Content continues to expand the scope of experience available for the DCS: F/A-18C Hornet and as much as people are interested in seeing the radar issues be further improved, I’m also encouraged to see that Eagle Dynamics is making sure we have the opportunity to fly the Hornet in more than just a few training missions. Initial impressions of the new mini campaign that just arrived in the latest beta patch to follow!
Task Force Challenger
Flying from the USS John C. Stennis, the first two missions of the Hornet campaign have different focuses with the first one being an Alert Five type mission where the Task Force comes under attack by Tu-22 and Su-24 strike aircraft. While the Tomcats are busy fending off the Tupolevs, Alert Five is launched to deal with another strike and that’s where things get hectic.
For me, having seen but not participated in a fleet defense mission since Microprose’s Fleet Defender, this was a whole lot of fun. Its a tense mission to be sure but I enjoyed watching the carrier’s escort ships launch missile after missile against the incoming anti-ship missiles while Tomcats and Hornets screen against further attacks.
My mission went sideways pretty much from the point of contact. My wingman was hit, yet refused to return to base, and so we kept on fighting against the escorting MiG-29s while the Su-24s started taking defensive fire from the fleet.
One of the Su-24s went down, meanwhile, I shot down a MiG-29 with an AIM-7 on the first pass. With my wingman now out of the fight, I took off after the Su-24s while also simultaneously fighting the MiG-29.
Final mission result was 5 aircraft shot down for one Hornet loss and a successful third-wire landing on the Stennis.
My CAS failure
The second mission was to provide CAS for Georgian forces trying to hold back in invading Russians along a strategic river crossing point. The contrasting deep blues of the sky and ocean with the while clouds and snow flurries blowing across the deck were pretty impressive looking for this mission.
The mission itself ended up going poorly as whatever I was doing, it was wrong. I couldn’t get the bombs on target and I succeeded in not killing any of the BMPs threatening to cross the river.
Worse, I was shot down by AAA fire pulling up from my last attack. Clearly my tactics need work before I can progress on from this mission.
Still, this Hornet mini campaign is pretty good and while its not gripping with tension and voice overs like Eastern Friendship has, this does give you something else to play and some fun Hornet carrier missions. Definitely worth checking out!