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Author Topic: The Jet Sim I would like to see
wwb_99
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posted 10-13-2000 09:19 AM     Profile for wwb_99   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I would love to see a 1970s era NATO-Pact featuring massive air battles between Phantoms, MiG-21s, Mirage IIIs etc. over central Europe. Start with a massive pre-dawn Pact strike against NATO airfields, and continue from there.


WWB


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MonsterZero
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posted 10-15-2000 12:15 PM     Profile for MonsterZero   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by wwb_99:
I would love to see a 1970s era NATO-Pact featuring massive air battles between Phantoms, MiG-21s, Mirage IIIs etc. over central Europe. Start with a massive pre-dawn Pact strike against NATO airfields, and continue from there.


WWB


I'm in your camp. Flight sims have never been the same since the fall of communism because nobody really beats Russians as post-ww 2 villains. Yes, they did try to come up with some scenarios where some Russian colonel in the modern democratic Russia went berserk amd took over a nuclear missile facility or something but the stories were not convincing.

The "Cold War missions" in Microprose's F-119 Stealth which I flew in late 80s were so magical (particularly magical to a kid living in communist Poland which I was at the time).

I'm currently reading Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising which is about NATO vs. Soviet Union war that breaks out in the 1980s. The beginning of the book where Clancy explains why and how the Russians decide to go to war (completely carefree Russians, not a word said about NATO nukes) is complete ******** not even fit for a tv miniseries but later on the decriptions of battles are really good.

[This message has been edited by MonsterZero (edited 10-15-2000).]


Posts: 442 | From: Worth, IL USA | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged
wwb_99
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posted 10-16-2000 11:57 AM     Profile for wwb_99   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
It is true that WW III in central europe was much less likely than generally thought, but one does not need a plauseable reason for the war. As long as you have the war, it would be fun to fly in, at least on the computer.
Also, designers note that at least for a 1970s era setting one can get a very close look at almost all of the hardware involved (one trip to the Musee de l'Armee in Brussels would cover most of it). Also, with the rapid increase in processor/3-d power one can finally simulate the kind of furball that such a conflict would likely create.

WWB


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Akulashaker
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posted 10-16-2000 12:30 PM     Profile for Akulashaker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
RSR SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!
---------------------------------------------


MZ, I would have to disagree with your comments on the "war preparation" period in RSR. I think that Clancy's presentation of the viewpoint of the Politburo is reasonable enough: he presents them as being fully aware of NATO's nuclear option, and of the fact that the use of them is primarily a political, rather than military decision.

That is why they are setting in motion a very elaborate political hoax, whose ultimate purpose is to portray the FRG (and the rest of NATO, if they rush to W.Germany's aid) as "the aggressors".

You have to keep in mind that in most societies, and particularly so in the western world, public opinion plays a very important factor in warfighting cohesion and resolution. If that public is convinced that its leadership is engaging the country to an "unjust war", the ability of the government to sustain the war effort is drastically hampered. Furthermore, public pressure is often translated into ROE that limit considerably the ability of the armed forces to wage war in the most effective way (Vietnam is a good example of this background, but not the sole one). The combined result of these effects would probably be a high degree of reluctancy to employ nuclear weapons at any level, even if conventional military defeat was inevitable without their use.

(Another relevant factor, that began being realised in the 70s and 80s, was that the battlefield effectiveness of tactical nuclear weapons was shrinking as a result of

a)the increasing dispersion of WP formations in field manouvers, and thus their reduced vulnerability (especially armored units) to tactical nuclear detonations

b)the realisation that PGMs were providing an alternative solution whose effectiveness often matched this of nukes

Kurt has rightly pointed this out in one of his diatribes)


I assume you've reached the point in the book where Alekseyev highly recommends an immediate invasion of the FRG, exploiting the element of strategic surprise. His proposal is rejected, and the elaborate maskirovka (in the political sense; maskirovka as a concept is applicable to any level of civil/internal, dimplomatic and military engagement) is turned into motion exactly because NATO's nuclear threat. So it is unfair, I think, to blame Clancy of not taking this element into account, while a substantial portion of the plot is shaped and driven by this very reality (as you will later see).


You might want to check my own attempt in modelling this environment, by the link below.

------------------
___________________________________________
The Europe-88 Project: World War III in Germany
www.geocities.com/akulashaker/E88/


Posts: 488 | From: Greece | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
wwb_99
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posted 10-16-2000 01:32 PM     Profile for wwb_99   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
From what I understand, modern armored formations are nearly invulnerable to NBC warfare. Modern tanks are pretty much immune unless you land a nuke within 1 K.M., etc. Also, wasn't the idea of AirLand battle to stop the WP invasion at the bridges over the Wesser without turning central Germany into a glass desert?


WWB


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MonsterZero
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posted 10-16-2000 01:41 PM     Profile for MonsterZero   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by wwb_99:
From what I understand, modern armored formations are nearly invulnerable to NBC warfare. Modern tanks are pretty much immune unless you land a nuke within 1 K.M., etc. Also, wasn't the idea of AirLand battle to stop the WP invasion at the bridges over the Wesser without turning central Germany into a glass desert?


WWB


You're wrong. When they say that nothing remains alive within a certain radius from the blast they mean it. No vehicle, shelter or NBC suit can offer protection there. Of course, a tactical missile or artillery shell with a 40 kiloton warhead offers better chances of survival that a strategic weapon but it will still neutralize an armored division. Military formations are prepared to enter contaminated areas and hang out there for a while-that's all.


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the_conquerer_cgi
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posted 10-16-2000 01:58 PM     Profile for the_conquerer_cgi     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Yes... this is the "vaproize zone" or "dead zone" and it is roughly 1-10 KM from the detonation point depending on the warheads size. The 10-1000 mile redius we all know of is the instant fallout zone. If they are in the instant fallout zone and not the dead zone they are okay. I just wouldn't recomend temping fate by letting them sit there for a day or two...
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Akulashaker
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posted 10-16-2000 02:02 PM     Profile for Akulashaker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
If the division is camped and tightly grouped together, a substantial part of it (maybe even >50%) will be annihilated.

You strike that same division while it's out on the field, with the same weapon, all other random factors equal, and chances are you'll flatten one of its regiments, tops. Especially if we're talking about armored formations.

Of course, that division is going to have all sorts of logistical problems right afterwards. While most tanks have good NBC protection, their supply trucks do not. Ideally, a reserve logistics convoy should tail your main formation in a distance large enough to avoid the detonation effects. of course, the nuker may take this into account and ambush the supply "tail" with either PGMs or a second nuke.


Now, how easily and carefree you would be throwing nukes right and left on the German countryside (not possible without official FRG permission, and many Germans at the time preferred being overrun than being nuked), is another matter altogether.......

------------------
___________________________________________
The Europe-88 Project: World War III in Germany
www.geocities.com/akulashaker/E88/


Posts: 488 | From: Greece | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
wwb_99
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posted 10-16-2000 02:12 PM     Profile for wwb_99   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
One interesting story I heard, dealing with Chemical weapons. In the second world war, American formations came with attached 'chemical sniffing' teams, who used what was essentially litmus paper to test for chemicals. One foggy night, one of these detectors was accidentially set off. The ensuing confusion made the American generals rethink the situation, and soon the combat troops lost all ability to detect chemical weapons. Because the confusion which resulted was less than the damage a chemical attack could have inflicted.

Also, regarding the vulnerability of Armor to nuclear weapons, it is true that in the immediate zone of impact there would be almost zero surviveability. But tanks are tough and modern tanks are designed to be radiation proof. Also note that tanks tend to hide behind hills, in ditches, and other places that tend to mitigate the blast effects. Not that the impact events which I am discussing are tactical nukes and smaller air-dropped nukes. The effects of a bomber wing or a Pershing are a much different story.


WWB


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Kurt Plummer
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posted 10-16-2000 09:04 PM     Profile for Kurt Plummer   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I don't think you would have any problem executing /any/ era-X European war. In my game there is already a 'threat bias' system to exclude/include such things as multishot TVM missiles (Patriot and SA-10), MANPADS, and EOCG point defense killers like SA-8 and Rapier/Roland.

There are also mod options for how 'deep X wide' the local sector cueing systems cause surrounding defenses to come up and active as well as various forms of sectored emission arcs and range/deployment geometry modifiers so that you can (automatically) generate say an SA-6 brigade and either 'attach it' to a given 'frontal' force with leap frog percentages of deployment or 'route' depth along a likely axial ingress line vs. 'target' 360` defense around a specific (bridge etc.) target. The idea being to define depth of defense vs. susceptability of SEAD CM and percentage number of crosscovering units without having to place unit after unit of 'this goes here' associations.

The same could be done with actual airframes, by providing a common 'mods' folder and offering a free editor to_registered_ users so that your preferred set of manned airframe shapes could be switched out with enhanced 'NPC' types (F-4 and F-105 throughout the 60's and 70's plus F-104 and F-5A for NATO).
The idea being that you cut your followon development costs by having private users redefine and skin airframe shapes which you could then incorporate in a commercial followon release. By getting the free editor you are effectively agreeing to company use of your efforts on a nominal 'fame' only basis.

In game, the tactics remain largely the same, based on which aircraft you chose to replace with which, using some interface candy aided options within the _single_ airframe file that replaced names/squadrons etc. within the game briefing and location/service maps.

As for nukes.

These SHOULD be in any game. The problem is defining their use-when conditions.

Because I don't go out for the 'pop psychology' which would undoubtedly influence such a decision I would restrict the modifiers to three (precampaign start known)
variables:

1. Straight Force ay Attrition.
Lose X-many units per Y-day goals (WARPAC) and the likelihood of nuclear use as a 'breakout' or 'containment' aid increases from a base probability. You don't /know/ that base but you know that that is what the computer is 'planning on' as a decisive nuclear threshold determinator.

2. Political
If a capital is taken or a certain number of high value equivalent cities lost. Or a given number of base-populace threatened (with chems) then boom. In this case, the unknown variable is how wide the threat will escalate. In Hacket's WWIII the Russkies take out a city in Britain. And we take down Kiev. And the world teeters...

3. Territorial Linear Miles
As a function of distance from a border. The variables to include halfway from the IGB. Or at the Alsace or at the Channel Ports. In this case you are reflecting an A/A control via given numbers of transport arteries and terrain channelization as much actual force or political losses.

Graphically, if you've ever seen 'The Day After', imagine a (you flying along looking out the sides of the canopy) scene to that of the Whiteman attack scene where you've got not ONE but a /STRING/ of brilliant starfire columns stretching up to minimushrooms as a Victor 'Vark or Starfighters lay down a string of B-57/B-61 in the 5-20KT range.

Or imagine flying a single mission, deep and low all the way back into the Soviet homeland to put down a more theatre strategic yield (this could also be achieved with cutscenes of Gryphon or Pershing flyback trajectories over a 'map of Europe' ending the yield-out cinematography).

While some yields might be player influenced (delivered) the majority of the execution must be done with an eye towards the psychology of LOST control.

So that a few flurries of air-nukes might stop and stabilize or might lead to TBM delivered counterfire to previously 'safe' areas like England and Spain. And then stop again.

Or you might see the map expand once more and have the CONUS and USSR-Prime become engaged in a full ICBM/SLBM war.

And the picture fades to black.

This fear of ultimate consequence by the insane 'political control' of nuclear force elements, coupled to an _awareness_, turns-before it happened of what your strategy was doing to walk into or away from the tripwire excession would be an IMMENSE aid to 'player immersion'.

Because who want's to fly 20 missions only to watch it all go south in the last 2?

And since my ceiling determinators are all ground-element driven, you should also see, again, why we -must have- ground unit controls!

There may be 500 'active' airframes in a 7th AF mission but there are /thousands/ of troops and tanks. If those tanks just -sit there-, like range targets, while not only airpower but artillery takes them down as a function of numerical modelling 'outside the bubble' you have no ability to trade terrain for time or force conservation.

And Aggregate BOOM!! is the consequence.


Kurt Plummer


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h.arrier
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posted 10-17-2000 11:24 AM     Profile for h.arrier   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
In Hacketts book they nuke birmingham...no big loss..the idea is exciting and its just a pity that no ones run with it yet.As for nukes, I really don't think anybody was too serious about using them, unless you count America..we in europe knew we had far too much to loose, we dredded a u.s. launch as we would end up living the thousand year nightmare.As for aircraft, I take it you wont just be simming american jets? Buccaneer anybody?
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Hunter
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posted 10-18-2000 12:15 AM     Profile for Hunter   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I had the opportunity to sit in the TOC of a nuclear capable heavy mobile artillery brigade during training operations in the early 1980s. The facts are this. Battle planning was always fought from minor skirmish to progressively major fire fights. Training assumed a WWIII scenario would continue to escalate until nukes were finally brought to play. When the first nuke landed, the battle and exercise was basically over. The fact is, NATOs early 1980 assumptions were based on avoiding nuclear war, never fighting it. When the mushroom clouds started to build, every military officer I talked to at the time said the war was basically lost. The intent was to prevent a war, never to fight it. Things by the mid to late 1980s shifted significantly. Then, training shifted away from nuclear confrontation. It was assumed, and I believe there is still some basis for hope here, that a non-nuclear war might have been fought without necessarily escalating to all-out nuclear destruction. As one friend, still in the armed forces points out, "Our job isn't to go about destroying humanity. It's to buy the politicians time to get their heads unbent and get back to negotiations. We can't live with the alternative."
Posts: 154 | From: Lexington, IL USA | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged
Kurt Plummer
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posted 10-18-2000 11:14 PM     Profile for Kurt Plummer   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hey Harrier,
I would be careful what you asked for in any 'basic set of airplanes' because what looks good may not fight well (at /all/) and it's inclusion as a player vehicle may deny you something which is 'funner' in both the sense of having a hope in hell of surviving an engagement with threat-X (manned fighter in the case of the bucanana) and enough variable weapons to be worth the effort.

While it's true that the Bucaneer got LGB early and /always had/ the AJ.168 and MARTEL, it's primary role while it was in Europe was still laydown strike with internal and external retarded iron plus WE-177 (duuuuh forgive if I've got the glowie-designator wrong here).

Given a choice, I would include the Phantom FGR.2 (1:1 and a gun!:-) and the Jaguar or perhaps Harrier as accompaniment to the Tornado instead. More weapons, more likelihood of encountering targets rather than being treated as one and a more or less swing-mission equality between A/A and A/G performance.

I would however include an _in game_ means of altering squadron-attributed aircraft and again, for reskinning if not outright repolygonizing the wireframe points so that the player could easily improve the looks of his 'favorite machine', even as he grew the ability to fly it.

If ATF had one superb thing going for it that has since been ignored, multiplane scenario building was it while asking the player to make his own preferences rather than 'making them known' saves in the basic R&D period and provides skin/shape meisters with grist for their superior grindstones (never yet seen a company-skin or model that wasn't rendered better by aftermarket addons...)

Hey Hunter,
What you say may well be true but IMO, it doesn't reflect the _One Reality Which Counts Above All_ and indeed the one which Clancy wimped out on so early in the book.

That is, even in only a quasideclared NFU condition-

What The Soviets Do Determines Your Response.

/Ignoring/ 'military' (protected) target sets, if the WARPAC starts dropping persistent chemicals on cities and other major traffic control/choke points you cannot maneuver your fielded forces. If you get a PR 'shocked' political body with a million or more dead collaterals you have to ask what happens to the ordered military response then?

Also, when he allowed a Colonel in the Soviet Special Forces to be /so stupid/ as to be rundown with the operational plans literally in-hand, he effectively traded away the Soviet ability to interdict the primary F-15, F-4G and E-3 bases which surely would be seen as low-numbered, high-value, targets. Even as he never then followed-on with what having airfields less than 10 flying minuted from the IGB would do to pack-up-and-move vs. sustained sortie 'attrition' levels.

Ass-u-me that the Russians are more responsible than to 'go play in traffic' on the eve of WWIII and then ask yourself what happens when the nearest CONUS assets are 9-11 hours out and your piddling commitment of airsuperiority, SEAD and C2 are all obliterated, on the ground, prior to the attack. Not with Sykes Daggers and Handgrenades but with ATGW and standoff (gas again) mortars, straight to the flightlines and HAS'.

Now assume that whatever is left is fighting as a 'multirole' force with minimal specialist supporting assets for at least the first few hours.

Again, shock vs. stubborness sets in and 'turning the key' becomes a Very Real problem, especially to the Germans who had the most atomics in the theatre and for whom /extraordinary/ security measures must be taken in the face of overrun on devices which cannot be used but whose depot locations are themselves well known.

IMO, the Soviets would have taken massed losses in not one but 2-3 breakout points in the first 2 hours and then they would have made a drive to Antwerp fit to make Desert Storm look like peanuts.

You can't beat the Bear in a phonebooth and 'Forward Defense' is exactly that kind of a commitment.

FWIW, in my scenario, the nukes don't 'automatically' fly, you have time and options (in the difficulty menu) on how much surprise-strike damage is done to the Air Forces as well as what kinds of defensive maneuver are allowed along Corps sections of frontage.

While the Russians themselves have a predictable set of tactical gambits and tend to make their maskirovka plays along very wide envelopement frontages (fire brigade each 'in turn' or use AL21 tactics to go deed and disrupt).

In any case, you have to lose X% of the above messaged categories and even then they may not cause direct-linear escalation to strategic level terrors as both sides' political entities see potential inherent to theater level MADness while real attrition /is done/ to the 'destabilizing' (fielded) forces causing the panic.

It is even possible to have the game end on a 'redrawn borders' level.

But if you don't include the worst alternative, both as graphical drama and 'plot thickens' consequence to F***ing Up your ground strategy, the game has no depth of meaning to it.

And there is no reason for the player to learn to drive the combat on all levels while 'personally' supporting it only in-air.


Kurt Plummer


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Hunter
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posted 10-19-2000 12:19 AM     Profile for Hunter   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
KURT: YOU WROTE "What The Soviets Do Determines Your Response."

You are absolutely correct, from my past limited experience with real wartime planning. The point my friend in the TOC made to me was that in order for the pre-1985 military to be successful, you had to be at least one step (or more) ahead of Soviet military planners. The purpose in that was to always give the Reds an out, if they chose to use it. He told me that once you crank open the lid on the case holding the nuclear ammunition, the other guy on the red side of the line was going to do the same thing, particularly if my buddy put an 8 inch nuke right in the middle of Ivan's tank battalion. Finding ways to de-escalate the Fulda Gap scenario without resorting to nukes was what he was interested in. He and his officers were always looking for an answer to the unanswerable riddle. I won't say he was successful at it, because he said every scenario ended with a big bang, for just the reasons you cited. Privately, most officers told me they never believed Ivan would cross the line. Their counterparts were really more worried we would try something stupid, particularly when Ronny Reagan put Pershing IIs on Andropov's doorstep (10 minutes flight time from Cologne to Moscow, as I recall).

You bring up the issue of chemical attack, which was sobering to my buds, however, they were very confident in our ability to deal with it. This was the reasoning at the level I reported from: In order to deliver the vast quantities of VX needed to cause 30 percent casualties, it would have to be sprayed from the air, most likely with helicopters or transports. There's no way Ivan could accomplish this without total air superiority, and the fact was there was no way he was going to get it. PERIOD! At best he could lob some scuds or artillery shells, but even then the best he could do might limit a small area of the battlefield from being re-supplied through area denial. While he certainly might use it, it had limited value on blitzkreig drive on Antwerp.

Thanks for the memories, Kurt. This might just make an interesting sim, after all.


Posts: 154 | From: Lexington, IL USA | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged
Jedi Master
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posted 10-19-2000 09:48 AM     Profile for Jedi Master   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
"I would however include an _in game_ means of altering squadron-attributed aircraft and again, for reskinning if not outright repolygonizing the wireframe points so that the player could easily improve the looks of his 'favorite machine', even as he grew the ability to fly it."

That's what the old Flight Sim Toolkit and the cancelled Aces: X-Fighters offered. The only thing is, if you include multiplay, you must either suffer local-only effects (only you see what you've done) or downloading of alterations to other planes (ala Q3 levels/mods/etc). AFAIK, that has yet to be done in a flight sim.
The Jedi Master


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