Sunday, December 23, 2012

Iron Front Liberation 1944 D Day DLC - The Killzone

The D Day DLC for Iron Front Liberation 1944 has been out since a week or so. Very nimble in content, toys, factions and real estate, at least is a taste of the WWII Western Front. Today, I took a squad of US Army grunts into the Normandy countryside.

We can still smell the sea and our trip south into Normandy is cumbersome. Every turn in the road has to be checked and re-checked before moving onto them. 

In this case, there is a hidden Pak 40 controlling our route of advance.
Moving down the road, guns blazing was not going to make it, so I decided to assault the enemy position approaching by the left flank. This flank is an open field surrounded by hedgerows.

Well concealed in the far side of the open field the enemy has another Pak 40, and likely more static weapons I can't make out from the distance. The hedgerows offer terrific concealment to the defenders. 

The open field is a kill zone and walking into the middle of it only for those not fond on living. The kill zone has tiny slopes and overgrown crops that can cover and conceal my men to some degree. We start moving into the lion's teeth, glued to the left edge of this field of the damned.

A trail of silent men pushing forward very slowly.

A few yards from the enemy main line of resistance. I almost can't believe it worked ... The hedges to our left appear to have sunken the terrain a bit. Combined with the crops in the field, we were spared the enemy's iron sights.

At this point we made it to the enemy line. We are at their right flank. The enemy positions are beyond that hedgerow line (white iron sight symbol) 

We approached the enemy very slowly. The first Pak 40 came into sight and was dispatched immediately.

Murphy's law of combat says "if everything is going well ..."  This is this a dozen seconds after I messed up. I order my men to deploy on a line to maximize the amount of firepower I would put on the close assault. Some of the men moved out of my sight and into the open field. Three dead, three injured.

This is me trying to put some order into the firefight. It is a very confused affair so far. I can't even make where we are being shot from.

But there was only one way out of this bad spot and that was forward. The M1 Thompson proved to be quite brilliant during the close assault. 
Another battlefield hazard that I was not expecting was our own grenades. My squadies made too much liberal use of them and I was almost injured in more than one occasion. By now, another man was injured and my two remaining team mates are running out of ammo (orange icons).
We work our way along the enemy line of resistance, finishing off the survivors. The Pak 40 that was blocking the road, along with a MG 42 was taken by a grenade throw of mine.
Aftermath of the firefight. Note how well concealed is this MG 42. You can only see it when it is firing at you.

I like the D Day DLC and I enjoyed this custom made mission thoroughly. But I don't know what to make of it from the content perspective. It mesmerized me at times (the tight extremely close combat in Normandy is very well done, the "cling" sound of the M1 carbine when it runs out of ammo) but left me scratching my head at others (the hedgerows are just a line of bushes you can't walk but you can shoot through, maybe a a measure to add playability). For $10.00, I am not complaining. But I would have payed three times for a couple of more maps and US Army mortars.



Johan said...

Have you tried the mod Invasion 1944? It covers the same theater. The latest patch for it was just released, and for a free mod it is just awesome. I haven't tried the D-Day DLC yet, it would be very interresting to see how they both compare.

Anonymous said...

does D Day have the same system requirements as Arma II - ive had so much joy (!!!!!!) trying to optimise Arma II for my pc i just dont want to make it any harder than it has to!

Anthony Mercando said...

The differences between D-Day and I44 are many. I44 has far more diversity in vehicles, soldiers, weapons, aircraft, etc. but they're generally of a lower quality. I44's Omaha island has little to no elevation, something that irritates me to no end--But the D-Day version actually looks like it's a place. The shingle on the beach provides actual cover, the ground harshly slopes upward where the beach ends, the roads cut into the terrain and provide defilades, etc. And while the sounds are nothing to write home about, I think the D-Day sounds are better than I44's. At least the Thompson definitely is.

As far as optimization, you can't really optimize Iron Front. You can try, but their terms with Bohemia restrict modding, meaning you can't adjust your view distance, map grid, etc. to lower the load on your PC. If you can play Arma 2 well, you'll be fine.

Nice entry, JC. Dog Company put up a server for IFL and a few of us are working on missions to play. Perhaps we can host a night and you can join us?

Johan said...

Thanks, Anthony! Seems like the DLC is really worth the low price then. I might get it, but I am expecting the Arma 3 Community Alpha to be released very soon, so maybe I will just skip it.

For those of you not following the latest Arma 3 news: The Community Alpha (initially with just a small island available, equivalent to Utes in Arma 2) was planned to be released early December, but got pushed into 2013. But that means everything should be pretty much ready, just some more polishing needed. So, it should come out very soon, I don't think we will have to wait several months into 2013 for it.

Jayson Ng said...

I noticed that in Iron Front, the gun crews and also MG crews stick to their heavy weapons and only shoot at anything that moves in front of them. This means that when you flank them, they will not react to your presence and stick to their stations... making them easy targets.

Anthony Mercando said...

Jayson, that's true of just about any game running the engine Arma uses. They'd only disembark the CSW if set by a trigger or by custom scripting. It'd be tough to set up.

Anonymous said...

i have been inspired by the posts here over the last few years to jump feet first into the game - i have recently bought Arma2, arrowhead and the British Forces, and as JC suggested, just dabble in the editor and make some bad guys - take the rest from there - does Iron Front/Normandy have the same functionality with the editor? Pick some good guys, place some bad guys and see how it turns out?

Jayson Ng said...

Undercovergeek. If you are lazy and want to play a big, coorindated, battle. Checkout It's an online tool to script simple battles.

Anonymous said...

cheers Jayson but i much prefer JC's way of adding a few scripts, adding a squad of baddies and playing it out - just wondered if the editor in normandy was the same as Arma's

Jayson Ng said...

Same but it lacks some fancy modules from ARMA.