"Just" a Balloon Run

Given some concern expressed in the forums recently about the Career mode in Rise of Flight, I decide to go back up in my career as Vizefeldwebel Hans van Gans in the Jasta 2. Hans is currently flying an Albatross D.II under Oberleutnant David Friedrich.

Today’s mission is to take out an observation balloon, which should hopefully stop the regular artillery barrages our boys on the ground are enduring.

Perfect weather for a simple mission, which should be a a short one: just a hop over the mud and back.

Although I’m #3 in a 4 ship flight, I never understand/trust the wingman AI logic, so after takeoff I form up on lead, keeping an eye on the AI wingman in case they decide to get cozy.

Staying close on the AI lead is usually harder said than done in this game. I’ve offloaded a lot of fuel which helps me keep up.

These guys respectfully keep their distance … but I still keep an eye on them.

In no time at all we’re on top of the target and I peel off from the flight to make my move. Rather bold as a wingman, I guess, but the AI lead is still circling 1000 m over the site while the enemy is winching the balloon down. It’s time for action!

I don’t get enough shots on this first pass and have to circle around for another pass.

That did it! :mudspike: But wait! There’s another balloon in the background!

Not anymore!

Targets defeated, I start looking around for my flight, expecting them to still be circling around overhead. I see a single plane (where’s the rest of flight?), and climb up to join up. On the way there, I realize something isn’t quite right…

Roundels! It’s an enemy plane! And a big one! Fangs out, I maneuver underneath to make a climbing slashing attack into its belly, avoiding the nose gunner. I get cocky however, and saddle up as I pump round after round into the enemy kite.

Each barrage is on point, but the plane just soaks it up.

Tattered, smoking, and streaming fluids, the enemy aircraft is out of commission, but I want that kill, so I continue to bore in.

The enemy nose gunner isn’t out of the fight and nails my engine with what feels like a golden BB. Hot oil splashes my googles and my thoughts instantly switch from killing to survival.

I turn back to the west, trying to find signs of the no-mans land through the goopy engine oil. I finally catch sight of some trenches and realize I’m headed the right way.

Although I was able to maintain altitude up to reaching the “mud”, the engine cuts out, and I pitch for a decent glide speed and try to stretch my flight as long as possible towards the friendly side of this warzone, hoping for a friendly recovery.

This ain’t no botanical garden, that’s for sure!

I pull off a soft landing (after narrowly avoiding some stripped tree trunks!) and am able to make it back to the friendly side without capture.

My pilot is injured, however, and sits out three days of the way recuperating.


You brave madman fighting for the motherland!