Right. What to say, what to say?
Veteran Mode. ECP mod activated.Briefing/Overview
Looked very good and professional, a nice template for all kinds of realism-striving missions I'd say. Told me everything I needed to know and more. I am curious about how they knew the exact weapon loadouts and numbers of the OPFOR forces though, or why in fact there would be a need to list them. In that case they would probably have known the location of the enemy HQ as well, no? Interestingly I think the briefing at some point mentioned that there's a NATO no-fire zone over the ammo dump, due to it being close to a civilian fuel station.
didn't take too long to find the only civilian fuel station inside the operation area, and thereby the enemy HQ as well. Might want to mark the no-fire zones on the map beorehand (I didn't try, but I suppose the cities were no-fire zones as well, right?) so that the player can make his own conclusions about where he can use precision bombs and where he can't. Anyway, I pick my weapons (giving the machinegun to #4 as heavy support, in case there's need) and head off!Intro
No such thing. A pity, really. Maybe show the Marines landing the night before, setting up camp, und so weiter? Maybe show a "sattelite feed" of one of the radio towers, if for no other reason than to show everyone what exactly the tower is supposed to look like. But it's no biggie, I suppose.Mission
Ahh. Here we go. Radio chatter would be nice if it were actual radio chatter, but I know how hard it can be to get voices and such. Question : is there an actual script running, or does it simply repeat the same phrases over and over again? Since throughout the times I played the mission, I never got any other co-ordinates than the same three (the motorized patrol, the two radio towers). Or maybe it did, and I just didn't pay attention.
So, I mark the locations given on the map, and head off. Soon, I find one of the radio towers off in the distance, the one in the no-fire zone. Playing it safe, I take the SMAW off #2, save, and get to shooting. Amazingly, I actually manage to hit, and the tower goes down in flames (only time I managed to blow it up from 700 meters in a single shot). Happily, I continue on in search of the enemy base, avoiding the Ural patrolling the road. Suddenly, I'm under attack. After a couple of moments of fruitless combat (my SD weaponry useless at that distance), I die.
I go through the forest, on the way, I spot some tents through the trees. Creeping up, I determine it's the enemy camp. Somewhere in there is the ammo dump. I try attacking it a couple of times, fruitlessly. I'm really not the best OFP player, and at those distances an enemy with non-HD weapons numerically superior and with backup just a phonecall away, me and my three grunts really don't stand much of a chance. I try from a bunch of different directions, but it all really leads to the same : I get asskicked by the guards, or if I survive, I get asskicked by the reinforcements. Also, I failed to bring satchel charges, and since the ammo store didn't have any, I sort of stood there, looking at the bastard crates and unable to destroy them. *sigh*
I tried precision-striking the other two towers, and that is quite easy. In particular since you can save, try, watch if it misses, retry if it does, ad infinitum. And staying out of the way of patrols isn't difficult, thanks to it being daytime and the terrain being so open.
Finally I admit to having finished the mission in a rather cheap way. First, I ambushed the motor patrol, killing everyone in a matter of moments. A little while later, the BMP ambulance drives up, and I kill everyone in it as well. Then I commandeer the ambulance, and simply drive straight into the enemy HQ and over the crates, destroying them. I then proceed with driving straight up to the base of each tower and ordering a precision strike on my location (except for the first tower, which I blow up with a SMAW). Ordering an extraction back at the southern tip by the lighthouse, I fly home, victorious and unharmed. Thanks to the weaksauce JAM RPGs, my ambulance could withstand several glancing hits without going up in flames. It also seems they really can't aim with them things, and I only got hit once by accident. And since there are no tanks, and the altillery is far too slow, there's really nothing they can do about my advance. Yay.Comments/suggestions
This mission was a bit too hard for a crappy OFP player like myself : I just can't do what the previous reviewer did; kill off several full squads with just my four man team and walk off victoriously into the sunset. And the assault on the HQ has to be a very quick in-out deal ; get in, kill everyone, plant satchels, get out before reinforcements arrive. In theory it sounds good, and I'm sure someone more skilled than me could pull it off. But I myself when I try to overcome the enemy AI usually have the strategy of slooowly crawling up to the enemy position, sniping off all those prone, stationary bastards that are just waiting for you to stand up and charge, until it's all clear. With the GL script, a slow assault just isn't possible. The only alternative to a slow advance is altillery or air support, of which there was none in this case. Which makes the HQ objective far the hardest, in my opinion. Maybe with another bunch of tries (such as mapping out the exact location of every single guard) I could have hacked it, but I just didn't have the patience.
How to fix? Don't know, really. I believe it was just my own lack of skill that led to failure, but hm. Make the ammo dump closer to the wood (makes sense, anyway : it needs to be camouflaged from air attack), position a few guards around it, and let the player slip in from the wood, kill the guards, place the satchels, and run off before the rest of the HQ has time to react.
What else? Hm. The SD weapons -> quite useless in my opinion. I don't know if actual such MEF expeditions prefer supressed weapons on these kinds of raids, maybe they do ; but from a gaming point of view they're really not useful. They are inaccurate and have less damage, making fighting at long distances (which most of the fighting is in OFP) harder. Also, the detection range might be shorter, but once the enemy has spotted you, the GL2 script kicks in and you'll be hunted wheter you've got SD weapons or not. The only time these weapons could be useful is when you're planning on ambushing and killing either a "safe" mode patrolling squad, or stationary guards. Then, if fast enough, you'd have the chance to kill everyone before they have time to radio for help. I suppose it's an engine thing though : you can ambush and kill an entire squad two hundred meters from another, but as long as the other squad doesn't actually see you, you'll probably be safe.
The airsupport works fine, as does the extraction. GL2 is a bit unnecessary really -> if I remember correctly, it awards you points depending on what kind of weapons you have. A LAW soldier gets 10 points or so, while a normal guy gets 1 point. Ergo, if you bring a SMAW, you're considered a roughly 13-man team, which means that any group seeing you will ALWAYS call for backup anyway. One way of making GL2 useful though is to have a couple of BMPs/tanks standing by somewhere far off. That way, the player really has to stay on his or her toes to avoid attracting too much attention. You're not -supposed- to engage every group you see, right?
Oh, and on the radio towers -> you should mention someplace that the best way to kill them is to hit the little building next to them. Hitting the tower itself might just be impossible as far as I know (I tried...a lot), but a shot to the building will have it crashing down real soon. (you can weave this into the briefing by adding a note about "how it is imperative the transformer building is demolished, as the tower structure itself can always be repaired..." or somesuch. Conclusion
A polished mission, with no bugs as far as I can tell, everything from start to finish seems to work just fine. The altillery works alright, although it is famously slow to respond (should take a maximum of 30 seconds for a mortar team to shoot off their first shells from the moment they get the co-ordinates. Sheeze.), snYpir's support pack looks and feels a charm, and GL2 does indeed force the player to stay on his toes at all times. Just a bit too hard for someone like me, I suppose. I suggest moving the ammo dump closer to the edge of the wood, and maybe adding some late tank-support (if nothing else to deter from killing sprees/mad BMP ambulance driving). Add an intro and outro, and you've got yourself a package. Nice work!