Some tips to crack “Show of Force.”
This mission always bugged me; it seemed way too hard to reach the required VP levels in 2 days. So, being stubborn, I’ve worked at it some. Maybe there are hidden advantages in the 2-day format that permit exploitation of a different and more powerful strategy?
I’ve found an approach that works, involving exploiting pilot skill. In short form: choose as many different fixed-wing aircraft as possible, and a few AH-1s.
Sample aircraft selection: 1x A-10, 1x AV-8B, 1x F-16, 3x AH-1: 25 SO points.
Then make one pilot of each of the fixed-wings an ACE (+3 SOs), the other a Newbie. (-2 SOs). Compensate the remaining 3 SO points in demotions of skill among AH-1 pilots – take ones that can take 3 or 4 stress at least, and don’t have attack penalties.
Now run 3 aces in strike aircraft plus AH-1 support, 2 days in a row (those Aces can generally take loads of stress). Consider spending as liberally as you can on scouts (these often make the critical difference between damaging and destroying your target) and munitions.
Played with skill and no small amount of luck, attacking 3 high-value targets each day, I can get 25+ VPs in the 2 day scenario.