Hoggit’s Georgia-at-War has become my go-to DCS World multiplayer experience and a great way for me, still a relative newbie to many of the modern aircraft in DCS World, to learn quite a bit as a virtual pilot mostly with trial by error but also thanks to the help of other players. I wanted to write something about how my experience on the server has evolved and how the server is doing a great job of evolving as well.
Phase one and two
When I started flying on Georgia-at-War (popularly referred to as GAW) the draw for me was twofold. First, it was aimed at the new multiplayer pilot for DCS World, and second, it was a player versus the AI kind of arrangement which took the pressure off a little bit for me.
Phase one was what I started flying and that was a very accessible scenario to get into. With players flying primarily from the airbase at Anapa, the goal was to push out into the nearby territory (about 50-100 miles from Anapa typically) and take control of the FARPs (Forward Arming and Refueling Point Operations) and ultimately of the enemy’s air base. This would defeat the AI commander and reset the scenario.
Phase two saw us expand further into the fictional conflict with OPFOR forces operating from Nalchik, Mozdok, Kutaisi and other bases in Russian and Georgian territory on the Caucasus map. Phase two has been a little more difficult with a greater number of targets, what feels like a more aggressive AI commander, and much greater territory to cover.
Learning radio, systems, tactics
One of the key things to use on many DCS World servers is the SRS radio system that ties a VOIP based voice communications system directly into DCS World. Communications that may be traditionally be handled by channels in a TeamSpeak or Discord setup are configured as radio frequencies and you interact with those frequencies based on the radio systems right in your DCS World cockpit.
The immersion is incredible and the folks on GAW have been both accommodating of my poor radio protocol skills (at least at first) and also incredibly helpful in terms of offering help, advice, and learning opportunities.
Some players have been online acting as air traffic control. Others have been there as GCI (Ground Control Intercept) acting as a kind of theatre commander and providing information on enemy movements.
Some pilots fly fast moving jet fighters like the M-2000C and F/A-18C while others are sticking close to the ground flying the A-10C, AV-8B, the UH-1 and the Ka-50. Everyone has tasks that are specific to their type of aircraft and everyone works closely together.
I spent over an hour flying a CAP mission with an extremely experience and professional (by the book) pilot flying Hornets together, in the dark, taking out enemy aircraft and providing BARCAP for friendly strike aircraft. Along the way we used our radios, GCI, sensors, navigation aids (like TACAN) and more.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes and been shot down more than a few times by enemy aircraft, SAMs, and the odd friendly kill. These all happen and they all represent opportunities to learn.
GAW has been evolving as we play the various scenarios as the admins build new phases and as the server expands with more experienced players connecting with all of the new pilots just getting started.
Features have been added and some of them are kind of mind blowing.
Tuning into the appropriate frequency will give you an automated ATIS (automatic terminal information service) broadcast just like in real life with the appropriate weather information, active runway details, QFE, etc. This is auto generated and it stays up to date. I have no idea how they scripted that but it’s really cool.
Speaking of weather, GAW is plugged into METAR weather reporting from places within the Caucasus region so every time a mission refreshes you get a different weather setup based on the real world weather information. That’s both amazing from a real life meets virtual world and also great as a sim pilot because you get exposed to all kinds of different weather conditions and they are all based on real conditions rather than imagined ones from the mission designers.
GAW has also been following along with the date and with the seasons. I started playing in September with those lengthening shadows and sunny days but that gave way to the autumn version of the Caucasus map, darker skies, more rain, and definite fall weather. That too gave way to winter which is the current version of the scenario and that brings with it rain some days, snow others, and plenty of challenging weather conditions.
The AI commander too appears to have gotten more aggressive often protecting their AWACs with multiple fighters while sending yet more fighters, attackers, and helicopters out to roll-up our advances. It’s a great system and offering plenty of challenge!
Teamplay and conclusion
In short, flying on GAW has made me a better sim pilot and opened me up to all kinds of great new features, systems and tactics and I’ve been flying with a majority of pilots that have in my experience been open and welcoming to new pilots who are doing their best to get acclimated to DCS World multiplayer – something that can be immediately daunting.
People have been professional yet helpful and that can be a rare thing to find. I’m glad I found it here and I encourage people to hop on SRS, load up their favourite DCS World module, and join us for some great DCS World multiplayer action.
Still want to know more about Hoggit Georgia-at-War multiplayer scenario? Read my Community Q&A with one of the creators of the whole thing, Zelly, who expands quite a bit on what GAW is all about.
A bunch of random shots from my time on GAW featuring multiple aircraft, players, and a bunch from the cockpit of my own jet.