From: Milan, Italy
Where is Vinnie Beretta's self-righteous indignation when you need it.....
It is neither for sale nor for public use
OMFG!!! Using "helper" units and other tricks to work around game engine issues and improve a scenario experience!!!
Everybody does that, and you can find intelligent work-arounds for any kind of game-problems related not only to Harpoon but to TOAW 3, Steel Panthers, you name it.
Usually, these workarounds are either announced in the scenario briefing or put in the "house rules" that the player should expect to follow to play the scenario correctly. This can be waived when the workaround itself is totally invisible, and has the only function to make the AI behave in a more correct way.
However, if you - just to give an example - know from the scenario briefing (or from the situation) that you are going against SSNGs, deploy an adequate ASW screen, and the SSNG fire anyway BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT THERE, BUT THEY ARE SIMULATED BY MISSILE MOUNTED ON INVISIBLE WEATHER BALLOOONS. Not only this is kept hidden in the briefing, but the scenario is then bragged around as "to be played with realistic tactics for the maximum realism" (usualy in a context of disparagement of other people's work); this is no more a "workaround": this is cheating, because TRUTH IS THAT REALISTIC TACTICS WILL NOT WORK.
If an SSNG (or anything else) is out there I want to have a fair chance to find it using ASW tactics. OR a warning in the briefing that her attack will be simulated by an "event"; fair enough: Hearts of Iron 2 does this all the time - the player knows it, it is part of the accepted rules, life goes on.
And then someone with a carrier smoking in the water opens up a scenario in the editor to check where that damned SSNG was, and instead finds in her place a ballooon race (a stunning experience, trust me); when this happens suddently checking scenarios becomes "cheating" and whined about stronger than a 757 taking off right outside your window (by those promoting them as "the hallmark in realism" of course).
Below is an example from "Clash of Titans" for DB2000. Download the scenario, open up it in the scenario editor, check for yourself. Then please point to me how one could try to protect his carriers agains non-existant SSNGs fully able to fire missiles anyway.
Here is my self-righteous indignation when you need it. Satisfied?