There are lots of squadrons in Aces High and you will be invited to join one or want to join one sooner or later. Each individual will have his or her own reason for joining a squad but there are some things to consider before joining one. Here I will try to give you some pointers on what to look for and how to find it when selecting a squad to join.

The single most important thing to do before you join a squad is to FLY WITH THEM!!! It's OK to join for a trial period so you can share the squad text, but make sure they know you that is what you are doing. A good squad will probably want you to fly with them first, too. Not to see if you are up to any standards, but just to see if you are compatible. Don't join a squad just because you are asked. Most squads will be happy to accept you if you ask to join, so you can afford to be choosy. You as an active member of a squad are the valuable commodity, not the invitation to the squad.

There is some basic research to do before joining a squad. Look around and see what squadrons are flying in the arena you are in. Pay attention to how many of them fly at the same times you do. Read the messages posted in the message boards. Visit Web-Sites. The point is to get as much information as possible about several squads and then select one to join. Once you have narrowed down your selection, contact the CO or a squad member and ask to join them for a Squad Night.

There are lots of things to consider before making your selection. Some might be important to you, some might not, and some you might not have even thought of. Here are some of the things to look for before choosing a squad:


1. ACTIVE MEMBERS: The most basic reason most people join a squad is to have some friends to fly with on a regular basis. If the squad you join doesn't have other members who fly when you do, what's the point? You can check to see what squads have members who fly at the same times you do simply by looking at the roster when you are on (sort by squads) and see which squads have several members on at the same times you are on. Do this over a couple of weeks and you will have a good idea of what squads fly when. You can also check the squad stats to see how much time squad members spend in the game. Many large squads have a relatively small cadre of active members. If you want to have squad members flying when you do, it is more likely to happen when there are lots of active members.


2. FUN: The main reason most people want a group of friends to fly with is they figure it will be more fun that way. This is a game. It is supposed to be fun. (Did everybody hear that?) The reason for doing anything in the game is to have more fun. The reason to join a squad is to have more fun than you would flying alone. If the squad doesn't have a good sense of humor and is not able to have fun at its own expense, look somewhere else. If you are not having fun in a squad, discuss the reasons with the squad. If nothing changes and you're not having fun, that squad is not for you.


3. SQUAD MISSION: Does the squad fly all fighters? All bombers? Both? Are there separate wings for bombers and fighters? If you like flying bombers, then an all fighter squad is probably not for you.


4. LEADER EXPERIENCE: One thing to look at is the leader(s) of the squad. Do they have experience in the arena? One indicator of experience is a decent Kill to Death (K/D) ratio. This isn't the only or even the best indication, but it is one of the most readily available ones. You don't get high ratios without experience. Having said that, let me also say that there are many reasons why a good experienced leader might have a lower K/D. For the most part, though, a good flyer will kill more often than he is killed. Beware, though, of people who care only of their K/D or score at the expense of those around them!


5. SQUAD NIGHT: Does the squad have one? If you are looking for organized missions, they will probably happen with a squad that has squad nights. If you are only looking for a group of guys to fly with, a squad night might not be necessary. If you are looking at a squad that has a squad night, you should look for one that has squad night when you can fly with them. Squad nights are also a good way to judge the dedication of the other squad members. Do they show up and participate?


6. MISSION PLANNING: This ties into squad nights. When the squad gets together for a Squad Night, do they go in having pre-planned missions or do they just make them up on the fly? In the ever-changing conditions of the arena, it is not always possible to have pre-planned missions, but consider the types of plans that are executed.


7. TRAINING: Does the squad offer any training sessions? If you are just starting out, this can be important. It also goes back to the first criteria in determining if the leaders are skilled enough to train you. You might also want training in different aircraft so the local P-40 squad might not be for you.


8. CHAIN OF COMMAND: How does the squad's chain of command work? Do they expect you to follow rank structure all the time? How does the squad fly on non-squad nights? It could be a drag to have to fly where someone else wants to fly every night just because they happened to join the squad before you did.


9. ETIQUETTE: Does the squad talk trash? Are they abusive to other players? (Okay, we all are abusive sometimes, but you know what I mean!) Look for a squad that demonstrates their skills rather than talks them. Someone constantly talking about how many kills they got on one mission (probably vulching!) gets old.


10. COMPATIBILITY: Make sure you are compatible with the members of the squad. Do this by flying with them before you join and checking bios on their web-page (if available). A 35 year old is probably going to quickly tire of flying with a 10 year old!





1. HIGH SQUAD ON KILL BOARD: This can be an indicator, but can also be accomplished with lots of (not particularly skilled) bodies spending a lot of time on-line. Look there if you want to, but check the things listed above. The same goes for the leaders. The high individual scores on the kill-board are often people who have flown some ridiculously high number of missions but haven't been all that successful.


2. OFFERS OF RANK: If someone is offering to make you an officer in their squad, check it out carefully. If you are a skilled player, it may be a legitimate offer. If you are a newbie and someone offers to make you the XO or the leader of a wing (it happened to me!), then you probably want another squad. Nobody in the arena cares if you are in charge of a squad if you are getting killed all of the time.


I hope this helps a little in your search for a squad. C'ya up!