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None of those other units have thermal weapon sights.  They all have NVGs. Read my post above again regarding information sharing.   It has a thermal weapon sight for the M249.

First, the misunderstandings about how spotting works: When a unit shares a positive contact, it generates a possible contact marker for units in C2 or proximity (including tanks) following a va

The scenario we've been discussing actually starts cool, but thermals are generally less efficient in daytime desert conditions.  That doesn't necessarily mean worse than day optics / NVGs and it depe

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First, the misunderstandings about how spotting works:

  • When a unit shares a positive contact, it generates a possible contact marker for units in C2 or proximity (including tanks) following a variable amount of time, regardless of whether or not the receiving unit has any chance of spotting the target itself (i.e. a unit in comms / proximity but with LoS completely blocked will still gain the possible contact marker).  If the unit has LoS to the location and has the means to see the given contact under the current conditions, this possible contact marker will increase the chances of the receiving unit gaining a positive contact for itself.  But this is most important: the unit must still spot the contact itself with its own sensors.
  • All spotting has a highly variable "human factor" applied that can lead to significantly different outcomes in the same circumstances.  Anecdotes comparing times to spot are useless for drawing comparative conclusions about spotting beyond possible / not possible.  I don't care if 3 times in a row X spotted Z one minute sooner than Y, that does not mean X is better at spotting Z than Y.  Now repeat this 100 times carefully controlling all other factors and perhaps we can talk about quantitative differences in spotting ability. (Does this suck? Why yes, from experience it really does.)

Second, what Erwin is encountering in George's scenario:

  • The US Mech Inf squad has access to 3x thermal small arms sights: 1 on each M249 and 1 on the Marksman's rifle.  A split off scout team from a full squad includes one M249 gunner, so it too has a thermal optic.  Here is what's a bit weird: the model switch showing these actually on the weapons is tied to a hard day / night time that does not vary based on conditions, but the thermal optics are still considered to be in use when they provide an advantage over day optics.  In this case, they seem to be allowing units with thermal optics to see further into the morning haze. Of the infantry units discussed in the scenario, only units with Javelin CLUs also have access to thermal optics. The units without thermals lose LoS at 1668m (at scenario start on my test map using the same date, time and conditions as George MC's map), so if a unit with thermals has shared a possible contact beyond this range with a unit without thermals, it will remain a possible contact for the receiving unit with no chance of becoming a positive contact unless conditions change or the unit alters its spotting equation (moves, acquires a new sensor). 
Edited by akd
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13 hours ago, Erwin said:

If you or BF were interested in feedback from customers one would think that it would be made as easy as possible for customers without obstructions.

Perhaps it isn't as black and white as you sketch it. BF might indeed be interested in feedback from customers. Also AKD is interested, why would he otherwise ask you for the file?

For about a decade there have been things like wetransfer where you can just drag and drop stuff without registering at all. Upload a file, choose to get a link instead of email share and paste the link here. Done in 30sec.

 

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12 hours ago, akd said:

First, the misunderstandings about how spotting works:

  • When a unit shares a positive contact, it generates a possible contact marker for units in C2 or proximity (including tanks) following a variable amount of time, regardless of whether or not the receiving unit has any chance of spotting the target itself (i.e. a unit in comms / proximity but with LoS completely blocked will still gain the possible contact marker).  If the unit has LoS to the location and has the means to see the given contact under the current conditions, this possible contact marker will increase the chances of the receiving unit gaining a positive contact for itself.  But this is most important: the unit must still spot the contact itself with its own sensors.
  • All spotting has a highly variable "human factor" applied that can lead to significantly different outcomes in the same circumstances.  Anecdotes comparing times to spot are useless for drawing comparative conclusions about spotting beyond possible / not possible.  I don't care if 3 times in row X spotted Z one minute sooner than Y, that does not mean X is better at spotting Z than Y.  Now repeat this 100 times carefully controlling all other factors and perhaps we can talk about quantitative differences in spotting ability. (Does this suck? Why yes, from experience it really does.)

Second, what Erwin is encountering in George's scenario:

  • The US Mech Inf squad has access to 3x thermal small arms sights: 1 on each M249 and 1 on the Marksman's rifle.  A split off scout team from a full squad includes one M249 gunner, so it too has a thermal optic.  Here is what's a bit weird: the model switch showing these actually on the weapons is tied to a hard day / night time that does not vary based on conditions, but the thermal optics are still considered to be in use when they provide an advantage over day optics.  In this case, they seem to be allowing units with thermal optics to see further into the morning haze. Of the infantry units discussed in the scenario, only units with Javelin CLUs also have access to thermal optics. The units without thermals lose LoS at 1668m (at scenario start on my test map using the same date, time and conditions as George MC's map), so if a unit with thermals has shared a possible contact beyond this range with a unit without thermals, it will remain a possible contact for the receiving unit with no chance of becoming a positive contact unless conditions change or the unit alters its spotting equation (moves, acquires a new sensor). 

That's some solid analysis, so all seems good in this regard. Thanks!
 

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15 hours ago, akd said:

The US Mech Inf squad has access to 3x thermal small arms sights: 1 on each M249 and 1 on the Marksman's rifle.  A split off scout team from a full squad includes one M249 gunner, so it too has a thermal optic.  Here is what's a bit weird: the model switch showing these actually on the weapons is tied to a hard day / night time that does not vary based on conditions, but the thermal optics are still considered to be in use when they provide an advantage over day optics.  In this case, they seem to be allowing units with thermal optics to see further into the morning haze. Of the infantry units discussed in the scenario, only units with Javelin CLUs also have access to thermal optics.

That would be a reasonable explanation IF none of the other units which are unable to spot the enemy AFV's possessed Thermal Sights.  

What you fail to mention is that ALL the units in my test possess Thermal Sights.  So why is it only the scout team able to use "thermal optics to see further into the morning haze". 

In addition to Thermal Sights, the HQ has binoculars.  In addition to Thermal Sights and Binoculars, the FO also has a laser designator

However, neither the FO nor the HQ which are all sitting on top of each other in the same spot can see the enemy tanks after several minutes when the scout with only eyeballs and Thermal Sights can see em very quickly.  And they most certainly do not communicate with each other - which I thought was what C2 was about.

I also added a vehicle crew to the test teams who are all sitting on top of each other and they also were unable to spot the tanks.  So, there is something special about a 2-man "scout" team (split from a squad) that gives them super dooper spotting ability.  

Only the Jav team is quicker at spotting the enemy armor than the two man lowly scout team.

One could also add the rest of the scout's squad and see if those guys can spot the tanks in the same few seconds.  However, I suspect that if they saw the armor as quickly as their scout team, the excuse would be "there are so many more eyes searching".

 

 

 

Edited by Erwin
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43 minutes ago, Erwin said:

That would be a reasonable explanation IF none of the other units which are unable to spot the enemy AFV's possessed Thermal Sights.  

What you fail to mention is that ALL the units in my test possess Thermal Sights.  So why is it only the scout team able to use "thermal optics to see further into the morning haze". 

In addition to Thermal Sights, the HQ has binoculars.  In addition to Thermal Sights and Binoculars, the FO also has a laser designator

However, neither the FO nor the HQ which are all sitting on top of each other in the same spot can see the enemy tanks after several minutes when the scout with only eyeballs and Thermal Sights can see em very quickly. 

None of those other units have thermal weapon sights.  They all have NVGs.

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And they most certainly do not communicate with each other - which I thought was what C2 was about.

Read my post above again regarding information sharing.

 

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I also added a vehicle crew to the test teams who are all sitting on top of each other and they also were unable to spot the tanks.  So, there is something special about a 2-man "scout" team (split from a squad) that gives them super dooper spotting ability.  

It has a thermal weapon sight for the M249.

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Only the Jav team is quicker at spotting the enemy armor than the two man lowly scout team.

Yes, it has a much more powerful thermal imager than the weapon sights carried in the rifle squad.

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One could also add the rest of the scout's squad and see if those guys can spot the tanks in the same few seconds.  However, I suspect that if they saw the armor as quickly as their scout team, the excuse would be "there are so many more eyes searching".

The squad as a whole will be better because it is observing with 3x thermal sights instead of just one.

I think your conceptual problem here is that the thermal weapon sights are tied to the individual weapons and are not shown in the special equipment panel, whereas NVGs (light intensification, not thermal) are shown.  That's why I said the issue was obscure, because it is not readily apparent and takes careful testing to understand.  Possibly we could address this via a mod by denoting the thermal capability on the weapon icon itself?

 

Edited by akd
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2 hours ago, akd said:

I think your conceptual problem here is that the thermal weapon sights are tied to the individual weapons and are not shown in the special equipment panel, whereas NVGs (light intensification, not thermal) are shown. 

Hmmm...  Ok, that makes sense.  To get a definitive answer, will have to see if it is possible to create a scout team that doesn't have a thermal sight on their weapons.

However, you are still saying that (in daylight) this thermal sight is better at spotting units at 2,500-3,000 meters range than the laser designator or other high end optics used by FO's etc.  Note that these other units were unable to spot the enemy tanks even after sitting on top of the scout team for over 5+ minutes.  Maybe they get to see the tanks eventually - I just didn't test for 10+ minutes.

Also - if this is accurate (according to CM2) then shouldn't these units forget about their high end optics and simply carry (a much lighter) thermal sight? 

Edited by Erwin
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I played a little scenario the other day in light rainfall. My Abrams, which usually dominates the battlefield, was failing to get long range contacts first and found itself getting pummeled. Since rainfall was the only variable I concluded that Abrams thermal spotting abilities must have been degraded in rain.

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1 hour ago, akd said:

Well, you can use the Infantry Battalion rifle squad.  Scout team split there gives you two riflemen with M4/M203 and M4.  Here is a demonstration using same conditions as GeorgeMC's scenario:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/v4fw6pds43txod6/spotting demonstration.bts?dl=0

That's helpful and will check it out.

However, that still doesn't address the issue that given the choice, a scout team with Thermals even in daylight makes for a better spotter than an FO or other unit with high tech optics.  Maybe the scout would take longer to call arty, but, in my tests the scout can spot and ID targets at almost 3,000 meters range at least 5+ minutes faster than the FO (assuming the FO ID's it at all). 

At the moment the ranking for best spotters would be #1 A Jav team; #2 A two man scout with a thermal device mounted on a gun which can spot the same enemy a few seconds later than the Jav team; and far behind, assuming they can spot anything at all after 5+ minutes... #3 Everyone else regardless if they have binoculars or other high tech optics.

Surely no one buys the concept that units lying on top of each other would not communicate with each other to help spot a target.  Yes, clearly that's the way C2 works (or doesn't work per RL) in CM2.  But, that's the problem.

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17 hours ago, Erwin said:

Hmmm...  Ok, that makes sense.  To get a definitive answer, will have to see if it is possible to create a scout team that doesn't have a thermal sight on their weapons.

However, you are still saying that (in daylight) this thermal sight is better at spotting units at 2,500-3,000 meters range than the laser designator or other high end optics used by FO's etc.  Note that these other units were unable to spot the enemy tanks even after sitting on top of the scout team for over 5+ minutes.  Maybe they get to see the tanks eventually - I just didn't test for 10+ minutes.

Also - if this is accurate (according to CM2) then shouldn't these units forget about their high end optics and simply carry (a much lighter) thermal sight? 

The laser designator is a useful tool, not for spotting alas. It does help with ordering Air and Artillery strikes.

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14 hours ago, Erwin said:

Surely no one buys the concept that units lying on top of each other would not communicate with each other to help spot a target.  Yes, clearly that's the way C2 works (or doesn't work per RL) in CM2.  But, that's the problem.

Thing is no one needs to buy that concept as that's not how it works in CM. But somehow you seem to keep thinking it does even after AKD explained how it does works.
There are some quirks sometimes with sharing and Syrians have some limited capabilities IIRC, but for me too it does work in all CMx2 games.

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21 minutes ago, Erwin said:

I do get it. The C2 system in CM2 doesn't work the way it would in RL.  Agreed.

They do share info. However they do have to spot them with their own eyes. That's how real life works too,imo. You can point me that tank in the distance and give me the binos. But than I still need to find/see it for myself.

Obviously there are some abstractions in place, but this is closer to RL than any other game I've come across. 

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40 minutes ago, Erwin said:

 The C2 system in CM2 doesn't work the way it would in RL. 

well no, it does work as in real life.

CMx2 does not have "Borg" spotting, so every unit has to spot on its own and the game does a separate calculation for each.

Having C2 just means the spotting info will eventually be shared with other units, so it will be easier for them to spot it, but they still have to spot on their own.

As to how it works in RL, I have been in many situations out in the wild where I or someone in our group spots something that the others don't and even when it is pointed out to them, it may take several seconds or minutes before they "see" it. Just because you have a line of sight to something does not mean your brain will automatically recognize and identify it, even more so when the "object" is stationary and trying to hide and the spotting unit is high on adrenaline and gripped by fear because it is in a combat situation.

reminds me of a story..

Gabby Gabreski was a USAAF fighter ace in WW2. On one of his first combat flight, he was wingman. As they entered the combat area, he was warned by radio that bandits were around. Gabby started looking all around to spot the planes but the sky was empty. All of a sudden a call came in: "CHECK YOUR TWO! CHECK YOUR TWO!". He looked as his two o'clock and all of a sudden spotted a Me-109, big as a house, not even 200 yards away going the same direction that he was slowly gaining on....

Edited by Sgt Joch
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Do we know what laser designator system the game is trying to model for the US FO teams? The Icon in game reminds me of this, AN/PED-1 which according to this website can contain a variety of systems, including a day sight and thermal imager with the stated ability to identify vehicle sized targets out to 3km at night or in bad conditions, and 7 km in great daytime conditions. 

Edited by Gkenny
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Again, it would appear based on behavior in game to be a simple optical laser designator, probably something like AN/PEQ-1.  The icon is probably arbitrary.  Same is used for Russian and Ukrainian forces.

Now possibly it should be something like the AN/PED-1 (I think it should be for Black Sea, but not sure in CMSF2).

Edited by akd
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3 hours ago, Sgt Joch said:

As to how it works in RL, I have been in many situations out in the wild where I or someone in our group spots something that the others don't and even when it is pointed out to them, it may take several seconds or minutes before they "see" it.

I really do understand what point you are trying to make.  However... in my tests the other units with supposedly far better optical tech were never able to spot the enemy tank that the lowly two-man scout team easily spotted with their rifle-mounted thermal thing - I gave up after 5 or 7 minutes...  But, even you agree that everyone should be able to spot the target eventually.  

This phenomenon was also true when I had all the teams get to the same location at the same time -  or... sent the other teams in BEFORE the two-man scout team.  It was ALWAYS the two man scout team that spotted the enemy in the same amount of time, and the other teams had not spotted it after 5-6 minutes.  It did not matter which team got to the spotting location first

So, the only other explanation is that CM does a brilliant job simulating that all two-man scout teams have better tech than the other teams (which are effectively blind as bats) and even further, the asshole scout teams have lousy social skills and refuse to help the others see the enemy tank.

 

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14 minutes ago, Erwin said:

So, the only other explanation is that CM does a brilliant job simulating that all two-man scout teams have better tech than the other teams (which are effectively blind as bats) and even further, the asshole scout teams have lousy social skills and refuse to help the others see the enemy tank.

 

That wasn't my takeaway from this thread. Which, granted, may explain a lot.

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Friends, Grognards, Forummen, lend me your eyes...

If I have thermals and you do not, then there will be conditions under which I can actually see a target and you can only know that it is roughly where I tell you it is, possibly no more than this bearing, this distance since you also may not be able to see relevant reference points.  No amount of time is going to cause you to develop innate thermal vision and see the target yourself under those conditions, well unless we are speaking on evolutionary scale time.

Edited by akd
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Hi Erwin

I tested out the scenario you suggested and can confirm what akd is saying is correct.  Under the scenario conditions the FO & HQ units will never spot the unit that the scout team spotted because they don’t have access to the thermal sights.  If you go into the scenario editor and change the conditions to clear you will find that the HQ (for example) will spot the tank in question fairly quickly (even without C2 sharing).

Also the sharing of spotting information is clearly working fine - many units (even those without LOS) get tentative contacts.  This is all that C2 sharing does.  As has been pointed out by others, the unit then still has to actually see the enemy unit to turn that into a definitive contact.  Because it is beyond their visual range in that position and under those conditions this will never happen.

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Appreciate that you did that test.  Am unconvinced that a thermal sight mounted on a rifle could be so much superior to the expensive equipment carried by other specialist units like FO's etc. 

If CM2 is accurately simulating this, then clearly, the military may as well give everyone thermal signs and forget about binoculars and other higher tech optical tech which apparently are only equal to thermal sights in perfect clear weather.  Either way I must point out that the issue doesn't spoil the game and destroy one's enjoyment. 

If anyone else has encountered issues that do not make sense feel free to add to the list here:

 

Edited by Erwin
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