Happy New Year! Been looking forward to this guide since...well, since Christmas 2015, actually. Those of you who were playing back then will remember that was when the Fieseler Fi.98 tier II German attacker was made available. I did welcome the new plane, but my reception was a bit...lukewarm. Yes, she was fun to fly and I enjoyed my time in her, but the whole time I was flying that plane I found myself wishing it was this one. Well, now the Henschel has arrived and it's time to put her through her paces.
First off, she compares equally or favorably with the Fi.98 in every way. The Hs.123 beats the Fi.98 handily in terms of speed and health pool while matching the Fi.98 exactly in maneuverability, firepower and altitude handling. They both use the same guns, two 7.92mm MGs that absolutely refuse to overheat and are deadly with Universal ammo belts. The guns and bombs are even mounted in the same locations on both aircraft, making the transition from one to the other very easy.
With her advantages in health pool and speed, the Hs.123 improves her margin of victory over the Fi.98 (and also becomes much more dangerous to other aircraft at her tier) by using an experienced pilot from a higher tier attack aircraft. Even if you don't have one of those available, she'll do well with any pilot with engine-power related skills. This compensates for my preferred optional equipment loadout focused on resilience and hitpoints vs increased engine performance.
Use the Hs.123 in combat just as you would the Fi.98; you're an anti-attack aircraft first and foremost. Eliminate at least one from the enemy team on your way to drop your bombs. Once you're unladen, get into the fight with your eternally-firing guns. Shoot up any targets of opportunity on the ground on your way there. Start killing planes (preference always for enemy attackers) and don't stop unless your team falls behind and you need to break off to machine gun down some GTs to reset supremacy. A final caution; if you are subjected to a "botageddon" scenario, this is not an ideal aircraft to try to carry with because of her low bomb loadout and lack of a gunner. Wingmen are recommended.