|2012-02-18||Reverse slope and concealed form up positions|
PlannedAssault now produces mission plans with much improved attacker form up positions. By forming up out of view from defending forces, the attacker is able to assemble without disturbance and launch a coordinated attack from there more often. This makes defending also more interesting.
Forming up is an essential part of a coordinated attack. Units move to a joint form up area in order to line up with other units. In the form up area, they'll hide and wait until all units are ready to attack. From the form up area, they advance in formation to the objective.
In earlier versions of PlannedAssault's mission planner, it was pretty random whether attacker units would form up out of view or they would be spotted (and engaged) by the defenders. See the first screen shot above for such an example.
The improvement is due to the planner now trying hard to select form up positions that are concealed from the objective and its (likely) defenders, by identifying reverse slope areas, by identifying areas concealed by trees and or buildings and checking these for accessibility. First results are very promising (see the second and third screenshots from the 'new' planner's missions above).
The diagram below provides some insight in the analysis steps to select form up positions. The situation involves an mechanized team in Chernarus, positioned just south of Kozlovka, tasked to assault the village Prigorodky, some 3km to its east. To do so, the mechanized team will move to and assemble in a form up area some 1.5km west of its objective, shake out in line formation and start its attack.
To select the form up area, the mission planner analyzes a larger area for its accessibility. The attacker units should be able to move easily into the form-up area, and easily move out to start the attack, so empty and flat positions near roads are preferred over positions with buildings, dense trees or other obstacles.
The larger area is also analyzed for providing concealment, as seen from the objective. Buildings and dense trees provide concealment. The terrain itself may also offer concealment in the form of reverse slope positions, so the terrain is analyzed for these.
The analysis results for accessibility, concealment and reverse slopes are combined, and from this most suitable form up position can be identified. This is illustrated above, with black dots indicating poor scores, and bright yellow dots indicating great scores.
You can update your existing missions to use concealed form up positions by just re-generating the mission (go to the 'Review' tab, then generate the mission).
Also packed into these update are a VBS2 map, and integration with the GCam camera script. For VBS2, the Warminster map is added with one area 'Land Warfare Centre' covering nearly all of that map.
For my personal use (to capture screen shots), and for machinima creators, I've enabled the observer mode to use the Gigan's GCam 2 camera script. It has more options than the standard 'camera.sqs' script, and is less obtrusive than Troopmon 2.