MiGMan's Combat Diary 2001
An accessible and immersive sim adds up to a lot of fun which rewards tactical flying.
Accessibility is enhanced by the simple, mouse driven interface and easy avionics.
Immersion is provided by the dynamic campaign, the intelligence reports that come in via TV broadcast and internet, and the fact that you have a squadron of 6 pilots to last you the whole campaign.
Airbases become a hive of activity as the action heats up. After a while I started to make sense of the radio traffic and it was a buzz to hear your virtual teammates requesting permission to land.
It's this kind of dynamic and varied activity that gives you the sense you're flying in a 'real world' as opposed to a sterile world where all the activity is scripted.
Going feet dry - airbrake out - and lookin' good!
The arming screen is simply laid out and shouldn'e be confusing to beginners. Except of course for the weapon designations - what is a BL755??? I know what a CBU is... ah well., that's what you get from a diet of US-centric sims. Anyway the manual explains all.
Initially I found it annoying that I couldn't load up any ordnance on any mission. But eventually I got the right perspective on things. Your role is squadron leader and you just don't get a choice of missions - you have to accomplish what's served up to you.
Not that you have no choice at all - I should clarify - Air to Air missions give you access to all the A-A ordnance and Air to Ground missions let you into the A-G larder as well.
A Social Climber
The rate of climb is spectacular. It is possible to climb at 60 degrees - and accelerate!
Accounts of Eurofighter Typhoon Airshow routines confirm the abundance of power available.
Inhabitants of Iceland
Hercules fly about dropping supplies and occasionally you are assigned to escort them. These missions gave you free reign regarding armament and I found a mixture of AA and AG was advisable as one or two AAA or SAM's could ruin the Hercules' day.
In the background you can see a typical winding valley. He he - on occasion I had to fly below the river banks to try and evade AA missiles... not my proudest moment!
Meanwhile, while all this is going on the Search and Rescue teams are out doing their job. Many a time my pilots had to be rescued after baling out of a burning aircraft. You only hoped the SAR guys found you before the Russians or you were up for painful interrogation and sleeping in a rather nasty, dank cell!
MiG-29 Fulcrum - check out the contrails!
It looks like one of my missiles hsa just missed this joker and... how about the murky conditions? Eurofighter Typhoonoften sends you out into cloudy conditions and this adds real tension to the dogfights. Not only did I lose sight of the MiGs but my wingman - mountain peaks and the occasional oh-so-inconveniently placed hillside!
A ha ha - - the Su-25 Frogfoot! A favourite adversary. And beautifully rendered in Eurofighter Typhoon.
Not to be underesimated either - many a time I rode the silk elevator down after getting whacked by one of the Frogfoot's AA missiles.
Check out the airbase in the distance - you can only just see the runway lights through the mist.
Now that Frogfoot got through the mist and found one of my bases. Right now he probably wishes he hadn't!
What is that terrific explosion?
That is FLAK!
Terrific amounts of it. The amount of FLAK thrown up definitely discouraged me from flying over enemy bases. So how did I do on the runway strike missions?... - not too well actually!
The venerable Su-27 Flanker, seen here rolling in on one of my bases - hmmm - no FLAK yet - this guy was lucky.
The SAAB Viggen - a cool looking aircraft. Clint Eastwood wanted to use one of these in the movie "Firefox"; but the director insisted in making up a Klingon Bird of Prey contraption!
Notice the light sourcing - very nice.
Check out the detailed port facilities.
Look at the HUD in the cockpit - illuminated - yes - transparent - yes. And the canopy rail casts a shadow on the HUD as well!
The light and dark patches on the hills seemed to correspond to breaks in the cloud cover.
Padlock on the wingman
F-4 locks up your wingman he / she flies and fights pretty well. The wingman commands are adequate - I rarely delved into the full repertoire of attacks that were available - approach high - low - bracket left and right - drag left and right - etc
Overall, a lot of fun, focussed on the tactical side of air combat rather than the switchology.
Those who remember EF 2000will remember the rush you got from hurtling down valleys and rolling inverted to crest a ridge - usually with a SAM or AA missile hot on your tail!
The terrain in Eurofighter Typhoon is very rugged and combined with the often low cloud ceiling and misty conditions creates some heart stopping moments for the frequent-low-level flier.