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War Thunder Best of British
About War Thunder
War Thunder is an air, land and sea combat mmo. Currently in open Beta it is showing off its fantastic air combat capabilities with playable land and sea units to be delivered in later releases. On this page I discuss the British aircraft available in war thunder. Later editions will cover the Russians, Americans and Japanese.
This page is currently being re written to accommodate recent changes to War thunder Tiering
Starting Out Tier I & II
Starting out with any nations air force in war thunder only gives you a small taste of the fun to come. Lets face it, a bi-plane with two machine guns can only entertain for so long. You want to move on from your Nimrods and Furies as quickly as possible. This page sets out the key planes to fly as you work through the ranks of War Thunder.
There is not much to talk about your starting machines. Nimrods and Furies with twin machine guns that don't pack much wallop. The British have the Swordfish Mk1 available at Tier I. The key advantage with the swordfish is that it provides you with a rear gunner with a single Vickers K Machine gun. This is not a powerful defensive weapon however in low Tier battles it can be quite a handy little earner. The biggest drawback with the Swordfish is that it's only secondary weapon is a torpedo which is not going to be of much use in a landlocked map. The Blenheim Is now available at entry level. If you are an accurate low level bomber take the 250 lb bombs and make extra kills. A gunners with reasonable skills will help you defend the aircraft and add to your xp and silver lions. You may find yourself spending some gold on crew training at this stage to give yourself the competitive edge. The Gladiator Mk2 is a good aircraft for Tier I. It has reasonable speed and good manouverability. New players will love the progression to 4 machine guns.
At this stage it would be a good idea to examine the tech tree to see how you want to develop your British aircraft line. The first line will take you through single engine fighter bombers which are generally best suited to ground attack. The second line is the single engine fighters which is a must for any fan of British aviation. Unless you don't like Spitfires. The third line will take you through twin engined heavy fighters and the fourth line is the bomber tree.
Your initial upgrades available in Tier I are the Hurricane mark I and Bristol Beaufort. The Hurricane mark I is historically accurate. Whilst it boasts 8 machine guns, It is playable but unremarkable. The Beaufort on the other hand is one of the best Tier I bombers in the game. It's speed & manoeuvrability make it a fantastic low level bomber. The Beaufort has a useful range of payload options (torpedo, 4x250lb or 2x500lb). When I played it I spent a few eagles upgrading my gunners which got me quite a few air kills as well. It can also be used as a pseudo fighter. Just chase those pesky bi-planes and let your gunners do the work for you.
Personally I don't see the need for purchasing premium planes at low tiers. Why? because your promotion through the ranks is fast at low levels and you will not use low tier premiums when you progress.
Tucks Gladiator is essentially another Gladiator. You can easily do without this aircraft.
Wirraway. If you must buy a premium at Tier 1. The Wirraway looks pretty good. The max payload of 2 x 250lb and 2 x 500lb gives you a potent ground attack plane for it's level.
At tier I the Brits get access to a Havoc Bomber. The Americans have the same plane at Tier II, The A20-G-30 With 4 500lb bombs the Havoc is a fantastic bomber. Once again I don't recommend buying premium aircraft at low tiers because they will become obsolete as you progress. However if you must and you enjoy ground attack the Havoc at Tier I should put a maniacal grin on your face.
The Best of Tier I
two words, payload and speed. The Havoc is the best plane available to the British in Tier I
Tier II sets the scene for your aircraft development down the track. The Hurricane Mark II. can be upgraded to carry 2 x 250lb bombs or 8 rockets. The rockets can be handy in ground attack or air to air combat and this hurricane carries a wing ripping 12 machine guns. It is best suited to ground attack but it is fun to occasionally give your opposition pilots a hearty rocketing!
The first Tier II fighter is the spitfire MK1. The first spitty gives you get a fantastic taste of what's to come. Speed and manoeuvrability. The only gripe is the 8 machine guns when you are hungering for some cannons to smash those higher tier pilots that keep killing you.
In the twin engined attack tree you have access to you first Beaufighter. At first glance the Beaufighter VIc looks pretty tame. your only payload option is a single torpedo. The nose mounted quad 20mm cannons make this plane a killing machine. The beauty of Tier II battles is that there is a wealth of inexperienced pilots who rate their chances in a frontal attack. To attack any Beaufighter frontally is suicidal. The closely grouped cannon will tear an aircraft inside out and if the pilot is canny enough to have stealth ammunition they won't know what's coming until it's too late.
Did I say cannons? Those who cannot wait can purchase 1 or two boomerang fighters. The Boomerang mark 1 & 2 both offer 4 machine guns and two Hispano 20 mm cannons. I still don't recommend buying premium aircraft at Tier 2 but if you want cannons. Here they are. The D520 also comes in at Tier 2 with 4 mg's and a single 20mm Hispano. I haven't played this aircraft but it appears to be more manoeuvrable than the Boomerangs but with less hitting power.
Tier III gives you access to the Hawker Typhoon 1bL This is a fantastic ground attack aircraft which is also able to take down aircraft although it is not really intended for dogfighting. Payload options include 2x250lb bombs, 2x500lb bombs or 8x152mm rockets. Personally I prefer big bombs on my aircraft to rockets. The typhoon is quite capable of bringing down aircraft but dog fighting should be avoided if possible. Manoeuvrability is not the Typhoons forte.
The single engine fighter ranks are boosted with three spitfires, marks Vb Vc and IX. They are all good planes with more hitting power and modest performance enhancements over previous marks. The mark IX is the first spitty which can be equipped with a 250lb bomb.
There are two Beaufighters in Tier III the Mark X sees 6 forward facing 30 Cals added to the Quad Hispanos making it undesirable to fly in front of. Pilots also gain the opportunity to take 8 rockets out to play or the single torpedo if you prefer. The Mark XXI offers 4 50 cals instead of the 30s offered in the previous model. To fly in front of a MarkXXI is dangerous in the extreme but the later Beaufighters do not have the same impact in Tier III as the humble VIC does in Tier II.
Tier III opens up your third Wellington are you sick of playing them yet? I am...
At Tier 3 I will concede it is a good time to consider premium aircraft. The Hellcat is a useful multirole fighter with a tasty selction of ordnance will you choose 2x1000lb bombs, 6 rockets or both? in air to air combat its 6 50cal MGs will be tolerable but not brilliant. Still the payload should be sufficient to get the silver rolling in.
My favourite money maker in war thunder. The Typhoon mk 1b carries 2 500 lb bombs and has 4 20mm cannon. This does not sound particularly impressive however the typhoon can take a few hits whilst you bomb and strafe your way to success.
The Mustang Mk1A is another fantastic premium aircraft. A fast and manoeuvrable fighter with quad 20mm Hispano's to settle the argument. The British Tier 3 premiums are ideal for building up the silver lions and xp you need for Tier 4 and beyond. Just as well because at the time of writing England is the only nation that doesn't have a Tier IV premium.
Another Wellington to ensure you spend more silver on your way to that coveted Lancaster. The Tier IV Spitfires have ample firepower and a little more speed to get you through battles at this level and are necessary if you aspire to meteor jets. The mosquito is pretty average unmodded but it is lethal in head on engagement, taking out bombers or ambushing unsuspecting fighters. Once you get some bomb upgrades the "Mossie"really starts to shine. A great ground attack aircraft with some air combat capabilities.
Having ground your way through another dreadfull Wellington the Lancaster awaits at L4. Heavy Bombers are key to winning games. The Lancaster is capable of taking out bases with one payload although the Devs seem to adjust the damage points on the bases from time to time. The most versatile payload is the 6x1,000lb 3x250lb arrangement but if your main goal is blowing up bases go for 2 x 4000lb.
Tempests are good fighter bombers but they represent the end of their tree at Tier IV. The Tempest Mark V with 47mm Vickers P cannon looks interesting. I can't vouch for it as I haven't researched it yet.