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 off....in 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!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Making Ace in a Spitfire


For me, one of the goals for achievement while flying a Fighter, Heavy Fighter or Multirole planes is "Making Ace," collecting that token that shows I had a hand at taking out five enemy aircraft in a battle.

Some appear to pull this feat off with little to no effort, others, like myself, have to either plan everything out and hope it all falls into place, recognize and take advantage of a situation as it unfolds or bank on extraordinary circumstances that wouldn't be possible under normal conditions. Especially with the recent server connection and network issues.

Watch for yourself and tell which one of the above happened here....

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Pardon the Interruption


I was going to name this "When Gremlins Strike" but went with another title. Watch this World of Warplanes video and see why I should have went with the first one....


The Mark V Hero


"People say that after the Battle of Trafalgar, England was safe from invasion for ever. But if it wasn’t for the Spitfire, we would have been invaded in 1940."

As much as I wanted the first win in this Operation Dynamo event to be claimed in the Hawker Hurricane, the victory I wanted to close out the first leg of this journey was to be with a Supermarine Spitfire. This had been my plan all along and it went off without a hitch, it was the in-between stuff I had to figure out on the fly.


In another town, just up the road from where I am, there is a place called the Spitfire Lounge and Grill. I have never eaten there, nor taken part in other activities attached to the establishment, but the fact they put a plane on the roof, yeah, I just had to add this to something....somewhere. Granted, it's not a real airplane, it is a very faithful, full-size replica that captures it's very essence and sparks the imagination.

To a reality just out of reach, to a plane I will never really fly, here's to you Spitfire....

Friday, 14 July 2017

A Dingo in Echidna's Clothing


Call it fortunate timing, but I have the house all to myself.

With the family gone for the whole weekend (starting with today), I decided to pull a marathon in World of Warplanes in an attempt to finish the first phase of the Operation Dynamo event. After running through the selection of British aircraft in my hangar (and another deciding factor of network reliability), the tier III Wirraway proved to be the most effective at collecting most of the 50 kills required.

It wasn't so much a matter of skill as it was a matter of numbers.

Let me explain here. At the mid to higher tiers, aircraft hitpoints (depending on class) increase exponentially. Some would be quick to point out that potential damage output does as well. I would agree with them. However, when with these two factors came into play, an unforeseen obstacle reared it's head....

LAG!!!

There were sporadic connection issues with the main server tonight that made firing large caliber cannons and landing successful shots an effort in frustration, target tracking was like watching ballet that started and stopped whenever it wanted and my aircraft were concrete blocks that were somehow flying, but not very well. Mid to high tier dogfighting wasn't going to cut it for me, I just couldn't make it work under those conditions.

Remembering the last time I suffered through this, I had fired up the German Me 329 and "mowed the lawn." But, there were two things I had to consider. One, I had restricted myself to completing Operation Dynamo using nothing but British (Commonwealth) aircraft. Two, I had to shoot down planes, not attack ground targets, for this to count. I needed a low tiered plane that could shoot fast, remove enemies from the sky quickly, take a few hits and be comfortable/familiar enough should the dreaded lag strike that I could actually increase my own chances for survival.

Since there was only one plane for the job, I stripped it down and went off....


The lag was tolerable enough to complete the task and I rolled the dice, one last time, the final hurdle of collecting a win to seal the deal.

Who can guess what I used to pull that one off? The article and video of that, tomorrow.

The Other Dunkirk Defender


“If the present rate of wastage continues for another fortnight, we shall not have a single Hurricane left in France or in this country.”

Most people, when asked about a famous British aircraft of World War II, almost immediately remember the Supermarine Spitfire. This plane, from the original prototype to the final variant, has achieved a mythological status in modern times.

However, the Hawker Hurricane, despite making up the bulk of Royal Air Force Fighter Command's strength and entire squadrons of these aircraft deployed overseas at the time of the Dunkirk evacuation, has become merely a footnote in history. Even in World of Warplanes, there are four Spitfire marks (plus a German captured version), but only one Hurricane.

Although the Mark IID never flew over the skies of Dunkirk, I was determined to collect my first win in this forgotten hero....


Thursday, 13 July 2017

Operation Dynamo


Dunkirk, the upcoming epic from Christopher Nolan, is one of those movies I have been waiting for with baited breath.

When I was much younger, I hung out and listened to a small group of veterans recount their version of events that took place on that beach during those perilous times. One of them even claimed to be a pilot, helping to providing air cover for the evacuation. 

Was it true or fantasy? I will never know for sure, since all of them have been gone many years now, but the stories they told....


With World of Warplanes launching their Operation Dynamo event, I took a look at the requirements and made my decision on a course of action. I am not exactly sure just how much gametime I will have available over the next while, so I have settled on attempting one of the two aircraft that can be earned during this special.


It may or may not come as a shock to some, but the Spitfire is the prize I will try my very best to attain. Of all the propeller powered fighters of World War II, the Supermarine Spitfire is my second favorite choice that actually saw service (the Hawker Hurricane beats it out for the top spot in my books). Every chance I have to see one (or a faithful replica) in the real world, let alone touch one, I make the time for it to happen.

So, with this opportunity to earn a mid-tier premium version of this iconic aircraft, I will give it my best shot to put one in my hangar.

Tally Ho!

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Dry Tea


Although I acquired the Spitfire XIV in World of Warplanes quite some time ago, I haven't flown it with any serious focus or intent since. Partially inspired by the upcoming Dunkirk event, I have decided to run out the rest of the month in this iconic, British aircraft.

And just like the last series, my journey through the Mustang H, this scourge of the Luftwaffe brings a new learning curve for strengths and shortcomings....

Monday, 10 July 2017

Spit Fire Indeed


After taking a few days break from World of Warplanes and reading over some posts and replies to others having a similar connection problem, I have tried the "bypass Wargaming.net Game Center client" solution and took to the skies in the tier VIII Supermarine Spitfire XIV. After flying the Mustang H this past while and other Boom and Zoom aircraft for even longer, this aircraft brings a much different feel than what I have just started to get used to. And, those slow British 20 mm cannons....

Friday, 7 July 2017

In der Zwischenzeit


Another round of ugh....

In my fantasy life, I would have been a stellar fighter pilot, with nerves of steel and reflexes of lighting, dropping enemy aircraft from the skies through my eagle eyed perception of the aerial battlefield. In reality, if I lived in those times, I might have been lucky enough to pass the medical to be a gunner or bombardier on a much larger aircraft, being a pilot or copilot on one of those might have pushed things to the extreme.

Since World of Warplanes Update 1.9.11, reality has seriously encroached into my fantasy world. I am not blaming all of my newfound problems on this patch, but it's more than a coincidence I am experiencing certain issues that were nonexistent just a few days ago. Unlike many threads and posts that have brought up similar situations in the past (mostly poorly worded complaints), I have decided to take another approach (as opposed to submitting tickets to Support and, well, most of us know how the rest of that story goes).

I am open to suggestions from you, the playerbase, on what the problem could be and how to go about trying to fix it (if that is at all possible). Now, before some of you start throwing out some wild and technical ideas/solutions, take a second and consider this. Pretend for a moment that I have never seen a computer before. Seriously. Explain what you think the problem could be and offer up a step by step solution to test that theory as if I have awoke from a coma from the 1940's. Sometimes, a great idea is lost in all the technobabble and can make a situation worse.

In the meantime, I have just about given up on flying anything that requires altitude, speed and accuracy against moving targets. The fluctuating ping and packet loss made the first three battles for today a chore in futility. So, instead of stewing in the less than ideal situation, I went back to my roots in Planes, a class of aircraft I have more confidence in flying in these odd times....


Pretty boring, compared to usual high flying action, huh?

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Ready, Set, Miss!


Normally, I try my very best to have a positive outlook when it comes to World of Warplanes, despite some interesting occurrences over the years.

With Update 1.9.11 being released today, I obviously couldn't play a single battle until the client version matched the server version. The Update came in very slowly through Wargaming.net Game Center client and seemed to be of equal snail pace to install. After watching the paint dry and grass grow, I was finally ready to go.

In keeping with the upcoming Dunkirk theme, I picked a plane I haven't flown in a very long time, the tier VIII Supermarine Spitfire XIV. Without going into specific details, three disasters in a row. The plane felt very nose heavy and aiming the 20 mm cannons felt impossible. I decided after the last defeat to restart my system, thinking there was a problem on my end.

Restart: Check. Clear WOWP Cache: Check. All programs running the latest version: Check. No background programs running: Check. Bandwidth available: Optimal. All indicators are in the green.

After all of that was done and rechecked for redundancy sake, I picked the premium tier V Vickers Venom for the test flight....

Monday, 3 July 2017

For Those Who Don't Believe In Luck....


There are countless recorded situations where certain actions and/or outcomes are unexplainable. 

Throughout real life history, a strange combination of people, places, things and timing have occurred and later become the stuff of legends, or myths, depending on your perspective. With the advent of social media and more people capturing unbelievable moments from our own modern times, only reinforces there is more going on than what we believe we are in control of.

Same thing is true in video games, like World of Warplanes. Despite being nothing more than a collection of calculations, brought to life to our senses through audio and visual output, there is the often denied luck factor from certain players. Some have discovered these subtle to hidden variables and achieved great success "cracking the code," with a few openly sharing their findings. Others have falsely claimed it was their pure skill alone that pulled off impossible actions and outcomes, usually caught after the fact when questioned on how they did what they did.

As for me, I have no problem allowing Lady Luck to enter my cockpit and take over the controls, leaving me almost speechless....

Saturday, 1 July 2017

May I Be Of Assistance?


Ever have one of those battles in World of Warplanes where almost everything was going right for you, except that one crucial thing?

For some, it was a matter of not climbing up high enough at the start, for others, they forgot to load bombs onto their Attack Aircraft. For me, the tier VII Focke-Wulf Fw 190-D I used for this sortie was armed with the most frustrating "allergic to kill" ammunition....

150 and still going strong!


To those of you who were born and still live north of the 49th parallel, or moved on to other lands around the world, Happy Canada Day!