How's it going, all?
In between gardening, travelling for work and assembling Ikea stuff for the Mrs, I've come up with a rather nice campaign idea. The story is that after the 1985 crisis, the Malden Islands are unified under a democratic government. Everything is OK for a while but then the government starts to reduce the armed forces, who stage a coup. The prologue to the campaign has the player joining the Malden Marines (represented by the Taiga camouflage MVD addon, cos I like their berets) who are still loyal to the government.
Mission 1 is a cutscene that I've finished, that sets up the story.
Mission 2 is about 60% done. It starts on Everon. The last few marines are holed up in Lamentin with some civvy refugees, waiting for boats to get them out. Your patrol was sent to find one that went missing. The missing patrol turns up dead and you are ordered to take their APC (a BTR 80 from the VITAPC addon) back to Lamentin, pausing to raid a camp in Le Moule for some RPGs). Up to here the mission works pretty well. I used General Barron's AI script and this makes the several patrols and the guards at the camp co-ordinate well enough for it to be quite a challenge.
The second part of the mission starts when you get back to Lamentin. You must hold off enemy tanks and troops long enough to allow the civvies, your comrades and finally, yourself to escape. Here is where it is much tougher to make the mission seem convincing. The player is supposed to keep to the south-west corner of the map and I've put in some triggers to tell him/her off should they stray. So any attack needs to come from north or north-east of Lamentin to make sense. The current version has two lorry-loads of troops and three T-72s with waypoints synched to a trigger on top of Lamenin. When the player arrives, the troops and tanks rumble up the hill and attack. This is OK as it goes but is far too easy and I would like to know how best to stage this sort of attack - I don't want to end up using weight of numbers because the mission will be laggy on top of all those AI scripts. How can I best position the attack forces so that they will not be seen early by the player or AI allies, yet will not take too long to arrive? And what sort of tactics would a soviet-stylee army use to flush some infantry and LAV's out of a village?
As for the story, after this mission, the action will move to present day Nogova, where the newly-rich Nogovians have struck oil. A US and a British official are chatting - the Brit is explaining that NATO forces have been in Nogova for a while to protect against the armed forces of Malden, which has now gone a bit North Korea and armed itself to the teeth. The Brit goes on to say that because Malden hasn't actually done anything *really* bad yet, the NATO allies are muttering about withdrawing troops. The American replies that something should happen soon to convince NATO that they really are needed. Shortly after this, a massive bomb devastates Nogova's biggest oil refinery. Cue the player, leader of a crack Nogovian counter-insurgency team. The next mission involves chasing the bombers - and then a trail of evidence emerges, linking them to a shadowy US agency. Is everything what it seems? Can war be averted? Will England ever win a penalty shoot out?
If you like the sound of that, let me know.