PDA

View Full Version : heavy bomber sniper AI



megalopsuche
12-25-2009, 02:53 PM
99% of the time when I play Il-2, it's online and against other humans in fighter aircraft. I have little experience in this game taking down heavy bombers with AI manning the defensive gun positions.

On the other hand, I have lots of experience attacking bomber formations in Aces High where defensive gun positions require human control. Since many will not be familiar with how it works there, the human pilot usually has two drone aircraft accompany him in a V formation. All defensive guns can be slaved together so that every gun fires at the point the human aims at. I have flown in historically based events where my side had to attack formations of 30+ B-24s or B-17s flown in this manner by 10+ human pilots.

That sounds deadly for attacking fighters, right? It's not even close to what I've experienced in Il-2 with AI gunners. So far, I haven't found any safe approach angle that makes it safe to attack a *single* AI bomber. I've tried head-on, high-beam, front-quarter, etc. In all cases I usually take a couple hits, and every now and then an instant head-shot.

In all my years of flight sims, I've only encountered one human who can gun anywhere close to the AI in Il-2. Otherwise its easy to foil human aim with the approach angles I mentioned above.

I'm sure that my whine is a repetion of many others here at the forum, but I do have a question: Isn't there a mod that "fixes" the AI gunners to be within believable limits? The server I play on uses the UI, but for the near future I am going to have to ignore heavy bombers when I see them.

AndyJWest
12-25-2009, 03:21 PM
I think it'd be against forum rules to talk too specifically about mods for this, but the AI gunner problem is an old one, though you can of course set skills offline. For the QMB, 'Rookie' settings help a bit, and There is a setting in the conf.ini file that alters DGEN campaign skills too, if I remember correctly.

It mostly comes down to picking the best approach for a given target, and coming in fast. For something like a Blenheim for instance, you can come in low from behind, and the AI can't shoot you. Well-armed heavies can be a lot harder, and often a sweeping attack from above and to one side is best - just don't fly straight for any length of time while in range of the guns.

It is possible that Team Daedlos may look at doing something about this in the next patch, if I remember right...

megalopsuche
12-25-2009, 03:27 PM
Right, offline you can set them to rookie, but online is a different story.

VW-IceFire
12-25-2009, 03:30 PM
The AI gunners are quite quite good. Especially if the bombers are set to be veterans. I set my bombers to be a mix of regular and rookies so that the gunners are not snipers.

That said... and I don't know your technique but some people make it far too easy for the gunners to hit them. Coming in straight and level from behind the bomber (the "dead 6" position) is going to make it easy. Hitting from the high sides in a deflection shot is a harder shot for you but even worse for the gunners. Head-on shots are also pretty easy... AI seems to have quite a bit of trouble with that. Setting up such a shot takes quite a bit more planning mind you.

M_Gunz
12-25-2009, 04:29 PM
Which IL2 edition was it that included the tracks showing how bombers can be taken down without the
attacker getting shot up? IIRC it's the one that first featured the Horton.
They put the tracks in there to show it can be done as well as how to. It's up to the players to
study and apply the lessons though.

megalopsuche
12-25-2009, 04:57 PM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
Which IL2 edition was it that included the tracks showing how bombers can be taken down without the
attacker getting shot up? IIRC it's the one that first featured the Horton.
They put the tracks in there to show it can be done as well as how to. It's up to the players to
study and apply the lessons though.

I'd be interested to see that video. Still, the point isn't about a trick to defeat a computer algorithm. The point is that the Il2 "veteran" AI gunners are lightyears ahead of the more competent humans I've played with.

psykopatsak
12-25-2009, 05:19 PM
just dont fly straight and youll be fine is my experience.

julian265
12-25-2009, 05:57 PM
Sometimes the gunners are absolutely stupid, even on 'ace' setting, they often shoot in random directions.

And then there are the sniper shots, which seem a bit to common.

I do agree, the gunners are simply too good on average. However, whenever I've attacked bombers with human gunners, it's been too easy.

The gunner skill seems to be a good leveler, considering that online, 95% of the time, the bomber crews are denied their principle defensive strategy - numbers and formation.

jamesblonde1979
12-25-2009, 07:02 PM
The damage from their bullets seems way overmodelled in this game, I fly a P-47 and the gunners on a bomber get a better result with their 2 fifties than I do with eight...

In coding such behaviour there has to be compromises, the gunners must be more than a visual effect and yet not sniper perfect which must be hard to work out. What 1C has done is to make the AI gunners traverse their guns very slowly, this means that if you can see which way they are swinging and dodge them they will rarely hit you.

Same applies for AA fire.

M_Gunz
12-25-2009, 07:08 PM
Originally posted by megalopsuche:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by M_Gunz:
Which IL2 edition was it that included the tracks showing how bombers can be taken down without the
attacker getting shot up? IIRC it's the one that first featured the Horton.
They put the tracks in there to show it can be done as well as how to. It's up to the players to
study and apply the lessons though.

I'd be interested to see that video. Still, the point isn't about a trick to defeat a computer algorithm. The point is that the Il2 "veteran" AI gunners are lightyears ahead of the more competent humans I've played with. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not video. Track file from the distro disk. You'd have to load that version just to view it.

mortoma
12-25-2009, 08:58 PM
OMG!!!! Here we go again with another exaggerated claim of the dreaded AI defensive gunners being super uber in IL2. They are nothing of the sort. For about 3 weeks I was into one of my missions I made for a BOB simulation using my mod UI 1.2 install and the BOB map in that mod. I made the mission in FMB and had about 16 HE-111 German bombers crossing the channel to bomb Britain. They were escorted by 109E-1 fighters and I had Spitfires attack the 109s and then Hurricanes come in to attack the bombers. Just for fun I flew about 60 missions as a He-111 gunner, where I'd zip from one gun position to another. By examining my success in shooting down Hurris and Spits and comparing with the AI gunner, I determined that I was approximately 8 times better at hitting and shooting down fighters then the AI gunners when the bomber was set on ace level!! Defensive gunner effectiveness is affected by what level the whole bomber is set on. In case some of you don't know that. So a bomber set as novice or average will not have as effective gunners as those set on veteran or ace.

On average, I was responsible for two British fighters going down from my gun fire alone, every mission. And I was in one of 16 bombers. But yet seldom did all 16 bombers score two British fighters if I was not a gunner but sat it out!! There were times I shot down as many as four fighters alone and that is with the tiny BB gun weapon the HE-11 has for defense. It's only a 7mm small bore machine gun. I also lit both Spits and Hurris up to the point they ended up entirely engulfed in flames I got such good hits on them. More often than not though, I'd damage the engine in such a fashion that they went down much later, in a span of ten minutes or so. BTW, when I am a gunner in a bomber with twin .50s, it's not uncommon for me to be able to de-wing enemy fighters.

Also, if you really want to see how bad the AI gunners are, even on 'ace' level ( they are ace shots if the bomber as a whole is set as ace ) just ride along in a gunner position but let the gunner gun as AI by releasing the guns to the AI, by hitting the 'A' key. It's quite comical to watch them shoot all over the place except where the fighter is they are trying to shoot down. It looks like they are shooting with their virtual eyes closed. Do this and you'll forever be convinced as I am that they are terrible, far from uber.

But the bottom line here is I have been reading about the "uber gunners" in IL2 for years in this forum and I have also been reduced to rolling on the floor from laughing so hard at such claims. Please, the gunners in IL2 are terrible!! If the gunners were even one fourth as good as I am ( and I'm not all that good ) then IL2 players the world over would be crying tears of sheer frustration because they could never get close to any bomber in the game. It would be vastly worse if they shot as good as me, believe me.

jamesblonde1979
12-25-2009, 09:29 PM
Originally posted by mortoma:
OMG!!!! Here we go again with another exaggerated claim of the dreaded AI defensive gunners

^^^

Plays with AI on rookie

megalopsuche
12-25-2009, 09:45 PM
motorma, I have shot down hundreds if not over a thousand virtual bombers that were manned by human gunners. Maybe 1% approach the ability of veteran/ace AI gunners in Il-2, so you are, unfortunately, full of crap.

Frankthetank36
12-25-2009, 09:46 PM
Those ace AI B-29s ain't no joke. Even when I fly the Komet against them (which obviously the Japanese didn't have access to) I get bruised a lot of the time. The only really effective way to ensure that you don't get hit is to come in at 12 o'clock and that makes aiming pretty tricky.

AndyJWest
12-25-2009, 10:35 PM
It strikes me that perhaps our expectations of what a fighter was expected to accomplish vs bombers may be a little unrealistic. 'Kills' may be largely irrelevant from a strategic point of view. Instead, a fighter attacking a bomber formation has three objectives:

(a) Preventing the bomber attacking its target.

(b) Preventing the bomber from returning to attack another target.

(c) Preventing the bomber and crew from returning to attack another target.

Though C is probably ideal, it is not so much more important than A and B that a pilot should be overly concerned with watching the enemy descending in flames, instead of inflicting relatively minor damage on the formation as a whole. The bomber air war was a war of attrition, as much as anything, and all that was necessary was to inflict sufficient damage to reduce the enemy's ability to fight. The emphasis on 'kills' may be meaningful in fighter-on-fighter dogfights, but tells us little about the true significance of fighter-vs-bomber conflicts.

Just a thought. Maybe I'm just trying to think of a good excuse for spraying bombers with ordnance to no obvious effect...

K_Freddie
12-26-2009, 01:16 AM
When attacking bombers you must make sure that your attack course/approach is always varying, with regard to the defence gunners viewpoint, and never reverse your course as you'll cross it's line of fire.

Never get too close as then it's point blank range for them.. and you're swiss cheese.

Ahem.. do try not to attack from the rear.

an example would be a beam attack from 1 or 2 OC, and you barrell roll in, timing it so that at the end of the roll you''ll be lined up for a quick burst, and rolling down under and pulling out in the rear direction.

Always try present a 'minimum area' for the defense or your attackers - it's harder for them to hit you.
http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

RSS-Martin
12-26-2009, 03:59 AM
You can compare this also with skipbombing ships.
If you fly a straight course for several seconds you are bound to take a hit. If you weave about fly zig zag, you got very good chances of making your hit, without getting hit yourself.
Any CV is as bad as a bomber or worse. Of course it depends how the gunners are set on a ship. But what works on a ship works also fine on a bomber.

AnaK774
12-26-2009, 05:46 AM
Freddie is exactly on spot there...

Also minimize time within their firing range, be quick or be dead.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34wz5L1XMJ0
is little demo how it can be done

megalopsuche
12-26-2009, 08:00 AM
No zig zagging in that video. All it shows is the ideal circumstance of starting with an enormous altitude advantage.

Competent human gunners can be defeated with 1/5 of that altitude advantage, and with less airspeed. All that's required is a front hemisphere attack, whereas those same humans would chew you apart if you attacked from 6 o'clock.

quasimodo_3
12-26-2009, 08:45 AM
I've found that patience has its rewards in knocking down bombers. When altitude isn't already available, flying parallel from a safe distance and easing up to an attack altitude and B&Z'ing the cockpit and engines on successive passes will usually reduce the bomber's capability. When the bombers are clustered there's not a much better strategy. If the bombers are too close to the target area and you don't have time to get in a better attack position, it's really only damage control because you are going to take some hits trying to get to them.

megalopsuche
12-26-2009, 09:26 AM
This is a clean 4.09m track that is a good example of the AI's ability.

http://www.mediafire.com/?2eywm4fkyd3

Treetop64
12-26-2009, 09:30 AM
Ha! Thought we've seen the last of these threads. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

ImMoreBetter
12-26-2009, 09:33 AM
I've never had too much trouble with the snipers. I've been hit a few times, but not too consistently. There really is a certain way you need to attack bombers, and you can forget about the rear quarters.

BM357_Sniper
12-26-2009, 10:05 AM
Originally posted by megalopsuche:
motorma, I have shot down hundreds if not over a thousand virtual bombers that were manned by human gunners. Maybe 1% approach the ability of veteran/ace AI gunners in Il-2, so you are, unfortunately, full of crap.

I'm going to take an educated guess and say that your hundreds/thousands of downed bombers came from Aces High...need I say more? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

megalopsuche
12-26-2009, 10:16 AM
Originally posted by BM357_Sniper:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by megalopsuche:
motorma, I have shot down hundreds if not over a thousand virtual bombers that were manned by human gunners. Maybe 1% approach the ability of veteran/ace AI gunners in Il-2, so you are, unfortunately, full of crap.

I'm going to take an educated guess and say that your hundreds/thousands of downed bombers came from Aces High...need I say more? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ha! They think your sim is crap, youthink theirs is crap. What's new inthe world of computer flight sims? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

JtD
12-26-2009, 10:41 AM
Originally posted by megalopsuche:
This is a clean 4.09m track that is a good example of the AI's ability.

http://www.mediafire.com/?2eywm4fkyd3

I have carefully analyzed your track and have come to the conclusion that you're making one major mistake:
You fly a 109 when you should be in a 190.

While this is of course a bit ironic, the truth is that AI gunners hit you with maybe 1 round per attack on average, provided your using high speed passes from the front or sides (did a bit of testing against 4 B-24 aces, got to an average of 0.7 hits/attack). If you're in a plane that bursts into flames as easily as a 109, you're in trouble quickly. Average number of hits the 109 could take was about 4 in my tests, usually the engine quit or engine was on fire like in your case.
But the gunners spent thousands of rounds to achieve these hits, so I don't think their accuracy is too high, in fact it's awful.

It's not a gunner problem, it's a plane problem.

megalopsuche
12-26-2009, 11:26 AM
Fair enough. I'll forgo bombers in the 109.

horseback
12-26-2009, 02:24 PM
There are three schools of thought on this subject; the ‘of course it should be as hard as possible because it proves my greater skills’ school, the ‘well, I can shoot better than the AI if I man a gunner position so it must not be that unrealistic’ and the ‘AI gunners are lightyears better than the historical record indicates that they should be, therefore they are cheating’ school.

The first school is concerned with beating a game, and within that context, yeah, they’ve found a way to win. Whoop diddley ding. They might as well be playing COD or HALO, IMO.

The second group is similar to the first, in that they accept the idea that the game’s depiction of the defensive gunnery problem is valid, and that people who complain about being shot down by AI gunners are whiners. They ignore the fact that the AI, friendly or ‘enemy’ are all part of the programming, and that they cooperate with each other according to the rules the programmers set up.

The third group are trying to emulate or recreate the historical air war, and their expectations are that the simulation will be faithful to the historical record, which indicates pretty strongly that individual aircraft or even small groups of aircraft with defensive gunners were the next best thing to defenseless against fighter attacks. These people understand that the men at those flexible guns or in those turrets were not moving a mouse around to aim their guns, and that they were not firing from anything remotely resembling a stable platform. They know that a fighter in WWII could approach a bomber or attack aircraft with relative impunity, especially when the aircraft was not flying absolutely straight and level. Too many pilot reports describe approaching within 50 yards without taking a single hit for it not to be so.

Offliners are the ones who play against the AI in campaigns, and the people I would expect to be the ones who are most concerned with historical accuracy and immersion. They expect to be able to successfully use the same tactics that were effective in WWII when appropriately applied. They belong almost exclusively to the third group, and we cannot avoid feeling cheated every time they encounter enemy bombers in this game.

The fact is that whatever the excuses, this game turns the fighter vs multiseater contest on its historical head.

We're just hoping that someone will eventually give us the option of historical realism.

cheers

horseback

JtD
12-26-2009, 03:06 PM
They know that a fighter in WWII could approach a bomber or attack aircraft with relative impunity, especially when the aircraft was not flying absolutely straight and level.

They are neither the first, nor will be the last to "know" something wrong.

Frankthetank36
12-26-2009, 05:17 PM
Originally posted by horseback:
There are three schools of thought on this subject; the ‘of course it should be as hard as possible because it proves my greater skills’ school, the ‘well, I can shoot better than the AI if I man a gunner position so it must not be that unrealistic’ and the ‘AI gunners are lightyears better than the historical record indicates that they should be, therefore they are cheating’ school.

The first school is concerned with beating a game, and within that context, yeah, they’ve found a way to win. Whoop diddley ding. They might as well be playing COD or HALO, IMO.

The second group is similar to the first, in that they accept the idea that the game’s depiction of the defensive gunnery problem is valid, and that people who complain about being shot down by AI gunners are whiners. They ignore the fact that the AI, friendly or ‘enemy’ are all part of the programming, and that they cooperate with each other according to the rules the programmers set up.

The third group are trying to emulate or recreate the historical air war, and their expectations are that the simulation will be faithful to the historical record, which indicates pretty strongly that individual aircraft or even small groups of aircraft with defensive gunners were the next best thing to defenseless against fighter attacks. These people understand that the men at those flexible guns or in those turrets were not moving a mouse around to aim their guns, and that they were not firing from anything remotely resembling a stable platform. They know that a fighter in WWII could approach a bomber or attack aircraft with relative impunity, especially when the aircraft was not flying absolutely straight and level. Too many pilot reports describe approaching within 50 yards without taking a single hit for it not to be so.

Offliners are the ones who play against the AI in campaigns, and the people I would expect to be the ones who are most concerned with historical accuracy and immersion. They expect to be able to successfully use the same tactics that were effective in WWII when appropriately applied. They belong almost exclusively to the third group, and we cannot avoid feeling cheated every time they encounter enemy bombers in this game.

The fact is that whatever the excuses, this game turns the fighter vs multiseater contest on its historical head.

We're just hoping that someone will eventually give us the option of historical realism.

cheers

horseback

Having guns controlled by the joystick instead of the mouse like they do in CFS3 could make it realistically "clunky"... But then again, you wouldn't be able to fly the airplane at the same time. I do find it absurdly easy to shoot down fighters as a tail gunner in my SBD campaign. Feels too similar to an FPS. They could also have the guns move slowly like the turrets in COD or Halo. I mean, a .50 cal MG or 20mm cannon should not feel as light and easy to move as a rifle.

ROXunreal
12-26-2009, 05:44 PM
To the OP: I never not ever had trouble with AI gunners unless I attacked from behind or hanged around close to the bomber for too long. High speed BnZ from above or high 6, as well as every kind of head on and 2-10 o clock passes or even side attacks were all successful and I almost never get hit that way if I have sufficient speed.

I do agree that the AI is way too superhuman when you hang around long enough for them to start shooting at you though, like if you're flying above or on the side of the bomber at 800 meters, they can hit with more than 50% accuracy.

Also a cockpit hit with a few 20mm or one 30mm round is enough to send a B-29 plummeting.

megalopsuche
12-26-2009, 05:48 PM
Originally posted by ROXunreal:
To the OP: I never not ever had trouble with AI gunners unless I attacked from behind or hanged around close to the bomber for too long. High speed BnZ from above or high 6, as well as every kind of head on and 2-10 o clock passes or even side attacks were all successful and I almost never get hit that way if I have sufficient speed.


Watch my ntrk before you judge my tactics.

horseback
12-26-2009, 06:43 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">They know that a fighter in WWII could approach a bomber or attack aircraft with relative impunity, especially when the aircraft was not flying absolutely straight and level.

They are neither the first, nor will be the last to "know" something wrong. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Read a book or two, son. Find a picture of the gunner's postions, or better yet, go to an aviation museum where you can get into those positions and look out from the aircraft from them and try to imagine trying to shoot from them in a moving aircraft. Then apply a bit of what you know to the problem.

I said "a" bomber, not a formation, and I specifically mentioned steady level flight as well, conditions that rarely apply to the bombers and zerstorer type fighters in this game that chap my hide the most. I shouldn't have to point out that a WWII era aircraft does not move as smoothly as a car on a level road, and that if you had to aim from the back of a truck at a moving aircraft with a pintle mounted gun, you'd have a better chance of hitting it than a gunner sitting or standing in a bomber with goggles and heavy gloves on would.

The fact is that if you were playing the 'gunner' position in this game while in a moving car, the accuracy you have, even with the mouse aiming of the game, would be greatly diminished, if you could hit anything at all.

There were very few occasions where individual bombers were able to effectively defend themselves and you will never convince me that it was anything but a combination of bad luck and incredible arrogance on the part of the attackers.

Bombers depended upon the sheer number of rounds the several gunners of a massed formation could put out, not the accuracy of any single man, and very few formations in the game approach the numbers and angles that allowed a remotely effective self defense. The game exaggerates the accuracy of even a large formation in every single plane. That is horse hockey.

cheers

horseback

Frankthetank36
12-26-2009, 07:20 PM
Originally posted by ROXunreal:

Also a cockpit hit with a few 20mm or one 30mm round is enough to send a B-29 plummeting.

The problem is, the Japanese didn't have any planes capable of doing that easily. People harp about the Raiden's performance but has anyone else noticed that they never mass produced a single 400mph fighter at any point during the war (when most of the other powers had 400mph fighters since around 1943-44)? Even the Ki-84 could only do like 390mph (it was fast at sea level, but the B-29s operated at high alt). It is pretty difficult to get into position against a 360mph bomber when you are using a 380mph fighter that is operating near its performance limits.

M_Gunz
12-26-2009, 09:45 PM
The Germans developed special tactics and even weapons to attack bombers with. Why if there was no real need?
Mk103 is a standoff beyond 50 cal range and shoot weapon, even 20mm should do but not so well.

AndyJWest
12-26-2009, 10:01 PM
The Germans developed special tactics and even weapons to attack bombers with. Why if there was no real need?

You have a point there, M_G, though I'd not necessarily always use the Germans as examples of rational planning when it came to weapons design.

Anyhow, to get back on topic, I'd reiterate what I wrote earlier: when dealing with bombers, shooting down individual planes in flames was less important than reducing the enemy's long-term ability to continue with raids. A single lucky hit from long range might do enough damage to prevent a bomber being used on the next raid: not because it was shot down, but because it needed repairing. The IL-2 'scoring' system takes none of this into account, which perhaps explains why this point is less obvious than it might otherwise be. Maybe in BoB:SoW we will get a better understanding of this. I live in hope...

Frankthetank36
12-26-2009, 11:26 PM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
The Germans developed special tactics and even weapons to attack bombers with. Why if there was no real need?
Mk103 is a standoff beyond 50 cal range and shoot weapon, even 20mm should do but not so well.

I thought the 30mm gun packs had horrendous ballistics that made aiming next to impossible at long range, although they were great for punching through the heavily armored bombers. They did have some interesting rockets, though.

JtD
12-27-2009, 01:32 AM
There were very few occasions where individual bombers were able to effectively defend themselves and you will never convince me that it was anything but a combination of bad luck and incredible arrogance on the part of the attackers.

I can see, you've made up your mind to a point where you'll just ignore anything that doesn't fit your point of view. That's great. Also, you said "relative impunity" in the first place and yeah, attacking bombers was relatively safe if compared to standing next to an exploding A-bomb. That means there is really no point in discussing this.

But for what it's worth, attacking a single normal B-25H in game from dead 6 at ranges commonly used in WW2 (600 open fire, 200 pull out) I got hit by a total of 3 rounds over ten attacks. Now if that's relatively unsafe compared to WW2, then fighting there must have been a piece of cake.

JtD
12-27-2009, 01:34 AM
Originally posted by AndyJWest:

...when dealing with bombers, shooting down individual planes in flames was less important than reducing the enemy's long-term ability to continue with raids...

But this was most effectively done by shooting bombers down in flames, not just damaging them. Luftwaffe tactics more and more emphasized a few killed over many damaged, because just putting a dozen holes into a plane doesn't stop it from coming back the next day.

BillSwagger
12-27-2009, 02:23 AM
Originally posted by ImMoreBetter:
I've never had too much trouble with the snipers. I've been hit a few times, but not too consistently. There really is a certain way you need to attack bombers, and you can forget about the rear quarters.

+1
http://www.freedomcrowsnest.org/forum/images/smiles/deadhorse.gif

jamesblonde1979
12-27-2009, 08:29 AM
Originally posted by JtD:

It's not a gunner problem, it's a plane problem.

Gunner bullets are extremely overmodelled. A flexible .50 on a bomber consistently does more damage than eight on a P-47.

megalopsuche
12-27-2009, 08:55 AM
Fwiw, I tried the same setup that you can see in my ntrk with the 190A. I was able to shoot down all 4 "ace" bombers without taking significant damage. Therefore, it was an airplane problem, and had nothing to do with my tactics. It surprises me that the 109 is so fragile that attacking heavy bombers with it is so dubious. No, I don't expect it to be as durable as the 190, but the degree of difference is surprising. I don't much care for the 190 but I'll keep it in mind for heavy bombers.

Erkki_M
12-27-2009, 09:13 AM
Gunner bullets overmodelled? No. The thing is, that they hit you in the front section and vulnerable areas: engine, propellor hub, air intakes, cockpit, instead of tail, wings and rear hull that are usually hit by another plane firing from your six. It is also about relative speeds: a .50cal bullet shot at an aircraft 300m in front of the shooter might travel as much as 400m, the shooting aircraft's initial speed ever increasing the drag, and in the end the bullet has less energy when it hits the target than it'd had if both aircraft had been stationary, relatively to the air. A round shot from a bomber towards a plane behind it will have considerably less drag facing it, and will hit with much more kinetic energy. This especially applies to long distances.

K_Freddie
12-27-2009, 09:24 AM
Originally posted by megalopsuche:
..It surprises me that the 109 is so fragile that attacking heavy bombers with it is so dubious. No, I don't expect it to be as durable as the 190, but the degree of difference is surprising. I don't much care for the 190 but I'll keep it in mind for heavy bombers.

Somewhere around 44/45, Goering woke up and allowed the FW190s to attack the bombers while the Me109's went after the escorts.
More bombers and escorts were shot down, and axis losses were less, but it was too little too late.
http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

jamesblonde1979
12-27-2009, 09:17 PM
Originally posted by Erkki_M:
Gunner bullets overmodelled? No. The thing is, that they hit you in the front section and vulnerable areas: engine, propellor hub, air intakes, cockpit, instead of tail, wings and rear hull that are usually hit by another plane firing from your six. It is also about relative speeds: a .50cal bullet shot at an aircraft 300m in front of the shooter might travel as much as 400m, the shooting aircraft's initial speed ever increasing the drag, and in the end the bullet has less energy when it hits the target than it'd had if both aircraft had been stationary, relatively to the air. A round shot from a bomber towards a plane behind it will have considerably less drag facing it, and will hit with much more kinetic energy. This especially applies to long distances.

True, you have to admit that they do pinpoint those vulnerable spots with monotonous regularity though. Whatever the deal is with these gunners they are extremely frustrating, even fast slashing attacks from the flanks seem to expose my aircraft to oil loss, prop governor damage and headshots.

Head-on is the only way to go against the bombers in this game.

ImMoreBetter
12-27-2009, 09:19 PM
It helps to have that big 'ol radial in front. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

They are a bit more robust and put more metal between the bullets and the cockpit.

gamer025
12-27-2009, 11:19 PM
I've complained about this before also. For me "rookie" settings make no difference. In my experience, the only true way to take down a bomber safely is to have a lot of friendlies in the air doing the same thing, splitting up the targets for AI gunners. Using very large guns help too, but in most cases it's incredibly frustrating.

AI gunners can "snipe" you no matter what your speed, angle, or plane, it just comes down to luck sometimes.

I hope SOW fixes this issue and it would be nice to see a "patch" that could reduce their accuracy between 30-60%

horseback
12-27-2009, 11:23 PM
I'm just going to repeat a few points I made in a thread I started over three years ago:

It is no secret that I have always detested the AI defensive gunners in this sim. I find their accuracy and range absolutely unrealistic, especially at the edges of their firing arcs (which, by the way, are far too high and wide). I've worked on modern automated fire control systems, and none of them approach the AI gunners' deadliness. I find it thoroughly contrary to logic and the historical record in three major areas:

1. Range and accuracy

2. Damage Modeling

3. Firing at Inappropriate or Unreasonable Times

Range and accuracy speaks for itself. This is the sole means that the Mission builder differentiates between Ace, Veteran, Average, and Rookie levels of defensive gunners. Aces have reached out and touched this Player's aircraft from as much as 800m away, Rookies from about 650m.

While a real life ˜ace' defensive gunner aiming a flexible gun over ring and bead sights could hope to occasionally ˜tag' an enemy fighter closing on his level six o'clock position as far as 300m away, the farther off the axis of his aircraft's line of flight his target positioned itself, the harder it became to hit. The current standards are grossly unrealistic, and disastrous in a fighter-centric WWII combat flight sim.

Most fighter pilots' memoirs (especially if they spent any serious time opposing bombers) will have at least one account of attacking a bomber and obliterating the poor gunner before he could get his gun to bear. Simply put, it is much easier to aim an aircraft equipped with fixed guns and a reflector sight than it is to aim a flexibly mounted gun over ring and bead or some kind of mechanical sights, and it looks as though an average gunner's maximum accurate range was significantly less than the 2-300m most fighters set their convergences for.

Remember how the experts all remind you to center the ˜ball' in the turn and bank indicator when you shoot from the cockpit? If the ‘ball' isn't centered, your rounds will not track along your axis of flight, and will instead spread out to one side or the other of that line in a widely dispersed string.

EVERY shot a defensive gunner made to any angle other than a dead six or twelve o'clock level, was off axis, and he had to correct his shots not only for his target's relative motion, but also for his own aircraft's forward momentum. Every shot was high deflection, and inaccurately judged bursts were scattered and ineffective.

How did they accurately aim at small fast fighters using mostly ring and bead sights? Answer: they COULDN'T, unless their target was so close and moving so slowly relative to them that their rounds didn't have a chance to disperse, which means less than 100m away at 250-350kph.

Add in the difficulties of standing, kneeling, or laying behind your gun in a moving aircraft, or sitting on a little stool or sling, wearing goggles that might be a bit foggy, at an open position exposed to the wind, engine noise, and a bunch of other guys in airplanes who want to kill you...yeah, sure they could easily hit a fighter on the nose from 600m away every time.

Now let us consider an AI gunner's reaction to counterfire, having established that he really couldn't hope to hit a fighter from half the average fighter pilot's convergence range.

AI gunners will blaze away accurately in the face of pinpoint counterfire, when a real human being would have been riddled with bullets or splinters of his own aircraft (or in my own case, huddled on his fuselage floor in the fetal position, screaming like a little girl). Most human beings will be killed or disabled by a single LMG round, especially when you consider that most of the guns mounted on fighters were high powered rifle caliber or better. Most gunners wounded were hit by bullets and aircraft splinters that penetrated the skin of the aircraft, not by rounds coming through the window.

As nearly as I can determine, it takes at least three clean hits in the exposed portions of the AI gunner's body to silence his gun. For all intents and purposes, the portions of his body hidden behind his gun or the skin of the aircraft are untouchable, which in the case of ˜tunnel' gunners or any other gunner visible only through a porthole or small window, makes them essentially invulnerable. Additionally, his gun is bulletproof too, making him even harder to silence.

Obviously, this is a simplified damage model dating back from Oleg's original concept for a single aircraft simulator, but it is profoundly galling to be pounding an Me 110G's wingroots and cockpit from a high four o'clock position in a P-38 300m away, hear a couple of thumps and see the HUD display "Fuel Leak" or "Machine Gun Disabled" EVERY STINKING TIME.

Finally, let's look at the most ludicrous AI gunner behavior: shooting (accurately) during hi G or negative G maneuvers. Seriously, what offline campaigner hasn't had his engine oil smeared across his windshield after flying too close to a recently de-winged enemy bomber?

If this has never happened to you, PM me immediately. Your extraordinary luck can be put to better use picking out my Lottery numbers.

I'm just going to ignore the whole issue of rapidly changing target deflection and so on, and cut right to the heart of the matter: Most gunners on bombers and attack aircraft were not strapped in. Remember what I said about standing, crouching, kneeling and laying down behind their guns? In most bombers, particularly in the early war period, that was the preferred method of serving your gun. A quick in-game survey of the most encountered gunners' positions can confirm this for you, if you doubt me.

But even the guy with a seated position wasn't exactly firmly strapped in. Look at the 110 gunner's seat, or the Stuka's. Looks like nothing so much as a backless lawn chair. Even if the belts more or less keep you in your seat, unless you have an amazing set of abs and a correspondingly well developed lower back, your upper torso is going to be flailing back and forth during the sideslips, rolls, negative G dips, climbs, dives and so on.

SBDs and Pe-3 type gunner positions were little better. In some Il-2s, the gunner sat on a wide strap stretched across the fuselage, but it was a pretty tight fit, and the gun breech probably helped hold him in.

Regardless, until we go to the self-contained turrets of the more modern bombers, the gunners tended to bounce around like dice in a cup during any sharp maneuver. If the gun went off during said maneuver, it was purely accidental.

Not in my wildest dreams do I believe that it is possible to remedy these flaws (and they ARE flaws) in the current game. I believe that they are a basic part of the original code, with roots in Oleg's original concept of a one airplane simulator featuring the Sturmovik. If they could have been fixed, they would have by now.

Now, I know that there are some self proclaimed 'experts' who are going to tell me to learn how to fly, or use different tactics, because the AI gunners are perfectly reasonable, and you can shoot them down if you use off-angle, high speed, high difficulty attacks.

My carefully reasoned response is, Stick it in your ear. The name of the game for the offline player is immersion, and that means being able to use the tactics that were successfully used in real life. Guess what? The overwhelming majority of bomber/multiseat aircraft kills were achieved from within the 4 to 8 o'clock angles that are invariably fatal for the Player in this game, especially if he approaches closer than 300m of his intended victim, as the real life pilots usually did.

For the rest of that thread, go here:

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/foru...283/m/5291037645/p/1 (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/5291037645/p/1)

cheers

horseback

BillSwagger
12-28-2009, 08:28 AM
Originally posted by horseback:
EVERY shot a defensive gunner made to any angle other than a dead six or twelve o'clock level, was off axis, and he had to correct his shots not only for his target's relative motion, but also for his own aircraft's forward momentum. Every shot was high deflection, and inaccurately judged bursts were scattered and ineffective.



I enjoyed this post, but i had to respond to this part because i'm of the opinion that its easier to aim a gun on a swivel as oppose to a fixed gun platform of a plane. The simple fact is overall concentration. I have a gun, i point, i shoot. There is no over steer or nessecary trim changes to account for changes in speed, nor do i need worry about my escape route. The difference being that the guns aimed from a plane have a larger target area to hit, while the guns aimed from a plane must hit a tighter area to be effective. I also know that gunnery was a big part of training, at least in the USAAF. I don't doubt that some gunners could be effective beyond 500m. Historically speaking, bombers usually kept a formation which added the benefit of protection and made for many more angles to be shot from. Add to that, that fighters targeting bombers were using a higher caliber cannon which had shorter ranges than the guns being shot back at them.

In game, i think much of your observations are correct and i think that the Zuti mod addresses some of those issues. ie, g forces, seeing through clouds, etc. You might look into that or at least check out the "read me" to see more about the features it has.

I'm probably the only one that thinks bringing down a bomber is too easy. More from a DM stand point than being shot to pieces by the AI, just cause i see guys park on their six fire a burst and off comes a wing or the whole bird splits in two. I understand the frustration of being shot down, but really try flying a bomber to see it from the other side and you might see how ineffective gunners can be at times.

I always think of hitting a bomber as a crap shoot, and usually if you do apply correct tactics the odds lean more into your favor but there is really no sure fire way to hit one with out taking a couple bullets. In fact, i think being able to tail a bomber with in a certain range of their guns meant trouble, or certain death, historically speaking. This is why rear approaches were discouraged, yet online i see many people attempt this method because it still works a surprising amount of the time. You should also know which planes to hit bombers with, and using a water cooled engine plane on a heavy isn't wise.

I know that there are many different takes on this subject, but i don't think there's any reason a Spitfire or 109 should last more than a couple seconds tailing a bomber. I know that many would like to live that fantasy through a video game, but the reality is that both of those planes were relatively easy to bring down if hit in the engine. Interestingly, the P-51 has this glass jaw reputation, but the 109 and spitfire are very similar in engineering and as likely to be burdened by a bullet to the radiator or engine compartment. The P-38 has two of these engines, and is a bigger target. None of these planes i would use for hitting a bomber.


Bill

horseback
12-28-2009, 12:08 PM
Bill, all I can tell you is 'think it through'.

If you are on a moving platform, you are subject to every slight variation in vector; the real aircraft is constantly making slight variations to approximate a straight and level flight. In essence, the aircraft is making a sort of corkscrewing path through the air, except that the path is totally unpredictable <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">unless you are the one controlling the flight</span>. You might be able to walk or stand fairly easily in that aircraft flying in near ideal conditions with a competent relaxed pilot, but accurately aim a machine gun at a target about the size of a compact car over 100m away? Add in the factors of the target moving at a different rate of speed and varying vertical & horizontal angles relative to your own, and you are quickly in very deep kim chee.

And that is aiming at a target approaching you from almost directly behind.

It's hard enough to hit a moving target at those ranges from a fixed stable position.

The ai are successful because they have precise knowledge of an approaching virtual aircraft's range, angle and speed added or subtracted from their own aircraft's precisely known and predictable movement.

A man on a plane flown by someone else cannot anticipate what the man in the cockpit is going to do; this makes it difficult to aim accurately.

Judging rapidly varying range, speed and distance with the Mark One human eyeball is also hard; added to the unpredictable (if minor) changes in your own movement, the difficulty of aiming at that small moving target is squared and cubed, and the more extreme the angle and speed differences between your own movement and that of your target, the harder the firing solution becomes.

Applying theory to practice under those conditions is difficult. I would consider it akin to hitting a big league curveball; it's a simple concept that is very hard to actually execute (for our foreign friends, a professional baseball player who can consistantly hit safely at a 30% rate is paid millions of dollars). It's doubly hard because there was so little positive feedback in real life.

Bombers built and designed before the war bristled with machine guns, and it was a rare aircrewman of any nation's air force who actually got the kind of intensive training that USAAF gunners received in 1943/44. These aircraft were swatted down like flies by fighters armed with as few as two 7mm MGs which were barely twenty or thirty mph faster (and often considerably less) than the bombers they were engaging.

How could this have happened if:
its easier to aim a gun on a swivel as oppose to a fixed gun platform of a plane. The simple fact is overall concentration. I have a gun, i point, i shoot(?) They had flexible gun mounts for the pilot on a number of fighters early in the First World War; they soon came to the conclusion that it is easier to aim the whole airplane than it is to aim a gun off angle to your line of flight at a moving target. With the greater speeds of WWII fighters, the difficulties of aiming are orders of magnitude greater for the flexible gunner.

Even the enormous USAAF bomber formations, with their many heavy defensive guns and scientifically designed formations for mutual support and coverage HAD TO HAVE fighter escorts right up to the end of the war, or they were toast. There were incidents right up to late April of 1944 where formations would fail to rendezvous with their escorts and get caught by enemy fighters and get ripped to shreds, even with the undertrained kids in 190s and 109s that the LW was fielding during the last 18 months or so of the war.

By the way, it made little difference whether the attacking fighter had a radial or inline engine; a fighter attacking a multiseater was more likely to take random hits in the wings than it was to get hit in the engine; the P-38 was originally designed as an interceptor, and when it encountered enemy bombers, it was practically untouchable (and usually devestatingly effective). Likewise the 109 and Spitfire; these aircraft were considered less effective in the anti bomber role because of their lighter armament (the Spit mounted 8X.303 in its BoB days), NOT because inline engines were more vulnerable to defensive fire.

cheers

horseback

DuxCorvan
12-28-2009, 02:29 PM
I'm with Horseback in this. And to support it, I'll add a few sentences I've translated from the war memoirs of Cpt. Andrés G. Lacalle, a Spanish Republican ace who led the main squadron of I-15s during Spanish Civil War. Keep in mind that this man was instructor and had plenty experience both as a fighter pilot and a bomber gunner -he mastered both roles- in the obsolescent slow planes -hence easier to aim- of the 20s and 30s:

"Riding a Nieuport (Hispano-Nieuport Ni.52) against a Breguet (Breguet Br.XIX) wasn't even proportional: it was almost a murder. I knew this enormous advantage too well since I made my training as a gunner, since I got tired making experiments with guns both as a gunner and as a fighter pilot" (...)

"The tactical theory about installing in bomber planes multiple guns covering all dead angles at the expense of speed, was widely discarded for years. I remember very well, that one or two years before war (SCW), there was a heated debate about this very topic in the 2nd Escuadrilla de Caza (FS) based in Getafe, taking as an example the only Junker bomber (Junkers Ju 52) we had then -one which was destroyed in the first base bombings- and a slow Nieuport fighter. I was completely sure that I'd hit the Junker at least five times with my gun camera, for every single time the Junker gunners could even follow and frame my Nieuport, and I was ready to bet my monthly pay in it. Nobody accepted the challenge.

It was not boasting nor arrogance. As both a fighter and bomber pilot, and well trained as a gunner, and despite the then usual politics of installing many handled guns aboard bombers, I knew first hand, after testing it many times, that a fighter pilot has almost always the advantage of surprise, speed and handling; of having the initiative of any attack, much more range and density of fire, very few vulnerable points, the protection of a massive engine, and having a much faster and more comfortable aiming. Concluding, it didn't matter how many guns had the bomber to defend itself, it could barely reject the attack of a decided fighter pilot. (...) A bomber had few, very few chances of salvation without proper fighter cover, when hunted by experienced fighter pilots."

Cheers.

mortoma
12-28-2009, 02:53 PM
The AI gunners in this sim are terrible and I hate to have to say it again. If people are having trouble shooting down bombers then it's only because it was dangerous in W.W.II in real life. Ask any surviving German pilots that were tasked with going after B-17s and 24s if they were scared to go in close into the range of the gunners. They were scared out of their wits and many have said that. I not only can shoot much better than the AI gunners but I usually have no real trouble attacking bombers either. But yet I will get hit and even shot down on occasion and that's just realistic and the way it was in real life. Get used to it or download a game from Fisher-Price or Playskool if you can't handle it. I hope that clears things up for you guys....sigh......

BillSwagger
12-28-2009, 03:05 PM
I wasn't looking to debate history being that much of what you described really only tells part of the story. Considering my grandpa flew 10 missions as a tail gunner, and only one time did he encounter a fighter that never dared get close enough to engage. None of his missions had support (escorts). This isn't to say that bombers weren't shot down, and many times it was flak that did them in. You also have to consider the numbers of planes sent to take on a formation of bombers. We are talking sometimes as many as 30 planes.
I guess where i'm going with this is that if you expect one solitary fighter to attack a bomber and not receive heavy damage, particularly from the rear, then what your asking for isn't really an accurate representation, in my opinion.
There are planes better designed for that roll, but tactically speaking its just not good to attack a bomber from the rear. You hit fast and from the side.

When people describe over modeled AI gunners i really think they should try flying a bomber mission online to get a feel for just how destructive AI guns are or aren't.

Have you ever flown any bomber missions online, horseback?
It tells a different tail, and i think it might give you a bit of perspective on the AI gunners.


Bill

horseback
12-28-2009, 06:00 PM
Originally posted by BillSwagger:
I wasn't looking to debate history being that much of what you described really only tells part of the story. Considering my grandpa flew 10 missions as a tail gunner, and only one time did he encounter a fighter that never dared get close enough to engage. None of his missions had support (escorts). This isn't to say that bombers weren't shot down, and many times it was flak that did them in. You also have to consider the numbers of planes sent to take on a formation of bombers. We are talking sometimes as many as 30 planes.
I guess where i'm going with this is that if you expect one solitary fighter to attack a bomber and not receive heavy damage, particularly from the rear, then what your asking for isn't really an accurate representation, in my opinion.
There are planes better designed for that roll, but tactically speaking its just not good to attack a bomber from the rear. You hit fast and from the side.

When people describe over modeled AI gunners i really think they should try flying a bomber mission online to get a feel for just how destructive AI guns are or aren't.

Have you ever flown any bomber missions online, horseback?
It tells a different tail, and i think it might give you a bit of perspective on the AI gunners.


Bill Have you ever tried to shoot at a target while on a moving platform Bill? The ai piloted aircraft in this sim are smooth as glass; they don't even give you that little 'bump' you get flying over a river or shoreline. They are unaffected by the low-level turbulance a human pilot has to fight in 'poor' weather, and they don't bounce and jump when hit by enemy fire, the way a human flown virtual aircraft will.

I found that out while flying bomber missions in the 'back seat' some years before you joined these boards. <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">AI gunners aboard human piloted aircraft are markedly less accurate because human pilots cannot approach the smoothness and predictibility that an AI pilot can; it's as simple as that. You are usually better off flying as a gunner than as a pilot on a bomber mission because aiming with your mouse is pretty easy as long as your pilot doesn't surprise you.</span>

I grew up on Air Force bases in the 50s and 60s; I talked with many WWII veterans, both aircrew and pilots, and as my second post indicated, I've spent plenty of time in and examining various gunner positions in WWII era aircraft, both actual and while making scale models of them. I've taken flights in C-47s, B-25s, an A-20 and a B-17, as well as one memorable hop over the Tucson area in a Mustang in early 1970.

My personal aviation library has been gathered over the last thirty years, and numbers literally hundreds of books and magazines (I have over 100 Osprey titles alone, never mind the four dozen + hard cover books on my shelves). Two particularly relevent volumes are Freeman's The Mighty Eighth and Caldwell & Muller's Luftwaffe Over Germany: Defense of the Reich. You might want to find these and actually read them.

With the exception of the Mustang, these birds often gave a rough, bouncy ride at medium altitudes in fairly good weather (something relatively rare over NW Europe during most of the war). There was always an element of up and down and side to side; the air is never a flat surface. I have no reason to expect that things would get smoother over 15,000ft, particularly with pilots trying to keep station on their leaders and flying through the turbulance left behind by other formations ahead of them...

On top of that, I did a fair amount of target shooting and hunting in my teens and early twenties. I had 20-15 vision back then, good reflexes and motor skills which translated into being a pretty good shot; I've hit crows on the wing with a .22 rifle from around 50 yards off more than once.

Naturally, when I joined the Navy and we had small arms familiarization on the fantail of my little fast frigate, I expected to be able to hit the orange plastic 5 gallon can we set adrift behind us when it was my turn to fire the M-14. The sea was calm, and we were barely doing 10 knots and I was one of the lucky few who got his sea legs quickly and never suffered from sea sickness. The deck's motion was fairly smooth and almost predictable.

I got to fire a whole clip of something like 10 rounds from about fifty yards away. I got within 5 yards once, I think. Those were very benign conditions, there was next to no stress, I had lots of experience shooting at moving targets, and I couldn't hit a damned thing I was aiming at.

There was a later experience when we had a good 15-20 guys blazing away at a frigate bird (these have about a 6 ft wingspan--it's a big bird) following our ship less than 30 yards off; we ran out of ammo without coming close to hitting the stupid thing...just as well, since we found out later that they are a protected species. BTW, the bird was flying at the same speed as the ship, and it wasn't exactly dodging about, and we were firing M-14s, .45s and at least one M-60 at it for around five minutes.

I made a comparison to trying to aim a pintle mounted gun on the back of a pickup earlier. Riding on one of those, even with a smooth road and a smooth driver, it would be almost impossible to accurately fire at a moving car-sized target even 50 yards away, even one directly behind you. There would be unpredictable little bumps and swerves while you tried to aim, sort of like someone bumping your elbow a fraction at odd intervals. An aircraft provides an even less stable firing platform than that would be.

I don't doubt your grandfather's word, but he was one of many thousands of young airmen who saw hardly any enemy aircraft, and never had one (or several) attack his flight. The record shows conclusively that aerial gunners claimed dozens of aircraft for every one actually shot down in WWII. I've talked to guys who survived the air battles of late 1943 and early 1944, and all my uncles served AA guns in the Pacific theater and saw combat (one survived a pair of kamikaze hits on his destroyer off Okinawa). None of them ever suggested that hitting an airplane was an easy thing to do.

The record also shows that while fighter pilots respected the relatively slight possibility that they might be hit by defensive fire, the odds of being seriously damaged by a single gunner with a rifle caliber MG were pretty low, and I would suggest that the odds were way less than 1% against early war mediums and single engine attack planes caught in small vee formations and by themselves. Check out the accounts of the surviviors of the Battle of Heligoland Bight, for instance, or the results of Allied attempts to bomb bridges or strongpoints without escorts.

8th AF escort pilots prayed for an opportunity to catch a flock of 110s or 410s without single engined protection, because these were truly 'easy meat'; that poor bastage bouncing around in the back seat was the next best thing to irrelevent because no sane pilot was going to fly straight and level to help him aim his little 7.9mm popgun more accurately, and any single seat American fighter could fly rings around them.

The massed fire of larger formations may have been hairier propositions, but those were more like flying into a hail of birdshot fired randomly in the fighters' general direction than to genuinely aimed fire, and even then,the loss rates of the attackers <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">per pass</span> rarely approached what the ai gunners in Il-2 can inflict long before the attackers get within 300m.

I frankly don't care what the ai do online; my stated context is offline and immersion in campaign mode, not FPS QMBs or aerial Doom or COD4-like team furballs. I know that some squads and cooperative servers can provide a form of immersive on mission experiences, but I lack the free time and team spirit/aptitude for those, and I'm openly lobbying for a more realistic fighter vs gunner portrayal in future flight combat sims.

Currently, the historic record is being stood on its head every time a Bf 110 or any armed bomber or attack plane takes off in Il-2.

cheers

horseback

mortoma
12-28-2009, 06:08 PM
Yet another excellent argument in favor of the AI gunners being terrible is simply this:

How many times can to you get in as pilot of a bomber of any type in the game and rely on your gunners to protect you?? I'll tell you. Big fat zero times, that's how many. If they are so deadly then why am I shot down about every single time I go up in a bomber? Even if I'm in a flight of four bombers and only two enemy fighters show up, my goose is cooked every single time. True for the new Italian Stallion bomber too, whatever they call that thing. SM.72 or something like that?? Well in any case I think I have a valid point. Try to survive in any bomber campaign and then come back in here and tell us how good those gunners did for you. How are those gunners workin' out for ya?? Thought so!!

gamer025
12-29-2009, 07:13 AM
I believe historically that defensive gunners were intended to be more of a deterrent than actually kill enemy planes.

Whenever I watch old gun camera footage of attacks on bombers they almost always approach from the rear quarter don't appear to be in much danger.

If gunners in life were as accurate as the AI gunners in the game, there would never have been a need for fighter escorts.

The truth is, even with huge bomber formations designed for maximum protection, the USAAF lost 20% of all bombers sent against the Luftwaffe until suitable escorts were available.

TheGrunch
12-29-2009, 11:44 AM
I think it's quite easy to see where the AI gunners are too good and where they are deficient. They are too good in terms of general shooting accuracy at zero deflection, lack of any form of gun recoil, immunity to G-forces, gun overheating, no need for changing ammo drums and of course due to the perfectly straight-and-level perfectly-trimmed nature of AI pilots, but absolutely terrible in terms of deflection shooting.
All of these can be fixed in the code, it would just be a case of giving them the enemy aircraft's actual speed, range and flight path which would allow them to create a perfect gunnery solution, then adding or subtracting a random number from each of these variables to add a bit of randomness to their aiming. The range of the random numbers could get smaller to simulate increasing gunner proficiency. I have no idea how badly all of these calculations would hammer the game's performance, though. AI is usually the most demanding part of a game's performance footprint.

Romanator21
12-29-2009, 01:09 PM
I agree with horseback. However, the current system for a simulator is arguably the best: No one flies in realistic formations meant to provide cover for each aircraft, fighter pilots do not have fear of death, no one wants to provide escort for their fellow heavies, and are instead focused on killing something else that will give them points.

The only way to resolve this I think is to make bigger penalties for players who die, and give points to escorting fighters even if they don't shoot anyone down (They just have to deter the enemy from making free attacks, and not follow the fleeing enemies to the mud), and give AI that fly proper formations and allow the player to enter those formations at any position, depending on the mission, and give more points for bomber pilots.

When it comes down to it, most people who play the game want their kill or their points. So, change the points in a way that favors a more accurate approach.

BM357_Sniper
12-29-2009, 03:54 PM
Originally posted by mortoma:
Yet another excellent argument in favor of the AI gunners being terrible is simply this:

How many times can to you get in as pilot of a bomber of any type in the game and rely on your gunners to protect you?? I'll tell you. Big fat zero times, that's how many. If they are so deadly then why am I shot down about every single time I go up in a bomber? Even if I'm in a flight of four bombers and only two enemy fighters show up, my goose is cooked every single time. True for the new Italian Stallion bomber too, whatever they call that thing. SM.72 or something like that?? Well in any case I think I have a valid point. Try to survive in any bomber campaign and then come back in here and tell us how good those gunners did for you. How are those gunners workin' out for ya?? Thought so!!

You obviously didn't read all of his posts....
"AI gunners aboard human piloted aircraft are markedly less accurate because human pilots cannot approach the smoothness and predictibility that an AI pilot can; it's as simple as that. You are usually better off flying as a gunner than as a pilot on a bomber mission because aiming with your mouse is pretty easy as long as your pilot doesn't surprise you."

It's in yellow...

Frankthetank36
12-29-2009, 06:27 PM
You can be the pilot and they AI will still shoot well. Flew an SBD a few times and the AI shot down 2 zeroes while I was flying on the deck (although I was shot down twice myself). Is it just me or does the AI have TONS of ammo?

JtD
12-30-2009, 07:13 AM
The AI gunners have the same amount of ammo you have as a human gunner.

Best I ever managed in game is shooting down 32 bombers in a row without getting hit. I don't think there is a WW2 pilot who can say the same.

Romanator21
12-30-2009, 11:23 AM
That's because your job is 10 times more simple, lol. Doing well in this sim really doesn't mean anything when it comes to the real life deal.

JtD
12-30-2009, 11:39 AM
So?

The same way my job is simpler, the job for the gunners is simpler. They still didn't manage to hit.

DuxCorvan
12-30-2009, 12:08 PM
If gunners were supposed to be that good, why was a concept like the Defiant such a failure? Had the real life gunners been half as accurate as in the game, the Defiant would have been the best fighter of WW2, Stukas would have kept their name in BoB, and the Bf 110 would have been a remarkable success.

M_Gunz
12-30-2009, 12:32 PM
That is assuming their targets flew the same as ....

Let's see, did the LW find that certain tactics did not work and mandated others?
Did the LW lose planes and men while attacking bombers even as they did take some down?
Were there LW pilots who landed saying (in German) "I only got four!"?

Note that not all IL2 players have problems with the AI gunners. Their copies of IL2
must be different.

DuxCorvan
12-30-2009, 02:45 PM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
Were there LW pilots who landed saying (in German) "I only got four!"?

They were in Schweinfurt.

Guess why the P-51 became a need.

And how is it that the slow Fokker was so effective against Russian bombers in the Winter War? Because many lacked fighter escort, and their gunners could not make the miracles they do in this game, against slowly reaching fighter machines which could fire from longer ranges, with more accuracy and punch.

I don't have problems beating the AI gunners. That's not the problem. The problem is they behave unrealistically -as most of the in-game AI- breaking my immersion and jump of disbelief, and forcing me to adopt rare extreme tactics that were only used late at war when facing enormous waves of packed bombers and massive -not accurate, just massive- fire.

JtD
12-30-2009, 03:20 PM
Originally posted by DuxCorvan:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by M_Gunz:
Were there LW pilots who landed saying (in German) "I only got four!"?

They were in Schweinfurt. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, there were very few who claimed two, none to claim more than that.

Saburo_0
12-30-2009, 05:47 PM
From the link on the thread on shooting down an RC aircraft with fireworks.
12/27/09
When I was in the army we tried to shoot down an RC plan with 30 rifles and machine guns. They were mostly M16s on full auto but we had some M60s and a M2 .50 cal in the mix. The idea was to put up a "wall of bullets" that the plane would fly thru. We expended a lot of ammunition and never did hit the plane. That fact was the point of the exercise: if your only defense against aircraft is small arms, you are screwed. Reply
beercheck promoted this comment The5thElephant approved this comment

JtD
12-31-2009, 04:17 AM
Trying a bit of historical tactics, Fw 190F-8 vs. B-17G. Using the F because I can fire the 20mm separately, and also because 4x20 is just too much for the B-17 to handle.

Went online, so I'd get info on the hit percentage.

First setup, 6 o'clock medium range attack (600m open fire, 200m pull out):
Scored 33 hits out of 400 rounds, B-17 would not go down, got hit by 3 out of 374 rounds, didn't go down. Gunner accuracy: 0.8%
Second setup, high side attacks from close range:
Scored 44 hits outs of 230 rounds, B-17 went down, got hit by 8 out of 1681 rounds, didn't go down. Gunner accuracy: 0.5%
Third setup, 12 o'clock attacks from close range:
Scored 31 hits out of 190 rounds, B-17 went down, got hit by 5 out of 879 rounds, didn't go down. Gunner accuracy: 0.6%.

All in all, hardly unreasonable.

M_Gunz
12-31-2009, 05:35 AM
Originally posted by Saburo_0:
From the link on the thread on shooting down an RC aircraft with fireworks.
12/27/09
When I was in the army we tried to shoot down an RC plan with 30 rifles and machine guns. They were mostly M16s on full auto but we had some M60s and a M2 .50 cal in the mix. The idea was to put up a "wall of bullets" that the plane would fly thru. We expended a lot of ammunition and never did hit the plane. That fact was the point of the exercise: if your only defense against aircraft is small arms, you are screwed. Reply
beercheck promoted this comment The5thElephant approved this comment

And yet in Vietnam there were manned jets shot up with holes by exactly that method, some even downed.
Must be the training, huh?

Judging anything by how well noobs do is like expecting a less-than-half-trained gamer to match a trained pilot.
Common sense says "no way" yet time after time the gamers post as if they are the full measure to judge by.

According to one US military "study" the chances of a plane destroying a tank are practically nil yet there are
war films showing the attacks and tanks being destroyed, even flipped through the air sometimes in pieces.
One example does not make the rule either way, both prove what is possible.

We have AI gunners who are good at targets that move in steady fashion across their vision. Some players have
figured this out -- some players are still learning and -- other players don't learn, they just b!tch and look for
a mod of some kind to dumb the game down to what they can handle because that would make it "right".

M_Gunz
12-31-2009, 06:06 AM
Originally posted by DuxCorvan:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by M_Gunz:
Were there LW pilots who landed saying (in German) "I only got four!"?

They were in Schweinfurt. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

As already pointed out, no they were not. There were two Schweinfurt raids. The really bad one for losses was a low
level attack made with timed explosives. Unfortunately one group was just over the target when the bombs from another
went off and obliterated many of them. They earlier bombers provided low level flak where flak alone was bad enough.


Guess why the P-51 became a need.

OH! DO TELL! I could never even begin to guess! Was it because they were so pretty?


And how is it that the slow Fokker was so effective against Russian bombers in the Winter War? Because many lacked fighter escort, and their gunners could not make the miracles they do in this game, against slowly reaching fighter machines which could fire from longer ranges, with more accuracy and punch.

Surely it had nothing to do with training or gunners in near-hypothermia. I had read from one Finn who wrote about
his plane taking many-many hits as he flew along and peppered the Russian bomber from close six. Where was the gunner
then? Maybe the tail of the bomber was in his way some of the time? Was his plane overmodeled? Did the Russian gunner
have API or even AP bullets? So many questions but you are so sure, just like with Schweinfurt!


I don't have problems beating the AI gunners. That's not the problem. The problem is they behave unrealistically -as most of the in-game AI- breaking my immersion and jump of disbelief, and forcing me to adopt rare extreme tactics that were only used late at war when facing enormous waves of packed bombers and massive -not accurate, just massive- fire.

Yup. I've been shot down in one hit from tanks on the ground simulating massed fire beyond numbers. What did I do?
Oh yeah, I quit flying straight when over enemy territory. These AI suck at prediction and are poor at deflection.
They are stoooooopid compared to humans. They are poor enough as it is but by all means make them even worse!

I have bigger problems with how they can always see me and in single-player do gang up even as my own side is poor
at holding up their own side of the fight, which to me is nothing new in combat flight sims at all. Yet compared
to online when I am not meeting noobs and dweebs the AI is very predictable and much easier to fight. When I can
down 4+ of them per mission average, I don't sweat their skills or throw the Unreal Flag over their gunnery. It was
already out before then! But by all means, there should be a toggle -- there WILL be a mod.

M_Gunz
12-31-2009, 06:12 AM
Originally posted by JtD:
Trying a bit of historical tactics, Fw 190F-8 vs. B-17G. Using the F because I can fire the 20mm separately, and also because 4x20 is just too much for the B-17 to handle.

Went online, so I'd get info on the hit percentage.

First setup, 6 o'clock medium range attack (600m open fire, 200m pull out):
Scored 33 hits out of 400 rounds, B-17 would not go down, got hit by 3 out of 374 rounds, didn't go down. Gunner accuracy: 0.8%
Second setup, high side attacks from close range:
Scored 44 hits outs of 230 rounds, B-17 went down, got hit by 8 out of 1681 rounds, didn't go down. Gunner accuracy: 0.5%
Third setup, 12 o'clock attacks from close range:
Scored 31 hits out of 190 rounds, B-17 went down, got hit by 5 out of 879 rounds, didn't go down. Gunner accuracy: 0.6%.

All in all, hardly unreasonable.

I used to find the B-17's as dependable lighters just by stitching 20mm across the wings from high and low side
attacks. Only a few hits needed in 1/4 second bursts between moderate turns. Much easier to down than He-111.
Much easier than trying to kill engines or even cockpits. Has that changed?

JtD
12-31-2009, 06:44 AM
I tried to avoid the "outer wing catches fire when grimly looked upon" feature in the above scenarios, it would make things even more easy.

But what I did in the meantime was pressing home 6 o'clock attacks and found that I'd lose a 190F-8 for every 5 B-17's shot down and a pilot for every 8. Given that about 700 heavy bombers were lost to enemy fighters in the ETO in 1943, you'd get to 140 fighters and 90 pilots lost to gunners for the Luftwaffe for a whole year of Reich defense. Feel free to check that against historical records, all I can provide is that US heavy bomber gunners claimed more than 3000 enemy aircraft destroyed in the ETO in 1943 and typically overclaimed by a factor of 10.

horseback
12-31-2009, 10:58 AM
As usual, the deniers assume a steady state of combat operations in the early war, misstate the historical record, and twist the original complaint about AI gunner's accuracy from small formations which provided poor mutual support, or individual aircraft, mostly equipped with light caliber pintle or ball and socket mounsted machine guns.

M_Gunz among others conflates the B-17 heavy Schweinfurt raids with the low level B-24 raids on Ploesti mounted from N. Africa:
As already pointed out, no they were not. There were two Schweinfurt raids. The really bad one for losses was a low
level attack made with timed explosives. Unfortunately one group was just over the target when the bombs from another
went off and obliterated many of them. They earlier bombers provided low level flak where flak alone was bad enough. Wrong, as usual. Both raids were made from over 20kft, as appropriate for daylight raids deep into occupied Europe. Here’re the Schweinfurt box scores:

1st Schweinfurt (Aug 17th, 1943): 60 bombers lost, almost 150 more ‘damaged’ for German losses of 40 fighters, of which approximately half were caught by Allied fighter escorts (one of the earliest uses of belly tanks on the Jug).

2nd Schweinfurt (October 14th, 1943): another 60 bombers lost, 7 more scrapped upon return, plus another 142 ‘damaged’ for German losses of 38 fighters, seven of which can be credited to the only Allied FG to successfully make rendezvous, the 353rd. Most of the fighters lost can be assumed to have been hit making passes on formations, not individual stragglers.

I should point out that throughout 1943 the 8th Bomber Command was still trying to build up to the numbers that their pre-war theories said would overwhelm German defenses, and that little things like heavy ground fog over England or cloud cover over the target or rendezvous areas could limit operations or success for either side (2nd Schweinfurt was charactorized by heavy cloud cover over Europe, which both prevented Allied fighter support and allowed several damaged bombers to escape the LW's attentions). Thus, there were far fewer bombers available to make raids in spring and summer of that year than there were available to make raids in the bad weather months of the fall and winter (and 1943-44 was considered to be a particularly bad winter).

You cannot extrapolate losses or sorty rates as a constant, and you cannot often determine how many of the German losses were due to weather rather than defensive fire. You have to remember also that the Germans were also climbing a learning curve; they were facing a much larger and more heavily armed bomber than had been seen over daytime Europe in meaningful numbers, and they were not operating from fully matured doctrine and skillset. They were much less effective in April 1943 than they would be in October.

I have already noted that the most effective defensive fire was the result of as many guns as possible firing as many rounds as possible in the general direction of an attacking fighter, forcing it to fly through a 'cloud' of bullets <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">randomly aimed,</span> regardless of caliber; the more rounds fired, the better the chance that one of them would be a 'golden BB'. But that was STRICTLY THE RESULT OF MASSED STACKED FORMATIONS & SUSTAINED FIRE, NOT SMALL OR VEE FORMATIONS, MUCH LESS SINGLETONS.

As pointed out repeatedly, small formations or even better, individual bomber or attack aircraft were preferred targets because they could not defend themselves that way AND THE GUNNERS COULD NOT HIT THE BROAD SIDE OF A BARN FROM MORE THAN 100M AWAY UNLESS THEY WERE INSIDE IT.

The contrast with the AI's aimed fire with the cloud of bullets is pretty obvious; the engine or prop pitch control damaged, pilot wounded or killed consistantly unless he jukes and feints constantly from about 600m in, regardless of the angle of approach, if the guns (NOT the gunner's eye through the sights) can be brought to bear. <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Instead of the random hits on the wings we would see from a human marksman struggling to keep his sights on a small distant target against recoil and the random movement of his firing platform, we get a concentrated burst in the center of the target far more often and at a greater distance than a modern stabilized fire control system could duplicate on an actual aircraft today. </span>

A player in the gunner position is in a far better position than his real-life counterpart simply because he is firing from a rock steady platform 99% of the time, something that never happened in real life. He is moving the guns with a mouse, not muscling a 25 to 75 pound weight around, and he can always look down the sights of his gun, something physically impossible at the extreme angles of most early war bomber and attack defensive positions (think about how many times you've been whacked by the rear tunnel gun when you were at an extreme angle--where the gunner could not possibly see you over his sights).

The mouse gunner doesn't have to deal with recoil or the aircraft he is in bouncing and jumping when it is being hammered by return fire until it actually breaks up or explodes; the player in the attacking aircraft has to compensate for the bounces and suffers a series of 'disconnects' when he is taking hits.

Hitting an attacking fighter from any manually operated flexible gun was probably the most difficult feat of the WWII air war; shooting down a plane with a fighter's fixed armament was child's play by comparison. This game turns that equation on its head.

cheers

horseback

K_Freddie
12-31-2009, 03:30 PM
You lot must be doing something wrong...

I've setup 16x B17's on ace mode, and attacked with 4x Fw's. The AI FW's get handled cos they stupid.. But I can get at least 3 B17s before my damage starts to tell, which is what I expect.I then pull out of the attack.

Sometimes I get hammered before I get close and pull out early.

Nope.. there 's no problem with the AI... it's just your tactics
http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Frankthetank36
12-31-2009, 05:45 PM
^190's are quite durable and the armament is fantastic. Try doing that with a 109.

JtD
01-01-2010, 08:47 AM
Wrong, as usual. Both raids were made from over 20kft, as appropriate for daylight raids deep into occupied Europe. Here’re the Schweinfurt box scores:

Not true, due to weather the bombers flew below 20000 feet in the first attack.
Guess all that remains valid from your post is the incredible rudeness you treat other forum members with.

JtD
01-01-2010, 09:13 AM
Originally posted by K_Freddie:
...I've setup 16x B17's on ace mode, and attacked with 4x Fw's. The AI FW's get handled cos they stupid..

Try a ratio of 1 fighter for 1 bomber, and it's a massacre.

Saburo_0
01-01-2010, 12:47 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Wrong, as usual. Both raids were made from over 20kft, as appropriate for daylight raids deep into occupied Europe. Here’re the Schweinfurt box scores:

Not true, due to weather the bombers flew below 20000 feet in the first attack.
Guess all that remains valid from your post is the incredible rudeness you treat other forum members with. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Um, I don't see Horseback as being rude. Frustrated trying to explain his point, yeah, but rude. No. And I have found a lot of his posts interesting.

JtD
01-01-2010, 02:43 PM
Labeling people "the deniers" just because they have a different opinion, or claiming "wrong as usual" (posting a wrong "correction" is just the icing on the cake) is quite rude in my book. Maybe it's just arrogance, who knows.

He's not posted any hit ratios achieved by heavy bombers in WW2. That would be an argument. Some guys trying to shoot seagulls, isn't.

Using historical tactics in game will give you historical results in most cases. Single bombers in game are not a threat, neither are small formations, unless they get lucky or the fighter pilot displays an incredible amount of carelessness or arrogance.

Now the gunners most certainly are not realistic, for several reason, some of which horseback has mentioned and I totally agree with. What's not true is that they are too accurate overall, not more so than any other element in game.

Try putting up 180 B-17's spread out over 20 miles against 120 fighters, 30 at a time attacking part of the formation. Compare to the historical results. Come back complaining about the gunners.

horseback
01-01-2010, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Wrong, as usual. Both raids were made from over 20kft, as appropriate for daylight raids deep into occupied Europe. Here’re the Schweinfurt box scores:

Not true, due to weather the bombers flew below 20000 feet in the first attack.
Guess all that remains valid from your post is the incredible rudeness you treat other forum members with. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Actually, the weather over the target area was clear; the weather over the Bomber bases in England was foggy, which had the effect of delaying both strike groups and messing up the rendezvous with escorts. I had mistakenly assumed that clear weather over the target would mean a strike from the standard alts, but that still cannot in any way be confused with the low-level altitudes attempted on Ploesti. German pilot accounts mention making attacks from 8000m over the target area and "well below" the bombers from 5000m on the North Sea approaches, so at least part of the raid was definitely made at or near the usual altitudes. Source: Luftwaffe Over Germany, Caldwell & Muller.

However, the first strike group (4th Bombardment Group), which was supposed to divert to North Africa after the strike definitely make their attacks in formations stepped up from 17,000 ft to 19,000 ft, not because of weather, but for greater accuracy, according to Freeman's Mighty Eighth.

I can find no definite statement that the second part of the raid by the 1st Bombardment Group was made below 20K ft, but the second strike was intended to follow so closely upon the first, in order to catch the defenses either out of position chasing the first strike, or on the ground rearming & refueling that it wasn't supposed to matter.

As for rudeness, I am being made out to be either an incompetent or a liar by some people on these boards. I at least will cite my sources and explain my reasoning, which my opponents invariably ignore and move straight on to the insults, spin and insinuations.

Maybe it has something to do with their own inability to get even their 'corrections' right.

cheers

horseback

JtD
01-01-2010, 04:09 PM
If you check Luftwaffe claims for that day, you'll find that the majority of claims was made for altitudes below 20000 feet. I wouldn't know which group these bombers were shot out off, but the ones that suffered most obviously weren't flying above 20000 feet.

If you think you're being treated poorly, inform a moderator. The situation is not going to improve if you in return insult everyone who doesn't agree with your bottom line. Not that you actually had been insulted before you got rude.

horseback
01-01-2010, 05:21 PM
Labeling people "the deniers" just because they have a different opinion, or claiming "wrong as usual" (posting a wrong "correction" is just the icing on the cake) is quite rude in my book. Maybe it's just arrogance, who knows. Not a wrong correction after all, I think. Gunz’ description of the raid was
“…a low level attack made with timed explosives. Unfortunately one group was just over the target when the bombs from another went off and obliterated many of them. The earlier bombers provided low level flak where flak alone was bad enough.” 17,000 ft is at best, a medium altitude, and the formations were stacked up to 19,000 ft; the second strike group was hardly in any danger from bombs dropped an hour or more earlier. The October Schweinfurt raid was made at higher altitudes, so at worst, I got it half-right. Gunz got it ALL wrong.

As usual.
He's not posted any hit ratios achieved by heavy bombers in WW2. That would be an argument. Some guys trying to shoot seagulls, isn't. Hit ratios? Define the term for me, please, and show me and everyone else, how one can define how many rounds fired can be determined from the bombers, some of which did not return, how many fighters not hit were actually attacking formations of bombers instead of hunting for cripples, engaged by fighter escorts or were just darting from cloud to cloud hiding while their comrades took the risks. I have not identified a reliable way to quantify WWII gunners’ accuracy, because I don’t think there is one.

The only thing we have is that large massed formations of bombers were considerably more able to defend themselves than smaller formations and singletons. That little bit of information is skewed by the fact that ONLY American heavies armed primarily with HMGs and fairly sophisticated gun positions (turrets front & rear, top & bottom, supplemented by waist positions for most of the bomber campaign), flew in large formations planned to provide the most effective mutual support. Attacking those formations required standoff weapons to break the formations up into singletons or twos and threes, which could be safely attacked with standard fighter armament in RELATIVE safety; a gunner was just as likely to miss with a .50 as he was with a .303 or 7.9mm gun, and he could not hope to be as accurate as a fighter pilot aiming his whole plane at his targeting point, and certainly not at the same ranges or with the same concentration of firepower.

I tried to use the experience with the USAAF heavies as a counterpoint to most of the rest of the war’s antibomber tactics, but some have concentrated on that example to the exclusion of what the RAF, VVS, and LW on the Russian & North African fronts faced.

Earlier war scenarios featured medium bombers protected with mostly light machine guns flying in trail or vee formations, which were not particularly good for mutual support. A very different kettle of fish, but <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">the game confers the same effectiveness of a massed heavy formation with lots of heavy guns upon singletons and trios armed with light machine guns and much less sophisticated gun positions</span>.
Using historical tactics in game will give you historical results in most cases. Single bombers in game are not a threat, neither are small formations, unless they get lucky or the fighter pilot displays an incredible amount of carelessness or arrogance. I simply cannot agree with this statement. In-game, you cannot approach a single light or medium multiseater, much less a small formation, without taking (often serious) hits before you get within 500m unless you approach from off angles and vary your angle of approach as you come in. From the gunners’ point of view, the fuselage of an approaching fighter is considerably less than one degree wide at even 100 meters’ distance; unless you’re talking about firing at it from the same plane at a dead six or 12 o’clock position, you have to have some idea of (1) your own speed, (2) your target’s speed, (3) the relative angles of the two aircraft and (4) whether those angles are changing, and how much. In short, you can’t put the pipper in front of the target, knowing he’s going to fly to a specific point in the air; you also have to calculate the point where your forward motion is going to put your bullets relative to where your crosshairs are.

The real life historical scenario has a fighter approaching within 200m from the low rear with greater confidence than you or I would have crossing the street in light traffic; there was an element of risk, but Geico would have happily covered it. If the bomber or zerstorer was trying to maneuver out of the line of fire, the fighter could approach to within almost collision range without fear of counterfire; the gunner is too busy trying to keep from being banged around inside the fuselage to bother with aiming and shooting.

In game, you will take hits more than half the time, usually disabling hits if you dare a second pass if you don’t do a whole bunch of acrobatics and fancy shooting. Get within 100m at almost any angle or rate of closure, and if you enter the gunners’ cone of fire you will almost certainly be hit.

I would also point out that the AI treat each other very differently than they treat the Player; a friendly 'veteran' will get hammered by an enemy 'average' flying a demonstrably inferior aircraft, but ai bombers will hold still to be shot down for ai fighters while they will turn or bob up & down when the player gets within 400m. Of course, ai fighters appear to have varying convergences, so they can aim at a large target flying straight & level from five or six hundred meters away.
Try putting up 180 B-17's spread out over 20 miles against 120 fighters, 30 at a time attacking part of the formation. Compare to the historical results. Come back complaining about the gunners. See the above. My beef was NOT, and NEVER HAS BEEN about large formations of heavy bombers’ results against fighter attacks; it has been about the medium and light bomber/attack individuals’ and small formations’ results against fighter attacks. I can count on one hand the number of times I have tried attacking big bombers or their formations in the game; as an American (and a postwar Air Force brat), I have never felt comfortable shooting at American or British bombers or fighters unless they sported red stars. It just feels wrong to me.

I recall a German member on these boards discussing his discomfort about 'killing' German soldiers in a FPS game; I completely understood.

Now, as regards the claims of bomber kills from the first Schweinfurt, you do understand that a bomber was not likely to be destroyed while in formation, right? They would usually take hits and fall out of formation, try to get down into the cloud cover (if any) or hide in the visual clutter of the ground from fighters above them. If the turbosupercharger on one or more of their engines were damaged, they might have tried to get more 'oomph' out of the engines in the thicker air at 5-10,000ft.

In any case, as I pointed out several times in earlier posts, singletons were much easier kills than planes in formation, and most aircraft alone and without support would probably choose to get down where they couldn't be easily seen as a dark dot in the sky. As a result, most 'final destruction' credits would be obtained well below the altitudes the bomber's original formation was (supposed to be) flying.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">There is a difference between being 'insulted' and being incorrectly contradicted or nitpicked;</span> I am a sarcastic SOB by nature and quite capable of defending myself and my statements without the mods' help. As a rule, a little sarcasm properly applied usually causes the worst offendors to back off and get their 'facts' straight.

I've been a regular on these boards for seven years, and I have yet to complain about any other poster or to be warned, much less be suspended by a moderator in all that time.

Can you say the same?

cheers

horseback

M_Gunz
01-01-2010, 05:42 PM
The European Air War disc has a movie section that covered the raids including the one where the bombs
of one group blasted many of a later group doing a low pass. Maybe was Ploesti? Hmmmm. Must not be
Schweinfurt since THAT raid was on OIL PRODUCTION facility and Schweinfurt plant made BALL BEARINGS.
BTW, THANKS for the help however left-handed it was I am sure that now EVERYTHING I ever wrote or will
was/is WRONG in a purely forum-political manner -- like I give a dump!

ADD: Oh BTW cheers-boy, you've NEVER been wrong about anything have you? Or at least won't admit such.

horseback
01-01-2010, 06:24 PM
Ouch! I think I've been insulted!

Of course, at my age, it might be gas. If you're going to use what I assume is a game disc video as your primary source, it might as well be gas.

cheers

horseback

JtD
01-01-2010, 11:28 PM
Originally posted by horseback:
... I got it half-right...

For someone being arrogant enough to tell people to "read a book or two, son", half right doesn't cut it.


Hit ratios? Define the term for me, please, and show me and everyone else, how one can define how many rounds fired can be determined from the bombers, some of which did not return, how many fighters not hit were actually attacking formations of bombers instead of hunting for cripples, engaged by fighter escorts or were just darting from cloud to cloud hiding while their comrades took the risks. I have not identified a reliable way to quantify WWII gunners’ accuracy, because I don’t think there is one.

Hit ratio is the number of hits over the number of rounds fired.
I wouldn't know a reliable way to figure it out, but since you keep on claiming that the games gunners are way too accurate, I thought you should know. But, as it turns out, you don't. You also don't know the accuracy of bomber gunners in game. So instead of solid numbers, you're basing your argument solely on accounts that it was easy to pick off lone bombers or bombers in small formations. Which is not what you get when you try in game. Fair enough.
But I can kill a B-29 in a formation of three attacking them stupidly from 6 o'clock using a Ki-43II without getting hit at all. Obviously, the discrepancy between your results and the historical accounts is as large as it is between your and my results, while the discrepancy between my results and the historical thing is more likely on the "too easy" side.
Now what makes your results more valid then mine?


... break the formations up into singletons or twos and threes, which could be safely attacked with standard fighter armament in RELATIVE safety

Relative to what? Relative to how it is in game? Hardly. Relative to attacking a formation? Yes.


In-game, you cannot approach a single light or medium multiseater, much less a small formation, without taking (often serious) hits before you get within 500m unless you approach from off angles and vary your angle of approach as you come in.

Let me correct this for you: I can. You say you can't.


The real life historical scenario has a fighter approaching within 200m from the low rear with greater confidence than you or I would have crossing the street in light traffic; there was an element of risk, but Geico would have happily covered it. If the bomber or zerstorer was trying to maneuver out of the line of fire, the fighter could approach to within almost collision range without fear of counterfire; the gunner is too busy trying to keep from being banged around inside the fuselage to bother with aiming and shooting.

This, imho, is very much exaggerated, and would be a case for the "incredible amount of carelessness or arrogance" I mentioned. If you attack bombers like that in game, I know where your problem lies and it is not the overly accurate gunners.
There are cases where it worked, and this is the accounts you get, and there are cases where it didn't work, and this is the accounts you never get.
----
I just realized you are basing your statements on medium and light bomber AI gunners only, having no clue about the heavies. I didn't know that, and didn't assume so since the topic is heavy bomber sniper AI. Medium and light bomber defense fire in game is more accurate that heavy bomber defense fire, since the lighter guns allow more rapid training and adjustments. This trend is probably opposite to the real thing. Machine guns in light mounts more often exceed what can reasonably expected from them in terms of accuracy than heavy mounts, though I completely lack reliable numbers regarding their historical or their in game performance. I can thus only base my statement on a funny feeling, which may or may not be good enough.

M_Gunz
01-01-2010, 11:59 PM
The biggest difference holds the stick and watches the screen. It's not the sim, it's the player!

Saburo_0
01-02-2010, 04:27 PM
Another aspect to the med/light bomber gunnersfor us mostly off-liners...when I read pilot accounts from WW2 I often wonder how accurate their estimations of distance from enemy planes are. ? I dont have any texts with me here at work, but 1 account I read recently said he was within 40 meters of the bomber closing from the rear. Can't see that working for me in FB.
Another thing that I find frustrating is AI lack of over heating. That means I have to miss out on engine management or accept that I have a pretty crappy mechanic and crew chief in all my careers.
Oh and btw, I don't mind the AI as much with the US heavies because I figure it makes up for the massive formations these planes usually flew in. Tho the 109 oil on windscreen everytime your engine gets hit stinks.

M_Gunz
01-03-2010, 12:13 AM
Could it mean that on his veer off from the closing attack got about 40m off? I am sure that IRL it
was easier to kill or incapacitate the gunners than in IL2 with the purposely hard to hurt crew models.

One new member here put up a link to a Youtube video of one FW taking out 4 PE-2s that were shooting
back. They must have left the sniper gunners at home unless, gasp, the attacks he made were somehow
beyond the ability of the defensive gunners to catch. He did get close at times but never stayed there.
Always closing or leaving when he was anywhere near a target and 1:4 got them all in minutes.

JtD
01-03-2010, 01:42 AM
Fighter pilots very often underestimated the distance to the targets, in particular if they were unexperienced. There are several Luftwaffe guncamera films available, which state the distance to target and the estimate by the pilot, for comparison. As an example:
Estimated: Initially: 200, finally: 20 meters
Is: Initially: 700, finally: 150 meters.
There were very few who got the distance right, most, like the above example, would underestimate the distance tremendously. So if a pilot speaks about 40 meters, it can very well be 200. I for one wouldn't bet on it.

Sillius_Sodus
01-03-2010, 01:12 PM
Originally posted by Saburo_0:
Another aspect to the med/light bomber gunnersfor us mostly off-liners...when I read pilot accounts from WW2 I often wonder how accurate their estimations of distance from enemy planes are. ? I dont have any texts with me here at work, but 1 account I read recently said he was within 40 meters of the bomber closing from the rear. Can't see that working for me in FB.
Another thing that I find frustrating is AI lack of over heating. That means I have to miss out on engine management or accept that I have a pretty crappy mechanic and crew chief in all my careers.
Oh and btw, I don't mind the AI as much with the US heavies because I figure it makes up for the massive formations these planes usually flew in. Tho the 109 oil on windscreen everytime your engine gets hit stinks.

You could just turn off engine overheat, that way you would still have to adjust prop pitch and mixture. without it the temptation will be there to just firewall the throttle and leave it there but that's not the best way to get the most out of your aircraft so you still have to work a bit. That said, I agree, the ai should overheat as well.