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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!

 

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