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Pericles

Precision artillery with Excalibur shells keeps missing target

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I have called three precision artillery strikes with 3x Excalibur HE and I have missed the enemy tank every time (I'm 0 for 9). 

What am I missing here? The spotter is a veteran, has spotted the tank with a drone, has no laser designator, is not under fire, and has command link to superiors. The only explanation I can think of is that the spotter has no laser designator, but this doesn't make sense given that he is spotting with a drone. I have successfully destroyed targets with precision arty and drone-spotting in the past.

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No, they did not miss by much and yes the target was stationary (even after the third barrage of near hits). 

rocketman, so you recall that this is a known issue? Do you know of efforts by the devs to address this issue? 

Overall. the persistence of small bugs like this takes away from immersion and realism. The bugs may be small but there is little room for error in most CM missions. The gamer is left feeling annoyed by the bugs, not amazed by the excellent unbugged gameplay. 

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6 hours ago, rocketman said:

Recently had a similar experience. IIRC they were nerfed in a patch or engine update.

I think they were nerfed as far back as the first patch. When I got the game when it first came out and went through the Training Campaign, I never missed with a precision shot. Time went by and I installed the patch and decided to go through the Training Campaign again. I had a very frustrating time trying to kill this one tank. I must have fired nine rounds at it, one after another. All were near misses or very near misses. At the end, it was sitting in the bottom of a hole that my shots had blasted, still unharmed.

Now, I can accept that realistically not every shot is going to be a kill. For any number of reasons, it can miss by enough that the target is not destroyed. But when the miss was close enough that the vehicle is sitting in a crater, I figure that it should be at least showing some critical damage, like an M-kill, with the crew abandoning it.

Michael

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As I have continued to play Mission 2 of the US campaign, and have continued to call in precision artillery, I have continued to miss targets. I have fired over 15 Excalibur shells and none of hit their targets. Given the difficulty of most CM missions, this bug is "game breaking". I find it strange that customers have not taken to the forums to complain about this. I look forward to when the developers address this issue in writing and then fix it.  So far I have no evidence that (1) they acknowledge that the bug exists and (2) they plan on fixing it. 

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8 minutes ago, Pericles said:

I have fired over 15 Excalibur shells and none of hit their targets.

Wow, that's really bad. I generally have pretty good luck with precision although sometimes the misses can be frustrating.Either you have had an extremely bad run of luck or you're doing something wrong. I have had the notion sometimes that firing more than one shell at a time means more misses, but have never given it a real test to see if that is more than just superstition.

14 minutes ago, Pericles said:

I find it strange that customers have not taken to the forums to complain about this.

That may be because they have not had so much trouble as you getting it to work.

Michael

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Michael, I have played a lot of CMBS v.3 and have never had issues with precision artillery like I am experiencing with CMBS v.4. In my experience with v.3, precision artillery hit the target on pretty much every fire mission (>90%) when using 3x shells per fire mission - using less reduces chances of success in my experience. In fact, it stands to reason that the more precision rounds you use, the more likely you will hit the target. Unfortunately the developers do not provide any information on these and related issues in the CMBS manual. 

So in summary, in my experience, precision artillery success rates were greater than 90% in CMBS v.3 and are now less than 10% in CMBS v.4. rocketman has had a similar experience, although he has not ventured to assign percentages. This is experience-based evidence of a bug, not of random chance. If I was paid to test these things systematically I would do so but it's too time consuming. 

Perhaps there really aren't that many people playing the game these days, or those who play it choose instead to stop rather than venting their frustrations on the customer forums. 

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3 hours ago, Pericles said:

Michael, I have played a lot of CMBS v.3 and have never had issues with precision artillery like I am experiencing with CMBS v.4. In my experience with v.3, precision artillery hit the target on pretty much every fire mission (>90%) when using 3x shells per fire mission - using less reduces chances of success in my experience. In fact, it stands to reason that the more precision rounds you use, the more likely you will hit the target. Unfortunately the developers do not provide any information on these and related issues in the CMBS manual. 

So in summary, in my experience, precision artillery success rates were greater than 90% in CMBS v.3 and are now less than 10% in CMBS v.4. rocketman has had a similar experience, although he has not ventured to assign percentages. This is experience-based evidence of a bug, not of random chance. If I was paid to test these things systematically I would do so but it's too time consuming. 

Perhaps there really aren't that many people playing the game these days, or those who play it choose instead to stop rather than venting their frustrations on the customer forums. 

Testing wouldn't necessarily be that time consuming (not saying I'm going to do it), just buy a few battalions of tanks for one side and line them up. The other side gets a gang of FOs, UAVs and Excalibur equipped arty and then let it rip. Calculate direct hits and misses and that should give a fair idea. I'm no tech guy, but would repeated missions for the same target really improve chance of a hit? I thought that the Excalibur missile finds its own way towards the target in communication with the UAV/FO tech. So the fault would be in the missile itself.

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IRL Excalibur has a Circular Error Probable [CEP] of 6-10 meters depending on who you ask.  What that means is there is an expectation that at least 50% of the fired rounds should impact within 6-10 meters of their intended aim point [the submitted grid coordinates of the target].  

What you find in real life is that the Excalibur reliably goes where you tell it to go, but where you tell it to go is not always where you actually want it to go.  The average maneuever shooter soldier [not FO] with binoculars achieves a target location error [TLE] of 300+ meters.  Meaning there are plenty of times Excals impact a great distance from where you expected it to land.  With an LLDR that number drops to 10 meters TLE.

I think when they nerfed the EXCAL they tweaked elements of the equation which affect the CEP-- they could go even further if equipment and quality of troops realistically affected TLE as well. 

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5 hours ago, rocketman said:

Anyone know any reliable real life stats for Excalibur and how accurate they actually are? 

From Wikipedia

"Initial combat experience with Excalibur in Iraq in the summer of 2007 was highly successful, with 92% of rounds falling within 4 metres (13 ft) of the target. Its performance was so impressive that the U.S. Army planned to increase production to 150 rounds per month from the previous 18 rounds per month.[16][17] In 2012, Excalibur rounds reached new record ranges in combat of 36 kilometers.[18]"

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3 hours ago, Pericles said:

Yes, IRL the fault would be with the missiles. But for the game, the fault lies with the code. Still haven't heard anything from the devs, I hope this gets fixed or is at least explained. 

I'm not a dev but I can tell you it's not a bug. As others have mentioned, Excalibur precision was rolled back in the last patch, and the precision of laser-guided munitions such as Krasnopol was bumped up. I'm not sure what the CEP for Excalibur is presumed to be in the game right now, but based on my own testing and discussions during beta testing I'd estimate 4 or 5 meters*, which is in-line with most sources I have seen. Keep in mind that Excalibur was not designed as an anti-armor munition like Copperhead.

* One of the Battlefront devs told me that a CEP of 3 would hit a T-72 roughly one third of the time.

Edited by Vanir Ausf B

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If the 4meter range is the norm then, I believe the new patch represents reality better. 

Question: Is Excal accuracy improved if the munition is laser aimed as opposed to plotted via drone?

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4 hours ago, Euri said:

Question: Is Excal accuracy improved if the munition is laser aimed as opposed to plotted via drone?

This is something I've been wondering about too. I am inclined to think not because IIRC the nine shots that all failed to kill were laser-aimed. And nearly all the kills that I have scored with the weapon have been drone-aimed, usually first round kills too.

Michael

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42 minutes ago, Pericles said:

Do Excalibur rounds that land beside the target do damage to the tracks/wheels of the target? That would make my 0 for 15 experience easier to accept. 

Yes, in the case I stated above, tanks got their tracks and optics destroyed by near misses. I actually restarted the scenario from a previous save and cease fired just to check the oppo tanks damage because I was miffed about all the Excals missing.

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Ok then. I wrongly assumed that near misses were ineffective. So the new v.4 precision artillery code still allows precision arty to be effective, just not so effective that it completely destroys targets. I hereby retract all statements in this thread pertaining to bugs and unresponsive devs. 

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1 hour ago, Pericles said:

Do Excalibur rounds that land beside the target do damage to the tracks/wheels of the target? That would make my 0 for 15 experience easier to accept. 

Most definitely. I was playing the new US campaign and this was the most likely result of 3x Excalibur on tanks. 

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A lot of good info above about where precision rounds are in the game and IRL.

Under v3, I would use 1 excal round against BMP targets. Boom. Smoke and Pyre. I'd use 1 against tanks, as well (or 2 if it were a real thorn in my side).

Under v4, I've upped that to not less than 2 against BMPs and not less than 3 against tanks. If I'm using Excal for tank plinking, it's because I don't have the "right" weapon at hand. Three rounds will 90% (estimate) eliminate the tank. Sometimes it just gets immob'ed. Then, I've got to re-engage with another 3 rounds.

The Russian laser guided rounds are far more accurate in game.

 

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20 minutes ago, c3k said:

The Russian laser guided rounds are far more accurate in game.

I've been assuming that the Excaliber round is GPS guided (I think I read something to that effect a few years ago). Looks like I was right.

Michael

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32 minutes ago, Michael Emrys said:

I've been assuming that the Excaliber round is GPS guided (I think I read something to that effect a few years ago). Looks like I was right.

Michael

I imagine if you're talking about a range of a few meters - laser guided is going to be more accurate than GPS.  The four meter figure from above is already impressive!
 

On 9/3/2017 at 0:09 AM, Michael Emrys said:

But when the miss was close enough that the vehicle is sitting in a crater, I figure that it should be at least showing some critical damage, like an M-kill, with the crew abandoning it.

Definitely!  A hit 4 meters away is going to absolutely ruin the road wheels (at least).  I simulated an Abrams hit by a shell at about 4 meters, towards the engine compartment.

C33j0OU.png

16 penetrations into the engine compartment (40mm RHAe) and 2 into the engine compartment.  The road wheels and tracks took about 120 dangerous hits.

2 hours ago, rocketman said:

Yes, in the case I stated above, tanks got their tracks and optics destroyed by near misses

Good to know the game matches what you'd expect!

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41 minutes ago, Michael Emrys said:

I've been assuming that the Excaliber round is GPS guided (I think I read something to that effect a few years ago). Looks like I was right.

Michael

Yep. Excalibur is GPS. Gets the same accuracy at 3km as it does at 30km. On the order of 3m CEP. (See above posts for details.) Really good when you want that first round to be delivered with love. The benefit is that anyone can get that GPS round delivered if they can read a map. Laser rangefinders would help you get your map grid more precise, but there's no need for laser emitters. Program the target into the round, pull the lanyard and chalk up a kill before it even lands. ;)

Krasnapol (and Kitolov) rounds used by the Russian forces are laser guided. Benefits: you can precisely target a vehicle...even if it's moving (slowly). The drawbacks are that you need to be emitting. If you emit, you can be detected. Case in point, the automatic smoke dispensers when a laser is sensed. The technical requirements for successfully guiding a round are fairly complex. The laser encryption needs to be relayed back to the firing unit. The geometry of the target, the spotter, and the firer needs to be correct. The spotter also needs to be actively lasing from the time the round is in the "capture basket" all the way through impact. Difficult enough to describe in a white paper and it takes a lot of timely comms (and training) to ensure success on the training ground, let alone in combat.

There are reasons why the US stopped using copperhead. (Some pertinent, some not. Some no longer germane.)

GPS can be spoofed and jammed. 

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