From: Washington D.C.
I tend to agree with Blast33 that CMANO probably overestimates the capabilities of defensive weapons. This is particularly noticeable in modern scenarios where basically the only way to defeat systems like Aegis or S-300 is to throw weapons at them faster than they can shoot them down.
I think that in the absence of hard data it's very difficult to say whether or not it overestimates or underestimates the capabilities. Regardless of what the "real" number might actually be, I can say that I've defeated both S-300s and S-400s (in combination!) in Command with a combination of stealth, cruise missiles, ECM and decoys. It takes a bit of thought, but if you sit down and look at the numbers it can be done. I think it's also important to recognize that the "You've got X shots and I've got X+1 shots so I win," is a perfectly valid tactic, sometimes. In that case, the given engagement may be less a duel of weapons systems, and more a duel of logistic systems.
I also think in the gaming community there's sometimes a tendency to regard the tactical employment of weapons systems as a series of pairwise duels between competing systems (e.g. S-400 v. AARGM), where one system due to it's supposed intrinsic superiority should inevitably emerge victorious due to some largely qualitative and scenario independent engagement level analysis. Among other things, such a perspective neglects the importance of tactics, and minimizes the role of the player in game. It also neglects that in any decently challenging scenario, weapons ought to be arranged to be employed together in complimentary, creative, ways. Rarely should one be faced with the problem of defeating JUST a SAM, in my mind, but rather, multiple SAMs of varying capabilities, enemy CAPs, AAA, MANPADS, search radars all arrayed in overlapping, complimentary fashion to protect some other target (e.g. airbase, industrial facilities, logistic facilities, fuel storage, C2 facilities, ground units, ballistic missile sites, chemical weapons storage facilities... it could be lots of stuff!). Some of the least interesting and least realistic scenarios I've ever seen revolved around destroying SAM sites for their own sake, rather than because you wanted to get to something else that it was defending. Dude! Go around!
The more I've played the game, both as a hobby and on the professional end, the more I've come to appreciate how indispensible the player is. Sure you can defeat an S-400 by shooting lots of missiles at him (that's one tactic), but you can also outfox it too if you're clever. Maybe you're not approaching the problem correctly, ever think of that? Have you looked at supporting aircraft or the value of terrain, for instance?
Still there is something I've noticed with CMANO that may explain this problem - the game assumes that all systems are on full alert and operating at 100%. In the real world this is rarely the case, and distractions, surprise, fear, and fatigue will substantially reduce the on paper effectiveness of weapon. While modelling such effects would likely present a considerable challenge, it would likely substantially improve the realism of CMANO.
It's actually not that challenging in the existing framework, although it might require a bit of thought and programming. One way to do it might be to use LUA to randomize each unit's proficiency at start up. Perhaps give each unit a .60 probability of being "regular" and .30 probability of being "veteran?" You can slice it up any which way you want in order to make some units more and less responsive.
Another way to do it becomes apparent when you consider that most scenarios start with each unit "fresh," in the sense that it's weapons rails are full. Their magazines are full, and they are ready to go. While this represents the "worst/best case" scenario, it probably isn't the best representation for any day of the war past D-Day. This could be easily remedied if on start up, you randomized units so as to put them varying states of reloading. What fraction should be expended, though? How empty ought their magazines be? I have no idea. Do you?
Another thing to do (which I've already done) is use LUA to have SAMs "blink" their search radars. I've found this actually has very minimal impact on their effectiveness, however, although it sometimes creates a problem for ISR systems attempting to pinpoint them. The reason is that due to most SAM systems having some kind of information sharing with other radars and SAM systems, they don't all need to have their search radars on at once. "Blinking" doesn't result in much loss of information for them, in any sufficiently complex vignette.
Another thing to make SAMs more survivable would be to make SAMs "shoot and scoot" which others have done in the past. I'm surprised its not more widespread, although I have to confess I'm often too lazy to implement similar tactics in my own scenarios. This would make more SAMs less available due to them being in transit or hiding. The result is fewer SAMs being shot.
There's also the possibility that SAM sites might not actually be SAM sites. Although it isn't reflected in the database, decoys are a factor in the real world. Decoys were widespread in the Balkans campaign for instance. A SAM site might appear to be an SA-2, but in fact be a blow up balloon or even a crude assembly of telephone poles that looks like a credible SAM site through a FLIR tube at 30k feet and 500 knots. It's possible that decoys might possess sophisticated electronics to mimic the emissions of a SAM site, even. Attacking a decoy (crude or otherwise) might appear to be a kill, while the real SAM site has already moved to a good hiding spot.
Another thing which might limit the effectiveness of older SAMs against higher end system has nothing to do with the Pk at all, but rather, doctrine. A Pk of ~40% is pretty unexciting even if it's non-zero. Perhaps such systems ought to have doctrine settings for "engage guided weapons" or perhaps certain classes of weapons set to "Do not engage?" There is a difference between having the technical capability to defeat a weapons system (sometimes) and whether one would actually try to do it as a matter of tactics and doctrine. If having a substantial probability (e.g. >0.9) of knocking down the missile requires shooting 4 or more missiles for every missile you knock down, you're just draining your magazines. Unless it's in self defense, why? The fact that the doctrine settings haven't been set for such systems with minimal capability suggests it's a scenario design issue not a database issue.
Another smaller but possibly contributing factor is that I see the weapons endgame calculations do not show any sort of size modifier. This might be a simpler way of toning down the effectiveness of defensive weapons against things like SDB.
I personally have no problem with them targeting the SDB at all. Weapons systems are surprisingly fragile things, guided weapons systems even more so. It only takes a small fragment from a warhead to sheer the wing off or hopelessly smash the guidance computer. In the absence of hard data, we have only your sense of how things ought to be. What if someone else's sense is different? Having sat in some meetings where very learned engineers were asked about the Pk of weapon X versus weapon Y, only to have them shrug and say, "I don't know," I've come to regard these conversations as often academic at best, and of marginal reliability.
Personally, I wish they'd put the various modifiers in a data file so they could be played with. The truth is that much of weapon's effectiveness against one another is shrouded in as much uncertainty as it is secrecy. The results that engineers come up with in testing may not be for public consumption typically, but even if they were, it's uncertain they'd actually perform that way anyhow. In my opinion fixation on specific numbers is actually less important than people often make it out to be, particularly for the hobby community. The number is what it is. Assume it's decent, and develop your coarse of action from that. Therein lies the puzzle. Fixation on specific numbers typically comes from weapons fetishists obsessed with their favorite gizmo and disappointed that someone else views their baby more skeptically than they do! Perhaps a more healthy attitude is to observe that in the game, a given course of action was ineffective and ask one's self, "Now what?"
< Message edited by SeaQueen -- 8/11/2019 2:41:01 PM >