One of the things I intend to do more this year is provide a little more coverage of IL-2’s multiplayer scene. More servers are popping up with the likes of Wings of Liberty (WOL), Berloga, Tactical Air War (TAW) and Knights of the Air (KOTA) being among the more popular destinations. Tonight I went on Wings of Liberty and had plenty of fun with fellow pilots.
Lavochkin fighter sweep
I few a few different sorties tonight but one of the two that will be memorable was a fighter sweep with a pair of La-5s flying out from a base near Stalingrad and sweeping the front lines for enemy action.
Taking off as a pair, we headed out towards a spot where enemy fighters had been reported.
Coming up on a what appeared be two (and then later three) aircraft, we fell into a formation of P-40s and a LaGG-3. Soon we were over the frontlines and then deeper into enemy territory. At this point we spotted a Bf110 and proceeded to have a difficult fight. The 110 had energy advantage and was able to out turn us when we caught up.
Still, the pair of La-5s working together were able to use our speed to initiate hit and run attacks. Soon I was able to put a few more 20mm rounds into his aircraft at which point he bailed out. One enemy down.
With two La-5s now damaged (and flight lead was leaking fuel and coolant) we headed for home.
Crossing our lines we came across another Bf110. This time we overtook the 110 rapidly and my flight lead was able to get on his tail and cause massive damage to the 110. It’s wing crumpled and the aircraft crashed. My flight lead, however, had taken hits from the gunner and he went for a crash landing at a nearby abandoned airfield.
Organizing a team bomber run
With the scenario changing we decided to change it up. Flying from Kalinin near Moscow, we headed out towards an enemy fortification with a flight of three Pe-2s (and a fourth players flying in a gunner position).
Zig zagging and gaining altitude near enemy lines we were able to make it to target undetected. Our luck was soon to run out.
As we rolled into target, enemy fighters were spotted diving in on us. All three Pe-2s were able to release their bombs and cause significant damage to the target, but we were now public enemy number one as the 109s started targeting our Pe-2s and friendly fighters alike.
My Pe-2 was hit in the port engine causing the engine to seize. Furiously trimming the aircraft out I was hit yet again by an attacking 109, the same one that destroyed my first engine.
Rear gunner firing furiously away I dove for cover trying to get near the treetops and hopefully find a way home.
Twice more the Bf109 made rapid slashing attacks chewing my Pe-2 up. And then he made a mistake.
Now low to the ground I was flying slower and slower as the badly damaged Pe-2 refused to hold altitude and my second engine was in danger of seizing as well. I turned towards an open field looking for a place to crash land… the Bf109 pilot wanted me shot down sooner than that and made another high speed pass. He miss-judged his speed and hit the ground hard.
We’ll call that a maneuver kill.
My Pe-2 was now stricken and I was able to put it down in a harsh crash landing in the field. Still, my crew survived and we were in friendly territory now. One from our flight made it back to base in a damaged Pe-2, one was shot down over the target, and you know what happened to mine.
Mission accomplished? Mostly!
Last year I bought myself a Logitech G533 wireless headset (review coming soon) and its been a great addition to my online gaming both for flight sims and more causal games.
When I play DCS World online (typically Georgia at War), many players use SRS (or SimpleRadio Standalone) which integrates right into the DCS World aircraft cockpits simulating the quality of an aircraft radio and the different radio frequencies in use. Everyone on a given server could theoretically be on the same frequency. In IL-2, however, the experience is more disjointed.
Though some do use voice communications (TeamSpeak and Discord mostly), there are few agreed upon methods of communication and most squads and players do their own thing. But it does open up gaps and opportunities for teamplay between people who don’t immediately know each other is difficult.
Tonight’s team flying was aided by the use of Discord but it’s something we had to consciously work at to get setup and we gathered 4-5 players over time to join us.
I’d love to see more and I’d love to see the IL-2 community tackle this more in 2019.