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The Hadder Doctrine, Part I - The Danger Zone

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A long time ago, I wrote a verbose post on an Outfit Forum, that I called The Hanner Doctrine. These guides, covered various aspects of PS2, from air to vehicles and infantry. Sadly, said forum was swiped, along with my posts, which I am only now beginning to recreate. But, getting back into PS2, I felt now was the time for the Doctrine's return. :-)

-----Air Combat-----

Air to Air and Air to Ground combat, have now officially lasted for more than 100 years. But for all the advances in modern technology, metals, tracking and support systems, it's one of the first air to air aces, Oswald Boelcke, whose principles of combat have outlasted anything else. Even in PS2, where the flight mechanics are not entirely grounded in reality, the core precepts of Boelcke, stand firm. So, here are the aerial combat manuevers, formulated by Bolecke, and interpreted for Planetside 2 that you should know before you strap into a Mosquito and ride fire. Understand, these are NOT iron clad rules. They're the mindset you should carry into each fight:

- Try to secure the upper hand before attacking. If possible, keep the sun behind you

This one is almost a no-brainer. If your enemy's above you when you see him, do not engage him but climb to get above him first. If you're above him, move to get the sun behind you, so you can't be seen. Likewise, if your target's on the ground, hug the ground or dive from directly above, where he can't shoot at you effectively. Never hang in the middle between the extremes. It's remarkably easy to disregard this rule, and you will generally pay for it. Mosquitos have the fastest speed, and LOWEST armor in game. So play to those strengths, and  always get the advantage BEFORE you begin the fight.

- Always continue with an attack you have begun

This one deserves a certain modification. In most cases, you do want to adjust your speed and pitch, to keep yourself behind your opponent. Better to let them open up a hundred meters and be behind them, than hug their rear, get shaken and end up the one on the wrong end. However, there is a tactic you'll come across(war thunder players probably know this one by heart) called Boom n' Zoom. Basically, you secure your advantage, floor your craft towards your target and tag em with a burst. But instead of circling back around, you keep going in a straight line, and put as much distance between your target and you as possible before re-engaging. It's effective, and annoying as hell. You are picking your fights, your way, and it can be a distraction that can spin up six or seven enemy aircraft to hunt you down. You'll see this one pop up in a lot of Mosq builds. Any Mosq you see with just Afterburner tanks and no rockets, is a fan of Boom n' Zoom. And it's HORRIFICLY effective. :-) Being able to outrun your opponent, and make them turn around to leg it back to the fight in a wounded aircraft, is one of the most annoying things you can do.

- Open fire only at close range, and then only when the opponent is squarely in your sights

Sounds silly, right? "Who'd fire at long range, or when they're still banking?!?!?!" The answer is, you will when you feel the trigger itching under your finger. It's easy to speculate-fire, trying to guide your rounds into your target. But every missed round, is one less HITTING the enemy. It's one less doing damage, and two more, to taking your target out. Let the adrenaline out of your hands, and wait for those moments when your target levels out, or loses focus.

- You should always try to keep your eye on your opponent and never let yourself be deceived by ruses

"WOW!!! That Mosq is just circling at max altitude!!! What an idiot!!!" No. that Mosq is suckering you in. You may have seen him first, but he'll see you before you get to his altitude, and he's gonna dictate how the fight plays out because we are the bloodstained road-runners. This is where your advantage comes into heavy play here. Distance and position will almost always trump speed and manueverability. Control both, and you control the fight. But never piss it away. If you see an enemy suddenly break for a base you know is empty, assume it's not anymore. That his budies are waiting for you to get close enough to light you up. Give him the room, and keep your eye on him. He'll have to leave his friends and come out again, and you've already got him sweating from making him run the first time.

- In any type of attack, it is essential to assail your opponent from behind

Ideally, you always attack from slightly above, and clearly behind your opponent. This can change depending on the type of aircraft you face, but it's more often than not, the safest position, and the one that leaves you in the most control. Again, sweat out the rush of combat. The first to die, is often the first to stop thinking. Keep that position until someone MAKES you give it up.

- If your opponent dives on you, do not try to get around his attack, but fly to meet it

This one can be hard, as on the PS4, we don't get inner view controls. So it's hard to determine where an attacker is in terms of altitude. But it applies to all attack angles. Turn INTO your attacker, never AWAY. You cut his time on target, you sharpen the angle he needs to keep lead, and you force him to decide between turning away, or a possible ram. All three benefit you more than the prospect of giving him a somewhat straight line to shoot at.

- When over the enemy's lines, always remember your own line of retreat

This one is -VITAL!!!!- And remarkably simple to accomplish. Your line of retreat, is where you know friendly forces are waiting to assist you. A Sunderer deploying troops, a base with AAA guns and friendly boots on the ground, even a squad of Lightnings(because at least one of them will have a skyguard turret) is where you need to run when things go sour on you. But there's no great mystery to figure out. Before your fighting begins and between fights, throw down a Personal Waypoint where you want to retreat to. Then, you have an automatic map copilot to tell you where you head in case of danger. Ideal spots, are a base two hack points or more away from the front, so you won't lose it in a sudden rush cap. Remember, War is about the efficiency of destruction. If your Mosquito takes out seven infantry, and is shot down six times, you've lost way more than the NC gained. Your nanite pool wil be empty, so no more vehicle spawns.

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