Boom and Zoom: Aircraft capable of high speed, controllable descent, vertical speed and sustained climb are best suited for the BNZ. This is something the Germans are famous for in WWII that allowed them to decimate Allied aircraft. You begin with an altitude advantage, drop down on the enemy, wait until the last possible minute, fire, pull off and escape with the accumulated energy in the descent. Itís advantageous to maintain an energy advantage throughout your time in the aircraft; even when not in combat. Once you start to lose energy in a climb, regain it with either another committed dive-attack or short dive/level flight/slight nose-down. One American aircraft capable of this in Warthunder is the Kittyhawk. In WWII the Germans accomplished this with aircraft such as the 109. Do not overextend yourself against turn fighters. Other aircraft: LAGG, Yak.
Energy Fighting: In one word this can be described as potential: for maintaining or gaining speed or climb rather than the assured loss of it over the enemy. Know the potential of the aircraft near you. Right now in 1.27 things are pretty weird. A YAK7 in a 300MPH/482kmh High Energy climb can be harassed by biplanes like the Nimrod or I-153P. Losing energy potential or build up is dangerous.
Situational Awareness: Awareness of allied and enemy aircraft around you. ďLose sight, lose the fightĒ.
Deflection Shooting: Hitting an aircraft from any angle and leading the target. The lead indicator is onlyhelpful at doing this well. This requires a great deal of foresight and this is where a lot of skill comes into play. Itís just as important to setup your attack for an easier shot.
Turn Fighting: One reason that the Japanese aircraft excel at turn-fighting is their low speed. The reason for this is simple: At higher speeds you begin to approach the target in the turn. In a turn fight, you do not want to get closer to the target. Doing so will force you to turn harder to maintain a consistent weapons fire or solution. While other aircraft do excel at turning, they begin to overtake the target when doing so. At pure turn-fighting: the Japanese reign.
One Second Burst Mass: The amount of mass ejected from the aircraftís gun in one second. Think of it as a measurement of Burst DPS (Damage Per Second).
Note: HEIT = Partial HE, I and T. Supposedly a HE round is more effective HE than a HEIT. Etc.
I = Incendiary
T = Tracer
IT = Incendiary Tracer
AP = Armour Piercing
HE = High Explosive
API = Armour Piercing Incendiary
APT = Armour Piercing Tracer
HEI = High Explosive Incendiary
HET = High Explosive Tracer
APIT = Armour Piercing Incendiary Tracer
APRC = Armor Piercing Reduced Caliber
APCR = Armor Piercing Composite Rigid
HEIT = High Explosive Incendiary Tracer
SAPI = Semi Armour Piercing Incendiary
APIHC = Armour Piercing Incendiary Hollow Core
DIRECT HIT BOMB DAMAGE (#) = Required Hits
Instead of listing everything, Iíve listed what bombs are probably best used for.
50KG (110.231lb): AAA, Artillery, Light Pillbox, Light Tank, Tank, Aircraft, Cargo Ship, Smaller Boats
250KG (551.156lb): Light Pillbox, Tank, Light Tank or other armored columns
500KG (1102.31lb): Destroyer, Pillbox, armoured columns
2000KG (4409.245lb): Carrier, Battleship
100LB: AAA, Artillery, Light Pillbox, Light Tank, Tank, Aircraft, Cargo Ship, Smaller Boats
500LB: Destroyer(2), Tank, Light Tank or other armored columns
1000lb: Destroyer, Light Pillbox, Pillbox, Carrier(4), armoured columns
4000lb: Carrier, Battleship
TORPEDO: Destroyer, Carrier (4), Battleship (3-4)
ROCKET: AAA, Artillery, Light Pillbox (1-2), Light Tank, Aircraft, Cargo Ship(3), Destroyer (3-4)
KAMIKAZE: Youíre a bomb! Bombers do not do this well (a bug as far as I know). They tend to just break apart.
Note: 1x50KG will splash damage AA/Artillery if it hits relatively close. Rockets can splash kill multiple landing boats or tanks.
Rockets: Splash damage multiple targets if fired between them (ie: landing boats in Pearl Harbor, tanks, etc).
Mid-air bombs vs. aircraft: Iíve been told by several people that bombs can collide with aircraft in mid-air. Unconfirmed.
Cannons: You can use them on cargo ships. Example: 20mm Hispano.
Airspeed, Climb, Escape Velocity and other Comments
CLIMB SPEED: Determine the balance between airspeed and climb. At a specific angle of attack your aircraft will begin to either lose speed, gain speed or maintain speed in a climb. This will be different for each aircraft and in theory, whether or not flaps or landing gear is down and the angle of flaps (raised, combat, landing or takeoff). Use this knowledge to your advantage. Excess angle of attack in a climb can be beneficial for a very quick altitude gain, but air speed will drop significantly. Depending on the aircraft, at about 15 degrees climb (give or take 5 degrees or so) aircraft will lose or gain speed slowly, but continue to gain altitude. To maintain escape speed for a long period of time (after a strafe for example or BNZ) you can use this knowledge to maintain escape velocity.
CREW SKILLS / Repair
Honestly, I see no proof that crew skills have any effect whatsoever in Arcade, so I would plan your crew skills according to what you need in HB/FR (such as Keen Vision).
AUTO-REPAIR: Turn it off. Aircraft will repair over time. Repair them as you need them. Helps earn Lions.
REPAIR RANK: Must be as high as your aircraftís rank for repair speed to work (ie: Corsair Rank 8).
REPAIR SPEED: The rate that your aircraft repairs itself on the airfield while in-game and in the hangar when you are not flying the aircraft or away from the game. Auto-repair must be turned off.
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT or ETHICS
For those with an open mind, I propose the following Rules of Engagement:
TWO PER BOGEY: If you see two team mates attacking a bogey (lead and a wing man) and the bogey is not attacking another team mate or asset (ground target for example) move on to another target that is in range. If the bogey is attacking a team mate or asset or no additional bogey is in immediate range, engage the bogey if your presence will not endanger the lead or his wing man.
PROTECT: If you see a bogey engaging a team mate or ground asset, engage the bogey. You can get additional hefty experience bonuses for this.
COLLISIONS: Keep your ďhead on a swivelĒ as we skydivers call it and try not to collide with team mates.
GRAPHIC OPTIMIZATIONS and PERFORMANCE GUIDE
NV Users: Manage 3D Settings / Power Management Mode / Prefer Maximum Performance
Task Manager: (CTRL+ALT+DEL/Task Manager/Processes Tab) Check the ďShow processes for all usersĒ box. You can safely close all processes (keep Explorer.exe running) that will allow you to end them. There may be a few processes running required for things like sound, depending on your system (close it and see what happens safely).
Services: (CTRL+ALT+DEL/Task Manager/Services) You can also close ďmostĒ services that will allow you to do so. Though certain ones will effect network connectivity or sound for example. Closing a service will not harm your system. The worst case scenario is the need for a restart. A couple of examples of services that you can shut down: Print Spooler, Windows Search, Windows Firewall, Offline Files, etc.
Software Firewalls: If you have software firewall like Zonealarm; uninstall it. No, Iím not kidding. Unless youíre gaming on a system with sensitive files or connected to an office network, just leave them alone and your office should have a hardware firewall like a PIX anyway. Anyone in IT worth a grain of salt will laugh at a software firewall. Youíre just wasting resources with a placebo. And youíre obviously not running a Smoothwall.
Antivirus: Turn it off while youíre gaming. Most antivirus have ďgaming modeĒ features. I recommend Avast.
Low Energy (LE): Unacceptable for Boom and Zoom. Low ability to intercept aircraft or escape attackers.
Medium Energy (ME): Adequate for Boom and Zoom, but not exceptional. Acceptable at intercepting other aircraft and escaping.
High Energy (HE): Speed and energy potential for great interception, escape and climb.
BNZ Ė Capable of Boom and Zoom attacks TF Ė Skilled turn fighter
A6M2-N/A6M3/A6M2/A6M3 Mod 22: ME/BNZ/TF Exceptional escape ability due to unbeatable turn speed and low air speed, allowing for maneuvers to pull out and turn the fight around onto the attacker.
Bf 109: HE/BNZ Just as the zero excels incredibly well at turn fighting, the 109 is a master of Boom and Zoom. Donít get caught with so little energy that you canít climb and do not hang out at low altitude engaging in turn fights.
YAK7B/LAGG-3 35: HE/BNZ
Airacobra/King Cobra: ME-HE/BNZ (At higher speeds they are unstable, so I wouldnít recommend very high altitude BNZ where youíll gain a lot of speed in the dive)
Corsair 1A/1D: ME-HE/BNZ (Best to commit to sustained fire in an attack due to smaller 12.7mm and large round capacity)
Beaufighter Mk. Vlc: ME (Setting up the perfect attack is essential. Deflection is everything).
Beaufighter Mk X: ME (Setting up the perfect attack is essential. Deflection is everything).
P-40E-1 Kittyhawk: ME/TF Note: low damage potential, but can be difficult to kill a Kittyhawk.
Spitfire Mk 1 / Mk 2: LE-ME/TF
P-47D Thunderbolt: LE-ME (Speed is high, but I donít feel that itís exceptional at interception or climb). Bomb and zoom!
Low energy aircraft: HE 112 B-0, IL2, I-16 Type 18 (I-16 has good turn speed, but not great at turn fights due to maneuvering issues).
Some of these techniques arenít widely known and some will possibly debate them. Iíve known a few people to say ďdonít do thatĒ. But it depends on how badly you want experience and if you are clear to take a shot for a bit of XP in some cases. If you canít kill it with guns, donít waste more than a few shots firing at it for XP. Note: You CAN kill tanks sometimes with guns. It has to either be damaged or you have to waste a LOT of ammo. If youíre out of ordinance and have the time to spend wasting ammo then go for it, but in most cases youíre better off dogfighting and protecting your team and assets.
#1. PILLBOX: Shoot a pillbox a few times. You get a small amount of XP. Fire off a few shots and abandon.
#2. DEAD AIRCRAFT: If a teammate takes out an aircraft, you can take a couple of shots for a small amount of XP. Shoot a few times and pull off. Even if the target is now white and in a ball of flames and not exploded then this still works.
#3. SHOOT TANKS: Shoot tanks a few times for experience.
#4. HITS = EXPERIENCE: Hits mean experience. On aircraft and everything else.
#5. QUIT: If youíre finding yourself outmatched and youíre losing planes, not getting many ground kills or air kills, leave the game. Donít waste your planes. Itís going to cost you. Unless, maybe youíre premium and will get enough experience/lions to not care.
#6. TEAMKILLS: Donít kill teammates. Obviously. The penalty for one teamkill will likely mean negative experience and lions.
#7. PROTECT YOUR TEAM: Saving teammates from getting killed earns you a large experience bonus.
#8. MULTIKILLS: Getting more than one ground or air kill quickly means a large experience bonus.
#9. KILLING BLOW: Getting a ďkilling blowĒ earns you an experience bonus.
#10. TOP KILLS: Getting the most air or ground kills earns you an experience bonus.
#11. LAND, TAKE OFF: Landing with a black wing/engine/prop/etc or taking off earns you XP. Right now you can break your prop intentionally pretty easily. When landing and holding the break (S) your plane will want to tip forward. If you donít eventually let off and allow the back wheel to drop down you might tip over and break the prop. You will get the bonus.
#12. DROP BOMBS ON AN AIRFIELD: This DOES give you XP, but itís kind of a waste.
Fire Evasion (from the Rear)
#1. GET HELP: Always immediately head for your teammates in the direction of your airfield.
#2. NO CROP DUSTING: Do not, I repeat do NOT crop dust the deck. Regardless of what the game says, this is not going to help. AAA can just as easily kill you through a tree line and aircraft can just stay above you and crack you wide open with a 1000 rounds. Maintain altitude. In this game and lots of aircraft, it seems that the closer you get to the deck you are ďpulledĒ into the ground quite hard and just canít get up. Thatís because when youíre evading or donít have your nose up about 10-20 degrees above the horizon youíre losing altitude and donít notice it as much when youíre not skimming the deck. When youíre that low you donít have any altitude to spare before you explode.
#3. MOUNTAINS: Use cliffs and mountains to your advantage. If youíre skilled enough, hug them and keep them between you and the chaser to your advantage. If youíre in a zero, put them between you and use your superior turn ability to get in position to take out the chaser.
#4. DO NOT PULL UP: Do NOT pull up and expose your roof or canopy. Especially so in arcade mode. Even the worst aircraft can climb ridiculously well. Minus a few. Either way, exposing the largest part of your aircraft is a bad decision. Roll and point your wing to the sky. This prevents your top from being exposed to the aircraft behind you.
#5. DONíT OVER EXPOSE YOUR AIRCRAFT: The larger of an object that you are to hit, the quicker you are going to die. Try and keep the side or back of your aircraft in view only, even in turns and if you turn and expose a wider portion, unexpose it as quickly as possible (with a roll).
#6. EVADE: Turn left, right, left, right and keep on eye on the rounds coming at you. The more random you are, the harder it is to guess your next move and fire accordingly.
#7. CORKSCREW: As opposed to simply rolling your aircraft to where it rolls around a maintained axis, roll the aircraft in a corkscrew maneuver instead as if you are rolling and spinning around an object.
Fire Evasion (from the front), Winning or ďPlaying ChickenĒ
#1. FIRE EARLY AND DISENGAGE: Engage head on (if you dare) and START FIRING EARLY before you are in range. Fire ABOVE the target (rounds drop) and not directly at it. You can prove this by seeing the indicator when you get in range. It will be above the target a bit. If the target is moving to the right a bit, firing in front of it and above. As soon (or BEFORE) you are in range, BREAK OFF, because so is your enemy, then roll or dive to evade any incoming fire (which is more than likely sure to be coming) and keep your aircraft small. One way to keep your aircraft small is to roll left or right and have your wing pointed straight up.
#2. ENGAGE weak aircraft LONGER: If the target is a biplane or you are in an aircraft with strong armor that can survive a head on collision, you can make the decision to stay engaged longer and keep firing, but itís dangerous. You may even want to collide with really weak aircraft, but I donít advise it. I would personally opt to begin getting in position to engage from behind instead and one way to do that is to break off, turn, descend and pull back around (I canít really tell you the maneuver without showing you). As long as you are engaged long enough and start pulling off to get in position immediately then the enemy is at a disadvantage as soon as you turn and they more than likely arenít going to expect you to be on their tail anytime soon, but pull the right maneuver and you will be.
#3. DONíT COLLIDE: If you are about to collide, PULL OFF and evade. Losing an aircraft in a head on isnít worth it. Though sometimes I tend to turn my aircraft so that my wing will clip the other aircraft, but I expect to be disappointed when I do it.
#4. USE ROCKETS: Use rockets if you get close enough. Quick kill.
#5. DONíT OVER EXPOSE: Your ROOF is exposed in a head on fight. Roll and point your wing straight up to expose only the side, making yourself small.
Few ďrandom techniquesĒ for killing people or ground objects:
#1. SUICIDE WITH BOMBS: If you are being chased, have a 1000lb bomb left and are on the deck you can drop a 1000lb bomb and sometimes kill the chaser, but youíre likely going to die too (check my video below to see me doing this).
#2. THE INDICATOR LIES: The indicator is NOT an accurate lead indicator. Fire in FRONT of it. How far depends on the gun. Some rounds are faster than others. One example is the Airacobra. The cannon rounds are slower. Once you are out of cannon rounds, you start firing closer to the target.
#3. USE ROCKETS ON CAPTURE ATTEMPTS: Use rockets if you have them when an aircraft is attempting to capture your airfield (check my video for an example).
#4. USE BOMBS ON CAPTURE ATTEMPTS: Drop bombs on your airfield if an aircraft is attempting to cap and drop it quite far in front and then start using guns (also an example in my video). 1000lb bombs are amazing for this.
#5. CRIT AND DISENGAGE: If you ďcritĒ an aircraft in the right spot, break off and engage another (wings or control surfaces like flaps for example). Unless no other aircraft are close by.
#6. AIM FOR THE WING: Shoot for the wings (fire off center).
#7. SHOOT IN FRONT OF THE INDICATOR: Shoot in FRONT of the lead indicator. One technique I use is to fire out in front of it and keep firing for a second and allow my reticule to ďslideĒ back into the indicator so that the rounds find the correct lead position.
#8. PREFER TOP OR BOTTOM SHOTS: Prefer firing at an aircraft as it is turning or its top/bottom is exposed over shooting at itís rear (prefer having a larger target to hit). Fire and scare the target. Make it attempt to evade and turn. Or simply wait for it to try and pull a hard turn and engage you. Itís a deadly move for an aircraft to make in a chase.
#9. ROCKET BOMBERS: Use rockets on bombers.
Chasing or Choosing a Target and ďGetting the ShotĒ
#1. TURN AIM OVERCOMPENSATION: Donít over compensate. If a plane is being evasive, donít start pulling hard on the stick and over turning to get the shots. The enemy is just going to evade back the other way anyhow. Under compensate so that he when he turns back the other way again he slides right back into your firing line.
#2. SHOOT IN FRONT OF THE INDICATOR: As I said above, shoot in FRONT of the lead indicator. Not at it.
#3. FIRE LESS AT SMALL TARGETS: Fire less often when shooting a small target (the rear/sides). Fire more often when shooting at the top/bottom or larger views of the enemy. Especially when they pull up hard or make a hard turn. This is your chance to get the kill.
#4. BE A WINGMAN: Help your team. Go after aircraft attacking them.
#5. ENGAGE THE REAR FIGHTER: Engage the rear fighter. If you engage a fighter that puts you in a position with aircraft behind you, youíre in the worst possible position and while engaging another aircraft itís very difficult to evade AND aim.
#6. ENGAGE FROM THE REAR: If youíre engaging an aircraft from above then attempt to get off early shots and then point your nose behind the target so that you do not fly past it, until youíre nose is back up and behind the target. Keeping your nose pointed at a target in a boom and zoom for too long will cause you to fly past the target and be forced into a hard turn to re-engage.
#7. NOSE UP FRONT: Turning to engage a target that might fly past you: turn with your nose in front of the target. The further back your nose is behind the target, the harder your going to have to turn. Turn early.
#8. STAY BEHIND: Donít pass over a target youíre chasing, it makes you their target. It might be better to disengage or pull up, back off the throttle and let them get further away then re-engage.
How to WIN Games
#1. SOLO WIN GROUND MISSIONS: If itís a ground mission, youíre not going to win by dogfighting and this is why people lose ground games so often. If you want to win the game yourself youíre likely going to need to score about 30 ground kills. Itís not that easy if you donít have planes with good enough ordinance to do so. Concentrate on the easy targets. Get rid of AAA, artillery and trucks with guns. Use rockets and bombs on tanks. If you have large enough bombs, take out one or two pillboxes as soon as possible too. Then work on destroyers and the carrier. If youíre up for it, you can kamikaze destroyers and get XP and possibly score a kill, but you will obviously lose the aircraft. Once youíve taken out the easy targets go for the opposing teams airfield AAA. If your tickets and the enemies tickets are both very low, you ďcouldĒ kamikaze a smoking destroyer or carrier if you need to and hopefully get the kill and win the game.
#2. CAPTURE THE AIRFIELDS: Capture airfields on domination maps. This isnít something Iím very good at. Itís difficult. Youíre one hell of a target when doing so. Not all mapsí airfields can be captured. If the only option you have is to dogfight then protect your airfields and help cover teammates that are capturing.
A few points on versus certain aircraft:
#1. BEAUFIGHTERS: The beaufighter has a really bad tendency to ďdip overĒ in turns. Donít take one head on. Make it turn. Beaufighters are for the most part only viable dogfighters when they donít have to turn to engage you.
#2. GERMANS: Not swell turners and have lots of issues in turns. Iím told most of them lose serious speed when turning. Use it to your advantage.
#3. BOMBERS (or aircraft with turrets): Learn where the turrets are (or watch the rounds and where they are coming from). Most of the time you will prefer to engage from UNDER the bomber. But some have turrets on the bottom. Bombers can take a lot of hits. Go for the wings or engines. If youíre not having any luck, break off and disengage before you get cracked open by a turret. Bombers are also very vulnerable when turning and when their top is exposed. Use this to your advantage and open fire hard. Use ROCKETS if possible.
#4. JAPANESE, HURRICANES or SPITFIRES: When you see a Japanese aircraft, know that 99.9% of the time they are superior turners and DO NOT expect to win in a turn fight. Actually, donít GET in a turn fight with one. If itís a Spitfire or Hurricane, they arenít bad turners either but if youíre in a zero you have the turn advantage. If itís a Ki- type japan then the guns are very weak. If itís a A6 type then expect cannons.
#5. AIRACOBRA: 37MM M4 cannon with only 30 rounds. When they run out of cannon rounds (VERY distinguishable sound), youíre in charge.
#6. YAK or LAGG: Due to the way they fire, itís difficult to hit anything. Use this knowledge to your advantage and be evasive. Personally, I tend to be wary of the YAK9T and expect little from the others.
#7. IL2: Painful cannon, but worthless as a dogfighter. Just donít let it get an easy shot.
#8. MIG: Honestly, pretty worthless. It only has a few rounds. Being evasive means they waste ammo and due to their EXTREME speed, they just fly past you after a few shots. Also, staying close to the ground or putting a mountain on the other side of you will prevent a Mig from even getting a shot because if he takes it, he crashes.
BOMBING / TORPEDO Runs
#1. AIM: In your mind divide the DESTROYER/CARRIER/etc into 3rds. Imagine the lines dividing the ship into those thirds. Aim at the front first line. This is just to somewhat compensate for itís movement (very slow) and still be aiming for a large section. The round will land exactly in the center, regardless of how you are flying (in the arcade crosshair).
#2. ENGAGE FROM the FRONT or BACK: Prefer to engage the ship from the front or back and not the side. But donít fly straight over the target after dropping to avoid getting hit by the blast. Once you drop the bomb, roll and point your wing straight up and pull back on the stick away from the ship.
#3. HIGH ALTITUDE: If youíre high altitude bombing then donít waste your time engaging ships or vehicles. Unless youíre amazing at high altitude leading. Actually, I personally would advise not wasting your time with high altitude bombing at all right now.
#4. BLAST RADIUS: Understand the blast radius of your ordinance (bombs or rockets). A single 1000lb or larger can take out a pillbox and surrounding AA/artillery if placed correctly or a large number of clustered vehicles/etc. I hate 50KG bombs. You pretty much have to get a direct hit to not be wasting your time with 50KG (on vehicles/etc).
#5. TOO CLOSE: Do not get too close to a blast from a 1000lb or other large bombs.
#6. LINE UP STRATEGICALLY: Line up to engage as many targets as possible in a straight line. The more you are forced to turn to engage ground targets around you, the less kills youíre going to get. and will need to make a go-around. The longer youíre alive engaging ground targets, the longer the enemy has to kill you and you get to take out less targets.
#7. TORPEDOS: Line straight up above the water (you must be pretty low). Select your target. Youíll see a firing line. Once itís green and you are within 1km distance: fire. Do this from the SIDE of the ship you are targeting if possible, but you can very accurately fire at the front of a destroyer and get a hit (and you wonít need to lead the target at all). If firing from the side, divide the ship into thirds in your mind and fire at the first front dividing line.
FLAPS / LANDING / STALLING
#1. RAISED FLAPS: In arcade raised flaps do not really help to increase speed over combat flaps. You might prefer to keep combat flaps. Some people will disagree, but until you prove otherwise youíre just making it up. I havenít seen any proof myself. Even so, I still tend to use raised flaps in a chase or when desiring to gain nose down speed. I canít say Iíve seen the proof that it helps though.
#2. COMBAT FLAPS: Increased turn speed, by a small noticeable amount.
#3. LANDING FLAPS: Engage them when landing and if you ďfloatĒ over the airfield with some aircraft, hit F to raise flaps so that you drop. Use them in combat to slow down.
#4. GEAR: For landing, obviously. Does not seem to be helpful in combat in arcade and you expose your gear to being shot off.
#5. PULL UP: If youíre going too fast, pull up hard with throttle at 0%, but not if youíre too high (descending will just regain your speed). No real risk for stalling in arcade, so being low isnít a big deal.
#6. TOUCH AND GO: If you fly over the airfield with too much speed, keep your gear/landing flaps, hit 100% throttle for a moment, pull up, turn and pull back on the stick. Drop to 0% throttle and land.
#7. BROKEN PROP: Hold S to brake. Sometimes if you hold S down for too long your nose will tip over and break your prop. Watch your nose. Let off S for a moment, let your back wheel drop down and re-engage brake. Or allow your prop to break and get experience for landing a broken airplane (or sometimes Ė really screw up your plane and explode).
#8: STALLS: In arcade thereís no risk of an actual stall. Your aircraft will just be pulled back level with the horizon (and this is not a stall). Even so go to WEP speed, lower your nose and regain speed.