View Full Version : Fighting Zeros

07-12-2004, 05:56 PM
Can someone here please give me some tips on how to fight against Zeros? I am playing the IL2DCG pacific campaign and can either fly the P-39 or p-40(earliest models of both)

07-12-2004, 05:56 PM
Can someone here please give me some tips on how to fight against Zeros? I am playing the IL2DCG pacific campaign and can either fly the P-39 or p-40(earliest models of both)

07-12-2004, 06:01 PM
Boom and zoom.

07-12-2004, 06:11 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by azpilot:
Can someone here please give me some tips on how to fight against Zeros? I am playing the IL2DCG pacific campaign and can either fly the P-39 or p-40(earliest models of both)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Read this for some p-40 ideas:


07-12-2004, 06:21 PM
I prefer the P-40 against the Zero because of its superior roll rate. It allows you to change directions much quicker than a Zero can.
Never try to turn with a Zero...ya can't do it. Stay high and fast, pick your target, dive in, take your shot and get outta' there!...then try again.
Most of Bong's kills were made head-on. This also works in AEP against Zeros as long as you fire first. I saw a television special about airwar in the Pacific in which a pilot stated..."Never hesitate to go head on with a Jap". He was right...I've occasionally managed to get 2 kills on the first pass when playing off-line.
Have fun!


07-12-2004, 06:28 PM
Alright, the tip is the same for a P-40 OR a P-39, so here goes.

Fighting in a P-40/P-39:
When fighting against an A6M2 Zero while flying a P-40, the most important things to remember are:

Accurate gunfire

Combine these three things, and you should have success everytime. your tactics are as follows.

Forget the waypoint altitude. If you think you're high, get 2000 meters higher! If you're escorting, get as high as you can! This is a very important factor. In these coming lessons, altitude is your life saver.

Ok, scenario one: Say you don't have enough altitude, and you're cruising with your wingman at 2300 meters at a nice comfy speed of 290 KPH. You're flying a CAP around your island as you regularly do. Then, you notice that your fuel tank is getting low, so you bend down to switch the tanks. All of a sudden, your wingman calls out:


You instantly pull your head up from switching the fuel tanks, and realize, sh*t! They're zeros, and they're coming in fast from what looks like 2500 meters above you!
Within a split second, if you and your wingman don't act quickly, you're both going to die. Here's what your brain should tell you to do.

Since the Zeros are coming in from above you, they not only hold both the speed advantage, but also the altitude advantage. However, you have a couple advantages that cannot be ignored.

-Your dive speed is KING!
-You have a much faster roll rate.
-Your plane handles better at higher speeds.

Now, the stupidest thing to do at this moment in time is to dive to the deck. Considering you're at 2300 meters, and at your cruise speed, you're a sitting duck. So what you SHOULD do is to power-dive down to about 1500 meters with your wingman. This will cause you to gain your combat speed, without having you lose all of your critical altitude. Immediately after you get to 1500 meters, either break hard left or right, because by then the zero will be tailing you, or pull a violent immelman maneuver, causing you to gain altitude and also valuable time. If the Zero pilot has been diving toward you all this time, chances are his control responses will not be as good as they normally are at low speeds. While he's trying to follow you in your zoom immelman, start diving down until you pick up at least 400 kph. When you attain and hold this speed, there are two things you can do.

1. Run away and go back to base
2. Continue to fight

Suppose you pick the second option. The zero will probably not have caught you because of your speed advantage, if you extend the proper amount of kilometers out, I usually extend about 4 kilometers, all you should need to do is to turn back into the zero, and when he gets within 1 kilometer, start firing your guns. Then, when he gets within range of his guns, barrel roll and dive out of the way. Since you haven't heard from your AI wingman at all after he made the call that enemy fighters are there, assume he's dead. All you have to do is extend 4 kilometers, turn toward him, fire within 1 kilometer, and pull away when he gets out of range. The reason I'm saying this is because in FB, especially with the zero's AI modeling, if you hit it even with one tracer round or two on a head on pass, it will immediately give up on the head on attack and break off. This will give you time to pull onto its tail, and fire that 1/2 second burst into his wing which will rip it off, giving you the kill.

If your wingman hasn't been killed, a popular tactic is "Drag and Bag." This situation is basically having the wingman or flight lead shoot the enemy plane off the other's tail. It works very well.


okay, new situation:

Say you have the altitude advantage, but you're the only US plane, and you spot 5 Zeros below you. Let's say you're in a P-39 this time.

The zeros, if I'm correct, should be in a diagonal line formation. For simplicity's sake, say you're 1500 meters above them, and at 350 kph. Dive down on THE LAST FIGHTER IN THE FORMATION! DO NOT FIRE YOUR 37MM UNTIL YOU'RE LINED UP RIGHT BEHIND HIM.

The 37mm cannon should only have to be fired once per plane. You don't have enough rounds to keep blasting away. Use your MG's to line up the shots, and if that doesn't critically damage the plane, fire ONE 37mm shot into the WING ROOT of the Zero. This will cause the wing to snap off, giving you a kill.
WARNING: IF THE ZERO IS CRITICALLY DAMAGED BY YOUR MACHINE GUN FIRE, LEAVE IT ALONE. DEAL WITH THE OTHER ZEROS FIRST. If you're a good shot, you should be able to take out or critically damage 2 to 3 zeros on the first pass. The last two can easily be dealt with, as long as you extend 4 kilometers out, pull back in, and take potshots with your MG's in his direction. REMEMBER TO PULL AWAY BEFORE YOU GET IN HIS FIRING RANGE.

Whenever I fly against zeros like this, I almost always win. In a P-38, I was able to take out a team of 6 ace skill level A6M2's by just extending, and then appearing, destroying one of the six, dissapearing, appearing, destroying another one, etc...

That, my friend, is how you make a name for yourself in the Pacific skies. NEVER give the Japanese planes A SINGLE CHANCE, or they will rip you apart.

"So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you..."

07-12-2004, 07:41 PM
Thanks for the tips. especailly the last post. I just tried a mission and got 4 zeroes before my wingman hit me with a 37mm shell.

07-12-2004, 08:24 PM
can you teach the AI to thatch weave ?

07-12-2004, 08:41 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mackane1:
Most of Bong's kills were made head-on.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not saying I disagree, but curious as to the source(s) of this?


07-12-2004, 08:55 PM
If the .50's weren't porked you could fire head on from far away like PF tactics used by Hellcats ans Corsairs. But maybe in 2.03.
Remember to use a lot of angle and rudder.

07-12-2004, 09:51 PM
with the us planes stay above 3000m, when fighting the m2 the m5 you will want to stay around 5000m+.

Even bnzing zeros are dangerous becuase thier cannon seems so accurate and easy to see the tracer at far distances, flying the zero I always try to have an alt advnatage if someone has alt over me i will stay at my current alt the zero can easily out manuever a person bnzing and you have the opportunity to get them on thier climb. the zero can also run circles around the p40


07-12-2004, 10:16 PM
The Zero is the only fighter that the P-38 has absolute superiority over in the game. You can win one hundred percent of the time. I don't think I've ever been hit be a Zero in my P-38. It's nice, because nearly every other plane is quite able to use you as free easy target practice.

Against a Zero, you want to be above him, zoom down, and take out at least one of them with your cannon. It's a much faster firing cannon than the bigger ones like the German Mk-108 and the thirty seven millimeter cannon on the P-39, and its rounds are powerful enough to dewing, detail, or disintegrate every Zero with a single shot. I don't think I've ever had a Zero survive a hit with the P-38's twenty millimeter cannon (which is odd, because no other planes react to the P-38's cannon like that, and Zeros don't react that way to all of the other cannons, either; it's like the Zero was built for the P-38 to keep us P-38 fliers happy).

Anyway, you must then let your plane zoom climb itself away. With most other planes, like the Bf-109 G-2, you should not give it any elevator but rather let the plane pull itself up. The P-38, however, likes to fly straight and level, so you need to apply slight back pressure on the control column until you are no longer in danger of compression and are pitched slightly above the horizon. After that, I let the ship take itself up. However, I have by no means completely figured the P-38 out at this point, so I am somewhat unsure of myself here. My advice about zoom climbing is probably very bad, as it gets me killed most of the time in the P-38 (although it works perfectly in the BF-109 G-2). However, it's hard to go wrong when fighting a Zero, and even the P-38 should be pretty safe zoom climbing in the way I just described.

But I repeat the advice already given once here. Always take out a Zero with the first pass. With the P-38's armament, that's a very probable occurence (although it doesn't work that way with any other aircraft combination). Did you watch Bellum? Well, the very first kill in the movie is exactly what a lot of my Zero kills look like, although many of mine also come from above and behind instead.

07-12-2004, 10:27 PM
ehehe the Zero is fantastic up high Lead

& can zoom climb with Lightnings

if in a P-40 , DF him , by twisting & rolling youll make him lose

if in a P-39 , zoom away & dont get caught going under 350 Kmh

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07-12-2004, 10:51 PM
All good ideas.

The P-40 is just lunch for a Zero if it begins the engagement without an altitude or large speed advantage.

I was flying a online DF with A6M2s vs. P-40s and quickly won 80% of the time just by having altitude at the beginning of the contest. Lots of gun-happy P-40 pilots would even attempt to climb into a fight, while I laughed, finished off my bento lunch and dove in for a quick easy kill.

Then, one time, there were low numbers in the same map arena, and the numbers were in A6Ms. So, I tried a P-40, much as I hate the piece of sh**, and resigned myself to Chennault tactics: dive and run, get alt, hose away at slashing gun passes, take HOs (which I normally never do, and got me tagged on one occasion with a Zero).... I racked up a pretty good Khttp://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif ratio with that engagement.

The critical factor? Yep, you guessed it....insist on the altitude advantage and you can win well over half, if not 75% of your fights. Provided your target doesn't get help (and sometimes, even if he does) if you have a healthy alt advantage, and some patience, he's YOURS.

07-12-2004, 11:14 PM
I agree. In fact, if I see a Zero when I'm flying my P-40 E, do you know what I do? I run. And I climb. And I very slowly get above him, and in the end I feel almost as safe fighting a Zero in a P-40 E as I do in a P-38. You don't have the one-shot-one-kill cannon, but those fifties are effective even in version two point zero one, at close range. In addition, you can almost turn as well as the Zero, unlike the P-38, so if you have absolutely no patience, you can turn with him for a while after coming out of a dive. However, you had better shoot him down quickly when doing this, or you'll have to break off and you'll be in the same situation in which you were before, only in his sights and without your speed.

Then again, if you have that little patience, you probably already tried that before getting altitude and airspeed, and got shot down when I was still typing my sentence about the fifty caliber machine guns.

07-13-2004, 12:54 AM
I actually use a bit of a modified BnZ with the 38 since the Ai wont follow me up high, i can't get 'em there. I just climb to about 2500-3000M and then make a shallow dive to get speed. After diving with about 550KPH i can just make very wide turns down low and use my superior speed instead of alt. After a couple of turns i climb up and do it again.

07-13-2004, 01:09 AM
Yea the fifties on the P-40 actually work. I don't know why the 6 .50's on the P-51 are less accurate no one has answered me yet.

07-13-2004, 10:43 PM
I'm with you on that, although it doesn't affect me because I fly P-40 and not P-51, but the few times I fly P-51 I do notice that the guns don't seem to work as well as they do on the P-40.

Yet another inconsistency...