All this sort of thing is good: strategies to improve with...
I agree attack from the rear seems best. Especially with my inaccurate rocket attacks!
The AI will attack from the rear if loaded with bombs and instructed to attack from 3-4 NM out. If they have rockets, the attack direction seems a bit more random - some will bore in from any direction. Hence your good advice to go to the rear of the convoy before issuing directions to wingmen.
One detail: Selecting a target will send two wingmen to attack it. if the purple targets (ie the Goal targets) are not selected, an order to attack will send two wingmen off but they will attack separate targets. this allows another dimension to attacking convoys. For example if a convoy consists of two patrol boats, a destroyer and a cruiser, pressing Attack twice and NOT selecting a target will mean that the two patrol boats will most likely be sunk with the minimum use of your flight's ordinance, as only one wingman will attack each boat. The other two attacking wingmen (from having pressed Attack twice) will separately attack the destroyer and the cruiser.
That should leave you with 2 or three wingmen as yet unassigned. If you are not confident that the loadout for each plane will allow one wingman to sink the destroyer, I would take on the destroyer myself, and select the cruiser (yellow brackets) and send the remaining wingmen off to attack the cruiser.
However, if you choose not to select a target, you need to be careful about the number of wingmen you order to attack. If there are three ships, only press Attack once for unassigned targets. In that way, only two of the ships will be attacked by individual wingman. If you order Attack twice, the fourth wingmen will reject the order, leaving three wingmen to attack the three ships, and the fourth wingman becomes problematic. Once you have selected a ship for the remaining wingmen to attack, that fourth wingman is out of the list; I don't think you can get No.4 to attack until you've issued a general recall command and then go through the exercise of assigning targets again. So you can see it is important at the start of a mission to know how many wingmen you have, it affects your strategy in selecting shipping targets (or any high value targets for that matter). Of course if you are only attacking the stock spawned seven-ship formation and you have seven wingmen, the problem doesn't arise.
Also, for the success of your campaign, I would refrain from attacking ships on the way to the mission goal. If you are economical with ordinance, you can attack other ships/targets of opportunity on the way home. But bear in mind the more wingmen you bring home alive, the more points your squadron builds up, and the more likely you are to win the campaign. I always allow my wingmen to finish off crippled ships so the build up skill and experience points - this way a few of them get to higher levels and actually start to fly reasonably well!
As for random ship spawns (as opposed to mission gaol ship spawns) - they are controlled by the ground.spawns file. I have set up three different ship formations which are called for in the ground.spawns file so there is a bit more variety and interest in attacking random shipping. Putting a cruiser in the ground spawns really puts the cat among the pigeons - its a lot of fun to watch the blue ships (friendly) blaze away at the red ships when they come in range.
Actually what about a battleship with 16 inch guns? I haven't tried that yet
Another trick is to firstly ensure that your patrol boats are spawning correctly - there is a bit of doubt about one or two of the stock patrol boats. Then make a copy of the brit patrol and assign it to country=usa in the ship's xdp file. Then change the type from "patrol" to "destroyer" for both the USA and German mtbs/eboots. In this way you get the odd e-boot turning up in your target convoys and battle groups.
So yes there is a lot more to anti_ship campaign missions than meets the eye! Especially if you make sure all the flak guns are reasonably accurate by decreasing the noise parameter in the gun's xdp file. then you won't try and fly back through the middle of the convoy after the first pass - you will fly around it .
Hope these ideas are useful
Rather impressed with David's resonse, thankyou.
I wonder if good stuff like that could go up above in the 'permanent' threads for 'knowledge base type stuff' (lots of good things come up)? The Install instructions and youtubes, and ndicki, grizz etc are examples. So we can refer.
Good info Daiwilletti! And you are wise about attacking OTW to Goal-Target,this would not be a
good idea since you need your goal to accomplish the mission. Theres a few times I had to scrap it and start over because even after getting minor damage, that engine always ends up conkin out or Im leaking too much
fuel. Goal-Target first,any extras after.
Also have a "Campaign-Plan". This is the reason I developed an Anti-Ship attack style. I spend the first month or two doing nothing but Anti-Ship. If all is lookin good,then I make plans for Ground and Ground support missions. However you like to play, Fly-High and Godspeed and good-luck!
Oh,and I also meant to mention, I pretty much re-designed my ship spawns. An example of what I done
is mentioned on my "Wyld45s Hangar" site.
Somewhat like this; A-Carrier B-Carrier G-Carrier/Battleship, Cruiser,Destroyer,patrol and sub.
Then I went through each ship-group files (6) and did each one from a Battle-Hard group,
(Carrier,BB,Destroyers) scaling down to a simple patrol group.(Patrol and subs). Gives a nice
variation for the Anti-Ship missions.
Yes, the "Destroy Ships" file you can mod on what formation types you would like to spawn. Just
make sure you always hang onto that "original" file just in case. I didnt touch any of my "Ground" vehicle
spawns, though Im sure you can do the same thing with no problem.
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