Missions and Campaigns
Although Jane’s F/A-18 lacks a dynamic campaign engine, it has one of the best mission editors ever shipped with a flight sim. There is also a campaign editor. These two tools included with the sim are the same tools that the Electronic Arts team used to build the missions and campaigns that shipped with the sim in 2000, and thus are very powerful. The community has created some truly fantastic missions and incredibly detailed campaigns over the years, some of which are described below.
“Recluse” has some very informative voice-over training missions covering the employment of various weapons and the proper use of cockpit instruments. These are available at his web site, F/A-18E TACOPS. This site is also home to a wealth of other single missions and a few single mission sets, and hosts the mission/campaign builders’ forum.
North Cape Campaigns
This campaign was authored by Matt Wagner (who worked on the Jane’s F/A-18 development team) with the help of “Hornit”. The goal for Valhalla was to create a campaign that was more realistic and made fewer gameplay concessions than were necessary for the stock campaign. Valhalla includes a carrier that is farther off the Russian coastline, longer transit times to and from combat areas, necessary in-flight refueling, and realistic battle group compositions.
Black Aces over Kosovo
Authored by “Major Dragon”, this campaign comprises 10 missions based on the Robert K. Wilcox book Black Aces High, describing VF-41 F-14 activity in Kosovo.
Bombcats over Bosnia
The prequel to BAOK, this campaign is designed to recreate the air combat missions flown from the USS Roosevelt by the Black Aces (VF-41) in Bosnia-Herzegovina during Operation Deny Flight and Operation Deliberate Force between 1993 and 1995.
This is a fictional campaign written by “JayP”. The scenario is naval attrition warfare between the Russian Carrier Battle Group and the U.S. Navy Carrier Battle Group. This is a nonlinear campaign that does not end until either carrier is sunk or the player runs out of aircraft.
Shores of Tripoli
This campaign is authored by “Major Dragon” and is designed to recreate the U.S. Naval activity against Libya during the 1980s. The missions include the two engagements between F-14 Tomcats and Libyan fighter aircraft in 1981 and 1989, the successful interception of the Egyptian airliner carrying the hijackers of the cruise ship Achille Lauro, Operations Prairie Fire and El Dorado Canyon, and a fictitious strike mission against a Libyan chemical weapons plant.
This campaign represents a milestone in Jane’s F/A-18 campaign creation. By creating hundreds of simple missions and linking them properly in the campaign builder, “JayP” created a nonlinear campaign that simulates a dynamic campaign.
Perhaps the most detailed campaign ever created for Jane’s F/A-18, Persian Freedom is a 3-part campaign authored by “Ripcord”.
A wave of civil unrest in Iran has openly challenged the fundamentalist Islamic regime headed by the Ayatollah. While the regime harshly cracks down on students and liberals calling for the end of Islamic Shariah law in Iran, fundamentalist clerics publicly blame the ‘great Satan’ in America for causing social upheaval.
The US claims that Weapons of Mass Destruction from Iraq have been sold and smuggled to Iran before the US invasion, and that these programs are being developed by the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI). Meanwhile, CIA officials have charged that the IRI is harboring remnants of Al Qaeda and the Taliban, among other terrorist organizations. None of this could come at a worse time, with the IRI launching its first nuclear power station, which the Pentagon fears will lead to a nuclear weapons program. In response to this, the USS Reagan and its battle group have been ordered into the Persian Gulf.
Tensions are high. You are the tip of the spear.
This campaign is almost all of the Jane’s F-15 Iran campaign rebuilt by “Maverick” for use in Jane’s F/A-18.
This campaign is authored by “Major Dragon” and is designed to recreate the air combat missions flown by Islamic Revolutionary Iranian Air Force (IRIAF) F-14 Tomcats against the Iraqi Air Force during the Iran-Iraq War, fought from 1980 to 1988. The missions included in this campaign represent a sample of the types of missions flown during this conflict and focus exclusively on the Iranian F-14’s air-to-air combat role as a fighter-interceptor. These missions are based on historical accounts.
All of the above missions and campaigns, plus many more, can be downloaded at TACOPS (linked above) and at the Virtual VMFA-323 homepage.