Coop: A Bear in the Woods

Put feedback, stories, notes, complaints, videos, whatever, regarding the mission here.

I want to start off saying this mission wasn’t bad. Concept was fun and most of the execution was great from a MM perspective.

My issues mainly come down to Seb’s reaction to LAMBS not reacting as expected. If I made a mission where something had fucked up, even if it wasn’t my fault, I would be apologising to the heavens that what I had wanted to happened hadnt worked as expected. While Seb has apologised he has also said that we should have moved faster and been better to withdraw from contact. I think this is really hypocritical to say when your mission hasn’t worked as expected. As a lead its reasonable to react to extreme contact (as was faced in this Op) with extreme caution and to move somewhat slowly worrying that the next ridge is going to have the same next overwhelming contact behind it. To say "Ok my mission broke but you guys still didn’t react how you should of normally" is complete bullshit

A few interesting points from CNTR:

CNTR - Carpe Noctem Tactical Recap play at 2x

Here, we (MAT) are moving to help Bravo (I think) after already getting suppressed quite a bit. Within a few seconds, it becomes clear that position is really bad, getting suppressed from two different positions and receiving contacts to NE, Shiny called for a withdrawal (if possible). I initially replied negative, we’re pinned down, but as it became clear the NE contact was pushing on us and as I saw Clarke (from Bravo) already leaving the position, I threw a lot of smoke and started moving away, assuming that Bravo is already on the move. Instead, they just stuck around for some reason.

CNTR - Carpe Noctem Tactical Recap play at 5x

Us moving in a truck to extract Alpha from the AO. Getting up the hill was too much for the truck, so we parked nearby and went on foot to get in contact with Alpha and perhaps help them with casualties. A few moments later, Shiny managed to convince them and everyone was heading back, a great exfil.

Shortly after, Shiny flips his Platoon Mobility Vehicle and suddenly one squad dismounts, we don’t receive any orders where to go (maybe ACRE fault), so we just hold there. After a bit, we give up and start moving - moments after, the other squad orders vehicle halt and dismounts as well. We then move down to platoon lead location.

There, Bravo is ordered to retreat and we are sent to help with that - the rest of MAT stays behind to leave more seats for Bravo. I arrive at their location and am told they’re moving on foot. I try to get their attention and get them to board the truck, unsuccessfully. After being ignored for a while, I move downhill back to platoon lead.

There, we figure out the position is being overrun from at least N through W down to S, so we try (in coordination with platoon lead) to get everybody south, to the truck, so that we can finally, finally leave. I keep honking the horn like crazy, even running and shouting, and doing everything I can to make people actually register that we’re leaving.
I get hit two times, the position is receiving heavy fire, so I declare 30 seconds to leave to break a mental stalemate of nobody knowing what to do. By this time, the platoon net is a mess, nobody seem to coordinate with anybody else.

I still try whatever I can to really not leave anybody behind, driving even closer to Alpha (Bravo?) and honking like crazy. Then I get hit 2x as a driver while Seb (in my MAT team) on shortrange is telling me he’s ready in a Humvee behind me. That was the moment we started leaving to prevent a full wipe. 2 minutes after me declaring 30 seconds.

We then drive to a reasonably safe distance, get everybody off while I’m nearly passing out, then we do a last ditch effort returning back to the AO. Unfortunately, Mattdogs is the only survivor.

I don’t think we could have extracted any more people, sorry to those that got left behind.

Everything before the first reinsert I really liked. We invaded an occupied island, and we got surrounded and pounded from all sides. However, I think we did reasonably well here, given that the number of enemies was well beyond what we could’ve expected. I actually think LAMBS is at its best when you leave it to it’s own like this, because it really creates scenario’s where fights go down to the wire (which imo create the most memorable moments). Also, the darkness was difficult, but not a problem for me - so I really liked the atmosphere.

However, after the first reinsert I got really frustrated by the orders we got from leadership (I missed debrief so idk if you guys went over this already). There was too much micromanagement, and too little explaining what our actual objective was. We were constantly told "move to waypoint X and hold", but not why to go there or who/what we were waiting for. This also meant every time lead went down for example, nobody in the team had a clue of what the larger plan was, except hold position.

In the end, it took us 30 minutes to reach a hospital 400 meters further from where we got pounded the first time round, with the only few contacts being a few stragglers from the first engagement. Then Bravo/MAT/Plt/Eng, who were 300m South from us, got engaged by enemies from the east, and we go back ALL the way around where we came from on a 15 minute walk only to end up behind the position of our friendlies. By this time, the nuke explodes, since we (Alpha) have made less than 500m progress in the last hour of the op.
Why did Alpha go back all the way around to end up behind our friendly elements who clearly do not have good positions in the first place since they’re getting pressed so hard? We could’ve just moved 300m south and supported our elements within minutes, or even better, pushed east and Flanked the enemy positions. We could’ve even abandoned their engagement altogether and gone scouting (at high speed and mobile, not waiting on others) actually looking for the objective of the op, while they were occupying the enemies.

Also then after the nuke went off, we got more new orders to move to waypoint X and hold. And at one point I finally ask "Why do we go here?" and the answer is "We’re looking for the nuclear detonation site". However, we’re not moving to the nuclear detonation site. I saw where it’d exploded, and we were moving way south of it. If the intent of movement gets passed down the line, it’s possible for people with better intel to give input.

Yep at this point because everyone wasn’t moving I noticed my ACRE doesn’t work. Gave it a quick restart when I got to ENG down on the ground and then I was able to communicate again. It’s odd because everyone did hear that I took over platoon again before but suddenly it stopped working. While Killerbyte said earlier that he could not hear me over long range but it worked fine in proximity or 343. So odd and it messed with us this mission.

The order to move to the hospital was never given or communicated to me. I noticed too late you guys moved away from the wp to a location that was never within the white marked zone. Unfortunately that led to Alpha being to late to help some other elements. The order to cross MAT was given quite early (same time as bravo) but unfortunately due to A being further north you arrived way later. By then MAT and Bravo were being over run and Platoon and Engineers had to lead a flank to save them. Then the nuke went off, knocking over all the trees and that fucked us because we were in a really good position but suddenly every single enemy was able to see us. We immediately get blasted because out of the 6 guys 3 computers crash due to the nuclear blast and I die along with some others.

Another lesson I have learned but hopefully other MM’s have too. If trees fall over, the AI ignore them and can shoot straight through them. It’s like it’s thin air to them. Very unfun and frustrating to loose most of our troops over and having to leave them behind because we literally could not see the enemy let alone do anything about them. It always feels bad to leave troops behind but this I feel unfortunately there was no other choice.

I liked the mission totally - till switched to daylight.

The bomb explosion was premilinary, early - likely would have more fun if the trees were around longer. But it has created very interesting enviroment. Personally - the more open map the less I like it.

The amount of enemies at beginning of mission was too hight for my rig - Zeus can always spawn fire teams later.

First hour - Tactically we have assumed that the area is safe (which was not) and we (Alfa) have runned in SQD formation, too close to each other.

  • Dont know if we have reacted on the contact well, by yellow flanking (encirclement)
  • The terrain and light conditions were not favorable for quick movement - if we would have assumed enemy (I dont know what was the movement tactic). So we were pretty much ambushed.
  • Personally, if I look back - We could scout more and/or use bounding, short holds
  • The whole team didnt all died just bc the enemy didnt brough granades (so badly bunched up, counted 14 on the hilltop defensive position)
  • Can not say if two instead of one defensive hard points would do any difference bc the conditions

The US faction is very precise in shooting + they had the numbers

[user avatar=“” name=“Freghar”]13633351[/user] on your second point, I believe it was due to both ACRE bugs and thus radio coordination being impossible and being overrun by an amount of enemy infantry we should’ve been able to deal with (merely a squad). Didn’t deal with those in time for another squad to come in from our NW and at that point we were outnumbered.

[user avatar=“” name=“Koffer”]5721247[/user] I understand your complaints and I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy much of what we did. Since your FTL also reported having no idea what we were doing, I’ll try to explain some choices that were made.

The movement after first reinsertion was backed by the goal of scouting the whole island to find the crash site. I did not relay that again over squad net because the intent was clear. I assure you there was no other objective during the mission and consequently the only task we had was to cover as much terrain as possible as quickly as possible. After we left the hospital the idea was to go back with other elements of the platoon, but before we could get there they had already started taking casualties.

I did plan the movement for Alpha in order to take as much cover as possible from enemy infantry who was reported to be shooting at ~1km distance. Knowing we cannot be fire effective at that distance, I decided to swing back and reach PLT + ENG from their rear. We were never tasked to go to Bravo position, but instead further SW to PLT.
Check this timestamp on CNTR, should explain why we took the longer way to get back to the frontline.

Shortly after the nuke went off, Shiny died and both me and [user avatar=“” name=“Mattdogs”]20330489[/user] had to step up, as Plt lead and Alpha lead respectively. Every element except for MAT was pinned down and taking heavy casualties, so the priority was to fall back to a safe position and treat the wounded. I did not hear anyone saying they’d spotted the crash site, but it’s possible that I missed it due to switching radios and coordinating to get Plt lead back on station.

I did very much report over Platoon Net we were moving to the hospital. It’s possible we were having ACRE issues already at that time since I did not hear a readback from Plt, that’s why I sent the message one more time and got confirmed to move back to a better position if we couldn’t see anything. (check for first time sending the message). As soon as we hit the rooftop of the hospital we decided to leave the area as the rest of the elements were already moving to cross the river. Rewatching the footage, I can hear Bravo being ordered to proceed on WP3 (completely different sector as the hospital rooftop was to watch East of WP2) ~20 seconds after Plt confirmed us taking the hospital.
So that, and the resulting Alpha being behind the rest of the platoon and coming in late to relieve from fire, was mostly due to either ACRE issues or poor coordination.

Overall I think the mission was really interesting to play. I wasn’t too bothered by not having daylight/NVGs during the first 45 minutes, after which my visibility was completely fine.
As real as it can be, having the entire island move on our position the second we pull the trigger unfortunately does not always means fun in Arma. It would have been better to walk in on enemies as we moved around but I guess either a script [user avatar=“” name=“Seb”]7849506[/user] used doesn’t work or the AI we have is too smart. I’d like to advocate in favour of either having this kind of missions on a Tuesday until they can properly work, or having a Zeus as backup in case something goes wrong (whole enemy company moving towards us, enemies engaging far beyond our firing distance, and overall to create a more balanced and better experience for who plays the mission).

I am going to get a lot of flak for this post.

I think that the mission was good, however I can’t say the same about the performance. Let me get the straight foward stuff out of the way:

  • Medics were on point, despite massive casulties they were on point.
  • MAT - great performance - our real "true" casulty was Freghar that died when we all were down/overwhelmed by enemy hail fo bullets (you made sure me and Seb made it out though)
  • We musn’t relay purely on long range comms - [user avatar=“” name=“Freghar”]13633351[/user] pointed out TWICE that the platoon net was crowded. We should be thankfull the nuclear detonation didn’t trigger EMP effect.
  • Arma issues cannot be avoided, It is an 8 year old game on an engine that’s been around about as long as the Quake one (correct me on this one if i’m wrong) - Desynch in brightness/AI seeing through "destroyed" (fallen) trees/etc. are to be expected at this point
  • Somehow I didn’t get kicked by BE, worth noting.

[center]Was the mission bad?[/center]

No, the mission wasn’t bad in any way. It was the performance.
I really like the unique feeling that Seb’s mission have. Sneaking in using fishing boats onto the US occupied Island to disarm a nuclear device in order to prevent a possible WW3? That’s a very unique idea, which I haven’t experienced in Arma yet.

Seb has been experimenting with "Zeusless" missions, as Clarke mentioned yesterday "Because every missionmaker has their own style and sometimes they want to experience their own creation alongside CNTO". Which I agree with, It hasn’t been done yet since I joined, ofcourse it will take time to adjust. These kinds of missions aren’t doomed to fail since the beginning as some people critique. Sure, the scale might be bigger than the last few missions we played, but I enjoyed both of them so far, they really test your skills, personally I would like to see more of them. Post constructive feedback instead of saying "Well we failed because Seb tried something else" or "He could have done this and that", that kinda made me leave the TS early yesterday, it’s not easy to make a good mission, especially when the core of it gets undermined by LAMBS A.I.

Can’t really say much about technical issues, they happen, I’m not an expert but I think everybody should know that Arma isn’t perfect, and most likely never will be.

[center]So, what went wrong?[/center]

Well as written in the OPORD:

One of our Tu-95 "Bear" nuclear bombers has crashed somewhere in hostile US territory carrying a nuclear missile, and some valuable radioactive scientific material.
It’s likely the nuclear missile has been damaged and could go off at any time.
There are several highly fortified US Military emplacements on the island. These should be avoided, they are not the objective

Imagine being an US Marine stationed on the island where one of the Russian bombers just crashed, thinking everything goes smoothly you leave it to the politicians to clean up the mess.
All of the sudden one of your patrols gets engaged by something, pressumably Russians coming back to reclaim the device. I think that’s pretty obvoius that the Americans will send the whole island to try to stop a platoon of Russian troops trying to do God knows what with the device, since Americans know they probably have the numbers advantage.

I think there is no valid excuse for us to "sneakily" go through the Island that’s smaller than the city where I currently live in after alerting a base shortly after entering. I think the OP demanded a different mindset than we usualy apply of just "push through to the objective and clear most of the stuff along the way". Not knowing how to correctly break contact and disengage played a part in that.

Personal skill played a part in that, not much to dwell on, we just don’t know how to fight in a dark enviroment without NVGs. No blame here really, this comes with experience and practice. I heared some people say "I’m just shooting people without supressors" and "I’m taking the supressor off" which was pretty funny and probably lead to a casualty at some point. The fact that US Marines looked VERY similar to us was kinda one of the reasons that lead to these "Is that a friendly or an enemy?" moments. We should have turned on our flashlights the moment we got engaged at close range to PID.

Comms were a mess, Freghar already mentioned it a few times. He knows better as he had the long range. Although I had a moment where I backblasted two people (which I am sorry for) after screaming "Clear Backblast" twice at full volume and then beofre i could scream "Rocket!" for the 3rd time LAV was already turning it’s turret twoards me. Also, there was a lot of unnecessary panic that sent MAT on a hunt for a ".50 cal boat" that supposedly was unleashing on us from the shore, that turned out to be Fred Lee with his M249 machinegun.

Rest of the mission is a blur to me, I waited, shot, waited, bandaged and waited some more untill the bomb went off. A funny thing Seb told me midway through the OP was "See, you put a literal BOMB against platoon and we are still stuck waiting".

I think that amongst other people Freghar (13633351) said a lot about the extraction, I didn’t really know what was going on, I was either fighting off contacts or bandaging the drivers/wounded in the vics.

Overall, I had fun this mission, despite the fact we failed, crashed, got destroyed several times and ran with our tail tucked between our legs in the end, I loved the experience and the uniqueness of the mission. As [user avatar=“” name=“Baegel”]2509934[/user] said, not every mission can be ended with a full blown success, and to be fair, if they all could be then there wouldn’t be any challenge or stakes.

Thank you for the mission, I hope my feedback was helpful.

In the first instance people were going down and once we had stabilised them a nuclear weapon went off so I don’t know what we could have done differently. In the second instance Shad and I ran back to cover away from where Bravo was being pinned but unfortunately the rest of Bravo was a second too slow or had already been hit through the fallen trees. We then with the help of others managed to run back and carry people back to behind a big rock and start patching up while Alpha helped out. In the circumstances it was a pretty amazing job we did but with the enemy walking through concealment very close from several directions Alpha found it difficult to cover us and we started getting grenades on top of us while we were setting up a rough CCP. Apart from be bullet proof and see through fallen trees I don’t see what Bravo could have done better.
I watched you after I was dead and you guys did a great job with the truck saving Mattdogs!