Fourth Bug mini-campaign mission is probably my least favorite, because it takes unorthodox tactics to combat the Foxbats. Given the Foxbats have a superior cheat look-down, shoot-down radar, killer Acrid missiles, and a damage model made from delta wood, the only solution seems to bring them down low and slow – going at them from altitude just doesn’t jive for me. I suckered the first Foxbat down low, dodging two of his Acrids before I could turn to engage, at which point I fired off a Sparrow that subsequently missed. After he got closer, split around and was quickly on his butt where I popped him with a Sidewinder. Delta wood showing its strength, this was inadequate to kill him, so I tried to close in for a gun kill but a second Foxbat engaged me and so I elected to make sure the first stayed dead and put a second Sidewinder into him.
Once again, I had to perform my massive flailing around in the air as I reacted to the Great Patriotic Motherland Super Duper Cyka Blyat Acrids, causing both to miss and I finally got my first Sparrow kill this time. My number 2 decided this was the time to engage and fired a Sparrow shortly after I did, and though my missile hit slightly before his, he cheerily shouted “Splash bandit!” Yeah, fine, usually takes two Sparrows to pop a Foxbat anyways. After all this, some Floggers decided to join the fun and one sent an Apex my way, fortunately from way too far out so I was easily able to dodge it. I line up for a Sparrow shot and send it on his way… And “lost!” First Sparrow goes stupid! Send off another one, which is also readily deceived by his chaff. I think I’d have more luck using harsh language by this point!
At the very least, the Flogger is now on the defensive and in a good position to use guns. He flies over me and tries to draw vertical, but it’s no good; we go about 180 degrees and I finally pop him with 40 rounds from about 1500ft out. Another Flogger is on my RWR so I turn to engage him, but my wingman is on him and I elect to cover him while he guns down the other Flogger. I think we’re clear but my number 3 is working on another Flogger north, in the mountains, so I collect my wingman and start heading out, just in time to see 3 get a lucky Sidewinder hit. Equipment made by the lowest bidder sure sucks sometimes.
Anyways, because of how problematic the Foxbats were for me early on, I only got a few shots of the final Flogger engagement, followed by the absolute trainwreck of carrier landings.
3’s Flogger kill. I’m surprised he ejected because I’ve seen them take multiple Sidewinder hits and keep on flying.
Smoke from the hit and his flares, which seemed to not work this time. Usually Sidewinders just love
Returning back to the boat, my flight starts giving off bingo calls, so I tell them all to RTB. Number 3 apparently doesn’t pay attention and stays in formation all the way to the boat, then ejects. Number 4 diverted to a neutral airfield in Georgia. Number 2 stayed with me, until…
Fortunately, when I entered the pattern, the ATC warned me of this. Holy cow! 304 was a striker that dropped bombs, the VFA-94 was a SEAD bird. This is where the trainwreck began.
This 304 is my wingman. I don’t think he got the ATC’s memo. Either he’s running on fumes or he really
has to go bad.
Yeah, that ended about as I anticipated it would. His panicked calls of “I’m hit!” elects this response from me:
Number 2, seemingly a bit smarter than the others and more adept
at problem solving, elects to follow the footsteps of the old adage, “If brute force doesn’t solve your problem, you’re not using enough!” He happily plows into the VFA-94 aircraft and turns it into a fine smoky mist of flame, dust, and used Bug parts, likely solving the spare part problem for the rest of the cruise.
You would think that number 2’s thirst for Bug butt would have been sated after one, but no! He screamed a great war cry, shouting “MORE BUG PARTS!” and happily plows into the other
304, turning it into smoke and dust. The radio once again sounded out with a barbaric roar and another “I’M HIT! RAAGGHH! BUG GUTS! RIP AND TEAR! RIP AND TEAR! BUG PARTS FOR THE BUG GOD!”
Now, you’d think that would be enough chaos and battle cries for this session, but no, not in DCS: Barbarian Bug Thirsty Pirate Operations
. No, another SEAD flight, having witnessed the carnage and war cries, elects to crash his
aircraft right into the deck, starting a couple of decent fires and likely causing the deck crew to shout out in celebration, throwing off their shirts and rolling out the hot dogs and marshmallows. While this is going on, an S-3 approaches and, upon seeing the carnage, gives a loud “Eff this shee-yiiittt, I am out
,” subsequently ejecting and splashing into the water. An F-14 crew apparently feels the same way and after flying past the boat, elects to risk the frigid water rather than a cannibalistic deck crew thirsting for Bug parts. Don’t want them getting a taste for Tomcat parts, too!
Number 2, barbecuing his nose on a fire, quite proud of his accomplishment. As I’ve hit my bare minimum for gas, I reluctantly decide to trap, making sure my pistol is off safe and keeping one spare bullet in case I need to go out on my own terms. I land and taxi to the front end and I’m pretty sure I hear chants of “Two men enter, one man leaves!” but that might just be my imagination.