What do you do when your network connectivity goes down? I don't know about you, but I work, go out with friends and sometimes play my favorite games.
Few days ago my network connection went bonkers for 24 h, I was uninspired to work and it was late night didn't feel like going out. So I dug out some old ArmA 2 SP mission files and had some fun, all until the fun hit epic-o-meter.
I hit a sweet spot with a mission made by a Chinese guy nicked Dragon Zen and called Advancing Power.
I've played with this one many many times, but it never turned out so epic like this in SP.
Before you read the battlelog, note that I made and included a tutorial on how you can re-cerate this experience by yourself, more on that later on.
It was 6 am morning near Pobeda Dam, after a decision to invade North of Chernorus and remove all insurgency in the North, USMC troops advanced slowly toward a dam that seemed clear. Nobody expected what was to happen next. The Insurgency forces were well prepared and hurling from South to counter this attack. Very soon after, a shot broke the dead silence, and then a storm off bullets and tracers lit up the morning sky. Just at the beginning I was a grunt and had a regular rifleman gear set. Bullets littered the hillside on the north, a 50 cal truck guarded the dam crossing, and a sniper somewhere far in the woods shot many of my mates down very soon, I was hit several times but I managed to find cover behind one of very few trees. The insurgents didn't waste time, they advanced fast, they crossed the dam and pinned all my squads down so badly, flanked us from both East and West sides of the hill. 1 of our squads managed to pull back and flank west of the insurgents, wipe their 5 man squad out and proceed to suppress remaining 2 insurgent squads. I got back to ammo boxes and got myself a nice X8 SAW, took as many insurgents as I could, but they simply didn't stop coming over the dam. This lasted for an hour at least. Sun was rising up slowly, and someone blew that 50 cal up, helping our troops advance ant take hold of the dam bridge, push the insurgents back behind a barn on the right. The insurgents were just inches from a clear 400 m pass victory, standing at 380m to be exact, but we struck back and regained control. The sniper in an unknown location would take out many of our guys from the dam bridge, so our squads made an odd decision - to swim the dam waters itself. 2 enemy squads behind a barn, and another 50 cal on the shore were raining down bullets upon troops helplessly swimming for the other side, many would die. Our own 50 cal came to help, took out the enemy truck and lowered the coastal pressure, eventually helping our troops get on the shore. They didn't lose time, they grabbed insurgents weapons and used the barn as cover. By that time, light armors shown up, and sun lit up the whole valley making everyone an easy target. I got myself an m1911 and rained some artillery from that hill. And then, biggest of the fight ensued, light armors, tanks and air support combined with massive artillery strikes from both sides were firing in a nearly never-ending kill-or-be-killed fight for survival. 5 hours have passed since the beginning, we lost few helicopters as insurgents managed to bring a zu33 truck and use it very skillfully. Wrecks and bodies along with crater marks could be seen everywhere, and then, the dead silence started to creep again. The remaining few insurgents were taking their last stand in the north western forests, we didn't lose time. By then I earned enough of respect among the troops and was able to command entire attack, I ordered all of our troops to strike that one spot in the forest and followed them in a humvee. Victory! After 6 hours of fighting, many casualties, the dam was secured and insurgents took a beating they'll remember forever.
6 hours play (2 sessions, 3 h each)
>Over 40 men (including my own falls)
>Few tusks, 50 cals, 1 Apache and 1 Cobra.
>~80 lives total.
>Over 250 regular riflemen of all kinds.
>Around 20 special units (AT, MG, etc)
>Around 10 light armors.
>One ZU33 truck.
>One brave farmer.
>~400 lives total.
The conclusion - That was one epic battle, really one of a kind. BI calibrated the AI so well that the situations like these are near-realistic compared to real events. In this example alone, USMC lost less men but relied heavily on technicals whilist Insurgents, unable to have a proper funding relied on numbers and used technicals wisely, in addition to that advanced fast and attacked bravely. Dragon Zen did a great job with the mission file itself, the AI was able to call in reinforcements, purchase equipment, purchase technicals, call air support or even take drastic measures such as swim across a lake and grab enemy gear from insurgents fallen fighters so they can push onward.
Want to try this for yourself? You no doubt should.
Thing's you'll need:
-ArmA 2 or ArmA 2 Free.
-Advancing Power by Dragon Zen - http://www.armaholic.com/page.php?id=11463
-Mission savegame with all parameters set (optional) - https://www.dropbox.com/s/pofmgvzdox1x0cq/ForVictory.7z
-JSRS 1.4 and up Sound mod (recommended)
-WarFX and Blastcore FX mods (recommended)
-Patience, the battle can take from just 15 minutes to even 6 hours like mine took.
-Skill, you will need to seek cover often, or you will die a lot (I did 13 times)
if you've got all of the above then you are ready to go, but just in case the savegame doesn't work for you, here's a step by step tutorial with images on how you can re-create the necessary parameters to get the same battle effect. Please set exactly as instructed unless told otherwise.
Step 1 - Basic setting 1 - https://www.dropbox.com/s/76g0bdxryycyvug/1.jpg
Set a time limit to no time limit and distance to 400 m.
Step 2 - Basic setting spots - https://www.dropbox.com/s/qvvte73e2xsiqm7/2.jpg
Find Pobeda Dam in Chernorus and set bases and fire center as shown in the picture.
Step 3 - Basic setting 2 - https://www.dropbox.com/s/pll5yzbcp0jqj4c/3.jpg
Pull all sliders to the left and set 4 squads per each side. Don't click OK yet.
Step 4 - Faction settings - https://www.dropbox.com/s/xn51o3buhkhqdqk/4.jpg
Use the Faction Setting button and disable all sides on the left except W-USMC and E-INS.
Step 5 - Time and space - https://www.dropbox.com/s/59d2s8eos33pge8/5.jpg
Weather at 2nd full bar, fog at zero, time 6 am, Length 320m, width 100m. Deletion times should be 2 min each, however if you have a powerful machine feel free to increase this value as it will give you more realism since there will be more bodies on the ground and wrecks scattered. Fast time to real time.
Step 6 - Reinforcements - https://www.dropbox.com/s/6rtllcxp0q688u9/6.jpg
W-Light and E-Light to 1, all NUMs to 1 and respawn timer to 90 seconds.
Step 7 - Other Settings - https://www.dropbox.com/s/99oejzfco7zvder/7.jpg
Everything off, except Artillery Enabled, leader full function set kill cam off and player position to 0.04
You will want to enable light armors later on, after some time, and also enable attack helos as well even further into battle, this will add more dynamics to the battle. You can revisit in-game settings via 0-0-X where X is setting number listed.
Step 8 - Choose your side - https://www.dropbox.com/s/gbshomebffnsfeu/8.jpg
West-1 USMC and off you go!
That's it, you're done, enjoy the game. Play until you win, repeat if needed. You may want to replay the same scenario but for the insurgents afterwards. You can also craft your own battles, Advancing Power is one hectic sandbox.
Have you played this? Did you like it (if so, I can create another one similar to it)? Share in comments.
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