Strategy Guide - Guide for Gunship 2000

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                GUNSHIP 2000 HINTS ON PLAY

              By Jim Day. Game Designer Gunship 2000

       Although it is best to start out in "easy" flight mode,
    you should try to progress to "realistic" flight as soon as
    is possible. Realistic flight gives a much more precise
    control of the helicopter. You should strive to control your
    altitude with just the cyclic (joystick) control, and stay
    away from using the collective for in flight altitude
       Try to use the dual joystick, joystick/keyboard or
    joystick/rudder pedals control options. These options enable
    you to control the tail rotor. This additional control
    greatly enhances flight control. It is much easier to use the
    tail rotor to make quick turns than the cyclic. Hard cyclic
    turns can result in an altitude loss; a problematic situation
    when near the ground.

       Try to avoid overflying mountains (except near your base)
    unless you wish to get a high view of the countryside. The
    altitude gain is just not worth the exposure. Stay low, but
    not too low as the discovery of the enemy at extremely low
    altitudes gives you little time to react to incoming threats.
    It real combat, helicopter pilots seldom fly below 100 feet.
    If you are searching for the enemy, an altitude of about 225
    feet is probably about right. If you know where the target or
    objective is located, go in low and hot to avoid as many of
    the enemy defensive units as is possible.

       Keep your eye glued to the radar altimeter (the one
    located in the HUD - the altitude gauge in the console is
    the barometric or pressure altimeter). This indicator shows
    your true height to the ground immediately below the
    helicopter. As the ground rises up to meet you, this
    indicator shows the loss in altitude. The low altitude
    warning also sounds when your altitude enters the red zone
    (this zone is player adjustable by the "c" or "v" keys).
       These subtle altitude changes can mean the difference
    between life or that fatal crash. One particular area to
    watch is the coast in the Persian Gulf. As you near the
    shore, flying from inland, the terrain rises slightly - pay
    attention to the altitude change.
       It may seem obvious, but pay close attention to the threat
    display - give it a glance every so often. Threats can pop up
    on the periphery or to the rear that your CP/G can not see to
    call out. In those situations, maneuver towards or away from
    the potential threat. Keep in mind that as you move towards a
    target, the dead (or safety) zone is reduced - this is a
    combination of range and altitude.
       In general, fly "out of the cockpit" only taking periodic
    glances at the console. The HUD provides the key flight data,
    and the console should be used only as a backup.

       Upon reaching the rank of 2nd Lieutenant, you are given
    the responsibility of multi-helicopter command. These guys
    can accomplish a great deal if you utilize them with care.
       With fresh-faced rookies, do not expect then to take on
    the enemy single handily - they just do not have the skills.  
    Just as you had to learn the ropes, these guys also improve
    with time. Rank and decorations are the best measure of their
       Their degree of competence is applicable to three
    different areas: offense, defense and flight skill. The best
    pilots hit the targets with the fewest shots and at the
    greatest range; avoid taking damage; and hit their waypoints
    right on the mark. Those new guys and less experienced pilots
    fall somewhere short of this optimum.
       With these limitations in mind, give them something
    attainable. Pick-ups, cargo missions, small target groups or
    moving targets are a good place to start. They are skilled
    enough to always fly to a drop-off or pick-up point if their
    last waypoint is somewhere near the location. They even let
    you know if they spot a pick-up by communicating "Objective
    Sighted!". Position their final waypoint or assign a new
    flight path on the location, and they will fly directly to
    the point. Of course, they always fly directly to the base or
    FARP (accessed by a second press of the "to base" key).
       Once they have developed a certain degree of experience,
    there is not a single mission they can not handle. Take care
    of them, and they will take care of you.

    S-2 Report:
       Pay attention the unit sightings information in the
    report. The order of the four units listed indicates the
    frequency of the number you could expect to meet in this
    mission. The unit listed first has the greatest frequency,
    the second a lesser frequency, and so on.

    Toughest Primary?secondary Targets:
       Headquarters, Depots, Fixed Emplacements and Infantry
    Groups provide the greatest challenge. They all have a large
    and diverse mix of potentially dangerous units. They also
    require a high degree of destruction to achieve the mission.
    This combined with the deployed enemy defenders, makes for a
    tough assignment.

    Easiest Primary/Secondary Targets:
       Moving vehicle platoons, and to a lesser extent moving
    mech groups, are the easiest targets. This assumes that you
    have found the target. Only a few of the units in the platoon
    or mech group stop to engage you - the others try to escape
    and continue on to their objective. This makes for a limited
    number of enemy shots. As an added benefit, the enemy
    defenders must spread out along the path of movement,
    thereby, limiting their concentration.

    Toughest Single Targets:
       This is probably all infantry targets and the 2S6 (the 2S6
    is found only in Europe). The infantry are tough to destroy
    and they have a number of weapons to throw back at you. M261
    and M255 rockets can make short work of the infantry.
    Hellfires can also be effective, but it may take more than
    one to do the job. When in close, blast them with your
    cannon. The 2S6's laser guided missiles and accurate cannon
    make it an extremely tough adversary.  Fire-and-forget
    weapons are the best choice as you can not "spoof" its laser
    guided missiles. Guiding a TOW-2 or Hellfire-A into the
    target can be a dangerous prospect. The preferred tactic is
    to fire a Sidearm, Hellfire-B or M247 rockets and immediately
    fly away from the target. Even if a laser missile is in
    flight, when the 2S6 is destroyed, the missile automatically
    drops its lock (this is also true of radar guided missiles -
    eliminate the source and the missile no longer tracks). This
    tactic should also keep you out of its cannon range.
       The ZSU-23(4) and towed guns can also be a tough nut if
    you come upon them within their cannon range. Their high
    rate-of-fire (especially at the higher enemy quality levels)
    enable them to throw out a large number of shots in a short
    period of time.

    Easiest Single Targets:
       Aside from the various structures and buildings, these
    would be all tanks and machine-gun armed recon units, such as
    the BRDM-2 and EE-9. These units are pretty much sitting
    ducks and can be destroyed with impunity. Even if you fall
    within range of their machine-guns, it is rare that you take
    a hit. These are all good candidates for cannon fire; do not
    waste limited ordnance on these targets.

    On-line Data Base:
       Until familiar with the various enemy targets and units,
    you are encouraged to use the on-line data base (alt-p keys
    with a target lock) to secure important information.

       You really need to tailor your choice of weapons to the
    nature of the targets. This knowledge comes from experience,
    the manual and the on-line data base. Try different
    combinations on different target types - best done while in
    the training mode. Keep in mind that the damage inflicted can
    vary; it is not a fixed amount. A target could be destroyed
    with one hit on one occasion, but may require two hits on a
    second occasion.
       Before you reach the level of command access to a Longbow
    Apache, rockets can substitute as a poor man's fire-and-
    forget weapon. While they take a certain degree of finesse to
    utilize, they do have the advantage of flying directly to the
    target if launched in constraints. As an added bonus, you can
    usually carry a whole passel of them, and set the number to
    fire in a salvo. With three different types, choose carefully
    and pay attention to the S-2 report.
       Sidearm is also a good weapon to consider, as it is a true
    fire-and-forget weapon system. While the number that can be
    carried is limited, it is a good choice for the wing tips on
    Apaches when light air activity is expected. It is more than
    capable of silencing most radar sources with the exception of
       Mavericks or Penguins are a must when dealing with ships.  
    They have the capacity to destroy a ship with a single hit;
    not guaranteed with Hellfires or TOWs. Maverick, if
    available, is the preferred choice over Penguin since it has
    a dual role against ground targets.
       A mistake some players make is changing the weapon type
    while a guided missile is still in flight to a target. For
    example, if you have a Hellfire-A in bound to a target, do
    not change the weapon selector to another weapon type. The on
    board computer becomes confused, and the Hellfire no longer
    tracks the target.
       The effectiveness of ripple fire can not be emphasized
    more, when engaging closely grouped targets with guided
    weapons. Launch one missile, wait a few moments, launch a
    second, wait a few moments more, and then launch a third, and
    so on. This tactic greatly reduces the total engagement time
    over the target, and therefore your total exposure time. It
    has the added benefit of eliminating the threats in short
    order. Technically, all of the missiles are targeted on the
    first target. But after the first target is destroyed, the
    targeting system automatically shifts to the next target -
    locking the next missile on to that target. This process
    continues until all of the targets are destroyed or the
    missiles have all hit their targets. If the target was not
    destroyed by the first hit, you have another missile
    following closely in its wake to finish the job.

    Moving Targets:
       Moving targets are not all that difficult to find, if you
    keep a few key points in mind. They move at speed of about 25
    knots - so less than 1/4 of your average speed. This gives
    you an idea as to where they may be along their path. They
    always move in the indicated direction, but modify their path
    based upon intervening terrain (they avoid mountains, valleys
    and rivers). You may discover them off of the path due to
    these terrain types. However, they generally move in the
    direction indicated.
       Moving units that appear to start on a road will more than
    likely follow the path of that road, including movement
    through road canyons.

    Search & Destroy (or Rescue):
       These can be one of the most frustrating mission types.  
    Just keep in mind that the target is out there, and your
    intelligence data relating to the suspected location is
    fairly accurate. The target should be no more the a few map
    units from the indicated location (the mission map is divided
    into a 16 by 16 grid - therefore it is divided into 16 x 16
    map units). The challenging part is that the target could be
    in any direction from the indicated location.
       A good clue to the location can be the discovery of enemy
    defenders. If you start to encounter these defenders, the
    target can not be far away. After all, the defenders are
    there for a purpose.

    Sea Targets:
       Enemy ships can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you
    come across them at short range. If you are to engage known
    ship targets, approach them form the seaward side and pick up
    altitude to about 300 or so feet. This should give you enough
    range to deal with anything they may throw at you.

    Air Targets:
       Now these guys can give you some real trouble. Pay very
    close attention to the S-2 report's section on enemy
    aircraft. If it states "extremely heavy", you best be
    prepared for some heavy action. Stingers and Sidewinders are
    the weapons of choice in this case. Stingers are more than
    capable of dealing with most of the enemy helicopter threats
    with a single shot. There is no doubt when firing a
    Sidewinder. Your can is also more than capable of taking out
    an enemy helicopter. It this case, you will have to get in
       Enemy high-performance aircraft definitely require
    Sidewinders; in most cases, Stingers just do not have the
    punch to take one out with a single hit. It is a truly lucky
    shot if you are able to get a hit with your cannon. Keep in
    mind, that these guys must be dealt with, since they keep
    coming back until they are damaged or destroyed. The good
    thing is that you do not see them all that often - after all,
    helicopters just do not tangle with fast movers all that

    Jammers, Chaff & Flares:
       Jammers should be activated at the first notice of an
    enemy inbound threat. The jammer either "spoofs" the enemy
    missile or it does not - there is no grey area in this
    regard. If you do jam the missile make sure to move out of
    its flight path. Jammed missiles do not disappear, they just
    continue on a straight flight path. That is why it is a good
    tactic to keep targets on the periphery rather than flying
    directly towards the target. With this approach, the jammed
    missiles miss to the left or right. The IR jammer has an
    equal chance of jamming a missile each time it is attempted.  
    The radar jammer is a different story. The enemy units
    frequency hop until they are able to defeat, or "burn
    through" your jamming signal. That is why initial missiles
    are jammed and later missiles can not be jammed. Turn off the
    radar jammer after use; remaining active reduces its
       Chaff and flares are close-in defenses. Launching chaff or
    flares when the missile is still 2 km away is very
    ineffective. It is purely a matter of timing. Allow the
    missile to approach and then launch the decoy. If you launch
    too soon the chaff cloud will have dissipated or drifted off
    or the flares will have hit the ground or burned out. If you
    launch too late, the missile will not be fooled, and will
    still track your helicopter. If possible, break left or right
    after you launch the decoy; this enhances the effectiveness
    of the decoy. You can lose constraints or even drop the lock
    while targeting for guided weapons (Hellfire-A and TOW-2).
    The missile continues to fly in a straight line. If you
    re-acquire the lock before the missile flies by the target or
    it is able to turn quickly enough to maneuver to the target,
    it will still impact.
       Another effective tactic to avoid enemy missiles, is to
    drop down or fly behind hills. If you can mask your signature
    to the missile, it losses its track. That is why it is
    advisable, when possible, to approach targets from terrain
    rather than over flat ground.
       As a last ditch choice, it is also possible to "dodge"
    missiles by making quick last minute breaks to the left or
    right. You do not have the quickness and sharp
    maneuverability of a fighter aircraft. As a result, this
    maneuver is a real challenge as it requires precise timing,
    but at times may be your only hope of escape. The maneuver is
    much more effective against radar guided missiles than IR
    guided missiles. Radar guided missiles have a much larger
    turning radius then IR missiles, and are less able to respond
    to quick breaking turns. IR missiles are designed to engage
    fast breaking targets.
       Training is a good place to test these tactics and
    maneuvers. You can get your timing down and locked without
    any damage to get in the way of your tests.

       Your main purpose in life is to destroy the primary and
    secondary targets. You are not rewarded for missing those
    objects, even if you manage to destroy everything else out
    there. The really successful pilot are rewarded for hitting
    the targets and getting back in less than thirty minutes or
    less. This may mean that you may have to set your sights to
    just the primary or the secondary on certain missions. Make
    sure that you get at least one of them, preferably the
    primary, and get that helicopter back to base. They are too
    expensive to leave littered about the battlefield.
       To maximize your score, and consequently your success and
    rewards, destroy all of the targets in the primary and
    secondary. Even though you can achieve the mission by
    destroying less than the total number of targets - get all of
    them while you are there. If possible, eliminate all air
    targets encountered. If you have to make a choice, skip the
    buildings, recon units and tanks, and concentrate on the
    missile armed units and anti-aircraft guns. After all, how
    many points do you expect to score for torching houses,
    churches and mosques.
       You are definitely recognized for eliminated the bad guys
    while flying smaller and less well armed helicopters. It is
    especially apparent is you fly one of those helicopters
    yourself. You have probably noticed that the Longbow Apache
    is an extremely powerful helicopter. Well, the Task Force
    Commander has also noticed this fact. He is impressed with
    the guys that fly Defenders and Comanche Scouts.
       If you started with a pilot that has suffered a number of
    setbacks, i.e. did not get either the primary or secondary on
    a series of missions or consistently has walked back to base,
    you may be further ahead to start over with a new pilot. That
    guy probably has too many reprimands in his file to achieve a
    high rank before forced retirement gets him first.
       If you can avoid it, never decline missions or abort a
    campaign. These are big black marks on your record. And by
    all means, try not to lose any pilots. It is your
    responsibility to take care of them. If you lose too many,
    you may find yourself in civilian clothes flying a traffic

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