Battle for Moscow on the Horizon

December 11th, 2015 by

Development updates and a new patch bring us a little closer to the IL-2: Battle for Moscow release while improving Battle for Stalingrad at the same time. Let’s see what we have coming down the pipe!

Patch 1.105

Patch 1.105 adds some new content to the mix including the preview of the Bf110E-2 from Battle of Moscow, mouse control, and user controllable tanks. We’ll review the Bf110 in a moment but let’s talk mouse control and tanks.

Mouse control as demoed by the development team gives full control over aircraft using only a mouse with no joystick required. Its been a contentious issue to say the least in the community – used to dealing with purely joystick controls is something that tends to provide a dividing line between more serious simulators and the ones that are more of an arcade experience (War Thunder tends to pick-up this label).

Player controllable T-34 on the Russians Steppes.

Player controllable T-34 on the Russian Steppes.

1CGS implementation doesn’t simplify the flight modeling, despite the initial concern, and controlling aircraft remains quite complex. In some ways the mouse will never be able to live up to the flexibility that a joystick requires – its precise in some manuevers but hamstrung trying to do more complex aerobatics.

The mouse controls bring more people into the fold and ensures future development but I suspect that many mouse users will gravitate to bombers or attack aircraft where precision flying is valued above the reflex testing fighter operations – and that’s ok!

Controllable tanks remain an online only option at the moment and it isn’t something that I’ve had a chance to try out just yet. It sounds like players are having a great time with it (again, despite the initial outcry) and finding the experience to be very authentic. Improved detail in the armor world has also made anti-armor operations more nuanced for attackers with improved ballistics and armor simulation.

How long before we get a user controllable mobile AA gun?

The Luftwaffe Gets a Flexible Heavy Fighter

At one point the Luftwaffe high command thought the Bf110 to be the ultimate expression of a fighter. Something to be flown by the elite units that would destroy the enemy fighter operation in long range missions. It didn’t work out that way… But they got something else.

Victory!

Victory!

New to IL-2: Battle of Moscow preview is the Bf110E-2, a fighter-bomber version of the famous heavy fighter, optimized for attack missions on the eastern front and coming with a solid selection of equipment that makes it a versatile attacker as well as bomber hunter.

Armament is a key thing for this fighter so it packs a pair of MG-FF/M 20mm cannons in the nose along with four MG17 machine guns. The ammo supply feels endless and IL-2 BoS kicks the realism up a notch as the MG-FF/M guns are fed by ammunition drums – and reloaded by your rear gunner.

Several bomb options come with the Bf110E-2 including a twelve-bomb rack of small SC50 bombs up to a single SC1000 loaded on the main fuselage for heavy hitting attacks. There’s also an array of armor plates for the crew and underside armor to protect against small arms fire.

A lot of SC50 bombs can be carried on this unlockable bomb rack.

A lot of SC50 bombs can be carried on this unlockable bomb rack.

Although a powerful fighter from a firepower standpoints, it lacks agility and the power to weight ratio to make it competitive with single engine fighters. Elevator reseponse is adequate and you  can get into some tigher turns but the roll rate is slow and changing directions rapidly is not something this aircraft likes to do. Not compared to a fighter.

On the other hand, you can definite go bomber hunting with it! IL-2s and Pe-2s will fall quickly to the incredible firepower. Rely on fast diving passes before turning around and climbing for another run and you’ll score quite a few air to air kills.

A Small Campaign Change

Sometimes small changes make for bigger impacts. We’ve discussed the IL-2: BoS campaign several times before (here, here and here) so we don’t need to rehash some of the less good parts about it. The one we will focus on was essentially necessary when you start out with a new product and only a handful of planes – diversity was a huge problem.

A La-5 lands the killing shot on a MC.202.

A La-5 lands the killing shot on a MC.202.

Every mission was predictable – You always knew which fighters you would be facing and there was really very little diversity. With the latest patch and recent additions to the aircraft lineup…That all changes. Now you’ll see the La-5 escorting IL-2s and P-40s fighting it out with MC.202s. I-16s go on escort missions and attack bombers while Bf109E-7s fly fighter-bomber runs on friendly ground forces. The diversity mixes it up – Big time!

The MiG-3 and Future Developments

1CGS says that the MiG-3 is in final beta testing now and should be available before the end of the year. Seeing as we’re just a couple of weeks out from there, except the MiG-3  to arrive sometime in the next week or perhaps week and a half.

The developers have released a great selection of screen shots and detailed information on the MiG-3 in their latest update. You should definitely read it if you find that kind of thing interesting!

The Moscow map itself (conspicuously missing Moscow-city proper) is due to arrive sometime early next year along with the Ju88, Bf109F-2, Pe-2 and IL-2 1941 series. The thing I’m most interested in seeing is how they make the Moscow map distinct from flying over Stalingrad – How they achieve this is something very interesting to watch for. More of the same or with a style all to its own? Stay tuned!

 

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