God I love this game. I’ve started making up dumb challenges for myself, like getting into a Hurricane Mark I and trying to shoot down a heavily-armored craft like the Pe-8, Hs-129 or Il-2. It’s not easy when all your plane has are 4 of the weakest guns in existence…
7.62/7.69mm machine guns: Paint strippers. Unless you hit the engine head-on, you’re not going to do any damage. These guys have difficulty even killing exposed gunners on the TB-3. Have not yet successfully pierced plexiglass on Pe-8 to kill a gunner. Fortunately, the massive quantity of rounds available makes certain that even a Heinkel can be stripped completely to its aluminum skin, making it easily spotted by aircraft with real weapons.
12.7mm machine guns: good, but not quite as good as the .50cal Browning. I swear there’s a difference. These are at least good for aiming your 20mm ShVAKs.
.50cal Browning: Rips up the tail, fuselage and wings like there is no tomorrow. Not particularly effective against engines except in head-on passes.
20mm cannon: Best all-around. Fast, don’t drop too much, lethal against both fuselage and mechanical gear, yet ammunition remains abundant.
30mm cannon: Kills engines dead. Unfortunately, it shakes the plane so much that aim for beyond a half-second burst is impossible. Despite doing prodigious amounts of visible damage against wings, tails, etc. doesn’t seem as effective overall as even the Browning, especially when having to ration the ammo.
37mm cannon: One good shot is better than a hundred bad ones. Liable to blow the tail or wing off anything with one hit, unfortunately the recoil aims the plane randomly 5 degrees from the original direction.
Ammunition is as scarce as religious tolerance in the Near East.
Little secret on killing IL2s with dinky guns. If you look at the belly of an IL2, you see that radiator box down there. The trick is to approach from behind, dip under him and fill that box with as much fire as possible. Your only other hope is to come in from above at 45deg off his tail and shoot the cockpit out. The nice thing about the radiator attack is that you’re out of the arc of doom from that guy in the rear gunner seat and his death ray.
Now, online in IL2 as well as Aces High I’m a big fan of the Yak 9T because of that 37mm elephant gun. As soon as I see the sparkle of hits from my little guns, I pop one of those off and laugh as half the target plane evaporates.
I’m having a good time with FB. My rudder pedals just came in too, and they’re going to take quite a bit of getting used to. For whatever reason, I’ve been flying the Hurricane a lot, which surprises me since I was most looking forward to the Jug and the P-40. The Jug really does make a great ground attack plane though, load it up with three bombs and those bazookas and go nuts. The .303s on the Hurricane are effective against engines and pilots, but really hard to get any “catastrophic damage kills” with. The 4 20mms OTOH are great, except for the limited ammo, you really have to pick your shots, which is good a good practice. Haven’t played with the Jug or P-40 air-to-air yet really.
Air to Air rockets are by far the most powerful bomber buster and even decent against fighters online. Once a few months ago i shot down like six or eight with rockets; in other words like dozens and dozens.
Ive been using the old B-239 with the Finn campaign and i’m not really that fond of .50s, at least against I-16s whose rear sections are covered with patented Invulneralum (or Jehovahwood). They do good damage when the whites of their eyes are pressed against the barrels, otherwise i think the plane only crashes from all the lead sticking in it like a sub taking on too much ballast. Against bombers, otoh, they do reasonable well if your patient.
Ye old uber gun is the one on the Yak-9K coming in at a respectable 45mm. It kills pretty much anything in one hit. In vanilla il2 hitting anything anywhere with it was a kill, but not ive seen bombers disintigrate instantly when hit by it.
Actually ive ripped up bombers with the Mig 3 ud and your unloved 7.62 mgs. If you can hold the target for about a second they throw such a volume of fire out its like unleashing an army of leaf cutting ants at them Willard style. However if you distribute it across the plane (likely in most dogfights) you get the more drawn out ordeal of being stung to death by fire ants.
Also some planes have much better armor than others like the FW190s and IL2. They are all but immune to small caliber weapons.
Oh, when did all the unemployed Counterstrike AWP whores find work as rear gunners in WW2 bombers? Ive been killed at least 4 times (no make that like 40! times) by one bullet deflection headshots. Campers.