Command Ops 2 is a wargame engine that lets you assess, plan, order and react at the operational level just like a real Corps, Division and Brigade commander. What sets Command Ops 2 apart from the competition is the most advanced and realistic model of command decision-making.
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Very Positive (145) - 80% of the 145 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Mar 15, 2015
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March 9

[DevBlog] Weapons and Vehicles of Khalkhin-Gol DLC


Soviet soldiers and tankers inspect captured Japanese equipment

Today is another post from dev blog series. This time we'll talk about weapons and vehicles available with Khalkhin-Gol DLC.

As usually, everything we mention or describe below is a work in progress. Any methods, numbers, figures and visuals posted in devblogs are not final and may change by the time DLC will be released officially.

Intro
Khalkhin-Gol pack will be using new "Eastern Front 1930-1940" estab. This estab we plan to utilize not only for Khalkhin-Gol, but also for other (possible) DLCs of that era, like Soviet-Finnish War, Blitzkrieg in Poland, hypothetical campaigns wars like Soviet-Polish war in 1930s etc.

For now we'll be limiting the scope of Estab to the systems which were used at Khalkhin-Gol (however there are few exceptions to this rule).

Infantry Weapons and Autocannons
Japanese light infantry weapons are remarkable for being represented with two distinct calibres: 6.5mm and 7.7mm. Although all Japanese units at Khalkhin-Gol probably have used 6.5mm weapons, 7.7mm weapons will be included into Estab as well.

Players will surely value 13.2mm Type 93 AAMGs, 20mm Type 97 AT rifles and Type 98 AA guns high. Even if they are relatively short-ranged, they are still quite effective against hordes of Soviet lightly-armored tanks and armored cars.



Soviet arsenal is probably well-known to most of you military history fans, so there should be no surprises. Weapons there are ranging from old Mosin-Nagant bolt-action rifles to devastating M4 quad AAMGs.



Artillery
Japanese field artillery are ranging from elderly pre-WWI pieces like 75mm Type 38 and Type 41, to modern and very effective Type 92 105mm and Type 90 75mm guns. The latter also proved to be very efficient in AT role, although Japanese had only few of them at Khalkhin-Gol.

Japanese dedicated AT guns are limited to 37mm Type 94, which are, despite their caliber, nevertheless very effective against thin Soviet armor.



Like Japanese, Soviet players will have to use both older and newer weapon systems alike. The backbone of Soviet artillery are 45mm AT guns and 76mm obr.1927 (regimental) and obr.1902/30 (divisional) guns.

One may miss notorious 122mm M-30 howitzers and 6-inch ML-20 gun-howitzers which will become a symbols of Soviet artillery in WW2, but there were none of these at Khalkin-Gol. Older 122mm obr.1910/30 howitzer and 152mm obr.1910/34 gun were used instead.

Last, but not least, are 122mm obr.1931 guns. Just one battery of these rare and valuable (at the time) guns was present at the Khalkhin-Gol. Soviets had to bring these from Transbaikal District to Mongolia later in conflict to counter deadly Japanese Type 92 105mm guns, whose range was far superior to any other Soviet artillery system available.



Armored Fighting Vehicles

Japenese tank designs are well known to lag behind many other tank-building nations. Khalkhin-Gol conflict was no exception: slow and thin armoured Japanese tanks were easy preys to Soviet rapid-firing 45mm tank and AT guns. Inadequate armament contributed to this sad story as well: the most advanced of Japanese tanks, Chi-Ha, was armed with short-barreled 57mm gun which was very ineffective against tanks.



Most of the time Soviet players will enjoy their technical superiority over Japanese armor. That said, they also have inadequately armed systems (like BAI or BA-27 armored cars armed with short-barreled 37mm which is much worse than even Japanese guns) and the armor of all Soviet tanks and armored is no better than that of Japanese tanks. Some of Soviet tanks, e.g. T-37A or T-38, can even be penned using armor-piercing bullets and standard infantry rifles (this ability we will model in the Estab, too).

What may be immediately visible also from the picture is that Soviets will have many different armored car designs available. These were playing very important role at Khalkhin-Gol, but that I'll explain in the dedicated dev blog next time.



Transport and Armed Trucks
Although Japanese 23rd Infantry Division had some special ToE changes to better fit for distant Manchurian theater (compared to other IJA divisions), and had its two Draft Companies replaced with two Truck Companies (32 trucks each), this proved to be absolutely not enough.

Japanese high command completely underestimated the level of Soviet motorization. They did not anticipate Soviets to be able to concentrate that much forces within that short time, nor were they able to assemble there a sizeable force themselves.



Soviet transport supremacy was one of the key reasons why they finally prevailed over Japanese. Not only they were able to quickly reinforce the conflict area with a lot of troops and armored vehicles, but also to effeciently supply them throughout the conflict as far as 1400 km away from Soviet bases (5 days one-way road). This was achieved thankfully to as much as 4 000 regular trucks and 375 tanker trucks amassed to supply Soviet forces.

Some of designs shown below were not used at Khalkhin-Gol, but we've nevertheless added them for future releases.



That's all for tonight, folks!
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February 16

[DevBlog] Direct firing gun accuracy for Eastern Front DLCs

As we have mentioned before, we will be posting regular devblogs about the progress of our Eastern Front DLC development. Here is the first one (and sorry: it's really big).



Disclaimer
Everything we mention or describe below is a work in progress. Any methods, numbers, figures and visuals posted in devblogs are not final and may change by the time DLC will be released officially.


Problem
Weapon accuracy is one of the challenges we are faced with the development of Khalkhin-Gol pack. As this will be our first Eastern Front DLC, the Estab will likely be used later as the base for other EF packs, so we should be very careful about decisions we make and steps we take.

New pack will bring two whole new nations into the game: Soviet Union and Japan. While some captured Soviet equipment was already introduced in previous packs and custom scenarios, this is nowhere near the introduction of the whole Japanese and Soviet arsenal.

At first we thought we could reuse the Soviet 1942/1943 Estab we have been developing during late 2000s (and which never resulted in official DLCs). However, as it quickly turned out, values there were coming from different people who were creating that Estab over several years, and those people had different ideas in mind, and also they have been using different sources. Names for weapons and vehicles were inconsistent sometimes, but, what's even worse, we have identified some very different approaches for defining weapon accuracies and penetration figures. So this was definitely not the way we wanted to go.

As we are not only going to add two new nations, but also later we would like to have added also Germany, Poland, Finland, Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia (and may be other nations of the Eastern European Theater), we have concluded that we need to develop completely new accuracy calculation system. The system that will be:
- consistent across all the weaponry of all the Eastern Front nations;
- transparent;
- based on a reasonable scientific methodology;
- simple and quick to use, so that it may be reused by any Eastern Front DLC developer without any special knowledge or skill.

Consistent would mean, that we need to create the generic approach to define weapons not only for this particular DLC, but also for all the other (future) Eastern Front DLC. That means, whenever we decide to add German Eastern Front weapons later, we will need to re-define their accuracies according to the new model (so they may be a bit different to what we have been using with old DLCs, but consistent with the rest of EF data).

Transparent would mean the methodology is well-defined, documented and is independent of any subjective opinions, "secret documents" or religious beliefs (which you could sometimes find in Internet battles between e.g. Wehrmacht and Red Army fanboys).

Scientific methodology means the following. There are different opinions about the hit probability: Thomas Jentz, for example, have described a probability to hit 2 m x 2.5 m target for German 88mm KwK 43 tank gun at 1000 m range as 0.85 (see here). But others may say that, e.g. 88mm Flak was able to score just one hit per eleven rounds fired (no source given, though, for this), etc.
So we definitely can not rely on these contradicting figures coming from different sources, comparing combat to non-combat conditions. Our approach should be based on math, theory of probabilities and ballistics.

Simple and quick to use would mean, that we prefer to have it implemented as a script or a tool, which could be run by anyone and calculate accuracies for any substantially large number of weapons.

We were able to meet all these goals, and results are presented below.

Sources
Our approach will be based upon works of Ballistic Research Laboratory (Aberdeen, MD). Namely, it is the article by E.C.Christman "The effect of system design characteristics on first round hitting probability of tank fired projectiles" published in February, 1959 (declassified).
This article establishes a mathematical model of hit probabilities under "quasi combat conditions" and provides a whole lot of nomograms connecting hit probabilities with firing conditions (firing range, muzzle velocity, drag characteristics defined through ballistic coefficients and G-shape models and targeting systems).

We are interested more in "follow-up hit probability", the definition of which can be found in "WORLD WAR II BALLISTICS: Armor and Gunnery" by L.R.Bird and R.D.Livingston, and is given as "...probability appears to be maximum obtainable accuracy after several shots at target, with errors in range estimation and target speed reduced to zero, mean jump and throw-off adjusted for". Command Ops 2 models continuous engagements rather than just first hit, so this is exactly the kind of probability we could use in our game.

Even though Christman's article deals with the "first round hit", we can still use their data. The fire control "System C" (which produces a standard error in range which remains constant for all ranges of interest) described there is something that could roughly represent "follow-up shot probability" we are interested in.

Model parameters
Same as Christman, we will be using several input parameters (factors listed below) that would affect our calculations.

Muzzle velocity is one of major factors, which determines the flight time and also projectile trajectory. The higher is velocity, the better are your chances.

Range also one of the most important factors, because it affects flight time and shell dispersion. Naturally, the larger is range, the worse are your chances.

Drag characterstics are defined by the projectile shape (described by one of G-model types) and ballistic coefficient. The former is rarely known for non-US projectiles, but may be roughly assumed from the shell's shape. Of course, for that we need to have a picture of a shell.
Below you can see a picture of Soviet BR-350A APHEBC shell used in various 76.2mm tank and field guns. Like with other ballistic-capped projectiles, we assume it to be of type G8 (secant-ogive flat-based projectiles).



Ballistic coefficient is calculated from the form-factor (which is also rarely known for any non-US projectiles, but can be either assumed using US projectiles of similar shape and purpose, or considered to be equal to 1.0), projectile diameter and projectile weight.

One may think all these ballistic nitpicks are of only minor importance (compared to the range and velocity), but actually they are very important. Drag characteristics are exactly the reason why low caliber high velocity guns (like 37mm or 57mm) may have accuracy similar to 75-90mm guns at ranges up to 500-800 m, but become less accurate beyond that range. So drag characteristics are very important things to consider if we ever want our weapons to behave realistically.

Last, but not least is round-to-round dispersion. This describes the variability of shell parameters (like variations in gunpowder amount, projectile surface and shape production quality etc). We consider this to be a rough representation of "weapon quality".
This is the only "subjective" parameter in our model, because it may not be derived from any kind of public data. For simplicity, we assume round-to-round dispersion to be low ("good") for countries known for using advanced industrial technologies, metalworking in particular (e.g. Germany, US, may be UK etc). Also we assume dispersion to be high ("bad") for countries known for their problems with the quality of their industrial production (e.g. USSR), as well as for any other country not fitting into the first category.
For the first category we assume round-to-round dispersion to be equal to 15 mil (low dispersion), and for the second category we assume dispersion equal to 60 mil (high one). Both USSR and Japan fall into the second category.


12-years-old boy operating milling cutter, USSR, 1943.

Implementation
We have manually digitized most of Christman's nomogramms; these have resulted in several thousands of data points for different ranges, muzzle velocities, ballistic coefficients and dispersions. It took us whole week just to enter all the data from the article, but now we have a huge array of multidimensional data to interpolate and extrapolate for nearly any possible combination of parameters. Some parts of this data array you can see on the screenshot below:



For interpolation within this multi-dimensional data we will be using free math package GNU Octave, there we have created a simple script using two-dimensional cubic spline interpolation to process CSV data, calculate ballistic coefficients from shell data and produce a list of hit probabilities for all the required ranges.
We will be using "standard" list of ranges for all the direct firing guns - 100 m, 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m, 2000 m and 2500 m -

Now, all we need to do is to create CSV file with the list of Soviet and Japanese guns (and their shells' parameters) and pass it to the script.



Results and validation
Below you can find the diagram showing comparison of three kinds of accuracy data:
- solid lines - accuracies generated with our new approach that will be used in upcoming Eastern Front DLCs (and Khalkhin-Gol in particular);
- dashed lines - accuracies available in previous Command Ops 2 DLCs and also in previous iteration of CO2 Soviet Estab (deprecated);
- dotted lines - literature (Jentz and Bird).

Comparison is made for following systems:
- 45mm 19-K AT gun;
- 57mm QF 6-pdr AT gun;
- 76.2 QF 17-pdr AT gun;
- 8.8cm KwK 43 L/71 tank gun.

In all cases projectile type G8 was used for ballistic-capped shells (45mm BR-240 APHEBC shell, 6-pdr Mk.9 APCBC, 17-pdr Mk.8 APCBC and 8.8cm PzGr.39/43 APCBC), form-factor set to 1.0.



45mm gun:
- accuracy drops over distance with the new math more significantly than with old CO2 data;
- with the new math 45mm gun has significantly worse accuracy than 6-pdr beyond 500 m range, whereas with old CO2 data they would be nearly identical.

6-pdr gun:
- new math accuracies are much closer to historical references (Bird) than old CO2 accuracies.

17-pdr gun:
- new math accuracies are closer to historical references (Bird) than old CO2 accuracies.

88mm gun:
- new math accuracies are closer to historical references (Jentz) than old CO2 accuracies.

Conclusions
We have received a new powerful and scalable approach to calculate direct firing gun accuracies consistently. The approach is easy to use, integrated with spreadsheets import/export (CSV) and requires little manual work to prepare data.

New math produces values similar to old CO2 data, so you will not see any dramatic gameplay changes.

However, comparing new math to old CO2 data (especially comparing it to previous Soviet Estab developed in 2000s), our new model yields numbers closer to the historical references.
In some cases new math even feels more realistic. E.g. if we check accuracies for 45mm and 6-pdr guns, new math makes 6-pdr much better than 45mm starting at 500 m and beyond. Old CO2 Soviet estab would make them nearly identical in performance. And this is exactly what we would also expect, comparing 45mm and 6-pdr in real life.

We hope, that with our new math model we will deliver new content faster. We also hope, that the new model will better and more uniquely model particular guns, which will grant you better and more realistical battle experiences.
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Reviews

“One of The Greatest Wargames of All Times”
Real and Simulated Waras

“Wargames don’t come any smarter or more slacker-friendly than Command Ops 2”
Rock Paper Shotgun

About This Game

Assess, Plan, Order, and React – The Decisions are Yours!


Command Ops 2 is a wargame engine that lets you assess, plan, order and react at the operational level just like a real Corps, Division and Brigade commander.

What sets Command Ops 2 apart from the competition is the most advanced and realistic model of command decision-making implemented to date in a commercial wargame. It is based on:

* Hi-fidelity modeling of continuous time and space;
* Realistic command structure and process;
* Macro management; and
* Orders delay.

For that, Command Ops 2 is different than any other simulation wargame: no hexes, no turns, no micro management, no click fests. That is why it is in a way simpler and more fun to play but at the same time more challenging, because it makes you command like Commanders do.

Command Ops sports some of the most advanced and impressive AI ever devised in an operational-level wargame. It is your choice whether to manage every detail of your army or have the friendly AI manage the war on a lower level while you plan the larger scale maneuvers designed to make short work of your enemy. Just as a historical commander, you can choose where you need to step in and when you need to stand back and let your subordinates do their jobs.

The enemy AI will use its skill to launch well-timed and coordinated strikes as it probes your lines for weakness while realistically reacting to your movements! In addition, for the enthusiastic mod community awaiting Command Ops, powerful tools like MapMaker and ScenMaker allow for the creation of maps and scenarios further adding to already near limitless replayability.

Command Ops 2 game application has a new user interface (UI) and enhanced artificial intelligence (AI). The smartest and most realistic operational level wargame just got a whole lot better. Command like a real commander in this pausable, continuous time simulation of WW2 operational warfare, where the emphasis is on planning, anticipating and reacting to enemy developments. This is not a click-fest, and you don’t have to issue orders to every unit. The world’s smartest operational level AI can be trusted to do a reasonable job of managing your forces. Also included are the editors ( MapMaker, EstabMaker, EstabEditor, and ScenMaker ) for modifying or developing your own scenarios. The Core comes with three scenarios, including the tutorial Return to St Vith, Manhay Crossroads, and Greyhound Dash, all focussed on the Epic 1944 Battle of the Bulge.


* Realistic command decision-making at the operational level
* Assess, plan, order and react just like a real Corps, Division, and Brigade Commander
* No hexes, no turns, no micro management, no click fests
* One of the most advanced commercial AI opponents ever developed
* A contender for the best AI in any wargame
* The AI can manage subordinate commanders and handle micromanagement
* Automated bridge building
* Advanced force allocation algorithms to keep your army balanced and sharp
* Multiple force group structures to enable cross attachments and different ways of displaying the order of battle
* Reaction and reassessment code for smarter responses from both the enemy and friendly AI
* Scheduling code to better manage the sequencing of tasks
* Multiple route finding algorithms so units can rush to battle but become exposed, avoid enemy firepower,
stick to covered terrain or take a safe but slow route
* Formation movement code, including phase lines
* Enhanced sighting code
* Enhanced basing code
* Intuitive powerful interface
* Configurable Interface layout. Just drag dialogs to where you want them and it remembers the layout for next time.
* Multiple Screen Support so you can position your dialogs on your second monitor.
* Clear and concise tutorial movie to get you up to speed
* Order options give you more control including attacks, bypasses, ambushes, stragglers, basing, retaking of position,
avoiding friendlies, rest at night etc.
* Automate units and let the cutting edge AI manage smaller units while you concentrate on the big picture
* Order timing controls to coordinate tasks
* Order supply level settings so you can set resupply priorities
* Order of battle display to help you organize your forces
* Estab Data views to access weapon and vehicle performance data
* Plan dialog so you can see all your orders at a glance
* Fire Support dialog so you can manage your heavy hitters (artillery)
* Reinforcement dialog so you can manage your new arrivals
* Supply Arrival dialog so you can see what resupply you are getting
* Filtered Message Log
* Auto Save
* Interactive Recordings that you can replay and, at any point, change your orders to try out new courses of action
* Map patterns now change with the weather
* Pathing tools provide estimate of duration
* Tons of Replayability - many scenario options, including multiple random reinforcement schedules
* Extensive unit, vehicle and weapon estabs, including German, American, British and Italian forces
* Full construction set includes editors to create units, equipment, ammo and formations (EstabEditor); maps
(MapMaker) and scenarios (ScenMaker) for any battle.
* An Estab Editor to modify or create Forces, Equipment, Ammo, Formations, etc.
* Mod various aspects of the game, including map patterns and victory messages.
* Utilize a big range of force lists for rapid scenario creation
* Situation Awareness Maps for easy scenario selection.
* and many other features.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7+
    • Processor: 2 Ghz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 64 MB
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: 16 bit
    • Additional Notes: Display Resolution: Variable. Min 1366 x 768
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 10
    • Processor: 3 Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 2048 MB
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • Sound Card: 16 Bit
    • Additional Notes: Display Resolution: Max 2560 x 1600. Optimised for 1920 x 1080. Game must run with 100% (96dpi) screen resolution.

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