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amrcg
22 Jul 03, 14:08
Hi all

I'm looking for some tips on how to finish the Death Valley Attack scenario. The enemy half a dozen BMP-2 ddefending SE of OBJ Texas. In addition, 4 or 5 BMP-2 form approximately a 90 angle with them, defending on the ridge that stays to the north and east of OBJ Texas. I have tried almost everything but was completely defeated:

1) I have tried to pound the enemy BMP-2 with artillery, but they are dug in. I've wasted by DPICM and BBDPICM ammunition to little effect.

2) I've tried to attack in a East-West axis close to the ridge. Even before I reach the minefields I'm already being killed by the AT-5 missiles fire by the BMPs. And yes, I've deployed smoke but 3 batteries seem not to be enough to cover all directions.

3) I've tried to attack SE->NW. Same result.

4) I've tried to send Javelin teams south of OBJ Texas. The killed 2 BMP-2. Further attempts to approach BMP-2 led to their destruction as the BMP-2 started to fire AT-5 at them.

So, professionals out there, how shall I win this scenario? What formations and missions shall I use? Are there any AARs for this scenario?

Cheers,
Antonio

Pat Proctor
22 Jul 03, 17:22
SOSR-A is not just smoke. The acronym (suppress, obscure, secure, reduce, assault) describes the whole breaching operation.

First you must suppress the point of penetration. This means moving Bradleys or tanks forward to a point where they can suppress the objective (using the 'Suppress' SOP). To get those vehicles into position, suppress with artillery, firing one gun per target, HE, on identified vehicles. Keep up this suppression with one battery.
Obscure the breach site. You need to breach on a very narrow front, in one spot that is covered and concealed from the defensive positions. The only spot I know of is on the eastern side of the defensive position. When you obscure, use a linear sheaf and make the attitude parallel to the line of the main battle are defensive vehicles.
Secure. Get some tanks right down at the breach site and have them also suppress enemy vehicles on the other side of the obstacles. We are gaining local fire superiority.
Reduce. Use plow tanks and plows. MCLiC's are, in my opinion, too slow unless you have a really good suppression laid down.
Assault. Use tanks. They are faster, have a higher rate of fire, and are more survivable. Punch violently through the breach, as rapidly as possible, through the breach.


You have to keep the artillery smoke and suppression up. Closely monitor ammunition levels so that you shift smoke to a new battery as soon as the smoke shooter runs out of ammo.

NEVER use formations around breaches (with the exception of SBF/Defense for the support force). Units will easily get caught up in surrounding obstacles and be cut to pieces.

Hope this helps!

amrcg
23 Jul 03, 06:41
Dear Captain,

Thanks for the tips. Concerning the phases you have just provided, what do you think about using the Assault to Breach mission to do those operations automatically, leaving the player with the sole task of managing artillery fires? Also, would one company be enough to assault the positions I have described, leaving the other company as a reserve for a later exploit?

Best regards,
Antonio

Pat Proctor
23 Jul 03, 11:42
If I remember correctly, you have two maneuver companies in this scenario and one engineer company. You will need them all to take down the objective. This is how I task organize...

I move all of my bradley platoons into the mech infantry company and all of my tank platoons into the armor company. Then I take all of my plow tanks (the 'PSG' units) out of the armor company and put them in platoons in the engineer company.

I lead with the mech company, followed by the engineer company, followed by the armor company. I hug my right boundary and stop when I get to the base of the mountainous region to the NE of OBJ TEXAS.

When I get there, I give the mech company the 'support by fire' mission and move them forward. As soon as I give this mission, I start one battery firing HE, one gun per enemy target at the point of penetration (as close to the mountain on the NE side of the OBJ as I can get).

Then I give the 'engineer company breach' mission to my engineer company. I like this mission better than company attack to breach because 'company attack to breach' puts one platoon in an SBF postion and another assaulting through the objective. 'Engineer company breach' puts every breaching vehicle through the obstacle at once and every non-breaching vehicle right down on the obstacle, securing the breach site.

As these engineers kick off their mission, I continue to suppress with HE and add another battery, firing smoke on the far side of the OBJ, between the breach site and the enemy.

Once the breach is cut (while maintaining smoke and HE suppression), I give my armor company the 'assault' mission and shoot through the breach as rapidly as I can. I skirt around the right side of the OBJ and start attacking vehicle positions, in 'line' formation, from their flank. After I have all of the pont of penetration vehicles destroyed. I shift the smoke SW to cover the movement of my assault team (if I have any left) to cover my assault from the dismounts on the left side of the objective.

kbluck
23 Jul 03, 16:29
As soon as I give this mission, I start one battery firing HE, one gun per enemy target at the point of penetration

Creative. Is this a "realistic" tactic? I must say, I have no experience with actual fire missions being planned this way. I understand that Paladin has "self-direction" capability, so I'm sure it *could* be used like this, but is it? What about M109A3?

In general, is it realistic for units without GPS and lasing support (such as a FIST would have) to be able to reliably determine 8-digit grids to enemy positions in order to enable this sort of "sharpshooting"? I submit that it is not; a moving unit without GPS is very high-speed indeed to know their *own* position to 8-digit precision, much less that of an enemy a couple thousand meters away. For units without this advanced support, they're doing pretty well to provide an accurate six-digit grid for fire missions and get the first round within a hundred meters.

Doesn't anybody have to use spotting rounds anymore?

--- Kevin

kbluck
23 Jul 03, 17:50
I have tried to pound the enemy BMP-2 with artillery, but they are dug in. I've wasted by DPICM and BBDPICM ammunition to little effect.

I've found DPICM to be fairly effective. I generally work them over in battery-size fire missions. For dug-in units, which won't scatter when hit by artillery, I set a volley of four to minimize the time between shots. If I score a kill, I then cancel any remaining fire on the position and move on. (Usually you'll have about 10 seconds after impact to cancel before the next shot goes out.) I've found a given battery shot will have about a 1-in-4 chance of killing a BMP. I routinely kill anywhere from 5 to 8 BMPs with artillery in this scenario before running out of ammo. T-80s are much harder; only about a 1-in-10 chance of killing those. Undug units move when hit by artillery (immediately; they don't seem to respect the displace time), so fire one-round volleys at those and shoot something else while they settle down.


I've tried to attack in a East-West axis close to the ridge. Even before I reach the minefields I'm already being killed by the AT-5 missiles fire by the BMPs. And yes, I've deployed smoke but 3 batteries seem not to be enough to cover all directions.

AT-5 sights can see through smoke fairly well, although degraded. If you have a good picture of the objective, try putting your smoke in front of the enemy instead of around your formation. With careful placement, you can often arrange a double-layer in front of the enemy, so much the better. The closer to the enemy, the more angle you cut off, but also the more likely dispersed positions will not be obscured. Its a tradeoff.

Look hard at your avenue of approach using the LOS fan. You can actually get very close to the obstacle belt using terrain without presenting much target opportunity to the enemy. It pays to know which enemy is likely to shoot at a given point of the route so you can face them, and to sprint through exposed sections when you have little chance of returning fire. Don't bother smoking when the enemy can't see you anyway. Don't forget your built-in smoke, if the wind is favorable. (It generally isn't in this scenario for that purpose.)

Obviously, developing your picture of the enemy's disposition is crucial. Consider sneaking a dismount over the north side to a position where they can observe the entire objective.



4) I've tried to send Javelin teams south of OBJ Texas. The killed 2 BMP-2. Further attempts to approach BMP-2 led to their destruction as the BMP-2 started to fire AT-5 at them.

In my opinion, the best way to reduce this objective is to infiltrate your dismounts. First run them through the CSOP, and then onwards to reduce the ATGM infantry strongpoint. Once this is done, you can smash your heavies through the cleared gap straight north behind a rolling smoke screen into the objective while avoiding the worst of their kill sack and, thanks to your infantry leading the way, avoiding the mine belt. There is no time limit stated in the OPORD for being on objective, so I don't think it is unreasonable to take the 3 hours or so required for the dismounts to accomplish these tasks.

Unfortunately, the game mechanics in 1.02 make this essentially undoable. In particular, the extreme deadliness of ATGMs against fire teams and the enemy's cheerful willingness to expend all their missiles against infantry targets makes it a suicide mission for fire teams to attack AT-5 teams, at least until they're out of missiles. I consider this highly unrealistic, as I've stated before in other threads, and I wish something "official" would be done about it. Even worse, small arms fire is extremely deadly as well, and any dismount is killed within a few seconds of receiving such fire, as you've discovered. I also find this unrealistic, as your dismounts never have a chance to take cover and develop the situation. If the game is any indication, the Army and Marine Corps are sure wasting a a lot of money and manpower on infantry. There's no way for them to close on an enemy with ammo, regardless of terrain. The only way to get there is massive amounts of smoke, and even that doesn't help much against AT-5 teams or anything else with decent sights.

I find it ironic that the missions suggested by the manual in the "What do I do with my infantry" section are largely impossible in 1.02. The only dismount with any sort of actual combat utility is one armed with an ATGM. Fire teams as modeled are basically useless for anything except hiding on a mountaintop somewhere and spotting. I don't know why they even go to the trouble of carrying weapons; they'll probably never get a chance to fire them.

*************

A few mine breaching notes. MiCLiC is definitely the best current method of rapidly breaching a minefield, provided it's not filled with newer mines (Italy of all places produces the best, arguably) with the overpressure-resistant fuzes. Where the game goes wrong is limiting MicLiC to engineer M113s. In fact, its a standard trailer, and there is no reason it couldn't be pre-primed and hitched to a plow tank, with the detonators wired and in the hands of the TC. To my knowledge tank crews are generally not trained for this mission, however. It routinely does go behind an M9 ACE. It is also possible to replace the bridge on the AVLB with 2 MiCLiC loads and a plow besides, thus producing a more survivable solution. Ultimately, the new Grizzly will produce a much better and more survivable breaching solution, being built on an M1 chassis, if only they can ever get it fielded.

I strongly dispute whether an M9 ACE could be safely used to breach a minefield. It's a bulldozer, not a mine plow. There is doctrine for using a "skimming" technique to push aside surface-laid mines, but only as a last resort, as a mine detonation on the blade would probably wreck the whole vehicle. Keep in mind that the M9 operator is generally a solitary PFC fresh out of basic with no NCO supervision or even a radio he can reach while operating, and while buttoned up can't see the ground in front of his blade. As a task force engineer I would normally consider using the M9 only to proof an already breached lane. Only in the most desperate of circumstances would I send him into an unbreached minefield, with the full expectation of writing a letter to his parents real soon.

As for plow tanks by themselves, if you weren't aware, they generally can't fire while plowing a minefield. The turret must be traversed to side or rear while breaching to prevent damage to the main gun, since mines routinely detonate on the plow. I've found in the game they make such narrow lanes that it can be difficult to get some vehicles all the way through them, even when manually plotting. Max zoom is mandatory, as is cutting more than one lane, because some vehicles just flat refuse to go through a certain plow lane. I usually try to have two or more immediately abreast, so that together they cut a wider lane.

--- Kevin

kbluck
23 Jul 03, 18:54
Actually, we have an instructive example of ATGMs against personnel targets just yesterday in Mosul. It appears Saddam's sons were killed with TOW missile fire.

I think the phrase "exception that proves the rule" is appropriate here. Consider the salient points of this engagement:

1. They were barricaded in a concrete structure, which greatly limited the penetration of "standard" weapons. (Bunker-busting is one of the few situations where I would approve of the use of AT weapons against personnel. But then, the target is technically the bunker, not the personnel.)

2. There was absolutely no threat whatsoever from enemy armor, either immediately or in the forseeable future. The TOWs literally had nothing better to shoot at.

3. Given the political situation, emphasis was on minimizing friendly casualties rather than economy of force.

4. They expended *ten* TOW missiles to kill the equivalent of a single "Enemy Fire Team", not to mention a lot of rockets, 40mm grenades, and heavy machine gun fire. This was in the ideal situation for a shaped-charge weapon, with the enemy being contained in an enclosed space to contain and magnify the concussion and fragmentation, as opposed to being widely dispersed in the open air. Even so, Saddam's grandson apparently survived the missile attack and had to be shot dead with plain old full metal jacket rounds.


I am going to make a couple of preditions here with regard to the upcoming AATF game:

1. In AATF, it will be highly unusual for infantry to shoot other infantry with ATGMs. Less rare but still uncommon for unguided AT weapons to be used. In the rare cases where it does happen, pK will be substantially less than 100%. Shoulder-launched weapons specifically designed for anti-personnel use such as the RPO will be an obvious exception.

2. In AATF, it will typically require considerably more than 1-2 bursts of small arms fire to kill a fire team. Dare I say it, but a defending squad might actually have to change a magazine or two while gunning down an attacking company. :clown: This applies in general to all direct fire weapons against infantry; they will be substantially less deadly than they are in ATF.

I make these predictions with confidence, since AATF will be a game centered around infantry action. The current ATF model with regard to infantry combat resolution is acceptable only because most players habitually ignore their infantry in favor of tanks. Furthermore, they find it convenient to be able to easily snuff those annoying enemy recon teams with a few long-range bursts of .50 cal, and so don't look the gift horse in the mouth. If the present ATF model is preserved in the infantry-heavy AATF, however, the game will be unplayable.

--- Kevin

amrcg
24 Jul 03, 14:42
Hi Kevin

>I've found DPICM to be fairly effective. I generally work them >over in battery-size fire missions. For dug-in units, which won't >scatter when hit by artillery, I set a volley of four to minimize the >time between shots. If I score a kill, I then cancel any remaining >fire on the position and move on. (Usually you'll have about 10 >seconds after impact to cancel before the next shot goes out.)
<snip>
Well, I may have had bad luck, but I have spent all I had on those BMP-2s.... Well, in fact not all I had... Before that I had followed the instructions on Chapter 6 of the BCT manual:

>This is a classic breaching drill. Follow the advice in Breaching >101, earlier in this chapter and you should be fine. You will >have a little easier time if you can identify where his CSOP
>(Combat Security Outpost, a couple vehicles out in front of his >defense) are and destroy it with artillery before you get there. >You will have a much easier time if you can identify where his >infantry strong point is and NOT GO THERE.
This made me loose lots of ammo =E. Now I am facing the minefields and the BMP-2 protecting them and I think I will have not enough ammo to implement the plan that Captain Proctor provided =(.

Anyway, Kevin, you also seem to know a lot about military stuff. Are you a military?

Best regards,
Antonio

kbluck
24 Jul 03, 16:35
you also seem to know a lot about military stuff. Are you a military?

I used to be an Army engineer officer. So, I have a bit of training on breaching techniques... As CPT Proctor will verify, I also have a lot of strong opinions on wargaming and simulation.



I may have had bad luck, but I have spent all I had on those BMP-2s

Are you firing 6-gun battery shots in converged sheaf? Are you sure you're actually hitting them? (the BMPs should become suppressed if not killed.) Out of a total of 20 battery volleys or so, you're having bad luck indeed if you end up killing less than 4. Or else the artillery isn't being effective for some other reason.

For "dug-in" units, you'll see a little red circle on the icon. That is your aim point. For non-dug units, you'll just have to estimate center of mass. This is one reason I prefer NATO icons; less guessing about where the center of the icon is.



>This is a classic breaching drill. Follow the advice in Breaching
>101, earlier in this chapter and you should be fine. You will
>have a little easier time if you can identify where his CSOP
>(Combat Security Outpost, a couple vehicles out in front of his
>defense) are and destroy it with artillery before you get there.

This made me loose lots of ammo =E. Now I am facing the minefields and the BMP-2 protecting them and I think I will have not enough ammo to implement the plan that Captain Proctor provided =(.


Once located, the CSOP is an easy target for dismounted infantry; in fact, it is the perfect offensive infantry mission, as they're stuck way out in the middle of nowhere, in fairly close terrain, with no supporting units overwatching them. The AT BRDMs are particularly vulnerable, as they don't even have a machinegun to defend themselves. This is a classic mistake of "heavy-itis", forgetting to protect your armor from lowly infantry. A proper outpost should include some well-armed infantry for local security, although the game's present mechanics make such sound practice less rewarding than it ought to be.

The fly in the ointment, of course, is the "magic bullet" ability of the AT-5 to "zap" infantry in v.1.02. If that ridiculous factor were eliminated, those guys would be sitting ducks for a platoon of dismounts, having no real infantry firepower to defend themselves. Even as it is, you can usually nail them with Javelins, since you'll generally see them before they see you. Do try to engage them with "volley fire", since if you fail to kill one he'll pick up his skirts and run off, and you'll have to find him again. Keep your Javelins in "Hold Fire" until everybody's in position and emplaced, then unleash them all at once. Normally, the unsupported AT-5 teams would be no trouble to mop up as well, but again the "superweapon" will cause problems in 1.02. Until (if) that is remedied, you can take care of them with HE artillery, if you can manage to spot them before those amazing AT-5s exterminate your troops.

The infantry strongpoint would be the next logical objective. It is basically impossible to approach with vehicles without excessive losses any closer than the CSOP. So, you might as well have the same dismounts hike on over from the CSOP once they're done there. Again, its a perfect situation for infantry --- difficult to approach with vehicles, but ultimately just a bunch of missile teams without overwatch or even some fire teams for protection. Infantry should be able to walk right up without any interference (they might have to skirt a minefield) and spot for artillery, or even just take matters into their own hands if they had the machine guns they're supposed to have. However, given the AT-5 situation in 1.02, I don't recommend actually approaching the strongpoint with your dismounts in that version, as they'll get picked off by missiles for sure.

Another good mission for your other platoon of dismounts is the little outpost on the north side of the minefields. They can be safely inserted near the sector boundary just shy of where the terrain turns impassable. Just be careful of your terrain analysis; you want to engage from at least 2000 meters out, to avoid return fire. If you check your LOS fan, you'll see that you actually want to swing them wide over the top along the sector boundary and go to the next ridgeline over. There's no LOS without getting too close for safety if you try to come straight south on them. Getting rid of those guys makes a breach on the north side much safer, and you can save yourself a lot of artillery ammo by letting your Javelins take care of it. That same platoon can then carry on and snipe a couple more BMPs along the north side of the defensive zone, or at least provide a good view into the objective.

The facing bug in 1.02 may make it difficult to kill the T-80, though. Don't be surprised if it seems "invulnerable". Besides, the Javelin is a top-attack weapon and thus every shot from any angle really ought to have the same pK as a top shot. (So is TOW-2B, for that matter.) Currently, the standard database lists a front shot with Javelin with a mere 2% pK, which I consider highly pessimistic given the top attack profile.

--- Kevin

Pat Proctor
25 Jul 03, 11:53
There's a lot here. I probably missed a question or two, but...

Aiming at individual vehicles to suppress is the *prefered* method of suppression. The idea is that your scouts, who are prepositioned out front before LD, spot the enemy getting in his holes. They send the eight digit grids (they have this capability) to the BN headquarters and the BN FSO refines the target group for the suppression so that he is placing fire on each vehicle position.

What usually, unfortunately happens here at the NTC is that the BLUFOR place one target on one vehicle, refine the target to the exact eight digit grid of that vehicle, suppress the hell out of that one vehicle, and get smoked by the other five vehicles at the point of penetraion.

I agree that the M-9 ace is not generally used for breaching. I plead ignorance as to whether it could "build a spoil" the way a plow tank does and clear an obstacle. But, having been a 12B (don't tell any of my artillery friends ;)), I would certainly try in combat before I made a dismounted infantryman get out of his track and breach an obstacle manually. But then I'm not signed for the M9 ACE ;).

I agree that AT fire against dismounts is highly lethal and might not, in all situations, be realistic. But I would also submit that, if they were about to die, enemy infantry would through rocks if they had to. We have not found a good way to tell units "this is a desperate situation, go no holds barred", so we simply allow the fire all of the time.

This does NOT make infantry in effective. It just forces you to do everything you are SUPPOSED to do anyway. You shouldn't use frontal attacks. You should try to maneuver on infantry from the rear. This severely reduces their view range so you can get in much closer. You should use artillery, mortar, or direct fire suppression to fire and maneuver close enough to the enemy to kill him. These are all things real infantry companies have to get right. They are just as valid in ATF. The only difference is, in ATF, you get punished a little more immediately for failure (to the tune of an ATGM sandwich, right in the kisser).

kbluck
25 Jul 03, 13:44
You shouldn't use frontal attacks. You should try to maneuver on infantry from the rear. This severely reduces their view range so you can get in much closer.

Great advice!

Unfortunately, usually enemies are smart enough to tie in their lines so that there is no way to get around to their rear, at least not without a long, long hike across sector boundaries or some sort of vertical envelopment. Often, you *must* attack from the front. 11Bs aren't generally permitted to throw up their hands and say, "we're not going if we can't get behind them."



You should use artillery, mortar, or direct fire suppression to fire and maneuver close enough to the enemy to kill him.

More great advice! Unfortunately, in ATF direct fire suppression is out of the question so long as the AT-5 "magic bullet" is in force. I've tried to sneak up on AT-5 teams every way from Sunday, from every direction and in a lot of different sorts of terrain. Despite your assurances that their view range is degraded from the rear, they *still* spot oncoming infantry from outside the direct fire range of that infantry, and invariably kill them with their AT-5s. Bringing tank support is out of the question, since *those* get killed before coming in range too, and usually before the AT-5s can even be spotted. In short, until the AT-5 teams are out of missiles, the only realistic suppression option is artillery. So, again, why are fire teams bothering to carry weapons at all?

************

I really don't get the huge disparities in effectiveness. The AT-5 has a warhead with around 6 lbs of explosive charge, carefully designed to focus a large fraction its blast towards the front. Compare this with a 120mm mortar round, which weighs around 30 lbs, probably half of that filler. The missile is designed for penetration of armor, not fragmentation, while the mortar is specifically designed to maximize all-around concussion and fragmentation effects for the specific purpose of killing men. Yet, the mortar round, with twice the charge and way more fragmentation, is deemed to have (assuming it hits at all) only a 7% chance or so to kill a fire team, while the entirely unsuitable AT-5 gets an nice, round 100%. (Actually, you could make a similar point about 120mm tank guns.) Perhaps you might explain this disparity by pointing to the improved accuracy of direct fire, but consider: the missile, best case, can only hit one guy. Odds are the other members of the team are at least 5-10 meters away from the impact. So, what's the difference, really, except that the AT-5 generates a lot less fragmentation?

On a related note: It now looks like Odai and Qusai died from bullet wounds after all. So, apparently those 10 TOWs were even less effective than we thought.

So, how *do* you explain this incredible difference in effectiveness between missiles and mortars?

***************

While we're at it, if you agree that the M9 is "not generally used for breaching" minefields, why in the world would you make it one of the game's most effective systems at doing so? Even if you speculate that despite its unsuitability it could still do the job faster than a plow, what possible justification is there for having it make an extra-wide lane when its blade is barely track-width? Were you worried about the US not having an effective breaching solution? Guess what --- that's totally accurate! The US has lagged badly in anti-mine capability since before Vietnam. For a long time, plows, metal detectors, and little pointy sticks were all we had. In the '80s, we added MiCLiC, and not a whole lot more has been done since then. Ironic that our mine*laying* capability has improved by leaps and bounds during the same interval. At any rate, let's not give the US forces capabilities they don't have; they should be simulated warts and all.

*****************

This ATGM issue is so easy to fix, Captain. Just turn off the pK in the database. I can't understand why you're so determined to cling to the "but then they can't fire them in desperation" argument when that is such a minor simulation issue, while casually dismissing as unimportant the incredibly unrealistic routine firing of these rounds at infantry as a *first* resort, and failing to address at all the absurd effectiveness of the practice.

I could live with it if you made some effort to justify the practice as actual doctrine or at least a common real-world occurence in the field, and made some attempt at documenting it's amazing effectiveness. But, simply waving away the problem with arguments like "infantry would throw rocks if they had to" and "you get punished a little more immediately for failure" is not what I expect from a guy who advertises his games as "The most realistic tactical simulations today."

--- Kevin

APC
26 Jul 03, 15:35
discussion Klbuck.

I bet the good Capt. is thrilled you found his Game :D

I bought and enjoyed BCT and ATF now, and have been Computer Wargaming since the the PS1.

I probably own and played every land combat game made, most were of course Armor Sims. since I guess that`s more Sexy, sells better too, and can say that _None_ of them ever, IMHO realistically modeled Infantry Combat at the Platoon & Squad level.

I spent a lot of time 10 years ago playtesting Tigers On The Prowl for Scott Hamilton at HPS, arguably the most realistic Ground Combat Sim made.

You know what ?, despite great efforts in programing and testing, and I`m talking years here, Scott et al could never get a totally, please note the word *totally* realistic Inf. VS Inf. and Inf. VS Armor combat code in place.

The reason is IMO ( and perhaps Scott`s ) that given the limitations of the desktop hardware system, the Windows DOS, and a one man opperation it was found, that if Inf. was effective agains other Inf. it was either _too_ or _not at all_ effective against Armor, and vice-versa.

Sooooo.. what I`m saying is your asking for something in an Armor Sim that just can`t be obtained to your level of detail.

As far as changing the PK of the ATM, well, I`ll let the Capt. speak for himself, but my guess is that will cause other problems of reality in a differient area, while perhaps solving yours ?

It is, after all, just a Game made by one Guy with a real other job.

Perhaps the best solution is to enjoy it for what it is.

Just a friendly thought...... ;)

Deltapooh
26 Jul 03, 21:50
The Israelis used TOW and Hellfire missiles to attack Hezbollah and other Palestinian terrorists. The US also used TOWs very effectively in a strike on a meeting of Habr Gidr Clan leaders. (Unfortunately we reportedly killed all the moderates who wanted Aidid to agree to a ceasefire with the UN and submit to an international investigation of the Pakistani Peacekeeper Massacre.) In that attack, the US employed 19 TOW missiles. Uday and Qusay were killed by gunfire. The TOW missiles did suppress them. (I must say their bodies appeared to be in better condition than I expected.)

Alot of things can be done with the scenario builder. If you have a scenario dominated by infantry (I'm working on one now), you could create AT teams to support fire teams. Then assign an event to friendly infantry that triggers the AT to begin firing on the infantry. The downside to this is that you must keep the AT team in "hold fire" and determine a location on the map to designate as a point where the enemy situation reaches desperation.

In the end, the best solution is assigning AT teams with rifles and maybe a grenade launcher. AT missiles should not be employed against infantry. We need to keep a balance in the game. I believe the AK-47, grenade launcher combo can be that balance.

amrcg
28 Jul 03, 06:55
Hi all

Firstly, I'd like to say that I find ATF to be a GREAT GAME. Unfortunately I don't like GAMES.
Fortunatley, ATF is also a GREAT SIMULATOR. And I love simulators. I'm sure that Kevin agrees.

Of course some improvements can be made and that is what we are talking about. Kevin is right in many aspects and I find his argumentation to be logic most of the time. Even more because it matches what is done for example in TACOPS.

1) In TACOPS you simply cannot fire ATGMs at infantry. ATGM teams are also armed with rifles for defense against other infantry. Even if ATGMs are fired, their effectiveness should be much reduced as they are designed to penetrate armor, not to burst fragments in all directions.
I know a portuguese infantry captain that participated in our colonial war in Angola. Once during a fight, a guerrilla soldier fired and anti-tank RPG againt him. The grenade hit a big tree just a few (really a few) meters behind him and destroyed the tree. He suffered no injuries. I think that a similar thing applies to ATGMs.

2) I also think that Kevin is right when he says that the probability of hiting an infantry team should correspond to the probability of hiting its area of deployment, instead of hiting a man. This is more logic taking into account the infantry teams are more or less treated as vehicles in ATF. It would also increase the effectiveness of infantry in ATF, which is lacking (see, for example TACOPS, where infantry is more effective and tactically useful).

Cheers,
Antonio

Deltapooh
28 Jul 03, 11:12
I could import kbluck's database into all the stock scenarios for ATF, and upload them, if people want me to. The altered pk stats disables the enemies' ability to light you up with ATGM. I also added the AT-7 to the game as I work on a new scenario. (Yes, I'm still doing that.) Making both adjustments might take a bit. However, importing databases is quite easy and shouldn't (?) break the game. Adding the AT-7 teams would take a bit more work since I'd have to go in a change everything. Of course a second option would be to alter the AT-5s giving it AT-7 stats.

I understand Captain Proctor's argument. If the enemy had their backs against the wall, they'd throw everything they have at you.

However, desperation is an emotion, based on one's analysis of the situation. ATF units don't have emotions built into them. These must be created in the scenario builder, using triggers and responses. You can tell an enemy unit to suppress an area if it looses it's commander, a percentage of it's forces, blue forces get too close, or attack along a specific route. So it will fire missiles at infantry. Downside is that the pk is set to zero, the fire won't be effective except to scare you into going a different direction.

As for hitting the area, this would require you to turn a missile into artillery. This would be very complicated and inpractical in the game though since attacks must be planned like fire missions.

One final note, I do believe enemy RPG-7s should be allowed to fire at infantry. There are a number of cases where these are used more like grenade launchers rather than ATGMs. Range is short in any case.

kbluck
28 Jul 03, 14:15
The Israelis used TOW and Hellfire missiles to attack Hezbollah and other Palestinian terrorists. The US also used TOWs very effectively in a strike on a meeting of Habr Gidr Clan leaders.

I've mentioned this in another thread as a real-life example. The prerequisite points I described in my earlier post in this thread also all apply to these instances, i.e. hard target (concrete or vehicle), no enemy armor threat, minimize friendly casualties. Tomahawks have even been used for this purpose, but you wouldn't launch one at a simple Enemy Fire Team.

Actually, I forgot one additional point also applicable to all these incidents: High Payoff Target. I think most would agree Osama is a "better" target than the tank next to him.


I understand Captain Proctor's argument. If the enemy had their backs against the wall, they'd throw everything they have at you.

I understand it too, and even agree with it. I just think that solving major inaccuracies that occur routinely should take precedence over preserving minor accuracies that only affect unusual situations. I mean, really, how many times have you seen infantry in a close-up fight and running out of ammo in the game? Probably never; the extreme fragility of infantry in the game means it will be killed long before it gets down to that extreme. Which is my whole point. Infantry is too frail to be properly useful as is.

I agree about the RPGs. They should retain a *much lower* pK, although greater than zero. Those weapons won't be fired until the enemy is quite close, unlike AT-5s which are routinely fired at oncoming infantry more than 2 kilometers away.

Again: not perfectly realistic, but *much closer* to reality.



...So it will fire missiles at infantry. Downside is that the pk is set to zero, the fire won't be effective except to scare you into going a different direction.

...Which would be just about right, in my opinion. AT missiles just aren't very effective against infantry in the open. If they were, they'd be used; you can't convince a soldier not to use something he knows works well.

Like I said, the pK solution is not perfect. However, I believe the game gains far more than it loses in realism, and no programming changes are necessary.


As for hitting the area, this would require you to turn a missile into artillery. This would be very complicated and inpractical in the game though since attacks must be planned like fire missions.

*As implemented*. It didn't have to work that way. I think it was a mistake not to make *all* weapons affect areas, even if very small. In fact, they do in suppression mode. Why that wasn't taken to its logical conclusion to allow kill areas I have no idea. I'm sure there was a reason, but whatever it was, it was a compromise.


As far as changing the PK of the ATM, well, I`ll let the Capt. speak for himself, but my guess is that will cause other problems of reality in a differient area, while perhaps solving yours ?

He hasn't mentioned any, except for the "desperation" issue, which again I think rarely happens and shouldn't trump a problem that occurs with regularity in every scenario.


...IMO ( and perhaps Scott`s ) that given the limitations of the desktop hardware system, the Windows DOS, and a one man opperation it was found, that if Inf. was effective agains other Inf. it was either _too_ or _not at all_ effective against Armor, and vice-versa....Sooooo.. what I`m saying is your asking for something in an Armor Sim that just can`t be obtained to your level of detail.

I disagree. Squad Leader and its derived products integrated squad-level infantry and individual vehicles quite well, with very plausible and historically typical results. Another PnP game of which I am aware, Leading Edge's Phoenix Command, did it to an insane level of detail, and again produces results that closely mimic what you'd expect from history, with the exception of some occasional data errors. These were "pen and paper" games. Surely a computer can be made to do at least as well. Are you suggesting Squad Leader couldn't be implemented verbatim, hexes and all? If it could, then why couldn't a from-scratch computer implementation be at least as accurate?

Besides, I'm not asking for perfect realism. (Well, OK, I'm asking, but I'm not actually expecting.) What I *am* asking for is a game that doesn't produce distressingly inaccurate results. I accept the engine as it is. I'm not asking for major programming changes, at least not in the immediate future. I *am* suggesting simple database changes that, in my opinion, make the game's model simulate reality a lot better.

All I want is to have infantry stop "zapping" each other with ATGMs and for firefights in general to last longer than a couple of bursts. Sure, I occasionally pontificate about minor detail issues like time of flight and whether an M9 can breach a minefield, but that doesn't totally ruin the game for me like these two infantry issues do.

I have solved both problems to my complete satisfaction by modding the database, which took me about an hour with the tools provided, and I find the results to be both more plausible and just plain more fun to play. But I'm not "officially" allowed to do that, so I feel like I'm cheating. I could also go to somewhat more effort to do what DeltaPooh suggested and reimport the stock scenarios with a new database, but again, it feels "renegade", and it only solves the issue on my computer. It pains me to thinkthat other gamers, who perhaps don't know any better, believe that hosing a TOW at a fire team is an typical tactic. They might as well play Command & Conquer in that case.

--- Kevin

APC
28 Jul 03, 15:35
[QUOTE]Originally posted by kbluck
[B]

I disgree. Squad Leader and its derived products integrated squad-level infantry and individual vehicles quite well, with very plausible and historically typical results. Another PnP game of which I am aware, Leading Edge's Phoenix Command, did it to an insane level of detail, and again produces results that closely mimic what you'd expect from history, with the exception of some occasional data errors. These were "pen and paper" games. Surely a computer can be made to do at least as well. Are you suggesting Squad Leader couldn't be implemented verbatim, hexes and all? If it could, then why couldn't a from-scratch computer implementation be at least as accurate? [QUOTE]


I share your wish in regard to SL for the PC , however the reality is no one has delivered it, either through no interest as a developer ( which speaks volumes to the lack of business acumen of computer developers, SL being the most popular selling Board Game ever. ) , or simple inability to deliver the goods.

The early Close Combat games came the closest IMO.


FWIW; I am also not fond of tinkering with databases to fix real issues, or those of personal taste, I have done it, probably will keep doing it, and I appreciate the developer putting those tools in place. The problem with that is akin to reading a Mystery Book starting with the last page, if you get my drift.......

However, I`m more interested in the Computer Wargame as a product then as a process, and hope that the developer is willing to listen to the end user that has a good case, backed by facts.

Pat Proctor
28 Jul 03, 16:00
I encourage 'tinkering' with the database and sharing your work with other players. We went to great pains, taking another six months to add a free database editor and map maker for just this reason. We want Armored Task Force to grow beyond our original vision.

As a side note, we are almost done with the ATF Scenario Builder and Power Toolkit help pages. But I think it may be early August before we have it just right.

kbluck
28 Jul 03, 17:06
The early Close Combat games came the closest IMO.

I agree. CC was a major advance in computer wargaming, showing what *could* be done with computers beyond simply reproducing hex-based PnP boardgames. AI foibles aside, the biggest mistake in CC, in my opinion, was not providing nearly enough "slots" for plain old infantry squads and far too many slots for "special" weapons. This became intolerable in the later titles where the players could "purchase" units, inevitably leading to ridiculous "super" orders of battle filled with nothing but machine gun teams and heavy tanks. Back to Command & Conquer again.

It is exactly this sort of "superweapon" overkill that bugs me so much about the ATGM situation.


I encourage 'tinkering' with the database and sharing your work with other players.

...as long as we don't touch database1. Therein lies the quandary --- the typical new player is going to form their impression of the game based on the stock scenarios, which run on database1.

The infantry model in 1.01 was deemed broken enough to make fairly substantial "official" engine codebase changes as well as DB mods for version 1.02. I think the changes were partly a big improvement (visibility) and as a side effect made other things much worse (survivability). ATGMs were an issue all along, but only became really noticeable when they started killing well in 1.02. Before then it was mostly just a waste of ammo; now, in combination with infantry being more or less automatically killed whenever they receive direct fire of any sort, it makes pretty much any offensive infantry mission suicidal.

You said before that people complained that infantry was too hard to kill. (I wasn't one of them.) I think that a lot of them were simply whining; I think what they really meant was that those pesky recon teams were screwing up their plans and they wanted to get rid of them easier. The other, more legitimate issue, was that the low pH meant you could hammer away at infantry for minutes at a time with no visible effect at all, not even a suppression result, which I can understand might be frustrating.

However, I think that history proves that infantry *is* fairly difficult to kill, in the sense that it usually takes at least a minute or two of concentrated fire to do the job. Rarely is a firefight over in a few seconds, particularly when the engagement occurs near the maximum ranges of the weapons involved (as is typically the case in open terrain of "desert ATF".) For an impatient gamer, that might be construed as "too hard."

As far as I can tell, you responded by changing the engine to make it easier to "hit" infantry targets. That in itself was fine; but you didn't adjust the pKs to balance. The net result is that the fairly high pKs in concert with the much more frequent hits meant that to fire at infantry was largely synonymous with killing them.

I know your rationale for the small arms pKs. The acid test for any abstraction, though is whether it preserves the fidelity of the outcome. In my opinion, the current pK rationale is invalid, because it produces inaccurate results; I think that a model where entire fire teams are usually killed by the first couple of bursts from hundreds of meters away has something wrong with it.

I think the situation can be fixed quite simply by balancing the other side of the equation: leave the pH alone but radically reduce the pKs of most direct fire weapons against infantry. This produces what I consider to be a realistic result: firing on infantry quickly suppresses them (thanks to the high pH), and *eventually* kills them once a convincing volume of fire is placed on the target. It can be a lot of weapons for a relatively short time, or a single weapon for a much longer time; but the point is, quite a lot of rounds need to head downrange to have a good chance of producing a complete kill. That accurately mimics what really happens in combat, in my opinion; and it is a rather trivial thing to change for the next patch.

Based on my playtesting, I think that 1% for assault rifles, 2% for most MGs and 3-5% for weapons with area effect or particularly high burst volumes produce very convincingly realistic kill rates against personnel, given the rates of fire and ranges typically involved. For very large weapons, like tank main guns, correlate them to a similar artillery round; i.e. a 125mm tank round could be assumed to have similar effectiveness to a 122mm artillery round (except for the lack of area effect, which I think should be fixed in the next major release, which I acknowledge might not be until AATF.)

The ATGMs are a special case; although they of course shouldn't really have a pK of 0, that is unfortunately the only way to prevent them from being fired at infantry as a matter of routine. Giving them even a small non-zero pK means that we'll be back to the 1.01 situation of wasting them on fruitless shots.

--- Kevin

Deltapooh
29 Jul 03, 04:24
Tinkering with the database is a necessity. Troops don't operate within a universal spectrum. Fatigue, training, equipment, supply, morale, weather, etc all effect weapon accuracy and employment.
I consider these factors when building scenarios in BCT: Commander, and will do the same in ATF. Each scenario should have it's own tweaked database to accurately (or as accurate as possible) reflect the conditions at the time the operation occurs.

This can be down with stock scenarios. OPORDs pretty much lay down the conditions of the enemy and battlefield. You can then use that to compute pk kills.

Example: Equation for regular Iraqi soldier defending approach to Basra. Let's say he is armed with an AK 47 with a pk of 33 against blue infantry

Morale: Poor/-2
fatigue: high/-1
Weapon: good for 300 round/ unchange
Training: Poor/-5
Intimidation: (Believes commanders will kill his family: effective/+4
Confidence in Leadership: -1
Confidence in Purpose: -2

Result: -7: Pk at 26

THIS IS JUST A RUFF ESTIMATE NOT RESEARCHED FACT!

amrcg
29 Jul 03, 07:01
Ok. Yesterday I was finally able to infiltrate some infantry teams, which killed the BMP-2 that were close to the ridge, NE of OBJ TEXAS. The rest was killed with DPICM. I will now move to breach the minefields and assault the objective.
Nevertheless, my infantry teams could only approach the enemy BMP-2 thanks to a smoke screen of one battery (no need for suppression with HE).

Firstly I tried to pound the BMP-2 with HE only (one gun per vehicle as sugested by the Captain), as I wanted to spare the smoke for the breaching operations. But the effect of suppression was too brief, and before the next artillery volley hit the ground, my men were slaughtered by AT-5s. Maybe I should have calculated the suppression time and stop when the effect was almost vanishing, then wait for the next volley, walk again, stop, etc. until reaching the emplacement position (assuming that emplaced troops are harder to see, which I believe is the case). Is that right?

Cheers,
Antonio

kbluck
29 Jul 03, 12:42
AT-5 strikes again! Those commies ought to ditch all their other systems and just field an entire army of AT-5 teams. They'd be unstoppable!

Seriously. DeltaPoohs Operation: Sandcastle is a good demonstration of the complete unassailability of concentrated AT-5 teams under the present 1.02 model.

Frankly, I question whether the one-gun method really works all *that* well. I've noticed that suppression from light artillery fire on armor doesn't last very long, as you've discovered. It's better than nothing, of course, but don't expect it to keep the enemy completely silenced.

You need to keep your infantry out of LOS altogether until they're in a position to fire. Use the range of your Javelins; you should be looking for a firing position at least 2000m from any enemy that might threaten you, and a path that won't let them have a chance to see you at all until you get there. In the case of the outpost NE OBJ Texas, you can't safely approach them from the south or east; you have to work your way well north behind them, out of LOS, and settle down to their west on the next ridge over before moving into LOS. Use the LOS fan to plan your route. Try to gain LOS on only one enemy vehicle at a time and use volley fire from multiple Javelins (use hold fire to keep them silent until you're ready) to ensure he's good and dead before he gets a chance to fire back. Then reposition slightly to unmask the next target and repeat. Before firing, check LOS on your firing units with the Info dialog - you should see a red line going to your intended target. If not, that unit won't be shooting, so reposition until he can see. Yellow won't do. Note that with infantry, yellow often turns to red once they stop moving.

Artillery suppression and smoke should be completely unnecessary for this little mission if you plan your route carefully. LOS fan is your most important planning tool. As I mentioned, the only wrinkle might be the T-80, which would normally be dead meat in this situation but due to a bug in 1.02 might refuse to die.

--- Kevin

amrcg
29 Jul 03, 13:28
Hi Kevin

>You need to keep your infantry out of LOS altogether until >they're in a position to fire. Use the range of your Javelins; you >should be looking for a firing position at least 2000m from any >enemy that might threaten you, and a path that won't let them >have a chance to see you at all until you get there.
So you are saying that Javelin teams are not seen at 2000 m? I had the impression that they were spotted before that. I will check again.

Cheers,
Antonio

Deltapooh
30 Jul 03, 07:51
Well, I'm working on a completely new scenario using an improved database. AT-5 teams are being replaced with the AT-7 team. Short list of changes

M4 Carbine: It includes new sound, I've already upped the pk, but will look at it again, using some of the information you posted in another thread. I selected the M4 because I personally like it more than the M16A2, and since I'm focusing on air assault forces, it's the weapon of choice

M203 Grenade Launcher: Fire Teams in ATF use 2x M16A2 and an AT-4. I felt this is not completely accurate. So I replaced the AT-4 with the M203. This way you can fight troops more easily. (Remember ATF means Armored Task Force. Every unit that shipped in the game was more or less designed with this thought in mind.)

Body Armor: Interceptor Body Armor saved many lives in IRAQI FREEDOM, and ops in Afghanistan. Autopsy reports of American KIA illustrates a clear pattern in fatalities. Most soldiers who died suffered head trauma, or severe trauma to the extremities. The enemy didn't have that so. Some units will wear up-armor to protect against 7.62mm. However, 9mm is the standard. There won't be too much change except enemy infantry will have a harder time (slight to almost impossible) time killing friendly infantry.

HMMWV's You can ride in: Some will have up-armor levels as well.

Enemy Fire Teams: Enemy fire teams will be equipped with AK-47s and maybe a heavy machine gun. This will replace in some units the RPG-7. However, I must stress I really want to keep the RPG-7 with the enemy fire teams, making it useful against friendly forces. (Since I'm using the excellent, and unforgiving Baghdad map, that will be ideal.)

AT-7 Teams: These will replace the AT-5 teams. The AT-5 team will be used, but only at enemy strongpoints, and will not move about the battlefield. The AT-7 is not too effective against M1 series tank, but should kill everything else (except infantry)

I do plan on going back and updating SAND CASTLE using much of the advice kbluck has provided. Right now though, I still have alot of ideals for new scenarios, and am getting more comfortable with the scenario editor. Some of the problems I was worried about in v1.01 (particularly CPU usage) appears to be eliminated. (It still is slow at times, but not like before.) This means I can add more events/triggers/responses to a scenario to make them even more realistic.

On the artillery and suppression front:

I noticed that artillery is most effective when volleys converge on a single vehicle. Don't use single volleys either. 3 volleys fired on the same unit is usually enough to keep him suppressed for quite awhile. The unit is most suppressed when it's hit with fire. It then gradually emerges from that status. It appears that if you hit the enemy with another volley before he fully recovers, the cycle restarts, but takes twice as long. I've been able to suppress T-72 tanks for five minutes.

When employing artillery in to suppress the enemy, bring friendly vehicles to just outside the enemy's range. This way, your units can sprint into a good firing position, and kill the enemy before he recovers.

I'm slow to mess with artillery with either BCT or ATF in the database editor. Cpt. Proctor is an artillery man after all.

kbluck
30 Jul 03, 13:09
Body Armor...There won't be too much change except enemy infantry will have a harder time (slight to almost impossible) time killing friendly infantry.

Heh! You can't get any lower than 1%, and I think I've made fairly persuasive arguments in the "statistics" thread that even that might not be low enough for some weapons even without the armor.


Fire Teams in ATF use 2x M16A2 and an AT-4. I felt this is not completely accurate. So I replaced the AT-4 with the M203. This way you can fight troops more easily.

By all means, add the M203, usually one per team. It doesn't have to "replace" the AT4, however. There is no limit to the weapon count per team, to my knowledge. I'd leave the AT4 alone. It is a sort of "ad hoc" carry; no particular individual is always the AT4 guy.

While you're at it, add in the other weapons US infantry customarily carries: the M249 SAW and the M240 MG. As you'll see by the following, infantry in the game as is was badly shortchanged on firepower.

Unfortunately the weird organization of the US mech infantry platoon nowadays doesn't lend itself to neat division of the weapons load. From what I've been able to tell, current "default" organization consists of 3 squads mounted in 4 carriers. Obviously, at least two of the carriers are going to have elements of at least two different squads in them. The fundamental problem is that the M2 only carries seven dismounts but the squads are nine men. In case you're counting on your fingers and come up one short, the "extra" man is the replacement for when the PL climbs out of his turret and dismounts.

So, typically three nine-man squads per platoon, each with:

5x M16A2
2x M16A2 with M203
2x M249
1x Javelin (carried by a guy who also has an M16A2)

In addition, the squad has available:

1x M240 MG

The M240 is usually set up on defense but may be omitted on offense. When it is carried, two squad members (usually riflemen) are designated gunner and assistant. The gunner carries the weapon and assistant carries the tripod.

I would also add at least 3 AT4s to the squad. Note that all this is subject to change by the platoon leader based on METT-T.

Notice one major firepower reduction from the game at present: There are actually only *three* Javelins per platoon, not four.

The trick is figuring out how to divide this awkward organization up neatly into game units. To make these fit equally into four Bradleys, I would consider splitting each squad into 4 sections instead of 2:

2x Fire team (3 men each)
1xM16A2
1xM16/M203
1xM249
1xAT4

1x MG team (1 man)
1xM240
1xAT4

1x Javelin team (2 men)
1xJavelin
2xM16A2

That way, a dismounted platoon ends up having 12 teams. The Bradley will need to be modified to hold 3 teams, of course.
Not quite exactly right, but pretty close, and its just about the best we can do to make it fit evenly.

The alternative is to define two teams, or even one, for each squad and leave one carrier at least partially empty. Actually, making it impossible to subdivide a squad has some positive aspects to it, but on the other hand it limits cross-attachment flexibility.

***************

An air assault squad is also nine men, but lacks the heavy weapons:

5x M16A2
2x M16A2/M203
2x M249

So, two fire teams with
2xM16A2
1x M16A2/M203
1x M249
2x AT4

In addition, the platoon includes a 9-man "weapons" squad:

7x M16A2
2x M240 MG
2x Javelin (carried by rifleman)

So, two MG teams (2 men this time) and two Javelin teams for the whole platoon.

***************


Enemy fire teams will be equipped with AK-47s and maybe a heavy machine gun. This will replace in some units the RPG-7.

You shouldn't take away the RPG, but by all means add a light machine gun (not heavy) and a couple other items besides.

A typical OPFOR BMP dismount squad of 6 men (the other two stay on the vehicle) might be organized as follows, based on Soviet doctrine:

2xAK-74
2xAK-74/GP-30 GL combo
1xRPK-74
1xRPG-7 (pistol backup)
2xRPG-22 (no particular assignment)

There is also a small "HQ" element of no real game significance.

Notice the conspicuous lack of any ATGM or real MG. True heavy weapons don't start to appear until the company level. The US loads its dismounts down with a lot more firepower than the Soviets did. Whether this is good or bad is a question open to argument. At any rate, it should be clear that if the game mechanics never allow the OPFOR squad to close with the enemy, its utility will be very limited.

OPFOR BTR infantry squads will generally have one additional rifleman. Leg/airborne infantry squads include still another rifleman and an extra RPK. In addition, the leg platoon weapons squad usually provides 3 MGs. Still generally no ATGM for either, though. When moving legs by truck, they usually provide two trucks per platoon.

I think the BMP enemy organization could be made a single team; I can't see them splitting up squads. On the other hand, you might prefer to keep teams about 3 men, in which case you should make an RPK team and an RPG-7 team out of the squad. (3 squads per platoon.) The larger leg squads should probably be divided similarly but with two RPK teams instead of one, plus teams for any platoon MGs.

--- Kevin

Deltapooh
02 Aug 03, 17:03
I forgot to mention I did add the M249 and M240B. I also brought in the M24A1 and M82A1A sniper rifles. I also added new sound for them as well.

Infantry was not something ATF pays alot of attention to. The same was true for BCT. I think we'll have to wait for AATF, which will likely be ProSim's first simulation built around an infantry considerate engine. If I'm not mistaken, AATF was to build off of the ATF engine. This would drastically cut development time. That appears to have changed. While, I'll leave the answer to Capt. Proctor, I do get the feeling AATF exceeds ATF's engine compacity, and might require a new one all together.

So in a way, my key focus is to find a medium that allows the highest degree of realism, without "breaking" the game. In my new scenario, I want to make players use their infantry, and chew up alot of ammo. Yet, I also want blue force to take advantage of superior marksmanship I believe it would have over the enemy. In a scenario in the future, I might change all that, tipping the scale to the enemy.

On the Platoons:

I worked out a TO&E using kbluck's information and that info I found in USA Field Manuals. Instead of creating one 9 to 11-man fire team, I spit it up using 2, 3, and 4 man teams

Fire Team 1: 3x M4A1, 1x M203, 1x M249, and 1x AT-4 (Section Leader included
Fire Team 2: 2x M4A1, 1x M203, 1x M249, and 1x AT-4
Weapons Team 1: 2x M4A1 and M240B (leader included)
Weapons Team 2: 1x M4A1 and 1x M240B
AT Team 3: 2x M4A1 and 1x Javelin

Platoon Consist of:
Platoon Leader: 1x man (maybe two men)
Section A: Two Fire teams
Section B: Two Fire Teams
Weapons Squad: 2x Weapons team, and 2x AT Teams

HQ sections can be tagged to improve their importance in a game. The scenario builder can decide how this occurs.

Once again, I return to the scenario builder. Once you know your way around it, you can do alot of things ProSim failed to. The addition of events and triggers allow a number of scripting options.

kbluck
04 Aug 03, 03:29
The teams look good. The PL would most likely have an RTO tagging along, so putting two rifles there is a good idea.

However, a light platoon consists of *three* rifle squads, not two, plus the weapons squad.

A minor nomenclature quibble: infantry is organized into "squads", not "sections", and they are numbered or named rather than lettered (1st squad, Weapons squad, etc.) The teams within the squad are generally lettered. (Team A, etc.) Platoons are numbered, companies/batteries/troops are lettered. A "section" is a unit somewhat larger than a squad but smaller than a platoon; you can think of it as a sort of "half-platoon". It's not well defined.

As for the marksmanship issue, it is a pity that the database does not surface parameters to exercise some control over pH modifiers. That would work a lot better than fiddling with the pK to reflect troop quality. Of course, you have to play the cards you're dealt.

--- Kevin

Deltapooh
04 Aug 03, 08:45
Originally posted by kbluck
The teams look good. The PL would most likely have an RTO tagging along, so putting two rifles there is a good idea.

However, a light platoon consists of *three* rifle squads, not two, plus the weapons squad.

A minor nomenclature quibble: infantry is organized into "squads", not "sections", and they are numbered or named rather than lettered (1st squad, Weapons squad, etc.) The teams within the squad are generally lettered. (Team A, etc.) Platoons are numbered, companies/batteries/troops are lettered.

As for the marksmanship issue, it is a pity that the database does not surface parameters to exercise some control over pH modifiers. That would work a lot better than fiddling with the pK to reflect troop quality. Of course, you have to play the cards you're dealt.

--- Kevin

Thanks for the warning on the light unit. As for the use of squad instead of section, I know it's squad, but section got stuck in my head from one of the FMs I was reading. I said to myself "the Army must believe squad is used by too many" I know how it wants to be unique. You know, the British has FIBUA. So we had create MOUT. I don't ask questions. :D

Hopefully, we'll see a broader engine in AATF. ProSim will have to pull off quite a stunt to model infantry. It's imperative that Capt. Proctor takes these discussions to heart. Air Assault Task Force will have to move the game from team -> battalion to individual ->
battalion at least. We'll need infantry that fights like a soldier without hands-on instructions as is the case in 1st Person shooter games.

Eitherway, I do appreciate your post.

One question I do have for Capt. Proctor? What happens if units move beyond the command radius of a hierarchy. I have an ideal, but want to make sure.

Pat Proctor
07 Aug 03, 02:17
One question I do have for Capt. Proctor? What happens if units move beyond the command radius of a hierarchy. I have an ideal, but want to make sure.

Right now, nothing. It is a place holder for a capability which may be added to the engine at a later time. Right now, it does nothing.

kbluck
11 Aug 03, 13:19
I have another consideration for you.

Infantry units in general are practically never full strength. US mech infantry units have a particular problem with this, since the dismount count is relatively small to begin with and the vehicle crews must be prioritized over dismounts.

A full-strength squad is a rarity. There is always somebody missing because they sprained their ankle or they got heatstroked or they have some other special duty or they transferred out and haven't been replaced or... you get the picture. Never mind situations where you have battle casualties.

My point with regard to the game is that in cases where you have an "odd-man out" situation, like what to do with the squad leader, my recommendation would be to simply drop the count and even things out conveniently. Odds are high that in real life men would be missing anyway, even before the battle started.

--- Kevin

Pat Proctor
11 Aug 03, 22:19
I've got a really good question. How is it DP ends up a Colonel and I'm just a staff sergeant? :mad: ;)

Deltapooh
12 Aug 03, 20:25
I've got a really good question. How is it DP ends up a Colonel and I'm just a staff sergeant? :mad: ;)

There are two good answers for that. I bribed Madd Dogg. He takes grenades and bullets. The second reason is that I'm kind of a posting whore. 1114 and counting :D