It’s been a while since I did a Flight Journal about DCS World but I’ve had a few good flights recently that I wanted to share against the backdrop of DCS World 2.7. I’ve been flying with some of my regular group on the DCS: F/A-18C on two Hoggit servers and we’ve had some fun, faced some trials, and had a pretty good time on the whole. Here’s what we’ve been up to!
Georgia at War SAM fight
Our first flight last night saw us join onto the Georgia at War server with our trio of Hornet’s flying from the USS George Washington. We decided to strike a target area just in from the coast comprised of short range SAM’s and some vehicles.
For this strike, we each brought a slightly different loadout. My setup included a pair of AIM-9X’s, a single AIM-120C, four GBU-38 500lb JDAM’s, and two AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missiles. Oh yeah… and a Litening II targeting pod. I haven’t yet used the ATFLIR and I wasn’t about to try it out in a combat situation.
Once launched from the carrier, we headed to the coast and our target area. This was a short 40 nautical mile flight and we were there in no time flat.
The biggest difference between this flight and past efforts was the integration of the new 2.7 clouds into the mix. With multiple layers between 9,000 and 20,000 feet, we needed to ultimately drop our altitude to get a clear line of sight on the target so we could pick off our targets.
With TOO engaged and the targets finally in sight, each of us struggled a bit to get the targeting pod to designate the target. It took a moment and in that moment we realized that a short range SAM was actively engaging us. I pickled a pair of JDAM’s on a T-72 tank before turning defensively away from the SAM. Another in our flight wasn’t able to get away and was shot down.
Using a combination of terrain and missile reload times, I was able to turn around, climb, and acquire a second target and release both JDAM’s on the target while dodging still more missiles.
I’m not sure if they hit or not and the server shut down for the usual refresh so we were never able to fully assess the target post strike. But we did get some bombs on target and it was good!
The server was resetting and going to a night mission… so we said “Nuts to that” and went in search of more light.
Strike mission on PGAW
Now over on Persian Gulf at War, the thing that I constantly have to remind myself is that we’re not likely to see many clouds on there. The server takes weather information using real world data and there’s only rare opportunities for us to see any kind of weather that isn’t hot and sunny.
For our first mission, we launched from the carrier carrying a combination of JDAM, HARM and Maverick missiles. Our target was a concentration of targets just north of Fujairah, located on the eastern coast of the UAE.
Multiple aircraft were converging on the target and by the time we had gotten there, a combination of F-16, A-10 and other F/A-18’s had already eliminated the cluster of targets. So too were the SCUD missile launchers that had spawned nearby – all smoking ruins.
By this point we also had a MiG-31 Foxhound closing in on us rapidly and one in our flight took lead on engaging while the rest of us provided support. An AIM-120C shot off of our lead Hornet and struck the MiG-31 at range… target splashed.
Back to the targets, we headed north west to the opposite coast where a warhouse and power plant complex was located. By the time we got there, only a single building was standing. I rifled off a AGM-65 Maverick at the building. Then I fired a second just to be sure after checking to see if there were any remaining targets. Both missiles impacted the building and it exploded. Target destroyed!
And then DCS World crashed. It actually crashed for all of us that night plus another friend who couldn’t get in to press any button a menu without it crashing to desktop. We’ve definitely noticed stability issues.
Anti-ship missile finale
While my compatriots carried on without me and managed to provide an effective BARCAP near Khasab, I loaded back into the game and had learned that the next obstacle on the map was the very effective missile ships sitting in the Strait of Hormuz providing anti-air cover for enemy aircraft as they came over the Strait. We needed to eliminate them.
As I started up on the carrier deck, another Hornet had the same idea and thanks to SRS we were able to link up. He was using one of the Raven One skins so I joined in on the fun.
For this mission, we brought the full load of AGM-84D Harpoon missiles. These anti-ship missiles are powerful but somewhat less capable than the RB-04’s that I’m used to on the AJS-37 Viggen with much less speed and therefore less ability to evade defenses. We didn’t know if the strike would even work.
And it didn’t… not the first one.
After firing all eight Harpoon missiles, none of them managed to find the targets. Three crashed into a small island in the line of sight between us and the ships and five more were either intercepted by missiles or shot down by CIWS.
Undaunted, we landed at nearby Ras Al Khaimah International Airport where we picked up yet another aircraft. An AJS-37 Viggen briefly joined our quest to sink the ships and he did manage to fire a missile at it although we lost him on the second strike due either to lag or a game crash (I never found out).
Briefly confronting enemy aircraft that were then shot down by a nearby Tomcat, we pressed on to target configuring our Harpoon’s and making use of the relatively new SEA mode on the air to ground radar to pinpoint and lock our targets.
The word was given and we again launched all eight missiles before breaking away as the enemy ships engaged us.
Knowingly or unknowingly, a friendly F-5E was pressing across the straight and was engaged by the ships. They fired a volley of missiles at the F-5 which was unable to avoid them and was shot down. But this had the effect of drawing the fire away from our Harpoon missiles which were now skimming the water and headed into target.
The missile batteries had been reloaded and new interceptors were streaking out and intercepting Harpoons. However, they were now getting to be too close and two missiles pressed in.
No CIWS was spotted and both missiles impacted the target. One after the other.
Smoke came rising up as one enemy ship was either crippled or sunk. Although I never got credit for it and my TacView did not record the event, I am counting that as a mission kill and a great success for attacking this ship.
My friends meanwhile wracked up an impressive score against enemy aircraft, keeping the Strait of Hormuz safe while we pressed our attack against the ships. Without the coordination of many people both knowingly and unknowingly supporting us, we would never have been able to pull it off.
DCS World 2.7 looks great but the most recent patch seems to have done the opposite of what it purported to do – solve some instability issues. At the moment it seems a bit more unstable online than ever. Especially in a complex environment. We also encountered bugs with the Supercarrier a few times in the last few days where it wouldn’t recognize us or any of the other aircraft. Or it would recognize us but only on a single catapult leading to a massive traffic jam as everyone used the same functioning unit.
I would love to see some of these issues identified, fixed and resolved. They put a damper on an other wise fun time!