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Attack on Arcadia -- Oct 12

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  • Attack on Arcadia -- Oct 12

    This is an informal report on the attack on Arcadia that took place Sunday night between 20:00-00:00 (midinight) on Sunday, October 12, by Platoon Leader E-Male.

    Time to mission completion: 2:15

    Alpha SL: Beta
    Bravo SL: Barnacle of Doom

    Air Transport and Attack: Dyslexci and Esca (sp?)

    (FTMs names not recorded -- sorry -- but total platoon strength approx 14 men).

    We rolled out in two large boats with air support. Enemy was spotted prior to landing but not engaged until all units made landfall. One boat provided firecover as the first made landfall North East of Arcadia. Enemy squad to the South East was then engaged and eliminated.

    Beta demonstrated excellent initiative in organizing the squad into two fireteams, with one gaurding the South West flank towards Arcadia as the second fireteam engaged the enemy squad to the East.

    As ranks swelled with incoming members I requested Barnacle of Doom to form another squad, Bravo. Alpha was sent to overwatch position north of Arcadia and Bravo to their South East.

    All went well as Alpha and Bravo acquired the 1st opjective, buildings in the very north end of the city. The second stage of the attack was less well managed by myself, with my loosing a clear sit rep of Alpha's position and context as they moved further south into enemy territory.

    This second stage of the attack was in many ways a disaster, with Bravo in a weak position to support Alpha. Within moments I lost both Alpha and Bravo SLs, and the entire platoon was reduced to 4 men. The responsibility for this rests entirely on my own shoulders.

    While this map presented interesting tactical challenges, the lack of multiple squads made comms difficult. Incoming new recruits, while very welcomed, also challanged my ability to maintain sit rep, as did a frequent need to keep very new players in line at the base vis a vis chopper use and roll out. Here I erred by not tasking air transport with full responsibility with maintaining discipline at the base vis a vis new joiners. Admitedly, this may not have been the best option, as the process would have limited my use of Air Attack and further cluttered comms.

    It is noteworthy that once they were clearly commanded, new recruits did their best to fall in line.

    I regret not being more creative in my use of Dsylexci's position as a second pilot. I did not give consideration to the possible transportation of armour into the engagement. I also could have used air to ferret out enemy emplacements within the city.

    Note to ALL pilots -- get your TG teamspeak (TS) confirgured asap. In future I will only use pilots that have TG TS available so that they may move into the ArmA command channel. The use of TG's TS Arma Command channel is now an absolute requirement for all command elements within my platoon.

    That we were so quickly decimated upon entering the city itself is fairly damning.

    SLs please report on what went wrong and what could have been done better (I am not looking for blame...).

    Again, I am very grateful for the opportunity to lead, something I do not take lightly as everyone's enjoyment of the game depends on the ability of team leaders and group cohesion.

  • #2
    Re: Attack on Arcadia -- Oct 12

    This is what I saw as the MH-6 pilot.

    As we prepared for the mission, at the slot selection screen, I volunteered to lead the air element. The slots were unnamed, so I picked the lead one, and decided that I would hop into the AH-6 at the start of the mission and do some CAS. The idea was to have the infantry move in via boats, with myself in the AH-6 providing overwatch. A moment before the mission started, another player hopped on and proclaimed that he was taking the AH-6, despite being junior (in in-game 'rank'/leadership) and only having just then hopped onto the server (not to mention that the slots did not assign people to specific aircraft - presumably it was intended to be up to the air leader). I didn't fight this, but it was very frustrating to see happen. I'm not one to take the fun away from another player (and thus didn't push the point), but I was not pleased to see that "Me! Me! Me!" behavior from that guy, without consideration. Frustrating. It reminded me of the behavior of HELLFIRE in a previous session, which isn't a terribly flattering thing to say.

    As the infantry moved out in their boats, it seemed like CAS was still floating around at the base, vs overwatching them as planned. I don't know what caused this, but it could have turned ugly if anything on the shore had engaged the boats. Fortunately, AFAIK, that did not happen. I stayed with my MH-6 at base, with two late-joining infantry people hanging on my skids. CAS was called in at one point, made a run, then backed off from shore by a considerable distance at the request of the infantry. After a bit I was cleared to go in and land troops. The LZ was deemed secure, and since we had an AH-6 acting as CAS, I assumed that it was secure enough that a low approach would be uncontested. I came in low and suddenly came under fire from what was likely a BMP - definitely not a clear LZ, and I wondered why the AH-6 hadn't seen that previously. As we were getting shot up, I pulled further south and evaded as best I could. The helo was losing fuel rapidly at this point and smoking badly - I looked left and then right, confirming that both of the passengers were still alive. I then landed about 500 meters or more south of the planned LZ, still under some inaccurate fire, and made the hasty decision to try to get back to base before fuel drained completely. Unfortunately for me this occurred a bit too soon, and the helo went down in the ocean midway back. I kept to "Dead men tell no tales" rules by habit, so I'm not sure how long it was before the rest of the group knew the helo was down. I had to leave at this point and did not get to see how the rest of the mission played out.

    I don't see much reference to the AH-6 in your post, E-Male - what happened to it?

    As to helos carrying vehicles - I tried that with the Blackhawk and could see no options to allow for it. I'm not sure how you would accomplish that in the mission.

    The lessons I saw on the air side were:
    1. If you're joining a vehicle group as a non-group-leader, and your vehicle role is not explicitly stated at the briefing screen, it's good manners to ask your group leader for a vehicle assignment instead of declaring what you're going to do without any sort of command decision.
    2. CAS should communicate the presence of enemy air defense to transport aircraft. I knew that the AH-6 was engaged by ground fire at one point (based on communications from the SL, IIRC), but never heard anything more after that. As a backup, the "boots on the ground" guys should automatically consider an LZ dangerous if they see a CAS aircraft become engaged while supporting their position. Had I known, I would have landed much further south, and the MH-6 would have remained in play.
    3. Patience is nice to have. One of the skid-riders I had at the airfield was getting very impatient after waiting maybe 5-10 minutes to head to the LZ. Nobody is going to be left out of the fight in such a scenario - you'll get your turn when it comes. Showing patience helps keep the PltCo/SL/FTL focused and prevents them from being "peer pressured" into making a hasty, unwise decision that expedites things at the cost of getting people shot.

    I do have a question about SOP on the server. By default, that mission has an extremely short view distance. It's very restrictive for air. In such a situation, assuming that it's not part of the mission design (as in - the mission will not be compromised by changing it), is it ok to increase your own view distance? I would have, but I wasn't sure of the rules for that on the server.


    • #3
      Re: Attack on Arcadia -- Oct 12

      I dont believe increasing your own view distance breaks any SOP and is of course accepted by all as useful for air pilots.


      "What we do in life... echoes in eternity!"


      • #4
        Re: Attack on Arcadia -- Oct 12

        Although not a SL, I was part of Bravo and was there when we were wiped out. There was 3-4 OPFOR infantry laying prone on the hill to our east as we moved down the road. Most armed with PKMs. Vegetation hid them and they were able to ambush us. Our SL Barnacle of Doom and several other members were killed outright. The last two of us were in a poor defensive position and when I moved down the hill further I came into the gun sites of several more and was quickly dispatched.


        • #5
          Re: Attack on Arcadia -- Oct 12

          E-Male, I was a member of Bravo and was taken out shortly before our SL(BarnacleofDoom) was eliminated.

          We were ordered to move to the building that Alpha was at and provide overwatch for them so they could move forward in to the city, but our view of the lower courtyards was hindered because of trees and underbrush. When Alpha started to receive fire from their lower right flank, we couldn't see or do anything unless we moved into that area. When we did I was the first to be hit.

          You would think having the high ground would have been an advantage, but not being able to have clear vision of the lower courts and street proved otherwise to be costly. But hindsite is always 20/20 vision.

          The PL, SL's and all that participated did an outstanding job, besides the outcome.


          • #6
            Re: Attack on Arcadia -- Oct 12

            First of all, thank you Dslyecxi for the very informative reply to my call for comments.

            All of your points are noteworthy. A few thoughts:

            1) I failed to take notice of your stepping up as head of Air. In future, section heads, please do not hesitate to inform the PL if someone has usurped your leadership. I failed to assign a head of Air and to hear your original request (or recognize the nature of your choice) -- chalk this up to my ArmA inexperience. A very important lesson here for myself as PL. I will always note who is head of Air in future (I use written notes to keep track of objectives, section heads, and such...).

            2) Handling the air command is one of my weakest areas (very little experience as yet). You comments raise some important points and I am making my way through your ArmA TTP text and will focus on the issue of Air Command asap.

            3) The AH-6 pilot was unfamiliar with comm SOPs, which further degraded the overall mission. I find every time I have a unknown (to me) pilot it leads to complications. Such pilots are often either overly eager or unaware of comm SOPs, which significantly degrades the mission. In future I wil operate with known pilots or none at all. As noted in a related post, in future all pilots will be required to have TG teamspeak enabled or they will be declined the role.

            4) Air and armour positions are often high kill and thus often highly sought out. As you note, the proper use of these positions often requires patience -- long periods of hurry up and wait. Unfortunately, these positions also attract some of the less mature run and gun types. This is yet one more reason why such positions must be filled with great care. I will endeavour to exercise more wisdom when acceoting requests for such positions in the future.

            Feedback from command elements is critical to professional development and the general quality of teamplay in Arma. I deeply appreciate all input from all players in these post-game analysis.



            • #7
              Re: Attack on Arcadia -- Oct 12

              Insertion was relatively normal, occurring at grid ref EB 74. We were split up into two teams by which boat we were on, and the team that I was on was assigned to watch SE from Hill 22, EC 74. Some hostile contacts – a patrol – were noted further SE of our location. We did not engage until

              Originally posted by Dslyecxi View Post
              I then landed about 500 meters or more south of the planned LZ, still under some inaccurate fire
              We moved southeast while the other squad moved in to cover our rear from Hill 22. Some hostiles were engaged, and our two comrades in arms were recovered safely. Shortly after returning to Hill 22, we moved north, keeping Hill 54 between us and the objective. E-Male set up a command point in grid ref EB 69, and I was asked to take over Bravo at point ‘A’ on the map.

              I am sorry to say that I do not recall all the members, although strength was generally four to six. We saw and reported an enemy patrol moving west along the east-west road. Per E-Male, we moved south to engage the enemy, ending up at point ‘B’ – Hill 54. The black arrow indicates general direction of fire as we engaged multiple hostiles. After approximately five minutes, we were ordered to move out to point ‘C’ – grid ref DJ 69 – to support A Squad as they moved in. Due to intervening terrain (marked by a large green ‘X’), we did not have very good contact with Alpha. During this time, we engaged several hostiles S and WSW of our position. We moved out to better support Alpha by moving towards point ‘D’ along the marked route. This movement took around ten minutes and was actually completed in two different segments, which are represented by the dogleg in the movement line. The first segment was quite uneventful, and ended up with Bravo getting a good overwatch from the buildings at Hill 40 (DH/DI 69). We then started to move down to support Alpha’s left flank, where (point ‘D’) we were ambushed by remnants of a squad that had been in defilade during our movement from ‘C’ to ‘D’.

              I don’t know too much about the rest of the engagement.

              I do want to make a better effort in future to ensure that my squad/fire team has a good chain of command going in case they suddenly find themselves without a SL/FTL.



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