10 Rules to Live By (continued)
Rule #4: New Area=Danger Area
Every time you enter a new area, assume that every tree is hiding an enemy anti-aircraft system.
Rule #5: There is no such thing as too much reconnaissance
Taking advantage of your helicopter's maneuverability and powerful optic systems, thoroughly recon any new area you are about to enter. Use terrain to mask your position: initiate a hover from a covered position, then slowly and progressively bob-up until you can scan all the new area. During this bob-up, get ready to descend in case you are detected or fired upon.
Rule # 6: Identify your targets
The modern battlefield is very dynamic. The position of enemy and friendly forces can change considerably in a very short time and without notice. Given the mobility of mechanized and armored warfare the concept of front-line is obsolete. Identify your targets based on type of equipment, their spatial orientation and the briefing.
Rule #7: Preserve ammunition
It is useless to arrive to the objective with the cannon as your only weapon available. Focus on the mission objective. Avoid decisive engagements with opportunity targets if doing so means risking the completion of the mission. Also, remember that once you completed the mission you may need ammo to fight your way back to base.
Rule #8: Know the operational situation
Pay very close attention to the briefing: it contains all intelligence available at the time of take-off. Depending the type of enemy forces you will face, arm your helicopter with according ammo and counter-measures. Pay close attention to the climate report, it may be important to determine your approach to the objective area. Off all combat aircraft, the attack helicopter is the one that operates more close to land forces. Try to understand your mission objective in the context of the operations of the land forces your are supporting.
Rule #9: Attack the enemy from your maximum munition range and on its flanks
When you attack frontally, you expose your helicopter to fire from all the enemy line. Attacking on one flank the amount of enemy weapon systems that can fire at you are reduced.
Rule #10: Patience
Lack of patience is a killer. When you discover enemy units at a rate higher than the rate that you can destroy them, re-think your approach.
Source for the "10 Rules to Live By" entry:
"Gunship Academy", by the great simulation-guides author Richard Sheffield.