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How powerful is modern HE?


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I don't know the answer to your question but before it gets into technicals I think there might be a more key issue you are overlooking, accuracy. Even if the shells are not drastically more powerful (they may or may not) if they can reliably hit a difficult target like a trench that would make a much greater difference.

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30mm is a small grenade

maybe 3m kill radius

so firing a 3 rnd burst left to right or right to left with a 5m spacing per shot is going to give you a 15m long x 3m wide killzone

and if the rnds are time fused being in the trench with no overhead cover is like adding a blender to whip up some eggs

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The M203's 40mm grenade has a blast radius of 2.5 meters with a casualty radius of 5 meters.

The 40mm fired from the MK19 has a blast radius of 5 meters with a casualty radius of 15 meters. Because the round is able to be heavier the Mk19 grenade has more explosive.

Casualty radius is the distance at which the round can be expected to cause 50% severe casualties. Within the blast radius it goes up to a 50% chance for a kill and a higher chance to dissable 75% (if I recall correctly).

A M67 is a 63mm hand grenade has a casualty radius of 15meters.

For comparison the 105mm has a blast/kill radius of 35m while the 155mm has a 50m blast radius.

This web site has statistics for various rounds.

Article

In training with the M203 we got credit for a hit if the round hit within 5 meters of the target. With hand grenades it was within 15 meters, or inside a foxhole. With the Mk19 it was within 15 meters or a hit on a vehicle target.

A 3 round burst with the Mk19 through a window will clear a room.

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I think the 40mm GLA's and grendaes are severly undermodelled. Maybe the only explosive weapon that has disporportionate killing power are small AT rockets against infantry in the open.

As to the griping that HE is the major killer, well firstly, its true, and second, until CMSF gets dispersion, cover and decent fortifications and entrenchments, its always going to be harder for the defender than it otherwise would be.

Ergo, most of the trenches are linear, which is a huge mistake, most of them are shallow, lack overhead cover and from the effects of fire, clearly don't employ reinforcment and bursting layers, and scenario designers often sight them in poorly on low ground, which without vertical cover is just asking to get nailed.

Combined with 10 men in 64m2 and its just asking to get smashed by fires.

Now if you build a trench on favourable terrain, you should have LOS and LOF problems hitting whoever is in it, even if it is open and linear, but as the US player with AFVs, linear trenches are not a problem, and tactically the defensive arrangments in scenarios are often unsound.

The trick is to lock your fires and deny firing points on your positions. Its why mines (command detonated or otherwise) and obstacles should be aviable to red on the defensive.

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There is no way to kill all infantry in a proper trench with 30mm HE direct fire, and IIRC neither the bushmaster nor Soviet 30mm autocannons can produce airbursts at programmed distances.

The problem here is CMx2's modeling of trenches as terrain. The CMx1b version of trenches had it's problems, but protection and spotting them was much more realistic. CMx2s trenches are a joke like CMx1b's sandbagged areas were.

Having said that, any indirect fire is very dangerous to targets in cover with no overhead protection these days since you can get reliable airbursts all the time.

As for pure HE, I've been told you get about 30% more energy out of the explosives in same-size mortar shells now than you used to in WW2. Not sure where I picked that up, probably tanknet.

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If anything we are purposefully undermodeling HE effectiveness, which incidentally we did in CMx1 for the same reason. Due to limitations of computing resources and programming time, it is not possible to have a completely realistic soldier density in all situations all the time. Since HE is an area effect weapon, the more soldiers that are in one spot the proportionally more effective a single close by impact will be.

In CMx1 the soldiers were statistically on the head of a pin, so that was really bad :D Lots of code was necessary to counteract that. CMx2 is inherently a lot better since individuals can be spaced out from their comrades quite a bit, but as I said it's still not necessarily as realistically sparse as it should be in some situations sometimes. So HE is purposefully downgraded a little bit to avoid causing unrealistically high amounts of casualties.

This is no doubt why SgtMuhammed and average feel the 40mm is under modeled. It is :D However, the overall effects should be about right in terms of casualties once one takes into account that in real life they would be more spaced out than they visually are in the game.

C'rogers is correct that one issue is accuracy. Better accuracy means higher lethality. Another one is opportunity. In WWII you could not have a vehicle racing across uneven ground hitting the broad side of a barn, but with modern stabilization and targeting computers they can do this almost as well as being stationary. In real life vehicles in close proximity to the enemy want to keep shifting positions so in the old days the time spent doing that meant a lack of targeting time, coupled with a bit of disorientation when stopping making reacquisition take a bit longer. Now many vehicles can race around at near top speed and hit whatever the damned well want to. Which is another thing, besides accuracy the chances that a buttoned up armored vehicle is even going to see the enemy is so much greater than it was back in the old days.

As for purpose built defensive terrain, we figured that the Syrians wouldn't have a lot of it available so it wasn't a priority for us to put it in. We spoke with veterans of the initial invasion of Iraq and they said they rarely came upon strongly fortified positions because, by and large, when resistance was encountered it was not where it was expected.

I remember one exception was the 101st running into a defensive line in front of an Najaf. IIRC they killed 300 defenders in a very short period of time without taking any friendly casualties. The defenders were in open, linear trenches out in the open. The artillery and air had little trouble wiping them out. One of the battalion commanders gave a talk on this and had some video with him. It's obvious why the defenders were wiped out.

Normandy will be a different story, so you'll definitely see more man made defensive terrain for that.

I guess the bottom line here is that HE was the #1 killer even before hightech stuff got put into the mix. So it should be even more the #1 killer than it was in the past.

Steve

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Adam1, I'm not going to be mean, and say look, or even think for a minute. Ask yourself the question what do you mean by HE performance. For what ? Engaging dues in the open, hosing down a contact, trying to knock over buildings ? Not all HE performance is the same.

But would you believe that the BMP1 fires the same 73mm rounds as the SPG-9. Would you believe maybe somewhere between 300 to 600 grams of HE, fired at around 350 m/s.

Where as the BMP2 fires 30mm rounds at about 950 m/s with about 50 grams at the pointy end (im guessing that, don't have reliable tab date, but i'm basing it on 25mm hei-t scaled up ).

I'm sure there are armoured corps types around from the who have forgotten more than i know more about soviet autocannons and they can correct me.

However assuming I'm right, you do some complex math.

I can't do maths, but a 20 rounds burst of 30mm will put as much HE down or more, and will tear cover up more effectively, but the blast effect of each round of 73mm is considerably higher. Grunt instinct says that probably I'd prefer to be fired on with the 73mm low velocity stuff unless i was in deflaide and then the 73mm can no doubt fire indirectly on me.

Steve, I understand why you toned down the 40mm GLA, it would be just utterly carnage for red otherwise. Still, I'd like to see it go through windows, thin walls and into trenches and wound. At typical ranges, its one of the more effective weapons in a section, along with the LAW and Minimi.

As to the Syrians, they have at least an insituitional memory of standing up to mechanised forces (in favourable terrain for the most though) and as such, I would have thought the static tasked Syrians would be very much in a "dig or die" mindset, otherwise your open to observation and fires will ruin your day before you even get into a contact. At the very least, you'd dig individual fighting pits with overhead protection before you'd dig a linear trench that sticks out like dogs balls in the open.

If I was a Syrian bn cdr, I'd find myself favourable terrain, preferably on a crest or plateau, dig in with overhead cover and some green bits, and try very hard to be invisible from the air, and be a hard target for fires (ideally you'd want to find something with a steep drop behind you and a hill in front). Otherwise I'd just be thinking 155mm VT is coming and I'm dead, and why didn't I become a doctor.

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The BMP1 would put a bigger HE load on target while the 30mm BMP2 would put more rounds with less of a total weight. Everything else being equal, a hit by a 73mm would do more damage to anything within the blast radius, the 30mm, however, is much more accurate and can saturate an area.

To sum up, if you want to throw HE at a single target or area then the 73mm is better but if you want to put a lot of rounds down range with a good chance of a direct hit on the target the 30mm is better. You just lose a lot of throw weight in regards to the amount of explosives.

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My own quick question, and its a bit whiny, but

I think the Syrians should be able to strongpoint a house.

Basic third world stuff, pretty easy, something you really would do if you valued your own life and that of your blokes, even a little bit.

It would be nice to have a strongpointed house feature with firing loops, some resistance to everything other than serious firepower, concealed entry and exit and maybe some sort of claymore for christmas style set up for when its time to go as they mousehole your wall.

Other than the Iraqis, I don't think 2nd world armies are that slow on the uptake that they just "say this house will do me nicely, bunker down and wait for a mechanised force to rock up and knock holes in the wall." I'd add in and make a video of 8 Plt's last stand and put it on youtube with a commentary running something like "oh yeah, hajj don't surf."

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Originally posted by Battlefront.com:

This is no doubt why SgtMuhammed and average feel the 40mm is under modeled. It is :D However, the overall effects should be about right in terms of casualties once one takes into account that in real life they would be more spaced out than they visually are in the game.

Is there any ability within the engine to track data on what specific weapons have X number of kills? Might be really useful for finding which weapons could possibly be off the mark (if any.)

For example - if in a 40 minute company sized firefight, if nobody is taking hits from the 40mm GL, you at least know that something needs to be adjusted.

It's difficult to playtest that type of thing since it has to be tracked visually, and anything that looks like it's being hit by a GL would have just as likely been hit from the 5.56 that's being fired at the same time.

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average,

I would have thought the static tasked Syrians would be very much in a "dig or die" mindset
Yup, but when the depth of the country is open to attack and the invader can (theoretically) be at any point within a few hours drive time, it's very difficult to have effective static positions simply because finite resources can't cover a practically infinite amount of places. The Golan is one of the biggest exceptions, but there would be no need for the forces in CM:SF's setting to go anywhere near them.

I'm not saying that the Syrians wouldn't have reinforced areas other than in the Golan, just not very frequently from our standpoint. Since we ourselves have limited resources, we had to focus on a smaller subset of defensive capabilities. We had the same issue in CMx1 too compared to what was seen in WWII ETO.

Oh, and I would like to see the ability to designate houses "reinforced". It's something I'm not sure if we'll get to, but certainly it would be nice.

molotov_billy,

Is there any ability within the engine to track data on what specific weapons have X number of kills? Might be really useful for finding which weapons could possibly be off the mark (if any.)
No, there is no internal "bean counter" stuff :D It wouldn't be very useful since circumstances are so very important to assessing what the data means. No casualties from 40mm hits in a scenario that had most of the enemy casualties caused by artillery and units that just didn't have 40mm available (exception M203s in this case, of course) means nothing compared to a single situation where a Stryker with 40mm is hammering away at something and not getting any results.

As it is, the lessening of HE effect is VERY small. It's really only active for the first 3m to 8m of impact since that is roughly equivalent to the typical overcrowding that we estimate is present. From 1-2m and from 8m out there is no tweaking. Oh, and the effects are ONLY relevant to infantry, not vehicles, structures, terrain, etc.

Steve

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Average's post stole my thunder. I was going to mention the multiplying effect of autocannon HE fired in bursts. Add to that the gun's dispersion pattern, its like trying avoid being hit by raindrops during a downpour. Sure, each individual is tiny but cumulative effect is devastating. But there's automatic cannon and automatic cannons. Those Phalanx-type chain guns go for VERY high volume and high dispersion. The British Rarden 30mm gun went in the opposite direction - is it still fired using a puny 3 round clip?.

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Originally posted by Battlefront.com:

No, there is no internal "bean counter" stuff :D It wouldn't be very useful since circumstances are so very important to assessing what the data means. No casualties from 40mm hits in a scenario that had most of the enemy casualties caused by artillery and units that just didn't have 40mm available (exception M203s in this case, of course) means nothing compared to a single situation where a Stryker with 40mm is hammering away at something and not getting any results.

I tend to agree.

What I had in mind for a useful type of test might be something like the underslung grenade launcher compared to 5.56, from the same squad. It isn't a super articulate comparison, just one that might highlight a case where something is majorly wrong - with my hunch being that the 40mm underslung is so innaccurate and non-lethal that even in long, sustained firefights, it may be doing nothing at all.

I think those type of tests would just be rough indicators for what types of things may need to be examined more closely.

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I've found the 40mm infantry grenade launcher does have some effect in the game, but the Russian 30mm automatic grenade launcher pretty much defines 'wimpy'. Like throwing Chinese firecrackers at your enemies. Perhap it has something to do with the opponent wearing all that body armor, reducing its effectiveness.

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Originally posted by MikeyD:

Average's post stole my thunder. I was going to mention the multiplying effect of autocannon HE fired in bursts. Add to that the gun's dispersion pattern, its like trying avoid being hit by raindrops during a downpour. Sure, each individual is tiny but cumulative effect is devastating. But there's automatic cannon and automatic cannons. Those Phalanx-type chain guns go for VERY high volume and high dispersion. The British Rarden 30mm gun went in the opposite direction - is it still fired using a puny 3 round clip?.

Yes.
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