View Full Version : air combat tactics

04-25-2006, 10:40 PM
I am a very good pilot (avg anywhere from 20 to 60 kills depending upon who I'm playing against) however it seems that when I get into circle battles with some players we can be flying the same plane and I do everything I possibly can to turn around on them and they somehow get around on me. My planes have been upgraded and I just can't figure out how they do it especially since it seems we are both doing the same thing so I was wondering if there is some trick to getting around a little quicker in these type of fights

04-29-2006, 08:11 PM
Turning 'inside' an opponent is possible for a number of reasons. You have pointed out that in your instance you are both using the same plane and that your planes have been 'upgraded'*, so that leaves flying techniques.

You're probably a good pilot and having upgraded your planes I assume you've completed the campaigns & such. The difference is that the AI hasn't been programmed to the point where you have to really use every trick available to you to win, whereas some of your fellow human pilots are going to need you to know your stuff to beat them.

The main thing that you need to deal with is that physics plays more of a part in Blazing Angel combat than first appears (nor does the manual really help in this regard).

When you're in a turning dogfight, you need to get your nose pointed at (or leading) your enemy, preferably at their tail. Variations in your speed are what's going to help you do that, epecially when used in conjunction with gravity (yes, gravity).

Try this as an experiment. Fly straight for a while and then pull up into a loop, increasing power. You'll notice that your engine starts to cough and splutter as it struggles to power you upwards with decreasing 'lift' from your wings. As you become 'upside down' in relation to the ground, keep the stick pulled back but either reduce power back to normal or even 'brake'. This will increase drag and further slow the plane down, where gravity will take hold and you will start to fall. Done correctly, and with power re-applied at an optimum point you will re-gain control and instead of performing a roughly circular or ovoid loop you will actually have turned a much tighter circle.

The radio chatter often talks about stuff such as 'Split-S' or 'Immelman' to shake pursuers off your back. Personally, I feel Blazing Angels is too 'arcadey' to get much use from these, but the explanations are as follows. You may find them useful.

Essentially a maneuvre that looks like you've split the letter 's' with a horizontal line half way up. You travel in a straight line and roll your plane quickly 180 degrees (use the right thumbstick and push to either the left or right) so that you are still heading the same direction but now you are completely upside down. Now pull back on the yoke (left thumbstick) and half loop so that you are now flying straight and level with the horizon the right way up and you are travelling straight back in the direction you came from, just a bit lower than the level you were before.

Immelmans are named after a German ace, and they are exactly the opposite of a split S, except that you'll want to increase speed to perform well. So fly straight & level, then pull back on the yoke and increase power. When at the top of the loop, let the yoke settle back, and roll back onto your 'belly' so that you are now higher than before and heading back where you came from.

Both of these maneuvres have a long history of success in prop-driven planes prior to more modern technology and missiles & stuff. Another one which is often used is what's called a Hammerhead. The correct form of a Hammerhead needs 'rudder' control which you don't really get in Blazing Angels, but you can come up with something similar, if a little random.

Increase power and pull back on the yoke to go 'vertical'. Take this power climb for a while (remembering that if your enemy is close you are vulnerable because you're not really moving around too much and you're also slowing down. As the plane approaches a stall (listen for the coughing & spluttering of the engine) you're supposed to throttle back and use the rudder to just turn the plane to the left or right without banking (rolling). The plane twists its nose back towards the ground and you can power up to full and get yourself out of there at high-speed. This sort of works in Blazing Angels, too, but without finesse. Who cares, I suppose, as long as you get the enemy's guns off your tail. This is a very quick method of turning, and Blazing Angels does at least assume that the shape of the plane and the position of the engines will mean that at that stall point it will return the plane to a 'nose-down' orientation, so it is a very quick turn when it does happen.

06-03-2006, 04:34 PM
Don't get into a turning dog fight, look for two or three planes spining around and kill them all they'll never see you coming and it's effective, I like you used to do them same thing and get 30+ kills doing it but now I get 50-60+ kills flying stright though looking for a dog fight. when some ones on your *** the HAMMERHEAD is the way to go!!!! but don't fly straight up work your way up high moving around a little (wiggling around) other wise don't be a duck landing in a pond then pull up until you stall and then dive like hell to the floor at full speed, select a new target and attack it. Don't worry so much about getting shot ( you will ) worry about your kills, that's all that count in BA!

06-20-2006, 02:48 PM
Excellent point, kill more than the other guy, don't worry so much aboiut getting killed. Remember 72 virgins await, or is that 72 raisins...