Fix Ground Strike targeting Oct 26, 2019 10:14:09 GMT -5
Post by rdfox on Oct 26, 2019 10:14:09 GMT -5
(My apologies if this actually belongs in Bug Reports, but I think it's a case of working-as-designed with unintended consequences, instead.)
Up until 1.10, using your carrier aircraft for Ground Strike missions was simple as pie--set the target to a point target on land (a fortification or an "installation" bombardment target), then ready and launch, planes fly out to the target, planes attack target, planes return to carrier, lather, rinse, repeat as needed until the target is destroyed. Great way to suppress enemy defenses--particularly airbases--and for dealing with bombardment targets too far behind minefields or heavy enemy forces to shell.
However, with version 1.10 adding the much-requested ability to adjust the targeting of the strike immediately before launch, it has made Ground Strike missions much more difficult. You can only set the final target point on the map, not using the "select target" method that lets you target installations... and, based on my experience, aircraft assigned to Ground Strike missions will not, as they do with Naval Strike, fly out to the designated location and then search for a valid target. Instead, if there's no land target at precisely the point that you click on the map for the final targeting, they will fly out, wave to the ground target that's 500 yards off to the side, turn back, and land. Declining to adjust the targeting by just continuing to advance time doesn't help; the strike will simply not launch until you finally follow the popup's instructions and give them an updated target point.
Could this be changed to make Ground Strike useful again? I see two possible options--one would be to simply have Ground Strike automatically skip the target-adjustment step before launch, on the grounds that land targets don't move very much; the other, which might be a better option, would be to have Ground Strike aircraft start a search pattern for land targets if they don't find one exactly at their target destination. The second might be better because it would allow for aircraft sent on a Ground Strike mission to hunt Targets of Opportunity should their primary target be destroyed before they reach it, meaning that the aircraft sent out wouldn't necessarily just turn around and come home without doing anything if someone earlier in the attack order destroys the target.
...just as I was typing that, I came up with a possible third option, as well, where a group on a Ground Strike mission will, if it reaches the destination and doesn't see any target there, will automatically retarget to the nearest land target within, say, 50 miles of the designated target location; if there's no land target within that radius, they instead RTB. This would solve the issue of the bombers not seeing the target exactly at the strike location (as it would be presumably close enough to have the target within the radius), and would also allow Target of Opportunity attacks on other nearby land targets if the primary target is destroyed, while having them not spend all their remaining fuel in the search pattern and thus not be available for future sorties for an extended period of time.