State of the Game: 10.3+ Sub/Transonic Strike Aircraft

Having just started playing higher tier transonic strike aircraft (in this case, SU-17M2 @ 10.3 usually uptiered to 11.0) for the first time during this battlepass, I can’t help but feel that the SotG for these aircraft needs some serious attention.

The issue is that there just isn’t enough base bombing to go around. Since there are only 4 bases, it becomes a race to get to them first, which means that proper supersonic bomb carriers (e.g. F4-EJ) rush for them, drop bombs, then either suicide to the enemy fighters or flee, and any remaining bases are cleaned up by things like F-111 who can clear the whole map on their own. As a barely supersonic strike aircraft, things like the SU-17M2 can’t beat them to a base, and without flares can’t go high or down the middle, so you are forced to go wide, wait for the bases to respawn (or your entire team to die) and then bomb.

Yes, in theory you could take a bunch of smaller bombs and go after ground targets, but the rewards are so minuscule for those it’s barely worth it - and being right underneath the main furball it’s also suicide for fat slow strike aircraft with no flares like the SU-17M2.

This means that if there are lots of strike aircraft you basically sit out the most important part of the match and are just a dead weight.

A lot of people have ideas around making bases worth less to multi-role fighters, but this misses the point - the people who use multi-role fighters as base bombers do it because it’s the only way to guarantee you get a base, and nerfing the rewards into the ground would just add to the grind.

So, my suggestion is this. Make it so there is always a bomb target available, and it gets progressively more important (and closer to the protected airfield), so there is always something to bomb and late arrivals still have something productive to do.

I like the way that the 3 base + airfield maps work, and this could be expanded more for normal Operations maps. For example, have the normal 4 starting bases, then once they are all dead 2 double hp (and double reward/ticket damage) bases unlock, once they are dead the unprotected runway can be bombed, if that also somehow dies the protected runway can be bombed.

You could even skip the extra 2 bases, and just have the unprotected runway become a bombing target after the initial 4 bases are killed. Even decreasing the base respawn time or adding more bases would go a long way to helping.

Small correction though I do agree with your message anyway, the SU-17M-2 is certainly supersonic.

what you say is correct, but the problem is that it is precisely the ARB mode that has become incompatible with the attack aircraft style of play. if there was an endurance mode like there once was, the game isn’t won if you kill everyone, but if you complete the objectives, and then all your kills count as a score, otherwise you can kill and kill but if you don’t have support bombers or attack planes to destroy the objectives, the only way you can win is to wait for the mission to expire, which I personally would put at 6 hours, so people are incentivized to necessarily have to complete the objectives, and it would be forced to play tactically, cover attack planes, players or bots. currently the ARB mode does not incentivize you to play attack planes, but only to kill as many as you can in the shortest time possible, return to the hangar, repeat. I opened a discussion right above yours where I showed how long the game I played lasted (4 minutes and 33 seconds) we killed everyone in a very short time, and it sucks, because I didn’t have any fun at all