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Everything posted by 33LIMA

  1. "Hmmm...now, why can't MY boys maintain a nice tight formation like those Rolands?"
  2. The same scene, from the viewpoint of one of a formation of AEG G.Vs brave enough to venture out on a daylight raid:
  3. A Bristol Fighter gets a nasty surprise, in the form of an Albatros D.V firing air-to-air rockets... ...actually of course, it's just an optical illusion from a plane going down in the distance :) The Brisfit is one of the many essential planes for FE/FE2 that's available courtesy of the A Team Skunkworks.
  4. I suppose A2A Simulations' forums are the place to ask this, but the question appears to be hanging in the air, there and elsewhere on the net, so I'll pose it here... Has anyone got BoB2 working fully in Windows 10? I've been spurred to try for myself for two reasons: 1. My Vista 64 box's mobo gave up the ghost so I now have a newer replacement which has Win 10 Pro. With which I've got the vast majority of my sims working fine, mostly from the old HDD which is now installed in the new box to complement the fast-but-just-120GB-capacity SSD that came with it; and 2. The arrival of Wings over the Reich prompted me to renew my acquaintance with sims of the classic Battle, in which I have always been very interested. As I posted 'in another place', I was keen to see WoTR's arrival, but deterred from jumping in when it arrived by a number of issues, including: very small German formations ('Minor Skirmish of Britain', anyone?); bombers way too widely spaced; UFO Bf110s; few flyables; very limited variety in aircraft skins (only slightly better now); and quite seriously for the defender, little or no representation of Ground Controllers. It seems the most recent patch has endeavoured to fix some of these issues eg the really tiny incoming raids, but others remain. I also tried a CFS3 ETO freeware mod which covers the Battle, based on the ETO expansion...but it just reminds me why I always reckoned CFS3 was ok at what it was designed to do (tactical air ops)...but not much else. So back I came to A2A's makeover of Rowan's classic. Despite making my own map-based BoB wargame back in the '70s, I never really appreciated BoB/BoB2's 'flight sim within a wargame' approach. But while WoTR provides the conventional squadron-based SP campaign I prefer (available to an extent in BoB2, if you follow the available guidance on workarounds), BoB2 scores in about every other respect - except that the graphics are not quite so modern as (or more dated than) WoTR's. Even just playing BoB2's included set historical missions, though all seem to be air starts, provides a good recreation of the Battle via many of its hightlights, complete with the ability to fly in several of the participating squadrons or Gruppen (including as air gunners in the German bombers), Ground Controllers are on the air, the R/T chatter is great, the AI likewise, and the formations often positively scary. As is taking the role of one of the air gunners in a Do 17 of 9/KG76 in the famous low-level raid on RAF Kenley, one of the historical missions. Anyhow, back on topic. After a re-install, I have BoB2 mostly working in Win 10, complete with the latest 2.13 update from the BoB Development Group and Multiskins - which gives every plane in every unit accurate squadron/gruppe and individual aircraft markings. The problem I was left with was that the game CTD'ed when I quit a mission. Alt+X being the default keys; remapping them didn't help. Likewise, no joy quitting from the 2d map, paused or not, instead of the 3d world. The consensus online seems to be that differences in the way DirectX handled some things in Win 10 was the likely culprit. Win 8 is likewise problematic, and while 7 is apparently fine with BoB2, I'm not going there, having got most all else going on an OS which will be in support a fair bit longer. Today, I seem to have reduced the Alt+X CTDs from 'very common' to 'rare', by applying the settings posted by Buzz3 on Steam, here... https://steamcommunity.com/app/63950/discussions/0/1471968797464997938/ ...except that I have just begun to increase the recommended low-to-medium in-game graphics settings, to see how far up I can push them, while isolating the item or items I can't. 'Quite a way' seems to be the answer. But I fear that over the days ahead I will have the same experience reported by others on A2A who thought and posted that they had found an answer, only to discover they were just having a good patch and that the law of Alt+X averages caught up with them - and the regular CTDs were back. Some seem to have spent ages trying to find the BoB2 Win 10 Holy Grail, in vain, and I've tried anything I can think of that they haven't reported trying. I can live with the dated but serviceable graphics for the sake of BoB2's very considerable superiority over all other comers as a simulation of the Battle. At a push, I will be happy being able to play the many historical missions, interleaved with the numerous training sorties, and accept a rude, debrief-free ending and an inability to play campaigns, if I must. But if anyone has discovered settings which reliably eliminate the Alt+X CTD in Windows 10, I (and likely others!) would be very glad to hear of it!
  5. Thanks Sky High - have had a quick trawl through the 'Subscriber modifications' thread at A2A/BoB2 looking for mods, seems you have to find the post there with the link to the mod and that there's no 'mods master list'. anyway will look out for the stuff you are recommending.
  6. Thanks for the tips guys. I got an Alt+X CTD last night with Buzz73's settings and graphics options at medium again as a baseline, so I figured if I'm going to get crashes, I might as well get them at high settings. I also applied the recommended lines to BDG.txt to get autogen trees, and found that 8x anti-aliasing plus 4x sparse grid supersampling in Nvidia Inspector kills the shimmering on distant terrain. I also killed the compatibility settings on BoB.exe and reverted to 'Run as admin' only, much as per Dustbag's original post...and I have had two takeoff training missions on a row without the Alt+X CTD. So I will stick with that and see how I get on. I had forgotten how good Battle of Britain/BoB2-WoV was - is - with the BDG patches and Multiskin. The RAF airfields look to be very faithful renditions of the real ones at the time, well furnished with blast pens, emplaced AA guns and all the rest. And the sheer variety of authentic aircraft schemes and markings - including different RAF fin flashes and various undersurface treatments - is very impressive if not unequalled. Heck, I can even fly 11 Group boss Keith Park's Hurricane, complete with the Old Man's personal squadron code and the man himself in his distinctive white flight suit. I can see why established BoB2 players call this one a 'time machine'.
  7. Thanks for the encouragement Strikeagle. That A2A thread I saw, it goes cold after Buzz73 posted his settings as also on Steam. The Buzz73 posted on both forums, several months after his first settings post on A2A, that they were still working for him, implies he had found a stable solution. Last night I got several normal mission endings with his low-medium in game settings, but another Alt+X CTD when I pushed most of them up. The plan now is to stick with medium settings for an extended period, to see if that works consistently, and then try one high setting at a time, starting with the ones that I find most important, like aircraft textures, horizon distance and weather/cloud. Will report back.
  8. As regards current preferences, after a while almost exclusively on train sims, I'm back with First Eagles 2 here. Am appreciating the ability to 'warp' to near the mission location, the feeling of flight (and stalling!), the greater air activity, the better representation of AA fire, the light touch squadron management, the excellent dogfight experience, etc etc IE all the reasons I still rate it, on balance and with available mods, quite on a par with RoF and WoFF. FE/FE2 also has a unique vibe from being nowadays so much a product of its modding community, still active and unfettered by commercial considerations such as which planes will sell, and which won't. Not interested in Flying Circus as I have no desire to go beyond, or leave behind, my significant investment in extra flyable RoF planes, for the sake of what to me are relatively modest improvements. Besides which, there are no 'general purpose' two seaters. Now, that's really as bad as a Battle of Britain sim with no bombers, and an unpardonable sin for me. Terrain is at the lowest level (!) in terms of what matters to me, I would like better but am quite ok with the stock FE landscapes, let alone the modded ones.
  9. Anyone know likely causes of this dark line which links my plane to its shadow like a control line model? Seems gone at height but persists around 1000 feet or so. Not visible from every angle but affects multiple plane types, all I have checked so far. Vaguely recall seeing it years ago but can't recall of find anything on it. Only thing I can think of is that have noticed it since changing to Geezer's new pilots, but that is probably just a co-incidence, since I did not notice it playing two new Alb D.III campaigns on the Flanders map.
  10. Thanks Crawford; as I mentioned I think the problem was introduced with Geezer's replacement pilots (like the one seen below, sandwiched between two stock air gunners in the AEG), which all had their shadows set to TRUE. I eliminated the 'shadow rope' when either I set that to FALSE in each new pilot's .ini file, or disabled the new pilots altogether, so the sim defaulted back to the stock ones. The AEGs seen here are at about 10,000 feet because I recently hand-edited most of the default mission height settings in MISSIONCONTROL.INI (as well as dropping the cloudbases a bit, tho I'm not sure if this edit works in FE2 as it reportedly doesn't in SF2), so that I am now getting some missions well above the maximum of about 3,500 feet I usually got before.
  11. VonS, you are a veritable treasure trove of useful tips!
  12. Thanks for the tips, I will seek out your FM mod. Yates's alter ego Cundall is stated to have 'done one hundred and sixty-three jobs, totalling two hundred and forty-eight flying hours' all with 46 on Camels, while Yate's Wiki entry says 110 and 250 respectively; so he (and Cundall!) obviously knew a thing or two about them too, based on service machines. The FE2 Camels I'm flying now all seem to need no more than some right stick at higher revs to counter torque and the tendency to roll left. Don't know if I can vary fuel loads in FE2 (my loadout screen CTDs for some reason I must try to troubleshoot some day) or if the sim models the CoG effects of fuel consumption.
  13. Many thanks Trotski, that was spot on, took a bit of time tracking down all the offending pilot .ini files, but once amended, problem solved! Hi Wrench. These were stock FE2 planes (Camels, Albatros D.V etc). When I temporarily renamed the mods/pilots folder to prob-pilots after reading Trotski's post, the stock pilots were defaulted to and re-appeared, and those shadow ropes disappeared. So I edited the pilot .ini files in the Mods/prob-pilots folder and after restoring the subfolder's name, Geezer's pilots were back less the shadow ropes. Haven't checked every affected plane yet but seems that was the problem. Like I say I do recall seeing it before years back, that probably the problem you are describing.
  14. When I first saw this, I thought it was a poll about planes, and of course, I was about to type 'AW FK8', 'LVG C.V or CVI' and 'Albatros CX or C.XII' followed by 'pretty please', when I saw it was about FMs not planes...oh well... :) Was it Clausewitz who said something to the effect that the enemy usually has three options, of which he will choose the fourth? Applying that principle, I choose the Sopwith Camel :) Not just because it is such an important plane, worthy of the attention, which it is. Because it doesn't seem to match the real Camel that well in one or two important ways. I recently finished reading 'Winged Victory' for the first time (I tend to avoid fiction even such as this) and while written years after the event and only semi-autobiographical, I believe Victor Yates when he describes the Camel as unstable and very tail heavy. Many will have read this before but it's such a lovely description that I cannot resist quoting it here. 'Camels were wonderful fliers when you had got used to them., which took about three months of hard flying. At the end of that time you were either dead, a nervous wreck, or the hell of a pilot and a terror to Huns, who were more unwilling to attack Camels than any other sort of machine except perhaps Bristol Fighters...Huns preferred fighting SEs which were stationary engine scouts more like themselves...They knew where they were with SEs, which obeyed the laws of flight and did as properly stabilised aeroplanes ought to do. If you shot at one, allowing correctly for its speed, you would hit it: it would be going the way it looked as if it were going, following its nose. A Camel might be going sideways or flat-spinning, or going in any direction except straight backwards. A Camel in danger would do the most queer things, you never knew what next...and in the more legitimate matter of vertical turns, nothing in the skies could follow in so tight a circle, so that, theoretically speaking, all you had to do when caught miles from home by dozens of Huns was to go into a vertical bank and keep on turning to the right until the Huns got hungry and went down to their black bread and sauerkraut, or it got dark: the difficulty was that you might run out of petrol and have to shoot them all down on the reserve tank, so that it might be as well to shoot them all down at once, as recommended in patriotic circles.' ...But it was this instability that gave Camels their good qualities...a Camel had to be held in flying position all the time, and was out of it in a flash. It was nose light...and was rigged tail-heavy so that you had to be holding her down all the time. Take your hand off the stick and it would rear right up with a terrific jerk and stand on its tail. The same with the half-roll. Nothing would half-roll like a Camel. A twitch of the stick and flick of the rudder and you were on your back. The nose dropped at once and you pulled out having made a complete reversal of direction in the least possible time." Even allowing that the author is obviously indulging in a certain amount of tongue-in-cheekery, or even an element of hyperbole - and that the better AI pilots in FE can get some wicked turns out of their Camels - the current FMs (strock and Peter01s) don't seem to match the 'out of it [level flight] in a flash' and the 'terrific jerk and stand on its tail' aspects. Not saying I want to spend the stated three months learning how to avoid killing my virtual pilots in the FE/FE2 Camel, but something a bit more like these points in Yates' description might be good - I recall the RoF Camel (like most RoF planes, perhaps more so than others) was very tail-heavy.
  15. Every two seater unit for kilometres around seemed to be in on this raid which my Jasta 2 patrol was escorting. The target airfield suffered accordingly. Late April 1917, Flanders sector. Sadly, soon after this pilot misjudged a diving attack on an DH-2, resulting in a fatal collision. His successor is now flying with Jasta 4 in the Cambrai sector, in chilly November 1917. No DH-2s to worry over, but there are plenty of these fellows about, so things will be interesting, as well as cold.
  16. Polish Anatra DS Uploaded

    Great to see you are 'back in action', Stephen! The weathered effect on the linen of the wings, and on the national markings, is particularly nice.
  17. Since my original post I have played WoFF extensively and as my review here reported, found it excellent and much, much improved over OFF (eg formation-keeping is now ok), not least since Ankor's shaders give it the dynamic shadows that FE/FE2 always had, plus the ability to adjust the awful 'wide angle lens' external view. It still has niggles - for example too many uneventful flights, no 'next encounter' fast-forward, AA fire not as common as it should be, 2-seaters operating always in flights of c.5 and rarely if ever alone (WoFF UE may have improved that), I have not grown to like the flight models, the AI tend to run straight for home a lot, and AI-led flights seem to potter about at low level for ages. The view system is still essentially the poor CFS3 system which compares badly with FE/FE2 or RoF. WoFF's 'quick combat' mission generator is much the best of the bunch (tho there is a mission generator for FE/FE2 that apparently works like IL-2 '46's highly-featured quick mission builder - With Pat Wilson's Campaign Generator, the Rise of Flight SP campaign experience I find much better. The planeset is now good from about late Spring 1917 with the addition of the RE8 and the Strutter, but despite now having also the FE2 (the plane not the sim!!!) Rise of Flight has hopeless gaps before that (no BE2, no 1916-17 French 2-seater). AI and representation of flak isn't great but I can live with it. It's free with two flyables and the rest AI, so is absolutely worth giving a good work-out. RB3D (modded) I think I still have installed but would only play it for a short bit of nostalgia, and to see how well it did the things that other sims leave out or don't do so well. With all the available modder-built planes available for your favoured theatre or theatres - including those from the A Team Skunkworks, with whom patience and respect of their rules is important - FE/FE2 is still hard to beat. The planeset leaves almost nothing to be desired for nearly all of the air war. There are different parts of the Western Front plus several other theatres, including the North Sea for seaplanes, and Italy. You can use the campaign system to generate quick missions with a bit of context, like your squadron and its roster and record. The aircrew animation is vastly better than WoFF and in most respects better than RoF. Capt Vengeur's medal mod means I am continually surprised by the variety of awards I can earn from German principalities, if I manage to keep body and soul together and the aerial victories coming in. As with the other sim there are niggles, like FE2 campaign weather not changing unless edited outside the sim, ghosting through some buildings and all trees, slow deceleration when landing, the fact that mission heights tend to be almost always below about 5,000 feet (which you can probably hand-edit, I haven't bothered), AI getting target fixated at times and finding their leader again if separated, regardless of distance. But the ability to 'warp' to the next encounter is a big plus, especially as unless it's an escort job, you can drag your waypoints around to control where you 'come out of warp'. The air-to-air combat AI is super, a real seat-of-the-pants, stick-gripped-tight-in-sweaty-palms experience (especially on the harder settings, where you meet expert pilots more often). The light-touch squadron management you can use or ignore; I like it much better than WoFF's semi-fixed 'A Flight/B Flight' approach. The audible rumble, visible shudder and 'feel' of your aircraft as you approach the stall is a massive plus in the flight experience and air combat departments. The plane models and skins are now mostly slightly behind RoF and WoFF, but still very acceptable to my eye. And there are just so many of them! I tend to agree with you that WW1 is the classic period for a combat flight sim, and that this is reflected in the degree to which sims can give the player a more realistic, immersive and generally more satisfactory experience. The latter is not diminished by formations that are too small, or comms from ground controllers or other aircraft that are absent or limited - as seems to be the case with recent WW2 sims. No need to fret over how your radar set or your fancy weapons work. You can concentrate on flying, flight leading and shooting, while learning to recognise the landmarks in your area of operations. You can live and fight with the on-screen aids turned off, much more readily that with more modern periods, all the better for the realism. You can't of course bail out, not even if you're on the German side near the war's end, but you can't have everything. Go get 'em, cowboy!
  18. Sir Douglas Bader...

    According to research featured in an issue of 'After the Battle' mag a couple of years ago, the famous film wasn't quite right when it had Bader's Spit V's tail chopped off by a colliding 109 on a 1941 sweep over France. He was supposedly shot down by one of his own pilots in an attack from astern (by mistake!! He wasn't THAT unpopular!). Happened after Bader got separated and was flying level and alone. The author says that Bader met the 'offender' later at Colditz or some other camp, and from the conversation they had, it seems Bader and perhaps the other pilot worked it out, but kept it quiet to spare embarrassment, or perhaps because it was only a suspicion and he wasn't completely sure
  19. The future of First Eagles

    Thanks for posting Crusader, I had no idea this utility existed!
  20. The future of First Eagles

    Yes WoFF's 'quick battle' generator, and to a lesser extent ROF's version, is a lot better than FE2's 'Single mission' - WoFF allows setting many more parameters. My view of FE2 is mainly determined by how good its campaign system is, and here the sims seem to me more evenly matched, in a 'swings and roundabouts' sense. I'm currently playing a Bloody April campaign in FE2 alongside an Armchair Aces one, flying for Jastas 11 and Boelcke respectively, and I'm enjoying the light-touch 'squadron management' aspect, choosing how many and which pilots will go on each sortie, mixing old hares with new kinder and resting one half of the staffel while I lead the others into action. Last but one mission with Jasta 11, I decided to ignore an order to patrol over the enemy side and instead tootled along just on the English side of the lines, knocking down a couple of their balloons when their airmen declined to show up. It really hurt when there was a bang behind me, louder and different to the hoarse bark of the AA fire we were receiving, and I looked back to see one of my boys going down nearly vertically with most of his wings fluttering after him. Happily, he was saved by the mission locking up (I seem to get this occasionally on my relatively new Win 10 box) with the details not recorded! And so we all lived to fly the next mission, an uneventful patrol to a balloon unit down to our south, near Cambrai. You can practically see the relief on my virtual face as I lead the pack up and away from Phalempin!
  21. The future of First Eagles

    I quite like RoF and have happily bought several extra aircraft over the years. The AI is not as good as either FE/FE2 nor WoFF but not altogether hopeless either in my experience. As others have said the wings seem to come off planes under fire too often (and the Albatrosses lose all their interplane bracing wires in one go!). But Pat Wilson's Campaign Generator much improves the SP campaign and as the base game is free, people may as well at least try it out with the two free planes (Albatros D.V and SPAD XIII, the others are still there just AI-flown, tho the planeset has significant gaps prior to mid-1917eg no BE2).
  22. Problems with my FE2

    Slightly OT but I'm back flying FE2 after a bit of a gap and still rate it alongside WoFF...if you take the mods into account, in particular the fact that with the aircraft now available, FE/FE2 leaves very little to be desired in terms of planeset...apart from an AW FK8 and a 1918 German general-purpose two-seater like an LVG C.VI or Albatros C.X/XII. More planes are promised for WoFF UE but I doubt they will ever come close to FE for the Western Front, let alone other theatres. For must-have mods, if interested in the Western Front, I would include the A Team Skunkworks. Modders who host their creations here at CombatAce have made better BE series planes. Halberstadt and Fokker D-types and there's now Geezer's Pfalz D.III; but as well as many other useful gap-fillers like the Pfalz D.XII, FE8 and SSW D.III, the A Team have the Pup, Strutter, Dolphin, Brisfit and FE2, all really must-haves for 1917-18. You do need to be patient and respect their rules to get access. Where else but in FE/FE2 will you see sights like these: For me the feeling of flight, combined with the stall indications, and the air-to-air combat, is actually significantly better than WoFF, on balance. Also better is the implementation of Flak/Archie. Not only can you see the guns firing (and strafe them if you feel bold!) but their activity is a vastly better indication of the presence of other aircraft - this is a big plus for FE. The one thing I think is significantly worse in FE2 is the way enemy aircraft will follow you down and home, in packs to boot. If there was an AI or campaign mission tweak that would reduce this significantly - even a kludge of some description - well that would be top of my improvements list for this excellent and abiding sim
  23. A Royal Navy campaign in Killerfish's peerless WW2 naval wargame! In my first campaign mission report with Atlantic Fleet, I played for the German Kriegsmarine, and in the dynamic version of the AF campaign. This time, I'm playing for the other side, the Royal Navy (whose signature march is 'Heart of Oak', hence this mission report's title). And I'm playing the 'static' campaign. This is a fixed set of fifty missions, whose difficulty increases as you go, inasmuch as the opponents gradually become more numerous, more dangerous, or both. Knowledgeable enthusiast Ramjb has already released a long series of gameplay videos featuring this same campaign, but this report is the (illustrated) book of that movie, as it were; starts at the beginning; and is more in the nature of a taster, than a replay. Of AF's two campaign types, the dynamic variant - dubbed appropriately 'Battle of the Atlantic' - is my favourite - for the German side. It is dynamic in several respects, starting with the objective. This is not to win battles as such, but to win a tonnage war, German subs and surface raiders against British convoys and warship patrols. Merchant shipping tonnage sent to the bottom, or getting through, is what counts towards victory, over an extended period. And that victory, if and when it comes, I find is immensely satisfying...and announced in style. Losses are also cumulative - lose a ship and it's gone, with replacements only available within the other, real-life members of the class, if any sister ships there were. And your choice of ships to send to sea as the war progresses is limited to those available when they actually entered service. Real-life events affect the battle, for example the conquests of Norway and France giving the Germans additional bases, at about the correct period of the war. Damaged ships can be docked for repairs, but may be damaged again in bombing raids. The tonnage war is not entirely reliant on the player's efforts - in the background, the underlying wargame may generate battles and losses in which the player does not participate. However, playing from the Royal Navy side, I find that of the battles I DO see, far too high a proportion are U-Boat 'area ambushes' against groups of warships in open waters. Rare exceptions notwithstanding, the latter is simply not where submarines managed to attack warships outside of convoy escorts. With a maximum surface speed about the same as most warship's cruising speed, it's not surprising successful encounters were rare, for subs against warships. And when they did happen, generally did so in choke points, not the open sea encounters we see in AF. Maybe every third or fourth battle in AF's dynamic campaign for the RN, the warships I have painfully built up are ambushed by typically three subs, at least two in good firing positions and some inside 'guaranteed hit' range, firing before I can even move or shoot. Yes, depending on your chosen view options, you can often spot those torps that could be evaded and yes, a friendly destroyer - if not hit immediately - can often hit back by pulling off a party trick of its own, a torpedo salvo that is unrealistically effective. An upcoming patch might somewhat lessen this problem, by allowing a longer start range to be set. This should at least give the player a chance to react...as in, like Brave Sir Robin, bravely running away, my preferred tactic in such cases. But in its present form, I dislike these unrealistic ambushes so much I'm just not finding the RN dynamic campaign much fun. And 'fun' is what AF delivers everywhere else, by the big gun broadside, so for my RN campaign fix of said fun, I'm glad I can get this from the static campaign alternative. Here's how my latest try went! ...to be continued!

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