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Falcon 4: BMS 4.xx

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BMS didn't run especially well on my old single core A64 PC, but it runs like a charm on my new quad-core i5 machine.

So, I did some basic evaluation flights to refresh my memory of why I never really got into Falcon 4 that much over the years.


Now my memory is quite refreshed.

Like LOMAC/FC2, air-to-air combat in Falcon 4 occurs with AIM-120s and late model AIM-9s.

The sole correctly modeled flyable, F-16C, is also one of the most maneuverable aircraft in the game (compared to LOMAC/FC2's F-15C).

When I engage an overwhelming number of AI, I can just pull a tight circle and end up with everyone forming a conga line behind me.

I then proceed to use my performance advantage to work my way up the line, limited only by ammo and fuel.

The whirlwind dogfight that devolves into the conga line reminds me very much of Jane's USAF:

All of the aircraft involved look like they are performing a very slow ballet.

I don't know if it is a scaling issue (such as lods made larger than they should be for a given range to be easier to see on a monitor) or if it is the fact that the AI pilots willing drop to if not below their safe stall speeds.

Being focused purely on basic air-to-air combat missions, the mix between the conga line and the slow speed ballet destroys the immersion and fun that is so well built up by every other aspect of the game.


Aside from the modern missiles, dogfighting in LOMAC/FC2 is far more diverse, challenging, and fun.

The stock gunfight training missions for the F-15C range from 1-v-1 against the MiG-23 to 1-v-2 against the Su-27.

The AI will split up and react differently to your moves rather than having both enter a pure pursuit curve and form a conga line.

The IRM missions give the F-15C tail-only AIM-9Ps vs all-angle AA-8Bs, which gives the MiGs a huge edge that works well with their divide and conqure tactics.

Their response does very with how you approach them, so they don't fly the exact same pattern every time unless you approach them the exact same way every time.


Now the cockpit and controls work as well with my Thrustmaster Warthog as DCS A-10C.

The clickable cockpit is on par with DCS A-10C.

If only I had a Cougar for the correct throttle.


If it wasn't for the slow mo conga lines and dated graphics, I could enjoy dogfighting in this game as much as LOMAC/FC2/DCS.

Of course, my style of play doesn't tap into the dynamic campaign engine.

Nor do I see the point of multiplayer unless you prefer co-op only with everyone flying the same airframe.

So, even with all the amazing improvements to Falcon 4 over the years and the fact that in many ways it is still comparable or even superior to DCS, it is still not the game for me to play.


Yet, I have the original Falcon 4.0 and Falcon 4.0: Allied Force.


P.S. Shouldn't this forum be renamed to be something like Falcon 4 and Friends since Allied Force is no longer being developed and various mod versions are far more popular?

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I'll float that idea, maybe "Falcon 4 family".


I too have experienced the single-mindedness of the AI in WVR combat. To be fair, I think they optimized it for BVR. MiGs and Su's are deadly with their radar missiles and IRMs, but get in guns range and it's over for them. I once had a 29 on my six for multiple minutes once he'd run out of guns ammo and he just stuck to my tail like we were doing an airshow. He never realized he had no missiles or gun and should break off.


I'd say air combat in F4 is like boxing with Mike Tyson: if you can survive the initial engagement and get into a prolonged fight, you will eventually win. The only way you lose is if you fail to evade the initial onslaught.

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If you are after WVR guns only with AI this is not the sim for you - stick to SF2


The AI was deadly in Allied Force WVR and BVR but it seems BMS are more about the Multiplayer experience - WVR the AI are no problem as you state.


However in BVR you can get your ass handed to you on a plate - and they are pretty good at denying your radar lock etc. For me its a lot of fun setting up TEs 4 v 4 is especially for this - because using your radar and keeping up SA is what you need to be good at - you should never be looking to merge.


The AIM-120s work very well (So do the R-77/73 and AIM-9X)


The FLCS has been coded to the last line of the real thing - so you wont find a better sim in this regards.


The avionics are spectacular - HMCS and being able to slave TGP to radar for A-A.


And the campaign is just amazing whatever way you look at it.

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This is where I have been spending all my time flying. The UI, setting up and flight can't be beat.

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AI's lack of aggressiveness is well known since bms2.0 or summin'. i also get mig29s sitting on my dead six and they just sit there doing nothing. Perhaps after 5 minutes of idling they finally send an adder in. if it were F4AF I'd be long dead.

At ranges beyond 10nm they're sorta good, but after that they generally don't know what to do with themselves.

dogfights ain't very fun in any falcon for sure. there's no physics or damage modeling, the sim is so old you get only 2 states for damage. 1 = there's a jet, 0 = there's no jet. and there's no missiles shooting missiles, so epic naval battles in sf2na is impossible. actually falcon always lacked the naval aspect. aannd there's no real focus on phantoms....


but.. rest is great which i don't even know where to begin. was in a VFW and you really feel like becoming a pilot, the wealth of aviation and combat tactics knowledge just pours in, my mouth is still mentally wide open now... i'd never know anything like that anywhere else.

actually bms focus so much on the real f-16 it's leaving things falcon related behind, like campaign, database, AI (like they're bad in dogfights)..... it's becoming BMS' shortfall. a military simulator is dead realistic but there's no fun in it.


do quite appreciate SF... solid, fun, good honest lite sim, not lacking some shining points as well. my true abomination is DCS, the sims with no heart!

Edited by Do335

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