View Full Version : Taking the guesswork out of convergence.

12-04-2004, 09:35 PM
We've all heard it/ read it:

"What convergence do you use, so and so?"
"What's the best convergence for the P-51 (or P-47, or Me-109, etc.)
"You're using the wrong convergence setting. Try XYZ meters".

The issue is a legitimate one, if you're not using the correct convergence, a majority of your shots may be going "wide of the mark".

But how does one know that he's using a correct value for convergence? While it is true that
enough experimenation will in time yield a usable value, there is a science that can be applied that will give a very precise value for convergence settings, and if done correctly, will almost certainly increase one's chances of scoring that split second kill we all work so hard for in the cyber-skies.

One thing is certain. There is something that has been lost in the quest for perfect convergence. We ask ourselves (and each other) what the settings should be:

For the type of gun we are using;
For the type of flying that we do;
For the type of plane we are flying;
Even for the type of target we are engaging.

Yet, even as we ask these questions we have lost a critical component of the aerial gunnery equation. We have lost "the Gun Director". We have lost the shooter. We have lost the pilot. (i.e., ourselves)

By removing the thinking part (us) of the fire control problem , we set ourselves up for a less than perfect solution to the problem of convergence.

But we don't have to do this. In fact, the solution I suggest is so self-evident in it's validity that I will share it with all right here, and if it doesn't make you feel more confident in you convergence settings, I am confident that you will at least agree that it is still a valid exercise.

Those of us who practice with real firearms know that in order to be accurate, a rifle must be "sighted in" by it's user. That is to say, a rifle sighted in by me and for me, may shoot right , left, high or low, when fired by another shooter. The unique nature of the dynamic between shooter and rifle has an analogy in FB. It is based on flying style and engagement range.

Some pilots are are best when flying the angles, i.e, turnfighting. Others are E boys and accel at boom and zoom. A few are superior at both, and can pilot a Ki-43 with the same skill as they wield a P-47. This is what I refer to as flying style. It plays a role in determining convergence.

Engagement range is an equally unique component of our gunnery habits. Although there is a definite window in which 90% of all pilots will fall, there is a definite variation between the range at which I open fire, and the range at which someone else opens fire. Just as the rifle must be sighted in by the one who is going to shoot it, it is at this range, our personal engagement range, that convergence must be set to, if our targets are to be hit at the critical distance where our bullets and shells close with each other.

Try this:
Go into your difficulty settings, and set icons on. Now, in QMB, set up a mission against 4-8 enemy planes. You may use different types if you wish, but the more the better (assuming you don't get shot down. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif ) Get into your favorite mount, and go hunting. Do everything as you usually do, as far as shooting, maneuvering, approach, etc. When all the bad guys have become part of the real estate, record your track.

Now, review your track. Have pen and paper handy .
As you watch yourself score successive kills, pause the track at the exact moment you open fire. Record the exact range value in meters.
Move on to the next instant at which you fire.
Record the exact range. When all recordings have been made, add all ranges, and then average.

You now have the personal engagement range I spoke of earlier. It is your unique range at which you are most likely to open fire, and the range at which your convergence must be set to wreak maximum damage on a target. Now we are ready to go into the customization screen and adjust our convergence to this value.

Since we are usually closing on a target when we open fire, some will want to experiment with deducting a small percentage of the distance to compensate for our rate of closure. But even if you don't make this adjustment, your convergence value should be very close to optimal.

One may also wish to experiment with harmonization.FB gives one the ability to utilize both point harmonization and pattern harmonization.

Briefly, point harmonization is setting the convergence of all armament to the same value, such that all bullets and shells converge at the same point. Pattern harmonization "staggers" the value so that, for example, one's cannon shells cross the line of sight @ 200 meters, while one's MGs converge @ 210 meters. It really amounts to personal preferance. Experiment, and see which one works best for you.

I know that some will question why I would make such a a long post about a subject that to many "old salts" is so self-evident, yet I believe there are many in our community who look upon the subject of convergence with a certain amount of mystery. I hope what I have written here helps "de-mystify" this very imortant subject, and will bring even more enjoyment to the game. At any rate, if you follow my advice and still can't hit the broad side of a barn with the broad side of another barn, at least you won't be able to blame your convergence setting.
Thank you.

12-04-2004, 09:46 PM
Actually Chris this is the best **** post i've read on the issue so far. Great work.

Now i'm off to test it. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

12-04-2004, 09:51 PM
Right on....good post. Lots of people need to try this out. I'll go and re-evaluate my convergence settings although I'm fairly happy with them as is.

12-04-2004, 09:52 PM
Glad to see your still here Copperhead. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

12-04-2004, 11:08 PM
in practically all the websites i've seen, they are telling the pilot 1 thing: use the gunsite, not the tracer's in calculating lead.
whether u realize it or not, the behavior of the standard ring sight found on american planes acts exactly like rl. i've found the navy mk8 site in the corsair's to be too easy to shoot with; the standard ring and dot being much harder.
here's a good link for ya: http://ww2airfronts.org/Flight%20School/transition/weaponsschool/n3_9basics.html

12-04-2004, 11:32 PM
rgr thanks chris.

All i can say is that after a little Rum, Gentalman Jack, and 12 beers or so.....i san say (or write) some pretty stupid stuff. goes for a lot i ppl i asume. I sent Oleg a nice loong letter falling apologizing the next morning. and that was before i forund out that Bearcat gave me a time out.

Ok here's what i did. tired it with the QMB 1st. just didn't work right. i found i was trying hard to fire at my convergence settings. not good for evaluation. that's what your supposed to do is fire at convergence but if you're tying to determin what you are actually fireing at....you need to do it when you arent thinking about it. So since i record 70% of my combat time online i went back to my Ntrks. Amazing how much my TIMEING is off. i found that at all distances i'm fireing either to late or to early. from dead six or six high i'm taking my time and fireing at the closest possible range. (Quote: Robert Johnson- "In airal gunnery ..when you think your too close...get even closer") That's the way i have always tried to aproach the probelm. However, when you close too close on a target you're limiting your firing time to a minimum. this is even more true for B&Z high E fighting that is almost MANDATORY in the P-47. and with the Browning M2's you have to spend a LOT of time hammering away at some of the late war Luftwaffe aircraft like the 190D-9 to make any serious damage unless you're firng from your exact convergence range. Which brings up another problem that should be addressed. how do you tell your range from your intended target? on some of the Full Difficult servers there are NO icons to judge by.
One thing that's always bugged me about FB is the the icon distance. From what i know it reads in Meters.convergence. So 1.00 on the enemy icon should be 1000m. like wise, .27 should = 270m....which is what i now set my convergence to after the last patch. Some one correct me if i'm wrong on those numbers. Idealy the aim is to open fire just as you close into convergence range and keep firing untill you can no longer keep the piper on the target. this is defantly a probelm that needs more study. I'll keep revieing my Ntracks and try to fix it.

One other thing. I have for the longest time had a BIG problem with my bombing. (fighter-bomber or as some say Jabo) i noticed that i was relaseing way to late. going back to review my tracks gave me an new insight. surpisingly over the past few days i began noticing i was droping late and so i started shorting it up. What made me relise i was screwing up was watching Wings of the Luftwaffe on discovery wings. i was watchign footage of the JU-88 test trials and notice his angle of aproch. and i watched as the bombs contenuied to fall in a fowrad motion INTO the target with the same momentum as the aircraft they were released from. I hadn't been taking the forwad momentum into account. I've now totally changed my aproach tactics to the target and it does make a big differance.

12-05-2004, 12:03 AM
Nice post chris455, very well written.

Also, thx Copperhead for your comments.

12-05-2004, 12:13 AM
Excellent, but I am still going to keep blasting away like a blind man in a room full of chickens.

12-05-2004, 12:30 AM
copper, the ring site in the p-xx shows roughly a 300' range. when the bogey's wings touch both sides, range is about 300'. unless ur high on drugs, u shouldnt miss at that range, specially at convergance.

another thing i've noticed in qmb: shooting under the target at about 500 meters winds up hitting bogey where i aimed under. in the falcon4 sim, they mentioned aiming under the target when at 0 degree deflection. translation: dead 6. it seems that the 50's shoot to the left. if bogey is turning left, it seems to get any hits, u have to aim more to the left; sight wont be anywhere on target. if it is, shell's will shoot high and to the right well over the target.

12-05-2004, 12:44 AM
I just may have to go give this a try!
Who was is that had the Links to all the important things in the Il-2 Series...
Well regardless, this should go in it!
Excellent post!

12-05-2004, 03:07 AM

Well, that just takes the biscuit.

12-05-2004, 03:45 AM

Without going to ballistics or anything else...I use 100m as convergence in game. When firing that close with all the Fw190A can offer there should be NO plane surviving that fury of lead and explosives. And that close lead is minimal even in deflection shooting.

12-05-2004, 09:21 AM
Chris.....great post. I'm going to be going back and doing some more testing today. My convergence is set at 300m now but that could use some tweaking. I have a question...if you set icons with no range when you play...can you go back and turn them on in the ntrk? That way you could see how your really firing when none on and then check your range after. I would bet most people open up alot fartehr out than they think.

@Copper...good to see ya off ban my commander. LOL Good read too....I find myself dropping my bombs way to late also.

12-05-2004, 10:37 AM
Thanks Diablo,
I don't think you can turn icons on "after the fact".
If you try it and it works let me know. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

12-05-2004, 10:54 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LLv34_Flanker:

Without going to ballistics or anything else...I use 100m as convergence in game. When firing that close with all the Fw190A can offer there should be NO plane surviving that fury of lead and explosives. And that close lead is minimal even in deflection shooting. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
See I find that TOO close for a FW190. Infact, I find that setting it to 300 meters is more effective...not because of convergence but because the shells get lobbed higher and I find I need that extra edge to hit targets from deflection angles...

To each is own http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

12-05-2004, 10:59 AM
I`ve got my machineguns set to 400 m

and my cannons to 200 m

i mainly fly the beufighter, doing long range (600-800 m)deflection shots.

only using the machineguns when i`m up close.

12-05-2004, 11:18 AM
Best post on the subject ever!

Although I take a much simpler approach.
I set my convergence (depending on what rig I'm flying) and then I simply NEVER open fire on an enemy plane unless I am in convergence range. (give or take a meter or two)

Sure, I have to work a little harder for my shots....but that's half the fun!