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So let's talk Situational Awareness in Simulator Battle


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Aerial combat in simulators provides a number of challenges, some common with reality and some unique to simulation. This of course is attributed to the fact that inside the virtual cockpit you can't feel the G of your acceleration and turn, the orientation of gravity when flying in a straight line or the weightlessness at the top of the "Egg".
 
Your cues are primarily visual, and thus contributes to the disorientation associated when fighting in the vertical. You can't easily judge displacement of objects when staring at a background with little to no features to judge relative motion (The Sky for example). Over time, much of what we pick up about Situational Awareness in simulators becomes internalized and instinctive as part of a process of learn-as you go. It is our good fortune that in Simming, the learning doesn't end with the death of our virtual selves.

This thread seeks to get the contribution of virtual pilots from your experiences, whether from study or simply from personal experiences. I also encourage you to share as I have found that externalizing knowledge in writing is a good way for me to cross examine what I think I know.
 
To that end, I will try and maintain this list of topics the best I can in as usefully readable a format as possible.. I have divided the discussion topics the best I can to start with and should be able to maintain the organization from thread contributors.

If you like the tip, please click on the contributer's name and leave a thanks on their post!
 
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Topics
 
Please feel free to pick any individual or multiple topics to discuss methodology.
 
 
Basic (Skills)
  • SA Basic #1 - Visual and Auditory Cues for one's own aircraft behavior
  • SA Basic #2 - Your Aircraft (Performance, Fuel, Ammo and Temperatures)
  • SA Basic #3 - Accurate judgement of one's own relative position
  • SA Basic #4 - Tracking an enemy's position
  • SA Basic #5 - Accurate judgement of an enemy's relative position
  • SA Basic #6 - Dealing with visual obstruction of the cockpit and the aircraft body
  • SA Basic #7 - Supplementing SA with cockpit instrumentation
  • SA Basic #8 - Checking surroundings while offensive
  • SA Basic #9 - Balancing watching aircraft vector and assailant while defensive
 
Advanced (Tactics)
  • SA Advanced #1 - Choosing the level of commitment to a fight
  • SA Advanced #2 - Disengaging an offensive
  • SA Advanced #3 - Situational considerations to opposing aircraft performance
  • SA Advanced #4 - Situational considerations to altitude and aircraft performance
  • SA Advanced #5 - Entry and exit strategies
  • SA Advanced #6 - Responding to distress calls (Target prioritization under urgency)
  • SA Advanced #7 - Ambiation (Indirect cues indicating presence of aircraft)
 
Psychological (Disrupting SA)
  • SA Offensive #1 - Concealing your approach
  • SA Offensive #2 - Hiding your energy
  • SA Offensive #3 - Discussing Boyd's OODA Loop
  • SA Offensive #4 - Dealing with multiple enemies or furballs.
 
Communication (Team)
  • SA Coms #1 - Developing useful communication skills (reducing noise)
  • SA Coms #2 - Filtering out bad/indiciplined communication from team mates
  • SA Coms #3 - Brevity codes and monologueing your actions
  • SA Coms #4 - 2 Plane Buddy Tactics
  • SA Coms #5 - Making coms easier (Voice Attack/Vocals & Cover Me! by Juliet_Six) 

 

Meta Considerations

  • SA Physiology #1 - Stimulation
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Contributions
 

  • Machineabuse SA Basic #2 - Your Aircraft (Performance, Fuel, Ammo and Temperatures)

A very useful thing to do is have some method of note taking with you while you fly or experiment with airframes in test flight. While the stat cards in the game give you the performance parameters of the aircraft you are flying what they don't tell you are the behavior of the aircraft while flying it. Externalizing information in this way helps you wrap your head around the idiosyncrasies of an airframe before you have to learn the hard way in battle or refresh your memory as you transition between airframes.

Recently I have taken to using my phone with Google Sheets for my note taking purposes, since I normally fly at night with the lights off it is the most practical method for me. I typically take a plane I intend to fly into a test flight then fill out the spreadsheet as I go with SWAG* values. It's time well spent if you're going to get into an unfamiliar plane.

*Scientific Wild A$$ Guess

 

  • Elgonidas SA Basic #4 - Tracking an enemy's position

To keep track of targets far below me while I maneuver and/or check my surroundings, I like to consciously pick out landmarks close to, and preferably slightly in front of the target. This'll narrow my search if I don't spot them immediately from "somewhere in that general direction" to "somewhere near that landmark". Good landmarks are of course forests, rivers, cities and the like, but more often than not, I end up picking out a particularly bright or dark field near them. It should go without saying that their speed and direction is important here as well. Keeping track of a maneuvering target can be a bit more challenging, but as long as you're not looking away for several seconds, reacquiring visual should not be too difficult.

 

A good technique for picking out targets against the ground is focusing on a fixed point on the ground, letting your eyes pick up the movement of the plane instead of actively looking for a tiny black dot. Give them a second or two before you shift your gaze and repeat until you spot something.
 

  • ZdrytchX SA Basic #4 - Tracking an enemy's position

Good old pilot psychology.

I've been finding it harder to maintain SA in WT since 1.51 because the cloud rendering problems only got worse and the dots are harder to see (they are about 30-50% opacity beyond 2.5-4km depending on the plane and when the silhouette does appear they're usually easy to spot, upsetting my spotting effort balance) while if I get a little be closer to the silhouette or zoom in on it the actual model appears and I can no longer see it if the plane is brighly coloured (e.g. B29s... Yes, even those big planes). This means that when I track players I often need to stay at one zoom level which is exceedingly frustrating considering that one tap on the hatswitch is enough to rotate one full screen width when zoomed in due to my framerates and head-rotation rate. I find that if I reduce the rotation rate dogfighting is hard because I can't track the enemy when they're on my six, particularly if slightly above. And whenever I zoom out beyond default FoV my framerate decreases anyway so I almost never play zoomed out like most head-tracker players.

A lot of you may notice that I prefer to fly within 2km-6km and the reason for this is I prefer to be above the enemy so I can spot them against the ground. It is easier for me to spot them against the ground and I cannot spot against the clouds due to a certain bug that gaijin simply will not fix so inevitably my playstyle is in the vertical. I drag them up, potentially bleeding their energy (or rather I increase the kinetic/potential total energy difference) bya busing my wing lift for a slight vertical advantage and dodge simultaneously while they try to prop hang as they get a shot onto me and then I zoom back onto them. It is sometimes a bit tricky to tell when they're about to run out of energy since the 1.51 update and the water/tree rendering really hurts my aim when I zoom back onto them but well, it's easier than trying to prop hang and get someone in fear that I know they will be able to get onto me easily.

 

  • Machineabuse SA Basic #6 - Dealing with visual obstruction of the cockpit and the aircraft body
A thing I do prior to a match is set-and-forget my TrackIR center position in a slightly hunched over position. This means when I am sitting normally my virtual head is high and back in the cockpit and affords me the best view over the rim of the cockpit in most aircraft.
 
When I need to shoot, I hunch back into position to see the aiming reticule. In some aircraft with offset sights I will bias my center position so that when sitting upright my view is high and center in the pit, giving me equal visibility off both sides of the aircraft.

  • ZdrytchX SA Basic #6 - Dealing with visual obstruction of the cockpit and the aircraft body
Regarding nose visibility I actually use a cheap trick as a non-head tracking user.
I almost permanently leave my head vision at the top of the aiming recticle in half of the planes (Focke-Wulfs, BF109s) and in others with somewhat excellent vertical cockpit visibility above the nose (like the Me 262) I shift the head even higher, and slightly forwards if I must to get a view around the headrest while maintaining horizontal head movement control (since it deminishes as you shift forward). However in some aircraft like the A6M3 and the Meteor Mk III-IV range, I permanently have the head in the upper most position unless I am sniping (by which I sometimes snipe without the aiming sight anyway) and use my "center view" button to aim. This means I cannot aim where I need to do a horizontal deflection shot or while I'm tracking someone above me but most of the time I don't need to anyway.

When I aim like this I literally just use my mouse-joystick interface as a pseudo-crosshair. This video in the spoiler was from over a year ago when I recently started playing simulator. My current framerates are worse than then of course but I was worse at tracking players anyhow and I've gained tactical knowledge and experience so in the end I'm still better than I was back then.
[spoiler]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ARCx8sA1Lc[/spoiler]

You could call it an exploit of the game interface but it isn't always reliable anyway such as when the aircraft shakes when getting bombarded by artillery (it changes the angular perspective as well) but this is a well-required tactic of mine considering I cannot waste time doing blind-leads with my horrible framerate which poses a severe latency on my input (it takes me about half a second most of the time before ANY input is registered, including typing text) coupled with the aircraft's own dampness I need to counter to prevent the bounce as such. I found leading exceedingly easy on my brother's computer when I had good framerates in a plane like the BF109E-1 where there's already a lot of dampening and so-so nose visibility simply because I had the framerates that would allow the plane to obey my input on-demand.

 

  • Machineabuse SA Basic #7 - Supplementing SA with cockpit instrumentation
The artificial horizon is one of my most used instruments in the game. Between this and the climb rate indicator in some aircraft it gives me an edge when it comes to navigating through clouds in the occasional high altitude fight, managing my pitch and wing attitude in low visibility situations.

  • Yapan SA Advanced #1 - Choosing the level of commitment to a fight

Let's talk about strategy now. Of course, you might have a day where you just want to brainlessly enter every furball and meet every enemy possible. Sure! We all have such days, but this doesn't require much of commentary. We will analyze how to implement kind of Hartmann style instead - deadly, effective, which reduces risk to the minimum. 

  1. YOU DON'T WANT TO ENGAGE EVERY POSSIBLE DOT THAT YOU SEE! Really!
  2. The most effective way is to attack those who are busy already, instead of dogfighting them on our own.
  3. Furballs might be funny, but aren't a very effective method of achieving any kind of success.
  4. Escorting bombers is one of such cases (mentioned above), but you should be flying above and behind bomber (yupp, he's a bait).
  5. Going to save every possible ally who screams for help, will more of then than not bring death to yourself. If you follow someone who makes mistakes, you make mistakes on your own.
  6. Open your tactical map, and try to imagine frontline, which shows you areas which are safe or not.

Ze plan

post-223407-0-77982700-1451234231_thumb.

 

We want to intercept those who are about to join furball. Such pilots are usually already tunnelvisioned (they are watching enemy and they are blind to any incoming danger).

 

First thing we have to predict is, where the furball most probably will be. How did I calculate those curved approaches? Very simple; every airfield icon on your tactic map also shows you the direction at which aircraft take off. Most people will simply follow the shortest path towards a furball (this is where T-2-4 calls are coming on and on) or targets in the map centre.

 

You find your approaching dot, come from six, fire, climb again. Yes, climbing again means you need to be at altitude. You can't just lazy approach at 1km of alt or you will be easily seen. Most usually ppl come around 1-2km, so you should aim for 3-4km.

 

Predicted enemy's reaction:
[spoiler]surprised-meme.jpeg[/spoiler]
Happy hunting and I dont want to hear, that you dont have silver!

 

  • VC381 SA Advanced #5 - Entry and exit strategies

The best way to keep track of multiple enemies without giving yourself a neck cramp (or thumb cramp if like me you use the HAT switch) is to keep them all on one side of you. Always approach the battle area such that you are unlikely to have enemies on both sides, it reduces the area you need to scan and hence your workload considerably. If you see a furball, approach it at a tangent, keep the fight about 45 degrees off your nose and use whatever button you have mapped to "sit up" in the cockpit so you can see over the leading edge of your wing. This also helps keep altitude on the approach, because you don't have to dip your nose to see the fight. As you get closer, bank towards the fight and use opposite rudder to maintain altitude. Now you can easily track the whole fight over your wing as you circle and prepare your dive.

 

Same on the way out, exit in a direction that won't put you between the fight and oncoming enemies, so you don't have to divide your attention. Circle slightly on the exit to keep the fight in a clear panel of your cockpit, not directly behind where things cross your tail and you have to snap your view to the other side to check where they went.

 

  • *GateNomes SA Advanced #6 - Responding to distress calls (Target prioritization under urgency)

Sometimes the situation comes up where multiple targets are attacking a teammate.  And the question here is: Who to attack first?  It's a tough call sometimes, and there may be a different answer for a different situation.  If I am closing in from behind my teammate, it makes the most sense to bring targets down from back to front - this way, enemies won't won't be alerted to your presence right away.  If you decide to fly past a few enemy targets in order to shoot the enemy in front, closest to your teammate... you may put yourself in prime position to be shot down first!  And your teammate of course will be next...

 

However, if your teammate is coming head-on with you, or giving you a shot from the side, now you'll want to start thinking about prioritizing the most dangerous targets closest to him.  The other enemies following won't notice you right away if you're coming from these other angles.  At this point, now is the time to pick the enemy who poses the greatest threat and try to eliminate him first.  As an example, if you're against USSR and have a choice between a Yak-1, an I-153, MiG-3, or an La-5, which would you choose to clear from your friend's six as top priority? My first targets would certainly be the ones armed with 20mm cannons (Yak-1/La-5) since any hits they land on my teammate will cause the worst damage of the 4 aircraft.  I consider those planes the worst threat in that situation, so I would ideally bring them down as quickly as possible before the others take notice - and at least this way the ones who do take notice aren't nearly as hefty of a threat to deal with afterward.  This gives my teammate (and myself) the greatest chance at survival.  Of course hopefully by this point more backup is starting to arrive to help you out.  But if you need to buy yourself more time, you still have every reason to be prioritizing the most dangerous aircraft as your primary targets. The easier you can make your competition early on, the better chance you'll have at survival in the long run.

 

Bonus clip sort of demonstrating what I'm talking about (below) - this friendly at Stalingrad (EC) was making a mad-dash for base with the entire Soviet air force in pursuit of him it seemed.  I arrived first to help him, followed by more teammates after.  I made sure to hit the most threatening targets first.  Notice how he had a biplane on him almost the entire time, and I didn't touch it.  That's because I saw a Yak flying next to it, who I considered a much more dangerous threat!  Had I prioritized the biplane, my teammate might have not have made it back alive!  Split-second decisions like this can really make or break these types of urgent situations.

 

[spoiler]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzEIiA-Nbog[/spoiler]

 

  • Yapan SA Advanced #6 - Responding to distress calls (Target prioritization under urgency)

Helping an ally is one of those examples, where you're going to fight someone who's busy. Yet it might be more dangerous than you think;

 

When you hear a "COVER ME" signal you should open your tactical map in first order. If someone doesn't use Juliet_Six's app you will see no altitude and you can assume that your teammate is at ground level. Now imagine again the frontline and decide on which side he is. If your mate is on your side you can help him without hesitation. You can even risk spending energy here no problem. In the worst case you can just run to your airfield and most usually more allies will come.

 

Now let's assume that your teammate is screaming for help just next to enemy's airfield. You're cruising at 3km, and you spot him maneuvering hard - I'll tell you straight - leave him alone. Even if you will go there with your 800km/h, everyone is turning and rolling - it's very unusual to have a shot there. If your friend is going fast towards some direction (the best would be your frontline) then you should consider helping him - enemies are flying straight, tunnelvision on - perfect target(s)!

 

I want to cover something else now; if we mean chasing and being chased. This is important. When you're being chased by someone - you decide to dive and call for help. Now you see your teammate at your 2 o'clock. Perfect! You decide to turn into your ally...

[spoiler]PicardDoubleFacepalm-1.jpg[/spoiler]

I beg you, don't do this. You will give your ally just one, the most difficult shot in the world to help you - which most likely will fail - so will your pilot's life. If your ally misses you will force him to turn - which means he won't be able to catch up to you anyway. Instead; keep your mate perpendicular so he can cut the distance quickly and help you to deal with your foe.

 

  • VC381 SA Offensive #1 - Concealing your approach

Don't dive straight at someone. Aside from making your shot difficult, it also makes you fairly easy to see if people are looking behind them. Always try to dive behind and below them and shoot on the zoom climb. This means they don't go below your nose, so you keep sight better, and you go below their tail, so they won't be able to see you even in planes with bubble cockpits. A slightly upwards belly shot is easy to aim and very deadly. "But VC, they hear the engine noise and break away!" Depending on how much of an E advantage you have, or what the risk is to you in the situation if you lose some E, throttle down, all the way to 0% if you can. Silent kill!

 

Also, should be obvious but if diving on a group always dive for the guy at the rear! That way you can keep track of all of them with less chance that one will see you and warn the others.

 

  • "Sheriff" SA Offensive #1 - Concealing your approach

War Thunder's audio engine allows to hear every plane in approx 800m. This way successful BnZ attacks vs lone targets are very hard when flown the "classic" way.
Because of this I like to fully throttle back. This way my plane becomes almost silent.I am able to attack from point blank range without being detected.
I even had one shot 30mm kills with the K4 from ~5m distance.


I do this ONLY with following circumstances:

  1. I am able to attack my target from a very high altitude and I reach max speed without throttle.
  2. I am the highest plane around.
  3. My target flies alone and not in a formation.
  4. My target  is a fighter/has no auto gunner.

This approach is not needed when the target flies in formation because they cant hear you with a friendly engine around.
 

Example of this approach:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lu1K-vG7nAk

 
  • Yapan  SA Offensive #2 - Hiding your energy

Energy as you already know is speed and altitude. Altitude is easy to recognize - you can see it by a quick gaze. The way to conceal energy is speed.

For example; at the merge with enemy its better to be at 2km and 500km/h, than 3km and 300km/h. The Total energy level is pretty similar for both cases - yet its almost impossible to accurately judge enemy's energy state on our monitors and low resolutions. Just don't go past 500km/h as you will start to loose energy in a straight line.

 

  • xxmagnus SA Offensive #4 - Dealing with multiple enemies or furballs.

I usually shadow the group of enemies while waiting for them to engage someone else, it's important to keep enough distance for them not to get interested in you, and if they start closing, you need to do a shallow dive and get away. The trick is to watch the fight develop, and when you start to see a pattern you can time your diving attacks so that you level out at the same time as the top enemy is at the top of his climb. At the top of his climb you enemy cant make defensive maneuvers, neither can he follow you up should the attack fail.


Do one attack on the enemy with most energy, then climb and look around for dangerous newcomers. Rinse and repeat.

  1. You have to be confident that you have enough energy, otherwise you will just get sucked into the furball.
  2. Remember to look around for newcomers every time you climb away/wait for another window to attack. If you don't, I or someone else will end up diving on you when you are at the top of your climb:)
  3. If you are closing on equal energy level of the furball, or if you spot a newcomer, get away, climb and reengage.
  4. Only works when in good mental shape, it's really draining to engage in such target rich environment. If you are tired you might get really frustrated trying this.

I'm usually lonewolfing, but I'm sure this works even better in a squad. (One staying at alt, watching for newcomers while the rest cooperate to grind down the furball)

 
  • Yapan SA Coms #4 - 2 Plane Buddy Tactics

Divide your work! The biggest mistake I see people doing; while flying together is that both are scanning 360 area - often one behind another as in finger four formation. Wrong! Finger four was to preserve the leader (as he was often the precious skilled pilot), the wingman/men were considered cannon fodder who's six was covered worse, than if he would be flying alone! Line abreast! Fly wing to wing! Aim for 500m separation, and finally gain total 360 watch by:

post-223407-0-59415400-1451052889_thumb.

Red area is where a wingman should look for contacts, while blue area is area where leader should look for. This way you achieve a few things:

  1. you cover whole 360° and all blind spots.
  2. each of you look just to the one side, 180° - that's just half of work to do!
  3. you got your wingman almost constantly in eyesight, which makes formation flying a lot easier.

Trust your wingman!

 

  • Machineabuse SA Coms #5 - Making coms easier (Voice Attack/Vocals & Cover Me! by Juliet_Six) 
While many may be familiar with Voice Attack for voice control over coms macros, you may not know of Vocals, an open source clone of Voice Attack which can do much of the same things. This is a really handy way to simplify your ability to quickly put out coms to the rest of your team without having to take your hands of the controls of your aircraft.

It takes a while to set up and tune but I have it bound to most of the common coms options, allowing me to do everything from call for help to thank the guy who just saved my bacon. It helps tremendously.

  • W_Falke SA Physiology #1 - Stimulation

There are influencing factors outside the simulation useful for almost all games that need your consideration;

 

Situational awareness killers 

  1. Being hungry or thirsty.
  2. Any kind of discomfort, pain or illness.
  3. Alcohol, weed or other sedative and narcotic influence.
  4. TV.
  5. Music for some (distraction).
  6. Teamspeak or Phone conversation unrelated to the mission.
  7. Wrong mindset and emotional reactions to being cheated (my personal biggest problem, no secret i guess, STAY THE FCK COOL).

Situational awareness pushers

  1. Caffeine/Taurine.
  2. Music for some :D (Flow).
  3. Being rested.
  4. Cold Shower.
  5. A working team or wingman you want to care for or fill your role.
  6. MDMA/Speed. (Have talked to one playing professional shooter, very successful and profitable with small doses, he said the level of reactions and situational awareness are not reachable only by skill or training and to be honest its cheating, DON'T do drugs you fools. I hope everybody reading this is grown up enough... I guess some already know that the big pros need to do drug tests for taking part in the million dollar tournaments.).
Edited by Machineabuse
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Some of these are "old tricks" and I'm far from an expert pilot but I'll chip in a little:

 

  • VC381 SA Advanced #5 - Entry and exit strategies

 

Not sure if this goes here but it's the closest I could find. The best way to keep track of multiple enemies without giving yourself a neck cramp (or thumb cramp if like me you use the HAT switch) is to keep them all on one side of you. Always approach the battle area such that you are unlikely to have enemies on both sides, it reduces the area you need to scan and hence your workload considerably. If you see a furball, approach it at a tangent, keep the fight about 45 degrees off your nose and use whatever button you have mapped to "sit up" in the cockpit so you can see over the leading edge of your wing. This also helps keep altitude on the approach, because you don't have to dip your nose to see the fight. As you get closer, bank towards the fight and use opposite rudder to maintain altitude. Now you can easily track the whole fight over your wing as you circle and prepare your dive.

 

Same on the way out, exit in a direction that won't put you between the fight and oncoming enemies, so you don't have to divide your attention. Circle slightly on the exit to keep the fight in a clear panel of your cockpit, not directly behind where things cross your tail and you have to snap your view to the other side to check where they went.

 

  • VC381 SA Offensive #1 - Concealing your approach

Don't dive straight at someone. Aside from making your shot difficult, it also makes you fairly easy to see if people are looking behind them. Always try to dive behind and below them and shoot on the zoom climb. This means they don't go below your nose, so you keep sight better, and you go below their tail, so they won't be able to see you even in planes with bubble cockpits. A slightly upwards belly shot is easy to aim and very deadly. "But VC, they hear the engine noise and break away!" Depending on how much of an E advantage you have, or what the risk is to you in the situation if you lose some E, throttle down, all the way to 0% if you can. Silent kill!

 

Also, should be obvious but if diving on a group always dive for the guy at the rear! That way you can keep track of all of them with less chance that one will see you and warn the others.

Edited by VC381
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Okay I'll bite.

 

  • Elgonidas SA Basic #4 - Tracking an enemy's position

To keep track of targets far below me while I maneuver and/or check my surroundings, I like to consciously pick out landmarks close to, and preferably sligthly in front of the target. This'll narrow my search if I don't spot them immediately from "somewhere in that general direction" to "somewhere near that landmark". Good landmarks are of course forests, rivers, cities and the like, but more often than not, I end up picking out a particularly bright or dark field near them. It should go without saying that their speed and direction is important here as well. Keeping track of a maneuvering target can be a bit more challenging, but as long as you're not looking away for several seconds, reacquiring visual should not be too difficult.

 

A good technique for picking out targets against the ground is focusing on a fixed point on the ground, letting your eyes pick up the movement of the plane instead of actively looking for a tiny black dot. Give them a second or two before you shift your gaze and repeat until you spot something.

 

 

 

 

Edit: I hope this doesn't die. We can all learn something here!

Edited by Elgonidas
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  • Yapan  SA Offensive #2 - Hiding your energy

Energy as you already know is speed and altitude. Altitude is easy to recognize - you can see it by a quick gaze. The way to conceal energy is speed. For example, at the merge with enemy its better to be at 2km and 500km/h, than 3km and 300km/h. Total energy level is pretty similar for both cases - yet its almost impossible to accurately judge enemy's energy state in our monitors and low resolutions. Just dont go past 500km/h, as you will start to loose energy, by just going straight.

 

  • Yapan SA Coms #4 - 2 Plane Buddy Tactics

Divide your work! The biggest mistake I see people doing, while flying together is, that both are scanning 360 area - often one behind another as in finger four formation. Wrong! Finger four was to preserve leader (as he was skilled precious pilot), wingman was a cannon fodder who's six was covered worse, than if he would be flying alone!

Line abreast! Fly wing to wing! Aim for 500m separation, and finally gain total 360 watch by:

[attachment=179229:line abreast observation.png]

 

Red area is where a wingman should look for contacts, while blue area is area where leader should look for. This way you achieve few things:

- you cover whole 360dgr and all blind spots.

- each of you look just to the one side, 180dgr - thats just half of work to do!

- you got your wingman almost constantly in eyesight, which makes formation flying a lot easier

 

Trust your wingman!

 

Feel free to correct any typos that I made - if you wish to do so. English isnt my native language.

Edited by Yapan
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This is a sweet thread! I guess I'll add a little 2 cents on a topic I deal with almost non-stop while playing EC.

  • *GateNomes SA Advanced #6 - Responding to distress calls (Target prioritization under urgency)

Sometimes the situation comes up where multiple targets are attacking a teammate.  And the question here is: Who to attack first?  It's a tough call sometimes, and there may be a different answer for a different situation.  If I am closing in from behind my teammate, it makes the most sense to bring targets down from back to front - this way, enemies won't won't be alerted to your presence right away.  If you decide to fly past a few enemy targets in order to shoot the enemy in front, closest to your teammate... you may put yourself in prime position to be shot down first!  And your teammate of course will be next...

 

However, if your teammate is coming head-on with you, or giving you a shot from the side, now you'll want to start thinking about prioritizing the most dangerous targets closest to him.  The other enemies following won't notice you right away if you're coming from these other angles.  At this point, now is the time to pick the enemy who poses the greatest threat and try to eliminate him first.  As an example, if you're against USSR and have a choice between a Yak-1, an I-153, MiG-3, or an La-5, which would you choose to clear from your friend's six as top priority? My first targets would certainly be the ones armed with 20mm cannons (Yak-1/La-5) since any hits they land on my teammate will cause the worst damage of the 4 aircraft.  I consider those planes the worst threat in that situation, so I would ideally bring them down as quickly as possible before the others take notice - and at least this way the ones who do take notice aren't nearly as hefty of a threat to deal with afterward.  This gives my teammate (and myself) the greatest chance at survival.  Of course hopefully by this point more backup is starting to arrive to help you out.  But if you need to buy yourself more time, you still have every reason to be prioritizing the most dangerous aircraft as your primary targets. The easier you can make your competition early on, the better chance you'll have at survival in the long run.

 

Bonus clip sort of demonstrating what I'm talking about (below) - this friendly at Stalingrad (EC) was making a mad-dash for base with the entire Soviet air force in pursuit of him it seemed.  I arrived first to help him, followed by more teammates after.  I made sure to hit the most threatening targets first.  Notice how he had a biplane on him almost the entire time, and I didn't touch it.  That's because I saw a Yak flying next to it, who I considered a much more dangerous threat!  Had I prioritized the biplane, my teammate might have not have made it back alive!  Split-second decisions like this can really make or break these types of urgent situations.

 

[spoiler]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzEIiA-Nbog

[/spoiler]

Edited by *GateNomes
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  • "Sheriff" :SA Offensive #1 - Concealing your approach

War Thunders audio engine allows to hear every plane in approx 800m. This way successfull BnZ attacks vs lone targets are very hard when flown the "classic" way.
Because of this I like to fully throttle back. This way my plane becomes almost silent.I am able to attack from point blank range without beeing detected.
I even had one shot 30mm kills with the K4 from ~5m distance.

I do this ONLY with following circumstances:

1. I am able to attack my target from a very high altidude and I reach max speed without throttle.
2. I am the highest plane around.
3. My target flies alone and not in a formation.
4. My target  is a figher/has no auto gunner.

This approach is not needed when the target flies in formation because they cant hear you with a friendly engine around.
 
Example of this approach:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lu1K-vG7nAk&feature=youtu.be

Edited by Der_Sheriff
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:Sa Offensive -Dealing with multiple enemies or furballs.

 

I usually shadow the group of enemies while waiting for them to engage someone else, its important to keep enough distance for them not to get interested in you, and if they start closing, you need to do a shallow dive and get away. The trick is to watch the figth develop, and when you start to see a pattern you can time your diving attacks so that you level out at the same time as the top enemy is at the top of his climb. At the top of his climb you enemy cant make defencive maneuvers, neither can he follow you up should the attack fail.

Do one attack on the enemy with most energy, then climb and look around for dangerous newcomers. Rinse and repeat.

 

1. You have to be confident that you have enough energy, othervise you will just get sucked into the furball.

2. Remember to look around for newcomers every time you climb away/wait for another window to attack. If you dont, I or someone else will end up diving on you when you are at the top of your climb:)

3. If you are closing on equal enegy level of the furball, or if you spot a newcomer, get away, climb and reengage.

4. Only works when in good mental shape, its really draining to engage in such target rich enviroment. If you are tired you might get really frustrated trying this.

 

Not sure if this is new info, but add if you feel it can be useful. Also feel free to correct misspelling and format if you wish.

 

Im usually lonewolfing, but im sure this works even better in a squad. ( One staying at alt, watching for newcomers while the rest cooperate to grind down the furball)

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*GateNomes, Sherriff, xxmagnus, thank you massively for the wisdom!

I can see that the confines of the original post may require more effort on my part to stay readable. I will put a bit more work into this tonight.

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:

4. Only works when in good mental shape, its really draining to engage in such target rich enviroment. If you are tired you might get really frustrated trying this.

 

So true... haha.  I had a game at EC Ruhr yesterday (I think you were in it too!) where I was really just mentally on fire and felt I was just untouchable even in furball settings.  My aiming and mental awareness was better than I think it has ever been in my past playing.  Pretty sure my first Bf-109 G-14 got me 14 kills (I know, funny right?), and I ended up with 25 at the end w/ 8 assists after 5 death.  On an average day, or especially a "tired" day, this would never happen.  You gotta be ready to do serious work if you want to engage that many targets (and survive) for sure!

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I like how this thread has sparked to life, good contributions all round.

 

Machineabuse, wouldn't it be better in the original post to place suggestions in INDEX order rather than in the order people post? I mean, you have a nice index at the top it would make it easier for newcomers to read topics as a whole rather than reading everything or jumping around the post.

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Machineabuse, wouldn't it be better in the original post to place suggestions in INDEX order rather than in the order people post? I mean, you have a nice index at the top it would make it easier for newcomers to read topics as a whole rather than reading everything or jumping around the post.

Now that the content is coming together, absolutely!
 

I have added some footage to my post

Updated into the main post!

That reminds me, I'd best dump this into a local HTML file as a backup in case any unforseen horrors occur.

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Really, really nice Machineabuse, this goes to the contributers too :salute: ​ 

I have DM'd a mod to get it pinned, I took the liberty to do so. Then you all know the sinner if it happens;-)

P8triot (Posted )

It was a good suggestion I am enjoying all the great discussion too :)
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im sorry but i cannot provide any useful information or develope this thread, but i am very thankfull for this because it helps me learn how to fly better in sim. i should read more.

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Really, really nice Machineabuse, this goes to the contributers too :salute: ​ 

I have DM'd a mod to get it pinned, I took the liberty to do so. Then you all know the sinner if it happens;-)

Just doing my part  :salute:  And thank you for the PM on my behalf, I appreciate it!

 

im sorry but i cannot provide any useful information or develope this thread, but i am very thankfull for this because it helps me learn how to fly better in sim. i should read more.

That's what this is here for O_Kole, you can help out by referring other pilots in need here and by leaving thanks to the contributers for their time  :yes:

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@Machineabuse - you can change category if you feel it suits to something else better,  I wasnt sure where to put it in.

  • Yapan SA Advanced #1 - Choosing the level of commitment to a fight

Lets talk about strategy now. Ofcourse, you might have a day, where you just want to brainlessly enter every furball and meet every enemy possible - sure! We all have such days. But this doesnt require much of commentary. We will analyze how to implement kind of Hartmann style instead - deadly, effective, which reduces risk to the minimum. 

 

1. YOU DONT WANT TO ENGAGE EVERY POSSIBLE DOT THAT YOU SEE! Really!

2. The most effective way is to attack those who are busy already, instead of dogfighting them on our own.

3. Furballs might be funny, but arent very effective method of achieving any kind of success.

4. Escorting bombers is one of such cases (mentioned above), but you should be flying above and behind bomber (yupp, hes a bait).

5. Going to save every possible ally who screams for help, will more of then than not, bring death to yourself. If you follow someone who makes mistakes, you make mistake on your own.

6. Open your tactical map, and try to imagine frontline, which shows you area's which is safe or not.

 

Ze plan

[attachment=179581:strategy.png]

 

We want to intercept those, who are about to join furball. Such pilots are usually already tunnelvisioned (they are watching enemy, and they are blind to any incoming danger).

 

First thing we have to predict is, where furball most propably will be. How I calculated those curved approaches? Very simple, every icon of airfield on your tactic map, also shows you direction at which aircrafts take off. Most ppl will simply follow the shortest way towards furball (this is where t24 calls are comming on and on) or targets in the map centre.

You find your approaching dot, come from six, fire, climb again. Yes, climb again means, you need to be at altitude. You cant just lazy approach at 1km of alt, or you will be easly seen. Most usually ppl come around 1-2km, so you should aim for 3-4km.

 

Predicted enemy's reaction:

[spoiler]surprised-meme.jpeg[/spoiler]

 

Helping allies. When to help and when not.

Helping ally is one of those examples, where youre going to fight someone whos busy. Yet, it might be more dangerous than one think.

When you hear a "COVER ME" signal you should open your tactical map in first order. If someone doesnt use J6 tool, so you see no altitude, you can assume that your teammate is at ground level.

Now imagine again frontline, and decide on which side he is. If your mate is on your side, you can help him without hesitation, you can ever risk loosing energy here np, in the worst case you will just run to airfield, and most usually more allies will come.

Now, lets assume, that your teammate is screaming for help, just next to enemie's airfield. Youre cruising at 3km, and you spot him, maneuvering hard - Ill tell you straight - leave him alone. Even if you will go there with your 800km/h, everyone are turning and rolling - its very unusual to have a shot there.

If your friend is going fast towards some direction (the best would be your frontline), then you should consider helping him - enemies are flying straight, tunnelvision on - perfect target!

 

I want to cover something else now, if we mean chasing and being chased. This is important. When youre being chased by someone - you decide to dive, and call for help. Now you see your teammate at your 2 o clock. Perfect! You decide to turn into your ally...

[spoiler]PicardDoubleFacepalm-1.jpg[/spoiler]

I beg you, dont do this. You will give your ally just one, the most difficult shot in the world to help you - which most likely will fall- so will your pilot's life. If your ally miss, you will force him to turn - which means he wont be able to catch you anyway.

Instead keep your mate perpendicularly, so he can cut the distance and help you to deal with your foe.

 

 

Happy hunting and I dont want to hear, that you dont have silver!

Edited by Yapan
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Theres not really a point for it but there are influencing things outside the Virtual Part ,useful for almost all games that need your full attention 

 

Situational awareness killers 

 

-Beeing Hungry or thirsty

-any kind of Pain or illness

-Alcohol, Weed and other Sedatives and Narcotics after a special point of effect is reached 

-TV

-Music for some

-Talking on Ts or phone or else about not missionrelated stuff (maybe girls can)  

-wrong Mindset and feelings of beeing cheated (my personal biggest Problem, no secret i guess, STAY THE FCK COOL)

 

Situational awareness pushers

 

-Caffeine/Taurine

-Music for some :D

-beeing rested

-Cold Shower  

-a working team or wingman you want to care for or fill your role

-MDMA/Speed

(have talked to one playing professional shooter,very sucessful and profitable with small doses, he said the level of reactions and situational awareness are not reachable only by skill or Training and to be honest its cheating, uhmmmmm DONT do drugs you fools, i hope everybody reading this is grown up enough....i guess some already know that the big Pros need to do Drugtests for taking part in the miliondollar tournaments)

 

 

Edith says: btw. such a collection of theory could develop to a "must read and study" book for flightsim , awesome idea and input from everyone here

Edited by W_Falke13
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Guest
@Machineabuse, may I suggest the taxonomy for W_Falke13's comments as roughly "pilot care, preparedness, well being, fitness for duty"? Something along those lines?

@W_Falke13 - really really important stuff, thanks.

Edit / sidenote / "feelings of beeing cheated" / I am convinced that War Thunder is a psychological experiment designed to test one's ability to tolerate ceaseless injustices and to warp perceptions of participants into full-on paranoia. Edited by Guest

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Massive tips again Yapan, updated and tweaked best I can for readability.

W_Falke13; I have found a new home for this! Just needed to tweak it a little :)

If anyone's views have been misrepresented in my edits don't hesitate to correct me.

*Edit*

Whups, just read your post Urulu. I think I got this ;) Those damned feels of being cheated play havoc on all our OODA loops I'll tell you that!

I'm looking at the growth of the original post and wondering how I could format it better. I'm considering using the quote BB code to organize individual points into neat little boxes. Any suggestions welcome.

Edited by Machineabuse

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@MachineAbuse

minor issues:

Second meme got deleted (dunno if on purpose).

When youve decided to divide it to two categories, please move "Happy hunting and I dont want to hear, that you dont have silver!" to the first part of it - as that method allows to gain unlimited ammount of cash : )

 

Else, im glad you correct my text for readibility, trust me, I edit my posts up to 10 times just someone else is barely able to grasp the idea - and often its not enough ^^

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@MachineAbuse

minor issues:

Second meme got deleted (dunno if on purpose).

When youve decided to divide it to two categories, please move "Happy hunting and I dont want to hear, that you dont have silver!" to the first part of it - as that method allows to gain unlimited ammount of cash : )

 

Else, im glad you correct my text for readibility, trust me, I edit my posts up to 10 times just someone else is barely able to grasp the idea - and often its not enough ^^

Quote moved and the good captain has been rescued from the borg :D

I've done my best to preserve the personality of everyone's writing in my edits. You guys are hilarious xD

Edited by Machineabuse

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