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OlPaint01

Gunnery Mod Bundle JSGME Enable

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I am contemplating gathering all the gunnery mods into one huge bundle JSGME Enabled for Lothar's OFFbase utility.

 

I believe we can simulate the ammo and gunnery improvements that developed through the Great War by country and timeline in our campaigns - better gun powders...adding tracer rounds...etc, etc.

 

Since we now have the capability to date-dependantly activate the mods, we could easily follow the improvements.

 

All I need now is a history of WW1 gunnery. Maybe Bletchley could help me with that. Or maybe Shredward. Hint, hint, Nudge, nudge...

 

OlPaint

Edited by OlPaint01

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I have done a mod of this kind for AA fire, and I think Creaghorn has done one that reduces rate of fire for German synchronised machine guns to a more realistic level.

 

There are some very interesting threads on German and Allied mg rates of fire, at the Aerodrome forum: from memory, the gist of these is that the early synchronisation gears used by the Allies and the Germans reduced rof of forward firing Vickers or Maxim to around 350-400 rounds per minute, rising to 400-450 rpm for mid- to late-war German a/c (Albatros D.III onwards) and around 800-900 rpm for the later-war British CC gear and Hazleton muzzle booster combination (mid-1917 onwards?). Early Lewis had a rof of 550 rpm, rising to around 700 rpm by the end of the war, whilst the Parabellum had a rof up to 1000 rpm (but neither of them synchronised to fire through the prop). A date-mod could be done, I think, to reflect these changes...

 

There were also changes in ammunition loads (see SIA guidelines and historical notes, although note that German mg loads should be set at a standard max. 500 round per gun, not my original lower estimate of 250), that might be incorporated in the same or another date-mod...

 

Anybody want to have a go at making one?

 

Bletchley :)

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Bletchley

 

That is a great start for me. Man, you are a wealth of information to say the least.

 

Do you know when tracer rounds were added to the ammo-belts and magazines in the scouts and 2-seater MGs?

 

BTW, I already have your AA Mod in my Realism Mods Bundle. As well as Creaghorn's Spandau rof Mod. Thank you, both, muchly!!!

 

OlPaint

Edited by OlPaint01

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"Do you know when tracer rounds were added to the ammo-belts and magazines in the scouts and 2-seater MGs?"

 

No, sorry, I don't.

 

I have just realised that the SIA ammunition loadout recommendations are no longer listed on the SIA sub-forum, so here is an updated version with historical notes:

 

 

Protocol bullet loadout per aircraft in 00%

 

British Scouts Single Gun:

 

Bristol Scout – Jan 1915 - Lewis - 10 %

 

Bristol Scout > July 1916 - Lewis – 20 %

 

Sopwith Pup - Dec 1916 -Vickers – 100 %

 

 

DH2 – Feb 1916 -Lewis - 50 %

 

DH 2 Late- June 1916 - Lewis - 100 %

 

Sopwith Pup - Vickers - 100 %

 

DH 5 – May 1917 - Vickers – 66%

 

Neiuport 17 –Jan 1917 - Lewis - 33 %

 

Sopwith Tripe- Feb 1917- Vickers - 100%

 

 

British Twin Gunned:

 

Se5(a) – April 1917 Lewis Gun/ Vickers - 60 % (User Option - 100 %)

 

Sopwith Camel - July 1917 - Vickers - 50 % (100% from October 1917)

 

Sopwith Tripe- July 1917- Twin Vickers - 50 %

 

 

British Two Seaters:

 

BE2B – Feb 1915. - June 1916 - Lewis Gun - 10 %

 

BE 2B > July 1916 - Lewis Gun - 20%

 

BE 2C - May 1915 - June 1916 Lewis Gun - 10 %

 

BE 2C - > July 1916 - Lewis Gun - 20 %

 

Fe 2b - March 1915 - Lewis X 2 - 100%

 

Sop Strutter B1 - Oct 1916 - Vickers - 100 %

 

Sop Strutter - Oct 1916 - Vickers + Lewis - 100 %

 

Bristol F2B - April 1917 -Vickers + Lewis - 100 %

 

RE 8 - July 1917 – Vickers + Lewis - 100 %

 

 

German Scouts Single Gun:

 

Fokker EII /III – Dec 1915/ IV– MG - 100 %

 

Halb DII – Sept 1916 / III – Spandu - 100 %

 

 

German Scouts Twin Gunned:

 

Albatross DII – Dec 1916 - Spandu’s – 100%

 

Albatross DIII early – March 1917 – Spandu’s – 100%

 

Albatross DIII – June1917 Spandu’s - 100%

 

Albatross DIII OAW – Nov 1917 - Spandu’s - 100%

 

Albatross DV later – May 1917 - Spandu’s – 100%

 

Albatross DVa – Aug 1917 - Spandu’s – 100%

 

Fokker DR.I – Feb 1918 - Spandu’s – 100%

 

Fokker DVII – Jun 1918 - Spandu’s – 100 %

 

Fokker DVII OAW – Aug 1918 – Spandu’s – 100 %

 

Fokker DVIIF - ??? 1918 Spandu’s – 100 %

 

Fokker EV/DVIII – Aug 1918 - Spandus – 100 %

 

Pfalz D III - Oct 1917 – Spandus – 100%

 

 

German Two Seaters:

 

DFW CV-March 1916 -LMG 08/15 - Parabellum – 100 %

 

Rolland CII – April 1916 - Spandu + LMG - 100%

 

Hannover CI II – Nov 1917 Spandu + 2 LMG’s - 100%

 

 

 

 

 

French Scouts Single Gun:

 

Nieuport N11 – April - July -1916 Lewis - 25 %

 

Nieuport N11 – 1916 – >July 1916 Lewis - 50 %

 

Nieuport N16 – June – 1916 - Lewis - 25 %

 

Nieuport N16 > July 1916 - Lewis - 33% (User Option 100 %)

 

 

Nieuport 17 - Sept 1917 - Vickers - 100 %

 

Nieuport 23 – April 1917 - Vickers - 100 %

 

Nieuport 24 - July 1917 - Lewis - 25% (User Option 100 % )

 

Nieuport 27 - March 1918 -Vickers – 100 %

 

Spad VII - Feb 1917 - Vickers- 100 %

 

French Scouts Twin Gunned:

 

Spad XIII – Jan 1918 - Two Vickers - 100%

 

 

In arriving at a figure for bullet load I think we have to draw a distinction between the maximum number of rounds that an aircraft could carry; the weight of ammunition (from which we can infer the number of rounds) included as 'military weight' in official flight tests (from which we get the standard parameters on an aircraft's performance); and the number of rounds that an individual pilot might specify as his loadout.

 

The first of these, at least for belt-fed machine guns (Vickers and LMG 08 or 08/15) must be limited by the capacity of the ammunition boxes, and then by the capacity of the belts used. From the evidence that I have come across so far, I think that a standard 500 round capacity box was used by the Allies (a box capable of holding a 500 round belt) for each belt-fed machine gun, and a standard 600 round capacity box by the Germans. Fabric belts appear to have been made in standard sizes, and I have come across no evidence so far to indicate that pilots would cut these down or stitch them together to form shorter or longer belts: the Germans probably used 250 or 500 round Maxim belta in the LMG 08 and 500, 250 or 100 round Parabellum belts in the LMG 08/15, whilst the British used either the 500 or 250 round fabric Vickers belts, up to mid 1917, but variable length belts using either metal linked or Prideaux metal links thereafter.

 

Both sides, in the early years, used stripped-down versions of the machine guns used by the ground forces - the French predominantly used the Hotchkiss, which had either a 25 round clip or a 100 round belt (the former being used on aircraft), until they acquired enough Lewis and Vickers guns to replace them; the British used the Lewis (a 47 round drum, and then mostly the 97 round drum from mid 1916) until they developed effective synchronising gears for the Vickers: a single synchronised Vickers with a fabric belt (250 rounds or 500 rounds) and then Prideaux links (400-500 rounds) followed by a twin Vickers with 2 x 250 round fabric belts or 2 x 200/250 or 2 x 400/500 round Prideaux linked belts (up to 750 rounds per gun, in some cases, where the aircraft was used in a ground-strafing role and rising to 1000 rounds per gun in some cases at the end of the war); the Germans used Parabellum guns to begin with (100, 250 or 500 round fabric belts), then a stripped down LMG 08 (250 or 500 round fabric belts, or a 500 round metal linked belt) that was soon replaced by a lighter LMG 08/15 that used either 100, 250 or 500 round fabric Parabellum belts. The German ammunition boxes held around 500 to 600 rounds.

 

The weight of ammunition included as 'military weight' in British flight tests can be used to infer the number of rounds that were carried when assessing the performance of aircraft - the closest thing that we have, perhaps, to a 'standard' ammunition loadout. In general, this appears to be equivalent to 500 rounds, or sometimes 400 rounds with Prideaux links, for a single Vickers, and 250 rounds for each Vickers in the twin Vickers arrangement (400-500 rounds per gun from late-1917 onwards).

 

Any individual pilot specification would therefore be constrained by the limits imposed by the capacity of the ammunition boxes (i.e. a maximum of 500-600 rounds per gun), the size of the available belts, and the effect on aircraft performance. British memoirs that we have looked at indicate that 200 rounds per gun in a twin Vickers arrangement was regarded as a minimum useful load, and 500 rounds per gun as a maximum load. In a single Vickers arrangement a 400 or 500 round loadout appears to have been the standard load. Evidence from the 'military weights' included in the British and US capture reports on German aircraft suggests that the 'standard' load for the early German single gun scouts (the early Fokker types, such as the E.III) was 500 rounds (30 lb weight), and as much as 1000 rounds (500 per gun) for the early twin gun types (e.g. the Fokker E.IV) and later twin gun scouts (Albatros, Fokker and Pfalz types).

 

Woodman, Harry. Early aircraft armament: the aeroplane and the gun up to 1918. Arms & Armour Press, 1989.ISBN: 0853689903

 

Williams, Anthony G.; Gustin, Emmanuel. Flying guns: World War I and its aftermath, 1914-32. Airlife, 2003. ISBN: 1840373962

 

Clarke, R. Wallace. British aircraft armament, vol.2: RAF guns and gunsights from 1914 to the present day. Patrick Stephens, 1994. ISBN: 1852604026

 

Weyl, A.R. Fokker: the creative years. Putnam, 1965 (Ed. J.M. Bruce).

 

Bruce, J.M. War planes of the First World War: Fighters (vol.1-5). Macdonald, 1968.

 

Jane's fighting aircraft of World War I: a comprehensive encyclopedia. Studio, 2001 (reprint of 1919 ed.). ISBN: 1851703470

 

Profile publications (various), and books on individual aircraft.

 

Memoirs and diaries (various).

 

Air Board data for structure and stability calculation of aircraft. [british] Air Board, August 1917. (unpublished, UK National Archives).

 

Aerodrome Forum - various threads and posts.

 

JFM. Post on the OFF Forum.

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German Scouts Single Gun:

 

Fokker EII /III – Dec 1915/ IV– MG - 100 %

Halb DII – Sept 1916 / III – Spandu - 100 %

 

German Scouts Twin Gunned:

 

Albatross DII – Dec 1916 - Spandu’s – 100%

Albatross DIII early – March 1917 – Spandu’s – 100%

Albatross DIII – June1917 Spandu’s - 100%

Albatross DIII OAW – Nov 1917 - Spandu’s - 100%

Albatross DV later – May 1917 - Spandu’s – 100%

Albatross DVa – Aug 1917 - Spandu’s – 100%

Fokker DR.I – Feb 1918 - Spandu’s – 100%

Fokker DVII – Jun 1918 - Spandu’s – 100 %

Fokker DVII OAW – Aug 1918 – Spandu’s – 100 %

Fokker DVIIF - ??? 1918 Spandu’s – 100 %

Fokker EV/DVIII – Aug 1918 - Spandus – 100 %

Pfalz D III - Oct 1917 – Spandus – 100%

 

German Two Seaters:

 

DFW CV-March 1916 -LMG 08/15 - Parabellum – 100 %

Rolland CII – April 1916 - Spandu + LMG - 100%

Hannover CI II – Nov 1917 Spandu + 2 LMG’s - 100%

Thanks for reminding me why I fly German, Bletchley. :cool:

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Yes, Lothar - but see my earlier post: they had an effective rate of fire around half that of their Allied counterparts from late 1917 onwards (around 400-450 rpm, as against 800-900 rpm), so a late war Sopwith Camel or Snipe with a twin-Vickers could fire (in theory, although reduced to 1000 by the ammunition load) around 1600-1800 rounds in the same time that an Albatros or Fokker could fire only 800-900. Although the German Maxim machine gun could be set to fire reliably at around 600-700 rpm on the ground, it appear to have been set to fire at around 440 rpm in the air, due to limitations imposed by the continued use of fabric belts and the need to avoid jams or stoppages in the air(although the right gun, that was easier to unjam, may have had a slightly higher rate set), which was reduced to around 350 rpm by the early synch. gear used on a/c up to the Alb. D.II, with an improved version of the gear and a muzzle booster raising this to around 400 and 450 rpm at 1200-1300 engine rpm in Albatros D.III and onwards. By contrast the earlier synch. gears used on Allied aircraft, although they reduced the rate of fire of the Vickers from around 600 to 700 rpm to around 350 rpm in the air (for much the same reasons as above), the later combination of the Prideaux links,the Constantinescu CC synch. gear and the Hazleton muzzle booster appears to have raised this to around 850 rpm by mid to late 1917.

 

Note that the higher "user option" in the SIA guidelines, for Lewis guns, reflects the lack of a realistic reload in OFF - the lower figure reflects the difficulty of changing drums in combat for the over-wing Lewis (effectively restricting the player to one drum) whilst the higher figure gives the player the ability to reload instantly. If WOFF introduces realistic reload limitations, then the higher option would become the appropriate one :)

 

Bletchley

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Wow, amazing to see how technology moved on both sides. Thanks for all the detail, Bletchley. If WOFF supported realistic reloads that would be amazing, but in the meantime hopefully OlPaint's gunnery bundle can bring a little bit more realism.

 

You know, it'd be possible to have mod rules trigger automatic changes to Workshop and even CFS3 settings in OFFice, So if the various AA and gunnery mods work best with certain settings, that can be enforced, or it could be used to model changes to accuracy or whatever over time. It could even set the default Ammo percentage based on the type of plane and when you are in the war, though of course users could easily crank it back to 100% in the briefing room.

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In my Readme to the AA mod I suggested that the workshop settings could be changed from Easy to Normal when the sector changes from Quiet to Active, and to Hard when asigned a balloon-bust mission, but this is just the way that I use it - I would not want to be too prescriptive, as I think that the player should be free to make their own changes as much as possible :)

 

Accesss to the ammunition (and fuel) load-out is currently only available when custom-skins is disabled, although I think this is due to change with WOFF, but if OFFice could include automatic changes to this then it would be good (as you say, a player could always change it back again if they disagreed with the loadout restriction or wanted to use the higher 'optional' setting). Another way to include this would be to change the loadout in the OFF aircraft files, although a mod that did this might conflict with HPW's mods as it would be working on the same files (and several files would have to be changed for each of the aircraft types, as I believe there are different aircraft files for player, AI, aces, etc.). This would set a 'realistic' max loadout in workshop, but the disadvantage of this would be that the player could not then change it back up to the former level without manually editing the relevant aircraft files themselves.

 

The rate-of-fire for each gun (Vickers/Spandau) can be done from the guns file, I think, and it should be relatively easy to create a date-mod to reflect these changes, if OlPaint wants to have a go :)

 

Bletchley

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Check out a couple examples of the rules that will be supported in the next version of OFFbase:

 

if (squad/aircraft = "Bristol Scout") and (date > 1-Jul-1916) [squad/ammo: 20%]

Kaboom, Bletchley's ammo loadouts! Or this one:

 

if (found? find squad/aircraft "SE5a") and (date > 1-Apr-1917) [
squad/ammo: either (1 <= pilot/measure-skill ppp) and (1 <=  munofficer/get-outlook pilot/my-key) [100%] [60%]
]

Instead of "User Option" you get a full loadout if you're at least an "Experienced" flyer and liked by the Munitions Officer!

 

Only took three lines of code to enable this feature. Love the REBOL language!

Edited by Lothar of the Hill People

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Bletchley said

In my Readme to the AA mod I suggested that the workshop settings could be changed from Easy to Normal when the sector changes from Quiet to Active, and to Hard when asigned a balloon-bust mission, but this is just the way that I use it - I would not want to be too prescriptive, as I think that the player should be free to make their own changes as much as possible :)

 

If Lothar has indeed been able to crack into the Workshop registers to edit and adjust particular settings, then we could easily impliment these mission dependant changes as suggested. I am still wondering if there is a way to discern the Operational Status and the Activity Level of the running campaign to give some intelligence to the dumb ol' Adjutant.

 

Bletchley said

The rate-of-fire for each gun (Vickers/Spandau) can be done from the guns file, I think, and it should be relatively easy to create a date-mod to reflect these changes, if OlPaint wants to have a go :)

A date dependant 'rof mod' would be fantastic. Just borrow Creaghorn's Spandau Mod code and apply corrections for each aircraft type as the Great War progresses. Neat!!!

 

OlPaint

Edited by OlPaint01

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Accesss to the ammunition (and fuel) load-out is currently only available when custom-skins is disabled,

Yep, can't even get around it through the registry. But OFFice can easily check if you have custom skins enabled.

 

but if OFFice could include automatic changes to this then it would be good (as you say, a player could always change it back again if they disagreed with the loadout restriction or wanted to use the higher 'optional' setting). Another way to include this would be to change the loadout in the OFF aircraft files, although a mod that did this might conflict with HPW's mods as it would be working on the same files (and several files would have to be changed for each of the aircraft types, as I believe there are different aircraft files for player, AI, aces, etc.). This would set a 'realistic' max loadout in workshop, but the disadvantage of this would be that the player could not then change it back up to the former level without manually editing the relevant aircraft files themselves.

I'll keep the player choice and just set the registry. The cool thing is OFFice knows if you changed the settings, so you may have to face the Munitions Officer afterwards and explain yourself.

 

This means the player gets the choice, but also faces a tradeoff. Even cooler: it's low-skilled, low-ranked pilots who'll be more likely to lose prestige from taking extra ammo, while high-ranking Aces, Killers, and SharpShooters can actually earn prestige from a full loadout--they've earned it and the Munitions Officer knows it and resents the extra work. So it fits naturally into role-playing. The full ammo allotment of custom skins can trigger this as well, so experienced hunters "earn" the ability to afford and ultimately enhance their reputation through flying a custom skin. Too bad Germans won't be able to partake in this gameplay. :boredom:

 

And oh Bletchley, what about the Americans?

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Here's a quick teaser of the Hangar screen which will replace the Airfield, making the Munitions Officer more accessible. First, a typical rookie pilot:

Hangar1.png

That 60% loadout will be preset automatically when you arrive in the Briefing Room for you rmission. But notice what happens when an experienced flyer, who also happens to be best friends with the Munitions Officer, arrives for that same afternoon flight:

Hangar2.png

What happens if you override the Munitions Officer for your mission, over or under? You'll have to play OFFbase to find out... Hopefully version 0.7.7 will be ready to go in the next couple of days.

Edited by Lothar of the Hill People

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Wow Lothar! You are a quick worker, and this next version looks good! I think the American forces used mostly French or British equipment.

 

OlPaint, I have done some quick digging around on the rate of fire question to come up with a timeline of developments that could be used as the basis for a date-mod:

 

The Lewis gun Mk.I had a rof of 550 rpm, increased to the higher rate of around 700 rpm with the introduction of the Mk.II and Mk.III in May 1918.

 

The Vickers and the Maxim (Spandau) had a reliable rof of around 450 rpm when used with fabric belts in the air. The earliest mechanical synchronisation gears used by both the Germans (Fokker and Albatros types) and the British and French reduced this to around 350 rpm. The introduction of an improved Fokker type with the Albatros D.III or D.V (not quite sure of the exact date) then raised this back up to 450 rpm, but the introduction of a muzzle booster seems to have only improved the reliability of the Maxim and not increased the rate of fire. The limiting factor here appears to have been the continued reliance on fabric belts that would become stiff when cold and wet, and would not reliably support a higher rate of fire. The Germans were the first to introduce the metal disintegrating link belt to replace the canvas belt, but they do not appear to have had access to the right quantity or type of hard alloy to provide a stiff enough belt that would work reliably in the air, and after initial experimental use in the Fokker E.III they went back to using canvas belts.

 

The British introduced the Constantinesco synchronising gear in March 1917, a big improvement on earlier gears as it did not rely on a mechanical linkage and did not therefore limit the rate of fire by engine speed. This appears to have raised the rof of the Vickers to around 450-500 rpm, still limited by the use of a canvas belt. The first metal disintegrating links appear to have been the Sangster links introduced for land use in January 1916, but not in great numbers, and the Myers Mk.I or "MS" belt for air use in July 1916. These early links, however, suffered from the same problem with the metal alloy as the German type and were therefore rejected for air use, with Col. Sefton Brancker reporting to Trenchard that "the articulated belt is made of too soft a metal and the clips are subsequently jamming". It was only with the Prideaux link first developed in December 1916 that a hard enough alloy was used, and not until October 1917 with the Mk.III version that a good enough design for reliable air use meant that a higher rate of fire could be supported. The introduction of the Hazelton muzzle booster in May 1917 then raised the Vickers rof to 1000 rpm in land use, and it was the combination of the Constantinesco synch. gear and Prideaux links already in use that meant this could then be exploited to raise the Vickers rof to 850 rpm for air use (reduced from 1000 rpm to reduce jams and stoppages) in October 1917. This also appears to have been the time that the ammunition load for the synchrionised twin-Vickers used on the Sopwith Camel went from 250 rounds per gun (2 x 250 round canvas belts) to 500 rounds per gun (2 x 500 round Prideaux link belts), just in time for a change of role for the Camel to ground strafing and attack support.

 

Bletchley

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"Do you know when tracer rounds were added to the ammo-belts and magazines in the scouts and 2-seater MGs?

 

No, sorry, I don't"

 

A quick search on the Aerodrome forum found the answer :)

 

The Germans used a tracer round s.m.K.L./spur (Leuchtspur) round from 1916 onwards, although I could find no exact date (Tony Williams post)

 

The British first used a tracer round as early as the Autumn of 1915 - an ordinary ball round with a phosphorous tip - but the results were not good as it 'traced' for only a short distance, and uneven burning of the tip sent the round wildly off course (Graeme post). In July 1916 the SPK Mark VII-T (1 part magnesium, 8 parts barium peroxide) was successfully introduced - it burned with a clear bright white light and left a smoking white trail. Known as the "Sparklet" is was loaded in the proportion one tracer to three ball rounds, and was updated by a new improved version the SPK Mk.VII-G in 1917 (Austin08 and Graeme posts). Not sure what the "G" stands for in the later version (I assume "T" is for Tracer?) or how it differed from the earlier version.

 

Neither the German nor Allied tracers appear to have burned with a coloured light or smoke trail, both appearing white.

 

Bletchley

Edited by Bletchley

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Bletchley

This is really good stuff. Thanks a heap. It will take very little modifications of Creaghorn's Spandau ROF Mod to get a date-dependant set of rof mods bundled into the gunnery mods package.

 

Creaghorn added a new sound track into his Spandau Mod to match the modified MG rof sound. In fact, Hellshade's latest videos show off Creaghorn's very realistic MG sound. But for me making new sound tracks to match my planned rof modifications is beyond my capabilities. I lack the necessary sound editing tools. It would be great if I could enlist someone like Andy73 or Creaghorn to help with new sound tracks for the different Spandau and Vickers rof.

 

Also, Elephant's or Creaghorn's Realistic Tracers and Effects Mods can serve as the basis for modifying the tracer and tracer appearance for date-dependancy as well.

 

I can tell we have our work cut out for us!

 

OlPaint

Edited by OlPaint01

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Bletchley's ammo loadout rules have been implemented in OFFbase 0.7.7, just now available for download. Thanks to OlPaint01 for writing the French rules. They still need plenty of testing, as likely planes were missed and there could still be some conflicts with different nations versions of the same planes. Default is 25%. So let OlPaint or I know if you notice anything largely against the rules... within some variance.

 

The rule system was great because it was easy to add small adjustments to the hard numbers for operational rating and other factors (hint: it helps to be friends with the Munitions Officer!). But at the end of the day the rules are just recommendations from a non-player character in the game. They're preset in the Briefing Room but you can raise (or lower) them at will--only your relationship with the sergeant is at stake. So even German campaigns should have a little room to play, especially in poorly-rated out-of-the-way squadrons with terrible morale. But for the most part you just get used to going with what you're given.

 

Go give it a try, let us know what you think! Hopefully we'll be able to compliment it with historical rules for a bullets/tracers mod. Anyone can write mods for OFFice now--for now PM me if you've dug around in the OFFice\modrules folder enough to not be scared to death.

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