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Deltahawks TactCom Fly-In
by Jeffery Babineau

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West Coast Fly-In One

The 209th VFS (Virtual Fighter Squadron) Delta Hawks, hosted the second annual computer local area network based flight simulation competition in Stockton, CA on February 21-23, 1997. Normally our group gets together once a month but each year we hold a special event to celebrate this great hobby and a great game. The event this year featured EF2000/TACTCOM by DID . The event also featured sponsorship from DID, GTE, SSI/Mindscape, CH Products, Thrustmaster, MSI, Electronics Arts, SIM-TECH, COOL BOY and BBS Systems.

The event was based primarily on cooperative team flights fighting together in a campaign. There was be a "Top Gun" award given to the best flyer for all the events in the weekend. Other competitions included "2v2," "4v4,"and ground "Strike."

Friday night turned out to be one of the easiest "tech" nights we had ever had. All of the participants had spent time doing their homework. EF2000's network code was so flawless that we had no notable hardware issues. It also doesn't hurt to have BBS Systems tech department on site to assist. The players rolled in one by one and integrated well into the enviroment. We had registered particpants from Canada, Hawaii, and across California.

Saturday kicked off with a rules briefing about the campaign event. The event was based on our interpretation of real flying. 1. Come back alive. 2. come back with your aircraft. 3. Bring your wingman back with you. All of the pilots quickly realized just how important this "landing" stuff really was! It was noted by a few new LAN flyers art how much "easier" the missions were with real humans flying next to them. Everyone seemed to be performing at a high level even though there were a few guys that had only flown EF for a few weeks. Again it was seen how helpful a real human pilot can be in bringing you back alive. Now if we could have all landed with the same profiency, the "Top Gun" Award might be up for grabs with all flyers.

Right off it was noticed at how valuable the 209th's CB radio setup was to the flying. The Delta Hawks utilize modied CB's to coordinate and seperate different flights. One new participant noted at just how "real" the whole event felt with the CB communication. Pilots that did not have this setup quickly rushed to the nearest store to get something up and workable. Even the number bystanders at the event were impressed by the setup. Thanks to the internet, there were many onlookers.

The campaigns went quite well and there were NO technical malfunctions throughout the campaign flying. No one was dumped to DOS or locked up. Later Saturday night, we stated our "men to men" matchups.

Again these rules were based on the same criteria that was set forth in the campaign except that you were not expected to land in these matchups. EF2000 is suited PERFECTLY for these types of missions. We set up team play and began our rounds. The network connections never had to be severed. We just adjusted channels and flew the next matchup. The tension in the room grew to unimaginable levels. There was not a single dry joystick in the room. This was it. Once you were dead, you were dead. No "best of three" or ROE change. The rules were simple. You took off, you found the other team, you fought them. Any weapon, (cannons and Aim9's are only given) any tactic, no "clean" pass first. With the terrain involved this made some really great fights. Some guys used high and clean others used low and dirty.

One thing that added to the tension was seeing how well certain pilots were doing in the campaign. I have to tell you that rounding a corner in a fjord at 500 knots and 100 feet to find the second place holder is no easy feeling. (OK, so I killed him but it was still scary...!)

It was mentioned by a few particpants at last years event and it should be noted; a great portion of the success of this event goes to EF2000's network code. We have to thank that team of coders for helping to make this event the success it was. The planning of the network options was great help as well.

Last Updated February 20th, 1997

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