Tornado Command and Staff College (TCSC)

The TCSC was originally a free WinHelp file written to teach Command Level gameplay in Tornado - the flight sim sensation from Digital Integration a few years back that seems just as popular today as in late 1993, when released. CompuServe's Basil Copeland, Eric Joiner, and Heinz Bernd Eggenstein wrote this text embedded with pictures and tables (2.6MB zipped!) outlining all aspects of Tornado strategy and FAQs. Other cool add-ons (missions and scenarios), news, pictures, and links were also available in the zip file. What I have done is to HTML-ise the TCSC as in its native form (WinHelp), it is almost unplayable on today's modern operating systems. I hope you enjoy reading it. Frankie Kam, June 2016.



The TCSC is one of the most useful resources available to the Tornado Commander. Below is the Introduction from the TCSC published in 1995 by the Tornado Command Associates. Please note that this resource has been recreated here as some players have been having trouble with the Help File utility that TCSC was created in. The TCSC is © 1995 Tornado Command Associates.

Credits: TCSC was developed by FSFORUM members Basil "Sweet" Copeland, Eric "Cougar" Joiner and Heinz-Bernd "Bicycle Repairman" Eggenstein.

This Help file was written to assist players of Digital Integration's tornado flight simulation in developing winning strategies at the Command Level of campaign play. It is assumed tht readers will have a working knowledge of Tornado weapons Conversion and campaign play at the Level 1 and Level 2 modes. Level 2 is strongly encouraged, though the techniques discussed apply throughout the simulation.

This Help file is designed around efficient application of wargame theory as it applies specifically to Tornado. It is not a substitute for Digital Integration's excellent flight manual for the simulation, but rather as a supplement to it.

We expect this Help file to be subject to revision as feedback is recieved. This file is not sponsored or supported by Digital Integration or its designated Licensees.


1.2.1 Assigning Aircraft

Your first task in developing a Command level mission is to assign aircraft. You do this with the Tasking Button of the Command Window. The following tips will help you develop effective strategies for assigning aircraft.

  This Mission Planner map illustrates the completed flightplan for one of three flights of 2 A/C each assigned to different regions of the ODS Theater for the third mission of an ODS Command level campaign. This flight attacked targets in the eastern region of the Theater. Targets included Decapitation, C3 and Rear HQ targets identified by the Command Window Priority Target Finder. By concentrating on Comms during the first two missions of the campaign, Intelligence was able to identify specific bunkers in the Theater as Decapitation, C3 and Rear HQ targets, and a flightplan for 2 A/C was developed to attack these targets. Note also the use of the Flightplan Summary window to determine the length of the mission and the landing time back at Allied 1. The odd termination of the flightplan was to lengthen the mission time to deconflict with the arrival of the other two flights.  

Tip #1
Utilize multiple strike formations. At Command Level, you have access to a maximum of six IDS and two ADV. At present, how you use your two ADV appears to have little, if any, strategic significance to the outcome of a Command Level campaign. Digital Integration (DI) has acknowledged this, and is considering a remedy. But for now, victory depends on how you use your six IDS. You can, of course, send them out in a six-plane formation. But it is far more effective generally to allocate air assets in three two-plane formations. (Don't feel you have to be a slave to this rule. Exceptions will arise.) This allows you to disperse your air assets over a larger geographic region, increasing the number of priority targets you can assign with each mission. And if you think about it, this is how a real strategic air campaign would work: no strategic planner would send all of his or her air assets out in a single strike package. One good approach is to divide the battlefield up into three geographic regions--East, West, and Central--and send a separate two-plane formation to priority targets in each region. You may want to fly the Central region yourself , since the routes are usually shorter. This makes planning the payload for your flight a little easier. But that is less important than developing a system to disperse your attacks over a broad area. Multiple strike formations in the form of three two-plane formations are a good way to do this. A note before moving on: your computer wingmen do not appear to have the same payload limitations you do. You can assign computer a/c to longer missions than you can do yourself. Use them to reach priority targets that you would find hard to reach yourself. Rather than view this as cheating, imagine that they have topped off at a tanker track before heading into Indian country.

Tip #2
Always assign the maximum number of targets possible. You can assign each IDS up to three targets, which become the X, Y, and Z waypoints in your flightplans. Always assign your wingman, and the other four IDS planes three targets each. The intensity of the bombing--measured by how many targets each side takes out--is an important determinant of Morale. If you are not taking out as many targets as possible each mission, your Morale will quickly suffer, and the Enemy will gain the edge. Here is an area where Command Level campaigns differ substantially from Level 1 and Level 2 campaigns. In the European War Zones, the Enemy is mounting an aggressive air campaign of its own, and will routinely take out 18-20 targets for each mission you launch. The Enemy seems to have an edge, i.e., can take out more targets than you can per mission. So you must use your IDS to the fullest just to stay even. One approach is to always load out your own plane with ordnance for an X and Y target, and then six Alarms for defense suppression. You have to drop the Sidewinders to take six Alarms, but in Tornado it is always safer to run than to fight if picked up by an Enemy CAP. With five planes assigned three targets, and my own plane assigned two targets, the theoretical maximum is 17 targets per mission. Assigning anything less is a good lose!

1.2.2 Target Selection Using the Command Window (Priority Target Finder)

Tornado's Mission Planner sets a de facto standard that flight sim enthusiasts will use to judge other air combat sims for years to come. But only at Command Level do you use the Mission Planner to its fullest. In the lower Level 1 and Level 2 campaigns, Tornado presents you with basic flight plans and specific tasks (targets). At Command Level you start from scratch. You choose the targets, assign flights (see Assigning Flights), and construct the flightplans. Winning Level 1 and Level 2 campaigns is not very difficult. The level of difficulty increases significantly when you advance to Command Level. In the European theaters, you are up against an enemy with superior strike capability. In the ODS theater, the enemy may not have great striking power, but is long on men and material. In either case, you can win only by superior strategic planning.

  This TMF Mission Planner map illustrates the Command Window and Campaign Status at the beginning of the third mission of an ODS Command level campaign. The opening two missions had concentrated on Comms and Camo Site targets to degrade enemy communications and supply. The degredation in communications led to the use of less secure channels which were intercepted, providing Intelligence with information on Decapitation, C3, and NBC Capability targets that were unidentified at the start of the capaign. The Politics class of the the PTF visible in the Command Window, and the Decapitation type is selected. The Target Finder window is open, and the Military/Bunker type is selected. The Target Finder square is inside the Decapitation category diamond in the N.E. quadrant of the Mission Planner map.  

Your most important tool is the Priority Target Finder (PTF), which you access with through the Command Window. The PTF simulates access to processed intelligence. Visualize it as your personal intelligence staff. It is your key to a successful campaign. The PTF categorizes potential targets into one of six categories, as follows:

  • Rear HQ
  • Field HQ
  • Main Node
  • Field Relay
  • POL Installations
  • Main Depots
  • Forward Dumps
  • Choke Points
  • Power Station
  • SCUD Launchers
  • Decapitation
  • NBC Capability
  • Direct Support
  • Reserves
  • Repair Centre
Counter Air
  • Airfields
  • EWR
  • Defences
  • C3

The manual gives a brief and adequate description of each type of target, so there is no need to repeat what you can learn easily from the manual. For more information on how to use the PTF to effectively select targets, see Strategies for Effective Target Selection and Using Explore Mode.

You should familiarize yourself not only with the PTF target categories, but with the Situation report available in the Command Window. This summarizes how the war is going in terms of four statistical parameters:
(1) Performance
(2) Supply
(3) Strength
(4) Morale

The manual is weak in explaining what these parameters mean or how to use them. But they are important, and you need to monitor them closely. Based on gameplay experience, what follows is a reasonable explanation of what these parmeters mean. The Performance statistic appears to be a measure how much land you control compared with your objective. In the War Zone 1 "Standfast" campaign, the Allies start out with a Performance rating of 100 Percent, while the Enemy starts out with a Performance rating of only 45 Percent. Don't let the low Performance rating for the Enemy fool you. It just means he wants to double his size by conquering the Allies! Supply measures the Enemy's supply, naturally. Strength is a measure of battlefield capability, I think. And Morale is a measure of the will to fight. Sap the Enemy's Supply and Morale and victory is only a matter of time. Using the Target Finder

If you have completed a Level 1 or Level 2 campaign, you should already be familar with how to use the Target Finder. We will presume at least a working knowledge of how to use the Target Finder, and concentrate on how to use it in conjunction with the Priority Target Finder and Explore Mode.

  This TMF Mission Planner screen shot illustrates a strike on a Decapitation target and a nearby Main Depot. Both were identified as priority targets with the PTF. The Decapitation target is a bunker identified by the diamond-shaped PTF category marker. This target was assigned to Flight B of a 2 a/c flight (one of three pairs of a/c striking targets in different areas of the ODS Theater on this mission). Not shown is a priority category market for a Main Depot, but it appeared at the 3-way intersection just S.E. of the Decapitation target. The Military/Hangar target category was selected using the Target Finder window, highlighting two rows of hangars nearby. After viewing the complex in Explore Mode, a hanger with vehicles nearby was selected and assigned as a target to Flight A. Note the high supply value (100%) in the Point Data window. The high supply value, combined with the priority target designations, makes this a choice pair of targets. The ordnance for each target was a pair of 1000RET delivered in laydown mode.  

As helpful as the Priority Target Finder is at identifying important targets, you still need to use the Target Finder to select targets for assignment to flightplan waypoints. So once you will typically work with both the Command window and the Target Finder window open when developing flightplans. A good approach is to use the PTF first to identify potential targets. The PTF identifies targets by function, not type. For instance, a Field HQ will be a Camo Site as far as the Target Finder is concerned. So if you have selected a Field HQ as a target, to program that into your flightplan you will need to select the Camo Site category with the Target Finder. The target of interest will be indicated by a square Target Finder category indicator inside of a Command window PTF diamond shaped category indicator. Once you have the target scoped out this way using both the Command window PTF and the Target Finder, assign the target to one of your a/c in the usual way.

Depending on how close your targets are for a given waypoint, you probably should be working with the Mission Planner map in 3x-6x magnification at this point. The smaller (3x) magnification is good for targets that may be a mile or two apart. Do not assume that you have to keep your targets close together. On rare occasions, it may even be advised to assign two planes (if you are flying 2 a/c flightplans) targets several miles apart in order to hit targets of strategic value. It is a waste of ordnance, for example, to assign a 2 a/c flight to take out both the radar dome and the associated bunker at an EWR site. Assign one plane to take out the radar dome, and then look for a Camo Site within a few miles of the EWR site. The 3x magnification is helpful for getting this larger view of the immediate vicinity. At this level, you may find two priority targets near each other, such as an EWR and a Comms site.

The Target Finder category type with the most varied category functions in the PTF are Camo Sites and Bunkers. Camo Sites can be Field HQ, Comm Field Relays, Forward Dumps, or even combinations of these. Bunkers may be C3, Decapitation, and Rear HQ PTF categories. Learn to use the Target Finder in conjunction with the Command window PTF. And if the target is a Main Depot or HAS, do not forget to use Explore Mode to scope out the best target for possible secondary hits. Important But Not-So-Obvious Uses of the Target Finder

While the Priority Target Finder is the most important tool for identifying targets in a Commmand Campaign, this does not imply that the Target Finder is obsolete in this type of campaigns. You will still use the Target Finder to help you identify targets and to position target waypoints. But there are several not-so-obvious ways to use the Target Finder:

Identify no-no-targets and obstacles

When attacking targets in a city, make sure to minimize the risk of collateral damage to civilian installations. For example, if you are flying in the Desert Storm theatre, make sure you don't hit a mosque! You can also use the Target Finder (or the Point Data Window) to make sure that no obstacles like tall smokestacks or office buildings are in your flight path.

Using the "Nothing" target category of the Target Finder

Seemingly useless (who wants to bomb "nothing"?) and not discussed in the original manual, this is a very important feature of the TF. When you select any of the other target categories, new target waypoints can only be positioned atop of a target of the selected type, which is usually what you want. But there are two situations when you do want to position a target waypoint atop of "nothing":

1) To position a target waypoint for an indirect ALARM attack on a mobile anti aircraft unit.

2) To put a target waypoint in the middle of a cluster of several 'soft' targets like hangars, POL tanks and military buildings. Because these structures are not hardened, they don't require a direct hit and often you can destroy several structures in a cluster with a single package of iron-bombs.

  This TMF Mission Planner map illustrates the use of the Mission Planner at 3x resolution to identify targets about 2-3 km apart. The Command Window has the Counter Air/C3 priority target category selected, indicated by the category diamond (a bunker at the enemy airfield). A Field Dump was located just north of the airfield, and is highlighted in the map by the Military/Camo Site category marker square. The Point Data window is open to identify the Supply Value of these targets. The Supply Value of targets will gradually diminish as the campaign progresses. In the ODS Theater, more missions seem required to degrade the Enemy's Supply than in the European War Zones.  

The section of Mission Planner map shown above illustrates a four aircraft attack on a military base using this technique.

The technique of destroying many targets with a single package will allow you to win a campaign more easily or alternatively will allow you to carry more ALARM missiles to decrease the risk of being killed during the campaign.

Identify potential targets of opportunity

After completing the 'design' of your flightplan, you might want to look for additional targets of opportunity along the last few legs of the flightplan that can be destroyed by strafing, e.g. camouflaged sites. It is a waste of firepower to return to your home base without having fired on a camouflaged tent nearby, provided you have enough fuel left and there are no ground-to-air or air-to-air threats nearby.

Identify allied assets to protect

This is only useful when you are in danger of loosing a campaign. In this case you might consider flying ADV missions yourself (the computer controlled ADV pilots don't perform very well!) to protect allied assets. You will use the Priority Target Finder, the Target Finder and the Point Data Window to identify installtions that you can't afford to loose. Strategies for Effective Target Selection

Go for the Comms first.
On your opening mission, use the PTF to identify priority Comms targets and make sure you take these out. This is your ticket to improved intelligence for subsequent missions. As you degrade the communications system, message concentration in the remaining nodes must rely upon less secure channels and the quality of your intelligence improves. Certain kinds of targets will not be available to the PTF unless you first succeed in degrading the Enemy's communications system in this fashion. These include Counter Air C3 bunkers, Decapitation targets, and NBC facilities. So whenever a Comms target presents itself, go for it!

Go after as many Camouflaged Sites as possible.
In addition to the Comm sites, you want to concentrate on Camouflaged Sites early in the campaign. These serve a variety of purposes, and are variously identified by the PTF as Field HQ, Field Relay, and Field Dumps. One Camouflaged Site can even be all three! Camouflaged Sites will usually have a high Supply value, and are vital to the Enemy's war effort. So take them out. The ordnance loadout of choice: 4 BL.755 cluster bombs.

Use the Point Data window.
Use the Point Data Window to identify the Supply value of individual targets. All other things equal, go after the targets with the highest Supply values. As just noted, these will often be Camouflaged Sites. In one campaign, this strategy eliminated 97 percent of the Enemy's Supply in just two missions! The campaign can dragon for a while even after the Enemy's Supply falls to zero, but not forever.

Look for hangars.
Main Depots identified by the PTF are usually road intersections. So look for the nearest structures. Often there will be a military installation nearby with hangars. Bomb these. By Using Explore Mode you can often get good results in debrief with collateral or secondary damage when taking out such targets. They will also usually be in a high Supply value area, and are worthwhile targets for that reason alone.

Take out the bunkers.
Bunkers often house activities vital to the Enemy's command and control system. So take them out. A bunker at an airfield may be a C3 site that the PTF has not identified yet, and bunkers at other military sites may be unidentified Decapitation targets.

When all else fails.
When there is no priority target near by, take out the nearest Comms Centre, Camouflaged Site, Bunker, or Hangar. Try as you might, you will often find that there is no priority target near by. For instance, you may have identified a priority EWR and have targeted A flight of a 2-plane flight with this target. Now you need a nearby target for B flight. If you cannot find a priority target near by, look for a Comms Center, Camouflaged Site, Bunker, or Hangar--with the highest Supply rating you can find. In the opening stages of a campaign, there are lots of such targets around which the PTF has not identified as priority targets. But they are still good targets. If you are using the PTF to the fullest, over half, and perhaps three-quarters, of your targets will be priority targets during the opening missions. With time, this percentage will drop off as priority targets become fewer and fewer. But there will still be Comms Centres, Camouflaged Sites, Bunkers, and Hangars to go after.

Think strategically rather than tactically.
The PTF has three categories of Battlefield targets: Direct Support, Reserves, and Repair Centres. The first two are Close Air Support (CAS) type targets. You only know the approximate location, and must use radar and the Mark I bomb sight to take out such targets. While this can be fun, and quite a challenge, it will not have a significant impact upon the outcome of your Command Level campaign. Your venue is the strategic air campaign, not tactical battlefield ops. The Repair Centres are another matter. They are vital to the support of the Enemy's battlefield operations and are strategically important. So take them out. SCUD sites are like Direct Support and Reserves: of little strategic value. They can be ignored.

1.2.3 Using Explore Mode

Tornado's Explore Mode, when used in conjunction with the Command level Mission Planner, is an excellent aid in target selection. When you select the Explore option, the screen changes to show you a full-screen window onto a map of the current War Zone. When you hit either the SPACEBAR or ENTER key, the map disappears and you find yourself in TDO's three-dimensional game world. Using the mouse or joystick, you can move around in this game world and inspect the current state of the game world objects. Look upon this as 'real-time satellite intelligence.' As explained below, you can use this intelligence to enhance the effectiveness of your strike missions.

Explore Mode is best used as an adjunct to the Mission Planner. Suppose you are planning a strike on an enemy airfield. Probable targets are Hardened Aircraft Shelters and Hangars. You've zoomed in the Mission Planner map to the 6X scale so you can identify and target individual Hangars or HAS with the Target Finder. But which Hangars or HAS should you target? That is where Explore Mode proves its worth. Position your cursor over the Mission Planner map just south of the area that you are targeting and select Explore Mode.

Hit the SPACEBAR or ENTER key and drop into the 3D game world. Use the mouse or joystick to 'fly' over the target area and look for possible targets. You will often find HAS and Hangars with A/C on the tarmac nearby. Rather than target any HAS or Hangar, target those with A/C nearby. You will often get secondary hits when you strike such targets.

If you view the Mission Results Screen above (click on the hotspot near the top of this page) you will see the results of a mission that made effective use Explore Mode in selecting targets. In addition to the primary X, Y and Z targets selected for this mission, the mission was credited with the following secondary hits: 1 BMP-2, 2 Military Buildings, 1 Truck, 1 SU-25, 2 T62, and 1 IL-76! Since the number of hits per mission seems to affect the progress of the campaign (the more the better!), Explore Mode is a tool you will want to make extensive use of.

One final tip with respect to the use of Explore Mode in selecting targets. One of the Priority Target categories is 'Main Depots.' When you zoom the Mission Planner map in on the Priority Target diamond for a 'Main Depot,' you will usually find that it is just an intersection. But it will often be near a military complex of hangars, military buildings, bunkers, and maybe a rail siding. Use Explore Mode to select hangars or military buildings with vehicles nearby. For an even more spectacular mission, look and see if there is a train off-loading nearby. Even though there is not a Target Finder category for such a target, you can assign it as a target to one of your A/C. Use Explore Mode to get a good fix where on the rail siding the train is sitting, align the flight path of the A/C directly over the rail track, and target it with BL755 cluster bombs. If all goes well, you'll get credit for 4-5 rail car hits!


1.3.1 Threat Evasion

The Tornado IDS strike a/c operates in a high-threat environment. While the reasons are debated, more Tornados were downed in proportion to sorties flown during Desert Storm than any other type of a/c. Low-level strikes against heavily defended airfields -- the Tornado's forte -- is among the riskiest missions a pilot can ever expect to undertake. This aspect of the Tornado is modeled very realistically in DI's simulation. In fact, some would say too realistically! Unlike many flight sims, there is no variation in difficulty level for campaign level play. The difficulty level is equivalent to "full realism" or "extreme difficulty." There are no lower levels of gameplay. Whether this was a sound marketing decision on DI's part is debatable. At the current level of difficulty, only hardcore sim users are likely to have the patience it takes to master the game at this level. But if that includes you, and we think it does or you would not be reading this help file, here are some thoughts and tips about surviving in the high-threat environment of Tornado.

In the initial release of Tornado, SAM hits were almost universally fatal. This was not realistic, and DI responded to user feedback and modified the way Tornado models SAM hits. On the off chance that you are using Version 1.0a of Tornado, the first thing you want to do is update your version! Subsequent versions change the probability of a SAM hit of being instantly fatal. You are still subject to a high-threat environment, but now when you are hit there is at least some probability that the hit will merely damage your a/c. Occasional hits are still instantly fatal, but that is no longer the usual case (unless you fail to take any of the normal or prudent steps toward threat evasion). In addition to changing the way Tornado models the destructiveness of SAM hits, an audible missile warning cue was added. You are now warned of an impending missile strike. When you hear the missile warning, you better be looking for the sucker and dumping chaff and flares!

For low-level attacks through heavily defended sectors, the following tips have been found effective in reducing the risk from SAM's and AAA.

1) Fly FAST (and low), i.e. at something greater than 600 kts. This will reduce the probability of being hit.

2) Fly directly at the SAM launcher. Head on and close in, you will usually see the missile arc harmlessly overhead (except at night, and even then you sould realistically be able to see a SAM launch, but Tornado doesn't implement this), and don't even need to waste chaff or flares on it. If it has a lock, though, you will see it coming straight at you and know to pump flares and chaff! (If it is night, you should assume that all head on shots are locked on you.) For head on shots like this, dumping chaff and flares at just the right moment, combined with flying fast and low, is often enough to decoy the missile without requiring evasive action. Most serious SAM hits come from missiles at an angle of attack off your nose (e.g. from the side). In this case, standard evasion tactics would require you to turn into the missile path and pump chaff and flares. This often works like it is supposed to, but if you are seconds from a laydown drop it may be too late to get back on course and the SAM has scored a mission kill even if you have evaded it. At least as far as Tornado gameplay is concerned, you are more likely to complete your mission and decoy SAM launches by planning your strike right dead center through known SAM sites and hope that chaff and flares decoy the missile without requiring you to jink all over the place!

3) Turn on ECM. Tornado models the effect of ECM by increasing the amount of time it takes a SAM radar to get a fix on you. This means that with ECM on, the number of SAM's launched as you traverse a defended site should be less than with SAM off. It does NOT affect the probability of being hit once the SAM is launched. So with ECM on, you still need to use standard tactics to avoid being hit once a missile is launched.

4) Learn to take out SAM lauchers as you approach a target. With skill, this can be done more than 50 percent of the time. This probably won't prevent all missiles from being launched, but if successful the SAM unit won't get off more than one or two, and you can breath a little easier as you pass over the target and egress the site. Generally...if you have planned your attack dead center through a defended site, at 600+ kts you will probably get your first RWR alert about 30 seconds out from the target. You should be flying at that point with ALARMS cocked and ready to go, and with AFDS in track mode. But, before you pull the trigger, look at the RWR and determine whether the threat is a combined SAM/AAA threat. If so, firing an ALARM at the first warning indication will usually take out the AAA unit rather than the SAM unit, and the ALARM will not automatically lock on to the SAM unit until the ALARM has hit the AAA unit. You don't have time to wait. When you get the first warning, you can increase the probability of hitting the SAM unit by turning off the AFDS (hit the ESC key) and jinking slightly in the direction of the threat before you fire. Then, once you fire, immediately engage the AFDS in track mode again to get you back on track toward your target. Learn to keep ALARMS armed until you are less than 10 seconds from laydown. With practice, you can learn to disengage ALARMS, change to your target bomb loadout, and rearm for laydown in just two or three seconds. As long as you are able to stay in AFDS track mode, you don't have to worry about controlling the direction of flight while you do this.

5) Take advantage of terrain masking opportunities. While flying dead center through SAM sites should take precedence over coming around the bend at an off angle from the site, there are times when you can effectively use terrain masking opportunities. A good example is where you come in head on with a low hill or rise to pop over just before you reach the site.

Instead of fearing SAMS, look upon SAM threats as a challenge to master. Consider a standard loadout of 6 ALARMS for your a/c (not your wingmen) and take on the challenge and responsibility of defense suppression in conjunction with X and Y target responsibilities. Let the mark of a good mission be that you hit both your X and Y targets, AND took out 4-6 SAM or AAA units while doing so!

1.3 TMF Mission Planner Map: Completed Flightplan for a 2 A/C Strike

1.3.2 More About Alarms and SAM Supression

The best way to avoid being hit by a SAM or AAA is to avoid flying within the range of these threats. But of course, sometimes you can not avoid this, e.g. when there is SAM and/or AAA near a target and loft bombing is too inaccurate for the target. If you are eluminated by a SAM, engage ECM and start dropping chaff, this will delay the launch of a SAM missile. See the section "Terrain Masking" for useful information about avoiding being tracked by a SAM unit.

The next best way to deal with SAMs is to take them out with ALARM missiles. The computer controlled aircrafts can only launch ALARMs in indirect mode, while you have the choice between direct and indirect delivery.

Using wingmen to saturate the target area with ALARMs in indirect mode will reduce the risk to your flight dramatically, but on the other hand, every package of ALARM missiles loaded will reduce the number of targets you can hit with iron bombs, and thus reduce the impact your attack will have on the enemy. You will have to balance the mainly defensive use of ALARMs against offensive bombing, depending on how well you are doing in the campaign.

When using wingmen to launch ALARM, make sure you arrive in the target area at least 30-45 sec after your wingmen so that the ALARMs will have found their targets by the time you arrive. Beginning with version 1.0d of Tornado, ALARMs launched in indirect mode will not just cut their chutes and drop on their targets, but will re-ignite the rocket to kill the enemy more quickly. This makes them much more useful.

You should also position the ALARM target waypoints as close to the center of the SAM range circles on the mission planner screen as possible. See the section describing the "Target Finder" for more information about positioning ALARM target waypoints.

When you load ALARMs on your aircraft, you will use them in direct mode most of the time, because you can kill specific threats easily by pointing your Tornado's nose in the direction of the threat as indicated by the RWR and the target marker on the HUD. But in some rare situations, an indirect launch will be an alternative worth considering. Select the examples above for further detail. SAM Suppression: Example 1

You are flying a JP-233 attack on an airfield with strong SAM and AAA protection. There are two known SAM positions, SAM A and SAM B (see graphic). SAM A is directly in your approach path and will be easy to kill with a direct launch. SAM B however, south of the airfield, poses a problem. To kill it with an ALARM in direct mode, you might have to point your nose to the right, because there are most likely AAA units on the airfield that your ALARMs will lock on. You would have to turn your Tornado's nose sharply to the right to lock on SAM B, ruining your line-up with respect to the runway. But you want to destroy it, because it's threatening your egress from target waypoint X. The following procedure to execute this attack is a bit complicated, but it is quite useful to kill SAMs with a minimal risk to your a/c and without any disturbance of your flightplan.

First, memorize the exact position of the SAM unit you want to attack, or use a tool like TMF (see section on utility programs) to print a map of the area. After taking off from your airfield, you'll probably have some time left before entering enemy air space. Get into the navigator's seat. Switch one of the big TAB displays to MAP mode. Using the mouse and your memory or a printed map, scroll the map to the position of SAM B. A left button click will designate this position as waypoint "T". Leave the map centered at this waypoint. Now switch back to the front seat. When you are approaching the target area, arm the ALARM package in indirect mode. Be prepared to reconfigure it to direct mode later to kill SAM A. When you fly a JP-233 mission, you might want to carry "indirect" ALARMs in your 2nd package and direct ALARMs in your third package. Periodically check the back seat. The number in the lower right corner of the map display indicates the distance to the point in the center of the map display, in this case the "T" waypoint! When you are within range for an indirect ALARM launch (9-10 nm): push the "T" key to make the "T" waypoint your current waypoint. Immediately, launch the ALRAM, and after that immediately press the "N" key to switch back to your pre-planned flightplan. This way you can launch an ALARM without having to ruin your line-up with the enemy runway. When flying within the range of the SAM, use ECM and chaff to delay a SAM launch. By the time the SAM is ready to engage, your ALARM will probably be on it's way to take it out. SAM Suppression: Example 2

In this example, a different tactic is demonstrated. The idea is to launch an indirect attack from well outside the SAMs effective range, then break away from the target area. The ALARMs can be launched between waypoint F and G. This will allow the ALARMs to deploy over the target area. When you return to the target area to deliver iron bombs, the ALARMs will be on their way to AAA or (hopefully) SAMs. As is true for indirect ALARM attacks by wingmen, timing and targeting is important. If a SAM is close to a target waypoint (as in this example), you won't need to set an extra waypoint for the ALARM target. Things are more complicated when (as in the first example), the SAM to be destroyed is not 'under' a waypoint. In that case, you will have to use the Target-of-Opportunity "T" waypoint to designate the target.

Many TORNADO simulator pilots will dismiss the idea of carrying large numbers of ALRAMs and argue that this will make it more difficult to win a campaign because of the reduced iron bomb payload. The validity of this argument depends on what your definition of "winning a campaign" is. If you consider a campaign won even if you had to repeat a few missions (e.g. because you were shot down by SAM/AAA), then this line of argumentation is accurate. If you take a "purist's" viewpoint and define a "win" as the campaign being completed successfully AND the simulated pilot surviving the campaign, then SAM/AAA suppression will be more important. Seen from the perspective of an individual pilot, the second definition is more realistic than the first.

1.3.3 Terrain Masking

One major difference between USAF and RAF military doctrine is the concept of the "strike package". The US Military utilizes combined strike forces of multiple aircraft with different but sympathetic mission roles. These include fighters for CAP, strike aircraft for iron bombing, aerial refueling aircraft, SEAD and electronic warfare planes. The Royal Air Force and several other European users of the Tornado, view the use of attack airframes differently due to fiscal considerations, the limits on the type of mission they must perform and in fact, the presence of the US forces as force multipliers. All of these factors combine to create the mission of Tornado. The Royal Air Force deploys Tornado IDS aircraft as single unit, deep strike fighters who rely on speed, low altitude flying and all weather capability (see "Using Weather to Your Advantage") in order to deliver weapons on target. The use of natural terrain features to mask the approach of attack aircraft plays directly into this doctine. Hence the concept of "terrain masking" as a mode of natural stealth.

The concept of stealth, or sneaking up on your enemy, is as ancient as the Ninja assassin. Today the word "stealth" connotes the use of radar avoidance through high technology radar absorbant materials, advanced electronics, etc. In Tornado, the concept is applied more simply. Radar and visual aquisition of inbound aircraft is all "line of sight." That means you must be able to look at the object in a straight line without an obscuring barrier. Radar, like the eyeball, can't see around an object, whether that is a building, mountain or the curvature of the Earth. Moving objects appearing from behind obscurations in the natural surroundings are very hard to detect and harder to react to. Just like the child that chases a ball into the street from between parked cars, we seek to appear at very high speed instantly over the target, deliver ordnance and depart the target before the enemy can engage radar directed defenses, such as SAM or AAA. This is natural stealth at its best.

In planning aircraft routes inbound and outbound from a target, the Theatre commander must seek to protect his air assets to a high degree of expediency without degrading the attackers ability deliver ordnance. Such things as weather, the type and number of target air defenses, availabilility of friendly CAP, the presence of enemy CAP, the counter air threat enroute , the primary weapon delivery requirements vs. the amount of ALARM carried, among other factors, play into the equation of mission masking.

Terrain masking means to take maximum advantage of natural hills and valleys in order to hide your flights of Tornado Gr.4 aircraft. On the most basic level, say at level one campaigning, this means placing your flight path within valleys and behind mountains enroute. This basic concept continues with advancement to level two, except that more aircraft are involved. Terrain masking, in addition to speed and weather are also your main defense against CAP aircraft. Remember: when acquired by enemy fighters there is only one prudent solution...RUN like hell. The Tornado is very, very fast on the deck. With sufficient terrain to hide behind and 600 kts of airspeed, many times you can outrun a fighter.

Also it is important to remember that you can carry ALARM missiles for direct defense against SAM and AAA threats. However the maximum you can carry is 6 with any decent amount of iron ordnance. Use Terrain to hide from SAM batteries and AAA where possible. Plan your routes to targets so that, if at all possible you appear from behind an obscuration no more than 15-20 seconds before delivering ordnance. Be ready to instantly fire ALARM upon acquisition then switch to laydown mode for the iron delivery. It is assumed that if multiple aircraft are inbound to nearby targets, that divergent routes have been selected in order to confuse the enemy gunners.

A note on Desert Warfare...

For obvious reasons, fighting in the desert is different than the mountainous regions of Europe. Its basically like flying over a lumpy billiard table. There are NO trees, and very little in the way of hills in the Kuwait region. (Parts of Saudi Arabia are mountainous but not within the boundaries of theODS theatre.) The best one can do there is to take some advantage of the dunes in the sand. This is valid for shielding approaches to some targets and worthy of note. As an interesting anecdote, Tornado Gr.1 crews found it rather nasty when they first attempted nape of the earth flying in the desert during the gulf war. The Radar altimeter based terrain following system could not "see" sand dunes and several times Gr.1 aircrews almost met a sandy death....Since our plane is an advanced Gr.4, we are not encumbered by this.

The axiom to remember: If the enemy can see you he can kill you. Use the natural surroundings to minimize the length of the airshow...then leave an iron souvenir as a fabulous parting gift.

1.3.4 Using Weather To Your Advantage

A word about weather....

As a theatre commander, it is imperative that tactical and strategic operations be planned in accordance with, and take maximum advantage of, all local conditions. These include consideration not only of the physical enemy and your weaponry, but the battlefield itself. The battlefield consists of not only of physical real estate, but an environment governed by the elements. Two topics are geared to a discussion of battlefield geometry. These are Terrain Masking and Weather. It is our intention to take maximum advantage of the tactical opportunities afforded by both.

Tornado does an excellent job of modelling the heavy, inclement weather patterns common in Europe. The aircraft in reality was designed for this environment. The IDS variant Tornado is equipped with a terrain following radar that allows it to fly as close as 200 ft. to the ground in any terrain. This facility is somewhat limited by speed and risk is indicated on the Aircraft B threat/risk indicator. The terrain following radar and the excellent autopilot and targeting systems allow the Gr.4 Tornado to fly IFR attack runs in any weather. Having said that, it is to be remembered that heavy weather is your friend in Tornado.

In real life, when an enemy is faced with the instant presence of low flying, fast movers inbound from multiple directions, targeting will revert almost immediately to the Mk 1. eyeball. This is then followed shortly by an attempt to use electronic targeting to pick out the bogies. It is in this short timeframe, that we seek to inflict our damage. Heavy weather, coupled with a well planned attack, will serve as an additional cloaking device, minimizing the enemies ability to see you. The simulation further adds to the benefit by grounding all SAM missiles in foggy conditions. These two factors allow you to use weather to your advantage in planning aggressive offensive battle action.

Tornado models the following conditions: Clouds, Fog and Wind. These are coupled with various daylight conditions obviously connected to the time of day the mission is planned. Each of the conditions has its benefits and limitations.

Clouds: Clouds in Tornado are mostly eye candy. However it is well to remember that they DO NOT MOVE. This is important in planning LGB attacks from medium altitude since a target obsured by clouds can't be laser designated. There have been several ocassions where I had to resort to dive bombing with "dumb" LGB's when faced with a cloud obscured target. The Tornado Desert Storm add-on package not only teaches this techique, there is a single mission designed around practicing this.

Fog: Fog is a major ally in Tornado. As indicated previously, Surface to Air missiles do not fly in fog. This means that you can use fog as an opportunity to attack heavily defended targets or use modes of attack that are very dangerous to use otherwise. I use fog as an ideal time to make JP233 attacks on airfields. The Tornado is subject to heavy ground fire when flying straight and level over open airspace in the JP233 attack mode. Fog allows you to somewhat abate the ground fire by avoidance of SAMs. Remember: The AAA still can kill you regardless of the weather. Therefore target your ALARM missiles to AAA sites, instead of SAMs on missions fought in fog.

Wind: Wind chiefly is a debilitator. It causes LGB dropped from medium altitude to miss lased targets and makes landings more difficult. In command mode, pay attention to windage in making decisions to relocate aircraft to different bases. Landing in cross winds with 25 knot gusts is extremely difficult. Flying heavier and faster approaches and crab the aircraft on approach. Consider the prevailing wind when deciding on relocation airfields in order to minimize the cross windage. The LGB problem is handled by dropping from a lower altitude (say 18,000 ft instead of 23000) , dropping at least two weapons approximately 5-7 seconds apart on the same target (in case one misses) and not being afraid to make two passes over the target. In reality, two passes is NEVER appropriate, but in this simulation, when the Allies have air superiority, you can do it. The AAA and SAMs can't reach you above 16000 ft. and LGB missions are not to be planned when enemy CAP flights are present.

Ideal attack conditions in Tornado are therefore the worst weather you can imagine. When the daylight fighter drivers are snugged up with a pint o' heavy, the Tornado pilot can inflict the most damage...Cold, rain, fog, night...a perfect night for flying...Remember, the best way to kill a Su-27 is on the ground!


1.4.1 Utilities

Utilities can enhance Tornado gameplay tremendously. Below we some that are currently available. If you know of others, please let us know so we can include them in the next update to TCSC.

Title: Tornado Keyboard Mapper (TKM) V1.02
Written for: IBM PC versions 1.0 - 1.0e of Tornado
Author: Heinz-Bernd Eggenstein (CIS: 100430,1446)
License Terms: Shareware (7.5 US-$)
Download Size: about 7KB

Description: TKM is a memory resident program that will remap some of TORNADO's keyboard commands. It was written after the (somewhat clumsy) author ejected by accident several times by hitting CTRL-E instead of CTRL-R (radar off). The source code for this tool is available separately from the author so that programmers can customize this tool. Requirements: about 2KB free conventional memory in addition to TORNADO's memory requirements. PKUNZIP required. The source-code edition requires Borlands TASM and TLINK to recompile.
How to get a copy: via FTP (Internet service)
site: directory: /pub/hitech-sim/programs/tornado

Title: Tornado Logbook Editor (TLE) V1.2
Written for: IBM PC versions of Tornado 1.0 - 1.0e
Author: Heinz-Bernd Eggensteine (CIS: 100430,1446)
License Terms: Shareware (7.5 US-$)
Download Size: about 19KB

Description: TLE is a simple tool to edit logfiles of Tornado pilots. You are able to change the Rank, Status (Active, KIA, KIT, POW, MIA, DEAD), name, and mission statistics. You can also make a pilot "immortal" (like GrpCpt DeFault), and you can 'clone' pilots. This tool can be used to correct bugs in the promotion mechanism of several versions of TORNADO. It can also be used to 'undelete' pilot logbooks that were erased by accident or by a bug in Tornado. Requirements: no special requirements, PKUNZIP required. How to get a copy: via CIS: GO FSFORUM, library #8 (Modern Air Combat), TLE.ZIP

Title: Tornado Map Fax Machine (TMF) 1.3
Written for: IBM PC versions of Tornado 1.0 - 1.0e. Tornado must be installed on a hard disk.
Author: Heinz-Bernd Eggenstein (CIS:100430,1446)
License Terms: Shareware (10 US-$)
Downloading Size: about 130 KB

Description: TMF is a set of tools that will allow you print screen shots of Mission Planner screens (like those contained in this help-file) to a black and white printer (see the Requirements section for details) without having to exit from the TORNADO program (like "faxing" maps to the pilots).The many display features of the Mission Planner will allow you to produce maps with different scales and level of detail.

A few applications for maps:

-When attacking targets in "target rich" environments like cities or military bases with LGBs, you can use a close up map of the target area to identify the correct target to designate.

-A printed map will be useful in case your electronic on-board navigation system is damaged.

-If you have ordnance left at the end of your mission, you might want to look at the map to search for targets of opportunity like places of enemy troop concentrations.

-If you are forced to depart from your pre-planned flightplan because of enemy defense strngth, fuel shartage or damage to your aircraft, you can use a map to look for the shortest and least dangerous way to get home.

-While flying a campaign, maps of the warzone will help you to evaluate your tactics.

-About 4 KB of free conventional RAM in addition to Tornado's requirements.
-One of the following printers or campatible: NEC P6/P2200, EPSON LQ1500, HP Deskjet 500, HP Laserjet
-PKunzip required
How to get a copy: Available via CIS: GO FSFORUM, library #8 (Modern Air Combat)

Title: Tornado Time Compression (TTC) V1.0
Written for: IBM PC versions of Tornado 1.0 - 1.0e
Author: Kenneth Larsen
License Terms: Freeware
Downloading Size: about 8 KB

Description: This is a quote taken from the README file of TTC: 'TTC is a simple TSR that allows time compression during Tornado missions. Time compression makes events happen faster, and is normally used to quickly skip "less interesting" parts of a mission. In Tornado, the outcome of a mission might not always be successful. The mission must be aborted and repeated unless you want your favorite "pilot" to be forever KIA. If nothing else is changed a repeated mission will closely resemble the original. Often this implies a lot of waiting (in real-time) while the auto-pilot goes from turn-point to turn-point. YOU know that until way-point so-and-so is reached nothing interesting will happen. And you will go and make a cup of cofee. But after several retries you sort of get fed up with making cofee, and you don't really have anything else (short-term) to do. It gets a bit boring (and timeconsuming) to wait for the action (sorry DI). TTC will reduce the waiting time by a factor 2-8.'

Activating and deactivating the time compression is done via hot-keys. TTC is not really a TORNADO specific program, so it may allow you to use "Time Compression" in other games as well. It is very well programmed, for example it will not influence the real-time clock of MS-DOS.

Requirements: About 4 kB free conventional memory in addition to TORNADO's requirements. PKUNZIP required.
How to get a copy: available via FTP (Internet service)
site: /directory: /pub/hitech-sim/programs/tornado

1.4.2 Quirks and Caveats

We would not have taken the trouble to write this help file if we did not think that Tornado was one of the best flight sims ever produced, arguably the best in its class, and unparalleled in its mission planning and wargame aspects. But, it is not perfect, and it would be unreasonable to expect a program of this magnitude and complexity not to have a quirk or two. Here we list some of the quirks that you should know about. If you know of others, let us know so that we can include them in the next update to TCSC.

1) Payload changes are not properly restored when you resume a saved game. You can prepare a Command level mission assigning waypoints, targets, and flightplans to your a/c, and save the game should you choose to exit the mission planner before actually flying the mission. When you resume the game, your flightplans will be restored properly. But if certain payload changes are not restored properly. Changes to the "-" loadout, e.g. dropping the Sidewinders and adding ALARMS, are not restored: the "-" loadout reverts to the Sidewinder default loadout. Changes to the fuel loadout are also not restored properly. So, when resuming saved games, ALWAYS check your payload before starting your mission to see if the loadout is what you want. If you routinely substitute ALARMS for Sidewinders, you'll need to go back and do this again before you start your mission.

2) The wind direction of saved games is not handled properly. When you exit a saved game, and then resume it, the wind direction has changed. This will change the crosswind vector and can mess up a carefully planned flightplan, sometimes requiring you to totally reverse your landing direction. Fortunately, the wind direction changes are not random; they rotate counter-clockwise. So if you don't get too impatient, you can exit and restart the saved game repeatedly until the wind direction gets back to something approximating the original wind direction. You can even use this "feature" to minimize the difficulty of strong crosswinds when on those days the wind is blowing at 25 knots: just exit and restart the game until the wind is mostly a headwind.


Note: adapted to HTML format by Frankie Kam (March 2016)