Dogfight
Dogfight

" I remember this little number getting a real hard time in the computer mags, but to be honest I enjoyed it. Most of the writers were platform / shoot-em up biased anyway, so I never really took much notice of what they said.

The game was set to show the development of air warfare, from the First World War, upto the Israeli - Arab wars & the Falklands conflict.

The break down of the campaigns / aircraft were as follows :

WWI : Sopwith Camel Vs Fokker Triplane.
WWII : Spitfire MkII Vs Me109E.
KOREA : F-86A Sabre Vs MiG15 "Fagot".
VIETNAM : F-4J Phantom Vs MiG21 "Fishbed".
FALKLANDS : Sea Harrier FRS1 Vs Mirage III.
ISRAEL : F-16A Vs MiG23 "Flogger".

" I do remember the sim running a little slow on the Amiga 500, but it went like a dream on the 1500.

All the cockpits were really well drawn, and it was obvious that they had been made using photos of the real thing. The flight dynamics of each aircraft were physically different. The dogfights with F-4J's against MiG21's were a real struggle, while if you flew the fabulous Sea Harrier, you had the ability for full "Viffing". The "campaigns" were more like extended missions, but were still a challenge.

The great thing was, you could fly the campaigns from either side, and you also had various supporting aircraft which you could assign missions to, to help win the "war".

The arming options were a little basic though : AA, AG or mixed. The SAMs were really evil, and you had to really work hard to avoid getting hit, even when using countermeasures.

The AAM's were well done - the early 'heaters had to be locked onto a heat source, so you had to work for a 6 O'clock launch, while the later AIM9's on the F-16 & SHAR were all aspect. The Sparrows had to be guided all the way in - not very pleasant if there were SAM's in the area!

All the missiles left a trail while in flight. The external views were well done - each aircraft really looked the part, the F-4J was painted up in the markings of VF-84 "Jolly Rogers", and looked very smart. "

" All the aircraft had realistic animation of the landing gear, especially on the SHAR. Just like the real thing at airshows, you could set up for a vertical take-off, and once airborne, you could pull the nose up while slowly rotating the nozzles back to zero and climb away while the gear retracts ( that's from a take-off with ZERO forward speed, and it LOOKED impressive too ).

Another smart and very unusual option was the ability to make up a dogfight scenario, using any of the flyable aircraft. Try shooting a Fokker down while flying an F-16. Easy right? Not if the target has such a low radar return it doesn't show on the radar, and the IR signature is so weak, the all aspect AIM9's won't lock. Sea Harrier Vs Sea Harrier? Who can out-Viff who survives.

Like I said earlier, this sim didn't really hit the big time & got a lot of bad press, but at the end of the day, it didn't pretend to be anything in-depth or ultra realistic on one chapter of air combat history. It was made purely for the subject of ACM, and I think it carried this off well. I can't speak for anyone else, but I know I had some damn good scraps in this one. "

MiGMan thanks Rob "Bomber" Henderson for these recollections.

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