Hoggit, one of the many DCS World server communities, has been running a new server recently making use of the new DCS: Syria map that released last year. The server itself has been up for a few months now but only recently have I ventured online to see what it was like. After a few sorties on there recently, we had a very successful mission that I wanted to recap. If you want to know what this server is like and how it differs from the other Hoggit servers, I’ll go over that in some detail too.
New digs, new missions
DCS: Syria is the most detailed DCS World map that we’ve seen yet. Covering a range of territory from Israel in the south to Turkey in the north and covering quite a bit of Syria, all of Lebanon and a bit of Jordan, the map really does have quite a few countries on display. It’s also unfortunately a place that has frequented the headlines over the last decade or more. I’m going to sidestep that issue and focus on the flying … but I never like to forget either.
Hoggit’s setup for DCS: Syria is a bit different than their other two scenarios. Although the weapons lists are the same as on other servers, a much more restrictive points system means that the scenario takes on a more 1980’s or early 1990’s flare. Instead of loading up with JSOWs, AMRAAMs and AIM-9X missiles, we loaded our Hornet’s up with GBUs, AIM-7 Sparrows, and MK82s.
The opposition is not flying in MiG-29, Su-27, F-14, or anything so capable either. Instead we’re fighting off MiG-19s, 21s, and 23s so that changes the flavour as well.
Finally, unlike the other Hoggit servers, this one uses a new mission system where you request a specific type of mission and that mission is then given to you and your flight. Your flight leader requests an assignment, say a strike mission, and that mission is then assigned. It’s location is provided (along with specific coordinates) along with a description of the target. This last part is really nice because you’ll get information such as an industrial target with smokestacks. It may be the only building around with that setup so it makes identifying the target much more realistic and a bit more satisfying when you do see it.
Once the objective is accomplished, you can head home or ask for another mission. Your wingmates can make use of the system’s ‘scratchpad’ feature to plug in the same mission number which then assigns it to your whole party.
On with the mission
Departing from Incirlik airbase in Turkey, our mission was located in Homs. The target was an industrial target with four large tanks. Our group decided to bring different armaments to help us get there. I was armed with two AIM-9L, two AIM-7MH, four MK-82 and two AGM-88 HARM missiles. My mission was primarily to provide protection to the rest of the flight.
The other two brought a combination of GBU-12 bombs and a targeting pod together with AIM-9 and AIM-7 missiles.
Our flight stuck with a loose formation. With the lead up higher and positioned for a laser guided bomb strike, myself offset lower and to the left ready to entice some SAM sites, and our third striker bringing up the rear with a full load of bombs and fuel.
Our ingress to the target area was met with little resistance. A few SA-3 sites popped up on the RWR before going silent and we progressed to target. Just one hostile appeared on the SA page datalink view so we pressed on without needing to fight any enemy fighters.
Now over the target, our lead of the flight located the target and pickled off a laser guided bomb. The first bomb didn’t track but a follow-up from our second striker hit the target dead on causing multiple explosions and destroying the four tanks.
We asked for another mission from the mission system and were assigned a new factory target nearby. The strikers were further away so I queued up my MK82 bombs and used the waypoint designate function to get me close to the target area. I knew I was looking for smokestacks so when I dove through the cloud onto the target I immediately knew where I needed to drop.
I pickled off four bombs and all impacted the target. Target destroyed!
Now we had the enemy’s attention and our flight broke into two groups as bandits came at us from dramatically different directions. Dodging SAM fire, our flight pressed on both targets.
From my perspective I had a MiG-19 that Overlord was warning me about coming up on my nose. Once in range I fired the first AIM-7 Sparrow at it. That missile failed to track so I fired a second and the MiG-19 broke into a diving turn. That missile also failed to track. Fox-2 and a Sidewinder flew off the rail…. and didn’t track.
I was about to go for guns but things were desperate and the MiG-19 was now head on with me at a high closure rate. Fox-2!
The Sidewinder flew off the rail and exploded mere seconds later. Splashed! Scratch one MiG-19!
Meanwhile, our flight lead was successful at splashing another aircraft.
By this point, all of us were starting to run low on fuel and weapons. I was out of all stores minus my 20mm gun so it was definitely time to head home.
The flight home was scenic and I enjoyed a good solid look at the DCS: Syria map. Easily one of the most beautiful maps in the series, I appreciated the attention to detail such as the pathway following a ridge-line in the mountains south of the Turkey/Syria border. Beautifully detailed!
Before too long it was time to line up on runway 5 at Incirlik and to bring my Hornet home.
Before long, we were all back and base. Two objectives destroyed, two bandits shot down, munitions expended and a satisfying end to a sortie.
Still in alpha
The Hoggit team reports that their ‘Syria at War’ scenario is still an alpha project and that they still have a ways to go on putting it together. There are definitely some issues such as their carriers not currently moving (they just stay in place making it a bit harder to land on) and many of the mission types are limited in the kinds of targets that you can hit. But this already has the makings of a great server and one with a different style and flavour than the ones they already operate.
I can’t wait to see this develop more and to spend more time flying here.