Can’t say I have full, complete, control over them but, either by luck or pure stubbornness, I’ve written a system that will send in n-flights (up to 8 right now; could be more but overall performance is a primary goal), broken down into ‘phases’:
1 - SEAD: give them 1 HARM, 1 Mav, gas - based on the threat (there may not be any SAMs).
2: Kill Guns: Any weapon seems to work but as I’m trying to ‘simulate’ a MANPAD rich environment I make them (or try to, usally works but not always) force them to do a Level bombing release with either MK-8x’s or Mavs.
3.a: Break things: MK-8x’s, level bombing (MANPAD thing again) using ‘fast’ multi-role jets (Viper, Hornet, Harrier)
3.b: Slow attackers (A-10s and Apaches) for non-air defense targets, etc
4: Cleanup (this one is still in the works as it can be just about anything)
Now, they WILL ‘go rogue’ after hitting the primary target. Getting them to STOP doing something isn’t always cut-and-dried either; I give them a completely new tasking - replace the entire ‘brain’ if you will (basically make them go stupid, only task is to follow a route) - yet they still have independent logic swirling around in their lil heads it seems. Be nice to know how the AI really IS programmed to work cus it would save us all months (and months) of pain.
This all works within a system that is limited in scope (number or targets) because, a) it helps it all work and, b) it runs much faster.
I’m testing my “Alpha Strike”-like logic right now and I can get 5-8 flights all, mostly, hitting the target within about 1 minute of each other, on a 250-300 NM outbound route, (along with other flights: tankers, AWACS, ABCCC, and ‘generic’ stuff for ‘feel’) and have no issues with performance. I do ‘cheat’ a little here: since it’s permissive A2A environment they will all do 1-2 laps over the control point until all the ducks are in a row (there’s YT video from former F15E WSO that confirms this is authentic - I even have a “Roll Call” callout when it’s time to drop the hammer here).
A [good] side effect of doing this all in lua is I have easy control of how often things are checked, ie; my wingman “Bingo/Joker” checks are only done once every minute (configurable) - haven’t lost a Bot to fuel starvation in a long time (MANPADS are a different thing ). Using lua to me, is MUCH easier to manage than pages of triggers.
My “Todo” list contains a bit on using the waypoint time (eta) value again, to help with the timing - I tried it a while back and had issues but now that the system works well enough without it (scheduling the start time based on route distance and such - they all come from different bases) this should help me get this closer.
Makes it easier on the player too if you have a ‘solid’ TOT. This is on my schedule for today (and likely through the next two days).
It’s just REALLY time-consuming to test; doing the math is trivial. Massaging the AI so the math works is the trick. But I have to run it to validate everything (time compression helps).
I suspect in the real world (for this kind of operation) things need adjusting sometimes too.