This twin engined, twin tailed soup-upped and Dust-fied of version of the P-38 lighting is the Allies king of the skies in Dust Warfare. Able to take off and land with near vertical ability and needing only minimal runway distance (I’m sorry, despite what the fluff says I can believe this is a true VTOL aircraft), this airplane is also capable of incredible speed thanks to its two very, very over-sized jet engines. These giant engines also allow the P-48C “Diving Dotty” or P-48X “Bellowing Bertie” to be armed with considerably more weapons than most fighters planes. The Pelican is blunt and graceless in comparison to the more maneuverable SSU choppers and the sleeker Axis Hortens, but only marginally so.
Both models of the Pelican have an Army Point cost of 45 placing them on par with the SSU Burner and Air Blaster as well as the Axis Fledermaus III and IV. Both the Diving Dotty and Bellowing Bertie have the Air Superiority special abilty making them both adept at dog fighting enemy aircraft. Like all current aircraft for Dust Warfare, they are Aircraft 2 (A2) with a Damage Capacity of 6.
P-48C “Diving Dotty”
The Diving Dotty is armed with the standard P-48 Pelican Triple Dual .50 Caliber Heavy Machine Guns. Yup, that’s right six machine guns, because one of the Allies war doctrines is, “the solution to any problem is more guns.” These machine guns are able to fire at a rate of more than 1,200 bullets per minute which translates mechanically into at least 5 dice of damage to any Soldier Unit. However, these machine guns just don’t have the penetrating power to punch trough anything more than the light armor of V3. Against other aircraft is where this six .50 cals shine. Rolling 7 dice against any of the current aircraft in Dust Warfare the Diving Dotty also gets to treat this attack as if it were sustained due to the Air Superiority special ability.
It is the two 500kg bombs that makes the Diving Dotty an airplane to be feared by infantry and armor alike. They are highly effective ordinance completely capable of wiping out nearly any ground unit in a single shot. Especially when you consider the ability to drop both bombs simultaneously on a single target treats it as if it were a Sustained Attack. This makes the 500kg bomb the most powerful airborne weapon to ground units in Dust Warfare currently.
Alpha Bombing Run: There are actually few units in Dust Warfare that can down an aircraft in a single shot. Chances are good that even two anti-air units may not be able to turn your Diving Dotty into a flaming meteor during turn one. This tactic is simple, fly straight at your target, wait until you pass over them and drop the bomb on them. You may attempt to hit two units, remember you can drop bombs after the Compulsory Move, and then make a second bombing run during you normal activation. Just be sure to line up your targets right. Alternatively, for large, heavily armored targets or those critical for your objective, you can drop both bombs to make a Sustained Attack.
The Wingman Concept: In general, I believe that if you are going to add an aircraft to you army list you should at least have two and create the wingman concept. It has been my experience that most Dust Warfare players generally bring enough firepower to handle a single aircraft. However, with two or more Pelicans, you may be able to overwhelm your opponent’s air defenses. Depending on the toughness and effect your opponent’s anti-air are having, one of the Pelicans you have may be used to cripple them giving you free reign to strike at the rest of his/her force with immunity. When engaging another air power army list, having a wingman makes it difficult for the enemy to position themselves in your side and rear arcs where you can’t fight back. More so than other units, I believe aircraft create synergy with other aircraft.
Rear Area Raid: To perform this tactic, you take advantage to the Compulsory Move off the table rules. To do this, you position your aircraft so that they will go off the table edge that you opponent’s rear is facing. While on this turn you will not get to use this/these unit(s), it will set your flyers up to attack the enemy from behind. If done on the long table edge, it may actually allow you to move farther than you could have otherwise. Even if your opponent breaks up their forces or positions them to attack, you can just return back on the table at point that best protects your airplane. This tactic is especially useful if you can catch your opponent in a pincher attack so they have to deal with a little crossfire.
P-48X “Bellowing Bertie”
Also equipped with the Triple Dual .50 Caliber Heavy Machine Guns that are standard on the P-48, the P-48X Bellowing Bertie is also armed with Ground Rockets giving it an unlimited number of attacks. These rockets have the same 16″ range of the heavy machine guns are a great supplement to their attack on infantry and light vehicle units. The rockets are particularly effective on light and medium armor but also effective on heavy armor as well though there ability to hit, is not as consistent as the Diving Dotty’s 500kg bombs.
Escort Fighter: The Bellowing Bertie makes a good escort plane to help get the Diving Dotty to the target in one piece. While their Ground Rockets aren’t as devastating as the 500kg bombs of the Dotties, they are not something to be ignored by ground forces either. Once the Diving Dotties have dropped their ordinance, I find it good to have these aircraft change jobs with the Diving Dotty providing escort to the possibly damage Bertie.
Quadruple Pelican (300)
Combat Platoon (225)
Command: The Boss (25)
1st: The Gunners (17)+1 M9-D Bazooka
2nd: Recon Boys (16)
3rd: The Death Dealers (20)+1 M9-D Bazooka
Air Supremacy: Diving Dotty (45)
Support: Bellowing Bertie (45)
Support: Diving Dotty (45)
Upgrade: Air Superiority (10)
Combat Platoon (75)
Command: Bazooka Joe (15)
1st: Devil Dogs (15)
Support: Diving Dotty (45)
This army list largely sacrifices everything it could just to field four Pelicans. However, between the Long Tom Fire For Effect special order and the sheer amount of bombs that can be dropped on the enemy the soldier squads should have no difficulty mopping up the remaining forces.
As some one that already enjoys the air power in Dust Warfare, the P-48 Pelican is a dream. While it doesn’t have the abilty to Hover and turn as quickly as the SSU helicopters and the Axis Horten’s machine guns have a wider range of targets they can damage, the Pelican wields some impressive, reliable damage potential. This unit is by far my favorite Allies non-soldier unit. It might take a while to get used to the aesthetics of the model itself but it will be hard to deny the power it infuses into you army.
While it is very close between the two, I like the Diving Dotty more. I like the massive amounts of damage that the 500kg bombs can cause and don’t mind making bombing runs to get it. The Ground Rockets are great for targeting infantry and anti-air, but the bombs are what is going to break your opponent’s ability to achieve victory. This is all very much personal preference. Because I try to have to aircraft, I usually field one of each to cover the others weakness. I rate both the Diving Dotty and the Bellowing Bertie as very good units.