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Best early game ballistic AA?

#1
What’s the most effective early game ballistic AA?

I’ve tried:

Auto cannons; very cheap, work well in numbers. Slow velocity makes it harder to hit fast, agile crafts, high ammo cost. Mimics help to make em look how you want them.

Small caliber Advanced cannon, 18-60mm. Low ammo cost, high RoF, but low damage and range (250-1000m). Fused ammo very weak, but some success with frags. Large firing piece, feeders and loaders make them look goofy and large.

Medium caliber Advanced cannon, 60-250mm. Low-ish ammo cost, medium RoF, medium damage. Fused ammo okay, but requires long barrels for accuracy. Flak has good range but weak, HE has good damage but bad area of effect.

Large caliber Advanced cannon, 250-500mm. Okay ammo cost, low RoF but huge damage. Dependant on accuracy so needs long barrels and high velocity to hit agile targets. Flak is great but seems to lower FPS and animation is cut short and disappears.

What in your experience works best? Also what ammo configs do you use?
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#2
Personally, for small AA I use 30 to 80mm guns with kinetic (AP - Solid - Sabot or AP Sabot and get about 600-700m/s velocity)they gut about 200-1000kinetic damage and with mass and RoF they do very nice damage.
Frags work as well, but are worse against wobble flyers because of slow velocitys, but are better against chunky flyers like the Felix Flieger and that kind of bombers. But I generally don't like frag all that much because I find them a bit cheesy.
and A bit larger AA I will use 80-150mm guns with AP or HE/FRAG/FLAK
There is always a weak-spot if you search Hard enough.

If you fire enough AP at that shield, at some point you're going to come through.

There is no "best" I wouldn't even say there is anything universally good, Good is subjective, I find everything bad even if it's in theory good against this or that.

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#3
(2019-05-08, 02:31 PM)Skyer Wrote: Personally, for small AA I use 30 to 80mm guns with kinetic (AP - Solid - Sabot or AP Sabot and get about 600-700m/s velocity)they gut about 200-1000kinetic damage and with mass and RoF they do very nice damage.
Frags work as well, but are worse against wobble flyers because of slow velocitys, but are better against chunky flyers like the Felix Flieger and that kind of bombers.  But I generally don't like frag all that much because I find them a bit cheesy.
and A bit larger AA I will use 80-150mm guns with AP or HE/FRAG/FLAK

I was trying to stay old school by not using sabot and using AP, but they bounced all too often. Perhaps I will use sabots. Even frag is a bit hit and miss with 30mm or so, because I only get a few fragments in a 360 arc.

What’s your experience with auto cannons? Apart from using a lot of ammo, they seem alright against the mainly wooden DWG.
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#4
For me AP is old school, because I use it ever since APS were added lol and indeed 30s have often problems of bouncing against full metal aircraft, but getting to 50+ they do lots of damage and get a pretty decent range.
Thing with low caliber frags, even after the damage reduction at lower angles it is still better to have negative timed 5-20° frag cones, because then at least something hits.

My main problem with autocannons is there tendency to not failsafe, because they continue firing and often ignoring firerestrictions all together.
They're pretty good en mass, even against some of the earlier Steel strider designs and basically all DWG designs I found them quite effective though, en mass off course.
There is always a weak-spot if you search Hard enough.

If you fire enough AP at that shield, at some point you're going to come through.

There is no "best" I wouldn't even say there is anything universally good, Good is subjective, I find everything bad even if it's in theory good against this or that.

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#5
My go to AA against fairly small craft is Flak or HE. Very short shells (eg. GP-TF-HE), but the biggest caliber possible to fit 1m belt fed. Most effective systems use 2 axis turret as it can traverse the fastest, but these might not be the most survivable ones.
primum non nocere
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#6
Simple autocannons are fun, but simple lasers are more effective weapons with short range as their only weakness. For early game AA I prefer 120mm timed frag shells; you won’t be killing much with them but they do a wonderful job of shredding balloons, wings and thrusters and the AOE is better than flak.

One important note about simple weapons is that failsafes don’t work on them; you need to restrict all simple weapon turrets to make sure there won’t be any friendly fire incidents.
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#7
Now that small lasers don't require inordinate numbers of frequency doublers, a small laser on a 2-axis tournament is probably the most reliable option against microfighters. Heavier fliers may have speed and better defenses but typically lack agility, so fast missiles and high-velocity APS with shield-countering rounds are probably your best bet.
Allr andask.
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#8
Lasers are also not ballistic weapons, though.

I usually use 400mm rapid fire timed frag-360 from a belt-feeder as a general purpose anti-air round. (GP-Timed-Frag.) It's not great against anything heavy enough to mount shields but it can absolutely wreck on a direct hit while still being reasonably effective on a near miss. I could use flak instead, for a dual-purpose anti-air / anti-missile round, but I will readily admit I have not tried that in the slightest.

I used to use various varieties of kinetic (sabot) AA from low to medium caliber, but I haven't put them on anything recent because they tend to miss if the enemy turns at all and generally do lackluster damage. Medium caliber sabot can absolutely shred low-maneuverability targets with light to medium armor and no shields though.

Magnet grenades are an unusual case of a ballistic weapon that isn't APS, CRAM or simple weapons. They used to be rudimentarily effective against slow fliers such as helicopters. However, with the recent nerfs to magnet power, they are also no longer effective against fliers at all.
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