Skill level on AI bombers

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Skill level on AI bombers

Post  Ezzie on Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:15 am

Wolverine,

What skill level(s) have you assigned to AI flown RAF bomber gunners?

We've noticed from our perspective that they are very very good. For instance today I was conducting a horizontal beam attack at around 500 kph on a singleton Wellington and was raked by gunners when i was still 500-700m from the Welly. I suffered engine damage and then while conducting a high dive attack on the same /another Welly was Pk'd.

This isn't an uncommon experience and I've had similar with singleton Sunderlands. This doesn't seem consistent with historical experiences ie The Battle of the Heligoland Bight and numerous daylight unescorted Blenheim slaughters. But maybe I was unlucky and came across an experienced crew who had a good day, and would have had a better experience against another Wellington?

But if all the Wellingtons are able to hit attacking aircraft on the beam at 500+m then I'm wondering if its not necessarily as historically accurate as it could be?

This isn't a whinge and I'm happy to factor it in if you are happy with the way it's set up. Perhaps it's this way to even the field against the AI LW aircraft who may be ├╝ber good at attacking bombers?

Just thought I'd ask so we know where we stand.

Ezzie

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Re: Skill level on AI bombers

Post  Wolverine on Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:18 pm

The bombers are all at a mix of skill levels from rookie to ace. So some gunners are going to be better than others.

What I've noticed is that many pilots will not break off an attack even though it's clear that the gunners have a fix on their attack vector. If you appear to be drawing very close fire from a gunner, you are better off to cancel your attack and set up again.

Passing through the formation is the riskiest move you can make especially because you can't see the gunners attacking you as you pass them which is why you're more likely to get hit as you go through the group and beyond them. Learn where the guns are positioned on each enemy aircraft and use that to your advantage as best you can.

The average gunner skill was improved in the recent patch by TF, so there's really not too much I can do about their overall levels. Best I can do is give you advice. Fast attacks from the extremity of your range, break off early, and try not to pass through the formation if at all possible.

Bear in mind that the aircraft you mentioned have quite a few guns to bring to bear as well and are quite dangerous. Blenheims less so.

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Re: Skill level on AI bombers

Post  Ezzie on Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:20 am

Thanks Wolverine.

Good to know there's variable AI levels - I shouldn't have thought it might not be the case but after 2 from 2 encounters with ace gunners I was beginning to wonder. Means I'm due to come across some less stellar gunners soon. I hope......

I agree re taking into account gunner position and that's why I tried a horizontal beam attack starting at the bombers 1-2 o'clock and flying more or less perpendicular to its flight path. Nose gunner sniped me early but then in hindsight I made the mistake you identified and proceeded to close quote close to the a/c and got some more damage.

So I'm thinking I'll try head on passes ala Luftwaffe defence of the reich 1943 and /or disengage earlier and not close as close as I've done most times.

All good fun.

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Re: Skill level on AI bombers

Post  Wolverine on Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:10 am

Speaking as an old hat at bomber intercept from the RED perspective, the temptation to stay in an attack run longer than you should is very strong. It can be very difficult to train yourself to pull away from a safe distance or even to break off an attack that you know you're going to get hit if you press it.

I think we're all used to seeing 9 bombers get shot down by three or even two attackers, but it's not, and should not, be possible any more. You need to have a large force ready to engage the bombers. You may need to commit more fighters to bombers and fewer to the escort to enjoy more successful runs.

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Re: Skill level on AI bombers

Post  92 Sqn. Reddog (QJ-R) on Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:13 pm

I'm (we're) finding that with small numbers of attacking fighters, formations of AI bombers 6+ strong can defend themselves quite admirably on fairly low skill levels. 92Sqn had 3 of us attack a formation of 9 the other night which resulted in 1 spitfire ditched in a field, 1 spitfire RTB with no engine and a wounded pilot and 1 spitfire RTB powered but with definite holes!

@Wolverine, are you using Salmo's randomiser code for AI skill, or are they all set in the mission files differently?

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Re: Skill level on AI bombers

Post  Wolverine on Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:18 pm

92 Sqn. Reddog (QJ-R) wrote:@Wolverine, are you using Salmo's randomiser code for AI skill, or are they all set in the mission files differently?

Just setting them in the files directly. Simple/effective.

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Re: Skill level on AI bombers

Post  Ezzie on Sun Jul 27, 2014 2:37 am

Just to update this discussion. Flew against a formation of around 12 unescorted (initially) Wellys today and took my time to get into position to do several head on passes. Got hits on the Wellys each pass but didn't seem to cause much damage. I didn't get any hits from return fire which was encouraging but unfortunately a Spit escort turned up and I had to disengage so wasn't able to do any more head ons.

After eventually shaking off the Spit I was able to re-engage a single Welly. I wasn't as patient this time and did a diving attack from its 8 o'clock. Opened fire early and killed the pilot and broke away much earlier than I have previously, but still got effective return fire which caused me a flesh wound. The Welly went down but a Spit turned up and eventually shot me down after a good chase. I bailed out ok just before I bled out.

So moral of story -head on passes seem to be the best way to reduce the amount of effective fire, but hits are harder to achieve. I guess I've just rediscovered what the RAF and LW learnt 70 years ago.....

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Re: Skill level on AI bombers

Post  GloriousRuse on Sun Jul 27, 2014 2:46 am

I've found that saddling up at the 10 or 2 of the bombers, parrallel to their flight, at maybe 500m above them and then executing a slashing attack where you drop towards their front quarter works very well. As the turn in to the bombers while falling on them throws the gunners a very hard solution, and gives the attacker a chance to rake the whole plane (In single player tracks busting massed wellingtons I've seen 6 cannon shells land on one pass..at a minimum a successful pass usually cause the plane to drop out of formation, at best you get pilot kills or cause great gaping fires and such). Meanwhile you are ripping away from, across, and down from the formation at 500+ kph. If you quarter roll to come up on the other side of the formation it sets you up for another pass and complicates the gun solution, or you can roll towards the stern if you need to put more distance between you.

If they're blennies, you don't even need to get the height, because there is no nose gunner to stop your level slash.

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Re: Skill level on AI bombers

Post  Wolverine on Sun Jul 27, 2014 2:47 am

Precisely. You'll be able to make fewer passes doing it this way, but your survivability will increase. Accuracy of your shots is key.

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Re: Skill level on AI bombers

Post  Ezzie on Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:37 am

Thanks Ruse. Might give that a go. I tried something similar last week but didn't get it to work as u described so will see what I can do to modify my approach.

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