posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 12:23 PM
I jump in a Flanker, You jump in an Eagle, and we go head to head? Lots of fun!
No. The pitch pointing freedom and raw power of the Flanker, coupled to the lack of effective IRCM (at least prior to ASTE kinematics and the
Chemring 'cloud seeders' active plumes which I don't know too much about) means that the Su-27 is going to hook you and book you. Even in a
Maybe not /two/ of you. But 1v.1 you're gonna lose. Bad.
A Fulcrum is a fair fight and you can dance with hordes of 23's and 25's so long as you obey a few basic rules. 21s...ehhh. 'It Depends'.
But if you can thrash me with near-equal performance in a close in dogfight, then proceed on mission because you didn't dump the extra twenty
thousand pounds of external stores you were carrying, I'm going to be feeling shortchanged.
Vs. a Strike Eagle, wellllll. Let's just say I didn't particularly like /that/ sim either.
Well, I was going to argue that tactics only work because they exploit real world advantages, but you've blown that argument out of the water
pointing out the limitations of the sim itself.
See, for me, it's /all/ about the 'outside view'. I would prefer to have my head bobble around with not only the HUD and canopy bow in-view but
the /HUD/ 'projected to infinity' over an abbreviated view of the nose.
IMO, this provides a much, much, MUCH more realistic presentation of the sensor volume (which the F-15C can project onto it's HUD btw.) under-cone
and lets you drive the the waterline and vector of the visual fight more intuitively as a function of 'bob and sink' effects of the skidding
inertias of turn rate for AOA.
ALL of which are critical for good EM work.
Even as they are also the basis behind which my 'SA Globe' ideal is mechanized through a simple button switch.
SA drops and sim pilots often don't know what's going on right outside their cockpit, unless it's dead ahead.
Perhaps the best solution is to include training missions with a great deal of attention to detail when it comes to what tactics should be
At which point, you are fighting BVR with Chainsaw and Grinder followed by RETREEAT! in which the player either does everything perfectly. Or dies
And this is /further/ complicated (especially in Flanker) by the micro theater size vs. the kinds of SA-10 threats you could see.
Here too, the 'sim part' is invisible in the math. And the /fighting art/ is lost in the ability to control the intercept variables and setup
(takes too long, requires a different mindset as to spacing and facing) the final conversion geometries.
If you create scenarios where the NATO player scores heavily in the premerge fight. And then the 'panic factor' helps him (and wingie) clean up,
after, you can still make it pretty fun. But only if you preset the fight to conditions which 'disallow' the S2A effects (low altitude LOS?) while
putting the player in a condition whereby his radar modes (LPI) or networked fighting options (IFDL) give him great positional dominance.
At which point you then have to turn right back around and create at least the /potential/ for the Russian Fed player to 'take it all away' with
C4ISR or DEAD/EA platform kills.
Even taking into account the severe limits of the high Russian cockpit sill lines and their VTAS like 'diode' HMS latency and holdtimes, there is
just too little the American can do to beat the aerodynamics of the Flanker especially without going to super-EXCM and/or (period inaccurated) HOBS
capabilities of his own.
At least not without a major revisiting of the 2v.1 tactics school of 'you distract him and I'll smack him while he's not lookin'!'
That way, beginer pilots can at least get introduced to NATO tactics or thier equivilent prior to going online to become a liability to blue forces.
(which I think might be what you said)
Yes! :-) Except once you rig it for training, there is _no reason_ not to bring it home for the CAMPAIGN. Sim Marketers have no idea how many 'just
want to fly by myself' players /never make it/ to the MMO or even Duelist level online experience. Simply because they take one try. Are bored or
made to feel stupid. And toss the lot, never to be looked at again.
GOOD training is training which builds tactical competencies from the very outset and forget the ultra accurate FMs.
Head trackers and multiple screens can help the S/A picture, but 95% of Sim pilots don't posses these devices.
But my SA globe doesn't need these either. It is, simply and solely, a flat disk defining the centerplane of a texture shaded sphere. In which
targets move relative to you or to a mean (elbow) point of vertical and horizontal airspace 'fight for position'.
Which is /critical/ for helping to reinforce a developing spatial-memory desktop pilot trying to get a handle on where, doing what, how fast, relative
to an padlock type airframe look angle which may not show adequate 'tails and wingtips' orientation to make a relative orientation and spacing guess
for ONE opponent airframe.
And which may not be possible at all if you NEED the HUD to define things like nosepoint and airspeed relative to your own best turn performance.
Take the threat count up to 4 or more and you just end up dying from the outside/Hawk shooter so often that there is no seeming point /trying/ to beat
the man in front of you.
BUT. While 'perfect' (hit key, viewpoint scans around, all targets recorded and numbered on the SA Globe for later 1-2-3-4 instant auto-slew back
to target) it doesn't come /free/.
Because if the player doesn't obey that 5 second time rule as part of a developed 'not just eyes forward' scan discipline, the SA Globe fades.
And even if he /does/ have this system, if he doesn't have adequate tactical controls over his wingman positioning and fight-logic (including,
potentially, the ability to switch cockpits to enact it). If in fact, he cannot do more than make simplistically-stupid 'left right up down' _BS_
commands to change the way the fight is played (it should be more akin to 'shorten/extend the range, ease or increase the angle off as a function of
aspect and crossing rates over the elbow of the engaged/free/supporting turn status of Double Attack or Loose Deuce system).
He is going to lose to the guy who can slew his Archer 60` off boresight and pophim trying to get behind the 3-9 line to force the 1-2 circle
This is ONE area where I think every modern fighter simulation completely fails the buying public for want of _hardware_ capability.
For most sound cards and port systems on modern machines will easily support a live mike of one kind or another (if only for the ever increasing
popularity of the 'free longdistance' myth).
And so it should be that EVERY sim should have a headset mike and at least a basic set of 3-1 brevity speech vocabulary with _specific_ AI behavioral
responses to 'make tactical learning sound as well as look kewl'.
I mean how many guys don't secretly love the idea of secret-language, so long as it comes out hip like 'skate!' instead of 'FPole this or that'
I told one of the F-15 pilots they were using to 'look at our expert!' promote LOMAC all of this. Along with ideas for a 'freeform piechart'
(semi transparent envelope overlays) indication of fuze/aspect limitations on missile shots (how you REALLY portray missile model math, so the novice
can _learn_ to make the maneuvering for shot optimization work).
And he just laughed it all off.
It's no wonder combat simuviation is undead. Populated by Microsoft shape editors and FM 'purists', they have traded all the visceral thrill of
'feeling' (visually) the earth move around you while your airframe dips and shudders under relative movement.
And replaced it with a painted-portals onto some achingly slow rate of progression world where 'it is forbidden' to even have the dynamic
camera/airframe movements that suggest there is more to your existence than a dot on the horizon.
Imagine instead, moving at perhaps 2X time index to reinforce the sense of motion against a cloud backdrop (even if it meant 'stretching' the world
map by an equal degree).
And having yet another 'not on a real HOTAS but wanted on my stick' control that allowed an ACM movie-director feature to enhance the cinematic feel
of a kill through a subtle 'pull back' on the camera lens as you stroked the pickle and the saw YOUR body, head straining up against the G in front
of the ACES II seat as you hovered, midchord, watching an AIM-9M streak forward from the shoulder rail on your F-15, only to connect or miss as enemy
flares popped from a 'double image' of what-the-seeker-saw [more than a dot]. When the enemy flip-flopped his airframe to get out of the blast-cube
defined by the warhead lethal radius.
THAT MOMENT _in realtime_ is what a combat simulator pilot /lives for/. And what makes learning (out of plane maneuver comes AFTER BVR reduction of
the threat numbers to let the cleanup phase be 'fun') the tactics that go along with 'getting there' a worthwhile experience.
If only because it encourages you to drive to the point on the circle where 'play gaffed fish all you want, this one's going up your tailpipe
Ivan!' Fox-2 comes with a so-satisfying fireball.
On your skill as much as tenacity.