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#4617171 - 12/21/22 08:26 PM Aerial combat in WOFF II: some observations  
Joined: Oct 2022
Posts: 21
Bigfish Offline
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Bigfish  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2022
Posts: 21
Nottingham, England
I don’t know if these observations on aerial combat in WOFF II are of any interest. In the Campaign I’m recently arrived in France with 54 squadron and my Sopwith Pup. But I’ve also been doing some Quick Combats (without asking the CO’s permission) in the hope of improving my chances of survival. Of course the element of surprise isn’t there, but nevertheless I’ve learned a lot.

At first I was totally hopeless until: 1. I trimmed the Pup for level flight (reasoning that I’d have done this with my mechanic before going on a mission; and 2. I adopted a TIR profile which enabled me to never (well, hardly ever) lose sight of the enemy (thanks to HarryH for his profile).

I also abandoned my TM Warthog stick, which was too stiff and ‘boxy’ for me, reverting to my trusty TM Cougar with Hall sensors and modded gimbals, which gave a much lighter and smoother feel. It was also easy to change the axis curves to make the Pup as responsive as possible.

The Pup is much easier to fight in than, say, the Camel, due to its great field of view with the semi-transparent top wing panel, and it’s very manoeuvrable using rudder as elevator in turns, despite being underpowered in comparison with enemy ships.

I found it almost impossible to hit the target using Track IR, as my point of view, the rear sight, front sight and the enemy refused to line up. So I programmed a button on the stick to pause TIR and it was then only necessary to point the Pup at the target (using rudder) and get in close to hit it, then switch back to TIR.

Tactically I drew on my distant memories of Commander Robert L Shaw’s incomparable masterpiece Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering. Before the merge I put the enemy in my 10 or 2 o’clock to gain some separation, gain height if I can, and do a lead turn so I cross his path and am turning into his six as he passes me. During the fight I try hard not to lose height, declining his invitations to follow him down and so conserve my energy – in any case in a dive at full power my Pup makes loud creaking noises which tend to be followed by the wings falling off. I try to be very aggressive and get off a burst at every opportunity, which can have a cumulative effect leading to him losing height and crashing. I also remembered that you can get out of being stuck in a turning fight by extending and then resuming the turn to put yourself in his six, rather than just pulling madly on the stick and losing energy. I have to say by the way that the sight of a ‘flamer’ going is almost too horrific.

The enemy is extremely cute at disengaging if he thinks he’s getting a pasting, and it can be very frustrating to be out-climbed by him as he heads east back to his own lines. My poor old Pup trembles on the edge of a stall as I try in vain to stay with him. The answer of course is to shoot him down sooner, but even at close range it’s surprising how much empty space there is for your bullets to pass through.

The fact that all of this works (and realistically so in accord with what you read in first-hand accounts) is a testament to the authenticity of the flight models and of course the amazing AI.

It remains to be seen if when I return to 54 Squadron any of this will help me survive any longer!

Best wishes

Alan

Last edited by Bigfish; 12/21/22 09:33 PM. Reason: added reference to AI

Intel i9-10900k @ 5.2GHz, ROG Maximus XII Hero, 32Gb DDR4, RTX 2060, 4 SSDs + HDD, Acer Predator 34", TM Cougar stick, TM Warthog throttle, Saitek pedals, TIR v5.4.2, Win 10 Pro 64 bit, ESET NOD 32 AV, WOFF II BH&H v 1.35
#4617183 - 12/21/22 10:18 PM Re: Aerial combat in WOFF II: some observations [Re: Bigfish]  
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 7,939
Polovski Offline
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Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 7,939
Thanks for the positive report Alan. We have striven over the years to get that feel of being there. We have tried to balance all the aircraft to fit in well with their known roles and performance where possible. Eventually when you add everything together it just starts to come out right wink

The Pup was excellent at turning but as you find it was underpowered and not good at much else. Reports were that when engaging albatros aircraft it was best to keep them low and in a turn fight. If you need to break for home, do it in very short bursts and back to turning.- especially well described in the book "Sopwith Scout 7309" by Patrick Gordon Taylor


Regards,

Polovski,
OBD Software, developers of immersive flight sims;
Wings Over Flanders Fields and Wings Over The Reich
http://www.overflandersfields.com
http://www.wingsoverthereich.com
#4617559 - 12/26/22 12:33 AM Re: Aerial combat in WOFF II: some observations [Re: Bigfish]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 716
epower Offline
Artless Aide-de-camp
epower  Offline
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Member

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 716
Bigfish,

The Pup is delightful in lightness but as Polovski notes, quite underpowered. Never, never, never climb into a fight when flying a Pup. You will be tempted as you have been but resist or ultimately some drreadful Hun will send you West. As to the Pup's characteristics, it will out turn any aircraft currently flying in early 1917 but small circles only do so much good. Remember that the faster Albatri will have superior rates of turn and will literally fly circles around you... when they aren't dropping out of the sky with nefarious intent. I can't believe I just referenced Shaw in a WW1 thread but there it is. Long story. RIP Mouse.

A Christmas present for you from a fellow 54 Sqn devotee.

Attached your will find some pages about your current 54 Sqn CO, Kelham Kirk Horn, and a bit about No. 54 in a letter from a squadmate, Robert Mourdant Foster. Foster writes in some detail about the Pup. This excerpted from a South Austrian Aviation Museum article on the Horn brothers, Kelham, Marmaduke and Spencer.

Say hello to Strugnell, Stewart, Pixley, Grevelink, and Cole for me. cheers

Happy Hunting!


Attached Files Horn page 1.jpgHorn Page 2.jpgHorn page 3.jpgHorn Page 4.jpgHorn Page 5.jpg
Last edited by epower; 12/26/22 12:41 AM.
#4617874 - 12/31/22 12:15 PM Re: Aerial combat in WOFF II: some observations [Re: Bigfish]  
Joined: Oct 2022
Posts: 21
Bigfish Offline
Junior Member
Bigfish  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Oct 2022
Posts: 21
Nottingham, England
epower, tremendous, thank you! I've read your document with great interest. I've just returned from 101 minutes of boredom, confusion and terror as 'B' flight was sent over the lines to attack a German airbase. This entailed machine gunning a bunch of tents while above us 'A' flight took on the Hun in their Albatri. Four out of five of us returned safely, and I even managed to land in formation on the same airbase I started from. We were congratulated by the CO, who remarked drily that 'Unfortunately no damage was inflicted on the enemy'. possibly we made some holes in some tents. My reading of various WWI texts suggests this is entirely accurate and as I was diving down on the tents I recall thinking 'Who's bloody silly idea was this?' Interesting thing, authenticity. Stll I've been promoted to 2nd Lt. The chaps send their best wishes for success in the New Year; 1917 should see the end of it.

And a Happy New Year to you all in RL!

Alan


Intel i9-10900k @ 5.2GHz, ROG Maximus XII Hero, 32Gb DDR4, RTX 2060, 4 SSDs + HDD, Acer Predator 34", TM Cougar stick, TM Warthog throttle, Saitek pedals, TIR v5.4.2, Win 10 Pro 64 bit, ESET NOD 32 AV, WOFF II BH&H v 1.35

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