January 11th, 2017 by ShamrockOneFive
Born in the later days of the original IL-2, the Dedicated Bomber Squadron has been flying the skies of the Battle-fields UK servers and elsewhere for a few years now. Regulars to those servers over the years will know the familiar call-signs: Thor and TxTip. These two have been busy organizing template events for a couple of years now with increasing regularity as popularity of the new IL-2 series begins to take off.
Over the last couple of years, the duo has been organizing the Friday Night Bomber Flights and more recently the Friday Night Quickies. Both events are team oriented with players signing up and joining in organized flights.
It was long past time to sit down with Thor and TxTip and find out what these events are all about.
Already interested in jumping in? Check out the latest missions on our forums to find out when the next one is planned!
What is the Friday Night Bomber Flight?
Thor: Friday Night Bomber Flight started by DBS is Tip’s. It evolved into Tip’s brainchild and included a full fledged campaign he spent many hours behind, crunching numbers and building a new mission every week. Was the best BOS MP experience one could have at the time (not entirely sure whats up on the menu today). Now we have something similar to the DBS original idea, and that is re-running few quick missions with various goals, maps and plane sets. FNBF in its original form lasted up to 3h per Friday evening. This now is divided often between two shorter missions.
TxTip: Friday Night Bomber Flights became an immersive squadron oriented dynamic online campaign which incorporated custom made briefings and missions entirely based on the results of the prior mission. However over the course of 2 years and the good people from all over the world that I have had the honor to become associated with. It became and is so much more than that. Right now we are flying Quickies. The closest thing I can fashion within the BoS parameters to a Co-OP for large numbers of players. Will we return to a full FNBFs campaign event? Time permitting it’s possible. The new Kuban addition coming to the sim basically demands some type of campaign event to incorporate all the new aircraft and features.
How did these sessions get started?
Thor: As a natural progression from DBS’s previous Missions we used to run with the old IL2-1946. Since Tip dug his teeth deep into the BOS mission builder, his knowledge was used in building and missions and DBS’s past experience in organizing the event.
TxTip: Basically somewhat self-serving on my part. Our squad [DBS] was in transition. Continue further with IL2 1946, go over to CLoD, move into the jet age with DCS or fly BoS? Well I was tired of 1946. CloD was a nightmare to setup and when we joined and flew in a campaign like environment it was ungratifying for the amount of time invested. We still fly the odd HSFX SEOW campaign by the way and DCS, although the intricacies of the A-10s weapons system still eludes my rig and myself. Additionally, BoneHead had setup the two BoS DF servers and as a BF member these needed to be utilized and promoted.
BoS was establishing itself as the future of WWII air combat simulation gaming. With that in mind once it was officially released I poured into the Mission Editor. Using various posts on the BoS Forum along with samples of groupings and the Rise of Flight U-Tube tutorials that were provided to figure out how to set up missions so we could fly online. This seemed the only way to get the squad fully vested into the sim, utilize our servers and have a blast to boot.
When SYN_Haashashin made the offer of having Teamspeak sessions to explain the Mission Editor I jumped at the chance. Thankfully there were the UK servers so I could fully bring knowledge and missions to pass.
The first few FNBFs were general bombing missions but proved to be extremely immersive and fun. From there it took off with more and more BoS squadrons getting involved. So much so that just to have general missions wasn’t enough. FNBFs evolved itself into an online campaign. “Participation makes it Happen!” was the signature and it sure did. That the BoS Mission Editor is difficult to work with probably aided Friday Night Bomber Flights in its popularity. It was the only game in town at its inception that assured one would be going up against some of the best flyers in the sim. Destroying moving as well as static targets. All players on Teamspeak with whispers set up for each flight. And all with the understanding that the objectives within the briefings dictated your actions and the outcome of the mission.
How are they organized?
Thor: Casual get together with pre-reserved slots during the weeks. Advertised here and on official IL2BOS forums (and probably elsewhere too). Please note that original campaign thread that had hundreds of posts was deleted by some freak admin accident, this link is just a left over.
TxTip: FNBFs is a signup only for specific aircraft event where the briefings for each side are sent via PM at least 1 day before the event. This gives the squads and/or individuals their Primary, Secondary and in some instances their Tertiary objectives by designated aircraft. Once into the scheduled mission a 12 minute hold on aircraft take-offs is observed. This allows players to connect/reconnect to the server should they need to adjust things whilst the mission triggers and objects loaded up and as well assures that both sides take off at the same time with no advantage.
Quickies too allow for sign ups and are scheduled for certain times. Although due to their Co-Op nature folks are just showing up and joining which is great. Quickies have a 3:30 minute no spawn time written into the mission. This gives folks a chance to look over the Briefings and make their decisions on how to proceed. Much the same as the host of the old style IL2-1946 Co-Ops would wait until every one signaled ready before starting the mission.
Who can take part?
Thor: Anyone willing to expand their MP and simulation flying experience to something new and who ever enjoys teamwork and historical re-enactments. We fly for fun, not to keep scores. That was always DBS’s moto.
TxTip: Anyone can take part provided there are available slots. Teamspeak is your friend.
How do you build a scenario? What goes into the planning?
Thor: That you should ask Tip. Not only he has MP knowledge but is much more acquainted with the Eastern theater than I am.
TxTip: One needs to direct a ballet when designing online missions for BoS that work. Not only for the missions but understanding how the server works and how much it can handle. My definition of work is a fun and immersive mission btw.
The Quickies are by their very definition easier to setup. Not necessarily easier to make mind you. But it does take out some of the abstract thinking along with the Briefings that were so dynamic for the FNBFs. One needs to take into consideration how many players will be participating, how many static and moving targets should be implemented. Where and how many of the participants will be within any one sector and how that will affect other sectors when they are being engaged simultaneously without the dreaded “Multiplayer Server Overload” message showing up. Which aircraft do you want the players to use on what target or targets. What would be their natural inclination for ingress and egress to the target areas. Should one side know what target the other is being briefed as their primary target? How can the briefings be used to assure there is a very real possibility that the two sides will come in contact with each other? These are some of the things that need to be considered.
Recently you’ve been flying Friday Night Quickies? What are some of the differences between these and the regular flights?
TxTip: The biggest difference would be the dynamic nature of FNBFs as opposed to the Quickie Flights which are basically Co-Ops.
Additionally Quickie Flights have Airstarts and AI aircraft with the opportunity for the mission to be won or lost before the 75 or 90 minute time limit. Quickie Flights are also self-sufficient with regards to targeting. Which means both sides can view the Icons and the briefings on the map to see where their targets are.
Give us a sense of how these are scheduled?
Thor: Depending on the real-life commitments and by default any Friday DBS can get together. Tip, chime in here please…
TxTip: By multiple postings on our Battle-fields forum and the BoS Forum simultaneously. What helped in the inception were the videos and pictures of the participants in the After Action Reports. Some of these were simply fantastic, highlighting the sim along with the immersive action that we were experiencing. Unfortunately, the hundreds of photos and videos from the participants which tracked the campaign were lost on the BoS Forum.
How can an interested player join in?
Thor: Simple. By posting here on BFs forums or on the official forums in this thread here. Just get in contact with us. Preferably have a mic and a working joystick. We will work the rest with you.
TxTip: Players can sign up on the Battle-fields Forum Topic or through the BoS Forum which is posted for both FNBFs and Quickie Flights.
What difficulty settings do you use? Normal? Hard? Custom?
Thor: “Full switch”, as the saying goes from the old IL2. – Hard.
TxTip: Battle-fields UK_1 Server Settings for Friday Night Bomber/Quickie Flights are Full CEM, No Icon, No Navigational aides.
As I’ve mentioned Teamspeak is your friend. For FNBFs it was basically mandatory. As the targets themselves are not shown through icons on the map nor the viewable mission briefing. Only through the briefings that are sent via PM. For Quickies one can join and know what the objectives are. Along with what airbases are operational. Additionally Quickie Flights are Weapons and Payload restricted.
Is there anything I’ve left out that you would like to say?
Thor: Spread the word and do join our Quickie missions. They are a lot of fun. As most of the DBS stuff does is.
TxTip: There are several within the BoS mission building community that deserves kudos from everyone that is enjoying the sim. JimTM and Jupp were right there with me during the TS sessions with SYN_Haashashin. Their ongoing posts answering new folks questions about the ME along with Habu, Prangster, Jade_Monkey and coconut to name a few all provided me with ideas that enhanced my knowledge of what works and why.
I would also like to thank the many squadrons and individuals who make FNBFs such an enjoyable event themselves and of course my [DBS] Squadmates who have offered encouragment and constructive input from the inception. Without them all FNBFs would not of been possible.
Participation makes it Happen!