ETO Battle of Britain campaign Mark II - Page 2
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Thread: ETO Battle of Britain campaign Mark II

  1. #26
    Will come back on those queries. Squadrons were moved around to an extent, as well as often flying from forward 'satellite' airfields rather than the Sector (ground controller ops room equipped) airfields which were their home stations. So I can pick based on an available orbat around Adlertag. Re a spawn-triggering airfield in each sector, depends if it would be best to have one near the coast (say Warmwell, for 10 Group) or more central (say Middle Wallop ).

    The map below might be as good a source as anything, showing both bases and who was there.

    Whatever else can be managed (and I wish I could be more use here not just writing cheques I can't cash!) two essentials would I think be:

    1. campaign.xml tweaked so that starting on 10 July, and regardless of how badly the player performs, invasion of England is not possible until at least a week after the Luftwaffe got serious on Adlertag, later if the player is not completely hopeless (with invasion of France being possible if you've basically wiped the Luftwaffe from the skies, chased the Kriegsmarine from the seas, and bombed the French coastal zone into the consistency of fine sand); and

    2. Some way of enabling the RAF player to chose between starting a fighter campaign in a Spit, or a Hurri, or a Defiant or a Blehneim If - which might be an edit to the techtree and if really necessary, four cloned campaigns to restrict the choice to one particular A/C. Abacus did something to try to ensure the player got a Mossie for their add-on, although I see the FAQ say if you get changed later to a Spit IX, that's because 'the campaign has a mind of it own...if you want to continue to fly the Mosquito, you will have to request a new aircraft. You can do this as soon as you have 5000 prestige points'. Even if - as in real life - you have to accept the fact you might get transferred to a squadron flying a different A/C, better taking that chance for the sake of being able to chose your mount freely, either by choosing a campaign which reliably starts you on just that A/C, or enables the player to pick between the four, at the very start, without having to rack up points first. . That capability would be a big step forward.

    PS looking at the Abacus Mossie Combat manual I see that have managed to allocate RAF squadrons to Groups, not as in stock CFS3 to Wings, which would be good to do the the Battle of Britain. Poking about in one of their three dynamic campaign files might be revealing.

  2. #27
    the 3gb AI Hurricanes readme says they represent squadrons which served with 11 Group so any of them would do for that Group.

    I see it includes 249. They came south from 13 Group to 10 Group on 15 August, flying from Boscombe Down, not far from Middle Wallop. They only moved to 11 Group (North Weald) at the start of September so suggest 249 to represent 10 Group.

    As for 12 Group, I'd suggest 229 Squadron. While later moved to 11 Group, they were in 12 Group at Wittering in August.

  3. #28
    As for AI Spitfires, I'd suggest 92 Squadron for 10 Group; they were at Pembrey in S Wales for a while, moving to Biggin in 11 Group by September.

    Sailor Malan's 74 Squadron was at Hornchurch in August and so would be ok for 11 Group.

    As for 12 Group, 66 Squadron was at Coltishall during August so would do for that Group.

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Aotearoa, New Zealand
    OK, got that, 33Lima. Thanks for the good juice. On the choice of available aircraft, the thing is that if you have say four aircraft set up with the same entered service date (.xdp), and have the same entry date to the campaign techtree, then you can manually select which one you wish to fly, without needing Prestige Points. The way the campaign is currently set up, is you do the hard yards in a hurricane, before either getting enough points to select a Spitfire, or you survive one month until the Spitfire becomes automatically available.

    It is a bit of a test of stamina etc just to add a "degree of difficulty". However it would be easy to tweak a campaign so that say four aircraft joined the techtree at the same month. In that case, I think the campaign engine would select the default aircraft as the one whose xdp had the earliest entered service date but it might be random. To achieve full parity will require yet more "one off" tweaking of aircraft xdps to homologate entered service dates.

    To go much further into representing Bob, one needs to provide the suite of geographically located facilities that trigger appropriate air spawns. That is not too tricky.

    The next thing though would be to create an entirely new country.xml where each Fighter Group is listed - so is treated like a "nationality". Then QC locations would need to be tweaked - it lists available airbases by nationality. Also cutscenes would need to be tweaked - it also lists airbases by nationality. Also UnlimitedPilots, pilotattributes.xml, and a new global_layer.csv with the "owner" column (lists by nation) listing the Fighter Groups as owners of the airbases. That aspect of CFS3 does not seem to work as intended - notice how in Era 3 or 4 campaign, you can be flying a British aircraft yet still be assigned to a USAAF base? Frustrating because if that worked better it would be easy to get the right aircraft at the right airbases.

  5. #30
    Thanks for the gen. I will try a test campaign with the four British day fighter types as <Date Month="9" Year="1939"/> in the campaign's techtree, and their .xdp files (with regenerated .bdps) set to EnteredService="9/3/1940" (the war for Britain having started on 3 Sept '39).

    It's a pity the .xdp entry date can't be kept at their true historical service entry date to avoid possible unintended consequences outside the campaign but possibly a low risk, especially if the war's start date is used for aircraft in service as of that date. I doubt if anyone is making campaigns for RAF aircraft that start before then!

    The original campaign's builder arranged things so that the skin for the Hurricane 1 had squadron codes (JX) which corresponded with the squadron that the campaign allocated me to. I don't know how that was arranged (assuming it wasn't just a co-incidence) but when I tweaked the campaign file to get a Spit, that also happened (the MkI's skin was for 609, and that was the squadron the campaign allocated me to). Ideally if I start a new campaign and chose a Defiant or a Blenheim instead, I'd want the same thing to happen eg the ETO dayfighter Defiant is coded PS so I'd want the campaign to post us all to 264 Squadron. If possible. Separate campaigns for each type might be the only answer. The important thing is the player gets to choose type and squadron; whether they choose by picking the campaign, or by picking after they start a campaign, is less important.

  6. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Aotearoa, New Zealand

    Too Many Wingmen

    Here's another gem from the CampaignParams section of the MJ BoB (Allied).xml campaign: C_WINGMAN_REPLACE="5"

    Although the unlimited pilots and .cmpstat files might produce way too many pilots, you can reduce this number and keep to the diminishing pool as the campaign progresses, by putting in C_WINGMAN_REPLACE="0". As attrition inevitably happens (this is war, you know), the number of available wingmen will reduce quickly.

    The zero entry may even allow editing of the list of pilots in the cmpstat file, without them being replaced in the next mission.

  7. #32
    Thanks for the tip, edit applied. Will see how it works out, possibly not well if it means we never get any replacements - I might end up glad of having forty-odd to start with!

  8. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Aotearoa, New Zealand
    of course, you can also just use a lower number, like 1.0 or 0.5

  9. #34
    609 Squadron Martlesham Heath, morning of 12 July 1940

    This time, we're scrambled to intercept a raid a few miles to the south-west

    The conditions low down are a bit murky, as you can see.

    As we settle into formation and onto course, Bogies appear, heading in the opposite direction.

    I believe the TAC displays what your pilot is able to see, taking into account his spotting abilities, which can improve. Looking directly at the Bogies, though, I can see nothing. This is where WotR's 'dot mode' for labels comes in handy.

    The absence of the purple arrowhead marker confirms that although these Bogies are likely Bandits, they're not our target. So I reluctantly carry on...

    ...and we're soon coming out into clearer skies and climbing hard.

    Here's hoping I didn't miss a Hun-bird in the hand, for the sake of one in the bush! be continued!

  10. #35
    We're climbing through about fifteen thousand...

    ...when I turn on the TAC again, simulating communications with the Controller back in the Sector Ops Room. This confirms we're now close to our target. In fact there's two groups of Bogies, and it looks like the ones to our direct front are the fellows we've come here to get.

    I roll in towards them as they slide by to our right, tapping out attack orders as I go.

    Finally, I can see them with the good old Mark I Eyeball - a straggling formation of about half-a-dozen aircraft. At first I think they're fighters, but then, I realise they're Stukas!

    That leaves the slightly worrying possibility that the other Bogies are the escorts. But we're committed - and in we go! be continued!

  11. #36
    I'm soon rolling in behind my own intended victim.

    Rounds fly back and forth as I close in, but my aim isn't very good...

    ...and I break off leaving the Stuka flying on...

    ...with another of his kind to his left.

    Conscious that I've made a bit of a mess of my first pass, I come around in a wide sweep, determined to get my man this time. be continued!

  12. #37
    I pick a different Stuka for my second target, but let him go when one of the boys nips in ahead of me and goes for the Hun.

    I quickly switch targets and this time, my aim is much better.

    By the time I break off, the Hun is blazing nicely.

    There's another Stuka ahead and left and I go straight for him. A few bursts and down he goes, too!

    The fighting hasn't been one-sided though, and I'm conscious that my kite has collected hits on every pass I've made.

    She's still answering the controls, the motor's running fine, and I'm not out of rounds yet. There are still some Huns around too, so after making sure everyone else has a target allocated, I look around for another one for myself. be continued!

  13. #38
    My victim drops like a stone, losing his tail in the process. And all around, the Stuka party is still in full swing.

    Back on goes the TAC, for a bit of extra situational awareness. This confirms that the centre of the action is just to my right... I bank in that direction. Each time I hear someone on the R/T advising they're rejoining, I pick another target and order them back in.

    This time the action has shifted to a lower bunch of Huns, probably the ones to our left when we tackled the first lot. They, too are Stukas and I've soon picked out one of them.

    My rounds whack into the Hun and he rolls left and sideslips away.

    One of the others decided to finish him off for me. Which is fine, they all count regardless of whoever hammers the nail in the coffin.

    Time to pick another partner, before the party fizzles out! be continued!

  14. #39
    My next target doesn't last long. A couple of short bursts take off his tail and down he goes.

    I swing in after one of his friends but break off when my ammo finally runs out. I take a few more hits for my trouble.

    A check of the map reveals there's an airfield just to my south-west so I turn I that direction. Time to get down before something stops working! As I go, I hear the rattle of MGs behind me. One of the Stukas is trying to get onto my tail!

    I soon shake him off and very quickly, the Hun has other things on his mind, as one of the boys lets him have it.

    The Stuka is soon in flames, even as another one tumbles from the sky, tail-less.

    I reckon I've bagged three Huns and the boys at least as many more, from what I remember hearing on the R/T. Now, I just need to get down in one piece! be continued!

  15. #40
    It doesn't take me long to reach the nearby airfield, which turns out to the bomber base at Wattisham. By now the squadron seems to be finished its business with the Huns, so I order them to leave me and concentrate on getting down myself, in my well-holed Spitfire.

    I'm at about two thousand and the engine's still running smoothly, so I slow down and set myself up for the two turns to the left that will settle me onto my approach.

    After the first turn, I make a quick scan of the instruments, the engine ones in particular. Uh-oh! The speed is coming down nicely, but although the engine note sounds muted, the revs are up at 3,000. That can't be right!

    The engine note drops further and although she's still turning, I can feel the power draining away. What's more, the undercart remains up despite all efforts to drop it. Flaps likewise. Just as well perhaps, because even without the extra drag, I've got less height and a lot longer to go to the airfield than I'd like, with no power.

    About all that's working are the landing and navigation lights, as I stagger towards the perimeter track.

    I try to flare but my damaged wings seem just to want to drag me down. I hit the grass hard - and there's an immediate fireball!

    Despite this, it seems I'm unharmed. And we're credited with a mission success, with no less that four Stukas credited to Yours Truly! But I've learned my lesson - don't push your luck too hard, after your aircraft has been damaged in combat!

  16. #41
    609 Squadron, Martlesham Heath, evening, 12 July 1940

    The sun's well down in the western skies when we get our next call-to-arms. This is to intercept a raid to the south, in the outer reaches of the Thames Estuary.

    After taking off to the north as usual, I start a wide sweep around towards the south. Looking back, I can see the boys are catching up tolerably well.

    I settle onto the required Vector and level off so they can slide into formation...

    ...which they soon do, albeit with the exceptionally wide spacings so beloved of CFS3's AI. Then it's onward and upward we go.

    As we near Clacton on the coast, the rumble of artillery can be heard. Though not visible in the pic below as I timed it wrong, you can see shellfire bursting on England's normally green and pleasant land. The invader still has a foothold in Essex, obviously, though from the briefing map, his bridgehead seemed to have shrunken a little since last time.

    However, our business lies further ahead and out to sea. be continued!

  17. #42
    Clacton-on-Sea is soon slipping astern of us. By now, we're at nearly twenty thousand feet, which should be at least high enough.

    Correcting my course to the right, I call up the TAC, but all is clear.

    Our to our left, there's nothing but the apparently empty expanse of the North Sea.

    Soon after, Bogies are reported ahead, but they turn out to be Hurricanes, lower down and on a reciprocal course.

    The countryside behind us is shrouded in an evening haze as we press on.

    I hope those Hurricanes haven't chased off our Huns! be continued!

  18. #43
    In another few minutes - I'm flying this one in real time - we're at the interception point, but it seems the Huns have stood us up. Bad show.

    We're vectored straight back to base, so it looks like this one is going to be a wash out. Disappointed, I decide not to loiter, so around we go...

    ...and are soon heading back whence we came. There's a bit of excitement when more bogies are reported...

    ...but it's just those Hurricanes again!

    Down on the water, something's up. I see no ships, but there's an odd, ragged line of shell splashes on the water, far below.

    I decide that there's no point in us treading on Coastal Command's patch, so I let it go. Soon after, we're back over Martlesham Heath and the boys peel off for landing.

    We get a right telling off for the failed interception, which I can't help feeling is terribly unfair. We just went where we were sent. It's hardly our fault the Huns decided not to show up. Oh well, better luck next time!

  19. #44
    609 Squadron, Westley, morning of 13 July 1940

    We've been moved! Gone are the creature comforts of a solidly-build and well-appointed pre-war RAF station. We're now at a base whose facilities are more reminiscent of a civilian flying club - realistically so as I later found out, since RAF Westley was the requisitioned premises of the West Suffolk Aero Club. Four Spitfires are already airborne; the other four lined up and ready to go. Our target is a raid not far to the south-east.

    You can see what I mean about the base in the next pic. No blast pens and what's worse, no officer's mess.

    At least it's a fine day, apart from the odd shower tumbling from the scattered clouds. And we don't have far to go.

    Settled onto our course towards Ipswich, I throttle back and level off so the boys can catch up. To our left, I can see the bomber base at Wattisham, at which I recently force-landed. It's a pity they didn't move us there, but Bomber Command evidently can't or won't make space for us.

    Once we're formed up, I push the throttle forward and begin to climb hard. We don't want to get caught short of altitude on our short trip to the interception point.

    Won't be long now! be continued!

  20. #45
    Six miles to go and the TAC/Controller tells us our target is slightly left of our current track. And aircraft are reported just to our left, the white colour telling me that they are visible, but not yet identifiable. I gather your ability to spot and recognise aircraft as displayed on the TAC improves if you allocate to your vision some of the 'experience points' you earn flying CFS3's campaign missions.

    In fact, the newcomers are well bombed-up Junkers 88s a few thousand feet lower, probably at around Angels Ten.

    I'm not officially aware of their identity so act accordingly, the choice being between 'investigate' and 'ignore'. I opt for the latter - the raid we're supposed to intercept is still just ahead of us and that's what we're sticking with, I decide. 'Selection and maintenance of the aim' is after all the most important of the Principles of War - the ones I was taught, anyway.

    This time, there's neither sight nor sound of fighting on the ground. We need to remember where the front line is from the briefing map, as we never seem to bother marking up our in-flight ones, perhaps because they could fall into the enemy's hands. You'd think, though, that the enemy would already have a pretty good idea where the front line was.

    Be that as it may, the ground below remains peaceful.

    Another check with the TAC/Controller suddenly complicates the picture! Our target is still ahead and closing, but there's now another group of Bogies to our right, on a roughly reciprocal course.

    This bunch is a bit more dangerous. Fighters, Messerschmitt 110s in fact, and at close to our own height.

    Faced suddenly with this lot, in the heat of the moment I forget that I haven't officially identified them, and decide to engage. I mustn't leave a threat like this unanswered. I can't see them directly - this is where WotR's dot-mode label would be useful - but I start ordering the boys to attack, and then pick one out for myself.

    Time to get busy! be continued!

  21. #46
    My chosen Hun cuts underneath me...

    ...and I pull too tight in an effort to get onto his tail. The blackness closes in and I ease off to late, ending with just a spot of light in the centre and then, in utter, complete darkness. For what seems like ages, I'm a blind passenger in an aircraft that could be doing anything. Vision returns at last to reveal I'm going nearly straight up...which is an awful lot better than nearly straight down.

    I return to the chase, careful to pull less G this time. Even so, the edges of my field of vision are still darkened, as I latch on again to the 110, who goes up into a steep climb.

    I loose off a burst at the Hun, who converts his climb into a tight left-hand turn. This gives me the chance I'm after and I quickly cut the corner, without pulling back too hard this time.

    Now let's what eight Brownings can do to an Me110! be continued!

  22. #47
    I give him a couple of long-ish bursts and the Hun disappears in a brief cloud of smoke. When he emerges on the other side, I can see that he's on fire!

    My shooting has evidently been rather better than usual - the burning Messerschmitt has taken quite a lot of hits.

    He heels over to the left, still on fire...

    ...and is last seen over on my right, going down steeply and clearly doomed.

    So far, so good! be continued!

  23. #48
    Looking around, I can see another 110 down near the deck, but he's already got a Spitfire for company.

    Undeterred, I'm soon chasing down another Messerschmitt. I get some hits from return fire, but soon set him ablaze.

    Suddenly, rounds whack into my kite! I flip her wildly over onto her side and try to clear the line of fire. Just behind me, the 110 responsible for my sudden predicament has rolled inverted in an effort to keep his sights on me.

    I know I've been hit hard and should probably just clear off and save my skin, before something important stops working. But my assailant has lost height and I conclude that I had better go onto the offensive one last time, otherwise he'll get me.

    I roll around, pull back on the stick and drop onto him like a hawk. He tries to turn into me but I get my guns onto him as he flashes past. This works out quite well for me; not so well, for him.

    Not yet having realised he's finished, I'm in the act of pulling up after the Hun...

    ...when I realise that my damage has caught up with me. The revs drop off like water draining from a bucket that's full of holes. Not a good time for that to happen! be continued!

  24. #49
    Pulling lots of Gs with nose in the air is possibly not one of the better times to experience a complete engine failure, especially if you're disorientated through watching a Bandit. If what happened to me is anything to go by.

    The good news is that I'm very close to an airfield. The bad news is that I get distracted again by having to use the emergency system to get the gear down. And the flaps won't work.

    I manage to come down in the middle of the airfield but despite fishtailing desperately and even throwing in a very risky tight, low flat turn, I'm quite sure I'm going much too fast. It's scant consolation that there's always somebody worse off - like whoever that is, fireballing on the skyline.

    I go sailing across the perimeter track despite dabbing on the brakes. Then standing on the brakes, when I realise they don't seem to be having the slightest effect.

    I pull back on the stick in an effort to dig in the tail wheel, but that just gets me airborne again, before flopping back down. Finally, I come to halt, just short of ramming the scenery. Again. This time, my kite doesn't burst into flames, so there's that.

    At the debriefing, I'm not surprised to be roundly abused for missing my tasked raid, but confident that my decision to divert to those 110s was justified in the circumstances. In fact I'm credited with three of them, so I feel quite smug. This time, though, I will be sure to divert any experience points gained to improving my G tolerance. Wheeling about the sky in complete blackness, unable to see even your instruments let alone the people who are trying to kill you, is definitely not my cup of tea.

  25. #50
    609 Squadron, Westley, morning of 14 July 1940

    We've been given the afternoon off and our next call is the following morning - to intercept a raid near the coast, north of Ipswich. It's early, but the weather is beautifully clear. Despite which, my Spitfire is determined to give a good impression of a particularly well-lit Christmas tree.

    A quick glance at the TAC shows we've nearly thirty miles to go, as the crow (or Spitfire) flies.

    Westley is soon slipping away behind and below. Hopefully, its insignificant appearance will deter the Huns from paying it a visit.

    Anyhow, the boys are soon in what passes for formation.

    The sun is low in the eastern sky as I open her up and begin the climb up towards the oncoming enemy.

    Whatever the morning has in store for us, we won't have to wait long to find out. be continued!

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