Storm of War

Recently, the in-mission RADAR was updated. It is no longer possible to request a RADAR report “on demand” via the F10 menu. Rather, at set intervals (currently testing 5 and 6 minutes) the server will automatically populate a text message out to each player. This message will report the basic location and heading details of the nearest two enemy aircraft which have been identified by the RADAR.
The primary reason for making this change, was to dial back on the RADAR as a tool for directing dogfights. Under the on-call system, it was possible to use the RADAR to assist with near-contact acquisition. Furthermore, the on-call RADAR made it very difficult for players to disengage from combat, as their position would be constantly given away by the RADAR reporting.
The updated system appears already to have been effective in achieving its intended result. At the same time, player behavior has begun to change slightly, and the following key observations can now be made with some confidence.

  1. Milling about over a ground target is no longer viable. Previously, a ground attacker could, for the most part, loiter for extended periods of time over a ground target making multiple passes, at will, generally safe from a “bounce” due to the constantly available RADAR information. Upon the receipt of a “near” bandit report, the attacker could then decide to depart the target area. This made for the somewhat unrealistic scenario where ground attackers would do just that, loiter over a target for extended periods without real concern for visual airspace observation.
    Times have changed. Target loitering is now a risky behaviour. The 1-pass or 2-pass attack is now becoming standard as ground attackers look to get in and out of the target area within the few minute window between the automatic RADAR reports. Overall this represents a more similar approach to ground attack that was deployed during the Normandy campaign, at least until the closing of the Falaise Pocket!
  2. Group flying is now more effective. More eyes, more guns and a greater chance that the enemy won’t know you are coming have made solo flying more dangerous, and group flying more effective – especially in the air to air scenarios. It’s already apparent that there has been an increase in the willingness and desire for virtual pilots to group up for mutual protection, knowing that they cannot simply rely on the on-demand RADAR to be their extra set of eyes, and their near-space situational awareness.
  3. Loose formations are less effective. At the same time as grouping up has become MORE effective, the failure to deploy a moderately close combat formation has opened the door for confusion. It is no longer possible to quickly consult the in-mission RADAR to find out whether a sneaky interloper has weaved his or her way into the formation, and is about to open up on Smithers back there. Visual scanning is now more necessary, and, furthermore, knowning who is where in the formation has become critical. A loose and fluid formation runs the risk of providing a wily hostile with a golden opportunity to get a quick victory before anyone is any the wiser.
  4. SRS/ Coms more important. The loss of the close-in-high-frequency Situation Awareness provided by the on-call RADAR now has to be compensated for with added pilot to pilot communication. SRS or other voice coms are additionally important now, even more than they have been with the old RADAR.
  5. Altitude is life, still. Flying at an altitude that take more than 6 minutes to climb to is now one of the critical ways to avoid being snuck up on. Any hostile which is looking to hunt you down is going to have to exposure themselves to RADAR. An enemy that hides under the RADAR on the deck, or tries to deploy ground masking, is going to struggle to sneak up on you with the adjusted RADAR. At some point, that enemy is going to have to climb up to you, and in doing so, they’ll expose themselves to RADAR during a reporting window. Furthermore, now that your foe cannot use the RADAR to track you if you successfully dis-engage, being able to separate with a dive from altitude is going to save some bacon, that otherwise might be fried.

The RADAR changes remain in testing and observation, but for now, it looks like it has been a successful update. Thanks from the server admins to Hammer for suggesting we adopt the non-solicited RADAR approach.
Let us know in the comments/ reply section if you’ve noticed a change in the way the missions are being played.

An observation that is repeatedly made on the Storm of War (SoW) server, and also the associated discord chat and forum posts, is the perceived Red-v-Blue balance. That is, the number pilots flying on the Red (= Allies) side vs the number of pilots flying on the Blue (=Axis) side at any given moment on the SoW server. Checking the numbers for the last 6 months, we see a consistent 3:2 ratio of Red:Blue flight hours, but it is tipping further in favour of Red as time goes on. Some think that this might be a problem, like having stacked teams. This article takes a look at the phenomenon and tries to find some reasons, and some alternatives, to the current situation.

Before we start

There are a few matters that we need to clear up before we look at the main issue.

Humans vs AI — Often when people look at the balance, they are only looking at the human-count. This is what shows up on multiplayer lobby screen, and what you would see if you called up the score-card in-game. However, SoW has a large contingent of AI aircraft, from lone reconnaissance to large bomber formations. Sometimes the numbers are not quite what they seem.

Timezone — Sometimes there are timezone differences. On SoW, we see the euro-timezones being reasonably balanced, whereas the american ones are rather lopsided.

Point of view — You tend to notice it being unbalanced when you are flying the outnumbered side.

Numbers does not equal balance — differences in aircraft performance (don’t go there!), pilot skill, communications, teamwork, a ground-controller (GCI), Flak/AAA, objectives and the previously-mentioned AI aircraft will all skew the balance.

History — The SoW server is currently set in 1944, post-invasion. The Luftwaffe was outnumbered by 15:1.

Is it a problem? — SoW is not trying to be a balanced dogfight server. Instead, it is aiming for a sense of history and immersion. If a Blue pilot is feeling intimidated and hopeless going up, then we’re getting it right. Likewise, if a Red pilot is feeling the skies are empty, then that was also an historical experience.

However, it might not be “fun”.

Better off Red?

So why do more people fly Red? Well, there are lots of reasons. Here are a few of them.

National-flying — there is a tendency of people to want to fly their own side. And, with the modern populations of (especially) the United States and the British Commonwealth, as well as Russia, France, etc. etc. there are simply going to be more people wanting to fly USAAF or RAF than those from the Germanic countries. And if they, on average, fly their own side you can expect a huge imbalance.

Politics — then there is the inescapable association of the LW with the political dictatorship behind it. Some people refuse on principle to fly with the black cross. Others are disuaded by the name-calling (kraut, fascist, jerry, nazi, bosch, etc.) that is levelled at the Blue side.

Winning side — some will want to fly for the winning side, and we all know the outcome of the War.

Language — Then there is a language issue. I’ve seen people complainging about the German cockpit labels, the names of the equipment, and other such things. English is simply more common, and thus easier, for many.

Measurement units — Related to that are the units of measure. Personally, I find those feet/pounds/inches/gallons a reason not to fly Red, but there are a lot who prefer them. Especially given that the US-dominated aviation industry has made imperial measures standard.

Performance — Not surprisingly the best performing DCS WW2 aircraft (P-51D) is the most popular on SoW.

New — New is interesting and, just at the moment, the P-47D is the new-kid on the blocks.

Not easy to learn — DCS, being more realistic, is also harder to learn. You really need to put time into mastering the aircraft. So you are more likely to do this for an aircraft you love. Whether deserved or not, there are more people who love the Allied aircraft.

Not easy to swap — You can’t flit between different aircraft easily like you can in War Thunder or IL2:Great Battles. Apart from the key-controller-bindings, the handling of each aircraft is really different.

Money — Oh, and you need to purchase each module too. Not everyone has a Blue module (although, technically, everyone has a Red one – TF51D!). But the point is that swapping sides is more of an issue if you need to buy an aircraft first.

But it wasn’t like this in CloD?!

Also, for those of you who remember when SoW ran a IL-2: Cliffs of Dover (CloD) server, they may not remember this level of imbalance.

Well, there sort of was. I do not have many numbers, but the few cases I found were still Red-favoured. Out of 8 cases I found from old screenshots and videos, there was one exception (Brooklands Raid) which was 40 Blue (16 bombers, 24 fighters) against 30 Red fighters.

It is not that flying preferences have changed much, but in SoW-CloD the scenario was different to SoW-DCS.

In 1940, the bombing raids (and thus mission focus) were usually AI, scripted, and ever-present. It did not matter if the Red side was in ascendancy, as there were always raids of bombers coming over and defence was needed. That then helped the Blue pilots. Despite their inferior numbers, a large raid was either a distraction, or a focus for the human pilots. By the time of the 1944 scenario, the tables have turned and the Blue pilot is outnumbered not just by Red fighters, but has to deal with the incoming A-20 and B-17 raids too.

Additionally, in 1940 Blue had an area advantage, being able to attack starting from Oye-Plage to Querqueville. In 1944, even with a-historic comprimises (Lessay, Maupertus and Caen should not be used), the number of LW bases is extremely limited, Allied radar is good, and vectoring Red pilots to victims is easy.

Can’t we do a Blue-offensive map?

With the release of the Channel map, one idea might be to go back to the Battle of Britain scenario, like what worked for CloD? This is simply not feasible.

Firstly, the Channel Map has a lot of major problems. Performance (in terms of frames per second) is sub-par. It is unlikely that this will be fixed any time soon, so we are really waiting for hardware to catch up. Again a long wait.

Then the Channel Map has other major problems. Such as a lack of airfields. For the time period of the map, for example, there is not a single operational LW airfield present. The historicity of the map is poor, with it difficult to contrive any time frame that does not clash in some way.

The Channel Map area is also limited. With so few airfields, clashes will naturally end up focused into a small area. It is difficult to support, for example, 1940 raids on Biggin Hill or the massive air battle over Dieppe in August 1942. Seriously, the total number of airfields on the Channel Map, let alone period-accurate ones, is abyssmal.

As a result, not too many people have the Channel Map… and we are already low on numbers in DCS due to the complexity of the aircraft, lack of WW2 assets, etc.. An SoW-move to the Channel would indeed split our SoW community.

But there are other problems with reversing the scenario. At the moment, there are no LW bombers. Yes, there is a Ju-88, but it is torpedo bomber, not a level bomber. We could try to re-skin the A-20 as a mutant Do-217? Or pretend that KG200 was operating hoards of captured B-17s. But then everyone has to have these paintscheme-mods (we don’t have default German markings for those the way we have British markings for the FW190). And re-skinned Allied aircraft is probably a bridge-too-far for the already-stretched imaginations of our virtual pilots.

And then the WW2 Assets pack does not suit a role reversal either. The Allies have no good low-level anti-aircraft gun (equivalent to the Flak-Vierling). Barrage balloons and other assets are still not working in multiplayer. All of these hinder a Red-defence scenario.

So forget it. There is no easy way to reverse the scenario in DCS with the current aircraft, maps and assets.

Set to get worse?

Things are unlikely to improve. The P-47D is increasing in popularity, and this will likely continue… especially with the recent arrival of the new variants and armaments. And the future release of the DH-98 Mk.VI fighterbomber will again draw more pilots to the Red side. There is an F4U Corsair on the horizon, and plans for a P-38L Lightning too. Yet, there is still no sign of the FW 190 F/G-8, let alone the Bf-109 G-6 or Me-262. And we are aware of the already-anachronistic use of the 190 D-9 and 109 K-4 for Normandy scenarios and would like to remove them. Hmm… not easy.


DCS is a superb simulator in terms of aircraft fidelity. Yet it is also really limited in setting up a scenario to remedy a natural preponderance of players to fly the Red side.

In the meantime, Red pilots need to diversify their portfolio away from purely air-to-air. Fly more ground attack, anti-shipping, bomber escort missions, and so on. Blue pilots have to get organised. Teamwork, communications and GCI.

Otherwise, if any of you have ideas or suggestions, do let us know in the comments below or via discord.

How long have you been playing flight sims?
Over ten years now, although DCS is the only combat flight sim I have ever used for any considerable length of time. I have flown FSX and I’m keeping an eye on the new Microsoft flight sim as it looks beautiful and it may tempt me out the combat seat for the odd day.

What other gaming interests do you have besides WW2 flight simming?
Ive been gaming since ZX spectrum days. I love turn based strategy games HOI XCom etc. I played a lot of Pavlov (counterstrike VR) I also have a soft spot for KSP (Kerbal space program).

What’s your all time favorite flight sim and why?
Shock horror its DCS. Every time a new module is added i like to tinker and learn its quirks and features. I would say master them but I’m 10 years into DCS and still a beginner!

What got you into DCS and the warbrids in particular?
The A-10c got me into DCS, I’m ex armed forces and i still remember seeing (and hearing) the Hogs for the first time 18 years ago. I was determined to find the most accurate flight sim with them in. As for warbirds it was the stay at home sale video 3 months ago. At the very end of the video the 109 cruises past and it just sounded amazing so i picked it up, shortly followed by the rest of the warbirds. Looking back i cant believe it taken ten years for me to see that shooting missiles is cool but 150 yard gun kills is where the fun is.

Describe your play style/ what interests you as a player?
Complete mixed bag, if there are enemy players on I will hunt them, we will usually always go up to attack bombers and if there’s a quiet spell we will strap bombs on and either hit objectives, ships or airfields.

Are you in a virtual squadron?
I’m a member of JG53. We are all relatively new to warbirds and formed by chance after flying together a few times and linking up to take on tasks together. We are mainly 109s but our latest pilot (Burrito) likes his beloved FW-190 A8.

It has been noted from the Storm of War stats pages that you use the 109 for ground attack a lot and not the 190. Any tips for aspiring 109-Jabo pilots?
Watch your speed, the 109 controls get stiff if you are to fast and you will become a lawn dart. Delayed fuses can allow you to drop much lower in a shallow dive but this will expose you more to ground units returning fire. Above all practice, practice, practice.

What kind of rig/ hardware setup do you have?
16 Gigs Ram (next upgrade)
Index VR
Thrustmaster Warthog Hotas and rudder pedals
Old creaky chair.

Are you unhappy with any aspect of your setup right now that you’d change if you could?
I need a new gaming seat and 32GB of ram would be nice. Its always the poor old seat that gets neglected when everything else gets an upgrade!

What’s the single best piece of Hardware you ever bought to make DCS WW2 (or WW2 simming in general) more enjoyable?
VR transformed flight sims for me and i love my VR headset but could not imagine flying without a good Hotas. This again ties in to VR as you are essentially blind with the headset on so having everything mapped on a Hotas is essential.

What are your top THREE tips for new players?

  1. Read the briefing and check the map for friendly and enemy airfields. Knowing where the nearest friendly airfield is that you can run to for a repair and get some Flak cover is a lifesaver if you have taken damage or a fight starts to turn bad.
  2. Just like a poker game you have to know when to throw your cards. Not every situation you find yourself in will be favorable, don’t force a bad move. Its far better to disengage reform and re-attack.
  3. I could say SRS and a wing-man but I’m sure that’s been covered, so lastly i would just say have fun. Don’t beat yourself up

What is the single simplest/ lowest effort thing that ED can change about DCS WW2 to have the most positive impact right now?
All the Multiplayer issues with trains barrage balloons etc! Its great that the assets pack continues to grow but its a little frustrating that we cant use them in multiplayer. If I could wave a magic wand i would also make the Normandy map and Channel map merge as one uber map.

“Did you know” is a series of perhaps lesser known features and details about the DCS WW2 aircraft. though not necessarily important to know in order to fly the aircraft, they are still interesting and if known, may prove useful. In this article, we’re discussing some features of the Spitfire.

Morse Code Signal Lamp:
The Spitfire has a built in and fully functional Morse Code key and visual lamp system. A white lamp can be found just rear of the antenna behind the cockpit, a second laps on the fuselage underside between the landing gear.
In the cockpit, upper starboard side wall, just aft of where the front panel meets the starboard side wall, a component with three switches is mounted. Two switches enable/disable the lamps and the middle switch is actually a Morse Code key. Short tap for “di” and long tap for “dah”.
Used as a means of communication when radio discipline was critical, such as coordinating a fighter formation prior to an attack or perhaps as a identifier for friendly contacts in low light or dark conditions when regrouping, the Morse Code lamps could almost easily allow the pilot to clearly and quickly identify themselves to other allies pilots in their airspace. I say ‘almost easily’, because, if you fly the spitfire, you’ll soon find yourself doing a little hand gymnastics in the cockpit as you swap your left hand from the throttle to the stick, to allow you to use your right hand to operate the Morse key. Alternatively you could try using your left hand …. but that’s even more awkward. There’s something ‘very British’ about the placement of some controls in the cockpit after all.
Pilots were required to be proficient in Morse Code to a standard of at least15 words per minute (wpm)

Oil Dilute control:
When operating in cold winter conditions, the Spitfire cockpit has, accessible to the pilot, an engine oil dilution control which as the name suggests, dilutes the engine oil. Used typically during startup, these controls can be found beside the pilots seat, lower port side, under the elevator trim controls. There are three black cap covered buttons, aligned in a vertical orientation, with the top one being the oil dilute control.
The reason for this control is simple. In very cold and wintry conditions, when the aircraft as sat un-used for any reasonable length of the time, the engine oil, vital for the lubrication of and sustained operation of the engine, will have low viscosity, meaning it won’t be flow easily enough to properly lubricate the engine upon start up. Given the oil cannot do it’s job because it too cold and thick, this will prematurely damage the engine. After starting, the engine will eventually warm up, the lubricating oil will become more viscous and begin to do it’s job properly. However, without diluting the oil prior to start up, it’ll be too late and the damage will already be done.
The solution is to dilute this thicker cold less viscous engine oil before turning over the engine to ensure it can do it’s job straight away. This is achieved by mixing the engine oil with fuel from from the fuel tank, controlled by the button on the left of the pilots seat. The result required is an oil pressure of less than 120 psi and thereby, a more easily flowing (more viscous) engine oil. This cost merely a few quarts of engine fuel but can help ensure the engine wear is minimised when being started in very cold conditions. The fuel itself essentially evaporates from the oil soon after and causes not issues. There is a gauge in the front panel in the Spitfire which displays the oil pressure to the pilot. This is the long vertical gauge, marked in orange or yellow and located low center right on the front panel.

Once the engine starts, it is important to let it warm up before being put under load. It is unclear at the time writing, the extent to which Eagle Dynamics intend to implement engine management within it’s forth coming and much anticipated damage model update.
Do you have knowledge of other system in the DCS Spitfire which have been implemented yet mostly sit there quietly, unused or unknown. Do drop a comment below.

Taped Gun and Cannon Ports:
Perhaps you have noticed, perhaps you’ve not. The Spitfire’s gun and cannon ports are taped with red tape as part of the ground crews service and overhaul when you take a new plane. When you jump into a new aircraft, you’ll notice that read tape is applied on the leading edge of the wing and on the cannon muzzles. The reason is simple, it indicated that the guns and cannons have been serviced and are ready to go
However, say you land, taxi off the runway, stay in your aircraft and call your ground crew with an order to immediately reload and refuel. Your crew chief will get his team right on it and then let you know when the action is completed. You may notice that they won’t re-tape the gun and cannon ports.

Eagle Dynamics appear to have modeled this also and it makes sense. In this case, taping the gun and cannon ports wouldn’t make sense as it’s not at all important and would take unnecessary time. Pretty cool minor details I think

About the Author: Joker has been flying WW2 flight sims for a number of years and flies primarily on the allied side, with 54 Virtual Squadron. Joker also has a Youtube channel where he posts aviation and road vehicle simming videos:

AAR from our July 2nd flight on Storm of War, featuring Rob, Mother, Bowsewr and Chuck.

17 June, 1944. D-Day is just behind us, but the war in the West is far from over. Allied forces have secured a beachhead in Normandy, but German forces still control Cherbourg and the majority of the Cotentin Peninsula.

We are assigned to the 336th Fighter Group, which is based in Saint-Pierre-du-Mont. A squadron of P-47 Thunderbolts and a squadron of P-51 Mustangs are both stationed there.

Saint-Pierre-du-Mont has great strategic value at this time since M64 and M65 bombs just got shipped from England, which allows us to support ground troops without having to fly all the way back to Ford or Funtington. As I fire up my trusty Thunderbolt, Rob, Mother and Bowsewr finish their engine run-up before taxiing to runway 27. We load up bombs and extra fuel in the auxiliary tank.

As we line up on the runway, we have a grim reminder that fighting is still going in the push towards Cherbourg. From the airfield, smoke columns are visible near Azeville and Sainte-Mère-Église. We perform last minute checks (trim, flaps, tailwheel locked, boost off, propeller at max) as radar operators inform us that no air threats are expected in the vicinity. However, we still have an uneasy feeling that this could change at any minute.

Our mission is to intercept a few German Schnellboots. According to intelligence reports, the flotilla is following the Cotentin Peninsula and heading North. Armed with this knowledge, we plan our flight accordingly and prepare for a long flight.

We throttle up and depart West towards Utah Beach. We start climbing as fast as we can using the best climb speed (160 mph). Down low, the Jug is a real pig… but up high it is a very potent fighter. We follow the coast towards Barfleur without seeing any sign of enemy aircraft. As we draw closer to Cherbourg, we realize that cloud cover will make ship spotting a bit difficult. Therefore, we decide to head North towards the Channel to try to find these ships.

After a good half-hour of flying, our auxiliary tanks are drained and we have to switch to the main tank. That still gives us a good 250 gal of fuel, which is more than enough for our mission. After roughly 20 minutes of flight across the Channel, we still haven’t seen any ship at all. The clouds make our job quite difficult since we can barely keep everyone in visual while flying between the puffy clouds.

We then dive down below the clouds to try to better spot the fleet, and steer South towards Alderney. Once again, no Schnellboots in sight. Could our intel be wrong? In hindsight, we suspect the flotilla could’ve been sighted much further South towards Granville or Mont Saint-Michel… but instead we elect to turn back towards the coast to strike some ground targets.

Our alternate target is a Telecommunication Station North-West of Valognes. Rob’s eagle eye finds the communications centre, and a few minutes later we all start our bombing run.

Rob and I go first, and the first pass completely smashes the communications center. Angry tracers graze us left and right. Bowsewr and Mother join the party and we end up busting a few bunkers. After a few more passes, the whole camp lies in ruins. We then head back to Saint-Pierre-du-Mont for some well earned R&R. Interestingly, what was originally meant to be an anti-shipping mission turned into a very successful air-to-ground strike mission.

About the Author: Chuck Owl is a keen WW2 flight simmer who has been part of the multiplayer community for a number of years. Chuck is also famous for producing the highly detailed “Chuck’s Guides” to DCS aircraft.

Incorrectly, Mark Twain is often credited with the quote “There are three kinds of lies; lies, damn lies and statistics“. It seems that statistics have an interesting following, particularly where competition exists. “We do so love to hate and hate to even admit we love looking at statistics don’t we?” Twain didn’t say that either.
Whether it’s racing (any format), football, hockey, chess or even poker playing, any following of competitive sport will almost never be without a crop of statistics near-by to provide additional detail and insight (or confusion). Usually used to either justify the reasoning behind an expectation, a bet or to satisfy a claim made prior, statistics are either praised as an oracle or dismissed as falsehoods when the final result comes in.

Storm of War has had statistics established since its beginning. Indeed, there has always been a results table in flight simulators and Storm of War server (similarly to all servers) leveraged it. However, it was quite quickly identified that the default flight sim results tables were not up the task for SoW and during the former IL2-CLoD days, much effort and design went into developing and managing statistics.

The vast majority of virtual pilots are, most likely, checking in on their stats regularly. Sure a very few claim no interest but I suspect they were sneaking a peek on the side anyway! It’s not vanity or even curiosity. It’s a natural response of any competition loving person. The latest evolution of Storm of War is on the DCS platform and the SoW statistics are again back and active. Hundreds of pilots are logging results every month.
There is a very important observation that came from the previous IL2-CLoD statistics days which is particular to how SoW is setup and that’s the Squadron statistics. As individual pilots, your performance is there to be seen and a good session at the stick can return some quite handsome results to be rightly proud of. However, if you are a member of the Squadron, then there’s a knock on effect from your personal score, of raising your Squadron’s profile and this is what SoW is really all about. To be clear, there is plenty of room for individual pilots to be fully catered for; after all, the base level for the statistics is the ‘Pilot’ level. It’s the fold up of these collectively into the Squadron level that provides the motivation and reason for Squadrons to fly on SoW to most all SoW pilots and virtual squadrons.

But …(like some cringy TV infomercial selling you overpriced ‘amazing’ cotton socks) …there’s more !
The SoW Campaign summary is the summation of every individual pilot’s record during the month of operations combined to provide a ‘quick glance’ state of play.

Every time a pilot chooses to fight with a sense of self preservation and bring the plane back to base instead of risking all, it has a positive impact on the teams overall result.

One other pretty cool thing that SoW does (it’s not exclusive or original to SoW) is the issuance of medals at the end of each month. The statistics reset, with that previous months results archived and available to see. Pilots who have had a good month and achieved notable mentions, may in some cases receive additional medals on their name to reward them for exceptional results. This is all to recognize those pilots who have put in the seat time, flown tactically and in doing so, enhanced the furthered the strategic aims of their side.

The true motivation of the SoW statistics, even though there is individual pilot information available, is aimed at explaining the overall monthly score for each team and through this, to encourage teamwork, cooperation and flying together with purpose. Just as the server missions track the history of the WW2 air war, the statistics are very much a nod to the reality of all sides back then, when blood and treasure was spent in the pursuit of victory.

Besides providing performance data back to players, the presentation of statistics can also be used by the server to encourage certain types of game-play. But highlighting certain types of successes, player behaviour can be adapted to better reflect the intentions and design philosophy of the server (such as team-play, and providing a diverse target environment for both air-to-air and air-to-ground combat).

Storm of War, for anyone new to this server takes no side, promotes no political point of view and is focused on the simple idea, yet challenging task of creating a fun environment to fly simulated warbirds.

About the Author: Joker has been flying WW2 flight sims for a number of years and flies primarily on the allied side, with 54 Virtual Squadron. Joker also has a Youtube channel where he posts aviation and road vehicle simming videos:

Eagle Dynamics offered, during the early Covid-19 pandemic, free access to their aircraft modules for a limited time. This attracted significant numbers of new players to DCS, many of whom are joining the online flying community for the first time. This article is a personal description of how I found my way into the SoW community in particular.

For years, I flew alone in single player and I had good fun too. However, looking back and comparing my single player experiences with my current multiplayer experiences, I am glad I jumped in and started to chat and say hi. I soon found folks to fly with, which significantly improved combat flight simming for me. Thanks to the development of some really nice Voice-Over-IP tools like SRS multiplayer communication is at a level now where all sorts of play styles can be enhanced with online radio coms. Despite this obvious enhancement, for some players, using voice coms can still be a little intimidating.

When I first joined a multiplayer server, it was actually not a lot different to playing single player. I was going about my usual solo routine. But then, as I taxied out to the threshold, I received a message that a pilot was coming in to land at the same runway I was taxiing towards. I halted my aircraft to wait for his landing to be completed. Just after he set down right in front of me the radio came alive, “ Spitfire at threshold, thanks for waiting, runway clear, have a good one”.
Whaat?!! That was a message to me! Wow! Somewhere I mustered the decision to press the Transmit button and radio, “Spitfire, runway 16, taking off, departure to the west” and then I rolled and made sure I performed a good takeoff, maybe someone was watching.

After a few sessions, I began to recognize a few names and soon enough, I would meet them in the air and perhaps co-ordinating our efforts in a dogfight. Not long after, we got talking.This is how I ended flying with a group of folks and ultimately becoming good friends.

By regularly flying with others, the benefits have been huge. My skills have greatly improved and it is way more fun. However, the biggest benefit is that you can protect your flying buddy or wing-man and they can protect you also. This means you’ll be more tactically aware and successful more often. Simply flying with one other pilot on your wing can make a huge difference.

I really encourage everyone to get onto SRS on SoW and if you are flying alone, look out for opportunities to join up in the sky. You wont regret it.

About the Author: Joker has been flying WW2 flight sims for a number of years and flies primarily on the allied side, with 54 Virtual Squadron. Joker also has a Youtube channel where he posts aviation and road vehicle simming videos:

SRS is available here:

Look out for “Radio Check”, my next article specially about SRS on Storm of War server.