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Thread: P-38 vs Zero | Forums

  1. #1
    O.k. I'm flying my beloved P-38 L (late) against some zeros, more specifically. The A5M4 and the A6M2. Now I'm no historien but I think this would've happened in real life all those years ago and I know that the P-38 shot down more Japanese planes than any other aircraft. But how'd they do it? I'm flying a 1 on 1, I've got the A.I. on average, I'm not an amazing piolet but I'm not too bad. It's impossible. I only managed to get one once. There just so much more manuverable. I challenge any one reading this to fly one on one in a P-38 against a Zero! Any tips, what am I doing wrong?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Pigeon_'s Avatar
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    The golden rule when flying US planes against Japanese planes:

    DO NOT TURN WITH THEM.

    Climb well above them, then make a diving pass at them. Don't turn too much during the pass. If you don't kill them (zoom) climb up again and go for another pass. Keep in mind that you're much faster in dives and level flight. The P-38 also climbes pretty fast, but I still wouldn't try to outclimb a zero.


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  3. #3
    1 on 1 situation naturally favours the Zero. WW2 wasn't fought in 1 on 1 combat. Try 4 vs 4 or similar and you can expect better results.

    O.k. I'm flying my beloved P-38 L (late) against some zeros, more specifically. The A5M4 and the A6M2.
    More suitable opponent historically would be A6M5. A5M Claude was actually used in late 30's and not after Pearl Harbor against Americans.

    I know that the P-38 shot down more Japanese planes than any other aircraft
    This is not true.
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  4. #4
    I think the Hellcat has the distinction of more kills. But that is another matter.

    The Planes in this game are not modelled correctly. This is more to the point. It is a game using the THEME of WW2.

    And Yes BNZ is the best tactic with IJA or IJN AC.

    BTW not all A6M designated planes were called 'zeros'. It did become a generic US term though.
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  5. #5
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    I gave it a try and came out victorious 10 out of 10 times, 5 vs A6M2, 5 vs A5M4. The A5M4, btw., is not a Zero.

    So my guide to easy victory is this (starting from quick mission builder standard setup):
    - Accelerate fully ahead, stay level.
    - When passing the enemy, gently pull up into the vertical. This way you use your biggest performance advantage, the zoom climb.
    - Roll your plane so that you keep track of the bandit through the top of your canopy.
    - When you go as slow as 200 km/h, gently pull the stick so you come out of the vertical, but are inverted. Pull far enough to get the enemy in the sight.
    - Roll 180?.
    - Now you are on top of the bandit, on his six, with him in your sights.
    - If you are a decent shot, he is done.
    - If not, make a pass, don't slow down, and pull up again until you're stalling. Then come down on him again.

    If something goes wrong, all you need to do is to enter a shallow dive and run with full throttle. You do this for a minute, and the bandit won't be anywhere close. You can then do an Immelmann turn and start again with the above procedure.
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  6. #6
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    1) A5M was not a Zero, and is unlikely to have ever met the P-38 in combat.

    2) Both planes are much more maneuverable than P-38s, in fact they were famous for that. Trying to turn inside them in a Lightning and catch their tails at low speeds, losing speed and energy, is simply a stupid thing to do and a sure recipe for defeat. Use your advantage in speed and do a fast pass trying to hit them, if not, extend on and don't turn till they're really far, and try again. Never lose speed or you're fried.

    3) "I challenge anyone blah, blah, blah". Don't speak like that. It makes you sound like a brat. No experienced gamer has any problem defeating average AI flying obsolescent planes like A5M or A6M2 in one on one, as far as they don't use that newbie tactic of flying a boom-and-zoom plane trying to make tighter and tighter circles inside a slower but obviously turning-designed opponent.

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  7. #7
    Originally posted by gdfo:
    The Planes in this game are not modelled correctly. This is more to the point. It is a game using the THEME of WW2.
    The vast majority of aircraft are pretty darned accurate. Certainly the particular match-up that is the current topic of discussion suffers little in terms of realism as a result of poor modelling. Historical tactics can and do work just as well as they did in Real Life (TM).
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  8. #8
    Senior Member VW-IceFire's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Tranie117:
    O.k. I'm flying my beloved P-38 L (late) against some zeros, more specifically. The A5M4 and the A6M2. Now I'm no historien but I think this would've happened in real life all those years ago and I know that the P-38 shot down more Japanese planes than any other aircraft. But how'd they do it? I'm flying a 1 on 1, I've got the A.I. on average, I'm not an amazing piolet but I'm not too bad. It's impossible. I only managed to get one once. There just so much more manuverable. I challenge any one reading this to fly one on one in a P-38 against a Zero! Any tips, what am I doing wrong?
    What are you tactics? If you use real life techniques against the Zeros in the P-38 you will win.

    The P-38 flies much faster, is tougher, has greater firepower, and climbs quicker. The A6M Zero on the other hand turns much more tightly.

    Find my missions at Flying Legends and Mission4Today.com.
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  9. #9
    There, there Tranny, Afterhours will take care of you.....

    First of all, these newbs all have it wrong.

    At one point in the development of this sim, Oleg Maddox told us that the AI has the same FM as you! So there is the problem with AI in this sim, If you fly your P-38, or even a jet against a Zero or a Gladiator biplane that is AI, it will perform much, much better than it would if it were piloted online by a human!

    If you want to defeat AI forget WWII tactics, you have to use "AI tactics". Fly low and slow, learn their patterns of attack and what they can and cannot do and exploit it. You can defeat ONE AI using Zoom and boom energy tactics easily, but you won't do near as well against multiples as you will flying low and slow.

    Here is a track I made of me defeating FOUR AI 1943 A6M5s with the 1943 P-38, all flying low and slow with them on the deck, full-real-hard settings of course, no track IR, just a twisty stick:

    http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=f...db6fb9a8902bda

    If you are flying online or on a network against Zeros that are piloted by humans, then it will be even easier. Most humans are much worse shots than this sims AI, plus your P-38 will have a great speed and fast climbing ability.

    So ONLINE you want to use actual WWII tactics, and against AI, use my AI tactics. I shot down 16 AI jets with one P-40 this way.
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  10. #10
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    Originally posted by Tux_UK:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by gdfo:
    The Planes in this game are not modelled correctly. This is more to the point. It is a game using the THEME of WW2.
    The vast majority of aircraft are pretty darned accurate. Certainly the particular match-up that is the current topic of discussion suffers little in terms of realism as a result of poor modelling. Historical tactics can and do work just as well as they did in Real Life (TM). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Well said mate.

    SOme people are just too quick to blame the modelling of the planes when the real reason why they are failing just needs a look in the mirror.

    The Zero was probably the BEST WW2 close in DOG-fighter. SO if you are using these tactics against them - you will most likely lose.

    Even a SPitfire has trouble with a Zero when close in dogfighting.

    You need to use realistic WW2 tactics that the P38's used. Strike from on high, if you are attacked use your speed to get away. The Zeros just could not fight on their own terms once the yanks started using these tactics.

    This is why speed is so important in air combat, and armies are not flying super manouverable biplanes any more. (Which they would be if dogfighting won air battles)

    Obviously a good dogfighter is extremely useful in wartime (especially if you HAVE to defend), but if the enemy uses the correct tactics, that quality can be negated. If you have a faster plane then you can usually dictate the fight, or even whether or not any fight takes place.
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