War Thunder: Flying a Plane During Ground Forces Battles
During Ground Forces battles it is the tanks that complete the vast majority of key objectives, thus allowing their team to win. That does not mean that planes have no role themselves. In fact I would say that they may easily turn the tide of battle, with a single bomb. However, flying a fighter or bomber during these battles is not easy. While you might have plenty of experience with flying in the air from Arcade, Historical and Simulation battles Ground Forces Battles take on a different, somewhat more complicated, angle on things and here we will discuss the hazards of flying during Ground Forces battles.
The Essential Differences
While the maps for Ground Forces are of similar size to Air battles the actual area where tanks will fight is small. Kursk defense is a small exception here, but it is not as big as one of the air battle maps. This creates a number of problems that you will have to hold in mind when flying over the battlefield:
1) You will have very little time to select an enemy on the ground to shoot down. As you swooped down on some air maps you would have plenty of time to adjust your flight path, gauge your distance and then fire safely. On Ground Forces maps the terrain is rarely flat, and there is plenty of cover about. You will sometimes have just a few seconds to locate, select and engage your target.
2) You will usually fly low, especially when selecting a Dive Bomber. Because of point 1 you will usually fly lower to more easily spot enemy tanks. However, as I have both done and found out on my own skin, enemy tanks may be capable of shooting you down with their main guns. Furthermore enemy AA Vehicles will have a much easier time shooting you down, especially if you reduce your speed on the approach. If you fly higher you might be harder to shoot down but at the same time you may have a hard time locating targets below you.
3) All planes will fly around the same area. Do you remember on Arcade maps how planes would buzz around control points like flies, trying to shoot each other down, or to land in order to capture the point? The same applies to Ground Forces battles. You will often see, especially during larger battles, that there could be a swarm of planes flying around you, creating a chaotic mess. As a rule I always assume that as the battle progresses new enemy planes are bound to show up, so if you were lucky and at the start of the battle there were no enemy planes they might show at any moment.
4) AA will be far more concentrated. On Air battle maps the AA guns are spread out. On Ground Forces maps they can be very concentrated. People have complained that the AA guns have been too accurate and while their accuracy was decreased the sheer number of guns firing at you at the same time means you are bound to be hit, and since both sides can have access to much heavier AA guns (like the 88s) you could be flying back to base, and suddenly explode when a lucky or stray AA shot hits you.
5) Player controlled AA is far more accurate than AI AA. The developers can nerf the AI, but they cannot nerf how accurate players are. Even if you take out all the AA guns on the map a single player could turn out to be accurate enough to shoot you down with no issue. There is nothing you can do about this, especially when you fly on Historical battles, where your plane will not only be highlighted but the player firing at you will have helpful “aim support”. Since you will usually fly low and slower this makes you an even easier target.
6) Airfields will have no AA defense. This is something that might be changed (I hope it does at least) so if you are being chased by enemy fighters in a damaged plane the only thing that can save you is a fellow fighter. Otherwise you are boned.