Turns out the bad guys are Russians and Ukrainians. There’s some fluff about how Georgia (the former Soviet republic, not the US state) joins NATO and Russia decides to invade and such. Which is a bit odd, because Eagle Dyanmics is a Russian company, but I guess if you’re making a combat sim about an American aircraft you can’t make the Americans the enemy. Whatever, it’s the cold war gone hot twenty years too late, and that’s fine by me. Newly confident after having successfully completed the tutorials, it’s time for me to dive into a combat sortie.
After the jump, I pick out the first campaign mission, and away we go. Continue reading →
So now, after all that preamble, it’s time for me to learn how to play this game. Fortunately, developer Eagle Dynamics has included some very nicely put-together tutorials. They’re conducted by a combination of voicover direction and highlights over the relevant system or control. They are not without a few issues and omissions, which I’ll discuss in a bit, but overall they are some of the best flight sim tutorials I’ve been through.
After the jump, I learn to stay in the air and shoot things. Whee! Continue reading →
Warthog’s many many pages of control settings partly explains the lack of mainstream acceptance of flight sims. The control systems for modern aircraft are enormously complex, thus the control systems for flight sims must be too. Also, pilots don’t use a keyboard and mouse to get around, so you need specialized equipment to meet the demands of flight sims. Warthog is more demanding than most in both respects, but it also has an interesting philosophy behind its control scheme. This makes setting up the controls both easier and harder than in most other flight sims.
After the jump, the lengths some simmers go for total control Continue reading →
Spoiler: gravity wins. That’s me about 5 minutes into DCS Warthog. It happened as I was turning. Or rather, it happened as I was trying to turn, when suddenly the A-10 fell out of the sky like several tons of bricks. See, as I mentioned in the last installment, the last modern sim I played was Falcon 4.0, which is based on the F-16 fighter. The F-16 is a very nimble aircraft. You can roll it 360 degrees with a flick of your wrist. You can zoom up into the sky and do loops and other acrobatics with ease. This means my instincts for flying the Warthog are all wrong. I tried to bank the A-10 over and pull back on the stick to make a tight turn, just as I would in the Falcon and, well, turns out there’s a reason why one of these planes is named after a graceful, deadly bird of prey, and the other is named after a pig.
After the jump, my introduction to the game is followed shortly by my introduction to the ground. Continue reading →
That right up there is the cockpit of my (simulated) A-10C. Every single switch and button works. To fly and fight effectively in Eagle Dynamics’ latest sim, DCS A-10C Warthog, you’ll need to know what they all do. You’ll need to be able to set your TGP (in WHOT mode, naturally) as the SOI so that you can pick out the T-55 that JTAC designated as your target by pointing out its location on your TAD. After setting the T-55 as the SPI using the TGM switch you’ll want to engage CCRP mode on the HUD and select your GBU-12 on the DSMS. Then it’s a simple matter of flying over the target, watching the SC and TTRN crawl down the ASL, and pressing the pickle when it meets the pipper.
Confused yet? So am I. So what the heck am I doing here?
After the jump, a total nugget (that’s the flight-sim geek’s word for “noob”) grapples with the most obsessively detailed sim ever. Continue reading →