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    Strike Fighters 2: Rolling Thunder
    MigBuster
    By MigBuster,
      Okay so the Rolling Thunder campaign was never my favourite campaign from the series, in fact might be the most bland. The main reason for this was most probably the fact that there is no forward line of troops and tank columns to fight it out, and gain or lose ground after each mission.   Rolling Thunder for real
    The campaign namesake this is based on was one of the most disastrous and misguided campaigns in the history of aerial warfare. What was hoped would be a few weeks of bombing missions to get North Vietnam back to the negotiating table to stop them trying to invade the South, turned into 3 or so years of bombing targets selected by Washington. Or to put it another way pussy footing around bombing things that did nothing more than improve North Vietnam's resolve to continue on its agenda and also allow it to build up its defenses with the help of the Soviet Union and China.
    So, 3 years of bombing targets – many times the same targets over and over, and never achieving the desired US strategy.     Rolling Thunder in game
    In the Strike Fighters game engine this translates to what seems like a string of single missions and yes you don’t have much of an objective other than to try and not get shot down.
    However, unlike auto generated Single missions, Campaign missions are more content filled and almost always include strike packages and flights that help you do your job (If you at least meet your timings). Not only that all the units have their markings and decals as they should. Like history there are no SAMs until mid 1965 and the MiG regiments are limited in number. One great thing about TKs games is the use of "dates", so the game engine can just plonk in the correct objects (Guns/SAMs/MiGs) depending on the date you are flying. This also includes getting rebased and upgraded to better aircraft during the campaign.   Vietnam Gold
    Like most things in Strike Fighters World, mods can really help and I am using the Vietnam Gold mod with a variety of my own changes. This comes with quite a fearsome atmosphere with a ton of guns shooting at you with purple stuff, red stuff and grey puffy stuff. A major benefit is a bigger variety of targets and not just the sodding comms building again.   Gameplay
    Feb 24 1966 and I am flying from Da Nang in an F-100D (1964 version) for the 416th “Silver Knights”. I don’t know what it is about the F-100D that I like because it is outclassed by pretty much all the MiGs.   The Lang Chi Electric Power plant is my target (a welcome addition from gold pack I think) – and I need to be on target for 09:10 on the dot.     I am maxing out the M-117s here – there are plenty of them available. The SF2 Super Sabre also allows TERS to carry 4 on the inner pylons by default but with extra drag.   How to get there hmmm. Those that played Wings Over Vietnam will know various routes into the North to minimise exposure to the SAMs, some of which had a 90% plus probability of kill if you were not flying at about 5ft off the ground. Luckily the SAMs in SF2 and this pack allow you to fly a bit more as they tended too back then!
    With a target near Yen Bai I can use the highlands as cover and cross in over South NVN where there are little to no SAMs. The Square box waypoint (the Initial Point /IP) is also the spawn point if you use Alt N, so can be moved around if you don’t have time to fly there. Waypoint 3 is fixed as a rendezvous with other flights. If SF2 had been developed, it would have been nice to change the waypoint details for the flights like in Falcon so you could move the fixed waypoint for all flights. Another thing that could have been improved was seeing your actual target area before flying. If you consider Jack Broughton spent all night memorising features etc before going on a mission you can understand the point of just marking the actual target with Padlock or a red dot! As you can see only 2 MiG regiments active with MiG-17F and MiG-21F-13.
      First Lt Eldon Atterbury is my wingy today. If you do take time to nurture the pilots their stats do improve (if they survive)
      Let's go then   As we fly towards the target other flights are also on route to their targets.   After a while several fights occur   Due to meticulous planning we reach the target just fine and we roll in from above the cloud base     I hit the target but get peppered by a lot of triple A   Phew heading out but think my Wingy is a bit lost.     Try to search, but no sign of him and no beeper! so off home alone     Mystery solved, a MiG-21F-13 gunned him down and I had no idea that was in the area!  If only all Vietnam mysteries could be solved so easy!   I then went on to fly A-4C/Es for the US Navy in which you get to take off from Carriers in the Gulf on Tonkin   Mr SAM is always happy to see you   This thud was just lucky!   This thud was not so lucky   What are all those blotches   So still quite intense flying through all the anti air and check 6 for those MiGs as always!                      

    DCS weekend News 27 April 2018
    MigBuster
    By MigBuster,
        DCS World 2.5.1 Open Beta Release The first version of the video memory manager is implemented. This function will purge the video memory when the budget allocated by Windows is reached. Resources that were not used in the last 10 seconds are the first to be purged. The new OFFLINE mode is now implemented. Users can turn on the OFFLINE mode which permits the game to be used without internet identification and without a time limit. Note: users must turn off the OFFLINE mode on the same PC. OFFLINE mode cannot be turned off from another PC even with the same user login. In addition to many important bug fixes, 2.5.1. also offers updated night lighting. As always, we look forward to your feedback and suggestions. You can find the full changelog in the special topic Chinese Asset Pack for DCS World China Asset Pack (CAP) is a free add-on for DCS World developed by Deka Ironwork Simulations. It contains several AI aircrafts, ground and navy units, as well as weapons that have served or are currently serving in China. Deka Ironwork will keep on expanding the asset pack and add more AI units in the future. One of the most exciting features is the Shenyang J-11A (歼-11A) known to NATO as the Flanker B+ whose airframe is based on the Sukhoi Su-27. With 2.5.1, access to this flyable aircraft is available to those who own Flaming Cliffs 3 for DCS World and later on to those that own the Su-27 Standalone. Key features that make the J-11A unique are: 3D Model changes (New LODs, Pilot and other features) Lighting (Nose gear, Landing Lights and more) Windshield Air-to-Air Weapons and Pods (RKL-609 ECM Pod & the R-77 Medium range missile) Dual Rack for Rockets & Bombs You can read more on these changes in our Forums. F-15C Aggressors BFM Campaign The F-15C Aggressors BFM campaign puts you in the cockpit of an F-15C Eagle, as a new Aggressor pilot with the 65th Aggressor Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base. F-15C Aggressors BFM Campaign video Based on real world procedures you will fly as Red Air against Blue Air Forces. Upon arrival you will fly a familiarization flight around the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR). Then you will face a series of challenging Basic Fighter Maneuver (BFM) missions against similar and dissimilar aircraft. Your opponents include the F-4E, F-14A, F-15C, F-15E, F-16C, F/A-18C, M-2000C, MiG-29G, CF-188 and MiG-21. Additionally there are 10 single player practice missions with in-air starts so you can perfect your BFM tactics, techniques and procedures. There are over 1000 voiceovers and over 45 pages of briefing material including the F-15C Amplified Checklist, RED FLAG Spins, Red Forces In Flight Guide, Maps, Diagrams, Custom Kneeboards and Mission Data cards. Purchase in the DCS e-shop DCS: F/A-18C Hornet Update Matt and Nick are currently in Minsk and Moscow where work on the Hornet and ancillary units is progressing well. Work has started on the management of aircraft on the CVN-74 carrier deck. Departing aircraft will appear in certain parking and elevators positions and will taxi on to the catapults. Recovering aircraft will taxi to free parking spaces. Subsequent aircraft will go to the elevator and de-spawn. On the deck it will be possible to place static objects (aircraft, equipment, loads). For this purpose we'll provide some new possibilities in the mission editor. A little later, we will show you pictures and videos of this in action. Persian Gulf Map for DCS World If you haven’t yet decided to go for this amazing new terrain module, there is still time to Pre-Purchase the Persian Gulf Map now for $39.99 and save 20%! The price will increase to $49.99 at the end of May 2018. Pre-purchase video The Persian Gulf Map for DCS World focuses on the Strait of Hormuz, which is the strategic choke point between the oil-rich Persian Gulf and the rest of the world. Flanked by Iran to the North and western-supported UAE and Oman to the south, this has been one of the world’s most dangerous flash points for decades. It was the location of Operation Praying Mantis in 1988 in which the US Navy sank several Iranian naval vessels. The region also includes the vast Arabian Sea that is well-suited for combat aircraft carrier operations, and it will be an exciting area of operations for the upcoming Hornet and Tomcat. Be it from land bases in Iran, UAE and Oman, or from the deck of an aircraft carrier, the Persian Gulf Map offers a wide array of combat mission scenarios to prove your mettle. See more screenshots here: Nick Grey answers your questions Many of you submitted questions to Nick, and he was happy to answer them for us, from his favorite aircraft, to his thoughts on what is and what he would like to see in DCS World. You can see the answers and discuss them in the dedicated DCS forum topic. Sincerely,
    The Eagle Dynamics Team

    DCS weekend News 20 April 2018
    MigBuster
    By MigBuster,
        DCS World 2.5.1 Update Version 2.5.1 for DCS World is currently in external testing and includes the new Offline Mode and improved memory management as its primary features. Now that it has been built, our valued 3rd parties are updating their aircraft to operating in version 2.5.1. Once this is complete, we will first move this version to the DCS World 2.5.1 Open Beta branch. Until we can release 2.5.1 with improved memory management, we suggest looking at your System Options in DCS World. One setting that has been found to help out considerably is the Preload Radius setting, cutting that value in half can make a huge difference in load times for multiplayer servers, we suggest tweaking this setting and find what works best for you. DCS: F/A-18C Hornet Update Since the last Hornet update, the flight model continues to be refined; Air Combat Maneuvering (ACM) radar modes now auto-lock targets; the ground suspension model has been refined for landing and taxi behavior; a pilot model has been added to the cockpit view; new skins like the Blue Angels, VMFA-122 and low-vis skins for VMFA-232 and 323 have been added; external sounds are even more realistic; LEX vapors are more realistic looking; and Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) ground alignment has been added. Here you can find three Hornet live streams we did of the Hornet over the upcoming Persian Gulf map: Part 1: Hornet over UAE and Oman Part 2: Hornet over Iran Part 3: Hornet over the Persian Gulf islands We have also released our 7th Hornet academic video, this one on Hornet waypoint navigation While this will eventually apply to all aircraft, the Hornet will be one of the first DCS World aircraft to incorporate our new rain drops on canopy effect. While still very much WIP, this little snippet shows of the general tech and animation we are using. Persian Gulf Map for DCS World Pre-Purchase the Persian Gulf Map now for $39.99 and save 20%! The price will increase to $49.99 at the end of May 2018. Pre-purchase video SA-2 Guideline (S-75 Dvina) Coming to DCS World Although DCS World includes a large selection of Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) systems, the iconic SA-2 Guideline (S-75 Dvina) has been absent. We are now in the final stages of bringing this historic SAM to DCS World as part of a free update. Developed and first deployed by the Soviet Union in 1957, the SA-2 was designed as a medium- to high-altitude anti-aircraft systems using command guidance. Serving nations throughout the world, the SA-2 became the mode widely deployed SAM in history, with variants produced in China and Iran. It was an SA-2 that led to the shoot down in Francis Gary Powers in a U-2 spy plane over the Soviet Union in 1960. A typical SA-2 SAM battery consists of a "Fan Song" missile guidance radar, six two-stage S-75 missiles with launchers, and reload vehicles. A typical SA-2 battery is laid out with the launchers forming a characteristic "flower" pattern. Multiple batters comprise an SA-2 battalion, with a supporting "Spoon Rest" early warning radar and command and control vans. Three SA-2 SAM battalions are then organized into a larger SA-2 SAM regiment. The SA-2 is still in service to this day and will provide a valuable element to creating even more realistic DCS World battlefields. DCS World War II Assets Update There are three primary components that currently make up the DCS World War II, the Normandy 1944 map, the warbirds, and the World War II Assets Pack. We’d like to update you on each of these: DCS: Normandy 1944 Map Since the map’s release, there have been several improvements like new period objects (windmills, water towers, farm houses, etc.), better beach lines, corrected mesh errors, cleaned up textures, and more detail in the England portion of the map. Currently, Urga Media (the developer) is occupied with their Syria map. However, once the Syria map is complete, we will discuss with them further improvements to the Normandy map like use of speedtrees. Warbirds In addition to completing the final touches to the Spitfire (fuel tanks and bombs), our other primary focus has been the P-47D. More so than any other warbird though, this has been the biggest challenge due to the lack of data. Following the war, all wind tunnel and needed flight dynamics data was destroyed. To overcome this, we are using Flow Vision to recreate the needed data. This has proven a long and expensive endeavor. However, to create the detailed flight dynamics that DCS requires, we consider it mandatory. In consideration of what to work on after the Thunderbolt and Me-262, we asked people to express what they would like to see next, thanks for all the votes, we have submitted the results to the team and will look at what can be done in the future! You can view the results here: Forum World War II Assets Pack Many new aircraft and ground units are in development for the DCS World War II Assets Pack and we’ve included images of a few of them in this week’s newsletter. We plan to release the first big update to the pack in June 2018. At that time, the cost of the pack will increase by $5 given the additional content.
    Sincerely,
    The Eagle Dynamics Team

    Barbara Bush age 92
    Erik
    By Erik,
    The loss of a national treasure and matriarch of the Republican Party departed her great life yesterday as a nation mourns her passing. 21 Gun S!

    A brief look at DCS World v2.5
    MigBuster
    By MigBuster,
    DCS World 2.5 recently came out of Beta and was released fully to the public. Primarily this means that there is again only one DCS version in development and 2.5 replaces 1.5 as the major branch for players, hopefully simplifying things a bit. The old 1.5 version will still be available for now but will not be developed further I understand.     If you were not aware DCS has been going through a transition period where the old 1.5 game engine was being used alongside several Beta versions including 2.2 and 2.5 which could do a few things 1.5 could not. A-10C - yes the engines are just big hair dryers and produce power accordingly     New features The main change with the DCS World 2.5 game engine was the transition to Direct X 11 (DX11) from Direct X 9 (DX9), so a major overhaul of the graphics engine that can utilise more modern techniques and hardware.   F-5E flies through the valley of the trees   R.I.P. Graphics Card
    Unfortunately, it appears my graphics card is at the low end of the spectrum for this game.  My trusty MSI GTX 780 which I obtained solely because I knew it ran BMS Falcon 4 at the time is sitting at max puff, and despite my best efforts to fiddle with the GFX settings is not doing much more than warming up the room after 10 mins of playtime. I do actually get around 80 to 140 fps on the rather low settings, but I am still getting stutter at low level over the building and trees so have had to turn off Antialiasing. Sadly, although the move from DX9 to DX11 will benefit the game for the future, for me at the moment on my rig it looks far worse than Strike Fighters 2 (DX10) and BMS Falcon (DX9) because I can max them out. That shouldn’t put too many off hopefully. I am like many waiting for the new NVIDIA 2080/1180 or whatever, and hoping sanity prevails and virtual currency miners stop buying up all the cards to make an extra 3 dollars a year.   Revamped Caucasus - might look better with some new hardware   Unified Terrain Maps  
    With the v2.5 release I could finally install the Nevada map that I purchased in 2015 and run it alongside the revamped Caucasus map and even think about getting some Nevada campaigns. Previously Nevada only worked in the Beta versions so I was only using the old Caucasus map in 1.5 up to now.   The Draken MiG-21bis pilot hoped to pick up some bargains from the shopping mall later   The Sun my eyes!     3D trees
    Not just 3D trees but collideable 3D trees, and this along with the 3D buildings is where a lot of the extra system resource is required. This will certainly make things more interesting for Chopper pilots!
    Some may remember as clouds and 2D trees were introduced to Strike Fighters through patches and mods that the system requirements to run them also increased exponentially. Some asked TK back them to optimise the game engine – and with SF2 there was a big revamp in the engine, but still required a lot more power to run it. Today I think I run it on max settings through brute force computing power as opposed to code optimisation. Trees - thousands of em!     Las Vegas is vast in size and polycount      

    Persian Gulf Map for DCS World
    MigBuster
    By MigBuster,
        Pre-Purchase Persian Gulf Map for DCS World! Pre-Purchase the Persian Gulf Map now for $39.99 and save 20%! The price will increase to $49.99 at the end of May 2018.         The Persian Gulf Map for DCS World focuses on the Strait of Hormuz, which is the strategic choke point between the oil-rich Persian Gulf and the rest of the world. Flanked by Iran to the North and western-supported UAE and Oman to the south, this has been one of the world’s most dangerous flash points for decades. It was the location of Operation Praying Mantis in 1988 in which the US Navy sank several Iranian naval vessels. The region also includes the vast Arabian Sea that is well-suited for combat aircraft carrier operations, and it will be an amazing area of operations for the upcoming Hornet and Tomcat. Be it from land bases in Iran, UAE and Oman, or from the deck of an aircraft carrier, the Persian Gulf Map offers a wide array of combat mission scenarios to prove your mettle. Key Features: 90,000 sq nm highly detailed map area that centers on the Strait of Hormuz. As part of DCS World 2.5, this map include highly detailed terrain, textures, seas, and buildings. 13 accurately created airbases in Iran, the UAE and Oman. Airbases include a variety of landing aids that can include TACAN, VASI lights, realistic approach lights, and VOR. Detailed cities such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Bandar Abbas with unique buildings. "Strong Hold" islands such as Abu Musa, Siri, and the Tunb islands. Iran, the UAE and Oman will be added to the list of DCS World nations. Unique trees, bushes, grass and other vegetation using speedtree technology. Varied terrain from towering mountains and valleys to desert plains. New Iranian liveries
    Sincerely,
    The Eagle Dynamics Team

Portal by DevFuse · Based on IP.Board Portal by IPS


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