Every 1CGS developer diary in the last few weeks has felt like a bit of a triumph for the team as literal years of effort have begun to finally pay off in big, tangible ways. What was just a plan is now materializing in the sim in some exciting ways. With a lot of the big stuff coming up soon I wanted to look at some of the smaller details for Bodenplatte that we’re still waiting on and speculate a little on when we might see those.
We’ve seen just a few of the new ground vehicles for Bodenplatte but I’m hopeful that we’ll see a bunch more before Bodenplatte is considered finished. US and British trucks, flak guns, and tanks are all part of the Battle of Bodenplatte experience combined with a few more German types representing the 1944 and 1945 era.
The developer update for the Willys MB off-roader made special mention to note the enhanced visual quality of vehicles above and beyond previous efforts. I suspect this has a lot to do with Tank Crew upping the ante on the ground and it portents the potential for future tank battles on the Western Front as well. Even if that’s not in the immediate future, it’s smart to plan ahead.
New parked aircraft
While aircraft in the air are fantastic to see, it’s been a while since the 1CGS team added the static versions of many of the aircraft from the series. What the team is planning to do here ultimately is unknown and it may just be a matter of not having had the time to do it but with a new theatre like the Western front coming to the fore – it will be important to be able to represent American and British as well as the latest German types parked on the ground at airbases.
Doubly so given the nature of the January 1st 1945 Bodenplatte strike missions.
The single player career and missions
With the Bodenplatte map now much closer to being finished, it means that the team can build out the Career mode for the new theatre of war. The Bodenplatte map is quite expansive and it covers a wide range of areas from Bastonge to Remagen to Antwerp and beyond. From the Battle of the Bulge to the famous river crossing operations, this map can cover nearly all of those late war stories in scripted campaigns, single missions and the career mode.
Ages ago we saw the art work for Bodenplatte’s career mode featuring various squadron insignias and emblems. From the relatively standardized RAF emblems to the colourful and inventive USAAF fighter squadrons, there’s an incredible breadth on display and the career mode should offer up some fantastic opportunities.
No 3 RAF or No 486 RNZAF’s Tempests at Volkel here I come!
The B-25 AI aircraft
Though not planned for flyable status just yet (we’re assured that it will happen), the B-25D AI aircraft is going to be coming before the end of the project offering both a valuable escort objective as well as a target for German fighters.
The B-25 was tough, versatile, and this D model fought nearly start to finish of WWI. In this case, the B-25D was used extensively by the RAF as part of the 2nd TAF’s tactical bomber squadrons on the continent. While Lancaster’s, Halifax’s, B-17’s and B-24’s ruled the strategic air war (and their inclusion not possible at this stage), it’s the B-25, A-20, A-26 and Mosquito that were flying more tactical bomber and attack missions.
I have a lot of faith that we’ll see the B-25 become part of the series’ flyable list before too long. Given the type’s incredible versatility (with all manners of guns and both solid and glass nose options), I do hope that we’ll see this bomber eventually mature into one that fits many scenarios from the skies over Western Europe in 1945 to the jungles of New Guinea. One can hope!
The still somewhat murky story behind what Air Marshal mode is going to be like remains just that – murky and illusive. Despite that, the team has mentioned it a few times over the last few months which means that programming and work on it continues.
Air Marshal is intended to improve team coordination and efforts in multiplayer for servers that wish to run it. Offering a high level command overview, the marshal should be able to coordinate efforts of individual pilots and whole squadrons.
It might be the breakthrough that brings IL-2’s multiplayer experience up a notch and attracts more players and groups to the experience.
The map of course
Bodenplatte’s Rhineland map is yet to come. It’s not really a small detail but I figured I should finish my list off with something big.
The map is supposed to be coming with four seasonal variations and a good number of landmarks and key points of interest. For a combat sim, the 1CGS map team always makes sure that the map has plenty of great features and details. We’ve seen that with the Stalingrad, Moscow and Kuban maps so it looks like their efforts have only continued and expanded as the team grows more experienced.
There’s still some mystery around what is going to happen and when. The 1CGS team has a big release planned for September with the Mustang, Lighting and Tempest all likely to arrive into the sim. The Bodenplatte map itself may also be part of that release – though I have questions on if it will have all of its seasonal variations right away or if we’ll see that come a little later.
As excited as I am about the green fields, there’s also the beautiful autumn leafs and dreary winter scenes that add to the whole atmosphere and its something that the series does so well.
Bodenplatte’s Career mode and other features such as Air Marshal may not come for a little longer depending on how much polish those features might need before landing in the hands of players.
Jason William’s call for a special set of beta testers only came recently so it may be the end of the year before Bodenplatte is well and truly ready to be considered complete. Nonetheless, we’re on the home stretch! Then there’s Flying Circus Vol 1 and Tank Crew – Clash at Prokhorovka…. but that’s probably a whole other article.