Over a year ago, 1CGS released a patch for IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad that enabled player controllable tank warfare in the game. Tanks, in a flight simulator is just something that hasn’t really been done very much.
DCS has Combined Arms and War Thunder has an armored tank mode. I have no experience with the DCS module, however, its description sounds like it functions more as a JTAC (forward air controller) with the ability to command armored groups and take control of individual tanks.
WarThunder’s armored mode is a separate module that integrates some planes into it but its very much an armored scenario with small maps well suited to that mode.
In IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad, the tanks are part of the overall scenario. There is no special mode where there are tanks in one map and airplanes in another – these are fully integrated parts of the battlefield.
Currently available in IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad are:
- PzKpfw III Ausf. L
- T-34-76, Model 1942
The tanks are simplified slightly in their controls, however, they are absolutely authentic with restricted view-ports and slow turret travel times.
Today I was in a multiplayer server where tanks were part of the scenario. It was immensely cool to be an IL-2 flying over the battlefield with intense air battles above and equally intense ground battles below – battles being conducted by players in both areas. Yes, AI were involved on the ground too but this was an incredible experience in my mind.
It’s an experience that I hope 1CGS can nurture. Although the focus should definitely be on aircraft, having these tanks on the ground both expand the series scope and expands the depth of the air campaign as well.
In the Q&A session we had with Jason last weekend, he wasn’t too optimistic about any more tanks coming in the near future, however, the HQ controller mode that he described had both air and ground versions – potentially separate controllers for ground and air. How these become integrated into multiplayer scenarios and what role the tanks, aircraft, and controllers play is still somewhat murky.
I’d love to see at least two more tanks added to fill out the ranks a bit and a little more love to this area where time allows.
More of this please – yes, more of this!