Author Topic: Strike Fighters Project 2  (Read 5287 times)

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Offline Col. Fishguts

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Strike Fighters Project 2
Recently I stumbled upon the updated Strike Fighters 2 series of "light" flight sims:

http://www.thirdwire.com/index.htm

I remember reading reviews of the original "Strike Fighters Project 1" a few years back, which was promising but had some shortcomings. Now there's an upgraded engine, most gameplay bugs have been ironed out and there are now half a dozen games based on the same engine. The games are fully moddable and they can even be merged into one installation.

I've started with SF2: Vietnam, since is features the F-100D, F-105, F-4, F-8, A-4 and A7... all awesome planes that don't get much love in other sims, and so far I'm having a blast. The flight model is of course not on par with something like Flanker 2.0 or Falcon 4.0, but it's convincing enough and the different planes each have their unique handling quirks. Operating the primitive radars and bombing without CCIP is also challenging but lots of fun and makes you really appreciate the A-7 for having the first "modern" HUD. My only real complaint so far is that carrier ops are crudely implemented, there are no arresting wires... the planes just slow down when touching the deck like it was adhesive, but that might be improved in future patches.

Some screens







There's also a damage system that (for most parts) realistically influences the flight model.
For example, in a simple single mission me and my wingman took on a pair of Frescos. I send my wingman after one MiG-17 and engage the other one, trying to get into position to get a lock for my Sidewinder. As I struggle to get behind my MiG-17 I hear my wingman screaming in panic over the radio and realize that getting into a turning fight with Frescos while sitting in a Phantom... that thing bleeds airspeed like crazy in tight turns (the ability to hit the burners and climb out of hairy situations is awesome though).
So, as I hear the death scream of my wingman I realize that I will soon have the second Fresco on my tail while I'm still trying to shoot down the one in front of me. And soon enough i see tracer rounds fly past me from behind and shortly afterwards I hear the "CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK" of bullets entering my plane... but she's still holding together. Finally I hear the higher-pitch growling of my Sidewinder seeker having locked on and I blow the Fresco in front of me out of the sky and turn sharp to shake off the other Fresco behind me. After another intense 30 seconds I send the second Fresco to the ground, the whole time wondering why my F-4 is swinging so violently from side to side when turning.... only when switching to external view things became clear, she was still fit enough to limp back to base though.



So, anybody else got some opinions on the other games? I'm thinking about getting SF2: Europe next... mostly because of the Harrier and the A-10, plus the fictional campaigns of the evil Sovjets invading western Europe sound like fun.
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Offline Dilmah G

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Re: Strike Fighters Project 2
Ooh, looks pretty interesting. :yes:

 

Offline Demitri

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Re: Strike Fighters Project 2
I would not like to be flying the Phantom in the last pic!
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Re: Strike Fighters Project 2
Sounds, cool.

Just looked on the site though, and my first thought was 'How can I get it free?'

(I'm not asking for anything illegal, that was just the first thing that came to mind. I don't really want it free)
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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Strike Fighters Project 2
How good is the ground-attack modelling relatively speaking?
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Offline mxlm

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Re: Strike Fighters Project 2
Well, Project 1 was about on par with the assorted Jane's survey titles, perhaps a little better. Except you're using 60's planes without much in the way of bombing aids, so aiming's a *****. Nothing like that chase-view 'your bomb will land here' thing from USAF. My understanding is that Project 2 was essentially a graphical/OS upgrade (I gather P1 had difficulties with Vista/W7), but I may be mistaken.
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Offline Dilmah G

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Re: Strike Fighters Project 2
Well if fighter pilots could bomb in WWII without bombing aids, I don't see why I couldn't in a 'Nam simulator. :P

 

Offline IceFire

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Re: Strike Fighters Project 2
Looks interesting. How does it compare to IL-2? I've been keeping up with that one right up to the latest 4.09m release and eagerly anticipating the additions in 4.10m. This looks to be on par for aircraft visuals but the terrain and water seem to be not quite as good (Depends on the IL-2 map). How does the flight model compare between those two?  IL-2's feels and has been remarked as being very sophisticated (although not without it's quirks).
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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Strike Fighters Project 2
Well if fighter pilots could bomb in WWII without bombing aids, I don't see why I couldn't in a 'Nam simulator. :P

By Vietnam you ought to have some level of computer assist plotting, at least for the dedicated strike aircraft. I know the Thud (do they even have the F-105?) and some models of the A-4 had a semi-modern system.

And as I've discovered I typically enjoy strike more than air-to-air in these games (I have since at least Falcon 3) so  it's sort of an important point that the strike missions and aircraft be treated reasonably well. :P
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Offline Dilmah G

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Re: Strike Fighters Project 2
Bah, nothing compares to rolling the stick and craning over your shoulder whilst popping chaff and flare with a MiG or Sukhoi on your tail.

And even better than that is when you deploy air brakes in the middle of a tight turn, and pop a Sidewinder as he overshoots you. :P

 

Offline mxlm

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Re: Strike Fighters Project 2
Well if fighter pilots could bomb in WWII without bombing aids, I don't see why I couldn't in a 'Nam simulator. :P

It's worth pointing out that the effectiveness of attack aircraft in, like, every WWII sim* ever made is hilariously overmodeled.

Or really, every flight sim ever.
I will ask that you explain yourself. Please do so with the clear understanding that I may decide I am angry enough to destroy all of you and raze this sickening mausoleum of fraud down to the naked rock it stands on.

 

Offline Dilmah G

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Re: Strike Fighters Project 2
I wasn't talking about any WWII sims. Although I wouldn't mind if you elaborated.

 

Offline Nemesis6

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Re: Strike Fighters Project 2
I wish I could play flight sims... I used to love planes and any flying games I could get my hands on when I was little. The campaign against the Soviets does indeed sound appealing, but this is way too complicated for a beginner, isn't it?   :doubt:

 

Offline Dilmah G

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Re: Strike Fighters Project 2
After real flying, most games are quite tame. Except LOMAC and Falcon, of course. :P

 

Offline mxlm

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Re: Strike Fighters Project 2
I wasn't talking about any WWII sims. Although I wouldn't mind if you elaborated.

Okay. In IL-2, when your wingmen make a pass, they will blow up a tank. Every time. Without fail. Unless they get shot down. Every time your squadron goes on a ground attack mission, you will blow up many tanks, barring some sort of catastrophe. Your wingmen will kill some, you may kill some (I'm really bad at hitting things, so I won't). In one mission. While this is more or less in line with the claimed kills from real world sorties, claims were, um, less than accurate. There's a reason that, say, Guderian's books don't end every paragraph with, "And then the planes showed up and they exploded my whole army," and the reason is that the planes just weren't anywhere near as effective as you would think they were if all you had to go on was their performance in flight sims.

There's a history prof/wargame buff on another forum who's gone on about this at length. I'll see if I can dig the posts up. Ah, here is the thread I had in mind. You're looking for JasonC's posts.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2010, 02:21:38 am by mxlm »
I will ask that you explain yourself. Please do so with the clear understanding that I may decide I am angry enough to destroy all of you and raze this sickening mausoleum of fraud down to the naked rock it stands on.

 

Offline Dilmah G

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Re: Strike Fighters Project 2
Well as I said before, I wasn't going off my video game experience. I read Peter Townsend's, Pierre Clostermann's, and Douglas Bader's biographies as a child. Although only Clostermann engaged ground targets on a semi-regular basis, the fact that they engaged ground targets and skip/dive bombed them without sights is what I was referring to.

I'd imagine that history prof is dead on though. 50 cals don't take out tanks unless you bounce rounds behind the road and hit the engina

 

Offline mxlm

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Re: Strike Fighters Project 2
Well as I said before, I wasn't going off my video game experience. I read Peter Townsend's, Pierre Clostermann's, and Douglas Bader's biographies as a child. Although only Clostermann engaged ground targets on a semi-regular basis, the fact that they engaged ground targets and skip/dive bombed them without sights is what I was referring to.

I'd imagine that history prof is dead on though. 50 cals don't take out tanks unless you bounce rounds behind the road and hit the engina

I wasn't suggesting you were, I was using your point about WWII to further discuss flight sims. I'd note here that reading pilot biographies is not going to get you anything like an accurate picture of aircraft effectiveness against ground targets as pilot claims are simply wrong. Unless, I suppose, the biographies note that and go on to contrast pilot claims with the other side's reported losses, but I'd be rather surprised if those books did anything like that.

I'll also note that bouncing bullets are completely useless. They're deformed, shedding energy, and tumbling, all of which serves to prevent them from piercing armor, even the comparatively light armor on the engine compartment. Direct hits might be another story.
I will ask that you explain yourself. Please do so with the clear understanding that I may decide I am angry enough to destroy all of you and raze this sickening mausoleum of fraud down to the naked rock it stands on.

 

Offline Dilmah G

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Re: Strike Fighters Project 2
Well then the fact that I said nothing in the entire thread about A2G effectiveness is a good thing then. By the way, both Bader's and Townsend's books contrasted confirmed kills with the other side's reported losses on several occasions. Although neither book went into much depth about CAS. Clostermann out of all was the one who flew anti-ground missions, although I don't recall if he did any kind of "compare and contrasting". I doubt it'd be necessary from his point of view if his target exploded in several thousand pieces. :P

I'd disagree when you say pilot claims are completely wrong. I'd sure like to be believed if I blew up a tank. :P

The bouncing of rounds behind the road to hit tank engines is something I remembered from the CFS1 pilots manual, I'm not sure if it actually worked. The game didn't model that possibility either. I'd assume they would've got that snippet from the pilots they interviewed.

 

Offline mxlm

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Re: Strike Fighters Project 2
I'd disagree when you say pilot claims are completely wrong. I'd sure like to be believed if I blew up a tank. :P

There's the rub. Go look at claims in the Pacific. "I totally sank a carrier," No, you didn't, and it was a transport, not a carrier. That stuff about having as many versions of events as there are eye witnesses? Still true in combat, and only exacerbated by the conditions in which pilots performing low altitude attacks against ground targets found themselves. But sure, completely wrong is overstating. High by a factor of 15-50 is more precise.

And yes, bouncing rounds was something they actually tried to do. It wasn't a good idea; sure, they claim they knocked out Tigers by bouncing rounds into their belly, but those claims aren't credible, and certainly aren't supported by actual evidence.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2010, 04:07:27 am by mxlm »
I will ask that you explain yourself. Please do so with the clear understanding that I may decide I am angry enough to destroy all of you and raze this sickening mausoleum of fraud down to the naked rock it stands on.

 

Offline Flipside

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Re: Strike Fighters Project 2
It's like Fishermen, no fish ever caught with friends is as big as the one you once caught whilst fishing alone ;)