This page is under review.
Instructions on the steps, tips, and tricks to frag large player count coordinated missions.
- 1 Learning objectives
- 2 Learning files
- 3 Mission fragging
- 4 Event conclusion
- 5 Tips and tricks
- 6 Creating realistic and dynamic weather
- 7 Mission Commander
- 8 Hosting on the dedicated server
- 9 18 rules for surviving a campaign
- 9.1 1. KILL RADAR, KILL RADAR
- 9.2 2. FLYING THE COURSE THE AI GENERATES...
- 9.3 3. ENEMY AIRCRAFT (PART 1)
- 9.4 4. The Element Of Surprise
- 9.5 5. A-A Ordinance (Enemy Aircraft, Part 2)
- 9.6 6. KILL RADAR, KILL RADAR, KILL RADAR
- 9.7 7. ALTERNATE TARGETS
- 9.8 8. A-A ORDINANCE (Enemy Aircraft Part 3)
- 9.9 9. KILL RADAR, KILL RADAR, KILL RADAR
- 9.10 10: FLOT AND TARGET INGRESS
- 9.11 11: HITTING THE TARGET
- 9.12 12: CHINA AND RUSSIA
- 9.13 13: JAMMERS AND ECM
- 9.14 14: KILL RADAR, KILL RADAR, KILL RADAR
- 9.15 15: A-G WEAPONS LOADOUT
- 9.16 16: THINK LIKE A RAIDER
- 9.17 17: KILL RADAR, KILL RADAR, KILL RADAR
- 9.18 18: DON’T PISS OFF YOUR CREW CHIEF
- Choose a strategically relevant objective
- Create a coordinated package with the proper weapons and support to complete its job
- Configure a campaign for hosting on a dedicated server
- Modify a campaign to ensure an optimal player experience
- Communicate an official event and build theme and flavor
The following are the steps to create a 20-player event frag that is capable of being hosted on a dedicated BMS server.
- Open the last Post_UOAF[event number] event
- Halt the clock
- Depending on the situation, run the clock forward by ~30 minutes at 64x to ensure that all previous mission aircraft are recovered and to simulate some time for refits and rearms
- Save your mission at this point
- Campaign frags should follow the naming convention [Pre_]UOAF[event number][version]
- Choose a mission that is strategically relevant
- Protect your own airbases from enemy strikes
- Knock out enemy air defenses
- OCA enemy air bases
- Interdict enemy ground forces
- Strike enemy infrastructure
- Determine the kinds of flights you think you will need to accomplish the mission
- Ideally, prepare to frag a full-sized package of 5xflights of 4xships, which will accommodate 20 players
- Try to frag a 4xF/A-18 flight in the package to accommodate players who want Hornets and carrier operations
- Decide if you want or need human boutique aircraft (e.g. F-4s, F-111s). But be mindful that many players are comfortable exclusively in the F-16
- Reference the flight inventory spreadsheet to see if you have any aircraft restrictions. Do not frag flights that use more aircraft documented here.
- Choose sever details
- Set weather to dynamic, which will load the dynamic weather files every 30 minutes from WeatherMapUpdates folder
- Right click on the map in the vicinity of the main package objective and choose Add Package
- Update the takeoff time for the package to at least 20 minutes past the current BMS time
- Click New to add a flight to the new package
- Choose your aircraft type
- Choose a squadron
- Make sure you set it to 4 aircraft
- Choose a mission
- If Escorting, choose the callsign of the flight being escorted
- A takeoff time and flight path is created.
- Add all remaining flights. These flights will have their mission set in the vicinity of the first flight. Don't worry if the flight plan is not what you want as you will make changes to this later.
- Click ATO
- Choose Show All Packages
- Find the package you just created
- Right click and join the first flight
- Double-click a seat in your flight to see the steerpoints
- Set up a flight plan
- Set up steer 3 as a package formup in a consistent location
- Avoid known SAM and AAA if possible, unless you have SEAD/DEAD, you plan to avoid the threats by going NOE, or there is no other choice and you expect flights to defend themselves
- Choose a logical IP that has a reasonable attack bearing to the target or the objective
- Choose an egress path that is safe
- Set an alternate airport by dragging the alternate airport marker to a field you want to use in emergencies
- Repeat the flight plans for the remaining flights
- Choose the checkbox to the right of the package in ATO to see all the flight plans for flights in that package
- When you make changes, check, uncheck, and check again to refresh the paths
- Double-click the steerpoints for targets and Assign the appropriate subtargets, if required
- Set the F/A-18s takeoff time so they are the first to take off
- Set all remaining flights to start at least one minute after the Hornets
- If multiple flights are taking off from a single airbase, stagger the takeoffs between those flights by 1 minute
- It is OK to have concurrent takeoff times for flights at different airbases
- Lock the takeoff times for all flights
- Ensure that every other steerpoint is unlocked
- Set the loadouts and fuel for each flight
- Choose weapons that support the mission (e.g. HARMs and Shrikes for SEAD, BLU-107s for low-level OCAs, Mavericks and CBUs for armor interdiction; make sure you have appropriate AA weapons for your CAP and escorts)
- Set your laser codes for flights carrying LGBs
- Laser codes start at 16[flight number][ship number], as per the brief. So if flight 3 in the brief has LGBs, set the codes to 1631, 1632, 1633, and 1644
- To set the laser codes, make sure you deselect all ships in the flight except the one you are setting the code on; do this for every ship until you have individual codes set
- Choose two wing bags for all F-16 flights, regardless of how far the flight needs to travel (unless you really don't want to put them on for some reason)
- Now set up timings
- Determine when the slowest flight (usually the furthest, but could also be slowest) will be at the target by clicking on the target steerpoint and noting the TOS
- Coordinate your supporting flight's so that their TOS makes sense in relation to the main mission.
- I usually send in SEAD 1-2 minutes ahead of a strike, with CAP being right behind them by a minute of so. Escorts usually have the same TOS as the flight they are escorting.
- If you find a flight is too fast (i.e. they will be at TOS well ahead of what you want), you can either slow down the speeds on the ingress legs, or you can adjust the holding time on steer 3
- Flights with a holding time are expected to orbit until they meet their hold time
- Set the bullseye to somewhere close to the action
- Make sure the bullseye is set so that bandit calls can quickly be assessed for threat level
- Frag any supporting flights
- Frag AI BARCAPs to protect your airbase, egress routes, or to help with air-heavy missions
- Frag AI Prowlers if you want jamming ona SAM-heavy target that you may not be able to adequately SEAD
- Frag a tanker package if you think fuel might be a problem
- Make sure you add fighter HAVCAP/Escort for the tanker
- Frag a new flight to act as your dedicated server
- Set the type to C-130
- Set its mission to training
- Drag its path so that it has a long duration. This is so the flight doesn't abort on the ground.
- Set its takeoff time to one minute prior to the F/A-18's
- Resave the campaign (actually, you should save regularly)
- Run the clock at 34x and verify that flights take off and that the AI follows your intent
- If flights cancel or do weird things, you need to fix the issues
- Back out of 2D and reload your last save
- Make any changes to get things rolling smoothly
- Retest at 32/64x
- If everything works, your frag is complete. However, it is wise to run a quick server test to make sure that the carrier aircraft work.
Test your mission on the server
- From the server
- Close BMS
- Close IVC client
- Close IVC
- Start IVC
- Start BMS
- Choose Comms
- Choose UOAF Server
- Click Campaign
- Load your last save
- Halt the clock
- Join the training flight
- Clients connect
- Clients slot into the carrier flight and any others you want to test
- Clients perform a quick IVC test (optional)
- Commit the server Takeoff -> Taxi
- Clients commit
- Run some quick tests to ensure nothing blows up or gets canceled
- If everything checks out, proceed with the event post
Create the Event post
- Open the previous event thread
- Quote the event and copy everything
- Create a new event thread
- Paste the copied material, but omit the <quote> tags
- Change the title
- Change the content
- Add some role play flavor, especially situations that create continuity between the results of previous missions
- Link to the graphics
Event post graphics
You can use any image editing software you want. One option is TechSmith's Snag-It. This tool has good cropping, image resizing, text effects, line effects, arrow effects, and opacity options. But it is not free. Paint.net or anything that you have is good enough to create basic mission graphics.
- Take a screenshot of the map unsing PrtScn
- Crop the map
- Draw colored lines for the different flights
- Add text labels to show which flights are which
- Take a screenshot of the briefing
- You may have to scroll and take multiple screenshots to get the whole briefing
- Crop and paste the two briefings so it is complete
- Take screenshots of any strike targets
- Add a title to identify the target
- Add a graphic to show which way north is
- Add any flavor images
- If weather period has changed, open GRB file, cycle to mission start time and save cloud and precipitation maps
- Crop the weather images and set them up side-by-side
- Label the weather images
- After an event has concluded, save the campaign as [Post_]UOAF[event number] on your client as a backup
- Update the flight inventory spreadsheet with the human air losses
Tips and tricks
- If you try to frag missions when you are a remote client (i.e. you are not fragging directly on the server), your steerpoint 3 will not be a holding point steerpoint. So ideally, frag the initial flights on the server and make changes to these flights from the clients or server.
- Sometimes that AI does not send up fighters to defend itself, resulting in a bit of a boring time for human escorts. In some instances, you may want to join REDFOR on the campaign and manually frag some Sweeps or BARCAPs over the AO for the event, to keep things spicy.
- Just be careful not to go overboard, especially on night missions.
- Also important, in the config:
- set g_nNoPlayerPlay #
- Possible values 1, increasing incremental; Default is 2
- sets the hours to run a campaign without suffering player not flying, where # is the number of hours of no player flights. E.g. if you set 720, these are the hours that the campaign will run without being degraded even if player doesn't fly. If left default, our side will begin to lose if someone doesn't fly every two hours
- If your steerpoint splitter disappears on a flight plan, double-click the flight to see them again
Creating realistic and dynamic weather
- Get zyGrib
- Configure it for your theater
- Download weather
- Save the grb file
- It will save compressed, decompress it and save the raw grb to your desktop
- Run grbtofmap
- Set weather interval (30 minutes seems to work)
- Create fmaps
- Load all fmaps and grb file into WeatherMapUpdates folder in your campaign
Sometimes, you need to use Mission Commander to fix or enhance your mission. While MC seems like a stable choice, there is a risk that you will corrupt the campaign. Therefore, it is suggested that MC be used sparingly. When using MC:
- Back up your missions external to MC. If you use MC's Save As, you will lose the HIS file and lose all of your historical intel.
- Test your missions after you edit them to make sure nothing has broken.
Sometimes the enemy is able to knock out your airbase. The first suggestion is to start fragging flights from other airbases, but that may not be possible to accommodate 20 players due to a lack of aircraft. In special instances, you may want to repair a destroyed airbase (friendly or enemy).
Restocking fuel tanks and weapons
BMS consumes tanks and weapons, regardless if they are brought home. This can lead to annoying situations where you run out of things like fuel tanks or limited specialized weapons that you don't use. You can restock certain supplies for your squadrons.
BMS will not allow you to use 2 reserve fighters. This can lead to shortages when trying to frag missions. Furthermore, if you are tracking losses, there is usually a manual restocking rule that is in play. This is how you add or replenish your fighters:
Sometimes your strike hits an enemy airbase but BMS reports that it is still up. If so, here is how you can know the runways or other structures out of action:
Sometimes the AI can frag a bunch of flights that you do not want. Rather than cancelling them in game, you can remove the flights completely using MC:
Changing the carrier task force
Due to the way ships work, it may be necessary to custom edit the waypoint paths of your carrier to that it is pointed into the wind. You typically do not want your carrier aircraft trying to land in a crosswind.
Setting up user selected callsigns
Sometimes it is fun to choose the callsigns of your package aircraft rather than letting BMS do it. Here is what you need to do:
Hosting on the dedicated server
UOAF has its own dedicated server. This is a VM with no graphics card, so some special steps are required to get it to work. Furthermore, when hosting on a dedicated server, it is important that the server be running in 3D while the mission is being flown by humans. Not doing this results in invisible aircraft and missiles, and generally glitchy behavior.
You need to be granted TeamViewer permission to access the UOAF BMS server.
- Connect to the dedicated server with TeamViewer
- Make sure BMS and IVC are closed
- Run IVC server
- Run BMS headless client batch file
- This batch file allows the server to run in 3D on a system without a graphics accelerator
- Select Comms
- Select UOAF server
- Click Connect
- Verify server starts. You will get a dialog box popped up letting you know IVC is connected.
- Go to Campaign
- Load the event mission
- Specify server settings
- Make sure clients are at 30
- Make sure realism is set high
- Halt the clock
Taking the server in
- Check Comms and ensure all clients are connected at least 1024kb/s
- Put the server account into the fragged server flight
- Once everybody is connected and ready to fly, commit the server to takeoff taxi
- The server is configured to go taxi at 6 minutes from takeoff
- The screen will turn black and you will hear aircraft engines when the server loads. This means you are in 3D
- Leave TeamViewer and continue to fly with your own BMS client
Shutting the server down
- After the mission, connect to the server with TeamViewer
- Click the black screen
- Press Escape and E a few times to get the dedicated out of 3D
- You won't be able to see anything, so you may have to do this a few times
- Save the campaign as [Post_]UOAF[event number]
- Exit the campaign
- Close IVC
- Close TeamViewer
18 rules for surviving a campaign
1. KILL RADAR, KILL RADAR
The IADS (Integrated Air Defense System) is now FULLY operational. The BIGGEST killer of aircraft ISN’T ENEMY AIRCRAFT. The BIGGEST killer of friendly aircraft is , SAM missiles and their eyes, RADAR. Search radars and AWACS now function as they should, and can no longer be ignored. Long-range search radars are now a THREAT of the HIGHEST order and should be dealt with accordingly. And often.
2. FLYING THE COURSE THE AI GENERATES...
Is absolute suicide. ALWAYS modify your course, altitudes and speeds before you leave the base, as well as in flight when the tactical situation ON THE SPOT dictates. Move you waypoints to minimize your exposure, and lower your altitude to minimize your radar exposure. Time over target is fine, but if you can’t make it due to tactical considerations, so be it. Remember, the AI really doesn’t care WHAT side wins or loses…the difference between flying a successful mission and adding a death to your pilot record is the gray matter locked in your brain housing group. You know the threats, and what they’re capable of. Why fly right over the top of those threats just because the computer wants you to have a wild ride?
3. ENEMY AIRCRAFT (PART 1)
Until A-G ordinance is expended, and unless you have NO other choice, DO NOT engage enemy aircraft. If you have a flight of enemy aircraft in the area, go under them, go around them, but DO NOT engage them. If you want to win the campaign, taking out enemy aircraft one by one WILL NOT DO IT. Ingressing into the target, you are Cat3, you are heavy and you KNOW if you yell for help from AWACS they won’t come. You’ll burn precious fuel fighting these guys with one arm tied behind your back. Get low, get fast, get away from the threat and continue with the mission.
4. The Element Of Surprise
Always, ALWAYS use the element of surprise. If you can attack from out to sea, do it. If you can come into the target from the north, do it. The AI is EXPECTING attack from the SOUTH (In the Korean Theatre) or the WEST (In the Balkans Theatre). Attack from the east, from the west or from the north if possible. ALWAYS recon the target area, and find out what the threats in the area are, and attack from the weakest side. If possible always have a clear view and run to the target. Sometimes that isn’t possible, but strive for that whenever possible. The exception to this is an OCA runway strike. Always attack from the long axis of the runway (one way or the other). These targets are usually heavily defended. Low and fast is the way to go. One pass only.
5. A-A Ordinance (Enemy Aircraft, Part 2)
If you can hit them with a heat seeker they are way too close. If you are out of missiles you are OUT OF AMMUNITION. Mano A Mano combat went out with the Crusades. Mug the enemy. Ambush Them. The enemy doesn’t deserve, and damn sure won’t give you, a fighting chance. The further away the better (as long as it’s in the weapons envelope). The gun is included on your aircraft FOR MORALE PURPOSES ONLY – TO MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER. THAT IS ALL. IF YOU OR YOUR WINGMAN ARE OUT OF MISSLES YOU ARE OUT OF WEAPONS. CLEAR THE AREA AND RTB. Supply in this game is iffy at best and getting replacement aircraft is few and far between (if at all).
6. KILL RADAR, KILL RADAR, KILL RADAR
See rule one
7. ALTERNATE TARGETS
Always set out an alternate target in the general area, but outside the range of air defenses of the main target. It’s as simple as creating a new waypoint and dragging it over an alternate target. If you can hit the main, fine, bypass the alternate and go home. If not, switch to it and press home the attack.
8. A-A ORDINANCE (Enemy Aircraft Part 3)
A-A weapons should be considered SELF DEFENCE weapons. They are there to KEEP THE ENEMY OFF YOU, NOT TO PISS OFF ENEMY FIGHTER PILOTS. There is NOTHING wrong with coming home with all you’re A-A weapons. Ideally, if the plan works as it should, you SHOULD come home with all you’re A-A ordinance. If you have to cut your way out of a hot target, so be it. DON’T GO CRUISING FOR TROUBLE. YOU WILL FIND IT. The F16 is an agile fighter, but doesn’t have enough hard points to carry A-G ordinance with enough room left over to self-escort. If you are on an AG mission, LEAVE THE AIRBORNE ENEMY ALONE. I know that goes against the fighter pilot ethos, Top Gun movies, and all the press and PR that the various flying military services like to put out. Remember, there are old pilots, and bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots. Trying to fly a burning jet with a sucking chest wound is nature’s way of saying “slow down”
9. KILL RADAR, KILL RADAR, KILL RADAR
Again, see rule one.
10: FLOT AND TARGET INGRESS
NEVER fly over the FLOT or ingress to the target over 300ft AGL unless you have stand off weapons, or a mission profiles that demands you use yourself as bait (SEAD). You are walking into the enemy’s house with the intent of killing his dog. He ain’t going to like that, and if he can see you do it (Radar, BARCAP, passing flight of aircraft, ground troops) he’s GOING to try to stop you. Do it quick and stealthy as possible, and get back to a safe area as quick as possible. DON’T HANG AROUND AND WAIT FOR THE COPS.
11: HITTING THE TARGET
DON’T make multiple passes over a hot target. They WILL have the range on you and will get you on the second pass. IF you have undropped ordinance, go hit the secondary with it.
12: CHINA AND RUSSIA
In the early stages of the first two campaigns, China (and possibly Russia) will be neutral combatants, but will be flying support missions (AWACS and Tanker duty) for North Korea. Although killing those assets at first seems like a good idea, a better plan is to strike bases for SU-27’s in China, THEN apply rule #1 to the Chinese AWACS and Tanker aircraft. If you’re beating the campaign too badly, the Chinese will come in anyway. Neutralize the cover for the HIVAL aircraft, and then apply rule#1.
13: JAMMERS AND ECM
Use them SPARINGLY. A lot of people don’t know this, but the ALQ-131 covers ONLY the front and rear quarters of the aircraft in pie shaped wedges at about a 45-degree angle. The quarters along the 3/9 like are UNDEFENDED. All you are doing is putting a big target on your forehead that SCREAMS “I AM HERE”. You can see it yourself when you are tracking an aircraft that is using active jamming. You can’t lock him up, but you can tell that he DAMN SURE doesn’t WANT anybody locking him up, either. There has to be a reason why (no matter what side he’s on) and the enemy can tell who’s actively emitting and who isn’t just as easy as you can. Unless the enemy has a HARD lock on you aircraft (a diamond icon in your RWR) leave it OFF. And then flash it as needed. Some missiles out there have HOME ON JAM capability and will lock into your jammer and be just as deadly. Flash the jammer, pop some chaff, then shut it down and evade. If it’s still tracking, repeat the process, try to get as low as possible as fast as you can while keeping the missile on the 3/9 line, and hope for the best.
14: KILL RADAR, KILL RADAR, KILL RADAR
Once again, see rule #1
15: A-G WEAPONS LOADOUT
Carry as much ordinance as you can load on the aircraft. Hit the target as HARD AS YOU CAN TO DESTROY IT. If you just damage it, you haven’t accomplished the mission, as the target will be back in commission and operational, and you’ll just have to hit it again.
16: THINK LIKE A RAIDER
In an A-G mission envelope, you don’t have the fuel or A-A weapons to have much combat persistence. Ingress under cover (NOE), or outside radar coverage from the sea. Get in quick, hit the target, and get to the nearest safe are (weather it is out to sea or over the FLOT) as fast as you can. You are in a high threat environment, low on fuel, and 4 missiles are not enough to keep the enemy off you for very long.
17: KILL RADAR, KILL RADAR, KILL RADAR
Seeing a trend here?
18: DON’T PISS OFF YOUR CREW CHIEF
This one is also self-explanatory
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