If you’ve read through the Q&A notes on the session that happened last weekend, you probably already know that Jason and Han spent a little time going over when certain pieces of content were going to arrive and that gives us a pretty good timeline for the next year.
Roughly every month and a half a new piece of content will be added to the series. Pre-order owners will be able to access the content once its added to the game and will get to experience each new piece as the Battle of Kuban product is slowly finished.
Disclaimer: Jason and Han both emphasized that this list is early. Things could change and timelines can slip when problems are encountered.
The tentative timeline
Bf109G-4 – With a 1.42ATA boosted engine, the Bf109G-4 has more available engine power over the G-2 version. This Bf109 variant takes us all the way through the Kuban battle. It’s visually similar to the G-2 but with a fixed tailwheel and enlarged forward gear. Small bumps on the upside of the wing surface help make room for the larger wheels.
Bf110G-2 – The Bf110G-2 comes with more powerful engines, a vast array of gun pods and bomb options, and enhanced default firepower (with the MG151/20 cannons replacing the slower firing MG-FF/M). A potent heavy fighter and attacker.
He111H-16 – An updated version of the He111 bomber. This version has more powerful engines and enhanced defensive capabilities thanks to MG131 upper turrets and MG81Z twin machine gun mounts in other gunports.
FW190A-5 – The A-5 variant of the FW190 arrives. A longer nose to help redress balance issues when carrying armaments, slight improvements overall, and the possibility of enhanced ground attack loadouts. The butcherbird comes into its own in the A-5 model and I’m excited to see it.
FW190A-3 flight model update – This is when the issues with the FW190A-3 flight model should also be resolved.
IL-2 Model 1943 – The 1943 model of the IL-2 comes with enhancements all around and a factory installed rear gun turret with a Berezin UBT 12.7mm machine gun making it that much more survivable against enemy attack.
Spitfire Vb – A personal favourite of mine. Small numbers of the iconic British Spitfire Mark Vb models outfitted several units in the Kuban battle. Agile and packing a punch from its twin 20mm cannons, the Spitfire Vb is in many ways outclassed by other fighters of this 1943 timeperiod. However, the Spitfires excellent handling attributes should make it a fearsome opponent.
The Kuban Map – The team expects to launch the Kuban map into the series sometime during July. No career mode will be available at this time so it will likely be limited to quick mission builder and custom multiplayer matches only.
Yak 7B – Though a familiar aircraft, there are enough differences between this Yak-7 and the other two Yak models that we have that this is basically a new fighter for the team to build. Though not the cream of the crop, the Yak-7B was a key player in 1942 and 1943 on multiple fronts and its heavy forward firepower and nearly equal handling to other Yak models makes it dangerous.
Career Open Beta – The new career system will launch here replacing the old single player campaign system that came with IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad and Battle of Moscow. This beta might possibly launch for all three products and is a nice enhancement to the series even if you haven’t bought into Battle of Kuban.
November is a busy month for the team according to the schedule.
A-20B – A fast twin-engined radial powered attack bomber used by American, Australian, British and Russian forces (to name a few). An extremely capable light bomber and attacker typically fitted with forward firing machine guns and a fairly heavy bombload made the A-20 a key bomber and important in the Kuban battle.
P-39L-1 – Shunned by the British and American air services, the P-39 came into its own in the low altitude combat of the Eastern front where its excellent build quality, compact radio and heavy hitting 37mm M4 cannon were worth the weight in gold. Many Soviet aces scored large numbers of kills in the P-39 before flying other Russian types.
Hs129B-2 – Although it was under powered, the Hs129B-2 was an excellent tank killer and a well protected ground attacker. Analogous to the the IL-2 but nowhere near as successful, the Hs129 is a welcome addition to the series and to dedicated mud movers.
New historical campaign for Kuban – Presumably this will be a scripted single player campaign in the spirit of Ten Days in Autumn that is being sold on the IL-2 website right now.
Final release of IL-2: Battle of Kuban!
Somewhere along the line we will also see dozens of new features.
We should see the launch of the new co-op system sometime in the first half of 2017 – possibly in late spring. DX11 engine update is due before the end of the year along with the Ju52 3m. After Battle of Kuban releases we may, although its far from certain, see the release of a couple more Collector Planes before the team turns its full attention to the Battle of Midway.