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smacktoward
06-24-2007, 04:37 PM
Hey everybody...

I'm a new convert to the world of Maddox Games. I recently saw a copy of Forgotten Battles at a very low price, and as a lapsed flight simmer (sims were my favorite genre back in the days of "F19 Stealth Fighter"), I thought I'd give it a whirl.

WOW. I fell in love right away. It's taken some time for me to get the basics down, but practice has helped and now I can takeoff, land, navigate and hit ground targets with a reasonable degree of success. I had so much fun with Forgotten Battles that I picked up Pacific Fighters not long ago.

What I _can't_ get the hang of, though, is aerial gunnery. I simply can't hit targets in air to air combat. I've been practicing by running quick missions in an FW190 against flights of Russian TB3 bombers. I thought this would be a good way to practice, as the 190 is a fine interceptor and the TB3 is a slow, sluggish, poorly defended beast - easy prey for the 190.

Despite all that, though, I can't seem to hit the darn things! I know that part of the problem is figuring out windage -- I'm still trying to get a sense of how much to lead targets. But even at very close range -- 1km or less, with the target so close it fills my reticle -- I'm missing a lot. The only times I've actually downed a TB3 is when I got a lucky hit with the cannon. (And forget hitting anything smaller than the TB3; I'm completely useless in fighter-to-fighter combat.)

The problem is that the fighter is incredibly skittish. I can't put the pipper on the target and hold it there before the plane skids off in another direction. Which makes it hard to use the plane as a gun platform.

So my question is: how did you learn your aerial gunnery? Are there tips you've found in your play that you could share?

(One thing to note is that this could potentially be a hardware problem. My joystick - Logitech Extreme 3D Pro - has always been overly sensitive; it has the stick-twist feature for rudder control, but I find that the stick thinks I'm twisting even when I bank left or right. I've tried cranking up the dead zone on the twist axis, though, and I still can't fly straight and true...)

Many thanks for any help you can provide a frustrated noob http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

ImMoreBetter
06-24-2007, 04:46 PM
But even at very close range -- 1km or less,

I wouldn't consider 1km "close". Maybe .3km, but not 1.

At that range you are probably missing the target becuase the bullets are affected by gravity. Putting the plane in the middle of the redical will do nothing, you must arc your shots. My longest non-arcing shot (.50 cal) was .6 km.

smacktoward
06-24-2007, 04:50 PM
I wouldn't consider 1km "close".

It's possible I'm misremembering the exact distance or misreading the interface, so apologies if that number seemed off. My point was just that I'm close enough that the target literally fills the entire reticle, which sure seems like it should be 'point-blank'.

na85
06-24-2007, 04:52 PM
I wouldn't consider myself an expert marksman, but I learned what gunnery skills I have from practice.

You need to get in close - real close. Set your convergence to 300 meters or less. Play with icons enabled so you get an accurate range, and then set up a QMB against some bombers (set their loadout to "empty" so they don't shoot back).

Some people will tell you to put infinite ammo on, but I find that leaving it off will teach you to conserve ammo.

For planes, instead of the fw190, try flying a hurricane.

IIRC, the Mk. IIb has lots of ammo, but they're small rounds that don't do much damage. The IIb will teach you to aim for a specific part of the plane, to fire at convergence, etc.

The Mk. IIc has very limited ammo, but I think it's carrying hispano cannons, so they do lots of damage. It'll teach you to make your shots count.

LStarosta
06-24-2007, 04:53 PM
100m

Crash_Moses
06-24-2007, 04:53 PM
Welcome!

I highly recommend BearCat's Nugget's Guide to Getting off the Ground (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/9121094645) stickied at the top of this forum (or click the handy link).

After you've gone through that we'll be happy to answer any other questions you have...

S!

polak5
06-24-2007, 04:54 PM
try another plane to learn in. although the 190 has lots of firepower, it can be hard to fly for new recruits.

smacktoward
06-24-2007, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by na85:
Play with icons enabled so you get an accurate range...

How do you 'play with icons enabled'? This sounds useful but I'm not sure what it means or how to turn it on... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

Zeus-cat
06-24-2007, 04:59 PM
You need to be at a range of several hundred meters when you fire. Also, set your gun convergence so that it is at whatever distance you want to fire at - say 200 meters.

Convergence means that the guns are pointed inwards very slightly, so that when you fire all the bullets will hit the same spot 200 (or whatever) meters in front of the plane.

You also need to concentrate your fire at weak points of the enemy - cockpit, engines, wing root, etc. If you spray and pray you will most likely come home with no kills.

smacktoward
06-24-2007, 05:02 PM
Straight and True (30 torpedo bomber missions in an IL-2T)

Holy moley! You can fly torpedo bombing missions in IL2? That was my biggest disappointment with Pacific Fighters, I wanted to fly TBDs against the IJN...

(scurrying off to download the campaign)

general_kalle
06-24-2007, 05:04 PM
500 meters Maximum.
all else is waste of ammo,
use icons to tell you when its 500 meters.

you should get into 200 before firing
use C47 as target

K_Freddie
06-24-2007, 05:07 PM
Originally posted by smacktoward:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I wouldn't consider 1km "close".

It's possible I'm misremembering the exact distance or misreading the interface, so apologies if that number seemed off. My point was just that I'm close enough that the target literally fills the entire reticle, which sure seems like it should be 'point-blank'. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Depending on the type of plane, yes, that should be close enough.

Key thing to remember :-
- try a short burst, and note where the tracers fall = make adjustments.
- shells are effected by gravity so beyond ~300m they will 'fall down', make allowances for this.
- when deflection shooting, the higher your relative angle to the target, the more distance in front of the nose you must aim.

When sighting in the reticule to judge distance, one has to know the size of the target a/c. Have a look at the games 'OBject viewer' - you'll get all the details here. This as well as what angle the reticule is setup for.
On the P51D you can adjust the reticule according to the target. On the FW190 the reticule gives about a 100m distance when the P51 wingspan fits the diameter. So for fighters 3/4 to full reticule is a good distance to fire, on bombers they literally fill the windscreen (look out for the gunners).

"F19 Stealth Fighter" eh!!.... welcome to the new world... of real combat http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Crash_Moses
06-24-2007, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by smacktoward:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Straight and True (30 torpedo bomber missions in an IL-2T)

Holy moley! You can fly torpedo bombing missions in IL2? That was my biggest disappointment with Pacific Fighters, I wanted to fly TBDs against the IJN...

(scurrying off to download the campaign) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Don't get too excited lad...you still can't fly the TBD. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

On the upside though, Zeus-cat's campaigns are top notch! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

MrMojok
06-24-2007, 05:32 PM
There's a lot of suggestions we can make to help you but first... what you said about the joystick isn't too good.

You've got to get that thing calibrated or get a new one or none of this is going to help you at all.

Download this program and see if you can fine-tune the joystick some. You need to eliminate those jitters and false inputs:

IL2 Joy Control (http://mission4today.com/index.php?name=Downloads&file=details&id=1021)

If this doesn't work, you need a new stick. No amount of practice or tips are going to help you if the joystick won't hold the pipper on target.

Skunk_438RCAF
06-24-2007, 05:52 PM
Maybe this can help you a bit as well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpnJeM3wjew

MrMojok
06-24-2007, 06:55 PM
let me amend my post up above.

First, let's find out how much of this is a joystick hardware problem. Download the IL2 joy control program up above, and use it to set the joystick curves. Then try some gunnery in the hurricane as someone said above (because it is a very, very stable plane). use the C47 as the target. Is it still difficult to hold your sight on target?

Propwash
06-24-2007, 07:23 PM
!

VW-IceFire
06-24-2007, 07:49 PM
You may want to go into the input setup area inside the game and lower the sensitivity settings until your happy. The FW190 is very skittish...its one of the most responsive aircraft in the game...but the default control scheme makes it a bit hard to fly. So I would tone it down a bit but keep the last value at 100 so you still can do the maximum deflection if you need to.

Concentrate on shooting from deflection angles and try and be steady on the stick when firing. Some people in their excitement to press the trigger push the whole stick around. Be very precise and think about the shot before you make it. This helped me allot...soon as I stopped going crazy because I was going to shoot something I got allot better at it.

EiZ0N
06-24-2007, 09:04 PM
1km is too far for me.

Get much closer to the enemy, until you really can't miss.

Then, over time, you can start to shoot from a little further out as you become more practised.

Bearcat99
06-24-2007, 09:06 PM
Hit the Nugget's Guide in my sig. Keep in mind that in the sim .30 is 300m... so if your convergence is set to say... 200m then the ideal firing point is at .20.. Look at the Essentials link also in my sig.... look for Dart's page. The you tube video that skunk showed you is great... it can be found in the Essentials link in my sig.

LStarosta
06-24-2007, 09:22 PM
If you use the .50 cal, you can effectively p00n targets past 500 meters. It's called sniping and it does a good job of causing fuel leaks and sometimes engine damage or even pilot kills with the correct deflection.

.50 cal is the best weapon in the game.

zardozid
06-24-2007, 10:05 PM
a good joystick makes a difference. Confidence in your equipment helps clear your mind and could help steady your hand. If your on a budget try one of these reconditioned saiteks.

http://saitekusa.stores.yahoo.net/recprod.html

ViktorViktor
06-25-2007, 12:34 AM
Fly a plane with it's guns in the nose, then you don't have to worry about the convergance.

I recommend the Bf109-G2 or La-5/La-7/Yak-3. Keep it simple, fellas.

Get dead astern of the target and don't fire until the plane icon reads .3 .

Then give it all you've got. Save the flight and then review it later to see where the bullets went, if you missed

ElSjonnie
06-25-2007, 01:39 AM
Originally posted by LStarosta:
If you use the .50 cal, you can effectively p00n targets past 500 meters. It's called sniping and it does a good job of causing fuel leaks and sometimes engine damage or even pilot kills with the correct deflection.

.50 cal is the best weapon in the game.

Yes I find deflection shooting easy with .50 cal. But high-deflection shots are a ***** with it, because unlike with cannons like on the FW, one or two rounds are not enough to ensure a kill.

ViktorViktor
06-25-2007, 03:50 AM
Another problem with your practice setup is that the TB3 is a multi-engined aircraft if I remember correctly. A twin-engine looks alot closer in the gunsight than a single-engine plane, you could be actually be thinking you're .3km away from a 2-engine when actually you're .6-.7km away. Use a single-engine plane as a target, its better.

Therion_Prime
06-25-2007, 04:38 AM
IMO the most important things in A2A gunnery are:

- "Use the rudder, Luke!" (Pedals preferred)
- A trimmed out plane
- Elevator trim mapped to an axis
- Practice
- Convergence

smacktoward
06-25-2007, 07:56 AM
UPDATE:

Based on the great advice in this thread I took another whack at it, with the following changes:

* Flying a Hurricane rather than an FW190
* C-47 targets rather than TB3s
* Setting convergence to 300m rather than the default 500
* Using Ctrl+F1 to remove the cockpit and see the distance to the target, and holding fire until it's < 400m

Results: Two C-47s downed out of sixteen. Each one was killed in a single pass, by concentrating on setting one of the engines on fire.

Not bad! At least, much better than I had been doing http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/partyhat.gif

Next step: to grab the IL-2 joystick utility that was mentioned and put my stick thru its paces. The Hurricane definitely seemed more stable and easier to aim than the 190 had been, so it's possible the stick is fine. But in the words of Ronald Reagan, "trust but verify"...

Here's a question. If I were going to buy a new stick, what would you guys recommend? CH Products has a great rep, but none of their sticks has the twist-rudder feature, and I'm not sure if I'm ready to shell out the extra $100 for pedals yet...

rnzoli
06-25-2007, 08:22 AM
Originally posted by MrMojok:
let me amend my post up above.

First, let's find out how much of this is a joystick hardware problem. Download the IL2 joy control program up above, and use it to set the joystick curves. Then try some gunnery in the hurricane as someone said above (because it is a very, very stable plane). use the C47 as the target. Is it still difficult to hold your sight on target?


Finally a smart voice. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
There is no point in jumping into the 30-ton literature of aerial gunnery until you ensure that your joystick is giving steady input to the game.
The FW190 maybe difficult to fly, but it is an excellent and stable gunnery platform.

What type of joystick do you have? How old it is? When you set up response curves in IL-2, can you move the red/green rectangles diagonaly across your screen slowly, without jitters and jumps?

Klemm.co
06-25-2007, 08:59 AM
Originally posted by smacktoward:
Here's a question. If I were going to buy a new stick, what would you guys recommend? CH Products has a great rep, but none of their sticks has the twist-rudder feature, and I'm not sure if I'm ready to shell out the extra $100 for pedals yet...
Saitek X 52. Or if you can find one, a Sidewinder FFB 2. Or both http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
I have my X52 since two years and love it. I can send you my stick profile uf you want it, took me one and a half years to perfect it. I mean the stick input curves.

smacktoward
06-25-2007, 10:39 AM
Originally posted by Klemm.co:
Saitek X 52. Or if you can find one, a Sidewinder FFB 2. Or both

Isn't the X52 only sold in the $200 bundle with the throttle? That's just as expensive as a CH Products stick + pedals combo...

Dangit, I'm beginning to think rediscovering simming is going to impact my bank account :-D

Klemm.co
06-25-2007, 04:03 PM
Originally posted by smacktoward:
Isn't the X52 only sold in the $200 bundle with the throttle? That's just as expensive as a CH Products stick + pedals combo...

Dangit, I'm beginning to think rediscovering simming is going to impact my bank account :-D
It will! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif
But IIRC, where i live the X-52 Stick and Throttle Combo (no other way to get it and wouldnt make sense) costs 117€ or so. Dunno how much that is in Dollars, but i couldn't be that much, except if you have to buy it directly from Saitek or it is too expensive at your local vendors.
Next thing you'll be buying if you really get into IL-2 is Track IR! Even my now old Track IR 3 Pro improved my flying so much. Just takes some while to get used to and set up a proper profile.
Oh, I also bought the Saitek Rudder Pedals some time ago when they were new. Same story as with the Track IR, took me long to get used to them, but couldn't fly without them!
I just hope you stick with it and get to enjoy IL-2 1946 to its fullest! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

bun-bun195333
06-25-2007, 04:31 PM
Conf.ini - Arcade=1
You can see where your shots are landing.

Crash_Moses
06-25-2007, 05:20 PM
Originally posted by smacktoward:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Klemm.co:
Saitek X 52. Or if you can find one, a Sidewinder FFB 2. Or both

Isn't the X52 only sold in the $200 bundle with the throttle? That's just as expensive as a CH Products stick + pedals combo...

Dangit, I'm beginning to think rediscovering simming is going to impact my bank account :-D </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Wait 'till you're addicted...bye bye bank account. e-Bay is a great resource. I bought just about everything I use there...CH rudder pedals and an old Thrustmaster HOTAS. Still using 'em after three years (the F-22 is getting a little wobbly though).

If you're looking for a twist rudder to start off with a lot of folks swear by the Microsoft FFSW2.

S!

Billy_DeLyon
06-26-2007, 12:41 AM
Originally posted by smacktoward:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Klemm.co:
Saitek X 52. Or if you can find one, a Sidewinder FFB 2. Or both

Isn't the X52 only sold in the $200 bundle with the throttle? That's just as expensive as a CH Products stick + pedals combo...

Dangit, I'm beginning to think rediscovering simming is going to impact my bank account :-D </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Welcome to our nightmare! Before you know it you'll be spending $2000 to build your own high-end computer, so that this $40 sim will look a little better...

Anyhow, check the link Zardozid mentioned above, Saitek X52 stick/throttle for $70:

http://saitekusa.stores.yahoo.net/recprod.html

I have an X45, which I like because instead of the twisty stick it has a rocker on the throttle, which works well for rudder control. I bought it reconditioned (thanks Bearcat). There aren't any on that website right now but you could probably find one on Ebay.

Good luck!

Korolov1986
06-26-2007, 01:36 AM
Fw-190 is probably one of the best platforms you could learn on.

Most people will disagree with me on that, but I'll explain why I say it.

With the 190, you have:

2x20mm cannon in the outer wings - MG/FF or MG151.
2x20mm cannon in the wing roots - MG151.
2x8mm or 13mm machine guns in the nose.

That's a massive amount of firepower, and anything you hit will likely feel it. In addition, visibility in level flight is good, and you can see well in most directions except nose down.

The strategy employed by the 190 is you attack your targets from a position where you can see them - that usually equates to direct six. The closer you are, the better.

The 190's handling shouldn't be an issue if you're trying to shoot down unarmed cargo planes like the C-47; they won't move and a quick burst from your guns will take them out. Keep in mind that even if these larger planes fill your sights, you still may not be close enough. When the wingtips touch the sides of your windshield framing, THEN you're close enough to open fire.

As you fire, do so in short bursts. This will help you see where your shots are going, keep your recoil to a minimum and save your ammo.

Next, try the 109G2. It's a stable, easy to fly plane with only a fourth of the firepower the 190 boasts, but all the guns go through the nose and the aircraft remains docile no matter how hard you ride it.

After that, I recommend the P-38J for more experience. It's a step up from the 109G2, with 4xHMG and a single 20mm cannon, all through the nose - but without a prop blocking your view.

MrMojok
06-26-2007, 05:55 AM
Originally posted by smacktoward:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Klemm.co:
Saitek X 52. Or if you can find one, a Sidewinder FFB 2. Or both

Isn't the X52 only sold in the $200 bundle with the throttle? That's just as expensive as a CH Products stick + pedals combo...

Dangit, I'm beginning to think rediscovering simming is going to impact my bank account :-D </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You can find the x52 (throttle+joystick)brand new for around $104 on amazon, maybe less on E-bay.

Zoom2136
06-26-2007, 09:04 AM
My convergence is 110m... that is close range...

Simple advice... if you think you're close enough... get in closer...

Simple way to go about it

Your bullets travel at about 800m/s

So to reach a target at lets say 150m... they need about 0.2 sec (150m / 800m/s)

If your target speed is about 350 kph (about 220mph (350/1.6)) then he is travelling at a speed of 97m per second (350kph x 1000m/kph / 60 minutes/hour / 60 secondes/minute))...

So in about 0.2 sec your target will have travelled about 20m (0.2sec x 97m/sec)...

Imagining a line that followes the ceter line of the plane... from tail to nose... aim just short of 20m in from of it to hit it...

The closer you get the less lead you need...

Hopes it help...

Lunix
06-26-2007, 09:49 AM
A handy technique for easy arial gunnery I like to use is as follows. Line the plane up so it will fly through your sight at right angles. Start firing before he gets there and let him fly through your bullet steam.

There is a nice visual representation when the bullets strike that will train you on your timings and allow you to progress towards more and more difficult shots.

Fighting in the 190 this will be the shot you use the most as your really not going to end up on anyones 6 for more than a fraction of a second. This type of shot is even easier than a 6 shot anyway.

Good luck and have fun!

T_O_A_D
06-26-2007, 10:03 AM
Shooting at the TB3 can make you sloppy, if your just trying to hit it.

If you are to do good practice, pick a part of the TB3 and only shoot at that one spot.

I would choose left outboard engine, then right outboard engine, work my way in till, I shoot at the pilot or something.

Once you get to where you can pick your spot and hit it first pass, then move onto smaller aircraft for targets.

You can also enable archade mode, so you can see your hits, while shooting, and replay of the track if you record it, and change views to see you attack the target.

I'm at work maybey some kind sole will post the text needed to change to arcade mode. for you in a bit.

I'll do a search and see if I can located it and edit it here for ya.

Here we go.


Originally posted by Badsight-:
its called "Arcade Mode"

you switch it on in your configINI file

set "Arcade = 0" to "Arcade = 1"


Originally posted by blakduk:
Here is a storyboard using the arcade mode to illustrate how damage affects the Yak Vs the 109F and how one should carefully shepherd the Yak into the mountain.
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y117/blakduk/Wildcat/Yak01.jpg
First score a few hits on the fuselage, including a few cannon hits to get his attention.
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y117/blakduk/Wildcat/Yak02.jpg
If you keep the AI pilot from watching where he's going, the end is inevitable
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y117/blakduk/Wildcat/Yak03.jpg
Once the Yak has hit the mountain, try to maintain your distance...http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y117/blakduk/Wildcat/Yak04.jpg
As the results can be ugly.http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y117/blakduk/Wildcat/Yak05.jpg
I do think however that the damage modelling is beautiful, just note the detail of the hole in my starboard wing http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif


Moving along to demonstrate just how effective this technique can be, see exhibit 'B'
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y117/blakduk/Wildcat/Yak06.jpg
Carefully aim aft of the cockpit...
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y117/blakduk/Wildcat/Yak07.jpg
Dont worry about overdoing it, it will never fall off http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gifhttp://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y117/blakduk/Wildcat/Yak08.jpg
A few light hits on the wings to add to the flavour...
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y117/blakduk/Wildcat/Yak09.jpg
Followed by the savage hit to the cockpit.
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y117/blakduk/Wildcat/Yak10.jpg
Please note when doing this however that the exploding shells will scratch the Yak while ricocheting splinters will kill your engine http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y117/blakduk/Wildcat/Yak11.jpg
While you can breath easily in the knowedge that the AI driven Yak will not let you down by dying prematurelyhttp://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y117/blakduk/Wildcat/Yak12.jpg
As you can see anyone who is concerned that they may injure the AI pilot need not worry.. they are impervious to cannon fire
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y117/blakduk/Wildcat/Yak13.jpg
You on the other hand can paint pretty pictures in the clear skies over Crimea with you engine oil, thanks to the splinters you took in the engine. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y117/blakduk/Wildcat/Yak14.jpg
Once again, if you can keep the AI pilot from watching where he's going the terrain will take care of him for you.
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y117/blakduk/Wildcat/Yak15.jpg
Make the mountain your friend http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

M_Gunz
06-26-2007, 11:24 AM
Smacktoward (way too close to smacktard!); how much do you know about slip and 'the ball',
how that affects aim?