Makattak

The Great Big Bomber Guide

Because it was requested, I now present:
 

 

THE GREAT BIG BOMBER GUIDE

 

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-or-

 

:bomber: How to Fly Those Big Brothers in the Sky :bomber:

 
What this guide intends to do is instruct novice bomber pilots and perhaps offer suggestions to more experienced bomber pilots as to how to utilize their big honking payloads to leverage the outcome of Realistic Battle games. Some of these tips also apply to Arcade and Sim Battles, but for the most part, this will be a guide for the Realistic Battle mode, specifically the Air Battles component.
 
What we will not discuss is the actual purpose of bombers in the WWII era, because whatever their purpose was, it has little to no bearing on the setup of the mechanics of this game mode. Bombers would fly missions for upwards of 12 hours in some cases, and you're in a one-hour-at-most sortie with an airfield roughly 15km away from the front lines. Sorry, realism doesn't have much of a place when it comes to bombers in the Air Realistic Battle mode.
 
So, what is the purpose of bombers in Air Realistic Battle?
 
As it is currently designed, many, if not most RB air battles will be won by the elimination of the enemy team. Bombers and attackers generally sacrifice direct combat potential for mid- to late-game utility in the form of ticket/target elimination.
 
The first thing a bomber pilot has to understand is that there is some truth to the idea that, just by selecting a bomber or attacker instead of a fighter, you are hampering your team's survivability and combat potential. While it is true that an IL-2, Ju 87 D-5, even the Mighty Duck, can score the most air kills on a team (and have done so), those events are exceptions rather than the rule. By taking up a ground pounder, prepare to immediately earn the ire of some of your teammates.
 
However, if you manage to live long enough, you will go from a ball and chain holding your team back to the most valuable asset on the map.
 
The longer you live as a bomber/attacker, the more pressure you can apply to the enemy team.
 
Most operations in Air Realistic Battle (from henceforth: ARB) can be divided into essentially three phases, similar to chess: Early Game, Midgame, and Late Game.

  • In Early Game, fighters and interceptors take off from the airfield (sometimes attackers as well). Bombers can opt to spawn at the airfield or in air. With the exception of jets, combat in this phase is not at all to be expected. Most deaths will come from failure to take off, bugs/glitches, and teamkilling. The purpose of Early Game is for the team to establish altitude and engagement position. This includes bombers and attackers.
     
  • As the first engagement occurs, the match moves into Midgame. All of the jockeying for position done in Early Game now comes into play. Will the fighters all lemming after the first target they see? Did the bombers dive and race for targets? Did the team split or stay together? Did the BnZers climb, or are they perhaps still climbing? Planes will start falling out of the sky here. Damaged/crippled planes and bombers who've dropped their first payload will probably be heading back to base at some point.
     
  • Once the frackar has been sorted out, there may be an Late Game/Endgame phase. Many times, you'll find that it's one plane left on one team, and more on the other. One or two more "crashes" may occur as damaged fighters who elected to stay in a little longer fail to return to base before their engines fail. Combat is scarce. If you have lived this long, this is the bombers'/attackers' time to shine.

Above all, bomber pilots should have one key concept in mind: survive, at any cost!
 
Your fighters are there to keep you alive. If you find yourself beside a furball, it is usually in your greater interest to not engage. You may engage, if you think that your addition will turn the tides of the fight in your team's favor, but remember that there may always be an enemy outside of your spotting range at a higher altitude who could come in and ruin everyone's day at any point. This is certainly easier with attackers, bombers that fly like attackers (B-25 Mitchell), or heavy fighters in ground attack loadout (Do 217 J/Me 410). In this case, treat yourself like a big BnZ fighter. Heavy bombers (e.g. G8N1/B-17/He-111) lacking forward armament should not engage under almost any circumstance.
 
In the current meta, one of the most common sights is for bombers to dive down, unleash their payload on a target, and attempt to make it back to friendly lines/base before being caught or intercepted. However, how many times have you seen someone make it back from one of these runs? Very seldom do they live long enough for a second run. In that case, what have they afforded the team? If the game makes it to late game phase, will that one less base sway the course of the match? Probably not. Autowins will happen regardless of how many bases stand on either side, and attackers that would have swayed the match have only a couple more tanks/pillboxes to kill here or there. In order to be truly effective (especially as a heavy bomber), you must generally be expected to make at least two flyouts...unless you're in a squad of Do 217 Es and do a one-flyout map wipe, but that's as much luck as it is tactics.
 
The next most common mentality is to climb, but continue heading towards the bomb zone, hoping that your planes will reach you in time. That brings us to escort.
 
Let's talk about escort flying.
 
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Photo credit: o palsson, Flickr (Creative Commons)
 
Many bombers use this term, and they use it incorrectly, or without fully understanding its meaning. An escort flies above and in front of the thing they're escorting to clear the airspace for the bombers to make their run. But in War Thunder, the fighters and interceptors start below and possibly even behind the bombers. So if you, the bomber pilot, flies directly towards the target from the moment you spawn, you cannot receive an effective escort. Furthermore, even if you do receive an escort, there is very little to actually stop a Fw 190's minengeschoß round from ripping through your wing if he manages to get guns on target.
 
What bomber pilots need to be most effective is not an escort, but air superiority.
 
Chances are, if you've flown AB at all, you know that bombers are their most effective when high altitude is clear of enemies. This is no different in RB. The term for this is air superiority, and what it means is that all threats to the bomber at a given range of altitude have not been eliminated, but effectively neutralized, such that an attack on the bomber/attacker is rendered impossible.
 
The purpose of Midgame is to establish air superiority. The failure of the fighters to do so means that bombers are in danger, the airfield is in danger, lawnmowers are in danger, and chances are that team is on the road to a loss. A smart bomber will wait until air superiority has been indicated or declared before moving in on even their initial attack run (there are exceptions to this, but we'll cover them later).
 
Air superiority is indicated by non-engaged planes at or exceeding the bomber's altitude over both friendly and enemy airspace, and a lesser number of players on the enemy team.
 
Because of the spotting range and elements like clouds and sun-glare, air superiority can never be fully guaranteed until the entire enemy is dead, or their locations confirmed, but generally speaking, if you have two or three planes at 6km altitude scattered about and none of them are in fights, you can make the assumption that the airspace is safe enough to traverse, and any threats that do pop up can be met (which is when the threat is considered "effectively neutralized") by those fighters.
 
:crazy: But what is a bomber supposed to do during all that time? They could be earning POINTZ! 

 
You wait. The bomber is patient.

  • If your intent is to carpet bomb one of the three target zones, from the moment you spawn, you kill any excess velocity you may have spawned with by gently climbing, and then turn back towards your airfield and continue a circle climb around it. Alternatively, you can do this off towards some friendly corner of the map; the net effect is the same.
     
  • If your intent is to bomb static individual targets (pillboxes), dive bomb, or ground attack in hostile territory with forward armament after your bomb run, you do the same as above, but kill your throttle and sacrifice that starting altitude instead. In this case, I would actually generally recommend you spawn at the airfield, because you at least get a meagre pittance of research points and lions just for taking off. However, the idea is the same; remain over the safest possible airspace until an approach vector has been cleared and all threats on it effectively neutralized.

:kamikadze: [Example situation: You're flying an H6K flying boat for Japan. The Saipan map comes up. On this map, there are 0 static targets to bomb until the Allied team captures A and turns over the AAA, meaning high altitude bombing is not an effective option. However, there is a wave of landing craft attacking both A and B directly tied to the allies' win condition, but it takes some time from the start of the match to make landfall. Instead of loading up torpedos, take a pair of the biggest bombs the boat can mount, circle around the carriers at about 1-1.5km altitude, wait for friendlies to clear the airspace at B, then move in and drop the bombs on either the landing craft themselves, or the tanks that they deploy when they make landfall. The goal is to stop the allied advance at B so that an autowin doesn't occur. From there, you can either belly land at B, or, if you're good at water landing, rearm near your carriers. Unfortunately, because you're in the flying boat, you cannot rearm to torpedos...unless you think you can torpedo landing craft, which may be possible, but is probably very difficult.] 

 
There are two harsh truths you have to face when you adopt a more conservative bombing playstyle: for one, you will face a number of times that your team will have died, failing to establish air superiority, rendering you and your payload useless. On the other end of the spectrum, you'll have occasional games where the endgame phase is a two-minute hunt of the last player on the enemy team, and he dies before you can cross the map and loose your payload (or, worse, the bombs are mid-fall when victory is declared. That's the woooooorst). This is part of the contract you signed when you agreed to fly a bomber. Finding the timing of your first attack run is a practice, some might even call an art (but they're pretentious jerks who have bad taste in music and you shouldn't listen to them, because everything can be an art by that definition), and even when you get it right, it's dependent on so many things beyond your control.
 
In fact, that's probably one of the biggest mentalities to which a bomber/attacker pilot must surrender: you are yielding responsibility for the outcome of Midgame to your teammates. Under no circumstances are you to curse your team's fighters out for "being bad pilots" or "failing to kill the enemy team."
 
The bomber is patient. That includes the scope of games as well as the time spent within a game. What starts as a practice becomes a discipline.

 

I want to fly in big formations like I saw on the History Channel!

 
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Photo credit: Konabish ~ Greg Bishop, Flickr (Creative Commons)
 
Sorry, sport. Don't know what to tell you. The game mode currently doesn't allow for this to be a feasible possibility. You could get two four-man squads together and try to queue up together and hope you get into the same match, but that'll get you 8 bombers, and in a 12v12 match, that means you have 4 fighters and your formation against the entire enemy team.
 
That isn't to say formation flying is without its purpose.
 
To get into a formation, you probably want to have a buddy or three, because trying to coordinate a formation in a pick-up group is like herding cats...who may or may not speak your language. And because bomb targets are generally spread out, you'll have to work out a lot of attack vectors, make agreements, decide who's bombing what, all in the space of a few minutes, and that's assuming everyone comes to a cordial agreement meeting for the first time in one of probably more than a thousand internet battles.
 
It's better if you have all this stuff pre-sorted out.
 
From there, it's just a bigger, clumsier version of everything I've already listed. You still want air superiority, you now just have the benefit of being able to take a teammate with you, which means a less chance of either of you being spotted (because random teammates will split off, go their own way, etc), and additional guns give you better survivability as a last-ditch effort. Know your bombloads and what it takes to kill a base; I think it's best if everyone in the formation gets damage on target, because everyone gets a little boost when the base dies if they damaged it, so you'll want to drop partial payloads if possible. That takes a bit of maths, and some trial and error.
 
There are a few events, like Pearl Harbor and The Hardest Day, that lets players take the role of bombers. Here, you can attempt to fit into the AI formation (but it's really hard with Pearl Harbor; believe me, I've tried), which feels pretty cool, but you are definitely making yourself a primary target should enemy fighters break through and start attacking the formation. Also, be careful how much time you spend in your gunner view, or turn off the autopilot, because I believe he'll pull you off-course (the autopilot is instructed to climb, and AI formations fly level, I believe).
 
Eventually, you will get spotted
 
It's just a matter of time. High alt, low alt, mid game, late game, it doesn't matter. At some point, even the safest, most conservative bomber pilot will get spotted, given that at some point, he goes for a bombing run.
 
The moment you can confirm that a dot or a verified enemy pilot is a threat, you need to abort any fire mission you were on and start heading for the nearest friendlies that can feasibly provide assistance (meaning they aren't tied up in their own dogfight. This may, and probably will, mean sacrificing some of your altitude for speed. Be careful you don't put yourself in a position that when you move your reticle or move into autopilot mode by switching to gun sights, your wings will rip off.
 
If no friendlies are available and you're in a plane with forward-facing argument, as a last-ditch effort, you may face your target and hopefully they'll accept a headon pass. It's a gamble, but if they're going to be the idiot who chooses to abandon their superior maneuverability, you have every right to claim a chance at a kill.
 
The reason being, and I'll say it again, is this: the bomber that gets one payload off and dies is largely useless. The bomber that delays that payload and survives to make a second or third is far more valuable to the team. Unless your team is about to win or lose, there is no reason to rush a ground attack.
 
I've made it to Late Game and I'm still alive! Now what?
 
First of all, take a deep breath. Chances are, 90% of games (at least) will never make it to a stage where your team has air superiority, you're in a bomber/attacker, and the last enemy(s) are hiding or running somewhere. It's a perfect storm of situations that you'll find more often flying multirole fighters than bombers/attackers. Most likely, you've dropped your first payload or you're ready to start your ground attack run.
 
You need to assess the situation first: Where are your allies? What is the win condition? Is the map under an auto-resolve situation, and if it is, can it be slowed and/or stalled?
 
I'll answer a few of these questions as I can:
 
MAPS WITH AUTO-WIN SCENARIOS*: *section needs additional work/input, request for assistance here!

  • Hokkaido (US vs. UK; US autowin with capture of C)
  • Saipan (Allies vs. Japan; Allies autowin with capture of B)
  • Krymsk (Allies vs. USSR; Allies autowin with capture of B)
  • Bulge (Allies vs. Germany; Allies autowin with capture of A)

If you are on a map with an auto-win situation and you are on the losing side, it is absolutely imperative that you prioritize the targets that are set to auto-win for the enemy team. Oftentimes, it's a caravan of tanks/armored cars/AAA that slowly crawls towards the enemy zone until they get within reach. Once the auto-win has stalled, your subsequent payloads can be directed towards any base targets that remain.
 
Your best friend, and your worst enemy: the Combat Ticker
 
The combat ticker plays an important role in the late game phase, especially for ground attackers. The Combat Ticker is that message box in the bottom right that pops up with a message every time someone kills something, critically injures something, or crashes. During the Midgame phase, it's probably scrolling like General Chat spam. But during Late Game, when things have quieted down, it is your team's best friend, and your worst enemy.
 
Every time you destroy a hard or soft target, everyone will receive a message that you have just done so. What that means is that, if you're in a B-25, and you're killing light pillboxes/light tanks/AAA/artillery somewhere, the remaining enemy can deduce your location. This is much easier if you're killing mission-required targets. Mission-required targets are the ones that flash both on your HUD and on the tactical map: these are Light and Normal Pillboxes, many tanks (some on the Battle of the Bulge are just normal targets), and all ships larger than landing craft and fire boats(needs confirmation). As mission-required targets are killed, they vanish off of the tactical map, and the enemy can figure out, "Oh, hey, there's someone lawnmowing over in J4!" Worse, they can see what kind of plane you're in.
 
The most obvious target that gives away your position without any question is Carriers. If you're going to attack these bad boys, you'd better have some kind of escape plan already hatched before your bombs are dropped.
 
This is where what most people think of when they think of escort flying comes into play. The best way to counter the enemy that comes looking for you is to have a friendly fighter 1.5-2km above your location that can dive down and intercept an enemy that spots you and decides you'll make a tasty target. Of course, if all of your friendly fighters are RTB for ammo/repairs, this leaves you a little bit exposed.
 
It's up to you to communicate your late game intentions to your teammates. Let them know what you intend to hit, where you intend to hit it from, and remind them that the enemy will be alerted to your presence, so it would be in their interest as well to be above you when they come looking.
 
If you have no friendly teammates readily available, consider delaying your attack run until they do. If they're non-cooperative, there's not much you can do about that, but remember that they are your lifeline. If the choice is between a slightly longer flight so that they're within interception distance of you and the targets you're attacking, or a column of tanks much closer to where you are now, consider making that longer trip. Conversely, if you know all of the enemy fighters are near your friendlies, but you have a bunch of tasty tanks and clear airspace, you have every right to make a few passes and get out of dodge before anyone has a chance to come looking for you.
 
Allies and Anomalies
 
I'm dedicating a special portion of this guide to the Allies because a few of their maps have interesting conditions for bombers due to map/mission structure that can be approached with a shifting in the general mindset.
 
In the Saipan map, which is just a weird map however you look at it, you face a similar situation to Japanese heavy bombers. I don't have much experience flying B-17/24s on this map, but looking at it from a design perspective, your goal is to drop your first payload over the static targets at A, land once A turns over, rearm (assuming you've lived that long) then attack B. My recommendation would be to maintain your starting altitude, make one run over only one or two targets, then bank away from the enemy spawn and return to orbit your carriers until the runway turns over. This is one case where the get in-get out mentality precedes the wait-for-air-superiority phase. If you're in a B-25, however, you're in ground attack mode; you're basically a glorified PBJ.
 
Note: it doesn't take much for A to turn over; you're really only there to speed up the process and give a little more cushion in case for whatever reason the Japanese air force decides attacking the landing craft there is a brilliant idea in the midst of all of your team's fighters. The safe route is to get in, make one pass, turn around, make a reverse pass, and get out of dodge on that trajectory.
 
For the Norway map, you have no safe spot to orbit. It is highly recommended that you do not fly directly towards the bomb targets, but follow your fighters towards A. German interceptors are getting keen to the idea that bombers tend to fly unescorted towards the bomb targets, and why Allied pilots haven't gotten keen to their keenness and come at them from superior altitude is beyond me. But as it stands, that's very rare in the meta.
 
So, fly towards A, climbing without WEP, because you're really looking to kill time while the fighters engage and drag the fight down low. When you're a few grid squares off of A, you can alter your course south towards the bomb targets, and when you get closer, set up your attack run. You should be at almost 6km by the time you're making your final course correction.
 
I also want to mention that the southernmost target is really juicy. My runs with the B-25 have yielded hits on as many as 13 installations (so far, my single-payload kill count record is 8), all AAA. This is great for bombers looking to get decals, and the Norway bomb zones are notoriously heavy in AAA, so clearing out as much as possible in the first run will make subsequent runs (invariably at lower altitude) much more safe, for you, and any attackers that survived to late game. There's also a destroyer right next to it on the north side, so if you set up your bomb run south to north so it ends there in the bay, you might net yourself a destroyer kill as well (and get rid of more AAA). This is also one instance where I would recommend that bomb bombers (as opposed to torpedo bombers) go for the bomb zones instead of attempting to knock out ground targets. There's simply too much AAA with the destroyers concentrated as they are to risk bomb runs on them.
 
Again, see my note about informing your teammates as to your intentions; there is zero question as to where the bomb zones are, so when you destroy one, your enemies will be fully aware as to your general location.
 

:?s On Changing Armament, and Other Airfield Shenanigans

 
This is something not every player is aware of, so I'm going to put a note for it here. If you land at your airfield, wait for repair/rearm and respawn on the airfield, you can hold J to bail out of your plane and it does not count as a kill. From there, you return to the very same spawn screen that you were at when the match began. From here, you can change your secondary weapon loadout, your ammo belts, your fuel load—everything that could be altered from the initial spawn screen.
 
This is incredibly important for multirole fighters: you do not have to spawn in one configuration and be stuck with it for the entire match. I see too many P-47Ds coming in with ground attack configuration and contributing nothing to their team because they go lawnmowing and get shot down before their efforts can make a difference. If instead they spend early and midgame establishing air superiority, they could land, switch to ground target belts and load up on ordinance, and then—with clear skies and maybe even an air kill or two—go ground pounding with as much effective ordinance as a B-25.
 
However, bombers can take notes here as well. If you know that you're on a map with an autowin that's not in your favor, as I said earlier, it's best to prioritize the elimination of the win condition. For example, with my B-25, I often like to take 4x 500 lbs on the initial flyout because I find two 500lb bombs has a better chance of killing ground targets than 1x 1000 lb bomb. Probably more chances to get that just right hit that's required to kill pillboxes. But, going back to Norway, I'll stick with the 3x 1,000 lb loadout because I know my first target will be a base zone.
 
I'm not sure how flying boats fit into this, because I'm pretty sure they get an airspawn after repair/rearm and can't J out to the respawn screen (needs clarification).
 
You can also use this mechanic if you see that the airfield is about to come under fire. If someone's approaching your airfield during rearm/repair, once you respawn, you can J out and wait until the air clears, then respawn and take off. Some players abuse this mechanic by spawning, firing their turrets at the plane as they fly away, then bailing out again when the plane turns back towards the runway. Don't be that guy. I don't know if it's against the game rules (if it is, it's "abuse of a game mechanic"), but even if it isn't, it's a dirty move.
 
However, if you are the last plane at this time, the game will say that your team has lost all vehicles and begin burning your ticket counter, so be careful about using this mechanic.
 

:dntknw: FAQs  :learn: 

 
What is the bomber with the most effective single-flyout payload?
 
From what I've gathered, it's the Do 217 E series. I don't have much experience flying them, but I've seen from other threads (and in matches where others have flown them) that a pair of unharassed Es can take out all bases and inflict severe damage on the airfield in a single flyout.
 
When it comes to killing ground targets, however, attackers will almost always beat bombers, and there's little that a fell-flown Duck (Hs 129 B-2) with a 30mm armed with the HVAP belt can't kill, ships aside. With moderately decent aiming, the Duck can take out both columns of tanks on the Sicily map in a single flyout.
 
What's the best bomber for new/inexperienced pilots?
 
That's subjective, but I find the B-25J-1 Mitchell to be a really friendly bomber for new/rookie bombers. It flies like a heavy fighter, I've never unintentionally ripped its wings (and I've pulled some stupid maneuvers in it that, I dunno, probably just shouldn't really be pulled...my poor crew), which is a problem with bigger bombers. The J-1 also sits at 3.3 BR and is in Era II, so it gets decent matchmaking for its placement, especially considering that any differences between it and the J-20's flight model are more than reasonable enough to warrant taking the J-1 over the J-20 for better matchmaking unless you're researching Era IV vehicles.
 
The Ju 87 series is also great fun, and some models, like the D-5, do have excellent air combat potential. Dive bombing is its own skill, but it's a great one to have, especially if you play mixed forces.
 
The USSR's Tier 1 light bombers are in the same school as the Ju 87. They're more fighters that can carry bombs, and I found them both great fun to fly.
 
What are some of the changes you'd like to see made to bombers?
 
First of all, removal of the combat ticker for ground targets would be amazing; or at least, removal of the enemy's capability of seeing the combat ticker for ground targets. But then again, I suppose someone would be on the radio screaming for air support if there was an IL-2 slowly whittling away at their tanks, so I guess it makes sense from a certain perspective.
 
The other big thing would be a single-button push for dropping your entire payload. As I was used to Allied bombers, I was really surprised the first time I flew the He-111 and saw it had 30+ bombs.
 
Also, either putting base kills on the list of things that goes towards bombers' decals, or putting random "soft targets" in the bomb zones (I know one map in Tier 1 has things like "barrels" there) would be really nice. But you'd have to make them effectively worthless in lions/RP if they aren't already so you don't have fighters in late game going down and killing them "4 teh lulz".
 
Are there any bombers you recommend people don't fly?
 
The Wellington X is kind of a troll plane. If you want to fly it, either be Oxide or know what you're getting into, and do it for the funsies.
 
People like to fly the Do 217 heavy fighters like attackers, and I loathe them in RB. They fly like they're bombers, sure, but at that point...fly a better bomber, like the 217s in the bomber tree. The usefulness of this series of planes was in their night fighter capabilities. If night fighting becomes a thing in War Thunder, these planes might see some usefulness. For now, I recommend skipping them.
 
A lot of people are drawn towards bigger cannons, but when it comes to ground targets, you want your ground pounder to be just big enough to get the job done, and put the rest of your capacity into ammo. The two big iconic instances of this are the PBJ variants, and the Hs 129 B-2's secondary armament. The 75mm right now doesn't kill ships like it's supposed to, so I'd rather take smaller caliber guns with more ammo. With the Duck, the 30mm with HVAP will do the job just fine.
 
And, I'll mention it here: while P-47Ds have an incredible ground pounder loudout (one of the best), so long as switching loadouts is an option, there is absolutely zero impersonal reason for a P-47D to take a ground pounder loadout on their initial flyout in ARB. For ground forces? Amazing. Late game and there's an enemy hiding/running somewhere? Amazing. Every other situation? Fly like a fighter.
 
What ammo belts should I be using?
 
For "hard targets" (pillboxes/tanks), the closer you can get to HVAP, the better. HVAP is, bar none, the best ground target killer you can get for air belts. From there, the more "pure" AP you can get, the better, but I'm pretty sure the closest you'll get is AP-I.
 
Your turret belt selection is a personal choice. You can opt to go gunshipping, which is when you do low-flying strafing runs and use your turrets to try to kill ground targets...this is quite difficult, and takes a lot of practice.
 
How do I turn off autopilot when I get into bomber/gunner view?
 
Go to Menu -> Game Options -> Main Parameters; you're looking for "Autopilot for gunner and bomb sight modes". Switch to "No."
 
Help! My team's all dead and I'm the last one left!
 
At this point, you have a few options. If you can attempt to force the win condition, or if your team is in an auto-win situation, you have every right to run and hide until that auto-win resolves. It is up to the enemy to stall/stop the win condition, not you to "be a good sport" and bail out because their team failed to play to the objective.
 
If you don't believe a win is possible, you then have every right to find a quiet, clear spot to land, turn off your engines, and bail out. Save yourself a repair bill. Of course, the airfield is the best option, but sometimes it isn't one, because it's crawling with enemy fighters waiting for you. Or, if you're so inclined, you can make a heroic, if vain, pass at the enemy. It's your call.
 

8)s Final Thoughts  8)s

 
With all this information out there, the most important thing you can do is practice. Practice, practice, practice. If you're a dive bomber, do into Test Flight and hit that vehicle over and over again until it becomes second nature. If you're a high-altitude bomber, it's going to take some feeling out, and eventually you'll develop a sense for when it's okay to cross into enemy territory.

 

With any luck, a decent fighter wing, and a bit of patience, you'll turn yourself from loot pinata into most valuable asset on the map.

 

Remember, a dead bomber is of no further use to the team. If surviving means delaying or abandoning your bomb run, do not be afraid to take that course of action!

 

Fly safe! :salute:

 

[Reserved space for Changelog]

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You accredited the photographers,   :salute:   :good:  

I'm an editor in my other life. It's second nature (and good form). :D

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What is the bomber with the most effective single-flyout payload?

 
From what I've gathered, it's the Do 217 E series. I don't have much experience flying them, but I've seen from other threads (and in matches where others have flown them) that a pair of unharassed Es can take out all bases and inflict severe damage on the airfield in a single flyout.

Can confirm. 4 Man Dornier squad can easily take out the bases and airfield in a single run if you know what your doing.

 

Very nice guide.

Edited by YanderesFTW
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Can confirm. 4 Man Dornier squad can easily take out the bases and airfield in a single run if you know what your doing.

 

Very nice guide.

I'm about to unlock the E4, so I'll be able to abuse confirm this myself shortly!

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Great guide! As a long time bomber man I can agree completely o7

(also the late 217s and the 129b-2 are most likely my favourite attacker and bomber ever) Edited by the_suztown
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Well written article. I agree to most of your listed terms. Though I have to admit, patience isn't much of a virtue for me, I start to understand why people tend to race towards the bombing targets in a shallow dive in order to hit as many bombs as possible before getting killed.

 

It's basically to put the most out of your appearance on the battlefield, get shot, quit and engage the next battle. Earn Lions and experience and maybe one have luck to some extend and the match is won later on by your teammates, although you'r playing just another match.

 

The B-17 became fragile. There were times as the Flyingfortress was in fact a fortress. These times however, are gone and I myself struggle every single game to manage to get accurately rid of my bombload. Accurate bombing such as to hit pillboxes, above 6000 meters is impossible, sadly enough every fighter may reach one relatively quick in order to intercept. 

I am used to hit the 9k meter+ actually, afterwards calculating my flightplan to get a straight line of targets in my bombview and as many as possible. 

 

Maybe it's me tho I feel to have more bad luck in a B 17 than ever before. On the other hand I just recently flew a couple of matches in the Mitchel and it was a fantastic feeling, almost like the good ol' days in my beloved B-17 G

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Well written article. I agree to most of your listed terms. Though I have to admit, patience isn't much of a virtue for me, I start to understand why people tend to race towards the bombing targets in a shallow dive in order to hit as many bombs as possible before getting killed.

 

It's basically to put the most out of your appearance on the battlefield, get shot, quit and engage the next battle. Earn Lions and experience and maybe one have luck to some extend and the match is won later on by your teammates, although you'r playing just another match.

 

The B-17 became fragile. There were times as the Flyingfortress was in fact a fortress. These times however, are gone and I myself struggle every single game to manage to get accurately rid of my bombload. Accurate bombing such as to hit pillboxes, above 6000 meters is impossible, sadly enough every fighter may reach one relatively quick in order to intercept. 

I am used to hit the 9k meter+ actually, afterwards calculating my flightplan to get a straight line of targets in my bombview and as many as possible. 

 

Maybe it's me tho I feel to have more bad luck in a B 17 than ever before. On the other hand I just recently flew a couple of matches in the Mitchel and it was a fantastic feeling, almost like the good ol' days in my beloved B-17 G

Yes, there is an alternate school of bombing that's about maximizing lions/hr that involves going in, diving, getting bombs off and killing a base, then dying, getting into the next match, and rinse/repeat. The line of thinking is...that sentence I just typed. And apparently it works.

 

This is more about how to be an effective teammate, which those people farming lions are not interested in.

 

The B-25 is a fantastic all-rounder, and I forgot to mention that one of the things that makes it so is it can become or start out as an attacker on maps or situations where that's a more appropriate tactical decision. Bombers without forward armament, like the B-17 or He-111, don't really have that luxury without going down and gunshipping.

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I would recommend trying out the a-20g again. It has the fm of a heavy fighter, fast as hell (only some 190s can catch it), and a dm of a tank (I have survived multiple rams). Its main weakness is its fragile cooling systems, often times you end up on one engine and you cant fly much with one engine. Its my ideal bomber, I can get in fast drop bomb, then harass (usually killing) anything that shows up on my way back to rearm. Getting 4-5 kills in this thing is common.

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Great guide, appreciated the read....

Then you get to on the run and hide portion of gameplay right at the end.

I disagree on that whole issue, a bomber at 10km in a corner has no more right to win the game with one bomb run, than the fighter that shot down a load of the enemies over the last 30 minutes and now don't have the bombload to even things out. You work your rear off, then go looking for him after a refuel while he alt+tabs and watches YouTube.

That is Gaijin's fault though, not yours, so it is in no way a reflection of you or your guide.
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Thank You for the guide. I need to read it a few times.  I've been playing Arcade because I am a newbie  and don't think I should be taking low tier air frames into a Realistic battles as I'd be hamstringing my team.  So I just try to gain research points to get closer to higher tier gear.  

 

I find in Arcade battles people really don't want to work as a team, though you will find some who do.  I will transmit my intentions and targets in chat and am usually told to "shut up" and one time "We dont' need your life story".   I was subsequently shot down *shrug*  

 

If I may ask, why is a Wellington a "troll" air frame?  I'm working my way towards Lancasters and Mossies and have to go down the Wellington Tree. 

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Hi Baigs,

 

The BR and matchmaking will be a similar pain in arcade and realistic so don't let that be a reason not to give it a try.

 

In RB you get 1 plane to fly, you will be in a team of similar BR planes (+/- 1 br) and matched against a team of +/- 1 BR of your teams average I believe. So you will not be hamstringing your team in any way.

 

Also bear in mind on the aircraft research screen there is a selection button for the mode you are playing on the bottom right of the screen, AB, RB or SB. The BR of your planes are slightly reduced if RB is selected.

 

 

In fact I would always recommend starting in lower tier as the mind-set is different. If you jump into a High Tier realistic match you will have a more powerful plane but you will be facing players with a lot more experience in that mode.

 

I haven't flown the Wellie so cant comment on that but I'm about to unlock the Mossie Mk XVIII so looking forward to it.

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Great to have a game with 4 heavy bombers and 12  fighter escorts playing to bomb some ground targets vs when they encounter 16 enemy fighters.

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Very nice guide.  Well-written and thorough.  My only quibble is that the Do-217 does not have the best single-flyout payload.  That would be the B-29, with the Lancaster (either version) coming in 2nd.

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I do look forward to you updating this posting when you achieve jet bombers. I believe that the whole meta of operations changes once you have planes like the Arado 234B-2 which has no defensive armament. What I have found is that there is a lack of really defining targets to take advantage of. Tanks are the current target of choice, but there are still players that insist on bombing the camp targets. In my opinion they should have their pilots license revoked for extreme stupidity, but that is their choice.

Map/mission design currently favors fighters and dedicated ground attackers over pure bombers. The camps only unlock the ability to bomb the airbase of the OPFOR. If the industrial plants on maps were turned into actual strategic targets of some worth then bombers would be a better choice in matches.

Back to the 234s and the other jet bombers. There are only three maps where bridges are targets for bombers and ground attack planes and there needs to be more of them. Jet bombers are uniquely suited to making strikes at strategically important points on the map because they have the speed to strike said targets like bridges and industrial parks before fighter opposition can react. Is that fair to the OPFOR? Not in the least but they will have vital targets of their own to strike. BUT that would also mean Gaijin would have to give all nations first gen jet bombers equivalent to the 234B-2, say the B-43 Jetmaster, and it's sibling the A-43. Possibly the Tu-12 for Russia, I don't know about Britain.

Rail yards may be a thing in the future if speculation based on findings in the CDK are correct. This could present a whole new set of targets.

So an update will be looked forward to.
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Why did Gaijin even add bombers. They have no place in RB. If you want to play PvE/ Bombers, you can go against bots. I can say over 95% of the players flying fighters want to play against fighters instead of play spot the ant simulator with a B17. 

There is no role for bombers. OP mentioned that you can apply pressure to the enemy team, so can killing half of the enemy team. Fighters and bombers simply doesnt mix well in RB. The bomber can pull offf a perfect run and can do everything correctly and they still lose. Equally the fighter can kill all of the enemy, yet the 4 bombers will still win. There isn't a interface where the Bomber's objective benefits the fighter and vise versa. i.e the bombers destroys the oil depot, less enemy fighters. or the fighters kill most of the enemy, there isn't any interceptors killing the bomber.

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