MiGMan's Flight Sim Museum < www.migman.com >

Air Support

Air Support

" Battle is controlled by the C-Corp Chaos 2050 mainframe which can still be accessed by ancient 20th Century Amigas and Atari STs".

Air Support was released by Psygnosis in 1992.

Scott "Zuma" Wolf had this to say about it:

Don't be misled by its title and the illustration of twin Tornado ADVs soaring across the cover of Psygnosis' latest battle-in-a-box. Air Support is not a screaming, seat-of-the-pants combat flight simulator, It's more like a tedious, and less enjoyable version of their own previous release Armour-Geddon.

It's a mystery why Psygnosis thought that a wire-frarne strategic battle simulation was a step forward here in the age of fast, filled polygons.

It seems war in the year 9150 is much too dangerous to be fought on actual battlefields, and weapons systerns far too costly to be developed and tested in the real world. Consequently all of this fiddling about takes place via the Air Support Battiefield Simulation, the first in a series of battlefield scenarios designed by Military SimTech Cornrnand using the C-Corp Chaos 2050 mainframe which, for better or worse, can still be accessed by ancient, 20th Century Arnigas and Atari STs.

Air Support

To be fair, once the player buys into the concept, the wireframe graphics are actually somewhat engaging, in a virtual reality sort of way. Add to this the option of viewing the simulation in stereoscopic 3.D (Psygnosis supplies a pair of red- and-blue-lensed glasses) and something almost interesting begins to develop.

Air Support is basically a simulation of war between the Earth's Northern and Southern Hernispheres, majoring in strategy with a minor in tactics.

" Using the ASBS to build entire weapon systems manipulate the environment and resources, the whole bloody conflict is fought from the safety of a computer keyboard.

The player is in command of a single Defense Complex and all its components, including up to 16 programmable attack and reconnaissance craft. But before he can enter the full simulation he must complete 20 training missions. These are tackled on a pass/fail basis, growing progressively harder and awarding rank to candidates who show a consistent rate of success.

All major decisions in Air Support are made on the main Map Screen which giveds an overall view of the landscape, vehicle positions and headings. It also enables patrol assignments for all active warcraft.

The Defense Complex, the core of military operations, consists of six different units. Headquarters, Power Generators, Factories, Missile Command Posts, Radar Stations and Connections, the conduits through which all power and command decisions are transmitted. From the map the player may also design the layout of his Defense Complex to suit his strategic preferences. Attack craft must be assigned waypoints and may be set to patrol on auto or may led on a be controlled directly by the player who can jump in and out of any vehicle at any time with a first person, out-the-window, wire-frame vector display. There are loads of options to enhance or simplify the simulation, including synthesized speech and multiple ways in which to view the map (contour or relief; overhead or isometric views).

Air Support by Psygnosis

Ultimately, however, the depth of the strategic element is let down by the graphics of the tactical.

There's just no getting around the dated wire-frarne display. With the splendid Armour-Geddon still available and rumors of Armour- Geddon II down the road, Air Support feels more like something run up the flagpole just to see if anyone would salute. "

System Reviewed: Amiga
Designed by: Alaric J. Binnie
Players: One

MiGMan thanks Scott "Zuma" Wolf at www.totalwarfare.com for the scans and review.