The Ju 88A-4 in Aces High II
Fairly uncommon, the Ju88 is not a frequently seen as a conventional bomber in the main arena. It does seem to get a reasonable amount of attention in the torpedo attacking role, although that is generally a very dangerous (almost suicidal) process with low survival rates. Slow, underpowered, and almost undefended, the Ju88 simply doesn't stand much chance against any opponent and is usually seen as an easy kill. The Ju88 has a very good bombload though and once over target can deal out more damage than a B-17 in very short order and can even divebomb targets with good accuracy and effect.
Vastly underpowered, the Ju88 performs poorly even when compared to other bombers in AH. Top speed at sea-level is 251mph though with normal external ordinance it is only a pathetic 230mph. Speed increases gradually with altitude although the best you can do is ~285mph at 16K (no ordinance), hardly an asset. Climb rate is also equally poor, on ly 1,100ft/min at the best of times and dropping quickly to 700-800ft/min at 10K. This is usually the reason people don't take the Ju88 very high, it simply takes too long. Fuel duration is 66 minutes, typically enough to get to around with less than 100% internal fuel but short enough you may want to consider taking 25% more than typical, especially if you intend to climb a bit beforehand. If possible, make sure you drop your external bombs as soon as possible as the improvement in speed is dramatic (~5mph/bomb).
Aces High II Performance Charts
Total bombload on the Ju88 is very good with 20 internally mounted 50kg bombs and 4 externally mounted 500kg bombs giving a total load of 3000kg (~6,600lbs), giving it the third largest bomb load behind the lancaster and the B-24. Most people don't realize this and think the Ju88 is a lightweight hitter but that is simply not the case. The external bombs do impact performance though and it's best to get rid of them quickly if possible. The internal 50kg bombs are, unfortunately, a bit small so they need to gang up on things to knock them out in general. Carpet bombing them in tight groups works well though and can deal with smaller targets very effectively. A common weapon for the Ju88 is the torpedo which in general is a very difficult weapon to employ. The Ju88 can carry two torpedos which is unusual but is the primary reason people select it over some other aircraft that can also carry torpedos. A Ju88 formation can thus launch 6 torpedos, which if successful, can cause a lot of damage. Defensively the Ju88 is extremely poor with five 7.9mm MG81's arrayed around the aircraft. A single, fixed, forward mounted gun is fired from the cockpit and offers almost no offensive or defensive asset. Facing reward are two single 7.9mm guns on the upper side and a twin mount in the lower surface. All have fairly restricted arcs of fire and leave fairly large undefended areas (top, front, sides). Dislodging an enemy aircraft with any of these mounts is unlikely and more often than not it may take dozens of hits before an enemy aircraft is even damaged in any significant way. I've seen fighters simply wade through the hits to get to prime firing range and then dispatching a Ju88 easily.
Maneuverability is actually very good, the Ju88 used to fly almost like a fighter at times in defense although with a formation of aircraft this is no longer possible. When light, the Ju88 is quite nimble and can make a fairly hard target. Speed limits are not really a big problem for the Ju88 also, it remains controllable up to very high speeds. 440mph is not unheard of for a Ju88 in a steep dive although aircraft structures start to fail by 450mph so there should be great care near the limits.
Fighting in the Ju 88A-4
Offensively, the Ju-88 should hit lightly defended targets and then escape before enemy fighters have a time to respond, making defensive issues less of an liability. Make only 1 pass if you can and unload all your bombs and then leave. Remember that dropping the external bombs is likely to increase performance by up to 20mph by reduction of drag so if you make two passes you will have to recalibrate for your speed difference. Internal bombs are not a problem for recalibration as long as you don't let the bomb-bay door drag slow you down too much. The external 500kg bombs are good for hitting larger point targets, the 50kg bombs good for carpet bombing, so in any one flight you should be able to do both. Once free of the bombs, initiate a shallow dive to 400mph away from the target and towards friendly forces in order to get until friendly air-protection as soon as possible. The Ju-88 tends to attract a lot of attention from people looking for easy kills so it's best to get out of the area quickly. Remember that you can do a soft of combo-mission with the Ju88 also. A useful attack method can be to level-bomb with the small bombs, then quickly initiate a dive-bomb attack immediately, potentially laying both sets onto the same target. You can also be a good town/VH combo hitter, using the 50kg bombs to saturate the town with small hits, then dropping your large ordinance on the vehicle hanger.
Defending in a Ju88 is very troublesome as you have neither speed nor firepower to help you out. If you can enlist a gunner, try and see if you can't use what speed you do have, some maneuvering, and some gunning to try and shake the enemy. Possibly you can damage him or show him you won't be as easy a target and make him persue someone else. Be very cautious of Head-On attacks, your single forward mounted gun can be your worst enemy as it makes you want to accept a HO but offers less than token return fire to an onrushing enemy. You are better to forget it is even there and simply try and avoid the HO as best you can. The Ju88 is pretty tough though and seems to take a reasonable amount of damage before it breaks up as long as most of the damage is to the fuselage. I've landed several very heavily damaged Ju88's where it is fairly rare for me to land comparible damage on some other bombers.
Fighting against the Ju 88A-4
The Ju-88 tends to be a really easy target if you have any sort ability to catch up to one. Even sloppy attacks tend to work alright and that is the reason the Ju-88 has gotten a reputation as an easy bomber kill. Even though I've been in Ju-88's that are shot to hell and still manage to return to base, I've also been in ones that get massacred before they even get a chance to try and defend themselves.
Attack from almost any angle, but always remember that the Ju-88 only has defenses to a small cone in the rear. If you can attack from any other angle then you are not going to face even a single defensive gun. Don't rush it, though if a swarm of friendlies are around, or enemies are trying to defend the Ju-88, then come in from any angle, even the dead stern. Taking pings from the 7.9mm machineguns is not terribly dangerous, especially if they are the roof mounted single units. The belly gun is a twin and slightly more dangerous because it puts two bullets into close proximity. I've seen just about every aircraft in the game just wade through 20 or more hits from a Ju-88 and not have any apparent damage, though I wouldn't count on not having engine damage if you do this. Open fire on the wings if you can since a wing-tip is easy to shoot off and results in a loss of control in the bomber, a sure kill. Head-On attacks are great and tend to kill the pilots and cause great damage. They also tend to make the Ju-88 pilot try and defend himself with his single nose gun, maneuvering and throwing off any bombsight calibration while presenting no real danger to you.
It is doubtful a bomber will try and press home an attack on you though I've seen it done in the Ju-88. I can't say I've seen that tactic ever be really successful though and someone committing a Ju-88 to offensive fighter operations is foolish or is trying to draw you away from something more important by committing suicide.
Soda's Aircraft Evaluations