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Hi guys,

I'm really glad to see this forum up. I've been a fan of the game since it came out, and while I didn't much like the included singleplayer campaign or multiplayer missions, I've enjoyed making my own.

I have a test map for a new 6v6 PvP mode, Close Assault, running on my server (Close Assault Iron Front Server, US West Coast, which I will release more widely after I finish up a few outstanding bugs and issues. The mode pits players leading squads of AI infantry and armor against each other as they try to capture all the sectors on a battlefield! This is a test map for the mode, which is a small platoon level engagement on the tiny Ivachev map. I'll add a gameplay video once I film a larger playtest. If anyone has other MP missions (Coop or PvP) they'd like to be hosted I'd be happy to put them up on my server! 

Back in 2007 or so I started working on a game mode for ArmA which was a loose mashup of the tactical company level gameplay of Close Combat III (my favorite eastern front wargame of all time) and the intense first person, competitive infantry and armored combat of Red Orchestra, the FPS I was playing a lot of at the time.

The original vision was for players to each control a squad or a vehicle in a company level engagement where they tried to capture all sectors on the battlefield. Player groups would have teamswitch and group respawn enabled and spawn as part of a fixed force pool where every kill and loss mattered. I also wanted to play a competitive wargame that was as much fun in 1v1 as it was with a full server! As much fun as a shooter like Red Orchestra is, it feels desolate without at least a dozen players on each side. In Close Assault, since each player has a full squad or a vehicle, small engagements are much more interesting!

It took a long time to get Close Assault running in Arma using the vanilla units, but I was never completely happy with the tactical gameplay in practice. (In fact, one of the biggest problems I had was that the armor/missile simulation in ArmA1/2 was so poor, that company level armored tactics fell apart.) I lost a lot of steam during the port to Arma 2 in 2010 (I was finishing my university degree at the time) and never released the mode publicly. 

When Iron Front came out last year, I saw a chance to finish up the old mode and release it in the theatre I was originally inspired by... east front ww2! The porting process took a lot longer than I thought, but I managed to fix some outstanding issues and incorporate some critical multiplayer fixes that Bohemia made to the engine for DayZ. Right now the latest version, even on a tiny testmap, is starting to be a lot of fun. With support for Iron Front all but dropped, I wanted to finally release this to help out our community!

Screenshots: (This MG42 on Hill 194 was responsible for over 70 enemy KIA)

Dropbox link: (Scenario and Readme)

Red Army Infantry forces are advancing on Ivachev, and your platoon is the last one protecting your battalion's flank during the Red Army's Operation Bagration. The crucial high ground of hill 194 is the key to holding the town. The Russians will move to secure the crossroads, and then make their assault on the hill! Secure Ivachev at all costs!

The forces and terrain in this test map are loosely based on the first mission in Close Combat III, with the attacker and defender reversed.

Requires Iron Front 1.05
D-Day DLC Not Required!
Place in your MPMissions folder (will not work in SPMissions!)

How to play:
- Select a squad or vehicle from the force pool, deploy to a deploy zone, and capture all sectors or eliminate the enemy forces to win.
- Capture a sector by capturing each individual flag (by outnumbering the enemy at the flag for about 20 seconds)
- Capturing a sector unlocks all linked sectors for capture
- Teamswitch between squad members with T/Y/U keys, group respawn into them when killed
- Retreat (esc menu) to send your squad back to the rear and select another
- If your squad is eliminated or retreats, select another one from the force pool
- AI controlled Reserves squads will spawn from the Reserves platoons and attempt to capture or defend available sectors. (You cannot spawn as reserves units.)
- You can choose any point within a green Deploy Zone to spawn, which is useful for spawning out of sight or out of combat.
- Some deploy zones require some sectors to be held first, and some platoons can only spawn at these deploy zones. You may need to capture or hold sectors to use these additional forces.
- Some platoons aren't available right away and take time to travel to the battlefield. If all units are eliminated you may need to wait for a new platoon to become available.
- Some units have their special equipment in backpacks (eg mortar, mg teams). Use teamswitch to deploy the weapons quickly.
- You can make new scenarios by editing the caScenario.sqf file and changing/adding markers in a mission, without having to edit the code itself. You can change the forces, mission boundaries, sectors, flags, linking, deploy zones, weather, reserves, platoons and forces, cutscenes, briefing, and some other options, to basically make any scenario you want. You can also edit the custom units file to add new squads and unittypes (or use units from mods)
- If you want to try out armor, the testmap only has one armored vehicle, a Stug III on the German side, and the default russian units are terrible at anti tank. The scenario isn't yet balanced for the inclusion of armor, so be warned that it will be a bit of a turkey shoot if you play it in SP or Coop as the Stug.

While it's not 1.0 yet, I'm almost there!

- Readme, map description, etc
- Help screen images (they're green screens for now)
- Artillery and mortar strikes for HQ squads
- Connection bugs (eg: disconnecting to lobby without leaving the server is buggy; sometimes the player fails to connect if joining after downloading the map from the server)
- 2 new test scenarios! (at least one focused on armor ("Tank Leader") and one combined arms ("Battlegroup"), with a bit more focus on balancing)
- Tweak the forces in the Infantry focused Ivachev map (replace Stug and ZiS-3 with SU-85 and Pak40)
- Tweaks to the 'reserves' system for the endgame (start an endgame timer when all reserves on one side are eliminated, etc)
- Tweaks to reserves AI (occupying nearby empty buildings/trenches/static weapons)
- Show a squad breakdown when selecting a squad (see the classes/weapons/vehicles of the squad members)

I'm planning on organizing an organized playtest with the above changes this weekend on Saturday the 20th, probably ~2000 GMT. I haven't played a full match with the latest version in a 6v6, so I'm itching to play one of those and make sure it's stable, so I can increase the player count to 12v12, 18v18 and up! (Also: special thanks to Shapagin for helping out with some videos and playtesting last summer.)

There's more scenarios, bugfixes and gameplay changes to make... but it's good enough for now. If you're interested, give it a download or connect to the server and try it out, and let me know if you find any bugs! If you can, try to play in 2vAI or 1v1, which is a lot more fun than in single player. The 'Reserves' units keep the game balanced in PvP, but don't put up a good enough fight for coop, since there are Reserves on both sides. A future release will have a coop mode where the reserves are only on one side, either attacking or defending. Once I'm happy with the Iron Front version I'll port back to Arma 2 (including I44 and Cold War Rearmed) and Arma 3.

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