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Olham

Comparing the Albatros with it's opponents

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Hi, all !

Knowing very well, that some Albatros versions wouldn't be my first choice, if I would have to fight a real air combat,

I'm still in love with this bird. But I would really like to know, how you others experience her (all versions).

 

When you're flying her:

what are your most successful manoeuvers against which opponent plane?

Who's your worst opponent?

What do you avoid?

Against which planes would you take up fighting even if it's 1 against 2 ?

 

When you fight her:

Which is your plane, and what are your most successful manoeuvers?

Does it take much ammo to damage or down her?

Which manoeuvers can she do better than you - what do you avoid?

Would you take up fighting her, when it's 1 against 2 ?

Edited by Olham

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A couple of your questions I didn't understand, but I'll answer a few.

 

First, one on one, I'd take the Albatros DV-DVA-DVa200, against ANY machine in the theatre. Now that being said, with a few of them, like the Sopwith Camel or the Sopwith Tripe, I'd like a little altitude to start the fight with. :yes:

 

The earlier types, the DII and DIII had thier moment of superiority, and then with AC technological improvement were outmoded so much they were retired in favor of others. The D series however, even though somewhat surpassed by technological developments, still remained viable. The technology had advanced past it with products such as the Fokker DVII, the Camel...and others, but unlike its predecessors, it still remianed "Close Enough" that in the hands of a good pilot it was still a dangerous adversary to be reckoned with.

 

Two to one, my favorite foe would be Spads, or Re8's, Nieuports are a bit tougher, and Camels even tougher than that, but I have beaten camels 1 vs. 2...its when you get into the 1 vs. 3...or 4....or 5 that it gets ugly. But that would remain true with any adversary, the sheer numbers start to sink you.

 

One aircraft that I Haaaaaate dealing with are the Bristols. Geeeesh...those guys are agile and can shoot you up practically from any angle. They will fire from front and rear, and get you coming and going. Diving zoom-n-boom is the only way to handle them, and if you are near the ground...it'll be tough cause there is no where to dive to safety!!

 

Combat entry tactics aside-once you are in a fight with EA, a thumbnail is:

 

Nieuports- Albatros can usually turn inside them...no prob.(this is undamaged of course)

Spads- Evade by tight turning their initial high speed onslaught, then you can turn inside them as well.

 

Camels-Much tougher to get behind..try to get some shots in on the first pass depending on entry tactics, then when turning, (you need altitude) roll into the turn to shorten it and give occaisional "pop up" bursts at them. You will only get a few, so be sure your marksmanship is good, if you scored hits, his turn rate will suffer and you can get a bead and take him down. The occasional change of turn direction where you can in the fight cna also throw them off and get you some more kill shots. One of my favorites when up high is the reversal, where you start off in a turning fight with him close behind you, but you over-turn...invert and simply pull the stick full back, sort of an inverted loop. If he follows you through this, he's a better than average pilot. :yes:

 

 

I'm still working on tactics with this plane, so if I happen upon anything new I will let you know. Throttle control in turns has met me with some success. For instance many times we just execute combat, especially turning fights with the throttle to the wall, especially when pursued. I've had a few combats however, as in real life, that my throttle adjustment in turning battles, has assisted me in fooling my opponent.

 

An example; AC behind you is at full throttle in a turn close to your tail, you are banking he is banking, you quickly chop throttle but maintain your turn and bank angle, but are slowing rapidly. I had one camel almost ram me when I did this, I hit full stick forward nosed down, he passed above me, I pulled up, now on his tail, no more Camel. :yes: These take finesse and practice to perfect though, and ability to "read" the situation well.

 

Great thread Olham..I look forward to seeing what tactics others have learned and use. Or maybe we are the only two wierdo's dedicated to flying Albitri!

 

 

 

ZZ.

Edited by zoomzoom

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You and Olham are not alone ZZ.

I've flown the Albatros DIII exclusively the past three weeks. The few QC's I've flown with the DV and DVa I've been like, "WOW, what a great plane!" heh. The DIII is, hands down, the best fighter at the front until the Bristol Fighter, SE5 and Camel turn up. The SPAD VII and maybe the Tripehound are probably better planes but with worse armament. In my campaign I generally avoid scouts unless they are at a serious disadvantage, it's the two-seaters we're after. But the DH2 and N17 are no match for the DIII. The Pup is more equal, even better at high alt but too slow to bother you unless you want them to. I've not run into the Tripe but that would probably be a dangerous opponent. I feel comfortable against the SE5 but not against the Camel. If you run into a flight of rookie Camels you can outfly them, trick them into stalling. As it stands now, if you let a two-gun plane hit you - you're out of it.

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When you fight her:

Which is your plane, and what are your most successful manoeuvers?

Does it take much ammo to damage or down her?

Which manoeuvers can she do better than you - what do you avoid?

Would you take up fighting her, when it's 1 against 2 ?

 

I spend most of my time flying for the Brits in Bloody April (Pups and FE2s) so don't fly the Albatross much. However, I'm constantly fighting against a mix of D.II and various D.III types, so I can give an opinion on that, as seen from the Pup and FE2.

 

In my experience, the AI pilots get themselves killed a lot by staying in the fight too long. They almost always have an E-advantage on them to start with and use it fairly well for a few passes, making slashing attacks followed by zooming extensions/reversals that I have no hope of following. However, if I manage to avoid their first few passes, and they bleed down to a more co-E state, they continue fighting instead of running away. Only now, their only option is turn-fighting, and the Brit fighters of early 1917 are better at that than they are. Thus, I soon get on them and they can't shake me except by throttling way down, which might make me overshoot that pass, but which cedes the E-advantage to me, so it's only a matter of time after that.

 

To me, the best move to use against an attacking Albatross is to dive slightly towards them as they dive on me, which screws up their pass from too much vertical separation for them to hit me. Once I see I've achieved that, I do a HARD early 180^ turn just before the merge so I end up pointing the same way as them and pretty much just below them. Then I follow them as best I can as they extend. Once they zoom up, I aim for the center-point of the turn they're going to make to cut the corner on them, try to get under them again when they reach the top of their zoom, and then turn hard into them as they dive by. They usually turn toward me as I do this, giving me a snapshot into their tops, which lately has been resulting in a lot of dead Albatross pilots althought I think that's just luck. Anyway, my moves cause the Albatross to bleed a lot of E, especially by these turns toward me, so after doing this 2 or 3 times I'm usually saddled up nicely.

 

The FE2 is murder on D.IIs in this process, because they can't zoom as high. Thus, it often happens that my observer can be hosing the Albatross while it's hanging at the top of its zoom and I'm at the center of its turn below, and then follow it as it comes back down across my nose. OTOH, the Pup is far better at the initial early turn to set this up in the first place. In the Fee, it's sometimes problematic just surviving the 1st pass, but if I can do that, I've got a real chance.

 

I usually find that it takes a large number of hits to bring down an Albatross from behind. However, they appear much more vulnerable from the top. If I can hit with a 90^ deflection shot, I seem to have a fairly good chance of killing the pilot and down he goes at once, with just a few bullets. But getting these hits is the trick :). Still, even if I miss the pilot, I often hit the radiator instead, which really takes the wind out of an Albatross' sails. They appear to throttle way back to avoid overheating, which basically makes them sitting ducks. They should dive away if there's enough altitude, but most of them stay in the fight and thus die.

 

I find the Albatross WAY better in the vertical than both the Fee and the Pup. Hell, the Fee really can't make any vertical moves at all, and the Pup doesn't have the macho to follow an Albatross all the way up. I learned early on not to even try, because I stall out first, and then the Albatross is on my 6. The Albatross also gains energy very quickly in dives, way better than my rides can. Many times I've seen nearly co-E Albatri do a split-S away below me, and I used to ignore them after that, thinking there was no way they could get back up to my level for a while, leaving me free to deal with the others. WRONG! They just zoom right back up again onto my 6.

 

At the bottom line, the Albatross is a very dangerous foe if it has any altitude to work with. But once you get it below about 1000', it can no longer dive to regain its E. It should run away before that happens, but it rarely does. Thus, I kill more of them than I should.

 

I do a fair amount of escort missions at high altitude. On these sorties, the planes I'm escorting often stay up high, so I need to stay high, too. I find it practically impossible to drive off Albatri if I keep my own alt, however. I can't go fast enough to play sheepdog very well without diving for speed, and even when I make the Albatri dive below my buffs, they just zoom right back up again. So in the end, the only way I can keep the Albatri away from my buffs is to drag them down with me, at which point it's a fight to the death between us. Hopefully, the now-unescorted buffs can go the rest of the way unmolested, because I'll never see them again :). But anyway, the typical fight is me playing dodgeball with the Albatri while steadily losing altitude, until we get near the ground and I can take the offensive.

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First, I don't think anything flown in QC is a true test. Once I've learned a new plane, I've never lost a QC, even against aces. The AI just aren't that good (maybe dumber in QC?). Human opponents are another story and I've often been murdered by Trosses flown by humans...but not here.

 

QCs are a great little laboratory for learning the plane and a good warm-up before a campaign flight you are flying but not for comparing AI aircraft.

 

The real tests should be in a campaign where you can be surprised by enemies that arrive during an ongoing fight, enemies that have a huge numerical and altitude advantage, etc., etc.

 

With all that windy lead-in, I've never met an AI Albatross in an equal fight I couldn't kill, assuming we're talking about both planes being in the correct time frame.

 

One of the problems of fighting AI opponents is they become very predictable.

 

I know the Albatross (all models) fights in the vertical, not the horizontal (it's historically correct) and the sim models this very well. This is very different from Boom & Zoom or energy fighting. It's still a turn fight but the Albatross turns up or it turns down, not left or right.

 

We had a few guys back in Dawn of Aces (while all the rest of you apparently were flying RB3D) who were absolute masters of the DVA. I would not mess with them in my SE5a or F2b. Ever.

 

But they were human, not AI, and they could adapt to human opponents.

 

If the AI Tross goes up (and he will the first time I take a shot at him), I simply do lag pursuit slightly nose down so I build up some energy while he's burning up his energy climbing. When he gets near the top of his climb I switch to lead pursuit, zoom up get him in my sights and bye, bye Tross.

 

If he dives I follow only a short way and then stay up and wait for him. I can't match the Tross in a vertical fight (except in the Camel or SE5a, which won't come apart in a power dive, but they can't roll as well as the Tross, so I stay high in them, too). When the Tross dives I just point my nose in his general direction and stay high and watch and wait. As soon as he climbs past me and is low on smash (energy), I'm on him.

 

It never fails. Because the Trosses are German, they always do it "by the book" and once you've read their book....

 

:drag:

 

ttt

Edited by tttiger

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Thats a very interesting outside perspective Bullethead. I'm not as fond of the DII and DIII's as the DV series, but your perspective is quite intruiging. I've always felt there was more zoom-n-boom capability inherent in the Albitri than we...(or "I" because I can only speak for myself) really use it for. I guess that inherent fear of wing damage from too "high-speed" of a dive tends to make us too conservative, and I think in that regard I will likely push the envelope in that area a bit more. Sort of blend the Spad flying mentality into the mix a little more. But not so much my bottom wing starts to shred. :wink:

 

ZZ.

 

PS, This is all in Campaign, not QC, as Ttiger said, the AI isn't as good in QC.

Edited by zoomzoom

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Oh, I do agree with Bullethead on the merge. A shallow dive in their direction as they're coming down followed by a reverse when they've passed you really screws up their plans (Boelcke Rule #6: If they're diving on you, keep your nose pointed toward them; Mannock Rule # 14: Never dive away from an enemy: his bullets are faster than your aeroplane.)

 

What you do in the merge is the single most important part of the fight in terms of what happens next (Shaw: "Fighter Combat.")

 

ttt

Edited by tttiger

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Bullethead:

I think even one bullet in the engine of the DIII has it lose around one third of its rpm's. It's not that "we" throttle down, it's the engine that is a real weak point for it. That's my experience anyway. All AI planes stay in the fight too long. I've been down in the dirt fighting N17's for fifteen minutes a long long way from the front. Low on fuel and alt and short of ammo doesn't seem to bother the AI in the slightest.

 

I'm betting most - if not all - of your and tttiger's tactics are readily applicable to German pilots since the AI is only an AI. And the Albatros always has two guns... ;)

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I agree that no AI will ever be as good as a human opponent. The VAST majority of my flightsim time has been in MMOFS. I guess I did that for 15 years: Air Warrior, War Birds, and Aces High. The rest of my time was mostly RB2/3D offline. Still, the OFF AI is pretty damn good, way better than most I've seen. So I give it its due.

 

In OFF, I have never fired a shot in QC except to see where my bullets go in relation to convenient sighting polygons on a given airplane, and how wide the dispersion is. I only do "Free Flight" in QC, which I used to do the following:

  • discover the best way to get a given plane off the ground
  • determine how many clicks of which type of trim it habitually needs, so I can set that each flight and never touch it again
  • determine its best rate of climb at 85% power (so my wingies can keep up with me)
  • determine the speeds and Gs needed to break the airplane, if I can
  • determine the level stall speed
  • determine whether and how nastily the plane will stall in a hard turn at low speed
  • determine if the plane will spin, how to recover, and how much alt that requires
  • figure out the best landing approach

Once I've done this a time or 2, I never fly that plane in QC again unless I'm making a skin for it :). Every fight I've ever had in OFF as been in the campaign.

 

Anyway, back to the Albatross......

 

As noted above, I'm way more familiar with WW2 planes, so I feel like I need to clarify some of my above statements with WW2 analogies, in case anybody else is in a similar situation.

 

The Pup IMHO flies like the Hurricane Mk I. Not too fast, not very zoomy. but easy to fly and it turns very well. This compares to the D.II as the Bf109E, the D.III as the FW190A5, and the D.V as either the Bf109G or FW190A8. The FE2 is most like the B25 :). Note that all these are "flies like" comparisons, without regard for sturdiness, firepower, etc.

 

Back in my MMOFS days, I flew FWs of all types way more than anything else. My favorite was always the A8, in which I felt I could take on any number of anything, until Aces High introduced the Lamer-7. Then I just flew Doras instead and felt the same way, although it wasn't as much fun (not as up-close and personal).

 

Anyway, in OFF, flying against campaign AI Albatri, it reminds me very much of the time I spent trying to teach people how to be FW pilots. I'd get in a spit or hurri, give them an alt advantage, and let them go from there. They'd start out OK the 1st few passes, but felt like they always had to stay in until one of us was dead. And with that attitude, it was usually them.

 

As tttiger said, the Albatross is a vertical turn-fighter. That's what I call an E-fighter. ANY plane can B&Z, and that's about the least effective tactic there is because, barring complete surprise, you NEVER get a decent low-deflection tracking shot. As somebody Shaw quoted said, "if you want to shot him down, you have to get in there and mix it up with him". That's what the Albatross was built for. You just have to do it the right way, and know when to give it up at least for a while.

 

An E-fighter, by definition, ALWAYS has to have enough speed to be able to exploit the vertical, which is its strength. In fact, it must ALWAYS be able to exploit the vertical better than the turnfighter (zoom higher so as not to get drilled at the top, for example). This REQUIRES it to ALWAYS maintain an E-advantage over the turn-fighter. And this is just to make it an EVEN fight. An E-fighter without an E-advantage on a turnfighter is at a severe disadvantage, because it can't play its own game at all and can't win playing the turnfighter's game.

 

So, if you fly the Albatross, any time you see yourself getting co-speed/co-alt with a slower, more maneuverable opponent, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY (unless, of course, you're saddled up on him, and he has no buddies left). Use your better dive and higher speed to just go away. Don't come back unless you can do so with a good altitude advantage. And make this decision while you still have enough altitude for you to dive away with. This is the main failing of the AI Albatross in OFF--it doesn't follow this rule.

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Now I realise, I'm not the only Albatros pilot round here. THAT'S GOOD !

 

And that you others have some much more refined tactics than I had ever thought of. (that's bad...)

 

But I will copy the most usefull lines and bits, and compile me a tactical advisory. Thank you all so far - really good stuff!

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Thanks for sharing, tttiger. Perhaps I can even find a German version.

Does it also contain WW1, and specified advice for certain plane types?

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No, much of it is universal (not about any era). It quotes everyone from Billy Bishop to Chuck Yeager to Miyamoto Musashi to Baron Manfred von Richthofen. and even some guy named Adolph Galland.

 

There are some areas you can ignore completely for OFF purposes (you won't ever need to maneuver for a "Rear Quarter Missiles Only" shot here). And there are chapters on fighting with two or four aircraft that only work if you have a human wing man, which we don't.

 

But there are, for instance, very long chapters on "One-versus-One Maneuvering, Similar Aircraft" and "One-versus-One Maneuvering, Dissimilar Aircraft. There is a 30-page chapter just on using guns, a 36-page chapter on basic fighter maneuvers.

 

It really is The Bible for fighter tactics. It's also a text book so it is kind of dry and technical reading.

 

Oh, and what Bullethead calls "Energy Fighting," Shaw calls "Angles fighting." What Shaw calls "Energy Fighting is what we call Boom and Zoom. The Albatross, in Shaw's terminology is an "angles fighter." I call it a "vertical fighter." But it's all the same stuff.

 

It's a book you can go back to again and again if you are into combat flight sims and as you gain experience over the long haul the text means more and more.

 

Suddenly, what used to be mysterious becomes what we called in the Army a "BFO" (Blinding Flash of the Obvious).

 

:drag:

 

ttt

Edited by tttiger

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No, much of it is universal (not about any era). It quotes everyone from Billy Bishop to Chuck Yeager to Miyamoto Musashi to Baron Manfred von Richthofen. and even some guy named Adolph Galland.

 

The general principles are the same from era to era, BUT the details of applying them vary considerably, even if you're just talking about guns. Shaw doesn't mention this because he wasn't writing for simmers but modern real-life pilots, but you need to keep it in mind as you read his book. The details of application change because of the changing ratio of effective guns range to aircraft turn radius over time as a function of increasing airplane speed and power.

 

In WW1, turn radius was much shorter than guns range and airplanes were slow, so if you make a head-on pass and go straight on without turning, the enemy can usually turn 180 and shoot you in the butt before you get out of range (in WW2 and later, a head-on pass-and-extend is a sure-fire disengagement move because you're out of range before the enemy can line up on you). Thus, in WW1, it's harder to do E-fighting because such a large part of that depends on getting in for your pass and out again before the enemy can get a shot at you. You'll have to keep this in mind when reading Shaw, because his guns examples are all from WW2, Korea, and Viet Nam, when the ratios were much different.

 

Oh, and what Bullethead calls "Energy Fighting," Shaw calls "Angles fighting." What Shaw calls "Energy Fighting is what we call Boom and Zoom. The Albatross, in Shaw's terminology is an "angles fighter." I call it a "vertical fighter." But it's all the same stuff.

 

I disagree, sir. My copy of Shaw was autographed by The Man himself, whom I have met many times and drunk much beer and whiskey with, and teamed up with to sweep the virtual skies of scads of wannabes. Shaw uses 2 terms and 2 terms only for types of planes: "energy fighters" and "angles fighters". I call these E-fighters and stall- or turnfighters. What Shaw calls "energy fighting" is the same as I call it.

 

I direct your attetion to my favorite picture in the book, Figure 4-5 on page 152. That is E-fighting, the classic "rope-a-dope" maneuver, which the AI Albatri constantly try to use on me. That is in no way related to B&Z.

 

B&Z is not energy fighting, it's a pathetic tactic. B&Z is a fixation on speed and a total disregard for angles. You come screaming in at the target, make your pass at whatever angle you have when you get there, and extend into the next county before turning around.

 

Both E-fighting and turnfighting seek the same thing: angles. And they're both willing to give up speed to achieve them. The difference is, turnfighters mostly do this in the horizontal and it's a 1-way street. E-fighters do it in the vertical and get their speed back coming downhill. See Figure 4-5 :good:

 

B&Z, being a tactic, can be done by any plane. But only turnfighters can turnfight very well, and only E-fighters can E-fight very well. There are a few never-to-be-sufficiently-damned planes that can do both (haven't found one in OFF yet, but the Aces High Lamer-7 is an example), and anybody who flies one is a panty-waist :biggrin: .

 

Suddenly, what used to be mysterious becomes what we called in the Army a "BFO" (Blinding Flash of the Obvious).

 

Yes, you must give in to the Dark Side. Once you do, it all becomes easy :)

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BH,

 

I went back and read it again.

 

You are correct. No point in arguing the fine points here but he also makes a distinction between high wing load fighters and low wing load fighters (which you have to B&Z because they can't turn, like the Spad), so there are more than two.

 

As to Shaw being your drinking buddy and the two of you teaming up to sweep the virtual skies...well....

 

Hey, I write books. Buy one and I will autograph it. Any author will....

 

ttt

Edited by tttiger

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he also makes a distinction between high wing load fighters and low wing load fighters (which you have to B&Z because they can't turn, like the Spad), so there are more than two.

 

You're so right :).

 

As to Shaw being your drinking buddy and the two of you teaming up to sweep the virtual skies...well....

 

He's every simmer's drinking buddy, not just mine. I met him at a bunch of conventions for MMOFS games, where he was often a guest speaker. So everybody fought for the honor of keeping his glass full while hanging on his every word ;). He gave up drinking later on, though, so we just had to drink his share for him.

 

But back in the days of Kesmai's DOS Air Warrior, he was in a virtual squadron called the 4th Fighter Group, flying under the handle of Zeus. It was all hush-hush to keep him from being mobbed (everybody wanted a Shaw scalp on their wall), but I flew with 4FG so I was in on the secret. So lots of guys winged with Shaw without realizing it.

 

I know he had several accounts back then, so he was doubtless in other squads I don't know about. One of the advertising points of the game was that Shaw played it :).

Edited by Bullethead

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Heeeyy! Nice you get on so well - now the only thing missing is the bar, were you could get drunk together (Lol!)

But what about the rest of us?

 

The stuff about "energy and angles fighters" just became interesting! You mentioned figures from the book.

Do you think, you could show them here, without bringing up Mr. Shaw against you too much?

I'd be really keen on learning, how to counter the obviously superiour Camel?

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I've now flown all the varients of the Albatros, though not since 1.27. I've found they all act similar, the later ones have a heavier feel on the controls, though more power. In general, they turn down to the left best, up to the right worst. If I'm chasing, it's down to the left, if I'm being chased, it's up to the right for rotary engine foe, diving right for inlines. Just about all enemy a/c can out fly me, so dives seem the most effective way to go. A steep pull out can often work, the Alb seems to be a little stronger than the Allied stuff, but it's a game you will also loose many times depending on where the enemy is. One thing I have found that seems to confuse the AI somewhat (I'm sure the dev team will fix it after I say it) is to fake being hit and head for the ground with obvious control problems. I've noticed that if I chop the throttle and head for the ground, throwing in a few spins if I have the altitude, the AI will follow, but not shoot much if at all. I find a field to land in and as I set her down, the AI flies overhead. Power back on, pull up and he's yours. Be careful in enemy territory as the ground fire can finish what the a/c started. The bad thing is you are on the deck, but I seem to notice the AI draw you lower and lower anyway. If the fight is at 10K, you might as well head for home at that point.

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The stuff about "energy and angles fighters" just became interesting! You mentioned figures from the book.

Do you think, you could show them here, without bringing up Mr. Shaw against you too much?

I'd be really keen on learning, how to counter the obviously superiour Camel?

 

Ask and ye shall receive ;)

 

NOTE: Both these pics assume the enemy sees you coming, so the initial merge will be more or less head-on as he turns to face you. You have zero intention of firing a shot on the initial pass, but are just using it to set up your 2nd pass. If you surprise the enemy, OTOH, then just take your best shot as you get close :).

 

Figure 4-5

This is the "rope-a-dope" move. The idea is, you sucker an enemy with less zoom ability into following you up. You're just tantalizingly out of his reach, you see. But he runs out of smash first and has to point nose-down to regain speed, thus conveniently pointing his tail at you. So when you see him start to nose over, you come back down and find him all lined up in front of you ;).

 

Not shown in this figure is the essential set-up for this. You have to spot the enemy at long range while you have a substantial altitude advantage. Then you dive steeply down to his level, building up the speed necessary to do this move, while remaining some distance away. You then approach the enemy more or less in level flight and go steeply vertical at the merge.

 

NEVER NEVER NEVER make a diving pass at the enemy unless the enemy is also diving. If you dive at a level or climbing enemy, you'll naturally overshoot well below him and thus forfeit your E-advantage. This is why you dive steeply while far away from the enemy, so you can approach him mostly level.

 

Anyway, the Albatri can do this move, but IMHO only as the 1st attempt in the fight. You really need a LOT of speed, and it has to be much more than the enemy's, to do this safely in WW1, or you'll be IN range as the enemy follows you up. You're not likely to have the absolute speed necessary, nor the amount of speed advantage, later in the fight.

 

Figure 4-7

This is what the Albatross AI usually does its first few passes. I personally don't think that, as shown in this pic, this is a particularly good tactic for WW1, but the illustration has bits and pieces that can be rearranged into something much more effective. But first I'll explain what the picture shows.

 

As shown, the Albatross again approaches the target more or less level at very high speed after an initial steep dive some distance away. In this case, instead of going steeply vertical for the "rope-a-dope", the Albatross goes into a more gentle climb for a long way, again letting the enemy follow him. Then the Albatross goes vertical and by this time, the Pup is hopefully bled enough by the long gentle climb to be unable to go vertical at all. So he has to turn somehow and the Albatross, now at low speed at the top of its zoom, can easily roll and pull into the target's rear hemispere and then come down into firing position.

 

Doing it this way has the same limitations as the "rope-a-dope". In addition, it requires the enemy to play along following the long, gentle climb. A smart enemy will fly slightly nose-down in the horizontal phase to build up speed while the Albatross is slowing down slightly. Because it's now slower, the Albatross can't go up as high, and the smart Pup driver will be able to go up some, too. At best, the Pup can thus get behind the Albatross as it comes back down. At worst, the Pup can at least totally spoil the Alabtross' attack and usually cause it to waste a lot of E trying to make something out of nothing. This is how I usually kill them :).

 

So IMHO what you should do instead is just look at the left 1/2 of the drawing. You'll have to renumber it, too, so that the Pup's 4, 5, 6 become 1, 2, 3, and the Albatross' 3, 4, 5, 6 become 1, 2, 3, 4. IOW, the Albatross is behind the Pup and the Pup makes a hard turn that the Albatross should'nt follow. Instead, the Albtross goes vertical into some sort of high yoyo or lag roll (depending on the situation--both do the same thing in the end) and comes back down behind the Pup again :).

 

The big question, then, is how do you get behind the Pup in the 1st place after the head-on merge? What you do is PRETEND to make a diving initial pass instead of approaching on the level. But never get down to the target's level. Instead, while still safely out of range and still somewhat above him, you do a vertical or at least oblique early turn and zoom up and around. The enemy has no hope of getting you in his sights and will turn hard and/or zoom as much as he can after you. As a result, when you reach the top of your zoom, the enemy will be more or less below you in more or less level flight. You kick your crate around at the top of your move so you can come down into his rear hemisphere (don't dive AT him, use lag pursuit to start with so you fall in behind him and then make your pass more or less level).

 

Now you're behind the Pup, and he will turn, and you do the modified version of the left 1/2 of the picture as discussed above. You'll probably have to repeat this several times, but you should have no trouble staying behind him even though he turns better than you do :).

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Hi, Baywing

Yes, I had that twice - I stalled and fell down a bit, and they stopped shooting at me.

Why should Winder take that out? Human pilots WOULD possibly get cheated?

 

Thank you, Bullet; and have fun in Phoenix (Lol!)

I'll see what I can use - I wonder, if the AI would get confused, if I PRETEND something ?

Edited by Olham

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If it works I would demand that they keep it in. RFC claim forms are filled, absolutely filled with Out of Control claims. "Fired at attacking red-nosed Albatros which fell out of control toward the ground." That would often be a succesful claim if other crews had witnessed it. Both sides used it to get out of bad situations.

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I'll see what I can use - I wonder, if the AI would get confused, if I PRETEND something ?

 

The other guy, whether human or AI, will be forced to react to what it sees you doing. He will predict your future position based on what you're doing now. So you dive toward the enemy and he'll turn to meet you, expecting you to come all the way in for a shot and the go on by. So yes, you can fool the AI with this.

 

In head-on passes, the AI often commits to an early turn just before the merge. This is sound tactics and better than most inexperienced human simmers do :). But you're smarter and you're expecting this. So when you see him doing that, it's your cue to go vertical :).

Edited by Bullethead

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