Lock On: Modern Air Combat

by Andy Bush

One thing’s for sure. When the ground commander wants close air support he usually doesn’t want to wait for it. Our A-10 unit provides that kind of rapid response by keeping some flights in an airborne holding pattern, particularly when the action is hot and heavy. Today is one of those days…which is why I find myself and my wingie in a low altitude orbit between the home ‘drome and the bad guys…just waiting for the call…

I should be so lucky…actually I’m sitting here in front of my tactical computer and thinking of the good old days in the Hog. Fortunately, I don’t have to ask too much of my dwindling memory because I’ve been lucky to have a preview copy of the latest LOMAC beta to fly. "So hop aboard…it’s time to go warting around!"Why don’t I just fire up the game, build a mission like I’ve just described, and then go fly it! Oh…and tell you about it in the process! So hop aboard…it’s time to go warting around!

To begin with, let’s establish a baseline right off the bat…and that baseline is going to bescalable realism. Let me define that. By “scalable realism”, I mean the ability to plan and fly missions that allows the widest variety of gameplay as a function of pilot skill and player hardware capability. We players have something in common with our equipment…our capabilities cover a broad range. And so do our interests. For that reason, it’s important that a game deliver fun at various levels of difficulty. Start-up ScreenFrom what I can see, LOMAC is going to deliver on that in spades. A2A…A2G…fast mover…slow mover…simplistic gameplay…gritty in-depth action for the hardcore types…something for everyone.

I’m only going to tell you about the A-10…and you’ll fly along with me on a relatively demanding close air support mission against enemy armored vehicles. As we build and fly the mission, I want to show you some of the features of the game that allow you to tailor that scalable realism to the level of gameplay that you want.

Initial Master ScreenFrom the gitgo, you have a number of mission options to pick from as this initial master screen on the right shows…you can start with six “Instant Action” missions (one for each aircraft type) or training missions where the concept of scalable realism is well illustrated. In the Training section, you can select from the basics such as takeoffs and landings (day and night) all the way through simple and advanced tactics and weapons delivery techniques and air refueling. online players select the Network option to access the multiplayer features of the game, and those that prefer the challenges of a prolonged scenario can select the Campaign option. More on mission building in a minute!

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