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MigBuster

BMS 4.34 Released for BillionSoft Falcon 4.0

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Falcon BMS 4.34 is now available to torrent (19 April 2019) and comes with free IFF

 

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Falcon BMS 4.34 Teaser trailer

 

 

 

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2. Feature Overview

2.1 New Radio Management

BMS 4.34 fixed a long-lasting issue with AI auto-magically following all radio frequency changes made by the
player, making it impossible to create a more realistic use of radios. ATC and AWACS changes explained below
led to a major rewrite of radio management code. Human players and AI must now be on the same frequency
to communicate, just as in real-life. Discrete frequencies are tied to callsigns, so in most cases will be unique to
that callsign, though frequencies will still have presets assigned, visible in the briefing section of the UI.

More detailed information about the new radio management can be found in the BMS COMMS and NAV book,
in your Docs folder.

2.2 New ATC

Air Traffic Control agencies at airbases have been completely reimagined. Every airbase now uses multiple UHF
frequencies for managing traffic; OPS, GROUND, TOWER, APPROACH/DEPARTURE and ATIS (which is on VHF)
are all modelled. The use of VHF (except for ATIS) is not recommended as none of the new control agencies
have a VHF frequency.

ATC AI code also has been completely rewritten, allowing for a much more realistic experience probably never
seen before in a combat flight simulator. ATC is now able to manage AI and human players in a more realistic
manner, considering flights as single ATC entities. The ground frequency is much more efficient for managing
traffic on the airbase taxiways, the tower frequency will manage the final approach and departure on the active
runway and the approach frequency will offer a choice of multiple approach options depending on weather
and player intentions, such as IFR or visual approach, or even a standard overhead break for both AI and
human players.

Players are expected to follow ATC instructions and abide by ATC rules, which ultimately provide a much more
rewarding aviation experience, especially in busy TE/campaign scenarios with multiple flights in the queue.

Carriers Operations also have been completely updated from the ATC perspective, with more realistic Case 1
and Case 3 type control approaches now implemented, during which the new LSO (Paddles) will guide the pilot
to the touch down point.

More information about the new ATC can also be found in the BMS COMMS and NAV book in your Docs folder.

2.3 IFF implementation

Identification Friend or Foe, one of the most requested features on the BMS public forum, has now been
implemented. Aircraft are now equipped with a transponder and in some cases an interrogator too. The
transponder can emit a code for identification when challenged; aircraft equipped with an interrogator can also
interrogate other aircraft in various modes. Please note, just like in reality, not all aircraft (read not all F-16s)
are fitted with an Interrogator. Mode 1, 2, 3, 4 and C are all implemented realistically. Mode S is eye candy.

IFF events can change according to TIME or POSITION events. IFF policy is automatically assigned in TEs and
campaign and loaded in the DTC. It is also included on the much improved and detailed Briefing page in the UI.
IFF use is therefore very transparent to the user, assuming the DTC is loaded correctly. Each TE now features an
IFF file where the policy can be changed according to user’s specific plans, allowing complicated IFF plans to be
created. This file structure is explained in the new BMS technical manual. More information about IFF can be
found in the TO-BMS1F-16CM-1 (aka Dash-1) in your Docs folder.

2.4 Database changes

The BMS database has been cleaned to allow easier maintenance and simpler updates in future.
As a consequence, TEs or third-party mods may not be compatible with 4.34 and will need to be updated.

TEs can be converted from previous versions to 4.34 with Mission Commander.

2.5 New Campaigns

3 new campaigns have been added to the KTO theatre, bringing the total to 6. The 3 new ones provide fresh
challenging scenarios to KTO. These campaigns are still under development. More information about the new
campaigns can be found later in this manual.

2.6 New AWACS

Although not fully completed the main Tactical frequency has been rewritten, providing a much more realistic
experience when under the control of early warning radar aircraft. Picture calls now give detailed information
of up to 3 groups, calling out formations, azimuth and range and helping to build SA (situational awareness).

The tactical net is also now dedicated to your package which should lower comms traffic to manageable levels.
Gone are the days of listening to an engagement happening 150 miles away from your position, as you were
trying to survive an air to air engagement on your own.

More information about the new AWACS can be found in the BMS COMMS and NAV book in your Docs folder.

2.7 Artificial Intelligence

AI has become much smarter. Wingmen following ATC procedures or under AWACS control, SAM operators
using ambush and ‘blinking’ tactics, realistic BVR tactics used against you and by your wingmen under your
command; you will notice the difference. Respect them more as they will be more aggressive and provide more
of a challenge, particularly at higher AI skill levels, which are also differentiated better than before.

2.8 Weather changes

Weather has been further improved. Fmaps created for 4.33 are not compatible and need to be redone.
Default Fmaps are provided for the 4 usual weather states: Sunny, Fair, Poor and Inclement.

All visibility settings have been switched to metric which provides a much simpler way of creating weather.

Clouds have been reviewed and are better managed. For instance, the stratus layer has been replaced with
stratocumulus and nimbostratus clouds, providing a better experience when transitioning inside the layer.
Cloud coverage, base altitude and fog values are now embedded in the Fmap and configurable for each cell.
It is worth mentioning that real weather can be easily implemented in BMS using external tools such as F4Wx.
Airbases now feature windsocks, indicating wind direction and speed.

2.9 F-16 changes

Engine faults on the ground and in the air are now more realistically modelled; FTIT and OIL are now engine
parameters the virtual pilot must be very aware of too (especially during engine start).

Fuel gauges are no longer unrealistically reliable at low fuel levels and a new F-16 damage model means fuel
leaks and oil leaks are possible and you may encounter more failures than before following battle damage.

Cockpits have been updated to latest standards. Most visible will be the IFF panel replacing the AUX COMM
panel on newer (and upgraded) blocks and the EHSI replacing the HSI on CCIP jets.

Pilot model is now available as an option in the UI, or with a keystroke combination while in 3D. Kneeboards
can be easily edited using Weapon Delivery Planner.

2.10 Weapon changes

Ground to air and air to air missiles now have a proximity fuse and depending on the distance from their target
at time of explosion will generate different levels of damage. Previously missiles were simply hit or miss and
when they hit often made the jet explode right away.

A near-miss will be more likely to damage your F-16 now than before (although this also depends on the size of
the missile and its blast radius) and the challenge then becomes to get your wounded bird back on the ground
safely. This change was made possible thanks to the new damage model of the F-16.

Flare effectiveness and IR missile code has been updated as well and now behaves much more realistically.

SAM systems now feature both an Early Warning (Search) radar and a Fire Control Radar (FCR). Search radars
will be active much further away as you approach, allowing the FCR to stay silent, only emitting occasionally to
update their track, decide if you are within range and wait for the best moment to fire. Destroying the Search
radar will not prevent the SAM site from shooting at you, but it will force the FCR to emit more often, offering a
better chance for you to acquire it and make the hunter become the hunted!

2.11 Tools

Tools have been updated to help manage many aspects of BMS 4.34:
• WDP: Weapon Delivery Planner: http://www.weapondeliveryplanner.nl
• MC: Mission Commander: http://www.weapondeliveryplanner.nl
• WC: Weather Commander: http://www.weapondeliveryplanner.nl
• Korea Interactive Map for navigation in BMS KTO (including all charts):
  http://www.ravico.com/ST/BMS_KOREA_interactive/index.html
• F4Wx – Real Weather Converter (see BMS forum for download link)
• RTT Remote is a remote display extractor for MFDs and other instruments (Tools folder)

2.12 Documentation

The documentation suite has been updated to reflect the BMS 4.34 changes and is completely up to date:
• TO-BMS1F-16CM-1 (aka Dash-1) is about managing the F-16 as an aircraft.
• TO-BMS1F-16CM-34-1-1 (Dash-34) is about managing the F-16 as a weapon platform.
• The BMS TRAINING manual covers the 25 BMS training missions (some of them new for 4.34).
• The BMS COMMS and NAV book includes elements from the old Chart Tutorial (such as how to use the
  approach charts) and also covers the new radio and ATC changes.
• The BMS TECHNICAL manual is a detailed reference for those interested in customising or developing
  their BMS experience and gathers many single documents into one big technical order.
• The BMS Naval Ops document is dedicated to carrier-based operations with relevant aircraft types.
• The charts have been completely updated for the new airbase frequencies and approach types. A new
  type of approach chart was created to work with the ATC instrument approach: the RADAR chart.
• The key files and other Input Device files have been maintained and documented for 4.34.

And finally the Docs folder has been completely reviewed in the hope of making the Docs easier to find and
more user-friendly.

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    • By MigBuster

       
      Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away……….it would appear that games developers started projects based on what they could achieve rather than what time and money constrained them to achieving!
      …..So brings our hero in this story a certain Mr Kevin Klemmick who on his first ever job found himself being given quite a challenge:
       Initially I was hired as an intern and asked to design and develop a dynamic campaign. For better or worse there wasn’t a lot of direction on what that would entail – the directive was mostly to make something that would be a persistent world and generate dynamic missions instead of the pre-scripted model which was the norm.
       
      In case you are wondering the Dynamic Campaign of Falcon 4.0 is still a gem of the modern flight sim world, so some brief quotes on what it involved to create such a thing are in order:
       
      I was given a pretty blank check in designing the Dynamic Campaign, so I approached it as I would a strategy game. The idea being that this game would be running in the background whether or not the player flew any missions. In fact, it could be played as a strategy game from the tool I wrote to monitor it. The AI was broken into three tiers, a strategic level, operational level and tactical level. Yet another level of AI would operate in the Simulation itself to drive the vehicles or aircraft.
      The missions were generated as a by-product of this AI, and in fact used real world planning techniques. For example, once a priority list of targets was determined, a package would be put together to time suppression of air defence, air superiority, refuelling, AWACS, etc. All these missions would be timed out and planned much like a real-world commander would, but were generated as a response to decisions made by the campaign’s AI.
      While my primary goal was to make something fun to play, we were very fortunate to get a lot of advice from military sources about how things work in the real world and I tried to match that as closely as possible while keeping the game play elements that I felt were important. However, all of this had to work within a very tiny slice of the CPU, which was a huge limitation given all the AI/planning work that was going on. That was probably the biggest challenge of this system.
       
      So, got that right.
       
      What was the difference between this dynamic thingy and a pre-scripted model?
      An example of pre-scripted from the Strike Fighters series would be someone creating missions with the Mission Editor or before the Mission Editor existed, Yankee Air Pirate creating missions for players.  There are some advantages to this such as recreating historical missions or providing a story or backdrop for the player beforehand. The main disadvantage is that once you have played the mission a few times it’s basically the same thing each time.
      Of course, Falcon 4.0 does also have a Mission Editor (Tactical Editor) and you can create missions or training scenarios. DCS also has a Mission Editor that includes some quite advanced features for mission designers.

      Nostalgia and story based missions from yesteryear (Novalogic)
       
       
      Campaign Mode
      Although it can appear to be just a set of single missions Strike Fighters does have a basic dynamic campaign. DCS campaigns on the other hand are currently a set of scripted missions, but that doesn’t mean you cannot have some very good campaigns in this sense!
      A Falcon campaign starts with a ticking clock on day one, and the whole thing runs on a massive scale putting the player either in a 2D map mode or joining the campaign by flying in the 3D world as part of it.
      Even in the 2D map mode the player can see most of the things happening (there is still a fog of war) and also gets news updates on major events. Of course, the missions you do fly will be different and often unpredictable, and that is the extra challenge!

      Here you can plan and influence things.........bet you didn't plan for that big purple blob.........looks like the space ship from Independence day is here!
       
      Yes, the player can run the campaign as default and just join auto fragged missions every now and then – or they have a lot of power to create packages, flights, to frag their own missions, change package loadouts, join other squadrons etc, etc. Anyway, I won’t go any further because the scale is rather large.
      Note, that if you do just run a campaign without changing the initial mission types and PAK's you will be given non-stop suicide missions and so will your AI buddies! (so, change them!)
       
      And yes BMS 4.33 comes with a full set of manuals created by other heroes telling you all you need in the Docs folder in your install (e.g. C:\BMS-433-U1\Docs\Falcon BMS Manuals)

       
       
      The default campaign is Korea in which you can club Kim Jong Un's Cold War museum collection with a multitude of modern weapons like AIM-9X and HMCS. For an extra challenge select Korea Strong and prepare to eat AMRAAMSKI from the Flanker Hoards.
       

      By 2014 the North Korean air force went through a massive modernization program which included (or perhaps involved entirely of) employment of beautiful young women (Yonhap News / Aviationist)
       
      Of course, as mentioned in part 1 there are many other campaigns and theatres to try from the modding community for BMS 4.33.

      Totally new Allied Force campaigns - joy!
       
      New additions & changes to BMS 4.33
       
      Default loadouts
      Thank the maker! Any past players may have noted that when 4 x Su-30s appeared on the horizon, your escorts armed to the teeth with 2 x AIM-9Ps and a CBU-52 would be nothing more than useful missile decoys! This may have prompted some like myself to spend ages before missions tweaking loadouts of other flights! But it seems someone has finally improved things here for the better!
       
      Ground war
      You can now control the ground units if you like, one benefit of this is to finish campaigns a lot quicker. And yes, this feature was in the 2005 Falcon 4.0 Allied Force.
       
      MANPADs
      Less welcoming from Allied Force is the addition of MANPADs that make going below the clouds a bit of a no no unless you like jumping out of airplanes! MANPADs were there before 4.33 but were somewhat lackluster in comparison. 
       
      Reduced weapon supply
      You may want to try to hold onto those drop tanks a bit longer because unlimited supply may no longer be the case……………you can of course just frag those super brave tanker boys to get you that juice.
       
      The little things
      Adding detail onto the campaign map to be saved to your data cartridge for use in flight is now made better just by the fact that it persists after each mission instead of having to redo it every time!

      Be a king of Situational Awareness with Bullseye positions, FLOT, Radar coverage, flight path SAM rings and data link tracks!
       
      Weather with you
      From manual:
      Weather management has been drastically improved, with a dynamic weather system which changes with time as it moves across the BMS terrain. Bad weather effects have also been improved, with better visibility management and new cumulus cloud layers.
      If you like a challenge you can get pretty good random weather in the campaigns that will require some thought on how you do things when neither you or a targeting pod can actually see the targets! Anyone who learnt their A-G radar mode skills back in the day will still find they still come in handy.
      A shout out to the rain effect in Falcon which is by far my favourite in any sim so far:
       

       
       
      Artificial Intelligence (AI)
      From manual:
      The AI is now much better at energy management, timing and fuel efficiency thanks to updated climb profiles, top of climb and top of descent management. Holding points and push points have been improved. AI now perform baseline intercepts much more effectively (be warned). This is important for BVR combat but also for tanker rendezvous. The ATO features new target selection logic and package constitution.
      AI ATC has been drastically improved, providing reliable management of the traffic queue. New options for autonomous approach have been created to allow human players to approach airbases without having to listen to ATC vectoring you through the pattern (useful when you are flying IFR for instance).
       
      Note on the last paragraph, which provides a happy medium between the full talk down and the emergency landing…………the full talk down is still fantastic in pea soup weather where there is no ILS at the air base.
       
       
       
      So, there you have it, still an addictive pleasure that will lead you into a false sense of security before kicking your A!
       
      Well, it’s just really hard to do. Looking back on it, I think the only reason we took on what we did is because we were too inexperienced to know better. Knowing what I do now, even given my experience on Falcon, the cost to develop such an engine would be substantial. Since flight sims don’t bring in that kind of revenue companies look at it from a cost to benefit standpoint and Dynamic Campaigns score pretty low in that regard. There is also the argument that scripted missions are more interesting which has some merit. I think if I were to do it over I would do a mix of scripted/generated missions, so that the player still feels like they’re involved in the world, but there is also some variety thrown in to keep things interesting.
      Kevin Klemmick 2012

       
      Disclaimer - this article may contain Star Wars quotes.
       
       
    • By MigBuster

       
       
       
      Now for a quick look at an F-16 flight combat simulator you may have heard of, in particular the only version of Falcon 4.0 currently in development.
      Benchmark Simulations official add on to Falcon 4.0 is called BMS 4.33 (currently upgrade 4) and to use you need to buy the original 1998 Microprose Falcon 4.0 from places such as GOG.com and then install that first. Then you install BMS 4.33 after downloading via the torrent from the BMS web site.
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      I will have a Block 30 with GE-132 and go faster stripes please 
       
       
      Although Falcon BMS does still trounce all in its path in certain aspects I am going to briefly start on one of the less impressive parts of Falcon, that being the visual environment.  Despite its 1998 origins, limitations have been progressively overcome to improve this area also. BMS 4.33 Came with many new ground and air objects as well as a new terrain set with trees by Polak.


       
       
      Like Strike Fighters there are some very talented  individuals who have spent years providing professional level mods for free. I will give mention to Falcon Legend JanHas (http://www.janhas.net/) who has been around for…ever it seems. Real credit to the guy and rest be assured every rivet is polished to perfection to provide models as good as or better than anything else. His mods also come with comprehensive install documentation – and yes you do need it.

       


      New afterburner flame most welcome 
       
      Installing mods is not as easy as Strike Fighters, there are bits you copy and paste but the models still need LodEditor to install them. Having just installed pretty much all of the JanHas mods I can tell you that despite it looking complex initially you are just pressing buttons and changing a few numbers at the end of the day so after the first few it becomes pretty easy – just time consuming having to do it manually.
      Why are these mods not in the baseline install making my life easier? - Well the reason is I have read that BMS have certain standards they keep to so it still runs on lower spec hardware.


      After a Herculean effort to get the mods installed!
       
      Also as with Strike Fighters, Modders have created different theatre’s for Falcon 4 over the years including the middle east, Balkans and Germany (Ostsee by TomKatz) that even makes an attempt to populate the terrain with well placed 3D buildings.

       
       
       
      So there you have it, graphical improvements have been slow because it requires good samaritans with free talent with free time, but it’s always nice to see there has been progress in that area. I have not mentioned the internal view because that is already more than good enough, especially considering most of a campaign is where I’m at anyway!

       
       
       
       
       
       
    • By MigBuster

       
       
       
       
      On behalf of the entire BMS development team, I am happy to announce that the latest iteration of the Billion Soft Falcon 4.0 total conversion modification - Benchmark Sims 4.33 U4 - is available for you to enjoy as of RIGHT NOW!
      Like U3, the changes and bugfixes in Update 4 are a direct consequence of feedback we got from some bigger MP sessions. There are no data or feature changes included in this patch.

      First things first: the "Falcon" trademark has a new copyright holder, Billion Soft (Hong Kong) Limited. We're very grateful to them that they support and enable us to keep releasing future BMS updates!
      BMS 4.33 U4 requires a legit installation of a Falcon 4.0 (all older and newer versions are accepted alike, i.e. Microprose, Hasbro, GOG, Steam, Retroism). The check is performed both at setup time and every time you start BMS. If no valid installation is found, BMS will exit with a corresponding error message.
      For those of you who are still in need of a legit Falcon 4.0 base installation, please be aware that Retroism is offering a special price for Falcon 4.0 for the upcoming black Friday weekend ($/€2.79)!

      U4 is an incremental update on top of U1 + U2 + U3, so you need to have the BMS 4.33 U1 Full Installer package and the corresponding 4.33 U2 Incremental Installer and 4.33 U3 Incremental Installer available on your PC. You can both update your existing U1 + U2 + U3 installation as well as perform a fresh U1 + U2 + U3 + U4 installation from scratch, as you like. See the installation instructions below for details.
       
      from: https://www.bmsforum.org/forum/showthread.php?32320-Falcon-BMS-4-33-U4-Incremental-Installer
       
      Changelog:
      Generic Information:
      - The build number string in the Falcon UI reads "4.33.4 Build 16083" after the update
      - No data or docu or config files have been changed, this update is a pure "code-only" patch
      - The shortcuts in the start menu and on your desktop will NOT be renamed to U4, feel free to rename them manually

      CODE:
      - Updated splash screen and monolog output for the new Falcon copyright holder: Billion Soft (Hong Kong) Limited
      - Significant performance improvements for importing ACMI .flt to .vhs:
      * Reduced time needed for import by at least a factor of 10 to 20
      * Added monolog output, flt file size at START, duration summary and vhs size at DONE
      - In the UI chat windows, the participant tree title will now include the number of players in the chat, e.g. "(4)Lobby" instead of "Lobby"
      - Increased the disconnect timeouts for the transport layer to 60 seconds for increased stability in "short temporary network loss/disconnect" situations
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      - Multiple (potential) CTD/hang fixes:
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      * client CTD when exiting BMS
      * CTD related to input device sorting
      * CTD in DrawableTrail::DrawChunkBillBoards
      * CTD when exiting a campaign on a client due to invalid object access in UpdateIntel
      * CTD when checking in with AWACS
      * CTD in AirTaskingManagerClass::FindNearestActiveTanker
      * infinite loop in AirframeClass::CalcMach
      * CTD in VU message handling
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