Friday, May 31, 2013

ArmA 3 Alpha - Vidales, Agia Marina and The Theory of Special Operations - Part 1

This two entries could be of interest if you play ArmA 2 or ArmA 3 because missions are frequently themed around special operation forces or tactical situations where David (your team) confronts Goliath (an enemy with all the odds in his favor).

Part 1 of this two entries series is how my team and me rescued Vidales. Part 2 will be a short discussion of the mission in the context of the Theory of Special Operations.

A while ago, I edited this ArmA 3 mission named "The Rescue of Agent Vidales". A SOF team has to rescue an intelligence operator (Vidales) stuck in the middle of a village controlled by Iranian forces. Vidales is hidden in his house and the mission objectives includes destroying his truck, which has intelligence gear hidden in it. The tactical situation map, and some briefing details follow.

Right click and open in a new tab/window for a better view. The tactical situation, map view
Right click and open in a new tab/window for a better view. Briefing.

Right click and open in a new tab/window for a better view. The mission.

Right click and open in a new tab/window for a better view. Support.
I played this mission to exhaustion, with very low success rates. I tried several insertion points, near or at Agia Marina's beach. I tried wearing down the enemy by engaging from a distance and I tried to infiltrate. I would always get caught by the platoon that patrols Agia Marina. When the enemy realized I was in Agia Marina, they would send a quick reaction force platoon from the nearby airbase. Huge firefights ensued, casualties skyrocketed. The few times I survived was by taking Vidales in a wild escape across the fields, using his truck ... Most of the times just the two of us.

The squad I am commanding has no heavy weapons and the fire support I had was either blind (helicopters) or too dangerous to use in the close combat fights I had in Agia Marina (mortars).

Last night, I went for the enemy's jugular.

Insertion by assault boats in the beach west of the airbase (see map above for reference). Yes, this is the airbase where the enemy platoon QRF is located.
Stealthy recon of the airbase, trying to find a path to the motor pool park where the intel identified some abandoned MPTVs.
The dense fog was an asset to remain undetected but a liability for a speedy recon. Very slow approach towards the motor pool park.
Bumped into enemy troops (mid background, within the fog).

Called mortar support fire upon the enemy.

The mortar fire caught them in the open, probably assembling for a patrol mission. The weather is improving.
The motor park had indeed MPTVs, but the thing I was looking for is firepower, not mobility.

Moving through the airbase. Plenty of enemy remnants, quickly dispatched by the vehicle-mounted HMG or by the dismounted infantry.
Moved slowly towards Agia Marina. Engaged many enemy forces from hundreds of meters thanks to the wonderful targeting system of the HMG.
The Hunter MPTV's gun in the front of the column and the accompanying infantry, now inside Agia Marina. Vidales truck is in a garage, right in front of the Hunter. The enemy pressed us hard, but was not able to synchronize its efforts (i.e. attack from several directions simultaneously). Thus, we were able to engage one enemy team at a time. The lack of concern about the QRF we mauled at the airbase was quite a change from my previous attempts at this mission.

A small team (MGunner and me) moving out to find Vidales in his house.
Yeah, yeah. Stop bitching and start moving ...
I should have brought more people to this rendezvous. The enemy kept showing from seemingly every crack of the walls.
We took Vidales truck so we could blow it in a more quiet place.
On our way back toward the beach where we left the assault boats, an enemy team attacked us with small arms fire. The enemy was neutralized quickly, but in all the nervousness the driver of Vidales' truck hit the rocks in the road side. A tire is complete gone. In this condition the truck will slow us down ...
... So let's blow it.
Another mission objective achieved!
No enemy forces found in our way back to the airbase. The assault boats are there waiting for us.
I had some issues loading all the team members into the boat (probably a mission-editing glitch), but I consider that we made it in one piece to the assault boats, with Vidales in good health and that the mission was over.

In the next entry: the theory of special operations and how it applies or not to this successful outcome.



Gowan James Ditchburn said...

very interesting. good work on that mission as well. I always try and acquire more vehicles for support it makes the mission easier if I have to move through open country and if the vehicles can get high up and look down over an urban environment they prove very useful indeed.

especially if the vehicle you started the mission with begins to run out of ammo

badanov said...

It looks like Arma 3 will improve on the civilian AI?

JC said...

Hi Gowan,
Yes. Vehicle mounted weapons tend to abandon me at the most inconvenient times!
Hi badanov,
I don't know about that. Where did you read it?