Who You Looking At???

November 20th, 2015 by

Im getting old, cynical and a little bit jaded with gaming these days. I play games online only these days, rarely do I have enough time to devote to playing single player and if it weren’t for the fact that I play online with people who I class as friends and I enjoy the banter between us more than the gaming itself I would be happy just vedging in front of the TV!

I have a little confession to make though; I bought Grand Theft Auto V because Nov said it was good. I have had a cheeky little go in single player too, which was OK I guess; it does look pretty dammed good but I have also tried it online with Nov that is when the fun really started! All the things I hate like bad driving and random shootings are all the things that I enjoy in this game, which is a bit scary!

GTA golfing

Nov in the rough and about to end up in a divot, probably not for the first time 😉 !

That said though, last night I had 9 holes of golf with Novotny, a gentlemanly sport and apart from Nov’s usual swearing it was all rather gentle as we strolled the fairway chatting and congratulating each other on well played shots (not many). They say great minds think alike and although I would say neither me or Novotny had a great mind between us we both made the same comment scarily at the same time “it would be better if we could shoot stuff whilst playing golf”, oh well, maybe in the next patch?

Next we went on to a quick game of darts, again quite a refreshing change from CS and other war games, even if darts was a game invented by the British archers who weren’t adverse to slaying a few foreigners in their time.

You will be pleased to know though, after a quick visit to the lap dancing bar where we beat the bouncer up because he looked at me funny we were back to stealing cars and beating each other up in comedy like fights.

I also got my face tattooed, well I was feeling like I needed some attention, dont ask about the pilot suit, its an expensive slip with the mouse, I just wanted to buy a baseball cap honest!

face tattoo

Dont tell my mum but I got a tattoo

I know being an old fart I shouldn’t be condoning these violent games but just about every game I have played since the mid 90’s has been about shooting stuff and so far it hasn’t spilled out into my everyday life and having spent an evening giggling and laughing like a kid for a few hours last night surely that can’t be all bad? Please say I’ll be ok!


IL-2 Battle of Stalingrad Update 1.104 Review

November 20th, 2015 by

The developers of IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad have been keeping very busy with periodic updates to the series’ first release while also developing for Battle of Moscow, the follow on product that is due for final release sometime in 2016. Patch 1.104 brings some big updates and we thought it would be a good idea to do a review!

The Seasons Be A Changin!

The biggest and perhaps most profound change with the new patch is the release of the new seasonal maps. The original product launched with the Stalingrad winter map and the campaign that shipped with it focused on the battle during the early to late winter period. This new patch brings us some welcome seasonal variation with the dry steppes of the Stalingrad region’s summer and beautiful colours and burnt brown and oranges of the fall.

Golden hour over the Volga

Golden hour over the Volga

A dark and stormy fall day over Stalingrad

A dark and stormy fall day over Stalingrad

Warhawks fight in the rain!

Warhawks fight in the rain!

Summer steppes

Summer steppes

The new versions of the Stalingrad map are beautiful. They are both set during the period after the bombardment of the city by the Luftwaffe so Stalingrad still lies in ruins. It would have been even more special to have a non-ruined version but that is of course more development work. Realistically just being able to fly across a more varied terrain is worth it alone.

Aircraft performance is also affected by the much warmer summer temperatures as aircraft overheat more quickly and overall performance is slightly diminished.

There’s some wonderful grass effects at low altitude, however, even on the highest settings these don’t go out very far and its obvious where the draw distance for the grass stops. It’s a minor annoyance but probably one that keeps the game running smoothly.

Is that a paddle boat? Yes... yes it is.

Is that a paddle boat? Yes… yes it is.

Artillery on the wrong end of an IL-2...

Artillery on the wrong end of an IL-2…

I give the new maps a 9/10 on my wholly unscientific rating system.

And A New Campaign Too

The patch breaks the Stalingrad campaign into two parts with a Part I representing the earlier parts of the campaign during the late summer and autumn and Part II representing the previously available siege, counter offensive and recapture of Stalingrad.

Structurally the campaign system remains largely unchanged with one addition. One base on each side now represents a special custom built selection of missions. Aircraft are restricted to the ones selected by the mission builder and long briefings and a story like narrative accompany each of the missions. The missions themselves are what mission builders call “hand built” and are more unique than the typical dynamically generated ones. They add some spice to the grind that is Battle of Stalingrad’s unlock system (that is assuming you haven’t already unlocked everything).

Breaking out the summer cammo patterns!

Breaking out the summer cammo patterns!

Hope he has insurance!

Hope he has insurance!

It’s a welcome change and one that we’ll be seeing more of in the Battle of Moscow product as well. I doubt it fully addresses the issues that many brought up when the campaign was introduced but I still appreciate the casual nature of the system that has been built and the ability to jump in and have fun with whatever aircraft you’re feeling like.

The new custom campaign missions add some variety of the campaign system and I still like the overall structure but it still lacks features such as squadrons and unit progression. Something still to hope for in future releases. I give this a 7/10.

Speaking of Battle of Moscow…

Enter the ‘Emil’

Also included in Patch 1.104 is the addition of the German Bf109E-7 ‘Emil’ fighter to the aircraft lineup. Having this fighter has been a great addition to the series.

Is it supposed to smoke like that?

Is it supposed to smoke like that?

A 109 'Emil' in the rain!

A 109 ‘Emil’ in the rain!

Adding a third variation of Bf109 seems overkill, however, the E-7 is based on a much earlier design and you can tell. Less automated systems, more reliance on the machine guns and two weaker MG-FF/M 20mm cannons in the wings, and a slower top speed and climb rate make this the lowest performing aircraft in the Bf109 lineup. Yet it is wonderful!

The aircraft turns tighter and feels more ‘tossable’ than the later Bf109 variations available. This version of the 109 has a tighter turn and easier handling it with its overall lighter weight and lower wing loading. At higher speeds its less capable than its more advanced siblings.

Used as both fighter and fighter-bomber, the Bf109E-7 comes with a variety of armament and equipment options. General purpose SC250 or a rack of SC50 bombs, optional armor plating along the lower sections of the fighter, and an armored windscreen offer up varying levels of protection. You can also remove the armored plate behind your virtual pilot for better performance and visibility – at the expense of pilot protection.

The Bf109E-7 addition is a 10/10 in my book!

Coming Next

Back in June, 1CGS announced that the I-16, MC.202, P-40E and Bf109E-7 would be released in that order, one each month, leading up to the release of the Bf110E-2 in November. The Luftwaffe heavy fighter and ground attacker is a fan favourite of many and it should arrive sometime in the next couple of weeks.

After that we don’t have a definitive timeline for the next aircraft arrivals nor do we know when the Moscow map will be unveiled. But here are a few things we do know:

  • An announcement will be made soon regarding the second half of the Battle of Moscow content release
  • The Moscow map will be coming with the same three seasons worth of variations as Stalingrad did (Summer, Autumn and Winter)
  • The new map will, according to the developers, use a new mapping approach. “For Moscow map we use a new approach for landscape texturing which should make it even more realistic looking and impressive.” Link
  • The MiG-3 Series 24 will be released before the end of the year
  • The Ju88A-4 will be the last type to become available (sometime in early 2016)

And Now For Something Completely Different…

Recent developer blog update has shown us an early look at a drivable Russian T-34-76 as well as the German PzKpfw III Ausf. L tanks. Yes, you read that correctly, the developers are working on tank warfare as a side project using the same Digital Nature engine. Beta versions of these may arrive as early as the next patch and they will have authentic sighting and command posts.

The developers seem intent on keeping this a prototype but it could grow into something larger at a later date and being able to integrate a combined arms scenario in multiplayer where some players fly aircraft while others are engaged in ground warfare would be something pretty exciting.


It looks like 1CGS has successfully replicated the success of the original IL-2 Sturmovik product and the future looks bright despite early misgivings about the project and the team. This simulator/game still has its issues but it has come a long way and it looks like it has a lot of room to grow.

I give this patch a 8.5/10 (not an average). The campaign doesn’t improve a lot but the new maps and new content are huge.


IL2 Stats Updated

November 6th, 2015 by

For those of you who just have to know how good you are have a look here:




1CGS Updates IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad with new Summer and Autumn Campaign

November 3rd, 2015 by

The latest update in the IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad series brings with it some fairly extensive changes and another new plane for the early access release of Battle of Moscow. It’s the biggest content release the series has seen since the initial campaign launched.

What’s in the update? If you have IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad then you’ll be gaining access to a new campaign. The winter part of the campaign that was previously available is now considered Part II while Part I features the lead up to the fall of the city and it spans the late summer and early fall parts of the campaign.

If you’re early access on Battle of Moscow then you’ll also be getting access to the Bf109E-7. Used as both a fighter and fighter-bomber in the early days of the Eastern Front battles, this is a lower performing Bf109 and yet I’ve been having a ton of fun flying it around and facing off against the I-16 Type 24.

A full review is forthcoming but in the meantime… checks these screen shots out!

bos-fall15-01 bos-fall15-02 bos-fall15-03 bos-fall15-04 bos-fall15-05 bos-fall15-06


Checking out the Battle of Moscow Premium Fighters

October 7th, 2015 by

Il-2: Battle of Moscow, the follow up release of 1CGS’s IL-2: Battle for Stalingrad, is a few steps closer to completion. The Premium fighters, available early to those who pre-ordered, have arrived and they are so much fun! Let’s have a look!

Fine Italian Thoroughbred

The MC.202 ‘Folgore’ (or Thunderbolt) was an Italian built fighter that served mostly in North Africa and in the skies over Italy but also made a brief appearance on the Eastern Front. Not specifically used at the Battle of Moscow, the MC.202 follows the developers desire to use the Premium fighter releases as a way to introduce interesting period aircraft.

The MC.202 matches up with some of the earlier Bf109 models in overall performance so it’s well suited competitively in the rest of the BoM lineup.

Flying the MC.202 is a great time. The aircraft will perform most maneuvers without any serious issues and it is less likely to stall than you might assume seeing as the aircraft has no leading edge slats. But definitely watch out when it does stall because it can be vicious at times.


The Italian Thunderbolt is victorious as a LaGG-3 falls away.


A pretty good looking office!

The cockpit is beautiful detailed although the canopy struts at times appear to be a little lower resolution than you might like to see.

The Achilles heel of the MC.202 is its firepower. Although heavy machine guns in this version of IL-2 do much more damage than before, there is still the feeling of having to chip away at your enemies. Armament defaults to twin Breda SAFAT 12.7mm machine guns up front with optional 7.7mm and MG151/20 gunpods which up the ante significantly although they impede performance as well.

Fun to fly and beautiful to look at. Completely worth checking out!


Taking fire from a Russian-flown P-40!


They spoil the lines but increase the firepower significantly – MG151/20 gunpods!

Tough American Metal

The second and final Premium fighter arriving with BoM is the American made P-40E. Thousands of P-40 models served with the Russian airforce from Murmansk to the Kuban region and the P-40E was a fairly common model. Historically it was active in places including Stalingrad so it makes an excellent addition to the aircraft lineups of both products.

The P-40Es performance is hit and miss with a fantastic dive speed and a powerful array of 6x.50cal machine guns which are absolutely devastating (I took out two Bf109G-2s in a single firing pass recently). Lacking is its climb rate and top speed which is generally surpassed by other fighters currently available.


Hope they have insurance!


Another enemy fighter feels the power of the six .50cals.


Look at how good this plane looks. Stunning.


It slices, it dices. Seriously, these six .50cals are impressive even against Heinkel bombers.

If well flown the P-40E is an able fighter with the ability to soak up a lot of battle damage and dish it out even more. With optional rockets and bombs the P-40E is also an excellent fighter-bomber capable of hunting vehicle convoys and trains with ease. Chewing up a train with the .50cals is a blast… sometimes literally.

The cockpit is one of the best in the game so far and the external visuals are the most accurate P-40 representation in a game anywhere. A lot of American aircraft fans are going to love this!

Other IL-2 News

Although no official date has been indicated yet, IL-2: BoM will release sometime in the first half of 2016 and anyone with early access will continue to see content rolled out in pieces.

The next major patch version will include new content for Battle for Stalingrad as well as one new plane for Battle of Moscow.

With Stalingrad we’re leaving the frozen steppes behind with two new seasonal maps and updated campaign missions built around the new map. Both a summer and autumn version of the Stalingrad map are on their way with some beautiful and much more colourful scenery.

The beauty shot! Look at that water.

The beauty shot! Look at that water.

IL-2s on a strike mission... and look, it's not cold out!

IL-2s on a strike mission… and look, it’s not cold out!

New mission types including ship hunting along the Volga River. You know what that means? We’re getting a small selection of ships to work with as well. Gunboats have already been shown off but apparently there are a few other options. It adds another dimension to ground targets not previously available.

Coming next in the BoM stable is the Bf109E-7/B, a fighter and fighter-bomber version of the 109 ‘Emil’ and the earliest representation of the Bf109 in the series so far. We’re expecting to see the Bf110E and the rest of the Battle of Moscow lineup in the coming months along with . See our preview article to find out about the rest of the lineup.

And… if you missed it. Don’t miss out on the newest YouTube videos from 1CGS showing off the Bf109E-7/B and a FW190A-3 flying a skip bombing mission against a ship.


Maintaining Things

September 18th, 2015 by

Work has once again got in the way of things here. That and the building of a fixed base 737 simulator, more of which later, although you can view a few pictures on our forums of the build.

I got round to replacing the backup batteries on a couple of our uninterruptable power supplies as they were no longer capable of being interrupted! All at great expense I might add!

Also yesterday I cleared out the IL2 stats so those of you are sick of being at the bottom of the pile should get in to Battle-Fields 1 IL2 server and rack up some sorties!

Plans for the future? Difficult to say as things have gone a little quiet on the non IL2 front. After a major meltdown in communications just before the start of a European League match of CS GO the CS team are mostly keeping their heads down, in fact Smurfy was last seen wandering up the hard shoulder of the M6 with a bottle of Red Bull (other energy drinks are available) in his posing pouch and slippers. One or two of us have been playing World of Warships or War Thunder.

Although last night we did end up having a cheeky game of CS GO and it went well as we won, which was worrying, as I dont think my stress levels can cope with too much CS!


Setting Up Cliffs of Dover

September 18th, 2015 by

T}{OR has kindly taken the time to compile some tips on our forum for those of you who fancy giving IL2 Cliffs of Dover (affectionately know as CLoD) another chance.

I say another chance because if you are new to the flight simulator world or at least new to the IL2 series you wont know about the debacle that took place with its release and the sheer frustration and anger felt by many who had handed over the money before release only to be bitterly disappointed with the steaming pile that was published.

I for one vowed never to pre-buy a sim or any other game and so far I have stuck to my guns … no pun intended!

Anyhow, if you gave up on it like so many others, maybe it might be worth a second or even third look now, here is the link.


First Content for the Battle of Moscow

July 31st, 2015 by

The developers at 1CGS have been pretty busy the last several months. We’ve seen frequent updates but now the content is starting to arrive. And how sweet it is!

The Rat!

Polikaprov’s I-16, sometimes known as ‘Rata’ (Rat), is a short nosed and highly compact fighter that was the primary fighter of the Soviet fighter force for most of the 1930s. The most advanced fighter of its time, by World War II it was outclassed but not entirely outmatched by newer fighters.

If you already did the Premium Pre-order of Battle for Moscow, your new fighter already awaits you in the hangar. If you didn’t you can still have a close look at it is now available for those who did the Premium pre-order of BoM and it’s the first of the Battle for Moscow content to be released.

The version we get is the Type 24. This is a late model I-16 with an upgraded engine and four ShKAS 7.62mm machine guns as standard. It also comes with a variety of unlockable options including the ability to make this a Type 28 – the two wing machine guns get replaced by the much heavier hitting ShVAK 20mm cannon.


My friend in the 109… made a pretty fatal mistake of trying to out turn an I-16. Oops!


Hey! Stop sightseeing… there’s a war on!

Performance? Well… we can only compare against the later model Bf109F-4 and G-2 at the moment. Both of which are far and away superior to the I-16 in speed and climb rate. But the handling on the Rata is extremely good with a rapid roll rate, a very good turn rate, and excellent cockpit visibility. The stall is vicious if you let it get out of hand and it’s easy for a new pilot to really mess things up in a hurry. I found out the hard way!


Posing for the camera. The I-16 might be an odd looking plane but it sure can turn!


The I-16’s “Office” has a pretty decent view.

Against the earlier Bf109 models coming in BoM you can expect to be able to at least keep up in some situations. But you won’t be winning any races!

Summer and Autumn Stalingrad Campaign

The developers have been teasing us with images from upcoming versions of the Battle of Stalingrad map. We’re getting new summer and autumn versions of the Stalingrad map which will take us away from the snow covered fields of the Stalingrad Oblast region and show us some summer and autumn fields.

The change of scenery will be a welcome change for the series and it also introduces new campaigns covering the time period between September and November of 1942 as the German assault on Stalingrad intensified. The developers are aiming to increase mission variety by mixing custom built missions in with the auto generated missions and adding new objects like gunboats along the Volga river. This new theatre and campaign are being shipped free if you already have Battle of Stalingrad so bonus there!

Summer has arrived to IL-2 Battle for Stalingrad.

Summer has arrived to IL-2 Battle for Stalingrad.

Soon to arrive P-40E-1 in Russian colours flying about the summer Stalingrad landscape.

Soon to arrive P-40E-1 in Russian colours flying about the summer Stalingrad landscape.

Other Updates

There has been much criticism leveled against the 1CGS developers for Battle of Stalingrad. In our review we’ve talked about a few of the main issues that the simulation/game has. It’s still the most focused and cohesive next generation WWII flight simulator out there (DCS’ Normandy map still hasn’t landed yet) and it’s immensely fun to just fly around the landscape.

New updates that have recently added to the IL-2 Battle of Stalingrad lineup include the Ju52 (AI plane) that adds so much needed presence of the Luftwaffe’s massive airlift effort and new features such as 64 player servers and the much awaited return of the F11 free look mode that movie makers love so much.

If you have pre-ordered the Premium pack for Battle of Moscow then the MC.202 (August) and P-40E-1 (September) are on their way soon. In October the Bf109E-7 will arrive closely followed by the Bf110E-2. 1CGS has not stated when the remaining 5 aircraft will arrive.

Those Ju52s sure make great targets!

Those Ju52s sure make great targets!

The Luftwaffe's heavy fighter will be available to fly in November.

The Luftwaffe’s heavy fighter will be available to fly in November.

A sneak peek at the 109 'Emil' cockpit.

A sneak peek at the 109 ‘Emil’ cockpit.

Buttons and knobs to mess around with in the MC.202 cockpit!

Buttons and knobs to mess around with in the MC.202 cockpit!

Want to catch up on more stuff? Check out the 1CGS Dev Diary and join us on the Battlefields IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad multiplayer server!


IL2 BF1 Stats Updated

July 26th, 2015 by

This is a busy time of year for me and laying on my back catching some sun so as not to get rickets leaves me even less time than I have in the winter.

That said I was asked the other day if I could clear out the BF1 stats database to make room for some new acts of heroism so I complied.

You can find the new fresh stats database (rather than the old smelly one) here: http://www.battle-fields.com/BF1stats/


IL-2 1946 receives new Team Daidalos Update

June 7th, 2015 by

The officially designated IL-2 1946 Team Daidalos development team has released the long awaited (and delayed) IL-2 1946 4.13 patch. The patch weighs in at just over 400 megabytes and it comes with new content, fixes, and changes across the board. We’re going to take a short look at some of the highlights.

New planes include the flyable B-24D (its beautiful) American heavy bomber, the Japanese N1K1 fighter series (including the J, Ja, and Jb), SB-2M-103 Russian light bomber, and the Yugoslavian IK-3. The P-40E, M-105 Field Mod., and P-40M receive an external visual overhaul courtesy of artist Macwan. You can also try out the Ju88A-5 (Late) and Ju88P-1 with a massive 75mm cannon. Several new AI types show up as well including many Ju88 models that were missing previously, the German He177A-3 heavy bomber, and a Japanese scout seaplane in the form of the E-13A.

There are also new vehicles and maps with the New Guinea, New Britain map (several versions), the far northern Svalbard, Slovakia Autumn and Tobruk maps joining the mix.

Changes to the bombing mechanics for coop, advanced bomb sight details, damage model tweaks for the engines on the Spitfire, P-51, P-47 & P-40 round out some of the highlights. There are many more details and comments available on the 1C forum for IL-2 1946. Check out the full list.

The Battle-fields team are currently working on updates for our IL-2 1946 servers to support the latest content. No doubt our players are itching to see a B-24D up close and personal! Check out the status on our forums!