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Dagger survived the whole mission, and even helped clear a building at one point.
On the subject of trying to make sure that Infantry has something to do in the future, I think it would make sense to, as Flo said during debrief, make sure that there is a variety of terrain in our engagements: A healthy mix of low ground, high ground, urban, rural, hilly and flat. Plus, once a scary element like Dagger or Reaper opens fire on an enemy area, the infantry in that area should immediately react by hiding in buildings, or other places that Dagger and Reaper will have a harder time targeting, thus ensuring that the friendly infantry will have some enemies to face once they get there.
In a way, I think you can consider a friendly MBT as the ultimate ground warfare weapon. It’s like MAT, MMG and DMT all rolled into one, with a 1500 horsepower engine. The only thing it can’t do effectively is roll through a town clearing buildings. If you’re a zeus trying to make things dangerous for a Tank, you should also consider making use of enemy CAS to force the tank to stay away from Infantry’s dinner, and find a way to hide enemies in places that Dagger won’t be able to see them.
As a PTL I can only feel proud after an op like this. I think we took a minimum amount of casualties, coupled with the fact that we did not lose a single asset to enemy fire I would say that overall we played at a high level given the enemy was very well equipped.
That being said I have a few remarks:
Alpha had a lot of complaints about the way this mission was played out. I’m not quite sure what went wrong there because there were a lot of buildings to be cleared. Perhaps the new AI we introduced makes the AI leave buildings more often? In general my feedback towards Alpha would be to not discard their APC as easily as they did. During the assault on Chak Chak I used Alpha’s vehicle to support and found that they had fired a grand total of 7 .50 cal rounds and not a single grenade! Unacceptable for a mechanised squad!
A second point would be that there were some flaws in communication from my side I guess, I heard that some orders didn’t make it through completely/were misinterpreted.
Last of all I would like thank Stuka for this amazing mission, Combined warfare remains my absolute favourite and the only thing I think could’ve been better was more infantry in buildings (however the new AI probably changed their tendency to stay in a single spot.
I played in Alpha and there wasn’t really much to do for us. I don’t know if that’s a fault of the mission or the leadership or just one of those times where it doesn’t work out for everybody so I’m not pointing fingers.
I liked the idea of a bigger combined warfare mission. It was cool seeing Dagger and reaper throw big bangs n’ tracers towards the enemy. I could have done without the Panthers though - I really dislike when we have to remove two guys from the squad to drive an apc. I’d rather have seen either hummers instead of Panther or have Dagger crewing the Panthers and driving everyone around.
It’s hard to pull these missions of well though so kudos to Stuka for doing it nicely.
[user avatar=“https://assets-cloud.enjin.com/users/3749902/avatar/small.1500023987.jpeg” name=“Churizo”]3749902[/user] We are not a mechanized group. As simple as that.
Our platoon structure, already being weak sauce when casualties are taken (through disconnects or deaths) just becomes a slog when you rip two people to be in a vehicle.
I have done my best to alternate roles for driving and gunning and nobody wanted to do it. I could not assign FTLs nor ARs to this role because of the impact this would have had on my combat effectiveness.
As a squad lead I focused on the safety of my men and putting them in a RPG magnet is certainly not how I do that.
Is is unacceptable from a platoon to assume a "mechanized" squad to be combat effective when it is the squad’s medic that is manning the gun.
It is unacceptable as well from a mission making perspective to lose the focus about what we are and what we should do: Infantry. I am absolutely fine with motorized equipment (hence my willingness to use MRAPs at the start), mechanized just doesn’t cut it.
In addition to that, it is unacceptable to expect our squad leads to be effective tank crew commanders, yet that’s what I was forced to be last night to get anything proper going. Tried letting the navigator do it and it ended up with us being a tracked mountain goat.
Several of my squad members have mentioned their profound frustration as to the mission being fun. They reported to me that they already switched off when we conducted the final assault on the airfield.
There is something deeply wrong in the system for a mission to be considered a grandiose success when PLT has had the most kills on the scoreboard, when infantry are pissed off after the end of the mission and that feedback about it being unfun are dismissed by a wave of the hand.
I stand by my opinion to stick to motorized infantry, to only field support elements when we have two full squads and
to regulate mission makers into focusing them towards infantry game play.
Finally, the quote "You have been trained for that, you should know what to do" is probably what sums up the OP: Your standards aren’t the community’s.
I am sorry the mission wasn’t to everyone’s liking. We rarely do combined arms and I thought I would give it a try. I also tried to put enough infantry in buildings to have a somewhat interesting CQB aspect.
I personally enjoyed the missions we did as a mechanized infantry unit. To prevent gutting fireteams, my solution as SL was to drive the IFV myself with the medic on the gun. And I like to believe it worked well.
As for playstyle standards, we do not have recommendations to not play as a mechanized infantry platoon, which shows a certain degree of freedom that I think is important to keep a certain variety in missions.
Thank you Mikoi for your legendary tact.
I don’t think we’re necessarily a "Infantry community" but I do think that HQ, Alp, Bra, Cha are infantry elements or motorized elements. When you put them as crew for APC’s the squad gets weak and the APC can’t be used properly since it has to follow the squad around all the time. It’s clunky.
Normally in reality you have seperate elements of crew to drive and gun the APC’s - then they can be used effectively and and can move infantry quick and easy. You also know that the people in them have signed up for that role and didn’t expect to be infantry when they joined the op.
I know we don’t have a huge amount of people in missions and therefore I think it should just be accepted that we rarely can do everything at the same time (yet).
I was with [user avatar=“https://assets-cloud.enjin.com/users/11628947/avatar/small.1429971672.png” name=“Eistee”]11628947[/user] in Reaper, alternating between flying an armed LB and an Apache. From our point of view we had a great mission as our assets were very well countered and we took a careful approach to not risk the Apache unnecessary. We only had two windows of opportunity to inflict damage, but that’s exactly how it should go with an Apache so we don’t steal all the fun from ground forces. So I disconnected with a great feeling about the mission. About 40min later I jumped into the channel with remnants of Alpha and I realized they had a very different experience with the mission.
Afterward, I watched the CNTR footage, three times, and I saw how the mission must have been frustrating for infantry to play. But I don’t believe this was due to the scenario per se, but our unconventional use of the IFV assets. After the ambush Platoon occupied two additional IFV with only one person each controlling it. This multiplied our armored presences and the angles they could cover by three - the vast majority of kills this mission were inflicted by IFV’s, without being really countered as Reaper was. During the two town attacks, the infantry was reduced to watch the slaughter from afar and then tasked to clear mostly empty houses in the aftermath.
I think if Dagger would have been employed alone in the AO, the infantry would have more to do overall. Also, I strongly believe we should not "gimp the system" by utilizing powerful assets with only one person acting as both driver and gunner. Imagine Reaper would have spit up as LB and Apache into two combat assets, letting the LB fly ahead and bait ground-to-air-missiles while the apache lases the target safely and take it out instantly - we would have neutralized our natural counter and inflict way more damage than intended.
I don’t think there’s something inherently wrong with mechanized infantry and I think it has worked out well enough in the past. The reason nobody wanted to drive/gun the IFV was (IMHO) exactly because they had nothing to do as infantry up to that point and didn’t want to miss their only chance at some action while stuck as a driver/gunner way in the back (ironically).
1) On the power of IFVs
Judging from previous missions, this can work if (a) there’s enough action, (b) the IFV isn’t as powerful as it was (lower-tech BTR or MRAPs would be more balanced), (c) there is a practical benefit to the IFV - be that transport between distant location, protection from AA / small arms fire during transport, etc., (d) having infantry beside the IFV is an advantage.
- (a) is important because nobody wants to do boring work and if there is no potential to mess up or to show skill, it gets boring - this is probably good IRL, but it doesn’t make a good game
- (b) is a balancing factor - inside towns where IFVs gain more disadvantages, having a powerful platform is okay, whereas on big open hills, >5km engagement range with thermals, grenades and automatic laser guidance is too much
- (c) needs to be considered, otherwise the infantry will either leave the vehicle behind or be constantly annoyed with having to bring it along
- (d) makes sure that you can’t just give 5 people 5 IFVs, position them on hills and wreck everything - like [user avatar=“https://assets-cloud.enjin.com/users/11341464/avatar/small.1553522842.png” name=“Clarke”]11341464[/user] mentioned, counters are one way, limiting usefulness (by terrain, by ammo restriction, by type - recon) another
Overall and in general, it seems to me that a "better humvee" (MRAP) fits the infantry playstyle as a support vehicle better, especially since our infantry doesn’t have magnified scopes.
2) On the balance of sides
Per the OPORD, we have been given too many mechanized assets, several helicopter types, IFV types (why would you take Huvmees or M2 MRAPs if you have Panthers or Bradleys?) and an MBT.
Giving players the choice isn’t IMHO bad, just it’s probably better done before the mission - ie. in a planning thread where people can consider the advantages of Humvees vs Panthers, for example. The other assets then can be scaled so that we don’t have the "best of the best", but have a limited imaginary budget. If this is too much work for the MM, just give us a limited set of assets, not a pick-what-you-want buffet, especially with vehicles having autocannons.
The variety itself however wasn’t THE problem, it was the lack of competent enemy response to us. The army we had was enough for taking a large city or a smaller region, not 3 small villages with less than a squad of insurgents in each. There were a few enemy vehicles that managed to get at least one shot on Dagger, but the scenario overall (story and terrain) didn’t leave much room for Zeus to compensate our firepower. Without some story twist, there was no way to effectively counter us.
That makes for a good IRL engagement, but not for a good gameplay experience - scaling down our firepower or giving the enemy more would help.
3) On the terrain and combined arms
Sort-of mentioned in previous text, but I’ll state it here more explicitly - always consider assets you give to players with respect to the enemy assets and terrain. The latter more so than the former.
The best case for mechanized infantry (with one vehicle per squad or Dagger filling in the role) is if both the infantry and the vehicle depend on each other. This is very nicely illustrated with forest (Chernarus-style) warfare where the vehicle (especially with thermals) can often engage enemies more effectively, but is in constant danger from mid-range RPGs and it alone cannot keep 360 security, especially in tight passages, or look up (or aim up) high slopes to see/shoot contacts. The occasional surprise enemy BMP that just emerged from behind a crest spices things up.
Imagine the same situation in MOUT, the extreme case being Fallujah - the vehicle is even more vulnerable, but if we remove the thing that makes RPG-26 so overpowered, a good IFV can punch through MG nests, shield passengers from one or two or three RPG hits, protect from mortar strikes, carry medical supplies and ammo and provide rapid transport.
That’s a big deal, especially now with AI infantry that can actually pose a threat to players.
All of this applies to other assets as well - mortars, MAT, etc. … As a MM, anticipate what the assets would be used for by the players in that scenario. You are likely to be right.
4) On the cheesyness of platoon leadership
Along with Alpha being bored, this isn’t what made the mission "bad", it just amplified the fundamentals stated above.
I realize the line between a vehicle being infantry-manned and having a dedicated crew is somewhat blurred in Arma and that it might be less striking if, what PTL did, was done with M2 Humvees instead of grenade-launching town-destroying Panthers, but it’s worth mentioning.
According to CNTR, PTL (2 man) took personal charge of the 2 Panthers, each individual serving as both the driver and gunner, vehicles spread apart, scoring kills from a distance. This is IMHO incredibly cheesy, "gamey" and borders on disciplinary action for ignoring our procedures.
On the other hand, PTL just utilized the available assets the best way they could think of. If you give a player a theoretical "kill" button to instantly kill any enemies in a region, why wouldn’t the player just press it? Abandoning useful assets/buttons just makes their job harder.
But isn’t that the whole point of playing?
I don’t think it was done explicitly on purpose and I don’t hold a grudge against those who did it, it probably felt natural in the moment. And, to repeat, I don’t think it’s the main reason why Alpha was bored.
But, maybe, we should leave super-effective vehicles to dedicated crews like Dagger to lower the ambiguity of when an infantryman (rifleman or platoon leader) should use a powerful asset.
I hope this helps a bit in the discussion. Even though the mission wasn’t the best for me, others had fun and that counts for something ([user avatar=“https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.enjin.com/821401/site_logo/small.png” name=“Stuka”]17454636[/user] keep on man!). Also, most importantly, it gave us this - a reference for some discussion on how we should combine infantry with vehicles more than the "Dagger on a hill" style and I would definitely want to see more of that.
I do also just want to briefly express my disagreement with Mikoi’s statement that we are an ‘Infantry community’. I think that the mechanics of Arma, and the incompetence of AI generally leads us to be mostly Infantry, but I see no reason that Mission Makers should be restricted in their desires to make Combined arms, or even dedicated vehicular missions, based on player count. Of course assets like Dagger and Paladin / Reaper are of little use on their own, so infantry will always be necessary, but it need not be the focus of every mission, as long as they have something to shoot at.
[justify]Reading a lot of bad and sad war stories here, that’s not nice… I think the operation was quite good!
Sadly, Alpha did not really get that feeling, because of various reasons, first and foremost because the Panthers with a GMG are ridiculously strong and having two controlled by Platoon left not much alive for Alpha to mop up. The only thing I would change for the next time is to leave GMG vehicles out of the missions. The other thing why Alpha was not having fun is in my opinion because they were tasked to clear out parts of cities that Dagger multiple times confirmed to be empty. This issue is on ASL and PL.
I personally do not see a problem in mechanized warfare in our unit in general. It worked before and just because a mission did work out as well for some people shouldn’t be reason to throw the whole thing out. However, I do think we should talk about how we man the armed infantry transport vehicles. If you sign up as a rifleman you probably do not want to end up driving the vehicle all mission long. Switching people out is a solution here but maybe some people do not want to do it at all. Would a special role be a solution here? Should dagger just be the driver for a squad?
I think Dagger performed really well that mission. In the end of the mission, we burned through about 1500 liters of fuel, all of our main gun ammunition and about 1500 bullets from the coax gun / commander turret. We barely took any damage, we only needed one track change and one stich job, thank Alpha for sending Shails. The terrain was made for dagger. We had so much room to maneuver around. Poke our head up on one spot, take some shots and as soon as we were taking fire, we just ducked behind the hill crest and drove 100 meters along it and poked up again. The combination with a really good team, that listened to every command and repeated them, was a real joy. Thank you Jash and Highway for a great evening!
And thank you Stuka for making a really good operation. Keep the good work up!