Fighter Command - Manual
Thank you for buying this game. It has been developed over many months, and
is the result of an awful lot of game testing. We certainly enjoy the end
product- and hope that you do, Too. We are well aware,though,that our games
are not perfect- please fill in the enclosed registration card, or write to
us, with any comments(good or bad) that you may have. We want to hear what
you think, so that we can try to produce better for ypu in future.
Game design: David Lester
Game Code: Simon Bradbury
Game Graphics: Steve Redpath
The 3 maps
Unit statics and Resource Managament
The various squadron types
Strategy Notes & Hints
Fighter Command is a sophisticated simulation of air combat. Complete whit
this game is the first Combat Module- consisting of over twenty scenarios
set in the Middle East in the modern day.
The objective of the game is to defeat your opponent- to do which you will
need to first secure you own defences, and then launch attacks against enemy
targets. Once you have wiped out the enemy's offensive capability, or done
so much damage that they surrender, you have won.
It is not quite as simple, however, as that might seem. you can only attack
targets you know about from your radar coverage (you can in fact make blind
attack, but that is a poor use of your resources)- so you need to make good
use of mobile radar units.
Resources will also limit what you can do- you will have a set number of
bobmbers, interceptors, ecc., and each will require an amount of resources
to run. The more units you use, the quicker you resources will run out-
which would then leave you open attack.
While playng,it is easy to become too bogged down with intercepting specific
enemy attacks; we suggest that you try to avoid this- and keep an eye on
your resource usage, as well as political and media opinion.
Fighter Command is far more than just a combat simulation- you ignore the
resource and other factors only at your peril!
To start the game, simply select the scenario you wish to play and then
click on "OK"
We suggest that to start with you play Qatar V United Arab Emirats scenario-
this has been specially designed to assist learning the game. Be warned- the
game plays in real time, so once you have started,time is ticking- and the
enemy will be on the attack.
It will probably take a few games and early defeats before you are familar
enough with the control mechanism to start holding your own. Once you can
win this scenario, you are ready to tackle some of the more complex ones.
There are 28 different scenarios included in this "Middle East" version of
FighterCommand and they vary tremendously in both difficulty and complexity.
Some are based on recent historical conflicts such as the Gulf War, the Iran
/Iraq War on the 1973 Yom Kippur War, whilst others are based more along
"what if..." lines. They range from the local bickering of small oil rich
states up to the Anarchy Scenario when the whole region explodes.
The possible scenarios are as follows. Each may be reversed and played from
the opposing perspective.
Kuwait verses United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.)
Lebanon verses Jordan
Qatar with British support from Bahrain verses U.A.E.
Egypt verses Sudan
Israel verses Iraq
Iran verses Iraq
Egypt verses Israel
Iraq verses Saudi Arabia with support from U.S.A. (Southern Command)
Iran verses Kuwait,Qatar,U.A.E. and Bahrain
Israel verses Jordan and Lebanon
Iraq verses Syria,Jordan and Lebanon
Israel with support of U.S.A(Northern Command) verses
Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt
Iraq verses Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and Kuwait with
U.S.A. support (Northern Southern Commands)
Iran,Iraq,Syria,Jordan and Sudan verses Saudi Arabia
Qatar, and U.A.E. with U.S.A. support (Southern and Northern Commands)
You will notice that the complexity and difficulty of each scenario is graded
from zero to nine.
Obviously,the speed at which battle is joined in any one scenario can depend
on a number of different factors. For example, Israel and Syria, being
relatuvely small countries and very close neighbours, are quickly into each
other's airspace. In contrast, it takes a while for Egyptian planes to reach
targets in Sudan and thus the game is played with more of a time lapse.
In addition, please note that you can play the game in either FAST mode, or
normal mode. To toggle between these two game speed modes, use the command
on the SAVE & LOAD command screen.
Your selected engagement can be won or lost on various criteria dependant on
the scenario you have selected. Below are the 3 main conditions for victory/
a) Population demoralisation - When 40% of a country's population becomes
ungovernable, overthrow of the government is assumed and the game is up.
Only the populations based in towns and cities are influential and their
mood is dependant on the state of city and its vital services. Food, power.
water, damage to the city and tpresence of working hospitals all contribute
to the general mood of a city whichis in turn transmitted to the country as
a whole. The state of your country's morale can be monitored on the Intelli-
gence Briefing Screen (seesection 3). In addition, a message will be posted
at the top of your screen if and when thediscontent of your population
reaches certain points (10% unrest, 20% unrest etc.).
It should be noted, however, that it is only the morale of your own country-
's population that can lose you a game, and not that one of your allies. If
the population of an ally reaches "breaking point", they will withdraw their
support and their forces will disappear from the map. You will be free to
continue with whatever forces you have left.
b) Media option - In certain scenarios, one side may have to contened with
increasing international and domestic pressure which will mount over the
length of a prolonged campaign. Eventually this will result in withdrawal
from the conflict becoming a political expediency. Whetherthis happens
sooner or later in the conflict depends upon the way it is fought - i.e
whether you have consentrated on destroy enemy units or have kept a close
eye on your domestic situation. The state of world option can be monitored
on the Internationla Media Opinion Screen (Section 3).
c) Air supremacy/superiority - Since this game isabout the aerial part of
a war (i.e it does not cover the ground and sea forces) when you have won
the air war, you have won the game. iF after acertain time period the enemy
has failed to put a plane in the air, air superiority is assumed and a
message will be posted at the top of your screen to that effect. If after a
further period the skies are still cler, air supremacy is declared and the
battle for air operations is won.
THE THREE MAPS
Play takes place over three maps; the strategic map, the radar map and the
satellite map,each of which is a magnification of the previous one. Clicking
the left button will zoom in to the next most detailed map while clicking
the right button will take you out again to a wider view.
a) The strategic map:
- a geographical map of the whole region. This map is also used for the
computer generated overlays (i.e. the radar and unit consentration maps
produced by pushing buttons 1-4 on the main display.) There is agrid on the
strategic map which is used on the Communications Screen (button 5) to give
a reference for each engagement recorded. From this map it is possible to
zoom in on a certain region by positioning the target box over the desired
area and clicking. This takes you to-
b) The radar map:
- gives a view of the tactical playing area with coastlies, rivers, towns
and cities shown, along with national boundaries (dotted yellow lines) and
major roads (green lines). The target box on this map has a set of co-ordi-
nates (in red) which refer to the top right hand corner of the box.
On this map, it is possible to see the current active units in the area.
Ground units are shown as coloured dots:-
white dot = airbase
orange dot = military installation
blue dot = civil installation
green dot = ground unit
green circle = or town
An air unit is shown as a dotted marker, the height of which corresponds to
the unit's altitude. For the purposes of aiming and locating on the satallite
map, the plane is actually situated at the buttom of this marker. The units
are colour coded according to type. However, since you obviously have less
information about an enemy plane than you do about one of your own, all
enemy planes are the same colour.
The plane dotted markers are as follows:
red and white = enemy plane
black and white = missile of either side-tell whether friend or foe
the direction it is heading !
red and yellow = your interceptors
blue and white = your strike aircraft
green and yellow = your ground attack aircraft
red and green = your helicopters
red and blue = your long range bombers
blue and green = your AWACS
You should note that the area shown in the radar picture is completely
dependant upon your radar coverage. If you have no units with radar
functions operational you will see nothing but green interference patterns.
Certain units, air bases, radar stations etc. give varying ranges of radar
coverage and your total radar picture will depend on how many you have
working and where they are. Indeed if, for example, the only such unit you
have working is a E3 A W A C plane the area visible to you on this map would
vary as the plane moved on its flight path.
You can move around the map using the directional (19 on the main display)
or by clicking on the right button which will return you to the strategic
map where you can re-position your area box. Alternatively you can click on
the small region map (13) which allows for a rough re-posotioning.
Finally,you can zoom in still further by placing the co-ordinate marker over
a region you wish to examine and clicking. this takes you to-
c) The satellite map:
- gives a more detailed image of a much smaller area. It is available for
the whole region, i.e. it is not limited by radar coverage as the radar map
is. It is theoretically possible to scroll the map over the whole playng
area (if you have the time!).In practice, you will need to find units on the
radar map and then focus down onto them. You would be very lucky to stumble
upon anything useful simply by scrolling the satellite map at random.
Using this map it is now possible to identify the images that represent the
individual units and thereby to get information about unknown/enemy units.
Your target box now has a "SATellite ENHance" facility. By moving the box
over a particular unit and clicking, you will make that unit CMU and thus
be able to check on the identity, origin, current operational capacity etc.
of both your units and the enemy's.
The only slight exceptoion to this regards the changing of the CMU for
cities. In the middle of most areas of black/green roads and buildings will
be a building with a kidney shaped lake next to it. This is the City Admin-
istration Building and you will need to clock on it to bring up the city's
Some units (fighters,missiles etc.) travel quite quickly across this screen
and unit identification can be quite tricky. This can be overcome by using
the slow search mode, If you click on the map and are not over a unit, the
slow search mode is entered and is indicated by a flashing cursor. This
means that the plane or missile will move more slowly, enabling you to
catch it with your target box. Clicking again will resume normal search
Movement around the map is again by the directional buttons or by returning
(right mouse button) to the radar map and re-positioning the co-ordinate
You can only give orders to the unit which is currently displayed on your
screen this units is known as the Currently Monitored Units, or CMU.
To change the CMU to a different unit, use the + and - icons (which changes
to a different unit of the same type), or click on the unit type window
(which change to a different type of unit).
The order scree for a CMU can be brought up by clicking on either the dis-
play panel (12b) or the pictorial representation (12a).
The command screen will show at least a set of orders down the left hand
side, superimposed on a digitised picture. Moving the cursor over an order
will highlight it and clicking on it will execute it. There is also a text
and bar graph representation of the unit's resource cost (c) and current
efficiency (e). Depending on the unit type, there will be an auto lauch
on/off switch (click the mouse button to toggle), which should be engaged
only after the aircraft has been given an order. Finally, there may be a set
of operational rating statistics referring to the unit's ability to perform
in certain roles:
B - high level bombing rating (0-10)
GS - ground strike rating
AS - armour strike rating (e.g. anti aircraft units)
AA - ariel combat ratin
ALT - operation ceiling altitude
Most of the orders are fairly self explanatory and the computer will respond
to any illogical/forbidden requests.
a) activation - brings a unit into use or mothballs it, saving valuable
b) repair - puts a unit into repair/rest mode, gradually increasing
the unit's efficency, but at a cost in resources.
c) circular sweep - puts an A.W.A.C. plane into a wide circular flight path
around its airbase.
d) flight path - allows you to set a specific route for the plane. This
is the first command to use the Extended Radar Courvage
Map. This uses the whole screen, in radar mode, to
enable you to position (or elsewhere target) units more
effectively. The map can be moved by taking the cursor
to the edge of the screen in the direction of the
desired map movement.
The flight path can be set using the left button to set
up to six target points. The unit will then take off,fly
to each of the points in the order set, and then return
e) abort mission - does just that, curtailing any mission and returning the
unit to base. NB - ground based forces require an abort
mission to re - fuel at base before they can be
f) transfer base - allows you to move a squadron
to a new base, either out of harm's way or else into the
combat zone. Again, this uses the extended radar
coverage map. Once you have give the order to transfer,
the airbase closest to the current cursor position is
indicated at the top of the screen. The squadron will
transfer to that airbase if the left button is clicked.
Thus you can select a new airbase by moving the cursor
close to it. For the purposes of airbase transfer (and
air coversee later) the planes are considered be flying
with refuel support planes allowing them to fly greater
distances than normal.
g) patrol - sets up a tight circular patrol around the base, mainly
for air defence purposes. The patrol will continue until
the fuel runs out and the aircraft may be re-directed
h) air cover - When you order a plane to go on air cover, you will be
give contents screen of the home airbase so that you can
click on the unit that you want to be covered. As such,
this other unit has to be from the same airbase. The
aircraft providing cover will then shadow this unit on
its combat mission, providing air defence and diverting
to intercept enemy aircraft in the vicinity.
i) intercept - lauches (or diverts if in air) a unit to close on and
attack an incoming unit, providing it is able to reach
the required altitude. The extended map is again used to
select a target; the sight will turn red when a units is
target. Once it has destroyed its target,the interceptor
will search for any other enemy aircraft in the vicinity
and divert to intercpt them as well. Please note that it
is perfectly possible to issue commands to intercept a
friendly unit (or indeed to bomb friendly installation):
j) pick squadron - select a unit from an airbase
k) altitude drop - sets a high level bombing mission (out of anti-aircraft
range) - use the target sight to select a target - alt-
hough this is not actually necessary and bombs can be
l) ground strike - sets up a low level strike against buildings or ground
installations, but not armour units.
m) armour strike - sets up a low level strike against armoured units,
S.A.M. units etc..
n) import ordinance- allows you to import ammunition (at expensive rates)
if your own ammunitions network is failing.
o) import fuel - as above but for fuel
p) transit - moves a ground unit (by helicopter) to a selected land
position where it makes itself operational.
q) lauch missile - targets and lauches a missile. Note however that a
certain time gap must be left after lauch before another
missile will be ready for firing.
TARGETTING AND COMBAT RESOLUTION:
When targeting, whether it be missile, bomber or interceptor, once the aimer
has turned red it is locked on to ist target and outcome of the encounter
will be decided automatically. In other words, the succes of a mission does
not depend upon how accurately you line up the red locked-on box. Further-
more , it is possible to lock on to a target that you cannot see on your
radar picture because it is hidden by green interference. If you know where
a target is, you can move the aimer about over the area and it will turn red
if you find the right spot.
UNITS STATISTICS AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Your CMU display will show certain indicators, depending on the type of unit
x,y - unit co-ordinates
e - unit efficiency (%)
f - units fuel
p - no of planes remaning in a squadron
a - units ammunition
x.n.n.n - squadron number
If the units is a city however, a different set of indicators are are used
P - shows the % of the city supplied with power
W - shows the % of the city supplied with water
F - shows the % of the city supplied with food
D - with 0=none to 100=complete destruction
The efficency of a unit is very critical as it affects its ability to per-
form its duty, whether that is supplying water to a city or air combat. In
the case of ground units it is affected by bomb damage and when the efficen-
cy drops to zero the unit is destroyed. For mobile units, efficency is also
dependant on the rest period in between missions, although a mobile unit is
only destroyed when the number of planes in the squadron falls to zero. (the
number of planes in a squadron varies depending upon the aircraft type).
Unit efficiency is monitored in two ways. On the hand, by making a unit your
CMU you can see exactly what state it is in. However, to go round each unit
in this way would obviously be laborious. On the other hand, you can keep a
general idea of what damage may have been inflicted on various units by
monitoring your Communications Screen (button 5) This will tell you when and
where an attack took place and who was damaged or lost a plane. When an
installation is totally destroyed or a squadron is wiped out, the message
will appear in inverse type.
The supply of fuel and ammunition to an airbase is important as a plane will
not be able to re-fuel or re-arm at an airbase that has an insufficient sup-
ply. The amount of fuel taken on by a plane is determinated by its range and
governs the distance it can fly. When fuel drops to zero the plane will
switch to its rescue tanks and return to its base, aborting any missions or,
inthe case of a missile, just packyng up.
Each city will, periodically, take a look at the best avaiable source of
food, water and power(eg a food warehouse). This is determined by a source's
efficiency rating and its distange from the city. This process is automatic
and thus the supply of facilities to a city is entirely dependent on your
succes in protecting and maintaining the various sources.
Similarly, every twelve hours an airbase will take new supplies of feul and
ammunition from the best source(i.e from a 100% efficent unit close by in
preference to one further off working at 50%).All excess fuel and ammunition
produced by factories will be transported to dumps, again the amount depend-
ing on the dump's efficiency.
While you do not directly control the distribution of supplies, you do need
to manage the resources with which your supplies are provided. the amount
of resources avaiable to you at the beginning of the game and the rate at
which more become avaiable are fixed by which country you are playng. In
other words, Saudi Arabia has more resources than Lebanon and will replenish
itself at a faster rate. Thus, on the Resource Management Screen (button 8),
"resource in" is the fixed amount that your country has coming in each hour.
However, you can control the "resources out". This refers to the resource
cost of all your active units for the previous hour. it is thus dependent on
how many units you have active, which type of unit they are(i.e. an ammuni-
tion factory will soak up more resources than a helicopter squadron),and
what they are doing (e.i. a unit under repair will use double the resources
of one operating normally). You must therefore be aware of the relative
resource costs of the different units- and be quick to shut down units that
are out of the combat zone or that are duplicated.
Your "resorces" as shown on the Resource Management Screen is the amount of
spare or "banked" resource. When this drops to zero, ground installations
will automatically start to close down. This will in turn lead to airbases
and their aircraft being taken out of the game- and thus lead almost
certainly to yuor defeat.
Hare is a brief list of the various mobile unit types and a brief descrip-
tion of each.
E3 A.W.A.C.S. - long range, high flying radar coverage plane
B52 - very long range strategic bomber
Tu16 - long range Soviet strategic bomber
F117 - invisible to enemy radar - use high precision, laser
guided bombs - very effective in ground attacks
F111 - long range modern tactical strike aircraft
Phantom - medium range strike aircraft
F15 - modern medium range strike aircraft with air to air
F16 - high performance air interceptor
F14 - short range fighter
Harrier - limited range armour strike aircraft with uses in
Tornado GRI - good short range strike aircraft
Tornado F1 - excellent air defence interceptor
Jaguar - versatile aircraft with ground strike and combat
Mirage F-1 - air defence plane with good range and a ground
A-10 - very limited range attack plane with excellent
strike rate against armour
Mig 29 - superb Soviet built air combat plane
Mig 25 - air defence plane with ability to intercept even
highest flying craft
Mig 21 - a robust fighter with strike ability
Su 7 - short range Soviet strike plane
Tu 22 - medium range Soviet bomber
Apache - very effective armour strike helicopter
Hind - Soviet built armour attack helicopter
Lynx - short range attack helicopter
UH - 1 Huey - old limited armour strike helicopter
Mobile Scud - medium range surface to surface launcher missile
Mobile radar - provides medium range radar unit coverage
Patriot S.A.M. unit - excellent air defence missile unit
Mobile exocet - land based variant of effective launcher missile
SA8 S.A.M - Soviet made surface to air missile unit
STRATEGY NOTES & TIPS
One of the most important aspects of the game is radar coverage - not just
yours, but the enemy's as well. Try to maintain radar coverage over your own
airspace and then try to encroach on your adversary's to see what he's doing
and to allow you to target his units effectively.
You can see your enemy's radar cover using the relevant function button (2)
and it is a good tactic to try and damage his radar units - if the enemy
cannot see what you are doing it makes it very hard for him to launch
missions against you. There will be a radar unit at the centre of a square
radar area in the Radar Coverage Map.
Your city's population must be kept happy. Basically this is done by moni-
toring the supply of power, food and water and the presence of working
Watch your resources expenditure extremly carefully- do not keep unnecessary
installation going in non-combat zones, although it can be very detrimental
to close down utilities, especially if they are the only ones in the area.
If the right number of aircraft are kept on auto launch and are rotated
regularly to give each a rest period, you can maintain good coverage of your
airspace. It is also thereby possible to mount a sustained bombing attack
on a particular target (such as an airbase or a radar installation) in order
to take in out of the conflict.
However, be careful about putting squadrons on continuos auto launch. They
will soon become tired and in need of maintenage and their efficiency will
drop accordingly making them lose effectiveness in air combat or strike
Good air defence cover is vital in most scenarios and you will often need
to think about this aspect before decoding on a strike missions. Air to air
combat is decided chiefly by a plane's ability and efficency, although luck
also plays a part: things can go wrong and even a lowly helicopter could
get a lucky strike on your nice new Mig 29!
It is very tempting to send specific aircraft on missions to intercept
specific enemy aircraft. While this can be a good move at times, remeber
that Fighter Command is above all a strategy game, less concentred with
individual dog-fight than with the overall war. You should try to secure
defende of your installations using regular patrols of interceptor - class
aircraft, rather than commanding planes separately every time an enemey
aircraft is on an offensive raid.
Watch your opponent's strategy carefully and try to observe a pattern.
Respond accordingly- in most cases a headlong charge into enemy territory
with all guns blazing is disastrous. you might shoot down a lot of his
aircraft only to run out of resources and lose a war that you thought you
had almost won.
Watch the situation in your own country most carefully (as opposed to you
allies'). If your allies' population fail, you only lose support- but if
your own population revolts, you lose the game.
Objective: Air Supremacy
(C) IMPRESSIONS 1991
* 3 LEVELS OF MAP
* MASSIVE PLAY AREA
* 20 MISSIONS
* EASY-TO-USE CONTROL SYSTEM
* VARIABLE DIFFICULTY LEVELS
* WIDE VARIETY OF WEAPONS & AIRCRAFT
Typed by The /\/\ighty \/\/izzy