What might the new free map for DCS be?

Matt Wagner is dropping new hints at what the new DCS World map will be giving us a list of criteria that the team is working with to develop this new map and the scenarios that it fits. Yes, you read that right, scenarios. So let’s do a little speculation on what this might be!

Eagle Dynamics criteria for the new map

To go over what we already know about this map, Eagle Dynamics is offering up a new free map for DCS World that will supposedly release later this year. Matt Wagner says that nobody has previously guessed at what the new map would be so he’s dropped us a few new hints at what is driving the decision behind this new map.

It’s always a team decision with our company owner and our CEO having final say. While still too early to announce, key elements of the map must include:

1- Can be converted to both modern day and WWII use.
2- Low overhead, high performance.
3- Geographically laid out to best suit multiplayer matches.
4- Suited for both land-based and carrier ops.
5- Expand into a new part of the world.

Matt Wagner on the DCS World forums

So what could this map be that fits all of the criteria above and where could it take us?

Speculating on the new map

The first scenario that springs to my mind is the South China Sea. Bounded by Vietnam, Hainan island, the Philippines and several other dozen island nations in the area, the area has been contested for years by multiple nations and the situation has threatened to turn hot on more than one occasion. China is busy building airbases on isolated islands while the US sails carriers near the area and destroyers through contested waters as part of freedom of navigation exercises.

The area supports limited land operations and definitely offers up ample aircraft carrier operations as well as land based operations from the small militarized islands. Bring these together with the China Asset Pack that Deka Ironworks developed last year and continues to develop and you have potential for interesting multiplayer and single player scenarios.

The area was part of the wider World War II battle but offers far less to that scenario and at the moment the only Pacific based combat aircraft coming that we know about is the F4U Corsair.

If not the South China Sea, then where to?

What about North Africa and specifically Libya?

A British Crusader tank drives past a burning German tank during Operation Crusader near the Libyan border.

The country has several times been involved with conflicts with the west and currently remains in a precarious state. In 1986, the US Navy and Air Force initiated Operation El Dorado Canyon which saw multiple targets in Libya hit in retaliation for attacks on US citizens. The F/A-18 saw its first combat during the strikes. More recently, NATO organized airstrikes during the Libyan Civil War saw advanced combat jets overfly the country once again.

The scenario offers less air combat but it is a real world scenario that Eagle Dynamics likes to hew closely to without addressing directly. The map once again offers ample sea and land opportunities and it works well as a WWII scenario as the Libyan desert saw significant fighting between the British and German forces and could offer up a new scenario for future aircraft and asset development. The North Africa campaign is rich in aviation combat history.

What are your ideas?

There are plenty of ideas out there from Alaska (and the Aleutians) to Vietnam and just about everything in between. Off of the list is Syria which we already know is well under development. Do you have any ideas on what Eagle Dynamics is secretly brewing that fits Matt Wagner’s criteria list above? Let me know in the comments!

24 Comments Add yours

  1. Torc says:

    What about the Balkans through to Italy? If the map can stretch to some of North Africa then that could cover mid to late WWII, a hypothetical cold war Med theatre and the Yugoslav wars of succession and the peacekeeping operations around that.

    It would be a big map though, and I’m not sure about the “multiplayer balance” bit.


    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I do suspect that the free map will be slightly smaller and not feature too many dense urban zones. So I’m not sure if they’d do that…. but it’d be an awesome map!


    2. 79vRAF says:

      I have to say the Balkans was my first thought. A Historic Russian sphere of influence with action in each of the World Wars and a flash point in the 90’s and 00’s, as well as Chinese involvement in the area.
      If it includes the East coast of Italy too then the scope for operations is huge. All of the current crop of aircraft could be used there, with the exception of the J-11.


  2. SightFlimmer says:

    Regarding WWII maps, the announced Ferdinand tank destroyer points to the Eastern Front or Italy.


    1. Michael Dwyer says:

      Good point, although I think that might be over analyzing things.


  3. Boris_CRO says:

    would call that Adriatic map. Doubt they would add that for free because its most diverse part of the world. Italy, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, North Macedonia, Monte Negro……….. flat land of italy, 1000 islands of Croatia with great sealine, forrests, mountains of Bosnia, fields and forrests of continental croatia and serbia. Many colors, and damn big map. Would need to be updated for years and years.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. William T Taylor says:

    any news on the F4U … i am drooling for that Prop Job… to bad no new news about mossie 😦


    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      None at the moment. Leatherneck tends to update on a monthly to quarterly basis rather than quicker smaller updates. So it may be some time before we see the next update.


  5. Colm says:

    A South China Sea, Vietnam, Hainan Island and Philippines map would be most welcome, especially for the upcoming F-4E Phantom II module which would set up the scene for air-to-air engagements between MiG-19s, MiG-17s and MIG-21s with the aforementioned F-4 and hopefully a studio will start work on the much needed F-8 Crusader. A Falklands Island map would also be welcomed too in order to set the stage for engagements between Dassault Mirage IIIs (hopefully this module gets developed), the A-4E Skyhawk (hopefully Eagle Dynamics officially introduces the A-4 as a free module) and British RADAR equipped Sea Harriers (another important module).

    Iran could be a fantastic map for the Iranian version of the F-14A Tomcat which fought against Iranian’s neighboring enemies and scored the only real Phoenix kills throughout the F-14s career (against Dassault Mirage F-1s).

    I agree with the Adriatic sea map which should include the Italian east coast through to Albania, Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia where F-14s surely flew CAP missions and maybe even air-to-ground sorties.

    There is a lack of true British aircraft such as the English Electric Lightning, the only radar equipped, supersonic capable Sea Harrier and the Tornado Air Defence Variant (ADV). Don’t forget fantastic British designs.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Michael Dwyer says:

    The problem that I see is looking at it the other way around. We have aircraft that only fit late war WWII, they were never used in North Africa. Italy/Yugoslavia fit’s nicely in each of the categories except Low Overhead. I do like the idea though and almost all the aircraft could be used here for some time period or another.

    Taiwan would fit nicely into a map and an equal sized chunk of mainland China would be opposite it. I assume this is what Matt means about multiplayer balance, good spaces for red and blue airfields. Italy would have this but Libya would lack it. Taiwan also had F-86’s, so technically you can go back to the air conflicts of the 50’s but we have no WWII birds and only the F-4U, which even if completed only gives us one side of a Pacific WWII battle.

    Korea would also fit nicely, but not for WWII, although the US WWII aircraft could fit early Korean war I suppose.

    I have to wonder if #1 Can be converted to both modern day and WWII use. is at the top of the list for a reason, or is the order not important. If it is the most important “rule” then Italy/Yugoslavia is the only map that makes sense.

    The bottom line is any free map will be great.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. harryvoyager says:

    I’ll throw a chit on the North Atlantic. The Battle of the Atlantic was a significant part of WWII, with significant aircraft operations, and was a significant air route during the Cold War, as well as a likely significant area of operation of the Cold War had gone hot. So it fits the WWII/Modern criteria.

    It’s also mostly ocean, so it’s a low impact map, while still able to be huge with relatively lower costs.

    Finally, while it has significance and can be used for unusual and potentially interesting missions, it is not a significant enough theater that it would make a good paid expansion pack.

    I can see it as someone’s otherwise uneconomical labour of love, yet could be a commercial differentiator, which lines up with the other free modules.

    It’s a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fenib says:

    North and centerish area of Germany. Needs Berlin and areas to the east and west. Allows late ww2 Axis v. Allies with props, early and late cold war. If its tall enough you can easily add coastline for naval stuff.

    Reuse of models from Normandy and Cacasus allows ease and speed of production. Half a century of aerial combat space that is true to its units engagement zone possibilities.

    Easy mode.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Launchpad says:

    If you are talking about the F-4U and would be a zone for both today and WWII operations then somewhere in the China Sea. Expect from Philippines to China. Mostly water so not much to render by programmers. Hence the free part.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pieter Lootens says:

    How about the G-I-UK gap? With some norvegian airbases for Red Air?

    Ideal for F14 long range intercepts.

    And the theatre


  11. VK-94 says:

    There are a lot of replies and suggestions to this article that had already been dismissed by Wags himself. The suggestions discarded on ED forums are :

    Vietnam, Korea, Balkans, Baltic Sea (made by Heatblur sometime in the future), Falklands/Malvinas (currently in development by Razbam), North Atlantic, Hawai, Pacific (Magnitute has planned to develop a Iwo Jima map), Kola Peninsula, Alaska, Wales, North Africa, Germany.

    That’s A LOT of obvious places that we know will not be the free map.

    I’d love to see a Taiwan Strait map but I don’t know how much Formose would fit in a WWII scenario.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Interesting. Thanks for putting that together. Taiwan Strait is a interesting contender as well!


  12. schurem says:

    quote: ” I don’t know how much Formose would fit in a WWII scenario.”

    It can stand in for any number of pacific islands, can’t it? or maybe not, because it’s got these big cities.
    Would be fun operating from an airbase that’s largely inside a mountain side tho 😀


  13. Zak says:

    Aegean Map and part of the Balkanes would be nice. with late cold war scenario between Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria. airplane set Mirage F1, F4, F5, F100, F104, F102, A7, Mig21, Mig23, Mig25, Mig29, Su22, Su25, and now era aircraft like Mirage2000 and F16


  14. arkhamuk says:

    How about a polar ice map? However if I can just fly a UH-1 over Vietnam jungles ill be very happy

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The Lord says:

    What if It is the Pacific Northwest or the Caribbean Sea?


    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Interesting choices but it would be a big stretch for being a map that works for both WWII and modern day.


  16. Scorpion says:

    I know this is an old post but I think either the welsh coast from raf valley to Swansea would be good or east England around Lincolnshire as most RAF bases are there and with the arrival of the typhoon it would be great to take off from coningsby or fly through the Mach loop in free
    Or in air to air combat and both offer the option for carrier ops and you could do some great quick reaction alert missions from the bases in Lincolnshire

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Hey Scorpion,

      The mystery has been resolved now with the DCS: Marianas Islands map coming sometime before the end of 2020 is the last we’ve heard.

      Welsh coast is a traditional fighter jet training area so that would be interesting of course!


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