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bubba3884
04-13-2011, 04:27 PM
how come a wildly gyrating Me110 rear gunner with a light machine gun takes me out before I get near him EVERYTIME ?!? and I don't close slowly from directly arear either.

I've been driven away from this sim several times over the last decade for mainly two reasons

1. my flight leaders pulling away from me enroute to any target

2. unrealistically accurate rear gunners

I've been drawn back to the sim again because of some great mods and better computers - it is visually incredible! I can overlook all other shortcomings - but the inability to attack anything with a rear gun is ruining all game play for me.

Is there a setting or mod that can remedy this ?

Treetop64
04-13-2011, 05:08 PM
Mods a no-no here.

TD has adjusted the bomber gunner AI somewhat in v4.10 so that they are not as efficient as they used to be.

If you plant yourself right behind a bomber or attack aircraft with a rear gunner (bf-110, later mark IL-2, etc.) for the easy shot, you make yourself an easy target for the gunner. Adjust your tactics against such aircraft to make it harder for the gunners to hit you. This means you'll have to be patient and take the time to set yourself up for the attack. Dive down from high, make head-on passes, and attack from otherwise acute angles, but don't sit behind a bomber plugging away unless you want to get shot.

This also means you'll have to be proficient with fairly high-angle deflection shooting.

Ba5tard5word
04-13-2011, 05:49 PM
a) for a plane like the Bf 110 that only has a gunner on top, try and attack from a bit below it if you have to come from behind. That way it can't fire down at you most of the time. Same for planes like Il-2's and Blenheims and so on.

b) if you have control over the mission, set the AI for a plane with gunners to average or rookie AI. Veteran or Ace will turn the gunners into snipers.

c) if you have to put yourself into the firing arc of an enemy gun, try and weave around a bit rather than just flying in a straight line before you line up a shot.

d) Really the best thing to do against a bomber is to dive in at very high speed from above, but it takes a long time to get high enough above a bomber to do this and you only have a small window of opportunity for shooting.

e) the UP mod really improves the way fighters react to being tailed (no more annoying endless barrel rolls) but I haven't seen it affect the aiming of gunners. We can't give advice about the mods here so that is probably about as much as we can say here.


I do what I advised and I generally get lazy and just come in from dead six as fast as I can and fire a bunch then break off before I hit the enemy plane. Honestly it's pretty rare that I get hit and damaged, but there's always a risk that you get hit once and either your pilot dies or your engine gets knocked out or set on fire. Most of the time I don't get hit at all or I hear bullets hit my plane but nothing happens. You can't really get away with this with the big bombers like B-17's that are armed to the teeth with .50 cals...with those you really do have to make high-speed dives from above.

Metatron_123
04-13-2011, 07:43 PM
It's tough for sure.

The gunners shooting from wildly maneuvering planes is definitely a current game limitation. It couldn't happen in real life.

On the one hand follow all the above advice, on the other be aware that in real life the attacks weren't always well planned, nor were all the pilots masters of deflection shooting, but neither were the gunners.

I suspect there was a hell of a lot more wheeling around and nervously shooting at the sky than there was actual shooting down planes.

This looks like a particularly good interception, high speed attacks from above, only staying at the enemy's six for a couple of sexonds: USN guncam (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfqzZG8NzwA&NR=1)

That Betty, a plane that is supposed to be obsolete late in the war, is actually one of the toughest opponents to shoot down in game regardless of what you are flying! That rear firing 20mm cannon is murderous. It very likely was in real life too, but in game it's probably made worse by simplified gunner ai.

Romanator21
04-14-2011, 02:51 AM
USN pilots generally treated the Betty with respect due to that tail stinger. The video you showed contrasts wildly with footage of Mustang pilots going after Junkers 52s or 88s.

M2morris
04-14-2011, 06:23 AM
Originally posted by bubba3884:
how come a wildly gyrating Me110 rear gunner with a light machine gun takes me out before I get near him EVERYTIME ?!? and I don't close slowly from directly arear either.

I've been driven away from this sim several times over the last decade for mainly two reasons

1. my flight leaders pulling away from me enroute to any target

2. unrealistically accurate rear gunners

I've been drawn back to the sim again because of some great mods and better computers - it is visually incredible! I can overlook all other shortcomings - but the inability to attack anything with a rear gun is ruining all game play for me.

Is there a setting or mod that can remedy this ?

And also frustrating in the ETO is an AI fighter who just climbs like a batatta hell after maybe a couple of passes and it turns into a 20 minute chase-me up to high altitude game. That's why I always fly the PTO offline. The Japanese fighters are alot more fun to fly against. But their Bombers gunners have the same sniper abilities.
I am a crappy fighter pilot so I need the big-guns on the F4U1C.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pi31xsOXQwQ

BWaltteri
04-14-2011, 07:13 AM
Originally posted by Ba5tard5word:
a) for a plane like the Bf 110 that only has a gunner on top, try and attack from a bit below it if you have to come from behind. That way it can't fire down at you most of the time. Same for planes like Il-2's and Blenheims and so on.



It is no wonder that Il-2 always fly at low altitude; the same about wartime Blenheims that used to steep dive towards the ground and fly back home on tree-top level when they encountered fighters.

Worf101
04-14-2011, 07:32 AM
I've been playing the USAAF campaign against the Japanese over Borneo for a while now. I've played the same campaign pre and post the last patch. I believe that they have significantly reduced the sniper abilities of Betty rear gunners with 4.10. Trust me I'm not complaining, but where as before I couldn't risk getting within 700 meters of it's tail I can now close, fire and escape much more easily as long as I do it at a slight angle and with a high enough rate of speed.

They're still tough to bring down but you can get your licks in now and live to tell of it.

Worf

bubba3884
04-14-2011, 09:14 AM
Thanks for all the feed-back. I didn't want to turn this into a complaint thread . . . was just seeing if there was a solution out there.

From all I've read, most pilots bored straight in without fear of gunners because it was common knowledge how difficult it is to hit a moving target from a moving platform with a light machine gun. Even the Betty's 20mm was so inaccurate and its rate of fire and velocity so slow that allied pilots all but ignored it.

When I encounter a flight of unescorted Stukas or Kates, instead of licking my chops like in reality, I find myself turning away looking for the 109s or Zeroes because I know I probably won't survive the first pass against those rear gunners...

Sounds like 4.10 may have fixed the problem. Only thing is - I've got 4.09 looking so good now with the unmentionable M word - and I don't think I could ever give up 6 DOF.

Now if I could only keep up with my element leader without him screaming "what the hell" at me every 15 seconds . . .

Ba5tard5word
04-14-2011, 10:20 AM
The next version of UP is supposed to incorporate 4.10. (hopefully 4.101 actually) No idea if they'll change gunner characteristics, you'll just have to see. No idea when it's coming out either.

Metatron_123
04-14-2011, 11:06 AM
You can try HSFX in the meantime, it is what UP is based on after all. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Treetop64
04-14-2011, 12:12 PM
Originally posted by bubba3884:
When I encounter a flight of unescorted Stukas or Kates, instead of licking my chops like in reality, I find myself turning away looking for the 109s or Zeroes because I know I probably won't survive the first pass against those rear gunners...

No offense, but if you're getting picked off by Stukas and Kates, then the problem is almost certainly with your flying. Those two types are easy meat; slow with a weak gun. Again, if you're just planting yourself right behind them, then you're asking to get shot. Kates and Stukas are so slow that you should be able to hit them from every angle except straight from the back, and coming up from underneath is especially effective against these guys...

horseback
04-14-2011, 12:30 PM
Complaints about sniper ai gunners are as old as the sim. If you come within 200m of a single rookie ai gunner armed with a spitwad and a straw, your windshield will be covered with oil or your prop will run away 99 out of 100 times. The 100th time, he will kill you.

Many of us agree wholeheartedly with you about how unrealistic this is, but apparently it is a LOT harder to program the ai gunners down to a realistic (historic) level of inaccuracy than it is to set range limits (still grossly high) at which they will always get you, and there is also a lobbying group who are deeply concerned about ‘gameplay’ (these are mostly co-op bomber wienies who are afraid of losing their unrealistic advantage if the ai and Player gunners’ advantages offline are limited in any way).

In any case, that’s the programmers’ line, and they’ve stuck to it for almost ten years.

TD has nerfed the little bastages in a few ways; they are considerably less accurate in clouds and in the dark than they were, and some a/c gunners (I am convinced that the gunners on some aircraft types are much more accurate than others) at least are less prolific with accurate long range bursts than before.

However, there are still gunners accurately popping away at the Player while their aircraft is rolling, diving and looping, circumstances that in real life would have the poor fellow hanging on for dear life, groping for the barf bag and cursing his pilot instead of firing his gun, much less doing so with any hope of accuracy.

What I’m hearing about Cliffs of Dover is giving me hope though. Apparently the gunners’ job is now a lot more complicated than wiggling a mouse controlled pipper from a perfectly stable virtual firing platform to fire a virtual machine gun that suffers less recoil than the virtual fighters’ wing guns generate. If you’re going to opt for complex engine management/full real, you’re going to have to work a lot harder to shoot down an attacking fighter. Hopefully, it will also be easier to shoot up the gunners than in the ’46 version (where they are the next best thing to invulnerable).

That alone will get me to buy it once it becomes available in the US. I may not shoot down a lot of bombers, but I’m going to sieve the hell out of the gunners’ positions with my trusty Hurri.

cheers

horseback

Romanator21
04-14-2011, 03:02 PM
From all I've read, most pilots bored straight in without fear of gunners because it was common knowledge how difficult it is to hit a moving target from a moving platform with a light machine gun. Even the Betty's 20mm was so inaccurate and its rate of fire and velocity so slow that allied pilots all but ignored it.

Doesn't look that way to me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfqzZG8NzwA&NR=1

The fighters are weaving all over the place, not parking on the Betty's six.

If a fighter is coming straight at you, then deflection is a non-issue. The rear gunner did sometimes shoot down enemy planes. I read that a bomber on the Eastern Front had two confirmed kills of Russian aircraft on one sortie (I wish I remember the details). The gunners are not just decoration.


and there is also a lobbying group who are deeply concerned about ‘gameplay’ (these are mostly co-op bomber wienies who are afraid of losing their unrealistic advantage if the ai and Player gunners’ advantages offline are limited in any way)

It's nearly impossible to set up an attack with a bomber online. No one likes to fly in formation, and no one likes to escort you. I suppose it is more boring that going straight into a furball. Flying a Stuka is suicide unless you fly in at tree-top height and strafe the target like an Il-2 (which I personally think is ridiculous). It's times like those when you really appreciate having a gunner that can hit something.

Even offline in a formation and with escort your chances are very poor (as it was in real life). I think you will agree that it becomes aggravating as hell to not even get the chance to reach the target time and time again.

I think the best solution would be a model similar to Aces High in which two (or maybe 3) AI aircraft follow your own bomber. That way, everyone flies in at least some semblance of a protective formation. The server balance will also be more favorable to bombers - not just 2 bombers and 15 fighters per side.

horseback
04-14-2011, 03:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Romanator21:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">From all I've read, most pilots bored straight in without fear of gunners because it was common knowledge how difficult it is to hit a moving target from a moving platform with a light machine gun. Even the Betty's 20mm was so inaccurate and its rate of fire and velocity so slow that allied pilots all but ignored it.

Doesn't look that way to me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfqzZG8NzwA&NR=1

If a fighter is coming straight at you, then deflection is a non-issue. The rear gunner did sometimes shoot down enemy planes. I read that a bomber on the Eastern Front had two confirmed kills of Russian aircraft on one sortie (I wish I remember the details). The gunners are not just decoration. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Actually, you oversimplify the issue. An actual aircraft of that era in the best of situations tends to bob and corkscrew through the sky, even under the calmest of conditions. This gives you something other than a steady or stable firing platform. Added to that inconvenience is the seating provided for the average rear gunner; in many cases, it is little better than a sling or stool. A gunner in an aircraft that is bouncing in the wake of the formation a few hundred yards ahead needs abs of steel just to hold his torso upright.

Then there's the geometry of the shot at an 'incoming fighter;' unless that fighter is flying at exactly the same altitude and and directly behind (or in front of) you, you're shooting off axis, just like a fighter shooting with the 'ball' uncentered. In order to keep your burst centered on your target, you have to compensate according to the angle of attack and the speed of your own aircraft at a moving target less than five feet wide (from your perspective-I only consider the fuselage, because you literally cannot aim at the wings-you aim at the fuselage) at ranges over 100 yards/meters. As you know, that means that you cannot aim your gun's crosshairs directly at the target; you must lead or follow his position, firing at a point in the sky ahead or behind him, based on his vector and your own.

Firing a light machine gun from a stationary position at a moving target that size at those ranges is harder than you think; adding an unstable platform moving at speeds over 150 mph starts moving the task well over towards the 'its better to be lucky than good' column.

Shooting at 'attacking' motorcycles with a pintle mounted machine gun from the back of a pickup truck on the freeway would be a lot easier. Think you could handle that? Seriously?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> and there is also a lobbying group who are deeply concerned about ‘gameplay’ (these are mostly co-op bomber wienies who are afraid of losing their unrealistic advantage if the ai and Player gunners’ advantages offline are limited in any way)

It's nearly impossible to set up an attack with a bomber online. No one likes to fly in formation, and no one likes to escort you. I suppose it is more boring that going straight into a furball. Flying a Stuka is suicide unless you fly in at tree-top height and strafe the target like an Il-2 (which I personally think is ridiculous). It's times like those when you really appreciate having a gunner that can hit something.

Even offline in a formation and with escort your chances are very poor (as it was in real life). I think you will agree that it becomes aggravating as hell to not even get the chance to reach the target time and time again.

I think the best solution would be a model similar to Aces High in which two (or maybe 3) AI aircraft follow your own bomber. That way, everyone flies in at least some semblance of a protective formation. The server balance will also be more favorable to bombers - not just 2 bombers and 15 fighters per side. </div></BLOCKQUOTE> </div></BLOCKQUOTE> I had several debates over this subject over the years with people who presented themselves as co-op bomber enthusiasts. They were quite vociferous about protecting the mouse gunner option, because they feared being turned into the sort of bait that 8th AF bombers ultimately became until the Allied fighters cleared the sky of Axis fighters, because bombers alone faced with (competent) fighter opposition were toast throughout the Second World War.

As for wartime claims of gunners, most of these have been classified as propaganda, although I have to agree that the closer to the gunner you get, the better his chances of hitting you. Realistically, though, in most of the cases where the individual gunner was effective in real life, either the opposition got too close and too slow (essentially flying formation with his intended victim), or the pilot of the gunner's aircraft had nerves of frigging steel because he had to maintain a steady speed course and altitude while under attack in order to give his gunners a decent chance to shoot back.

Of course, given the literally thousands of times that bombers and attack planes were attacked by fighters, there were undoubtedly cases where the law of averages permitted a lucky burst or two. In the offline game though, the historical ratio is reversed, and I think that hurts the sim badly.

cheers

horseback

M2morris
04-14-2011, 04:05 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by horseback:
A gunner in an aircraft that is bouncing in the wake of the formation a few hundred yards ahead needs abs of steel just to hold his torso upright. [QUOTE]
Good point about the wake turbulence.
That is missing from the Sim.
Been in that alot IRL while on aero-tow, it smacks you around pretty good. I can imagine WW2 planes would produce some heavy smack-around.

Romanator21
04-14-2011, 05:07 PM
I had several debates over this subject over the years with people who presented themselves as co-op bomber enthusiasts. They were quite vociferous about protecting the mouse gunner option, because they feared being turned into the sort of bait that 8th AF bombers ultimately became until the Allied fighters cleared the sky of Axis fighters, because bombers alone faced with (competent) fighter opposition were toast throughout the Second World War.

My post had nothing to do with the mouse option but ok. I think there's nothing wrong with a mouse option - just change the way it operates, ie, not point and click. Add in some head-shake and "inertia" to simulate the weight of the gun.

Like I said, I realize that being a bomber was hazardous to one's health. I just don't think that people who want a break from the everyday want to sit at their desk flying a bomber for at least an hour to sneak around the enemy if they're guaranteed to be shot down anyway. There are times when modeling this realistically would be appropriate, and others where some slack should be given to the online player who is alone in a hornet's nest with friendlies who could care less. That is not what a real bomber had to deal with very often.

I'm not a bomber "elitist", but I enjoy flying the other aircraft in this sim besides fighters. But one finds himself in a tough spot because he grows weary of the same-old of fighters, and can't catch a break flying bombers.


Shooting at 'attacking' motorcycles with a pintle mounted machine gun from the back of a pickup truck on the freeway would be a lot easier. Think you could handle that? Seriously?

Don't get so worked up about it. I never said I was Rambo or could shoot at a moving target. You seem to think that I was making some boastful claims about my shooting skill, which I did not.

I was merely pointing out that the USN fighters were being very cautious around those Betties. They were employing the same tactics that a pilot in Il-2 should to down a bomber. They are probably well aware of that tail stinger and do as much as they can to minimize the risk of being hit. The gunners, even if they don't always hit, are not there for show - at the very least, they frighten the enemy enough to make his job more difficult. In Il-2, pilots give little thought to risk, because there is always a "refly" button.

I will say that in a B-17 I was able to stand quite easily. I always understood that formations were constructed so that no one would have to fly through prop-wash the entire time, but maybe I'm wrong. When the plane banked to turn, I had to put one arm out, which would probably make holding a gun challenging, but one doesn't usually spend his time banked in a formation, but flying straight. I don't think this would be much of a problem at all with a power-operated turret which is controlled with a yoke-like apparatus.

VW-IceFire
04-14-2011, 05:16 PM
Originally posted by bubba3884:
Thanks for all the feed-back. I didn't want to turn this into a complaint thread . . . was just seeing if there was a solution out there.

From all I've read, most pilots bored straight in without fear of gunners because it was common knowledge how difficult it is to hit a moving target from a moving platform with a light machine gun. Even the Betty's 20mm was so inaccurate and its rate of fire and velocity so slow that allied pilots all but ignored it.

When I encounter a flight of unescorted Stukas or Kates, instead of licking my chops like in reality, I find myself turning away looking for the 109s or Zeroes because I know I probably won't survive the first pass against those rear gunners...

Sounds like 4.10 may have fixed the problem. Only thing is - I've got 4.09 looking so good now with the unmentionable M word - and I don't think I could ever give up 6 DOF.

Now if I could only keep up with my element leader without him screaming "what the hell" at me every 15 seconds . . .
Pilots definitely did not bore in for the kill. That would have been the early RAF anti-bomber tactics that were rapidly phased out after they found out it wasn't useful for a variety of reasons.

There's a variety of attack patterns to use on bombers. High pass (dive from high), low pass (climb up from the bottom), side angle shots requiring good deflection shooting and finally the "dead" six pass. And there's a reason why we call it the dead six and that's because you are an insanely easy target for the gunners if you go and bore straight in.

With bombers you have to have a good amount of extra speed than them to make it worth it. You make firing passes rather than gingerly lining up behind them and trying to pick them apart with roughly matched speeds.

And to echo anothers comments... Kates and Stukas aren't a serious threat to a fighter. Although occasionally difficult I find I can wade into a formation of 12 or more Stukas or Kates and shoot down at least 4 and sometimes 6 without sustaining anything more than superficial damage. Sort of depends on the type of aircraft as well... but say a Yak-9 against Stukas or a F6F or P-40 against Kates.

It is hazardous and you do sometimes get hit but proper tactics make it difficult for the gunners to properly get you. And yes they did have some sniper tendencies and I see it MUCH less in 4.10. Also coming out of the sun will blind them so that's worth bearing in mind.

Ba5tard5word
04-14-2011, 05:57 PM
TD has nerfed the little bastages in a few ways; they are considerably less accurate in clouds and in the dark than they were, and some a/c gunners (I am convinced that the gunners on some aircraft types are much more accurate than others) at least are less prolific with accurate long range bursts than before.

Fly against a Pe-2 and you will get hit badly by its guns EVERY time, much more frequently than just about any other plane.


Originally posted by M2morris:
Good point about the wake turbulence.
That is missing from the Sim.
Been in that alot IRL while on aero-tow, it smacks you around pretty good. I can imagine WW2 planes would produce some heavy smack-around.

FWIW, UP 2.1 has a mod you can turn on that puts in prop wash turbulence. I dunno how realistic it is but it definitely makes air battles a bit more intense.

DKoor
04-15-2011, 12:14 PM
Yeah rear snipers are tough http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif .

Two tracks vs ace bombers:
http://www.esnips.com/nsdoc/ef...87da/?action=forceDL (http://www.esnips.com/nsdoc/efa646ab-a81e-4ade-9201-58b51d5487da/?action=forceDL)

http://www.esnips.com/nsdoc/7b...fa4c/?action=forceDL (http://www.esnips.com/nsdoc/7bed0e22-1bc3-4ed4-b270-f3ecfcdefa4c/?action=forceDL)
...good example of how one may penetrate their "bullet shield"...

You need to find space in which they likely wont hit ya... on several occasions I specifically trained vs ai bombers, ace ones, some of they are outright ridiculously good so you need to approach extra carefully.

Bf-110 gunner is very precise but you have to position yourself out of his reach which isn't too hard task, sometimes in spite of great shooting opportunity (dead six close) just stay beneath the 110 and seek another chance... gunner will rake you every time up close if you get him the chance.

horseback
04-15-2011, 02:05 PM
quote:
Shooting at 'attacking' motorcycles with a pintle mounted machine gun from the back of a pickup truck on the freeway would be a lot easier. Think you could handle that? Seriously?

Don't get so worked up about it. I never said I was Rambo or could shoot at a moving target. You seem to think that I was making some boastful claims about my shooting skill, which I did not. Not worked up at you specifically, but at the people who blow off the issue without thought. It reminds me a lot of the time I heard a chainsmoking coworker claim that he could surely run a mile in under six minutes if the world record was under four minutes (by the way, an average fit male under thirty would be pushing hard to do it in under 6:30). Ultimately, it cost him fifty bucks (and an @sschewing from his very irate wife).

This forum is dominated by people who play primarily online, and don’t have the frustration factor of trying to get through an offline campaign that is based on history, and getting stuck being killed or disabled time and again by a single gunner in a single plane (like a 110 or Stuka) from 700 plus meters away. It’s just silly, and I have no doubt that it has driven more than one potential devotee away from the series.

Some of us are not in the least interested in ‘game play’ in the sense that if it’s harder, it must be more realistic. We’re looking for something closer to historical reality, and historical reality was that more than 9 out of 10 times, a gunner (or gunners) in a single or pair of isolated aircraft was mostly there as a decoration, and had no influence over his aircraft’s survival.

I was merely pointing out that the USN fighters were being very cautious around those Betties. They were employing the same tactics that a pilot in Il-2 should to down a bomber. They are probably well aware of that tail stinger and do as much as they can to minimize the risk of being hit. The gunners, even if they don't always hit, are not there for show - at the very least, they frighten the enemy enough to make his job more difficult. In Il-2, pilots give little thought to risk, because there is always a "refly" button. Different war, different circumstances. The Betty was a fast bomber, and developed an early war reputation for being a dangerous prey in a tail chase. A Wildcat attempting an attack from the rear with a bare 10-15 knot speed advantage was subject to that 20mm stinger manned by a well-trained IJN Naval gunner, and if disabled, faced ditching or parachuting into shark infested, enemy held waters or jungle most of the time. People disappeared forever after ditching or parachuting within sight of escort ships or aircraft all through the war, so caution was warranted, especially when the intended target was notably easy to flame up with a few rounds on the inner wings from an off-angle attack. Hellcat pilots later in the war had no reason to revise their opinions of IJN gunners, even if they were less skilled than their predecessors—after all, the warnings were signed in blood.

Being hit by a bomber over land was a lot less of a sure death proposition, especially in the ETO, where a Western Allied pilot could expect reasonably civilized treatment if captured or wounded over enemy territory, and at least a couple of days off if over friendly territory.

I will say that in a B-17 I was able to stand quite easily. I always understood that formations were constructed so that no one would have to fly through prop-wash the entire time, but maybe I'm wrong. When the plane banked to turn, I had to put one arm out, which would probably make holding a gun challenging, but one doesn't usually spend his time banked in a formation, but flying straight. I don't think this would be much of a problem at all with a power-operated turret which is controlled with a yoke-like apparatus. First, I will state flatly that B-17s have some of the least effective gunners in the sim. The individual Fortresses hit you less often and not nearly as hard as individual aircraft like the He-111 and the other early war mediums or single engine attack types. If you’ve done any reading on the subject of the 8th AF bomber formations’ development, you’ll notice that the formations you refer to came rather late in the game, when they had 300+ bombers in a given attacking group, and even then, things rarely worked out the way they were supposed to on paper. You should also consider that except for wing leaders, every plane in a formation was trying to keep station on someone else who was trying to keep formation with yet another plane—this leads to a lot of juggling of power and trim settings, which in turn leads to a bumpier ride, particularly at higher alts than the less than 15,000 ft altitude that you rode at (you weren’t using oxygen, were you?).

I should also point out that the B-17 was a notably controllable heavy bomber for the time; most other large aircraft had a much tougher time keeping formation, including the mediums and twins that most other air forces flew.

The early war formations (particularly amongst the original participants) were more concerned with either keeping station on the leader or getting particularly tight bomb patterns, not mutual protection or keeping out of earlier formations’ wake turbulence, and the constant varying of power and trim was probably even more pronounced.

Second, the original complaint was about aircraft like Stukas and Me-110s, which like to flit and flop about like moths around a light bulb when you approach within 400m of them. In fact, most bombers in the game will leave formation at the drop of a hat if the player‘s crosshairs are anywhere in their vicinity and range (the sort of behavior that would get a pilot shot for cowardice in more than one air force back then) and most of them then engage in the sort of evasive behavior that would invariably interfere with their gunners’ aim.

…and yet, the little bastages never miss, even at extreme angles and speeds once you are within their minimum kill range, which is around 500m for Ace and Veteran bombers down to within about 150-200m for Rookies. They can and will hit you at angles the gunner could not see you from and angles at which they could not look over their sights to see the point at which they must aim in order to hit you. It’s like hitting an apple 100 yards away firing from the hip (while doing somersaults if the plane is banking or diving), AND they do it all the time.

cheers

horseback

horseback
04-15-2011, 02:24 PM
Pilots definitely did not bore in for the kill. That would have been the early RAF anti-bomber tactics that were rapidly phased out after they found out it wasn't useful for a variety of reasons.

There's a variety of attack patterns to use on bombers. High pass (dive from high), low pass (climb up from the bottom), side angle shots requiring good deflection shooting and finally the "dead" six pass. And there's a reason why we call it the dead six and that's because you are an insanely easy target for the gunners if you go and bore straight in. Pilots did not 'bore in for the kill' on large formations. The sheer volume of fire from 8 or 10 gunners raised the likelihood of being hit to uncomfortable levels, but if you caught a kette or vic of bombers toodling along by themselves without fighter escort, damned straight you and your wingman bored in and could expect to smoke at least two of ‘em if you were worth half your flight pay.

What crippled the Germen’s defense of the Reich was the elimination by a very few escort fighters of their twin engine heavy fighters, which had been able to break up the bomber formations from a safe distance. Once the bombers’ formations were broken, the single engine fighters could pick off the singletons and spares with relative impunity.

Without the zerstorers, though, all of a sudden the 109s and 190s were forced to carry the rockets and cannon pods, which limited their effectiveness when more and more escorts started showing up...

And let’s be clear; I’m not carping about a dead six approach. I get smacked all the time coming in on low or high four or eight o’clock angles, from low 5 and 7 o’clocks where the gunner couldn’t see me through the fuselage or tail surfaces (and I’ve checked enough tracks from the gunners’ angle to be sure about this), and they’re consistently doing it <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">from over 400m away. </span>
And to echo anothers comments... Kates and Stukas aren't a serious threat to a fighter. Although occasionally difficult I find I can wade into a formation of 12 or more Stukas or Kates and shoot down at least 4 and sometimes 6 without sustaining anything more than superficial damage. Sort of depends on the type of aircraft as well... but say a Yak-9 against Stukas or a F6F or P-40 against Kates.

It is hazardous and you do sometimes get hit but proper tactics make it difficult for the gunners to properly get you. And yes they did have some sniper tendencies and I see it MUCH less in 4.10. Also coming out of the sun will blind them so that's worth bearing in mind. Maybe it’s just me, but I find the Yak almost useless close in, particularly against Stukas. Of course, flying the altitudes the campaign assigns you in a Yak campaign usually leaves you climbing a couple thousand meters to reach them, and scant seconds to attack before they begin their dives.

Kates are no threat, but the damned Vals would have me tearing the hair out of my scalp if I still had any left. Again, they flip and flop out of formation whenever you come into range, and the gunners are practically unaffected by their gyrations.

The most offensive by far are the Me-110s. The ai rear gunners are always more effective than the ai pilots’ guns by a factor of at least ten to one. <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">It is frankly insulting to a dog’s intelligence to maintain that any human being could have ever made the kind of shots that they always make.</span>
As for contentions about ‘proper tactics’, I will say this: the game’s ai gunners force the campaign player to use non-historical tactics most of the time; they are completely aware of your exact location & vector at any given second, the bombers do not hold formation under attack, the gunners are for all practical purposes invulnerable, they will hit you even when they should not be able to see you, and the ranges they can hit you at are at least triple what a real human being could hope to achieve (with an aimed shot) under ideal circumstances in real life.

Anyone with a passing familiarity with WWII aerial warfare should be able to recognize this; the original poster is yet another potential contributor that has been repeatedly put off by a game claiming to be realistic but consistantly turns history on its head.

This is by far the greatest flaw in the offline game; one can hope that Team Daidalos will recognize and at least partially repair it.

cheers

horseback

Zeus-cat
04-15-2011, 04:40 PM
I agree that rear gunners are very good in this game. But I rarely hear people complain about how easy it is to shoot down planes.

At best, I am an average shot, but I've flown online missions where I get 2 or 3 kills against a mix of AI and humans. That almost never happened in real life. I think the super accurate AI gunners help offset the unrealistic ability to shoot down planes.

Badsight-
04-15-2011, 06:34 PM
Originally posted by horseback:
Not worked up at you specifically, but at the people who blow off the issue without thought. they are nothing like what they used to be

do you remember the game before AEP v2.0 ?

diving vertically straight down thru a bomber stream at 900 indicated - they would head shot you with one round just as you flashed past level

Badsight-
04-15-2011, 06:37 PM
Originally posted by Zeus-cat:
That almost never happened in real life. well the german who has the record for kills - sorties (100 kills fom 100-ish sorties) bagged 8 P-40s in one mission - using an F 109 IIRC

Metatron_123
04-15-2011, 06:42 PM
That happened quite often in real life! Besides, I don't think we should underestimate how much practice we get by flying in a virtual environment. In real life one flight could end in death through a landing accident. Also-one is far more confident when he has no fear of being killed.

Treetop64
04-15-2011, 06:49 PM
Originally posted by Badsight-:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by horseback:
Not worked up at you specifically, but at the people who blow off the issue without thought. they are nothing like what they used to be

do you remember the game before AEP v2.0 ?

diving vertically straight down thru a bomber stream at 900 indicated - they would head shot you with one round just as you flashed past level </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's no joke, either. The gunners really were that good in older versions of the game.

Zeus-cat
04-15-2011, 06:51 PM
I didn't say multiple kills in one mission never happened; I said it was rare. Most people get kills in this game at a rate that far, far exceeds real life. Most real pilots never achieved ace status; much less doing it in one mission.

My point was that the rear gunners help balance out the fact that people tend to fly too agressively since it is only a game. It is annoying, but it helps (a little) to make you fly more cautiously.

TipsyTed
04-15-2011, 07:41 PM
One thing to keep in mind about Il-2 and Pe-2 rear gunners is the fact that they carry relatively low amount of ammunition (150 rounds IIRC). Considering the fact that AI gunners really love to shoot into an empty space at the first sight of enemy, it's real easy just to lurk around the enemy plane and make the rear gunner waste all his ammo into empty space before attacking him.

Bf 110 however is a different case. It does have a "puny" light machinegun indeed, but it's a twin Mg 81Z with scary 3000 rounds per minute (that's 50 rounds per second!). Against weakly armoured engines of inline fighters it shouldn't be much behind heavier but much slower firing large calibre machineguns. Mg 81Z is completely different beast than, say, Mg 15.

Romanator21
04-15-2011, 09:20 PM
This forum is dominated by people who play primarily online, and don’t have the frustration factor of trying to get through an offline campaign that is based on history, and getting stuck being killed or disabled time and again by a single gunner in a single plane (like a 110 or Stuka) from 700 plus meters away. It’s just silly, and I have no doubt that it has driven more than one potential devotee away from the series.

I understand this point of view, but it's just as frustrating for someone trying to do a Stuka campaign and stuck on the same mission for the fourth time through because some Polikarpov Pk's the pilot before he gets within 10km of the target.

I am having serious problems getting much further than the opening of Barbarossa (Lvov) in a Stuka. I'm either Pk'ed, or flamed within moments of sighting the enemy. However, in an I-16 type 18, on opening mission, full "real", I shot down three Stukas without sustaining a single hit. And all my attacks were stupid "dead" six berserker runs! (No, I'm not boasting, my gunnery stinks!)

So, in my personal experience, I have had little problem dealing with the AI gunners. Some aircraft are different than others (SBD vs Letov - the latter will drive you mad). On the other hand, flying any bomber is a waste of time.

So, my point/argument is this:

DT should adjust the mouse-controlled gunner station.
DT should adjust the accuracy of guns to a historical level, relative to other aircraft (fix ineffective SBD gunner, sniper Bf-110 gunner).
DT should adjust the overall accuracy of AI through a more complex code which makes the behavior more human-like.

However, DT should also make some concessions to bomber enthusiasts who don't want to die every time they go up. (It maybe historical, but let's face it, it's not fun). As I've proposed, this can be done online by a formation of AI who spawn with the player so that he always has the benefit of the group. Online fighter pilots who stay within a certain distance of the bomber or bomber formation will receive extra points for "escort" (incentive to protect the big friends).

Does this sound fair/reasonable to you in order to satisfy both historical accuracy and gameplay? If not, what else should be done?

DKoor
04-16-2011, 05:59 AM
Originally posted by Zeus-cat:
I didn't say multiple kills in one mission never happened; I said it was rare. Most people get kills in this game at a rate that far, far exceeds real life. Most real pilots never achieved ace status; much less doing it in one mission.

My point was that the rear gunners help balance out the fact that people tend to fly too agressively since it is only a game. It is annoying, but it helps (a little) to make you fly more cautiously.
I disagree with you...
I think IRL people flew as aggressive vs bombers almost as we do in our game.

You don't have to look far to see that... recently Xiolablu3 posted a thread about "Bloody Foreigners" Polish pilots in RAF during BoB... there are few instances which show how they glued their Hurricanes to enemy tails 100 yards and less then firing on them.
None of them would survive unhurt if they did that several times in IL-2, I'm so much sure of that that I'm willing to bet anything on it.
Heck, if I mount that mouse-click-sniper position in rear I would cripple and kill every one of their Hurries every time they attack He-111 in classic fashion as they did.
I'd hit them every time they do headons too.
Ai does it even better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5_61SetiD8

0:26 killed , 0:34 killed , 1:03 completely raked , 1:12 completely raked , 1:24 PKed dewinged , 1:37 just flat out killed , 1:48 certainly hit

Long story short, in all that video you have two POTENTIALLY successful attacks that would actually work in IL-2. For others you'd be killed, dewinged, PKed, raked all over etc.

And I'm not talking about return fire from all bombers but only the one you are attacking.

DKoor
04-16-2011, 06:11 AM
Originally posted by Romanator21:
On the other hand, flying any bomber is a waste of time.
While I agree with you on several points you made, I gotta say that I disagree with you here... say for example, fly G4M campaign, you will literally LAUGH at enemy practically all the times... climb very high when enemy is sighted order close formation and mount rear cannon.
One shell in engine is enough to put E/A out of action and you have heavenly steady platform to put several shells all over him while he climbs after you. It is totally dominant bomber in early war.

Problems emerge when E/A is higher than you dives onto you, you may even be a sharpshooter but simply shooting opportunity lasts few sec effectively and he will hit your flammable flying crate by that time.

Anyhow... I often use unrealistic hug the treetops tactic versus Ai, it is very easy to kill LA-7s in Stuka this way http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif , especially if you fly 20mm equipped Stuka.

In my campaigns I did it many many times both with bombers and fighters, it's easy to fight and shoot several enemy Ai that is attacking you. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

horseback
04-16-2011, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by Romanator21:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">This forum is dominated by people who play primarily online, and don’t have the frustration factor of trying to get through an offline campaign that is based on history, and getting stuck being killed or disabled time and again by a single gunner in a single plane (like a 110 or Stuka) from 700 plus meters away. It’s just silly, and I have no doubt that it has driven more than one potential devotee away from the series.

I understand this point of view, but it's just as frustrating for someone trying to do a Stuka campaign and stuck on the same mission for the fourth time through because some Polikarpov Pk's the pilot before he gets within 10km of the target.

I am having serious problems getting much further than the opening of Barbarossa (Lvov) in a Stuka. I'm either Pk'ed, or flamed within moments of sighting the enemy. However, in an I-16 type 18, on opening mission, full "real", I shot down three Stukas without sustaining a single hit. And all my attacks were stupid "dead" six berserker runs! (No, I'm not boasting, my gunnery stinks!)

So, in my personal experience, I have had little problem dealing with the AI gunners. Some aircraft are different than others (SBD vs Letov - the latter will drive you mad). On the other hand, flying any bomber is a waste of time.

So, my point/argument is this:

DT should adjust the mouse-controlled gunner station.
DT should adjust the accuracy of guns to a historical level, relative to other aircraft (fix ineffective SBD gunner, sniper Bf-110 gunner).
DT should adjust the overall accuracy of AI through a more complex code which makes the behavior more human-like.

However, DT should also make some concessions to bomber enthusiasts who don't want to die every time they go up. (It maybe historical, but let's face it, it's not fun). As I've proposed, this can be done online by a formation of AI who spawn with the player so that he always has the benefit of the group. Online fighter pilots who stay within a certain distance of the bomber or bomber formation will receive extra points for "escort" (incentive to protect the big friends).

Does this sound fair/reasonable to you in order to satisfy both historical accuracy and gameplay? If not, what else should be done? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Generally, I find that on any offline situation, the AI tend to concentrate their attention on the Player and play ‘sister’ with each other. By this I mean that the enemy ai will act as though they cannot see your ai wingmen sneaking up behind them and will not suddenly flip over into a roll as they are just about to come under fire, and the defensive gunners are generally much less effective against the ai attacker (and I mean the all-ai crewed aircraft gunners, not the ones on the Player’s a/c). Most of us cannot count the times we’ve expended half our ammo (especially in those damned Yaks!) to get an opponent smoking and limping but still rolling out our sights every time we get close, only to have good ol’ Number Five (or Three, the useless bastid) come zooming up over us and de-wing our target with a half-second burst right through the smoke cloud that makes him darned near invisible to us.

The other thing I see is that the Player, by his unpredictability, makes life harder for his side. His wingmen don’t know what he’s about to do and if he’s flying a bomber or twin with a rear gunner, his gunner has a much sloppier gun platform to fire from, making him much less effective (and much closer to mortal levels). Similarly, if he lets the ai fly the plane, they will set him up for shots that, without their all seeing knowledge of everything around them, he cannot make.

I don’t have a problem with mouse gunnery for the Player per se, because he is much more limited than the ai will ever be in those circumstances. I would add recoil (if Call of Duty can do it for an M4 light carbine, Il-2 ’46 can do it for an MG 131) effects and a slight delay. Maybe make the ai pilot a bit less perfect, for a more unstable gun platform.

As for the ai gunners, I would say that they need some serious nerfing:

1. If he (the gunner) isn’t able to see me, he shouldn’t be able to shoot me. Tunnel gunners especially are firing accurately through a ridiculously wide cone; the reality was that they had a very small field of vision, and that was the only area where they had any hope of hitting anything. If he couldn’t see the point he’s aiming at through his sights, he shouldn’t be able to hit it at all, ever. If my a/c is hidden by the tail or fuselage, he should ‘lose me’, and have to take at least a second or two to realign his gun on me, and if I’m crossing over or past his position at a high rate of speed, he obviously shouldn’t be able to track me accurately if at all, particularly when I suddenly pop into his field of vision.

2. Bigger hit boxes for killing the gunners and/or disabling their guns. If they can disable my cannon and MGs with their freaking little pop-guns, I should damned well be able to disable their guns and ‘kill or wound’ the gunner with a burst into the fuselage or cockpit area their virtual bodies are supposedly hiding in. Currently, you have to hit their heads or torsos that can be seen outside the fuselage or put your bullets through a (non-armor glass) window; the skin of the fuselage is currently treated like some variety of superduper Kevlar, and the guns appear to me to be bullet-proof. That has to end. If I hit the glasshouse around the gunner, even if I don’t hit him, it should drop his effectiveness significantly, especially above 3000m.

3. MUCH shorter effective ranges, especially at increasing angles away from the line of flight. No more of that oily windshield horsesh!t on attacks from high, low, or wide angles at ranges like 400m, even for Ace ai. It was simply impossible for a human being to make those kinds of shots on purpose. Hitting the fuselage of a fighter coming at you from 200m at a dead six is a heck of good shot in real life, so that should be the maximum for Veterans. If I’m not flying formation with you, you should have no business hitting me at off angles from more than 100m more than 10% of the time.

4. No more gunners shooting while the aircraft is in a high G or negative G maneuvers, including banks, sudden climbs or dives. PERIOD. I’d argue for their not shooting while their immediate vicinity is being hit, too. Having sh!t flying around your ears is distracting.

5. No playing favorites. There’s no reason for the virtual offspring of Annie Oakley and Davy Crockett to be sitting in certain types and have Little Stevie Wonder behind the guns in others. Separate the ai pilots from the ai gunners when you rate them as Ace, Veteran, Average, and Rookie on multicrewed a/c, and make the marksmanship standards consistent.

6. Increase the ‘base’ effectiveness of the ai gunners based on the number of aircraft in a formation; eight or ten aircraft within 200m of each other should be a couple orders of magnitude harder to approach safely than two or three. Of course, I would start with the limits in Suggestion #3, or all bets are off. Currently, a single ai bomber gunner appears to be at least as dangerous to attack as two formations of four multigunned aircraft were in real life.

Badsight, I was here in early 2002; I’ve been whining about the ai gunners since I got the original game to run on my old 900MHz Celeron machine. I got Forgotten Battles the week it came out (and I should have spent my money on the last of the Microsoft FFB sticks instead); I tried it for about four hours and went back to the original Il-2 Sturmovik because the ai were so bad, and only pulled it out to check if the succeeding patches had made it playable. As I recall, it took 18 months before I put the old game away and stayed exclusively with Forgotten Battles/Ace Expansion Pack, but I’ve never stopped carping about the sniper ai gunners.

It’s dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.

cheers

horseback

Romanator21
04-16-2011, 07:15 PM
While I agree with the above, I would also push for extra AI to create a formation around/following the player, and incentives for escort. The gunners should be realistically accurate, but flying in a bomber should be fun once in a while (or just screw it and make all bombers AI only).