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rogue189

A few Questions for CMBS

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Hello everyone!

 

I'm looking forward to the new modern combat mission and have dusted off my old shock force game to get ready for it.  While I was playing, a few questions popped to mind given the new environment and opposing forces.

 

1. Will there be some form of air-to-air engagement in the game, even if abstracted?  While playing Shock Force, my assumption was that the NATO forces had established some sort of air supremacy in the scenarios and I never questioned the possibility of an opposing air force.  However with Russia, I could see a battle unfolding where aircraft from both sides participate.  I know that SAMs will be in the game but it would be cool to at least hear the radio chatter of an F-15 engaging a SU-34 or something to that effect.

 

2.  How is LOS for the new game engine?  I was playing the old Route Lighting and was still frustrated that a recon Humvee with advanced optics cant see the enemy shooting at him in a flat featureless desert.  I was never sure if this was a bug or simply the inability of the game engine to handle LOS issues.  Its even more frustrating when I give a hunt command and the thing stops but doesn't report anything.....grrrr!

 

3.  Has having an enemy routed gotten better?  With shock force, it seemed like every fight was to the death and no one ever routed away.

 

4.  Apache gunfire support.  I had always thought the implementation of the affects of the 30mm gun odd. It appeared as long line of fire and seemed to have large gaps between impact points.  In my expert opinion (meaning I watched a YouTube video :) ) the impact seems to be more clustered and circular instead of liner.  Has there been any changes in this?

 

5.  Finally when aircraft come off station to RTB, will they be rearmed or just refueled?

 

Some of these questions may have been addressed and I really look forward to playing the new game!

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I can only speak for no. 4

And what you see in videos from the middle east is a case of nothing threatening the helicopter, leaving it free to fly high and fire down on targets. Giving it a nice tight cluster like you say.

But when you are in this environment, where AA and SAM launchers are everywhere. The choppers are forced to fly low, use tree lines or terrain as cover for pop-up attacks. Since they won't be up high the trajectory for the rounds will be flat and spread in a long line.

Edited by Justicar

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Whew, where to start? First off forget most of CMSF. Yes you had Abrams there etc, but the environment, unit capabilities, technology are all vastly different. If anything the battlefield has gotten deadlier for everyone.

Routing rules are based around the newer games like CMBN where units will surrender, when and under what conditions depends on the attributes assigned to the unit.

There is no air to air. The presence of aircraft support is defined by options of either the scenario designer or QB selection. There is a electronic warfare setting that can affect your ability to call in those units. Air to air is strictly out of the scope for the direction BF is taking CM.

As to LOS and particular capabilities of units, can't speak to that discussion. Maybe you could join Chris on his twitch program and ask, he would be in a better position to provide information.

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Hi rogue!

 

Answers:

 

1. No air-to-air is in the game. We aren't terribly interested in having invisible off-map units fight each other. We have to be careful not to let the scope of the battlefield creep any further away from tactical than we have already, and having air fight each other off the map would definitely be heading in that direction. :)

 

2. That's a difficult question to answer, because the spotting and LOS systems are very complicated. You'll have to be more specific. If I had to guess from your question, my answer woudl be that thermal and night vision technology is much better defined in Black Sea than it was Shock Force. You will see a dramatic difference in spotting capability for units equipped with thermal sights, especially at night. A unit stopping its Hunt without seeing anything is normal if it took fire without spotting the shooter. Hunt means that a unit will stop if its sees an enemy OR realizes that it is taking fire: for something as fragile as a Humvee, you don't want it to keep going forward when something can shoot at it!

 

3. Routing has been replaced with surrendering. You can expect the entire enemy force to surrender en-masse when they've reach roughly 75% casualties (that's a super-rough figure, it will vary depending on the morale state).

 

4. Videos of air support from Iraq (other than parts of the ground war itself) and Afghanistan are very misleading. Those aircraft are operating in practically perfect conditions with little threat to them. In Black Sea the airspace is considered to be hotly contested and aircraft are flying low and fast, trying to hit their targets and then get the heck out. That's the assumption by which the aircraft performance is modeled.

 

5. No, when aircraft are out of ammo they head home and stay there. Having aircraft rearm/refuel and come back is something we consider to be out of the scope of Combat Mission.

 

Chris

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The Hind F helo in Ukrainian hands sports an excellent long barreled 30mm gun with considerably higher MV than the Apache gun. If you want a nice tight grouping of rounds that would be the helicopter to use.  :)

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4. Videos of air support from Iraq (other than parts of the ground war itself) and Afghanistan are very misleading. Those aircraft are operating in practically perfect conditions with little threat to them. In Black Sea the airspace is considered to be hotly contested and aircraft are flying low and fast, trying to hit their targets and then get the heck out. That's the assumption by which the aircraft performance is modeled.

 

 

 

I'm curious as to why these assumptions were chosen. This seems counter to NATO doctrine and capability. The big question is if OCA strikes are allowed into Russian territory, the VVS wouldn't last long against a NATO offensive air campaign. 

 

I'm sure it the game will probably play fine though. 

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I'm curious as to why these assumptions were chosen. This seems counter to NATO doctrine and capability. The big question is if OCA strikes are allowed into Russian territory, the VVS wouldn't last long against a NATO offensive air campaign. 

 

I'm sure it the game will probably play fine though.

Even once the fast jets are gone, the battlefield environment isn't going to be a place helos can dawdle about in clear sky. Too many SAMs of all sizes to get complacent.

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Thank you for all the answers everyone!  I thought of a new question.

 

Is it likely that there will be partisans at some point?  While I doubt it would be much different than Shock Force it would certainly be a feasible reality.  Especially if you had "advisers" working with them to incite an uprising.  It just seems like a neat idea and could go either way.

 

 

 

*Note: Edited for grammer

Edited by rogue189

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Hello everyone!

 

I'm looking forward to the new modern combat mission and have dusted off my old shock force game to get ready for it.  While I was playing, a few questions popped to mind given the new environment and opposing forces.

 

1. Will there be some form of air-to-air engagement in the game, even if abstracted?  While playing Shock Force, my assumption was that the NATO forces had established some sort of air supremacy in the scenarios and I never questioned the possibility of an opposing air force.  However with Russia, I could see a battle unfolding where aircraft from both sides participate.  I know that SAMs will be in the game but it would be cool to at least hear the radio chatter of an F-15 engaging a SU-34 or something to that effect.

 

 

If you assume complete NATO air superiority you don't really have game,  because The Russian logistics would be toast.  The assumption leads to the best tactical game is that Russians SAMs if not the Russian air force are capable of a real fight.  I have no access whatever to the kind of classified information need too evaluate that assumption.   

 

I would argue that implies minimal fixed wing support for both sides as well.  

Edited by dan/california

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Is it likely that there will be partisans at some point?  While I doubt it would be much different than Shock Force it would certainly be a feasible reality.  Especially if you had "advisers" working with them to incite an uprising.  It just seems like a neat idea and could go either way.

 

I hope so.

I can see it being a touchy subject - Battlefront have tried to make it as clear as possible that Black Sea has nothing to do with the real situation in the Ukraine at every stage, and this might be a little too close to home, but I can also see this as being a much-wanted feature for precisely the same reasons.

Irregular forces are very much part of modern warfare, and it would be a shame not to have access to them in some manner. I'm still undecided how I feel about their actual modelling in CMSF (the increased stealth in urban areas, dependant on civilian population), but the different types of IED, ad hoc uniforms and squad types and use of civilian cars and technicals are all great, so something of a similar nature would be useful, especially as the engine can now presumably handle improvised weapons like Molotov cocktails rather better than it did in CMSF.

Whether "resistance" fighters fit into the narrative and time scale that CMBS has sketched out is an open question of course.

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The whole "semi-mechanised" irregular force equipped with high lethality weapons which has become the norm in Syria and Ukraine was predicted some time ago. They are around, and will continue to be so.

 

If there are to be no partisans in modules then CMBS ignores an important factor of current conflict.

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It has already been stated that irregular units will come with modules, besides, it has also been stated that the current Ukraine conflict has very little to do with that depicted in CMBS, and the latter is not an attempt to simulate the current events.

Edited by Kieme(ITA)

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Chris,

 

Not so much for Black Sea but for RT, would routing not be more appropriate than surrendering? I am assuming that surrendering was much less common at least in the RT time frame until the end of the war as more units would attempt to run back to their lines or is this just expediency for CM to simulate end results so they do not have to create new code?

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I have another question.  Will there be scenarios with set piece battles?  One thing that has always frustrated me is the lack of battlefield intelligence prior to the start of a mission.  I don't think that I have been able to use artillery to prepfire areas of the map or have an idea of how I want to attack until the battle unfolds.  Is this lack of intel to reflect real life conditions, to make the game more challenging or have set piece battles just gone away?

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I

 

I have another question.  Will there be scenarios with set piece battles?  One thing that has always frustrated me is the lack of battlefield intelligence prior to the start of a mission.  I don't think that I have been able to use artillery to prepfire areas of the map or have an idea of how I want to attack until the battle unfolds.  Is this lack of intel to reflect real life conditions, to make the game more challenging or have set piece battles just gone away?

It is less work to give the other side fewer units and the player less artillery.  Because if you know exactly where they are, the absolutely surgical control you have of pre battle arty means they ARE going away.

Edited by dan/california

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If you assume complete NATO air superiority you don't really have game,  because The Russian logistics would be toast.  The assumption leads to the best tactical game is that Russians SAMs if not the Russian air force are capable of a real fight.  I have no access whatever to the kind of classified information need too evaluate that assumption.   

 

I would argue that implies minimal fixed wing support for both sides as well.  

 

There was complete NATO air dominance in CMSF and we still had a game. You don't need to make an unrealistic assumption in order to still have a good tactical fight, just handwave some limit on Blue's OCA due to "politics" or some such. Simply reduce the amount of CAS Blue has available due to the need to run DCA and SEAD and make Red have CAS available only once in a blue moon. This may already be how the game is, I don't know I haven't played it.

 

What I'm actually questioning is the decision to have fast jets perform CAS inside SHORADS/MANPADS range, this makes no sense to me. How long do you really think forward deployed HIMADS will last in Ukraine once they start radiating, not very long.  

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There was complete NATO air dominance in CMSF and we still had a game. You don't need to make an unrealistic assumption in order to still have a good tactical fight, just handwave some limit on Blue's OCA due to "politics" or some such. Simply reduce the amount of CAS Blue has available due to the need to run DCA and SEAD and make Red have CAS available only once in a blue moon. This may already be how the game is, I don't know I haven't played it.

 

What I'm actually questioning is the decision to have fast jets perform CAS inside SHORADS/MANPADS range, this makes no sense to me. How long do you really think forward deployed HIMADS will last in Ukraine once they start radiating, not very long.  

 

The reason given for that is that the strike aircraft need to fly low and fast to evade everything going on above them in terms of aerial superiority fighters. Flying low like they do also allows them to evade theater level SAM like the S-300 or S-400 so they take a risk of being hit by man-pads. I would imagine they have different values set for each aircraft in terms of hit probability, so just because they can be hit, doesn't mean they will, its a risk, in war everything is a risk.

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Ahh, the air war thread. Well a few thoughts on the matter:

- first of all, strikes against Russia proper (or NATO proper) would be a bad idea (I assume that Ukraine is not in NATO, as it is not directly mentioned in the manual), as this would lead to undesirable escalation (to nukes in Russian case). I guess you could use this as political hand wave sort of thing, though to be honest I think that a limited war scenario (as in limited to Ukraine) is better than a total and nuclear one.
- we don't know what kinds of US/NATO assets we get in theatre. Thus, unless those assets are clarified it is difficult to know the specific correlation of forces and means.

- this is the 3rd time Western Airforce would face a modern AD network. The systems in theatre are not 20-30 year old ones (obsolete and completely exploited by the ESM systems), they are numerical and are operated by a competent force.

- NATO would either need to operate from far away bases with tanker support (which itself would be vulnerable to attrition), or operate from Ukrainian air fields and come under the Russian PGM strikes (from TBMs and CMs, which would be ground launched).

- the initial operations would be focused on winning the air war (ie defeating hostile aircraft and support means), not on providing CAS duties. So, atleast initially, Blue ground forces should assume that they would not get overwhelming CAS support.

 

I could list the specific AD systems, their units and numbers for a 2017 scenario if you are interested.

Edited by ikalugin

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What I'm actually questioning is the decision to have fast jets perform CAS inside SHORADS/MANPADS range, this makes no sense to me. How long do you really think forward deployed HIMADS will last in Ukraine once they start radiating, not very long. 

 

This depends on the SEAD force available to the Blue side and the AD forces available to the Red side. In general it is fair to estimate that:

- HIMADS systems are highly mobile and employ shoot and scoot tactics.

- that the areas they operate in are covered by SHORAD/CPGM systems.

- that Red side utilises decoys/spoofers (such as Gazetchik) extensively.

- that Red side uses ECM equipment to support operations of it's AD network (for example to deny data links).

 

Current level of the HIMADS systems would be:

- strategic SAMs S300PM2/400.

- high end tactical S300V4, BukM1-2, BukM2.

 

In a 2017 scenario this changes to:

- strategic SAMs S350/300PM2/400.

- high end tactical S300V4, BukM1-2, BukM2, BukM3.

Edited by ikalugin

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I have another question.  Will there be scenarios with set piece battles?  One thing that has always frustrated me is the lack of battlefield intelligence prior to the start of a mission.  I don't think that I have been able to use artillery to prepfire areas of the map or have an idea of how I want to attack until the battle unfolds.

 

I can think of at least one that fits the bill, although it's a campaign mission, rather than a stand alone  ;)

 

P

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Ahh, the air war thread. Well a few thoughts on the matter:

 

*snip*

 

We mostly agree here, though forward deployed NATO aircraft won't need to fly that far, US naval aviation flying from the Aegean will need to tank though. 

 

This depends on the SEAD force available to the Blue side and the AD forces available to the Red side. In general it is fair to estimate that:

- HIMADS systems are highly mobile and employ shoot and scoot tactics.

- that the areas they operate in are covered by SHORAD/CPGM systems.

- that Red side utilises decoys/spoofers (such as Gazetchik) extensively.

- that Red side uses ECM equipment to support operations of it's AD network (for example to deny data links).

 

Current level of the HIMADS systems would be:

- strategic SAMs S300PM2/400.

- high end tactical S300V4, BukM1-2, BukM2.

 

In a 2017 scenario this changes to:

- strategic SAMs S350/300PM2/400.

- high end tactical S300V4, BukM1-2, BukM2, BukM3.

 

ESM combined with ground mapping radar and IR imaging will allow air forces to discover the location of emitters quickly. Even when switched off radars are quite large and may be found by SAR. The old radiate and the shut down trick doesn't work nearly as well these days (ESM, radar, and IR all working together to geolocate an emmiter then having the weapon use GPS/INS plus terminal guidance to destroy it).

 

 Decoys and spoofers won't work as well due to the stuff I previously mentioned, you would need to go to full on jammers and even those might not be effective unless used by a system that can fire on the move. 

 

Red's IADS may potentially have to deal with 5th aircraft like the F-22A and F-35A/B and new weapons like the AGM-88E and GBU-53B. I think blue will be able to suppress Red's IADS and maintain control of the skies with minimal losses though CAS will be very very limited while this is going on. 

 

For example, Blue's various ESM systems will locate a suspected radar, radars and imaging assets will search the location and find the rather large SAM battery, SEAD aircraft attack the site with standoff weapons. Once the SAM site is located to a reasonably precise area even something like the AGM-154A can be used, pretty much impossible to jam and the bomblets will damage anything in a large area so you don't need extreme precision. 

Edited by nsKb

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ESM would be confused by the false emitters (Gazetchik and the like), ground mapping radar would be defeated via the use of ground based jammers, decoy sites and hard kill measures (such as direct attacks against those assets). IR is very dependent on weather conditions and is not a useful long range tool, otherwise the aircraft would have to enter SHORAD ranges. Dummy sites would still be valid even with IR/visual ID at most conditions, as they replicate the relevant IR signatures.

 

They would, because decoy sites would emulate the full spectrum of the real site signatures (IR, radar and radio emition wise), considering that the overall performance of the recon/intel assets would be degraded (by hard kill attacks, comm and radar jamming), it would operate under the fog of war, thus precluding the useful historic analasys and allowing the dummy sites to retain their usefullness.

 

F22A and F35A/B stealth is commonly defeated by the high power X-band and mobile long wavelength radars (and other means), thus they do not present the "magic silver bullet" solution. New weapons (such as the new HARM variants) while being potent, do not solve the under lying issues (such as the decoy sites, recon/intel asset disruption and changing positions after engaging). SDB type weapons are slow to arrive and are fairly simple for the CPGM systems to defeat.

 

So over all I do not see how the Blue force would be capable of getting the decisive air superiority over the battle field (in the short term scenario anyway). In general the issue here (I think) is that you project the current and future capabilities of the Blue force against the past experience with the Red force, which is not really relevant, as not only is the Red force modern/extensive (something that US or anyone for that matter did not meet in the recent experience) but competent (again, that is a rare quality to find in an enemy those days).

Edited by ikalugin

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Their is an english expression, "That is why you play the game".  Because you can argue about who would win ad-infinitum. Of course this little discussion isn't killing anyone, so perhaps its not so bad.  We are also arguing about details with only slight reference to the game, but until it comes out... 

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Does JASSM bring in the datalink to allow re-targeting? (I forgot) Otherwise it is not really useful against anything mobile.

 

New HARM brings in the new seeker, that improves the performance against the target that has just stopped radiating and moved away.

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