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Air support not flying their missions


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Hello all. So I'm playing the third scenario of the Allied MG campaign (and really enjoying it so far).

I won't spoil the mission for those who haven't played it, but I tried to call in an airstrike on a target. I called in two planes. Both never arrived and their missions were cancelled.

The FO had LOS to both strikes. There were trees covering the targets, but an earlier mortar strike had knocked some of the branches off.

Could the planes just not see the target? Or is the game programmed to have some air strikes not show up? Does this vary by mission?

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AFAIK, in CMBN planes always show up, but they do often have trouble seeing targets with overhead cover. So most likely, your planes did show up but failed to see the target and went home after a few passes.

There is a sound file that plays when a plane first shows up does a flyover to look for the the target, but it's fairly subtle and easy to miss.

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Gotcha. Second question - do the planes have to spot an actual target to engage, or just the piece of ground that the target is on?

I don't know about area missions; I've never watched one from the receiving end where there wasn't a target... but for point missions, they'll attack the designated spot, even if it's empty ground, or a building.

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Gotcha. Second question - do the planes have to spot an actual target to engage, or just the piece of ground that the target is on?

If you target an actual unit (i.e., draw the target line to an enemy unit the spotter can see and get the "Target Vehicle" alert text or similar when you plot the target), then you are telling the pilot to target that unit specifically, and he needs to actually spot that unit or he won't attack. One exception is that pilots will sometimes screw up and mis-ID another unit as the unit they're supposed to target and attack that unit instead (this could mean that the pilot attacks a friendly). But more often, if the pilot can't see the intended target, he'll just fly away after a few passes. Note that as long as the spotter on the ground keeps the enemy unit in sight, this type of targeting order will move with the enemy unit if the enemy unit moves.

If you plot a "Point Target" on the ground, then the the pilot won't care whether he can actually see an a enemy unit at the target point; he'll drop the ordnance there regardless. However, he does need to be able to see that specific spot on the ground. This means plotting point targets into areas with heavy tree cover is usually a bad idea as the pilot will wave off if the tree canopies are blocking his view of the ground (personally, I don't find this very realistic, but this is the way it is). Heavy smoke can also screw up point target missions.

With "Area Target" orders, the pilot will hunt for enemy targets within the specified area, and attack something if he sees it. Note that the area targeting isn't particularly precise and pilots will sometimes attack a unit outside of the plotted target area, including friendlies.

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