Friday, March 24, 2017

Afghanistan gameplay clip

Here's a unedited gameplay clip of Afghanistan 11. (Who knew Microsoft's excellent and easy Movie Maker program doesn't work with Windows 10 anymore? Any suggestions?)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Afghanistan 11

Afghanistan 11 is a turn based strategy game by the maker(s) of Vietnam 65... both games introduced a new idea in the turn based strategy games based on winning the hearts and minds of the population. You did this by keeping the enemies away and in check and building infrastructures. Vietnam 65 was a pretty great game, thou very limited in it's gameplay probably because it came out as a iPad game first. Afghanistan 11 is a lot more detailed and polished, and a pretty awesome game. It's easy to learn and play but hard to master. Worth checking out if you have the interest.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ghost Recon Wildlands BETA

Ghost Recon Wildlands BETA

Basic tactics of a mission...

Map Recon the area, get a lay of the land, decide on the best approach to the objective area.

Eyes on recon with both binoculars and a drone. Decide the best place for a overlook sniper (cover), and best way and location to assault. Plan on possible enemy back up arrival and approach.

Give the order for the assault, either stealth or loud.

Other screens from the rescue mission, including extraction.

AND, the menu screens, for extra info:

Thanks for checking out my blog, more to come.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Steel Beasts Pro PE Tank Range

A video clip from the tank range using the M1A1 MBT in Steel Beasts Pro PE. v4.0
(was testing new broadcasting software.)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tactical Briefing 05: How to Plan and Execute a Squad Sized Assault


Welcome virtual soldier. Today we will be discussing how to plan as a squad leader, and then execute that plan, an assault on a small town.

One of the most important things to know about launching an assault is intelligence. You need to know what your squad is up against, and if they are capable of succeeding in that assault. Sending a squad of men against a fortified company of enemy infantry with armor and air support is not a winnable situation.

If you have support of your own like air support or a sniper support team. You have to take that into account. Brief the support units and have them assigned to a place to provide that support and be able to respond quickly enough when time for that support is needed.
Besides intelligence, you need to know how to read a map, make your plan based on enemy forces, enemy contact, and terrain layout of a map. Plan to protect your flanks, and be able to retreat if necessary.

I’ve decided with the last two tactical brief articles to present them in a little different fashion. I’m going to show you an assault mission, and explain what and why I did certain things.
This mission is based on an Armed Assault game mission, but it can be used with any tactical simulation that allows you the freedom to plan, move, and attack as needed. Unfortunately, some games force you down a certain path, where your leadership skills aren’t that important. But for the games that allow free movement, like the excellent Armed Assault, you can attack a defended position, and if done right the enemy won’t even know your team is there until it’s too late.
Final word before we start. Make a plan, but be flexible. Sometimes you have to change your plan on the fly. Be prepared to do that as a leader, and as a soldier be prepared to follow new orders.
Plan and Execute an Assault

Remember what I said in the introduction of this briefing — using available intel then good map reading skills are the first two and most important things to know.
In Armed Assault the mission briefing should give you the needed intel on the mission. The mission maker shouldn’t create missions that are not winnable.
As for the map, learn how to read terrain and then use that terrain to get your teams into position to engage and destroy the enemy. In Armed Assault, zoom in and out with the mouse wheel. Know where the hills are and which way the terrain lines (contour lines) move.

Don’t rush planning — spend some time with it. Double-clicking on your map allows you to insert a text message on the map. This can be used as a reminder to you during the mission in single player mode, or you can use it to instruct and brief your fire teams on the plan during multiplayer sessions. Everyone in your squad can see these text messages.

You then start your mission only after you’ve made a plan and explained the plan to your squad members.

First we order the squad to load up in their vehicles. Once mounted, order them into a column formation and return to formation. I always drive the lead vehicle due to the limits of intelligence in the AI, but if you’re doing a multiplayer mission, make sure humans do the driving.

After a check of the map and intended direction is determined by using the compass, the squad moves out in from a friendly, secured area towards waypoint 1.

We arrive at waypoint 1 which is still far enough away from the assault location to not be spotted.

The squad is ordered to dismount and return to formation.

As a squad leader, order your squad into fire teams using the “Assign” menu of Armed Assault. Also order your AI to “Hold Fire” and “Combat Mode, Danger”. This keeps them from firing too early and makes them go into the prone position whenever you stop.

We move out in wedge formation towards the town from waypoint 1 to waypoint 2. Noticed how I used the hill to approach the town for protection and not be seen.

Now as a squad leader, most of my mission time is watching, observing, ordering, and adjusting my orders to my fire teams. Don’t watch individuals. Concentrate on the entire fire or support teams as a group.

Once I have both alpha team (red) and bravo team (blue) in position, I order an “Open Fire” in the target menu. Alpha team then moves up to the hills ridge, overwatches the town, and opens fire on targets.
Bravo team moves into location and opens fire.

You’ll notice that Alpha team has been ordered into line formation to maximize firepower while bravo team is still being ordered to move from cover-to-cover on the flank.

If a man goes down, you can order a medic to move near the injured soldier. Then use the action menu of your wounded soldier and order him to “Heal at Medic”. Keep your people healthy. If they remain injured, move them back to a support / overwatch role.

Depending on the game settings difficulty, whenever a friendly unit sees an enemy it will appear on the map. You can then use the target menu to assign team members to engage a specific target.

Once all known enemies have been eliminated. Then order one team to cover from high ground, and send the other team into the town to sweep and clear.

Now don’t be afraid to adjust your plan. In this case, alpha team cannot cover bravo team properly due to obstructing buildings, so I order alpha team to move to another overwatch location.


Once the town has been swept and cleared, have your squad regroup, check for injuries, re-arm, and prepare for either defending the location you have just taken, or follow new orders. Hopefully, the new orders will be an extraction order back to the rear for some much needed R&R. 

Tactical Briefing 04: Movement to Contact


OK virtual soldiers, we got the basics down, right?
We know the role of each member in a squad and fire team, right?
We know the basic combat formations and when to use them, right?
We know how to move from point A to point B using one of the three common military movements, right?

Now it’s time to get into the meat and potatoes of virtual combat.
Today we are going to talk about our first actual combat scenario. We’re going to discuss and demonstrate movement to contact. What I mean by that is, what you as a virtual squad or fire team do when you run into the enemy.

I could go into great detail about all the steps and procedures of an ambush or an assault like forms of movement, sequence of operations, assembly areas, line of departure, movement, deployment, and then eventually the assault. But I want to concentrate on the basics so you can act and react with at least a minimal amount of tactics and teamwork. I know there is a lot more to this stuff than the simple steps presented here, but that’s not the purpose of these “tactical briefs”.

There are two types of enemy contact that we will discuss. The first is mutual contact, where you see the enemy and the enemy sees you. The second is non-mutual, where you spot the enemy but they don’t spot you. You then set up a hasty ambush (or a retreat, if it’s not winnable). By the way, if the enemy sees you first and you don’t see them, that’s an ambush on you and that’s not good.


Let’s discuss mutual contact. Say for example you have a squad out on patrol, you’re looking for the enemy; the enemy is looking for you. You have your squad broken down into two fire teams, Alpha and Bravo. You’re moving either in an overwatch or bounding overwatch.

As the lead fire team turns a bend or crests a hill, and there in front of you at 50, 100, or 200 meters is an enemy patrol. That patrol sees you and they begin to maneuver for engagement.

The first thing the lead fire team does is go prone. If cover is nearby, and I’m talking within 10 to 15 meters, then feel free to dive for cover. But no matter what — get down. Make yourself harder to hit because bullets will be flying within seconds from this point, if they aren’t already.

The lead fire team then begins to immediately engage the enemy. The fire team leader reports the contact to the squad leader, who should be between the two fire teams. The squad leader then makes an immediate decision on where to send the second fire team for support. If you can’t see, feel free to take a quick peek at your map. Locate where the woods and terrain features are, but don’t waste much time. You have no more than 10 seconds. 5 would be better to order your second fire team to flank left or right. You, as the squad leader can then either move up to support the first fire team, or go with the second fire team on the flank.
You would order the fire team to flank from the best position of cover, or at least concealment. If there is a small decline in the terrain to the left along with some woodland, and on the right side is an open area, then the left side would be best.

While the first fire team is laying suppressive fire by keeping the enemy pinned or at least their heads down, the other fire team would move as fast as possible to the direct flank, staying out of sight and hopefully the minds of the enemy. Once that fire team has gone enough flank distance, they then move up into the side of the enemy who are hopefully still pinned down. The second flanking fire team then moves in and destroys the enemy patrol while the first fire team continues suppression.

Once the firefight has ended, one fire team provides cover while the other moves in for the confirmed kills.


Non-mutual is when the front team is moving forward and they spot the enemy patrol but the enemy patrol has not spotted them. They immediately go prone to not be seen. One member can stay in the sight of the enemy for Intel, while the rest of the team slowly move back out of view. The fire team leader then contacts the squad leader. The squad leader then makes a decision on whether to set up an ambush on the enemy patrol, call in for support, or just disengage.
If the squad leader decides to conduct a hasty ambush then the fire teams are pulled back. A plan is made based on known information like enemy movement, strength, and of course the all important terrain. He will determine the best place for the ambush that would maximize surprise and firepower. 

 Tactical Briefing 03: Squad and Fire Team Movements


In today’s brief we will be discussing the squad and fire team movements and when to use which type. We will also discuss danger areas and crossing techniques.

Movement Techniques

A movement technique is the way you as an individual, or as a fire team, or a squad move through terrain. There are three common military style movement techniques most used for a fire team or squad. These three movements we will discuss are traveling, traveling overwatch, and bounding overwatch.

The selection of movement is determined by either the fire team leader or the squad leader, and based on likelihood of enemy contact and the need for speed. In real life these movements and formations are given with hand and arm signals, but in our virtual computer world most of the time it’s over a voice communications program. Any of the movement techniques listed below can be used with any of the formations we discussed in Tactical Briefing 02: Formations.


Traveling is used when enemy contact is not likely and speed is needed. With traveling you have good, but not great control over your element. Your element is less dispersed. Your speed is fast, but security is weak.
With traveling you simply form up in the ordered formation and move out from point A to point B. You are trying to get somewhere quick, but not too worried about security at the moment. Most of the time you’re behind friendly controlled lines.

Traveling Overwatch

Traveling overwatch is used when contact with the enemy is possible. You have less control of your element because you’re more spaced out, Which means your element is more dispersed. Your speed is slower then regular traveling, because you’re on a higher alert level, therefore security is a little better.
With traveling overwatch, your fire team or squad forms up in the ordered formation, usually a wedge, but with more space and more alertness. If You are moving as a squad the squad leader may break the formation down into two fire teams, alpha fire team taking the lead, with the squad leader in the middle, then followed by bravo fire team.

Bounding Overwatch

Bounding overwatch is used when contact is expected, when the fire team leader or squad leader believes that the enemy is near, or when a large area or danger area needs to be crossed.
Bounding overwatch in real life is only done at the squad level or higher because fire teams are never to be broken up, and it takes two different elements (in a squads case, an alpha fire team and a bravo fire team). But for virtual computer games if it’s only 4 on 4 or something similar, then it would be OK to break down to smaller fire teams. But for this brief we will work as a proper squad.
The lead fire team overwatches first. Soldiers scan for enemies and enemies positions. The squad leader usually stays with the overwatch team.

The trail fire team bounds and signals the squad leader when his team completes his bound and is in a over watch position. The fire team leader should know where the objective is and how best to get there using the available terrain. The overwatching fire team needs to know where the other fire team is and their direction so they can properly support them especially if they come under fire.
Bounding overwatch works like this: The squad leader, using intelligence, binoculars, and map recon techniques, calls out the beginning bounding overwatch location, the direction of movement, and the end point. The alpha fire team moves out depending on terrain, (close terrain only 20 yards or less, while a nice open area could be 50 yards or more if necessary, but never over extended past the cover teams sight and fire power.) Once the alpha fire team moves out and finds a good cover location overlooking the direction of movement, the fire team leader signals the second fire team, fire team bravo, to move out. Bravo fire team moves past the alpha fire team and takes up a good cover position overlooking the direction of movement. After scanning the area for enemies, bravo fire team leader signals alpha team to move forward and this continues till out of the area or enemy contact occurs.

The squad leader can stay with one fire team or can move back and forth from fire team to fire team as needed, because one fire team will always be passing another one stopped and scanning. (Basically bunny hopping team by team.)

Danger Areas

A danger area is any area on the movement route that might expose the unit to enemy observation, fire, or both.You should always try to avoid danger areas, but if it’s a needed area to cross it should be done as safely and quickly as possible. Technically to cross a danger area you should do three things:
  1. Designate rally points on both sides of the danger area in case something goes wrong and the unit breaks.
  2. Secure the side you’re on, both your flanks and rear.
  3. Recon and secure the far side of the danger area before sending over the full unit.
There are many danger areas, but the most common are roads, streams, and/or open areas.
To cross an open area, stay concealed and observe carefully from your near side. Post security units on the left and right, and also the rear for an early warning in case of enemy contact. Then send a small recon team across the area to clear and secure the far side. Once the all clear is received send the rest of the units over, the next to last being the flank security units, then finally the rear security unit.
To cross a road or trail, do it at a bend or as near to a bend as possible to minimize your exposure.
To cross a stream or river, use the same techniques as crossing a road, just make sure the stream/river is shallow enough to get your men across.