View Full Version : Flying Successfully Against AI with Engine Overheat "ON"...

02-07-2008, 03:30 PM
...is definitely possible.

You just have to know your aircraft really well. Also you must fly smart; you must maximize the tactical advantages your aircraft affords while doing anything possible to avoid getting yourself in trouble. That means sometimes you have to make yourself disengage from a fight, gain some altitude, circle around a bit, and reengage only when you are in a position of advantage.

Of course, one needs tons of experience and patience to do this successfully, but it sure can be done.

Why try, though?

Well, I'm flying the EnjoyR "Drang Nacht Osten" campaign for the Germans, and as previously experienced in past campains flown in 109s, it eventually gets to the point of being too easy to scythe through enemy planes at absolute full throttle 100% of the time. I could almost fly with recless abandon with no concern of engine condition.

I'm flying 109F2s and F4s against the little Polikarpovs, LaGG3s, and a few Yaks, no to mention the poor, helpless SB-2s and DB-3s and 4s. I actually started to become bored because of the ease of which Soviet planes were downed.

Bored with this sim? Can't let that happen! So, i started to do some experimentation.

First with the QMB: I set "Engine Overheat" to on (Basically I'm at full switch now except for Padlock and Mission Success) and pit my 109F2 against Novice, Average, and Veteran I-16 18s and 24s on some 1vs1 and 2vs2 action. I flew as I did before - that is, trying to turn and burn with these little critters, while at the same time keeping an eye on the engine temps. Well, I got shot down. Flying at reduced power settings but maintaining those same old bad habits got me killed every time.

Then once I learned the safe MCP (Maximum Continuous Power) setting for my aircraft, while at the same time not flying the machine like a videogame, I became more successful. I learned to position myself so that I could cut through the opposing aircraft almost without worry of consequence. The key? The oft mentioned, but rarely used tactic of "energy management" Do that right, and you're much more likely to stay alive. While your kill count will probably not be as high as before, your pilot will stay alive for much, much longer.

Eventually, I moved into the 109F-4 and flew some more 1v1 and 2v2 action, this time not only against the older Soviet equipmet but also against some real meat like the Yak-9s and La-5s. While fighting against these newer aircraft was more difficult, I was still able to engage and disengage almost at will. The 109-F4 in particular is able to maintain very high speeds, and coupled with more firepower (compared to the F2) I was almost unstoppable. Each time I shot down one or both aircraft while maintaining MCP.

I moved on to FW190-A4s, A5, and A8s against corresponding Soviet machines and it was more of the same. While combat became progressively more difficult, I was still able to maintain the initiative. While flying the FWs I was almost invincible! This was against Novice through Ace AI, and engine overheat was still on. It was all quite amazing, really.

I carried over this practice into the campaign.

I've discovered that air combat has become a much more cerebral affair now that I have to pay attention to what the engine is doing, as well as paying attention to the enemy. The AI is still up to it's old tricks, such as the continuous rolls and what not, but this time I don't follow them. Instead I simply maintain my energy and swoop up for some altitude (and tons more potential enrgery!). I eventually come around and dive down on them once they've settled.

It's taken playing this sim for years for me to finally figure this out. That's years of experience, my friend. That's what it's taken.

Result: Campaings are much more interesting now that I have to take care of my machine as well as fight the enemy. My tactics have evolved as a result. I maximize the potential that my particular aircraft afffords for as much as I can. Moreover, I pay more attention on how to issue the proper orders to the group during missions; I've excercised tighter control over the group. Again, I now shoot down about half as many aircraft as I did with no engine overheat, but each one of those kills is now much more gratifying because now I've been forced to use my noodle.

Interestingly, my success has also improved against the enemy bombers as well. I don't get sniped anymore. If fire does come my way, I peel off and come around to try again. My concern for engine-preservation has transferred it's way to a stronger sense of self-preservation as well.

As for my "kill stealing" AI mates, well, they can take all the kills they want. The entire squad gets better with experience as a result, and I'm quite content with any kills that I can bag while keeping my mount in once piece, and landing home safely.

That one switch has made a huge difference in the immersion of this sim. Trust me, doods, with ample experince, patience, and use of the 'ol noodle, AI campaings become much more enjoyable with engine overheat "ON". However, this is reccomended for those who are experienced enough to know how to fly and fight with this difficulty setting.

02-07-2008, 05:17 PM
Pretty much how I fly, except that I fly Ruskie. So my missions at the start of the war are far from boring as it`s the Luftwaffe with all the advantages except turning.

I`ve been flying in 1941, early `42 because I like th challenge. I`m a little afraid of going to `43-`44 because then the challnge will go (with the better Soviet aircraft) and I`ll probabaly get a tad bored since I find LA5 fn`s a dream to shoot down 109s in.

As for the engine management, yep, sure. Every pilot should do this and especially in prep for online play.

02-07-2008, 05:35 PM
Right before the uber elitists come in, I just wanna say, that yeah, the depth of this sim is a great thing. I don't play much lately, but I love the little details, and the rewarding experience of getting to know tactics etc.

02-07-2008, 05:46 PM
Advantage regarding speed that you can really have vs Ai lies mostly in level flight.

More insight on these tracks (http://www.esnips.com/doc/3f0ec0b2-deff-4a34-aec3-567c57b72c96/AiCheatPack).

02-07-2008, 06:21 PM
Originally posted by SeaFireLIV:
Pretty much how I fly, except that I fly Ruskie. So my missions at the start of the war are far from boring as it`s the Luftwaffe with all the advantages except turning.

I agree! When flying for the Soviets it's nearly impossible to survive in the early war against the Germans, especially if you're flying the Polikarpovs! Hell of a lot of fun to try, though. I mostly ended up aborting the mission and directing my flight and myself back to base, though most of us got shot down in the process.