IL-2: Battle of Normandy announced!

1C Game Studios has revealed their next big IL-2: Great Battles Series title in the form of IL-2: Battle of Normandy. This western front themed title is directly complementary with the just released IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte and brings the series up to two western front themed expansions for the series. There are plenty of details to uncover and a lot to talk about here so let’s get to it and look for continued coverage as we look to the future of the series!

New and familiar tactical aircraft

The skies over Normandy before and after the D-Day Operation Overlord invasion were filled with aircraft. Though the Luftwaffe failed to make much of an impression on D-Day itself, the days and weeks that followed featured an intense aerial war. Months before the conflict also saw an incredible amount of tactical air war action – something the IL-2 series does incredibly well.

With that in mind, 1C Game Studios has chosen the following aircraft to develop for this new series including a few familiar types as well as a good number of aircraft that have consistently made the top of many wishlists.

Let’s have a look:

  • P-51B/C
  • P-47D (early Razorback version)
  • Typhoon Mark IB
  • Mosquito FB.VI
  • Spitfire XIV (Collector Plane)
  • C-47 Dakota (AI)
  • B-26 Marauder (AI)
  • Bf109G-6 “Late”
  • Fw190A-6
  • Ju88C-6a
  • Me410
  • Ar234 (Collector Plane)
  • V-1 Buzz Bomb (AI)

The announcement was keen to mention that this list is preliminary and if for some reason their research hits a snag, they will deliver a suitable replacement. To date, 1CGS has not needed to do that so with luck they will be able to make this all happen.

I intend to write a full analysis of the aircraft list in a follow up post but suffice to say that I’m very excited by many of the types on the list. Fan favourites that have been repeatedly called for include the Mosquito, earlier P-51 and P-47 versions, the Spitfire XIV (which has seen a dozen multi-page discussions on the forums over the years) the Me410 and, yes, even a bunch of diehard Bf109 pilots calling for a late model Bf109G-6 variant.

Slightly different than earlier efforts, the team is also intending to bring in a few AI-only aircraft. The C-47 Dakota was essential for operations during D-Day and so it makes sense for this troop transport to make an appearance. The B-26 Marauder is also coming which will help fill out the USAAF medium bomber line-up and to my knowledge is the first time we’ve seen a B-26 in any modern sim.

While these types are AI-only for now, 1CGS has a habit of doing their best to make these flyable types in the future. If in a couple of years time we had both B-25 and B-26… I think a great many bomber pilots would be happy.

Absent the list is the B-17 and the B-24. The large, multi-station heavy bombers remain a challenge. I will have a whole article devoted to that coming soon too.

The map

Also included in the update is the proposed Normandy map. This is not necessarily the final borders but is an interesting arrangement at 410km x 270km for 110,000+ square kilometers.

The developers are intending to release both pre and post D-Day variants of the map. The post version undoubtedly will feature the various temporary airbases that the Allies setup in Normandy in the days following invasion.

Just as Bodenplattte wasn’t just about January 1st, Battle of Normandy doesn’t appear to be just about D-Day as the map favours a wide variety of operations both in the months before and the months after invasion. Allied Supreme Commander Eisenhower directed that twice as many Allied missions be flown in areas away from the planned invasion area so as not to arouse suspicion or tip the Germans off to their plan.

Included in the post is mention of the Pilot Career spanning not just D-Day but possibly even going back into 1942 and 1943. That would potentially include some minor upgrades to the existing Spitfire Vb model and the use of assets from other titles.

Digital Warfare engine moves forward

Also mentioned in the announcement is the intention to move forward on even more features for their core Digital Warfare simulation engine. These updates won’t just benefit Battle of Normandy but will also support prior titles too. Those include:

  • Air Marshal
  • Improved multiplayer lobby
  • GUI-based object viewer
  • New rendering techniques
  • Drop tanks

Many of these are exciting including the still somewhat mysterious Air Marshal and the long asked for multiplayer lobby updates. New rendering techniques sound interesting and indeed we’ve heard from Jason Williams in the last few months talking about engine updates. Will IL-2 get more sophisticated PBR rendering technologies? It’s possible.

Pre-order starts today

IL-2: Battle of Normandy pre-order starts today. It’s slightly up in price at $89.99 USD (up $10 from Bodenplatte) and will have a $10 discount maintained through the pre-order and early access period.

For all of the details, check out the official announcement and if you’re ready to sign-up today, pre-orders are available on the IL-2 store.

Look for much more coverage on this new title, it’s aircraft, it’s features and a host of other items following up as soon as I am able (it’s a busy time of year for me right now so these will come when I can write them). Stay tuned!

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Novice-Flyer says:

    I absolutely love the plane set for the Allies as when starting the BoBP career, I was bummed by having only 2 British and 2-3 American planes. I was hoping for a 1944-45 Italy as many of these planes could be used there as well and it like BoBP hasn’t been done before. That being said I’m curious about 3 things.
    1. The Do 217.
    2. Are they still going for TC or FC. With FC players could use the Normandy map for some parts, but yeah somethings will be different after 30 years.

    3. Will BON affect Cliffs of Dover as what’s been explained is that each module will go somewhere, but some focus still remains on the Channel map. E.g with TF 5.0 it will be Tobruk with some focus on 1941 Channel map and so on. With BON does that affect CloD? Not really. I think that this plane set more suits D-Day/aftermath and if players want they can portray BoB to D-Day. It may not be exactly, but they can get close to how it was in IL-2 GBs. However, people would ask if that means TFS can’t include Normandy. Well I think that if a dev team wants to go somewhere that another team is or is going, they have to improve upon it, otherwise no point in going there. If TF 8.0 portraying 1944 is released in let’s say 6 years (like GBs, CloD modules take ~1.5 years, unlike 5.0.) then they would probably do a 1944 Italy as the main focus with a 1944 Channel map as the secondary, and possibly include planes not in BON like maybe the Lancaster. BTW that’s why I was hoping for an Italy in GBs.

    Wrapping it up. I’m stoked about the C-47 and the B-26. Though not playable, they’re one step closer. Perhaps the B-26 would become flyable in Midway and if the devs do the Battle of Berlin they could make the B-17 or B-24 AI.

    Thank you very much Shamrock. As I was 2 years ago when BoBP was announced, I’m pretty much the same as today, in an excitement way.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Gretsch_Man says:

    Well, personally I would have like to see Italy simply because I believe Italy should make for a great looking map. But I’m perfectly fine with Normandy too, so I’m in!

    One thing I do wonder is how the game is going to model the Allied invasion fleet off Normandy beach? Maybe this has something to do with the hinted engine update.

    I really like the lineup of the new aircraft. I wonder what mission profile the Ju88 will get. Perhaps as a night fighter? That would be great IMHO. I’m also looking forward to the Ar234. The Mossie is also great news.

    Now if the devs could just links the maps of BoN and BoP together, we could have a Battle of the Ruhr! How cool would that be in VR!

    Anyway, exciting times are ahead of IL-2!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. ArkhamUK H.O.G says:

    Great news. Ill be able to fly over my house at last

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Sounds like fun!

      Like

  4. Huckle says:

    My disappointment is immeasurable, and my day is ruined.

    Like

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Sorry to hear that Huckle. Every time there is an announcement, there are going to be people who are happy and others who aren’t. Hopefully you can find something fun somewhere in here.

      Like

  5. Sigurd Olaisen says:

    I was excited as hell when BOBP was announced, as I am a Westfront enthusiast foremost. But the latest release felt hollow, as there are so many things that are just half baked and rushed. The map, which is a simple tile copy pasted ad infitum (Ugra Media strikes again….), the horrible communications and radio system (European Air War was MUCH better, with easy orders, wingmen calling out bandit type and clock positions etc, and that came out in 1998….), the low numbers of aircraft, the lack of heavy bombers, the poor sound modelling. Il2 surely has its strenghts (Damage modelling, huge planeset, flyable bombers, ease of use, fairly good graphics, variety…) and do a fair bit of things well, but the rush to pump out new expansions rather than focusing on strenghtening the underlying weaknesses of the sim frustrates me. I am much more excited for the WW2 developments in DCS by far. It is slow, and excruciatingly painful, but overall better, especially due to its sandbox capabilities and scale, its flight and systems modelling and sound design. With two new ww2 threatres inbound, a new damage model and effects, the P-47 and Mossie, and new weather technology, I know where I will get my WW2 kicks. (Btw- TF5 also looks very promising).

    Finally, I just want to thank for the most awesome blog in air combat simulations. I utterly love your work on this site. Constant updates in high quality, with good reflections and analysis of the state of the hobby. Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Thanks for your comments Sigurd. A few comments to add to this.

      The Rhineland map was done by the internal 1CGS team and it uses the same technology as Kuban and Moscow (and Stalingrad for that matter). Repeated tiles is how the team has been able to make the rest of the map work fairly well… it comes with its disadvantages but I’d say the quality of the map is essentially the same as Kuban and perhaps not quite as nice as something like DCS: Persian Gulf (to compare).

      The communications is indeed a weak area. The devs know about it but, we’re reminded how limited they can do any feature at one time. I do hope during BON’s development that radio can be tackled or at least started on.

      There’s always areas to improve and I see DCS WWII and IL-2 WWII both having some major strengths and weaknesses. Each person is going to find the balance of these differently and that’s ok – it seems like we have a good thing going with both!

      Finally, thank you for the really kind comments about the blog. Thanks for your comments and stop by any time!

      Like

  6. Skycat says:

    I agree with Sigurd about the hollow campaigns, and I hope with Normandy development they can improve the single player experience of Bodenplatte. So far the P-47 Rhineland campaign has been a repetitive string of four-ship and eight-ship sorties sent out at 5,000 feet to bomb (insert ground target here) and predictably intercepted by multiple (insert German fighter types here). I’ve yet to see any P-38s, P-51s, Spitfires, Tempests or B-25s. I also think the USAAF ranks are wonky, medals are awarded too frequently, and the profile photos look post-WWII.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I’ve only tested the P-47 campaign a little and my missions were like yours. My P-51 and Tempest campaign experiences have seen plenty of allied aircraft flying around and it’s some of the most fun I’ve had with the Career system in IL-2 so far.

      I am curious what you think might be doable by the IL-2 developers that would make the campaign feel less hollow for you. What is it about the experience that is missing? I’m curious what your thoughts are.

      Like

    2. Jackflash says:

      I agree. The devs really need to work on the single player experience in this series a lot. It’s a bit shocking that’s sims from the 90s did it so much better.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ShamrockOneFive says:

        That seems to be a bit of a consensus in the comments here. I’ve asked a few people now and I’d love to hear what you think 1CGS could do to try and capture some of that magic.

        Like

  7. Skycat says:

    My perspective of the Bodenplatte career is perhaps skewed because I am playing as P-47 pilot right now. If flying other careers generates a variety of friendly AI types and/or greater diversity of missions, then my complaints lay only with the P-47 campaign I’ve played thus far. And the campaign hasn’t been disappointing per se; it just lacks variety and color. I hope Normandy will use the P-47 in a broader context.

    Like

  8. ChocolateCrisps says:

    The exact positioning of the map area has me very excited. With the addition of the Typhoon, Mosquito and late war Spit, and Bodenplatte’s Tempest, it looks like a lot of the pre D-Day interdiction raids will likely be covered, and the inclusion of the V-1 hopefully means that we’ll get to carry out operations against the V-Weapons too (Operation Crossbow)! There’s lots of scope for this title – I hope they deliver!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      My thoughts as well. More than just D-Day, it seems we’ll have plenty of opportunities to do the cross channel missions that were happening through much of the 1943 and 1944 time periods in the lead up.

      I’m excited!

      Like

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