Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers

Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers

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Major Johnson Oct 14, 2013 @ 6:42am
Historical accuracy of the planes
Call me a purest, and I'm probably a minority on this point, but I love the fact that the game starts out with the F4F Wildcat, SBD Dauntless and the TBF Devastator aircraft. And although I really like the TBF Avenger, I feel it's brought into the campaign way too soon. Where as there were a handful of Avengers at Midway for the battle, they were not carrier based but flown to Midway from Pearl and were land based. One of the main events of the Midway battle was how every Devastator got shot down with none of them hitting their target and only one pilot surviving, watching the battle from the water. Although I haven't researched it, logic would tell me that the Devastators were also used in the Coral Sea Battle.

The land based fighter at Midway was the Brewster Buffalo, not the P-40 Warhawk as is in the game, although I love the P-40 and I think there should be some DLC for a Flying Tiger Campaign. But how cool would it be to be able to fly a Brewster Buffalo!!! That is one plane that to my knowledge has never been modeled in a game.
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Actually, you're wrong about the Brewster Buffalo. Offhand, I can point to two games that included the Brewster Buffalo, and actually came from the exact opposite ends of the arcade-simulator spectrum: on the simulator end, you had Il-2 Sturmovik: Pacific Fighters (2004), and on the arcade end, there was Combat Wings (2005).

Additionally, a Buffalo can be seen (but not played) in a very tiny cameo role in Combat Wings: Battle of Britain (2006), where we (I worked on the game) used a Buffalo in British colours as a target tug during the tutorial mission. In retrospect, I regret the fact that we didn't make it playable at least in multiplayer, just so people could check it out.

The trouble with the Buffalo, however, is that it's just nothing special. It looks almost identical to the F4F Wildcat (yes, I know, they're actually very different - but most players have a hard time telling a Spitfire apart from a Hurricane, so you can imagine their trouble with the Buffalo and Wildcat :) ). And its performance is far from impressive as well, so...

And yes, you are correct that Devastators were used at Coral Sea. I'm not sure why the decision was made here to use Avengers. Sometimes changes like this are made for game balance purposes, but other times, it can be simply a slip-up.

Major Johnson Oct 14, 2013 @ 2:29pm 
Hi Jake!
Thanks for chiming in!! As a matter of fact, I believe I have the game II2-Pacific fighters sitting on a shelf somewhere!! I just never got around to playing it!! I'll have to load it up over the winter! Come to think of it, I just might have Combat Wings - Battle Of Britain as well!! It's not unusual for me to purchase a game and then forget all about it! Thanks for jogging my memory!!

Also I find it hard to believe that most players can't identify between a Spitfire and a Hurricane. The differences in appearance are plain to see!
Last edited by Major Johnson; Oct 14, 2013 @ 3:31pm
Originally posted by Major Johnson:
Also I find it hard to believe that most players can't identify between a Spitfire and a Hurricane. The differences in appearance are plain to see!
Yeah, you'd think so, wouldn't you? :) But no, to the lay person, they're virtually identical.

Let me tell you about one of my favourite moments during the development of Battle of Britain. We had this fresh young level designer - he was bright, but terribly scatter-brained sometimes. Well, we're approaching the last weeks of production, and one day, out of the blue, I hear the following question: "so, wait, what's the difference between a Stuka and a Messerschmitt again?"

Oh, we laughed and laughed about him for days - but only after I recovered from the shock that had rendered me utterly speechless :).
Major Johnson Oct 19, 2013 @ 7:00pm 
Oddly enough, while playing the Japanese campaign and getting to the Battle of Midway, the American torpedo bombers are the Devastators, and not the Avengers like when you play through the American Campaign.
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