Coop: 4:10 to Poland & Coop: Striking Back

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For the guys in Bravo in the first mission, I’m sorry again. Those AI never should have moved from their spawn on you like that and that was the beginning of many AI issues throughout the night.

Well, unfortunately first mission was no fun both for Alpha, Bravo, and other elements. Hopefully these AI issues will be resolved soon. One of the mistakes we did was not asking what kind of a cargo are we looking for so even when Alpha managed to break through to the train we didn’t know what are we supposed to look for so we wasted precious minutes looking for something that isn’t even there.

The second mission was far more enjoyable for me. I played Alpha SL for the second time ever, and first time after more a year, so I did some mistakes that I blame nervousness and inexperience for. Time passed quite quickly for me and I had fun, but I have to say that guys in my Squad seemed bored at times due to us attacking fairly small objectives with not that many EI. Attacking those kind of objectives isn’t usually an issue because we do it regularly, but after the first mission of the day when a lot of guys spent an hour in spectator mode after getting mowed down, it would have been better to have something more to shoot at.

Medics did great job, as usual. I first had Stoneowl and she was wonderful. Jumping under fire left and right picking guys up. After that Shails joined us as she also did a great job, even though she doesn’t know how to use the stairs.

Three points of criticism:

When SL goes down and somebody sees it, it is very important for that piece of information to be passed on to the next one in command. Get on the radio and say that SL is down. If nobody responds, you have to repeat it. I went down and person next to me announced it on the short range, but nobody didn’t hear or understand the message due to the circumstances and the message got lost. After a few minutes FTLs started calling SL for orders and only then people realised SL is still down.

Please try to communicate clearly on the radio. When you didn’t hear or didn’t understand the order or information, ask for it to be repeated, even if you have to ask five times. Don’t assume about what was said. Additionaly, when you recieve the order, especially if it’s more complicated one, it’s always a good idea to repeat it back so that both the guys giving orders and guys receiving orders are on the same page. Closed-loop communication. It’s not in our comms guide, but it always helps.

Alpha and Bravo Squad leads, and PLT lead got a little confused at one moment when an order to regroup was given. Alpha and Bravo thought PLT wanted us to regroup at Alpha SL position when PLT wanted to regroup at "Alpha" map marker. This is one of the instances where closed loop comms could have helped. In this case it was a harmless mistake because we were not under fire, but in some other circumstances it could have led to casualties.

At the end of this essay, thank you to everyone who participated. Unfortunately, not everything went the way it was supposed to, but we saw generally good performance from everyone involved.

Firstly as said in debrief I enjoyed the IDEA of the first mission, the whole one squad starting seperated and having to hold out while the other squad rushed in to support is something I would like to see revisited in a future mission. Personally I was kind of enjoying the first mission as part of Alpha, there was issues with using the night vision at range into a forest, but we managed quite well until we reached Bravo where it started falling apart. The fact the enemy had height on us, next to no cover, at night, while they were in a forest, and we were lit up by all the fires very much made it a "fish in a barrel situation".

From a design perspective I know there was boats further down the coast which we could have used to get across, but I feel like they were abit out of the way to be feasible? Like we were told our allies were under heavy attack, logically why would we take the time to explore the town for other possible ways across rather than using the bridge? Perhaps next time we could have started positioned more upstream from the bridge so we would have to run close to the boats to get to the bridge, possibly spot them along the way and make the call then to use them or not?
Personally I didn’t have much against any of the first mission until I fell in the river and got stuck, for some reason I could swim up and down the river but seemed to just get stuck against an invisible wall when I tried to swim to shore, eventually I just bled out and drowned.

Second mission went a lot better, People moved in formations better, called out contacts better, it may be because we were under less pressure or were more relaxed, but we all just sort of clicked better.
For the mission itself, initially it seemed a bit bare for the amount of people we had, especially when compared to the first mission. Had a few contacts, but it seemed like a mostly empty town to clear. I imagine the other two towns would have been similar situations but we got lucky in deciding to go to the castle and finding the missing supplies there. The castle assault and defence was fun, some lucky devil got to take out a BMP. Though as Arba said there was a little confusion on communications as to which point we were going to, and there was a slight blip with the radios near the end where I heard the call to head to the LZ, but Aether and I think Blodos who were on the other side of the rock to me heard nothing.

Then of course there was the incident at the LZ where a door gunner decided to minigun down a few of the guys, but I’m not entirely sure what happened there, I guess a bug in the AI? Haha

I enjoyed the first mission. I enjoyed the darkness and that some people had lasers to guide targets. I do however understand how especially Bravo did not like it. The AI seemed to be brutal and with LAMBS they flock to gunfire as flies to doo doo. Something we have to remember in future missions as mission makers.

Quick note on the medical changes. How did everyone like those? I already spoken with our medics and they all thought the system felt way closer to our original settings and enjoyed it better. Shails did report that the spikes in heartrate and blood pulse is still strange however. Also from other members I heard some positive feedback. One of the things was that we woke up way quicker. Maybe to quick even.
Thus I propose for next OP to lower the wake up chance to 20 from 25 (up from 15 originally) and see how that effects us. The bleeding rate seemed to be pretty much spot on but we can conduct some further testing in the upcoming mission.

The first mission was probably the worst mission I have experience in CNTO. The Bravo squad was pretty much being wiped within the first 2 minutes, which is no fun, especially considering that this was a 1-life operation. Lambs AI is a lot more aggressive and does not respond well to Zeus input, that much we already know. Maybe next time the AI should be spawned in a bit further away.

About the medical setting: It was too deadly for my taste. In the past ops with the new system, we had 3-5 deadly casualties. In this op, we had 8 in the first 5 minutes Furthermore, I think we should change the cardiac arrest timer back to 5 minutes and not 3. 3 minutes is not a lot of time when chaos erupts. I know that this won’t have saved me in that case.
After reading that people still have trouble understand how Heartrate and Bloodloss interact with each other, maybe I should mention again how they interact:

When shot you lose a fixed amount of blood right away from the initial spray. This value cannot be changed and still occurs even when you turn blood loss to 0. How exact value depends on the type and size of the wound. After that initial hit your heart rate skyrockets, resulting in "maximum" bloodloss rate. This rate is scaled by the bloodloss setting that ACE provides. After you start losing blood, your heart has a harder time to keep pumping as there is less blood available, meaning your heart rate starts to fall again. Lower heart rate also means you lose less blood. This is why the ACE bloodloss setting also does not scale linearly, which complicates comparisons. At some point, your heart rate and blood pressure reach an equilibrium or you go into cardiac arrest if the heartrate/blood pressure is too low. This also makes balancing / stabilizing a patient’s vitals afterwards very different from the old system where the two values were a lot less intertwined. I hope this explanation helps to understand the new system a bit better.

So if you want to scale the bleeding rate properly, then you’d have to define a time span in which the same amount of blood should be lost. I reported some of those values to Clarke 1or 2 weeks ago. With the assumption of wanting to lose the same amount of blood in the old and new system with the same type of wound, you’d have to set the ACE setting to about 0.30. That, however, does not consider that armour in the new system absorbs a lot more than before. Generally, only large wounds cause a lot of blood loss. Medium wounds make you lose little and small wounds next to nothing. I hope that with this data, an educated decision can be made.