Damage and Physics Modeling
I was surprised to find that damage affects the flight model significantly. Take hits to your wing and lose lift on that side. You are now much more susceptible to loss of control or a spin. Lose an aileron and suddenly turns become arduous. The graphics that show bullet holes in your wing or fuselage are always the same, but at least they modeled the hits!
The damage modeling of systems is much more intricate than the graphics representation of the model. Your engine can be damaged so that your RPM is limited, or can be killed altogether. Or it catch fire, or can be damaged such that it will eventually quit or explode.
Hits on your wing or tail surface will affect flight control. Pull too many Gs and you can overstress your airframe, causing other problems. In fact, it is possible to actually break a wing clean off the airframe!
One of the most nifty aspects of flight physics, however, you will discover when you are pushing the limit on the tail of a desperate enemy. I was on the tail of a MiG recently who flew too near the edge at 24,000 feet and lost control and went into a spin. I hit the air brakes and followed him down. Just as he regained control I let fly and tore his wing off. I watched him careen into the ground below. I've taken out MiGs while they were on the runway, and even killed a pilot outright with a high angle off the tail shot on a high speed pass. Very nice!
Don't get too close when you take your shot, however, or the aircraft fragments can kill you. I almost lost my engine to a fragment on a campaign mission and limped along until my engine simply quit. Explosions and flame in the air are quite dramatic, not quite as great on the ground. Ready for take off? Spool up is NOT instant in MiG. Rating: 9/10. (Yep, they lose a point for allowing gear and flaps down at high speeds.)
Escort for B29
By the way, I've been asked if MiG has wind and weather? Yes, you'll see rain but not snow flakes. Not everyone likes the fog effects, but you can adjust horizon distance in the PREFS.
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Campaign and Mission Planning
I enjoy a good dogfight or even a successful escort mission, but for me MiG comes alive in the campaign. Forget allowing the AI to determine targets and strategy, I like to take control!
MiG has five mini campaigns, so you can start in wherever you like. Like F4 this is an integrated air/ground war, which is near to heaven for some of us. It's well executed, although not as active or intense as the ground war in F4. But there is hoards of information offered, allowing you to make reasonable selections of target based on current enemy activity and status.
In the Spring Offensive you can build the flights according to your own preference and even choose loadout. You want a F80 escort for the B29s instead of F86? If you have the aircraft, you can use 'em. You can transfer your squadron, and on any particular strike you can choose which element to fly and command. Briefings and debriefings are decent and include detailed damage reports on your target.
Go to Part V: Campaign and Mission Planning