| Battle of Britain
by Leonard "Viking1" Hjalmarson
Planning and The Info War
What you see in the game is a nicely rendered Britain and the area of the North Sea and Western European coast. Small aircraft move about, with their shadows floating below on the landscape, airfields and buildings. Small movies play to represent some events (you can configure the frequency in the preferences.) Overall the game looks nice and sounds alright, but this isn't the heart of a good wargame. Information isn't always handled well enough.
For example, that batch of aircraft that are now intercepting your bomber group: how many are there? What altitude are they coming in at? Your decisions are made from lists, but none of the lists can be sorted. Furthermore, how does the player relate the lists to the map? The map lacks place names and needs more display filters. The inclusion of an actual paper map would have helped.
There are deeper gameplay issues here as well, though it's tough to tell whether they are a function of actual historical issues. If you play for the Germans, bombing British power plants will bring the game to an end quickly, as the manual points out. Mind you, after the first patch additional AA units were added around power plants so the task has become more difficult.
Reviewing Luftwaffe Missions
Prior to the 1.02 patch playing for the British was also less interesting because German AI concentrated on British airfields. It wasn't possible to destroy aircraft on the ground, and airfield damage was always repaired in record time. Post patch, the AI has been tweaked and aircraft are destroyed on the ground while airfields themselves are not so quickly repaired. British AA accuracy has been slightly improved and fatigue AI is now working properly.
BoB Action and Movies
A feature added by the 1.01 patch is the ability to click on any HQ shown on the map to highlight all attached airfields and subordinate commands (blue highlights above.) Once you have a command group highlighted and then click on a British target to view the range the game will find the nearest airfield of that highlighted group. And, depending upon the max range you've set on the "Set Bomber Targets" tab (see feature #5 below), a red range circle appears showing you the maximum mission range that units from that command group will fly (if you allow your staff to plot raids for that Luftlotte).
Rangeing the Target
This feature works nicely, but is hampered by the challenge of finding a particular HQ. An additional filter is needed to highlight HQs for quick selection.
The ability to auto-plan missions is another new feature added to the German Raid Planning tab. If this feature is toggled ON, your staff will auto-plot all your missions for the upcoming day. The plotted raids appear immediately in the "review missions" list, and you may modify them normally.
Go to Page Three: Summary
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Last Updated July 22nd, 1999