Saturday, September 9, 2017

CMANO - Making Tactical Decision Aids

If my ship cavitates at flank speed and there is no enemy sub with a Lua trigger recording the event, will I learn anything?

Ok, I admit it, this is a click bait. Now that I got your attention, this image is the result of an early attempt at recursively generating ships and subs.

Tactical aids come in all types and forms. There are the ones that simply show a tactical situation and help the commander to make a decision. There are others that help the decision making by providing likely outcomes given a particular tactical situation.

CMANO is a very versatile simulation platform. Its scenario editor allows the player to create an scenario with outstanding easiness. What would happen if this ship is here and an enemy sub is here searching? Would the ship get detected?

Addressing such a situation with a CMANO scenario is easy because the initial positions for both the ship and the sub are known beforehand. Alas, the commander rarely knows the position of an enemy submarine. In this blog entry I want to share the results of a tactical aid I generated for a virtual US ship commander that is in a hurry to sail south. He wants to know what are the likely submarine initial positions from which he can be detected.

The setup. A US Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser (blue icon) is navigating sout at flank speed. Unknown to his commander, a DPRK submarine (a SSN of the Severodvinsk-class, yeah I know I am not Tom Clancy) can be anywhere 50 nm from him and will start patrolling the circular area highlighted with the yellow reference points. 

In the screenshot above, the start of the scenario is shown, with the US warship in the center and an enemy submarine, 50 miles away, which can be seen because I'm using God's eye view.

The scenario runs automatically and recursively with the help of a few Lua scripts.The sequence of events is as follows:

  1. The scenario starts
    1. A counter is initialized. This counter keeps track of a series recursive ship vs sub simulation runs
    2. Units are added to the scenario
      1. The US warship is placed in the center and give a course due south, at flank speed
      2. A DPRK sub is placed 50 miles from the US ship and given a patrol area delineated by the reference points above
    3. If the US warship remains undetected and reaches an escape area south of the DPRK patrol's area
      1. All units are deleted
      2. The counter mentioned in 1.1 is advanced
      3. New units are generated
        1. A US warship is placed in the center and give a course due south, at flank speed
        2. A DPRK sub is placed 50 miles from the US ship and given a patrol area delineated by the reference points above. The DPRK sub initial position is not the same as the one used in the previous simulation run. This initial position is advanced clockwise from the initial position of the US warship
    4. If the US warship is detected
      1. A marker reference point is made at the initial position of the DPRK sub. The marker is labelled "Danger" because this an initial sub position that will generate a headache for the US commander.
      2. All units are deleted
      3. The counter mentioned in 1.1 is advanced
      4. New units are generated
        1. Same as 3.1
        2. Same as 3.2

A typical scenario start. The ship and sub placed, just waiting for me to start the thing by clicking the Start/Resume button.

As the scenario progresses and multiple cycles of run-delete-create, the submarine starting positions (red icon) change. 

In the screenshot above no submarine starting position has been marked with the "Danger" reference point because the US warship has been able to escape in all runs so far.

However, the US warship was detected when the DPRK submarine started in the highlighted positions.

Well, no shit captain obvious, everybody knows that the most dangerous area for a big cruiser cavitating across submarine's waters is the port/starboard bow. But all I'm trying is to make a point of the foresight WarfareSims showed at plugging Lua functionality to its scenario editor.

If there is enough readership for this entry, we can go through the Lua scripts used in the making of this scenario.



Dimitris said...

Please do :)

JC said...

Hi Dimitris! Nice to see you around here.

CV60 said...

I second the motion. Very interested in how you do this

Carlos Ribeiro said...

wonderful post.

xxup said...

Yes please. I am also interested in the detail.

JC said...

Thanks everybody for your interest.

Will post about the scripts soon.


Granger44 said...

Also interested in the details

JC said...

Thanks, I will get into it this weekend.

apache85 said...

Great idea, I will definitely be using this in future scenario design.