What I’m playing now and looking forward to

Been busy playing a bunch of IL-2 and DCS right now and I thought I’d share what I’m flying right now and new things I’m trying to tackle in both sims. Also, I talk a little about what’s coming up and what I’m most excited about.

Flying the Lavochkin and Macchi

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The La-5 with M-82F engine upgrade can nearly hold its own in IL-2: Battle of Kuban.

When I bought IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad in its early access back at the beginning of its development, I bought the Standard edition. I wasn’t sure if I’d like the new sim or if I’d like the business model. Though there were problems I was desperate for some more aircraft to fly and I bought both La-5 Series 8 and FW190A-3 later on. Definitely not a disappointment with either… in the end anyways!

I haven’t flown the La-5 much recently and I thought maybe it was time to change that. Other types have consumed much of my time but I’m now aiming at flying some types I haven’t flown as much.

The La-5 is slightly easier to handle right now post flight model update. It complains less in a turn than it used to making it fairly easy to work with. That said, the engine requires some paying attention to and you really need to pay attention to it to get the most out of it. Even with the improvements in handling, its important to realize that its a little more heavily wing-loaded than your average Yak and it bleeds more speed while turning than you may be ready for at first.

The firepower is deadly though! Twin ShVAK 20mm cannons are not to be taken lightly. I took it out against FW190A-5s over the Kuban map and while the FW190A-5s were a tough opponent, I managed to convince the AI to make a sharp turn in front of me more than a few times. With good aim you can bring down enemy fighters in a single burst. One FW190 even exploded outright.

I’ve been flying it a lot in Kuban scenarios too with the M-82F engine upgrade. This allows for continuous boost on the engine (if temperatures allow) rather than the 5-minute limit on the standard engine. This is a definite advantage over the standard engine that almost lets you keep up with the latest fighters.

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I’m spending some extra time with the MC.202. Mostly over Stalingrad for added challenge!

I’ve also been flying the MC.202. I hadn’t really put in the time and now I’ve been flying it consecutively on multiple missions. Against the aircraft in the Moscow campaign its perfectly competitive. Over Stalingrad it really feels a little left behind. It’s not fast enough to keep up and not heavily armed enough to act as a good bomber or attacker interceptor.

What you can do is use the agility to good effect as a bomber escort fighter. That seems to be where it does best. It’s also terrible as a ground attacker and I’ve only flown a handful of attack missions. It’s not armored and the firepower isn’t enough to justify taking it up against more than a vehicle convoy. Airfield attacks are a nightmare!

In all I’m having just an ok time with the MC.202. I am really appreciating what the La-5 is like to fly now and thanks to an engine upgrade option I look forward to flying it more over the Kuban region too.

Taking up the Mirage in DCS

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The Mirage 2000C is looking darn good in DCS these days, though I’m still learning its basic systems.

I’ve also spent some time with the Mirage in DCS. I’m trying to get it to the point where I have the entire startup procedure memorized and I can get the aircraft up and flying without having to consult the manual. Such is life flying in a study sim level aircraft in DCS.

I’ve now got a good number of startup systems going, a partial understanding of how to at least start the INS (Inertial Navigation System), and get the HUD and radar setup all working. I’m still a little confused on weapons and I’m going to need to do that tutorial a few dozen more times before I feel like I can lock on and fire a missile.

What keeps me coming back is the beautiful scenery (especially Nevada) and the spectacular flight model of the Mirage. I’ve heard it bleeds a little too much speed but that aside its a wonderful aircraft to fly. Easy even. That is, of course, with the fly-by-wire system turned on and in air to air mode. In air to ground mode it becomes a little more sedate and I haven’t dared to try and fly it with fly-by-wire mode turned off.

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Successful takeoff after a cold start. I’m getting better at those!

I’m getting there with this aircraft. I do hope to be able to take it into combat soon with a full understanding of both air-to-air and air-to-ground systems and how to use them.

I’m also eyeing the AJS-37 Viggen DCS module. It looks like fun and I’ve always appreciated the Viggen. Watching several YouTube videos has me a least a little interested in flying this aircraft. This one below is a really good overview of the aircraft and its features. Also it’s done in a super cool 21:9 aspect ratio which has a fantastic look for sims!

What I’m looking forward to

The next couple of months are going to be huge for the IL-2 series. We’re waiting on another big update which I’m guessing will arrive in December. The Yak-7B may be overshadowed by the other two releases and I’m incredibly excited for the A-20B.

I know, I know. Many people are going to be flying the P-39 first but for me I have become a huge fan of the A-20 over the years and I’m really excited to get into the cockpit and start flying it.

I’m not only excited about the aircraft. The new carer mode is going to be a major shift in the way I play IL-2 and I’m growing increasingly excited for it. A persistent career system with progression, stats tracking, squadron tracking and all of the other announced features are going to take the single player experience much further than before. Can’t wait to try that.

And, now that they have been announced I have to say that I’m excited for the La-5FN and Bf109G-6. They may be just variants of types that we already have but they are significant types on their own and a great way to add to the aircraft hangar. I can’t imagine we’ll see those until 2018 so I’m staying excited for the three other aircraft that we expect to see much sooner than that.

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Slated for future release, this is the mighty La-5FN.

Switching gears, there’s also the big question in my mind on when Eagle Dynamics will finally release DCS World 2.5 and unify the experience. Most recently, players have spotted servers while playing DCS World 2.x that indicate they are on the new Caucasus map. Of course, its not yet available so players can’t get in to that test server. What we’re all hoping that this indicates that the map is getting close to being ready and that the merged DCS install and the Caucasus map is nearing initial release.

There’s a lot of DCS content in the pipeline as well but I’m doing my best to temper expectations. I’m still just learning some of the FC3 aircraft and the more detailed and complex Mirage 2000 module. I need to extract more value and enjoyment out of those first before I buy anything else. The AV-8B, Viggen, F-14 and others all sound really interesting too and I’m even interested to see what RAZBAM’s Super Tucano is like.

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Coming soon from RAZBAM, this is the AV-8B Harrier’s cockpit. In the background is the new Caucasus map.

The end of 2017 and start of 2018 should be very good for flight simmers of both IL-2 and DCS. Further afield, Cliffs of Dover is also due for some big updates next year including an engine overhaul. I did also go seeking some Falcon BMS news but I haven’t seen too much happening with that title recently though it comes up from time to time. There is no development on Rise of Flight right now but I’m intending to get back into that soon and continue my Sopwith Camel career.

That’s where I’m at right now with my simming over the last few weeks. Been busy flying anything recently? Give me a shout in the comments and let me know what you’re busy flying right now!

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. I have been enjoying your reviews and round-ups for some time now and this site has now become my default go to site for what’s happening in our sim world. You write well and the site has a very attractive layout, very impressed.

    In BoS I too am looking forward to next year and the mighty La-5FN and by the end of this year the P-39 should provide a completely different experience. Hoping for some great 4K Pokryshkin skins. The career mode is going to be a major overhaul for the offline player, should be much more immersive. Great improvements in the tech on the horizon too.

    DCS is still playing the long game in some respects, study level simming can’t be hurried. DCS World 2.5 has been a long time cooking and it must be ED’s top priority by now. Looking forward to the Spit being finished and out of beta too and the development of DCS WWII. As a combat environment it still has a long way to go to catch up with BoS I think.

    Currently I am starting up a formation flying and aerobatics group within one of the BoS online groups and the Spit Vb is just perfect for that scenario. They have done great work with that plane. Not perfect but it is good.

    Love your work Shamrockonefive, you provide a great service to our community. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Hey Madov! Many thanks for the kind words. Very pleased to be able to fill this niche in the community and even more importantly, I’m having a lot of fun doing it too!

      Career mode is going to be a huge thing I think. Single player was barely adequate in IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad’s first release but it’s really coming along now with the Scripted Campaigns and the Career mode.

      Give me a shout if your group posts any videos of the formation flying. Would love to feature that! Thanks again!

      Like

  2. Joshua Cook says:

    I have been playing Elite Dangerous for most of the year, but, I have finally decided to shelve it for a while to let the game mature a bit. Elite, unfortunately, tends to eat up all my game playing time, and I have more and more been wanting to get back to true simming. So, this week I started a PWCG career in Rise of Flight flying of all things, the S-16.
    I’ve also convinced a friend of mine who has been my wingman in Elite to buy both Rise of Flight and IL2: Battle of Moscow. We are planning on doing some multiplayer missions as the aircrew of a bomber, starting with the FE2b in ROF. He also has DCS and the F-86, but, he isn’t keen on spending the time in the sim necessary to become proficient.

    I personally, am looking forward to the P-39, as I have been in love with the plane since I first flew it on Warbirds Online. I was never entirely happy with it in the old IL2 games, but, I am really looking forward to flying it in BOK. I plan to spend some time with A-20 as well 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Hey Joshua. I keep watching Elite Dangerous (and Star Citizen) videos and it makes me think about getting back into the space sim genre at some point. I used to play Wing Commander, TIE Fighter, Freelancer and FreeSpace back in the day. I do miss those.

      P-39 is going to be really fun to fly I think. In the original IL-2 series I always felt like they hadn’t given the type much attention after it was initially added. Really glad to see 1CGS doing the 39 at their usual attention to detail.

      An S-16 PWCG career sounds like a great challenge!

      Like

  3. Habsburger says:

    Rise of Flight remains the most interesting setting for me, but I’m eagerly anticipating the career mode coming to BoX, so many good ideas for a career. Too many ideas; I’m having trouble choosing one career in RoF and sticking to it.

    I only got into flight sims less than a year ago. That is when I made my first flight attempts in Rise of Flight, and only bought Battle of Stalingrad this summer. After considerable early fumbling, I’ve fallen in love with the sense and feeling of flight in BoX, sadly flying in RoF now feels a little less amazing by comparison, more touchy and sensitive, though perhaps my response settings aren’t optimal.

    Favourite planes to fly in BoX are Spitfire, Yak 1-b, Bf 109 and Fw 190. They feel wonderful. I’m also fond of the P-40, I-16, Mc.202 and Hs-129, and some day I’ll learn how to use the bombsight, since there is something very attractive about big warbirds like He 111, Felixtowe F2.a and Handley-Page 0-400.

    I’m having problems deciding on a particular type of Bf 109, so I fly them all; I’m too inexperienced to notice much difference in performance between the two Gustavs and Friedrichs.

    And here’s a confession; I fly with Normal settings, and feel reluctant to learn CEM in at least the foreseeable future, despite most enthusiast online singing its praises and considering it the only proper way to fly — It simply feels like too much of a headache just to make my flying experience moe complicated. And I’m mainy interested in singleplayer, altough I would probably play more multiplayer if we had more Normal servers.

    One thing that troubles me are the bad steam reviews these games (especially Rise of Flight) get in Steam. Countless negative reviews from people with 0.6 or even just 0.1 hours (I’m not kidding!) of play time, some of them simply because the reviewers haven’t realised the signing up-process. Rise of Flight especially gets called a scam by many reviewers because despite being called “Free to play”, you have to buy all but three of the planes. Loads of hasty judgements and false information in the steam reviews, but I guess that’s simply the internet being internet. Seeing RoF’s rating in Steam as “Mixed” almost made me avoid the game in the first place, what a bad mistake that would have been! I feel RoF in particular and flight sims in general get too much undeserved negativity, considering they get so little attention from media in the first place. I stumbled on these games by accident, almost.

    Also, too much scorn and elitism is directed at War Thunder from some “hardcore” flight simmers; it is a fun game, when you don’t let the smaller realism and grinding get to you. Sometimes I feel like quickly jumping in to a dogfight in a plane I can’t fly in any other current flight sim, and do all kinds of wild maneuvers. And for me, it worked as a gateway drug to flight simulators, having reawakened my childhood passion for aviation history. I don’t think its existence harms proper flight sims in any way, so seeing it referred to as ‘Shit Thunder’ in flight sim-forums feels a little immature.

    I’m excited to see BoX head to the Pacific front 🙂 Although a part of me wishes expansions centering on the Battle of Britain, RAF raids into Occupied France and the Invasion of Normandy. I know we have Cliffs of Dover, I own it myself, but it has yet to “spark” for me, feeling dated and clunky. My dream scenario would be being able to play careers as a RAF pilot from Hurricanes and Spitfires to Typhoons, Beaufighters, Mosquitos and Tempests (and the humble Fairey Swordfish!), from Battle of France and Dunkirk through Battle of Britain all the way to Normandy.

    But Midway is fine too! I love the Brewster and Wildcat, am intrigued by the Devastator and Dauntless, and eager to try out the Zero and other Japanese planes I need to do more research on.

    But for now, I’m content to wait for the P-39, A-20, and the two premium planes coming later 🙂 If only we’d get the Hawker Hurricane…

    And that’s my simming hobby currently in a condensed form. This turned out to be a far longer ramble than I intended. Thank you for your great blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Hey Habsburger! No problem with a well thought out ramble. That’s pretty much what I do on this blog :). Thanks for sharing your experiences!

      The negative reviews are definitely a problem. I think I’ve written a blog post about it at one point or another. Although not my primary goal, I did create this blog in part to write about the hobby and give a broader view of the genre so that hopefully more people stumble on to things. I may be accused of being too positive about things but I don’t think so. We have some fantastic titles to play.

      No worries about playing on Normal. I play both modes although frequently on my own I’ll happily play Normal. When I’m feeling more serious I’ll go on a multiplayer server with Expert mode and do just fine there too. There’s something for everyone with both modes and I think it’s silly to look down on people playing Normal settings. We’re here for the love of flying… the rest is just how many buttons you get to mash!

      Same for War Thunder. I don’t write about it as much but I’ve put plenty of hours in over the years. It’s great for a fun time and its finds a really unique balance of serious aircraft lineups with a more fun gameplay atmosphere.

      So long as people are having fun!

      Like

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