|Aces High II aircraft
|Aces High II loadout options
|2x .303 MG nose guns, 1000 rpg
2x .303 MG top guns, 1000 rpg
2x .50cal MG in tail turret, 335 rpg, or
|2x .303 MG nose guns, 1000 rpg
2x .303 MG top guns, 1000 rpg
4x .303 MG in tail turret, 2,500 rpg
|14x 1000lb bombs, or
|18x 500lb bombs & 1x 4000lb bomb, or
|6x 2000lb bombs & 3x 500lb bombs, or
|6x 1000lb bombs, or
|9x 1000lb bombs & 1x 4000lb bomb
|Aces High II Main Arenas
|Typical perk cost
|0 (Late War)
|15 (Late War)
|Available on carrier
|how to edit
The Lancaster III in Aces High II
When you need to carry a large load of bombs to a target, the Lancaster (Lanc) is the reigning champion, as only the heavily perked B-29 offers a heavier payload. This does come at a cost though, in a number of survivability related areas, which can significantly affect the chances that you actually reach your target. Pound for pound though, when people ask which aircraft can carry the most bombs, the Lanc is the plane they are asking about. Unfortunately, these same people tend to use the Lanc very poorly, attacking into heavy enemy fire and seldom living long enough to actually get to the point where they drop bombs.
Most bombers are not known for good climb, top speed, or acceleration, and the Lancaster typifies this. The Lanc is slow, especially at low levels, turning an unimpressive 245mph at sea-level. Fortunately, speed improves with altitude but only 277mph at 14K and then slowly drops off. That's a reasonably decent top speed but occurs fairly low in altitude and really doesn't offer much safety. Climb rate is also lousy at full load, though can be significantly improved if you decide not to take a maximum amount of bombs. 600ft/minute is about all you can expect with fully laden with ordinance, holding fairly steady until 15K, above which is drops off dramatically. At low levels though the Lanc can be a sitting duck, with easy overtake by any fighter in the game. Range on full internal fuel is huge, 141minutes, which is totally unnecessary and a lesser 25-50% is more typical a load.
The 2.30 Update affords WEP to the Lancaster III, giving it a small but very appreciable boost to speed and climb rates (see charts below).
Aces High II Performance Charts
There are two sides to this coin, there is the offensive and defensive. Offensively, the Lanc carried an immense load of bombs, up to 14,000lbs. It can carry these in an assortment of different configurations with bombs varied in size up to the 4,000lb class of weapon. There are also options to take smaller bombs in the 500lb class but most people take either 14 X 1,000lb, or some combination of 4,000 and 1,000 pound weapons. Since many targets tend to take multiples of 1,000lbs to destroy, people try and match their loads accordingly. Defensively, bombers typically relied on either guns or speed to help them survive, but the Lanc really has neither in any great concentration. The guns are weak, and not well placed, for defense. There are only 3 turrets that have a limited arc of fire, leaving some dangerous blind spots that simply cannot be covered. Two of the turrets, in the nose and on the top, only carry .303 caliber weapons, hardly sufficient to cause attacking fighters any concern. You may damage an attacker with one of these weapons, but a shoot down is quite unlikely against a moving target. You do have lots of ammunition though, about a minute's worth of continuous firing, so don't be afraid to pop off some shots with the .303s to show someone you are a good shot and watching them. In the rear is either a twin .50 caliber gun, which has a good range of motion and is a pretty credible threat though it does not have a lot of ammunition, or the option to mount a 4x .303 turret with a ludicrous 10,000 rounds of ammunition. Running out of .50 cal takes only 25 seconds, while trying to protect your rear is far too common. The 4x .303 turret can fire nonstop for almost 2 minutes and 30 seconds, though it does not have the reach or the hitting power of the .50 cal you can still do a lot of damage in short order. To the sides, and from the bottom, the Lanc has no defensive guns, leaving those areas highly vulnerable to attack.
Fighting in the Lancaster III
There used to be a clear purpose for the Lanc, to bring a lot of bombs and sacrifice some survivability to do that. Sometimes your best defense was a friendly fighter and your own defensive guns were less important. It was also possible to maneuver your bomber fairly violently, right or wrong, to help make yourself a difficult target or to expose fighters that were hiding in your defensive blind spots. Then, with the introduction of bomber formations, all of a sudden it was possible to triple your bomb load simply by taking three bombers instead of only 1, making total bomb load somewhat insignificant in comparison to other factors. No targets in the game benefited from 3 x 14,000 and were better served with more balanced bombers. Also, the maneuvering style of defense that used to dominate in bomber actions was nullified by the need to calibrate your bombsight early. Any maneuvering after calibration basically made your bombing run impossible, so straight and level runs became the key to accuracy but also the bane of defense.
Offensively, the Lanc is still a good plane though, just it needs to pick its spots a bit better. Flying into heavily defended airspace is not well suited to the Lancaster, you are better to go after less defended targets from medium levels. Since the Lanc performs best at around 14K, nudging slightly under this level will give best speed while also removing the effects from the wind layer (which can blow bombs off target). Altitudes around 13.5K are still reasonably high for the majority of fighting you see in Aces High, but you are bound to still find a number of enemy fighters up to this level, or easily able to climb up to you with only a little warning. Many bomber pilots have found that very high approaches, i.e. 25K+, might offer an almost impossible to intercept target, but it also offers less accuracy and long climbing times. Climbing the Lanc that high takes forever.
The large bomb load does give some decent options though as you can afford to typically start dropping a string of bombs a little early and have them walk across a target, ensuring hits. Adjusting your delay can extend the string of bombs across a very large area. This is perfect for strategic targets or against large concentrations of objects on the ground (even ground vehicles). Try and make one pass though and drop all your bombs as a second pass over an alerted target is usually much more dangerous that the first.
Defensively, there is little you can do on your bomb run other than try and man the tail gun and hope the enemy doesn't try and set up position on you before attacking. Fire short bursts from the tail gun to conserve ammunition and to keep the enemy honest and maneuvering. If you are flying a formation, only open fire with sustained fire if you can assure some hits at your convergence settings (tail guns need to be set for convergence also between bombers in a formation). Once clear of the bomb run, a shallow dive towards friendlies is a solid option, building speeds in excess of 400mph in order to make interception more difficult. The Lanc will start to creak above about 340mph but do not be concerned, it can hold together until over 400mph, with structural failure occuring around 430mph. Just be very careful that you don't try and pull any sudden manuevers at high speeds. Eventually, if you have to, you can actually fly at very low level, forcing the enemy to attack from above and not allowing him into position underneath you (where you have no weapons).
Fighting against the Lancaster III
Killing Lancs is usually pretty easy if you don't rush it and set up properly. If you suspect the Lanc is still inbound to the target then you know that he will probably not maneuver at all. Any maneuver would completely throw off his bombsight calibration and require him to escape, recalibrate, and return, giving you lots of time to build an even better position to attack from. The real danger from the Lanc comes from the rear .50 cal turret which, especially when facing a formation, can quickly tear you apart.
The best angles to attack a Lanc from are the lower areas and front. Head-On style passes can be very effective, aiming for the cockpit area and slashing by at high speed. The Lanc seems to give up a lot of pilot kills to this type of attack, exploding instantly. Unfortunately in this style of attack you tend to only get to shoot at a single bomber, so formations of Lancs tend to require different tactics. Side attacks, from level or slightly low, offer a good chance to land hits on several bombers at once, slashing by the formation and trying to expose a number of bombers to hits at very close ranges. Try for the wings or tail area, though the tail on the Lanc is not as vulnerable as on some bombers because of its twin configuration. Never end up chasing Lancs co-alt from the rear. If you need to attack from the rear, zoom under the Lancs at high speed to avoid tailgun fire, then climb up from directly underneath actually getting slightly ahead of the bombers (very slightly). Then, zoom vertical, firing early and allowing the Lancs to run into fire from the belly. Try and either aim for the wingtips or the cockpit, as these tend to cause the most catastrophic damage in the shortest period of time. Be careful not to bumble into the tail region as the Lanc driver is most likely sitting in the rear turret just waiting for you to do that since that's about the only effective defensive position he has. If you do end up in the rear area of the Lanc, maneuver violently to extend away as quickly as possible to take you out of danger.
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