USAF

First Mission

The first mission sends you against a North Vietnamese airfield. It's guarded by 2 SAM (Surface to Air Missile) sites which will give you a bit of unwanted attention! Take them out by destroying the radar units. See the AGM-45 Shrike checklist. (coming soon)

The MiGs are lined up very nicely... a tempting target for strafing practice! Some MiGs will appear on the scene but they're not too aggressive. This is a good opportunity to practice your dogfighting tactics. In general you'll do best to try and emulate the real-world tactics used in this conflict by fighting an energy fight.
That is... don't try and out turn the MiGs in the horizontal. The MiG21 and especially the MiG-17 can turn much tighter than the F-105 or the F4. Use the vertical plane of manoeuver.
Keep your speed (energy state) up and pull into the vertical when a MiG tries to turn inside you. If you try and turn with the MiG you'll likely end up in a lag pursuit, unable to bring the guns to bear and worst of all... low, slow and in bandit country! Here's an F-105 going vertical (in the background) after getting a gun hit on this MiG-21.
Now, having gone "over the top" and converted it's kinetic energy (speed) to potential energy (altitude), the F-105 merely has to continue to roll inverted, pull back on the stick and let gravity assist!
Now, if you were to miss again, use the built up speed to either "extend" for a missile shot or go vertical again and reposition for a guns or an AIM-9 shot.

Mission 2: Operation Bolo

As I mentioned in Mission 1, you want to take out the RADAR guidance units. Without themthe SA-2 operators have to revert to optical acquisition and launch. In the picture below you can see where the RADAR unit was.
However your main priority in this mission is to get those MiGs! I needed several goes at this mission before I managesd to bag them all and it required liberal use of the tactical map (Esc) and then Shift 1, 2 , 3 combinations to catch them!
Remember what I was saying about the horizontal and vertical? At right are a couple of shots showing the MiG and Phantom at it again.... I only hope those MiG pilots don't read this!!!!!
Dont forget to drop those fuel tanks before combat (Ctrl C)

Sleeping Giant

This mission tasks you with refuelling and performing a Combat Air Patrol (CAP) ... hint... forget the refuelling!
The refueller in USAF over the urbanised German landscape.
Your first target prorities will probably be the dreaded Mi-24 Hind Gunships enroute to your base. Love that Hind! Captures the imagination. Armoured Gunship... pilot, gunner, 8 troops in the back....rocket launchers......ahhh.
Anyway, back to business.
Now attacking Helicopters with a fast jet poses several unique problems. The first being that these eggbeaters like to travel close to the ground... at altitudes which are decidely uncomfortable in an F-15 at 500 knots! So my advice is ... don't go there!
Send your wingmen instead.
Below you can see the missile trails from my wingmen's AIM-120 AMMRAAMs after I;d locked up the first chopper and issued the "attack other similar targets" (Alt-W) command. Instant response...whoooosh.
Even though it is tempting to make high speed gun passes on the Hind's.... its a dangerous game. I've lost count of the times I have augered in over the years attempting this stunt. Just a bit closer... a bit closer.... nearly there ... damn!
The technical term for it is "Target Fixation". The result is "Game Over"!
Next up are a pack of MiG-29 Fulcrums. Like their predecessors the MiG 21 Fishbed and MiG-17 they excel at the "knifefight in a a phone booth".
Left engine damaged... 2 sidewinders left and more MiGs on the way!
That is to say... don't get drawn into a turning battle with these babies or your fate will mirror mine.... see above.
Trying to push an F-15 around the sky with only 1 afterburner functioning is not fun.
Well it is fun actually, I mean that's why we're here... but it is difficult to win with that sort of handicap.
The MiG-29 Fulcrum doing what it does so well... turning on a dime!
SA-10 Grumble and mess tent.
F-15E's and F-16C' tasked with removing SAM sites to open a safe passage for B-2B Stealth Bombers. Mmmmm..... I thought that may alert the enemy ... aren't the B-2's stealth aircraft?
Ah well... ours is not to question why! I lost one F15 almost immediately.... but pressed on in a/c no.2.
The AGM-130 launch was easy.... lock on the target with AG radar... a bit of altitude and away she goes.
This is a tactical no-no but what the hey... I zoomed down for a personal BDA (Bomb Damage Assessment) ... very nice.
Now to the F-16's tasked with the second SAM site.
MiG-29 Fulcrums defending an East Geman mountain pass
B-2B Stealth bomber cruising past an enemy airbase (top right)
I had loaded the F-16's up with AGM 65 Mavericks. Once again, acquuire the target on AG radar in MAP mode, then select AGM-65 and go to full screen view (Z).
The B-2B's turned up as I flew home, flying in close formation, line astern and in visual range of an enemy airbase.
Strange.