Thanks again for another interesting scenario.
I agree that moving up the reaction times to trim scenario length would be helpful, and the independent tank battalion definitely deserves its chance to shine. (That might give something for the late-arriving Ghurkas to face. Otherwise they're a lot of management with no effect on the final outcome.)
I manually activated the WP strikes on Banak to see what would happen. The strike aircraft come in from the east, and attack the geographically closest targets that are identified as hostile. This means they usually overfly a number of contacts that are only yellow unknowns, hit a few known paratrooper units, and then start bombing the essentially indestructible airbase facilities (access points, runway, parking spots, etc.). These targets will soak up all the remaining attacks, and thus the WP planes are unable to attack the remainder of the NATO troops which are further away.
You can avoid these issues of attacks getting "stuck" on Banak airfield facilities by changing how the capture works. If Banak doesn’t switch to NATO, but instead switches to a new side (e.g. 'Banak Liberated') which is Neutral to the WP and Friendly to NATO, then the Pact will ignore it for targeting purposes, and NATO can still use it as an allied base. The Banak Liberated side could be set to blind, to prevent any accidental information sharing. This lets the WP concentrate on the NATO troops only. (The same changes would have to be done for the replacement runway and helipad, I think.)
When Banak flips the Soviet aircraft there can still continue to launch, land, and reload. So, if the NATO player has not destroyed all the aircraft in advance (they probably have), they can have the peculiar situation of being attacked repeatedly from their own airbase. I don’t think there’s any way to attack your own base to stop it, unless you use the editor. Is there a way to delete landed planes by Lua, and select new bases for any in flight, maybe 10-15 minutes after the initial landing? Somewhat of an edge case, but strange when it happens.
It may be worth making the WP weapons free. Other than the hidden Spetznaz, the WP is unlikely to have many spotters left around Banak by the time the fighting starts, so most NATO contacts will be yellows, and thus get ignored, or circled endlessly once all the reds are gone.
Had you wanted WP aircraft to be able to strafe? At the moment strafing is turned off, but it might be particularly appropriate for the Frogfoots and Hinds, which are only going to be launching because they’re surrounded and about to be overrun, so desperate measures may be warranted. Strafing can be quite nasty against soft targets.
At the moment all the WP aircraft are set to expend their complete weapons load on one target. This is great for survivability, but can result in overkill against a single target. If you wanted to make the WP aircraft spread out their attacks more you could set WRA to expend fewer munitions per target (e.g. 1 cluster bomb, a set of 8 light bombs, rockets, etc.). This would engage many more targets, acting like prolonged CAS, at the cost of staying in the air defences longer. Probably okay while they’re only facing Blowpipes, more problematic once the Rapiers arrive. It can also lead to funny looking bomb behaviour, when multiple salvos can go in different directions simultaneously.
With the airdrop scheduled to happen just before dusk, an immediate WP airstrike would presumably arrive in the dark. However, it looks like most of those planes have no effective night vision. CMO will let them bomb in total darkness, but maybe, for storyline purposes, they would not be available until the following morning?
I also found that the WP ground troops at Banak, or the group up at Kunes, don't shoot the NATO forces. If you turn them to Engage Opportunity = Yes then they will shoot. However, when I did this the artillery started bombarding airfield facilities instead of concentrating on the NATO troops. If you have the Banak facilities on their own side, as mentioned above, then this is no longer an issue.
Units on the Banak React mission (both the QRF and the 17th) will not shoot at units outside the small square of their patrol zone on the airfield itself. There are almost certainly going to be NATO ground units in their path (the player has been instructed to spread out 10-15 miles from Banak), so the force will be defenceless against anything guarding the road. Engage Opportunity = Yes solves this one as well. I think they need to be Weapons Free as well, otherwise they tend to stop and stare at yellows, without advancing or engaging them.
I had sort of expected more low-level air defence for the 17th - maybe some ZSU-23-4s or SA-9/13s. Since these units can’t currently fire on the move (nor can the BTR-ZDs), or stop to shoot when an aircraft is in range, they would have to be pre-deployed. Possibly they would have some sort of route security taking up positions in advance, such as some air defence/MANPADS units and scout cars discretely adopting guard positions along the E-6 highway before the player gets the intel warning? That way they would have a semi-secure corridor to advance along. (This might also give something for the player's reconnaissance assets to find. At the moment there's not a lot that proactive reconnaissance can do.)
Currently, the 17th is guarded by a pair of SA-6s, which are illuminating while moving. I'm not sure if the SA-6 radars are actually able to do that?
One reason I was able to destroy the 17th entirely with air-power was that I made extensive use of strafing to destroy the BMPs and other light targets. At the moment, CMO allows 20mm bursts to easily kill light armour, so each F-18 can reliably destroy over a platoon of the enemy. In reality, I suspect success rates would be much lower. Players using missions without strafing will see many more units get through.
There are two Soviet units underwater SE of Banak (AT Pl 2/251st MRR, 54 MRD, AGL Pl 2/251st MRR, 54 MRD) Although the map shows it to be land, the actual elevation in that area is below sea level (-5m). Although the units can spot and be spotted, they cannot shoot or be shot.
Incidentally, what was the role of the small mech group up by Kunes?
I'll confess I did make some changes to the allied forces.
The main change was in how the tankers work. I did not need the entire tanker push that the special action currently gives. The only situation where they were needed was for the C-17s, and I needed the tankers further up the coast than the pre-set orbit off Scotland. So, I switched sides, manually activated the KC-135s, and flew them up the coast alongside the C-17s. None of the other planes needed tanking, though I was ready to use the VC-10s for the C-130s coming back from the Ghurkas delivery, in case my estimate was wrong. In the end I did not need them.
I didn't use the fighter push (although if the Banak attack had happened I probably would have), but I did change the missions to single-plane racetracks, rather than flights on random paths, in order to reduce fuel usage. I also eliminated the prosecution zones, intending to take manual control for any actual fighting.
I used the SEAD push when the 17th came in, but not the initial Banak landing. Like the fighter missions, I left the patrol zone in the same spot, but manually directed the F-18s to bring the fighters S of Banak when it came time to make the actual attacks.
There doesn't seem to be any activation for the mission Tanker South. The 'Push Tankers' special action assigns six tankers to the mission, but the mission itself is not activated.
The Push SEAD mission is set to the 1/3rd rule, while the other Push missions are set to send all their planes at once. I'm not sure if this is intentional, to provide prolonged coverage? It seemed to work well in my case.
The Veh BLP Captured and Veh Park Dmgd triggers are both damage threshold triggers. Were the triggers supposed to be a Unit Enters Area trigger? It seemed a little odd that I was required to destroy the targets, when I had an entire brigade on the ground which could capture them and leave them intact in my control. In the end, it was a rare chance to use my saboteurs, rather than wasting heavy ordnance.
The delivery of the M113s, Scorpions, and Rapiers has them teleport in a kilometer or more away from the runway for the armour, or up in the hills for the Rapiers, and it took a bit of hunting around to find them. My initial thought was that they would be on or along-side the runway, where they had dropped.
The ‘Sitrep 31 Apr 2100’ event actually happens 31 Mar 2100. The title is in error, the setting is correct.
The ‘Banak Timer 12 hrs – Points’ trigger is set for a duration of 5 days, so the Retain Banak event will not fire.
The ‘Banak Timer 3 hrs – Scud’ trigger is set for 2 hours, rather than 3.
The “Time 1 Apr 1800 – 30 Sqn” trigger actually happens at 2000. This matches the briefing, so it is probably the title that is wrong, not the time setting.
The ‘+250’ action only gives +100.
The special action ‘Assign 2x A-6F loaded AGM-65F Mavericks’ has an incorrect score setting text of 'Activation of 4x A6F with Mk82'.
The special action ‘Assign 2x A-6F loaded CBU-59’ has an incorrect score setting text of 'Activation of 4x A6F with Mk82'.
Misc typos, etc.
Scenario description - "the Soviets will surly strike back hard." (surely)
The scenario description also mentions that "Points are allotted or deducted for losses, and for detecting various submarines", but submarine detection is not possible in this scenario.
Side briefing - "251s Motor Rifle Regt (MRR) deployed" (251st)
Side briefing - "Battalion ara of BANAK" (area)
Side briefing - "Battalion area KARASJOK near Finish Boarder" (border)
Side briefing - "and the Hurcs doing the combat unloading" (Hercs)
Side briefing - "These will be captured when enough damgae is done to them." (damage)
Side briefing - "supported by 7 Para RA" (should RA be RHA?)
Side briefing - “1800Z 1 Apr: 57 ALS at RAF Mildenhall” (17 ALS)
Units - the 436 Squadron C-130s at Ryk are called 'Elaphants' (Elephants)
Event action, Lua - Parking area captured - "we will sweep it for intelegence." (intelligence)
Event action, Lua - A6 Timer 2 inactive – “Sir, Four A-6F VA-65 #5 & 6 are now…” (two)
Event action, Lua - A6 Timer 3 inactive – “Sir, Four A-6F VA-65 #7 & 8 are now…” (two)
The Special Action 'Assign 2 x A-6F loaded CBU-59' has '[CLONE]' at the start of its description.