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2.12 Announcement from 'BADER' of the BoB Developers Group (BDG)

Every year in the UK we remember the Battle of Britain on 15th September. So much has been said and written since 1940 that modern eyes can see this as a small struggle, in the context of six years of worldwide conflict. Indeed it was, in terms of human scale.

But at the time, its importance cannot be overstated. It brought together the largest and most powerful airforces in the world in an age where air power was the defining characteristic of national strength. It pitched these forces into a battle which was the first step in turning the tide of the war.

BoBII is the only comprehensive simulation of the Battle of Britain. It will remain the benchmark. Rowan's vision is still unique and powerful. Moreso today, with the years of updates than when initially released. We hope you enjoy our Time Machine.

Content for BoBII 2.12 is now final. We have to complete testing and then package up final installers. Below is a preview of what's included.


Battle of Britain II BDG_2.12 Release.

Please note that the items listed in these release notes are all incremental over 2.11. For notes on prior updates there, please see:

This update has been brought to you by the freeware BDG (BoB Developers Group) team. We hope you enjoy the continued enhancements for what has been a real labour of love for over 10 years.

So what's included?

1) Major Campaign Game features update (two27)

2) Bug fixes and AI behaviour updates (Buddye)

3) Historically accurate key features, Accuracy of airfields, industrial targets and defences is now simply unsurpassed by any past or future BoB simulation.

4) Historically accurate key features - RAF airfields (Ben, PV, Stickman)

5) Historically accurate key features - Industrial locations (Stickman and PV)

6) Historically accurate key features - AA defences (Stickman)

7) Historically accurate landscape features - (PV)

8 ) More new models - (Ben)

9) Flight model corrections - (blue six)

Note1: this update will bring *any* previous version up to 2.12. You do not need any previous patches at all.

Note2: You will need the latest DirectX to run 2.12.

You will get a missing .dll error if you do not. When you run the 2.12 self-installer it will point you to the Microsoft DirectX update page. Update to DirectX9.0c (June version). Unfortunately, there are multiple versions of 9.0c so if in any doubt, update.

Note3: The MultiSkin patch should go ON TOP OF Battle of Britain 2: Wings of Victory v2.12 Patch (English) OR Battle of Britain 2: Wings of Victory v2.12 Patch (International)

You should have a 256M gfx card to be sure to run without issues.

Note4: How to back up your existing settings from earlier BoBII updates.

Buddye's installation guide HERE->

Back up your Bdg.txt and \savegame, \2dGauge, and \keyboard folders (these folders contain all your settings and joystick buttons)

Note5: If you have a low end system and experience a crash once into 3D, go to your bdg.txt file and set LANDSCAPE_TEXTURE_SIZE = 1024 (the default is 2048). This will reduce the landscape texture resolution by a factor of 4 and should help users with low system memory.

Note6: The minimum requirements for BoBII have changed very significantly since initial release. To run 2.12 successfully we recommend Win XP/7, 2GB RAM, 1GB Video card, Strong Dual or Quad Core processor. The BOB2 campaign however can still be played in 2D on older PCs with no problem.

Note7: Vista and Windows 7 users may need to apply the 'Vista/Windows 7 fix' to your desktop shortcut as a fresh 2.11 install will overwrite the previous shortcut.

Right click on shortcut and go to properties. Go to the compatibility tab. Check "disable desktop composition" and check the privilege level, run this program as an administrator.

Note8: Forcing VSync with ATI card

There is a known issue with the latest ATI cards and VSync. See

In short, you need to right click your ATI tray icon and enable through that (Wait for vertical refresh->Always on).

Note9: Framerates over densely populated areas of 3D objects.

See the section later in this thread. Object rendering is not as efficient as we hope to make it in the future. Be prepared to check your Ground Object Density settings in densely populated urban areas. See below.

Note10: You will not be able to run old campaigns with 2.12. You will need to restart them.


Campaign updates release notes; Very significant fixes, improvements and adjustments have been made, especially to the Luftwaffe campaign. This is the biggest campaign fix since release of BoBI, let alone BoBII. A huge piece of work.

Here are comprehensive notes from our very talented and dedicated coder Randy. (Word doc.)

Here: --> <-- Here

And here is Stickman's excellent Luftwaffe campaign thread. Very useful for Luftwaffe players.

Here: -->

A terrific thread on how things have changed for the Luftwaffe campaigner. Worth a good read!

Here: -->


Historically accurate key features, Accuracy of airfields, industrial targets and defences is now simply unsurpassed by any past or future BoB simulation.

a) Historically accurate key features including buildings, roads and treelines - RAF airfields (Ben, PV, Stickman)

RAF Fighter Command: Updated: Biggin Hill, Coltishall, Croydon, Debden, Duxford, Gravesend, Hawkinge, Hornchurch, Kenley, Lympne, Manston, Martlesham, Middle Wallop, Northolt, North Weald, Pembrey, Rochford, Stapleford, Tangmere, Warmwell, Westhampnet, West Malling

RAF Bomber Command: Updated: Andover, Boscombe Down, Detling, Odiham, Worthy Down

RAF Coastal Command: Updated: Eastchurch, Ford, Gosport, Lee On Solent, Shoreham, Thorney Island

b) Historically accurate key features - Factories (Stickman and PV) from period photographic sources.

Updated: Woolston Supermarine, Woolston Supermarine, Itchen Aircraft Factory, ThornyCroft Motors, Southampton Electrical Works, Westland Aircraft works, Farnborough R.A E. (now the Home of the British Army), Canterbury Industry, Brooklands Vickers Works, Brooklands Hawker Factory, Langley Hawker Factory, Feltham General Aircraft Factory, Hatfield de Havilland Works, Luton Vauxhall Works.

c) Historically accurate key features - Oil, Gas, and Power targets (Stickman, PV, Ben) from period photographic sources.

Updated: Battersea, West Ham Power Station, Beckton Gas Works, Thames Haven Oil Farm,

d) Historically accurate key features - AA defences, see below (Stickman)

e) Historically accurate landscape features - (PV)

Updated: Southampton, Woolston, George V docks, Wemouth, Tilbury, Thames Haven, Gravelines to Dunkerque.

f) Historically accurate landscape features - docks - (Stickman, Ben, PV) from period photographic sources

Updated: Portland Naval Base, Weymouth Docks, Southampton Docks, Bournemouth Docks, Eastbourne Docks, Sheerness Docks, Dover Docks, Tilbury Docks, Brighton Docks.

f) More aircraft models. Look for the Supermarine Walrus and Blackburn Shark at Coastal Command locations,and buses.

Watch out for three at once. (A typically British piece of humour from the very classy Rowan team that we have left in.)


Historically accurate key features - AA defences (Stickman).

This is a tremendous piece of work to research light, medium and heavy AA defences during the BoB period. AAA emplacements of the right calibre have been situated in the game exactly where they were in 1940 as in this shot of Dover Castle.

British AA was fairly ineffective in the early war period and was over-estimated by the Luftwaffe. Later, it improved.

Full release notes to come shortly...


2.12 code (exe) Changes from 2.11 ] (Buddye)
1. In the R-3-5 Radio command, the Ghost A/C (internal tracking of player) must not be excluded so that you can effectively command the AI to attack a new target (you must padlock the target first).

2. CTD reported by Chumleigh in campaign. I added a null pointer check to defend against the CTD.

3. Fixed the problem of the AI A/C flipping on their backs when the player or enemy AI is shooting at them during auto takeoffs or landings. The AI were trying to maneuver to avoid a conflict with the players. It was a conflict avoidance issue, The fix was to "not" do conflict avoidance during the AI auto takeoff or landing. Turned out to be a very tough problem to understand.

4. Added a NULL pointer check (mad) in program "Add_Shadow" to work around a CTD reported (thanks to Chumleigh's report).

5. Changed the Group Go Home criteria for the Campaign only. The Group will go home when the number of A/C left fighting plus the number of A/C in go Home status is equal or greater than 50% of the number in the original Squad. The Campaign players wanted this change to reduce the number of A/C in the Squad being killed.

6. A change to keep the RAF A/C from going to France most of the time. I did implement a random factor for individual A/C in a Squad so that on rare chance a "wild duck" pilot will continue chasing the enemy back to France.

Note: to use this code you must set the following: BDG_Values.RAF_Breaksoff_Before_France = ON. The default is OFF.

7. I implemented two new BDG.txt parameters for two AAA guns as follows:

-- Reload_LT_BRIT_3_7IN_Gun = 1800.000000 #The Reload Time in CSeconds (Csec/100 = sec)for the British 3.7 inch gun.

-- Reload_LT_BRIT_4_5IN_Gun = 1200.000000 #The Reload Time in CSeconds (Csec/100 = sec)for the British 4.5 inch gun.

Stickman will use the new parameters to test and find the best default values for both the 3.7 IN and 4.5 IN British guns so the players will not need to change (unless they want something different).

8. I added the following Bdg.txt parameters for Testing by Heinkill so that he can evaluate the effectiveness of "straggler" code:

BOB_WING_OV_A = 100.000000 #Bomber Phase one wing, straggler

BOB_WING_OV_B = 160.000000 #Bomber Phase two wing

BOB_ENG_OV_A = 100.000000 #Bomber Phase one engine, straggler

BOB_ENG_OV_B = 200.000000 #Phase two engine

BOB_CAN_A = 50.000000 #Bomber Phase one canopy, straggler

BOB_CAN_B = 100.000000 #Phase two canopy

BOB_CAN = 2.000000 #JU87 canopy

BOB_ENG = 190.000000 #Used for determining engine fire, do not change

The three BDG.txt straggler changes are shown for #8. Here is the code and the code text:

First the straggler code is as follows:

if ( ac->ai.islimpinghome == false &&


(((adptr->LEFTWINGOUT + adptr->LEFTWINGIN + adptr->RIGHTWINGIN + adptr->RIGHTWINGOUT) /4) > BDG_Values.BOBWINGOVA) || //BOBWINGOVA = 100

(adptr->CANOPY > BDG_Values.BOBCANA)) ) //BOBCANA = 50

These are all "or" so if any are true the bomber becomes a straggler, and then either heads home or tries to complete his mission at a slower pace.

The three key parameters are:

BOBENGOVA =100 this is the engine damage (so if the either engine is damaged greater than 120 out of 256 the bomber becomes a straggler

BOBWINGOVA = 100 this is the wing damage so if the sum of all the wing damage (two wings plus inside and outside wing) divided by 4 is greater than 120

BOBCANA = 50 this is the canopy damage so if the bomber canopy damage is greater than 50 the bomber becomes a straggler

9. No evasive maneuver if attacking A/C is maneuver = STRAFFE and target A/C has it gear on the ground.

10. Added a new BDG.txt parameter for those who want a an option for the JU87 behavior (maybe not realistic but the JU87 did have front guns):

Do_You_Want_The_JU87_To_DogFight=OFF # ON = After being fired on (and a evasive maneuver) the JU87 will dogfight OFF = No, dogfighting after being fired on (and an evasive maneouvre)


Flight Model (FM) updates.

Some notes from Blue Six, our FM specialist.

"Bf110 wing aerodynamics have been revised to bring them into closer compliance with those being used for the Bf109 (both aircraft used NACA 2R1 foils, the only difference being that the Bf110 had a higher thickness to chord ratio on the inboard section). Top speed and max roll rate remain unchanged, turn capability is slightly improved. While still no match for the RAF single-seaters, the Bf110 is less obviously out-classed and much more pleasant to fly.

The 3D prop pitch gauges on the Bf109 and Bf110 have been repaired. Each now indicates full fine pitch at the "12 o'clock" position, and unwinds counter-clockwise, indicating full coarse pitch at approximately "6 o'clock." The Bf110 gauge fix is interim and will be finalized once minor code changes are complete."



Note: please select FULL Ground Object Density in the game setup screens (under "More GFX") to see all of the objects.


Folkestone Harbour



Yet another wonderful team effort across all times zones and nationalities. The passion and dedication of the team continues to humble me.

We don't do this for the pay, merely for the love of a shared passion.

There are dozens of people contributing to the various versions so far.

Please see past release notes for previous versions. Specifically on 2.12, thank you to:

Coders- Buddye, two27

Flight Model (FM)- blue six

Models: Creation, conversion- Ben

Textures- Ben, Stickman

Landscape- PV, Stickman

Testing/General- alexcraig, chumleigh, Borton, Stickman, Heinkill, creepycrawl, tigermoth

and, as ever, Scott, for allowing us to camp out here and general support.


Multiskin updates

2.12 Multiskin will follow the main code update. Bf110 schemes will be updated and 'A' and 'B' camouflage patterns will be introduced for RAF fighters. It is worth re-stating that BoBII does something that no other sim has ever done (or will ever do). It models every single aircraft down to Squadron or Staffel level with unique paintschemes and identifying codes.

All in, over 2,000 schemes for all fighters and bombers are authentically modelled, a unique feature of the passion and dedication of the BoBII community.


May 2012: New Weymouth Docks rework by Stickman

Stickman has been reworking the Weymouth docks area with the help of period photographs and Google Earth.

In the meantime Two27 and Buddye have been delving into the campaign code to correct the campaign information system errors which have plagued the sim since inception...small inconsistencies between the kills the player experiences, and the kills the game reports in end of day reports and campaign reviews.

Stickman's AAA rebuild

Never happy with the placement and accuracy of the AAA guns in BOBII Stickman has taken on himself the job of tidying up. It is now small task and he has gone at it with the usual BDG attention to detail. His work is intended for inclusion in 2.12 update and will greatly enhance the AAA experience in BOBII.

New RAF sounds

By Boreas. Includes new Browning sounds which personall, I prefer.

New airfield work
Ben again...
Updates using historical sources have been made to North Weald, Debden, Tangmere, Biggin, Kenley, Northolt, Thorney Island, Martlesham, Middle Wallop, Hornchurch, Coltishall, Duxford, Lympne all now feature amazing historical accuracy. (Yes, he does have a day job!)

Patch 2.12 previews

New objects built by Ben for patch 2.12

Considering BOBII?

Confessions of an ex-IL2 flyer! by 'Sprog'

Coming from the IL-2 series but having been away from gaming for some years, I suddenly felt like a bit of airwar again. I was, however, fed up with the whole Strange&Exotic WWII Planes Inc. and felt like trying something new instead so I googled "WWII flight simulator", and found this place. Spits and Messers over the Channel sounded good to me, and the Instant Action feature is just the thing for a casual gamer like me with a tight schedule.

I heard the game was buggy, but that was years ago, so why not give it a go and see if things had been remedied? I bought the software online and installed it no probs. All I got from the clean install was immediate CTDs (I couldn't resist) but after patching the game up and adjusting the video settings, it has indeed been very stable. I'm running it on a decent laptop, I should add. BoBII really is a tweaker's paradise with loads and loads of things to fiddle and tamper with and adjust to one's personal tastes, and after (quite) a few sessions I feel like I'm having the game set up just the way I like it. I really like the open structure of it all and I almost feel like I've made the perfect game for myself!

I'm very impressed with the feeling of it all. The Spit is lively and temperamental; I shall admit having smashed about 3x12½ grand worth of Spitfires before I finally got it rolling. Throttling up gentler I was able to build up speed but the torque really shocked me! I tried to compensate with the rudder but then my port wing dropped dangerously low.. compensating with the ailerons.. WAAFs giggling thinking I was drunk or something as I was struggling with the beer-lever.. "Right, for King And Country!", I thought, gave it full throttle and the machine was literally thrown into the air, stalling immediately but I miraculously regained control. "Quick enough, but very untidy!", the smug geezer in the tower went. "As the actress said to the bishop!", I mumbled while trying to figure out exactly what just happened.. This alone was easily worth the 20 dollars! Oh well, having done loads of circuits and bumps now, I'm slowly but steadily getting the hang of things.

Visually BoBII is pretty much on par with IL-2, I think. Above 1,000 feet BoBII is certainly prettier. Hedge-hopping the two sims look about equally uninspiring, but IL-2 actually ought to fare better here being initially conceived as a ground attack sim, but I suppose some compromise always has to be made with textures, view distance, memory usage and all. The planes in BoBII look great from most distances, and the light and reflections are pretty convincing for the generation. The tracers are terrific! Soundwise BoBII completely devastates IL-2. The Merlins, the Brownings, the howling Daimler-Benz, the bullet strikes and explosions all sound great through my industry standard cans, and compared with IL-2 the voice actors definitely sound a lot more enthusiastic.

The AI is much, much more fun than anything I've seen before. It's less predictable and has a varied pallete of maneuvres as well as quite sensible tactics. Of course it's predictable in the sense that it will try to kill and not be killed, but there's no silly rolling ad infinitum or ridiculous negative G UFO air Kung-fu. The AI marksmanship seems very realistic too unlike the IL-2 AI that is capable of mental deflection shots but can't hit you from dead six when you're turning just a little bit.

Overall I think BoBII succeeds in creating the illusion of air combat anno 1940. Yes the game engine is perhaps a bit dated but it's great fun, it looks and sounds lovely, and has plenty of features and options for my needs. In addition it gave me an excuse to rewatch Guy Hamilton's 1969 masterpiece and reread my all-time favourite on the subject by Richard Hough and Denis Richards.

Tiger moth beta release Dec 2011!

Seasons Greetings from the BoB Developers Group!

To fill your stocking, we are happy to provide you with the first new aircraft ever released for BOBII...the DH82a Tiger Moth trainer. See a sample mission AAR belo

NOTE: this is a FREE beta, or Work In Progress version, being released to the community early for comment and testing.

You must create a new copy of your Battle of Britain game in a new directory on your PC (eg C:\BOBII), patch it to version 2.11 and then install this aircraft into your new game directory. As a beta release, we have not fully identified what impact adding the Tiger Moth to the game may cause. If you install this aircraft into your default directory for Battle of Britain II, it is at your own risk.


- 100% authentic Gypsy Major engine sounds
- Hi fidelity flight model by BlueSix
- Skin by Bader
- 2D gauges by Stickman
- Coding by Osram and Buddye
- 18 new Tiger Moth Instant Action missions including 3 basic training missions, 8 advanced training missions, 4 Special Operation Executive missions and 3 bonus 'Challenge' missions by Whirlybird.

If you download and install the beta Tiger Moth, please help our testing and development by posting your queries or observations here.

Remember, we are providing this beta aircraft free of charge, and are a group of volunteer BoBII enthusiasts, so we value highly the help of our BOBII community in bringing this aircraft to life in the BOBII world!



DOWNLOAD FROM HERE: Tiger Moth Download


This section of the post will be updated as issues are identified:

- Minor graphic glitches may appear if video memory is low. Most common is the loss of propeller texture
- The addition of the TM may cause the campaign game to crash.

70th anniversary of BOB commemorated 2010
The BoB Day by Day campaign was launched July 10 by a kernel of dedicated simmers who have been living the campaign in real time, flying missions day by day, using the campaign engine of BOBII.

See more details and view the AARS and screenshots here

BOBII BDG_2.11 Update Released

21st May 2010

Battle of Britain II BDG_2.11 Release now available.
Please note that the items listed in these release notes are all incremental over 2.10. For notes on prior updates there, please see: ... 36&start=0
This update has been brought to you by the freeware BDG (BoB Developers Group) team. We hope you enjoy the continued enhancements for what has been a real labour of love over a number of years now.
* This update comes in two parts
* HERE-> (276M) <-HERE (English Language Version) OR
* HERE-> (288M) <-HERE (International Languages Version, includes English too)
* AND for users with a 256M (or better) video card we also have MULTISKIN:
* HERE-> (164M) <-HERE (works with English or International Versions)
* (Note: Multiskin goes on top of the base 2.11 English or International patch)
* HERE-> ... 11-english (276M) <-HERE (English Language Version) OR
* HERE-> ... ernational (288M) <-HERE (International Languages Version, includes English too)
* AND for users with a 256M (or better) video card we also have MULTISKIN:
* HERE-> ... -multiskin (164M) <-HERE (works with English or International Versions)
* (Note: Multiskin goes on top of the base 2.11 English or International patch)
* Listing of all BoB II patches:
* ... 19#patches
* Battle of Britain II: Wings of Victory v2.10 Manual (PDF) (This has not been updated for this release)

Note1: this update will bring *any* previous version up to 2.11. You do not need any previous patches at all.

Note2: You will need the latest DirectX to run 2.11. You will get a missing .dll error if you do not. When you run the 2.11 self-installer it will point you to the Microsoft DirectX update page. Update to DirectX9.0c (June version). Unfortunately, there are multiple versions of 9.0c so if in any doubt, update.

Note3: The MultiSkin patch should go ON TOP OF Battle of Britain 2: Wings of Victory v2.11 Patch (English) OR Battle of Britain 2: Wings of Victory v2.11 Patch (International)
You should have a 256M gfx card to be sure to run without issues. Note4: How to back up your existing settings from earlier BoBII updates.Buddye's installation guide HERE-> ... 0&t=19368B
Back up your Bdg.txt and \savegame, \2dGauge, and \keyboard folders (these folders contain all your settings and joystick buttons)

Note5: If you have a low end system and experience a crash once into 3D, go to your bdg.txt file and set LANDSCAPE_TEXTURE_SIZE = 1024 (the default is 2048). This will reduce the landscape texture resolution by a factor of 4 and should help users with low system memory.

Note6: Windows Vista and Window 7 users. All Vista and Windows 7 users will need to apply the 'Vista/Windows 7 fix' to your desktop shortcut as a fresh 2.11 install will overwrite the previous shortcut.
Right click on shortcut and go to properties. Go to the compatibility tab. Check "disable desktop composition" and check the privilege level, run this program as an administrator.

Note7: Forcing VSync with ATI card
There is a known issue with the latest ATI cards and VSync. See ... 10&t=21660
In short, you need to right click your ATI tray icon and enable through that (Wait for vertical refresh->Always on).

Note8: Framerates over densely populated areas of 3D objects
See the section later in this thread. Object rendering is not as efficient as we hope to make it in the future. Be prepared to check your Ground Object Density settings in densely populated urban areas. See below.


What's included?
1) Updated Flight Models
2) 200 additional period ground models (over 2.10)
3) Updated High Res Terrain textures (64x original BoBII resolution)
4) Corrections/updates to key locations such as Folkestone, Dover
5) Brand new Me110 model.
6) Much of the terrain is now populated. Over 700,000 models in game.
7) Multiple stability and bug fixes.
8 ) Updated Spitfire model.
9) New default skins for non-multiskin users. (GZ-V 32 Sq. Hurricane, DW-O 610 Sq. Spitfire. White 9 IJG3, Yellow L IIIZG26)
10) The Tiger Moth is now flyable and will be released shortly as a separate package (It requires that campaign mode is disabled).Known Issues:
1- When selecting the Blenheim in the 'End of Defiant' Historical Instant Action Mission (you can add it in place of the Defiant), you *must* select an RAF or Luftwaffe fighter after making the change to enable the Blenheim. If you do not, you will get a crash.
2- Some objects are lighting badly in low light conditions.
3- Spitfire flap selector animation timing is delayed when selecting 'flaps up'.Instant Action Mission Megapack!

BoB Developers Group has released an Instant Action MegaPack for BOBII featuring not just the Battle of France, but also the Operation Sealion, Alan Deere and the Aces Mission Sets! If the player was to fly all aircraft in all missions in the pack there are more than 200 missions!

More here:

BOB2.10 Patch review

Reviwed by Whirlybird at SimHQ

Installation: Updating BOBII is a breeze compared to some other products which require you to apply earlier patches first, before you patch to the latest version. The BOBII 2.10 update is an all-in-one update so all that needs to happen is to apply the patch over the top of a fresh install, or an earlier install of version 2.09. Previous experience has taught me though that if you want to preserve all your joystick and game config settings, you need to back up these files (which is very simple for experienced users, but should be an option in the install software.

The install features an update to a major MOD called Multiskin, which is optional for users with a 256MB and above graphic card. I would actually recommend a 512MB card for this, because the 256MB card on my Acer Core II Duo laptop struggles to get above 30 fps with the v.2.10 multiskin on high graphic settings. Running on my home-built Intel 3GHz core II duo with 512MB ATI card, and Multiskin enabled, frame rates are a very comfortable 40-100 fps even in the thick of the action, which in BOBII can involve a sky full of hundreds of aircraft.

Multiskin gives the player historically accurate skins for all of the fighters and with update 2.10, and thanks to community member Aces (you may know him as Aces 2 from IL2 fame) all of the bombers and Stukas in the Battle. It adds an awesome level of detail to the sim and has to be recommended for any player with a modern PC and graphic card.

First impressions: The first thing that strikes you on starting the game is that there is a new menu option: MULTIPLAYER! Yes, multiplayer has come to Battle of Britain II at last. Or not. (More on that later.) Otherwise the interface will be familiar to existing users.

I am big fan of the instant action mode in BOBII, and so I threw myself straight into a favourite, 'Rear attack on bombers', flying 109s escorting He111s to attack a British port on a clear summer's day. I was told by beta tester Heinkill to look for the following improvements:

- hires landscape, new objects
- trees and forests
- new flight models
- tighter AI routines (no more packs of 109s chasing lone Hurricanes)
- new bomber, stuka and hurricane skins

I paused the game to write down my impressions as the mission unfolded and here they are verbatim:

- 3,000 metres can't really see a difference in the landscape tiles or ground objects from up here, nor trees
- Spot RAF patrol, order staffel to attack, dive at leading Spit
- Holy crap my controls are like wood!
- Just managed to pull out before hitting trees
- Could not rejoin fight without a major chase back up to altitude, quit mission

So my first impression is that you can no longer treat your Emil like a rollercoaster on rails! If you dive from altitude, once you get above 550-600km/h the controls start to stiffen. I had the stick pulled right back and was only getting a small response from the flight surfaces and my speed continued to increase dangerously until I belatedly chopped the throttle (duh). As I pulled out above the woodline, I realised that there was a woodline! Having enabled the new autogen trees I had expected to be able to see them from higher up, but they are there low down, which is probably right. As I whizzed across the trees there was a little town ahead on the coast, and as I had no hope of catching up with the dogfight at 3,000 metres altitude again, I decided to buzz the high street and terrify the locals. I whizzed past at rooftop level and then exited the mission. Not a very satisfying first run but I like the idea that the sim now models the effect of high speed dives better, and the player needs to enter these with the right level of respect!

Multiplayer: This is the probably the longest awaited feature for BOBII, and the one most transparently missing from the game since its release almost 5 years ago. The game has carved a place for itself as a premier offline dogfighter, but as it is only recently (thanks to the IL2 MOD community) that IL2 has featured real SE England/Channel maps to fly over, and Spit and Hurricane Is to fly in, fans of the 1940 era have not had a true online option.

Sorry to report, they still don't. The Multiplayer code in Update 2.10 for BOBII is described as beta only. I would go further, and call it alpha. There is no possibility for the player to join a BOBII server with teamspeak enabled and jump into a game, as we are used to in IL2. The code for BOBII online requires a player to act as host, and send his configuration details to the other players by email or in a forum post. Then the other players have to configure their routers/systems to match, and they can join the game.

I am not afraid of messing around under the bonnet of my PC, so I downloaded a copy of the 2.10 user manual, printed the chapter on multiplayer, and then rang my brother (he lives about 500 miles away) to challenge him to a dual in the sky. We usually do this in IL2 so he is an experienced online flyer. The online BOBII game features several different options which mostly have to do with the start positions of the aircraft in the dogfight, and so boil down to two basic game forms - 1 v all deathmatch, or team deathmatch. There is also an option to join either side of one of the Instant Action missions in head to head or coop play, but the manual states this is still too buggy so we didn't try it.

My brother is iPod generation. He expects his computer to start and be ready to use within 1 minute. He can't work out how to encrypt his wireless router. So he doesn't like fecking around with port forwarding and configuring his router. I walked him through the set up on Skype but it took us 20 minutes. We only had an hour of game time before he had to go, so by the time we had done this and got the game running and chose a mission we had about a half hour left. There is no teamspeak option, so we kept Skype up in voice only mode, and found this didn't work for us. Our bandwidth, with Skype running, was just not up to it. So we cut our losses and I rang him on a landline and put we put our telephones on loudspeaker. Of course we could have played without a voice-voice option but slagging each other off is half the fun of online play, right? By now, we had only 15 minutes left. It had taken us 45 mins to get the game set up as we wanted. Maybe this would be quicker next time, but is there going to be a next time for most players? I doubt most would have persevered, which is why I would call this code alpha, not beta.

That said, we had a blast with deatmatch (option where both players start opposite each other, going in opposite directions). We ended up going past his deadline by about 20 mins. He had the Spit (he's crap in an Emil) and I took an E4, and it was as much fun as online head to head deathmatch usually is on IL2. But was it any better? All things considered only a purist (or masochist?) would seek out BOBII in order to be able to fly the BOBII Spit 1 online against an 109E4. With much less pain and in a fraction of the time, you can have exactly the same fun in IL2 in a Spit V against a 109G.

To be fair to the BOB Developers Group, this update comes with multiple disclaimers about the early and unfinished state of the Multiplayer code. I just question their decision to include it in the standard game update. It should have been released separately as a WIP for coders to play with. Any normal player who tries to start it up will just get frustrated and that will reflect poorly on the reputation of the sim.

Flight models: In addition to the new modelling of the reduction of deflection on flight control surfaces at high speed, I felt a noticeable 'smoothness' in the response of all aircraft in a roll, which wasn't there before. The aircraft responds fluidly to control inputs, not instantly going straight into a roll or bank, but in a much more realistic fashion. Again, I flicked over to IL2 and rolled my favorite Spit V. The difference is completely evident, with IL2 having a much more 'computer sim' feel to it, rather than being able to replicate an almost physical feeling of weight and momentum, which BOBII now can.

Hats off to the team behind this change. I've never flown a real Spit or Emil, but I've had a shot behind the stick on a couple of light aircraft, and this change gives BOBII the best prop flight models in any sim I've tried.

Eye candy: If you mostly fly Instant Action missions, you will get a kick out of the new objects, buildings and trees. The coastline of Southern England is brimming with little villages, farmers loading hay carts, and church spires. The area east of Tangmere is particuarly nice, with lots of forest, small and large villages. If you are a fan of some of the new IL2 maps, don't look for that sort of terrain modelling here, because you won't get it, and neither should you. SE England is flat, in real life, and in BOBII. But the added detail gives the sim new life and will only improve as more objects are added by the BDG in future.

RAF Campaigners will find that if they are flying out of the London area airfields, not much has changed. London still looks like a mottly green piece of carboard on which someone has plonked paper models of St Pauls, Big Ben, Buck Palace and the Tower Bridge. The Docklands area and factory models are desperately in need of a makeover, with the same big paper model type factories plonked wherever they fit and no real attempt to model the historical docklands layout or look. For this, take a look at CanonUK's new BOB map which has taken the lead in this area.

The player can adjust the density of the trees in their config file, which is good, because with full density, I found my FPS dropping by nearly 30% whenever there were trees onscreen, and then rising again when they slid out of view. I never got below 40 fps on my PC, but I suspect older systems will struggle with full tree density enabled.

All in all, these are welcome improvements which players will really enjoy.

AI enhancements: BOBII has the ability to put the player into the middle of some of the greatest air battles in history. 'Black Thursday' 15 August 1940 is a perfect example, where the Luftwaffe sent hundreds of bombers and escorts across the Channel, and the BOBII Black Thursday instant action mission lets the player take either side of that epic fight. My rough count put the number of aircraft in the air at the start of that mission, at about 400!! As an RAF player, when you start the action climbing up to meet the Luftwaffe flotilla, you can seen wave after wave of bombers and fighters stretching all the way back to France. It is awesome.

But I rarely played it. Because what would inevitably happen (and this often happened in campaign sorties too) was that within a few minutes of flying, I would have attracted a host of 109s, who seemed all to have made me their personal target. I would end up down at treetop level with anywhere up to 10 109s on my tail, and certain death was just a matter of a very short time. The level of complaints about this apparently made BDG take the issue seriously and according to Heinkill, the code was tightened to the extent that the player can now be confident that if they set a max number of AI targeting the player at 1 or 2, that is what will happen - only one or two AI will zero in on the player.

I messed around with the settings a little, and found that a max of 2 gave me a good challenge, and seems to quite beautifully enable the game to mirror Luftwaffe real life tactics where they flew in pairs, with one aircraft watching the six of the other. I found I was able to fight my way free to target the enemy without being under constant attack, but I always had to watch my six because I knew somewhere in the air was at least 1, probably 2, enemies trying to get me in their sights. It was also cool to watch the AI attacking other AI in this way, as it forced the air battle to spread into hundreds of small unit dogfights, which was much more realistic than the former situation where multiple AI would gang up to terminate a lone enemy.

Multiskin 2.10: If you have a graphics card of 256MB in a PC, or 512 in a laptop, this is an absolute must. Thanks to Aces2 (the skins guru of Mat Manager for IL2 fame ) every bomber in the game now has a unique and historically accurate skin. Prop spinners and staffeln emblems are all represented correctly, right down to the coloured letters on the spats of some Ju87s, and the visual ID wing bars on some of the bombers. You don't notice it so much when you are in the thick of an instant action mission for the RAF, flashing through the bomber formation, but if you are flying a bomber gunner campaign, or escorting bombers, it is an absolute treat to see them differentiated exactly as they were in 1940.

Multiskin 2.10 gives BOBII unique skins for every flyable RAF fighter, Luftwaffe fighter, Stuka and bomber in the game. By my count this means more than 1500 historically correct skins, which I doubt any other flight sim out today can possibly match.

What is missing? Well the Bf110s need the same treatment, as they are currently represented by a single skin. The Defiants, Blenheims and Ju52s also use simple generic skins. I can imagine these are on the BDG list, and would expect the Bf110 to get the treatment next if Aces can be talked into it!

Gameplay: apart from the problematic multiplayer beta, no changes here. Previous upgrades have brought us changes to the campaign play (a single player campaign mode in addition to the strategic commander mode) but this time around the devs have focused on in-game improvements and eye candy.

Worth the upgrade? Hey it's free.

Worth buying BOBII if you didn't already? This game costs about $20 USD online. That is close to iPOD app pricing! If you don't have BOBII on your hard drive you are not a serious WWII flight simmer. And it has one of the friendliest and most helpful dev and player communities around. This free upgrade is yet another reason to pay and download the game, though with only one caveat - not if your main passion is online play (YET?)
Immersion given new meaningImmersion: a state of being deeply engaged or involved. In the flight sim world, it means a game with the ability to suspend disbelief, and allow the player to see, think and feel as though they are behind the stick of Bf109 E4 over the Channel on June 1940.

The wind whistles over the airframe, the engine throbs, nearby flak bursts so loud you can feel it in your chest, the joystick jumps as a line of cannon shells stitches its way across your wing, your heart beats harder and your palms sweat as you twist and turn avoiding the fighter on your six. The landscape whizzing by looks photographic whether seen from altitude or treetop level. That's one kind of immersion.

The other kind of immersion comes from the feeling of being there 'in time'. Is there a feeling of period? Could you believe you were in a 1940s world? Is the language appropriate, the interface, the historical accuracy? It's the immersion that comes from wanting to be able to, say, sit in the cockpit of Squadron Leader James Leatheart's Spitfire on 6 June 1940 at Rochford, and know it is represented in the right skin, at the right airfield, and being able to look out your cockpit at the famous P9398 KL-B numbered Spitfire with the Kiwi emblem, being flown by Alan Deere. That is 'period immersion.'

The easiest way to explain this concept of 'period immersion' is to give an example of non-immersion. IL2, for all the many positives which have made the series the biggest selling combat flight simulator franchise, is known to have a sterile campaign game, lacking in period immersion. The campaign is simply a series of joined up missions which the player is ordered to fly. There is no attempt to generate a feeling of involvement in a wider conflict and the player has no control over that wider conflict. Little is done to create a sense of period identity for the player through storyline language, cinematic cut scenes, or period music. As to historical accuracy, enormous energy has been invested to ensure accuracy of aircraft and object specs, maps and flight models. However only through user community mods like IL2 Mat Manager can one achieve the immersion that comes when one can ensure that in the campaign one is flying an aircraft with the correct skins and markings, against the historically correct enemy units, at the correct time of day, even through the correct weather. IL2 will put you in and against the right aircraft, over the right piece of geography and that's about it folks. To do this for the Battle of Britain, several great IL2 user mods have now been created to allow players to fly over BoB Channel maps and aircraft missing from the vanilla release of IL2, such as the Mk 1 Spitfire.

Improved historical accuracy: the Aces Bomber Skin mod

The king of 'period immersion' for Battle of Britain has since 2005 been 'Battle of Britain 2, Wings of Victory', which is known among players by the nickname 'the time machine'. Like IL2 key aircraft of the time are modelled in painstaking detail. The Channel geography is reproduced with an accuracy unmatched in IL2 (and current mods - the v52nd Channel map is expected to lift this to a new level when released) with RAF airfields and nearby towns built from period plans and photographs. Weather patterns in the BOB2 campaign period are built on historical metereological reports.

But one of the greatest aids to period immersion that BOB2 offers is the fact that EVERY Spitfire, Hurricane and Bf109 that was involved in the battle is available with the correct skins and markings for the period. An immense research and artistic effort from the BOB Developers Group has ensured that the more than 1,300 single engine fighter combatants in the Battle of Britain are all faithfully represented. Further, the campaign starts with the right squadron, based at the right airfield for the period, with the right squadron leader in charge…

So it has long been possible in BOB2 to do exactly as described above and convince yourself you are James Leatheart, sitting warming up your engine at Rochford on June 6, with the reassuring sight of Alan Deere on your wing. Or perhaps in Adolph Galland's famous yellow nosed Mickey Mouse kite with his kill tally on the tail, flying in formation over Pas de Calais with JG26 Knights Cross winner Heinz Ebeling's Bf109 E4.

What no sim, including BOB2 Wings of Victory, has so far bothered to do, is to model the hundreds of Luftwaffe bombers which fought in the battle. They are after all just cannon fodder, right? So who cares if the Dorniers of 8 staffel KGIII had an ace of spades emblem and red spinners, 9 staffel KGIII had the ace of hearts and yellow spinners, while the Stab III (headquarters) staffel for KGIII flew with the full deck of cards as its emblem? Who has time to notice when you are closing at 400 miles per hour with 8 .303s blazing?! This was my first reaction when I read of the project by BDG forum member Aces to do exactly this, and create accurate skins for the bombers in the campaign.

All I can say is that the difference is as great as the change from black and white to colour TV.

Those crazy Kampfgruppe

Here's an idea. You want to make it from France to England, hit your target, and make it back alive without deliberately attracting the attention of every fighter in England. Most sims would have you believe the Luftwaffe did this by painting all their bombers green and grey, with black or grey spinners, so they would blend into the rolling fields of England and slip unseen by the Spitfires patrolling above. Right?

Wrong. Luftwaffe bombers attacked England in waves of hundreds of aircraft. They blackened the sky, casting an artificial eclipse over the towns of SE England. They were a political weapon, as much as a military one, and they wanted to be seen and feared, not slip in and out of England by stealth. They wanted to communicate confidence, and the superiority of arms and technology.

The Luftwaffe Kampfverbande painted their aircraft with bright red, green and yellow highlights. From prop spinners to gondolas, nose and belly and wing stripes, they decorated their aircraft in strong radiant hues which had the propaganda effect of saying, "OK, Here I am, come and get me! I dare ya!"

"My first engagement. I turned for a head on attack on the Heinkels. All I could see was a dark mass. Then the red spinners of one of the outside He111s caught my eye and I centered my sights on his bright prop. It gave me the focus I needed to press the attack. After I turned away, without having caused any apparent damage to the Heinkel, I remember thinking, 'You arrogant blighter with your bloody bright red spinners. I'll remember you.'" Pilot Officer A. R. Meyer, diary excerpt, Aust War Memorial Battle of Britain collection.

 Of course, the bright colours had a much more practical purpose, even if it did show a disdain for the concept of camouflage. Luftwaffe units in 1940 lacked effective air to air radio communications between bombers and fighters. Units forming up for raids relied almost entirely on visual identification, so it was vitally important that aircraft markings were easy to recognise from a safe distance.

Thus the Luftwaffe used a standard system for bombers whereby Gruppe 1 to V were allocated the colours white, red, yellow, blue and green respectively. Then, to identify the staffel within the Gruppe, spinners in white, red and yellow were also shown, together with the staffel emblem and the staffel code with the last letter in the appropriate colour.

A 109 pilot could use the spinner colour, gruppe colour and letter codes to make sure they were forming up on the right unit.
Aces bomber mod in action

The effect of seeing this cavalcade of colour in action in BoB2 can only be experienced, just as the difference between black and white and colour TV had to be experienced. As an RAF pilot there is no doubt that looking up from low altitude at a mass of bombers is daunting enough, but whether they have coloured or camouflaged spinners is irrelevant as their silhouettes against cloud and sky are enough to identify them. Looking down from altitude at a bomber staffel with yellow spinners is another matter, as the colour pops out at you from the greens and browns of the English summer countryside. This was an advantage the RAF pilots rarely enjoyed (that of altitude!) but it is nice to see it finally reflected in a Battle of Britain sim.

And then there is the experience nicely described by P.O. Meyer in his war record above, of turning toward a mass of bombers and seeing the circus clown colours of their spinners closing on you. They almost magnetically attract your gunsight pipper to them, which is not necessarily what the Luftwaffe had in mind, but is certainly a useful subliminal aid to the RAF fighter pilot looking to make their hits count against the hardy Luftwaffe bombers.

Finally, there is the enjoyment for the 'full realism Luftwaffe pilot' who flies their missions from take off to landing, of being able to fulfil an escort mission the way it was experienced in the summer of 1940. Taking off from Marck Calais in your 109 and forming up before heading for a rendezvous waypoint over the Channel. Waiting for the bombers to arrive, one eye on your fuel guage, and then ensuring you form up with the right bomber gruppe, before turning toward England. Not to mention the challenge of staying with the right gruppe all the way to the target and back, pre and post engagement with the RAF.

This is a level of immersion which has been missing not just from BOB2, but from any other WWII bomber sim until now, and one which at last can be lived out, thanks to Aces Bomber Skin Mod.

Aces Multiskin Bomber Mod will be available with the upcoming Patch 2.10 for BoB2 from the BOB Developers Group. More info at

BONUS: Pick up this fantastic wallpaper from Aces here!!You can also check out his IL2 Mat Manager here:

BOB2 Aces Mission Pack review
To download Aces Mission Pack Click HERE

The cult of air aces began in the first world war, but the RAF tried to surpress it at the start of World War 2. Unlike the Luftwaffe, they published no statistics on the victories of their top pilots during the battles of France and Britain. It was only after the war that a definitive list emerged, perhaps because only four of the top 10 aces of the Battle of Britain were British.
It is fitting then that Whirlybird continues his release of new mission packages for BOB2, with a tribute to Aces of all nationalities who flew during the Battle of Britain.

The Aces Mission Pack comprises 12 instant action missions, which can be flown from either the RAF or Luftwaffe side, giving the player to either fly in the role of, or against, some of the battle's greatest aces. The player can fly any of the aircraft in the missions, meaning that for example, in the Douglas Bader Big Wing mission, the player can fly as Bader in 242 Squadron, as a Spitfire from 19 or 603 Squadrons, Hurricane from 310 Sq, or in the opposing Luftwaffe aircraft including JG3's Bf109s, ZG76s Bf110s, KG1s He111s or KG5s Ju88s. By my count this means this scenario alone generates 8 very different missions and thus player experiences.
Whirlybird advertises the Mission Pack as containing 24 missions, but if the player chose to fly all aircraft from both sides in each of the missions, the scenarios included account for more than 30 missions.
The missions
Twelve Aces are featured in this initial release, some well known, others less so:Alan Deere, GB (Spitfire)
Douglas Bader, GB (Hurricane)
Howard Mayers, Australia (Hurricane)
Adolph 'Sailor' Malan, Sth Africa (Spitfire)
Josef Frantisek, Czech (Hurricane)
Arty Holmes, GB (Hurricane)
Ernie McNab, Canada (Hurricane)
Carl Raymond Davis, USA (Hurricane)
Adolph Galland, Germany (Bf109)
Eric Groth, Germany (Bf110)
Eduard Tratt, Germany (Bf110)
Helmutt Wick, Germany (Bf109)

Adolph Galland emerges from the fireball of an exploding Spitfire
The missions offer huge variety. Deere flies with 54 squadron in a sweep over the beaches of Dunkirk, Bader leads a Big Wing of 4 Squadrons against a raid comprising hundreds of Luftwaffe aircraft, McNab takes part in a simple intercept of 3 Ju88s with a tragic outcome, Tratt leads his Zerstorers on the attack on the British RDF facilities that opened the battle, Wick flies the mission that saw him score 5 RAF victories. There are also some quirky missions included - such as the Arty Holmes attack, captured on film by a British film crew, where he rammed a Luftwaffe bomber, or the Sailor Malan incident where the newly formed 1C Canadian squadron opened its account by mistakenly attacking 3 RAF Blenheim bombers.
Erich Groth's famous 'Shark nose' Bf110s in a sweep over SE England.
Historical accuracy
Whirlybird advocates using the Multiskin add-on to BOB2 (a free download from ) to get the skins necessary to reproduce the correct skins for the squadrons and Aces flying in the game. My results with this have been mixed. By my records, the Aces mission pack correctly reflects the right squadron markings for all the RAF aircraft and correct Geschwader/Gruppe markings for the Luftwaffe. The aircraft markings and identifiers seem perfect for Deere, Bader, Mayers, Malan, McNab, Galland and Tratt. Frantisek is shown in the right squadron, but flying Hurricane RF-G, where history records he flew either RF-R or RF-U at this time. Wick is in the right gruppe, with the famous Richtofen markings, but his nose art is that of 1/JG2 (1 staffel) not 7 staffel, where he flew.

EDIT: Whirlybird says the player CAN select Frantisek's RF-R aircraft in the mission by choosing to fly as Red-3 in the game, rather than Red-1 which is shown. My mistake!

These few minor inaccuracies are put down to quirks in the beta BOB2 mission builder used by Whirlybird, but will annoy purists.

You'll like

If you like flying for the RAF, you'll love the variety of both aces and mission scenarios you can fly, and you can of course fly against the Luftwaffe aces in the Luftwaffe ace scenarios. Luftwaffe proponents will similarly enjoy flying against the RAF aces, and the different challenges in the four Luftwaffe ace missions.

You won't like

Luftwaffe flyers may be most disappointed as there are only 4 LW Aces represented, and two of these scenarios are for Bf110 aces - not everyone's favourite aircraft. That said the Bf110 missions give the flyer real respect for anyone who could become an ace in this kite! There are also some menu quirks (eg squadrons with 0 aircraft) that show up now and then. They don't effect gameplay, but will annoy purists.

ScoreGameplay: 8/10
Historical accuracy: 8/10Technical execution: 7/10
Originality: 9/10
Overall: 8/10

Alan Deere mission packWhirlybird has been busy creating new Instant Action missions and his first effort was the Alan Deere Mission Set.


That's one kill, but can you survive to be the BOB2 Ace of Aces?

It's FLAK Jim, but not as we knew it!

In 1940 British AA defences were obsolete and ill-equipped to defend against the streams of Luftwaffe bombers and hit-run raiders crossing the Channel. Of all the European capitals, London was easiest to find and closest to the border. In Winston Churchill's colourful words, the British capital was "a tremendous fat cow . . . tied up to attract the beasts of prey.”

By July 1940 as the Battle unfolded there were in place around the United Kingdom 355 x 4.5-inch, 620 x 3.7-inch and 230 x 3-inch heavy guns operational along with 270 x 40-mm Bofors, 135 x low-level 3-inch, 140 x ex-navy 2-pounder and 40 x Hispano 20-mm cannon for the country's defence. BoBII has always modelled the 3 inch, 20mm and 40mm AA guns.

AA Gun emplacements in BOBII
In addition the British fielded some quirky stop-gap solutions to the problem of inadequate low-level defences against low flying aircraft - namely the bizarre Parachute and Cable (PAC) rockets which launched 480ft lengths of wire into the air suspended by parachutes to create an airborne minefield in front of attackers. Spectacularly unsuccessful, many players may not have noticed the PAC is actually modelled in BoBII. Stooge around over Hawkinge, and you will see the rockets firing!

PAC rocket batteries modelled in BOBII. In reality they were laid out in up to three lines of 9 rockets per line. While 9 kills were attributed to PAC batteries during the Battle, the only confirmed kill by PAC rockets was a Wellington aircraft destroyed during testing...
Various historical sources indicate AA gunners claimed between 350 and 380 kills during the Battle, and the Royal Artillery Association post-war analysis confirmed at least 300 kills. Yet AA lethality in BoBII has often irked players, as Luftwaffe aircraft appeared virtually impervious to AA fire, especially at low level.
No more!

In Patch 2.08 Hotfix 2, the AA has finally been given bite. The 3 inch flak now has a historically aligned burst radius of 11 feet, which can disable or destroy aircraft unlucky enough to fall within it's range. And the firing rate of low level AA has been increased, so that for the first time, Luftwaffe players have to carefully plan their ingress and egress, and can no longer stooge around unmolested over heavily defended targets.

As an added bonus, the BDG has also done heavy testing of bullet drag, gravity and dispersion, which can clearly be seen in the more realistic difficulty of bomber and Zerstorer gunners hitting fast moving RAF fighters, while the firing and reloading rates of Bf110 and Stuka rear gunners have been tweaked to make them more responsive, while their skill and accuracy level reflects their in-game experience.
All in all it means a more challenging and immersive experience for players. If you try a campaign as a Do17 gondola gunner, put your headphones on, and put down plastic under your seat - I promise it will be a wild ride!

The flak fix is included in the new BOB2 2.09 Patch. See HERE for download details.

New ship models: preview

Work in progress update: Ben and Stickman have been playing with some long awaited updates to the shipping models in BOBII. See some of the beautiful new eye candy in these exclusive screenshots. The new models are intended for inclusion in Patch 2.09, due out later this year.

Zerstorer Elite: A BOBII adventure
Fly your own daring recon missions using the Instant Action feature of BOBII! DOWNLOAD PDF (2MB) HERE:

Among the lesser known units of the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain were the 'Aufklaringsgruppe' of Luftflotte 2, 3 and 5 – the long range reconnaissance units.

Comprising Do17s, Ju88s, He111s, He100s and Bf110s, these units flew dangerous solo missions over enemy territory, often unarmed and loaded down with fuel.

Missions include:

1) Investigate radio masts. Intelligence reports indicate the British have set up long range radio masts on the coast. We need low level photos to better evaluate their design and purpose.

2) Portsmouth naval strength. Channel convoy protection is being staged out of Portsmouth. You will conduct pre and post raid recon on a major raid intended to cripple the port and any RN ships there.

3) Unit identification. A new RAF squadron has reportedly been based at Manston. We need low level photographs of the aircraft to allow identification.

4) Find the Spitfire nest. Spitfire production at Southampton has been moved after heavy bombing, but we do not know where. You will photograph a row of new buildings at the Bristol Aero works which may be new Spitfire production facilities.

5) Beaufighters at Kenley. Our pilots have reported sightings of the new RAF twin engined heavy fighter at Kenley. You must confirm these sightings.

6) Smile, your majesty! British propaganda claims our bombers have deliberately targeted Buckingham Palace. You will obtain low level photographs of the palace which we will release to the world to prove they are lying!

Inspired by: The Easter Bunnies: Long-distance Reconnaissance by the German Luftwaffe over Poland, France, England and the Atlantic 1938-1945 (Paperback), by Wendy von Well (Author), Roman Gastager (Author).

Battle of Britain II: Wings of Victory 2.08 patch review!

The 2.08 Patch for BOBII was released on 10 July and is already proving one of the most popular updates yet. Read the detailed review below.

Download here

BOBII Patch 2.08: AI that is more human than human

In the Lone Star State dwells a man whose mission in life is to create the most challenging and realistic dogfighting AI in flight simulation history. It’s not a small ambition, but the BDG’s Buddye Lavender has a single minded dedication to achieving it, and he believes that with the BOB2 code he can realise it. Passion like that only comes along once in a millennium.
Is that Spit you are about to tackle a rookie, or a burned out veteran? In BOBII the way he flies and fights will be completely different between the two. Note also the reworked cliffs...

In the 2.07 patch Buddye really started tweaking the AI. He introduced ‘Intelligent AI’ which respected real world physics but reacted dynamically to the changing tactical environment in a dogfight. The AI was constantly checking to see if it was on the offensive or the defensive, and adjusting its manoeuvres accordingly. Transitions between attack and defence, vertical and horizontal were smoothed, random reactions were programmed, damage to the airframe resulted in panic, cowardice or even novice AI pilots spinning out of control.

Since the release of 2.07 Buddye has been almost single mindedly making the AI more human. In 2.08 he gives it more options, more moves in offence, better reactions in defence. He taught it to use the aircraft it was flying in the way it was built to fly – Messerschmitts began to better use their ability to dive and bunt, their advantage at altitude, their better vertical energy. Spitfires spun on wingtips, Hurricanes ducked and weaved behind bombers, RAF fighters dragged the Luftwaffe down to the treetops where they could chew them up.

I realised how close Buddye had come to his ambition during a dogfight between my flight of Hurricanes and a staffel of Bf110s escorting Ju88s on a raid on Manston. We’d taken off from Lympne and were fighting to gain height to intercept the bombers. The 110s were flying high and forward of the Ju88s, all we could see was their contrails. Which suddenly curved around and down, like a flight of arrows aimed straight at our roundels. We turned to meet them and I ordered the flight to engage. One of the 110s with red spinners was coming straight at me, and that was a matchup I knew I couldn’t win – 8 .303s against 2x20mm and 2xMG15s is not a fair fight. I broke and his cannon shells cut across my wingroot, but the Hurricane held together. I spun around after him, but his 700km/h dive had taken him a thousand feet below me. As I watched, he pulled up into a smooth and effective Immelman and fixed on a new target. He was gone. I latched onto another 110 that was behind one of my Hurricanes, and put some lead into its tail.
It didn’t try to turn into the fight, which would have been fatal for a 110 against a Hurricane. I’ve seen the 110s in WoV in these situations try a bunt, a quick negative G dive, which the Merlin engined Hurricane can’t follow because the Merlin stalls under negative Gs. He didn’t do that either. He completely panicked. He was nose up and hunting his prey when i hit him. Being low on energy he tried to roll over and kicked in too much rudder. This resulted in an ugly spin which he fought all the way down from 8,000 feet to 3,000 before he recovered. I followed him down and when he recovered I stitched him from nose to tail and sent him into the dirt of the farm below.

The mark of good AI is not how well it flies – because of course a computer pilot could fly perfectly. The mark of good AI is if it surprises you – if it breaks right when you think it will break left, if it zooms when you are expecting it to dive, if it shoots wild when it has a set shot and if it bugs out and runs home to Momma just when you think it should press the attack.

The AI pilot skill levels in WoV define how well they will fly, as is the case in most sims. The higher the skill level, the greater the range of manoeuvres the AI can call on. But in WoV the lower Novice skill levels are also less aggressive, more cautious, more prone to pants wetting panic and simple dumb moves. At the other end of the scale, the Hero skill level behaves like a burned out veteran who has all the moves, but no longer cares if they live or die. The Terminator AI will keep coming at you, when lesser mortals would squeal ‘Mommy’. Given the choice between attack and defence, they will mercilessly, but not stupidly, attack.

Random number generation in combination with skill level is used where it makes sense to add to the replication of human-like reactions – to determine if the AI will break left or right, how long it will hold a zoom or dive, whether it will shoot early or late whether it will nail that Immelman or stall in the climb.

The best analogy probably comes from the online First Person Shooter (FPS) world. Newbies choose poor cover, stand up and blaze away, emptying their magazines at you, or in the face of a concerted charge, lose their gumption and hide. The combat veterans fix and flank, use cover, and conserve ammunition with short bursts, always working to turn a poor tactical position into a better one.

In WoV 2.08 Patch, the enemy AI is almost as varied and unpredictable as…well…as a human.

Buddye will be the first to admit it isn’t human, yet, but he’s getting it there.

Down low and dirty

One of the criticisms of BOBII has always been the quality of ground level graphics, which have lagged behind other sims. In a flight sim where the action takes place at altitudes where houses look like match boxes and cars like ants, that has not been an issue for all, but has been a major source of annoyance to some.

Enter Ben. A former simulation programmer with the British Ministry of Defence Ben also has a passion for modelling 1940s period people, vehicles and buildings. The problem until now has been cracking the code for getting his and others beautiful work into the game. With Patch 2.08 the BDG has achieved it.

Ben is a Brit, based in Cairo, currently in Amman, used to work on military full flight simulators for Ministry of Defence end users.

"I'd build the usual stuff: aircraft, ground vehicles and ships, buildings, ground textures etc. then I'd get to climb in the cockpit and fly the sim," he said.

"Just to test my work of course. I'm a big fan of BoB/WoV from its initial release by Rowan."

In this case pictures are worth a thousand words, so here is a look at some of the new in-game vehicles and buildings in the WoV world. British airfields have been reworked using historical photographs for accuracy, and old maps to reproduce their 1940s layout. The airfields which have been rebuilt this way include RAF: Biggin Hill, Croydon, Debden, Duxford, Eastchurch, Gravesend, Hawkinge, Hornchurch, Kenley, Lympne, Manston, North Weald, Northholt, Tangmere, Warmwell and Luftwaffe: Marck, Abbeville, Le Havre, Wissant.

Modelling of vehicles has been meticulously executed, from British to German, right down the chalkboard menu on NAAFI vans. All of this without any noticeable frame rate hit.

Historically accurate, from wheel nuts, to menu! Hard to read in this shot but it says, "Tea, Fags, Cakes, Fags, Sandwiches, Fags." And no, junior, not those type of fags...See more shots below.

The landscape tiles have also been updated with Bader’s Summer Terrain to better match the hues of England in summer 1940. Meticulous attention has been paid by the landcapers to significant coastal features – to replicate them as closely as possible.

And there are some classic Easter Eggs (look for Stonehenge and the famous Chalk Man!)

But if the definition and detail of the landscape tiles bothered you before, they still will now, because the landscape execution is more CFS3 than FSX, and the treelines are a still a big immersion killer, looking as they do more like something from a pop-up book than a flight sim in the year 2008.

Gameplay and 2D Gauges

BOBII has always had two onscreen Head Up Display play helpers. In the upper right corner, an attitude indicator and in the upper left corner, an enemy position indicator, both of which can be switched off independently.

When developers A2A produced an arcade style flight sim based on the BOB2 code they also created some useful 2D gauges to go with that sim, and then gave the BDG the OK to convert the code for use in BOB2
Players now have access to a wider range of helpful gauges and indicators which can be switched on and off the screen – from an enemy damage indicator which shows which parts of the padlocked enemy are damaged, to onscreen altitude and speed gauges or even a graphical ammunition counter. Among the most useful of the new gauges is a compass rose which doubles as enemy/friendly indicator

Even purists will find these fun for those occasions when all they want to do is fire up their PC like a console and take on the WoV AI in a 20 minute no holds barred frag fest. And for novices moving from the console world to the greater challenge of PC flight simulations, they create a familiar and user friendly screen world to ease the user in.

Multiskin, redux

The BDG has a simple principle. Until every RAF and Luftwaffe aircraft in theatre during the Battle of Britain is faithfully represented in the game, they won’t be happy. This patch sees the introduction of hundreds more historically accurate skins for the games Spitfires, Hurricanes and 109s. If ace Alan Deere flew with 54 Squadron out of Rochford on June 27 in aircraft KL-B – that is where you’ll find him, in aircraft KL-B!

Tim Elkingtons JX-D Hurricane, with nose art, as authorised by Tim himself. More skins below.

And the game remembers. Kill Adolf Galland in a sortie over Calais on July 19, and his aircraft won’t suddenly reappear in a furball on June 20. Squadrons and staffels take a morale hit when their leaders are killed, so if you dispatch Galland’s yellow cigar smoking Mickey Mouse, the Luftwaffe will suffer a real setback. In WoV, dead is dead, right down to the individual pilot level.

This kind of immersion comes at a price though – while you can run the game with Multiskin enabled on a 128MB graphics card, 256MB is the recommended minimum.

New Flight Models

The already well recognised authenticity of the BOBII flight models has been further researched and tweaked. The emphasis has been on modelling the impact of airspeed and air density on control surfaces.

Most noticeable to flyers will be the way the aircraft control surfaces react at speed. In a steep dive, as the airspeed climbs, the ailerons and elevators will become stiffer and stiffer until, appropriate for the aircraft type, they freeze. Exceed your maximum dive speed and you WILL become a lawn dart.

The million dollar question

So, you never tried BOBII before, should you blow $USD20 on the download now? The answer is obviously that there are more reasons than ever to try it now, and with no sign of Oleg Maddox’s Storm of War on the horizon, this sim will teach you all you need to know about the Battle of Britain while you wait. This is especially true if you are moving from the world of console sims to PC sims for the first time, because BOBII’s scaleability and the new 2D gauges mean it can be dialled right back to help ease newbies into the genre.

More difficult is the question for people who have let BOBII slide from their hard drive – is 2.08 reason enough to load it back on? If online flying and fighting is your forte, then the answer is probably no. A good human player will still beat even the BOB2 Terminator AI. And if the reason you let BOBII slide was because you preferred the graphical sophistication of IL2’s landscapes or IL2s maps, then again, the answer is probably no because these things have not been updated in the 2.08 patch.

But if you haven’t played or patched BOBII lately, and you enjoy offline flying and fighting you will get an nerve wracking, gut wrenching and immersive offline dogfighting experience, and the cost of upgrading is $zero. So the answer to that is a resounding YES.

Credits:Coders- Buddye, Osram, Eric, Bader
Models- Ben, Geoff, Simon
Textures- Stickman, Redband
Landscape- Stiz, PV, Stickman, Bader
Testing/General- Trumper, Borton, TBader, ako_Kichi, chumleigh, Rummy, Heinkill, Hard_Sarge..and, as ever, Scott, for allowing BDG to camp out and general support.
Going to buy or try the patch? Leave a COMMENT, ask a QUESTION

Heinkill original BOBII missions

Want to fly carefully scripted missions as Ace Adolf Galland against Alan Deere? Fancy role playing RAF ace Pete Townsend?

You can with these preset savegames! Read the docs enclosed for details how.


Patch, 2.07
What was included:

1) Updates to exe AI improvements and AI death animation updates.
2) Single Pilot Campaign (beta) with brand new 28 page player guide.
3) Updated Flight Models (FMs), adjustable to user experience.
4) Updated Terrain - Brand new textures and reworked terrain detailing.
5) Updated Multiskin - adds over 150 Historical skins. (Note: OPTIONAL separate download for players with 256M gfx cards or above.)
Detail on an Me109 showing one of the hundreds of individual skins now in BOB2 WOV.Battle of France Mission PackageBATTLE OF FRANCE FOR BOBII HERE

Commander level campaign: video tutorials

A collection of video game guides to help those keen to get into the Commander level campaign game but not sure where to start.

Guide to the campaign interface, part 1
What do all those buttons actually do, and which ones are important?
Guide to the campaign interface, part 2
How do I get details on my resources, assets, squadron status, and campaign progress?

Starting a Luftwaffe campaign: 'What to Hit'
The whole of England lies at your feet. Which targets are really critical to victory? Caution: contains potential spoilers!

RAF campaign tips: setting up patrols
How to set up your patrols so you can burn through to the bombers and hit them hard

Luftwaffe campaign: setting up raids
How to set up your Luftwaffe raids so that your bombers are covered by escorts out and back; and which type of raids are most effective.

Luftwaffe campaign: the end game
How to plan your raids for maximum devastation, in the air, and on the ground

Tactical guide: 'Attacking massed bombers'
The toughest task of all. You've broken through the escorts and reached the bomber pack. How can you avoid getting swatted out of the sky in a hail of MG firè?

Update 2.10 first impressions

40 mission Instant Action mission set for Luftwaffe and RAF players! 

With bonus Operation Sealion mission.

Self installer and uninstaller available HERE: (60MB)