Pay 4 Fun
If you were paying attention, December 21st was a 3x buying-power day for station cash. If you are now flush with SC (and bad intentions) there’s no better bang for your buck than the empire-specific anti-air missile launchers. 700 SC/ 1000 cert points will net you a versatile weapon that turns your ground-pounding heavy class soldier into an area of denial weapon. Oh, and did I mention you will be showered with XP and all sorts of hateful comments for your exploits? Oh yes. Yes you will.
Because you hate aircraft. Because everybody hates aircraft. Because pilots should be afraid of flying over you instead of picking you off the way hawks hunt cuddly rabbits. Because... well you get the picture. If you’ve found yourself muttering curses at the mere sight of shadows from on high, this is the kind of weapon that will bring a decidedly evil smirk to your face. And if you use it right, the burning wreckage of the former hunters will surround your position in short order.
Simply stated, you can do one of two things with this guided missile launcher in your hands. The first is scare a close air support pilot away. Quite quickly I might add. If you are seeing a pattern of aircraft strafing a friendly Sunderer or any other position, situate yourself so as to have at least a 180 degree field of vision, with their target roughly somewhere towards the middle of your line of sight. Then wait. As aircraft come in for attacks, especially after repeated runs, they will slow down to take better aim. If their target is heavily damaged or vulnerable, you should immediately attempt to lock-on to them. Most pilots will turn tail and run.
The second tactic has got more teeth, and follows the tradition of many other tactics in PS2: the more the merrier. Get three or more of your buddies to invest 700 SC and purchase the launcher, and also someone to tag along as an engineer class just to keep your ammo count high at all times. If you don’t think there’s someone out there to fit that profile - don’t worry, they’ll be busy spotting for you, and will have XP filing into their progress bars at all times. Three G2A missile launchers can bring fighters down in one shot. Liberators will be forced to limp away scared, and will likely die with a second volley. Galaxies... those are going to be tough, but you might get lucky, or they may reconsider their drop.
No. Really. HOW?!
You want to talk tactics. Okay, fine. Your first mistake using this weapon is to lock-on too early. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Take your time, wait for the enemy to be flying overhead. Due to the mechanics of the missiles, the best time to launch on a fast moving fighter is just after they've passed overhead. Missiles launched head-on almost always overshoot and come back around, giving the pilot extra time to evade. Ideally, you engage a target being shot at by another AA source as well, perhaps a Burster MAX. A damaged plane will go down more easily, and may be too busy panicking to notice the missile lock warning.
In continents like Indar and Amerish, where there’s lots of broken terrain and generous geography for aircraft to duck into to avoid incoming missiles, it’s important that you find yourself a perch along the most common axis of approach or retreat for enemy aircraft - generally a mid-point between “the fight” and the nearest air pad or even their warp gate. Here you will be a real threat. Incoming aircraft can be shot as they start their runs on targets, and a combination of small arms fire and your missiles should make short work of them. Likewise, damaged aircraft trying to make a getaway will be flying right at you while seeking respite or needing to rearm.
Truth be told, PS2 is far from perfect. That being said, what we have here is an excellent product - thus far - being offered at no cost to you. If you have any interest in keeping the game funded, and its development team fed so they can do their jobs, put some money where your mouse is.