Get your fill of sci-fi, science, and mockery of stupid people
* FAQ    * Search   * Register   * Login 
Want to support this site? Click

Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)


All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 94 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-17 05:34pm
Offline
Sith Devotee
User avatar

Joined: 2007-03-04 07:52pm
Posts: 2902
Location: Korea.
First and foremost this is not a review. It's not a game guide either. This is just really something I felt like writing. I talk like I lived in the universe of Ace Combat 4 and analyze the only game in the series with a plot that made strategic sense. It's an essay of sorts, presented in the style of a military analyst. It's also not meant to be really "authoritative" it's kind of a fan-fiction. One open to critique and discussion. If this works out, i'll do it for other games.

Contents:
Part 1: Introduction – “Why write this?”

Part 2: The History of the War Before the Game.

A. “Erusea” – The antagonists.
Erusea’s weapons of war.
B. “ISAF” – The protagonists.
ISAF’s weapons of war.

Part 3: Ace Combat 4: Shattered Skies (First half to be posted by end of today. This is the "real" meat of the essay, so if you want to just skip to this part feel free.)

Strategic Analysis of: Mission 1 “Sitting Duck”
Mission 2 “Imminent Threat”
Mission 3 “The Northern Eye”
Mission 4 “Blockade”
Mission 5 “Lifeline”
Mission 6 “Invincible Fleet”
Mission 7 “Deep Strike”
Mission 8 “Shattered Skies”
Mission 9 “Operation Bunker Shot”
Mission 10 “Tango Line”
Mission 11 “Escort”
Mission 12 “Stonehenge Offensive”
Mission 13 “Safe Return”
Mission 14 “Breaking Arrows”
Mission 15 “Emancipation”
Mission 16 “Whiskey Corridor”
Mission 17 “Siege of Farbanti”
Mission 18 “Megalith”

Part 4: Erusea’s Mistakes. (To be posted sometime this week.)

Part 5: Why game developers don’t write gooder better. (To be posted sometime next week.)


Part 1: Introduction to this Fan “Faction.”

Some time ago I played Ace Combat 4. (No shit right?) AC4 is the most praised game of the series for featuring what many considered the most finely tuned combat model of the series. Others praised the game for its narrative, which was presented in a simple and interesting fashion. Finally, others have praised the game for its sensibility. Few have taken the time to look beneath the game’s face with enough suspension of disbelief to realize just how well the storyline of the game comes together. Not in narrative, but in strategy.

The decisions made by the game’s national “characters”, the militarist state of Erusea, and the multi-national coalition ISAF (Independent State Allied Forces), fall within the patterns of normal human decision making and judgment. Even when the game begins to place the storyline further onto the importance of normally wanky “super weapons” it can still be explained rationally. Not only can it be rationalized, but the real teller of the storyline’s quality, it can be rationalized easily.

At this point I have to admit I’m only a moderate fan of the series. The limits of Ace Combat’s game play essentially cut the experience short due to its naturally simplistic nature. (LoL turn to win.) Frankly, if Ace Combat 4 had been a book, it would have been an excellent read. This may be somewhat insulting to the game play. :)

Attempts have been made to improve the flight model, but ultimately Ace Combat will always be Ace Combat. An arcade flight game with skins of modern jets. The storyline of the 4th game being so interesting is merely a symptom of whatever member of the writing staff happened to be thinking with his brain cell that day. Few of the other games in the series show the same care to narrative detail as Shattered Skies did. I haven’t played AC5, AC0 was boring in terms of both game play and writing, and AC6 has ultimately garnered a reputation as a watered down B-flick.

Frankly, Ace Combat 4 was still fun to play. I couldn’t enjoy such a game on narrative alone, since that goes against my judgment. But good narrative can certainly make a game better. For another example of the success of narrative in conjunction with solid game play, see Gears of War. (If this is successful, I’ll probably write a similar analysis on it.)

That being said, I haven’t been able to play AC4 in some time. At the time of writing the PS2 in my house is currently bricked, and the 40GB Playstation 3 incapable of running last generation titles. So if I make minor errors of memory in my analysis, feel free to correct them. I’m going to start with a description of the major factions of the game. After that, I’ll post part of my analysis of the wartime strategy. It’s not finished, but I’m working on it.
Now, onto discussion of the factions.

Part 2: The History of the War before the Game.

The games of Ace Combat take place on a fictional AltEarth that, for the purpose of storytelling, has developed the same kinds of technology, governments, and social groups as we have on Earth. Not just similar, but exact. Everything from John Deere industrial tractors to the presence of the F-14D Tomcat, its models, as well as the M1 Abrams Tank, and even the Iowa class battleship, exist in the world. The differences of AltEarth are quite minor compared to our own. This is just a grand description of the game world. The story of the war begins in the intro of the game.

Years before the game took place it is made clear that AltEarth was threatened by the impact of a planet-killer Asteroid “Ulysses”. Ulysses was detected very late and many frantic attempts were made by the governments of the planet to stop its landfall. The coastal nation on the continent of Usea, Erusea was successful in developing a weapon to stop or at least seriously diminish Ulysses. The land based artillery platform Stonehenge.

Stonehenge was a massive facility consisting of 6 skyscraper sized artillery guns firing nuclear slugs deep into space. No details are given on these slugs, but they were successful in moving Ulysses away from the planet. The game gives totally credit to the survival of the planet to Stonehenge, and no further game in the series has contested it. The game credits Stonehenge with destruction of the Ulysses asteroid, but breaking a single planet killer asteroid to lots of tiny continent killer rocks would not equal survival. So using suspension of disbelief, Stonehenge obviously moved Ulysses out of the planet’s path.

It wasn’t a complete success of course. The use of nuclear slugs meant Ulysses was partially fragmented, and some smaller pieces did make landfall. Dotting AltEarth with the scars of a planet killer that ultimately missed by a hair. These craters are frequently seen in the game, appearing everywhere from desolate mountain ranges, and right next to major cities. (Indicating a wide scale rebuilding effort post planet fall.)

The fall of these smaller asteroids left many nations destitute and broken. Economies were ruined, industry was annihilated, and confidence in civilization was broken. The planet was ripe for decades of post-disaster wars. This is exactly what the Ace Combat games portray in varying quality.

“Erusea”

It is fairly ironic, that of all the nations to construct purpose super weapons in the planet’s history, only Erusea’s was truly successful in saving the planet and was also successful in its ah-hem, unintended uses. The impression we get from the game is that Erusea was rendered destitute by the massive funds it had placed in Stonehenge. This was rendered worse by the landfall of many small asteroids right on Erusea. The nation must have been complete chaos after the crisis. This would explain the seizure of power by a right wing, military government. This government is never explained much in writing, but the game’s narrator did call them “fascists” in his youth. Giving us a fairly good idea of how the world saw them. Combine that with the frequency of fascist governments in AltEarth’s history (See: Ace Combat 5/0) it’s not outward to say that Erusea had become a violently expansionist and nationalist nation. Its seething hatred of the planet it saved was probably compounded by what it perceived as abandonment. After they had built the weapon that saved the world, no one came to save them from bankruptcy and collapse. This was undoubtedly Erusea’s bane and more importantly, its casus belli.

However, Erusea, the individual nation on the north western peninsula of its home continent, Usea, had to contend with some problems. For one, it was only one nation, rivaled against a continent full of other nations and their overseas allies. The industrial limits could not be surmounted. Thus, Erusea would have to rely on its own brand of warfare, taking advantage of new tactics to propel itself to continent wide dominance. For this, Erusea created and used, 3 “Cards” of its strengths that would cover for its weaknesses.



Best care anywhere.

What is Project Zohar?


Last edited by CaptHawkeye on 2009-01-17 05:46pm, edited 3 times in total.
Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-17 05:34pm
Offline
Sith Devotee
User avatar

Joined: 2007-03-04 07:52pm
Posts: 2902
Location: Korea.
The Weapons of Erusea – Stonehenge, the Aegir Fleet, and the Yellow Squadron.

A. Stonehenge – After the success of Stonehenge against Ulysses, the installation probably fell into disuse. Its role completed, I can imagine it was anywhere in the midst of conversion to a museum or scrapping. No one envisaged Stonehenge’s capabilities as anti aircraft platform, except for Erusea. Since it doesn’t appear to have been designed for the role, Erusea must have discovered the Henge’s terrifying Anti-Aircraft capabilities in some other fashion. Either in an accident or secret testing. Regardless, when the war began Stonehenge single handedly forced the total withdrawal of Usea’s Air Forces. They simply could not be used. Usea’s ground armies, unprepared for war, had no choice but to run. Survival became the only option. Usea could not be held.

That being said, Stonehenge was not without limits. It design called for its artillery platforms to fire shells of what had to be amazing muzzle velocities. The rigid demands of design limited its low angle firing range as shown by the game’s strategy maps. The Henge’s range was not limited by the pull of gravity on its shells as they fell to the planet, otherwise Stonehenge could have been used to devastate entire armies as well. Stonehenge was limited in range by the bane of high velocity weapons. Line of sight. Stonehenge fired shells of such speed that their ability to break the planet’s gravity was actually unstoppable. The range limit shown on maps was the point where the shells fired by Stonehenge could no longer conform to the curvature of the planet, and would accelerate off harmlessly into space! Thus, Stonehenge could not engage targets of just any location. The Erusean’s probably attempted to reconcile this problem, but to no avail as the war turned against them and the difficulties of making the shells fall back to the planet became insurmountable.

Why was Stonehenge so important then? Potentially because Erusea’s own Air Force…was weak. The game inadvertently confirms this on many occasions. Most of the missions in the game are raids on strategically important installations protected by little more than the local patrol force. (Beyond the cover of the Henge.) The few times the Erusean’s manage to cobble together an actual “Aerial Strike Force”, that strike force is catastrophically defeated. Erusea’s air force wasn’t just limited in equipment; it was limited in the quality of its personnel. Erusea’s pilots just weren’t as good as everyone else’s. Why would this happen? Ace Combat is a world like ours, where the superiority of the modern jet fighter over the battlefield is apparent and ensured. Why would Erusea fail to comprehend this? The answer? They didn’t. They just didn’t take it seriously due to cultural aversion. This will be explained in the following.

B. The Aegir Fleet - So just why did Erusea neglect building an Air Force of comparable capability to Usea’s? Potentially because of their history. Erusea is a nation surrounded on all sides by, water. Its capital, Farbanti, rests on the southern coastline of its nation. (At least it was a coastline until Ulysses offspring turned half the city into Atlantis.) I suspect this has led the Erusean’s to the cultural belief of naval supremacy. Much like Impieral Japan or the British Empire of recent. Their military culture was almost religiously devoted to the notion of Naval Supremacy. Ownership of the seas, and Mahan’s “Decisive Battle.”
Accordingly, Erusea built a massive blue water Navy of great offensive reach and capability. Mission 6, the attack on the Aegir Fleet at harbor, shows that as a naval force, it is well equipped…with surface engagements in mind.
The Aegir Fleet consisted of many missile cruisers, destroyers, a super carrier, and numerous submarines. The Aegir Fleet even operated several battleships! Not only that, but the Aegir Fleet revealed impressive sea lift capability. It had many military transports of varying class and tonnage. Not only was the Aegir Fleet perfectly capable of defeating most of the world’s own surface vessels, it was even able to follow up a “Decisive Battle” with a devastating amphibious landing campaign! The Aegir Fleet was considered so dangerous that it had garnered a planetary reputation of “Invincibility”. Either during the war, or in Erusea’s history, it must have proven its mettle somewhere to obtain such a reputation. Otherwise, ISAF would not have considered it such a threat to their forward base at North Point.
But like Stonehenge, it had weaknesses. Erusea’s cultural aversion to air power had apparently infected its naval planners. Who failed to construct an adequate Naval Air Arm. It’s likely that the Erusean leaders saw no need for it. They believed that Stonehenge would be so successful it would render the days of naval aviation to history and bring back a return to the age of massive surface armadas. Hence the “Aegir Fleet” was a comparable force to Germany’s “High Seas Fleet”, Britian’s “Grand Fleet”, and Japan’s “Combined Fleet”. It was the biggest single operating force of its navy, and it had been prepared to engage the targets Stonehenge could not.
It would cost them of course, to operate the fleet beyond the safety of Stonehenge and on the reliance of land-based air cover. The Erusean’s seemed to be aware of this however, that their lackluster Air Force would not be able to pick up the slack of defense once Stonehenge no longer played a role. This led to Erusea’s next playing card, the player’s “mortal enemies” in the game.

C. The “Yellow Sqaudron” – Erusea’s newspaper headline force. The Yellow Squadron was a tiny but elite air wing of particularly skilled airmen. Probably handpicked from the ranks of Erusea’s Air Force, the Yellow Squadron demanded the best of its airmen, better than the ISAF’s. It would train and equip them accordingly. The standards of its training, as well as parameters of its requirements, would probably disqualify over 90% of the other pilots in the Erusean Air Force. This meant that Yellow Squadron would be a force of incredibly skilled aviators with amazing Kill/Loss ratios, but they would be forever damned by their standards. Incapable of admitting a force of great size and essentially remaining at squadron strength through most of the war.

The leader of Yellow Squadron, “13” was elevated to the status of public icon as the game had made clear. His squadron became internationally notorious when the war started. Amazingly, they had become as feared as Stonehenge. Probably beyond the PR projections of Erusea’s military planners. Thus, the real purpose of the Yellow Squadron was revealed. The Yellows were the public face of Erusea’s tiny and underequipped Air Force. They would mask the deficiencies of Erusea’s air power by claiming one front page after another. “The Flying Terror of Erusea Strikes again./Erusea’s Yellow Squadron Destroys Entire Allied Air Wing./Yellow 13 Downs Another ISAF Ace over the City!”

The public relations disaster the Usean nations had to contend with following Stonehenge was already insurmountable. With the Yellow Squadron backing it up, who could guess that Erusea’s Air Force wasn’t actually up to the challenge posed before it? To compound the fear of Erusea’s capabilities, they publically announced that Stonehenge would be protected by the constant Air Cover of the Yellow Squadron who would be based at the facility. This made Stonehenge a social fortress. Even if you could magically sneak an air attack on Stonehenge, how much could they possibly hope to achieve fighting those demonic pilots?

Of course, it was limited. Erusea limited the Yellow Squadron to the role of defense. They would spend many of the war’s most important operations uselessly sitting at Stonehenge practicing maneuvers and mock attacks, then bragging about their “accomplishments” at the local bar the following night. Occasionally, the Yellows would be roused to defend or re-enforce a beleaguered frontline position, but their distance to the front would ensure they arrived too late or too exhausted every time.

Erusea’s capabilities were all designed to work in conjunction with one another so they would cover for Erusea’s own irrevocable deficiencies. Erusea knew it could never hope to take over the planet. But Usea seemed to be just waiting for it. They saved the world after all, wouldn’t a continent be an appropriate prize to build a new world super-power from? Erusea could take advantage of ISAF’s unprepared state, removing them from the local hemisphere entirely and securing the continent of Usea of their “breathing room”. They would take advantage of the seas and distance to make a re-conquest of Usea a staggeringly monumental operation of impossibility. ISAF would have no choice but to negotiate for the cession of hostilities perhaps to be paid for by Erusean “concessions” of captured bases back to them. Just like Imperial Japan’s grand dreams of post war negotiation and political games.
However, the likelihood of success in such a grand dream was miniscule.

To the delusional leaders of a military government, such a small chance probably seemed so much bigger from where they sat. As always happens.



Best care anywhere.

What is Project Zohar?


Last edited by CaptHawkeye on 2009-01-17 06:07pm, edited 1 time in total.
Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-17 05:38pm
Offline
Sith Devotee
User avatar

Joined: 2007-03-04 07:52pm
Posts: 2902
Location: Korea.
“ISAF”

The Independent State Allied Forces was a multinational coalition of Allied States and Militaries of Usea and overseas states created during the Ulysses Asteroid Crisis. ISAF was a directly unified response of the planet’s governments to the threat posed by Ulysses and the likely after affects it would have on AltEarth. I’m not sure if it was explicitly mentioned that Erusea was a member of this coalition, but it would seem likely given their central role in the construction of Stonehenge. Following the landfall of Ulysses offspring, Erusea probably left ISAF citing its lack of interest in the plight Erusea’s post-collapse infrastructure.
In the game, ISAF is the organization that the player, Mobius 1, fights for. ISAF seems to be primarily based around nations in Usea but its support from overseas is apparent. How else could they retake an entire continent otherwise?

ISAF is headquartered out of a large island off the Eastern Coast of Usea known as “North Point”. North Point is roughly analogous in size and position to Great Britain when compared to Usea geographically. North Point posses many Air Force bases and probably has many production facilities and maintenance bunkers designed to supplant North Point as a giant island siege fortress in the event of an invasion from what was likely a nation off to the eastern ocean. North Point’s role as an island fortress was probably motivated by historical use in that role. It is very well placed to cover Usea’s eastern and southern approaches. When the war broke out, ISAF immediately retreated the majority of its land, air, and sea forces to North Point since the island was beyond Stonehenge’s effective range. Only a neglected land Army remained in a peninsula of Usea’s directly north of North Point, and this force was quickly withdrawn once North Point was secure against strategic bombing.

ISAF’s original strategy probably called for the use of North Point as a base to blockade Usea and potentially force the Erusean’s to seek a settlement or be deprived of international shipping. This strategy was probably thrown out once it became apparent that the Aegir Fleet would ruin any blockade and international shipping wasn’t very important to a single nation now controlling a continent the size of North America. In addition, the ISAF operates many small space centers to an archipelago south of North Point that were probably constructed during the days of Ulysses. Construction them on low ground level islands seems like a fairly poor idea though, so they may have been built on those locations beforehand. ISAF used the launch facilities for the deployment of spy satellites during and probably before the war. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that it was probably one of the satellites from these facilities that detected Ulysses approaching the planet. They may even have directed the rounds fired by Stonehenge so as to achieve far greater accuracy in shot placement.

ISAF was caught unprepared for what the Erusean’s were packing when the war started. Though apparently they weren’t unprepared for war otherwise they would have been eliminated outright. AltEarth’s history is full of large scale modern wars where the airplane has proven its dominance again and again. ISAF, like any first world coalition, took these lessons to heart.

ISAF’s weapons of war – The Allied Air Forces, Mobius Squadron.

A. The Allied Air Forces – The nations of AltEarth are strongly devoted to the capabilities of aerial dominance in war. The airplane is the undisputed king of strategy. Throughout history, desperate nations with a faltering war effort tried to construct super weapons of varying, almost comical, grandeur to even the playing field. AltEarth does not seem to know Guerilla Wars. The Cold War never happened, so the deterrent to wars on Earth, the fear of planet destroying MAD, is not present. The interesting thing is, nuclear bombs and even ICBM’s appear to exist on the world of Ace Combat and are used extensively in the “super weapons” shown in the games. They are never used a single combat system though. Nuclear warheads are always tied in conjunction with some amazingly complex launch system. I can’t think of a way to explain this, but in any case, nukes certainly aren’t the only type of super weapon on the planet.

So ISAF had a huge air force, because it seemed like a far more reliable means to achieve military success. From the looks of EVERY game in the series, they may well have been right. I believe the current Win to Loss ratio for the games Air Forces vs. Laser Beams of Doom and Flying Battleships is currently 7/0. That’s 8/0 if you count Ace Combat X. There is no reason for anyone in the world of AC NOT to build a hugely competitive air force unless you simply lack the capability to do so.

From the looks of it, ISAF did build a huge Air Force combined of many nations. The ability to have all these foreign air forces working together so fluidly is nothing short of fantastic. This indicates superior organization and logistical capabilities on ISAF’s part. So effective they were able to recover from being backed against a wall and then continue to defeat an enemy that had taken a continent.

Unlike Erusea, ISAF also placed emphasis on Naval Aviation. The 4th game featured plenty of missions starting off the decks of any one of ISAF’s carriers and its escorting task force. ISAF never showed any kind of huge naval surface force like Aegir’s. It’s likely that like any Earth Nation, they saw surface forces as largely secondary in grand Naval Strategy. Despite this, ISAF seemed very unwilling to risk their use of their super carriers close to the Usean coast early in the game. Probably because of the still strong illusion of Erusean air supremacy.

It should also be noted that ISAF’s air forces are very well led. Their commanding officers are alert, well trained, and experienced. “Sky Eye” was a particularly valuable asset to the player during the game, and his fast warnings and crystal clear orders displayed the emphasis ISAF placed on strong but flexible command and control. The kind Erusea probably never had.
The Mission Briefer was direct, and to the point. Every available detail was given to the player and his allies during missions briefings with nary a pointless quip. It was all business to ISAF, and they conducted themselves accordingly.


B. Mobius Squadron – Unlike the Yellows, Mobius squadron was hastily formed at the start of the war to defend North Point from attack by strategic bombers. It had very light standards, emphasizing ISAF’s need for pilots of any kind at that point. It was also very poorly equipped, receiving only obsolete F4 Phantoms and F5 Tigers for defense of North Point. It was largely a ragtag group thrown together in a rush. When it became apparent that the group’s pilots were learning particularly fast, ISAF decided to move them up for strategic raids on Erusean’ facilities on the mainland. There, they demonstrated excellent flight skill and accomplishment of objectives well within allotted time. Mobius Squadron had the benefit of continuously striking lucky on up-to-date targets that were poorly defended. It quickly gained a reputation that centered around the exploits of its flight lead Mobius 1. The newspaper headlines gained by Mobius 1 were probably effective in offsetting the Yellow Squadron’s reputation. Even if Mobius Squadron was fighting an enemy with a poor understanding of Aerial Warfare.

As the war progressed, Mobius Squadron only became more and popular and was eventually scaled up to form its own air group. Their reputation as ISAF’s own “Yellows” was solidified when they sank most of the Aegir Fleet at Port and then followed it up with leading the charge against Erusea’s disastrous Air Raid in “Shattered Skies”. Even if their exploits were largely the result of facing an inferior opponent, it was exactly what ISAF needed at the time.

The group culminated during the raid on Stonehenge, where it eliminated Erusea’s two remaining strategic assets in one swing. Stonehenge was destroyed, and the elite squadron Erusea had built expressly to defend it, Yellow Squadron, was defeated on its own turf. Future games indicate the squadron was disbanded following AC4, but may have been brought together one last time for a counter terrorist operation.



Best care anywhere.

What is Project Zohar?


Last edited by CaptHawkeye on 2009-01-17 08:14pm, edited 1 time in total.
Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-17 05:43pm
Offline
Sith Devotee
User avatar

Joined: 2007-03-04 07:52pm
Posts: 2902
Location: Korea.
ISAF was in a bad place when the war started due to the effects of Ulysses. Many of its nations had been working to mend their own wounds and recover their broken economies. ISAF’s member nations were successful in accomplishing these goals just as the war started, though it had come at the cost of military unpreparedness for war. Something the Erusean’s opted for instead. The Erusean course of post-Ulysses recovery was probably considered unsustainable by the nations of ISAF. That might be why they distanced themselves from Erusea, leading the lonely nation to believe it was being shunned and victimized. This led to Erusea’s choice of using its newfound strengths against its former friends and allies. This is the folly of their leaders, the war they created to obtain power they could never really have. As all the wicked believe, before they start a conflict.
Hence begins Ace Combat 4 Shattered Skies.

Part 3: Ace Combat 4: Shattered Skies.

It must have been apparent to Erusea before the start of the war that ISAF would attempt to use North Point as a secure forward base from which to carry out a future counter offensive. North Point’s proximity to Usea made its use in this role a virtual inevitability. Erusea, with its chronically limited industrial and economic capabilities, would have needed to neutralize North Point or ultimately allow the ISAF their ever growing advantages in equipment and personnel.
While I speculated before that the Aegir Fleet was well capable of seaborne invasion, it was limited by its lacking air arm. Much worse, North Point was very far beyond the effective range of air cover provided by Stonehenge. It’s at this point that Erusea’s limited Air Force would have to come to play. It’s likely that the Erusean’s believed, optimistically, that Stonehenge has succeeded in badly attritioning the ISAF’s aerial capabilities at the start of the war. Whether or not this was the result of “victory disease” on the part of Erusea’s leaders, misinformation spread by ISAF counter intelligence, or both, is unknown. In any case, Erusea was, for the first time, willing to openly use its Air Force on an even playing ground against ISAF’s.

Mission 1. “Sitting Duck”
As I pointed out, ISAF was very concentrated around aerial warfare. So it was logical to the Erusean’s that their express goal would be to neutralize North Point’s airbases and aircraft production/maintenance facilities as quickly as possible. This explains the first mission, an aerial bombing raid targeting an outlying but large air base local to North Point. ISAF was apparently very fearful of these raids, since they committed the majority of their Aircraft into a defensive role to stop them. The mission was an excellent tactical success for ISAF. They succeeded in destroying the bombers and preventing significant damage to North Point. The Erusean’s were unlikely to simply give up at this point. The strategic threat of the bombing offensive was still quite healthy after all.

Mission 2. “Imminent Threat”
ISAF was also unwilling to simply sit back and take the punishment. Hence the second mission in the game, the raid against the Erusean B-52 base on the mainland. This raid was quite successful and effectively eliminated Erusea’s strategic bombing campaign against North Point. I don’t actually think all of Erusea’s bombers were eliminated during the second mission. Apparently it was enough to discourage them from continuing to risk their already strained Air Forces for some time. Thus showing the weakness of their forces beyond the protection of Stone Henge.

Mission 3. “The Northern Eye”
What followed after that was an attempt on Erusea’s part to frustrate ISAF’s future strategic options. According to the Mission 3 briefing (“The Northern Eye”), ISAF had begun withdrawing its large army in Usea’s northern peninsula. Probably because this force was at needless risk of being cutoff, and hope of holding out was essentially nill. So it would be far more logical to withdraw it for the defense of North Point in an invasion or (as would happen) to use in a future invasion of the Usean mainland, which was undoubtedly on somebody’s drawing board at this point.
The mission itself was fairly uneventful. Mobius 1 succeeded in destroying the captured radar facilities guiding missile strikes against evacuating ISAF forces thus allowing them to escape. Yet again, Erusea’s reliance in Stonehenge precluded its weakness of limited range compounded by the limited capabilities of Erusea’s Air Force. ISAF’s Army was able to escape.



Best care anywhere.

What is Project Zohar?


Last edited by CaptHawkeye on 2009-01-17 06:06pm, edited 1 time in total.
Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-17 05:48pm
Offline
Sith Devotee
User avatar

Joined: 2007-03-04 07:52pm
Posts: 2902
Location: Korea.
What’s more important about Mission 3 was what the impression ISAF probably got from the lackluster air defense of a strategically important area. The illusion of Eurusian aerial supremacy was beginning to wear off. Their reliance in Stonehenge as a defensive installation was beginning to creep trough the seams. This compelled ISAF to step up its offensive strategy, which would ultimately spell disaster for Erusea.

Mission 4. “Blockade”
Amongst the methods the Erusean's were using to supply the Aegir Fleet was a squadron of transport aircraft screened by an ECM blanket from a local detachment. ISAF ordered the operation knowing full well that these planes were supplying Aegir and it's likely that it had occurred to ISAF that Aegir's supply situation wasn't as secure as the Erusean's had hoped. The operation was a success for ISAF, who succeded in discouraging further resupply by air for the Aegir Fleet. Not only that, but many of Erusea's few modern ECM aircraft were shot down during the attack.


Mission 5. “Lifeline”
ISAF knew that it had successfully stalled Erusea’s plans against it, but the threat of invasion posed by the Aegir Fleet was still very real. As a result of recent failure on Erusea’s part, it was likely that they were stepping up the time table on their naval invasion plans. ISAF’s air power over North Point was still very great, but it seems likely that ISAF did not have the utmost confidence in it to rely on its defense entirely. They feared that the Aegir Fleet, the world’s premier naval surface force, would find a way through ISAF’s air defense and spell ultimate doom for North Point. So a plan was made to eliminate the Aegir Fleet. But first, ISAF would need to slow them down.

The point of Mission 5, “Lifeline” in the game was stated clearly in the briefing. An attack on the Aegir Fleet’s forward supply base would be carried out to stall the Fleet at its harbor. Prior to Missions 4, ,3 and 2, it’s unlikely ISAF would have attempted this raid since the illusion of Erusean aerial supremacy was still rampant, and it seemed fruitless to risk their remaining defensive forces in a raid they could not immediately follow up an attack with. However, the success of those operations against the supposedly “powerful” Erusean Air Force had broken the illusion. Now ISAF was willing to take the all important risks that would decide the war.

Lifeline was carried out successfully. Erusean defenses were yet again, totally insufficient to deal with the size of the raid against them. However, it seems likely that the Erusean’s were becoming aware of ISAF’s growing confidence. Indeed, ISAF’s offensive operations were now quite grand in scale, and they apparently weren’t afraid to openly risk their forces. Erusea would now try to play one of its favorite cards in order to re-obtain the social fear it had so successfully nurtured at the start of the war. Yellow Squadron, the elite air wing that had spent most of the war thus far uselessly sitting at Stone Henge practicing maneuvers and mock raids, was for the first time, used in the role of mobile defense. What it should have been used for at the very start of the war. (Mobius Squadron couldn’t have been too successful at mission 1 if those bombers were escorted by the Yellows.)

On paper, Yellow Squadron’s ambush of the raiding force seemed to be spectacular. The post mission brief seems to strongly imply that ISAF’s raiders were taken by surprise and many were lost to Yellow Squadron’s attack which went virtually unopposed. However, it doesn’t seem as if it was enough to totally deter ISAF from its strategy of crippling Erusea’s offensive capabilities right from North Point. This makes sense really. By now ISAF was probably starting to receive far more foreign aid, the coalition probably had more member states, and ISAF’s collective industrial power was catching up. Why stop now? Yellow Squadron’s showing over the supply base had been un-nerving, but not morale breaking, as the Eurusian’s had hoped. Not to mention that the ISAF raid had been a resounding strategic success. The Aegir Fleet’s forward supply base was annihilated. What’s worse, after the mission Yellow Squadron went right back to the defense of Stone Henge.

Erusea had seemed to learn nothing from its own counter attack. On the other hand, ISAF was now more serious than ever. It’s likely that even with Yellow Squadron on the front lines, nothing was going to stop the first real major setback the Erusean’s were about to endure.

Mission 6, “Invincible Fleet”.

As I stated before, the Aegir Fleet was one of Erusea’s biggest playing cards. It was its cultural military symbol, as evidenced by the amount of confidence they placed in and the reputation it had garnered in backdrop with the rest of the world. Its surface forces were far larger than anyone else’s and it had the sea lift capacity to follow up its “Decisive Battle” strategy. Allowing the Aegir Fleet to continue its mere existence would be totally unacceptable.

ISAF’s raid on the Aegir Fleet’s supply base was part of a grand strategy to slow it down and take advantage of its hasty placement beyond the cover of Stone Henge.
In placing the Aegir Fleet so forward, the Erusean’s would be able to most efficiently sortie their fleet with the least amount of preparation time for an invasion or defense against an ISAF naval assault.

However, they had really made one of the gravest mistakes of the whole war. They had placed their biggest Naval Fleet beyond the safety of Stone Henge. It’s possible that the danger of such a decision was apparent to Eurusia’s leaders, but calls to move the fleet to a safer location did not come in time. The ISAF raid against their forward supply base temporarily left the Fleet immobilized in its port. The likely hood of an ISAF raid on the Aegir Fleet must have looked obvious to Eurusia. From the looks of it, they were actively working to move the fleet to a safer location when the attack on the port started. (The Aegir Fleet’s super carrier, its escorting battleships, and many missile cruisers were already leaving the port. The submarine pens were emptying and few ships were in dry dock, many were in harbor with weapon systems active apparently attempting to leave.)

It was ultimately too little too late. The Aegir Fleet was caught with its pants down and eliminated ship by ship as Erusea’s leaders could only slam fists on their desks back at Farbanti. Stonehenge’s radio operators would inevitably receive frantic calls demanding SOME kind of token barrage aimed in the direction of the port city. At the very least, they could sortie Yellow Squadron to come to the Fleet’s aid. (Though they probably wouldn’t arrive nearly on time. Even if they were there, the sheer size of the ISAF raid meant they probably wouldn’t have accomplished much.)

The damage was irreparable. The Aegir Fleet’s only (or one of few) super carrier was sunk. Its battleships went with it. Most of missile cruisers were also sent to the bottom, immobilized, or beached. The submarines, in the middle of evacuation, were caught in the shallow waters around the sub pens, little more than sitting ducks. The air defense around the Aegir Fleet was not small, but yet again, their inferiority in equipment and airmen led to Eurusia paying the price. The “Invincible” Aegir Fleet was annihilated. Its massive variety of modern warships decimated and its sealift capabilities ruined. North Point was no longer under the threat of invasion, which meant ISAF no longer had to play defense. It could now take center stage in the war and could call the shots as it saw fit.



Best care anywhere.

What is Project Zohar?


Last edited by CaptHawkeye on 2009-01-17 08:11pm, edited 1 time in total.
Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-17 06:52pm
Offline
Jedi Knight
User avatar

Joined: 2007-02-26 07:39pm
Posts: 937
Location: Not Scotland, that's for sure
Quote:
ISAF was also unwilling to simply sit back and take the punishment. Hence the second mission in the game, the raid against the Erusean B-52 base on the mainland.


Nitpick, those Erusean bombers in Missions 1 and 2 were all Tu-95s. IIRC, Erusea never deployed the B-52 (although there is a B-70 in that one mission with the cruise missiles, I think it was 14).

Besides that, a good read! Keep up the good work.



Image
"If the flight succeeds, you swipe an absurd amount of prestige for a single mission. Heroes of the Zenobian Onion will literally rain upon you." - PeZook
"If the capsule explodes, heroes of the Zenobian Onion will still rain upon us. Literally!" - Shroom
Cosmonaut Ivan Ivanovich Ivanov (deceased, rain), Cosmonaut Petr Petrovich Petrov, Unnamed MASA Engineer, and Unnamed Zenobian Engineerski in Let's play: BARIS
Captain, MFS Robber Baron, PRFYNAFBTFC - "Absolute Corruption Powers Absolutely"

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-17 07:48pm
Offline
Sith Marauder

Joined: 2005-05-18 01:31am
Posts: 4736
CaptHawkeye wrote:
Mission 4. “Blockade”
This mission seemed like another fairly uneventful raid. The player’s job was to destroy some recon and ECM aircraft over the mainland that were probably screening some kind of force movement. (Potentially the Aegir Fleet.) The loss of these ECM craft in the mission further damaged the faltering reputation of Erusea’s Air Force.


The primary purpose of Blockade was to shoot down several transport planes that the Eurusians were using to supply the Aegir Fleet and their other forces in-theatre. The ECM air-craft and escorting fighters were to protect these transports, and while their loss hurt the Erusians, the true blow was their transports and the supplies they were carrying.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-17 08:05pm
Offline
Sith Devotee
User avatar

Joined: 2007-03-04 07:52pm
Posts: 2902
Location: Korea.
Adrian Laguna wrote:
CaptHawkeye wrote:
Mission 4. “Blockade”
This mission seemed like another fairly uneventful raid. The player’s job was to destroy some recon and ECM aircraft over the mainland that were probably screening some kind of force movement. (Potentially the Aegir Fleet.) The loss of these ECM craft in the mission further damaged the faltering reputation of Erusea’s Air Force.


The primary purpose of Blockade was to shoot down several transport planes that the Eurusians were using to supply the Aegir Fleet and their other forces in-theatre. The ECM air-craft and escorting fighters were to protect these transports, and while their loss hurt the Erusians, the true blow was their transports and the supplies they were carrying.


Thanks. Like I said it's been a while since i've played the game.

Blockade makes way more sense as a raiding mission now that you reminded me that those planes were carrying supplies to the Aegir Fleet. This further implies the Aegir Fleet's reliance on land based air power for long term support and power projection against ISAF. I'll change the analysis accordingly.



Best care anywhere.

What is Project Zohar?

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-17 08:13pm
Offline
Sith Devotee
User avatar

Joined: 2007-03-04 07:52pm
Posts: 2902
Location: Korea.
Erusea’s cultural icon was gone, but it wasn’t exactly finished yet. It still held Usea in a firm grip, and now their strategy shifted from political baiting to strategic attrition. Making the ISAF bleed away its will to fight by making the war as frustrating as possible. They still had Stonehenge after all.

Mission 7. “Deep Strike”
ISAF wasn’t about to let Stonehenge deter them. Their dreams of retaking the mainland no longer seemed so far off these days. With North Point secure, ISAF could now prepare its counter offensive. The first phase would be to continue raids against Erusean military facilities on the mainland. Mission 7 “Deep Strike” consisted of a raid against one of the biggest energy facilities on Usea. If I recall the facility was generating more than 1/3 of all the energy used on the mainland. There was a problem; the energy farm was located within Stonehenge’s defensive arena. ISAF, apparently under a slight “victory disease” of its own, committed its (by now very experienced) raiders to an assault on the facility. Yet again, the secrecy and speed of the attack worked well into ISAF’s favor, compounded by the token aerial defenses of the ever stretched and insufficient Erusean Air Force. However, ISAF had made the mistake of playing into Erusea’s game, and had been exposed to Stonehenge. The installation opened fire on the area, and while nearly at the edge of its engagement range, still managed to destroy plenty of the raiders. Stonehenge had yet again proven why Erusea was a force to be reckoned with. Unlike Erusea however, ISAF was more than capable of replacing the losses incurred by its mistakes. Moreover, ISAF was starting to learn about Stonehenge’s capabilities, and would work future strategies around it.

By now it must have been apparent to Erusea that its biggest problem was the poor organization and discipline of its Air Force. ISAF raiders frequently attacked important facilities and were often opposed by light resistance of local patrol craft. Erusea had made the mistake of spreading its Air Force thinly over a wide area to discourage attacks, but not to defeat them. After the apparent failure of this method, it looks as if Erusea took a note from ISAF and decided to concentrate its air power in a single large strike force. However, its limits weren’t going to disappear overnight. This makes me believe that Erusea would attempt to use its Air Force in a manner that would make ISAF come to them.

Mission 8. “Shattered Skies”

Mission 8, the popular “Shattered Skies” is what I consider the Midway of the game. The briefing states that Erusea was attempting to prevent the launch of an important spy satellite at one of ISAF’s island launch facilities. I think the mission briefer has the wrong idea personally. Why would Erusea risk the bulk of its aerial capability just attacking a space center in the middle of nowhere? The Spy Satellite would have been certainly unhealthy for their war effort, but enough to risk such a massive air raid on the facility?
I think it was much more than that. Erusea wasn’t deploying the bulk of its Air Force (in its first real offensive op since the start of the war) just for a spy satellite. They attacked that space center because they wanted to lure Mobius Squadron and the Allied Air Forces into a future engagement on their terms. Why a “future” engagement and not this one here?
It wasn’t favorable to Erusea really. The space center in Shattered Skies is very far from Stonehenge. I think Erusea’s goal was to attack and cripple the space center, and then quickly withdraw back to the mainland in the hope that the Allied Air Forces would follow them into the range of Stonehenge or would attempt to force a future engagement with them in Stonehenge’s engagement envelope. After all, Erusea’s strategy had shifted to “frustration” at this point in the war. What could be more frustrating to the ISAF then the destruction of its aerial dominance in a single battle? The “Decisive Air Battle” is what they wanted.

Too bad for the best laid plans right? It’s pretty apparent that Erusea underestimated the showing ISAF would make in Mission 8. Most of the attacking aircraft were still made up of the same under equipped and poorly experienced pilots that ISAF had been slamming for months by then. Yellow Squadron was present for the battle, but of course, not in the numbers Erusea needed. What’s worse, Yellow Squadron was used as part of the first attack wave. Thus exposing it to the greatest amount of exhaustion and attrition early on the battle. This is why they withdrew so early in the mission.

Overall the mission was a disaster for Erusean forces. The bulk of their Air Force had been ruined over the space center and they now had precisely zero offensive projection capability beyond the continent. The Erusean Air Force would never again carry out a major operation beyond the safety of Stonehenge.

Mission 9. “Operation Bunker Shot”

By now the ISAF had apparently amassed enough strength to carry out its invasion of the mainland. The invasion force attacking the beach during the mission was quite large, consisting of many numerous transports, surface vessels, and even plenty of close air support in poor weather.

The beach head itself was quite far from North Point, which leads me to believe ISAF chose it because it seemed to be such an unfavorable location for an assault. Erusea probably wouldn’t concentrate a very large defensive garrison in the location and from the looks of it, they didn’t. The terrain was also favorable to the landing and the beach head was safely beyond Stonehenge. You’ll notice during the mission that Erusean air cover was fairly sparse, though they did make a concentrated attempt to attack the beach with bombers and gunships late in the mission. However, the lack of present escort aircraft meant that the gunships, attack planes, and bombers were devastated. This was undoubtedly a result of Erusea sacrificing many of its fighters in the previous operation.

I've also put the the delayed "ISAF's weapons of war" section in.



Best care anywhere.

What is Project Zohar?

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-17 08:46pm
Offline
Sith Devotee
User avatar

Joined: 2007-03-04 07:52pm
Posts: 2902
Location: Korea.
Mission 10. “Tango Line”

After firmly establishing their beach head on Usea, ISAF now worked to solidify its hold on the continent. Taking place in Usea’s tropical south, the “Tango Line” was a network of underground bunkers, air force bases, and supply depots hidden within the mountains and jungles of the area. I believe that the Tango Line was probably constructed prior to the war, not as a fortress, but as a fallout shelter from the effects of the Ulysses Asteroid. Should Stonehenge fail of course. Its position is well within Stonehenge’s low angle defensive perimeter, presenting a very favorable location for a defensive line for the Erusean’s. Unfortunately for Erusea, ISAF had plenty of intel regarding the facility and was able to destroy many of its outlying facilities not to mention its protecting air defense.

Yet the facility was within Stonehenge’s envelope. Even better, Stonehenge was given plenty of warning over the attack, and was able to quickly open fire on the area in the middle of the ISAF assault. It should have been a textbook Erusean success it seemed.
While plenty of Allied aircraft were again shot down over the Tango Line, a real problem had finally shown itself to the Erusean’s. ISAF was learning how to take the bite out of Stonehenge. By now the pilots the Allied Air Forces were both well equipped and very experienced. Many of the aerial commanders had personally experienced attack by Stonehenge and were aware of methods to defeat Stonehenge’s high altitude nuclear projectiles. ISAF’s Command and Control aircraft now had the necessary equipment to detect attacks by Stonehenge well before the shells reached the area. If they realized it, it must have been quite un-nerving for the Erusean’s to observe.

Mission 11. “Escort”

This was a fairly simple mission. The player was tasked with escorting two damaged airliners containing defecting personnel and documents pertaining to the Stonehenge installation. The mission briefer considered the mission quite important, since he and undoubtedly ISAF’s leadership felt that the recovery of sensitive information about SH would be decisive. While the success of the operation greatly aided ISAF’s understanding of the Henge, I personally don’t think the failure of the operation would've spelled doom for ISAF.

As stated before, ISAF was discovering much about the Henge’s capabilities first hand. Apparently, the installation could attack aircraft from very far away, but unlike previous beliefs, it could not create a true no fly zone. Stonehenge was apparently limited in firing range not because of gravity, but because of the curvature of the planet. This meant that Stonehenge was strictly a “Line of Sight” weapon. Its shells were obviously capable of some downward arcing. Just not enough to keep the shell in the atmosphere of the planet before it ricocheted off into space. The documents ISAF recovered would probably confirm this theory. From the looks of it, they recovered a particularly valuable piece of information about Stonehenge. The information about the facility’s lackluster radar detection network.

Mission 12. “Stonehenge Offensive”

The information ISAF acquired from the recovered Erusean defectors consisted likely of two kinds of information. Things ISAF already knew, and things they didn’t know but would probably discover anyway. One of the things ISAF was probably quite happy to learn of ahead of time was the details pertaining to Stonehenge’s defense perimeter. Stonehenge was at low ground level in a dessert surrounded on all sides by rough terrain. Not particularly mountainous or high, but enough to make a ground attack towards the facility a pain. The local terrain was probably selected by Erusia so as to keep civil development away from the facility. It wouldn’t make much sense to build an installation like that in middle of a city after all.

When Stonehenge was repurposed for the role of Anti Aircraft battery Erusea rebuilt the facility into a military base. Surface to Air Missile emplacements were erected across the installation, bunkers were constructed, and an airfield for the facility was repurposed for military use. Though Yellow Squadron did not use the airfield potentially because their commanding officer 13 either found the location too dangerous for practice or it just wasn’t big enough to support a huge contingent of modern fighters. It wasn’t intended as a military facility after all.

The biggest issue with the facility was its incomplete radar detection grid. The rough terrain probably made the job of early detection and alerts a headache for Erusean radar operators. There were many blind spots in the grid and the Erusean’s did not succeed in covering them before the war started. It’s likely they lost interest in that once the war started and Stonehenge seemed beyond the threat of air raid.

ISAF’s raiders thus had the road paved before them by their own enemy. Mobius Squadron again took advantage of slow Erusean reaction times and managed to sneak a large assault force into the local area with minimal risk of early detection. The Assault Force endured only a few scant barrages before they had closed the distance to a point where Stonehenge’s massive guns could no longer train fast enough to engage aircraft. The facility was doomed.
A radar jammer had been hastily erected not long before the battle probably due the fear of long range ISAF stealth bombers using precision weapons. Its placement in the facility made it an easy target and accordingly it was knocked out early in the battle. Yellow Squadron was quickly sortied but again, paid the price for Erusea’s consistent disorganization. The facility was crippled and ruined before they were within range to cover it. Permanently ending Erusea’s hopes of an armistice or separate peace. To make matters worse, Yellow Squadron was again up against a massive ISAF raiding force to which they simply could not hope to defeat. The operation was already a resounding success for ISAF. So one can only imagine how ISAF’s leaders felt upon hearing that Yellow Squadron had been defeated in an air battle over its own turf, suffering heavy casualties in experienced pilots and fleeing the battlefield. ISAF had, with a single stone, killed one bird and wounded the other. Yellow Squadron’s reputation was broken and ISAF’s Air Dominance was now assured. Erusea’s days were numbered.



Best care anywhere.

What is Project Zohar?

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-18 12:39pm
Offline
Sith Devotee
User avatar

Joined: 2002-08-30 11:45am
Posts: 3138
I really think it's amazing that you went into such detail about the game. AC4 was also one of my favorite games, and all the points you addressed seem very well thought out. You should make an analysis on other games, since they offer an indepth perspective that isn't really harped on in the game, even if all the pieces are there.



Image

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-18 02:08pm
Offline
Sith Devotee
User avatar

Joined: 2007-03-04 07:52pm
Posts: 2902
Location: Korea.
I had put this together largely after I had the time to think about it on a slow work day and after reading things like Friedman's "US Battleship", combinedfleet.com, and some of Publius' analysis page on the Empire. It's kind of a pseudo fan-fiction, but more of discussive analysis hence its posting in OT. I will think about applying the "style" to other games.

Mission 13. “Safe Return”

With the threat of Stonehenge removed, ISAF could now carry out the detailed recon over enemy holdings it had wanted to perform since the start of the war. While most ISAF’s spy efforts were placed over Erusea, a few U-2 spy planes were kept detached for use on an archipelago south of Erusea. ISAF believed that Erusea might have been using the archipelago as a base for remaining Naval assets. What they discovered was more important. It seemed that the Eruseans had been half way through the construction of another super weapon platform for use against Ulysses. Unlike Stonehenge, this platform had been kept secret from the ISAF. The Eruseans had been secretly preparing a backup system should Stonehenge fail to eliminate the threat posed by Ulysses. This super weapon platform was a geographically remote ICBM launch base known as “Megalith”. The concept for Megalith had been presented when ISAF was working with the Eruseans for solutions to Ulysses. It’s likely that the concept was thrown out by ISAF when it became obvious that Megalith would be too destructive. Unlike Stonehenge’s nuclear slugs, which would move Ulysses away, Megalith would use rapid consecutive strikes to break Ulysses apart. Obviously, this would not have saved the planet. So ISAF threw the design out, but the previous Erusean government began construction on it regardless. After Ulysses passed, the facility was abandoned, until its construction was continued by the new military government for a short while. It still appeared to be incomplete, and unlike Stonehenge, it could not be used in a genuinely strategic manner. However, it did present the Erusean’s with the Global Strike capable weapon system they had wanted Stonehenge to be.

The U-2 spy plane sent to recover further information over Megalith barely made it back from its mission having been tagged by fire from the facility. The pilot initially did not suspect he had received serious damage, but as he began to lose power he lost the ability to maintain altitude and radioed for assistance. It appears that the Erusean’s had been using an experimental kind of “aerial radar jammer” mounted on balloons in the local mountains. This network was probably erected to prevent ISAF from attacking evacuating Erusean forces passing through the region and was abandoned after the evacuation. Since the mountains were known for their consistently poor weather, Erusea attempted to negate the danger posed by ISAF air strikes flying and attacking by Instrument.

ISAF deployed only Mobius 1 to the area (sending many aircraft would create needless air to air collision hazards) to neutralize the radar balloons. It’s a testament to how far ISAF’s airmen had come that Mobius 1 was able to locate and destroy most of the balloons visually despite the prevailing instrument conditions. It’s too bad the Eruseans weren’t around to see it.
Mission 14. “Breaking Arrows”

Erusean evacuation efforts were now in full swing. Without the cover of Stonehenge, Usea had become a buffet for ISAF. Erusea, still vainly holding onto the belief of an Armistice, was attempting to move its forces back into its national borders so as to create a mobile defensive line akin to Germany’s Seelow Heights. ISAF was aware that Erusea was attempting to concentrate its remaining forces domestically. While this wasn’t going to stop ISAF, if too many Eruean forces escaped the war would be prolonged.
ISAF began carrying out landings in northern Usea to cut off retreating Erusean ground forces. The hastiness of the operation meant that ISAF was unable to carry out detailed pre-landing recon. As a result, the landing forces had unwittingly walked into Erusean pre war weapons testing range for SCUDs and other low altitude ballistic missiles. The local launch facility was in the process of being decommissioned when the Eruseans quickly re-staffed it and began wildly firing missiles at the ISAF beachhead. Again, Mobius Squadron was deployed into the area to accomplish the feat of shooting down the obsolete but powerful missiles heading for the ISAF landing zone. Mobius Squadron was able to intercept the missiles in flight, including a single pre war experimental missile designed to “zig zag” in flight. Yet again, ISAF’s apparent superiority in pilots, equipment, and command allowed to minimize damage to landing zone. Trapping part of a Erusean army in Usea.

Mission 15. “Emancipation”

The city of San Salvacion had been a neutral city-state at the start of the war, but was “requisitioned” for use by the Erusean’s after the commanding officer of Yellow Squadron had found the local area to be suitable for a makeshift base. (Due to terrain/facilities/etc.) Salvacion was close to Stonehenge so it seemed inconsequential to place Yellow Squadron there, apparently, it wasn’t close enough.

Yellow Squadron had long since left the city with the force evacuations. But the speed of the recent ISAF advance meant a small contingent of the local garrison had been entrapped in the city. ISAF’s capture of the city was mostly intended for public relations. The capture of Yellow Squadron’s “base”. They would just leave out the part that the Yellows had long since left it.

Yet again, the Eruseans attempted to attack ISAF forces with a hopelessly outmatched force of bombers. The difference being that the bombers Erusea would be using this time were an experimental model of supersonic bomber that would supposedly be too fast to intercept. The Eruseans were beginning to rush experimental and unfinished weapons into combat in the hopes of further delaying ISAF. The supersonic bombers ended up being rushed into service and as a result, were not capable of the impossibly high speed Eruseas Air Force had demanded of the designers. The bombers were shot down, again depriving Erusea of desperately needed air striking ability.



Best care anywhere.

What is Project Zohar?


Last edited by CaptHawkeye on 2009-01-18 09:28pm, edited 1 time in total.
Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-18 02:48pm
Offline
FUCKING DICK-STABBER!
User avatar

Joined: 2003-05-11 08:39am
Posts: 19927
Location: Bleeding breasts and stabbing dicks since 2003
I'll remind myself to check this out when I've got the time for a long read.



Image Image Image
shroom is a lovely boy and i wont hear a bad word against him - LUSY-CHAN!
Shit! Man, I didn't think of that! It took Shroom to properly interpret the screams of dying people :D - PeZook
Shroom, I read out the stuff you write about us. You are an endless supply of morale down here. :p - an OWS street medic
Pink Sugar Heart Attack!

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-18 06:30pm
Offline
Emperor's Hand
User avatar

Joined: 2002-07-03 01:09pm
Posts: 8377
Location: Florida USA
I'm enjoying this greatly. It's a good analysis.



”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

Moderator of SDN, Former Spacebattles Super-Mod, Veteran Chatnik

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-18 07:31pm
Offline
Miles Dyson
User avatar

Joined: 2007-04-05 09:44pm
Posts: 7710
Location: Isle of Dogs
Excellent work. The speculation is all quite logical. Note that in 'Shattered Skies' an Erusian SR-71 is overflying the air battle (at unusually low altitude and speed for the type - it can be engaged by an F-15, just) at the start of the mission. It may be that Erusian satellite recon capability is weak and the SR-71 was the only option for confirming launch progress and enemy forces present in advance of the strike.

For Breaking Arrows, the missiles were definitely cruse missiles, not ballistic missiles. It's worth noting that only the final cruise missile was nuclear tipped (and salvage fused). Perhaps this rather hesitant use of battlefield nuclear weapons was a compromise between the need to stop ISAF and escalation concerns - or if your 'research facility' hypothesis is correct, they only had one nuke on hand. I confess this strikes be as the weakest of your assumptions - there's no real need for it, those cruise missiles could've come from stand-off bombers or ships somewhere else on the continent. There was also a sole XB-70 deployed at the start of that mission, could have been in a recon role or possibly a nuclear bomber (if shot down by Mobius 1 before it could release ordnance).



Image
Image
Windhaven
~ Spirit of Flight ~

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

( Trailer : zeppelins, death rays, wormholes... )
( Opening cutscene / voice acting test )

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-18 08:58pm
Offline
Sith Devotee
User avatar

Joined: 2007-03-04 07:52pm
Posts: 2902
Location: Korea.
Breaking Arrows is the mission I have the least memory of because it was just so boring. I tried salvaging through Youtube for a briefing but couldn't find much.



Best care anywhere.

What is Project Zohar?

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-18 11:36pm
Offline
Sith Devotee
User avatar

Joined: 2007-03-04 07:52pm
Posts: 2902
Location: Korea.
Mission 16. “Whiskey Corridor”

As ISAF’s forces began to cross into Erusea’s national borders, Erusea began constructing an elaborate but fairly sound defensive strategy. Their strategy called for a mobile defensive line consisting mostly of flexible armoured divisions and mechanized infantry backed up by mobile howitzers and multiple fallback lines. This was actually a very good idea on Erusea’s part, who were relying on the open terrain of Erusea’s eastern borders to create a killzone favorable to Erusea’s ground forces.

The Whiskey Corridor was very well prepared and organized and honestly strikes me as a strategy prepared before the war started. The running idea was that if Stonehenge failed to remove ISAF’s aerial advantage, Erusea’s forces could fall back to a pre determined and well rehearsed defensive line known as Whiskey Corridor. There, Erusea’s superior early war ground forces would be aided by the terrain which created a geological choke point from which ISAF’s forces would have to pass through. Erusea could concentrate its stretched air power in this killzone and cover their ground forces from air assault.

Unfortunately, the war had more or less passed. Erusea’s air power had been squandered away on failed operations and their Armies could no longer benefit from their pre-war advantages in preparation. Instead of being Erusea’s last hope of final defense, the Whiskey Corridor became a restaurant for ISAF. Where the last of its broken strength was concentrated and defeated by virtually unchallenged ISAF air attacks. Farbanti lay just ahead, and with it, the end of the war.

Mission 17. “Farbanti”

With the nation’s doom an inevitability, Erusea began to collapse in on itself. Erusea’s leaders pointlessly concentrated all remaining military strength in the capital. Erusea’s surviving navy was called back from its, thus far, secure haven in the Megalith archipelago and was ordered to the defense of the city for protection from an invasion. (Many of the ship’s crews would be quite distraught to find that Farbanti had no supplies for them either. So any ship that had made the trip to Farbanti would essentially be stranded there. This was probably intentional so as to prevent desertion in army units or mutiny on ships.) The only ground defense force in the city consisted of disorganized armoured and mechanized infantry battalions made up of fanatical but inexperienced Erusean soldiers. Erusea’s remaining air strength was concentrated over the city. Erusea’s Air Defense over the city consisted almost entirely of experimental and unfinished fighter designs that had received limited production before most of the industrial plants were wiped out. Accordingly many of these designs had impressive gadgets and capabilities, but would be offset by their rushed design, inexperienced pilots, and of course, the sheer mass of ISAF’s aerial armada.

Yellow Squadron would also defend the city, but would project itself from airbases in the Megalith archipelago to keep it safe from ISAF night time raids. The Erusean’ Air Force was no longer carrying out night time patrols due to fuel constraints and the dangers posed to inexperienced pilots by super advanced fighter designs. As a result ISAF had begun carrying out night raids with stealth bombers on Erusean air bases, destroying many new aircraft on the ground before they could ever become airborne.

As ISAF began to enter the city, Erusea’s military leaders convinced the President to flee the city for safety in Megalith, where he might find a temporary location from which to continue the war with the facility’s fanatically loyal garrison. He ultimately died in the escape attempt. Erusea’s remaining military leaders would meet similar fates, dying in fruitless escapes, by their own hand, or simply surrendering.

When the attack had begun, the Erusean military ordered Yellow Squadron to defend the city from the ISAF attack. Enough fuel was given to the aircraft for a one way trip and 20 minutes of flight time over the city with reasonable power use. In the event that any members of Yellow Squadron survived their flight, they were ordered to ditch over the city and join friendly ground forces fighting below. Most of the Yellows were wiped out before getting within visual range of the city. A few, including Yellow 13, did make it over the city but no records indicate they survived the air battle and made it to the ground. Yellow Squadron was essentially made extinct after the battle. With Farbanti captured, the war was over. At least it should have been.

Mission 18. “Megalith”

After the destruction of Stonehenge, Megalith received priority in remaining Erusean industrial output. The facility was quickly rushed into operational status though was still unfinished by the time of the attack of Farbanti. Megalith was mostly underground making it an unfavorable target to attack by strategic bombing, and much of the surrounding waters around the archipelago were heavily mined and fortified with hidden anti-ship missile batteries making a naval assault on the facility a difficult ordeal.

The local defense squadron was the remaining grand total of Erusea’s Air Force. Made up of experienced pilots and some remaining Yellow Squadron members, the force was prepared to buy time for the facility by suicidally opposing any ISAF air attack. Pilots were ordered to wildly attack any aircraft, ISAF or not. Once all ammunition was used, they were ordered to ram ISAF planes with their own. Any returning or retreating airmen would be shot. To demoralize ISAF pilots, the “Erusean Air Force” was disbanded as an organization and renamed “Yellow Squadron” to create an illusion of invincibility. The remaining aircraft had all typical Erusean designations and paint schemes removed, and were repainted in the same patterns the Yellows flew with. This new force was *not* Yellow Squadron but another illusion to create fear and panic in attackers.

Megalith could not attack ISAF’s military, and its unfinished nature meant it could not even be used against terrestrial targets. Instead, Megalith would be used against remaining fragments of Ulysses suspended in orbit directly over it. If even a handful of missiles could strike fragments of Ulysses, it could create a successful chain reaction of decaying orbits and force those fragments to rain down on the planet. The success of this attack on paper was limited by the destructive nature of Megalith’s missiles, which would destroy most of a fragment on impact. Many asteroid fragments would also have uncontrollable trajectories, for every fragment that began to fall to the planet many others would be pushed back into space, or simply do nothing. Though it was enough for Erusia, since the possibility of a fragment falling on and obliterating so much as one ISAF city was tempting.

ISAF had snuck a small commando team into the archipelago via air drop some weeks ago and this team had successfully evaded detection for some time before sneaking into the Megalith facility during the ISAF attack. The team succeeded in temporarily capturing the command center and de-securing the facility from ISAF attack aircraft before they were ultimately overrun and wiped out. ISAF’s pilots neutralized most of the facility’s launch capabilities and Mobius 1, in an amazing freak occurrence, finished the attack after flying inside the facility and destroying it from within. An event which he still will not speak about to this day.

Post War.

Erusea’s military government officially ceased function and disbanded after Megalith surrendered. Its remaining leaders were placed on trial for war crimes and an occupation army was maintained in Erusea for upwards of a decade. Its role complete, ISAF was “decommissioned” in official terms though still exists in a*de facto* sense. The organization and its facilities remain staffed to this day, and with a successful national vote and moratorium, it can be brought back into commission to deal with an international crisis.

Erusea’s surviving military equipment was slowly scrapped, destroyed, or stored for research and future museum use. The Stonehenge facility was burned and destroyed after the Erusean’s evacuated it, but part of it has been restored by a local agency and they have recently opened it up structurally sound sections for tourism. The remains of the Aegir Fleet are popular attractions for divers. Megalith had only a negative image associated with itself, and ISAF did not want the location being used as a Neo-Erusean icon. So the facility’s remains were mostly removed and its equipment scrapped. The only hints of the facility’s existence today are the exposed barbettes of a few missile silos that have been filled with concrete and closed.



Best care anywhere.

What is Project Zohar?

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-19 12:11am
Offline
Emperor's Hand
User avatar

Joined: 2002-07-03 01:09pm
Posts: 8377
Location: Florida USA
A nice wrap-up, with one slight wrinkle I can see.

IIRC you said you didn't play AC5. AC5 has a special "arcade" missions mode that doesn't follow the game's main storyline but rather is ISAF launching Operation: Katina to deal with a neo-fascist uprising in Erusea that had gotten some surplus Erusean equipment and was continuing the war on their own.

If you want to add to this, North Point was going to be the site of secret peace talks between the Federation of Osea and the Union of Yuktobanian Republics during the "Unsung War" of 2010 after the Yuktobanian bid to neutralize Sand Island Air Base and open the way to invading the Osean mainland was thwarted by the sinking of the invasion force by the Wardog Squadron, but Osean President Harding never made it and some weeks after the aborted peace talks the Osean military, under increasing "hardliner" control and with the Vice President taking increasing control of the war effort, launched a full-scale amphibious invasion of Yuktobania.



”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

Moderator of SDN, Former Spacebattles Super-Mod, Veteran Chatnik

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-19 02:12am
Offline
FUCKING DICK-STABBER!
User avatar

Joined: 2003-05-11 08:39am
Posts: 19927
Location: Bleeding breasts and stabbing dicks since 2003
I'm reading your posts as I type this, and so far it's been really good.

CaptHawkeye wrote:
AC4 is the most praised game of the series for featuring what many considered the most finely tuned combat model of the series.


Not really... 5 and Zero handle better than 04's engine, in my opinion. Dogfighting in 5 and Zero is way funner, and there are... subtle nuances in handling airplanes in those games. 04 seems more simplistic in handling aircraft and stuff. Plus, the ranges are rather short.

But Ace 04 isn't awesome just because of the gameplay. It's the storyline, mang. Not as bombastic as Ace 5, not as nihilistic or pseudophilosophical as Zeroes, or as melodramatic as 6's. Simple, but presented brilliantly!

Quote:
The coastal nation on the continent of Usea, Erusea was successful in developing a weapon to stop or at least seriously diminish Ulysses. The land based artillery platform Stonehenge.


I think that while Erusea was the primary contributor for the Stonehenge project (they're the only nation in the Usean continent with a penchant for obscene technologies), other nations may have contributed to the project. Wasn't Stonehenge located in the nation of San Salvacion, rather than Erusea itself?

Quote:
The use of nuclear slugs meant Ulysses was partially fragmented, and some smaller pieces did make landfall.


No evidence of them being nuclear shells. Nukes are rather... sparse in the Ace Combat world.

Then again, the notion that giant railgun rounds can create massive shockwaves in their wake, so powerful as to render entire areas into no-fly zones, is a preposterous one. Nuclear-tipped railguns would make more sense.

Also, the Ace Combat world is filled with ridiculous technology. Doesn't X have "shockwave" weaponry mounted on those flying invisible battleships?

Quote:
Its (Eruseas) seething hatred of the planet it saved was probably compounded by what it perceived as abandonment.


Hey, that's good. I didn't see it that way. I just thought that Erusea went "rar" and invaded other nations due to simple financial hardships post-Ulysses. The notion of Erusea feeling betrayed, after constructing the Stonehenge to save the world and only ending up being abandoned by her so-called allies (who were, to be fair, probably experiencing difficulties of their own...), and developing a seething hatred that culminated in all-out war is a good one. It provides motivation!

Quote:
Why was Stonehenge so important then? Potentially because Erusea’s own Air Force…was weak.


Very astute observation. I really didn't notice this, although it did seem that Stonehenge had a disproportionate role in securing Erusean air supremacy. It's unlike the Belkans, who were renowned for their fighting aces.

Quote:
Of course, it was limited. Erusea limited the Yellow Squadron to the role of defense. They would spend many of the war’s most important operations uselessly sitting at Stonehenge practicing maneuvers and mock attacks, then bragging about their “accomplishments” at the local bar the following night. Occasionally, the Yellows would be roused to defend or re-enforce a beleaguered frontline position, but their distance to the front would ensure they arrived too late or too exhausted every time.


Mmm... that's a good idea. But I'd like to think that Yellow Squad wasn't just a paper tiger. In the opening, when Erusea invaded San Salvacion to take the Stonehenge, Yellow Squad did engage with enemy fighters. I think that they were vital in Erusea's initial push, since Erusea did have shit for an air force, and thus they built up their reputation there. But with the taking of Stonehenge and the security of Erusean air supremacy, they relegated themselves to guard duties over Stonehenge.

Maybe THAT's why Yellow 13 was rather agitated when he showed his squadmates that newspaper clipping of Mobius 1. Moby was kicking and beating ass, while the Yellows were just sitting there and drinking and playing harmonicas and guitars.

After Stonehenge was blown up, the Yellows thus got called up to resume the role of maintaining Erusean air supremacy - but they were just one squad, and that really wore them down. Even before Stonehenge was blown up, they might've also been forced to participate in vital sorties beyond Stonehenge's range - such as Shattered Skies.

Quote:
The Independent State Allied Forces was a multinational coalition of Allied States and Militaries of Usea and overseas states created during the Ulysses Asteroid Crisis. ISAF was a directly unified response of the planet’s governments to the threat posed by Ulysses and the likely after affects it would have on AltEarth. I’m not sure if it was explicitly mentioned that Erusea was a member of this coalition, but it would seem likely given their central role in the construction of Stonehenge. Following the landfall of Ulysses offspring, Erusea probably left ISAF citing its lack of interest in the plight Erusea’s post-collapse infrastructure.
In the game, ISAF is the organization that the player, Mobius 1, fights for. ISAF seems to be primarily based around nations in Usea but its support from overseas is apparent. How else could they retake an entire continent otherwise?


Perhaps the ISAF was more like the European Union, with Erusea being more like Russia in that regard? Not really antagonistic, not like NATO and the Warsaw Pact, but still separate and different, although equal. This separation and distance, politically, socially, and culturally, might've made it easier for Erusea to hate its neighbor nations post-Ulysses.

Or maybe the ISAF was a hastily cobbled up together alliance of the remaining nations, formed after Erusea blitzed through half the continent and took everyone by surprise. That would explain why, at the game's start, we see the ISAF flag being raised on a pole over at North Point.

Maybe that's when they finally decided on what kind of logo they'd use, and what color their flag would be. :D

Quote:
The Cold War never happened, so the deterrent to wars on Earth, the fear of planet destroying MAD, is not present. The interesting thing is, nuclear bombs and even ICBM’s appear to exist on the world of Ace Combat and are used extensively in the “super weapons” shown in the games. They are never used a single combat system though. Nuclear warheads are always tied in conjunction with some amazingly complex launch system. I can’t think of a way to explain this, but in any case, nukes certainly aren’t the only type of super weapon on the planet.


The Cold War happened, but on continents far away from Erusea. Namely Yuktobania and Osea. MAD might not have existed due to treaties, like START and FART and so on. Also, "conventional" nukes without insane launch systems do exist, in Ace Combat Zero there are strategic bombers packing nukes.

Those nuclear warheads with amazingly complex launch systems might be superweapons beyond normal nukes in that they're designed, as superweapons, to bring about the ultimate defeat of an enemy in one single strike. Whereas in real-life, both America and Russia needed hundreds of weapons to take each other down in MAD, these superweapons could've distilled all that nuclear nastiness into one delivery system.

In Ace Combat Zero, and Ace Combat 5, the V-2 MIRV is a Belkan 'vengeance weapon'. A single missile loaded with MIRVs was supposed to cause the devastation of two global superpowers. A single mere ICBM with MIRVs, like a Peacekeeper or a Minuteman or an SS-18, they CAN'T do that shit. You need lots of them.

But maybe this V-2 superweapon, and other Ace Combat superweapons like em, were HUEGER. Like those Soviet concepts to take a HUEG Energiya space rocket or something and CRAM THEM FULL OF NUKES. Such a mad concept never made it off the drawing board.

But in the Ace Combat world, where treaties might have limited the number of nuclear weapons, such an "all in one" device might've been ideal!

Quote:
So ISAF had a huge air force, because it seemed like a far more reliable means to achieve military success. From the looks of EVERY game in the series, they may well have been right. I believe the current Win to Loss ratio for the games Air Forces vs. Laser Beams of Doom and Flying Battleships is currently 7/0. That’s 8/0 if you count Ace Combat X. There is no reason for anyone in the world of AC NOT to build a hugely competitive air force unless you simply lack the capability to do so.


Tee-hee! This trope is actually subverted in Ace Combat Zero. The Belkans had Laser Beams of Doom and Flying Battleships AND were renowned for having a badass hugely competitive air force! :D

Too bad they got their asses kicked not just by a coalition of ragtag nations, ala ISAF, but the local superpower Osea was right next door too.

Quote:
From the looks of it, ISAF did build a huge Air Force combined of many nations. The ability to have all these foreign air forces working together so fluidly is nothing short of fantastic. This indicates superior organization and logistical capabilities on ISAF’s part. So effective they were able to recover from being backed against a wall and then continue to defeat an enemy that had taken a continent.


Perhaps a lot of those airplanes could've been "lend-lease" from the other nations of the world, from the other continents not directly participating in the war. It would explain, for once, why an Ace Combat game has such a wide variety of American, NATO, European, and Russian aircraft operating in a single side.

The Eruseans might've also used a lot of the aircraft captured from defeated nations, explaining the variety of their forces.

Quote:
Unlike Erusea, ISAF also placed emphasis on Naval Aviation. The 4th game featured plenty of missions starting off the decks of any one of ISAF’s carriers and its escorting task force. ISAF never showed any kind of huge naval surface force like Aegir’s. It’s likely that like any Earth Nation, they saw surface forces as largely secondary in grand Naval Strategy. Despite this, ISAF seemed very unwilling to risk their use of their super carriers close to the Usean coast early in the game. Probably because of the still strong illusion of Erusean air supremacy.


If the Eruseans were so hardcore in naval warfare, there could've been a lot of heavy off-screen anti-submarine warfare action which Moby 1 might not have been privy to.

The next Ace Combat game should let your ace pilot fly an ASW helicopter, with the primary weapon as torpedoes and the special weapon as sonar buoys! :lol:

Quote:
Mobius Squadron – Unlike the Yellows, Mobius squadron was hastily formed at the start of the war to defend North Point from attack by strategic bombers. It had very light standards, emphasizing ISAF’s need for pilots of any kind at that point. It was also very poorly equipped, receiving only obsolete F4 Phantoms and F5 Tigers for defense of North Point. It was largely a ragtag group thrown together in a rush. When it became apparent that the group’s pilots were learning particularly fast, ISAF decided to move them up for strategic raids on Erusean’ facilities on the mainland. There, they demonstrated excellent flight skill and accomplishment of objectives well within allotted time. Mobius Squadron had the benefit of continuously striking lucky on up-to-date targets that were poorly defended. It quickly gained a reputation that centered around the exploits of its flight lead Mobius 1. The newspaper headlines gained by Mobius 1 were probably effective in offsetting the Yellow Squadron’s reputation. Even if Mobius Squadron was fighting an enemy with a poor understanding of Aerial Warfare.


Back then, Mobius Squadron consisted of only one plane. Only in the ultimate mission were there Mobius Twos and Mobius Threes on standby. :P

For all of the ISAF's ragtagness, they were remarkably well coordinated. Hell, the rest of Mobius squad could've not have Mobius callsigns, being an impromptu formation of all sorts of pilots flying under different callsigns. Only by the war's end did it get formalized into a single squad, aptly named after the Biggest Damn Hero of the war - you are Mobius 1!

I think the up-to-date targets Mobius and the ISAF received could be, in no small part, due to the active resistance going on behind enemy lines in Erusean-occupied territory. It was touched on in one of the 'cinematics' and, man, this subtle hinting of a multi-faceted war is part of what makes 04 seem so "real" when compared to the later Ace games. 5 wasn't too bad in this, but after Zero it got really bad and by Six, it descended to cartoon levels...

MATILDAAAAAA!!!!! :lol:

Quote:
The hastiness of the operation meant that ISAF was unable to carry out detailed pre-landing recon. As a result, the landing forces had unwittingly walked into Erusean pre war weapons testing range for SCUDs and other low altitude ballistic missiles.


Those weren't SCUDs and that wasn't a missile testing site. Those were just normal cruise missiles, and the last one was nuclear-tipped. There were no experimental whatsits.

Quote:
Yet again, the Eruseans attempted to attack ISAF forces with a hopelessly outmatched force of bombers. The difference being that the bombers Erusea would be using this time were an experimental model of supersonic bomber that would supposedly be too fast to intercept. The Eruseans were beginning to rush experimental and unfinished weapons into combat in the hopes of further delaying ISAF. The supersonic bombers ended up being rushed into service and as a result, were not capable of the impossibly high speed Eruseas Air Force had demanded of the designers. The bombers were shot down, again depriving Erusea of desperately needed air striking ability.


Those weren't experimental bombers. Those were Tu-160 Blackjacks, something in real life was made in the 1980s by the Russians. The heaviest and the fastest (?) bomber in the world, with a design similar to the B-1 Lancer of the Americans.

They're not designed to be too fast to intercept, their top speed is Mach 2 or something. They're fast, but they can be intercepted. They're not superweapons or superbombers, just supersonic ones.

Quote:
Erusea’s Air Defense over the city consisted almost entirely of experimental and unfinished fighter designs that had received limited production before most of the industrial plants were wiped out. Accordingly many of these designs had impressive gadgets and capabilities, but would be offset by their rushed design, inexperienced pilots, and of course, the sheer mass of ISAF’s aerial armada.


What? What experimental fighters are there? Never heard of this before...

Quote:
As ISAF began to enter the city, Erusea’s military leaders convinced the President to flee the city for safety in Megalith, where he might find a temporary location from which to continue the war with the facility’s fanatically loyal garrison. He ultimately died in the escape attempt. Erusea’s remaining military leaders would meet similar fates, dying in fruitless escapes, by their own hand, or simply surrendering.


What? I don't remember the ISAF killing the Erusean president. But, I don't know, it's been a while since I played the game.

Quote:
Most of the Yellows were wiped out before getting within visual range of the city.


Where are you getting this from? The squad did make it to the city, wherein they were all shot down by Mobius 1.

Quote:
To demoralize ISAF pilots, the “Erusean Air Force” was disbanded as an organization and renamed “Yellow Squadron” to create an illusion of invincibility. The remaining aircraft had all typical Erusean designations and paint schemes removed, and were repainted in the same patterns the Yellows flew with. This new force was *not* Yellow Squadron but another illusion to create fear and panic in attackers.


Hrm... I don't think so.

The narrator mentions that many of the original Yellow Squad members were sent to other squads, so that their experience could help the other shittier Erusean Air Force pilots. And that there were lots of newbies entering Yellow Squad to train with them and stuff.

It would've been a hasty and not-so-good attempt by Erusean high command to try and fix their problem of having a shitty air force, using their only decent fighter squadron as a solution for their problems. With the deaths or going away of many of the original Yellows, the Yellow Squad was now filled with recruits of varying levels of experience. Sure, they were trained by the very best, they were probably good Erusean Air Force pilots or promising ones whose skills were further honed by the original Yellows, but still.

I don't think Erusea turned its entire air force into Yellows. I think all Erusea had left of its entire air force was the Yellows.

Quote:
Megalith could not attack ISAF’s military, and its unfinished nature meant it could not even be used against terrestrial targets. Instead, Megalith would be used against remaining fragments of Ulysses suspended in orbit directly over it. If even a handful of missiles could strike fragments of Ulysses, it could create a successful chain reaction of decaying orbits and force those fragments to rain down on the planet. The success of this attack on paper was limited by the destructive nature of Megalith’s missiles, which would destroy most of a fragment on impact. Many asteroid fragments would also have uncontrollable trajectories, for every fragment that began to fall to the planet many others would be pushed back into space, or simply do nothing. Though it was enough for Erusia, since the possibility of a fragment falling on and obliterating so much as one ISAF city was tempting.


That's just pure conjecture. While the sky WAS falling and Megalith was shooting death-missiles everywhere, the true purpose and true mechanism of Megalith was not explicitly stated in the briefings. Besides, in the final stages of the mission, Megalith did reveal ANGRY MISSILES that seemed too angry to just blow up space rocks. I think those ANGRY MISSILES were meant to make people explode. It could've been the remains of whatever strategic nuclear arsenal Erusea had. If whatever analog of the START treaties they had forced them to deactivate their missiles and store them while destroying their silos, Megalith could've been at first a storage facility for their missiles before being converted to an all-in-one launch facility too (basically acting as a launch pad for all of their missiles).

Anyway, all Megalith did was look ANGRY while shooting rockets and laser beams while the sky was falling and doomsday music played in the background while John Woo doves flew in the air! For a superweapon that did nothing, it was the angriest of all Ace Combat. :lol:

Quote:
ISAF had snuck a small commando team into the archipelago via air drop some weeks ago and this team had successfully evaded detection for some time before sneaking into the Megalith facility during the ISAF attack. The team succeeded in temporarily capturing the command center and de-securing the facility from ISAF attack aircraft before they were ultimately overrun and wiped out.


Bravo 1, that limey-accented commando, asked Sky Eye who that pilot who flew in and destroyed Megalith was and whether or not he made it out alive, if the war was over, and so on. The commandos weren't wiped out. :P

Quote:
Its role complete, ISAF was “decommissioned” in official terms though still exists in a*de facto* sense. The organization and its facilities remain staffed to this day, and with a successful national vote and moratorium, it can be brought back into commission to deal with an international crisis.


The ISAF was still operational as of Operation Katina, and we also see Larry Foulke (Pixy from Ace Combat Zero) fighting in Delarus, an Usean nation, in some indeterminate time in the future - with an ISAF flag flying in the background.

The post-Ulysses and post-Continental War environment saw a lot of ruination and I guess there were still brushfire conflicts, Balkanization and whatnot. The ISAF still exists and still continues combat (or peacekeeping) operations to this day.


Overall, I must commend you for this great undertaking. Analyzing the whole game and commenting on it, and everything. It also makes me remember playing it fondly, and mang, it was totally awesome and I totally enjoyed writing this reply too. Your work is good, even though there are some oddities, but it's been a while since either of us played that old game, rite? This in-depth analysis is cool.

And we're such dorks. :lol:

By the way, the Ace Combat world is called Strangereal by fans and I think some of the Ace Combat games has "Welcome to the Strangereal world" in fine print as well.

Anyway, you best check out the Electrosphere. It's a bunch of diehard Aceheads and you'd fit right in.



Image Image Image
shroom is a lovely boy and i wont hear a bad word against him - LUSY-CHAN!
Shit! Man, I didn't think of that! It took Shroom to properly interpret the screams of dying people :D - PeZook
Shroom, I read out the stuff you write about us. You are an endless supply of morale down here. :p - an OWS street medic
Pink Sugar Heart Attack!

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-19 02:39am
Offline
Sith Devotee
User avatar

Joined: 2002-08-30 11:45am
Posts: 3138
I'm not sure what kind of a resource base the Erusians had, but the narrator did mention they rationed gasoline to the point where civilian motor traffic was effectively gone. Also, they just shut down civilian computer networks rather then trying to control them.
I've attended a few lectures in the Navy that talk about how difficult it is to prevent leaks when everybody and his dog has thumbdrives, cellphone cameras and internet links. The fact that the Erusians were eventually forced to impose an almost total electronics blackout might imply the resistance was getting lots of sensitive data to ISAF.



Image

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-19 02:41am
Offline
FUCKING DICK-STABBER!
User avatar

Joined: 2003-05-11 08:39am
Posts: 19927
Location: Bleeding breasts and stabbing dicks since 2003
Didn't matter, the blackouts. The Resistance was still transmitting stuff through computers and by the time the ISAF was coming to San Salvacion, they were planting laser designators on Erusean targets.



Image Image Image
shroom is a lovely boy and i wont hear a bad word against him - LUSY-CHAN!
Shit! Man, I didn't think of that! It took Shroom to properly interpret the screams of dying people :D - PeZook
Shroom, I read out the stuff you write about us. You are an endless supply of morale down here. :p - an OWS street medic
Pink Sugar Heart Attack!

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-19 06:28am
Offline
Emperor's Hand
User avatar

Joined: 2002-07-07 04:57pm
Posts: 9392
Location: Sheffield, UK
Shroom Man 777 wrote:
I'm reading your posts as I type this, and so far it's been really good.

CaptHawkeye wrote:
AC4 is the most praised game of the series for featuring what many considered the most finely tuned combat model of the series.


Not really... 5 and Zero handle better than 04's engine, in my opinion. Dogfighting in 5 and Zero is way funner, and there are... subtle nuances in handling airplanes in those games. 04 seems more simplistic in handling aircraft and stuff. Plus, the ranges are rather short.



Also, y'know, Fire QAAMs, win.

Quote:
Or maybe the ISAF was a hastily cobbled up together alliance of the remaining nations, formed after Erusea blitzed through half the continent and took everyone by surprise. That would explain why, at the game's start, we see the ISAF flag being raised on a pole over at North Point.


I believe this is supposed to be the case. ISAF was formed in response to Erusian aggression, rather than being a pre-existing political alliance. It's likely they have political and financial support from other nations outside Usea, but there's no indication of other nations' militaries being present.

Quote:
What? What experimental fighters are there? Never heard of this before...


The F-15 ACTIVE ace appears on that mission, and all the enemy planes are high end stuff like F-22s.

Quote:
I don't think Erusea turned its entire air force into Yellows. I think all Erusea had left of its entire air force was the Yellows.


I think it's more likely that the holdout forces that didn't surrender took the name and colour scheme of Yellow Squadron for morale reasons, and may have included some of the pilots not already shot down. They weren't all members of the squadron during the main course of the war.

Quote:
The ISAF was still operational as of Operation Katina, and we also see Larry Foulke (Pixy from Ace Combat Zero) fighting in Delarus, an Usean nation, in some indeterminate time in the future - with an ISAF flag flying in the background.


I believe the interview is supposed to be taking place during the events of Ace Combat 4, though it's not specifically dated.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-19 08:12am
Offline
FUCKING DICK-STABBER!
User avatar

Joined: 2003-05-11 08:39am
Posts: 19927
Location: Bleeding breasts and stabbing dicks since 2003
Vendetta wrote:
Also, y'know, Fire QAAMs, win.


Fuck that shit!

Quote:
I believe this is supposed to be the case. ISAF was formed in response to Erusian aggression, rather than being a pre-existing political alliance. It's likely they have political and financial support from other nations outside Usea, but there's no indication of other nations' militaries being present.


There could still be mercenary action. There has been precedent for that, such as the Belkan War of '95.

Quote:
The F-15 ACTIVE ace appears on that mission, and all the enemy planes are high end stuff like F-22s.


The F-15 ACTIVE seems to be a fully fledged and functioning fighter in the Ace Combat world. They've seen service in Osean squadrons as early as '95.

As for the high-end planes, I think corporations might be responsible for that. In the Circum-Pacific War (Ace Combat 5), corporations like Grunder have been implicated in things like war-profiteering and worse.

And in Ace Combat 3, the corporations outright took over the world...

Quote:
I think it's more likely that the holdout forces that didn't surrender took the name and colour scheme of Yellow Squadron for morale reasons, and may have included some of the pilots not already shot down. They weren't all members of the squadron during the main course of the war.


Some of the Yellow Squadron's members were dispersed to train other pilots in other squads, while the Yellow Squadron itself took in new blood. The remains of Yellow Squadron could've gotten together, both the dispersed Yellows and the new members, and they could've consolidated their forces.

Quote:
I believe the interview is supposed to be taking place during the events of Ace Combat 4, though it's not specifically dated.


Maybe, but I swear I heard something about 'disputed borders' and stuff. Could've been a post-war conflict. It's not too important though.



Image Image Image
shroom is a lovely boy and i wont hear a bad word against him - LUSY-CHAN!
Shit! Man, I didn't think of that! It took Shroom to properly interpret the screams of dying people :D - PeZook
Shroom, I read out the stuff you write about us. You are an endless supply of morale down here. :p - an OWS street medic
Pink Sugar Heart Attack!

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-19 08:35am
Offline
Emperor's Hand
User avatar

Joined: 2002-07-03 09:56pm
Posts: 36168
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Setzer wrote:
I really think it's amazing that you went into such detail about the game. AC4 was also one of my favorite games, and all the points you addressed seem very well thought out. You should make an analysis on other games, since they offer an indepth perspective that isn't really harped on in the game, even if all the pieces are there.


Most games simply don't have the narrative depth for it to work. What would you say about Bioshock? 'The monster was in the closet due to sever stress inflicted by parents during infancy'? :lol:

Good work, Hawks. AC4 is the only one I've played.



Elfdart wrote:
my first manager and I spent the better part of an hour in his office asking an insanely hot female employee to go through the "B" authors in the Lit section. Why? Because that would make her climb up on the ladder right where the security camera was and gave us a perfect view of her perfect gazongas
whatisprojectzohar.com

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Ace Combat 4's "Strategy" PostPosted: 2009-01-19 08:44am
Offline
FUCKING DICK-STABBER!
User avatar

Joined: 2003-05-11 08:39am
Posts: 19927
Location: Bleeding breasts and stabbing dicks since 2003
Oh, you'd just love the other ACs, Starkers. :lol:



Image Image Image
shroom is a lovely boy and i wont hear a bad word against him - LUSY-CHAN!
Shit! Man, I didn't think of that! It took Shroom to properly interpret the screams of dying people :D - PeZook
Shroom, I read out the stuff you write about us. You are an endless supply of morale down here. :p - an OWS street medic
Pink Sugar Heart Attack!

Top
 Profile  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 94 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Alferd Packer, houser2112 and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group