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#4600569 - 05/29/22 10:28 PM Re: Help required learning Falcon BMS [Re: DBond]  
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Originally Posted by DBond
The essential campaign skills question is an interesting one,


Thank you for your time. I have translated and preserved your notes as a relic, and I am sure they will be useful to me. Reading them, it seems to me that you have really lived those experiences, rather than simulated; confirms the exceptional nature of Falcon 4.
Honestly, at the moment I feel overwhelmed by its complexity - so far I've always taken a week to master a simulator. With this, it is almost a month that I am still at the basics. But the passion is still great and I would like to make it.
Thanks again!

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#4600613 - 05/30/22 12:46 PM Re: Help required learning Falcon BMS [Re: Greybeard]  
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I hope nothing gets lost in translation. Looking at what I wrote there are some phrases and terminology I used to sound like I know what I am talking about that may lead to confusion. If so just ask. I thought it was an interesting question, and when the start of yesterday's Formula 1 race got red-flagged I ended up with just enough time to come up with a post.

I think if you have proficiency in the things I listed you'll be ready to hop in to the campaign. I'm sure I missed a few things. It's hard to lose a campaign, but you cannot let it happen or it will lock out higher ranks in the logbook. So it's best to have a good skills base to get off to a good start.


No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!
#4600631 - 05/30/22 03:28 PM Re: Help required learning Falcon BMS [Re: DBond]  
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Originally Posted by DBond
Originally Posted by Greybeard

What do you advise me to do?


If you're asking me, I advise you to just put that aside if it's causing problems. Out of sight, out of mind haha.

I wouldn't know how to fix it.

The essential campaign skills question is an interesting one, and it's only my view. Ask the next Falcon pilot and he'd have a different outlook I'm sure. But I like the question so I'll take a stab at it from my point of view. You're asking about which training TEs to fly, but I can't approach it from there. So I'll put it this way

-- Base Ops. You need to be able to talk to the tower, remove chocks, taxi competently, find departure ends, set up the cockpit and all the stuff around the base. Of course you can opt to start on the runway, or from a cold jet. But I always choose taxi. There's an edit you can make to add time from the time you exit the pie screen until your take off time. It gives you more time to set up the jet and reach the departure end before your step time. I like to completely set up my jet before taking off. That means all sensors and weapons powered up and set for release. Selecting bags for selective jettison, radios and all the rest configured so that once I'm in the air I can just concentrate on navigation, sorting the airspace and and flying the jet. A couple extra minutes before step time is a nice luxury to get this done.

set g_nTaxiLaunchTime 6 with 6 in this example the amount of time from entering the 3D to take off time. Edit to taste

-- Navigation. Simple as. Hit your timing marks and steerpoints. The ability to switch frequencies to random bases on the fly is nice, to land at divert fields in emergencies, but not necessary to be flying campaigns. Always set a divert field in planning along your return leg to give you a a steerpoint to divert. Know how to return to base, follow ATC instructions and land properly. Taxi to a shut down, chocks in, engine down and canopy up for full effect smile

-- Avionics and weapons. Both radars are essential of course. Know how to turn off lights, use the data cartridge and the radio. Sniper pod (essential for me) , HTS. I'd suggest getting comfortable with the DED, to be able to see fuel estimates, wind velocity and direction and this sort of stuff, but this isn't essential to get started. Know how to set up weapons for guidance, burst altitudes, arming delays, ripple sequencing and all that stuff. No reason to carry a weapon you can't use properly. The nice thing about Falcon is that you can get by at the start just mastering maybe six weapon types and then continue to train in new ones to add them to your quiver. That was my approach, and over time I added things like JSOW, Mavericks, and SDBs. For me the core weapons to start are

-- AIM-120 (henceforth known as slammer) and AIM-9, especially the 9X. This weapon, in conjunction with the HMCS and headtracking is phenomenal. Not all blocks have it, but for the ones that do it's a fantastic capability and weapons platform.

-- Dumb bombs -- slicks and parachute. The Mark-84 is a favorite of mine. Know how to arm and deploy them, meaning understanding CCIP and CCRP modes.

-- Cluster bombs. Know which ones to use for which target types and how to set up their burst altitudes and ripples to effectively cover the target. A critical difference between older versions of Falcon and BMS is that the ripple designation point --when you hit pickle -- is the center of the string. It used to be the starting point and all bombs would fall down the line. But in BMS it is the center. So the more bombs you're dropping, the more will fall short of the pickle point. So drop on the center of columns or drop fewer bombs on dispersed targets. Well, this was true in 4.33 anyway

-- JDAM. Mark eight-four with fancy bits. Easy, safe, accurate and big boom. This weapon would be the first ground attack weapon I would learn if I were starting over. It's fantastic, especially in conjunction with the DTC and precision steerpoints. Yeah, learn precision steerpoints. Then once you've set it, you literally just fly right over at 25,000 feet and pickle in CCRP. Don't even need to target anything with radar or another sensor. Just select the steerpoint and fly over it. The bomb does the rest. It's exceptionally accurate and destructive, and the release envelope freedom makes it a very safe weapon to carry. It's all weather as well which makes it a better choice in many cases than a LGB for example.

-- HARM. Taking an active role in helping to preserve the blue air fleet is important for me in the campaign. In the early hours the enemy is at full strength, and I think this is the time to do something about it haha. The best ways to accomplish this are destroying enemy fighters and SAM systems. The HARM is the weapon to use, to shut down the radar which nullifies the launchers. On the first morning of any campaign I frag and fly what I call HARMCAP missions. Two AGM-88s, four slammers, jammer and bags. Frag it as an interdiction or zero-time an existing BARCAP and just go hunting for targets of opportunity. By flying several of these in succession the player can shut down a significant part of the enemy's SAM umbrella along the front line, making it safer for the AI to fly there later. Learn which SAM system are priority due to threat level. Actually learn all enemy SAM systems and know their capabilities to increase your survivability by knowing the proper way to react, counter and evade. In all my years flying Falcon, two weapons systems have accounted for a far outsized percentage of my lost jets -- the MiG29 and the SA-6. There are no SA-6s in Korea, but if you download add-on campaigns be advised smile

If I were to lump in all IR SAMS as one they'd be a close third. Enemy aircraft are of course dangerous, but in BMS the SAMs are probably more so, if only because some of them hide so well (ambush tactics) and some can't be detected and the first indication is either a smoke trail or a bang on your exhaust.

So yeah, those are really all that I think is needed to get started and be effective at a wide variety of mission profiles in the campaign. Then add LGBs, Mavs, JSOW, SBDs and the rest as time and enthusiasm permits.

-- Wingmen. It's important to learn the options you have and how to effectively direct the AI. They are quite good when you are puppeting them, assigning targets, getting them to rejoin and keeping them out of trouble. Part of your mission rating is wingman survivability and effectiveness so I suggest always flying as lead and shepherding the AI throughout the mission. This of course isn't a prerequisite, but the sort of thing you want to focus on as you undertake campaigns for the first time. You need the on-the-job training and experience with the AI to know how they behave.

So yeah, that's basically it. If you can do al that stuff you'll be effective in winning campaigns, getting promotions and medals. Over time you can learn more about the campaigns and how to frag custom missions, direct ground forces and generally run the campaign in the operational sense.

It's such a deep simulation that I'm sure I am leaving out a few essentials.

Good hunting.







Brilliant absolutely brilliant post DBond..it’ll help newbies like myself and Greybeard enormously
cheers


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
#4600635 - 05/30/22 04:15 PM Re: Help required learning Falcon BMS [Re: Greybeard]  
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Thanks Adger, appreciate the comment. I hope it helps and I got more smile

I'm enjoying the Falcon discussion with you guys and if there's anything you want to talk about fire away.


No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!
#4600657 - 05/31/22 12:15 AM Re: Help required learning Falcon BMS [Re: DBond]  
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Originally Posted by DBond
Looking at what I wrote there are some phrases and terminology I used to sound like I know what I am talking about that may lead to confusion. If so just ask.


Thanks DBond! I would just to be sure of what you mean with "bags".

#4600662 - 05/31/22 03:49 AM Re: Help required learning Falcon BMS [Re: Greybeard]  
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Bags are auxiliary fuel tanks. I carry them on most missions. Distances on the average mission aren't too far usually, especially in Korea. Internal fuel would often be enough to get there and back. The tanks allow you to reach the combat with full internal fuel, so you aren't limited in how much burner and smash you can use when the sh!t's hitting the fan. I always pre-select both tanks for selective jettison while still in pre-flight so that when it's time I can just call up the page and punch them off. Doesn't save a ton of time obviously, but it's cleaner and always the same, routine, which is good. Flying a jet like this in combat can get pretty saturated when it's busy, and any thing you can make routine and automatic helps to keep you focused, and not fumbling around or figuring stuff out. Or if you're suddenly engaged by a SAM you can quickly get the tanks off for evasion. Call up sel-jet and punch the pickle button and the tanks come off. Saves like two mouse clicks, but that's how I do it.


No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!
#4600665 - 05/31/22 08:27 AM Re: Help required learning Falcon BMS [Re: DBond]  
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Originally Posted by DBond
Bags are auxiliary fuel tanks.


Thank you! smile2

In the meantime, following your advice and skipping unessential training missions, I have successfully completed my first bombing mission (CCIP, dumb bomb). thumbsup

I find that the tutorials found on YouTube are also useful (an image sequence clarifies more than a mountain of words); the difficult thing for me is to find some of them significant but short enough, because I don't have much time: the ideal for me is that they last less than five minutes. In this case the following helped me:


#4600681 - 05/31/22 02:13 PM Re: Help required learning Falcon BMS [Re: Greybeard]  
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That video doesn't really give much in the way of instruction, parameters, settings and procedure. More like you're along for the ride when he makes a CCIP drop.

I'd also say he goes way too low. At the range it's fine. But in combat, flying at 7000 feet is a quick route to a silk elevator. This puts you in the envelope for virtually every weapon the Reds have. In Falcon, you either want to be right down on the deck, or way above it. The airspace between 500 feet and 10,000 feet is dead-man's land in my view.

My procedure for a CCIP drop is straight out of the book Vipers in the Storm. This book coincided with my introduction to Falcon 4 and had a big impact on how I approach the sim.

In mission planning I make sure to give a close recon look at my target. Let's say I'm dropping Mark-84 slicks on a nuclear plant and want to do as much damage as possible. I am looking to see how the target site is laid out, and identify the heading I want to fly to allow both or all of my bombs to fall along an axis that hits the most stuff. So I might identify the plant and one or more of the cooling towers. I will rotate the view to find a good approach heading to ensure that the bomb fall pattern is along the proper path to hit both of these targets in one pass. I must also estimate the distance between the identified targets in order to set the proper spacing between release pulses.

I then drag my IP steerpoint to a position that will take me to the target along this determined heading. I also drag the IP farther away, usually twenty miles. This has a few advantages which would take another post, but in short it gives me more time to get set on the run-in.

Altitude is over 20,000 feet. Of course depending on what point in the campaign you are you maybe have already obliterated all the Red weapons down there, but flying 20k+ is safer. It takes many threats out of play and especially IR SAMs which are particularly sneaky and deadly.

At about DME 6 miles I'm aligned on the attack heading, canopy-up at 22,000 feet. Bombs were armed, and ripples set at the base, and now I call up CCIP mode with the missile-step button on the right side of the stick. The max-toss cue is usually a good reference to begin the attack. I roll inverted to 30 degrees and check the throttle if necessary. In that video he pulls the throttle back, but I won't do this, as I want the speed for threat evasion and energy for the climb out after the attack. So usually something like 30 degree dive at 500 knots.

At 30 degrees pitch down I roll back canopy up. The inverted roll over to pull pitch keeps the target in sight through the wonderful bubble canopy (head tracking is so nice here) and just as important, keeps the jet pulling positive Gs. You really don't want to bunt (push stick forward to dive with negative Gs) when you're hanging heavy weapons. You risk structural damage and hung bombs. So roll over, attain the dive angle and roll back canopy up.

Find your diamond and make any adjustments necessary to flight path or dive angle to place the bomb fall line over the diamond. Hold it steady and just let the pipper track across the ground to the target. As soon as they intersect, pickle the weapons and pull. Immediately begin the climb and clearing turn. Head tracking. You want to be clearing your rear quarter for smoke trails. And done right you can swing it around to put the target in this quarter-view just as your eight-fours go boom. Pump chaff and flares. Jammer on the whole time.

Back up over 20,000 feet and turn for home.

I posted the link earlier to the mini-AAR with hotpit refueling, and this shot is also from that mission. I had just executed an attack like described above, mark-84s dropped in CCIP against a chemical plant. Here's the escape. The attack heading was 180 degrees around, so I've made my drop, and clipped it around in to a clearing turn, always looking here to clear for SAM trails. The bonus is the boom smile

I'm too low here, below that 10,000-foot self-imposed floor, but if you read the AAR you know why. I pulled 6.9G in the turn and took some inaccurate AAA fire, but thankfully no SAMs came up. Speed is good. But you really don't want to be flying at this level over enemy territory. IR SAMs eat you up at 8,000 feet.


[Linked Image]

Last edited by DBond; 05/31/22 04:14 PM.

No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!
#4600685 - 05/31/22 03:25 PM Re: Help required learning Falcon BMS [Re: DBond]  
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Originally Posted by DBond
In mission planning I make sure to give a close recon look at my target.


Holy words!

You're absolutely right, I understand ... I know! I, on the other hand, realize that I always make the usual mistake (even in other simulators): I throw myself at the goal without having studied it and without having planned the mission, trying to hit something immediately (if I hit it!). Your speech reminded me of what I was doing with Falcon 3.0 and that I had learned from a book dedicated to it by Prima Publishing; I didn't have internet then. Thanks for your valuable advice!

#4600724 - 05/31/22 08:55 PM Re: Help required learning Falcon BMS [Re: Greybeard]  
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Great stuff Lads ..I've put a few pics in the screenshot section of the forum cheers

[Linked Image]


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
#4600768 - 06/01/22 12:59 PM Re: Help required learning Falcon BMS [Re: Greybeard]  
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Originally Posted by Greybeard
Originally Posted by DBond
In mission planning I make sure to give a close recon look at my target.


Holy words!

You're absolutely right, I understand ... I know! I, on the other hand, realize that I always make the usual mistake (even in other simulators): I throw myself at the goal without having studied it and without having planned the mission, trying to hit something immediately (if I hit it!). Your speech reminded me of what I was doing with Falcon 3.0 and that I had learned from a book dedicated to it by Prima Publishing; I didn't have internet then. Thanks for your valuable advice!



The pre-flight recon on a strike mission is so valuable. From 20,000 feet it can be difficult to sort out the target site through the sniper pod for example. Knowing how it is laid out from the recon is valuable. But the real pay-off is finding the proper attack heading. This works great on columns.

Ground units in Falcon can either be in column or dispersed. Columns of course are tailor-made for attack. Rippled cluster bombs for example can do the business against such a target. But if you approach the target from a perpendicular angle, your bombs will be ineffective. You want to drop them along the length of the column and this recon allows you to determine that heading and set up your flight path and steerpoints to put you on it.

One thing to consider of course is that these units can be on the move, and if so, all bets are off. Dispersed formations are even more difficult to attack effectively of course.

What you want to do when selecting a ground unit as a target is note if they have an ETA in their unit info window. If it does, they are moving and will not be where they are now when your jet arrives. In this case I like to set one target steerpoint on their current position, and a second target steerpoint on their destination (also shown with the ETA). This shows me in the HSD the probable location upon arrival and I can use GMT to find them. But their orientation may have changed as they travel down the road so you must improvise your attack heading on the fly.

Nice shots Adger. Looks great!


No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!
#4600856 - 06/02/22 01:16 PM Re: Help required learning Falcon BMS [Re: Greybeard]  
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I mentioned how important the sniper pod is to me when flying the Viper in combat. It's invaluable to ensure I'm on the target I want to be. But one thing to be careful of when using multiple acquisition sensors in conjunction is how easy it is to slew them apart, and the sniper pod is looking at one thing while the ground radar is locked on something else.

To avoid this I never make the sniper pod SOI (sensor of interest). This ensures that whatever I've locked on the radar is what the sniper pod is pointing at. If you make the pod SOI you have to zero the TGP. And while there are reasons to do this, it's my standard procedure to always keep it slaved. This way I don't make a mistake in the saturated combat environment and become confused where the two sensors are looking.


In this shot you can see the ground radar in the left MFD is locked on a target. The right MFD will be pointing at the same target, but in this shot clouds obscure it. This was a JDAM attack on a HART site (GBU-31).

[Linked Image]

In this shot you can see in the right MFD the HART site, with NOT SOI displayed. This is key to keeping both sensors looking at the same thing. If you don't see NOT SOI here, be sure to zero/re-slave it to avoid mistakes.


[Linked Image]


And the result


[Linked Image]


Well actually that was a different mission, but also at night, against a HART site and with a GBU-31. In this mission I was too focused on getting good screen shots and didn't account for the now-asymmetrical loads on my wings. While I was zoomed in to take a screen of the big boom my jet was in a spiral dive and I nearly lost it. Unzooming to find I was not in control I barely pulled out, but hung my other bomb and flew home.


No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!
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