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Useless helos... Except for the Soviets?

 
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Useless helos... Except for the Soviets? - 1/17/2018 8:32:07 PM   
Searry

 

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I have noticed NATO helos are not that good in staying alive. How do I keep them alive and get some kills?
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RE: Useless helos... Except for the Soviets? - 1/17/2018 8:50:50 PM   
CapnDarwin


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Find and kill major Soviet AD systems like 2S6s. Use terrain to mask approaches and try to shoot from standoff. TOWs are about 7-8 hex range and the Hellfire is good out to 8 klicks (16 hexes). Snipe and move. Be wary of IFV units since the Soviets usually have a ton of MANPADs mixed into the formations. The Soviets put a ton of AD on the battlefield to negate NATO airpower.

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(in reply to Searry)
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RE: Useless helos... Except for the Soviets? - 1/20/2018 12:36:56 AM   
Zakalwe101

 

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As the Capn says, I keep them hidden as long as possible until
1, I have written down as much Soviet AAA/SAM as possible, you should get some alerts as to where their air search RADAR's are. (don't bother trying to target them with artillery, they are usually on the move , and your artillery will have more important targets to hit)
2. you have located the main Soviet thrust so you can avoid it (Soviet MRR have a lot of man portable and AA capable secondary armaments)
3. You locate the Soviet "on board Artillery"
4. You have identified a safe route into the the Soviet rear area's. (that is no AAA/SAM or other targets, you don't want your helicopters wasting ammunition on BMP'S or BTR'S)
THEN you can safely plot a route to the Soviet Artillery positions, they are a target really worth going for, you will have to plot the route back for them when they need to resupply as the AI potted route though quicker will endanger them. )

AH64 with Hellfires are a force to be respected but also carefully cherished, they need long fields of fire but also big hills to hide behind. This needs to be perpendicular to soviet line of advance so they don't get swatted by long range soviet SAMS.

They can be game changers, highly useful as a mobile reserve/fire brigade but also missile magnets.




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RE: Useless helos... Except for the Soviets? - 1/23/2018 5:03:19 PM   
MaxDamage

 

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Russian helicopters are valuable because they allow advantageous trades against nato supertanks for once. If you can pit them against a couple of NATO tank platoons 1v1 then they become very profitable. You hardly ever trade well against top nato tanks but helos allow you to do it if you do everything right.

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RE: Useless helos... Except for the Soviets? - 1/23/2018 10:43:48 PM   
Zakalwe101

 

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Not entirely sure what the NATO supertanks are, as the best weapon against NATO tanks is a mixed force of Soviet Tanks and BTR60/BMP'S, NATO tanks will expend themselves shooting at the BTR60/BMPs, Soviet Helicopters are really highly mobile tanks, too which Nato has little defence.

Cleverly the game designers have given us a milieu in which NATO'S best laid plans to have Air supremacy over the battlefield have not come to pass.
Air Forces promised air supremacy given big enough budgets, why therefore would the army need it's own integral air defences in any significant number or actual effectiveness ? (speaking of the British army that is). Thus the game designers throw us a curve ball by taking away the "AIR" trump card in the NATO air land battleplan.

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RE: Useless helos... Except for the Soviets? - 1/24/2018 9:46:10 AM   
MaxDamage

 

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NATO airforfe wouldnt be able to operate off the airfields which would be visited by chemical or tactical nuclear missiles. They are like huge KILL ME targets.

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RE: Useless helos... Except for the Soviets? - 1/24/2018 7:02:21 PM   
MikeJ19


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I struggled, and sometimes still struggle, with my AH. I suggest you try the scenario "A few good choppers." Try some different approaches and you will get a better idea of how to use the AHs. It is a fun scenario, by the way!

Mike


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RE: Useless helos... Except for the Soviets? - 1/26/2018 6:45:19 PM   
Zakalwe101

 

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I recollect that someone put a post on that said that the Soviet attitude toward "tactical" nuclear weapons was that their use was viewed as a military decision, another tool in the military toolbox.
I don't know the proximty of Nato airbaes in west Germany to towns and cities, but bear in mind lots of USAF and RAF airbases in the UK are close to cities and towns, the UK is a small and crowded Island, I feel confident to say drop a "tactical" nuclear weapon on Lakenheath or Manston , kills 10's or 100's thousands of UK citizens with tactical nukes, i think then that the game designers would find they had no game to play because the response would be NATO tactical srikes on Soviet military targets s far back as Kiev, Minsk, Leningrad, Archangel......

They may have "kill me" labels on them but I think the preferred weapon would be chemical, persistent , mixed conventional strikes on base facilities, all of which I think we expected and planned for.

The US had stockpiles of chemical weapons, once the Soviets open that particular pandora's box , would the US show restraint? would public pressure be to respond in kind ?

I think game designers have struck a nice balance of making strike aircraft a rarity on both sides.
( as an aside I think the soviet airforces in 1989 wold be playing the part of the Japanese in the air battles of the Phillipine sea.)

< Message edited by Zakalwe101 -- 1/26/2018 6:54:08 PM >

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RE: Useless helos... Except for the Soviets? - 3/20/2018 2:01:18 AM   
Werewolf13

 

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quote:

NATO airforfe wouldnt be able to operate off the airfields which would be visited by chemical or tactical nuclear missiles. They are like huge KILL ME targets.


That statement would make a really great topic of discussion - though I imagine it is well beyond both the scope of this thread and this forum.

Too bad.

< Message edited by Werewolf13 -- 3/20/2018 2:02:28 AM >


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RE: Useless helos... Except for the Soviets? - 3/20/2018 2:53:49 AM   
IronMikeGolf

 

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My recollection from service during that era was the Soviets would be able to achieve air parity in the places the really wanted it.

Zakalwe101's sound advice about engaging perpendicular to the Soviet axis of advance (i.e. a flanking attack) applies to tanks and ATGMs, too. NATO enjoys an advantage in the 3000-4000m range band. If you are not sitting on the Soviet's objective, he won't be closing the range on you. Keep him at 2500m or more and life is much easier.

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RE: Useless helos... Except for the Soviets? - 3/20/2018 2:37:32 PM   
Stimpak


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quote:

I recollect that someone put a post on that said that the Soviet attitude toward "tactical" nuclear weapons was that their use was viewed as a military decision, another tool in the military toolbox.
I don't know the proximty of Nato airbaes in west Germany to towns and cities, but bear in mind lots of USAF and RAF airbases in the UK are close to cities and towns, the UK is a small and crowded Island, I feel confident to say drop a "tactical" nuclear weapon on Lakenheath or Manston , kills 10's or 100's thousands of UK citizens with tactical nukes, i think then that the game designers would find they had no game to play because the response would be NATO tactical srikes on Soviet military targets s far back as Kiev, Minsk, Leningrad, Archangel......

If one flies, they all fly. The Soviets were willing to engage in full scale nuclear warfare.

Otherwise conventional and chemical attacks on said facilities would likely be the norm. These strikes should not be discounted because they can prove very effective - consider Operation Focus which was the Israeli pre-emptive strike that began the Six Day War. To copy from Wikipedia, At 07:45 on June 5, 1967, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) under Maj. Gen. Mordechai Hod launched a massive airstrike that destroyed the majority of the Egyptian Air Force on the ground. By noon, the Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian Air Forces, with about 450 aircraft, were destroyed. It was also very successful in disabling 18 airfields in Egypt, hindering Egyptian Air Force operations for the duration of the war, and remains one of the most successful air attack campaigns in military history.

In a few more hours, the Egyptian airforce in its near entirety was obliterated and the Israelis had complete control of the skies. Now as this is a "bolt from the blue" scenario, I find it hard to believe that the Soviets wouldn't try the exact same thing. Egyptian air defenses may have been primitive compared to NATO's array of Nike and PATRIOTs, but SEAD tactics and weaponry have also emerged since then. I believe the Soviets would have attempted something like Operation Focus, only on a much larger scale. If successful, that would give the Warsaw pact initial air superiority until NATO figured out what was going on and the USN arrived.

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"There's no swimming in the heavy water, no singing in the acid rain."

(in reply to Zakalwe101)
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RE: Useless helos... Except for the Soviets? - 3/23/2018 1:49:12 AM   
Zakalwe101

 

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OP FOCUS an excellent example of how a well planned first strike was carried out by a well lead, well trained, highly motivated and comparatively well equipped force was able to overcome an opposing force that was equipped with aircraft with equal performance, had good modern air defence system (sam2) but was woefully poorly lead, and which suffered from command paralysis due to the surprise attack.

The question is was the Soviet union capable of planning and executing such an assault. If we take the game year of as 1989, the only exmaple of Soviet planning we have was their invasion of Grozny in 1992, they executed their plan no better than they did in their invasion of Budapest in 1958. Fearsome losses. Ok so they use an off the peg plan, everyone has them , what state was was the Soviet Air force in, in 1989, well they had a great deal of experience of dropping bombs, gas and mines on villages in Afganistan but against no air defences of real significance. There is ample evidence that the Soviet military was a crumbling edifice, in parts remained excellent - perhaps Spetnaz counter insurgency, strategic missiles, Reconnaissance , in deed we need to consider any material written in the cold war could be biased depending upon on who the target audience was.

I Found an article in a publication on line - Christian Science monitor - dated 1981 - the date is significant and also I don't know the publication and how well or not it can be trusted but in addition in various stories about the corruption of the soviet army, defecting MiG Pilot said how officers and men often drank the alcohol used for the coolant and braking systems in aircraft. In fact, he told John Barron that the MIG-25 base he was assigned to north of Vladivostok was often immobilized, so rampant was the consumption of aircraft alcohol there. Observing that the MIG-25 needs half a ton of alcohol, Barron notes that in the Soviet Air Force it is popularly known as the "flying restaurant."
https://www.csmonitor.com/1981/1203/120368.html

How do you keep reported readiness levels high - don't fly aircraft - they need no maintenance - and you can sell the fuel on the black market.

AS to actual effectiveness the only thing I could find that spoke with authority was an article in The Journal of conflict studies , but that was about Afghanistan - Soviet air doctrine to bomb everyone, obliterate everything, leave mines everywhere - in marked contract to ISAF methodology.
https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/jcs/article/view/4356/5011

In short i am quite content on the game designers take on the air situation , air parity, with each able to get strike aircraft over the battlefield, but rarely.

(in reply to Stimpak)
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