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Attilaforfun

ATGMs (and RPGs) an order of magnitude too powerful

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I played a lot of Combatintman's Shock Force scenarios when I was working on my Afghanistan mod project last year and it kind of opened my eyes.

I had tried to design small engagements between ISAF and Taliban fighters in the editor for fun and to test things out before that. And one thing I was unsure of was what experience level to give the Taliban. At first I told myself okay these guys must be tough, they have have had to deal with foreign armies for ages etc. Surely they must be rated regulars, some greens but also maybe a bunch of hardened veterans etc.

But then when you use these experience levels, you get quite unrealistic results, in particular casualties levels at the end of the battle. You look at British losses in Afghanistan and I think it is something close to 400 fatalities from the results of combat in roughly 15 years, as opposed to accidents that is. Granted the distribution of these losses is not even, with only 5 prior to the deployment in Helmand province and probably half of these were caused by IED's.

Of course a CM scenario needs to be a made a bit more exciting in order to be fun so a slightly higher casualty rate than in reality is acceptable. But still it didn't feel right with the parameters I had.

However if you make the Taliban a mix of green and conscripts and play on large maps with realistic distances and engagement ranges, suddenly you start to get results that feel a lot more right with RPG's missing left and right etc. And this is not to say that all Talibans are horrible shots and don't know how to fight. Far from it.

But basically if you play on large maps, so it is not a knife fight in a phone booth, lower the experience levels of the enemy and do stuff like not pushing too hard and assaulting enemy positions but instead call an air strike on them instead once you have fixed them, you are a lot more likely to get the kind of realistic results you are expecting.

 

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There's a big difference between the capabilities of AI controlled units in defence and in the attack.....The minute the AI starts moving units around, their casualties will go through the roof.  Consequently in my experience it can be worth making 'Active' AI controlled units a little more capable and significantly stronger willed than 'Passive' AI controlled units.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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On 12/25/2019 at 4:45 AM, Gazmaps said:

a. Amateur Insurgents in Iraq would often use HE instead of AP / HEAT rockets when engaging Armour with RPGs simply because they didn't know any better. I also heard this was because they simply thought the bigger bang from HE did more damage to armour...

1. RPG-7 does not have a "pure" HE round - only FRAG. There's no way soneone can mistake RPG's FRAG for HEAT.

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2. FRAG packs quite a modest amount of explosives. HEAT is waaaay more loud.

3. FRAGs are hard to come by IRL.

On 12/25/2019 at 4:45 AM, Gazmaps said:

Chechen RPG  teams (ex Sovient trained) would typically immobilize Russian Armour first and only then look to finish of the vehicle

Lessons-learned report produced after First Chechen War does not support this. Most of the hits were for made to kill.

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Edited by IMHO

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Iraqi insurgents were getting Chinese rounds in towards the end. HE rounds that look a bit like flying thermos bottles.  One was a specialized 'bouncing' round specially made to skip and tumble when hitting the ground only to go off in mid air.

 

 

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Edited by MikeyD

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I don't know about an order of magnitude; that is a lot.

They are difficult at times. There's a scenario in TF Thunder's campaign (5?) where you are hunting manpads, the briefing says to be quick and remember your armour is impenetrable to small arms, but if you roll your Strykers in within 500yds they'll get cooked, and fast. You must screen.

Screening however is difficult and very time consuming. On urban maps where every single building can hide an AT team it's a tactical nightmare.

As for RPG-29/AT-14 effectiveness, the internet is full of videos from Syria and Turkey showing tanks getting opened up like they're paper. In fact it's videos from Syria that made me think BF had got it right. Cities are no places to be rolling vehicles around, especially when every man-jack has a bloody RPG under his bed.

Edited by Sulman

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11 hours ago, Sulman said:

Screening however is difficult and very time consuming. On urban maps where every single building can hide an AT team it's a tactical nightmare.

RPGs in PvE games are a piece of cake in most cases. TacAI will invariably launch RPG as soon as you come within the range of the weapon despite the fact that first-hit probability for a fast moving vehicle is negligible if you don't come closer than something like 200-250m (depending on the RPG team skills). So you have about 300m of almost risk-free range that you can use to bait TacAI into shooting and revealing itself. Just expose the vehicle a tiny bit over the time needed to place a shot - usually about 5 secs for the first pop-up, 2-3secs if you pop-up again at the same place. And having done this few times and seeing no shot directed at you you can be sure there's no hidden RPG team.

ATGMs are way more dangerous - one has to be very precise with calculations. A second less and they don't launch at all and you never know if they're lurking somewhere or not. A second more and you're toast.

PS Numbers are for CMBS - CMSF can differ.

Edited by IMHO

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I cannot recall reading about incidents during the Iraq war of ATGMs being used against coalition forces. If they occurred they weren't publicized. I do remember there was an (incorrect) report during the invasion of an Abrams being hit by a Kornet and the Pentagon absolutely FREAKED! They threatened to bomb Damascus if any Kornets were found in Iraq. It turned out that 'Kornet' hit was actually something very much more minor. But the Pentagon seemed genuinely rattled by the prospect of facing off against modern generation ATGMs. That's why they're now spending big $$$ on Trophy.

 

Abrams Trophy.jpg

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10 hours ago, MikeyD said:

I cannot recall reading about incidents during the Iraq war of ATGMs being used against coalition forces. If they occurred they weren't publicized. I do remember there was an (incorrect) report during the invasion of an Abrams being hit by a Kornet and the Pentagon absolutely FREAKED! They threatened to bomb Damascus if any Kornets were found in Iraq. It turned out that 'Kornet' hit was actually something very much more minor. But the Pentagon seemed genuinely rattled by the prospect of facing off against modern generation ATGMs. That's why they're now spending big $$$ on Trophy.

 

Abrams Trophy.jpg

I remember all that talk about the Kornets. It's a strange reaction from the DoD, but this is how the game is played in DC. When there is perception of a capability gap, the money flows. 

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