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Thunderbolts & beyond - share your thoughts


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LeastWeasel #1 Posted 27 April 2018 - 04:28 PM

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So, after hankering for a little more boom on my corsair, I made the jump over to the Thunderbolt line, and have just unlocked the P-47N... and as much as I couldn’t come to grips with the B initially, I am going to miss it - it became a beastof a plane when I went in with a plan. 

 

In celebration of getting to tier seven, I thought I’d like to share my thoughts on the P-47B, ruminate a little on the N in the future, and hear your thoughts on the line. Particularly, as always: skill & equipment loadouts, playstyles, and all the attendant why’s. 

 

STEPPING IN TO THE THUNDERBOLT AT TIER 6

THE GOOD:

- At this point & beyond, you are packing ordnance just shy of a same-tier IL.

- Great speed and a strong boost are your key traits in almost any engagement

- Great dive speed

- Sexy roll rate

- Fantastic sustained MG fire melts careless/large targets.

-Solid durability; only sustained fire will really bring you down.

 

THE BAD:

- Middling altitude perfomance & climb rate means you must be very choosy with how you spend your potential energy.

- Guns don’t frontload their damage the way cannons do, tempting you to stay on a target longer than is healthy.

- Short gun ranges. 

- Turns are not your friend. 

 

MY LOADOUT, AND WHY: 

- Demoliton expert. First and foremost, I want to make my ordnance count. With this skill, I could take out an entire medium armored target with a single bomb and a well-placed rocket or two. 

 

- Engine Guru. Your boost is your offense, defense, and key to getting your ordnance to the right place at the right time. The less you need of it to hit full speed, the better. 

 

- Future skills: Marksman I - concentrate that DPS a little. Any fire-mitigating skill as a 1-point stopgap. Then maybe rocketeer, followed by battle hardened, aerodynamics expert, and then start doubling down with the 3-point skills.

 

- Aircraft Polish - your speed is your strength. Keep it up. This  gear is a keeper.

 

- Engine Tuning/Gunsights/Ordnance sights - At first, I went with tuning - but when I picked up my second skill & started planning a little better, I opted for sights. I’d say if the more reckless you play, the more I’d lean to Tuning, as your boost is your answer to most problems. Once my skills have expanded to marksman, I will get the ordnance sight, as that does something no skill can replicate. When you are firing rockets over longer distances & higher altitudes, you will notice the accuracy - and you don't want to waste your payload.

 

 - Concealed Livery/Improved Covering  - The Thunderbolts are excellent at flipping caps and taking down large targets. Ideally, you will be working within spitting distance of tailguns and AA, which add up over time. Take this if you intend do more defensive GA/bomber hunting, otherwise... Improved Covering keeps you a little safer in the horizontal BnZ, giving you more hp & crucial resistance to the tail & occassional wing crits that you may catch on your way out of an attack run. When I obtain battle hardened, I may revert back to Livery.

 

MY METHODS:

 

At match start, think like a GA when heading to your first capture point. Your ordnance is guaranteed value; aim for 2 high-value hardened targets, or in the case of an airfield, pop AA emplacements  as needed before resetting. Come at cap points from the side and make a shallow cut across, so it’s easier to reset on the friendly side of things.

 

Unless it’s match-critical, you are far better at flipping enemy caps than engaging in an ordnance tug-of-war for a contested neutral point. Get your value in, get out. 

 

Reset when safe and work like a heavy fighter with an emphasis on whatever altitude band you are currently in - while your boost can carry you up in a pinch, you’re spending too many resources for it to be effective in the heat of a full-blown furball. Your dives, likewise, are best saved for defence. Use your boost to maintain your speed, or regain it if you’ve had to change trajectory with something fancy like an immelmannn or a split-s. If you have to go in to the vertical, do so carefully. 

 

All of your key manuevers involve your rolls. Displacement rolls, in particular, are really useful. DON’T SHOOT until you get a clear firing soluton. With cannons and their high crits, there is a payoff for catching the enemy with a one-second burst. Not so much with the machine guns. Better to fly quiet & and wait until you’re positioned for a good long burst. Unless it’s just you and a heavier enemy, don’t get tangled up. 

 

Oh hey, look - your ordnance is back! Check your map & go flip a cap. Or get one halfway and come back later. Avoid protracted tug-of wars when trying to retake. Don’t get too locked in to defence - you will lose your caps at some point, your strength is in keeping the rotation moving in your favour. 

 

Oh, and never die in a cap. 


Edited by LeastWeasel, 27 April 2018 - 06:24 PM.


Lambo805 #2 Posted 27 April 2018 - 04:35 PM

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Very nice commentary on the Jug.
Me: "It's not bragging if you can do it!"

My tombstone: He was bragging.

LMG #3 Posted 27 April 2018 - 04:38 PM

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I've always stared at the thunderbolt line with slight interest, but it's mostly because they're as close to a USA GAA line as we have right now, so I've kept my distance. The Corsair seems to fit me a bit better


Edited by LMG, 27 April 2018 - 04:38 PM.

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

LeastWeasel #4 Posted 27 April 2018 - 05:53 PM

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View PostLMG, on 27 April 2018 - 11:38 AM, said:

I've always stared at the thunderbolt line with slight interest, but it's mostly because they're as close to a USA GAA line as we have right now, so I've kept my distance. The Corsair seems to fit me a bit better

Yeah, I kind of feel - and like - that the Thunderbolts are essentially the USA GA. With the caveat of being precision GAs (going to slightly amend my OP) - you cannot afford to fudge your bombing run, because you do not have the guns to  clean up. 

 

The Corsair is all-round a deal more flexible in how it can fly; decent turning and amazing cannons means you’re pretty happy on the edge of a furball, picking things out of the sky. If you’ve got nothing to do in the air, then it’s rocket time - whereas I feel the Thunderbolts are kind of the opposite, and they come with the speed to play a get-in-get-out game that the Corsair can’t quite. 



Dru83 #5 Posted 27 April 2018 - 08:12 PM

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The Thunderbolt line is fun, they dive like a brick, and turn like a truck, so energy management is key. They're one of a few planes that can combine air kills and ground kills to quickly take a mil base or comm center solo. It's a very cerebral plane to fly. You have to figure out how to conserve your energy and still take on aircraft and take out ground targets without getting so low and slow that you're a sitting duck. I've gotten up to the tier 8 now which is still lots of fun, but it's a ton of work too. The minute you bleed off too much energy or forget to check your tail, you're a goner.

mnbv_fockewulfe #6 Posted 27 April 2018 - 09:51 PM

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The P-47s were as OP as all get out when they were released and they were never fixed.

Now with 2.0 they've properly had they're wings clipped.


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

 

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gerr22 #7 Posted 28 April 2018 - 04:35 AM

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tier 8 is the one to have still deadly at ground level it has nice boost to get you to medium alt turns and rolls better in my opinion a half decent heavy fighter.

although an XP72 i would take a F2G on in a type of dogfight.i have on it lightweight frame ,engine tuning andheavy control surfaces.

pilot skills engine guru 2 marksman i love it its no P51 but deals damage.

o yes rockets only for these wise asses that want a head on pass



SpiritFoxMY #8 Posted 28 April 2018 - 10:00 AM

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I'll try this line out once I work up the courage to do so since the 262's damaged my confidence in my ability to make difficult planes perform. I have a few too many upskilled US pilots not to explore all the US trees eventually.

***

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For death is a distant friend

So here's to a life of glory

And a laurel to crown each end


LeastWeasel #9 Posted 11 May 2018 - 05:40 PM

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Welp, it took a while, but I am finally moving on to the XP-72, a brief reprieve from the words “Thunder ___”. The spirit remains, though; I expect refinement of the same methodology until I move up to the more nimble-seeming Thunderjet.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE P-47N:
Still fun, but unforgiving - the machine guns make for interesting firing windows. While the mustangs are working with similar weapons & a relatively speed-focused airframe - they are much more elastic with it. Your boost is good, your boost is long - but you really need to hone your spider sense if you are ever dropping speed to cinch an engagement. You need to be accelerating sooner than you think... This plane, more than most in my hangar (looking at you, 262) rewards you for spending long periods of time in the right headspace.

 

Only if you are feeling very clever, and really know your ordnance, should you attempt to flip a cap on your own. Nope. You find a cap that’s been budged a little, is perhaps teetering on the edge... you zoom right in there and push that cap down the stairs, metaphorically speaking. Defend until you see an attack to support. 

EQUIPMENT:
Polish & Tuning remain my go-to equipment, while I’ve experimented with covering, livery, sights & LW airframe as 3rds. All in all, I’d recommend covering as the most versatile of the lot - though they each have their merits (special mention to Livery for making life easier when you’re defending vs bombers/GA - although the latter can leave you low, slow & vulnerable). Speaking of which....

SKILLS, IN RETROSPECT:
I stand by Demo expert, for the the reasons I listed in the OP. However, from the 47N and up, if you can take a second 2-point skill...
Rocketeer.
Point one: it, unlike guru, does something that cannot be replicated by equipment.
Point two: you have a metric f-ton of rockets. Rockets can be extremely versatile. Lean in to that. Your bombs are still your biggest and best option for ground targets; give your rockets more options for extra value.
Point three: VS GA & bombers, this combo can capslock the boom in your boom-and-zoom. While the machineguns are great at firestarting passes against fast planes with fewer hitpoints, you want an option to nix that groundpounder without dropping all your speed or performing multiple passes.

After that, I’d put Guru back on as my third skill, and move on....


Edited by LeastWeasel, 11 May 2018 - 05:45 PM.


SpiritFoxMY #10 Posted 12 May 2018 - 06:40 AM

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So I've been playing the Jug line and so far I've been enjoying it a lot. Its ordnance load is massive, its speed is excellent. It can't really turn but it can hunt down targets opportunistically. I'm at the -47B and am enjoying it quite a lot.

 

Skills: Aerodynamics Expert, Demolition expert, Engine Guru I & II

Upgrades: Aircraft Polish, Engine Tuning, Improved Covering.


Edited by SpiritFoxMY, 12 May 2018 - 06:42 AM.

***

But a truce to this mournful story

For death is a distant friend

So here's to a life of glory

And a laurel to crown each end


GonerNL #11 Posted 17 May 2018 - 08:13 AM

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Pff, I'm trying to like the P-47 but it's hard ; same experience as with the Fw-190, not really my type of planes, it seems.

 

The P-43 and XP-44 were OK, but this Thunderbolt ... I'll try some of the load-outs suggested here, now using it as a kind of GA, but even running away after an attack doesn't save me as everything can catch up with me.


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