• TACTICS: The Bomber

    Today we will be talking about the use of the Su-34 and F-15 aircraft to give your team the advantage.

    Squadding up:
    First and foremost, the pilot and his bombardier must be in the same squad. If they aren't, then I might as well not write this article. After that, it's probably easiest to have the bombardier be SL, since the pilot will probably be too busy flying the plane to do everything detailed below. If possible, you should also have the pilot of the fighter jet in the squad too. If other people join the squad, the SL should inform them that this is an air squad, then insist on having them leave and join a different squad; one thing I absolutely hate to see as a commander is a full squad with the SL in a jet. They just won't be as efficient with a flying SL than with a ground-pounder, unless you're having them play AA.

    After getting their squad put together, the air combat crew should check and verify communication between one another and command. Be sure to let your commander know of your squad number as well as your intention of bombing the opfor armor into scrap. Communications between pilot and bombardier are essential, whether they be for target acquisition, weapon status (reloading), or the bombardier informing the pilot that there's a bogey on his six.

    Regular Flight:
    The bomber is a school bus in the sky in the hands of an unskilled pilot; even though it is the most powerful weapon in the game, it's only effective if you keep it in the air... and the key to keeping the bomber in the air is to stay at a safe altitude until you go in for a bombing run.

    • For the pilots:
      Altitude is your responsibility. You will want to be floating around the map at a safe speedy altitude of no less than 400 while your bombardier is acquiring targets. Resist the urge to dog fight other jets and never fly any lower than you must.
    • For the bombardier/squad leader:
      While your pilot is keeping you safe up in the stratosphere, communication and target acquisition will be your responsibility. Remember that you can change views and look around outside of the cockpit when you're not in the LGM launching view - use this to your advantage and advise your pilot of any bogeys that you spot which may try to kill you.

    Target Acquisition:
    Now that we have the bomber safely up in the sky, let's talk about the three types of target acquisition... get ready co-pilot, this is all you:

    • Scenario 1:While the two of you are flying at a high altitude to avoid enemy forces and being spotted, the bombardier will have his map view up. When friendly forces on the ground spot enemy armor, the bombardier will see the red armor, right click on it, and paint a DESTROY or ATTACK marker on the target. The pilot will then turn on the line, cut throttle and line up the bombardier for the kill.
    • Scenario 2:Your commander has deployed a UAV over-flight showing a lot of infantry and/or painted a line to a cluster of infantry. The bombardier then needs to paint or accept the line. Be sure to report back to your commander with the results.
    • Scenario 3:This one wins wars gentlemen. Squad-leader: Ask your commander to zoom in 3X on a stationary enemy asset and place a destroy marker on it for your bomber crew -- it is critical that the marker placement be EXACT. Make sure that he doesn't half ass it and just put it in near-by, since your bomber crew depends on it for mission success. Pilot, check weapons systems with your gunner and make sure he isn't reloading. When weapons are ready for deployment, turn into the line like in Scenario 1. If the bombardier is successful in destroying the marked asset, the SL should report back to command requesting a new line. If the pilot lines it up right, you can even take out multiple commander assets in a single pass. Repeat as necessary.

    The Bombing Run:
    High alt is everything when flying a bomber. When you hit from an almost vertical angle, the enemy will have a hard time hearing and seeing you beforehand, and the AA will find it nearly impossible to get a lock on you when you fire the afterburner on a steep slope towards the clouds.

    • Most importantly, setup your copilot properly. After all, they're doing the bombing, right?
    • Once you've spotted the target in your HUD, inform your bombardier that the target is coming up by saying "target" or "mark" or whatever seems right... just in case they aren't paying attention.
    • DO NOT pull out too early; LGM locks aren't always that quick or accurate, so stick with the dive until you pass the target. That way the copilot has time to get a lock, or if they didn't get a lock, then they've at least had enough time to try to hit the target with a maverick missile. If you pull out when they're manually guiding, you completely throw things out of whack and make it difficult to hit anything. If your target is infantry, feel free to strafe it with your machine gun.
    • MOST IMPORTANTLY you need to pull back up using afterburner until you're at a safe altitude. DO NOT GET GREEDY. I don't care how many square boxes you see down there and how many kills you THINK you can get by continuously flying low over a hot zone. It isn't worth it to lose that bomber, not even for a second - ESPECIALLY if it is in good hands with a chain of command. Be selective. Be safe. Stay alive.
    • Keep and eye and ear out for AA when you're going in on a bombing run.

    • The pilot can see the target(s) a lot sooner than you can, and if you've done your job of painting a line properly, he should only have to make minor adjustments as you're coming on target. Otherwise, your target should be dead center.
    • The simple thing to do is center the reticule on the boxes that start showing up once you get into range, then launch when you get a lock. That's the beauty of the Laser-Guided Missile, you don't have to be dead-on to get a hit. Sometimes though, you won't even have to wait for a hard lock... Once the pilot starts his dive, look forward and wait for a solid block around the target. At that point, just let one fly and keep your cursor on the target as best as possible. Usually a lock will kick in then, and *boom*.
    • If the target you're aiming for won't give you a lock, such as an infantry cluster or commander asset, you will be firing a "maverick" missile. The first thing you need to do when firing a maverick is to tell your pilot so that he will keep the plane steady. Pilot, it is critical that you do not yank, pitch, roll, yaw, and generally be a jack-ass when a maverick missile is being fired. Once you've done that center your reticle on the target, then click (keep the mouse button held down) and drag the maverick missile to the designated target. This will effectively destroy the infantry with splash damage and result in lots of kills. Remember, you will not achieve missile lock so you must guide the missile down to the target manually. If you're aiming for assets, you will know you've scored a hit when the cross hairs "bloom" and you see a yellow destroyed asset marker. The pilot will then climb back up to a safe altitude and the SL will report to command on the mission's outcome.

    Another bombing option that is open to the bomber crew is the dumb bomb (as opposed to the smart bomb). Obviously, the pilot can't place these anywhere near as precisely as the bombardier can with a LGM. Pilot: If your target is an infantry cluster, then you can consider dropping the five carpet bombs to obliterate the whole area. Just check with your bombardier first to make sure that there aren't any friendlies down there and to ensure that he isn't going to try and maverick the target.


    To the infantry/teammates:
    Spot everything! It makes the bombardier’s job of acquiring targets a lot easier. A good bombardier will prioritize spotted vehicles before anything else, since he'll know exactly where the target is, and if his teammates can spot it, then that probably means that they can, are, or will be engaging in combat with it.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: TACTICS: The Bomber started by capnemo314 View original post