Monday, January 6, 2014

Command Modern Air and Naval Operations and its Great Scenario Editor

What a well-thought set of tools and what a wide range of options available for the scenario makers. I've spent all my weekend gaming time allowance making an scenario, testing it and just having fun with it.

The scenario is a single player, submarine vs. convoy action. A Soviet, (not so) Cold War era diesel submarine (player) against a NATO convoy (four tankers and escorts).

Right click and open in a new tab for a better view. 
In the screenshot above I am editing the NATO convoy (blue circles in a column). One frigate (a Spanish Baleares type frigate) is a detached escort in a (sorta) sprint and drift ASW patrol. I created a "ASW patrol" mission for the NATO side and assigned it to the Baleares type frigate. Then I edited the "ASW patrol" so it will be executed  within an area encompassed by the reference points (tiny Xs in the screenshot). The awesome part? That I set all the reference points to move along with the convoy, so as a result the patrol area will move too.

Right click and open in a new tab for a better view. 
In the screenshot above, another great edition feature: random setup areas. I wanted to set up the convoy at a reasonable distance from the player's submarine (red icon), so I created an "event" that is fired up upon a "trigger" becoming active (in this case a trigger that is fired automatically at two seconds of game time). The "event" results in an "action", which in this case was to move the convoy and escorts to anywhere within the area demarcated by the reference points shown above.

In this way, just after two seconds of game time the convoy is teleported to a random location within the area. Note how I made the area  within an arch some 14 or so nm from the submarine. The scenario is not too much about searching but about how to approach and engage a convoy that will appear at variable bearings from the submarine during each scenario play.

The interface for the "actions" feature (bottom left) and how all is put together in the "event" editor window.
A screenshot of a play of the scenario. My submarine (blue icon) has just detected four merchant ships (yellow icons). I got a chuckle on how easy to detect with the passive sonar are the merchant ships.  The escorts, not quite (they are designed to be less noisy).  This is the way is supposed to be, by the way. 

A screenshot of another play of the same scenario. In this case the convoy sailed almost on top of my submarine (blue icon). The red icons are the merchant ships, the yellow icons the escorts. Should I risk it and fire at the merchants, hoping for a clean escape from the escorts in the south? Decisions, decisions ...



Filippo said...

Hi, since you are facing cold war era FFG like O.H. Perry, you can dare to fire your torpedos to the tankers, plus a bearing only torpedo at the Perry (just to keep it at distance) , then go deep and go away fast from your launch location for a couple of minutes, after that you creep back and assess the damage

Erich said...

Totally agree re: the excellence of the scenario editor. I wish I had highlighted it more in my SimHQ review of 1.01. In fact, it's one of the strongest aspects of the game. With zero experience, I was able to create some really fun what-if's within a remarkably short timeframe. Given that the devs were previously famous for their outstanding Harpoon3 scenarios, I suppose it makes a great deal of sense that this particular aspect of the sim has been well tended.