Desastersoft’s Channel Battles Page 4

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Then suddenly I see puffs of flak. And small dots heading in toward the English coast. Bandits! Bombers, with escorts high. The squadron leader calls “Tally Ho!”.

Desastersoft's Channel Battles -  Puffs of flak and "Tally Ho!"

The Controller is still calling vectors as I have a long squirt at a Dornier. Thanks Old chap, I think I can take it from here! Tracer hits sparkle across his fuselage. But before I can finish the Do17 off I see a Spit in trouble. I try to go to his rescue. Unfortunately, the dogfight spirals away from me and I go to full throttle to catch up. Luckily, the action comes back toward me. In the next few minutes I get solid hits on a 109…

Desastersoft's Channel Battles -  I get solid hits on a 109...

Desastersoft does a good job of tweaking the AI skill sliders to stop the worst of the “F16 barrel roll” type of behavior, but they can only work with the code they are given, and there is still quite a bit of silly flick rolling from my opponent until I nail him.

Meanwhile Dover RDF is still busily updating me on where all the enemy groups are.

I splash my 109, because with its flick rolling and short break turns the AI doesn’t make use of the 109s better diving speed.

Desastersoft's Channel Battles -  I splash my 109...

Another couple of machines flash across my nose, and I fruitlessly try to stick with them. I see now a squadron of Hurricanes have joined us. The more the merrier but suddenly I need to be much more careful about who I shoot at!

Desastersoft's Channel Battles - Another couple of machines flash across my nose...

However, I soon give up the chase as the enemy pulls away from me, streaming glycol. Pretty sure I could chase him down, if I had the patience, because Cliffs of Dover models engine damage well and his performance will degrade as he runs his engine hot.

Desastersoft's Channel Battles - The enemy pulls away from me...

But patience is not my virtue. I give him a deflection burst at long distance out of pure hope, and run my guns dry. If I hit him, it doesn’t slow him down. He keeps pulling away, streaming vapor.

Desastersoft's Channel Battles - I give him a deflection burst at long distance out of pure hope, and run my guns dry.

Now it is time to head home. Checking the in-game map I can see the Hurricanes who were in the furball have already broken off and are landing at Hawkinge. What enemy planes I can see, are also heading home anyway. I head in the general direction of Hornchurch.

Desastersoft's Channel Battles -  I head in the general direction of Hornchurch.

And arrive to find…

Desastersoft's Channel Battles - And arrive to find...

The erks haven’t even pulled the two wrecked aircraft off the landing field! Dash their lazy hides. One kite is a burning pyre, and the other is sitting on the grass strip about fifty feet away, apparently damaged, its prop is spinning but it isn’t moving.

As I join the landing pattern, I can see the other aircraft, rather than using the (admittedly shorter) landing strip free of debris, are putting their machines down in between the two crashed aircraft, apparently without any problem. While this seems crazy, I take it as a dare.

Desastersoft's Channel Battles - I join the landing pattern.

I too line up to bring my Spit in between the fire on the left, and the stationary wreck on the right.

Desastersoft's Channel Battles - I line up to bring my Spitfire in...

I touch down, a little to the right of center, and my nerve breaks. Convinced I am headed straight for the stationary Spit…

Desastersoft's Channel Battles - I touch down...

I kick in left rudder, hit the throttle, and bounce into the air.

Desastersoft's Channel Battles - Bounce...

Clean over the stationary Spitfire. Whew, so I would have hit him…

Desastersoft's Channel Battles - I clear the stationary Spitfire...

But I don’t have enough forward momentum even at full throttle, I flop down again, burst a tire, and pitch on to my nose.

Desastersoft's Channel Battles - Nose over...

I congratulate myself for still being alive… but not for long.

As I am trying desperately to unbuckle and get out of my machine, one of the other idiots in the landing pattern behind me — who apparently likes the challenge of trying to land in between THREE crashed aircraft — comes boring in and cleans me up.

Ouch!

Desastersoft's Channel Battles - Ouch!

There endeth my campaign. My personal end of mission report doesn’t look that bad. In fact, it looks like I got the only kills (and damage) of the dogfight — the other chaps got thrashed.

Desastersoft's Channel Battles - There endeth my campaign. My personal end of mission report doesn't look that bad...

The end of mission message does not look good, especially in German. “Scheitern?” That sounds rude…

Desastersoft's Channel Battles - "Scheitern?" That sounds rude...

Yes, it is…

Desastersoft's Channel Battles - That sounds rude. It is...

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