So, I have a potentially unusual bottleneck in making Command scenarios: What targets to go for?

Any air-to-ground scenario needs targets. In some cases, the wealth of imports makes targeting easy-just use a multi-unit airfield and you have a ton of targets right there. Mobile vehicle targeting is also fairly easy-plop down a few trucks/tanks/APCs and there you have it.

Now for the bigger issues, which in many ways are opposites: Priority targets and massive target sets.

This is a gigantic issue for real military planners, so it’s not a game design issue. Figuring out the “weak links” in the supply bottleneck is important-and difficult. I frequently use “supply facilities” as a catch-all, but that’s an oversimplification. Even in terms of attacks on line units, some things are higher-priority than others.

In one recent “what-if” scenario editor sample, I was having the never-were F-16XL conduct attacks with AGM-65s against Iraqi forces in the Gulf War. I had multiple rocket launchers (not ballistic missiles like the Scud, MRLs like the BM-21) as the chosen targets due to their lethality.

F-16xl

(an F-16XL, the hunter).

MRLtarget

ASTROS/Sejil-60 MRLs, the hunted.

(By the way, the outcome was fairly similar to the real Gulf War air campaign-massive damage to the Iraqi targets, and a few low-probability SAM launches in return. One did connect and downed an F-16XL)

Putting in gigantic target sets is time-consuming for a scenario designer, and becomes a bigger problem when munitions get more capable. (WWII-vintage planes in Command can bomb a target repeatedly and still miss-a modern fighter, even with unguided weapons, can easily knock the same thing out in one go). Putting over a hundred targets in has deterred me before.

Then there’s the issue of how many points should be given to what targets. I’ll admit in one scenario, I disabled scoring altogether to not have to deal with that issue. Since scoring has to be matched with expected player losses, it’s even harder to do right.

 

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