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IICptMillerII

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IICptMillerII last won the day on August 6

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  1. I definitely can appreciate this. R2V feels like it has "dragged," both its own development and development of other CM projects over the past few years. I also think that more packs is a good idea. I really like the two battlepacks that have been released thus far. More maps, scenario's and campaigns is always a good thing. Very much hoping to see (a lot) more of these in the near future. I also liked the vehicle pack for CMBN, and I really hope we see more vehicle and general packs like this in the future as well. Fore example, an engineering vehicle pack for the modern titles, even if it was just an M1 and T-72 with mine plows. Or a slightly larger pack that adds in a new formation, such as unconventional fighters for CMBS as an example. That said, the main issue I see with switching from larger modules to smaller packs is content getting spread out and piecemealed, which could fragment the multiplayer community. Perhaps the packs adding content would be better if it was more niche, out of the way content that isn't necessary for most people to enjoy the game, but still there for those who want it. A ready example in my mind is partisans in the WWII titles. Some really want to see them, but I think most are fine playing CMBN for its conventional warfare and wouldn't care about the lack of the French Resistance. I'm sure the guys at BFC who have to make these decisions for real have a pretty good idea of how to move forward. At the end of the day, as long as we are getting more CM content I'll be happy, and if that content comes out at shorter time intervals all the better.
  2. Pretty much everything. The menu's are rather obnoxious, both in their layouts and in their effects, such as changing various graphics settings or gameplay variables. The in-game UI is abysmal regardless of learning curve, and giving orders is a consistent exercise in frustration. The TacAI is the definition of clunky. Yes, you can give a move order to a company across a 3km map and it will execute it based on a movement SOP, which cuts down on micromanagement. However, the TacAI almost universally struggles along the way. Vehicles dogpile, crash and flip, or bunch up on a bridge and ram each other off. Infantry stretches out and takes long routes through complex terrain such as villages. All of these things can be present in CM too. The difference is that in CM I can directly intervene and unjam a traffic jam by giving new orders to vehicles, or to tweak the orders of infantry, etc. In graviteam, you have no such control and you just have to watch everything shake itself out, for good or bad. I have around 25 hours in Mius Front. I have found that the AI in graviteam follows specific SOP regardless of the map/scenario. For example, if you are defending, simply never put your men directly on a marked objective because the attacking AI will always shell the objective. I just put my defenders in a position offset from the objective but still along the obvious axis of advance and cut down the enemy as they bumble their way through the open. Similarly, while on the attack I've found that as long as I set up my formation in a sensible manner that has good fields of fire, I can generally cut down the enemy defenders and then walk onto the objectives. In my case, most of the difficulty of the game comes from your lack of control over your men. Infantry who come into contact while on the move have terrible responses. I can't tell you how many times I've seen two opposing formations run at each other in the open, firing at point blank range blindly, running past each other and every now and then kicking one another to death. Its as if all the soldiers are blindfolded, or at least vision impaired to some degree. Additionally and conversely, key supporting weapons such as MG-42s or anti-tank guns seem to attract deadly accurate small arms fire in ranges of 700-1000m. In the first mission of the "Raid" DLC (I believe that is what it is called) playing as the Germans, I had to defend against a Soviet infantry attack coming across a large open snowy field. I set up my MGs in good positions, but watched them all get sniped from 700+ meters away, while the accompanying infantry had to wait to kick the Soviet soldiers to death as they stumbled into the trenches and seemingly did not notice my infantry. Same story for the anti-tank guns. Granted, all of this is anecdotal evidence. And anecdotal evidence, isn't. But you asked for examples so I figured I would tell you some of what I have seen while playing the game. Again, I agree that graviteam involves less micro managing and that sometimes that is a great thing, but many other times individual units struggle and there is no good way to intervene and help them, like you can do in CM. I agree for the most part. I too would like to see a more robust overall AI in CM, and I think (as the developers have stated in the manuals for the games) that the best way to experience everything CM has to offer is to play against another human who is competent. I understand and appreciate what the overall goal of simulation is, I just have not seen it pan out nearly as smoothly as others have. I'm all for simulating the friction and fog of war, and I do think in certain regards graviteam does a good job of simulating that. Its just in my experience the majority of the time it isn't working that way and when it becomes clear that there is a "glitch" occurring (such as vehicles ramming each other off a bridge they're trying to cross) there is no way to intervene. CM putting you in every leadership position in the formation, from team leader all the way to battalion commander and more has pros and cons. Graviteam automating much of the smaller unit leadership also has plenty of pros and cons. But when it comes down to it, especially in a simulation/game, I would rather have more control than less. At the end of the day, these are still computer programs, which are inherently prone to needing human intervention/guidance to run most optimally. One thing that I think graviteam does unequivocally better than CM is the special effects. I love seeing mud and dirt thrown by tank tracks and wheels of moving vehicles. I also love seeing those vehicles deform the terrain around them. The destruction models and physics are also excellent. Seeing bits of the tank blow off as it is hit by shells is a lot of fun to watch, and seeing a tank that has been hit and set on fire but still rolling forward under its own power is additionally great. I appreciate realistic gore as well, so seeing the effects of a flamethrower against its targets is a nice touch, and even the pool of blood and bloodied clothing of casualties is appreciated as well. Oh, and headlights on vehicles moving in low light.
  3. I guess I'll jump in and be the stick in the mud who asks for more modern warfare content. I get that WWII will always and forever be the primary (by far) wargaming subject matter, but I think that CM excels at simulating conflict from the 1940's through to the modern day. And seeing how over saturated the market always is with WWII content, I would think that the less explored market for modern warfare might be a niche that BFC could gradually fill. By modern warfare, I mean anything post WWII that fits the CM model. Arab-Israeli Wars, Cold War conflicts (we already have one in the form of CMA)to include the various African Bush Wars that occurred throughout the later 20th century, and fun hypotheticals, such as a US invasion of Cuba in the early 1960s or a Fulda Gap game in the 80s. Then of course as the first page of this thread pointed out, modern warfare games (2010+) have a clear training potential to defense contractors/agencies. Don't get me wrong, I'm very much looking forward to the CMRT module (winter on the Eastern Front!) and I would love to see a CM game covering Kursk and even Barbarossa. I just hope they devote a little more time to semi/modern war as opposed to mostly developing WWII titles while producing modern war on the side.
  4. ALPHA STRIKE An alpha strike is the term the US Navy uses instead of strike package. In general, it means a large strike against a high valued target. More specifically, it can refer to a strike comprising multiple squadrons, with aircraft totaling half the total number on an aircraft carrier. The practice was first developed in the 1960’s during the Vietnam War. VFA-86, all twelve aircraft, will conduct an alpha strike against Al Mout International Airport. The targets are: 4x Surface Ammo Bunkers 2x Runways These are the final targets that need to be neutralized in order to shut down the airfield for good. All twelve Hornets are equipped with the same loadout. 2x AGM-154C BROACH JSOW glide bombs, 1x AMRAAM and 2x Sidewinders for air defense. The Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) is a precision guided glide weapon designed to give aircraft a long-range precision strike capability. It is GPS guided, making it all weather and extremely accurate, and can be launched at ranges between 2-45nm. Additionally, because it is GPS guided, the weapon is fire and forget, allowing aircraft to immediately turn around and stay in safe airspace instead of having to loiter in hostile airspace to keep a target painted. The BROACH warhead is a two-stage warhead designed to penetrate hardened targets, similar to a bunker buster bomb. The warhead itself is 1000 pounds. The strike is given the go to launch at 0651 zulu, and by 0657 all twelve aircraft are in the air and en route. As the aircraft of VFA-86 make their way to the target, the airfield and airspace are under constant surveillance. If the enemy spots the incoming strike and tries to launch interceptors against it, there are 6 CAP Hornets that can interdict the interceptors. The U-2 orbiting high overhead should give plenty of advanced warning by spotting moving aircraft on the tarmac below. The flight time to weapon release is very short, only about 5 minutes, thanks to the standoff capability of the JSOW. The first six plane formation reaches the weapon release point and pickles (aviation shorthand for dropping a bomb) off 12 JSOWs. A few moments later, the second formation pickles off their JSOWs. No enemy aircraft are seen taxiing to the runway to intercept, and as the JSOWs close in on the airfield, no anti-aircraft fire is launched to interdict the weapons. It is likely that due to the cumulative effects of past air and Tomahawk strikes, the airfield doesn’t even know it is under attack. A few minutes later, and the weapons hit their targets. All weapons hit their targets, and the orbiting U-2 provides a quick battle damage assessment (BDA). Both runways are completely destroyed. All four ammunition bunkers are heavily damaged, and one of them is engulfed in flames. The air traffic control tower as well as other buildings are confirmed to be destroyed as well by previous Tomahawk strikes. Al Mout International Airport is now incapable of supporting fixed wing aerial operations. The way is now clear for the USS Wasp and the 2nd MEU.
  5. Thanks! CMANO is pretty great. I didn't even think about the alternative stylized map symbols. I'm so used to the standardized NATO ones myself. I'll definitely consider it for future hybrid AARs though.
  6. The short answer is: standardization. If all the vehicles in a stryker Brigade Combat team are the same, it creates a common maintenance pool, which cuts down on logistics and cost. Personally I think the MGS is more of a bad design than a bad concept. I heard that the Army was looking into an overhaul, but I can’t recall what the proposal entails.
  7. Yeah any mission where you’re up against the Syrian special forces is likely to be a tough fight. They tend to be well equipped and motivated, but most importantly dug into good defensive positions. That airfield can be a real pain to take down. The Stryker MGS doesn’t carry many rounds. It’s one of its biggest issues irl. That, and they are notoriously unreliable due to the unmanned and automated turret/loader. If it’s any consolation, the Army doesn’t like them either.
  8. SECOND STRIKE The second Tomahawk strike is quickly planned. Target responsibilities remain the same as the first strike, and the package is largely similar. Remaining SAM sites will receive 5 Tomahawks, while radar sites and strategic targets will receive 2. 48 Tomahawks are launched. The Tomahawks fired from the Bainbridge against the two remaining SA-5 sites impact their targets, silencing them for good. A couple of minutes later the rest of the Tomahawks hit their assigned targets. The strike is effective. All of the SAM sites are now either completely destroyed or so heavily damaged that they are now combat ineffective. Most of the targeted radar sites are destroyed or damaged as well. With this second strike, the Regimes ability to defend its own airspace over Al Mout has been greatly reduced. Now that the airspace over Al Mout is much more conducive, I order the U-2 to move in closer to begin direct observation of the city and surrounding area. This will aid in the airport alpha strike and the amphibious infiltration of the city by providing constant real time intelligence. Up till now all of my intel has been electronically gathered, whether it be from ELINT or radar. Getting eyes on with the U-2 will give me much better situational awareness. Flying at an altitude of 85,000 feet it will be safe from any known or unknown SAM threats. The Global Hawk is also on its way and, after arriving on station, will enter the airspace over Al Mout to provide direct intelligence to the Marine Landing Party. The U-2 arrives on station and gets eyes on the airport. One runway is undamaged, and the other is partially damaged. There are only a few aircraft spotted parked in open tarmac spaces. The rest are likely parked in the many hardened aircraft structures, which will be the primary target of the upcoming alpha strike.
  9. Haha! Definitely a better idea than sitting around doing nothing and allowing your entire force to get obliterated by waves of Tomahawks. Oh they're on their way, but the way still isn't clear for them to land yet. Unfortunately for me the Abbudin regime has decided not to roll over and allow themselves to be blown to bits. More updates coming soon!
  10. FIRE IN THE SKY Initially, there are 4x F/A-18F Super Hornets in the sky split into 2 flights. Each Super Hornet carries 6x AIM-120C AMRAAM’s, which is an extremely good air to air missile. It has a range of 60nm, datalink capability, and once fired will guide itself to its target. This is important because it means that my aircraft can fire missiles at targets and then turn to maneuver defensively without the missile losing its lock. Enemy radar missiles do not have this capability, they must be guided in all the way to their target. This means that if the enemy is able to fire radar missiles at my aircraft, all my aircraft have to do is force the enemy plane to maneuver and the enemy missile will “go stupid,” or lose its lock and become harmless. Additionally, the Super Hornets can track, target and engage multiple enemy aircraft at the same time. For up close and personal dog fighting, the Super Hornets are equipped with the AIM-9X Sidewinder. This is a heat seeking missile that is highly maneuverable but has a short range of only 10nm. It is designed for dog fighting. Specifically, the weapon seeker head can be linked to the pilot’s helmet heads up display, known as a helmet mounted display, or HMD. This means that all the pilot has to do is look at the enemy aircraft, and the Sidewinder will lock onto it if in range. Even more impressive is the AIM-9X’s ability to be fired at “off-boresight” targets. This means that the Hornet does not have to be behind an enemy plane to fire at it, the enemy plane could be directly to the left or right, above or below, and the AIM-9X can still be fired at it. The Super Hornet and its armaments are very capable. I quickly order 2 more flights of Super Hornets into the air, bringing a total of 8 aircraft airborne (4 flights) which gives me a total of 48 AMRAAMs. Plenty to shoot down the incoming enemy aircraft with change left over. The Mig-25s quickly close with my Hornets, which begin lobbing AMRAAMs at a range of 50nm. Firing at less than maximum range will give the missile more energy to work with if it has to pursue a maneuvering enemy aircraft, increasing the chance of a kill against a plane trying to dodge the missile. The firing is not one sided. One of the SA-5 SAM sites struck by the first wave of Tomahawks is still functional and fires off 5 missiles at a flight or Hornets. This is a problem, but not a hopeless one. As long as the Hornets stay far enough away from the SAM site, a combination of defensive maneuvering and jamming should defeat the incoming SA-5s. The first volley of AMRAAMs closes with the Mig-25s. A number of the Migs are splashed (shot down) though many manage to dodge the incoming AMRAAMs. The Migs get a few missile shots of their own off, but these missiles soon fail to track as the Migs are forced to maneuver. Aerial battles are fast and tense. Aircraft quickly merge, and a fight of lobbed radar missiles shot at targets beyond visual range (BVR) quickly turns into a knife fight of within visual range (WVR) combat. The above image shows such a fight developing. Note the range scale in the bottom right. The aircraft going head to head are only 4nm apart, practically on top of each other as far as air combat is concerned. The Sidewinder is an excellent missile, and at short ranges such as these the chances of dodging the incoming missile is very low. The only real chance the Migs have at defeating the Sidewinders is by spoofing the sensors by popping flares. However, the AIM-9X’s sensors are designed to recognize and ignore aircraft-deployed countermeasures such as flares which is precisely what happens here. The Migs pop flares, but the Sidewinders still find their targets, splashing 3 Migs in quick succession. One of the dogfights that develops is so close that my Hornet is able to get directly behind one of the Migs and fire his guns at it. The maneuvering Mig is able to dodge the volleys of 20mm cannon fire, though this success is short lived. A moment later, an AMRAAM fired by the Hornets wingman slams into the Mig, splashing it. Approximately 3 and a half minutes after the air battle started, its all over. 12 Mig-25s have been shot down, and an additional 3 Mig-25RB reconnaissance aircraft were also shot down. For me the cost was (thankfully) only the taxpayer. 23 AMRAAMs were fired and 4 Sidewinders were fired. This is a very satisfying missile to hit ratio, slightly below 2:1. Ammo is cheap, lives are expensive. I’ve managed to come through this first direct battle with the enemy without suffering any casualties. I can only hope the rest of the operation goes this well. The first volley of SA-5s fired at my Hornets were defeated, but a second volley is fired. This time, the volley is coming from two different SA-5 SAM sites. While this is still manageable, it is a threat that needs to be dealt with. I order the USS Bainbridge DDG, part of Task Force Wasp to immediately engage these two SA-5 sites to knock them out for good. No additional aircraft are seen launching from Al Mout International. It is possible that the airfield is now too heavily damaged from the Tomahawk strike to launch aircraft. It is equally possible that the Abbudin air force has discovered discretion to be the better part of valor. Either way, I still plan to strike the airfield again, conducting an alpha strike with VFA-86 to make sure the airfield is out of operation. The Bainbridge fires off a volley of Tomahawks at the two active SA-5 sites. Meanwhile the destroyers of CSG 12 prepare to engage radar installations and additional strategic targets in the vicinity of Al Mout. These strikes, coupled with the alpha strike against the airport, will hopefully clear the way for the Marines to land in Al Mout.
  11. No worries! Lively discussion makes this all the more fun.
  12. A fair point. The easy answer is, I wanted the scenario to be focused on the consulate evacuation and not as heavy on the other aspects. That, and as I mentioned I'm not trying to write a technothriller here. This AAR is a bit of a proof of concept, seeing how viable/workable it is to create a hybrid AAR like this. So far I'm finding it quite manageable and fun to do. That means there could be a follow up to this AAR, or even a whole new scenario in the future. So at the least, it may be possible that I do a new AAR like this with a more thoroughly equipped OpFor. The not-so-easy answer is, even if the Abbudin Regime had land based or air based anti-ship missile assets, it would be extremely difficult for them to get any missiles through to targets. Both the Enterprise and Wasp are mutually covered by the host of CGs and DDGs, as well as the F-18s flying air superiority. Further, the Regime would have difficulty cutting through the significant jamming present and finding targets to engage. In fact, the only ships they could hope to engage at this point is Task Force Wasp. There is no way for them to see the Enterprise and her company at this time. Additionally, even if they were able to get good locks on, lets say the Wasp, the Regime would have to volley fire a huge amount of missiles to have any chance of scoring a hit. Here's the quick math rundown: the ships of Task Force Wasp carry a grand total of 220 missiles capable of shooting down incoming missiles. Standard doctrine is to fire 2 anti-missile missiles per incoming ASM. That means that, to break even and increase the chance of a kill, the Regime would have to fire over 110 ASMs to cut through Task Force Wasps missile shield. Now, that does not factor in the Hornets. Each Hornet carries 6 AMRAAMs and 2 Sidewinders as a standard load, plus its 20mm gun. All of which are capable of shooting down incoming ASMs as well. Enterprise has 12 Hornets assigned to air superiority, for a total of 96 more missiles. So, for the Regime to cut through all of Task Force Wasps missile defense, and all additional missiles carried by the Hornets, they would have to fire at least 160 missiles all at once to have a chance of scoring a hit. Also don't forget about point defense weapons like the 20mm Phalanx CWIS, deck guns (which are capable of engaging incoming missiles) and passive countermeasures like chaff and flare, which ships can deploy in defense against missiles. And again, this doesn't take into account my jamming, or the fact that the P-15 land based missile only has a range of 45nm and would be easy prey for Tomahawks. The second the P-15s illuminated their radars to target my ships, they would be instantly detected by all of my various ELINT assets (situated at different bearings, so triangulation would be very quick) and engaged with Tomahawks. All of that said, like I mentioned earlier future scenario's can cover the larger spectrum of warfare.
  13. I'm really excited for book 2. I think I remember reading somewhere that they are shooting for a Christmas 2020 release, though I could easily be mistaken. I think I know about the Russian officer you're talking about, and I agree, I hope he makes it. I really like how the Russian leadership is characterized. They aren't written as deranged villains out of a Bond movie, but as believable characters with realistic motives and rationale. Well, most of them at least. I've played through a handful of the Northern Fury scenario's in CMANO. They're all incredibly well done, in my opinion some of the best user made scenario's available. They are rather large and complex though, so taking one on is certainly a commitment in my experience. I think that's a good thing, but they definitely aren't casual 'pick up and play' scenario's.
  14. Thanks! I have, and I really enjoyed it. I think it is exceptionally well written, especially for a technothriller. In fact, one of the authors who goes by AirborneRifles over at Grogheads has done some amazing AAR writeups there, and was my initial inspiration to do my first CMANO AAR last year. The only real issue I had with the book was that it ends just as the war gets going. I want more! Really hoping part 2 comes out as soon as possible.
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