Thanks for the detailed feedback :)
On startup, I wondered what the Polaris mission was for? I never found out.
Yup, thats not supposed to be there anymore. I tried to have a little sideshow that the AI would perform in the first few hours where HMS Resolution would attempt to bomb Moscow with a full salvo, only for it to be stopped by the ABM ring (this is close to actual tactics & predictions) which would illustrate the need for Manned Bombers, but the ICBMs kept getting through! (It was predicted that a full salvo of 16*2 warheads with chevaline penetration aids, would get 1 warhead through at most, with treaty-limited capacity of 64 Galosh ABMs. In simulation (which only includes the 3xRV [no chevaline penaids] US version of Polaris), the Galosh is much less effective than this, even with many more than 64 rounds. In the end I decided to leave it out, especially as multiple ABM intercept calculations appear to slow the game down severely.
In terms of realism, if you're interested in nuclear weapons effects, it might be interesting to replace the single unit airfields and ports with more detailed representations, at least for the ones you expect will be targeted by nuclear forces (either player or USSR). Particularly in the case of the Soviet airfields, this has massive repercussions in terms of the player's ability to suppress air defenses (I couldn't get aircraft to attack the airfields).
Yup, I probably should have known, but only realised the airfields were untargettable quite late on. I intended to use cruise missiles and SRAMS to target the ground BOL-style, but this was not possible with ALCMs and ineffective with SRAMs. Will very likely add multi-unit bases.
In terms of practicality, I found the Compass Calls too slow to keep up with the B-52s, let alone the B-1s. What role do you see them as playing in the scenario? It also might be helpful to have some weapons placed at each divert airfield for follow-on strikes. Right now, the player can send out most (not all) of their aircraft once, and that's it.
I was able to use the Compass Calls by launching them early and pushing them far forward. They have a very impressive range, they have enough to have a usable patrol time even over Norway. It may be a bit of a tedious if the patrol lasted more than 15 or 20 hours, but as it happens, you dont need to wait that long for something to happen. In the end, all units at your disposal are there to see if you can use them.
Re-arming and follow-on strike were not really in scope. Concept is one Maximum Effort surge amongst intense nuclear destruction. Divert airfields are intended to represent last-resort airfields capable of accepting your aircraft if your base is destroyed or if you have fuel/damage issues. The idea being that there might not be much left to return to. With so many megatons delivered in the first 30mins, I do not see the exchange lasting several days, which is what it would take to re-arm and re-attack. See more on armament below.
There are no additional loadouts for the units whose ready status is 'reserve' at Fairchild AFB, so I set them to Ferry loadouts and intended to scramble them when the attack came and preserve them for simulated follow-on strikes. That didn't happen because I forgot. At Grand Forks, there are sufficient munitions to arm all the 'reserve' B-1s. Unfortunately, they were destroyed, along with the airbase, in the first strike.
Similar to answer above, follow-on strikes were not intended to be in-scope.
Reserve aircraft are included as the aircraft roster represents all of the warheads available.
This was out of my own head and may not be fully realistic, its one way to limit the numbers of units in the scenario I suppose, as in reality there would be too many aircraft to make the player control them all and have it still be playable, IMO.
There were a number of pleasant surprises as the Soviet ICBM strike approached. I withheld my LGM-30 so as to damage AD units unstruck by the first NATO wave closer to when my bombers were in attack range, and fully expected it to be destroyed by the USSR first wave. It wasn't. Additionally, Moscow isn't defended by the historical SAM ring - only the ABM one. That would have been a real pain to get through. Finally, Fairchild, Elmendorf, and Thule AFBs made it through the first wave (only wave?) unscathed.
SAM numbers have been limited against reality, as 1000-plus individual sites is just not on the cards.
Might be interesting to represent the Moscow defences a bit better though, yes.
It seems that ICBMs can be a little finnicky, its hard when making the scenario, to guarantee targets get destroyed, mainly due to "malfunction".
I may increase ICBM numbers.
I only forsee one ICBM wave. Intended to represent a full-scale global nuclear exchange, its a "use 'em or lose 'em" scenario. ICBMs are not likely to have been held in reserve except in a limited exchange, as your ICBM silos are assumed to be high-priority targets.
I sent in my forces using AI missions to hit Moscow and other countervalue targets (not population centers per se, but the industrial centers, etc). I couldn't do a complete counterforce strike, because the airfields were off-limits, and even if I could, I didn't see much point in attacking empty ICBM silos without touching the bomber force.
Would you be sure every silo was empty? ;)
Yup, deffo gonna fix the airfields.
Countervalue and counterforce targets are both included and neither are off limits.
This is so the player can decide their own targetting priority. It is also intended to represent that many military or industrial targets cannot be seperated from their closest urban centre and that even a fully counterforce strategy will result in megadeaths.
As the scenario progressed, it became apparent to me that the primary target would be incredibly expensive to hit (in terms of losses) unless I could hit the airfields, which was impossible. As a result, my forces suffered absolutely massive attrition. By the time I'd destroyed Moscow, I'd lost 14x B-52, 46x B-1, and 5x KC-10 (though these numbers also include losses from the destruction of Grand Forks AFB). At this point, I called it - I'd met the primary objective, and secondary objectives appeared unrealistic in the face of intense air opposition.
It may not have been possible for bombers to get to Moscow in reality. It was never attempted ;)
If anything, in reality the bombers would have had a much harder time.
Have you considered implementing scoring when the player destroys a target (perhaps including damaging a radar) or loses an aircraft?
I hadnt intended to - Usually I like it more when you are left to judge whether or not you have completed your objectives, no points in reality - but if people think it would add to the satisfaction or fun of the scenario, I'd try and put something in.
While this wasn't as historically accurate as Wargasm, that wasn't your goal (and I think that made it a bit less...intense, in a good way). I enjoyed playing this scenario, and will do so again. I hope you submit it to the community scenario pack when you're happy with it.
Yup, I really need to fix the Soviet airfields.
Need to make the ICBM strikes more reliable, probably add more silos to both sides.
Will add more detail to SAMs.
Also remove that "Polaris" mission.
I probably wont add re-armament at US airfields, they are intended to be destroyed in the ICBM salvo.
Unless people feel the scenario suffers for it, or if it would add a lot to the players options.
Are there enough active/armed B-1s and B-52s for the player?