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Tag-team dogfighting can be one of the most interesting aspects of combat in ysflight. Though individual skill is still tremendously important, a well-organized duo of pilots can definitely take on nigh impossible odds if they use the right tactics. Here's how you can pull it off.[/box1]
The golden principle of tag team df is to make sure your wingman/flight lead doesn't die. The reason for this being that if they do die, no one is making sure you don't die. You must also ensure that you have stellar communication. This cannot be achieved by text, because stopping in the middle of a close fight to type WILL get you killed. VOIP programs like teamspeak are therefore an absolute must. The third and last core principle is to choose the right aircraft for the job. Having two different aircraft in a single team means you can take advantage of a greater variety of capabilities. Having two similar aircraft means you can fly with similar geometry, and respond to one another with similar speed, agility and overall makes the geometry easier. Which of the two you choose is personal preference, or based on what you think your fleet will perform better with.
The basic flying setups to use in a tag team.
1. The tail shot
This is the simplest, most straightforward one. It is the basis for many others. The tail shot is essentially as the name implies: shooting an enemy off your wingman/flightlead's six.
2. The jinking tail shot
This is a last ditch effort to save your wingman/flightlead when they are fighting a losing battle. Tell them to bug out and to jink and roll madly to avoid enemy fire, while you try and kill the enemy on their six.
3. The cross engagement
The cross engagement is a simple way to maximise your mutual cover. However, this maneuver requires that your aiming skills be up to scratch for it to work. Essentially, you completely ignore the people on your tail, and you simply focus on the people on your wingman's six. Your wingman will do the same thing.
4. The dive lure
You or your wingman do a straight vertical dive while doing some mild jinking/rolling to avoiding enemy fire. The enemy is therefore forced to follow a straight, easy to follow trajectory, which the wingman who isn't diving can easily track and destroy.
5. The figure 8
Organize yours and your wingman's turn circles in such a fashion that they form two distinct circles in a somewhat sideways eight looking way. Whenever you both reach equilibrium state in the turn circle positions with your foe, switch targets on a pre-approved verbal prompt. This has the effect of forcing your enemies to either switch targets or stay on the same. Since they will almost never be as organized as you and your wingman, they often end up both in the same place following the same guy (perfect setup for a double kill, fuck yeah) or they will hesitate and compromise their geometry. This becomes even more fun if you manage to line up the turn circles height wise, because the wingman who drops from the top will absolutely murder the enemy who is in a stalemate with the one on the bottom, and the remaining foe is left to deal with both of you. Easy pickings.
6. The hit and run lure
One of the wingmen does low-g turns while jinking, setting up a smooth, easy trajectory that the enemy on his tail is forced to follow to line up a shot, thus becoming an incredibly easy bullseye for the wingman who allows himself to do high-g turns on the same axis.
7. Contrails and lights
These are especially important at night. If you call for backup at a high-distance or low visibility situation and your wingman needs to approach your turn circle, flash your lights so that he knows which set of contrails to shoot at. This will one day save your ass.
8. The highway chase
One of the wingmen shoots up to his cruising altitude and pushes reheat until he hits max speed. Shoot any moron stupid enough to follow him on a straight damn line while he bugs out. Good way to end an engagement at joker or bingo point.[/box1]
It is important to fly in certain patterns to maximize your effectiveness before the fight, and between enemy spawns/waves/arrivals.
1. The high-low
One wingman comes in high (cruising altitude, very high speed) to take advantage of a massive energy advantage at the start of the engagement. The other wingman flies in from the same bearing, but at an extremely low altitude (well below radar) to get the drop on their enemies while they fly towards the only enemy contact they have on radar (the high-speed, high-alt wingman). Extremely effective in all cases, a favorite of the VFA-131.
2. The low and loose
Turn into your wingman as if you were engaging him, and keep the circle at low altitude and very low g. That way when your enemies come into the circle you are already set up for a hit and run lure. Ideal in gunfights.
3. The vulture
One person circles at a low altitude (above radar), and another circles far above him (20-40 thousand feet). The low person should be in a jet with good low speed agility (hqp harrier, stock f-16, 171st a-4) and the high person in a high speed, high endurance aircraft (f-14, f-15, su-35). The high flying wingman is prepared to dive down at any time to engage any target harassing the low flying pilot, whereas the low flying pilot has an amraam ready to fire at anyone flying high.[/box1]
[box1]Things to avoid:
1. Being in the same area of a turn circle. If you can see your wingman like twenty feet from you, and you're both on the same target, you both just shat the bed. If someone else comes up you just lost. Practice out of plane geometry until one of you is always on plane and out of plane if you are tracking the same target.
2. Friendly fire
It can happen, so don't let it.[/box1]
[box1]Target prioritization (most to least important):
1. Targets on your wingman's six
2. Targets you're very close to killing. Don't give up on a near kill unless you absolutely have to to survive.
3. Targets with a huge energy advantage, or other obvious advantage (much better aircraft) that must be dealt with right away
4. Targets on a very high skill level, such as blacklist fighters or organized squads
5. Targets anywhere near your six
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