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33LIMA

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Everything posted by 33LIMA

  1. Battle of Britain II - second phase

    Hi Olham! This thread was my effort to compare, contrast and generally sum up, in words and pictures and within a single thread, my own experience of the single player experience from 'BoB2', a joint commercial+mod community (A2A/BDG) remake of the famous Rowan original, and from CloD Blitz Edition. Comparisons based on personal preferences can be all very unfair, and I'm not into MP which is potentially another story. But I'll just say here that if I absolutely had to choose only one combat flight sim to play forever after- which I don't of course but anyway - BoB2 would be at or very near the top of my 'Desert Island Disc/sim' shortlist. A shortlist CloD wouldn't make, sadly. And that's before I have even started playing three out of BoB2's four replayable, dynamic campaigns (RAF commander, Luftwaffe commander, RAF pilot, Luftwaffe pilot). As Rock Paper Shotgun's Tim Stone said in an early review, CloD is a nice aeroplane sim... ... but for SP, and as a representation of the Battle it's named for, BoB2 still shoots it down in flames. Our AI pilot wastes no time in getting down after we escaped back to France after a Spitfire attack, playing as an air gunner during the training mission 'Interceptions - single fighter vs single bomber' This is from the training mission, 'ground attack'. Not sure when I snapped the next two pics, the second one of course being von Werra's 109; and the two after that, from recent RAF 'commander' campaign missions. The one thing so far I don't much like about BoB2 is that 109 escorts will sometimes ignore you (notice the unresponsive staffel below the bombers), said to happen because the campaign AI has a 'proportionate response' policy and will not swarm an intercepting squadron with all available escorts. Possibly taking Teutonic discipline a bit far, eh ?:) But better than the Ancient Britons, whom I recall my history teacher told us the Romans would defeat by attacking one side of their hill forts, causing all the defenders to rush to that side, then hitting the other side about fifteen minutes later. An apt lesson, apocryphal or not. I never forgot it anyway and in later life, I always tried to 'watch my arc' regardless of distractions. :) Other times they will not only react, but can happily bounce you. These 110s did this to our squadron, before I even realised they were there. Fresh underwear all round, please. I much prefer BoB2's big, tight formations which occasionally act dumb to those in CloD which are very small and act dumb a lot. When you can see them, which isn't very often, until they are close (and pixelated, AA being awful) and since - while there's apparently a complicated workaround you can program - you can't even cheat by turning on labels in-game. BoB2 versus CloD is still a bit like Adler Tag versus Turkey Tag :) The nested radio command system menus in BoB2 are very strange in places if you're used to 'classic' Il-2, but at least it works, while CloD's is mostly broken. Team Fusion's patch 5 would have to fix a whole lot, even to begin to balance out the scales.
  2. The Luftwaffe switches targets in my RAF 'commander' campaign! It's lunchtime on 20th July 1940. For the last ten days, the Germans have been attacking coastal convoys. This was how events unfolded in the Operations Room, as recently as the day before - a typical day, until then. A new raid, Hostile 201, 70-plus, is being plotted, likely target a convoy off Ramsgate. The convoy's air cover, 79 Squadron, is still at Hawkinge to the south-west, but should be on station in time. Elsewhere, it's fairly quiet. Twenty four hours later and it's a different story. Raids are coming in thick and fast - slightly smaller, but more of them. And they're going mainly for our outermost airfields. I spent the morning feeling increasingly overwhelmed. Then I decided to do something about it. When the first lunchtime raid came in, heading for the airfield at Tangmere (ringed red, left centre of the screen in the pic below) I diverted a patrol from convoy escort, and another one that was covering an outer London airfield. Three squadrons hit the raid, overwhelming the escorts and inflicting heavy losses on the Heinkels. It didn't stop them bombing and heavily damaging Tangmere, but they paid a big price for it. You can see the raid, Hostile 101, in the pic below, as it withdraws to the south-east across the Channel, still harried by three RAF squadrons. This is me a little earlier, flying as Green 1 with 234 Squadron... ...and here I am, making my contribution to the war effort, attacking Hostile 101 as it heads for its target. But the Huns weren't giving us any respite. Or even a break for lunch, for that matter! By about 12:30, another raid, Hostile 201, thirty plus, was being plotted coming north from France, you can see it near the lower right-hand corner, in the second the Ops Room pic above. Except there was no longer a convoy target there! It looked to be headed for the exposed fighter base at Manston. And I had shot my bolt, with few squadrons ready to intercept it. First off were 605 Squadron's Hurricanes, and I opted to leave the Ops Room and fly as Green Section leader when they spotted the enemy. They are above us, about thirty bombers in three wide wedges. Somebody called out fighters, but all I can see were the Heinkels, and it was those that the boss ordered us to attack. It was going to be a race to catch them, before they bombed. As we closed from astern, the Huns start turning to port, and with a sinking heart I know we have lost the race. Down below, Manston paid the price! But the Huns would now have to run the gauntlet, and there was still no sign of an escort. A loose pack of Hurricanes was now fast closing in on them as they levelled out and headed back south. ...to be continued!
  3. Battle of Britain II - second phase

    'Run, rabbit, run, rabbit, run, run run...' Still seeing no escorts around, I waste no further time and curve in after the retreating Heinkels. a As I come in, the bombers make another turn to the left. This sends me wide and I end up going for the group in the centre instead of the left-hand bunch. As a result I come under fire from both ahead, and to my own left. I break off my attack without doing much damage, leaving it for now to others who are queuing up behind me to have a crack, including one keen chap who is trailing smoke but not ready to give up. As I pull up, the right-hand group of bombers is slipping in from the side... ...and then sliding out of sight underneath. I take some hits, but nothing stops working. No more charging into the middle of things for me! The Huns are now settled on a steady course to the south, so I decide to have another crack at the fellows on the left of their formation, where things should not be just so hot. Aiming between an engine and wing root often seems to pay dividends! I make another pass at the fellow on the right of this one, just as the formation makes another turn... ...but have to break off when I finally run out of ammunition. I take some more hits as I overshoot - in the fin and rudder as it happens. So I pull up sharply at full throttle, to get out of everyone's way. I fly a parallel course to the withdrawing bombers until they reach the coast, seeing them off the premises as it were. I'll find out later just how hard hit Manston actually was, but there's no doubt at all that the Huns paid a hefty price for whatever damage they managed to do. The battle has definitely stepped up a couple of gears today, giving me what feels like an authentic sense of the tension ramping up as the Luftwaffe turns its attention from the convoys to RAF airfields. This campaign has got its hooks into me and doesn't want to let go!
  4. Battle of Britain II - second phase

    'Shoot him! Shoot him!' I waste no time in cutting the corner on the bombers' turn and taking the advice coming over the R/T to let them have it. Starting with this fellow, on the left of the formation. There's a fair bit of tracer flying about from return fire, some of it a bit wild... ...some of it not, like the round you can see in the pic below, which looks like it's about to hit me in the face! I break left and my victim goes down in a steep diving turn with an engine on fire. No doubt about that one! In the pic below you can also see the smoke beginning to clear from the rows of bomb craters left by the raid. While the hangars have been hit, many bombs have fallen into what looks like open countryside to the west of Manston. You can also see that Red Leader, the boss, is on the air announcing some hits of his own. The list here says that 'Charlie' was actually 611 Squadron's callsign and that 605's was 'Turkey'. There is still no sign of escorts so I roll right to come in for another go. By this time, the enemy's left-hand squadron seems to be taking a bit of a pasting. You can see a Hurricane slicing through the centre of this group, another couple out front after making their own passes, and a couple of Heinkels falling away, with others smoking. At this point, having turned about 90 degrees to port, the Huns are flying roughly west-south-west, down the wide outer reaches of the Thames Estuary. This view from the cockpit, taken just seconds later, shows a bomber crew bailing out, while more Hurricanes come in to make stern attacks. As I come in for my own second pass, the Heinkels are slipping into and out of the upper reaches of some cloud. This doesn't stop me from knocking another bomber out of formation... ...but it does produce an interesting moment when, coming out into the clear, it looks as if I have taken his place in the formation. Needless to say, I get out of there, sharpish! Again I slide off to one side and take stock. The Heinkels are still the only enemy aircraft that I can see, and their numbers continue to be whittled down, even as I watch. I just hope the boys who were under the bombs back at Manston can see some of this! I'm not sure how much ammo I have left, but it's time to put what there is, to good use! ...to be continued!
  5. Battle of the Battle of Britain sims!

    Being a 'campaign person' and not much into jets are probably the main reasons I have no interest at all in DCS in its present or foreseeable forms. As for CloD, I'm finding that the improved RAF campaign produces some immersive flying and many nice images... ...but in the end, while worth experiencing, it can't really compensate for scripting which still sometimes fails, erratic AI, a mostly broken command menu, very poor visibility of other aircraft, smaller scale, narrower single player scope (except flyable planeset) and bad antialiasing. So I still have BoB2 far ahead of CloD, on almost every scale that's important to me.
  6. Campaign contrasts - Battle of Britain II and Cliffs of Dover Blitz Edition For one reason or another, I've found myself running single player RAF campaigns in parallel in these two Battle of Britain sims. As indeed you may have noticed, from recent mission reports. So I thought it might be moderately amusing to describe where I've got to in each, side by side. And share some more of my thoughts - for whatever they may be worth - on their respective merits, based now on a little more than first impressions. Starting with Battle of Britain II - Wings of Victory. It's the morning of 18th July 1940. Watching 'the plot' on the campaign map, I hear the a WAAF announce that a new raid is forming, over northern France. Time acceleration automatically slows from 300x to 20x and I watch the raid's marker nudge its way north, towards the Thames Estuary. As it comes, its size is revised upwards to seventy-plus and I can see at once that its likely target is either of two convoys, one off Felixstowe, the other further north near Great Yarmouth. Both are protected by a single fighter patrol, in squadron strength, put up by the campaign AI. The raid drifts past the Felixstowe convoy and I accept AI recommendations to scramble three squadrons to intercept it. Confirmation comes that Convoy Weasel, up off Great Yarmouth, is the likely target. In the meantime, the intercepting squadrons have been tracking across from the west and Douglas Bader's 242 Squadron is the first to report spotting the bandits. BoB2 asks me if I want to fly this mission and I accept, choosing to fly as Green 3, in one of the rearmost 3-plane vics in 242. The mission loads, and I find myself in Hurricane LE-L, at just over 16,000 feet, now heading nearly due south. Up ahead is the enemy - some of them, anyway. There look to be about thirty of them. They're not contrailing, so it's hard to work out their heading. You can just about make them out, right of top centre, in the pic below. From up ahead and to my left, Douglas Bader is saying something important on the blower, but I'm more interested in what the rest of the formation is now doing. Wings are waggling nervously and I'm suddenly concerned about keeping in formation. I'm also thinking, this was supposed to be seventy plus, where are the rest of the Germans? The answer isn't long in coming. Suddenly we are swamped by a shower of Messerschmitt 110s, which fall on us from above. I pull up and around in an effort to avoid being shot down, and maybe even come around onto their tails. In doing so, I realise I'm on my own and have lost the others - in such a situation, it seems to be each man for himself. I look up briefly to see if it's clear above me, before coming back down after the 110s. I get another shock. Waves of aircraft, which could only be Huns, are sailing past up there. The lower ones might be Ju88s; the paler ones above them could be more escorts. Others again, I can only see by their contrails. Crikey!!! If only the bloody Controller had told us to put on a bit more height, we would not be in this mess, bounced by 110s with the rest of the raid now having a clear run to the convoy. We can only hope that having stripped away some of the escorts, other squadrons will manage to get the bombers before they get the ships. Did anybody buy it in that first pass? No time to worry about that now. I roll over onto my back and go down, after the Messerschmitts. ...to be continued!
  7. Battle of the Battle of Britain sims!

    Yes, that's one of my pet hates as well. I'm old enough to recall the original Revell 1/72 FW190A, which had a normal cross decal on the fin and whose 1960s instruction sheet said 'The markings on your model are not historically accurate. Portrayal of the accurate markings would not be in keeping with the spirit of Democracy.' Nowadays even Germany has I think legalised swastikas in such usage, so where is this coming from in CloD Blitz? A Russian influence, perhaps, as they are still absent in Il-2 BoS, - though not of course the Communist stars, the symbol of a regime only somewhat less obnoxious. As a blow against facism, it's about as silly as the airbrushing out of all signs of violence on Airfix box art in the '70s, but these self-righteous lobby groups have many forms. The first Adler Tag mission is definitely broken. Second try, my schwarm gets off, but the rest of the staffel sits on the airfield asking for takeoff clearance while with me mostly in autopilot, we head west down Channel, for the RV. The recce plane meanwhile leaves the area and passes us by on a nearly reciprocal course offset several miles to the ENEMY side of the Channel, flying now at low level close to Dungeness, where the Observer Corps will not only be able to see him, but could practically chuck stones at him. Of course, he gets whacked when 74 Squadron arrive from the opposite direction. We can't even see this. There's a report of Spits on the radio which reads more like it came from a German ground controller than the Dornier but it's way too late and it's 'Mission failed' again. You can see the radio messages below from the rest of the squadron, still trying to get takeoff clearance. Determined to get some fun from the mission I tried a third time and used my knowledge of the bomber's location and route to try to catch it. My wingman came with me, the rest of the staffel (which actually took off this time) headed for the RV miles to the west. I still arrived too late to save the Dornier, but chased after the Spits, knowing from previous plays that they headed north for home. The Spits ignored us at first, even after I started shooting - with MGs only, as I hadn't programmed a button to fire cannon. After I knocked one Spit out of formation the others evaded a bit wthout making any effort to counterattack, before resuming course. I got one of them before heading home - he just flew straight and level while I hosed him down from dead astern. I could give my kazcmarek no orders and he had nothing to do but congratulate me. Patrick Bishop's 'Battle of Britain - a day by day chronicle' confirms this action took place, and presumably the other Luftwaffe campaign missions likewise. So it's major shame if what could have been the making of CloD is as screwed up as this first mission. EDIT - all is not lost. I've just downloaded the RAF and Luftwaffe 'redux' campaigns from ATAG and they appear to be a whole new ball game. I've just started the RAF one and it's a re-work of the stock one with a re-written, more historical storyline. I've just played the first mission and while the action is similar to the stock equivalent, the presentation and execution are visibly better. Darn Asus mobo's power surge protection killed it just after I had knocked down a second Dornier, but I did even better on the replay, including knocking down a 110 whose crew bailed out just in time... My Hurricane has lost its overdone weathering and has authentic 607 Squadron codes... And I don't remember the airfield looking so knocked about when I landed, complete with bomb craters to avoid, in the stock campaign. I'll definitely be giving this one a go!
  8. Battle of the Battle of Britain sims!

    Footnote - Adler Tag I only just realised that the stock CloD Luftwaffe campaign - Adler Tag - is not more of the same when I read its intro. Which provides just that information. No [contrived] backstory here, 'just history' is the bold claim. All the Luftwaffe missions are precisely recreated historical ones, presented as three mini-campaigns, flying the Bf109, then the Bf110, then the Stuka. Numbers of aircraft have been reduced a bit to make them playable for those like me with lesser systems. How thoughtful! Perhaps I've been a bit hasty in my judgement of CloD? The first mission, set on 10 July at the start of the Battle, turns out to be for a staffel from I/JG51 tasked to escort one of the bombers flying Channel recce, looking out for naval action worth attacking. My role is not entirely clear - my 109 is not at the head of the pack for take-off, although it carries the double chevron of a gruppe kommandeur. Black with white outline might have been more realistic, though otherwise the unit markings and camouflage colours (71/02/65) and pattern look authentic, complete with individually-numbered Messerschmitts. Not sure though that JG51 carried the yellow identification marking so early in the Battle -Michael Payne in 'Bf109 - Into the battle' says this started to appear in mid-August. And of course, we are not permitted to have swastikas, or even to have a mod which applies them. The mission starts well enough, with a decent line up on our grass field at the Pas de Calais, across the Channel from Dover. I say 'grass', but the latter is not present in the pic below, perhaps because I paused the action for the picture. It all starts to go a bit Pete Tong after that. There's a lot of cloud about and I get separated. I check the map but despite having turned the map path back on, it's not there so I have no idea where the RV with the bomber is. I resort to autopilot, and after quite a long flight out to the west, notice some ragged specks to my left front. We slowly converge, but even zoomed in, the specks could be almost any type of aircraft. I have been experimenting with settings to reduce the 'jagglies' but without much luck as you can see from my radio cable. As I close with the others - for happily they are my staffel - it really goes seriously t*ts up. There's a radio warning of Spitfires, but nothing can be seen, neither the enemy nor the bomber we're supposed to meet. And no visible reaction from the others. Next, something happens to my aircraft, which sort of shudders a little and loses power. There's no sign at all of enemy action - no Spits, no damage visible on my machine. I wonder if turning off autopilot left some engine setting in a dangerous condition. I had turned on CEM in the last RAF campaign to confirm that it produced negative-G cut out in Merlins - which it does, as well as confirming that the developers made a really, utterly crass design decision, in tying that effect to that setting. At the same time, one of the 109s up front breaks off, there's some R/T chatter, and I'm told 'mission failed'. Just like that! Oil splashes up onto my windscreen... ..and I turn south for the French coast, passing a small unescorted convoy. A study of my instruments might have told me what had gone wrong, but at this stage I had ceased to care. Via the rather awkward expedient of pausing the action (or turning on autopilot and taking your chances) and then hitting F10 (to toggle off mouse camera control) you can mouse-click the screen and bring up a little menu which lets you change viewpoint to other objects. Doing this, I can see that the rest of the staffel flies on, entirely unconcerned by what just happened. Whatever that was. At the same time, a flight of four 74 Squadron Spitfires is crossing the English coast from the Channel. They must have shot down the Dornier recce plane (whose loss is confirmed in the stats screen). Possibly, without anyone seeing this; certainly, without anyone doing anything at all about it. Is the mission broken, or did I miss a trigger or something that would have made it work? I have no idea. I'm not going to start turning on aircraft icons on the map just so I can see things I ought to be able to see in the 3d world, but can't. I certainly can't seem to rely on the AI spotting and attacking targets. I may fly it one more time to see if I can work it out. Or move on try a few of the others, in the hope they are less frustrating. But from this admittedly very limited evidence, the CloD Luftwaffe campaign is looking like a promising concept, killed by poor implementation. I'm not quite ready to apply that assessment to the product as a whole, but for now, I am sticking to my aforementioned lukewarm opinion of the sim.
  9. From vague memories of my own wrestling with this sort of thing in the rather arcane world of IL-2 mods, it's the air.ini file that usually needs lines added to it, typically for aircraft. There's some info on air.ini here: https://www.sas1946.com/main/index.php?topic=23.0 I have DBW and CUP installs of IL-2 '46 and neither has the MODS folder described above. In my DBW install, the 'active' air.ini file is, I believe, the one in IL-2 Sturmovik 1946/#DBW/STD/com/maddox/objects. I think this becomes active when I launch Il-2 via IL-2 Selector and click to accept the DBW mod, before Il-2 itself starts. If all else fails, I think this is the best place to get advice: https://www.sas1946.com/main/index.php/board,280.0.html
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