Command: Red Tide announced!

August 19, 2021 · Posted in Command · Comment 

The Second Coming: Command Pro Edition v2.0 now available

May 26, 2021 · Posted in Command PE · Comment 

“How do you improve on perfection? You can’t. You just offer more of it.”– From a Newsweek retrospective on The Godfather Part II

This has been a long time coming, and the wait is now finally over. Previously announced at Slitherine’s massive HOW Live+ event earlier this month, Command Professional Edition (CPE) v2 is now available for new and existing customers alike.

Easily our biggest pro-oriented release since the early days of Command pro, CPE v2 includes the additions of the latest v1.15.5 update while introducing a whole host of major new features:

All of the benefits of CMO: CPE v2 is built on the battle-hardened foundations of Command: Modern Operations, the successor to CMANO and winner of the Charles S. Roberts 2019 award for best modern-era wargame. CMO introduced a large number of groundbreaking features both on user interface and simulation mechanics, and CPEv2 inherits them, together with 18 months of refinements & improvements since its original release. Descriptions of the new features are available in these articles:

Run as non-admin: CPE v2 offers a revised filesystem layout for its writable data, which enables the application to run in a restricted (ie. non-administrator) mode. This makes it possible to install and run CPE in high-security environments, where admin powers for an application are a non-starter.

High-resolution terrain: While it can still use CMANO/CPE v1’s DTED-0 level terrain elevation set, CPE v2 now also offers the option to use a global-scale SRTM3-format terrain dataset with 90m/cell resolution (DTED-1 level). When activated, the higher resolution automatically applies to calculations dealing with the terrain elevation, such as terrain slope for ground units navigation, line of sight, surface/bottom clutter for look-down sensors, etc.

Offline map layers: All map layers (apart from those provided externally by Stamen Design) are now bundled in their entirety as part of the installation (including, optionally, the massive “Sentinel-2 Cloudless” layer) and can thus be used in offline machines. This greatly enhances map quality and performance in systems that are isolated from the Internet (incl. highly-secure networks).

(NOTE: The files for the high-resolution terrain and the offline S2C layer are huge, increasing the full installer size to over 160GB, which can be impractical to distribute for some customers. For this reason, they are offered as a separate optional “HD data pack” rather than as a mandatory part of the installation. The “core” installer package is a mere 18.6GB in size.)

Distinct mobile ground units (also in v1.15.5): In addition to modelling mobile forces as “aimpoint facilities”, it is now possible to explicitly model individual vehicles with their own customized properties such as armor, propulsion, mounts, sensors etc. These new units now have their separate data annex (“Ground Units”), and can be browsed on the DB viewer:

The introduction of distinct mobile vehicles has enabled the modelling of new unique features such as true amphibious vehicles and highly-dispersed artillery & SAM batteries.

Interactive-mode CLI (also in v1.15.5): You can now launch a CLI instance in interactive mode, using the Lua TCP-socket as the control interface. This ability combines the high-performance, low overhead and parallel execution benefits of CLI with the full-control interactivity of the full-GUI client.

Energy-based boost-coast missile model: Most rocket-boosted missile weapons now use a realistic energy-based flight model: After their initial boost, they coast and lose speed due to atmospheric drag (variable with speed and altitude), especially when they maneuver, and also gain & lose speed as they dive and climb respectively. Aircraft default evasion tactics have also been adjusted to this new reality, and aircraft will actively attempt to drag/outrun incoming missiles with beaming used only as a last resort. Detection ranges for incoming missiles have also been significantly reduced in most cases, which makes it harder to visually pick up missiles at long range and outrun them (this also reinforces the importance of automated missile-warning systems).

Improved ballistic missile & ABM modelling: Ballistic missiles now use true-to-life trajectories depending on their range profile (with accurate burnout elevation angle, velocity, altitude and apogee figures), and MIRVed missiles release their re-entry vehicles sequentially instead of all of them at the same.
ABM missiles also have improved kinematic & guidance profiles, and the interception altitude envelope limitation is taken into account during the pre-fire checklist (e.g. SM-3 will not fire against incoming BM/RV if the estimated intercept point is within the atmosphere).
Combined, these changes model much more faithfully the challenges of BMD siting, engagement windows and general operations.

New sensor type: Passive radar (PCLS) (also in v1.15.5): For a general background on PCLS, see here. PCLS systems can be very useful both as a covert means of airspace surveillance and as a potent counter-VLO asset to be combined with other, more traditional sensors. They do have several drawbacks and vulnerabilities (for example, they can be limited in altitude coverage because of their bistatic nature, and each receiver must have clear LOS to both the target and the transmitter in order to process the reflection), but as long as these can be accommodated, PCLS sensors can significantly enhance an IADS and complicate enemy efforts to disrupt it.

New bathymetry layer: The “Relief” map layer has been enhanced with its marine counterpart, a rich bathymetric map that illustrates the differences in bottom depth on different map locations. An example screenshot:

Sim-pulse control on MC & CLI: Users can now configure the simulation pulse time-slice (coarse or finegrained) while running a scenario in Monte-Carlo mode or while using the command-line edition. This allows better control between performance and fidelity in simulation execution.

Benchmark mode: This provides an objective way to measure & compare a system’s performance and suitability for CPE, by repeatedly running any selected scenario in headless mode (similar to Monte-Carlo execution, but without any analysis results). The execution is run using finegrained pulse mode (ie. 0.1-sec pulses) in order to stress-test the simulation engine and the hardware resources.

Database selection improvements: The “Database” section of the Editor menu has been significantly redesigned for ease of use. Instead of a long list of available registered & custom DBs to choose from, only the latest registered DB3000 & CWDB databases are displayed for quick selection, along with the option to manually select another database to load from the file system. It is also now possible to directly select a specific DB to migrate a scenario to:

New satellite-pass prediction UI: Apart from the classic tabular format for presenting forthcoming satellite passes and dwell times over a specified point, an additional graphical view has been added, which makes it easier to visualize the same information:

Area & reference-point manager: This offers a centralized interface for editing reference points on large-scale scenarios. Ref-points and zones can be organized by tagging and visually distinguished by different colors:

Command Pro v2.0 is available to new and existing customers on MatrixGames’ new pro-dedicated site. The development team is already busy absorbing the feedback from early adopters and preparing the first post-release updates, continuing the proud tradition of continuous support and development. Stay tuned for more!

Community Scenario Pack #44 released – 22 new scenarios!

May 11, 2021 · Posted in Command · Comment 

Busy times as usual! Hot on the heels of Kashmir Fire and the big v1.03 update, it’s now the turn of another Command staple, the Community Scenario Pack (CSP). Brandon Johnson (Kushan) has updated the pack to version #44, with updates & refreshes to existing scenarios, as well as 22 brand-new creations. Let’s take a look:

Caribbean Fury 3 – Rumble in the Jungle, 1994: The situation in the Caribbean is somewhat unique in that it is a small ‘side show’ to the great events occurring in Europe, the North Atlantic and Pacific. However, it is of vital interest to NATO’s largest partner – the US, and also important to the British, Dutch and French, all holding on to the vestiges of their colonial empires.

The Soviets however have other ideas and want to use the situation and their proxies to distract and tie down as many US forces as possible, for as long as possible.

Caribbean Fury 4 – Show of Force, 1994: Cuba, Honduras and Nicaragua have now been neutralized and the Guatemalan backed insurgency in Belize has at least been contained, so the Soviets only have one major player remaining in the region. Venezuela however, is playing a dangerous game with both sides in the conflict.

The US has no desire to drawing Venezuela into the war. So, in an effort to placate its NATO allies, eliminate Soviet capability in the region, and to show Venezuela the power and reach of the US military, a plan has been developed to use stealth to strike a stunning lance into the boil.

Curacao Crisis, 2021: Two scenarios one US-UK-Netherlands intervention in a Venezuelan occupation of Curacao and a Second with a French-UK-Netherlands intervention.

Danger in the Aegean, 1946: In 1946, in response to tensions between Russia and Turkey, and to an ongoing civil war in Greece, the United States sent a carrier battle group centered on the Franklin Roosevelt to the region.

In history, nothing happened.  As this would make for a terrible scenario, your humble author has made two changes to history.  First, with a carrier battle group on station, the United States could make an attack on insurgent positions to show its support for the Greek government.  Second, Stalin might somehow be aware of American intents and has decided to defend the Greek Communists from attack.

Fulda Gap, 1989: You have command of the NATO air and ground forces in the Fulda Gap area. The Soviet 8th Guards Army is about to cross the frontier in your sector with the 79th Guards Armored Division leading the attack through Fulda. The first echelon’s orders are to take the hills behind FULDA by Noon, local time. Your orders are to stop, or at least slow, them to give 8th Mechanized and the remainder of the 1st Armored Divisions to move up to their defensive positions.

Gulf of Sidra Incident, 1981: In 1973, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi asserted the entire Gulf of Sidra as sovereign territorial waters, famously declaring the Line of Death at 32.5 degrees North Latitude.

Newly elected United States President Ronald Reagan proves to be far more willing than his predecessors to push back hard on Gaddafi. A Naval Task Force organized around the supercarriers USS Nimitz and USS Forrestal has been assembled in the Mediterranean for the purpose of conducting a Freedom of Navigation exercise into the Gulf of Sidra. The stage is set for a showdown between the Libyan Air Force and the United States Navy.

Hammana Lebanon Airstrike, 1983: The air strike on Lebanon on 4 December 1984 was as confused for its rational as it was botched operationally. The rational for it has been debated as a revenge strike for the Beirut BLT Bombing, but officially it was due to the AAA batteries opening up on F-14 TARPs Recon missions on 3 December.

Korean Missile Crisis, 2021: The NKPA will attack the ROK on January 21st, coinciding with the American Inauguration. The plan is to unhinge the American conventional defense of the ROK. Kim Jong Un will announce that any nuclear response from the U.S. will result in the use of the ICBM, tested in October, to destroy American cities along the East Coast.

The KN-11 missiles have poor accuracy and are subject to malfunction but it is estimated that, at least, two of the weapons are likely to detonate if they reach their targets. Therefore, you must destroy the submarine and the missile launchers before they can launch.

Land of Confusion – The Syrian Missile Crisis, 2021: Human Intelligence ( HUMINT ) indicates that Sector 4 of the Center for Syrian Studies and Research ( SSRC ) continued working with the IRGC and Hezbollah in fitting chemical warheads to rockets and missiles and especially the Iranian Fatah A Medium Range Ballistic Missiles ( MRBMs ). The Israeli Cabinet decides on action to destroy the Syrian research facility, the IRGC SSM facilities and MRBMs in a massive attack.

Line of Death, 1986: This scenario is inspired by the GDW Harpoon Game first scenario with much tweaking. Your Mission as the Commander of the USS Caron (DD 970) is to perform a Freedom of Navigation operation in the Gulf of Sidra for six (6) hours while coordinating support aircraft from the USS Coral Sea (CV 43) and P-3 aircraft from Sigonella, Italy. It is a very low complexity scenario with various threats.

Mission to Mon, 2020: This scenario models an operation during the ongoing insurgency in the northeast Indian state of Nagaland.  Insurgents have seized control of the town of Mon and have taken six government officials hostage.

I will leave it to your fevered imaginations to determine how happy the Indian government is about this situation. Suffice that India would like to liberate Mon and the hostages.

Northern Fury 43 – Red Devils, 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 will conduct amphibious and airborne operations to sever the Soviet land and sea line of communications (LOC) in Norway.  This is a major operation, and you will play a key role in this critical phase of the war.

Northern Fury 44 – Into the Bastion, 1994: Six weeks into World War Three and the Warsaw Pact has been halted on all fronts, but before any serious NATO offensive takes place a question must be resolved. The Nuclear question.

This is a is a small, submarine focused scenario with the most advanced submarines in the 1994 world pitted against each other.

Ryukyu Islands, 2022: Chinese President Xi Jinping placed great emphasis in regaining the “lost Providence” of Taiwan during his Presidency, late in 2021 he was diagnosed with Stage Four cancer accelerating his timetable. After great debate the invasion date was set for sunrise April 5th, 2022…

Sagami Bay Convoy Raid, 2022: The war has been going on for almost a month. On 19 April 2022, taking advantage of the situation, the DPRK crossed the DMZ and is heavily shelling Seoul. NKPA advances are limited to within 20 to 25 km of the DMZ in the center and west of the peninsula but ROK supplies are running low. A convoy is forming near Tokyo, in Sagami Bay, and is waiting for its escorts. The JMSDF are guarding the entrances to the bay and the heavily attrited H-6s are needed elsewhere. Only your Changzheng 19 (SSN-419) nuclear attack submarine is available, but your command represents the newest and most advanced PLAN Submarine in existence. You must destroy as many of the convoy vessels as possible and escape.

Set Defense Condition One, 1986: Significantly inspired by Randomizer’s “Wargasm” and related scenarios, this mission in no way claims to be as detailed, nor as realistic as those, but in its own way to be authentic, interesting and fun.

I wanted to investigate the same thing “Wargasm” did, using a more modern selection of units – a cold war turned hot, 3 days to the River Rhine, WWIII, global nuclear war, seen from the aspect of long range bombers penetrating Soviet airspace to strike high-value targets.

Tafas, Syria, 2021: The Syrian Civil War continues to drag on with the rebel forces gradually loosing ground. While significant attention is paid to the Irbid sector of the fighting, in SW Syria the Free Syrian Army (FSA) holds onto an enclave in the vicinity of the City of Tafass. In January, 2021 the Syrian elite 4th Armored Division was dispatched to eliminate the enclave but by early February were bogged down in heavy fighting in the city itself. The Assad regime decided the use of chemical munitions was worth the risk and it would test the resolve of the new American Biden Administration.

The Biden Administration quickly warned Assad not to utilize the weapons but by the 14th it was clear preparations for a chemical strike continued unabated. After quick consultations with NATO, Arab and GCC partners a limited strike package from Jordanian and Qatari bases was decided upon.

The Dam Busters, 2021: In 2011 Ethiopia began construction of a dam across the Blue Nile River, near where it enters into The Sudan. The project has now approached completion and the reservoir (not indicated on the C:MO Maps) is being filled. Egypt and Ethiopia have exchanged words and diplomatic discussions over the pace of the operation to fill the dam. At times Egypt has expressed the possibility of taking military action to destroy the dam site.

The Egyptian Defense Ministry has approached the Saudi’s and UAE for support and both have agreed to covertly assist Egyptian Air Force operations with tanker operations over the Sudan. Your mission is to strike the dam site with minimal losses using the Egyptian assets operating from Ras Banas/Bernice Airfield, in the southern portion of the county.

The Libyan War, 1986: On 5 April 1986, three people were killed and 229 injured when the La Belle discothèque was bombed in the Friedenau District of West Berlin. Two of the dead and 79 of the injured were Americans.

The Americans approached the French with a proposed 3-to-4-day operation to destroy Libyan forces and if any of the Gaddafi command staff were killed, well that’s just the price of business! France, pragmatically agreed to the operation and requested American tanker support which was promptly agreed to.

To Kill the Queen, 2022: Ten days ago, PLAN Marines landed on the Senkaku and Yaeyama Islands (The remotest part of Japan, and the last of the Ryukyu Islands near Taiwan). The rational was to deny the USN and JMSDF antisubmarine bases to interdict PLAN submarines from transiting into the Pacific through the First Island Chain. This was necessary as a prelude to isolating and invading the lost providence of Taiwan.

Massive PLA Rocket Force barrages and persistent PLAAF airstrikes, with cratering munitions, have heavily damaged the three airbases on Okinawa leading to the withdrawal of the remaining U.S. and Japanese squadrons and isolation of the island from resupply.  U.S. Marines and Japanese Ground Self Defense Forces are digging in for combined PRC airborne and amphibious assault on the island. To stiffen the defense Carrier Strike Group – Five has been dispatched to provide air support to the defenders.

To the Shores of Abu Musa, 2021: Long in dispute, on November 30, 1971 Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s Imperial Iranian Navy and Marines seized Abu Musa Island, Greater Tunb Island and Lesser Tunb Island pitting 2,000 Iranian Marines against 6 police officers. The results were inevitable but did cost three Iranian and four police officer’s lives. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) continued to dispute the Iranian occupation and claims.

On October 6th 2021 two Iranian IRGC Cobra helicopter gunships attacked the American flag tanker Liberty Bay southwest of Abu Musa. The President and Emir of the UAE in a joint statement gave Iran until Sunrise 7 October to abandon the islands or they would be taken by force if necessary. By 5 p.m. Iran had signaled their intentions to fight by attacking a Kuwaiti flag tanker off of Greater Tunb Island and American National Command Authority had authorized Central Command to seize the islands the next morning.

Yemen Convoy, 2015: Ansar Allah (Houthi) are under extreme pressure from the Saudi-Hadi forces laying siege to the port of Al Hudaydah (Hoedeidah). Iran is trying to get a convoy to the port while Saudi Arabia is trying to sink the merchants.

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 571 scenarios in its stable!

Command: Kashmir Fire is released!

May 6, 2021 · Posted in Command · Comment 

Available on MatrixGames and Steam .

Companion to Kashmir Fire: The v1.03 Command update

May 5, 2021 · Posted in Command · Comment 

Command: Kashmir Fire is on track to be released tomorrow and, as usual with campaign DLCs, it is going to be accompanied by a a major official update to CMO. The new v1.03 update not only consolidates all minor official releases since v1.02 but also introduces several important changes and new features. Let us walk through them:

  • Major improvements to sonar model. Based on an ongoing discussion of existing flaws in the sonar model (see here for the tech background) with various SMEs both on and off the forum, we have renovated many aspects of the sonar model in order to improve its real-world fidelity. A brief summary of the changes included:
    – The thermocline layer is generally weaker then before for a given location, and completely stops being effective at 70+ degrees north or south latitude.
    – The minimum bottom depth necessary to achieve converge zone (CZ) propagation is sharply increased per given location, and is no longer static but dependent on latitude. CZs are now also impossible at 70+ degrees north or south latitude.
    – Most under-layer sonars (SOSUS/SURTASS excluded) lose the 2x detection range bonus afforded by the deep sound channel. This sharply reduces the in-DSC detection ranges of VDS & towed arrays.
    Combined, these changes have the effect of making submarines at great depth more difficult to detect with towed arrays or VDS, and shifting the emphasis more to direct-path detections at the expense of CZs.
  • Select IRST/FLIR systems can now produce AAW fire control-grade data, allowing EMCON-silent engagements with AMRAAM-class weapons (background discussion here ). Note that the fire-control data generated by advanced IRSTs can be used not only for direct onboard shooting (e.g. F-18E uses IRST-21 to silently shoot AMRAAMs at target) but it can also be distributed to other platforms via CEC (e.g. F-18E silently tracks target, hands off to CEC-equipped ship which silently shoots SM-6 at target).
    NOTE: Scenarios will need to be made/rebuilt in DB3000 v488+ in order to use this feature. These are the sensors in DB3000 v488 that have this ability.
  • Visual and IR sensors are now also susceptible to look-down clutter. For example it is easier for an IRST (or the plain Mk1 Eyeball) to pick out an aircraft over the horizon line than against the surface background. This provides an extra incentive to “go low”, even for VLO aircraft, and makes terrain-hugging cruise missiles even harder to spot.
  • Datalink + TARH AAW missiles (e.g. AMRAAM, SM-6 etc.) can now go active without immediately going autonomous. This allows such missiles to be guided with greater precision & reliability against VLO targets or in strong OECM environment. The datalink is cut instead only when the missile acquires the target (or impacts on it, still under positive control from the link provider.
  • Various improvements in ballistic missile & BMD modeling, including fixing the simulation slowdown caused by ABM DLZ calculations.
  • Numerous smaller changes and quality-of-life additions. As a quick example, it is now much easier to visually spot when a side/group/unit’s doctrine & ROE settings are overridden at a higher (parent) or lower (children) level, as they are now displayed in a different color when they do. Also as a popular request, the LOS-tool now supports altitude input in feet in addition to meters.
  • The v488 release of the DB3000 database, incorporating countless player requests and new additions as well as numerous tweaks and fixes. You can view the complete DB changelog here.

The v1.03 update will be released tomorrow, together with Kashmir Fire. The Command development team is already busy assembling the follow-on updates together with all other commercial and professional projects underway. Stay tuned!

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