Defense: How to not get Balsa holed by Aluminum
Taking it like a man:
Here is your real problem. you are being shot at and you are a big target. Hope that the other guy "can't hit the broad side of a barn" because that is exactly you. The first rule of defense in a big twin engine fighter, and I'm sure P-38 experts will agree, is to make yourself smaller. Since you can't shrink like a sweater after a hot wash, you'll have to give the enemy your pretty side - and take one to the ribs. By that I mean break early to get some angles off before they open fire and then roll to give them your side instead of your top.
See, your top is a huge area. If they take your wing - game over. If they set the engine on fire - game over, if they take off your elevators - game over, if they hit the cockpit - game over. Your top exposes everything valuable to you, but that is what you expose when you go for a break turn. This is why it is absolutely vital that you have good SA and spot the enemy coming early enough. Last second break will not do it. Your side on the other hand gives the enemy mostly fuselage area that can take hits a lot better. You expose only 1 engine, very small wing area and less cockpit. If you give them your starboard side, maybe your DJ/barman/Navigator will also take the bullet for you. You do expose more rudder and vertical stabilizer (latter is critical if lost), but it is a much better trade off. So what you need to do here is to balance the effort of maneuvering out of the way, with becoming smaller.
Another big problem. Your good inertia which serves you offensively or passive-defensively become a hindrance when trying to make someone overshoot you. This is definitely not your game. Almost all planes will find no difficulty in slowing down to stay behind you. If you find someone saddled up on you, and they know what they are doing, only acts of desperations are left. Never ever break turn in this situation, see the above paragraph. Chop throttle, fake a break turn and start doing barrel rolls maneuvers. Use a lot of rudder to try and slow down and work it into rolling scissors. Not your strongest area, but with no other options... If they don't press the attack and pull away a little trying to stay behind, go full throttle and dive! You will NOT make them overshoot you. If they are slow planes you might just escape due to the great dive acceleration. Otherwise, you might just built a little separation to turn and get some angles off for a fighting chance. Don't get your hopes too high though - You are very likely to die.
Gaming the game:
One really dirty desperate move when someone is all over you - pull the stick all the way back and "TIMBER!" the wooden wonder falls cartwheeling out of the sky. That's right, the mosquito center of gravity bug for the benefit of the public. It will take your mosquito from what ever speed to zero in an instant, making the pursuer ramming you a real possibility. Start recovery procedure immediately and when you finally get the nose into a dive - keep diving vertically while rolling. If by a miracle he didn't get to shoot you, or didn't collide with you, he will over shoot and turn back with a vengeance. By the time you get out of the flat spin he'll be back on your tail, guns blazing. Your rolling on the dive does 2 things: Allow you to look back and find him, and get your plane banked relative to his. If you get a 90-180 deg off in the roll - pull out hard and try not to get into another spin. You might just got yourself another fighting chance.
The ironic thing is that expect this to happen occasionally even if you DON'T want it. Just one of the wonders of a bugged unbalanced airframe.
While I hate this, I am not too shy to shoot someone in the face if the odds are against me. If you are being ganged, all is fair.
Run Forrest run! :
You are not a Forrest, but you are wood and you can run surprisingly well. There are two catches here: One is that you are not such a fast plane (partially because of the flame dampers, may they rust in hell), the other is that you have low critical speed. So how do we make this work? The key is E retention and inertia. The critical value is your opponents max level speed. What you want to do is get well above your opponents max level speed, but not much more - Shallow dive and level when the desired speed has been reached. He will follow, but his speed will likely drain faster than yours, until he will reach close to his max level speed. When that happens, shallow dive to increase the speed again. You have a bank of potential energy which you have to spend wisely if the other guy is faster than you. They will try to dive lower then you to pick up even more speed and close the distance. Try to prevent that but shallow diving up to when then plane starts to make old furniture noises. They will close some distance, but bleed their speed even faster. Given enough initial separation, they will not advance much in the entire dive - level - pull up - bleed speed cycle. Except for some stupidly fast planes (La7, 109K comes to mind) and with a little initial alt, you pursuer is to expect a long long chase and I have no moral problem of dragging a cloud of drooling spits / N1Ks all across the map. Conclusions:
AHII Mosquito can be used as a fighter, though it requires some adapting to. It is best used in small number engagements, with a wingman or in an offensively oriented scenario where your offensive capabilities shine and defensive vulnerabilities minimized. Your biggest problem is close in defense and handling it require good SA or someone to clear your 6. The other big problem is the high fatality rates due to lose of controls. Unless you have a perfect stick / rudder / throttle setup, a gentle hand and if you do like to mix it up, expect to be practicing the stall/spin recovery procedure very often and crash or loose the fight due to it on regular basis. The problem is not only in the envelope limits this FM bug sets, but also in making you add a large safety margin avoiding it, because of the harsh consequence. This is not destabilization in the roll axis like the 109s had - this is a total, sudden, loss of control that is difficult to recover from.
Always remember that the greatest weakness of you enemy's plane is the pilot. After 5 seconds you can tell if this guy know his business or not. If he's a dodo, teach him. If he's good it is your choice whether to die and learn something, or to run away. Examples and personal note:
My mosquito fighter mode experience range from a few great fights to a lot of horrible deaths. I am still not adapted to how different it handles from the Jugs, my main for most of my AH history, and often forget that. The mosquito is my historical favorite and though I mainly fly and love the Jugs I will continue to do my best flying Mosquitoes, even our poor example of a Mosquito. I'll get shot down but hey, you only live once... per sortie. I rarely remember to film the fights and miss most of the good ones. Here are two examples of using the mosquito as a fighter. I'm not the greatest stick out there, but the clueless can learn something from this:
Mosquito vs. Spit XVI - some bomber shooting, before and after and a long fight with a spit till he runs out of gas I think:http://files.filefront.com/MOSS+16+0430ahf/;4914737;/fileinfo.html
Mosquito vs. F6F - he would have had me if he didn't consider the mosquito to be an easy kill:http://files.filefront.com/moss_f6fahf/;7684214;/fileinfo.html
Next time on wooden wonder: "Walk on gilded splinters" - sustaining damage in the Mosquito.