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rank order of air combat sims by users


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#1 dubina

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 01:13 AM

Sorry to barge into what I think must be a rather technical forum with a pedestrian question, but I wonder if there's any consensus on which AC sim is best. I flew RF4s in Nam, but I'm getting a Saitek X-52 set for my kids and I think we can go modern if modern if modern is good.

Thanks,

#2 Stag

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 02:21 AM

Sorry to barge into what I think must be a rather technical forum with a pedestrian question, but I wonder if there's any consensus on which AC sim is best.  I flew RF4s in Nam, but I'm getting a Saitek X-52 set for my kids and I think we can go modern if modern if modern is good.

Thanks,

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Welcome to the Forum Dubina. Modern? Depends on how hard-core you want it. I would say that The finest modern sim out there without getting into deep Modding waters is Falcon 4: Allied Force. It's based on a dated engine but still hasn't been bettered by any more recent titles IMO. But the learning curve is steep and I have a hell of a time remembering how I programmed my HOTAS when I stop playing for a while. Easier options are LOMAC, which deals with ultra-modern in a not too simplified way, or Strike Fighters/Wings over Vietnam for early missile combat, again somewhat simplified. LOMAC is doubtless the prettier of these two offerings, being newer and having more up to date graphics, but SF/WoV trumps it by being far more versatile; literally thousands of freeware addons are available for this title, while LOMAC is basically a closed system. LOMAC isn't bad, but I've got to admit that the novelty wore off after a few weeks.

For the Second World War, I would have to grit my teeth and say Forgotten Battles/Pacific Fighters is by far the best. It's immersive, playable, but unfortunately flawed by being incomplete. There are glaring omissions in Pacific Fighters which will probably never be addressed "For Copyright Reasons." I'd still recommend it though.

Battle of Britain 2; Wings of Victory is actually a favourite of mine, but I have to admit that it's not as polished as PF. Pacific Fighters lacks depth; BoB2 has depth in spades, but it's just not as polished as FB/PF. The development team is small, but are slowly turning BoB2 into a diamond of a flight sim, but be warned; it must be patched to get the best out of it, and you really need a high-end machine for it to work properly. I heartily recommend it, but be aware, it's problems are not for the faint-hearted.

CFS3: Until recently, this dog was considered a swear word in the Flight-Simulation community, but it has aparrently been given a new lease of life by a group of modders who have produced "Over Flanders Fields", a First World War simulation. I attempted to play CFS3; I say attempted because on it's own, CFS3 is all but unplayable, but having read the positive reports regarding OFF, I intend to buy it again and try OFF myself. On it's own, CFS3 is, to be blunt, crap. "Over Flanders Fields" appears to give it a second chance.

Hope my rambling helps.

#3 dubina

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 04:22 AM

Thanks, Stag,

Let me follow up with a few questions more.

I liked the feel and the response of afterburner on the F4 and the Saitak throttle allows that whereas BoB probably wouldn't. Can't see how that would work. So I'll probably go modern to one or more of two that you mentioned: Falcon 4.0 and LOMAC (or what, LOMAC Burning Cliffs?).

The other thing I wonder about is X-Planes, which somebody gave a pretty good review. Any thoughts on that one?

I also see some of these three might be "old" (which might be good if they needed lots of patching). Seems like all had caveats of one kind or another. Are any of these three really buggy still. I think one guy said LOMAC was a near disaster several years ago.

Last flight sim I had was Janes Navy Fighters 97. Looks like you guys have come a ways in the past few years.

Thanks again,

#4 Schatten

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 05:42 PM

Welcome to the boards dubina. :thumbsup:

CFS3: Until recently, this dog was considered a swear word in the Flight-Simulation community, but it has aparrently been given a new lease of life by a group of modders who have produced "Over Flanders Fields", a First World War simulation. I attempted to play CFS3; I say attempted because on it's own, CFS3 is all but unplayable, but having read the positive reports regarding OFF, I intend to buy it again and try OFF myself. On it's own, CFS3 is, to be blunt, crap. "Over Flanders Fields" appears to give it a second chance.


Staggers is 110% right here, Over Flanders Fields is incredible, but CFS3 by itself sucks in ways that are illegal in all 50 states. I kid you not. But I did buy CFS3 about 3 weeks ago JUST for OFF and I don't regret it one bit. Well except when I do CFS3 "vanilla" just to make sure that it really sucks as bad as I remember (tried CFS3 out when it first came out but never bought it) and oh yeah, it does. And then some.

Another one for jets is Strike Fighters Project:1 and its sequel Wings Over Vietnam. They can't do the flashy modern avionics very well yet but they do '50s and '60s jets very well and WoV is backwards compatible with Strike Fighters so all of the gazillion user made campaigns, maps, planes, etc. work with it as well. It's not cutting edge tech but it can be made to look pretty nice and won't tax many computers around today. Always a plus.

LOMAC looks incredible, but to get it to look incredible you pretty much have to be willing to either play it as a slideshow or sell a kidney to get the most bleeding edge computer made today...and then it'll probably be a faster slideshow. I didn't buy this one either but checked it out on a friend's computer. Looks great, but how close the flight models and whatnot are I couldn't say since I didn't spend much time with it.

I had the original BoB before they came out with the updated Wings of Victory, Staggers is always praising it, and admittedly the original BoB was pretty good even if my computer at the time didn't have the juice to run it. The lack of multiplayer in it though is an issue for me.

Don't even get me started on Pacific Fighters, it's the best WWII PTO sim out there right now though...which is vaugely disconcerting. Since we're a VMF unit for our online stuff we're pretty much stuck with it, glaring ommisions and "what the hell?" moments aside.

I did love the original Falcon 4.0 once I got a computer that could handle it, but modern stuff just isn't my thing really. Even though it was a fun game and gave me plenty of hours of enjoyment. But...well any jet made post 1970 and me just don't seem to mix very well for some reason. I may get the updated Faclon to check out sometime, but it's not a priority for me right now.

I checked out X-Plane and decided that civil aviation sims and me mix even worse than me and modern jets. It's an interesting concept but the flying felt...floaty I guess is the word, to me and I just couldn't get my mind around how civil GUIs are set up, views, and most of all...no bombs! You can't have an air raid without bombs! ;)

Wish I could help more, but pretty much my answer boils down to: What Staggers said. :lol:

Oh and Janes' Navy Fighters was very good. All of the Janes sims were, I really miss them. I went through many a "just one more mission" nights with Longbow II (which was one of the very few sims to get US medal awards criteria mostly right) only to look up and see the sun creeping over the horizon. Ahhh I really miss those guys. :popcornsmilie:
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#5 Stag

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 03:26 AM

Hmm. forgot how pretty LOMAC could be:

Posted Image

But with only two US Aircraft and about half a dozen Russki, not one to stand the test of time.

#6 Schatten

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 11:10 PM

The A-10 looks great!

The terrain...not so much.
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#7 Stag

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 06:09 AM

The A-10 looks great!

The terrain...not so much.



I added some motion blur. its supposed to look like that. :banghead:

#8 Schatten

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 12:34 PM

Oh.

Well good work on the blur then. :lol:
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#9 Cartoon

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 05:01 AM

I'm finding myself in the same situation. I've "always" played flightsims, the first one was MS Flight Simulator 2.0, around 1985. Later on the MicroProse simulators... F-15 Strike Eagle, F-117A Nighthawk, Falcon 3.0, A-10 Tank Killer, Jetfighter II was pretty slick, Gunship 2000 heli simulator... and the Jane's series. Oh, I miss them and I still curse the day EA bought them and dumped them. Jane's F/A-18 was amazing, and I really wish I could install it and make it run stable on my XP machine.

But, what now? Someone I know that plays a lot loves "Lock-on", but I think it looks too "arcady". Falcon 4.0 is a strong candidate. Any others? For now, I want a jet-engine based game, with lots of buttons and HUD's and bomb and missile programming and targeting. Did I say I loved F/A-18? :P

Or maybe I should just go out and get Falcon 4.0 first...
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#10 Fork

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 10:44 AM

dubina>> Wings Over Vietnam is a hoot. Flight model is pretty basic, but most jets fly on rails anyway. Plus, there's a tonne of community aircraft to add on (including the RF4's) and add-on campaigns, weapon effects (including nukes), new terrains, and more. Overall, it's a great sim and with that's easy to learn-how-to-play. And if you can find it in any EB used games section or on ebay for around $10 (what i paid).

Here are some new campaigns for WoV: all come with with historic aircraft, terrain, and weapons
- Cuba: Operation Tainted Cigar
- Vietnam 1984
- Falklands
- Yom Kippur 1973
- WWII Solomons
- Desert Storm
- Korean war
- Taiwan Straits 1958
- Iran/Iraq War

With Lo-MAC, you pretty much gotta like high-fidelity sims. I was a lover of that generation - Falcon 4, Su-27 Flanker, Flanker 2/2.5, and Lo-MAC. But now, I just don't have the time to figure out how to work the cockpit and weapons. Which was great when I was a student, but now, family, house, wife, home-reno's, and a new baby, I barely have time to pick up the keyboard, let alone fly a neat sim.

Pacific Fighters is a high-fidelity WWII sim, but most WWII fighters are fairly simple. Throttle up, raise gear, fire guns at enemy planes, lower gear, a little flap, land, errr hop, hop hop hop down the runway. It's blloody gorgeous too. There is even an online dynamic campaign server. That's very cool!

CFS3 - like most have stated here, sucks, but the OFF add-on give it life. Cheap too cause you can buy it used. ;)

#11 Panther1

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 08:51 PM

New to this. Have Thrustmaster Hotas Cougar(still in workable cont.). Trying to find programmable "profiles" so can dowload to stick. For sims: LOMAC flaming cliffs 2 and Falcon 4 allied force. sure can use some help. :shrug:

#12 The Dude

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:38 AM

Panther1,

Try this page: Cougar World

#13 Home Fries

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:20 PM

Panther,

If you can run Flaming Cliffs 2, then you should be able to run Falcon BMS in lieu of Allied Force. Falcon BMS defaults its button commands with the Cougar in mind, and defaults the button functions to the actual F-16 without needing a profile.

However, if you still want to fly Allied Force, probably the best profile out there is Jagstang's profile.
-Home Fries

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The average Naval Aviator, despite the sometimes swaggering exterior, is very much capable of such feelings as love, affection, intimacy, and caring.
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#14 Panther1

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 06:38 PM

Thank You, for the info on BMS. Will have to find my Falcon 4.0 disc and get started. :icon_rock: Going back to my question on downloading profiles for TMC, are you saying, Falcon BMS defaults will work with my TMC on 'LOMAC'?. I am using 'Default For Games' profile in the TM control panel for LOMAC Flaming Cliffs 2, but my 'F' keys on my keyboard(F1 thur F12) don't work. Joystick,Throttle,Mouse inputs repond somewhat. Again thank you.

#15 Home Fries

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:28 AM

All I was saying is that you don't necessarily need a profile for BMS. LOMAC/FC2 is a different story, though it has a very customizable control mapping solution. I haven't flown FC2 in a while, but from what I understand you may want to look for Viper's profile.
-Home Fries

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
-John Stuart Mill

The average Naval Aviator, despite the sometimes swaggering exterior, is very much capable of such feelings as love, affection, intimacy, and caring.
These feelings just don't involve anyone else.
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