Mission Editor - F11
The Mission Editor is where you will complete the details of your missions. You can assign units, add targets, patrol areas, prosecution areas, and generally determine how a certain portion of the battle is fought. A mission is a specific container where units will follow a special set of your requirements. Different missions will display different options so each particular mission will be laid out completely below. EMCON and WRA will be covered elsewhere.
- 1 Patrol Missions
- 2 Strike Missions
- 3 Support Missions
- 4 Ferry Missions
- 5 Mining Missions
- 6 Mine Clearing Missions
Patrol Missions are one of the most common type of mission that you will use. The AI can normally be trusted to execute the mission better than you, the player, can micromanage it. Especially essential for large scenarios. But, if set incorrectly, can lead to frustration. Setting patrol areas, prosecution areas, and proper WRA / EMCON will ensure the patrol runs smoothly.
To create a patrol you must have at least one reference point.
Many of the options are the same for different patrol types. The AAW Patrol section will detail each option while subsequent entries for other patrols will only note the differences.
AAW Patrol Missions
The Anti Air Warfare patrol mission is one of the most common mission types. It will require at least one reference point to be selected upon creation. Additional reference points can be added later or a prosecution area may be defined. This mission will task the units assigned to it with attacking air units. Typically aircraft are assigned to this, but you may also add SAM's and AAA to there own AAW missions.
- Try to keep XXXX units of each class on-station (0 to ignore)
- The mission planner AI will attempt to keep whatever quantity of units you specify on station. Note the class designation, if you have a mix of units in the mission it will try to keep at least whatever you define. This will not necessarily guarantee that they remain on station.
- 1/3rd Rule
- The 1/3 rule will only keep 1/3 of the assigned units on patrol at any one time. Useful for a long term patrol or when you aren't quite sure when trouble is arriving. As one group departs the patrol area another one will arrive.
- Investigate contacts outside the patrol area
- If selected the units will leave the defined patrol area to investigate an unknown contact or hostile contact. This can mean that a unit will attempt to fly a ridiculous distance to chase a contact. You can restrain units by setting a prosecution area. Leaving this unchecked will keep units inside of the patrol and they may, or may not, engage contacts outside of it.
- Investigate contacts within weapon range
- If checked the units will fly within weapons range but will not investigate targets further out. Not normally used in conjunction with prosecution areas.
- Active emissions only inside patrol / prosecution area (requires active EMCON)
- The units, if the EMCON allows, will remain passive until they in the patrol area. For example a flight of fighters will transit with radar off but will turn it on when they get into the patrol zone. Again, this is contingent upon the EMCON being set to active. Checking this, but leaving EMCON inactive, will not change the EMCON of the units.
- Flight Size
- You may select how many units are bundled into a group. Depending on later options an under-strength flight may not take off.
- Minimum number of a/c required to trigger mission
- Setting this will ensure that you don't send up flights unless they meet your size requirement.
- Number of a/c that investigate unknown contacts
- Setting this may prevent all of your aircraft from investigating an unknown contact. This may be good to do if you expect the hostiles to come from a certain vector, but bad if they come elsewhere and your units are split up.
- Number of a/c that engage hostile contacts
- As above, you can define how groups engage. This can be risky to set as it's entirely possible to feed small flights into a meatgrinder where larger flights would survive.
- Wingmen can investigate/engage separate contacts within XXX nm
- If a flight has sufficient wingman it is possible for them to independently engage. This will set the range that they may stray. Splitting the wingmen presents its own problems and the player must decide if it is worth the risk.
- Enforce flight size
- If you leave this unchecked it will allow under strength wings to depart. Useful if you absolutely need to throw planes into the air, but allows patrols to depart without a full wing.
Ship / Submarine Settings
- Group Size is how many vessels are grouped together for the mission.
- Cruise Formation and Attack Formation are not in use.
- Number of units that investigate unknown contacts will determine how many units break away from the patrol to investigate an unknown contact.
- Number of units that engage hostile contacts will determine how many units engage hostile contacts.
- Transit Throttle is the speed that the unit will travel to the patrol area.
- Station Throttle is the speed that the unit will patrol the area.
- Attack Throttle is the speed that the unit will engage in attacks.
- Altitude settings are the same as speed above. Altitude is in relation to sea level.
- Attack Dist.: if left Not Specified the unit will engage at whatever range it decides offers the best strike probability. If defined with a value in nautical miles the unit will close to that distance before engaging.
- Terrain Following Check Box is checked to make the unit follow the terrain at the defined altitude. Setting this will change the altitude relationship to ground level and not sea level.
- Ship and Submarine settings follow the same rules as above.
Units assigned to an Anti Surface Warfare Naval Patrol will only engage naval units. Typically used with naval units or air units armed with Naval Strike capabilities. Shore based defensive installations may be ignored.
ASuw Patrol (Ground)
Units assigned to an ASuW Patrol (Ground) will only engage ground targets. This includes anything that is not a submarine, vessel, or aircraft. Facilities, vehicles, radar, and SAM systems are all valid targets. Should an ASuw Patrol (Ground) overlap a hostile Naval vessel the units may not engage.
ASuW Patrol (Mixed)
Units assigned to an ASuW Patrol (Mixed) will investigate any surface target within the defined patrol area. This includes everything except air units and submerged submarines.
Suppression of Enemy Air Defense patrols will prioritize strikes on air defense systems such as SAM's, AAA, or radar.
Sea Control Patrol
A Sea Control Patrol combines an ASW and ASuw (Naval) Patrol. It offers less control than specified missions but this may be fine depending on your demands.
Strike Missions differ from patrols in that you need to define targets in order for the mission to proceed. In some cases you can launch the mission manually, move the aircaft to a staging area, and then assign targets as detected. You may also assign an unknown contact to the target list but set the mission to trigger if it goes hostile or unfriendly. You may also define an escort for your strike aircraft that will attempt to protect the strike package.
Land and Naval Strikes function differently than air strikes as an entire strike package may be assembled and the strike AI will coordinate them. You can assign strikers (which will follow WRA), SEAD assets, fighter escort, and even recon assets. A specific mission plan is generated by the strike AI to match the mission profile.
Air Intercept Strike Missions
- Mission triggers when contact is minimum : Unknown, Unfriendly, or Hostile
- Once a contact in the target list meets the above requirement the mission will trigger. Default is unknown. Any unknown contact will be investigated by the mission and, depending on WRA, may be fired upon.
- Flight Size
- This determines how many aircraft are grouped for each flight.
- Fuel / Ordnance
- This setting may cause you to jettison ordnance to extend flight range. Or if you want to save the ordnance for a future mission.
- Minimum number of ready strike a/c required to trigger mission
- How many aircraft must be ready before the mission will trigger. Prevents small groups of units from going into the meatgrinder.
- Maximum number of flights allowed to fly mission:
- Prevents a massive wing of aircraft from departing to engage a target and instead spreads aircraft to multiple targets.
- Minimum / Maximum Strike Radius (distance to target)
- Sets the minimum range that your units will fire, and the maximum range. Normally can be left alone.
- Radar Usage
- This will dictate refueling behavior. Please see refueling for more information.
- Enforce flight size
- Ensures that flights depart with the proper loadouts.
- Allow off-axis attack
- Please see further explanation below. (Not used with Air Intercept)
- One time only
- Strike will only run once.
Escorts includes any unit that is attached to the mission that isn't striking the defined target. This may include SEAD loadouts, recon units, and fighters. The settings are broken down between shooters and non-shooters. For shooters you have similar settings to what the strike mission uses. Non-shooters allows for a single aircraft as you may only want a single electronic warfare or recon unit with the strike.
It's essential you define your escort and support craft by checking the box and clicking Mark selected as escorts.
Land Strike Missions
Land, ASW, and ASuW strike missions are all unique in that a complete mission profile is generated. If you attach SEAD they will perform a specialized SEAD role before the strike package goes in. This isn't perfect and you may need to intervene to prevent a catastrophe. By clicking on one of your strikers it is possible to see the, and adjust, the flight path of the mission.
- Allow off-axis attack
- Normally aircraft will attempt to strike using the quickest vector to the target. But you may want to overwhelm the target from different directions, in this case check this box. Strike units will come in from different vectors onto the target.
In the above example all aircraft take off at once, the SEAD aircraft fire anti-radiation missiles, the strikers move in next to attack, with the fighters covering from air threats. The final aircraft into the strike is the recon unit. Very complex strike missions may require multiple strike missions on a variety of targets to ensure that SEAD is properly performed. For simple to moderate complexity strikes the Strike Mission AI is quite capable.
ASW Strike Missions
An ASW strike will send out units to attack a submarine asset. In the above example a pair of ASW aircraft leads the way with fighter escort close behind. A second wing of strike aircraft is behind that followed up by an AEW bird. To say it again, this is all generated by the strike AI, all I have done is assigned units a target and set some as escorts.
Maritime ASuW Strike
Maritime ASuW Strike follow the same guidelines as above except it is against naval targets. In the above example a flight of Chinese J-16 Flying Sharks will launch anti-ship missiles at a passing F47 frigate. Assisting the Chinese air units is a pair of JD-16's mounting OECM.
- WRA and EMCON is set individually for strikers and for escorts.
- The strike AI will do a great job but once the planes are in the air you will want to check flight paths and monitor location.
- Verify that your SEAD strikes have absolutely taken down SEAD assets, otherwise scrub the strikers as they are missile magnets.
- Sometimes a patrol mission is a better fit as it allows the units to react to threats. If a new SAM is detected and your SEAD strike is complete you may be left unable to complete the mission.
- Make sure the variant you selected as an escort has a loadout that fits the desired role.
A support mission is unique in that no target is being attacked. They are used as paths for airborne early warning aircraft, refueling operations, OECM and even as holding points for aircraft waiting to be assigned to missions. Many of the options are the same as patrol missions.
- Navigation Type
- You can select from continuous loop or single loop. Continuous loop will make the unit follow the path until it is out of fuel or the mission ends. Single loop will allow the unit to make a single circuit and then RTB.
When creating a ferry mission you must select the destination port/airfield. You may also set it as a one-way trip, random, or cycle back and forth.
Wiki note : If you are familiar with the use of this operation please expand upon this entry.