Wings Over Flanders Fields - the CombatAce Review, part 2
WOFF comes with an impressive planeset - fifty-five aircraft, albeit this includes some close variants. All of them are flyable. The two-seaters come with an observer's cockpit to which you can jump to man the defensive gun or guns carried there, leaving an AI pilot to fly the aircraft. Here's the list of planes, grouped by the maker's nationality. The British and US flew many French types, while the French flew the British Sopwith Strutter. WOFF includes all the flyables from OFF and its 'Hat in the Ring' expansion, plus eight new aircraft, which have been marked below with an asterisk.
German (C- and CL-types=2-seaters, D- & E-types='scouts'/fighters): Albatros D II; Albatros D III (early), D III, D III (OAW); Albatros D V (early), D V (later), D Va, D Va (200hp); Fokker E III 'eindekker'; Fokker Dr I 'dreidekker'; Fokker D VII, D VII (OAW), D VIIF; Fokker E V/D VIII; Halberstadt D III; Pfalz D IIIa, Aviatik C I *; DFW C V; Hannover CL III; LFG Roland C II; Rumpler C IV *
French: Morane L 'parasol' *; Nieuport 11; Nieuport 16; Nieuport 17 (two versions); Nieuport 17 bis; Nieuport 23; Nieuport 24 (two versions); Nieuport 24 bis (two versions); Nieuport 28; SPAD VII; SPAD XIII
British (RAF=Royal Aircraft FACTORY): Bristol Scout D; Bristol F2B Fighter (2-seat); DH2 (early), DH2; RAF FE2b; RAF BE2c (early) *, BE2c (trainer) *, BE2c (Lewis); RAF BE12 *; RAF SE5 *, SE5a, SE5a Wolesley Viper; RAF RE8; Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter (single- & 2-seaters); Sopwith Pup; Sopwith Triplane, 2-gun Triplane; Sopwith Camel; Sopwith Snipe *
The most significant addition here is a pair of two-seaters which help fill out the early-war planeset. First, there's a Morane type L 'parasol' used by both the RFC and the French Aéronautique Militaire in 1914-15 and which is a passable stand-in for the later LA, LAS and P models, into 1916. An unlicensed copy served with the Germans in small numbers at the Pfalz AI!
Then there's the German Aviatik C I. This is a slightly unusual aeroplane. The C-type machines were the first German planes built (in any numbers) to carry a machine gun, sensibly moving the pilot from the previously-universal rear position to the front seat. This left the observer to his rear with a good field of fire. Evidently, nobody told Aviatik, for their C-type machine kept the observer in front, between the wings. Not only that, but instead of a ring mount, he had only a pair or rails, one each side of his cockpit, between which he had to shift his 'Parabellum' machine gun. Crews of later C-types will have been relieved that this feature was not repeated in subsequent designs! The WOFF Aviatik C I gives the observer a non-standard gun each side, likely because animating gun-switching would have been problematic.
I think it would be fair to say that - excluding the first ten months or so of WW1, before air combat as such really got under way - the main gaps in the WOFF planeset are the British DH4 day bomber; a representative 1916-17 French 2-seater, like the Farman F.40 'pusher' or the Nieuport 12; and a 1918 French two-seater like the Breguet 14 or Salmson 2A2. Hopefully, these - and perhaps a Belgian air force mod - will be the subject of an expansion pack, although the sexier but less useful Gotha bomber has apparently pushed its way to the front of that line!
Graphics & Sound
This is where some of the biggest improvements have been made, compared to Over Flanders Fields. As a study of the screenshots in this review and elsewhere will show, ground textures and scenery would do any flightsim proud, even at the low detail settings I had to use. Terrain textures include effective seasonal variations. My only minor gripe would be that the tonal contrast in summer between the dark, grassy fields and the much paler corn or wheat fields is rather too great. Different weather states are effectively conveyed and you can set things in the 'Workshops' so that, when you fly in a campaign, you get the weather they had on the actual day. The First World War seems to have had many periods of bad weather, all in all. So if you use the 'Historical weather' setting, you can expect to be told that flying has been cancelled for the day, from time to time!
Railways and major roads still have angular bends, but many rivers are now more realistically depicted, even though their water textures are still pretty basic. Apparently, compared to OFF, there are fewer little villages dotted around, though it's not especially noticeable. Clouds are not volumetric but are often still impressive. A cloud mod by Arisfuser offers significant improvements; it's available on the WOFF site's 'Third-party mods' page, here.
The aircraft textures have been given a comprehensive overhaul, and like the ground textures, are now generally exquisite. Gone are the rather bland cockpits of OFF; instead, here's the sort of representation you get in WOFF: in this case, the Albatros D V. To my eye, it's well up to the high standards set by Rise of Flight:
Externally, too, the WOFF aircraft textures are a great improvement. There's still the CFS3-style 'wide-angle lens' effect in the 'spot' (external) view, but the planes now look fantastic. A must-have mod is Ankor's DX9 mod which adds dynamic self-shadowing to WOFF's planes, inside and out. Some have this working in OFF and CFS3 but it crashes these, for me! Monoplanes can live without self-shadowing but biplanes really need it. Ankor's mod makes such a big improvement that OBD plans to incorporate it officially. For now, you can get it here. Screenshots alone can't do this mod justice, and even my sub-par system can cope with it.
Another nice touch is that rotary engines now have a 'blip' switch, used to cut the ignition momentarily as a form of throttle control. 'Blip' your engine and you get a little puff of smoke or simulated unburnt fuel, followed - when you release the switch and the engine fires again - by a little flash of fire as the excess fuel burns off. Clever and rather brilliant! In the pic below, the puff of smoke has disappeared astern but you can just see the flames, below the Clerget rotary engine of my Camel.
Aircraft and aircrew animation is really limited compared to Rise of Flight or First Eagles 2. Rotary engines and wheels rotate and control surfaces deflect, of course. And the pilots' heads all now seem to move slightly but noticeably, in harmony with elevator and aileron deflection. Aircrew don't look around and you won't see MG belts or cocking handles move. There are no animations (nor, I believe, reloading delays) for Lewis Guns or 'Parabellums', either. WOFF's observers are now better posed, though.
Some of the 3d aircraft models have seen improvements over their OFF counterparts. For example the Pfalz D IIIa used to have an incorrectly drooping tailskid, but this has now been tucked up underneath. However, there is still some room for improvement, here and there. The SE5a's wings still look rather plank-like to me, seemingly bereft of adequate upper-surface camber and I think the wingtip profiles should be a little squarer. The SPAD VII still has the more rounded SPAD XIII rudder and elevators. The RE8 is missing some prominent rigging, between the wings. The BE2c's interplane struts are too far inboard. It is missing some flying and landing wires in between these struts, has imaginary inverted V struts on the upper wings, and a web of rigging between the base of the outer interplane struts and the upper wingtip which also did not exist. Mostly minor stuff but an update would be nice, especially for the BE2c as this features prominently in the Fokker Scourge Expansion Pack.
EDIT, 23 April - Patch 1.24 has introduced improved BE2c and 2c 'early' models and textures, which I think take care of all the issues mentioned above! Here she is, now:
Another move in the right direction - important for effective patrol-leading and air combat - is that while planes still appear to be rendered only up to about a mile and a half - twice that might be more realistic - you can now activate a new 'dot mode' (similar to distant aircraft rendering I've seen in IL-2) to make planes visible out to a distance you can select in the 'Workshops'. And the Level Of Detail models seem improved: too often in OFF (on my rig, anyway) the 'LOD' transitions could be fairly brutal, with aircraft visibly sprouting or losing detail like undercarriage, as they came closer or receded. Now, in WOFF, I'm hard put to notice transitions; planes look as they should at longer ranges. This in itself is a big improvement.
You can turn on or off aircraft labels, as well as controlling their display range in the 'Workshops'. These labels now have white backgrounds, making them more readable, but also more obtrusive. They are perhaps most useful for such purposes as establishing the identity of the hot pilot who has just sent you plunging to your virtual doom. As WOFF campaigns feature historical aces, you may end up 'Under the Guns of the Red Baron', to borrow the title of the book of that name and indeed, flying or fighting with other aces from all sides, whose identities the labels can reveal - neat!
As far as sounds are concerned, these really are much improved. In particular, engines not only vary from type to type but all now sound like real light aircraft. To get the best from them, I'd recommend upping the engines sound level in the 'Workshops' from the default 20% to 80% or so.
As for machine guns, these now have a realistic, chunky report, which reminds me of the sound effect used in the Red Baron movie (which I thought did this very well, even though the movie's portrayal of the Rittmeister's life was a travesty!). Only RoF makes your rate of fire vary with propeller RPM but overall, to my ear, WOFF's engine and MG sounds are much the best of any WW1 sim. Amongst my favourites is the deep mechanical grumble of the Albatros D V's Mercedes which, when you cut loose, is complemented nicely by the batter of its twin Spandaus. When you pull the trigger, it sounds at first like one weapon is firing, then the second quickly cuts in, giving a nice high combined rate of fire. These sounds really help invest WOFF's beautiful planes with both life and character.
The 'buffeting' sound which indicates an imminent stall was inaudible in OFF but can now be clearly heard. This is actually very important. For the first time, you get an indication that you are flying on the edge of the envelope, without having to clutter your screen with immersion-killing text messages. This little detail is a big plus during what they now call 'Air Combat Maneuvering' as it warns you not to pull that turn any tighter, and perhaps even to back it off and/or push your nose down a bit, lest you 'depart the envelope'! You don't get the additional, visible shudder that FE2 provides but WOFF's stall buffet sound does the job well enough.
The main on-screen aid in CFS3, OFF and now WOFF is the Tactical Display or TAC, wryly referred to by folks like me as 'the radar' as that is - sort of - how it operates. Its appearance and function have been changed in WOFF - mostly for the better in my opinion. Its default range has been reduced to discourage the 'AWACS effect'. I tend to turn it on only as a navigation aid or - for combat - only when I really need it - to select a target, either to padlock it or to tell my flight to attack. The 'Attack!' command now requires you to select a target in the TAC before giving the order, at which point your flight, if you're the leader, will attack enemies near your target (but not your own). But we'll cover this a bit further on, when discussing the WOFF Artificial Intelligence, next in this review.
The Air Combat Experience - Artificial Intelligence, Flight and Damage Models
One of WOFF's most prominently-promoted features is 'brand new AI'. This is much-needed. Of the 'big three' sims, I always thought FE2 had much the best AI, with OFF lagging some way behind. For example, in an OFF dogfight at low level, it was as if terrain avoidance and air combat routines were fighting each other: near the deck, AI planes often made repetitive 'rollercoaster' moves, reminiscent of Red Baron 3d. And two-seater recce aircraft seemed to be a one-trick pony - fly level and shoot back. From fixed, widely-spaced formations, too, just like bombers in CFS3. And speaking of formations, if you were leading one, make the slightest turn and your AI flight-mates invariably slipped hopelessly wide, struggling to catch you up. So just how good is WOFF's new Artificial Intelligence? The answer, thank goodness, seems to be 'a whole lot better!' I haven't been playing WOFF that long but it's obvious we've got a whole new ball game here. Here's what I have seen, so far.
If a dogfight goes low, it does so realistically - not right away, but with the underdogs tending to be forced down as they lose altitude, trying to escape or to regain the initiative. If and when a fight hits low levels, there is little or none of the old rollercoaster manoeuvring. Now, aircraft dip and turn like you'd expect to see from real planes flown by real pilots. Perhaps there are rather many barrel-rolls, but otherwise, it's much, much better. If you are on an enemy's tail, or are watching one under attack from a flight-mate, you will see much human-like behaviour. The enemy may seem to hesitate momentarily in a turn, then carry on. He may level off, as if he has lost sight of his attacker, only to break hard, if attacked again. He may try to escape back across the Lines, if damaged or finding himself outnumbered. I believe they can even just loose their nerve and run.
Two-seater AI is also improved. Their formations definitely seem closer and more varied - for example, echelon instead of always in 'vic'. They may now break formation to evade or escape when pressed hard, instead of just flying on monolithically & returning fire. In the picture below, taken in a Quick Combat mission, my flight of Pfalz D IIIa aircraft - which type, incidentally, now has a much improved flight model, compared to OFF - is getting stuck into a formation of RE8s. Under attack, the RFC formation gradually broke up. One two-seater was shot down out of formation, early on. The left-hand RE8 then turned left, out of formation - you can see him above my left wingtip (I'm flying the Pfalz in the foreground). The flight leader - roughly above my nose - started weaving after he too was attacked, with the other RE flying stolidly ahead, just to his right. In OFF, this would have played out like 109s attacking B17s. Now, I don't see that it could look or feel much more realistic. It was a joy to behold, a WW1 air battle unfolding right in front of me, just as I imagine it should. Straight from the pages of the classic pilot autobiographies like 'No Parachute' or 'Wings of War'.
Observers in two-seaters still seem to have a rather limited depression to their guns, leaving quite a large blind spot below. But if you change to the gunner's seat you will find that where before, your bullets would 'ghost' through any part of you plane's structure you could reach, your fire will now damage it, as it should.
Formation-keeping - one of the real bug-bears of OFF - is like night and day. Now, in WOFF, your flight can keep up nicely in turns. Two-seaters and scouts/fighters do equally well here. Pull too tight a turn and you will lose them but that is entirely realistic. It's hard to exaggerate the improvement to the patrol-leading experience which this better formation-keeping delivers.
I invariably fly with 'Always lead' selected in 'Workshops' to avoid the chore of formation-keeping and to give myself the additional tactical element of patrol-leading. So I can't say much about how the AI operates as flight leader. Forum feedback indicates some find this can sometimes produce strange situations, although these may just be attributable to the new AI being more human and not simply operating on that 'Attack EVERYTHING!' principle.
As for wingman commands, these have been revised somewhat. You still have the same basic CFS3 set - A=attack, H=help me, S=split, R-rejoin (which you can re-assign, eg to joystick or HOTAS buttons), but some now work differently, as follows;
'A' key - this is still 'attack' but you must first turn on the TAC (if not already on) then tab to highlight/select a target, then hit 'A'. Your flight - and you have to be the leader, to issue this - will now attack enemies near your selected target but not your own. I think this also works with other target types besides aircraft, notably ground objects;
'S' key - instead of ordering your flight to split/extend formation, this tells them 'I'm going home (or off on my own); if I'm the leader, don't follow me, but carry on with the mission, under a new leader'. This is useful since before, if you were going down to a forced landing with a dud engine, your flight was liable to follow you down;
'R' key - this is no longer 'rejoin formation - which is default behaviour, anyway - it now means 'break off attacking ground targets'.
There is also one new command - and it's a biggie. Ctrl+R orders a 'washout' as the RFC called it - in effect 'Mission is scrubbed, return to base, individually if necessary'.
All very clever and a big improvement!
Anti-aircraft fire - or 'Archie' in the RFC vernacular - may be said to have Artificial Intelligence, of a sort. This is a much better target indicator than it was in OFF. As before, black bursts denote German fire, whitish ones Entente. But now, while still not especially deadly, AA bursts track targets better and spread less around their mean point of aim. This makes it a lot easier to pick up and track targets from AA fire, much as it appears to have been in real life.
In the screenshot below, from the Quick Combat Pfalz -vs- RE8 mission mentioned earlier, after shooting down one of the Englishmen I have picked up the remaining pair of retreating RE8s visually, just from the receding flak-bursts.This would have been much more difficult in OFF, due to the scatter of the bursts. The picture also illustrates the set of on-screen gauges available via the F5 command, which you can drag around individually, as well as turning on a 'no cockpit' view. This F5 view also comes with a (blue) text status read-out which you can drag about separately. You can also see the TAC in use here - the Tactical Display. This feature will be familiar to all players of the CFS series. It's a sort of situational awareness tool, which compensates in some respects for the limits of 'MonitorVision', where you have no peripheral vision, regardless of how you move your point of view around (hat-switch, in my case). Here, I have mouse-dragged the TAC to the top left of my screen - I usually keep it bottom left, to push off the lower screen the new text that now comes with the TAC. In this case, the text below the TAC describes my selected target, which is an RE8 which has just been shot down by a flight-mate (hence the text is in black). This text will also provide navigational and mission prompts, should you need them. A lot of work has obviously been put into making the TAC much more useful, should you feel the need for it.
The only apparent negative as regards AA fire is that it still appears to be pretty vigorous and indiscriminate at lower levels. I can't confirm it but I suspect that many balloons burned on balloon-busting missions may - as in OFF - be busted by the defending flak! Not this one though - it was one of my own side's balloons and I collided with the b***er in my SE5, trying to give the boys in the basket a bit of excitement. I expect that I succeeded!
A couple of other points are worth mentioning here. First, in 'Workshops', you can turn on an option 'AI always attacks'. This is useful if, flying as a wingman, you find the more realistic (but sometimes cautious) new AI seems insufficiently aggressive for your tastes. RFC ace Harry Hawker would doubtless have enabled this option, having enjoined his fellow DH2 pilots in the pioneer RFC No.24 fighter squadron to 'Attack EVERYTHING!' And though not strictly an AI issue, you can also enable random failures, so some of your flight may drop out eg with a dud engine. This was a VERY frequent occurrence in WW1 and though potentially frustrating, it's a highly realistic new option in WOFF.
As for Flight Models, I'm no expert - my real-life stick time is limited to just under nine hours, all dual, in the Cessna 150/152/172. What I've found in WOFF so far is that many planes are (I believe realistically) tail-heavy, reminiscent of those in RoF. They can be trimmed with CFS3 controls, if you find this a strain or that it makes it too hard to control your aircraft. I fly with 'Wind - on' (as opposed to 'the wind up', which in RFC jargon meant something completely different!) and I assume this accounts for planes swaying gently, which is a nice effect, not overdone.
There are a few things I find odd. For example I practiced stalls in a Nieuport 17, chopping the throttle and pulling back on the stick to keep the nose from dropping. When the stall came, the nose went down and the plane rolled right to about 40 degrees - then stopped rolling, quite sharply. Then my aircraft began to roll back level, and as the speed built up in the descent, the nose rose again. The aircraft seemingly unstalled itself, without a spin developing, in this rather odd-looking fashion. I could cause a spin, by applying right rudder as she stalled, in the classic fashion; recovery was easy enough, with some opposite rudder.
Here are some more observations. Realistic or not, significantly more rudder is needed to balance turns than in either RoF or FE2 (modded). Without rudder, you often get pronounced tailslides, which can be hard to detect unless flying from the external view. When applied 'just right', rudder can produce some surprisingly tight turns. This is much as it was in OFF. However, it seems no longer possible to fly in many planes with my fuselage at 45 degrees to my direction of travel, by 'crossing' ailerons and rudder. In WOFF, this now realistically produces an inefficient, flat, skidding turn, in planes that could 'helicopter/windvane' before.
The Camel, I found, turned better to the right, as she should. As in RoF, I didn't find her the vicious ride that I was half-expecting. Back in the Nieuport 17, I experienced a nice, not excessive implementation of what I took to be the phenomenon known as 'adverse yaw': in a left-hand turn, if I held the nose up too much maintaining too high an angle of attack, the plane rolled itself around, out of the turn.
The Albatros D V flight model seems be be proving controversial but I've not found it objectionable; perhaps a bit more sluggish than I was used to in RoF or FE2. Reports are that it is rather slow, perhaps based on sources which report it as having an inferior performance to the heavier Albatros D III, which I have always found strange.
Overall, my impression is that - plane for plane - WOFF's aircraft feel rather less tractable or responsive and somewhat harder to fly (and aim!) with precision, than their counterparts in either RoF or FE2 (modded). That may or may not be realistic - after all, difficulty does not necessarily equate to realism - but so far, I find the WOFF FMs to be perfectly acceptable and regard them as better than those of its predecessor in several respects. I would definitely agree with those who have said that rudder pedals would make life easier, though I'm plodding on with the 'twisty joystick/wrist strain' combination.
Gunnery is obviously an important part of the air combat experience. On the negative side, I believe that WOFF still just gives you the full continuous ammo load for drum or spindle-fed weapons - the Lewis Gun and the German 'Parabellum'. There is no representation of reloading, I'm fairly sure: neither a time delay as in RoF and FE2, nor an animation as in RoF. On the plus side, you can now clear stoppages. In OFF, if you had these enabled in the 'Workshops', a jam would stop both weapons in a twin gun fighter and was impossible to clear. Now, stoppages affect individual weapons and there is a chance you can clear them in flight. So far, I have avoided stoppages by keeping bursts short.
As for the results obtainable from air-to-air gunnery, perhaps it's down to my flying with unfamiliar FMs and no rudder pedals, but I find hits harder to get than in RoF or FE2. Either that, or the hits I get, do less damage! There is a 'Workshops' option to increase the player's gun lethality or accuracy, if you find this unsatisfactory. I must admit I'm tempted to try this, after an Albatros D V campaign mission which saw me pumping round after round into (or at!) a plucky Frenchman who flew his single-seat Sopwith Strutter like a fighter, only to end up colliding with him, after breaking off a firing pass too late! I did manage to nail one of his amis first, though:
As for damage modelling, this was good in OFF but is now better again. You will still see minor airframe damage (like bulletholes) only if you don't have 'hi-res skins' enabled but there appear to be no more 'flying flamers' - aircraft set on fire which would fly on in that condition, seemingly endlessly. In the screenshot below, my Rumpler C IV has just had a lower wing shot off by attacking SE5s, showing the exposed ribs at the wing root...it's a long way down, from eighteen thousand feet! I followed her down to see if the Rumpler would break up under the strain of the long dive, as she probably should have done, but no joy there.
Another positive is the aircraft wrecks, which are much improved. Remember that campaign I started in part 1, flying Bristol Fighters with 48 Squadron? Well, here's how that one ended up, thanks to some rather unfriendly Huns in V-strutted Albatrosses:
The view system is also worth mentioning here, because WOFF has made some tweaks to the CFS3 approach. You still have to cycle through views to get to some of them and overall, it still doesn't seem to have the flexibility of FE2 or RoF. I'm not sure yet whether these tweaks represent anything more than changes from the stock key assignments, or whether there's something really new here, but I expect I'll work it out, in time. EDIT - I see there is now an 'experimental' free-roaming camera, accessed with the 'J' key and controlled via joystick and numpad (added with a patch, I believe).
Ok, you've set up WOFF to your taste, in the "Workshops". You've created a pilot or two, and have selected your squadron, escadrille or staffel and thereby your aircraft. Now, it's time to get a slice of the action and find out how WOFF flies and fights!
If you opted for 'Campaign Auto Deployment' (in the 'Enlistment Options' screen, seen in part 1 of the review) then you had the option of going through some initial training, first. This is new to WOFF, so how does it work? Well, let's take a look at that later, when considering campaign gameplay.
Whether or not you took the training, you'd be well advised to start by getting some 'stick time' in your chosen aircraft using the 'Quick Combat' option. Only one of your pilots can be 'active' at any one time and it's his nationality's planes that you'll be able to fly here. French pilot active, and want to fly a Hannover? Go back to 'Pilot Dossiers' from the main menu, and activate a German pilot, instead.
When you select Quick Combat from the main menu screen, here's what you'll be offered. This is for one of my British pilots, flying for the Royal Flying Corps (which became the RAF only on 1 April 1918).
As you can see, it's possible to select free flight or different types of combat mission from a drop-down list. Options include attacks on balloons and different ground targets, as well as air combats. You can also select your flight's aircraft type and your foe's, as well as choose 'skins' for them. Many of the parameters here are new to WOFF, including the facility to specify a 'top cover' flight for you and/or your immediate opposition. In short, WOFF 'QC' is a heavily-featured instant mission generator: not only useful to hone your flying and shooting skills before you really go to war on campaign, but a great way to experience air combat in WOFF and check out its many flyable aircraft. Don't forget to tick the box 'Pilot never dies', centre left, as you likely won't want your precious pilots killed off, when you're just practicing! Usefully, WOFF has the option to save a Quick Combat mission you have created here, for future use ('Save as Scenario').
Another option available from the main menu screen is Quick Scenarios. This comprises a set of pre-defined missions, and is presumably where you can also pick up any mission set-ups you have saved from Quick Combat (and possibly, any third party missions). On a quick count, there are seven Quick Scenarios by default: balloon busting, bombing an airfield, intercepting DFW 2-seaters, Morane parasol recce, an interception, and two different dogfights.
Sooner or later, you'll find yourself at the front, on campaign, flying over or near the famous trench-lines. Campaign mode is the beating heart of the WOFF experience. Probably, you'll know the form. If you're flying a fighting aeroplane for France, Britain or the USA, you'll expect to operate mostly over the Lines or in enemy airspace, patrolling in indirect support of your own side's 'working aeroplanes' - the two-seaters. Later in the war, ground attack missions may become a regular feature. If flying for Germany as a fighter/scout pilot, you'll expect to fly defensively, over your own territory. In a two-seater with any side, you can expect to fly reconnaisance or artillery observation missions; the latter near the Lines, the former over them or deeper into enemy territory. You might also draw bombing missions, or perhaps some infantry co-operation work. In a nutshell, that's how the WW1 air war played out, at least from about 1915-16 when it really got into gear. So...just how well does Wings Over Flanders Fields deliver this experience to your PC?
Coming in part 3 - campaigns, pros & cons and the verdict.