By [MERC]William Shaf
This guide is meant to help the players of Battlefield 2 that enjoy riding second seat in the attack choppers. At no point in time do I assume or claim to be the “all knowing” when it comes to gunning tactics. This guide is meant to be a reference and starting point for more in depth discussion about the devastating power of the attack chopper’s gunner’s seat.
This guide is my second, which follows the Introduction to Chopper Piloting
Getting to know your role as a gunner is the key to becoming a successful devastation to the opposing team. The gunner is as useless as tits on a boar hog without a strong, intelligent pilot. If you find yourself in the fortunate position to be gunning for a strong pilot, the first thing you should do is develop some sort of communication. Typing in team chat is the last option. Try to get into a squad with the pilot and use the VOIP the game provides, if the server has the option turned on. Teamspeak or Ventrillo is the best bet. My suggestion is for the gunner to be the squad leader, not the pilot. As the squad leader, you can call for artillery, supplies, and all the bells and whistles that come with leading the squad, and not have to worry about the pilot dealing with that. His primary focus is to keep the chopper out of danger so you can kill without hesitation.
Once you have your communications in tact, you should be set and ready for combat. The role of the gunner is simple. Kill anything and everything you see with a red tag. How you kill them is why this guide is being written. Anyone can just spray the guns all over and hope for a kill. Knowing which gun to use is what separates a good gunner from a bad one.
There are three different types of pilots of the attack chopper, the first is combat support, another is direct assault, and the last one is flag capturing with direct assault.
If the pilot is actively looking for flags to capture, make sure he hovers low enough to the ground for you to exit the chopper. Since the 1.03 patch, only the pilot (or driver) of a vehicle can turn a flag. You must exit the chopper to help turn the flag. The preferable place to exit is on top of a building near the flag, as that’s the last place you’ll be located by ground troops spawning to defend the flag. My suggestion is to use the support pack to gun, because in this situation, while the pilot is hovering, you can reload the chopper and save valuable time of going back to the ship or airfield. Once the flag is capped, jump back in the chopper and continue on to the next objective.
Often times you find yourself in the position of supporting your ground troops. A good pilot in this position will not be too close to the battle. A good distance should be kept to save the chopper from unwanted damage. With the 270 degree radius of the gunner’s perspective, you are the most capable person to mark targets. A good gunner will keep his hand on the “Q” button and mark as many targets as possible in this situation. As soon as you mark, start firing your machine guns. Keep your eyes open for armor, as the only two infantry that can take out a tank is the Special Ops pack and the Anti-Tank pack. Mark the tank and open up a TV missile directly on him. If for some reason you miss, others around you will know he’s there to finish the job for you. If the pilot continues to keep a good distance from the battle, the worst thing that can happen is you run out of ammo. If you took my previous advice, all the pilot has to do is drop altitude enough for you to exit the chopper and reload the ammo supply.
This is the toughest position, as it puts the chopper seriously in harms way, and your stint to gun might be cut short by a dedicated tank driver. Your first and foremost target should always be the tank. Don’t sacrifice the chopper to get a couple infantry kills if there’s a tank around. The tank is the quickest trip back to your spawn point. Always utilize your TV missile for the tank. I’ve flown many times and have had the unfortunate displeasure of watching my gunner try to take out a tank with the machine guns. It’s an effort in futility to say the least. The next deadliest enemy is the Hummer or Jeep. The machine guns on that thing will take out a chopper before you can find it and turn. If the chopper is steady, use your guns and save the TV missiles for more juicy targets. If you absolutely have to take out that Hummer, use the TV missile. Lastly, a good Anti-Tank infantryman can put a couple of well placed ERYX’s into the side of your chopper and have you pushing daisies in no time. While you’re mowing down infantry, keep a special eye out for these bastards. They are definitely the thorn in your side, if you get my drift.
Keep the machine gun spray to spurts. Don’t hold down the Bounce Bounce so long that you burn up the barrel. If this happens, you can guarantee that you’ll need the gun and not have it. Save your guns for infantry and air to air combat with other attack choppers. If you find yourself in the side position of another attack chopper, and he’s moving along pretty fast, using the machine guns will guarantee a victory, as you can take the chopper down to at least half damage before he can even make the turn to find you. Having decent skill with the machine guns is as simple as being able to lead your moving target, or spot on a stationary one.
This is the meat and potatoes of your arsenal. The TV missile is what separates the good gunners from the superb ones. To activate the TV missile, you have to open up the guided missile display with your right mouse button. This will bring up the black and white video display camera on the front of the missile. Once you open the display, you’ll see a crosshair that you can move around the screen with your mouse. To fire the missile, put the crosshairs on the target and left click. Once the missile is fired, you can guide the missile’s trajectory with the same crosshair that you used for initial targeting. Just left click again and the missile will move to the new position. If you are aiming at a tank and the tank is moving, just keep clicking on the tank and the missile will follow it, and you’ll have a front row seat to its demise. If you find yourself guiding a missile to a tank that has an X in its box, then you better quickly guide it away or you’ll have one mad team mate. To decipher friendly targets from unfriendly ones, the Friendly ones will have that X in the radar box, and an unfriendly target will not have the X. You have to be quick in noticing the X, so pay attention to where you’re shooting.
The key to winning this battle is to get the jump on the opponent. Keep scanning your view range for both ground and air targets. If you see an opposing attack chopper, make sure you mark it for your pilot, and use your voice communication to alert your pilot of the chopper’s location. Your prime opportunity to land a TV missile on the target is when he doesn’t know you are there. If your pilot can manage to sneak up on the chopper, wait to fire until the target is in a somewhat stationary position. Once that happens, fire the TV missile and reap the benefits of its instant kill. If you find the chopper moving continuously, lead the chopper by targeting ahead of it, or ahead of its motion. You’ll have a much better chance of landing the missile than trying to catch up to it from behind. If you miss, don’t worry. Your guns will do nice damage along with the pilot’s rockets for a semi-quick kill. If you have to use your machine gun, make sure you focus the concentration of your attack on the engine of the chopper, just under the rotor. This is the weakest point of the chopper. A solid stream of guns on the engine will have him smoking in no time.
In conclusion, remember that you are the eyes and ears of your team in the gunner position of the chopper. Utilize the 270 degree radius you have to see what’s going on, and mark everything you can. Although you are the offense of the chopper, you can use your position well to help your team rain terror down on the opposition.
Feel free to stop by my clan's website if your interested in teaming up with great pilots, or just looking for a great place to hang out. We are recruiting, so if you're not in a clan, we'd be happy to have you. Find us here: http://bf2.mercpilots.net