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Caesar last won the day on May 25 2017

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  1. The AI is cheating

    Oh, it does. Get into an F-16C and fight an AI F-5E on Excellent or whatever. Bring the fight vertical, then swap between the aircraft as you go through the energy egg and you'll see just how much more energy the F-5 has as it goes high to low under twice the "g" load as your F-16. I noticed when I was doing this last night that the F-5E was at the low 100s KIAS at the top of the egg, then as it came down, it would be loaded up (as high as 6g at the bottom of the egg) and accelerating to the high 300s of KIAS. I, on the other hand, would be at the low 100s at the top of the egg, and as I came down slightly loaded up (only reaching about 2.5g until the base of the egg where I'd hit up to 3.8g), I would only make it to the mid-200s KIAS before coming back up. I'm sure some of it is my own hamfistedness, but an F-5 should NOT be able to out-accelerate an F-16C Block 50 on the way down such that it has more than a 100 KIAS advantage against the Viper. Flying against it in my most familiar mount, the F-14B, I can reliably and repeatedly defeat the F-5, but it does things it shouldn't be able to do against an F-14B, one of those being to out-climb the B-Tomcat. It basically does the same "Bathtub" tactic the F-15C does in spite of a far inferior T/W to the F-15 and F-14. Other ridiculous AI include the MiG-15 and F-86. The AI can maintain pitch and roll control down to 40KIAS. My group does PvP guns-only and you'd best believe that player flight models are far, far more realistic. Try to pull the same thing the AI does with a player jet and you're going to die. The thing that gets to me is just how random it seems. Some aircraft seem at least plausible in their AI form, while others are just UFOs. Just depends on the jet.
  2. Just a couple "family photos" of the Teen-Series fighters in DCS we took online. Nifty size comparison:
  3. Downloaded my copy today! I agree with SE that having a high-fi F-15C would be great. With plans for an F-15E and an F-4(E?) still out there, I wonder how they're going to handle the multiple crew thing. I think Heatblur did a fantastic job with the Jester interface if you're soloing it; wonder if they'll license the code? I do prefer to fly with a human RIO/WSO, but Jester is a good, functional stand-in.
  4. TMF F-14 Tomcat Super Pack v1.32

    The F-14A+ is the F-14B. They are literally the same jet. The designation "F-14A+" [or "F-14A(PLUS)"] was changed to F-14B in 1991 to avoid confusion. Avionics70.dll is available in all versions of SF2. AvionicsF14A.dll is only available in North Atlantic. The Avionics70.dll is only used in a strike version of the F-14D we kept in there as legacy content, and it doesn't have the same air-to-air capabilities as the rest of the pack, which uses AvionicsF14A.dll. So, I believe the Avionics70 file should already be in your game if you installed North Atlantic.
  5. That's the missile coming off the plane "stupid." It happens in reality, although much less often than it did during, say, the Vietnam War. Still, SF2 does simulate the missile failing off the rail (I believe the .ini line is "LaunchReliability"), it's a random chance thing, not necessarily anything you've done wrong.
  6. I'm primarily flying the Tomcat (WOW! WHO'D HAVE GUESSED!?), but I have the F/A-18, Mirage 2000C, F-5E, AJS37, AV-8B, A-10C, the Flaming Cliffs 3 set, the F-86 and MiG-15 and have pre-ordered the Viper. Variety is the spice of life! I fly usually 3 times a week or so with a small group I met through one of the Facebook DCS groups. Primarily fly PvE, but we'll do some guns-only PvP, too. I've got Nevada, Persian Gulf, and Normandy maps atop the default.
  7. Top Gun 2 Maverick Trailer (Official)

    Thought of that myself...maybe they meant in a single engagement? Either way, it kind of looks to be in the same vein as the original, so I have a very fragile hope that it won't totally suck. I might actually see it in theaters.
  8. The last time the cockpit 3D file was updated was about 3 years ago by its original creator, "ToS." Haven't seen him on in a while (really since the end of 2015), and I don't know if he still has the max file or not.
  9. 2019 Drive

    Fired off a donation.
  10. DCS Weekend News: 24 May 2019

    I'll definitely be picking this one up, too. The Viper is probably my favorite behind the Turkey. I will say I'm surprised to see the price tag. I don't think the Bug was that expensive on its release, and they had to do more research on that airplane as I understand it. The Tomcat package is as expensive, but it comes with (when finished) two variants of the F-14, an AI A-6 and a Carrier. Pre-ordering, however, I can justify.
  11. The problem with discussing this graph relative to real-world aircraft performance doghouses is that the real-world charts for most of those planes shown are protected by distribution and export restrictions, so you really can't do it in an open forum without potentially falling afoul either the distro limitations or certain laws like ITAR. As to the in-game performance, there's a series of videos by The Grim Reapers which runs a bunch of the modeled aircraft against each other in terms of general performance. The F-14B has a just barely better sustained turn than the F-15C (equal payloads) on the deck, but you have to be slower in the F-14 to achieve it (20 deg/sec @ 300-330KTAS vs 19 deg/sec @ 350-450KTAS). Generally the F-15C out accelerates the F-14B in DCS against a Vmax of 650KTAS by about 4 seconds both on the deck and at 15,000 feet, while the F-14B has a better max speed on the deck, but lower max speed at altitude. The F-14B out-climbs the F-15C from 0 knots start, while the F-15C out-climbs the F-14B from 600 knots start. The two are generally comparable. What I've found is that the F-14B takes a lot more practice and understanding of its nuances, and I'm still learning a lot (have been away for a bit, and will be again shortly). A LOT of rudder work comes into play. The F-15C has the FBW and ARI and you can horse around with the stick all you want to point the nose where you want it to go without ever touching the rudder pedals, not so in the Tomcat. I've been watching some of the more competitive folks on YouTube and they've been successfully winning guns-only PvP fights against other players in Hornets, Flankers, and the like, but it definitely takes them practice and time.
  12. Have a safe and blessed holiday!

    Happy Easter, all!
  13. The way I do it is the same as nose numbers: iterative decals which are applied either left or right at the location where you want the number. An example, for the inaugural VF-1 Wolfpack skin in the Tomcat Super Pack, I made a set of .tgas "BuNoxxx" from 000 to 011. Each one matched the real-world bureau number of VF-1's F-14As from NK100 to NK114 (remember 108 and 109 aren't used), so BuNo000 matches USFtrNum000 and TailNum000, and NK100 will always be 158979, NK101 will always be 158989, etc. The call-out in the DECALS.ini look like this: [Decal007] MeshName=LeftEnginePod DecalLevel=2 DecalFacing=LEFT FilenameFormat=F-14A_74/VF1NK74/D/BuNo Position=-5.275,-0.95 Rotation=0.0 Scale=1.0 DecalMaxLOD=4 [Decal008] MeshName=RightEnginePod DecalLevel=2 DecalFacing=RIGHT FilenameFormat=F-14A_74/VF1NK74/D/BuNo Position=-5.275,-0.95 Rotation=0.0 Scale=1.0 DecalMaxLOD=4 Notice that they're the same decal, just facing a different direction. If you're using italics, it doesn't work cleanly and you have to make two different sets, but most bureau numbers I'm aware of aren't italicized. Hope this helps.
  14. Well, I brought it up against a Flanker (AI) and it went a lot better than expected. Of course, a human player would be completely different, but I'm at least building some confidence with my handling!
  15. Well, Heatblur finally released the F-14B into Early Access. If you aren't familiar with DCS, you may like to know that you need to run the module in the DCS World OpenBeta, rather than the full-up version. I hadn't touched OpenBeta and only played DCS every now and again in the past, so I was glad to find that out. I'm quite impressed with the module to say the least. The Jester AI is easy as pie to interact with, making long-range engagements very straightforward. I did three sorties tonight, after a control shakeout (DCS likes to assign axes to everything!) and basic familiarization flight. The first mission I forgot to set the time to 1200 and left it on "Random". So, a pitch-black fight against a MiG-21 it was! I have the tags on, still, in part because the monitor can slip out of my glasses field of view with TrackIR, and I can at least see a little red blob against the terrain, so that helped, but it does feel like cheating and I'll be shutting it off at some point. I was able to down the Fishbed and get back to base. This is fine! No problem at all... Second fight was in Nevada doing long-range stuff to check out Phoenix. The final fight was the included "MiG-28" fight, which was a 4v2 which sees you take a catapult shot and bring the plane back to land. Because we had an E-2 in the area, we got a vector for the bandits, ROE was splash anything that went feet-wet. I still haven't figured out how to direct the wingman, so he was effectively along for the ride. At about 25NM, TWS-A selected, I loosed both AIM-54Cs at a MiG-28 a piece, both missiles tracked and splashed their targets. Next bandit I got with my second Sparrow missile. The final guy got a shot off at my wingman, but his missile took dash-2's flares. Both AIM-9 shots I took were trashed and I had to finish him off with the gun. Plenty of gas left, but now I know I've gotta put it down on the boat, and man am I glad I went straight home, because I think it took me about 10 tries to get back on deck, and that last try, let me tell you - one of those famous "we land NOW, GOD-DAMMIT!" one-wires where I just barely missed a ramp strike. Wasn't pretty and I know I damaged the plane because little holes appeared on the port-side of the nose of the model to signify that the section had taken a beating. Funny enough, in combat, I only put 6.8g on the plane! Cat on the 'Cat "Hi, there!" No kill like a GUNS kill! I think it would come as the understatement of the century to say I was anticipating this module, but I will also say that until Heatblur did their official announcement video, I had zero confidence it would ever get done. The DCS community has been burned plenty of times in the past, and HB had run into problems and setbacks of their own while in development. My mindset became: once it's on my hard drive, then I'll believe it. As videos began to roll in, however, it became more like a kid on Christmas "oh man, I can't wait." Well, now I have it, and I can share some first impressions. The model is friggin' fantastic. The level of detail on it is stunning both externally and in the cockpit. The rivet-counters will have a tough time on this one; the models are based on laser-scanned F-14s sitting in museums, and years worth of research. The sounds are also amazing, to include a lot of clickyness to the various buttons and switches in the cockpit. The view out of the cockpit is very good, as one would expect out of a bubble canopy, but not as good in the forward quarter as an airplane without the "jail bars" splitting the windscreen. That said, with TrackIR or VR, you can simply move your head a little, or lean forward or back to keep tally. You can see clear through the tails from the front seat. In this case, I just started flying through a cloud, so it's a little blurry. The Jester AI, like I mentioned earlier, is very intuitive and easy to interact with. Even without reading the manual on how to interact, I figured it out in the first combat flight I took. The single biggest thing that will take time to learn is the flight model and handling characteristics. The F-14 is truly a stick and rudder plane, and the F-14s in Strike Fighters 2 don't even come close to simulating the adverse elements of the F-14's handling, especially wing rock and control reversal. I wouldn't consider myself a contender online at the moment, and the fact that I was able to take out the AI aircraft in a gunfight at this stage is simply because they are AI. If you hop in expecting the plane to hold your hand like the F/A-18C module, you're in for a ride. It has no g-limiter, no alpha limiter, beta (yaw) limiter, etc. It's you talking directly to the control surfaces and them doing whatever the hell you tell them to, be it to your advantage or detriment. "Need to get out of the way of that missile and put the stick in your lap? Fine! 10g ain't the worst I've been through! Boot full of rudder? I'm not stopping you! Canopy jettison followed by...oh, you son of a..." In terms of overall maneuverability (sustained/instantaneous "g", roll rate, etc.) the airplane feels good. If I didn't jack it up and start rocking the wings, I was able to turn perfectly fine and loaded as much as 9.8g on the plane in one of my fights without complaint. A major saving grace against the F-5s when I got the plane out of shape is the fact that the B adds energy quick, and I was able to stabilize the plane and quickly curl inside their turns to go from defensive, to neutral, to offensive reliably and repeatedly. I actually had to get one of them off of my dead six o'clock (he shot a missile while there, but it took my flares) and was able to reverse the situation in a manner of seconds. The F110's power also gives the plane a lot of options, such as pushing the fight vertical, or un-f*cking your carrier approach when you jack it up and almost put yourself into the back of the boat for the fourth time. AoA and airspeed are very important to pay attention to, and the rudders will make or break you in a dogfight or at slow speeds. I still haven't felt out the slow speed regime intentionally yet. I have run the plane out of airspeed during some hamfisted dogfighting moments, but honestly, it recovers itself pretty quickly, and it maintains a degree of controllability even below 100KIAS, such that I was able to point the nose where I wanted with the rudders as the plane flopped over and began regaining speed. It also allows you to go to full flaps for slow-speed flight/fighting without needing to pull the aux flap circuit breaker (of the few things not [yet] modeled, one is the circuit breakers). As I build confidence, I'll start looking to test my skills against MiG-29s, Su-27s, etc., and eventually get into multiplayer, but right now, I'm still learning the thing. Overall, it's a really amazing module. Every video I've seen talking about this module says that Heatblur set a new bar for aircraft in DCS. I agree. The plane is spectacular. You'll need to put in the time to learn it, but man, is it rewarding to fly. At some point in the future, the F-14A will be released, and the package already comes with a carrier and A-6, so its steeper asking price of $79.99 gets you more than just a single jet. In my opinion, it's well worth the asking price. I'm sure that'll buff out...

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