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    Il 2 Battle of Moscow "SALE"
    76.IAP-Blackbird
    By 76.IAP-Blackbird,
    Il2 Battle of Moscow is currently on SALE  https://il2sturmovik.com/ https://il2sturmovik.com/store/battle-of-moscow/ There are two versions, one standart and one premium with 2 additional planes to fly  In addition to Standard Edition contents, the Premium Edition includes two additional Collector Planes: The US built P-40E-1 the USSR used under Lend-Lease Act and the Italian MC.202. 

    IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Moscow can be used as a separate product or be integrated with BOS and/or BOK, resulting in one big WWII Eastern Front combat flight-sim. 

    Note: On Steam, customers must first purchase Battle of Stalingrad if they wish to purchase Battle of Moscow. 
       2 Collector Planes (P-40 and MC.202)  8 Battle of Moscow Aircraft  Moscow Map  Battle of Moscow Campaign  Quick Mission Builder  Single-Player Missions  Multi-Player Mode  Player Controlled Tanks      

    Il 2 Battle of Kuban DD 169 update
    76.IAP-Blackbird
    By 76.IAP-Blackbird,
    This is an dev Blog Update from the il2 Development Team from August, i will post frequently the new il2 Dev updates here to keep you guys informed. (Im not a part of the Dev Team, but im a supporter and a great fan of this series)
    They will expand to the pacific next year, until this, they will finish the new great Battle for Kuban! To find some Dev update pics, follow the Link bellow   Here you have a preview of the Kuban map, already available for the BOK "Battle of Kuban" Preorder.   https://il2sturmovik.com/            Hello Everyone!   We approach the next milestone. Tomorrow we plan to begin testing if the release candidate version 2.012, which, as we said earlier, will include very significant innovations like: - German twin-engined attack aircraft Hs 129 B-2, - Kuban map; - New technology of shadows with extended range, clarity and detail in the cabin and flexible settings; - The updated flight model of all the aircraft of the IL-2 project, the planes will be more stable in the airflow, more properly respond to glide and a huge number of other changes in the flight physics; - Improved morning / evening mist visualization; - Improved visualization of armored glass on all aircraft of the project; - Updated set of official aircraft colors Bf 109 F-4 and Ju 87 D-3.   Speaking of the plane Hs 129 B-2, it should be noted that this is an extremely interesting aircraft with many features. Firstly, this is the first twin-engine single-seat aircraft in our project. Secondly, it is equipped with French production air-cooled engines  Gnome-Rhone 14M, with automatically adjustable oil coolers and a constant speed screw (2750 rpm) with the possibility of manual direct control of the pitch of the screw and the mode of feathering. The airplane is equipped with flaps with a hydraulic smooth extending system, which includes a special metering cylinder for extending flaps right to intermediate take-off position.   In the cockpit there is a folding armored seat for easy getting in the aircraft. The instruments for monitoring engine parameters are installed directly on engine cowls, outside the cabin. Front firing weapons of the aircraft are installed in the central part of the fuselage, behind the cockpit, and fire through special channels along the sides of the cabin. Despite the tightness, the configuration of the cockpit canopy provides the pilot with an excellent front-to-bottom visibility, which is extremely important for the attack aircraft. Collimator sight is installed very unusually - outside the canopy, in front of the armored windscreen, which is also unusual in itself because it has a curved shape with a multilayer structure. The "Revi C/12D mit Zieleinrichtung" gun sight is equipped with a special mechanical sighting device for level bombing at fixed altitudes and speeds; How to use it in detail is shown in the images below.   Well, finally, this is the first aircraft in our project that carries 30 mm cannonin the form of an optional under-fuselage mounted gun MK 101 or MK 103. Also a under-fuselage gunpod with 4 MG-17 machine guns can be mounted, bringing the total amount of front firing weapons to 8 with a common rate of fire up to 9200 rounds per minute, and ammunition up to 6,500 rounds.   In total, version 2.012 will be one of the most important milestones in the history of the Il-2 project. Of course, with so many changes, there may be some shortcomings that we weren't able to find during testing, but we hope that their amount will be minimal and will not hamper the pleasure that you will undoubtedly get in the process of getting acquainted with this update.       Here you can find the Dev Blog below:   https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/30723-developer-diary-part-169-discussion/

    Strike Fighters 2 : Operation Desert Storm Redux
    MigBuster
    By MigBuster,
        Now a short revisit to one of the seminal Mods for the Strike Fighters series.  Strike Fighters 2: ODS Redux is a very impressive modification of the basic game series and included new aircraft / ground objects over the original. 
    As the title suggests the mod will have you flying over the Middle East battleground where Operation Desert Storm was actually set, so mostly Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait of course:
        New aircraft for Redux included the amazing Buccaneer by Ravenclaw:

     
        Install 
    As ever the mod works best at the game version it was tested and built for, and if you install onto a later version or one merged with North Atlantic there will be a bit more work to do. However if you can copy & paste files and edit word documents you shouldn’t have any problems.
      The instructions are pretty good – however you must insure you follow the first and second rules of modding:
    1.    Make sure you stick the files in the correct place! 
    2.    Make sure you stick the files in the correct place!  If you get stuck there is a few years worth of information and a knowledge base on here to help.     Gameplay
    The variety of aircraft you can choose along with the different squadrons is vast as you can imagine, and should be historically accurate. For this I am going to be in VFA-81, - that’s right I can literally walk into any Navy squadron I am that good!
        The campaign starts with a bit of background about the situation and the strategic error Saddam Hussain perhaps may have made:
        For day one I can rejoice in the fact that mod campaigns include targets other than the beeping Comms building!
          Default loadout looks good enough so no changes for me:
          And flying with my good buddy Ens Mike Erwin, who is not the highest in flying skill but is good with the ladies!:
          Into the sky we go, the Hornet is a third party mod but includes a very good pit complete enough for us to get by with navigation etc:
          Flying over Kuwait Mike seems to think keeping his lights on is more challenging!
          Plenty of Bandits are being called out, like this MiG-23:
          They are being kept busy by F-14s on the way in though luckily:
          We find and hit the scud rather easily, although Mike doesn’t think it is fun without flying low and getting shot at by every gun in theatre:       Coming off target, a MiG is within 10 miles at 9 o’clock, so I turn and lock it up.

         Not being certain who or what it is I close to visual just to see a cheeky F-14 blast it out of the sky with guns (that's the guy locked in the circle).
        Typical, I am off to the tanker, or Alt + N as it is more commonly known here:
        Success is ours…in your face Saddam!
          And of course, hats off to the many that contributed to make SF2:ODS possible!    

    Sea Harrier FRS 1 vs Mirage III & Dagger
    MigBuster
    By MigBuster,
      This is one of the latest and recently released books in Osprey Publishing’s “Duel” series focusing primarily on two of the major aircraft types in the South Atlantic conflict of 1982. There is already quite a lot of very good information written by the people who were there on this subject, however what I really like about the Osprey series is they are short & very concise and this book brings a lot of previous information together in one place, as well as telling us a few new things.   The two main authors are: Doug Dildy – A retired USAF colonel and former F-15 pilot who worked with SHARs operationally and in air-to-air training during his first NATO tour of duty. Dildy lives in Albuquerque, NM. Pablo Calcaterra - A Canadian citizen from Argentina. He is an avid and award winning aircraft modeller, with direct access to the Argentine Air Force archives and contact with many veterans of the conflict. Calcaterra lives in London, Ontario. Other notable contributions to the book include from the Argentine FAA: Brigadier Mayor Guillermo Donadille, Brigadiers Gustavo Piuma Justo, Carlos Perona, and Comodoros Raúl Díaz, Jorge Senn and Luis Puga.   And from the British FAA SHAR Pilots: Cdr Nigel ‘Sharkey’ Ward, Lt Cdrs Mike ‘Soapy’ Watson and David Smith.    The book covers in more detail: ·         The design and development of the Sea Harrier, Mirage IIIEA and the Dagger (Mirage V); ·         The exact weapons that were used by both in the conflict; ·         Looks at pilot training and some tactics from both sides; ·         A look at the overall Strategic situation of the conflict.   The main section “Combat” looks at the engagements from both points of view but also includes the other aircraft and ships involved giving a good overview of the conflict. Lastly statistics and analysis of the conflict are looked at with some of the major points highlighted.   We get a fairly balanced book from many view points, which is essential because looking at something from only a single point of view can never show us the big picture. Overall one of my favourites so far and recommended to anyone who wants a good overview of the sometimes-ferocious air war in the South Atlantic, because make no mistake, despite the short period the loss of life was sometimes horrific and I hope this only sheds more light on their bravery and sacrifice.      

    Scramble for Atari VCS (2600)
    Caesar
    By Caesar,
    With Atari's Video Computer System (2600) having hit its 40th anniversary sometime between August and September this year, I thought it would be a little fun to do a review of a new "homebrew" game for the system.  AtariAge.com released "Scramble" by Champ Games for Atari VCS this year, four decades after the system first hit the streets, and it's quite an incredible game. Play with either the Atari Joystick or a Sega Genesis Gamepad - Scramble is programmed to discern between the two.  Read on to learn more! “Scramble” for Atari VCS is a port of the 1981 arcade game of the same name by Konami, designed and programmed by Champ Games, and published by AtariAge.com.  It was released through AtariAge in July of 2017, one of seven new homebrew games which were released for the VCS this year – 40 years after the system first hit the streets (semi-officially on 11 September 1977; local stores nearby Sunnyvale, CA had the system advertised as early as 1 August of that year).  It is a side-scrolling space shooter with 99 run-throughs and incremented difficulty. Under the Hood: Stars, bullets, and blasts, oh my! Scramble is an incredibly well executed port, especially given the limitations of the VCS.  It is a 32K game that uses the Display Processor Chip-Plus (DPC+) to assist the VCS’s 8-bit 6507 CPU.  The practice of adding extra chips to game boards was popularized by Nintendo (think Star Fox and Yoshi’s Island), but was pioneered by Activision for the game Pitfall II: Lost Caverns (1984) for Atari VCS.  Developed by David Patrick Crane (interesting how the chip was named, isn’t it?), the DPC helps return processing cycles to the 6507 CPU, while also enabling 3-voice, 4-bit digital sound.  Effectively, the DPC increases the number and quality of sprites that can be drawn simultaneously, as well as improving the quality of sound that the VCS can produce.  The modern “Harmony” and “Melody” chips used in many homebrews include DPC+ mode, which further improves upon Crane’s DPC.  While not all homebrews utilize DPC+, Scramble takes full advantage of it, and the results are impressive. Graphics, Music, and Gameplay: In Atari's heyday, a title screen with selectable game settings was unheard of.  It is actually fairly common in today's homebrew games.  Akin to the arcade, Scramble shows a "splash" screen as well as the point values for each target, and high-scores screen.  Note the game's code was completed in 2016; it was not available in cartridge format until this year. At power up, Scramble features a starting screen akin to the arcade original, where the player may select difficulty (Novice, Standard, Advanced, or Expert), view the high score table, and is also shown the point value for each target destroyed (also displayed in the arcade game, and akin to Robotron 2084, Defender, etc.).  When the player begins, the game opens with the original arcade stage music, albeit not quite as deep and booming as the coin-op version’s.  The other arcade sounds are there as well.  The bombs make the classic whistle as they fall, the multi-part explosions for fuel tanks, bases, and the player’s ship are intact, and the UFOs have their own wobbly noise in line with the original.  As with the arcade game, there is a limit to how many sounds can be played at once, so if the screen gets particularly busy, some will cut out (e.g., bomb whistle) until things calm down.  From a graphics perspective, Scramble is up there with the best of them.  The colors are vivid, especially when playing on a CRT television (even the screen captures don’t do it justice, since they grab the signal before the TV displays it), and although the graphics are not quite as good as the arcade’s (more on this later), the game is simply gorgeous.  The map is practically identical in layout to the arcade, the number of sprites on the screen is astounding for a VCS game, the stars sparkle in the background, and screen flicker when multi-color sprites overlap (think about the ghosts from Pac Man) doesn’t impact gameplay (indeed, when you're in the heat of battle, it's almost unnoticeable).  At certain points on the map more than 6 sprites can be on the same scan-line, including the player’s multi-colored sprite, bullets, and bombs, and the screen flicker has no bearing on gameplay in any way.  Such a display could even make an NES slow down and flicker (Technodrome in TMNT, anyone?).  The game supports 2 bombs and 3 blaster shots simultaneously, allowing for up to 5 offensive shots on the screen at once.  Bombs dropped from high altitude take a while to fall, however, so your bomb release rate typically drops the higher you are.  Every time you complete a stage, making it through the “Base” section at the end of the run, you start at the beginning at higher speed and with tougher enemies (akin to the arcade).  Another challenge is your fuel supply.  At lower difficulties, fuel consumption is lower, but in Advanced and Expert, you have to take more risks to ensure you shoot the fuel tanks (labeled with an "F") to keep enough gas to get to the end of each stage.  Sometimes, you'll have to swoop down and engage with blasters, even if it means putting yourself in line with a missile or meteor.  The game supports 99 play-throughs.  Admittedly, I’ve made it through only 3. On "Expert" difficulty, the UFO's fire back, and some of the rockets seek the player.  This shot also shows the variety of multi-colored sprites supported simultaneously, even on the same scan-line, and the number of player shots that can be displayed simultaneously.  Note the fuel tank at the bottom left of the stage. Controls: The stage constantly scrolls to the right, while the player’s controls are unlimited mobility top-to-bottom, and up to half-screen left-to-right.  That mobility is especially necessary in section 5, where the player navigates through the opening of the final base, and getting the ship to the right place at the right time is absolutely paramount to success.  Scramble is also one of a handful of games for the VCS which supports more than a single button on the controller.  Long-time fans of Atari may already know that the VCS is compatible with the Sega Genesis gamepad controller in place of the Joystick (it won’t work for the analog Paddle or Driving controllers).  The VCS recognizes the d-pad for directional input and the “B” button in place of the standard joystick button.  Scramble was programmed to check if a Genesis controller is connected to the Atari upon power-up.  If detected, the game allows for the use of the “C” button to drop bombs, and the “B” button to fire the ship’s blasters, giving the player more control over their shots.  If a standard Atari Joystick is plugged in, the button will fire both bombs and blasters simultaneously, which is still easily playable.  Excepting at higher difficulties, the extra control from the Genesis gamepad is really a nicety, so don’t sweat it if you don’t have one.  If you need to take a moment away, the game also has a pause feature, which is highly uncommon for Atari games.  In the case of Scramble, flipping the Color/Black and White switch on the console will pause or un-pause the game. Positioning can be paramount - immediately after this still-frame capture, I crashed into the fuel tanks. Differences from the Arcade: As one would expect when bringing an arcade game to Atari, there are a few differences from the original.  The fine detail isn’t quite there on the Atari port – for example, the bombs are little squares instead of the arcade style sprites with fins and tubular body, the ship exhaust is monochrome, and the sprites themselves have less detail.  As mentioned above, the sound isn’t quite as “boomy” as the arcade version, although it is highly faithful.  The terrain isn’t in solid colors like the arcade, rather, it is constructed using colored lines.  Even so, this is a damn-close port, more faithful than many of the best ports on Atari across the 1970s and 1980s, and although higher fidelity is now fairly commonplace for 21st Century homebrews (e.g., Juno First, Pac Man 4K, Chetiry), Scramble is a cut above.  It captures the arcade original’s gameplay with what are, frankly, minimal sacrifices to complete the port. Flaming meteors in stage 3.  A bit tricky in higher difficulties to keep fuel levels up. Purchasing Options: Scramble comes in either NTSC (North/some of South America, Japan) or PAL60 (most of Europe, some of South America, Asia, and others) format, boxed with an instruction manual and poster to hang on your wall for $50.  The big question is: is this game worth almost the same money as the latest triple-A first person shooter?  For a serious collector, the answer is absolutely yes.  It is one of the finest arcade ports ever to reach the Atari VCS and is quite a bit of fun.  With 99 play-throughs, you’ll be playing for a while, too.  That said, if you’re a casual classic console collector, capping most purchases below the $25-30 range, the $50 price tag is a little steep, and the programming marvel that is Scramble is probably not worth the asking price for three reasons.  First, odds are you can find the arcade ROM and play it in its full glory through a Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator (MAME) for free…legalities of doing so aside.  Second, the binary file is available at AtariAge by the programmer, and if you own a Harmony Cartridge, you can download it and play it on your console (or PC through the Stella emulator) for free.  Third, Scramble is not yet available in “Cartridge Only” format, so the price is what it is, and probably won’t drop any time soon.  If it does become available as Cartridge Only, the asking price will likely be closer to $20-$30, which is much more acceptable for a casual collector, and certainly worth the money. If you have an AtariVox voice synthesis module/memory card, the game can keep track of more scores.  On-board memory is enough for the top 10 until you reset or power-off the game.  The AtariVox will keep the scores saved indefinitely. Final Thoughts: All in all, Scramble is a wonderful game for Atari VCS (2600), and an exceptional example of what the system is truly capable of producing graphically and audibly 40 years after its release in 1977.  It is a must-have for the serious collector, and should be a first-look for casual collectors if and when it gets released in cartridge only format.  Have you played Atari today? -"Caesar"  

    Strike Fighters: Modern Combat
    MigBuster
    By MigBuster,
      Strike Fighters: Modern Combat   Remember the Strike Fighters series, you know the good old days, when most people were using Windows XP and Thirdwire had the Cold War era combat sim market to themselves. The days when free updates would fall from the cloud(s) giving us new game features for no extra cost.  When we could marvel at flying iconic aircraft over historical battlefields such as Vietnam, Europe, the middle east, and some made up desert place……..all in the latest Direct X 9 Graphics. We thought those days would last forever, but sadly after a while Thirdwire realised it could no longer afford anything greater than a Mcdonalds double Cheeseburger for its lunch. It then released an ambitious new addition set over the North Atlantic, however sadly the games didn’t fly off the virtual shelves and they realised they couldn’t even afford an out of date cheeseburger from the Iceland budget supermarket chain. Then just as all hope was lost, out of nowhere, lady luck smiled on the starving company and smart phones and tablets rained down from the heavens. Not only were these mini PCs locked down for any old idiot to use, they came with interesting new opportunities to make money.   And here we are in good old 2017 with the release of Strike Fighters: Modern Combat. Anyone who has played any of the Strike Fighters mobile series (e.g. Strike Fighters: Attack) will instantly recognise the type of game this is, however there are some changes, and the development of this series has now advanced a bit further on compared to the original Strike Fighters or Strike Fighters: Israel on IOS or Android.   Windows 10 This is the first of the series you can buy for a Windows device from the Thirdwire store, so if you are one of the ten people that have a Windows mobile device (including myself yaah!) this might be good news. I however am not going to buy that version and instead am going to review the version on IOS ( iPhone ).   Features The controls are pretty much the same as before, tilt the phone to bank, pitch and roll, there is a rudder option in the menu if you must.     Because of the large variety of weapons there is a handy mode select (MSL SEL) button to switch ordnance, you always have guns available though(if you have any). Once a weapon is selected it will auto lock onto a relevant target, for example a Radar if you have selected an Anti- Radiation missile, or an aircraft if you have selected an ASRAAM. The veteran F-4 still makes an appearance   There is a handy 360 degree radar type screen you get in the top right corner. Advanced jets like the FA-18C will have a Data Link type picture showing all ground and air targets and if they are friend or foe. Less advanced jets like the Su-22M4 only show an older radar type picture with green blobs. (Note the blob with diamond is your primary target set)   An auto lock on a ground target brings up a nifty Infra Red (IR) view as you might see from a targeting pod, and you can press Mode to get the 360 degree radar view back at any time. (Not that I can make anything out on a tiny iPhone screen anyway!) When out of view, red arrows will point to the enemy jets and blue arrows to friendlies (just like 1980s computer games!). Green thing acquired sir     Missions & Mission Editor The game auto chooses a mission for you (Escort/ Intercept / Fighter sweep / etc) which you then attempt to complete by blowing up as many relevant targets as you can in the given time period. If you destroy all the mission targets your mission ends even earlier.(you can even abort by pressing pause then hitting the cross) On each mission you often have allied jets helping you by blasting those baddies out of the sky! If you want to pay you can unlock the mission editor feature getting options to customise the missions a bit more.   Weapons Loadout You can now select weapons (again a paid unlock), and just like in life the more money you have the more you make (perhaps). For example with the F-16 I can remove the tanks and add 4 x GBU-12s to go with 8 x SDBs and 4 x AIMs which is a potential 1600 points yippee! The flying SAM site!   Points mean prizes Literally the more points you get the more credit you get. On a typical mission you might get 500 to 1000 points with the right aircraft, choose an A-10C or F-5E for the A-A role though and you had better be good with the gun to rack up the points. More points please – plus purists avert your eyes!   Flight models Hmmm……….nothing to see here, I think it might have borrowed the one from the 1980s arcade game Afterburner.   The music Yes, you can still switch that off by putting the phone to silent.   Payware Well yes, the game is free and you can play it for free, however the aircraft you may want are very expensive and so getting enough credits may take a while.   Su-57 = lots of roubles   You can of course remove the adds by always playing off line, which is a good way to save battery and not constantly microwave your hands, however there is an incentive to play online because you get 500 free points per day for logging in every day. So for example 10 consecutive days will yield 10 x 500 points! That’s not all folks, after one mission a birthday cake appeared on the left top corner to which I clicked on. Here I was given the option to watch a 30 second hotel advert for 10,000 extra free credits (which I took). If you click on the trolley with a dollar sign you will find options to buy 375,000 credits per payment and other features to pay for including the mission editor and loadout screen as mentioned.   375000 credits doesn’t go far in Strike Fighters land!     Summary Strike Fighters: Modern Combat brings together good features from the earlier mobile games and adds to them. If you want to pay to unlock the features you will likely get more from it, however it seems to be a fairly fun arcade game, especially when you need to baby sit your daughter or are at lunchtime at work, or instead of work maybe. As for the future, perhaps utilisation of Virtual Reality could be one direction…who knows.   Off to kick some A-A butt!           Anyone not familiar with the original mobile games might be interested to read this previous review:  

Portal by DevFuse · Based on IP.Board Portal by IPS


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