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SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.


+some DLC

What's this?
Strike Fighters 2 by Third Wire Productions is an aging modular series of indie combat flight sims covering a sizeable chunk of Western (mostly American) aircraft between 1950s and 1970s. It's an upgrade over an earlier series of games: Strike Fighters - Project 1, Wings over Vietnam, Wings over Europe and Wings over Israel. Those in turn seem to inherit quite a lot from European Air War. The designer/coder of SF was involved in finishing that one, and he also did some coding for Jane's Longbow 2. He also, apparently, did some acting for X-Com: Interceptor

Yuck! Is it a "hardcore" sim?
No, it's a simpler game you can play with a basic joystick (provided it's not a gamepad) keeping only a few keyboard commands in mind. The main thrills come from combat - not from starting your engines.
However SF2 doesn't have any tutorials worth mentioning, and the manual is only somewhat helpful. A book or videos on air combat maneuvering is of more use to the player in the end. That, and a printed list of AI quirks, interface oddities, and strange design decisions.

Simpler... like Ace combat/HAWX?
No. No dozens of missiles per plane. No superweapons. No fancy scripted scenarios. No experimental aircraft. No unlockables. SF2 dumps you into a war, generates missions in a semi turn-based fashion and offers you chances to survive or die on a daily basis. The flight model stays reasonably realistic, the weapon reliability never ceases to disappoint, and under the hood the game models quite a few little details that are overlooked by arcade titles with planes.

So, is there a plan for the LP?
This is a quick trip through four decades of combat aircraft evolution, warts and all: underpowered, inadequately armed, and painful to handle.
There's an approximate map for this trip: some stops will be longer, some shorter.

lick here for the full 2000x4300 image
But first check out some extra info to make the map more clear.
Generations
Fighter generations (sometimes applied to attack planes as well) are just marketing bullshit, like game scores in the press. The generation boundaries are not clearly defined, but the general idea is something like this:
I. Take a very surprised WW2 airframe and shove a barely functional jet engine into it. Give it enough fuel to stay in the air for an hour, tops. You might want to give the pilot an ejection seat, but safety is optional. If you think you're badass, sweep the wing backwards.
II. Add an afterburner to burn the fuel quicker, and give the plane enough power to go faster than the speed of rock 'n' roll. Provide hydraulic boost to the controls, so that a human pilot actually has a chance of pulling out of a supersonic dive. Install a radar, which gets startled by seeing the Earth. The guided air-to-air missile is king, we shall never need the guns again.
III. Holy crap, put at least one gun back in! The missiles can't hit poo poo! But good news - ground targets can't dodge, so our TV repairman made these guided bombs and missiles to use against them. Now we can finally wreck the goddamn evil comm building with one hit, as opposed to carpet bombing the gently caress out of the next door chicken house. Ah, and we've also figured out how to calculate the impact point for unguided bombs, so the pilots no longer need to bomb tents going by their gut feeling while dodging intense ground fire.
IV. Machines don't make mistakes, right? Let's put a computer between the pilot and the control surfaces to filter stupidity. Let's also design airplanes in such a manner, that no human can actually fly them without computer aid. If only there were a way to get rid of humans...
Missions
A half-arsed estimate of what missions I'll be getting in this campaign. CAS means bombing the enemy tanks, before they destroy ours. A2G stands for bombing buildings, air defences and convoys. A2A is anything that involves ruining the day of enemy pilots.
Difficulty
It's not the estimated difficulty of the missions - you can fail many of them without immediate "game over"-ish consequences. It's the difficulty of basic survival. You're one lucky bastard, if you get two missions into any campaign I've rated Insane.

What's left out?
A ton of F-4, A-4 and A-7 variants, mostly. I'm also not touching the hundreds of mods for the series. Nor am I going to give much attention to the Mercenary campaigns, that take place over the Desert map, because the mercenary system of renting bombs and buying planes is really inconvenient.

Audience Participation
The plane voting points are marked on the map. I'll provide more detailed description of the options, when we arrive at them. Note, that the losing aircraft will still be shown off briefly in their own episodes.
Also, suggestions for non-offensive names for pilots are welcome. First Name/Last Name/Callsign. We'll need quite a lot of them in the long run, mostly for the graveyard.
Before you ask, there is no multiplayer mode. Just very unpredictable AI.

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SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

Contents:
Video 0: Test recording with poor sound, in which a P-51D amuses a Soviet aircraft carrier in Iceland. DO NOT WATCH!

Subtitles FAQ: red - player related, yellow - player squadron related, blue - friendly squadron related.

Season 1. Operation Kadesh - A Lovely Hebrew Mass (P-51D Mustang)
S01E01: 1956.10.29

S01E02: 1956.10.29 (Still)
S01E03: 1956.10.29 (Yet again)
S01E04: 1956.10.30
S01E05: 1956.10.30 (But a bit later)
S01E06: 1956.10.31
S01E07: 1956.10.31 (We do advance about 2 hrs per mission now)
S01E08: 1956.10.31
S01E09: 1956.11.01 (A six-pack)
S01E10: 1956.11.02 (The End)

Season 2. Operation Kadesh - Go down, Moses (Meteor F.8)
S02E01: 1956.10.29 (It's THAT day again)

S02E02: 1956.10.29 (Twists of F8)
S02E03: 1956.10.29 (Alarm!)
S02E04: 1956.10.31 (Falling Stars)
S02E05: 1956.11.02 (The Other End)

Vote #1

Sub-Season 3A. Red Tide - Fetchez la Vache! (Mystère IV A)
Sub-Season 3B. Red Tide - Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? (F-100A Super Sabre)
Season 3. Red Tide - I Never Met a Man I Didn't Mutilate (Hunter F.4)
S03E01: 1956.11.17-18 (Assault & Battery)

S03E02: 1956.11.19-20 (Leaking & Vertigo)
S03E03: 1956.11.21-22 (Cross & Distinguished)
S03E04: 1956.11.23-30 (69 & DP)
S03E05: 1956.12.01-07 (Fire & Drizzle)
S03E06: 1956.12.08-24 (Hunters & Hunters)

Vote #2

Sub-Season 4A. Red Thunder - 5 O'Clock Charlie (Hunter FGA.9)
Sub-Season 4B. Red Thunder - Cooking With Gas (F-100D Super Sabre)
Sub-Season 4C. Red Thunder - Thorsday (Lightning F.1)
Season 4. Red Thunder - Rain-in-the-Face (F-105D Thunderchief)
S04E01: 1962.10.26 (Live Long and Prosper)

S04E02: 1962.10.27-28 (Fiery Rain)
S04E03: 1962.10.29-30 (Speedy Delivery to Your Doorstep)
S04E04: 1962.10.31-1962.11.07 (Tape Measurement Medallist)
S04E05: 1962.11.08-14 (Will Somebody Shoot Me Down, Please)
S04E06: 1962.11.15-21 (It's a Fighter, Jim, Not a Bomber)

Vote #3

Season 5. Rolling Thunder - Weapons of the Future (F-4B & F-8C)
S05E01: 1965 (Write "gently caress" on their planes)

S05E02: 1966 (SHOEHORN'd)
S05E03: 1967 (Minor Inconveniences)
S05E04: 1968 (Weird poo poo)
S05E05: 1968 (A Realistic Outcome)

Sub-Season 6A. Rolling Thunder - Bait and Switch (F-105D Thunderchief (66))
Sub-Season 6B. Rolling Thunder - The Lord Baldrick (A-7A Corsair II, also featuring A-7C Corsair II)
Season 6. Rolling Thunder - A Classic Vespa (A-4B)
S06E01: 1966 (Turning With the Best)

S06E02: 1967 (An Even Wilder Weasel)
S06E03: 1968 (Wind Up)
S06E04: 1968 (Plague of Locusts)
S06E05: 1967 (Pinpoint Accuracy)

Season 7. Six-Day War - A Jew? Here? (Mirage IIICJ Shahak)
S07E01: 1967.06.05 (Day One - Introduction To Mayhem)

S07E02: 1967.06.06 (Day Two - Battle of Jericho)
S07E03: 1967.06.07-08 (Day Three & Four - Slow Days Are Here Again)
S07E04: 1967.06.09 (Day Five - Counting Marks)
S07E05: 1967.06.10 (Day Six - Everyone Strikes Back)

Season 8. Red Hammer - Supercruising For a Bruising (Lightning F.3)
S08E01: 1968.08.23 (Getting Nowhere Fast)

S08E02: 1968.08.24-25 (He's Firing His Guns... Eventually)
S08E03: 1968.08.26-27 (Velites)
S08E04: 1968.08.28-29 (Can't They Just Send the Phantoms?)
S08E05: 1968.08.31 - 1968.09.16 (The Mad, the Lazy, and the Stupid)

Season 9. Red Hammer - Join the Navy (F-4D Phantom II)
S09E01: 1968.08.21-22 (Fantastically Failing at Falconry)

S09E02: 1968.08.23-24 (Laser Pointer of Doom)

Bonus 1: A Floral Arrangement

Season 10. Linebacker I - Across Her Nose, Not Up It! (F-4J Phantom II)
S10E01: 1972.05.08-10 (Jesus AIM-9H Christ)

S10E02: 1972.05.12-14 (Hungry For Jam)

Season 11. Linebacker II - Goons For Hire, Thugs For Rent (F-8J Crusader et al.)
S11E01: 1972.12.18 (The Other Side)

S11E02: 1972.12.19-20 (Contrast Shower)
S11E03: 1972.12.20-21 (Money, And How Not To Do It)
S11E04: 1972.12.21-22 (Flight of the Kiwis)
S11E05: 1972.12.23 (Nevermore)

Vote #4

Sub-Season 12A. Yom Kippur War - A Manly Chin (F-4E Kurnass)
Sub-Season 12B. Yom Kippur War - A Red-Hot Poker Up My rear end (Nesher)
Season 12. Yom Kippur War - Hump or Death (A-4H Ahit)
S11E01: 1973.10.06-07 (I Hate Sand)

S11E02: 1973.10.08-12 (Miscellaneous)
S11E03: 1973.10.13-16 (The Many Ways To Fail) or (The Ace Summoner)
S11E04: 1973.10.17-20 (Testing the Ejection Seat)
S11E05: 1973.10.21 (The Hunchback of Negev)

Bonus 2: Balloons, Biplanes, Bridges

Vote #5

Season 13. Red Lightning - An Office On the Top Floor (F-15A Eagle)
S13E01: 1979.09.26-27 (Flyswatter)

S13E02: 1979.09.28-10.02 (The Fastest Bar)
S13E03: 1979.10.03-06 (Slow and Steady)
S13E04: 1979.10.07-10 (Eagle-coloured Skies)
S13E05: 1979.10.11-28 (Ace Combat)

Sub-Season 14A & 14B. Red Lightning - Hot Fuzz (Lightning F.6 & F-4M)
Season 14. Red Lightning - Not Supported By This Engine (A-10A Thunderbolt II)
S14E01: 1979.09.27-28 (Getting Acquainted)

S14E02: 1979.09.29-10.01 (Casual Eradication)
S14E03: 1979.10.02-07 (Surgical Firestorms)
S14E04: 1979.10.08-09 (In Maverick We Trust)

Bonus 3: Homeworld

Sub-Season 15A & 15B. Red Lightning - Continental Breakfast (Mirage 5BA & F-4F)
Season 15. Red Lightning - Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus (Harrier GR.3)
S15E01: 1979.09.18-19 (Tree-hugger)

S15E02: 1979.09.20-21 (Lightweight)
S15E03: 1979.09.22-23 (Bloody Miracles)
S15E04: 1979.09.24-25 (Coming From Behind)
S15E05: 1979.09.26-27 (Deutsche Welle)

Season 16. Northern Sabre - You're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat (A-7E Corsair II (74))
S16E01: 1979.09.19 (Niceland?)

S16E02: 1979.09.19-20 (Aircraft Carrier Theme Park)
S16E03: Furiously Undershooting

Season 17. Northern Sabre - Always Underpowered, Never Outgunned (F-14A Tomcat (77))
S17E01: 1979.09.19 (The Fat Cat)

S17E02: 1979.09.19-20 (Still No Phoenix)
S17E03: 1979.09.20 (The Fleet Offender)
S17E04: 1979.09.20-21 (Guns, Guns, Phoenix)
S17E05: 1979.09.21 (And the Kitchens Sink)

Season 18. The Lebanon War - Duck Tales (Kfir C2)
S18E01: 1982.06.06 (Kfir Is the MiGkiller)

S18E02: 1982.06.07 (Kfir And Loathing)
S18E03: 1982.06.08 (No Kfir)
S18E04: 1982.06.09 (Another Kfir In the Wall)

Bonus 4: Generation One

Season 19. The Lebanon War - A Viper's Bite (F-16A)
S19E01: 1982.06.06 (Overstocked)

S19E02: 1982.06.07 (NovaLogic-style)
S19E03: 1982.06.08 (Final Approach)
S19E04: 1982.06.09 (The Last Itch)


The tale of our evolution
We ditched the piston engine and the propeller in favour of the jet turbine, prepared for the high speed with swept wings and stabilators; our afterburners took us to Mach 1; we received aiming assistance from a radar, streamlined our bombs and learned to pack our rockets tighter, let loose some heat-seeking missiles, dabbled in supercruising, pondered the advantages of spoilerons, hit the targets beyond visual range with semi-active radar homing missiles, deployed retarded and guided bombs, taught our missiles to sniff out the enemy radars and backed that up with inertial guidance; our computer helped us aim our unguided bombs; we played with the elevons on a tailless delta wing, aimed our bombs with our own laser, used the Doppler effect to clean up the noise on our radar screen, hit them with guided air-to-ground missiles, asked a computer to help us control the plane, tried out thrust vectoring, sampled the magical speed of a phased array radar and put some radars into our missiles, envied the speed of cruise missiles, wore canards because they look funny, and finally went full fly-by-wire.


The pilot room

Emir "Killer7" Parkreiner (retired after surviving Operation Kadesh)
Karim "Sphynx" Ibrahan suggested by Veloxyll (retired after surviving Operation Kadesh with 37 air kills)
Jack "Goldfish" Harkness suggested by SSJ Reeko (stopped the Red Tide with 39 kills)
Bruce "Footlong" Goosby suggested by Leif. (became an ace and crashed on landing on the last day of service)
Quincey "Deadleye" McGraw. born of sunburstbasser and Soup Inspector (returned to Vietnam, got captured, but started a small personality cult in the jungle)
Wilbur "A Great Santini" Meechum kinda suggested by Bacarruda (proudly wore a tight-fitting plane to Vietnam)
Peter "Fizzy" Wiseburgh suggested by Suspect Bucket (got 14 kills in six days)
Earl "Grey" Assam (builds a post-nuclear tea empire)
Flash "Lionel O" Storm inspired by Cooked Auto and Makrond (retired in the middle of a war, with 15 kills)
Don "Dingle" Berry suggested by The Casualty (tells tales of flying through the forest of smoke trails)
Che "Rebel" Castro (retired to his plane breeding ranch)
Ilan "Senator" Sharon suggested by Leif. (rode his A-4H for so long, it became a hunchback)
Randall "Duke" Cunningham suggested by Dusseldorf (got zapped by Red Lightning, and helped his unit to achieve 216 kills)
Toledo "No Callsign" Conway suggested by Strabo (crushed the Soviet forces in Germany in two weeks)
Barbara Millicent "Barbie" Roberts (searches for the Pegasus turbofan sister)
Martin "Scuba Tank" Brody (chills watching the world burn)
Pete "Maverick" Mitchell suggested by Bacarruda (departed Iceland leaving a trail of crashed Tomcats behind)
Donald "Canard" Duck (says no to re-visiting Cyprus)
Avi "Anvil" Lieberman suggested by Leif. (recommends the Lebanese airspace as a relaxing holiday destination)

Special appearances by Sodoff "Baldrick!" Baldrick.

SelenicMartian fucked around with this message at Aug 23, 2014 around 09:37

SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

Season 1. Operation Kadesh - A Lovely Hebrew Mass (P-51D Mustang)
First, the campaign intro screen



TL;DR: Britain (using Israel and France) wants to grab the Suez Channel for , so they go all against Egypt. In real life they succeeded, but in the end both and told them to GTFO, although in different ways.

S01E01: 1956.10.29
Here are the shots of pre-mission screens (with Action's HUD ). Normally, I will stick to map only, but this is the first time, so there you have it.



Briefing: Where we find out, what our target is.



Map: Where we see, how far we need to go, and how well the war's going. Also, we can hover the mouse over all of those counters and find out their plane/tank type, their strength in numbers and the current mission. We can also drag our waypoints around a bit.



Loadout: Where we pick today's brand of death. The supply is limited, but usually generous. Fuel and gun ammo are always available.



Roster: This is fairly important. Here we see the pilot stats, which the developer never explained fully, but the higher they are, the better the guys perform. Most important, however, is the ability to click pilots to add them to the flight (or pull them off it). This way I can take more planes on a harder mission, or dump the AI when they would be a burden. The maximum number of pilots on a mission is limited by our plane reserves (squadron strength), shown only on the map screen. Oh, and constantly flying as a full squadron formation will burn through ordnance supplies, wear the people out, and the casualties will eventually skyrocket.

The mission video

Zshytt... thanks, YouTube!

In which I can't find a single reason to love the plane.

Post-mission debriefing. Normally, I'll sum it up in text and post statistics, but this is another first time.



Results. Where I see, that I lost one Mustang. I note in the commentary, but did not notice it while recording.



Statistics. Everyone loves round numbers, right?



Log. Who shot when and hit what. So, that one guy we lost ate a 37mm cannon round...



Roster. ...and survived. Only to be captured. AFAIK, that cannot be cured and he's gone until the end of the war.

SelenicMartian fucked around with this message at Aug 22, 2014 around 16:08

Madurai
Jun 26, 2012


I've loved this series since SFP1 and am excited to see it getting some treatment here. That is... an ambitious plan of campaigns, if you're going to play them all to their conclusions.

SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

Madurai posted:

That is... an ambitious plan of campaigns, if you're going to play them all to their conclusions.
Well, there's no point in sticking too long to a campaign like the one I started with, because it's all mud moving and running away, and there's no chance of upgrade. I'll stay with a campaign as long as there's something to show. Then I just stop actively resisting the game trying to kill me.

brozozo
Apr 26, 2007

Conclusion: Dinosaurs.

I haven't heard of this game before. I liked flight sims a lot as a kid. I'll be keeping up with the LP!

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009


SelenicMartian posted:

Nor am I going to give much attention to the Mercenary campaigns, that take place over the Desert map, because the mercenary system of renting bombs and buying planes is really inconvenient.

This sounds very familiar...


(Some might recognize the game as UN SQUADRON)

This'll be a good one to watch, I've always been rather interested in Strike Fighters 2, but IIRC buying all of it would be rather expensive, and I wouldn't know where to start with just one or two. Can't wait to see you get to the Kfirs and "The Last Gunfighter".

SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

S01E02: 1956.10.29 (Still)
I never checked time in this game earlier, but the briefing screen of the previous mission said, that we took off at 15:00. Total mission time was given as 1 hour 15 minutes.
Mission 2 starts at 15:42. I'm beginning to think that naming the first pilot Emir "Killer7" Parkreiner was sort of fitting after all.

Today we go deep



I hate these missions. In the previous one I was only a short way away from the friendly territory. Here it's a long flight to the border (marked with the red line on the map). Bailing out on the enemy side makes you a POW and forces a game over.
We'll use the superpower, known as "strength in numbers"

The mission video


In which there is a Fagot on fire, and I miscount my guns.



Getting better. Yet we lost two planes, and provided the enemy with two more POWs.

Still, two air kills by the squadron show, that even though the Mustang is obsolete, you don't want to wander into its sights.

SelenicMartian fucked around with this message at Aug 22, 2014 around 16:09

SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

S01E03: 1956.10.29 (Yet again)
I was going to play a few missions off-screen before the next video, and show only the map changes and statistics, but things happened in mission 3, and there was stuff to talk about.



At 16:12 we are sent to bomb a very silly target in an enemy airbase.
Meanwhile, the Israeli tanks flat out ignore the Egyptian units on the shore, even though each has only about 10 tanks against our bundles of 30.

The mission video


In which there are fields of smouldering wreckage and a tale of bitter revenge

A somewhat relevant wiki link: a Split S to save your rear end.



Post-video 6 planes lost: 2 pilots captured, 2 MIA (one doesn't simply go missing in a desert), 2 wounded, which means they'll slowly recover and rejoin the active roster. I said, the casualties will skyrocket, but not so fast, dammit. And I didn't expect 20 enemy planes to turn up just to meet us.

SelenicMartian fucked around with this message at Aug 22, 2014 around 16:09

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009


Congrats on killing your second jet in a Mustang, both in one day nonetheless! The third one doesn't count as a "kill" because it was on the ground and not active. Three missions in one day, thats quite the combat pace. Do most of them involve such frequent sorties?

Shame about losing half the squadron. How many planes and pilots does your unit have left in reserve?

SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

IIRC, at one patch level the game did give the player air kills for grounded planes. Then TK fixed it.

At the end of this mission I had another 12 active pilots (new blood trickles in), so I switch to 8-plane groups. Surprisingly squadron strength remains at 15 even though we burn through planes like through toilet paper.

Galaga Galaxian posted:

Three missions in one day, thats quite the combat pace. Do most of them involve such frequent sorties?
I just played ahead a bit to skip the boring bits... ultimately we got 5 missions in that day. The next one started at 16:21... and the one after that at 15:58
Some campaigns in the game can have you fly missions once a week. I know, the intensity can be set in campaign settings files, and here it seems to be connected with the ground war - the troops can't advance unless the player flies a mission, so we fly just for the sake of it, or our tanks freeze in time.

Most amazing part is that the game insists on sending us to bomb crap deep in enemy lands with no cover, while there are battles all over the place. However, the first mission of Oct 30 is way, way sillier.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009


Does such an intense frequency of sorties have any effect on pilot performance, at least for the AI? I'm going to assume "no" because so far Strike Fighters seems like a relatively "light' flight sim (which is making it really appealing).

I can't wait until you get to 2nd gen jets and everyone gets to see just how wonderful Vietnam era AIM-9Bs, -9ds, -9Js, etc are.

SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

Galaga Galaxian posted:

Does such an intense frequency of sorties have any effect on pilot performance, at least for the AI?
Well, CND aka condition falls a bit after every mission in the air. Overall, every player's mission is like a execution phase of a turn in a board game. Their frequency in itself doesn't really affect the world much. If it, did I would've met myself in the air several times already.

Bacarruda
Mar 30, 2011

Mutiny!?! More like "reinterpreted orders"

If you're still taking pilot names: Pete "Maverick" Mitchell.

Awesome LP so far. Your voice has quite a nice "posh WWII RAF pilot" ring to it that fits the LP quite well. Happy accident, there.

Suspect Bucket
Jan 14, 2012

It may not be easy, but we ain't riding no tire fire merry-go-round.
-Gus Bradley

Nice LP! I enjoy your videos. However, I'm not familiar with the game, my last fighter 'sim' being Jet Fighter 2. Could you maybe tell us exactly what you are ordering when you bring up the command options, and maybe use some video editing trickery to possibly pause and point out enemy planes? Pixel hunting is not my forte. However, it's a decent LP that's fun to watch. Keep it up.

SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

Bacarruda posted:

If you're still taking pilot names: Pete "Maverick" Mitchell.
I'm taking names, you're the first one with a suggestion. Too early for that guy to show up, though.

For the next campaign after the current one, I'm looking for a name that sounds closer to Egypt. Any ideas?

Veloxyll
May 3, 2011

Fuck you say?!

Karim "Sphynx" Ibrahan perhaps

VKing
Apr 22, 2008


Ooh this game looks pretty fun, shame I've never heard of it before. Though I do like flying modern fighters a lot more than old ones.
That said the P-51 vs Early jet fighter setting for this first campaign is very interesting to watch.
I eagerly await further missions.

SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

S01E04: 1956.10.30
I skip two completely pointless missions, that took place on 1956.10.29, and show the maps. Both missions were done in 8-plane groups, and we scored no kills.



At 16:21 we went to bomb a Comm Building (aka radio shack). One plane lost.



At 15:58 we were sent to bomb a specific fuel tank on an airbase. Those are my favourite strike targets, because you can kill the tank with guns and use the bombs/rockets on the rest of the base. No parked planes, but I did burn a hangar. No friendly losses.

Finally, the new day begins. We still have 15 planes, even though yesterday we started with 16 and lost 10. The Israeli supply system works in mysterious ways.



Bomber intercept. Unusual for our squadron, but should not be much of challenge, in theory.

The mission video
- Weeeeeee! Look at my smoke trail, guys!

In which silver planes blend in with the background, and a strong argument for switching to jets is delivered along with some bombs



4 kills in one day mission, with no losses.

P.S. Found a capture from one of the unsuccessful attempts to record the test video.
Can you spot the problem?



BTW, that water in the test clip? We'll never see it until the Northern Sabre campaign. It's a one-map deal.

SelenicMartian fucked around with this message at Aug 22, 2014 around 16:10

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009


I'm curious, did you know what the enemy's target or heading was? If so, why didn't you fly an intercept to cut them off instead flying at where HQ reported their current position?

SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

Galaga Galaxian posted:

I'm curious, did you know what the enemy's target or heading was? If so, why didn't you fly an intercept to cut them off instead flying at where HQ reported their current position?
I could have. I even knew their exact attack run path - between the waypoint the video started at and the triangle marker. The problem is, the game's wing leveler autopilot can not keep a prop plane level, so I'm constantly drifting to the left in that mode. Manual correction with time compression is a pain, too. The entire game engine was designed around jets, and P-51 suffers even after some code was added. There's no trimming to balance the plane, for example.
That, and I really would not want to approach their guns. The AI tends to attack the bombers straight from behind.

VKing
Apr 22, 2008


The messages you get from GCI are pretty weirdly formatted, in that it's BRAA (Bearing Range Altitude Aspect), except they give a clock heading rather than a bearing. Doesn't it get confusing if you're in a turn when the message comes in?

Also what did you do in that last picture? Is that an Egyptian naval force shooting SAMs at you?

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009


That missile is especially weird given that in Oct 1956 the Sidewinder was about a month old in official service, and the Russians had yet to official introduce a guided missile.

Suspect Bucket
Jan 14, 2012

It may not be easy, but we ain't riding no tire fire merry-go-round.
-Gus Bradley

Galaga Galaxian posted:

That missile is especially weird given that in Oct 1956 the Sidewinder was about a month old in official service, and the Russians had yet to official introduce a guided missile.

Let's call it Russel The Luckiest Rocket.

SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

As I said, the cap is from a bad take of the test video 0, where I bring a P-51D with some other planes into 1979 Iceland to attack a Kiev aircraft carrier.

And yes, the clock thing is confusing as hell if you're turning.

VKing
Apr 22, 2008


Attacking a Kiev in 1979 in a P-51.
There's brave and then there's suicidal, you know

SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

S01E05: 1956.10.30 (But a bit later)



Only four Egyptian tank counters are left on the map, and the front line is creeping up to the airfields of two MiG squadrons. We're sent on armed recon to look for stuff.

The mission video


In which everything starts kind of smart but ends in escalating stupidity



Well, I did kill something! One other plane lost, a fresh POW.



I already know the answer, but make a guess. How long will it take for our hero to recover? Bear in mind, that the war literally can not progress for as long as the player is not flying.

SelenicMartian fucked around with this message at Aug 22, 2014 around 16:10

radintorov
Feb 18, 2011


SelenicMartian posted:

I already know the answer, but make a guess. How long will it take for our hero to recover? Bear in mind, that the war literally can not progress for as long as the player is not flying.
Given the precedents, I'm going to guess that the player character will have fully recovered from whatever injury he sustained 10 minutes before the mission he actually got injured in.

radintorov fucked around with this message at Oct 9, 2013 around 21:57

Soup Inspector
Jun 5, 2013


I'm not particularly concerned; as radintorov said, we appear to have access to magical time travel powers, and so it will be a non-issue.

However, it's awfully nice of everyone else to be so considerate as to put the war on hold until we can get back in the cockpit, isn't it?

In all seriousness, I've occasionally found myself tempted to try out Strike Fighters 2, since I'm a major fan of flight sims (the one SF 2 reminds me of most is IL-2, weirdly); however, since I wasn't sure how good it actually was I decided discretion was the better part of valour.

You're doing well so far - I look forward to seeing what shenanigans we can get up to later.

Suspect Bucket
Jan 14, 2012

It may not be easy, but we ain't riding no tire fire merry-go-round.
-Gus Bradley

radintorov posted:

Given the precedents, I'm going to guess that the player character will have fully recovered from whatever injury he sustained 10 minutes before the mission he actually got injured in.

He convalesces in a TARDIS disguised as a Soda Stream.

In that vein, I nominate Peter "Fizzy" Wiseburgh as a pilot.

SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

S01E06: 1956.10.31
The world waited with bated breath. It took us almost 24 hours to shag all the nurses, but now we're ready for the real action, and the war can continue.



At last, another CAS mission. Our strength dropped to 13. And there might be a small problem with the enemy numbers.



Either Egypt assembled a superweapon, or they managed to hide a hundred tanks in a desert, or somebody stole our intelligence. I take 12 planes anyway.

The mission video


In which we look into the face of the enemy



A quick and dirty job with 2 POWs left behind and a first confirmed KIA.
After this Egypt has only two tank units left.

P.S. I remembered the reason for the first infinite day of this war. When a designer sets up campaign data, they can specify dates for a major offensive. On those days event frequency goes through the roof, the attacking side gets insane supply and beats the poo poo out of everyone. Good news is, if all goes well we'll be on the receiving end of this nightmare in the attempt at Meteor campaign, and in every single Red [insert word] campaign. Nothing ever happens in Nam.

SelenicMartian fucked around with this message at Aug 22, 2014 around 16:10

Lustful Man Hugs
Jul 18, 2010


So, does something happen if your land units overrun the enemy airbases? Do the air units die/get captured/?

SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

ChaosSamusX posted:

So, does something happen if your land units overrun the enemy airbases? Do the air units die/get captured/?
IIRC, they get removed completely. The game does let units change bases, but I'm not sure how that happens: whether it's scripted for each squadron, or is it a strategic decision.
If the enemy overruns your base, you fail the campaign.

Suspect Bucket
Jan 14, 2012

It may not be easy, but we ain't riding no tire fire merry-go-round.
-Gus Bradley

I took two screens of your head-on attack here.



Try to have more dramatic lighting next time you nearly die.

SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

S01E07: 1956.10.31 (We do advance about 2 hrs per mission now)
Another short trip.



Air Defence Suppression = arrive in the area and kill a quota of things that shoot at planes from the ground. Probably, the mission type with the highest odds of killing you.
Those two MiG squadrons must be getting really uncomfortable by now.

The mission video


In which we get high, and I try to use certain things in a silly way



I take all the credit and 2 lost planes (KIA, POW) with gratitude. We're off the magic supply, so those start to hurt.

SelenicMartian fucked around with this message at Aug 22, 2014 around 16:11

radintorov
Feb 18, 2011


Those .50cal machine guns really do love to jam even when firing them without applying any Gs.

Madurai
Jun 26, 2012


Looking ahead, I can't help but notice you've omitted the F-105 option in the 1962 "Red Thunder" campaign. Few things are as hilarious as driving the Thud in air-to-air.

SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

Madurai posted:

Looking ahead, I can't help but notice you've omitted the F-105 option in the 1962 "Red Thunder" campaign. Few things are as hilarious as driving the Thud in air-to-air.
One of those few things is using a Lightning for the same purposes.

Normally, you run into a lot of air targets in 1965 Nam on a Thud. Plenty of chances for outrunning missiles and shooting lazy pilots.

McNally
Sep 12, 2007
This space intentionally left blank

SelenicMartian posted:

One of those few things is using a Lightning for the same purposes.

Normally, you run into a lot of air targets in 1965 Nam on a Thud. Plenty of chances for outrunning missiles and shooting lazy pilots.

I knew a guy, Ed Rasimus, who flew F-105s during Rolling Thunder. He wrote a book about it and one of the stories I remember most was the time he came off a target and started looking for his flight, found them, and joined up with them.

Er, no. He joined up with three MiGs.

Discretion being the better part of valor (and the number of steps involved in changing his gunsight from air-to-ground to air-to-air and making sure his cannon goes bang when he pulls the trigger), he decided to GTFO rather than try to take them on.

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Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009


SelenicMartian posted:

In which we get high, and I try to use certain things in a silly way

Hey now, rockets are a perfectly viable anti-bomber weapon. Heck, some anti-bomber interceptors carried only rockets. A good example is the F-94 Starfire, who carried 24 rockets in the nose and could mount a pair of wing pods holding another 12 rockets each (for a total of 48).



Of course, their rockets were a bit smaller and fired in large salvos, and at larger strategic bombers, but hey.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFaktkMIJTc

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