Survival and attack in the Huey
I hope you got your things together
I hope you are quite prepared to die
Look’s like we’re in for nasty weather
One eye is taken for an eye
Oh don’t go 'round tonight
It’s bound to take your life
There’s a bad moon on the rise
There’s a bad moon on the rise
I’ve been flying the Huey instant missions lately (no time for much else). At first I could barely complete the easy mission with a damaged helo and always got shot down on the hard mission. Now mission completion is a given and the challenge is to get through without a single scratch, in the minimum time. I know I’m mostly winning because I have a tested game plan so it isn’t ‘realistic’ as such…but the fun I had made me interested in the suitable air-to-ground tactics and moves for the Huey.
I haven’t found too much info online, so I’m doing a bit of testing myself. So - I thought I’d check here and see if anyone has dwelled into the ‘Nam style survival / offensive manoeuvring side of things or is keen to explore this with me.
The general reality
I feel like it has to be said for starters – yes, high threat modern environments are bad. No RWR, no chaff, no ECM, no IR jammer, very little armour plating, no IR signature suppression systems…you name it, we don’t have it. Many units are simply beyond the Huey’s ability to engage. MP missions in particular tend to have too modern threats for the Huey: that black blob could be an MT-LB but it is more likely to be a Tunguska or a Shilka… and you can’t tell until it is too late.Because of this, I’ve done a bit of Huey MP but barely explored its offensive capabilities – I was too busy running or hiding.
So okay, some targets are too hard – but what CAN we kill? And how?
This opening comment will be quite rough-cut, as that’s all I have time for…but over a couple of posts, I’d like to have a conversation about the weapons options usage and tactics. I’ll get started now and will add to it later.
The list of weapons is obviously rather short: pilot / co-pilot -controlled miniguns, rockets and door gunners, either with M60’s or miniguns.
Door gunners - M60
In terms of hard kill ability, the door M60’s don’t do a lot of good except against completely unarmoured targets. The gunners can come in handy for another reason, though:
When set to ‘free fire’, these eager kids will start training their barrels at targets you may not have seen and firing at them as soon as you are within range. For example, if you think you’re in the clear but the left gunner starts firing, a snap dive to the right might just make that AAA’s opening salvo miss and let you get behind some buildings in time.
‘Return fire’ mode will ignore targets until they fire at you, which gives you less general early warning but works as a crude threat prioritising tool when engaging targets – good for picking infantry or AA trucks from between ordinary trucks and other non-threat targets, for example. Also, having them set to ‘return fire’ at all times, you know with 100% certainty that if they suddenly open fire, you are being fired at and can respond accordingly. This has saved my skin a few times when capturing supposedly cleared enemy airfields in MP.
Other areas I’d like to discuss:
-use and tactics of minigun door gunners; oblique approaches to targets
-usefulness of rockets – can sufficient accuracy be reached for effectiveness with current damage model
-importance of force trim and centered ball in targeting (both guns and rockets), visual range cues, max effective range
-use of other crew stations as player
-survival tactics in offense – jinking, speed, energy, targeting, altitude, terrain utilisation
-missile / ATGM avoidance
-what units can be engaged / killed and what must be avoided
-enemy fighter avoidance – lookout routine, terrain following, stopping quickly
Hopefully there’s another rotorhead with a deathwish around to discuss