• TACTICS: Helicopters

    All about those whirly-gigs, and how you can use them.

    Transport Choppers:
    Nothing really fancy about transport choppers, but that doesn't mean that they aren't useful. Here are a couple of fun things the well-organized squad can do with 'em...

    HALO (High-Altitude, Low Opening) Drops:
    • The first step for a successful HALO operation is to get the whole squad into the transport with the SL in the pilot's seat.
    • After that is done, the SL needs to reach a high altitude (300+), then position the chopper over the drop-zone.
    • Upon the transport's arrival, everybody but the SL will jump out. CRITICAL: Jumpers should wait to open their parachutes until they're absurdly close to becoming a dead body splattered on the ground.
    • If squad members die, they can simply spawn on green, regroup, and jump again.
    • Repeat until flag is captured.

    Multiple operations can be run out of the following set-up:
    • Pilot: Squad-leader, support
    • Gunner 1: Medic
    • Gunner 2: Medic
    • Passenger 3: Engineer
    • Passenger 4: Engineer
    • Passenger 5: As circumstances dictate

    Operation Gale Force Wind:
    Flag-hopping TTP style. Hit 'em hard and hit 'em fast.

    • Once you've loaded up the transport, the SL should head to whatever flag he so desires.
    • Upon arrival, everybody but the SL and one engineer should get out and cap the flag.
    • After capturing the flag, the folks on the ground should mop up, then get to the chopper.
    • Repeat.

    For the Pilot:
    You should always have an evacuation route to a flat area of the map so that if the chopper starts to take a lot of damage, it can be landed and repaired WITHOUT having to go back to the originating helipad.
    With this operation, you can fly extremely low and dodge around buildings, trees, hills, etc... your goal is speed, not stealth.

    Operation Party-Pack:
    Operation Party-Pack is intended to provide support and firepower for ground-based troops.

    First, the SL pilots to a firefight, then his squad members can do some of the following:
    • Hover by friendly troops/toss packs out the side for healing/ammo.
    • Spot everything possible.
    • Another fun thing to do is drop grenades, C4, and mines out the back to take out enemy troops.
    • Use the mini-guns on enemy infantry and light vehicles; the mini-gun is ineffective against enemy armor.

    For the Pilot:
    You should always have an evacuation route to a flat area of the map so that if the chopper starts to take a lot of damage, it can be landed and repaired WITHOUT having to go back to the originating helipad.
    Ideally the helicopter should not fly directly over friendly forces and DEFINITELY not over the flag for fear of possible artillery strike.
    When you have ground targets, make slow, wide turns to ensure a good visual for your door gunners.


    Attack Helicopters:
    For information relating to the squad set-up, communications, and target aquisition, please refer to "The Bomber" article.

    For the Pilots...
    • Generally, the attack chopper should be hovering behind the battlefront and advancing as the infantry pushes forward. Your job is NOT to be a bad ass... it's to strike armored targets from a distance. If you hover at a medium distance from a battle ground forces are engaged in, you allow the gunner to use his machine-gun effectivly and you can still easily TV the armor that comes along before it becomes a threat to the infantry.
    • Do not fly in flag areas attempting to take a flag with the chopper -- this is a job for ground forces. Your job is to support ground forces. Besides, if you try to cap a flag, you might get hit by arty. Circling on the outside will give you the best chance to retreat if arty starts to fall.
    • Similarly, there's no reason to go deep into enemy territory. You'll be more effective on the battle line than if you're 1000m past it, since you'll be able to help your men on the ground by covering them, taking out armor in front of them, etc...
    • Now, for altitude, you can either use the hills and other low lying terrain, hovering behind them and lifting up only long enough to engage the enemy (armor) with a lethal shot, or you can fly high. Altitude ALWAYS helps and NEVER hurts unless you're locked onto by AA or a jet, in which case you can dive a lot quicker than you can ascend.

    Lining-up Gunners:
    • If you are flying all over the place all the time the nose cannon becomes ineffective fast. You can't see crap that way... ESPECIALLY through the TV. It's like trying to gun someone down while riding in a buggy; it's not really that easy, even if you lead. Of course, if you already read the section about positioning, then you're probably hovering already. Yes?
    • The TV missile has an effective range of up to about 350m. You can't see that far... but your gunner can during TV flight. So, if you know the approximate location of your target, line your gunner up and hope that he'll be able to spot the armor and adjust accordingly.
    • If you have a visual on the target, center the target in the HUD, hover, then place the target in the centered lower portion of the HUD. This provides your co-gunner with a perfectly centered TV guided missile view. Let your gunner acquire the target and release his missiles.
    • Be steady and slow while you are lining up for the shot. Hold it there until either you can't any more or your gunner fires. Once fired you can do what you need to. It's not like the TOW or the LGM where if you jerk the stick it will mess up the path of flight.
    • Lets say you are approaching a vehicle (Hummer, APC, Tank, etc) and you and your gunner fail to take it down in passing. Instead of continuing straight forward, pull straight up and hover backwards to get directly above the vehicle. This way, there is no chance that the vehicle can take you out with a 50cal or main gun. After you've gained some altitude you can come around for another pass.

    • When you start taking hits ABORT AND EVADE!!! Heli's don't have lots of armor, so if you've got a jeep blasting away at you he's going to smoke you in no time. Back out and try again from a new angle or from a MUCH greater distance. As the pilot, it's your job to be SAFE. Being deadly is the gunner's job. If you can't keep him alive, then what good are you doing with the heli?
    • A good rule of thumb is if you're at half strength on your aircraft get repairs. You should also keep in good coms with your gunner as to how many missiles he has left.
    • Always have a planned alternate airfield for emergency repairs in the event of a catastrophe -- don't be afraid to land in places other than the helipad. If you're playing as an engineer, you can hop out and fix the chopper. If not, you could request a supply drop from the commander.

    • Use your rockets wisely. Let your first shot be a kill shot; that's what the TV is for. A rocket at an attack chopper just gives away your position.
    • However, if you're facing off with an attack chopper, don't just let your gunner do all the work. As you close in, keep the other pilot honest with your rockets. Your rockets plus your gunner's gun can quickly take out a heli that you are having trouble TVing.
    • It's the same with armored targets. If you're making a pass at something, especially an AA mount/vehicle, fire away. Kill it. It's much better to have that dead than to insist on your gunner getting the kill.


    For the Gunners...
    How to Kill Things:
    • Is this target STATIONARY (not moving) or MOVING?
    • If the target is stationary, place your cross hairs over it for TV guided missiles, then click ONCE to fire. The missile should track over to the target and cause much destruction.
    • If the target is moving, attempt to lead the target (guess how fast the target is moving, then fire where you think it will be by the time the missile hits). Carefully compensate as the missile tracks toward your target. DO NOT get click happy. If you start clicking too many times in a panic you will miss completely.
    • If the target is a moving light enemy vehicle (i.e, buggy), use regular guns instead of missiles. These vehicles can be unpredictable and chances are you will kill the infantry with the guns sooner than you could hit the buggy with a missile.
    • That brings to mind another point: TV guided missiles are cool, but they aren't everything. Don't rely on them exclusively. If you get into close combat with another chopper, the gun is your best option, fired in short 2 to 3 second bursts.
    • Again: Just click once to fire and guide. Lead the target without getting too anxious... most people new to the TV missile will get anxious when the missile gets closer to the target and end up over-compensating at the last second, thus over/under shooting it, when it was perfectly on target to begin with.

    Other Things to Note:
    • You should also remember to constantly spot targets -- you are an MAV (manned aerial vehicle) who can provide intelligence to other ground and air forces.
    • Prioritize your targets: The enemy attack chopper should always come first, followed by any AA turrets in the area. After your airspace is clear, get to work nuking those tanks. You also need to make sure to tell your pilot what you're aiming at so that he can line you up properly.
    • You can also use TV guided missiles to destroy commander assets from a safe distance. NOTE: Takes multiple shots.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: TACTICS: Helicopters started by capnemo314 View original post