Realism Help! Spotting Ranges

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Realism Help! Spotting Ranges

Postby RaduM » Fri 16 May 2014 11:31

First, I'd like to thank the people that contributed to the Infantry Squad Ammo thread. Your input was very helpful.

Onto the thread at hand.

This is a tricky issue that I've wrestled with since I started tinkering with Wargame.I spent a good couple of hours in Arma III standing in the salt flats of Altis with binoculars, running at max settings and max view distance, taking notes on what I can spot.

What I am looking for is a few reasonably accurate values for various spotter/spotted scenarios.

Before I get into details I must first specify the following : Due to both the limitations of the Wargame Engine and the incipient nature of this "Recon Investigation" , for now consider only normal optics; human vision + magnification lenses of various kinds. No thermal vision, no ground search radars (except for any carried by ground attack aircraft).

PHASE 1. Ground units -spotting- Ground Units.

Spotting Unit Categories :

A) Infantry
A.1) Recon Infantry (No special forces only regular scouts from Division/Brigade Recon Battalions/Companies)
A.2) Frontline Infantry (Rifle Squads, AT/AA Teams)

B) Vehicles
B.1) Recon Vehicles (M113 ACAV, BRDM-2)
B.2) Frontline Vehicles (Tanks, Armored Infantry/Direct-Fire Weapons Carriers -plus- Self-Propelled AA Guns)
B.3) Non-Frontline Vehicles (Self-Propelled Artillery, Self-Propelled Anti-Air -minus- Self-Propelled AA Guns)

Spotting Scenarios :

1) Infantry
1.1) Open Terrain
1.1.1) Silent (Not Moving/Shooting)
1.1.2) Moving
1.1.3) Shooting
1.2) Cover/Concealment
1.2.1) Silent
1.2.2) Moving
1.2.3) Shooting

2) Vehicle
2.1) Open Terrain
2.1.1) Silent (Not Moving/Shooting)
2.1.2) Moving
2.1.3) Shooting
2.2) Cover/Concealment
2.2.1) Silent
2.2.2) Moving
2.2.3) Shooting

What I would like to know are maximum spotting ranges for each Spotting Unit Category in each Spotting Scenario.

While discussion is certainly encouraged, I would appreciate it if hard numbers would be presented in an organized template like the following example :

Spotting Unit Category : A.1) Recon Infantry

Spotting Scenarios :

1) Infantry
1.1) Open Terrain
1.1.1) Silent (Not Moving/Shooting) : X Meters
1.1.2) Moving : Y Meters
1.1.3) Shooting : Z Meters
1.2) Cover/Concealment
1.2.1) Silent : M meters
1.2.2) Moving : N meters
1.2.3) Shooting : O meters

etc,etc and so on.

Although I have my own semi-conclusions/gut feelings about many of the Spotting Unit category-Spotting Scenario pairs, I'd like to keep them to myself for now so as not to influence the direction of the discussion.

Thank you in advance to all who participate. Depending on how quick and fruitful the discussion is, the conclusions will be included in the next BattleGroup Mod release. Personally, I am eager to include these because in my opinion an authentic spotting mechanic is one of the single most important "gray areas" this mod needs to get right. (EDIT : The other being Morale/Suppression which will be the subject of another discussion)
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Re: Realism Help! Spotting Ranges

Postby Bryan » Fri 16 May 2014 15:54

To be realistic, we should have all normal units see everything NOT in cover.
The clarity (unknown units) of what they see should then be dependent on: optics, training and if applicable, radar.

Its pretty stupid to climb a mountain and not see enemy units at the base of the hill, or that distant enemy artillery battery in the field you overlook about 5km away. Right?

I would only give radar units like RASIT or BRM-1K the availability to see behind minor obstacles and at a further range.

Clarity of the unit's optics should be.
Infantry, not very clear, hard to tell IFV from tank for example.
Tank, not clear, thermals do not provide such degrees of clarity.
Recon infantry, vehicles, thermal? Optical? Should be the same as others, only difference should be their higher stealth as a representation of their ability to sneak.

Aircraft should have the worst clarity. They would not be able to tell a T-72 from an M1 at the speeds they travel.

Units with thermals, radars, should uncover units in hiding.

Recon should have similar ranges, but have significantly higher stealth to allow the, to "sneak".

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Re: Realism Help! Spotting Ranges

Postby wingen013 » Fri 16 May 2014 21:00

These are just rough figures but:
5-10 km for infantry (lower numbers for reservists and other under-equipped forces and higher numbers for special recon troops)
3-4 km for older tanks (fairly bad visibility)
5-7 km for newer tanks(updated with newer tech and more suited to operating at long ranges)
8 km for combat helos (mostly occupied with looking in their immediate area for manpads than scouting ahead)
15+ km for scout helos (equipped with state of the art optics)
16+ km for recon vehicles(equipped with good optics and sensors like the helos without the distraction of the noise and readouts from the Helicopter)

of course obstacles play a huge role

these numbers are based mostly on engagement ranges as well as how likely a given soldier is to be noticing something ridiculously far away rather than the terrain around them, how focused that soldier is when it comes to recon, how worried they are about immediate threats i.e. an infantry-man wary of ambush v.s. a recon Humvee at on obs post. As well as how distracted they might be worrying about things like the controls of the vehicle they are in or the large amount of equipment weighing them down.
there is a misspelling my username should be wingren013

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