As we all know RLDG is where the tactics rise, so I decided to make a corner for sharing all of our ideas together.
Of course it's not easy to overcome this learning curve only with words, it takes years to train someone or yourself and
people are sometimes getting confused about gathering intel for feeling themselves ready in the beginning and loosing their interest about
acting proper. With lots of manual summaries and personal experiences that we can put here, we may help others and ourselves when we doing it.
We can try to summarize some tactics and tips here that we gathered around and mix them with our aviation background from other sims or real life experiences,
please do the same with short explanations with adding references under them,so we will encourage ourselves together and trigger our flying passion for
our future virtual sorties. We will always find someone better than us but we can share what we got here to learn together as a community
that belongs to the hardest edge of this virtual simulation.
It's easy to find lots of information around but being able to read it directly from this forum will be always more effective.
Urgent detail gonna be short explanations with divided sections those not need to be followed each other so when we make this topic little big bigger, we can follow the titles easily. If you can use the same type of format, it may so useful for everyone.
I will start with the great list of words;
1. Try to secure advantages before attacking. If possible keep the sun behind you.
2. Always carry through an attack when you have started it.
3. Fire only at close range and only when your opponent is properly in your sights.
4. Always keep your eye on your opponent, and never let yourself be deceived by ruses.
5. In any form of attack it is essential to assail your opponent from behind.
6. If your opponent dives on you, do not try to evade his onslaught, but fly to meet it.
7. When over the enemy's lines never forget your own line of retreat.
8. For the Staffel: Attack on principle in groups of four or six. When the fight breaks up into a series
of single combats, take care that several do not go for one opponent.
GROUND SCHOOL and FIRST SOLO
This is just a game, you will respawn or you will be able to join an another fight without losing your life but if you want to stay alive and score with minimum risk,
you need to let your prey go sometimes. In some situations you will need to retreat, in air combat, that not means you are a coward, that means you tried your chance
and couldn't turn the tables or seems like you will enter a fight that you can't win, in that exact point, retreat and go for an another sortie next time. Focus on your
Kill/Death Ratio rather then Victory.
Close fight gives your bandit a chance to shoot you, if you really don't need to get closer, make him a surprise, main idea is not giving a chance to your rival to fight
with you under equal conditions. Gun range head on is one of the worst attack moves ever, don't put yourself in a condition like that.
In mid air, all you need is short and effective communication so BREVITY designed for that, if you give more info than needed or talk too much when flying with your team,
you will confuse them and steal their concentration rapidly, this will directly effect your presence.
Basic Brevity can be found here:
It's always better to get familiar with the airframe before the first flight, so whenever you unlocked a new one, I strongly suggest that go in test flight
and push the limits of the bird. Get info about the pit (even we have the general information at top left about IAS/ALT/HDG, those are definitely not enough)
You can use signature fighters for the basic idea of each nation.
-BF109E , FW190A5
-Spitfire MK I
(Will take screenshots with informations for each soon)
Remember the airframe is not a car, it floats in mid air and directly interacts with every factor from the environment around.
Basicly, plane uses it's control surfaces to control airflow around it.
flaps and slats (Secondary PITCH and ACCELERATION if available) and
trims (FINE ADJUSTMENTS FOR CONTROL SURFACES if available)
Different altitudes and speeds effects these surfaces and airframe reacts differently.
You need to find out these limits for each plane due to their aerodynamic purposes.
Detailed information can be found here:
Secondary Flight Controls - Rudder http://www.simhq.com/_air/air_001a.html
Secondary Flight Controls - Flaps http://www.simhq.com/_air/air_002a.html
Secondary Flight Controls - Trim http://www.simhq.com/_air/air_003a.html
You need to check 6 main gauges all the time, so you can draw a picture of your position in mid air, you need to know how is the airframe doing.
VERTICAL MOVEMENT INDICATOR
MANIFOLD AND BOOST GAUGES
Try to operate without using the map, guess your position, be familiar with the map.
Heavy armament comes with heavy weight and short term slow acceleration which leads to higher operating altitude.
Every plane has it's own food chain and playground, using an airframe outside of it's purposes will guide you to a fatal failure.
Use your ammo wisely, practice your convergence and use your MGs for calculating the lead, CANNONS for real damage.
Fuel effects your weight and playtime (availability) with range, you don't need to take more than 30mins of fuel for fighters in a FRB match.
Maps are small and you will need to RTB more than any other game modes. Decide how much fuel you need carefully.
Fuel management will increase your playtime, and using WEP more than needed will decrease it. Speed costs you bit.
TAXI AND TAKE OFF
Most of the fighters are tail draggers in WT, don't focus on your nose when taxiing, check sides and use the runway as a reference, place your bird
in the middle and lean to sides for better vision if needed. Don't pass 50km or 30Knots when taxiing, take it slow, line up your airframe, deploy take off flaps to
help the bird to get more lift in slow speeds and pushing the nose down, prepare yourself for the P-Factor (That's the main reason why you shifting to sides even lined up with the runway before moving due to reaction of the propeller with airflow in slow speeds, it turns in a single direction and forces you to move into because plane has not enough lift yet to overcome that) take it slow, tail wheel will hover first and your nose will go down but you will still be moving on your front wheels with more airflow passing through your wings, you will counter that drag with your rudders and keep the bird level after that, watch out for the propeller not to hit on the ground, pull the nose slightly up and you will try to gain more lift for being able to float in mid air. Give yourself more time to take off, until you know the minimum take off speeds for each aircraft.
Slow down to 250kmh and 100Meters AGL before lining up 2Km to airfield, that will be your finals, deploy combat flaps, you can only deploy your landing flaps
and gears safely below 200kmh, keep the bird around 180kmh and depends on your plane, stay at minimum 150kmh, lower speeds will cause stall and suck you through the ground,
before 150meters to runway, aim to the end of it, put your pipper at the other end of the runway and let the front wheels contact the ground. Keep the bird level, apply brakes
nicely like tapping on em, wait until tail wheel to contact the ground, raise flaps if you can for more stall that will act like a brake for you, pull the nose up all the way,
increase the brake amount and let the bird move below 50kmh, Hold the brakes all the way until stop.
Don't Climb into a Fight!
If you find yourself climbing into a fight you are almost always in the process of making a mistake. The enemy is almost sure to have the advantage in energy-state, and therefore have the initiative. It is generally very unwise to "force" an engagement from an inferior energy state.
Attack from a position of advantage!
Air Combat is War! Arena Combat is not the place for genteel dueling or gentlemanly "level playing field" flying. There are plenty of "Dueling Ladders" available for those so inclined. The Arena is not the place for that kind of flying philosophy. Its about using all the advantages that God gave you to shoot down other planes without being shot down yourself. Plan your attacks carefully. Move into a favorable attack position first - don't just "jump into" that fur ball! Take advantage of "blind spots" and distraction opposition to score quick kills. Never give the opposition "an even break", because he certainly wouldn't cut you any slack if the position was reversed!
Attack with surprise on your side!
There is no law against cunning. Look for setting up a surprise attack on a target whenever possible. Look for situations where the target may have poor SA; move into blind spots and sneak up on the target!
With a superior energy state go high
With an inferior energy state go low
If you have the better energy state you have the advantage. Stay above your opponent if at all possible. After completing a gun pass its usually a big mistake to "go low" to reengage. Going high conserves energy. Going "low" is good when on the defensive. You are in trouble, the most important factor is to keep your airspeed up. If you are in an inferior energy state and by attempting to "go high" you will be cutting your airspeed - you're a sitting duck! Keeping up your airspeed allows you to maneuver more crisply. And who knows - your opponent could make a mistake, which you could exploit with a bit of maneuverability.
When it Doubt - Go Vertical!
In air combat, especially in WWII planes, its almost always a good idea to use the vertical as much as possible. If you have the Energy level to "go high", its rarely a mistake to do so. Don't stick to "flat" turns in a dogfight! That will lead to very high insurance premiums.
Eternal Vigilance or Eternal Rest!
The Most important factor in Air Combat is to see the opponent! Spot him first (and his friends!), keep him in sight at all times. Whatever system you use for views, (castle switches, keyboard etc) learn it backwards and forwards before you do anything else! Scan your views at least once every 15 seconds even in a "quiet" sky. Otherwise the first indication of danger could be bullets ripping through your plane.
Learn how to count!
Don't attack outnumbered unless you have the energy advantage. The worse you are outnumbered the bigger the advantage should be. If you are badly outnumbered you only have to miscalculate the energy state of one of the enemy gaggle to end up going home via parachute.
Calculate firing lead before opening fire!
Don't fire first and ask questions later! Try to gauge the "Kentucky Windage" before you pull the trigger. Otherwise you might find yourself flying around without ammunition real fast.
Short Range! Short Bursts!
When shooting, leave the Water hose in the Garden. If you missed the target, be a man and admit it! Don't try to "walk" the tracers into the target plane, because ammo doesn't grow on trees! Short bursts initially, then if you really have the range down, fire for effect! Generally shots over 300 yards are waste of time against a hard maneuvering plane. Get in close and hit hard! If the target is flying straight and level, shots to twice your convergence range are allowed. Outside of that you are most likely wasting ammo unless you are flying a plane like the P38 which has no gun convergence. Remember that Cannon will "drop" faster than machine guns at very long range.
Get "Out of Plane" when being fired on!
No that doesn't mean bail out! When evading fire think aileron and rudder - not just elevator! The infamous "flat break turn" is the easiest defensive move to track with guns. That is an "in plane" maneuver, the easiest maneuver to maintain a gun solution on! Make the guy work for it. Use Jinking rudder moves and aileron rolls to evade fire. If you can force the guy to pull negative G's to fire, so much the better. He will be seeing "red" real soon.
Avoid "Dead Six"!
Its generally wiser to attack slightly from the side than to attack from a dead-on Six O'clock position. The targets presents a very small cross section from "Dead Six", which makes for a difficult shot except at point-blank range. At ranges over 150 yards, try to attack slightly from the side. This present a much larger cross section and involves a minimal gun deflection angle. It also helps avoid collisions!
Think Energy - Not Stick
There is an old saying "Colonels think tactics - Generals think Logistics". Well Fighter Pilots a similar adage. "Average Pilots think Stick - Good Pilots think Energy!" Even when in a tight fur ball always keep relative energy states in mind. This will allow you to evaluate what he can do, and what you can do with more accuracy. Always try to keep that last ounce of Energy in your back pocket as your "Ace in the Hole". You may need to play that card sooner than you think!
Turn into the attacker - not away!
Well this one goes back to Boelke! By turning "into" the attack you are maneuvering so as to avoid allowing the guy to get on your "six". By turning "away" from the attack you are making it easy for the attacker to gain angle.
Lead turns - Its not just for the vertical anymore!
Many pilots know that in the eternal battle for "angle", the "lead turn" is a useful tool. But they forget that lead turning is also permitted in the horizontal, not just the vertical. That is: lateral separation can be exploited just as easily with a lead turn as vertical separation.
Remember the "Rule of 45"!
When making a energy based rear quarter attack with a fair amount of closure on target, follow the target for about 45 degrees of "break". If you haven't killed him by then its time to Zoom and do another pass! Following that break turn too much will surrender your Energy advantage, and could lead to disastrous overshoots. Its generally a poor idea to follow an "out of plane" break down if you have a fair amount of closure on target. If the target breaks with a Split-S or similar maneuver (such as a slice-back) its usually a bad idea to follow, since your high speed will actually work against you as the target breaks low. Instead establish a lag pursuit situation or go vertical to establish a dominant altitude advantage with vertical separation. Then close in for another pass. Remember it is often takes several energy passes to "wear down" the targets energy state to the point where the kill is assured!
Lag Pursuit with superior Energy.
Lead Pursuit with equal or inferior Energy.
When attempting to gain gun angle on a target use geometry to close on target who has equal or higher energy by "cutting the corner" of his turn. That is, anticipate his flight path and and "lead" it. Lag Pursuit avoids problems with gun deflection and closure. Instead of flying straight at the target and taking a high deflection shot at his turning plane with a large amount of closure, simply "lag" out side his turn. That is, often you deliberately turn outside his circle, going high. This conserves energy advantage and sets up a more promising shot when you re-engage.
Always Fly Aggressively!
When in the Air, always think aggressively - even when you are on the defensive. One of the skills of all successful pilots is a basic killer instinct. Flying in a tentative or indecisive fashion will just get you killed. A good pilot will use your hesitation against you. While foolhardy recklessness is pointless, the good pilot is the master of the calculated risk. Building the judgment to know when a risk is justified is a key to success.
Know your Plane
Understand the strengths of your plane, and also the planes you are flying against. Their strengths and weaknesses should be etched in your mind. A good pilot knows how to exploit the strong points of his ride, and exploit the weak points of the target plane to get the victory. Don't fly "against" your plane by asking it to something its not capable of. You will die.
The Aileron roll is accomplished simply with a lateral (side to side) movement of the stick, and represents on of the most fundamental menouvers in ACM.
It should be noted that when the aircraft rolls inverted in a pure aileron roll (no other control surfaces other than the ailerons are used), the aircraft will drop in altitude. This is due to the fact that when inverted (at a 0 angle of attack), the aircraft's wings do not generate enough lift to counteract the force of gravity. An experienced pilot will use his rudder and elevator to coordinate the roll so as to maintain his altitude and vector.
The Loop is another basic componant of ACM. However, note that rarely should it implemented in full form during an actual combat situation. Occasionally, one will find himself in a continuous loop chasing an enemy pilot, or trying to escape an opponant who's E is too low to follow through. In other occasions, it will be used to maintain a position while rondezvousing with friendlies, or to look for possible threats on one's distant six.
Avoid intentionally initiating or entering a continuous loop when engaging enemy aircraft. The menouver will innevitable drain your E, and put you in a poor energy situation should more enemy aircraft enter the area. Simply be aware of what the loop is, and the fact that when broken down further, it's parts form the backbown of vertically oriented ACM.
Split - S
The Split - S is a means of changing direction rapidly, efficiently, with a significant increase in velocity due to a trade in altitude for speed. The pilot simply inverts the aircraft, and pulls back on the stick. When the nose once again meets the horizon, the pilot levels out, and continues on to his new destination. Use caution, however, when flying at low altitudes. It is all too easy to lose one's sense of altitude in a dogfight, and auger while trying to trade what little altitude one has for more speed.
The Break Turn is a flat, hard turn to the left or right, intended to spoil an opponant's firing solution. The pilot aileron rolls to either direction, and then pulls hard on the stick in an attempt to change his vector (direction of travel) as quickly as possible. However, this is a short term solution at best.
ALWAYS break into the direction from which the attack is coming.