Why you should transition into Historical Battles
To answer the question of why you should play HB, you need to first answer this question: Do you find Arcade challenging?
When playing Arcade, the basic MO is to just fly into the nearest furball, and start spraying (unless you fly Americans or Germans, in which case you have to look around for stragglers to pick off). The greatest extent of thinking you need to do in Arcade is “Do I feel good about my odds here?”. There’s no strategy, no planning, no forward thinking (at least none that survive past the first minute). Your reflexes do all the work, while your brain sits in the corner and takes a nap. That’s not challenge; that’s CoD.
If you want to actually utilize that goo you have nestled in your skull, then you need stop playing “Spaceship Third-Person Shooter”, and go play Historical Battles.
Also, for those of you who are sick of struggling against the Soviet UFOs, you’ll find that, in HB, they’re perfectly balanced.
When you should transition into Historical Battles
As much as I like to talk about HB’s superiority over Arcade, it’s not a mode you should jump into right from the word “go”. There’s a reason why an Arcade player who tries HB isn’t successful right away, and that’s because HB is harder; much harder.
Arcade is basically a tutorial that prepares you for HB, and if you’re unfamiliar with a game, it’s a bad idea to skip the tutorial.
There’s obviously no golden standard for when a person is “ready” for HB, so that, again, is something you’ll have to figure out for yourself.
Ask yourself questions about your competence as a pilot. Can you intuit approximately where to aim to hit a plane, before the lead indicator pops up? Do you know how flaps affect your plane, and how you can use them to your advantage? Do you understand your planes’ strengths and weaknesses? Can you determine, in a given situation, which angle of attack is most efficient? Do you know how to intercept a distant enemy? Can you survive with an enemy on your tail long enough for your team mates to shoot them down, or even shake them off completely? Can you successfully land a badly-damaged plane?
It’s up to you to decide these things, but there’s nothing stopping you from popping into HB and seeing how you fare, and for that, we need to go to the next step.
How you should transition into Historical Battles
Now that you’ve decided that you want to play HB, and you believe yourself ready, it’s time to make the plunge and go for it.
But wait, there’s no reason why you should crash and burn until you finally get the handle on flying HB. There are ways to make your transition into HB easier:
Step 1: Start with a bomber – Being an effective bomber pilot who contributes to their team, and even brings home the win through their sheer devastation of the enemy’s ground units takes skill, no doubt about that, but you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to not suck at it. Here are some tips that can help you be more effective at it: War Thunder High Altitude Level Bombing Tips
Fly to where the enemy troops are, drop your bombs, go back to re-arm. Rinse, repeat. It may not sound particularly exciting (and, honestly, it usually isn’t), but excitement isn’t what we’re looking for at this exact moment.
You want to learn your way around HB’s realistic flight models, right? Well, here’s your chance. You don’t have to worry about dogfighting or BnZing; just keep your plane level and try to hit the ground targets, who usually don’t move or fight back.
As an added bonus, if you learn to land and take off with one of these fat buggers, you’ll be able to do it with any fighter or attack plane you later choose to fly with.
Step 2: Play low tiers – Now that you’ve practiced flying in your bomber, and can do a 180 without going into an impromptu nose dive, it’s time to start flying things that can shoot straight.
Don’t get overly eager, though. It’s probably not a good idea to jump straight into a high tier plane; you’ll just end up as easy farm for the veterans on the enemy team. A better idea would be to start off with low tier planes, since it’s much more likely that your enemies will be as inexperienced as you are.
You could start with the reserves, but those tend to handle like beach balls full of rocks. The butter zone for low tier planes is tiers 3 and 4; high enough to fly where you’re pointing, and pack an actual punch (usually), while remaining low enough to avoid being matched against high tier planes (again, usually).
Step 3: Have fun – At the end of the day, this is about taking your game to the next level, and increasing your enjoyment and satisfaction. Experiment, learn new things, hone your skills and, above all, have fun.
Hope this helps you graduate to War Thunder’s true game mode. Maybe you’ll like it so much in HB that you’ll never look back on Arcade again, or maybe you’ll decide to play both modes; the choice is yours.
Find a way that’s right for you, and get the most out of your gaming experience.
See you in the sky.