Update see below

Since New-Year 2003-2004, I have been working with Visual Basic 6, in an effort to accomplish two things:
1. Learn Visual Basic
2. Make a new Campaign manager that will blow the doors off Red Baron II (or 3D, whichever you have)

The first step is to build the different elements and make sure they work - properly
Each building block deals with one file. There is a building block that reads only the Squadron.dat file, one that reads only the Pilots.dat file, etc.

The second step is to put these building block into a working program. For that, I am building a Campaign Editor, which will give you access to the entire Campaign File - not just your squadron.

Once I have the Editor working, I will incorporate much of the workings into the fully fledged Campaign Manager II. It will add immersion factors, such as Mission Generation, adjustment of squadron composition and damage influence on battle. It will also replace some of the "intelligence" in RB. You will be encouraged to NOT loot at local squadrons, etc but rely on Fog-of-War info in CM2.This info may be more extensive in some ways, but will be restricted and even wrong in others.Recon does not always get it rght!

While this is going on, I have been trying to find some of the elusive problems in RB2/RB3D:
1. Campaign Start date
2. How IS the campaignXX.dat file structured?
3. Squadron Size.

Well, in January 2004, I cracked the first two. The third is not as easy. It involves finding [how many?] 09 and 0C in a hex file 1.6 Megabyte big. There are literally hundreds of these numbers. So which one is it? After spending probably 15 hours searching, I have so far come up empty handed. It's just a matter of time, though.

I made a small utility in VB6 for Mark Hutchinson, but decided to post it here for anyone to use.
It asks for 2 files and then compares them byte for byte, printing the differences to a text file called Comparison.txt, which is in the current directory, wherever that is. Click on image for download You may need ComDlg32.


For those of you using WFP, here is a small BETA version of the utility used for changing the start and end dates in RB.It works only with the Baron.exe version that is 1,773,056 Bytes long. Do not use it on any other version for now. Make sure you backup your Baron.exe first. It will change your campaign start dates, but causes DTD for Single Missions. Only use once.Click on image to download:


Results of the first Poll

This makes a good case to move campaign start date as far back as possible. May 1915 is the current goal, since before that combattants were using carbines and bricks. RBII / RB3D does not model these types of weapons, so there is no point in pushing the dates back any further.

My personal wish list is to add german B.types, Fokker A types and Etrich Taube, and on the allied side Blériot, with or without MG. Since the Entente (Allied) were using their early types well into 1916, there are not too many planes that can be added.

For those of you who have not yet tried Card modeling:

Here is a 1:33 scale model of a Nieuport 17, not quite finished.
It took 2 pages of 8.5 x 14 in (Legal size) card stock paper (thickness as your average greeting card)

I printed it out in greyscale, and painted it with acrylic paint.(My son just spotted the picture an yelled Newpoht. He's 2½ years old) I have yet to attach engine, colw and paint the green around the yellow triangle.While not exceptional it is still apassable model, designed in Poland in the early 1970s, and published by Maly Modelarz