Well, here it is; my final video for 2016. I chose to feature the tier V French premium heavy fighter, the SNCASE SE100, or "Merlin" for short. I chose the name Merlin despite the Anglo connotation because like the venerable sage from Arthurian legend the SE100 is a complete wizard in the air.
At first glance when I obtained her I didn't expect very much, because as ATSF puts it "The French didn't know how to make things that are actually scary", a reference to the S35 and B2 tanks and the Dunkerque class battlecruisers. The Merlin isn't much different; she looks like an NC 1070 Enterprise that went on a diet.
Her silly looks aside, the Merlin is actually a great aircraft. Her closest competitor in performance is the RAF Beaufighter, which she beats on speed and turning ability, but loses out on health, DPS and altitude (barely). The Merlin is a dogfighting heavy fighter, and that role is reinforced by the lack of any ordnance being mountable on the aircraft. This prevents the pilot from loading her up with bombs and rockets to go chasing ground target points that are best left to the attacker class of aircraft.
The Merlin is capable of countering any German heavy that engages her; their best option against her is to stay out of reach at the highest altitudes and only attack the Merlin if she is already engaged by something else. The same goes for P-38s. Light fighters should avoid the Merlin entirely as her agility in the air and the punch and long range of her 20mm rear autocannon will put a 109, P-40 or Spitfire out of the fight in no time, much less the low health offerings Japan and Russia have at tier V.
The Merlin's kryptonite is agile multirole fighters which can mount equipment that will minimize her tailgun's damage potential while also carrying heavy machine guns or cannons that can make quick work of the Merlin's relatively small health pool.
Flown solo or as part of a team the Merlin is a dream to fly and guarantees a good time while generating loads of credits for use in game, even if the pilot chooses to use premium ammo, as I always do.
It's been a great year, everyone! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year...and, as always...