THE COCKPIT MAP A map may not seem to be a viewpoint, but this is a special sort of map. Historical accuracy buffs will want to note that many of the functions of this cockpit map are not drawn from reality. You can unfold your map at any time, but note that your plane keeps flying. The autopilot takes control as soon as you open the map. During the time that you have the map open, the “camera” that records your mission flight film is turned off. Nothing that happens at this time will be available for later replay
When you pull out the map and unfold it on your lap, you’ll see the area around your plane. An aircraft icon represents your flight and shows your direction and (roughly) speed. If you are finished taking off, the flight route you’ve been ordered to follow should also be pencilled onto the map. Ships and other planes – those you know the location of – are also represented as icons. Don’t worry about enemy planes sneaking up on you while you fuss with the map; if you encounter any opposition, your combat instincts will take over and return your attention to the cockpit. If you unfold the map during combat, the action will pause. This last isn’t exactly realistic, but rather is a nod to ease of play. During battle, you will sometimes need to radio orders to other planes (see Giving Orders, below); without this automatic pause, you would often be shot down while trying to organize your attack.
You can zoom this map out (unfold it further) by pressing X. The map will zoom out twice from its original range, showing more of the territory around you each time. Use Z to zoom in again; your plane will remain in the center of the map. Once you’ve unfolded the map a bit, you’ll probably notice that land masses and bases are also represented on it.
Info Boxes At this point, there hasn’t been too much deviation from the function of the maps that were available in 1942 (excluding the autopilot, that is). If you move the mouse pointer over any of the icons, you will quickly depart from historical accuracy. This departure takes the form of a Force Information Box. These boxes list the same information as is listed in the Force Information Boxes described under The Map, in the Carrier Battles section. In addition, there are Force Information Boxes for flights of aircraft. These list:
Flight Number Type and Number of Aircraft Speed and Altitude Distance to the Current Target.
Note that the home base is counted as a “target” when flights are returning from a mission, but waypoints in the flight path are not considered “targets”.