For those awaiting Knights of the Sky, I am pleased to announce the pending release of Bloody April, The Battle of Arras, a complete faux World War 1 campaign for Forgotten Battles that will enable you to fly as Luftstreikräfte luminary Rittmeister Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen?universally renowned as ?The Red Baron??and lead Jasta 11 into their epic April 1917 clash with the Royal Flying Corps for control of the fighting skies above northeastern France.
The Bloody April Campaign is classified as a ?faux? World War 1 campaign because?obviously?Forgotten Battles is a World War II simulation that does not contain World War 1 airplanes. The means of overcoming this?and the heart of the Bloody April Campaign?is the prodigious use of WW1 skins. When applied to several airplanes already contained within Forgotten Battles, and with the player suspending a certain amount of reality, these skins enable World War 1 to come to life within the confines of a World War II simulation, thus providing the player an exciting return to the seminal years of aerial warfare.
The Bloody April Campaign includes and features the following:
*WW1 German pilot ranks. From Unteroffizier to Rittmeister.
*WW1 German medals. Includes the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern and Orden Pour le Merite.
*Over eighty (80) WW1 airplane skins that transform the J8A, CR-42, I-153M, P-11c, U-2VS and TB-3 into the Albatros D.II/III, Sopwith Pup, SPAD VII, SE5, Martinsyde G.100, Nieuport XVII, Morane Saulnier, BE2c/d/e/f/g, RE8, Sopwith One-and-a-half-Strutter, Albatros C.III, Gotha G.IV, and HP 0/100. All skins were meticulously researched to represent these airplanes as they appeared in April, 1917. Skins include planes from Jastas 2/5/11/30 and KGIII; RFC Nos. 1/3/3N/9/13/16/19/27/34/43/52/
56/59/60/66 Squadrons; Aviation Militaire N3 and SPA124 Lafayette Escadrille. Skinned ace airplanes include Manfred von Richthofen, Lothar von Richthofen, Kurt Wolff, Karl Emil Schäfer, Karl Allmenröder, Werner Voss, Hermann Frommherz, Joachim von Bertrab, Adolf von Tutshek, Hans Berr, Heinrich Gontermann, Albert Ball, Billy Bishop, John Andrews, Lloyd Breadner, Edmund Pierce, Raoul Lufbery, René Dorme, Paul Tarascon, Georges Guynemer, and many others.
*A player-controlled campaign featuring 40 unrestricted, open-ended missions. This means the player will be assigned neither waypoints nor altitudes. The two main benefits of this are:
1. Increased realism. You will not be led along a ?scripted waypoint path? as in many campaigns?an adherence to which usually results in meeting hostile airplanes (H.A.) head-on at the same altitude, and a deviance from which results in inactivity since the mission builder constructed all the action around the waypoints. There is nothing ?wrong? with this approach to mission building, of course, but in certain circumstances the playability can become predictable.
In the Bloody April Campaign, however, H.A. can be anywhere, not just collocated with waypoints. Thus, waypoints are unnecessary. Fly north, west, south and even east and you will find H.A.?or, perhaps, they will find you. Therefore, it is up to you as Staffelführer to select the headings and altitudes you feel best assures your greatest chance for success and survival.
2. Increased playability without redundancy. The Bloody April Campaign can be enjoyed multiple times without becoming redundant or boring?simply by selecting different headings in subsequent replays.
For example, flying northwest in Mission 1 will provide an entirely different playing experience than when flown south. Planes you may have shot down when flying northwest live on when you fly south?only to make diving attacks on you fifteen minutes later from locations you did not let them reach the first time you flew the mission. This snowballs into the AI warfare as well?planes that may save you in the first mission might be shot down and unavailable to do so in the second mission. Thus, the Bloody April Campaign can be flown over and over and still offer fresh, new and exciting missions with very different results.
Release is anticipated within 4 weeks, but since I am doing everything, I reserve to take as long as necessary. However, 4 weeks is a reasonable estimation, provided no huge problems are discovered during beta testing.
Check back often, as WiP screenshots will be posted at least bi-weekly. Questions, comments, etc. I will answer here as I see them.
Some preview screenshots taken from a single random mission within the campaign:
Mission briefing, continued.
Jasta 11 flightline at Roucourt airfield.
MvRichthofen and Schäfer at Roucourt, just prior to engine start.
Jasta 11 takes off from Roucourt.
MvRichthofen and Krefft approach the front.
Werner Voss?s Albatros D.III.
Bombed-up Martinsyde G.100s.
BE2c. External ammo and recon camera mounted on starboard side.
Two Nieuport XVIIs are unable to stop Allmenröder from smoking a third Nieuport.
Georges Guynemer on a solo patrol in his SPAD VII.
MvRichthofen?s gunfire impacting BE2d. Rear gunner fatally hit.
MvRichthofen disengages after his fire shreds off BE2d?s port wings, sending the two-seater ?into the abyss.?
Nieuport XVII attempting a low-altitude egress. Albatros D.III hot on his tail.
Hans Berr flames a Nieuport XVII.
Berr?s Nieuport on its final fall.