Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tank-Infantry Teams in ARMA2: Real Life Hazards and Annoyances We Don''t Have to Worry About

Continuing with tank-infantry teams, I will briefly mention some of the hazards and struggles real life US Marine rifle men have to cope with while working with tanks.

  • Communications. As a real life USMC platoon/squad leader, if you get a tank platoon or section assigned to you, it means these armored behemoths are your subordinates now. Commanding them is not easy. Most of the times the tanks and the infantry will be in different radio communication networks. If you are lucky the tank will be equipped with infantry intercoms (a small telephone in the back of the tank, pretty much like the ones used during WWII). 
  • Sitting around the feet of giants. The tank crews' situational awareness of the environment immediately close to their buttoned up tank is extremely low. Real life Marines are taught to always assume that tank crews can't see them:
    • Stay at a safe distance, close to things the tank will avoid (like a building)
    • Never stay between two tanks
    • Watch out for moving turrets
    • Watch out for the extreme heat coming out from the exhaust grid in the back of the tank
    • Never walk in front of a tank without permission
    • Never go prone near a tank
  • Tanks' main guns are dangerous even when they are not aiming at you. Tank commanders will always signal the Marines on foot that they are about to fire the main gun (actually even the coaxial gun). This signal can be by radio or a hand signal.
    • The main gun of a tank generates a lot of overpressure. The infantry commander is responsible of keeping his Marines out of the blast radius. Watch out for broken glass and debris caused by the overpressure.
    • Separated SABOTs from the armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot munition can kill infantry located in front of the tank. Never fire main gun rounds over the heads of infantry.

In ARMA 2 we get it easy. In ARMA 2, your communications with the tank team are instantaneous and 100% reliable. AI tankers in ARMA 2 do a more than decent job in moving around infantry (though accidents will happen sometimes in the virtual battlefield, so be careful). And you can sit right by a virtual M1 tank in ARMA 2 while it fires its main gun, with the only consequence being a small ringing in your virtual ears. That beats spitting out your lungs in pieces ...

The Marine in the middle of the road is risking getting struck if the tank reverses suddenly. 

Never walk in front of a tank without permission. 



Anonymous said...

Very good article about Tank/Infantry teams. ArmA II is turning out to be the Inheritor to the original game Operation Flashpoint! Operation Flashpoint:Dragon Rising is a total fiasco that Codemasters ever put out. They failed to listen to us PC gamers and instead went after the $$$ sign to make a quick buck! I see more opportunity for ArmA II to be use as a Sand table for Training. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

overpressure effects were nicely done in the ace mod for the first arma. dunno if there is any in ace 2

JC said...

Thanks guys for your comments. Much appreciated.

@ssgduke: I still have to try something like this in OFPDR. Stay tuned.

@anonymous: that ace mod is legendary. I'm such a moron that I play only vanilla versions of the games. :( Could you get killed by main gun overpressure in the ace mod for ARMA?


Anonymous said...

I really enjoy reading your blog. Its always well done and insightful.

I recommend looking at ACE 2 for ArmA 2 as it considerably changes the gameplay.

Keep up the great work.

-Phaeden [USMC]

JC said...

Thanks Phaeden!

I'll definitively check it out.


Johan said...

JC, like you I usually play vanilla versions of games. It mostly isn't worth the hassle and problems you have to deal with.

But ACE for Arma is the exception. Totally awesome, it's a mod that's much bigger than what a normal expansion for a game is, and adds so much that you really can't live without after having tried it. I could never imagine playing ArmA 2 without it now.

And yes, ACE 2 does add harmful overpressure and backblast effects for tank guns and AT launchers.

JC said...

Hi Johan,

Thanks for your comment.

Yeah, that's on my list. I'm a bit short of time right now, but when I get out of some obligations I will do that.