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I don't understand this situation


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#16 CV32

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 03:23 PM

By the way, as an aside, I've wondered for a long time whether it is even possible for the player's side to get hits with bearing-only attacks using SSMs or ASMs. In all the years I've been playing, I don't recall ever getting a hit while using a bearing-only attack (other than with torpedoes, that is). Back in the early days, I tried messing around a bit with that, using different activation distances, and different types of ordnance, but eventually came to the conclusion that without a solid fix, there was zero chance of even coming close to the target. I always wondered if there was just something I wasn't doing properly - or if it's just a fact of life that the player needs a solid fix before shooting.


Only the radar guided weapons have a consistently reliable performance when it comes to bearing only (BOL) attacks.

The electro-optical/infra-red (EO/IR) weapons, the anti-radar missiles (ARMs) and the acoustic homing weapons (torpedoes) are virtually useless in the BOL mode. (To be clear, you can't currently launch torpedoes in the pure BOL mode, except in the self-defense mode while under torpedo attack, although you can drop them on targets with an area of uncertainty).

Keep in mind, as well, that weapons launched in BOL mode will search only along a narrow bearing, have finite seeker angles (45 degrees for missiles, 90 for torpedoes), and limited seeker acquisition range (minimum 5 nm, maximum 20 nm for missiles, dependent on missile speed).

#17 CV32

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 04:45 PM

OK - I wasn't even aware of the cheat until a few days ago, so please bear with me... It looks like the cheat exposes all enemy groups but the report for the base in question still says that there are no attached land units - and I don't see any AD stuff showing up graphically (??)


I don't have the demo here, but I can put up a screenshot later using Ctrl Alt S and point out what can be seen. Unless someone else wants to help me out? :)


Here are the promised screenshots, again working from your savegame for the Backyard scenario ...

Posted Image

Here, with the 'reveal all' (Ctrl Alt S) keystroke working, take a look at Red airfield ZYa (Ussuriysk).

No attached units for ZYa visible in the Group Map, as is proper, but when we look at the Unit Map, we can a number of mobile land units (in this case, AAA and SAM units) arrayed around the airfield.

Looking at the Group report display in the lower left hand corner, we can also see that 7 units in all are attached, and not only that, but we can count the number of SAM missiles, guns and AA shells available to our enemy.

Posted Image

Here, with the Unit Map selected and, more specifically, the most westerly unit attached to the airfield also selected, we can see that it is identified as ZY03 (again, identifying it as a unit of ZYa).

The Unit report display gives even more information, that the unit is named 'SAM Site 40', that it has 12 available missiles, an AA gun and 255 AA shells.

If we punched the 'Display' button here, we'd even be able to tell what kind of a SAM system it was and its various capabilities.

So, Joe, I am not sure what to say other than yes, it clearly works as it is supposed to.

#18 Silent Hunter UK

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 04:50 PM

By the way, as an aside, I've wondered for a long time whether it is even possible for the player's side to get hits with bearing-only attacks using SSMs or ASMs. In all the years I've been playing, I don't recall ever getting a hit while using a bearing-only attack (other than with torpedoes, that is). Back in the early days, I tried messing around a bit with that, using different activation distances, and different types of ordnance, but eventually came to the conclusion that without a solid fix, there was zero chance of even coming close to the target. I always wondered if there was just something I wasn't doing properly - or if it's just a fact of life that the player needs a solid fix before shooting.


I've done it on more than one occasion during my play-through of the 20th Anniversary versions (see "A walk through the versions").

#19 donaldseadog

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 06:57 PM

By the way, as an aside, I've wondered for a long time whether it is even possible for the player's side to get hits with bearing-only attacks using SSMs or ASMs. In all the years I've been playing, I don't recall ever getting a hit while using a bearing-only attack (other than with torpedoes, that is). Back in the early days, I tried messing around a bit with that, using different activation distances, and different types of ordnance, but eventually came to the conclusion that without a solid fix, there was zero chance of even coming close to the target. I always wondered if there was just something I wasn't doing properly - or if it's just a fact of life that the player needs a solid fix before shooting.


Only the radar guided weapons have a consistently reliable performance when it comes to bearing only (BOL) attacks.

The electro-optical/infra-red (EO/IR) weapons, the anti-radar missiles (ARMs) and the acoustic homing weapons (torpedoes) are virtually useless in the BOL mode. (To be clear, you can't currently launch torpedoes in the pure BOL mode, although you can drop them on targets with an area of uncertainty).

Keep in mind, as well, that weapons launched in BOL mode will search only along a narrow bearing, have finite seeker angles (45 degrees for missiles, 90 for torpedoes), and limited seeker acquisition range (minimum 5 nm, maximum 20 nm for missiles, dependent on missile speed).

A BOL missile might encourage the enemy to light up more radar and give you a 'red' fix. Might not too.
:D
hee hee, what fun is this uncertainty.
Don Thomas

#20 Joe K

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:01 PM

Only the radar guided weapons have a consistently reliable performance when it comes to bearing only (BOL) attacks.

Would this be non-IR AAMs and SSMs? Are there any radar-guided ASMs?

#21 Joe K

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:11 PM

OK - I wasn't even aware of the cheat until a few days ago, so please bear with me... It looks like the cheat exposes all enemy groups but the report for the base in question still says that there are no attached land units - and I don't see any AD stuff showing up graphically (??)


So, Joe, I am not sure what to say other than yes, it clearly works as it is supposed to.

Well... I think what to say is that it was a case of "PIO" - as in Pilot-Induced Oscillation... a.k.a. User Error in this case. <Ahem!> :rolleyes: And just leave it at that...

Hmmm... Maybe I could blame it on a cold... and/or lack of sleep... or maybe on target fixation from staring at Harpoon too long??

#22 CV32

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:18 PM

Only the radar guided weapons have a consistently reliable performance when it comes to bearing only (BOL) attacks.


Would this be non-IR AAMs and SSMs? Are there any radar-guided ASMs?


Yes, and there are many. Most anti-ship missiles employ active radar guidance, e.g. AGM-84 Harpoon, AM.39 Exocet, Sea Eagle, several flavours of Kh-22 (AS-4 Kitchen), etc, etc. Its a long list.

#23 Kavik Kang

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 01:32 AM

Joe,

Have you turned on the range circle for "active ground radar"? It will be a yellow circle. Turn that range circle on and look at your search plane. Is the base inside the yellow circle? In fact, I find that to get a really solid fix on all units of a base you need to be at 75-50% inside the yellow circle.

#24 Joe K

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 09:22 AM

Only the radar guided weapons have a consistently reliable performance when it comes to bearing only (BOL) attacks.


Would this be non-IR AAMs and SSMs? Are there any radar-guided ASMs?


Yes, and there are many. Most anti-ship missiles employ active radar guidance, e.g. AGM-84 Harpoon, AM.39 Exocet, Sea Eagle, several flavours of Kh-22 (AS-4 Kitchen), etc, etc. Its a long list.

I'm 99% sure that I've used all of those types in (failed) attempts at bearing-only attacks. Maybe that failure is related to the stuff I see with AAMs, etc.

Anyway, IME, no fix == no hit (well, excepting AAMs sometimes, but pretty much across the range of ASMs, SSMs, and ground-pounders (GP)). No surprise really, considering how hard it is to get a measley hit even when I have solid fixes...

One interesting observation is that when I've tried Bearing-Only shots, usually there is comparatively little or no counter-fire against those BOL missiles... sort of like when I launch a barrage against a worn-down surface group, and get a couple of kills. The AI apparently is smart enough to refrain from firing against other incoming missiles that are still targeting those killed ships - unlike the case where the player's missile defenses fritter away missiles against incoming stuff that's aimed for already-killed ships. (Makes me want to bring 'em all up on charges! <_< )

#25 TonyE

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 09:27 AM

In fact, I find that to get a really solid fix on all units of a base you need to be at 75-50% inside the yellow circle.


Kavik, you might be interested in the radar RCS worksheet. Given the detecting radar's range capability and the RCS of the target (from the platform editor/PE) it will give you the maximum range at which the target can be detected.
http://harpgamer.com...amp;showfile=28

#26 Joe K

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 09:38 AM

Joe,

Have you turned on the range circle for "active ground radar"? It will be a yellow circle. Turn that range circle on and look at your search plane. Is the base inside the yellow circle? In fact, I find that to get a really solid fix on all units of a base you need to be at 75-50% inside the yellow circle.


LOL! I guess you haven't had the "pleasure" of seeing one of my game-saves, yet, eh? I typically run with every range circle there is turned on... to the point that it's hard to see what's going on at times!

Anyway, yup, I pretty much concur with your observation about the fix range - although, I'd say that's probably a best-case result, in the situations where the targets are emitting. I've (regularly) seen situations where I've had several air groups hunting around in an area maybe 10 nm x 10 nm, trying to get a fix on an AD target... yet, even with all this "triangulation" going on, and my radars burning away, I still get no fix until some plane group gets a visual on the AD unit - usually with lethal consequences for that plane group.

By the way, speaking of range circles, as a wish list item, I'd love to see range circles for estimated fuel remaining on AI air groups. ;) Fair's fair!

#27 CV32

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 09:52 AM

Joe, I can probably produce a set of screenshots showing how to carry out an effective BOL missile attack, if you think that would be helpful.

#28 Joe K

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 11:11 AM

Joe, I can probably produce a set of screenshots showing how to carry out an effective BOL missile attack, if you think that would be helpful.

Possibly... although I'm having a bit of trouble visualizing how that would work. It also seems like it would be a lot of work, especially compared to the insignificance of the issue (because I've long since gone to tactics that avoid BOL anyway). The other thing that gives me pause is my lingering suspicion that this may be just another manifestation of same thing that causes weird hit percentages with my AAMs... and, if so, the procedure probably wouldn't help here anyway.

Over the years, I've already experimented with tweeking just about every parameter that I could think of that might affect the success of BOL attacks (and I'm referring mainly to ASM attacks here, because SSM engagements are so rare), so chances are that I've alread tried and failed with the tactics - unless there is something key that I'm just completely missing with this - and that's really all I'm trying to find out.

Anyway, I'm thinking that whatever provides a quick and simple briefing would be all that's warranted here. If screenshots are somehow simpler to do than a text summary, then I guess that's worth a shot.

Thanks.

#29 CV32

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 01:12 PM

Alrighty, here we go. A little tutorial in bearing only launch (BOL) attacks.

This will be from the SSM side of the coin, as this was easiest to whip up without building a test scenario, but the principle is the same, and I can provide one that depicts an ASM attack in due course if necessary.

Borrowing this time from your favorite scenario :P , 'Middleweights', for Westpac.

At game start I am in control of BLUE ship group AOS, a trio of Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) Hayabusa class missile armed patrol craft. Here's a pic:

Posted Image

They are patrolling northward in the East China Sea, just southwest of Nagasaki.

A friendly aircraft to the east soon gets a sniff of a surface ship contact to the north.

Posted Image

Now, ordinarily, we would probably try and confirm the identity of this contact before taking any offensive action.

But, to speed up things, I used the 'reveal all' keystroke to identify the contact as a closely knit group of four South Korean Sea Dolphin class gunboats. Here's a pic:

Posted Image

I soon have a solid fix (via the aircraft's ESM) on some but not all of the enemy gunboats.

I could engage normally here but instead choose to attack via a bearing only launch (BOL) with the Hayabusa's active radar guided Type 88/90 (SSM-1) surface to surface anti-ship missiles.

The range to target is roughly 75 nm, while maximum range of the SSM-1 is 81 nm. We're good to go.

I choose the BOL attack method by pressing 'b' on the keyboard.

A yellow circle appears on the Group Map showing the maximum engagement range of my available BOL weapons, as well as a pop up window prompting me to select a bearing for attack.

Posted Image

(Note as well the Unit Map showing the uncertain position of at least some units of the enemy group).

I select the attack bearing by pointing with my mouse and clicking on an appropriate part of the Group Map in cross hair fashion. The selected point will also serve as the activation point for my missile's terminal active radar seeker.

Posted Image

It is important here to take into account the speed of your target, its current (or likely) heading, as well as the speed of your missiles.

Subsonic missiles like the SSM-1 will have the minimum seeker acquisition range of 5 nm while faster, supersonic missiles (such as many of the Soviet/Russian weapons) will be able to exploit a full 20 nm. Also, a reminder that the seeker acquisition angle is limited to 45 degrees, so any target falling outside that cone will likely escape attack.

If the target is distant, traveling at high speed, and your missiles are subsonic, you run the risk of the target reaching - and passing - your missiles' activation point before the missiles actually get there. If that happens, the seeker will probably see nothing but empty ocean when it finally enables.

On the other hand, if you set your activation point too early, you run the chance of your missile locking onto and attacking some other contact, possibly even a friendly or neutral if the sea is crowded. (Accidentally sinking a friendly warship or a fishing boat tends to have detrimental effects on one's career path).

Once I have chosen a bearing and activation point by clicking on the map, I will get the weapons allocation pop up window.

Posted Image

I know I have four potential targets, and plenty of missiles, but to conserve firepower, I assign a total of three SSM-1 missiles, one from each Hayabusa. Since the missiles have no way of selecting individual targets, especially when they are grouped closely, I do not want to shoot a bunch of missiles and have them all homing on a single ship.

Moments after launch, I can see that my BLUE missile group AUM is enroute and that they have 37 nm (and 3 minutes 45 seconds) to go before reaching their activation point.

Posted Image

Now, that RED air group to the west caused me all kinds of grief during this missile engagement. Turns out it was a flight of F-15K Slam Eagles and they happily splashed my anti-ship missiles. I had to shoot again to repeat the engagement.

The next screenshot shows my missiles just 1 nm (and 3 seconds) from reaching their activation point.

Fortunately they are still in front of the enemy group and I have a good chance that when the missiles activate, they will pick up the targets and attack.

Posted Image

After seeker activation, the missiles continue on their previous course, searching for targets. As earlier stated, their seeker range is just 5 nm, and so promptly at 5 nm (and 30 seconds) from the enemy group, I get confirmation of lock on.

Note the phrase in the Unit Map display becomes 'Distance to 1st Target' rather than 'Distance to 1st Activation'.

Posted Image

During the resulting terminal engagement, two of my three missiles home on, strike and destroy the South Korean gunboat Kilurki 267, while the third missile locked onto another target. That attack, unfortunately, resulted in a clean miss.

Posted Image

Hopefully this helps give you (and others following the thread) some idea of how the BOL attack mechanism in HCE works.

#30 Joe K

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 10:22 AM

Alrighty, here we go. A little tutorial in bearing only launch (BOL) attacks.
...
Hopefully this helps give you (and others following the thread) some idea of how the BOL attack mechanism in HCE works.

Wow! Thanks! That was really enlightening... for two reasons:

First, despite having played Harpoon for at least 15-20 years, I was totally unaware of that "b" capability. (That'll be fun to play with! ;) )

Second, it reveals that we weren't really on the same page in terms of the situation I was trying to describe... and may explain the confusion.

The situations that I'm referring to are those where I simply order an attack on some group, and (I assume) because some or all of the units in the group are not "fixed", after I allocate the weapons, any target which is not "fixed" will cause an individual instance of a dialog regarding activation distances for a bearing-only attack. (This dialog does not offer the ability to change anything other than the activation distances). (As an aside, I always have trouble figuring out which target is involved in each instance of the dialog, which is part of my annoyance factor with that procedure).

In any case, I don't recall ever getting any hits using this bearing-only mode - although, it's possible that I missed some BOL hits in cases where there was a mixture of fixed and bearing-only targets in the group, and so some hits that I assumed were from fixed shots may actually have resulted from some of the BOL shots in the mixed group of missiles. But when it was a totally bearing-only situation, I don't believe I ever achieved a hit - and that was true regardless of what activation distances I tried. (I also never hit any friendlies).

As a side comment about friendly fire, I don't recall experiencing any instances of that since the days of HC Gold - or before - and, only in connection with Phoenix AAMs in those cases that I did see. Of course, I rarely use BOL(in the form described here) anymore due to its apparent ineffectiveness, so I suppose the chances of friendly fire are fairly small in such a situation. ;)

Anyway, we were apparently talking about different forms of the BOL attack, and the one I was referring to is (obviously) less-capable.




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