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Nato with no AA capabilities

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So how are people handling air assets for QB with nato(non-US) forces with a human opponent? With no stingers or other means of fighting enemy air power i feel this puts the nato side at a pretty big disadvantage. I understand they don't have many anti-air units in their real life TOE, but that's because they assume air superiority over the battlefield, which SF2 doesn't really simulate. So do people house-rule that when playing Nato forces the opponent can't pick air assets? Or do you just deal with it? Or maybe i'm missing something?

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Posted (edited)

The Germans atleast have a Stinger team in the special team section in the editor but not in any formation (and thus not in QB either likely). NL and CN look like they don´t have them displayed at all, nowhere.

Would be great to see this getting a patch. 

Edited by Mattis

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The US avenger was in service in this time frame as well. I mean its something at least. We really should have stinger teams; theyre in BS, been around over 30 years, and I really dont see a situation where NATO doesnt have air superiority and doesnt adress it either.  Fine you want a situation where Red Air could be an issue then you.d also likely have assets that NATO would use to at least shoot back.

Someone here posted studies from the WW2 era which admittedly is outdated but the Syrian AF is too (not that bad but lol) long story short pilot accuracy when being fired at drops dramatically.  So even if its not particularly effective or doesnt shoot down an air asset a stream of tracers would possibly mission kill an aircraft especially ones using dumb munitions.  Since the game doesnt model lots of the tanks and other weapons which would just start spraying bullets in the air ( 50 cals, mh3. Whatever ) whether or not it.d be effective is a different story.

Still IMO its not that huge of a deal - house rules etc can really smooth any of these problems out and for suspension of disbelief theres always outlier situations.  Even say Normandy which was covered with AAA and fighters there was that infamous strafing attack on the Brit beaches.  So you.d have the SF2 equivalent in a couple of su24s or whatever breaking through the air coverage and bombing Blueforce

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Posted (edited)

Looks like that the 2.01 patch even punches quick battle players into the face by removing AA capabilities from the British. You buy CMSF2 and instead of expanding it, they proceed to remove features from it post-release because of stubborn TOE reasons that have nothing to do with reality. Great stuff...

Edited by Mattis

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1 hour ago, Mattis said:

Looks like that the 2.01 patch even punches quick battle players into the face by removing AA capabilities from the British. You buy CMSF2 and instead of expanding it, they proceed to remove features from it post-release because of stubborn TOE reasons that have nothing to do with reality. Great stuff...

they aren't "removing a feature".  Blame the UK for not basing Stingers in units so you could play a fictional event where the Syrian air force is actually useful against the full weight of NATO air power.  The alternative is we could ask BF to simply remove all Syrian air units from the game.

In CMSF1 there was no anti air at all if you will recall.

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22 hours ago, sburke said:

they aren't "removing a feature".  Blame the UK for not basing Stingers in units so you could play a fictional event where the Syrian air force is actually useful against the full weight of NATO air power.  The alternative is we could ask BF to simply remove all Syrian air units from the game.

In CMSF1 there was no anti air at all if you will recall.

True, but in CMSF1, there wasn't any air support available either in pre made scenarios or in QB. I guess the decision would be "Do we add the actual British AA capabilities, and if necessary those for NATO forces, or do remove the Red air support?" I know which I would choose.

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6 hours ago, Vet 0369 said:

True, but in CMSF1, there wasn't any air support available either in pre made scenarios or in QB. I guess the decision would be "Do we add the actual British AA capabilities, and if necessary those for NATO forces, or do remove the Red air support?" I know which I would choose.

strongly agree

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As a test I threw together a Brit/Syrian QB that included Syrian airpower. 3/4 the way through the scenario I was winning handily and was set to publically scoff at the notion of Syrian airpower. Then the Hinds showed up. I've got to hand it to them, they did a commendable job of systematically shooting up all my armor. That was FUN! :D

syrian airpower.jpg

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If our Syrian war were real it would be unlikely any Syrian aircraft would have successful sorties due to NATO air cover but what is the British doctrine if they had to fight in say, the Ukraine?

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Posted (edited)

The U.K. Have AA assets. The issue is that those assets aren't in CMSF2. Stingers aren't one of the U.K. real life, so they were removed from CMSF2. It's as simple as that.

Edited by Vet 0369

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

Exactly.  Still puzzled that this thread went more than a couple posts.

why? people want a fun game, not 'brits don't get aa bc our books say they don't and we have rules for ourselves'

i don't think the solution is removing syrian airpower.

shooting at eachother is fun. being unable to shoot back is not fun.

even against the brainless qb ai it annihilated his tanks and he couldn't fight back at all.

They have starstreak. It's from 1997 - present.  So yea, i don't understand what the argument is even about or why it was removed.  Who cares if it's stingers not starstreak.  Please keep the british competitive and give them back AA capability. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starstreak

In July 2001, Thales received a contract for a Successor Identification friend or foe system for Starstreak.[6]

In mid-2007, Thales UK in Northern Ireland revealed that it had developed Starstreak II, a much improved successor to the Starstreak missile. Some of the advantages included in this new missile are an improved range of 7 km (4.3 mi), improved lethality,[2][3] an improved targeting system and the ability to operate it at much higher altitudes,[7] up to 5 km (16,000 ft).[8]

 

Edited by professionalXMAZ
verbiage

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A few points:

1. Syrian airpower is comically unresponsive compared to NATO. It can take anything up to 30 minutes to call a CAS mission in. If you are sat in the same place for 30 minutes against a Syrian force that is not only qualitatively inferior but has chosen to spend precious points on off-map assets that are not in your way then you are probably not pushing hard enough.

2. If you're playing against a human opponent, then just agree not to bring airpower. Or agree that airpower is only an option if EW is, then shut all his radios down. Or fight at night. Or whatever- just because its there doesn't mean it has to be used or can't be 'balanced out' by agreement.

3. Syrian airpower is noisy, dramatic and scary. It is also transitory, inaccurate and not likely to be very effective if you have stumbled upon the secret, ground breaking defensive procedures of concealment, dispersion, deception and keeping on the move. I can almost guarantee that learning how to operate effectively despite enemy airpower is going to be a lot more productive and useful than moaning about it.

4. Some of the light Hind missions are 14-15 points each. I assume that's a bug: it kinda makes sense for Allied strafing runs in WW2 to be cheap because there a thousands of P47s about. Not going to claim to be an expert on the Syrians, but I'm pretty sure that they don't have enough Hinds for that kind of thing.

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This is Steve's position on it:

On ‎1‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 2:42 AM, Battlefront.com said:

The Stingers should never have been given to the British forces because the British did not have it at the time of Shock Force's setting.  Combat Mission is, at it's very heart, a game based on reality and not fantasy.  Yes, we bend the rules a little here or there, but we do not break them.  Having the British gaining access to Stingers breaks the rules, therefore a mistake was corrected by removing them.

As for the lack of Stingers for the British ruining QBs, that doesn't hold up to scrutiny.  CMSF1 allowed Red Forces to have air support and no Blue Forces had air defenses.  I don't recall anybody saying that QBs were unplayable.  Same for CMBN and CMFI's original releases.  So I'd recommend abandoning nonsense arguments to push a point.

True, QBs are not hyper realistic.  That's one of the bends in the rules I mentioned earlier.  But we do not allow weaponry unavailable to a nation to be present as choices in QBs.  British Forces should no more be able to access Stingers as Syrians should be able to access Javelins, Abrams, Apaches, or anything else like that.  Or if you wish a different example, the Germans can't access SMAWs, Marines can't access Wiesels, US can't access PF-3, etc.  In other words, you are asking us to create a unique exception to the rules without a defensible rational besides "I want it". 

While we definitely listen to customers when they make requests, we keep a steady hand on the tiller and do not allow vocal minorities to push the game into being something it should not be.  Combat Mission's greatest strength is not trying to be everything to all people, but instead something that exists based on rules which keep it from wandering down random roads.  I understand that this displeases some, but we also understand that is inevitable.  It is impossible to please everybody equally all the time.  Trying to do that is the path to ruin.

The short of it is British should never have had Stingers in v2.00 and we have now corrected it with v2.01.  That's not going to change with future releases.

Steve

That is why it is pointless discussing it further.

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Posted (edited)

Seeing the Starstreak would be fantastic but it requires alot of work and I don´t think the NATO countries that come without AA use them.

Perhaps there is an easier solution without the need to create new weapons. The mission editor allows to purchase from every blue or red faction at the same time. I think having something similiar for quick battle "service selection" tab would be great: Extra options called "ALL BLUE FORCES" or "ALL RED FORCES" could be added to this service tab allowing quick battle players to purchase multibranch or multinational forces. The player then could purchase an American stinger for his British forces for example.

This would give qb- and multi-players further options without doing harm to TO&E. Nobody wants to go full crazy with that (except you and your opponent want this to happen) but you can still play the usual British- or NATO-only or what you have negotiated with your opponent but furthermore could agree that American stinger teams are authorized. This allows players to have possible Syrian air intervention but also for possible British and NATO anti air defenses. 

What do you guys think? 

Edited by contact wait out

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10 hours ago, Sequoia said:

If our Syrian war were real it would be unlikely any Syrian aircraft would have successful sorties due to NATO air cover but what is the British doctrine if they had to fight in say, the Ukraine?

Well for starters the UK forces do have AA assets IRL.

As to what would be different between operating in Syria or Ukraine I would honestly expect very little difference at all. Clearly in Syria there would be no Syrian air force left at all. In the case of Ukraine I am sure that NATO would not be willing to destroy the entire Russian air force but no Russian air craft would be able operate long against hypothetical NATO forces in Ukraine. I'd say none would succeed but it is possible that some missions might get through. It would be so few that it would be effectively irrelevant.

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When we put Syrian air power into CMSF1 we did so telling people, at the time, we were doing it "for the Hell of it".  Realistically it shouldn't be included at all.  Soooo... the real fix to this isn't chasing our tails around and around about what AA assets various Blue forces might or might not have had in 2008, but rather just pull Red Force's air support.  Problem solved :D

It was never our intention to make CMSF2 into an entirely new game with entirely new units from what CMSF1 had.  We broke the rules in a few places because it didn't add too much to our development schedule (which, as we know, was already way past projected completion).  Red Forces obviously had the most need for AA units because Blue Force is very likely to show up to a battle with air support and that air support is exceptionally devastating when used correctly.  Fortunately, CMSF1 already had some non-functional AA assets so it was just a matter of recoding them to work with the more recent engine changes.  Adding the Russian/Ukrainian MANPADs from CMBS was a no-brainer as well.  All good there.

As Red Force's air support was a total fantasy to start with, and it isn't very effective, we didn't give it much thought to Blue Force air defenses until the very end of development.  Since we had Stingers "in stock" sitting in CMBS, that was an obvious one to move into CMSF2.  But you'll notice we did not try to integrate it into TO&E and instead have it as a stand alone Specialist Team.  IIRC we only put them into the game a month or two before the game shipped when we felt it wasn't going to get in the way of more important things.  You guys have no idea how much of a PITA these "easy" additions can wind up being because of unanticipated complications.  Thankfully there was a minimum level of annoyance porting them over, otherwise we would have dropped 'em.

The Brits wound up with Stingers simply because we tossed them in at the last minute without our usual careful vetting process.  When it was pointed out that the Brits didn't in fact have the Stinger at that time, it was too late to take it back for v2.00 (either because we were about to ship or had just shipped, I forget which).  Because we feel so strongly the integrity of CM depends heavily on accurate unit portrayal, the Stinger had to come out.  Not a second thought about it then nor now.  Yes, we do bend realism a little here and there, but we don't break it.  For example, Syria having access to air support is unrealistic, but it's not utterly crazy to put in air support types that Syria actually had in this timeframe.  Giving Syria access to air support AND having those assets be fantasy modern Russian support is definitely crossing the line.

This is the background to both why things are as they are in CMSF2 specifically, as well as the rationale for having it be this way for the sake of Combat Mission in general.

OK, next topic... why not have Starstreak in for the Brits?  Frankly, because we didn't think it important enough to bother with. Still don't :D  As others have said the people advocating for some form of AA defense for the Brits have a very weak case to make.  Syrian forces aren't likely to show up with air support at all and it's unlikely to be effective even if it does.  The claim that the lack of AA defenses for the Brits somehow unbalances/kills QBs is ridiculous.  And I'm being kind.

CMSF1 did not offer either side air defenses at all, yet nobody said the game was unplayable as a result.  Players did make agreements with their playing partners to not use them, but that's not limited to CMSF.  QB players have all kinds of agreements, such as not playing with naval artillery in Normandy, no heavy tanks, no rainy weather, no night games, etc.  I don't see why Britain's lack of MANPADs creates unique conditions that can't be worked around like so many other things QB players want to restrict.

Aside from that, we do have a rule that we do not put in models that look like and act like something, but call it something totally different.  Very rarely we bend this rule when there's a  minor artwork difference that has no impact on the game's simulation qualities.  The discussion above with the M203 and M320 falls into that category, though in fact we have modified the models even if they aren't showing up (see next post).

Bottom line...

Brits not having any AA defenses at all is not realistic.  Giving them Stingers is not realistic.  Giving them Stingers that are labeled "Starstreak" is not realistic.  Having the Brits need AA defenses at all is not realistic.  And yet here we are, sucking up my time dealing with an issue that by any reasonable definition isn't worth it.

If you want to know why we don't break rules, and only reluctantly bend them, look no further than this thread.  Sometimes trying to do something is worse than doing nothing at all.  We always have to keep that in mind.  For the record, I'm fine with most of the trouble it took to deliver Red Force air support (improved since CMSF1, BTW) and Blue Force defenses, but there are limits.

Steve

 

 

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Quick response to offering a QB option to mix forces... long standing request that can not be fulfilled.  The game's core QB code was not set up with this in mind because, at the time, we were concerned about memory usage (still kinda are).  Every nation that is added into a battle comes with a pretty sizeable RAM footprint due to voice sound effects and (to a lessor extent) other stuff.  A single 1 man team carries the same overhead as a division.  From there we get into other memory related issues, such as Nation A has different soldier models than Nation B, which means more overhead.  And then we get into the specific stuff like Nation A having different rifles than Nation B, so that means different rifle graphics, animations, sound effects, and data resources.

A little of this doesn't make a difference, which is why you can mix forces in the Editor and the game doesn't bomb out.  However, scenario authors are not generally mixing in lots of crazy stuff, so generally speaking the excesses are kept in check naturally.  If QBs allowed people to select stuff from all over the place that check would be gone.  Unless we coded something specifically to govern those choices, which adds to development time we would rather spend elsewhere.  Especially because fundamental, very expensive, changes would be needed to the core of the QB code before we could even do that.

Steve

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BFC very nearly forgot to include Blue AA units at all in the Beta, they were among the last things added. Because Syrian airpower is merely an afterthought.  Syrian airpower was introduced in CMSF1 NATO because it was the final module of the series and players had begged for its inclusion. Players knew up front that it was gamey and they'd be defenseless against it but they wanted it just for fun, regardless. 'Please please please, we promise we won't complain after we get it!' Its ironic that one of the solutions posted above was to strip Syrian airpower out of the game. Syrian airpower was never meant to be a serious component of Red defense. It was an end-of-title Easter Egg for the fans. 

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1 hour ago, Battlefront.com said:

Quick response to offering a QB option to mix forces... long standing request that can not be fulfilled.  The game's core QB code was not set up with this in mind because, at the time, we were concerned about memory usage (still kinda are).  Every nation that is added into a battle comes with a pretty sizeable RAM footprint due to voice sound effects and (to a lessor extent) other stuff.  A single 1 man team carries the same overhead as a division.  From there we get into other memory related issues, such as Nation A has different soldier models than Nation B, which means more overhead.  And then we get into the specific stuff like Nation A having different rifles than Nation B, so that means different rifle graphics, animations, sound effects, and data resources.

A little of this doesn't make a difference, which is why you can mix forces in the Editor and the game doesn't bomb out.  However, scenario authors are not generally mixing in lots of crazy stuff, so generally speaking the excesses are kept in check naturally.  If QBs allowed people to select stuff from all over the place that check would be gone.  Unless we coded something specifically to govern those choices, which adds to development time we would rather spend elsewhere.  Especially because fundamental, very expensive, changes would be needed to the core of the QB code before we could even do that.

Steve

I didn´t know that this is a concern. We created testing scenarios with huge regiment-sized forces including tons of all module´s units simultaneously and it worked like a charm for us. I understand that it may can cause trouble for some people with older computers however.

The more important fact is that it would require lot of coding work. In my opinion having QB mix forces isn´t that important and I agree that there are definitely better things to spent development time on.

But please do not remove Syrian air support like one proposed here. Even while we should consider Syrian Air Support just as an extra goodie added due to player request I still had tons of fun calling in and watching those Migs and Sukhois… even so when I ended up on the receiving end 😁.

Nevertheless best success for further Combat Mission development. Love CMSF2 👍

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6 minutes ago, contact wait out said:

I didn´t know that this is a concern. We created testing scenarios with huge regiment-sized forces including tons of all module´s units simultaneously and it worked like a charm for us. I understand that it may can cause trouble for some people with older computers however.

Yup, certainly if you have a pretty good computer these days there's not so much of an issue.  However, the coding of the QB system started out around 2006 when people only had maybe 2GB of RAM and maybe a 512MB video card.  So the game was coded with that sort of hardware in mind.  Sometimes coding is flexible enough to change with the times, sometimes not.  Recoding is something that has to be done from time to time, but only if it's absolutely necessary and also worth the pain.

6 minutes ago, contact wait out said:

The more important fact is that it would require lot of coding work. In my opinion having QB mix forces isn´t that important and I agree that there are definitely better things to spent development time on.

Yup, that's our thinking as well.

6 minutes ago, contact wait out said:

But please do not remove Syrian air support like one proposed here. Even while we should consider Syrian Air Support just as an extra goodie added due to player request I still had tons of fun calling in and watching those Migs and Sukhois… even so when I ended up on the receiving end 😁.

Oh, no worries there!  I was simply saying removing the Red Force's air support is the most logical, realistic fix to some of the arguments being put to us.

6 minutes ago, contact wait out said:

Nevertheless best success for further Combat Mission development. Love CMSF2 👍

Thanks!  No game is perfect and for sure there's a logical argument to make for the inclusion of some sort of MANPAD for the Brits.  Very logical, in fact.  However, sometimes logical things sit nested inside of other logical things which, unfortunately, don't play nice with each other.  Navigating competing interests is a never ending challenge for a game developer.  Especially one that is concerned about realism and, therefore, doesn't have as much flexibility as others.

Steve

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