by Richard Sheffield
The scoring system used for F-19 is certainly the most complex I've ever seen for a simulation game, ranking right up there with many of the military board-type games. The system is so complex special quality-assurance software programs had to be written just to verify its operation.
The system is similar to other MicroProse games in that it uses point totals and multipliers. The exact makeup of the equation is rather complex and doesn't need to be understood for me to explain how it works and how to increase scores.
The first thing taken into account in scoring is the type of war you select—Cold War, Limited War, or Conventional War. All game actions have a point total assigned to them; this total varies depending on the type of war and the corresponding Rules of Engagement.
In Cold War situations, secrecy is most important. All contact with the enemy should be avoided. If you think this will limit your score, you're wrong. Cold War offers the highest points for completing both your Primary and Secondary missions, and you get points for every minute you're behind enemy lines. Believe me, they add up quickly!
The only time you should attack a target other than the primary or secondary is when you're spotted by the enemy. Generally it will take several hits from a radar to spot you, so it's better to try and disappear rather than to fight. If the enemies get a lock and fire on you, it's better to take them out. You'll lose points for being spotted, but you'll get them back if you destroy the radar that sighted you.
Points will be taken away if you shoot at anything else. Major deductions will occur if you hit a friendly or civilian target. Remember, this is peacetime. No war has been declared. But this also works in your favor, as enemy radar installations aren't on alert. This makes it much easier to slip past them.
This opens things up a little. All enemy military targets are legal, and you're expected to destroy as much as possible. Points are added for each minute you're behind enemy lines, but at a much slower rate than in a Cold War mission. Points are taken away for hitting illegal targets, but the reductions are smaller than in Cold War. Secrecy is still important in a Limited War. Points will be deducted if you're spotted, but as before, you can get them back by destroying the radar source. Destroying civilian or friendly targets will result in points being taken away. More points are taken for destroying friendly targets since it hurts your relationship with friendly nations in the area.
All the stops are pulled out in Conventional War, and be ready—the enemy radar operators are alert and looking for you. Legal targets destroyed yield the most points in Conventional War, but fewer points are awarded for completing the Primary and Secondary missions. Also, you don't receive points for time spent behind enemy lines as you do in Cold War and Limited War actions. On the plus side, no points are deducted for being spotted, and civilian targets in enemy territory are now fair game.
When you hit a target, a point total for that target is assigned, depending on the type of war you're in. This point total is then modified depending on your selection of Region, Mission, Enemy, Fuel, and Landing, as well as the End Game. The more difficult the selection, the more your point total will increase. The point totals are calculated several different ways in the code, and due to rounding differences you'll frequently get two different scores for hitting the same target.
The scoring items break down as follows; the selection giving the highest point total increase is listed first, while the selection giving the lowest point total increase is listed last:
|Fuel Required:||11,500 lbs. or more|
|6,999 lbs. or less|
|End Game:||Safe Landine|
|Bailout Over Ocean|
|Bailout Over Friendly Territory|
|Bailout Over Neutral Territory|
|Bailout Over Enemy Territory|
|(Safe Landing and Dead keep your score the same; all others decease your score progressively from 25% to 75%.)|