I'd like to hear some people's ideas on what the OOBs should look like.
Right now, the factors I'm considering are the size, the composition of land-based AI, and the composition of the air wings.
SIZE. To me, the ideal OOB is large instead of small, but as a practical matter has to be limited by the amount of players participating on each side. I would prefer a combat environment where as many of the sorties as possible are being flown by human beings, as opposed to a typical campaign environment where humans jump into combat here and there. I want the participating wings to win or lose the war, not merely influence it. But on the other hand, I want there to be enough going on that it's not over after a quick skirmish and that a large variety of missions can be flown. Obviously, the more players we get the easier it will be to find a "good" size, but if we end up with relatively small teams we'll have a hard choice to make. I'd probably tolerate having a few muppets as wingmen to make sure that full packages are going up.
AIR WINGS. I'd definitely want support AI: AWACS, JSTARS, and tankers at a minimum. As for combat aircraft, I'd prefer to stick to mostly playables (F-16s and possibly MiG-29s if that's the direction we go) to keep with the philosophy that it should be humans winning or losing the war. The numbers should be relatively large, to make sure the battle isn't lost at the first BVR missile exchange, and there should be enough to base them at multiple airfields, to prevent one OCA strike from ending it all.
GROUND FORCES: This is key IMO. A key to getting support from more wings can be assuring that there is more to the FoF than air-to-air. There are strike, CAS and SEAD specialists out there too, and we want them to have a chance to shine. So, it's critical to make sure there are plenty of air defense threads that need to be worked over, and plenty of land targets that need to be hit. I would love the idea of the FoF being long enough in duration or otherwise set up so that CAS was an important mission. That might be hoping for too much, but at a minimum I would want plenty of high altitude SAMs blocking access to airspace until they get worked over by the Ironhands, and HQ and flak battalions defending key targets to give the strike pilots a chance to show everyone what they're made of.
In any case, I really hope we can pull off some flavor of this. A competition that involves strategy and operational planning as well as combat tactics is going to be much more rewarding than simple knifefighting, and it will be more relevant as a simulation.
Kill all humans, kill all humans, must kill all hu---
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