Welcome to the LnLP Forums and Resource Area

We have updated our forums to the latest version. If you had an account you should be able to log in and use it as before. If not please create an account and we look forward to having you as a member.

Radio (or lack thereof) Communications

Rob

Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
Messages
153
Points
18
Location
Vancouver BC, Canada
Hi all,

Was just wondering about the upcoming early east front DLC and the paucity of radios in the Soviet military at the time. In many (if not most) armoured/mechanized/motorized USSR formations the only units with radios were company level or higher command tanks/vehicles in the timeframe of the DLC. The rest of the company unit was reliant on visuals such as signal flags to communicate. If the CO's tank was destroyed the rest of the unit was reduced to milling around unable convey info or receive orders. Similarly the air force had the same problem ---- only the squadron leader had a radio and the rest the rest of the squadron used hand signals and/or just "followed the leader".
Obviously this would pose a significant disadvantage in a war zone. Will this be simulated in some fashion?? It affects everything not just combat, a unit without a radio cannot report what they are seeing to either their HQ or spot for artillery. Maybe a good time to turn back on the radio module in CO2??
Just curious..........

Rob.
 

ioncore

Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2015
Messages
680
Points
43
Location
Germany, Lower Saxony
Website
ioncore.livejournal.com
Obviously this would pose a significant disadvantage in a war zone. Will this be simulated in some fashion??
It will be, definitely. Turning on the original comm module in its entirety may not be appropriate, as this would have massive consequences. Not at the moment, anyway. But aside of the obvious things like reduced staff capacity I have been also considering following:
- reduced (statically, in the Estabs) RoF for non-radio equipped tanks, the simplest but also the dumbest solution;
- a reduced/simplified version of a radio comm feature which would for now only affect units on a tactical level (i.e. work at the level of a single unit only, not with the inter-unit communications). This would use the actually assigned radio equipment in the Estabs to determine some bonuses/penalties during the command resolution.
What exactly will be chosen for the next DLC yet has to be decided.
 

Grognerd

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2017
Messages
185
Points
28
Age
70
Location
Melbourne, USA
Having a simulation or process that accurately reflects this is a very good idea!

The methods of achieving this don't matter, as long as the game results adequately reflect history. A very simple process is just as good as a very complex process when the results look good.

I did a brief study of the electronic industry in the Soviet Union in 1941 (it was not good). I imagine it was much worse in 1939 Siberia. Amazing how fast it improved after June 22 1941!
 

ioncore

Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2015
Messages
680
Points
43
Location
Germany, Lower Saxony
Website
ioncore.livejournal.com
Amazing how fast it improved after June 22 1941!
Worth to mention that receiving (and later copying) some of the better US and UK radioset designs, as well as receiving a lot of valuable raw materials and subcomponents via LL played a key role. Not talking about LL-ed radars, which allowed USSR to literally close 10-12 years (as Soviets estimated it themselves) technology gap in that area.
There were enough radiosets LLed to fully equip 150 Soviet rifle divisions (of course, according to minimalistic Soviet ToEs, but anyway) and enough telephone stations for fully equipping 329 divisions.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2014
Messages
1,089
Points
63
Age
74
Location
Livonia, MI (Detroit-area suburb)
Worth to mention that receiving (and later copying) some of the better US and UK radioset designs, as well as receiving a lot of valuable raw materials and subcomponents via LL played a key role. Not talking about LL-ed radars, which allowed USSR to literally close 10-12 years (as Soviets estimated it themselves) technology gap in that area.
There were enough radiosets LLed to fully equip 150 Soviet rifle divisions (of course, according to minimalistic Soviet ToEs, but anyway) and enough telephone stations for fully equipping 329 divisions.
Considering radios facilitate the exchange of intel, coordination of movements and formations and responsiveness for fire control, it would seem like some form of command delay modification could emulate the availability or lack of availability of communications equipment -- units with extensive radio communication nets suffering less delay than those which lack the net.
 

ioncore

Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2015
Messages
680
Points
43
Location
Germany, Lower Saxony
Website
ioncore.livejournal.com
Considering radios facilitate the exchange of intel, coordination of movements and formations and responsiveness for fire control, it would seem like some form of command delay modification could emulate the availability or lack of availability of communications equipment -- units with extensive radio communication nets suffering less delay than those which lack the net.

Yes, but this will be in effect when there is a chain of command, i.e. at least two (or more) units forming a comm link and exchanging orders, arty support requests, intel etc. So in my opinion this would be already a pretty major feature.

For a start, I'd like to implement intra-unit effects only, meaning, say, communications between individual vehicles within a single unit. When there's a radio network, individual tanks (or guns or whatever) will be able to quickly inform each other about targets, threats etc. Meaning radio-equipped unit is able to better detect targets (so probably penalty for detection for non-radio unit) and, as a result, fire at them more often (so probably a penalty for RoF and/or hit chance for non-radio unit) etc.
Of course, this is just a brainstorming, I don't need this for Khalkhin-Gol (as both Soviets and Japanese units were comparable w.r.t. communications), but for any "real" East Front vs Germans we'd likely need something along these lines.
 

Grognerd

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2017
Messages
185
Points
28
Age
70
Location
Melbourne, USA
You could possibly consider increasing the Soviet orders delay (or by the same token decreasing the orders delay for radio equipped opponents)
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2014
Messages
1,089
Points
63
Age
74
Location
Livonia, MI (Detroit-area suburb)
Yes, but this will be in effect when there is a chain of command, i.e. at least two (or more) units forming a comm link and exchanging orders, arty support requests, intel etc. So in my opinion this would be already a pretty major feature.

For a start, I'd like to implement intra-unit effects only, meaning, say, communications between individual vehicles within a single unit. When there's a radio network, individual tanks (or guns or whatever) will be able to quickly inform each other about targets, threats etc. Meaning radio-equipped unit is able to better detect targets (so probably penalty for detection for non-radio unit) and, as a result, fire at them more often (so probably a penalty for RoF and/or hit chance for non-radio unit) etc.
Of course, this is just a brainstorming, I don't need this for Khalkhin-Gol (as both Soviets and Japanese units were comparable w.r.t. communications), but for any "real" East Front vs Germans we'd likely need something along these lines.
Unless you're talking about modifying the appropriate command and unit health measures based on availability of communications, I don't think implementing something for vehicle to vehicle communications would be of much value unless you eventually anticipate modeling vehicle to vehicle or person to person combat.

At this time, the lowest level of combat is between battery-, platoon- or company-sized units because those are the smallest units that can be ordered to perform discrete tasks depending on the designer's OOB.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2014
Messages
1,089
Points
63
Age
74
Location
Livonia, MI (Detroit-area suburb)
Jim.
I'm not talking about modelling vehicle-to-vehicle communications, I'm talking about modelling of the vehicle-to-vehicle communications effect, which is an entirely different thing.
I'd guess those effects would revolve around command and unit health measures -- under command affecting "leadership," "efficiency," and "aggression" with some effect on staff quality.

Under unit health I'd anticipate effects primarily in "cohesion" and possibly "morale."
 

Rob

Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
Messages
153
Points
18
Location
Vancouver BC, Canada
Of course, this is just a brainstorming, I don't need this for Khalkhin-Gol (as both Soviets and Japanese units were comparable w.r.t. communications), but for any "real" East Front vs Germans we'd likely need something along these lines.

Then you're giving both sides higher levels of capabilities re: detection, spotting, unit RoF, arty attacks, lower command delays etc. that neither side possessed in 1939. Could we at least get negative adjustments for the areas in my previous sentence for Khalkin-Gol??

Thanks all for the responses,

Rob
 

ioncore

Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2015
Messages
680
Points
43
Location
Germany, Lower Saxony
Website
ioncore.livejournal.com
Then you're giving both sides higher levels of capabilities re: detection, spotting, unit RoF, arty attacks, lower command delays etc. that neither side possessed in 1939.
No, because there are other means to *generally* degrade both sides via other parameters. Some of these are those Jim has already mentioned, others are specifically addressing artillery C2.
 

GoodGuy

Member
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
436
Points
28
Age
52
Location
Cologne
I outlined the radio ranges of common German radio sets in German armored vehicles in this forum, a few yrs ago.
Basically, the radios had ranges of 8-11 kilometers in voice com mode, and say 15 - 30 kilometers in morse mode, both ranges depending on the transmitter model used in a given vehicle. In Command Ops, one grid box is 1 km wide/long. 8 grids (=8 km) is nothing, if the scenario covers large areas (say 30 km * 40 km).
Historically, tank units were pretty much on their own, once they lost radio (voice com) contact with the most forward friendly forces.
Morsed messages could be and were still transmitted, but in combat this mode couldn't be used, in most situations.
Some armored recon vehicles had retractable radio poles (height: 6-8 meters) and somewhat more powerful radio transmitters, but these were mostly used for artillery observation (often in or bordering to enemy territory, though).

So, recon or tank units tasked to scout or interdict enemy supply lines behind enemy lines, conducted their missions way outside their radio ranges (in Russia, both sides conducted such missions by pushing/filtering through enemy flanks, for example, sometimes with dashes of up to 20-35 kilometers), and raced back towards friendly lines to get back into radio range and to report results, sightings, locations of enemy supply lines/hubs, troop movements and/or worthy arty or bomber targets.
I am too lazy to dig out my old post, but I am sure that my post was pretty detailed.
If it comes to the creation of an East Front DLC, radio ranges will have to be rendered, imho, in order to accurately depict the historical (limited) capabilities for command and control in conjunctio with radio ranges. For instance, units outside the radio range (morse range) should not be able to call for arty, as a starter, imho.
There might be other ways/ideas to implement/emphasize the use/importance of radios and their particular ranges when it comes to recon missions or armored operations in general.
Maybe like this: If a fast unit finds/observes enemy units while being well out of morse radio range, then the enemy's EXACT location should only be presented to the player when the recon unit has reestablished radio contact. Not sure if something like this would be feasable.
The lack of information in the high echelon HQ about the whereabouts of say a Recon unit or a fast tank unit should make it into the game, somehow, imho. :)
 
Last edited:

Grognerd

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2017
Messages
185
Points
28
Age
70
Location
Melbourne, USA
So did your research include the various nets? Platoon to Company - Company to Battalion - Battalion to Regiment - Regiment to Division???
Did these command radios have any greater ranges?
 

GoodGuy

Member
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
436
Points
28
Age
52
Location
Cologne
So did your research include the various nets? Platoon to Company - Company to Battalion - Battalion to Regiment - Regiment to Division???
Did these command radios have any greater ranges?
Your first question : I checked some networks/rules and the respective equipment.
Your 2nd question: Yes, some had great ranges, if compared to the EQ in say a regular Panzer III or Panzer IV tank, for instance.
That's why quite a few command tanks lost their main guns and received dummy barrels - to make room for additional equipment (additional transceiver sets) with greater ranges.
Late in the war (I'd say late'43 to '45), the Germans managed to miniaturize their radio tubes at least to an extent where a power/range upgrade didn't result in a massive size increase anymore, so even if they didn't have the transistor technology at their disposal, the radios were still bulky but not looking like huge electric cabinets anymore, eventually. This goes for vehicle equipment, to some extent, but regimental radio equipment still needed to be put on tables, for instance. That's why higher echelon EQ was often put in halftracks (with retractable antennas), or in trucks (at HQ level, with large poles that had to be removed before transit).
I don't have much time right now, but I can outline some details here in this thread sometime, once I have some spare time, if you want.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 20, 2014
Messages
1,089
Points
63
Age
74
Location
Livonia, MI (Detroit-area suburb)
Your first question : I checked some networks/rules and the respective equipment.
Your 2nd question: Yes, some had great ranges, if compared to the EQ in say a regular Panzer III or Panzer IV tank, for instance.
That's why quite a few command tanks lost their main guns and received dummy barrels - to make room for additional equipment (additional transceiver sets) with greater ranges.
Late in the war (I'd say late'43 to '45), the Germans managed to miniaturize their radio tubes at least to an extent where a power/range upgrade didn't result in a massive size increase anymore, so even if they didn't have the transistor technology at their disposal, the radios were still bulky but not looking like huge electric cabinets anymore, eventually. This goes for vehicle equipment, to some extent, but regimental radio equipment still needed to be put on tables, for instance. That's why higher echelon EQ was often put in halftracks (with retractable antennas), or in trucks (at HQ level, with large poles that had to be removed before transit).
I don't have much time right now, but I can outline some details here in this thread sometime, once I have some spare time, if you want.
When I was working for the US Army we were supporting a command and control vehicle (battalion level) which had the same form and silhouette of a fully-capable combat vehicle, but with communications equipment substituted in space used for combat capability to better control and coordinate the full combat effectiveness of the unit.

I'd guess the concept was borrowed from experience from WWII-era electronic communications for command and control was matured into line combat unit capabilities, most likely proofed during the Korean War.
 

Arkadiy

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2020
Messages
35
Points
8
Location
USA
Some sort of communication simulation would be cool is when it concerns intel/target sharing. we as players get the "god's view", so we know of everything every unit sees. But just as it takes time for the orders to trickle down, by the same token, it would take time for the intel to get shared (I may be wrong, but we sort of see it in delay of AI calling arty strikes).

So you would ask (rightfully so) - why does it matter, if the God's view is available? Well, it would if in addition to simulating the intel delay, we also got a "unit-specific" view. Then I, as player could play very differently - and only take the limited information into account. So I am not going to bring reserves in just because someone 30 kilometers away saw something. I realize it's a very niche suggestion. Nevertheless... And you could do something "simple" (simple in quote on purpose, I know it's not actually simple :)) like you have for supply where things aren't modeled explicitly - so no need to simulate runners or wire laying as something happening on-map. It's all just lines (in case of wires, say there is time to establish them, plus some sort of a limitation on distance) and it's a matter of how fast the information is moving along these lines and whether the enemy can cut them.
Better yet, this unit-specific fog of war can be applied to own units. So the division HQ may not know where in the hell the regiments are until the contact is established. That perhaps is of questionable value though (outside of immersion), since we can always say - a formation commander is making a decision and it does not matter that it has no contact with superiors. But for the immersion purposes it's pretty cool. Another limitation this could impose - require communications between commanders in order to form a battle group.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 20, 2014
Messages
1,089
Points
63
Age
74
Location
Livonia, MI (Detroit-area suburb)
Some sort of communication simulation would be cool is when it concerns intel/target sharing. we as players get the "god's view", so we know of everything every unit sees. But just as it takes time for the orders to trickle down, by the same token, it would take time for the intel to get shared (I may be wrong, but we sort of see it in delay of AI calling arty strikes).

So you would ask (rightfully so) - why does it matter, if the God's view is available? Well, it would if in addition to simulating the intel delay, we also got a "unit-specific" view. Then I, as player could play very differently - and only take the limited information into account. So I am not going to bring reserves in just because someone 30 kilometers away saw something. I realize it's a very niche suggestion. Nevertheless... And you could do something "simple" (simple in quote on purpose, I know it's not actually simple :)) like you have for supply where things aren't modeled explicitly - so no need to simulate runners or wire laying as something happening on-map. It's all just lines (in case of wires, say there is time to establish them, plus some sort of a limitation on distance) and it's a matter of how fast the information is moving along these lines and whether the enemy can cut them.
Better yet, this unit-specific fog of war can be applied to own units. So the division HQ may not know where in the hell the regiments are until the contact is established. That perhaps is of questionable value though (outside of immersion), since we can always say - a formation commander is making a decision and it does not matter that it has no contact with superiors. But for the immersion purposes it's pretty cool. Another limitation this could impose - require communications between commanders in order to form a battle group.
The orders delay setting with it's more or less emulates communication problems by taking into account time and distance, organizational size, echelon of command and OOB in calculating delays in response from issuing to organizing for and executing an order. However all forces experience the same no matter their communication equipment status.

A nice addition would be a kind of delay bonus setting in the Estabs to account for forces which have a greater allocation of communication equipment suffering a percentage of the current standard orders delay allocation.

that would ignore any terrain constraints on low power LOS communication and unit health degradation as communication equipment is lost in combat but would more or less help model the differences in technology maturity among competing sides in that era.
 
Top