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AI Combat Maneuver - Near Virtical Climb


Captain Orso
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I've been playing the P-51-D vs FW-190-D scenario for practice. I'm noticing that the 190 in some situations very often goes into a near vertical climb to just before stalling and then wings over into a dive. Depending on my situation I try to climb after him and often manage to get off a shot or two near the apex of my climb before stalling.

 

So to me the maneuver is not a good idea because there is always a fair chance that I will be able to get in a good shot before stalling. Something else would be far less dangerous.

 

I'm wondering two things:

 

1. Is anybody else playing against the AI seeing the same maneuver being use over and over?

 

2. Is this in reality really a good maneuver at all to be using in an EF?

 

 

I personally will trade a lot of energy to to stay inside the an enemy's turn and frustrate him in getting on target. If he tries to reduce his maneuvers to gain speed and altitude I'll do the same, but I've out turned the 190 many times because of being at a lower speed or the other way around.

When you hit the wrong button on take-off

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System board: MSI X99A GAMING 9 ACK Memory: 16GB DDR4-3000 G.Skill Ripjaw System disk: Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB
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This manuever if i'm not mistaken is called the hammerhead. It is a realistic manuever and against a clueless chaser can wreak havoc. The idea indeed is to have the chaser stall so you can shoot it in the following dive.

 

I believe you should go vertical and near stall speed hit full rudder deflection. depending on the way the propellor rotates. If its rotating clockwise hit full right rudder. If its rotating anti clockwise hit full left rudder.

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I've been playing the P-51-D vs FW-190-D scenario for practice. I'm noticing that the 190 in some situations very often goes into a near vertical climb to just before stalling and then wings over into a dive. Depending on my situation I try to climb after him and often manage to get off a shot or two near the apex of my climb before stalling.

 

So to me the maneuver is not a good idea because there is always a fair chance that I will be able to get in a good shot before stalling. Something else would be far less dangerous.

 

I'm wondering two things:

 

1. Is anybody else playing against the AI seeing the same maneuver being use over and over?

 

2. Is this in reality really a good maneuver at all to be using in an EF?

 

 

I personally will trade a lot of energy to to stay inside the an enemy's turn and frustrate him in getting on target. If he tries to reduce his maneuvers to gain speed and altitude I'll do the same, but I've out turned the 190 many times because of being at a lower speed or the other way around.

 

 

When I see them going up like that then I know that I have a firing solution close at hand, I get quite a few kills when they do this, I dont always make it, sometimes I stall, but yeah they do it pretty often it seems to me.


Edited by Nevyn
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It's a situational maneuver. In many cases, it'd be unwise to do (there are a number of reasons why this can be so, the most obvious of which is that you're a sitting duck for any other enemies to hit, when you're hanging there at low speed). In certain situations, it can be the right thing to do. I myself seldom-to-never perform anything like this, in a normal multiplayer fight (e.g. at "angels ten"), because of engine cooling problems alone. However, at high altitudes (where overheating is less of an issue), or when my energy/angle state is superior enough that can afford to throttle back extensively (it is rarely so), then you'll see me do this occasionally.

 

I'm most likely to do it in duels against fighters with inferior energy-fighting ability, after prolonged maneuvers have resulted in very disparate energy states (e.g. my energy fighter has been maintaining E while maneuvering, while his angles fighter has been "turning & burning," for several minutes).

 

For an example of a real-life ace, Bud Anderson, using this maneuver to win a dogfight, read "Vertical Duel at Angles [sic] 33": http://www.cebudanderson.com/ch1.htm

(The full description is below the part labelled "He Was Someone Who Was Trying to Kill Me, Is All.") This story demonstrates one of the other reasons why this maneuver can be unwise; if the 109 pilot had just a slightly better energy state (or the P-51 a slightly worse E state) before the beginning of the maneuver, it would have been curtains for Anderson.


Edited by Echo38
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It is called a rope-a-dope. It works better in sims where the chaser does not fear ruining his engine in a vertical climb at WEP. In DCS your opponents are rarely so heedless that they will let their aircraft stall at 0 knots while you swing down for the coup de grâce.

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Thanks for all the replies :thumbup:

 

It wasn't that I didn't know the maneuver at all or that I thought it doesn't have any usage, but that the AI seems to use it so often, I think it was 4 times withing about 10 minutes, and that the AI doesn't seem to learn that if I had a chance to get on his tail while he's doing this that I will and take my shots while he's vulnerable.

 

My feeling is that in most of those situations the AI would have done much better to do an Immelmann followed by a split-s to get on my tail and not hope that I'd stall first and we'd reverse positions.

 

I did stall first most of the time, but not enough for the AI to take advantage of it. By the time the AI had control again and was back into maneuvering speed and trying to aim for my tail I had also already stalled and was recovering while he dove past me never having never gained a firing solution.

 

If the AI had ever, or even sometimes, got a single shot off I'd have been much more careful about following him up into the vertical and more likely just gone into a climb which put me 'below' his belly and then done an Immelmann to regain speed and have me facing his direction again.

When you hit the wrong button on take-off

hwl7xqL.gif

System Specs.

Spoiler
System board: MSI X99A GAMING 9 ACK Memory: 16GB DDR4-3000 G.Skill Ripjaw System disk: Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB
CPU: Intel Core i7-5820K @ 3800MHz PSU: Corsair AX860i PSU Monitor: ASUS MG279Q, 27"
CPU cooling: Noctua NH-D15 Graphics card: Zotac Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Amp! Extreme VR: Oculus Rift CV1
 
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Thanks for all the replies :thumbup:

 

It wasn't that I didn't know the maneuver at all or that I thought it doesn't have any usage, but that the AI seems to use it so often, I think it was 4 times withing about 10 minutes, and that the AI doesn't seem to learn that if I had a chance to get on his tail while he's doing this that I will and take my shots while he's vulnerable.

 

My feeling is that in most of those situations the AI would have done much better to do an Immelmann followed by a split-s to get on my tail and not hope that I'd stall first and we'd reverse positions.

 

I did stall first most of the time, but not enough for the AI to take advantage of it. By the time the AI had control again and was back into maneuvering speed and trying to aim for my tail I had also already stalled and was recovering while he dove past me never having never gained a firing solution.

 

If the AI had ever, or even sometimes, got a single shot off I'd have been much more careful about following him up into the vertical and more likely just gone into a climb which put me 'below' his belly and then done an Immelmann to regain speed and have me facing his direction again.

 

Agreed. I will say that I *have* seen human players attempt this from time to time, but I think that's more of a newbie thing: they read that the Dora out-climbs the Mustang, and think that they can always get away by climbing; often too steeply.

 

The maneuver only really works in two situations.

 

The first is if the pursued, superior climbing aircraft (the Dora, in this case) starts WELL out of weapons range. It allows them to gain altitude and reverse in a tight turn to build both energy and angles on the pursuer. As mentioned above, and Immelmann will accomplish pretty much the same thing. In the hammerhead (and to a lesser extent, the Immelmann), if the pursuing aircraft can close distance sufficiently for a gunshot, it's all over. The significant loss of airspeed in the climb makes you too easy a target, otherwise.

 

The other situation it can work is when the pursuer is extremely close, and you can manage to get some angle-off-tail from him. You have to go into the maneuver far enough off his nose that he can't bring it to bear fast enough to get the gunshot on you while you climb and bleed airspeed. In this situation, you can force him to either drop the nose and extend (in which case you stay in the climb a few seconds to build distance, then drop the nose on him), or attempt to turn into you WHILE CLIMBING, where he will bleed a lot of energy, lose control authority, and be unable to get the nose on you for a shot before he stalls. It can work.... but it's extremely risky. A decent opponent won't let his energy state get low enough, or himself close enough, for you to do this.

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I've seen the AI in the Mustang do the same thing against the 109 K4.

One way to deal with this is to spiral climb around them, staying off angle until he runs out of energy and altitude is at your advantage and then dive on your target as he drops away below you.

Generally results in one sorry looking pony. :)

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That's an idea, but it also makes me wonder how aware the AI is to your location.

 

The Mustang is going to wing-over to the left so your best bet is to climb to the right of it. But if the 'Stang is aware of where you are while winging-over, as soon as it has some control the best thing for the Mustang to do would be to, while still diving vertically, roll to it's left to face you and then pull out of the dive once having gained enough speed and thus be on your tail.

 

So the question is, how much awareness does the AI have?

When you hit the wrong button on take-off

hwl7xqL.gif

System Specs.

Spoiler
System board: MSI X99A GAMING 9 ACK Memory: 16GB DDR4-3000 G.Skill Ripjaw System disk: Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB
CPU: Intel Core i7-5820K @ 3800MHz PSU: Corsair AX860i PSU Monitor: ASUS MG279Q, 27"
CPU cooling: Noctua NH-D15 Graphics card: Zotac Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Amp! Extreme VR: Oculus Rift CV1
 
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