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  1. #61
    Network Hub fer's Avatar
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    Cross-posting from the Folk AAR thread for tonight ([Sun] 05 June 2011):

    Missions:
    • The Takedown
    • Valley RE
    • Incohate Spatula

    Comrades, we ran out of space on the server after Valley RE, and had to switch to the RPS server for our final mission because the playercount was in the mid-20s. Staff at the Bureau of Server Capacity Planning will be ... liquidated. On the other hand, it was a hell of a turnout, thanks largely to the comrades from RPS, and some good fun was had by all, I think.

    :hist101:

    P.S. Given that tonight featured more revive/CASEVAC functionality than before, I would love feedback from the comrades as to how this influenced (or didn't) their enjoyment.

    The Takedown

    - Aziz: Jo

    After last week's experience with this mission, we decided to give BLUFOR a grace period at the start of the mission, with comrade Joseph/Sulphur holding station at his starting point for 2 minutes before setting off for the city. Our plan was simple: Jo would drive up to the south of the city, then switch places with comrade Headspace, who would drive the car around as a decoy target. Things well for us. For BLUFOR ... not so much.

    One of the sympathisers in the city (Liqourish?) had spawned without a weapon, and I was on my way to meet him and check that his clothes would allow him to pass as a civilian. However, before I could make the RV a BLUFOR Littlebird touched down in a compound to the north of the Mosque. One of our chaps was already on the scene, and as I got into a nearby firing position I could see 3-4 BLUFOR soldiers prone on the ground immediately around the stationary bird. With my unknown comrade drawing their fire, I had ample time to execute them (and to be fair, I needed it, since my MP5 appeared only to wound on the first hit). We had taken out at least 50% of the BLUFOR force, and in the meantime Jo has made it to the safety of the Mosque. Teas and cakes were served in whatever the mosque equivalent is of a vestry.

    :coolbert:

    Valley RE

    - Delta FTL: Stranglove
    |- AR: Mort
    |- AAR: Fer
    |- RPG: Egg

    Valley was made with the mission stub from the current competition, but I had changed the location to the wonderfully rocky Naygul valley in the north-west of Takistan. Grizzly had stepped up to take CO and his plan was simple: the platoon (which was at full-strength with four full fireteams and complete CO and DC elements) would advance down the valley in a wedge formation. My FT, Delta, was tasked with being the left-most element, up high on the side of the valley. Stranlove led us on, and from the moment we entered the valley proper, we were engaged.

    The funny thing about the valley is that, despite being chock full of boulders and pools, there are actually very few distinct features to use as reference points when calling out contacts. So it's hard to impart the details of each separate firefight, because they all merged into eachother. It was like being on a slow-moving conveyor-belt that carried the platoon down the twisting valley at about the same speed as an airport baggage carousel. The firing rarely stopped, though I suspect things were more intense for the elements at the foot of the valley. At one point some JIP'd players flew a Huey right down the valley, but mistook smoke marking an enemy position for a safe LZ. Unaco bought the farm there before the mistake could be rectified, so there was a distinct push halfway through the mission to recover his body! The site of the Huey in flight below our level was very cool to watch.

    For us, our main challenge were the small patrols that appeared further up the slopes or, on one occasion, popping up in front of us from a defilade position with murder on their minds and at least on grenade in their hands. Thankfully we never sustained a KIA in the FT, but comrade Mort did need patching at one point and Stranglove lost his mic temporarily - leading me to take command of the FT for the latter half of the mission (although Stranglove remained very effective, just silent). A change of CO also happened at the platoon level, with Grizzly dropping out a third of the way down the valley, a victim of ArmA/PC crashing issues. Comrade Headspace stepped up and led us, eventually, to victory.

    :hist101:

    Incohate Spatula

    - Bravo SL: Fer
    |- Washington
    |- Nullkigan
    |- Car00ke
    |- Wolfenswan
    |- Xenu
    |- Watooce (2C)
    |- Grizzly
    |- ???

    At last we had the playercount to attempt this RPS legend, and in fact the playercount was so good we had to switch to the RPS server (though we stayed in Folk's TS3 for comms). Comrade Bodge stepped up to lead the operation, with comrades Headspace and Tigershark taking Charlie and Delta.

    Bravo was first ashore, with an uncontested landing at the LZ marked on the south-west corner of the island. Sadly, our friendly transport chopper was unlucky: after dropping us off safely and climbing away, it was hit by an AA munition and exploded. Because we're all hardened combat veterans, we stayed focused and bravely confirmed that the first RV point (near the lighthouse) was indeed completely clear of enemies. That, and we knew the chopper and its crew would respawn. Anyway, Bodge asked us to clear two hills to our east, the second of which was marked as containing 'fortifications'. In fact, both hills had large bunkers atop. Forming the squad into a line, I advanced us to within 20m of the first bunker, and then enjoyed watching our grenadiers clear it with several M203s. When we reached it nothing was left alive, so we went firm and waited for the rest of the platoon to land. The second bunker would prove to be a little different.

    Once the rest of the platoon was down, Bodge asked us to take the next bunker. I split the squad into assaulting and supporting halves, and we opened up on the target. Things seemed to be going okay, even to the point at which both halves were reunited at the western-edge of the bunker. We cleared it fine, but came under fire from the east and/or south-east. Slowly but surely, over the next few minutes we sustained several casualties. With yet more men (and women) soaked up with the business of carrying or being carried to the CASEVAC point at the lighthouse, Bravo was soon combat ineffective.

    Again, computer issues robbed us of an overall CO, and with Bodge unable to continue I asked Nullkigan (in my squad) if he'd mind stepping up and taking overall command. Usually, in a Folk mission, the next-in-line would have taken it (which probably would have been me, as there was no Alpha infantry squad); but I asked comrade Null to take the reigns as he knew the mission and he gamely agreed. Now Bravo really was ineffective, with just 2 of us left at the second bunker and enemy infantry flanking us to the south-east. Thankfully, the Apache granted us a fire mission, and after one adjustment poured a lot of effective rounds on the open area where our persecutors were hiding. Things went quiet for a while, with more than half of Bravo being or helping CASEVAC'd; but things were not quiet to our north-east, where the rest of the platoon sounded as if it was getting chewed up at the Motor Pool. Xenu and I moved forward to an overwatch position to see if we could help.

    I couldn't say what happened, but our forces at the Motor Pool must have recovered their own situation, because Xenu and I didn't really engage anyone, instead moving off to a position north-east of the airfield. A little while later the rest of Bravo returned, patched and re-supplied, in the Wildcat, touching down at the Motor Pool itself. The squad soon reformed, and we crossed the valley to the wooded slopes just north of the northern airfield. As we were moving to new firing positions, I saw a small bunker to our left in the woods and asked for it to be checked out. Mistake. In moments, two of our number (now reduced to 5 with disconnects and AFKs) were incapacitated. I managed to get the two remaining OPFOR in the bunker (my own guys had done all the damage and now pinned the enemies in with their own bodies), but Bravo was once again ineffective. With comrade Car00ke acting as our guardian, Washington and I set off for the Motor Pool with bodies slung on our backs.

    There was now a reasonably long wait for the our wounded to be CASEVAC'd and returned, during which the objectives appeared to fall at a terrific rate. By the time Bravo was reformed (for the third time), we were in a race to reach the last objective: Strelka. We raced south to the coast, then turned east and hugged the shoreline. Wolfenswan peeled off to satchel the southern-most AA point, but otherwise our run was largely unopposed. By the time we reached and began to sweep the woods south-west of Strelka, the mission had been completed.

    Very well done to all comrades!

    :clint:

  2. #62
    Lesser Hivemind Node Nullkigan's Avatar
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    My role on taking over for Bodge: "Move on to the next objective please. What? You're all dead. Chopper will land a few miles away."

    Inchoate Spatula is not a mission I am particularly experienced with/fond of, and I was not in a particularly talky mood, so apologies if I managed to lose control of things and leave people feeling they would be better off playing something else. Certainly we seemed to lose players rapidly shortly after I assumed 'command'.

    I also couldn't stop saying CASEVAC (as in CAS[ualty] EVAC[uation]) as CASE-VAC. Funnily enough I knew I was saying it wrong from the very first time I said it, but couldn’t convince my mouth to use the correct term subsequently.

    Takedown still needs some balancing. The mission author was on BluFor and mentioned he had some ideas for it, so he may update it later. It's somewhat difficult for the choppers to land close enough to be effective without drawing fire at the moment? Or maybe we just tried to land on top of the OpFor spawns. Short and sweet, though!

    Valley is a nice straightforward idea but perhaps a little bit on the long side at the moment. That's a lot of rough terrain to cover on foot.

    Spatula I simply don't like. I appreciate what Monty has tried to do with dynamic patrols, air support and severely limited revive, but the enemy count is such that the mission will drag on and you will have casualties, which will cause further delays in turn. The air support freely respawning means the ground pounders are downright unnecessary after a certain point too, as the 140 kills/9 deaths Bakke earned attest. Restructuring the mission to be shorter with perhaps only the fortifications, motor pool and specops base as objectives and moving the CASEVAC location to the southeast of Utes might be for the better?

    Kills: 0 (Everything died before I could draw a bead, even when I moved out of formation to engage)
    Deaths: 2 (Takedown almost before the chopper landed, once on Spatula falling off a roof after spamming the map button too much)

  3. #63
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wolfenswan's Avatar
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    Takedown still needs some balancing. The mission author was on BluFor and mentioned he had some ideas for it, so he may update it later. It's somewhat difficult for the choppers to land close enough to be effective without drawing fire at the moment? Or maybe we just tried to land on top of the OpFor spawns. Short and sweet, though!
    The idea is neat but i too had the impression that it was a bit too easy for us. Maybe a little bird with a single pilot (or an unarmed UAV) spawning close to aziz would aid blufor in spotting. I experienced a rather funny glitch at the end of the mission when i was shot in my car but still able to drive. My character was clearly dead and motionless but the car kept moving, i only wasn't able to get out.

  4. #64
    Lesser Hivemind Node Nullkigan's Avatar
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    Working late, so I found this funny and relevant:


  5. #65
    That vid reminds me of a bit in Valley where delta hit an enemy patrol at about 10 meters and someone had the good idea of throwing a grenade, just to discover that it wasn't an enemy patrol, it was one enemy, and he was missed by the grenade.

  6. #66
    Network Hub fer's Avatar
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    Another cross-post:

    A few thoughts on last night, to reflect some of the feedback that's come my way so far:

    On The Takedown: this needs some tweaking still. Personally, I think part of it is the tactics: BLUFOR landed in a trap, which was partially bad luck, but perhaps also a little bit over-aggressive. Just after the mission, Tigershark speculated about adding an armed helicopter into the mix, and I think that's worth exploring. An LB with guns could be used to keep the sympathisers in check, although it would mean changing the overall objective to 'capture Aziz' instead of killing him (b/c otherwise the armed LB could just head south and strafe all cars). I hope comrade Tigershark will get some time to explore some of these ideas with an edit.

    On Valley RE (and revive): Nullkigan observed that this was a touch long, and I know what he means. My preference is not to use revive or respawn, but last night's session was (in part) about exploring that mechanic. It strikes me that with revive, it was always unlikely that we would lose the mission, but the lack of perma-death meant that things never got too urgent for us. So long as we maintained a slow pace we would always be more or less at full strength. I think that robbed us a little of challenge/achievement - I'd like to see that mission replayed at some point, but in its non-revive form (called just Valley).

    On Incohate Spatula (and the CASEVAC mechanic): I'm really glad we got to play this with everyone from RPS and Folk, but I have to say it's slightly outside the envelope for Folk sessions. As comrade Nullkigan has observed on the RPS forum, combined arms missions are really hard to write, because there are few tasks that require infantry and attack helicopters to work together: either things happen sequentially (infantry removes an AA threat, then the helis move in to kill everything), or the helis can pretty much do the job by themselves. However, the CASEVAC mechanic was my real issue; as an element leader I spent a lot of time asking the living to wait around on the dead. The fact that we always got our helicopter assets back meant that the only real consequence of failure was that more time was added to the mission, and by the end I was exhausted. So whilst I'm glad we got the chance to experience this, I don't think it will be a Folk session staple - and that's not a criticism, just an observation that the Folk sessions have a slightly different goal from the normal RPS Saturday night session.

    On comms: Firstly, a mea culpa, because at the start of Valley RE comrade Mort and I spammed the TS channel with chat about a book and were rightly shouted down. However, in general the comms were too chatty. Personally, I'm not a fan of overly serious servers or mil-sim radio etiquette, but there are a few things that are worth adopting (at least in spirit):

    • At slotting, pipe down and follow the host's instructions for when to slot; it's not useful to try and make the case for why you should take slot X or Y: just wait until it's up for grabs and compete in the click-fest!
    • Element leaders give orders, others listen; the element leader might ask for thoughts or feedback, but it's his/her call.
    • If you need to convey something to the overall CO, alert him/her but wait for the go ahead to deliver the full message as it allows a useful degree of 'traffic management'. So: "Command this is Charlie." ... "Go ahead Charlie." ... "Charlie has found a cache of wine and is combat ineffective. And drunk."

    Overall, I enjoyed the session and really love playing with the the RPS comrades; but I'd also agree with comrade Grizzly (and others) in saying that we stepped a little bit too far from the concept of a Folk session. It's a subtle thing, but next week I plan to turn the dial a notch back towards shorter missions and more perma-death. Ideally, the degree of 'organisation' (not mil-sim) should range:

    Saturday RPS <---> Tatical Tuesday @ RPS <---> Folk <------------------------------------------> Mil-Sim

    Please chime in with your own thoughts and observations. I'm cross-posting this to the RPS ArmA2 thread (btw, I urge all non-RPS Folk comrades to register on the RPS forums and say hello there).

  7. #67
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    Hello,

    I enjoyed our session last night, though it was a bit chatty for me at times...
    In the Spatula mission I got totaly confused, maybe it's a bit lack of gaming experience, but half the time I didn't know what to do...
    For me, the chat was way to busy during this mission, couldn't understand a word my squad leader said.
    I did find it fun to play with such a big group, it was something I never did before.

    Car00ke

  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Car00ke View Post
    Hello,
    In the Spatula mission I got totaly confused, maybe it's a bit lack of gaming experience, but half the time I didn't know what to do...
    Car00ke
    Don't worry about it, Spatula is incredibly confusing, thanks to the large playercount and many objectives that have to be cleared.

  9. #69
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wolfenswan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nullkigan View Post
    Working late, so I found this funny and relevant:
    FTFY (tbh, this embodies ARPS even better)

    Restructuring the mission to be shorter with perhaps only the fortifications, motor pool and specops base as objectives and moving the CASEVAC location to the southeast of Utes might be for the better?
    This or an fragile ambulance humvee that has to be ferried over the river. (Which would need a chinook?)



    I vote for an adversarial version of the valley by the way. I want to hide behind a rock and shoot others in the back.
    Last edited by Wolfenswan; 06-06-2011 at 10:04 AM.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Car00ke View Post
    I enjoyed our session last night, though it was a bit chatty for me at times...
    In the Spatula mission I got totaly confused, maybe it's a bit lack of gaming experience, but half the time I didn't know what to do...
    Dito. I basically just followed my leader around but as a medic I wasn't needed at all (either people were dead or not or somewhere far away). When the tanks in the depot shredded my squad (except me), I tried dragging everyone behind a house away from the tank, which succeeded at least. Then the apache killed me with a missile and I spent ages waiting.
    Due to the way the revive mechanic worked, we spent more time waiting for the heli to arrive than actually doing anything and with the amount of armor running around we were entirely ineffectual, not having any AT at all while the choppers had already mowed down all infantry. Then my leader lost connection and i was squadless, so I followed people around who loked like they knew what they were doing while trying to find a good way to break through the chatter over our split voicecoms. Didn't work well.

    In the valley mission, I tried dragging one wounded dude behind some rocks for a revive, accidently picked the revive option instead, and got killed. The revive bug hit me, so I respawned, piloting the chopper.
    Funny thing there was: The enemy group didn't open fire until I was already very close and noticed that the ants down there were not the ants I was looking for. Sorry unaco, got you killed there.

  11. #71
    Network Hub fer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfenswan View Post
    I vote for an adversarial version of the valley by the way. I want to hide behind a rock and shoot others in the back.
    I'd love to do that, but we'd need to think about how to reconcile the size of the valley with the likely playercount. Any thoughts?

  12. #72
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wolfenswan's Avatar
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    I'd love to do that, but we'd need to think about how to reconcile the size of the valley with the likely playercount. Any thoughts?
    First thing that comes to mind:
    Asymmetrical team sizes, while OPFOR has some AI allies with crappy weapons (so they don't shoot BLUFOR up too much).
    The M60 is an amazing weapon, even on far distance so a careful BLUFOR team should be able to dispose the AI, even if they'd get AKs and PKMs.

    OPFOR plays as Aziz and his man servants and has a set area to stay. (Can you add a shack next to one of the ponds? Then it is Aziz's holiday compound)

  13. #73
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    I think the main problem I had was the voice comms, there were a lot of instances of people broadcasting to all during missions when it should really go through fire team leaders and squad leaders whenever possible. In-between missions I think people should try and be aware of who needs to be talking.

    If everyone has de-slotted it is likely that the mission maker or session lead is wanting to send some instructions, if the slots are filled then the CO will probably be needing to give a plan of attack or the all clear. I think the problem is that when we are on RPS we tend to use mumble for all chatter with slightly less command structure.

  14. #74
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    On comms: Firstly, a mea culpa, because at the start of Valley RE comrade Mort and I spammed the TS channel with chat about a book and were rightly shouted down. However, in general the comms were too chatty. Personally, I'm not a fan of overly serious servers or mil-sim radio etiquette, but there are a few things that are worth adopting (at least in spirit):
    As an RPS only observation, I did notice that the comms or the text channel were ocasionally used for bashing other people for not living up to certain (perhaps unrealistic) expectations. This should not happen in ANY session. Its an annoying and unsettling form of pointless radio traffic. (Same goes for other pointless radio traffic, which there was quite a lot off, but this struck me as particularely annoying).

    I think one of the problems also is that RPS is not used to the large scale organisation of people, while we had some large scale stuff going on, and are comm traffic was as if we were doeing a mid-week 8 man session.
    Last edited by Grizzly; 06-06-2011 at 11:05 AM.

  15. #75
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wolfenswan's Avatar
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    I think the main problem I had was the voice comms, there were a lot of instances of people broadcasting to all during missions when it should really go through fire team leaders and squad leaders whenever possible. In-between missions I think people should try and be aware of who needs to be talking.
    I did this more than once, but mostly because VON is a POS and likes to refuse working for (both outgoing and incoming). I really prefer splitting up in different channels on TS or Mumble.

    As an RPS only observation, I did notice that the comms or the text channel were ocasionally used for bashing other people for not living up to certain (perhaps unrealistic) expectations. This should not happen in ANY session.
    I agree but i think what bystanders may observe as over the top is often good natured bickering for the ones involved. However, if anyone feels insulted or disturbed he should def. speak up.
    Last edited by Wolfenswan; 06-06-2011 at 11:08 AM.

  16. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly View Post
    As an RPS only observation, I did notice that the comms or the text channel were ocasionally used for bashing other people for not living up to certain (perhaps unrealistic) expectations. This should not happen in ANY session. Its an annoying and unsettling form of pointless radio traffic. (Same goes for other pointless radio traffic, which there was quite a lot off, but this struck me as particularely annoying).

    I think one of the problems also is that RPS is not used to the large scale organisation of people, while we had some large scale stuff going on, and are comm traffic was as if we were doeing a mid-week 8 man session.
    But... everyone bashes alex! Its what he's there for!

    I agree with people's opinions on the comms being to crowded. I'll shut up more next time.
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  17. #77
    Network Hub fer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly View Post
    As an RPS only observation, I did notice that the comms or the text channel were ocasionally used for bashing other people for not living up to certain (perhaps unrealistic) expectations. This should not happen in ANY session. Its an annoying and unsettling form of pointless radio traffic.
    Sorry to hear that happened, and apologies if it came from any Folk comrades. I agree, there's no place for bashing in any session. Mild banter is great, but the moment someone's enjoyment is destroyed by such comments I'd be inclined to reach for the #kick command. Everyone is allowed to crash a helicopter full of players from time to time, it's the law.

  18. #78
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    I did notice a couple of instances and let them slide, mainly because i was having so many darn problems myself. Kicks (and temp bans) will be made if aggressive criticisms are voiced, I know we have some banter that can sometimes be seen by a third party as insulting but those involved realise it is a joke. That might be okay for our RPS sessions but leave it out of Folk shenanigans.

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    I generally assume everything's a joke. I mean, you all are.

    Zing!

    Seriousness aside, I felt a bit conflicted about the whole night, however I guess I'll be coming back for more.

  20. #80
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Unaco's Avatar
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    On the Comms issues: Why were we using ingame VON? We should have no need to use it, except for direct/vehicle comms. Squads should be in a channel... Alpha in a channel, Bravo in a channel, Pilots in a channel etc. When they talk, they should be talking within their squad, just to that channel. That way the majority of chatter/comms are kept within squads. The Squad Leaders should have a whisper or similar, so, if they need to they can communicate with the other squads and the other Squad Leaders and command, and, it should be their responsibility to keep Command and other SL's informed etc. The only people you should be hearing from another squad (on TS/Mumble) should be that squads leader, the CO or pilots etc. That is, the grunts in a squad shouldn't be using whisper, unless their SL is down/AFK or similar, or if they're doing something very specific (coordinating with Pilots, or a member of another squad for something special). We can do this in Mumble no problem, but despite asking several times, I still don't know if it is possible to do it in TS3.

    On Spatula: I really didn't enjoy the playthrough... I've had great times on Spatula, and I've had terrible times. This session was somewhere in between. Maybe it was the Comms issue that was causing the consternation, but I don't think that was all. From someone in our squad ignoring Comms and refusing to get on the Chopper on the carrier when we all wanted to get going, to our SL deciding Charlie (the support squad, with 1 missing, 2 down, and only a medic, a sniper and the SL still standing) should rush over difficult terrain to assault the SF base head on, to a lack of CAS when it was needed (while the chopper was boasting about "Apache beats T72" and then crashing, there was another T72 rolling around that cut down both Charlie and Delta)... things just didn't seem to go well out there. By around that point (when we took the motor pool and got a CASEvac from it) I was the only member of Charlie (out of 6) still in the squad ingame. Not the only one still on the server (at least one other was still on, but wasn't in the squad and hadn't been for a while). Lack of Comms exacerbated this a little. I also couldn't seem to get through to Command to let them know this situation.

    There were some positives though... We seemed to get everyone onto the Island with little difficulty (except the Chopper getting taken down, while empty luckily), and we didn't have to perform our first CASEvac before we did our first Assault, as is usually the case for ARPS. There also appears that there was some coordination between the Apache and Bravo squad at one instant, which is commendable.

    As others have said though... Spatula can play so well, but there are issues with it. The CASEvac is a great idea, but in practice it wasn't really working (maybe because we had 3 squads, so 2 or 3 different and quite distant Evac locations, rather than the 1 or 2 we usually have, that are usually closer). Something like using an Ambulance, or having to capture a field Hospital on the Island or similar might be slightly better. Also, with the Apache, how many times did it get shot down/crash of it's own accord? When there's no real downside to losing assets like that (except a 2minute wait while it respawns) they tend to get thrown away, or treated like someones 'toy'. I'd like to see how it would play if the Apache DIDN'T respawn... the crew would have to work closely with Infantry to make sure there was no AA left, and the Apache wouldn't be able to clear 2/3rds of the Island while the Infantry are still planning their first assault.

    Sorry if that all sounds a bit ranty, but better to be honest with how I thought it went.

    On Valley: I turned up 1/2 way through this one, and despite whatever bug it was with getting booted out of the door gunner position in the Huey right at the start, I actually enjoyed it. It feels like a great idea... clearing out the Valley, a restricted space that keeps us focussed, but not too focussed, comms between squads to avoid blue_on_blue, lack of toys. Was good fun, and I'd like to play it without revive, and with a little more pressure on us (and also it being a little shorter for any who bite the bullet in the 1st minute - which it probably would be if we were under a little more pressure).

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