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spiffyscimitar
09-11-2006, 03:17 PM
I know it's been discussed a million times already.. but I've been playing a lot of offline campaigns recently, and for the most part the dogfighting is as good as it gets. But some of the campaigns are geared to attacking bombers, and although I've gotten pretty good at taking them down without getting shot in the face, these missions really make me angry. There's no way bomber or AA gunners could've been this deadly,'casue if they were, they simply wouldn't have sent fighters to take them out. In several Pacific scenarios, my flight of 4 take off vs bombers or a ship and regularily I'm either the only one who gets back, or none of us at all. That's just plain silly. If that was the attrition rate they've though of something else to fight bombers, like maybe other bombers.

And it's simply aggravating to have the first shot blam you in the face or the engine. I mean, if at least it'd patter around your wings a bit I could evade, but the fact that the first indication that I'm in a bad spot relative to another bomber in the flight is that I'm already incapacitated is just angering.

It just seems vs AI gunners, I'm fighting a game, and not a simulation of humans firing guns at a hard to hit moving target, and it really, really ruins the immersion. And why hasn't someone figured out how to mod this and get the AI to spray more, or in a wider cone, or fire in smaller bursts, or something?!

FritzGryphon
09-11-2006, 03:46 PM
The attrition rate is that way because the AI fighters are suicidal. If you're getting shot down, it's probably for the same reason.

More silly is the expectation that you will down 5 bombers a mission without a scratch in return. Against well armed bombers, fighters generally suffered many more casualties than those inflicted (in planes shot down). In PF, on the other hand, bomber losses are always much higher than fighter losses. Against 30mm armed planes, the fighter losses are often zero. This is not historical. Oleg has commented that the gunner effectiveness is deliberately low to make it easier for the player.

If you think they are too good compared to real people, try playing against human gunners. They are far more deadly than the AI could ever be.

I used to have a track of me shooting down 4 ace B-17Gs with a 109F2. I ought to make a video and post it in every gunner whine thread.

An even better way to see that the gunners suck, is to actually fly a bomber. As soon as you come under attack, your bomber anger will be quickly replaced by fighter anger, as your gunners fire blithely at nothing. It's always overmodeled until you're flying it.

By no means am I saying the gunners behave realistically; they don't. That said, they are still ineffective.

VW-IceFire
09-11-2006, 03:51 PM
Its true that the AI gunners aren't perfect...and it does seem that they operate differently from when you're in the bomber and when the AI is in the bomber but lets look at something else.

Four planes going against how many bombers? That sounds pretty paltry.

Combined attacks on B-17 daylight raids were probably in the range of 15-30 fighters attacking in relatively short order flying through the formation at high attack speed (usually from an angle). There would be say 60-200 bombers depending on the year and target. Obviously not realistic given current CPU/AI limitations but I'd, in the mission, send out far more than just four fighters to take on a well armed formation. Unless they were IL-4s or DB-3s....then its no problem.

Thats alot of guns and alot of fighters to point at them. Not saying that the AI isn't a bit odd sometimes (I've learned to set my bomber AI in my campaigns to rookie so they aren't too killer - some campaigns set them to vets and thats where the first hit kill stuff comes from) but I think the numbers and perception of what is and isn't possible is a bit off sometimes too.

I don't know if this is your method...but flying into a bomber formation using the stern attack method is the worst possible method. In the game, the AI gunners at the front of the bomber are totally unable to track anything at all. Head on attacks were probably more dangerous in RL than in game. From deflection angles like side, top, and bottom attacks the AI fairs between very good to "can't hit the broadside of a barn door". The AI excells at stopping rear attacks...and most people....particularly online use this method. Its by far the easiest attack...

But it really shocks me how many use no tactics a'tall to attack a bomber formation. Just straight on stern attack. Me as the occasional online bomber pilot and often taking the role of the gunner find that its VERY easy to pick off a 109 or 190 or another type of attacking fighter when they make themselves such an easy target. It probably wasn't quite as easy in RL...but I'll be willing to bet that if a B-17 stern gunner saw a 109 flying straight and level directly towards his bomber...he'd probably blow it clean out of the sky.

spiffyscimitar
09-11-2006, 03:53 PM
hmm. Can anyone find reference to historical bomber/fighter losses, and/or accuracy or difficulty for fighter pilots vs bombers?

I remember reading a memoir somewhere of some pilot's complete disdain for AA fire from ships, whereas I regularily take hits from anything pointed my way.

as for human fire oline, well, was a real ww2 turret as easy to point with as a mouse?

VW-IceFire
09-11-2006, 03:58 PM
Originally posted by spiffyscimitar:
hmm. Can anyone find reference to historical bomber/fighter losses, and/or accuracy or difficulty for fighter pilots vs bombers?

I remember reading a memoir somewhere of some pilot's complete disdain for AA fire from ships, whereas I regularily take hits from anything pointed my way.

as for human fire oline, well, was a real ww2 turret as easy to point with as a mouse?
Some were fairly easy to point...the flex mounts were probably VERY easy to point (as easy as pointing a .30cal .50cal MG can be). Stabilization is another problem...so accurate fire not so much.

The powered turrets on the B-17s or B-24s were fairly easy to aim and use as I recall reading. Later on they had gyro gunsights as well. The B-29 had a sophisticated fire control system so the gunners weren't actually at the guns but nearby at portholes directing fire with stabilized gunsights.

I think the worst part was not aiming the guns persay but the conditions in the bombers. Incredible cold, oxygen masks, fear, panic as the enemy attacks...the whole fog of war thing so you never quite know all that is going on.

I remember reading about the Bf110 pilot who was attacking a B-17 formation for the first time. Flew straight in...at long range he started to hear the bullets bouncing off the plane (out of range and no longer dangerous) and it sounded like rain on a metal roof. Then they got closer and the "metal rain" turned into more of a storm as they got into range and were getting ripped to pieces by machine gun fire.

On the other hand...gunners rarely knew exactly what they were shooting at or what they were hitting. One gunner in an interview said that he never kept count of how many planes he damaged or shot down because he never knew who hit what...there was just too much gunfire being exchanged.

tigertalon
09-11-2006, 04:03 PM
AI gunners perform quite weird. Sometimes they are able to take your engine out wit a single bullet from a 1000m and high deflection angle, on the other they just sit quietly altough there's a fighter on their perfect 6 100m away.

In attack on Schweinfurt, approximately 60 heavies were shot down and around 50 german fighters. I think it's safe to assume the ratio to be around 1v1 for this particular battle. Which is still a great victory of fighters, as they have only single engine, single crew and fought over friendly territory.

Kuna_
09-11-2006, 04:22 PM
Originally posted by spiffyscimitar:
I know it's been discussed a million times already.. but I've been playing a lot of offline campaigns recently, and for the most part the dogfighting is as good as it gets. But some of the campaigns are geared to attacking bombers, and although I've gotten pretty good at taking them down without getting shot in the face, these missions really make me angry. There's no way bomber or AA gunners could've been this deadly,'casue if they were, they simply wouldn't have sent fighters to take them out. In several Pacific scenarios, my flight of 4 take off vs bombers or a ship and regularily I'm either the only one who gets back, or none of us at all. That's just plain silly. If that was the attrition rate they've though of something else to fight bombers, like maybe other bombers.

And it's simply aggravating to have the first shot blam you in the face or the engine. I mean, if at least it'd patter around your wings a bit I could evade, but the fact that the first indication that I'm in a bad spot relative to another bomber in the flight is that I'm already incapacitated is just angering.

It just seems vs AI gunners, I'm fighting a game, and not a simulation of humans firing guns at a hard to hit moving target, and it really, really ruins the immersion. And why hasn't someone figured out how to mod this and get the AI to spray more, or in a wider cone, or fire in smaller bursts, or something?! My opinion is that they are too effective, but...
I find them most realistic when set on "Rookie" level.
That way I'll get shot pretty much only if I get slow around the bomber and/or park on his 6.

Here are two tracks against 4 bombers; one in Hurricane vs. He-111s other in P-40 vs He-111s on realistic settings:
http://www.filefactory.com/file/f8c441/
Patience is the key here.

Also most of them can be destroyed by very very simple tactic (even high skilled): approach from dead 6 and gain on him. At 500m open fire while you still gaining on him. At 300m you must break, otherwise if bomber is high skilled gunners will get you.

In Pacific theatre, this kind of anti-bomber attacks work almost flawlessly. Especially Betty bombers hit them in fuel tank and they will ditch it's a matter of few minutes up to 15mins.
I've once tested how long G4M can be airborne after it gets fuel leak. I've used F2A and I hit G4M with 2 bullets in wingtank only. I don't think it lasted airborne more than 15mins on 100% fuel. It's quite easy to check it out.
D3As are laughable against .50s and so is their rear gunner defense against heavy american fighters, B5Ns are more tough but nothing to write home about.
US bombers are tougher to bring down that's for sure. But for instance, as soon as B-29 gets thick black smoke from one fuel tank it's doomed. Also the matter of minutes.

Vulnerable area on almost every FB/PF bomber is outer wing tank. Therefore it is the perfect target... if I can choose where to hit them that is always my first target on bomber.

TROOPER117
09-11-2006, 04:31 PM
From Proffessor O.P.Fuchs, weapons expert assigned to the North American Committee for Aeronautics in the USA..
" From 22 Feb to 26 Mar 1945, aircraft losses ratio was 1 to 7.5... So, for the total of German fighters destroyed, there were seven and a half times as many allied losses, with a large proportion of those being four engine bombers "...
(from the estimate of onboard weaponry efficiency..).

Interesting eh?

Regards.. Dave S.

Warrington_Wolf
09-11-2006, 04:40 PM
Im currently flying the USMC campaign, Im on Guadalcanal and most of the missions are to intercept air raids.
I have no problems with the bombers if my wingmen cover me. What I do is come up from below and when the bomber is almost directly overhead, I pull up sharply and fire at one of the engines. By the time anyone can take potshots at me, their engine is blazing and they are dumping the bombs and bailing out.
I got three of the buggers in a row then got whacked be a Zero and had to RTB.

berg417448
09-11-2006, 04:41 PM
Originally posted by TROOPER117:
From Proffessor O.P.Fuchs, weapons expert assigned to the North American Committee for Aeronautics in the USA..
" From 22 Feb to 26 Mar 1945, aircraft losses ratio was 1 to 7.5... So, for the total of German fighters destroyed, there were seven and a half times as many allied losses, with a large proportion of those being four engine bombers "...
(from the estimate of onboard weaponry efficiency..).

Interesting eh?

Regards.. Dave S.

Was that losses specifically to German fighters or was that one month losses to all causes (Flak, accidents, weather...)?

Also...was that German fighters destroyed by bomber gunners or destroyed by all causes?

Freelancer-1
09-11-2006, 04:53 PM
According to my sources (12 O'clock High)

Unless you are the protagonist, your odds of surviving more than one episode are minimal at best.

Jaws2002
09-11-2006, 05:39 PM
The specialized bomber destroyer units in late 1944/early 1945 were a heck of a lot deadlier to the bombers then Schweinfurt raids. But only when they got to the bombers and were no allied fighters around. Jg 300/301 and JG4 were extremely deadly to the bombers when they could get to them.

Just read Eric's posts in this tread on WW2aircraft.net forum.

http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/ww2-general/my-cousin-834.html


They were most of the time waxed before they could do much damage, but when they managed to get to the bombers and were no fighters around this Sturm units shot down a lot of bombers.

I don't have many problems with the gunners in this game other then the high G's situations. You know, when a pilot rolls, dives turns and twists the bomber allover the sky and the gunner hits you in the eye at 90 degrees deflection. This kind of shots are pi$$ing me off sometimes. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
The only thing that may need adjustment is accuracy in high G/speed situations.

I'll usually do better then my AI gunner in a level flight or predictable situation, but put a human pilot in the pit when I'm gunning and let him do some pilot cr**p. I can't hit nothing in this case. I don't think AI should either in that situation.

Zeus-cat
09-11-2006, 05:42 PM
Keep in mind that this sim has limitations. You can't replicate a 300 or more bomber raid. With that many planes you would have great overlapping protection. Since you can't have thta many planes I think the AI gunners are better than they should be in each plane. It sort of evens things out.

TX-Gunslinger
09-11-2006, 06:42 PM
The best human bomber gunners that I know, are more accurate at long range than AI. AI are hard but the best humans are outrageous. A good human will not allow a six attack unless excessive speed and angle is involved. AI gunners are vulnerable to the same motion (changes in pitch and yaw) that I learned for ground based AI gunners from Dart's videos.

If you can't connect at 700 meters with 151/20 or 108's then don't try a stern attack against proficient human players. If you wait till 400 you won't have an engine or maybe a pilot, even if in a 190.

Head on attack is best against all bombers, but easier said than executed. Smart human bombers will turn into you while your attempting to parallel their course to get out in front far enough to reverse. Many online scenarios don't even have enough real estate to execute real-world attacks. Players don't typically have the patience to fly around for 15 mins attempting to get into position.

Successful (surviving) Sturmbock pilots displayed a preference for taking out gunner positions prior to attempting to destroy the aircraft. Works in Il2 also.

S~

Gunny

Saburo_0
09-12-2006, 12:50 AM
Intersesting psot on a recurring topic!

Tater-SW-
09-12-2006, 01:01 AM
I find the single backseat guy with a flex gun to be FAR more scary than a larger bomber with turrets.

Honestly, a Val tailgunner is more scary than a B-29, IMO. That part seems goofy.

tater

SeaFireLIV
09-12-2006, 01:35 AM
Try taking on a Human gunner who`s jumped in the back seat of a bomber. He`s way deadlier than the AI.

Even so, I`m beginning to believe that bomber AI are a little too accurate. I`ve learned to avoid them, but I notice when a bomber is making a heavy turn or being `rattled` by my shots in the gunner area, the gunner seems unaffected by the obvious jostling and bits that`s be flying around. He appears to have no fear of death and can track like he`s using a radar tracking computer.

Remember, a small movement by the bomber would translate as a large movement for the gunner.

But I hear Oleg`s BOB will make gunners more Human. In the meantime you could try BOBwov`s shockwave bombers. Now they feel like a breeze after IL2. They never headshoot you, and they always seem to have difficult hitting your plane unless you fly slowly through the midst of a large formation.

Chuck_Older
09-12-2006, 09:21 AM
Bombers *

Well, I know a bit about attacking AI bombers. Firstly, you can, if you know how to do it, attack some of them from dead six, and get away with it. Take the SB2M-100A for example

If you come in high and fast, from dead six, out of range, dive down under the bomber as you get about ~250m away, then level off at the bombers altitude, you can plaster him from dead six. The key is to get the rear gunner moving from upper to lower gun positions. Ace and veteran gunners are still too good no matter what, but most campaign builders and mission makers realize by now that anything but rookie bombers is above and beyond what a player can expect to defeat using reasonable tactics. The tactic above works on some bombers, not all

The preferred tactic is a high side attack in my opinion, but just like real life, you need good marksmanship. Get about 300m above your target, from about 500m out to one side so he€s right next to you, bank turn so that you€re diving down on him from above and to the side. Rake the bomber from nose to tail as he passes in front of your guns. Dive under, build speed, climb, and turn back to the bomber, then repeat

Attacking some bombers from behind and underneath makes sense. The B5N is giving you trouble? Well there€s no guns underneath. Attack from there

Head on passes are pretty good, but you need to predict where the bomber is headed. One tactic I cannot master is flying high above your target, rolling over onto your back, pulling a split S, and attacking as you dive on the top of the target

spiffyscimitar
09-12-2006, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by SeaFireLIV:
In the meantime you could try BOBwov`s shockwave bombers. Now they feel like a breeze after IL2. They never headshoot you, and they always seem to have difficult hitting your plane unless you fly slowly through the midst of a large formation.

Yup. Playing BOB2 is what really got me seething in IL2.. even when I'm taking a stroll in a formation of enemy bombers, and getting plastered with fire (and beleive me, the sfx in bob2 really let you know your tin plane is taking hits), I'm still not head shot or engine shot at the first bullet. I do get mauled from time to time, but not in a manner that puts me out of the fight first time, every time. The shots are spread out, as if the gunner couldn't be certain of his aim, and was dragging his fire around, exactly like I would expect.
(un)fortunately for me, I just love playing user made campaigns in IL2, and wish this carried over to there.

But yeah, I have found my preferred way of dealing with it.. I generally fly parallel and high to my target bomber, and then when I have a small lead I dive and either hit them from their high 4'oclock and slash down, or dive low and then pull my nose up for a pass at their belly. My momentum takes me back up to their opposite side at the same heading, where I rinse and repeat with these 'figure 8' attacks. 6 oclock attacks seem to me to take much more ammo to get a critical hit, whereas off angle strikes (at closer range and higher speeds) usually get the engines ablaze more regularily (though I probably waste as much ammo in getting the deflection than I would straight behind, I don't know). Anyways, even still, it would be nice when I do get sloppy, that there might be an equally sloppy/panicked/noob gunner sweating at his station too.

bienenbaer
09-12-2006, 11:42 AM
But yeah, I have found my preferred way of dealing with it.. I generally fly parallel and high to my target bomber, and then when I have a small lead I dive and either hit them from their high 4'oclock and slash down, or dive low and then pull my nose up for a pass at their belly. My momentum takes me back up to their opposite side at the same heading, where I rinse and repeat with these 'figure 8' attacks. 6 oclock attacks seem to me to take much more ammo to get a critical hit, whereas off angle strikes (at closer range and higher speeds) usually get the engines ablaze more regularily (though I probably waste as much ammo in getting the deflection than I would straight behind, I don't know). Anyways, even still, it would be nice when I do get sloppy, that there might be an equally sloppy/panicked/noob gunner sweating at his station too.

I can confirm for 6 oclock attacs with some MK equipped LW plane on a B-17. Open fire at 700 - 500, break at 200 - 300. Your plane will take hits but remain flyable, while the B-17 is most likely done.

It's n00bish, it's easy, but it works.