Wargame: AirLand Battle

Wargame: AirLand Battle

70 ratings
Aircraft and You
By Conditional Love and 1 collaborators
Aircraft and You!
Some of this guide is out of date - i.e. the aircraft specifications are different.

I kept this guide available because the general information is still useful.

The following guide is more thorough and not quite as out-of-date
Once called upon, aircraft takes some time to get to the combat zone, depending on their cruising speed. Once the aircraft is the battlefield, you have absolute control of your unit: ask them to patrol a particular path, fly over and hold a zone, and attack specific targets, at least until they run out of fuel!

Then, they will rally at the air base to refuel and get ready to intervene again. Rinse and repeat, again and again. It sounds simple enough? Wrong!

but first, take a moment to thumbs up this guide.

THIS GUIDE IS NOT FINISHED - I am publishing it early because, well:
  • the game is still beta
  • I would appreciate feedback, opinions & comments
  • I want my collaborator to upload the videos :)

Only a limited selection of aircraft has been mentioned. I am not sure if I will feature all aircraft, but I certainly intend to comment on a lot more aircraft.
Before you read any further
1st - I recommend you read the guide in the link below before you read this guide.


2nd - why are you using aircraft? Maybe you should be using artillery instead.

+ surgical precision
+ targets hit will probably die
+ very high mobility
+ loitering on the battlefield (patrolling an area)
+ very good range
+ doesn't use supplies on the battlefield
- high cost, must be used sparingly
- vulnerability
- short-lived presence
- rearming & repair time

++ not exposed to loss with each salvo
+ high terror factor
+ bigger and better AoE
+ collateral damage
+ good accuracy - it will hit in the right area
+/- comparable cost to mid range aircraft
- poor precision - unlikely to exactly hit units (ignoring collateral damage)
- high demand for vital supplies
- maximum range & minimum range
- very vulnerable if targeted by enemy & firing gives away its position
- poor mobility (slow)

When is aircraft better? When is artillery better? Confused? The guide in the link below has more information.
For the purpose of this guide, lets just say you choose aircraft.
terminology quick reference

Evac Bingo
Evac Ordered
Evac Panic
Evac Winchester
General tips
most antiaircraft weapons need to be stationary to fire
If you see enemy AA and it is moving, then you could possibly ignore it... or kill it ASAP

...unless the AA unit stops.

vehicle-mounted or shoulder-mounted -
vehicle-mounted missiles are usually bigger and are more effective. Use SEAD aircraft to kill the, and if they are not using radar, then Air-to-Ground missile aircraft.

shoulder-mounted - most aircraft are specialised in the role they perform. If you want to take out AA-infantry, i recommend you use large AOE weapons such as napalm instead of SEAD aircraft.

some antiaircraft cannon vehicles also have antiaircraft missiles (eg. 2K22 Tunguska).
1st: These vehicles will fire all of their missiles first before they start using their cannon.

2nd: These vehicles have Radar on the cannon (SEAD vulnerable), but their missiles will be infrared (SEAD immune). Therefore what you should do is disable the AA cannons until the unit runs out of missiles (minimising SEAD exposure), and only then turn on the AA cannons.

Don't worry my aircraft loving friends, most people are too lazy to do this. ----^

fudabidu's anti-SEAD strategy: "Never be too lazy to manage your Tunguska's guns. As soon as [a Tunguska] comes in [to the battlefield] deactivate the cannons." [Also have] 1 dedicated logistics truck to keep the missiles loaded." If you ever feel the need for AAA bring in additonal ZSU 23-4s instead of risking your Tunguskas.

lesser value aircraft offer superior firepower for your points
It is inevitable some aircraft will be shot down, so try to limit point loss by not needlessly buying upgraded aircraft.

Think cheaper is better, unless you need the capability of the more expensive aircraft.

There is no 'counter-measure' to antiaircraft cannons * **
* except by being small and flying really fast to minimise damage

** and using long range missiles: cannons have short range - Air to Ground missile have long range and so can usually safely take them out.
What you should know about your aircraft
Airspeed - self-explanatory. IMO, important in all aircraft - limiting exposure to AA fire, and reducing response time of your aircraft.

ECM (Electronic Counter Measures)
Electronic warfare is used to degrade detection and targeting capabilities in enemy aircraft and anti-aircraft defense systems (such as radar jammers) .

It seems to have a small effect on the probability that a missile will hit the aircraft (amongst other factors) ~ or that missile will miss and go somewhere else. ECM seems to have just about a similar miss-chance effect as the accuracy of the vehicle firing the AA missile. As you can tell, this is not my preferred method of aircraft survivability.

Don't underestimate ECM, but don't rely on ECM either.

Optics - aka Field of vision. Important, useful or not important depending on the role of your aircraft. As your aircraft approach their targets, you will usually gain some vital (very) temporary vision of the enemy army. So don't forget to watch your aircraft as they strike their targets.

Important - Ground attack aircraft (unless you already have good recon)
useful - Ground attack aircraft with large AOE weapons.
not important - SEAD aircraft and Air superiority aircraft

Size - it seems to affect stealth and enemy accuracy.

Stealth - prevents units from being spotted. Is (or seems to be) of no use once the aircraft:
  • has fired its weapons
  • is directly over the target
ie: The mortal enemy of the F117 Nighthawk is an enemy unit with very good optics, and units directly underneath it.
Situation: dodging AA with manuvuering
" O FFFF, AA ahead!"

Situation: Dogfighting

Situation: Strafing enemy lines
SEAD Aircraft
aka Aircraft with Anti AntiAircraft-Missile-Unit Missiles

SEAD missiles target enemy radar weapons
Targets with Radar AA weapons= good.
Targets with non-Radar AA weapons (ie. Infrared) = bad.
Targets with Radar weapons turned off = bad

did you know you don't need vision of your target to kill them?
Send your SEAD aircraft to an area and it will fire its SEAD(ARM) missiles to hunt and kill any enemy units that attempts to target it! :)

Unless your enemy has 25 point shilka (radar cannon) in front of their expensive AA missile battery. :(

Killing unknown lurking AA missile units

SEAD Aircraft
East Germany
SU-24M4: overpriced, decent enough

Jaguar A: A 75 point good SEAD aircraft with a wicked chaingun? Yes please!

MIG-25BM: good and fairly cheap.

SU-24: overpriced, the MIG-25BM is 50 points cheaper

Prowler: good, worth getting the Raven for the extra survivablity,

Raven: expensive, best SEAD for difficult AA-batteries

Wild Weasel: multi role master of none, great value, go Raven if there any significant enemy AA
Interceptors & Air Superiority
Interceptor planes are specialized in intercepting enemy aircraft such as bombers, which must be shot down before they reach their objective. They are therefore very fast and carry heavy air-to-air weaponry.

Air superiority:
these aircraft are designed to engage enemy fighters in order to take control of an air zone. They are agile and they excel in short range air-to-air combat (dogfights).

J 35D Draken: 40 point human-missile anti-helicopter fodder
Ground Attack
Ground attack: ground attack planes are designed to carry out surgical strikes against land targets. They carry lighter loads than conventional bombers, but they are much more accurate and much faster in their attacks, allowing them to quickly get rid of specific targets.

Cluster Bombing aircraft
Starfighter: 80 points to destroy PACT-tank-spam, sure.

MIG-21SM: top speed + cheap + one clusterbombed tank formation = exceptional value

West Germany
Alpha Jet: simple cheap human-missile cluster bomb

Napalm Aircraft
A7E Corsair II: a cheap way to kill LIghtvehicles, infantry, forests, helicopters and enemy morale

Smoke Aircraft
SK 60B: A 25 point smokebomb human-missile? er ok.

Air-to-Ground Missile
MIG-27: pay 5 points less and get the better MIG-27K

MIG-27K: good ground attack, may be worth upgrading to MIG-27M if you are good with aircraft

MIG-27M: expensive, deadly, a major threat unless there is strong air defence, think F117 but not so vulnerable

A-10 Thunderbolt: Very Expensive. Eats tank-columns for dinner. Handle with extreme care.

F117 Nighthawk: Expensive, handle with care, deadly, almost unstoppable before it fires its missile, excellant for sniping command units (ty SbrF.Guyver) and AA units without other AA units nearby

Dumb Bombers

A-6A Intruder: an infantry & vehicle killing monster

A-6F Intruder: an A-6A with a little extra oompf. Not worth it IMO.
Multi-Role Aircraft
MIG-29S: it is worth the upgrade to the MIG-29M

MIG-29M: all round awesome
< >
DyingArtifact Mar 30, 2016 @ 11:01pm 
I will try this
Conditional Love  [author] Mar 30, 2016 @ 11:00pm 
Bottom right of screen there are a few buttons of orders. Bottom row in the middle (of 3) is the "LAND" button, click it and then mouseclick where you want the helicopter to land. WHen the helicopter is landed the blades don't spin, then you can load infantry in it [if there is room in the helicopter[
DyingArtifact Mar 30, 2016 @ 10:52pm 
how would i do that thou?
Conditional Love  [author] Mar 30, 2016 @ 10:51pm 
Same as normal transports but you can only load helicopters AFTER you land them.
DyingArtifact Mar 30, 2016 @ 7:47pm 
How do you load troops back onto a helicopter r or transport
Michael Dec 28, 2013 @ 12:35pm 
I would love to know if there is a way for one particular aircraft have 2 bombs and drop 1 but not evac right away therefore it will still hang arround to drop the second one.
Conditional Love  [author] Dec 11, 2013 @ 3:48pm 
very out-of-date: This is basically from the beta period.

I am tempted to take this guide down, but I left it up for historical reasons and it is a generalist guide. I should have added a warning notice.

There is a second more thorough guide that I collaborated on (which is also out-of-date but not as bad as this one)
bills6693 Dec 10, 2013 @ 3:07pm 
Good guide but seems to miss out a few things, and some info is out of date. For example that smoke aircraft is no longer in the game. (Wish it was...).

Also you don't explain the other bomber roles/types of bombers. It'd be useful to have a guide to when you want to use cluser, missiles, napalm, or basic bombs.

Finally, you didn't cover the stealth bomber or 1000kg bomb (which Norway also has, and I don't know about any eastern bloc nations).
Conditional Love  [author] Dec 3, 2013 @ 2:25pm 
I don't know - but it doesn't matter because they all mean your aircraft is is "EVAC-ing".

Sorry for the cop-out but I have no idea - and I don't mind that I don't know.
[Zenith] trineroks Dec 2, 2013 @ 3:37pm 
I am new to this game. I will say that straight up.

That being said, is it so hard to explain what the various "evacs" mean? I appreciate how you have a list of said "evacs", but it's useless if new people - like me - don't know what they mean.

I've tried googling this up, but the most I got from it is that "Evac Winchester" apparently means the aircraft is out of ammo?