Tuesday, October 1, 2013

ArmA 3 - The Slammer Tank and the Ultimate Mechanized Infantry

According to ArmA 3 manual's the fictional M2A1 "Slammer" is a licensed version of an Israeli tank (a Merkava I suppose, based on the looks) that is all the rage in the western world.

Boasting a nasty 120 mm main gun plus a coaxial gun, the amenities of the Slammer include seating for 6 infantry men (?!). That and some sort of super-duper engineering/design technology that allows it to pack all of the above in a frame almost as nimble as a WWII Stuart tank. Today I took my infantry squad, mounted it in a Slammer and we went against an enemy strongpoint. This is a custom-made scenario that I played solo.

A dismounted recon (*) from our initial position, a bit back on the road shown here (#). From my recon position, I could observe an enemy patrol moving around the arrow in the left. Two bunkers (center and right arrows) dominate the main road approach to the village. I can hear some enemy armor, but I can't spot it. There is a cut in the terrain (red arrowhead), possibly a riverbed, that can be a great infantry fighting position.

Mounted up in the slammer, my squad is on point/assault team. The other tank and two infantry squads will alternate fire support and security roles during the assault.
My platoon (1st platoon: 2 tanks, 3 infantry squads) is the left flank of a company-sized force tasked with neutralizing the enemy position.The attack plan is simple: all platoons forward, with the 1st and 2nd pushing into the depth of the enemy position. 

Mounted infantry. The space inside the Slammer is quite small. 
I move the tank forward very slowly towards a hull down position and the amount of targets is shocking. This one is a priority (an enemy AT missile launcher).
This bunker and the enemy infantry around it fell to the coaxial gun rounds.
A great hull down position and the barking of the coaxial gun.
We move just a few meters and a new target appears. In this case an enemy T-100. Just a few rounds put it out of commission. 
Pieces of metal bouncing or flying off the hull of the enemy T-100.
We soon engage a second enemy T-100. The tank crew can be seen running away from the destroyed tank.
A few more rounds in and the T-100 starts burning.
The first T-100 we destroyed, seen through the gunner's sight.
We advance slowly, scanning the horizon no less than twice before rolling out. In this picture, we just spotted an enemy bunker. The alternating fire of the main and the coax guns ... The enemy infantry falling back in panic. It's exhilarating. My initial plan of dismounting in the river bed is disregarded and we push forward.
There is no place to hide for the enemy infantry. They are in disarray by now ...
My two other infantry squads follow our lead in trail, cleaning up any enemy remnants.

My mounted squad and the second tank are some 70 yards ahead of the other two infantry squads. These two squads are ordered to stand by at the river bed. They will transition into a follow and support mission once I have my first mounted squad near the built up area.
With the mounted squad, we made it to the outskirts of the small town. It's time to disembark and prepare for the final cleanup of the enemy position.
As soon as we start moving towards the center of the town, we spot friendly infantry in front of us. The other platoon has succeeded penetrating the enemy position. A few parting shots from leaderless enemy infantry men and the scenario is over.
The Slammer delivered quite a performance in this scenario. Defeated enemy armor, infantry-based AT systems and transported infantry right into the spot where infantry close support was needed. It was like a cold-war theoretician's dream on mechanized infantry.



RangerX3X said...

Great post. With such a beefed up piece of armor, does it or any other vehicle in the game implement any active protection system such as Trophy or Quick Kill?

Doug Miller said...

Interesting! I've been cautious about buying this due to the fictional setting and weapons systems. This looks pretty engaging however.

I've often thought that the idea of merging the concepts of MBT and IFV would make a lot of sense on the modern, post-Cold War battlefield and wondered why no one other than the Israelis seem terribly interested. Might be fun to play around with!

Mike said...

Interesting looking mission.

How did you manage the infantry platoons? Just give them waypoints? If so, which kind?

Its a shame that the High Command module is barely functioning. Or missions like these could be interesting, and the command and control would be something like Steel Beasts or Combat Mission...yes i'm suggesting using ArmA as an RTS...

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JC said...

Hi Mike,

The other platoons were out of my command and given waypoints activated by an Alpha radio call, so I could preserve some sort of synchronization.


There are plus and minuses with this ArmA version. In the end is all about what you make of it. :)


I don't think the armor part is at that level right now. But at least it takes a tank's main gun to take out other tank, as opposed to the .50 cal tank kills we had in ArmA 2.