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Making the most out of the first mission


Archer7
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Hey, it's no secret that the first Georgian Hammer campaign mission can be completed basically any way you want to. As long as the bridge is destroyed it’s a complete win, apparently.

 

However winning by any means isn’t very enjoyable. At one time or another something always goes sideways when I’m playing the mission so now I’m asking how to execute it as intended.

 

It seems that there’s a lot more to the mission than the game tells you about!

 

When I went through the mission today I did a completely solo job and everything worked out nicely however as I’m going down the runway at the start of the mission the ATC tells me all of a sudden the runway isn’t clear and I nearly hit the other A-10.

When I go down he starts chanting at me to join him constantly, or maybe that’s me chanting at him. Anyways there seems to be some issue with this guy.

 

After completing the mission I also noticed our guys only destroyed about a quarter of the enemies. My mission was actually not only to destroy the bridge but also to assist the guys on ground if I’m not completely mistaken. How do I go about doing that though?

I’ve never been able to contact anyone except for the ATC. Meanwhile there are ground units, other A-10s, AWACS I believe… how do I get in touch with any of these guys?

 

 

Here’s how I went through the mission today:

Contacted ATC.

Activated Mavericks, targeting and CMS.

Went up in the air.

Gears up, flaps down and arm weapons on.

Desperately tried to trim the aircraft to stop slow tilting.

Went to waypoint two while ascending to about 8000 ft.

Bombed the bridge.

Went home, contacted ATC, touched down, taxied and shut down.

Anything to change?

 

It is quite sorry how the game doesn’t evaluate your mission skills in any greater detail.

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You can reach other assets on 124,0 AM channel, and JTAC on 30,00 FM channel. If you´re not using Easy Radios.

 

The AI and wingmen have a bad reputation in DCS. So unless you haven´t figured out their strengths and weaknesses, you´re better of alone without them.

 

For the third part - depending how you want to play your missions depends on your own view of what is fun. Either you do what you are told (in the poorly briefing), or you bomb anything you see and do more than you are supposed to do. Either way is accepted in DCS as long as the mission goals are met so you can continue forward.

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Snooze-81st-vFS

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Georgian Hammer is very disappointing to me mostly in part to the lack of intel you're given pre-mission.

 

"There are 12 tanks here and here." is often the full report. No areas of suspected SAM activity or confirmed radar emissions etc marked, no intel on movement etc. Its everything thats wrong with DCS campaigns :(

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The mission goal is to bomb the bridge! If you did it you're succeeded with your mission. Now, if you have weapons left, you may assist ground forces, considering you are under no immediate threat mostly the two SU-25s that sometimes engage you when you get low .(on 124.0 AM AWACS givesBRA calls on enemy air)

You can call a JTAC and offer assistance over a certain "playtime". Now the JTAC gives you targets that he needs eliminated. When you are Winchester (out of ammo) or feel not up to the task, you may check out and RTB anytime.

Since you have a wingman you can task him to destroy certain targets... I recommend to let him take out air defence and AAA unless you like the challenge.

On Radios F10 menu you usually have SEAD and/or CAP flights sometimes even additional CAS flights available.

In the first mission it's easy, but later you'll need them. It is a good idea to learn managing the additional flights from the start. Call a SEAD flight to take out radar SAMs, if you notice a flight of Mig-29s heading your way, bug out to a safe waypoint and call in the CAP to scare them away. Listen to the guys on 124.0 AM they inform you what they do, giving you a better picture...

Hope that helps a bit.


Edited by shagrat

Shagrat

 

- Flying Sims since 1984 -:pilotfly:

Win 10 | i5 10600K@4.1GHz | 32GB | GeForce RTX 2080S - Acer XB280HK 28" 4k | TrackIR5 | Simshaker & Jetseat | VIRPIL CM 50 Stick & Throttle | MFG Crosswind Rudder Pedals | TM Cougar MFDs | a hand made UFC | AHCP | 2x Elgato StreamDeck (Buttons galore)

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I never had another when starting, only when falling back from stage 2 :D ...but most is valid for the majority of missions.

Shagrat

 

- Flying Sims since 1984 -:pilotfly:

Win 10 | i5 10600K@4.1GHz | 32GB | GeForce RTX 2080S - Acer XB280HK 28" 4k | TrackIR5 | Simshaker & Jetseat | VIRPIL CM 50 Stick & Throttle | MFG Crosswind Rudder Pedals | TM Cougar MFDs | a hand made UFC | AHCP | 2x Elgato StreamDeck (Buttons galore)

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To their waypoints! Have a look at the "mission editor" map in the briefing. Button at the bottom... when calling CAP, wait untilyou actually have enemy planes inbound. CAS makes sense, if you go to rearm. Send them in while you RTB, then get back and finish the rest. Or use them first to soften opposition in the ground. Depends a bit on the mission.

Shagrat

 

- Flying Sims since 1984 -:pilotfly:

Win 10 | i5 10600K@4.1GHz | 32GB | GeForce RTX 2080S - Acer XB280HK 28" 4k | TrackIR5 | Simshaker & Jetseat | VIRPIL CM 50 Stick & Throttle | MFG Crosswind Rudder Pedals | TM Cougar MFDs | a hand made UFC | AHCP | 2x Elgato StreamDeck (Buttons galore)

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To their waypoints! Have a look at the "mission editor" map in the briefing. Button at the bottom... when calling CAP, wait untilyou actually have enemy planes inbound. CAS makes sense, if you go to rearm. Send them in while you RTB, then get back and finish the rest. Or use them first to soften opposition in the ground. Depends a bit on the mission.

 

Thank you! I usually go into the mission planner to adjust my loadout and check out routes and such. I just never really thought about looking at my friendly flights waypoints. Thanks!:doh:

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Yeah! Took a while for me as well. Listen to the 124.0 AM! "Springfield 2, pushing waypoint 3"or "Chevy 6, engaging air defenses at bullseye 120 for 9" etc. is pretty useful to understand what's going on around you... :thumbup:

Shagrat

 

- Flying Sims since 1984 -:pilotfly:

Win 10 | i5 10600K@4.1GHz | 32GB | GeForce RTX 2080S - Acer XB280HK 28" 4k | TrackIR5 | Simshaker & Jetseat | VIRPIL CM 50 Stick & Throttle | MFG Crosswind Rudder Pedals | TM Cougar MFDs | a hand made UFC | AHCP | 2x Elgato StreamDeck (Buttons galore)

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To continue this discussion, what happens once say a CAP flight "run out of targets" and RTB's, can you call them in again if there's new contacts?

 

I've notices that once you've called one in, it disappears from the F10 menu, but later in the mission it might be available again. Or maybe it was a different flight, dunno...

There is no other way to give them direct "fly-to-this-position" commands right?

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Last first: no there is no "fly there and engage" command. The CAP flight will more or less intelligently do what he is tasked to do. When you call them they engage and try to clear the airspace. If they get damaged or Winchester or bingo fuel they RTB (return to base), as would a real CAP. If you have a second flight available you can call them in.

Now if they kill the enemy fighters or the fighters bug out before they can engage they return on station and are available for tasking again... have in mind, a jetfighter has pretty limited loiter time! So if you call them early, they drop tanks and engage and have about 10-15 minutes before fuel might get an issue. If they can't air refuel (usually not in a campaign mission) they are bingo fuel and leave you alone in the air.

Rule of thumbs: call them when you have bogeys inbound to your position, but not "as a precaution".

Shagrat

 

- Flying Sims since 1984 -:pilotfly:

Win 10 | i5 10600K@4.1GHz | 32GB | GeForce RTX 2080S - Acer XB280HK 28" 4k | TrackIR5 | Simshaker & Jetseat | VIRPIL CM 50 Stick & Throttle | MFG Crosswind Rudder Pedals | TM Cougar MFDs | a hand made UFC | AHCP | 2x Elgato StreamDeck (Buttons galore)

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Oh, about the mission planner... how do I use it?

I've clicked mostly all buttons but never seen anything about being able to change your weapons so I've always went with the default.

 

Klick on your aircraft (indicated by skill = "player" on the right side. Klick on the Bomb symbol (second in the row) to get to the loadout menu

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Copy that shagrat. Thanks for clarifying! However, when you say they "return on station" if enemy fighters bug out, do you mean they RTB or do you mean they usually have a "circle here" waypoint (loiter?) they return to if there's nothing to engage, until their fuel runs out and then RTB?

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Or when you use the "ramp start" campaign with a cold and dark plane, call ground crew (F8) with open cockpit and "rearm and refuel"...

Shagrat

 

- Flying Sims since 1984 -:pilotfly:

Win 10 | i5 10600K@4.1GHz | 32GB | GeForce RTX 2080S - Acer XB280HK 28" 4k | TrackIR5 | Simshaker & Jetseat | VIRPIL CM 50 Stick & Throttle | MFG Crosswind Rudder Pedals | TM Cougar MFDs | a hand made UFC | AHCP | 2x Elgato StreamDeck (Buttons galore)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Can someone explain what Wingman, Flight and Second Element are?

I'm still unable to contact JTAC. What keypress to use?

The only things I can contact are ATCs and AWACs and I don't understand one thing the AWACS ever say... bogey dope?

Some guys chatter about tally bandits but I don’t know what that means either.

Is any of this detailed somewhere in any of the manuals?

 

Also when I’m up to the fifth mission or so I’m supposed to “attrite” some unit and the target area is empty… after going down really close to the ground I was able to spot a few anti-air guns but my bombs couldn’t hit them and I’m not even sure if they were the objective.

 

As a game DCS doesn’t make it easy on you. I can fly and I can do some basic bombing and everything the tutorials taught me but the campaign adds quite a lot of unexplained detail. Maybe all I should worry about is complete the objective and bomb whatever enemies I happen to see but I feel maybe one of the guys I can contact could at least help me spot the enemies? Isn’t that the JTACs job?

 

At least flying is intuitive. I’ve tried BS2 some and all I do is spin around on the ground, wobble to death or have the helicopter fly around wherever it wants without any input.

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Well, most people would not consider DCS a game, it's a simulation.

Many things you mentioned are brevity words used be the airforce. You don't have to worry much about the AWACS, it will give you vectors to enemy aircraft. A Bandit is an enemy Aircraft and a Bogey Dope will give you BRaA information on them - bearing range and altitude.

 

In terms of target spotting: Try to learn how to use the TGP effectively:

use BHOT/WHOT and adjust gain and lvl settings to have a good picture. Don't get closer than 20nm, else the TGPs viewangle gets to narrow.

 

In order to contact the JTAC use the FM channel (LShift + -(NUM)) should be the key. Make sure to have the correct frequency.

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I suggest to search a bit on YouTube. DCS A-10C should bring up a lot of results. Have a look on Google for "brevity code" a good site is flanker training . It is old, but still a good base to start from.

Wingman - your direct partner in the Flight. Tasked to cover you and inform you on targets. Also when you have expended all weapons you may cover him and task him with attacks.

Flight - your wing of planes can be just you and your wingman, or 4 planes or more. Usually 4.

Second element - the other pair of planes in your flight. Working as lead and wingman together... so you may split a flight of four into two elements to attack one after another and each has a wingman to spot SAM launches, while the lead attacks.

Shagrat

 

- Flying Sims since 1984 -:pilotfly:

Win 10 | i5 10600K@4.1GHz | 32GB | GeForce RTX 2080S - Acer XB280HK 28" 4k | TrackIR5 | Simshaker & Jetseat | VIRPIL CM 50 Stick & Throttle | MFG Crosswind Rudder Pedals | TM Cougar MFDs | a hand made UFC | AHCP | 2x Elgato StreamDeck (Buttons galore)

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Well, most people would not consider DCS a game, it's a simulation.

Many things you mentioned are brevity words used be the airforce. You don't have to worry much about the AWACS, it will give you vectors to enemy aircraft. A Bandit is an enemy Aircraft and a Bogey Dope will give you BRaA information on them - bearing range and altitude.

 

In terms of target spotting: Try to learn how to use the TGP effectively:

use BHOT/WHOT and adjust gain and lvl settings to have a good picture. Don't get closer than 20nm, else the TGPs viewangle gets to narrow.

 

In order to contact the JTAC use the FM channel (LShift + -(NUM)) should be the key. Make sure to have the correct frequency.

 

Indeed it is a simulator... except it doesn't simulate being able to ask anyone on the ground what the hell they want you to do :p

Thanks for all the info. Tanks are same colours as trees in the targetting pod but I'll see if I can find a setting to change that.

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You 're right! The first steps into combat are not that simple, and DCS lacks in trainings on tactics and real world procedures. On the other hand this forum or the wiki on top and lots of YouTube resources can compensate quite well.

The radio chatter is disorienting at first. It takes a while until you learn to filter important info and store it in your brain, while searching with the TGP etc.

By the way! Searching and finding(!) targets... it takes practice and you will need time to really learn it.

IMPORTANT: try different modes! WHOT/BHOT and Camera! Not just switching once, but when changing from fields to woods or city. Watch the light. It doesn't hurt to quickly switch through modes if unsure if that's a tank or a dark spot.

Learn to adjust the TGP! There is a "gain" and a "level" setting for the FLIR on the left side of the MFCD. In addition the brightness and contrast settings for the MFCD works wonders (the flip buttons on the four corners).

Now, get used to switching wide and narrow field of view and zooming in and out quickly! If you see a spot switch to narrow zoom in, check, switch back to wide FOV and then zoom out as much as necessary to get the general area.

One of my standard mistakes when starting with the hog was simply to get too close.

Keep a standoff distance to target area of at least 8-10 nm a little more does not hurt. Do NOT fly directly into the target area ! Circle at a distance and find targets, AAA and SAMs first. If you are 3-5 nm away from target area your TGP can show pretty little of the ground and searching gets hell more complicated.

I guess you are familiar with the "autopilot" aka EAC? If not figure it out, it is vital when working the TGP cause it keeps the plane circling, while you search. Don't forget to have a look around from time to time... we scooped together a good reference on the EAC autopilot and modes in the Wiki. :D

And always remember: the most fun in a study SIM is the studying part working out! First time you spotted a target, planned your attack, rolled in and out perfectly, had good hits and get outta there alive is like pure candy!

Shagrat

 

- Flying Sims since 1984 -:pilotfly:

Win 10 | i5 10600K@4.1GHz | 32GB | GeForce RTX 2080S - Acer XB280HK 28" 4k | TrackIR5 | Simshaker & Jetseat | VIRPIL CM 50 Stick & Throttle | MFG Crosswind Rudder Pedals | TM Cougar MFDs | a hand made UFC | AHCP | 2x Elgato StreamDeck (Buttons galore)

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Copy that shagrat. Thanks for clarifying! However, when you say they "return on station" if enemy fighters bug out, do you mean they RTB or do you mean they usually have a "circle here" waypoint (loiter?) they return to if there's nothing to engage, until their fuel runs out and then RTB?

 

Sorry, missed that one. Yes, "on station" means a loiter waypoint where they circle and wait for enemies (or your F10 command). IRL the CAP will do its "job" on their own, eliminating threats as they appear. I've been told in a combat mission there is usually not even a "go/no go" from the strikers (in this case your flight). CAP works as defined by air tasking order. As well IRL you would have a more or less continous CAP, unless you have air superiority anyway. As long as you have enough ressources to staff it.

When you get into the Mission Editor later and familiarize yourself with the Tasking system and prioritization the Mission Editor uses, it makes a lot of sense. Enroute Tasks, vs normal tasks and stacking tasks and priorize them.

The effect in the end is quite believable and can react quite well to battlefield dynamics... unless it is bugged again :D

Shagrat

 

- Flying Sims since 1984 -:pilotfly:

Win 10 | i5 10600K@4.1GHz | 32GB | GeForce RTX 2080S - Acer XB280HK 28" 4k | TrackIR5 | Simshaker & Jetseat | VIRPIL CM 50 Stick & Throttle | MFG Crosswind Rudder Pedals | TM Cougar MFDs | a hand made UFC | AHCP | 2x Elgato StreamDeck (Buttons galore)

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There are some frustrations about the campaign. The mission briefings are often vague, leaving a lot of guesswork as to why the mission success banner doesnt come up when briefed targets are destroyed. The campaign is rewarding though, once you learn how to deal with some of the nuances.

 

As for the taskings, IME there are almost always bogeys around, and definetely radar sams/aaa

 

JTACs are helpful for finding those key targets, but I dont think all JTAC nominated targets are required for mission succes, so be careful with that.

 

Im a bit impatient, and dont want to refuel/rearm if I dont have to so Ill task my wingman with a target group (e.g. Engage armor with mavericks at my spi). Once he says engaging target I go search for other groups. Not realistic to split a flight like that but oh well. I can't pass an AI wingman an attack gameplan, and thier attack setup is rather unpredictable to integrate with anyway.

If there's an "SD" on the RWR I'll anchor my wingman where I think he'll be safe until I can scout ahead. If the wingman gets shot at, he'll jettison his weapons.

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I am not familiar with EAC yet. Glad to hear it exists though. There is a built-in mission called Hideout with a very detailed mission briefing that tells you to circle in an area. That would be hell with keyboard controls and no autopilot.

I was thinking of trying that mission as soon as I have changed my keybindings up to something more intuitive.

 

Indeed missions are a lot of fun when they work.

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A good starting point. And do familiarize yourself with it. It is worth it:

http://en.wiki.eagle.ru/wiki/EAC_-_Autopilot_system_explained

Shagrat

 

- Flying Sims since 1984 -:pilotfly:

Win 10 | i5 10600K@4.1GHz | 32GB | GeForce RTX 2080S - Acer XB280HK 28" 4k | TrackIR5 | Simshaker & Jetseat | VIRPIL CM 50 Stick & Throttle | MFG Crosswind Rudder Pedals | TM Cougar MFDs | a hand made UFC | AHCP | 2x Elgato StreamDeck (Buttons galore)

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