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Need some buying advice for first modules


idrisguitar
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Hi there.

 

So I have got into dcs recently and am loving learning the basics with the frogfoot. Ive been excited to invest some money into the game having enjoyed some flights with the free planes. But I’m having a lot of conflicting thoughts that I’d like advice on.

 

1: I want a clickable cockpit cause that realism and immersion excites me, also I’ll be getting a rift s at the end of the year and think a full fidelity module will be great for that

Conflict: however I’m worried about the depth and the sheer amount of investment to learn them might stop me from simply flying And enjoying the simulator.

 

2: I want to get modules that give me a good mix of a2a a2g and also carrier landings and takeoffs as I love that extra challenge. This doesn’t have to happen right away, but that’s what i want to end up with.

Conflict: If I was to go full fidelity to cover the above three, it would probably stretch me to thin in terms of learning it all.

 

3:Fc3 seems like the right choice in regards to both of the above points, in terms of range of gameplay and value. But I also want good tutorial missions so am worried fc3 might not be as good in that regard compared to the a10c for example.

Conflict: I really love the idea of a clickable cockpit (which would be missing in FC3) with an indepth startup and really feeling like a pilot before a mission. Especially for VR.

 

4: and most importantly. I have no plans to play multiplayer. Me free time is way too inconsistent and I’m just someone who loves playing on their own. So I’m wanting to go with the modules with the most singplayer content, campaigns both dlc and user made. I will also love getting into the editor and enjoy creating my own scenarios (I’m a unity developer and coder and can’t wait to get stuck in).

Conflict: the clear winner for single player content is the a10c and while I love plane and know I will own it in the end. The 660 page manual is soooooo intimidating.

 

I’m sorry for this nonsense of a post. As I said I’m super conflicted and don’t know what the right decision is.

 

I will say I have a $100-150 budget so that might help with the advice. And as mentioned am only getting VR for Christmas. Also I have il-2 all three campaigns for ww2 and easier access sim flying, so maybe DCS should fill a full fidelity slot in my collection? I’m going to stop talking now.

 

Really hope you can help but would understand if this gets no replies as well :p


Edited by idrisguitar
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You have three chances:

 

1) FC3: both a/a and a/g, carriers, not so much to study. Conflict: it's su-25t level, non clickable, you'll get bored quickly.

 

2) F/A-18c: clickable cockpit, carriers, a/a and a/g, but get ready to study as much as for the a-10c (you won't believe how deeply in systems a plane can be simulated!)

 

3) an easier module with clickable cockpit, for example the f-5. You have clickable cockpit and go deep in systems, but they are a lot easier to learn than f-18 or a-10c. Both a/a and a/g even if less effective (Just two sidewinders and no bvr capability, only free fall ordnance, it's 1970 technology). Easy to learn systems but difficult to master since you have to learn how to free bombing and be precise and how to manage energy in dogfight. Such a plane Is not so good online (you are a sitting duck against 18s and 15s) but if you play offline in missions against appropriate assets (mig-21 and 2nd gen SAM for example) you can enjoy. No carriers however.

Some missions and campaigns are available for the f-5, even if not so much as for a-10c, and you can create your own with the editor.

If you don't like f-5 there are other similar modules you can choose (clickable but not difficult to learn) such as korea jets or a warbird.

Maybe the Mirage 2000 too Is not so difficult, and Is a 4th gen fighter, but Is almost only a/a and the developer (razbam) Is currently changing a lot of systems due to new more accurate data, so maybe it's better to wait until this overhaul Is done.


Edited by nessuno0505
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If you are going to have VR on a couple of months, I’m pretty sure that you wont be satisfied with FC3 ... instead, I suggest to consider getting the Harrier, as it ticks most of your preferences:

 

- It is full fidelity but not as complex as an A-10C.

- it has the most complete training of any module, crafted by Baltic Dragon.

- it can operate from a LHA Carrier (the Tarawa)

- it has a wide variety of weapons.

- It doesnt include a Campaign yet, but Baltic Dragon has indicated that he is working on one.

- Its cockpit is gorgeous in VR

 

Probably the only downside is that it is mostly A-G, as it doesn't have an A-A radar, and that it is still not fully finished.

 

Best regards

 

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Hello Idrisguitar, and welcome to DCS. Great to hear you're enjoying yourself.

 

In my opinion, you have one choice that meets all your needs in a single purchase: F/A-18C.

 

Fully clickable cockpit, good mix of A2A / A2G, good speed, air refueling, naval ops... I mean, this thing can pretty much do it all, and will certainly give you that fix you need.

 

The A-10C is a good choice too, but again in my opinion, the F/A-18 is just better. The A-10C can carry a large ordnance package that the F/A-18 can't, but it comes at a cost: SPEED. She's slow as hell. Depending on range to OP area, the F-18 can be there and back before the A-10 even arrives. I love the A-10C (my favorite plane in reality); it was my first fixed-wing aircraft purchased. But it being so slow, not designed for carrier ops (though we do try in DCS), and no BVR capability at all (F/A-18C is capable of conduction CAS/CAP/SEAD in a single sortie, and at the push of a button), I've basically put the A-10C on the back burner; flying her only a couple times over the past year.

 

Don't fret over the number of pages a manual has, or if it will stretch you "too thin learning it all", because if you're truly enjoying it, it won't matter. There's plenty of videos and how-to's out there, that learning it will be the easy part; putting it into practice a whole other matter.

 

Whatever you choose, you'll be happy with your decision, I'm sure. Good luck, and I wish you well in your future DCS endeavours.

 

 

EDIT: The above statement was made with the impression that you were looking for a fixed wing aircraft. But if you really want to experience the best of DCS, then you have to get the Ka-50 Black Shark. Obviously not as fast as an F/A-18, and still slower than the A-10C, but anything the A-10 can do a Kamov can do with more style. Furthermore, ANYONE can fly a plane, but it takes a pilot to fly a chopper :) just my additional two cents. LOL


Edited by Baaz
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If you are still undecided then punt and download the A-4E mod. It has a clickable cockpit, has lots of basic systems that are interesting to learn. Can do some A-A but it is mostly A-G. Can land and take off from carrier but has some quirks since it is only a mod.

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F-5 ticks all the boxes (including the slightly incorrect #3 as pointed out above) except for carrier landings… technically. It can land on carriers, even if it really shouldn't.

 

It's a pilot's plane with only the slightest hint of pilot aids so you have to learn to fly it yourself, but it's also a very easily flyable plane. It teaches you not to rely on fancy HUDs full of information, but rather demands a good eye for your environment and a good scan of your instruments. Similarly, it requires you to use good attack procedures for its weaponry since the only help you get is a radar-ranged gun sight and a bunch of delivery parameter tables (and when you get tired of that you can just use laser-guided bombs and ignore almost all of that… :D ). The same thing goes for navigation: it's all about visual recognition of landscape features and nav-beacon offsets — bare-bones but effective.

 

It is fully clickable and if/when something goes wrong, you'll need to trouble-shoot it, but it's also fairly simple so it's not a huge list to check. It has a couple of training-oriented campaigns (which admittedly get a bit same:y after a while), but which still demand of you that you know all those basics really well. That is a theme for almost everything about the F-5: it is all basic, but that is not the same thing as simple or simplistic, and the skills you learn will carry over to almost every other module out there — landing skills beyond just staring at a flight path marker; energy management without relying on pure thrust to get you of trouble or on HUD cues to keep you out of it; rudder control mattering without being absolutely central to everything.

 

The simplicity sets you up well for more difficult-to-fly planes because you already know those basic and just need to apply them more precisely; it also sets you up for more complex planes because some of those basics will be automated and you can focus on the more intricate stuff instead, but when/if the automation fails, you still know how to handle things. It also offers a neat amount of direct upgrade paths: the Mirage is in many ways a beefed-up F-5 in terms of flying (highly automated flight and vastly easier navigation, similar weapons loads except with the addition of radar missiles), and the Hornet is beefed up in terms of capabilities (many similar, if slightly more forgiving, flight characteristics but a radically expanded weapons delivery capacity). And of course, if you choose to “downgrade” to Korean- or WWII-era aircraft, you will be familiar with the visual-range gun combat, the footwork required, and flying by eye rather than HUD.

❧ ❧ Inside you are two wolves. One cannot land; the other shoots friendlies. You are a Goon. ❧ ❧

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Thanks for all the wonderful replies. What a lovely community.

 

I think the format of my post may not have been clear, but after each point I explain why I’m conflicted, so when I mention fc3. The conflict was that I wanted a clickable cockpit and knew it wouldn’t have it.

 

But it seems clear that with VR, and il-2 covering my low fidelity sim flying needs that I will skip on FC3.

 

I will do some research on the f-5, f18, a10c and the harrier, think I will go with a or w of those to get me started.

 

I also welcome any more opinions and advice, but once again thanks so much for the help!

 

-Idris

 

P.s. Baaz, I will definitely look into the helos too :),

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I first bought the A-10 but was so overwhelmed by all the electronics that I got the P51. Other than being a tail dragger which is really difficult to take off and land it has been fun. But I wanted to do carrier work so bought the FA-18. This thing is an absolute blast to fly. It does carrier, air to air, and air to ground. What I enjoy is you can learn at your own pace. It's easy to use the gun and the rockets and there are several instant action and standard missions limited to just those weapons. Last sale I bought the Persian Gulf map and it more than doubles the missions available for the FA-18. I am slowly learning more weapons and sometimes it can get frustrating. At that point I stop my learning, and fire up a mission I am more capable of and fly for fun. One warning, you need a really good throttle to do carrier traps. The throttle is your descent rate control. Although it is not the main factor, if you occasionally note the speed readout as you are on approach, the difference between being a tad low and a tad high is about 2 mph. My largest single item $ expenditure is the $250 for a TM Warthog throttle. But it turns out to be worth it for sure. One other thought from my reading on this forum (because I don't have it), is do a LOT of research on VR. One poster here recently made the comment that there may be some technical breakthroughs coming not to far in the future so his thought was don't rush and buy VR now.

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The A-10C is a good choice too, but again in my opinion, the F/A-18 is just better. The A-10C can carry a large ordnance package that the F/A-18 can't, but it comes at a cost: SPEED. She's slow as hell. Depending on range to OP area, the F-18 can be there and back before the A-10 even arrives. I love the A-10C (my favorite plane in reality); it was my first fixed-wing aircraft purchased. But it being so slow, not designed for carrier ops (though we do try in DCS), and no BVR capability at all

 

 

F-18 Is multi role, a-10c Is Just a/g. Yes it's slow, f-18 arrives first but when you have delivered a couple of ordnances you are already low on fuel. A-10 Is deliberately slow because It must have a long loitering time: you can stay a lot in the area of operations. If you want both a/a and a/g the a-10c Is not for you, but It Is not something less than the 18, it's something different.

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The F/A-18C Hornet can do it all;

 

AA, even with the modern AIM-9X with the JHMCS (very cool in VR!), has an AA Radar and later in Early Access AG radar as well. Datalink, IFF, you name it, the Hornet's got it. ;)

 

It has a (not yet fully functional but already very usable) Targeting Pod.

 

A lot of different AG weapons: Mavericks, Laserguided bombs, GPS/INS guided bombs, Freefall bombs, cluster munitions, rockets, Walleye, Harpoon, HARM. SLAM will come later.

 

So, a lot to learn but then you can do it all, and it'll be easier transitioning to another plane, because you know the principles of a lot of weapons and systems already.

 

Oh, and of course not too long now for the Supercarrier which also will be a very immersive experience in VR. :)

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I think you should also answer another question in order to choose:

are you ready to buy an early access product and to deal with all its pros and cons?

If the answer is yes, then you are ready for the 18 (or the harrier, or whatever)

If the answer is no, then consider the f-5 or flaming cliffs 3

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1: I want a clickable cockpit cause that realism and immersion excites me, also I’ll be getting a rift s at the end of the year and think a full fidelity module will be great for that

Conflict: however I’m worried about the depth and the sheer amount of investment to learn them might stop me from simply flying And enjoying the simulator.

 

F/A-18C

 

2: I want to get modules that give me a good mix of a2a a2g and also carrier landings and takeoffs as I love that extra challenge. This doesn’t have to happen right away, but that’s what i want to end up with.

Conflict: If I was to go full fidelity to cover the above three, it would probably stretch me to thin in terms of learning it all.

 

F/A-18C

 

3:Fc3 seems like the right choice in regards to both of the above points, in terms of range of gameplay and value. But I also want good tutorial missions so am worried fc3 might not be as good in that regard compared to the a10c for example.

Conflict: I really love the idea of a clickable cockpit (which would be missing in FC3) with an indepth startup and really feeling like a pilot before a mission. Especially for VR.

 

F/A-18C

 

4: and most importantly. I have no plans to play multiplayer. Me free time is way too inconsistent and I’m just someone who loves playing on their own. So I’m wanting to go with the modules with the most singplayer content, campaigns both dlc and user made. I will also love getting into the editor and enjoy creating my own scenarios (I’m a unity developer and coder and can’t wait to get stuck in).

Conflict: the clear winner for single player content is the a10c and while I love plane and know I will own it in the end. The 660 page manual is soooooo intimidating.

 

You guessed it :smilewink:

 

F/A-18C

 

Welcome aboard! I hope you won't be doing p-factor or linear regression or statistical analysis or meta-analysis off this thread, because the symptoms above are easily mitigated with DCS F/A-18C Hornet. Twice a day.. after breakfast and before supper.

AWAITING ED NEW DAMAGE MODEL IMPLEMENTATION FOR WW2 BIRDS

 

Fat T is above, thin T is below. Long T is faster, Short T is slower. Open triangle is AWACS, closed triangle is your own sensors. Double dash is friendly, Single dash is enemy. Circle is friendly. Strobe is jammer. Strobe to dash is under 35 km. HDD is 7 times range key. Radar to 160 km, IRST to 10 km. Stay low, but never slow.

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or you see it this way: limit your FA-18C to all a F-5 (which I really like, too) can do, and tataaa: the winner is still the Hornet (early access or not) ;)

 

To use a 4th gen fighter as if It were a 3rd gen Is not the same as dealing with a 3rd gen. Learn to fly without the hud Is a valuable thing, and Is easily doable expecially in VR, since you can watch all your instruments at a glance.

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To use a 4th gen fighter as if It were a 3rd gen Is not the same as dealing with a 3rd gen. Learn to fly without the hud Is a valuable thing, and Is easily doable expecially in VR, since you can watch all your instruments at a glance.

 

 

Agreed. But the F-5E does not provide the other requirements of OP better or even as good as the Hornet does.

 

 

 

I wanted to state that complexity should not be confused with difficulty. If you reduce the Hornet to the F-5's abilities it is not too much of learning. You can then go further step by step system by system.

 

 

That's why my opinion is: the Hornet is best for OP's requirements. Hands down.

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Take it easy and slow, there is a lot to learn. Air starts can save some time, you can quickly make some simple scenarios/tests in the editor if you put in a bit of effort to learn it... DCS is a lot about digging in to the systems and keeping it fun.

SA-342 Ka-50 Mi-8 AJS-37 F-18 M2000C AV-8B-N/A Mig-15bis CA --- How to learn DCS

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TL;DR:

 

The Hornet wins

 

Details

 

1: I want a clickable cockpit cause that realism and immersion excites me, also I’ll be getting a rift s at the end of the year and think a full fidelity module will be great for that

Conflict: however I’m worried about the depth and the sheer amount of investment to learn them might stop me from simply flying And enjoying the simulator.

You'll initially want to focus on one high fidelity module, what you learn beyond the basics is upto you i.e. there's nothing stopping you from planning administrative fights in a F/A-18C i.e. takeoff, climb, optimum cruise, decent and land.

 

2: I want to get modules that give me a good mix of a2a a2g and also carrier landings and takeoffs as I love that extra challenge. This doesn’t have to happen right away, but that’s what i want to end up with.

Conflict: If I was to go full fidelity to cover the above three, it would probably stretch me to thin in terms of learning it all.

As you're starting out with the aim to eventually do carrier landings - IMHO that means the F/A-18C.

 

Although the F/A-18C isn't perfect, it's a capable aircraft that can do all you ask without the need to convert to another airframe/module - although the Hornet supports lots of different systems/weapons, you'll still learn them one at a time.

 

00-FA-18C_Quick_Checklist.png

 

3:Fc3 seems like the right choice in regards to both of the above points, in terms of range of gameplay and value. But I also want good tutorial missions so am worried fc3 might not be as good in that regard compared to the a10c for example.

Conflict: I really love the idea of a clickable cockpit (which would be missing in FC3) with an indepth startup and really feeling like a pilot before a mission. Especially for VR.

The problem with FC3 is that as well as lacking clickable cockpits, you'd be using several different airframes, weapons, etc. some of which are missing good tutorials, FC3 is good for modern Red aircraft but for Blue, IMHO (in most cases) you're better off with a full module.

 

4: ... So I’m wanting to go with the modules with the most singplayer content, campaigns both dlc and user made. I will also love getting into the editor and enjoy creating my own scenarios (I’m a unity developer and coder and can’t wait to get stuck in).

Conflict: the clear winner for single player content is the a10c and while I love plane and know I will own it in the end. The 660 page manual is soooooo intimidating.

You are not wrong about the A-10C and it's easy to fly, but I'd advise starting out with a simpler first module unless really interested in the A-10C.

 

As I said I’m super conflicted and don’t know what the right decision is.

Before the Hornet was released, I'd have advised the Mirage 2000C but it's lacking in A2G and the Hornet is a better fit for your training goals.

 

The F-14B is good but the older systems mean it is less capable in A2G, harder to navigate, etc. and the Hornet should serve as the better 'trainer'.

 

The AV-8B is a 'fun' aircraft with it's STOVL, etc. and a handful to fly when starting out, however it's missing A2A radar for BVR combat training and the Hornets underling systems are more fully modelled.

 

In the end it should come down to the aircraft that most interests you.

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Wow, Thank everyone!

 

I'll give this thread another read through and check out videos, but I think the Hornet is the winner. It really does cover all disciplines and will allow me to figure out what I'll have the most fun with. And I can deal with Early Access.

 

SP content might not be there but if anything it will make me have fun with the editor earlier which will also be beneficial for every other module going forward.

 

Thanks so much!

 

Can I ask what the Training, Campaigns and SP content is like for the Hornet? (I know I should get the PG map for example, and I may also get Nevada while its on sale.)

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the hornet will get another campaign, and i think there will be more in the future.

 

teaser:

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

"There's nothing to be gained by second guessing yourself.

You can't remake the past, so look ahead... or risk being left behind."

 

Noli Timere Messorem

"No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always been there first, and is waiting for it."

Terry Pratchett

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Hi there.

 

So I have got into dcs recently and am loving learning the basics with the frogfoot. Ive been excited to invest some money into the game having enjoyed some flights with the free planes. But I’m having a lot of conflicting thoughts that I’d like advice on.

 

1: I want a clickable cockpit cause that realism and immersion excites me, also I’ll be getting a rift s at the end of the year and think a full fidelity module will be great for that

Conflict: however I’m worried about the depth and the sheer amount of investment to learn them might stop me from simply flying And enjoying the simulator.

 

2: I want to get modules that give me a good mix of a2a a2g and also carrier landings [...]

 

 

I stopped reading. Hornet. icon_exclaim.gif

 

 

(Actually I read the whole post, but there it comes down to the point) vjk3bly4.png

dcsdashie-hb-ed.jpg

 

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Can I ask what the Training, Campaigns and SP content is like for the Hornet? (I know I should get the PG map for example, and I may also get Nevada while its on sale.)

These are the current F/A-18C missions included as standard.

 

Training

 

4Ec5Tcd.jpg

 

Instant Action

 

xv19UvY.jpg

 

Single Player

 

Y0GjMFw.jpg

 

Short 5 mission Campaign

 

Zci2OPr.jpg


Edited by Ramsay

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