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View Full Version : flak and gunnery: A couple of things that really need addressing



flakhappy00169
11-10-2007, 05:52 AM
Some aspects of this have, probably, been covered before:

Flak: Way, way too accurate, and it ruins the game. Historically, flak was a very inefficient way to bring down a plane. I can not recall the facts specifically but it was worked out that the ratio between aircraft hit and shells fired was pretty much in favour of the plane, a few hundred tons of shells fired per aircraft destroyed, not a few guns firing through heavy cloud knocking you down as happens in the game.

Enemy gunners: The same problem, way too accurate, he's swinging about, you are hitting him with an off beam dive attack and he manages to hit your little fighter while firing through the acrid smoke pouring from his ruptured wing tanks, plus his few bullets manage to hit your engine, mmmm, don't let this fabulous flightsim descend into the microsoft CFS syndrome of giving the AI planes miraculous powers of survival. I recall reading another post a few months ago now concerning air gunners still shooting as their planes are in their death dive. I guess there is a way of tinkering with the code in the same way you can alter the firing rate of ship based gunnery, but it would be helpful if this was solved in a user friendly way.

A couple of other small points: A wing gets blown off, the plane goes into a spin, and the pilot bails out. In reality, the whip caused by the force of the spin would break the pilot's neck, he would be dead in the plane...no bailing out I am afraid, also G force could pin crew inside a bomber in a steep dive. One thing that might be an interesting addition would be the ability for a bomber pilot to order the rest of the crew out but remain in the lighter plane to attempt a landing, just a thought. Hope we get to fly a few more of the heavies, B17, Lancaster, Halifax, Liberator and Stirling plus the Westland Whirlwind fighter would be interesting (in a what if scenario with Merlin engines), as would the Fokker used by the Dutch Airforce..oh well, can't have everything.

flyingloon
11-10-2007, 07:17 AM
i've had p-lenty times where if i don't bail quick enough from a dewinged plane the pilot sits and rides it in after popping the canopy, more times than not in fact

XyZspineZyX
11-10-2007, 07:48 AM
Flak in the game is made to simulate a battery, to save on frame rates

Gunnery is an old old issue. The developer claims this to be accurately modeled. I maintain that the weapons' potential and accuracy is modeled well, but the AI does not have to deal with the things you or I do, such as:

the AI can track through the body of it's own plane.

Maneuvers do not dis-orient the AI gunners

Vibration from weather does not affect AI gunners

weapon platforms are always stable and reliable for AI

Outlaw---
11-10-2007, 08:04 AM
Originally posted by flakhappy00169:A wing gets blown off, the plane goes into a spin, and the pilot bails out. In reality, the whip caused by the force of the spin would break the pilot's neck, he would be dead in the plane...no bailing out I am afraid, also G force could pin crew inside a bomber in a steep dive.


There is no way that the sudden lack of a wing can induce a rolling moment high enough to cause an acceleration great enough to "snap" a pilot's neck. There are multiple gun cam films of pilots egressing aircraft that have lost wings due to damage. There are also films of pilots successfully abandoning their aircraft that have lost wings in colissions during air races.

A "steep dive" will not necessarily induce excessive g-forces. G-forces are not induced by high speeds, they are induced by changes in acceleration (whether positive or negative) and steep dives can be made at constant speeds. While it may be difficult to reach the nearest escape point during a steep dive due to the fact that the aircraft is not level, it is not necessarily due to high g-forces.


--Outlaw.

VW-IceFire
11-10-2007, 06:43 PM
Yep the flak is definitely too accurate, however, this was done on purpose to save on frame rates since each flak gun has its own AI and ballistics modeling (especially the 88mm which you can sometimes see the shells fall and explode a distance away) which of course takes CPU cycles. Toss in a bunch of flak and all of a sudden the frame rate crawls. Heck it crawls with the gunnery from a couple of destroyers or a carrier firing.

Also depends on the flak as the technology, like anything else, improved with time.

stansdds
11-11-2007, 04:46 AM
Originally posted by BBB462cid:
Flak in the game is made to simulate a battery, to save on frame rates

Gunnery is an old old issue. The developer claims this to be accurately modeled. I maintain that the weapons' potential and accuracy is modeled well, but the AI does not have to deal with the things you or I do, such as:

the AI can track through the body of it's own plane.

Maneuvers do not dis-orient the AI gunners

Vibration from weather does not affect AI gunners

weapon platforms are always stable and reliable for AI
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/agreepost.gif

SeaFireLIV
11-11-2007, 06:46 AM
Originally posted by flakhappy00169:
no bailing out I am afraid, also G force could pin crew inside a bomber in a steep dive.

IL2 does pin you inside your plane if you`re in a fast enough dive and won`t allow you to bail. I`ve had it happen several times. If you specifically mean bombers, well there have been times i`ve sen an AI large bomber go down and no one bails. I`ve sometimes wondered why that is when i couldn`t have killed all of the crew.

Brain32
11-11-2007, 05:36 PM
Well I know flak is modelled to be too accurate to simulate batteries, however there is one ting I noticed and I have a theory about it, I think they can not only hit you but when they do it's a "golden bullet" every time, what I suspect is that hey always hit the right hitbox on a plane.
I say that because I really saw some amazing stuff.
For example many of you know that P47 although insanely tough has one hitbox on the belly tail section that will de-tail it with a single shot, very hard to hit it in AtoA but it's there, well flak did it to me, but that's not all, flak did it to me while I was cruising at 6500m+(don't know exact but I was pulling contrails) altitude above the target, to make things worse the target was under mild cloud cover, he might have clean LoS, I'm not sure but still - come on.
And this is just one example, there's a ton more like FW190A9 nearly completely destroyed grid and a half from a target at 4500m altitude in a high speed cruise, P38 cut in half in the cloud by a single hit, B25 hit 5 times in a row at 5000m altitude grid away from the target, Fw190F8 de-winged 3, yes three times in a row doing 800kmh first pass on the target which was basically a column of trucks and there is a ton more of very weird and spectacular examples and not just seen(and felt) by me.
As things are now the enemy fighters are the least of my problems(most people park infront of your gunner anyway http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif) I'm far more afraid of the flak, maybe that's how it should be? I mean I really don't know how good/effective flak was in ww2 but I always though fighters are the biggest threat...
Sure there are compromises that had to be made, but still, sometimes it can get a bit...out of hand IMO http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

flakhappy00169
11-18-2007, 06:00 AM
Thanks for all the feedback.I was just quoting a WWII fighter pilot who had questioned himself as to why he never once saw anyone exit a plane that had lost a wing. He asked a Doctor and the Doctor did some research and came up with the broken neck theory. I would suggest that someone involved in doing it for real may be mistaken, but would have an opinion worth listening to.

As I said, sometimes crew got pinned into their plane once it was diving into the ground, particularly, with Luftwaffe machines that contained the crew in one compartment.

On the subject of gunnery, I have just, recently, read an official RAF report from the war which considered the rear defence of 110's and JU88's as, Largely, inneffective, I would argue that the game accuracy does not reflect this. On a specific point I have also just read that the gunner manning the rear guns in the cockpit of a JU88 had to stow one gun to enable him to move to and use the other,a delay that left him vulnarable.

RAF pilots developed the tactic of feinting an attack to the starboard and then moving in to shoot from port (or vice verse) to take advantage of this.

It should also be remembered that mant MG's on Luftwaffe bombers were drum fed, drums that had to be changed fairly regularly, they could not shoot continuously.

KG66_Gog
11-19-2007, 07:36 PM
As one of the few dedicated bomber pilots still playing this game I have to agree with the points above.

Flak in this game is ridiculously over accurate and I fear it far more than I do an enemy fighter, in fact I fear flak more than a pair of enemy fighters.

I'd like to see BARRAGE flak, that is where all the guns fire at a predesignated box along the most likely route of the bomber stream. These guns did not track individual aircraft, they just threw shell after shell up into the air that the bomber stream had to fly through.

This may alleviate the lethality of AI flak as the guns are not aiming at the aircraft specifically, just the general area.
Determining the shape of the box might be an issue as bombers can approach from numerous directions but I'm sure it could be programmed to start and finish the box along the bombers approach path.

In regards to low level flak, which is equally as unrealistic, I would like to see all flak guns that are under fire go silent the moment that bullets impact near them, to simulate the crew making a run for cover as I'm sure they did not stick around to slug it out with attacking aircraft as the sandbags around them were being torn up by impacting 20mm cannon rounds!

flakhappy00169
12-02-2007, 05:09 AM
Many thanks for your comments. I am glad it is not just me that feels that flak is to accurate. I have just been reading a great book about air combat. It says that they worked out it took, on average, 8000 flak shells per plane shot down. I presume this is based on high altitude bombing such as was carried out by the RAF and USAAF from 1943 onwards, but it demonstrates the reletive ineffectiveness of flak which the game does not reflect.

KG26_Alpha
12-04-2007, 03:35 PM
Anyone mentioned the ridiculous sniper tanks also in IL2 ??

Been killed many times at 6-700kph flying past tanks !!!

VW-IceFire
12-04-2007, 03:49 PM
Originally posted by KG26_Alpha:
Anyone mentioned the ridiculous sniper tanks also in IL2 ??

Been killed many times at 6-700kph flying past tanks !!!
Long since fixed. I do remember them...but haven't been killed by a tank shooting me in over a year I think. They rarely get you although I did make the mistake of attacking several tanks all arranged in my direction with their guns already pointed at me. It was inevitable that one of the shots would connect with spectacular results http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Alloy007P
12-05-2007, 08:35 PM
I still rember the first time I realized I was shot down by a tank, it was really one of those WTF!?! moments.

Buzzsaw-
12-07-2007, 02:01 AM
Salute

As mentioned, the fact that large calibre flak is too accurate is nothing new, and is not likely to be changed. Oleg had his reasons, as mentioned, if he gave the guns their historical level of accuracy, then you'd have to deploy 4 times as many, with a corresponding hit on framerate.

On the other hand, light flak is pretty well modelled on the historical effectiveness.

If you go and do some research, you might find that loss rates for Allied Fighter-bombers in the last part of the war, when German flak was at its most dense, were very high. By the end of the war, all the flak weapons which were scattered all over Europe has been withdrawn and concentrated in Germany, making for a very hostile enviroment.

I read a history of a Canadian Typhoon Wing the other day, which listed losses. A Typhoon wing would have approx. 60 pilots and aircraft at normal strength. In the period between mid '43 and the end of the war, the Wing lost over 200 pilots killed or MIA, 99% of which were due to flak. And of course, probably triple that number of aircraft crashlanded in friendly territory with damage, or landed with wounded pilots. The loss rate was such that a pilot's chances of surviving were very small.

The same applies to the USAAF P-47 fighter-bomber Groups. There is a very good documentary out there which is about a P-47 pilot in a ground attack Group, called "A Fighter Pilot's Story", which gives a clear picture of the losses sustained by these guys.

Perhaps nowadays, people would not accept these types of losses, or the reality that there was very little chance of surviving the war, but these guys got the job done, and certainly if you talk to the German underneath them, they were effective.

Here's a story from Quentin Aanenson's website, (he is the pilot featured in the P-47 documentary)

"On November 17, 1944, the 391st Fighter Squadron of the 366th Fighter Group flew what was perhaps our worst mission of the war. A major ground offensive had begun the day before along the Western Front from the northwest edge of the Hurtgen Forest up through Eschweiler, Germany. The weather was terrible with low hanging clouds and light rain, but we were able to take off with each plane loaded with two 500 pound bombs and a 150 gallon belly tank. Sixteen planes from the 391st were involved in the mission.

When we reached the target area, we had to come in under the overcast at 4,500 feet. Everything was dark and eerie – we could see flashes of the big guns on the ground and the flak explosions in the air. Light from the exploding shells was reflecting off the clouds -- it was as if we were looking into a segment of hell.

Dive bombing starting from such a low altitude is a challenge in itself, but each of us in turn did our best to hit our target. I was hit in the canopy right behind my head just as I rolled over to start my dive and was hit again as I pulled out of my dive. It was apparent I was in deep trouble as I fought to keep my plane in the air. In the meantime, the other 391st pilots were fighting for their lives. Lt. Rufus Barkley dived to strafe a German vehicle, and flew into the ground and exploded. Two of my tent mates, Lt. Richard "Red" Alderman and Lt. Gus Girlinghouse attacked a column of tanks and trucks along a road near a castle on the edge of the Hurtgen Forest, and both were shot down within seconds of each other.

My radio was out of commission, my controls were damaged, and the engine was barely generating enough power to keep me in the air. When I had crossed the front lines, I kept my eyes open looking for some clear space where I could belly in, if the engine gave out. By pure luck I came upon an American landing strip that was under construction, and was able to get my damaged bird down on the partially built runway. When I got back to my base several hours later, I was listed on the pilots' board as "Missing In Action."

The loss of my two tent mates was devastating. "Red" Alderman and I had gone through all our training together, and were very close friends. He had given me the farewell letters he had written to his wife and his mother – I was to mail them if he were killed. Lt. Gus Girlinghouse had just moved into our tent, so I was just getting to know him. The night of November 17, 1944, was the worst night of the war for me."

GvSAP_Dart
12-13-2007, 09:52 PM
There's good and bad in the AA fire in the sim.

The good:

As stated, it's "representative" of multiple guns, which means that it's playable with credible AA defenses, especially when one considers the machines we all had when IL-2: FB came out.

The bad:

The AA aims directly at one's aircraft, without much lead (if any). This is a weakness, as the AA can be defeated fairly easily if it's not set up properly to support each other.

AA defenses that aren't clusters of guns (three or four at 50-100 meter spacing) are ripe for the harvest.

Since I do a lot of ground pounding or escort of ground pounders, distracting or destroying AA guns and defenses is a primary job I have in my squadron.

Check the "videos" section of my site in the sig line demonstrating not only how to destroy one AA gun, but whole defenses using a fighter aircraft.

With an IL-2 it's even easier.

JG53_Valantine
12-13-2007, 11:24 PM
On the note of flak, several times now i have been following an IL2 or a PE2 over friendly territory and have been hit by my own flak. Watching tracks back confirms its noth the "superman sniper rear gunners" but a big chunk of flak exploding below me or next to me.
Just the other day i had my engine taken out by "friendly" flak as it opened fire on a hurricane i was tailing.

I also agree on the sniper gunners. I find myself setting the AI for large B17 formations as Rookie / average as anything higher seems like it fires a single round at you and smacks your pilot betweenthe eyes!
V

LEBillfish
12-14-2007, 09:55 AM
Originally posted by VW-IceFire:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by KG26_Alpha:
Anyone mentioned the ridiculous sniper tanks also in IL2 ??

Been killed many times at 6-700kph flying past tanks !!!
Long since fixed. I do remember them...but haven't been killed by a tank shooting me in over a year I think. They rarely get you although I did make the mistake of attacking several tanks all arranged in my direction with their guns already pointed at me. It was inevitable that one of the shots would connect with spectacular results http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Errrrrt......sorry, yet the tanks still do this. Maybe not to the degree they used to yet no more then 2 weeks ago (no pun intended) I had a tank drop my J8 at roughly 500m alt. yet at a 60 degree "up" angle from him (Waaaaaaay over what a barrel could be tilted)....Was watching him as I was going to bomb him either then or later (can't recall if J8's have bombs yet was a target area), so saw the INSTANT swing of the turret a good 90+ degrees as the barrel raised just as fast, watched the flash and wham.....and no, I "don't got trak".... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

Blutarski2004
12-17-2007, 11:52 AM
Modelling individual ballistics of heavy AAA, even if only one gun for a battery, is IMO crazy - a waste of CPU cycles. Disallowing the odd dud, all heavy AAA was either time-fuzed or proximity-fuzed and self-destructing. Tracking misses back to earth is ahistorical.

A better way to handle heavy AAA is by representing the battery as a fire prediction exercise -

Battery FC sees/acquires target.

Battery FC estimates height, speed and heading - allowing for errors of estimation for visual or radar FC.

Battery computes FC solution.

Battery fires (in pictorial terms only).

A SIMPLE ToF equation computes a number of seconds elapsed between moment of fire and detonation of time-fuzed shells at altitude.

A group of shell bursts are randomly computed in 3D space at random proximate distances from the computed CPI of the salvo.

Aircraft damage is computed versus proximity to its distance from the CPI of the salvo.

- - -

Real-world AAA counter-tactics would then work - weaving, random altitude changes.

Large concentrations of heavy AAA - i.e. battaltions, even regiments, could be programmed to deliver box barrage fire for a more dramatic effect against hi-altitude bomber formations without spending immense amounts of computing resources.

This would work both on land and sea.

My opinion .....

VW-IceFire
12-17-2007, 05:09 PM
Originally posted by LEBillfish:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by VW-IceFire:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by KG26_Alpha:
Anyone mentioned the ridiculous sniper tanks also in IL2 ??

Been killed many times at 6-700kph flying past tanks !!!
Long since fixed. I do remember them...but haven't been killed by a tank shooting me in over a year I think. They rarely get you although I did make the mistake of attacking several tanks all arranged in my direction with their guns already pointed at me. It was inevitable that one of the shots would connect with spectacular results http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Errrrrt......sorry, yet the tanks still do this. Maybe not to the degree they used to yet no more then 2 weeks ago (no pun intended) I had a tank drop my J8 at roughly 500m alt. yet at a 60 degree "up" angle from him (Waaaaaaay over what a barrel could be tilted)....Was watching him as I was going to bomb him either then or later (can't recall if J8's have bombs yet was a target area), so saw the INSTANT swing of the turret a good 90+ degrees as the barrel raised just as fast, watched the flash and wham.....and no, I "don't got trak".... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Wow thats unusual. Any idea what kind of tank? I suppose its possible that the uber tank AI is still programmed into one of the tanks.

The last time I got hit by a tank I was stupidly attacking a very large column of active tanks in an IL-2 head on at a very low angle. Nearly all of the tanks were firing at me and inevitably I blew up http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

OMK_Hand
12-19-2007, 01:22 PM
Hi.

I've posted this before, but as it's (hopefully) relevant;

There's a U.S. War Department training film called, Flak!
Whether any of this works in the game I don't know, but it's interesting.
This is what it all boils down to:

All light Flak is effective up to 4,000' with a few types staying effective up to 10,000'
All heavy Flak is effective from about 3,000' up to about 37,000'.

Conclusion: The safest altitudes are either as high as possible, or as low as possible, down on the deck.

Heavy flak is most accurate at 15,000 feet. Above this, accuracy is halved every 500 feet above that.

High altitude evasion is pre-arranged and is methodical:
Start evasive action 3 minutes before enemy fire is expected.
It is very specific: effect a 20 degree minimum change in direction onto a new course, and hold this course for no longer than your height in seconds before effecting the next change. Any change in height should be greater than 500 feet.

The reasons for this are:
For every second that a shell is in flight from a heavy Flak gun, it climbs approximately 1,000 feet.
If you are at 20,000 feet, a shell will take 20 seconds to reach you.
Therefore, a change in direction by no less than 20 degrees no more than every 20 seconds results in a miss when the fire is either ˜continuously pointed' or ˜predicted concentration', because of the added gun computation times. Likewise, at 25 thousand feet a change of direction by no less than 20 degrees no more than every 25 seconds is required, and so on.

Then, specifically again: when approaching the initial point to the target run, climb 1,000 feet.
From the I.P. to the bomb run point, lose 1,000 feet and evade as above.
Keep bomb run time (straight and level) to a minimum, and keep gunners guessing where your run will start from.

On the bomb run there may well be ˜Barrage fire'. This is not predicted, it is the least accurate yet it looks to the flyer like it's the most dangerous.

ALL the Flak they show in the film looks to be a nightmare. They say that German Flak in particular is very effective. "They can lay a shell on a target 5 miles high travelling at 300 mph."

Low down, stay really low. On the deck. Use the terrain, trees, and buildings for cover. Go in with guns blazing!
Evasion means maximum speed and the most extreme manoeuvres (sudden course and altitude changes) possible. Skid-turns, ˜porpoising', corkscrews, side-slipping, anything to "Keep those gunners guessing".

That is the point they make over and over – keep the gunners guessing.

*********

A few weeks ago, was on patrol alone over the Russian front in a 109 at about 4000m altitude. I noticed dirty brown smuges start to appear slightly below and to the right. I turned to the left and started a high speed climb.
BAM! took a hit and spun out. Thought 'bugger!', and bailed.
I'd assumed something vital, like the rear-end, was missing but noooooo, there it all was spinning away from me as I hung in the 'chute waiting for the gunners to shoot me.
Plane intact, just knocked into a flat spin.
Bugger.
Never had that before.
Moral: Don't panic.

fabianfred
12-28-2007, 08:43 PM
....and yet.....for all their accuracy....you could line up dozens of AA guns...and they still wouldn't knock down a V1 rocket

those things are far too strong in the game http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Kocur_
12-31-2007, 10:38 AM
Light Flak or perhaps "medium" one has a very disctinctive unhistorical feature. Historically shells from 40 mm Bofors, 3,7 cm Flak 18 (and following types) or Soviet 37 mm M39 had only contact fuses and did not have time fuses let alone proximity fuses. So they exploded only if they achieved direct hit on a target and when they reached a distance where self-destruct mechanism would make them go off.
And in the game such guns' shells explode in vincity of their targets, as if they had time or proximity fuses, which is obviously unhistorical.