Combat Effectiveness Model

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The TD 4.12 upgrade to IL-2 provided skill ratings to ground objects for the first time. Previously, only aircraft and ships had skill parameters. Now, HSFX7 and SEOW7 can make use of skill ratings for shipping, ground units and aircraft. If we focus on the ground war, unit skill alone does not determine combat effectiveness. Other factors are important too, so SEOW incorporates a Combat Effectiveness Model (CEM) for all ground units.

In SEOW7, CEM is an optional feature. It is selectable in the campaign settings under the Campaign Modes tab in the DCS. With it disabled, conventional SEOW combat dynamics apply, with engagement ranges modulated simply by unit morale. With CEM enabled, a much richer and more complex calculation is triggered for each unit, with graphical support in the MP.


Calculating CEM

In the CEM, each combat unit has a fighting ability which is expressed as a numeric percentage value, called Combat Effectiveness (CE), ranging from 0% to 100%. There are a group of characteristic factors that contribute to CE.


Characteristic Factors

  • Morale State (denoted Morale) - expressed as a percentage from 0% (Desperate) to 100% (Excellent)
  • Skill Level (Skill) - expressed as a percentage from 0% (Rookie) to 100% (Ace)
  • Supply Holding (Supply) - expressed as a percentage of the unit's normal carrying capacity
  • Command/Control (CC) - either 0% or 100%, depending the unit's access to CCCI (if enabled in the campaign design)
  • Stamina State (Stamina) - can have three values: 100% (fully rested), 50% (fought OR moved in previous mission) or 0% (fought AND moved in previous mission)

Each of these 5 characteristic factors has a weighting parameter which can emphasize or de-emphasize the characteristic factor in relation to the other characteristic factors. These weighting parameters CEMweights.gif are editable for either side in the Combat_Effectiveness_Model table in SEDB70. For example, the campaign designer may choose to give a weighting of 2 to the morale factor for Allied units and a weighting of 0.5 for Axis units. This would mean that Allied forces were more sensitive to declining morale than Axis forces.


Provisional CE

The provisional CE is calculated by squaring each of the five factors, multiplying each squared number by its respective weighting parameter, adding all these five terms together, dividing by the sum of the weighting parameters and expressing as a percentage again. Provisional CE declines from 100% slowly as any of the unit factors falls, but can never be zero unless all factors are zero simultaneously.


CEprov.gif


Critical Factors and Final CE

The final CE is derived from the provisional CE by multiplying with two critical factors:


  • Critical Supply (CEMcritsupply.gif) - this factor is near 1.0 unless unit supply drops below 20% capacity, then this factor declines steeply to zero as supply drops further. This simulates the rapidly declining rate of fire from a unit as its ammo reserves get very low.
  • Critical Formation (CEMcritformation.gif) - this factor takes into account the defensive formation of the unit (see Entrenchment Formations). Each formation has a value that simulates the cohesiveness and strength of the unit. The default Skirmish formation is weakest since in this formation the unit members are widely dispersed, are easily isolated and cannot readily coordinate their fire.


CEfinal.gif


This is the unit's CE value, and it can change from mission to mission as the unit's characteristics change.


How can I find out the CE values for my units?

The Mission Planner gives you all the information you need to know in several different ways.


Unit Icon CE Colour Bar

Each ground unit now has a new graphical element in its tooltip. Put your mouse over a friendly ground unit and click. This will fix the tooltip for 20 seconds. To the left of the national insignia in the tooltip you will see an icon with 4 horizontal coloured bars. This is a summary of the present CE value for the unit. Holding your mouse over the colour bar will provide a short text popup listing the CE value and a simple text description, e.g. "CE: elite (90%)" (see image below). It is important to note that the CE text rating (e.g. "elite") refers to the state of readiness of the unit for combat. It does not refer to the inherent skill of the unit.

CEcolourbar.jpg


Unit CEM Summary

More details on the unit CE status can be found by clicking on the CE colour bar. This opens an extra tooltip to the right (see image below) which contains all the present values for the 5 characteristic factors and two critical factors. It also shows how SEOW will use the final CE value to adjust the in-game engagement range and effective skill parameters for the unit. This summary is generated dynamically by the Mission Planner, and can vary greatly for each unit from mission to mission.

CEsummary.jpg

From the picture above you can see that this unit is well prepared for combat, having an elite CE value. However it is still a Rookie and will never be better than a Rookie no matter how high its CE value. Note that the zero values in the Weights column indicate that the example's chosen campaign settings invalidate those factors, e.g. Skill is fixed in the campaign and CCCI is disabled.


Force Listing Table

The Force Listing Table can be found in the Mission Planner under Logistics:Organizational and is described in Delegated Forces. It displays lists of friendly units according to delegation mode; from SEOW7 onwards the Skill, Morale and CE colour bar are included among the unit properties displayed in the table.


How does CE value affect unit performance in game?

Commanders have the ability to ensure that each unit is given resources and orders that improve its combat effectiveness. For example, good commanders ensure that units are well supplied, have adequate links to Command units, have good morale and proper defensive formations. These measures are reflected in the unit CE values shown in the Mission Planner. But what happens during the next mission?


Key Defensive Parameters

Well, CE only influences combat performance for stationary ground units, i.e. ground units that do not have movement orders in the mission. Moving ground units perform according to internal IL-2 engine dynamics and cannot presently be influenced by SEOW. However, for stationary units SEOW can control two important parameters for each unit:

  • Engagement Range (the same as Hold Fire distance in FMB)
  • Effective Skill (the same as Skill in FMB)

Engagement Range is the range at which a defending unit will first open fire against an oncoming enemy. This is not to be confused with Maximum Attack Range in the IL-2 technics file. Consider a rifleman with a Lee-Enfield .303 rifle, which can shoot out to nearly 3 km but is only effective to about 500 m. The soldier remains quiet until an enemy car approaches to 250 m, then he starts firing (Engagement Range = 250 m). The car doesn't notice until the soldier scores a hit at 200 m and then it turns around and moves away to 1 km. In IL-2, the soldier would keep firing beyond 250 m until the car exceeded the Maximum Attack Range set in the technics file.

Effective Skill is the IL-2 Skill value applied to the stationary unit in the mission file. This is not necessarily the same as the SEOW unit Skill level (also called Inherent Skill) displayed in the Mission Planner.


Effective Performance In Game

When placing a stationary unit in the mission, SEOW will calculate the unit CE value and then use that to determine the Effective Engagement Range and Effective Skill to be used for the unit in the mission. A CE value of 100% means that the unit will get its maximum Engagement Range (as defined in the SEDB Object_Specifications table and/or campaign settings) and will be allocated an Effective Skill (for the duration of the mission) equal to its Inherent Skill. A low CE value will see the unit's Engagement Range decreased and its Effective Skill reduced below its Inherent Skill.

For example, it can easily happen that an elite tank destroyer unit with inherent Ace skill and long gunnery range could appear in game as an effective Rookie unit with low gunnery range because of a very poor CE value, e.g. low supply, poor morale and low stamina. This is where good command comes in. Keep your units' CE values high to keep them fighting at maximum effectiveness.