What’s the point of the Me262 in Battle of Bodenplatte?

I’ve seen it leveled in some quarters that the Me262 has little to do in IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte as its traditional enemy, the heavy bomber, isn’t currently present in the series. I don’t agree and I’d like to spell out the reasons why introducing this jet in the line-up is both interesting and historically relevant to the scenario that 1CGS has chosen to develop.

The Kampfgeschwader threat

Me262_3

While the USAAF 8th Air Force and RAF’s Bomber Command pounded German cities and industry day and night during the war, it was some months before the launching of D-Day and Operation Overlord that the RAF and USAAF began forming their tactical air forces that would support operations on the continent.

The 9th Air Force and the 2nd Tactical Air Force were the outfits that would carry this fight. These would face the Luftwaffe in one of the lesser known actions of World War II – supporting the armies of the Allies as they raced (and sometimes plodded) across Europe.

Arrayed against them were the Luftwaffe’s various Defense of the Reich units and by the end of 1944 that included Kampfgeschwader 51 of which I./KG 51 had converted to Me262s. Those Me262s would then be used both defending against the bomber stream AND crucially against the Allied airfields as they pushed forward towards Germany.

Me262 attacks on airfields would become a constant nuisance to the tactical air forces and various tactics were tried, aimed at stopping the 262s from using their high speed and bomb-load to do damage to aircraft and infrastructure. These airfield attacks went on from late 1944 until nearly the end of the war. While their ultimate usefulness in damaging the Allied airforces were limited, it was still very much a part of the daily life for pilots on both sides.

For IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte’s gameplay options, Me262 pilots would primarily find themselves part of the bomber squadrons attacking Allied vehicles and artillery as well as airbases in some, what I would consider, exciting low level attacks evading interceptors and flak while flying at some incredible speeds.

There are still bombers to intercept

Royal_Air_Force-_2nd_Tactical_Air_Force,_1943-1945._CL1766.jpg

Operating from the continent, B-25 Mitchell IIs were operated by the RAF attacking tactical and strategic targets in support of the Allied armies. Rail yards, supply depots, and tactical targets like bunkers and artillery emplacements were all targets of these bombers.

I did some digging but wasn’t able to find out what kind of opposition these Mitchell’s typically encountered but for the purposes of talking about the sim – let’s dispense with that history for a moment and talk about gameplay options.

These bombers will need interception and while the B-25 isn’t the size or challenge of the B-17 or B-24, it is still a substantial bomber operating in large numbers on the Western Front. These formations of bombers will no doubt be fun for Me262 pilots to engage and intercept using high speeds and the four MK108 30mm cannons on the nose.

IL-2 developers are also using the A-20B operates as a stand-in for later models of the A-20 (possessing similar performance) in the single player campaign. That gives two potential Allied bomber raid options to defend against.

Would attacking a stream of B-17s be really cool? Oh yes, it would be, however, that isn’t currently in the cards just yet so until we have that capability (and I think its a when, not an if) there are other options.

A look to the future

Me262_1.jpg

The Me262 will no doubt continue to be a contentious aircraft for the series. Being the fastest and, at present, the only jet to arrive in the sim in the nearer term, it will have some enormous advantages over the conventionally piston driven aircraft that it’s up against.

With the right single and multiplayer scenarios the world’s first operational jet fighter will have lots of work to do dealing with bombers and attacking ground targets with plenty of speed.

I also like to look at things within the larger picture. Adding the Me262 has given the IL-2 developers reason to upgrade their flight model system to make sure that it can handle near Mach speeds that the Me262 can approach boosting the accuracy of high speed flight across the board while paving the way for the series to add other jet aircraft. I’ve often mentioned the Ar234 as a potential for future inclusion and Jason Williams, IL-2’s Lead Producer, has stated that they considered the Ar234 as being a part of the aircraft line-up early on. And there are other jets that we may yet see in this engine at a later date… Korea may yet be a future expansion area for the series.

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16 Comments Add yours

  1. Novice-Flyer says:

    The Me-262 was one of these aircraft that arrived too late in the war to turn the tide for Germany. It was the first operational jet fighter so it would important to have in the series. The Arado 234 should also be added because it was the first jet bomber. Regarding the bombers, I believe that they should make the B-17, B-24, and the B-26, but as AI aircraft initially because the cockpits and gunner stations will take a much longer time to complete, and these bombers primarily bombed German territory in the late war.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Francesco Kasta says:

      The devs already states that they won’t even bother with the heavies, too much work.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ShamrockOneFive says:

        Yep. Certainly not right now anyways. I still go with never say never and that there is still possibilities much later down the line.

        The B-25 will be AI to start but it’s likely to be a flyable type later too.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Anything is certainly possible. An AI heavy could appear at some point certainly.

      Like

  2. TJR says:

    1. ME262 because it flippin sweet, argument over. I cant believe people wouldn’t want this plane in game. What do they recommend would replace it/ be flyable in Boddenplate instead?

    2. Francesco, Heavies never flyable or heavy allied bombers never in the game? I

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Some folks see things through a fairly limited lens of online dogfight battles where the jet seems either unfair or out of place. That and/or they see it as only having been used to intercept heavy bomber streams and since it can’t do that right now that it doesn’t hold value. As I laid out, the Me262 was involved in so much more and it makes a lot of sense to include.

      Also… it’s flippin sweet! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. TJR says:

        Shamrock, I agree with all your arguments. I just always like to ask, what people would want instead if they have an issue. In reality the Stormbird variant was important enough for the axis leadership to delay the roll out of the 262 until it could carry bombs (maybe not the best idea, but true.)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ShamrockOneFive says:

        I honestly don’t think they get to the point of suggesting something reasonably better suited from a historical perspective.

        The only type that I could substitute would be the Ar234. But then in my world I tend to think, “Why not both?” and hope for a Collector Plane Ar234 before Bodenplatte is wrapped up. I feel like it could happen! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Francesco Kasta says:

    @ TJR I think they said that the heavies were just too complex to program and were not worth the effort. I disagree of course and I genuinely hope Shamrock is right when he says it is just a matter of “when, not an if.”

    The Me-262 is a MILESTONE not only in WWII but for the aviation in general. Who really cares if it fits Bodenplatte or if it makes the multiplayer unbalanced?! I’ll take it, no questions asked.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Scott says:

    I get the 262 as a novelty primarily for single player. However, I would be much more excited about a flyable B-25 (or a heavy bomber, but I understand they don’t want to tackle that)

    Like

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I suspect you’ll get your wish for a flyable B-25 before too long. In one of the Q&A sessions with Jason, he mentioned that the B-25 Mitchell II AI was chosen, in part, because it could be made flyable later and be relevant to multiple scenarios (the Mitchell II being a B-25C and used in the Pacific, Western Europe, North Africa, Italy, etc.).

      There’s some long term planning there. I suspect we’ll see it eventually.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. William T Taylor says:

    While i see both sides of the 262 argument i must say that besides being a milestone and lets be honest a cool aircraft. I think that balance/ fun for online gamers needs to be taken into consideration. And its not just balance. But the impact that the 262 will have in a game is significantly higher than it will ever have in real life. A large number of 262 losses were from pilot error or mechanical failure. Also with players able to put in hundreds and even thousands of flight hours into 262 the aircraft will have a much higher effect on the multiplayer community. as in nothing can catch it. the way AA is modeled may reduce that slightly but in general i never like seeing the 262 in multiplayer enabled simulations. mainly because it is abused. also except for boddenplatte the 262 was mainly used for combating bomber streams. And though it was used for air to ground it was used sparsely and to not high effect. Now for the real reason a lot of online players do not want to see it at least as far as i can tell is simple and falls into a few major points.

    1. no prop engine fighter is competitive against it.
    2. for Allied players the heavies bomber currently in the game is an A-20 and lets be honest it take 2-5 rounds of 30mm cannon to tear it to peaces and there is already the 109s G6/G14 and 190 A8 equiped with them.
    3. there are a lot of people who play multiplayer and skewing the air-power like that makes online play less fun. especially as there is no comparative aircraft for the Allies except the comet which showed up in few numbers at the end of the war and had no significant impact.
    4. The aircraft cannot be modeled properly (including random failures) in this game because fans of the aircraft would cry bloody murder if half the time they took a 262 into the sky it broke randomly or lit on fire.
    5. to simulate the available number of 262 compared to other aircraft in multiplayer servers they could only allow a maximum of 9-12 for the map… and for servers like Coconut Expert it would be even less.

    So being against it i must say its just not necessary for this aircraft to be made as it is simply a FANBOY aircraft and tends to destabilize the game.

    so those of you flying in Coconut or TAW do not expect to see many if any in the long run . off the bat the server techs will add them in but having the 262s capabilities in large volume will end up destroying the campaign and they will either be removed or only a few people will be able to use them.

    Now none of these points apply to single player or Co-Op but i doubt the devs will code in the inability to use it in online dogfight servers which for now is probably the best option they could have.

    also on the balance table (this focuses on aircraft in game as in reality there were many other aircraft available that would in fact balance the game out.)

    Germany.
    fighters
    109 G2-6/ 190 A3/A5
    vrs yak 1b/ yak 7 La5FN

    not really balanced but historically accurate.Notice on yak 3 or 9 ( 9 should be there 3 iffy)

    bombers

    Germany
    Ju88 2500 kg = 5,511.5 lbs ordinance
    He111 H-6 2500kg = 5511.5 lbs ordinance
    He111 H-16 3500kg= 7716.17 labs ordinance

    Allies

    Pe2 1000kg = 2204.62 lbs ordinance for both series 35 and 87
    A-20 B 2000kg bombs (20x 100kg low strenght and blast radius) = 4409.24 lbs ordinance

    if you know your aircraft you know that the allies are at a disadvantage aircraft for aircraft almost completely across the board but allies players have the il2 which helps balance campaigns with better ground attack aircraft.

    so what the real issue with alot of pilots is this … we are at a disadvantage already (balanced more due to us main line fighters in boddenplatte) and your just gonna throw in the 262 to yank the balance back to were it was. NOT COOL BRO JUST NOT COOL. honestly the real reason that they are not putting in heavy bombers is because they are lazy there are a lot and i mean A LOT of people that would pay for that premium aircraft at a higher rate too to make up for the difficulty. doing just one of the large bombers could easily net them 40% the money they make on an expansion because a bet a lot..A LOT of people who like to fly bombers would easily pay 35-45 $ US for it. i know i would i have been wanting one since i started playing this game … and the last ture sim to have it flyable was Aces high 2
    16 years ago

    Like

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      You might need your own blog William 🙂

      I see what you’re saying and from a purely multiplayer perspective things get more difficult, still, I see server operators will be able to choose what they want to do with this extraordinary aircraft. I’m personally against using multiplayer balance as the lens to look through for choosing aircraft (and I spent 6-7 years building IL-2 multiplayer scenarios before this series, trust me, I get how important that is on that side).

      I’d love a heavy bomber to see the light of day for this series but I don’t think its much fair to call 1CGS lazy. They do some incredible work. A heavy bomber may be untenable because 40% of the money for an expansion but taking up 70-80% of some of the dev team’s time would be a financial problem. I don’t know their full project management process (show me a GANT chart please :)) but I’m making an educated guess that it would be difficult to say the least.

      Still, I’d love it if they found a way…

      Like

  6. William T Taylor says:

    Sorry i cough this re reading my post here that the balance of aircraft for boddenplatte is good probably the best since BOS showed up. but the 262 still has the same effect listed above … and the axis are getting the 190A8 added when paired with the 110G2 and Ju88 they still have fast maneuverable ground attack aircraft withs a significant punch and the only aircraft currently in the game bomber wise for the allies will still be the A-20B yes the P-38 Typhoon and P-47 will help that a bit still the one run firepower is significantly reduced. for allies

    Like

  7. Capt. Zoomy says:

    And the Typhoon, and the P-51, and (although admittedly something of a joke in that role) the Spitfire, and potentially the B-25. All the Allied aircraft in Battle of Boddenplatte were used in a ground attack role to some extent during World War 2. The Me-262 was a historically significant aircraft during the time period covered. In WW2 the jet posed much the same problem to the fighter pilots who were flying those very same aircraft. They learned how to deal with it. I suggest reading up on how they did it, or as look for servers that have banned the aircraft, I’m sure there will be some.
    I too hope to see more bomber aircraft from the Allied side in the sim, but, I will make do with what they can give me. The impression I get is that in multiplayer most people if given the choice will take the fighter plane anyway. However, I play mostly single-player and for me removing the 262 would detract from what the IL-2 series is, a simulation of air combat during a certain period of WW2 based on the historical realities. Those realities didn’t include a perfectly balanced line-up of aircraft on both sides. The real pilots made do.

    Like

  8. William T Taylor says:

    Captain Zoomy i Invite you to try coconut expert server which i find is a wonderful server tho not as populated as TAW a full realistic and navigation sim (no GPS or Icons). Coconut has its own Discord were people meet and fly and you will find there are many bomber missions going or at least attack missions i think wings of liberty and other simplitic setting servers lean to towards air to air combat but servers that bost multi mission campaigns tend to draw bombers and attackers as their work has a direct effect on the missions

    Like

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