Mobile AAA ‘Collector Vehicles’ coming to IL-2

The announcement that Jason was teasing earlier in the week is here. Some of you might be quite interested in this announcement while I suspect some of you were hoping for something that might have a few more wings attached. In any case, two new vehicles, the GAZ-MM 72-K and Sd.Kfz. 10/5 Flak 38 are coming to the IL-2: Great Battles Series as ‘Collector Vehicles.’ Let’s have a look at what we know right now.

Mobile anti-aircraft artillery

Most of the time we’re cursing the flak batteries for shooting at us but always with the knowledge that they are operated by AI. Now, you may want to give that a second thought as 1CGS is adding two new “Collector Vehicles” that are quite obviously connected with Tank Crew’s impending release but that also are purchasable on their own and might play a role elsewhere in the series.

The Sd.Kfz. 10/5 Flak 38 and GAZ-MM 72-K are two vehicles that mount mobile flak guns on them. The Sd.Kfz. 10/5 Flak 38 is a half track that, naturally, mounts a Flak 38 gun. The gun itself is a 20mm cannon firing 220 rounds per minute. This vehicle was used throughout the war in nearly every major theatre of operation so it naturally fits in everywhere.

The GAZ-MM 72-K is the Russian counterpart and it is once again ubiquitous across the eastern front. The GAZ itself was the truck that the Soviet’s armies ran on and in this instance mounts a 25mm 72-K gun.

Both vehicles are being developed by third party developer Digital Forms who did all of the tanks for Tank Crew. The GAZ is already underway and we have the first developer images of the work in progress model.

How are they going to be used?

First off, these are ‘Collector Vehicles’ sold separately of Tank Crew so its conceivable that if you had no interest in Tank Crew but wanted mobile AAA vehicles that you could purchase these and make use of them in other scenarios. That’s where I think these might find an interesting niche.

IL-2: Great Battles is increasingly moving towards a more combined arms aspect of battle. Although the series is still very much focused on the air war, Tank Crew and now these AAA guns are opening up other opportunities and these guns actually do act as a kind of bridge. While tanks are concerned with the ground war and are largely targets for enemy aircraft, these offer a ground vehicle that has a dedicated role of interacting with what’s going on in the skies.

Some servers, where ‘vulching’ (shooting player aircraft that are on the ground) is permitted, might also ensure that a detachment of mobile AAA vehicles is available for humans to hop into and help defend from aerial attack. I’m thinkin of the Finnish Virtual Pilots Dynamic War server specifically but others may decide to follow suit.

Pricing and availablility

The two ‘Collector Vehicles’ are on sale now on the IL-2 webstore with a pre-order sale price of $19.99 USD for each. After launch they will go up to $24.99 USD. The announcement suggests that release will be end of the year for the GAZ while the Sd.Kfz. flak vehicle will be available by Q2 2021.

Reaction

I wanted to get the pricing done first before I launch into the reaction because I think the price will be part of the equation here.

First, any time something is teased there’s always the possibility of there being a bit of an overhype. I try and avoid as much of that here on Stormbirds but I, of course, get excited too and I do want to let everyone know what’s going on when I do. I did say that this could be teasing something big or small and even mentioned that we hadn’t heard about these mobile AAA trucks in some time and so this may be the announcement.

I think, however, that a great many people were hoping for something else and that teasing anything at all was giving hope for something else. The C-47, the B-25, a sequel to Flying Circus, or just about anything else with wings. Naturally, being a flight sim first, aviation products are of primary interest.

Second, pricing is going to feel a bit high for some as these new vehicles slot into the pricing reserved currently for the Ju52/3m. The likely reason is both the need to build both the interior and exterior station as well as the systems that operate how these guns work. So multi-station vehicles in the IL-2 store are priced higher than the Collector Planes with a single cockpit. That makes sense to me and thus I think the reaction to the price is more around how interested some are in using these.

At a lower price its an easy low cost purchase for something that some may not use very much. For others the higher price is less of an impediment.

As much as this sounds all a little gloomy, I’ve also seen some genuine interest and excitement around these new vehicles as well. Even from a few who weren’t interested in the tank warfare but were interested in engaging with the air battle from the ground. That does offer something unique and interesting!

At the end of the day you have to decide if these are of interest to you as is the case with any product from any flight/combat sim product. If they are of interest but at a lower price point, wait for a sale. They will happen and 1CGS aggressively prices things during sales. If you have to have them at launch then the $19.99 USD is what it is.

As with all things IL-2: Great Battles, I’ll be keeping close tabs on these and other developments. I do still wonder if we’ll see some sort of other announcement before the end of the year or early into 2021 plus there’s lots of new stuff coming for Battle of Normandy. Stay tuned!

21 Comments Add yours

  1. CanadaOne says:

    I’m happy to have the vehicles, and the pricing is tolerable .But Q2 2021 for the Flak 38 is a long wait. Pre-ordering a single vehicle that could be six to nine-months away requires a good bit of patience. I’m surprised they even announced it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Just a couple of months to the first vehicle however so I guess it made sense to announce both. Lest there be an Axis/Allies bias complaint started 🙂

      Like

      1. CanadaOne says:

        I would consider buying one. Very much doubt I would buy both. And it’s just a guess, but I think they are making the Flak 38 come second because if it came first few would buy the GAZ 25mm later on. I think the Flak 38 is the hotter item. But I could be entirely wrong on this.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Blue 5 says:

      ‘Cause the team has nothing else to do by Q2 2021….oh, wait, yes they do. All the stuff for which I and many others have already paid. I image the scene for a comedy:
      – Sorry, is my burger ready yet? I have already paid
      – No, I don’t think so. I’m not sure when it will be ready. Would you like a milkshake?
      – For free?
      – No, for $19.99
      – Well, not really. Could you not get on with the burger and stop wasting my time with the milkshake?
      – I’m sorry, we already paid for installation of a milkshake machine. It will – from a certain point of view – pay for your burger and future burgers if you agree to buy the milkshake
      – But I already paid for the burger
      – True and it will appear in time. But while you waiting, would you like a $19.99 milkshake?
      – No.

      Like

  2. ACG_Paddy says:

    This is pants, plain and simple. There’s a million things we’d all buy over this, seems like a waste of Dev time at this stage, pfff.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I know many are disappointed. It’s worth bearing in mind that these vehicles were part of the plan years ago and probably part of the contract with Digital Forms.

      So these aren’t taking away from something else. The thing now is to continue to suggest what we want next so that we can make that influence felt over the next 24-months.

      Like

  3. Fernando says:

    have Tank Crew. NO WAY I will buy this at that price. More: Tank Crew is FULL of bugs. The gameplay is not good at all. Please fix your stuff before asking more money.

    Like

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Obviously Tank Crew hasn’t measured up for you. What bugs are you running into?

      Like

  4. Novice-Flyer says:

    People’s statements about the C-47 and flyable B-25 were totally unrealistic, maybe an announcement that they have committed to make them flyable; but to put them on pre-order is unrealistic.

    I’ll get the GAM 72 “Russian one” no doubt, but Considering the fact that the “German one” saw action in North Africa, I’ll probably wait to see the differences between the 2 in IL-2 GBs and in DW-T (assuming it’s in there-99% sure) as they did announce plans to make ships and ground vehicles including AA guns playable.

    I do somewhat agree with people who call these expensive as why not just make a pack where they’re $30 US, and if you want one individually, one costs $20 US each?

    That’s just my view.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I think the idea of a bundle with a discounted price sounds great. I think for the more price conscious that a future sale price is probably the place to be.

      Like

    2. Blue 5 says:

      Why were expectations about the C-47 AI module unrealistic? It will be AI. No cockpit. It is in game for testing purposes. Strikes me as entirely realistic and understandable.

      Like

      1. ShamrockOneFive says:

        I think there’s still a decent possibility that we’ll see a C-47 Collector Plane announcement at some point. It could even explain the reason for the aircraft to have been earlier in the dev cycle compared to past AI aircraft efforts but that’s armchair project managing and I don’t know what else lines up on their schedule (someone get me a GANT chart :)).

        Like

  5. LD88 says:

    I think IL2 does a lot of good stuff, but this is definitely a hard pass for me. I pre-ordered tank crew, and for me it did not live up to its potential. One aspect it is that it feels pretty sterile, and absolutely needs infantry to liven things up. I know that seems to be out of scope, but the reality is tanks didn’t operate without infantry if they wanted to survive very long. Post Scriptum and Hell Let Loose are examples of that more engaging and challenging environment (even if in IL2 it would be AI only).

    I struggle with seeing the ROI for this vs income potential for C-47, B-25, Yak-3, etc. I’m also a fan of FC, but I’m not getting the vibes its something they want to continue pursuing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Blue 5 says:

    I do not understand this decision: I would bet that money paid to the 3rd party is not returned on sales. Possibly there is accurate data out there on varying GB module sales, but in the absence of such the inference has to be that TC was likely to least sold and a paid-for addition to the limited ground vehicle element of what is essentially a flight sim is rather chasing the rabbit too far underground.

    If the company had the resources of Microsoft or similar then why not? But they do not. They have a lot on their plate, many people have pre-ordered (ie spent their hard-earned cash) on modules that they hoped were on their way. We get a suggestion that something might be coming this week and those of use who have invested in said menu looked up with interest, only to see an announcement of a marginal addition of interest likely to around 5% of the community and – oh, sorry – that’s some more $ please.

    Disappointed with the module and how this has been managed. Can I have some money back on my Hurricane and BoN pre-order for the time wasted by the team?

    Like

    1. Blue 5 says:

      I knew a girl who gave hard passes. I was limping afterwards.

      Like

  7. Tord Grobe says:

    Personally i don’t understand this decision either, i aslways thought tank crew is not that popular.

    Like

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Hi Tord,

      Two ways that I think this happened. First, they were part of a roadmap laid out when Tank Crew was announced which suggests to me that the contract with Digital Forms wasn’t up until these were complete.

      Second, they may add a unique joining piece between those interested in Tank Crew and those who fly aircraft primarily but wouldn’t mind trying a vehicle without buying Tank Crew outright. Let’s say 6-months after release their sale price is $12.99. A few might try it and like them enough.

      But I think the other message is pretty clear too that lots of folks want to be able to fly as much as possible. These don’t take away from that but I do think most are hoping for more aircraft centric announcements being forthcoming into 2021 and beyond.

      Like

  8. Eggnog says:

    Obviously I don’t know for sure, but I wonder if a lot of the “peripheral” products like this are based more on dev interest than some big strategic marketing plan. Like maybe they just have some guy who really wants to make trucks, so they were like, “SURE! Knock yourself out feller!” I don’t see 1CGS so much as a major game dev studio, but rather as a group of passionate and talented folks who sometimes just make whatever the heck they want. Personally, I’m not interested in these trucks. But I’m not mad about it. I think people need to chill their entitled little jet packs and let the devs be the devs.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. =CfC=Father Ted says:

    I sort of agree Eggnog. I think some of the products we see are by-products of the main thrust of development which the team want to then somehow monetise. Tank Crew itself is the prime example

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Blue 5 says:

      If so, that is poor management. It is wonderful to see people passionate about their work but diversification of effort, energy and money towards marginal projects is a slippery slope. The team is not backed by great wealth and has taken a few risks: this kind of activity could easily bite them very hard.

      Like

  10. Blue 5 says:

    Forget the flak – new Hurri pics on the forum!

    Liked by 2 people

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