2013-08-15 More modern French units (OFrP), and all News labeled Zoom

I just hit a new record, having defined 419 different teams, sections, platoons for a single mod (Operation Frenchpoint, abbreviated OFrP). With their update version 3.2, OFrP again introduced dozens of special and unique units that make great Arma2 missions, with camouflage variants to match virtually any theater.

Leclerc and French rifle man in a hot zone (Arma2)

French infantry providing combat aid (Arma2)

French ghillie topped sniper/spotter pair (Arma2)

Few add-ons pack more artillery than OFrP, with their LFI 51mm 'equipe feu' mortar (50m-500m), the LLR 81mm (0.1km-3.7km), the heavy RT-61 120mm mortar (1.4km-7.8km) and the CAESAR mobile gun system (4.1km-9.0km). All supported for PlannedAssault missions.

Special forces are available as part of the army (Armee de Terre), such as the COS (CE and Daguet camo), the 13RDP long-range reconnaissance) and as part of the air force (Armee de l'Air), as the CPA10 paratroopers. OFrP also brings several snipers, both in full ghillie and in ghillie tops.

The screen shots show what OFrP's units can do for your PlannedAssault mission.

Two French LRRPs from the 13RDP (Arma2)

CAESAR battery lit up by their own fire (Arma2)

French RT-61 120mm mortar team (Arma2)

Today's second improvement consists of all news entries being labeled. The labels underneath each news entry enable you to quickly find related news entries, for hints and tips, popular 'islands', examples of cool (scripted) unit configurations or tactical improvements to the mission planner.

A 'tag cloud' of all labels is available here.

Two naval Rafale M's flying over Tropica (Arma2)

VBLs and Leclercs in desert camo (Arma2)

Dutch air force C-130H dropping parachutists (Arma2)

On a final note, I've also updated the unit database to version 3.0beta of the Dutch Armed Forces mod. Although very few new units were added, the unit database again reflect the add-on's latest class names.





2012-07-07 Bridge crossings obscured by smoke screens, immediate insight in the generated plan, and Operation Frenchpoint units Zoom

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.

Artillery delivered smoke screen starting (Arma2)

Artillery delivered smoke screen fully built (Arma2)

US Marine advancing across smoke obscured bridge (Arma2)

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.

French Tigre with HAD load-out near smoke covered bridge (Arma2)

The generated plan provided as feedback (Arma2)

French AMX10 R-CR on far side of obscured bridge (Arma2)

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.

French AMX10 R-CR and VBCI stuck on bridge (Arma2)

A platoon of CAESAR mobile guns deployed on line (Arma2)

OFrP's Close-up of the control system for the CAESAR gun (Arma2)

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.


Have fun!



2011-01-03 New year, new terrain, new units Zoom

Now supported: Zargabad's city area from Operation Arrowhead (for Arma2:OA and Arma2:CO). Not only does Zargabad offer beautiful scenery, it also plays beautifully. The city offers space to maneuver, and is well understood by the game's AI.

I've made a few subtle adjustments to the mission planner to better handle city fighting: attacking forces now attempt to seize smaller objective areas, and employ narrow formations when the terrain does not offer much space.

Exa HMMWVs near Zargabad

CAAT team with crew in mixed BDU/DCU advancing to Zargabad

Zargabad city as seen by Cobra gunships

A mixed BDU/DCU crew mounting a HMMWV

LAVs and dismounts under fire

HMMWVs fighting near down town Zargabad

As part of the update, the following add-ons are now supported for A2 and A2:CO: ExplosiveAids & Stiltman's HMMWVs (for A2, A2CO) and Aeneas2020's USMC variants (reskins of Arma2's USMC in mixed BDU/DCU and DCU camo).

I've also added unit definitions for desert HMMWVs crewed by 2003 era mixed BDU/DCU camo marines (select the "USMC Variety Pack in HMMWVs" mod for A2:CO).

French air landing with Rafale air cover

French Rafale B strike fighter having already fired some missiles

Puma SA-330 'gunships'

Finally, the recent additions to Hexagon's Air and Water pack have been reflected in the unit database, with new entries for the Rafale C fighter, Rafale D strike-fighter and Puma SA-330 Pirate gunship.


The update bumps the versions for the web UI to 1.47 and for the planner to 1.55.



2010-11-28 ADuke's special Blackhawk variants, Hexagon ISAF, FELIN and Milan units Zoom

Now available for use in generated missions: ADuke's US Army and Air Force special variants of the UH-60 Blackhawk. The helicopters look impressive, and are great for air landings. One warning: although the helicopters are capable of fast-roping, this ability cannot be used unless a human pilot is performing the landing. The reason for this is that Arma2 AI currently cannot properly hover and stay in position while under fire or when part of a group of helicopters (see this bug).

French FELIN equipped soldier

French Milan launcher deployed

160th SOAR MH-60K ERFS heli inserting T1 units

The French infantry and COS unit templates have been updated to reflect additions and changes to HEXAgon's Characters & Weapons Pack: ISAF and FELIN teams were added, as well as Milan anti-tank launcher teams (for Arma2:OA and Arma2:CO only).

The Milan teams are composed of a team leader, Milan tripod carrier and Milan tube/ammo carrier. The Arma2 AI by itself is not able to autonomously deploy the launcher, but you as team commander can do so as follows: (1) order the Milan tripod carrier to the Milan's intended position, (2) order the Milan tripod carrier to unload the tripod, (3) order the Milan ammo carrier to assemble the Milan launcher, and finally (4) order the Milan ammo carrier to man the Milan.


Another change: in generated missions, the radio is now made visible on the map screen. This might come in handy when you want to call in artillery (and have placed artillery units in the mission).