PlayStation 2 PlanetPlayStation 2 PlanetXbox PlanetPC PlanetNintendo DS PlanetPlayStation Portable PlanetGameboy Advance PlanetGamecube PlanetPlaystation PlanetNintendo 64 PlanetDreamcast Planet Begin Document---------------------------------------------------- GUNSHIP 2000 HINTS ON PLAY By Jim Day. Game Designer Gunship 2000 FLIGHT ~~~~~~ Control: -------- Although it is best to start out in "easy" flight mode, you should try to progress to "realistic" flight as soon as is possible. Realistic flight gives a much more precise control of the helicopter. You should strive to control your altitude with just the cyclic (joystick) control, and stay away from using the collective for in flight altitude adjustments. Try to use the dual joystick, joystick/keyboard or joystick/rudder pedals control options. These options enable you to control the tail rotor. This additional control greatly enhances flight control. It is much easier to use the tail rotor to make quick turns than the cyclic. Hard cyclic turns can result in an altitude loss; a problematic situation when near the ground. Altitude: --------- Try to avoid overflying mountains (except near your base) unless you wish to get a high view of the countryside. The altitude gain is just not worth the exposure. Stay low, but not too low as the discovery of the enemy at extremely low altitudes gives you little time to react to incoming threats. It real combat, helicopter pilots seldom fly below 100 feet. If you are searching for the enemy, an altitude of about 225 feet is probably about right. If you know where the target or objective is located, go in low and hot to avoid as many of the enemy defensive units as is possible. Gauges/Indicators: ------------------ Keep your eye glued to the radar altimeter (the one located in the HUD - the altitude gauge in the console is the barometric or pressure altimeter). This indicator shows your true height to the ground immediately below the helicopter. As the ground rises up to meet you, this indicator shows the loss in altitude. The low altitude warning also sounds when your altitude enters the red zone (this zone is player adjustable by the "c" or "v" keys). These subtle altitude changes can mean the difference between life or that fatal crash. One particular area to watch is the coast in the Persian Gulf. As you near the shore, flying from inland, the terrain rises slightly - pay attention to the altitude change. It may seem obvious, but pay close attention to the threat display - give it a glance every so often. Threats can pop up on the periphery or to the rear that your CP/G can not see to call out. In those situations, maneuver towards or away from the potential threat. Keep in mind that as you move towards a target, the dead (or safety) zone is reduced - this is a combination of range and altitude. In general, fly "out of the cockpit" only taking periodic glances at the console. The HUD provides the key flight data, and the console should be used only as a backup. Friendlies: ----------- Upon reaching the rank of 2nd Lieutenant, you are given the responsibility of multi-helicopter command. These guys can accomplish a great deal if you utilize them with care. With fresh-faced rookies, do not expect then to take on the enemy single handily - they just do not have the skills. Just as you had to learn the ropes, these guys also improve with time. Rank and decorations are the best measure of their competence. Their degree of competence is applicable to three different areas: offense, defense and flight skill. The best pilots hit the targets with the fewest shots and at the greatest range; avoid taking damage; and hit their waypoints right on the mark. Those new guys and less experienced pilots fall somewhere short of this optimum. With these limitations in mind, give them something attainable. Pick-ups, cargo missions, small target groups or moving targets are a good place to start. They are skilled enough to always fly to a drop-off or pick-up point if their last waypoint is somewhere near the location. They even let you know if they spot a pick-up by communicating "Objective Sighted!". Position their final waypoint or assign a new flight path on the location, and they will fly directly to the point. Of course, they always fly directly to the base or FARP (accessed by a second press of the "to base" key). Once they have developed a certain degree of experience, there is not a single mission they can not handle. Take care of them, and they will take care of you. TACTICS ~~~~~~~ S-2 Report: ----------- Pay attention the unit sightings information in the report. The order of the four units listed indicates the frequency of the number you could expect to meet in this mission. The unit listed first has the greatest frequency, the second a lesser frequency, and so on. Toughest Primary?secondary Targets: ----------------------------------- Headquarters, Depots, Fixed Emplacements and Infantry Groups provide the greatest challenge. They all have a large and diverse mix of potentially dangerous units. They also require a high degree of destruction to achieve the mission. This combined with the deployed enemy defenders, makes for a tough assignment. Easiest Primary/Secondary Targets: ---------------------------------- Moving vehicle platoons, and to a lesser extent moving mech groups, are the easiest targets. This assumes that you have found the target. Only a few of the units in the platoon or mech group stop to engage you - the others try to escape and continue on to their objective. This makes for a limited number of enemy shots. As an added benefit, the enemy defenders must spread out along the path of movement, thereby, limiting their concentration. Toughest Single Targets: ------------------------ This is probably all infantry targets and the 2S6 (the 2S6 is found only in Europe). The infantry are tough to destroy and they have a number of weapons to throw back at you. M261 and M255 rockets can make short work of the infantry. Hellfires can also be effective, but it may take more than one to do the job. When in close, blast them with your cannon. The 2S6's laser guided missiles and accurate cannon make it an extremely tough adversary. Fire-and-forget weapons are the best choice as you can not "spoof" its laser guided missiles. Guiding a TOW-2 or Hellfire-A into the target can be a dangerous prospect. The preferred tactic is to fire a Sidearm, Hellfire-B or M247 rockets and immediately fly away from the target. Even if a laser missile is in flight, when the 2S6 is destroyed, the missile automatically drops its lock (this is also true of radar guided missiles - eliminate the source and the missile no longer tracks). This tactic should also keep you out of its cannon range. The ZSU-23(4) and towed guns can also be a tough nut if you come upon them within their cannon range. Their high rate-of-fire (especially at the higher enemy quality levels) enable them to throw out a large number of shots in a short period of time. Easiest Single Targets: ----------------------- Aside from the various structures and buildings, these would be all tanks and machine-gun armed recon units, such as the BRDM-2 and EE-9. These units are pretty much sitting ducks and can be destroyed with impunity. Even if you fall within range of their machine-guns, it is rare that you take a hit. These are all good candidates for cannon fire; do not waste limited ordnance on these targets. On-line Data Base: ------------------ Until familiar with the various enemy targets and units, you are encouraged to use the on-line data base (alt-p keys with a target lock) to secure important information. Weapons: -------- You really need to tailor your choice of weapons to the nature of the targets. This knowledge comes from experience, the manual and the on-line data base. Try different combinations on different target types - best done while in the training mode. Keep in mind that the damage inflicted can vary; it is not a fixed amount. A target could be destroyed with one hit on one occasion, but may require two hits on a second occasion. Before you reach the level of command access to a Longbow Apache, rockets can substitute as a poor man's fire-and- forget weapon. While they take a certain degree of finesse to utilize, they do have the advantage of flying directly to the target if launched in constraints. As an added bonus, you can usually carry a whole passel of them, and set the number to fire in a salvo. With three different types, choose carefully and pay attention to the S-2 report. Sidearm is also a good weapon to consider, as it is a true fire-and-forget weapon system. While the number that can be carried is limited, it is a good choice for the wing tips on Apaches when light air activity is expected. It is more than capable of silencing most radar sources with the exception of ships. Mavericks or Penguins are a must when dealing with ships. They have the capacity to destroy a ship with a single hit; not guaranteed with Hellfires or TOWs. Maverick, if available, is the preferred choice over Penguin since it has a dual role against ground targets. A mistake some players make is changing the weapon type while a guided missile is still in flight to a target. For example, if you have a Hellfire-A in bound to a target, do not change the weapon selector to another weapon type. The on board computer becomes confused, and the Hellfire no longer tracks the target. The effectiveness of ripple fire can not be emphasized more, when engaging closely grouped targets with guided weapons. Launch one missile, wait a few moments, launch a second, wait a few moments more, and then launch a third, and so on. This tactic greatly reduces the total engagement time over the target, and therefore your total exposure time. It has the added benefit of eliminating the threats in short order. Technically, all of the missiles are targeted on the first target. But after the first target is destroyed, the targeting system automatically shifts to the next target - locking the next missile on to that target. This process continues until all of the targets are destroyed or the missiles have all hit their targets. If the target was not destroyed by the first hit, you have another missile following closely in its wake to finish the job. Moving Targets: --------------- Moving targets are not all that difficult to find, if you keep a few key points in mind. They move at speed of about 25 knots - so less than 1/4 of your average speed. This gives you an idea as to where they may be along their path. They always move in the indicated direction, but modify their path based upon intervening terrain (they avoid mountains, valleys and rivers). You may discover them off of the path due to these terrain types. However, they generally move in the direction indicated. Moving units that appear to start on a road will more than likely follow the path of that road, including movement through road canyons. Search & Destroy (or Rescue): -------------------------- These can be one of the most frustrating mission types. Just keep in mind that the target is out there, and your intelligence data relating to the suspected location is fairly accurate. The target should be no more the a few map units from the indicated location (the mission map is divided into a 16 by 16 grid - therefore it is divided into 16 x 16 map units). The challenging part is that the target could be in any direction from the indicated location. A good clue to the location can be the discovery of enemy defenders. If you start to encounter these defenders, the target can not be far away. After all, the defenders are there for a purpose. Sea Targets: ------------ Enemy ships can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you come across them at short range. If you are to engage known ship targets, approach them form the seaward side and pick up altitude to about 300 or so feet. This should give you enough range to deal with anything they may throw at you. Air Targets: ------------ Now these guys can give you some real trouble. Pay very close attention to the S-2 report's section on enemy aircraft. If it states "extremely heavy", you best be prepared for some heavy action. Stingers and Sidewinders are the weapons of choice in this case. Stingers are more than capable of dealing with most of the enemy helicopter threats with a single shot. There is no doubt when firing a Sidewinder. Your can is also more than capable of taking out an enemy helicopter. It this case, you will have to get in close. Enemy high-performance aircraft definitely require Sidewinders; in most cases, Stingers just do not have the punch to take one out with a single hit. It is a truly lucky shot if you are able to get a hit with your cannon. Keep in mind, that these guys must be dealt with, since they keep coming back until they are damaged or destroyed. The good thing is that you do not see them all that often - after all, helicopters just do not tangle with fast movers all that often. Jammers, Chaff & Flares: ------------------------ Jammers should be activated at the first notice of an enemy inbound threat. The jammer either "spoofs" the enemy missile or it does not - there is no grey area in this regard. If you do jam the missile make sure to move out of its flight path. Jammed missiles do not disappear, they just continue on a straight flight path. That is why it is a good tactic to keep targets on the periphery rather than flying directly towards the target. With this approach, the jammed missiles miss to the left or right. The IR jammer has an equal chance of jamming a missile each time it is attempted. The radar jammer is a different story. The enemy units frequency hop until they are able to defeat, or "burn through" your jamming signal. That is why initial missiles are jammed and later missiles can not be jammed. Turn off the radar jammer after use; remaining active reduces its effectiveness. Chaff and flares are close-in defenses. Launching chaff or flares when the missile is still 2 km away is very ineffective. It is purely a matter of timing. Allow the missile to approach and then launch the decoy. If you launch too soon the chaff cloud will have dissipated or drifted off or the flares will have hit the ground or burned out. If you launch too late, the missile will not be fooled, and will still track your helicopter. If possible, break left or right after you launch the decoy; this enhances the effectiveness of the decoy. You can lose constraints or even drop the lock while targeting for guided weapons (Hellfire-A and TOW-2). The missile continues to fly in a straight line. If you re-acquire the lock before the missile flies by the target or it is able to turn quickly enough to maneuver to the target, it will still impact. Another effective tactic to avoid enemy missiles, is to drop down or fly behind hills. If you can mask your signature to the missile, it losses its track. That is why it is advisable, when possible, to approach targets from terrain rather than over flat ground. As a last ditch choice, it is also possible to "dodge" missiles by making quick last minute breaks to the left or right. You do not have the quickness and sharp maneuverability of a fighter aircraft. As a result, this maneuver is a real challenge as it requires precise timing, but at times may be your only hope of escape. The maneuver is much more effective against radar guided missiles than IR guided missiles. Radar guided missiles have a much larger turning radius then IR missiles, and are less able to respond to quick breaking turns. IR missiles are designed to engage fast breaking targets. Training is a good place to test these tactics and maneuvers. You can get your timing down and locked without any damage to get in the way of your tests. SCORING ~~~~~~~ Your main purpose in life is to destroy the primary and secondary targets. You are not rewarded for missing those objects, even if you manage to destroy everything else out there. The really successful pilot are rewarded for hitting the targets and getting back in less than thirty minutes or less. This may mean that you may have to set your sights to just the primary or the secondary on certain missions. Make sure that you get at least one of them, preferably the primary, and get that helicopter back to base. They are too expensive to leave littered about the battlefield. To maximize your score, and consequently your success and rewards, destroy all of the targets in the primary and secondary. Even though you can achieve the mission by destroying less than the total number of targets - get all of them while you are there. If possible, eliminate all air targets encountered. If you have to make a choice, skip the buildings, recon units and tanks, and concentrate on the missile armed units and anti-aircraft guns. After all, how many points do you expect to score for torching houses, churches and mosques. You are definitely recognized for eliminated the bad guys while flying smaller and less well armed helicopters. It is especially apparent is you fly one of those helicopters yourself. You have probably noticed that the Longbow Apache is an extremely powerful helicopter. Well, the Task Force Commander has also noticed this fact. He is impressed with the guys that fly Defenders and Comanche Scouts. If you started with a pilot that has suffered a number of setbacks, i.e. did not get either the primary or secondary on a series of missions or consistently has walked back to base, you may be further ahead to start over with a new pilot. That guy probably has too many reprimands in his file to achieve a high rank before forced retirement gets him first. If you can avoid it, never decline missions or abort a campaign. These are big black marks on your record. And by all means, try not to lose any pilots. It is your responsibility to take care of them. If you lose too many, you may find yourself in civilian clothes flying a traffic helicopter.