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Jasta 11, Rise of Flight + PWCG

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First try-out with the latest version of Pat Wilson's Campaign Generator

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Fans of classic WW1 sim Red Baron 3d like myself will likely know Pat Wilson from his outstanding 'Western Front Patch' which added shed-loads of good stuff to RB3d - I still have a WFP install on my current PC! More recently, Pat has turned his attentions to Rise of Flight. The latter shipped with simple 'mission set' linear campaigns, later joined by a career mode (which is still nominally in beta!). To this, Pat added a new campaign interface and mission generator, which adds lots of features and for many, transforms the RoF Single Player campaign experience into something reminiscent of RB3d, whose campaign set the bar for these things so many years ago.

 

PWCG has its own forum at RoF, where you can find out more, get the download links, and discuss the mod with others, including the developer:

 

http://riseofflight.com/Forum/viewforum.php?f=394

 

The PWCG web page is here and includes help and documentation, as well as the downloads themselves;

 

http://www.pwcampaigngenerator.com/WebSite/PWCG.html

 

PWCG simply unzips into your RoF game folder and when you run it, lets you create a campaign pilot, chose his rank and nationality (if you choose 'US' this allows you to transfer from French or British services to the US Air Service after the latter takes to the field) and campaign start date, month by month. You then generate a campaign. After that, you generate one mission at a time. You can review the mission briefing with a map which describes route, waypoints and enemy & friendly air units known to be operating in the area. If you don't like the look of this you can scrub it and try again. This is similar to the option in OFF but doesn't just give you a different target/route. Don't feel like busting balloons today? Scrub that and try again, till you get a mission type that you prefer. You can also vary waypoints, review the squadron roster and select which pilots will accompany you (except the leader, if that's not you).

 

You can then close PWCG and start RoF. Your generated mission will be there, waiting for you to fly, under the 'Missions' menu option.

 

After flying the mission, you can go back into PWCG. You're prompted to give the number of any claims you want to make and can then view a RB3d-style animated mission debrief on the map. This describes results more like the Red Baron original and in a less cryptic way that OFF's equivalent: naming your wingman in entries for losses or kills for example. If you want, you can type free text into a mission report, for future reference or to impress the 'brass hats'.

 

PWCG also lets you adjust many campaign parameters, not just simple ones like air and ground unit density. You can also apply for a transfer to a different squadron and take leave (=advance your campaign's current date).

 

There is an interface mod available at the PWCG web page, that will put PWCG onto the RoF menu, improving integration. I'm not sure if it works ok with the latest versions of both PWCG and RoF.

 

I started using PWCG on the recommendation of Barkhorn over at SimHQ while doing a comparative series of campaign mission reports for OFF, FE2 and RoF. I had been reluctant to do so as I (wrongly!) thought that working back and forth would be more hassle than I cared for, but I'm glad I changed my mind. Main factor here was that PWCG lets you choose a rank high enough to ensure that in most missions, you are the flight leader. This removes the chore of formation-keeping, takes away dependency on potentially-erratic flight-leader AI, and best of all, gives me the important and satisfying extra challenge of leading the patrol: navigating, watching out for activity and enemies and deciding what to do when we have a 'contact'. That's how I like to play all my sims so this is the biggest 'plus' for me.

 

This is not a review of PWCG. I've barely scratched the surface of its capabilities; suffice to say it looks like an amazing piece of kit and I can well understand the general enthusiasm for it in the RoF community.

 

Rather, I'm going to describe a campaign mission in the latest release. The change I was most looking forward to seeing (which came the previous release, IIRC) was more flak.

 

One of the things I didn't like at all, beforehand, was the paltry AA fire. Naturally, I have long ago installed the mod which kills RoF's horrible 'environmental flak'. In a war where the sight of AA fire was perhaps the main indication of potential targets in your area - something well replicated in FE2 and OFF, but not in RoF -  the presence of stray flak rounds just to add immersion was, in my view, a classic 'What WERE they thinking?' feature. But with 'environmental flak' laid to rest, I'd found that there was precious little 'real' AA fire. Much too often, planes that looked like obvious (if not priority) flak targets - and which I could see only using the excellent RoF view system - were not fired upon at all and so were not 'legitimately' detectable. This may have been compounded by enemy flights spawning rather close. Bad enough, but much worse if their arrival is not announced by the presence of nearby AA bursts. Getting no warning might be a fun extra challenge to some; but to me it's unrealistic if it happens nearly every time and it severely reduces the opportunity to do the patrol leader thing, where you spot an enemy flight in time to consider your options and make up a quick plan to deal with them. Preferably, with results like this:

 

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So having downloaded and installed PWCG 15.2, I was keen to see the difference and to get to the grips with the enemy, at least sometimes on my own terms, rather than just blundering into them. I was not disappointed!

 

...to be continued!

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Me love your reports a long time! :biggrin:

That quote...let me think....Full Canvas Jacket? :) Thanks for the feedback!

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That quote...let me think....Full Canvas Jacket? :) Thanks for the feedback!

 

:D I see what you did there! And you're welcome! :)

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No ground objects, no flak...

 

Or to be more precise, 'low' ground objects, no flak...or near as makes little difference.  That was the lesson I learned from a first crack at a mission, followed by a rapid response from Pat to my subsequent query in the RoF PWCG sub-forum. But I'll describe some highlights from the mission anyway, flak-less though it was.

 

Problem was, I kicked off without changing any settings. Flak levels are linked to ground object density and I found I needed to increase this from the default 'low' to 'medium' to get any flak (that I saw, anyway). There might have been more if I hadn't left the air object density at 'low', too, but having only a 512Mb 8800GT I didn't want to stretch things too far on the first outing.

 

Anyhow, I wanted to fly from April 1918 and in PWCG, I created a German campaign and a pilot with Prussian nationality, starting 1 April, during the great German spring offensive of the war's last year. I checked the drop-down list of available units. If I recall  right, two flew the Fokker triplane I had in mind - Jasta 2 (known as Jasta Boelcke by that date, after its illustrious founding leader) and Jasta 11; I chose the latter, Manfred von Richthofen's first command. We were based at Mesnil-Bruntel. I then opted to generate my first mission, but scrubbed the balloon-busting job I was allocated. A second try brought me the patrol I wanted, up to then along the trenchlines. I had chosen the rank of Oberleutnant for my pilot and as intended, this gave enough rank to be made flight leader. I used the PWCG 'pilot selection' option to make up the number flying to four. The squadron roster lists ace Ernst Udet...and the Red Baron himself, although at that date, shortly before he was shot down, he was commanding Jagdgeschwader 1 rather than Jasta 11, with which staffel I expect he might have flown anyway.

 

Well the subsequent mission was flak-less. Using Ctrl+F2 I was able to check on enemies in the air. These included two lone RE8 two-seaters nosing about behind German lines, one of which flew along the enemy reserve trenches for a while, drawing no flak at all, despite being good targets. See for yourself, if you don't believe me. The RE8s were both a bit higher than this initially, certainly not too low for flak, let alone MGs.

 

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Likewise the flight of Camels that later flew more-or-less head-on into us, over the Lines further north, did so without their presence being heralded in any way by German flak bursts. I got one of the Camels in the subsequent air fight despite hitting some pronounced adverse yaw in left-hand turns that wanted to force me around and out of the turn. Then this happened.

 

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I think it was structural failure from over-stressing the airframe; if not, then maybe the wheels of a second Camel I was fighting did the damage. I actually managed to make a forced landing in friendly territory. Again, see for yourself, if you doubt me.

 

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What happened next was anything but friendly. The Camel I'd been fighting came down and repeatedly strafed me. So much for chivalry between fellow airmen! I had managed to land some hits on him and he was obviously not one bit pleased.

 

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It was quite scary, on the ground. I've never actually been shot at but I have heard high-velocity rounds going close overhead and striking nearby on the range (including a 'Figure 11' target I was holding up above the 'butts' for the firers, just above my head). Those were the days when 'gallery' ranges were not electrified and the RoF effects were most realistic, in comparison. Both the sound effects, and the visuals, of big spurts of dirt and the odd clod of earth flying - 'Just like the real thing', as Airfix used to say. Sufficiently so, that I got quite cross with this vindictive virtual Englishman.

 

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As you might well guess, I was not at all displeased to see a black-tailed Albatros mosey over, slip in behind the Camel on his third pass and start shooting. My comrade's aim wasn't very good, but it was good enough, in the end.

 

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Anyway, I had survived my first mission, flak-less though it was. Armed with the knowledge that I needed to increase ground object density in PWCG to remedy this, I lost no time in taking to the air again.

 

...to be continued!

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Archie arrives at the front

(the RFC knew AA fire as 'Archie' after one of its pioneer fliers, unimpressed by the accuracy of early German AA fire, famously began singing the ribald music hall ballad 'Archibald, certainly not!' as the rounds burst)

 

I generated my second Jasta 11 mission and found the date had advanced to 3rd April 1918 and our unit  had been re-located to Cappy. I have 'moving front' disabled in PWCG so the front lines are where they appear in-game, which I think (correct me if I'm wrong) is fixed in RoF and thus does not reflect the gains made in the German spring offensive. Anyhow, our airfield was conveniently close to the trenchlines and we were assigned a patrol mission, which I accepted, again having ensured that I led the flight and that we were four in number. Here's the PWCG briefing screen:

 

RoF J11 mission brief2-2.JPG

 

You can see the large town of Amiens on the left centre of the map and Cambrai, top right. The red and yellow dots appeared after I had accepted the mission, if I recall right; likewise the linked dots of green-brown and light blue. The latter may signify each side's active front - very useful if they track the 'moving front' and you've selected it - but I have no idea what the reds and yellows indicate - if it's ground units, they are rather strangely mixed up with each other's front lines.

 

Though not visible here, the briefing text also provided me some 'int' (or 'intel' as the US call it) on friendly and enemy forces - the former comprising Jastas 5, 17 and 37 in Albatrosses and Flieger Abteilung 16 flying DFWs. The enemy units listed were the RAF's 23 and 45 Squadrons with their correct historical mounts of Dolphins and Camels respectively. 'Twenty-three' was one of two RFC squadrons which flew SPADs (No. 19 the other) and as they were therefore familiar with the Hispano-Suiza engine, they were a natural choice for re-equipment with the similarly-engined Dolphin. Of course, the RAF was formed from the RFC and RNAS on 1 April so these were both now flying with the new service, in real life.  Also operating with the enemy in this area were reported to be two French units: SPA 20 and SPA 34, both listed as flying RE8s. This is one of those PWCG stand-in planes, usually for the Dorand AR two-seater I believe. I don't know what these two escadrilles were actually flying at this point in the war; their title suggests the 2-seater SPAD XI. But I do think that the Breguet 14 or now, the new Sopwith Strutter, would be better substitutes, even though the latter - which served in greater numbers with the French than the RFC - was being phased out of front-line service at the time of this mission.

 

Here we are, on the flight-line at Cappy; I'm nearest the camera with the blue flight-leader streamers. We are all allocated default Jasta 11 'skins' with red noses and trim, but still with the 'Maltese' cross which was replaced by the rectangular 'Greek' cross in March. I could have chosen a different skin for my plane but I had few installed for Jasta 11.

 

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Cappy is rendered as a less well-equipped aerodrome than our previous base, with just tented hangarage. We did have a fine water tower though. From the frequency with which these towers appear at RoF airfields away from towns, I suspect some virtual building contractors have signed some lucrative contracts with the air services! Perhaps they are the same contractors who have ensured that many a French village in First Eagles has a similar water tower!

 

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The RoF DrI is a magnificent bird, beautifully rendered in every detail. She sounds as good as she looks, both as regards her engine and the roar of the wind in flight. The only thing I don't like is that - in common with most RoF planes I've flown - she seems very tail heavy and needs continual forward pressure on the stick to keep her nose down, even if throttled back somewhat. This is tiring and because the middle wing obstructs the view of the horizon, I find I'm porpoising a lot and generally wandering off track. Flying in the external view is easier in that respect, because of the better view of your aircraft in relation to its surroundings. A pity because flying 'in-cockpit' is one of the treasures of the RoF experience and as a non-head tracker user; I'm becoming increasingly comfortable with using the mouse to look around (I was a confirmed hatswitch user). I'd have preferred my virtual riggers in RoF to have done more to ensure my machine flew level at or close to full throttle, without having continually to maintain forward stick pressure.

 

I checked the controls, started my engine, and after waiting for the others to start up, roared off. The little Fokker bucks and sways a bit alarmingly on the take-off run but I've found that if I resist the temptation to make corrections to anything but an extreme swing, she will reliably fly herself off without incident.

 

Up, up and away we went, leaving Cappy behind us. Manfred von Richthofen described the DrI as able to 'climb like a monkey and turn like the Devil' and the RoF version certainly gained altitude quite readily. As we climbed higher, flying past a second landing ground close by, I could see the 'shelled area' clearly, quite a short distance to our right. The war was not very far away, now.

 

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...to be continued!

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Waiting for Godot Archie...

 

As we gained height on our leg to the south, running parallel to the Lines, I could see that my flight-mates were lagging a little. So I throttled back to enable them to catch up. Thereafter, they maintained formation quite well, despite some porpoising on my part - nearly as good the AI does in FE2 and much better than in OFF (don't know if WOFF improves this) where your flight slides well outside, even in gentle course changes. Also in RoF, your wingman command set lets you vary formation, though I'm not sure if this was so practicable in real life. I stuck with the default 'echelon right'.

 

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Despite the tiring tail-heaviness, the experience of flying in RoF is IMHO much the best in any current WW1 sim; not to be missed. The visuals are just great. Here's the DrI's cockpit, which is complemented by dynamic shadows (FE/FE2 has these but not OFF/WOFF) and the superb sounds:

 

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I also love the RoF terrain and environmental effects. Even on my lowly graphics card, they look fantastic. OFF/WOFF's more varied trenchlines (also those of IL-2 DBW 1916) are better and RoF's overall effect is perhaps a tad bland or impressionistic but I find it extremely convincing and effective. Some of the scenery 'items' like towns look a bit like models placed in a wargame landscape rather than a model diorama but I still think RoF's the best, though I have yet to fly over WOFF's impressive new landscapes.

 

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By now, as we neared the Lines, I had my eyes peeled for signs of air activity...especially for any flak. I switched to the external view and had a good look around. Cheating? Not to my mind, not at all; just some compensation for the limitations of 'MonitorVision', in effect flying with your head inside a box with a rectangular flap cut in the front. That's not realistic either, no matter which method you use to 'move the box around'.

 

Anyhow, of flak or enemies, nothing did I see...not yet anyway. Early days, still.

 

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As this mission was something of a try-out for flak activity levels, I decided to use the excellent RoF view system to really cheat and see what else what was in the air, even though I was not going to react to anything thus revealed, until I spotted it 'legitimately' (I fly RoF with no other aircraft icons on the in-flight map screen). And this is what I saw:

 

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There were three French SPAD XIIIs in the air. The two behind looked in the pic above like they were recovering from a near-miss while attempting to keep formation (which I have seen happen before, in OFF and FE2 as well as in RoF). Looking around to orient myself, I realised the SPADs were behind and below us. In fact the b***ers appeared to be stalking us, as we turned and flew north, approximately along the line of the enemy trenches.

 

At that point, Archie put in an appearance! I'm fairly sure he was firing at us, not the Frenchmen. I heard the rounds before I saw them, for they were bursting consistently well below us, and did not do a very good job of correcting their aim. AA bursts are not as visible in RoF as I'd like them to be. You can see them clearly in the 'SPAD's eye view' below (my flight is the top line of specks) but in the view looking down and behind from my own machine, the bursts are lost against the terrain, and even the flash of their bursting is not much better. But at least, the AA gunners were now in business and earning their crust.

 

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...to be continued!

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Let battle begin!

 

Reaching the northern limit of our assigned patrol route over the enemy trenchlines - and ignoring both the inaccurate flak and the SPADs the view system had revealed were lurking under our tails - I swung us around and back to the south. The SPADs followed, gradually gaining height and creeping closer.

 

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At this point, looking around as I completed my turn, I legitimately spotted one of the SPADs, swinging around below and behind us, now just a couple of hundred feet below. I banked around and spiraled down onto the enemy scouts, giving my flight the signal to attack, as I did so. The battle was on!

 

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My sudden appearance amongst them seemed to startle the French fliers and I was soon making good shooting at one of them.

 

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The other SPADs fought back, making plenty of use of the vertical. Their speed made them hard to catch. I refused to dive down after them but watched and waited for one to reappear at my level, before attacking. They kept up their speed and I was reduced to some long-range snap-shooting, firing carefully-aimed short bursts in an effort to force them to turn without wasting my ammunition.

 

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At this delicate point in the combat, my view system went haywire. I was mouse-looking around and tried to padlock a target. Instead, it was as if my virtual pilot had collapsed in a heap with his head down towards the front right of the cockpit. This, perhaps, is not the viewpoint most conducive to effective dogfighting, I thought to myself.

 

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Unable to move my cockpit viewpoint, I switched to the external view and disengaged, flying east towards friendly territory while I continued to struggle to restore my ability to see more than the breech ends of my machine guns, my pocket watch and a nice patch of blue sky. Looking up, I could see my three flight mates.  Like me, they seemed to have the sense not to fritter away their height advantage. Evidently, the remaining SPADs had disengaged too, at least for the time being. I did not know at the time that one of my flight - Weber - had also destroyed a SPAD, and that the other had dived down and out of the fight.

 

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I'm not sure how I managed it, but as I came level with the German reserve trenches, I managed to clear my stuck cockpit view. And this was the point when, at long last, AA fire stepped in, to provide a clear indication of the presence of other aircraft. There, below me,  was a trail of black flak bursts. And at its head, was another aircraft - a SPAD!

 

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I rolled over and went for him like the proverbial bat out of Hell. He seemed slow in seeing me coming and I got into position behind him, snapping out steady bursts as the range wound down. I knew I was low on ammo but my fire soon took effect.

 

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...to be continued!

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Down...but not out!

 

Having shot away the SPAD's interplane struts on one side - and some of his bracing wires on the other - I pulled aside and waited for his wings to fall off. No sense in using up what little ammo I had left, eh?

 

Down below, the German flak gunners didn't seem to share my confidence in the SPAD's imminent and inevitable demise. They seemed to have briefly paused in their shooting while I had made my own attack. But as the SPAD, slowly losing height but still flying, edged back towards the French lines, the flak resumed firing at him.

 

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The gunners were right. The SPAD just kept on flying, impossibly but surely. Cursing the vagaries of the impressive but sometimes wayward RoF damage model, I closed in from the SPAD's left rear, trying to keep clear of the flak bursting in his wake, and opened fire again. By this time, what with previous stoppages, only one of my Spandaus still had some ammunition left. Gun firing all right, gun stops. Carry out the Immediate Action - cock the weapon and carry on. Gun still not firing...out of rounds!

 

At that point, something extraordinary happened. An AA round burst right in front of the Frenchman. The SPAD seemed to flip upright, vertically, with his wings suddenly at right angles to the airflow. The violence of this move ought to have torn his wings clean off, damaged or not. But it did not. Instead, the SPAD nosed over onto one side and then fell away, as I watched, rather dumb-struck by these odd proceedings.

 

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The German flak seemed to be equally bemused and stopped firing. The bullet-, shell-, and aerodynamics-proof Frenchman leveled out and continued to edge diagonally across towards his front lines. I went down after him and closed in, indulging in a spot of formation-flying with my erstwhile foe. I seriously contemplated edging right over, slipping my wingtip under his, and trying to flip him over into a fatal dive, as Spitfires are known to have done with V-1s in 1944. But I thought better of it; I was not going to risk my virtual skin thus.

 

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The SPAD kept on keeping on, descending very slowly. I let him drift off to my right, and finally saw him make a respectable forced landing close to the foremost enemy trenches, seemingly untroubled by nearby shell-bursts from German field artillery, who had evidently decided not to waste their own rounds on this indestructible enemy aeroplane.

 

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At that point, I called it quits and headed home. To be honest, in the excitement I had forgotten about my flight-mates; I could have tried to order them to attack that last SPAD but instead, settled for leading them home alive. This was some consolation for the SPAD's refusal to do the decent thing and fall to pieces. Best of all, when I ended the mission in RoF and switched back to PWCG, I discovered Weber's kill, which made it two-nil for the mission; three if you count the force-landed SPAD. The debrief screen is below. I believe I could have zoomed it in to get a clearer view, but you can still see how it shows my track, RB3d-style, in blue dots, and top left lists the highlights of the mission...crediting the third SPAD to the AA gunners in fact! I suppose this was fair enough; they showed me where he was and enabled me to set him up, for them to knock him down, in the end. This superior mission debrief is another of the great features of PWCG.

 

RoF J11 mission DEbrief2.JPG

 

Anyway, the main thing is, I now see respectable levels of flak, with PWCG-generated campaign missions. I will try increasing air and ground object densities, to see if it can be increased further, without overstraining my modest system. More AA fire (and brighter, slightly more persistent flashes from each burst and more visible smoke 'puffs')  would be nice, although I gather than there are some limits in RoF which bite here, and that PWCG flak is thus limited to parts of the Lines and some potential rear-area targets, and may thus never be quite as common (and useful a target indicator) as it is in FE2 or OFF. Still, it's a major improvement - to realism, as well as playability - and I'm much looking forward to further outings with PWCG, whose continued improvement seems remorseless!

 

Great stuff - PWCG is highly recommended (as is RoF and its magnificent Fokker triplane)!

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I fly myself a Jasta 5 campaign over the war with PWCG (think I started it with version 14.0) and I agree with you it has been constantly getting better, probably due to the fact we have a dialog between Pat and users all the time.

This is the only thing that keeps me flying single player in Rise of Flight (which I fly a lot online multiplayer).

Edited by corsaire31

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      Havoc Over the Kuban – 75% Off (Webstore Only)
      Achtung Spitfire! – 75% Off (Webstore Only)
       

       
      CLIFFS OF DOVER IN IL-2 OFFICIAL WEBSTORE
       
      CLIFFS OF DOVER ON STEAM
       
      Cliffs of Dover: Blitz - 75%
      Desert Wings: Tobruk - 35%
       

       
      RISE OF FLIGHT IN ROF OFFICIAL WEBSTORE
       
      RISE OF FLIGHT ON STEAM
       
      All ROF Content – 75% Off
       
      Enjoy!
       
      See you in the skies and on the battlefield! 
       
      The Sturmovik Team
    • By VonS
      Hello fellow WWI simmers,
      The info. below is relevant to installing ROF (united edition) properly in Win10 (in Bootcamp) on a Mac with discrete graphics cards (in my case a 2013 Mac Pro with FirePro D700 cards, but should work fine on other high-end Macs too). Installing ROF in WineSkin, as was the case a few years ago, is still not worth experimenting with - I recommend the Bootcamp installation route instead.
      First off, install ROF into the main directory of the "c" drive of your Bootcamp install, for the game to launch properly. Also, I recommend, after installation, digging into the relevant "game," "updates," "mission editor" folders, etc., and making shortcuts to the relevant exe files either on your desktop or pinning them to your taskbar - since the main ROF exe "hub" in Bootcamp on a Mac, once you've updated your ROF install to the latest edition - will fail to launch.
       
      In-game video settings that work well are as follows:
      resolution of 1920 x 1080
      fps limiter on (set to max. limit available of 120; this helps to nearly eliminate cloud flickering when used in conjunction with AMD control panel settings included further below)
      full screen
      vert. sync off (turning it on eliminates cloud flickering but caps fps at about 60; better to keep off and use the fps limiter setting capped at 120, which allows for nice, smooth fps in the 80 to 100 range)
      no gamma correction
      enable post-effects
      HDR off
      bloom off
      raindrops off
      super sampling off
      antialiasing 4x
      anisotropic level 8x
      shaders quality high
      light sources 10
      texture detail high
      reflections details medium
      shadows detail special high
      landscape mesh detail 100%
      landscape textures detail high
      forest detail high
      grass quality high
      forest view distance far
      objects view distance 60%
      multi gpu/sli on
       
      AMD control panel settings (I recommend setting up a separate profile/settings file for ROF):
      antialiasing use app. setting
      antialiasing method adaptive multisampling
      morph filtering off
      anisotropic filtering use app. setting
      texture filtering high
      surface optimization off
      wait for vert. refresh (off, unless chosen by app.)
      triple buffering off
      shader cache (AMD optimized) -----> changed from "on" to optimized, seems to reduce some cloud flickering further with this setting
      tessellation mode (AMD optimized) -----> changed from "limit to 16x" to optimized, again seems to help slightly to reduce cloud flickering to a minimum
      AMD crossfire mode (AFR compatible) -----> this is the best setting, but also very good is the "default" setting (frame rates are smooth, and cloud flickering is at a minimum this way too)
      frame pacing on
       
      A few representative pics. below (fps average between about 60 and 120, depending on action/congestion/weather etc., usually hovering around 80 or 90). I also recommend picking some of the mods for ROF over on their official site to get the look you want. I've got about 40 or so mods installed through JSGME - the main ones to get the landscapes in my pics are "landscapes ver 4" and "landscapes ver 4 for winter," also the "high texture landscapes" package, "greater ground detail" package, etc. (search the official ROF site for mods/packages since they are hosted across several pages over there). Also good is Gavagai's "reduced lethality" mod that makes the aircraft less flimsy, as well as AI-improvement mods. and other relevant ones hosted there. With the relevant mods. installed, it flies a lot like modded FE2 (unmodded ROF looks very "shiny"...probably too shiny...with the in-game settings above, reflections are more realistic in the sim).
      One other tip, to get the crispy graphics as in my pics., go to the following website and download the "ATI SetLod" app. (if you're running an AMD graphics card) - and set the LOD bias to "-1" if you are using antialiasing at 4x in ROF, set to "-0.5" if using aa at 2x, and set to "-2" if using aa at 8x (make sure to run the app. in administrator mode for this to work, then log out/in or restart Win10). You will appreciate the extra sharpness, especially at altitude (more pics. located under the screenies section for ROF):
      https://community.hwbot.org/topic/137720-benchmark-tweak-software/
      Happy flying,
      Von S 




    • By 33LIMA
      Back-to-back missions in Sopwith's trend-setter!
       

       
      For most non-multiplayer combat flight simmers, can anything be more frustrating than losing the pilot you have been carefully guiding through the perils of a single player campaign? The answer, of course, is 'Yes' - losing two campaign pilots, one after the other.
       
      It happened to me in Wings over Flanders Fields, yesterday. First to get the chop was my current German fighter pilot, who was flying an Albatros D.III with Jasta 5 in May 1917. The mission started normally, but soon after this picture was taken, shortly after take-off...
       

       
      ...I noticed friendly flak bursts behind, in the direction of the airfield we had just left. Their target was a marauding flight of S.E.5s, and although I got one of them after a tough dogfight, when I turned back in search of the rest of my own flight, all I found was two more S.E.s. I did not survive the wounds which resulted, despite managing a forced landing.
       
      Turning for succor to my concurrent Roland C.II two-seater campaign, things went rather better...for a while.
       

       
      We soon ran into a flight of our opposite numbers, in the form of some Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutters, and although they started with a height advantage...
       

       
      ...we seemed to be getting the better of them. I forced down one with hits from my forward-firing gun, but then allowed myself to become distracted, watching while my observer had a crack as the Sopwith went down...
       

       
      This lack of attention to where I was going caused me to commit a cardinal sin in the WoFF Roland, which is to say, I let the nose come up too high, in a turn. I only noticed and recovered from the resulting loss of height in time to clip some trees with a lower wingtip. The crash in a field which followed robbed me of my second campaign pilot in the space of an hour!
       
      They say when you fall off a horse, the best thing to do is get straight back on, so that's what I did. Except this time, I was in the mood to fight for King and Country, rather than Kaiser and Fatherland. And replaced both pilots by parallel ones - one each in Rise of Flight and Wings over Flanders Fields.
       
      For a mount, I chose the Sopwith Triplane. I recall that my first serious knowledge of this machine came with one of the very first books I ever bought, the little Hippo Books Aircraft of World War 1, by well-known aviation writer JWR Taylor.This informed its readers that '...Triplanes were flown operationally only by Naval squadrons, who gained complete supremacy over the enemy in the spring and summer of 1917.' That's as may be, but the Triplane seems to have been a modest improvement over the delightful Pup and was soon overshadowed by the Camel. And it's not the most attractive of aircraft, to my eye - when RFC ace James McCudden wrote that he thought the reported Fokker Triplane was a rather quaint thing and expected that seeing one shot down would remind him of a Venetian blind collapsing, I suspect it was the earlier Sopwith Triplane he was picturing in his minds eye. Neverthess, the Germans were sufficiently impressed by the 'Tripehound' to embark on a serious bout of immitation, with many planemakers churning out triplanes, only Fokker's being particularly successful.
       
      For both RoF and WoFF careers, I named my pilot Richard Collishaw, potentially a sibling of famous Triplane exponent Raymond Collishaw. Would the name bring me luck? Let's find out, starting with Rise of Flight!
       

       
      ...to be continued!
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