Command PE 2.1 has been released

March 10, 2022 · Posted in Command PE · Comment 

It’s finally here! Ever since the original release of v2.0, we have been putting together the next major update for Command PE, and the day has come: Command PE v2.1 is now available for download.

Phil Gatcomb has made a new series of tutorial videos detailing the most important new features, watch them HERE.

True to the spirit of every Command release, v2.1 is jam-packed with new features and enhancements straight from user feedback and requests. The full release notes are available HERE.

Some of the hottest new features include:

  • New feature: Lua Event-hooks. It is now possible to extend and even override built-in simulation events by using Lua scripts and hooking them up to these events. This brand-new feature was showcased at our most recent user conference and easily turned heads, with good reason: It makes implementing mechanics overrides easier than ever, and with absolutely no involvement needed by the CPE development team (particularly useful for sensitive or proprietary models/data).
  • New “Interactive Analysis Settings” window. Interactive analysis settings can now be configured on-the-fly, without having to restart the application for the changes to take effect. Big boon for analysts!
  • New simulation feature: Radar resolution cell. (See this page for background). If multiple units are located within the resolution cell, the radar will detect only one of them. This feature confers an extra advantage to higher-frequency radar systems, as they are better able to distinguish between closely-clustered targets.
  • New simulation feature: Radar vertical scan angle limits. Radars can only look up/down to a maximum of 30 degrees. This restriction severely curtails their ability to search for targets high above or well under them, and has indeed been used and exploited historically (example). There is an exception, however: Phased-array radars can scan upwards close to the vertical limit.
  • New simulation feature: Phased array off-boresight gain reduction. Phased-array radars (PESA/AESA) suffer from gain degradation (hence effective range reduction) when attempting to detect targets far off the antenna boresight, both on the horizontal and vertical plane. This schematic shows the coverage difference between a mechanical-scan set (APG-68(V)9) and two AESA radar options for the F-16:

    Note the severe drop on high off-boresight detection range on the two AESAs because of the gain reduction.This severe reduction in effective detection range can cause problems when cranking during BVR engagements, as the target is placed at the problematic “edge of scan envelope” area. To compensate for this, phased array-fitted aircraft now crank much more conservatively (less divergent from true bearing to target), in order to keep tracking the target.
  • New simulation feature: Daisy-chain weapon datalinks. Weapons can now directly connect to each other instead of always connecting to a firing/guiding platform. This behavior can be used by weapons to model comms extension, contact sharing etc.
  • New simulation feature: Loitering weapons. Two types of loitering weapons are modelled; aerodynamic and parachute. Loitering weapons can be fired either directly against a target (as standard non-loitering weapons) or BOL-fired (Ctrl+F1) into a set of coordinates and then hunt for a target either autonomously or under direct control, depending on their communication status.
  • Significant changes to sonar model. We have previously described these changes as part of the CMO v1.03 update, and they have now been absorbed into CPE as well.
  • Wholly-reworked ballistic missile trajectory model. The BM model now uses true Keplerian equations resulting in highly-accurate trajectory profiles for each range segment (minimum-energy trajectory is assumed). This is particularly visible in intermediate- and long-range ballistic shots.
  • New facility type: Surface (flat) & underground. This type represents facilities that reside primarily underground while still being partially surface-accessible (and thus attackable). Such facilities include ballistic missile silos (and old Nike-Hercules!), command / LCC bunkers and retractable forts & coastal defences (e.g. ERSTA). This type of facility can be damaged/destroyed in two ways: Direct hit on above-ground surface, or transmitted shock from underground detonation (e.g. MOP, B61-11, BLU-109/113 near-miss) or a VERY powerful surface burst (e.g. B53 laydown).
  • Ground units now have fuel records and can refuel & replenish. If they run out of fuel, they are immobilized until they can refuel. They can also request replenishment, for both fuel and ammo/stores from suitable providers (e.g. fuel-bowser trucks or ammo carriers). If they can move to the UNREP vehicles on their own they will do so; otherwise the UNREP vehicles will rendezvous with them.
  • Revised Mission Editor layout. The Mission Editor window layout has been revised, with the unassigned and per-mission assigned units windows now stacked vertically (on top of each other) instead of horizontally side-by-side. This makes it easier to read the full unit names (which may differ only towards their ends) as well as supplementary per-unit information (loadout, status etc.). In addition, the panels now include per-category filter buttons that allow displaying only the selected types of platforms:
  • Redesigned Message Log window. The Message Log window has been redesigned to be easier to interpret. Instead of grouping the displayed messages by type, messages to be displayed can now be filtered in/out by individual type, by toggling the buttons labelled with their respective type. In the example below, all message-type buttons are green, which means that all types are enabled for display:


  • New UI feature: Quick manual weapon allocation. While having an own-unit selected, shift + right-click on contact, and select “Engage with:”. This will present a submenu with all suitable weapons to engage with:

    The right-click menu has also been enriched with additional options, such as:

    • Drop Target
    • Investigate (ie. manouver to intercept & identify but do not engage)
    • Refuel To Tanker
    • Join Group As Escort (for aircraft only)
    • RTB
    • Assign New Home Base
  • In WEGO-MP mode, clients are automatically able to use custom databases regardless of their license tier. Furthermore, if the server uses a custom database, this is automatically distributed to new MP clients as they connect to the running session. This greatly simplifies the setup for starting up new MP sessions.
  • Load/save Doctrine & ROE templates. You can now load/save doctrine/ROE templates in XML format through the GUI (“Doctrine/ROE” window, “General” tab):
  • You can now change the side of any existing unit. This is supported both by the GUI and also through scripting.
  • Updated database releases (v492), with hundreds of additions and changes.
  • Dozens of other tweaks & additions big and small, based on the feedback that the development team receives from the professional user community on a daily basis.

With v2.1 out in the wild, the dev team is now free to merge several currently-in-development major new features into the main development branch, so you can update even more on the next update release. Stay tuned!


Community Scenario Pack #45: 21 new, 24 updated, 550 total!

November 1, 2021 · Posted in Command · Comment 

Hot on the heels of Red Tide and the accompanying v1.04 update, it’s now the turn of another Command staple, the Community Scenario Pack (CSP). Brandon Johnson (Kushan) has updated the pack to version #45, with updates & refreshes to 24 existing scenarios, as well as 21 brand-new creations. Let’s take a look:

Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 2024: The 572 islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands were taking on increasing strategic importance in the early portion of the Twenty-first Century. The northernmost part of the archipelago is a mere 22 nautical miles away from (a PRC friendly) Myanmar, and Indira Point, the southernmost point in the islands, is only 90 nautical miles from Indonesia. These islands dominate the Bay of Bengal and the Six Degree and Ten Degree channels through which more than 60,000 commercial vessels traverse each year!

As commander of the PLA(N) forces you are tasked with taking Great Nicobar Island by amphibious operation. Your carriers are to support the amphibious operations and if necessary, engage Indian naval forces. You will have support from H-6K “God of War” Badgers and AEW aircraft, deployed to southern China and allowed to overfly Myanmar.

Baltic Fury 3 – Warsaw Uprising, 2024: Over the past five days the air and sea fight in the central and western Baltic has been withering. Casualties have been high with huge stocks of munitions being expended. Since Bornholm was captured an expanding Soviet presence on that island has forced you to limit your activities to being largely defensive. That is about to change.

Caribbean Fury 5 – Caribbean Cruise, 1994: Six weeks into the war, this is the fifth and final scenario of a short campaign. The situation in the Caribbean has fallen into something of a routine. Beyond an occasional Soviet submarine, the area has been quiet for over a month.

Of course, there is always one fly in the ointment, and here is it Venezuela. Rhetoric and accusations over the strike at Manodez Air Base, as well as strong evidence that Soviet submarines are replenishing at Puerto La Cruz have fueled the tensions but so far, restraint has been shown by both sides.

Growing intelligence indicators, however, predict that this situation is about to change.

CSG-21 in the Eastern Mediterranean, 2021: CSG-21 approaches the Syrian coast, where its aircraft are expected to engage in the first combat sorties from a UK aircraft carrier in a generation.

Dutch Convoy in the North Atlantic, 1963: This scenario assumes that hostilities between the Soviet Union and NATO broke out during the late Spring of 1963.

You are in command of a Dutch convoy currently enroute to the United States to pick up replenishments for NATO forces.  You mission is quite simple–get as many of your ships to Boston as possible.  Sink any Soviet ships or submarines that get in your way.

Kanton Island – Kiribati, 2024: In 2022 the People’s Republic of China (PRC) began an extension of the Kanton Island Airport in the Republic of Kiribati. Over the next two and a half years the 20 remaining islanders were relocated from the island and the island was transformed into a major PLA(N) forward operating base.

In response to the PRC construction, the USN reactivated the airfield on Johnson Island but without any significant facilities and only a skeleton staff. Aircraft can stage and refuel at the island but no reloads are available there.

Nicaragua Missile Crisis, 2024: Daniel Ortega the, once and future, dictator of Nicaragua won the 2021 election handily and quickly assumed full power dissolving the last vestiges of democracy in the country. Ortega rapidly strengthened his ties with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), accepting arms/training and signing agreements to host People’s Liberation Army (PLA) air bases and port facilities.

In late September 2024 an unusual convoy departed the PRC with two (2) Ro-Ro vessels with unusually large ramps headed for Nicaragua. When they arrived, they disgorged between 12 to 24 Transport Erector Launches (TELs) with, what analysists believed were, nuclear capable missiles on them. By late October these TELs were dispersed in central Nicaragua with the United States demanding their removal. The clock had been turned back about 50 years and the United States faced yet another “Missile Crisis!”

Northern Fury 41 – Tour de Force, 1994: The global war between East and West has been raging for a month, NATO is on the offensive, but the Warsaw Pact is far from defeated and still has the ability to counterattack.

You are in command of Strike Fleet North (STRIKFLTNOR) and control all naval and air assets north of the GIUK gap and above the Arctic Circle in Norway. Your boss, Admiral Falkner commanding Strike Fleet Atlantic (STRIKFLTLANT) from shore at Faslane Scotland has given you his command ship (USS Mount Whitney) and most of the offensive power of NATOs Atlantic Fleet.

Northern Fury 45 – A Rock on the Beach, 1994: Six weeks into World War Three and the Warsaw Pact has been halted on all fronts, now NATO is striking back. Overnight 31 March/1 April STRIKEFLTLANT conducted amphibious and airborne operations to sever the Soviet land and sea line of communications (LOC) in Norway. As anticipated the Soviets reacted strongly and you, as commander of the 6th Marines Regimental Landing Team (RLT), acting as the floating reserve have been committed to stabilize a difficult situation.

Your task in this scenario will be to seize and hold the area north of Narvik, in preparation for another brigade of the 82nd Airborne to jump in and seize the town itself.

Operation El Dorado Canyon, 1996: Kushans masterpiece recreation of the 1986 US strikes on Libya but set 10 years later!

Operation Rimon 20, 1970: One of the forgotten engagements of the Cold War, this engagement really happened.

Very soon after the Six Say War, a stung, Nasser launched the “War of Attrition” with the idea of wearing down Israeli forces in the Sinai. After Israel launched Operation Priha (Blossom) in January 1970 striking the Egyptian heartland Nasser had had enough and traveled to Moscow to solicit more support.

Knowing the Soviets were flying over Egypt the Israelis backed off fearing a confrontation with the superpower, but as things progressed, they had a change of heart and decided to actively engage the Soviets and give them a blackeye. The Israelis developed a plan to draw the Soviets into and ambush and developed a crack squad of pilots to go up against a group of average Soviet fliers.

After a series of morning strikes to lull the Egyptians and Soviets into thinking it was just another day the stage was set for the afternoon ambush. The results were predictable…

Operation Urgent Fury, 1983: In mid-October 1983 the island of Grenada was in chaos with at least 19 soldiers and civilians killed in a confrontation on 19 October. The dead included the deposed Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop, his partner, Jacqueline Creft, two cabinet ministers and two union leaders. General Hudson Austin, of the People’s Revolutionary Army (PRA) of Grenada, seized power and declared a four-day ‘shoot on sight” curfew across the island.

Long a bone of contention for the Reagan Administration was the expansion of the Point Salines International Airport in the southern portion of the island.  Despite the fact that the project was proposed and funded with the help of Britain, Canada, Cuba, Libya, Algeria, and other nations, the Administration pointed to the construction by Cuban nationals as a clear sign of nefarious intentions. With the shoot on sight curfew order Hudson gave the United States it’s rational for invasion, the rescue of some 600 medical students on the island…

Pacific Fury 1 – Bolt from the Blue, 1994: Your carrier and its battle group are the US Navy’s ‘Forward Deployed’ force based in Yokosuka Japan as part of the US 7th Fleet. In a normal year, your force would spend the winter months in port refitting, but this is not a normal year. Instead, the battle group deployed to the Philippines in early January for a multi-carrier exercise with USS Constellation and USS Abraham Lincoln, then a Freedom of Navigation run through the Strait of Taiwan, and finally an amphibious exercise with the South Koreans.

Now, plans to head home were canceled last night and we’ve been ordered to deploy to the south coast of Hokkaido for a deterrence operation. Should be a quiet week. What could possibly go wrong?

Pacific Fury 2 – Bombeska on Hokkaido, 1994: You have been given the Job of neutralizing Japanese and American forces on the island of Hokkaido to ensure safe passage of naval and air forces into the Pacific. While your commander is dealing with Moscow you have been given this critical but secondary task. In London they called it ‘The Blitz’ but in Russia we will call it the ‘Bombeska’.

It won’t be easy, especially when many of your assigned forces have separate chains of command and/or have different objectives.

Pacific Fury 3 – Caught Flat Footed, 1994: Due to the increased tensions with the Soviets the Pacific Fleet’s exercise schedule has been ramped up, and your CVBG has been participating in a series of exercise over the past six weeks.

About 30 minutes ago you received a FLASH message from 3rd Fleet HQ in San Diego. You are now tasked to collect your battlegroup together and take Connie and her chicks north to reinforce the Independence around Japan. Unfortunately, a series of seemingly disconnected events have created a situation which you are not at all comfortable with.

Pacific Fury 4 – I Come from a Land Down Under, 1994: You are Commander of the newly formed Combined Task Force 165 (CTF-165). Your TF consists of mostly Australian and New Zealand assets but there are also American, Pilipino, Bruneian and British forces assigned to you. Your primary task is the reinforcement of Brunei, a small British aligned Sultanate rich in oil and natural gas on the Northwest coast of Borneo.

The main opposition is from the Soviet base at Cam Ranh Bay Vietnam but based on events of the past few days you should be prepared for anything.

Pacific Fury 5 – Shemya Shakedown, 1994: You are Commander of the 143rd Red Banner Missile Aviation Division based at Mongokhoto Airbase, part of the Soviet Pacific Fleet. In response to an American attack on the Crimea a couple days ago you have been tasked to attack an American base in the Near Islands, part of what the US calls the Aleutian Islands Chain.

Of course, there are a few complications; the Americans have deployed a squadron of F-15s there as part of their NORAD defense, you have the unreliable support of a PVO squadron of MiG-31s, and you must be very careful not to damage their COBRA DANE radar or they will think we are starting a nuclear war.

Saving the Third Temple, 1973: Syrian armored forces pushed into the Jordan river valley just north of the sea of galilee late today. The IDF has only a thin screen of troops on the western escarpment and is stretched to the breaking point. Without us air support they may be forced to resort to nuclear weapons to eliminate the Syrian salient. NCA has authorized one day of air strikes within Israel and the Golan to support the IDF.

Shandong Lashes Out, 2021: The confrontation with VPN vessels in the Spratlys has resulted in the attacking vessel and other VPN vessels taking refuge in Cam Ranh Bay. The Central Military Committee has determined to send a message to all nations that interference with PRC activities within the Nine-Dash Line will not be tolerated. The 24th Air Regiment and Shandong Carrier Strike Group (CSG) will launch a series of airstrikes on Cam Ranh Bay over a 36-hour period. The intention of degrading VPN capabilities by destroying as many faculties and vessels in the naval base as possible.

The Battle of Bejaia, 1999: The horrific civil war in Algeria has drawn the attention of the European Union, which seeks to support Algeria’s elected government and bring the bloodshed to an end. Recent intelligence has raised concerns that the rebels will attempt to seize control of the port city of Bejaia or commit massacres in some of the surrounding towns.

You are the commander of an E.U. task force.  Your instructions will be provided as the scenario unfolds.

Vengeance, 2021: Commander, as you know an Iranian proxy group recently murdered the crew of an Israeli merchant vessel in cold blood. The Cabinet has decided a reprisal for this cowardly act is necessary. An Iranian task group consisting of two frigates and an oiler are in Port Said, Egypt and will depart for Latakia, Syria on, or about, the morning of 4 Jun 2022. This task group is being accompanied by the Russian Frigate Admiral Essen.

Your mission is to sink, at least, one of the Iranian Naval Vessels, preferably a surface combatant, with torpedoes. You may not use Harpoon missiles for this mission. You will have limited intelligence in order to maintain plausible deniability, should something go wrong. Mossad will place assets to report on the Iranian progress on civilian and merchant vessels and you will have data from Satellites and Over the Horizon Radars. IAF recon assets, including drones, will stand down during the Iranian transit.

The new community scenario pack is, as always, available for download at the Command Team site: , and also on the Steam workshop.

The CSP now proudly counts 550 scenarios in its stable!

Companion to Red Tide: The v1.04 Command update

October 20, 2021 · Posted in Command · Comment 

Command: Red Tide is on schedule for official release tomorrow and, as usual with campaign DLCs, it is going to be accompanied by a a major official update to CMO. The new v1.04 update consolidates all public-beta and minor official releases since v1.03 and introduces several significant changes and some new features. The complete release notes are available HERE.

This time around, and compared to previous sim-heavy updates like v1.02 or v1.03, the emphasis has been less on new simulation features and more on enhancing user interface functionality and quality-of-life (QoL) additions. Let us walk through some of the heavy hitters:

  • A new page dedicated to sensors has been added to the database viewer. This fullfills a frequent player request and allows exploring in greater detail the various properties of a sensor. This is a very new addition and things are still being polished on it, based on preliminary feedback from the recent public beta that introduced it.
  • A further DB-viewer improvement: The RCS signatures of aircraft are now shown per-loadout in addition to their “clean” ones. This makes it easier to understand how external stores on an aircraft are affecting RCS and the subsequent effect in detection range by different threat radars.
  • A sub-type filter has been added to the DB-viewer, for quicker navigation & sorting of platforms.
  • A new map option allows automatically filtering-out contacts based on posture (e.g. filter-out all neutrals). This can be very useful to help declutter a very busy map (e.g. in Northern Inferno #1 once SOSUS detections start happening) without manually having to filter-out each contact.
  • The “red-X” (Direct-X device context loss) issue during resume from sleep/hibernation/screenlock has been fixed, making it easier to run Command unattended for prolonged periods (particularly useful for big, complex scenarios).
  • Various improvements to search-and-rescue operations and logics have been added.
  • It is now possible to edit the fuel levels of platforms directly through ScenEdit, without needing to use scripting or the SBR. Similarly, fire and flooding status are now directly editable, making it easier to represent already-damaged platforms (or just experiment with the effects of secondary damage).
  • Various new properties and methods have been added to the Lua scripting API.
  • Scenarios featuring numerous MEO/GEO satellites should no longer suffer a significant performance hit.
  • The latest versions of the DB3000 and CWDB databases are included, with a plethora of platform & system additions as well as numerous tweaks, fixes and updates.
  • Plus, of course, a large number of further additions, tweaks and fixes to both the user interface and simulation engine based directly on user feedback.

The v1.04 update will be released tomorrow, together with Red Tide. The Command development team is already busy assembling the follow-on updates and working on a number of new features that players will certainly enjoy to discover. Stick around!

The scenarios of Red Tide

October 7, 2021 · Posted in Command · Comment 

The release of the new “Red Tide” campaign pack and the accompanying v1.04 upgrade for CMO is getting closer, in two weeks from now. Let us take a look through the scenarios in this hypothetical 1985 worldwide conflict, a much-anticipated release by the creator of “Northern Inferno”.

The Bedford Incident

USS Bedford, a US 2nd Fleet destroyer is on patrol near the Svalbard Islands together with HNoMS Narvik, and they have been repeatedly overflown by Soviet aircraft, including low-level passes at main deck level.

Bedford has also had fleeting contacts on sonar, which is believed to be an unknown submarine in territorial waters.

Even though hostilities have not broken out, the Bedford’s captain is hell bent on bringing it to the surface – or worse…

Kobayashi Maru

Soviet doctrine called for an all-out attack on any American Carrier Battle Group (CVBG) within reach in the first minutes of a conflict. Not only were CVBGs powerful naval forces, but strategic nuclear strike platforms as well.

To accomplish this goal, American Carriers were relentlessly followed from the moment they left port, either with satellites, destroyers or intelligence ships (AGIs) which would follow the carrier battle group wherever it went, always reporting the CVBG’s position.

If peace suddenly changed to war, the units shadowing the CVBG would give the other attacking forces the position of the carrier, and if possible also attack it themselves.

With this in mind, an agreement was formulated called the “Incidents at Sea Agreement” between the USA and the Soviet Union: Hostile acts include not only firing weapons, but also locking a fire-control radar onto another vessel.

With such an expansive definition of a “hostile act”, what can possibly go wrong?

Unwanted Visitors

Since the sinking of the Golf-class SSB, NATO and the Soviet Union are now at war. Frantic talks between both sides have led to nothing with blame been levelled at each other; inside sources in Geneva have said the latest round of peace talks “are not going well.”

A state of war now exists between Soviet Union and NATO. SACLANT has deployed NATO’s Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT) from the South-Western approaches to a position from which it can both deter and destroy any Soviet naval movements in the GIUK Gap. Standing-alert air assets in Iceland and Norway have also been made available.

A few days ago, the Northern Fleet sortied several surface units into the GIUK Gap area to hunt down any NATO forces. NATO has deployed its own alert units to counter this force, but NATO assets are currently limited until reinforcements can be mobilized and arrive in-theater.

Can NATO’s ragtag alert force successfully engage the powerful Soviet fleet?

Fire Cracker

Brunei has complained to the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) on the infringement of its Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) by the Soviet Union and Vietnam; these countries have also been harassing local shipping outside the EEZ as well.

Yesterday the Waspada and Seteria, two of Brunei’s fast attack craft, were sunk with the loss of all hands whilst patrolling their EEZ. Their attackers are unknown, but it is believed Vietnamese units were involved.

Brunei has requested military assistance from the FPDA. Malaysia and Singapore have deployed units to the area to assist, with the United Kingdom flying in a detachment of Buccaneer strikers from Cyprus. The Australia and New Zealand government has diverted a Bersama Lima deployment (TU 544.01.02 and TU 544.01.03) from Singapore to the South China Sea in Response. Task group 544.01.01 is already on station in the Brunei EEZ. Additional UK and Australian aircraft are deployed on Brunei Int. airport.

Coming together, the FPDA responders are determined to repulse any intruder – by any means.

Trident Spear

The war is two weeks old now, and over the past few days Norway’s northern air defence system has been devastated by bomber and Spetnaz attacks. Just last week, forces from UK, Australia and New Zealand were in a major engagement in the South China Sea against Soviet and Vietnamese Forces; all sides were bloodied in that engagement.

In the North Atlantic, STANAVFORLANT has been decimated by a sneak Backfire strike, the survivors withdrawing to Faslane for repairs and replenishment. Soviet submarines which repositioned prior to the commencement of hostilities are now wreaking havoc in the Greenland – Iceland – United Kingdom (GIUK) Gap. NATO ASW forces are responding in force.

The British carrier HMS Illustrious and her battle group, along with Dutch and Canadian ships and submarines are now in position to stem the tide of Soviet submarines flooding into the North Atlantic to join their counterparts who have previously taken up station.

Iceland has been reinforced by Canadian Aurora MPAs and elderly F-101 Voodoos from reserve units, and the UK is continuing to fly Nimrods out of RAF Lossiemouth. The SOSUS network is online and operational and provides early warning detection and tracking of Soviet submarines – and lots of them.

Can Lusty and her company seal the gap?


Over the last week, Soviet special forces have destroyed the SOSUS buildings and infrastructure at Gibraltar, rendering the network useless in the Gibraltar Strait area.

To plug the gap, NATO has deployed two “CATAS” (towed array) ships in the area, HMS Sirius and USS Moosbrugger, bolstered by additional units from Portugal and Spain.

NATO believes the destruction of the local SOSUS node is a pre-amble to a surge of Soviet submarines, possibly escorted by surface ships and aircraft, which may try and enter the Mediterranean via the Gibraltar Straits. Such a move would greatly increase the threat to NATO forces in the Med.

Nothing must be allowed to pass through the Rock.

Commerce Raider

Heavy fighting has continued at sea for the last 3 weeks. Soviet forces have crossed the border into Norway, with the Norwegians taking heavy casualties in defence of their homeland.

At sea, losses have been heavy on both sides – in men and material.

NATO needs to resupply Europe and is in the process of forming new convoys to Europe; 3 Cdo Brigade is now afloat and on route to reinforce NATO’s northern flank in Norway.

But the entire world is now at at war: Brazil and Chile have decided to side with NATO and assist in providing escort for convoys in the South Atlantic en-route to Europe. The French meanwhile have forces in the Cameroons with a naval presence off West Africa.

The United Kingdom has detached its Falkland islands guardships to provide escort for a small convoy, leaving the islands to protection by Chile. RAF Ascension island has been reinforced with detachments of strike, MRR (maritime recon) and tanker assets to assist the safe passage of the convoy.

A number of Soviet submarines and warships are known to be operating in the South Atlantic, with MMR aircraft based in Angola to support their search operations in the area. Latest intelligence suggests Cuban units are operating alongside their Soviet allies.

The South Atlantic convoy is clearly drawing a lot of attention. But nevertheless, it has to get through.

Authors Note:
Commerce raiding is a form of naval warfare used to destroy or disrupt logistics of the enemy on the open sea by attacking its merchant shipping, rather than engaging its combatants or enforcing a blockade against them.

Enemy at the Gate

Whilst on patrol, the French SSBN “FS Le Redoutable” ran into a Soviet Whiskey-class SSK in the Mid-Atlantic, and sustained a near-miss torpedo explosion. The explosion caused major flooding in the reactor compartment as well as damage to communications and sensors. After emergency repairs, she is now making best speed to the sanctuary of Brest naval base to conduct further repairs.

Obviously, a predictably-tracked western strategic missile submarine is a prize target for Soviet forces, and it is a safe assumption they will do everything in their power to destroy her completely. Accordingly, French naval forces have established an ASW barrier to protect her whilst she returns to port.

Authors Note:
France was a founding member of NATO and fully participated in the Alliance from its outset. Paris was home to its first permanent Headquarters.
In 1966, France decided to withdraw from the NATO Integrated Military Command Structures. That decision in no way undermined France’s commitment to contribute to the collective defence of the Alliance. Instead, it aimed, in the words of General de Gaulle, to “modify the form of our Alliance, without altering its substance.”

Deja Vu

After the Soviet strikes on British, Australian and New Zealand forces in the South China Sea, the United States has deployed the Midway CVBG to the area to deter Soviet influence in the area. Select Japanese ships are also in support.

Soviet forces have now resupplied their bases in Vietnam and are posed to conduct further attacks in the area. Naturally, the Midway CVBG’s presence makes it one of their prime targets. Vietnamese forces are also on high alert and are likely to support any Soviet operations after their attacks on Australian and New Zealand Forces.

The Midway group has been tasked with conducting “Alpha Strikes” and mining operations against Soviet forces in the Cam Ranh Bay area, while simultaneously repulsing any attacks on own or allied forces.

Built during WW2, the Midway is by this time one of the oldest and smallest active USN carriers, and one of the last to operate the classic F-4 Phantom II and A-7 Corsair II aircraft. Is the “Midway Magic” up to such a demanding task?


Task Group 70.02 was formed from units scattered throughout the Pacific at the start of the war, including the training carrier USS Lexington, and has now been deployed to conduct defensive operations in the vicinity of Midway island to deter any invasion by Soviet forces on the islands.

Intelligence indicates that a number of  Soviet warships, including amphibious units and the carrier Minsk, have deployed from Pacific Fleet bases and are enroute to the islands with the intention to seize them and use them as a forward operating base against the Hawaiian islands.

The “Blue Ghost”, with a scratch air group composed of anything that can operate off her, has now taken station north of the islands to deter any invasion ideas the Soviets have for Midway. Forces from Canada, Australia and the US Coast Guard have been formed into a task unit and will be providing close ASW defence of the Islands.

Hells Highway

Soviet motorized and armored units have crossed the Norwegian border a week ago, and have met stiff resistance from Norwegian forces.

NATO deployed a Rapid Reaction Force (RRF) which has been air dropped into northern Norway, comprising of UK paratroopers and Italian mountain troops, but they urgently require further support to stem the Soviet onslaught.

3 Cdo Brigade and the 1st Combat Group NL Marines have been embarked at Faslane and are now  in an amphibious group led by HMS Hermes, which has been rushed out of reserve status due to the current conflict. The group has been ordered to make a fast transit to the port of Trondheim to unload their embarked forces.

The war-worn Hermes has one last job to do…

End Game

With most of Norway now under Soviet control, SACLANT has been ordered to take direct action against Soviet installations in the Kola Peninsula and to neutralize remaining Red Banner Northern Fleet naval units in the Norwegian and Barents Sea.

Three NATO CVBGs centered around the carriers Saratoga, America and Foch and their escorts have converged on the Azores approximately 3 days ago.

As the Soviet theater commander, you have been ordered to conduct a maximum-effort strike against the CVBGs that have formed in the Atlantic Ocean. You have all the available assets at your disposal: A surface-action group centered on the Kirov, multiple attack and cruise-missile submarines, multiple naval aviation bomber regiments and satellite support. Nuclear anti-ship weapons have been released to your authority.

The theater may be complex, but your task is fundamentally simple: Eliminate the NATO threat to the Rodina at all costs.

“Living your life with me, I am you, you see,
There is part of me in everyone,
So reach down grab my hand, walk with me through the land,
Come home where you belong…”
(Lucifer Morningstar a.k.a. Devil, borrowing the voice of James Hetfield, Metallica 1983)

No sleep till Athens: The 8th Command-PE User Conference

September 28, 2021 · Posted in Command PE · Comment 

Crossposted from:

8th Command: Professional Edition User Conference – Stafford, VA

Matrix Games, LLC hosted the 8th Annual Command: Professional Edition User Conference outside the gates of Marine Corps Base Quantico from 13-17 September 2021. The five days event included a host of in person and virtual users of the Command software, in a week focused on helping the defense community get the most from this incredibly powerful software. Event host Iain McNeil, Director of Development for Matrix Games said “this event gets bigger and better each year, and one of the most important aspects of the event is the ideas shared between our community, not just the information we share with them.”

Participants in this year’s event represented over 35 different defense organizations, and in a first for the event, members of Matrix’s Command development team led parallel sessions for beginner and advanced users. This year’s topics included creating scenarios, editing the database, Lua scripting, Monte Carlo mode, mechanics overrides, running via the Command Line Interface and more.

Dimitris Dranidis, lead developer and “father” of Command, led several discussions, including an overview of Matrix’s plans for future development of the Command Platform. These improvements include enhancements to Command’s land warfare capability (a.k.a. Project Hannibal), the amphibious operations planner, manned-unmanned teaming, improvements to communications networks, as well as backend developments that will bring a 64-bit version of Command and all the possibilities that come with it.

Rory Anderson, technical lead, previewed the new real-time multiplayer mode for Command, which allows real-time vectoring of Command entities to support your team and defeat your opponent with up to 16 players simultaneously. While there’s still significant work to be done before this is complete, Rory and the team connected three systems to the server, an umpire and a red and blue side, and started the game. While the two sides fought for supremacy in the skies, the umpire was tracking not only the battle, but could also see exactly where red and blue’s attention was by showing both where their focus and their mouse were on the map in real-time.

In addition to presentations from Matrix, attendees both formally and informally shared how they are using Command to meet their objectives across a wide range of areas, including: concept development, wargaming, education, and logistics analysis.

  • German Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Silier showed how the Luftwaffe uses Command to augment the Air Force Academy’s Air Power lessons for new officers. Their methodology has won awards in Germany and has inspired many of the Academy’s students to fight their own battles using Command in the school’s wargaming club.
  • Ryan Reeder from the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab showed how they use Command as part of its concept development efforts. The Lab has been driving some key new features that have been developed for command including the Amphibious Landing Planner and Passive Coherent Location Systems.
  • Ryan McKendrick from Northrup Grumman shared how Command has served as the training environment for it’s Artificial Intelligence in DARPA’s Gamebreaker Challenge. He talked about the innovative techniques being used and the impressive results after looking at 200 quadrillion variants (that’s a 2 with 15 zeros after it).
  • LtCol Doug Downey shared how Marine Corps University’s Command and Staff College uses Command to support the school’s education of majors and lieutenant colonels in learning the Marine Corps Decision Making Process. Under the supervision of military faculty and retired senior USMC leaders, students prepare plans and orders for simulation and adjudication in Command by expert operators. In coordination with MCU staff, the expert operators execute these orders and provide outcomes and situation updates to the students the next day so they can plan for the next wargame turn.

In addition to Command users, the event’s location near Marine Corps Base Quantico and in the Washington, D.C. area provided an opportunity for several distinguished visitors to attend. MajGen Julian D. Alford, Commanding General for USMC Training Command was given a demonstration of Command and provided the attendees with some remarks on the value of the right tool for training. Also visiting the event was Colonel Scott Gilman, Deputy Director of the U.S. Army Modeling and Simulation Office. His team attended to learn more about Command and to discuss setting up a US franchise of the wargaming-for-education focused “Fight Club” in the United Kingdom. Fight Club is a bottom-up initiative that uses commercial off the shelf wargames, including two of Matrix Games’ products, Combat Mission and Flashpoint Campaigns, to improve military thinking.

“The combination of topics and contributions from our attendees made this our best event yet,” said an exhausted JD McNeil, Business Director for Matrix Games, “and we are already looking forward to our next one.”



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