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charshep
07-17-2004, 02:46 PM
Most of you on this board are experienced flyers and will find a lot of this to be old hat but I thought I'd post a few of the things I've learned about gunnery for the benefit of any newcomers.

The first thing you should do to improve your gunnery is give up the turn n' burn dogfight tactics, at least temporarily, and start practicing boom n' zoom and hit and run tactics. This seems counter intuitive to a lot of players I think because it means less shooting time. That's true but it's more than worth it to improve the "quality" of your
targets. Jerking the stick around in a turn fight against an opponent that is actively trying to shake you only encourages desperate spray n' pray shooting. Maneuver fighting is an important skill but in my opinion it's better to learn to shoot well first and you won't
learn to do that very well by maneuver fighting.

So, put your spitfires and G2s away for now and get yourself a fast, stable gun platform like a Mustang or a Focke-Wulf. If you _really_ have a hard time resisting turn fights fly a P47. Mentally adjust your mindset so that you start thinking about your sorties as fishing trips rather than fencing matches. Take your time and don't get rushed. Also, even though we're practicing our gunnery, try to focus on defense more than on offense. Try to stay alive and in the air as long as possible. You want to return for fuel and ammo, not to trade a beat up plane for a fresh one. It seems counter intuitive but thinking defensively is what sets the stage for improving your gunnery.

Ok, so now you're flying your first sortie with your fresh new perspective. You want to be doing one of only two things at any given time. You CANNOT break these two rules! Be sure you are either flying at 500+ knts (for 44-5 planes) or that you're climbing to regain altitute but only when you're _sure_ there are no bandits in the area that can jump you.

Since this post is supposed to be about gunnery I won't talk too much more about BNZ or hit and run tactics except to say that if you haven't learned to use trim tabs yet you'll need to start using elevator trim. If you're pushing forward on the stick to maintain level flight, you're out of trim. Different planes have different guidelines for how much trim you'll need. In the Mustang for example I shift between neutral trim (climbing at 290-310 knts) and 30-40 clicks down trim (500-600+ knts). The FW requires less down trim and seems to benefit from up trim when climbing.

One other thing I'll add is that when you first switch to these kinds of tactics you need to be prepared to spend a lot of time setting up an attack run on a potential target who is, at best, at your altitude level if you're speed is 500 or more but probably he is below you. (If he's above you then HE is the potential attacker. Get outta there!) But it's OK we're fishing not fighting, remember? So be prepared to spend a lot of time setting up shots, missing, and running from the fight to start all over again. Early on, focus on not getting shot down and take consolation in your high survival rate. Once you learn to make one pass kill shots your score will go through the roof and you'll rarely even feel a bullet in return let alone get shot down.

Ok, so what about the actual shooting part? That's what this post was supposed to be about right? After you've spent ages gaining altitude and speed you're finally on your attack run, approaching your chosen target fast. Hopefully, your target isn't aware of you. If he is you'll probably miss or land a snap shot at best. If he's not aware of you then all that patience is finally about to pay off. Arrange your angle of attack so that you're as close to his six as possible. The exception to this is if you can catch an opponent at the top of his climb, while he's hanging still in space. Then it doesn't matter which way he's pointing as he's hardly moving anyways. In either case you want to make _slow_, _gentle_ movements in an attempt to "freeze" your opponent in your target reticle (no over the nose shots, thats for dogfighting!) If you've read this far and fallen asleep it's time to wake up. This next bit is the real trick to successful one pass kills. By "freezing" your target what I mean is that your opponent is growing larger in your target reticle but he isn't moving to the side or up or down within your field of view, and you're not having to move your the stick to keep him that way. Note however that this doesn't mean that your stick is necessarily centered, you might be in a gentle turn. It just means that you're not _pulling_ on the stick in an attempt to keep him centered.

Ok, so now your unsuspecting target has stabalized in your reticle, your stick movements have stabalized (or very nearly so and he's rapidly growing larger. Now is when you'll want to avoid making one of the three common rookie mistakes. The first is firing from too far away. At MINIMUM you want to wait to start firing until the target's wingspan fills the reticle. Often times, I haven't quite frozen the target by that point anyways so I often don't even fire until the wingtips expand past the target reticle. This means btw, that your convergence should be 200m max and I often set it to 180 or even 160.

The second rookie mistake you want to avoid is second guessing the shot you've just lined up and jerking on the stick when you pull the trigger. Gently _squeeze_ the trigger and _consciously_ try to avoid moving the stick when you do so. Leave the trigger button depressed and actually look to see where the bullets are going to see if you're hitting your target or not. (Note that this is easier in planes without nose mounted guns.) I actually think that it's more important to learn to squeeze the trigger and fire a stable bullet stream than it is to hit the target when you're first learning to shoot. Also note that in a larger sense, you're learning to stay calm and to avoid tension when attacking. (This is equally important in all aspects of combat.)

Once you start landing hits you'll be tempted to make the third common mistake and that is commiting the sin of greed. It's exciting watching your unsuspecting target light up like a Christmas tree under the whithering rain of your fire but it can't last forever. In fact it probably can't last much longer than a second or two and you're almost at point blank range so don't ram him! If he's still intact after your first pass don't get in a hurry to finish him off. Avoid the turn fight no matter how tempting. Pick up speed, disengage, and check your six. Then, if all is safe, you can come back again finish him off at your leisure.

So, that's basically it in a nutshell. If you're used to getting kills by hoping your targets accidentally fly into the ground after landing a few glancing blows then you'll be shocked when your targets first start to disintegrate into fireballs inches from your face, even with the controversial v201 50 cals. Coupled with your new high speed energy tactics, your score will pass 20 kills per pilot and you'll learn what most aces, both online and in real life have learned. Good flying is mostly a matter of discipline. I don't know what possessed me to write all this but I hope you've found it helpful.

charshep
07-17-2004, 02:46 PM
Most of you on this board are experienced flyers and will find a lot of this to be old hat but I thought I'd post a few of the things I've learned about gunnery for the benefit of any newcomers.

The first thing you should do to improve your gunnery is give up the turn n' burn dogfight tactics, at least temporarily, and start practicing boom n' zoom and hit and run tactics. This seems counter intuitive to a lot of players I think because it means less shooting time. That's true but it's more than worth it to improve the "quality" of your
targets. Jerking the stick around in a turn fight against an opponent that is actively trying to shake you only encourages desperate spray n' pray shooting. Maneuver fighting is an important skill but in my opinion it's better to learn to shoot well first and you won't
learn to do that very well by maneuver fighting.

So, put your spitfires and G2s away for now and get yourself a fast, stable gun platform like a Mustang or a Focke-Wulf. If you _really_ have a hard time resisting turn fights fly a P47. Mentally adjust your mindset so that you start thinking about your sorties as fishing trips rather than fencing matches. Take your time and don't get rushed. Also, even though we're practicing our gunnery, try to focus on defense more than on offense. Try to stay alive and in the air as long as possible. You want to return for fuel and ammo, not to trade a beat up plane for a fresh one. It seems counter intuitive but thinking defensively is what sets the stage for improving your gunnery.

Ok, so now you're flying your first sortie with your fresh new perspective. You want to be doing one of only two things at any given time. You CANNOT break these two rules! Be sure you are either flying at 500+ knts (for 44-5 planes) or that you're climbing to regain altitute but only when you're _sure_ there are no bandits in the area that can jump you.

Since this post is supposed to be about gunnery I won't talk too much more about BNZ or hit and run tactics except to say that if you haven't learned to use trim tabs yet you'll need to start using elevator trim. If you're pushing forward on the stick to maintain level flight, you're out of trim. Different planes have different guidelines for how much trim you'll need. In the Mustang for example I shift between neutral trim (climbing at 290-310 knts) and 30-40 clicks down trim (500-600+ knts). The FW requires less down trim and seems to benefit from up trim when climbing.

One other thing I'll add is that when you first switch to these kinds of tactics you need to be prepared to spend a lot of time setting up an attack run on a potential target who is, at best, at your altitude level if you're speed is 500 or more but probably he is below you. (If he's above you then HE is the potential attacker. Get outta there!) But it's OK we're fishing not fighting, remember? So be prepared to spend a lot of time setting up shots, missing, and running from the fight to start all over again. Early on, focus on not getting shot down and take consolation in your high survival rate. Once you learn to make one pass kill shots your score will go through the roof and you'll rarely even feel a bullet in return let alone get shot down.

Ok, so what about the actual shooting part? That's what this post was supposed to be about right? After you've spent ages gaining altitude and speed you're finally on your attack run, approaching your chosen target fast. Hopefully, your target isn't aware of you. If he is you'll probably miss or land a snap shot at best. If he's not aware of you then all that patience is finally about to pay off. Arrange your angle of attack so that you're as close to his six as possible. The exception to this is if you can catch an opponent at the top of his climb, while he's hanging still in space. Then it doesn't matter which way he's pointing as he's hardly moving anyways. In either case you want to make _slow_, _gentle_ movements in an attempt to "freeze" your opponent in your target reticle (no over the nose shots, thats for dogfighting!) If you've read this far and fallen asleep it's time to wake up. This next bit is the real trick to successful one pass kills. By "freezing" your target what I mean is that your opponent is growing larger in your target reticle but he isn't moving to the side or up or down within your field of view, and you're not having to move your the stick to keep him that way. Note however that this doesn't mean that your stick is necessarily centered, you might be in a gentle turn. It just means that you're not _pulling_ on the stick in an attempt to keep him centered.

Ok, so now your unsuspecting target has stabalized in your reticle, your stick movements have stabalized (or very nearly so and he's rapidly growing larger. Now is when you'll want to avoid making one of the three common rookie mistakes. The first is firing from too far away. At MINIMUM you want to wait to start firing until the target's wingspan fills the reticle. Often times, I haven't quite frozen the target by that point anyways so I often don't even fire until the wingtips expand past the target reticle. This means btw, that your convergence should be 200m max and I often set it to 180 or even 160.

The second rookie mistake you want to avoid is second guessing the shot you've just lined up and jerking on the stick when you pull the trigger. Gently _squeeze_ the trigger and _consciously_ try to avoid moving the stick when you do so. Leave the trigger button depressed and actually look to see where the bullets are going to see if you're hitting your target or not. (Note that this is easier in planes without nose mounted guns.) I actually think that it's more important to learn to squeeze the trigger and fire a stable bullet stream than it is to hit the target when you're first learning to shoot. Also note that in a larger sense, you're learning to stay calm and to avoid tension when attacking. (This is equally important in all aspects of combat.)

Once you start landing hits you'll be tempted to make the third common mistake and that is commiting the sin of greed. It's exciting watching your unsuspecting target light up like a Christmas tree under the whithering rain of your fire but it can't last forever. In fact it probably can't last much longer than a second or two and you're almost at point blank range so don't ram him! If he's still intact after your first pass don't get in a hurry to finish him off. Avoid the turn fight no matter how tempting. Pick up speed, disengage, and check your six. Then, if all is safe, you can come back again finish him off at your leisure.

So, that's basically it in a nutshell. If you're used to getting kills by hoping your targets accidentally fly into the ground after landing a few glancing blows then you'll be shocked when your targets first start to disintegrate into fireballs inches from your face, even with the controversial v201 50 cals. Coupled with your new high speed energy tactics, your score will pass 20 kills per pilot and you'll learn what most aces, both online and in real life have learned. Good flying is mostly a matter of discipline. I don't know what possessed me to write all this but I hope you've found it helpful.

JG52Uther
07-17-2004, 03:28 PM
good post http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

http://img78.photobucket.com/albums/v299/JG52Uther/FW.jpg Yeah Baby!!

VMF513_Sandman
07-19-2004, 08:28 PM
it's the plane u dont see coming is the 1 that kills u. getting greedy will cost u dearly. either u'll a: ram him, b: set urself up for his wingman, c: ram into or shoot a friendly...either 1 will highly p-iss him off, or d: u'll wind up gettin friendly fire from trying to steal some1 else's kill by zoomin in front of him and they use u for target practice.
if u fail to use situational awareness, u wont last long period. 1's that are turning away isnt a threat...it's the 1's coming in that is. if u ignore the 1 that's to ur 10 oclock and insist on goin after the 1 thats at ur 3 oclock from .3 out, u'll wish u hadnt very soon...u just set urself up for an ez shot to the inbound.