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Everything posted by RecceDG

  1. Where's that kid that was ramming jeeps into tanks? DG
  2. Time for a new bete noir - Canadian vehicles! Come on, even Combat Mission has them.... How can you take any simulation seriously that doesn't have Canadian vehicles in them? DG
  3. But it doesn't seem to do anything - no marker in the F5 map, no trace in the AAR... DG
  4. At the same time though, in RL not all K-kills result in massive burns or turrets flying through the air. Sometimes the thing just sits there, immobile, taking hit after hit, the crew long dead, with no obvious way to tell from the outside that it isn't fully functioning and still a threat. Personally, my wishlist is more about the back end. I'd like to see way more conditions and triggers that can be used as part of AI logic to script events. I'd like to have a way to do a non-destructive "spot" (put the crosshairs on a unit, press a key, game engine fires a non-destructive, non-ballistic "bullet" that if it encounters a unit, registers that unit as "spotted" and plots it on the map) I'd like to have a "camouflaged" status that represents a unit trying very hard not to be seen (cam net up, covered in brush) that makes it much harder to spot (and takes a while to establish to prevent gamey-ness) so OPs and hides can be properly simulated. (Right now, OPs are tough to simulate because the AI will spot even sights-up vehicles almost immediately) I really do not care about eye candy. I care about tactical fidelity. DG
  5. Bah. I'm on shift. I'm from Area HQ, and I'm here to help! DG
  6. I prefer CP Gear myself. DG
  7. RecceDG

    Dynamic lead

    The way that it works is that there is an angular encoder on the turret ring that feeds into the FCS. The encoder tells the computer how fast the turret is rotating. The laser (or a manual range input) tells the computer how far away the target is, and the encoder tells the computer how fast the turret must turn to track the target. The two together produce how fast the target is moving relative to the gun, so the computer can work out the lead and point the gun tube in the right direction. For this to work, you need an accurate range, and you need to track the target long enough for the encoder to produce a valid reading. On the Leos, you place the crosshairs on the target and hold down the dynamic lead key while you track it. Within about a second the FCS will have a firing solution and you can fire. For the M1, the lead computation function is built into the laser. Track the target for a second, lase, and immediately fire - AKA "lase and blaze". The Leo doesn't need the lasing step if the range in the FCS is correct, but for practical purposes, "track, lase, and blaze" will get the job done. The key points on the Leo are that the dynamic lead button must be held down the entire time, and lateral movements of the crosshair across the target face will be misread as target speed changes and throw off the accuracy of the shot. Be sure to stabilize the tracking centre of mass on the target before firing. DG
  8. On-map artillery is really only useful to model the Herbies getting lost - again. DG
  9. RecceDG

    What if?

    A few years ago I had occasion to talk to a fairly recent Russian immigrant. Through an amazing bit of serendipity, he had been a Recce Tp Leader in the Soviet Army (BRDM) and so was effectively my opposite number. We had a long series of discussions on this question. Perhaps the most surprising thing to fall out of these conversations was the fact that he (and by extension, the Soviet Army) were CONVINCED that NATO was going to invade, and that the actual invasion was effectively staged and ready to go. He flatly did not believe the NATO claims that our force dispositions were defensive - and the reasoning goes like this: Nobody had a better understanding about how to conduct mass armoured warfare on the strategic level than the Soviets, given that they had taken the Doctorate level course courtesy of the Germans. And one of the lessons they had learned was that armour needs to be concentrated to provide maximum effect. An armoured thrust is so powerful at the tip of the spear that the only thing that can stop it (short of nukes) is an equally powerful armoured spear to slam into it. You cannot arraign your forces along the border, Maginot-line style. Providing the necessary thickness of the line would require more tanks than had ever been built; and a thinner line is locally overcome and punched through. Instead, a defensive armoured formation is a screen line across the border, and far back from the border (trading space for time) you place your countermoves forces - sufficiently dispersed to not provide a tempting "first minute" air or missile target, but concentrated enough that they can form the spearhead and move to intercept the invading spearhead. That is not what NATO's force structure looked like. NATO instead pushed its forces well forward - categorically NOT (to Soviet eyes) a defensive arrangement at all. Instead, massed formations on the border is an OFFENSIVE force structure. That NATO had adopted this was a question of politics. The Germans knew full well how to fight a defensive armoured war, and they knew full well that the best formation to do that was concentrations arranged some distance behind the border. But they also knew that would make the battleground the first 100km or so into West Germany, and they were really not very keen on having WWIII fought on West German soil. So instead, somebody came up with the idea that at the first indication that the balloon really was going up, NATO would push its screening forces 100 km or so into EAST Germany and leave its countermove forces in place where they were, thus establishing the "proper" defensive formation, but also ensuring (assuming the screen could make it out fast enough) that the fist-on-fist armour countermoves battle would be fought on EAST German soil, not WEST German soil. There was a name for this particular doctrine, but it escapes me at the moment and I'm away from my library. When I told my Russian friend this, he replied that he had read that particular bit of propaganda too, but hadn't fallen for it, because nobody could be that stupid. He thought that it was just the cover story to disguise NATO's clearly offensive intentions. So it is entirely possible that neither side really intended to EVER invade, but each firmly believed that the other side was a coiled spring, ready to leap across the border when provided the slightest opportunity. Personally, I like to think that NATO would have won. I think that the flexibility and adaptability of NATO armies would have trumped the sheer firepower of the Soviet system. The wild card (excepting nukes) is the absolutely ludicrous amounts of artillery that the Soviets planned to bring to the party. It would only take a few NATO units to get savaged by a couple of well planned (or lucky) barrages to create the conditions for an inability to get counter-moves forces into the fight, and with that, have the Soviet steamroller drive right to the Channel. DG
  10. You've hit on THE key problem of simulated warfare. In real life, the crew commanders of the other tanks in your troop are sergeants and warrant officers. They have been around forever, they are experts in what they do, and while quality can vary even the worst shitpump is still a functioning human being capable of some degree of independent thought and action. By contrast , the AI is extremely limited in its capacity for "thought". It cannot understand intent. It has no sense of self-preservation (or very little) It cannot grasp tactics except in the simplest possible sense. It has zero flexibility, and it cannot suggest alternate courses of action. It has amazing eyes and gunners, but that's about it. So commanding a SB troop is like leading a group of morons with supernatural reflexes. You have to keep close tabs on them - far more so than in reality - or they will do something stupid. Plans have to be kept simple, because you will be in charge of all the decisions, and you will get precious little help from the AI. The good news is that the enemy OPFOR is operating under the same limitations - so when you make first contact, the AI won't suddenly suppress you from a firebase while a countermove force flanks you.... SB is best in small unit actions with real people in the commander's seats. DG
  11. I'd kill for a fully Canadian variant of the ASLAV-25 (Coyote) DG
  12. A late-90s Ft Knox SIMNET Bradley vs HIND-D engagement that I was part of ended very poorly for the HINDs. All of them were shot down by cannon fire with no Brads lost. Granted, simulation conditions and the guy controlling the HINDs was not the sharpest stick on the pile. Real pilots with their lives on the line would have been more careful and crafty. But neither were they the invincible, unstoppable death-from-above machines we had expected them to be. Even novice gunners were picking them off. The best use for attack helos is rapid flanking movements. As vulnerable as they are, no other vehicle can cover ground as quickly and they aren't limited by swamps on the high ground. If you can fix a force with a ground unit, attack helos can be sent to a flank and chew up the target while the target's attention is directed elsewhere by the fixing force. I also had a chance to work with a section of Kiowas in the dying days of when they were doctrinally assigned to recce troops. They wouldn't lead - too vulnerable. But they would clear laterals and could support forever - meaning the rate of advance went WAY up. DG
  13. An M777 can do some amazing things though; not least of which is fast set-up time and greater accuracy than an M109. The real advantage of a drone is that higher command echelons can have direct eyes on and a more detailed discussion can take place over fire/no fire. You aren't relying on a FOO (or a recce element talking to a FOO) at ground level IDing the target from a position of questionable visibility and potentially under fire, or a fighter jockey who just wants his bombs gone so he can get out of Dodge. Instead, you get a bunch of people with clear minds and different perspectives who can present the boss with calm and unhurried advice - not just tactical, but also legal. There's real value in that. I have become a big fan of UAVs. For the types of warfare simulated by this sim though, there's a lot to be said for the ability to drop tons of steel on target - and to put up with the idiosyncrasies that it takes to make that happen. I don't think counter-battery is within the scope of SBProPE. This sim is best suited to Company and Combat Team sized scenarios or smaller. Yes, you can squeeze a Battalion sized fight into it, but that's not where it is best. At that level, you've normally got ONE FOO. He probably has a single battery assigned to him (although he might have more if his task is the Btn or Bde main effort - and if other guns are in range and he has the targets for it, he might be able to crank up more) That battery will have a supply of ammo with it, and a subset of that ammo will be assigned to his targets. He might be allowed to tap into the reserve ammo if the situation warrants it, but the decision to release it to him won't be his. It might not even be the Arty CO's call; it might well be the Commander's decision. It would be reasonable to limit the number of rounds (of each type) that the player can shoot. HE/VT and Smoke should be generous. ICM should be limited, and FASCAM tightly controlled (a FASCAM target should be assigned to a trigger and a specific spot, no FOO gets to drop mines wherever the hell he wants) It would also be reasonable to have a mechanism where a player can trigger extra arty ammo (or maybe have it pushed to him if higher thinks his target is worth it) if it is in the scenario - and probably at a scoring penalty. It would also be reasonable to have a scenario flag for "operating in a counter-battery environment" that limits the clock time a mission can last and sets a delay for when the battery can accept missions again. The "max mission length" and "setup delay" should be controlled by the scenario designer. Once you fire a mission, you have to get it done in the time allotted, and you aren't going to get to shoot again until the time required for the guns to move someplace else and get set up again. Plus they will have broken lay and all the data will be (mostly) garbage, so initial accuracy would be a little iffy until the error was shot out of the guns. That would provide enough realism to keep the guns from being magic death machines, but not start exposing a Coy sized commander to decisions that are being made at Bde or higher. It would NOT be reasonable to have your guns go away because they had been "shot by counterbattery fire" - except MAYBE if the player had triggered an override function that made the guns stay put and keep firing longer than the max mission time. Every minute longer they are forced to stay put could result in a random, cumulative chance that they'd get knocked out. MAYBE. I'n not sure a Coy commander could get the guns to expose themselves to that degree of risk without a personal appeal to the Commander. I'm also not particularly excited by on-map artillery. To be honest, I don't think it fits the scale. If the guns are on the map, it is because they are lost (again!) not by design. DG
  14. Hey gang, long time no see. A quick story for those of you who come more from the "gamer" side of the house than from the "sim" side of the house. I have always been a "light" recce guy - Iltis, M113, Bison, TLAV, GWagon, Lynx etc - rather than an Coyote (LAV-25) guy. Just the way my career has played out so far. I hold a crew commander qualification, but I'm not qualified on the 25mm turret specifically. I recently had occasion though to get some 25mm turret time. I did a couple of sessions in the turret with the sim package (under the watchful and somewhat bemused eye of the IG) and then I got some range time - 25mm and coax as both gunner and crew commander. First I was shown where all the buttons and switches were inside the turret, and shown the proper drills and sequences to arm/fire/disarm the turret, plus the drills for stoppages etc. None of that is really in SB, but conceptually I had an idea of how that all worked because of SB. But as soon as I was sending rounds downrange (virtual and live) - whoo, Nelly! It is EXACTLY like SB, and I have so many hours of SB "turret time" that I was immediately on target. "Firing now!" THUMP THUMP THUMP "Drop, Firing now!" THUMP THUMP THUMP "Target, firing now!" THUMP THUMP THUMP "Target, target stop!" Impressed the hell out of the IG.... So anyway, I'm now convinced that SB time makes you a better real-world gunner and crew commander. Not to the point where is replaces the real thing (grumble grumble ARPC grumble grumble) but certainly it build a better skillset than not having access to it. THAT is what you are buying for your $25. DG
  15. RecceDG

    My Project

    There's no place like dome? DG
  16. Some points: As far as tactics go, the major "mistake" here (and I'm using quotes because I'm not throwing rocks at you) is moving your subunits in formation. The way this works in RL is each 2-car recce patrol moves one foot on the ground at all times. That way you have support from within the patrol and you minimize exposure to the enemy. Were I a patrol commander, I'd move the recce vehicles leapfrog and have the tank 3rd OOM moving caterpillar with the trail recce C/S. When the lead C/S reports set, the tank moves forward to "bump" the trail recce C/S and assume his position. The trail recce C/S then moves past the lead C/S and finds the next position of observation forward. Perhaps more to the point though - and this may reflect differences between Canadian and Yank doctrine - as a Squadron commander, I'd be very hesitant to penny-packet out my tanks by attaching them to recce patrols. I don't ever want a 1:1 tank fight if I can at all help it. Concentration of force is a principle of deploying armour, and if I have tanks I can use on this mission, I want them fighting as a single body. Assume a troop of tanks attached OPCOM to the recce Tp Ldr, those tanks would stay as a 4-tank formation a bound or two behind the recce vehicles. Then, when the recce vehicles make contact, the tank Tp Ldr would be given a hasty attack task, with the recce Ptl acting as firebase. Assuming sufficient resources, the tank Tp moves to the assault position, the Recce Tp calls in arty, when the arty starts falling the tanks move forward and start banging away, and when the tanks make contact the recce Tp opens up as well. I'd like to try this scenario... DG
  17. There's much more to the Trunk Monkeys than just OP/LP manning. They get used all the time to check culverts, clear bridges, peek around blind corners or over crests - any time you'd rather expose a single dude rather than the whole vehicle. This is one thing that I think the Yanks really have right. Our Recce crews are driver, crew commander, gunner, GiB. It should be 2 x GiB so Trunk Monkey has a fire team partner without having to pull the GiB from the other vehicle in the Patrol. And once you start operating in COIN and need to do 5/20 and cordons all the friggin' time, dismounts become worth their weight in gold. As far as the FCS/Optics goes, I thought the thermals on a 1991-era M3 were better/higher resolution than of the same era M1 - not so much by design, but because the M3 was a newer vehicle and so got newer tech. I'm hardly an expert on Yank equipment though so you'll get a better answer from the horse's mouth. DG
  18. - How to gun the 25mm in the Coyote. OK, not the mechanics of powering up the turret, loading the ammo, cycling the ghost round, etc - but once I was in the gunsight and had my hand on the palm switch... booyah! - How to crew command through forests. Crashing through the woods in a T-LAV doing 25 km/h, smashing down trees like they were matchsticks - and I'm thinking "Huh, this looks like Steel Beasts" - The importance of maintaining battlefield-level situational awareness, especially if you are 9 or 99. 99 just CAN'T get sucked into gunning a tank; not when the Red Hordes are pressing. Somebody has to keep an eye on the big picture and see that the gaps get filled. - That computer-based training, while it flat out cannot replace the real thing, can most definitely augment it. And unlike the real thing, can happen in a hotel room, or on a late-night watch shift, or when the VOR rate is too high or the budget shot. DG
  19. Well, in our army at least, the gun position isn't on the common net. The FOO has at least two radios so he can talk to the gun line and talk on the sqn, coy, BG, whatever net. When you want fire, you talk to the FOO. He then relays the fire mission to the actual guns. The FOO's first instinct is to get eyes on your target and run the mission himself - he is the expert, after all, and the mission will go much faster if he is running the whole show. Plus there's no need to clog the common net with the fire mission if the FOO has eyes on. But if the FOO cannot see the target, then it is up to the caller to send corrections and run the mission - but all the commands pass through the FOO on the way to the guns. This slows the mission down somewhat, but it also provides a second brain to vet the mission. Some of the FOOs I've worked with will let you get as complex with the mission as you want; as long as you know what you are doing they'll let you run with it. But if you start to lose the plot or if you're ridiculous they are under no obligation to relay your exact mission to the guns. So if you ask for 25 rounds in effect or for FASCAM on a lone BMP... that ain't going to the guns. It's somewhat FOO-specific, but some will read back your all-arms call for fire with the details of your mission as he is sending it to the guns, so: FIRE MISSION, Grid 123 456, direction 3200, 3 x BMP-2, 1 x T72, dismounted sections stationary in open radius 100, neutralize ASAP for 5 min might come back to you as FIRE MISSION BATTERY, Grid 123 456, direction 3200, 3 x BMP-2, 1 x T72, dismounted sections in open, 25% VT 25% DPICM, 4 rounds in effect, adjust fire so now you know the ammo mix, number of tubes, and number of round per gun you're going to get. If you get: "Target not identified, send corrections, over" he can't see it and it's your shoot. But if you get: "Target identified, out" He's got it and you probably won't hear from him until he is ready to FFE. If it is your shoot, all the corrections go to him first, then from him to the guns, so that slows things down. By the book, recce units have Tp freqs and the FOO is on Sqn. So if 43C wants a fire mission, it it supposed to go the the Tp Ldr who then relays to the Sqn net. That appears to be an Armour School-ism though. DG
  20. Latest CAJ has an article in it about simulation exercises, and specifically mentions SB Pro and ESim in it. Particularly ESim's customer service - I guess the sim was rebuilt 3 times during the exercise as bugs were found and stepped on. DG
  21. I do wish that there was some sort of review process for scenarios that wound up with those that passed being placed on an "approved" list, with the idea that the "approved" scenarios meet some sort of agreed-upon quality checklist. Slapped-together scenarios that illustrate a certain feature are fine, but it would be Sweet Crunchy Goodness if there was a list of fully tested and refined scenarios that were known to meet a certain standard. Right now, hunting down quality scenarios is a serious PITA. It might even motivate me to start fixing up some of my own scenarios so that they met those standards, especially if there was some sort of carrot for the designer for jumping through the QA hoops. Some of those hoops are: - doctrinally feasible mission (for both sides) Not necessarily "right out of the book" but something that makes some sort of sense; - a reasonable Op O or Frag O written for both sides; - properly functioning scoring and victory conditions (for both sides); - thorough testing for all the various combinations of conditions, triggers etc so the thing never "runs of the rails" etc. Perhaps the first step would be defining the quality standards a scenario would have to meet before being admitted to the ranks of the "approved and/or official" DG
  22. Having spent the last month (with 5 more days to go) working as a staff officer in the J35 cell of an operational HQ working up to go into theatre, let me say that the surest way to victory in Afghanistan would be to drop copies of Powerpoint and the CF Staff Manual over known areas of TB concentration. DG
  23. With VSYNC on (which SB seems to turn on, at least on my machine) game frame rate must be an integer multiple of the monitor refresh rate, as the card is only allowed to change the frame when the scanline is reset back to the 0,0 position. Assuming a 60 Hz monitor refresh rate, you can only have 60 FPS (frame updates each monitor refresh) 30 FPS (frame updates every second monitor refresh) 20 FPS (frame updates every 3rd monitor refresh) 15 FPS (frame updates every 4th monitor refresh) 12 FPS (every 5th) 10 FPS (every 6th) etc etc. 60 FPS is thus "perfect" and 30 FPS is "almost perfect" My m9700 laptop (dual 7800gs go SLI) gets 30-60 FPS at 1920 X 1200 with the sliders all the way up. Of course, the downside to the sliders all the way up is that the AI plays with the sliders "all the way down" so ground clutter doesn't block LOS for the AI and it will happily nail you through the grass. DG
  24. One of the staples at presentations now (not ORDERS; that's different) is the photo-montage of all one's hero shots from their latest tour. Now as much as I respect those who have been in the shit, and as much as some of the pictures are pretty good, artistically... the first couple were interesting, but now it's just ridiculous. EVERYBODY has a montage now. It's like part of the checklist or something. If you attend a staff briefing day, you'll wind up sitting through 8-12 montages. I figure that when I do one, I'll use the "montage" song from Team America - World Police" as the background music so I can make my point. DG
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