Wargame: Airland Dragon

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Sireyn
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Wargame: Airland Dragon

Postby Sireyn » Mon 4 Jul 2016 08:20

--------------Latest Version: September 3, 2020


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I am happy to hear suggestions, concerns, or any kind of feedback.
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This is an ongoing personal project that started as an attempt to bring back the fun of Wargame:ALB's combat while incorporating the newer systems in Red Dragon. Years, and several overhauled systems later, the scope has far exceeded the original intent, but I'm extremely happy with how it turned out.

This was designed primarily with Coop PvE in mind and considerations towards the campaign, focusing on "believability" as opposed to "realism". Gameplay takes priority, though it should still feel authentic.

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The following is not a complete list of changes.
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--------------A Few Highlights
- New icons to easily distinguish radar weapons
- Radar anti-aircraft units have non-radar versions of their guns
- Tank ammunition identified in the unit panel
- Large scale tank armor and ammunition reevaluation
- Cluster munitions damage infantry
- Anti-aircraft guns fire in burst lengths
- New 1986-1991 CAT era; 1992 and after is its own era
- All decks now require a National/Coalition and Specialization. No general decks.
- New deck type for USSR called Independent Tank Brigade
- Unit Availability and Pricing Rebalance (see below)
- ATGM Rebalance (see below)
- Anti-Air and SEAD Rebalance (see below)
- MANPAD Rebalance
- Infantry/SF size and ammo Adjustments (see below)
- Command unit repricing
- (Red Dragons) Implemented core suggestions from "Fine-tuning NK/China" thread
- (Yugoslavia) Implemented several suggestions from "Fine tuning Yugoslavia" thread
- Replaced Dutch-German Corps with British-Dutch Corps
- Baltic Front reassigned to Finland-USSR
- Tracked vehicle road speeds reduced
- Wheeled vehicle road speeds reduced to 130km/h
- Fuel autonomy replaced with "Mean Time Between Maintenance" (doubled autonomy)
- Many new and modified units, emphasizing authenticity

--------------New Units

- (USA) M6 Linebacker
- (USA) M1064A3 120mm Mortar
- (USA) F/A-18C Hornet (ASF)
- (USA) LAV-L supply truck for Marines
- (USA) MH-6 Little bird transport
- (USA) AH-1T Seacobra IP recon
- (USA) M270 MLRS
- (USA) Cavalry Scouts in '75 and '90 versions
- (USA) US Airborne in '75 and '90 versions
- (USA) Fire support Dragon and Dragon II teams
- (USA) Light Riflemen, Mechanized Riflemen, and regular Riflemen
- (USA) CMD M1A1 Abrams
- (USA) F-16CJ (SEAD)
- (USA) F-4G Advanced Wild Weasel (SEAD)
- (USA) F-16C Block 52 (AGM-65G)
- (USA) F-4E Phantom II (ASF)
- (USA) M727 I-HAWK PIP II
- (UK) CMD Challenger 1 Mk.1
- (UK) FV102 Striker SWIG
- (UK) LAAD Starburst
- (UK) F-4M Phantom FGR.2
- (UK) Sea Harrier FRS.2
- (France) Super Etendard (Iron/Cluster Bomber)
- (France) VAB SANTAL (6x Radar Mistral)
- (W. Germany) FRR Roland 2
- (W. Germany) Gebirgsjager shock recon infantry
- (W. Germany) Jaguar 2 TOW-2
- (Canada) Kodiak (IFV transport)
- (Sweden) Prickskytte Spanare recon sniper team
- (South Korea) F-4E Peace Pheasant I
- (Israel) AMX-13 Nimda
- (Israel) M1064 Soltam K6 120mm mortar


- (USSR) Su-24 Block 15 (Iron Bomber)
- (USSR) 2S3M1 Akatsiya
- (USSR) BMP-1P / BMP-2 recon transports
- (USSR) T-55AK command tank
- (USSR) T-72B1K command tank
- (USSR) Mi-8T supply helicopter
- (USSR) Granatomotchiki AGL infantry
- (USSR) Strela-10M3 with 9M333 missile
- (USSR) Buk-M1-2
- (USSR) T-72AV
- (USSR) BRM-3K Rys exceptional optics recon IFV
- (USSR) Mig-29K ATGM plane for Marines
- (USSR) Su-27K cluster bomber for Marines
- (USSR) MT-LB Ataka
- (East Germany) T-54AMZ
- (Yugoslavia) M53/85 Praga LRU antiaircraft vehicle (https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=sr&u=http://www.paluba.info/smf/index.php%3Ftopic%3D20149.60&prev=search)
- (Yugoslavia) Nora-B ERFB long range artillery
- (North Korea) Pokpung-Ho
- (China) Z-9A good optics recon helicopter
- (China) Fang Hua Bing '90 engineer team
- (China) ZTZ-59D
- (China) ZZZ-59D command tank


--------------Core Changes

Tank Availability
Spoiler : :
Goals
- Encourage large scale battles, using formations instead of single units
- Properly balance tank pricing and deployment numbers, maintaining asymmetrical balance as often as possible
- Reassess each nation's tank selection for Gameplay and Authenticity, in that order

Changes
1. Tank availability has been generally increased, while availability bonuses during deck creation are removed
2. Tank cards are available in multiples of their doctrinal platoon sizes
3. Removed or rerolled many obsolete tanks into fire support units within the Vehicle tab
4. Updated ammunition for many tanks depending on historical and gameplay concerns
5. Smoke ammo added to guns of fire support units that are not meant to fight tanks (Scorpion, V-150, etc)

This is the core of the mod and still very much ongoing. Here's an example from my spreadsheet to get an idea.

Image


Anti-Air
Spoiler : :
Goals
- Deter proliferation of air power and reduce micro-intensity of maintaining a useful AA net
- Achieve a healthy compromise between Eugen's abstracted system and realistic map-wide radar coverage
- Allow AAA to adequately perform a secondary role of fire support without marginalizing IFV's
- Reduce general effectiveness of MANPADS against aircraft without limiting anti-helo capabilities

Changes
1. Radar Missile AA and SEAD range increased proportionally to a maximum 7km range
2. AA cannon ground range increased based on caliber, generally less than IFV autocannons
3. MANPADS effectiveness rebalanced according to real characteristics (MI-24 hitpoints reduced to 8)
4. Air to air missiles with less than 5 damage have been buffed to 5 damage

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ATGM's
Spoiler : :
Goals
- Represent ATGM's on the battlefield in its intended role as a tank killer without exaggerating their capabilities
- Add granularity to existing ATGM mechanics using a technological basis

Changes
1. Noise has been significantly decreased, generally slightly quieter than autocannons. (Helo missile noise is not modified)
2. Critical chance has been dramatically increased, as high as 84%
3. Accuracy has been somewhat increased, usually 5-10%

ATGM dynamics have been vastly improved taking into account unique technological characteristics of individual missiles. I'm extremely satisfied with the result in gameplay.

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Infantry Size and Ammo
Spoiler : :
Goals
- Increase survivability of small teams
- Reduce the "clown car" effect with some transport units
- Reduce apparent number of SF members on the battlefield
- Standardize ammo capacities while better reflecting reasonable ammo loads

Changes
1. Infantry size bonus, number of men, and ammo count standardized according to a set of rules I created
Image


Ground Unit Speeds
Spoiler : :
Goals
- Strongly distinguish the differences between tracked and wheeled vehicles
- Reduce the "convoy" effect of tanks when fast-moving
- Add strategic variety to unit selection, pronouncing the benefits of speed (Air Assault > Wheels > Tracks)

Changes
1. Tracked vehicles road speed set to +10km/h over off-road speed
2. "Autonomy" was replaced with "Mean Time Between Maintenance". Ground units will be able to go twice as long before refueling.
3. Wheeled unit road speed reduced to 130km/h

Because of the way the pathing system works, the closer road speeds are to off-road speeds the more often a unit will off-road. This results in units spreading out when fast-moving if there isn't a direct road route, which is far more visually appealing, tactically sound, and enemy AI even become a little less predictable.
A drawback is that the fuel system in the game is based on time, not distance, so faster units are more fuel efficient. I've decided to replace "Autonomy" with "Mean Time Between Maintenance", which considers any kind of non-combat related maintenance, to justify doubling ground unit autonomies.

Vasily Krysov wrote:We want this:
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over this
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Artillery
Rework of artillery
Spoiler : :
Goals
- Encourage use of medium-end howitzers
- Encourage use of batteries of artillery instead of one or two units
- Use a technological basis for denoting unit characteristics

Changes
1. Artillery aim times adjusted according to ammunition and fire control systems
- Mortar : 10 sec
- Howitzer (rudimentary) : 25 sec
- Howitzer (average) : 20 sec
- Howitzer (modern) : 15 sec
- Heavy Artillery : 30 sec
- MLRS : 45 sec
2. Artillery dispersion affected by distance
- Max dispersion kept the same / Minimum dispersion is 2/3 of max
- Corrected shot multiplies dispersion by 0.66, except for MLRS


Infantry RPG's
Rescaling of all infantry RPG's damage, range, and accuracy
Spoiler : :
Goals
- Create a new range scale, generally shorter
- Use a technological basis for assigning RPG stats

Changes
1. Infantry rocket range reduced by one step
2. Rocket range bracket assigned based on optical equipment, rocket speed and flight path, and official quoted effective range with at least 50% chance to hit
3. WIP: Consistent basis for AP values


CONCEPT : Tank Cannons
Rescaling of aim time, accuracy, and stabilization
Spoiler : :
Goals
- Create long range and short range weapons for tanks, just like infantry rifles
- Use a technological basis for assigning tanks an aim time, accuracy, and stabilizer value


--------------Game Setting Changes

- Game Settings
Spoiler : :
[list][*] 10v10 Maps Unlocked for created lobbies (Gjoll is bugged and not included)
[*] AP damage scales by one per 445m, resulting in +5AP at point blank for 2275m range guns
[*] All KE weapons above 10 AP will fire at all ranges regardless of whether they can inflict damage
[*] Helos have a takeoff and landing time of a 8 seconds
[*] FOB supply capacity to 40k and hitpoints set to 50
[*] Critical damage multiplier increased to 2 instead of 1.5


- Command Unit Repricing
Every command unit has had its price reassessed based on this set of rules
Spoiler : :
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- Camera Freedom
Ability to zoom in close to the ground, close to units, and look upwards
Spoiler : :
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Image


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This is still being worked on regularly. Please comment with any ideas, constructive feedback, or any source documents I can reference. Thanks to the community for providing the guides and tools that made it possible!
Last edited by Sireyn on Thu 3 Sep 2020 07:39, edited 65 times in total.

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molnibalage
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Re: Wargame: Airland Dragon

Postby molnibalage » Mon 4 Jul 2016 11:10

If you think seriously this I recommend the followings:

  • Cut back all gun ranges with one increment to give real role of ATGM on battlefield and modeling the RL ACC of guns. The current CTH from a moving tank against a moving target is simply funny. In RL the CTH in case is theoretical.
  • Set different aim time and dispersion to older arty to give them real role. Is no good reason why has almost one scale better dispersion between an M109 and K9 Tunder or CEASAR. Top tier arty should have 10 sec aim time, M109A3 AUX F1 and similar A/B cat arty 15 sec and all 105/122/152/203 mm arty should have 18-20 sec. The dispersion of any arty should not be higher than ~7 km and maybe even top tier arty should not have better dispersion what currently Msta has. Rocket arty aim time shold be 10-20 sec

Sadly because of decks system and veterancy you cannot bring back soo many things from WG:ALB which was better. The easiest thing what you can do currently is playing era games, only problem most of players do not play era games. Ever...

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Sireyn
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Re: Wargame: Airland Dragon

Postby Sireyn » Mon 4 Jul 2016 11:45

Thanks for the reply!

You may find ATGM's are far more usable. Above all, their noise was reduced so they can fire from cover without getting instantly spotted. Their critical chance is very high so they tend to disable optics, tracks. etc even with old missiles. Due to map compression I think the current gun and atgm ranges are the best balance. The next step would be to increase tank aim times and decrease stabilized accuracy.

Here is about the limit of their stealth against medium optics
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Set different aim time and dispersion to older arty to give them real role...

I generally agree with you. I just don't want to start setting values arbitrarily. I want some sort of technological basis to assign values to aim time, reload speed, and dispersion. For instance, according to my knowledge, most older Russian artillery relied on its commander to receive fire control inputs, as opposed to modern batteries with built-in computers in every vehicle.

- A Gvozdika might have a very fast reload, moderate aim time, and cheap ammo but dispersion increases dramatically with range.
- An Msta might have a moderate reload, fast aim time, moderate ammo cost, and dispersion stays mostly the same across its entire range.

I want to take into account the minimum size of a barrage to be effective, the supply cost of an effective barrage, and the investment cost of getting a usable sized battery on the map.

Sadly because of decks system and veterancy you cannot bring back soo many things from WG:ALB which was better.

The deck system is simple enough to modify. You can add and remove nations from coalitions and define valid deck types. I even removed "Armored" as an option for France since it became redundant with "Mechanized". Generally, stat-wise, if you can imagine it you can do it. I suppose it would even be possible to make everything identical to ALB, though that's not my intention.
Last edited by Sireyn on Fri 7 Jul 2017 05:20, edited 1 time in total.

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molnibalage
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Re: Wargame: Airland Dragon

Postby molnibalage » Mon 4 Jul 2016 12:02

If you set much higer range for HAWK, Kub, Buk, Neva and other SAMs you should consider restrict their avail and also their price.

I have to say it would be great to have such decks system where generally you get much closer to RL ratio between air/helo/land/AAA units. It is insane that a player can use so many combat helos what a full division has for support while has only 2-3 APC and 2-3 tanks which are defeneded by two SAM/AAA which is half or a whole regiment AAA/SAM defense...

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Re: Wargame: Airland Dragon

Postby Oddball » Fri 1 Dec 2017 17:53

I reinstalled the game just to give this mod a try. I like it.

If I might ask, though, why is favor always given to the M60A1 ERA over the M60A3 in terms of ammunition availability/fire control? The M60A3 TTS (the majority of the M60A3s produced) incorporated a ballistic computer which the A1 never received, including after the RISE update.

While the M60A1 (Rise) (Passive) (which is what I assume the M60A1 ERA is supposed to represent) should be better armored by virtue of its application of ERA tiles, the A3 should be in the same range bracket as the A1 ERA while having the same ammunition and superior accuracy.

I know it's a really little thing, but it's just been setting off my OCD since 2014, and no mods have really addressed this. I'm not asking for the M60 line to be buffed, just for stats to be switched at most.

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Sireyn
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Re: Wargame: Airland Dragon

Postby Sireyn » Sat 2 Dec 2017 02:18

I think the M60A1 ERA was an artificial balancing decision by Eugen, and one I haven't looked into closely from a technical standpoint. If you know of any references I could look at to compare M60 models, I'd be happy to adjust the lineup.

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Re: Wargame: Airland Dragon

Postby Oddball » Sat 2 Dec 2017 02:51

Awkwardly, most of my sources on the matter are literary and I don't want to just throw a wikipedia link at you. I'll try to find some comprehensive information on the internet.

By no means would I want you to release a whole new version just for this silly change. I was just wondering if there was a reason or, perhaps, something that I didn't know that was leading to Eugen and every modder to assume the ERA/RISE passive was a more up-to-date vehicle.

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Sireyn
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Re: Wargame: Airland Dragon

Postby Sireyn » Sat 2 Dec 2017 04:04

My only guess is that it was used by Marines in Desert Storm, so it was subject to hasty upgrades while the older M60A3's were replaced by Abrams.

If you come across any good references then these are exactly the kind of changes I like to make. I have a side hobby of collecting technical and doctrinal resources.

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Re: Wargame: Airland Dragon

Postby Oddball » Sat 2 Dec 2017 04:10

I was not able to find any reputable online sources that look any more professional than Wikipedia. So when I get home in a few hours, I'll just post a selection of pages out of R.P. Hunnicutt's book on the subject regarding A1 and A3 upgrades, life extension programs, etc.

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Re: Wargame: Airland Dragon

Postby Oddball » Sat 2 Dec 2017 07:50

Evidently I can only attach three files, unless I'm doing this incorrectly. All pages missing from the order are either pages with nothing but pictures, or about the M60A2 which it outside the scope of this discussion.
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