Jump to content

We have super comms, even ECM, but could we please--finally--have flares?!


Recommended Posts

The old hands here have been asking for flares since CMx1's CMBO (2000), yet 15 years later we still don't have them. Given the proliferation of night vision devices both image intensifying and thermal, I'm less concerned with the use of flares for illumination in CMBS than I am with their signaling applications, which go back to at least WW II. Colored flares were used to warn of tank attack, air attack, call down protective barrages, signal attacks and retreats, etc.

 

Ironically, in a game in which we have voice radio, digital encrypted voice comms, even secure PDAs which don't use voice at all, we don't have the all time great backup communication option. The one which is near instantaneous, totally immune to even the worst jamming (which we now do have) and has high WX immunity, too. It's a known fact that during the Cold War the Russians also used flares to warn of nuclear, gas and biological attack--while carrying on with the same sorts of uses as during the GPW. Consequently, unless proven wrong, I'm of the considered opinion that both UKR and RUS still use them, but I can't speak to the US, where my info base on that is nil.

 

Would the military/ex-military members from UKR, RUS, POL et al. please discuss this to me very important issue as it applies to "broken back" and EMCON comm situations?

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MikeyD,

 

Thanks for responding so quickly. I specifically said "Given the proliferation of night vision devices both image intensifying and thermal, I'm less concerned with the use of flares for illumination in CMBS than I am with their signaling applications, which go back to at least WW II. Colored flares were used to warn of tank attack, air attack, call down protective barrages, signal attacks and retreats, etc." By saying that, what I sought to convey is that I don't really care (much) about flares for Illum in CMBS, but instead want colored flares--the flare pistol fired star cluster variety--for visual comms w/o radio or other electronic emissions being involved. I certainly agree that earlier NVG and image intensification night scope displays would indeed "bloom" if subjected to the blinding light of a magnesium flare.

 

Frankly, I'm unsure whether your reply is intended to convey two separate and distinct thoughts, or whether the second sentence is a kind of restatement of the first. I've long been of the opinion, and have so stated on several occasions, that we ought to have both Illum rounds and signal flares, both of which provably and many many times factored into WW II combat and beyond. This was done by me long before CMBS was even being discussed on the CMSF Forum, never mind here.

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: Flares

 

There's really two items to be considered:

 

1. "Star Clusters"

 

Basically a self contained flare unit with parachute attached.  They come in several colors (red, green, white for sure, might be a few others).  They're used for signals purposes, but have no Army-wide definition. One unit may use red star clusters as a signal for medevac, while others might use it for a backup "commence attack!" signal.  This is usually laid out in the signals portion of the operations order or theater specific signals instructions.  There's also 40 MM grenade launched flares, but in practice their use is the same as the self contained units.

 

The white light ones are also commonly used for local illumination.  There's also IR versions that provide well, IR light to support NVG operations.

 

2. Illumination rounds.  As described, artillery shell used to illuminate battlefield.

 

In terms of signal applications, they're not really useful in the same sense that Combat Mission covers combat.  The information relayed is so low fidelity, or limited to specific COAs that while they're useful in those applications, they're not really a communications device any more than smoke grenades, flashlight signals at night, and similar narrow application signals.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Flares at night look really cool though. I love the way for example ArmA2 depicts the the illuminated nightly battlefield. But in terms of practicability i agree with panzersauerkrautwerfer that flares arent really a communications tool compareable to radios or PDAs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a historical note: The use of flares as signaling devices goes back at least as far as WW I, and I wouldn't be surprised if their use can't be traced back to the occasional use of rocket pyrotechnics during the Napoleonic era.

 

One somewhat amusing use of flares during WW II was by the Afrika Corps. When they would laager for the night, they would fire up flares at some defined interval. I suppose that was so that any lost units could find their way home. The amusing thing is that the 8th. Army used those same signals to avoid blundering into the Germans in the dark. There might have been a war on, but the soldiers just wanted to have their dinner and go to sleep without interruption.

 

Michael

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was a big debate about flares back in the early CMSF days.  In CMSF, lack of flares severely degraded Strain performance at night while on defense.  The US had all kinds of night vision, yet the poor Syrians couldn't have any illumination.  Finally after all the rationalization was done, it was admitted it was a big programming undertaking to get the AI to use them effectively.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don''t see flares necessary for the game as is, but if the game ever goes CoOp Multiplayer I think flares would be necessary for players to communicate visually. If done in a similar fashion as Sudden Strike the flare would hang in the air for a couple of seconds, drop, then disappear. In this way the player can pinpoint areas, or "draw" with them putting many in a pattern to communicate to team mates. This was very effective in Sudden Strike, and would work just as well in CM should the game ever go http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=109832&highlight=multiplayer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was one who wanted illumination rounds added to CMSF, on the Red side.

Why put dynamic lighting in the game, then skimp on the light sources?

I've even thought of a way for the AI to use flares, only at night they use [Target Flare] against any contact icons, or use [Target Flare] on top of their own position if they are under fire with no contact icons.

Super stealthy ninja troops with night vision sneak up on enemy forces and open fire, only to have their NVG's and Thermals washed out by intense light and heat from flares!

Imagine that!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Who the **** needs flares?  I use the glow from ENY vehicles I shoot up.  Everything is lit up nicely.  ;)

 

I do recall some scenario designers who would sprinkle their maps with burning vehicles to provide extra illumination at night. The only problem is you can see and avoid that illumination, while hand launched flares or illumination rounds from arty could be dropped right on top of you with no warning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Super stealthy ninja troops with night vision sneak up on enemy forces and open fire, only to have their NVG's and Thermals washed out by intense light and heat from flares!

Imagine that!

 

Thermals wouldn't be washed out by flares unless they set a building on fire and you were looking directly at it. Even then, it isn't really washed out in the same sense that intensifiers deal with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...