Today we are taking a trip back to 2004, a time when as you can see from the photo above featured PC CDROMs!
Before Internet speeds for most were high enough to consider sending entire game files they had to distribute games to people using good old fashioned Compact Disks. The shiny CD came complete with its own (Jewel) case with cover and even a printed manual. As you can see a time when even Thirdwire had to distribute games and make them look like games used to - the manual even tells me to go to http://www.softwarehelpdesk.co.uk/ for technical support…………..ha looks like that domain is up for sale!
Looking at the back we can see it even ran on Windows ME with 256MB of RAM! - Yes, I had to look back to remember what Win ME was – the very last of the Win 9x line before Microsoft thankfully ditched that and we got Win 2000 then Win XP. Of course, in 2004 or nearly all of that decade Win XP was the only game in town for home users and it was great for its time.
For anybody who had bought Strike Fighters: Project 1, a Vietnam game was a logical and most welcome step forward….a game that recreates the intense air combat experience in the skies of North Vietnam at the height of the air campaign……………..what could be better!
The manual lists the Player and AI aircraft, and although the VPAF selection looks fairly complete, the US selection was very limited compared to the later Strike Fighters 2: Vietnam.
This was a time when there was hope for the future and many opportunities to modify the hell out of the game and start getting into place the absolute ton of things not included in the box.
Terrain & Environment
As you might see (from the case) the Terrain that came with WOV wasn’t much better than what comes with one of Thirdwires Phone & Tablet PC games – a pretty poor and unrealistic looking barren wasteland. Unsurprisingly it was not long before modders produced somewhat better tilesets - one of the first I remember and although free was used by Yankee Air Pirate later:
The RA-5 Vigilante - does not come with WOV
There was a payware tileset for sale at Razbams store at some point – but suffered from having obvious borders and tile edges – also 512 x 512 bitmap files were pretty big at the time but very low res by today’s standards.
This later effort includes a version of Starys Green Hell which included a lot more trees for the first time:
Vietnam was hell - Green hell!
When released WOV also had no clouds either but they were added in a later patch:
Low level clouds, gone but not forgotten
The North Vietnam Air Force (VPAF) and air defences were quite well set up as part of the terrain, with relevant SAM and AAA models for the era along with relevant AI. The MiGs varied in effectiveness from patch to patch whereas some of the SA-2s had a Kill probability of about 99% - this was rightly toned down somewhat in Strike Fighters 2 (SF2).
WOV included an airbourne FAC (Forward Air Controller) role and this was usually represented by an 0-1E Birddog flying over the battlefield (Callsign Snoopy) – this was removed from SF2.
The game added Carrier operations for the first time although the carrier was pretty lonely by itself most of the time, and players could only fly off it in campaigns and scripted single missions!
The B-52s thought they were safe from Thirdwires lesser spotted MiG-17F
There were some options for payware – mostly from Razbam and Yankee Air Pirate – both had air of controversy that I won’t go into here.
One of the very few payware aircraft was the A-1 skyraider pack
Before the Mission Editor arrived in SF2 you had to create single missions using Notepad basically, quite a time consuming and difficult process. Yankee Air Pirate basically created single missions based on real missions from Vietnam and was quite an important addition for anyone with an interest in that subject.
Populated carrier deck
Landing and taking off in Hueys from smaller boats like this
Shooting down Colts in Hueys
Shooting the side gun in Hueys - Get some!.
Of course, with scripted missions you can do quite a few things you cannot in auto generated single missions and campaigns!
Advance clone army!
The VPAF, masters of camouflage
Wings Over Vietnam certainly started out as a fairly serious attempt to put together a decent standalone Vietnam war Air Combat simulator and in that respects, did a pretty decent job, but only if you took time to add a lot of the mods available and change the game yourself. Graphically it was using DX9.0c so was up to date in that regards although again you had to add mods to get it looking to what it should have perhaps been out of the box.
F-111A - not included with WOV
EB-66 - not included with WOV
…………and Here we are at the tail end of 2017 and still no real alternative to WOV and SF2V on the Vietnam War flight sim front.
Hughes OH-6A CAYUSE Ver 1.0 for SF2
This is a third party add on of the OH-6A CAYUSE using models* and cockpits created by me.
*External model is build by my friend Tomek Wachowski and me, years ago for differnt purpose. Fortunately he found some early work files on his hard drive and brought to me. With some work i was able to bring it back to life. Technicaly it is 80% new model compared to original old one flying somewhere out there.
The original flight model is standard as on many free to download helicopters.
I have just modified it a bit.
It is designed for and works only in SF2 series.
Few thing still needs to be done here. But I decided to upload it already.
This is freeware; it CANNOT be distrubuted unless permissions are granted by myself.
The original readmes, if any, and all other pieces of the package MUST remain intact.
The names of all contributors, modders, suppliers, etc =MUST= be listed in any new readmes.
This package and any part of it may NOT in any way, shape or form be used in any payware additions.
See the original readme documentation, if any, for further allowances and restrictions
Any persons wishing to make further modfications, contact me first.
Any persons wishing to make further modfications, MUST remember to put everyone's name in it.
Bribes and donations are accepted;
THIS AIRCRAFT MOD OR ANY PART OF IT MUST NOT BE HOSTED OR
POSTED FOR DOWNLOAD ON ANY OTHER WEB SITE WITHOUT MY EXPRESS
PERMISSION, OR USED FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE THAN THIRDWIRE FLIGHT
SIMULATORS, AND MUST NOT BE SOLD OR OFFERED FOR SALE BY ITSELF
OR WITH ANY OTHER FILES OR MODS.
This addon works only with my WeaponPACK (included in rar file). All of weapon stations are made as specific station code and will work only with this weapon pack.
Standard commands for activating Loach features:
ARRESTING HOOK - jump from pilot station to gunner station.
LANDING GEAR - Nose light deploy/retract at any speed. Don't forget to retract before shooting.
A2Ground mode - M70E1 gunsight.
In OH-6A Cayuse model XM70E1 gunsight will apear in cockpit and external model only when gun is loaded on weaponstation.
OH-6A Cayuse only:
ANIMATION 8 - front left door (ext and cockpit view)
ANIMATION 9 - front right door (ext and cockpit view)
ANIMATION 10 - rear door.
This helicopteris build in two variants. First is ‚clean’ out of factory OH-6A Cayuse. Just small scout chopper. This is additional aircraft to main file here.
OH-6A Cayuse as seen on many photos from Vietnam War. Known also as Loach.
In this model you can switch to rear gunner positionand actualy really hit ground targets with M60. You just have to aim throug rear – front sight line. Like in real gun.
It is not prefect but this game as you know is not supporting choppers, double cockpits and many many more things. So this time again it is just to have at least good feeling.
Gunner is made as internal weapon not weapon station. This way is better. Gunner is set as SECONDARY GUN by default.
You can really fly low and slow. And in Pink Team just mark targets for Cobra wingman.
I am sugesting to fly low on 40-50% of throttle. around 45degree vector control, use pulse rudder to control left right, it is realy easy. With little practice you can even hoover. Without fake flaps and airbrakes.
Important her to control is using rudder and vector thrust control.
Fuel. Remeber it is small chopper. And it can carry only around 54 US Gals of fuel. I belive it is enough for around 2 hours of flight here maybe little more.
All serial numbers are historicaly correct.
Paint schemes and markings. I was trying to be acurate as much as possible in paint schemes and markins. Some skins for unit are generic because there were some little diferences within unit itself. Plus this schemes represents aircrafts used bu units during 2-3 year of service.
OH-6A Cayuse standard olive green paint with two serial numbers.
OH-6A Loach. Here i was trying to match my AH-1G Cobra.
All serial numbers are historicaly correct.
D Company 227th AHB
C Troop 1/9 Cavalry
D Troop 1/4 Cavalry
D Troop 3/4 Cavalry
C Troop 16th Cavalry
F Troop 4th Cavalry
Story about Weapon systems.
Internal. Gunner with M60 400 round of ammo.
No flash by default. Because with cocpit movement on gunner station it apear somewhere on elbow. better when it is not there. It can be easy changed by setting entry on M60 in aircraftdata.ini to TRUE
- Weapon Station 1
XM27E1 – M134 Minigun
M27 - as above redesignated an unfaired Minigun M134 since 1969.
XM8 – M129 40mm automatic grenade launcher. Not seen in Vietnam.
Plus some extra weapons that were spotted on photos from Vietnam War.
- Weapon Stations 2 & 3
Up to two single tubes for Mk40 FFAR rockets attached on skids, with different warhead rockets. M151, M156, M229, M255A1, M259, M257, M247.
- Weapon Station 6
Experimental quad launcher unit developed by Rock Island Arsenal attached inside cargo compartment. Similiar to system mounted later in exported versions of H-500 Series. Very rare, seen on few pictures from Vietnam War but it was there.
Do not mix Weapon station 2 and 6 on loadouts menu. Meaning to be correct 2 or 1 single tube OR Quad launcher.
- Weapon Station 7
Most interesting is 7 tube XM158 launcher attached to XM27 susbsytem instead of 7.62mm minigun. Very rare field mod probably instaled only on one aircraft (no. 67-16321). I just used two versions with M151 and M156 warheads.
- Weapon Stations 4 & 5
Smoke grenades. DO NOT GIVE THEM TO WINGMAN.
Just five colours of smoke grenades, Yellow, White, Green, Red, Violet. I am not sure if this will support available color smoke effects. So probably wil need to create new smoke effects or mod smoke grenades.
- Weapon Station 8
Exhaust modification in late Loaches. Starting 1972 when SA-7 was threatening US crews this mod was often instaled on scout choppers. Same purpose as on late G Cobra models. I will apear on aircraft by default starting 1973 due to loadout.ini file.
- Weapon Stations 9, 10, 11, 12.
Not to be used on OH-6A !
Purpose of this is to play Pink Team on single mission with armed AH-1G Cobra.
In single mission on loadout menu you can change wingman aircraft to any available AH-1G Cobra and arm it with designated weapons for Cobra. If you don't like this option you can easly disable this by puting \ mark in data.ini file in front of weapon station entry.
Have fun. Enjoy.
Report bugs. Mod it your way.
Hope I did not miss anything here
More to come in OH-6 category.
Thanks to and reference:
TM 9-1005-298-12 Operational Manual, Armament Subsytem, Helicopter, 7.62 Millimeter Machine Gun: High Rate, XM27E1 TM
55-1520-214-10 Operators Manual Helicopter Observation OH-6A
The McDonnell Douglas OH-6A Helicopter, Aero Series
OH-6A Cayuse in Detail, Wings & Wheels Publications.
GUNSLINGERS IN ACTIONS – Squadron Signal
F Troop Yearbook 1971-1972
and many more that I dont remember right now.