Missiles

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SR2020 Warfare Guide - Missiles[edit | edit source]

Submitted by Balthagor on Mon, 01/14/2013 - 19:20 Missiles are air-borne weapons with explosive payloads or warheads. SR2020 Missile units (MUs) are bombs, guided-missiles or ballistic missiles that are dropped, glided, flown or launched at enemy units and facilities on the Game Map. There are 462 different types of MUs in SR2020. MUs are launched from "platforms" such as ground launchers, aircraft, ships or submarines.

MUs are all "fire-and-forget" weapons that only require their launch platform to launch them, not to guide them to target.

Missiles are fabricated either by auto-build from the Defense Minister Summary sub-panel or from the Defense Fabrication sub-panel.

Many ground MLRS rocket-launcher units, such as the TL 83 U.S. M270 MLRS, double as MU launchers. There are no ASW MUs or missile silos in SR2020.

Although missiles come in many different attack types and modes, there is usually some cross-over with the type of damage that each type will cause. Anti-fortification MUs will also do lesser damage to soft and hard targets, and anti-personnel MUs will also cause some damage to hard targets. The official classification of the target type is based upon which of the target types the MU is the MOST effective in attacking.

Missile Designations[edit | edit source]

The following are the missile role designations used by the U.S. armed forces and by the game:

  • AGM - Air-Launched Surface-Attack
  • RGM - Ship-Launched Surface-Attack
  • UGM - Underwater-Launched Surface-Attack
  • BGM - Multiple-Platformed-Launched Surface-Attack
  • MGM - Mobile Surface-Attack

Missiles and AA[edit | edit source]

The primary defense against missiles is AA, which is nearly as effective against missiles as it is against close-air aircraft. This is because, except for ballistic missiles, MUs are treated as close-air targets. Missiles are nearly ineffective against massed AA, such as that found in major cities or fleets of combat naval units.

There are no anti-aircraft MUs in SR2020. Anti-aircraft attacks from AA units, ships and aircraft (Air-to-Air) are the intrinsic, default capabilities of the attacking unit and as such represent missile ammunition that is drawn from the Supplies of the firing unit. An example of this is the Phoenix air-to-air missile launched by the F-14 fighter plane. The F-14's AA shows up in its air attack specifications as a strength of 43 with a range of 185 km.

Missile Sizes[edit | edit source]

Missiles come in different sizes ranging from 2 to 18. Each missile-platform unit has a specified "Max Missile Size" (MMS). This figure actually represents the capacity of one launcher in the over-all unit. For instance a B-52 bomber unit has 12 aircraft per unit. The MMS specification given in its tech readout is 60, which means that each AC can carry a maximum of 6 size 10 missiles, or 6 * 12 = 72 for the whole unit.

The largest ship-launched MU is size 6. Each ship is suppose to have four launchers, so the general formula is MMS = missile capacity / 4.

The largest land or submarine-launched missile is size 12, which is also the MMS of the largest available launchers.

The largest air-launched missile is the size 10 U.S. AGM-86C ALCM. The F-14 has a missile capacity of 12, so each aircraft could only carry one of AGM-86 cruise missile. Any type of missile-capable aircraft can carry any type of air-launched missile that is within its capacity.

Missiles sizes larger than size 12 were intended to be launched from land silos, which have been dropped from the game.

Missile Deployment[edit | edit source]

Missiles and missile platforms have three game-specific attributes: auto-build, auto-deploy, auto-load and "Launch Authority" (LA). Auto-build means that your Defense Minister is authorized to build its own selection of missiles in general.

Auto-deploy means that as soon as a missile is fabricated it is automatically to be loaded onto an appropriate launch-platform.

Auto-load means that a launch-platform can automatically be loaded with missiles by the DM accordig to its configured "Role". If you have established missile profiles or "Roles" for all of your missile-capable units (platforms), then the DM will respect these rules and load the specified types of missiles onto each launcher, plane or ship. Otherwise if your units are authorized for missile-auto-deploy then the DM will make its own questionable selections.

"Launch Authority" surprisingly does not mean that you may launch the missile - it means that the DM has permission to launch it. Launch Authority is set by default, according to the unit type of the missile. It can be adjusted when the missile is in reserve from the Defense/Reserve/Delpoyed sub-panel. If a missile auto-deploys then it does so using its default LA setting.

Missile Conservation[edit | edit source]

The game is very wasteful of missiles and it is often necessary over-ride it in order to conserve missiles. There are three problems:

  1. The DM will often fire your missiles for you.
  2. Your attack unit may waste missiles.
  3. Your missiles may be shot down by powerful AA.

The DM's targets rarely match you own better selections. If the DM is given LA of your missiles then when you launch a sorte of aircraft armed with missiles, with the intention of attacking a specific enemy target on the map, then somewhere along the way to your target the DM may fire the aircraft's missiles at his own target.

When you order a unit to "Fire Missile" what you are actually telling it to do is "Fire All of your Missiles". And your attack unit will keep firing its missiles until it runs out of them or until the target is destroyed, or until your unit is destroyed. Even after the target is destroyed, your attack unit may already have a wasted follow-up missile salvo in the air.

If you are interested in conserving missiles then it is wise to alternate between the "Fire Missile" order and the "Clear Orders" command. This way you can control the rate of missile salvos and reduce waste.

When you have your attack units attack a target its missiles may be intercepted and destroyed by enemy AA. Unless you manually intervene, your attacking units will happily waste all of their missiles against the over-whelming AA.

Air-to-Air[edit | edit source]

Again, there are no air-to-air MUs in SR2020 - they are represented in the default air-attack values of combat ACUs and are drawn from its ammunition supplies. The following RL description of air-to-air missiles is for the reader's interest only.

In RL an air-to-air missile that is capable of engaging at ranges beyond 37 km is referred to as a Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile. Regardless of its theoritical range, a missile must also be capable of tracking its target at this range or of acquiring the target in flight. The latest generation of BVR missiles uses a combination of semi-active and active radar. Missiles like the Raytheon AIM-7 Sparrow and Vympel R-27 (NATO designation AA-10 'Alamo') home in on the reflected radiation, much like a Laser-guided bomb homes in on the reflected laser radiation.

The first air-to-air missile to introduce a terminal active seeker of its own was the AIM-54 Phoenix carried by the F-14 Tomcat, which entered service in 1972. This relieved the launch platform of the need to illuminate the target until impact putting it at risk. The Phoenix and its associated Tomcat radar, the AWG-9 was capable of multiple track and launch capability, which was unique to the Tomcat/Phoenix until the advent of AMRAAM in 1991.

Newer fire-and-forget type missiles like the Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM and the Vympel R-77 (NATO designation AA-12 'Adder') instead use an Inertial navigation system (INS) combined with initial target information from the launching aircraft and updates from a one or two-way data link in order to launch beyond visual range, and then switch to a terminal homing mode, typically active radar guidance. The very longest range missiles like the Hughes (now Raytheon) AIM-54 Phoenix missile and Vympel R-33 (NATO designation AA-9 'Amos') use this technique also.

Attack Roles[edit | edit source]

Since there are a confusing number of missile types, Attack Roles have been devised to assign default missile types to each launch platform.

The Attack Role of a missile platform is determined in two parts. The first part is the launch platform type itself - so land platforms are Land, Naval platforms are Naval, etc. The second part represents the intended target: Ground (land unit), Ship (Naval Unit), Building (base, complex or factory) or Saturation (anti-personnel/soft targets). Once a launch platform, such as an aircraft, is assigned an Attack Role from the Individual ROE sub-panel then the correct type of missile can be auto-loaded onto the aircraft whenever it returns to base for re-arming.

Land Attack[edit | edit source]

Land-attack MUs such as ground-to-ground (ATACMS), ship-to-ground (NTACMS) or air-to-ground (AGM) MUs are used to attack land units and structures.

Land attack MUs can either be of the Area-effect type (Indirect) or the Guided type (Direct). Area-effect MUs, such as the TL 86 U.S. RGM-109C- II Tomahawk TLAM-C, distribute their damage "indirectly" very much like indirect artillery. The effects of the missile attack are distributed among the various units and structures located within the targeted hex. This can be effective if you are attacking a hex full of soft targets such as foot-units or supply trucks.

Direct-fire Guided MUs can be aimed not just at the hex, but at individual units or structures within the hex. Using Direct-Fire MUs, such as the TL 82 U.S. AGM-142A Raptor/Popeye is much more effective if you are attempting to destroy an AA unit within a target hex.

Anti-Ship[edit | edit source]

Anti-ship MUs are long-range direct-fire MUs that are dedicated to attacking enemy naval units. These are extremely effective against single ships, but as explained above, fleets of combat ships present a curtain of AA fire that is nearly impossible to pierce with missiles.

Fortification Attack[edit | edit source]

Fortification attack MUs, such as the TL 84 U.S. BGM-109B Tomahawk TLAM are used aginst enemy bases and factories.

The problem with these fortified targets is that they are partially repaired daily at midnight. It is difficult for your inflicted damage to keep pace with the enemy's repair efforts unless you concentrate your fire with a mass attack.

If you are attacking with indirect, area-effect MUs then a large portion of your damage will be done to the central complex, as well as other non-target structures within the hex.

Powered/Unpowered[edit | edit source]

"Powered" MUs are accelerated towards their targets by the use of chemical rocket motors or, in the case of cruise missiles, by jet engines.

The main U.S. missile technologies are listed below:

  • SLAM - Stand-Off Attack Missile
  • ALCM - Air-Launched Cruise Missile
  • JASSM - Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile
  • ATACMS - Army Tactical Missile System
  • ALAM - Advanced Land-Attack Missile
  • NTACMS - Navy Tactical Missile System
  • SLCM - Submarine-Launched Cruise Missile
  • SLBM - Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile
  • TLAM - Tomahawk Land Attack Missile

There are a number of Indian-fabricated missiles that are named "SLBM" or "SLCM". In most cases this means "Ship-launched", not Submarine-launched.

The JSOW is an un-powered "Glide-bomb" that is released at high speed from the attacking aircraft. The JSOW unit then glides on its wings, un-powered, no to its target.

Cruise missiles and ballistic missiles are all examples of powered MUs.

Cruise Missiles[edit | edit source]

Cruise missiles (CMs) are small, stealthy, un-manned jet aircraft that are guided to their target by artificial intelligence and to some extent by remote control. They should not be confused with UAVs, since most UAVs are designed to be retrieved post-mission. Ideally the entire aircraft is destroyed in the attack.

CMs can be equipped with nuclear or conventional warheads. However the compact configuration of the airframe limits the size and power of conventional warheads although they are still capable of inflicting heavy damage to units and strutures.

CMs are often referred to as "Stand-off" weapons since an aircraft can fly up to an enemy's border, release its load of CMs and then turn around and return to base. Their long-range assures their reaching their target area. This is not necessaraly true of other non-ballistic missiles such as the Harpoon.

In RL CMs are often launched using a chemical booster rocket that accelerates the CM up to cruising speed, at which time its internal jet engine fires and powers the missile to its target. Some types are capable of loitering over their targets for a limited amount of time.

A large part of the stealth of CMs is that they fly low and close to the earth, which makes them difficult to be targeted by radar fire-control. CMs are not as fast as most rocket-powered missiles and they can be shot down by enemy AA.

Some examples of CM units are the sea-launched U.S. RGM-109A/B/C Tomahawk TLAM (Block III, the air-launched U.S. AGM-84F Harpoon Block 1D and the land-launchable U.S. RGM-109D Tomahawk TLAM. The RGM-109D CMU can also be launched from ships and submarines.

Bombs[edit | edit source]

Conventional explosive "iron" bombs are cheap but deadly un-powered MUs. They can be dropped from any SR2020 combat that is missile capable, but the ACs of choice are the Fighter/Bomber and the Strategic Bomber.

There are three free-fall bombs in the game:

  • TL 65 B61 Nuclear Bomb (U.S.)
  • TL 80 N-Bomb Nuclear Bomb (universal)
  • TL 62 M117 341-kg Bomb - Freefall (multi-regional)

See "Nuclear Warheads" below.

The strategic bomber can drop huge numbers of the conventional weapons and cause large-scale damage as a result.

Smart-Bombs[edit | edit source]

Smart-bombs are different from traditional "iron" bombs in that they are fitted with electro-mechanical guidance units that glide/guide the bomb to its target.

The TL 97 U.S. AGM-130 MU is a powered smart-bomb - a conventional GBU-15 smart-bomb unit with wings, a guidance package and a rocket engine attached.

Ballistic Missiles[edit | edit source]

Ballistic missiles are long-range indirect-fire MUs that are boosted into an un-guided "ballistic" trajectory. SR2020 Ballistic missiles are guaranteed to hit their target hex if they are not "intercepted" by AA or MDI forces first. Since they are indirect weapons, their damage is distributed throughout the targeted hex.

Types of BM technology includes SCUD missiles, SRBMs, MRBM, ICBMS.

The SCUD is a Soviet-designed tactical SRBM BM with a range of less than 1000 km. SCUD missiles such as the TL 63 Russian SS-1d Scud C were derived from the German V-2 missiles of WWII and were widely exported.

Short-Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBM), such as the TL 85 Chinese CSS-6-S DF-15 SRBM also have limited ranges and are also known as "theatre ballistic missiles".

MRBM such as the TL 99 Indian Agni-II-S MRBM have longer ranges of 1000-3000 km.

Intercontental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) are strategic weapons with ranges of in excess of 5500 km. They are designed to deliver nuclear warheads to targets over great distances.

Ballistic MUs in SR2020 generally have two differennt designs - one nuclear and one conventionally armed.

Nuclear Warheads[edit | edit source]

SR2020 contains a variety of nuclear weapons (nukes), all of which are MUs. These weapons are extremely destructive, but in proportion to their size. Sizes (in Kilo-tons) run from 10-20000. Damage values range from 700 up to as high as 9000. As area-effect weapons, small nukes would be expected to do serious damage to all units in a hex, but not totally destroy them.

Most nuclear MUs also have an equivalent conventionally-armed MU design.

The use of nukes comes with a great deal of political over-head. Depending upon how you configure the game settings in the Game Lobby, the use of nukes could cost you heavily in both DAR and MAR and could have severe diplomatic repercussions as well.

There are two lock-outs that must be over-ridden prior to the deployment of nukes. One is located on the Defense Condition Sub-Panel and the other on the Individual Rules-of-Engagement Sub-Panel.