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#1 Posted at 2012-05-23 14:43        
     
I'm going hot off the beta release of my first completed submission, Op. Croc Hunt: Insertion for Isla Duala ( http://www.armaholic.com/forums.php?m=posts&q=17619 ), this time I have switched focus from Horn of Africa to Afghanistan, looking to provide an experience than is even more true to real-life events. Taking some of the feedback about peoples' play-throughs and impressions of Croc Hunt, I plan to release a single-scenario mission (no grandiose plans of a campaign) with more to do, more to see, and more ways to accomplish the mission.




Op. Razor's Edge

by
Alex / HeadUp


Description:
Inspired by the real-life Operation Knife Edge that took place in mid-October of 2011, involving Special Forces from the US and Afghan National Army working together to clear the remote border province of Paktika of a training camp used by the Haqqani network, one of the most dangerous militant groups to threaten NATO and the Afghan Government -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haqqani_network#Military_offenses http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/politics/19-Oct-2011/Operation-Knife-Edge-on-at-border

Many of the names have been changed, but they're all very close to what I've been able to research about the op. The campaign gives players control of a fire team from Tier One AFO Bourbon, with orders to rendezvous with the ANA's 3rd Brigade, 213th Corps in Hadiz after inserting in the ridge to the south via MH-6J. After clearing two villages in the AO, AFO Bourbon must talk to the inhabitants with the help of your newly-embedded translator from the ANA in order to determine the location of a Haaquni network training camp, which is occupied by a substantial number of Haaquni, Taliban, and Chechen extremists. There will also be a series of bonus objectives, such as rescuing a soldier from the BAF who is being held hostage, and locating a deep-cover operative who will join your squad once found. Similar to Croc Hunt, the battlefield will have more going on than just what your team is up to-- this is an Afghan-led operation, with squads from 3rd Bn. hunting the AO for Haaquni strongholds.


Features:
  • New mission for the excellent Aliabad region
  • Insanely detailed briefing with background on the region and OPFOR
  • Lots of dialogue (although sadly no voice acting for now)
  • Choose your loadout during the briefing or on-board the insertion chopper
  • Utilizes simple house lighting script by TPW for extra beautiful color and detail
  • You are part of a larger operation and will have to check fire for civvies, friendlies and non-hostile militias
  • Call in CAS support, make use of allied ANA armor and ground troops
  • New objectives and map markers added while in-mission


  • Installation:
    Simply unpack the OPREv090.MCN_Aliabad.pbo in your ..\<ArmA2 installation>\Missions folder (you may create it first).


    Notes:
    As this is a beta, your feedback is welcomed and appreciated (solutions and suggestions as well!) Please direct feedback to the following thread on Armaholic: http://www.armaholic.com/forums.php?m=posts&q=17687

    Planned Changes & Fixes:
    * Update tip text when fire mission is confirmed
    * Update Untie action for rescuing BAF soldier (to warn that it takes a few seconds)
    * Consider adjusting the clear Tagaw objective area and investigate units falling thru floors of houses making them difficult to find or engage.
    * Investigate Clear Tagaw objective bug, where some players would have the objective become incompleted after having already completed it. (Please provide feedback if this is happening to you!)

    Disclaimer:
    a) This campaign is distributed without any warranty, it may work or even not. If you encounter any bugs feel free to report them at http://dev-heaven.net or at the above-linked forum thread.
    b) This is NOT an official release supported by BIS. The use of this scenario is entirely at your own risk.
    c) ABSOLUTELY NO COMMERCIAL OR MILITARY USE OF THIS CAMPAIGN OR PARTS OF IT! NO EXCEPTIONS SO DON'T EVEN ASK.


    Credits & Thanks:
    - The Arma2 editor community for providing so much documentation
    - McNools, Someguywho, TPW, Volw, and the community at large for their amazing addons
    - Tour of Teamrespawn crew
    - My GF for putting up with my editing obsession
    - Armaholic for file hosting and being the portal to the wide world of Arma modding
    - Bohemia Interactive for giving the hardcore mil shooter fanatics the game of their dreams



    This post was edited by headup (2012-06-07 15:04, ago)


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    #2 Posted at 2012-05-26 04:39        
         
    Updates:
    * Added an objective to kill Zajib Faisal, leader of the Haaquni training camp...but killing him is not enough, you have to confirm the body in order to complete the objective.
    * BAF Prisoner rescue optional objective is working quite well now, thanks to the simple hostage script by Taco.
    * Switched ANA V3S's to BMP's, which now lend a lot more fire support and help ensure that the Afghan's are taking the lead in the fight and not letting the Americans have all the fun. Although they are supposed to guard Hadiz, they seem to come to your rescue when you are in over your head (if you can stay alive long enough).
    * Switched initial Haaquni camp objective from clear to finding it first (because BLUFOR doesn't know the exact location at the beginning of the mission), which requires you to either talk to civilians (after making their villages safe first) or run around the AO looking to get lucky.
    * In-mission addition/updating of objectives is in place for objectives (eg. after clearing Hadiz, the objective is added to speak to a civilian who may know the location of the camp.
    * Loading screen is done, still need to finish out the rest of the Description.ext.
    * Task hints are now in-place (thanks to feedback I got from my previous mission).
    * Got a few screens, but I won't link them for now unless anyone is really interested.
    * There are more hand-made script files with dialogue than ever before, lots of chatter, trying to edit it down.
    * The meat of the mission is in-place, but I still plan to add a few more objectives (both optional and required). All in all, you'll go tearing around a substantial portion of the Aliabad map.
    * Need to figure out exactly what kind of support to give the player (none is needed to complete all objectives, but there are a few points where some arty could come in handy).
    * Need to decide if I want to add the deep-cover CIA operative or not. Was thinking it'd be cool if you go out of your way to complete these optional objectives, you get rewards (access to a vehicle, another teammate, or valuable information).
    * There are a lot of markers on the map, updating with triggers and tasks being completed, it's a lot to keep track of as an editor, but I think it helps players a lot.

    Anyway, there's lots more to talk about, but that's the gist. Really getting excited about this one-- not only is the gameplay shaping up to be fun and get gradually more challenging at the same time, but there is a good bit of realism and historical accuracy being reflected.

    Stay tuned...


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    #3 Posted at 2012-05-26 19:24        
         
    Sounds great headup, look forward to trying this out as well.


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    #4 Posted at 2012-05-30 20:58        
         
    More updates:

    * Added a selection of gear to Description.ext, which will allow you to customize your fireteam's loadout during the briefing. I will extend this selection to the MH-6J's cargo so you can tweak your loadout before you hit the LZ.
    * Added mortar support to be used once you find the Haaquni camp (currently can be used from the beginning, but not advisable in Hadiz or Tagaw as there are civilian inhabitants) ran into issues getting the Radio Juliet (for marking the firemission in the map) and Radio Hotel (for calling it in) triggers to become available only after locating the camp. You only get one chance with the fire mission, so it should be used wisely, preferably when the player has eyes-on. Arty support is based on a script by Volw on the BI Forums.
    * Added a secret bonus objective -- locate and sieze enemy attack plans.
    * Added an IED workshop to the Haaquni training camp.
    * Added a couple groups to the large space between Hadiz and Tagaw that have a 50% chance of spawning within a 50m radius, as well as a few armed independent (non-hostile) militiamen.
    * Added animals to Hadiz, as it will be a farming village, whereas Tagaw is the location of a marketplace and madrassah. One pair of herders armed with Lee-Enfields will guard their sheep.

    Here are a few teaser images:









    This post was edited by headup (2012-05-31 02:15, ago)


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    #5 Posted at 2012-05-30 21:25        
         
    Sounds and looks awesome headup. Really looking forward to playing this, like I said earlier. ;P


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    #6 Posted at 2012-05-31 02:26        
         
    Thanks dude, this is definitely a more involved mission than Croc Hunt, very challenging and lots of ground to cover. Your encouragement is highly appreciated, as will be your feedback when it's out.

    There is a lot more randomness to this one... I've played through many times to test, and am still testing constantly as I build, but the battle can go a number of ways-- for example, if one of the friendly ANA BMPs is destroyed in the beginning by an AT ambush, or if the ANA maneuver that splits between Hadiz and Tagaw actually survives. Sometimes the ANA sweeps Hadiz and Tagaw in a breeze, other times the work is on your shoulders. Most of the time the ANA does its job of hunting down Haaqunis, and if you're patient, they will come to your aid whenever you spot a large group of insurgents. So hopefully there's a bit more replay value to this one.

    Still need to arrange some form of evac and end mission stuff, I'm considering having the player sweep through one final village to eliminate any retreating OPFOR (perhaps with a lot more ANA support to compensate for the fact that their entire team may have been killed along the way), secure the LZ and then board the evac chopper to complete the mission. All in all there will be 10 or more tasks to complete total, including bonus objectives.


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    #7 Posted at 2012-05-31 04:07        
         
    Wow, sounds like a very invlolved mission. Ten objectives is a ton. For the third time, look forward to trying it out.


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    #8 Posted at 2012-05-31 14:05        
         
    Yes, I am looking forward to it as well. :-) If past successes are anything to go by it'll be outstanding. ;-)
    Anyway, would you consider adding in the RQ-11 Raven by Feint? I've found it to be a wonderful addon and ideally suited for covert roles, just a thought.

    Thanks
    Warrior of Arma
    Raven


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    #9 Posted at 2012-06-01 00:38        
         
    Warrior of Arma -- I did try adding some UAV and manned Little Bird overwatch, but they affect the behavior of the OPFOR in obnoxious ways, plus this RQ-11 looks like it required CBA, which I'm trying to keep out of this mission, along with ACE (for now). Additionally, airborne elements that aren't on a tight leash keep running the risk of flying [stupidly] into Pakistani airspace, which instantly ends the mission.

    A few more updates:
    * Working out bugs is getting tedious but nothing has been unfixable...
    * Needed to do some serious tweaking to waypoints to ensure OPFOR attacks when they are called upon. Things are more stable now.
    * Got the Artillery support to only be available when the Haaquni camp has been located, and then spent hours trying to get the syntax correct for the radio triggers containing this fire mission functionality which are created as a result. Finally got both the target marker on the map and the confirmation of fire mission function to work. (Still requires patience for the rounds to reach the target)
    * Tweaked some interaction with civilians who have information about the location of the Haaquni camp. Actions are now being removed correctly after activation (before they would stick and cause confusion).
    * Now you have to help the civilian in Tagaw before he helps you-- he asks for your help to clear the madrassah in the village in exchange for some valuable info. Once the madrassah is clear, you return to him and obtain the info.
    * ANA ground forces will move faster to the rally point near Hadiz, ANA BMPs move slower, but still hunt down tangos and will provide fire support if still operational once you discover the location of the camp.
    * Removed a hint about the optional BAF objective, it will be up to the player to decide if, when, and how they want to tackle it.

    To Do:
    * Evac chopper when primary objectives are complete (Clear training camp, kill and confirm HVT)
    * Loss triggers (Straying into Pakistani territory = Mission Loss, If your embedded ANA liason dies = Mission Loss - since you will no longer have a translator)
    * End triggers (depending on your performance you could have different debriefings)

    I've played through a number of times once again to ensure everything is as consistent as it should be (there's still a good amount of randomness) and still working on the end game stuff, which is about all that's left as I continue to play through and work out kinks.


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    #10 Posted at 2012-06-01 01:33        
         
    Okay, I was not aware. Still, it sounds quite good. Keep it up. *THUMBS UP*

    Regards
    Warrior of Arma


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    #11 Posted at 2012-06-01 02:18        
         
    Yep, keep up the good work.


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    #12 Posted at 2012-06-03 16:34        
         
    Very close to release, got the scenario img and description (overview.html) together, added triggers to warn you if you fire at non-combatants (shepards with lee-enfields trying to protect their flock will run around the AO, so check your fire!). Also, you now have to ensure the ANA Liason embedded in your fire team stays alive (he's your medic, he's the only one who can understand the local dialect, and he represents the ANA/NATO cooperation), the objective changes after you rendezvous...if he does die, the mission is lost.

    Need to:
    * Fix the evac chopper, he flies in after you activate the Radio Bravo trigger (which becomes available only after you complete the two primary objectives) and lands (your ANA liason leaves the FT to return to his unit), there's a check if all the members of your FT are either dead or aboard, but the takeoff and flying toward the endgame trigger isn't happening. Using the simplest possible evac (in-editor only) since other scripts that spawn the chopper/pilots have not been working for me.
    * Try and keep the AI BMPs from moving on the captured BAF soldier or the Haaquni base before you do, sometimes they just go off and do their own thing (which is sort of understandable, given their own objectives). I've accounted for this for the most part, but I'd love to know how I can keep them from entering certain areas until the right time.
    * Test it one or two more times myself.

    Then it will be release time!


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    #13 Posted at 2012-06-03 20:41        
         
    Great to hear that it's almost done. The mission really does sound like an exceptional one. Can't wait for the updated version of Croc Hunt as well.


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    #14 Posted at 2012-06-05 00:09        
         
    Alright, v0.90 beta, first release has been submitted! Should be out soon...

    Really looking forward to hearing feedback on this one, lots of hard work went into making it. Here are a couple more teaser screens.

    This guy has the right idea after we shot down all his buddies.


    When all primary objectives are complete, you get the ability to call in evac. The mission ends when everyone who is alive is on the chopper. It also shows the new chat options so you can get to know your fireteam better.


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    #15 Posted at 2012-06-05 08:57        
         
    Sounds great! headup, any chance this will work as a coop on a dedicated server? I wish to play this mission during the Comrades in Arms coop nights.

    Join the CiA coop nights! http://ciahome.net