"Why don't you cover the bombers?" Well... let's talk

Yeah. Common complaint, at least while flying WWII - era stuff, which is what I enjoy. “Nobody is covering the bombers! Where are our fighters?!” Well, as someone who does sometimes cover them, let me tell you…

Now, I’m not going to talk about bombers diving into the scrum themselves - mind you, I love taking a Havoc or Mitchell down nap-of-the-earth and making runs on targets or bases. It’s fun - but I also tend to do that to survive. (And find all the nooks and crannies on maps to fly through to not be noticed - some of the battlefield limits could really be pushed out a bit to take advantage of those beautiful mountains.) But if you’re diving a B-17, ME-264, etc. down into the dirt? Nobody’s going to be able to cover you from the swarm coming to eat you alive.

But, on the fighter/escort side?

We all have side missions, kill X many of this, get such-and-such place in the team, on top of just RP and SL. And flying escort for me often means being bottom or near of the list, no or few kills, etc. Mind you, I like seeing enemy fighters start coming over and then turning away from the bomber(s) I’m mother-henning because they don’t want to just be shot down at the top of a climb when they have no energy left. I’ve been on the other side and done that equation enough to have decided to find other targets myself. (And the occasional thanks from the bomber crews does make me feel good.)

But Gaijin doesn’t reward this sort of activity at all. Unless someone actually comes close enough to attack and you manage to shoot them down or hit them driving them off, you end up with nothing. And unless a lot of people do and you fight them off, well…

It’s about one step shy of being actively punished for doing bomber escort. Score? Nada. Activity? Nada (never mind I’m actively scanning and watching over these bombers, turning toward possible threats to dissuade them or engage them, etc - I’m decidedly active, just not in a way the game can quantify) and whatever I’m researching is sitting in the tree going “Why’d you do that?” with no progress.

Honestly, from someone who both does bomber escorts and runs bombers on occasion myself, I’d love to see some system in place to reward a fighter keeping an eye on you. Escorting counting time within some radius of a bomber. (I know I try to stay within about 10k feet horizontally, closer to 5-7 if I can help it.) Get some of the credit for ground target/base destruction - you helped get the bombs there, after all. Bonus rewards for whatever you shoot down (or hit/crit while within the escort radius.) Something to make up for choosing to do this and not being in the dogfights 15-20-25000 feet down below.

Doesn’t mean I’ll stop doing escorts when I can, mind you. The whole “personal satisfaction” thing works for me sometimes. But if you’re in a bomber watching a red name come at you and wondering where your fighters are? Just remember, the guy attackiing you at least is getting rewarded for doing so (… maybe not enough after spending a few minutes getting to altitude, but still.) And on your side? Unlike the real world, lives aren’t at stake, so people are choosing to make progress in the game where they get rewards instead of flying around enjoying the scenery at 30,000 feet.

Want that to change? Push Gaijin to change it and give tangible rewards for bomber escort. There aren’t enough of us around who just do it because we want to, after all.


Or at least give the bombers a formation to follow, and an AI fighter escort wing to follow the main bomber formation. Literally could be a bomber or 2 going out as lead bombers that the bombers can keep tight to.

Could even be a spawn for real players to join the bomber formation rather than having to climb high to get to them with a sub-mission for them to escort the bombers to give them a reward based on that.

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This approach has a good gameplay potencial by introducing a much more intricate system of role specialization. Picture a gaming framework where you can assume the vital role of a “bomber escort” for a specific bomber player, and your rewards are intricately tied to how effectively you carry out this role—ensuring the bomber’s survival long enough to obliterate enemy bases. These escort players would have access to high-altitude spawning points. Of course, there is the inherent risk that some escorts might exploit this flexibility, transitioning into interceptor roles and leveraging their energy advantages. Nevertheless, I firmly believe that we can fine-tune the incentives to make bomber protection an more attractive option. Concurrently, we can reconfigure the positions of bases to eliminate any overlap in formation paths.

Furthermore, we can take this concept a step further by shifting the focus of gameplay toward strategic objectives, moving beyond mere player-versus-player in a chaotic furball. This shift would grant more significance to the destruction of bases while still acknowledging the substantial impact of taking out enemy bombers. This approach would elevate protecting or destroying a bomber to a mission that demands team commitment and more strategic planning. In doing so, it would also open up lower airspace for ground attackers, alleviating their plight of enduring fighter harassment due to the lack of distribution in positions.

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Nice post in general, but from my pov the reality of Air RB in wt at least with WW2 era props is completely different.

Consider the following:

  1. Gaijin simply don’t care about bomber game play. Countless nerfs in the last years are evidence enough.
  2. Bombers which need escorts have very little game impact. Even if you acknowledge that a base kill reduces the enemy tickets by ~ 2-3% (180 to 280 tickets on 7.600 ticket maps) they are useless after their initial run.
  3. Bomber escort just reduces the number of available own fighters in the mostly decisive fighter vs fighter combat.
  4. So flying with them weakens your team. Even if you are able to kill an enemy fighter going for a bomber - have in mind that experienced fighter pilots go for bombers last as they are not decisive for the outcome.
  5. The current game design is preventing escort missions as strategic bomber spawn at around 4.500 meters and airfield spawn of escort fighters does not fit together.
  6. Even if you use a fighter with interceptor spawn the majority of heavy bombers is just rushing to a base and is most of the time in gun range of enemy intrerceptors before you can protect them.
  7. With 50d+ experience as bomber in wt - trying to protect bombers is counterproductive as most bomber pilots have no clue how to use them, either due to the lack of tutorials or they just see a bomber as a grinding tool. So ignoring own bombers and focusing on the main threat enemy fighters is way more effective regarding the outcome of the match.
  8. The only bomber guys worth to protect are the very few alive after 8-10 minutes if the are at high alt; at least they survived that long and have shown skill to last that long.

As a summary - the current game play and set-up has not changed for ages, i do agree that the deletion of the proximity score killed besides the reward “bomber rescuer” the last incentive to protect bombers is a shame.
Proposals to implement air spawns for current non-airspawn fighters via the “escort duty” argument have usually the logical flaw that this has to be valid for enemy non-airspawn fighters too - just think about ground controls reporting incoming bombers and escorts…

Seeing that gaijin is focusing on top tier jets and puts very limited energy to props i doubt that anything will change. But i hope for the best.

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Good and valid points. Nice to read a post based more on logic & game knowledge/experience than the usual rant/rage things we get so much of . … lol. I will be talking about AB, since I have not played enough RB to comment there and it supposedly has changed a good deal since I last played the mode. In AB you typically get bombers doing one of 2 - 3 things. Diving and speed racing to the nearest targets, and that is due to a limited number of targets and because of the grind/scoring it is generally a race with other team mates to get there first and make the points . . . before there are none to get. That can be bases or the ground targets. These bombers are the hardest to even attempt to protect, because usually the come from a higher alt at spawn and whiz by any potential “escorts” . . you simply cannot keep up with them speed wise to help if you even wanted to. Others may climb and go for bases, but even if no one climbs up to them to take them out, they rarely, if ever, will manage to take out all the bases and the AF to garner a win. As you mentioned, with getting zero rewards/points for escorting a bomber(unless ofc some red guys do show up) means flying a fighter to escort a bomber is pretty pointless. With the game be so highly focused on progression/scoring & “the grind”, until they implement some sort of rewards for such activities, just going to be hard to get players to do such things . . no incentives currently. Playing in a Squad where you are trying to help someone accomplish a task or just score better might be the only real incentive for me in that regard. But getting them to implement game mechanics that would increase rewards, lessen the grind would seem to be a lofty task, regardless if it would make the game more “fun” to play . . . it’s all about rewards, so . . . Again, I enjoyed your thread and wish you luck with it. But again, if it doesn’t involve making the stick the carrot is on longer, I just don’t see much effort being put into it . . . but I could and hopefully am wrong about that . . . 8 )

Players need to be rewarded for team play. Like covering bombers and assisting teammates. Current game design only enforces selfish gameplay behavior and can turn your blue teammates into your worst enemy.

Gaijin is so afraid to reward its playerbase, even though they have hundreds of vehicles for us to grind through… It’s just ridiculous the level of hindrance that Gaijin designs into game progression.

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Anybody here play MWOnline? Just add something similar to their ‘Lance in Formation’ reward:

Yeah that would be cool. Its so sad to spawn in a B-17 or such, and see 4 or 5 others in the same game and… they scatter like a herd of cats.
Partially its that the game maps don’t facilitate formation attack. Maybe if there were more bases as you go up in BR instead of the same number that just require more tonnage. A cluster of them to represent a city where a whole formation could drop and get a base kill.

Although i agree in general - allow me two remarks:

  1. There is simply a lack of know-how for the majority of B-17 users. You see from time to time experienced pilots in them, they have the patience to climb to 7.500 meters or higher and use the full potential of their turbo-superchargers. The B-17 is extremely fast there and with the wt game feature of mouse aim for gunners you can easily crit planes at ranges of 2,4 km.
  2. There is no teamplay anymore, fighters kill own fighters due to kill allocation issues, bombers shoot on other bombers due to base claiming disputes. Outside a squad i see formation attacks only on yt (BoTime) - and even those are made just for entertainment purposes…

Yeah, sad.
Part (most) of that is the nature of the WT playerbase, but Gaijin also doesn’t facilitate it in its reward structure and the way it scripts games.

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Lot of excellent points in the replies. A couple of other ones I always think about with discussions of fighter escorts for bombers.

  1. A fighter protecting a bomber shouldn’t be sitting 100m off their wing or behind them, they should be actively out at least 2 to 4 km in front, or in between the bomber and incoming enemy direction, so they have time to actually fight the enemy before getting close to the bomber.

Sure it sounds cool to sit near a B-17 (as in the audio is awesome), but it’s kinda pointless. I’ve had players voluntarily come up to me to protect me (e.g. I’m side-climbing a bit so they can catch up), which is nice and all, but then they just sit right next to me. So when the Do-355 is screaming in at us at a huge speed difference it’s basically a two-for-one bonus for the 355.

I think this comes about as in other FPS games I can see that “protecting” someone would be hanging close to them, but it doesn’t work for bomber protection.

  1. This award is backwards:

So, if I’m a fighter and want to get this award, I have to wait until my team mate bomber is critically damaged before destroying the enemy… no point pro-actively destroying the enemy then (confused emoji)

The award should be destroying an enemy fighter within 4km (or abouts) that hasn’t yet damaged a bomber… or something to that effect.


as i fly mainly bombers myself, when i dive for a target, unload my bombs and return low to home base i do not need escort, nor could an escort get to me in time. but when i go out the second time for the remaing target(s), escort would be nice.
also when climbing with a large bomber before hiiting mutiple targets later, i am always very happy if some friendly fighter appears on my side.

Side climbing or circling around can let friendly air spawn catch up to you. Of course this depends on the situation with the number of other bombers you are competing for bases with (you know, the enemies in blue). And of course presumes the little friends feel like helping you and won’t BnZ on the first thing that squirrels them below instead of staying alt.

Or perhaps, consider the possibility of implementing a single strategic objective for all team bombers, such as targeting a significant industrial district, as opposed to the current system that uses a somewhat arbitrary arrangement of ‘bases’ with health bars. This approach could involve quantifying destruction in terms of percentages across distinct key areas or lots within the district, each influenced by specific damage multipliers. For example, the impact of bombs on roadways or office buildings might result in less overall destruction compared to hitting storage or production facilities. Embracing this approach not only aligns more closely with real-world scenarios but also introduces a valuable opportunity to enhance the PvE (Player vs. Environment) aspect of bomber missions, which currently lacks depth and challege. Bomber pilots would be compelled to exhibit heightened precision in selecting their bombing locations and the types of ordnance they deploy.


That fidelity is probably beyond what Gaijin is likely to want to invest in. Sadly.
Historically, bombers had no where near the level of precision and situational awareness that is in the game. Bomber formations usually just bombed whatever looked close enough. Sometimes even the wrong town.
Imagine if you had the targets/bases marked on the map, but no icons on the ground. I don’t think sim even does that level of hard core.

Well, the current bases also don’t have a clearly defined perimeter; instead, only use reference marks. In fact, in an area as extensive as an industrial district could be, it’s improbable for a bomb to miss any hitbox. This approach simply considered that within that perimeter, some facilities are more valuable than others. Identifying structures that could be valuable from a bomber’s perspective is not so complicated. But if this presents a challenge, we can always suspend disbelief by assuming that prior intelligence and information gathering have been conducted to ensure mission success, demarcating them with clear lines.

Come on, we shouldn’t limit ourselves due to a lack of imagination or cling too much to historical accuracy (as if what was there now was accuracy). We could even enlist the role of aerial reconnaissance: team planes with the ability to visually mark the valuable structures for the approaching bombers; adding more teamwork!

Sometimes even the wrong country - ask the Swiss guys…

usually i take a dive immediately to gain speed with any bomber that is capable of enough speed without disintergating in the air, and go with fluttering wingtips after the inner target, turning around, getting the outer target on the way and go back hopefully still with well over 500 km/h for a while until i am low over the ground, then returning to the base.

but that does not work with all bombers, so yes, circling and getting height is what they need then and THEN some cover would be nice. or, as in the first case, when i start at the base for a second bombing run…