From: Washington D.C.
The runway damage model is actually one of my pet peeves. In Command, damaging the runway has the effect of reducing the sortie rate of that base so even after sustaining a few hits, depending on the type of weapon, you might see sorties.
In reality, the issue with runway damage is how long the longest usable length of runway is and the minimum takeoff/landing distance for a given aircraft. So, if the runway is long enough, you could put a crater smack in the middle of it, and still fly 100% of your original sortie rate if the aircraft based at that base can safely takeoff and land in 50% the original length of the runway. If they can't, there's no reduction in the sortie rate, it's just shut down to those aircraft. It might remain opened with no impact to helicopters, VTOL aircraft, STOL aircraft, etc. By the same token, it might remain opened to fighters, but closed to heavies like tankers, bombers and cargo aircraft (on account of their longer takeoff and landing distance). Cratering runways is about cutting it into sections too short to be used. Need 1000 ft to take off? On a 2000 ft runway, I need to put more than one big hole in the right places and if I do, it's completely closed to that aircraft type. You might shut down a runway with one hit in the right place, or 3 hits, or 2 hits, or 4 hits. It just depends on placement and what kinds of aircraft are there. Command doesn't really capture that. You just get a sortie rate reduction that might eventually get down to zero.
That being said, repairing the runway and getting sorties started again, is a real phenomena. Cratering the runway is only temporarily effective as crews can repair them fairly quickly. Although there's things one might do to slow them down (scattering air dropped mines all over the airfield might be one tactic). I don't believe Command captures that either, though.
If you're concerned that aircraft are getting up again, in spite of your efforts to shut down the airport, you should consider quickly following up with strikes on opened parking, hangers, hardened shelters, and revetments as well as some kind of fighter sweep over the airport to knock down any aircraft which might have gotten up to challenge you. The thing that makes airbases dangerous is the airplanes anyhow. Cratering the runways just keeps them on the ground for a short time where they can't fight back. Strikes against airports need to be fairly major efforts. There's so much which an airport needs to work. It needs runways, it needs gas, it needs airplanes. If you lack any one of those, then it's shut down. A serious strike against them needs to target all three points of failure simultaneously. Then on top of that there's the air defenses, so there needs to be missions targeting them at the same time. To make matters worse, you probably have to fight your way through clouds of fighters in order to get to it.
This isn't a job for just a small number of aircraft. It takes a fairly large package of aircraft to do it, and they all need to be timed right in order to maximize their effectiveness, with all of them arriving either in rapid succession or simultaneously. Depending on the defenses, it might take a few waves and several squadrons of aircraft to really take down one airbase. Airbase attacks are a great way to hone your Excel spreadsheet skills, honestly.
Does anyone know what the Damage Percentage Number is set at to suppress the runway? I haven't really done any testing, but to me it seems as though it's somewhere around 75 percent. So, when the runway sustains 75 percent, or more, the runway is no longer usable. Is that correct?
The reason that I bring this up, is that I often find that I am able to suppress the runways, but a little while later it seems that the planes are back flying out of the base again. I assume that that means that the runways was repaired. I do know that damage is repairable, but exactly how fast does something like a runway get repaired. If it works similar to how I think (which is pretty cool), my missiles suppress the base by reaching, and slightly surpassing the 75 percent threshold. I then launch various follow-up attacks around that air base, only to find the base launching planes again, after I thought that it was suppressed.
So, if the threshold is 75 percent, as I think, and I inflict 75.8 percent damage, thereby suppressing the base, will the base automatically become operational again after the damage is repaired and the damage percentage falls back under 75 percent?
Again, I'm not certain of the number, but for the purpose of this discussion, I used the number that I thought was most accurate to illustrate my point.
< Message edited by SeaQueen -- 7/6/2017 3:18:14 PM >