Comanche 4

Platform

zScore

74%

Comanche 4

Developer:NovaLogic Genre:Action Release Date: Download Games Free Now!

About The Game

Comanche 4 is a game built to give you the adrenalin rush of going into battle as a Comanche pilot where you get to fly with the Comanche's signature low-altitude capabilities and swoop into real-world locations and armed with weapons like 20 mm cannon, 70 mm rockets, air-to-air and heat-seeking AIM-9 Stingers, and the laser-guided AGM-114 Hellfire missile. In the process you also have to dodge fire from ground troops wielding handheld Stingers, as well as fire from antiaircraft emplacements, jets, helicopters, and surface ships.

+Downloadwalkthrough64 KB
Comanche 4

Comanche 4 Review

By Simon Graves |

It's been some three years since last we strapped on our turret tracking helmets and climbed into the hot seat of the world's deadliest and most advanced (so advanced that it's still experimental and not due for regular service until 2006) attack helicopter, the RAH-66 Boeing-Sikorsky Comanche. A statement to human evolution, perception, and trends, Comanche 4 retools the series' fundamentals to conform with today's preferred games of appeal. So much so of a change that it gives some a justifiable argument that the title could have been better off under a different moniker. But is this change, however radical it may or may not end up being, a switch to the better, greener pastures of gaming? Oh my yes, but whether or not it ends up pleasing everyone remains to be seen.

One thing which can be of no dispute is that the switch from a voxel-based rendering engine to one of next-generation powered polygonal bliss is welcome beyond measure. When played on the GeForce 3s and Radeon 8500s the game demands and deserves, Comanche shines with a technically brilliant, realistic, yet polished aesthetic sheen that immediately catapults it to the upper echelons of the PC market in terms of graphical splendor. Gone are poorly developed unrecognizable assemblages of voxels, and in are excessive polygon counts, meticulous detail, sharp texturing, and jaw dropping particle effects.

Granted, Comanche certainly has the potential (and at times innate tendency) to bring even the mightiest of deity forged systems to their knees, but assuming you have the GeForce 3/Radeon 8500 to run it, (as well as a respectable processor and RAM tally) you can experience some truly dazzling visuals that run the graphical gamut from glistening bump-mapped floors, to reflective water ripples (affected by the most astonishing rotor wash yet seen), to startlingly articulated soldiers, to explosions that will leave your jaw agape. This assault of candy and flair thankfully never draw from the air of believability Comanche's visuals craft, they in fact add to it. Developers can sometimes get carried away whilst tossing about gratuitous amounts of polygons and texturing, but Comanche has its feet firmly set on the ground, and despite portraying environments somewhat reminiscent to those found in MechWarrior 4 (at least in terms of the odd but workable color implementation) accurately renders vast, appreciably realistic landscapes dotted with flora and architecture.

The game revolves around action. A kind of action made immensely satisfying and pleasurable by some of the best explosions yet seen in all of PC gaming, explosions that will at times even put your mind, still dwelling on the epic blasts of Freespace and Starlancer, to rest. Lush fireballs and splattering debris illuminate and litter the skies only to be followed by equally detailed plumes of smoke (plumes your rotor wash can contort and blow, another nod to the little things). I know something like explosions may sound trivial, but in practice and in motion, darting in and out of buildings and tree lines laying waste to all comers in beautifully realized flaming balls is simply bliss.

Suffice to say the game is pretty. But once again I find myself standing precariously at the impasse of performance vs. quality, slow to lean either way. Should I strike marks down for high system requirements and sometimes sluggish performance at maximum details? Or should I applaud the attention to detail and forward thinking? Comanche 4 is designed to be fed power, and if stuffed, can in return output what such power can do. Receiving a product like this (and AquaNox or Independence War 2 among others) that is only fully realized with today's top-of-the-line technology, but still playable at "lower to mid-range" systems is a blessing and will be rightly commended.

Graphics aside, control is the next main focus of change and improvements. I hesitate to call the game a simulation, probably because it's not, and I'd get a load of blazing flame mail is I did, so I'll stick with flight action is it's all the same. See, while you can bust out the nobs, dials, wheels, and electro-shocking devices of today's modern joysticks to emulate, at least to some approximation, what I'm assuming a helicopter controls like (because contrary to popular belief, and those lies I've been spreading, I've never actually flown a real one), you'll be better off navigating the action-centric levels on the tried and true mouse/keyboard combination.

Mouse and keyboard in a helicopter sim? Do tell me more (and it'd better be good). Think of it as a sort of mix between MechWarrior and Doom. An odd marriage, but a sexy one. Doom in the sense that you can strafe left and right and move back and forth, but not look up and down, and MechWarrior in that you can play from the third person and control a moveable, but restricted targeting reticle with the mouse. Rising and lowering, strafing and acceleration/deceleration are all then accomplished by way of the keyboard, with the mouse acting as your means of turning and aiming.

This control method has both advantages and disadvantages. So there is no pitch (you obviously can't freely point the nose of the craft up or down like a plane and still expect to move like a helicopter). This is true to helicopters, but invariably constrains visibility in the game, especially in the cockpit perspective. I'm obviously not going to ask for a complete alteration of the basic principles of how the machine works, nor would I mark down for them not complying with my request, but simply allowing a view shift when the targeting reticle reaches a certain point at either the top or bottom of the screen could have quickly remedied the sometimes obstructed view, and would have still remained plausible within the world (we can turn our heads after all). As it stands, when the targeting reticle reaches a certain point at either the vertical or lower limits of the screen, it just stops, which makes seeing what's below or above you a chore. Again, true to the helicopter itself, the under-mounted gun can obviously only travel so far, so it's believable and easily written off as an attribute of realism, but a bit more leeway should have been taken.

To make up for this, a wealth of camera angles and options have been included. You can basically zoom, tilt and rotate in any direction and very small increments, so regardless of your play style, there's guaranteed to be an angle perfectly suited toward your tastes. I don't recommend flipping the view around in mission (assuming you don't like dying), but they're there when you need them, and can always be snapped back to a default with a simple button tap.

I took more issue with the way the targeting reticle tracked and responded to your corresponding mouse movements, noticeable most in the third person perspective that the game will be most commonly played from. In this perspective, you're given a buffer before the movement of the targeting reticle causes your craft to actually turn in that direction. So in this little square you can freely aim about without moving; however, when you direct the reticle one way, and then perform maneuvers in another, it can drag and stutter about, disorienting you to a degree where a complete reposition becomes a necessity. It's a bit hard to quantify, but basically it's not like Max Payne or any other third person action game where when you move the mouse the corresponding onscreen reticle goes where pointed and stays there regardless of what your character does. Instead it seems more prone to the limitations of realism in that it jerks about as your helicopter moves about. This, as you might have guessed, makes manually aiming (that is shooting without the easy targeting and subsequent complete automatic tracking), especially at smaller targets, often laborious and aggravating. Shots do seem to magically land with considerable accuracy most of the time (I'm assuming auto aim because I'm not that good), but it just feels off. Like the rest of my minute complaints, only a couple more steps into the realm of action would have solved the problem. Can't say it enough... Smooth = good.

The rest of the control scheme pulls together admirably. Evasion, aggression, crashing into the sea, whatever. It all works well and is furthered by ground tracing (where your altitude will to some degree conform to the many hills of the land), assisted landings (where color-coded circles line up clearly indicating when you're in position), and a bit of applied physics that use a bit of inertia to intensify swinging around tree lines to get a clear shot.

Aside from the aforementioned control issues, the only other noteworthy issue I took with Comanche's playability was how its collision detection, while usually spot on, atrociously sucks when it comes to trees and your rotor, or more accurately, the tips of them. I contend that from 3/4 of the way up, a tree should be breakable. You figure when a big ass helicopter hurtling through the air at speeds in excess of 200 mph barrels into the very tip of a Christmas tree it shouldn't bounce off as if it just hit a magical rubber barrier. Trees from some predetermined height upward should crack and crumble when hit, barely impeding your movement, if at all. Slamming into them and jarring to a complete stop without so much as causing a sway in them is annoying and particularly frustrating when it deceivingly looks as if two are spaced evenly enough apart to allow you passage between.

Longevity? Multiplayer that includes deathmatch, team deathmatch, and always a favorite of mine, co-op play. Flying with a teammate is always more fun, provided you have the lag free play to support it. In addition to this multiplayer component, Comanche ships with a mission editor, promising all the expandability that come with tools of these sorts.

Some problems arise with the way the single player game is developed. The varied missions have no cohesion between one another. An assortment of scenarios are present, categorized into Operations, but these operations don't tie in together, and even the missions within each are just loosely coupled tasks organized together because of their geographical setting, more than anything else. There is no greater underlying story, and even if there were, the to the point, abrupt "briefings" (streams of text) would do nothing to convey the feeling or importance of it all.

I'm willing to let this for the most part slide off as an unfortunate side effect of the military nature behind the game (objective based abruptness is their way), but because of the lacking introductions to missions, any attachment to the objectives gets diminished completely. You have no real want to succeed other than the inherent instinct to win and destroy. It's never delivered to you the importance of tracking the plane to its base, or assaulting the airfield, you just follow the waypoints to bring you to the next stint of action.

Thankfully, the amount of action and instinctual desire for combat and success, fuel and drive the beautifully rendered, easy to grasp Comanche beyond it's lacking briefings and inconveniences.

If you want gorgeous, consistent, believable action that controls well, Comanche will appease your militaristic alter ego. But if you're looking for an in-depth plot driven simulation, you'd be best searching elsewhere.

-- Ivan Sulic


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Comanche 4 Game Walkthrough

Comanche 4 FAQ/Strategy Guide    (v 1.20)


---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Game:           Comanche 4
System:         PC
Publisher:      Novalogic
Developer:      Novalogic
Genre:          Action/Simulation
Released:       Nov. 2001
Websites:       www.novalogic.com
                www.novaworld.com

Author:         rtbull (GameFAQs ID)
E-mail:         rtbull77@yahoo.com
Version:        1.20   4/29/04            [orig 1.00: 01/02/04]

---------------------------------------------------------------------------


     _______________________________________________________
  _____________________________________________________________
 |                                                             |
 |                                                             |
 |   Comanche 4 FAQ/Strategy Guide, v 1.20                     |
 |                                                             |
 |                                                             |
 |   Major Sections                                            |
 |   --------------------                                      |
 |                                                             |
 |   I.     Introduction                                       |
 |             Initial Comments                                |
 |             Copyright, Contact                              |
 |             Comanche 4 Game Overview                        |
 |                                                             |
 |   II.    Common Keyboard Commands                           |
 |                                                             |
 |   III.   Game Tactics & Methods                             |
 |             01  Keyboard and Joystick                       |
 |             02  Flying and Stealth                          |
 |             03  Altitude                                    |
 |             04  HMD, MFD, and F1-F6 Keys                    |
 |             05  Freelook Mode       (F4)                    |
 |             06  External Camera     (F3)                    |
 |             07  Threat Display      (Radar)                 |
 |             08  Targeting Modes                             |
 |                     Active/Passive                          |
 |                     Nearest/Cycle                           |
 |             09  Weapons                                     |
 |             10  FARPs                                       |
 |             11  EFAMS and Bay Doors                         |
 |             12  Firing Hellfires                            |
 |             13  Enemy Units                                 |
 |             14  Wingman Communications                      |
 |             15  Game Difficulty                             |
 |             16  Misc Tips and Notes                         |
 |                                                             |
 |                                                             |
 |   IV.    Single Missions - Helpful Notes                    |
 |                                                             |
 |   V.     Mission Editor Basics - Training                   |
 |                                                             |
 |   VI.    Closing Comments                                   |
 |                                                             |
 |                                                             |
 |_____________________________________________________________|
     _______________________________________________________




Updates:
--------
  Ver. 1.00   1/02/04    Original submission.
       1.10   1/12/04    Minor changes throughout.
       1.20   4/29/04    A few last additions and corrections.





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  _______________________________________________________________
 /   I.     I N T R O D U C T I O N                              
 =================================================================
 _______________________________________________________________/


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  > Initial Comments
  > Copyright, Contact
  > Comanche 4 Game Overview



=============================================
> INTRO:   Initial Comments
=============================================

Comanche 4 is a much updated version of Novalogic's Comanche 3 game, and
while 4 has been out for some time (2001), it is still one of the better
combat helicopter games available.

This game is somewhere between an arcade and a more serious helicopter
simulation.

Comanche 4 has a good set of controls and systems to work with, but not
too much as to require a long learning time. You can be up and flying
fairly quickly, yet there are aspects of the game that you can work on
and master to a higher level.

With Comanche 4, you have the choice of using the easier default keyboard
controls with the mouse, or the more challenging keyboard/joystick setup.
The joystick even has a few more advanced and realistic flight control
options for a greater challenge.

The graphics and sound are very good, and the flight performance of the
Comanche is fairly agile.  In most missions you are heavily outnumbered
with little or no support, but you have a good supply of weapons and
usually can reload once or twice at a FARP (Forward Arming and Refueling
Point) during a mission. Flying and evading is not too taxing once you
master the mechanics of handling the Comanche and learn to use the
various displays.

The multiplayer in Comanche 4 is still available on Novaworld, and
there is a game mission editor to create your own missions and custom
multiplayer maps.

This guide is intended to be used with the game's official user manual
(PDF or printed), and highlights certain topics or provides a different
perspective to aid understanding of the game. The guide is also focused
more toward single player campaigns and missions, but should also assist
in multiplayer.

A good portion of information in this guide will seem fairly basic to
someone who's played this game a while, and so this guide is really more
for that person just starting out on the game. When learning Comanche 4
myself, I found certain topics in the provided game manual to be a bit
confusing or not explanatory enough for me, and so I've tried to expand
on those particular areas in this FAQ/Strategy Guide.



=============================================
> INTRO:   Copyright, Contact
=============================================

This Comanche 4 FAQ/Strategy Guide is copyrighted 2004, by
R Turnbull. (gamefaqs.com ID: rtbull, rtbull77@yahoo.com)

If you would like to post this guide on a website other than
, email me with your website and contact info.

Please don't edit or alter this guide without my consent.
Thanks and enjoy the guide.



=============================================
> INTRO:   Comanche 4 Game Overview
=============================================

You are Griffon 2-6. Occasionally you coordinate with your teammate
Griffon 2-7. Together you comprise Griffon Squadron. You fly the
advanced U.S. RAH 66 Comanche helicopter that carries a low radar
signature when you have your gear up, bay doors closed, and no EFAMS
(external weapon mounts).

There is no instant action, but that is offset somewhat by the
available multiplayer and mission editor capabilities.

There are no saves during a mission, which requires a considerable
amount of patience and perseverance for some of the more difficult
missions.

You can create up to 4 different pilots, and your pilot's career is
tracked and updated after each mission. Your best point score on any
particular mission is retained. As your total points increase over
time you ascend through various officer ranks, from Warrant Officer
up to Colonel and higher.

There is a helpful training mission to start you off, followed by six
campaigns, each consisting of five missions.  The missions range from
easy to very hard, and employ a variety of targets and objectives, such
as escort and protect, defend base, reconnaissance, search and destroy,
etc. The campaigns take place all over the world and so you operate in
and under a variety of environments and conditions.


To immediately have access to all missions (Mission Archives), create
a pilot named WolfBlitz.


For other pilots, the missions are available for replay under Archives
once you successfully complete them.


Here is a brief listing of the six campaigns and their locations:

   MT   =  Mission Targets
   OEU  =  Other Enemy Units
   OBJ  =  Objectives
   Dif  =  Difficulty Rating (E-easy, M-mod, H-hard, VH-very hard)

   ??   =  not completed, unknown   (MT column)

                                ---------------------------------------------
                               |  MT  | OEU | OBJ | Dif |  Primary           |
                               |      |     |     |     |  Objective         |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 - Operation Island Hopper    <>  The Philippines                           |
                                                                             |
  M1 - Still Waters            |  16  |  50 |  1  |  E  | guard yacht        |
  M2 - Invasion                |  65  |  22 |  1  |  E  | assault island     |
  M3 - Speed Trap              |  18  |  74 |  2  |  M  | track plane        |
  M4 - Junkyard                |  27  |  31 |  3  |  E  | destroy shipyard   |
  M5 - Salvage                 |  26  |  48 |  3  |  E  | board LHA ship     |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2 - Operation Delta            <>  Multiple Countries: Delta Force           |
                                                                             |
  M1 - Terminal Zone           |  38  |   9 |  4  |  E  | secure airport     |
  M2 - Eagle's Talon           |   0  |  96 |  3  |  M  | retake island base |
  M3 - Lost and Found          |   0  | 111 |  2  |  M  | recover new boat   |
  M4 - Lion's Den              |  39  |  24 |  3  |  M  | escort officials   |
  M5 - Contact                 |   0  |  44 |  2  |  H  | recover satellite  |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3 - Operation Rapid Response   <>  Belarus  (Russian Federation)             |
                                                                             |
  M1 - Red Ferret              |  12  |  81 |  2  |  H  | protect Spetznatz  |
  M2 - Icebox                  |   0  |  45 |  3  | VH  | rescue F14 crew    |
  M3 - The Chase               |   0  |  49 |  2  |  M  | set up ambush      |
  M4 - Checkmate               |  ??  |   0 |  0  | VH  | comms towers       |
  M5 - Flytrap                 |  ??  | 104 |  8  | VH  | enemy drones       |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
4 - Operation Crossing Guard   <>  The Balkans                               |
                                                                             |
  M1 - Silver Strike           |   0  |  55 |  2  |  E  | escort to airport  |
  M2 - Bloodhound              |   6  |  52 |  3  |  E  | take out SKUDs     |
  M3 - Battle Cry              |  42  |  30 |  8  |  M  | 4 skirmishes       |
  M4 - Early Bird              |  15  |  35 |  7  |  H  | early warnings     |
  M5 - Crown Jewel             |  21  |  53 |  3  |  M  | final assault      |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
5 - Operation Covert Action    <>  Multiple Countries: CIA                   |
                                                                             |
  M1 - HAZMAT                  |  84  | 236 |  3  |  H  | destroy chem.fact. |
  M2 - Countdown               |  ??  | 194 |  4  | VH  | nuclear ctrl bldg  |
  M3 - Fallen Angel            |  ??  | 118 |  7  | VH  | escort Blackhawk   |
  M4 - Depth Charge            |  28  | 150 |  8  |  H  | submarine base     |
  M5 - Into the Breach         |  33  |  31 |  8  |  M  | free city areas    |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
6 - Operation Global Reach     <>  Algeria & Libya                           |
                                                                             |
  M1 - Wrong Turn              |   3  |  59 |  3  | VH  | rescue operative   |
  M2 - Phalanx                 |  ??  |   5 |  1  | VH  | defend M'Sila city |
  M3 - Rain of Fire            |  42  |  25 |  1  |  E  | Libyan air attack  |
  M4 - Glass Eye               |  20  |  51 |  2  |  M  | 2 destroyers       |
  M5 - War Machine             |  ??  |  61 |  3  | VH  | hit mobile command |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               |  MT  | OEU | OBJ | Dif |  Primary           |
                               |      |     |     |     |  Objective         |
                                ---------------------------------------------


An "??" in the MT (Mission Targets) column means that I've yet to
successfully complete that mission. (All these I obviously rate as
very hard.) Most of the VH missions have some kind of time constraint.


The hard and very hard missions might be worth trying in multiplayer co-op
mode on Novaworld if you can find a teammate or two to assist.







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  _______________________________________________________________
 /   II.    C O M M O N    K E Y B O A R D    C O M M A N D S    
 =================================================================
 _______________________________________________________________/


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Altitude
-----------
   Shift     Up
   Ctrl      Down
   Z         Low                 [auto altitude]  [Insert]
   X         Medium                   "           [  Home]
   C         High                     "           [ Pg Up]
   Space     Pop-up

   G         Landing Gear        [or 9]


Direction
-----------
   W         Forward
   S         Reverse
   A         Left   (strafe)     [Q-pivot left]
   D         Right  (strafe)     [E-pivot right]


Weapons
-----------
   1         Cannon
   2         Hydras              (rockets)
   3         Stingers            (missiles)
   4         Hellfires           (heavy missiles)
   5         Artillery

   B         Bay Doors           [or 0]
   F         Flares              (or fired automatically)
   8         Drop EFAMS


F - Keys
-----------
   F1        First Person View
   F2        Cockpit Views       (2 views)
   F3        Third Person View   (external camera)
   F4        Freelook

   F5        Fly-by Camera
   F6        HMD Detail          (3 levels)
   F7        Goals, Briefing
   F8        FARP Menu           (open/close)

   F9        Cycle Waypoints
   F10       Target Mode         (Nearest/Cycle)
   F11       Target Friendlies   (enable in Options)


Other
----------
   6         Griffon 2-7 "Attack My Target" Command
   7         Griffon 2-7 (wingman) List of Commands
   9         Landing Gear
   0         Bay Doors
            Cycle Targets       (Cycle Target Mode - F10)


External Camera (keypad) F3 View
--------------------------------
  7   zoom in
  8   raise up
  9   zoom out

  4   pan left
  5   return to start position
  6   pan right

  2   lower







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  _______________________________________________________________
 /   III.   G A M E   T A C T I C S    &    M E T H O D S        
 =================================================================
 _______________________________________________________________/


---------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following topics are designed to improve your level of play and
understanding of the game in particular areas. You should still read
through the game's user manual, whether you have the printed one or
the CD PDF guide, for the basics and overall game instruction.



  Topic Listing
  -------------

  01  Keyboard and Joystick
  02  Flying and Stealth
  03  Altitude
  04  HMD, MFD, and F1-F6 Keys
  05  Freelook Mode     (F4)
  06  External Camera   (F3)
  07  Threat Display    (Radar)
  08  Targeting Modes   (Active/Passive, Nearest/Cycle)
  09  Weapons
  10  FARPs
  11  EFAMS and Bay Doors
  12  Firing Hellfires
  13  Enemy Units
  14  Wingman Communications
  15  Game Difficulty
  16  Misc Tips and Notes




==============================================
 01
    Keyboard and Joystick
----------------------------------------------

You have the option to remap any of the control keys for the
keyboard, mouse, and joystick. You can opt to use the keyboard
with mouse, keyboard with joystick, or all three together. These
selections are made under Options > Controls.

The keyboard/mouse combination is probably easiest for most people
starting out unless they've used joysticks often in other games.

The keyboard/joystick combination will provide the more realistic
flying experience. If you use the mouse as well, it will enable you
to be more accurate with rocket fire or if you have to fire out a
number of weapons quickly.

Use your left hand with the keyboard to control speed, height,
views, weapon selections, and pop-ups. Use the right hand on the
joystick to lock targets (Btn 2), fire weapons (Btn 1), and bank
and turn. If you checked the mouse option, then the mouse will
always be operational if you want to switch to use it for weapon
firing, especially from a distance, or to pinpoint targets among
a group.


Under Options > Controls, the joystick has check boxes for more
advanced flying effects. These are listed below.


Advanced Controls
------------------
menu: Options > Controls > Advanced

(enable these options for easier flight, or disable for harder)


(on) Slip Control - allows for controlled turns with less sliding
                    (slip) and easier steering around objects, but
                    slower pivots with the mouse and limited strafing.

                    (Turn Slip Control on for more precise flying, but
                    off for better maneuvers in close-quarters combat.)

(on) Limit Cyclic - limits upward and downward angle of Comanche
     Range          when flying forward or backward. Allows for
                    faster starts and stops and altitude changes, but
                    less realistic flight and slightly slower speed.

                    With Limit Cyclic on, your top speed is about
                    138-139 knots. When off, your speed can reach 143.

(on) Heavy Rotor  - could not determine what effect this has.
     Damage         Possibly with it on it limits the amount of
                    rotor damage the enemy can inflict. (It doesn't
                    appear to effect damage you sustain when you
                    run into something like a mountain.)


PIO Control - the PDF guide mentions a PIO Control under the Advanced
              Controls section on page 13, or page 8 in the small
              printed guide. The README.TXT file that comes with the
              game mentions that this feature was not included in the
              release of Comanche 4.


Also within the Advanced Controls screen is a setting for the Enemy
Difficulty Level (Easy / Normal / Advanced). Using the Advanced level
seems to make enemy unit's weapons more potent, or else your Comanche
more fragile. For tougher missions, use the Easy setting until you
figure out the mission, and then raise it for a greater challenge on
the replay.


One final tip is that if you know how to use the game's Mission Editor
to create a very basic mission (insert a start player marker, then save
and export) you can select it at runtime and practice flying maneuvers
and the various controls without any time constraints or enemy presence.
Then later add specific enemy units to work on fighting/evading tactics.

(see item 6 in topic 16 below, as well as the Mission Editor Basics
main section)




==============================================
 02
    Flying and Stealth
----------------------------------------------

In most cases, you'll be detected less the lower you fly. You typically
can fly using the Z altitude key over flat terrain and water, while X
is good for uneven, non-mountainous landscape.

To obtain the greatest level of stealth, fly low and slow, keep your
gear (G) up, bay doors closed (B), and avoid using EFAMS. If using
EFAMS, you can eject them at any time, preferably after you've fired
the weapons, by pressing the 8 key.

(see topic 16, item 7 for a chart on different levels of stealth)

If you want to fly low over uneven ground, you might want to lower your
wheels to prevent damage to your 20mm cannon and undercarriage. However,
if you damage your gear, you won't be able to retract it to increase
stealth later.

When approaching the enemy and preparing to fire, try to hide behind
natural cover such as tree stands and ridge lines, and then use the
spacebar to pop up and fire at the enemy. Be careful flying too close
to objects or you will damage your rotors and adversely affect your
flight control.

When planning a route through a territory, the F2 pilot cockpit view
provides a topographical display of the terrain levels, with green
representing terrain below you, and red above you. Sometimes a longer
route via low terrain is better than proceeding directly to the next
waypoint over exposed ground.

If an enemy gains missile target lock on you, as indicated by the
warning tone, and yellow flashing arcs on the threat display,
your best move is to dive for cover. It seems that most enemy missiles
require up to 10 seconds to arm and fire so you have some time to
evade once you first detect the warning. Some enemy missiles have
high tracking capabilities and so you may still be hit even after you
get behind cover. If you can manage to break their target lock though,
you should be okay.

One good trick you can use to stay low and behind cover, is to drop
your gear, and then lower to about 1 meter on your digital AGL. You
can sneak up on the enemy even behind a small hill using this
approach. Use spacebar to raise up as high as you need, target and
fire, then release and drop. With your gear down you should not
sustain any damage to your undercarriage, and enemy fire will hit
the small hill.


A typical key sequence to use when starting a mission is as follows:

  F8    to alter weapons loadout if desired
   X    to raise up (or C if trees nearby)
   G    raise gear
   -    (minus key to zoom out map)
   #    select your current weapon  (#: 1,2,3,4)

This is a good routine to go through for every mission, and ensures
you're ready to move out and start on your objectives.


In some missions you have artillery strikes available, so its
worth selecting the 5 key early on to see if you have any, or
check the left display in your F2 cockpit view.

Firing a rocket, missile or hellfire instantly and significantly
lowers your stealth.  The cannon does not seem to impact it though.




==============================================
 03
    Altitude
----------------------------------------------

  Shift    raise altitude
  Ctrl     lower altitude
  Z,X,C    automatic altitude settings
  Space    pop-up


There are 3 altitude indicators on your HMD.  One digital and analog
AGL (above ground level) each, plus one digital ASL (above sea level).

The digital AGL is probably the most useful in telling you how close
to the ground or how high up and exposed you are.


The keyboard provides 3 auto-altitude settings.  When hovering above
water (your most level terrain) these settings are:

  Z  =  low       about 17 meters ASL
  X  =  medium    about 29 meters ASL
  C  =  high      about 153 meters ASL


As you move around in your Comanche, these settings do not remain
constant, but are calculated using some average of the surrounding
terrain levels.  

For instance, if you are over level ground at the Z level, you're
probably at about 15-20 meters AGL. If you then move forward and
reach the top of a mountain ridge, you won't automatically pop up
to 15 meters above the top of the ridge. Rather you may just skim
the top. This averaging of the terrain levels allows you to approach
behind cover with minimal disruptions in height, and therefore
maintain better stealth.

Usually you can continue to fly at the Z level over most types of
terrain if you move slow enough. Crawling up a mountain side at a
low setting will position you up high enough to then pop up with
the spacebar and attack, and then release and drop back down to
just below the ridge. Enemy fire should then hit the mountain
rather than you.


The mouse wheel can be set to change altitudes. (Options > Controls)




==============================================
 04
    HMD, MFD, and F1-F6 Keys
----------------------------------------------

   HMD  -   Helmet Mounted Display       F1 & F3 Views
   MFD  -   Multi-Function Displays      F2 View


You'll probably find all 3 combat views, F1-F3, to be useful for
different reasons. 

The F1 first person view provides more indicators and an open screen.
The threat display is in the upper right, and the target monitor in
the upper left. F1 also has the altitude indicators and other useful
information.

The F2 cockpit view has a more realistic look, plus a useful
topographical map. (green is terrain below you, red is above you)
There are two settings for F2 - the second is an opened-up cockpit
view. Threats are displayed on the topographical map, while target
information and weapons status are displayed on the left screen.

F3 is an external camera view that is manipulated using the keypad
keys. Use it to examine your Comanche, or to view the surrounding
area during a mission. (more on this in topic 6)

F4 is a freelook mode that allows you to look around without moving
your Comanche. There are some situations where this is useful. (see
topic 5)

F5 is a flyby view, and allows you to watch your helo in action.  Its
also a good view to use for screen shots.

Finally, F6 is used with views F1-F3. F6 toggles between three levels
of displayed information - all, minimal, and no display.




==============================================
 05
    Freelook Mode     (F4)
----------------------------------------------

The (F4) Freelook mode allows you to look around you without moving
the Comanche. This mode can be used with any of the other 3 views,
F1-F3.

When you are done looking around, make sure to toggle back to
locked mode before you attempt to fly or you'll risk colliding with
some object while flying erratically.

When you select freelook, the word "Free" will appear in the View
field in the lower left of your F1 HMD to indicate that it is active.
When freelook mode is not engaged, the View field will say "Locked".

Freelook might also be useful if you want to remain pointed in one
particular direction, but be able to fire at a number of targets
located in front of you. If near some type of object, using freelook
to fire will prevent you from turning and colliding with the object.

When Freelook mode is used in the 3rd person view (F3), the Comanche
remains pointed in one direction. This allows for more stable
scouting around with the external camera. Without freelook mode, the
Comanche will tend to pivot or drift slightly in one direction or
another. You won't be able to pan the camera with the mouse, but
you can toggle back and forth to locked mode to use the mouse.

The Freelook mode is very useful when firing Hellfire missiles while
hiding behind structures or natural barriers. (see topic 12)




==============================================
 06
    External Camera     (F3) 3rd Person View
----------------------------------------------

You select F3 to activate the 3rd person view (external camera),
and manipulate this view with the keypad.  Here are the controls:

  7   zoom in
  8   raise up
  9   zoom out

  4   pan left
  5   return to default position
  6   pan right

  2   lower


  Use the mouse to rapidly pan left and right.


You'll notice that by using the 9 key, you can zoom out quite a distance.
Once you select F3, use the 4 or 6 key to pan around so that you are
facing the Comanche.  Then use the 9 key to "back" the camera out. You
can backward zoom out into enemy territory and scout around a bit just
using this camera, as long as you have the time and aren't under
immediate threat of attack.

The Comanche doesn't have a weapons scope view, but this camera feature
is an adequate alternative in some situations.


Here are some things you can inspect while using the external camera...


 >  press F4 (freelook mode), then swivel the gun (mouse), and watch the
        pilot's head turn. Apparently the targeting is controlled by the
        direction the helmet HMD faces.

 >  press the various Z,V, and C altitude settings to get an idea how far
        off the ground you are and how exposed you are behind natural
        barriers. Also, the Z,V and C settings variably change depending
        on the overall terrain, so fly over different types of terrain,
        changing altitude to get a sense of the variations.

 >  pan around the Comanche to a front corner, then operate the gears (G),
        bay doors (B), fire out hydras, Stingers, and Hellfires - and see
        the hardpoints empty out, and press 8 to discard your EFAMS.

 >  identify a forward target to strike and zoom forward until you are
        up next to it. Then select F1, fire your weapon (hydra, Stinger,
        or Hellfire), and then immediately select F3 to toggle back to
        the target's location and watch it explode.


You can set up the external camera to continually operate at a set
distance by first zooming out to the preferred distance, and then just
toggle between F1 (or F2) and the F3 modes.

The external camera seems able to go out a distance of 900-950 meters,
so you always have the capability to scout out a distance that far ahead
of you. For stealthy missions without a time constraint, just work
forward in segments by briefly surveying an area before entering it.




==============================================
 07
    Threat Display   (Radar)
----------------------------------------------

Your Threat Display appears in the upper right corner of your HMD in
the F1 first person view, and on the right side topographical map in
the F2 cockpit view.

You zoom the display in and out using the (+) and (-) keys respectively.

A locked target will appear on the radar with a black circle around it.

The locked target will also appear as a visual graphic, with its name
and distance from you in the Target Monitor at the upper left of your
HMD in F1 view, or on the left side screen in F2 view.

At the start of a mission you may want to zoom out the display (-) as
far as possible to give you early notice of approaching threats of any
kind. Later you may find it helpful to zoom in when you have a group
of targets and want to better identify individual ones.

The threat display flashes yellow when an enemy unit has target lock,
and red when the unit fires. During target lock you'll hear a warning
tone that may last for up to 10 seconds. If your Comanche systems detect
a strong radar lock when a missile is en route, the tone will raise to
a high pitch and then flares will be automatically fired as decoys.

When the threat display flashes from enemy lock, the flashing arcs on
the outside of the display will be in the direction the enemy is to you.
This enables you to better recognize which enemy is most threatening to
you so you can turn and deal with it.

Learn to recognize the different symbols of the threat display. In 
particular, the one for air units because they are sometimes difficult
to spot in the air visually, but they're easy to ID and turn towards
using the threat display.

Moving sideways quickly seems to help evade missiles a little better
than trying to raise or lower your altitude suddenly. (Enemy missiles
seem to be more able to track you higher and lower, than laterally.)




==============================================
 08
    Targeting Modes   (Active/Passive)
----------------------------------------------

   F10 - toggles between Nearest and Cycle targeting
   F11 - activates friendly targeting (turned on in Options)
     / - cycle targets
  Bspc - remove active locks (Backspace)
  Caps - remove active locks (Caps Lock)


You lock on targets either by right-clicking with the mouse or
button 2 of the joystick.


  Passive and Active Lock          (both are always operational)
  Nearest Target vs. Cycle Target  (choose Active Lock mode, F10)


You always have Passive and Active Lock available.  You don't have to
choose between these two.

Passive lock is when you gain a yellow (non-locked) reticle on a
target.  In most cases, as long as you maintain the yellow reticle,
the weapon you shot should still be fairly accurate. Note that this
really only applies to Stingers and Hellfires, since cannon rounds
and hydras pretty much fly straight.


Active lock targeting refers to how the weapons system determines
which target to lock onto.  You choose either Nearest or Cycle (F10).
(Current mode is displayed on lower left of F1-HMD display.)

Nearest Target - selects the target nearest to where your Gunsight
               Pipper is pointed.

Cycle Target - the system prioritizes and selects the target most 
               threatening to you and also within range and movement
               of your currently selected weapon.

               To cycle targets, press the "" key (above ENTER), or
               right click with your mouse.


Cycle Target works well if you're approaching an area with a large
number of unknown enemies and you'd rather have the system prioritize
your targets for you. This allows you to rapidly fire a number of
rockets, stingers, and hellfires. Once you fire on one target, the
system switches to the next priority target on the list - unless the
target requires two hydras or Stingers to destroy.


If you've activated the option for targeting friendlies (under 
Options > Controls), then you can toggle the F11 key to target
friendlies or not. This is a useful feature if you're trying to
escort and protect a particular unit. If you then get in a battle
situation, you might want to use Cycle Targets mode (F10) so that
you are not constantly targeting and firing at your friendly unit.

(Or else, while in battle, just toggle off friendly targeting, F11.)


When the target reticle is gray, that means that the reticle is
directed at targets or area outside the firing cone of the
currently selected weapon or WIP (Weapon In Priority).




==============================================
 09
    Weapons
----------------------------------------------

(See section 13 for details on what weapons to use per enemy unit.)


Weapon Loadouts
---------------
A full loadout, with EFAMS, concentrated on just one type, will allow:

     14 Hellfires  (or)  28 Stingers  (or)  56 Hydras

You have 14 hardpoints altogether using the EFAMS (6 without). Each
hardpoint allows for either 1 Hellfire, 2 Stingers, or 4 hydras.

If you'll look at section 13 displaying what it takes to destroy each
type of enemy vehicle or craft, note that in nearly all cases of
ground and sea units, 1-2 hydras are as effective as 1-2 Stingers.
So the hydra is your most efficient weapon to load and use, as long
as you don't encounter too many air units.

Whatever weapon loadout you select at the start of a mission (F8),
will be what you reload whenever you land on a FARP - unless you
modify the combination at the FARP, again with F8.


Hydras
------
Hydras flight straight for the most part, although they seem to
be able to angle slightly to the side or down to reach a target.
Also, in the case of moving ground targets, the hydra will follow
the unit as long as it has a clear path and the unit is not moving
too swiftly or down among very uneven terrain.

Note that hydras can work against aircraft that is hovering, moving
very slowly, or grounded. In some cases, hydras can be used against
aircraft moving directly toward you, especially the closer they are.
Furthermore, with hydras, the enemy air units are not alerted to the
incoming rocket and make no attempt to evade, as is the case with
Stingers.


Cannon
------
The cannon fires about 25 rounds per second.

The cannon is also effective against aircraft at close range, and can
usually destroy the unit with a ten second or less cannon burst.  The
drones in the C3/M5 mission require about a 2-3 second burst of cannon.

The cannon is more effective and potent the closer you are to a target.


Stingers
--------
Stingers work against air, ground, and sea units, but you want them
primarily for air units since hydras are better for ground and sea.

Stingers are fire and forget, so target and fire them and then move
on to your next enemy unit.

Stingers can still be effective even if you don't have a full active
target lock (target reticle is yellow, passive lock). As long as you
maintain the enemy unit within the firing cone of the Stinger it
should have a high probability of contacting successfully.

If you have a ground or sea unit moving fast and at a distance, then
the Stinger might be a better choice than the hydra, since the
Stinger can track a unit better.


Hellfires
---------
Although Hellfires are fun to target and fire, I usually don't load
more than 2-4 in a mission, if any at all.  Four hydras are as
effective if not more than one Hellfire.  Its better to sneak up low
to the ground on an armored target, then pop-up and fire 1-2 hydras to
destroy it. With a Hellfire you must maintain target lock on the enemy
unit - at least at the point of contact. This makes you exposed to
enemy fire when using a Hellfire. (see topic 12 for some creative
workarounds though)

Since most enemy units can be destroyed with a single hydra, you're
losing space for 3 more hydras in a hardpoint by storing a Hellfire.

Hellfires work well against strong enemy structures, especially ones
that are well defended by SAMs and ground units.

Hellfires can also be used against enemy aircraft, preferably slower
flying craft like helicopters, as long as you maintain a target lock.

For additional notes on using the Hellfire, see topic 12.


Misc
----
The flares are fired automatically when an enemy missile is locked on
and approaching, but you can also manually release them with the F key.

The maximum target acquisition distance for all weapons is about 2,000
meters.

The mouse wheel can be used to change weapons.  (Options > Controls)




==============================================
 10
    FARPs - Forward Arming & Refueling Points
----------------------------------------------

FARPs are a lifesaver in some of the missions. At any point in time,
whatever FARP is closest to you will be the one the yellow "F" caret
is directing you towards. The distance to the FARP is in meters.

When you approach a FARP, once you're clear of trees, drop down to
the X or Z altitude setting and drop your gear (G). A green box will
appear on your lower HMD when you are near the FARP, and will then
turn to yellow once you are directly over it. If your gear is down,
just press your CTRL key and drop straight to the ground. Unless you
are changing your weapons loadout (F8), there is no need to wait
before raising and commencing with your mission.

Press F8 to access the FARP menu.  Make any changes to your loadout
and then select OK or press F8 to continue with the mission. When
you land on the FARP, it will reload with whatever loadout you
started the mission with - or what you changed it to at the previous
FARP in the mission. Some missions play out in stages or segments,
and you will find it useful to alter your combinations of weapons.
For instance, if you have upcoming buildings or other heavy targets
to destroy, add in a few extra Hellfires.

The Load Preset Light (F8 #6) provides a balanced weapons loadout
for stealth, while Load Preset Heavy (F8 #7) provides a balanced
loadout with EFAMS for more combat.

If you dropped your EFAMS (8 key) to increase your stealth earlier,
it will automatically be added back in at the FARP.

FARPs also fully repair any damage to your Comanche. If you have
sustained a lot of damage, and are fairly well into a long mission,
it will probably be worth your while to at least make it back to
the starting point FARP if there is no time constraint, and no
other (safe) FARPs nearby.




==============================================
 11
    EFAMS and Bay Doors
----------------------------------------------

EFAMS - External Fuel & Armament Mgmt System

EFAMS provide you with 8 additional hardpoints to the original 6.
You can load whatever combination of hydras, stingers, or hellfires
on the EFAMS you want. Just be aware that a single hellfire fills
one hardpoint by itself, whereas otherwise it takes 2 stingers or
4 hydras.

When loading weapons, the original internal 6 will be loaded first,
and then the EFAMS. You might want to first empty all weapons to
clear the first 6 if you want a certain configuration for those.

The bay doors open only for those weapons that are loaded in the
original or default 6 hardpoints. Using weapons loaded on the
EFAMS does not open the bay doors.

Weapons on the EFAMS are used first, and the bay doors will
only open once all of the currently selected weapon are no
longer loaded on the EFAMS.

If you know what weapons you'll likely be using first, try
loading some of those on the EFAMS, if you plan on using EFAMS.
This will allow you to fire without having to also open your bay
doors, which would further decrease your stealth in addition
to having the EFAMS.

You can eject the EFAMS at any time by pressing the 8 key.

Once your bay doors open, you can shut them again by pressing the
B key - unless your bay doors have been damaged from a collision
with the ground or enemy fire.




==============================================
 12
    Firing Hellfires
----------------------------------------------

Hellfires require the most skill of any of the weapons, and will
often expose you to the greatest amount of risk when using them.

Hellfires are not fire and forget. (In reality, some are radar
guided once fired and don't require a constant laser lock.)

With Comanche 4, you must maintain target lock at least 1/2 - 2/3
of the way down its descent, or else it will fly off in another
direction, or explode when it reaches your reticle. 

Both the passive and active locks work with the Hellfire.

A good time to use the Hellfire is when you can view the
enemy, but the enemy can't hit you because you're behind some
structure or barrier of some kind. With the Hellfire, you can
attack a target from above, so even if the enemy is somewhat
hidden themselves, you can still likely destroy it.


Laser vs Radar Guidance
-----------------------
The game manual mentions GPS guidance for tracking and targeting
the Hellfires. I don't think this actually applies to this game.
For the Hellfire to hit a target it must either have passive or
active target lock. So laser targeting is what you use for the
Comanche 4 game.


Ripple Fire
-----------
To accomplish ripple fire, you shoot off 3 or 4 Hellfires, with about
2-3 seconds between each shot. You don't necessarily need to be locked
onto a target when initially firing - just point up in the air above
where your intended targets are located.

(You might want to use Cycle Targets mode (F10) rather than Nearest
Target to let the system tag the most dangerous enemy missile units.)

When the first of the 3 or 4 Hellfires reaches its peak, raise up
and target lock your first target. All 4 Hellfires will now aim for
that target. As soon as the first target explodes, retarget on the
next unit. If you left enough time between shots, the second Hellfire
will shift direction and head for the new target. Repeat this step
for the 3rd and 4th Hellfires.

Its best to use ripple fire with targets that are fairly close
together. The Hellfire can alter direction to a degree, especially
the higher up it is, but there is a limit to how much it can curve
on its descent.

The main problem with ripple fire is that typically you are exposed
during the time when you make target lock for the first Hellfire
all the way until the 4th Hellfire hits, and any close enemies will
be firing at you. You may be able to avoid this by timing your pop
ups with the space bar, in time to lock each Hellfire while it is
still high enough up and then dropping down immediately after the
unit has been hit.

(However, if you fire the Hellfires while behind cover, and then
maintain a good stealth profile when you raise up, you'll be less
likely to be detected and can laser the units in silence.)

The Comanche 101 training mission allows you to practice ripple
fire at waypoint 6.


Artillery Mode
--------------
If you have Hellfires to waste, or are over a FARP and want to
shell a nearby area, rapidly fire out a number of Hellfires and
point to the distant ground area where you want them to land.
Even if you don't have target lock on anything, if they all land
fairly close together it will resemble a very light artillery fire
mission.

If a Hellfire is not locked on a target near point of impact, it
will detonate wherever your reticle is directed - whether up in
the air or at the ground or on a unit. So its important to keep
your reticle below the Hellfire as it descends, else it will go off
once it reaches your reticle. You can sort of guide the Hellfire
as it descends using your reticle, while still hiding behind cover.
Then when you have directed it to about where it should land, while
still high enough (say 50-75m), pop up and light your target.

When you fire an internal Hellfire and the bay doors open, it
will help to immediately close the doors (B), and when you
raise up you'll be less likely to be detected. You can also
drop your EFAMS (8) for even better stealth when using
internal Hellfires.


Hang Time
---------
The time it takes the Hellfire to reach its peak and then start
its descent differs under locked and unlocked conditions:

 > if locked on a target             about 4 seconds

 > if not locked on a target         between 6 and 15 seconds

When not locked on a target, the amount of time to the peak
depends on how sharp an angle you have the reticle pointed up.
When pointed up at the maximum - about 15 seconds, but when
pointed just over the horizon - about 6 seconds.

Also, a lower trajectory will travel farther - better for
distant targets, but may not be able to hit closer enemies.

When fairly close to the enemy, fire a high trajectory. This
also gives you more time to control the downward flight with
your reticle, time to reset your stealth (raise gear, close bay
doors, or even drop the EFAMS - 8 key), and then raise up
without detection at the appropriate time and light the target.

(See the Stealth Chart in topic 16 below, item 7, to get an idea
how close you should be able to get to enemy units without detection
at various configurations of your stealth profile.)

Note also that when you lock on a target before firing the Hellfire,
and are detected for the first time by the enemy unit, if that unit
has missiles it will take 8-12 seconds to arm and fire - but you
will have destroyed it (4-6 seconds) prior to it firing its missile.

If you are 1000 meters or so away from the enemy, without being too
high up, you should be able to lock and fire your Hellfires without
detection by the enemy. Note though that a Hellfire targeted at a
very distant target will have a flatter angle on its descent
and may likely strike a nearby object if the unit is positioned
close to anything.


Using the External Camera
-------------------------
Its possible to fire Hellfires using the external camera, and use
Passive lock (yellow reticle) instead of Active lock.

Move to within a safe distance of the enemy and stay behind or below
cover. Then switch to external camera (F3), and use freelook mode (F4)
so your Comanche doesn't drift. Then using the camera, press keypad 8
to raise up and then press keypad 9 to back out behind the Comanche
just a short distance. The enemy units in front of you should now be
visible.

Although you can't get an active target lock, using the camera and
positioning the reticle over a unit - as long as the reticle turns
and maintains yellow - you can fire the Hellfire.

So you don't accidentally lose your passive lock when you select the
mouse to fire and potentially move the cursor off the target, instead
fire with your Enter key.


Mission C4/M4 - Early Bird
-------------
Mission 4 of Campaign 4 requires you to take out a number of early
warning structures, which are fairly well defended by ground and
air units. Using the external camera to target and fire the Hellfires
is very helpful for this particularly hard mission. You may need to
make an extra trip back to the starting point FARP to reload because
you stocked up on Hellfires, but it is an effective strategy to use.
(hint: take out the helos anyway if you want it easier)




==============================================
 13
    Enemy Units
----------------------------------------------

These are most of the enemy units you will face in the missions.

The Offensive Info is what amount of each particular Comanche
weapon is required to destroy that particular enemy unit.

The EMT column shows what enemy units have missiles and what type.
(see listing below)

                           ----------------------------
                          |   Comanche Offensive Info  |=====
                          |      :      :      :       | EMT |
Unit                      |Cannon|Hydras|Stngrs|Hellfrs|     |
--------------------------------------------------------------
Sea Units                 |      |      |      |       |     |
------------              |      |      |      |       |     |
Attack Yacht              |  Y   |   1  |   1  |   1   |     |
Experimental Boat         |  Y   |   5  |   5  |   3   |     |
Nanuchka Frigate          |  N   |   5  |   5  |   3   |  J  |
Patrol (Pirate) Boat      |  Y   |   1  |   1  |   1   |  I  |
Pirate Speedboat          |  Y   |   1  |   1  |   1   |     |
Sovremenny Destroyer      |  -   |   -  |   -  |   -   |  K  |
Submarine                 |  N   |  10  |   9  |   5   |     |
                          |----------------------------------|
Air Units                 |      |      |      |       |     |
------------              |      |      |      |       |     |
Ka-27 Helix (transport)   |  Y   |   -  |   1  |   -   |     |
Ka-50 Hokum (adv.attack)  |  Y   |   -  |   1  |   -   | A,B |
Light Helicopter          |  Y   |   -  |   1  |   -   |     |
Mi-24 Hind (grnd.attack)  |  Y   |   -  |   1  |   -   |  C  |
Mi-28 Havoc (anti-air)    |  Y   |   -  |   1  |   -   |     |
Mig-29 Fulcrum            |  Y   |   -  |   1  |   -   | C,D |
Remote Drone              |  Y   |   -  |   1  |   -   |     |
Su-25 Frogfoot            |  Y   |   -  |   1  |   -   | D,E |
                          |----------------------------------|
Ground Units              |      |      |      |       |     |
------------              |      |      |      |       |     |
2S6M Tunguska             |  Y   |   1  |   1  |   1   |  G  |
Air Defense Gun           |  Y   |   1  |   1  |   1   |     |
BMP-2                     |  Y   |   1  |   1  |   1   |  F  |
BRDM-2                    |  Y   |   1  |   1  |   1   |     |
Buggy                     |  Y   |   1  |   1  |   1   |     |
Jeep                      |  Y   |   1  |   1  |   1   |     |
SA-6 Gainful              |  Y   |   1  |   1  |   1   |  H  |
SA-8 Gecko                |  Y   |   1  |   1  |   1   |  J  |
Snowmobile                |  Y   |   1  |   1  |   1   |  I  |
T-72                      |  Y   |   2  |   2  |   1   |     |
T-80                      |  Y   |   2  |   2  |   1   |     |
--------------------------------------------------------------


EMT - Enemy Missile Types  (defensive info)
-------------------------
  A   IGLA Missiles
  B   Anti-tank Missiles
  C   Spiral Missiles
  D   Aphid Missiles
  E   ATOL Missiles
  F   Spandrel Missiles
  G   Grison Missiles
  H   Gaskin Missiles
  I   Tow/Stinger Missiles
  J   Gecko Missiles
  K   Smerch Missiles



In the chart above, I note what enemy units have missiles, because
missiles generally are the most destructive weapon to your Comanche,
and are more difficult to evade than rockets, cannon or gunfire.

You should assume that each enemy unit has its own radar and
targeting systems and capabilities, and so they have different
levels of effectiveness against the Comanche.


Missile Timing
--------------
All units using missiles seem to take about 8-12 seconds to
initially arm and fire their first missile. (Subsequent firings
only take about 5 or so seconds.) So typically you can start
counting from the time you first hear the warning tone, and
know how much time you have to get behind cover. If you can break
their missile lock, detected by an interruption in the tone, then
you have a good chance of not being hit. Be cautious re-appearing
though because once armed, an enemy unit might not have to redo the
8-10 second warm-up count, but may immediately fire at you.


Dangerous Units
---------------
Different missiles, and thus certain units, are the most threatening
to you. These are the SA-6 Gainful, SA-8 Gecko, Tunguska, and the
Ka-50 Hokum helicopter. Their missiles seem to be the most potent
and hardest to evade. Also the destroyers guarding the submarine
base in C5/M4 have powerful missiles, in addition to the fact that
the destroyers are indestructible sea units themselves.

You can usually evade an SA-6 or SA-8 missile when up close by
circling the unit at fast speed. A Tunguska's missile will be
able to track you, though, when you circle. So the Tunguska missiles
seem to be the most capable of maneuvering toward you.

The maximum acquisition distance (target lock) for all your weapons
is about 2,000 meters.

It doesn't appear you have the capability to destroy the Sovremenny
Destroyer. However, you have the capability to destroy any weapons
or radar equipment that they have mounted. Typically these auxiliary
pods on the destroyer require at least 2 hydras or Stingers to be
destroyed.  (see the C6/M4 Glass Eye mission)

The enemy missiles have varying degrees of effectiveness and accuracy
against the Comanche.  It also usually takes at least 4-5 missile
hits to put down the Comanche, at least in the Easy Enemy Difficulty
level.


Pop-Up Tactic
-------------
Some of the missiles, such as Grison and Gaskin, are highly effective
in tracking the Comanche. One good defense against these missiles, from
a distance, is to get behind a fairly high ridge where you can drop
down several meters fast. Use the spacebar to pop up just above the
ridge, then fire and drop. You can also get the enemy vehicles to
fire out their missiles, and then attack once they're empty.

The enemy units with missiles don't have an unlimited number. Typically
there are between 3-5 missiles for the ground units, possibly more if
the missiles are a very small variety, or in the case of the destroyer
which probably has room for a significant number.

A good strategy to use is to entice the ground unit, say an SA-6
Gainful, to fire its 3 missiles, while you duck behind cover each time.
Then you can approach and finish off that unit without worrying about
being fired upon. This also works well if you're trying to conserve on
hydras or stingers and would prefer to use your cannon.

Also realize that there is a 5-10 second delay between enemy missile
shots for each unit - possibly a variable delay per unit, and so use
that brief pause to attack them and then retreat back behind cover.




==============================================
 14
    Wingman Communications
----------------------------------------------

   6 - Wingman, "Attack My Target" Command
   7 - Wingman Communications, Listed Commands


To access your wingman communication options, press the 7 key.

This will bring up a list of 7 commands you can issue to your
Griffon 2-7 teammate, if present for the mission. Griffon 2-7
will heed your commands too - so be aware of what your options
are and use them in particular situations where you want Griffon
2-7 to perform a certain action.

Otherwise, Griffon 2-7 will attack any close enemies alongside you
and will generally keep pace with you during the mission. Griffon
2-7 also does a pretty good job of holding their own against all
types of enemy units.

A shortcut for the wingman "Attack My Target" command is the 6 key.
It functions just like another weapon giving you a unique targeting
reticle. Just lock on a target and select your fire button, (left
mouse button or Enter key), and Griffon 2-7 will attack the
designated unit. You don't have to maintain lock on the target
either, but may proceed to select a weapon (1-4) for yourself
and go after other units.

Once Griffon 2-7 destroys your target, they will deal with other
threats in their normal manner unless you give another command.




==============================================
 15
    Game Difficulty
----------------------------------------------

There are a few adjustments you can make to alter the difficulty or
challenge of this game.

Under Options > Controls > Advanced (or Quick Setup), select either
Easy, Normal, or Advanced for the enemy difficulty level. The Advanced
setting will make the enemy harder to destroy plus make their weapons
a bit more potent.

For missions you have difficulty completing, try the Easy level first,
and then once you figure out the mission and want a greater challenge,
switch to the Normal or Advanced level.

It may also be less frustrating to work on the easier types of missions
first, as noted in the Campaign/Mission chart in the Game Overview
main section above.

Finally, for replaying missions, you can work on completing the
missions faster, or without EFAMS, or minimize use of stealth.
These factors will all make the missions more difficult to play.


Flight Control
--------------
As mentioned in Topic 1 above, for most people the keyboard/mouse setup
will be the easiest for controls. If you want more of a challenge and
a more realistic flying experience, use the joystick (with the keyboard
and mouse), and also turn off the Slip Control and the Limit Cyclic
Range options in the Advanced Controls section.




==============================================
 16
    Misc Tips and Notes
----------------------------------------------

.01  -  WolfBlitz
-----------------------
To have access to all missions, create a pilot named WolfBlitz. All
the missions will then be listed and available under Mission Archives.


.02  -  Pause Game
-----------------------
Pause the game (Pause key), if you need time to look something up
in the provided game manual or to think a strategy through.


.03  -  Griffon 2-7
-----------------------
Griffon 2-7 will typically tail you at a little higher height, giving
them a clear shot at targets.  If you raise or lower your height, so
will Griffon 2-7 accordingly.  So when you fly low to protect yourself
from enemy fire and to avoid radar detection, you provide the same,
though lesser, sort of protection for Griffon 2-7.


.04  -  Map Zoom
-----------------------
At the start of each mission, you might want to zoom the map out (-)
to the maximum distance. This gives you much more time to react to
threats as they come close.  Usually you can see and react to a
threat well before they can detect you, especially air threats.


.05  -  Officer Rank
-----------------------
You receive officer ranks based on your total career points for the
pilot. Here are the ranks I've identified so far, and hopefully
placed in the correct order:

      Warrant Officer
      Chief Warrant Officer 2
      Chief Warrant Officer 3
      Major
      Lt. Colonel
      Colonel


.06  -  ME Training
-----------------------
If you know how to use the mission editor, a custom map is a good
place to work on your flying skills or to insert some specific enemy
units (like the SA-6, SA-8, Tungunska, and Hokum) and practice
different techniques for taking them out en masse or under various
conditions.

Read the main section below on Mission Editor Basics to see how to
create a simple map for your own training purposes.


.07  -  Stealth Chart
-----------------------
You have different levels of stealth depending on how you use EFAMS,
gear, bay doors, height and speed. Below is a chart showing how close
you can get to a typical enemy missile vehicle before it will detect
you and attempt target lock. The first row is for an approach at 50
meters high over flat terrain. The second row is a 20 meter
(Z altitude) approach.

As shown, you can get a little closer by being lower to the ground.
Also, EFAMS negatively affect your stealth the most, followed by
bay doors, and then gear.

The intent of this chart is to illustrate how close you can get to
most enemy (ground) units before alerting them to your presence, plus
the effect that different configurations have on your overall stealth.
Most often, you'll be flying so fast that the information below will
be irrelevant. However, when approaching slowly through enemy
territory using stealth, it will be useful info to know.

Actually some ground units will only detect you if you are in front of
or to the side of them, and so you can approach from the rear to the
point where you can get right behind them with your Comanche.


=========================================================================
STEALTH CHART

(approx. distances in meters)
                                 <- - levels of stealth - ->

                         FS     G     B    GB     E    EG    EB    EGB
   Enemy Unit            [1]   [2]   [3]   [4]   [5]   [6]   [7]   [8]
   ----------            ---   ---   ---   ---   ---   ---   ---   ---
   SA-6 Gainful          320m  365m  415m  460m  465m  510m  510m  560m
   (50m AGL approach)


   SA-6 Gainful          285m  330m  380m  425m  435m  480m  480m  525m
   (20m AGL approach)


     Stealth Configurations:
     -----------------------
      #  |  EFAMS  |  Gear   | BayDrs  |
     -----------------------------------
     [1] |    no   |   up    | closed  |   full stealth            FS
     [2] |    no   |  down   | closed  |   gear down only          G
     [3] |    no   |   up    |  open   |   bay doors open only     B
     [4] |    no   |  down   |  open   |   gear and bay doors      GB
     [5] |   yes   |   up    | closed  |   EFAMS only              E
     [6] |   yes   |  down   | closed  |   EFAMS and gear down     EG
     [7] |   yes   |   up    |  open   |   EFAMS and bay doors     EB
     [8] |   yes   |  down   |  open   |   low stealth (all 3)     EGB

=========================================================================



.08  -  Max Height
-----------------------
The highest you can climb in your Comanche appears to be about 884 ASL.
You can target and fire all your weapons from that height, but enemy
missiles can still hit you as well.


.09  -  AWACS Radar
-----------------------
When AWACS Radar is included for the mission (you probably won't
know this unless you created the mission and checked that box within
the General Information dialog screen) you will have a significantly
greater area of radar coverage. 
                    

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