Since I have already made a post on how to fit a liberator I have decided that I will make some quick notes on how to actually be effective flying one. Liberators are in the game to provide support for the troops below, via their bombing ability. I recommend all liberator pilots constantly move. If you stay still you will get shot down quickly, because liberators are not the most maneuverable things in the game.
As a pilot you need to be aware that your bomber and tail gunners need a clear shot if they are to do their jobs effectively. So make sure you keep their line of sight clear so they can keep firing. When you are engaged by an ESF make sure you point your tail up so that the tail gunner can get a good shot on the aircraft. It is worth mentioning that the bomber can switch to the tail gunner to provide this action if needed. However if you have a very good bomber then fly upside down and let him shoot the bomb at the aircraft, a direct hit will kill an ESF.
Types of bombing support
There are two basic ways to provide this bombing support, from high altitude, or from low altitude. If you decide to bomb from up high make sure your bomber has a standard zoom on his gun because he won’t be able to see anything with night vision or thermal. It is important to note that your bomber does not need to see the troops to do damage to them; bombers can shoot and do damage even without seeing enemy vehicles or troops far below.
Bombing from up high provides several advantages:
- Increases the survivability of the aircraft. You will take less ground fire and be able to avoid it much easier.
- You can stay above the battlefield longer and provide more support. Because you will not be as easy to kill you can stay above them killing all day until they can send something to counter you.
There are also many disadvantages:
- You are easy to see coming into a fight. This will give opponents an opportunity to shoot you down before you arrive at the battle. It also means you will get a lot of attention from enemy ESF’s in the area.
- You might not render enemy or friendly troops, and while your bomber will still do damage to them you will not know where they are. This can cause your bomber to waste ammo and kill friendlies.
The second way to provide bombing support is low altitude bombing. This involves flying above a target where you are able to see the troops and tanks below you. Your bomber can use thermal or night vision when you provide low bombing, but generally night vision has a better range unless there are a lot of trees. In the other liberator fitting guide I mention which guns you should use, and what attachments for each gun type.
Here are the advantages for this type of bombing:
- Your bomber can see every enemy and friendly in the battle, this will allow him to provide accurate support and rack up lots of kills.
- You can have a tertiary gunner with the bulldog and provide almost twice the bombing power with one liberator. This can be risky but a bulldog will do substantial damage to enemy troops on the ground as well.
As with advantages there are also several disadvantages:
- After making a few passes over the same base players will start to look for you and be ready to shoot you down.
- You will take much more damage and will have to retreat more often to get repaired up.
When it comes to types bombing you have a few choices that are subcategories of the low and high altitude bombing styles. The two main types are circling and bombing runs. So you can have a high altitude bombing run or a high altitude circle.
You can circle over your target which is good for long term support and generally used when you have a large friendly army beneath you. Having friendlies nearby will help distract the enemies from shooting only at you. By flying in a circle you are able to constantly be moving while shelling the enemy troops below you. This is also where having the bulldog and a tertiary gunner can be very useful. Occasionally you will need to go for repairs but staying alive over the target is the name of the game.
When you are circling a battle make sure the bomber is able to focus on the inner part of your circle, in other words don’t pitch the aircraft in the opposite direction you are circling, because if you do the bomber cannot get an angle on the targets below, and you will get less experience because of it.
You can also fly bombing runs which are generally used when there is a high enemy concentration and little friendly support. This involves going quickly over the target in one direction which means the bomber only gets a few rounds off before you leave the battle (unless you are very high). This will keep you alive longer because you will only be exposed to fire for a few seconds, however it does mean that your bomber will only have a few seconds to pick where he is going to shoot. With this style of bombing you should always approach from the blind side of the enemy. The blind side is the direction the enemy will not look for aircraft.
For example your empire forces are located to the west of the enemy so you should go around and attack from the east side going west as you bomb. This allows you to get more time in the air without taking damage and by the time they do realize where you are you will be in friendly territory. If you go west to east then you will be noticed the whole time and even if you survive the initial attack you then have to leave hostile territory to get to safety, which will give the enemy more time to shoot you down.
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