DCS Liberation

I don’t think we’ve talked about this before? It looks interesting for single player or a small MP co-op group.

The blurb:

DCS Liberation is a DCS World turn based single-player or co-op dynamic campaign. It is an external program that generates full and complex DCS missions and manage a persistent combat environment.

Logo

Being turn based is interesting, as it could be something where a group that can’t meet all the time could do something that keeps progress.

Let’s give it a go then:

Off to the ‘releases’ page and grab the 80mb download here - Releases · dcs-liberation/dcs_liberation · GitHub

Unzip it. Oh, python. I wonder if that’ll work, I have about 4 different python versions on this machine. I’ll just hit the ‘liberation_main.exe’ to get going (what could go wrong!)

Ooo, that sounds a bit scary. I guess it makes sense, the LUA script engine is sandboxed, so this thing needs to talk into it. Worth reading though.

Ok, after fixing my DCS install directory location (I don’t have the Steam version installed, so not sure what was up with that) we get this guy:

Looks complicated. I’m lost already. Love it. :wink:

Ok, we’re off

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Syria - nice!

@BeachAV8R ‘This scenario requires a very good computer to run.’ so hopefully your computer hasn’t been naughty.

We’re on the internet so there’s going to be factions.

The Supper :meat_on_bone: is available!

Player income multipliers, in this economy? Time to get my monopoly monocle and hat.

Hit the bit ‘Start’ button. Hold on to your butts…

Time to add some packages!

TBD

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(I am literally clicking on things like a Golden Retriever with a mouse so might have to come back and edit this if this is all wrong)

So zooming in a bit, it seems like the front line is here?

Yep, if I click on ‘Minakh’ I get ‘Open Intel Menu’ or ‘new package’. Let’s get some intel:

These guys seem like the sort of thing I could say hello to. The Intel tab is greyed out, ooh I wonder if I go look then I get Intel?

Let’s not let logic get in the way of a fight. Attack the airfield!

Ok, so that was anti-climatic. Let’s add some flights.

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I think I’m going to have to buy some aircraft then?

Ah, clicking on our base Hatay…

$20m for a Falcon? Ok, I want the moonroof package, I’ll lease it for 3 years with an APR of 4% but I do have a used Tomcat to trade in.

Never get into a land war in Turkey? Sign me up - ground forces HQ!

Let’s take the F-16CM 2021 for a test drive. Nice brochure.

The sales guy was very convincing, seemed like a real swell guy. I came out of the dealership $90m short but we do have two Falcons and an E-3, so that’s good?

Looks like I have to hit ‘Pass Turn’ as the aircraft haven’t arrived. TBD.

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So my E3 and Falcon’s arrive from the factory - Mmm fresh paint. Liberation seems to create packages automatically - a BARCAP and a AEW&C. Cool!

I’ll try taking off and see what DCS does…

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Ok, let’s edit that BARCAP task and put in a client slot. Nice you can set ‘Start type’ as well.

This is a really nicely polished app, impressed so far…

Ok, let’s fly:

Load up DCS, do as it says and go into the Mission Editor and open up ‘liberation_nextturn.miz’

Wow, it’s made a pretty complex mission. No peeking - just hit fly! :wink:

In DCS, pretty

Our situation is grim and are hopes dashed. I blame the mission planner - curse you desk jockey’s!

I guess I should buy some tanks then?

In the Falcon. There’s a really nice kneeboard with all the mission info

Our E3 is up and working. I regret choosing the Grey paint option. They could do with some CAP though.

Looks like a refueler from somewhere else - I wonder if I can use it, a sort of pay per go deal?

So Liberation knows the mission is being played and is patiencly waiting for results:

(Let’s pretend I did an hour BARCAP in circles on an aircraft I can barely take off)

We did it! :wink:

Debrief

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Next turn, into the night…

So, that’s probably enough for now. So far looks really interesting. You can save the game at any point and then continue another day.

Anyone going to give it a go?

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I can do this … maybe. I may have to dig out a guide for the F-16C. I have not touched it yet (guide or jet).

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Looking favourable. I will try it when time permits. Buying all those campaigns seemed a good idea but work lurks tomorrow first time since December the 4th. Yuk I want to be retired :tired_face:

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I think I just needed to pick a campaign that includes Hornets. The one I chose at random just had the Turkish forces, so F-16’s etc. The others have carriers and all sorts, so we can fly anything.

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Def interested in trying this out.

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Tried it a couple of times. Great idea, and a welcome change, but just didn’t ‘trip my trigger’. And my system wasn’t enough to run it smoothly. Not the dev’s fault of course.

The idea of purchasing assets wasn’t my thing either (you have to buy jets, and other units). Falcon is, IMO, still the benchmark; you’re just one cog in the big machine kind of thing. The only issue I really had with that was that my performance had an effect on the overall outcome of this huge effort. Good game play idea for sure.

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I don’t agree with those prices. So a tank costs more than an F16? The E-3 is the cost of TWO tanks?

Ground units are too much and air units too low. Or just create a realistic ORBAT and prices be damned.

Just play as USA and put resources to unlimited and it doesn’t matter? :slight_smile:

If you want to alter the prices, or provide changes or feedback to the team then have it here - it’s open source, so you can fork it and have your own version as well if you want:

I would say that it’s probably just like Monopoly, in that the numbers aren’t meant to be correct or up-to-date, they are meant to provide balance between two sides and are just ratios for a game. The AI spends the same as you, and has a budget, so I guess it would be geared towards limiting ground units - DCS isn’t great at large land wars.

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Ha…you even pinged me. Funny.

For my testing…I picked Persian Gulf - Desert War because it has a pretty confined area…and I think I picked Iran with an era that did not include MiG-29s and stuff…just MiG-21, F-14s, F-5s…and some other lighter aircraft…

I’m interested in the resource stuff of this. I mean…you go whack an enemy IL-76 AWACS thingy and that is real money down the drain for their side…

Yeah…I outfitted with like 10 Abrams, 10 Bradleys, some anti-air to go with them…and a crap ton of HUMVEES…hey, if anything I can deplete the enemy PGMs with sacrificial GM products…

As you know from that other thread…but posting here for wider audience:

This might be working…!!

James Franco GIF

So I joined my KMAS-Mudspike server that was hosting the generated liberation.miz file - was able to join in a Hornet. It is really, really cool to see so much action going on around the theater.

Took my single Hornet up to the front line with 4 HARMs and destroyed three Hawk sites and downed two F-14s (!)… Came back to base and left the server. Apparently the server continuously tracks what is going on and writes to a state.json file in the Liberation folder on the server (you can check this by comparing the write time and seeing that it matches the end of the mission).

Shutting down the server results in the Liberation application seeing the mission is over and generating an update on the mission status. I was worried that I didn’t see the Hawk site kills in the debriefing Casualty Report, but if I click on the units on the map, they show DEAD (the Hawk radars)…so I think it is working!

My assumption now is that when I hit FLY again, it will generate a new .MIZ file with what is reflected as destroyed or new…

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Yep, it’s basically turn based. A sort of mini resource/economy campaign engine coupled with a persistent theatre that you can either play missions on yourself or just watch the AI get on with it. Ideal if you just want to ‘Save’ and then come back as a group to play. The money/resources essentially makes it almost like a board game, in that both sides (us and the enemy AI) have to spend depending on how things are going.

I actually think this is something that ED are probably working on themselves when they talk about the future dynamic campaign, but a bit like SRS etc it might be the case where someone outside makes a really good contribution first.

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I got it installed it and created a WWII campaign on the channel map. Hopefully I will get to try it out with a mission soon

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So me, @fearlessfrog, and @Fridge hooked up yesterday to run some tests with Liberation in multiplayer mode. It is still a bit of a learning process…but we did manage to get into a mission on the Persian Gulf map. The general situation was a carrier, LHA, and one blue land base trying to attack Iranian forces that had taken up residence on the northern end of UAE.

To say the experience was awesome is an understatement. We all spawned in on the carrier in cold start slots and thankfully both @fearlessfrog and @Fridge share the common trait of being organized and comprehending the bigger pictures. So they managed to get us to the catapult and on our way to our rendezvous waypoint on time. We linked up with a pair of AI Harriers that had come off the LHA and escorted them on their strike against an SA-11 site.

The amount of traffic flying and on bases was incredible. And despite that…performance in VR was still very good. I did not choose to “cull” any objects outside of X-perimeter (a performance saving tool of Liberation) since our AO was pretty small anyway. But still…there had to be hundreds of units out doing things…and it all stayed very good on my computer.

We managed to intercept a group of F-4s (and another flight with them?)…I think four aircraft…allowing the Harriers to do their business. Later intel showed the SA-11 site reduced to about 20% capability (I think that puts it out of business functionally speaking). On the way back to our egress point it looked like the AI Harriers went into some sort of target-of-opportunity mode near the front lines and one of them either CFIT’d or got shot down by 57mm or something. I’m still unclear on what happened.

I will say that descending on the wing of the Harrier below the undercast and breaking out over the desert with dozens of fires burning at the FEBA was an incredible VR experience. We were all so jazzed that it was working.

We all survived the mission and came back to the boat. @Fridge and I managed to trap but then a weird incident prevented @fearlessfrog from coming aboard when the deck went foul as two Harriers spawned in on the cables. I think that was MY fault when setting up the campaign. You have like $2 billion dollars to spend on inventory. Though I selected auto-populate for the campaign, it still left me with some money…and if you don’t spend it on Turn 1, you lose it. So I just put a ton of Hornets and F-14s on the carrier, Harriers on the LHA, some E-2Cs and S-3s…but I unthinkingly put 8 Harriers on the carrier and I don’t think they are supposed to be there. I have since “sold” them…so hopefully that solves that problem.

I never actually looked at the kneeboard, but Liberation seemed to be really awesome with having all the frequencies, waypoints, times…everything looked great. I mean…I’m sure something so complex has errors and things that don’t make sense…but the overall feel was superb.

@fearlessfrog and I on the bow catapults…@Fridge was on the waist cat…

The mission was too busy to get any in-mission screens…so sorry about that. It was really cool flying in formation with the Harriers for a bit…wish I could have gotten a screenshot of that…

Me and @Fridge after recovering on the carrier…

A bit of the mission map…

@Fridge about to trap…

The Harrier spawn that had other aircraft stacking up and resulted in @fearlessfrog having to divert to the land base…

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I am really low and flat in that landing shot but in my defense the carrier was stopped :-). I could not see a way to give the carrier a better, longer course?

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Any experienced Liberation players know why Sohar is black in this screenshot? It is one of the “nodes” that are mission goals I think…but all the rest of them are orange…

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Yep, it was fantastic, really impressed. The complexity pushed it up a notch, and it felt good to do something where we were a tiny cog in a big machine - I really didn’t want to screw up. At one point I had a L&S target all ready, wasn’t getting a confirm from the data link that it was an enemy so didn’t fire - it would seem so likely I’d kill a friendly.

It’s really good, just press/hold the K for the default binding to bring it up and [ ] to flip the pages - it works well in VR and the mission info page has everything we’d need.

I looked in the code (it’s pretty nice python, not too bad) and it’s the state where you don’t control a base/control point, but it has no operational airfield. So the red outline shows enemy and the black center shows the runway is not operational.

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Ah…good to know! Thanks for checking that…

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@fearlessfrog and I getting ready to head out on a SEAD mission…

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