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Old 09-24-2020, 06:49 PM   #3301
rossmum
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Cheers Alpen.

Look, guys, let me put it like this: I would happily see the entire server restricted to R-3S/GAR-8 only, or even guns only, because then neither team will have any latitude to whinge and that's all a good pilot needs. It would be no skin off my nose, especially with how much guns practice I've had while dealing with the R-3S and R-13. But at the end of the day someone will always find a reason to say the other team has it better, and the more toys we have to play with I think the happier people will be. Guns only would certainly be totally equal, but if I want that I can go to JDF or the Korea 1952 server.

IMO blue's biggest problem on the times I've played on it was comms. There either were none, or there was no GCI, or the GCI had severe tunnel vision (understandable, I do the same when I've tried it). By contrast red usually has a lot of people on comms, one or several experienced GCIs, and we try and drag enemies into each other and set up traps and ambushes where we can. Fly in pairs, guys. Encourage your friends to come on and GCI. Find some clever tactics like using feints to facilitate fighter sweeps or bait greedy MiGs (like me probably) in front of a trailing, unseen pair of fighters. There's a lot more to be gained through that than asking for this or that missile or more of a given type of aircraft.
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Old 09-24-2020, 07:38 PM   #3302
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Originally Posted by Sideburns View Post
I'm sorry to hear that is the case, it appears a mission maintainers job is never ending. But unfortunately I have another query / suggestion.

Is there also a reason the F5 gets only the Aim9p whereas the MiG21 has the R60? Feels like we've gone full circle with the balance discussions and ended up with an imbalance here. The R60 has twice the manoeuvrability of the Aim9p series and also a cooled seeker head compared to the aim9p as modelled in DCS (taken from the missile definition files). We've seen the accumulative effect of missile manoeuvrability on missile effectiveness thanks to the RB24j pre-fix situation. Granted the Aim9p5 does have better CCM and slight better reach. In service dates for the R60 and Aim9p5 are also similar, not to mention the MiG21 gets double mount R60 if they wish.

No wonder blues were having a hard time when I popped on last night. I would suggest permitting the F5 to carry the Aim9p5 to balance the R60.
If you're getting P5s then we're getting a limitted supply of R-60Ms. P5 is all aspect, especially against current MiGs which now have been nerfed to have a much higher IR signature than the F-5, R-60 is rear aspect only, and it has been nerfed to make it impossible to hit head on with, it just doesn't track, it's as effective head on as hydras/S-5s. Not to mention that unlike AIM-9 you can't uncage the R-60 at your own discretion, it uncages on launch impulse (or rather even worse: on launch, unless this has also been fixed) and you can't uncage the missile when you have tone, set up a comfortable lead angle and then launch, like you can with the AIM-9. I can welcome R-3R being removed until the exploit allowing to lock on to targets that are covered by side lobe clutter is fixed, so that we don't get all aspect capability we shouldn't have, but adding AIM-9P5 would return us back to all aspect combat.

What could be done is to limit the supply of R-60s so that people don't just pack 6xR60 loadout, because the real elephant in the room is that the F-5 can't carry more than 2 missiles while the MiG can carry 6 - albeit putting it at a significant disadvantage in a merge due to added weight, which should make it lose to any competent F-5 pilot if they don't spend those missiles by then. On the other hand, Viggen can carry 6 9Ps, so it balances out (although I'd prefer an environment where MiGs are forcefully limited to 2 missile loadouts and Viggens are forced to do what they're supposed to - air interdiction - but what can I do, there's a limit to what you can do in DCS without black magic and Alpen has good reasons not to use loadout validation scripts - the only way they can enforce loadouts is by blowing you up if it's invalid).

If you remove R-60s completely, red side is left with R-13M, which again is significantly inferior to AIM-9P. You could say that it balances out considering higher missile load, but not with Viggens flying CAP with 6x24J. Also 4xR-13M loadout limits MiG to one bag, while packing F-5 CAP loadout - 3 bags (which there's no reason not to take if you do CAP, as those pylons are unused anyway) - brings MiG to an identical load with 2 missiles, except those missile are a generation behind what F-5 has.

We can play those games forever, but whatever you do you will end up stacked against one side. Fly the MiG-21 for a bit, it's much harder to do ACM with than the F-5, especially after recent FM changes. Currently with Viggen and MiG both sustaining damage beyond max load factor the F-5 is the only fighter on the server that can pull stupid G loads with impunity. Not to mention a working SAS and much better visibility, which combined let you easily pull off complicated manoeuvrers while maintaining SA, where's while the MiG can technically do the same most of the time, it will require pilot's full attention - they need to chose between keeping their eyes on the opponent and keeping the aircraft from falling like a brick.

What we have now is a good compromise, one that will inevitably come to an end anyway when (if) we get an F-4, since there's nothing on red side to really balance it out, we will just need to eventually accept the fact that cold war was not symmetric, that the two sides had completely different doctrines across the board, and any attempts at creating symmetric cold war warfare will meet roadblocks like those. Realistically, most of the time red side should sit inside an overkill IADS bubble and protect the ground assets while blue side conducts massive air raids with zero support from other branches. One side effect of asymmetry is the disparity where Russians eventually dropped the copied Sidewinder line and developed their own missiles while Americans kept pushing the AIM-9 design for raw energy and speed. If we had Older F-5 versions with AIM-9E-N we wouldn't have this problem, but DCS is what it is - a patchwork of aircraft from different eras that are memed as a match for each other when they really aren't.

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Old 09-24-2020, 08:36 PM   #3303
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I tend to fly a single bag on the F-5 just to avoid installing the extra pylons, myself. It sips fuel anyway so it's not a big deal.

When the F-4 comes we'll probably have had the MiG-23 for at least a while. I'm somewhat worried about what the 23 will do (as in, salt generation) as the MLA is significantly better than most people are expecting and should trounce even a slatted Phantom assuming equal pilot skill (and a passable RIO/WSO, for the Phantom). I guess the big balancing factor there is that its BVR load is limited to only two missiles versus the Phantom's four, and the Phantom may get better Sparrows to compete with or better the R-24, but it's faster, more agile, has a better and easier to use radar, and accelerates like a rocket. The only way I really see the Phantom redressing the balance, particularly close-in, is if it comes with VTAS - but then that will make life particularly unpleasant for everything else. The idea of trying to balance aerial combat of this era is a real tug-o-war with pulls this way or that.

The point about the ecosystem these aircraft exist in is spot on. It's worth noting that AAA/MANPADS and particularly SAM coverage in the server is far, far, far watered down from what you'd actually expect - mostly because we don't really have period-correct SEAD (yet) and a lot of people get frustrated and quit if they're hampered by SAMs over and over again. In a realistic scenario, particularly one where red are playing the part of an actual Warsaw Pact nation or the USSR itself, it would be pretty intense - especially with the S-200 coming. Can't use your fancy AWACS if it can't come anywhere within 200km of the defensive belt...

Overall the server does a good job of having simple, well-optimised, easily-remembered missions where each type of aircraft gets to feel useful and important but which also allows for a lot of the quick action people enjoy. It's just important to remember that it's not what these aircraft were designed to do, not how they were historically employed, and nor should we aspire to reach the perpetual PG islands stalemate Blue Flag did because the balance police decided to start going to the accountants with weapon data. As long as an overall asymmetrical balance is achieved, one aircraft having two or four extra (but weaker) missiles, or one missile turning better but lacking punch and range, isn't a big problem. One side being able to engage where the other cannot retaliate - now that would be a problem, and that's why the R-60 went on vacation in the first place.
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Old 09-24-2020, 08:42 PM   #3304
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rossmum View Post
IMO blue's biggest problem on the times I've played on it was comms. There either were none, or there was no GCI, or the GCI had severe tunnel vision (understandable, I do the same when I've tried it). By contrast red usually has a lot of people on comms, one or several experienced GCIs, and we try and drag enemies into each other and set up traps and ambushes where we can. Fly in pairs, guys. Encourage your friends to come on and GCI. Find some clever tactics like using feints to facilitate fighter sweeps or bait greedy MiGs (like me probably) in front of a trailing, unseen pair of fighters. There's a lot more to be gained through that than asking for this or that missile or more of a given type of aircraft.
This ^

I mostly play Blue and some of us are really trying to provide better coordination, especially using ground forces which are at the heart of many missions and it often turns into a 3 hours try-hard tank driving nightmare while most of the team is doing team deathmatch in the air like it's Growling Sidewinder server. So it usually comes down to a very few people doing huey stuff, driving ground units and sometimes GCI-ing altogether. This can lead to pretty frustrating moments (flying a huey for 25min to drop a unit, then drive it to get killed because the focus is not on the objective)

I'm still a noob at DCS and I understand how starting out in CW can be complicated. Hell, the first time I played on it I got obliterated while flying at FL400 with the M2000 not even knowing where I was but it's obvious a lot of players either don't know what's going on or don't really care, talking on top of each other and so on.

Some good players try to lead by example by explaining stuff to others and I can't thank them enough but I have to admit that no amount of OP stuff on blue side will replace good tactics and coordination.

Not gonna lie, sometimes I just can't wait for winter sales to get some Redfor modules

Thankfully it's not always like that but let's say there's a pattern.
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