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Subject: Viper Pilot - A memoir that may be of interest to TAL fans rss

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Ryan
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I just read a book called Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat by Dan Hampton. Dan was an F-16 pilot who flew & fought in both Iraq wars, 1991 & 2003. His memoir focuses almost entirely on combat missions he flew against enemy air defense networks and vehicles. I picked this up on a whim and was immediately engaged in the book. I'll spare you a review of the book; suffice to say I enjoyed each chapter and found it riveting.

I post this here because the author describes weapons, tactics, flying, etc. in a manner that someone who plays Thunderbolt Apache Leader may find very informative and complimentary to the game play. He describes attack routines on SAM sites, the role of the AGM-88 HARM in suppressing enemy aid defense sites, the stress of evading ground to air attacks, strafing & bombing enemy sites and vehicles, and working with other aircraft in a coordinated manner to destroy the target and defeat enemy defenses.

The chapters seem to read the way a mission might play out in a Leader Series game. Though Thunderbolt Apache Leader is an abstracted game of air combat, after reading this book I feel it validates some of the designs Dan Verssen built into the game.

I recommend this book to any Air Leader Series who would like a little more back ground information on this topic.

Some things to keep in mind:
d10-1 I don't know anything about this stuff other than what I read, so someone with real life experience in this field may likely have a different opinion.
d10-2 The author comes across as arrogant throughout the book. He at various times disparages other nations' militaries, support personnel, and other pilots who weren't F-16 pilots. This may bother some readers. I wasn't bothered by it. If he wants to embellish occasionally or voice strong opinions, well, it's his story. I can cut a fighter pilot slack for coming across as arrogant after he spent years specializing in this one field. Check out the customer reviews on Amazon for a wide perspective of opinions. He definitely has his detractors.
d10-3 The author spent a lot of time describing the suppression of enemy radar using the AGM-88 HARM and evasion of enemy SAMs & AAA. These two concepts are important gameplay designs present in Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations that give the player decisions to make. One of the things I have found disappointing in TAL is that there is no means to attempt suppression of enemy attacks or to evade them other than using the passive evasion trait and chit damage draw. After reading this book I am even more disappointed that there isn't an "active" evasion/suppression mechanic available in TAL. Admittedly those mechanics in HL:CAO are abstracted, but at least they are available and offer the player a chance to be proactive.



Thoughts from any of you who may have read this? Please post your opinion here if you do get around to reading the book.

I've posted a nearly identical thread in the Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations forum as well.

Ryan
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Lee Price
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Got a sample of the book on ipad but have not read it yet. Your post may cause me to go ahead and buy it an read it.
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Erik Racer
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We are living our lives... Abound with so much information... Come on, let go of the remote,
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My guess is that to aspire to this type of career, you've got to be one cocky SOB.

Thanks for the recommendation, I've got so many books on my "pile of shame" that still need to be read, I need to hold off until I work through some of the backlog. I did grab the sample to remind me though.

For other people who are lazy like me, here's a link to the Kindle edition:
http://www.amazon.com/Viper-Pilot-Memoir-Combat-ebook/dp/B00...
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flash7713
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Another one that I read and enjoyed (few years ago now thought) was Vipers in the Storm - (link for reference) (hope that's allowed?)

http://www.amazon.com/Vipers-Storm-Diary-Fighter-Pilot/dp/00...

Disclaimer applies can't remember a great deal other than that I enjoyed it!
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oystein eker
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A qualified (?) guess for AGM 88 suppression

SAM sites shut down their radar when AGM was detected. You can call it suppression effect, but not as a weakness of the weapon system.
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Richard Dewsbery
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Grrr. How to get me to spend money when I already have a lot of unread books.

Duly ordered; I'll read it tomorrow
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Ryan
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RDewsbery wrote:
Grrr. How to get me to spend money when I already have a lot of unread books.

Duly ordered; I'll read it tomorrow


I'm curious to know what you think, especially how the author's depiction of combat corresponds to the mechanics present in this game.

It reads quickly at least.
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