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.

2012-07-07 Bridge crossings obscured by smoke screens, immediate insight in the generated plan, and Operation Frenchpoint units Zoom

In today's update, I am providing something extra for attackers having to cross a bridge in their advance: artillery delivered smoke screens. These smoke screens obscure the attacker's moves across the bridge. The smoke screens make a successful attack more likely even with the defender explicitly defending bridges (as of the previous update).

If the attacking team has an artillery unit able fire smoke or WP, this unit is ordered to fire an obscuring smoke screen to ease crossing a bridge under fire. Smoke screens are being fired after the preparatory artillery strikes on the objective, if any.

Artillery delivered smoke screen starting (Arma2)

Artillery delivered smoke screen fully built (Arma2)

US Marine advancing across smoke obscured bridge (Arma2)

The (AI) artillery unit will fire a smoke curtain on the far side of the bridge, by firing smoke or WP shells perpendicular to the bridge and some 20 to 80m apart (depending on the wind direction). This is done repeatedly, since smoke shells provide smoke for less than a minute and the smoke cloud takes time to build. The smoke screen is maintained for a period of about 8 minutes. The smoke screen will be 50 to 300m wide, depending on the number of guns and the wind direction. (Smoke screen calculations are based on WWII British Artillery Corps documents).

For now, PlannedAssault will solely generate smoke screens orders for missions involving bridge attacks and targeting Arma2 (base, OA, CO); effectively this means missions with attacks across bridges on the Zernovo and Faysh-Khabur maps.

French Tigre with HAD load-out near smoke covered bridge (Arma2)

The generated plan provided as feedback (Arma2)

French AMX10 R-CR on far side of obscured bridge (Arma2)

This update brings another improvement: immediate insight in the generated plan for the player's side, on the 'generated mission' screen. There, the same information is given that would otherwise first be seen as part of the in-game mission briefing. The generated plan doesn't go in much detail, but indicates the transport assignment and how fire support is being employed (whether artillery is within range to provide the necessary support).

One of the screen shots in this update provides a nice example of such a generated plan. Having the plan information available should help quicker round-trips while tweaking a mission.

French AMX10 R-CR and VBCI stuck on bridge (Arma2)

A platoon of CAESAR mobile guns deployed on line (Arma2)

OFrP's Close-up of the control system for the CAESAR gun (Arma2)

For the A2:OA and A2:CO games, I've replaced the Hexagon add-on entries by the corresponding Operation Frenchpoint (OFrP) add-on units. Operation Frenchpoint is the successor add-on for Hexagon, adds A2:OA features, and includes all the Hexagon units and a bunch of additional units. Especially impressive are the CAESAR mobile guns (which aren't available for selection in PlannedAssault until the Operation Frenchpoint add-on team provides ballistics for the CAESAR's ammo).


Finally, I've included a script in generated Arma2 missions that configures tank crew to remain in their tanks if these get immobilized. This behavior is available from Arma2 1.60 onwards, and results in an innocent error message if you haven't upgraded to that version.


Have fun!