View Full Version : formation tactics

08-22-2005, 04:10 PM
hey all!

can anyone give me the straight dope on formations?...when and why one would use a certain formation over the other? advantages/disadvantages etc?...i'm a total history buff, so any info regarding their historical development would be welcome.

armchair tacticians unite! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

han freak solo
08-22-2005, 10:16 PM
Bump for you, jds1978.

I'll tell you this. If you go about changing formations for the fun of it, you may watch your flight go down in balls of fire.

I did this in a Wildcat campaign. Flyin' along a bit bored, giving formation change commands. Suddenly, "This is 2, I'm hit". "Hit the silk number 3". "Aaaaaaggghhh".

Nothing like flyin' solo. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

08-22-2005, 10:44 PM
The AI automatically spots planes a certain distance, so there's no big advantage to using any formation in IL-2.

08-22-2005, 11:50 PM
On the other hand, when flying with your mates knowing a few basic formations can come in real handy.

The simplest, most useful formation is between two planes - the Combat Air Patrol formation. Two pilots fly abreast (side by side http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif), with approximately 500-600 metres between them. The advantages to this are immediate: You're the plane on the right - if you look to your left you can see in advance any unfriendly closing in on your wingman's six. If he looks to the right, he can do the same. Flying correctly, it is IMPOSSIBLE for you to be snuck up upon too quickly to call for a reaction/break.

Flying abreast also allows for several formation tactics against more maneuverable aircraft - the thatch weave being a classic example. A single unfriendly attacks from behind - you call 'break', and you both turn TOWARDS each other. Unfriendly HAS to choose to follow one of you, leaving the other one free to take a shot when you reverse direction and turn back into each other again. You can keep weaving back and forth (assuming he doesn't break - if he does, change tactics), until one of you gets a killing shot in.

Finger Four formation is simply the same formation with four in the flight. You have a leader and a 2IC, both with wingmen. The wingmen stay abreast of their leads in the same way they would in CAP formation, and in this case the 2IC stays to the left, and a bit behind, the Flight leader. Still a very good formation, the disadvantage is that the 2IC has to split his time between holding formation with the leader and watching his wingman's six. He's the weakest link in this formation, and it IS possible for a wiley attacker to dive out of the sun and have a 50/50 chance of surprising him.


08-23-2005, 08:33 AM
thanks folks http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

oh, btw Hans Freakin' Solo, i've totally noticed the ,er.., lack of co-ordination with my wingmen when the skys get crowded...

i just assume its a darwinian style selection process http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

han freak solo
08-23-2005, 11:22 AM
Originally posted by jds1978:
thanks folks http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

oh, btw Hans Freakin' Solo, i've totally noticed the ,er.., lack of co-ordination with my wingmen when the skys get crowded...

i just assume its a darwinian style selection process http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif Good one!

As flight leader I have to keep a tight leash. Upon takeoff, I give a rejoin command. While climbing, I give a rejoin command. Once leveled out, I give a rejoin command. At first sight of the enemy, I give a rejoin command.

This just keeps them with me until I pick the time to attack an enemy. When the time has come , I give an attack (fighters/bombers/ground target) command.

After that it's a free-for-all. My wingman stays pretty tight with me unless he gets damaged. Once, I'm out of ammo, I give my wingman the ol' attack command so "he" can use up his ammo.

If you want to test your wingman out, try to get on his tail after you give him a rejoin command. "He" is better than enemy AI. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

08-23-2005, 11:53 AM
Han, that's pretty much how I do it, except I don't usually need to right after take off (unless the base is being attacked). I thought maybe I was overdoing the rejoin bit, but I guess not.

han freak solo
08-23-2005, 02:01 PM
It appears I over use the rejoin command. That's because I don't always stick to the flight plan. Sometimes the 2nd element will stick to the flight plan when I don't want them to.

Who wants to fly over every flak infested little town?

Gotta keep these AI troopers in line, Dammit! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif
Hup-2-3-4, you gra-vy suc-kin' pigs!!!

08-23-2005, 02:22 PM
One of our squadrons primary focus is formation flying. It is essential, but hard to master. Give us a look.

Check screenshots out for 'formations'.

08-23-2005, 03:29 PM
thanks again, to all!

stackhouse:i checked out yer site...some of those screenies are hilarious!!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif plus some great info about VFA/25.

Han: keep those slobs in line! (rejoin, rejoin, tighten formation, REJOIN) although i sometimes actually take detours THROUGH the flak traps. there is something calming about a low sunset in the tropics as 37mm ack ack rips through your formation (oooh the pretty colors!) http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif

09-05-2005, 12:02 PM
Hi all,

since you seem to be aware of some AI rejoining tactics, maybe you can help me !

Here is the situation : I'm the leader of two patrols of 3 (6 planes in total). I want us to fly in formation all together (let's say we are some poor IL2 launched into the battle...). So I tell the whole squadron to get in formation (key 6-8-2). But the second fly *never* takes care of this order ! It behaves like just following its initial path... Same thing with 3-8-2

More interesting, if I hit 3-1, the second fly just escort me like any fighter fly (and remember, I told about IL2 ; that's doing funny things when real ennemy fighters are coming near us...).

Must more interesting ! If, just after taking off, I'm using auto-pilot (Q key in my case, why not ?), then the second fly keeps a perfect formation with me. What a funny thing, isn't it ? But it becomes much funnier when you see that this trick works only in DGen and not in DCG Campaign Generator :-(

Well, does anyone can help me keeping my poor IL2 of the second fly with me ?


09-05-2005, 02:26 PM
maybe you're missing waypoints?

It sounds like you are playing IL2/FB, unfortunately i only own PF (still on the hunt for the elusive "Gold Pack")...wish i could be of more help...consider this a bump http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

han freak solo
09-05-2005, 06:00 PM
My limited experience in the IL2 plane has made me come up with the same solutions as jds1978 and you, ateng.

I use "Rejoin" for my immediate flight, using "Cover Me" as needed for the other flights with the downside they act like escort fighters. Hitting your waypoints can be critical with the IL2. Remember that you can command the flights via the "Navigate" menu to send them to the "Next Waypoint", then have them "Cover Me" again to keep 'em tight. (Be careful, if you tell your immediate flight to "Cover Me" instead of "Rejoin", they may dump their payloads.)

Also, upon reaching home field and you are on final approach, command your guys to "Return to Base" in the "Navigation" menu. This should prevent them from hitting you or flying into the ground.

In case you never used "RTB", it sends your flight to the last waypoint before landing. they kind of hang out there until you have landed. You don't have all day though, they will start landing regardless if you do.