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  1. #1
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    Icon5 Tutorial: The TOW Missile Experience

    I figured it's about time I walk everyone through the process now, after teaching WellFedSOB in-game how to do it. As much of a compliment as it is, the attempted votebans are a bit much, in my opinion. So, here it is, a guide to using the TOW launcher. The IFV specifically in this case. However the same basic rules apply to the stationary and the boat.



    First off, your kit. Obviously the TOW Missile is a requirement when using the IFV, or Boat. Personally, I prefer the use of Zoom Optics so I can see more distant targets, more clearly. At least on a 1080p display, it can be tricky to keep an eye on the little missile in the distance. You won't get a zoom with the Stationary. The rest of the kit, is entirely up to your personal preferences.





    The first (real) step, is to find a target. The ideal target is an Attack Chopper, or Attack Jet, which are flying in a slow, low, or straight line (or all of the above) and flying in your general direction. However, the Scout Chopper and Stealth Jet are also viable targets, assuming they're following the same general flight methods. The Transport, is not a target you can destroy in one hit. It requires 2.



    The second step, is taking the shot. Once you've determined that your target is within your angle of attack, and doing one, or all of the previously mentioned flight patterns... Well, you shoot. That's the easy part. Now, you must try and predict your target's movement and guide the missile to intercept. Personally, I put a little spin on the missile as it moves towards the target. It's more entertaining to do, it makes it slightly less likely that the missile will be traced back to you (if you miss), and it makes it easier to side-swipe a target (this is the ideal way to deal with a 'professional chopper pilot', since they will see the missile coming, and evade).



    If you succeeded, the missile will impact the target, instantly destroying them, without a lock-on sound or anything.



    If you miss, you have a second chance (if you have the TOW ammo), assuming the target is not suddenly evading you, flying away, or behind cover.




    Short-range shots are just as doable as long-range. However, you have far less time to make adjustments and lead your target. The target will also have a far easier time of getting outside your angle of attack if they spot you. At that point, you're on your own. This guide doesn't cover that.



    Other times, the enemy will just hand you a free shot at them.







    Of course, there are problems with this approach. Your Anti-Tank/Boat abilities are vastly diminished when you are without your missiles, and laser-designated targets reduce your damage capabilities against aircraft (A laser-guided, top-down TOW will only do 80-90%, instead of 100%). Oddly enough, this is one of the few instances, that a laser designator is not your friend. Additionally, an erratically-flying target is much harder to hit, so Anti-Air weapons aren't exactly on your side either, as most pilots veer out of the way after deploying Flares or ECM and disappear behind cover.


    The stationary emplacements - the HJ-8 and 9M133 Kornet - at A and B on Golmud Railway, offer the same features, with some caveats. Primarily, it's stationary nature. There is a very limited field of fire, which can't be moved. A user is also extremely exposed when operating the device. It's not all bad though. It has a faster turn radius, which makes aiming missiles slightly more easy, and it doesn't suffer from ammo reserves that Boats and IFVs have.

    Boats offer a far greater angle of attack, but suffer from several problems of their own. Primarily, the rocking caused by being in the water, which could easily cause a miss, especially at longer distances (IFVs have this issue when in the water as well). Additionally, launching a TOW missile, causes the rear of the boat to jerk back. You're also a much larger target, and don't get a whole lot of cover.




    Back to the IFVs. A few additional notes on better usage. Firstly, spot your targets. It's as useful for you, as it is for your team. Second. Despite being a 'Wire-Guided' Projectile, the TOW Missile functions more like a passive laser-guided missile, due to the troubles you encounter while aiming. Firstly, APS (Active Protection) will cause the TOW to veer off-course, ruining the shot. Secondly, and the biggest menace of all... are greens. Trees, bushes, and shrubs interrupt the 'passive laser' that guides the missiles, sending them flying off into space, or the ground. The best way to deal with this, is to just destroy them. Clear the line of fire.






    "But Karek, how do I avoid the TOW Missiles you're shooting at me?" You may ask. Well, you do the exact opposite what I said to look for when it comes to picking targets. Don't fly low, slow, in a straight line, or hover in place. If you think there's even a slim chance of an MBT shooting you out of the sky, a well-aimed TOW Missile definitely could.
    ˢᵐᵒᶫ ᵀᵉˣᵗ ᴬᵉˢᵗʰᵉᵗᶦᶜˢ

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Tutorial: The TOW Missile Experience

    good post... i have tried it with limited effect over the last couple years. miss 95% of time. I assumed zoom was critical for this and dont want to give up my IRNV....

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Tutorial: The TOW Missile Experience

    KarekCat is correct, the worst thing a pilot can do is hover or fly slow in a predictable direction. It is much easier to acquire you as a target.
    The tow gives no warning, you cannot prepare for it unless you see it coming. Its best to know who your biggest threat is, and take them out before they get you.

    I've found the best way to practice is to actually get in the lav and engage easy slow targets, learn how long it takes the tow to reach a certain target.
    Zoom is a nice perk, I always find it interesting what other lav'ers use as their setup

    I do not use zoom, rather 1st and 3rd person views. Provides for fast targeting and towing on the move.
    Below are some clips of Golmud tows on air, for those who are interested you can at least see how the tow reacts as it reaches further distances. As well as how much I move my mouse to guide the tow to its targets.
    The info Karek provided is great stuff, good reading.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Tutorial: The TOW Missile Experience

    Top notch post!!! Rep added! I will study this tomorrow and practice.

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