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- Joined: 03 May 2007, 00:52
- Location: Chateau Boistrancourt, France
There is a steep learning curve in this game since non-RB3D items like engine management, fuel mix and plane characteristics are important. Take-off is tough but landing is a real pain – you will crack up a lot early on. If you cannot master these, you cannot even play the game, let alone master “combat”.
Everyone should go through the Tutorial that comes with the game. It is very basic, easy and effective. By the time you get through it you are able to do some basic moves (turn and climb), hit a balloon and shoot down a drone. It talks you through all of the stuff you need to get airborne. But the tutorial has a lot of things “pre-set” for easy flying. There is usually more to this game than just start the engine and go when in a server. The NEWBIE server is a great place to practice since many things like radiator is automated. Most other servers are not so automated.
Keep the card with all of the commands on it for engine management and such handy. Look it over before you take off so you know how to open/close radiator, enrich/lean out fuel mixture and such. Look over the plane guides posted in another section for the specific quirks of your plane. When you load out your plane in the Hanger, be sure you do not take bombs (extra weight), you do take lots of bullets (max bullets is not always automatically chosen), half a tank of gas (enough for over an hour of continuous flight and good plane handling) and gun convergence set at about 85 yards/meters. Cock your guns before you take off!
Staying in the air and basic tactics –
Flying skills (non-combat) -- Simple RB3D moves like flying under bridges are deadly and should be avoided (even when your instructor says go for it). Spins are common and they kill. Learning how to avoid or counter a spin is really important. You actually can get out of a spin, but not always. Countering the Spin – depends on the plane. Usually, throttle back, let go of the stick. Then hard rudder opposite the spin and pull back on the stick may bring you out. This takes practice. If you are at low altitude, prepare to re-life.
Gunnery is probably the big skill to work on early in your career – it is really hard to hit targets in RoF even up close without a lot of practice. I see a lot of “spray and pray” shooting in the game. How to "sight in" your plane for shooting? Each plane has a different “aiming point” when you look out of the cockpit. There are some excellent “Drone Programs” for RoF to practice this. Turn on Gunnery Help during free flight to see the aiming point the game uses for each plane -- they are different for each plane. The aiming point looks like a little set of yellow bird wings.
Formation flying for effect (staying with each other as a combat force and not just to look good), navigation (it is really easy to get “lost” – where is the airfield?) and staying together (a real problem – we are always looking for each other, especially during combat) are important. These were all real problems that WW1 pilots were dealing with. The only way to learn is to practice and then practice some more.
Most planes turn better to their left due to torque. Climbing turns to the right are good, but often slower to come around. Left hand turns often push your nose up and can lead to a stall. Keep your nose down and watch your air speed. If you have a force-feedback stick, it will shudder as you go into a stall. Straighten out, push your nose down and get your airspeed back up to 120 kms or more.
If you decide to make a long dive -- watch out. Steep dives will over-rev your engine and then it stops. Or you may rip off a wing. Both are the end of your mission. Longer flat dives at low revs will freeze your engine (literally -- it is cold in the virtual sky) so you need to close your radiator and/or keep your revs up, but watch your revs! If they get much above 1500 to 1800, you owe the Kaiser a new engine. Be sure to open the radiator up again when you finish your dive if you closed it down. Programming a button on your stick for radiator is the easy way to handle this.
Situational Awareness and Good Comms –
Working in pairs or teams is very important. It increases the number of eyes looking for bogies and discourages the enemy. Nobody likes to attack a pair or group. Talk to your wingman – a lot. Where are we going? Where are we now? Where is our airfield? The other members of the squad? Who will attack? Defend? How will you 2 set it up? Let each other know when you are in or out of attack mode. Anticipate trouble because it will come. Tell each other which way you are going – up, down, left or right. Tell your wingman where you are relative to him. “Percy, I am on your 5:00 high. You have the lead.” If you are leading, do so. Your job is to look ahead, call out bogies and set up the attack. If you are trailing, you must protect your lead and watch out for your/his 6:00. Trouble usually sneaks up from behind.
Keep people informed of where you are. Know where they are. If you get separated, find each other pronto. Circle back or go to a known landmark such as a balloon, town or airfield and form up. Do not go on until you are grouped again. Single planes are great targets.
Sending off a flare should be done for a specific purpose. Call out the color if you do. But remember, enemies see flares just as well as you do. Know how to choose flare colors, tell your friends what color and why you are shooting the flare. Green could be “Where are you?” Red could be “I am in trouble!”
When you see somebody, do not say “Bogie to the northwest.” Most of us are not looking at the compass. Most of us cannot even find the compass after take-off. Say “Bogies coming in at my/your/our 2:00 low.” If your wingman tells you this, confirm it by saying it back. Now is a really good time check the compass for bearing, check your location and to call for help. If you do not see the bogie, say so, and try to find him. You both must see the bogie before you can attack or defend.
Basic and Intermediate Air Combat Tactics –
As we said before, tactics such as working as a pair or group in offense and defense (flying in numbers is a big advantage) helps you to anticipate enemy moves (more eyes on the enemy) – will he attack or not? How should I counter that now? Should I attack? How will he counter that? Talk about it. Then do it and talk some more during the fight.
Basic moves such as Split-S, Climbing turns, Barrel-Rolls combined with good SA are often all that you need.
Know your plane. Some turn well, others are fast and climb well. Do not let the enemy dictate your moves if they are outside of your plane’s capability or your comfort zone. Make him fight your way or not at all.
If someone ends up on your 6, you are not dead, but without a wingman, you are certainly in trouble. Your best defense is your wingman on the enemy’s six.
Endless turning during a fight with no vertical is a sure way to die. His wingman will plop down behind you and kill you. 1 or 2 turns are OK if you have a good shot. After that, break off, climb and start again from an advantage. Let him go for now, but keep an eye on him and look for his wingman.
Avoid head-on passes. You may think you can shoot him first, but he is thinking the same thing. This is a rookie mistake but we all do it. It is too tempting. You usually end up damaged and an easy target for someone else. Aim for a point about 20 to 30 degrees off to his right or left at full throttle, start to climb gently (harder for him to see you climbing), turn when he is at about your 10 or 2 o’clock, keep climbing and turn into him. If he tries to follow, you already have an altitude advantage. If he just blows by, you finish the turn and you are on his six and above. If he does something like you are doing, the game is on. Get some help.
Advanced tactics –
This is probably better titled “Do not be taken by ruses!” (Dicta Boelcke)
This gets into all of the stuff you read about – high yo-yo, rolling scissors or whatever. But we need to be aware that many of these tactics are intended for WW2 or jet planes that can actually do the maneuver. In RoF, you are lucky to be able to turn, pursue, climb, dive and not spin out or lose a wing. Many vertical moves are difficult or impossible to perform (you stall, spin out, lose a wing, etc.) and it often takes long prep (like gaining altitude) to perform well. Snap rolls, vertical scissors and such require an engine that you do not have. Vertical moves in RoF mean a few hundred feet at most and often are just 100 feet.
If you still like snappy vertical moves, do not stall unless you know you can do it safely. You are a sitting duck. Yeah, that hammerhead looks good, but one of the easiest ways to kill a Camel is to catch him at top of a vertical move and blast him. How? Don’t try to follow him down, stay high. Pretend to dive behind him, pull out and wait, then blast him at the top of his move. They will almost always go down and come back up, try to fool you and get you to do their moves. Make them fight your fight.
Example of more advanced tactics –
If you get on someone’s 6:00 and he dives – you can usually win. He just blew his energy. This is a good time to look around for his wingman and call for help. Do not just dive with him. A short quick dive to blast him is fine but do not try the long twisting dives you often see. Why make a mistake just because he did? Stalk from above and set him up. The only time to think about diving is when your wingman (who has been watching it all unfold) says “Go get him. I have your six.” Be sure to watch your revs/radiator and such!
Example of more advanced tactics –
If you get on someone’s 6:00 and he dives, this may mean he is trying to lure you down into a flat turn fight. If he is in a DR1, you know what is coming next – a very hard turn you cannot match. Stay high and Boom and Zoom the DR1. If he is in a good, fast climber (like the SE5a), he is probably trying to cause you loose altitude so he can climb, come around and Boom and Zoom you. Pretend to follow that SE5a with a short quick dive, then watch his moves. Fly along at altitude, cut across his turn if he turns (they almost always do) and blast him as he comes back up out of his climb – he will be slower and an easier target.
General points to note –
Most of the fighting seems to occur within a 300 to 500 foot (100 to 175 meters) window of altitude and below 1500 meters (usually well below). If you are above or below that 300 to 500 foot window (assuming you see the enemy) you are either safe from or unable to attack.
Pick 1 or 2 planes and learn them. There are way too many planes with their quirks to be good in more that a few at first. Some planes are downright killers that require a lot of practice (DR1, Camel), others are great fun and you can be competitive from the start (D7, D5a, Pfalz D3, SPAD13). Others are good with a bit of practice and are great fun as well (SE5a, N28, Pfalz D12).
The one you don’t see is the one that gets you…..every time.
Dicta Boelcke – now I begin to see why he said those things in his Rules. Ditto for Mannock and Mahan.
Last bumped by Anonymous on 11 Jun 2020, 19:49.