Saturday, 25 May 2013

South by Southend

1750hrs: Flying back to Duxford from Coltishall, 19 Squadron Duxford (Spitfires) were given mid-air instructions to proceed to a vectored position just off the east coast at Clacton-on-Sea Essex. At first there was no sign of the raiders, but it was not long before a flight made contact with 70 He111 and about 50 Bf110s just south of Harwich. Joined by another flight, a strong and intense battle emerged with weaving planes and long glowing lines of tracer above the coastline. One He111 was brought down over the sea, but a number of Bf110s crashed into the Essex countryside.

Brigstock at your seven o'clock

The Team Fusion boys are really working wonders with the sim and it is starting to look like what might have been.

Our mission initially started with WB blowing his engine, us circling North Weald and itching to get on station.

The hold up meant we arrived in perfect time to see the 19 boys stream by with full contrails heading for the incoming bandits.

Seeing them come in over our left wing and head off towards the bad guys gave us some confidence that I've not felt for the last few missions where its felt like 5 vs 105....

Pretty soon 19 spotted some of the raiders and a proper BoB furball began.

Contrails off Southend
Rolling round I had a look at the bombers which sneaker below the fighters. I started to maneuver over the top and position for an attack. I'd heard WB getting stuck in, Brig had the 50 110's under control, so lets bag a Heinkel.

Sun glints off the He-111's
All seemed to be going well and then tracer was whistling past my ears and I'd picked up some of the 110's Brigstock had generously decided to leave for me.

The fight quickly decended to 4-5000 ft. I manage to give a couple of guys the good news, which resulted in them smoking, but no kills.

WB had done his best with the He-111's and Osprey was making the most of the superior numbers, we had to get some target practise done.

Eventually I was winchester, so headed back to North Weald with the sun setting over an eventful day.

Approaching North Weald, dog head out of car mode
Landing I realised I had no clue on how many snappers I had a go at. The other lads were the same. For me this was as good as it gets. Flying in with another (any) squadron makes it more believable for me. The furball off Southend was relentless, but also ended up with that "alone" feeling.

I'll be trying this formula next time.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Swanning about off Swanage

Thursday 15th August Pt 3 (17:00-19:00)
1700hrs: The combat areas now switched the west. Some 60 Bf109s and 25 Bf110s were escorting a formation of 40 Ju87 dive bombers and were detected to the south of Portland. 10 Group despatch 87 Squadron Exeter (Hurricanes) and 213 Squadron Exeter (Hurricanes) to intercept. Soon after, now realizing the size of the enemy force, 234 Squadron Middle Wallop (Spitfires) were scrambled while 609 Squadron Warmwell (Spitfires) were placed at readiness in case they were needed......
The combined strength of the British fighters was about 20 aircraft, while the German force boasted a combined strength of 125.     

109's at height
With the new Team Fusion patch, things have improved significantly. Aircraft performance is closer to the real life perfomance and flying at altitude is possible. Lots of additional goodies, like contrails and the superb reflections from the plane surfaces.
We took off as a four ship which had the hair standing up at the back of my neck, the noise was incredibłe.
Sun glinting off the starboard wing

We faced 40 Ju87's, 60 109's and 25 110's. Defending, we had 12 Spits and 6 Hurries, plus our 4 Spits, so in all pretty poor odds.
It didn't take long before we spotted the contrails high over us, we quickly got seperated and seemed to find a seperate part of the incoming enemy force to deal with. Splash had the 109's, WB and Osprey had the Stukas and I had the 110's.
For the next ten minutes or so, I was just trying to stay alive. I was having to lose height as the 110's were way above. During the odd break I got off a couple of snap shots and managed to get one smoking, though most of the time it was Split S, check six, locate the next attack, break, check six, break, split S, check six.....
110's with Swanage in the background
Having lost about 16,000 ft, the 110's finally broke towards the needles and I managed to pick off a couple of stragglers.
Splash, having escaped from the 109's with Brigstock had picked up the formation and got stuck in.
Osprey had to dead stick onto the Isle of Wight, whilst the rest of us headed back to base.
Splash returns to base
A good mission, with no lag/slowdowns - the modified netcode has probably helped. If this is the sign of things to come from Team Fusion, this game will soon begin to live up to what it should have been.
Congrats to Brigstock who picked up a DFC for his 10th kill in this life.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Combat off Dungeness - "the pointy bit of land"

Thursday 15th August

The RAF "scrambled" 54 Squadron Hornchurch (Spitfires) and 501 Squadron Gravesend (Hurricanes) to intercept the foreboding onslaught that was coming across the Channel. The Observer Corps had reported 60+ Ju87 Stuka dive bombers and an undisclosed number of Bf110 as escort. But this was a numbers game, it was going to be obvious that two squadrons were not going to be enough. The order went out from Fighter Command to Kenley and 615 Squadron (Hurricanes) was "scrambled" to join the other two squadrons already on their way towards Dover....
Part 1 of August 15th and we've started to notice that things are getting tougher. Around 70 Stukas with 30 Bf110's and 20 Bf109's approached Hawkinge and Lympne. Our meagre contribution of 4 Spitfire's didn't seem enough, even with the knowledge that we had two squadrons of friendlies helping out.

I think we all spotted the enemy around the same time, though different portions of the formation. I caught sight of the covering 110's, whilst Osprey and Brigstock had part of the Stuka formation and some of the 109's.

"Today, I will be mostly shooting Stukas"
 As I closed on the top part of the formation, the welcome sight of 54 Squadron diving in to take on the brunt of the 109's. The sky over the top of the formation was a mass of whirling aircraft.

54 Squadron take on the fighter screen
Not wanting to go through the middle of the formation and run the gauntlet of the rear gunners, I stayed high over the top and came round behind the Stukas. Osprey and Brigstock were calling out their engagement, Splash was in there somewhere, but situational awareness with all the targets and fighters became an impossible job. The only way to survive was look for target, check six, look below, check six, shoot at target, look high.

I had a pop at a couple of Stukas, then saw a couple of 110's engaged with a couple of the 501 squadron Hurricanes (when did they show up??) and closed on the rearmost one. After getting a couple of hits, a close group of tracer/cannon shells whizzed past the cockpit. I'd picked up another 110 having failed to check six for a couple of seconds. Snap rolling to the right, probably stopped me from being killed, but my engine was completely gone and I'd been hit so was out of the fight.

Approaching Hawkinge - Dead stick landing
With my engine out I headed for the nearest base, which was Hawkinge. Fortunately the Stukas had finished their attack, but Hawkinge was battered.

I landed and got airborne in a spare Spit immediately, giving chase to the retreating aircraft. I picked up a couple of stragglers off Dungeness (thanks Brig) - "pointy bit of land", but saw they were going in anyway so left them alone. Heading back to Manston radar picked up another smaller formation approaching.

A mixed fighter sweep of 110's and 109's came in, but again I picked up a snapper which damaged the guns on my port wing. Unable to fight, I landed at Manston and again climbed after the aircraft. Os and Splash were giving chase to a flight of 109's, which were dispatched, partly due to them being rookie/bug.

Back to Manston for Tea, Muffins and in Splash's case, medals.

Os pioneering the clip wing Spit
Great fun again, the missions are getting harder and this one cranked up the immersion level. I was genuinely relieved to see the Spits diving in and taking out the fighter screen. I was also relieved to get back to base.

From a mission planning point of view, I've now worked out the AI needs to be on "veteran" to engage properly and be agressive enough, so that too is helping.

Stats are here:

Get the kettle on
Congrats to Splash on his DFC - I wonder whether we'll see antics like this again, now he has the weight of his first gong. :)

Haircut sir?
I've got to post these last two screenies. This was from a mission test run just to check the Stukas attacked the airfields properly. I was sat in my aircraft watching the externals, then jumped back in and was happily thinking "Ha, you missed me" then the roof of the hangar came in.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Five bag a Hun or two

"....the weather was almost a carbon copy of the day previous but with this uncertainty prevailing, it was impossible to launch any full scale operation with the magnitude that Göring hoped for. The day continued with just spasmodic attacks, nothing of any great scale, actions were scattered and could be more rightly termed as nuisance attacks than anything else. It appears that the real Adler Tag would have to wait another day."

I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with "S"
Nothing of great scale according to the day by day reports. We still had 80+ Stuka's and a couple of squadrons of 109's and 110's to deal with!!  It was great to have five of us in one mission and good to be back flying the Spit.

The bad guys

Splash seeking the enemy over France
Smoke palls over the hangars at Manston

Stats testing seemed to go ok, though a little on the high side due to the enemy AI having issues landing and us getting credited for the kills. I'll address that with scripting, which should give more realistic kills.

CoD Stats - BoB Campaign

Note: These will change dynamically whilst I'm continuing with the script testing.