Strike Command - The Early Days

Strike Command : The Commandering

Strike Commander was released by Chris Roberts in 1993 to much acclaim and some total radness. The entire premise revolved around you using your F16’s to fly mercenary missions while keeping the books balanced. You go to do awesome stuff like visit people on your base and choose weapons loadouts and fly missions in a pixelated landscapes.

Command : Modern Operations (CMO) is published by WarfareSims and models modern air and naval combat unlike anything else on the market. It simulates radar, flight mechanics, weapons performance, thermal ocean layering, and damn near anything that could impact combat operations. It’s kind of groggy but also pretty damn approachable. We’ve got everything from 1946 Wildcats to hypothetical Chinese stealth fighters. Want boats? We got it. Want submarines? Fuck yah. Want an obscure Chilean helicopter from 1964? It’s probably there.

This Let’s Play is Strike Commander in theme but CMO as our engine. You won’t be flying the jets. You’ll be telling a squadron of mish mashed shit where to fly, what to bomb, and how to do it. On top of that you’ll be choosing our financials. Do we buy those used Egyptian MIG-23’s for a song or do we save up for some old F-18’s? You’ll need some ground and support units, and of course, you’ll need to pick the missions.

Because at the end of the day it’s all about keeping this sorry operation running. You will decide the fate of this endeavour.

You are the shareholders, executives, and tactical commanders of Strike Command : The Commandering

The game will be broken down into phases. First you’ll vote on the airframes from a list of possible choices. Some are cheap, some are expensive. Then you’ll pick some support options. Then it’ll be mission time. The world is full of hot spots and angry people with money.

Lastly will be the mission itself. We’ll see what works best to define the flight paths and mission protocols but I’d like to leave as much of it to you guys. Then I’ll build the mission in CMANO, run it, and upload a video. The game has time compression so you’ll only get the good bits.

Finally will be mission complete, an AAR, and the payday! Then, if this is all fun, we’ll do another round. You’ll need to not drive us into bankruptcy.

Regarding missions : If you choose to help evil dictators certain munitions options will go away. But other ones might appear. The same if you choose to do stuff that the US/NATO/UN/EURO doesn’t care about, or you side with them. The choices you make will have a direct impact on the financial future of this endeavour. Choose wisely.

After a brief period of US isolationism the world got itself into a shitfit. Wars are no longer being fought in buttfuckistan by major operators but across the globe in many, many regions. Now with a reduced budget, and a desire to keep taxes down, the US has sanctioned a bunch of Private Military Contractors.

(That’s us BTW)

With the defunding of NATO congress has decided to make these PMC’s earn each buck instead of just pissing it away in procurement. There’s a midterm election coming and by god the senator from Kentucky cannot have a tax increase. Similar situations have occured throughout Europe. In a nutshell it’s like Ayn Rand wrote the military defense budget.

Fortunately there’s pockets of stability. Unfortunately most of the rest of the world shit in a bag and lit it on fire.

In 2019 China invaded Taiwan, or rather tried to. A fierce missile battle ended with the Taiwanese launching a tactical nuclear warhead into the Chinese invasion staging area. An hour later they launched a second missile that airburst over Guangzhou. The Taiwanese not only had managed to design and manufacture there own subs but also had retrieved some warheads from K-219 near Bermuda.

In the ensuing months China broke apart as a nation as the economy collapsed. Today there is everything from rampant capitalists to staunch Maoists. Beijing is trying to bring it all back together but it’s a damned mess. In many areas it’s unclear who’s really in charge.

The Taiwanese subs were suspiciously close to a variant of the US Navy. Speculation was that the US assisted the Taiwanese in designing the subs as conventional missile subs and they had no idea of the Taiwanese nuclear capabilities.

In this same area North Korea is shitting on South Korea but open hostilities haven’t started. Yet.

Russia in the East is a province of its own that as long as it supplies raw materials to Russia in the West, no one asks any questions. Oddly enough the fishing fleets in this area have proven to be the greatest source of friction as everyone is out to harvest those waters.

India and Pakistan haven’t tossed nukes at each other but Kashmir is still a sticking point. It was an autonomous UN zone for about a week and then the shitstorm hit. For now it’s a no mans land that no country dares claim. Tibet is in the midst of a rebirth, though China still has the hammer down.

Eastern Europe is simply the unstable zone. Russia, unable to conquer it all militarily, has instead sought to destabilize the zone economicaly, militarily, and culturally. Romania skirmishes with Bulgaria. Ukraine and Poland went at it. The Balkan states are just a huge basket of fuck no. Estonia leads up the anti-Russian league but lacks anyone with any muscle to back it up. For now Russia is satisfied to just create the chaos.

The Former Yugoslav states have merged into an odd economic zone that purchased all of Greece’s debt from Germany. Now they manufacture weapons for sale to damned near everyone else. Greece is poor but mostly stable. Though a good deal of Greek nationalists are foaming at the mouth for independence.

Turkey still stands but damn near everything near her is a dumpster fire. Iran and the Saudi’s came to blows once and both sides were completely embarrassed by the UAE Air Force. The UAE is the only stabilizing force at the moment and if they pull back it’ll go to shit.

North Africa has settled into a staging point for everyone to get the fuck out and to Europe. Italy is the main collection point to send them all back. We won’t get into the rest of the details of Africa right now. But reserves of rare earth metals there have proven to eclipsed even the demand, and cruelty, for mining diamonds.

South and Central America is a playground for the CIA and DEA. PMC operations in that area are discouraged unless sanctioned. As of now the lithium deposits in Chile and Bolivia make those countries like Saudi Arabia was in the 1980’s. Rich.

Please see below for the Hired Goons current location, order of battle, and roster. Episode highlights are linked below. Anyone can join in, no knowledge necessary (trust me), just toss your name down for a future pilot seat.

NOV 11 2023
FM PMCCTL STOCKHOLM//GOONHQ1//
TO PMC SHAREHOLDERS

The voting trajectory among the partners is leaning heavily towards Klaus and Pedersen. The KP representative was reached mid-sauna and confirmed their commitment to providing a solid maintenance package with the planes. The name Hired Goons is also on the top of the list, 5 to 2 verse Neutrality Assured PMC

We’ll let the voting continue for a bit longer. But as of right now it’s looking like a flock of Griffins.

We’re still awaiting the contract packages to know about the full weapons loadout but I’ll elaborate once it’s in.

Speaking of contracts, we have a few in the works. More to come later.

//PMCCTL END

Two announcements.

  1. Based on popular vote we are now known as Hired Goons . Should this operation become bankrupt we will reorganize as Neutrality Assured PMC .

Goons, bad with money? No way. Never happen.

  1. Klaus and Pedersen has been chosen as the supplier .

A representative from the firm was contacted in Stockholm and will release an audio statement tomorrow. In the meantime I’m Google Translating the crazy mish-mash of German, Swedish, and French in order to figure out what exactly is coming with these fucking jets.

The other firms are disappointed however they still will offer procurement when we’re not in theater. So if you’re holding out for a F-105 Thunderchief, we might be able to make it happen.

Statement tomorrow. Weapons inventory to follow. Then Mission selection. Once we’re on our way to the mission we can look at hiring some ground people.

quote:

$140,000,000 Remaining

In comparison on operating costs the SU-30 has a cost of near $30k an hour. The F-16 ranges up from $11k to $20k. Our operating cost will vary depending on the environment. Saab has very detailed information for Swedish operating costs at modern airfields. If we’re deployed to a rural cow field then things will cost more.

Look at all that money! Hooray! On the downside this shit is going to go fast. As you’ll see in a moment, a full flight of Meteor missiles can cost us $8 mil.

The planes are currently sitting at an ex US Air Force airfield.

And this is where modern combat becomes expensive. Luckily we can define our Weapons Release Authorization to keep a jet from firing all of it’s $1.75 mil missiles at an unknown Cessna. Or we can play with manual release if we want to get really specific.

Our initial inventory is quite nice. When Klaus and Petersen said a full shipment of weaponry they meant it. Unfortunately the Durandals didn’t clear German customs and have disappeared into some quasi EU/NATO blackhole of authorizations. For whatever reason they’re fine with a plane load of bombs but one that can penetrate a runway makes them nervous. Who the fuck knows.

It’s looking like we’ll have two theaters of operation right now. More on this to come later. I’m also putting together some resumes for our experts, Jack Abramof, Jimmy the Juggalo, and Zack “The Animal” Economopolous.

Pilot roster is quite full. The AWACS is the hot ticket it seems. As planes are lost, or we expand, we’ll promote people into new aircraft.

I’m expecting a call from K&P shortly and once I do I’ll get it transcribed and onto YouTube so everyone can listen in.

The first two AoO’s are solidifying. Our office secretary, Caramella Ooze, has done fantastic work bringing together a ton of options. Be sure to vote her a bonus come the holidays.

The informational packets will be inbound shortly and then we’ll start the voting. But a little teaser.

AoO #1 : Brad Pitt spent seven years here.
AoO #2 : Sarah Palin can see it from her house.

Option #1

Synopsis

As China slowly broke apart into her historical parts Tibet saw an opportunity to gain independence. The Dalai Lama originally backed the TLA, however his health is failing and other individuals have stepped up to take his place. All sides learned how to negotiate the modern non-battlefield from Russia and the Ukraine. It’s not soldiers but volunteers. It’s not hostilities but tension. The Chinese are struggling to hold on to control and are operating an under force air wing that is supporting ethnic Han Chinese who are in control of Lhasa. They have some exceptional air defenses. The TLA is backed by the NATO countries in name only. India is working the humanitarian angle but sees an opportunity to humiliate the Chinese after the Sino-Indian War of 1967. Our consultants expect that India wants an independent Tibet as a buffer state to Arunachal Pradesh and may go to extraordinary lengths to secure it.

Retainer : $30 Million
Mission Range : $3-12

Option #2

Synopsis

Japan in a joint lawsuit with Russia won fishing rights in the Bering Sea during a landmark WTO decision. The US has disputed the results and is currently threatening to pull out of the WTO. So right now it’s a free for all. The catch on both sides is no one wants to see fisherman killed, just the automated canning ships and facilities. There is also another PMC operating in this area, Larry’s Lofters and will likely take whatever contract we don’t. A US Carrier Group is operating in the Bering Straits to protect oil tankers transiting the area. Our contact has said that anyone who strays near that carrier group will be fucked up. We’ve had a contact from ANGERPeace, a splinter group of GreenPeace who wants to cripple both sides. They are backed financially by a sect of Bob Barkers Financial Fund. This is not a sanctioned option and will likely piss everyone off. But it’ll pay.

Retainer : $33 Million
Mission Range : $4-16

The NATO flag indicates backing of Western Europe and the US. The UN flag indicates an option friendlier to the rest of the world. Unsanctioned operations can put us on the dark side of the law and can reduce our ability to procure UN and Nato friendly work.

As of right now we have a significant majority voting for Tibet - India . I’m not going to call it yet, but I’d say you can probably pack short sleeves and sandals.

Once we’ve made our decision on Mission location I’ll allow you to vote for our support specialist. We’ve only got room on the roster for one. I think you’ll have a hard time deciding between our extraordinarily competent candidates.

Well folks, Hired Goons is off to India. Our employer is UN backed NGO’s and the Indian Government. Already the TLA has denounced us as a destabilizing force and consider us to be “merchants of death” to be dealt with accordingly. China has kept quiet on the matter.

Our HR department has forwarded me three dossiers. We can pick one of these fine folks to be our operation asset for this deployment. It seems that outsourcing the HR duties to a guy named BobTheHippie2944 on Fiverr.com might not have been the best idea. But these all look quite talented.

  • Jack offers high level intel, procurement bonus, and a connection on the pulse of world opinion.

  • Jimmy is a man on the ground. Live intel. Attacks. Blunts.

  • Zack offers a chance at satellite time, drones, and “mad haxxor” skills.

Our new Lobbyist, Jack Abramoff ( 17 votes for Jack, 5 for Jimmy, 4 for Zack ) is already hot on the job and has a dinner scheduled with the Indian Ambassador. Following drinks they’ll be meeting with some South African weapons representatives. More to come on that later.

But first, our Mission.

The UN / Indian Air Force has allowed us to use the North Lakhimpur Airport. The facilities are pretty spartan but will suit our needs. As we only have one airstrip we can only launch limited planes at a time. Please plan accordingly.

The UN Food Relief Agency is loading up two C-130J cargo planes at Dibrugarh Airport. This facility is absolutely swamped. The infrastructure heading North is not sufficient to deliver the supplies so this is the number one conduit. Our mission is to provide air cover for the C-130’s heading to Nyingchi Airport in Tibet. Once they land a pair C-17A Globemasters carrying personnel from Médecins Sans Frontières will head back to Dibrugarh. There is a UN mandated no fly zone to our west. Chinese aircraft may approach the line but not cross it. Same with any TLA assets.

At the same time the Indian Army wants to send a message to a militia group that is thinking of joining the TLA. We have GPS coordinates to a bridge and orders to destroy it.

The bridge area may be defended by AAA, 1970’s vintage. Any other hostile assets noted can be destroyed.

Mission Schedule

  • C-130J Hercules Depart Dibrugarh Airport @ 1:40 PM

  • C-17A Globemasters Depart Nyingchi Airport @ 1:59 PM

  • Ground Strike may occur at any time during the mission.

Friendly Assets

  • The UN / Indian Air Force is operating the C-17A and C-130J aircraft.

  • The Indian Air Force is also operating several SAM sites and radar zones. They have a variant of the SA-3b known as the S-125M Pechora. The Indian forces will not fire unless fired upon.

  • Chabua Air Force station is home to a training wing of Mig-21’s. Several SU-27’s have also been moved to the area but are undergoing refit for high altitude operations.

  • The Indian Army is conducting exercises to our Northeast and are not to disturbed.

  • The Indian Air Force has attached a S-125M Pechora SAM battery to Hired Goons HQ for our protection.

Our Assets

Hostile Assets

  • TLA units are to be considered hostile in all operations.

  • TLA ground units are known to have MANPADS and AAA, mostly 1970’s vintage. These units are west and south of Lhasa. They have been making good use of the no-fly zone barrier to advance troops.

Neutral Assets

  • China has still not commented about Hired Goons. Nor have we been able to ascertain there intentions.

  • Lhasa was once home to a full flight of J-10’s however these have been sent East to assist in other operations.

  • Instead they have a training wing of J-8I Finbacks.

  • Due to the altitude helicopters are of minimal use, but some may still be encountered.

Summary

  • Escort C-130’s North.

  • Escort Globemasters South.

  • Destroy bridge and any TLA assets.

  • For successful completion of escort and ground strikes we will be paid $6,000,000.

I’ll be doing a short video on missions and get that to you guys soonish. Until then please feel free to plan as you’d like.

From you guys I’ll need planning and loadout ideas.

Loadout Options

Unfortunately it seems that Jimmy tried to get into the country to work for the TLA.

K&P has an announcement in regard to the JAS 39’s.

CMANO has a ton of options for us to specify missions. Sometimes when you know exactly what you want you can set a very specific path. Other times you might want something more flexible. The engine allows for both.

  • Boundary Area Missions

  • Target List Missions

  • Support Missions

  • Manual Path and Control

Boundary Area Missions

You define a set of boundary points and then attach it to a mission. Useful for covering an area with an AAW (anti air) patrol, asw (anti-sub) patrol, or even AsuW (anti-surface)patrol. The reference points can be fixed or set relative to a moving object like another plane or boat.

We have a variety of mission types. Strike and Patrol is what it sounds like. Support is a line or path to be followed by AWACS or fuelers. Note you can set a support mission then create a AAW patrol around the tankers using a relative reference point. Ferry moves units from one airport to another.

Here is our choices for strike missions. A strike mission requires a target list. We can attach escorts to a strike mission.

The patrol offers a bit more. We need to be careful just setting a patrol without boundaries as planes can do dumb things like follow a contact through a line of SAM’s. These can be useful for covering an area and killing stuff there. Escorts can be assigned where applicable.

The support mission has no options here. If it’s a tanker it just hangs out. Awacs do the same. Notice we can define a start and end time for missions. This is helpful to stagger operations. If you set missions too closely everyone will try to launch at once and fuck up your time schedule.

This is the meat of the mission editor. You can define tons of variables ranging from altitude at the patrol zone, speed, sensors, whether they’ll leave the area, or whether they use active sensors. If in doubt I’ll what seems sensible.

Disclaimer : I’m not a air combat expert. So if I set a patrol height that is dumb, please let me know. Nothing in the game will tell me otherwise.

Our rules of engagement are wide and varied. This also covers how to handle low fuel, and what to do when you run out of bombs (but not bullets).

We also set our emissions here. Want radar off? This is the spot.

This is some reference points that are set relative to a Barracks. Kind of a lame example as the barracks probably won’t move. But you get the idea.

IMPORTANT NO NAVIGATION ZONE

We can tell the planes where not to go. We can set a zone and the aircraft won’t go there. Very important in the case of SAM’s or such. Or maybe we have a mission zone to avoid. If we don’t set this our planes may chase after a high flying seagull, right over a dozen high end SAM systems.

EXCLUSION ZONES

This is an exclusion zone. Also very important. We won’t know what shit is until our sensors can resolve it. But we’ll probably know it’s something because the radar will pick it up. Setting this line acts as a tripwire. Anything that crosses it can be marked as hostile (or whatever) and our shit will kill it.

Finally we have manual paths. I can launch a plane, or group, and tell them exactly where to go, how fast, at what altitude, using a certain EMCON, with certain rules. The auto patrol can sometimes do dumb things so I like to use a combination of the two. Manual path to follow the route I like then I’ll let them do patrol things once they get there.

Bacarudda’s and Simplefish’s posts on mission specifics are great and exactly what I’m looking for to define the missions. I’ll give it a bit more time for everyone to hash out ideas and then see what sort of mission is decided upon.

At that point I’ll set the paths and zones, give you guys a screenshot of it, then if approved I’ll run it!

We have two mission plans put forth so far.

  1. Operation simplefish

  2. Operation Bacarudda

Please choose one item from the seafood bar.

I don’t think this changes our mission at all, just some facts to be aware of. He must be sleeping in as I don’t have any more details on the aircraft. All he sent was a bunch of drunk texts.

It seems I didn’t read the fine print. Jack sent me a picture of the bar tab. That we are contractually obligated to pay.

On the plus side he sent a list of surplus aircraft available for purchase. More to come after this mission.

Orders are Final

The jets are fueling. Weapons crews are loading. Operation SeaFood Buffet will begin shortly.

I’ll run the scenario tonight and get it posted. I’m trying to get fancy with Resolve but we’ll see…

After our first successful mission I tallied up our munitions expenditure and took it out of our payment. If we don’t want that done in the future please let me know. Otherwise I’ll assume we want a full weapons loadout. Procuring additional weapons might also be very helpful given potential supply disruptions in the future. Or if we’re running long term ops and need to reload.

Our Man in Washington

Jack is continuing to text me. He’s working every angle I guess. I’m not too familiar with the world of lobbying but it seems to involve a great deal of alcohol. He sent a picture of himself with the Yugoslav Union defense under-minister, Uri Kolivic.

As part of the Yugoslav Unions debt process they are liquidating damn near everything in Greece. If it isn’t bolted down, concreted in place, or walking, they are trying to sell it. But this is turning into a hot ticket and every two bit dictator and corporation wants some. Fucking Wal-Mart is in the bidding now.

He also sent me a list of potential jets from a secondary supplier in South Africa. I’m still collating the texts and parsing out the photos of Jack with strippers. But once that’s done I’ll give you guys some pricing.

Politics

The Chinese finally made a statement. They will continue to engage us, regardless of airspace, as if we were pirates on the high seas. Simple enough eh?

Nyingchi is barely holding. A rogue Chinese General has overthrown local rule to our east and has seized a portion of Sichuan province. One supply line to Tibet has been cut. All the Chinese have now is the rail line into Lhasa.

India is still amassing ground troops under the cover of halting the advance of rogue forces and refugees. In reality I’m seeing truckload after truckload of “volunteers” passing through. It’s hotter than a monkeys nut sack here and everyone has winter clothes. I’ll let you guys piece this together but it’s looking like a Donbass surprise.

Speaking of surprises. A General named Xiao Zhen has taken command of the Lhasa air wing. This info came from Jack via the Indian ambassador. Supposedly he’s a wily old bastard. Though of interest is his planes haven’t arrived yet.

Mission

I’m putting together a mission package now. You guys are gonna love how this shit is going down. It’s like walking into Mcdonalds and taking a dump in the ball pit. Everyone gets riled up.

It seems introducing a professional military organization into an unstable political situation escalates things.

Who knew?

Do you want a bulk order of ammunition? We can put our Airbus CN235 to use and haul in munitions. Please see the below chart of pricing. The mission is still settling in, but I can guarantee close air support and lots of it.

This chart shows how many we need for a full flight of each weapon.

That is the inside of the Atlanta county jail. What, you ask, does that have to do with Hired Goons?

Jack, Our Man in Washington, picked a fight with a stripper at one of Atlantas, erm, gentlemans clubs. Unfortunately for Jack this fine young woman was actually a man. By the time Jasmine finished kicking his ass the Defense execs had left in the limo and Jack got a ride with the Atlanta Sheriff’s Department. So I posted bail on his sorry ass once he sobered up.

On one condition. He finally tell us what the hell the air frames are. So, without further ado, here it is.

Georgian Yak-130 Mitten 2010 http://cmano-db.com/aircraft/3952/ $7,000,000.00 / plane Qty 4
Indonesia Hawk 209 http://cmano-db.com/aircraft/4087/ $14,000,000.00 Qty 2
Indonesia SU-27SKM Flanker B http://cmano-db.com/aircraft/1700/ $21,000,000.00 1 (Not flight worthy. 5 million to repair, only 50% chance of success)
Russian SU-25 Frogfoot A http://cmano-db.com/aircraft/2513/ $8,500,000.00 Qty 12
South Korean FA-50 http://cmano-db.com/aircraft/3183/ $13,500,000.00 Qty 3
Pakistan JF-17 http://cmano-db.com/aircraft/365/ $19,000,000.00 Qty 2
Greece RF-4E http://cmano-db.com/aircraft/1528/ $5,500,000.00 Qty 2 20% chance at each mission that plane will not be flight worthy
Greece F-4E http://cmano-db.com/aircraft/2068/ $8,500,000.00 Qty 8 20% chance at each mission that plane will not be flight worthy
Greece Sperwer UAV http://cmano-db.com/aircraft/2520/ $1,500,000.00 Qty 6

Jack is on his way back to Washington to check into some swanky hangover spa. I have all of the contacts to place the order. I don’t think we can take delivery in time to make the next mission. So. What’ll it be?

The streets here have gone fucking wild. Sweet Jesus. The Dalai Lama pulled out of his coma and just made a surprise visit to Arunachal Pradesh. This is a huge political statement showing that he stands behind the Indian government and not the TLA. China has a boner about this something fierce. The TLA spokesman just had a conniption fit on twitter. Shits gonna get real boys.

And don’t even get me started about the guy in the yellow dong hat.

Command Decision

Picking planes is fun. Making crazy mission choices is fun. Hiring juggalos is fun. Playing 21st century logistics simulator isn’t as fun.

Ground rules for munitions.

  • All prices are based on modern munitions

  • The older it is the higher the munitions modifier is. 10% per decade.

  • We tally up used ordnance at the end of missions and auto-replenish it.

This lets you fly whatever the fuck you want, but still have to pay for it. Same for planes. If you want to fly a 1950’s era jet, you can (if it’s available), but the hourly flight cost will be exorbitant. A “medium” range A/A missile from 1961 will cost say, 60% more than the modern version. This accounts for the fact it’s basically a museum piece you’re paying some contractor to manufacture. You get modern day prices with 50 year old performance. This also saves me a big chunk of time playing in excel and juggling missiles. I think this gives us the realism of paying for what we need while also letting the fun shine through.

So your Rheinmetall RSD 58 will cost you $400,000 * 1.6 = $640,000 or thereabouts.

So disregard the previous ammo purchases. You guys have $88 mil to burn on planes. Or a boat. Or whatever.

(Just kidding on the boat. For now.)