Training Missions and a Closer Look at the Aircraft
The A-10 missions are lovingly crafted and broken down into use of the gun and rockets, iron bombs including Rockeyes, and the Maverick missile. But if you look at Rockeyes, you will see that their pop-out fins are individually animated! That’s really a neat touch.
In LOMAC, the A-10 is a mid-1990s LASTE version 4 aircraft that has two types of Mavericks available for use. These are the infrared-guided Maverick-D and the television-guided Maverick K. Laser-guided Mavericks are in-game but the A-10 has no ability to independently laser a target for guidance. It does have a Pave Penny suite that would allow picking up laser emissions, and one can simulate Special Forces putting laser designators on target, but laser-guided munitions are not available for this aircraft without hacking the loadout databases. Real life A-10 pilots and maintainers including Andy Bush, Spectre, and Dice-Man, all of whom post at SimHQ, and Mr. Mudd, who can be found at Biohazard, gave input into the A-10 modeling. Dice-Man, an Air Force maintenance specialist with decades of A-10 experience, calls this presentation as close to a real-world late LASTE jet as one can get without getting into classified information. The only thing missing, sadly, is low-level HUD release cues enabling one to use high-drag, parachute retarded munitions. That’s an omission I can’t understand in an aircraft otherwise so lovingly modeled. I give them a gig for missing that; especially as early released videos of the game clearly show BSU-49 use. High-drag bombs are totally absent in the game for the A-10 now, and that just shouldn’t be. The only real option for bombing are pop-up dive attacks, with those low-level cues absent.
What has been modeled, though, shows great attention to detail and the philosophy of “we’d rather do it right and omit what we haven’t time to do right.” I think simmers can forgive the missing modes for this and they also deserve a garland for what IS present and accounted for. And, there is always hope for a feature patch if the game is well received. The Continuously Computed Impact Point (CCIP) for bombs and rockets is otherwise flawless and warmly welcomed by this writer. The real star of the A-10 show, though, is the GAU-8 Avenger 30mm cannon. This spews death and gun-gases in equal measure, just like the real deal does. It’s like the Smiting Huge Laser of Death to all lightly armored and soft vehicles, and even small buildings! Being a LASTE version 4 or so bird, the gun can be switched to one of two rates of fire, as was common in the mid-90s. Stations for Maverick carriage are the same as on the real aircraft and it has provision for ECM pods and Sidewinder missiles for self-defense. It comes with several color schemes for the player to fly, and in the loadout editor that the player can access in single missions and in the mission editor these can be changed. In that editor, if the mission designer allows it, one can also change her loadout to better suit the mission if one chooses. You can also select ripple modes and timing for bombs; the A-10 is the only aircraft that allows this.
The A-10 flies solidly, and placidly, much like the real thing according to Bush and other real-life pilots. It is not fly-by-wire, and needs a bit of trimming, easily accomplished by keyboard or programmed joystick. It makes a strong and accurate gun platform. It exhibits gentle descent behavior in landing and tolerates ham-handed flying well, as the real aircraft does. Its flight model does not feel overdone, or unfinished, and again it is obvious where the majority of the work in LOMAC went-under the hood.