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Is the A-26B Really a Bomber? Or a GAA in disguise?

A-26B invader bombers tree-top bombing ground attack not intended use

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Poll: A-26B Invader (26 members have cast votes)

How do you fly your A-26B Invader?

  1. I fly it as a high-altitude bomber, like what WG intended. (17 votes [65.38%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 65.38%

  2. I fly it at low level like a ground attacker, not like what WG intended. (9 votes [34.62%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 34.62%

Have you ever considered flying it the opposite way than your previous answer?

  1. Yes. (20 votes [76.92%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 76.92%

  2. No. (6 votes [23.08%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 23.08%

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StoptheViolins #21 Posted 31 December 2017 - 05:55 AM

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Some poor fellow tried to 1k over a power plant in a Don217m. 217 isn't defended well enough or built tough enough to do such things especially if the thing is doing 180 turns.

Bored fighter pilots will kill bombers doing silly things.

HazeGrayUnderway #22 Posted 31 December 2017 - 06:37 AM

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View Posthoom, on 31 December 2017 - 04:36 AM, said:

So I've just got this today.

Its a very different thing than the Blenheim IV.

Really beautiful plane, flies remarkably lively, much more than I'd expected.

 

Played a few matches not feeling particularly effective, partly because of stock pilots.

Wound up boosting them to 2pts to get that DE & Quick Reflexes which helped.

 

First time out I was all height, up over 3.2km & yet still got shredded by an Me 410 before I realised what was going on & was still taking damage from flak over 3.5km.

Other battles I've not tried for such extreme height & frankly seem to do better primarily chasing/killing the enemy Bombers plus the odd Heavy that gets in the way.

Did try a bit of low level but didn't feel extremely effective, maybe works better when you get empty caps, I ran into a bunch of enemy down low.

 

Bombs do feel decently effective but you do have to pretty carefully line up the runs.

You can't just dump the whole load on a single target like with the Blenheim.

The good turning does help it adjust a run quicker than Blenheim though.

 

So how high do you guys go if you're running High mode?

 

If you're flying high altitude, you need that bomb sight upgrade installed.  It also helps to have Demo Expert to make your bombs more effective.

- The higher up you are, the more inaccurate your bombs are.

- The faster you're flying, the more spread your drops are.

- When you're approaching a target point, try slowing down, then drop.

- If you're attacking a cap solo at high altitude, it helps to KO the high altitude AA on your first run, at least the ones defending the part of the cap you want to attack.  Here's a pic identifying low and high altitude AA.

Have a general idea of what to expect out of the defenses of the type of cap.

 

Mining Facilities have poor low altitude AA but tend to sport a lot of high altitude AA.  Attacking these caps high altitude tends to get a lot more hits on your bomber until the high altitude AA is dealt with.  Low altitude bombers, Ground Attack have a field day on this critical cap due to next to no low altitude AA.

 

Airfields have a lot of bot air defense planes, some heavy fighters among them, and sport a lot of low altitude AA.  They also don't have high altitude AA.  A high altitude bomber with enough altitude is practically immune as the bots struggle to get to that height.  The low altitude AA focus of Airfields make them dangerous if you come down low.  It's troubling attacking these solo at low altitude because you take more hits.  From the AA and fighters coming after you, not to mention player aircraft literally spawning right over you, it's dangerous to do this alone.  You really need your focus right if doing this alone.

 

The other cap types will have a mix.

---

If you're flying high altitude, next you need to worry about what aircraft can go up and catch you.

- Heavy Fighters are almost all good bomber interceptors.  They tend to have very good altitude ratings as well as long Engine Boost times.  They also tend to have a very powerful forward armament.  German Heavies tend to have the highest AA ratings and have serious firepower.

 

- Multiroles have s--t altitude ratings.  If you fly just low enough however, some are creative enough to burst up and do enough damage to your belly from below.  A few get Expert Rocketeer and may surprise you from rocket attacks below you, despite lacking the ability to climb up to equal altitude as you.

 

- Fighters?  Some can't go after you like Zeroes, Spitfires.  Not unless you fly low enough for them.  Some, however, have great altitude ratings and will be able to chase after you.  They may not have the firepower, Engine Boost duration of heavy fighters, but they are still dangerous threats.  Especially once they start sporting cannons.  A few easy examples:  Mustang, Bf109 line.  Soviets have a fighter line that is capable to do so as well, can't recall name right off my head.  Take a look in the tech tree and read up on those altitude ratings.



Destroyer_Suzukaze #23 Posted 31 December 2017 - 09:00 AM

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View PostHazeGrayUnderway, on 30 December 2017 - 10:37 PM, said:

 

- Fighters?  Some can't go after you like Zeroes, Spitfires.  Not unless you fly low enough for them.  Some, however, have great altitude ratings and will be able to chase after you.  They may not have the firepower, Engine Boost duration of heavy fighters, but they are still dangerous threats.  Especially once they start sporting cannons.  A few easy examples:  Mustang, Bf109 line.  Soviets have a fighter line that is capable to do so as well, can't recall name right off my head.  Take a look in the tech tree and read up on those altitude ratings.

 

MiG line



HazeGrayUnderway #24 Posted 31 December 2017 - 10:45 AM

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Regarding low and high level bombing, they have strong pro's and con's.  Both are effective in their own ways.  I've been playing the hell out of my bombers and gone back and forth on builds dedicated to high, low level bombing.  I've even taken high alt.bombing builds to do low level attacks.

HIGH ALTITUDE

PRO'S

Spoiler

 

CON'S

Spoiler

 

LOW ALTITUDE

PRO'S

Spoiler

 

CON'S

Spoiler

 

The last thing is that specialized high / low altitude bomber upgrade builds means they're not exactly ideal for the other.

 

High altitude builds don't tend to favor the pure armor, defensive values of lower altitude bombers.  Same is true vice versa, the low altitude bomber is a lot less accurate high up and choosing heavy armor doesn't bring things like Engine Tuning, etc that high altitude bombing needs to more quickly move around.

----

I highly advise trying both out a lot.  I disliked low altitude bombing at first,especially the risks, but the more I played it, the more I saw its effectiveness as well as the fun it brought.  But I also flew a lot of high altitude bombing to see the merits of that style of play.  Hell, it took me multiple, separate occasions to really like low level bombing.


Edited by HazeGrayUnderway, 01 January 2018 - 03:27 AM.


HazeGrayUnderway #25 Posted 31 December 2017 - 11:35 PM

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An example of the speeds you can achieve with low level bombing.  Toyed with my high altitude RB-17 build to try low level bombing.  She completely lacks the armor, crit hit protection that low level bombing builds have, so in a PVP environment this can be dangerous.  But to have a bomber slinging the ordnance RB-17 has and flying around at 400km-700km/h is very useful.  Just don't get caught.  This was an Albion mission, no Axis players and more to show what speeds can be achieved.

Spoiler

 

Not saying you will achieve 700km/h with A-26, because RB-17 has jet engines.  Just a small example of how fast a low level bomber can go.  Engine Boost is the key to zip around, abuse that long boost duration to get to where it's useful to the team.

 

Think of it as playing Cops & Robbers.  You're running around the map pulling heists to flip caps, preferably before serious enemy players come your way.

 

Here's one of my Low Altitude Build A-26.  No Engine Tuning, etc. like I would for High Altitude Build.

Here's typical cruising speed at low altitude.

Spoiler

And here's the speed with a few seconds of Engine Boost.

Spoiler

 

At high altitude, if you want to get moving somewhere fast it takes a while, burning a lot of Engine Boost time.  Even then you're not going as fast.


Edited by HazeGrayUnderway, 01 January 2018 - 03:21 AM.


hoom #26 Posted 01 January 2018 - 11:04 AM

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Did a bit of low level bombing today, was definitely fun & I felt kinda more useful than I seem to feel in higher altitudes.

But man its damn hard to get wins with this bastard.

 

Saw enemy player put on a very impressive display of RB-17 low level bombing today too.

He kicked my [edited](in La-9) twice, once when I intercepted then chased, barely escaped back to repair point, 2nd just as he transitioned between caps, cut straight through the furball & mashed me on his way to total domination :amazed:


C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas le SerB.

Moggytwo #27 Posted 01 January 2018 - 11:09 AM

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My best low alt A-26 game so far - although it's pretty hard to have a bad game doing this, it's superb at PTFO.

 

A-26B low alt 1.jpg

A-26B low alt 2.jpg

 

So the A-26 is clearly good at this, but not all bombers would be.  I think the key strengths you need are high health, high speed and a good rear gun.  Good front guns are close behind but aren't critical to the play style.  Obviously better maneuverability is going to be an advantage, but all the bombers seem reasonably similar in this regard.  The Blenheim is probably a bit slow, and the RB-17 lacks the health given the firepower available to fighters at T8.  Will be interesting to see how the new bomber lines go in terms of being good at low alt stuff - I wouldn't mind trying out the Do-217M low alt.



Moggytwo #28 Posted 02 January 2018 - 02:43 AM

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View PostMoggytwo, on 01 January 2018 - 11:09 AM, said:

...and the RB-17 lacks the health given the firepower available to fighters at T8.

 

Yeah I was wrong on this, if anything the RB-17 might even be better low alt than the A-26 with that amazing rear gun, the hilarious speed, plus the bombs are more effective at wiping out the heavy ground targets in one pass.

HazeGrayUnderway #29 Posted 02 January 2018 - 07:15 AM

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Here's a trick to tighten up your multi-bomb drops, i.e. A-26, Ju 88A, RB-17.  Come over your target, cut speed, and do a sharp turn.  The point is to drop the bombs in a pattern so the explosions circle the target instead of a normal fast, fly over where you drop the bombs in a line, often well past the target.  You can do this at high and low altitude.  It's actually cool seeing stuff like A-26 do a slide and s--t is exploding around it :B  There's also the simple matter of simply slowing down to a near-crawl over the target, but that's a bit risky if there's pursuit in the air to loose too much speed like that.  Do that simple trick and your drops are more dense.

 

Also a PSA for newer bomber players to make your bomb drops more effective.  This is very important when you're attacking the critical Mining Facilities and that big factory looking thing with the 4-5 smoke stacks.

 

I also repeat: 

The higher up you are, the more inaccurate your drops may be. 

The faster you are, the more spread out your drops are going to be.

 

It's a game of getting more hits with your bombs per drop instead of taking multiple runs to kill a single target.


Edited by HazeGrayUnderway, 02 January 2018 - 07:25 AM.


Moggytwo #30 Posted 02 January 2018 - 07:37 AM

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View PostHazeGrayUnderway, on 02 January 2018 - 07:15 AM, said:

Also a PSA for newer bomber players to make your bomb drops more effective.  This is very important when you're attacking the critical Mining Facilities and that big factory looking thing with the 4-5 smoke stacks.

 

I disagree a bit with this - you're right about not dropping across the target, you're wasting your time, but in the diagram on the right you run the risk of missing targets in the corners (especially in the A-26).  Plus you're also likely to catch a wing on the smokestacks if you angle across it like that.  I just line up down the length of it, two pickles in the RB-17 and three in the A-26 will guarantee destruction of that particular building.



HazeGrayUnderway #31 Posted 02 January 2018 - 08:06 AM

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View PostMoggytwo, on 02 January 2018 - 07:37 AM, said:

 

I disagree a bit with this - you're right about not dropping across the target, you're wasting your time, but in the diagram on the right you run the risk of missing targets in the corners (especially in the A-26).  Plus you're also likely to catch a wing on the smokestacks if you angle across it like that.  I just line up down the length of it, two pickles in the RB-17 and three in the A-26 will guarantee destruction of that particular building.

 

That works also.  Anything but running across the shortest part of the target where you're wasting your time as a bomber.

trikke #32 Posted 04 January 2018 - 01:10 PM

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try flighting up with a second A-26 and both run low

 

"you take the left side of the cap, and i'll take the right"


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HazeGrayUnderway #33 Posted 04 January 2018 - 11:21 PM

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View Posttrikke, on 04 January 2018 - 01:10 PM, said:

try flighting up with a second A-26 and both run low

 

"you take the left side of the cap, and i'll take the right"

 

A saw a flight of enemy A-26 yesterday, both flying low.  Nobody was going after them and unsurprisingly, they were flipping caps faster than people were spawning.

Onyx #34 Posted 08 January 2018 - 04:10 AM

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An amusing thought, flying the A-26 like an attacker.  I personally don't fly it that way nor do I have real intentions of doing that, but I also don't take the A-26 into space.  The optimum altitude for the A-26's rather weak bomb salvos (individually) appears to be about 1500m, maybe a bit lower.  Taking it any higher and your ability to 1 or 2 salvo a ground target is heavily reduced.  Take it any lower and you become a juicy target with a fun turret of misery to ruin people's days.  Taking it too low and your bombs become unusable as well, which cripples its effectiveness.  But that would be fun going battle wagon with it.  I'll need to try it at some point..

Edited by Onyx, 08 January 2018 - 04:10 AM.


hoom #35 Posted 08 January 2018 - 06:58 AM

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Surely 1500m just gets you shot up by everything? :unsure:

 

I'm still not sure what to do with it, is fairly fun both high and low but I've had a huge issue actually getting wins outside Skies of Albion battles.


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Onyx #36 Posted 08 January 2018 - 10:09 AM

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The issue is its bombs are just garbage.  100 pounder/50kg bombs just cannot drop GAs in 1 pass, so you need to have +blast radius and be very liberal with them.  Fly slow, get as much density as possible, and hope.  The bomber itself is fairly overpowered in the sense that it's super defensive against lone attackers, but its bomb load drags it down, so your goal is basically to mitigate unwanted spread and just finish off anything you started.

 

This is in contrast with actually good bombers, like the Blennheim III, the Do 217, or the hideous RB-17, where you can into space, drop super-sized bombs (or in the case of the RB-17, 6 100kg bombs) and mostly 1 pass anything short of a mining plant's central base.

 

There is no "right" way to win with the A-26B since it's kinda like taking a ju-88 into battle.  Yeah, it's not a complete waste of space, but it's not the best specimen at doing the job of pushing objectives, so you're kinda swimming upstream with it, and you just want to make sure you're bombing the correct targets or correct area and hope for decent RNG.

 

They need to buff bombers with 100lb/50kg bombs to use 200lb/100kg bombs instead.



Moggytwo #37 Posted 09 January 2018 - 10:30 AM

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View PostOnyx, on 08 January 2018 - 10:09 AM, said:

The issue is its bombs are just garbage.  100 pounder/50kg bombs just cannot drop GAs in 1 pass, so you need to have +blast radius and be very liberal with them.  Fly slow, get as much density as possible, and hope.  The bomber itself is fairly overpowered in the sense that it's super defensive against lone attackers, but its bomb load drags it down, so your goal is basically to mitigate unwanted spread and just finish off anything you started.

 

This is in contrast with actually good bombers, like the Blennheim III, the Do 217, or the hideous RB-17, where you can into space, drop super-sized bombs (or in the case of the RB-17, 6 100kg bombs) and mostly 1 pass anything short of a mining plant's central base.

 

There is no "right" way to win with the A-26B since it's kinda like taking a ju-88 into battle.  Yeah, it's not a complete waste of space, but it's not the best specimen at doing the job of pushing objectives, so you're kinda swimming upstream with it, and you just want to make sure you're bombing the correct targets or correct area and hope for decent RNG.

 

They need to buff bombers with 100lb/50kg bombs to use 200lb/100kg bombs instead.

 

The bombs are fine, it's just important to know how many pickles you need to do on each target.  For example the larger hard targets normally take two pickles from an A-26, and the centre base of a mining plant takes three to reliably destroy in a pass.

 

I find the A-26 is definitely a better low level bomber than the 217, since it has half the bomb reload time (which makes it much more flexible) and is faster.  It also has the nose guns which are quite useful for shooting down enemy fighters.  The Ju88A is significantly worse than both the A-26 and 217, since it is slow, has very weak guns, short boost and fairly poor bombs with a long reload.  The A-26 is very easy to win with, you can get around the map very quickly and flip caps in less than a minute.  You should be flipping uncontested caps in two bomb loads.



Onyx #38 Posted 11 January 2018 - 03:25 AM

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View PostMoggytwo, on 09 January 2018 - 02:30 AM, said:

 

The bombs are fine, it's just important to know how many pickles you need to do on each target.  For example the larger hard targets normally take two pickles from an A-26, and the centre base of a mining plant takes three to reliably destroy in a pass.

 

I find the A-26 is definitely a better low level bomber than the 217, since it has half the bomb reload time (which makes it much more flexible) and is faster.  It also has the nose guns which are quite useful for shooting down enemy fighters.  The Ju88A is significantly worse than both the A-26 and 217, since it is slow, has very weak guns, short boost and fairly poor bombs with a long reload.  The A-26 is very easy to win with, you can get around the map very quickly and flip caps in less than a minute.  You should be flipping uncontested caps in two bomb loads.

 

The bombs are not fine when you can drop enough bombs to kill a ground target and they just randomly veer off course because the gods of RNG choose to and leave a target alive.  Bombers do not reset for passes fast enough for that kind of RNG to be tolerable, and it happens regularly with the A-26 and Ju 88A, but ironically not the Blennheim and RB-17.  Part of this is raw density, but most of it is having bombs with a large enough radius that you can actually drop them and confidently know that unless you get really screwed by RNG, the bombs will land on target as expected and drop the ground target.

 

50kg/100lb bombs flat out just don't have that reliability.  BTW, the Ju-88's bombs are functionally identical to the A-26.  You literally just praised the A-26 bombload at the same time as slamming the Ju 88's bomb load, despite the bombs literally being identical at 1200/50.


Edited by Onyx, 11 January 2018 - 03:26 AM.


Zergling #39 Posted 11 January 2018 - 10:50 AM

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Hell, the Ju 88 A actually has a better bombload; it has 20x 1200 damage/50 splash bombs, versus just 16 for the A-26. And it is Tier 5, so ground targets tend to have less hit points, making its bombs more effective.

 



StoptheViolins #40 Posted 11 January 2018 - 02:03 PM

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The RB-17 is fun at about 1200m I got shot down the same amount but did more damage and had about 25% more accurate bombs.  I am guessing that I'd get the same performance at 1500m but at 1200m most of the opponents are well above me dog fighting at around 2000m.




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