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Real Artillery System Implementation

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  • Real Artillery System Implementation

    In the first phase of the Tactical Gamer ARMA modification pack there is a wonderful addition called Real Artillery which makes alterations to the D-30 and L119 fixed indirect fire support pieces. These adjustments include a display of tangent and elevation for the gunner as well as a fire control computer system accessible through the action menu. At first these mechanisms may seem cumbersome and daunting to the novice user. However, they can vastly improve game play with proper implementation and coordination.

    Obviously I'm no expert on the subject, and the procedures I'm going to express are simply the most efficient and accurate methods I have developed from a relatively limited quantity of testing. My procedures in some cases mimic real military standards, however, they sometimes also make concessions to game play and rapidity.

    Firstly, (at least in missions I have made with this apparatus, but I would suggest to other missions constructors that this seems to be the most efficient allocation of personnel) the artillery unit consists of one lead operator with as many as seven other gunners. The lead operator should obviously have the most expeirience as well as a high level of motivation and communication. The lead operator is responsible for receiving fire missions from units in the field, calculating the correct tangent and elevation, as well as coordinating the fire pattern of the battery. It is essential the lead operator has a number of tools he can access rapidly. Including a timer (The in game watch may work for you, but also an actual stop watch or wrist watch may be better. This is to compute the shell travel time) a pencil with paper and range chart (the one I use: I would recommend printing this out, or if you are so bold to Alt+tab to it). For beginner artillery officers I would suggest that they do not operate a gun, rather they access the back seat of the artillery piece where they will still have access to the fire control computer but they will not have the responsibility of aiming or firing the actual shells. For more seasoned lead operators it may be appropriate or necessary they both coordinate the fire and aim and fire their own artillery piece.

    The features of this system include, for the gunner on the upper left corner of the screen window displaying tangent and elevation of the gun. The tangent goes from 0 to 360 and relates to the directional heading the gun will fire at and the elevation alludes to the height and thusly the trajectory of the shell. Upon accessing the fire control computer the gunner can choose between HE, high explosive or SABOT, anti armour rounds and 1 of 7 charges. This refers to literally the amount of gun powder that will propel the shell forward. The higher the charge the greater the velocity of the round. Also the fire control computer can allow you to engage or disengage shell registration which is literally the tracking of the height, direction and distance of the shell as it flies through the air to its target. This should by default be disabled and used primarily by the lead operator to zero in the battery.

    The fire control computer also allows the lead operator in conjunction with a forward observer to calculate the exact tangent and elevation the guns need to be set at the hit the intended target. The lead operator, either from the gunner or rear set of the artillery piece, once he has accessed the fire control computer can click at any location on the map and the exact distance and direction from his gun to the point is instantly calculated below the map. There is generally very little lateral shell drift so the directional heading translates almost directly into the tangent. However, computing the elevation and charge can be slightly more difficult.

    To find the precise elevation needed use the distance generated by the fire control computer and use the look up table listed above. Try and find a comparable distance on the chart. You should notice that several come close however it is unlikely any are exactly correct. So, you must do some thinking. Lets say for example you wanted to hit a target 6504m away you may notice charge 3 at 55deg elevation is pretty close but so is charge 3 at 25 deg and charge 4 at 65deg. All of these fire solutions could work, it just depends on the situation. For instance if there is a significant mountain range between my gun and my target 25deg elevation will probably not clear it. However 55deg or 65deg might. But maybe friendly forces are taking incoming fire and need suppression immediately a round fired with more powder at 65deg or at a higher elevation 55deg will take significantly longer to reach its destination then one fired at 25deg. Perhaps, the unit is planning on operating at a significantly longer distance from you and you may need the more powerful charge 4 munitions for later (you have a limited number of each charge type). But, for this instance lets say the unit has encountered fixed defenses and needs HE rounds but there is topographical anomalies between you and them. The best firing solution would be charge 3 at 55deg in this case.

    Now, you run into another issue, the enemy position is 6504m from you but a shell launched with charge 3 at 55deg elevation will only travel 6461m. So you need to make it travel the extra roughly 50m with an adjustment to the elevation. If you have not already noticed on the look up chart certain cells are highlighted in grey. These represent the peak distances per charge. Below the grey cell as elevation increases distance decreases and above the grey line as elevation increases so does distance. Depending on the exact situation each degree of adjustment adds or subtracts anywhere from 90m to 290m of distance traveled. So in our example since we are below the grey cell and we need to travel an extra 50m so our elevation should be roughly 54.5deg with charge 3.

    Its not an exact science and some level of estimation is required. Differences in elevation between the gun position and target also can alter the necessary elevation. However, that can become increasingly advanced especially with the ARMA map. The only way to really test it is to fire a shell with registration on. Once fired a dialogue box will appear with information about the distance, direction and height of the shell. When these numbers stop increasing or decreasing that symbolizes an impact and adjustments can be made based on these final numbers.

    Perhaps the most difficult part of providing accurate artillery fire is communication. Coordination between a forward observer, either the unit commander, designated player or special slot and the artillery lead operator and then the communication between the artillery gunners and lead operator and full circle with the chatter between the observer and the lead operator as the rounds impact. I have sort of developed a hybrid system between real military procedure and ARMA that might or might not be effective. A sample with explanation follows.
    Initial contact:
    Forward Observer(FO): This is FOcallsign to Art.callsign, prepare to receive fire mission
    Art. Lead(AL): This is Art.callsign, ready to receive
    At this point the AL would be prepared to write down the request and get ready to calculate
    FO: FOcallsign to Art.callsign current positions (friendly grid coordinates, with landmarks, also tell if its marked on map) requesting fire mission (enemy location preferably with grid coordinates with an adjustment from the grid intersection, so Echo Gulf Six Niner up 200 left 300 and of course if its marked on map say so), (type of target, infantry in the open, fixed MG emplacement, armor, ect) will adjust (if you plan on constantly adjusting the coordinates), will walk in/out (if you want as FO walking in will start the fire away from the target in some specified direction and gradually move it closer or walking out starts on target and moves some specified direction away from the point) fire for effect (meaning fire until told to stop)
    AL:ALcallsign to FOcallsign confirmed fire mission (read back location and target)
    FO:Correct if the AL gives an inaccurate target description

    In terms of where to fire the FO in anticipation of the need for a fire mission may communicate prior to contact with the AL establishing a previously defined point labeled with the NATO phonetic alphabet, so instead of giving a grid coordinate that part of the communication would go something like
    FO: ...requesting fire mission at previously established point Alpha...
    or an adjustment on the point
    FO: ...requesting fire mission at previously established point Zulu up 200 left 400...
    meaning starting at Zulu the point where fire actually needs to be is north 100m and west 400m
    Another note once the point is established the AL needs to immediately calculate the elevation and tangent so it is ready. This should NOT wait for the FO to actually call fire to the point.

    Then the AL would proceed to calculate the needed elevation and tangent and communicate in group with his other gunners Ideally the lead operator could fire one shell with registration to ensure it is on target and time it, however this may not be practical in all cases.

    AL:All gunners (or just specified gunners depending on how he wants to allocate this fire mission) Prepare to receive target data
    Gunner1: Ready
    Gunner2: Ready
    and so on
    AL:All gunners target location is charge (charge number) tangent (direction elevation (elevation) prepare to fire
    Gunner1: Ready to fire
    Gunner2: Ready to fire
    AL: Gunner 1 fire
    Gunner1: away
    Just a note, guns can reload 6 times a minute, so for evenly spaced fire for a section of 3 guns a gun would fire every 3-4 seconds.

    Once the rounds are in the air the AL needs to be on side with the FO coordinating fire. Once the rounds are outgoing the AL needs to inform the FO SHOT. Once the rounds are within 10 seconds of impact the AL needs to say SPLASH, obviously in ARMA if you haven't fired a test shot the time can be difficult to calculate so it may be best to inform the FO you cannot provide a splash warning and it would be better for you for him to tell you when shells impact so you can accurately time it. If shells are accidentally landing on friendly forces or the target is destroyed the FO tells the AL CHECK FIRE and all firing should immediately stop. Additionally if the FO needs to provide adjustments he will say something like down 50 right 100 meaning shift fire south 50m and east 100m from the original point.

    This is really just the basics of the script and much more is possible including simultaneous impacts where multiple shells impact the same area at the same time. Hopefully overtime complex operations like these will develop but ideally this has given users unfamiliar with the script basic information on how to implement it successfully in ARMA.

  • #2
    Re: Real Artillery System Implementation

    My mouth is salivating. Awesome work Sam!


    • #3
      Re: Real Artillery System Implementation

      Excellent work Sam!


      • #4
        Re: Real Artillery System Implementation

        this been tested to work on a dedicated internet server?


        • #5
          Re: Real Artillery System Implementation

          Yes, in fact it says its designed specifically for MP.


          • #6
            Re: Real Artillery System Implementation

            Interesting, I cant wait to get back into ARMA.

            When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. ~ Jimi Hendrix

            And isn't it a bad thing to be deceived about the truth, and a good thing to know what the truth is? For I assume that by knowing the truth you mean knowing things as they really are. ~ Plato


            • #7
              Re: Real Artillery System Implementation

              Do you think it would be easy to add this into the Merlin system that Beta is proposing? I've been poking around in there and it appears that Merlin may be somewhat extensible.

              One shot - One miss!


              • #8
                Re: Real Artillery System Implementation

                Originally posted by Extinct View Post
                Interesting, I cant wait to get back into ARMA.

                Well hurry your ass up

                My name: Adept a skilled or proficient person Abyss a deep, immeasurable space, gulf, or cavity
                So I'm a very skilled deep hole :D




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