Operation Dark Crusade - Mission 3

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As plt lead I can confirm everything went to shit in a record time, don’t think an entire platoon was ever wiped this quicky :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway this is my account of things that went wrong:

  • Enemies were waiting at LZ liberty
  • Alpha got hit overly hard from every direction
  • Technical difficulties caused Bravo and Dagger to be severely delayed
  • Bravo deployed on top a large hill and was subsequently shot because there was no cover
  • After calling artillery on the entire town reinforcements were unable to land due to what I assume was a pilot error.
    This meant that enemy forces could move back into the town with ease

From my point of view this was a weird operation from the start. I just don’t know why you would intentionally put a force in an encirclement instead of having it push from the outside in… Which could have been a fun operation in it’s own right. Still I did have fun despite the inevitable death of everyone.

The setup of the mission and story was extremely interesting. The terrain and weather all made for what could be a really cool experience. The risky plan of dropping right in the middle of the action is something that we rarely do and Arba made good initiative to allow for this plan and use it to making his mission even better.

This morning I just had to download the mission and open it in the editor because of yesterdays happenings. The amount of work that has gone into this mission is simply astonishing. I think there’s at least 500+ hand placed objects throughout the scenario. On top of that units are placed with care and it all builds a picture of the scene.

I think this mission was a bit of an overachiever. The mission is almost a piece of art when you roam through it, but yesterday I only felt 5% of that when playing it because of terrible fps and that we didn’t get very far from server crashes. There’s a massive kudos to give to Arba for the work that was put in this mission, but I think it’s worth taking note that we just can’t run these missions in the long haul.

[quote user_id=“3749902” avatar=“https://assets-cloud.enjin.com/users/3749902/avatar/medium.1500023987.jpeg” name=“Churizo”]
From my point of view this was a weird operation from the start. I just don’t know why you would intentionally put a force in an encirclement instead of having it push from the outside in… Which could have been a fun operation in it’s own right. Still I did have fun despite the inevitable death of everyone.[/quote]

Well the story was that the AMericans pushed us back and the French got surrounded. We were supposed to push through, break the encirclement and free them…

My 2 cents as a Bravo AR:

Our squad was just 4 men strong. I do not know how well was Alfa and Bravo coordinated during initial attack but when we got on the hill we came instantly under fire bc we probably did underestimated enemy numbers and skylined really badly. TL died and we lost long range radio. After other member of team died when trying get radio or destroy vehicle we were ambushed from the airport side hill by enemies which came there for us. I somehow returned fire and killed some of them, than while heavily injured, DAGGER saved my life. Medic did run other way to cover and probably died. After couple of minutes server fell.

  1. I think Bravo could not effectively support Alfa

  2. We had not enoug ppl for running this type of operation, probably would needed 30 members or more to play.
    (Alfa 10, Dagger 3, Bravo 4, Ripper 2 (?), Artilery (1), GM (2?)…(22) would need at least other 6 rather 16 members for so big scale ops. (?)

  3. Bravo could not report any contacts and do some recon as we lost the radio while under heavy fire

  4. As 4 ppl strong team we could be easily wiped out by ambush (which at the end happened)

  5. We did underestimated enemy numbers (?) (as there was on map that 1/2 of Panthera is enemy occupied)

  6. Was the server crash coused by ejection seat usage from plane by GM ??? (it s only thing what crash my Arma while Zeusing) (I did just got written Player Arba disconnected and after server fell) (I have some not possible read memory situations while ejecting with our modpack)

  7. How many continuations will Dark Crusade have ? (I have to say that Im disappointed little bit about the operations which are not connected enoug to make a campaign experience. It looks to me like 3 randomly unconnected operations yet - in my point of view the campaign is about to be continuation of previous mission/s)
    I do not like too, that we have other ops like the PvPs right now on the same map bc it creates distortion for the official campaign continuations)

  8. Had no FPS probléms with view 1300m, standardly running 45-60 fps. (but yeah I was not in the city there, but had nice view on airport)

BTW, TY for the Op, as it can také with ease 40 hours to make a mission. The Arma bugs are really pain in the neck always.

[user avatar=“https://assets-cloud.enjin.com/users/14911388/avatar/small.1608554273.png” name=“Skippy”]14911388[/user]
I know that but why were we put in the encirclement instead of pushing towards the French from friendly lines?

As the man who made the plan, Churizo, everyone should be asking you that? You had time adjust the plan and make it so you were pushing from the outside?

If you would look at the tactical planning you would see that that was my original intent. However that was not the operation apparently. Same thing with splitting the already low amount of guys I had

Too. Many. Assets.

So wait… lemme get this straight… you guys planned to insert into the encirclement?

This was a specific requirement from the OPORD.

Ok …

I think there is so much effort put in the mission, so much stuff to keep us immersed… that finally the immersion get killed by low fps and server crashes?

I don’t know… i have the feeling general feeling "more" is not always "better"?

I think the fiasco of how this mission has been handled (read: not the fiasco of the mission) is caused by an aspect of mission making in our community.

Currently mission makers in CNTO are artists, first and foremost. They put their talent into making a mission that’s believable, finely detailed and immersive. Although it doesn’t surprise me to hear that a dedicated mission maker spent literal hours of their own time in making a very complex mission, it surprises me that they are not made aware of the principles of mission making applied to high throughput communities:

We don’t need art, we need missions that work. As boring as it will sounds it is better to do the same thing three times and enjoy a routine OP together than to always try to innovate and reinvent. There’s a high risk of something just not working when you try new stuff. The para-dropping in OP1 was an instance of such an issue even though the rest of the mission made up for the lost 30 minutes in the beginning. In OP2 we had poor usage of assets combined with mistakes that can really only be avoided by practise (who can blame PLT for wanting to get us closer and who can blame them for being surprised by the engagement range of the coastal AIs), yet it was still the first time we did that kind of stuff (I don’t consider a single mission we did eight month ago to be counting, membership evolves and people forget).

Here in OP3 we had a tactical planning thread that was made well in advance and people stuck to it even though we were not enough to do that very plan. The OP relied on several elements that can be considered as single point of failures:

  • Enough people to fill in Alpha, Bravo while being able to field Dagger, Mortar, Reaper and Paladin.
    -> This failed, Bravo was gutted down to 4 people (SL - me, squad medic, two ARs) and we were unable to do shit. PLT instructed Bravo and Dagger to work together but Dagger pointed out that they’d be ineffective if tied to an infantry group.
  • Insertion of both elements synchronized enough to allow Bravo to punch in and while Alpha holds the line.
    -> This failed as well, Landing crafts (first time ever we used them, complete lack of training as to how to operate thoses) were bugged as hell (synchronization issue, actions that would disembark you and kill you, ArmA physics). Bravo and Dagger got stuck at the original island for tens of minutes until our dear GM went and helped us. All the while Alpha got picked off and killed. Later down we got inserted too far away to do anything meaningful, hence me pushing my team to double time it. Me trying to make up time costed my squad’s lives as we got obliterated because of bad positioning.

Then the server crashed, making me leave the evening altogether (I believe it is the second time in my CNTO membership I had to do that).

So, what to take from it?

  1. Apply software engineering practices: Keep it simple, Stupid. What is not tested is broken. What is broken does not concretely exists. Your time as a MM will be ruined if you don’t test every aspect critical to your mission. Your mission will be ruined as well, no matter how much assets there are nor how much time you spent in it.
  2. Never hesitate to push back something you haven’t finished. This includes the reviewing process that was reportedly skimmed over on that mission. "Last minute" is something I’ve heard often for this campaign.
  3. No plan survives first contact with the enemy. Here the enemy is lack of visibility to member count. We should have regulations to forbid the use of support assets if we can’t field two squads, thus forcing MMs to put ways of doing a mission without those support assets. No Bravo, no jets.
  4. Tactical planning thread considered harmful. By forcing the MM/GM to give away details ahead of time we are forcing their hands and removing the much-needed flexibility they should have to make up for problems. GM had no other choice than to allow for Bravo to be gutted because the assets were absolutely critical to the plan. We should fix that.
  5. Have a reasonable discussion in the community about whether we want to play work of arts that can blow up in our faces VS playing simple missions and enjoying each other’s company.

Guys as you can see from my new LCAC guide it does work but Lastmikoi said you had some major bugs with it during the mission so I would very much like to know what exact bugs did you come across?

Please post your finding in the Tech Support forum.