Yup, as you guessed this is a rant, so it's pointless to post it on soviet forums where NKVD would immediately send me to gulag, or worse.
Forgive this intro, but I just watched the two seasons of "the attackers" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr-Zz5HbO7Q
(russian language but english subtitles, crappy CGI but still highly recommended) two seasons so i'm still immersed in communist era
To the point now, Great Battles has a "career" mode, and it's cool.
Your pilot gets a biography, there are world news available, your wingmen fly, live and die, that's really a good effort.
I don't appreciate that the mission generation takes almost a minute, seems to be done by soviet computers inside soviet russia then scrutinized by NKVD before being sent to my PC, but that's a minor gripe, I could live with it.
What I really can't live with is twofold:
1/AI dialogues are dull, and interface doesn't even allow me to cry for help. On soviet forums Jason stated that he can't do anything about it, but since he acknowledges one can hope that someday.......
2/the subject of this very rant: when I choose difficulty "easy", I want it easy !
Here's my first (and last) mission in "easy" mode.
I and my leader took off as a pair, on a "free hunt" mission (free hunt ? In soviet russia ???? as soon as 1943 ??????). Landscape and clouds were beautiful, the first leg was 60kms over friendly territory, I could assess my navigation sometimes using landmarks, and for once my AI leader was not flying in the cloud layer so I could follow him easily, all in all it was quite promising.
My eagle eyed leader saw something below him, called attack and dove steeply on the same second. I lost him immediately on the green background, his yak green camo doing the job. Since I know how impetuous these AI can be, I stayed above to assess what the odds were. I saw a 109 co alt and immediately faced him to avoid his attack. It took me 3 mins to shoot him down since he used is superior speed quite efficiently ("easy mode", remember ?). Once I had him shot and since I didn't hear anything from my flight lead meanwhile, I assumed he was still alive and went to look for him in the area I lost his plane. I found one then two, then 3 109s, who all went after me at once, so I guess they didn't know either where my flight lead was, or they had him shot and silenced him before he'd say anything. I fought my way into the cloud layer, then to my homeplate, nervously checking my 6 every 15 seconds all the way.
Once at my homeplate, still seeing noting in the vicinity, I decided that landing was the best option, and started my approach. Once on short final, gear and flaps extended, I was surrounded by tracers ! I cleaned the aircraft and fought back. To my horror, I realized that:
1/there were 3 109s attacking me
2/they were oblivious of my airdrome AAA, with reason, since it proved all but efficient.
3/I could not call for any reinforcement with soviet UI, and soviet headquarters had not provided any form of aerial cover to people's runway.
So I fought, exhausted my ammo in killing another 109 in many attempts at high deflection shots (since I had to avoid other 109s fire at the same time). I finally got my wingtip shot while in a high G turn, was sent into a spin and crashed, my fuselage breaking in two parts and my pilot being killed.
So yes, it was entertaining, and I can see how those air gladiators like FB=Viks who used to rule the sky in the old IL2 could appreciate these kinds of flights (he would have shot the 4 109s with 1 press of gunsight each in about 2 mins max), but I chose "EASY" mode, and this is not "EASY" for me, everyone is not FB=Viks !!!!!!!!!!
"EASY" ,to me, would have meant more allies than ennemies, higher skilled allies than ennemies, either ennemies that don't follow me deep in my territory, or get dispatched by my own airfield air cover or AAA, ennemy AAA that is not soo accurate, and so on.
Oh, by the way, if the tone of my post makes you think that only soviet pilots get these kinds of odds, you're both right and wrong. When I play a Tempest on the western front, we usually get air superiority in the numbers, but there is still much, much more german activity than one could expect, and they just love to follow you to the airfield and shoot your defenseless landing wingmen while you fight at impossible odds.
What is your own experience with it ?