You've all been a great help with getting me going on IL2. Been spending much time on it getting familiar with each and every plane and even mastering a couple.
Starting to get into the nit picky fine details of it and have a question regarding the K-14 'Ace Maker' available in some of the Allied planes (mainly the later Mustangs).
How do you use it?
I've found and read a .pdf of the actual manual and have seen it referenced in all sorts of books. It seems perfectly straightforward and I feel that I understand how it is supposed to work in real life.
But how does it work in IL2? I select the plane I am after (109, 190, etc.) to register the wingspan. I have the sight speed and range setting programmed and see how one of them (forget which) makes the hexagonal sight bigger or smaller. The other one doesn't do anything as far as I can tell.
So, any tips or step by step instructions on how to use it? I imagine it is very useful, just can't figure it out. Thanks!
I forget the exact controls right now, but you basically need the same keys set as for the regular bombsight controls.
The bombsight tracking key changes the sight from the ring to the six-point hex. Use some combination of the bombsight slip, angle, or altitiude/airspeed inputs.
This changes the size of the reticule based on the aircraft wingspan (eg. Bf-109, Fw-190, etc). The default range is 200 meters I think. If you have a Bf-109 in front of you, and you have selected the Bf-09 wingspan, change the range control to get the reticule to fit the wingspan as you see it. However, I skip this step, and simply wait to get close enough. Once again, the wingspan of the target should fit into the diameter of the reticule.
Be sure to let the sight track continuously for a second or two or it may still be bouncing around, giving a bad lead estimation. Later, jet like the F-86 had radar which would input the target's range to the sight, changing the size of the pipper automatically. Now THAT would make shooting easy
So, it will track if I hold it on target long enough? I had tried it a few times before but it never moved so I didn't know if IL2 had a different setup from the real thing.
I have the bombsight controls programmed and it will say "Increase/Decrease Sight Velocity" but I have no readout or any hint as to what it is doing. Guessing I don't need that part. I can move the reticule size and understand it needs to first be set on the right plane type and then match it's wingspan.
To break it down:
1. Select target type
2. Adjust reticule until the wingspan of the target plane fits within the hexagon.
3. Hold for a few seconds and the hex will track to a different spot on the sight pane.
4. Move stationary ring until the hex is inside of it and fire (should have computed proper lead).
Approach target until wingspan matches reticule width
Hold hex reticule on the target for a couple of seconds to let it stabilise then pull the trigger.
In practice, you want to be holding the hex reticule on the target as you approach the set range to save time so you can pull the trigger as soon as the target wingtips match the hex reticule edge. The only time the hex reticule and the normal reticule will align is when you're flying straight and level and the range is set at the same range as your gun convergence.
It's important to keep in mind that there were many rookies in Germany's Luftwaffe by the time the K-14 was introduced, so the fact that it can only really track a non-maneuvering target is pretty understandable. The technology wasn't that advanced by modern standards, but it was all that was needed.
However, the AI and online players are pretty good at avoiding getting shot at, for the most part, so making effective use of the sight may be frustrating at first.
I tend to avoid using it, and go for the earlier Mustangs which have the much more useful slip indicator!