View Full Version : Requesting Navigation Tips / Full Realism Settings

11-11-2007, 05:38 AM
Hi fellas. I just started seriously playing IL-2 quite recently. I've been playing flight sims since the original Falcon and the Jane's series. However, I am new to WWII sims and I have found that there is a whole new learning curve associated with IL-2.

I am having a particularly hard time navigating without the moving icons. I actually prefered the FULL REALISM setting in the server I was playing in, but unfortunately I have been spoiled by my HUD, AWACS vectors, and MFD's in Falcon 4 for the past 7 years. When playing a few games online tonight, I found I spent more time flying in circles, lost, than "moving some mud".

I ran across this link and it seems like it would be very helpful. http://www.gozr.net/iocl/viewtopic.php?t=1001

One thing that was sort of discouraging for me, was that I was listening to some guys on Teamspeak (in the server I was playing in) state that they were in map grid such and such and I had absolutely no idea of where I was and where I was going. (I knew my actual compass heading...I just didn't know if I was heading towards where the action was. I hope I am being clear here.)

This is probably a pretty basic question, so don't laugh...too much. When I bring up the map, I assume that the top of the map is facing North. Assume my runway is in the bottom center of the map and the target icon is near the upper right of the map. If I set a bearing, after takeoff, of approximately 030-060, will I be in the ballpark direction...hypothetically?

Some of the guys on TS helped me out by recommending that I use major roads and rivers as an aid. I really appreciated the help.

I tried searching for a good guide on navigation in the various IL-2 forums but could not find any threads that really helped much. Any other tips for a new guy would certainly help.

11-11-2007, 08:12 AM
Learning how to use the MK1 Eyeball and a map is a good start. You are correct on the assumption that the top part of the map is facing north. Your idea of basic dead reckoning is also correct. If you know where your start point is, and you can figure out a compass heading to where you want to go.. You can get there without too much trouble.

Using landmarks also helps quite a bit, if you see a river on your map that you can follow to get to your destination that can be helpful. Look at the shapes of forests- Locations of towns in reference to one another. Is there a road or a river that you can follow to your goal?

This is of course the very BASIC aspects of it, there are more advanced things which I'm not super versed on so I won't try to explain. I use the very basic methods and it gets me around to where I need to be. One thing to also note- Most of the good "Full Real" servers have pretty good briefings for the scenarios they run. They usually give a bearing to fly from your home field to get to any ground objectives, and even CAP objectives.

"Fly a heading of 070 after take off and proceed to grid C4 to provide air cover for ground forces operating in the area"- An example of such.

11-11-2007, 08:16 AM
Welcome here!

Your assumption on that course of 030-060 is correct.

The trick on navigating w/o the map icons is to always know where you are, and constantly verify your map position with the ground. (You usually know where you take-off)

Also, study the map carefully before the mission, so you can remember where the main 'items' are... where your base is relative to the sea, or a big lake...

Maybe use MissPrint (see my sig) to print the mission map... might help...

Have Fun!

11-11-2007, 08:27 AM
Very good advice there.

Also, in the briefing screen, when you select blue or red, write down the locations of all of the bases. When you start the game, those bases won't be on the map anymore, so it's good to do some intel beforehand.

11-11-2007, 08:31 AM
You may find some old copies of books on Pilot Navigation in bookshops.

Try using a stop-watch to work out where you are based on flying at a constant speed.

Always read from map-to-ground, i.e. if the map has your target just beyond a wood, by the edge of a road with a river to the left then that is how it should look in the world outside your cockpit - unless your lost http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif


11-11-2007, 08:31 AM
If you want to learn how to navigate with a map, one thing you can do is print out some of the ready made maps (find them on M4T, www.mission4today.com (http://www.mission4today.com) in the download section, then use the search word "maps") and use transparent book covering to plastify them. Like so:
http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m150/438cityofmontreal/nav.jpg http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m150/438cityofmontreal/nav2.jpg http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m150/438cityofmontreal/nav3.jpg

Then you can plot out your route on the map using a sharpie. The reason for the plastic book covering is that when you plot on your map, you can wash it off when you're done with rubbing alcohol.

When you have your route plotted out you can use a protractor, be it a regular geometry kit one or a professionnal Navigation Protractor (pilots call them Douglas protractors) and you can mark out your vectors by lining up with the grid on the map.

I like to mark out my vectors to and from when I plot. So you end up with something like this:

Once that is done you can mark out land marks such as rivers and lakes you will by flying over, note their direction and their relative position to your waypoint.

Once you get comfortable with this, you will eventually start doing it in your head with the map in game and you will be able to navigate without problem.

It is true that when you are in the heat of battle and your mates are asking you where you are, you dont really have time to tell them your position, so the best thing to do when entering a hostile area is to note your entry point. That way you can tell them "Last known position Grid I-12, was heading west." That way they can approximate your position and come to help you if you are still in the area.

Hope this helps.

11-11-2007, 08:33 AM
I built a number of navigation training missions using the fmb - starting with basic "round robin" stuff (fly to the lake, turn north fly to the railway station, turn west fly to the river junction, etc.) and later building missions with recon points and timeouts that had to be hit in order and on time. Often turned out to be just as fun as combat imho.

11-11-2007, 10:56 PM
Wow! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

I got a lot more help on this topic than I expected. After reading up on numerous topics and posts regarding navigation, I've found that most people just want to know how to get back to their carrier. I wanted to know how best to navigate in general on Full Realism settings and the information provided above has been a tremendous help. Looks like I'll be sneaking of to Kinkos to get some color maps printed...(after the wife is asleep http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/sleepzzz.gif)

Realistic navigation within the simulation is fascinating to me. It adds more depth and it is probably harder in the sim than in real life to a certain extent. I figure IRL, you have more landmarks and more color variations to judge on the ground (assuming the weather and visibility is good.) I will have a track IR within a month or so, so that should be of further help.

The guys I was playing with online seemed fairly experienced and seemed to know their way around, but even then I heard a number of them announce that they were RTB and "thought" they were heading in the right direction. Once you make a few evasive maneuvers, I figure it is still easy to get "turned around".

Thanks for the tips everyone.
Skunk_438RCAF, thank you for the very helpful pics.
FoolTrottel, I downloaded your excellent MissPrint tool as well.
On the Warbirds Of Prey forums, I also got another really good piece of advice from Joop that I will pass on to everyone:

"In addition to all the other great info, already posted, I will add this. When you are on TS, you will hear people giving map coordinates. Usually, it will sound something like this; "I'm in Alpha Bravo 16, tac 5". This means grid AB16, and the "tac 5" (sometimes referred to as number pad 5) coresponds to the way your numbers are laid out on the number pad of your keyboard, with 5 being in the middle of the grid. If it were "number pad (or tac) 7, you would be in the NW corner of that grid. Does that make sense? When people type this info in the chat bar it will usually look like "AB16.5". This is how target locations, etc., will appear in the brief, too."

11-12-2007, 03:06 AM
Part of the solution is to get your hours in and fly the maps and be familiar with them. This is what normally happened when a unit was assigned to a particular part of the front. Carrying a maps has already been mentioned. Also keep in mind that when you look at the map for the first time, although there is no aircraft marker, it does open up at your actual position. It only works once though. For coop missions you can use your radio call vectors and the repeater compass if the aircraft has one. The Japanese compass works in reverse. This follows the mission waypoints. Other then that, it often boils down to dead reckoning. There is also a way to put in a mission plot to insure that the repeater compass always points to home, but I wont't go into this, as it's only used in Scorched Earth, where you physically plot, then fly the mission.

Goodluck, Warg