Today is the first update in nine months, and the biggest in over a year, for the Modern Units Database. You can download the updated file on EDIBLE or use the button at the bottom of this post. This update is focused on how recon and satellites work and creates some new dynamics to how units are spotted and attacked. It uses the same probability approach that was implemented in July of last year that uses a matrix of offense/defense values.
Below is the full, detailed change log. With this update, I’m starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. The set is able to perform somewhat like I had envisioned four years back when I started working on it. I’m sure some players will find the changes to be difficult and frustrating, but in the tests I’ve done so far the recon units have finally found an important role in game play.
There are still some game mechanics I need to fully explore, mainly with space and missile units, but after this release I’m not seeing too many major overhauls to the set. That means it will be a lot more fine tuning how things work and less holistic changes to the way it works. Looking back at my earlier frustration, I’m very glad I stuck with it and got this ambitious project to the point where it is now. Thank you to those of you who helped encourage me along the way.
Major Update – Changes to Recon
- A unit’s ability to detect and be detected has been completely overhauled The placeholder values that were used previously have been replaced with a new method of generating and applying values. The new system uses the same probability mechanics as the combat system which was implemented in v0.0.5:
- Every unit “type” is the aggregate of the real-world units classified under that “type.” For example, a 3rd Generation Fighter is the aggregate of the primary 3rd Gen Fighter from major manufacturers. Systems used by each unit are totaled, then the public data on performance are averaged across all variants of 3rd Gen Fighters. This becomes the value listed for that unit in the set.
- The formula for detection is: (Average of Detection Systems of Active Unit Type) / (Average of all Defensive Systems of Observed Unit Type)
- If the active unit achieves 66% or better detection probability, the observed unit is spotted and appears to the player. Unfortunately, EDCE does not allow for random variation as it does with combat systems so you will either see the unit or you won’t based on this threshold. This will be the state of things until this mechanic is changed or I find an alternative.
- Recon units (noted by a binocular on the left side of their unit icon) have improved detection probability, moving from 66% to 50% in order to see a unit. This gives them more versatility in detection and models their specific recon training. They are also given broader definitions of what is considered detectable to emulate non-traditional intelligence sources.
- Units that do not have dedicated terrain scanning capability no longer have the ability to reveal terrain outside of their immediate visual range. This primarily impacts air units such as Fighters and Bombers.
- In real life, these units rely on third party systems to provide this data when they are engaging enemy units. The exception is when air-to-air fighters are locating and engaging other air units during patrols.
- Patrol aircraft still retain their detection capabilities against the unit type they are designed to track, even if they are not listed as a recon aircraft.
- Miniature Satellites have significantly reduced recon values. Its primary job has been adjusted to mapping of terrain. They no longer have the “recon” tag to them since they are no longer designated as military satellites. They will work similar to the Landsat family of satellites.
Changes for AI Optimization:
- Added a duplicate version of Insurgents that is AI only. This change is cosmetic only and allows for some modding flexibility. This has no material impact on how the AI will perform against a human player.
Changes to Cities:
- Reduced the default visual range of cities to 1. This allows for cases where some units can detect cities and the player is not aware.
- Cities can no longer launch missiles and space weapons without the dedicated hardware to do so. You will need to build a unit or structure dedicated to the task.
- This can lead to a situation where missiles that are set to unlimited production will not alert the player when they are constructed if a launch platform is not available in the city. If it happens to you, this isn’t a bug! It means you have to change your configuration in the EDCE options menu to activate the unit even if it cannot move (similar to infantry units produced on island cities).
- Removed the bracket prefixes to units available in the build queue. Units should use the morph functionality to reach the desired height/depth. This fixes an issue where units built in cities have auto-generated names that look odd.
Engineering Unit Changes
- Fixed the text for Sappers. They are best suited for building small to medium structures such as ambush points and outposts.
- Added the ability for the HEMMT PLS system to construct bases. While limited in number of options, they receive a bonus to construction time over Sappers.
- EAFV receives a significant construction bonus when building larger structures. This will differentiate it from the all-purpose Bulldozer. It no longer has the ability to repair other engineering vehicles.
Space Unit Changes
- Space units can no longer be launched from cities without dedicated launch equipment. These include some TEL systems, air bases, and launch pads.
- ASAT and Tether Satellites are capable of destroying other satellites and have unlimited range. This gives alternatives to missiles as the only method of winning the space war.
- Additionally, ASAT Satellites also have military recon capability to further improve their versatility.
- Astronomical Satellites have an improved ability to locate space units but lose all other recon capabilities.
Other Unit Specific Changes
- Updated the “Game Notes” section of almost all unit descriptions to better reflect their game mechanics more accurately. (Thanks to Framer for pointing this out)
- Fixed an issue where some ships were not able to carry Marines and should be able to do so.
- Marines can capture cities without morphing first, but at a significant penalty. This also causes the unit to sacrifice itself.
- Changed off-road performance for wheeled vehicles. They are slower than tracked units in rough terrain, but faster on roads.
- Removed larger rockets from the ML/TEL launch platform. These require larger systems now.
- HETS can perform field repairs on some units.
- ATM Carriers can be air dropped in accordance with the Game Notes. However, the type of aircraft capable of dropping it is limited.
- Amphibious tanks have reduced recon capability. This means converting Light Tanks to Amphibious Tanks results in a permanent reduction in recon for the unit.
- CIWS combat system values updated in accordance with newly released data.
- Games notes for anti-aircraft systems updated to better explain the differences between various AA options. You will need to diversify if you want to full coverage of your airspace defenses.
- Game notes for artillery and rocket systems updated to better explain the differences from other artillery options.
- Added the ability to convert Recon helicopter to Hunter Helicopters. This was an oversight in a previous update and was always intended to be an option.
- Killer Helicopters combat system values updated in accordance with newly released data. They can now target modern tanks.
- Putting recon infantry on a Gunship Helicopter now makes them as effective as a Recon Helicopter.
- Fixed a typo with the CAS mission assignment on aircraft.
- Refueling Tankers, Gunships, Multi-Role Fighters, and Strike Fighters can convert to their alternative type when needed.
- Clarified the differences between interdictors and ground attack fighters to help the player choose the right option for a strike mission.
- Patrol Boats have re-gained a default weapon system. You can still use infantry to supplement and improve firepower.
- LST’s can transport trains. This is to test a new mechanic and will likely be removed in the future.
- Adjusted what units the Combat Outpost and Fire Support Base can handle. This is based on newly released data from Afghanistan which used bases of this type.
- Adjusted capacity of Military Camp to 50 (was 20). Can no longer support armored units.
- Adjusted FOB and MOB capacity to unlimited.
- Description for Combat Outposts and Fire Support Base updated to more accurately reflects its function.
- Space Shuttles cannot re-enter, and land as expected. The functionality for this was removed as it could cause the game to crash.
- Space Stations cannot construct units as their description suggests. This appears to be a game limitation.
- Some units are receiving detection bonuses greater than they should. There is an error in the source data used to calculate this and I am working on removing it.
- Helicopters have strange pathing behavior when on automatic explore and cannot find a way home. This requires manual intervention when it occurs.
- Hunter Helicopters are showing in the build queue but were not meant to be buildable since its a function of the Recon Helicopter.