|2012-07-07||Bridge crossings obscured by smoke screens, immediate insight in the generated plan, and Operation Frenchpoint units|
In today's update, I am providing something extra for attackers having to cross a bridge in their advance: artillery delivered smoke screens. These smoke screens obscure the attacker's moves across the bridge. The smoke screens make a successful attack more likely even with the defender explicitly defending bridges (as of the previous update).
If the attacking team has an artillery unit able fire smoke or WP, this unit is ordered to fire an obscuring smoke screen to ease crossing a bridge under fire. Smoke screens are being fired after the preparatory artillery strikes on the objective, if any.
The (AI) artillery unit will fire a smoke curtain on the far side of the bridge, by firing smoke or WP shells perpendicular to the bridge and some 20 to 80m apart (depending on the wind direction). This is done repeatedly, since smoke shells provide smoke for less than a minute and the smoke cloud takes time to build. The smoke screen is maintained for a period of about 8 minutes. The smoke screen will be 50 to 300m wide, depending on the number of guns and the wind direction. (Smoke screen calculations are based on WWII British Artillery Corps documents).
For now, PlannedAssault will solely generate smoke screens orders for missions involving bridge attacks and targeting Arma2 (base, OA, CO); effectively this means missions with attacks across bridges on the Zernovo and Faysh-Khabur maps.
This update brings another improvement: immediate insight in the generated plan for the player's side, on the 'generated mission' screen. There, the same information is given that would otherwise first be seen as part of the in-game mission briefing. The generated plan doesn't go in much detail, but indicates the transport assignment and how fire support is being employed (whether artillery is within range to provide the necessary support).
One of the screen shots in this update provides a nice example of such a generated plan. Having the plan information available should help quicker round-trips while tweaking a mission.
For the A2:OA and A2:CO games, I've replaced the Hexagon add-on entries by the corresponding Operation Frenchpoint (OFrP) add-on units. Operation Frenchpoint is the successor add-on for Hexagon, adds A2:OA features, and includes all the Hexagon units and a bunch of additional units. Especially impressive are the CAESAR mobile guns (which aren't available for selection in PlannedAssault until the Operation Frenchpoint add-on team provides ballistics for the CAESAR's ammo).
Finally, I've included a script in generated Arma2 missions that configures tank crew to remain in their tanks if these get immobilized. This behavior is available from Arma2 1.60 onwards, and results in an innocent error message if you haven't upgraded to that version.