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Pretty cool stuff…. Arma possibilities….

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Caught a few videos  of you guys YouTube  and was impressed with the realism.

I’m a retired 11A (IRL). 1st ID where I led an Abrams PLT and BN mortars and 4/25 IBCT (ABN) where I did the airborne light infantry thing and a lot of operational planning.

Never played Arma3– but I’ve watched the videos and always thought it was cool. I don’t typically do FPS— I usually stick to grand strategy (hearts of iron 4) but I love simulation games with high realism.  I know the versions you guys play are heavily
Modded but I had a few questions on some realism, if someone could enlighten me:

What’s the mortar IDF like in Arma— can you lay guns and use a mortar ballistic computer, can you direct lay, shoot illum, change fuse types? What’s the call for fire process like?

Are there Risk Estimated Distances for various combinations of rounds/fuse types in game?  I only ask because echelonment of IDF (basically going from big bullets to small bullets as you close width to obj) drove every infantry deliberate attack I ever participated in. I know there are “leadership” positions in Arma… are they controlling that— via like a CP?

I know you can sling load in Arma— since you guys are role playing an air assault battalion— ever thought of building out a Delta Company Heavy Weapons platoon of 1151s and slinging them into an op?

I used to share an office with a UH-60 pilot who was in an air assault unit and one of his favorite missions was to do a “gun raid”— where they sling in artillery to a firing point, shoot off a volley, then sling to another location as a survivability against counter fire or just to increase range — is something like that possible in this game?

Sorry to nerd out.
But from The footage I’ve seen of you guys it rivals any simulation we ever used IRL. I don’t know why the real army isn’t picking up on some of the stuff that’s out there and integrating into their own training. I mean you guys comms traffic sounds pretty on point and map and compass work, the graphical overlays, RPs, topography— all solid— far beyond anything I have seen in any other video game.

Anyway— keep them coming I enjoy the videos you guys are putting out.

TSgt Hardman:
Glad you enjoy what we do. Unfortunately I'm short on time right now so please excuse the slightly short response - feel free to ask follow up questions.

1) we can do everything you list here. In the unit we don't use illum rounds for gameplay reasons but they are round options in the game mechanic. We use either 3 line calls for fire or abbreviated bearing/distance calls for infantry suppression.

2) yes and no. The TACP are aware of the PI% distances and factor it in when calling for fire, but we only use 60mm mortars (or 81mm from the stryker mounted tube). CDE is far more considered from aircraft where we have many more options at our disposal, but still a consideration in mortar land

3) I don't like to say "never" but we use the mortars we use for a wide variety of reasons - gameplay and balance amongst them. I think that "most" players would prefer light weight IDF options so they still get rifle time rather that just sitting in a bunker waiting for a call for fire.

4) entirely possible in-game

Hope that helps and glad you enjoy what we do.

Please feel free to ask follow-ups


TSgt Hardman

@TSGT Hardman

Thanks for the reply—
So sounds like it’s all Doable just some stuff isn’t worth the fun vs realism tradeoff (which I get— waiting, while realistic, kinda sucks).

So, is it always a human to human chain? What I mean is like you have someone playing a JTAC— you would then also need someone playing an A-10 pilot? Is the JTAC limited to assets that are actually being manned by other players or can they be “computer simulated “ for lack of a better term. 

I’ll be honest a lot of this stuff— isn’t real common knowledge among AD unless they’ve been through a pretty intensive (and expensive) live fire train up or been down range.  Sounds like the down range deployments are drying up these days— and even in real
world live fire simulations — I’ve never seen a unit get a basic load of everything ( HE and Javelin rounds tend to be pretty expensive— we usually use a lot of “training” rounds)

My point is, it’s rare to get all the tools you would normally have outside of real combat. And even when you do come close, that maybe be during a CTC rotation or something that comes around once a year or once every other year.

You guys are doing this what? Twice a week? 

How is this not a thing? I mean, I feel like this would be a gold mine training tool for a lot of units sitting around in garrison or a great teaching tool for Doctrine Command or Center for Army Lessons Learned. Even some of the videos you guys are putting together could be a decent training tool if they were distilled down and edited a bit for that purpose—

The army pays big bucks for simulations. They even have a whole MOS dedicated to it. The problem is most of their stuff sucks and is in the Stone Age compared to what you guys are doing with Arma3. Has anyone in the Arma community gone to DoD and been like “hey we got an off the shelf solution in the form of a super realistic combined arms simulation?”

And I get the old school mentality that “video games aren’t real life”, but I call BS. F1 drivers play video games of their races before every race. There was one dude in the news that stole an A/C off the coast of Washington State a few years back and the only flight training he ever had was in a simulator.  There’s not a huge gap between mental visualization and physical execution ( other than being in shape and knowing how to actually manipulate weapons — but that is much easier to teach than tactics and knowing how to synchronize on the battlefield).

But if you guys are doing platoon attacks and integrating CAS and IDF with air assault insertions etc multiple times a week that puts you mentally ions ahead of a lot of real world military units.

SSG Beckett:
I don’t mean to butt in, but I’m just gonna leave THIS here.

TSgt Hardman:
Our supporting fire missions don't always come through the TACP, our Task Force Commander, Platoon HQ and mortar section leadership all have the ability to send missions, under the approval of the TF Commander (who is a Company HQ rep 99% of the time - CO, XO or 1SG). The TACP is there to advise and assist but it's not our role to jump in and micromanage. But yes, it's human-to-human for all our assets.

If we look at the schedule of the standard 11B, they will get together 7 times a month - 4 squad trainings, 1 platoon training and 2 Task Forces. The Task Forces are the only guaranteed all-assets deployment or FTX mission but leadership can request assets attend any other time for the purposes of training. It sure is nice that we don't need to pay for Javelin rounds - but we do consider their value so you'll never see one fired at a target that lesser AT weaponry could eliminate safely.

So the company that makes Arma3, Bohemia Interactive, also make a simulation produce exactly for the purpose of training - it's called Virtual Battle Space (or VBS)

We also have it pretty easy as far as all the supporting fires stuff is concerned - having an A-10 and Apache on loiter only 6km out for the entire patrol is pretty nice haha. Having them as our primary intel collection method in-game also gives us the advantage of not having to describe targets to them for CAS 80-90% of the time - another great timesaver. It varies a bit person-to-person, but personally you won't find me describing a MBT to the A-10 if the A-10 just told me about it - I'll just be giving weapons clearance and any relevant deconfliction.


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