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Group size and detection


Palex80
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Maybe its not a case of determining the probability of detecting an aircraft but the probability of not detecting any?

eg if the probabilty of detecting a single aircraft is 10% that's 0.1 and the probability of not detecting one aircraft is 0.9

if there are two aircraft the probability of not detecting any is 0.9 * 0.9 (if I remember stats correctly) = 0.81 thus the probability of detecting at least one is 0.19 (18%)?

but this is assuming that one plane can't fly in another's 'shadow' which I assume comes down to if the aircraft have an radiation (radar emission) absorbing or scattering effect? Its modern physics that's all an unknown to me so I'm hypothesising.

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I'm loving the discussion! At this point I find both extremes similarly far-fetched (four aircraft being 4 times as detectable and 4 aircraft being only as detectable as one). Further discussion may suggest there is a compromise along the continuum, whether it is worth implementing as Brad raises, is also a valid question.

 

At first blush I don't think implementing a qty-based equation for radar would take much programming effort.

 

Dear Tony, thanx for your input. Just to make something clear: I am not saying that it should be 4 times easier to detect 4 aircraft than it is to detect 1 aircraft.

 

I am just arguing, that some kind of "bonus" should be added, making multi plane formations easier to detect than single aircraft.

If the bonus would be 20% per airctaft, then in the case of 4 aircraft the possibility to detect them would be 172.8% (((100%+20%) + 20%) + 20%) compared to a single plane. So it's not even twice that probably to detect them.

 

But that 20% is just a figure I pulled out of my hat. One could also argue for a different factor.

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What is far fetched?

The concept that it is entirely fair that 64 x F-15 in one unit are assumed to be aligned to every potentially detecting radar in a way that makes them no more visible than a single F-15 (i.e. a single detect chance at the base F-15 RCS) yet 64 x F-15 each with a different loadout would have 64 detection runs against them.

 

If for the moment we accepted that a group of 64x F-15 wasn't far fetched (which of course it is) ... The point is that the "group" concept is grossly simplified in the model, when it is actually very complex in reality.

 

Fighter aircraft, for example, don't usually fly in more than two-ship and four-ship formations. A "group" of them, however, launched from the same airfield and with the same mission or destination, may be comprised of multiple such formations.

 

They would not all be on the same bearing (though the game forces it), or at the same altitude (though the game forces it), or at the same range (though the game forces it). They could be widely spaced, stacked at different altitudes, or with multiple times on target because they approach in trail or from different bearings (or a single ToT because they will converge from multiple directions).

 

Assuming they are in one massive clump (like a swarm of bees) is letting the simplicity of the model run right over you. We might as well be playing checkers with those F-15s.

 

And you know that I would happily have every loadout with its own RCS value. But, alas, we do not, because of the limitations of the DB structure.

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Maybe its not a case of determining the probability of detecting an aircraft but the probability of not detecting any?

eg if the probabilty of detecting a single aircraft is 10% that's 0.1 and the probability of not detecting one aircraft is 0.9

if there are two aircraft the probability of not detecting any is 0.9 * 0.9 (if I remember stats correctly) = 0.81 thus the probability of detecting at least one is 0.19 (18%)?

but this is assuming that one plane can't fly in another's 'shadow' which I assume comes down to if the aircraft have an radiation (radar emission) absorbing or scattering effect? Its modern physics that's all an unknown to me so I'm hypothesising.

 

At least that is one more intelligent way of approaching it.

 

I could live with a detection model where maybe, if the group is quite large, say >12, then the detection value or probability of detection is somewhat higher.

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CV32, I understand you point, that a 64 aircraft group is not very realistic, but the problem we are facing right now has to do with ANY group size, irrelevant of how big that is.

 

1 aircraft is as easily detectable as 4 as 6 as 8 as 10 aircraft. And these are group sizes which are logical and realistic.

 

And you can expect groups of aircraft of that size to fly together and carry out a mission together, even in tight formations in some cases.

 

That's why people are suggesting to change the detection chance of such a group of aircraft. That's it.

 

 

During the various Israeli-Egyptian conflicts large aircraft formations were common. I recall airstrikes by groups of aircraft launched from the same base on Egyptian and Israeli targets. Those were formations of half a dozen to a dozen aircraft with the same loadout performing the same mission, for example attacking airfields in the openining moves of the war.

 

If you were to play such a scenario now with Harpoon, the Egyptian player would have the same chance to spot a single Phantom performing a patrol or a 12 aircraft raid going for his airfield. That's just not realistic and a flaw in the game. In my opinion, it needs to be changed.

 

The same should apply to missiles by the way, as I have already mentioned in a previous post.

And missiles is something you can launch in volleys.

 

 

At least that is one more intelligent way of approaching it.

I could live with a detection model where maybe, if the group is quite large, say >12, then the detection value or probability of detection is somewhat higher.

There is no reason to suggest a "cut-off" value. This is not something that happens after a "magical" barrier of the number of aircraft is reached.
It's a steady increase in detection chance, which grows proportionally to the number of aircraft involved.
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Maybe its not a case of determining the probability of detecting an aircraft but the probability of not detecting any?

eg if the probabilty of detecting a single aircraft is 10% that's 0.1 and the probability of not detecting one aircraft is 0.9

if there are two aircraft the probability of not detecting any is 0.9 * 0.9 (if I remember stats correctly) = 0.81 thus the probability of detecting at least one is 0.19 (18%)?

but this is assuming that one plane can't fly in another's 'shadow' which I assume comes down to if the aircraft have an radiation (radar emission) absorbing or scattering effect? Its modern physics that's all an unknown to me so I'm hypothesising.

 

The problem with flying in anothers "shadow" is how you are going to model that when you have multiple radars scanning the same spot from different directions.

Surely if you were to attack a radar site with a 4 aircraft SEAD "package" and all aircraft would be flying in formation behind each other, you would have a rather small RCS, comparable to that of one aircraft. The radar would be able to see only the first aircraft, since the whole package would be a row flying straight at the radar site.

 

What happens however if there's a second radar scanning the same area situated 45° off the vector of the 4 aircraft raid? That radar would be able to see all 4 aircraft and the target would be rather big actually.

 

Would it be possible to model this into the game? Taking into account the vectors of the aircraft and the angle at which radar scans the aircraft? I doubt it...

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CV32, I understand you point, that a 64 aircraft group is not very realistic, but the problem we are facing right now has to do with ANY group size, irrelevant of how big that is.

1 aircraft is as easily detectable as 4 as 6 as 8 as 10 aircraft. And these are group sizes which are logical and realistic.

I think you might have missed the point about formations vs groups. (And, for the record, its NOT a problem we are facing right now. Its been that way forever, and frankly, there are far more pressing issues.)

 

And you can expect groups of aircraft of that size to fly together and carry out a mission together, even in tight formations in some cases. That's why people are suggesting to change the detection chance of such a group of aircraft. That's it.

I don't see many folks clamoring for the change at all. Even if there were, the ultimate issue is how it would affect gameplay. My concern is that it would make it easier for the player and harder for the AI, which is bad. Very bad.

 

During the various Israeli-Egyptian conflicts large aircraft formations were common. I recall airstrikes by dozens of aircraft launched from the same base on Egyptian and Israeli targets. Those were formations of half a dozen to a dozen aircraft with the same loadout performing the same mission, for example attacking airfields in the openining moves of the war.

Again, the point was made about formations vs groups. Just because a large number of aircraft performed the same mission at the same time (in wars that happened more than 30 years ago) does not mean they flew together in a single tight formation. Quite the contrary.

 

If you were to play such a scenario now with Harpoon, the Egyptian player would have the same chance to spot a single Phantom performing a patrol or a 12 aircraft raid going for his airfield. That's just not realistic and flaw in the game. In my opinion, it needs to be changed.

 

You are falling victim to the simplicity of the model. Making it simpler still is not going to help. (Excepting the potential compromise for very large groups (maybe of very large aircraft) mentioned earlier).

 

The same applied to missiles by the way, as I have already mentioned in a previous post.

 

Missiles are even less of an issue. One reason being that HUCE (again, given the simplicity of the model) depicts missile launches en masse. Which is not actually how it happens, and which in turn, affects their detection, i.e. you do not have the entire volley facing you simultaneously).

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The problem with flying in anothers "shadow" is how you are going to model that when you have multiple radars scanning the same spot from different directions.

Surely if you were to attack a radar site with a 4 aircraft SEAD "package" and all aircraft would be flying in formation behind each other, you would have a rather small RCS, comparable to that of one aircraft. The radar would be able to see only the first aircraft, since the whole package would be a row flying straight at the radar site.

What happens however if there's a second radar scanning the same area situated 45° off the vector of the 4 aircraft raid? That radar would be able to see all 4 aircraft and the target would be rather big actually.

Would it be possible to model this into the game? Taking into account the vectors of the aircraft and the angle at which radar scans the aircraft? I doubt it...

Your post touches on the simplicity of the radar and terrain models. Making it even easier to detect aircraft than it already is, would not be helpful.

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Perhaps the problem is how each of one is playing the game.

 

Task: Sind a Kirov BCGN.

Weapons at hand: 24 A-6 Intruders armed with 2 Harpoons each on an aircraft carrier 500 miles away.

 

What do you do?

1. Launch 8 groups of 3 A-6s each, wait until they are all launched and every group at the same distance from the aircraft carrier and then order them to attack simultaneously. Then order all the groups to land, one by one?

Good. That's probably how you could do it and it would probably be the closest to reality. It would probably cost me a lot of nerves to find loiter points at the same distance from the Kirov and then order all of the eight groups to move in, let alone launch more or less at the same time. And we all know a Kirov can shoot down 48 Harpoon missiles with its SAMs if they come at it over an extended period of time and not all at once.

 

2. Launch 1 group fo 24 A6s, send it to kill the Kirov, order it back to land.

Surely that's the easiest way to do it. And frankly, that's the way I'd do it.

 

Now, what's the problem here?

The problem is that the Kirov will see that 24 A6 raid just as easily or hardly as a 3-aircraft raid. And that shouldn't be the case, in my opinion. Those 24 aircraft should be easier to detect.

 

 

I am not sure why enhancing detection capabilities would make the game easier of the AI.

Big formations of aircraft are not something used exclusively by the AI.

 

Furthermore the AI chronically suffers from correct placement of AEW-assets and adequate air patrols in Harpoon, often not spotting aircraft coming in from non-prime threat vectors. Going not over the "typical" Great Britain - Iceland gap when attacking Keflavik, but rather attacking directly from the South is a common trick used when attacking the AI in GIUK/NAVC-Cold War scenarios.

 

The same applies to large Soviet bomber raids against bases in the UK and France out of Kola airfields. I have repeatedly trashed NATO bases by simply not attacking directly via the shortest route over Norway, but rather going South first and turning over the North Sea to 270° flying to the targets. The AI has almost no chance to react to that, since most of the air patrols are stationed somewhere north of Britain / close to Norway. You can pull off 30 aircraft Badger raids like that, without getting spotted until you have launched. This is ridiculous. Imagine what a target a 30 Badger group would make on any radar...

 

What I am tired of right now, frankly, is getting "jumped" by a group of 60 Tomahawk missiles appearing 20 miles off my air base. That's just insane... And they have been flying over water for like half an hour within range of multiple airborne radars... But sure, the game engine treats 1 Tomahawk the same as 60 of them in terms of detection.

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Perhaps the problem is how each of one is playing the game. Task: Sind a Kirov BCGN. Weapons at hand: 24 A-6 Intruders armed with 2 Harpoons each on an aircraft carrier 500 miles away.

 

What do you do?

1. Launch 8 groups of 3 A-6s each, wait until they are all launched and every group at the same distance from the aircraft carrier and then order them to attack simultaneously. Then order all the groups to land, one by one? Good. That's probably how you could do it and it would probably be the closest to reality. It would probably cost me a lot of nerves to find loiter points at the same distance from the Kirov and then order all of the eight groups to move in, let alone launch more or less at the same time. And we all know a Kirov can shoot down 48 Harpoon missiles with its SAMs if they come at it over an extended period of time and not all at once.

 

2. Launch 1 group fo 24 A6s, send it to kill the Kirov, order it back to land. Surely that's the easiest way to do it. And frankly, that's the way I'd do it.

 

Now, what's the problem here? The problem is that the Kirov will see that 24 A6 raid just as easily or hardly as a 3-aircraft raid. And that shouldn't be the case, in my opinion. Those 24 aircraft should be easier to detect.

 

Approach #1 is definitely how I play. Approach #2 is often how the AI plays. And the other problem is that you are seeing those 24x A-6 as one massive clump of Grumman metal, i.e. like a Borg cube if you will.

 

I am not sure why enhancing detection capabilities would make the game easier of the AI.

You would not be enhancing detection capabilities. You would be making aircraft and missiles easier to detect. There's a difference.

 

Big formations of aircraft are not something used exclusively by the AI.

 

It is when I play.

 

Furthermore the AI chronically suffers from correct placement of AEW-assets and adequate air patrols in Harpoon, often not spotting aircraft coming in from non-prime threat vectors. Going not over the "typical" Great Britain - Iceland gap when attacking Keflavik, but rather attacking directly from the South is a common trick used when attacking the AI in GIUK/NAVC-Cold War scenarios. The same applies to large Soviet bomber raids against bases in the UK and France out of Kola airfields. I have repeatedly trashed NATO bases by simply not attacking directly via the shortest route over Norway, but rather going South first and turning over the North Sea to 270° flying to the targets. The AI has almost no chance to react to that, since most of the air patrols are stationed somewhere north of Britain / close to Norway. You can pull off 30 aircraft Badger raids like that, without getting spotted until you have launched. This is ridiculous. Imagine what a target a 30 Badger group would make on any radar...

 

These are failings of the scenario writer and the placement of units in the game. And again, you are imagining that 30x Badger group as a single clump of metal, when really they would not be. Radar does not instantly detect 30x Badgers, as explained earlier (and below).

 

What I am tired of right now, frankly, is getting "jumped" by a group of 60 Tomahawk missiles appearing 20 miles off my air base. That's just insane... And they have been flying over water for like half an hour within range of multiple airborne radars... But sure, the game engine treats 1 Tomahawk the same as 60 of them in terms of detection.

Welcome to the closest approximation to real life that Harpoon can muster. If we had a terrain model, a realistic weather model and ToT targeting, you would be really unhappy. And, again, real radar does not instantly detect 60x Tomahawks. It detects a contact, then another, and another ... gets a bearing, and another ... an altitude, a speed ... gets a raid count, etc, etc. You're getting far more information (and far more quickly) than would actually be the case. In other words, the game is already easier than it ought to be.

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Well, it seems then, that it all has to do with how one plays. Perhaps we should ask how everyone else plays.

Do people use large groups of aircraft (say 10+) commonly or do they stick only to small groups of aircraft?

 

 

The problem for me is not, that the radar won't detect all 60 Tomahawks at once. The problem is it won't detect anything at all, although there are 60 missiles out there. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to know that there are 60 missiles out there because radar picked up one of them. I would be happy to know that some missile(s) are out there at all. That would give me a chance to investigate.

 

As far as claiming, that this will make the game easier, I cannot agree with you. The bigger chance of getting detected can actually help the AI fight off attacks on its bases and ships, something the AI often fails doing.

 

 

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Well, it seems then, that it all has to do with how one plays. Perhaps we should ask how everyone else plays. Do people use large groups of aircraft (say 10+) commonly or do they stick only to small groups of aircraft?

Rather more importantly, how does the AI play. The AI tends to throw the kitchen sink, which at times results in large group attacks.

 

The problem for me is not, that the radar won't detect all 60 Tomahawks at once. The problem is it won't detect anything at all, although there are 60 missiles out there.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to know that there are 60 missiles out there because radar picked up one of them. I would be happy to know that some missile(s) are out there at all.

That would give me a chance to investigate.

Sounds to me like your real complaint is with the RCS of the missiles attacking you.

 

I don't like the fact that the game will detect and report a 60x missile attack (for example), but you might actually only locate those missiles in piecemeal fashion, in smaller sub groups. I would much rather that it reported only what it actually observed.

 

As far as claiming, that this will make the game easier, I cannot agree with you. The bigger chance of getting detected can actually help the AI fight off attacks on its bases and ships, something the AI often fails doing.

The AI is not nearly as smart or enterprising as the player. Nor can it be. I've been around the game long enough to know that until other improvements are made, this change would not be a good one.

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I think a very important thing to come to light (for me) is CV32's appraisal of the AI attack with big numbers ie it is our best available simulation of a real life attack by a number of groups approaching with varied timing, vector and altitude. To me this really gives justice to AI using this approach, and as it would be very hard (if possible) to code AI to 'think' better I'm quite happy to accept it.

On the other hand the player is capable of splitting the attack and this is how I approach it.

One thing it teaches the player is the need for very good screening, and that seems pretty realistic.

Perhaps the biggest problem here is actually that if the player does a very good job of screening the AI looses a huge number of assets. I guess in part this is why many scenario writers give (under brained) AI a healthy asset advantage at the start?

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I think a very important thing to come to light (for me) is CV32's appraisal of the AI attack with big numbers ie it is our best available simulation of a real life attack by a number of groups approaching with varied timing, vector and altitude. To me this really gives justice to AI using this approach, and as it would be very hard (if possible) to code AI to 'think' better I'm quite happy to accept it. On the other hand the player is capable of splitting the attack and this is how I approach it. One thing it teaches the player is the need for very good screening, and that seems pretty realistic. Perhaps the biggest problem here is actually that if the player does a very good job of screening the AI looses a huge number of assets. I guess in part this is why many scenario writers give (under brained) AI a healthy asset advantage at the start?

 

You're right on the money, Don. The usual score for me is 10 to 1 in my favour. I would call that fairly easy gameplay. If there are ways to improve the AI (or alternatively, dull the player's natural advantage), I am generally in favour of those approaches. The decreased turn rate is one attempt at that.

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