Ok, as a fellow noob, (actually a "newer noob" --- only about 200 battles so far) here's, more-or-less, my approach. First, the disclaimers: I only fly tier 1 planes and 75% of the time I'm in a Boeing P12--- so turning is my main advantage over almost everyone.
Basically there are 2 scenarios for me. 1) I'm in a battle against all other tier 1 planes, or 2) There are a couple tier 2 planes mixed in.
Either way, the first step is for me to try to identify the human players on both teams. I don't use Hryunomod, so I'm just strictly looking at their names. (I WOULD use the mod--- but I'm "computer-stupid" so I'm pretty much clueless on that kind of stuff). Regardless, all the humans that I can identify go to the top of the list as far as whom I'm looking to engage with. Bots are easy at this level so no worries about them.
While I'm trying to identify the human players, anyone with clan/squadron indicators in their name is instantly moved to the top of the list as far as players I need to be aware of. Without Hyrunomod I can't tell if they are actually good or not, but the simple act of joining a clan tells me that they are at least a little more serious about the game than most at this level.
After identifying the human players things are a little different depending upon if I'm fighting all other tier 1 planes, or if there are some tier 2's mixed in.
If I'm against all tier 1s its easier. I pretty much engage the first human I can find. What plane they are flying doesn't matter to me as far as actually engaging them, it just changes the strategy I plan to use once I find them. Altitude doesn't matter either. I'll go either up as high as I can or down to scraping the treetops to engage them. I just want the human opponents gone as quickly as possible. Again, if there is a self-identified clan guy out there, I'm looking for him first unless another human player just makes himself too easy of a target.
If I'm against a couple tier 2 planes things are more complicated. First thing I do is try to find my tier 2 guys. I'm going to attempt to coordinate with them as well as I can with no communication. This means as soon as I get control of my plane at the beginning of the battle I'm heading straight for them. Hopefully they are aware and realize I'm looking to team-up. Next (whether they are aware or not) I'm going to do my best to function as their unofficial wing man until or unless they give me reason not to.
Almost without exception the biggest threat to our team in a case of mixed tier1 and tier2 planes is going to be the enemy tier 2 guys. Ideally my tier 2 teammates are hunting these guys out. I'm there to help since removing the strongest enemy planes first is, imo, the surest way to increase our chances of victory. Since my tier 2 guys' planes are usually far superior to mine I typically wait for them to engage first and focus on keeping other enemy planes off of them. Or if there are no other enemy planes around I try to maneuver to get myself in position to help speed up the kill on the first enemy tier 2 guy.
If I'm paired with someone flying a tier 2 plane who seems to be clueless and goes after the enemy ground attack planes first, or even the ships/ land-based artillery etc (it happens). I just kind-of grit my teeth and realize its going to be a difficult situation for me. In this situation my response really just depends upon my mood (less than ideal situation, I know). I'll either seek out the enemy tier 2 by myself and look to engage realizing that he is in a superior plane in almost every respect and that unless he just isn't very good (or makes some horrible mistakes) I'm likely done for pretty quickly. Alternatively I'll try to hang back and wait for the enemy tier 2 guy to engage with someone else and try to get in position to at least get on his 6 before engaging. Many tier 2 planes can out-turn me and pretty much all out power me so this at least gives me a short time to engage and maybe get a couple lucky shots in before he turns his attention to me.
So, long story short(er).... Human enemies get priority. Among them clan guys and guys in higher tier planes than mine move to the top of the list. Team-up with my guys flying higher tier planes when possible and follow their lead unless they are clearly clueless.