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GAA Basics, aka, Introduction to Blowing Stuff Up Properly

GAA Ground Attack Aircraft Basics GA Ground Attack Guide

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LMG #1 Posted 06 February 2018 - 12:12 AM

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So I've seen quite a bit of doubt about how a Ground Attack Aircraft (GAA) should go about their daily routine. Here I'll attempt to give a general look at the basic principles and ideas that should help new pilots smash sectors to pieces without getting smashed themselves. First and foremost, I'll define some concepts to avoid confusion:

 

GLOSSARY

GAA: Ground Attack Aircraft. In World of Warplanes, these aircraft have the main objective of demolishing everything on the ground they can point their weapons at. Usually they have a hard time hitting aerial targets, but they will deal a lot of damage if they do hit. They often have very poor handling in comparison to other aircraft, but make up with an increased health pool and, on some aircraft, a reargunner. They can also carry rockets and bombs for additional firepower.

 

Ordnance: Explosive weaponry that GAAs can carry. In this case, rockets and bombs. Not all GAAs can carry both rockets and bombs, and not all rockets and bombs perform exactly the same.

 

Sector: An area composed of multiple Ground Targets. They give +3 points every three seconds when captured, and often offer additional benefits. I might explain each sector more specifically in a follow-up guide, if I ever get to it.

 

Ground Target: A group of Buildings within a Sector. When destroyed, they give capture points towards securing the sector they form a part of. In general, the bigger the ground target, the more points it gives.

 

Building: Each individual part of a Ground Target. They come in two flavors, soft buildings marked with a dot and armored buildings marked with a square. Soft buildings can often be destroyed through gunfire alone, while armored buildings require the use of powerful cannons or ordnance to properly take care of. In World of Warplanes, capture points are given to whoever destroys the last Building of a Ground Target.

 

AA Emplacements: Ground Targets that have an Anti-Air gun. They're part of the defensive grid of a Sector. The AA guns themselves are considered soft buildings, so gunfire alone can destroy the gun and keep it from shooting back. There are two types of AA guns, low-altitude machine guns that are marked with a triangle and high-altitude flak cannons that are marked with a house-like symbol. AA Emplacements give the least amount of capture points, and can be made up of three soft buildings + the AA gun or two armored buildings, one soft building and the AA gun.

 

With that out of the way, let's get started. First, you need to understand your GAA. You should check for basic things like:

  • What guns does it have, how far away can I shoot them, and how fast do they heat up?
  • What Ordnance can it equip, and how long does it take to recharge?
  • How fast can it go, how well does it turn and does it have a reargun?

 

WEAPONRY

 

The guns are usually the best way for a GAA to destroy Soft Buildings. Not all guns work the same, but there are three main categories to classify them by. Machine guns fire very fast, but don't deal a lot of damage and have very short range. Unless you have a lot of them, like with the Soviet Tsh-2 and Tsh-3, they're not going to do much to an Armored Building, but they can deal with Soft Buildings. However, when equipped with Universal Ammunition, they can light up a Building on fire and make it take extra damage over a short time. This does come at the cost of higher resupply costs, especially when you have a lot of machine guns to restock, so keep that in mind.

 

Next comes the "light" cannons, which are usually between 20mm and 30mm in caliber. Light cannons fire relatively fast and usually have decent range, on top of not heating up too quickly. They're like the jack-of-all-trades of GAA weaponry, able to quickly dispatch of Soft Buildings while also dealing respectable damage to Armored Buildings. Most German GAAs are equipped with cannons of this type.

 

Finally we have the "heavy" cannons, which are usually bigger than 30mm in caliber. Heavy cannons tend to fire very slowly, but they can great firing range and damage. They heat up rather quickly, but they also cool off fast. Most GAAs around tier 6 have access to these types of cannons, and in my personal opinion are the best type of weaponry for taking on Ground Targets. Most heavy cannons can dispatch of Soft Buildings in one volley, and Armored Buildings fall with 5-6 volleys.

 

ROCKETS AND BOMBS

 

Now that we understand the guns of the GAA, let's take a look at the Ordnance available. Almost all GAAs have access to bombs of different sizes. Usually the bigger a bomb is, the bigger the explosion range and damage will be. In this case, the non-premium Soviet GAAs at the moment are the standard for measuring how good a bomb is for the tier. They all have optimal bomb equipment for their tier, so to see if a bomb of another aircraft is good for the tier check if it is as good as something available for the Soviet GAA on the same tier. One good bomb will usually take out a group of Armored Buildings. Rockets, on the other hand, vary wildly from aircraft to aircraft. At the moment I'm writing this guide only Soviet-based GAAs can equip rockets, so they're also the standard, if only due to lack of competition. In general, most groups of Armored Buildings can't take more than three or four good rockets if you spread them out a bit to get a direct hit on each building with each rocket.

 

It is critical to understand that Ordnance is the main source of damage for most GAAs, especially against Armored Buildings. It is very important to use rockets and bombs wisely to make the most out of them. It is also useful to learn how long does it take for the ordnance of a GAA to recharge. Soviet GAAs' bombs and rockets often take longer to recharge than German GAAs of the same tier. If you finish capturing a Sector and only have a couple of rockets and/or bombs left, it's best to toss them away and let them recharge while traveling to the next Sector. Most GAAs are slow enough to have them ready by the time they arrive on the next Sector.

 

AIRCRAFT AND SELF-DEFENSE

 

Finally come the stats of the GAA itself. While not as mission-critical as other things, it's still good practice to know how fast your GAA can go and how well it turns, as it can get you out of a tight situation (like boosting away from a slower aircraft or causing a fast aircraft to stall by slowing down a lot). Also, it's important to get a feeling for how well the reargun performs, if it has any. Most GAAs after tier 6 can take down a standard fighter of the same tier with just their upgraded reargun; lower tiers can only realistically take down already-damaged aircraft before they fall themselves, without crew skills taken into account. You can also manually control the reargun (check the keybindings). When in reargun mode, you can press the "roll" keys to steer left and right, and your GAA will fly level. Just try to not hit obstacles while at it, as you won't see where you're going. However, GAAs can also use their bombs to knock out enemy aircraft. Bombs explode in a circle, which means you can catch an aircraft if it flies above the bombs as it blows up. This requires a lot of field practice and knowledge about your bombs' explosion radius, and even then not all fighters will get close enough for you to pull this off, but it's still an option nonetheless. As an extra note, avoid doing steep dives towards Ground Targets until you know you can recover before turning your plane into a pancake (not the flying type, mind you).

 

BLOWING STUFF UP WITHOUT BLOWING UP

 

Now we know what our skywhale can do, so let's see what we should do. The GAA's job is to capture as many Sectors as it can. However, they also have to capture the right sectors. For the most part, GAAs should focus on taking Mining Facilities, followed by Military Bases and Command Centers. After that they should go attack Garrisons. Once all of those are taken care of, they can attempt to secure Airbases and Forward Airfields. Do keep in mind that Forward Airfields cannot be captured solely by destroying ground targets, as there are not enough to fully capture it. It is required to shoot down at least one Air Defense Aircraft or wait for the ground targets to respawn.

 

On that note, I'll explain a bit about how Sectors defend themselves. All sectors have AA emplacements. The number of AA emplacements and the type vary between each type of Sector, but Sectors of the same types will always have the same number of each type of AA. GAAs are the best at dealing with AA guns, so it's good practice to knock out the low-altitude AA guns before trying to capture the sector itself, and only take out the high-altitude AA guns if there's friendly aircraft above them. Aside of that, all sectors except for Mining Facilities have Air Defense Aircraft, which are basically AI-controlled fighters that shoot at anything that gets too close. GAAs with low maneuverability have no easy way to shoot them down, so it's best to ignore them unless they fly in front of you. Aside of that, you can avoid their attacks by flying slow and turning often. Flying fast and straight will surely get you into trouble.

 

One last thing to keep in mind is fighters, both friendly and hostile. When aircraft are destroyed over a sector, they give capture points towards the other team, regardless of how they died. This is why trying to capture contested Sectors can be troublesome at best, and impossible at worst. Personally, I avoid moving into said sectors, but that's not a golden rule either, so feel free to go for it. Bot fighters give low priority to attack GAAs if they spot another fighter they can shoot at instead, including Air Defense Aircraft. Human fighters, on the other hand, cannot be reliably predicted, so always be on the lookout for players.

 

If you do end up in a dogfight with a fighter, here are some things you can do. First, do a head-on attack. GAAs have strong, but inaccurate weaponry. A couple of well-placed shots can knock down most fighters. If not, go for a ram. GAAs are basically flying tanks, while fighters are more like sportscars with guns. The GAA will most likely survive the hit unless heavilly damaged; the fighter most likely won't. Only Bombers and other GAAs can reliably fly out of a ram with a GAA. Do be careful of rocket barrages. If that fails, there are two options. If the attacker is very fast but doesn't turn well, you can attempt to do another head-on attack. If the attacker turns well, you'll have to rely on your reargun or ally gunfire. On rare cases, you can run away by boosting, as GAAs can boost for a long time. Try luring them towards a group of allied planes that are not engaged in combat. Bot fighters always like hostile planes served on a silver platter. Either way, there's always the option of a bombkill if your GAA has bombs equipped and ready. If you feel like you're going to get show down, try to fly out of the Sector to avoid giving capture points towards the enemy. Otherwise, try to finish capturing the sector before you go down.

 

There are more things about flying a GAA that I have not touched in this guide, so if anyone wants to ask questions, give any further knowledge, or if I screwed up somewhere and didn't notice, do share a comment for everyone else to see. Now go capture some factories :honoring:

 

Edit: Added that bombs and rockets are better for taking out Armored Buildings


Edited by LMG, 06 February 2018 - 03:39 PM.

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JagdTig3r #2 Posted 06 February 2018 - 12:43 AM

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A very good GAA tutorial, thanks!

mnbv_fockewulfe #3 Posted 06 February 2018 - 01:02 AM

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Giving you the +1 you deserve.

Be sure to check your logic privileges before posting on the forum.

 

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Cogent #4 Posted 06 February 2018 - 06:21 AM

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I feel like GAA's aren't worth playing in the current meta. I'm only up to tier 6, but I feel like being able to turn-fight is all you need to flip bases and win games. Change my mind on this?

LMG #5 Posted 06 February 2018 - 06:33 AM

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View PostCogent, on 06 February 2018 - 01:21 AM, said:

I feel like GAA's aren't worth playing in the current meta. I'm only up to tier 6, but I feel like being able to turn-fight is all you need to flip bases and win games. Change my mind on this?

 

Avoid going into areas where the enemy is at. All it takes is one decent fighter to shut down a GAA, but all it takes is one decent GAA to flip any cap. Aside of that, a fighter has to be really good to reliably flip caps on its own without losing too much health to Air Defense Aircraft and/or AA guns, not taking into account sectors that don't even have enough Air Defense Aircraft to capture solely by aircraft kills. By comparison, there's only one sector that can't be captured solely through ground target kills, being a hostile Forward Airstrip, and even then you're only short one last ground target. Personally, I'd say the more bots that are in a match, the more the team relies on human ground pounders to get the job done (partly due to how bad Bot GAAs and Bombers are at it :facepalm:). That said, some maps do favor fighters a lot more than GAAs, especially those with only 3 sectors, which are abundant at lower tiers :ohmy:


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Cogent #6 Posted 06 February 2018 - 08:26 AM

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View PostLMG, on 06 February 2018 - 06:33 AM, said:

 

Avoid going into areas where the enemy is at. All it takes is one decent fighter to shut down a GAA, but all it takes is one decent GAA to flip any cap. Aside of that, a fighter has to be really good to reliably flip caps on its own without losing too much health to Air Defense Aircraft and/or AA guns, not taking into account sectors that don't even have enough Air Defense Aircraft to capture solely by aircraft kills. By comparison, there's only one sector that can't be captured solely through ground target kills, being a hostile Forward Airstrip, and even then you're only short one last ground target. Personally, I'd say the more bots that are in a match, the more the team relies on human ground pounders to get the job done (partly due to how bad Bot GAAs and Bombers are at it :facepalm:). That said, some maps do favor fighters a lot more than GAAs, especially those with only 3 sectors, which are abundant at lower tiers :ohmy:

 

I just tried the IL-2. That thing has amazing armament combined with bombs and rockets. It's just a meaner Bsh-2 in every way possible. Think I'll stay awhile with GAA's. It's just a shame GAA's don't get much out of defending caps and slaughtering bots.

Mercsn #7 Posted 06 February 2018 - 11:28 AM

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+1  Really well organized and informative write-up.  But, you forgot to mention that ONLY GA are GA.  :hiding:

All the Important Thread Links (go here for answers!) Might be outdated!

All-in-one thread with 2.0 related guide links.

 

The below was said to me (Mercsn), from a concerned player:

Edited, on 12 March - 2:01PM , said:

and PS...play more, forum less.  Your opinion might be more credible.

gerr22 #8 Posted 06 February 2018 - 11:34 AM

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wait till you get IL8 - IL20 then the fun really starts

 



pyantoryng #9 Posted 06 February 2018 - 11:41 AM

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View Postgerr22, on 06 February 2018 - 11:34 AM, said:

wait till you get IL8 - IL20 then the fun really starts

 

 

More like wait until you have what it takes to solo sectors...that's where the GAA truly shine. The tier 7 Soviet GAAs start to do that reliably (yes, including the IL-10).

 

The GAA are strong in large, 5-sector maps and maps with plants while weak in maps with few sectors or three-sector with two airstrips maps...maps where there are fewer places to go and few targets to knock out. Leave them alone and they might be stealing sectors from under your nose while you are busy dogfighting planes elsewhere and high above where GAA do its work.



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Mercsn #10 Posted 06 February 2018 - 12:12 PM

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View PostCogent, on 06 February 2018 - 02:26 AM, said:

 

I just tried the IL-2. That thing has amazing armament combined with bombs and rockets. It's just a meaner Bsh-2 in every way possible. Think I'll stay awhile with GAA's. It's just a shame GAA's don't get much out of defending caps and slaughtering bots.

 

Actually, you DO.  You still earn combat points and mastery, which translate into credits and xp.  You just don't earn chevrons (meaningless), for shooting down enemy GA in a GA.  See Pyan's mastery and xp thread to see what earns EVERYONE, not just fighters or GA mastery.


 

Basically, things that earn xp or credits earn them in ANY aircraft.  WG just thinks some aircraft should be doing certain things...but you, as the player, are free to decide what you should be doing.  If killing GA in a counter-GA role is your thing, go for it; you're not missing out on any xp or credits as long as you're doing damage and getting kills, assists, and other things to earn mastery.


All the Important Thread Links (go here for answers!) Might be outdated!

All-in-one thread with 2.0 related guide links.

 

The below was said to me (Mercsn), from a concerned player:

Edited, on 12 March - 2:01PM , said:

and PS...play more, forum less.  Your opinion might be more credible.

Mercsn #11 Posted 06 February 2018 - 12:30 PM

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Please, please, PLEASE, if you are going to play Ground Attack Aircraft, do not play it like this:

 

Posted Image

 


 

10k damage, 0 kill!.  This is terribly unrewarding for that player and the team he's on.


 

I was in the zone with him, in my IL-1 trying to help keep a smart red team player from taking the mine on "our" side of the map.  The red team guy was in a bomber.  So what's worse, is the player in the above pic was shooting out the flak funs....JUST the gun, not killing the buildings which was HELPING THE ENEMY TEAM!  I'm not even sure this guy loaded bombs.  I mean, if you drop the bombs, you'll kill a target.  The red team, human bomber pilot was literally just cleaning up this guys leftovers.  So, again, HELPING THE ENEMY TEAM, by not killing the target group.


 

Please, players, do NOT play like this.  If your score sheet says you killed 0 targets and you are in a GA and actually shooting/rocketing/bombing ground targets, please understand the class as LMG lays it out.


All the Important Thread Links (go here for answers!) Might be outdated!

All-in-one thread with 2.0 related guide links.

 

The below was said to me (Mercsn), from a concerned player:

Edited, on 12 March - 2:01PM , said:

and PS...play more, forum less.  Your opinion might be more credible.

LMG #12 Posted 06 February 2018 - 03:21 PM

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View Postpyantoryng, on 06 February 2018 - 06:41 AM, said:

More like wait until you have what it takes to solo sectors...that's where the GAA truly shine. The tier 7 Soviet GAAs start to do that reliably (yes, including the IL-10).

 

Wait? You can solo caps right off the bat! It just takes knowing what to do with your weaponry. The only GAA I'd say truly struggles to solo-cap would be the Tsh-2 that has no easy way to deal with Armored Buildings, and even then it can still get the job done by taking out a few air defense aircraft


This is my IL-2 (t). There are many like it, but this one is mine. :child:

Mercsn #13 Posted 07 February 2018 - 02:31 PM

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View PostMercsn, on 06 February 2018 - 05:28 AM, said:

+1  Really well organized and informative write-up.  But, you forgot to mention that ONLY GA are GA.  :hiding:

 

So far this morning, 3 matches in my A-26 and out of the 2 matches that had 1 other human teammate, it was a goob in a HF playing ground attacker and failing to kill ground targets, but racking up damage.


 

The people who need to read this thread to understand how GT work, won't ever see it.  The people who should play GA, since they want to attack GT, won't play GA.  Humans are such stupid things, fresh from the trees.


 


Edited by Mercsn, 07 February 2018 - 02:46 PM.

All the Important Thread Links (go here for answers!) Might be outdated!

All-in-one thread with 2.0 related guide links.

 

The below was said to me (Mercsn), from a concerned player:

Edited, on 12 March - 2:01PM , said:

and PS...play more, forum less.  Your opinion might be more credible.

comtedumas #14 Posted 09 February 2018 - 04:21 AM

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I can’t get anyone to confirm this,  but my tip is:

use universal ammo.

when you are firing at buildings, hit either the roof or above the painted stripe on the building for increased fires.  I have also noticed the buildings with a sign board on one side, (as if that’s the building front) shoot the sign board.  I have seen increased fires chance when you shoot that sign board, and I have also noticed it is one way some times, if you shoot it from the front of the building you will hit, but from the back of the building toward the front if you shoot at the sign board your shots will pass through.  Weird, I know.  


Edited by comtedumas, 09 February 2018 - 04:22 AM.

Heard on the forum.  "1.9 was a hardcore air combat sim.  And it had a lead indicator"  HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

pyantoryng #15 Posted 09 February 2018 - 12:23 PM

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View Postcomtedumas, on 09 February 2018 - 04:21 AM, said:

I can’t get anyone to confirm this,  but my tip is:

use universal ammo.

when you are firing at buildings, hit either the roof or above the painted stripe on the building for increased fires.  I have also noticed the buildings with a sign board on one side, (as if that’s the building front) shoot the sign board.  I have seen increased fires chance when you shoot that sign board, and I have also noticed it is one way some times, if you shoot it from the front of the building you will hit, but from the back of the building toward the front if you shoot at the sign board your shots will pass through.  Weird, I know.  

 

Armored sections can be set on fire by ammo with fire chance as well. It's powerful, albeit random, against them.



WoWP makes a great jousting game...especially with the 262 and people busy in furballs...
I am deaf, silent, and fly with unrealistic controls. Do not count on me to carry - my back's already broken from overweight.

comtedumas #16 Posted 09 February 2018 - 10:34 PM

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View Postpyantoryng, on 09 February 2018 - 07:23 AM, said:

 

Armored sections can be set on fire by ammo with fire chance as well. It's powerful, albeit random, against them.

 

yes, but I believe the roofs and sections above the painted stripe are especially vulnerable to universal ammo fire chance.  
Heard on the forum.  "1.9 was a hardcore air combat sim.  And it had a lead indicator"  HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LMG #17 Posted 09 February 2018 - 10:50 PM

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View Postcomtedumas, on 09 February 2018 - 05:34 PM, said:

yes, but I believe the roofs and sections above the painted stripe are especially vulnerable to universal ammo fire chance.  

 

Would you mind showing a picture with the areas you say give a higher chance to light the Buildings on fire? I'm not sure what the "painted stripe" is :sceptic:


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comtedumas #18 Posted 10 February 2018 - 02:59 AM

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View PostLMG, on 09 February 2018 - 05:50 PM, said:

 

Would you mind showing a picture with the areas you say give a higher chance to light the Buildings on fire? I'm not sure what the "painted stripe" is :sceptic:

try this.  white stripe turns red if enemy captures point, blue if your side captures point.  above that stripe.  and using universal ammo.  


Edited by comtedumas, 10 February 2018 - 02:59 AM.

Heard on the forum.  "1.9 was a hardcore air combat sim.  And it had a lead indicator"  HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The_Chiv #19 Posted 10 February 2018 - 12:12 PM

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As you get to about t7 and above the GAA takes on another duty, counter GAA. German t7-10 can easily fight against other GAA planes to stop caps or to defend crucial caps like the mine. Russians and French t8 GAA's can also do this but the Russian T8 has a 57mm cannon better suited for ground pounding, so the 23mm will be needed. At t9-10 all GAA are pretty good at killing each other depending on approach and the ability to stick to one's tail.

 

Now it should go without saying but equipment and crew skill is vital for all GAA's.

You want to take every defensive upgrade that gives you life and protects your crew. Skill wise you will invest in protection expert, demolitions expert. Anything else is just gravy so you can pick and choose here though I would suggest battle tested so as to lessen the chance to be forced to use a med pack on the pilot and keep it ready for the rear gunner. Speaking of rear gunner. Defensive fire and precision gunner are mandatory



pyantoryng #20 Posted 10 February 2018 - 12:26 PM

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View PostThe_Chiv, on 10 February 2018 - 12:12 PM, said:

As you get to about t7 and above the GAA takes on another duty, counter GAA. German t7-10 can easily fight against other GAA planes to stop caps or to defend crucial caps like the mine. Russians and French t8 GAA's can also do this but the Russian T8 has a 57mm cannon better suited for ground pounding, so the 23mm will be needed. At t9-10 all GAA are pretty good at killing each other depending on approach and the ability to stick to one's tail.

 

Now it should go without saying but equipment and crew skill is vital for all GAA's.

You want to take every defensive upgrade that gives you life and protects your crew. Skill wise you will invest in protection expert, demolitions expert. Anything else is just gravy so you can pick and choose here though I would suggest battle tested so as to lessen the chance to be forced to use a med pack on the pilot and keep it ready for the rear gunner. Speaking of rear gunner. Defensive fire and precision gunner are mandatory

 

You can pull this duty at any tier...especially when no fighters would bother and you happen to be in the vicinity...



WoWP makes a great jousting game...especially with the 262 and people busy in furballs...
I am deaf, silent, and fly with unrealistic controls. Do not count on me to carry - my back's already broken from overweight.





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