2014-03-09 AIGameDev interview, Arma3 aircraft add-ons Zoom

Tonight, Alex Champandard ( and myself will be talking about the type of planning used here at PlannedAssault, in a interview broadcast by

As usual, the interview will be recorded and made available to AIGameDev members for viewing at a later time.

AIGameDev interview on Planning at PlannedAssault

A Sukhoi Su-35S just took down an hostile aircraft (Arma3)

F-18F being taken down by a Su-35S (Arma3)

Deadly skies above Altis (Arma3)

The F-18F (Arma3)

An A-10C Thunderbolt riddled with bullet holes (Arma3)

As the screenshots above show, I've spiced up the PlannedAssault unit database with a few Arma3 aircraft add-ons. This will enable you to create lively skies in your Arma3 missions, regardless whether you play a ground-hugging armor commander, a Stinger equipped air defence specialist, or a fighter pilot.

New are the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Su-35S 'Flanker-E', both by John_Spartan & Saul, and the A-10C Thunderbolt II by Peral.



2014-01-22 Cold-war units (DDR/FRG vehicles, P'85 Sheridans and CWR2 US Rangers), and ambient civilians (Arma2CO) Zoom

Another addition to the Cold War unit database for mission planning: recent updates to several Cold War add-ons for Arma2* have been reflected in our database.

Both Vilas (for his Project85 units) and the CWR2 team added to their already extensive range of vehicles. Vilas added the M551 Sheridan tank, BTR-80 and recovery tanks. The CWR2 team added the US Rangers.


The real highlight, however, are Marseille77's re-textures of Vilas' German (FRG and DDR) vehicles, adding detail, late 1980's DDR camouflage patterns and vehicle signs, and FGR/DDR helicopters. See the screen shots below.

FRG Leopard 1A5 platoon (P85 retex) (Arma2)

FRG Marder 1A2 platoon in combat (P85 retex) (Arma2)

DDR BMP-1 advancing (P85 retex) (Arma2)

FRG Raketenjagdpanzer 4 Jaguar 2 (P85) (Arma2)

CWR2 US Rangers advancing (Arma2)

P85 M551 Sheridan tank in MERDC camo (Arma2)

Also new, and meant to spice your Arma2:CO missions are two "logic" modules, dealing with civilians and empty civilian vehicles being spawned around the player. These modules have been created by BI Studios (as ALICE/ALICE2 and SILVIE), and are supported by most maps but not all (in which case no civilians and vehicles are spawned). Although the presence of civilians adds a nice twist to battles (be sure you're not targeting a civilian!), the civilians aren't able to use the empty vehicles.


I've also restricted the amount of vehicles appearing, in order to not confuse AI convoys; the AI drivers make an excessive effort to avoid hitting empty vehicles, and slow down or may get stuck. Recommended!

(Scared) ambient civilian (Arma2)

DDR SPW-40P2 recon vehicle and civilian vehicles in background (Arma2)

Civilian fleeing (Arma2OA Alice2 ambient civilians module) (Arma2)



2013-11-10 Only in ArmA(2): 100+ men para-drop in your single-player mission! Zoom

Few games are technically capable of this: 100+ men (simultaneous) para-drops in a single player mission!

Until now, it wasn't easy to create these "Only in Arma2" moments. The stock mission editor in Arma2 (and Arma3) doesn't explicitly support para-drops, and the AI aircraft need a lot of scripting to perform steady runs into the drop zone. Also, here at PlannedAssault we didn't get everything right for large para-drops involving large aircraft (small para-drops were pretty okay). But now it is green, green, green!

Fifty-four VDV paratroopers just before the jump (Arma2)

One of the Il-76 aircraft dropping its paratroopers (Arma2)

One hundred and eight (108) paratroopers in the air (Arma2)

The following changes were implemented to enable a single para-drop by seven VDV "double" squads (7 x 12 = 108 men) from a single flight of two Ilyushin Il-76 'Candid' aircraft:

  • the number of cargo units (squads) per transporter unit (aircraft section) has been increased to seven (so I could load 7 VDV "double squads" into the single group containing two Il-76 aircraft);
  • the para-drop script has been changed so the paratroopers jump per group, enabling squads to land more compact;
  • the aircraft better stick to the intended flight path (instead of diverting due to threats spotted), speeding up the drop and reducing the distance to the drop-zone for paratroopers. Setting the aircraft's skill to 1.0 proved to be the secret here...;
  • some aircraft (notably the C-130 Hercules) were given higher default flying levels (AGL), in order to avoid crashes while flying in formation.

Obviously, these changes work for all para-drops.

A sky crowded with parachutes (Arma2)

On the ground, a M136 Vulcan AA gun is waiting (Arma2)

VDV paratroopers advancing immediately after touching down (Arma2)

In one of the screen shots below, you'll find the exact inputs I used to create the 108 men para-drop mission, using Vilas' P85 VDV, Wings of Russia's Il-76 and CWR2's Su-25's against CWR2's US Army forces.

Alternatives for large para-drops include flights of for C-130 Hercules aircraft, or the French (OFrP) C-160 Transals.

Paratrooper 'trails' from four C-130s (Arma2)

Planning input for the large 108 men VDV para-drop

French CPA10 landing near Zargabad (Arma2)

For me, these large para-drops have been exciting, deadly and maxing out my PC. Have fun creating your "Only in Arma" moments!



2013-10-27 Mechanized attacks: dismount on contact, behind smoke screens (Arma2*, Iron Front, Arma3) Zoom

Ever played a mission as a soldier, boxed into a claustrophobic APC/IFV, without seeing where you go? And then being ordered to dismount, disembarking into confusing situation with bullets flying and smoke obscuring much of the situation?

Now you can! And with your favorite units in any Arma2, in Iron Front:Liberation 1944, and in Arma3.

AI commander orders to dismount from Stryker (Arma2)

Covered by the Stryker's smoke screen, infantry dismounts (Arma2)

Armor advancing behind an infantry screen into town (Arma3)

Until today, PlannedAssault offered one flavor of ground attacks: dismounted attacks. Infantry might have traveled with trucks, APCs, or IFVs to the form-up point, but they always would continue on foot, advancing to the objective and attacking through the objective.


Panzergrenadiers riding their panzers for speed and protection (IF44)

Wehrmacht tank riders disembarking, throwing smoke grenades (IF44)

Wehrmacht tank riders advancing after disembarking (IF44)

Now, a second flavor of ground attacks has been added: mechanized attacks. For teams with with sufficient space in the armored personnel carriers (APCs, IFVs) to transport the infantry, PlannedAssault will now prefer to mount the infantry early in the mission and start the attack with infantry still mounted. This will result in faster, more exciting missions, and in engagements that start quicker and more violent.

The infantry will be kept mounted all the way to the objective, unless threats are spotted within 400m (RPG range, 300m for WWII). When close-by threats are spotted, the APCs/IFVs will order their infantry to disembark and the infantry will screen ahead of the armor to suppress anti-tank teams / guns.

Once at the objective, the infantry will disembark if it didn't do so already. The infantry and armor will continue to attack abreast.

A grenade smoke screen concealing infantry dismounting (Arma3)

A vehicle smoke screen concealing infantry dismounting (Arma3)

Modern Russian Federation MSV infantry dismounting at dusk (Arma2)

When the infantry is ordered to get out on contact, they will be given a smoke screen to conceal their dismounting. When the APCs / IFVs are equipped with smoke launchers*, the vehicles will provide the smoke screen. When the APCs lack smoke launchers, the first infantry men disembarking will throw smoke grenades to conceal their fellow dismounts during the dismounting.

These smoke screens add a lot to the battle.

RHS's Armed Forces of the Russian Federation MSV BTR-70 (Arma2)

MSV infantry and their BTR-70 advance together (Arma2)

Mechanized infantry disembarking under smoke in an ambush (Arma2)

The Arma2CO unit database has been updated with armor and MSV infantry for the RHS Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.




*: At this time, Arma3 vehicles are still very prone to getting stuck, halting the movement (and mission).

**: Many APCs / IFVs in Arma2 and IF44 lack the configuration to use their smoke launchers: you can see the launchers on the vehicle models, but you cannot fire them (and neither can the AI). Specifically many of the P85, BWMod, RHS APCs lack functional smoke launchers.