Welcome to the Australian Online Combat Battalion website
FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Anniversary, Update en-route, Firing from Vehicles
Last Friday, September 12th 2014, was Arma 3's one year anniversary (casually ignoring the public Alpha and Beta phases)! As a modest celebration, we hosted another livestream session. Producer Matthew Lightfoot had prepared a military operation for various volunteer community players and groups to tackle. Designer Nelson Duarte assumed the role of Zeus and curated the experience. And there was cake! Once again we would like to express our appreciation for everybody playing Arma 3. It's been a good year, the game is doing well and together we're improving it - with official additions and user-made mods.
One such addition, coming in Arma 3 Helicopters, was first teased at the end of the livestream: the CH-67 Huron twin-engine tandem rotor heavy-lift helicopter. It will cater to large aerial troop movements as well as heavier external cargo transport. Special cargo containers also broaden support and logistics opportunities, by quickly bringing ammunition, fuel, repair and medical resupplies across large distances. We would not ourselves classify the design as 'stealth'. While advances in engineering bring improved rotor blades, reduced heat signatures and some radar-defeating shapes - this beast is certainly too large and loud to hide effectively.
The continued multiplayer investigation has finally yielded some promising results. Our programmers have gone through detailed logs from internal and community sessions on special profiling servers, and identified several problems. A 1.30 hotfix containing fixes and optimizations is being tested, and will also be available on the Steam Release Candidate branch soon (no access code will be required). If broader testing proves this version does indeed work better, we'll push it to main branch.
Community member .kju [PvPscene] has posted a collection of references on tweaking the Advanced Flight Model for helicopters. Please do note that we will be updating to a newer RotorLib version ahead of release, which will require some changes. When Arma 3 Helicopters is released, all stock official helicopters will be configured for this model, as will the new helicopters. User-made helicopters will need to be configured as this is not be done automatically (it's too complex). The official helicopters should cover a broad range of aircraft and provide a good starting point for modders. Another great guide was submitted by KingScuba. It appears to still be a work-in-progress, but already covers some useful tips and tactics for attack helicopter pilots.
The third big feature we're focusing on during development of Arma 3 Helicopters is, of course, Firing from Vehicles. We are getting very close to having a version ready for Dev-Branch. Hopefully by the end of this week, you'll be able to try the feature for an initial batch of prepared vehicles (e.g. the MH-9 with benches and the offroad car). This is a feature that will require specific configuration and animation work per vehicle, so we cannot just enable it for all vehicles. We're doing our best to deliver backwards compatibility. If you had been using one of these vehicles in your scenarios, they should not break because a standard passenger seat has been upgraded to one that allows for firing of personal weapons. In the first version there will be a couple of known issues that we're working on, but it will be good to get the technology in the game for feedback.
Our website now contains a troubleshooting page with information about the Arma 3 Launcher. There are several third-party distributables that the application requires. Steam should install these automatically, but in case it does not, this is where you can find them. Some people also experience other compatibility issues between their OS, hardware and the launcher. Several work-arounds and diagnostic modes are presented on the page. We're interested in finding out exactly what PC set-ups cause these issues, so please post details to Feedback Tracker if you're affected.
Check out this unofficial guide on tweaking performance of the game. Player Terminus goes over several categories of tweaks to try to make the game run better on your own computer. As the author indicates, please be careful with some of the more advanced tips (e.g. overclocking) as they may cause damage.
Last night saw OCB land discretely on the shores of Altis to neutralise a Russian held military base and radar facility. As we arrived in submersibles our equipment was sadly lacking for the task. M4 rifles and a few satchel charges to take out a large, active Russian infantry force backed by helicopter transport and armoured vehicles. The element of surprise would be the key.
Moving in platoon formation the plan was to use the element of surprise to quickly gain the initiative. Unfortunately contact was taken from intensive Russian infantry patrols. Sections went firm and dealt with contacts as they could.
Charlie treating wounded under fire, if you look up the hill you can see enemy flash lights searching for us while an enemy grenade lands behind a tree.
Firing into the glare of an enemy flash light.
Without linked ammo, fire suppression was extremely difficult, however our advantage was optics. Using NVGs we could PID and engage targets while the enemy were forces to use flash lights to try to find us.
After moving into position in the high ground Bravo provided covering fire while Charlie and Delta made their assault.
One team covers while the other moves to clear the compound of the Russian military base.
After clearing the military base the platoon swiftly moved off towards the radio dome, our primary target for the night.
During our move we successfully avoided contact until we were within 1000m of the objective, after which point a close contact with a patrol was initiated with a hasty ambush.
A hasty ambush was conducted on a patrolling section heading down the road, within 100m.
After the ambush was successfully completed contacts started errupting from all sides as the enemy transmitted our position and other patrols zero'd in on the platoon.
An enemy position contacts us to the rear, firing upon Delta. Command moves in from the right flank.
The Command Team flank and eliminate the two man position with rifle fire, followed by grenades.
Once the contacts were dealt with we broke contact and moved to the vicinity of the objective with the same execution in mind. Sections would use opposing peaks to lay down covering fire while another section lead the assault with grenades and riflefire.
Setting an OP over the radar dome.
Reports came in of a patrol heading down the left flank of the platoon. 0-A looked over the ridge to locate the patrol and was greeted with this sight:
An enemy eight man patrol casually walking right up on the Platoon.
A section assaults up the hill to the Radar Complex.
After hectic firefights that included counter attacks from patrols called in from the surrounding region the platoon finally took the complex.
Radar Dome destroyed: Mission Accomplished
Last night OCB shipped out to 29 Palms and conducted training course TR202 - Grenades
Featuring ARMA Extended modes:
- High throw
- Precise throw
- Drop (not used)
- Roll (not used)
Using grenades the teams cleared the enemies and breached the embankment moving to designated buildings for room clearance.
Grenades were deployed through windows and doors and over roof tops to clear the enemies out.
Due to the fragmentation and concussive blast the OPFOR never stood a chance.
The black (killed) icons show the effectiveness of the Grenade training exercise.
Sunday night saw the return to Reshmaan for part 3 of our operation there. I (Lyndiman) took on the platoon leader role (callsign: Zero-Alpha).
We had two UH-1Y transport/support helicopters, X-Ray 1 & 2, fully crewed and 3 maneuver squads on the ground.
Our task was pretty simple, land, clear towns of insurgents, locate weapons caches and destroy them. This led to a lot of air/ground interface for support fire from their miniguns and also pick ups and drop offs.
It was a long night but the time spent preparing paid off with no KIA taken (this is a no-respawn game, once your dead, you are relegated to spectator mode to cheer on the enemy).
The mission itself didn’t really end with a climatic battle so I threw in a musical montage instead. Now that we have a bit more records keeping going on I can also include credits! Accuracy may not be 100% though.
Thanks to Knight for mission making and the NCO's for keeping it all together.