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How do you annoy people without starting a war?


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A question...


Generally speaking, if you want to really harass or intimidate another nation, without actually blowing stuff up, how do you do it? And how do you model these things in Harpoon ANW?


I suppose one way is to create a Recon Ship mission, so that a potentially hostile ship or aircraft will get right up in the face of anything that gets close enough, like merchant traffic, so it can make a solid identification. It might make people think an attack is imminent, but then nothing happens besides the ship getting right up in your face.


I suppose another way, although frankly illegal and probably more risky, would be to board and seize merchant ships, claiming they are pirates, or smugglers, or whatever. At the very least, boarding and taking control of the ship for a few days while "questionable cargo," etc. is searched or "evidence of human trafficking" is examined, is a good way to hurt the trade of the enemy nation. I suppose this could be modeled with ASuW Patrol/Boarding-Takeover missions.


Now...as I understand it, stopping a ship like this is only legal on the high seas or in one's own territorial waters or one's EEZ. What happens if country A has a warship in country B's EEZ (but not actual territorial waters), claiming "right of innocent passage" to be there, and stops one of country B's merchant ships, claiming it has violated some law? Country A can say that even though it is out of its jurisdiction, it believed a crime was being committed and it acted to stop that crime! It is sorry that it was mistaken and the poor merchant got stopped for two days and is behind schedule now. But slavery, drug trafficking, terrorism, etc. must be stopped!


As for getting shot at...actually, Nation A would LOVE to get shot at. After all, if YOU shoot first, you are "the bad guy." But if someone else shoots first, even if it is because you provoked them, you are free to return fire in self-defense.


What else can you do, short of actual acts of war, like randomly blowing up fishing boats in international waters? Again, the goal is to do something that will either make the other side miserable (and cost them money through lost trade, etc.) and/or provoke them so they start something, allowing you to slap them down hard and get away with it because you were just acting in self-defense.



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As a follow-up to my first questions, where would you be allowed to use any of these excuses to stop a ship and engage in a long search (even if the real reason was just to harass the other countries involved)...

"We have reliable intelligence that you have committed an act of piracy. We are inspecting your ship to see if you have any stolen goods."

"We have reliable intelligence that you are surveying resources in our EEZ with the aim of illegally exploiting them. We are inspecting your ship and any instruments aboard to to determine if this is the case."

"We have reliable intelligence that you are carrying weapons to terrorists. We are inspecting your ship to determine if this is the case."

"We have reliable intelligence you are carrying weapons to a country currently under U.N. sanctions which is not allowed to receive them. We are inspecting your ship to determine if this is the case."

"We have reliable intelligence that you are engaged in the slave trade and human trafficking. We are searching your ship for kidnapped children who have been forced into this unspeakable trade."

"We have reliable intelligence that you are dumping toxic waste in our EEZ. We are inspecting your ship to determine if this is the case."

"We have reliable intelligence that you are a spy ship and your presence represents a threat to our nation. We are inspecting your ship to determine if this is the case."



I imagine that one can always do these things in one's own territorial waters or the contiguous waters. What about one's EEZ? Or the high seas? Or someone else's EEZ (but not actual territorial waters)?

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  • 1 month later...

Hey Mark,


Just from personal experience, when the USCG starts blowing commands through a bull horn or the ships PA system demanding that I pull my boat over for a safety inspection I feel a little harassed :angry: so I imagine that a Chinese vessel going through the South China Sea, a Philippine Coast Guard vessel could board it for a "safety inspection." I have also read that their have been several historical accounts of suspected spy ships being involved in situations as well as aircraft.





As for boarding the suspect vessel in the EEZ waters, that's something for the lawyers to hash out and i don't recall that being possible in ANW. :P


I do know though that you can set up ship patrols in the mission editor that can pursue vessels "X" miles from their patrol route. So if you have an ASuW patrol from Ref Point A to Ref Point B, the patrolling vessels will pursue any other vessel that is within "X" miles of that patrol route (assuming the vessel is detected I assume.) One thing I have noticed is that it does appear that a Blue vessel (played by the AI), when fired upon from a Red vessel that it will maneuver away from the Red.


Again from personal experience from the US Navy, our ship, the USS England CG-22 boarded several vessels in the Gulf of Oman during Operation Desert Shield. I don't recall the circumstances yet I remember that they were boarded because their was a "suspicion" of those ships aiding Iraq. What those suspicions were, I haven't a clue but the Gulf of Oman is approximately 135 miles wide when measured from Muscat to a point due north to the Iranian coast and I'm sure that we were not anywhere near the territorial waters of Iran or Oman so one could assume that the suspected vessel was in the EEZ. I would also assume that if a US vessel that is actively engaged in a conflict with the country that I may or may not be aiding, 8 Harpoons within firing range would have a great affect on getting me to stop.


Setting posture will have a great affect on how a side handles a contact. For example, a USA vs. China scenario could have USA1 and USA2 sides which could have only recon aircraft on the USA2 side and setting the posture to Neutral to China and China's posture to the USA2 side neutral as well may keep the recon A/C from getting shot down. Setting the China posture to hostile to the USA2 side I believe will cause the A/C to be shot down, but I haven't confirmed that.


It's an interesting question, how a hostile posture handles a neutral contact when played by the AI. I'd be interested in the answer.


Good questions Mark.



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