|Red Baron 3D "Massive-Multi-Player"
by Major JG2 "FireCat!" Adjutant zu der Kommodore, Jagdgeschwader II, HQ
Welcome to World War I
WWI was that surreal time in history where pilots took to the skies like armored Knights of the Middle Ages, jousting and dueling in the clouds while the onlookers cheered for their man. Red Baron 3d allows you to enter a world where only the best survive and some of the greatest pilots had only ten or twelve kills in their entire careers.
WWI aerial combat marked a historical revolution: the intentional use of an aircraft as a gun platform to shoot down other aircraft. Air dominance as a means to battlefield dominance was born. Forever after, the "aeroplane" would govern the way that war was waged. The airplane revolutionized modern combat, and the military pilots of that era revolutionized the way planes were flown.
MMP: Mega Multi-Player
This review covers the Multi-Player segment of Red Baron 3D. This World War I flight sim was originally released in December, 1997 as Red Baron II, but immediately began a 9 month period of revision which led to Red Baron 3D.
RB3d has an enormous, rich and immersive single player segment which is full of dynamic missions and campaigns of a quality that few other combat flight sims have achieved. But my focus for this review will be the MMP experience of dogfighting against real people.
The MMP segment has 22 flyable aeroplanes to choose from. The type of aircraft you can fly changes with time from the beginning to the end of the war, though all are single seat fighters (called "scouts" then.) Bombers and two-seater reconnaissance aircraft are not available to fly in MMP, though a few are flyable in the single player mode.
There are 9 flyable German aircraft, including the famous Fokker Dr.1 Triplane, the mount of the Red Baron himself. Three different Albatross are available along with the Fokker D.VII, which was so deadly it was singled out by the victorious Allies to be banned from further production.
There are 13 flyable Allied aircraft including the famous Sopwith Camel as well as the Sopwith Triplane. Most French Neiuports can be flown and two SPADS, which were common among the American squadrons including the SPAD XIII (the plane in which American ace, Eddie Rickenbacker, scored most of his 26 victories.)
Red Baron 3D is one of the best games available to play on-line. First, it's FREE, and second, it's a cinch to log on and fly. After logging on to the Internet, simply click on the MMP icon, create a Pilot Name for yourself, click [connect] and you're there! MMP has great versatility and features that are exclusive to Red Baron 3D.
When first entering the Multi-Player arena, you'll notice there is a list of approximately 25 different servers, each hosting a different game. This area is called the "Lobby". From here you can join in any of the games in progress at any time.
MMP Game Types
There are three basic game server set-ups. First is "Team Target," or "Team Melee." The "team" designation means that Germans fly against Allies. "Team Target" means the server randomly chooses ground targets and displays them on your map. Your side scores points whenever a chosen ground target is destroyed. "Team Melee" usually means dogfighting is the order of the day, but in other ways the two approaches are identical.
When you enter the team type of game, first choose the side you want to fly for and then choose a plane. Next, pick an airfield and you are in! If nothing is happening at the field you picked, simply look at your map and you will see where the action is by looking at the red and white triangle icons. If you want to start closer to the action, simply exit and choose an Airfield close to where the triangles were located on your map. You can enter and exit at will.
Many of the servers can support up to 64 players in a single game! Most other flight sims barely support 4 or 6. This is one of the areas that makes Red Baron so exciting.
Team Melee or Team Target is my favorite game type. There are usually about 25 to 30 players on a team server, which means 12 to 15 per side. And that means some serious dogfighting. Simply take off and head for the front. Use your [e] key to identify enemy aircraft and when you see one, go for it and shoot him down! But don't forget to give him a "Salute" as you are flying away from his wreckage.
The second game type is called Melee. In this type, there are no teams and it's every man for himself. These games can get quite intense when there are 20 to 30 players all at one airfield shooting at each other. You don't have to limit yourself, however, to the one airfield.
The Melee servers are ideal for jousting contests. Simply break away from the primary furball and fight 1 on 1 at another airfield or away from the rest.
The final gameplay type is called "Get The Baron." This is kinda like playing "King of the Hill" with aeroplanes! There are actually 3 Kings of the Hill, each awarded different colored planes; Red, Purple, and Yellow. When you become the King of the Hill, your plane turns all Red (or purple or yellow). Then everyone tries to shoot you. Whoever successfully shoots you down, then becomes the color you once were.
In "Get the Baron," as in Melees, there are commonly 20 to 30 pilots at one airfield. Points are scored and tallied automatically while you, as a Baron, shoot down other planes or destroy ground targets. Hang in there and good luck!
Go to Page Two
© 1997 - 2000 COMBATSIM.COM, INC. All Rights Reserved
Last Updated March 2nd, 1999