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RE: Airplane Defense Logic

 
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RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/15/2020 9:11:29 PM   
LetMePickThat

 

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Maybe the type of evasive could be determined by the range to the launcher (I'm thinking about SAMs here, not aircrafts). If the SAM bty launching the missile have been detected by the evading plane (either via RWR, direct observation, sensor or even remote sensing in the case of planes equipped with the needed datalink), then the plane could make a guess about the likely range of the missile involved and choose the best course of action (flee or beam) accordingly.

In the case the launcher is unknown, then the evasive maneuver could be determined by the distance between the missile and the plane. Maybe the range value at which the change of maneuver is made could be user adjustable, as part of the doctrine.

(in reply to Dimitris)
Post #: 31
RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/15/2020 10:25:16 PM   
ChickenSim

 

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Summarizing my thoughts on discord, this probably has the potential to open up a number of cans of worms.

The two largest cans in my opinion are those of pilot skill and intent to go hot/cold.

In terms of pilot skill, this definitely brings with it more than just an in-game OODA delay. In CMO/CMANO terms, the higher-skilled pilot brings with them implicitly higher quality intelligence, a better plan, a better brief, and better decision-making and teamwork, with less uncertainty in action. IFTT decision-making trees would naturally need to incorporate the chance that the wrong decision, or none at all (paralysis) is arrived at.

Intent to go hot/cold is similar to the BVR tactics panel, where you can make a choice on the spectrum of cranking and dragging versus following the missile straight into the merge. In determining what an aircraft/pilot decides to do in the event of a SAM launch, there is a similar spectrum based on the range/time-space-distance calculations for deciding whether to just change course slightly to stay out of the WEZ, hit the deck and run, weave away from the threat 135° until you're out of range (attempting to notch with each roll reversal), beam the threat and wait until the missile is defeated to roll back in or get out of the WEZ, weave toward the threat ~45° to attempt to engage at closer range or get past the threat at the real target, (if the TTI of the SAM is greater than the TTI of the pilot's own ARM) to fire back, or have the package roll in hot and hope at least one pilot survives the ingress to take out the threat. Being able to pick these options in Doctrine might be the easiest solution?

And if there's aggressive intent, one forum post probably isn't enough to adequately describe every combination of a section of aircraft hitting the deck to break LOS and executing off-axis pop attacks with mutual support to try and put the SAM into a no-win situation, only able to shoot at one target or the other.

< Message edited by ChickenSim -- 1/15/2020 10:37:46 PM >

(in reply to LetMePickThat)
Post #: 32
RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/15/2020 11:01:58 PM   
Eggstor

 

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ChickenSim put to words my thoughts better than I could have.

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RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/16/2020 12:58:53 AM   
DWReese

 

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First, let me say thank you for being willing to discuss this like you are doing.

I do like your idea. I think that you are on the right track.

To me, its seems that you could use some sort of math equation (based on probability) to determine the best course of action. For example, if a SAM has an 80 percent kill rate, and the distance is 10 miles, and you can eliminate 15 percent by taking evasive action by turning back toward the SAM, or reduce the kill percentage by 5 percent by attempting to run, then the evasive action would win by a score of 65 to 75. But, eventually, you will get to a point where one will out weigh the other. Also, you should probably include the thinking that IF you survive the FIRST SAM shot, any follow up shot will be from a further distance, thereby increasing the pilot's chance of survival. By constantly moving AWAY from the SAM, your chance of survival goes up. Each time you move closer to the SAM, it goes down.

Thanks again for at least discussing this.

(in reply to Dimitris)
Post #: 34
RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/16/2020 3:18:13 AM   
Rebel Yell


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dimitris



While typing this, I just realized that a middle-of-road compromise might be workable: Keep the above-described behavior while evading shots from aircraft (OR if the evading aircraft is SEAD-tasked, in which case it does want to get closer to the SAM), but opt for the first approach if evading SAMs (in which case we asume that the aircraft does prefer to stay away from them rather than duel them).

Would this work?



I think that would be infinitely preferable.

_____________________________

Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who don't.

(in reply to Dimitris)
Post #: 35
RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/16/2020 9:37:33 PM   
LargeDiameterBomb

 

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I have noticed this "problem" as well with AI behavior. That said I am not presuming to speak for DWReese but his posts have only mentioned SAMs and as he has described the issue in this thread I broadly agree with him.

Dimitri, your suggestion would be a good thing for me if the devs don't want too spend much time on this (Which I wholeheartedly understand as the amount of work in the last months must have been grueling).


To answer Apache85 otherwise a slightly more optimized solution would be

IF missile is an AAM THEN perform evasion maneuver
IF missile is a SAM AND of unknown type AND within 5 nm of a/c at time of detection THEN perform evasive maneuver,
IF aircraft is not destroyed THEN go to X, IF aircraft is destroyed END
X
IF no illuminating radar detected THEN dive and run on approx same course as missile had
when detected until no more missiles pose a threat, continue run for 5 sec after last
missile posed a threat
IF an illuminating radar is detected THEN dive and run from detected illuminating FCR until
no more missiles pose a threat, continue run for 5 sec after last missile posed a threat
IF missile is a SAM AND of unknown type AND more than 5 nm from aircraft at time of detection THEN dive and run on course that allows observation of missile and take evasive maneuver when missile reaches 2,5 nm from aircraft, REPEAT until no more missiles from same launcher is a threat, continue run for 5 sec after last missile posed a threat
IF missile is a SAM AND a SAM launcher has previously been identified (Not detected, only identified. Sic!) in a 60 degree cone extending backwards from the detected missile in a thought-up axis extending from aircraft to detected missile THEN perform rough calculation (With some chance of error, perhaps amount of error depending on pilot skill) assuming identified SAM launcher as threat to decide if chance of outrunning (presumed) missile (type) exists, IF TRUE go to Y, IF FALSE dive and run
Y
IF endgame chance of hit roughly anticipated to more than 5 % dive and run anyway
IF endgame chance of hit roughly anticipated to less than or equal to 5 % perform evasive
maneuver
IF unknown illuminating fire control radar detected THEN aicraft(s) being illuminated dives and runs from illuminating FCR on optimal course
IF illuminting FCR detected and identified AND illuminating radar associated with specific missile type/types THEN use actual missile range to perform rough calculation (With some chance of error) to decide if chance of outrunning presumed missile type exists, IF TRUE then dive and run, IF FALSE go to X

(EDIT: I apologize for not being able to structure the IF-THENs as they should be laid out but the forum software doesn't seem to recognize blank spaces at the start of a new row).

All numeric values are there as suggestions much more than definitive proposals. I only thought this up as I wrote it so I might have missed something and I am in no way sure that my solution is optimal or how easy it would be to implement, but
1) It would allow closing in on old, outdated SAM Systems with a almost zero chance of a hit with a modern aircraft with a (Compared to the SAM system) very modern self protection EW system (DECM in CMO parlance).
2) while always running away if it seems like a possibility to reach outside the missile's envelope in time (Which gives a zero probability of being hit) and
3) at the same time always running away from advanced SAMs
4) Also makes aircraft run away from suddenly appearing illuminating fire control radars mounted on prevously undiscovered SAM systems even when no missile is detected yet which might be a good thing if one is flying above the height of cloud cover and thus cannot visually acquire a missile while
5) Maintaining realism at a reasonable level.

The last two IF-THENs are kind of optional though (Running away from illuminators) an probably would require an option in doctrine to disable it as it would be easy to make an opponents aircraft run away just by turning on an illuminator, which in the game would be detected by all aircraft in the vicinity of said illuminator and just not the one or two aircraft in realty being painted (Ie being inside the highly directional illuminating radar's beam) as CMO doesn't model the highly directional characteristics of illuminators as regards detection by RWR/ESM equipment.
I am also aware that many SAM systems with the same illuminator use different missiles with different ranges (Eg Buk and Buk-M1) but I think there is a case for using the real value of the missile range since what equipment the enemy has access to would most likely be known in almost all real life cases. It does become a problem with regards to realism if a side in the game uses for instance both Buk and Buk-M1 systems though, but such occasions are fairly uncommon.

Also, running at high altitude if the calculations indicate the aircraft can escape the SAM that way might be an idea to use against missiles with early 2000s or later active seekers since background clutter probably won't give much of a protection for an aircraft being targeted by such a missile (In other words, almost all missiles with the characteristic "Capable versus Sea-skimmer" in-game) anyway.

As a side note, it's somewhat unfortunate that DECM systems does not function in a more realistic way in CMO, ie the same way as OECM systems so the system could break the lock-on from the tracking radar and then the missile would quickly veer of course, which the pilot would notice and which would not lead to any evasive maneuvering. For instance an AN/ALQ-211 self protection ECM system coming up against an non-upgraded SA-2f would probably be able to break lock almost all of the time, except at very short ranges.
It would be very handy if a DECM system would be able to jam a single or perhaps a few emitters, the latter on more modern aircraft or aircraft with two pilots, with much lower jamming power than ECM systems but enough to break lock-on for incoming missiles. That would make this problem much easier to solve.

I of course understand that the developers have to make a lot of compromises to get a functional and smooth running game with today's hardware and an excellent job they have done!

< Message edited by LargeDiameterBomb -- 1/16/2020 9:43:00 PM >

(in reply to Dimitris)
Post #: 36
RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/16/2020 10:33:20 PM   
BrianinMinnie

 

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"While typing this, I just realized that a middle-of-road compromise might be workable: Keep the above-described behavior while evading shots from aircraft (OR if the evading aircraft is SEAD-tasked, in which case it does want to get closer to the SAM), but opt for the first approach if evading SAMs (in which case we assume that the aircraft does prefer to stay away from them rather than duel them)."

Yes!!!

in the immortal words of Ben Franklin........... "Make it so"

(in reply to Dimitris)
Post #: 37
RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/16/2020 10:44:21 PM   
BrianinMinnie

 

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Dude!!

quote:

I have noticed this "problem" as well with AI behavior. That said I am not presuming to speak for DWReese but his posts have only mentioned SAMs and as he has described the issue in this thread I broadly agree with him.

Dimitri, your suggestion would be a good thing for me if the devs don't want too spend much time on this (Which I wholeheartedly understand as the amount of work in the last months must have been grueling).


To answer Apache85 otherwise a slightly more optimized solution would be

IF missile is an AAM THEN perform evasion maneuver
IF missile is a SAM AND of unknown type AND within 5 nm of a/c at time of detection THEN perform evasive maneuver,
IF aircraft is not destroyed THEN go to X, IF aircraft is destroyed END
X
IF no illuminating radar detected THEN dive and run on approx same course as missile had
when detected until no more missiles pose a threat, continue run for 5 sec after last
missile posed a threat
IF an illuminating radar is detected THEN dive and run from detected illuminating FCR until
no more missiles pose a threat, continue run for 5 sec after last missile posed a threat
IF missile is a SAM AND of unknown type AND more than 5 nm from aircraft at time of detection THEN dive and run on course that allows observation of missile and take evasive maneuver when missile reaches 2,5 nm from aircraft, REPEAT until no more missiles from same launcher is a threat, continue run for 5 sec after last missile posed a threat
IF missile is a SAM AND a SAM launcher has previously been identified (Not detected, only identified. Sic!) in a 60 degree cone extending backwards from the detected missile in a thought-up axis extending from aircraft to detected missile THEN perform rough calculation (With some chance of error, perhaps amount of error depending on pilot skill) assuming identified SAM launcher as threat to decide if chance of outrunning (presumed) missile (type) exists, IF TRUE go to Y, IF FALSE dive and run
Y
IF endgame chance of hit roughly anticipated to more than 5 % dive and run anyway
IF endgame chance of hit roughly anticipated to less than or equal to 5 % perform evasive
maneuver
IF unknown illuminating fire control radar detected THEN aicraft(s) being illuminated dives and runs from illuminating FCR on optimal course
IF illuminting FCR detected and identified AND illuminating radar associated with specific missile type/types THEN use actual missile range to perform rough calculation (With some chance of error) to decide if chance of outrunning presumed missile type exists, IF TRUE then dive and run, IF FALSE go to X

(EDIT: I apologize for not being able to structure the IF-THENs as they should be laid out but the forum software doesn't seem to recognize blank spaces at the start of a new row).

All numeric values are there as suggestions much more than definitive proposals. I only thought this up as I wrote it so I might have missed something and I am in no way sure that my solution is optimal or how easy it would be to implement, but
1) It would allow closing in on old, outdated SAM Systems with a almost zero chance of a hit with a modern aircraft with a (Compared to the SAM system) very modern self protection EW system (DECM in CMO parlance).
2) while always running away if it seems like a possibility to reach outside the missile's envelope in time (Which gives a zero probability of being hit) and
3) at the same time always running away from advanced SAMs
4) Also makes aircraft run away from suddenly appearing illuminating fire control radars mounted on prevously undiscovered SAM systems even when no missile is detected yet which might be a good thing if one is flying above the height of cloud cover and thus cannot visually acquire a missile while
5) Maintaining realism at a reasonable level.

The last two IF-THENs are kind of optional though (Running away from illuminators) an probably would require an option in doctrine to disable it as it would be easy to make an opponents aircraft run away just by turning on an illuminator, which in the game would be detected by all aircraft in the vicinity of said illuminator and just not the one or two aircraft in realty being painted (Ie being inside the highly directional illuminating radar's beam) as CMO doesn't model the highly directional characteristics of illuminators as regards detection by RWR/ESM equipment.
I am also aware that many SAM systems with the same illuminator use different missiles with different ranges (Eg Buk and Buk-M1) but I think there is a case for using the real value of the missile range since what equipment the enemy has access to would most likely be known in almost all real life cases. It does become a problem with regards to realism if a side in the game uses for instance both Buk and Buk-M1 systems though, but such occasions are fairly uncommon.

Also, running at high altitude if the calculations indicate the aircraft can escape the SAM that way might be an idea to use against missiles with early 2000s or later active seekers since background clutter probably won't give much of a protection for an aircraft being targeted by such a missile (In other words, almost all missiles with the characteristic "Capable versus Sea-skimmer" in-game) anyway.

As a side note, it's somewhat unfortunate that DECM systems does not function in a more realistic way in CMO, ie the same way as OECM systems so the system could break the lock-on from the tracking radar and then the missile would quickly veer of course, which the pilot would notice and which would not lead to any evasive maneuvering. For instance an AN/ALQ-211 self protection ECM system coming up against an non-upgraded SA-2f would probably be able to break lock almost all of the time, except at very short ranges.
It would be very handy if a DECM system would be able to jam a single or perhaps a few emitters, the latter on more modern aircraft or aircraft with two pilots, with much lower jamming power than ECM systems but enough to break lock-on for incoming missiles. That would make this problem much easier to solve."


It's thinking like that, that makes this game what it is and what it can be, you worked that out nicely. I have no idea if it's doable but it sounds great, well done.

< Message edited by BrianinMinnie -- 1/16/2020 10:48:07 PM >

(in reply to BrianinMinnie)
Post #: 38
RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/16/2020 11:06:36 PM   
JPFisher55

 

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i don't know if it is related to this topic, but I have always wanted aircraft to RTB at full afterburner rather than full military speed. By doing so, they would sooner get out of danger. Also, when surrounded by enemy aircraft, I find it useful to disable auto evasion and RTB an aircraft at full afterburner. This gives them a better survival chance than trying to evade all the missiles and giving the enemy aircraft much more chances to down my aircraft

(in reply to DWReese)
Post #: 39
RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/17/2020 2:08:10 AM   
c3k

 

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At combat ranges, full afterburner time is measured (in some cases) in just single-digit minutes.

I like the ideas for IF/THEN with various missiles. Getting away from the launcher is THE highest priority...unless you're just about to be hit by a missile. ;)

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Post #: 40
RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/17/2020 11:22:45 AM   
serjames

 

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Really liking LargeDiameterBomb's thought process here. I think Pilot skill and some knowledge about the threat should influence the decision matrix. E.g. if the SAM has already been typed as a low engagement envelope, e.g. a MANPAD. Then climbing is sensible once the initial evasion is complete.

If it's an SA-2 - (I presume modern RWR should be able to do some id of threat in the aircraft right?) then dropping below min engagement ceiling is the obvious solution. (at the risk of AAA/Manpads etc)

The most frustrating scenario for me is the "corkscrew of death" whereby beaming the threat consistently in one clock direction and not jinking back / pulling a 180 turn the Ai Pilot is simply walking his bird ever closer to the original threat, and or potential support SAM's or Manpads. And therefore increasing (NOT decreasing) his chances of an eventual hit.

If the beam maneuver could always be followed by a max G 180 turn.. Then it would probably be ok

(in reply to c3k)
Post #: 41
RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/17/2020 11:25:52 AM   
serjames

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: c3k

At combat ranges, full afterburner time is measured (in some cases) in just single-digit minutes.

I like the ideas for IF/THEN with various missiles. Getting away from the launcher is THE highest priority...unless you're just about to be hit by a missile. ;)




It's off topic a Bit, but.... Only in some cases. Take a clean F-15C that's expended it's weapons. It's at about 500nm from base. As long as it has about 40% + fuel remaining. That will happily sit at Full AB all the way back... Or close enough before dropping back down to cruise that it doesn't matter (my numbers are rough, but I regularly override F15, F35, F16, F22, Tornado etc RTB speeds to full afterburner. It's surprisingly efficient on a light bird at altitude. You can see the blue range marker, shrink rapidly then expand back, as long as it covers your airstrip. You're good.

Fully loaded - you're spot on it will cripple range. Especially at low altitudes

< Message edited by serjames -- 1/17/2020 11:28:17 AM >

(in reply to c3k)
Post #: 42
RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/17/2020 5:09:55 PM   
SeaQueen


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SAM evasion is a complicated thing. The simulation makes some assumptions. Is it the best assumption in all possible situations? Probably not. Is it an okay assumption? Maybe sometimes. Am I mad at it? Not really. Could it be better? Probably. Would it make a big difference? Probably not.

Surface to air missile systems consist of multiple interdependent subsystems. Each of those subsystems must function properly for the SAM to destroy its intended target. Defeating a SAM requires attacking and defeating at least one of those subsystems. Real SAM evasion techniques attack all subsystems simultaneously in order to maximize the likelihood that at least one will fail. I'll describe each of those subsystems and how Command represents the defeat of them.

1) Propulsion: Typically rocket or sometimes RAM/SCRAM jet propulsion. Defeat of the propulsion system occurs when the missile no longer has enough speed to maintain aerodynamic control and it begins to stall/tumble uncontrollably. The propulsion system can be defeated by dragging. You can represent this in Command using a combination of doctrine settings (for air to air) and taking manual control in the case of surface to air missiles. There are other methods of aerodynamically defeating the propulsion system, including making turns which are intended to increase the bearing rate of the target to the missile, thus forcing the missile to make big turns and bleed it of energy relative to the target, and depriving it of the ability to aerodynamically control itself. Missiles with vectored thrust are less vulnerable to this tactic than ones without because they don't need as much speed to turn. Command doesn't handle this sort of tactic well. The reason is that engines aren't properly represented. Missiles with ram/scramjet sustainers are likewise less vulnerable due to a more constant amount of energy over the course of their flight. Command actually does take that into account as a Pk modifier.

2) Control: The limits of the control system dictate the maximum yaw/pitch/roll rate of the missile. Typically missiles are capable of much higher 'g's than manned aircraft. None the less it is sometimes possible to exceed the maximum turn rate of a missile. This is represented in Command by the attempt to "turn inside" the missile you see as "SAM evasion." A better representation of this would better take into account the flight characteristics of the weapon, the aircraft as a function of speed and altitude. Right now that's not in there. Instead it just makes some assumptions and abstractions. They're not bad ones necessarily.

3) Guidance: Guidance systems connect to the control system of a missile. It's typically either infrared or radar, but it could be laser guided, optically guided, GPS/INS guided or completely unguided! Guidance systems in Command are attacked with chaff/flares/towed decoys, defensive ECM (Pk modifier) and offensive ECM (preventing guidance sensor acquisition). It doesn't represent certain ECM attacks on the guidance system directly, for example, with a command guided SAM it might be possible in some cases to jam the data links connecting the guidance system to the control system. In some cases you might assume that the effect of that is somehow included in the final Pk of the weapon system, but not necessarily. Guidance systems can also be attacked by maneuvering in some cases. Depending on the weapon and aircraft it might sometimes be possible for the aircraft to move more quickly than the weapon's sensors can be adjusted to keep the aircraft in view. I'd argue that C:MO's evasion turn represents this as well. In some cases a jammer is itself a useful source of energy to home on, this is home on jam capability and if a weapon has this then jammers actually have the effect of seducing weapons, not inhibiting their guidance. Command captures that. If facing a home on jam missile turn any offensive jammers of the targeted aircraft off.

4) Fusing. The fusing system tells a weapon when to detonate its warhead. Missiles can be fused a variety of ways. The simplest would be a contact fuse. Greater effectiveness can be gained by providing some form of proximity fusing. Proximity fuses are typically very short ranged radars but could also be laser or possibly acoustic systems as well. There could also be time fuses, or command detonated fuses. C:MO doesn't represent the defeat of fusing very well at all, although many fusing systems would represent an obvious target for ECM. Successful attacks against the fusing system causes the warhead to either fail to detonate or detonate prematurely.

5) Warhead. The warhead is what does the killing. The actual kill mechanism is not modeled in C:MO unless you turn on the detailed damage model. Missile warheads might be shaped charges or blast/fragmentation charges. They might be hit to kill in some cases, and attempt to destroy a target aircraft by transferring its kinetic energy to the target in the form of a violent shockwave which causes the disintegration of the target. Warheads might make use of "expanding rod" or other ways to attempt to ensure a more uniform fragmentation pattern. The fragmentation effect increases the lethality of the weapon by spreading its destructive power over as large an area as possible, making it more difficult to evade the weapon's effects by defeating its control systems. I suppose that C:MO represents this with the agility rating, and its effect on the endgame Pk of the weapon.

The maneuvering you're describing is ultimately only a portion of SAM evasion. Is it possible for a pilot to, in the process of evading multiple SAMs, be brought closer in to the SAM site? Possibly. The actual results depend on the nature of the evasion maneuver. Command makes one assumption about it based on what's been described by Vietnam veterans avoiding SA-2 missiles. That's not necessarily the only possible thing to do. Real SAM evasion tactics depend on a combination of all of the techniques described above, and they're often interdependent. For example, depending on the threat, a pilot might not maneuver at all with some decoy systems because of everything from aerodynamic limitations to the desire to increase the effectiveness of the electronic seduction.

In the modeling and simulation world we have a saying, "All models are wrong, some models are useful." The same can be applied to gaming software. Is C:MO wrong? Yes. Does it provide insight? Sometimes. Could it be improved? Certainly, and the guys work hard to do that within the limitations of ITAR and security issues. In that sense, complaining about realism is missing the point, because the real answer is, "it depends," and that's neither satisfactory to the person complaining, nor is it likely to aid in any improved implementation of the software. Do I care? Eh... maybe a little, but it's not at the top of my list of things I'd like to see.

So how's that?


< Message edited by SeaQueen -- 1/18/2020 12:53:53 AM >

(in reply to DWReese)
Post #: 43
RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/17/2020 5:26:16 PM   
thewood1

 

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And way back when the devs started creating more detailed air combat maneuvering vs working abstraction, I warned that they are opening a Pandora's box for flight simmers with no real world info or data start to drive Command towards the flight simmer's view of reality that involves counting rivets on SAMs. I vote for the opposite and reverting to a more abstracted model because you'll never account for all the variables and possible interactions no matter how much work is put into it. And it will be done at the expense of other development efforts.

And here we are.

(in reply to SeaQueen)
Post #: 44
RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/17/2020 5:33:29 PM   
SeaQueen


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LOL! Yeah... back in the day...

There exist full 6DOF models designed by teams of PhD engineers who look at things in even more detail than the average flight sim person does. Is that any more "right" than a more abstracted model? Meh.. sometimes, for some applications yes. If you're looking to make a better SAM, for example. For others, though, a lot of those details just don't matter. It might be fine to use that more detailed model to generate a dice roll, and just aggregate things and make some assumptions.

I'd argue that looking at the details of individual SAM engagements too closely is probably Command abuse. I've found problems with the details of the way it models rocket engines and sensor seekers which, if you're going to do that kind of modeling might be problematic because they could in many circumstances result in poor estimates of the relative energy state of the missile to the target aircraft, and the performance of the seeker head as the aircraft maneuvers. But could you just add a fudge factor to the Pk or range values and get the same result? Yeah.. sure. Is that good enough, it depends on what you're trying to do. For a gorilla package of 75 aircraft, supported by warships and submarines? It's great. For studying individual SAM engagements, maybe not.

That being said, in some ways Command is actually more detailed than many flight simulations, both civilian and professional. Command uses aspect dependent RCS, for example, while many simulations (e.g. Falcon BMS, DCS) use cueball style RCS models. Does it matter? Sometimes, sometimes not.

Like I said, looking at individual engagements in Command is probably abusing it. Where it really shines is in the 50-200 aircraft 12-24hr long gorilla mission. THATS cooking. Where C:MO starts to break down is on the level of 10-20 minute engagements with small numbers of assets. Are the outcomes of those engagements possible? Sure. Are they EXACTLY HOW IT WOULD HAPPEN IN EXCRUCIATING DETAIL probably not. So what?

quote:

ORIGINAL: thewood1
I vote for the opposite and reverting to a more abstracted model because you'll never account for all the variables and possible interactions no matter how much work is put into it. And it will be done at the expense of other development efforts.

And here we are.



< Message edited by SeaQueen -- 1/17/2020 7:58:08 PM >

(in reply to thewood1)
Post #: 45
RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/17/2020 8:47:47 PM   
ChickenSim

 

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I think there's a good enough middle ground between rivet-counting and rolling a die if you let the player pick a setting to use that at least maneuvers the aircraft where the player expects it to maneuver to.

Whether that's barreling down the pipe right at an enemy SAM with a missile in the air, inching closer or further away through weaves, beaming the threat, or turning and running, those options at least manage player expectations and won't leave them scratching their heads in frustration that the airplanes aren't doing what they want them to be doing.

(in reply to SeaQueen)
Post #: 46
RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/17/2020 9:45:46 PM   
thewood1

 

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Just look at this thread. I suspect there isn't much middle ground with the flight sim crowd. Just read a flight sim forum once and while. You'll see where we are heading.

(in reply to ChickenSim)
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RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/17/2020 10:05:33 PM   
SeaQueen


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quote:

Whether that's barreling down the pipe right at an enemy SAM with a missile in the air, inching closer or further away through weaves, beaming the threat, or turning and running, those options at least manage player expectations and won't leave them scratching their heads in frustration that the airplanes aren't doing what they want them to be doing.


Okay... but why are they expecting it? Is it because they have a rational belief that a given tactic might defeat one or more of the above subsystems for the SAM they believe they're encountering? Is it because they read the tactic in a book somewhere? Is it because it's what worked in DCS and therefore it ought to work in C:MO? What if the selected tactics don't necessarily make any sense at all without a combination of decoys and ECM? I'm not necessarily against having a selectable option for SAM evasion, but there needs to be a rational basis and as much credible documentation as possible behind each option. SAM avoidance is highly situational, especially against the pop up threat he described, and turning into the missile is a well documented technique used by tactical aircraft in the Vietnam War.

< Message edited by SeaQueen -- 1/17/2020 10:14:48 PM >

(in reply to ChickenSim)
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RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/17/2020 11:21:32 PM   
ChickenSim

 

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Regardless of "why" a player is expecting something, giving them control over what to expect at least removes what I see as a gameplay loop/feedback problem, where units don't perform like you expect them to and it sometimes takes sacrificing a chicken and a sceance to determine why they behave the way they do or what's preventing them from doing what you want them to.

How much sense the selected tactics make is irrelevant because the player will inevitably shortly find out, but at least they were able to pick how the aircraft responded and have little reason to complain. (As a side note, does anyone have a source for this Vietnam tactic? I suspect there's a misunderstanding about it somewhere in the text.)

The automatic evasion options themselves don't need to be any more complex than the following:

- Hot Weave (90° turn reversals on a 45° axis toward threat, preferably the initial crank is away from other known threats)
- Beam (against missile or launch platform dependent on ID'd threat)
- Cold Weave (90° turn reversals on a 135° axis away from threat)
- Drag (turn away from threat(s))

These automatic evasion options can cease as early as the pilot/game assesses the missile is defeated and the planes can resume their initial tasking. If there are more threats, continue evading them in order of the closest alligator to the boat (or the current active threat with the most restrictive WEZ). If there are too many simultaneous threats, and the sim can't cope, default to turning and running toward home or nearest sanctuary. Automatic altitude changes should depend on time to nearest sanctuary (time to climb above max engagement altitude versus time to descend below radar horizon versus time to nearest max straight-line engagement range). Let us set a hard deck that we don't want planes automatically descending below while evading (to avoid MANPADS/SAMbushes). Last ditch maneuver near missile endgame should always default to an out of plane break turn, into the missile, with decoy salvo expended. If the plane runs out of decoys, it kind of narrows your choices a bit to press on or RTB.

Automatic Evasion Off would still exist for the player option to provide a "high level of acceptable risk" to a strike package not to evade until weapons are expended, or give player control of manual on-axis jamming/ECM to protect the strikers. Maybe give the player the option to select a left or right pull off the target once weapons are expended, so they can preposition support aircraft.

IMO this provides enough "crunch" to prevent people from being confused or disappointed by the actions their aircraft are taking, whether all those aircraft end up getting shot down or not due to poor player choices. It also still provides players enough granularity to take manual control of more complex tactics.

< Message edited by ChickenSim -- 1/18/2020 12:00:56 AM >

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RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/18/2020 12:01:31 AM   
thewood1

 

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I come back to the point of Command. Its not to drive individual airplanes. I think it has already gone down a significant rat hole of ever increasing expectations as more the devs try to mollify the detailed individual unit crowd. Its slowly losing its flavor as an operational simulation. And devs deciding to go further down that rat hole will only weaken other parts of the game.

Just take a look at some of the requests for details like visibility out of a canopy. Each time one of those requests are fulfilled, the next request is waiting in the wings. The refrain is that if you did that, you need to do this.

If people are frustrated that individual planes and tanks aren't adhering to their perception of realistic detailed tactics, they are probably playing the wrong game. They should be playing DCS or Combat Mission. And note that those games have extremely limited scopes compared to this game. I feel like they are trying to turn Command into DCS. Its why the devs went to the effort to create the 3D view. And got pretty much hammered for it. In fact, its probably causing more expectation issues from the flight sim crowd than anything.

And I come back to my main point. There will be no compromise. The devs will tweak and add a few things in. But in a month or two, we'll get the next thread asking pilots can't do X or Y when DCS lets them do it. Or why isn't armor facing taken into account. It has been and will be never ending.

< Message edited by thewood1 -- 1/18/2020 12:04:06 AM >

(in reply to ChickenSim)
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RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/18/2020 12:17:44 AM   
ChickenSim

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: thewood1

I come back to the point of Command. Its not to drive individual airplanes. I think it has already gone down a significant rat hole of ever increasing expectations as more the devs try to mollify the detailed individual unit crowd. Its slowly losing its flavor as an operational simulation. And devs deciding to go further down that rat hole will only weaken other parts of the game.

Just take a look at some of the requests for details like visibility out of a canopy. Each time one of those requests are fulfilled, the next request is waiting in the wings. The refrain is that if you did that, you need to do this.

If people are frustrated that individual planes and tanks aren't adhering to their perception of realistic detailed tactics, they are probably playing the wrong game. They should be playing DCS or Combat Mission. And note that those games have extremely limited scopes compared to this game. I feel like they are trying to turn Command into DCS. Its why the devs went to the effort to create the 3D view. And got pretty much hammered for it. In fact, its probably causing more expectation issues from the flight sim crowd than anything.

And I come back to my main point. There will be no compromise. The devs will tweak and add a few things in. But in a month or two, we'll get the next thread asking pilots can't do X or Y when DCS lets them do it. Or why isn't armor facing taken into account. It has been and will be never ending.


I think you're missing a finer point that these are all very much operational-level concerns.

I don't have strong opinions about things like cockpit visibility, but making broad determinations about what tactics your subordinates have in their toolboxes is something operational commanders do. Setting hard decks, creating airspace control plans, prohibiting or mandating the use of certain types of terminal control, making sure you don't have breaks in your CAS, tanker, or CAP coverage by sometimes concerning themselves with the minutia of individual aircraft, are all well within the wheelhouse of someone who wants to accomplish a mission and do it well.

The difference in Command is that you can't trust your subordinate units to do the sensical thing, such as make their egress pulls toward friendly lines, or "do some of that pilot ****" and make a TOT, or if the edge of a known SAM WEZ is 5 seconds away to simply keep flying straight rather than turn directly at the SAM.

That's why being able to set "rules" and lateral limits is even more important for a sim like Command. So you don't have to plot courses and take control of individual airplanes, you can worry about other things.

< Message edited by ChickenSim -- 1/18/2020 12:19:45 AM >

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RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/18/2020 1:16:47 AM   
SeaQueen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ChickenSim
I think you're missing a finer point that these are all very much operational-level concerns.


Tactical/operational is a continuum, and I guess it depends on how operational you see Command. On the high-operational end would be 100 days of war and many planning cycles, encompassing a substantial portion of the globe, and the outcome is determined primarily by force flows, geography and logistics. In my opinion, that's also Command abuse. Command sucks at doing that.

The choice of SAM evasion tactics are WAY down in the weeds on that level, and while it might make some impact on attrition levels it's unlikely to make the difference between winning and losing. While this was certainly one of the original goals back in the day (and maybe still is?) Command, in part (but not entirely) because of consumer demand, has moved more and more towards the tactical and ever increasing detail. It sits comfortably on the high tactical/low operational level. In the M&S world, we call that the "mission" level. The other big limitation for Command is that because of limitations on the computer controlled side, it really works best for one or MAYBE two planning cycles. Really 12-24 hrs is sort of the sweet spot for a Command scenario.

quote:


That's why being able to set "rules" and lateral limits is even more important for a sim like Command. So you don't have to plot courses and take control of individual airplanes, you can worry about other things.


I don't disagree with you, but it's also important that the rules you're asking aircraft to follow are actually meaningful in the context of the game. Some of the tactics you're describing (e.g. hot weave) work in part because you're aerodynamically defeating the weapon, forcing it to expend energy maneuvering and decreasing its effective range. Since Command doesn't model the missile flyout in that level of detail (notice how weapon speed is constant throughout flyout) it's unclear if the tactic would work properly in the simulation even if players used it. It also doesn't pre-emptively release decoys unless told to. Without those details, does it even matter if the simulation behaves exactly the way you think it ought to?


< Message edited by SeaQueen -- 1/18/2020 1:19:49 AM >

(in reply to ChickenSim)
Post #: 52
RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/18/2020 1:39:32 AM   
thewood1

 

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And I think SeaQueen has completely nailed the issue with this thread. PC pilots tend to only focus on aircraft capabilities. Missing completely that the point of Command is how all the various operational components work together. Why model all this supposed detail in response to SAMs, when the SAMs themselves have significant abstractions? As was said before, ECM, SAM performance, radar capabilities, pilot experience, etc. all are a factor that the level of detail that is being requested need to consider. This thread shows an unhealthy obsession with only one minor aspect.

While writing the if...then statements for the devs might make you feel cool. How about thinking about how all the variables would have to interact. This is why levels of abstraction are needed. You can't have one aspect of the combat model incredibly detailed and abstract other parts. It doesn't provide a plausible model and wastes the devs' time.

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RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/18/2020 1:44:34 AM   
ChickenSim

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: SeaQueen

I don't disagree with you, but it's also important that the rules you're asking aircraft to follow are actually meaningful in the context of the game. Some of the tactics you're describing (e.g. hot weave) work in part because you're aerodynamically defeating the weapon, forcing it to expend energy maneuvering and decreasing its effective range. Since Command doesn't model the missile flyout in that level of detail (notice how weapon speed is constant throughout flyout) it's unclear if the tactic would work properly in the simulation even if players used it. It also doesn't pre-emptively release decoys unless told to. Without those details, does it even matter if the simulation behaves exactly the way you think it ought to?



I agree with most of your points. To be honest I always assumed the flyout physics were never really modeled in detail but never bothered to look specifically at the speeds and whether the bled off after they ran out of fuel. Given that the aircraft seem to fly blended profiles based on the charts in their database entries I figured they were similarly abstracted.

But you're right, whether the aircraft weaves or not in Command isn't as important to me as understanding where the aircraft will end up after the missile is defeated (or not).

Although the other aspect of the weave is getting the aircraft into a temporary notch which I assume might be modeled to affect the probability of hit diceroll in Command, the far more important consideration for me is that I can manipulate where that section/plane will be able to attack or withdraw from after endgame calculations occur.

The important thing for the hot/cold weaves is that the airplanes are either still trying to accomplish their mission by closing the gap to employ weapons as safely as they can, or getting out of the WEZ as safely as they can, without ending up in either a pure hot or cold aspect with no available LOS rate-changing agility. Having these options to blend simply flying straight at the threat, beaming the threat, or running from the threat, seemed reasonable.

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RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/18/2020 1:54:17 AM   
DWReese

 

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IMO, pilots are not safer when evading missiles by continuing to turn back TOWARD the SAM. I believe that they are eventually in even greater danger, and that just keeps increasing.

That's why I suggested a change that would allow for something else that keeps the plane from continuing to be in harm's way.

Perhaps, as was stated, a randomized selection of one of four different types of evasion techniques would do the trick? That might even make things interesting.

But, you only have to lose a bunch of planes to the "corkscrew of death" as someone neatly termed it, to realize that the continuous "turn back method" isn't the best choice of evasion.

The devs will figure something out.


(in reply to thewood1)
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RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/18/2020 2:06:55 AM   
ChickenSim

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: thewood1

PC pilots tend to only focus on aircraft capabilities. Missing completely that the point of Command is how all the various operational components work together. Why model all this supposed detail in response to SAMs, when the SAMs themselves have significant abstractions? As was said before, ECM, SAM performance, radar capabilities, pilot experience, etc. all are a factor that the level of detail that is being requested need to consider. This thread shows an unhealthy obsession with only one minor aspect.


I suspect that most people here (and yes, even in flight sim communities) are perfectly fine with abstractions, but not the kind of abstractions that affect the core feedback loop of assets ending up where you didn't send them, where you never wanted them to go in the first place, or to their certain deaths when there was a much better option (if only you had the ability to choose!)

When things like these happen it immediately backseats the suspension of disbelief and only results in player frustration. At least if the player gets to choose what direction on the clock the airplanes initially turn to when engaged, they aren't blaming the simulation for making a really dumb move. There should be a clear line of cause and effect that the player is able to understand, which I feel is something Command has traditionally lacked.

And to the point of merging operational components together, we still don't even have a proper way to do that in the first place. The lack of a strike package planner or TOT function is the biggest handicap in my eyes for bringing Command back into that "mission"-level sweet spot. The less I have to worry about whether Airplane X is going to end up precisely 30 seconds ahead of Airplane Y and what airspeed Airplane Z has to fly at to be 30 seconds behind X the better. If our tools for doing mission-level tasks were better than the tools we have for doing tactical-level tasks such as micromanaging launch times, running route/fuel calculations, and manually firing weapons, there would probably be far fewer tactical-level requests for changes.

I know I'd personally be much happier about a critical SEAD aircraft getting shot down if A) it was doing what I told it to do when it got hit, or B) it didn't appear to be actively trying to commit suicide. At present, and at the risk of being accused of "having an unhealthy obsession with one minor aspect," we don't have an adequate interface with which to exert operational-level control of how the different mission components work together, much less where we would prefer they be positioned after an evasive action.

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RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/18/2020 2:20:22 AM   
thewood1

 

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The issue I see is there is a pretty limited number of people obsessed with these very detailed issues. There is a reason for that. When playing a scenario of 1000 units, the stuff we are talking about is a wash. If you are having that many issues losing critical assets, you're playing it wrong. I have played this game since 2013 across all eras and have never had any serious issues with TOT.

And you can do a TOT anytime you want using spreadsheets that are available. The entire point of Command is mission planning. Its been that way from day one. Every time the flight sim crowd starts agitating for more detail, it pushed any type of holy grail AMP down the road further. The AMP has becomes Command's equivalent of " dynamic campaign" that flight simmers obsess over.

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RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/18/2020 2:49:47 AM   
ChickenSim

 

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If I'm playing it wrong it's because there's something inherently wrong with how it presents itself to be "played," especially since I'm coming at it from real-world mission planning experience and associated context.

When so much of whether a plan to overwhelm an IADS or ship's defenses hinges on dozens of people being in the right position, pointing the right way, for the right amount of time, flinging bits of metal to hit within the same 15-30 second window, it is hard for me to believe that this is simply treated as a gameplay concession when it presents itself as the commercial version of something marketed to professionals.

Saying you've never had any serious issues with TOT in CMANO despite having played it since 2013 says more about you than it does about Command itself. The reason this pops up with regard to aircraft more often than anything else has little to do with your preconceived notions about the flight simming community and more to do with the physics involved. It's more of an issue with aircraft simply because the abstractions are more exaggerated and unforgiving, and thus more apparently wrong, due in part to the speeds they travel, the amount of ground they cover in that time, and how impactful their losses are (even more so in the real world when you also need to coordinate CSAR/TRAP and have by-exception contingency plans).

Pointing outside the sandbox at an Excel spreadsheet (which I've used, and they fall short) isn't a sufficient or relevant answer for a different problem that I think would be fairly easily solved by simply giving the player a few more doctrine dropdowns. Like I said, I don't care that there's abstraction taking place, I just think it's important for a player to be able to create predictive expectations of what their units are going to do with a minimal amount of jank involved.

< Message edited by ChickenSim -- 1/18/2020 2:55:50 AM >

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Post #: 58
RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/18/2020 1:10:04 PM   
SeaQueen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ChickenSim
And to the point of merging operational components together, we still don't even have a proper way to do that in the first place. The lack of a strike package planner or TOT function is the biggest handicap in my eyes for bringing Command back into that "mission"-level sweet spot. The less I have to worry about whether Airplane X is going to end up precisely 30 seconds ahead of Airplane Y and what airspeed Airplane Z has to fly at to be 30 seconds behind X the better. If our tools for doing mission-level tasks were better than the tools we have for doing tactical-level tasks such as micromanaging launch times, running route/fuel calculations, and manually firing weapons, there would probably be far fewer tactical-level requests for changes.


I'd say right now it's happily at the mission level, even without all that. I routinely manage 70-100 aircraft or more. It takes planning, you can't just sit down and play, but that's actually the substance of the game in my opinion: the planning. A lot of those calculations can be automated by using LUA. I do that regularly, especially for the computer controlled side. I wish they'd add a whole lot more LUA functionality. I can think of a bunch of stuff I'd like to see.

The issues arise when you try to go bigger than that. At that point, you start running into the too many hats problem, and it's more than just needing to micromanage things here and there (especially strikers and fuel). It's also the fact that the person who is planning at that level isn't the person weaponeering DMPIs or setting up intercepts. That's okay in my mind. A good game looks at something specific. C:MO is a great tool for looking at the interaction of tactics and technology. That's it's strong point.

It's utter crap when people want to do things like issue demarches or look at the impact that economic warfare might have on a nation's economy, AND THAT'S OKAY!!!!!!!! Not every piece of software can or should try to do everything. If it did it'd almost certainly be wrong. It'd be completely unworkable, and it probably wouldn't necessarily be very interesting in its insights. Maybe someone else will make a high operational / low strategic game where the substance of the game is logistics and politics, and not tactics and gizmology.

I also think part of the problem is that Command is fairly tactical BUT IT ISN'T A FLIGHT SIMULATOR, so it gives you a lot of control and we're always trying to feel out how much control we need, versus what's reasonable to assume away. You're just arguing that a single SAM avoidance tactic can't be assumed. That's maybe not wrong, given how far in the weeds you're going to go. I guarantee someone in the JFACC's chair probably isn't going to tell each flight how they ought to dodge SAMs. I think people can have reasonable disagreements about that, because part of the answer is depends on what you want to do. I run gorilla packages of 70+ aircraft all the time, but I'm a fairly advanced user. Someone else just picking it up has a hard time running a few flights or elements, and hasn't developed a good flow for what needs to be handled by hand and what the AI can be trusted to handle, and how to manipulate the AI. They're like, "Uh... how do I turn my sensors on?"

< Message edited by SeaQueen -- 1/18/2020 1:21:41 PM >

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Post #: 59
RE: Airplane Defense Logic - 1/18/2020 3:19:29 PM   
Sardaukar


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"Spiral of Death" as seen by many seems bit counter-intuitive.

If task is to attack that target, it's fine.

If task is just to evade SAMs, it would be nice if planes would break away from SAM site. Otherwise they just make themselves more and more vulnerable to those SAMs. Setting "do not evade" is not really good solution either, since you do want your planes to evade, just not the way they seem to evade now.

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(in reply to SeaQueen)
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