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blow56
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Will someone in BF please fix this mess? I have used aircraft in five games now and in all five I have had an air strike on my own troops. I know blue on blue is a possibility, but it seems the percentage chance of it is far too high for me. There should, at least, be a liaison between ground and air to some extent, not just a random search by aircraft for any targets it can find, regardless.

Bring back the old method - I still have no idea why you decided to change it. It worked perfectly well and even if you thought it was a little too accurate for the period, there is an interim between that and free agent, go bomb who you like.

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I updated my Normandy/Market Garden. Now I have the same aircraft mess - and Allied forces had good liaison - unless you were US Airforce high-level carpet bombers. Basically - the air use is horrifically imbalanced now and makes the use of aircraft in a scenario too much of a problem to risk.

I know it was my own aircraft because the opposition had none. I set it as a benchmark test - clear weather. Five out of five blue-on-blues - three Russian, one German and one RAF on British troops who were nowhere close to the enemy.

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You need to re-read your history books.

Lol I was just thinking that. People have a funny perspective at times. It could simply be not having read enough material. Depending on authors you can get some really ass backwards views of how things really worked. I tend to be real wary of using aircraft. Only when I have a lot of distance between my troops and the target area.

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Really if you know friendly aircraft re overhead you should take some prudent precautions during gameplay. Planting a tank smack in the center of a large open field, its liable to get bombed no matter who is overhead. Getting under some tree cover does make a significant difference.

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Sorry, but this 'you need to read more' attitude just irritates me. Clearly - and with no justification in fact - certain contributors dismiss my criticisms of whatever algorithm this game uses re aircraft as simply the witterings of the ill-informed. Wrong. I am considerably well informed re close air support operations in WW2, from Allies and German sides. That's what leads me to believe the usage in this game is flawed and unrepresentative. You would do better to look at that rather than try and shoot the messenger down with the flak of ignorance. I always thought CMx1 air use was a little too precision and looked forward to, say, a compulsory wider circle of operation. But NO restrictions? It would have been better to reflect that the chance of a successful outcome was slim (ie hitting anything of worth) and the loss rate high. Instead we have a situation where you are throwing the equivalent of powerful artillery up in the air, literally, with no idea of where it will land. That's hardly an accurate representation of close-air support in WW2.

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Sorry, but this 'you need to read more' attitude just irritates me. Clearly - and with no justification in fact - certain contributors dismiss my criticisms of whatever algorithm this game uses re aircraft as simply the witterings of the ill-informed. Wrong. I am considerably well informed re close air support operations in WW2, from Allies and German sides. That's what leads me to believe the usage in this game is flawed and unrepresentative. You would do better to look at that rather than try and shoot the messenger down with the flak of ignorance. I always thought CMx1 air use was a little too precision and looked forward to, say, a compulsory wider circle of operation. But NO restrictions? It would have been better to reflect that the chance of a successful outcome was slim (ie hitting anything of worth) and the loss rate high. Instead we have a situation where you are throwing the equivalent of powerful artillery up in the air, literally, with no idea of where it will land. That's hardly an accurate representation of close-air support in WW2.

I agree with you about the flak but that would not have happened if you wouldent have started with "fix this mess". If you come of rude you will get shot down.

A more polite and to the point post, with facts will yield much better results.

As I posted earlier, I feelt it was good in x1. From what I hear, insidents of blue on blue seems to to frequent in x2 3.0 but I have to little experience myself so cant say where I stand on the matter yet.

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Your initial post shows that you think there is a problem. Ok, maybe there is. Maybe not.

There is absolutely no need or expectation that you do anything about it. In fact, creating a thread about it is a service towards improving the game. Thank you.

However...without savegames or screenshots, it will be more difficult for us (beta testers) to dig into it and present it to BFC for a change. (Assuming we verify the issue.)

Can you provide more detail about what occurred? What, about that instance, do you think is wrong, and why?

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Instead we have a situation where you are throwing the equivalent of powerful artillery up in the air, literally, with no idea of where it will land. That's hardly an accurate representation of close-air support in WW2.

A more accurate representation of CAS in terms of actually firing airborne ordnance at engaged troops would probably be to disallow CAS at all.

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Yep. Rule 1 for most realistic representation of CAS in any of the CM WWII games is “don’t use any”.

IMHO, second most realistic representation would be something like pre-planned (setup phase only) asset, available units of a flight (4 ships) minimum, that could be directed only to hit a fairly broad target area (maybe a minimum target area of a 250m radius circle, arguably larger). Further, the planes should not necessarily target specific enemy units, but rather just drop ordnance into the target zone, though they should probably have some limited ability recognize and preferentially attack really obvious targets like vehicles sitting in the open without top cover.

And there should still be a decent chance of the ordnance dropping outside the target zone, for a number of reasons: (a) the pilot might have read the map wrong, or (B) the pilot could miss badly (historical 50% CEP for bombing attacks by well-trained dive bomber pilots under combat conditions start at about 50m in ideal, unopposed conditions, but climb rapidly to 100m+ if there is AAA fire, wind, etc.), or © the pilot might get “buck fever” and attack something he sees (possibly friendly) outside the designated target zone (MANY examples of this happening historically).

And even this type of Tac Air support should be very rare. In CMRT’s context it should only be available to Soviets, and only in deep penetration, armored spearhead attack scenarios, because this is the only tactical situation where the Soviets used on-call CAS with any frequency. Generally speaking the Red Army preferred artillery to CAS, but when the armored spearheads outran their artillery support, the Soviets did establish a system to substitute with Sturmoviks, in a manner similar to the US/Brit ACC/CABRANK systems in the ETO.

The Germans also had the theory and doctrine to do this kind of thing, but by mid-1944 they didn’t have enough planes to even contest for local air superiority over the battlefield, let alone actually launch coordinated CAS attacks. Any German use of Tac Air in the Bagration time frame was quick, hit-and-run attacks that were not coordinated with local ground action.

So anyway… there’s how Tac Air would work in CM if it were my circus and I controlled the monkeys. But it ain't my circus... regardless, it’s not something I lose a lot of sleep over, because I generally follow the first rule above: If you want realistic WWII CAS, don’t use any at all.

The present CMRT system isn’t so much unrealistic as it is limited to modeling only one type of situation: A situation where a “hunting” aircraft happen to pass over the battlefield and the pilot decides to attack something of his own volition. This wasn’t supposed to happen – by 1944, all major combatants had figured out that allowing attack aircraft to hunt freely near the line of contact was about as likely to result in a friendly fire incident as it was enemy casualties. So pilots were generally instructed to attack targets of opportunity only once they were deep enough into enemy-held territory that there was no chance of a blue-on-blue. But it still happened, for any of a number of reasons. Pilot might estimate his location incorrectly, line of contact might have moved faster than expected, the aforementioned “buck fever”, etc.

So if you want to throw a little chaos into your CMRT fight, by all means toss a fighter-bomber or two into the mix. If you want tight control over CAS assets, go play CMSF, or wait until CM Black Sea comes out…

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The five occasions concerned fictional scenarios. The weather was clear in all of them, my troops were mostly in cover - and none of the strikes seemed to take it into account, one way or another. At no time was the enemy closer than 450m - in fact, in four of the scenarios, the enemy was at 600-700m (I like big maps). In the case of the RAF (Normandy) scenario, the enemy had AA, was at 690-720m away - and the first arriving aircraft bombed my FO, in a six-storey building, in the middle of a village. I agree with YankeeDog almost completely - but it is sad that it has to be that way. As for my 'coming off rude', I thought I was restrained. From the follow-up posts, it is clear there IS a problem and rather, as I said, than shooting the messenger it might be better to focus on what can be done about it. Fixing the mess, in short. And it is a mess - under current parameters, the only thing you can do with air power in CMBN/FI/RT is not use it at all, or throw it in if you are feeling masochistic, as YankeeDog says.

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That is not true. In my experience aircraft seldom (if ever?) attack friendlies if they are given a discreet point target (i.e. you tell them to bomb this spot), but chance of FF goes way up if they are given area targets (i.e. you tell them to find targets on their own), which is also presumably the default behavior of aircraft in RT.

It sounds like spotting may be more of an issue. If you have your own forces in concealment (especially in forests or structures), they should absolutely not be seen by WWII aircraft. If the spotting is flawed, then taking steps to mitigate risks to your own forces from hunting aircraft becomes pointless.

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Ah; so we're talking about a *CMBN* situation, not CMRT. Wrong forum; the two games are very different WRT CAS.

In CMBN, the player does have direct control over air assets. Too much, IMHO, but I'll refrain from beating that dead horse.

Anyway, my experiences match akd's: In CMBN, aircraft given "Point" target orders rarely, if ever, go off target. Point target missions simply tell the aircraft to try to "hit the bullseye", whether the pilot sees any enemy there or not.

One qualifier: the aircraft has to actually see the ground of the target point to execute the mission. So be careful with Point target missions plotted into heavy top cover (i.e., trees), and smoke. If the pilot fails to see the target point, he'll just buzz the field a couple of times without dropping any ordnance.

"Area" CAS requests in CMBN are different. Aircraft executing an Area target will hunt for enemy unit(s) in the target zone and will not drop ordnance unless they see something to attack. Further, IME it seems that if the pilot fails to spot anything to attack in the target zone, he's very likely to go "off the ranch", and try to attack something on the map, possibly a friendly.

Moral of the story: Use CAS Area Targets in CMBN with care and generally only when you're pretty confident there's an enemy in the target zone the pilot will be able to spot.

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Reading the OP again, this seems to be in RealTime play, since v2.2, since Blow56 makes reference to "changes" and "the old way".

There have been assertions elsewhere that the FAC has been removed from the loop (a la Red Thunder) in upgraded installs. Has anyone checked whether this is, in fact, the case?

Keen as I am to see some of the new features, I'm a bit reluctant to upgrade just yet, as there seem to be a slew of versioning errors (like the introduced single-storey-building-bug) that I'd rather wait until they're fixed.

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Your initial post shows that you think there is a problem. Ok, maybe there is. Maybe not.

The five occasions concerned fictional scenarios. The weather was clear in all of them, my troops were mostly in cover - and none of the strikes seemed to take it into account, one way or another. At no time was the enemy closer than 450m - in fact, in four of the scenarios, the enemy was at 600-700m (I like big maps). In the case of the RAF (Normandy) scenario, the enemy had AA, was at 690-720m away

Here is the thing. You kicked off basically saying CAS is totally broken and then threw in a very few details. Hummm, considering many of us have experienced CAS and do not have your concerns you might not be surprised that people were displeased by your opening salvo :)

As Ken says you might have run into a real problem - and many of us would be happy to help figure that out.

So, let me put what you initially stated in perspective. It sounds like I have used CAS about the same amount as you. After the first time I used it and had one friendly fire attack run - that's right one - I changed my personal rules to make sure that the edge of the target circle is never closer to my positions that 500m preferably more. Since that first experience I have never had another blue on blue air attack. Not once more.

So, am I lucky? Are you unlucky? Beats me, lets find out. Do you have saves of any of the incidents you experienced? If not how about trying to recreate the incidents?

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It would be logical to believe that the same will be true of the upgraded BN and FI.

Apparently it is, although from what I understood before they decided against it.

The cheap Sturmovik strafe variants seem suitable to scare an opponent out of his well plannend positions in a PBEM :)

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No FOs are needed for airstrikes in Red Thunder, right? It would be logical to believe that the same will be true of the upgraded BN and FI.

Except the last we heard it was considered that the ETO had sufficient control to leave it as-is. And it's not so much that no FOs are needed, as FOs have no control over airstrikes in Red Thunder, and that doesn't seem right for the ETO. Especially given that there are campaign missions with air, which will be a pure crapshoot if there's no control: there's no overhead cover for the airborne in the early "Road to Nijmegen" scenarios, and they'll get strafed to bits if it can't be directed.

Since they've already found they've used a build that introduces the "single storey building" bug to BN where it wasn't before, it wouldn't surprise me if the "FOs control CAS" switch is set wrong too.

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