Mid 1980s War Thunder Idea

Hello all, over the past few months, with FOX3s right around the corner, I have been deliberating on some ideas for a few of the older, yet still new aircraft in the game. As they come off of the bleeding edge of War Thunder’s era progress, it opens the opportunity to flesh out and add nuance to the meta that these jets create. This is true because there exists a larger diversity of airframe types that fill in most all capability gaps that are essential to creating a fun and nuanced game. This is in contrast to the bleeding edge at top BR where not all aircraft have been added yet, and thus capability gaps exist. Given this, however, there are still some changes that need to be made to the loadouts of these aircraft, some changes that need to be made to game mechanics, some changes that need to be made to the game modes, and lastly, a few aircraft that we are still missing.

Game Mechanics
Firstly, to make this whole idea work, I believe there are some changes that need to happen to a few game mechanics to improve the experience of Air Battles. First and foremost, multipathing needs to be made much less of a factor in air RB. The mechanic is over exaggerated and detracts from the whole use case of SARH missiles. I will explain it more in the next section of this post, but in essence if multipathing is massively toned back, it will allow for a missile meta to be established wherein each nation has their own advantages and disadvantages which pertain to the doctrines that they historically followed.

On top of this, the system in which chaff and flares are dispensed needs to be improved. Take the F-16A for example. It can carry 60 chaff/flares. However, these are always deployed in sets of two. That means if you have flares only selected as your countermeasure setting, then you are already down to 30 dispenses of flares. This further decreases to 15 dispenses when the chaff/flare setting is selected. Because of this, the aircraft is severely inhibited in its ability to decoy missiles, especially IRCCM ones, such as the R-73, where pre-flaring is essential to survival. The solution I propose for this is twofold. Firstly, there needs to be a system added wherein players can deploy chaff and flares seperately from each other. This would make it so you do not need to waste flares decoying a radar missile, for example. While this would be complicated to manage manually, semi-auto dispense systems could be implemented where the aircraft decides whether to deploy chaff or flares based on if the plane is getting locked or not. Secondly, Gaijin needs to make it so that aircraft deploy flares one at a time. It is wasteful for a plane with an already limited amount of flares to deploy those flares two at a time, and only a few planes deployed their flares in salvos historically.

Aircraft changes
For this topic, I have created a little diagram to help explain my idea.

My idea behind this aircraft bracket was to create simultaneous parity and difference between US and Russian aircraft. I have used these two nations as an example of how this will work, but it can also be extended to other NATO and Pact nations. The core of this balance exists in putting Radar missile supremacy in the hands of NATO, while putting IR missile supremacy in the hands of the pact. This would make for an interesting dynamic; America does well at range but if Pact players can play smart and make it to the merge the advantage shifts squarely to them. This translates to taking the AIM-9M away from all US aircraft, while taking the R-27ER away from all Russian aircraft and adding the R-73. This would leave a matchup of AIM-9L and AIM-7M versus R-27R/T and R-73. This would make for a balanced environment where each nation has playstyles that they need to adhere to, advantages they need to maximize, and disadvantages they need to minimize.

Some aircraft would not have direct counterparts on the other side. This is not a bad thing, however, as long as the average capability of these aircraft fits in with their peers on the other side of the ring. For example, the MIG31, a hypersonic interceptor which has no American counterpart, will provide a unique high altitude fast moving ability to the Russian side that the Americans would not have. Vice Versa, the F-18 Hornet would give the US the ability to deploy smart munitions from a naval platform that the Russians cannot match. The importance of this will be explained in the next section.

Game Modes
With new balance, there needs to be some new gamemodes. I have two proposals for new modes (and one new map, that would fit well into this 1980s NATO vs Pact setting. Firstly, is a SEAD mode. I have set it on the mountainous Pyrenees map in this example, but it could be translated to many other maps.
The core objective of this mode would be to destroy/defend all airfields and long range SAM sites. (Indicated by the red lines under their icons). This would be accomplished with either AI or Player SEAD aircraft equipped with Anti-Radiation missiles (AGM-88 or Kh-31P). Defending long range systems would be either early MIM-104 Patriot missile sites, or S-300 missile sites. Close range sytems would be either Tunguska, Tor, Strela, Igla, Roland, or Stinger air defence systems, depending on the side and scenario. These systems would also be posted at the attacking team’s home airfields to prevent spawncamping. The addition of two airfields on opposite sides of the map would further help in preventing spawncamping as well as spreading players out across the map. The defending side would win after holding off the attacking side for a certain amount of time.

Another mode I created is a mode predicated on escorting bombers to destroy specific targets. This would incorporate elements of SEAD and fighter combat, but with the objective of punching the way for larger AI bombers (B-52, B1, TU22, etc.) to destroy bases that are too large for player aircraft to fully destroy. These AI bombers can also be equipped with nuclear weapons depending on the scenario. These scenarios would be a bit more grounded in reality than our current scenarios, where modern fighters are fighting over World War II battlefields. Instead, modern fighters would assault modern objectives, like submarine pens and airbases. This would make the game overall more immersive and fun, giving realistic backstory to missions that players undertake.

Additionally, Naval aircraft would be able to spawn closer to the battlefield, since their bases or ships would be positioned closer. This would give an advantage to spawning in naval aircraft over land based aircraft, as you would be closer to the fight, and may be able to accomplish some objectives speedily before the more specialized, more heavily armed land based aircraft arrive.

These modes would also introduce AEW and Aerial Refueling aircraft, which will bring new dimensions to the game such as being able to refuel mid-air (possibly for a point reward depending on the amount of fuel taken on), as well as providing a semi-realistic battle space awareness for players and the ability to be directed to enemies on larger maps by AEW aircraft.

In conclusion, I believe that we have an opportunity to create a fun mid-1980s bracket where players can enjoy early 4th generation fighters in an environment that is balanced around them. Please let me know your ideas.

It has come to my attention that the F-14B Tomcat is a late 1990s aircraft. Because of this, I propose the addition of an “F-14A Late” which would utilize the same weapon set as the F-14B does now. With the addition of this aircraft, the F-14B could be moved up and given the AIM-9M.


Pretty cool


This could probably use some work, maybe implementing a wave based approach similar to Air Assault, but with staggered waves of smaller flights, comprised of Strike airframes (e.g. A-7 / A-5 / A-6 / F-111, Tu-16 / Tu-160 / Su-24 etc.) at different target sets(e.g. Radar, ), that players are tasked with aiding / defeating, by interception / interdiction or escorting to their targets, that then clear the way for an oncoming wave of Bombers(B-36 / -52 / -58 / -66 / -111 / -117, etc.) to follow on that will strike targets.

A scenario with the Soviets on the offence could include a AShM strike on a carrier group (e.g. P. 205 Moskit wave backed up by Tu-22s) or a Ground offensive.

Even though had things gone hot Bombers would have been able to self escort though the use of Longer range nuclear cruise missiles like the AGM-28 / -69 / -131 etc.

This could be abstracted by having access to the already implemented mid air replenishment zone mechanic (potentially revised to be fuel only, also being expanded to not auto-jettison empty external fuel tanks) tied to the survival of the Tanker.

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Agree with you on all points save for the Air Refueling. Came up with those modes just as a demonstration of what type of quality should be standard. As for tanking, it could be a more simplified system, even just an animation that isn’t controlled. But, I think it’s important to have an actual tanker there. Both because it’s cool and would potentially introduce a new skill to learn in the game, but also because it opens the opportunity for the enemy to shoot down your tanker, or for you to defend it.

I like this idea and new mode for war thunder in the future. but Air EC map should be 220 km x 220 km or 250 km x 250 km for Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) mode

I wondering F-16A with GBU-15 & AGM-65 Maverick. it’s F-16A Block 15 OCU ?

F-14B from USA tech tree refit 1998. I might hope F-14A mid 1980’s instead F-14B

I never saw Paveway II LGB on AV-8B Day Attack but armed AGM-65E Maverick and dumb ordnance

Yeah. Didn’t research too heavily into specific aircraft variants. Just took what was in game. If those changes need to be made I would be happy for them to be made… Just dont know what changes need to be made :P

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Not to mention a number of bombers carried standoff Jamming. AN/ALQ-101 comes to mind.

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To think about how much time you wasted typing all this out on an idea Gaijin will never implement.Far more realitic to land on an a field and capture it .

This is overall pretty cool to me…

Make a suggestion here for it


Was fun to think of these modes and ponder on how cool the game could be… not wasted time in my opinion

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Good idea. How would I go about doing that?

Ahh…how cool the game could be .

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Well if you want it to be an event id go through great detail on your thoughts

I’d look at others so you could get a jost

best way would be have a look to see if there’s anything similar in there, and/or refer to other similar types of mission type suggestions

try and structure it like other people, or, failing that, structure it in a logical order and format, where you’re not having to jump around the text, but has enough detail such that you don’t have to think about much. There’s also nothing wrong with leaving things open, like i’ve done in my example, where I’m not sure what AEW asset would be time and capability correct.

something like:

Escort Mission

Player Objectives:

  • Destroy the opposing team’s Bombers and Strike aircraft
  • Escort friendly Bomber and Strike aircraft to their objectives
  • Strike Tactical Level Targets
  • Establish Air Superiority, by destroying the enemy AEW asset, or destroying all player aircraft.

Suggestions for Targets
Submarine Pens, Air Defence Vehicle Groups, Forward Airfields, Helipads, Supply Bases

Friendly Aircraft escorting AI Strike Aircraft on their missions should protect them from enemy interceptors, either by destroying the interceptors on the ground or in the air.
Friendly Aircraft escorting AI Bomber Aircraft on their missions should destroy enemy Air Defence and shoot down interceptors.
Friendly Aircraft will intercept enemy AI Strike and Bomber Aircraft to prevent them from carrying out their strikes.
Friendly Aircraft should attempt to gain Air Superiority.
(Team South) Friendly Aircraft should destroy the Carrier Group.

All teams should destroy the enemy AEW asset.

AI Aircraft:
Bombers: B-1A, B-52 (various variants), Tu-16, Tu-22
Strike: F/A-18A, F-16A, F-111, Tornado GR.1/IDS, Su-24, MiG-27
AI Interceptors: F-14As, F-16 ADF, Tornado F.3, MiG-23, MiG-29
AEW assets: E-3A, E-2C, (Russian AEW asset?)