I’m more of a singleplayer type of gamer when it comes to IL-2 these days. Although I still play online with Battlefield and War Thunder, for a while it’s been harder to get into IL-2’s multiplayer scene. That said, I’ve recently taken more tentative steps to get in there and fly a few rounds.
Popularity on the rise
Although many IL-2 servers are still not well populated on a regular basis, a couple of servers are getting there. The EU Official 1CGS Server can be a place for a lot of fun to be had and recently I’ve taken to the Expert mode Wings of Liberty server to fly a little bit too.
Where numbers were poor before, they are gradually increasing as more people buy into IL-2 and start hopping on multiplayer.
More players are appearing on IL-2s multiplayer scene and that’s a good thing. Servers are more regularly filled during day time North American hours and I think we’re slowly starting to see things build up in Europe and elsewhere too. IL-2’s popularity has always been spread across more than a few continents so seeing a worldwide audience come together to fly is a great thing to have happen.
Unsuccessful missions, fun times still to be had
I flew a couple of missions on Wings of Liberty and none of them were successful. My initial outing was in an IL-2, Model 1942 and that ended in a bust. I wasn’t able to find the rocket artillery I was hunting for and later my aircraft was attacked and critically damaged – I set it down on a field and escaped.
My second mission was a little more successful. Picking a LaGG-3 Series 29 with default loadout, I went hunting over friendly territory looking for enemy fighters and bombers. A report came in on chat that three 109s were flying low near a target area and so I, a Yak and a MiG headed for the interception.
We failed at finding the three low 109s, however, we were then attacked by a 109 from higher altitude. A 109 locked on to my six briefly and fired wildly around me. Fortunately, none of the rounds landed on my fighter.
Eventually I got on his six, however, he was smart and went to disengage. The fight lasted for several minutes and covered tens of kilometers of territory. Unfortunately neither my LaGG-3 nor my Yak-1 ally were able to catch this 109 at low altitude and we broke off pursuit.
I continued to hunt for enemy aircraft until fuel began to run a little low and I headed for home. At the end of my mission, I had no kills, but also no damage despite being attacked by a 109. In an expert server where the fog of war is just that much more present, I consider this a victory.
Better still, I had some engine management difficulty that was quickly cleared up by helpful and friendly server regulars. That kind of thing is always much appreciated!