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guys, some advice. In this month I did a full immersion with the F18, I learned fairly well the available systems (almost all of them) and I also finished the only Marple Flag campaign available. Now I'm waiting for new updates and especially new campaigns. In the meantime, I could start studying / flying on another plane. What do you recommend between the A10 and the F14 that I have already purchased both? Does the A10 differ as much as systems compared to the F18? According to my tastes, the A10 has positive aspects:

- which is a complete product

- many 3rd part campaign

- it is modern and therefore more should approach the systems of the F18;

and negatives:

- it is practically only A-G- I don't know if I have to learn all over again or what I learned on the F18, correctly adapted, I could take advantage of it on the A10.

For the F14, the pros:

- it is beautiful to look at, fascinating, beautiful to fly;

- it is multi-role;

- maybe for those who start from scratch, and I say maybe, it should be simpler than the F18, as it has more "primitive" systems .....

- it's in early access, but it's, I think, almost done

the cons:

- very different from the F18, so I think I have to re-learn everything;

- it is a little too old as systems, for my taste. However not so much.

Thanks to those who answer me!

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Do you like apples or do you like oranges?

 

These two aircraft are complete opposites and this is something only you can decide for yourself.

 

Personally I would go for the Tomcat any day of the week over the Warthog.

 

The Tomcat is the best module in DCS IMO and anyone who doesn't have it is missing out substantially. The Warthog has the benefits of being feature-complete, it has less bugs due to its age, and it's on a better sale.

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Both are great. The thing that stuck out the most for me is that you feel as though the Tomcat is a bit too old. It's definitely different from the F-18, but I don't think it's terribly hard to adjust to.

 

 

The biggest hurdle might be the fact that it's a 2 seater. I like Jester (the rear AI) but he does have some issues and I find that as of now, he's been made a bit overly difficult, but not impossible, to work with.

 

 

Your list of negatives for the A-10 is pretty short, basically that the A-10 is not air to air capable. You'll have to relearn some things, but overall the A-10 is similar to the F-18 in AG operation. Perhaps you'd like the A-10 more.

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thank you both. In theory, yes, the A10 would be more suitable for me, but I decided that the next plane to learn will be the F14, it is from 1986 (every reference is purely random) that I wait for it. It takes me emotionally. It being understood that my main plane, at least for now, will always remain the F18. For news, I would also have the F16, but it is too embryonic. The only thing, which I hadn't actually mentioned, is that Jester scares me. I don't like knowing that I don't have total control over what I do, having to rely on him for various things ..... as I don't really like jumping from one seat to another. Okay, we'll see. In the meantime .... come on Marple Flag, and ED, released some new campaigns, are really well done !!

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I've had the F18 module for a while and just started messing with the F14. The F14 will feel very analog when you get in it. More difficult to fly, more difficult to even startup and get off the ground, etc. It lacks the intuitive MFDs and other more modern features. But hey buy it anyhow and throw on some Kenny Loggins and enjoy. The A10 was my first module and I really liked it. You just have to be in the mind set of I'm flying low and slow and knowing your only job is to rain down terror on the ground.

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The A10C also has a very polished manual, dozens of top of the line tutorial videos, dozens of friendly experienced pilots that can help you with just about anything with the aircraft.

 

I went through the same back and forth numerous times with the A10C and the Hornet. I almost posted a thread entitled "Would Someone Please Make Up My Mind!".

 

If you're going for the long game, I would suggest popping the small fruit with the A10C. By the time you have some logged experience, the F14 will be a bit more polished. It's not going away.

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I like both, but they're full of sugar :(

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To me, the F-14 module is what makes DCS fun. I guess I probably have more money than good sense, but I've bought nearly add the modules. Some, like the Mi-8, I may have spend only minutes on and forgotten about. The F-14 really renewed my interest in the program, and since buying it I have wasted a lot of Saturday afternoons. Being able to act as a RIO and a pilot in the same mission provides an immersive experience that I don't really find with the other modules, although I have gone back and started to revisit some of the older modules I had previously gotten bored with. That's my $.02

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At the end of the day, you really need to choose that one that excites you the most PERSONALLY. When you ask a DCS forum what you should get, you are going to get answers based on what others personally like and while that can be useful information, it doesn't really tell you what YOU will like. You really need to follow your own gut on this one.

 

While I will not tell you what to get, I will (hopefully) provide a bit of context for each aircraft that might help you better understand what each aircraft does.

 

Starting with the F-14, it is important to consider its two-seat nature. Unlike the Hornet where you are controlling all aspects yourself, you are mostly going to be focused on pilot-centric duties while the RIO/JESTER AI handles the radar, navigation, air to ground weapons prep, LANTIRN pod operation (JESTER cannot do this quite yet but will be able to do it soon), countermeasures, and datalink. As the pilot, you do have some control over the radar in close-up dogfighting and you do control all air to air weapons but the RIO pretty much handles everything else. The JESTER AI is capable of doing a lot of this (especially if you take the time to understand the real limits of the systems and how JESTER interacts with them) but since you will not have direct control, it can take some getting used to.

 

Beyond that, the F-14 is a capable fighter (I would even say it could qualify as a air superiority fighter in a way) even against more modern foes. It has a powerful radar that makes up with raw power what it lacks in sophistication. It also has the potent AIM-54 that (while not the super-weapon it is sometimes made out to be) will reward players who deploy it smartly.

 

In ground attack, things get a bit more complicated. When equipped with laser guided bombs and a LANTIRN pod, the F-14 is a potent precision strike fighter. This is how the Tomcat spent much of its later life for a reason. It is very good at delivering laser guided bombs precisely. Beyond that, its air to ground utility starts to break down a bit in comparison to more modern multi-role platforms like the Hornet or Viper. There is a reason that the Navy didn't use the Tomcat as a general purpose bomber. It was only with the introduction of the LANTIRN to the airframe in the 90's did it really get considered a bombing platform. You can certainly drop unguided bombs (and a lot of them) but it does feel like a bit of a waste of a Tomcat to do so.

 

With this in mind, I am not sure it is right to say that it is a "multi-role" in the most technical sense. It can be a great fighter and a solid precision bomber but it can't do both in the same sortie without running into some serious compromises (loadout-wise). When you fly it, you will certainly pick up on its focus on air to air. The air to ground aspects are kind of pasted on top and while it works fine, you do feel some awkwardness when you turn it into a bomber. It isn't really set up to provide you with ground situational awareness like it does with air to air.

 

Keep in mind, before some decide to jump on me for saying the F-14 isn't a true multi-role in the most technical sense, wait until the Hornet and Viper are complete and I think you will see what I mean. When you have full ground radar, targeting pod, and navigation functionality, you will see where the term "multi-role" really comes into play and that it means more than just being able to strap a targeting pod and some bombs on a dedicated air to air fighter.

 

The A-10C is a very, very different aircraft with a wildly different set of core roles (though there is some interesting overlap). The most important thing to understand is that the A-10C is not a strike aircraft. It gets awkwardly used as one in DCS sometimes but a strike mission as a concept is something you don't do with a slow, low altitude focused aircraft that can't really operate in contested airspace (via enemy fighters or radar based SAM systems). The A-10C's core roles are going to be based around operations in low-intensity air space (well away from enemy air power and well behind any major SEAD/DEAD operations). If you think of the air combat theater as a series of lines, the fighters, SEAD/DEAD, and EW aircraft are going to be working the line that is furthest ahead while the A-10C will be well behind working above ground troops and the like.

 

With that in mind, the A-10C really comes into its own when used in CAS, COIN, CSAR, AFAC, and battlefield air interdiction roles. The whole point of the A-10C upgrade was to make it better specifically at those roles and allow the pilot to have a lot more situational awareness of what is happening on the ground. Unlike the F-14, F/A-18, or F-16, you will not be climbing to 30,000 feet, flying deep into enemy airspace, and dropping LGB's or JDAMs. You will instead be shooting at vehicles, troops, and other front-line assets while coordinating with a JTAC on the ground or a AFAC in the air. Heck, you might even be the AFAC while you direct your friends to targets.

 

About as close as you will get to more traditional bombing is battlefield air interdiction. This is where you attack enemy logistics, command, and supply assets right behind enemy lines as a way to disrupt them. You are still not deep enough behind the lines to encounter enemy air assets but it will feel somewhat like a "strike mission" in a basic sense.

 

On a DCS module level, both are complete enough to be considered "mission ready" in the sense that you can do a realistic/authentic mission without hitting any serious functionality gaps. In terms of module completeness, you can't go wrong with either the Tomcat or the Warthog.

 

In the end, you really need to just kinda think about what kind of missions you want to do and go from there. The A-10C really does one specific set of missions really well (with no real capability outside of that) while the F-14 can handle most air to air and precision strike rather well. If you want to do any air to air, the F-14 might be a good choice. If you don't want to ever do air to air, the A-10C is a logical choice.

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what I find with the Tomcat is that not having a RIO is quite limiting.

I just wish they could find a way for a single pilot to be able to fly it compleatly, not depending on Jester that even thow impresive it was kept prety limited because of the MP gang... I am old school, I remember being able to fly the Janes F-15C alone not needing a Rio.. the tomcat Only shines with a Rio.

 

For a non MP oriented pilot the A-10 is far more satisfiying I believe.

 

Yes on teh other hand the F-14 is definetly the best module by far in DCS.

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The JESTER AI does work well overall (at least in the air to air context for the time being). The big thing is that you really need to understand how much or how little you should micromanage it depending on the situation. For most air to air situations, I have found that you almost have to just set a range and leave it at that. As is the case in both real life and with a human RIO, once you are inside 20 nautical miles, you really need hand control of radar locking to the pilot since that is too close for even a human RIO to properly manage.

 

Even in single player, as long as you understand how JESTER works and the real-life limits of the systems it interacts with, you are generally going to be fine.

 

The big issue right now with JESTER is air to ground. If you want to do any LANTIRN based precision bombing, JESTER is not capable of that yet so obviously you would need a human RIO to do those kinds of missions.

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The biggest treat of the Tomcat is being able to share the cockpit with someone else and having to work together to get the job done. That can be a whole lot of fun. Without another human in the cockpit the Tomcat is only half as good (but still great!).

 

The A-10C on the other hand is a blast if you have a good HOTAS (preferably the Thrustmaster Warthog HOTAS), as the A-10C makes extensive use of HOTAS commands and with a good HOTAS at hand it makes you feel a bit like the god of war that can point with his finger at a unit on the battlefield and it will just die. :D

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I used the x56 for a long time and I did not really like to fly the warthog with it, because the buttons are just not in the right place. Now with the warthog it is really a joy to fly. That is however only my experience, it is certainly also flyable with the x56 hotas.

 

And in the f-14, at the moment without a human rio in the back you can't operate the lantrin, so no guided air to ground with jester at the moment. The rest is more or less possible without a human rio, but it is way more fun with a friend in the back.

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I did not understand one thing, I would only play single player, therefore without human rio. Would I be able to perform all the operations on the f14 or is something human needed for something? as hotas I use the x56

In SP you can jump between seats so all the aircraft has is available to you even when Jester cannot do it atm.

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I did not understand one thing, I would only play single player, therefore without human rio. Would I be able to perform all the operations on the f14 or is something human needed for something? as hotas I use the x56

Currently Jester (which is the AI RIO) is not capable of performing certain actions. The most important missing Jester ability is the use of LANTIRN (the F-14s TGP). Jester can't use it at all currently, which means you would either need to switch back and forth between the seats and do it all by yourself or rely on a human RIO in multiplayer if you want to lase targets for LGBs.

There are some other smaller RIO functions that Jester can't perform either, like nav fixes for example. Heatblur is working on teaching Jester more skills.

 

Regarding the HOTAS for the A-10C, AFAIK the X56 is lacking behind the A-10Cs HOTAS in terms of switches and buttons available, which means you might not be able to bring the A-10Cs mighty HOTAS system to its full potential.


Edited by QuiGon

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I understand, so jumping from one seat to another I can still perform all the operations and use all the systems. But .... is it possible in combat? If I jump on the seat of the RIO, how does the pilot guide? Does it always go straight? Does it evade threats?

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I understand, so jumping from one seat to another I can still perform all the operations and use all the systems. But .... is it possible in combat? If I jump on the seat of the RIO, how does the pilot guide? Does it always go straight? Does it evade threats?

Switching between seats is possible at anytime, but only in singleplayer. In multiplayer it is not possible to do that. It doesn't really work well to fly actual combat missions that way IMHO, as the workload is way too high if you want to do both jobs. It's also immersion breaking if you switch seats midflight.

 

There's a rudimentary pilot AI (called Iceman) that works like a better autopilot. He can keep a steady heading, speed and altitude and you can even tell him from the backseat to change to a new heading/speed/altitude, but that#s pretty much it. He can't do any fancy combat maneuvers.

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but I have both! But I wanted to learn one at a time, given the time it takes. I am still evaluating and I am very undecided.

 

Sorry I missed that in your OP. :doh:

 

Like the guy above said; If you want to wreck havoc on ground targets, A-10C. If you want to pwn A2A, F-14B :joystick:

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Notwithstanding that my main plane is and will be the F18, for now I have decided, my second plane to learn will be the A10. Here because:

- it is a finished product

- has many campaigns

- it's a totally different thing from the F18, so maybe more stimulating to learn

- F14 has Jester. For now I don't like the idea of having to rely on AI for many tasks, or jumping from seat to seat to use systems. I would see it as an immersion breaker.

- The new version of the guide Mudspike A10 has just been released.

- I prepare for the exit of the A-10 ver. 2.0, which is expected to be released this year, as announced by ED.

P.S .: I really like A-A, but I can do this well with the F18 too.

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