In Part I we looked at the basic integration of Total Air War
and how TAW has evolved from F22: ADF. We then considered the campaign structure and the War Room.
If you choose to play the tactical game from the AWACS interface, you will also want to monitor a couple of other screens. Every hour or so you should return to the War Room and check the STRATEGY briefing that supplies an assessment of current enemy movement. If you read that the enemy is currenly targeting C4 installations, you will want to ensure you have CAPs not too far from these sites, especially if they are near to the border. Simply select the C4 button in the War Room and you will light up these sites so you can see their locations.
In the same way, if the enemy strategy is to take out your runways, you can select AF to light up your bases. Of course these sites are more likely to be defended and they are also capable of scrambling fighters for an active defense.
There are two other ways to take flight in Total Air War, however. The first is the one I've preferred to date. While in the War Room you simply click on SCRAMBLE and whenever a priority mission is generated involving one or more F22s, you have the option of flying as LEAD. This is a cool way to stay involved, and its also a way to rack up points quickly, because if there are hordes of enemies you can take them on, then flee back to base to re-arm and take em on again!
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The other way to fly is to keep an eyeball on the little screen top right in the War Room. This list is constantly changing and will tell you the current frag order. Of course, as mentioned earlier, you can't fly ALL of these missions until your rating is high, but you will know what is available and you will get a feel for what is likely to be open to you after a few hours of play.
If you see a mission that interests you, simply click FLY on the bottom of the War Room screen and you will be vaulted into the next screen. Here you can check out the action plan, take a look at the location of your base, your target or waypoints, and relative location of enemy bases and EWR sites. If you see a mission you like and you have the required rating, you can select the mission and enter the mission planning interface.
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Naturally, TAW also has a Custom Combat builder and a Training module.
As you can see from the interface screen the Custom builder is quite flexible and you can set up any kind of scenario you like.
The Training module has been revised and now includes ten Dogfighting missions where you can jump in and fly one on one or one on many or two vs xxx against a variety of opponents. These are the same kinds of missions you would create with the Custom Combat builder but they are done for you so that if you wish to repeat a mission until you get it right you can simply dive back in.
Finally, I've had a significant amount of mail asking about other enhancements. Its rumored that TAW may allow 1024x768 with V2 in SLI mode, but I haven't yet had clarification on this. As for multiplay options the usual methods are available, but it seems unlikely that
coop missions will be available in the campaign. Stay tuned, and if we hear anything definitive we'll pass it on!