Friday, May 05, 2006


I was reading a friends blog today and it got me thinking about past game memories. I had a lot of fun playing games - especially with my friends. My buddy has quite a few "Game Moments" written up on his site. I felt like writing one of my own so I did and sent it to him. Here it is on this site too.

Guest Game Moment – Falcon 4.0

This is my all time favorite moment playing Falcon 4.0, a game Jay and I played a lot. The game had many flaws but it left some of my strongest game playing memories. The way the world worked and the battle field changed was something to behold. It was also stunningly gorgeous to look at. Nothing, at the time, even came close to how great it looked. I recall the first time I looked out through the reflections of my cockpit at the world spread out below me. I gasped it was so stunning.

I love the simulation aspect of many games and the more “real” I can make it the better I enjoy the game so I always played from inside the cockpit with a view of the instrumentation and the canopy. While the game engine supported switching to outside views I always felt that if I couldn’t check my own six from inside the cockpit I shouldn’t be flying a Falcon.

The hardest thing to learn in this game was the landings. I don’t even recall how may sets of landing gear I ripped off learning how to feather that plane down onto a runway. It was a point of pride to learn how to do it right with me and I spent a long time learning how to approach, line up, glide in and finally flare just right to squeal onto the tarmac without ruining a multi-million dollar (simulated) plane.

My weakest part of the game was air to air combat. Jay was great at that – his understanding of air to air tactics and resource (height, speed, weapons) management was unparalleled. I learned a ton just getting smoked out of the sky by him. Jay was always great to fly with – he has a great blend of aggressiveness and common sense. I tend to be more careful and Jay always pushed me to play just a bit harder. He may have briefly regretted that during this particular mission.

Anyway, Jay and I started up a new campaign one day and signed ourselves up for a mud moving mission. This particular mission had us hitting one of the games favorite first day targets a ship yard. We were loaded down with 500 lb bombs and wing-tip sidewinder missiles for air to air defense. We took off, formed up and headed to our first nav point. I loved listening to the chatter in this game as different flights called their positions and reports in.

Shortly after we passed over the FLOT we were passing to the west of an enemy air base. We were trying to stay out of trouble since we were loaded down with bombs and besides we had a CAP to take care of us right? As we were nearly abreast of the field we got a radar warning lock from a MiG-21. Looking over it was in visual range and had apparently just taken off from the strip. He was low and slow and probably shouldn’t have announced his presence. Jay locked him up and fired. Splash one. We looked around briefly but seeing no more immediate threats turned back towards our target. No sooner had we done so that another MiG-21 jumped us. Some how, this bandit had snuck up behind us. We were heavy and slow to turn or climb – the MiG-21 picked Jay as his first target and quickly maneuvered into gun range. Jay pulled right into a high yo-yo hoping to bring him around in front of me to get a shot. I tried a snap shot as he crossed in front but missed him.

At this point we were in trouble, Jay had a bad guy on his six and I missed the shot and was trying with everything I had to roll my plane onto him. Jay continued to climb and turn right, I was loosing ground on them trying to pull the same maneuver – Jay was always better at energy management than I was. I couldn’t even roll over far enough to get my radar to lock on the bogie since it was in a vertical sweep mode. Guns were out as I was loosing ground on them my only hope was to get a sidewinder off at him. I called out over the “radio” that I was un-caging my seeker head. The seeker heads of the sidewinder missiles were usually slaved to the planes radar to achieve their initial lock on. This makes it easier to pick a bad guy from a friendly. But with the bad guy out of the plain of my radar sweep that wasn’t going to help. Un-caging the seeker allowed it to roam the sky in its own independent pattern looking for a heat source to lock onto.

Jay called back – “Wait, don’t”. I replied “It’s the only way.” I was pretty familiar with the pattern that the seeker head would follow as it looked for a target and I was almost positive that it would acquire the MiG-21 before it found Jay. As I un-caged the seeker I quickly heard the growling tone that indicated it had a target and it was a loud, certain tone. I called out “I’ve got tone!” and then “Fox 2”, as I sent the missile on its way. I remember holding my breath as I watched the missile streak away towards Jay and the MiG. Who would it go after? The MiG broke off of Jay to try and turn away from the incoming missile but it was to late, it turns out that I did have a good lock and he had bled off to much energy trying to get Jay. BOOM! Splash one for me!

I don’t remember what we did next – I think we might have aborted the mission at that point, but we did live through it to drop bombs another day.

No comments:

Site Meter