Special Aircraft Service

Individual Mod Downloads for IL-2 1946 => Skins, Maps, Missions & Campaigns => Campaigns => Topic started by: DHumphrey on July 03, 2018, 03:01:37 PM

Title: Bite of the Black Widow
Post by: DHumphrey on July 03, 2018, 03:01:37 PM
Hello All,

Here is my "newest" campaign creation for the community.

(https://image.ibb.co/e5g5Zy/bwtital.jpg)

A semi-historical 23-mission campaign based on units that flew the P-61 Black Widow Fighter in the Pacific and Europe in 1944 thru the end of the war in 1945.

When the United States entered the war in December 1941, the wheels were already in motion for production of a specialized American all-weather night fighter. Northrop won the contract for what would become the P-61 Black Widow, the first aircraft designed from the ground up for the task. It would carve out a widely feared reputation with both Japanese and Luftwaffe aircrews that flew night missions. The Widow’s lethal bite could rival anything the enemy had to offer. It bristled with four forward-firing 20mm cannons in the belly and a dorsal turret that held four .50-caliber machine guns.

The first P-61s did not reach the forward areas in the Pacific until late June 1944. As a result, the Black Widow’s amazing record was compiled in just over a year. The 6th Night Fighter Squadron was the first to receive the new aircraft. The squadron had already seen combat in the Pacific, flying the Douglas P-70, a night fighter developed from the A-20 Havoc. In early March 1944, the 6th was pulled back to Hawaii to prepare for delivery of the new night fighter, which began arriving in early May. A short time later, the squadron was checked out, and its pilots began their long flight to Saipan.

Because Saipan was constantly raided at night by Japanese bombers, there was very little time for the 6th to get adjusted. Its crews were almost immediately thrown into demanding night patrols.

Isley Field, Saipan:
(https://image.ibb.co/dnuQZy/grab0019.jpg)

The first unit to receive the P-61 was the 348th Night Fighter Squadron based in Florida. A training unit, the 348th prepared crews for deployment to Europe. Additional training facilities were also used in California. While night fighter squadrons overseas transitioned to the P-61 from other aircraft, such as the Douglas P-70 and British Bristol Beaufighter, many Black Widow units were formed from scratch in the United States. In February 1944, the first P-61 squadrons, the 422nd and 425th, shipped out for Britain.

These aircraft were unique and on July 16, Lieutenant Herman Ernst scored the P-61's first kill when he downed a V-1 flying bomb. Moving across the Channel later in the summer, P-61 units began to engage manned German opposition and posted an admirable success rate. Though some aircraft were lost to accidents and ground fire, none were downed by German aircraft.

V-1 and V-2 Launching Areas:

(https://image.ibb.co/hWY8nJ/grab0003.jpg)

(https://image.ibb.co/g0LSgd/grab0001.jpg)

I tried to keep the campaign as historical as possible with correct dates and times that I've been to accurately research. Due to limitations of the flight simulation some minor deviations were required, however, these deviations do not detract from the historical value depicted in this campaign.

I hope you enjoy.  :)

*See Read-Me file for skin artists.

Campaign has been submitted to M4T and is awaiting approval.  Download link to follow shortly.
Title: Re: Bite of the Black Widow
Post by: DHumphrey on July 03, 2018, 06:14:11 PM
The campaign has now been approved and can be found here:

http://www.mission4today.com/index.php?name=Downloads3&file=details&id=2578 (http://www.mission4today.com/index.php?name=Downloads3&file=details&id=2578)


Enjoy  :)
Title: Re: Bite of the Black Widow
Post by: max_thehitman on July 03, 2018, 06:20:05 PM


Sounds exciting !  8)  I will try it.

Many thanks DHumphrey !

Title: Re: Bite of the Black Widow
Post by: duffys tavern on July 04, 2018, 07:01:01 AM
Hey, neat idea. Now something to do with the P-61. BTW where did you get the Isley Field map? Looks great.
Title: Re: Bite of the Black Widow
Post by: NIGHTFIGHTER on July 04, 2018, 10:09:02 AM
many thanks DHUMPHREY ! great campaign...Back in love with Night fighting!!!! 8)
Title: Re: Bite of the Black Widow
Post by: DHumphrey on July 04, 2018, 01:14:02 PM
Hey, neat idea. Now something to do with the P-61. BTW where did you get the Isley Field map? Looks great.

It's the Marianas Expanded (Dave 0D06) map. The map gives you a fare version of the Japanese "Aslito" airfield prior to the invasion of Saipan. Then I "heavily" updated it with concrete.  :)
Title: Re: Bite of the Black Widow
Post by: duffys tavern on July 04, 2018, 01:31:05 PM
Well a nice job indeed.
Title: Re: Bite of the Black Widow
Post by: DHumphrey on July 04, 2018, 02:04:25 PM
Well a nice job indeed.
Thank you Duffy.  :)  Something I also did in the campaign, the photo above is the completed airfield, but the player will see the airfield go through it's building phase as the Pacific missions progress through the campaign. The campaign is broken down into two phases, the Pacific and Europe.  :)
Title: Re: Bite of the Black Widow
Post by: mechanic on July 11, 2018, 10:28:41 PM
I loaded this campaign into the Missions/Campaign/US folder in BAT WAW3 (Pathfinder 3.3.1) and get a "Mission failed to load" error message. If I recall DHumphrey may not be a BAT-man, so this campaign may not be compatible by design. Just wondering if another BAT user has successfully installed and run this campaign - or if someone can tell me if there are prerequisite mods to a successful installation. Thanks in advance for any guidance.

Mechanic
Title: Re: Bite of the Black Widow
Post by: Toobone on July 12, 2018, 04:56:54 AM
I loaded this campaign into the Missions/Campaign/US folder in BAT WAW3 (Pathfinder 3.3.1) and get a "Mission failed to load" error message.
Citation from http://www.mission4today.com/index.php?name=Downloads3&file=details&id=2578 (http://www.mission4today.com/index.php?name=Downloads3&file=details&id=2578):

Compatibility   v4.12.2m HSFX v7.0.3
Title: Re: Bite of the Black Widow
Post by: mechanic on July 12, 2018, 02:19:03 PM
I had seen the HSFX compatibility reference but was wondering if a more sophisticated BAT user than me had had any success to share in adapting this to BAT. In any event I sorted through the .mis files myself by going through FMB and determined that the load fail related to the Class air.p61A_early used as the aircraft in DHumphrey's missions. This class aircraft is not in BAT.  Editing the missions through FMB and replacing the  Class air.p61A_early with the Class air.P_61A_10 that is in in BAT, then saving as bw-01.mis and then swapping the new bw-01.mission for the original bw-01.mis in the DHumphrey campaign did the trick.  This worked for loading the first mission and if I am able to fly the mission without other object load issues I will go on to edit the others to see if I can Bat-icize the remaining missions. I did note that (at least) one of the animated ground vehicles DHumphrey used to populate the airstrip had square grey rotating tires in BAT. I'll have to hunt down the type of vehicle and swap it for a BAT ground object.  Just something to do.
Title: Re: Bite of the Black Widow
Post by: DHumphrey on July 12, 2018, 11:18:47 PM
Hello All,

Mechanic I'm glad you're able to make some headway on converting the campaign for B.A.T. users.  After you changed out the plane to a B.A.T. user friendly one did the mission go well for you? I think that the maps I used are all B.A.T. friendly, this has always been my concern when converting to another version of the sim. I hope the conversion goes easy for you as this campaign is a pretty fun one to fly and I think you B.A.T. men/women would enjoy flying it. 

:)
Title: Re: Bite of the Black Widow
Post by: SAS~vampire_pilot on July 13, 2018, 12:12:26 AM
yep, that's the way.
As a general tip for mass conversions, it's useful to have a tool like "MassSearchAndReplace" (for example) which can exchange a snip of text like air.xxxx, map name or ground object lines in many files at once.

once you found the correct substitute you don't have to go through the motions over and over, the tool does that for you.
Title: Re: Bite of the Black Widow
Post by: DHumphrey on July 13, 2018, 01:43:37 PM
yep, that's the way.
As a general tip for mass conversions, it's useful to have a tool like "MassSearchAndReplace" (for example) which can exchange a snip of text like air.xxxx, map name or ground object lines in many files at once.

once you found the correct substitute you don't have to go through the motions over and over, the tool does that for you.
WOW !!! That sounds like an awesome tool to use VP.  :)  I hope "mechanic" can use this tool to his advantage and convert the campaign to a B.A.T. friendly version without issue.
Title: Re: Bite of the Black Widow
Post by: mechanic on July 17, 2018, 02:18:22 PM
Unfortunately, not so fast. I have used a batch mass folder and file renaming tool in the past and downloaded the Mass Search and Replace text utility (thanks for the tip VP - a generally helpful tool) The utility worked to effect the mass replacement in the .mis files but the edited files would not load. So I had/have to either go into each mission file and search and replace manually (which sometimes did not load) or load the .mis file in FMB and edit directly by replacing objects. When I go back in to the edited files after a FMB update the same edits I tried to make manually or through the utility seemed to be there so I don't know what voodoo FMB does but that method works most of the time.  I have completed Missions 1-10 (although had to trade in the Willy's jeeps (showing up with no wheels) for a Dodge 64 and swapped in a 2.5 Ton truck with round wheels for the 1.5 Truck with white square wheels (I must be missing updated objects files even with BAT 3.3.1). I also successfully updated Missions 21 and 22 (skipped ahead) but can't make headway with Mission 11 or 23 - they won't load, or won't accept the edit, as when I try to load the mission it keeps saying I'm missing [MAIN] - but it shows in the edit.  I'll try tackling it again starting with Mission 12.  Also the beautiful skins DHumphrey uses on his P-61's don't work on the BAT models -  I get that crazy quilt look - so I have substituted the skins that came with the BAT P-61 models although I hated to lose DHumprey's historical aspects.  On the positive side all the maps seem to be working in the missions that I have been able to Bat-icize.  Anyway, time to get back to the workshop.
Mechanic
Title: Re: Bite of the Black Widow
Post by: DHumphrey on September 18, 2018, 05:18:07 PM
How's the B.A.T.isizing coming along for the Black Widow Campaign Mechanic?  I hope you were able to convert without to much difficulty.  :)