The time has come to tell you more about the historical timeframe of Battle of Bodenplatte.
As we said in our previous Dev Blog #192, we're making all four different seasons for this map. Some might think that we'll model only 1-2 days of the actual Bodenplatte operation when the Luftwaffe made the all-out attack on the Allied airfields near Brussels and Antwerp. However, our “Battle of” series is much more than that! The Career mode for this new theatre of war will last from September 17th, 1944 to March 28th, 1945 – 188 days of war in total.
Historically, 11 significant engagements took place in this area during the given timeframe. In the Career mode, you'll see your area of operations, mission types, acting air force units, their home airfields and other details that correspond to the historical data. You'll be flying in and around many famous operations and battles. Of course, we can’t model every skirmish or battle on the ground, but we will have an exciting Career spanning this later stage of the war when the Allies were fighting their way into Germany.
Operation Market Garden (September 17 – 26, 1944)
Battle of Aachen (October 2 – 21, 1944)
Battle of the Scheldt (October 2 – November 8, 1944)
Operation Queen (November 16 – December 15, 1944)
Operation Watch on the Rhine (December 16 – 25, 1944)
Allied Counter-Offensive (December 26, 1944 – January 25, 1945)
Operation Bodenplatte (January 1, 1945)
Operation Veritable (February 8 – March 10, 1945)
Operation Clarion (February 22 – 23, 1945)
Operation Grenade (February 23 – March 10, 1945)
Operation Plunder (March 23 – 28, 1945)
As said above, we won't be able to recreate these ground operations in super detail, but the overall situation, mission tasks, home airfields and mission targets will change as they should historically just as you experience with Stalingrad, Moscow and Kuban. This, along with the corresponding features of the Career mode like pilot biographies, squadron histories, newspaper articles, videos, squadron rosters, medals and rank progression will create an authentic experience of flying on the Western Front during the late war period. The whole timeframe will be divided into 5 chapters:
Chapter 1: Fighting in Holland (September 17 – October 1, 1944)
Chapter 2: Autumn Offensive (October 2 – December 15, 1944)
Chapter 3: Battle of the Bulge (December 16 – 25, 1944)
Chapter 4: Allied Counter-Offensive (December 26, 1944 – February 7, 1945)
Chapter 5: Battle of the Rhine (February 8 – March 28, 1945)
To create this new theatre of war, a thorough research will be done on where the units of both sides were based, their tasks and what aircraft they used day by day. Two new award systems for the US and Great Britain are to be created from scratch, as well as the late war pilot models for Luftwaffe, RAF and USAAF along with their chutes. The Newspaper articles is a huge task on their own and takes several months to complete. If you’d like to help with this contact Jason. We also plan on making additional mission types for this unique location and timeframe. All in all, this will be a lot of work for us, but progress is already being made. For example, we have finalized the map boundaries and the airfield locations. This map is bigger than we initially planned (flyable area is 401 x 324 km - it is 129.900 sq.km) and several compromises will have to be made to make it a reality. It will stretch us to the limit of what is possible in our development schedule, but as with our other maps it will be really cool when it’s done.
You can discuss the news in this thread
There are holidays at the beginning of May in Russia, but to this day we have managed to release the important 3.002 update and its hotfixes. Moreover, we have found a temporary solution for our Russian customers who were affected by the recent mass blocking of the Amazon IP addresses (we use its web services). While one part of the team has been working on the update, others have continued the development of our next big project - Bodenplatte. For instance, we have reached an important milestone in the development of the new map. Evgeny Isaev, our lead landscape and game world artist, has this to say:
It's important to note that the new map will be special and different (once again!). The set development time limits force us to find the ways to optimize our work, simultaneously increasing the quality of the landscape. This means we ought to implement new design methods, namely using digital geodata (with required historical corrections) instead of drawing by hand. This way we can save time, but increase the accuracy of the resulting map.
At the moment, we already have the map with height data, rivers and forests. The result is not final, but it required a lot of work already.
Now we're working on the settlements. It is possible that we'll increase their number in the course of development, but we'll make the decision when we have the major towns and smaller settlements ready. The airfields list is ready and we have collected enough information to make them. In addition, we have a general concept of how we'll texture the landscape for different seasons, but we'll give it a bit more thought.
It is said than one picture is worth a thousand words, how about fourteen:
You can find it here
after the release of 3.001 of Il2 Series, there is a good in depth review at Stormbirds. For all who is interested in an up to date and very detailed WW2 sim, should read it and maybe, try it out.
I hope you guys enjoy the reading and if you have any comments or questions, just post them below. I will read them all.
Have fun and have a nice weekend