Chapter 4 - Attachments & Crew Served Weapons

TTP3 Index
1. Intro 5. Communication 9. Ground Vehicles
2. Basic Infantry Skills 6. Leadership 10. Air Vehicles
3. The Company 7. Battle Drills 11. Combined Arms
4. Attachments & Crew-Served Weapons 8. Tactics 12. Finale

Attachments

Attachments Theory

While a platoon or company of infantry is a dangerous force to fight, it doesn't always carry the best weapon systems available at all times. Units are task-organized to fit their purpose - if the area of operations does not have enemy armor, why carry heavy anti-tank assets? If no aircraft are known to be operating in the area, nor likely to show up even in the most extreme circumstances, why bring anti-air missiles?

Whenever special weapons are needed to fulfill the mission, they come from higher organizational units and are attached to the company or platoon for specific missions. These heavier and more specialized weapons are significant force multipliers, and in this section we will go over the most common attachments you can expect to see, as well as how to best employ them and their particular skill sets.

In addition to these special attachments, we'll also cover some of the units you may find at the squad or platoon level that are outside of the normal squad structures - such as designated marksmen.

Special Company Roles

Designated Marksman

A Designated Marksman is a squad-level unit that is equipped with a special rifle fitted with some sort of magnified optic. Their task is to provide accurate fire and observation on the enemy from ranges beyond what the normal riflemen can achieve. They are the precision shooting asset of a squad.

The 6.5mm MXM Designated Marksman Rifle

The important distinction between a Designated Marksman and a true sniper is that the DM is attached to a squad and operates with it, to support the squad, whereas a sniper team operates independently and is a platoon-level asset (or higher), under the direct command of the Platoon Commander. The DM typically engages at medium to long ranges (ie - 300-700m), whereas the sniper team can operate out to ranges in excess of one kilometer.

A designated marksman scans the countryside from the prone

Basic Designated Marksman Guidelines

Scout/Sniper & Spotter

The role of a Scout/Sniper team is to both provide battlefield recon and intelligence and deliver precision shots on key enemy personnel. A Scout/Sniper team can be highly effective without ever firing a shot in some situations, whereas other scenarios will see them having a dramatic effect due to their ability to 'lock down' an area with precision shooting.

Spotter, kneeling, and his sniper buddy

Scout/Sniper Team Organization & Responsibilities

Each Scout/Sniper team consists of two people - a sniper and his spotter. They are typically outfitted in ghillie suits to assist in concealment, and tend to operate at a significant distance from any friendly forces. Their mission is primarily scouting/reconnaissance, though their marksmanship will often be called into play when things heat up. When operating in denser terrain such as urban operations or in theaters where the enemy presence is significant, sniper teams can be augmented with additional members. A common technique is to use two sniper teams, with two or more additional infantry coming along as a security element.

Regardless of the overall size of the team, the basic responsibilities of a sniper and spotter pair are as follows.

Scout/Sniper Guidelines

A sniper equipped with an M320 LRR observes enemy movements, waiting for a leader to make himself known

Adjusting for Elevation Differences

When firing up or down at a significant incline towards an enemy target, one must be aware of the fact that their bullets will generally strike higher due to weapon ballistics. In situations like this, a player needs to use the horizontal - or "map range" - of a target to calculate drop, and not the actual straight distance to the target. This is a rough rule of thumb that works acceptably to most shooting distances that Arma3 portrays.

As you see in the below illustration, the direct range to a target when on an incline is further than the horizontal range. If you use the direct range to calculate your hold-over, you will inevitably end up firing over them. When in doubt, if shooting on an incline, aim lower than you normally would at the target.

Special Forces

Special Forces

Special Forces soldiers are defined by their high level of training and proficiency, above-average gear, and the fact that they typically get the toughest of assignments requiring the greatest judgment and decision-making skills - not to mention combat capabilities.

A special forces team member in the midst of executing a High Altitude, Low Opening (HALO) parachute jump.

Special Forces troops are considered to be advanced roles due to them requiring more finesse and skill to play compared to normal infantry, largely because of the fact that they get tough assignments and rarely work in anything larger than a squad-sized element. Special Forces units require patience and levelheadedness to play, particularly when stealth is an element of the mission, as it often is. Unfortunately, it is all too common to see players in take SF roles without a clear comprehension of their intended usage, usually because they're seen as "cool roles" and whatnot. This tends to result in a lot of dead "SF".

Special Forces soldiers are often the ones behind enemy lines calling in close air support or acting as forward observers for artillery. To this end, they often carry a laser designator which can be used to guide in laser-guided bombs. Special Forces are expected to be familiar with how to act as a Forward Air Controller (FAC) and a Forward Observer (FO) - both topics are covered in the "Combined Arms" section of this guide - as well as skilled in reconnaissance tasks.

Basic Special Forces Guidelines

Crew-Served Weapons

The Weapons Squad

Weapon Squad Organization & Leadership

Due to their special nature, crew served weapon teams do not generally fit into the typical platoon organizational structure. Instead, these teams are organized into what is known as a Weapons Squad, complete with a Weapons Squad Leader (WSL) who is the main point of contact for the teams.

The Weapons Squad is almost always split up during a mission to best facilitate the mission commander's plan. Elements - be they machineguns, anti-tank, or otherwise - are pieced out and attached to squads that they will support during the mission. The Weapons Squad maintains a communication channel of their own for overall communication amongst the teams, while the individual teams tend to move onto the same radio net as the squad they're supporting in order to best communicate with them.

Weapons Squad Leader

The Weapons Squad Leader shares some traits in common with a typical squad leader, but drastically differs in many ways due to the nature of how his different squad elements will be pieced out throughout a platoon or company action.

Weapon Squad Leaders...

Introduction to Crew-Served Weapon Teams

About Crew-Served Weapons

Crew-Served Weapons (CSWs) are heavy machineguns, mortars, grenade machineguns, anti-tank missile systems, and other weapons which require more than one person to carry around, deploy, and operate due to their bulk and weight. These are another form of attachment that can be added to a platoon to give it increased capabilities.

Some crew-served weapons can be carried intact, while heavier ones may need to be broken down into several components for transport - typically carried in specialized rucksacks or carrying rigs once broken down. Such weapons typically break down into three components - the gun itself, the tripod to mount it on, and the ammo. A crew-served team consists of however many people are necessary to move the weapon and ammo or other components around the battlefield. One member of the team acts as the gunner (and carries the gun itself), another acts as the assistant gunner (carrying the tripod and/or ammo), while a third and potentially fourth and fifth haul around additional ammo and act as security for the gun team.

Crew-served weapons are extremely powerful and can be effective in both the defense and offense when employed correctly. The following guidelines should help to ensure that these powerful weapons are in fact employed correctly.

The Mk30 .50cal heavy machinegun

General CSW Team Organization & Responsibilities

A crew-served weapon team typically consists of a gunner, assistant, and one or more ammo bearers. The exact responsibilities will differ based on the type of weapon it is, but their general responsibilities are as follows. Adapt the relevant guidelines for other teams (ie: medium machinegun, medium or heavy anti-tank, mortars, etc) where appropriate.

General Guidelines for a Crew-Served Team

Tripod-based TOW missile system. The main advantage of the TOW missile over the Javelin is that it has approximately two times the range of a Javelin - almost 4 kilometers. This is brought into Arma 3 by the All in Arma mod.

Anti-Aircraft

Anti-Aircraft Team

An anti-air missile team consists of a gunner and assistant gunner. Equipped with a man-portable AA missile system such as the Titan MPRL, and an additional missile, the two must be ready to use their launcher to engage and destroy any enemy air threats that might appear over the battlefield, either fixed-wing (jet) or rotary-winged (helo). Their proficiency and situational awareness can be the difference between life and death for a squad or platoon.

Launching a Titan anti-aircraft missile

Basic Anti-Air Missile Gunner Guidelines

Good shots: Rear Oblique (L), Rear (R)
Good shots: Flank (L), Rear Oblique (C), Rear (R)
Bad shots: Frontal (L), Flank (R)
Posing by a trophy kill

Anti-Infantry

Medium Machinegun Team (MMG)

The machinegun rules the realm of infantry. The ability to place sustained accurate fire in high volume on the enemy is capable of inflicting a large number of casualties in short order when properly employed.

Medium machineguns typically fire a 7.62x51mm caliber bullet or larger - significantly more powerful than the infantry's normal rounds. An MMG has a longer range than an automatic rifle, and by default are loaded to fire daylight-visible tracer ammunition every fifth round.

When employed in a base-of-fire or support-by-fire position, or when employed in the defense, MMGs are a powerful asset to any unit.

An M240 medium machinegun in use, brought to Arma 3 by the All in Arma mod

MMG Team Organization & Responsibilities

The MMG team consists of three people - a gunner, assistant gunner, and ammo man. In some situations the team will be reduced to a gunner and a-gunner, in which case the a-gunner gets the responsibilities of the ammo man as well as his own typical responsibilities.

Their responsibilities are as follows.

MMG Team Guidelines

The MMG Team uses the same guidelines as the basic fireteam members, with the Gunner using the guidelines for the Automatic Rifleman, the Assistant Gunner using the guidelines for the Assistant Automatic Rifleman, and the Ammo Man also using the Assistant's guidelines.

Heavy Machinegun Team

A heavy machinegun (HMG) is a crew-served weapon, using the same guidance outlined above regarding CSWs. Heavy machineguns give infantry a tremendous range and a powerful punch - the Mk30, for instance, is a .50cal machinegun that is capable of defeating light armored vehicles as well as punching through heavy cover.

HMG teams look for locations from which the superior range of their weapon allows them to damage the enemy with a lesser risk of effective return fire. These teams carefully evaluate the terrain and enemy situation in order to maximize their concealment until the enemy has committed fully into their kill zones, only then opening fire in order to maximize shock and casualties.

The most lethal heavy machinegun on the battlefield is the grenade machinegun - such as the Mk32 or Mk19. These launchers fire 20 or 40mm grenades out to a distance of over two kilometers and are devastating when employed against any enemy element up to and including light armor.

Whatever weapon an HMG team might have, it's important for their crews to remember that their extreme lethality makes them a high-priority target for any special assets. HMG teams must continually assess their position and vulnerability, relocating to alternate positions in order to foil enemy attempts to destroy them.

Arma 3's crew-served HMGs tend to have magnified optics with thermal and nightvision capabilities, as well as laser rangefinding abilities - all of which serve to make them one of the most feared weapons to encounter on the battlefield for infantry.

Indirect-Fire Teams

Mortar Squads

Mortars are a specific type of artillery support that is organic to infantry units due to its ability to be man-carried along with the grunts. Mortars provide integrated indirect fire support to the infantry, with quick response times, the ability to bring fire safely to within close range of friendly forces, good accuracy and range, and solid terminal effects.

The mortar is often called the 'hip pocket artillery of the infantry'. The 60mm mortar is the most man-portable of those available to NATO forces. It can safely be used to drop rounds close to friendly forces (when in the defense, the 60mm can hit targets as close as 70-100 meters away from the gun position). The 60mm mortar is capable of striking almost anything within three and a half kilometers of it. This allows for the mortar team to be well out of enemy direct fire while still supporting an attack via fire. The typical time-of-flight for a mortar round is from 20-40 seconds, so that must be accounted for when planning fires.

We'll talk primarily about the 60mm mortar, as it's the most commonly used mortar for infantry operations. The guidelines, procedures, and responsibilities for an 82mm squad are the same as for a 60mm team.

60mm Mortar Ammo & Fuze Types

A variety of ammunition and fuze types give the 60mm mortar a range of possible applications.

Ammo types can include:

Fuze options can include:

The Artillery Computer

Both mortars and larger artillery pieces share a common system for employment, known simply as the Artillery Computer. This device is used to target the mortar, select round types, and also choose the charge weight (mode) to use when firing.

Charge weight is simply the amount of propellant used to fire the shell. More propellant means that a round will fly further and take longer to hit a given area. As you change this, the range indicator will react accordingly - the minimum range will increase, same with the maximum. Note that different charge weights have some overlap with each other - a 'low' charge and a 'medium' charge will be able to hit some of the same areas, with the difference being that the 'medium' charge round will have flown higher and thus will take a bit longer to impact the target.

The interface shows a breakdown of all relevant information, to include the grid, direction, altitude, and distance of your mouse cursor on the map, the minimum and maximum ranges of the given fire mode, how many rounds of ammo remain for the selected ammo type, the anticipated flight time, number of rounds to be fired per shot, and the expected spread of the rounds.

The arty operator clicks on the map to designate where he wants the round to impact. If within the current charge weight's capabilities, an estimated time-to-impact will display. If not, the operator must select a higher charge weight.

When capable of firing, the 'Fire' button will become selectable. Clicking on this will fire the currently loaded round at the currently designated target.

When a round is fired, the computer will trace a line indicating the round's flight, with an estimated flight time remaining. Multiple rounds will each have their own trace. The flight time can be conveyed to those being supported, such that they know how long it will be before the rounds impact. When the first round is five seconds from landing, the mortar team calls "Splash" over the radio, warning the supported troops that the first round is five seconds from impact.

Manual Fire

The mortar's optics can also be used to direct fire when in visual range of the target. Entering the mortar sight mode will display the direct-fire interface. In this mode, a laser rangefinder detects the distance to the center of the crosshair, then displays a firing solution that can be used to dial in the mortar's aim.

60mm Mortar Squad Organization & Responsibilities

Each 60mm mortar squad consists of three players - a gunner, assistant gunner, and ammo man. Depending on the situation, they may or may not have a vehicle transporting additional ammunition for them. When used in the defense, they typically have crates of mortar shells available for their usage.

The responsibilities of the squad members are as follows.

Basic Guidelines for the 60mm Mortar Team

A few basic guidelines for mortar teams follow.

The 82mm Mortar

The main difference between the 60 and 82mm mortars lies in their terminal effects. The 82mm mortar fires a significantly more powerful shell, causing greater damage upon detonation.

82mm mortar set up to support an infantry assault

The 82mm mortar is also significantly heavier than the 60mm mortar and requires more effort to transport around the battlefield. They will often end up carried in MRAPs and other vehicles, with minimal 'foot marching' occurring. This is in contrast to the 60mm mortar, which can fairly easily be man-transported over the battlefield.

Other than these differences, the mortar squad and 60mm mortar team are virtually identical. The 82mm Mortar Squad uses the 60mm mortar and Crew-Served Weapon guidance as their baseline.

Anti-Armor

Medium Anti-Tank Team

A medium anti-tank (MAT) team is a rocket team that is capable of delivering accurate and deadly direct-fire against tanks, bunkers, buildings, and other suitable hard targets. They are commonly attached to a platoon when assaulting fortified positions or when enemy armored assets are expected. Two example MAT weapons are the SMAW and MAAWS launchers.

A SMAW being employed from solid cover, brought into Arma 3 as part of the All in Arma mod

About the MAT Launcher

A medium anti-tank launcher can come in a variety of forms, but they all share the following characteristics:

MAT Team Organization & Responsibilities

Each MAT team consists of two people - a gunner and assistant gunner.

Their responsibilities are as follows.

The SMAW's high degree of accuracy and heavy punch make it great for hitting buildings and bunkers, part of the All in Arma mod

MAT Team Tips

A MAAWS launcher, part of All in Arma

Heavy Anti-Tank Team

The heavy anti-tank team (HAT) wields the most deadly anti-tank infantry-carried weapon systems available. When heavy armor is expected, they are great assets to have attached to the platoon. HAT in Arma 3 comes most typically in the form of the Titan launcher or PCML, with Javelin missiles appearing in various modern mods.

About HAT Launchers

While their forms may vary, heavy anti-tank launchers tend to share most or all of the following in common:

HAT Team Organization & Responsibilities

Each HAT team consists of two people - a gunner and assistant gunner. Additional team members may be required for heavier, tripod-based launchers, or to carry extra ammunition.

Their responsibilities are as follows.

A Javelin gunner searches out targets through the powerful optics thanks to the All in Arma mod

HAT Team Tips

A PCML missile takes flight

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