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Thunderbolt Apache Leader» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Campaign Prep - What do you do? rss

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I've played a few campaigns now and moving to this from HL:CAO, there is a big difference in the amount of starting options open up to you.
So, what do you guys take?
Lots of pants aircraft vs a handful of awesome aircraft? You can take one Harriers and an AH-1 for one Spectre Gunship, which always leaves my aircraft selection process taking longer than it really should! What do you take, and why?
How many SO's do you leave yourself at the start of the Campaign? I tend to leave myself 2, so I have enough munitions for the first day, the rest goes on aircraft. I never spend any on promotion priority. I usually bump a couple of pilots down to green so I can get two fast jet pilots who are Fast, for clearing out SAM's.
If you can take Linked aircraft in a campaign, do you? If so, do you make every aircraft you are able to, Linked? Or do you just take a couple? The way I see it, you need to take at least two in order to get the benefits. Those SO point's only go so far and if it's an A-10A or an A-10C, but taking a risk on starting SO's being a little low, what do you go for?
It really annoys me (in a good way) that I always seem to be short of that one extra "shiny" gizmo I really want to take!
I love taking three AH-1's though. They always seem to do alright by me
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John Brown
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I tend to focus on the non AH-1 aircraft. I have difficulty fitting Cobras into missions without them feeling/being useless. I'd rather spend the 2 SO on a pair of scouts or more ordnance points. Hopefully once I get the Vassal module, I'll have more time to experiment with AH-1s so I can understand how to best use them.

Big fan of the Harrier's flexible speed. I've also grown fond of the speedy Falcon's against both helicopters and SAM as well as using it with iron bombs, GBUs, and MK20s. I also tend to take at least one AH-64 and one A-10...they are in the name of the game after all. :P Plus they both have good all-around capabilities that can generally dovetail with whatever other craft you team them up with.

Since all the linked craft also get a +1, they aren't useless as a single, but you are leaving out a big boost to their capability. Only once have I taken 2 linked craft when I didn't have a drone though and I wasn't as fond of them. Having to risk one aircraft to get two aircraft firing on a target is much more difficult than having a drone on high that isn't as big a deal if it gets shot at (or even shot down). Granted, I'm not as sold on the whole "everyone gets to be fast" since slow pilots can often use terrain to get the drop on the baddies.

I've yet to try an AC-130. My feeling is that it is expensive and one unlucky cover roll may leave a mission in dire straits even if he has a buddy or two. Granted, I've only had 1 or 2 cover rolls go south. Maybe I'll try pairing an AC-130 with a couple AH-1s and see if that goes better.
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LargeGoblin
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Man, I've been wondering about this as well. Mostly, I'm curious how many SO points people save at the beginning. I normally try to keep 2-3 around. I've never used the AC-130. It seems like most of the enemies are in cover after the second cover roll when I play. Stupid cursed die.
 
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John Brown
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Yeah, I haven't exactly figured out how many SO to leave either. You definitely want enough to keep at least 1 day of missions, so leaving 2 to 3 SO seems to be a minimum. You might want more in a longer campaign since you're likely (almost certain?) to draw an event or special condition that you need/want to spend SO on. I think I kept 5 in the recent Total War situation I did and that turned out adequate (both results and giving me SO to spend). And obviously you need to keep more for the Cut-Off situation since you don't have a daily SO income. I kept 6 or 7 and ended up having to fly a couple 0 ordnance point missions, though some of that was having aircraft need repairs.
 
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James Dalley
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I love to play the Cut-Off situation just because it can be really tough, and I've found that AC-130 is an invaluable asset. Since they have some very powerful and FREE ordinance they make up for their high start up cost. This is also true of total war situations also. When I send my AC-130 out I always have him backed up by a couple helos to clear out the enemies that take cover, but my Spectre hasn't failed me yet.

I haven't played with linked aircraft yet, I plan on using them for my next campaign.
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Totally agree on the awesome Falcon for its cost, although it's options are limited compared to probably the most flexible aircraft, the harrier.
So the general consensus is to leave about two, maybe three SO for the first day unless you are playing cut-off. I reckon I agree, as without decent, or at least numerous aircraft your campaign is going to be more difficult than it needs to be.
AH-1's, although often underestimated, really need to have a job, usually going after weaker units that cant defend themselves. This frees up your more dynamic platforms to fly about blowing up the important stuff, rather than wasting loiter turns making up the distance, especially in the later half of the mission. By themselves, it needs to be a weak target, or you won't have a hope.
AC-130 is fantastic, but you pay for it. If I'm going to shell out 9 SO for a A-10C, I feel I may as though I might as well spend one more and bring the mighty one itself.
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Luis Muñiz
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I'm surprised that several people rule out including AH-1s on their squadron right from the start.

I recently played a Lybia (1984) campaign, with its limited choice of aircraft, and now I look at AH-1s differently. With a fast pilot, and armed with LAU-61s, these are very capable machines, and cheap too.

That being said, cobras are ideal for support roles. I wouldn't advise flying a mission with just cobras, except maybe for low VP battalions.
 
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Yeah, the 1984 Libya campaign totally made me see the role that the AH-1's can fulfil. Cheap and relatively expendable, I think it's pretty unlikely I won't take them from now on. Especially, as liusmw said, against low VP battalions.
 
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John Brown
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I just finished an Iraq Rapid Deployment where I took 2 AH-1s. I did go away from one of the tactics I'd heard of dropping the AH-1 pilot's levels in favor of promoting the other aircraft pilots. Instead I picked up Scuttle (Skilled), Freak (Average), and Grandpa (Green). Scuttle's +2/+2 skill is amazing.

I was able to find ways to use the AH-1. Often, I had them hit and run, but occasionally they worked just as long as the AH-64. I had one time where an AH-1 had to take 3 heavy hits, but I lucked out drawing 2 stress, 2 stress, and a Cannon hit.

I picked up 22 SO of aircraft and the one scout allowed, leaving only 2 SO's. Rapid Deployment's daily SO income is pretty generous and since you're not allowed to replace planes or pilots the first two days, the 6 and 9 SO are pretty good, especially since Iraq has you not moving the baddies on the first day.
 
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