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Falcon 4.0 Version 1.08 Update

by Colonel Merlin, 377th Virtual Fighter Squadron


  After all the confusion earlier this week regarding the 1.08 patch, the patch relesae was overshadowed with the status of the development team that produced it. Hasbro made an announcement on the same day that the F4 developerment team were given pink slips. How sad. Anyone who has had a glimpse at any official F4 forums knows that the customer base is now unhappy and confused.

Falcon 4.0 1.08 New Cockpit
1.08 New Cockpit

As far as the patch itself goes...WOW. It was a laborious process to do the uninstall, defrag, reinstall and patch. But the results are obvious and the simulation is now fulfilling years of simmers dreams.

So what's been fixed? Lots. I have spent most of Wednesday running through a Tiger Spirit campaign, and it's like flying in a completely different simulation.

Out With the Old...

Firstly, the radar warning receiver now works as advertised. Most pilots will actually want to turn it off while in friendly territory because 20 odd F-16s will make one hell of a lot of noise. The RWR will now detect radar scans as well as radar locks. This is extremely useful because you will hear the MiGs coming before you can see them. Just don't forget to turn the set back on in enemy territory.

Falcon 4.0 1.08 New Cockpit
1.08 New Cockpit

The wingman artificial intelligence is greatly improved. Ground targets are engaged promptly and accurately as long as you make a solid designate with the radar or targeting pod. The wingman will drop ( in my eyes ) an appropriate amount of ordnance on target per attack run. In the 8 missions I have run so far, I have not lost a single wingman to SAMs and ground fire. This is very good.

Air to air intercepts by AI wingmen are much improved. Wingmen, when asked to attack an air threat, will fire a single AMRAAM and press the attack if the MiG is not destroyed. Wingmen assigned to clear my six or clear their own will do it quickly and efficiently. In one mission a harmless IL-28 and a MiG-29 were on my six, flying in opposite directions. Wingman number 2 shot down the MiG-29 with a single AMRAAM. I was impressed. In addition the chainsaw command is now a preferred method for killing MiGs on your 3-9 line.

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Falcon 4.0 1.08 New Cockpit
1.08 New Cockpit

Enemy ground forces are now more realistic. SA-7 squads aren't running around on steroids now. I was hit by a single SA-7 on a BAI mission, but the damage was minimal and I could continue to fly. A useful method to completely nullify the SAM threat is to set the Altitude Allow Level on the ICP to 9 or 10 thousand feet.

The SA-7 squads are not completely useless but certainly fire at realistic intervals now. In addition the lethality of the SA-7 missile has been reduced. Before a hit would most likely trash your jet and one would be forced to eject. Now a hit will trash your jet enough to take you out of the fight, but not out of the sky. A hit is a good signal to dump any remaining ordnance and calmly fly home before anything else happens.

Falcon 4.0 1.08 New Cockpit
1.08 New Cockpit

Furthermore the major campaign bugs have been cured. The infamous "wall of Migs in the sky," is gone. The force levels are now appropriate. The DPRK Air Force is now outnumbered and will not be resupplied at the levels it used to be. If a squadron of MiG-29s loses X aircraft in a mission, those X aircraft will stay dead for the remainder of the campaign. Resupplies seem to work more as they do for the Allies: in trickles. Since a four-ship of F-16s can theoretically carry 16-24 AMRAAMs, that equates to a huge number of kills and damage to the enemy BARCAPS.

The result of this is that the skies are not so crowded with aircraft whirring about on random paths. The other major bug was that enemy airfields, once captured by Allied ground forces, would still launch enemy aircraft. This has been fixed. Bombed out airfields will stay bombed and once captured will be completely inactive. Also aircraft taxiing can now be destroyed by bombs. In previous version, only 20mm gunfire would destroy aircraft on the apron (though it needs to be said that these minor issues did not affect everybody.)

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Last Updated December 10th, 1999

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