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As I’m sure you’re all aware, the SF2 game engine has some limitations in how it sets forces against one another that don’t lend itself well to modern combat.

I’ve been working on basic campaign play and there is no scenario in which the Iranian Air Force get does not get pounded like cheap veal.  The greatest threat you as a player face is from SAM emplacements.  I’m trying to figure out a way to even the playing field, or if I even need to (i.e., the IRIAF is largely using antiques, why wouldn’t they get annihilated)?

Suggestions are appreciated.

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6 hours ago, Stratos said:

Maybe adding "elite" help from China and Russia?

Good thought. The original Operation Darius featured Chinese and Russian planes, but with what if IRIAF camos/roundels. To make it more realistic, instead of what if IRIAF planes, we could have Chinese and Russian aircraft in the campaign as well, as if they were visiting Iran when the Coalition's campaign starts.

PFunk, if I understood well, the problem is that there are too many SAM emplacements, and so SAMs are a bigger threat than planes, right? Which terrain are you using for it? If there are too many SAMs, a few touches in the _targets.ini can be made to reduce the number of SAMs.

Edited by Menrva

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i know you can set experience level of pilots in the nations ini (excellent to poor, or super highly trained vs "glorious Leader says that way is forward" while pointing at the exhausts). can this be set in the campaigns as well? if so make the IRIAF excellent and the coalition forces average at best.

also if an alternate is created in say 2019 through 2021 new jets would not be far off. IIRC the nuke deal lifted sanctions that would prevent new weapons from being bought next year. More likely, China and Russia would sell some new toys just to get cash while giving the US the finger (and why wouldnt the bad kids in the sanction corner start to play together? what'll happen more sanctions?)

final thought on it: everyone commanding a military now was watching CNN in 1990/91. They wouldnt let a huge coalition build so have smaller coalition forces and trim some of the high end birds off the roster (F-35, possibly F-22) as well as most of the Europeans and Aussies. BUT include the Saudis, UAE and Kuwait, who are local and very distrustful of Iran. Possibly include Yemen as Iranian ally while your at it.

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The problem is not of itself too many SAM emplacements.  If anything, I think the number of SAM systems on the terrains I'll be using is representative of what would exist if military planners had to contend with the threats in Iranian airspace in Real Life.

The problem is that the IRIAF is operating relative antiques compared to the equipment being fielded by the developed nations and they're getting slaughtered by the AI.  The most advanced aircraft in the IRIAF inventory (that we are aware of) is the MiG-29, and it's the A-model the Iranians 'inherited' in 1991.  The F-14 fleet is down to less than 40 flyable aircraft and military planners estimate that none of their AIM-54 Phoenix missiles are even operable, because of crucial batteries that are in short supply.  The Iranians only had a little less than 300 of them to start with and according to Grumman accounts, the tech reps on the ground who were training the IRIAF maintenance crews actually sabotaged about a dozen of the missiles by destroying the internal components.  Over time and attrition, we estimate they've used up all the functioning Phoenixes are now resorting to reverse engineering the remaining missiles.  It appears the Iranians essentially stuck the components of a Hawk SAM in the body of a Phoenix missile.  Either that, or we're just seeing an old, unserviceable Phoenix.

https://theaviationist.com/tag/fakour-90/

Adding Russian or Chinese 'help' might work, because if the theatre that is unfolding in the SF2 game engine is anything like reality, the IRIAF is in for a bad time.  I'm just trying to make it more 'sporting'.   @daddyairplanes, your idea of reducing the size of the international coalition to just Arab states, French, and UK help is probably a good idea.  The RAAF should probably stay in, though.

The other problem I'm running into is the old AHM/RWR trap.  I really don't understand why TK didn't make that one, crucial little change to the avionics.dll files.

Edited by PFunk
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22 minutes ago, PFunk said:

 @daddyairplanes, your idea of reducing the size of the international coalition to just Arab states, French, and UK help is probably a good idea.  The RAAF should probably stay in, though.

The other problem I'm running into is the old AHM/RWR trap.  I really don't understand why TK didn't make that one, crucial little change to the avionics.dll files.

daddyairplanes' idea is good indeed. The original Darius campaign also had Greek, Turkish and even German units, but AFAIK those were sort of what ifs; you could fly MiG-29Gs for the Germans, for instance. But the German Fulcrums were decommissioned back in 2003. So to stick to a more restricted and realistic OOB for Blue Side is the way to go, I guess.

About the RWR, it's indeed one annoying problem. To fly in a F-22 and not being able to hear incoming missiles, all because of a few oversights in the .DLLs.

 

 

Edited by Menrva
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What I may do is give all AI aircraft SAHM-only BVR missiles.  The player will have to manually adjust their loadouts to use AHM missiles.  The AI is literally filling the sky with AHM missiles (which they would do in Real Life, honestly) within three seconds of my takeoff, I'm getting Fox 3 calls that are wiping out everything.

I think reducing Coalition numbers is probably smart.  I'll be removing the JSFs, and reducing the number of F-22s along with more than a third of the original Coalition size.  I've identified forces and aircraft that wouldn't likely be part of a Coalition and I'll be consolidating other forces.

I think it'll work, I should be ready to release a beta by the summer.

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25 minutes ago, PFunk said:

@daddyairplanes your idea of reducing the size of the international coalition to just Arab states, French, and UK help is probably a good idea.  The RAAF should probably stay in, though.

 

i'm looking at teh world political climate (and aircraft availability) in 2012. even the US would have had a more limited presence at that time (given the boss at teh time), although more in the tanker and ISR field (where really no one can match us. look at the main contributions over Libya same timeframe)

but i see England and France being very active in there. who says its just the US making grabs for oil?:smile:

in the end tho, its your mod. As Bob Ross said, " This is your world, You’re the creator "

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1 minute ago, daddyairplanes said:

in the end tho, its your mod. As Bob Ross said, " This is your world, You’re the creator "

Truth.  Just trying to make it challenging enough to be close to reality without completely removing the element of fun.

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The game engine itself is balanced to make the player a 1-man air force. No matter what aircraft I fly, the only limits to my kill ratio are fuel and ammo... even when I am the only aircraft and I am tremendously outnumbered. I only get shot down if I focus on getting a kill rather than avoiding a threat. The game always had AI logic that made the enemy gravitate toward the player: i.e. if you target a plane through a visual padlock or radar lock, the AI will almost immediately engage you if it can, even if he couldn't see your and didn't have a RWR. Later patches after SF2NA was released addressed player complaints about missile reliability and unwinnable missions against naval formations resulted in friendly weapons having boosted reliability/accuracy/lethality while enemy units received the opposite. I never bothered to check the weapon files to see if this was done in the weapon definitions or if it was done through some sort of hard coded cheat for the player aircraft and/or side. In prior patch levels, especially SFP1 era, AIM-7s and AIM-9Bs were almost as ineffective as portrayed in historical data. No fun for a game, but I was in hog heaven watching missiles behave roughly the same as their real world counterparts. So even if you think you have achieved some kind of play balance based on enemy numbers and tech being balanced with friendly numbers and/or tech, the game engine may still give the player and/or the player's side a huge advantage.

 

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I'm almost certain the advantage is not in the missile data files, but a hardcoded behavior within the architecture of the game.

I removed 16 friendly air units yesterday and I may remove more.  The workhorse of the air campaign is still the F-16.  The F-22 is still in, but the JSF is gone.

On the weapons, all air-to-air missiles have a maximum accuracy of 90%, nothing over that.  I used the RSSM files as a benchmark for data entry values.  I have not decided if I am going to force all AI flights to use SAHM missiles for BVR combat.  I'm going to play-test what I have so far.

 

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Another interesting aspect of SF logic: increasing the skill of enemy AI also decreased the skill of friendly AI. So if you don't want your friends to be total idiots counting on you to win the war for them, it is best to have the game difficulty/AI level at normal and use pilot skill settings in the missions/campaigns to improve the ratio of skilled pilots on the enemy side without turning all of your friends into novice targets.

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I've noticed that seesaw effect in the settings of game behavior for this series.  Normal difficulty seems to offer the most consistent results.

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2 hours ago, PFunk said:

I've noticed that seesaw effect in the settings of game behavior for this series.  Normal difficulty seems to offer the most consistent results.

So is better to fight against NORMAL AI? Always used HARD enemies. NORMAL will decres SAM and AAA accuaracy too?

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HARD difficulty simply gives the AI an almost UFO-like ability in the game,  I've noticed.  The AI aircraft are capable of speeds and maneuvering that the player simply cannot replicate.  It's not harder enemies, its just enemies with capability you don't have.

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Getting discouraged on this project and may have to shelve it for a while.  SF2 does not lend itself well to modern combat systems, even if visual quality and flight models of the aircraft are nothing less than stellar.

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