Just some basic gumpf for those who have not played before and are interested in playing Blue flag. Stick any question you want below for more detailed responses.
Blue flag simply is a PVP dynamic campaign that is free to play. It limits your lives to “x” amount per type to encourage looking after your airframes and discourage airquake. Lives are reset after a predetermined number of hours. The campaign is dynamic as you can fly where you want and do what you want, but the emphasis is on teamplay. You never truly know what you may come across because the enemy is human. To advance on the map you need to capture territory and hence helicopters have the most important roll in the game.
The biggest thing to note about Blue flag is the following.
You don’t have to be a current fighter jock to use it.
You don’t have know CAP413 (for us English folk) to talk on the radio.
You don’t have to be a good pilot.
You just need to have fun and that is it.
Blue flag currently have 4 servers running, some of which may be down for tweaking or revision
Blue flag WW2 - Normandy map
Blue flag Korea (using caucuses map)
Blue flag Nevada - Nevada map
Blue flag Caucusses (caucuses map obviously) - most popular
I am sure the blue flag team are working hard now that the Persian Gulf map is released. So I suspect to see this come in the near future.
What do you need to have to play Blue Flag? Simply just DCS. That is all you need!
But if you want the FULL Blue flag amazing experience there are some extra things you should get.
DCS Simple radio. (Its what the cool kids are using) Its a voice communication software that integrates with DCS so you can use your radios correctly. It understands what you have tuned your radios to in cockpit and lets you communicate with others on the same frequency. I.e. you want a discreet frequency to chat on with your mates. Then select a channel to chat on one of your radios and chat away. Most aircraft have more than one radio and therefore you can listen in on multiple frequencies and choose which one you want to talk on. If you are worried about unclickable cockpits from flaming cliffs modules then don’t worry. DCS Simple radio has a Discreet GUI that you can make almost invisible for you to manually tune your radios.
Why is simple radio a great addition to Blue flag? Because it adds a great deal situational awareness to you and everyone else around (that is using simple radio). It encourages communication and therefore encourages teamplay and really adds to the immersion.
There are plenty of instructions on the interwebz on how to install and set up DCS SIMPLE RADIO. Its very quick and easy to do. Shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes from download to finish of setup.
The Widget or interactive map.
Just open this up in a webrowser and it shows you in real time what is happening on the map. If you hover your mouse over an installation it will give you co-odinates of the installation and other info. The widget also tells you of the status of the installation from 100% health (all enemy alive in the area) to 0% health (all enemy are dead in the area and the installation is considered neutral and ready to be captured.)
The map also serves as a good idea of where you want to spawn in. Want to be close to the action. Look at the map and you can see from the changed icons which installation is under attack. So you can choose a spawn location that is most suitable for you.
What you need to do before you play.
Look at the server and see which planes / helicopters are available on which side and then decide if you want to be BLUE team or RED team. That is it. You cannot choose an aircraft to fly until you have chosen a side. Caution to this. Once you have chosen a side you cannot change sides until that campaign is finished and a new one started
So how do you get in and play?
join the multiplayer server
once in the spectators lobby press “shift” and “tab” to bring up your chat box (make sure it is in ALL not ALLIES) and simply type “red” to join red team or “blue” to join blue team
choose a vehicle of your choice in the location of your choice (as long as your team owns that territory). Go and do stuff. Simple as that.
What to do in blue flag and how to play
To capture a facility / territory you need to firstly kill all the enemy that is protecting that area. Whilst you are doing that the enemy can run repair supplies in to hamper you. So you need to deal with them too. The enemy usually has fighters that protect the guys running in supplies so I guess you may want to think about them in your grand plan as well.
But once you have successfully removed the enemy garrison, you then can drop troops into the location. Once the troops are deployed and there is no resistance, the troops will capture that location. That location however is now yours but at 0% health, because you killed all the defending assets. You can spawn there now, but it will offer no protection and any enemy can retake it. So best thing to do is run some supplies in to quicken the rebuilding of defensive assets at that location. All locations slowly repair over time anyway but you really do want to repair a facility once captured.
Helicopters are by far the most important asset in the game. They carry the troops needed to actually capture an area. So the teamwork comprises of fighters clearing out enemy fighters and keeping them out. Attackers clear out the defensive units and logistics run in troops and supplies to capture and repair the facility.
Seeing and hearing all this happen in real time with DCS SIMPLE RADIO is a very immersive and rewarding experience and pays great dividends to the team that can apply teamwork.
There are also GCI slots (basically AWACS and combined arms users) who give you heads up on enemy movements (if they can see them) and co-ordinates the attack. Again another great reason for SIMPLE Radio as your GCI is your strategic command.
Other roles aside from fighters, attackers and logistics are.
Deployment of assets. Helicopters can also deploy sam sites, troops, Jtacs and radars to the field. All of which can ruin the enemies day.
There is also an intel roll - usually performed by a vehicle like P-51. If you can get close enough to a facility you gather intel on it. Get that intel back to base and you spawn an AI bomber mission that can devastate an area. Enemy will scramble to kill that bomber.
Another big item is your life system. Your life is not considered in use until you take off. Once airborne you will receive a message saying you have used one of your lives and have “x” remaining and lives will be reset in “x” amount of hours.
This is great as if you spawn in and someone is attacking the facility. You don’t loose a life. You may explode but your lives remain intact until take off. HOWEVER with this comes a very important piece of information. Once you land, you MUST use the radio menu to reclaim your life. Once you have done that on the ground in a friendly environment, you get your life back.
Anyways, a basic view and how to with Blue flag. Let me know if you have further questions or intrigues and all can help you get into what I think is one of the best things in DCS at the moment.