I've always enjoyed the play style and feel of Blue Flag, being a part of a team, and making a team effort to attack and then take Airfields and FARPS is extremely satisfying. With the move to Nevada, I feel my Blue Flag experience (as a helicopter pilot) has greatly improved, however I did notice a few problems.
For the testing rounds I flew for the Reds in the Mi-8, I worked in cooperation with some friends flying Su-25 and MiG-21. When we put the work in we were almost unstoppable, we could take any FARP/Airfield with little to no effort. Once we got the ball rolling we would make a lot of progress in a single night, sometimes taking up to 2 Airfields and 2 FARPs a night. When that "round" of testing finished with a Red victory I was sort of shocked seeing that the Blues had 100+ more registered pilots than Reds.
When I did see Blue pilots on, which wasn't rare, almost all of them were taking to the F-5. I would see the occasional Huey but very rarely see any A-10A's on. I think the main problem was that Blue pilots wanted to only fly CAP and defend their Airfields but none of them wanted to actually take back their Airfields. I don't think that's entirely on the Blues though, I feel it's easier to work down towards Vegas than it is to work up.
Once the round restarted we immediately took to our previous strategy of capturing the flanking Airfields and FARPs to the East, and then surrounding Vegas and pushing in from there. Once we had Vegas it was just cleaning up the scraps really, we would move south and pick up the last pieces and shut the Blues out. Perhaps at the restart of each testing round you rotate the sides, because at the time of me writing this the Reds have already flanked, and captured almost all of Vegas on the 2nd or 3rd day of this round. This could be due to the lack of Blue attacker participation, but I still feel a rotation of sides would be interesting. It really does seem like once you lose Vegas, you lose the battle.
The A-10A is certainly slower than the Su-25, and the Huey compared to the Mi-8 is also slower, however I don't feel that's too much of a problem. In previous Blue Flags I flew Huey and A-10C, while the Huey was slower that usually didn't matter. If we were coordinating an attack, we would fly out the AO and find a place to land and Idle, or hover and wait to move in. It was very rare that we were the ones late to take the FARP or AF. I follow a similar strategy with the Mi-8, wait at the AO until cleared and then move in and capture it. The only real difference would be repair time for AF's, I'll usually bounce back between 2 AF's or an AF and a FARP Repairing them both. The time to do that would be a bit longer for the Huey, but still just as efficient.
With this SAM exploit you're talking about, this is the first time I've actually heard of it. I've honestly never seen it. In every FARP or AF capture I've been apart of we've never discussed coming in lower to exploit the SAMS, nor have I seen it. All the Fighters/Strikers I've seen come in at altitude and sometimes come in even higher to outrange the SAMS which isn't an exploit. the SAM sites actually seem very tame IMO, I've flown past in the Mi-8 well within range of their SAMS and took only AAA fire.
About the Payload for the A-10A. I've only been a part of the Red side for this round of testing so I'm not sure what all you can actually take in the A-10A. I know for a fact that the Su-25's do have AGM's but they're useless. My teammate SkyVi would engage trucks and ZU-23's with them and they wouldn't begin to smoke, and would only do so with some 30mm encouragement. The Su-25's and MiG-21's (that I've flown with) have taken ONLY unguided rockets, and very rarely bombs. The unguided rockets are way more effective than the AGM's as they actually take out the targets. Perhaps trying a different payload of unguided munitions will be more effective for the A-10's, also utilizing that GAU-8.
In my honest opinion, I think the blues just lack coordination. I'm not taking a jab at any of the Blue pilots, I've seen some intense fights in defense of AF's, many that we lost when they coordinated against us. Perhaps getting a few guys off the F-5's (unless you want to ground pound) and into the A-10's and Huey's would be beneficial to your "war efforts". My teammates and I have really gotten into a rhythm with taking objectives, If one Huey and 2 A-10's were able group up and plan out an attack I think we could have a proper Blue Flag experience again. On the next round of Testing I'll go over in the Huey and bring a few friends to take the A-10A up to really get a feel for both sides.
I think coming in 5 ft off the ground is just a bad approach in general, you're extremely vulnerable to AAA fire with no where to maneuver. I've only ever seen SA-9s in the AO's I haven't seen any SA-6's. If you're useless until the F-5's are able to clear out SAMS then you need to coordinate with F-5's on your team. You also say the A-10 is too slow to attack those target areas, maybe just doing multiple runs in the F-5 is best? A team of 1x Huey 1x A-10 and 1x F-5 would be the ideal strike package for any AO. Also have you tried engaging at farther distances, I may be faster in my Su-25 but I don't get up close and personal, I find my target, engage, and then egress out.
I still think a lot of the reason the Reds have had success, has mainly been due to the fact that so many of us are in communication and can lay out a battle plan for the evening. We don't get on unless we have enough man power to do what's needed. I also still believe that rotating the sides would be beneficial, especially with it being in a testing round. The flight times would be shorter as the battle progresses making it easier to capture.
I'm really not sure where you're going with this, you're telling me common knowledge information. If you're saying that the Su-25 and Mi-8 have radar you are certainly mistaken. The ONLY Radar on the Mi-8 is the Radar Altimeter which the Huey also has. The Su-25 has a LASER that you only use when on target, to avoid burn out, and wait for the Red light which tells you you're in range. As for the Viggen the Radar is only effective when going after targets on flat terrain, like ships on the water, or targets in a FLAT desert area. You can also use it for Terrain Mapping like with the F-16, to fly on the deck using the radar. The Radar in MiG-21 while ground pounding is only used to give you the Range to the target. The MiG-21's I've flown with have only used unguided munitions, like I said earlier. The F-5 has a superior Radar to the MiG-21 but it's ultimately useless with no Radar Guided munitions.
I feel like you pulled this out of thin air, what was the context to you talking about the Radars on the aircraft? I really feel like you're just trying to make excuses. All I'm saying is, the best way to fly Blue Flag is with an organized, coordinated group. If you don't you'll just waste your own time and lives.
EDIT: The fellow I was having a discussion with felt he should remove his comments as I was supplying Bogus and one sided feedback, in their words. One of my teammates took it upon him self to "downvote" all his posts as I guess he disagreed with him (which is what the button is for). They felt I brought Red players in here specifically to downvote his comments which is quite untrue. To my knowledge it was one person that did it deliberately, sort of as a prank, and that didn't sit well with them I guess.
I would like to make it very clear that I am not here to "point whore" or have a point competition. I'm here to give my opinions and my Feedback, so that some of it can be used in later Blue Flags. If I'm not mistaken that's the whole point of the testing, to ensure everything works correctly, and to make sure there is a balance. I apologize if I offended anyone in any way, I'm here to have fun and take Blue Airfields.
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