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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Battle of Stalingrad copies War Thunder gameplay!

James Halliday

Good news for War Thunder fans who want to try a more challenging flight game with similar gameplay elements - the new Battle of Stalingrad flight game will feature many of the same gameplay elements that players have come to enjoy from War Thunder!

In fact it is downright copying the tech tree and weapons upgrade elements of War Thunder. Which means you will get a more authentic flight experience, but still with helpful graphic icons and help features such as aiming assist or cockpit free views, and War Thunder like gameplay.


Here is the way I read the news:

Tech tree

At launch the game will be sold in two versions either Standard (8 planes) or Premium (10 planes) but you won't have to wait too long before the developers 1C/777 release a FREE version with 2 planes.

In the FREE version you will need to earn XP to move up the tech tree and earn new planes. So you start the game on the German side in a Bf109F, and following this single-engined plane tree you can earn the Ju87 dive bomber and then the awesome Bf109 Gustav.

Weapon and armour upgrades

Along the way, your XP will also unlock different 'field weapons mods' for each aircraft such as 30mm cannon pods instead of the default 20mm, and armour plate for the back of your pilot seat to help you avoid those instant pilot kills. These 'field mods' are actually historical, and were used by some units in the field on the Eastern front. You can also earn beautiful unique skins for your favourite machine.

Once you have unlocked these mods, you are entitled to use them online.

Of course you have to choose carefully what you equip: if you go into online multiplay for a dogfight mission with the Bf109 with 30mm cannon pods, it will have a slower rate of fire and shorter range than the 20mm. But then you will be able to take out your opponent with a single hit. Get in close before you fire! KABOOM! And tanks will of course be easy meat.

Short and long missions

The game comes with short (15-30 minute) or long (up to 1 hour) missions. So if you just want a quick frag as in WT you can, but if you want to fly a machine from takeoff to landing for the full mission you can do that too!

Normal and Expert modes

Like WT there are different gameplay modes. If you play Normal mode, you have slightly simplified flight controls, aiming guides, icons labelling friend and foe and targets, and different views such as external, over the shoulder, and no-cockpit.

In Expert mode you have only cockpit view, no icons or GUI help, and you have to manage the aircraft controls and engine settings as in real life, adjusting propeller pitch, radiator settings, fuel mixture, trim etc etc.

What's not like War Thunder?

Needing to use XP/coin to repair your plane. There is no 'repair' element in the BoS gameplay, so players who don't like the way this sucks away your coin in War Thunder will enjoy the fact you can blow up your plane in one mission, and get straight into a nice shiny new one for the next mission!

Also there are not as many aircraft options on the tech tree. There are 10 aircraft in total at the moment. But the difference is each has an authentically modelled flight model and they are each very different to fly, according to their historical characteristics. If you are familiar with the simple flight models in War Thunder and ready for something more challenging, BoS seems like a good option.

Here you will find the full run down (the above opinion is mine and not that of Heinkill below). I will post my own first hand impressions once I have reinstalled BoS and tried it for myself.


Battle of Stalingrad gameplay: SimHQ post by Heinkill

- The BoS single player game will feature five historical phases of the Battle for Stalingrad: 1) Days before counteroffensive 2) Uranus 3) Air bridge 4)Wintergewitter 5) The ring of death

- Each phase must be completed before the next phase can be played. A player completes a phase by achieving mission success and earning 'XP', or experience points to unlock the next phase. "We don't want you to spend too much time to do this, if you are a player who just likes to finish a campaign you can play phase after phase and your are finished in good time. But if you want of course you can dig deep inside every particular chapter."

- By flying missions however, the points the player earns can be used to unlock weapons mods, or skins.

- Every plane which you have actually bought (either in standard, or premium versions) will be flyable in the campaign and missions will be available for it. "Right now we only have two versions of the game, standard and premium, both of them include ALL airplanes opened from the beginning."

'Founders' (purchasers of the early access version) will have the planes unlocked, but weapon and skin mods will be locked for them like everyone else.

For example, in this 109 screen you can see it has five weapons unlocks possible (and ten skins). Taking into account all ten aircraft, this makes 50 weapons unlocks and 100 skins (+3 premium skins for founders).

- In the future, there will 'probably' be a free game: "In the future we can say we probably plan to make a version with only two planes unlocked from the beginning, and all other planes, like six of them, need to be opened by the in Doom."

- In the GUI players will be able to see a 'Pilot card' showing the medals earned, the phases flown, and XP earned in each aircraft.

- The player can also access a 'Plane Card' through the GUI showing all the weapon mods and skin unlocks that have been earned or can be earned for that aircraft by achieving the required XP amounts. If you want to unlock the mods and skins for the LaGG, you need to fly the LaGG. If you want to do it for the 109, you need to fly the 109

The plane card shows you all the unlocks you have achieved, and the unlocks which are still possible.

This plane card shows the unlocks achieved for this 109

- Once you have opened a skin in the campaign, you can use it in Quick Missions or in Multiplayer mode.

- Regarding historical accuracy, the map for each phase reflects the correct position of the front line and placement of airfields for that period. This is the extent of the 'historicity' of the sim - from here the player makes their own gameplay - either choosing to fly different aircraft and missions from a single field, the same aircraft type from the same field, or fly out of multiple airfields as they are progressively opened up by earning XP.

- If you play Soviet planes you open Soviet airfields, if you play German, you open German airfields. Airfields and phases are unlocked according to total XP, not according to specific mission or aircraft XP.

The game does not represent the correct military unit for the period at the correct airfield. "This is not about history, this is the place the gameplay begins, because you need to understand that this is a game...We decided not to put specific planes, specific regiments because it would have added six months to development. At this point we need to understand what we are doing - a book about history, or a game? We are game developers...We are doing games, hard core games, historically based games, but games."

- Gameplay. The game uses an 'advanced quick mission generator' to generate random missions every time. First the player chooses the airfield, and then the aircraft they want to fly. "If you are a roleplayer, then do not choose an airfield where the aircraft were not based, this is up to you."

"The guys who want a certain type of deep role-playing campaign are not the average customer any more in this genre unfortunately. I'm one of the old school types myself too, but its not easy making a popular flying game these days with simply the older game-play designs."

After this, they choose the type of mission (appropriate to that aircraft) and whether they want to fly a long mission (including takeoff and landing) or short mission (start and finish in the air). "We expect you will invest from 15-30 minutes for a short mission, and one hour or more for a long mission."

The game then shows a graphical mission summary, and allows you to opt out and generate a new mission if you don't like the one that has been generated.

The next step is to choose the realism/diffuculty setting: either normal (GUI icons, simple engine management) or expert (no GUI icons, full engine management). Customised realism settings eg icons plus full engine management, are not possible. This realism setting affects the XP points awarded for mission success. Expert = double points.

There follows the mission briefing. To succeed in the mission you must achieve the objectives (eg shoot down two enemy aircraft) and fly through the egress waypoint to collect full XP points. If you do not fly through the egress point, you do not collect any XP.

You can also access a summary of the maximum possible points achievable in a mission if you were to destroy all available targets.

- If you succeed with your mission objective and pass the egress point, but bail out, you only receive half XP. You cannot refly missions if you fail. Because missions are generated on the fly, by the BoS server, you must generate a new mission. Every mission is unique, and live only for the time you are flying it.

- At the end of a mission you get an animated summary screen showing targets destroyed and objectives achieved, and how many XP points were earned. Eg in this featured mission debrief screen a large number of air and ground targets were destroyed (WIP example only), the player bailed out, but completed the mission at expert level, and earned 194 XP.

- The Full Mission Editor when eventually released, will allow players to create set historical scenarios and customised difficulty settings

- There will be 'decoration' not related to your mission ie ground and air activity in the area which you can choose to interact with or not. "How much 'decoration' is related to the power of modern PCs and we have a lot of people writing to us saying 'my PC is not supergood so pls do something with optimisation' we plan to start with something in the middle."

- Coop missions will not be possible at launch but the code is already being created to facilitate this for a future release. "We are not speaking 'for sure', we are not talking 'two weeks'."

- These features are locked. The devs are listening to/reading opinions about the single player game but it will not be changed before launch.


  1. James, pls make clearer that the first part of the post is your opinion, while the second part of the post is taken from me. Fred

  2. The Developers should have come out with the truth before EA. Why should I buy software for 100$ if I can get WT for free? Pointless.
    I wouldnt advertise the campaign that much, as it just a series of a generated QMB.
    Sorry not a far throw in that belongs. Graphically it is nice, indeed, but WT aswell.
    I got to play SP campaign to unlock things for MP, but cant unlock anything in playing MP? WUT?
    Do not recommend it as the game went off by some serious decisions the past few manths.

  3. Don't worry. There WILL be a free to play version of BoS with two planes. I bet this BLOG on it. Rise of Flight by the same devs came out in a free version a couple of years after release because it wasn't originally built for free to play, but the BoS devs have already announced they are going to do a two plane version ie they are ALREADY PLANNING the free version and the gameplay is designed to allow it. IT IS ALREADY BUILT IN. Just wait.

  4. When Loft say, in DD #80 video: "two free planes" this dont mean two free of buy planes, but two "unlocked" planes to start the Campaing and unlock the others. :)