Battlefield 3 Vehicles: Mobile AA Edition

Vehicles are one of the differentiators in the Battlefield franchise and one of the many reasons I love to play. Here is part three of a series of blogs in which I share some tips on how to use them. I’ve broken the classes up into offense and defense. Offense focuses on gameplay using the vehicle, defense focuses on gameplay against the vehicle.

Many of the points made in my previous entry about main battle tanks (MBTs) and infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) are still valid here.

Mobile Anti Aircraft (MAA)

As you might imagine, mobile AA is used to take down enemy aircraft but it’s also strong against infantry lightly armored vehicles and can be effective against tanks if used correctly.

Communicate

Mobile AA is particularly effective if you’re working in tandem with an attack helicopter or armored ground force. It’s easier for you to spot enemy air units than for your buddies in the air who are probably focused on blowing up armor. Letting them know early where the enemy is coming from will give them a chance to hide or make a preemptive strike. If your helo knows where you are, they can retreat back to you for protection.

Offense

Most of the time you will have your eyes to the sky so make sure you don’t leave yourself exposed to tank shells. Keep a low profile by hiding the bulk of your vehicle behind hills or walls. A high rate of fire and lack of any noticeable bullet drop makes the autocannons ideal for taking out infantry at a distance. On maps like Caspian Border, if you’re on the US team you can cover the entire field in front of your spawn between the A and B flags in conquest mode. With the belt speed unlock you should have no problem taking down entire squads on the move.

Don’t be afraid to attack light armor and even main battle tanks with your autocannons, but be smart about it. You won’t survive a head-on slug fest with a MBT or IFV but at a distance you can whittle their health down and eventually disable and destroy them. Make sure you’re far away enough to not make an easy target. It will probably take them one or two shots to adjust their trajectory. It will make it even harder if you’re moving side to side. The high velocity of your autocannon projectiles should make tracking them easy.

If you can follow a MBT and infantry into a firefight, go for it. It can be a gamble, but your air protection and anti-infantry capabilities could pay out dividends. And having your mobile AA in a central map position will give you better sky coverage. Just don’t expect to live long if you’re not moving with a fighting force.

Defense

If you’re in the air, surprise is the key. Try to flank and attack from a direction that they won’t be looking. One pass in an attack helicopter or jet should be enough to get the job done. As long as you don’t have to fly through a hail of 30mm shells mobile AA is relatively easy to take out.

If you’re on the ground in an armored vehicle, make sure you’re facing the mobile AA. Your front armor will last a while against their relatively weak main weapon. Also, since the mobile AA rounds are not explosive, a repairing engineer on the lee side of your vehicle should be safe. The mobile AA on the other hand only has one seat so he will either be shooting at you or repairing. He probably won’t have someone else hanging around to repair.

If you’re on foot try to flank. Most of the time the mobile AA will be isolated in a field and staring at the sky. If you can get off an RPG to the side or rear armor you can disable them so they can’t escape. But make sure you don’t leave yourself exposed after your first shot. The turn speed on the mobile AA turret is fast. They will whip around and blow you away if you’re not careful.

Disclaimer

Do as I say, not as I do. Many of you have played with me on the Giant Bomb/Tested servers. I play for fun, not for a K/D ratio or high score. If you see me driving off ramps in the mobile AA it’s because god damnit this game is fun.

5 Comments
5 Comments
Posted by gpbmike

Vehicles are one of the differentiators in the Battlefield franchise and one of the many reasons I love to play. Here is part three of a series of blogs in which I share some tips on how to use them. I’ve broken the classes up into offense and defense. Offense focuses on gameplay using the vehicle, defense focuses on gameplay against the vehicle.

Many of the points made in my previous entry about main battle tanks (MBTs) and infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) are still valid here.

Mobile Anti Aircraft (MAA)

As you might imagine, mobile AA is used to take down enemy aircraft but it’s also strong against infantry lightly armored vehicles and can be effective against tanks if used correctly.

Communicate

Mobile AA is particularly effective if you’re working in tandem with an attack helicopter or armored ground force. It’s easier for you to spot enemy air units than for your buddies in the air who are probably focused on blowing up armor. Letting them know early where the enemy is coming from will give them a chance to hide or make a preemptive strike. If your helo knows where you are, they can retreat back to you for protection.

Offense

Most of the time you will have your eyes to the sky so make sure you don’t leave yourself exposed to tank shells. Keep a low profile by hiding the bulk of your vehicle behind hills or walls. A high rate of fire and lack of any noticeable bullet drop makes the autocannons ideal for taking out infantry at a distance. On maps like Caspian Border, if you’re on the US team you can cover the entire field in front of your spawn between the A and B flags in conquest mode. With the belt speed unlock you should have no problem taking down entire squads on the move.

Don’t be afraid to attack light armor and even main battle tanks with your autocannons, but be smart about it. You won’t survive a head-on slug fest with a MBT or IFV but at a distance you can whittle their health down and eventually disable and destroy them. Make sure you’re far away enough to not make an easy target. It will probably take them one or two shots to adjust their trajectory. It will make it even harder if you’re moving side to side. The high velocity of your autocannon projectiles should make tracking them easy.

If you can follow a MBT and infantry into a firefight, go for it. It can be a gamble, but your air protection and anti-infantry capabilities could pay out dividends. And having your mobile AA in a central map position will give you better sky coverage. Just don’t expect to live long if you’re not moving with a fighting force.

Defense

If you’re in the air, surprise is the key. Try to flank and attack from a direction that they won’t be looking. One pass in an attack helicopter or jet should be enough to get the job done. As long as you don’t have to fly through a hail of 30mm shells mobile AA is relatively easy to take out.

If you’re on the ground in an armored vehicle, make sure you’re facing the mobile AA. Your front armor will last a while against their relatively weak main weapon. Also, since the mobile AA rounds are not explosive, a repairing engineer on the lee side of your vehicle should be safe. The mobile AA on the other hand only has one seat so he will either be shooting at you or repairing. He probably won’t have someone else hanging around to repair.

If you’re on foot try to flank. Most of the time the mobile AA will be isolated in a field and staring at the sky. If you can get off an RPG to the side or rear armor you can disable them so they can’t escape. But make sure you don’t leave yourself exposed after your first shot. The turn speed on the mobile AA turret is fast. They will whip around and blow you away if you’re not careful.

Disclaimer

Do as I say, not as I do. Many of you have played with me on the Giant Bomb/Tested servers. I play for fun, not for a K/D ratio or high score. If you see me driving off ramps in the mobile AA it’s because god damnit this game is fun.

Posted by Swoxx

awesome stuff again Mike!

Good to see you joining in on the community nights as well.

Posted by Wuddel

Good stuff. I love the Mobile-AA. Who doesn't?

The main function of the AA is to shoot down or at least keep enemy choppers busy. It is quite hard to shoot down jets (the biggest thread to a jet is still another jet). At least when they know you are there. Attack choppers can easily kill you when they have a good team (guided rockets + TV Missle = instant death). However it is your job to deal with them. Just do not let them sneak up on you.

I disagree with your view on taking on MBTs. On full PC servers everthing is so crowded that, since it takes a while to take down a MBT, it is likely that you get in trouble during the engagement. Speed is you best defense. Simply bail. An alive AA who puts pressure on the air space is the best asset for a team.

Consequently, I can not stress enough how important it is to move out so you can cover a bigger part of the map. Standing in your base does not help your team (If the enemy is not base raping of course.) Move out with caution.

Posted by gpbmike

@Wuddel: Just to play devil's advocate: generally speaking taking MBTs head on is not smart. Like you say, speed is key. If you're hitting them from the side or behind it doesn't take that long to disable/destroy them. Also, while it's hard to shoot down jets, locking onto them with your heat seeking missiles will at least force them to drop flares and possibly give your jets a better opportunity to shoot them down.

Posted by Liber

Good stuff Mike.