European Air War

MiGMan's Combat Diary, 1998

There are so many ways to start playing this sim it's hard to know where to begin.
For a start, you get to engage in air war in Europe from three different perspectives:

RAF

United Kingdom as a RAF pilot (Royal Air Force).
USA as a USAF pilot (United States Air Force).
Germany as a Luftwaffe pilot.
Landing the Tempest... or in my case BOUNCING the Tempest!
I chose a New Zealand squadron flying Tempest V's. Although the voices sounded rather more like Scotsmen than Kiwis to me.
In the background you can see the smoke from a Jerry fighter. In the foreground you can see the smoke and FLAMES from my poor old Tempest... now where is that Escape and Evasion manual?
Anyhow, accents to the side, these guys sure could fly!
Where there's smoke there's fire. Or so they say.
This was pure and simple dogfighting accompanied by great sound effects like a "plinking" noise which I soon learnt that the engine was overheating and about to throw a rod!

Heading out over the English channel and 20 minutes of trying to stay in formation... or you can press Alt-N to skip to the action.
I headed off into some the most intense and varied dogfighting I'd ever encounterd in a sim. The German pilots weren't afraid to mix it up right down on to the deck... I'm talking about below treetop level here.

USAF

P-47 climbs away from a burning train
After the bombers had finished their business I usually headed for the deck and followed a main road in the general direction of "home". Flying at about 1,000 and off to one side lets you look out the side of the canopy (visibility over the nose is not too good). Any higher and it can be hard to spot the vehicles and trains. Once you've scored a hit the tall, black smoke columns make it easier... although the remaining vehicles will sometimes drive off the road and under trees!
Just head for the smoke.
The P-47 doesn't climb as well as some of the German fighters but accelerates very quickly in a dive. Chalking up the air kills is a risky business in EAW anyway.. the various ground targets make for a very tempting alternative.
Two German half-tracks burning after a P-47 attack

Luftwaffe

Me-262

Feeling the need for speed I jumped into the Messerschmidt 262.

What a buzz!
With the sound cranked up I started first the left engine.
I listened to it spool up and immersed myself in the truly satisfying howl of this Wagnerian Valkyrie.

It is damnab;y noisy in this cockpit! Great.
Now the right engine.... even noisier, excellent.

My Me-262 dashes over the forest.

A painterly palette

The first thing that struck me about this sim was the character of the graphics.
It is almost as if the sim were rendered in pastels and crayons. In fact it feels like you are flying in a painting by Robert Taylor, a poetic environment.

The presentation of the sim was the apogee of Microprose's traditions of creating totally immersive sim environments, from the interface to the hangar, and from cockpit to the scenery.

These images were taken in 1998 using a Creative 3D Blaster Banshee.