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SR2020 Intelligence[edit | edit source]

Submitted by Balthagor on Mon, 01/14/2013 - 11:57 There are two types of military intelligence in SR2020 - research and spotting.

Research consists of using the information panels to discover public, published facts about enemy regions, their allies and their military profile. An excellent source of this information is page 2 of the Scoreboard. Here you can find the size of your enemy's deployed armed forces, the number of active fabs that they are operating (MilCap) and their success on the battlefield. Another is the State Department's panels on enemy nations. Here you can determine an enemy's Military Approval Rating (MAR) and its DAR.

The Scoreboard does not reveal how many military personnel or fabs an enemy region has in reserve, only the number of deployed personnel and active fabs.

FOW[edit | edit source]

By default you are prevented from spotting foreign military units on the SR2020 Map except for stationary military bases, defenses and fabs. This "cloaking" effect is known as "the Fog Of War" (FOW). FOW can be deactivated using a checkbox on the in-game Settings window that is accessed by pressing Ctrl-Shift-S on the keyboard.

Turning off FOW is considered to be "bad form" by some gamers since it eliminates a realistic aspect of the game map - the logic being that in real warfare most distant opponents are blind to each other except by technical means, and switching off FOW is equivalent to granting you an instant constellation of spy satellites.

However, in my own opinion, it seems that once a region builds and deploys a complete system of spy satellites then the rational for a FOW no longer exists. Also SR2020 tends to slow down as time passes, due to the introduction of thousands of new units all over the map. Turning off FOW speeds up the game.

Also, deactivating FOW allows enemy regions to see most of your units in the same manner as you can see theirs.

Spotting[edit | edit source]

Spotting is your ability to see/detect and target foreign military units on the map. The term is also used sometimes to describe the tactic of having one unit perform reconnaissance for another combatant unit. Your units possess instant communications with each other in that if one unit spots something then that information is immediately available to the rest of your units and to your DM.

In SR2020 warfare, Spotting is vital to targeting your weapons on the enemy. Spotting is a two-way process - seeing and being seen. There are three different ways of "seeing" - visual, radar and sonar. The two electronic detection types are Radar and Sonar technologies. These two electronic technologies are classified according to Spotting Types. Electronic Spotting types supplement (add to) your unit's native visual ability and together these constitute the Spotting rating that you see in the Technical Readout.

Electronic detection is used by combatant units to facilitate targeting and is also implemented very effectivley in specialized patrol and reconnaissance units. Various types of land radar units can be researched, manufactured and deployed into strategic hexes in order to improve your region's ability to spot enemy units beyond your borders. Other special spotting units include patrol boats and planes, ASWACS aircraft and recon satellites.

The visibility (being seen) of a SR2020 unit is referred to in the unit's technical readout as its "Profile". Strangely, the larger a unit's "Profile" attribute, the more difficult it is to spot it. So as it turns out, "Profile" is just another term for a unit's "Stealth".

"Enhanced Spotting" is a game Military Setting that is available in the game Lobby before the start of the game. If you activate this setting then the spotting abilities of your Units will increase with each new military technical improvement that you discover that involves spotting strength.

The structures in a hex can also perform local spotting, since most all towns and most facilities have inhabitants.

Stealth[edit | edit source]

A unit's stealth reduces its ability to be spotted by enemy units. If a unit cannot be spotted then it cannot be targeted. However a stealthy unit can still be inadvertently be damaged from indirect fire.

As your region's Tech level increases, the new unit designs that you produce will have higher stealth ratings. The degree of stealth in mobile units ranges from 40 to a maximum of 255. Technically at a stealth rating of 255 a unit is considered to be invisible and only Spy units posses such a high rating.

In the IROE settings there is a setting that places a unit into either Stealth or Land Capture mode, which means that if your unit sneaks into enemy territory it cannot capture the enemy map hexes until it is switched out of Stealth mode.

Low efficiency lowers a Unit's stealth. Movement decreases a unit's Stealth by 50%. Firing on an enemy unit reduces the firing unit's stealth by another 50%.

Reconnaissance Satellites[edit | edit source]

The best way to pierce the FOW is to build and launch a constellation of surveillance satellites. This entails the construction of an aerospace infrastructure that consists of a fab, a launch control facility and a launch facility.

Each such satellite that you place into orbit decreases the FOW cloak, until you have stationed the maximum number of birds necessary for full coverage. With full satellite coverage you can spot about 95% of the units on the Map. This gives you a solid, trouble-free way to spot foreign units all across the game Map, without having to manage radar units and patrol planes.

Satellites are constructed and launched using the Satellite Coverage Panel.

Even though foreign regions build satellite facilities or start the game with the facilities by default, AI regions do not use them to fabricate satellite networks of any sort.

Line of Sight[edit | edit source]

Line on Sight (LOS) has two meanings in SR2020 - one is where spotting is impossible due to obstructing high terrain. There is a map filter on the Map Filters Panel that shows the elevation of all hexes on the Map.

The other is the LOS Treaty that lifts the FOW from a region and allows you to spot all of their units with their consent. A DOW nullifies this and all other treaties with your new enemy.

Radar, Sonar, Patrol Craft[edit | edit source]

We have already discussed satellite surveillance so now let's talk about some less high-tech and more inexpensive ways to increase you spotting ability and pierce the FOW.

We have two different environments to discuss here - surface and sub-surface. Surface includes both land, air and sea-surface spotting, while sub-surface involves the detection of submarines beneath the surface of the sea.

The visual ability of a unit to detect a foreign unit is important, but when dealing with patrol craft this default attribute is often supplemented by technological means such as radar and sonar. Again, if we consult the Spotting Types charts we quickly see that in addition to the default use of the Mark 1, Mod 0 eyeball there are a lot of supplementary electronic systems used to detect foreign units.

Early in the game the FOW obscures all but your own Region. Your region may have started the game with various combat and patrol craft that can help you to detect what military units threaten your borders. If not then you can research or purchase the designs for such units and then construct them for use by your Region. Radar units, aircraft, patrol boats and ships-of-the-line all come equipped with radar, sonar or both and these units are all valuable in the collection of spotting/intelligence information.

There are specialized patrol units for all four environments - radar units and recon units for land, patrol and ASWACS planes for the air, patrol boats and combat ships for the sea's surface and sub-surface. Submarines have very sensitive sonar systems that can over time work up a very good sensor picture of the naval units in its vicinity.

Radar units can detect both land and air units. Radar units can be either mobile or fixed. Your radar's capabilities will increase as your tech research improves. Recon units have a long travel range and are very adept at spotting enemy land targets.

Your best all-around recon units are patrol planes such as the ASWACS and JSTARS aircraft. ASWACS specialize in detecting enemy aircraft at long ranges while JSTARS are adept at tracking moving land units. Patrol planes such as these are your best bet before you are able to launch spy satellites.

Special naval patrol craft are important sentries that should be sent to patrol your coasts in search of threatening enemy naval forces. Major combat ships come equipped not just with powerful weapons but powerful sensor systems with which to aim them with. Some ships specialize in the under-sea ASW realm, while others are strong anti-air (AA) or anti-ship platforms with strong spotting abilities.

UAVs[edit | edit source]

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are remote-controlled aircraft that can carry both sensors and weapons. Being unmanned allows designers to more fully dedicate the craft to its military mission by utilizing the space that would otherwise be devoted to life support and manual control.

UAVs can be made to be small and stealthy, especially if they only have to carry sensors and not heavy weapons loads. Mostly they have large spotting and stealth values. This economy of scale also gives UAV's a longer "loiter-time" or "time-over-target", which allows them to conduct very lengthy recon missions.

UAV's are relatively cheap and can be constructed quickly. However they are slow and transporting them out of their Region of origin can present a challenge.

Spies[edit | edit source]

Spies allow you to perform reconnaissance/targeting on foreign units, steal technologies and military designs and perform sabatage on foreign hexes. Each region begins the game with one Intelligence Academy that contains a certain number of novice spies. Sub-Panel 4 of this Ops department can be used to construct additional IAs that contain more spies. The more spies that you assign to a mission the more successful the mission will become.

Spies are non-standard units that are fabricated and deployed from your Operations Department, totally separate from the Defense Department. Spies behave very similar to military units in that they possess the attributes of experience, efficiency, offense and defense. They are not controlled by the DM or from Unit Command and are not subject to the ROEs. Technically spies are "invisible" with a "Profile" or stealth value of 255. A spy's stealth my be compromised by low efficiency.

Spies are controlled from the Espionage Panel. From here you can deploy any spy from the staff of the currently selected Intelligence Academy.

Prior to Update 6, spies were used principally to spot enemy units so that you could bring your weapons to bear upon them. I also used them to as targets for the enemy to waste their missiles on. If the FOW was deactivated then the presence of a spy in a neutral region would automatically trigger a WOI, because that "invisible" spy would be spotted immediately.

But they make very good spotters and are used to spot targets within an enemy hex that does not contain an enemy mobile unit. SR2020 has an idiosyncracy where unless an enemy mobile unit (not a facility) is present inside an enemy map hex, you cannot target any facilities inside that hex for attack.

The spy sabatage mission consists of moving a spy to an enemy hex and assigning it the job of damaging every city and facility within the target hex. The degradation of a facility such as a oil/gas well will compromise that production facility and thus reduce its output. The spy(s) will attack each facility in the hex, one at a time, including its central hub or complex. However, every facility and settlement within a hex is automatically repaired to a certain extent every day at midnight, so the spy-damage may not actually destroy any facilities. The extent of this restoration depends upon the over-all efficiency of the targeted region in terms of its treasury, infrastructure funding and stocks of construction resources.

The actual destruction of any facility within an enemy hex usually requires a concerted sabotage effort by multiple spies and perhaps by additional damage from your own units and missiles.

Espionage missions consist of placing spies at foreign research facilities or fabs where they can eventually steal technologies or military designs for your Region to capitalize on. Again, the more spies that you assign to this mission, the sooner their mission will succeed.

The presence of your spies in a forign region generates CB in that region against yours. If one or more of your spies is discovered inside a foreign region then this may trigger a WOI, turning a target region into an enemy region.

You gain an additional IA from each region that you conquer. It is usually located in that former region's capital city.

Update 6 (Gold Edition) Prior to Update 6 spies would automatically be spotted if the FOW was switched off, causing a WOI. This update has improved the spy system so that now spies can freely operate without the FOW. Spies can now effectively perform industrial and military espionage (stealing technologies and unit designs) as well as perform sabatage of foreign hexes.

The work of your spies also generates CB against you which means that they also act as "agents provocateurs" that can assist you in provoking a Region into DOWing your Region.