well, J30 Mein flies full time as a gunner, and RoF was more enjoyable for him. They neutered the rear gunner so badly in FC, he's not been having so much fun. It takes more than a good gunner, it takes a good team of pilot and gunner, and we practiced a lot in the RoF days on communication, and the gunner learning the pilot's moves and calls, and the pilot learning the gunner's needs and calls. it's a shame the game went so bias against the Hun gunner, apparently just because of Mein. He puts out a lot of ammo just to get hits, in RoF or FC, and pilot ability to position him is 50% of the skill required to get good at gunning- it's a team effort. Keep in mind also, in RoF, nobody running servers hardly used the turbulence and winds were typically light- combine that with guys flying smoothly, and it makes a gunner's job easier. It also makes the Spad, Se5a, etc easier to aim also. Just watch some of those films and note when they aim with a scope, it's dead on, smooth, no head bobbing, so turbulence bouncing, and a nice smooth shot doing lot of damage. The gunner does not get anywhere near that opportunity in either game.
To compare in FC:
- Lewis can flex up like 85 degrees and down like 70+ degrees: Parabellum might go 20 degree up or down. Unrealistic- look at photos of Parabellums and see the amount of up and down.
This is really bad as since late RoF, the Spad jockey's have nearly perfected attacks from directly above, out of elevation range, and now that range has opened up for them, so the Halberstadt is really defenseless to a diving attack . Now they don't even need to get hardly over the Halb. And it gets worse, as when caught, we usually get caught by 6 Spads, and chances are pretty slim to do any damage. If we flew Allied all the time, would they have neutered the Lewis like this? Gee whiz, if a guy wants to play a game as a gunner only, at least give him a chance to do well for himself- he doesn't even get any credit in scoring programs, so you know he only does it for pure enjoyment of the game. The Ai gunner can actually do far better at sighting enemy afar, and shooting.
-Lewis gun sights are high above the barrel, so when fired, the gunner can still see the target: Parabellum, the sights are low, and even though the real gun has a suppressor, and I have fired a real Spandau to speak for it first hand, the muzzle flash in the game is a solid obstruction, and when firing, the gunner cannot see what he is shooting at. Twin guns are worse to use than the single too. I would actually prefer a decent single gun, that can elevate and not block my view when shooting, which is also more realistic for hun planes. I can't find any photos with twins. Also, unlike RoF, the floating gunsight aide is not present- that is ok, but, again, reduces ability.
- For both rear guns, this thing about zooming in causing a restriction of rotation is very bad for having a gunner scan and warn of enemy planes incoming, restricting his ability to do well in the game, and helping survival. That is a big part of his job, and it got clipped. In IL2, the ME110 gunner is a pure loser for this.
It's like some want a glorified wack-a-mole game, where they want to come up at point blank, nail the two seater without any threat of damage, and run off to find another. Not the best for finding die hard customers that will stick with the game. Nobody likes to fly 30 min to an hour, and get killed in 3 seconds in a brief 'combat'- more like assassination. Yes, there were gunners that were aces in the real war. And sitting point blank on a two seater's tail should bring forth some serious damage.
Come on, two seaters were dangerous in real life and should be in game. We got shot down plenty of times in Rof with the better gun characteristics. And, a guy like Mein enjoyed the game- which is more the point, is it not? Two seater survival, is primarily the pilot's job. Richthofen, Immelmann, Lufbery, etc all had run ins with two seaters, and keep in mind, Richthofen was always flying Dicta Boelke, with 5 or more other guys, which gives more targets than a gunner can track, similar to what we see the 3rd pursuit doing now. Rickenbacker stated in his book they were told to avoid them altogether.
Right now, the rear MG is not very valuable in the Halberstadt, and the Halberstadt is not very valuable all around- unless he sneaks in and is not caught- usually, it's a one way trip. Anyone thinks it's easy kills as a gunner needs to spend an entire month flying only the rear seat, especially with pilots you are not close with. Either Rof or FC. Why is an experienced gunner frowned on, while an experienced pilot is ok? The whole game is skewed because nobody actually dies, and experience is possible. Experienced Pilots pound newbies into the dirt so hard they quit playing the game far more than experienced gunners do, of which there are very few. It's sad that now, nobody wants a live gunner, and nobody wants to be a gunner- at least not in a Halberstadt.
it would also be nice if new people could be a gunner in an AI piloted plane, to gain experience. I flew off the map once in a combat, and an AI actually took over my controls while fighting an Se5a. I could not regain control, even after we drifted back onto the map. However, I could gun in the back seat. So, we fought the Se5a with an AI pilot and live gunner for like 5 minutes or more. So, I feel it should be possible to do.
When the wings weren't fixed, Mein even recorded one flight, and per scoring system, we took a .01 hit only, and the wings came off. So, the Halberstadts were severely disadvantaged even more than just with guns, but, we soldiered on, and flew what we were given, and did our best to compensate. I think the new patch might be better, but, it brings up another point about guns. In my test today, the balloon guns still take a wing off in one short burst. Having them at all is very unrealistic. Reading history, they were rare, and Willie Coppins talked about getting one, and he'd go out with only 50 rounds of ammo, because that was all they could get, with most solid, and one or two incendiary. All meant to do it's namesake- kill balloons. As a choice in game, it should be a single gun, with 50 rounds, similar to real, and really meant to go get a balloon, like the rockets, not be a standard combat weapon on every Spad flying. I recommend all servers turn off that selection.
The Halberstadt pilot got restricted as well, and now he cannot see over his wing as in RoF, and not much below it either.
And, lastly, the rate of fire got boosted in Rof, and carried into FC. Initially, it was realistic in RoF around 400 rounds per minute. Now, we're dealing with around 800 or more rounds per minute. For this game to be more fun, a dogfight needs to last a bit longer than 3 seconds. And if the game reverted to realistic, and set the Vickers, Spandau, and Parabellum to 400 rpm, I think we'd have some wonderful fun dogfights. The Lewis was not sync'd and was typically set around 600 to 700 rpm, but 98 round drums help make up for that. I'm ok with realistic.
I also note in the patch before this recent one, the Becker could take out a balloon with 3 or 4 rounds, I assume 2 HE rounds, as supposedly it's mixed AP an HE. Now, I can put a full clip and a half into a balloon before it might go down. Ok, whatever, hamper the hun planes again. I appear to not be able to take out tanks with it now either. Usually, 3 or 4 rounds of AP would take out a MK IV in RoF, less for the FT 17. Kind of what it was for I'd think- as Halbs are ground attack planes. With the restricted down angle of the rear guns, we can't even do that anymore with MG nor Becker. Why even give the huns a Halberstadt at all if the allies don't like facing two seaters? Maybe servers should just set up Bristols on both sides and call it even.
Gee whiz, now, we have even seen pilots, who loved to fly Hun, actually quit their squads and join the Allies, simply because they were tired of dying because of their handicapped planes, and not because of their skill. I know we have some that simply got tired of the aircraft two seater handicap and are sitting out, not playing at all-= waiting for an improvement.
Anyway, my observations and input on rear gunners and Halberstadts- the only two seater that actually passed acceptance in Aldershof testing as a fighter plane. Maybe one day the Allies will have a professional gunner too, and they can handicap the Bristol to compensate. I'd rather see gunner restrictions lifted all around.