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The Campaign Scenario: The Flanders In Flames (FIF) Online War is an air combat competition. It is a scenario-based campaign system that focuses on completing team objectives. For the team and the individual pilot, it is a test of skill. Team objectives, by themselves, are not hard to complete. However, doing so while being actively opposed by a determined opponent can make them very difficult. Thus, it's important to not view FIF as merely a string of targets or assignments. Rather, it is those objectives that create the authentic-feeling of aerial combat that FIF is known for. Team Composition: FIF is composed of two opposing teams: the Blue Team and the Red Team. Neither of these teams have a set in-game affiliation. Throughout the course of a campaign, these two teams will swap sides, thus allowing everyone to fly for both the Central Powers (Mittelmächte) and the Entente Powers. As a result, all participating virtual squadrons, as well as all non-squaded individual pilots, should be prepared to fly both German and Allied aircraft. This rule is in place to ensure even teams, as well as overall fairness. Both the Blue Team and the Red Team have their own Command Staff. These Command Staffs are made up of elected members from participating virtual squadrons. It is these elected leaders who determine what their team's strategy and tactics are, as well as what the mission orders will be for their side. For the individual pilot, remaining alive within FIF is very important. As a "dead-is-dead" style event, pilot death severely limits a team's ability to complete objectives. Thus, covering and supporting your wingmen will aid your team. Code of Conduct: The goal of FIF is to encourage and develop a tight-knit community of mature, like-minded pilots who wish to enjoy a challenging, rewarding, and fun aerial combat environment. In order to accomplish this, FIF adheres to a Code of Conduct with several important guiding principles. These include an atmosphere of sportsmanship, respect, and fair play. Individuals, squadrons, and teams should at all times strive for the following: Respect for the FIF rules and tournament coordinators Respect for your opponents and teammates A commitment towards participation, including welcoming and helping new pilots Avoiding a poor attitude, such as “win-at-all-costs.” If any tournament participant feels that someone has violated one of the FIF rules, or has acted in a manner that is not in the spirit of FIF, they should wait until the session is over and report the incident to their team commander. Open-chat accusations or counter-accusations will not be tolerated, and the offending parties may be asked to leave the server immediately. Minor rule infractions caused by a momentary error or accident will result in only a warning. More severe rule infractions will result in more severe penalties: A first infraction by a player will result in a ban from the next session. A second infraction by a player will result in a ban from the rest of the campaign. A third infraction by a player will result in his squadron being banned from any further tournament play. Paint schemes that show incorrect national markings are known as “capture skins” within the context of the tournament. “Capture skins” are a violation of sportsmanship, respect, and fair play. Their use within the FIF tournament is prohibited and will incur penalties. Killing an enemy pilot within their parachute (i.e. “chute killing”) is legal. While many individuals and squadrons view chute killing as a dishonorable act, attempting to eliminate enemy pilots within a dead-is-dead competition is a valid tactic. It is up to individuals and participating squadrons to determine how they will choose to deal with this reality of virtual war. Tournament Overview: The FIF tournament structure is as follows: Season (Year) > Campaign > Phase > Session (Mission Night) A FIF season is the portion of one year that is regulated to tournament play. Seasons are named for the calendar year in which they take place. For example, FIF2019 is the FIF season for the 2019 calendar year. During a FIF season, three official campaigns are run. These are: The Winter Campaign (starting in January and running until March). The Spring Campaign (starting in May and running until July). The Fall Campaign (starting in October and running until December). There is no official FIF campaign run during the mid-to-late summer (July to September). Each FIF campaign is in turn subdivided into at least two phases of play. These phases are given hexavigesimal names. That’s a fancy way of saying that they’re numbered using letters. For example, Phase A and Phase B. Over a FIF season, the tournament will look like this: Winter Campaign: Phase A Phase B Spring Campaign Phase A Phase B Fall Campaign Phase A Phase B Each phase of play is further subdivided into four sessions (or mission nights). These mission nights are numbered as follows: Phase A Session A1 Session A2 Session A3 Session A4 Phase B Session B1 Session B2 Session B3 Session B4 Each session (or mission night) is approximately two hours in length. The current FIF calendar, outlining when sessions are flown, can be found within the FIF Tournament Information section of the FIF forum. Objectives completed during these sessions are tallied up for both teams, and mission scores will be posted before the next session is run. This allows all participants to track the tournament, as well as their team’s progress. Playing and Winning FIF: At the start of a phase of play, the Blue Team and the Red Team are assigned to an in-game side (either the Central Powers or the Entente Powers). The teams will play two sessions (or mission nights) on that in-game side. Halfway through the phase of play (i.e. between sessions A2/B2 and A3/B3), the two teams will flip sides. The team that was flying as the Central Powers will now fly as the Entente Powers. The team that was flying as the Entente Powers will now fly as the Central Powers. This ensures that both teams are treated fairly within the event and that all pilots are able to fly all aircraft available. The winner of a phase of play is determined by finding the team with the higher objective total after four sessions. When a team wins a phase of play, they will receive 1 “Phase Point.” Ties, known as stalemates, are completely possible within a phase. This is not a mistake. If a phase of play ends in stalemate, both teams receive “0 Phase Points.” The winner of a campaign is determined by finding the team with the most Phase Points after two phases of play (i.e. Phase A’s points plus Phase B’s points). If both teams have the same number of “Phase Points” after two phases of play, the campaign ends in a stalemate. The winner of a full season (or year) is determined by finding the team with the most campaign wins. While statistically improbable, stalemates are possible here too. Server Setup and Session Start: The official FIF server will always have the most up-to-date version of the IL-2 Sturmovik: Flying Circus game applied. If server-side modifications are used, details will be posted to all pilots well in advance of the mission night. Pilots should ensure they are "patched up" prior to the server launch. As previously stated, each FIF session (or mission night) will run for approximately two hours. For ease of use, the in-game cockpit clock is used as the main time reference during each session. When the server launches (approximately 15 minutes prior to the scheduled Mission Start), the in-game clock will usually be set to "10:45 AM". Please note that this means the FIF server will always launch approximately 15 minutes prior to the posted session start time. The extra 15 minutes is to allow for the server to settle, as well as to give all participants the chance to test their game and settings. While the session does not start until the top of the hour, players are encouraged to spawn at their assigned airfields and get their aircraft ready and warmed-up. No aircraft may take off until the session officially starts! Here are the official start times: http://forum.jg1.org/topic/3010-flanders-in-flames-calendar/ To take-off prior to the official start of the session is a violation of our code of conduct rules, and this action can incur either a warning or a severe penalty. Players will be alerted to the start of a session approximately 1 minute prior to the top of the hour. Everyone spawned-in should hear church bells ringing near the aerodromes. The church bells are the warning klaxon. Confirmation that a session has started is a green flare, launched from a vehicle placed at all active aerodromes. This is the signal that all planes can now legally take-off. The session has officially started. If you miss the green flare or are unsure if it has already launched, use the in-game clock to determine a session start. The in-game cockpit clock will read one minute past the top of the hour (e.g. "11:01 AM"). In-Game Subtitles and End of Session results: In-game subtitles can be used during a session, and these subtitles will always be team specific. This means that the opposing team will not be able to see your team’s subtitles. Mostly, these subtitles are used for specific objectives that require the server to give pilots a prompt. In a departure from past FIF campaigns, the majority of objectives will not give any in-game subtitles. Most of the time, pilots must use the changing icons on the in-game map to identify movement, success or unit destruction within the combat area. Also contrary to past FIF campaigns - teams will no longer be shown their own specific objectives at the server’s launch. Instead, teams must review the in-game map and select sweep areas and possible target locations in the minutes leading up to the mission start. Good communication is thus a key to success. The randomness found in the selection of primary objectives by the server is designed to replicate commands coming from army headquarters (HQ). In real life, squadron commanders needed to deal with these HQ commands on a daily basis, allocating their pilots and aircraft to best achieve the goals set down by the generals behind the lines. Primary objectives are not the only way your team will gain mission targets. During play, the two-seater A.I. observers (affectionately known as Waldo, Boris or Otto, depending on your side affiliation) may give you updated information regarding the tactical landscape. Their subtitles will usually come after a two-seater has completed a primary objective. As Waldo, Boris and Otto see targets of opportunity, their information will often adjust your nightly objectives. Both teams need to be prepared for this. The only in-game subtitles that are universal to both teams are End of Session results, which are displayed by the server. First, the Entente Powers' victories will be displayed in a sequential format. Then, the Central Powers' victories will be displayed in the same manor. Pilot deaths are displayed in the usual in-game tally sheet. This style of objective reporting will allow a quick assessment by the teams regarding what sorties were completed and the number of pilots who were lost due to deaths or capture. General Aircraft Rules: We are using a specific group of aircraft for FIF. These aircraft are set for each phase of play, and will not be changed. During each session, aircraft are limited in number. However, aircraft can be returned to service. To do this, a pilot must land at an aerodrome that supports their type of aircraft - scouts to "scout aerodromes" and two-seaters to "two-seater aerodromes". When a pilot does this, their aircraft is added to the compliment at that specific aerodrome, and the plane is saved from being used up or lost. Aircraft that are damaged during landing, however, may be listed as lost. It depends on how much damage the aircraft has sustained. It is possible, however, to refuel and rearm your aircraft at the aerodrome without hitting refly. If a pilot enters the game at the wrong aerodrome, is in the wrong aircraft type, or has the wrong load-out, he may hit refly without fear of losing his aircraft. Basic Tournament Rules: Teamspeak / Discord Rules: There are no Teamspeak or Discord rules for FIF. Squadrons and Teams may use Teamspeak, Discord, and any other voice-over-internet software as they see fit. Dead-is-Dead: FIF operates as a single-elimination "dead-is-dead" tournament for all pilots. Because of this, each participating player is given one virtual life as a pilot per session (mission night). A player may have an unlimited number of gunner lives, however. Refly Rules (after Pilot Death or Capture): If a player, acting as a pilot, dies or is captured during a mission night, that player will not be allowed to refly or reenter the server as a pilot for the rest of the session. The aircraft the pilot died or was captured in will be considered lost and will be subtracted from their team’s available total. The pilot is marked as killed-in-action (KIA) or captured (prisoner-of-war - POW). Players who have had their pilot killed or captured must either leave the server or switch to the role of a gunner. In order to allow players to act as gunners in two-seater aircraft, there is no death kick on the FIF server. Because there is no death kick on the FIF server, players are expected to respect their terminal events (death or capture), and not violate the tournament rules by reflying again illegally. If a player hits refly after their pilot has been killed or captured, and then does not immediately correct their mistake and exit, the player will be violating the spirit of the game and will be subject to severe penalties. Refly Rules (Friendly Territory and No Man's Land): Landing at an active aerodrome will normally return your plane to service at that base, provided that the aircraft-type is available there, and it was not severely damaged. If a pilot has landed at a friendly aerodrome, and despawns, that player may refly at the discretion of the team commander (CO) after a 5-minute timeout. This timeout starts when a player hits "Finish Flight" and goes to the map room. If a pilot rearms and refuels their aircraft without despawning, they may take off again as soon as their aircraft has been readied by the ground crew. They do not need to take the 5-minute timeout. If a pilot crashes in friendly territory and survives the event, that pilot may switch to a new aircraft and take off again provided that another aircraft is available at the discretion of the CO and after a 5-minute timeout. If a pilot crashes in No Man's Land and survives the event, he must check his position on the in-game map. If he is not within enemy territory, and not captured according to the game, that pilot may switch to a new aircraft and take off again provided that another aircraft is available at the discretion of the CO and after a 5-minute timeout. Refly Rules (when under attack) Pilots who are on the ground and under attack from strafing or bombing enemies may "Finish Flight" at any time. The grounded pilot does not have to sit through the attack. Refly Rules (Spawn Camping) Spawn camping is not in the spirit of the Flanders In Flames tournament. Any pilot who safely lands their shot down or disabled aircraft on top of a spawn point must "Finish Flight" and despawn as soon as possible. Sitting on the ground on top of a spawn point, so that you can act as a forward controller for friendly aircraft, or position your rear-gunner to shoot at enemy aircraft, is unacceptable. In any other situation, pilots may sit in their shot down or disabled aircraft as long as they wish. Bombing and Specialized Aircraft Rules: Within the IL-2 Sturmovik: Flying Circus game, every aircraft that can carry a bomb may use it on any target found on the server. In other words, if you can carry a bomb, you can use it. This is not just limited to two-seaters and includes scout aircraft. This is a departure from past events, where only designated bombers could attack specific targets. Additionally, load-outs for all aircraft within the server will be locked. The majority of these aircraft will be stock front-line types with conventional weapons and equipment. Each team will have a small number of specialized aircraft, however. Specialized aircraft will carry unconventional or unique weapons and equipment that will allow them to carry out specific missions. For example, some two-seaters are set up as recons, while some scout aircraft are up-armed as “ace aircraft.” These specialized aircraft will be limited in number, and thus very valuable to their respective teams. Teams must decide for themselves who gets the honor of piloting them. Sectors and Landmarks: There will be two sectors on the FIF map: one controlled by the Central Powers, and one controlled by the Entente Powers. Each sector will contain two types of aerodromes: those for scout (fighter) aircraft and those for two-seat general-purpose aircraft. The exact number and composition of these aerodromes will be determined within the specific campaign. Each sector may also contain the following: Supply Trains Supply Columns Factory Icon designated targets Bridge Icon designated targets Aerodrome Icon designated targets Artillery Position Icon designated targets Active Recon targets (staging areas - camps) This will be clarified before the campaign begins. Server Crashes and Discos: If the FIF server crashes during a session, the affected session is completely scrubbed. It will not be counted, and will then be re-flown at a later date. This should be the only time when a session is canceled. Scheduled sessions should always be run, regardless of team numbers, or the amount of unintentional pilot disconnections (discos). Unintentional pilot disconnections (discos) due to technical issues are almost always out of the player's control. Thus, no participating pilot will be penalized for game crashes/failures (like the 10019 error) or internet connectivity crashes / failures. If a pilot discos due to a technical issue, they should immediately check in with their team commander (CO) and ask for a rules clarification. If the CO clears the pilot, they may re-enter the server and refly, as if nothing happened. This is true even if the pilot was in enemy territory. However, while the pilot is now "okay", the aircraft they were flying is lost and is deducted from their team's existing totals. Additionally, all pilots returning from a disco still need to take their 5-minute timeout (as if they landed normally). Discos due to technical issues are monitored through the honor system. Any abuse of this rule, for either pilot or team gain, is a severe violation of the spirit of the game, as well as FIF's code of conduct. If a player intentionally discos to avoid death or capture and then does not immediately correct their mistake by exiting the game, severe penalties will be leveled against them.