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MiG Alley: Another Look
by Leonard "Viking1" Hjalmarson

I've been able to get into a couple of dogfights since my first crack at this: one in campaign and I also tried two single mission encounters where I flew as squadron leader against four bandits.

Occasionally I see a MiG 15 dance around me in a way that makes me wonder if they are flying with the same physics that I am. But on the whole dogfighting is a great experience and wingman performance seems solid. Your wingman WILL save your butt in this sim, and you will have opportunity to return the favor!

I could wish for more advanced COMMS. While most of the commands you will need are here I could wish for the ability to call for a vector to the strike group. Using the MAP to locate them is a cheat. But then, without ground radar coverage, how would they be able to give you a relative position? Either way it would be a cheat, and on the positive side relative visibility on my 19" display at 1024x768 is the best I have yet seen in a PC based simulation.


I am still wondering about ground attack ability. In the AI generated campaign missions I flew the Cobra mission failed to hit a single ground target, yet that was their assigned purpose. I am glad to acknowledge that they did take out a few MiGs around the target area and the bombers did take out the rail bridge (click HERE for the Dossier.)


Return to base was uneventful. When I called the tower for a vector to land at forty miles I was given the correct coordinates. But when I was within four miles and having trouble finding the airbase I called for clearance using Tower #6 and was told that they could not see me. I later discovered I should have used #7 (Land at Nearest.)

Click to continue


F51 and Train

Finally, I flew two single ground attack missions to check the modeling of the F51 Mustang. Previously it seemed that the modeling here was unfinished, with the sound file very strange.

I'm sorry to report that there haven't been any changes yet. In short, where you have variation in pitch in any other modern prop sim out there, closing or opening the throttle in the F51 in MiG Alley will only get you a louder or softer engine noise. There is virtually no auditory feedback for increase or decrease of revs other than sheer volume. Hopefully this will be fixed prior to release.


This is an initial report only, and it would be easy for readers to dwell on the issues I've raised and not notice how much fun I've had. I've enjoyed the missions I have flown in spite of the concerns I have mentioned.

Like Falcon 4, MiG is an ambitious and complex simulation. I spent only half a dozen hours with this version to produce this report. It will take another dozen or more to give a solid briefing.

Building your own missions in the campaign is quick and easy. Unless there are tweaks to the campaign AI building your own is more fun and definitely the way to go.

Rod Hyde of Rowan has written a response to the concerns raised here. Go HERE to read it.

Join a discussion forum on this article by clicking   HERE.


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Last Updated July 22nd, 1999

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