Probes in Arma 2 subject logo: MILGAM
Posted by: badanov

Three of the most difficult scenarios in Arma 2 are assaulting a fixed position, meeting engagements and probes.

I write game scenarios, a lot of them are meeting engagements in the form of patrols. I set an area with at least two objectives and several enemy patrols in the area. The basic unit in Arma 2, the patrol has to make tactical decisions as to where and how to fight.

At night, it is easy to dodge enemy patrols, even with the enemy leader having night vision goggles. Since this is part of my Cherarusian Narco Wars Project, only officers have NVGs. If they aren't looking for enemy patrol activity, they won't be able to spot your patrol as it moves past. As it is with assaults, daytime engagements are difficult but nowhere near as difficult as meeting engagements, and it is easy to see why. The enemy is fixed unmoving and once they open up, you have them spotted. Unlike in patrol versus patrol battles, you can move up to a fixed position and take a good chance at spotting your enemy before he sees you.

But probes are different. Probes were used by the Soviet Army during WWII with mixed results. The smaller the probe the higher the chance for an adverse result, and conversely the larger the probe the bigger the casualties.. The Soviets knew this but they relied extensively on probes, both mobile and otherwise for local intelligence. Probes are what the Soviets did because frankly they had terrible intelligence. Most of the experienced trainers of army intelligence were destroyed in Stalin's purges of the 1930s.

In the Chernarusian Narco Wars project, I have written one scenario using a probe. In this case four rifle squads, including the player's strike team, three reinforced with BRDM armor cars are to probe into south Lopatino, locate and destroy an enemy forward supply dump before the enemy can react with reinforcements. Testing enemy reactions are among the biggest reasons to even try a probe, and in this scenario it is critical, since the enemy will send in a rifle company to counterattack. Initially the total strength of the enemy, not including forces in reserve, is four rifle squads deployed around and in the town.

I have run the scenario several times and every time the results are mixed. About 20 percent of the time my team can get in, wreck enemy logistics and withdraw just before the enemy reinforcements arrive. The rest of the time, the player's command just gets shot up both by units defending the flanks of where the patrol goes, and by forces directly in the way of the probe. And this is at night. I haven't even tried a daytime probe, yet.

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