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BletchleyGeek

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  1. Thanks
    BletchleyGeek reacted to domfluff in Firing ATGM at infantry.   
    Quite right about the Milan usage and the other details (although you could reasonably question precisely *why* a battalion commander was charging an enemy trench with an SMG), but the above isn't strictly correct.

    Mark Adkin's Goose Green is a fantastically detailed breakdown of the battle, in all particulars. Goose Green was indeed a battalion attack against a regiment, but only on paper - they were extremely understrength, and in terms of actual fighting men, the ratio was almost exactly 1:1.

    That's not great, obviously - attacking over open ground and uphill against even odds is a massive failure on several levels, especially in intelligence, but the narrative of the paras winning outnumbered 1:3 isn't actually correct.
  2. Thanks
    BletchleyGeek reacted to slysniper in TOW MISSLE ISSUES NOT REPRESENTED IN THE GAME   
    Interesting original post, since you have imput from someone that actually used the system.
    I was only able to watch such guys use the system. 
    I do agree, he has some valid points as to accuracy of the weapon.
    But I would like to point out, some of the failure problem is during training, they are using old munitions, getting rid of the stuff that has been sitting around the longest.
    So that is a factor in some of the failure rate.
    Personnally, as for firing problems, I would say it was 1 in 5. from what I saw. As for missing the target, he likely has some good points for short range.
    But I do recall long range targets being missed a lot. Normally something failed with the communication by them. Wire issues. So not sure his high percentage at the longest ranges would be correct.
  3. Upvote
  4. Thanks
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Gary R Lukas in TOW MISSLE ISSUES NOT REPRESENTED IN THE GAME   
    First of all, after working with the TOW MISSLE SYSTEM for 8 years in the USMC ,it don't make me a TOW MISSLE EXPERT, BUT we had issues with the Regular TOW, Then the ITOW , then finally the TOW 2 came out and we had big issues with the TOW2. Shooting just the regular TOW Missile 10 times, we would have a failure rate of approximately 3-4 missile failures. most of those issues being a Broken Wire from the gun platform to the missile itself. We also had 2 missiles that blew up only 20-30 yards, which was an issue by itself because the TOW missile wasn't supposed to arm its warhead until it went over 50 yards. Here is my last issue about the TOW, they are way to accurate at short ranges. When you fired your TOW MISSILE after the missile leaves the launch tube  the gunner is trying to reacquire its target, then while that's going on , the flight motors kick in and you can't see ****!!!!! around after 10-15 seconds now you can finally make sense out of everything, you can now see the target, see the IR light on the missile and now your heart is pumping hard now because in another 6-10 seconds, your target is getting ready to be obliterated, and they don't even know it!!!!  So if the BF Community can start making the Tows Less Accurate at shorter ranges would be a start, Say from 50 yards to 1,000 yards the hit rate should only be around 60 to 65 percent, From 1,000-2,000 yards the hit accuracy will now be getting better so I would say 70-90 percent, then from  2,000-just over 3,000 yards my percentage would go from 80-95 percent. During Desert Storm during the battle the M2-M3 Bradley had a Huge problems
  5. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Combatintman in Editor mod for footpaths   
    You make maps? ... everyday's a school day 😏
  6. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to George MC in Mit Karacho!   
    Yeah Panthers (if not most tanks) will take longer to spot if the TC is buttoned up. Though as you mention having the TC capped by infantry small arms equally recues spotting ability!
    The gun sight in the Panther gives a field of vision at 2.5x mag of just under 500m at 1000m (IIRC). Though the drill for Panthers was the TC spotted the targets and talked the gunner onto acquiring them. Though again I'm sure most tanks would sue that method especially given the sights used at the time and the primacy of the MK1 eyeball (with binos) in spotting. FYI Soviet doctrine was generally for attacking tanks to be closed up but from personal accounts I've read many Soviet TCs would still stick their head up to see what was going on.
    I think you are right that area firing would indicate your position and it was this the SU crew most likely spotted and engaged on.
    I'm not sure how good SUs are at spotting. In truth in playing the game they seem (personal impression NOT proven!) they seem on a par with tanks i.e. if TC unbuttoned then spot quicker, if TC buttoned then yup takes varying time depending on variety of factors e.g. experience, suppression, what potential target is doing, as in things moving and firing are always easier to pick up than something sitting quietly observing.
    IIRC in Mit Karacho there is light fog and its not long after dawn so poor light conditions. The LOS/LOF tool indicates the maximum distance you can area fire to but spotting to that range is very variable and more likely for practical purposes to be very much less (although does depend on what activity the target is engaging in, if been spotted by friendlies and that contact shared etc). In short spotting is a complex process and has some degree of variability.
    There is lots of advice on this forum about players take and approach to managing this. Mine? I use my tanks in pairs, if close terrain then keep them close in pairs and ideally team up with dismounts who can scout ahead and spot targets and then share that info.
    So in short all of the above is modelled - though how much and how accurately is the stuff of forum debate. Note the game uses a 'spotting cycle' which can sometimes cause some weirdness.
    But 'seeing' things is filled with weirdness. Just today a guy about ran out in front of my car (doing 20mph) even although he seemed to be looking right at me, and I spotted him from 50m and thought "hhm he's going to chance running" and covered the brakes. As I drew level with him he made to run but his missus grabbed him - he looked surprised and was obvious he'd not clocked the large white car meters from him. Spotting cycle must have been against him  
  7. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Howler in How do they prevent friendly fire between the base of fire and manoeuvre force IRL?   
    Watch your suppression meter though. It is effected by nearby fire from friendlies.
  8. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek got a reaction from Vanir Ausf B in WITE-2: thoughts and opinions?   
    WITE 2 is a significant evolution wrt WITE and WITW. You have a more refined model of supply distribution (still abstract in jarring ways though), movement (more granular ground conditions, roads and rail transport), meaningful (allegedly) operational level air warfare (opposed to merely tactical), a notion of command inertia (preparation or ops planning points), combat delays/congestion (to more accurately reflect time and space constraints), and engaging campaign victory conditions (sudden death, high water mark rewards, vp awarded in function of how early or late certain milestones are achieved), and a significant overhaul of the user interface. The manual is very well written and it will be actually helpful and informative. A lot of effort went into it.
    There are a few "contras" too. The AI is as smart as Gary can program it, no more and no less. So quite smart, but not magical. In a game with this scope, that means things can go off the rails in distracting ways. Also it is a 1980s AI: it cheats, way less than it used to,  and doesn't feel ashamed of doing so. You can adjust the level of cheating but the settings (basically a knob that goes from "I win always"/ "damaged tanks are always recovered and fixed" to "AI has nukes"/"AI has Star Trek technology to move and generate supply") require experimentation. Given that you need to restart a game if you mess up settings, throwing away hours, I find this irksome. WITE2 is funnest against a proper human opponent, the AI is for learning the game imo, just don't look too close at what it does with the rules. The game has no  HD support beyond 1080p, if you need big displays the game will be possibly unplayable (native scaling is being implemented and should be out soon). The event engine is underutilized imo, but offers a few welcome morsels of flavour (but nothing like HOI4 which I think is all flavour and texture). The UI has been greatly improved but still fails to explain well combat results.
    If you're up for a big time commitment - a turn of the GC can take easily one hour or more of your time - and have a reliable war gaming buddy that is happy to play huge CMx2 scenarios to the end, then you can't go wrong with WITE2.
  9. Thanks
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Ultradave in For you mortar men out there?   
    The fire direction center does the calculations for defection (azimuth) and elevation for the firing unit. There are two general types of fire missions "Adjust Fire" and "Fire for Effect" that a FO would call for, and they are exactly what they sound like. So for adjust fire, one round at a time is sent out, the FO sends back corrections, and the last correction should be 50m, so you get close and then call, "Drop 50, Fire for Effect" and the battery or mortar section sends the FFE, whatever that is determined to be (which is determined by the FDC normally, based on the FO target description in the call for fire).
    Fire for Effect is exactly that. FO calls in a fire mission with coordinates, FFE, and target description and gets, say a batter 3 rounds on target. The possible error here is greater, unless the FO has a pretty much perfect location coord of the target. Sometimes that's possible (crossroads visible on a map for example).
    And of course, if you are in a hurry (and who isn't in combat?), you can abbreviate the adjustment, maybe "Add 200, Fire for Effect" rather than a couple more rounds to get within 50, realizing that the FFE might be less accurate, depending on how good you are at estimating distances at a distance, target movement, etc.
    What a TRP does for you is cut time by having firing data to that point already calculated, and typically TRPs are selected so that their location is accurately placed, such as a crossroads, the tip of a treeline, a bridge - anything that can be very accurately picked from a map. The battery (or mortar section) would have pre-calculated firing data to the TRPs on the list, including time round data, so that a FFE call can go out quickly. A typical use would be to specify "From AB001,  Add 400, Fire for Effect, Infantry Company in the open"   AB001 being the TRP number. We had TRP numbers assigned by maneuver unit in blocks when I was doing this. 
    In either of these cases you are still going through the FDC, just different procedures/data.
    Of course if your FO is standing next to you or can shout, the mortar crew just dials in the pre calculated data. Keep in mind that 60mm mortar crews will be moving around a lot so TRPs are kind of useless for them. They'll know where the TRP is but have to recalculate the data anyway. 
    As an artillery battery we knew we'd be moving a lot too, because counter battery location radar was something that WAS quite good back then. Rule of thumb was 6 volleys from a position and time to move. So when you set up in a new position first thing is to recalculate all the TRP data, which you may be doing in between on call fire missions. We had 2 plotting boards, but they'll be busy, because one is primary, the other is the checker, and they'd be plotting a mission AND repotting the TRPs simultaneously. We practiced this a lot.
    Now with the more modern titles, like BS, and SF2, the FOs have the advantage of GPS, so they at least know their own positions very accurately. Cold War, GPS was just coming available, not in wide use and certainly not to the FO level. Laser designators were just making their appearance, usually for designating for air strikes. Our XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery did have a limited supply of rocket assisted 155mm rounds (can't remember the name - first ones available), and those were final guided by laser. Pretty much just in field test mode then. Computerized fire control was in its infancy during the time covered by CMCW. TACFIRE was just being tested - computerized fire control system. Very bulky, kind of balky. We had FADAC (Field Artillery Digital Analog Computer). We never used it. It weighed 400 lbs, didn't work after being airdropped (we broke several) and was really slow. We could easily beat it with good old charts and darts, which did not change significantly from WW2, through Korea, Vietnam and the CW period. Same techniques, updated data, more radios to comminicate.
    I think most of this is represented in game pretty well. There are 2 things I'd love to see in CM:
    1) The ability to call a FFE on a map location, without having any eyes on it or a TRP. In real life this is common. You might have a sound contact or saw a unit that went out of sight behind a rise or treeline and you'd call in a FFE on a map location. Might be accurate, might not. But you'd do it.
    2) An initial call to shift from a TRP, rather than wait for the TRP mission and then adjust. Again a VERY common call for fire.
    Your last part is correct. Without a FDC and being significantly off line, corrections are going to be iffy for accuracy. I expect you'd do very rough in your head conversion of the adjustment, or the FO would do it before stating the correction. For example a 45 degree offset means .7x the stated correction, that sort of thing.
    Dave
  10. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to domfluff in For you mortar men out there?   
    So, a couple of thoughts/clarifications here, because I'm curious. I'm not referring to anything that Chuckdyke has talked about in this thread.

    The original post was asking if there was a difference in-game between the physical location of the mortar team, the observer and the target, in particular for spotting rounds.

    So:

    (I'm mostly considering this in the context of the modern titles, so potentially all of the available kit)

    1) With an FDC, I was under the impression that the whole spotting round-adjust-fire for effect cycle wasn't required.

    That means that the closest representation in-game of this capability would be a TRP, would it not?

     2) The question that was originally posed in this thread is whether the physical location of the mortar, the FO and the target matter, and whether these are better lined up.

    Without an FDC, TC 3-22.90 (Mortars) is pretty clear that the FO should be within 100m of the mortars if possible, or else within 100m of the gun-target line. That seems mostly to make the trigonometry easier to do - there's no real reason why that couldn't be done as accurately with any degree of displacement, but that would make the sums a lot more fraught, and require an accurate idea of your relative position - so this is presumably done for reasons of practicality.

    In-game, if there was any difference in this to be seen, then presumably the difference you'd see would be in how quickly the spotting rounds get turned into fire for effect? If the FO was more than 100m off-line, then the accuracy of their adjustments would have an increasing amount of error to them (since the basic trig fudge will get increasingly wrong the more you deviate from the G-T line). If this was something the game models (and my brief testing seems to suggest that it is not), then the spotting rounds for an Observer that wasn't on the G-T line could be all over the place, no? And if those spotting rounds were wild, then the time it would take to adjust them onto the target would be greater, so the effect modelled would be (should be) that an FO not on-line would take longer to turn a mission into a fire for effect.

    Actual call-in times would be similar - there will be a minor effect of having an FO in shouting distance, particularly in EW scenarios, but that's a secondary, and much more minor point.
     
  11. Thanks
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Combatintman in For you mortar men out there?   
    Neither is it determined by being the most persistent and vocal person in the debate.  One of the people with whom you are disagreeing @Ultradaveis or was responsible for the planning and execution of indirect fires as a profession.  You, on the other hand, appear to lack the same credentials, so guess who is more likely to be believed.
  12. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Probus in Forum upvote/thanks/like   
    You need to enable negative voting because nothing bad could possibly happen if you did that. 😈(sarcasm)
    But seriously, I think negative feedback is abused in most places and causes an "echo chamber" effect, not to mention a more toxic environment.  Good choice @BFCElvis.  I would thank an upvote you but...  
  13. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Warts 'n' all in Today's forum change - the elixir of life   
    The years fall away.
  14. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Ultradave in Wargaming & PTSD--Important!   
    Excuse me?
  15. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Combatintman in Soviet campaign game 1- why does my FSE show up in a shooting gallery?   
    Even if they were based on non-Soviet publications those so-called "Western assertions" were solidly based.  I know from experience that both the US and UK had some pretty swept up Soviet studies branches staffed by Russian speakers and specialists in the discipline and no doubt other NATO nations had similar capabilities.  On top of that the intelligence operations with which I am very familiar, having worked on one of them, were enduring, comprehensive and multi-disciplined.  The doctrinal pamphlets therefore benefited from the results of the massive collection effort.  The Soviet Army was largely a conscript army which in time of war prioritised getting to places quickly, en masse supported by massive amounts of firepower.  To achieve all of this, it needed forces that were well-armed, reasonably well-protected and mobile that could deploy quickly and with the minimum of coordination.  For this it employed a series of simple but highly effective drills in offensive operations.  Those drills were practiced on exercises which were overtly publicised and often attended by Western military attaches.  Fine if you want to go with the 'yes but they will only show what they want people to see' argument but other exercises were tracked by NATO intelligence and in Germany these were covertly tracked by the three Allied Military Missions (BRIXMS, MMFL and the USMLM).  Skepticism is fine in limited doses but it is not so in this case.
  16. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to kohlenklau in kohlenklau CMFI North Afrika QB map-mod project   
    I am making a HUGE ARSE map for desert warfare. It is set at the maximum of 3488 meters in width by 5126 meters in depth.
    It loads for 3D preview on my machine in about 20-25 seconds.
    My desert map "iconic things" checklist...anything to add?
    wadi's
    undulations in the sand
    light scrub/brush
    escarpments
    some goat herders shack with a stone walled area for securing his girlfriends, I mean goats, 
    the supply road with mile markers
    the roadsign in the fuel drum!
    a small domed mosque (working on it)
    some brewed up wrecks
    tank track marks left in the dirt
    short telephone poles
    palm trees around an oasis/well
    dead camel?
    barbed wire fortification with metal stakes and no wood
  17. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Lethaface in How much effort do you put into a BFC scenario before moving on?   
    🤣
    Recognizable. I too have learned that expecting the same qauality & quantity of others (who can't always deliver that) is bound to lead to friction and or disappointment.
    Although you should always slack off to be able to keep surpassing expectations when it matters ;-).
     
    On scenarios, for me it depends what I expect from the scenario / why I play it:
    * A casual playthrough of a scenario, or just for immersion (RealTime can be fun for this): just play it out in one go and don't mind too much about winning / losing. If I win I win, if I lose I lose and that's fine.
    * A determined play to beat the scenario with proper analysis, planning and tactics: Restart if necessary and or if I want to try out several approaches of a given problem, savescum. Another reason for save/load is when troops do things I didn't want them to do. I can't really remember much scenario's that required more than one restart to win, perhaps apart from some vignettes which are notoriously hard.
    * Campaign play: depending on the campaign (Modern vs WW2, type of army) I can become a bit obsessed minimizing casualties and or the optimal way to achieve victory. So probably like determined play but more savescum/restarts if I don't like how things played out. However, if I feel I gave good orders and the troops behaved accordingly I'l usually accept the outcome and not restart or reload; casualties are a factor and the immersion of having to use units with prior casualties in further battles can be very rewarding imo. 
    However determined CM play requires a lot of thinking and energy (in my case), so that's not always an option after a busy workday / week. 
  18. Like
    BletchleyGeek reacted to domfluff in Does anyone think that the Dragon ATGMs in 1979 scenarios are too powerful?   
    Can I have your Dragons?

    I've seen Dragons and TOWs reliably bounce off the front of T-64 and up, especially the turret.

    It's obviously worth testing, and it's always possible there's an issue, but I don't recognise that in my experiences.
  19. Like
    BletchleyGeek got a reaction from chuckdyke in Command Ops 2   
    Cheers mate. Me too 😕
  20. Like
    BletchleyGeek got a reaction from chuckdyke in Command Ops 2   
    I would like to recommend the excellent scenarios by Chris Maiorana 
    http://thesharpendgaming.blogspot.com/
    Some of them using maps and estabs (tables of organisation and equipment) for projects that never happened: Stalingrad, Korsun, Pacific, all testing the limits of the ai programming and the simulation engine. I think all the stuff is on Steam.
    My favourite AARs were those by Dazkaz, one of the few(?) that realised there was a lot of game beyond the "a game that plays itself" promotional line which, in hindsight, poisoned the minds of many players. Mark here is perhaps one of the best players ever, his tutorials for Highway to the Reich are a classic. I have all of the stuff he wrote for the game archived for reference.
  21. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to ASL Veteran in So you just got your hands on CMCW...now what? Designers Q&A thread.   
    The thing with scenario size is that, generally speaking, the smallest 'semi' independent maneuver element is typically a battalion - at least for WW2.  Not sure if that's changed for modern or not, but you simply can't find very many situations with a company sized force that is operating independently of it's parent battalion.  Platoon sized actions take place obviously, but those are typically going to be patrol type actions and so you are somewhat limited in what you can do because a lot of patrolling activities simply don't translate into CM very well since they aren't typically going to be a 'capture location x' type of battle.  Prisoner snatch type of things simply won't work since you can't really deliberately capture enemies in CM.  You can do spotting for victory points, but then what's the other side doing during that time frame and if it's a larger enemy force then how does the player keep their 'spotting' units alive - especially if playing head to head.  Then how fun would that be anyway since most of the time would be spent hiding from the enemy.  It works for campaigns but not so much for a stand alone.
    On top of that, modern units just have a lot of 'stuff'.  Even a US Mech Infantry platoon is something like eleven 'pieces' if you split your squads.  A US Mech Cavalry troop has something like four tanks, three scout teams, two M901s, and three M113s IIRC so that's twelve pieces to move around for one troop.  Smaller battles are a lot easier and quicker to create, but at the same time there is only so much you can really do with them since you have to come up with patrol type objectives. 
    Incidentally the US side in Czechmate is only two platoons (slightly reinforced) and you are defending so it shouldn't be too taxing.  It's still a lot of pieces relatively speaking (in WW2 terms) because of all the vehicles, but the Soviet force is a lot larger so it wouldn't classify as a small scenario given the size of both forces combined.
  22. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to IICptMillerII in So you just got your hands on CMCW...now what? Designers Q&A thread.   
    Warren gave a great breakdown. I would add that one of the most common complaints I see everywhere about CM games set in a modern setting is that the maps are too small. "Knife fighting in a phone booth" is a phrase that is usually thrown around quite regularly. I sympathize with that assessment to a degree.
    I think that Cold War goes a long way of showing that with the proper sized maps, you can get real maneuver in a modern setting. Of course, the double edged sword here is that some people prefer those phone booth knife fights. I think that Warren is correct that Cold War currently is mostly the larger fights and does not have many smaller fights, and that going forward it will be important to try to include more of those smaller fights. But I think it was the right call going with the larger battles for the first game. After all, this was to be a massive mechanized fight, and I think it was important that Cold War capture that feeling and sense of scale out of the gate. 
    All that said, I do think that Combat Mission has an issue with what I call administrative burden, or overhead. The player has to give so many orders to so many individual units, that it can get really tiresome keeping up with everything. Just getting a single company to road march can take hundreds of clicks and pause commands, etc. 
    Reducing the admin burden on the player I think would go a long way to facilitating the playability of the larger battles. But that is completely in the hands of Steve and Charles, and is well beyond the scope of a game or module. 
  23. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to The_Capt in So you just got your hands on CMCW...now what? Designers Q&A thread.   
    Now some of you pay attention...this is good criticism.
    So yes, if someone asked me "what would you do different", I would have to say that the balance of scenario sized for this title is it.  We have only a minority portion of Tiny and Small battle in CMCW and we wrestled over that somewhat.  So why did we go this way (and there was a deliberate consideration):
    - CMCW is mechanized warfare.  One could argue it is set at the apogee of peer mechanized warfare.  So this does not mean infantry do not have a role, far from it; however, the infantry-only or infantry dominant fights are less realistic.  They definitely would have happened but they happen in context of a much larger mechanized battle.  The main problem here is weapon ranges and real estate.  As weapon systems evolved the frontages and area of effect for formations increases dramatically.  So the risk here for small force battles is big nearly empty maps or tiny fights at point blank range.  Not impossible (see Hunter or Prey for an outstanding small fight) but harder to consistently produce as realistic.
    - Casual vs Hardcore.  This one is much tougher...who is the audience?  Here we really had to stick with the CM brand, which is more hardcore in its niche.  The brand is based on hyper-realistic, to the point of being a simulation vice game, at the tactical level.  The target gamer is someone who wants that as part of their hobby.  So we leaned into that with realistic scenarios and campaigns, many of them pulled straight from period doctrine, which in this context as mentioned previously is fast moving mechanized based warfare.  This pretty much need the Coy Tm as a minimum in order to showcase accurately and the Coy Tm in 1982 needed a 2x2 km battle field as a minimum, in reality it could probable handle a 4 x 4km battlefield (terrain considerations).
    That said, I would really have liked to see good smaller scenarios and we will definitely take that into consideration for any DLC moving forward.
  24. Upvote
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Vacilllator in Why are modern CM title soldiers all white men?   
    FWIW, I think it was a reasonable question, and it was reasonably answered.  No need to lock IMHO.
  25. Like
    BletchleyGeek reacted to Geoff-Ludumpress in Ost Front Books   
    This arrived today, it's the second edition of 'Bloody Streets'. For those 'Fire & Rubble' nuts (like me) this is 25 years research on the Battle for Berlin in one book, well two, as it comes with a separate map book.  

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