Wings of Honor
Wings of Honor Title Wings of Honor

Red Baron II/3D - Tutorials

EM2 Primer

By Lon Chaney


I would like to start out by saying that my experience with EM2 is limited to the last month using EM2 for BSP (Beery Super Patch). I hope my comments will be of use to all of you, especially those of you new to EM2.


One of the major complaints I've seen on the boards is that is difficult to impossible to get kills with the new damage model. This is not at all true it just requires an adjustment of your tactics and honing your gunnery skills.

Here are some tips that should improve your kill rate:

1. Make the engine your primary target and never aim for the wings. I've found that I get more pilot kills aiming for the engine than actually trying to hit the crew. Contrary to popular opinion you can kill pilot firing from underneath at the underbelly just short of the engine.
2. Get in close and try to avoid deflection (any shot that is not directly head to head or head to tail) shots and fire in short bursts. A long burst that hits the tail is wasted ammo. With the tougher damage models ammo is now at a premium and should not be wasted on longe range shooting or bad shots.
3. Pay close attention to attention to the angle of your attack. As the wings were strengthened so was the tail. Try to attack from above or below the target. Attacks from directly behind are most likely to hit the tail and do no real damage.
4. Expect fights to last a lot longer and pay close attention to the T key. Dont expect to drop on an enemy and put him down in less than a minute.
5. Everyone always complains about how bad the AI flies but most dont mention how well they shoot. EM2 does little to reduce the chances of an enemy plane bringing you down as they will almost always get the pilot hit if you give them the shot.

Engaging Two-Seaters is now the challenge as it should have always have been.

A few to remember are:

1. 2-seaters now have forward firing guns! Also due to the fact that Sierra will not support the efforts of the FGMOF (or anyone else) the forward guns are not perfect and fire in about 10-15degree cone. This means they do not have to be perfectly lined up to get a shot at you so DO NOT get in front of them.
2. Try to use the historical tactic of attacking from underneath. Any attacks within the observers field of fire is risking your engine and your pilot needlessly.
3. Most of the time when you get a crew kill you will kill the observer first. The enemy might roll over and go into a dive only to level off at treetop and scoot home.
Misc: With the increased toughness of the wings you find yourself now able to survive minor midair collisions and more crashes.


I haven't had the time yet to experiment with every plane and all the differences of each, but the first thing you'll notice is the absence of all that torque. This makes aiming and flying in general a lot easier and more pleasant.

Here are a few quick notes based on my limited experience:

Fokker Dr1: Now able to flat turn (rudder only level turn) and has an incredible climb rate as it should have. Attempting a banking turn will result in a slow clumsy turn with the plane trying to climb slowing you down even more. In my experience the fastest way to turn is to give it full rudder til rolls and goes nose down and then pull back on the stick while maintaining full rudder.
Sopwith Camel: Now a joy to fly! Turns well to either side and applying rudder increases the turn rate. It is still possible to stall in a climbing or extreme left turn but is also fairly easy to recover.
SE5a: Also an improvement over corporate. A lot more stable and easier to aim. Seems to also be more maneuverable - can't quite turn with a Pfalz D3. but you can keep them in sight.
Albs: More realistic. Feels nose heavy as it should and climb has been clipped down to levels approaching reality. Watch the low level turns as you tend to lose altitude.
I plan to experiment with all the aircraft and make more notes.

In general I have found the dogfights with EM2 to be rather intense chaotic affairs. Unlike the corporate models where you would engage a plane and shoot it down with EM2 you are extremely unlikely to put down a plane in one pass. Now its like engage one plane, fire a few bursts, turn, and try to attack one on your tail and on and on 'til you are either shot down or victorious.

EM2 has definetely breathed new life into the campaign game for me.

Lon Chaney