Ground Force Controls
These controls allow the operator to control ground-based forces in a variety of ways. There are four primary areas with which the operator can perform these tasks: Engagement; Route Builder;Draw FEBA; and Graphical Controls.
Using this option, a user can create and control several engagement aspects related to ground forces.
Area Ground Engagement
This is the most primitive of the engagement creation processes, but when a force player has little information on enemy forces in an area this is sometimes his only available means to creating an engagement. The approach is to pick an area (Select Engagement Location from Map bar), define a Forward Edge of Battle (Define FEBA on Map bar), and then hit "Command Engagement" bar to let the simulation figure out the engagments. The simulation will try to engage enemy troops within the selected area. It will do it only when commanded so if you think more enemy (or friendly) troops have entered the region since issueing this command you should reissue it. The Ground Engagement Controls Form is the interface for this action. This is done via the initiation of three actions:
Select Engagement from the Map
User selects the Engagement Area from the screen by clicking on two points that result in a rectangular shaped area being briefly graphically displayed.
Define FEBA on Map
The FEBA is selected by the operator by clicking on two points dividing the opposing forces. This causes a front line to appear on the screen. The reason that the user has to specify the FEBA is that the ground combat module will advance and retreat units relative to the line - in other words it uses the input line to define forward and backword for each side.
This command can only be implemented once the FEBA has been designated.
This is the basic artillery mission interface for runtime. Note there are more options in Mission Planning for prescripted attacks.
The Artillery Mission Form allows the operator to implement artillery fire in these steps:
These are discussed in order below.
Select Unit button - The user selects the specific artillery unit from the map. When this is done, the artillery unit data relative to the unit appears on the Artillery Mission Form. This information includes identification and location. Identification information includes:
Select Target button - The operator selects the specific target from the map. The target is defined as an area, not an enemy element. The user just clicks on this button and then clicks on the map where he wants the attack to go. When this is done, the artillery's target data appears on the Artillery Mission Form .
location information may be defined by a map pick or may be input manually if the user knows the coordinates.
Pick the Times -
Start Time (Hours from Present) Scale: 0.0 - 12 hrs.
Instructs the simulation to begin this designated artillery firing mission after a specific period has elapsed.
Duration (Hours from Start) Scale: 0.0 - 12 hrs.
Instructs the artillery to fire for the specified duration once the mission (firing) has begun.
Mission Type - The user also picks the Mission Type from a drop-down list of three mission types:
Direct Artillery fire is aimed at a specific point and artillery will "look" for targets - increasing accuracy per shot.
Indirect Artillery fire is directed at a specific area. Line of sight is not required.
Barrage A large number of Artillery guns are involved firing rapidly at a larger, but still specified area. When this option is picked additional parameters are presented on the mission interface ( example ) . These options permit the user to define the area being baraged as an area defined by a width and depth and an orientation. In this case the location (lat/long) is interpretted to be the front left corner of the area to be barraged and the area is oriented in accordance with the orientation angle being the angle of the front of the area (measured clockwise from north). Thus the default angle would produce a area with the location being in the southwest corner of the area and the length being oriented North from this point, width being East of this point. Remember that while the artillery will target this area not all shells are gauranteed to land in this area - the circular error probability (CEP) defined for the warhead in database prototyping might result in some shells targeted for this area landing outside the defined region. Fratricide is a definite possibility if you're not careful with your own troops.
Ancillary Data - Typically the ancillary data includes:
The Mission Name, which may be typed into that line on the form. This is used only for reporting purposes; it does not affect the execution of the mission.
Rate of Fire (Rounds/Minute/Gun) Scale: .01 - 100.0 rounds. This DEFINITELY effects the mission execution. No gun can fire more warheads (shells) than it has on hand, but short of this limit generally the more shells you put in a mission the more likely the mission will succeed. Assuming the enemy's there.
Target Type - Not currenltly used. This is left over from a different artillery module that changed firing doctrine based on target type. For now ignore it.
Specifies the rate-of-fire that each gun is to maintain during the firing mission.
Command button - Executes the command.
Specific Attacker Ground Engagement
The Ground Engagement Controls Form allows the operator to initiate a ground engagement in a more detailed manner than the "Area Engagement" interface, described above. The interface is really intended for use by the umpire since the Force players generally won't have adequate information to populate both force lists. Also, from a pragmatic standpoint, most players never bother commanding detailed attacks; instead they just maneuver their units into position using the "route Builder and then let them run into enemies and automatically start engagement.
The user can select from the map the units that appear in the Red & Blue unit lists (Select Blue or Red Group form Map) as well as specify which side is attacking (which changes there PK and the actions they take should they win) (Attacker: Blue or Red). The interface is limited to a total of 30 units involved, but this can be split any way that's desired.
The Command Engagement bar allows the user to begin the engagement that has been setup.
As the name implies, this is a way to stop an ongoing engagement. An engagement is ended by the operator selecting the Stop Engagement control and selecting the point on the screen. If there's an ongoing engagement in that area it will be stopped. But note that if the combatants are in close proximity the automatic combat generation algorithm might well restart the engagement on it's next cycle. The period of it's cycle is defined by the user in Mission Planning.
The Unit Posture Controls Form's purpose is to allow the operator to assign or change a ground units' posture or formation. This includes telling the unit to assume a defensive, dugin position or assume a posture/formation appropriate for maneuvering. The actual disposition that the subunits and assets will assume when a posture is specified is in accord with the posture profiles defined for each group (or group class) in Mission Planning using this interface . If no pattern was specified all elements will be collocated.
The first thing the user should do is select the unit from the map (Get Location from the Map) and the pertinent data is transferred to the Unit Posture Controls Form :
The Formup Location (Lat, Long, Northing, Easting, Zone) may be taken from the map (Select Form-up Location from the Map) or may be manually entered on the form. This is the area that the group will go to to assume the position. It can be left as where the group is or set somewhere else. The latter option allows the user to specify the group should fall back from the enemy and reform in a new posture.
The unit posture is chosen by clicking on the Select New Posture bar and selecting one of the choices from a list. The list elements come from the database, so tailored options might be included for certain groups, but in general the list includes at least the following options:
A Command Change bar allows the user to change the command for specific unit.
Note: The Immediate Movement button is intended as an umpire control. If clicked the unit will immediately be moved to the indicated location. If not moved (appropriate for almost all occassions, especially for force players) the unit will need to move from its current location to the formup location in a realistic manner and might be stopped from making the posture change by enemy interference.
This is the basic movement interface for ground units. The Route Builder Form purpose is to allow the operator to build or assign a route or routes to a specific ground unit. The user accomplishes this by clicking on the Pick Unit bar on the form and then picking the unit from the map. When this is done, the following data is displayed on the Route Builder Form :
If the Formup location has not previously been assigned or needs to be changed, the operator can click on the Select Formup Lat/Long from Map bar and the pick the location form the map. The Formup data then appears on the form.
The Formup Delay specified the time required for the group to form up at the specified form-up location.
When the Add Route Leg bar is picked, the Current Leg Data (End Point and Speed) portion of the form expands to allow up to 29 Legs to be created. Another Leg is created by clicking on the Add Route Leg bar which adds another Leg # to the list of legs already shown. The greater number is then displayed at the Current # of Legs line. Sample . The Send Route bar sends that leg to the simulation.
The location of each Leg is picked from the map at via the Map Select button on that leg bar that places the appropriate Lat/Long and the speed of the vehicle on the leg portion of the form. Both location and speed may be manually changed or entered on the leg data line. Each line also presents the option of selecting either the On Road or Off Road command for that particular leg.
Any Leg may be deleted by selecting the Delete tab on that line.
Selection of Graphical Controls brings up these options:
The Unit Level Display Form lists the ground unit levels from which will be didsplayed on the map with an off/on button. This can help declutter the screen. The levels listed are:
This interface permits the user to select a unit from the map and see the subunits and assets directly assigned to this group. This overrides the "Unit Level" selection above. Thus if the "Unit Level" specifies nothing below Brigade is to be displayed the user can click on one of the brigades and see one level of subunits for that brigabe alone. Again, this is an attempt to declutter the sreen.
Top Level Units
This interface show only the top level units, not subunits. This not proven useful so is in the process of being retired.
This is just a graphical reference to aid the user is estimating ranges on the map interface. The Range Indicator Form appears. It allows the user to select to insert a range indicator by first choosing the length of the indicator from 1 NM to 500 NM and then selecting the center of the indicator by choosing the Select Center from Map bar and then clicking on the location on the map. The Lat/Long of the selection then appears on the form. Selecting the Update with Displayed Settings bar sends this command to the simulation and causes the range indicator icon to appear on the map. The range indicator icon may be removed by clicking on the Remove Range Indicator bar.