Recent air combat sim recommendations?


Thanks. Is there a consensus then about which one to get?

Does IL2 1946 do anything nice on the Battle of Britain?


Il-2 has almost every airframe that flew during the war and some that never made it into production. Its the only choice if your interested in multiplayer as well. Aircraft have reasonably nuanced and unique flight models. They effects are quite good and its also very polished. The single player is anemic however. The AI just isn’t there. Maddox Games never had the ambition to create a single player experience comparable to the great Western flight simulations like Longbow, Falcon, Enemy Engaged, or The Battle of Britain.


IL-2 is still the absolute best, even after all of this time. All of the expansions are excellent, and IL-2 1946 (the latest) has some cool experimental planes. I’ve been a flight sim fan since MS Flight Sim 2.0 (in other words, a LOOOONG ass time) and IL-2 is by far the best out right now.

Battle of Britain is going to be insane. Oleg is a god. :)

Edit: Also, if you have the means, I highly recommend the TrackIR. I’ve had one for a couple years now, and it’s just too damn cool to go without. You don’t really understand how much of a handicap the lack of visibility is until you’ve tried a flight sim with the TrackIR. There’s just SOOOO much space you need to be covering with your eyes, and a hat switch doesn’t even come close to cutting it.


That’s awesome. I was actually just setting things up yesterday to do a clean install of BOBII, since it felt like time I looked at it again, and was feeling daunted about having to choose between canned missions and dealing with the strategic layer. And I was pondering going back to the first BOB instead, since where BOBII has empty fields, BOB had sheep.


The BDG has a lot of art in the pipeline but they haven’t place it on the map yet. This thread shows the latest work. Just scroll halfway down the page.


So if one were to order TrackIR, should it be done from their website? Or is there a discount dealer that ships quickly? Apparently I have money burning a hole in my pocket, that thing looks pretty neat.


When I ordered mine, I happened to see a 10% off or something on a big flight sim site, so I got a tiny bit of a deal. I’m not sure what to tell you other than to Google around and see if you can turn up any discounts :)

Here’s a full landing approach I did in FSX using the TrackIR. Nothing complicated or anything, but it shows off how useful the TrackIR can be. Note also the 6 axis movement. I’m leaning forward and back, and from side to side along with moving my head, changing my position inside the cockpit to clearly see the runway around pylons and other obstacles inside the cockpit.


I got my trackIR from Amazon, and it shipped with a free copy of BoB and rFactor. I’m mostly a sim racer, but I love my track-IR.


Here ya go! Hopefully, like I said, to be released … at some point. Conjecture says towards winter '08/spring '09.


Ha! I just got a TrackIR newsletter literally 2 minutes ago announcing price drops on all their stuff, including reducing the TrackIR 4 from $179 to $129. Sounds like a good deal :)


I’ve been keeping an eye on this one myself. Flying Corps Gold and Red Baron 3D are two of my faves.


Sweet. Thanks for the heads up.

Watching the gameplay trailer, I thought it looks very similar to what a Flying Corps remake w/ multiplayer would look like. Graphics look pretty respectable. Count me in.


Those graphics look beautiful spiffy. Like FSX graphics in a combat sim.

And thanks for the heads-up on the new discount on TrackIR, DrJonez.


Is steam the best way to get IL-2? A lot of game for 10 bucks.

aww, i just noticed it says Windows 2000/XP (only). Does that mean no vista? :(


let me coopt the thread for a moment to go back a generation or two.

What was the last good WW I air combat sim? I hope the answer isn’t “the original Red Baron.” I haven’t played any for a long time, but the last two or three I did play were pretty awful. I like the WW I setting, because I like the relatively slowness and the way you can legitimately get very close to the enemy without insane graphical fakery.

Of course “good” is relative and realism is always a sore point in sim discussions, but I think an entirely accurate WW I sim would be excruciating.

So I am happy to allow a certain amount of arcade-like slack in the flight model, for example in allowing you a certain unrealistic amount of lift for easy takeoffs, super-strong gear for rough landings, permitting somewhat unrealistic G force without the wings coming off, and so on. I also want to know if some remote dot is a friend or foe, no matter how unrealistic that may be, as I may spend half an hour chasing them only to find they are some “realistic” friendly bomber squadron off to do something random in the “dynamic” campaign world.

On the other hand, I do want the rotary engine scouts to turn right much more easily than they turn left, and I do want to feel some real differences among the planes based on their historical characteristics. And don’t give me some bizarrely anachronistic modern-style set of cockpit instruments.

I also don’t want the joy of a 3 hour patrol mission which takes forever just to get to the patrol zone. If I fly out on a mission, I expect the game to either start me nearby the important part of the patrol, or skip ahead on demand to jump to the destination instead just speeding up to 4x and making me wait a mere half hour to get to the target…

So does anything in the last few years fit the bill?

Edit: bah, how did I miss that Rise of Flight link? Are there any others?


Both IL2 and BOB2 offer a variety of options for getting to the combat zone fast (time lapse/speedup) as well as labelling dots (on or off with the touch of a button-- I put them on until I close, then switch off as I dogfight). BOB2 is significantly harder to land than IL2 (realism on or off), but doesn’t penalize you for just skipping it at the end of a mission (a little practice, though, and it becomes second nature.)

And yeah, gaining altitude is a breeze on 4X time increase. When your airstrip is being strafed, not so much, but that’s the challenge, eh?


If it’s choppers you’re after, I’m still recommending EECH (the original) plus mods from the community - a lot of work has gone into improving upon the original game and like scharmers mentions, EECH2 doesn’t come close.

I was recently given (yes, given) a TIR3 and the improvement of the original version I had is startling - I’m not about to upgrade this one anytime soon though, but having just gotten Freespace 2 working with the TIR, I’ve fallen in love with it all over again :)


Third Wire has “First Eagles” but I don’t own any of their titles. In addition, like the rest of their title set it’s not Vista compatible.


I reinstalled BOBII and patched it to 2.08. It’s running smoother than I remember it. I’m feeling lost up there; can anyone give me a quick run-down on how they set up and use the padlocking and view keys?


I’m not 100% certain, but I’m pretty darned sure I’ve played IL-2 1946 on my Vista Ultimate 64-bit machine before. I’ve had this PC for about 2 years now (Wow, has Vista already been out that long) and I know I’ve played IL-2 for at least a while. Hrm.

I’d double check just to be sure though :) I also wasn’t aware they were available on Steam now. Cool!

And no problem about the TrackIR price thing :) It’s really an awesome peripheral, but most people seem to automatically assume it’s just a gimmick. I was surprised at just how well it works, and now there’s no way I could do without it for flight sims. Lots of new titles with support for it too!