If you’ve read What Comes Next? Part One then you’ll already know the basic format of this segment and the kinds of practicalities and desires that I’m talking about. To summarize, as 1CGS finishes up work on IL-2: Battle of Moscow and with Battle of Stalingrad firmly in the rearview mirror, its time to speculate on what they might do next.
In Part One I made the case for the Eastern Front and proposed three possible scenarios that the team might explore next. In Part Two I’m going to look at the Western Front and look at one big scenario.
Option Two: The Western Front
A distant but plausible option would be for the creators to take the series to the west and potentially draw in some addition players that have less interest in the Eastern Front battles. While I’m a fan of flying just about anything, there are certain types of players only interested in specific parts of the conflict and that’s ok too.
D-Day, Operation Overlord, and the Invasion of France
For me, this is an easy re-tread on a combat theater I’ve read much about and thoroughly enjoy from a historical perspective. This time period brings together a fairly ideal set of competitive aircraft across three different air forces and includes some of the most iconic aircraft in the west.
For this suggestion I’m breaking with the 8+2 arrangement as there is no way to adequately represent three distinct air forces with enough aircraft to do them justice. Instead, I’m doing 4+4+4+2 premium.
The Royal Air Force
- Spitfire Mark Vb (with unlockable Merlin 46 and clipped wing options)
- Spitfire Mark LF.IX (with unlockable bombs, clipped wings, and E wing/.50cal machine guns)
- Typhoon Mark IB (with unlockable rockets and bigger bombs)
- Mosquito FB.VI (with unloackable rockets and bomb options)
The United States Army Air Force
- P-47D-22 (with an unlockable D-25 bubble canopy version?)
- B-26C (or the A-20G/J would work well here too)
- P-51B/Mustang Mark III
There’s no doubt that putting together this line-up of aircraft plus the Normandy and southern Britain map would take some serious doing. This would be a larger project than the earlier iterations by 1CGS so it may not be one that they do… But let’s break down the aircraft options anyways. For fun!
For the RAF the two Spitfire models are the quintessential fighters on and after D-Day. With only 1/3rd of squadrons switched to the upgraded LF.IX model on the day of the invasion I felt like both types were essential. There is quite a bit of unlock potential with the Spitfire series. Clipped wings, differences between C and E type (replacing the four Browning .303 guns with twin .50cal machine guns) armaments, as well as centerline and wing bomb loadouts are possibilities. The Typhoon is another essential type of the subsequent Normandy battles and the relentless air-to-ground attacks conducted on German forces at the Falaise Gap. Finally the Mosquito FB.VI was the most produced variant of the Mosquito and ideal for the RAF’s bomber/attacker with its internal bomb bay. I also considered the Mosquito B.IV (and I’d love to see both!).
The USAAF aircraft list came naturally with the trio of classic American fighters and fighter-bombers (all three did duty in this role) with one bomber. I picked the B-26C due to its role in the battle and because we’ve never seen one as a flyable in a simulator before – to my knowledge anyways! If the B-26 is a bit too complicated then the A-20 would be a great choice too… And a useful one on more than one theatre in the future.
For a Premium aircraft I wanted to pick a type with resonance with both Allied air forces and for that I picked the earlier P-51B/Mustang Mark III with its “razorback” configuration and four .50cal machine guns.
The Luftwaffe gets the Western Front preferred Bf109G-6AS, FW190A-8, the Jabo (fighter-bomber) FW190F-8 and finally… a flyable Do217K-1 which was rushed from other theaters to help repel the invasion force. Finally, I picked the Me410 as a Premium type for its rareness and usefulness in intercepting bombers such a the B-26.
This theatre could be a lot of fun. I explored the possibilities of a Battle of the Ardennes type scenario or even a final push through the Rhine but I think D-Day and the subsequent days is most iconic.
For Part Three and Four of this series I’ll tackle the other two possibilities.