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View Full Version : PROBLEM: B-17/B-24 BOX Formation in IL-2 (Need Help)



XyZspineZyX
08-28-2003, 08:41 PM
I found out that, from the development pictures, that B-17 is enroute to IL-2.

But I think there might be a problem. B-17 usually flies in Box formation in the Western front. 16 Planes in each box, in formation of 3 boxes per flights. (total of 48 B-17s per flight).

It would have been suicidal to fly with just V or Straight line formation.

European Air War mimics this very well.

But I think it will be a problem for IL-2 to accomodate teh Western front due to its limited formation option for aircraft.


Is UBI and Maddox working on to solve this potential problem?

XyZspineZyX
08-28-2003, 08:41 PM
I found out that, from the development pictures, that B-17 is enroute to IL-2.

But I think there might be a problem. B-17 usually flies in Box formation in the Western front. 16 Planes in each box, in formation of 3 boxes per flights. (total of 48 B-17s per flight).

It would have been suicidal to fly with just V or Straight line formation.

European Air War mimics this very well.

But I think it will be a problem for IL-2 to accomodate teh Western front due to its limited formation option for aircraft.


Is UBI and Maddox working on to solve this potential problem?

XyZspineZyX
08-28-2003, 08:59 PM
I don't think anyone knows.
Guess we'll just have to wait and see how FB handles all the problems that adding a B-17 creates.

XyZspineZyX
08-28-2003, 10:20 PM
bump to this...

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XyZspineZyX
08-28-2003, 10:45 PM
dont even bother the 108 cannon will propbally blow a b17 and b25 into a million pieces from one hit like they do to bombers now pe8 he111 etc.


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XyZspineZyX
08-28-2003, 11:16 PM
I am also interested on what this fellow is asking. Please keep me posted.

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XyZspineZyX
08-29-2003, 12:03 AM
I doubt it. You can still setup an effective flight by using proper placement and alt adjustments in the FMB.

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XyZspineZyX
08-29-2003, 01:11 AM
It's very easy to do this in the FMB. Or rather, in notepad.

Place the first flights waypoints - make sure they work, first, and that you're not making any flights turn at sharp angles or large changes in altitude.

After testing that, place another 3 flights of your choice of bomber, but only place one waypoint for them. This will create the appropriate entry for the other flights in the .mis file and saves you a bit of text editing later.

I find it's a lot easier to keep track of what flight is doing what if all of the flights are assigned to the same unit in the FMB properties sheet for the flight object. If you want a flight of 16, create them in the same unit [eg JG54], then enter them as flights 1-4 in squad 1, 1-4 in squad 2, etc. Each unit you use in the FMB gets its own, seperate squad/flight numbering, so you can have your first friendly CAP as F1 S1 in JG3 and the first bomber flight as F1 S1 in JG54, if you wanted.

Alt tab out of the FMB, and load up x:\fbdir\missions\yourmission.mis in Notepad.

Copy the waypoint data for the first flight of bombers and paste it in the 'waypoints' section for each of the other flights. Since they're all following the same flightpath, you'll need to change the altitude of the other 3 flights, or they'll all explode in midair at the start of the mission. It's easy to paste in one flights complete set of waypoints at a time, then use the find/replace tool to replace the altitude data as you go. The altitude data is the second last numeric piece of data on each line of the waypoints [then speed then assigned escort, if any, for that WP].

You'll want to set at least 100 metres difference between each flights waypoints. I prefer 200 as it makes collisions between flights much harder. If you're starting the bombers on the runway, the first piece of altitude data [on their second waypoint] can be left as the same altitude for all of the bomber flights, if you wish. Be careful not to overload a runway - small runways will have problems accomodating more than 16 aircraft, and in the case of bomber flights, you may need to tweak each flights bomb or fuel loadout to make sure they have enough distance on the runway to reach takeoff speed.

Notepad is totally indespensible for creating large missions - it saves a huge amount of work. When I'm creating a large enough mission file probably half of my time is spent in Notepad.

It's also very easy to create CAP with Notepad - set up a flights waypoints with say, 3 or 4 waypoints at a certain speed or altitude that you can find easily, then just copy/paste those waypoints repeatedly. Beats the hell out of trying to untangle spaghetti CAP waypoints in the FMB. If you want to make a big CAP sweep, use two waypoints copied and pasted multiple times, then drag the waypoints at each 'end' out to seperate spots on the map grid

After you've done your copy and paste in notepad, it's good to seperate out at least one or two waypoints from each flight pattern, just so you can click on the squad you want in the FMB. You can just left click and drag on a waypoint to reveal the ones underneath it. If you want all of your bombers to say, bomb a seperate city block, just click and drag the GAttack waypoint in the FMB. Only the 'top' flights waypoint will move, leaving the rest where they are. Drag them all to a seperate drop location - they'll split up slightly before the bomb drop and regroup after.

It's sometimes handy to place an 'escort' waypoint for a couple of waypoints after the drop point. Say, having flight 4 [last to takeoff, or the one with the largest deviation from the flightpath for its bomb drop point] target flight 3 for the next two waypoints after the drop, just to make sure they all form up afterwards. Don't assign a flight at the 'front' of the group to escort one that will be behind it, and don't assign two flights to escort each other reciprocally - it gets ugly. The same thing applies if you want to have the bombers start from the runway - tell flight 2 to escort 1, 3 to escort 2, 4 to escort 3, etc, for the takeoff/formup waypoints. It also helps to put in a little dogleg after takeoff - assign a couple of waypoints just to get them up to altitude or speed, then make them fly away from the ingress point, then back towards it again. This gives other planes still on the ground time to form up. If you don't want to play with assigning escort flights, or find it isn't working, you'll have to play with setting different speeds, waypoint distances, or altitudes for flights. Neither method is 100% guaranteed to work, unfortunately. I usually start bombers in the air to get around it.

I really hope Maddox sticks in multiple flight groups for the americans to go with the B17, it's going to get interesting trying to make large formations otherwise.

XyZspineZyX
08-29-2003, 01:46 AM
^Do realize the incredibly small percentage of IL2/FB users that actually understood that and would be capable of doing that or even using the FMB Editor without at least of day of frustation.

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XyZspineZyX
08-29-2003, 02:28 AM
Cragger wrote:
- ^Do realize the incredibly small percentage of
- IL2/FB users that actually understood that and would
- be capable of doing that or even using the FMB
- Editor without at least of day of frustation.
-


Yeh! shame on him for posting something constructive.

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XyZspineZyX
08-29-2003, 03:09 AM
hobnail wrote:
-
- Yeh! shame on him for posting something
- constructive.
-
-

Ha,Ha I deserved that, but seriously it really it overcomplicated and outside the realm of most Il2 users to 'encounter' a true serious defensive box of bombers.

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XyZspineZyX
08-29-2003, 08:23 AM
I don't get why there hasn't been any major work done on the FMB portion of the sim since the first release of Il-2.

As far as I can gather this is where most of the java work comes into play - just interpreting the text files into a VM that turns them into a functioning mission. The concept of using raw text for missions is a very good idea. I just wish Maddox had implemented features that were standard in many games [EAW / Janes / Freespace] 5 or 6 years ago. Or looked at how Operation Flashpoint handles the same idea.

I've made a couple of requests for FMB functionality in the ORR forum and didn't receive any response. A lot of what people are asking for [controllable formations, controllable distance between aircraft, etc] is actually already part of the game - there just needs to be a way to trigger the existing radio commands you can give other planes.

Sorry if the long post I made above was a little unclear, I was going on about 2 hours sleep when I wrote it. But essentially the point is that creating a flight of 48 bombers means creating 3 actual sets of waypoints, then copying and pasting them, then making sure that each of the individual sets of 4 planes are set to fly at a seperate altitude from the rest.

A far bigger problem than creating the defensive bomber formations is fixing the AI so that it knows how to attack them. If you think it's stupid watching AI planes attack bombers from dead 6 now, wait til you see how long they last with 48 bombers gunners shooting at them rather than 4. Even with Rookie AI set for bombers and Ace for interceptors, it's very rare for an interceptor not to get 'pinged' at least once on the way in, and if they get hit more than once or twice they'll usually break off their attack.

If you're doing the intercepting, it's useful to get on the radio and manually tell all flights to attack bombers [tab 6 4] - this is usually enough to prevent wingmen from covering each other and focusses all of them on attacking the bombers.

XyZspineZyX
08-29-2003, 10:31 AM
You can make a decent combat box in FMB 6 flights of 3 Pe-8s each.

The AI panic if they get too close to one another so you have to space elements a little wider than what's realistic. Allow 100 meters vertically between each flight.
http://www.303rdbga.com/formation.jpg

The downside to doing it this way is that the formation will drift apart if they have any major turns along their flight patch.

XyZspineZyX
08-29-2003, 10:34 AM
Cragger wrote:
- ^Do realize the incredibly small percentage of
- IL2/FB users that actually understood that and would
- be capable of doing that or even using the FMB
- Editor without at least of day of frustation.

Awww, have some hope for humanity yet. There are plenty of very talented pilots online. Plenty of talented historians (and trolls) on these forums. I bet at least half of the users know how to use FMB and edit a text file.

As for the rest of 'em, well, I hope they're enjoying the sim as well. At least they've all contributed to Oleg's paycheck. /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif ~S!~

XyZspineZyX
08-29-2003, 12:29 PM
Thank you all for this valueble information that will be put into use very shortly after Oleg brings out the B-17, you all will not be disappointed.


Thanks!




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"You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you"

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XyZspineZyX
08-29-2003, 12:51 PM
If you wanted to recreate the kind of mission B-17s/B-24s would have been involved in, does anybody else reckon it'd slow FB down to a crawl? I mean - bombers, escorting fighters, intercepting fighters, flak...

XyZspineZyX
08-29-2003, 06:48 PM
That is right...B-17 is on the way to IL-2 as an add-on.

But we need BOX formation capability in the game.


How is Maddox going to manage this? THat will be interesting to watch.

XyZspineZyX
08-29-2003, 07:01 PM
Baloban, that is one configuration. They was at least 2 others. The site that I thought had the others on, no longer exists.

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XyZspineZyX
08-30-2003, 10:11 AM
Using FMV would not be a true Box formation, right?

It's UBI Soft who has to re-program whole thing with regards to the formation and AI on the German side.

I hope they do, like EAW.


EAW has one of the best BOX formation I've ever seen.
IL-2 FB shouldn't be disappointing, I hope.

XyZspineZyX
08-30-2003, 02:48 PM
B-17 Bonber "boxes" were composed of 60 bombers - not 16.
4 boxes were combined into groups totalling 240 aircraft. Each group had an escorting fighter group comprised of 4 sqdns,

This tidbit not withstanding, When the first B-17 skins came out for the Pe-8 I said great!! Now I can setup a bomber escort mission over Berlin. Obviously, I couldn't do 240 bombers..LOL, so I hed to scale things back abit. I setup 24 bonbers with a single sqdn of P-47 escorts. The opposing forces were 2 - 8 ship flights of FW-190's and 2 - 8 ship filghts of 109's. I added in the appropriate level of flak, etc.

I set the bombers to arrive at altitudes between 27K and 30K with minimum 2K separations. I spent three hours getting the bombers in without crashing into each other - see the game brings them in using the in-line formation, then moves them into the finger formation - the game AI was going nuts trying to get them grouped up without crashing them - but I finally got them working together. I also used the "single waypoint" idea discussed above. Once I had everything like I wanted it, I ran a test.

Not I've got a 2.4Mhz with 1 GB and a GeForce4. Things were going great as the misson stated. Within 5 minutes, everyone was formed up and headed off to the target. As the bomber group started approching the southwestern suburbs of Berlin the game started chugging and by the time the group reached 15km out from what is now Tempelhof airport (the target) the game came to a screaching halt! The PC just locked completely up!!!

So, what I'm basically trying to say here is that while the mission editor may let you create the mission you envision, Its just not going to be playable - not without one hell of a fast system.




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XyZspineZyX
08-30-2003, 03:22 PM
IRON_Redburn,

Could you share this mission that you created with the bombers? I am interested in using it if you don't mind.




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"You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you"

Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

XyZspineZyX
09-02-2003, 11:16 PM
may be that is right...

XyZspineZyX
09-04-2003, 01:21 AM
One thing I just found about B-17 in IL-2 FB.

Yes, it will be included, but there will be no BOX Formation!!!!

That is very unlike of UBI Soft or Oleg.

They only time where B-17's did not have Box formation during the WWII was for a very short period in 1942.
By the latter part of 1942 and early 1943, Box formation was well into the European theater.


By the way, B-17 never served in the Eastern front.
6 aircraft were delivered to the Red Army Airforce in 1944 but the Russians didn't need them since the 8th Airforce was doing the bombing for all the allies from Britain.

Anyways, to me it is a disappointment not to have the Western Front Warfare included in the game.

I find Battle of Britain and 8th Air Force Bombing Campaign are very attractive for WWII era-sim game.


I really hope that I am wrong~!

Oleg, We Need Battle of Britain & 8th Airforce Bombing Campaigns!!!!! Please please please (and throw in the Pacific and North Africa if you can~)

XyZspineZyX
09-04-2003, 01:32 AM
jjlooxgood wrote:

-
-
- By the way, B-17 never served in the Eastern front.
- 6 aircraft were delivered to the Red Army Airforce
- in 1944 but the Russians didn't need them since the
- 8th Airforce was doing the bombing for all the
- allies from Britain.
-
-

Ever hear of operation Frantic?

A FB scenario could be the German bombing of Poltava.

Some history

http://members.aol.com/tarp624/FranticMission.htm

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