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Author Topic: (Review Completed) [SP] Defensive Strike  (Read 13645 times)

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MuSe

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Re:A Defensive Strike
« Reply #60 on: 21 Jun 2004, 14:28:07 »
I havent done any beta testing b4 cause my job is making missions but this sounds quite good (hope there's no time limit) so i will test it 2nite and get back to you.  ;)

Offline THobson

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Re:A Defensive Strike
« Reply #61 on: 21 Jun 2004, 16:08:47 »
No time limit.  I was planning to leave it a week and then play it again before submitting it for review, but if someone is looking at it I will wait.  I keep making small changes and at some  point I will just have to call a halt and move on.  I just want to make sure everything works as I want it to before I do that.  I find I usually play it in the same way, what is helpful about this beta testing is that other people do it differently and can find things I had not noticed.

When you say making missions is your job - do you get paid for it?

I am thinking of removing the M21s (as well as maybe all the others) from the weapons available in the briefing.   The result would look lazy, but frankly would a Special Ops mission involve all those noisy weapons?

If you are testing it tonight I take it you are either not English or you have no interest in football.

Dubieman

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Re:A Defensive Strike
« Reply #62 on: 21 Jun 2004, 18:37:11 »
Thobson leave the other weapons in, its always a plus even if they arent good for the mission. One thing I've seen alot of is mission reviewers going, briefing good but no weapon selection and I'd like some choices....

Leave it in, maybe add UZIs? :P

Offline THobson

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Re:A Defensive Strike
« Reply #63 on: 26 Jun 2004, 07:20:22 »
GRK: OK I will leave them in even though it does not feel right.
MuSe:  The version you have is one where Bravo attack the base in Stealth mode.  It works but they take an age.  I will be changing that in a version I will be updataing this weekend.

MuSe

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Re:A Defensive Strike
« Reply #64 on: 28 Jun 2004, 14:27:15 »
This is after the first version

Ok where to start.........

My loadout

Me: MP5SD w/ x4 mags, Glock w/ x4 mags, 3x satchels ,binocs and NVG.
Soldier2: MP5SD w/ x4 mags, Glock w/ x4 mags, 3x satchels , NVG.
Soldier3: MP5SD w/ x4 mags, Glock w/ x4 mags, 3x satchels , NVG.
Soldier4: MP5SD w/ x4 mags, Glock w/ x4 mags, LAW launcher w/ x3 rounds , NVG.

My report:-

So my team land on ground and proceed towards our first objective. I notice a light about 500m away from the objective. It appears it was the light from a .50 cal MG (no idea why HMG's have super powerful lights attached to them) but they were no problem at all to deal with. So i stay alert for patrols in the area. No encounters made as i got closer to the enemy base. 300m away my team hold position and go prone. I then recon the area and carefully proceed towards the objective whilst using the vegetation and trees as cover and order my men to hold fire. My team setup a close observation point 100m outside the base and begin close area recon. i then order soldiers 2 and 3 to open fire after i neutralized a .50 cal gunner. soldier 4 remains on hold fire as he has the law launcher and attacking a bmp will compromise him. the bmps didnt spot us and the crew eventually got out of the bmp's and i dropped them. After about 20 minutes of lying prone in the vegetation and without being seen the base appears to be cleared. We are low on ammo but proceed into the base and encounter 2 troops of which i make quick work of. Objective complete! in comes a chopper with bravo infantry squad on board. They pick up a ural and head into position just 200m away from objective 2. I forget at this point to load up as i couldnt see the ammo crates. i expected them to be next to where the chopper landed. Anyways i head towards the junction and start dealing death to the russians there and my law soldier is free to engage any bmps he may see. Still we manage to clear the base without being seen but half way through our attack we need to rearm so i finally locate the ammo crate and load up. Bravos truck arrives and they get out then proceed to the lie up point outside the base where the scuds are. So i take my team and setup a recon point west of the scud base. I order all men to hold fire, leave 2 guys here and take 1 other with me and proceed to the north entrance to the base. I take out 2 troops and head from west to east along the northern wall of the base. I see a shilka on the beach and place a charge under it. I also place a charge next to the eastern wall to destroy and make an optional entry point to the base. Moments later i here a few bursts of M16 fire and the alarm is raised! the russians are on full alert and tanks, troops are everywhere and i'm still alone with my 1 soldier.a tank a tank crashes through the eastern wall 50m ahead of my position giving us an entry point without compromise. So i head back and disarm my charge. I order my man inside and go prone taking out any troops he sees. I move to the shilka on the south east side and place charge then shortcut through the base and place charge under the other shilka. i get my guy and we head south west away from the base and detonate the bombs. Shilkas are toast so i order bravo in and then regroup with my other 2 soldiers. Income bravo and start wasting ruskies whilst my guys keep and eye out for other troops. Still many remain lying prone near the scuds. My guys take'em out and place charges to destroy scuds. I light fires and call for bravos extraction, but bravo are acting like retards outside the base near some trees and their extraction chopper flies straight overhead towards central kolgujev and didnt return!!!! same happened with the chopper for my team but end is triggered here. Cant remember me or my guys getting shot at throughout the mission. No casualties on my team but unsure about bravo. They did take casualties but don't know how many. Quite a few appeared to be alive when i seen them. 8 or 9 i think.

Ideas for improvement:

Well it was a great challenge so dont reduce troop numbers. I think bravo should move around on foot as them taking the ural with them wasnt very realistic. Bravo should take crate with them and place it at their position just outside the junction. I think extraction should be proper too! i mean like with waypoints so you CAN cover bravos extraction and the same for yourself and on the end cutscene it should start with camera showing the scud base and then see trucks coming down the north road and into the base with russian troops getting out to observe the aftermath of the nightlong fun we had.

Overall:

Very tough (which is a good thing), cool ideas and not adivsed trying to play with unsilenced weapons. maybe add the uzi sd from resistance.

stats:

 score (23700) 8 hours 56 mins (realisticly 4 hours it took me)

t80
2x shilka
3x officer (Night Vis equip)
2x officer
spetz natz (bizon)
spetz natz
sniper
bmp
6x rpg soldier
3x aa soldier
5x machine gunner
2x grenadier
6x scud
17x crew
31x soldier

finaly:

phew for writing everything i've just wrote.......

Offline THobson

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Re:A Defensive Strike
« Reply #65 on: 28 Jun 2004, 17:51:15 »
That really is totally comprehensive thank you.

Sorry about Bravo.  I had set them to COMBAT to try and help reduce their casualty rate - but they do take and age to get in and out of the base when I do that and do seem to get stuck in the trees outside the base.  In the next version I have changed it so they are AWARE when attacking and when leaving the base - they are a lot faster, even if there are fewer of them by the end!  The extraction is correctly waypointed, but I have noticed that if Bravo's chopper arrives before any of them are at the GET IN waypoint the chopper ignores the Invisible H and heads for some flat ground in the middle of the island.  When Bravo eventually sort themselves out they head there on foot and board the chopper fine.  To fix this I will have the chopper wait offshore until Bravo are at the correct waypoint.  I need to look at why your chopper did the same, it shouldn't have

The 8 hours duration is in part because of the time acceleration in the final cut scene.  I tried setting the end trigger before starting the time acceleration but that does not work.

I was thinking of making the following changes:
Main base - harder (T72s instead of BMPs and more of them etc.);
Road junction - a lot easier (fewer soldiers, no BMPs) BUT if they are not dealt with quickly Russian survivors head for the main base (by UAZ) and if they get there the main base goes on alert.  It feels like this would be more realistic than having a pitched battle just outside the main base and no one in the base noticing.

Any thoughts on this?

Anyway thanks again for the comments and the suggestions I am really grateful.

Bye the way, I really like having Bravo travel in the ural (and if you only knew how much time I spent making sure it works properly you would be amazed) so I will probably keep that in.

Offline macguba

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Re:A Defensive Strike
« Reply #66 on: 28 Jun 2004, 18:14:51 »
Quote
Road junction - a lot easier (fewer soldiers, no BMPs) BUT if they are not dealt with quickly Russian survivors head for the main base (by UAZ) and if they get there the main base goes on alert.  It feels like this would be more realistic than having a pitched battle just outside the main base and no one in the base noticing.

I think that's a good idea.     Don't make the main base any harder though, it's hard enough already.    There is a great temptation in mission building to add more and more enemy units and make things harder, and you need to counter it from time to time with a session of taking things out and making it easier.   I've played a lot of missions that were too hard to be fun:  I've played very, very few that were too easy.

Keep Bravo in the Ural.    Walking might well have been better but now its done you might as well keep it.   I can feel how long you spent making it work.
Plenty of reviewed ArmA missions for you to play

Offline THobson

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Re:A Defensive Strike
« Reply #67 on: 28 Jun 2004, 22:20:58 »
macguba:  I will certainly change the road junction - it just feels right.  Thank you for the idea.

I have also made (not yet uploaded) other changes including yours to consolidate the groups in the first base as they take casualties and get the last few survivors to run away.  In part I was forced into this by some strange behaviour.  I would find that the base was not captured but I could not find any Russians.  As a last resort I LAWed the Hospital tent and discovered a single Russian in there.  That should not happen now.  I will apply a similar process to the road junction

On whether the main base should be harder I clearly have a design decision to make.  When you played it you had to deal with the following armour in or around the main base: 1xT80; 2xT72; 4x BMP and 4x Shilka.  In my current working version I now have: 1x T80; 6x T72; 1x BMP and 3x Shilka.  The same number of units just a bit more powerful.  There is structure and logic to where they are placed and when they arrive so it is not necessary to deal with them all at once.  Even so, as a straight ‘fight' which is the way all beta testers have approached it so far I think it will be very difficult.  But there is another way.  This ‘other way' feels to me to be eminently realistic.  


**** DELETED AS IT IS A BIT OF A SPOILER ****



What do you all think?  Leave it as it is?  Put something in the briefing to give some clues?  

One of the things about the OF Resistance campaign that I really liked was that if the missions are approached in the wrong way they could be very difficult, but if they are approached the right way they could be quite easy.  I liked the need to think about what I was doing.

As an aside - I must be making some progress, the early posts on this mission were all about the begining.  Now they are mostly about the end.

As another aside: does anyone know how to put in a de-brief for the 'Loose' end game (snYpir's tutorial seems to imply it is not possible)?  I am already using 6 different de-briefs, one for each combination of (SCUDs dead, SCUDs not dead) and (Bravo wiped out, Bravo survivied but you left them on ths island, Bravo survivied and you got them off the island before you left)

« Last Edit: 02 Jul 2004, 13:22:11 by THobson »

Offline macguba

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Re:A Defensive Strike
« Reply #68 on: 29 Jun 2004, 00:09:27 »
There is no debrief text for the Loose ending.    As with anything I wouldn't like to guarantee that it can't be done but it has been tried without success.

The "last few loons" is often a real problem as you've discovered.   Good missions always deal with it.

There is an aesthetic point to your possible new armour configuration:   I would be tempted to bin the remaining BMP and replace a lot of the infantry with tank crews.    With those vehicles this must be a tank base, right?   So lots of crew, repair and fuel trucks and so on.    Any "infantry" groups will be support soldiers with few machine guns and laws.    If you wanted to beef things upa  little you could have a spetz natz camp in one corner of the base.

There is absolutely nothing fundamentally wrong with what you are proposing.   However, what you are proposing is a bit more of a "puzzle" mission.   By that I mean one that has a "right" way to win it, rather than leaving it entirely up to the player.  Both approaches ("puzzle" and "open") are entirely valid, but if you're taking the puzzle route you must, as with any puzzle, leave clues.    

These clues need to be obvious, though not necessarily, heavy handed.     Mines in particular are rarely handled well:  usually you either get direct instructions to lay a minefield ina particular place, which is just tedious, or you get a bunch of mines and no clear idea of where to put them and the enemy tanks just drive round them.     In this case, for example, you could tell the player that after the roadblock is cleared Bravo will lay mines on the northern (or is it southern, I can't remember which way round it is) approach to the base.     If you provide plenty of mines and include an engineer in your squad then the player should figure out that mines elsewhere are a clever idea.   A few bits of fencing (to channel the tanks) might provide a clue as to where to put them.

For the entrances, put an extra guard on all the other entrances and maybe take one away from the easy one:  it has to be reasonably obvious on a brief close target recce (CTR) that this entrance is different.   It is a very large base and in reality the CTR for a special forces attack would take several nights:  here nobody is going to spend more than ten minutes on it and, given that the game is supposed to be fun, they shouldn't have to.   However, those that do spend this time should be rewarded for it.

Think a moment about the different phases that the player will go through in this mission.     Land-gather squad-move to first base-recce- .... -approach big base-recce-move round to other side-recce-approach quite entrance-enter-hide inside- ... etc    The more stages you have, the easier each one must be to make the mission fun.    Make the ones you want to be tough, tough, and the others easy.   If the player is going to place lots of satchels, where is he going to get them from?

Definitely don't forget about this whole plan.     In general the more complex a mission is the more fun.   I don't mean complex-looking in the missin editor:  as I've said elsewhere one well placed loon can be a lot better than 20 bad ones.   It's just finding the right place to put that loon.    You can easily spend a couple of  hours on placing one guard.    For the player, the need to think about what you are doing is essential for a good mission.

If you're worried about difficulty downgrade the T80 to a T72.   It takes 3 laws or 1CG to take out a T72, or in other words as much as you can carry.    A T80 takes 4 laws or 2 CGs, which is in general more than you can carry.   That makes the T80 a much more formidable obstacle.     Alternatively, upgrade a couple of the T72s:  that means that the only possible way to success is stealth and endless satchels all going off at once.

As always, the check is an imaginary reality.   Who is based in this base?   If you were base commander, what would you do?  
Plenty of reviewed ArmA missions for you to play

Offline THobson

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Re:A Defensive Strike
« Reply #69 on: 30 Jun 2004, 08:06:26 »
Thank you that is very helpful.  

One of the things I like about OF is its non-linearity.  I would be going against that if this mission only had one 'right way' to do it.  I plan to make it so that it can be completed without using mines or satchel charges, but to retain the option of doing it that way as well.  Work is taking alot of time at the moment so it will probably be next weekend before I would have anything on that.

MuSe

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Re:A Defensive Strike
« Reply #70 on: 01 Jul 2004, 15:48:24 »
whens the next version coming out? bring'em on! :P

Offline THobson

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Re:A Defensive Strike
« Reply #71 on: 02 Jul 2004, 07:49:35 »
This weekend - I just need to check:
- Is the road junction now too easy
- Does my method of consolidating Russian groups as they get smaller produce a realistic effect.
- have I fixed the problem of Bravo's chopper landing in the middle of the island if Bravo is not ready for it
- have I prevented the problem with the final cut scene that you experienced.  I have experienced it but cannot cause it to repeat.  I have scripted the final scene so this should not matter - I just need to test it.  

I know you had a suggestion for the final cutscene.  Currently I have and Intro that goes: zoom in; guard; SCUDs; Chopper.  The final cutscene goes: Chopper; SCUDs; guard; zoom out.   The palindromic symmetry appeals to me so I would like to get it to work.

I will be busy tonight!
« Last Edit: 02 Jul 2004, 13:20:01 by THobson »

Offline THobson

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Re:A Defensive Strike
« Reply #72 on: 03 Jul 2004, 09:47:25 »
OK. Here it is.  I have tested everything, in parts.  I have not yet had a complete run through.

What I am particularly interested in is:

- the behaviour of the Russian infantry at each of the three locations (first base, road junction and main base).  Is it realistic?

- is the road junction an improvement?

- the behaviour of Bravo as it attacks and then disengages from the main base

- the behaviour of Delta (Bravo's chopper) as it comes in to pick them up.

- the final cutscene (especially the behaviour of Charlie (your chopper))

- any comments on the six different de-briefings?

- general comments (as ever)


The Readme file as also been updated.

Failing any adverse comments and assuming I don't find anything when I do a complete run through I plan to submit this version in about a week from now.


Thanks.

Offline macguba

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Re:A Defensive Strike
« Reply #73 on: 03 Jul 2004, 11:22:03 »
OK, second run through.   I'm going to find a lot of things because we're going to jack this mission up a level by getting a lot of details right.    More work for you I'm afraid, if you want it.   8)


Overview

Starting with really petty stuff...    ;D  

All readmes are named readme, which is a nightmare - they are forever trying to copy on top of each other and you never know what its a readme for.   Call it DefensiveReadMe or something.

Now, the mission name.   I think you should change it for two reasons:  firstly, misson names starting with the letter A slot into a funny place in the single missions menu, making them hard to find.     Not a big deal and not your fault.    Secondly, and more importantly, anything starting with a vowel tends to sound a bit wishy-washy.    Much better to start with a nice hard B, D, K, T or something like that.    A Defensive Strike?   What, is that our one?   Its just a A strike, yeah?  Well, doesn't sount that important, lets leave it till tomorrow.

Defensive Strike
Toast the Scuds
Pre-emptive Strike
Scud Killer

well none of those are great but I hope you see what I'm getting at.


Intro

May 10 eh?  Bloodiest date in warfare.   Change it to the 11th at least.    It's too quiet.   No music is fine, but this is a busy base.   We need a wheeled vehicles moving in the forground for sound, and them plus a soldier or two walking for movement.

I don't like that you zoom time and the camera at the same time.   Get the camera into position above the base, then zoom the time.    While time is zooming there should be no moving vehicles about, since they still move at normal pace.    Tank tracks make an annoying whine:  its frightening if you're hiding in the remains of a village but just annoying in an overhead shot in an intro.

(Btw this review is going to sound even more negative than beta reviews usually do, but don't panic.  I only do this level of detail on stuff thats good in the first place.

Let's have some script on the screen during the intro:  your name, the mission name, that sort of thing.     Don't use normal script, use something fancy from xenofane's font/text tutorial.    It looks complex but its actually easy, just a little tedious.

At the opening, hold the camera still for a few seconds in the woods, with lots of birds, so that we can get a feel for where we are.   (Try starting the camera right back int he woods so that you can't see the base, dunno if it will work.)   Then the zoom in and the sounds of the birds are replaced with vehicles and perhaps some men shouting in the background.


Briefing

There are too many Objectives and not enough explanation.  Why do we have to take out the preliminary objectives?   A link to another page with a bit of explanation is neeed.  (For example, the troops there will come and attack you in the rear if you try to take out the main base first:  but if you attack the secondary base the troops in the main base can't come after you because they have to stay to guard the scuds, except you have to say it much better than that!)

Combine the objectives:   prelim base and junction; scuds; AA (which needs a link); cover Bravo and escape.    The explanation page should mention that you fail if any of Bravo are left behind.

Ah right, I've seen what you've done.   OK well you've covered most of that, we just need to work on the layout.   On the Plan page, say that there are detailed orders on the Notes page.    Make the Notes page an index, with links to other pages.   Split the info up a little, to make it easier to take in, something like:-

Situation and background
Enemy
Own forces
Communications
Alpha squad orders

At the moment its all mixed up so, for example, in the heat of battle its hard to find the section on radio calls.    Each supplementary page should be a maximum of one page.

Gear:  I don't like to see AI with handguns, they tend to use them at the wrong time.    And which isn't it a silenced GlockS, since we have HKs?    In gear selection you have 4 binocs, there should be only 3.    The weapons loadouts aren't great, it's not really clear who is doing what.   I would suggest HKs for everybody and then:-

1 LAW
1 CG
3 satchels
3 mines

Or alternatively give everybody a LAW with two missiles and a satchel.    Definitely don't give somebody all mags, they should have some hand grenades and a satchel at least.   (Yes I know you meant him to be a walking ammo crate.)

Group doesn't show up, that happens sometimes but I don't know why.

On the map, move the word's Bravo's attack to the left of the arrow:  that will allow you to put the words Shika Screen in their place, which is a better place for them.    The Shilka stuff should be in red.  Try oval hatchings rather than rectangular, may or may not be better.   I'd put drop zone and evac in blue (definitely the same colour, whichever one you choose) and bravo's two markers in green.


Mission

Consider a fade in from black to cover the chopper getting started.  Drop went fine, moved SE toward the wood.   As we went south down the edge of my wood my loons spotted a patrol and dropped a couple of them:  I keep schtum as I had my trusty M21.  The others ran off, firing flares.    Keep going, got into a position where I could see the M2 gunner at the eastern gate, dropped him and the others and keep shooting.   One of my loons took out a BMP that came to look for use.   A couple of guards were running straight towards me which made them easy targets.

After a bit we started to move, but immediately spotted a patrol coming in from the northwest, presumably an outpatrol that had been vectored onto us.   Dropped it.   Also another BMP that appeared near the base.  

Moved intowards the base.  Looked deserted by somebody was still firing flares ... felt a bit like that bit in Beau Geste.

Ah, there he is.   Dropped a few more, moved it, repeat a couple of times.   Retry.   Called chopper:  exchanged radio messages.   Got message saying approaching base, but I couldn't see the chopper - say approaching base from south or whatever it is, so you know where in the sky to look for him   WTF?   Ah, the dust script!  He's right above me, which is why I can't see him.     If the "you've done a good job here" message is from Bravo (I missed it) leave it till theyare on the ground.    Good messages, make the space before OK see you there a bit shorter.  Rearmed (3 of us with laws and one with satchels) and got a message saying Bravo were ready.

I'd say this whole base attack is fine now.    The defence seemed more organised.    There were no more headless chickens than you normally get.    You could add an alarm sound that goes off after 30s ... also perhaps a forest of flares at the same time.


gotta go now, more later



/more
« Last Edit: 03 Jul 2004, 12:01:55 by macguba »
Plenty of reviewed ArmA missions for you to play

Offline THobson

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Re:A Defensive Strike
« Reply #74 on: 03 Jul 2004, 11:43:22 »
Strewth...and you haven't even started the mission!!  Seriously, I do appreciate your comments.  Keep them coming,  I will work on all them.

When I started this I didn't even know how to do an intro or centre a picture in the overview - and that was only a month ago.

I don't know why I don't get the Group either.

I was thinking about getting some sound files for all the radio chatter, but that is another completely new area for me.

It is now Saturday evening.
You are going a lot faster than I can keep up.  I now have an improved intro, and it will be better when I get some text titles in.  Just letting you know I am working on this.
« Last Edit: 03 Jul 2004, 19:45:08 by THobson »