Friday, 17 November 2017

A Devil of a Defeat

With all the time I have been spending in the lower to mid tiers, in an attempt to get used to the changes to World of Warplanes, the upper tiers have been neglected. Perhaps I should address that now....

As much as I love jet powered aircraft, I have this feeling their ability to perform in maneuvering combat at lower altitudes, especially in my hands, might not be the best choice to make. Instead, I decided to break out my top British Fighter, which just happens to be a propeller legend, the Supermarine Spitfire.

In the mid tiers, I was rewarded with satisfying action and results from the Dunkirk Spitfire Ia (no videos or screenshots of that, not every battle I win or lose gets a write-up), but a while ago and slightly higher up on the tiers, I was struggling with the Gloster Meteor (the first battle I fought in this new era was in that old favorite) and came to the conclusion to avoid other jets from my hangar, for the time being.

Needless to say, I wanted to experiment with the Mark XIV variant and confirm/deny my suspicions on my decision....

Not the result I was expecting, not by a long shot. 

Seriously, not every battle fought turns into a victory, no matter how sound the strategy and expertly executed, despite how others might try to convince differently. A choice made will generate three outcomes, the one you want, the one you don't want or something completely unexpected. Just like real life.

I played this battle for the team win and watching the above video proved I put in a lot of effort trying to achieve that goal. Could I have made better/different choices? Perhaps, in hindsight, but at the time, everything I was doing (mostly) seemed to be the correct course of action towards the desired end result. Instead I was rewarded with personal accolades, mission completions and a defeat.

Sigh, patch the holes and rearm, I suppose.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

She Goes La La La La

Time to take a break from premium aircraft and revisit some from the tech tree.

Before 2.0, I didn't advance too far up the Lavochkin line, stopping at the tier VII La-7 for reasons I have long since forgot. I do remember it was a very good climbing, maneuverable aircraft with decent weaponry that overheated almost too quickly, with a fuselage was prone to catching fire a lot (that hasn't changed in post-2.0).

The old rule of thumb, when it came to Soviet fighters, was they were good at low to mid level altitudes and could be equipped with some fearsome and devastating firepower, especially in the mid tiers. At the higher tiers, some of them could climb up to where Mustangs and Messerschmitts prowled and wreaked havoc on them, in the right hands and/or in flights.

But times have changed and I decided to dust off and take the La-7 into new skies, where the battles are fought a little closer to the ground....

I got a little button happy and while holding Left-Alt to bring up additional information, I tapped F4 to mark a target and closed the game down mid-battle. Although the inserted video interruption lasts only a few seconds (for that dramatic effect), in reality it was nearly two full minutes I was absent from the sortie before reconnecting.

Good thing I had a fantastic team that was able to secure the day during my short recess.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Victory to the Viper

Since World of Warplanes Update 2.0 hit the North America servers, I have been waiting for a certain moment.

I think it has finally arrived!

Like many others, I have gone through my hangar, testing previously acquired aircraft out in battles, taking note of any changes and examining those results. However, to sweeten the pot, there are quite a few giveaways going on to collect new planes and take to the skies in those, even ones I never laid my virtual hands on before.

One such example is the Bell P-39N-1 Airacobra, available from Alienware. In the pre-2.0 days, I wouldn't have considered getting this, the XFL-1 nor the Soviet P-39Q-15. The game didn't favor low altitude aircraft best suited for maneuvering combat, since they would be nothing more then circling targets for the high flying, dive, shoot and climb predators.

I should know, I spent a great deal of time in the closing days of 1.9 in planes like the Mustang, the Ki-88 and a few others. Now, things are very different.

Not only has the "Turn and Burn" playstyle finally come into it's own, it has done so with a vengeful awakening.

I first noticed it with the tier V Bell XFL-1. Although I tested this plane out before in previous Common Test servers, I never put one in my hangar. As a giveaway, I couldn't resist the temptation and I have been rewarded very nicely. Then, I took the chance on redeeming the code for the tier VI Bell P-39N-1 Airacobra....

A newspaper clipping from a scrapbook I started as a kid, showing Bell Fighters at the airport of my hometown (long before I was born), part of the Northwest Staging Route, ferrying Lend/Lease aircraft from the Continental United States, through Canada to the Soviet Union.

Needless to say, I have liked the look and lore of this aircraft for a very, very long time, but stayed mostly quiet about it, since they didn't really much of an impact or place in the game before and no real appeal or incentive to get any of them.

Now, I have two with one more to go.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Schwacher Verteidiger

When the Heinkel He 100 D-1 came to World of Warplanes, it broke the rules on German mid to high tier aircraft being mostly suited for the Boom and Zoom playstyle. Now, there was a Deutschland plane that was more than capable of turn fighting with same tiered British and Japanese counterparts.

However, the trade off was pretty poor damage output from it's machine guns and weak armor.

Although I couldn't perform it consistently in the pre-2.0 days, the trick with using the He 100 was to get in very, very close and open up the guns, trying to match the targeted aircraft's evasive maneuvers from behind. Versus other fighters, this tactic worked out well, slightly less against Heavy Fighters with rear gunners and Ground Attack aircraft took forever to bring down, if at all.

That was then, this is now....

Much to my surprise, I get this feeling the He 100 has made the transition to this new era relatively unchanged. While the weapons still put out dismal damage, the maneuverability might have been tweaked ever so slightly, unless wishful thinking is overriding my experience from this battle.

The He 100 wasn't designed to be a frontline fighter, by any means, given the tiers of enemy aircraft it potentially faces. However, as a base defender and/or harassment aircraft, I think it fits that role rather well.

What are your thoughts?

Sunday, 12 November 2017

A Squirrely Little Bird

By now, I believe that a quite a few players in World of Warplanes have completed all the tasks and put the new Soviet tier IV I-207 multirole fighter in their hangars. If you happen to be one of those who haven't yet, I would recommend seriously considering it, before time runs out.

For me, collecting the plane took around ten battles (hard to get a few meaningful wins to count towards the mission), but decided to wait a day before taking out on it's first flight. That turned out to be a disaster.

Without going into great detail, let's sum it up to poor ping and packet loss.

After that band of internet bad weather passed, I took to the skies again and....well....yeah....had my "worst" fought victory as of yet....

I freely admit I did a lot of things wrong, from not paying attention to what was going on around me, pushing a brand new plane beyond it's limits and becoming target fixated on one of the top players in the game, while they were in a flight (in fact, the only flight in the whole match was on the enemy team).

The Borovkov-Florov I-207/4 is, from my experience and appearance, a biplane variant of the Polikarpov I-16. If you happen to be a fan of those aircraft, then you would be right at home in this one, since decent armament and fantastic maneuverability, but poor damage absorption are their shared traits.

I am not sure if it was me or my computer (with focus on my graphics card), but either I couldn't keep up with how the plane was over-maneuvering in the environment or the rendering of what was going on wasn't happening fast enough.

Despite the multiple deaths that broke the system on my end, the aircraft is a lot of fun, much like trying to pet a really rambunctious, but caged bird.

Just be careful not to get pecked.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Blasting in a Boeing

During this brief return to the post-2.0 era of World of Warplanes, I have decided to take a look at a few aircraft that I felt were underwhelming in previous versions.

One of them was the tier III premium Boeing YP-29 Fighter.

If memory serves me correctly, this aircraft suffered from a severely under-powered engine and thus, a less than average climb rate, hampered by low operational altitude. And, don't get me started on the guns....

I collected mine back October 2014 as a mission reward for the "Rare Challenge" event taking place then, a companion for my Open Beta Token purchase, the premium tier III Brewster Buffalo F2A-1. Although armed the same, the Boeing paled in comparison to the "Betalo" in most areas that really counted, so I didn't fly it nearly as much as the other.

However, like all the other changes that have taken place, I figured I would see if time had been kind to the cancelled prototype successor to the famous Boeing P-26 Peashooter....

Friday, 10 November 2017

The Improved Italian?

It's been a while, huh?

In the real world, life has me so busy that I don't even have time to think about playing much these days. Well, except for this weekend....

With the launch of Anniversary Celebrations, the chance to earn another premium aircraft and activities in reality slowing down a bit, I feel like I have begged/borrowed/stolen the time to try and pull this off. On the upside, it doesn't appear to be an impossible mission either.

It took two battles to collect the 10 destroyed enemy aircraft requirement, another two after that to finish off 15,000 combat points portion. Now for those 5 victories....

The halfway point battle through that was accomplished using the tier III premium Chinese Fighter, the exported Italian Breda Ba.27 Metallico.

In the pre-2.0 days, I would have had a very hard time recommending this aircraft to any interested party. Everything about this plane was "middle of the road," no exceptional or noteworthy characteristics of any kind.

However, thanks to being in the post-2.0 era, the plane has been....improved....I can't quite figure it out. There has been no change in performance attributes, nothing seems to have been altered about the aircraft that I can see, but it doesn't feel like the same mediocre machine I flew a few updates ago....

Monday, 23 October 2017

Sky Jamming

When it came to performance, flight characteristics and secondary ordinance choices, the premium tier VII J4M Senden was the closest aircraft in World of Warplanes to a Japanese Heavy Fighter that you could get, until the same tiered Tachikawa Ki-94-I arrived on the scene.

In the pre-2.0 days, the Jammer (as know by quite a few folks) was best suited to the Boom and Zoom playstyle, since it had a fantastic climb rate (by Japanese aircraft standards) and was somewhat inflexible to maneuvering combat. The fairly accurate machine guns would easily shred an opponent caught in the crosshairs and when the main cannon scored a hit, would turn them into confetti.

There were a few downsides to this plane. Since it was Japanese, it lacked armor and was prone to catching fire, thanks to not having a self sealing fuel tank, the engine was slow to recover power after a heavy boosting load and it's a big, easy to spot target in the sky.

Despite all of that, I think I performed reasonably well with the Jammer in the past, taking on and adjusting to the learning curve of this aircraft. The question is, would any and/or all of that transfer to 2.0?

Great outcome, but not a stellar exhibition of my skills or use of that particular plane.

To critique myself on a few points, I made some poor targeting choices, wasted a lot of power/energy in maneuvers and raced off to battle a group of foes without team support.

Best to use this as an example of NOT how to fly it.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Flying Tank No More

It has to be well over a year since I flew any of my Soviet attack aircraft and in that time, got used to flying faster, more maneuverable and very frail in comparison fighters. Now, couple that admission with all of the changes that came in Update 2.0. (including the revamped ground targets) and I thought I had a real disaster on my hands.

From my own memory, the premium, tier V IL-2 (mod.) I selected to demonstrate for one of my YouTube viewers didn't fly nearly as I expected it to. It is still the big lumbering and clumsy object that should fall from the sky at any moment, but more so now then ever before.

To the pleasure and delight of one certain player, it's "superhuman" armor feels thinned to being nearly nonexistent. My IL took more punishment than other aircraft I have flown thus far, but not quite up to the levels I remember. And of course, there was the "never miss" rear gunner, either suffering from a severe hangover or his gun has been loaded with more blanks than live rounds. Switching to manual aiming didn't seem to help with this.

However, my observations are based on a three battle session, the first two being defeats and the final victory....

Friday, 20 October 2017

Brokenhearted Hurricane

If you have been following me for any length of time in the past, you may recall my previous comments about the only Hawker Hurricane currently in World of Warplanes. If you are new to this topic, then I will bring you up to speed by saying it has been a relatively constant exercise in disappointment.

To summarize, the Hawker Hurricane IID has been an aircraft suffering from a chronic identity crisis. Relabeled as a Multirole shortly after it's introduction to the game, it flies and fights unlike it's designation. In my (and a few others) opinion, it is a British version of the German Junkers Ju 87G or all gun Stuka variant attack aircraft of the same tier. Why this hasn't been seriously considered and corrected yet?

However, with the sweeping changes that came in Update 2.0, I figured I would see if the Hurricane benefited in any way with the recent game overhaul....

Despite the outcome, I wasn't pleased with my own performance in this aircraft, at all. In the pre-2.0 days, I was able to figure out and make the Hurricane be somewhat more effective in aerial combat, in this post-2.0 era, I was struggling and fighting with it in just about every way possible.

The Hawker climbs much better than before, but those big 40mm cannons were hard to aim and hit a target for meaningful damage. The plane just can't take a hit itself (the real ones were built mostly of wood, that bit of historical accuracy feels a little over exaggerated now) and the engine boost seems to be exhausted too quickly, when compared with other aircraft of the same class and tier.

Too bad, I had high hopes, but for me, it's grounded, again.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Culling with a Curtiss

If there is one aircraft that 2.0 has made huge impact one, it's the tier V premium Curtiss P-40 M-105. 

This Lend-Lease, Soviet powered, American plane was mediocre at best in the pre-2.0 days. Poor climb rate, due to a highly asthmatic engine and machines guns that felt considerably weaker than it's American counterparts, it wasn't a whole lot of fun to fly. Sure, I might have had a few great matches in mine, but those were rare and very reliant on the circumstances playing into my favor.

However, 2.0 has changed this aircraft more into the winged terror it should have always been....

I played it from a defender/interceptor role and didn't bother with the optional wing mounted rockets. I was amazed I was able to climb up to where the enemy bombers were flying and took a few down for good measure. The machine dealt out slow, but fairly reliable damage and diving down on adversarial attack aircraft paid back the dividends.

Granted, one battle doesn't set the standard for future expectations, but this sortie does show promise from the changes that came with the latest update, especially for this aircraft.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Ring my Bell!

Although I can't quite put my finger on why, but I have always been drawn to the unique design of the Bell P-39 Airacobra. Perhaps, it was the unusual mid engine layout, or even it's odd football-with-wings shape, I have given up trying to rationalize the draw to it long ago. Despite that, I had never owned any prototype or production version in Planes, until now.

Part of the recent Corsair Promotion, along with the French SE 100 Heavy Fighter, I have now put the Naval prototype, tier V XFL Airabonita into my fleet.

The armament configuration isn't new, two machine guns supporting a heavy, large caliber cannon, many other aircraft in the game have this kind of setup. It was the low to mid altitude maneuverability and weapons package together I was looking forward to, especially with the changes in 2.0.

I have flown this before, including the higher tiered, Soviet marked P-39Q-15 in previous CT servers and produced mixed results based on the mechanics and adversaries of those pre-2.0 versions.

But that was then, this is now....

Despite most of the damage I am producing comes from the machine guns, when I do score a hit on the proverbial mosquito with the big meteor cannon, it hurts them, badly. So far, the XFL is doing alright, more flights and practice might help. Perhaps, it's time to consider putting a higher tiered, better armed Bell P-63 Kingcobra into the game?

A strategy I have been experimenting with is assisting with capturing the nearest points, defending those areas as much as possible and when the Squall Line is activated (when respawning is turned off), go on the offensive against enemy aircraft. So far, it appears to be working not too bad, if I can maintain some consistency. A few more battles will show me if I am on the right track with this, or not.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Up til now....

So, after playing out over a dozen battles in Update 2.0, here are some of my thoughts, for those of you interested in reading them.

While Conquest isn't an original to Planes concept (quite a few people out there are quick to point out another game of this genre that has the very same thing), it does offer an alternative to the same old - same old Team Deathmatch mode that has been the mainstay to this game since it's inception. However, the grievous error came by forcing it as the only choice to play the game, turning off and away quite a few members from an already small playerbase.

Although too late to suggest and implement now, but perhaps having both modes available as a selectable option (as seen in other WarGaming titles) and collecting statistics from those player choices might have smoothed out the current mixed emotional situation before it even started (if Deathmatch is just on a temporary hiatus and will return in the next few updates from now, making an announcement about that very soon might also help matters).

The removal of Birthday Missions (although announced to return) was enough reason for some people to not login and play for a bit. With no goals to try and complete, why bother?

As for the gameplay itself, I have gotten used to the ingame changes to how the aircraft fly and perform (more or less) and configured my controls to offer up results that nearly mirror my 1.9 settings as close as I can get them. I can't understand why they were reset or who thought that was even a good idea to do so, but I just quietly fixed the problem and moved on.

For me, there is a lot of missing information from my screen as I try to do battle in 2.0, that was there in 1.9 and before. I certainly hope this is also returned in a near future update as a form of partial restoration or a selectable option from the Settings menu (I may consider installing a mod that does this, from a trusted source of course). Some people can honestly relate to just how critical it is to know particular things concerning the aircraft, it's current state and knowing who/what is going on in the environment around them, it's been know to be a game changer.

There are some superficial things I really like (such as the former El Halluf, now just known as North Africa, complete with pyramids) and some I don't (a few enemy planes I have shot up and caused them to explode right in front of me, at very close range, left me seeing spots for a few seconds). Some sounds and music are an immersive improvement, others are just downright annoying.

I find myself with agreeing with many others that this does feel like an unfinished product and a lot of work needs to be done to it yet. Some players may return in future updates, if some of what I covered above (and more that I haven't) happens. Others have had enough, their patience finally running out with this final straw for them and have left, perhaps for good.

In the meantime, I will still play here and there, waiting and seeing what will happen next.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Finalement, le prix est à moi!

With the launch of World of Warplanes 2.0, there seems to be a giveaway celebration going on.

Announced here, I quickly collected the Corsair Promotion (after completing a few tasks to earn points for the whole reward) and then checked my email for a Bomb and Respawn 2.0 message (got something called the Carrier Bundle, not exactly sure what was deposited in my hangar from that).

I am sure I received some really great stuff, but there was one new acquisition that I couldn't wait to try out....THE FRENCH PLANE!

While others may have purchased one or more before now and some might have even collected them from Missions, I never got around to laying my hands on a single aircraft, until now. Not that I am a conscientious collector....but not having one of these "blue birds" made the fleet feel incomplete.

Then, still suffering giddy excitement, I flew the plane with reckless abandonment....

Friday, 13 October 2017

Ha Ha Ha 137

The final battle for the day I wanted to share was this lower tiered sortie in my premium, tier III Ha-137 V1 German GA. After my first flight in the Meteor, I decided to have a go at a ground game, since those targets have gone through another huge change (the second since release). However, the few human and the numerous artificial enemies in this encounter weren't expecting this bent wing ground pounder to nose up and fight back....

2.0 First Flight

The client updated fine, figured I would make sure the video drivers were current as well.

First thing that struck me was the new hangar. What's up with the Zeppelin? Where are the doors to get my aircraft out of here? Seems the aircraft in this environment have a more 3D look to them! After I got over those revelations, I poked around the UI causally, nothing appeared to leap out me is being totally different and warranting a closer look. Another inspection of things told me all of my aircraft were still here, something about one or two vanishing had me a bit worried (not sure were I heard that from).

However, I didn't want to spend a lot of time here, I wanted to take to the air and experience for myself how much the game had truly changed from when I last played....

Now, before you give into the urge of watching the video below, a few things to consider. One, I am a little rusty in the production and editing department, two months of not making this type of content defiantly shows, plus I found out there are no replays for now, so my usual opening scene is missing (if you have seen my previous movies). Secondly, the game is being played in "as installed" state, meaning no custom configurations (like my paint schemes) or key remapping (my old settings didn't make the transfer to the new version, something I corrected in later battles). And finally, I played "cold," as I stated earlier, I logged zero hours on the CT server, so my grey matter and muscle memory was still programed for 1.9.

But, I figured that the many, many hours in my tier VII Gloster Meteor would be enough to make it through this initial ordeal....

Okay, where to begin?

Flying a fighter, I stuck to the doctrine of going air-to-air as much as possible. However, either the Meteor has lost a lot of it's former performance or the air is a lot stiffer than it was before (this has happened in an earlier update 1.4 or 1.5, can't remember which one for sure). Perhaps, the gravity pull has been cracked up a bit? For whatever reason, the plane felt heavy, slow to turn and a whole lot less maneuverable than memory serves. A very disappointing experience.

I don't particularly like how cluttered my screen has become, debating on relocating/removing the radar scope, for example.

I am not a fan of respawning, despite the fact I died more than once during this encounter. I have learned and accepted that you should get one life to live and by making the most of that, through wise target selection and environmental awareness, one life is all you should need. I believe respawning can and will promote a certain level of carelessness, which will dull the learning curve of the game, making for some less-than-enjoyable battles.

Speed, maneuvers and dogfighting is what I want out of Planes and to a degree, that aspect is still there. During the Meteor battle, I was able to get the drop on enemy aircraft and fire off a lot of rounds, some even hit my intended target too! The loss of the lead indicator is a handicap I could learn, in time, live without. Without this handy tool, I could adapt to zooming in (which is an experience of it's very own) or just eyeball ahead of the target and roll the dice on making some hits.

There are a few other things I didn't experiment with, such as high/low altitude penalties (take a fighter below the deck and see what it does/doesn't do), make notes to myself on boost/weapons cooldowns and a few other items.

As I write this, I have a few more battles under my belt and I still have mixed feelings about things. I can't say for certain that I am fully onboard with the radical changes that came with 2.0, but I am not going to dismiss this title from my computer either. For the next while, I will play out a battle here and there, when I get the time and try to experience more than what I have thus far.


 It has been nearly two full months since I last sat down and played any real measurable time in World of Warplanes.

Up until that point, I had just completed the Operation Dynamo event and parked a premium Supermarine Spitfire Ia in my hangar. As a side quest, I also collected a LaGG-3-4, then proceeded to play a few Japanese offerings....then faded away.

From then until now, I have been rather busy with real life (work, family and another, non-game project which I have a stronger passion for than Planes) so finding the time to come back here, let alone keep up with what was going on and what was yet to come, just wasn't near the top of my list. However, I have caught a few glimpses on the forums (a comment here, a picture there) from the 2.0 CT server and decided to wait for the big day, before making any kind of a return.

At the time of writing all of this, I am only 40% of the way through the download of the update, still a ways to go. Will I like the changes? Hard to say, I have tried to actively avoid the topic of 2.0 and wanted to experience it first hand, free of influence from the comments of others, positive or negative. To be fair, I am not completely oblivious to the major changes this game is about to go through, discussion of this is reached some of the far corners of the internet (and a few real life friends who know me for who I am here), so I did find out some stuff, despite putting fingers in my ears, going "na na na."

Nevertheless, the day has come, the update is underway and I will post my thoughts and a gameplay video or two on this very thread. Stick around.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Bayside Bashing

Of all the Japanese aircraft (thus far) in World of Warplanes, there is a very close tie between tier VI Kawasaki Ki-88 and tier VII Mitsubishi J4M Senden as my favorite planes.

Both aircraft share some of the same characteristics, like being armed with two smaller caliber machine guns and a big "bye bye" cannon. Although they are excellent climbers, both also suffer from weakly powered engines, the J4M Senden does get the edge with a longer boost duration going up, the Kawasaki Ki-88 feels better in a power dive.

I could come up with more comparisons and differences and there wouldn't really be any point to it. These are two totally different aircraft, they perform unique roles based on their strengths and weaknesses. One is a fighter, the other is designated as a Multirole.

However, the Senden does bring a flexibility factor to the battle that the Ki-88 seems to lack....

Sunday, 13 August 2017


When folks talk about Boom and Zoom fighters in World of Warplanes, the North American Mustang and/or Messerschmitt Bf 109 are the usual planes that tops most people's lists. These two deadly aerial rivals overshadow an unlikely contender from a nation not know to produce aircraft in the same vein.

However, when flown by players who are far better than yours truly, their performance and results can be downright staggering....

Friday, 11 August 2017

That Won't Buff Out

It has been quite some time since I last flew the Kyushu J7W1 Shinden and was somewhat surprised to see a rather large amount of banked experience when I took to the skies in it today. I had two choices, go for the mid-grade engine or the next set of weapons, over stock. After a few minutes of seriously considering the options, such as a slightly better damage output potential, at the expense of a greatly reduced firerate, I opted for the engine and hopped it was the better decision.

Up until a certain part of the following battle, things were looking pretty good and I felt assured the new engine had worked out just fine. Then, I touched wings with a teammate and what happened after that was more of a pleasant surprise than I expected....

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Cherry Blossom in the Wind

Although the Western World has been awake for a few hours now (those on the East Coast can add a few more to that), the quiet news of this being the 72nd Anniversary of the second and final nuclear bomb drop on Japan, namely Nagasaki, isn't making the rounds on the major media outlets (although the bombing happened on August the 9th, some new agencies reported a day later, much like I am doing here). In fact, I almost forgot about it myself, if it weren't for one of my "This Day in History" notifications I get.

I suppose this is as good as inspiration as any to return to Japanese aircraft, restart flying the Navy line and perhaps, take a look at the offerings from the Army branch.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Click, Click, Boom

With Operation Dynamo in World of Warplanes over, at least for me, I am kinda at an impasse on what to do next.

Despite playing just about all my British aircraft to complete the latest mission, I find myself either wanting to start on something new or revisit some old lines that have....stalled. Until I make up my mind on the next step forward, or receive a suggestion on the something that might pique my interest, I'll just pick aircraft randomly and post awesome or interesting battle videos with a few comments.

For this time around, I picked the tier IX Yak-19 Soviet Fighter and discovered I am more than just a little rusty when it comes to flying single engine jets....

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Reward Runthrough, Soviet LaGG-3-4

Despite just writing up an article about the tier IV LaGG-3-4 a few days ago, I decided to see if I could at least top that first battle with something producing better results. I believe I pulled it off....

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Reward Runthrough, Dunkirk Spitfire

Well, I earned it, might as well fly it!

Aesthetically, the Dunkirk Spitfire in World of Warplanes mirrors the real/movie version, albeit with a few emblem additions. The camouflage pattern and coloring are a near perfect match, but the game pilot is lacking the mask the live action actors wore.

Left, Stock Spitfire I. Center, Spitfire Ia. Right, fully upgraded Spitfire I.

As you can see by the numbers above, the Dunkirk Spitfire is a lot closer to it's kited out tech tree version in many areas, over the plain offering. However, numbers don't complete the true picture of how the plane would actually perform in battle conditions, that is up to the player to decide and control....

The Dunkirk Spitfire's main strengths lie in it's spectacular maneuverability and unique pilot. I have never flown a plane like this ingame before and saying I was just impressed would be a serious understatement. With proper situational awareness and familiarity with the environment on a given map, this aircraft should be able to get itself out of most hazardous situations, if the player recognizes the danger and acts accordingly.

There is a downside to the Dunkirk Spitfire, the firepower. I am very familiar with the hitting power and heat cycle of the .303 machine guns from other British aircraft and the Ia brings a bit of disappointment to the battle with below average damage output potential. British guns are very much like paper shredders, picking apart whatever they are aimed at. But this, felt like I was shooting rubber bullets and just getting lucky by hitting the thin spots on enemy aircraft. This is my first impression and subject to change with further, future use.

Overall, is it worth it? The mission, by all means yes. Broken into three parts, Operation Dynamo could by accomplished by playing a few hours a day. Mind you that would have to be every day at a decent pace (I don't recommend sitting down and binge gaming until each part was completed. Take breaks, go for short walks, visit real people, etc).

Is it worth buying? Yes and no. If you are a serious collector or you won't have the time to complete the missions (because real life happens), then sure, go for it. For me, the price point (despite all the extras you get with it) seems a bit high for just this one aircraft (the better value is to buy the combo package and putting the Dunkirk 109 in the hangar too).

Although I have only taken to the air once in the Dunkirk Spitfire, I think I might have just found a new regular favorite.

Friday, 4 August 2017


For the final part of Operation Dynamo, I wanted to it to end with a big bang. 

I have been rather reluctant to fly my top tiered British aircraft, the tier IX Gloster P.228 in the past, for a few reasons. Despite having a very strong resemblance to the Gloster Meteor (in fact, the P.228 is a two seater Meteor for all intents and purposes, just a little more grown up and put on a few extra pounds), it doesn't fly like it.

While having a fantastic climb and dive rate, strong boost characteristics and decent firepower, the maneuverability of this aircraft falls very short, as compared to say, the Germans. Evasive turns haven't been a successful option in the past and when I need to spool up the engines for a fast get away, more often than not, I discover I have already overheated them.

Then, there's the price one pays to fly in the top tiers. Granted, if I produce average or better battle results and stay alive, the rewards can be quite lucrative. A defeat and death hurts not only the pride but the bank takes a serious hit as well.

Nevertheless, I was willing to take a chance on myself and this plane in combat for a grand finale.... 

I bet nobody saw that coming.

Claiming my results from that performance was achieved solely through skill would be nothing more than a self-delusional, patronizing statement, at best. I know I got lucky, no denying that, but I will accept whatever help, be it from ingame Allies, oblivious enemies or some unexplainable, outside force that many refuse to acknowledge exists.

After one more battle for the final victory required....

....I could claim my prize.

Despite the fact I was able to make the time to start, participate and complete the Dunkirk Spitfire Ia, I am glad I didn't try to push too hard and attempt the Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3 as well. With the surprise and short window of opportunity LaGG-3-4 event, I would have been greatly disappointed to have to abandon one task to complete another, or push myself beyond my leisure limits and time available for all three aircraft. Besides, I have never been a big fan of marathons and avoiding any chance of putting a certain sour taste in my mouth, the better.

I set out with a goal and I achieved it.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Halfway Hurricane

Hawker Hurricane. Fjords. The halfway point of Part 3 for Operation Dynamo in World of Warplanes. 

This was the battle....

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Let's Just Call This Epic

If there was ever a video I wanted to make using World of Warplanes, this is it.

This presentation is a culmination of my current skill level of editing, timing and free camera directing. Despite being self taught and enduring a learning curve equal to some of the aircraft within the game, this short movie is as close to the final production that I had originally envisioned. The music is from the World of Warplanes Soundtrack and since YouTube has gone a little bit copyright infringement happy, the score comes close enough to enhance the situation audibly, as it was visually directed, without the fear of negative repercussions.

Thank you to Claudio67 for supplying his skill, permission and replay, without them, this wouldn't have been possible.

I Spy

As of right now, there are only eight days available to collect 30,000 combat experience and one victory to seal the deal on the Dunkirk Spitfire Ia in World of Warplanes.

Thus far, I have stuck to my own, self-imposed restriction on using nothing but British aircraft to complete the task as a whole (minus one battle test flight in the recently earned Soviet LaGG-3-4, but the results of that performance didn't count towards anything, since it was during the intermission between the Operation Dynamo events) and I have been having a blast doing this (no pun intended).

In fact, this battle is one of those very moments that make the game so enjoyable for me. It's not that I came out on the top of the list for damage, kills or even assists (which I didn't, only second overall), nor any medals or achievements of any kind. Plus, being at only 10% complete for Part 3 isn't much to cheer about either.

So what made this such a memorable sortie? Watch the video and come to your own conclusions (those who have read my interactions on the NA forums will spot it almost immediately)....

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Frustration in the First

Collecting the nineteen victories for the LaGG-3-4 is more of a time consuming venture than a test of skill or patience.

Granted, if a player is blessed with decent teams and MatchMaker is working in their favor, all the better and things can progress along very quickly. However, if the opposite happens, prepare for a much longer time to be spent in front of the monitor and controls.

While some in the World of Warplanes community may scoff at a lower tiered, premium aircraft as a reward, at least it's a tangible, attainable goal. For me, it will come in handy, since I don't have a whole lot of premium Soviet aircraft that aren't GA's (I haven't flown one of those in....over a year?) and earning one through a mission is a great way to save some real world money for a....more worthwhile purchase later on.

At any rate, after a loadout tweak or two, installing some equipment and putting my best pilot in, here's the first victory in my LaGG-3-4....

The First vesus The Best

The old saying goes, "It never rains, but it pours."

As of right now, there is a very brief intermission between the conclusion of Part 2 of Operation Dynamo and Part 3 in World of Warplanes. However, there is barely time to breathe, since WarGaming just launched their 19th Anniversary Special. Three intense days to complete the tasks to earn the premium Soviet LaGG-3-4, if you can. No doubt, there are some out there who already have it....

One good thing came about from all of this activity, I finally got one of my "dream matches." Although I have encountered the odd Chinese premium tier VIII Shenyang JL-1A-37, it was never on what I would consider to be equal footing. More often then not, it was flown by somebody who has studied the plane, inside and out, had the lightning quick ability to reaction and redirect the flow of a battle and was all around a superior player that I was. In other words, an unarmed and unarmored squire taking on a battle tested and hardened knight of the sky. Not difficult to guess that outcome.

Having said that, there is no disrespect generated and directed towards my opponent, the pilot/player of the Shenyang that I encountered during this particular battle. I pushed my Meteor F.I hard and way outside the envelope, but the Shenyang was beyond it's limits too, making this one of those sorties I live for.

Here is the captured action of the first premium jet versus what many consider to be the best premium jet....

Just in case you wanted to know, here is what the WarGaming 19th Anniversary decal looks like....

Monday, 31 July 2017

Six Final

Closing out Part Two of Operation Dynamo in World of Warplanes, here are the results of a quick, early morning, low tiered battle. Now, just waiting for Part Three and the finale....

 I see the upside to the 20,000 experience reward for completing this last round, a little bit closer to the Supermarine Attacker.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Six Five

With the amount of posts I have made recently involving the Supermarine Spitfire, no matter which variant, one could come to the conclusion I have developed an obsession with them.

Honestly, I haven't. Due to the limited choices in the British selection (namely the mid to higher tiers), Spitfires make the most sense for me to use (buying back the tier VI de Havilland Mosquito has been a reminder to why I walked away from British Heavies a long time ago).

Besides, I have wanted to see with serious interest if I could take a few from this iconic line of fighters and apply the lessons I have learned from the American Mustangs....

On a side note, I was able to capture and enlarge a scene from the current Dunkirk hangar, a Spitfire being pursued by a Bf 109....

Not quite the way I had hoped it would have turned out.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Six Four

For Victory number twenty-four, I queued up the tier VI Supermarine Spitfire V and got Lighthouse, the English Channel as imagined in World of Warplanes.

Here is how it all turned out....

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Six Three

I think the last time I attempted an Allied premium aircraft was the "Ghost in the Sky" mission from November 2015.

Although the thread that recounted how I got the Vickers Venom and my first thoughts based on the performance during those initial battles is long since gone, I do get the impression the plane has been....positively adjusted along the way. Over this past while, I have noticed this aircraft is a lot more maneuverable then I remember and the firepower is definitely now up to "British Reliability" standards.

Low and behold, it just happened to be the plane I selected for Victory number eighteen, just I wouldn't live to see the end of the battle....

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Six Two

There wasn't any de Havilland Mosquitos on hand during the Battle of Dunkirk. In fact, they wouldn't see the Battle of Britain either, since the first flight of the prototype would take place in November of 1940.

However, I decided to buy back this star of both "633 Squadron" and "Mosquito Squadron" ("The Purple Plain" gets an honorable mention) to help with my progress through the Operation Dynamo event in World of Warplanes....

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Six One

For the "30 victories needed" portion of World of Warplane's Operation Dynamo, I have decided to do things a little on the random side.

Without rhyme or reason, I will pick any available British aircraft from my garage carousel and just fly and fight. Then, after every sixth win, I will make a video showcasing the performance and results. With the first and sixth victories out of the way, only four more videos to complete this short series (somebody will crack my little math code, I just know it)!

Monday, 24 July 2017

Pulling a Rabbit from Thin Air

Part Two for the Operation Dynamo event in World of Warplanes is underway and things have started a very magical way.

I am almost at a total loss for words on how to even describe the results from what I just experienced, good thing I could just show it in a video....

Saturday, 22 July 2017

An Obstacle to a Kill

With the next chapter of Operation Dynamo about to begin very soon, I thought I would take out my tier VIII Supermarine Spitfire XIV for it's collection of the X3 Daily in the meantime. It has been somewhat difficult these past few days to find time to play more, between work, home life and a new phase in another project that just popped up. However, I am determined to try and complete these missions and put a premium Spitfire in my hangar.

I just hope this occurrence doesn't repeat itself in the upcoming attempt....

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

A Smashing Victory

Much to my own surprise, I don't have that many British premium aircraft in World of Warplanes.

After a quick review and remembrance, I bought one (the Miles M.20) and earned the other four (Gloster Meteor F.I., Vickers Venom, Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Type 224). With the possibility of picking up another Supermarine offering, I decided to take a trip to the lower tiers with the first aircraft to unofficially carry the name Spitfire.

Built to meet the October 1931 Air Ministry specification F.7/30, the Type 224 first flew on February 1934. Originally built to replace the Gloster Gauntlet, the aircraft faced some pretty stiff design competition from Westland, Blackburn and Gloster themselves. 

Although the 224's fuselage design was based on the Schneider Trophy Supermarine S.6/6B floatplanes, the inverted gullwings proved to be unstable and the light weight evaporative cooling system for the Rolls-Royce Goshawk II engine failed to produce spectacular results. Because of these setbacks, the Gloster Gladiator would win the lucrative contract and became a legend in it's own right. The Type 224 would be seen for the last time by the public at Royal Air Force Display at Hendon in June 1934, then placed into storage at RAE Farnborough. In May 1937, this all all-metal monoplane would be taken away to Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment at Martlesham Heath, to be reduced to scrap, since it's new role as a gunnery target would have made quick work of the aluminum skin and airframe.

However, lessons learned form this sole prototype would become instrumental in the creation of the Supermarine Type 300, known the world over as the Spitfire.

Monday, 17 July 2017

A Short Rant and Observation

During this World of Warplanes Operation Dynamo event, I took a hard, long look at the British tree and realized just how incomplete it is.

Much like the Japanese line for the longest time, nothing much has been added to this, except for a few premium aircraft along the way and a minor shift in the early progression stages, then the Land of the Rising Sun finally received another, much needed line. Unlike Japan, the British selection hasn't been around for nearly as long, only introduced to the game shortly before the game went Live in November, 2013.

Even still, that's just about four years of....nothing. Sure, there have been rumors of stuff, but nothing really tangible came to pass (I came across a few pictures of WG/Persha staff visiting China when their server was launched a few years back, teasers of the Hawker Typhoon among others). I know I can't be the only one here, but it's long past due for some new aircraft to make an appearance for those who enjoy such assets from the Land of Tea and Crumpets.

First, there's the Hawker line. Sure, one lonely Hurricane is in the game, available at limited times/special circumstances and sporting a very bad reputation for being a not-so-good purchase. However, there were many other Hurricane variants built and other Hawker aircraft too, from the Hart and Fury, the Typhoon and Tempest, right up to the Hunter. Then, there is the one off aircraft the could fit in as premiums, like the 1927 Harrier, P.V.3/P.V.4, the Hotspur and the Tornado (a parallel prototype to the Typhoon), just to name a few.

Gloster, Avro, Vickers, Bristol, Fairey, Handley Page, and Armstrong-Whitworth (not meant to be a conclusive list) all produced aircraft that helped with the British war effort, sadly not represented in this game with very visible numbers.

At any rate, rant over, I just hope, in the not-so-far-distant-future, some more important, iconic and beloved aircraft from the "island that stood alone" make an appearance in World of Warplanes.

Something I noticed from the Dunkirk....hangar....a newspaper on the ground, just below the left wing root....

 It turns out the be a copy of the May 31st, 1940 Daily Express!