Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ArmA 2 Operation Arrowhead British Armed Forces - On Being Section and Fireteam Leader at the Same Time - Part 1

The British Army's small-units tactical doctrine is secret. No field manual for you, civilian! There are a few books out there from which you can make up some pieces of the puzzle. But ... oh boy ... these accounts show you only shadows.

I will be out on a limb with these series of posts about the use of British Sections in ArmA 2. So take them with a big grain shovel of salt. Non-educated guesses coming.

The composition of a generic British rifle section is one of the few things we know for sure :
  • Section Commander
  • Rifleman
  • Grenadier
  • Automatic Rifleman
  • Fireteam Leader Section's 2nd in Command (2IC)
  • Rifleman
  • Grenadier
  • Automatic Rifleman
This section has two fireteams (labelled red and blue above) that are quite symmetrical in terms of firepower. Symmetry we can cope with (we have already been fighting with symmetrical US Army and Marines squads), but as you may have realized the British section commander has to keep an eye on his fireteam (red) and the whole section at the same time. The ratio between section and fireteam commanders (movers) over the amount of fireteams (moving parts) is 2/2=1 in the British infantry section. The same ratio is 3/2=1.5 in an US Army infantry squad and 4/3=1.33 in the US Marines rifle squad. 

Short in men and decision-makers, it looks like as if the British infantry section is conceived as a tactical entity that never operates independently from its parent platoon. If this is true, I wonder how challenging is to go into combat with a British section in the ever fragmented battlefields of today where every section or squad mostly fight different fights.

In ArmA2, the British rifle section is composed of (each soldier picture has a short description of his weapon too):

1st Fireteam

2nd Fireteam

Nice surprise in ArmA 2 is to have the so-called "marksman" with the L86A2 light support weapon. This awesome piece of hardware was originally conceived as a support weapon, but since it has a relatively high range (can deliver accurate fire up to 600 meters or so) it is used almost like a sniper role. Almost, because the caliber of the L86A2 is the same as the L86A2.

In the next installment, I will get into a fight along with these men.



kylania said...

Nice detail! I'm really enjoying the BAF DLC for ArmA2. The single player missions are an absolute blast.

Anonymous said...

Nice piece JC. Have OA but haven't installed it yet. 15 FPS is what I get so need a new video card.

On a slightly different but connected note, check out 'Fire Strike 7/9' if you haven't already. About a JTAC in A/stan. Great read about what happens on the ground when calling in air support.


JC said...

Thanks for the comments, gents.

Gillers, ArmA is very CPU intensive. You may want to consider this for your upgrade.