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CMCW: TOW, M47, M901 and M2 can ID target behind smoke but not engaging


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Not sure if this is a bug or WAD:

 

Smoke screen is generated by Artillery 

I noticed that the TOW, M47 , M901 and M2 can identify the target behind the smoke barrages but could not engage it.   

On the other hand. M1 and M60A3 TTS can engage these targets. 

 

M60A3 TTS, the LOS/LOF changed to grey but can engage the Soviet Tanks behind the smoke

yzfdju3.png

 

 

TOW team seems to have the best spotting ability, but do not have a valid LOF

LPag1Ji.png 

 

 

M2 has the most weird behavior . it turns the gun to the target, gunner's action changes to "aiming" but do not fire.  LOF is blocked by smoke 

 

gEHhBdy.png

 

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Posted (edited)

TOW / ITOW had a xenon near-infrared beacon in the tail.  Consequently, the missile could not be tracked through obscurants by the optical tracker even if the AN/TAS-4 thermal night sight was used in conjunction with the optical tracker.  This was only rectified with AN/TAS-4A, which was an active tracking unit, and the TOW-2 missile, which had a thermal beacon in the tail in addition to xenon near-IR beacon.

However, the tail beacon in the M47 may have been thermal rather than near-IR, so should be able to both see and guide through smoke if so. Need to double-check that.

Edited by akd
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Posted (edited)

I just tested the M2 and M3 Bradleys. The 25mm cannon will fire through smoke. In the reported example you can see the gunner is trying to fire a TOW missile.

Edited by Vanir Ausf B
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Posted (edited)

M901 "Hammerhead" TOW vehicle shows the same behavior. (Edit: As mentioned in the first post)

Quite confusing for the uninitiated.

After a few turns, I stopped shouting "Shoot! Shoot!" at the screen.

Best regards
Thomm

Edited by Thomm
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1 hour ago, akd said:

TOW / ITOW had a xenon near-infrared beacon in the tail.  Consequently, the missile could not be tracked through obscurants by the optical tracker even if the AN/TAS-4 thermal night sight was used in conjunction with the optical tracker.  This was only rectified with AN/TAS-4A, which was an active tracking unit, and the TOW-2 missile, which had a thermal beacon in the tail in addition to xenon near-IR beacon.

Thank you for the explanation. That makes sense . 

 

48 minutes ago, Vanir Ausf B said:

I just tested the M2 and M3 Bradleys. The 25mm cannon will fire through smoke. In the reported example you can see the gunner is trying to fire a TOW missile.

I was using T-64A as the target , so the Bradleys gunner was trying to use ATGM to engage.  Good to know they will use cannon to engage soft skin target through smoke. 

 

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Posted (edited)

This is the sort of esoteric details which really can up the frustration level when planning and playing.  CW and Black Sea both need this information easily available.  Perhaps a table listing weapons info by unit covering in a complete manner pertinent information needed for playing the game.  Some of the information is in the manual and some isn't.  There are some weapons in Black Sea which are mentioned as carried by a vehicle but absolutely no information in the manual on the weapon.  A single location with all the information collected would really be helpful vs having to start googling and searching for a possible answer.  For example in Black Sea, I still don't know if the AT-14 with laser guidance and thermal detection can fire through smoke.  From googling it appears lasers cannot penetrate obscurants.  So smoke should prevent guidance regardless of whether by using thermals, the AT-14 can see a target.  I posted the question and I didn't get a response.  I assume nobody knows.  I guess I could try setting up a test but haven't done it yet.  Only limited number of hours available to devote to the game.  I shouldn't have to set up tests for information necessary for playing the game properly.  I should be able to find it in the manual and even better yet, a single table with all the necessary info for all the weapons presented in a condensed manner.  One spot to find the answers for using these weapons properly.   

Edited by FogForever
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3 hours ago, FogForever said:

This is the sort of esoteric details which really can up the frustration level when planning and playing.  CW and Black Sea both need this information easily available.  Perhaps a table listing weapons info by unit covering in a complete manner pertinent information needed for playing the game.  Some of the information is in the manual and some isn't.

This is a good point. I will see if I can get a note added into the game manual to let players know about the limitations of the TOW missiles despite having thermals. 

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18 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

I will see if I can get a note added into the game manual to let players know about the limitations of the TOW missiles despite having thermals. 

When you are at it, add a note to the 'Acquire' command explaining that it can only be executed at the beginning of a turn (and not at a waypoint).

I don't think this (rather important) information is in the manual yet.

Best regards,
Thomm

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Are you sure? I think you can give them a waypoint, while they are still mounted, and then Acquire. Works for me. They must be mounted to Acquire. I just acquired LAW and RedEyes while a squad is inside an M113, and they both have waypoints. In an RT game (not turn based), they can Acquire while the M113 is moving.

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The flare visibility on early TOW and M47 tracking units is a fairly critical piece of info to have.  I have never played a game with either in this time period and never even considered that.   Most of my Cold War gaming experience is mid- to late-80s.  Publicizing it more will sure save a lot of people some frustration. 

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A more detailed technical description of the beacon issue is here:

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/23-34/Ch1.htm

"(f) Thermal beacon. Under some battlefield conditions such as heavy smoke, dust, or fog, the xenon beacon, which operates on the lower end of the infrared spectrum, cannot penetrate the obscuration. With the TOW missile and weapon system it is sometimes possible for the gunner to be able to acquire the target, yet the infrared receiver on the daysight tracker cannot acquire the infrared beacon and the system loses the missile. TOW 2-series missiles have a thermal beacon to correct this deficiency. The thermal beacon operates on the upper end of the infrared spectrum and will penetrate any obscurant the nightsight can see through. A postamplifier was added to the AN/TAS-4A nightsight on the TOW 2 weapon system to acquire the thermal beacon and track it in much the same manner as the infrared beacon. The basic AN/TAS-4 is a passive sight, but the AN/TAS-4A is an active sight with the ability to steer the missile to any target that the gunner can see through the sight itself."

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Years ago when someone requested a voluminous CM encyclopedia I joked that CM does have an encyclopedia, its named 'Google'. Yeh, my response may have been a bit too glib but its not incorrect. Looking up real-world data most often will give answers to in-game questions. For game engine-specific question there are the manuals. For the REALLY esoteric stuff we start to enter 'fog of war' territory. You're likely wanting info that even the boots on the ground wouldn't know. The average soldier wouldn't have a clue what a 'Brinell hardness number' is.

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Yeah, I tend to agree with not being able to document every little nook and cranny of info.  But this one was obscure enough that mentioning it in the write up in the manual would and will eventually save some frustration.  It took me a long time to find that excerpt and that was only because I have access to search tools an average gamer doesn't have access to.

I think all highly complex games should have a moderated FAQ section that has these little pieces of critical info deposited in them.  Its also a good repository for devs to look at what info their customers find necessary to play the game.  That's why it should be moderated or even locked.

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8 hours ago, CaptainTheDark said:

Are you sure? I think you can give them a waypoint, while they are still mounted, and then Acquire. Works for me. They must be mounted to Acquire. I just acquired LAW and RedEyes while a squad is inside an M113, and they both have waypoints. In an RT game (not turn based), they can Acquire while the M113 is moving.

What I mean is the following:

  • Unit starts outside of vehicle.
  • Player plots a path to a vehicle, endpoint gets the 'Embark' label.
  • Player highlights the 'Embark' waypoint and presses 'Acquire'.

Nothing happens.

It seems that you can acquire only when mounted at the beginning of a turn.
For a RT player, this can be confusing.

Best regards
Thomm



 

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As the Captain said above, you need to get your men in the vehicle first in order to load up on ammo. Always been that way.  There are no turns in real time, so not sure what you mean or what the problem is?

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3 hours ago, mjkerner said:

There are no turns in real time, so not sure what you mean or what the problem is?

I was not precise enough: For a RT player, who tries turn-based planning for the first time, this can be confusing.

Best regards,
Thomm

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