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2010-09-12 Battlefield transport planning, RHS cargo-system, Russian IFVs and infantry Zoom

Today's update to PlannedAssault is devoted to battlefield transport of infantry. Mod-team Red Hammer Studios (RHS)'s new add-on 'cargo system' was the main trigger and inspiration. RHS's cargo system adds exterior (roof top) seats to a select set of infantry fighting vehicles (BTR-70, BTR-60, BRDM-2), so infantry can be carried both inside the vehicle and on top of it.

Infantry in desert digital camo riding on top of BTR-70

Russian motorized infantry in desert camouflage

BTR-70 with designations and external stowage

To use the cargo-system in missions and carry infantry on top of vehicles, some scripting is required. I've updated PlannedAssault to generate for you all scripting necessary to make the AI mount and dismount exterior positions on the IFVs while using standard mounting and dismounting animations. This is in addition to PlannedAssault's support for mounting an infantry group across multiple vehicles of the tranporting group (by-passing the Arma2 limitation of loading an infantry group onto one single vehicle only). From now on, PlannedAssault generated missions detect the additional seats offered by RHS's cargo system and have soldiers mount on top when necessary (by default, infantry is loaded inside the IFV first).

 

The next transport improvement is the ability for a transport unit (a platoon of trucks or IFVs) to perform up to four pick-ups of infantry groups on their way to the form-up area or position tod defend. This is an improvement from the old situation where in generated missions a transport unit would only load one infantry unit.

The main benefits are twofold. First, being able to transport multiple units with single transport unit enables more efficient use of the (current) maximum of 8 units per mission since fewer transport units are required. Second, there is need for large infantry units that match the cargo capacity of vehicle platoon, resulting in smoother infantry behavior (Arma2's movement of groups larger than 10 men is slow due to the group AI's habit of continually maintaining a formation).

Takistani infantry and BTR-60 on the attack

The unit database has been extended with the RHS BTR-70 pack (Russian and Takistani units), and the RHS BDM-2. These vehicle additions are paired with infantry additions: SLAYER's Russian infantry units featuring the new digital camouflage uniforms (RF Motorized Infantry in Digital Camo and RF Mechanized Infantry in Desert Camo), and the Russian Airborne VDV (SARMAT Studio's VDV Commando Assault Unit Airborne).

For the Takistani forces, specific variants of the BTR-60PB and the BRDM2 with exterior seats were added to the unit database. As discussed above, this requires the RHS cargo system.

The final add-on is the Mi-28N Havok gunship.

Takistani infantry in and on top of BRDM2

Russian Mi-28N Havok gunship

Enjoying Takistan from the top of a BTR-60PB

In the web-based mission editor, I've further clarified the planning steps: mission generation or mission planning involves some 5 to 10 minutes of waiting (for you, and number-crunching for my computers). The 'continue' button originally present on the Planning step screen proved confusing and I have removed it..

 

With this update, PlannedAssault is at version 1.35 (web front-end) and 1.16 (planner).

 

William