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2012-12-06 Simplified add-on selection, SOAR(A) MH47-E Chinooks, RG-31 Nyala and more Takistan terrain Zoom

PlannedAssault's add-on database has grown over the past years to include more and more squads, platoons, and maps. Because of this large database, PlannedAssault is more likely to create missions involving your favorite units.

The large database also has a downside: to generate a mission, you are first asked to select a few add-ons from a long list (over 140 add-ons for Arma2:CO). This can be daunting and it's not always easy to find a specific add-on. To address this problem, I've reworked the add-on selection screen.

Old, long and poorly structured list to select add-ons from

New structured and collapsible add-on selection screen

Delta Force ingressing on MH-47E's ramp (Arma2)

The new selection screen splits the add-ons in three sections: add-ons offering units, add-ons offering worlds, and optional add-ons offering miscellaneous things such as camera scripts and camouflage net systems. Each of the sections can be expanded or collapsed.

The units section has been subdivided in two or more themes, which also can be expanded or collapsed. In all cases, the 'official' BLUFOR and OPFOR forces will be shown as two themes. For games with large numbers of add-ons, additional themes are shown, such as modern BLUFOR community add-ons, cold war Warsaw Pact forces add-ons, rotary-wing aircraft add-ons etc.

In case an add-on is listed multiple times (in more than one theme), the corresponding check-boxes are synchronized: one click selects or deselects all of them, reducing confusion.

Delta Force air landing (Arma2)

Nightly fast-rope from MH-47E (Arma2)

A pair of MH-47Es sneaking into town at night (Arma2)

With the add-on selection screen improved, you should have little problem finding the following newly supported Arma2:CO add-ons: Konyo's MH-47E Chinook, and ExplosiveAids & Stiltman's RG-31 Nyala mine protected personnel carrier vehicle (under .

The MH-47E is a special operations variant of the Chinook. I've added 'standard' and 'fast-rope' MH-47 units, as single helicopter and as twin helicopter sections. The 'standard' MH-47E units will insert their cargo by landing, whereas the 'fast-rope' MH-47E units will automatically fast-rope their cargo (as the screen shots illustrate).

US Army driver in RG-31Mk5 Nyala (Arma2)

RG-31 Nyalas and infantry forming up on reverse slope (Arma2)

RG-31Mk5 Nyala on mountainous terrain (Arma2)

Also the RG-31 Nyala are being offered in two variants: the default USMC RG-31s, with USMC designations at the back and USMC crews. And I've defined US Army variants (starting out as empty vehicles, with US Army grunts in ACU instructed to man driver and gunner positions) with proper US Army designations. Just drag and drop the US Army RG-31 platoon on the map, and the PlannedAssault generated mission will take care of the details. The screen shots shown above result from such a mission.


In addition, more of Arma2:OA's Takistan is now available for mission generation. New is the Sakhe region which consists of high, barren mountains separated by a few valleys, with small villages in some of the valleys. The Sakhe regions is suited for infantry and air mobile operations, while most vehicles struggle to make it out of the valley.


William

2012-08-20 Green-green-green! Para drops (low-level static line combat jumps) for Arma2* Zoom

New on the menu: Para drops. Parachute jumps to spice up your Arma2 missions built here with PlannedAssault. Jump in large numbers at low-altitude as part of a combat jump, with the parachute automatically being deployed by means of a static line. Once on the ground, assemble in small teams, get your bearings, and attempt to attack the target.

After adding helicopter insertions and fast-rope insertions, this is a third spectacular way for forces to enter the battlefield.

Large para drop from two An-72 Coalers (Arma2)

Unit positioning for a paradrop mission is simple

Scenic NVG view from open cargo bay before the drop (Arma2)

One of Arma2's strengths is its ability to make things go F.U.B.A.R. on the battlefield. And jumping out of a plane being fired at definitely is a great start towards chaos. You'll find AI pilots dropping you away from the DZ, or doing another run when they botch up the first one. At the ground, you'll might encounter camouflaged AA positions. In the air, you might find yourself being blown to the wrong spot, crashing on roof tops or into trees... Why not give it a go?

 

You can set up a para drop mission the same way you created helicopter insertions or fast-rope insertions: start with selecting up to six infantry squads, and select on or more transport planes with sufficient total capacity to transport all infantry squads. You can use USAF, UMSC and Swedish C-130 Super Hercules, Anzac Hercules variants, Bundeswehr and French C-160 Transals, USMC MV-22 Ospreys, or Soviet and Russian Ilyushin Il-76 and Antonov An-72s. Put all infantry in the BLUFOR or OPFOR air cargo slots, and put the transport planes near the map's edge. For the para-dropping force, place a 'Clear 1' objective on the position to occupy. And generate your mission...

Feel free to given the opponent some AA capability, and add some fighter bombers on your side to 'prepare' the area for para drops, just prior to the para drop.

Forty-eight Spetsnaz inside an Il-76 waiting to jump (Arma2)

Australian SF soldiers jumping from Hercules at first light (Arma2)

Paratroopers are immediately ordered to attack from their drop zones (Arma2)

Like all PlannedAssaults 'features', paradrops also work for the opponent, and they work on large scale. By that, I mean you're also able to play a defensive mission against a hostile para drop, and without having to precisely plan where the opponent will land. And para drops work for a single plane, for a combination of planes, or for a combination of landings, as long as you stay within the current unit limit. And if you want to combine heli landings and para drops, be my guest.

 

The para drops have been implemented as automated ejects, from low-altitude (some 100m / 300ft, higher for larger planes that otherwise would fly into the ground). In the cargo bay, you'll receive a warning and a count-down at 20 seconds prior to the drop. The ramp or doors will open at that time. After the count down, you're tossed out of the plane.

A camouflaged M163 Vulcan defending against air landings (Arma2)

Frogfoots engage ground forces prior to the para drop (Arma2)

Spetsnaz jumping from the cargo space of an Il-76 (Arma2)

Please note that the AI pilots are pretty stubborn, and sometimes turn away from the drop zone too early (mostly leading to an abort and retry, occasionally to a drop above water). In rare cases, the pilot touches down on a nearby airfield.

The para drop is scheduled after any 'preparation' of the drop zone by fighter bombers, if you add these to the mission.

One of two French Transal C-160As going down (Arma2)

Nightly jump near Zargabad (Arma2)

Almost forty-eight parachutes on the horizon (Arma2)

Arma2 ships with transport aircraft for the BLUFOR (US Super Hercules transporters, and the USMC Osprey), but lacks any large transport aircraft for the Russian and Takistani forces. To make OPFOR landings a possibility, I've added Wings of Russia's Ilyushin Il-76 and Gnat's Antonov An-72. The Ilyushin Il-76 is an impressive plane, with capacity for 70 troopers and additional armored vehicles (not yet supported).

 

Have a clean smooth exit!

 

William

2011-10-12 Fast-roping for additional helicopters, and dynamic wind strength and direction Zoom

This update brings support for Norrin's updated fast-roping module (v0.8), which expands the use of fast-roping to additional helicopters such as the Chinook, Blackhawk and Little Bird. For Arma:CO, I've added fast-roping heli units for the US Army (Blackhawk, Little Bird, Chinook), UK Armed Forces (Chinook), Australian Defense Force (AAW's SA-70) and the Army of the Czech Republic (Mi-35).

Australian infantry descends from a SA-70 Blackhawk

Mi-35 Hind inserting Czech infantry

Strong wind manifests itself in the smoke plumes

In addition, I've added random wind strength and direction to the ArmaII weather module, adding bit more variety to missions. Strong winds add 'drama' to smoke plumes.

 

William

2011-07-17 Fast-roping insertions, and (optional) handing picking of air landing zones Zoom

Today's update introduces fast-roping insertions, and enables hand picking of the landing zones / insertion locations. And with it come several refinements for air assaults.

Marines being inserted even in confined urban terrain

New (and optional) hints to hand-pick landing zones

In urban terrain, streets are picked for fast-roping locations

Fast-roping insertions are supported for helicopter units from Norrin & DeanosBeano's "MP Compatible Fast Rope Addon" and for Aduke's "ADuke's Helo pack (MH60 variants)" add-ons (available only for Arma2 and Arm2:Combined Operations). These add-ons enable (AI controlled) fast-roping from the USMC UH-1Y, MH-60 (and variants), and Russian Federation Mi-24 Hind variants. (Yes, they also support fast-roping from the MH-22 Osprey, but since the Arma2 AI cannot autonomously perform a vertical landing or hovering insertion with the Osprey, I left the Ospreys out).

Do make sure to pick a helicopter unit with "fast-rope" in its description if you want to fast-rope forces. For ADuke's MH-60 variants add-on I have included both fast-roping and non-fast-roping helicopter units.

Mi-24 Hind inserting an OMON team into Chernogorsk

Multiple squads being fast-roped simultaneously

Vertigo inducing view from a Mi-24 just before fast-roping

Fast-roping is a technique to insert forces in locations the helis are unable (or unwilling) to touch down. Thus it makes sense to let you hand-pick those locations. To that purpose, I've introduced 'landing zone' hints which automatically appear in the 'unit positioning' page when infantry units are embarked on helicopters.

By placing one or more of these hints on the map, you ask the planner to plan air landings or fast-roping at those locations. You can use up to three hints (but never more than you have air transport units) to pick landing zones. Any hints not placed on the map are ignored. The planner will happily generate an air assault mission if not given hints (so the opposing force can still surprise you with air assaults).

Fast-roping and standard air landings can be mixed in a mission without problems.

Please note that with the option to pick landing zones comes responsibility: although the planner will refine your landing zone hint to best match nearby open terrain, you still might be sending helicopters near high buildings or other obstacles.

Little Birds landing on a hand picked LZ in the center of the city

'FUBAR': Accidental insertion on a rooftop

Fast-roping in hostile territory is not without dangers

As part of this update, air assaults can have separate landing zones and independent (in time) attacks to the objective. This makes the air assault more robust against losses, and allows inserted troops to advance as soon as possible.

 

This update's versions are 1.60 for the web UI and 1.80 for the planner.

 

William