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.