AirQuake! The AA gunner’s guide to an empty sky
As a groundpounder in WWIIOL:BE you will no doubt experience times of extreme aerial activity, as in a hail of bombs and bullets that smothers everything and renders any movement impossible. After suffering a series of humiliating and helpless deaths at the spawn point, you too will curse the pilots and wish for multi-barelled AA weapons of doom to teach the pesky enemy fighters a lesson, as have so many before you.
In WWIIOL:BE, air power is immensely strong, arguably stronger than history leads us to believe it should be, for a few simple reasons:
- Pilots can press their attacks to ridiculously low levels and close ranges with little to no fear of death.
- Aircraft are a-plenty, and have a very short time to combat (TTC).
- The game terrain does not offer near enough cover and concealment against aerial observation and attack.
This, in combination with the fact that the available manpower is usually barely sufficient to fulfil the demands of the ground battle, leaves the anti-air defensive requirements far short of adequate. There is simply not enough people around to guard the Forward Base, to scout ahead, to man the tanks, to help the tanks against enemy sappers and anti-tank guns, to capture the depots AND to keep a tight defensive grip on the local sky. However, the same can be said for just about any tactical situation in the game, which leaves the player with but one option: to make do with what there is.
Expecting a lone AA gun to succeed against multiple hostile aircraft is about as profitable as expecting to survive a walk through a heavy combined-arms attack. When enemy air is out to get you it is unreasonable to expect survival, and the sooner you come to terms with this and moderate your expectations, your frustration of being gunned down repeatedly will diminsh. In short, do not expect to excel in any situation, but learn to do well in some situations.
AA guns are subject to the same spawn considerations as any other piece of equipment in the game. That means that if the enemy has already established a strong presence in guns range to your spawn point, they have effectively won the fight already. Persistent spawning into a camped spawn point will only serve to make you frustrated and desperate – the only solution then is to accept defeat, yield, and spawn your persona somewhere else where conditions are more favourable.
Standard deployment routine
- Spawn a light machine gunner (LMG) to check out the situation before rolling an expensive and cumbersome gun.
- If all is clear, ditch the LMG, spawn a gun and PUSH – at least 200 meters away from the spawn point.
- If all is NOT clear, keep your LMG and seek cover at least 200 meters away from the spawn point, and hose down any low-flying aircraft (see LMG in the AA role).
- If you have deployed at least 200 meters away from the spawn point, keep pushing to add another 200 meters during lulls in action.
- Push the gun by thrusting your joystick forward while in position 1 (commander).
- Deploy the gun for firing by pressing z (default) and move to position 2 (gunner)
- Traverse and elevate the gun with the joystick, and fire with your primary fire button (or F).
- If opportunity arises, hook up to a prime mover (truck or halftrack) by moving your gun to the rear of the vehicle and pressing T (tow) while in position 1 (commander). Unhitch by pressing T again. Light AA guns – Cmle. 38 and FlaK 30 hitch by the rear while Bofors/FlaK 28 hitch by the barrel.
Seek cover or stay in the open?
|frame|This Flak 30 is deployed with the gunner out in the open and with the commander and the carriage tucked into a bush. This practice makes you less visible to enemy aircraft without reducing your view of the sky - until you open fire.]] Cover and concealment is as important to the AA gunner as any other unit in the game. However, a well covered and well concealed position may only offer a limited firing arc. Depending on the situation, a lot of cover may or may not be desireable.
- If heavy fire is expected from a nearby objective or enemy concentration, put something solid such as a berm or structure in between yourself and the enemy. This is called frontal cover and is most useful.
- If enemy air is strongly in attendance you will want to position yourself nearby, though not necessarily inside, a piece of foliage. Only move inside foliage if your intent is to hide, however momentarily, from view. Shooting from foliage is difficult as it will easily obscure your view of the sky when you least want it to.
- Firing from inside structures is sometimes possible, though your field of fire will be strictly limited. This works well if your position is part of a defensive position where numerous guns have interlocking fields of fire.
- A combination of open fields and accessible cover is usually best, as you can spot and defeat ground threats from a long ways off, while having the opportunity to draw behind hard cover or foliage if need be. Reverse slopes are also especially useful: you may command the air while being reasonably safe from ground threats.
Spawning at a Forward Base
|frame|Move away from the spawn point - it will save you a ton of grief, and allows you to spot and defeat enemy sappers as well as offer you easy flank shots on enemy aircraft.]]
- The FB revetment is the bullseye – move away from it without delay.
- If you are first, or alone, on the scene, seek to deploy on the ”far side” of the spawn point so that you have the general FB area between you and the enemy-held objective. Thus you can engage both air and enemy sapper parties without being the default victim of either.
- If there are multiple AA guns at the FB, seek to extend the defensive perimeter to a distance of 500 meters all around.
When the FB is securely defended, position additional guns in cover along the road to the objective: enemy air usually scour the roads, and properly placed AA guns can make a killing here. Do not approach within 1000 m range to the town until other ground troops have established a firm foothold in the town.
When friendly forces have the target largely under control, move in to position yourself at 300-500 m from the town perimeter. This is far enough away from stray enemy infantry and roaming tanks, yet close enough to offer opportunity against enemy aircraft who endeavour to clear the town by bombing and strafing. If you cannot be bothered to push to the town, ask friendly forces for a tow.
Realize that successful AA gunners are patient. Enemy air is not always present at the beginning of a battle, but they are almost always present at the tail end of one! Know also that most battles last for hours, and even if you push at a measly 1 m/s, you will probably overtake the forward edge of battle over the course of your sortie.
Spawning in the armybase
- The patch of ground just in front of the armybase garage, and the armybase area at large, is a giant bullseye for enemy air. Move away without delay!
- If you cannot move outside the armybase compound and still persist in manning your gun, deploy in the corners of the AB where you get a small measure of protection from the walls. Do not expect to live for long though - snipers, strafers, mortars, grenades and bombs are par for the course.
- If the town is not yet infested by enemy infantry and tanks, move to the flanks and to the far side of the town opposite from the enemy ingress direction, to at least 2-300 meters distance away from the town perimeter.
- If you cannot move out of the town, put a building in between yourself and the enemy and seek protection from close assault by positioning close to friendly infantry and tanks.
- If you cannot live for more than a minute in the armybase due to intense enemy air, sneaky infantry and the occasional enemy tank, you may want to consider grabbing a rifle or a satchel instead – or go spawn a fighter to clear out the enemy air from above. Sometimes perseverance is no more than plain stupidity.
When to fire
- Fire only when enemy air is in effective range. This is shorter than you think: anything beyond 500 meters is long range.
- Fire only when the enemy is not actively looking in your direction.
- Fire only when you are certain of a kill, unless you are part of a large AA concentration for which intimidation is as important as kills.
- Fire heavily in self-preservation when the enemy is diving straight at you with an intent to kill.
When NOT to fire
- Do not fire if you are still in the immediate vicinity of the spawn point, except when enemy air is diving down to attack YOU. Push instead.
- Do not fire when EA is out of range – this will only draw attention to yourself.
- Do not fire when EA is inbound and still have the option to switch targets – to you!
- Do NOT fire at obvious decoys circling outside your range – for while he circles to draw your fire his buddy is coming in to deal with you.
- Firing at dogfighting aircraft is futile unless they are very slow and/or very close.
Think like a pilot
When the pilot arrives to your battle area he must first find you if he is to try and destroy you. If you remain in the vicinity of the spawn point, you make it far too easy for him – move out!
If you are not in the spawn area bullseye the pilot must make repeated low passes, or circle overhead, to spot you. If you are deployed out in the open, you are easy to spot. If you have deployed in or near foliage, he will have a harder time spotting you. If you hold your fire, he may not spot you at all. While the pilot is attempting to spot you, he must at some point show his belly or flank to you: this is the time to fire, in range, and heavily. He will crash and die without knowing what hit him or where from the fire came. If you have managed to kill him in this way, and have not been spotted by other aircraft in the vicinity, you can safely remain in your current position.
If your position is compromized (i.e he spots your fire as you kill him), move! You may have 2-3 minutes worth of pushing before he returns to avenge his death, and in that time you can move far enough to keep him guessing. If he does not immediately spot you, he must start a new search and at some point fly so as to show his belly or side: make the most of your opportunity and kill him again – or simply lie doggo until he gives up.
The pilot will usually come in from a predictable direction, often so as to make his first pass towards the revetment opening: directly to front or at right angles. Use this knowledge by positioning yourself so as to recieve him with flanking fire, or with fire from directly below his flight path. You may also find it profitable to position yourselves where he is likely to break off an attack and zoom: here you get excellent belly shots, unseen by the pilot.
When the pilot is attacking, either the spawn point or some other hapless ground target, he is focussed in his zoomed-in gunsight and unable to register action outside this narrow cone: use this knowledge to fire at his flanks and belly during his attack run.
- - -
It pays off to be sneaky when you are well sited. Even if you have a fairly good shot lined up you don't necessarily need to take it at the first opportunity. When EA first arrives at the FB they will be anticipating a hot AA welcome. On their first pass they will have an overhead of energy and anyway fly as fast as they can in avoiding the expected AA fire. So you wait a few passes, biding your time, holding your fire. After a while without opposition they will relax in their vigilance and start flying really low and really slow looking for targets. That's when you can nail two or three of them in 20 seconds flat. Following this action, lie doggo (or displace if all is clear) until opportunity knocks again. [Source: Murf64]
- - -
Pilots expect AA to be sited close to the FB and inside the Armybase compound - based on this, they tend to avoid excessive loitering over said places, and many avoid coming near at all. Only the most suicidal or the least proficient pilots will impale themselves on established AA defences: thankfully for the AA gunners, there are plenty of these around! Pilots know that AA gunners are lazy and do not expect to find any ground fire outside these locations. You will reap the richest harvests well away from these zones of exclusion, particularly along roads leading up to hotly contested towns and on the far side of Forward Bases closest to enemy ingress routes. Another sweet spot is the place where pilots go into a zoom climb after a strafing or divebombing pass: though they are receding targets, the rate will be small, and you can choose freely between engaging their belly after they unload at the target and their low astern aspect when they climb away. This spot is generally found some 300 to 600 meters away from a principal objective - another good reason to push that gun!
Airquaked at the FB? How to lift the aerial siege
So, how do you begin? Start by assessing the situation: pick a low-cost unit like a rifleman or LMG (light machine gunner) and observe what is going on. If enemy air is heavy in attendance and circling overhead you will have less than a snowball’s chance in hell with heavy equipment. In this case, lie doggo with your rifleman and wait until enemy air leaves the area. Meanwhile, talk your compadres at the FB into following your example – spawn infantry only! Enemy air that is not presented with worthwhile targets will only remain for a few minutes before their impatience gets the better of them – wait those few minutes, then spawn your heavy unit.
If you cannot wait, run a few hundred yards with your LMG to a berm or structure that offers at least some cover, and blaze away at any and all low and slow aircraft that happen into your field of fire. If you can assemble 6-8 machinegunners and spread them out, a decent volume of fire can be delivered to deter at least some of the more brazen enemy fighters – enough to allow a light AA gun to spawn and deploy.
In all enemy air feeding frenzies, there comes a time when the enemy must return for fresh planes, fresh ammo or is elsewhere occupied. Use the respite to quickly build up a heavy concentration of AA guns, and position them well away from the spawn point.
If enemy air is present in the distance but not yet actively targetting the spawn point, spawn a gun and make best time well away from the garage, depot or revetment. Push push push!
Trucks and scout cars are sufficiently fast and manoeuvrable to drive around as decoys while other players spawn AA guns and spread out. Fighters will in nine cases out of ten prioritize vehicles before guns, allowing the defender a small respite sufficient to deploy guns while the vehicle is being hunted down.
Friendly aircraft are also very effective as decoys to draw enemy attention. Enemy fighters will leap like starved dogs after any aerial target: use the respite to tow out a minimum of three or four guns, but be quick about it for the lull is unlikely to last more than thirty seconds per friendly aerial sacrifice. Dispersion is key here: get as many guns out as you can, as far as you can, and do not be shy of opening up indiscriminately – intimidation is also a weapon.
General gunnery tips
|frame|A Spitfire comes in low over the Forward Base on a recon run. Range 300 m.]] |frame|Same sequence at 1:4 speed. Notice the target-following (tracking) motion.]]
- In all your engagements you MUST LEAD the target. That means aiming and firing ahead of the target, in his anticipated future flight path. The faster the target and the farther the range, the longer the lead you need to draw. Watch player-submitted videos (links below) and see how the veterans do it.
- Use the gunsight’s vector lines to determine the target flight path. E.g. if the target moves perpendicularly (left to right) across your view, line him up with the horizontal line and aim slightly high to allow for the curved trajectory (shell drop).
- If the enemy is flying a straight path and firing, either at a friendly aircraft or a ground target, seize on the opportunity to determine his vector: aim along his line of tracer, draw lead as required, adjust slightly for shell drop and karumpah his keister.
- Time allowing, draw lead, fire two-three shots and observe. Correct your aim and fire for effect.
- Another method is to draw excessive lead and fire heavily at a place in the sky where you expect the target to fly through. You may also combine this with tracking fire (i.e. you follow the target by traversing/elevating and firing at the same time) at a slightly lower rate than the target moves through your sight picture. Thus you maintain a decreasing lead computation while correcting your elevation and throwing out a lot of lead at the same time.
- How much lead to pull is dependent on range, speed and vector to the target. The greater the range, the higher the speed, and the greater the deflection (to a max of 90 degrees), the more lead you need draw. At short range and small deflection (e.g. the target coming roughly towards you), aim approximately one plane length ahead. At short range and high deflection (i.e. a side shot) you may have to draw as much as three to five plane lengths worth of lead. Only if the target is coming straight at you (zero deflection) can you aim directly at the target – but then he is probably already gunning you down or dropping his bombs. If the target is turning or pulling off a straight path in any way you must make allowance for this and correct your aim incrementally throughout the firing sequence.
- The easiest by far are belly shots at 500 meters or less at virtually any speed. Line up the target so that he flies toward the gunsight center, track the target gently and hose away until he comes fully into the sight. If you missed this easy shot, draw fresh lead and try again. You will be presented with this easy shot time and time again if you have the fortitude to push some 300-500 meters away from the spawnpoint – as an added bonus the target is completely blind and completely unaware of what is hitting him.
- Next to the belly shot and the low frontal quarter shot, the flank shot holds the greatest promise. With practice you should be able to score reliable hits out to 1000 m against bombers and other sitting ducks. Fighters at full speed are more difficult to hit – you will need to pull seven to ten plane lengths worth of lead, putting the target well outside the sight ring, to score. The benefit of the flank shot is that the pilot is normally looking straight forward and blissfully unaware of the incoming fire. This allows you to remain in situ after the kill unless his compadres have noted your position.
- Tracking planes flying away from you is much harder than tracking planes coming toward you. Only attempt the pursuit shot against targets that are slow or presenting little vector change as they fly away.
- When targetting descending paratroopers, aim at their feet to hit them center mass.
Range and Lead
Here are some examples from player-submitted videos showing the firing instance that produced hits. Note how the gunner makes allowance for target speed and range, and lines up the target so that its fuselage is pointing toward the middle of the sight picture. Count the plane lengths, make allowance for your muzzle velocity, track (traverse) gently and bang away. These targets are all flying straight paths through the sky and thus make for easy shots at comfortable range – against turning targets, you must compute the target vector and pay less attention to the position of its fuselage.
Vector? Picture for instance a fighter, showing his flank to you, making a loop: his fuselage will be pointing to the side, then up, then to the other side, and finally towards the earth before coming out on his original heading. Scoring a hit against such a target is far more difficult, as the shot calculation is changing through every instant. He might not complete the loop at all but go straight up, or turn fully away from you. Get the picture? Fire at targets that fly straight!
As can be seen in the pictures, the “halo” around the target is not just for good looks: it tells you the range. At 500 m, the halo is quarter-full from 6 to 9 o’clock. At 1000 m, the halo is half from 6 to 12 o’clock. At 2000 m, the halo is full around.
Using the Bofors/FlaK 28
The Swedish-designed Bofors 40 mm AA gun, Fliegerabwehrkanone 28 in German service, is the heaviest and most potent AA gun currently in the BGE arsenal. Its chief advantage lies in its heavy punch; excellent ring-sight picture; long range and uninterrupted ammunition flow – once you have a target in sight you can bang away without worrying about running out of a short clip. Its main drawbacks are the glacial manual groundspeed; relatively slow rate of fire; relatively slow traverse; relatively slow deployment/undeployment; and its size – the Bofors is a big gun and consequently harder to hide than the 20 and 25 mm guns.
Because the Bofors is so slow to push around people generally stay close to the spawn point. This is a terminal error. Whenever and whatever you spawn into the game world your first objective is to put a healthy distance to the one place where the enemy is bound to look for you: the spawn point. This cannot be emphasized enough: if you stay in or near the spawn, you DIE. You do not want to die – you want to kill! So push that gun, and be happy that you can push it. Best of all, arrange with a friendly soul to tow you away. The Bofors can be towed only by the Morris CDSW, the Laffly S-20 and the Sdkfz 7.
The Bofors, while having a hypothetical range of some 4000 m, is best fired at targets inside half that range and better still, inside 1000 m range. Expert marksmen will score hits at maximum range even against fast targets, but if you do not belong to that category, hold your fire until the target is comfortably close: 500 meters or less.
While its heavy shell can down a fighter in a single hit, you will find that it usually takes two or three hits to reliably strike them out of the sky – unless you hit a critical component like the pilot, the engine, the vertical stabilizer or the fuel tank. There are great shots out there who can pluck down any target with just 4-5 shells, and they are rightly feared by pilots for they will give you no warning, just a black screen.
With an abundant supply of ammo, which by the way a supply truck or halftrack can replenish indefinately, the humdrum Bofors gunner bangs away merrily. This is a great way of attracting attention to yourself, and with attention comes bombs and machinegun fire only a short while later. So keep that itchy finger still, and only fire when you are fairly certain to score a hit. For, if you are spotted, you must displace (relocate) without delay.
The one time when you really want to pour on the coal is when you are defending a high-value target in the company of multiple AA guns – the more the merrier. Now your objective is to deter and intimidate, and the Bofors shells does have a strong effect in this department.
The Bofors is also exceptionally capable against ground targets, chiefly the soft variety: infantry, trucks, halftracks and guns. It can hurt, and most certainly annoy through incessant concussion effects, armour as well, and clobber armoured cars beyond recognition. When firing at ground targets beyond 1000 m range, make sure to use your commander’s binoculars to track the fall of shot. This requires some dexterity but should anyway be second nature to the veteran BGE player. The low part if the inner circle is your aiming point at 1000 m range. Fire one shell, observe with commander, correct and fire for effect.
Using the Canon Mle. 38
The 25 mm Hotchkiss Modèle 38 light AA gun is small, fast and nimble with a high rate of fire. It boasts a flat shell trajectory due to its high muzzle velocity, giving it exceptional accuracy at normal engagement ranges, and a decent punch for its caliber. On the debit side, the gunsight is difficult to use for the beginner as it does not have the open wheel-type aiming reticle of the Bofors but a periscope with V-shaped guide lines. This is tricky enough, and to make it worse the gunner must choose between using the standard zoom and its constricted view - or the zoomed-in view which is hard to put in relation to the speed and vector of the target. Additionally the short clip of 15 rounds per magazine requires frequent reloading, usually at the most inappropriate times.
The CAmle 38 has some notable benefits: it is available in great numbers; it can be spawned from all friendly depots; it can be brought forward by all trucks and prime movers; it is easily hidden in foliage and structures; it pushes manually at a fair pace; and it works well in its dual role of ground support thanks to its zoomed-in sight and flat shell trajectory. It is an excellent weapon against soft targets.
Because it moves fast when pushed there is no excuse to remain at or near the spawn point, and with only three or four guns you can quickly establish a passable AA canopy that allows heavier weapons to spawn in relative peace.
Due to its relatively small caliber the CAmle 38 gunner will seldom experience one shot kills against aircraft. While it is not quite as impotent as the FlaK 30, the “Camel” gunner must score multiple hits, preferably against weak parts of the aircraft, to see it plunging down.
The Camle 38’s sight picture is both a blessing and a curse: unlike with the Bofors, you will rarely land hits at targets that crosses perpendicularly at a high rate of speed – particularly at extreme and very close range – because the massive lead required does not fit in the sight picture. For this reason the cunning gunner restricts his fire against targets travelling at a slow rate. This means that the target must be heading more or less straight at the gunner in a narrow cone of opportunity – i.e. at less than 30 degrees angle off – or at a slow turn of speed if the heading is any greater than 30 degrees angle off. The sight is exceptionally tricky to use for overhead shots, e.g. a target flies over from straight ahead to straight behind, as the gun must be traversed and elevated at the same time: a disorientating practice that makes lead computation yet harder.
Tracking shots at high elevation are tricky because the lead changes abruptly, especially at short range. From this follows that the easiest shots are made against low, slow and close targets: anything outside 1000 m should be considered a waste of ammo.
Keep a close eye on the ammo counter in your low left interface panel, or count your shots as you fire: if you have less than 5 shells left in the magazine and expect to need more in the short run, clear the magazine by firing so as to load a fresh one ASAP. And do not fire those stray rounds into the sky – pick a bush some 300 meters away and put your shots there so as not to betray your location to potential onlookers.
The “trick” with the Camle 38 is to fire at close range and to draw somewhat LESS lead than you think you need: the high velocity shell gives it more of a “point-and-click” capacity in comparison with the Bofors.
Using the FlaK 30
|frame|Spitfire at 500 meter range and close to full speed.]] |frame|Same sequence in slow motion. See the slight tracking motion: it keeps fire concentrated while adjusting the lead incrementally - the target flies into a shotgun pattern of shells.]]
The 20 mm Rheinmetall Borsig Fliegerabwehrkanone 30, or FlaK 30, is the weakest of all BGE AA guns, yet it is not to be trifled with! While it is substantially harder to down EA (enemy aircraft) with the FlaK 30 compared to the Bofors or the CA mle 38, the FlaK 30 can do a creditable job under specific circumstances – and in choosing between an LMG and nothing at all, the FlaK 30 is clearly superior.
Like the CA mle 38 the FlaK 30 is a short-range weapon that requires multiple hits to down its target; it is small, fast and easy to tuck away where pilots least expect it.
The FlaK 30 suffers certain shortcomings that makes it the least effective AA gun in BGE: it fires a light caliber shell with small explosive content; it has a short 20-shell clip that requires frequent reloading; the one-stage zoom sight picture is somewhat restricted by the square rainhood that effectively blots out targets in normal high-deflection situations and makes lead computation more guesswork than science; and when firing at high elevation the unzoomed view does not correspond to the gunsight picture!
For these reasons the FlaK 30 gunner is restricted to short range engagements of low and slow targets that does not require excessive deflection (lead). Hitting anything beyond 600 meters, unless the target moves at minimal rate through the sight, is more a question of luck – or extreme proficiency.
Key to using the FlaK 30 effectively is position and patience – the only other substitute is deployment in mass and density, something that is rarely achieved except by a determined and sizeable force with boots to spare. Selecting your position is by far the most important: with an effective range of 500 meters you must calculate and predict where opportunity will knock, without putting yourself at risk to roaming enemy ground troops. Usually this means that you need to stay within 1000 metes distance to the FB, main attack artery (usually a road) and the target town – beyond this range, EA are likely to be too high and too fast for you to engage effectively.
The FlaK 30 is an effective ground support weapon too, albeit at short to medium range. The HE shell is however quite weak and requires direct hits to do any damage whatsoever: its efficacy lies in suppression and intimidation. On the upside, the FlaK 30 carries AP (armor-piercing) ammunition that is effective against light tanks and scout cars, and AP is also useful against aircraft.
Using the LMG in the AA role
The most basic and most readily available AA weapon is the Light Machinegun (LMG): the Bren, the FM 24/29 and the MG 34. While BGE does not as yet incorporate AA mountings for these weapons, they can still be somewhat effective against EA – particularly when employed en masse.
The effective AA range of the LMG is short: do not expect to hit anything outside 300 meters range. You will also find that targets need to be low, slow and/or moving at a small rate (i.e. almost directly toward you) to offer any chance of scoring hits. These criteria dictates that you must seek positions near the EA’s intended target and/or flight path; positions that offer near head-on shots instead of perpendicular (flank) shots; positions that offer a decent view of the sky and most importantly, cover from enemy ground troops and vehicles.
When firing at EA, seek to concentrate your fire by drawing lead and pouring it out in this one direction rather than attempt tracking (target-following) fire. It only takes one bullet to the brain to down that EA, and lashing out a concentrated volley improves that likelihood.
The best positions are found in the windowsills of destroyed town houses on the lee side of enemy ground units, and on the reverse slopes of berms and hills. This latter point is important, as you will want to deploy at a vertical angle to command a greater slice of the sky. Avoid conspicuous positions such as belfrys, depot roofs, garage roofs and similar attention magnets. Get out of the enemy bullseye!
When preparing to receive an EA, do not deploy until you are fairly certain of his vector – and deploy with adequate deflection (lead) already if the target is coming in at any angle off. Fire long bursts, undeploy and reload. If you do hit, you will be greeted by a string of puffs in the wake of the target – and with sufficient weight of fire from the ground, even the hardiest pilot will think twice about coming down low and slow.
Gunning the Cmle 38: