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tomtheyak
10-29-2005, 03:16 PM
OMG! Just had the most AWESOME offline mission from this game EVER!!! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

VVS Dgen campaign in the Northern Sector (Leningrad) - the modded VVS Dgen files are by some talented individual whos name escapes me...

Let me set the scene...

Leningrad, May 1942: My unit equipped with La-5s has been having a rollercoaster time of things - somedays the victories come easy; other days the price is very very hard and as the CO I have much responsibilty... perhaps too much...

The previous day, much to my embarrassment my trusty Lavochkin was mortally crippled by, of all things, the rear gunner of a Finnish Blenheim - with my ailerons jammed and my engine fading I bailed out, consoled by my comrades continuing decimation of the Finnish bombers and determined that tomorrow would bring a more successful conclusion for me.

We are briefed to patrol the air SW of the airfield as a raid is suspected. The weather is hazy, low horizontal visibility and quite a bit of cloud but a beautiful rich blue inbetween. It'll be bumpy up there today.

All prepared i clamber into my brand new La-5 and fire up...
instantly I am on guard, as the whine of the starter motor is interupted by the thud of the heavy AAA going off near dispersal. I am momentairly perplexed - the siren is quiet and no radio warning is in evidence. Without further hesitation I slowly open the throttle wide open, catching the swing and all the while trying to eyeball the reason for the AA fire.
Then suddenly ahead, 4 faint specks, one suddenly growing a faint smoke trail - I can't be positive but somehow I just know: BANDITS!

The smoker lazily descends to the floor many miles away as his companions, are.. getting closer?... YES! With engine roaring and the aircraft bucking in a layer of turbulance I hold my nose on these intruders as they roar down and pass me on the left - they're going so quickly and still just far enough out of range that I find it difficult to ID them. I think they're 190s, cant be sure and they're headed... straight for my flight taking off. With a sense of horror I watch as my no.3, a promising young Leutenant comes under the ferocius cannon fire of the lead FW (it has to be, only those monsters can spit that volume of death).

His aircraft, barely having rolled foward, explodes, badly damaging no.4s a/c. More of the unfortunate would be flyers come under the fire of the next two 190s and a terrible conflagration ensues at the head of the runway, as in the holocaust confusion reigns and even those unscathed by the FWs plough into their comrades wrecked aircraft in desperate bids to get into the air. It is a soul destroying sight.

My no.2 is curving up behind me, still some distance away, as now, with blood boiling and vengeance in my heart I pursue the evil facists, determined not to let my comrades deaths go unpunished. The three enemy split one curving away to the left, low, the other two, up and to the right, one after the other.
I elect to chase the left hand - i feel i might just cut off his turn and get a quick shot in.
I'm getting the angles just about right, there'll be a couple of seconds where he'll be in range before he pulls away.
Closer...
NOW!
The first couple of shots go wide, and I must have surprised him, for he flicks suddenly up on one wing and right into my continuing burst of fire. Take that you vulture!!! More cannon rounds strike home, and I am savagely enjoying the destruction. I must have jammed his controls, for the flick suddenly stops, and holds in an inverted dive. Holding fire I watch as his canopy pops off, but not soon enough for the 190 plunges into a forest before its occupant can escape.
I quickly reef into a tight left turn and look over my shoulder, clearing my tail. Theres my trusty no.2... with a 190 dropping onto his tail! Before I can shout a warning the FW opens fire - with my heart in my mouth I see the tracers fall wide and watch relieved as my No2 takes sudden avoiding action.

But it is not enough - inexperienced and unsure of the 190s position he merely drops into a position which gives the Focke-Wulf pilot an easier shot and even as I scream for him to manouevre clear a second burst from the 190 finds it's mark. The young pilot plunges burning into the ground with his doomed aircraft and I feel rage, loss and most of all fear - fear that I shall be next. I am now utterly alone against these two veterans - for I have no doubt of their skill level now. I harden my resolve, and turn into the offensive.

It is a difficult fight. The 190s, aware of their speed advantage, take turns to dive and attack then run away; Hit & Run. Every time I break and try to catch the fellow who has made the pass his friend curves in on my six and the cycle starts again - on a couple of occasions they pass so close that my aircraft buffets in their slipstream, and I wonder why they did not fire as I was sure they had the angle on me. I coldly realise it is only a matter of time before I am caught out and suffer the fate of my comrades. I MUST take the initiative somehow....

I suddenly think of the airbase - the fight has dragged me away from it and the AA that I could use to my advantage. If i can draw these two bastards over it'll give them something to think about and might even knock one or both down. It'll be risky, those AA gunners have notoriously poor eyesight and might end up firing at me, but it's the best of a bad set of options so I set about trying to bait the 190s towards my airfield.

More close calls as the game of tag continues, and one moment where I am sure I am a goner but fortune smiles upon me and I survive. At last i start to see the puffs of dirty red flak, and finally the smoke-tailed red tracer of the light AA - I never thought I would be so glad to see it!
I keep racing around and over the field, breaking into the FWs attacks until a sense of desperation sets in. Can't these blasted AA gunners hit anything?!?!

Almost at that moment I turn into yet another swooping attack and as I reverse my turn to try and get my gunsight on the fellow, I see his a/c take one, two, three soild hits from the light AA. YES! His aircraft noses over and crumples into the earth, rolling along in a fireball.

As I search for his mate a sense of burgeoning superiority comes over me! Now we're just one-on-one! I've dealt with your friends my little fascist fellow, now what makes you think you can best me?! As I chase up behind him, still out of range, a large burst of flak goes off right next to him. I wonder if thats done anything that will help me...?

It HAS! I'm sure I see smoke, definitely, a light trail, his engines hit, probably lost a piston - that'll help me!
He knows this too and immediately starts running south west in an attempt to escape.

Oh no you don't!!

He's a savvy one this chap... he runs a long shallow descent to try to keep his speed and it takes time to overhaul him but I finally drag him into range - just as we hit the turbulent air at about 600m. GOD! How am I supposed to sight in these conditions - the a/c is bouncing around throwing the sight everywhere except where I want it. He also throws in a few throttle chops to try and surprise me, and once I almost hit him. I barrel roll of to give myself some distance off him and try a few errant bursts, but nothing - unsurprisingly - connects.

Suddenly he pulls up slightly, and in a desperate effort to hold the sights on him I squeeze off two more bursts - nothing. He responds by rolling left gently and climbing slightly and in a final act of frustration I trigger off two more bursts at what seems like the right approximate deflection.

THEY HIT! Left wing root and rear cockpit, which suddenly burst into flames as he rolls over and plunges mortally into a forest. Success!

I pull up above the turbulent air and heave a sigh of relief, noting as I check my position that I am in the area of my assigned patrol. I wonder what if anything I might have run into if it hadn't been for those Fws?

Satisfaction and pride are suddenly replaced by a hollow knot of fear as I look up to clear myself and get the most horrible surprise of my life as at 3000m are 12 Ju88s and 4 escort fighters, the latter of whom appear to have spotted me and are on they're way down.

Action! Don't just freeze up! Make a plan and stick to it! I didnt survive this far to fail now! Run for home - it worked before, it might well save you again. I dive to the deck watching as the enemy fighters drop in from almost directly above - more bloody Focke-Wulfs!!! Am I destined to die at the hands of these infernal machines today?

Not if I have any say!

I break hard into their first pass, the tracers dangerously close, and watch them climb and circle ready for the next run as I drop down to below the tree tops at full throttle, running in the rough heading for home, jinking left, right, dodging the trees that appear threatening to clutch and drag my aircraft to it's doom if I should make a mistake - and at one point I am sure I just clip one of them; lucky, lucky...
Three of the 109s are close, the lead one is well in range and is just waiting for a clear shot - before he gets the chance I reef up into a barrel roll, catching them off guard and giving me a brief respite from the hedge hopping - it also allows me to see my present position from the base.
Not too far! I even start seeing the puffs of the heavy flak near (but not near enough) to a pair of the 190s.

Again i drag them towards the base, dodging the hit & run passes and again I race around orbiting the airfield, occasionally dashing across trying to goad the 190s across the fire from the AA. One does and takes a number of direct hits from the 37mm and immediately goes down engulfed in flames trailing a long tail of fire and thick black smoke. Bombs from the Ju88s fall across the field and I try to stay out of the blasts - god, what don't I have to worry about!
I chase another 190and see it take a hit to the right wing; I close and try a burst of fire - it misses but the the 190 rolls to avoid it. And it keeps on rolling, all the way into the ground.

The last two Fws are a cunning pair, they climb away from the worst effects of the flak and I climb with them; don't want to give them too much of an altitude advantage. They try to drag me away from the base and I try and draw them back towards it. Yet more long minutes of passes and dodges until finally one of the pair gets clipped by a burst of AA - his engine is smoking, not much, but enough.
Avoiding more passes from his wingman, I finally manage to close and dispatch him with a good solid burst that blows his right wing clean off.
Again i feel a growing sense of relief and resolve - only one more of the sods left!

He is climbing again trying to disengage or extend for better position. I follow, but the 190 pulls away. D@mn its superior power!

Knowing if I break off he'll reverse and attack I deliberately disengage watching as, yes, there he goes, he snaps back in and comes boring in straight at me. I dive skidding under his nose and picking up speed to make the shot as hard as I can for him - doesn't stop him trying tho and a volley of shot comes knifing towards and passed me. Phew! Using my energy I immelman up and so this merry dance continues - I follow, he draws away, I break off, he re-engages and I dodge his attack - till we somehow end up to 4000m. I think he loses sight of me at some point, because he slows into a left hand turn whilst I have climbed above him into the sun. I think He must assume I'm below, but anyway don't miss your chance sonny jim! Get him whilst he's waffling!

I drop in on him and get a good number of hits tho only one of my 20mm is firing - must be low on ammo. Damaged but still airworthy, the 190 descends in a series of twisted split-s manouevres whilst I wait for the opportunity to deliver the coup de grace. He pulls out low, about 150m and falls into a lazy right hand turn. I drop into position and jockeying the controls line him up. With my sights comfortably on I fire....

But only a solitary round emerges, a small puff of smoke from where it hit in the rear fuselage, and no obvious failure of controls. BLAST!

You're not getting away that easily my friend! I hang on grimly to his tail, hoping that my sheer proximity will make him nervous and force a mistake that will drive him into the forest so close below - I have managed it before, so just got to be patient.

As I formate only feet from his rear stabiliser, contemplating if I should risk trying a Taran attack, I suddenly see red tracer flitting across his flight path.

"Must be the airfield defences," I thought, "I know we're close. Hope those dumb bastards don't hit m..."

CRUMP.

Oblivion.

One of the seminal missions I have ever flown in this game to be ended in such ignomious fashion (I came away hands shaking and screaming "I DON'T BELIEVE IT!" in a 'quick-fetch-the-straight-jacket' manner!) just kinda sums up the best and worst for me!

Sorry it was so long winded but had to share, and was so pi$$ed off with the thing I forgot to get a track so this is the only way to do it.
Hope you enjoyed reading!

PS - edits for some typos, nothing chopped!

Ace_Hyflyer
10-29-2005, 03:49 PM
Tom, incredible story.

I know how you must be feeling. I am playing the original IL-2, and have almost completed the Russian Bomber campaign flying IL-2's (two more missions), and I have had so many moments like that. The tanks seem to have lasers mounted on their turrets. I have been killed so many times by tanks, moving at 300+ kph, and at least 300 meters away, with their 40-90 mm guns. It really drives me crazy!!!!

I even had one mission where I ran it five times, and they shot me down five times, on the first pass, going 360 KPH!!! I pretty much gave up on finished the campaign without dying. (Although I managed to keep it to about 16 craft losses in 48 missions, and several were caused by lag induced lawn darting).

Anway, incredible story. So many people complain that IL-2 is not immersive, but I haven't played any other game where I feel so into it. I played a mission near Berlin last night, attacking a set of tanks, and for the entire time we were being attacked by 109's. I kept hearing my gunner yell "Break Right!!!" "What are you doing, enemy on our tail" etc... We managed to knock out the tanks, but I was the only one left, and running home I was 5 meters above the ground being attack by a 109. I kept dodging, and was white knuckled and shaking. I though I lost him, and when he hit me with his 20mm cannon I jumped a foot out of my chair. I soon found out my rudder was gone.

Then, I suddenly came upon about 10 stationary tanks, and thinking they were russian, I headed towards them, hopeing they would discourage the 109. When I got closer I saw swastikas, and froze. I was just hoping they wouldn't hit me, as I flew straight through the group, at 5 meters!!! I've never had that feeling before!!!

I've also started playing Red Baron. Many people consider it the standard of immersion, but I get the same feelings in IL-2.

Thanks for the great story,
Chris

danjama
10-29-2005, 04:40 PM
Man that is a horrible way to end such a good mission. IL2 for you eh... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

SeaFireLIV
10-29-2005, 05:58 PM
Great story. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

tomtheyak
10-29-2005, 06:51 PM
Thanx guys!

Hyflyer, sounds like you and I have the same guardian angel - who incidentally needs a good kick up the backside! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/34.gif

I love those moments when the game gets tough and you're really tested. I remember an early Lvov map mission where I was chased home in an I-16 by 6 Bf109Fs! Got back but nearly lost a wing doing the whole tree dodging tactic and scraped a couple of rivers on the way but lived through it!

Just goes to show, even with the wild accusations that fly back and forth here, at the end of the day you can still get quite, quite lost in the world of Il2!

PS - completed the mission 2nd go - all my flight got in the air this time tho my no.2 crash landed after getting a broadside from a 190. Finished with 4 he-111 kills (misidentified the Ju-88s in the story) and turns out one of the Fw pilots was an Ace!!!

neural_dream
10-29-2005, 07:56 PM
Excellent story Tom. Are you the "dead is dead" type of gamer or you'll soon be http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif?
I write mine in the form of the pilot's personal diary, the last page of which is always a KIA or MIA written in different handwriting http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif.

HotelBushranger
10-30-2005, 12:08 AM
Beaut story Tom. I've had cases like that, but unfortunately I can't remember. However, once in a QMB, I was chased halfway across the map by 6 Zeros in my P-40, even made it home http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif But became a lovely little crumper upon landing http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/cry.gif Lol was fun anyway.

Also, one of my favourite Il-2 moments, which has stood out in my mind, was when I had the original demo. I was in an Il-2, attacking tanks on a beach, when my wingman suddenly shouted over the radio 'Break Right!' I only had time to read it before I got a gut-wrencing jerk, and upon going to externals looked with dismay and horror as my right wing was gone! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_redface.gif
Whilst the victorious Focker flew away unscathed http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-mad.gif

Was great fun nonetheless http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

partic_3
10-30-2005, 02:41 AM
Thanks, Tom, I enjoyed reading that. You can write! You are a much better writer than, say, Dan Brown or Tom Clancy. At least, you write a better sentence than these guys. Don't get me wrong, they know how to tell a story but I, for one, appreciate well constructed sentences. They make reading more pleasurable. Thanks again.

tomtheyak
10-30-2005, 07:16 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif thanks dream, bushranger and partic! Shucks! *blushing*

Very kind words chaps - glad my waffling gives some people pleasure!

Hmmmm, better start loking up some publishers... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif look out Clancy!

tjaika1910
10-30-2005, 10:44 AM
Excellent story. If not already done, put it in the Combat story thread.