View Full Version : Silver bullet tail gunners

12-19-2004, 08:00 PM
Anybody know if there's a setting to deal with tail gunners who put their first bullet between your eyes? And or how to get them to sit in my back seat?

12-19-2004, 09:26 PM
Stay off that planes six. Attack from the front or the side.

12-19-2004, 11:06 PM
SIt in the tail gunners position some day. See how easy it is to shoot aircraft on your six. Making them deflect the shot is much better. Direct 6 gets you killed all the time. That is why they put him there. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

12-20-2004, 05:59 AM
there hasent been any good AI gunners since the original verion of the IL-2 game

Thnx to whiners, they killed the gunners, no fun chasing bombers any more

12-20-2004, 12:25 PM
Horse hockey.

Real life aircraft gunners were never that accurate, especially with the first burst. And the distances! You couldn't hit anything 600 meters away on purpose from a real moving aircraft without a lot of postwar technology to help you. AI gunners are still impossibly good, especially from maneuvering planes.

Only if you're sitting motionless relative to the AI gunner's a/c on his level or high six should he be able to hit you from within 300m with any consistancy, but the reality of the game engine apparently doesn't allow for that.

Attack bombers from an angle, preferably with a curving approach from above or below and bring lots of friends to give the gunner someone else to shoot at. Even so, the AI will usually single the player out unless the AI already is busy engaging another target. Avoid clouds, because then they can always see you and you can't see them.

Your chances improve if you make the gunners' solution as complicated as possible, but that also makes your firing solution that much harder.



12-20-2004, 12:33 PM
are you inferring from the title of your post that you have a werewolf pilot mod? Where can I download?

12-20-2004, 01:40 PM
It's seemed to me that the AI gunners in general are too good. Somewhere I recall reading that bomber crews expended thousands of rounds of ammunition for every "kill", and those were few and far between.

Still, in most of the B17/Europe footage you see, the Luft are attacking from the beam or the front, and at high speed.

12-20-2004, 03:36 PM
In real life a slow crawl towards the bombers from 6 o'clock was exceptionally dangerous. I've recently been reading some accounts of Wildcat and Hellcat operation in the Pacific and it's clear that on those occasions they tried it - even against lightly-armed bombers like the Betty - the loss rate was unacceptable with engine damage being almost inevitable.

Better tactics evolved to make diving passes or to attack from other aspects. The time it takes to set up these attacks in the game is often frustrating but it definitely pays off. Accounts of Luftwaffe aircraft making passes on B-17 formations often mention that they could make only one or two attacks because of the time taken to regather aircraft and get into position for another run. In the presence of escorts this became almost impossible.

As far as I know, the only unit that actually set out to make level-flight 6 o'clock stern attacks were the Fw-190 Sturmbocks flying in late 1944/45. These units used specially armoured aircraft to be able to survive the bomber's defensive fire for long enough to be able to get into 30 mm cannon range. One LW pilot described the tracers coming towards him as being like standing under a shower and looking up. Even the special Fw-190s proved incapable of surviving a 6 o'clock slow approach and fighter losses were greater than bomber losses.

So overall, I'm not too worried about IL-2's tail gunners. If you try a slow 6 o'clock approach they'll kill you stone dead. Which is as it should be.



12-20-2004, 04:14 PM
The gunners in this game have to be better than real-life...look at what they are flying against.

In real-life if i had oil all over my window, or half my wing gone...i would be heading home right away, due to the fact that i enjoy living http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif In game what do i can if i can see the ground through the 2 foot hole in my wing? I'm not really worried if that bomb kills me..so i'm going to make another pass and another and another till either i get killed or i kill him...therefore the gunners on that bomber need to be a whole lot better than real life in order for that bomber to stand a chance at making it.

12-20-2004, 04:40 PM
Wasn't it the textbook "RAF attack number 1" that had Spitfires being downed by Stukas, ie., approach from dead astern and get one in the engine from the rear gunner? Those boys pretty soon learned not to try it.

Now the dorsal gunner of a He-111 in this game always get my glycol cooled Brit defender overheating at impossilbe distances, and lets face it, if you shoot back with 8 x browning machine guns or 4 x .30 cals = 2 x 20mm he never dies or gets freaked out, even if you see his cupola liberally flashing with bullet and cannon hits. But then this is not real life, and there is only so much that can be modelled and I had 7 MK108 hits on the control cabin of a B-24 only this evening, the result of a frontal Fw-190 attack, but nothing untoward seemed to occur. So the game's imperfect. We give feedback and sometimes it changes. Sometimes it doesn't. But, fellow cyber-pilots, I have faith that 1C's reputation is based on the faithfullness of its games and on nothing else, and that it endeavours to acheive fidelity within the ever diminishing limtations of the medium it has chosen, and that one day, we shall all meet on-line in a perfectly rendered, warp free, 3-d rendered, wrap-around 1940s air-borne melee and it will be good. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif


12-21-2004, 02:42 AM
The gunners of the B17's had a though time, in the start of the bombing campaign the germans did the classic aproach, attached from the stern. and the germans soon knew that this was to be a costly battle. then some smart gerry saw that the B17 was lighter armed in the front (B17 A to F), so they did suicidal frontal assault's on the bombers, trying to score hit's on the cockpit bringing the bombers down. this was a verry succsessfull aproach, even, many pilots died cause they didnt turn in time and flew headon into a bomber. during the Schweinfurt raid, the germans even brought up bombersin the path, everything from Stuka, JU88 (Fastest medium bomber in the german arsenal) and ME110's.

When the B17G came about, the german frontal assault's had a steadily increase of losses. and so the heavy armored FW's came about.

I personaly do not think that these fighters where used to do the traditional aproach from stern, i think the FW's where too heavy for this and would become a easy pick for the escort fighters, but, a dive from above (not to steep offcourse) or a frontal assault i belive was more the way they fought, the 109's was mainly a escort fighter for the FW's.

on the allied side: there are numerous reports of B17 gunners scoring kills/possible kills/damadges on enemy planes on ranges up to 1000 yards.
i belive that this is possible, the 12.7mm (50 cal) is a gun that has a heavy punch, a GREAT balance between projectile weight and gunpowder.

12-21-2004, 03:16 AM
Well, in some ways they are unrealistic.

For example, a few nights ago, I shot the wing off a B-25. I was elated as I dove at a steep angle fired my Mk103 gun podded FW-190 A-9 and scored great hits across the entire wing surface! A great shot by any standards.


As the plane was spiraling toward the ground, the tailgunner hit me with a pilot kill shot! In reality that guy would have been pulling some serious G's and got off a sniper shot from hell! Lucky shot? Perhaps, but as my screen was black, I kept hearing the *Plap* Plap* of other rounds hitting my plane, which was surely also spinning wildly.

Oh well, things like that remond me that it is just a game. A very nice one, but just a game..

12-21-2004, 04:33 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
When the B17G came about, the german frontal assault's had a steadily increase of losses. and so the heavy armored FW's came about.

I personaly do not think that these fighters where used to do the traditional aproach from stern, i think the FW's where too heavy for this and would become a easy pick for the escort fighters, but, a dive from above (not to steep offcourse) or a frontal assault i belive was more the way they fought, the 109's was mainly a escort fighter for the FW's. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, they were mate. The standard Sturmbock tactics were to overhaul the target American formation from astern, until within 100yds or so range, then to bring down at least one bomber each. If cannon failed (unlikely but possible), they were obliged to ram the enemy. Special Bf 109G-10 or G-14 equipped Gruppen were employed to provide top cover against the American excorts. At first, the US escorts used to sweep specific areas of the bomber stream, so there were gaps that the Sturmgruppen could exploit, and they were very successful. A mission where 9 Focke Wulfs were lost in return for 9 heavies was overwhelmingly in favour of the Germans, and ratios were often far better than this in the early days. Troubles arose when the US escorts grasped the situation and began covering all of the stream in turn. It was then that the Sturmgruppen were rarely able to form up for an attack before being chased off (and often suffering heavy losses) at the hands of the escorts.

The B-17G chin turrets only really added to the fear involved for a German pilot flying in a head-on attack. They were not actually very effective and German losses in head-on attacks didn't rise significantly. In fact, losses due to collisions were not nearly as high as you seem to suggest - pilots were far more likely to fire too early and nose down in good time than to fire too late and collide with the target...

12-21-2004, 05:37 AM
The front turret on the B17's was there mainly to just spray tracer at approaching German fighters to upset the pilots concentration, it was unaccurate and difficult to aim. Memphis Bell did its full tour during the very bad days and only notched up 3 kills, that Lancaster (I forget its name) that did over 100 raids claimed 2 kills as well.
I remember a B17 waste gunner once saying how impossible the guns were to aim, the planes were always moving around, you kept falling over yourself, anyone over 5`6 had great difficulty in aligning the gun on a target. The cockpit turret was also to slow to lead fast moving fighters at close range, the radio operators rear cockpit gun was seen only as a decoration, it had very a poor trajectorie and the gunner had a lousy view, the belly turret was a deathtrap, Cramped, exposed, taking upwards of a minute for the gunner to get out if the plane had to be abandoned, and he needed another crew member to operate it and assist him.
Most of this came from my Great Uncle who was in the RAF (RAAF but was drafted by the RAF) as a pilot then as a gunnery instructor after he suffered leg injuries ina car accident.
He said he'd never get into a B17 for a daylight mission even if a gun was pointed at him.

12-21-2004, 08:49 AM
Are we talking the gunners of a B-17 bomber or the flexible mount on a Stuka or Dauntless?

I find it very easy, as a Stuka or Dauntless gunner, to take out guys on my six. Once lit a La-7 on fire who was way too overconfident with his 3 B-20 cannons. He missed, I hit, it was a pretty easy shot...and he didn't get a second chance.

With a massed formation of bombers like B-17's...the idea is like ground based AAA fire...you put up a wall of firepower into a given area...chances are that you probably won't hit every time and maybe your entire plane won't hit every time, but you have 30 or 40 planes in formation. Someone is going to hit something important in the attacking fighters.

12-21-2004, 10:28 AM
Once again, we have to differentiate between real-life and what happens in the context of IL-2FB/AEP/PF. A player in the gunner position, wiggling his mouse around to put his crosshairs on his target is not subjected to the vibration, wind blast, noise (try doing anything that requires fine motor skills while being subjected to 80-90 dB of noise; there's a reason NBA players get a lot of cash), the sheer clumsiness of hauling a gun breech into position (ever sat in the rear gunner's seat of an SBD or similar a/c? The gunners'ergonomics was not high on the designer's priorities), and the god-awful fear that if he doesn't get everything perfect, he and his crewmates will die.

There's a material difference between a spring balanced, 15-30kg gun mounted on a ring and pintle and a 4 oz optical mouse. Maybe the controller designers can come up with something analogous to a real gun mount, so that Fritz can prove that he has real gunnery skills. I'll gladly bring a big fan, my old stereo turntable and play Iron Butterfly's "Inna Godda da Vida" at full blast right behind him and joggle his seat at odd intervals for added realism.

The fact remains that in the real life context, that gunners in the tunnel or dorsal positions were firing light machine guns from locations with next to no field of view, and grotesquely clumsy and uncomfortable positions. Hitting the ground, much less an aircraft not flying in a perfect position, was a major accomplishment. They were there as 'scare' guns, not as a fulltime crew assignment, yet in the game, the ****ed things take out your engine from ludicrous angles with annoying regularity, never mind the slow approach from a low dead six.

I have no great arguement with the amount of simulated damage dealt from the tail gun positions of a B17/24; those were fairly well designed gun positions with dual heavy guns operated by American farmboys who knew something about shooting.

I do have a complaint about the AI gunners with .30 cal popguns sitting on stools or slings or in standing or laying positions making full deflection kill shots from 600+ meters away through their rear control surfaces.

Aircraft with multiple crew positions were historically easy kills, and the gunners of these aircraft actually damaging or destroying an attacking fighter was the notable exception, not the rule, especially when the attackee was caught alone, out of the protection of his formation. The game does not simulate this accurately at all.



12-21-2004, 10:53 AM
I agree w/ Horseback a lone bomber should be an easy kill for fighters.

12-21-2004, 11:44 AM
I agree. Even the AI waist guys, usually there as a secondary role just to 'fill' angles and comfort their comrades more than shooting down anything -try to hit something from a waist gun- get incredible accurate shots against fighters bouncing fast from above at angle.

I simply can't believe it.

A Spanish ace of SCW made a bet with a good bomber crew about how many chances had a lone bomber against an attacking fighter, some time before the war. They mounted very slow crappy planes -both fighter (Nieuport 622) and bomber (Breguet XIX). The fighter pilot tried all kind of attacks from every angle, including from the rear. The discovered that the gunners just were caught aiming too late in 90% of cases, and the rest (10%) the angle was so difficult that they had little to no chance of getting a hit.

Massive fire coming from big formations is another thing, yes, it was very dangerous, but, anyway, the fact is that the initial plan of B-17s fighting their way alone in daytime trusting their own defences proved a dismal failure over Schweinfurt, and P-38s and then P-51s escorts were pushed to service in ETO mainly for this reason. That's why also 'turret fighter' concepts, such as British Defiant were so unpromising.

If gunners would have been so accurate in RL as they are in FB/AEP/PF, the turret fighter would have been a success, and also the non-escorted massive bomber formations. But they weren't, we know, so there's something strange there.

12-21-2004, 02:18 PM
This thread comes up every few weeks, but the posts here are a bit more intense than usual, so I'll drop in my .02.

One thing that's not modelled in the game in the rear gunner spots is effect on the bullets you're firing by the forward velocity of the plane you're in. The forward motion of the plane carries the bullets forward too. That means if you aim at a fighter coming in at, say, a 45 degree angle, your bullets will actually pass in front of the target, from that forward momentum. The firing solution is the exact opposite of what it is for the fighter pilot--the rear gunner has to aim BEHIND the target to get hits. The rule was, always aim between your target and the tail of your a/c.

Bottom line is, it was **** hard for gunners to hit anything, no matter how much squirill shooting they'd done before the war. Not only are the rear gunners in IL-2 much too good, the hits we get from rear gunner positions are much easier than they would have been in real life.

Source: Gunner's Information File, Flexible Gunnery, Air Forces Manual #20, 1944, Pages S7-19. Too lazy to post.

12-21-2004, 03:04 PM
Thanks Jung...particularily liked the squirrel gun reference.

Of course to fully represent the experience of a rear gunner on a B-17 you would need to seperate the player from his family for two years, send him/her to a cold and wet island full of people who like warm beer, pies, and coal mines; dress him/her up like a polar bear and stick him/her in a deep freezer that's going two hundred and twenty miles an hour for seven hours before driving a BMW into him with six blokes shooting him/her with shot guns when he/she least expected it.

Now that would be total immersion.

12-21-2004, 03:47 PM
Here is another point...as many here suggest the AI's are too good against their real life contemporaries. But a sim pilot isn't also too good against what is RL? What will happen if we get AI gunners with all those effects as you mention modelled??(g forces, uncomfortable positions etc.). They will be less than targed for a SIM pilot. Who wants a duck shot can tweak his config.ini and set maximumbomberskill to rookie, and it will be fine. But what I want from a SIM is a challenge. We will still be just sitting infront of our monitors and not in real planes, thus the challenge real pilots faced has to be brought up in another way. I am happy with present AI gunners and would like to see them even more boosted...now I feel fear in combat when I play DiD campaigns and not only duck shot, I can be successfull against bombers anytime with good approach and I know that it won't be ever perfect concerning things like sometimes impossible shots...but that's life, real pilots had to face another impossible things (as AC faults and milion others) so it seems to be a fair tradeoff for me.

12-21-2004, 07:18 PM
15 of the 17 Betty's that attacked the Lex were shot down with a loss of only 2 F4Fs.

Set up a similar mission with PF FMB and see if the loss ratio comes anywhere close.

Any Dauntless tailgunner that can shoot the main float off the Rufe I'm flying with a single burst has been endowed with supernatural abilities in my estimation.

BTW: anyone notice how well trained the bomber crews are? Even when going down in flames the crewmen who are either too wounded or too dead to bail out remember to take off their oxygen masks when the plane goes below 10,000 feet or so. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gifAmazing.

12-23-2004, 10:42 PM
That Japanese twin engined medium bomber has amazing gunners, my wingman and myself both flying Tomahawks were shot down at range by it. They are far to accurate at range. The first bullet it fires seems to hit your engine straight away.