure it is a surprise attack and RUN if it isn´t... OH, but if you run, don´t forget that PHYSICS arn´t on your side: Up equals stored energy, and heavy plane up, means even more stored potential. And having a clumsy DFW bomber right on your tail on your ohhh-so-superior racing spad fighter is not gona look good. But physically possible.

and that, means inversly to that above, dictates how you fight in a twoseater:

stay above, stay above, stay above. Use the nose gun only for aggressive maneuvers to threaten the fighters into defensive maneuvers, so that they waste energy, but then don´t pull the maneuver all through or get too tailchasy.... conserve alt and energy at all costs and give the gunner the shots.

here is vid of me that does not look spectacular, but proves the point: I give up my bombs (and hence the mission, but I can fly that another day if I live) at the very first contact and use the climbing ability of the empty DFW then to stay above two triplanes of experienced players. Both with the smart idea of taking a 2nd gun gun mod, much to my delight, because together with the clouds shaping the battle arena, they CAN NOT get above me and hence can´t threaten me.
the server gave me both kills, the statsprograme only one, because one was disconected falling down, but hey, it was about survival:



note how I dive on them but do not fully go and turn after them. Take a bad shot to scare them into defensive maneuvers wasting energy, while retaining yours.

it also works inversely: even with a slower fighter against a "fighter twoseater" that can theoretically outfly you, the energy advantage is your friend. the "tailchase" is almost NEVER your friend, save for some ai-misbehaviour. see how staying above with difficult solutions for the reargunner takes time, but is unbeatable effective. (the vid is very old, from a time were there were no dispersion and anti-ai-sniping patches.. it is easier today)


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DrZebra

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Re: How to Bomb, Recce and Survive... Multiseat Airplane Essentials

Post by DrZebra on Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:39 am

So, after the survival aspect: down to bombing


because, really, photo recce and artillery observation are not that difficult in MP. Just read the briefing, stick to the assigned area and altitude and click the pic button or loiter. No big deal.


precison levelboming on the other hand is very survivable, usefull and satisfying. When I was new to RoF, I couldn´t compete with the experienced players online.. no, not at all. But having played airplane games before, I could think, fly and navigate. Just all the stuff you need to do the real important work and fly workhorses. OR have fun:  the superüberfighters with a 10.000:1 killratio suddently apear a whole less frustrating, if they blow up unsuspecting, like here: total german side numerical domination, few allied players and a bloody channel to cross..  yes, i recomend that in case of frustration: payback (TM)



but, how it is done?  

it all comes down to some very few things: planning, altitude, information and a good approach.

planning:
unfortunatly, surviving takes time. DON´t expect your workhorse mission to be short. it more often then not, it isn´t. If you plan on making a vid, use a safe back area to climb, with the recording off. You need time for altitude, and doing it where nothing happens is good. Then plan a route. Don´t go through the main defenses if you are not prepared to fight (meaning that you bring friends!)

altitude: don´t go under 2000m / 7000ft, including over the lines. flak is deadly below 1000m. ok at 1.5 and 2 is almost safe. it also helps with the fighters.

information: you need reliable wind info for precison. read the briefing and double check with the windsock. Except for the HP, all aproaches to bomb need to be with or against the wind. (more later).

approach:
the key part to success. like in landing. a good approach is the only way to a good result.
fly it against the wind, if you are unsure how the target looks like, you got more time that way, and with the wind if you are all certain (faster in, faster out, less time over target-> less vulnerability.
make the final leg long, so that the speed can settle and you get reliable readings. and have some correction room.

on the bomb dial: set speed first, then wind. if you set 0 alt, you can look further ahead and line up better. line up, then set the altitude gradually as you get closer, to keep the target in view...

remember
backwind and high speed the view lets you look further ahead, the less speed and the more alt is on the dial, the more you look down!
the wind dial for front/back wind can be replaced by adjusting the speed (breguet has none!) 1 m/s wind equals 3.6km/h. So if you have no wind dial but 3 m/s headwind, just dial in a speed reduced by 3x3.6

and here it is all explained as vid, from a jg 5 guy. I do it a bit different, but you ´ll get the drift.
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DrZebra

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Re: How to Bomb, Recce and Survive... Multiseat Airplane Essentials

Post by DrZebra on Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:22 am

for a bit more "historic" accuracy (instead of that precision approach) a more simple plane without a bombsight is good: the sopwith strutter. it also goes with other bombing planes (se5, camel etc) but you have to empirically test what structure parts and viewangles work...

but here is how you still can hit something (sometimes) where NO-One is expecting it: non-bombsight planes in level bomb runs.. that one is at least a psychological surprise to most ;=)

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Re: How to Bomb, Recce and Survive... Multiseat Airplane Essentials

Post by DrZebra on Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:54 am

the zeebra-quickguide to multiseat planes...



What are the good/dangerous/fun planes and why?



germans:
all german two-seaters are good to excellent. the only multiseater, the gotha is a deathtrap. fun but a deathtrap.

gotha: marginal climb at full load.. gettin it to 2k alt takes about an HOUR. it can´t fly on one engine, any engine damage and it comes down. But it has a 300kg bomb.

DFW: MUST HAVE. long service life, so from early to late war available and competative in all timeframes. Carries the largest bombload of all german twoseaters and has by far the fasted climb (think:mission time shortest!) very very durable, nice flying but bad spinning, has terrible troll-potential, as the reargunner can actually fire forward between the wings (careful with the wire!) and it has a very good dive for attacks. I´ve seen one shooting down a surprised pair of fighters in one dive.. front gun on one, the reargun on the wingman.  

Roland CLII: almost must have, it is only early war, very durable (but takes engine damage quickly, if fired at from the front) but extremly fast for its time. bad roll movements, but can be snaprolled, foolproof filght behaviour, looks awesome and has best crew visibility. landings are easy, but failed ones produce dead gunners. can be an effective energy fighter, despite slow climb, as it has excellent energy retention.

Halb CLII: basically an overweight albatros with a reargun. the 200hp variant is good at altitude, fun but nothing special, slow climb.

W12: floats, no bomb load, good feeling FM, but very slow, slow climber, good durability and nice flight behaviour. I just love it, on seapatrols, but it can´t catch up with its intended prey, the felix. still: can be very leathal if flown right.

allied:

overall best planes:
Breguet, DH4 and Brisfit

breguet: built like a tank, fast, good climb, good bombload. con: difficult instrument/bombsight combo. has rubberband actuated flaps and overly nice low speed handling. Empty and up high a real threat to any fighter...

DH4: dedicated fast bomber. very fragile wings but with the overpowered FM (like the brisfit) it flies.. ooh boy. it can outrun an alby with bombs on, if you limit yourself to the 2 large bombs. no other plane can do that. And it has gunmods for SIX guns. 2 rear, 4 front. that is the best firepower money can buy in RoF.

Brisfit: a fighter with a reargun. a REAL fighter. very marginal hole-in-floor bombsight that only works at certain speeds and altitudes (noted on a brass plaque in the cockpit). Veery fun to fly as bomber with that bombsight and after the drop you are a true fighter and can patrol on.

HP: best multicrew plane, but vulnerable

Felixstowe: awesome.. and with gunmods the worst gunship in RoF, the overwing twin lewis with 2 other 2 twin lewis turrets + 3 more single lewis guns.  weak spot: engines. a good shooter can kill it in one go, as the engine falls off soon and then the wings collapse. shoot both engines off, and both wings fall off, making it a funny glider..
(yeah, i was happy when i discovered that accidentaly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xHyNWgeQa8&list=UU33W1AZIvPoblqk5tKxf08w )

sopwith strutter: 2 variants. overpowered and killer in its time. weakspot: wings. empty it can fly rings around any german fighter. fun.

fe2B: challenging, but daaaarn fun. and better then an fokker eindecker. hard against albies. greatest challenge to fly as a team and survive...

re8: MUST HAVE most realistic 2 seater experience, very good fm, cockpit and exterior model. again: use only the 2 large bombs, else it climbs to slow, empty you can take the weapon mod, but I wouldn´t. It is kind of hard to survive in. loong service life. good at the begining, outclassed in 1918.
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DrZebra

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Re: How to Bomb, Recce and Survive... Multiseat Airplane Essentials

Post by DrZebra on Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:59 am

off course that are just like hmm my oppinons.

here are some of requiems tutorial vids on the multicrew planes, for those who want a closer look on what is in there:

DFW:

the gotha:

and gotha landing:

halberstadt:

HP:

and the bombsight, which allows for crosswind:



requiems way of taking on twoseaters:
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DrZebra

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Re: How to Bomb, Recce and Survive... Multiseat Airplane Essentials

Post by DrZebra on Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:46 am

just another entry.. Thaatu has brought to my attention over at the forums that the "hide below" tactic, which not really advisable against human players works surprisingly well against the AI. Especially when you got a slow scout like the halberstadt DII and your energysurplus/room to maneuver into favourable attack positions is limited... in some planes it might be your only option. But it works quite well

the key here is to anticipate the left-right-left-right swerving of the ai and turn before they turn so you stay well below.. and it can be used with the ai-surpression tactic, if your aim is good enough, because the planes offer conviently the side to shoot at the observer, when they turn.

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Re: How to Bomb, Recce and Survive... Multiseat Airplane Essentials

Post by Dukely on Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:52 am

Ah yes! Classic!

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DrZebra

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Re: How to Bomb, Recce and Survive... Multiseat Airplane Essentials

Post by DrZebra on Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:10 am

another thing is:
if you have a plane with little firepower like the N11 or N17 which also have a very vulnerable engine, fighting DFWs is about the hardest thing, you can have against the AI. If you know this little secret (and shhhhhhh please!) it does get easier, though.

DFWs are tanks. But only in the fuselage. The wings can really be shot off quick, if you concentrate fire in one place.. it is basically like each wing has 2 "hit zones" and taking one out kills the plane. Most efficent is firing at the wingroot of the lower wing from below, as the bullets that pass through also damage the upper wing, so double chance for a kill:

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Re: How to Bomb, Recce and Survive... Multiseat Airplane Essentials

Post by Dukely on Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:12 pm

This is a good tip. In my Belgium career I encounter DFWs fairly often.

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Re: How to Bomb, Recce and Survive... Multiseat Airplane Essentials

Post by DrZebra on Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:27 am

fighting a dfw in the N11 with a higher level ai is pretty hard, watch out for white pilot scarves, those indicate ace-level ai. And it is going to take some ammo.. if you don´t be able to hit the wingroot, it takes about 2 full drums (out of your three) as ai has a higher resiliance to oiled engines and such as compared to players.
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Re: How to Bomb, Recce and Survive... Multiseat Airplane Essentials

Post by Dukely on Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:12 am

Ah, white scarves indicate aces. Good to know. Yeah in my last Belgium mission I encounter a DFW and didn't really bother trying to fight him since I knew he could take a lot fire and stay up.


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