IL2 Stats

June 16th, 2016 by

Once again I have had my arm round the blocked ‘u’ Bend on the stats server and cleared out the blockage.

So you should see a speed improvement and have a chance to be king of the hill for a while!

 

IL-2: Battle of Moscow Review

June 7th, 2016 by

IL-2: Battle of Moscow (v2.001) has been out for a few weeks and its time to review this addition to the IL-2 world and see how it scores up against Battle of Stalingrad.

A couple of things have happened since I did the review on Battle of Stalingrad. First, I think 1CGS was able to prove that they could release a potentially worthwhile successor to the original IL-2 series. Second, that the Rise of Flight Digital Nature engine could be adapted successfully to World War II aviation. Third, that the community was interested in more World War II air combat and that we would snap up some more content if it was good. And it was good!

Something else happened recently. I started up a blog called Stormbirds and its all about PC Flight Simulation. Writing there doesn’t mean I won’t be updating here but it did give me a great platform to write a second review.

I scored Battle of Stalingrad at 7.5/10. The first in the series was great but it was also seriously flawed at launch. How did I score Battle of Moscow? Read my full review here!

bom-i16sunset bom-109victory2 bom-me109victory bom-mig3-action-shot bom-p40roughlanding bom-damage-graphics ju88-mission-one

bom-109cockpit

 

Another Rise of Flight Sale

May 24th, 2016 by

Yearning for the early days of armed combat in the skies? Check out Rise of Flight’s latest 66% off sale. The sale started today and goes until May 30th.

I just got into flying Rise of Flight and its spectacularly done. I’m a couple of hours into the free version and I figured, what the heck, lets buy some planes on sale. It’s a great sim and a different flavour from some of the higher speed WWII and modern combat sims that are out there.

rof-crashed rof-sopwithpupvictory

 

Battle of Moscow is here!

May 19th, 2016 by

Game version 2.001 officially ushers in the first expansion to IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad with the new Battle of Moscow release.

Here are some highlights from the update:

  • Customers who pre-purchased Battle of Moscow and don’t have Battle of Stalingrad can access the game today (previously only the players who own both theaters of war could play the Battle of Moscow)
  • Piloting tips added (they can be switched off in user interface settings)
  • Video cutscenes added to Battle of Moscow campaign
  • Scenario missions added to Battle of Moscow campaign
  • More combinations of weapon modifications are allowed for MiG-3 and P-40
  • Pine trees added to forests
  • Stalingrad navigation map updated to match the new Moscow map features (visible airfield layouts for instance)
  • Joystick IDs won’t be erased during each game update

There are a ton of other updates including some updates and fixes for IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad content too. For those on the fence, Battle of Moscow is everything that Battle of Stalingrad was with plenty of new content (8 regular planes, 2 premium, and the excellent fall and winter Moscow maps) with a slightly revised campaign. It has some of the same flaws too but the whole package is really coming along. A full review is coming later on. Until then!

bom-mig-cockpit-closing-in-on-victory bom-bf110-victory bom-mig3-beauty-shot bom-launches

 

 

Rise Of Flight Sale

April 29th, 2016 by

I just had an email touch down in my inbox that says there is a Rise OF Flight sale on with up to 66% off.

Im not quite sure why but RoF never really seemed to take off (ahem!) at Battle-Fields, we did run a simulator for a while but I think the fact that making maps for it was a nightmare and most of our pilots were into faster things like Spitfires meant that it never got the attention it deserved.

Personally I found multi crew mayhem at walking speed great fun!

Anyhow if you want to treat yourself this Bank Holiday weekend go check out the RoF store!

 

Bitcoin Update

April 27th, 2016 by

I just sent some money to my Steam account using Bitcoin, it went through very quickly and was far easier than using Paypal. So if you have some hanging around then why not go buy yourself a new game!

For the record B-F accepts bitcoin donations too and has done for some time now so sod Steam, send us your money 🙂

 

Stats Dredged

April 26th, 2016 by

I have done my regular mucking out of the IL2 1946 stats database to remove all the old and smelly pilots and give those of us with less talent the chance to get to the top again!

Why not bookmark the page? http://www.battle-fields.com/BF1stats/

 

 

Use Your Bitcoin With Steam

April 26th, 2016 by

Looking over at Reddit it seems that people are getting all hot under the collar about being able to top up their accounts using Bitcoin.

I’d just like to say its not working in the UK yet 🙂 Hopefully soon!

 

 

IL-2: Battle of Moscow 1.201 Patch Brings a Lot of New Content

April 15th, 2016 by

The latest patch released by 1CGS in the IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad and Battle of Moscow series brings with it a ton of new content. The long awaited Ju88A-4 enters the game with a brilliantly flyable German level and dive bomber, the Moscow map arrives along with the Moscow campaign and the game client gets 64bit support. It’s quite a bit to digest!

The Ju88A-4

New aircraft added for the Battle of Moscow series has included a list of iconic aircraft and the Ju88A-4 is easily on the top of the list. Produced in the many thousands, the A-4 is the definitive version of the successful Ju88 series seeing use on the Eastern Front from start to finish.

The A-4 boasts an impressive bomb loadout with a huge selection of standard and unlockable options. As it currently stands, the Ju88A-4 has the biggest and most flexible bomb loadout in the game. It also beats the He111H-6 in the versatility department offering both effective level and dive bombing capabilities.

Fast and capable... the iconic Ju88! Pretty good looking office!Defensive armament is comprised of MG81 and MG81Z (twin) machine guns in the nose, ventral gondola, and top sections of the aircraft’s small crew compartment. These are rapid firing machine guns compared to what you would find on the Heinkel H-6 and that should make the Ju88 a tougher plane to attack, however, there is a caveat. These machine guns overheat quickly (after very short bursts) and the dispersion becomes difficult to make these useful at times.

The Ju88 can climb reasonably quickly and it maintains a higher top speed than the He111. Overall this bomber is fast and maneuverable, especially once the bombs are dropped, and it rises to the top of the list, being one of, if not the most, effective bombers available, in-game, on either side of the conflict. It’s that good!

Moscow Map

Patch 1.201 also brings us the Moscow map. First question that everyone asks is, does the map actually have Moscow on it, and the answer is… Yes. Sort of.

moscow-fog moscow-riverMoscow is many times larger than Stalingrad and with more complex city objects. The devs decided that the best option available to them was to build the city but in a lower detail than they might on objects you get close to. Moscow is just out of reach of the flyable area of the map. It’s a compromise that lets players see the titular city they are attacking or defending but not actually be forced developing a performance and development time sucking city.

Moscow aside, this map is impressive in its details. The villages and towns are impressively detailed, the forests are denser than those at Stalingrad, and indeed the whole map has a different aesthetic quality to it than the Stalingrad map that we’re familiar with.

Airbases are similarly detailed with good texturing details (not the best but good) and more object complexity. There are larger scale hangars in the Moscow area than Stalingrad and the detailing on the map reflects it.

moscow-airfield moscow-overfly

New atmospheric fogging effects at low altitude during dawn and dusk are also a small but subtle way that makes this game even more beautiful than it was in the past.

 

The campaign, break it to me doc!

So… the campaign. Is it good? The answer is: it depends.

Battle of Stalingrad released with a fairly basic single player campaign that offered easy access to a series of missions for whatever plane they wanted. Rather than be locked into a single type or option, the campaign let you generate whatever mission and fly whatever plane you wanted (assuming you had unlocked them).

bf109andi16-battleThe Moscow campaign has a near identical approach. What it benefits from is increased diversity. The missions themselves are more random with greater chances of random occurrences and interception by enemy or friendly forces enroute to target or even a long time after. Players have been jumped shortly after takeoff and soon before landing adding to the challenge and interest.

If you hated the premise of the old one, then the new one doesn’t do much to change that. There is no pilot narrative and unit/squadron identities are not something that gets any play. What you do have is a good progression of missions through the Moscow campaign (from autumn to winter) with an endlessly replayable random mission generator.

New 64bit Client

The other update is the new 64bit client which is supposedly improving performance by 10-20%. I don’t have numbers but I will say that the game is overall smoother and it runs better when there are large numbers of aircraft and objects in an area. Even my newest PC used to be bogged down by a dozen flights in a given area, but no more!

Is there anything next?

Release for IL-2: Battle of Moscow is imminent. Everyone with the latest patch has access to what is now a near content complete version of Battle of Moscow but there are still a few things left to do including campaign cinematics and some custom hand built missions sprinkled into the campaign. My guess is that those final pieces of the puzzle are weeks away at the most.

Is there anything after that? We don’t know yet and 1CGS says they haven’t had a chance to discuss internally what their plans are. That may have changed more recently but speculation is rampant covering the range of WWII theatres from Kursk and the Kuban/Crimea battles to North Africa, Malta, and D-Day. There is also no guarantee that the series will continue although I think nearly most of us are hopeful that it does. Time will tell!

 

Virtual Headsets

April 9th, 2016 by

Ive been waiting for virtual reality since I had hair on my head and less of the stuff everywhere else!

Its not going to be cheap if you get in right at the start but this site might help you make up your mind perhaps: http://www.engadget.com/2016/04/08/oculus-rift-vs-htc-vive/

For the flight simmers amongst us this might be of interest too: https://flyinside-fsx.com/