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Deltapooh
06 Jun 03, 07:55
In this scenario you fight the Al Nida Division for a vital town in western Iraq. It's a very difficult scenario. I provided a more indepth OPORD to help players, including those who can't access the SITEMAP because of the option bug. There are also charts available.

I believe the scenario should work as I want it to. I'm still learning the scenario builder. I'm certain I simulated unit surrenders. All you have to do is attrition them to a particular percentage. I really would like to figure out a way that punishes you for shooting units who are tagged with surrendering. I might find that sooner or later.

You probably won't notice anyway. This scenario is very difficult. Clearing out OBJ CASTLE will likely be a nightmare.

Anyway, more scenarios are in the works. I will go back to complete the Battle for 73 Easting scenario series. However, I have alot of ideals in my head. So it's whatever scenario is in my head when I start up the scenario builder.

You can download the scenario in the Warfare HQ scenario Archives.

Pat Proctor
07 Jun 03, 00:22
It looks pretty good, except for the part where I got my ass kicked! :mad: ;)

I defy ANYONE to beat this scenario with two full company teams remaining after installing version 1.02

You can all thank kbluck for the change to the dismount visiblity and survivability. But it makes killing those Fedayeen in front of the enemy BP a bitch. And forget about taking down OBJ SANDCASTLE. I was reduced to sweep and clear artillery missions just to GET to the objective.

Hey, kbluck. Be careful what you wish for... :D

Seriously, DP, great scenario. It's been a long time since I got my fanny smacked by my own game. I encourage you to give it another shot after you install the version 1.02 upgrade. It will give you a few surprises you weren't ready for. I really liked the SITTEMP in the OPORD. It looked great.

kbluck
09 Jun 03, 16:55
But it makes killing those Fedayeen in front of the enemy BP a bitch. And forget about taking down OBJ SANDCASTLE. I was reduced to sweep and clear artillery missions just to GET to the objective.

Heh! Dug-in infantry with decent anti-tank capability and determination *should* be devastating to armor advancing without direct infantry support. I'm willing to take my medicine. I'm interested to see what the timescale is for this scenario. Things necessarily slow down when you have to depend on ground-pounders to clear the way.

DP brings up a good point, however. To be truly complete, you have to model morale. In many cases, Iraqi forces could have exacted a considerable toll, if only they had stood and fought. For various reasons, they usually didn't.

Wargames often tend towards the "fight to the death" assumption, which is rarely the case in real life. I think it is safe to say that US forces didn't "kill" the majority of their opposition in Iraq.

Never satisfied, am I? ;)

Regards,

--- Kevin

kbluck
09 Jun 03, 17:51
Thinking about infantry got me to thinking about yet another issue: stockpiling.

Infantry are obviously limited in the amount of stuff they can physically carry around. When infantry settles into a static defensive position, though, they can stockpile a lot more ammunition than they could normally carry.

I haven't looked at the scenario editor in enough detail to know whether it is possible to "oversupply" units in this way. If it is, then scenario designers might consider, for example, stockpiling AT-4s at dismount positions. The trick would be preventing those AT-4 teams from staggering off with all their extra reloads.

Another nice thing would be an extension of the artillery upload to general units. It doesn't take a long time for M1s to burn through their 40 rounds. On longer scenarios, it would provide an interesting tactical twist to be able to rotate units through ammo resupply at need. For example, in a long defense where the enemy makes two major pushes, or even just a very mobile defense against a persistent foe. Again, I have no idea if the unit database/scenario editor provides this capability already.

I've always been amused at the excruciating detail lavished on artillery ammo, while 120mm rounds are completely generic. It would be pretty obvious the designer was a redleg even if he didn't say so. :cheeky:

Just a couple of random thoughts. Nothing super important.

--- Kevin

Deltapooh
09 Jun 03, 19:20
The scenario editor would allow one to account for morale. You just need to script it properly. I used Force Percentage as the trigger, and Toggle Order -> Hold Fire as the response. You could tag specific units, like leadership. If friendly forces kill the commander, the unit holds fire. Another option is using an event box. If friendly forces attack along a specific route, the enemy can be directed to surrender, or suppress. You could also reverse those orders to simulate a feint by setting up additionall triggers and responses.

(This should work. I've been playing alot with the editor lately.)

Unfortunately, there is no immediate way for the player to know a unit is surrendering. So in all likelihood, the only evidence that you might have that a unit has surrendered is the fact that more of your vehicles survived. (You could click on the enemy unit and see it's in hold fire. However, too much is happening to really notice.)


I'm interested to see what the timescale is for this scenario.

I elected not to use a time limit for the mission. The process of clearing out the village can be very slow effort (at least for me).


I haven't looked at the scenario editor in enough detail to know whether it is possible to "oversupply" units in this way. If it is, then scenario designers might consider, for example, stockpiling AT-4s at dismount positions. The trick would be preventing those AT-4 teams from staggering off with all their extra reloads.

The game doesn't allow for that to my knowledge. Just off my head, the best way to simulate it would be to create an upload vehicle that can't be moved. Then try to figure out a way to cause the enemy to reload.

Creating the stockpile is easy. However, I don't think AI's can upload ammo.


Another nice thing would be an extension of the artillery upload to general units. It doesn't take a long time for M1s to burn through their 40 rounds. On longer scenarios, it would provide an interesting tactical twist to be able to rotate units through ammo resupply at need. For example, in a long defense where the enemy makes two major pushes, or even just a very mobile defense against a persistent foe. Again, I have no idea if the unit database/scenario editor provides this capability already.

This was an option available in BCT: Commander that I'm certain will be possible in ATF once the database editor is released. In BCT: Commander, almost every munition had a carrier. We can already use the Volcano vehicle as the image. All I would have to do is create the vehicle specifics. (At least that's how it worked in BCT: Commander.) Either way, I'm a big fan of logisitics as well. We could assign points to the vehicles to make the players life more difficult.

Deltapooh
10 Jun 03, 21:17
I was just playing the game, and checked those DF Ammo for the ammo carriers assigned to the artillery. They carry 200 120mm rounds for your tanks. More amazingly, it also carries 200 TOW 2-packs for your M2/M3 BFV/CFV!!! If I'm correct, that means each artillery battalion is equipped with a whopping 7200 TOW Missiles at about 1.8 million lbs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's almost half of the TOW-2A/Bs contracted by the Army in 1993. I have an ideal why ProSim opted for this setup. It would beat having to design numerous ammo carriers, as was the case in BCT:Commander. However, I have time on my hand and will ammend that. Something like 16 TOW missile 2packs per direct fire vehicle, likely carried on HEMTT

Pat Proctor
10 Jun 03, 21:23
DP is correct that you can build a "cache" vehicle type that doesn't move to simulate an ammo cache. However, he is also correct that there is no "auto-upload" (except for artillery/mortar ammo). You could accomplish the same thing by, once the power toolkit is released, copying the normal AT-5 or fire team to a new team with more ammo, that is immobile. They would not have the capability to leave their ammo and run, but in mobile armored warfare, in battles that last 2-3 hours, this capability is of limited value anyway.

You do have the capability to build vehicles that will upload ammo to tanks. The fact is, tanks usually either die, or complete the scenario before they need to be uploaded in ATF. But if you have a different experience, it is easy to add this vehicle type.


I've always been amused at the excruciating detail lavished on artillery ammo, while 120mm rounds are completely generic. It would be pretty obvious the designer was a redleg even if he didn't say so.

While it may be true that my bias toward artillery had something to do with it...:rolleyes:

The distinctions in our eyes between tank and artillery ammo that made it important to add the capability to select arty ammo and not select tank ammo were...


In a tank, the crew selects the round it will fire in a particular engagement. In an artillery section, the choice is made either by the FA battalion or the brigade staff.
Tank ammunition, at the end of the day, is all direct fire ammo, designed to destroy vehicles and kill people. Artillery ammunition has radically different capabilities, including obscuration, minefield emplacement, and destruction.
In ATF as it now is, it is possible to accidentally kill allied forces with indirect fire. While you can suppress your allies with direct fire, you can not destroy them. This may change in future engine revisions, but is the case now.


I hope this gives you a little more insight into what we were thinking when we designed the engine.

Pat Proctor
10 Jun 03, 21:25
The FAASV TOW thing is a bug. We have fixed it in the patch. FAASV's will NEVER carry tank ammo (Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle, duh!) ;)

kbluck
11 Jun 03, 12:57
Tank ammunition, at the end of the day, is all direct fire ammo, designed to destroy vehicles and kill people. Artillery ammunition has radically different capabilities, including obscuration, minefield emplacement, and destruction.

Well, yes and no. APFSDS and HEAT rounds have significantly different ballistics and penetrations against different targets, which in turn would significantly affect pH and pK against different targets at different ranges. I would consider them at least as different as HE and ICM artillery rounds. Certain tanks also have smoke, missile, HE, HEP/HESH, and/or flechette rounds. (I notice you *did* model the Songster.) While HEAT can be considered dual purpose, APFSDS is largely ineffective against dismounts, and HE is pretty ineffective against armor. I got to thinking about this a while back when I sent a tank patrol to whack some dismounts and forgot about them. When I finally looked back, I was rather bemused to note that they had expended their entire 120mm load shooting at the dismount team. (They were in a bad position, apparently, but kept plugging away.)

I understand the abstraction, but in this case I think its a little oversimplified. One of the major weaknesses of the M1A1 and later series, in my opinion, is the low ammo capacity. How to allocate your load is a significant tactical planning factor. On a side note, I sure would like to be able to tell my tanks to engage with MGs only against dismounts to conserve my very limited 120mm ammo. In general, I'd like to be able to specify primary/secondary ammo choices against different targets at different ranges (assuming there's a game difference between them, of course) as a matter of SOP, as well as ammo conservation measures. I'd even be content with reasonable defaults that aren't player-adjustable. I certainly don't want to give the idea that I want to select rounds for every shot, as is the case for fire missions.

Easy for me to say, of course. I don't have to write the software. But, that's my two cents, anyway. Maybe I'm just a tiresome grognard about things like this. In the end, you're probably correct that it won't make much difference to the average player experience. But then, I don't think most players really appreciate the subtle art of setting up the perfect fire mission, either. (I know, hard to believe... :rolleyes: )

Thanks for your time!

Regards,

--- Kevin

kbluck
11 Jun 03, 13:16
You do have the capability to build vehicles that will upload ammo to tanks. The fact is, tanks usually either die, or complete the scenario before they need to be uploaded in ATF. But if you have a different experience, it is easy to add this vehicle type.


I suspect many players on the defense just stick their tanks in a hole and let them shoot until they die. I tend to run a very mobile defense, and have run my tanks out of ammo numerous times. I often defend in depth, and set up leapfrogging positions, only to realize during the engagement that there's no point since they're low on ammo when they fall back to their secondary. It would be great to have reloads waiting at the secondary. It would be useful on certain attacks, as well, when there is a lot of shooting on the advance and a covered position to pause near the LD, or for consolidation on the objective when you're expecting to receive a counterattack.

--- Kevin

Pat Proctor
14 Jun 03, 16:34
... I'd even be content with reasonable defaults that aren't player-adjustable. I certainly don't want to give the idea that I want to select rounds for every shot, as is the case for fire missions.

I think this is probably what you really want: for your vehicles to use more common sense. I would not fire a TOW missile at a dismount unless I was being over-run, and it is all I had left. This is a surprisingly complex thing to explain to a computer.

We will probably add "common sense" to the weapon selection model. But I am not sure it will make it to ATF vs. AATF. Perhaps, if we can find an elegant solution, it will make it in, but I am doubtful.

Pat Proctor
15 Jun 03, 11:51
BTW, DP...

I STILL CAN'T BEAT THIS SCENARIO! I got a little closer last night, infiltrating my dismounts to a distance where they could site in on the enemy dismounts, to allow them to be attacked with indirect fire. However, I lost 1.3 companies worth of dismounts doing it!

I still get my ass handed to me at the first defensive belt. That second echelon ADA system shuts down my Longbows before they get in Hellfire Range. With out the support from attack aviation, this turns into a meat grinder. The enemy is arrayed in such a way that it is difficult to cover your attack with smoke.

DAMN YOU!;) I will beat this game!!!!!

What is the combat power of the enemy? What fire support (artillery) does he have? I didn't take a lot of incoming, but I think he outnumbers me in direct fire platforms.

kbluck
16 Jun 03, 12:22
I think this is probably what you really want: for your vehicles to use more common sense. I would not fire a TOW missile at a dismount unless I was being over-run, and it is all I had left. This is a surprisingly complex thing to explain to a computer.

I agree that computers are abysmally stupid, and coding "common sense" is amazingly difficult. I deal with very similar problems every day in my job.

However, I think this *particular* problem is a slam-dunk. If you agree that ATGM teams practically never fire their missiles at infantry in real life, you would gain far more realism than you lose by simply changing the database so that ATGMs have zero chance to damage infantry. I presume systems will automatically never be fired at targets they have no chance of damaging.

--- Kevin

Deltapooh
16 Jun 03, 15:23
Thanks sir. I thought it would be just a matter of time before you went after the database.

Since the new database over writes the current one, please remember to back-up the old files.

kbluck
16 Jun 03, 17:03
Or, worst-case, you can always reapply patch 1.02 to restore the database to its original state.

--- Kevin

Pat Proctor
16 Jun 03, 20:16
We do ask that you *not* do that (MODDING the original database). As you probably found out, the editor discourages you in every possible way from doing this. It is for a reason.

How would you like to be playing a multiplayer game and find that your opponents tanks are impervious to ALL weapon types? It is possible by doing what you have done here, modding the original database elements.

I know we didn't tell you not to. But, now that it has come up, I ask that you save new databases, derived from the orignal database, with a new database name. You do not have to rename every single element of the new database, just the stuff you have changed (for instance, in your example, you should just rename the database file (.dbs) and the vehicle file (.veh)).

kbluck
16 Jun 03, 20:32
Is there a convenient way to make "universal" changes without touching database1 or having to rebuild all the scenarios? As I mentioned, I'm reluctant to do it this way, but I can't see any other means offhand to test my theories.

Of course, I understand your point, and I'll quit distributing my database1 hacks, but let's face it, the DB is trivially easy to hack and cheaters are by definition untrustworthy. If you're worried about it, I'd suggest adding a CRC check to the "official" DB to prevent casual changes.

--- Kevin

Deltapooh
19 Jun 03, 15:00
Cpt. Proctor, I'm going to need to rework this scenario. The infantry smoked me. I knew where they were, but couldn't get eyes on them long enough to do any real damage with artillery. When I played this scenario on v1.01, I was able to role up with an AH-64 to put eyes on target. I ignored the artillery.

That tactic got blown to bits when the enemy immediately called in indirect fire support. I was busy doing something and missed the sound of the enemy artillery going off. I just heard the impact and lost an Apache.

From there it became a nightmare.

So I got some work to do. :)

kbluck
19 Jun 03, 15:45
In my opinion, it's not the scenario per se. Two simulation issues make this scenario unplayable. The ridiculous habit of firing ATGMs against infantry (and killing them virtually every time) and the extreme lethality of small arms fire against infantry targets.

The ATGM thing should be stomped out forthwith. It's just not realistic. Set the pK to 0 for ATGM weapons against infantry targets and it becomes a non-issue. Tanks are a different issue; any vehicles blundering into this kill sack rightly should be toasted without further ado.

The small arms issue is more open to argument. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that any given shot at a target is first calculated to see if it hits, and if it hits then the pK comes into play to see if the target is killed. If not killed, then hits suppress the target instead.

Given that most MGs have pKs over 50%, the odds are very high that any given fire team is going to be wasted in the first or second burst of fire directed at them. That doesn't really line up with historical experience, for example in Vietnam. Firefights generally went on for some time in all but the most one-sided of ambushes. After any initial surprise, small arms mainly served to keep the enemy pinned down until they could be killed with fire support, or in cases of mismatched forces, sheer volume of fire.

You could adjust the pH downward, but then it would become more difficult to suppress infantry. Personally, I think it should be quite easy to suppress infantry, since I think we can all agree that the natural inclination of humans being shot at is to duck.

Instead, I'd adjust the pK *way* down. My rule of thumb is 1% for assault rifles, 2% for machine guns, 3-5% for weapons with particularly large bursts like gatling guns. This may seem astonishingly low, but when you consider that the pK is typically getting rerolled every couple of seconds for automatic fire, sustained fire on a target *will* kill them before too long. On the other hand, you're not killed so rapidly that you have no chance to seek cover, return fire, and maneuver against the defenders.

Once those issues are taken care of, this is a whole new scenario. The best way to defeat dug-in infantry (barring a devastating bombardment of the entire area) is to root it out hole by hole with your own infantry, supported with supressive fire by tanks and artillery from covered positions to break up the network of mutual support. Couterbattery fire is also an important task when they have effective fire support, and should be the main occupation of mobile forces like air cavalry.

Until such sound tactics are made a realistic option by the simulation, however, this scenario will be unwinnable.

--- Kevin

Deltapooh
19 Jun 03, 15:48
Thanks for the advice kbluck. I'll work on making those revisions.

Pat Proctor
19 Jun 03, 19:29
kb,

I am a bit exasperated. Everyone, not just you, complained that infantry is too easy to see and to hard to destroy.

We adjusted both to make them harder to see and easier to destroy. Now we hear complaints that they are too easy to destroy.:hurt:

If an infantry team is walking in the open through the deserts of Iraq, and takes MG fire, I would say that a 50% pK (after a different pH calculation) is reasonable. An infantry team in defilade, dug in, and/or in hold fire is much harder to hit (which I think acounts for the long, Vietnam-style fire fights that you describe.

The AT thing we can talk about all day. If I am in a hole and I see an infantry company coming at me, and I only have an AT-5 or an RPG to defend myself, I will probably shoot it and take the ass-chewing later rather than die without shooting back. This is what will happen if you set AT pK's to zero.

Aargh! At the end of the day, it is a simulation. There are some infantry things that are abstracted that may bother you. But there are some artillery things that are abstracted that bother me. There are some armor things that bug the hell outta tankers.

You just CAN'T simulate everything yet. We still, even with optimization, here complaints about lag in the game. If we tried to include EVERY detail at this scale, the simulation would grind to a halt.

I am not trying to stifle your valuable input. I just hope you will not turn off newcomers to what we consider a solid simulation with, well, nitpicking.

kbluck
19 Jun 03, 20:53
I am a bit exasperated. Everyone, not just you, complained that infantry is too easy to see and to hard to destroy.

I never complained they were too hard to destroy. In fact, I thought they were too easy to destroy even then. My main concern at the time was the spotting. *Sustained* fire on infantry targets will wear them out eventually, so their primary defense is invisibility. The spotting is much better now; thank you.



If an infantry team is walking in the open through the deserts of Iraq, and takes MG fire, I would say that a 50% pK (after a different pH calculation) is reasonable. An infantry team in defilade, dug in, and/or in hold fire is much harder to hit (which I think acounts for the long, Vietnam-style fire fights that you describe.

50% for the engagement, sure, at least. 50% chance for each and every burst to waste the entire team, no way, especially at a few hundred meters range. Consider --- there are seven rounds in a typical MG burst. To kill a game fire team, that means 3 of 7 have to hit different, usually widely separated targets. Now, I acknowledge there's some abstraction here, since "kill" is a binary state in this game, but nevertheless, it should be clear that the odds for *any given burst* to kill the whole team will be low. It is only the accumulation of numerous bursts on target that will develop a good cumulative chance of killing the entire team. Since your simulation checks every burst, I believe that 50% is just way too high, on a "per burst" basis. Given that a SAW is capable of generating about 20 bursts in a minute, that's a lot of 2% chances to kill in a fairly short amount of time. From my experimentation, infantry taking sustained fire still dies consistently if something isn't done pretty soon to lift the fire, even at a seemingly miniscule pK like 2%. They just don't usually get cut down in the very first burst.

Your distinction between cover and moving in the open notwithstanding, I find that advancing infantry kills defending infantry in their holes pretty handily, too, if for some reason they outrange the defenders. So, even accounting for cover and concealment, the dug-in infantry still dies awfully fast with those high pKs.

I just don't think its right when a fire team kills 4 fire teams more than 250 meters away in less than 10 seconds and could do it again before they even have to change a magazine. Is that usually how it goes in all that "open desert" (ha!) out at NTC?

Note that I am not talking about such vast reductions for area weapons, such as HE shell. Those pKs should be much higher than for small arms, although I'm not sure they should be as high as 100% for properly dispersed troops. 155mm HE shells aren't that likely to kill, even though they are landing within 20 meters or so. Why is a 120mm HEAT round so much more likely to kill the entire team than 155mm? Even given the better targeting of direct fire, with a typical fire team spacing 2 out of 3 are likely going to be at least 10m from the impact. It seems inconsistent.



The AT thing we can talk about all day. If I am in a hole and I see an infantry company coming at me, and I only have an AT-5 or an RPG to defend myself, I will probably shoot it and take the ass-chewing later rather than die without shooting back. This is what will happen if you set AT pK's to zero.

I agree that it's *possible*. I disagree strongly that it's *common*. There is at least some precedent for shooting unguided LAWs and such at infantry; it was an occasional anti-sniper tactic in Vietnam. Of course, US forces didn't worry much about encountering enemy tanks most of the time, so they could feel safe in being a bit wasteful with their AT capability.

It is very difficult to find historical accounts of an ATGM being fired deliberately at a personnel target. Bunkers and other "hard" targets, yes. But just plain old infantry in the open, no. The closest I've been able to find is the Israeli practice of assassination by Hellfire, and even then there's usually a car or building involved. Not saying it's never happened; just that its very, very uncommon. Yet, in the game, that's the first thing AT teams do when they spot some infantry off in the distance, unless they're in 'hold fire'.

It might be conceivable in desperation, but it is downright routine in the game. Accordingly, I think the game gains much more realism than it loses by setting it so that ATGMs are never fired at infantry targets under any circumstances. A better solution, of course, would be to have a target selection model with, as you say, "common sense". That won't be forthcoming in the foreseeable future, so the pK = 0 solution is what I see to plug the hole for now.

If you can tell me the OPFOR at NTC and JRTC routinely fire their ATGMs at Blue fire teams (or vice versa) as a matter of doctrine or even just common practice, then I will accept that this issue is just "nitpicking". Until then, I feel it is a gross error of simulation, but one that is easily fixed.

Regards,

--- Kevin

kbluck
20 Jun 03, 01:01
I've been playing around with infantry in both 1.01 and 1.02 to compare the two. I think I have an idea of what the deal is. Here are my impressions:

It seems to me that in 1.01, it is much more difficult to "hit" infantry. When you place fire on them, even multiple MGs on a single team, they only infrequently become suppressed. This suggests to me they weren't being hit. However, just like in 1.02, the first or second hit usually ended up killing them altogether. In 1.01, it just took a lot longer to get that hit. This is probably why I didn't really notice the ATGM issue before; they were shooting but not hitting very often, and with their low ROF they were therefore a low-odds kill. This is probably why people were unsatisfied with infantry being "too hard to kill"; you could hammer away at them for minutes at a time with no visible result for your trouble, not even a suppression result.

1.02, the pH appears to have been revised upwards by a considerable amount; that is to say, infantry is much easier to "hit". However, the chance to kill remained high as well. So, now we have a situation where infantry is still killed by almost anything that hits it, but it now gets hit a lot more than before. Any weapon with a high ROF is statistically certain to waste them all in mere seconds. End result: infantry die like flies when subjected to literally any sort of direct fire, regardless of cover, smoke, lighting, or anything else.

Ironically, the real-world biggest killer on the battlefield, artillery, is now actually the least effective system for killing them --- only 17% chance per "hit" for 155mm HE. Every direct fire weapon in the game has at least double that chance per hit to kill.

I think v1.01 had it backwards. I think infantry should be easy to hit (in game terms), but hard to kill. When you set it up like this, the simulation results strike me as quite plausible: whenever fire is placed on infantry, they rapidly become increasingly suppressed, and eventually will be killed if you keep shooting long enough, but not usually right away. That seems to me a pretty good model of real-world infantry taken under fire.

v1.02 fixed one half of this problem but not the other, arguably making the situation worse by transforming ATGM sniping from a mere waste of ammo into an outlandishly effective infantry exterminator, and even ignoring that issue, basically making it impossible for infantry to conduct any sort of offensive mission. And I know that just can't be right, because every infantryman I've ever met has been *extremely* offensive.

:D

For what its worth,

--- Kevin

Deltapooh
20 Jun 03, 09:02
Alot of these problems can be resolved by editing the database. The real problem is Cpt. Proctor is a artillery guy. I have a friend who is an artillery commander in the Australian Army. He classified a good precision room clearing drill as having a battery of 155mm fire a salvo of HE on the center of the room!

Again, it reinforces my argument about the need to allow players to modify features of the game to suite their own preferences and knowledge. The more the player can do, the better. Modding is the only way to ensure a games long term survival.

For me, I'm going to take kbluck's advice. AT-5 teams will soon have the three-man enemy fire team picture (for now), take two or three minutes to move, at least, and move very slowly. AT-4 and AT-7s will become the standard for dismount AT teams. Pk will be adjusted so the enemy can be kill more easily by artillery.

kbluck
20 Jun 03, 13:01
AT-5 teams will soon have the three-man enemy fire team picture (for now), take two or three minutes to move, at least, and move very slowly.

That sounds about right. 4 men would be the practical minimum if they were expected to move the actual launcher farther than a few meters without a vehicle, but close enough. The "official" specs say 1 min for breakdown, but we can safely assume that's under ideal conditions, which of course don't exist on the battlefield.


AT-4 and AT-7s will become the standard for dismount AT teams.

AT-4 is still a bit on the heavy side, and is considered "crew-portable" rather than "man-portable". Still better than the AT-5, which isn't considered portable at all without a vehicle close by. 3-man team for this one. There is also the AT-3 Sagger for obsolete militaries, which falls into roughly the same portability class.

AT-7 is about equivalent to Dragon, and is fully man-portable. The newer AT-13 Metis is pushing it on weight, but generally still considered to squeak by as man-portable.

If you want to be doctrinally correct, USSR-style BMP infantry does not carry a man-portable ATGM in every dismount squad as does the US. Those dismount squads would most correctly be modeled as 2 fire teams.

The first place you might find the dismounted ATGM is in the company AT section, which has 3 AT-7 class launchers mounted in one BMP. Many battalions also have a similar ATGM platoon, which is typically six AT-4 teams in 3 BMPs. However, these are not universal, geneally found only in "category 1" well-equipped divisions. But, the point is, even in well-equipped outfits, you are likely to find no more than 9 AT-7 and 6 AT-4 ground launchers in any given motor rifle battalion, and usually less. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the ATGM launcher on the BMP *is* dismountable. An interesting possibility for inventive defenses.

If you like, I can email you PDF copies of the various FMs covering "standard" OPFOR equipment and organizations for your reference. They are multi-megabyte downloads, though, so be prepared.

You might also consider looking at "Euroweapons" such as Milan. Comparable to the AT-4 in performance but much lighter. Also HOT, which is similar to the TOW. Both have been exported to a variety of nations, including many in the Middle East.



Pk will be adjusted so the enemy can be kill more easily by artillery.

Well, I don't know about that. If CPT Proctor says that a 155mm shell landing within 50m of a fire team has a 17% chance of killing it, I'm inclined to believe him. I'm pretty sure the artillery model has been scrupulously researched and tested. I just think that the same level of loving attention probably wasn't lavished upon the small arms vs. infantry model.

Regards,

--- Kevin

Pat Proctor
20 Jun 03, 21:45
The survivability of infantry is in not being seen (has anyone ever seen that Monty Python skit, "...This demonstrates the value of not being seen"?)

If you have a dug in, defiladed infantry team, or even just defiladed infantry team, you have to get pretty close to spot him. Once you spot him, he is vulnerable because, well, the only protection he has is BDU's and maybe a flak vest.

The idea behind the pK's is that, if a team is a three man team, then a three-round burst or single-shot from an assault rifle is going to kill or incapacitate one guy every time it hits the team. Three hits should wipe out the team. Thus, the pK for an Assault Rifle is 33%. Fundamentally, we feel that a person is so slow moving that, if he is visible, and you have detected him, and he is in range, you can shoot and kill him with small arms.

By the same logic, we felt that a MG, especially the larger caliber MG's like the M2 .50 caliber, would take out two out of three guys if fired in a nine round burst and successfully hitting them. Thus, the pK is 66 percent, meaning that 2 hits will take out the team rather than 3.

I think anyone would agree that a person hit with a .50 caliber is combat ineffective. I think that most would agree that, unless it is a flesh wound (which would classify as a "suppressed"), just about any small arm, if it hits a person, will render him combat ineffective.

So, on this pK abstraction of translating the status of two to three people into the binary state of either alive or dead, we stand by the model.

The only question is, are infantrymen too easy to hit in ATF. I would contend that if you can positively identify the target (it is not "yellow icon") and it is in your max effective range, considering its slow movement rate and size relative to distance of most small arms ranges, you are going to hit it about 50% of the time (the actual DEFINITION of max effective range). Of course the pH model is much more complicated than this, but we spent a lot of time ensuring that the model rendered this result with a guy in the open not doing anything special (like defilade or dug in). Again we stand by the model.

So, if you are firing an assault rifle at a dismount target, the odds to kill it come out to about:

.5 pH X .33 pK ~ .17

For a MG

.5 pH X .66 pK = .33

This is assuming that you get close enough to see them, which I think Operation Sandcastle demonstrates is not an easy thing.

KB, I take your criticism as it is intended, to better the game. But I, frankly, do not think that this element is broke anymore. Infantry is vulnerable but highly lethal if used correctly. That is what we aim for with every element of the game.

Deltapooh
20 Jun 03, 22:14
Well I was thinking about artillery. My M1025 with .50 cal kills infantry quite well. In the past, I use to spot them, call in artillery, and keep my scouts moving. Now, they can engage and kill quickly.

Artillery on the otherhand appears to be a different story. I use could take out an enemy dismount unit with a battery of 155mm using DPICM. Now I need more than just one battery or salvo more often than not.

Deltapooh
21 Jun 03, 02:22
kbluck: I have FM 100-60, FM 100-61, and FM 100-63. If there is any other please let me know. Can never have too much information.

kbluck
21 Jun 03, 03:31
I have FM 100-60, FM 100-61, and FM 100-63. If there is any other please let me know.

There's also World Equipment Guide.

--- Kevin

kbluck
21 Jun 03, 04:06
I understand our difference now. When I thought about a "hit" in game terms, my take was that it reflected the operator successfully placing the weapon's beaten zone over the target's position. That's not terribly difficult to do.

As I understand your post, though, you regard a "hit" in game terms as bullets actually striking bodies.

In that case, I think your pH is too high. I disagree that it is nearly so easy to score actual casualties with any given burst, especially when firing at targets hundreds of meters away, as is the norm in this game.

Your definition of pH begs the question: when a 25mm shell "hits", does that reflect the shell actually striking a man?

No, of course not. It was a rhetorical question. My point is this: fragmentation weapon pH reflects merely bringing the target into the effective radius of the ordnance. Artillery is the same. Why don't we regard the cone of fire from machine guns in the same manner, as a sort of "burst radius"? The rounds are falling in a random pattern within the beaten zone, very much like shell fragments cover the burst radius in a random fashion. What's the practical difference?

Regardless of theory, the proof is in the pudding. Historical accounts of actual combat abound. Korea, Vietnam, Arab-Israeli, last week in Iraq, and dozens of other theatres with a variety of terrain and conditions. The pattern repeats endlessly: small arms fire by itself just isn't all that effective at killing. It is very effective at fixing and suppressing the enemy, but the bulk of the actual killing is done with some sort of explosive munition.

I agree that the game is not reality, but its stated goal is to produce a convincing approximation of reality. In this respect, I just don't think 1.02's practical result lines up well with historical precedent. Reality aside, I think it just plain makes the game more fun when your dismounts have a chance to actually react somehow to incoming fire, rather than having the first couple of bursts just mow down your entire patrol before you can even hit the pause key. Give the low pKs a little playtest. I think you'll find the survivability lines up pretty well with how it was in 1.01, except targets actually get suppressed by fire before it kills them, which adds interesting new tactical options.

You won't be hearing from me for a while, as I'll be in Ukraine for the next couple of weeks. I'll leave it to your imagination as to what I'm doing there. ;)

Enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasts!

Regards,

--- Kevin