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:

For the flight simmers amongst us this might be of interest too:


Happy New Year!

January 1st, 2016 by

Well thats it, the dust is settling on Christmas and 2016 is upon us. Gaming wise its been a mixed year for me. In fact when I look back I am struggling to remember the highlights. Making it to  single AK rank in CS (don’t know what the real rank name is) during 2015 might be classed as an achievement and there were certainly one or two moments of outstanding play from me all of which were probably overshadowed by a massive amount of ineptitude, badly thrown grenades and missed opportunities. In the end the feeling of holding the rest of the team back I made the decision to stop playing the game after I rage quite during a game when I decided life was just too short to spend my free time feeling stressed. Gaming should be fun right?

I flirted with Elite Dangerous for a while as did many of the old regulars at B-F but it somehow fizzled out as we all started to wonder what it was we were trying to achieve and got hacked off whilst spending hours trying to meet up and do stuff together. The team side of things has (I think) been resolved now but I don’t think anyone has bothered to try it from here.

Battle 0f Stalingrad; was installed and flown briefly, it looks lovely but for me it just felt too difficult after IL2 , but I will try it again in 2016. Thanks to some of the B-F admins we have a couple of good servers if you want somewhere to play.

Others on the list this year: World of Warships, Stock Car Extreme, War Thunder (First time I think I have played alongside Finn without him shouting at me!) and more recently GTA V, which I am enjoying as a replacement for CS although its less stressful!

With regard to B-F; well after many years we are still here, surely as we reach 18 years old this year we must be one of the oldest gaming communities on the net? I would like to thanks all the guys who pay for the servers and send donations to keep us afloat on behalf of all those who don’t / can’t, without your support and hard work we wouldn’t be here. We have lost some of our regular admins and server Syndicate this year so we are running a little short of funds so if you would like to help out or become a Syndicate member please get in touch through the forum or email saying you would like to be considered as an admin and I will do the rest.

You can also reach us on our facebook page, or twitter as well as the forums.

Finally just a line or two to explain why I haven’t been around quite so much; other than working too hard! I decided with a friend of mine to build a 737 NG simulator. We started back in April 2015 and I have to say it has been a very expensive and difficult task although I am pleased to announce that it is at last nearing completion! There hasn’t been one difficult thing when building this thing its all been difficult! We ordered the best bits from all over the world, with bits coming from Canada, Germany, Poland, Spain, UK and Portugal. All these bits need to fit and work together, which as you can imagine none of them do. We could have gone to one manufacturer for all of the parts but we wanted the best bits from each one to end up with what I believe is one of the best fixed base simulators. At least it will offer value for money when you look at what a commercial simulator will cost an hour (around £600).

If this little project works out OK and we start to get some money back in we intend to build an Airbus sim and some linked fighters and helicopters, watch this space!

To see the photos visit our forums.


Merry Christmas!

December 20th, 2015 by

Merry Crimble!

Merry Crimble!


Well thats me done at work now for a week! For the first time in 18 years I have actually managed to book some time off to be with my family and friends over the festive season so I am just about to have what is the first of I am sure many beers of my holiday!

As always I realise some of our visitors don’t celebrate Christmas so please bear with those of us who do and normal service will be resumed (if there is such a thing at B-F) shortly. However, to all of you I would like to wish you the best wishes for all time not just now and lets hope the whole planet can be a little bit more peaceful and a happier place.

Merry Christmas guys and girls!


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.


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 Base Camping Rule

April 26th, 2015 by

For years we have had a rule often called the ‘no vulching’ rule. It came about in an attempt to stop folk hanging about over enemy basses picking off vulnerable aircraft taking off or landing. Its the same thing as spawn killing, base camping or other less savoury terms used on other servers to try and enhance game play, after all as real as the maps may be it is just a game.

Recently we had a poll to see if we thought we should keep the rule after some questions were asked requesting clarification of the rule.

I am still waiting for guidance from the Syndicate members but if it inst forth coming I will take action and dream up something that gives admins and players alike guidance on this rule. It seems straight forward to me but then so does the offside rule in football and some have made a career out of that so watch this space!