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oscar19681

Comming upgrade thread

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Simulators are for gunnery procedures, crew/plt comms and stuff like that. If you want to train in various weather conditions, go outside ;).

One of the best perks of promotion from driver to gunner was that time formerly spent sweeping snow in the motorpool was then spent in the temperature controlled comfort of the UCOFT cabin.

My present recollection of the UCOFT at that time was that it simulated only two 'seasons' -- daysight and nightsight.

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...do you know of any militairy simulater that doesnt simulate weather?...

... and I bet you their graphics engine uses some sort of particle system, which was entirely the point I was trying to make. :bangin:

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But what i,m wondering lately is why the militairy customers havent requested weather for SBP in the first place.

Because there are more important things to get included before this.

I mean lets face it , do you know of any militairy simulater that doesnt simulate weather? And it is quite important to train in any number of weather condistions.

ASLAV Crew Trainer

M1 Crew Trainer

Both of which cost several thousands of dollars each and are built into a shipping container.

That’s part of the reason why training is a mix of live and simulated. If the simulator could generate the same effects of heat, cold, wet, fog, fatigue, etc. then we could sell off the training areas and just use sim.

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IMHO, weather effects and night conditions can be found on pretty much every requirements list for (virtual) simulations ... but when you ask the end-users if they actually do this, the answer almost always is "No".

Why?

For one, it usually is just a reduction in visibility as far as most crew procedures are concerned that the simulator system can actually train with a reasonable degree of fidelity. It just adds friction to the exercise. Friction is good for educational purposes, but it adds little to the actual training value; in fact, it often is actually detrimental as it distracts the crew from concentrating on the salient point of a certain exercise.

I concede that weather and night combat add a lot to the overall atmosphere and can therefore improve the entertainment value. But for a training application the utility value is actually limited.

Second, reduced visibility doesn't really change the crew procedures. Things simply get harder, but there is little in this area where training would make it "less hard" in real life. You can't really improve your overall performance. You can just do a bit of a "stress test" to see if the tried and tested procedures that you always train still hold up even under difficult conditions.

So, why does it then appear on all those checklists?

IMO it's in part a model case of group thinking going in the wrong direction. People who write up the specifications don't want to "forget" about things. They rarely get rewarded for asking for less from the industry, as long as it doesn't tremendously inflate the costs. And making it dark, or adding some rain or snow animation is almost trivial if you just care about the visuals. So, to cover your ass, you just put it on the list, and the typical sales guy will only do a feeble attempt to question the wisdom of that item on the list, if at all.

Some of my sales pitches would have been less of a challenge if I wasn't always trying our "no frills" approach to minimize development times and costs, and would simply nod off whatever I found on requirements lists. Typically defense contractors operate on a "Cost plus" basis and hence have little incentive (after winning a bid) to keep costs at a minimum. Stupid eSim Games always offers fixed cost contracts, with payment after delivery. Simply accepting what the customer wants is a no-risk sales strategy, it leads to more work for the industry, and if you want to keep your engineers busy to keep them employed, that's actually a good thing for most defense contractors.

I'm not saying that the individuals in this process are stupid. Usually I meet people that are pretty smart, they operate under time pressure, and they need to fight the bureaucracy to get certain things done. But collective processes that reward a "CYA mentality" are not so smart. Committees tasked to develop racing horses often deliver dromedaries. All the items that make a racing horse more robust (and hence more like a camel) are an attempt at risk mitigation. Which usually isn't a bad idea, unless you want something optimized for one specific purpose. eSim Games wants a low cost, high performance simulation for 90% of an armor/mech battalion's needs. That requires a radical "no frills" approach; hence we didn't yet bother too much with weather effects.

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Is there a reason for the inability of the rest of the crew to take the driver's position if the driver is incapacitated? I mean if any other crew member is down, the others take his place (e.g. the gunner can act as loader and commander.)

I realize the driver is kind of isolated in most tanks, but it seems like in battle you might risk getting out and pulling the driver out if it meant the difference between success and failure. Or the potential loss of even more friendlies.

Right now the only option I'm aware of is to send in a medic. Since the tank has most likely been immobilized while still in the line of fire, I don't think this is a good idea. Maybe if you could just drive very slowly to the nearest cover and rehab there? IDK...

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Especially if she's in 3D.

I guess the pecker checkers will be along shortly for the VD lecture. OORAH!

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Is there a reason for the inability of the rest of the crew to take the driver's position if the driver is incapacitated? I mean if any other crew member is down, the others take his place (e.g. the gunner can act as loader and commander.)

I realize the driver is kind of isolated in most tanks, but it seems like in battle you might risk getting out and pulling the driver out if it meant the difference between success and failure. Or the potential loss of even more friendlies.

Right now the only option I'm aware of is to send in a medic. Since the tank has most likely been immobilized while still in the line of fire, I don't think this is a good idea. Maybe if you could just drive very slowly to the nearest cover and rehab there? IDK...

I remember discussing this with Ssnake at ITEC.

The Driver Damage is a "fudge".

Ideally if a vehicle in SB has driver damage due to gunfire while moving at speed, then it should career out of control, as not only is the driver mushed, so are the controls.

At the moment the vehicle just stops, which is the "fudge".

Edited by Hedgehog

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Huh?

Why would we devote manual space to a specific piece of equipment?

Just silly wishful thinking I guess. Still very curious as to what the new content will include!

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It's a fine line- virtually every design decision could come down on either side of the fence between 'entertainment' and the utility of a lesson plan. Generally, you could do the same thing being done now with the SB1 engine were it not for hardware or industry graphics incapable of supporting it or moving beyond older rendering techniques. In SB1, you're shooting at tank and vehicle shaped objects, even though not very pretty, still let you know what you were shooting at. There's nothing that I can tell which would rule out training procedures if the SB1 graphics engine were still basically intact. Some of the improved changes are incidental- like the possibility of creating a tall mountain with SB Pro or something, but generally, the way you operate is the same in either SB 1 or SB Pro. It feels quite familiar even with the added changes. You could do the same thing with flat colored, low polygon or wireframe models- good enough to train crews for years. If you can identify it as a tank, that's all that's really needed.

Or say degraded fire control as a simulator feature- may create interesting or challenging conditions, but adds friction, may even distract from the lesson being imparted for training purposes since the focus becomes gunnery even in a lesson whose emphasis may be on maneuvers, navigation, coordinating platoons or training tank commanders.

Other damages such as fuel leaks- is that really necessary? What does that teach you, beware of getting hit in a vulnerable location? Is that not already intuitive which could be accomplished with simply a mobility kill? If it leaks out fast enough that you may have only a few minutes of running time before an empty fuel cell, then a mobility kill from the outset is probably good enough. If it doesn't and it leaves you enough time to operate, well, what kind of damage does it really add that's noticeable? The damage model seems very refined for what is necessary to teach the basic lesson that certain aspects of the vehicle are more susceptible. You could do the same thing with a more simplified approach to the problem and spend less time defining all these locations and assorted damages (not that I don't appreciate the work and effort in them). On the other hand, what training value does creating a mission with low fuel from the start have? If crews can't operate, or only have a few minutes to operate, it seems a feature that might be little used or have little use for training.

Infantry- will never make human decisions or mistakes, will never be as challenging or mystifying as their real life counterparts. They simply are abstracted- they exist to teach basic rules of thumb, such as close combat is not preferable vs. infantry. The way they are represented however, they're pretty easy to mow down- they even kill each other with pretty good skill. Machine guns aren't just for suppression fire, which is usually what I would expect of them, but can be used reliably to pick off individual troops. However, you could impart the lesson that under select conditions infantry are dangerous just with penalty zones with a random chance of breakdown or destruction when entering forests or towns rather than bother with animating little troop models. Overly simplified? Perhaps, but the point is that a lot of things that SB Pro has could possibly be explained as more entertainment oriented than instructive.

And so on...

Besides all that, the army versions of the software allow options for instructors to re-set or change conditions on the fly if the scenario starts going off track, no? The very fact of that is 'artificial'. Here's my point in bringing this up:

Some of you may recall a large scale wargame played out called Millenium Challenge 2002. A retired Marine general was brought in to play the OPFOR commander, who basically sank the United States Navy using low tech means and discredited some of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's ideas.

Because the exercise arguably defeated the United States early on, the Pentagon faced an unexpected problem: if the results were allowed to stand, money was 'wasted' on an exercise that was supposed to teach specific lessons on a specific timetable that ended too early. They wanted to see it through each phase, therefore, the outcome was supposed to be predetermined, so they reset everything and started over again. Ironically, the results of the wargame as it played out were deemed contrary to training, since that would mean training ended prematurely as it happened.

They might have argued that even though the first trial was 'educational,' in that it showed how some measures that simply bypassed technology superiority might occur, it had no training value at all for the concepts that they wanted to test. On the other hand, people had criticized that reasoning for being circular or self-referential. They lost the fight, but instead of teaching the lesson in hindsight what went wrong, they pretty much resorted to doctrine.

To be frank I expect that Ssnake and eSim wants all these features- despite what you hear in the forum, Ssnake would like many of the suggestions as much as anyone if only time and resources were unlimited. It's more likely the case which priorities are getting the bills paid rather than any particular suggestion having no worth, or simply falling only the entertainment side with nothing else in common with training. You might even see some suggestions which Ssnake sets expectations against in the forum actually make it in at some point.

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...despite what you hear in the forum, Ssnake would like many of the suggestions as much as anyone if only time and resources were unlimited.

Ah, but they are not. Which is quite the point. We have to set priorities, and prioritizing one item means to delay a hundred others. That doesn't rule out that a delayed item would never get done, but it is equally true that the number of possible items to implement is neither finite, nor static. Old requirements may eventually get dropped because some other solution can wholly substitute them, and new requirements emerge.

We have to constantly adapt, and find a way to balance the wishes of the forum community with what is possible with the given development capacity. I tend to be careful and not make promises in the forums because it can easily backfire in the form of severe disappointment.

Most suggestions are feasible to implement, reasonable, and desirable. These are the "necessary" conditions that must be fulfilled, but they are not "sufficient": We must also have the capacity to do a certain item.

If I publicly sympathize with a suggestion, this will inevitably be seen as a hint of our intent. Whether that's justified by the facts doesn't matter. If many people believe it, I have to take their expectations in mind and be be cautious with all my public statements. :redface:

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I'm not sure if this has been covered in the previous 22 pages of posts on this topic but do we know if the upgrade will feature a fully playable M1A2 SEP and/or M1A1 SA?

I'm keen to play the Abrams with the benefit of the M1A2 SEP’s CITV and/or the M1A1 SA’s thermal sight for the .50 calibre M2. The BFT/FBCB2 at the commander’s station (similar to the Strv 122 and Leopard 2E) would also be interesting.

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No, those two vehicles won't make it this time, I'm afraid.

Thanks for the response Ssnake. I'm a big fan of the situational awareness provided by the commander's independent thermal viewer on the Leopard 2A5 series but prefer the pure head-to-head tank fighting prowess of the M1A1 so the thought of combining the two is pretty compelling. I guess I’ll just have to keep playing to resolve which of the Leopard 2 or Abrams is the best tank for me (and the perennial debate continues…)

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If you aren’t getting the M1A2 SEP items above, I suspect more “esoteric“ stuff is less likely (esp. as I don’t think Sweden is a Military customer).

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If you aren’t getting the M1A2 SEP items above, I suspect more “esoteric“ stuff is less likely (esp. as I don’t think Sweden is a Military customer).

Then why is there an STRV 122 and the CV-90s?

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Well the Danes and the Dutch do use the CV variants and are military customers.

As to the STRV perhaps Nils just has a soft spot for the Kampfpanzer and just wants all its variant represented. :)

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