Recent air combat sim recommendations?

February 25, 1915

Dear Sister,
I’ve been busier than the devil lately, but I’ve managed to tear myself away for a bit to pen you this quick note.
First of all I have to tell you that I’ve done it: I’m not only the proud possessor of one Hun scalps – but two! I really can’t go into detail, but I must say that I’ve well and gotten my ears cropped back for the Good Old Hun, and The Great Observer and I have become quite the team. Say want you want about Haileyberry, but if T.G.O. is any indication, they know how to cultivate marksmen (if not languages – his Latin is ghastly.)
The missions in which I bagged my “ducks” were the usual lot of nonsense, but the Hun has been making more and more of an appearance later, and I’ve been taking care to keep my altitude up and my eyes open. The first was another Avatik bus, which I had the distinct sight of seeing going down in flames after a timely squirt from T.G.O. The other was less spectacular, but I kept my eyes on him all the way down as well – as did my wingman. Two claims, two confirms!
About claims; there is certainly something dodgy about the whole scheme. I was wingman on my last flight, and by Jove was the weather completely dreadful… in fact, it’s been through no small effort that I’m keeping water drops off this very page! Anyway, as usual, the leader seemed to be more interested in getting soaked than with getting on with the job, so I somehow managed to “lose” him in the weather, and preceded on my own to the front. Don’t worry, Dear Sister, this happens all the time, and as long as there are results, the CO doesn’t mind in the slightest. My plans were simply to drop the feeble lot of bombs my bus can carry somewhere over the Hun lines, then make it back. I certainly wasn’t expecting any Huns to be the air… I’ve observed that their delicate constitutions prevent any manly conduct during foul weather. But, lo and behold! What did I spy above me but not only another dratted Avatik, but one that I recognized… in fact, it had the same number as the first Hun kite that skipped away from me, described in my previous missive!
Well, I was not to be denied this time. In order to squeeze what little revs I could from my bus, I somewhat randomly dropped my bombs over the front, and the pursuit was on! I won’t bore you with the details – just let it be said that it was the usual Dance the Pensioners – but this time, I clearly espied his propeller stop moving! The T.G.O. had adroitly laid his shots true, and another Hun fell before our gun!
Unfortunately, there was no one else to spot the crash, so my subsequent claim was denied. But nevertheless, I feel the world is in balance now that I’ve brought my first target conclusively back to terra firma, where he belongs!
Well, the lads are all howling that I join them with another round, and who am I to deny them? I’ll be going for now, and, as always, I remain,
Your Loving Brother,
2nd Lt. Lewis Roald Warsham

P.S. Don’t let all that Emily Pankhurst rot go to your head! Whilst I admit that she is indeed a formidable woman with strong qualities, her opinions on the war are insufferably naive. Let those who understand what we’re fighting for make the decisions, and leave it to them!

I had a good scare yesterday. I own a second hand HOTAS warthog. couple of big lumps of metal. Sadly the innards of the stick, the gimbal is not metal but plastic. Nice, well made plastic, but plastic nonetheless.

As the thing is showing its age, going sticky around the center, I ordered some silicone grease and a replacement for a rubber ring that functions to soften the centering action. This rubber ring had deteriorated as I had expected.

So I took the entire thing apart. Took a razor and sanding paper to the plastic parts to smooth out the mold errors that are almost inevitable in plastic parts. My experience building model airplanes in a previous life paid off. The gimbal action was smoothed to a silky touch, then greased up and reassembled. So far so good.

Then I plugged the thing back in. I mean, smooth action is one thing, but I needed to shoot some capitalist bastards with it to know if it paid off, right? I plugged it in.

Nothing happened. Nooooo! Have I destroyed the centerpiece of my dream setup? Have I grounded myself even in virtuality? Will I be ordering a VIRPIL stick base?

Luckily I found out I had been to hasty in re-assembling the thing. Turns out the connection of the handle extension was not seated properly and that caused the thing not to register as a valid USB device. Mounting the handle directly to the base the thing worked.

I then proceeded to carefully re-do the extension. The thing now works. Deliciously. No longer does it stick round the center. It is smooth as a babies butt. My shit is fixed. It should be good for years now.

Guess I won’t be buying no VIRPIL gimbal soon.

It’s like hitting the power button for the first time on a new motherboard build. Heaven, or blue smoke.

Was there just a small part of you that was thrilled with the idea that you would have to get a Virpil base, which by all accounts is better?

Crap, I wrecked it. Guess I’ll have to get a new base…

hush now, before she finds out!

So I actually did this, and I was told that BS1 and BS2 are “different games,” they don’t offer upgrade keys anymore, and if I want to play BS2 I can buy the module for DCS World, which I am not likely to do, since paying $17.50 (which is the cheapest I think I’ve ever seen it go) for something I paid $50 for in 2019 dollars already is kind of a non-starter for me.

oh shit, that aint nice. not nice at all.

on the other hand, they are working on a 3rd release of blackshark.

Are they going to charge for this one, too?

No, I’m definitely not bitter.

Yes they are, and I find it strange to hear how they treated you. I would have sworn they had a more lenient policy on that. But I guess I was wrong.

Anyway, it’s not like madden 2006 differs greatly from the 2008 edition and people pay full price for that, don’t they? coder’s gotta buy bread, borschsht and vodka too.

(edit) I just did some research. Turns out they sold a BS1 to BS2 upgrade for a while, and you could get support to change that key to a regular BS2 key. My bad then, I put wrong ideas in your head.

Oh, it’s not your fault. Actually if the price ever comes down to, say, $10, I probably will buy it again, because it’s a pretty unique aircraft. Also I miss the computer calmly telling me, in Russian, that I’m about to die.

Shoot me an email adress via PM, I have a favor to pay forward ;-)

I’m pretty sure that 2LT Lewis, my WOFF pilot @ ~40 hours flying time, is getting close to the time period when the Good Old Hun rolls out their Eindeckers.

Then we’re really gonna make the buggers’ eyes water.

Reinstalled Strike Fighters 2 last night with a bunch of mods.

I wish TK was still working on pc games. I enjoyed playing around with Strike Fighters and some of the nato mods. I remember flying a campaign as a tornado driver at some point. Hard not to love a game that let me fly the A-7 Corsair, the Tornado, and other Cold War toys.

Nato fighters was so great. TK is selling a 100$ all-in pack of SF2 now, but it’s not even patched to work properly with windows10.

If he were to bring it back using unity (VR!) I would be all over it. Man.

I also enjoyed playing Wings overStrike Fighters Vietnam and some mods for that. I think at one point I owned all of his titles, including the WWI one. It is a shame they weren’t updated for modern operating systems.

SF2 and its ilk work fine in Windows 10.

But it’s still a tough pill to swallow that TK created this “bundle deal” but didn’t even bother touching the code at all. I mean, even fixing something like broken AI external ECM stuff (which worked prior to the last patch).

Well, they will charge for the new systems they’re adding. But at least the graphical upgrade is free!

Yes. It’s beautiful. As hackneyed as it may be this is my favourite fighter of all time. Yes, I know she looks a little gormless with that smile of hers, but she’s a beauty in how she handles and all she can do. A tidy little piece of engineering genius with an almost unmatched versatility.

When this module comes out I will take some leave.

Looks good, but it’s no 14…