I’m starting a new series that I will occasionally contribute to called ‘Flight Journal’ where I write a brief summary of some of the recent single player or multiplayer missions I’ve flown and then captured screenshots from. I’ve done this kind of thing before but I’d like to make them into a series that I can revisit over time. As part of Sturmovikfest, I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of different flying in IL-2: Great Battles and so that is where I’ll begin this flight journal.
Spitfires and Tempests on Combat Box
Some of the first festival flying I did was on Combat Box. IL-2’s most popular multiplayer server at the moment, this late war western front oriented server has an excellent collection of maps and a player base that frequents the server on a daily basis.
My first flights included some Spitfire sorties both performing a combat air patrol as well as taking part in a strike mission. It may be rare to see Spitfire IX’s with bombs in IL-2 multiplayer but in real life they were frequently turned into fighter bombers in the late war period.
On another flight we engaged in several aerial battles including one at medium altitude where I was able to shoot down a Fw190D-9 before later being shot down myself by several Bf109s. It was a fun night and typical of the kind of action seen on Combat Box.
I’ve rarely had a chance to fly the Fw190D-9 in IL-2 multiplayer since Bodenplatte launched, however, this week I was able to get some more stick time in and it was awesome. A pair of us had launched early and we were able to catch up and rendezvous at high altitude before proceeding to the Y-29 target area as a group.
We engaged a Tempest Mark V at high altitude, outnumbering and outmaneuvering the Tempest. After that we got involved in a low altitude battle against several other fighters including a Spitfire and several Mustangs before ultimately flying home victorious. At one point a Mustang was about to shoot me down before I was saved at the last minute by one of my wingmates. A great moment!
The Fw190D-9 returns to being one of my all time favourite aircraft to fly. I put a lot of time into it in IL-2: 1946 and it’s just as fun if not even more fun here. Plus its also one of the best modeled aircraft from an artistic perspective in my mind. Just beautifully done!
Airacobra’s on Finnish Virtual Pilots
My first flight on Finnish Virtual pilots included a group sortie attacking a frontline target alongside IL-2 Lead Producer Jason Williams who provided the group some cover while we hit the target.
I was ultimately shot down by an intense barrage of flak on one of my sorties but not before releasing my bomb. On another P-39 sortie we were able to strafe several vehicles setting them on fire and eliminating the target from the map. We also flew IL-2’s in a coordinated strike on the targets before being attacked by a Hs129 which was ultimately shot down by one of our escorting fighters.
Anti-ship Sturmovik on Finnish Virtual pilots
Another fun sortie I flew on the Finnish Virtual Pilots happened on the following night. This time flying with a newer player up the Black Sea coast in IL-2’s with a pair of FAB-250 bombs underneath. Our target? A German ship convoy consisting of various small and medium sized combat ships including destroyers.
On arrival at the target we engaged the destroyers who unleashed a serious barrage of flak although we were mostly lucky and able to get away.
Swirling dogfights of WWI
From late war western and mid war eastern front to the battlefields of World War I and the swirling dogfights above them. I flew S.E.5a’s with a group of pilots before evening up the teams and flying Halberstadt CL.II’s and Fokker Dr. I’s on some really fun missions. Nearly all of them had the kinds of swirling dogfights that you’ve seen in movie clips produced about the era and the aircraft have that kind of stage presence that is so unique to the era.
Most of you know that I’m a huge fan of Flying Circus and that I want to see more and this week’s fly-in just reminded me how much I really want that to be the case. Fun times for experienced and new players alike on the Jasta5 server.
Bombers on The Unprofessions with Deadmeat and Magz!
I’ve already detailed it and Magz has done a video on it but I will briefly say that I went on The Unprofessionals and had a great time there. Their open planeset and small scale scenarios caters to typically lower player numbers and keeps things fun and fast. That doesn’t mean you can’t fly some engaging missions and the two bomber sorties I flew there were memorable!
Formation dive-bombing and Stuka tank busting on Finnish Virtual Pilots
The last story I want to share is from another flight on the Finnish Virtual Pilots server with server admin LLv34_Temuri who lead a four-ship Ju88A-4 strike over almost 100-kilometers to the target and then back again nearly obliterating the supply depot located on the steppe near Stalingrad.
These missions directly move the frontline which is so exciting in a server like this. Also of note was the server’s population which was nearly full and so great to see!
In sharing stories I hope the effect is to encourage others to have as much fun as they can with the flight sims that we love.
I’m hardly the best virtual pilot out there and so getting on and teaming up in multiplayer is rarely about talent and is instead often little more than a willingness to work together and a having a good voice communications method. With so many servers offering Discord options these days (and a few still offering up TeamSpeak) it seems like now is the best we’ve ever had it for the potential for teamwork in IL-2: Great Battles.
Future Flight Journal segments will focus in on single player stories as well but this one I wanted to make all about Stormovikfest and the community aspect of multiplayer. Flying with so many different virtual pilots over the course of this week has been great as everyone brings their own unique talents and knowledge to the fore. You’re always learning in these situations and that’s a good thing.
I sought to try and experience IL-2 from as many ways as possible over the course of the festival as well. From Allied high performance fighters to Axis bombers and World War I kites to driving around some tanks, IL-2: Great Battles series offers a ton of different ways to experience the same simulation. I have an even bigger appreciation for the breadth of that experience now than ever.
At the end of the day, I hope everyone got a chance to get out and have some fun with Sturmovikfest no matter how you like to virtually fly.