Jason

Operation Albany

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  1. 1. Attending 16/06/18

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MAP: Omaha V2

Mission Date: 16/06/18

OPORD: Albany

Terrain: Rural Countryside, Villages, Normandy "Bocage"

Weather: Clear, Full Moon

Forecast: No Change

Start DTG: 06/06/1944 0130hrs

Starting Location: Off Map Airstrip NW of AOR

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History:

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1: SITUATION

The time has come.

The invasion fleet is under way and in less than 6 hours they will be throwing themselves against this "Atlantic Wall" that Hitler is hiding behind. Luckily when he built his wall he forgot to put roof on it. That's where we come in Eagles.

The 101st will drop behind the Atlantic Wall to disrupt enemy movement behind the beaches and secure vital transport nodes to help the guys on the beaches make a coherent beach head.

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2: MISSION DETAIL

1st platoon, Golf Company, 3rd Battalion 506th PIR, 101st Airborne are assigned to the drop zone behind Omaha Beach.

There are 3 major supply dumps behind the beach that serve the artillery overlooking the beach. These are our primary objectives. We cut the supplies, we limit the artillery that can fire on the approaching boats and we save some of those poor bastards coming up the beach.

Since this is the German 2nd Echelon you can expect convoys and patrols throughout the area. Take as many of these out as possible. I want maximum mayhem on this gents. The more carnage we cause, the more disruption and confusion we spread. It is that simple.

A. ENEMY FORCES

Strength:

We know that the beach defences and local area is manned by the 352nd Division. The 914th and 916th Grenadier Regiments are expected to form the brunt of the defence force with support from 352nd Panzerjaeger Abteilung and some Feld-Ersatz units. Total strength in our area is estimated at around 6000 on the front lines with another 6000 in reserve. For our specific AOR we're looking at a composite battalion of around 500 from various 2nd echelon units and reserves.

Composition:

These guys are a static defence unit so they already lack Panzer and motor transport support. They do however have a lot of artillery, particularly Flak 38 systems which can fire as both conventional artillery and AAA. Armoured vehicles are probably limited to STuG IIIs and Marders from the 352nd but there could be some Panzer IVs kicking around so be on your guard. While most of the infantry is expected not to leave their assigned area, you can expect roaming patrols and counter pushes, especially as time wears on and we lose the element of surprise.

Air Defense:

Air defences are centred around flak batteries protecting major locations. These are expected to be a combination of big flak 38's and smaller flakvierling systems which fire smaller rounds but faster. The Luftwaffe has a limited presence in the area after the pounding they took from the Mighty 8th but you can still expect some German air cover particularly from Bf-110 Night Fighters trying to intercept the drop planes.

B. FRIENDLY FORCES

We are jumping as part of the first wave. The second wave will arrive approximately an hour later with the third wave an hour after that. While it is feasible that we may encounter other sticks, we each have our objectives and any contact will be in passing.

The 422nd Night Fighter Squadron is providing air cover for the operation. While their primary mission is the defence of the drop flights, they can also be called upon to drop some bombs or strafe ground targets with their cannon.

Essentially, we're on our own.

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3. EXECUTION

A. Objective Overview

Mission Intent:

Our mission parameters are to eliminate 3 German Supply Depots and disrupt any and all German units we encounter along the way. Targets of Opportunity are to be engaged at all times unless doing so will compromise the main mission.

Ground Forces Task:

1. Insert into the AOR via C-47 para-drop at the designated DZ

2. Set up Platoon CP at the marked location to facilitate supply drops

3. Eliminate supplies and vehicles in Le Bray

4. Eliminate local area 2nd Echelon HQ East of Le Bray

5. Eliminate marked supply dump to the East of the AOR

6. OPTIONAL. If you can, eliminate the forward artillery battery overlooking Omaha beach to the North West of the AOR

Air Corps Task:

Condor - Insert the platoon at the designated DZ. Remember the drop should be as slow as possible above 150m AGL. The drop will not be possible below this altitude and a go around will probably end in failure and death. If possible, get in formation with the other drop flights as this will help increase your chances of survival through the drop run.

Banshee - Protect the drops by maintaining air superiority. CAS to be delivered as requested but only if it does not impede your primary task.

B. Intel Package

AOR Overview:

AOROverview.jpg

Note the Bocage terrain. This will allow us to maintain surprise for longer but will limit our movements as we have to find gaps in the hedges. Roads offer a clear transit route but you can bet the Germans are thinking the same thing.

West Flank Detail:

westflankdetail.jpg

Our first priority should be to secure our designated Rally Point/CP. This is where the USAAF will be dropping our supplies so we need to control this if we want resupply

Objective Detail:

objectiveDetail.jpg

These are our main objectives. Le Bray is a small garrison hub housing resupply convoys for the forward artillery batteries. The local German units are commanded from a purpose built HQ location to the East of Le Bray. Finally a supply dump has been formed East of the HQ to allow faster movement of supplies to the Eastern flank defences. We need to eliminate all supplies and vehicles in these areas. Furthermore, cutting the transport network at these major junctions will stifle any movement of reserves toward the beaches. OBUA will be difficult under night time conditions so remember to use your mortar teams illumination shells to help visibility.

Major Target of Opportunity:

TOODetail.jpg

If you can manage it, there is a major TOO to the North West of Le Bray. This artillery battery could cause untold damage to the beach assault. If we can kill it we can help those boys in the 1st get to shore.

C. Coordinating Instructions

Radio Frequencies

Platoon Net: 50.1

Air Corps Net: 50.3

D. Materiel and Supply

AAC:

3x C-47 Skytrain

5x P-61 Black Widow

5x P-38 Lightning

5x P-51 Mustang

Mortars for ground team

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SnrAM Jason

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Notes:

This mission features the realism features discussed by myself and Luke over the course of creating this campaign. To that end you will find the following changes to our usual setup:

  • First and foremost we're airborne "WE'RE MEANT TO BE SURROUNDED!". This means that supplies can be hard to come by. Do not shy away from the idea of stealing weapons from the enemy if needed. Historically the airborne divisions trained on captured German weapons for this exact eventuality.
  • Squad Leaders and Fire Team Leaders are the only people with radios. There are no personal radios issued. Stick to your team and pay attention to your NCOs.
  • AT weapons are poor at best. This is true to life. Remember your tank hunting tactics and outflank the target, engaging it from the rear or sides. A frontal hit has little chance of penetrating the armour. You also have explosives at your disposal to bait and ambush vehicles. If all else fails, find and liberate an AT Gun. Also remember that it is easier to get the crew to dismount than it is to make the tank blow up. A tank with no crew is just as useless as one that is burning. Don't get hung up on complete destruction.
  • As airborne we carry slightly different weapons. To that end the grenadier carries the Browning Automatic Rifle as light suppression fire support for his team.
  • Each team also contains an M1919 .30cal LMG. This is tripod mounted and the AG/AR buddy team must set up at each halt. Once set up however it offers a great boost to team firepower.
  • No GPS. If you struggle with map reading, now is the time to get help. Map tools and compass have been provided to assist with navigation but this doesn't mean anything if you don't know how to use them.
  • No NVGs. The weather has been set up to make this easier but you will still have to deal with low light conditions, especially in buildings and towns. Remember mortars carry illum and fire creates light.
Pilgrim, Luke and hoofed like this

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24 Hour(ish) to go bump.

You will need some of this information guys so give it a look over even if you don't read the history section

Pilgrim and hoofed like this

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Last bump before tonights op.

Training playlist:

Map navigation:

I can't do anymore for you guys I'm afraid. Please read the OPORD and watch the vids if you think you will struggle. This will not be easy

Luke and Pilgrim like this

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Question: is bocage destructible and do we carry explosives?

Any intel on mined areas?

 

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5 minutes ago, Pilgrim said:

Question: is bocage destructible and do we carry explosives?

Yes and Yes. Explosives are TNT charges carried by the Rifleman as usual. The bocage is destructible but it can soak up a LOT of punishment. Easiest way I've found is to drive tanks through it.

6 minutes ago, Pilgrim said:

Any intel on mined areas?

You know what the planners know

Pilgrim likes this

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Roger. Well until the tanker boys arrive, we’ll have to be creative. Wonder if mortar fire can destroy a hedge. Just thinking about avoiding being channeled into fire zones. 

Thanks.

Jason likes this

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Great Operation Tonight!

Air was a bit quiet at the start but things picked up as the op went on. AA was deadly not allowing anyone under 200m or else instant death would occur. I would like to say that the paradrop was slightly my fault as I went a bit faster than I wanted to, so sorry to those who might of gotten lost 5 minutes into the operation! Performance did start to become more poor as it became day but I still had a great time!

Overall Brilliant Op, 
7/10

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PARKER, Jason and hoofed like this

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A few pics from the OP hope you enjoy 

Its going down!

AAA.jpg

Downed Plane not to sure who it was let me know!:P  If you look closely you can see a tank just in the bushes.

a.jpg

Some one being hit.

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Ejected !!

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Get Low Alpha!

download (1).jpgdownload (2).jpg

SoKkada, Jason, Pilgrim and 1 other like this

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My own self critique then.

First up the main elephant in the room, the FPS problem.

This was something I battled with throughout the editing process and sadly all my attempts at a fix failed to alleviate the problem much. I removed countless objects from the map. There are entire swathes of countryside that have been deleted in an attempt to improve the situation. Sadly I removed everything I could in the towns without them becoming useless for anything and this was the problem. I'm not sure why the game engine struggles with these buildings, but it does. By the time it became apparent that a fix would be unlikely, it was too late to re-make the mission in a different location. I had a steady 20 FPS through my last test which I thought would be passable since I have a low end system. This assumption was obviously wrong and everyone suffered. This is the only part of the campaign set in this area however so fingers crossed it'll be a one off incident.

Next up, the para-drop.

This is obviously a bit of a bone of contention and I can see both sides of the argument. While the infantry are trained to use a specific function n a specific way, the IF function simply changes one function for another. You don't need to stand in the door if you don't want to and would only need to use the scroll menu rather than the GW menu. My main reasons for trying to encourage the IF functions were two fold. One, immersion. Standing in the door with the flak bursting around you, watching the other C-47s dodge fire, get hit or just sit in formation is fucking amazing. ARMA at it's very best. Secondly there is a practical purpose. The IF parachutes have a much faster descent rate than the ones we get in the GW function and don't stall out as you drop. This lets you drop much faster and safer than the main clan function. In testing the only time I died on the drop was using our main function which is why I promoted the IF one. Whatever the argument, it's done now and we made it down in one piece for the most part but I would like to see immersion things like this more readily adopted in the future.

For the rest then, I spent my time with an AAC ground team providing mortar and medical support. We didn't get much chance to use our medical supplies but I was already expecting this. The weapons involved and the lack of body armour means we will not see much in the way of T-2s for the majority of this campaign. The damage we will take from enemy fire is simply too great. The mortars were put to decent use especially using us to illuminate the area which was our main task. HE strikes proved to be effective against light vehicles but not against much else. Again I knew about this and mentioned it in the OPORD, the vehicles from IF can soak up a LOT of punishment. HE blast weapons like mortars are really not going to be effective against anything with armour. This scenario really displayed the problems we face as mortar crews and hopefully illustrates the skill involved in this role. Without accurate GPS position fixing and working purely through radio references we still managed to successfully engage most targets. The biggest miss came in the second town where distance between firing position and target location, coupled with error margin and wind, caused quite a bit of shot deviation. We can mitigate this by keeping the mortar crews closer to the front to eliminate more of the error margin. This will also apply to future ops back in the modern world.

On the air side I rarely had contact with the air crews simply due to radio range. This is quite realistic and illustrates the problems faced by these guys when they landed. Not sure what to do about this other than having the fighters orbit closer to our position. In future missions this should be possible but last night there was simply too much AAA covering the supplies. Again this was quite true to history and a lot of airborne units did have to deal with AAA and flak emplacements to allow their reinforcements to land safely. The AAA also contributed to the lack of viable CAS strikes but this was to be expected really. Which leads me to:

The terrain and AI

These worked very VERY well together making for some spectacular accidental re-enactment moments. Hoofed getting shot down at the first town as he tried to strafe the parked tanks was a great example. The AAA gun that took him down was literally one field over from the main infantry position yet you guys didn't even know it was there or assumed it was dead when it wasn't. At 7 other points the main ground force marched clean past entrenched Germans and at some points us and the Germans were on opposite sides of the same hedge. This meant that both forces bypassed each other without even seeing each other meaning we constantly had Germans behind our lines or between or forces. This was epic to watch but did make controlling the flow of the mission difficult. Something to bear in mind for the future I guess.

The other point from the pilots was the way the mission flowed with regards to air contacts. This was quite deliberate on my part so I will explain my reasoning. The Luftwaffe at the time were pounded to pieces as part of the mass bombing campaign that preceded Overlord. Those fighters that were left were not risked at night since night fighting at the time was still a very dubious task. Further to this, it wasn't until the second and third waves of para-drops that the Germans actually started to think that this was an invasion. As time wore on then more fighters were deployed to intercept the drops which I recreated. As the sun rose the "daylight" aircraft became viable and more were scrambled to respond which is when things started to heat up for the air crews. There were also points where one wave of fighters had not been completely defeated before the next wave spawned meaning there was a steady increase in the amount of contacts. This was due to the lack of modern systems such as radar which meant OPFOR air had to be visibly located and engaged with guns as the only weapon. All things considered the pilots did an amazing job.

Finally a special mention goes to @Wartomsniper for his first taste of AAC life. As far as I know he coped well as the turret gunner in a P-61 and went on to work on the ground as a medic with the ground team. Hopefully this will help you understand a little better the roles that the AAC take on and our job within the clan.

To summarise then:

The mission was created from the ground up to be realistic. I did this intentionally so as to respect the memories of the utterly mental guys that did this IRL. These guys were either stupidly brave or just plain stupid but they did it and succeeded against massive odds. I do not apologise for any of the gear choices or the fact that we were hopelessly outgunned at times simply because this is true to history. The airborne succeeded through creative use of terrain and the equipment at their disposal, something we started to emulate after a little while. The way you guys outflanked the parked Marder to take it out from behind was a textbook example of how the RL units would have acted.

Despite the FPS issue and comms range trouble I had a brilliant time even if I only fired 15 rounds. I would love to do this again on a different map to get rid of the FPS issues.

Sadly the FPS ruined my movie and I didn't get any screenshots so I have no media from last night to share. Instead then I'll give you my POC movie of the paradrop from testing so you can see what was going on outside of the plane:

GG all, bring on week 2!

Pilgrim, SoKkada, Luke and 1 other like this

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I always expect a detailed, well produced mission from @Jason, and it delivered.

I really like the para drop system. Just adds a really nice touch and got me in the zone straight away.

The initial run was very very good. Almost like a Brothers In Arms cinematic, which pushed Arma to breaking point and showed what is possible with scripting and design.

I had arguably one of the most experienced teams I could have hoped for, @unionjak @SoKkada @Luke @Skelitonand it was still an incredibly hard mission to team lead. Chaos with comms, poor weaponry for the task, in other words a pretty damn good go at delivering the ww2 vibe.

This tested my relatively new team leadership skills, and It became a game of two halves for me. The first going far better than the second. We did improvise though. For instance, to counter the lack of radios, I often found myself deploying one team slightly in advance, with me in the centre JUST within earshot relaying to the other team further out. They may not have realised that was what I was doing mind, as it was fairly hectic.

What hellish conditions they endured. As soon as you survived one incredibly dangerous situation, you were thrust into another.

As this map will vary from every other future mission, it’s barely worth going into any of the technical glitches. I loved the variety of contacts, objectives and platforms we were up against. Very well put together, thoughtful and with a lot of love put into it. 

Im gutted I will miss this coming weekend. I was under the impression we were alternating factions? What’s the deal there because I’d rather like to plan my LoA’s for the coming weeks so I can make as many US missions as possible.

G bloody G

SoKkada and Jason like this

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7 minutes ago, Pilgrim said:

I was under the impression we were alternating factions? What’s the deal there because I’d rather like to plan my LoA’s for the coming weeks so I can make as many US missions as possible.

This was the original plan but we've since took the decision to run the entire US campaign through to help people keep track of the story so the next 4 weeks will be US forces

Pilgrim likes this

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Damnit. At least I will only miss one :( (girlfriends’ sons’ birthday on Saturday)

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Apologies for the (very) late feedback. Will try to sum up the most important again.

Editing:

Certainly very well made. Objectives were built nicely. Balance was spot on. Lots of immersive bits were added.

Plagued by an average framerate anywhere between 15-20. This does affect both our performance in fights and our enjoyment overall.

 

Execution:

Elephant in the room is the paradrop system, which has been somewhat of a thorn in my side. It may be all good, suitable for the situation, and of good quality. But all that aside, I have to look at it from a squad leader's perspective. 1-1 has a plethora of difficult issues that need to  be adressed in our 1h training session once a week. That's very little time for a huge ammount of difficult training subjects. The squad can't be expected to spend their valuable time on a new procedure that gets used only the once. I've said it before and I will say it again: 1-1 will be trained in one consistent procedure, i. e. a procedure using the GW menu and a countdown.

Another gripe I have are the deployable tripods. They are extremely impractical, needlessly hindering our ability to deploy/move out quickly. The terrain that we encounter we can not make good use of. Not a fan. Realism is good, but it has its limits in my opinion. But then again. Is it realistic to jump out of a plane with a 15kg tripod + 30kg of regular gear on your shoulders? Not sure but doesn't seem quite right to me.

Other than that the mission was fairly enjoyable. Surprisingly there was only one situation where the lack of radio comms caused problems, but when it did it caused a pretty severe friendly fire incident. Took some getting used to. Everything that was said on the radio had to be relayed to the teams. This takes some effort. Voice was gone after the mission. But in the end, it worked a lot better than I anticipated.

Otherwise there's not a hell of a lot to mention. Challenging terrain had to be overcome, and I believe it's fair to say that we did so mostly decisively. Casualties were average.

 

The whole thing had some Band of Brothers vibes to it, which I liked. So well done on the mission and well played.

I'll have to give this no more than a 6/10 though, because of the bad performance and my own preferences for contemporary scenarios.

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12 minutes ago, Filth said:

The squad can't be expected to spend their valuable time on a new procedure that gets used only the once

This is the other side of the argument that I fully understand even if I disagree with it. I've taught enough to know people learn a procedure by repetition and throwing something like the alternate para-drop function into the mix does not help matters. It was however a very simple change with training opportunities so it wouldn't have been that big a deal to use it. It's done now though and there are no more drops in the campaign.

15 minutes ago, Filth said:

Is it realistic to jump out of a plane with a 15kg tripod + 30kg of regular gear on your shoulders?

Actually yes. The LMG teams split their load into leg bags which they held to their chests until their canopy opened then they lowered them to the end of a rope tied to their legs. They would then land pretty much on top of their gear. The US airborne had never used the system before and many troopers lost the bags through misuse as they threw them into the slip stream before jumping which made the ropes snap. There are also documented cases of troopers having to be lifted into planes by their squadmates since they were carrying so much gear.

Filth likes this

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We enjoy playing ArmA3 in a tactical and professional way and ensuring at the same time a high level of fun is kept within the game. We use tactics and procedures from various armies and modify them to suit our own needs. This allows us to operate in the ArmA 3 platform effectively.

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