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Thread: AI Bombers

  1. #31
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    Re: AI Bombers

    Quote Originally Posted by 69th_Bazzered View Post
    So much this! We Blenny drivers have s/d blue pilots complaining every night about OP AI, when in reality it's me or another human in the backseat doing the shooting. After testing on many, many rounds of AI bombers on ATAG #2, they seem to be working fairly to me. You take a few pot shot hits from slashing or head-on attacks, but you'll generally come out of the engagement healthy. Lose your discipline and come in dead 6, you're dead meat, which is entirely realistic

    Kiwi is one of the bloody deadly masters of avoiding our gunners (AI or human) and racking up kills with slashing or low 6 attacks, or long-range sniping with cannon. Take a lesson, or suffer the consequences!
    When you say that this is entirely realistic which sources are you quoting? I am honestly trying to understand wether it is realistic or not and I am afraid that the topic is grossly oversimplified even on this forum of Experten.

    The parameters we should talk about is relative speed, angles off, type of attack and number of attackers/defenders. History says that unescorted bombers went down a lot. Sometimes even the escorted ones.

    I have not seen any reliable source saying that all bombers needed to get through unascathed was rear gunners, not I have seen lots of reports that successful attacks could be done from the front arc or from slashing, bringing down a significant number of bombers. The attacker can survive going through a formation that way and these techniques were used against large formations of B-17s, etc. later in the war, but that is all I am aware of.

    I have not seen anywhere that the standard doctrine of fighters against bombers was to do frontal attacks or slashing attacks. Again, these attacks were done, but to bring down a medium or heavy bomber one needs a good long burst, if you did not have heavier weapons. Somewhere between these facts and assertions seen on the many forums there is an inconsistency.

    What I have read consistently is that bombers in formation present a much more difficult target, that speed of the attack matters, of course, that heavier weapons are necessary (cannons vs. MGs). The standard approach used by the Germans who faced thousands of bombers was to try to break the formation and pick off individual bombers. Otherwise they went in for one quick pass and then go hide in a cloud to avoid the (10:1 superior) escort fighters. When bombers did not have escort fighters losses were very heavy; even the US was getting desperate until longer range fighter escorts (P-51) became available.

    So, somewhere in the middle between 1) sit back on the bomber's six and relax while firing and 2) slash through and fire for 1 second there must be a reasonable compromise that reflectsreality. Both situations happened in their appropriate context.

    ~Uranor

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  3. #32
    Novice Pilot Knight's Avatar
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    Re: AI Bombers

    Ok, I have not tried torians stuff yet if he could send to this email warbirdsofprey@gmail.com. It is one thing to question a persons approaches and some get lazy coming in from bad angles. My point on just one group of bombers a set of 9 loaded to the max with what one would consider correct ammo loadout might get 3 swipes in a hurricane with the effectiveness of the 303 yes I would say that they took some rounds and needed patching on occasion. to come through on the third pass and get oil or water the entire RAF would be replacing engine during the entire war lol. This seems historically in accurate and I will try Torians as soon as I get them. I decided to put the gunners in all the planes to IDIOTS ei. the number settings deals with basic flying advanced flying awareness gunnery then other things lke discipline and bravery. As shown above I set everything to these do not give a dam about fighting and shooting LOL. Now you may get away with 2 passes and maybe get four but as you keep your attack up even with other fighters drawing fire as you come in the shot seems to be ENGINE only! now since our server is running upto 30+ bombers in some raids being the only guy LOL is a death wish even at IDIOT SETTINGS. I for one think that if one considers the gunnery as hit percentage ie: 0.5 the possibility is 50% these guys can hit you and up or down the scale the problem now is that the scale in my honest assessment DOSE NOT WORK AT ALL! Since I have flown this sim I have enjoyed the idea of going after bombers in my hurricane as a priority and on our server it is MUST to keep your runways operational and your factories making hurricanes and spits and fuel in production. Now in every case even trying NEGATIVE NUMBERS for everyone attacking the first hits on some are oil and rad right off the start. Now here is the other point that I think some overlook and I have read some rude comments on the other threads. If one buys this game and down loads some one great campaign and begins to fly it offline they would not make it past the first mission and to be apart of the mission building community to go in and make all of those changes to bombers is hard enough on someone who knows the game LOL. But a noob to mission building would not have a clue. Question dose the individual settings per person work. If not then fix it or give us a skill set that you recommend that you feel is historical. Anyway I am glad to see the better feed back and look forward to trying torians settings when I get them.
    Last edited by Knight; Jan-12-2018 at 17:27.

  4. #33
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    Re: AI Bombers

    A lot of posters here are making claims about how easy it should be to shoot down enemy bombers without really understanding the facts.

    Historically it was never as one-sided as players of games might think. The fact is, most games make instant player gratification the most important element of their game... and players want to to see flaming bombers shot out of the sky with their guns as a normal easily accomplished goal.

    The facts are different. Even in cases when relatively small formations of lightly armed bombers were attacked by larger numbers of fighters, the results were not a massacre.

    To use a famous historical example... "The Battle of the Heligoland Bight", which occurred on December 18th 1939. This was an attack by British bombers on German warships.

    In this battle, 22 Wellington I and IA bombers were intercepted by 44 German fighters, a combination of Bf-109's and Bf-110's. So the interceptors outnumbered the bombers by 2-1... a far from common occurrence during the war. The Wellingtons had no escort, and they flew at the easily attacked altitude of 10,000 ft/3000 meters. These Wellingtons had NO self-sealing fuel tanks... the aircraft in the game do have self-sealing tanks. Add the fact half the German interceptors were 'heavy' fighters which could use their powerful armament without fear of attack from escorts.

    In the original CLIFFS OF DOVER all the British bombers would have been shot out of the sky in a few minutes, with losses on the German side likely being non-existent.

    What happened historically?

    Historically the British lost 10 bombers shot down at the scene of the combat, most of them from one formation whose leader made the mistake of telling his pilots to break up their formation to attack the warships. The other British formation stayed together and lost no bombers. Two additional bombers were later forced to ditch due to damage or lack of fuel for the 150 mile return flight and 3 bombers had to belly land on their fields due to damage, landing gear issues or other concerns.

    The Germans lost three 109's shot down, and suffered severe damage to 2 more. Two Bf-110's had severe damage. Another 7 German fighters had light damage.

    So in this instance, even when the bombers were heavily outnumbered, with poor defensive armor and poor formations, nearly half escaped to survive.

    During the Battle of Britain, the Germans had escorts for their bombers in almost every instance. And typically they lost no more than 10% of their bomber force during an engagement. 10% was considered by the Luftwaffe to be an 'unsustainable' loss rate... which is why when these types of losses continued, they broke off the daylight attack on Britain. Building bombers was a tremendously expensive cost to the German economy, and just as expensive was training the flight crews who had to man them.

    During the Battle of Germany the USAAF typically had 5% or less losses from the bomber formations once they had escorts in place.

    In the worst case instance of unescorted bomber mission, i.e. the first attack on Regensberg/Schweinfurt, the Americans had 376 heavy B-17's involved. These were intercepted by over 400 German fighters, a mix of 109's, 110's and 210's. These 400 German fighters were often able to fly more than one intercept, attacking both on the inbound flight to the target, and again after refueling, on the outbound flight. Many of the 110's had 30mm cannon armament.

    The Americans suffered a total of sixty B-17's shot down, an approx. 17% loss rate, with another 50 + seriously damaged. The Germans lost 27 aircraft shot down with more damaged. Again, the loss rate in this combat was considered 'unsustainable' by the USAAF, and they temporarily suspended unescorted bomber operations until they could rebuild their force.

    Again, in most Flight Simulation games, with this type of matchup, all the bombers would be shot down. Which goes to show how inaccurate most simulations are.

    At TF, we are striving to provide an accurate as possible simulation of the realities of air combat during WWII. We are not interested in gratifying or indulging the player's egos.

    Fighter Air combat was not child's play... even when attacking unescorted bombers... against well armed formations, it was an extremely dangerous occupation which required high levels of skill and gunnery.

    As it stands now, players who want easy kills can modify the missions to give all the bomber gunners the poorest gunnery ratings. That will allow a player to sit on a bombers tail and hammer away without any real fear of being hit. Or a player can make himself invulnerable if he wants.
    Last edited by RAF74_Buzzsaw; Jan-12-2018 at 18:42.

  5. #34
    Supporting Member III./ZG76_Ezzie's Avatar
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    Re: AI Bombers

    Interesting discussion

    As a long time 110 flyer i guess i've got skin in this game so will add my 2 bob's worth.

    As Ribbs has said during beta testing we spent a lot of time trying to find the sweet spot re bomber AI accuracy v historical v what felt 'right'. Being historically accurate is very tricky as one can usually find some examples in books etc that support whatever position you have on how accurate they are now. For instance i have examples in BoB books of Spit pilots being killed by 110 gunners, Spits shot down by bomber gunners and vice versa. So each of us probably have a slightly different view on what 'historical' is and its difficult to argue why one person's opinion is more accurate than anothers.

    Even using stats doesnt really help. If you looked at a single day in the BoB and worked out many fighters engaged the bombers (i suspect many were only able to do a single pass but might be wrong) and then worked out how many bombers went down due to these attacks as some sort of percentage I suspect it would way less than a typical day on the ATAG server. As an aside it would be e interesting to hear what ACG thought about this from a historical perspective this seeing what they do on their server.

    And then if you look at the Aalborg raid by the Blennies you get the other extreme of the spectrum perhaps

    http://ww2today.com/13th-august-1940...most-wiped-out

    https://defenceoftherealm.wordpress....one-came-back/

    But there's probably a few things most of us would agree with

    (a) Sitting on the six at close range of a bomber / blenny / 110 should result in more than a few bullets hitting you. In 4.321 this was often not the case and fighters could sit there and fire away, as often (but not always - my AI gunner did PK a small number in 4.321) the -110 gunner (in my experience) would be firing 45 degrees away from the fighter. This has been fixed in 4.5

    (b) A single fighter attacking a formation of AI bombers from the 6 with not much overtaking speed should result in more than a few bullets yadda yadda. This has been fixed.

    (c) A single fighter making a slashing attack on single bomber (ie high speed diving beam attack) should not expect to be riddled on the first pass but should expect some hits sometimes and sometimes these hits might cause damage. And the more times you do this attack in succession the more likely that eventually you will get critical damage. In my experience in 4.5 (beta testing and now) i think we are closer to achieving this - whether we are right in the sweet spot is tough because i suspect we all have slightly different ideas of what the sweet spot is. Ive been able to shoot down 4 out a Blenhiem raid doing this in 4.5 but at the same time have been whacked badly the first time i tried it on a Welly raid. So a bit of swings and roundabouts from my perspective.

    And just to prove the 4.321 was sometimes like this - here's a link to a thread in which i posted a video of me in SP/offline attacking the Wellies in 2014. As you can see my pilot was hit on the first pass even back then

    https://theairtacticalassaultgroup.c...ght=Wellington

    (d) There are some very talented human gunners - Sawham I'm looking at you and your 69th buddies - who will hit you if you try anything other than slashing attacks.


    re the -110

    The 110 especially was toned down from where it was at one stage in the beta to try and reduce the gunner's ability to shoot accurately during manoevres. The beta testers (a mixture of red and blue) thought the end result was reasonably well balanced re accuracy v manoeverability etc, noting its probably a personal /subjective thing about where this sweet spot should be and this seems to be one of the things being discussed in this thread. Again finding historical proof is probably achievable in support of either side of the argument.

    In my experience thus far my AI gunner does a better job at protecting me than in 4.321 (noting he did do OK sometimes in 4.321) and sometimes will shoot down attackers. But he's not perfect and i am still being shot down by red fighters parked on my six who seemingly live to fight another day. I had an issue today where a Spitfire was on my six taking long-ish range shots and my AI gunner had the rear canopy closed and was looking in another direction. Where possible i still prefer to shoot my own rear gun and did so in this occasion and might have damaged my attacker (i broke contact and got a kill message afterwards.

    My 2 bob has run out so time to finish waffling....

    Ezzie
    Last edited by III./ZG76_Ezzie; Jan-12-2018 at 18:49.

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  7. #35
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    Re: AI Bombers

    Quote Originally Posted by III./ZG76_Ezzie View Post

    And then if you look at the Aalborg raid by the Blennies you get the other extreme of the spectrum perhaps

    http://ww2today.com/13th-august-1940...most-wiped-out

    https://defenceoftherealm.wordpress....one-came-back/
    An analysis of this raid showed that half of the bombers were shot down by AAA fire.

    The bombers came in at very low altitudes.

    And the German fighters had lots of time to attack the remaining bombers who were outnumbered.

    Again, no self-sealing tanks, and these Blenheims only had the single rear gun.
    Last edited by RAF74_Buzzsaw; Jan-12-2018 at 19:10.

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  9. #36
    Novice Pilot Knight's Avatar
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    Re: AI Bombers

    A lot of posters here are making claims about how easy it should be to shoot down enemy bombers without really understanding the facts.
    At no point did I say it should be easy, nor do I want it to be easy just accurate and something as a mission builder I can truly adjust. The ratios that I stated above if 20% is accurate to hit percentage between bomber and fighter. Even at the lowest setting with a team of 3 AND WE ARE NOT CAMPING! With set of 9 bombers it is hard to make good passes without taking engine damage WITH THE GUNNERS SET TO ZERO!!!! If this is the case then Historically the RAF would be fixing engines every sortie and this was not the case. As stated most accounts the planes were more afraid of getting jump by fighter cover then bombers GUNNERS! LAST Buzz if you have created a Bomber mission please post with what you sir think is HISTORICALLY correct and I will put it in!!!

    Numbers based on Percentage hit ratio:
    1 0.9 (ACE) 0.8 0.7 0.6 (VET) 0.5 0.4 0.3 (ROOKIE) 0.2 0.1 0 (CANT HIT THE BROAD SIDE OF A BARN)

    Now if the gunner has zero awareness and zero for bravery HE SHOULD NOT BE SHOOTING WHILE THE PLANE IS GOING DOWN AND ON TARGET WITH HIS BULLETS!! With AI goal is to be able to apply the HUMAN condition and with the numbers above I have yet to see another mission builder post his numbers. Or the team give a number system they feel is accurate historically. I am sounding like a broken record here and the response is you suck or your history is inaccurate LOLOL.

    ''Last Witness’’ Mike Croskell was early into the fight: “On August 11, flying with 213 Hurricane Squadron, I chased a Junkers 88 and got a good old burst of shot into it. The chaps got out of it, sat on the wing and then slid off with their parachutes, which opened, and the aircraft went down.

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    Re: AI Bombers

    Battle of Britain day:

    In the noon attack Lindmayr's bomber force of 25 Dornier's, escorted by 120 German fighters were meet by 245 British fighters.

    When reach London outskirts Dornier's are without escort - involved in dogfights with British fighters in the way and returning low in fuel - and there are attack by two Squadrons (20 Hurricanes) and by Duxford "Balbo" Wing lead by Bader with 56 fighters - 76 fighters attacking 25 light bombers defended by 6x 7.62 MG each.

    Dornier's keep closer formation, but six were shoot down.

    At the end of this battle:

    Of 25 Dornier's 6 were shoot down - 25% of the force, but small number facing attackers numbers.

    Escorts lost 12 Bf 109.

    British pilots claim 81 kills - 26 by "Balbo" Wing.

    The famous Zehbe Dornier - what pilot less was rammed by Hurricane over London and his bombs fell near Buckingham Palace - was claimed by 9 different pilot's.

    British lost 13 fighters - 8 claimed by Jg 52, unknown if Dornier's gunners shoot down any of remaining 5.

    Some bombers has good gunners:

    On Luftwaffe air gunners there is interesting information on Richard Hough’s and Denis Richards’ The Battle of Britain (Coronet edition 1990 ISBN 0 340 53470 2) p. 156 note** , it shows the results of a study based on opinions given in 1988 by some 100 surviving Battle of Britain era British fighter pilots. 40 of them rated the quality of German bomber gunnery good or excellent, 32 thought it average and 30 poor. In the text there is a short description of the combat on 13 August 1940 between the tight formations of the Dornier Do 17Zs from the II. and the III./KG 2 and the Spitfires from the 74 Squadron and the Hurricanes from the 111 and the 151 Squadrons during which the air gunners shot down two British fighters but the KG 2 lost five Dorniers and four more badly damaged. In the note there is also mentioned a combat during which 9 He 111s shot down three out of the first six attacking Hurricanes. This probably refers to the combat between 9./KG 55 and 79 Squadron over the Irish Sea on 29 September 1940. 9. Staffel lost one He 111 and two other were so badly damaged that they were forced to turn back (out of 9 He 111s) but He 111 gunners shot down three Hurricanes out of 11.
    "Parking" on single German bomber six:

    Luftwaffe air gunners had showed their deadliness already earlier. On 2 March 1940 a Dornier Do 17P from 1.(F)/22 was intercepted by three Curtiss Hawk H-75As from GC II/5. The Frenchmen claimed it as probably destroyed but in fact it evaded them with only slight damage, and escaped into Belgian airspace. There it was intercepted by three Hurricanes of the Armée de l’Air Belge, from 1/I of the 2eme Regiment from Schaffen. The section leader, Lt Henrard, led the trio in a tail chase in line astern, presenting the German rear gunner with an easy target, and he utilized that fully. One after the other the three hurricanes were hit; Henrard’s aircraft was shot down and crashed, the pilot being killed, whilst the other two were both crippled. One force-landed at once and turned over on its back, while the third, code H-23, managed to reach Schaffen, where it too force-landed, riddled with bullets. The Dornier escaped with only 5% damage.
    https://juhansotahistoriasivut.weebl...r-gunners.html
    Last edited by 1lokos; Jan-13-2018 at 00:59.

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  12. #38
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    Re: AI Bombers

    Quote Originally Posted by RAF74_Buzzsaw View Post
    ...

    As it stands now, players who want easy kills can modify the missions to give all the bomber gunners the poorest gunnery ratings. That will allow a player to sit on a bombers tail and hammer away without any real fear of being hit. Or a player can make himself invulnerable if he wants.
    Thank you for making concrete examples. If you read my post above, carefully, you would see that all the fact you cited do not contradict at all my points, in fact we agree on practically everything. Except the sentence quoted above, at least in my case.
    Not seeking easy "kills" of virtual bombers at all and not asking to go back to the previous bugged code. I just think that the percentage of critical hits on the current version is exaggerated. It does not seem that it reflects the relative percentage of losses between fighters and bombers seen in history.

    This is the last time I will try to make that point. Thank you for listening and answering.

  13. #39
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    Re: AI Bombers

    Not sure about bomber gunners but defiant gunners get killed easy enough .. "meat shield for pilot" ??? LOL !

    But you are correct about gunners still firing when a plane is going down .. reality should be, if plane going down .. everyone's crawling for the EXIt.

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  14. #40
    Student Pilot Hawk_Eagle's Avatar
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    Re: AI Bombers

    my suggestion to Developers Team of this game/simulation is to take in mind not only Sp complaints at this UBER A.I. but the fact that this uber A.I. affect also MP plattform: as someone has staded before anyone will go now to engage any bomber plane even in MP servers as all people know right now that is a undoubtable end-of-session-game just when you approach at any bomber. we can't confide in a low-manual-setting of gunner parameters because anyone who set up a server will never go to fiddle and take care about this manual deep settings parameters of gunners. my opinion.

  15. #41
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    Re: AI Bombers

    Quote Originally Posted by HurricaneHarvest View Post
    But you are correct about gunners still firing when a plane is going down .. reality should be, if plane going down .. everyone's crawling for the EXIt.
    Not always.
    A close friend of mine's father served in 460 Squadron stationed at Binbrook flying Lancasters, Flight Sgt Robert Henry Baker.
    During a mission over Europe on 17th April 1943 their aircraft was hit by flak and crashed, killing all of the crew.
    As the aircraft was going down two of the crew continued to maintain their fire on the German flak positions until they finally crashed into a hillside.
    People are capable of extraordinary things in the worst of circumstances.
    Intel I5 - 3570K CPU @ 3.40 - 3.80 GHZ, Nvidia GTX 970 4GB, Evo 850 SSD 500GB, Ram 16GB DDR3, Win 7 64 Bit. Thrustmaster Warthog HOTAS and MSFFB 2, CH Throttle Quadrant, MFG Crosswind Rudder Pedals, Track IR5.

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  17. #42
    Combat pilot rel4y's Avatar
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    Re: AI Bombers

    Quote Originally Posted by RAF74_Buzzsaw View Post
    In the worst case instance of unescorted bomber mission, i.e. the first attack on Regensberg/Schweinfurt, the Americans had 376 heavy B-17's involved. These were intercepted by over 400 German fighters, a mix of 109's, 110's and 210's. These 400 German fighters were often able to fly more than one intercept, attacking both on the inbound flight to the target, and again after refueling, on the outbound flight. Many of the 110's had 30mm cannon armament.

    The Americans suffered a total of sixty B-17's shot down, an approx. 17% loss rate, with another 50 + seriously damaged. The Germans lost 27 aircraft shot down with more damaged. Again, the loss rate in this combat was considered 'unsustainable' by the USAAF, and they temporarily suspended unescorted bomber operations until they could rebuild their force.
    Concerning many 110s having 30mm I find that very hard to believe, considering evaluation of the Bf 110 G-2/U9 was in September 43 and introduction in Luftwaffe service was in March 44 after being initially canceled due to problems in December 43. Now if I remember correctly Operation Double Strike was on 17. August 43. If any of the german fighters would have indeed had 30mm cannons I suspect USAAF losses would have been significantly higher.

    Of the 60 downed bombers only one can be claimed by flak, 4 went down due to collision in the pulk. 27 B-17s were scrapped in Britain and 60 B-17s of the first wave had to be scrapped in North Africa. That is 147 or 39% total aircraft not in service anymore of 376 that started with 580 crew lost. Btw B-17 gunners claimed 288 german aircraft shot down.

    In german documents I read of around 300 planes intercepting, 25 losses (almost exclusively single engine) and 15 pilots dead. At least 1 of these losses can be attributed to the P-47 escorts. German fighters also shot down 3 P-47s. Around 50 german aircraft were either lost or had to be scrapped, thats around 17% of total.

    After a bunch of these high attrition missions like second raid on Schweinfurt and Operation Tidal Wave, the USAAF concluded that unescorted bombers are not sufficiently able to defend themselves in daylight conditions. The RAF had concluded that already in 1941.

    That being said, I think the gunners in player controlled aircraft have changed a lot for the better in 4.5 and now are actually useful other than calling out threats. Attacking Sunderlands in 4.3 eg was also borderline suicide. I think the gunners in general still need a bit of work. Suggesting to make loadouts ahistorical and in the next sentence claiming maximum historical accuracy makes no sense to me and certainly is no solution.
    Last edited by rel4y; Jan-13-2018 at 11:01.

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    Re: AI Bombers

    Quote Originally Posted by Knight View Post
    Now in every case even trying NEGATIVE NUMBERS for everyone attacking the first hits on some are oil and rad right off the start. Now here is the other point that I think some overlook and I have read some rude comments on the other threads
    I think this is the crux of the issue. Gunners on the lowest possible setting for "gunnery skill" are still very, very formidable.

    We just need a few lower settings for gunnery skill.

    About the same range of difficulty we now see between rookie and ace, we need between the new setting of "complete klutz" (or whatever you want to call it) and "rookie".

    Or to put it another way, what is now the "rookie" setting for gunnery skill should about in the middle of the range for that setting, rather than the lowest possible skill setting.

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    Re: AI Bombers

    Quote Originally Posted by flug View Post
    I think this is the crux of the issue. Gunners on the lowest possible setting for "gunnery skill" are still very, very formidable.

    We just need a few lower settings for gunnery skill.

    About the same range of difficulty we now see between rookie and ace, we need between the new setting of "complete klutz" (or whatever you want to call it) and "rookie".

    Or to put it another way, what is now the "rookie" setting for gunnery skill should about in the middle of the range for that setting, rather than the lowest possible skill setting.

    You can park at 500m behind 4 Wellis set to 0 gunnery skill, and there will be very few hits, if any. Of course, parking at 10m will get you killed. Even the worst rookie will hit a parked plane at 10m. Should the lowest setting be "blind"? If so, this can be achieved by removing the gunners weapons.
    Last edited by katschmarek; Jan-13-2018 at 19:38.

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    Re: AI Bombers

    Quote Originally Posted by katschmarek View Post
    You can park at 500m behind 4 Wellis set to 0 gunnery skill, and there will be very few hits, if any. Of course, parking at 10m will get you killed. Even the worst rookie will hit a parked plane at 10m.
    Well, first off, this might vary by exact bomber type or whatever, but coming up behind a group of 6-8 blue bombers set at 'rookie' has proven to be quite challenging pretty much every time. You won't take many passes--no matter HOW you do so--before you have engine damage of some kind. And this is on the lowest possible setting for the gunnery skill.

    Quote Originally Posted by katschmarek View Post
    Should the lowest setting be "blind"? If so, this can be achieved by removing the gunners weapons.
    To be concise, yes, the very lowest setting shouldn't be very much above blind.

    Many of us have forgotten what it is like to be a newb and how difficult it is to even get one single bullet in a bomber, even if the aircraft is not shooting at you at ALL.

    For training and practice purposes, you often want a target that is basically a drone. And you properly point out that this can be achieved by simply removing the AI weapons altogether.

    But once you have mastered the 'drone' level you need another level that is just one notch higher. That is a level where there is live fire but it is pretty predictable and you can take certain approaches that will predictably avoid the and get your hits. It's like the next step in training and the exact equivalent of this kind of training exercise. That's about where our 'rookie' level of AI gunnery needs to be--something that covers a pretty specific zone and that's about it.

    It's well above that right now.

    Not everything is live combat. There is such a thing as training and practice and we do well to remember that simple fact if we want new pilots to join and (just as important!) keep flying.
    Last edited by flug; Jan-14-2018 at 15:03.

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    Re: AI Bombers

    I tried it both with Hurri and Spit against 3 blue bombers, 111/88s and 110s and hit rates are quite low. In all tests I followed a predictable 6 o'clock, co-alt attack. Most of the time you get to take down 2 bombers (the 3rd lived usually because I ran out of ammo). In most missions, bombers didn't even score a hit. My question is, if this is for training purposes, why go against a large formation alone? What is the benefit of that, from a training point of view?

    The only situation when you get critically damaged against the rookie AI, as in get a message in the Vehicle Damage window, is when you're under 200m and loiter there for quite long. Because the AI is shooting in a cone around your aircraft, the closer you are to the bomber, the higher the chances you'll get hit, since you're closer to the tip of the cone (the gunner) (i.e closer you are, the better the rookie's aim is). I think this is a good lesson for a beginner to learn quite early. Don't get close to a large bomber formation, don't park behind a bomber below 200m, unless the gunners are disabled.

    Having said all this, I think that for a Rookie, the AI is credible. Of course, if you have 10 rookies shooting at your aircraft, chances are you'll get hit more often (statistically speaking).

    For training purposes, maybe TF could re-add the AI from 4.3, and call it Training AI, besides the levels we have now.

    Side note:
    I noticed however what might be the reason for some players reporting that the AI gunners are snipers. I'm not referring to campaigns where the gunners are indeed set to ACE and are probably snipers. That's the campaign that needs fixing, not the AI. I'm talking about situations in which some of the hits don't seem to register both acoustically and visually. So, the player thinks he never got hit before that one critical system damage.

    I have a track with a hurri parked behind a 111. I get hit once, no damage. A minute later, radiator popped. I reviewed the track several times, but I cannot see any smoke puff, or any other indication that I've been hit. This has happened to me online as well. Flying low, I got bounced by a Spit. I only knew he was behind me, because of tracers flying over my cockpit, but by the time I reacted, my radiators where leaking. There was no hit sound.

    So, could there be a bug with sound/GFX not triggering when a hit is registered? I had this happen to me in 109s and Hurri (both SP and MP).

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    Re: AI Bombers

    As curiosity: In the the book The most Dangerous Enemy are a mount statistic mentioning German bomber gunners:

    Between July, 10 and August, 11 Fighter Command had 221 planes hit by enemy.

    115 (52%) was shoot down - with 89 pilots killed, the remaining 106 (48%) damaged.

    Of this total, 51 (23%) planes was hit by bomber gunners with 13 (25%) shoot down and remaining 38 (75%) damaged.

    Of this total of 13 planes shoot down by bombers gunners 5 pilots (5%) was killed.

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    Re: AI Bombers

    FYI, a little experimentation today on our bomber missions, and found that turning down various settings in the bomber skill level seemed to make the gunnery less lethal. In other words, turning the aerial gunnery skill to 0 (rookie) made a difference, but also turning down bravery, vision, and awareness down to zero seemed to take the gunnery down another notch.

    You still can't park anywhere on the six of a bomber for any length of time, and you still can't do more than maybe 5 or 6 passes without losing your oil, engine, or something else vital. But, it does definitely turn things down a notch.

    So, just an option for some of the mission builders out there--experiment with turning down several of the skill level sliders, not just the aerial gunnery.

    FWIW I haven't experimented to determine which of those various settings actually makes a difference--I just turned them all down and noticed that seems to make a difference vs only turning down aerial gunnery.

    And I still think the ultimate solution is TFS adding some lower skill levels to the bomber gunnery accuracy, so that the current 'rookie' is more in the middle of the range instead of at the bottom. But in the meanwhile, this might help.

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    Re: AI Bombers

    Quote Originally Posted by flug View Post
    FYI, a little experimentation today on our bomber missions, and found that turning down various settings in the bomber skill level seemed to make the gunnery less lethal. In other words, turning the aerial gunnery skill to 0 (rookie) made a difference, but also turning down bravery, vision, and awareness down to zero seemed to take the gunnery down another notch.

    You still can't park anywhere on the six of a bomber for any length of time, and you still can't do more than maybe 5 or 6 passes without losing your oil, engine, or something else vital. But, it does definitely turn things down a notch.

    So, just an option for some of the mission builders out there--experiment with turning down several of the skill level sliders, not just the aerial gunnery.

    FWIW I haven't experimented to determine which of those various settings actually makes a difference--I just turned them all down and noticed that seems to make a difference vs only turning down aerial gunnery.

    And I still think the ultimate solution is TFS adding some lower skill levels to the bomber gunnery accuracy, so that the current 'rookie' is more in the middle of the range instead of at the bottom. But in the meanwhile, this might help.
    Yes, I did most of my tests with all sliders set to 0, except those against the 110s. Just like you, I found that at least one of the sliders, besides "Aerial gunnery", has an influence on gunner accuracy. Could be "Bravery" or "Discipline". I noticed that when turning one of those down (or both), I got hit less. They seemed to influence the gunner behavior when being shot at. If I sprayed them from the start, their aggressiveness seemed to go down. I didn't focus too much on this behavior, so take these findings with a grain of salt. If it is like I noticed, then it's great. If not, then I think this would be a great addition. Cracking under fire, or having worse aim under fire.

    As I said in another thread, with all sliders set to 0, as long as you disengage at 200-300m, you should be safe for most of the 6 o'clock, little overtake, co-alt attacks.

    I think that the assessment of gunner accuracy should be put into context. I.e how many bombers you take down before you are critically damaged. If they're falling down like flies, without you getting any damage, I'd call it unrealistic.

    Re 110s, I went against 3, all sliders set to 0, except those related to dogfighting (basic/advanced flying, awareness, tactics). Two of them went down before I ran out of ammo. I got hit only twice, in the wings and fuselage, no sub-systems damaged. I kept my distance, though. With the Spit, it's very easy to do critical damage even from afar, just by spraying and praying.

    Good stats, sokol. When talking about how easy it was to take bombers down, maybe it was easy when compared to taking down fighters, but not a task which can be taken likely.

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    Re: AI Bombers

    I find that I concur with Knight and some others on this. I am not talking about encounters with human gunners. I mostly build my own missions, where I fly with a few friends in my own server human versus AI. I absolutely agree that shooting down bombers was much too easy in 4.32. I am not asking to go back to that.
    However, with 4.5 (which we otherwise love) Three or four of us can attack a formation of Do17s in our Hurris, slashing attacks from above with high energy ( we know better than to try level 6, so don't go there) and with the added distraction of half a dozen AI Hurris attacking as well, try to cut out and pick off a couple from the edge of the formation, every one of us will get hit on the first pass.
    All AI gunners are set to 0 in the mission.As a test, I set each one that way when I create the mission.
    Can we get someplace between too easy and impossible?

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    Wink Re: AI Bombers

    Quote Originally Posted by katschmarek View Post
    The only situation when you get critically damaged against the rookie AI, as in get a message in the Vehicle Damage window, is when you're under 200m and loiter there for quite long. .
    Then must be some bug with mine and my friends copy of Blitz 4.5 because we get shoot with plane heavily damaged way over 200m and right on first burst from gunner. They didn't have to aim because they are deadly right from begining. I even have my radiator killed from a gunner from a plane that was diving in flames for a few seconds and I was just following, and again away over 200m.
    In my missions AI bombers have gunner accuracy on zero although other settings are not.

    1lokos, and to have those 13 shoot down, how many hundreds or thousands of attack runs were made against bombers during that time?

    I don't understand why people here keep ignoring the fact that the opinion of all participants in aerial fight during Battle of Britain, both pilots, gunners and leaders, from both sides was the same:
    Gunners weren't dangerous and weren't a real threat to fighters.

    This is a letter from a R.A.F. pilot to his brother about combats during Dunkirk.
    You can verify 3 things from this text (as from many others):
    -Attack runs were made by one at a time and not by many as people here are suggesting.
    -Attack runs were often made from behind and some times fighters were planted there for some time without relevant dangerous.
    -Gunners dangerous was not relevant.
    NIK8261.jpg
    NIK8260.jpg


    Here is a paragraph from the conclusion chapter of the book "The Narrow Margin: The Battle of Britain and the Rise of Air Power 1930-1940". For those that don't know, The Narrow Margin has remained the classic work of reference for serious students of those sixteen historic weeks and is still used for teaching officers at RAF Cranwell.
    NIK8262.jpg

    Unfortunatly it wasn't mine and I don't have it to post here any more but I remember reading a book about Flying guns of WW2 were it was said that it was almost impossible to shoot a plane by German bomber gunners and the reasons were:
    -Their goal was not to shoot down enemy planes but prevent the fighter attacks meaning they have to shoot from longer distances before the fighters get their decisive shoot.
    -These guns had very short firing time before reload, made almost impossible to do correcting shooting.
    -A single small calibre gun would need a significant amount of bullets on target to do any significant damage. By front, fighetr wings were almost invisible, engine bay was protected by propeler hub and canopy front glass was shielded against single small caliber ammunition.
    -Even the small movement from bomber would ruin their aim.
    -And last and this was described as having very importante role in all was the gunner reaction to danger. When facing a fighter shooting at you, most gunners retract them selves by self preservation instinct and their aim was almost entirely lost. Those scenarios where gunner is screaming with blood eyes against a fighter and keep shooting all time is an Holywood scenario and not a real one.

    I really understand the need for a high level of gunners acuracy in a game for various reasons. What I don't get is having this game a slider to adjust their level why can't we all have a level that suit our needs.

    P.S.1:This isn't a war between online and offline flyers. Me and my friends fly almost axclusive online. We just don't like dogfight arenas like Atag server and prefer realistic coops. And its not a question of being noobs not knowing how to attack a bomber. We aren't a match to Atag aces but we've flown regularly online since "European Air war" days and until Il2 1946 was almost always on public dogfight servers so we know the basis of aerial combat.

    P.S.2: By any means this isn't nothing against Teamfusion work. If it weren't you guys and Atag comunity also we weren't here discussing this so I'm deeply grateful to you and even if you guys don't give me my juicy soft gunners I would always be a suporter of your great work
    Last edited by alexb; Jan-22-2018 at 23:38.

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  28. #52
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    Re: AI Bombers

    1lokos, and to have those 13 shoot down, how many hundreds or thousands of attack runs were made against bombers during that time?
    Who know? The book - whose the author reference including "The Narrow Margin", don't mention this, the point of that statistic is show Bf 109 efficiency as "hunter" - shoot down 87 British fighters (63% of the planes that hit) and as "killer" - 59 pilots killed.

    Is know that before London attacks Fighter Command use their fighter force piecemeal, with many Squadrons using that antiquated "Fighter Area Attacks" - because it was the only thing they were trained to do, that are not these (purposed there) "multiple/simultaneous slashing attacks from above".

    Other thing is, the remaining 38 fighters hit by gunners in that 'B of B' time frame could safety RTP because are fighting over their own territory, if are in the other side of Channel some may don't are able to return, with pilots POW or drowned.

    So 25% planes hit by gunners are a good number, in a scenery in what Bf 109 job was shoot down British planes (shoot down 87 in that statistic) showing that German gunners are respectable opponents, what certainly make several fighter pilots broken their attacks, because there are no "re-fly button".

    Some famous pilots of 'B of B' - e.g. Sandy Sanders, 'Ginger' Lacey, Peter Townsend... was shoot down by rear gunners.

    My point in this story is:

    Blitz AI gunners (and not only) need a serious work at least for SP - the players there are not "virtual aces" with thousand hours of fight like SP players, that "mor'difficult, mor'real" don't help in win SP players. OK that until now MP was what keep CloD alive, but MP deserve attention... since early 2011.

    At good time I don't play in MP but remember that in 4.312 Blenheim gunner other for call contacts are useless, so maybe the answer is something in between 4.312 and 4.50.

    Thing is that AI is "0 and 1" - e.g. ARMA AI if are in high will hit you in almost impossible situations, if are low with fire from ~50 meters and miss.
    Last edited by 1lokos; Jan-23-2018 at 10:57.

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    Re: AI Bombers

    ", if are low with fire from ~50 meters and miss."

    That would be the 'DerDa-level' ...

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    Re: AI Bombers

    Quote Originally Posted by alexb View Post
    Then must be some bug with mine and my friends copy of Blitz 4.5 because we get shoot with plane heavily damaged way over 200m and right on first burst from gunner. They didn't have to aim because they are deadly right from begining. I even have my radiator killed from a gunner from a plane that was diving in flames for a few seconds and I was just following, and again away over 200m.
    In my missions AI bombers have gunner accuracy on zero although other settings are not.
    No, I don't think it's a bug. Pull all sliders down, and you'll see that gunners become manageable.

    Quote Originally Posted by alexb View Post
    You can verify 3 things from this text (as from many others):
    -Attack runs were made by one at a time and not by many as people here are suggesting.
    -Attack runs were often made from behind and some times fighters were planted there for some time without relevant dangerous.
    -Gunners dangerous was not relevant.
    Well, actually the attacks in the book were performed by two/three attackers on the same plane - of course they didn't all attack at the same instant, because they risked colliding with each other, or friendly fire. But the book doesn't say how many aircraft were attacking the whole formation - that's what I meant by attacking in groups - a group of fighters vs a group of bombers would overload the gunners' attention, as opposed to the SP scenario where 1 fighter is against a group of bombers. Also, the book states that the gunner was taken out on the first run (after 6 seconds of fire!) and also on the 2nd aircraft they attacked. Until the gunner stopped firing, bullets were coming close to the attacker's plane.

    Anyway, I think we're getting bogged down into examples where there's no context - i.e. how far out did they start firing on the bombers, how close were they when they disengaged (the fact that one attacker had to shoot 6s of continuous fire makes me think that they weren't pretty close).

    The point to all my posts regarding gunners, was showing (through tests) that there's a way to make them less aggressive, because the initial reaction on the forums was that they are snipers and that there's nothing you can do about it. Yet, here we are with a solution which can be deployed by players, until TF addresses the "issue".

    I think, the issue is not the accuracy of the gunners, but rather the fact that all gunners who can shoot at an attacker, do so - which in reality rarely happened. Since in CloD all gunners are shooting, the more bullets head your way, the greater the chance of being hit.

    PS: unfortunately, I cannot attach trk files directly; they would show a similar situation to the one described in the book, i.e easily taking bombers down;
    Last edited by katschmarek; Jan-23-2018 at 16:29. Reason: corrected for clarity

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    Re: AI Bombers

    Quote Originally Posted by katschmarek View Post
    The point to all my posts regarding gunners, was showing (through tests) that there's a way to make them less aggressive, because the initial reaction on the forums was that they are snipers and that there's nothing you can do about it. Yet, here we are with a solution which can be deployed by players, until TF addresses the "issue".
    Yes issue is not only the gunner AI "new skill", but the poor created missions of the game.

    BTW - Tales of the war "Don't get to close!", "Don't follow a falling bomber!".


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    Re: AI Bombers

    Quote Originally Posted by 1lokos View Post
    Yes issue is not only the gunner AI "new skill", but the poor created missions of the game.
    I agree, the way missions are made, having gunner skill set to max and the way AI fighters behave, all lead to a strange SP experience. It was the same in Il-2 1946/FB/PF; when bombers met fighters, there was an initial clash, where many planes went down. Then the player was left alone against a large formation, with a few oil leaking/smoking companions, which ruined the credibility of the situation.

    The fighters had and have no self preservation. I'd rather have the fighters start shooting from further away and disengage faster, even if they waste ammo, rather than see them pass 5m by a gunner and get peppered. This should prolong the engagement and reduce the attrition to realistic levels.

    The way I see it, there are several solutions:
    1. Edit missions, and lower bomber skills sliders to 0 (players can already do this)
    2. Change gunner code (only TF can do it, and are already looking into it, certainly more complex than 1, and more error prone) - But, even if the code is changed, since the missions will still be set to ACE, the gunners will still be good shots, unless TF dumbs down ACE to current Rookie levels - then all levels below ACE will become useless, more or less; so, if ACE is still a good shot after the change, option 1 will still have to be employed.
    3. Change fighter AI code to make them perform better (only TF can do it, and are already looking into it, most complex and time consuming option) - missions will still have to be changed.

    Maybe we should define what ACE and ROOKIE should mean:

    ACE:
    - good shot (not sniper - 1/400 bullets connects at 500m)
    - doesn't get suppressed easily
    - when he does get suppressed he recovers quickly
    - his aim is still good when shot at (1/800 bullets connect)
    - when switching aim from target to target he gets a solution fast
    - he's most of the time at his station (90%)

    ROOKIE:
    - not a good shot (1/1000 bullets connects at 500m),
    - gets suppressed easily
    - he recovers slowly from being suppressed
    - his aim is still not very good when shot at (1/2000 bullets connect)
    - when switching aim from target to target he gets a solution slowly
    - he's most of the time not at his station (10-30%)

    But then, you still have the human gunners, which have no fear, don't usually get suppressed, and will hit you from 700m. TF, please fix human snipers. Jokes aside, maybe player controlled gunners could have suppression added and gun shake, just like first person shooters have.
    Last edited by katschmarek; Jan-24-2018 at 04:56.

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    Re: AI Bombers

    Maybe what we should be looking for is a greater range of ability/accuracy between rookie and ace?

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  36. #58
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    Re: AI Bombers

    Another issue to look at is the statistical distribution of hits to critical components of the aircraft, including the pilot. It seems to be disproportionate toward critical hits. However, there is no way to tell, in game, whether such perception is due to the fact that there are so many hits that some land in critical spots, or the random hit distribution is just skewed toward critical components. Only the development team may have the tools to collect debug information and see what is going on.

    ~Uranor

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    Re: AI Bombers

    I do have a question; More than once in this thread I see mention of 200 yards as being a "get no closer than this" range when attacking bombers. That happens to be the range I use for gun convergence with RAF fighters (182.3 Meters). Should I be setting this further out, or does the AI already "know" where I have my convergence set anyways? I notice that when I approach an AI fighter from behind, they know to start taking evasive action when I reach convergence range.

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    Re: AI Bombers

    Well, in my case, I mentioned 200m because during tests, with all sliders related to gunnery set to 0, that distance seemed to give the least damage.

    I would start shooting 500-400m out and disengage at 200m. There are no hard rules, I sometimes disengaged at around 100m and there were no critical hits, but most of the time 200m seemed to be the sweet spot.

    I think the take away from all this is that a bomber doesn't have to go down in one pass. Do one pass, break, observe what is happening to the bomber. From my experience if you hit it enough it will be slowing down and falling behind its formation. Then it becomes easy pray. Most of the time what happened after the first pass is that the bomber slowly fell behind, and in a few minutes engines were out even though it wasn't leaking much.

    When I flew blue during the tests, the trend vs red bombers was that the 109 cannons would knock out the rear gunner. Then its easy prey.

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