Time for a little Halloween themed fun in DCS World with a recent flight on the popular Georgia at War server. I set out with two fellow Hornet pilots including YouTube content creator and streamer Wolfpack345. Together we launched out on a night time sortie facing down enemy aircraft, SAM sites, and facing the challenge of flying in the dark while aided by the full moon.
The ghostly setup
Loading up onto the deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, we quickly learned that this would be a night time mission. The carrier’s lights and the full moon illuminated the flight deck as the three of us started up and configured our Hornet’s. Magpie flight was ready to go!
The moon was very bright illuminating the multiple layers of clouds dominating the sky in the area. Our last few adventures on the Georgia at War server ended in disaster as we were overwhelmed by enemy fighters. This time we wanted to return the favour so we all selected an AMRAAM loadout with six of the medium range missiles plus two AGM-88 HARM missiles to deal with any SAM sites that we ran across.
Before long, we had completed our checks and were lined up and ready to launch from the carrier.
You may also note that in some screenshots you can see our new custom named RAAF Hornet skins provided by Cubeboy from Skyward Flight Media. A couple of the members of our regular flight are Australian and the RAAF has some nice schemes so that’s what were sporting today (and yes we know that the RAAF does not operate its Hornet’s from carriers).
Into the black
Catapulted into the darkness, once we were away from the carrier the sky ahead of us was dimly lit by the full moon and the ghostly shapes of the multilayered clouds. DCS World 2.7 with its new volumetric clouds is a massive step forward compared to the cloud systems of previous versions of the sim and here it shows to impressive yet subtle effect.
Forming up into a spread formation, we climbed first to the north before turning east towards the Crimean coast. This mission was proving to be extra special as we learned that we had a GCI, callsign “Red Crown,” on frequency 134.00. We pushed to the new frequency and checked in.
Red Crown vectored us on a heading of 100 and directed us towards the Caucasus coast. There was trouble ahead and we were the response team. As we got closer, the picture began to emerge. There were dozens of hostile and friendly aircraft mixed up in combat and we were about to enter the fray.
Ghouls and demons
Ripped from the scene of a horror movie, a friendly aircraft marked on our datalink ahead of us suddenly disappeared. Downed by the enemy. We were too late to help them but not too late to exact a little revenge.
I broke to the right, another of our flight off to the left and Wolfpack345 went straight up the centre. Coordinating our efforts, we very quickly divided up our targets and bore in. Launching within seconds of each other, we each called “Fox 3” and unleashed our first barrage of AMRAAM missiles.
Like piranhas the missiles homed in on their prey. Three flashes in the sky followed by inky black smoke indicated our trio of victories. A good first showing!
On we pressed and now we were starting to face enemy air defenses too. Wolfpack was suddenly targeted by one of the SAM sites and went defensive. We were unable to pinpoint the SAM so we held onto our HARM missiles.
Two more aircraft appeared ahead and, guided by Red Crown once again, we pushed into the target area. With superior height and speed advantage, we both pressed the advantage unleashing more AMRAAM missiles at our targets.
My first shot missed but my second missile followed it destroying the target. Boom!
Another aircraft went down at the same time. Magpie flight turned our attention to the SAM threat as we were engaged by a pair of SA-6s. An SA-6 launched a missile at me and my RWR screamed like a banshee but I was ready with my AGM-88 HARM missiles already queued up and ready to fire. Magnum! Two AGM-88 HARMs streaked away.
More SAM launches and more return fire from us. Each firing their missiles and then turning sharply away putting the missile launches at our 3 or 9 o’clock. Getting into their Doppler notch helps make it harder for the missiles to see us on radar while also depriving the missiles of vital energy. Before long the missiles were “trashed” while our AGM-88 HARM’s struck their targets.
Gudauta and land
With the immediate threat of SAM’s and five enemy aircraft shot down, we evaluated our fuel states and remaining ammunition. Everything was looking low so we decided that it was time to head away from battle and land.
We asked Red Crown for a vector to a friendly field and were sent to Gudauta which had recently been captured.
Finding the airport in the dark proved challenging. Night time lighting at this airport in DCS seems to be inadequate although they did turn on some taxi lights which helped a bit. At this point that I was thankful that brought my VR goggles because they helped to outline the airfield in ways that the lights were not.
One very poor landing later (easily a -1000fpm landing) I was down and taxiing off the runway with the other two just behind me.
The skies may have been ghostly but it was the three of us who struck fear in the eyes of our simulated enemies. We successfully engaged and destroyed five aircraft and two SAM radars thanks to our combined efforts. Not only did we do that but we also landed our Hornet’s and lived to fight another day. A huge success no matter which way you put it.
This was a return to form for us and a great example of how good teamwork not only between the three of us but also facilitated by a dedicated GCI operating over SRS proved to give us not only an authentic feeling experience but also a very fun experience too.