DCS World: The unexpected fun of doing CSAR with Helicopters in Multiplayer!
What do you imagine when you think about helicopter gameplay in DCS World? Most people would think about AH-64Ds using Hellfire missiles at insane ranges to destroy tanks, or maybe Mi-24Ps sneaking at low level to engage an enemy emplacement. Some would immediately think of UH-1Hs and Mi-8s transporting troops into battle. While those are all true, there is a particular role that only helicopters can fill: Combat Search And Rescue , or CSAR for short. It is this role that has proven to not only be fun, but extremely fulfilling for me lately. I am sure you have been in this situation before: you and your friends are flying a combat mission on a fixed wing aircraft, then suddenly you get hit by a missile you didn't even see coming and are forced to eject. After ejecting, you go back to spectators and grab a new aircraft, but your ejected pilot still stays there where you got shot down. As the night goes on, more and more of these pilots start piling up in the map.
This, to me, is a failure in mission design, especially considering that the DCS sandbox has everything mission creators need to fix this issue. CSAR is a crucial part of any combat operation, including virtual ones, but why would people even care enough to rescue downed pilots if there is no benefit from it? This is where some amazing mission editors and script developers have stepped in and implemented a positive gameplay loop for CSAR pilots. This is the case for Pretense, the mission we are currently using for our December multiplayer event. Just like Through the Inferno, Enigma's Cold War, and many others; Pretense offers experience points and palpable rewards for those interested in rescuing their comrades in danger from behind enemy lines with UH-60L Black Hawks or any capable helicopters. It incentivizes cooperation between CSAR units and CAP, SEAD or even other attack helicopters to provide cover and clear a path for the rescue aircraft to land quickly and efficiently pick up any allied pilots downed during an engagement.
Should you be a helicopter fanatic like me, I would highly encourage you to try out CSAR missions in DCS World. They are fantastic and offer something else than just being a combat taxi for troops or a direct attack platform to engage the enemy. CSAR benefits the team and gives you an excuse to cruise around, from spot to spot, to rescue your friendlies. About the writer: Santiago "Cubeboy" Cuberos Longtime aviation fanatic with particular preference towards military aviation and its history. Said interests date back to the early 2000s, leading into his livelong dive into civil and combat flight simulators. He has been involved in a few communities, but only started being active around the mid 2010s. Joined as a Spanish to English translator in 2017, he has been active as the co-founder and writer ever since. Twitter | Discord : Cubeboy