The great leaps of v1.11: Pier operations

March 12, 2016 · Posted in Command 

The v1.10 update for CMANO was released on Feb 26 to widespread acclaim. The dev team is already hard at work preparing the next upcoming major release, version v1.11. After the panoply of new features in past updates, what new tricks do the CMANO devs have up their sleeves? Let’s take a peek.

Pier Operations

You asked for it, so here it is!

Ships have had the ability to dock with designated parent ships and facilities ever since the beta days of Command, but their ability to be serviced while docked was very limited. This changes with v1.11: Proper refuel, re-arm and repairs are implemented.

Pier facilities now extend passable “pier lane” areas around them that allow ships to navigate to pier areas even slightly inland (similar to canals). This allows true-to-life positioning of pier facilities without having to flatten the terrain data around them in order to make them accessible.


The light-shadow polygon is the “pier lane” area projected by the multiple pier facilities inland. Ships and submarines can freely traverse this area (even though terrain is nominally present) to navigate in and out of the piers.

Once a ship docks to a pier (or parent ship), the process of refuel, repair and replenishment begins. Both refueling and rearming happen at faster rates than on UNREP hookups as the docking condition allows for a stabler environment and more extended facilities and tooling. In addition, while a ship underway can perform repairs only to minor component damage and cannot repair structural damage, docked units can perform repairs on medium- and heavily-damaged systems, and can also repair their structures.

Replenishment rates have been given a thorough overhaul in v1.11, both for pierside and UNREP modes. Light weapons can be loaded quite fast as before, but heavier weapons (particularly heavy gun shells or large bombs, missiles or rockets) can take hours to transfer and load.

Readying a ship for redeployment differs from aircraft turnaround in a number of ways. Ship preparation typically takes far longer than aircraft (except for very small boats), and in contrast to an aircraft, a ship is perfectly able to put to sea again while still in far from optimal condition. Accordingly, the player can order one or more ships to redeploy while they still have damage, or miss weapons and fuel.

This sounds simple enough for manual control, but what about AI control? How do AI-controlled ships decide when to disengage from frontline operations and when it makes sense to stop repairs etc. and re-deploy? To enable the AI to make reasonable decisions, a new set of doctrine settings (Withdraw / Redeploy criteria) are added:


The status of each of those aspects is continuously tracked and evaluated against the doctrine threshold and a ship will withdraw from its mission if any of the withdrawal criteria are reached. Conversely, while docked, these criteria are regularly checked and a ship is allowed (by the AI) to re-sortie only if everything is “green across the board”. The player of course can still order nay ship to sail immediately regardless of its condition.

These new settings allow tailoring the withdraw and redeploy behavior of a ship to its unique strengths / weaknesses as well as to the needs of her mission tasking. For example an anti-aircraft escort may be set to ignore depletion of its offensive weapons, fuel and any damages to itself and withdraw from the line only when its defensive (AAW) armament is depleted. Conversely, a sensitive high-value unit may be configured to withdraw immediately on the first scratch of damage.


Busy day at Norfolk. Both the frigate and the fast attack sub are fine on damage and fuel, but both are short on ammo. Will you wait for them to re-arm (which may take a while!) or flush them out to sea immediately? Choices, choices…

The redeployment criteria allow the player (or scenario author) to make his own decisions on how “ready” he wants his ships to put out to sea again: Does he wait until every last bit of ammo is restocked? Is it enough to repair damage and get refueled? Remember, while your ships are in port they are not out to sea and the enemy gets a free pass. Obviously there is no single “best” answer, and the theater/operational exigencies (as well as time pressure) are likely to force the player to make decisions that he is not entirely happy with. Real-life ops are very often a compromise, and Command reflects this.

The implementation of pier ops in Command, even in its “raw”, unpolished form in v1.11, is a huge step forward in expanding the scope of the game into the theater/strategic scale. Numerous players have asked for the ability to fight out to air and sea, then get their forces back in port and repair/ready them as possible, and get out there to fight again. v1.11 is the answer to their prayers. We hope implementing this along with our substantial lua scripting and event editor features will encourage editor’s and players to explore longer duration scenarios.


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