Vehicle Guide - Guide for Battlefield 3
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_____ _ _ _ ___ _ _ _ ___ | __ |___| |_| |_| |___| _|_|___| |_| | |__ | | __ -| .'| _| _| | -_| _| | -_| | . | _| | |_____|__,|_| |_| |_|___|_| |_|___|_|___| |___| __ __ _ _ _ _____ _ _ \ \ / / | | (_) | | / ____| (_) | | \ \ / /__| |__ _ ___| | ___ | | __ _ _ _ __| | ___ \ \/ / _ \ '_ \| |/ __| |/ _ \ | | |_ | | | | |/ _` |/ _ \ \ / __/ | | | | (__| | __/ | |__| | |_| | | (_| | __/ \/ \___|_| |_|_|\___|_|\___| \_____|\__,_|_|\__,_|\___| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [I] Introduction ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Vehicles are a big part of the Battlefield experience. In fact, I would even venture to say that Modern Warfare 3 is the better small-arms simulator, while Battlefield 3 is far better with vehicular combat. This work is a guide to that aspect of the game. Enjoy! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [II] Table of Contents ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I. Introduction II. Table of Contents III. Version history IV. FAQ 1 --- Vehicle Basics 1.01 Spawning and basic controls 1.02 Health and seats 1.03 Vehicles classes 1.04 Emplaced weapons 1.05 The Engineer 1.06 Specializations 1.07 Missile lock indicators 2 --- Specific controls 2.01 Driving: Boats, Light Vehicles, IFVs, MBTs, and Mobile AA Guns 2.02 Piloting: Helicopters 2.03 Piloting: Jets 2.04 Piloting: Scout Helicopters 2.05 Piloting: VSTOL Jets 3 --- Specific strategies 3.01 Light vehicles 3.02 Main Battle Tanks 3.03 Infantry Fighting Vehicles 3.04 Mobile Anti-Air Guns 3.05 Attack Helicopters and Scout Helicopters 3.06 Air Transport Helicopters 3.07 Jets 4 --- Vehicular destruction 4.01 Damage chart 4.02 Other vehicles and bullets 4.03 AT Rocket Launchers 4.04 Heat Seeker Rocket Launchers 4.05 AT mines and C4 4.06 Repair Tool 4.07 Laser designation 5 --- Setups 6 --- Maps 7 --- Other stuff 7.01 Point values 7.02 Ribbons and medals V. Thank yous VI. Copyright ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [III] Version history ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- v 1.00 --- 3/10/12 First version completed. v 1.10 --- 3/14/12 Fixed some issues and expanded upon some concepts. v 1.20 --- 3/23/12 Major rewrite of jets, additions to much of everything else. v 1.21 --- 3/24/12 Completed proofread, should be fine until the big patch comes along. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [IV] FAQ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Q: Are American vehicles better than Russian vehicles? The one area where the difference between the two is significant is in attack helos, where the Viper is more maneuverable but the Havok is...worse. Russian HUDs are generally a foggier red, while American HUDs are generally a grass-colored green, both of which have advantages and disadvantages. Nonetheless a peek into several player's (and my own) stats have shown Americans having a slight advantage, getting more kills in fewer time, something that I can't quite explain. Q: How badly unbalanced is the Havok vs the Viper? Very badly unbalanced; the Havok has no benefit over the Viper, while being much heavier and manuveering slower (akin to flying a dump truck). In "RL" it has two benefits to make up for this, a 30mm cannon (like the IFVs, vs the Viper's 20mm) and glass that is bullet-resistant up to the same range. If these changes were implemented they would be much better balanced, as this would allow slower Havoks to hit armor harder and prevent its pilots and gunners from being shot out in close-range dogfights. That's my take, as of now the Viper has literally 50% more kills for me then the Havok in slightly less time. Q: I don't have flares yet, how do I fly a jet? It's impossible to fly jets without countermeasures in the practical sense. The best solution is to get a F-35 on Wake Island on an empty server, and go around capping the points in hover mode. This will earn you the first three unlocks quick, even if it is cheating. Q: How do specialization apply to special vehicles? AMTRACs, A-10 Thunderbolts, and Su-25TM Frogfoots are the three "special" vehicles that latch onto specializations from related classes. The AMTRAc can use a couple of pieces of IFV equipment (specifically the LMG and Smoke), and the ground-attack planes can use any and all jet specializations. Lighter vehicles don't get anything at all. Q: What is the chase camera? In any vehicle, pressing C will activate the chase camera, giving you a third person view of the situation. This gives greater combat awareness at the expense of not being able to aim accurately. You can swap back at any time by pressing C again. The chase camera is useful for jets (for tight manuveers), jeeps (you don't have anything to aim anyways), and maybe helicopters for beginners trying to land or circle-strafe-cap. Also it looks cool.  Vehicle Basics ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1.01] Spawning, basic controls, and movement Vehicles spawn in designated areas, always by a flag or base; the specific vehicles that do spawn depends on the map and the circumstances. In Conquest, vehicles spawn at each side's bases, first at the beginning of the round and then a certain amount of time after the vehicle is destroyed (this is controlled server-side and ranges from 10 seconds to a full minute or more). When the match first starts, people will grab whatever vehicles they can to get there faster. These conditions are also true of Rush. In addition, capping maps will cause vehicles to spawn there. So if you cap the A flag and a tank is supposed to spawn there, and you are American, you will get a Abrams; if Russian, a T-90. Non-base spawns only occur for land vehicles and are generally simply lightly armored craft and boats; however, some caps spawn more interesting and sought-after IFVs and MBTs instead. Depending on the map and mode, you can sometimes spawn into a vehicle that is unoccupied or has an empty seat available. This is true of jets in all circumstances, MBTs and IFVs in Rush (within a certain radius of the starting base), and Air Transport Helicopters on some maps. Lastly, if a buddy in your squad is ocuppying a vehicle and there's an empty seat, spawning on them will put you in that seat, magically giving them a few points and some support. Controls are fairly simple for anything that's not airborne. The mouse controls either where you look or where you gun is pointed, independent of where you are driving. The standard WSAD keys are used to move forward, back, left, and right, respectively. Pressing the left mouse button fires your weapon. If you have a secondary weapon, pressing 2 will activate it with a weapon-specific sound and a different reticule. Armored vehicles have the ability to sprint - by pressing down Shift you gun the engine and head forward faster, but are less able to turn, which can get you in trouble but is great for fleeing or getting places, not specifically in that order. Depending on the armor of your vehicle and your speed, crashing into something may damage or even destroy your vehicle, or damage and even destroy the object. The latter is generally true of lighter vehicles, the former of tanks. Make your own observations; a ride through a fence probably won't hurt you in a jeep, but one into the side of a building (a literal brick wall) probably will. Heavy vehicles never take damage from their surroundings and cannot be flipped over, the former being a change from BC2 (where a big enough gulch would slam your treads). Running over someone will kill them instantly, but you have to be moving at a certain velocity to do this. Such kills are called roadkills, and are easiest to get in light jeeps. If you want to be a real dick, get in a jeep, rush it towards a teammate, and get out before it hits them - if they do not react quickly enough they will be killed by a random vehicle as "bad luck". Don't do this. If you do you're a dick. It is possible to roadkill with air vehicles, but this is more difficult because you are, well, airborne, dipping that low is dangerous unless fleeing, and it's difficult to aim for a specific target without smashing into an anti-air pole. A bit more on vehicle spawns: map spawns can be broken up into three times. First you have the long spawns, which are standard, where upon destruction a vehicle will take a while (30 seconds, is it?) to respawn. This means that if you are shot out of a vehicle, you have to wait a significant period of time to get it again, or just grab something else. Medium respawns occur about five seconds after your death, giving you time, generally, to run up to the vehicle in question after a death, or spawn into it as necessary. This is the most comfortable time, allowing you to get in and get rolling quickly and consistantly. Finally, fast respawns cause vehicles to respawn within seconds of your death, even before you can respawn; often they will be taken by someone else before you can get to them. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1.02] Health and vehicle seats All vehicles have a certain amount of health, represented in an absolute percentage out of 100 on the bottom right corner of your screen. Different warning sounds and flaring messages play depending on how badly damaged you are (if you are in anything besides a boat or a light vehicle), but the number in the corner is your best representation of what's going on with your vehicle. Different vehicles have different amounts of health, and can take different amounts of shots from different weapons. Main Battle Tanks, for instance, have a ton of health, and can thus take a lot of abuse before blowing apart. As you take damage, your vehicle begins to smoke, lightly at first but more blackened later. ~85% - You start to get warning lights. ~70% - An engine repair box will appear on your HUD, telling you that your engine needs repairs. 53% - If you are in an IFV, your vehicle will be disabled. although all weapons will still function, your speed is roughly halved. This can be fixed by Engineer repair or by the Extinguisher specialization. In addition your vehicle will catch fire and start to lose health points unless it is repaired. Partial repairs will get rid of the fire damage, but will still leave the vehicle disabled; you must repair to 100% to fix the engine. This tolerance depends on the vehicle: it is highest for the IFVs for some reason. 49% - Disable point for Main Battle Tanks (definetly) and Mobile AA (?) 34% - Disable point for all air assets ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Vehicles repair damage normally over time, if they have not been hit within a certain amount of time (and have not caught fire). This occurs about 10 seconds after the last hit, and causes your vehicle to regain health back up to 100% at about 2 health points per second. Nonetheless you will get better results with a welding torch or an EOD bot in terms of repairing speed, both of which repair at about 5 health per second. Each seat on a vehicle does something; what it does is specific to the vehicle. Some are dedicated drivers and do nothing but drive or pilots, whereas other, more sophisticated driver seats both mount weapons and control the vehicle. Passenger seats may mount a machine gun or something similar, or they may simply sit on the outside, able to fire their weapon through the side of the vehicle (although this is not very recommended - try hitting much of anything on a moving vehicle). In a few cases, like the passenger seat in a Scout Helicopter, passengers can't do anything at all, just sit there. You can move between seats with the F keys, but make sure your F-Lock is on. A note on all air vehicles: trees are semi-solid, thrasing your vehicle around but not actually doing damage. Although you can crash through a fence without any problems, air vehicles will take damage or blow up if they hit something hard [enough]. The most prominent example of this is anti-air poles, random poles, light poles, and antennas jutting out of the map. Impact those with a chopper and you'll take damage and likely crash; in fact it probably kills me more often then enemy jets do! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1.03] Vehicle classes A basic view of the vehicles; their specifics and more about their unlocks can be found elsewhere. Light jeeps (DPV, Growler ITV, VDV) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Driver: Nothing Passenger: .50 machine gun (either KORD or M2 Browning, by faction) Passenger 2: Their own weapons, fired from a sitting position These are the most lightly armored and most easily destroyed vehicles in the game, but also the swiftest, able to traverse ground at breakneck speed and make jumps that no other vehicle can attempt. They're also hard to hit for tanks, which is a blessing, as a single hit is a death hail. All seats are open; you can be killed by gunfire or a good sniper. Differences: The Desert Patrol Vehicle, which only appears on B2K maps, has more limited gunner movement, as it is not able to swivel 360 degrees. Armored jeeps (HUMVEE, GAZ-3937 Vodnik) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Driver: Nothing Passenger: .50 machine gun (either KORD or M2 Browning, by faction) Passenger 2 and 3: Nothing HUMVEEs and GAZ-3937s are utility jeeps that sacrifice light jeeps' speed for a bit more armor and a better HUD. They mount the same weapon, but the gunner is far better protected and has a dedicated remote-gunner HUD, making this the lightest vehicle to have such an interface. All passengers are better protected, but the windows are not immune to small arms fire, and people may kill you through the windshield wipers; rockets do the same amount of damage, but as everyone is inside, they will not deal direct damage to the occupants, allowing you to bail. On the other hand they are less maneuverable, still able to move quickly but not being able to turn as fast or skid around nearly as much. The GAZ has one additional ability - it is amphibious, and is in fact the fastest such land-water vehicle in the game. Differences: GAZ is amphibious, HUMVEE isn't, and the HUMVEE is somewhat smaller. Skid Loader ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Driver: Nothing Passenger 1 and 2: Their weapons Um. This. The Skid Loader is a bit of an easter egg, it's a dead slow little bulldozer that you can't see anything out of, best driven in the third person, and only when you don't feel like walking. It has no offensive capacities, but if you get a roadkill with it, you get an achievement. Not really a serious vehicle. Infantry Fighting Vehicles (LAV-25, AAV-7A1 AMTRAC, BMP-2M, BTR-90) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Driver: Autocannon (default) + ATGM, Guided Missile, APFSDS-T, Coaxial LMG (with Weapon Specialties) Passenger: .50 machine gun (either KORD or M2 Browning, by faction) Passenger 2 and 3: LMGs mounted on the sides The IFV is just a fancy name for a light tank. It's less armored then the Main Battle Tanks, so it definitely will not be winning fair fights against one. It's less powerful then a MBT, but it deals more easily with infantry thanks to its five-shot, not one shot, cannon, although the driver cannot get a MBT HMG or LMG. All three are amphibious. Amphibious armored personal carrier (AAV-7A1 AMTRAC) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Driver: Nothing Passenger: Mk19 grenade launcher, .50 Browning machine gun Passengers 2-5: Nothing The AMTRAC is a strange fellow. It acts a bit like an IFV - it has about as much armor - but it isn't one, and can't use their specializations. It has a grenade launcher rather then an autocannon, and can sit an unholy amount of players. The one important thing about it is that it is a sort of mobile base; anyone can spawn in it, even if they are not in the same squad as the driver. As it appears on many Rush maps, the driver of the vehicle is faced with pushing it as far as he dare go - the gunner can defend against infantry, but enemy tanks will blow it to smitherines. Anti-aircraft vehicles (LAV-AD, 9K22 Tunguska-M) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Driver: Single (LAV) or dual (Tunguska) miniguns (default), + Anti-Air Missile (Weapon Specialization) These two vehicles tear through aircraft like nothing else in the game. As dedicated anti-air units, they are best used parked in a relatively open area of the map, firing away at things that fly by. Both jets and helicopters suffer from its guns, but helicopters are more vulnerable to its minigun(s), and jets to the AA missiles. Although they are pretty rare, AA guns are the best counter in the gun against air vehicles. They can also damage infantry as their guns are better then a tank's cannon in this regard, but cannot defeat any other kind of tank in a fair fight; although the minigun damages even MBTs, they do not do much damage against all but the most distracted of MBT drivers. Differences: The LAV-AD mounts a single gun while the Tunguska-M mounts dual ones. Regardless their rate of fire, damage, and accuracy is the same, as the Russian shorter barrels fire at half the speed of the LAV's. Main Battle Tanks (M1 Abrams and T-90) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Driver: Smoothbore cannon (default), + Coaxial LMG, Coaxial HMG, or Guided Shell (Weapon Specializations) Passenger: .50 cal Machine Gun Commander in the Vehicle (CITV): Laser Designator The MBT is offensive bread and butter. It has the most health of any vehicle, a smoothbore cannon that can tear buildings to shreds, and a secondary machine gun for sole foes. The main problem with the MBT is that it has difficulty dealing with lone engineers peppering you with shots from an unknown direction, or hitting you with guided missiles from afar. For that reason tanks work best when coordinated with boots on the ground. Tanks defeat anything on the ground one-to-one, but tend to lose to good helicopter pilots and good jet pilots mounting rocket pods. Differences: First of all are the HUDs, with the Russian one tinted red and the American one tinted green; this isn't an advantage to either party, as the Russian one gets hazy more easily and the American one makes grassy areas harder to see. The aiming reticules on the T-90 are, in my opinion, better, as they have mil marks for gaging distance - the one time chevrons are actually useful. Other then that the Abrams is smoother-skinned and harder to spot, while the T-90 is a smaller target, an advantage in avoiding missiles and other tank shot. Scout Helicopters (AH-6 Little Bird and Z-11W) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Driver: Twin gun pods (default), + Heat Seekers or Guided Missiles (Weapon Specializations) Passenger 1 and 2: Their weapons fired out of the side Passenger 3: Nothing This is the lightest craft that can take flight. Scout Helicopters are light helicopters that mount great maneuverability and twin minigun gun pods. They rip through infantry and light armor, and can pose a significant threat to air vehicles as well, but can do little against heavily armored vehicles. They're very potent if used right, but using them right is difficult when bigger, badder attack helis are flying in the air. Differences: Despite differences in appearance the two are functionally identical. Attack Helicopters (Mi-28 Havok and AH-1Z Viper) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Driver: 12 unguided rockets (default), + Heat Seekers, Guided Rockets, Guided Missiles, (Weapon Specalizations) Gunner: 30 round heavy autocannon (default), + Guided Missile, TV Missiles (Weapon Specializations) Attack Helicopters are agile beats that can beat Main Battle Tanks to a pulp if let at them unmolested. The combined strength of the pilot's rocket pods and the gunner's autocannon deal great damage to just about everything, from tanks to infantry, and it can traverse the battlefield with speed. Helicopters can be equipped to deal with next to everything. Differences: The Mi-28 is sturdier and less agile then the AH-1Z, but the AH-1Z is still a better chopper in terms of flying. The Mi-28 does, however, have three wheels where the AH-1Z has skids; this makes landing easier, as you don't have to worry about banging your rotor into the pavement, at least not as much. The AH-1Z is plainly superior to the Mi-28 as of now, something that will hopefully be fixed in the next patch. Transport Helicopters (Ka-60 Kasatka, UH-1Y Venom) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Driver: Nothing Passengers 1 and 2: Side-mounted miniguns Passengers 3 and 4: Their weapons fired from the side Transport helicopters are just that, transport helicopters. They lack a spec tree, and the pilot has two tasks, flying the thing and deploying automatically packaged-in IR flares when needed. Passengers 1 and 2 fire the weapons; although one can have both fire at once, it's generally best to have only one side facing the enemy, and a single person can alternate seats to make that happen. Their main purpose really is what it reads on the tin, as a transport chopper; it can get the most people somewhere relatively quickly, and with good evasion, stay in the air for people to spawn in and drop out of as needed. Like the AMTRACK above, it acts as a mobile spawning station on the maps in which it occurs. Differences: Practically none. Jets (F/A-18 Super Hornet and Su-35BM Flanker-E) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pilot: 20 millimeter cannon (default), Heat Seekers, Rocket Pods, Guided Missiles (Weapon Specializations) Jets are the most difficult thing in Battlefield to fly effectively, and also one of the most difficult to shoot down. They move fast, making random hits with unaimed rockets and so forth next to impossible (although I once destroyed one with a lucky cannon shot). When they fly low they have enough of a frame to be hurt by machine guns and the like, so take this into account. They rule the skies with superb anti-air abilities and enough speed to flee from anyone with a heat-seeking missile launcher gunning for them. These air superiority fighters might take damage from a MBT secondary gun or other similar caliber things, but they can only really be shot down consistently by other jets and Mobile AA Guns. They can be equipped for pretty much any role - depending on specializations this can be ground attack, air superiority, or multipurpose. Differences: Practically none. Ground attack aircraft (A-10 Thunderbolt and Su-25TM Frogfoot) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pilot: heavy nose-mounted cannon (default), Heat Seekers, Rocket Pods, Guided Missiles (Weapon Specializations) These two aircraft are slower then Jets and thus will probably not beat them in a dogfight. They make up for this with great ground capabilities, able to punch holes in vehicles easily with their heavy nose-mounted cannons, as well as being more resistant to damage and heavily-built. They lack an afterburner. Differences: Practically none. VSTOL jet (F-35) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pilot: 20 millimeter cannon (default), Heat Seekers, Rocket Pods, Guided Missiles (Weapon Specializations) Sole occupant of this category is the F-35, a short take off and landing plane that can act like a helicopter by going into hover mode. This is dangerous and not recommended if you do not have air superiority and serious altitude, but translates into a much meaner bite, as the jet can "sit" on a target much like an attack helicopter, taking out a tank without having to make another pass back on it after disabling, as a jet often has to resort to. The trade-off? It's slower and turns worse, so you're at a disadvantage in a dogfight. A major disadvantage. A crushing disadvantage. I generally use Heat Seekers with F-35s just because relying on its gun is so hopeless. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1.04] Emplaced weapons In addition to all the mobile weapons, there are a few emplaced weapons scattered around the map, mostly in each side's bases or near flags. They generally pack a punch, but being immobile are not nearly as useful as vehicles. Emplaced weapons also have no specialization trees, although they have Zoom Optics enabled by default. They're also extremely resistant to damage, so taking one down is far easier by shooting the gunner. Most players don't know this, but emplaced weapons can be damaged, destroyed, and repaired, in the same manner and with the same respawn times as with regular vehicles. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Emplaced AA Gun (Centurian C-RAM and PANTSIR-S1) These are basically Mobile AA guns set in place. You can't get a missile launcher like in the AA vehicles, but they do have zoom optics, which helps a teeny bit. Because these vehicles only appear at your base, they're only really effective against Jets or Helicopters that happen to fly by or are camping your base - an effective team doesn't need them. A lot of time people use them while they wait for tanks or helicopters to spawn. These guns have about as much health as a main battle tank. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Stationary AT Missile (BGM-71 TOW and (9M133 Kornet) Stationary AT platforms that launch strong, slow moving, optically guided AT shots. They go slow, have a terrible turn radius, and reload too slow to stand off a tank or hit a helicopter, but every bit helps, and shooting it for a hit and then running away is basically a free shot on an enemy tank. Because the missiles are laser guided, you have to have clear line of sight - you can't fire through a wall, for instance. These weapons have as much health as a jeep. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1.05] The Engineer The engineer is the heart and soul of vehicular warfare. The engineer is one of the four classes in the game, and is the one that is dedicated to vehicles. In this sense the Engineer is given man-portal rocket launchers, anti-tank mines, EOD bots, and the repair tool, making an engineer a vital passenger and driver in any vehicle, as well as the first defense against enemy vehicles. If you plan to man the guns, you need to be an engineer. The specifics of destroying vehicles are covered in a separate section in this guide, which is where launchers, AT Mines, C4 (a Support tool), and SOFLAM (a Recon tool) is covered. Repairing mechanics is covered in a section a few above this one. Specific strategies for using engineers is covered in each vehicle's section. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1.06] Specializations Several of the vehicle categories have their own specializations: Scout Helicopters, Attack Helicopters, Jets, Main Battle Tanks, Infantry Fighting Vehicles, and AA Tanks. Specializations give your vehicle extra capacities in three categories. The first is weapons. These are a secondary weapon to complement your primary armament, and what they are exactly depends on the vehicle in question. The second and third are less organized, and consist of countermeasures, weapons enhancements, and added capacities - like Stealth, Canister Shot, Laser Designator. The specifics of using them is discussed in their respective sections. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1.07] Missile lock indicators When you are aquirred by a lock-on missile a small variety of sounds will play to tell you which state of lock on they are in. These occur in all armored vehicles; it is critically absent in jeeps and armored jeeps, which make Javelins extremely dangerous to these vehicle classes. A beeping noise and a flashing "Lock" means that they are trying to acquire you for a missile lock. If you move out of range or behind something it will break the lock. Stealth will increase the time it takes for the lock to aquirre. Below Radar allows you to avoid Heat Seeker lock when flying low. A solid tone and a solid "Lock" plays when the enemy can fire a guided missile, or has fired a guided missile and it is a great distance away. It does not tell you how far away the missile is, only that it is airborne. It can be avoided by putting something between you and the missile, or by deploying Flares, Smoke, or ECM (although the latter is more complicated). If it is a laser-guided lock-on, the sound will not go away, and you know it is a laser guided weapon and you need to haul ass asap behind cover to break designation. An urgent beeping noise on top of a solid tone tells you that the missile is within 50 meters or so, and will hit you within a couple of seconds to ten seconds (depending on your speed). This is the best time to deploy countermeasures, but if you do so too late, it will still hit you, so don't stall. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------  Specific controls ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [2.01] Driving: Boats, Light Vehicles, IFVs, MBTs, and Mobile AA Guns Ground vehicles have the same controls, and these are pretty much standard. Pressing A or D turns you left or right, W guns the motor, S applies the brakes or puts you in reverse. Using the mouse you can traverse your current weapon; if you have more then one, pressing 2 activates the second weapon. How dexterous your weapon is depends on the vehicle. On tanks and armored jeeps, you can move your turret up to about 60 degrees vertically, but cannot fire at anything immediately below you; this last restriction holds for most everything, and makes . On the AA cannons, you have full unrestricted motion all vertical and horizontal directions. Pressing X deploys countermeasures, especially IR Smoke. Pressing Shift in any land vehicle will gun the engine, giving speed at the cost of maneuverability. Different vehicles deal differently with obstacles; given enough speed anything can crash through a fence, but only a heavy vehicle can successfuly crash through a building. Slamming anything hard will damage your vehicle, but is next to impossible in a tank. Remember: you can swap seats into an empty one with the F keys. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [2.02] Piloting: Helicopters Basics ...... Piloting helicopters is much harder than driving vehicles, in the same way that 3D is much harder then 2D - driving involves moving forward and back and turning, but piloting involves pitch, yaw, and altitude in addition to moving and turning. It takes a few tries to figure out how to pilot a chopper, and then some more to figure out how to land the damn thing without crashing into a tree or the ground. W - Increase altitude S - Decrease altitude A - Yaw left D - Yaw right Up Key - Pitch forward Down Key - Pitch back Left Key - Roll left Right Key - Roll right There are two ways to pilot helicopters and jets, with the keyboard and with the WSAD part of the keyboard and the mouse for roll/yaw. The keyboard may be a little harder to learn, but it has the advantage of never running out of space; that is, with a mouse there are going to be situations where you're making a hard turn and simply run out of desk room, plowing your mouse into your keyboard or whatever else is on the table. The addition of a separate vehicle sensitivity partially mitigates the problem, but the issue of desk space is still there. This is especially important on helicopters, and I encourage keyboard use. The first part of helicopter flight is the W and S keys. W moves you up, S moves you down. Helicopters have a very high flight ceiling, but it's there; at high altitudes the low density of the air will decrease maneuverability and speed. Now, you need to start moving forward. Airspeed is controlled by pitch, that is, how far you chopper is leaning forwards or backwards. To gain airspeed, hold the Up key, and your chopper will lean forward (the front will shift down relative to the horizon) and the rotors will pull you forward. To reduce airspeed, pull back (Down Key), and your helicopter will lean up (above the horizon) and slow you down. To level out angle the chopper to 0 degrees. The bar and pitch markers are helpful in this regard, allowing you figure where you are relative to the horizon; nonetheless the problem of not being able to see clearly your speed relative to the ground remains. Simple turning is controlled by the A and D keys. Pressing them turns you left or right, respectively. Turning takes a little bit of time, and is not that fast. Your HUD ........ Pilots and Gunners have separate HUDs. For the most part, however, the HUD is not terribly useful, as you can tell almost everything more easily through sight, controls, and sound. HUDs for Scout Helicopters are similar but simpler, and those for transport helos are even simpler. Advanced pilots only ever really need the gunner sight box. Aiming Reticule - this is the central piece of your HUD, the marker that shows where you are aiming. The HUD for the Heat Seekers is simply a large circle with a dot to show where the missiles go. The HUD for the regular rockets is a bit more complex, with a central marker and a I-shaped predictive marker, which shows approximately where the rockets with actually go, an important feature when moving but one that is, unfortunately, not very accurate. Positional controls - these are a set of three HUD elements that together tells you the exact pitch, yaw, and turning direction of your aircraft. The first element is a tracking tread-like up-down thing in the center, a series of lines with numbers on the side that adjusts accordingly whenever you pitch the aircraft up or down, as well as adjusting left or right with yaw; this is your pitch indicator. Above this is a curved line representing yaw, which is obviously your yaw indicator. The final element is at the top center, a straight tracking line that shows your horizontal direction (0 is the position in which the vehicle spawned). Countermeasure Status - top left corner, this tells you when your countermeasures (Extinguisher, ECM, Flares) are reloading (flashing Wait) or ready (solid Ready). Airspeed Indicator - just below countermeasures, measures how fast you are moving through the air. Torque Indicator - indicates the amount of power going through your helo blades. If this gets too low, you are close to stalling and it will flash red, and you need to apply power (W) to stop yourself from falling. Weapon Status - located near the bottom center, tells you when weapons are ready to fire or reloading, but the regular HUD element in the bottom right is probably more useful in this regard. Side Indicator - A little circle and two fenceposts that acts a lot like the I-Beam part of the aiming reticule, telling you offset. Mostly superseded by the actual I, though. Gunner Sight - Shows you where you gunner is located, very useful for coordinating fire. Altitude Control - top right numbers, left of the bar, showing your height above sea level. Vertical Speed Control - the bar on the right side that indicates how fast you are rising and falling. Altitude Meter - another box that shows altitude, but one that flashes when you are very low, and tells you when you are Below Radar. Uses a different measure from the other control. Advanced controls ................. Turning can be accelerated by the most complex of the control surfaces, roll. This is when your heli pitches left (Left Key) or right (Right Key). This not only accelerates turning with A and D, but also increases airspeed in that direction, causing you to head left or right without moving forward. Roll is esential to good helicopter piloting, and fastest movements use all three controls together. When you are far over the battlefield, you can do manuveers that would put your rotor into a ditch closer to the ground. One important fact to remember is that pitching forward hard will actually cause you to lose altitude even if you press W; thus the fastest a chopper can go is directly down from high altitude. Thus it is useful to pitch your chopper down all the way and level out closer to the ground, either to get down for a ground attack, or to escape a pursuing bogie, or to get down so you can land for repairs. This has the advantage of making it look as though your chopper is blown, so people might forget to target you with their launchers, a distinct advantage. Remember: the harder you are going down the longer it will take you to pitch out of the controlled fall when you are meeting the ground. When flying low be extra careful to avoid buildings, stuff like high poles that will hit your chopper for damage and send you off-hilter, potentially crashing. An advanced technique when you know you are being laser designated and shot at is to get to the ground and then fly haphazordously, rolling from side to side if possible; if the missile misses it will try to curve around under you and hit you anyway, but at that low altitude it will hit the ground and explode instead. Landing ....... The hardest part of flying a helicopter is learning to land. This manuveer is complicated by the lack of visual cues on your airspeed, and the fact that you have to pitch yourself away from the ground to slow down. The premise is, basically, to get yourself over a flat piece of ground while flying steady in the air. Then, push down the S key with moderation to get yourself onto the ground; once you hit dirt, hold it down to stabilize the chopper on terra earth. The chase camera (C) can be helpful for beginners in this regard. To make your landing easier (and harder to target), you should get to bottom altitude before landing. Remember: the rougher the landing, the more damage your chopper will take, and the higher the probability you'll skid off and become airboure again. When landing the #1 thing you need to avoid is hitting the ground too hard and hitting the ground with your back end going first; if you do the latter your tail rotor will hit the ground and damage you. If you want to practice helicopter piloting, search "start", go to server with a 1p start, and then try it to your heart's content. A good tutorial series is available on YouTube, here is one part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=iv&annotation_id=annotation_688803 &src_vid=wUYXGBZ_Jvk&v=ZNx-7Llzec0 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [2.03] Piloting: Jets Jets are the most difficult things in the game to pilot, because flying around at high velocity makes it difficult to keep track of what is going on, and gives you limited periods in which to hit targets. The basics follow: W - accelerate S - Brake A - Turn left D - Turn right Up Key - Pitch down Down Key - Pitch up Left Key - Yaw left Right Key - Yaw right Taking off is simple. Just keep going forward until you can get off the ground by using the flaps, or else take off by sheer force. The jet is extremely vulnerable while on the ground, but this is mitagated by its position way in the back of your base. The jet is a lot like a helicopter when it comes to the basics; the main difference is that the helicopter has to pitch forward to accelerate, while the jet maintains a high level of speed by moving and must maintain that speed in order to avoid crashing. Therefore the basic controls are the same as in the helicopter. One big difference is that turning directions reverses the controls in degrees, as your plane turns via flaps. Flying upside down, all of your controls are reversed, and in between your controls will change with your yaw. It's a bit difficult to get used to, as you will try to pitch up and instead pitch downwards towards the ground. Now for some peripheral controls that are important: C - Toogle chase camera Shift - Afterburner S - Brake Hold Right Mouse Button - Free look Jets use the chase camera far more then any other vehicle class. It gives you a greter view of what's going on around the vehicle, essential in dogfights where you have to stick on his tail in heavy evasive manuveers while not letting him out of your sight. It's much better then the cramped cockpit in this regard, but on the downside it's impossible to tell where your bullets are going - once you aquire your target, go to cockpit. Shift is the afterburner, and activating it speeds your vehicle up while lowering your maneuverability. This is useful for getting away. S is the brake, which decreases airspeed as needed before a landing, in making tight turns, and to give you more time to attack when assaulting a vehicle on the ground. Free look is used for spotting vehicles on the ground to attack. Put your aircraft in a vertical path, and then hold the right mouse button and spot any tanks or whatnot that you see. Then swoop back down and use your weapons to assault whatever's on the ground. Dogfighting is all about getting and keep view of the other guy, and if you have someone on your 6, executing tight turns to throw them off. The fastest turn can be performed by braking into a banking turn, and then applying afterburner on the path out, producing a fast, tight turn. Another manuveer to know is the cartwheel. Pitch your vehicle up, push afterburner, and once your speed is getting down to a very low level, pull out and shoot back down, or level out for a high flight path. This manuveer is useful for dogfighting, but its main use is to avoid missile launchers on the ground; flying that high puts you out of their maximum range and keeps you from getting shot down, giving you time to recharge EMC or Flares as needed, and determine what's shooting at you if possible. The slower your speed and the higher the altitude, the more sluggish your movements (because of loss of air pressure on your flaps first and lower air density second). If you get too slow or too high, your plane will stall out; meaning, your plane will lose all control and start plummeting back to the ground. This is dangerous, making you an easy target, and must be countered by pushing your nose down and getting air circulating around your flaps again. Sometimes people purposefully stall out at high altitudes to avoid enemy missiles. Remember not to overcommit on targets; you need to pull out and if you spend too much time disabling a tank you will end up nose-first in the ground. Landing planes is also difficult, because it requires a long straight segment free of too many bumps, and that's not terribly easy on most maps. You do have the advantage of being able to land in out-of-bound areas, however, some of which are straight and all of which are difficult to hit from within the map. Most of the time, however, you can only angle it over someplace useful and parachute down. The actual procedure is fairly easy once you learn how to do it. Approach the runway while braking a bit, but not too much or you will stall. Dip down and almost level out as you get close; the landing gear will open automatically. Then pitch your plane down a teeny bit and make contact with the ground; once you have, hit and hold the brakes to slow down and eventually stop. From here you can make repairs (a plane can be repaired fully most of the time within the 10 second out of bound window; just go back in and out again if you need more time) and then take off anew. A more difficult landing manuveer is to use skid to your advantage by flapping left or right as you land; this will push your plane right or left as you land, increasing friction and economizing landing space is successful. VSTOL controls .............. The F-35 on Wake Island has the ability to perform STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) and VSTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing). To go into hover mode, you have to be at a slow enough airspeed (or stationary on a surface), and then hold down the brake. Holding onto the brake you can then press W to push yourself upwards and the other keys to position yourself in the air, moving like a chopper without vertical control. The problem with hovering is that it takes a few seconds to enter and a few seconds to leave, and if you are going too slow in the air and are braking, you will enter hover mode, so you have to find the fine line between flying and hovering when making sharp turns.  Specific strategies ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [3.01] Light vehicles Light vehicles are distinctly light. They are most useful for capturing flags or making lightning runs on the MCOM; fill up the vehicle, avoid enemy armor and run right into the flag. Dismount and stack up against its defenders; four times out of five they will not spawn fast enough or push back hard enough to keep you from neutralizing and then capping the flag. Another light vehicle strat is C4 car bombing. Stap the car down with C4, find an enemy armor target, flank it, and then point your vehicle on it and dismount. Once the vehicle hits the enemy tank, blow the C4 to do lethal damage against the enemy tank. Finally, light vehicles are quite underappreciated as a gun platform. They're indiscriminate and ignorable, and you can park it somewhere shady, man the gun, and mow people down. The .50 cal is no worse then the tank gunner's weapon, but you are very exposed, especially to snipers. Videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33KLukCHH2E - Jihadests. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [3.02] Main Battle Tanks Main Battle Tanks pack the biggest gun in the game, a massive cannon that easily deals with other vehicles and infantry, if you can hit them. There's a lot of strategy to using an MBT, all depending on your specialization choices; this section will explore them in detail. Note: a lot of this is borrowed from my work on BBC2. As such, strategic use is only relevant if you are not using infantry-focused specializations. Strategic use ............. Tanks may be the most heavily armored vehicles on the battlefield, but they are still vulnerable to regular old infantry. C4 and rocket launchers are reason enough not to do the stupidest thing you can do with a tank - gun it right into the enemy base. That is just asking to run over a mine, or get hit with rockets, or get planted with C4. Tanks are far better at keeping a battle-line, or for area control. They should AVOID areas with lots of buildings and places where infantry can sneak up on you. Park on an open road, or in an area where the buildings have collapsed. Open spaces are heaven for tanks, making it hard to enemies to sneak up on you. Tanks should concentrates first on other tanks, then on helicopters, then on light vehicles, then on infantry. The best way to deploy is along a road or other clear area, with supporting infantry on both sides. That way, all your enemies are, presumably, in front of you, where your heavier armor and your gun is. Tanks function great as a support weapon. Cover the people on the ground as they advance towards the enemy with your superior firepower. Keep enemy tanks and helicopters off of your team. Don't go forward too much; again, you will get flanked and destroyed by C4 and enemy rockets. Especially avoid entering the enemy base; these always have Stationary AT guns, which are lethal against tanks. Another function is for area defense. If you park a tank in front or besides an objective, you can keep enemies away from it. Yet another function is as artillery. You can park yourself on a slope above the enemy, or behind cover, and cover them with shells, screening your men on the ground heading for the objectives. The last function is as a vehicle suppressant. Tanks deal excellent damage against buildings, which means that you can use them to blow out enemy cover and expose them to friendly fire, or even collapse the buildings. Oftentime soldiers will hide behind buildings, leaving you to blow them out into the open. Tactical use ............ You should be aware of the where the enemy team is located. Look around where your tank is, and make sure that they can't sneak up on you. If they can, it's time to move back or to a more open position. Leaving the tank while out in the open is dangerous, but sometimes necessary if you are on fire and need immediate repairs. It's a lot easier if you have a gunner; otherwise someone might steal your tank. A gunner in the tank can suppress enemy AT fire as you repair, and worst come to worst will prevent them from hijacking it, forcing them to blow it up instead. When engaging enemies, try to move in and out of cover. If you are in front of a building for example, move forward so you can see them, hit them, and then backpedal back to cover. This will minimize the time they have to try and hit you. If you are taking hits and don't know where it's coming from, it's time to backpedal and assess the situation. Remember to call out any enemy vehicles you see, especially other tanks and helicopters! This ticks off your teammates to the enemy armor, and they act accordingly. This is also relevant to your secondary gunner, who, if they have not noticed the target yet, will certainly start firing on them once you mark the target. It's important to remember that tank shots fall away over distance. You can use the tic marks below the aiming reticule to compensate for gravity; figure where you need to shoot, remember what number it was, and if you miss, adjust above or below that tic to zero in on the target. When in a tank, avoid running over steep slopes. Tanks do not deal well with cliffs, and they deal poorly with steep drops too - going down will cause the front to smash down on the ground, damaging the undercarriage and dealing heavy damage to your tank, close to 70 damage! Never, ever abandon a tank to the enemy. One of their engineers will have a swell time running up to it, backpedaling, repairing it, and then using it against your team! If it is critically damaged, bail just before the last shot hits it, if possible. The best possible use of a tank is a whole tank crew organizing their specializations to give the most benefit to a tank. Basically you want to avoid stacking things like IR Smoke, and if you are the gunner or CITV, use perks that carry over to those seats as well. In particular the CITV can use Proximity Scan, and if you are using the seat the driver must must must equip Guided Shells. If you see an enemy jeep heading for you, it's very likely laden down with C4. Make blowing it up your first priority - if that jeep makes contact and they get to blow the switch, you'll get shot to kingdom come. You can tell whether or not a jeep is C4-laden by its minimap icon - if it is, it will be covered in little C4 circles. Tank-on-tank warfare .................... The biggest thing that tanks fear is other tanks (well, besides Stationary AT guns). Tanks should prioritize fighting other tanks. In an even battle, the tank that wins is always the one that lands the first successful shot. Of course most times it's not an even battle - one side gets the jump on the other, one side has an engineer repairing, one side is hiding behind a sand dune, etc. If you have a machine gunner inside and there are no choppers or other enemies immediately present, it may be smart of him to pop out, grab a launcher and starting hitting the enemy tank for damage, or to repair your own. As noted in the last paragraph of the section above, tic marks are useful for zeroing in on bullet drop. Because you do not have that many shots, it's important to keep track of where they are landing, and adjust accordingly. Try to keep your front faced towards the enemy. Your armor is double there, and you can take twice as many hits in the front compared to the sides or back. If you are losing the battle, try to get one last shot in if possible and then bail. Exploded tanks make good cover while they last, and you can pull out your launcher (if you're an engineer of course) and try to destroy the enemy on the ground. If you are taking heat from the enemy tank at a distance and are not able to return damage (as in, they've zeroed out the bullet drop and you haven't yet), you need to move, preferably to cover, and try again. Key factors in a tank battle: * Who has infantry support? * Have you or he taken any damage yet? * Does he have you zeroed in? Do you have him zeroed in? * Do you or he have a friendly engineer for repairs/assistance? * Do you or he have some combination of IR Flares and Guided Shells? * Do you or he have Autoloader? Generally, if someone spots a tank somewhere in your path, you need to make attacking it your first priority. When aiming, remember the strongest armor is in the front. Set up accordingly; if they're pointed sideways, aim for their treads. The back especially is an excellent weak area, as they have to wheel their gun around to shoot back. If the enemy tank isn't shooting you and you get a lock-on-warning, that likely means he's using Guided Shells, and woe is you if you don't have IR Smoke and can't run away. If you do, and he's close, punch X as soon as he gets a solid bead, because at this distance an unguided shot will still hit you. The same applies in reverse. Guided shells do about 50 damage to a tank, so they are significant and make IR Smoke all the more attractive. If you know the enemy tank doesn't have IR Smoke and you have a laser lock, then a Guided Shell followed immediately by a tank shot is a killer stategy, dealing about 70 damage in a second. This advice also applies to IFVs and AA guns. IFVs can do equal damage to you as a MBT with good aim and wire-guided missiles, but suffer from a lack of armor, so you still have a big advantage. Mobile AA platforms have a weak gun, but it has far less bullet drop then cannon shots and is an absolute spamfest, so they can be a bother at a distance. At close range and at a healthy level, you will eat them for dinner. If you bail out of a heavily damaged tank and he's damaged too, and you have AT rockets, line up a shot with a rocket launcher for a good chance of a kill. Tank-on-infantry warfare ........................ The problem with infantry is that they can sit on top of a rock and shoot AT rockets at you. That's bad, because the cannon has difficult reaching the tops of uphill places; if you think about it it's quite difficult to put a shot onto the tip of a rock, because if you undershoot just a teeny bit you hit below them, and overshoot a teeny bit and it flies over them. For this reason enemy soldiers are best dealt with by a secondary LMG or HMG or by your gunner, if you have a gunner. Proximity Scan helps GREATLY with dealing with infantry. It prevents them from getting up close for a C4 plant, and often clearly marks out where that close range bother with a AT launcher is, or at the very least eliminate that sector from your considerations. Because Proximity scan carries over to all seats, it is best if the gunner or CITV has it. Infantry like to hide behind things. Blow them up or suppress them with heavy cannon fire, and your gunner can assist. And remember, if things get too hot your best shot is to simply run away. This is especially true when trying to cap a point; while tanks are good at and often end up capping points, if you are sitting on one and the bar stops moving be on alert, because you are in the sort of close-range high-cover environment that engineers and C4-toting support class enemies love. Speaking of C4-toting infantry. C4 is extremely lethal and three placed blocks will blow you to kingdom come. You'll generally know when you get planted down with C4 because a "Press R to pickup" command will appear on your tank. Now you are in a conundrum; if you stay in the tank you'll get blown up, and if you leave it they might get to steal it. This is where Proximity Scan shines; you hardly need to worry if you have Proximity because they won't be able to get close enough. If you start taking AT hits and can't tell where they're coming from, retreat, and take another angle if possible. If you are sitting on a point with lots of cover and no targets, blow up cover to deny them safe places to shoot you from. When capping points, be sure to blow up any stationary AT launchers the enemy might use to fling missiles at you. Tank-on-helicopter warfare ........................ Helicopters are a problem for tanks. They move quickly, have enough health to take a pummeling from your machine guns, and fly and attack at a high enough angle that you'll have trouble, a lot of time, just aiming your cannon at them. Nonetheless helicopters can be shot down. The best way is with Guided Shells; helicopters are the best SOFLAM/CITV + Guided Shell targets in the game. A single shell will blow the chopper right out of the sky. Failing that, you can try and hit it with cannon shots. No that's not as preposterous as it sounds; if you have good aim, you can hit a maneuvering chopper with a tank shot out to medium-close range. If it's trying to make an attack run on you and you see it, take careful aim and wait for it to get as close as it can before shooting; if aimed well a cannon shot will disable the helicopter and make it far easier to shoot down, as it will have a hard time moving. If it is already damaged, all the better; the helicopter will blow up and you'll get the kill. Canister Shells are an excellent defense against enemy helos. At close range a well-aimed canister shot can disable an enemy chopper in a single shot, and although it generally does less damage then an actual shell, it will seriously damage and discourage the enemy helicopter from attacking you up close. The problem is that it will then just strafe itself further back, taking damage from your shots but dealing much, much more. Of course if you don't see it or it's at a high angle of attack, you can't do much. Remote Gunner .50 fire and HMGs are generally less reliable against an enemy chopper. They do damage but don't do it fast enough. Transport helicopters are easier to shoot down then Attack Helicopters. They do far less damage to you, are larger targets, and move slower. If you manage to put one in the side, all the better, as the explosion should kill everyone in the passenger compartment. Tank-on-jet warfare ................... Jets are even harder to deal with then helicopters. Even when making a direct attack run on you - ae. diving at you while shooting rockets and guns - it presents a small profile that is difficult to hit while accounting for shell drop. There's also the angle of attack - at a high angle of attack you won't be able to shoot it at all, although it will not be able to deal as much damage. Designated shell hits are also neigh impossible, because jets moves fast enough to dodge prolonged SOFLAM lock, fly far enough to avoid limited-range lock-on, and fly fast enough to move out of laser designation and throw off a shell even if you launch it. Your one comfort, really, is that jets simply don't do enough damage to blow a tank in a single attack run. They might damage and disable you, but they'll have to circle around to make another attack run to kill you. Assuming minimal anti-air competence, they really shouldn't get a second opportunity. CITV and Guided Shells ...................... The final piece of strategy is Guided Shells, which can lock onto air targets if they are laser-designated. There are a few sources of laser designation, discussed in depth later in this guide, but for you the most important one is the CITV. The CITV is a third seat in the tank that is the last thing to be unlocked. Unlike the other upgrades, the CITV is permanent, and once you get it you can always access this third seat, even if the driver doesn't have it. CITV, short for Commander in the Vehicle, allows its user to do a few things: spot targets, laser designate them, access a slightly magnified thermal view, and use a weak version of Proximity Scan that only targets moving targets at intervals, but is still effective for finding nearby targets. It's the laser designation that's important, as it allows your tank to act as an independent guided missile team with heavy armor, like a SOFLAM/Javelin combo on the ground but better. The CITV lazes targets while the driver aims for and shoots at them with guided shells. This is extremely effective against distant tanks and helicopters in particular. When the CITV seat isn't needed, the CITV should switch to the gunner seat to provide protection against ground targets. Note that the range of the CITV designation is longer then that of the Guided Shell, and that if the enemy plane manages to break visual contact before the missile hits it will stop tracking the target. Specializations ............... IR Smoke (2nd slot, 800 points) IR Smoke, and IR devices in general, are probably the most commonly used specs across all vehicle classes, and for good reason. IR Smoke is a countermeasure that, when popped, surrounds your tank in a billow of smoke that dissipates after about 5 seconds. This smoke has several effects: it prevents lock on, disrupts laser designation, sends guided missiles off-course, and blocks and fizzes out spotting. It also makes it impossible to see or be seen in or next to the tank, an advantage when repairing and a disadvantage when in a tank fight. Its use is fairly obvious, and with proper management of running away from targeting, IR Smoke almost completely prevents you from getting hit and killed by Javelins and other aimed devices. In addition, when you need to repair, pop smoke to cover you and set to work. You may need to get back in to pop smoke again, especially in case someone is trying to get a lock on you. Smoke is a lot better then air IR Flares, as it provides a longer period of protection. Coaxial LMG (3rd slot, 2100 points) Your first weapon unlock, the Coaxial LMG is an anti-infantry tool that you can access as a secondary weapon when driving. It is mounted alongside your cannon, and is used exclusively for engaging infantry, spraying them with fire in between cannon shots. In this regard it is quite effective, acting as a slightly weaker gunner, and supplementing your anti-infantry role if you also have a gunner. It does overheat, however, and cannot damage other vehicles at all, except by shooting the driver (unlikely). Autoloader (1st slot, 4400 points) A simple effect that increases the rate at which you can shoot your cannon, increasing its overall effectiveness against pretty much everything, but especially other tanks. Zoom Optics (2nd slot, 7600 points) By pressing the right mouse button you will access an enhanced 3x zoom view, making long-range shots easier but also magnifying apparent bullet drop. Honestly? Zoom Optics is worthless in all instances and I can't really recommend it for much of anything. Maintenance (1st slot, 12000 points) Increases the rate at which your tank repairs damage after getting hit, as well as decreasing the associated wait time. A general perk that isn't as useful as Autoloader but has the distinct advantage of carrying over to the gunner's seat; if you are forming a tank crew, your gunner should be using this. Coaxial HMG (3rd slot, 17700 points) The Coaxial HMG is like a slower LMG that does a bit more damage at a much lower RPM (and thus spamability), but doesn't overheat and can damage aircraft (although it's not as ideal as the gunner's .50). A more general-purpose gun then the LMG that can deal with both infantry and aircraft, but neither particularly well. Proximity Scan (1st slot, 24700 points) Proximity Scan detects enemies within a certain range of your tank. It is constantly on and detects anyone nearby, even if they are crouching or prone, so it does a better job then some other equipment that do a similar job. Like Maintenance Proximity Scan is available on the gunner's seat. It makes you immune to C4 units, as they can't get close enough, and makes capping points a heckuvalot easier, as you can see anyone hiding out trying to shoot you. Guided Shell (3rd slot, 33200 points) Guided Shells are equipped as secondary weapon that fires independently of your main cannon - you can fire a regular shell right afterwards. They take the form of a rocket-speed (slower then a cannon shot) guided rocket fired from your cannon that can track ground targets and laser-designated targets. In terms of ground targets, it can lock onto targets up to 300 meter away, dealing typical AT damage but taking longer to reload than a cannon shot, so it is best used against distant tanks and fast-moving light vehicles which are difficult to hit otherwise. The laser-designated shot, meanwhile, can acquire targets within the same range, but can do so even blindly (ae. firing at a tank behind a building) and follows a top-attack pattern that deals heavy damage to tanks (50 damage) and destroys aircraft outright. This mode, however, requires someone to laze the target for you, and maintain the laze, in order to work. Laser designation is a complex topic that is dealt with in full later in this guide; using Guided Shells along with CITV is discussed above. Firing Guided Shells requires a lot of room. The shell heads forward about 10 meters before turning up to make an attack on a land vehicle, up heading up to attack a jet or helicopter. As such you need a serious amount of flat land or an overhang from which to fire, as anything getting in the way will cause it to explode and, unlike tank shells, guided shells can and will damage you. Thermal Optics (2nd slot, 44200 points) Thermal Optics allows you to enter a thermal view, which allows you to see anything dangerous as a white blotch. This makes infantry and squad equipment much easier to see. To be honest, I haven't used it much, but it has its advantages. Thermal Optics are partially negated by Black Ops suits and the Thermal Camo upgrade on tanks and Stealth on aircaft. Because it takes up your IR Smoke slot, it's best used on compact maps where you won't get locked onto anyway, like Damavand Peak on Conquest. Thermal Camo (1st slot, 54800 points) The counterpart of Thermal Optics, this makes your tank harder to lock onto and reduces your view in thermal vision, as well as decreasing spotting radius and spot time. The effect isn't groundbreaking, but like Thermal Optics, it has its uses. Canister Shell (3rd slot, 68100 points) A shot that has the same reload as the regular cannon, but does so independant of the main cannon. Upon firing releases a shitton of small metal beads that quickly disperse over a wide area. The damage tapers off with distance, acting like a scattergun that is very much lethal to infantry. Compared to the LMG, it is just as good at close range, has more damage potential at longer range (in fact it is effective up to medium-long range), and can damage aircraft significantly harder then anything other then the main HEAT shells and laser- guided shells. If you're using Canister Shot, Autoloader or Proximity Sensor is recommended. Reactive Armor (1st slot, 83200 points) Reactive Armor equips tank panels on the tank's sides and back. These panels will take a fall for your tank; meaning, if they get hit they will sacrifice themselves to prevent damage to you. This basically translates into a grace period on three sides when facing enemies shooting at you, and makes it a lot easier to bail when getting hit in all directions, as you can usually get away relatively intact. Reactive Armor can be repaired much like the engine, by holding the blowtorch a bit after the tank has been returned to 100% health. CITV Station (slotless, 10000 points) CITV is a permanent upgrade that is discussed in depth in a section above. Its main use is as laser paint for guided shells. Videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orgpWKurBuA - IFVs and MBTs. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [3.03] Infantry Fighting Vehicles What are IFVs? They are essentially weaker tanks, with less armor and a weaker but chain-firing gun. IFVs are still excellent vehicles, however, because their chain-firing autocannon, which fires six rounds in rapid succession, is naturally better at hitting infantry, and it can adapt to this role quite readily. A lot of what can be said about IFVs is a redux of the above, but with a more infantry-oriented flavor. IFVs can be augmented in two basic ways through specializations: in an anti-infantry capacity, and in an anti-tank capacity. The latter allows you to trump other IFVs and fight neck-and-neck with MBTs (doing as much damage to them as a regular MBT, but you'll still lose to one because you have less armor). The former allows you to act at close quarters in a capacity that is simply not completely possible with MBTs. The vast majority of what is written above applies here as well, with the caveat that you have less armor and a cannon with more shots but less damage. So there's no reason to repeat, really, and let's skip right to specializations. Specializations ............... IR Smoke (2nd slot, 800 points) Same as with MBTs. ATGM Launcher (3rd slot, 2300 points) Tops off your vehicle with a wire-guided missile launcher. Once launched the missile (TOW or KORNET) will go straight for 10 meters, then follow your cursor to the target. It's slow-moving, even for a missile, but is effective when it hits. It does excellent damage to other vehicles, but suffers from the fact that it can't hit low azimuths, as you can't point your turret below your vehicle, and it fires and goes straight for ten meters. It also has a low blast radius, limiting its use against infantry. In other words, it's for engaging enemy armor and blowing the walls out of buildings, and little else. Belt Speed (1st slot, 4700 points) Same as with the MBT Autoloader. Coaxial LMG (3rd slot, 8300 points) Same as with MBTs. Thermal Optics (2nd slot, 13100 points) Same as with MBTs. Proximity Scan (1st slot, 19200 points) Same as with MBTs, but more useful. As I said before you can set up your vehicle to deal better with infantry, and this is one of the vital components for such a setup. Extremely useful on thick urban maps - pretty much anything in B2K comes to mind. Some would argue essential. Zoom Optics (2nd slot, 26900 points) Same as with MBTs. Maintenance (1st slot, 36000 points) Same as with MBTs. APFSDS-T Shell (3rd slot, 47000 points) Another anti-tank oriented attachment, this adds cannon shot onto your vehicle that can fire up to five armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding-sabot tracer rounds. What that basically means is that it's a round that relies on kinetic energy to puncture holes in the vehicle, as opposed to HEAT round "jet stream" type pyrotechnics, and as such it does great damage against vehicles, but with no collateral damage, poor against infantry. Allows essentially continuous fire and is an option opposite to the ATGM. Thermal Camo (1st slot, 60000 points) Same as with the MBTs. Guided Missile (3rd slot, 74000 points) Simply Guided Shells on a separate launcher. Since you don't have a CITV, the argument for its use is a bit weaker, but it's still an excellent choice, especially when your team is competently SOFLAMing. Reactive Armor (1st slot, 90000 points) Same as with MBTs. An alternative to Proximity Scanner if you have a gunner who is using that perk (ae. you actually coordinated things), as it protects you from precisely the flank attacks close-range Engineers love. Videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orgpWKurBuA - IFVs and MBTs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu2IaTsz1zQ - CITV + Guided Shells ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [3.04] Mobile Anti-Air Guns Mobile Anti-Air Guns are great at racking up lots of points quickly, and are, IMO, the most points-effective vehicles in the game, as they do not need to get into an advanced position to be useful, and their targets (mostly) fear them and don't stray near. They were a relative oddity in BBC2, but no more; many vehicle heavy maps give both sides precious anti-air guns. Mobile AA vs. Air ................. Using an anti-air gun consists of driving it to a nice position nearer to the back of your team then the front, one with ground cover to hide behind but a clear view of the sky. Once you have found such a position, you need to start monitoring the skies, spotting enemy air vehicles and firing at them. Your main gun is an inaccurate but very high-speed minigun (or two on the Tung). This makes it excellent at dealing with vehicles at close range, where you can take down an enemy chopper in a couple of seconds. It's also excellent against infantry, suppressing them like crazy and dealing high damage - better, in fact, then anything the MBT fields for this role. However it is absolutely pitiful against other armored vehicles, doing very low damage and often only calling you out to enemy MBTs; a MBT can disable you a single hit, and kill you in three, in the time it would take you to do 25 damage to it. Avoid tanks like the plague; run away from them and hope they didn't see you or don't dare advance that far. Against aircraft, the minigun is excellent at close range, as I already explained, but it deals moderate damage at medium range as well. The bigger the target, the more damage you will be able to do; a plane flying away, for instance, makes for a poor profile, while one flying sideways with its top pointed towards you is an excellent target. In terms of how difficult they are to hit, jets go first, followed by scout helicopters, then attack helicopters, then transport helicopters. Also keep in mind that at long range you will be doing pitiful damage and all your tracers will do is point you out to the target. This isn't that much of a problem except with attack helicopters, whose weapons are far more accurate then yours; attack helicopters are one of the juiciest target, but also the hardest-hitting, as one can park back at high altitude and take you down with a rain of cannon and rocket fire. TV missiles are especially deadly, as you have no means of defense against them. For this reason it is best to restrain your guns at long range, especially against enemy helicopters. What good jet pilots do to avoid AA Guns: they max out their altitude and get as close to you as they can, then dip almost straight down at you, firing rocket barrages and hitting you with gunfire that is, again, more accurate then your own. Although you might get a disable, and this seldom results in a full-on kill, good pilots can then loop back around to let their planes and flares/EMC recharge so they can make another run on you. For this reason jets can be dangerous too, and it's vital to keep track of what's going on around you. The second part of the AA Gun is the AA Missiles. These are two missiles that can lock onto enemy air targets, like Stingers and IGLAs (actually they are Stingers and Iglas), and fire two missiles at them, one after the other. These missiles have a far greater worthwhile range then the gun, but they can be distracted by Flares or ECM, and the vehicle can often run away before you can get a second lock and kill. Nonetheless they are an excellent weapon, and you should swap to them immediately if you see someone pop flares or ECM. If an enemy is far but getting closer, it's best to gauge the overheat time on the gun to figure when to let it rip for the most damage. A bit on strategy: you don't want to go guns blazing against all air targets, as they can see your tracers and you will not be doing very good damage at a distance. As such firing at a helicopter on the other side of the map is just marking yourself for the enemy team. It's better to launch missiles at such an extended range and not use the gun at all, unless they see you already, in which case it can't hurt. Wait on your guns until they are relatively close. Mobile AA vs. other ground vehicles ................................... The Mobile AA gun can damage enemy vehicles of all colors, but that doesn't mean that it SHOULD. Mobile AA is disabled in a single hit from an MBT, and destroyed in three, in the span of time where you would do about 50% damage to the enemy tank (not to mention that your gun overheats, theirs doesn't). IFVs don't do quite as much damage, but they still have a major edge over you in terms of firepower. MBTs that are not otherwise occupied, therefore, should be avoided at all costs. If you come into full view of an enemy tank you will die; thus take care to get under cover (also helpful for avoiding rocket barrages from the air) and avoid firing your weapons while it is nearby, as the tracers and the sound of the minigun are pretty obvious, as are the smoke trails from the missiles. If an enemy MBT has spotted you, run away; if you take a single shot, you are already screwed, as you won't be able to move aside while disabled. You'll be surprised what people can miss; I once coasted past two MBTs and an IFV in a AMTRAC, and Mobile AA can do just as well. Remember, the last thing you want to do is fire on the enemy tank; this will only mark yourself for him. Hope you don't get spotted! Now when the MBT IS distracted, say, with a friendly tank, then your gun can tack on significant additional damage to him. You have a range advantage - the cannon is difficult to aim at medium-long range - so you can spam at him until his shots start to get close, if you're feeling intrepid. You can tack on as much as 50 damage, and when he's already taking fire from elsewhere, that is VERY significant. Against jeeps, you are actually better armed then the MBT. Again, the cannon is difficult to aim against a fast-moving, small target, while the minigun(s) don't have that problem. You can clean out and destroy a jeep in the open in a few seconds of fire. Oh and watch out for C4 jeeps. You can be so focused on the airspace that you lose sight of the ground and you get rammed by a jihadest. Mobile AA vs. infantry ...................... Believe it or not but Mobile AA is actually the best-equipped platform against enemy infantry, as its gun has devastating power, can break cover easily, is very easy to aim, has significant accuracy, and provides unsurpassed suppression. Although you can't battle armor, if you know that a region is populated soley by infantry, you can be intrepid and rush forward, cleaning them out with your minigun. The dangers of this method are the same as with the IFV and MBT (with infantry-centric upgrades); watch out for C4 and armor support in particular. Specializations ............... IR Smoke (Slot 2) 400 points Just like on the MBT, IR Smoke is a vital upgrade that will protect you from all forms of designated fire. One can argue, however, that it's less needed then on the MBT, which has to deal with a greater volume of fire; nonetheless it is quite useful, if not quite indispensable. Contrary to what you might expect, your AA missiles are unaffected by friendly IR smoke, and will maintain lock-on sequence through the smoke - so long as you follow the box accurately. Anti-Air Missile (Slot 3) 1200 points Anti-Air Missiles is a dual guided missile launcher that basically consists of two Stinger or IGLA missiles set on the sides of your vehicle. This means that it is basically Heat Seekers with one important exception, that it is unaffected by Below Radar. Anti-Air missiles are a major complement of the vehicle, the only thing in this slot, and are discussed in detail above. Belt Speed (Slot 1) 2500 points A good general upgrade that allows you to sustain fire for longer. Simple. Zoom Optics (Slot 2) 4400 points Useless. Proximity Scan (Slot 1) 24700 points Same as the tank, but less useful on a non-infantry oriented vehicle. Thermal Optics (Slot 2) 10000 points Probably the most useful vehicle for it, if you can stand losing IR Smoke; this is helpful, mostly, when shooting infantry on the run and when shooting into the sun. Speaking of which, a major problem with AA Guns: if it flys below the sun you can't see it for the life of you. This solves that problem. Air Radar (Slot 1) 14000 points Air Radar is an interesting proposal. It expands the minimap, allowing you to see all enemies within a much greater radius. What this basically does is that, although it reduces your firetime compared to Belt Speed, it prevents enemy planes and helos from ever getting to sneak up on you, a major benefit indeed. Maintanace (Slot 1) 19000 points Quite useless, because with AA guns, generally, either it's a vehicle that will make another pass to finish you off while you're disabled, or one that disables you but doesn't return. If you face a tank you're screwed anyway, so why bother? Thermal Camo (Slot 3) 25000 points Same as with MBTs. Reactive Armor (Slot 3) 32000 points Less useful then on tanks, for the simple fact that you won't be taking that many missiles anyway, or at least shouldn't be. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [3.05] Attack helicopters Attack helicopters are nimble and pack an enormous punch. The virtue of an attack helicopter is that it can fly low over the battlefield, screwing over anything in view so long as the pilot does a good job avoiding designation. You are fairly well-armored, but not incredibly so; some discretion is advised. Like other well-armed vehicles, attack helos come in a variety of forms, their abilities tuned to whatever specializations you are currently running and how your team is doing and you are feeling at the moment. The three basic firing modes, so to speak, are getting up close and raining hell, sitting back and raining hell, and sitting way up and raining hell on enemy air assets. These are all interchangeable strategies. The first part off doing well in an attack helicopter is learning to fly. I won't lie, flying an attack helo is difficult, complicated by the presence of a third dimension of movement. Flying well isn't something I can easily describe in a textual guide. Its specifics are explained, in part, in the Piloting: Helicopters section way above this one. Strategic/tactical use ...................... Using an attack helicopter depends a lot, I find, on the level of air superiority that your team has. If you do not have to worry about jets and can concentrate on the ground, then that is one way of playing it; if you find yourself constantly firing Heat Seekers at enemy aircraft, that's another. What you don't want to do is fly straight through the map into the enemy base. This is suicidal; you'll get filled full of anti-air fire faster then you can say shlinktshticks. Like the tank, you want to stay nearer to where your team is, attacking enemy armor and infantry, helping cap and defend points. Your first priority is, again, dependant. If you trust the anti-air capacities of your team, concentrate on enemy helicopters first, then AA tanks, then MBTs, then IFVs, then infantry. If the air is heavily contested, concentrate on enemy jets first. The gunner can attack and hurt pretty much all of these targets, but for him, infantry are the easiest target, followed by the entire assortment of ground vehicles. Flying high allows you to track and target enemy jets and helicopters with manuveers you wouldn't ordinarily have enough space to do. It also protects you from guided missiles by way of altitude, but flying low protects you from them even more, really, because at that altitude structures will be getting in their way as much as possible. The way you should be manuveering depends on your vehicle. Attack helicopters should level out above a target (especially vehicles), then pitch down and swoop straight towards the enemy. At your lowest and closest point, unleash your rockets (the gunner will be blasting the target the whole time). The trick is in knowing when to pull out; if you pull out too early you won't land any significant damage, but if you pull out too late you will meet an untimely demise with the ground, with the target, or worst of all with the target's cannon (a tank hit is an instant KO). More advanced players also add yaw turn to their swoop to better avoid enemy fire. Remember never to leave base without another person in an Attack Helicopter. The rockets are nice, but the cannon is the chopper's actual primary weapon. Remember that, as the pilot, you can spot enemies as well. This makes life easier for your gunners. If you are being targeted and don't know the source, and are not otherwise occupied so much as to risk a hit, pop ECM, nose dive for the ground, and make off as fast as you can; because of ECM, gunner's flares, your speed, and Below Radar, you'll be very difficult to destroy. If you see rockets impact below you, that means that what launched the missile at you was a helicopter, and you need to swerve back and meet the challenge, as an enemy helo on your six is duck season for them. It's more difficult distinguishing between jets and AA cannons; if a jet passes you get out the Heat Seekers, if an AA cannon is firing at you just put more distance between you and him. Remember that you don't always have to gun the engine. Although S only has practical use when landing, simply allowing your chopper to lose airspeed and "fall" is an excellent and easy manuveer to learn, giving you and your gunner more quality time with a target - just remember that you have to restart the rotors, so to speak, and gain traction later on. This is particularly useful when attacking tanks that don't see you at low altitude (get moving again once he starts turning his cannon at you) and at tailing enemy helicopters that are unaware of your proximity. A manuveer to avoid is ramming. The game is built so that running into another air vehicle will either cause both vehicles to spin off-hilter and/or take damage, or simply explode, serving Teamkills to both pilots. Ramming is a noob tactic that wastes perfectly good air assets, and as it gets you no points and generally both vehicles go down the same way, it is not a good "tactic" and is and should be an accidental occurrence. A helicopter pilot is nothing without his gunner. When attacking infantry and there is nothing particularly threatening in sight, you should hover the chopper over the area, allowing your gunner to rinse enemies in cannon fire, dipping down yourself to drop packages of rockets as needed. Although it's possible to cap point in an attack helicopter, it's too dangerous and I don't recommend it. Finally, avoid anti-air poles - poles that jut out on the map and can kill you if you run into them after attack runs. This will kill you more often then you would think - watch it! Helicopter-on-helicopter (and Scout helicopter too) ........................ Helicopter dogfights come in two forms, the long-range Heat Seeker standoff, and the close-range rockets-howling melee. At long range and with Heat Seekers, both vehicles will be trying to get a lock on the other, and the first one to get missiles off is generally the winner. This applies to Scout helicopters as well, as they can carry Heat Seekers of their own that are just as capable. Tactics in long-range fights is pulling ECM later then your opponent, and hoping for friendly intervention on your allies parts. If you feel you're in a losing battle, have been weakened already, or have support a bit further back, another tactic in these situations is to pop ECM and then dive to the ground, heading towards home and away from the enemy chopper. Their Heat Seekers will jam thanks to Below Radar and they will often be guiled forward by you fleeing. This doesn't always work, but when you have support a bit further back, it's either suicidal rush or disengaging for them. Got hit by both Heat Seekers? It's not the end of the world. You'll likely die, but you have one more shot against your opponent. Do your best to keep yourself stable and get off one more round of Heat Seekers; with 9 health, you'll have just enough to hit and hopefully revenge kill your foe if he doesn't manage to land a couple of rockets or a handful of 20mm shots first. Another method is to combine the Laser Pointer on the pilot with Guided Missiles on the gunner. The advantage is that this deal critical damage in one hit and cannot be thrown off quite as easily, while the disadvantage is that you must maintain a stable view of the enemy chopper, that ECM can counter this a lot easier then Heat Seekers, and that it requires greater coordination to use properly. It easily blows through enemy choppers using Flares. At close range you have to use your rockets and cannon in the battle rather then the Heat Seekers. If the enemy sees you, then a standoff ensues, with both players running their guns and spamming their missiles at the other. Helicopter dogfighting is a rather clumsy procedure involving facing off the other foe while trying to get one of two advantages: higher height (allowing you to angle down on them) and a better shot angle. Oftentimes pilots or gunners may be killed by cockpit hits, in which case the other player has to swap in or persist onwards, their firepower halved. Otherwise your helo may have an angle on your foe, and they don't know you're there, and you are relatively close. Come in to greet them, getting on their tail and jamming more rockets and cannon fire down their throat then they can shake their tail rotor at. The safest procedure when getting hit by a mystery opponent is to duck down and weave along the ground, so you have to not let them shake you, keeping the opponent in your cockpit. This kind of close-up fight is pretty rare, but it happens. They will know what's happening once they see the rockets and cannon fire hitting the ground or if someone competent on their team spots you, after which you should expect a swerving turn to face you. At relatively close range fired Heat Seekers cause the enemy helo to immediately enter into panic stage. ECM will only protect from getting hit if put out before the missiles are launched, while Flares won't do anything for you at all, not activating fast enough to protect you, so you have to pop them beforehand to extract benefit. At extended distances, even past Heat Seeker range, TV Missiles are an effective Gunner armanent. Though they're difficult to aim and very fast- moving, and although enemy helos move quite quickly and erratically, a single hit will completely destroy the enemy vehicle, ending the engagement before it can even start. Helicopter-on-jet ................. The problem with jets is that they fly so impossibly fast, that they can make an attack run on you and be out of Heat Seeker range just as soon. Attack helicopters are meat to jets, but they can still fight back with Heat Seekers. Depending on how you play, jets may or may not be the first priority. In the air you have a better view of things then on the ground - there's nothing blocking your vision - and because you are flying at approximately the same altitude as your targets, the radius in which you can fire at the enemies is greater as well. Think of the radius of the missiles as a giant sphere; from the ground, half the sphere is in the ground, but in the air, the whole thing is up and above. If an enemy jet is making a point-blank attack run on you and you manage to get Heat Seekers lock, wait for the jet to be about 10 meters away. Any nearer and the missiles will have to double back, getting caught in flares, or even fail to fire at all, and any further he will easily flare them off. In that sweet spot, however, you can punch out missiles and hit him because he usually won't be fast enough to pop them so soon, as the missiles will be on him right quick. The problem is that jets fly fast, and the sweet spot is thin, so you have to get pretty lucky. Some jets wise up and actually plug flares beforehand when getting targeted, in which case you have to take what damage you may and try to wheel around to get another shot. The opposite is also true for jets, as they can push out Heat Seekers at the same range as you can, to the same effect; if he's not firing his guns and you get warning lights, pop flares or ECM, but the later you do this the less time he will have to switch to and damage you with his guns. If you're taking serious damage, do the smart thing and hit the ground, or as close to it as you dare, getting cover between you and them if you can, and stopping to repair once it's safe. In reality, of course, if a good jet pilot decides to kill you, he WILL get to kill you, unless you saw and shot him first. Helicopter-on-AA gun .................... The best attack on an enemy AA gun is Guided Rockets, which can accurately hit the enemy AA at ranges it cannot reach, and TV Missiles, which have to same ability. If you stay out of lock-on range, you can fire off bursts of rockets and gun that are accurate enough to hurt him at ranges where he cannot. At close range, however, you cannot possible hope to defeat a vehicle designed for destroying you, unless it is already at least disabled. So you have to fight dirty. Get several air assets to gang up on the enemy AA cannon, overpowering it by brute force. If he's located near a large rock embayment, or other feature, put that between you and him, pop up to deal heavy damage, then duck back down to avoid the return fire, landing and repairing if necessary. Remember, you can repair faster then he can. A good trick to know is that the rotors stay on as long as the pilot is in the chopper, so to decrease the time you need have the gunner handle the repairs. Helicopter-on-MBT (and IFVs) ................. Tactics against enemy tanks depends on a couple of factors. The first is if he has Guided shells and CITV. If you have ECM, this is ok, as you can pop ECM while he shakes his cannon around, wasting his time trying to get a lock. If you have flares, however, attacking one is practically suicide, as the Guided Missile return fire will blow you to smitherines. A second factor is if he has Canister Shot. A well-aimed canister can do as much as 50 damage to your vehicle, making close-range approaches really painful. If you know a MBT has canister shot, stay a little distance away, move or strafe sideways, and shower him with fire; he won't be able to do much damage at longer and more-difficult-to-hit range. Remote Gunners and HMGs are similar concerns, but are mostly harmless to the perceptive helicopter pilot. The other problem with the tank is that a single cannon shot will blow your chopper to kingdom come, disabling you (after the big patch, destroying you) and sending you tilting off-hilter if you can't stabilize quick. For this reason avoid making low passes when the gun is pointed at you. You might win- he might miss-but it's too much of a danger when you can outgun him at slightly longer range. The only difference with IFVs is that they are less threatening to you, lacking CITV or Canister Shells, and needing several cannon hits to disable you. To attack a tank, spot it for your gunner, angle down, and then pump out all of your rockets. Depending on your altitude and angle of attack, you will get one or two burst before you have to pull out. A low-angle, high-start attack will destroy the tank outright, but this is relatively rare because the altitude that you have to attack from generally only happens during prolonged anti-jet fights. Most attacks will require making a second pass. If the tank does not see you, and especially if you are behind him, you have a very viable destroy opportunity. Get relatively close, let go of the accelarator, and empty your rockets and cannon into him. You will need about two rocket packs to finish the job, but assuming you started from a high enough altitude, it's doubtful he'll be able to screen you and return fire quickly enough relative to the damage he's recieving. If he does aim at you, the prudent thing to do is run away - you never know how good his aim is or if he will get lucky. If you see a diamond on the screen, it means that an enemy vehicle has been lazed and that your gunner can throw an AGM at it. In these cases it's best to stabilize the chopper in view of the tank, let your gunner take the shot, and then swoop down, using either your damage advantage or generated "can't see shit in smoke" advantage to soup up damage. Both seats can hear the sound effects or the other, meaning that attentive teammates will know: when ECM is deployed, when it is ready again, when flares are deployed, when they are ready again, when the gunner swaps weapons, and when the other player is trying to get a Heat Seeker or Guided Missile lock. Helicopter-on-infantry ...................... Rockets do poor damage against enemy infantry, but the gunner's cannon is a fantastic weapon in this regard. If you want too clean out a point, hover above it and let your gunner do the work. Hovering is generally a dangerous idea as it makes you a sitting duck, but against infantry armed with only rocket launchers, it's not such a bad idea (rpg hits don't disable you and only rarely get a cockpit hit). Just remember to flare early if needed, and watch for lucky snipers. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Specializations ............... IR Flares (2nd slot, 300 points) IR Flares are the first specialization that you unlock, and absolutely essential to beginner helicopter use. If you don't have IR Flares, don't bother piloting; hop into the gunner's seat and don't pilot until you do. IR Flares are a countermeasure that, when popped, sends a small shower of thermal particles downward, distracting heat-seeking missiles and confusing launchers. What this basically does is that it causes any heat-seeking (anti-air) missiles to miss, and any locking sequences to be disrupted. This effect only lasts a short time, however, taking 10 seconds to reload, and has no effect on laser designation. Flare technique: First of all the disruption lasts only a short time, as they will burn up and leave you defenseless again for 10 seconds (20 on Gunner). In order to get the most of your flares, you have to stay near them, which will push enemy launchers into fake lock-on sequences. However this is only really recommended when you are strafing a target; generally it's better to hit the deck, diving low to avoid being designated for another missile and building speed so that you can outrun a missile and pop flares again if you need to (feasible if it is far enough away). On attack helicopters I recommend you run away as soon as something tries to lock onto you, unless you are engaging an enemy and want to bet you can outrun the missile or throw it into a hill or whatnot. The best combination to have is ECM Jammer on the pilot and Flares on the Gunner. When on the gunner, flares take 20 seconds to reload, twice that on pilot. Stacking flares between both seats is also possible, but only done if you don't have ECM yet. Such stacking works best if you can communicate with the gunner as to when what is ready or has been popped. Heat Seekers (3rd slot, 800 points, pilots only) An excellent addition to the attack helicopter armament, Heat Seekers allow you to shoot heat-tracking anti-air missiles that can allow you to engage aircraft at ranges much longer then practically possible with the primary armament, as well as giving you the ability to attack enemy jets, your number one foe. They complete your armament, giving you the ability to deal with any foe in the game, be they air, land, or sea (although sea is pretty unimportant). Stealth (1st slot, 1600 points) Stealth increases tracking difficulty and locking time and decreases lock-on radius of enemy anti-air missiles, a definite plus in a vehicle that is meant close-range harrasment of enemy targets. With the exception of long-range strafing tactics, Stealth is an essential perk for at least one person in the chopper to have; by convention, it is generally the pilot's first perk. Autoloader (1st slot, 2800 points) A good general increase that can come in handy in a lot of situations. It's more useful on gunners, however, as by the time you turn around after making an attack run on a tank, your rockets will be primed and ready again, while the gunner can never suffer from too fast reloads. Zoom Optics (2nd slot, 4400 points) Only useful for long-range strafing, rarely used. Proximity Scan (1st slot, 6500 points) Only detects land-based targets within a microscopic radius, making it tantamount to useless. Air Radar (1st slot, 9000 points) Extremely useful for finding enemy jets, but not really much else. It has its uses, however; some pilots like to combine it with Heat Seekers as a dedicated flying AA platform or for greater combat awareness. Much more useful then Proximity Scan. Guided Missile (3rd slot, 12000 points, gunner only) Just like the guided somethings available on every other heavy vehicle platform in the game; the guided missile allows the gunner to lock onto and shoot ground targets, or to acquire and top-attack laser-designated targets for increased damage, even if they are not in visual radius (as long as you are in range). Much like Heat Seekers, the vast majority of gunners will be using this, because the only other thing in this slot, TV missiles, is the last unlock. Extinguisher (2nd slot, 16000 points) Extinguisher is the second of the three countermeasures and quite underrated. It doesn't actually protect you from missile hits, only allowing you to instantly repair yourself out of disabled status when hit. Its one major use is that it increases the damage that enemy vehicles have to do to you to kill you, and prevents you from being disabled and having to land (at least, you won't have to do so as often) to repair. It also allows you to recover from getting knocked up by tanks, and is a blessing in close-range dogfights where flares and ECM won't really help you. Still, most people opt not to get hit in the first place. I'm one of those people. Maintenance (1st slot, 20000 points) As with other vehicles, this one can and generally is passed up. Its got its uses but simply cannot outweigh Stealth. Thermal Optics (2nd slot, 25000 points) A fun little piece that sacrifices defense (Flares or Extinguisher) for the ability to shoot more accurately. Thermal view is a godsend when it comes to gunning down infantry, allowing you to see them more clearly. Nonetheless, it takes up a countermeasures slot, and since you can't shoot nothing if you're dead, it's rarely used. Laser Painter (1st slot, 30500 points) Laser Painter is pretty much useless if you don't have a gunner using Guided Missiles. Since most gunners do use it, it forms an interesting, if rarely used, and deadly one-two punch against enemy vehicles. By using Laser Painter, painting a target, and then having the gunner's Guided Missile to shoot the enemy down, one can tap into the heavy-duty power of laser-designated missiles to knock out enemy birds and ground craft in one hit. Nonetheless, most pilots prefer to use Heat Seekers for this job (after all they get the kill, right?); Heat Seekers have the advantage of being better against fast-moving jets, while Guided Missile + Laser Painter can hit non-IR Smoke protected ground craft. Below Radar (slotless, 37000 points) Below Radar is a permanent upgrade for helicopters as well as other air vehicles at different times. It activates after flying three seconds near the ground (at most 20 meters above it), hindering spotting and preventing enemy heat-seekers from locking onto you, but not protecting you from ground-based AA nor laser designation. Below Radar is much like CITV in that it is a permanent upgrade that adds a functionality to your vehicle. Because skimming so close to the ground backwards is a very dangerous proposal (you have to keep your nose at a stringent ~15 degrees), its main use is when fleeing, just overflying terra ferma long enough to scramble enemy jet and helicopter lock ons. In that regard it is incredibly, incredibly useful - see tactics above. ECM Jammer (2nd slot, 4400 points, pilot only) The final countermeasure to be unlocked, and frankly the best one. ECM Jammer has the advantage of protecting you from a larger variety of sources for a longer period of time. Pressing it releases electromagnetic countermeasures, which scramble ALL lock on sequences (including laser designation) and also distracts missiles, but only so long as they fly through the particle stream deploying from your behind. What that means is that ECM will protect you from all designated missiles AND most guided missiles, but the latter only when the missile goes through the particle path. This second bit is unreliable, complicated by distance (maybe your ECM will run out by the time the missile arrives), direction (if it's in front of you ECM won't help jack squat), and even a bit of luck (sometimes it will hit you anyway). For these reasons ECM is best deployed while someone is trying to lock onto you. It lasts 5 seconds and needs 10 seconds to recharge. Advantages over IR Flares: + Protects for a longer absolute duration (5 seconds versus 2 seconds). The magnitude of this bonus depends on whether or not the chopper moves from the flare area - generally it will - in case it doesn't, protection lasts a similar length. + Spoofs all enemy guided missiles (including laser designated ones). Disadvantages: - Because IR Flares are most often deployed a few seconds before the missile can hit, a chunk of missile locks don't result in pulling flares because they hit an obstacle along the way and explode. This is not true with ECM: to be safe you must pull on all semi-solid locks. - Less reliable against missiles in the air: if you are traveling forward it must be sourced from behind, traveling backwards it must be somewhere in front of you. - For the above reason it must be deployed as soon as enemy AA gets a solid tone; smart enemies might hunt for weapons lock, force you to deploy ECM, and then wait patiently the five seconds needed to require (or just force you to waste it). The best anti-air coverage is achieved by a combination of pilot ECM and gunner IR Flares, which provide dual protection against launched missiles and spoof laser designation as well, something dual IR Flares cannot do. Guided Rocket (1st slot, 51000 points, pilot only) The long-awaited second pilot weapon, Guided Rockets essentially increase the accuracy of the pilot's primary armament, his rockets, by tacking on weak but unjammable guided packages onto the previously unguided rockets. This essentially increases their effective range out to gunner range, ensuring almost total delivery against an enemy tank at twice the distance of the usual unguided craft. Super effective against enemy AA guns, a long-range ground attack adaptation. Note: it doesn't actually go in the third slot. TV Missile (3rd slot, 60000 points, gunner only) The long-awaited second gunner weapon, this allows you to access direct-feed- by-video missiles that can be launched and then manually guided to the target. The balancing element against Guided Missiles is that, while unjammable, TV Missiles are fast and slow-turning, making them fairly inaccurate. Still, unless your team is doing laser designation, this is the better weapon of the two, giving the gunner an extended range and a strong anti-tank punch. TV Missiles can also do lethal damage to choppers, if you manage a hit; if you miss, though, leave the station, as you won't be able to turn it fast enough to get back on the helo. TV missiles are set so that they point below the nose, and their bad turning radius means that they need a bit of space besides. Keep that in mind. Against enemy choppers, TV missiles are a one hit KO, although moving choppers are a difficult target to hit. They are fairly accurate when fired at relatively exposed non-moving tanks, and at close range on an attack run, with a bit of luck, you can launch one directly into the tank for the kill (so long as he's already disabled). They are the best counter to enemy AA, severely weakening them and allowing your chopper to win the ensuing encounter. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [3.06] Scout Helicopters Scout helicopters fly a bit differently from transport helicopters and attack helicopters, although if you know how to use those, you can get into a Scout Helicopter and use it competently off-the-bat. + The Scout Helicopter is much fleeter on its feet, requiring less thrust to match attack helicopter manuveers (and far outstripping cumbersome transport helos). + It can take off from nuetral in about half the time of the other choppers. + Its yaw controls are greatly enhanced, allowing it to spin in a circle or arrest lateral movements much faster then the other choppers. + Like the transport helo, it can be repaired mid-flight by a passenger, a distinct advantage over attack helicopters. + Smaller airframe means a smaller target. - Its roll controls, meanwhile, are far weaker, so you must remain conscious of your sideways motions (this also makes strafing next to impossible). - You, the driver, are much easier to hit and kill with small-arms fire. - It has significantly less health. - It is significantly slower then the attack helicopter in terms of absolute speed (ae. pitching forward). Between their high maneuverability and compact frame, scout helos are excellent at ranges that any other helicopter would be cumbersome in. The biggest advantage is when it comes to capping points. Without a tail rotor and with a much smaller airframe, you can loft around in a tight circle or hover over a point much, much easier then in any other helicopter, allowing you to cap flags easily. Another huge advantage is that it lands easily. It's hard to purposefully mess up a landing on one of these birds; they're smaller, don't have an obtrusive tail rotor, and bounce around more. I've sent them skidding sideways on the ground in ways that no attack helo would survive, repairing as it bounces along and then getting in again and taking off. So, actually using Scout Helicopters. Its primary armament is its dual miniguns, which, like rockets, point the same direction as the plane. This armament and this fact (as well as its poor roll control) together mean that its best mode of attack is making attack runs on the target, up close and in their face. They shred infantry easily, but the gunner suffers a bit from accuracy problems and you don't have a terribly large window of attack; sometimes you may have to make a second run to finish a badly damaged enemy soldier off. Shooting the gun takes prediction. The I-bar is quite useful for determining where your rounds are going, and a lot of the time you will have to make adjustments to better hit the target. Against enemy vehicles: lightly armored jeeps are great targets, susceptible to minigun fire, but requiring some prediction due to their high speed. Armored vehicles like tanks can be damaged, but unless they are already on fire you cannot possibly win, as your minigun sucks against armor. However, you CAN swoop down and kill any engineers trying to repair. AA guns are the most dangerous; avoid them like the plague. Against enemy air vehicles: with Heat Seekers you are a palpable threat to enemy helos and jets at good range. Because of the mechanics, you can defeat an enemy attack helicopter at long range with Heat Seekers, so long as you get the first shot. That's significant, as the Attack Helicopter is better then you, at least if it has a gunner. Jets are more difficult to hurt, par usual, because of their bloody speed; nonetheless if he has already spent his flares and you can fire away, good for you! Another excellent strategy is to combine Laser Pointer with Guided Missile; this will ohko other aircraft, but you MUST keep your nose on them the whole time, which does expose you. At close range, your miniguns are best. You can hurt or even disable a close-flying jet, and duel it out with enemy scout helos. Against attack helicopters he will probably win because he has twice your firepower, nonetheless if the helo is distracted you can come in and really hurt 'em. Specializations ............... IR Flares (2nd slot, 300 points) Same as Attack helicopter. Heat Seekers (3rd slot, 800 points) Same as Attack helicopters. Stealth (1st slot, 2500 points) Same as Attack helicopters. Belt Speed (1st slot, 4400 points) Same as Autoloader on Attack helicopters. Proximity Scan (1st slot, 7000 points) Same as Attack helicopter, useless. Air Radar (1st slot, 10000 points) Same as Attack helicopters. Extinguisher (2nd slot, 14000 points) Same as Attack helicopter, however it's a noteworthy fact that Extinguisher is helpful in scout helicopter-on-scout helicopter and scout helicopter-on- attack helicopter fights, as it increases the damage they must deal to as much as 150% of normal. Maintanace (1st slot, 19000 points) Same as Attack helicopters. Guided Missile (3rd slot, 25000 points) Same as Attack helicopters. See Laser painter below. Below Radar (slotless, 32000 points) Slotless, same as Attack helicopters. Laser Painter (1st slot, 40000 points) Allows you to paint targets for laser-guided missile hits. Besides excessive amounts of teamwork, this is excellent for one reason: it can one-two with guided missiles for a one-hit-ko on enemy choppers. They won't know what hit them. Laser Painter + Guided Missile + Below Radar is op on Damavand Peak. ECM Jammer (2nd slot, 48000 points) Same as Attack helicopters. Videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVawkb5FA3s - look-see. http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=2TS_b-tXkHs - hehe. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [3.07] Transport Helicopters Transport helos are bigger, slower, and clunkier then Attack or Scout helicopters. Their only armament is their side-mounted miniguns, and the pilot can't do anything except pilot and deploy flares. You're a slow-moving and juicy target for pretty much anything that can shoot up. Why put up with it, then? Because transport helos are still excellent air platforms, not because of their air capacities, which are minimal, but because of the fact that anyone on the team can spawn on them. Flyby an enemy point and up to four passengers can parachute out, paratroopers ready to nail the point. Despite its deficiencies the minigun is still a decent weapon against enemy infantry, and can seriously hurt inattentive attack helicopters as well. Finally, it has a buttload of health, and can take two missile hits before getting disabled. Transport helos sit five: a pilot, two gunners, and two side-sitting passengers. Your plane can take a lot of punishment, and flares are already provided to you; in addition the engineers on your vehicle can pop into the last two seats and pull out the torch and repair the vehicle (although you have to find the moving "hot spot" to do so), so you're actually quite difficult to shoot down. Nonetheless you are not impregnable, and if you are taking damage it's time to bail. Often you have people making specific requests about where they want to land. For instance, a sniper will get in who wants to get up on a hill to set up SOFLAM. Honor those requests, that's the point of the transport helo. If there isn't anything specific, just piggyback around the map, shooting at things and dropping people off. Speaking of dropping people off, you have to either dip down low or do a high pass; if your altitude is in between, they will not survive the fall nor will they be able to open their parachutes to glide down. Videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1FuYto-O1s - video tips http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEV4lRQpgmo - a demonstration of survivability ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [3.08] Jets Of all of the vehicle types, I honestly have by far the least experience with jets. They have a very steep learning curve, and are all-but-impossible to use before you unlock IR Flares, leaving a 300 point "get shot down 20 times in a row to get a kill" hole. I also have absolutely no experience with the VSTOL capable F-35. Take this section with a grain of salt. The principal strength of a jet is its very high speed. A stationary target will very, very rarely be able to hit you: guns are too inaccurate; homing missiles need to be reloaded, a slow process for a fast vehicle; and even if they do get a second shot off, you can often outrun it. They rule the skies, able to shoot down helos more easily then helos shoot down them, but this comes at the price of comparatively limited ground-support capacities. Jets should prioritize fighting other jets, followed by helos of all stripes. You need to avoid enemy anti-air guns as best as you can, as the Mobile AA is the thing that, aside from other jets, will shoot you down the most. Other then that, fill the in-between time with ground attack runs on enemy targets; point your nose up, turn on free look, spot or follow an icon to a good target, and then dive back down for it, guns blazing. If another jet comes up, though, you need to be on it in an instant. Jet on jet warfare .................. The best counter to a jet is another jet. Because of their long learning curve, you will get pilots of various competence in the air, from mediocre to steller. This section is a quick rundown of the tactics of the latter in the complex dogfighting dance. There are three main factors in dogfights. The first is ALTITUDE. It's much easier to spot and attack targets below you. When you dip up you slow down, when you dip down you speed up. Finally, past a certain altitude you will reach your service cealing and stall out, falling through the air in a way that will render you utterly helpless against enemy jets. The second is SPEED. Your vehicle is fully responsive up to a certain low extent, past which you will begin to stall, and must work the engine again. This is important in turning fights where you have to stay on your foe; if you started faster then him, you might pass him. It is very much related to altitude. The third factor is DISTANCE. The closer you are to your foe, the more accurate your shots will be, and the less predicting you will have to go, but in correlation the more quickly you will have to respond to their evasive manuveers to avoid getting thrown off. Distance can be increased or decreased via speed. The basic point is to get on your enemy's six, preferebly without their cogniscence of it, and then rail him with your gun. You only really need a disable - Extinguisher is rare and they probably won't get to land - but in any case, finish them off if you can. Using the jet's cannon takes getting used to. It requires a lot of prediction - very rarely will the shots arrive on your target by the point they get there. You have to aim ahead a significant amount, and the tracers help you do just that. It's important to get a feel for the amount of compensation you have to make, and this will take a good number of deaths before you get it down right. Then there's evasive manuveering, trying to lose someone on your six or otherwise heading for you. It's a difficult concept to describe, as you need to acclimatize to it yourself. Basically you want to do one of a few things: force your opponent to pass you, get into territory where they won't dare follow you (missileland or flying over your AA tank) without you getting disabled, make them lose you (especially if they don't have Air Radar). How exactly you do this is difficult to describe - use tight turns with brakes, afterburner in moderation, rolls and loops, never stay put and force him to overshoot. A big part of dogfighting is getting close. It's easy enough when they're in front of you - just punch afterburner to catch up with them, but it takes good timing to get on the tail of an enemy jet that passes you front-to-back, where you need to time your turn so you end up near them and ready to fire away. The tightest barrel rolls (vertical turns) can be achieved by afterburnering straight up for a while, then pulling back over oneself and braking on the way down. This manuveer is useful as a dogfighting maneuver as well as as a way to escape stationary ground anti-air missiles; by the time you come back down, you'll have recharged your countermeasures, and often the threat had moved on or been otherwise destroyed by the time you do. Remember to punch afterburner after a tight turn to get airspeed! Jet on helicopter warfare ......................... Helicopters are actually harder to hit then jets are, able to rotate around a point far easier then jets can. Taking one down is a matter of being at a bit of range, braking down, and then spamming your cannon at it; if needed you can make a second pass. Be very wary of attacking enemy jets head-on, however, as they are often equipped with Heat Seekers and otherwise dangerous to your health. An important tactic to know when attacking enemy helicopters is the close-range Heat Seeker launch, which can be done with and is lethal to both vehicles. Basically, get very close with a Heat Seeker lock, and then launch; they will not have time to push flares before it hits. The fact that ECM completely negates this tactic is one of its great benefits; with Flares, the counter is to flare before he gets a full lock. Know that well. The other thing to note is that the gunner can actually do significant damage to your vehicle, even disabling it with good aim. The way to avoid this is to never make slow turns in his vicinity, exposing your broad backside and decreasing the protection that your speed gives you. You can also take hits while making a front-and-up attack on the helo, making that angle more dangerous, although you won't take as much damage as with what is described above. Your gun is better against enemy helicopters from a distance, but up close and with some skill, Rocket Pods actually do significantly more damage. You do have to account for the fact that they fire a bit above the cursor, however. Good evasive manuveers on his part may shake you a while, but in the end, you have a distinct advantage over a helicopter, bar luck, skill, or other intervention. Ground attacks .............. MBTs should be your primary ground target when the air is clean of enemy jets and/or helos. The first step of the attack is to spot one, which you can do by nosing up and free looking, or just approaching the battlefield from a distance and pressing Q where there aught to be tanks. Once you have a target lit up, nose down and aim for the enemy. Your best angle of attack is 45 degrees; hit the brakes to reduce airspeed so you get more quality time with your target. Using your A and D keys for minute adjustments for his movements, send off a barrage of rockets into your foe, following up with your cannon while the rockets are reloading. A well-aimed rocket pack will disable the enemy tank, but generally you will not have enough time to destroy it outright, unless it has already been damaged. High altitude dives might get the time to send off two rocket packs, which, on a good run, WILL give you a destroy. Rocket Pods are the best against enemy ground assets. Guided Missiles are just as good but only if they do not have IR Smoke; if they do, they are tantamount to useless, their one benefit being the ability to hit enemy jeeps much easier (well and SOFLAM locks, but again without IR Smoke). Heat Seekers cannot attack ground targets, obviously. If you've ever nosed down out of a steep dive you'll know that it takes two or so seconds for the rockets and gunfire to actually go where your pointer says it will go. You need to let the circle indicating the drag of the shots center on the I-beam, giving you acccurate fire. And, as always, stationary vehicles are easier to hit then moving ones; you will end up engaging both. Jet on mobile AA warfare ........................ The biggest problem with Mobile Anti-Air guns is that its primary armament lacks accuracy at longer range, being a lot less accurate then helicopter gunner round, as mentioned above, as well as anything a jet fields, as mentioned here. At high altitudes he can't Anti-Air Missile you either, so the best way to deal with mobile AA guns is to get up high (best if he doesn't notice), dive down, brake, and spam everything you have; don't go to low, and pull up if he gets missile lock, punching afterburner and deploying flares or ECM, flying back out of range and then dipping back down again for another pass. Like tanks, you probably won't be able to destroy, only disable, but that matters as well, with your jet looming over his head. You can also destroy it with more conventional tactics through brute force; two back-to-back runs by jets, or assistance by a helo, will overwhelm and destroy the AA gun in most cases. The above tactic only works if the enemy doesn't have their own jets in the air, of course. Ground-attack and VSTOL jets ............................ These are two specialized subsets of jets. The first consists of the ground attack jets, which mount an extra-large single-barrel cannon that does souped-up damage to pretty much everything, but especially enemy tanks. A good A-10 Thunderbolt run can actually destroy an MBT thanks to the higher damage output (and a slower speed that allows a longer run). They are, on the other hand, much slower, and only appear in a few specific Rush maps - never alongside jets proper. VSTOL jets basically consists of the F-35 on Wake Island. It has the ability to enter VSTOL mode, hovering over a spot while slowly moving, acting in all regards like a helicopter but without vertical control. Once you've had enough of hover mode - mainly used for ground attacks against tanks and such - you punch out, letting go of S and returning to normal jet flight. The F-35 pays for this ability to take off and land in place and to hover over a spot by being substantially slower then normal jets, although it is able to make a sharper turn as well as land to repair much easier. Specializations ............... IR Flares (2nd slot, 300 points) Described in detail in Attack helicopters. Heat Seekers (3rd slot, 700 points) The Jet Heat Seekers have a smaller target zone and fire slower then those of the other platforms, a product of the jet's high speed. They are most useful in long-range jet warfare and for close-range anti-helo attacks (sans ECM). Against enemy jets, you should fire one, wait for the countermeasures, then fire the other; the resulting disable is almost always enough, as jets are very difficult to land, and a disabled jet is an easy target for your main gun. Stealth (1st slot, 1500 points) Described in detail in Attack helicopters. Belt Speed (1st slot, 2700 points) Described in detail in Attack helicopters. Proximity Scan (1st slot, 4200 points) Described in detail in Attack helicopters, useless. Rocket Pods (3rd slot, 6200 points) This adds secondary unguided rockets exactly like the Attack helicopter pilot's primary armament. Between Heat Seekers and Guided Missiles, this is the in- betweener, able to hit both aircraft and ground vehicles for heavy damage, but not as adapted for the anti-air and anti-ground, respectively, role that the other two weapon choices are. Rocket Pods are the most commonly used weapon for their multirole usefulness. Air Radar (1st slot, 8600 points) Much more useful on a Jet then on an Attack helicopter, I have a hard time flying without this. It expands your minimap and includes nearby enemy air vehicles, showing their position and direction relative to you; this is essential for close-range dogfighting, where you can lose visual contact as the aggressor or not know wether you've shook them off or not as the fleeing jet. Extinguisher (2nd slot, 11600 points) Described in detail in Attack helicopters. Probably a bit more useful because a good percentage of the time enemy jets will disable you and leave you, allowing you to sneak off to repair. Below Radar (slotless, 32000 points) Described in detail in Attack helicopters. Less useful on jets, as you will have a much more difficult time flying a paltry 20 meters above the surface without crashing, but it still serves an important purpose - so long as the surface is smooth and you don't crash. Maintenance (1st slot, 19000 points) Described in detail in Attack helicopters. Guided Missile (3rd slot, 24000 points) A decent ground-attack piece, it's useless against IR Smoke but devestating against everything else, and has the benefit of hitting SOFLAM targets. Beam Scanning (1st slot, 29000 points) Cuts Heat Seekers lock-on time from three seconds to one second. If you're partial to Heat Seekers, this is for you, as it allows significantly faster firing. EMC Jammer (2nd slot, 35000 points) Described in detail in Attack helicopters. The most important difference is that you want to pop before a lock-on or once you get urgent tones, as missiles take significantly longer to get to you then to helicopters, so your ECM might run out before the missile meets the cloud.  Vehicular destruction ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [4.01] Damage chart Keep in mind that "armored vehicle" tends to mean more for IFVs and AA guns and less for better-armored MBTs. Weapon: M240 LMG Mounts: Coaxial machine gun on IFVs and MBTs Damage: Only damages infantry, ~25 damage per bullet. Weapon: .50 Browning/KORD Mounts: Light vehicles, remote gunner on IFVs and MBTs Damage: Only damages lightly armored vehicles and aircraft; does not affect enemy armor. ~4 damage per bullet to vehicles, ~25 to infantry. Weapon: Heavy Machine Gun Mounts: MBT coaxial HMG Damage: ~10 damage per bullet to light vehicles, ~40 per bullet to infantry, does not affect armored, ~6 per bullet to air vehicles. Weapon: Minigun Mounts: Gunner positions on a transport helo, Scout helicopter (double), Anti-air Gun, Stationary AA Platform, Jet (double) Damage: Everything. ~4 damage per bullet to light vehicles, 1 to armored vehicles, ~20 per bullet to infantry. (note: all past here hurt all) Weapon: Autocannon Mounts: Attack helicopter gunner Damage: Lethal contact to infantry (decent radius), ~15 per shell to light vehicles, ~4 to armored vehicles. Weapon: Unguided rockets Mounts: Attack helicopters, jets Damage: Lethal contact to infantry (decent radius), ~20 per rocket to light vehicles, ~5 per rocket to armored vehicles. Weapon: High energy anti-tank (HEAT) chain-shot Mounts: IFVs Damage: Lethal contact to infantry (decent radius), ~25 per shell to light vehicles, ~5 per shell to armored vehicles. Weapon: Armor-Piercing Fin-stabilized Discarding-Sabot Tracer Rounds (APFSDS-T) Mounts: IFVs Damage: Lethal contact to infantry (no blast radius), ~25 per shell to light vehicles, ~8 per shell to armored vehicles. Weapon: Heat Seekers Mounts: Jets, Mobile AA, Attack helicopters, Scout helicopters, Man-portable anti-aircraft launchers Shoots: Only aircraft Damage: ~50 to jets, attack helicopters, scout helicopters, ~30 to ground- attack jets and transport helicopters. Weapon: Guided Missile/Shell (non-laser) Mounts: MBTs, IFVs, Jets, Attack helicopters, Scout helicopters, FIM-9 Javelin Shoots: Only ground vehicles, + MAV and visible ground equipment Damage: ~30 to armored vehicles, ~75 to lightly armored vehicles Weapon: Guided Missile/Shell (laser designated) Mounts: Same as above Shoots: Laser-designated vehicles Damage: ~50 to armored vehicles, 100 to all aircraft and lightly armored vehicles Weapon: Anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) Mounts: IFV, Stationary AT Guns Damage: Lethal contact to infantry (poor blast radius), ~20 to armored vehicles, ~50 to lightly armored vehicles and air vehicles Weapon: TV Missile Mounts: Attack helicopter gunner Damage: Lethal contact to infantry (poor blast radius), ~60 to armored vehicles, destroys enemy air assets Weapon: Smoothbore cannon Mounts: MBT Damage: Lethal contact to infantry (decent blast radius), ~30 to light armored vehicles (ae. IFVs), ~20 to other MBTs, ~50 to light vehicles ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [4.02] Other vehicles and bullets This one's quite obvious. Vehicles can destroy one another: that's a fact. The topic is explored in more depth in the sections above. Small-arms fire may ricochet off of armored vehicles, but it can hurt and kill the driver, pilot, or gunners. If they are exposed, as in light vehicles, they are easy enough to attack: aim well and empty a clip and hope you get the kill (it usually takes more then one clip, however). Some vehicles are a bit more difficult to shoot at the driver from, but still possible. HUMVEES and their Russian counterparts have windshields that are mostly immune to small arms fire, but can still be penetrated by good aim or sniper rifles. Air vehicles are similarly covered, but can be shot at. Attack helicopter pilots and gunners can be shot down by a headshot from a ground-based sniper, although this is a difficult shot indeed. The same holds true for Transport helicopters. Scout helicopter pilots are about as well protected, but because they fly closer, their pilots are especially vulnerable to this sort of thing. Transport helo gunners and passengers can be shot at as well, as they are exposed on the doors; a lucky RPG shot can clear out that component. More common then lucky sniper shots, however, is hitting the other pilot or gunner in the noggin. For instance, a jet attack a side-facing transport helo will likely shoot at and kill its gunners. Attack helicopter duels have abruptly ended with the gunner shooting the other gunner or pilot in the head, and even simultaneous gunner deaths. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [4.04] AT Rocket launchers Unguided rocket launchers pack a punch, but have limited distance capacity because they are, well, unguided. They make up for this difficultly by being impossible to redirect and by being useful against infantry. As such AT rocket launchers are best used against enemy MBTs and IFVs; you can try to hit a low flying chopper, but you won't be likely to get a hit. Each AT rocket does as much damage as an MBT shot, but has a longer reload, exposes you to enemy fire (as the slower-moving missile is relatively easy to see from its smoke path), and can occasionally miss when shooting moving targets. Nonetheless AT rockets are the most reliable way for boots on the ground to shoot out a tank. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [4.05] Heat Seeker Rocket Launchers Heat-seeking rockket launchers are the guided counterparts to AT Rocket launchers. They fall into two categories: The Stinger and IGLA heat seeking anti-air missiles, and the FIM-90 Javelin anti-tank rocket launcher. The two anti-air launchers are short-radius lock-on launchers that are useful for area defense, but, quite honestly, rarely actually kill anything. Air vehicles can duck behind cover or otherwise move fast enough to counter one and then evade the other missile, and it doesn't help that the one missile you can fire merely disables, not destroys. Still it's good at point defense, forcing that meddlesome chopper to evade you. Although they'll generally evade out of the way, you can still limit their air support's usefulness by bothering it to no end. FIM-90 Javelins are the land counterpart to this. These are missiles that lock onto and stream for enemy tanks. Although Javelins do damage equivalent to unguided AT rockets at a greater accuracy and at longer range, they are easily defeated by IR Smoke, a distinct disadvantage. They also have a long lock-on sequence, which limits their usefulness at close range (where you can duck out, shoot at AT rocket, duck back down to reload, and repeat), and you get fewer missiles. They DO have the ability to fire at laser-designated targets, an important advantage that is discussed later in this guide. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [4.06] AT Mines and C4 AT Mines and C4 are two proximity-based explosives. Rather then being propelled by a rocket, they must be set in place. AT Mines are an Engineer piece of equipment and C4 is Support equipment; both are capable against vehicles and both will be explained here. AT Mines are a set of six land mines that can be dropped onto the ground. If a vehicle passes over them, it will blow up, damaging or destroying the enemy vehicle. If it's a light vehicle, the vehicle and all its occupants are instantly killed; armored vehicles take 50 damage. AT Mines are best placed in shady spots of the map or around corners, so as to best avoid detection. They are fairly visible, and vulnerable to any explosives, so a tank cannon can clear them out easily. AT Mines can also be spotted, which will point them out to potential enemy meat for removal. The best places to put them is over ditches in the road, where the enemy tank is less liable to see them. Removal can be done by any explosive, an Engineer or EOD bot (which can pick them up but not set them down again), sniper rounds, and 12 guage slugs on shotguns. You can only deploy six at a time, and they disappear 20 seconds after death. Because they take up your torch slot, AT Mines are best for standalone Engineers who will be using their gun a lot more then actual vehicles. Thermal Optics allows tanks to easily see and shoot your mines; keep that in mind. C4, meanwhile, is like an AT Mine with higher strength and a fuse. You can stick it to any surface in the game (except for MAVs, to prevent an exploit) and it does crazy damage when it explodes, destroying a full health tank in one blow as long as you get down three charges. This is the best close-range anti-tank weapon in the game: shit C4, run away, blow them up. They'll be notified they've been C4'd because "Press [R] to pick up" will appear on their screen. Currently, C4 persists, but this will be removed next patch so that dying removes C4. The second use is for car bombing. Grab a jeep, strap it down with C4, and then ride it into a tank and blow. The problem is that if any of your explosives are shot you will blow up instead, so this is always a risky strategy. You can also use it to lay traps; drop it on a road you're watching, for instance, and wait for a tank to dwadle through. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4.06 Repair Tool The Repair Tool doesn't just repair, but it can be used to attack enemy tanks as well. The torch damages vehicles just as fast as it repairs, emitting red sparks. Your primary concern, besides getting close enough, is if the tank has a gunner; he can easily pop out and kill you and then get back in if he does. If he doesn't, but the tank is not disabled, he will notice he's losing health, back up, and shoot you (if he has room). If he's disabled and gunner- less, he'll have to pop out of the tank, and you can then get in and take it from there. This works best when they walk into a trap; then you have the space to repair your vehicle. Usually, though, it's last-ditch suicidal. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4.07 Laser designation Laser designation is a mechanic that I have put off describing for too long. Basically, you have one piece of equipment that designates targets with a laser. This laser designator emits a bright red light, clearly visible to the target and those near him (this is a balancing mechanic). Once it has locked on it will track the target until it goes out of range of hides behind something. Meanwhile, anyone with a laser-compatible weapon will see a bright red diamond appear on their screen, telling them they have laser lock for a target. You can fire off a missile at it from anywhere on the map, so long as it is in range, and yes that means from behind buildings or cover or whatnot - you don't need direct visual contact. These missiles follow a top-attack pattern, flying off above the target before zooming down to smash the lightly armored vehicle top. Because the missile requires double the manpower, it is twice as powerful as a normal missile, disabling a tank and destroying enemy aircraft outright. What can laser designate: SOFLAM - A piece of sniper equipment that a good team will set up on a high mountaintop or otherwise high, covered position to designate anything motoring or flying by. CITV - The third seat in the tank, CITV can use thermal optics and a mounted version of SOFLAM. Mainly used in combination with Guided Shells, the driver upgrade that can shoot laser-designated missiles. Laser Painter - Available for Attack helicopters and Scout helicopters, this paints the enemy AS LONG AS your nose is pointed towards them. Used in conjunction with Guided Missiles, which are laser designation capable. What can fire at laser designated targets: FIM-90 Javelin - Along with the SOFLAM, this is the second part o the one-two boots on the ground laser designation kit. Guided Shells - Combined with CITV, this allows a tank team to independently designate and destroy all vehicular targets. Guided Missiles (IFVs) - Like Guided Shells, but without CITV it's less useable, requiring good SOFLAM for the most part. Guided Missiles (Attack helicopters, Scout helicopters) - On these two platforms, much like the tank, Laser designator and Guided Missiles combined make for a great force. It does have to issue of stranding you in one position, however. With the Scout helicopter you can both designate and shoot with one person, the only thing in the game that can do that. Guided Missiles (Jets) - Allows them to get in on the laser designated action, but, like IFVs, it doesn't come with a supplementary designation module. What defends against laser designation: IR Smoke - Blocks laser view of the target, causing missiles to fly off target. ECM Jammer - Breaks designation by breaking lock, befuzzles missiles as well but only if they fly through the particle stream. Cover - if the laser designation unit can't see it, you can't shoot it, it's as simple as that. Laser designation is a powerful tool, and good teams know how to use it well. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [5.00] Setups This section will discuss strategic mix-and-matching of specializations by vehicle type, showing setups that have specific goals in mind. Your setup will often be more jumbled. Main Battle Tanks ................. Slot 1: Slot 2: Slot 3: Permanent: Autoloader IR Smoke Coaxial LMG CITV Station Maintenance Zoom Optics Coaxial HMG Proximity Scan Thermal Optics Guided Shells Thermal Camo Canister Shot Reactive Armor Anti-infantry: Driver: Reactive Armor, Thermal Optics, Coaxial LMG or Canister Shot Gunner: Proximity Scan This is a setup for dense, infantry-heavy maps where you will see more rockets and C4 than other tanks (think anything in B2K). Proximity Scan is a must: if you don't have a gunner with it, swap Reactive Armor for Proximity. Coaxial LMG is better for pure anti-infantry, but Canister Shot is better at warding off aircraft. Anti-tank: Driver: Autoloader, IR Smoke, Guided Shells CITV/Gunner: Proximity Scan This is an absolutely beast setup that will trump any other single vehicle in the game. I've gone through games where a single tank with three skilled players in with this setup have capped and then held a point, blowing up four helos, ten tanks, and a jet along the way. Infantry Fighting Vehicles .......................... Slot 1: Slot 2: Slot 3: Belt Speed IR Smoke Coaxial LMG Maintenance Zoom Optics ATGM Launcher Proximity Scan Thermal Optics APFSDS-T Shell Thermal Camo Guided Missile Reactive Armor Anti-infantry: Driver: Reactive Armor, Thermal Optics, Coaxial LMG Gunner: Proximity Scan Pretty much the same as the MBT setup, except that IFVs are far better adapted for this role. Anti-tank: Driver: Belt Speed, IR Smoke, ATGM Launcher or APFSDS-T Shell or Guided Missile Gunner: Maintenance IFV suffers from no lack of variety as to how it guns down enemy vehicles, with three different options, all effective against ground vehicles. Lacking a CITV, however, it must rely on other sources against helicopters, and will generally be outmatched by air power. Mobile anti-air ............... Slot 1: Slot 2: Slot 3: Belt Speed IR Smoke Anti-air missiles Maintenance Zoom Optics Proximity Scan Thermal Optics Reactive Armor No specific setups here - always use the anti-air missiles though, the other weapons, well, don't exist ;). Attack helicopters .................. Slot 1: Slot 2: Slot 3: Autoloader IR Flares Heat Seekers Pilot Stealth Thermal Optics Gunner Guided Missile Gunner Maintenance Zoom Optics Gunner TV Missile Gunner Proximity Scan Extinguisher Air Radar ECM Jammer Pilot Laser Painter Guided Rockets Pilot Permanent: Below Radar Anti-everything: Pilot: Stealth, ECM Jammer, Heat Seekers Gunner: Autoloader, IR Flares, Guided Missile This is the best "general" setup and can counter any and all threats. Sub in IR Flares for ECM Jammer if you haven't unlocked yet. Anti-air: Pilot: Stealth, ECM Jammer, Heat Seekers Gunner: Air Radar, IR Flares, TV Missile This is the setup for someone consistently getting shot down by jets; don't let it happen again, hehe. Long-range: Pilot: Guided Rockets, ECM Jammer, Heat Seekers Gunner: Air Radar, Zoom Optics or Thermal Optics, TV Missile This is a setup that allows you to sit back and have the gunner shoot enemy infantry all to hell, supported by rocket fire against enemy tanks and the best counter to enemy anti-aircraft guns. General 2: Pilot: Laser Painter, ECM Jammer, Heat Seekers Gunner: Stealth, IR Flares, Guided Missile This is a modified version of the most common setup, using a combination of laser painterand guided missiles in the Heat Seeker role (in addition to regular old Heat Seekers). Scout helicopters ................. Slot 1: Slot 2: Slot 3: Stealth IR Flares Heat Seekers Belt Speed Extinguisher Guided Missile Maintenance ECM Jammer Proximity Scan Air Radar Laser Painter Permanent: Below Radar General: Belt Speed or Stealth, IR Flares or ECM Jammer, Heat Seekers This is the most common setup, and is able to deal with a range of targets. Laser-designated: Laser Painter, IR Flares or ECM Jammer, Guided Missile This is the more specialized set that gives up Stealth or Belt Speed for independent laser-guided weaponry, fantastic against other helicopters relying on flares and Heat Seekers - which, as pointed out above, are the most common kind. Jets .... Slot 1: Slot 2: Slot 3: Stealth IR Flares Heat Seekers Belt Speed Extinguisher Rocket Pods Maintenance ECM Jammer Guided Missile Proximity Scan Air Radar Beam Scanning Permanent: Below Radar Most common: Air Radar, IR Flares, Rocket Pods Air superiority: Air Radar, IR Flares or ECM Jammer, Heat Seekers This is the air superiority fighter. Ground-attack: Belt Speed, IR Flares or ECM Jammer, Rocket Pods or Guided Missile This is the ground-attack variety. Long-range air superiority: Beam Scanning, IR Flares or ECM Jammer, Heat Seekers [6.00] Maps ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In general, Conquest involves individual vehicular efforts centered around team objectives, while Rush involves a smaller number of vehicles that are all the more important for support, the most of precious of resources for an attacking team. Good players coordinate on both modes, but Rush generally involves more careful, well-ordered gameplay, as one doesn't want to blow their support. Caspian Border .............. Conquest: A vehicle-heavy map with MBTs, Mobile AA, Jets, an Attack helicopter, and tons of light vehicles and stationary guns. Rush: Obviously smaller then the Conquest version, containing a couple of tanks on either side and a ground-attack jet on either side, as well as a jeep or two. Vehicle status remains static. Damavand Peak ............. Conquest: A few HUMVEE-type light vehicles and one tank and Scout heli on either side. Scout helis usually end up trolling in the other side's base, as they cannot fight in the tunnel. Best map for thermal view for MBTs, as the tunnel is very dimly lit. A successful scout heli drop can steal enemy armor and their scout helo and back-capture a point, which is very powerful, however the helos spawn a long way back and it's a walk to get there. Rush: Scout helos at the beginning, tanks at the end. Vehicles are there but they're secondary. Grand Bazaar ............ Conquest: A few light vehicles and a sole IFV to either side. IFVs cannot access the center of the map, and so often end up making rushes towards enemy points, sometimes successfuly, sometimes no so much. Rush: MBTs only at the very end. Kharg Island ............ Conquest: Another vehicle-heavy map, with everything but IFVs represented. Rush: This map is honestly unfair to attackers, who have to slowly wade through enemy missiles to get anywhere near the initial points. Best to establish "base camps" and move from there. Lots of IFVs, a tank or two, and each side gets a ground-attack plane. Towards the end it is mostly MBTs. The AMTRAC is crucial for attackers; defend it at all costs! Noshahr Canals .............. Rush: At the beginning the USMC is given AMTRACs, a few boats, and a Scout Helicopter and Transport Helo, while the Russian defenders get a Mobile AA and mostly useless Vodnik. As the game progresses tanks become involved. Conquest: In Conquest this map hosts a jet, an attack helicopter, an IFV, and a MBT on both sides, as well as an AMTRAC on the American side. This is one of the close quarters maps, but significant vehicular combat occurs as well; for this reason it is best to mount anti-vehicle weapons while assisting friendlies in thrusts. Seine Crossing .............. Rush: An intensely urban map with a single IFV on both sides for support. Best mounted with anti-infantry specializations, as that is basically what you will be fighting. Conquest: An equally intense urban fight where having an infantry-oriented MBT and a team of engineers doing repairs is pretty much key. Each side gets an MBT and an Armored Jeep. Tehran Highway .............. Rush: This is an intensely confusing map, a nighttime environment with both plenty of nooks for launchers as well as other vehicles. Tanks are central to attacks, but don't get too cocky. Conquest: Vehicle-less, I think? Operation Firestorm ................... Conquest: An enormous map that is what most people think of when they think vehicles, along with Caspian Border. Each team gets two jets, an attack helicopter, Mobile AA, a Transport helicopter, an assortment of MBTs and a couple of jeeps. Vehicular combat galore, and watch out for SOFLAM atop the mountains. Rush: Rush on Operation Firestorm is a pain. It rarely goes beyond the first point, because there is a large, open expanse that must be crossed in a limited number of vehicles, followed by a heavy industrial complex which is full of defending claymores, shotties, and the like. If you're defending, set up for duck season; if you are attacking, do your best to bring down the enemy tanks and clear out the sniper-filed dunes. Recons with Radio Beacons are essential, as it is by far the best way to get to the point. Each side gets a Ground-attack jet, a few jeeps, a couple of MBTs. Operation Metro ............... Conquest and Rush: No vehicles. Rush is a good map, but conquest is widely agreed upon to be the worst map version in the history of Battlefield, not-so- affectionately known as "The Meat Grinder" for the grenade-slugging hopeless melee it usually dissolves into. Gulf of Oman ............ Conquest Assault: This map has the distinction of having the most vehicles at once of any map, ever. At deployment teams will pile into one attack helicopter, one transport helo, four jets, four main battle tanks, and five Infantry Fighting Vehicles. Fighting is generally disorganized by the sheer weight of the map. A good tactic is to set up along a choke point - especially the railroad lines along the center - and attack anything heading your way from there at the beginning. The problem with this map is that if one team gets a supermajority of points, the other is screwed by the sheer wait of the vehicle support the enemy team will be generating. Sharqi Peninsula ................ Conquest Assault: Another crowded map, like all of the B2K ones. contains an attack helicopter and an assortment of MBTs and IFVs. Infantry-capacity recommended on this confusing, close-ranged map. Helicopters have a tendency to get camped like crazy. Strike at Karkland .................. Conquest Assault: This map can be very fun with balanced teams. The problem is that US gets protected vehicle spawns while Russia gets them behind the G flag; if the US team managed to capture G, as often happens with jeep rushes, they get double vehicle spawns, and the unprotected position also often results in stolen tanks. For this reason I recommend the RU team use their starting IFV to safeguard the F and G points, preventing jeep breaches and discouraging the tactic. Other then that, anti-infantry setups are essential, as this is a very dense map. Wake Island 2014 ................ Conquest Assault: In my opinion this is the best map that came out of the B2K expansion. The RU team gets a smaller number of armored vehicles, lacking an AMTAC, but this is balanced out by the fact that the F-35s are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to air superiority against the Su-35 Flanker-Es. The best plan is to airdrop people in the center with the transport helo, then hold onto that while backcapping the other flags. A coherent line of flags is important for both teams; an unbroken line pervents breakouts and strengthens your line along one front instead of two. The Airfield is the most important objective and should be protected at all costs - that is where the AA tank, two jets, and a helo spawn! Rush: A mixed bag of treats involving long distances and a transport helos, MBTs, AMTACs, Mobile AA and Attack helicopters. The idea is to inch the AMTRAC as close forward as you dare. [7.00] Other stuff ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [7.01] Point values and service stars You get points for performing actions in vehicles; the following list contains the vehicle-related point values. Getting points in vehicles counts towards that vehicle and towards your rank. 100 Points - Enemy killed 50 Points - Suppression assist X Points - Kill Assist, where X is the percent damage you dealt (min 50). You can get kill assists at any damage value if the person who got the kill is in the same vehicle. 100 Points - Vehicle disabled 50 Points - Vehicle destroyed X Points - Vehicle destroy assist (X being the amount of damage, min 10) 10 Points - Repair 20 Points - Squad Repair 20 Points - Explosives Destroyed 10 Points - Laser Designation X Points - Designated Target Hit, X being the amount of damage dealt. 10 Points - Driver Assist, your passenger gets a kill 20 Points - Squad Driver Assist 10 Points - Passenger Assist, your driver gets a kill 20 Points - Squad Passenger Assist 20 Points - Equipment Destroyed, blow up a piece of enemy squad equipment 10 Points - Roadkill, in addition to 100 regular kill points ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [7.02] Ribbons and medals Ribbons ....... Ribbons are higher-point pieces that are awarded after achieving a certain bonus or action multiple times in a round. They count toward rank, but do not count towards the vehicle. Disable Vehicles Ribbon - In a round, disable four vehicles Ties into Vehicle disabled: 4*100 + 200 = 600 points per four disables. Air Warfare Ribbon - In a round, kill six enemies with air vehicles Vehicles that count are attack helicopters, scout helicopters, and jets (transport helos are transports and the subject of a separate ribbon). 6*100 + 200 = 800 points per eight air kills. Stationary Emplacement Ribbon - In a round, kill two people with stationary emplacements. Stationary AT guns and AA guns are the only weapons that count. Rare because these are rarely used. 2*100 + 200 = 400 points per two kills. Armored Warfare Ribbon - In a round, kill seven enemies with land vehicles Mobile AA, IFVs, and MBTs count. 7*100 + 200 = 900 points per seven air kills. Transport Warfare Ribbon - In a round, kill four enemies with transports. Transport helos and light vehicles count. Rare. 4*100 + 200 = 600 points per 4 kills. Anti Explosives Ribbon - In a round, destroy two enemy explosives. Extremely easy to get when blowing up enemy AT Mine traps and C4-laden suicide jeeps (you will generally get the ribbon two or three times). 2*20 + 200 = 240 points per two explosives blown up. Anti Vehicle Ribbon - In a round, destroy three vehicles. Simple, and vehicle backbone along with Disable Vehicles and Maintanace. 3*50 + 200 = 350 points per three vehicles destroyed. Maintenance Efficiency Ribbon - In a round, get seven repairs. Seven is about the number needed to fully repair a tank, so every time you do intensive repair on an occupied vehicle you will get a significant bonus. 7*10 + 200 = 270 points per seven repairs. Medals ...... Medals are the highest-order reward and are obtained by collecting a certain number of ribbons. Not all ribbons correlate to medals, and they give a large, flat 10000 XP bonus when achieved for rank, NOT for vehicles. Service rewards are obtained through time constraints that are generally met around the vehicle's second service star. Service Rewards Engineer Service Medal - Spend 50 hours as an Engineer. Laser Designator Medal - Get 300 damage assists with the laser designator. Tank Service Medal - Spend 20 hours in tanks. Stationary Weapons Service Medal - Spend 2 hours on stationary weapons. Helicopter Service Medal - Spend 20 hours in helicopters. Jet Service Medal - Spend 20 hours in jets. Ribbon Rewards Maintanace Medal - Obtain the Maintanace Efficiency Ribbon 50 times. Laser Designator Medal - Get 300 damage assists with the laser designator. Transport Warfare Medal - Get the Transport warfare ribbon 30 times. Air Warfare Medal - Get the Air Warfare Ribbon 30 times. Stationary Emplacement Medal - Get the Stationary Emplacement medal 30 times. Anti-vehicle medal - Obtain the anti-vehicle medal 50 times. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [7.03] Service stars and dogtags Every heavy-duty vehicle in the game has a series of unlocks in specialization. Upon achieving the last of these unlocks, you are rewarded with a service star worth a flat 10,000 XP bonus. You can re-earn service stars once you pass this landmark again, a value that depends based on the vehicle: 32,000 points - Anti-air guns 35,000 points - Jets 48,000 points - Scout helicopters 60,000 points - Attack helicopters 90,000 points - Infantry fighting vehicles 100,000 points - Tanks Many dog tags are awarded under special conditions. The most interesting dog tags are those awarded upon recieving your first medal or service star with a weapon, class, or vehicle; these are displayed on the right side of your two tags. They can also be retrieved by a stealthy assassination kill on an enemy with your knife. A left hand tag is achieved upon getting any ribbon ten times, see Ribbons above for the list. Upon getting your first vehicle service star you receive a left-hand dog tag with a shadowed model of the vehicle in the background, and a flashier dynamic right-hand dog tag that tallies up the number of kills you have gotten with that vehicle. Those achieved upon getting your first ribbon are similar. Mr. Fix It - Obtain Maintanace Medal one time, counts Repairs. Death Wheeler - Obtain Transport Warfare Medal one time, counts Transport kills Death's How I Roll - Obtain Armored Warfare Medal one time, counts those kills. Air 2 Grave - Obtain Air Warfare medal one time, counts air kills. Stationary Dog Tag - (Almost?) nonexistent, Stationary Warfare Medal, counts Stationary kills Start Walking - Anti-vehicle medal, counts vehicles destroyed. Engineer Service Dog Tag - Engineer Service medal, counts gun/rpg kills.
Service Dog Tag - Any vehicle service star, counts kill with it. Service Star 5 Dog Tag - 5 service stars unlocks a flashier one. Service Star 10 Dog Tag - 10 unlocks an even flashier one! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [V] Thank yous ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - Another wonderful game from those guys at DICE. - Mastadi for his wonderful proofread. - for your contributions (sent to the address below) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [VI] Contact ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My email is a[underscore]bilogur[at]yahoo[dot]com. Do: + Send me helpful information. + Send me corrections. + Send me addition information + Send me any other question you may have. Don't: - Spam me. - Ask a question already covered here. - Ask to be my friend. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [VII] Copyright ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This guide is (C) 2012 jimmythesnowman. This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission.