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Canary's Cage


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** SPOILERS APPLY **

 

A few comments in a rudimentary sort of AAR:

 

* While the automation of the refueling process is a big help (in this scenario you have to 'shuttle' land based air from Spain to the Canaries), there is some smoothing that needs to be done with the way Bingo fuel is calculated. I lost more than a few aircraft (including a precious KC-130H tanker) to a miscalculated Bingo.

 

* Land based air cover for your SAG and PHIBGRU is a must. You will run out of AMRAAMs aboard ship for your sea borne Harriers and, well, AIM-9JULI sucks.

 

* I-HAWK is a serious threat, but SA-3 is meh. Can't tell what is going on under the hood, but it seems to me that CMANO (like Harpoon) still makes shooting down attacking ARMs (like HARM) too easy.

 

* Pop up threats such as sub launched UGM-84 Harpoons and massed SSM fire from fast attack craft are very dangerous. I really like how CMANO seems to model the real threat posed by sea skimmers, and the difficulties in detecting and defending against them.

 

* I am NOT a fan of how submarine launched torpedo attack is modeled. Reducing the range of the sub's heavyweight torpedoes (presumably to reduce a target's escape zone) has a sort of theoretical sensibility to it, but it really defangs a submarine's power. As a sub you have to get very close (if you manage to escape detection) to shoot, and you will almost certainly be greeted by an instant counter-fire that isn't hampered by a reduced engagement range.

 

* I am likewise NOT a fan of how easily submarines are detected and killed. Other than the UGM-84s mentioned earlier, enemy submarines did not pose much of a threat to me. And they should have. I was able to find and kill subs - even at close range - when they ought to have had the jump on me.

 

* The ability to undock and launch amphibious landing craft is very nice. Though I see "land ships" is not something suffered only by Harpoon.

 

* Laser guided munitions appear to be modeled very well. Plinking is fun.

 

* Once the AI runs out of aircraft to throw at you, this scenario is pretty easy. (Sound familiar?) I think I would have made the amphibious landing part a little more challenging.

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* I-HAWK is a serious threat, but SA-3 is meh. Can't tell what is going on under the hood, but it seems to me that CMANO (like Harpoon) still makes shooting down attacking ARMs (like HARM) too easy.

Faced the same in Bass Drum. Though that was an SA-6, but it had like 90% Ph on HARMs. Looked invincible.

The solution was to post a Growler on the same bearing. Disrupts SAM guidance nice.

 

Disruption looks good too, instead of pH penalty ECM actually disrupts guidance. The SAM flies on but does not track.

I played around with this in God mode a little, switching sides back and front,

what happens is that my ECM jams the radar (illuminator?)

so the radar contact (my HARM) is intermittently degraded to an ambiguity circle

and then the SAM tracks just the center of the circle, so it misses the HARM unless they are able to reestablish contact very soon.

Important that the center of the ambiguity circle is not moving in CMANO, i.e. it's location is not tied to the actual contact. One of my long time wish list items for Harpoon too.

 

On the downside the SAMs do circle back for target if contact is reestablished, I don't think even command guided ones can do that. Well, a sophisticated model yields sophisticated complications.

 

* Once the AI runs out of aircraft to throw at you, this scenario is pretty easy. (Sound familiar?)

Yes (sigh) but with it's leaner model Harpoon was (is, I hope) better positioned to develop a potent AI in this respect too.

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Faced the same in Bass Drum. Though that was an SA-6, but it had like 90% Ph on HARMs. Looked invincible. The solution was to post a Growler on the same bearing. Disrupts SAM guidance nice. Disruption looks good too, instead of pH penalty ECM actually disrupts guidance. The SAM flies on but does not track. I played around with this in God mode a little, switching sides back and front,

what happens is that my ECM jams the radar (illuminator?) so the radar contact (my HARM) is intermittently degraded to an ambiguity circle and then the SAM tracks just the center of the circle, so it misses the HARM unless they are able to reestablish contact very soon. Important that the center of the ambiguity circle is not moving in CMANO, i.e. it's location is not tied to the actual contact. One of my long time wish list items for Harpoon too.

Yes, the effects of prudent use of jamming are apparent and useful. It may be under the hood, but I am not seeing any calculations for more difficult targets like ARMs (or crossing targets, terminal diving targets, etc). While I am liking the final pH rates for AAMs (usually down around 50-60% or less), it doesn't seem to be carried over to the SAMs. pH rates of 75-90% are too high, imho, especially against fast moving ARMs and the like.

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Not yet with time to play and evaluate CMANO (Perhaps in some 24 months!!!!!!)

But historical SAM hit-to-kill rates are something very different, as for the diverse SA-2 Guideline variants (data are from Steven Zaloga "Red SAM: the SA-2 Guideline Anti-Aircraft Missile", Osprey/New Vanguard 2007).

We can think as SA-2 in the lower hit-to-kill probability of the scale, but that don't does very better contemporary missiles:

Vietnam 1965-1973: 6.1% (page 24 table)

Arab-Israeli Wars 1967-1973: 19% (page 37 table)

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I have no problem drawing a distinction between early generation, 50+ year old (and perhaps more importantly, low maneuverability) systems like the S-75 (SA-2) and modern day, high maneuverability (60 G) systems like Aster.

 

For example, Harpoon assigns ATA ratings of 1.0-3.0 for the various flavours of SA-2, but even the new, high end systems (like Aster) top out at around 7.0.

 

What I am saying (and I stand to be corrected if something is going on under the hood, or I am missing something obvious in the die roll calculations) is that there does not appear to be any accounting in CMANO for the difficulty of the target. A straight and level, subsonic 160 ft long heavy bomber is NOT the same target as an incoming, supersonic, diving 13 ft long missile.

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Hello, thanks for the feedback.

 

> * While the automation of the refueling process is a big help (in this scenario you have to 'shuttle' land based air from Spain to the Canaries),

> there is some smoothing that needs to be done with the way Bingo fuel is calculated. I lost more than a few aircraft (including a precious KC-

> 130H tanker) to a miscalculated Bingo.

 

I'd appreciate a save of this.

> * I-HAWK is a serious threat, but SA-3 is meh. Can't tell what is going on under the hood, but it seems to me that

> CMANO (like Harpoon) still makes shooting down attacking ARMs (like HARM) too easy.

 

There are indeed modifiers for high-speed targets and even hard limits to maximum target speed (e.g. a Patriot cannot engage an incoming ICBM RV). Most older SAM systems are also altogether unable to engage missiles. Looking at the DB3K for example, the SA-3A has a max target speed of 1100 knots. Did you encounter an instance where an obsolete system was able to engage a HARM? If yes, a save would again be useful.

> * Pop up threats such as sub launched UGM-84 Harpoons and massed SSM fire from fast attack craft are very dangerous. I really like how CMANO

> seems to model the real threat posed by sea skimmers, and the difficulties in detecting and defending against them.

 

Combination of low-altitude detection modifiers and most importantly OODA value (reaction time). With a careful attack you can even bag an Aegis ship with just a few missiles.

> * I am NOT a fan of how submarine launched torpedo attack is modeled. Reducing the range of the sub's heavyweight torpedoes

> (presumably to reduce a target's escape zone) has a sort of theoretical sensibility to it, but it really defangs a submarine's power.

> As a sub you have to get very close (if you manage to escape detection) to shoot, and you will almost certainly be greeted by an instant

> counter-fire that isn't hampered by a reduced engagement range.

 

That's an endlessly debated point. The few available accounts of post-WW2 sub action (either in combat or in exercises) show that in most cases subs get really close before launching an attack, even with modern long-range weapons. FWIW we intent to add a manual option to launch torpedoes beyond the nominal range.

 

> * I am likewise NOT a fan of how easily submarines are detected and killed. Other than the UGM-84s mentioned earlier, enemy submarines did not pose much

> of a threat to me. And they should have. I was able to find and kill subs - even at close range - when they ought to have had the jump on me.

 

Were they maybe sprinting to intercept a fleeing unit and were detected by another? My experience with sub AI in Command is that it is _very_ reasonable and quite careful to creep up on its target if it can afford to (if it has to catch up then running becomes necessary). Try a few other scenarios before forming an opinion on this. Might I suggest Trapped Under Ice, for instance.

> * The ability to undock and launch amphibious landing craft is very nice. Though I see "land ships" is not something suffered only by Harpoon.

 

Depends. At small distances (a few nm) we pay the price of a global-scale pathfinding grid (and the necessity to fit in 32-bit RAM) by allowing small "beach" detours (the alternative is a gazillion "my ship is stuck on the shore!" posts). At large distances and substantial landmasses the pathfinder has been shown to be quite reliable. I'd be really worried if I saw e.g. a ship passing straight through the middle of Crete but this hasn't been observed so far.

 

> * Once the AI runs out of aircraft to throw at you, this scenario is pretty easy. (Sound familiar?) I think I would have made the amphibious landing part a little more challenging.

 

This is up to the scenario author really. You'll find quite a few scens (both stock and community) were airpower is restricted by either inventory or situational parameters. From our modelling part, we restrict weapon inventories for aircraft (though we have also added an optional "infinite weapon stocks" option for those who want to quickly experiment without worrying about logistics) and we have also gone to great lengths to show that airbase ops are far more complex and _fragile_ (vulnerable to disruption) than what most people think. (And we've paid the price for that). In the future we're also going to introduce additional restrictions to air ops by way of weather effects (no more 24/7 early MiG-21s, for example). So in scenarios up to the early/mid-80s the night sky (or a day sky with bad weather) will be _really_ quiet.

 

Thanks.

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> On the downside the SAMs do circle back for target if contact is reestablished, I don't think even command guided ones can do that. Well, a sophisticated model yields sophisticated complications.

 

We're working on a fix for that. The latter part is quite true, but both sophistication and simplicity can be taken too far. Balance is everything.

 

> Yes (sigh) but with it's leaner model Harpoon was (is, I hope) better positioned to develop a potent AI in this respect too.

 

Having potential is great. Following through on it is even better :)

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Hello, thanks for the feedback.

 

Firstly, welcome to HG. I will be the first to admit that it is not something I would have ever expected to see, but here's to hoping for respectful, intelligence discourse. B)

 

 

I'd appreciate a save of this.

 

It happened again (worse, actually) in Op Allied Force. Especially with relatively short legged tankers like the Viking. I had set up a tanking mission/patrol area too, so I was surprised to see it happen. I will see if I can get a savegame from scratch.

 

Oh, and I don't know if it has been mentioned on Matrix, but forcing a RTB while being refueled doesn't appear to prevent a recipient aircraft from continuing to take on fuel, even if that recipient is many miles from the tanker.

 

 

There are indeed modifiers for high-speed targets and even hard limits to maximum target speed (e.g. a Patriot cannot engage an incoming ICBM RV). Most older SAM systems are also altogether unable to engage missiles. Looking at the DB3K for example, the SA-3A has a max target speed of 1100 knots. Did you encounter an instance where an obsolete system was able to engage a HARM? If yes, a save would again be useful.

 

Thanks. SA-2 did not attempt to intercept HARM, afaik. And I should add that its nice to see that much modeled. Fairly certain that I did see SA-3 do so, but I cannot be sure. Even with the obviously more advanced capability found in something like SA-10b, I was surprised to see pH rates of >75%, but I suppose that's a DB philosophy issue.

 

 

Combination of low-altitude detection modifiers and most importantly OODA value (reaction time). With a careful attack you can even bag an Aegis ship with just a few missiles.

 

Yep. Ask the USS Chancellorsville. (Too soon?) ^_^

 

 

That's an endlessly debated point. The few available accounts of post-WW2 sub action (either in combat or in exercises) show that in most cases subs get really close before launching an attack, even with modern long-range weapons. FWIW we intent to add a manual option to launch torpedoes beyond the nominal range.

 

I think that would be a welcome modification.

 

 

Were they maybe sprinting to intercept a fleeing unit and were detected by another? My experience with sub AI in Command is that it is _very_ reasonable and quite careful to creep up on its target if it can afford to (if it has to catch up then running becomes necessary). Try a few other scenarios before forming an opinion on this.

 

Virtually every time I detected a sub, they were creeping or moving at relatively slow speed. Sometimes it happened at very close range to a friendly warship (which is nice from the sub's point of view, I suppose) but the sub didn't seem to have any idea of its proximity to the ship. This was in Op Brass Drum and in Canary's Cage, in particular. My comments are preliminary, so I will try other scenarios, for sure.

 

 

 

Might I suggest Trapped Under Ice, for instance.

 

I enjoyed that one. Sub vs sub action there was markedly better, imho, than ship vs sub.

 

 

Depends. At small distances (a few nm) we pay the price of a global-scale pathfinding grid (and the necessity to fit in 32-bit RAM) by allowing small "beach" detours (the alternative is a gazillion "my ship is stuck on the shore!" posts). At large distances and substantial landmasses the pathfinder has been shown to be quite reliable. I'd be really worried if I saw e.g. a ship passing straight through the middle of Crete but this hasn't been observed so far.

 

That's understandable. Although when the scenario forces the player into a small scale action (like an amphibious landing), the issue starts to glare back at you.

 

 

This is up to the scenario author really. You'll find quite a few scens (both stock and community) were airpower is restricted by either inventory or situational parameters. From our modelling part, we restrict weapon inventories for aircraft (though we have also added an optional "infinite weapon stocks" option for those who want to quickly experiment without worrying about logistics) and we have also gone to great lengths to show that airbase ops are far more complex and _fragile_ (vulnerable to disruption) than what most people think. (And we've paid the price for that). In the future we're also going to introduce additional restrictions to air ops by way of weather effects (no more 24/7 early MiG-21s, for example). So in scenarios up to the early/mid-80s the night sky (or a day sky with bad weather) will be _really_ quiet. Thanks.

 

Yes, I understand and appreciate that. It wasn't intended as a criticism of CMANO so much as perhaps our own limited ability to write scenarios. As it turns out, real life is often lop sided. Certainly, adding a logistics model to the mix changes everything. Tony can tell you how much I've clamored about that issue.

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