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XCAS - Syria is a slow paced, long play, open ended close air support mission for the A-10C II.
 

This mission can be played in a couple of different ways, whether you want to do all the shooting yourself, or take a more commanding role and play it more like a mini RTS. 


A coalition of US Army and Syrian resistance fighters, callsign Saber, has been tasked to find and destroy an increasing number of enemy forces operating in northern and western Syria. Your mission is to provide close air support to friendly forces on the ground as they complete their mission.

You will be taking off from Incirlik AFB. Top off from one of the tankers and check in with the friendlies when you are on station.

 

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Ground units
The ground units in this mission are the core which everything revolves around. The completion of their mission, to find and destroy the enemy units, is your objective. When you start the mission the first thing you need to do is to request their location in the Operations menu and check in with them when you are on station. They will proceed to find enemy units on the ground, and it is your job to take out anything that poses a threat to them. They will report enemy units location when they find them.

 

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Air assets
You also have two flights of F-16s, two flights of A-10s and two Reapers that you can command during the mission.

The F-16s and A-10s can be ordered to different points in Syria or to the friendly or enemy unit locations. The Reapers are more autonomous and will move to the ground units, or target units locations automatically and will report enemy units when they find them.

All air assets can be ordered to engage enemy units on the ground.

 

The F10 menu
This mission relies heavily on the F10 menu. Through it you will do all your communication with ground and air units.

I thought I'd go through the different items in the menu and what you can expect from them.

 

Operations
This is the place where you request ground units location, check in and request target intel when a task has started.

Ground assets
This is where you will control the movement, rules of engagement, designation and status of friendly ground units. I will go through a couple of the commands here.

 

Movement of ground assets
Ground units can be given different commands to maneuver to the targets, and to tactically preferable positions.

  • Advance (off road/on road) 
    Units will advance following the shortest path towards the target (off or on roads).
     
  • Flank (left/right)
    Units will flank left or right of the targets position off road.
     
  • Relocate in direction (compass heading)
    Units will relocate in the specified heading, for the specified distance. This is useful for more advanced flanking or repositioning maneuvers.
     
  • Relocate to another units location
    The ground units will move to another friendly unit on the ground.
     
  • Target designation
    Depending on if they have the target in sight the ground units can designate targets on the ground with smoke and illumination.
     
  • Artillery
    When one of the friendly units are artillery units you can command them to fire on the enemy units, and specify the spread of their barrage. You can also command them to abort a requested fire mission.

 

There are multiple other commands that can be given such as halt, fall back, pop smoke and so on.

 

Employment and navigation of air assets
This is where you will control the start, navigation, weapons employment, refueling, status, formation, designation and RTB of friendly air assets.

  • Navigation
    Air assets (F-16, A-10) can be directed to fly to specific points on the map, or temporary points such as your, the friendlies, or the targets position. They can also hold at a point north, east, south and west of the target. 
  • Engage
    All air assets can engage targets on the ground. You specify which exact unit the selected air asset should engage, and with which of the assets available weapons it should employ. 

 

They can also report their current fuel and weapon status, be ordered to refuel or RTB. After a unit has returned to base it will rearm, refuel and be available again after a short turnaround.

 

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Infantry
Both friendly and enemy vehicles carry infantry. These will dismount and engage any enemy units within their weapon range. Keep that in mind when sending your ground forces forward. Enough infantry can pose a great to APCs, and just one RPG carrying soldier can take out a tank, if their aim is good or they are close enough.

 

The enemy
The target groups will vary in numbers, firepower and skill. They will however always consist of somewhat irregular composition so don't expect big tank formations. The AI behavior will also vary, and depending on if they detect any of your friendly ground units they will alter their behavior. They will also act differently when they come under fire or start taking losses. They might stop and disperse, but they might also soldier on, flee in another direction or move to engage whoever is engaging them. 

 

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Gameplay mechanics
When enemies are spotted, either by the ground units or you the player, you should report target intel via the F10 menu, this will reveal the enemy position to both you and the friendly units, whether you have actually found them or not. This is because there is unfortunately no way for me to know if a player has actually found a specific unit or not from within the scripting engine. So this function can be used as a kind of a cheat. I recommend not reporting the targets location until you have actually found them, for the sake of suspense.

When you or a friendly unit has found the targets, you should report target captured. This is to confirm you have their location and will enable you to command air and artillery units to engage the targets.

 

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Nav points, comms and tankers
All navigation points, tanker tracks and radio presets are loaded in the mission. The A-10C CDU has all nav points and tanker tracks saved as flight plans, and the radio presets for the tankers are on presets 2-4.

 

Civilians
In this mission, civilian units are spawned in and move randomly across the map. They may or may not be engaged by enemy forces, so make sure to keep an eye on them and try to prevent any civilian losses.
 

Under the hood
When the mission starts the friendly forces will spawn at a random location each time. After their set of tasks has been completed (different number of tasks each time) or if you check out from your current friendly group, a new group of friendlies (either US or local forces of different compositions with different capabilities) will spawn at a random location that will wait for you to check in with them.

When you check in with a friendly ground unit their tasking is activated. Enemies of multiple different compositions (armored, air defense, unarmed and so on) are spawned in and the ground units start advancing towards the target. If they have no intel on enemy positions they will head in their general direction. Once the targets have been spotted, they will advance towards the enemies exact position.

 

A note on balance
Your side by far has the superior firepower. By no means will you need four F-16, four A-10s (five including you) and two Reapers to complete the tasks given. I have added them all for variation purposes so use them however you like. Just know you don't need to launch them all at once. 

My main focus has been to try to get the units on the ground to get the most kills by taking out the threats to the ground units, and maneuver them to good firing position utilizing whatever range they have. I usually try to finish it this way with zero friendly losses and I think this is where the challenge lies.

I usually take one of the available AI A-10s and use as a wingman and bring in the other flights as variation, to cover for me when I tank or frankly because I think it looks cool. 

 

Multiplayer
I have added a total of six playable A-10s. Everything should run in the same way no matter if you play alone or with a friend, I haven't tested it though, so let me know if you try it out.

Credits
This mission uses Moose by the rag tag bunch of coders thinking that shit up, CTLD by Ciribob and the simple yet elegant Dismounts script by mBot.

 

Me
I am by no means a scripting master. Most of the time I have no idea what I'm doing, but somehow I've gotten it to work. Everything I've done here is because I wanted it in the gameplay. I built this mission for myself to play and I've learned scripting by working on it so there may very well be bugs I haven't found or workflow issues I haven't thought of. Please let me know if you run into them and I'll try to fix it.

It is a labor of love though, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

 

Singleplayer 4-ever.

 

Cheers ❤️ 

 

DOWNLOAD LINK

https://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/files/3314238/

 


Edited by EasyEB
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Wow! This looks promising!

 

Thanks a lot for your effort! Gonna try this one a.s.a.p.

System specs:

 

 

System specs: i7-8700K @stock speed - GTX 1080TI @ stock speed - AsRock Extreme4 Z370 - 32GB DDR4 @3GHz- HP Reverb v2 - Saitek Pro pedals - TM Warthog HOTAS - TM F/A-18 Grip - TM Cougar HOTAS (NN-Dan mod) & (throttle standalone mod) - Pointctrl & aux banks <-- must have for VR users!! - Andre's SimShaker Jetpad - Fully adjustable DIY playseat - VA+VAICOM

 

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So about the AI planes attacking... After they have performed their attack there will be a couple of seconds delay, and then they will resume their previous duties, with a kind of ”resume” comman that is given automatically. This is to keep them from doing what AI typically do (RTB, eject, fly away, dump all their ammo on a single unit).

 

What this means to you is that any commands given by you after they have fired their weapon, but before their automatic resume command will be overridden by the resume command, so it’s best to wait until they let you know they are resuming whatever they were doing until you give them a new attack command.

 

Workflow like this.

1. You give attack command.

2. A.I Plane ackgnowledges the command, commences the attack, and start sending continous messages of how far they are from the target (these messages can be turned off).

3. A.I Plane announces weapon release.

4. A.I Plane announces weapon hit (if they hit)

5. A.I Plane announces they are moving to do whatever they were doing before the attack command.

6. You give next attack command.

 

If an A.I plane is on the way to attack a certain unit, and that certain unit is killed, they will abort the attack and announce they are resuming their previous duties.

 

The only exception to this is when an A.I plane is attacking with a JDAM and their target moves, then they will abort their attack but they won’t report it, and they’ll still report their range to the target, as if they were still attacking. This is because there is no way for the scripting engine to know they have aborted their attack (that I know of). You’ll see that their attack symbol on the HMCS has dissapeared though so in those instances you can give them the resume command manually. 

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Had a quick blast on this and it seems like it could be really good. I'm just having some difficulty getting my head around the process and the menu options. Also when last known position is requested it is up and gone on screen incredibly quickly, in VR this makes it really tricky to get it in the CDU (especially with my goldfish memory)! But I'll keep playing around 👍

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, zildac said:

Had a quick blast on this and it seems like it could be really good. I'm just having some difficulty getting my head around the process and the menu options. Also when last known position is requested it is up and gone on screen incredibly quickly, in VR this makes it really tricky to get it in the CDU (especially with my goldfish memory)! But I'll keep playing around 👍


I’ll make it display longer! Thanks.

 

Edit: Updated, get new file from first post.


Edited by EasyEB
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1 minute ago, zildac said:

Up to 1.0.0.5 any hints on changes? 😀


Just the time messages are displayed and a couple of tweaks to a couple of the randomization events.

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Hopefully I'll get some lengthy free time to sink into this soon, as have been really missing this kind of dynamic SP/COOP stuff. Been playing the Surrexen Ops which are also incredibly good, but free time is at a premium right now...

 

Thanks for all your effort. I think you'll find it becomes very popular. Have you thought about posting it on DCS User Files? I better sort my A10 A2A refuelling out too I guess 🤪

 

It's not persistent at present? Could be worth looking in to. Other option is that people just use DSMC which also works pretty well.


Edited by zildac
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Just now, zildac said:

Hopefully I'll get some lengthy free time to sink into this soon, as have been really missing this kind of dynamic SP/COOP stuff. Been playing the Surrexen Ops which are also very very good, but life etc....

 

Thanks for all your effort. I think you'll find it becomes very popular. Have you thought about posting it on DCS User Files?


Yeah I feel you. Nothing better than sitting down for hours.

 

Yeah it’s uploaded and waiting for approval.

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This looks great!  Is there anyway to get LatLon instead of MGRS?  I want to swap out the A-10 for an F-16 and we can't input MGRS in the Viper...yet.  At least I don't think we can.


Edited by tn_prvteye
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Maybe a false good idea, but when you have spotted target with tgp, you could head on toward target, place target symbol on the up arrow of heading tape of hud, and report "target capture" - if when report is made, the rounded at 0.1 heading in radian of your A10c is equal to the rounded at 0.1 heading of the vector made by your position/target position, the report is valid and enemy position is revealed to allies !?
(I've not gone to enemy contact I had to stop ingressing to a/b/c - mission need time to play it but I will!)

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7 hours ago, tn_prvteye said:

Is there anyway to get LatLon instead of MGRS


I'll look into it. What format does the F-16 use, is it Lat Lon in Degree Decimal Minute or Lat Lon in Degree Minute Second?

 

7 hours ago, toutenglisse said:

place target symbol on the up arrow of heading tape of hud...

 

Thanks for the input. I feel maybe a method like maneuvering the plane around to point at the target would be a bigger disconnect than just not reporting until you actually see the target. What I would prefer is to have the players SPI open to the scripting engine, but unfortunately we do not have that.

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So, been playing with this a little more and I have a possibly stupid question. I changed the AC slot I wanted to "Start from Parking Hot" (purely to save some time) and then changed the loadout. Thing is when I do this there is no "LOAD ALL" button on the left MFD after the new loadout is swapped , in fact even without changing the slot to hotstart and using the cheat startup (Win + Home) the same issue occurs. There is no "load all" on the left MFD at all. Am I doing something wrong or is it unique to the design of this mission? The same issue doesn't occur in a number of other mission, I'll admit I'm no A10 expert but shouldn't that OBS button be there by default?

 

Also what are the pre defined NAV points actually for, given that you need to check in with Sabre to get their position?

 

Apologies for the possibly silly questions but I'd really like to dig into this.

 

I just tried a similar process using the Operation Shader mission and the issue is not present.

 

Thanks,

 

Z

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58 minutes ago, zildac said:

So, been playing with this a little more and I have a possibly stupid question. I changed the AC slot I wanted to "Start from Parking Hot" (purely to save some time) and then changed the loadout. Thing is when I do this there is no "LOAD ALL" button on the left MFD after the new loadout is swapped , in fact even without changing the slot to hotstart and using the cheat startup (Win + Home) the same issue occurs. There is no "load all" on the left MFD at all. Am I doing something wrong or is it unique to the design of this mission? The same issue doesn't occur in a number of other mission, I'll admit I'm no A10 expert but shouldn't that OBS button be there by default?

 

Also what are the pre defined NAV points actually for, given that you need to check in with Sabre to get their position?

 

Apologies for the possibly silly questions but I'd really like to dig into this.

 

I just tried a similar process using the Operation Shader mission and the issue is not present.

 

Thanks,

 

Z


Do you mean there is no load page at all? If so, hold any of the buttons around the MFCD until the DISPLAY PROGRAM menu appears, then select LOAD, then select where you want the LOAD page to be (for instance, if you want the LOAD page where the TGP page is on the left MFCD, select LOAD from the DISPLAY PROGRAM and hit the TGP button, then LOAD will be where TGP was. 

 

If that's not what you mean I can't seem to reproduce your problem. Please get back to me if I understand you correctly, and if my explanation helped.

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Hi, that's exactly the issue and I used the method you outlined to resolve it, but was trying to understand why it happened. Perhaps I messed something up when I edited in the mission editor. Very odd. I'll try a clean version of your miz file and see what happens. So the hotstart or win + home issue do not leave you with no Load button when you change the default load out?

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, zildac said:

Hi, that's exactly the issue and I used the method you outlined to resolve it, but was trying to understand why it happened. Perhaps I messed something up when I edited in the mission editor. Very odd. I'll try a clean version of your miz file and see what happens. So the hotstart or win + home issue do not leave you with no Load button when you change the default load out?


You didn’t mess up anything. It is this way because I have preset the pages in the MFCDs. I should probably remove that preset for the next update so that they are standard.

 

If you don’t want to wait you can rename the file ending of the mission file to .zip, open it and remove the MFCD folder then change the file ending to .miz again.


Edited by EasyEB
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25 minutes ago, EasyEB said:


You didn’t mess up anything. It is this way because I have preset the pages in the MFCDs. I should probably remove that preset for the next update so that they are standard.

 

If you don’t want to wait you can rename the file ending of the mission file to .zip, open it and remove the MFCD folder then change the file ending to .miz again.

 

Ah, gotcha. OK, well at least I'm not going crazy 😀 No worries, I'll wait or will try the method you mention. Thanks for confirming 👍

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--1.0.0.9
--Added daytime factor when selecting which faction to support, US forces operate at night and Rebel forces at day.
--Added ability for all US ground forces to designate targets with laser.
--Fixed a bug where next task would not start.

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Loving this so far EasyEB, fantastic implementation.  Does what it says on the tin, chilled out, slow paced CAS goodness.

One request if i may, could you increase the time the "current target pos" F10 options text box stays up for.  As much as i like the memory challenge, a few less times going into the menu to get it to pop back up would be nice. 😛

 

Cracking job, though.


Edited by Shadow.D.
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7 hours ago, Shadow.D. said:

One request if i may, could you increase the time the "current target pos" F10 options text box stays up for. 


Yeah sure. I’ll put in an option in the admin menu.

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Changelog 1.0.1.0
-Added ability to toggle duration for intel messages (10/30 seconds)
-When a tasking starts, the general direction of the enemy units is reported by ground units.
-When a friendly air unit is rolling in to attack, they will report which direction they are coming from.
-Enemy ammo trucks might explode

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