Author: Malus
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Version: 1.01

Date: 2007-07-26 07:40

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Ultimate Conquest I

I wanted a large campaign oriented multiplayer PvP sector control map, but I also wanted it to remove the non-military details associated with point style 'flag' and scripted 'coop' games. I wanted the players to have the flexibility to try any strategy/tactic without limitation. Finally, I am really tired of fighting AI - most of the maps these days are coop missions, only good for basic training - and seek the challenge of a solid multiplayer mission beyond the small maps I've seen in the genre. Not seeing any mission like that on the the various sites, I set about making my own. 'Ultimate Conquest' is the outcome, and meets those goals.

To clear a sector you have to remove the enemy from it - that is the prime focus - you don't have to worry about finding a flag pole, as long as you are standing in the sector, and your enemy is not - then you've won it. Combat to the core. This is easy for low value objectives - where the sector is several hundred meters in diameter, and easy to clear - but yet another thing for a major town/city - where the sector area can cover several square kilometers. And this is as it should be - the high value targets are more difficult to take - requiring a concerted effort, and conversely easier to hold - in a contested situation. This represents the difficulty of fighting in a built-up area. To clear a large area you have to be methodical. If both you and your enemy want an objective bad enough a pitched battle over an extended time frame will follow until one or the other gives up, is surrounded, bypassed or killed.

I also wanted to be surprised everytime I logged a mission. The open ended objectives provide that well. Surprise and operational security can work hand in hand to spring a trap on the enemy before he catches on. You can use feints and spoiling attacks to keep the enemy busy and guessing while your real intent is elsewhere.

Many missions allow the players to respawn equipment indefinitely. I took a modified approach to this, you can respawn your primary soldier/airman as much as you like - but the vehicles are severely limited - fixed wing aircraft and boats do not respawn at all. This does several things. First it means you must protect your equipment - or you will be limited to a very basic vehicle set to fight the remainder of the mission (probably not a winning approach) - and infantry/tankers need to support the pilots on this or they'll lose their close air support and transport. This also has implications for your operations. The farther away from your main base, the longer that vehicle supply line. It becomes feasible to isolate an objective you are attacking by interdicting supply into that area - which makes clearing the objective easier. Conversely, it makes terrain movement and security more important, and you may have to fight your way into a sector that is secured in this way.

There are resupply (fuel, ammo) and repair trucks available - and these will also respawn indefinitely once they are destroyed (I am assuming there are stockpiles of the basics at the main bases enough to sustain an indefinite campaign - a bit of fiction to keep the game going). It is possible to build FARPs and MASH units to provide service points along your route of advance. Until now resupply hasn't been much of an issue in PvP missions because they remained in the secured main base for the most part and/or AI didn't show interest in them; now you have the opportunity to target the enemy supply system as it attempts to keep the enemy attack going.

I also threw a monkey wrench into things by placing the high value aviation assets and airbases, and the naval bases and boats outside of the protection zone of the main bases. Again this plays into the idea that you have to actively protect, support and disburse your weapon systems or they will be taken away by enemy action. There are many instances in modern warfare where the outcome of a campaign hinged on that issue (Battle of Britain comes to mind).

In short your objective in this game is to fight and win - with the emphasis on the fight. I've tried to hide as much of the game mechanics as possible to allow you to keep your head in the terrain and on the enemy, and allow the sectors to fall naturally as you take them as a result of your operations.

    - Vehicle resupply at bases. Bases protected - enemy troops/vehicles entering are destroyed instantly by game engine.
    - Limited equipment (no respawn on boats/fixed wing, limited respawn on armor and attack choppers, unlimited respawn for infantry, slicks, trucks). Airfields and Naval bases are outside of protected zones.

    - Large area sector control (200 meter diameter for small objectives, up to 1 km diameter for large objectives. This is a campaign map - covers the complete Sahrani map. Teams start with 50 points each - first team to reach 80 wins. No time limit.

    - Ability to adjust view distance in game.

    - Two styles of ammo boxes for each team (rifle company and special operations gear boxes).

    - Uses all stock ArmA 1.08 equipment - no mods needed.
Extract to your ArmA\MPMissions folder

Things to do:
    1. Respawn fix: rather than have vehicles respawn all over a large respawn area - vehicle respawn in initial location - then localize player respawn near resupply tent.
    2. Respawn fix part 2: as part of the vehicle respawn fix, set up fixed wing aircraft and boats to respawn in initial location - this one is a maybe, pending playtesting with no respawn for these assets.
    3. Internationalization.
    4. Add FARP/MASH creation/points system for medics/engineers. I liked that feature from 'Evolution 3'.
    5. Limit fixed wing fighter/bombers and high end attack choppers (AH1Z and KA50) to pilots only.
Thanks to all the mission developers who have created the excellent ArmA multiplayer games that have been an inspiration to me.

Change log:
Fixed AI enabled by default
Fixed a camera command
Fixed organizational structure.

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