Battle of Britain II Wings of Victory is a Windows-based flight simulation created by Shockwave Productions,Inc. (now currently known as A2A Simulations) and released in 2005. It is a remake of Rowan's Battle of Britain combat flight simulation by Empire Interactive. The aerial combat is drawn from the Battle of Britain during the Second World War and features the British RAF versus the German Luftwaffe. Due to its emphasis on historical accuracy, Wings of Victory remains very popular among serious PC historical World War II flight sim enthusiasts. The release was met with many favorable reviews, and won several awards including the SimHQ Best of 2006 award.
Battle of Britain II can be played either as a flight simulator or as a strategy game, or both combined. It allows the player to assume the role of pilot in the flight simulator, and/or the Commander of the Air Force - managing tactics in the strategy game. The player can choose either side, the RAF or the Luftwaffe. Changes from Rowan's original BoB title include an extensive graphics overhaul, gameplay tweaks and numerous new features. Its broad scope includes hundreds of warplanes and huge aerial raids and battles in the air. The simulation has realistic AA fire, radio traffic, and in-game ambiance that includes military forces on the ground. Due to the high level of detail and historical accuracy, the flight sim developers term Battle of Britain II: Wings of Victory their "time machine". The flight simulation engine (code) used in this product is called the "Merlin" engine, which is an advanced proprietary Air-Combat computer game engine designed by A2A Simulations and first released in their Battle of Britain II: Wings of Victory title.
A2A Simulations Forum announced a sequel to be called Flying Tigers but no firm dates have been set as of yet for release. As of February, 2008 it was still considered "in development".
A modified version of the game with arcade-style gameplay was published by Wild Hare Entertainment under the title Air Battles: Sky Defender in 2007. It offers less emphasis on historical realism and more emphasis on gameplay for the novice gameplayer looking for a Battle of Britain experience. (See external Links below)
The available warplanes that can be flown include two variations each of the RAF's Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane. Aircraft of the Luftwaffe are the Messerschmitt Bf-109, Messerschmitt Bf-110, and Junkers JU87 Stuka. Other aircraft featured are the Luftwaffe bombers Junkers Ju-88, Heinkel He-111, and Dornier Do-17. It also includes the RAF Bristol Blenheim bomber and Boulton Paul Defiant.
The product comes complete on one CD-ROM, and after the install it does not require the CD to run the application. The title box includes a map and keyboard overlay.
BoB II WOV comes with a 136 page Operations Manual but the manual has been updated several times, in line with each software patch improvement. (See Patches and Updates below)
BoBII-WOV fully supports the 3rd party accessory TrackIR, which greatly improves gameplay and is an inexpensive substitute for virtual reality goggles. This simulation supports TrackIR usage in full 6 Degrees of Freedom with the Vector Expansion (known as 6DOF-VE). You can lean, look, shrug, duck, zoom, and twist in your seat, and the simulation will precisely move the view accordingly.
The simulation has been undergoing continual development from its fanbase, with updates and patches being produced by the "Battle of Britain Development Group" or BDG. The latest BDG patches are found on the A2A Simulations forum. (See external Links below)
Most recent update: Patch v2.08 (released July 9th, 2008)
The available "Multiskin" patch update contains around 200 individual aircraft schemes and nearly 300 markings and badges. It is quite simply the most detailed and accurate representation of the Battle of Britain ever created and models below Staffel/Squadron level, down to key individual aircraft paint schemes. Each aircraft has unique and historically accurate paintschemes and markings.
(Screenshots in this section from 2.07 update)