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Using Smoke Effectively

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  • Using Smoke Effectively

    When bullets start flying and smoke grenades thrown, most people toss one or two at their feet. While most things in life are situational, usually you want to throw your smoke grenade towards the bad guys. Here's why:

    Imagine you have two opposing four-man fireteams. They both have a clear visual sight line to each other and around their teams. They exchange fire, and BLUFOR needs to conceal themselves before they can move. Sometimes, this will happen:

    The straight lines represent the furthest inward that each fireteam can see when looking at the smoke. They're effectively each fireteam's blind spot. Here are some reasons why this is a mistake.

    1. Notice how BLUFOR's blind spot is much bigger than OPFOR's. This means OPFOR has a better view of the battlefield and their situational awareness is better than yours, thus you've shot yourself in the foot.
    2. BLUFOR can't move far without breaking concealment, thus needing another smoke grenade.
    3. Throwing a smoke grenade on your position marks you as a target. As unintuitive as this may seem at first, consider what happens when an AI throws smoke right in front of him. Most people call it out over squad net, and that area gets heavily suppressed, and the AI is very likely to be killed by stray rounds. Not what you want.

    Here is what should have been done:

    Now the tables have turned. All the aforementioned benefits afforded to the enemy are now yours. However, we all know that wind plays a factor mor often than not, and it can be pretty annoying. What you may not know is that wind can be your best friend when you're considering tossing a smoke grenade, but it's situational, meaning the benefit of wind is dependent on its direction of travel. Preferably, wind should be traveling perpendicular to your facing in a firefight. Here's why:

    It's impossible to determine wind speed/direction in Arma without using smoke grenades, so the first one is thrown with the assumption that there is no wind. However, in this scenario, the wind pulls the smoke along the battlefield in a favorable direction. If you haven't guessed already, here's how to take advantage:

    Simply toss another one further to the left. As you can see, the blind spot this creates for OPFOR is massive. Faced with this, OPFOR has a few options: A) Fall back and reorganize, B) Push through the smoke and re-engage, C) Shoot blindly through the smoke, or D) Do nothing and wait for the smoke to pass. Either way, BLUFOR has the advantage. You are now free to move to wherever you need to go. Just remember that smoke is temporary and once thrown, you need to act. Therefor it seems pertinent to have a plan before you use smoke.

    Here is a quick animation that puts it all together.
    |TG-189th| Unkl
    ArmA 3 Game Officer
    Dean of Tactical Gamer University
    189th Infantry Brigade Member
    "We quickly advance in the opposite direction and take cover in a house on the SW side of town." - BadStache

  • #2
    Great post.

    Current ARMA Development Project: No Current Project

    "An infantryman needs a leader to be the standard against which he can judge all soldiers."

    Friend of |TG| Chief


    • #3
      The one caveat I'd like to add is that until the first smoke is popped there's no way to tell which way the wind is blowing. It doesn't really effect how smoke is used, but you should be aware that you may need to readjust your throws as you go along.

      "WARNING: Don't let me throw frags!"




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