Playing a new IL-2 campaign: JG 51 over Velikie Luki

Ever since the Scripted Campaign feature came out, I’ve been collecting new campaign packs to play and over the weekend I started playing another semi-recent entry into the scripted campaign list: Veteranen’s Velikie Luki based JG 51 campaign.

Rebuilding single missions into a campaign

fw190-jg51-velikie-splashed
Another IL-2 feels the firepower of a fully armed FW190

“I./JG51 over Velikie Luki” is a bit of a mouthful and in truth this is a conversion of Veteranen’s work undertaken by IL-2 forum member JG4_dingsda. The original release was a series of single missions and what has happened here is a conversion to the Scripted campaign system. The results are good so far!

The History of Velikie Luki

The campaign puts you in the skies over Velikie Luki – a battle that is little known but had enormous strategic consequences thanks to its vital rail lines. The battle featured a German army that was trapped during an encirclement maneuver as part of the Soviet Operation Mars counter attacks of late 1942. German forces were ordered to hold their ground and both relief efforts and an attempt at re-forming the lines were made.

If it sounds like Stalingrad that’s because its surprisingly similar in situation albeit at a much smaller scale.  It was informally called “The Little Stalingrad of the North” and the brief history that I’ve read certainly cements that name for me.

For the IL-2 series, Velikie Luki was added in April 2015 (Version 1.011) as part of a free update to the series. The map itself was created by a third party map creator and the work was done to an extremely high level.

fw190-jg51-velikie-scenery
Over Velikie Luki – the city, the fort, and the rail yards are intricately detailed.

Though many of the assets here are similar to Stalingrad winter map, the terrain and vegetation has its own unique look and the whole map feels different from both Stalingrad and Moscow despite the snowy coating.

Just getting started

I’m only a few missions in so far but its an interesting setup. The scenarios don’t provide you visible waypoints – instead you’re given a compass heading and a location on the map to head to. Its well marked on the map so its easy to find if you’re playing with map icons on and achievable without.

fw190-jg51-velikie-takeoff
Your airbase in the first few missions is on the side of an iced over lake. It’s rustic!

So far the missions are enjoyable and interesting. More to come when I’m finished the campaign. If you want to jump in right now, head over to the forum for the download link.

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