CJ_Parker wrote on Oct 8, 2018, 22:14:
bigspender wrote on Oct 8, 2018, 20:51:
CJ_Parker wrote on Oct 8, 2018, 20:37:
I wouldn't really call mastering all the radar modes "child's play".
You do in fact not "just lock on". It can be pretty tricky to even spot, identify (IFF was pretty crappy in the Tomcat in so far as the ID capabilities were much shorter range than its standard weaponry *), track and then lock on a target depending on its range, altitude, speed, AoA, size/profile, (E)CM and so on.
Remember if you play the game in sim mode (instead of game mode) then this is DSC World and study level. You don't typically just press 'T' to lock on the nearest enemy target and squeeze the trigger.
You first have to master the skill of getting to the point that allows you to even spot bogies reliably. Then track them. Then lock on. And then maybe squeeze... unless the other guy squeezed first .
* from Wikipedia:
Until the waning days of Desert Storm, in-country air superiority was tasked to USAF F-15 Eagles due to the way the Air Tasking Orders (ATO) delegated primary overland CAP stations to the F-15 Eagle. The governing Rules of Engagement (ROE) also dictated a strict Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) requirement when employing Beyond Visual Range weapons such as the AIM-7 Sparrow and particularly the AIM-54 Phoenix. This hampered the Tomcat from using its most powerful weapon.
The threat management and situational awareness can get very complicated, but I'm talking specifically about the combat capability - using a heat-seeker is as easy as pointing your nose at an enemy, it does auto-lock on and then you just press your trigger to launch the homing missile.
And that's exactly what I would recommend people do if they want to get into this beautiful plane. Like I mentioned, a fuel tanker stands no chance against an F-14
This thing will look just superb in VR too.
Yes, I guess that's the nice thing about DCS being a game. You can just do whatever you want and don't have to OCD about real world procedures . It's true, of course, that shooting the gun or IR AA missiles is easy as pie.
However, one of the Tomcat's primary functions was to serve as an airborne launch platform for BVR VERY long range AA missiles like the AIM-54 Phoenix (effective at 100nm).
The Tomcat's major purpose in that role was to act as a fleet defender that was supposed to shoot down enemy bombers with long range anti-ship missiles or torpedoes.
They weren't supposed to let anyone get even close to within AIM-9 range unless it was a low threat or otherwise necessary.
Anyway, the point is: If you want to master the full plane with ALL of its capabilities then it'll be another module that will take many months to learn about all of its combat/avionics systems and combat/radar modes.
I agree with this. I don't think we should scare people off with the study sim label, it's only that if you want it to be. Anyone can enjoy this within 30 minutes, even in SIM mode. Sooner if going through a checklist and clicking on stuff in the cockpit is as fun for you as I find it.
I like to play this with my old man, a few beers and a Chuck's guide (Free manual some cool dude makes for many planes with cool in game screenshots clearly labeled with most basic procedures) open on a second screen. It's only as much a study guide as you want it to be, the freedom to crash the thing makes it just a game, even in SIM mode. But in spite of my bad attitude you do end up learning stuff somehow and it's pretty amazing. I wish there was a DCS level Battletech/Gundam/Macross game, it would be so good!
We practice doing stuff by the book but that seems way too hard, I am definitely not naval, or any kind of aviator material. Luckily the F18 is forgiving enough that you can plant it on the boat with a little practice and throttle work, the AOA indicator takes care of everything and you just have to keep an eye on that and aim for somewhere on the front of the boat and it often takes care of itself. I don't have the eyesight/monitor resolution/skills/sobriety to actually see the ball properly for some reason.
Not accidentally shooting friendlies and flying tight enough formation to refuel and not be a loser online is very challenging though, and this big bird is probably way harder to do everything with due to size and age of the tech. But at least you don't have to learn any ground attack stuff, I think it's just an air superiority fighter/interceptor.
Hardest thing is binding the right stuff to your stick and throttle in places that make intuitive sense when you need them. Took me a few weeks before I had it perfect but the chucks guide also helps with a few starter setups. Trim/gear/flaps/hook are the main thing to start with (And are probably fine on keyboard if you have glowy lights for them), you work out the weapons/radar/countermeasures/tdc stuff later as you learn those systems.