Tuesday, April 26, 2022

DCS AH-64D Apache - Tactics Primer

Some 13 years ago, I started posting a tactics primer series for the Black Shark flight sim. This series relied heavily in Richard Sheffield's Gunship Academy. This book was originally intended as a sort of "strategy guide" for the wildly successful Gunship by MicroProse.

I'm starting today a redux/remix/repost of that series, now with the help of DCS's AH-64D Apache.

10 Rules to Live By

All forms of combat require an agile mind able to adapt to the continuously changing challenges of the battlefield. In tactical combat, there are never absolute truths or optimal solutions and speaking of "rules" sounds like out of place. The "rules" discussed here are actually guides that are valid in most situations. Take these "rules" as a framework to think about your own solutions to the tactical challenges you will face.

Rule #1: Never fly over the objective ...

... Or over any area in which you know or suspect there are enemy troops. Remember, under your aircraft is one of the places where you cannot see or aim your weapons. This is a rule that almost everyone is familiar with, even fixed wing virtual aircraft pilots.

During un-guided rocket runs is when most of virtual pilots make the mistake of over-flying the objective. Aligning those rocket launchers with the target can be challenging and sometimes we just get greedy for stomping targets with the rockets. In this case, the target area is is a relatively deep valley, which complicates the attack profile making it steep and speed-prone.
A Zu cleverly emplaced in a defile cuts my tail during my overfly. Game over.

Another approach, now with a closer look at the range. A first pair of rockets is out.

Rockets out, aligning is difficult and pairs get out every now and then.

And now breaking from the rocket run, maybe a tad too close yet still safe. Patience is essential, it takes discipline to break and re-align for another pass.


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