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Thread: Our history and how DBS started.

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    Our history and how DBS started.

    patch by Magnum

    Short history

    Long time ago ...

    Back in 2006. actually. When IL2 was on top of its game and all three UK Dedicated servers were operational and filled with pilots every night, a group of us regulars started experimenting with formation flying and (precision) level bombing. Soon others joined and we had a steady group of pilots to fly with. This resulted in the first version of the level bombing manual (v1.1). As time went on and we logged in more formation flying and bombing hours, our experience grew. Participating in large and organized events such as Mega Missions and various bombing practice sessions here on battle-fields.com made our skills unique in a way of combining real WWII tactics with compromises to make them useful and applicable in the game, and more importantly on live and fast action paced dedicated servers. After 5 months of hard work, research and lots of help from various regulars here, in June 2008. level bombing manual v2.0 came into existence.

    Year 2008. also left a big impact on the IL2 online community, with the game being cracked and wide open to modifications. Loss of official support from Oleg and 1C for the game with no more patches didn't help either. Similar to other communities on various IL2 related forums, our little group became divided amongst those that wanted to continue flying and those who didn't want to have anything to do with mods and what they offered. To keep the group flying and experiences we gathered alive, I decided to make things a bit more official. Until then, we flew only ad-hoc or on organized events as a bunch of friends. Dedicated Bomber Squadron was formed on June 24th, the same year.

    For a group to be able to fly and operate, we needed a home of some kind. A forum or a forum section in another words. At that time, Fallen Angels were moving to a new forum and were keen on having us hang out with them and use their servers for practice sessions and what not. We were given a private forum section. DBS operated for a year and a half, and in that time we flew almost 40 meticulously documented and recorded Missions. They mainly consisted of Sunday night bombings, by jumping from one dogfight server to another promoting teamwork and formation flying in the same time, with a couple of organized missions and campaigns in between. Out of them all, UK Dedicated Missions and 14th Mega Mission stand out the most. The last mission #38, was flown in 2009. on October 25th.

    During the time DBS operated we have found the limits of what IL2 can offer, and what is missing for a complete enjoyment in formation flying and organized level bombing. The main problem being AI and its poor coding. Due to the nature of formation flying and dense defensive gunner fire that comes with it, over 50% of DBS combat losses were caused by friendly fire from nearby bombers in formation. Coupled with mods (there were no complete mod packs at the time) and more and more news about Storm of War on the horizon, the majority of us slowly lost interest in the old gal, the IL2 1946.


    Fast forward to 2012.

    Our little hide out at Fallen Angels exists no more. Storm of War that we had hoped would provide us with a new platform on which we can do our bombing on is now Cliffs of Dover and has been released the previous year. And almost like the old IL2 was on the release day, it is a mess. Not to mention it requires quite a beast to be able to enjoy properly. There are other great sims out there. A company called Digital Combat Simulator released A-10C, an amazing study sim which merges the best of both worlds (WWII and modern jet fighters). Rise of Flight has matured over its two years of existence, and also has its fun moments.

    However, none of the above sims have what old IL2 1946 had, a vast number of planes, maps and ability to experience almost any scenario or battle from WWII. The shear variety of scenarios with massive bomber and squadron formations that flew across all fronts and fought in various different engagements as tactics and weapons progressed throughout the Second World War, is what other simulations do not simulate. Back when DBS was active and flying on a regular basis, participated on events, campaigns and missions hosted either by us or people we met for the first time, it soon became apparent that what we did was not just unique. All joint bomber group events ended up with DBS as the most organized and experienced group of bomber pilots that often led other groups into action. The one group that got closest to what DBS did was a Swedish group called SvAF (F16/F19).

    Enter Team Daidalos and soon to be released patch 4.11. Amongst lots of new features it brings this is the first patch that fixes our show stopping bug, the poor AI coding. Seeing how with nowadays hardware and low mid end PCs almost anyone can run the old gal in her full glory and the group being more or less assembled, DBS is ready to take off again.



    Operating procedures, now and then

    At its peek, the Dedicated Bomber Squadron had 29 pilots (23 active) from various nationalities and squadrons. We never wore tags or had mandatory weekly meetings nor we requested that anyone leaves his squad. Instead we simply enjoyed formation flying and organized bombing knowing at the same time that what we did was somewhat unique. It is also worth mentioning that unlike some groups, we did not limit ourselves by flying just one bomber type or Air Force. Though a B-25 had and still has a special place with DBS. This was the one plane that started it all (which is reflected on the new Patch / Logo).

    Although there was no official leader of the group, with Letum and Incisor stepping in when needed it was more or less me who led the show. Thus when my PC become ill in the late 2009., it too was one of the reasons why the group stopped flying.

    We accepted anyone wanting to fly with us. Some dropped out when they saw how we operate and bomb, while some on the other hand stayed with DBS improving on their formation flying and bombing skills. We made many friends and contacts from different squadrons all over the World. The main key was to learn tactics and procedures written down in the level bombing manual v2.0 which were some times questioned by others. Not everyone likes to fly this way, but the majority seems to do.

    With this in mind, the new Dedicated Bomber Squadron features some changes:

    • We still accept anyone interested in organized bombing, but that individual will first need to at least learn how to fly formation before being accepted into the (user)group. On the plus side, we are more than willing to teach anyone interested. For us, flying in a formation is extremely fun and once you get pass the initial problems and 'fears', very easy to learn and master.
    • DBS no longer focuses solely on the IL2 1946, however it still is our main point of interest.
    • To assure group longevity and to spread out the workload, no longer will the group depend on one person (namely me). A group of DBS members who have the most interest and time to fly with us will form a Seniors club.
    • The Missions that we have used to fly changed too. No longer will we search for a suitable server in order to fly bombers on a scenario that is more or less historical. Now we are the ones dictating the rules and inviting people to fly with us.




    Weekly Dedicated Mission concept

    Past attempts

    I am certain that most of the regulars here are familiar with Dedicated Missions that we first used to participate in, then run a few of them ourselves. If not, you can read more about it here. These kind of missions are, with no exception reenactments of historical battles, tactics and events where all pilots wear historically correct skins, down to exact squadrons that have participated in the scenario being recreated. The amount of fun they present, is in the end not measurable to the incredible work required to organize and run them effectively.

    This became even more-so apparent when we attempted to recreate a Mission with 20+ heavy bombers and twice as many escorts and defenders. With DBS being what it is, in other words with the level of immersion we tried to achieve, the bar was set even higher. After 4 months of advertising, training and gathering pilots from all over the World, the 14th Mega Mission was finally run in April 2009. Although we have planned for 60 pilots max, about 70 pilots from all over the Globe participated in the mission. The Mission alone was a great success, but did not go as we had planned and hoped. Again, IL2 1946 engine limitations dictated how the mission played out. From the moment people started taking off we had lag problems, and when the combat begun (with over 40-50 planes in the same location) all of our formation flying and practice sessions quickly became useless. Post Mission reviewing of the tracks and discussions revealed that having 70 different skins on the server, no matter that every one had them in their cache folder and installed, proved too much for both the server and IL2.

    In addition to the previously mentioned IL2 engine limitations, another problem quickly presented itself. Even though we trained and all 19 B-17 bombers managed to take off, form up and meet with our escorts in less than 25 minutes, during that time the opposing team had to wait idling on the ground for a Mission Start. I can only imagine how long it must have took those 25 minutes to pass for them... Following the discussions after every such Mission, people wanted to do more than just fly one sortie. With both the flight times these maps usually had (about 2h of flight time for bombers to target and back) and a Mission run time this was simply impossible. In the end, this alone is the biggest problem of the Dedicated Mission: just as you gather a group of pilots interested in flying on one, there is too much time between the two Missions and you have to start the whole process again.

    The concept

    Although the idea of running these kind of Missions on a regular basis was out long time ago, no one really attempted to apply it in practice. If the 4.11 had been available back in 2009. DBS would have most certainly continued flying and would have switched to organizing them. Now that we finally have a reason to go back to IL2, it is important to define certain parameters and to describe this concept. The main goal is to bring more freedom to the Dedicated Missions, usually experienced on Dogfight servers. This translates into: taking off when you want, ad-hoc briefings before flights, joining late into the Mission, possibility to fly more than one plane type per mission and eliminating the need for reserving a slot (except DBS who will always fly bombers) and at the same time keeping some of the rules from the Dedicated Missions (e.g. 10 minute pause between re-fly unless you have a wingman with you). Dedicated servers (former UKD, now BFs) also have certain restrictions: equal teams, short distance to the target (3-4 grids max), pre-defined combat zones, no straffing rule, admins constantly watching out for rule breakers, etc...

    To put it bluntly, this is a compromise between the two, or the best out of both worlds. Here are some guide lines on how we have envisioned this:

    • Password protected (publicly visible to everyone visiting the forums).
    • Much more frequent run time (twice a month or every 2 weeks, on Sunday evenings).
    • Longer run times (~ 3 to 4 hours).
    • Medium flight distances (no greater than 8 to 10 grids).
    • More than one sortie per night (2 guaranteed, if possible 4 or more).
    • No briefings apart from those in the game and posted in the according Mission thread (all briefing is done ad-hoc, on TS one hour before the Mission).
    • One joint Mission START, after that it is up to each team to get organized and take off and start their run(s). Possibility of joining late in the Mission.
    • One skin per plane type (if needed) - with preferred use of in-game markings / HSFX stock skins.
    • Simple scenarios: one team attacking and one defending with no more than 3 plane types per side.
    • Full switch settings with full use of 4.11 features (e.g. external views on the ground, stationary plane spawning etc.).
    • Limited plane and pilot numbers, just like on the Dedicated Servers.
    • If one team is super effective, ability to run more than one Mission per night.
    • Pilot limit set to no greater than 50~60 pilots, depending on the server.
    • Depending on the Mission and scenario: one human scout plane per team.




    Administration and DBS usergroup

    Back when our home was at Fallen Angels, we had the option to send out mass emails to all group members for notification purposes about any important events or practice sessions. For this reason, all DBS members should join the usergroup right here on battle-fields.com and subscribe to daily notifications.

    DBS also has its own FTP server for file exchange, track storage, mission briefings, maps and various other flight sim related stuff. Therefore we can host our own files without the need for using file sharing services.


    (more content will be added when available)
    Last edited by T}{OR; 24-08-2012 at 19:22. Reason: DBS logo / patch by Magnum | spelling
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  2. #2
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    Well thats me up to speed

    I'll do my best to help out as much as possible with your endevours, I will awyays try to help those who help themselves
    Im wondering if you want me to add the manual to the main website for download too?
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    I should hope you are not the only one. Now everyone knows what we are babbling about on forums.

    Thanks. I would be good advertising I guess, and the manual does have BFs written all over it.

    On a side note - depending on how well 4.11 turns out, there is a high possibility of me updating it to v3.0. There are few things that I am unhappy with in v2.0...


    EDIT: Can you make this a sticky please?
    Last edited by T}{OR; 03-01-2012 at 12:50.
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    Thanks Thor, couldnt have said it better!

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    Looking forward to trying this out ... and if only was to see Bone Head back in the cockpit.

    It looks a bit like formation flying was the ends, not the means. Is that true? Will I be court marshalled if I happen to make a mistake?
    Unless explicitly noted otherwise, I'm posting my personal opinions and intentions that in no way reflect the opinions and intentions of any other person, organisation or institution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JtD View Post
    It looks a bit like formation flying was the ends, not the means. Is that true? Will I be court marshalled if I happen to make a mistake?
    Good question and I am glad you brought this up. Formation flying is a lot more than just following another plane in close vicinity. When dealing with large number of bombers, or any type of planes that want to do coordinated tasks together by that matter, all aspects of flying are important. From taking off and forming up, re-grouping in flight to landing as fast as possible. We have experimented with various tactics and perfected most of this, thus if someone can't hold his position in the flight it prevents us from perfecting these techniques even more (i.e. we have to teach him as we go along, instead of dealing with the mission / tactics themselves).

    The idea behind this is that when you learn how to stay close and more or less on your position in the group, everything else will fill in by itself just by flying with us. In short, no you won't be court marshaled.
    Last edited by T}{OR; 03-01-2012 at 13:25.
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    No, you get that all wrong JtD Formation flying isnt the end, it just makes it easier to get the mission done. Gunners give more cover, better bomb saturation on target, and last but not least, a formation of bombers is easier to escort than a gaggle or lone flying bombers.

    You won't get court marshalled if you make a mistake, we do this for fun ( and if you would, my virtual pilot would be scrubbing toilets with his toothbrush for eternity )

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    In addition, naturally - you don't have to be a part of DBS to participate in these missions. If you feel like flying fighters then do it. DBS will do the hard work of bombing and organizing / building these missions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusek View Post
    You won't get court marshalled if you make a mistake, we do this for fun ( and if you would, my virtual pilot would be scrubbing toilets with his toothbrush for eternity )
    I can vouch for that.
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    OK then, lets try it out.

    From past experience, I sometimes find a tight formation too restrictive, in particular if you not only have to fly the plane, but also to set up the bomb sight, watch out for enemies and manage your gunners so that they do not only fire when they are certain to miss the enemy plane. In cases like that, I nearly always find myself losing the formation (if not colliding if it's a really tight one) and rarely able to get back. I sure hope you can teach a few tricks here.
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    We sure can JtD! The way we do things, means that only the leader has to worry about the bombsight, the rest simply drop on leaders mark. Also (especially with the 4.11) you dont have to worry about your gunners when in formation. All you have to do is keep the leader/one you are following in sight, and keep an eye on your power/speed settings.

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    For anyone doubting, it's great fun for us in the formation and a nightmare for any attacker.

  12. #12
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    This sounds all very promising. I am sure we could resurrect the stillborn DedicatedMission No.6 - Circus 27 - Raid on Vendin-le-Vieil Power Station if you guys were interested. Though we would need to know your groups stance on mods, as I believe Fusek build the target side on the Channel map.

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    Circus 27 is an excellent example for these kind of missions. At the moment I'm making missions for HSFX 5.01,hoping that version 6 will be out a couple of weeks after the release of 4.11. In the mean time we want to use stock 4.11. I will post my mission ideas soon

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    Quote Originally Posted by JtD View Post
    From past experience, I sometimes find a tight formation too restrictive, in particular if you not only have to fly the plane, but also to set up the bomb sight, watch out for enemies and manage your gunners so that they do not only fire when they are certain to miss the enemy plane. In cases like that, I nearly always find myself losing the formation (if not colliding if it's a really tight one) and rarely able to get back. I sure hope you can teach a few tricks here.
    This can only mean that you haven't read my manual yet.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fusek View Post
    Circus 27 is an excellent example for these kind of missions. At the moment I'm making missions for HSFX 5.01,hoping that version 6 will be out a couple of weeks after the release of 4.11. In the mean time we want to use stock 4.11. I will post my mission ideas soon
    Exactly. In the beginning until we get a steady crowd for these Missions the idea is to run 3 or 4 of them with popular plane sets. Then build on that, with more specific and diverse Missions whether this proves to be a success or not.

    Some typical scenarios (to start with) Fusek and I had in mind are:


    • Battle of Britain
    • Battle of Midway (now that we have moving carriers)
    • Battle of Kursk (same as above, just with moving tanks)
    • A mission involving 4 engined bombers


    etc.

    EDIT: Fusek already has a couple of them nearly complete (i.e. Midway and Dutch B-25 straffers), but re-running some of the previous DM's or converting some of the existing Dogfight ones is a good idea, no doubt. Will help us start this show even sooner.
    Last edited by T}{OR; 03-01-2012 at 17:19.
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    Which are the main types you guys want to fly? Cause I sure would love to build you a mission based around the Eastern front with some good IL-2/Stuka action.

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    Our idea was to create three types of missions. First type will be the well known scenario's like BoB, Kursk,Midway etc. Second type will feature missions that are less known or less popular like the Taranto raid, Spanish Civil War or Operation Ironclad (inavsion of Madagascar). Third type well be special missions like para drops (Crete), supply drops (Bastogne), bad weather or night missions. other ideas are protect VIP (like the Mussolini raid) or Search and Rescue.

    What I want to say is that we don't have a preferred type of plane to fly,the goal is to show all this game has to offer, and try as many different theatres as possible.

  17. #17
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    The Blues Brothers said it best.

    Anyway, Il-2s would be good. I'm always a sucker for B-25 strafing action, or any other sort of low-level A-20, Mossie, or Beaufighter shenanigans. I would love to have a nice retro Mediterranean B-25 level bombing scenario, since that was the sort of thing the foundation of DBS was built on. I still remember entire flights of bombers being sent to knock out a single Wirbelwind then sweeping the cliff flak battery on the Desert Online map.

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    Good times indeed. That Wirbelwind had 3 min re-spawn time IIRC, you didn't even have the time to turn back to base before it was firing at you again lol.

    I am more into Thin Lizzy.
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    With the Il-4 and Pe-8 coming in 4.11, I'd like to try them out. In particular the Pe-8 should be interesting. Having had fun with the formation bomb drop offline already, it's just beautiful to release a carpet of 640 bombs all simultaneously.
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    Just wait until you do it with human pilots.

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    The group now has a brand new logo / patch. It is in the first post of this thread on the top.

    All credit goes to Magnum.
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