Section made for "good to know" information that is not always obvious.
There are four skins for the F-22: Egyptian, Saudi, and two USAF skins. Of these, the USAF skins are selectable in the Options menu. In ADF and the original TAW, the first USAF Skin (Camo 3 for modders) is the paintscheme of the YF-22 prototype, while the second USAF Skin (Camo 4) is the "USAF PAC West" (i.e. tactical) pattern.
In ADF and TAW, the player can fly any of the four F-22s, depending on the mission or campaign. For example, the "Prelude" mission in ADF's "Red Sea" tour has the player flying as an Egyptian, while the "Arabian Sword" mission in the same tour has the player flying for the Saudis. Likewise, the player can also fly for the USAF, which is normally the case in missions.
Here's where it gets interesting: If you select Camo 4 (i.e. the tactical pattern), then you will see this pattern while flying for the USAF (as expected), and you will see the default Egyptian and Saudi patterns respectively if the mission has you flying for the other nations, and you will see the appropriate skin on other F-22s (wingmen or otherwise) as well. However, if you select Camo 3 (YF-22 pattern), then you will see the YF-22 skin for your own aircraft and all other aircraft regardless of the nation for whom you are flying. This is not just in ADF; this idiosyncrasy occurs in TAW dynamic campaigns as well.
Also of note: you can switch your skin between the USAF patterns at any time during the mission, but all other F-22s will continue to display the skin they began the mission with. This is the only known way to fly the YF-22 pattern while seeing Saudi, Egyptian, and Tactical skins in the same mission.
Navigation lights are turned on by selecting Channel 1 or 4 on the radio, and turned off by selecting Channel 2 or 3. The apparent logic of this feature is that nav lights are commonly used near the airfield (i.e. terminal area) and during mid-air refuelling. Likewise, nav lights are normally secured during tactical operations in order to minimize the probabily of visual acquisition by the enemy
Note: in real life, formation lights are used at night in lieu of nav lights so that aircraft in the same package can see each other. Formation lights are not visible at range, which makes them more tactical than nav lights.
Since Channel 1 is the Airfield frequency and Channel 4 is the dedicated Air-Refuelling frequency, nav lights are more likely to be on when these frequencies are used. Likewise, since Channels 2 and 3 are the AWACS/Tactical channels, nav lights are more likely to be secured when these channels are in use.
Unresponsive AI Wingmen
Sometimes while taxiing in a single player mission, your AI wingmen do not taxi with you, or stop taxiing as soon as you get to the runway. This is often the case in TAWBC missions designed for multiplayer but played in single player.
There are two ways to fix this. The simplest and most reliable way is to select Time Skip (Shift+s), which should put you on the runway with your wingmen set for a formation takeoff.
The other way if you manually taxi is to call for your wingmen to Disengage once you are airborne (TAB-7). This will force your wingmen to take off in order to join your formation. Note that the likelihood exists of your wingmen crashing on takeoff, depending on where they are on the taxiway.
Shift+s is the recommended solution to this issue.
Getting AI Wingman, Escorts & Wild Weasels to Engage A-A, A-G
The AI in all versions of TAW require some prodding to get active in engaging A-A & A-G Threats. This section addresses how to do exactly that.
This section addresses commands specific to the AI Wingmen in your flight. The examples listed here have you select Frequency 3, then "1" for wingmen. This "3-1" sequence can be substituted by pressing the TAB key, which will bring up the Wingmen menu on any frequency.
Air to Air
To get the Wingmen to engage lock up a Target and give the command "Engage my Target". The keypress sequence to do this is the following:
- 3 to select"Radio Frequency 3
- 1 "Wingmen"
- 3 "Combat"it
- 1 "Engage my Target.
This is most effective for engaging A-A. Now you are free to attack another target as your wingman will take care of that target you instructed them too.
You will have to try and keep track of when the Wingman fires then select anther A-A target and give the command 3-1-3-1 in quick succesion to Quickly Eliminate the A-A threats.
Air to Ground
Also you can get your Wingman to attack a Ground target like a SAM battery or Target Vehicles such as a Train with the Attack My Target command as well.
When the AI gets fired upon, you will hear them say "Missile". This is your cue to give the command for them to Break Left,Right, High or Low. You can give the "Break Left" command by pressing the following sequence:
- 3 to select"Radio Frequency 3
- 1 "Wingman"*
- 4 "Manuever"
- 1 "Break Left." (this command will vary depending on which maneuver you wish to order)
Now you may do any combination of Break manuevers but I just use the 1 command Break left. With a quick keypress of 3-1-4-1.
Escort and Wild Weasel Flights
To get the Escort or Wild Weasel flights to engage there is a simple 3 command function: 2-4-1 or 2-4-2.
- 2 to select Radio Frequency 2
- 4 "Help"
- 1 "Bandit Hot"
- 2 "Threat Hot"
Where "Bandit Hot" refers to enemy aircraft, and "Threat Hot" refers to enemy ground targets.
For the Wild Weasel Flight to engage the SAMs you will first have to be targeted and fired upon. Once this has happened and if you have a Wild Weasel Flight in your package, quickly give the command by pressing 2-4-2. Once this is done you can evade the SAM, which is addressed in a following section.
With these simple but effective ways to get the AI in game to be a little bit more effective than if you just let them fly about.
Most of the avionics is fairly self explanatory, but there are certain details that one must really dig into the manual for, and other details that are the result of mods and enhancements. This section addresses these features.
Heads Up Display (HUD) from TAW 2008 and TAW 2.0
The following diagram displays the functionality and placement of the data in the modified HUD for the latest total conversions of Total Air War.
The Waypoint Carets
You may have noticed that there are two waypoint carets above and below the heading tape on the HUD. The bottom caret is self explanatory; putting this caret in the center of the heading tape will take you to your next waypoint. The caret on top, however, is not so obvious.
We should start first with what the top caret is not: the top caret is not a CDI, nor is it a desired heading to intersect track.
The top caret is simply the desired course to the next waypoint, which remains a constant course based on the heading between two waypoints. Your own aircraft heading or position have no effect on this value. For example, if you are heading to Waypoint 4, then the desired course represents the direction of a line drawn from Waypoint 3 to Waypoint 4. Note that your own plane's position has nothing to do with this caret; if you place the top caret in the middle of the heading tape, then all you can guarantee is that you are running a parallel heading to your desired track.
Of course, the top caret has value when used with the bottom (waypoint) caret and the Situation Display (the center MFD). For example, you may need to not only go to a specific waypoint, but you may also need to follow a specific route to get there in order to avoid threats. The bottom caret only tells you how to get to your next waypoint; if you're off course and you point directly to your next waypoint, you may in fact fly directly over that ZSU-23/4 site you were trying to avoid in the first place! However, if you match up both the top and bottom carets in the center of the heading tape, then you know that you are both on track as well as headed in the right direction.
The Caret and Taxiing
If you decide to manually taxi from your parking spot to the active runway, this can be a daunting and confusing experience. Well this is made simple with the F-22's advanced avionics systems. You can follow the Caret on the HUD ( Same as the Waypoint Caret) to take you to where you need to be. Look in the manual on page 98, Navigation they make a Small mention of this but don't go into much detail.
Also your Best turn speed on the ground is 12kts. Try to keep that speed as following the caret is tricky as it doesnt turn till you have too and sometimes you may oversteer causing all sort of trouble..If you are lead you can just use Autopilot but sometimes in MP your flight is anxious and wants to TAXI Now. So just go slow and follow the caret it will take you to the designated Takeoff Runway..
If you are using Total Air War 2.0 or Faustan's MFD Fix, you are likely to experience the MFDs freezing at some point. This can happen at any time, but is more prevalent when transitioning times at even-hour intervals (i.e. 0600, 0800, 1000, 1200, etc.).
Should you encounter this bug, the best known workaround is to cycle the detail level by pressing SHIFT+D four times, which will return you to the detail level you had previously chosen. For example, if you are at the High Detail setting, cycling SHIFT+D four times will cycle you through Custom Detail, Low Detail, Medium Detail, and finally back to High Detail. If this does not work the first time, try again.
Of note, if you are on the Custom Detail setting when you cycle detail, a return to the Custom Detail setting will still default the settings to match High Detail. To return to your actual custom setting, you will need to go to the Options menu and re-select your custom options. Note that Selecting the Options menu in-game is not an option for Direct3D 1024x768 users, for whom Faustan's MFD Fix was originally designed.
The following Articles provide a primer on how to join or host multiplayer sessions in Total Air War:
In a multiplayer session, the host is always the flight leader. Other aircraft are assigned to players in the order which they join the server. This order follows the order specified in the mission's KDL file.
Host/Flight Lead Responsibilities
The host, as flight lead, has primary navigation and communication responsibilities. This means that if all multiplayer participants are in the same flight, the host is the only aircraft that may initiate communication with airfields, AWACS, the Tanker, and other clients/aircraft (this does not include chat). Likewise, the host has the responsibility of selecting the proper waypoint, which will be the active waypoint for all clients/aircraft in the flight. Finally, if the host communicates with an airfield, that airfield becomes the active airfield for the rest of the flight.
If there are multiple flights available (i.e. an 8 player mission), then each flight lead has communication and navigation responsibilities. This is the only way a client can be primary for navigation and communication.
It should be noted that while anybody (host or client) may pause the game, only a flight lead can engage and disengage time compression (SHIFT+T). If a client gets "stuck" in time compression while everybody else is in real time, the proper way to resync everyone is to pause, then have the host/flight lead cycle time compression until everybody is back to "normal time".
Mid-Air Refuelling in Multiplayer
There is one notable exception to the host being the communicator for the flight, and that is when a member of the flight other than the host needs to tank with the KC-135. The host is still responsible for initiating contact with the tanker and requesting refuelling. However, once the tanker tells the flight lead "Affirmative, weapons and nose cold", the client that needs the gas presses the "Y" key. The tanker will then clear the client in for pre-contact (i.e. you may see something like "Wolf5 TWO Cleared for Pre-Contact".
Unfortunately, aircraft other than the host can get into position and be cleared for contact, but cannot connect. I would love to find a way to fix this.
In some cases, the avionics in multiplayer operate differently than they do in single player mode. This section captures these differences.
The autopilot MFD interface is fully functional in multiplayer, with the exception of the AUTO/MANUAL toggle button. The autopilot must be engaged and disengaged by using the "A" key. This applies to client and host alike.
The flight lead is able to use autopilot for taxiing and takeoff. Other flight members must taxi and takeoff manually. A good technique for determining takeoff lineup is to place the flight lead in autopilot TAKEOFF mode, then engage time compression (SHIFT+T). At the point the flight lead begins to taxi (via autopilot), he disengages time compression and allows the other flight members to taxi with him to the active runway.
Taxiing in Multiplayer
Since Time Skip (Shift+s) is disabled in multiplayer and only the Flight Lead can taxi in autopilot, the clients are necessarily forced to taxi manually to begin a multiplayer session. Again, you may follow the waypoint caret as the equivalent of a Progressive Taxi (i.e. Ground Control gives you step-by-step instructions on where to go), as specified in The Waypoint Caret section of this article.
Reducing Airfields and Towns in Dynamic Campaign Mode
(hat trick to The_Nephilim)
There are specific ways to render towns and airbases unusable by immediately reducing them to 0%. This allows you to maximize your limited payload for the most payback!
To reduce the aforementioned entities to 0%, you must destroy the following:
- Control Tower
- Wind sock (yes, Virginia, destroying the wind sock does more to the airbase than destroying hangars!)
- Nuclear Power Plant
- All Nuclear Cooling Towers
The Paradox Tactic
Discovered by Nick "Paradox" Parker during the Infogrames' message board tactical meetings, the Paradox tactic is a time honored means of winning dynamic campaigns in TAW.
The tactic acts as a workaround to the AI, which can be clueless both in the cockpit and in the operational control of the campaign. The whole concept of the Paradox tactic is to get a whole bunch of F-22s in the air, launch an AWACS mission, then jump into the F-22s when the situation starts to heat up.
Bottom line: as long as you don't care what your failure rate looks like on your mission log, this is a great way to do it.
The following was taken from the SimHQ forum:
- Start a campaign, let's say...Thin line.
- Select a Strike/Wild Weasel/BAI flight in your mission roster, put Raptors on Escort and Strike role as much as possible (I usually put just 2 F-22 on strike and 4 on escort), and fit them with full payload.
- Initiate the mission, strap your seatbelts, close the canopy, go to EMCON 5 and ask the tower for your Takeoff time. Wait until the speech line goes away and the press SHIFT + Q then E to exit the mission.
- Your mission is failed, so you will have no points for that mission, ( Keep reading, here comes the surprise...)
- Repeat the method for every F-22 Strike/BAI/WW flight in your roster. ( Actually, on my machine after 7 flights " launched" I will expect a crash, so keep it down to around 5 Strike/WW/BAI and 2 CAP's).
- After 10 minutes of this work you you jump on that AWACS waiting on the TARMAC. (shh !!keep reading)
- After a while you will see that ALL the flights you've edited are taking off !! (you can write down their takeoff times)
- Now you have an AWACS that can control up to 8 F22 flights !! So give them enough cover, and jump into the planes when they are 2 minutes away from their targets.
This is VERY effective ! This way you miss the boring side of a mission and you can actually control the skies !!! Hope this will add some fun to your battles !!
The following articles describe in detail how to avoid incoming missiles, as well as how to fight back.
Employing a Laser Guided Bomb on a Unitary Target (e.g. SAM/AAA Site)
Note: This topic is covered in detail in this article.
One frustration with TAW has always been that you cannot lock up a target with your LANTIRN in SLAVED mode while GBU-24 Laser Guided Bombs (LGBs) are selected. If you have the GBU-24 selected, you are unable to create a target list, and any target list created when another weapon is selected (e.g. Cannon) is not carried over when GBU-24s are selected. Likewise, if you are close enough to a unitary target to bring it up by free-tracking, you are likely well within its engagement envelope. Either way, an airborne predator carrying 2000lb bombs becomes a sitting duck to a SAM or AAA site.
While the GBU-24 only works if the LANTIRN is in FREE tracking mode, the other Air to Ground (AG) weapons work with the targeting system in FREE or SLAVED tracking mode. Use this to your advantage. If you wish to engage a unitary target with your LGB, then perform the following technique:
- Set your Attack MFD (i.e. lower right MFD) to LANTIRN, set LANTIRN Mode to SLAVED, and click LANTIRN Reset.
- Select an AG weapon other than GBU-24. The Gun works well, especially since if you had a weapon that could engage unitary targets in SLAVED mode, you would likely be using that instead.
- Create a target list ("T" key), then cycle through the targets until you see the target you wish to engage
- Click the "LT" button on the bottom row of the Attack MFD. This selects LANTIRN Track. You should now see a box within the crosshairs of your LANTIRN display. Note that in most cases, the display will zoom into the target. However, the unitary target may also disappear in the display.
- Now that you have locked up the LANTIRN on that spot on the ground (that happens to coincide with the location of your target), click the "LM" button on the bottom row of the Attack MFD. This should change your LANTIRN to FREE tracking mode. However, the LANTIRN will still be tracking that spot on the ground you locked up the previous step. Note: the target will definitely disappear at this point. This is merely a limitation of the graphics engine.
- Select the GBU-24, be in at least EMCON 3, and enter launch parameters.
- Pickle the weapon, and watch the fireworks. I like to put the UFC display on Weapon View for this.