The Role of Vehicles on the Battlefield
The main thing one must remember when taking a vehicle role is that you ultimately are there to support the infantry. It is not your job to run around pell-mell trying to rack up an impressive kill count; instead, you should do everything you can to work with friendly forces so that you can best support the infantry.
This first section will be oriented around giving you an understanding of basic ground vehicles. From there, we'll work up to more advanced concepts like armored vehicles and crew coordination.
General Ground Vehicle Tips
Foot Recon & Ground Guides
When the tactical situation permits it, the commander of a vehicle can dismount from the vehicle to do a 'foot recon'. This is typically done when the vehicle is about to crest some significant terrain feature. Dismounting and checking over the crest 'on foot' allows for the commander to decide on where possible enemy threats might be, locate obvious threats, and choose on where and how to crest the terrain, where his gunner should be aiming when they crest, and so forth.
Ground guides, on the other hand, are infantry who walk in front of a vehicle to guide it through a tricky area. Ground guides can be used to get a vehicle positioned specifically where the infantry need it, to help guide vehicles through a potentially mined area, or to help them navigate through tight or confusing terrain.
Throwing the Weight Around
Depending on their weight and hardiness, vehicles can be used to knock down trees, bushes, walls, and other obstacles in order to clear lanes of fire & observation for themselves or the infantry that they support. Tanks are generally able to knock down anything, whereas trucks and such generally focus on light bushes and light walls to prevent disabling themselves in the process.
Close coordination with the infantry commanders is needed in order to create effective lanes of fire that are integrated into the defensive plans of the supported infantry. Too many trees knocked down, or holes punched in walls, can compromise the ability of the infantry to put up an effective defense.
Keep in mind that in addition to clearing obstacles, vehicles can also be used to create better concealment. A tank may have a hard time finding concealment in an area where the trees have their branches at too high of a level to mask the tank - however, knocking a tree down in the direction of the enemy may suddenly provide concealment. From the enemy's point of view, it will likely just look like a bush and blend in with the natural terrain.
Vehicle Heads-Up Display (HUD)
Different vehicles may have different capabilities insofar as sensors are concerned, but all share the same basic HUD features.
First is the vehicle radar, which is positioned at the center-top of the screen. The radar is an abstraction of more complex sensor systems and is key to a crew's situational awareness. The radar is centered around the vehicle (represented by an icon( and has two circles with the outer one displaying compass bearings as well as showing a digital compass reading of the current view direction. It's important to remember that this is the direction a given crew member is looking through his optic - be that driver, gunner, or commander - and not necessarily the heading that the vehicle is pointed. The two rings indicate ranges - the first is one kilometer, the second two. The current field of view of the gunner(s) and commander are indicated with cones extending away from the vehicle - these cones will narrow and expand based on that position's current zoom level.
Identified friendly targets will display as green dots, while identified enemy targets will show as red. Unknown or destroyed vehicles will appear grey.
On the upper-left of the HUD is the vehicle's damage readout. Red means a system is completely disabled, while shades of yellow or orange indicate damaged components. This is broken down into the following categories:
- HULL. When fully compromised, the vehicle will be destroyed, taking any embarked crew members with it.
- ENG. The vehicle's engine. If disabled, the vehicle will lose mobility.
- GUN. If disabled, the main gun will no longer be able to elevate, but can still fire.
- L-TR. The left track. Disabling one track will disable the vehicle's mobility until repaired.
- R-TR. The right track. Same story.
- TRRT. The turret. A disabled turret cannot be turned and loses any stabilization features it might have had, though the weapons will still operate. This may make it possible to employ things like the cannon of a tank by turning the vehicle in order to point the disabled turret in the right direction.
Some vehicles have optics which employ automatic laser ranging, in which case the range is displayed in the bottom-center of the view.
Finally, the upper-right section displays the currently active weapon or countermeasure, the ammo remaining in it, and is color-coded to indicate if the weapon is ready to be fired. After firing something that takes time to reload, such as a tank main gun, this HUD element will turn red while a progress bar indicates the reload time remaining. Shortly before reloading fully, this will turn yellow, then white to indicate that the weapon is able to be fired again.
Any weapon that can lock onto a target will first have to acquire the target. This is done either by right-clicking over the target, pressing "T" to lock, or "R" to cycle through available targets. When a target is acquired, it will have a green box around it. To lock the target, you must have it within a certain number of degrees of the weapon's orientation (relative to the nose on most aircraft, or the direction the weapon is facing on ground vehicles) - this may vary depending upon the specific weapon.
When a target has been acquired and locked, the box has a circle overlaid on it. At this point any guided weapon can be fired and it will automatically track and (hopefully) destroy said target. Note that when reaching the limits of the lock 'cone', the circle indicator will begin to fade out, letting you know that you're about to lose lock. Note that this applies to aircraft, ground vehicles, and also infantry launchers.
Left: Target acquired, lock-on process initiated. Right: Target fully locked
Many vehicles are equipped with smoke dischargers for defensive purposes. These dischargers are most often mounted to the vehicle's turret, allowing the smokescreen to be laid in the direction that the turret is pointed.
The vehicle commander generally has control of the smoke system. He selects it as he would a normal weapon and presses his countermeasures key to deploy the smoke. The canisters will propel away from the vehicle in an arc, quickly deploying a thick white smokescreen after a few moments. This smoke can be used for a variety of purposes to screen friendly forces from enemy observation. This sort of countermeasure smoke is designed to block infrared wavelengths, meaning that it is just as effective against thermal optics as normal vision.
Many smoke systems have two or more deployments available before they will need to be reloaded at a supply position.
Bear in mind that smoke, used as a defense against enemy anti-tank assets, is only really useful if the vehicle moves after deploying it. Movement makes it much harder for any manually-guided missile systems to properly track the vehicle as well.
A Slammer deploys smoke to the front of the vehicle
Ground vehicles come equipped with a wide variety of armaments. The most common types are described in this section, with the intent being to familiarize all players with the capabilities of the different weapon systems they will see employed from vehicles.
Large-bore cannons are the main guns on tanks, or standalone artillery pieces. They are capable of causing great damage to whatever they hit, but have a relatively slow reload time. The M2A1 Slammer has a 120mm smooth-bore cannon which falls under this category.
Cannons typically have a range of ammunition types to choose from, such as:
- High Explosive (HE). Purely intended to kill light vehicles, cause damage to structures and fortifications, and blow up infantry. These rounds simply explode on impact, using blast damage, fragmentation, and overpressure as their killing effects.
- Sabot. Sabot rounds are small, incredibly dense darts of metal that are intended to punch through enemy armor with sheer kinetic force. They are generally ineffective against troops but can be used to great effect against enemy vehicles and armor. They tend to be overkill for anything below a medium armor classification.
- High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT). Unlike sabot rounds, HEAT rounds rely on chemical means to attempt to defeat armored threats. They have a high-explosive component as well, making them dual-purpose in that they can harm both armored targets as well as infantry and other light targets. HEAT rounds are generally less effective than sabot rounds against modern armor, but handle anything less than that with ease.
- Anti-Personnel. The APERS round used by some tanks is an example of an antipersonnel round - imagine a 120mm shotgun and you get the general idea. The defining characteristic of such a round is the ability to more or less annihilate an entire platoon at a given distance in a single shot, assuming they were all exposed at the time. You really do not want to be on the bad end of these.
Autocannons are found on infantry fighting vehicles and other medium armored vehicles.
These smaller-bore cannons (20-40mm) tend to have a rapid firing rate and are capable of using sabot or high-explosive rounds. They are superb at killing infantry and other similarly-classed armored vehicles, but come up at a distinct disadvantage when faced against main battle tanks. Cannons can be used to devastating effect when engaging masked urban targets - putting HE shells into a room, or blasting SABOT rounds through walls that hostiles are hiding behind, are both superb at wrecking an enemy defense.
The AMV-7 Marshall is an example of a NATO vehicle with such an autocannon, with the BTR-K being a similar example of an OPFOR vehicle with a similar autocannon.
40mm cannon on an AMV
Every armored vehicle inevitably has at least one machinegun on it. Machineguns can range from medium-caliber like the 7.62mm M240 up to the heavy-caliber .50cal M2 Browning. They are used against soft targets such as trucks or enemy infantry, and can generally carry an obscene amount of ammo due to said ammo being stashed in the vehicle itself. Heavy-caliber machineguns can even be employed successfully against light enemy armored systems, and can also punch through walls that lighter machineguns cannot.
Machineguns come in several types of mounts on armored vehicles:
- Coaxial. Coaxial machineguns are sighted to the same place that the main gun is, and are controlled by the vehicle's gunner. Coaxial machineguns are employed to destroy infantry and soft vehicle targets, preserving the main gun ammunition for more significant threats.
- Crew-operated external mounts. These machineguns are mounted on the outside of the vehicle, requiring the crew members to 'turn out' and manually operate them, which in turn leaves them vulnerable to enemy small-arms fire.
- Crew-operated internal mounts. Some vehicles have internally-operated machineguns that can be employed by passengers of the vehicle. The BMP3 is an example of such a vehicle.
- Remote weapon station (RWS). These machineguns or grenade machineguns are mounted externally, yet use a sensor package/control system mounted internally that allows the crew to operate them without having to be exposed to enemy fire. The RWS mount that the commander of the Panther IFV has access to is an example of this type of mount.
The RWS of a Panther IFV
Anti-Tank Guided Missiles are carried by a number of armored vehicles. These missiles are capable of outright destroying most armored threats and are very dangerous to face off against. ATGMs such as the US TOW give less-than-heavy-armor vehicles a fighting chance against main battle tanks. Most common ground-launched ATGMs require some sort of guidance/tracking of the target from launch time until impact.
ATGMs can also be employed effectively in an anti-bunker/anti-building capacity when the threat of enemy armor is not present.
The grenade machinegun is exactly what it sounds like. Capable of firing dozens of grenades at a high rate of fire, these are superb weapons to use against enemy infantry, soft vehicles, and light armor. Their effects against heavier vehicles are generally unremarkable - by the time they can do enough damage, the heavier vehicle will have already blown them to scrap.
Grenade machineguns generally have a steeply arced trajectory due to their relatively low velocity, but the terminal effects of the grenades are independent of their velocity and stay lethal out to as far as they can be lobbed.
Arma simulates the degree to which a turret is or is not stabilized. There are two basic types - non-stabilized and stabilized. Stabilized turrets can occasionally come in varieties where only one axis is stabilized, though that is rarer.
A non-stabilized turret does not have any special method to keep the turret pointed in a given direction while the vehicle is moving. Because of this, uneven terrain makes it difficult for the gunner to engage on the move or when the vehicle is turning. Non-stabilized turrets are most effective when the vehicle is at a complete stop and the gunner is able to aim effectively.
Two examples of non-stabilized turrets can be found in the HMMWV and AAV vehicles. Neither is particularly accurate if the gunner is attempting to engage while moving on rough terrain. Utilization of a non-stabilized turret weapon system requires a tighter coordination between the gunner and driver for good effects to be achieved.
Stabilized turrets use special mechanisms to maintain their orientation and direction, within reasonable limits, while the vehicle maneuvers. Because of this, vehicles with stabilized turrets can engage effectively even when driving at high speeds, over rough terrain, or during turns and other vehicle maneuvers.
The M2A1 Slammer is a prime example of a vehicle with a stabilized turret.
Vehicle Damage Model
While not a hardcore simulation-level damage system, the Arma 3 vehicle damage model does have a number of different damage effects that can present themselves based on the location and severity of the damage. This section will describe them.
For vehicles with bullet-resistant glass such as MRAPs, each window will be able to sustain a certain amount of damage before it is compromised and destroyed. Light weapons may take dozens of rounds to finally shatter the window, but heavier weapons like .50cal machineguns can quickly punch through and destroy an armored glass window.
Always remember that the armored glass is there to give you a chance to survive unexpected fire - it is not perpetually impervious to damage!
The Hunter MRAP's front windshield in the process of being destroyed by enemy fire
Non-catastrophic kill is the result of a vehicle being knocked out without it violently exploding into flames. It is likely that one or more crew members have been killed in the process, and the survivors will likely be wounded. Due to it not always being clear when a vehicle has been knocked out in such a fashion, many gunners will put additional rounds into the vehicle until they get secondary explosions, flame, or some other visual indication that the vehicle is no longer a threat.
A catastrophic kill happens when the vehicle explodes violently from battle damage. If the crew is inside when this happens, they won't have a chance and will be obliterated in the blast.
A vehicle which has been knocked out, either via a catastrophic or non-catastrophic kill, will likely have secondary explosions if the vehicle burns. Secondary explosions are caused by the vehicle's ammo or fuel exploding, and they can easily take out any nearby dismounted infantry. In addition to this, some mods introduce enhanced cookoffs that further refine the secondary-explosion system. Cookoffs can result in stored rockets igniting and launching, ammo causing turrets to be propelled into the air, or just generally send dangerous shrapnel throughout the area. ALWAYS STAY CLEAR OF ALL KNOCKED-OUT VEHICLES!
Destroyed vehicles that catch fire will cause damage to any players that get close to them. As it says above, stay clear of all knocked-out vehicles. Nothing good can come from getting up close to them.
Most wheeled vehicles are susceptible to having their tires flattened by enemy fire. This makes the vehicle difficult to control, usually with it tending to turn heavily into the tire(s) that were damaged. Drivers should attempt to keep their vehicle moving for as long as possible and attempt to get out of the kill zone before abandoning the vehicle (if necessary).
An AMV sits on the road, disabled by an explosion that took out its front four wheels
Tracked vehicles can suffer a number of different types of damage.
Tracking is known as a "mobility kill". When a vehicle is tracked, it means that they have lost the use of one (or both) tracks and can no longer move in a controlled fashion. The vehicle becomes a stationary turret - or bunker - for all intents and purposes. The vehicle crewmen should stay put if they can safely do so and fight from within their vehicle. If this is not possible, they need to immediately bail and make their way to friendly infantry positions. Reasons for bailing would include knowing that enemy ATGM or AT teams are able to re-engage them or are likely to be able to strike without possibility of prevention.
A solid hit to an armored vehicle's turret can cause it to lock up and become unresponsive. In this case, the tank may or may not be able to effectively engage the enemy, depending on whether the gun is active and how it is oriented. In most cases a tank which has lost use of its turret needs to get out of the combat zone and head back to friendly territory for repairs. When the loss of the main armament has been sustained, it is referred to as a "firepower kill".
Basic Vehicle Roles
As a general rule, you should be capable of handling vehicle role responsibilities early in your Arma career. It is important that players are familiar with all of the roles available so that they can operate as a motorized vehicle crewman, or a mechanized one, when the time comes - or gain the basic proficiency to allow them to train up as a heavier vehicle crew in the future.
To that end, let's look at the different vehicle roles available to basic infantry.
A driver does what it sounds like - drives the vehicle around the battlefield in accordance with his team leader or squad leader's directions.
The driver does not dismount unless he is explicitly told to by his team leader, or when the verbal command "BAIL OUT, BAIL OUT, BAIL OUT!" is given by himself or another player.
A summary of the driver's responsibilities follow.
- Drives the vehicle according to the directions of his team leader.
- Maintains spacing when moving with other vehicles
- Knows the overall formation being employed, also known as the 'order of march', and his vehicle's place in it.
- Stays mounted at all times unless told to dismount directly, or when a "BAIL OUT" command is issued.
- Communicates the vehicles' status and issues a "BAIL OUT!" command if necessary. If the vehicle's tires are blown, he immediately attempts to pull the vehicle into cover or concealment or out of the kill zone before giving the "BAIL OUT!" order. If this is not possible, he immediately halts the vehicle and gives the bail out command.
- Exercises good navigation techniques either by listening to his navigator's directions or navigating on his own in the absence of a dedicated navigator.
- Watches the road for any signs of satchels, mines, IEDs, explosives, etc. Dangerous explosives will require immediate evasive action - while other members of the crew should be observing as well, the driver is the one who can react most rapidly to avoid them.
- Stays alert and avoids colliding with other vehicles as well as any unexpected obstacles in his path.
The driver position in a Hunter MRAP
The navigator is often a fireteam leader. He typically sits in the front passenger seat of the vehicle and utilizes his map and view of the terrain to give the driver clear, concise directions on where to go and how to get there.
- Gives the driver clear and concise direction at all times. This includes describing the route, giving advance warning of any turns that may be needed, etc. The navigator never assumes that the driver knows anything about the route - he always explicitly calls for turns and other maneuvers, and gives plenty of advance warning to the driver - such as telling him that a turn is on the right, 500 meters ahead, and then updating him as the vehicle closes on it.
- Must be familiar with what the movement plan is from start to finish, in order to be able to make judgment calls if re-routing becomes necessary.
A gunner is tasked with employing the crew-served weapon system of the vehicle, or in the case of many vehicles, the Remote Weapon System (RWS). Due to his elevated position or the use of an RWS sensor, he has better observation of the terrain than the rest of the vehicle and communicates what he sees to help maintain the rest of the vehicle's situational awareness.
A gunner does not dismount the vehicle unless his crew-served weapon is empty, when he is directed to by his team leader, or when the command "BAIL OUT, BAIL OUT, BAIL OUT!" is given.
A summary of the gunner's responsibilities follow.
- Employs the vehicles crew-served weapon system or Remote Weapon System.
- Maintains a high state of situational awareness and conveys what he sees to the passengers of the vehicle.
- Scans a sector appropriate to the position of his vehicle in the overall vehicle formation or convoy
- Front vehicles always scan to the front
- Rear vehicles always scan to the rear
- All other vehicles watch either left or right, alternating
- Stays mounted on his weapon until it is empty, he is directed by his team leader to dismount, or the command "BAIL OUT!" is received.
Manning the RWS on a Hunter MRAP
Passengers of transport vehicles are generally infantry embarked for the purpose of transporting them to a fight. They're interested in getting safely to the fight, and their responsibilities reflect this.
- Scan for and communicate threats. While they will sometimes not have a good view of their surroundings, they will take advantage of whatever view they do have to maintain situational awareness.
- Dismount to provide local security. When required, infantry dismount to provide local security for vehicles. This is generally done during temporary halts en route to their actual final dismount point.
- Dismount to fight. Once at the final dismount point, or as required otherwise, infantry disembark the vehicles, form up into their respective units, and begin the assigned fight. This can include reacting to a convoy ambush as well as any other unexpected fights that might happen before the main objective.
Soldiers riding in the back of a HEMTT transport
Basic Vehicle Guidelines
When it comes to embarking troops into a vehicle, the process is straightforward so long as leaders take initiative and command, and subordinates listen for and follow directions.
Element leaders always load up last in vehicles. Their responsibility is to get their team members into the vehicle that has been assigned by their higher leadership. After being designated a vehicle, they will direct their team members to it, supervise their loading, and then load up as the last man. If they need to take the front passenger seat of a vehicle to act as a navigator, they will need to direct the person sitting in that seat to get out, then wait for them to mount up before remounting the vehicle. This is simply due to Arma not allowing you to choose which specific passenger seat you load into.
As a general rule, a fireteam will attempt to occupy the following positions in a vehicle if they're assigned to one.
- Fireteam Leader - Navigator
- Automatic Rifleman - Passenger. The AR does not take turret gunner, since doing so would mean that the fireteam's automatic rifle would be unused if the rest of the team needed to dismount while the turret gunner remained in his position.
- Assistant Automatic Rifleman - Turret gunner or remote weapon systems operator.
- Riflemen - Driver, passengers. The best driver is picked from the riflemen. In the absence of willing or capable riflemen drivers, the fireteam leader can become the driver, with another team member acting as navigator.
Halts & Dismounting
Due to the way Arma models vehicles and armor, armored personnel carriers and troop-carrying vehicles tend to be a bit vulnerable to enemy fire. It is a good idea to avoid staying mounted as passengers in them, due to the risk of a single RPG wiping out the entire vehicle, its crew, and the immediate family and close friends of everyone who was embarked on it at the time.
When dismounting, infantry elements should provide 360° security as a standard. They should also try to get at least fifteen meters of clearance from the vehicle to help protect against primary or secondary explosions in the event that it is engaged.
It is a good idea to have "Eject" bound to an easily accessed key combo for emergency dismounts, such as 2x Ctrl+E.
Moving on, let's look at the various other considerations that must be made regarding halts and dismounting from vehicles.
When to dismount?
To help decide on when to dismount, versus when to stay mounted, follow these basic guidelines.
- If a halt is short duration (30 seconds or less), mounted troops typically stay in their vehicles. All personnel continue to scan around the vehicle and stay alert to any potential enemy threats.
- If a halt is longer duration, mounted troops dismount and provide local security. Team leaders and squad leaders will order the dismount, at which point the "Dismount Drill" procedures are conducted. When it comes time to remount and move out, team leaders and squad leaders will say "Remount", "Mount up", or some variation thereof, which will then be repeated by everyone in earshot over direct-speaking comms. Each team leader will maintain accountability of their men each time they dismount and remount to ensure that nobody is ever left behind.
- Regardless of the duration of a halt, the driver and gunner always stay mounted. The only time they will leave the vehicle is if it is disabled or destroyed. The gunner may also dismount if the vehicle gun is out of ammo, so that he can employ his personal weapon.
5 & 25 Scan
A "5 & 25" scan involves scanning the area immediately around you and the vehicle for five meters, then dismounting and scanning for 25 meters in all directions. The idea is to ensure that the vehicle did not stop near a concealed satchel charge, mine, or enemy. The tactical situation will determine how much time you have to spend on this scan. At the very least, upon dismounting, ensure that you do a hasty 360° threat scan. Ensure you check all of the concealment-offering objects - such as bushes, brush, etc - around you as time permits. A well-camouflaged enemy will be extremely difficult to detect.
Note that due to the peculiarities of how Arma models armor and vehicle protection, the "5 & 25" scan often becomes "get out of the vehicle FIRST and scan afterward", instead of the more real-world procedure of scanning the first 5 meters while still mounted. In reality, being mounted in an armored vehicle provides a very large degree of protection. In Arma 3 this can depend heavily on the armor of the vehicle and the potential explosives used, so it can be a judgment call as to whether you'll want to dismount first or not.
Dismount Drill Procedures
The 'dismount drill' is a standard set of procedures that are executed upon dismounting a vehicle. While they can differ somewhat based on the tactical situation (ie: under fire or not), the same concepts apply at all times.
If dismounting under fire...
- Dismount once the vehicle has come to a halt or is moving slow enough that exiting will not injure you.
- Immediately return fire on known or suspected enemy positions while moving to a position that offers cover or concealment. If no cover or concealment is available, either use the vehicle as cover, or take a lower stance.
- Begin the "React to Contact" battle drill and follow it until directed otherwise.
- If the situation allows, conduct a hasty "5 & 25" scan, as described above. Ambushers will often try to get vehicles to stop in an area that has been mined or otherwise booby-trapped.
If not under fire...
- Dismount once the vehicle has come to a halt.
- Move away from the vehicle to a position that offers cover or concealment. If unavailable, take a knee or go prone to reduce your exposure.
- Conduct a deliberate "5 & 25" scan, as described above.
- Scan outward and identify likely threat avenues, key terrain, etc.
- Continue scanning the surrounding terrain for enemy threats until ordered to remount the vehicle or move out with your team leader.
Bear in mind that this same dismount drill can be used when exiting a helo or any other vehicle where you may need to immediately fight or form a perimeter and provide security.
The decision to dismount can be a command from a leader or on your own disciplined initiative. If given as a command, it will be "Dismount, dismount!". Individual initiative is important here, of course. Don't sit in a vehicle getting shot up if you know you should be dismounting to react to the threat on foot!
Do not say "BAIL OUT!" when ordering an infantry dismount! "BAIL OUT" will cause the entire crew to exit the vehicle as well, and should only be used if the vehicle is in imminent threat of being completely destroyed.
Everyone in a vehicle must scan their sectors to maintain situational awareness at all times. Vigilance will help to spot enemy ambushers and spoil their element of surprise. The sector a person scans will depend upon where they are placed in the vehicle. For an MRAP, basic sectors are depicted below. 360° coverage is the ultimate goal.
Transport trucks, unarmored HMMWVs, jeeps, motorcycles, etc, fall into the 'soft' vehicle class. These are meant to be used as transportation and will not survive any significant combat. During combat, 'soft' vehicles carry the minimum of crew - a driver and gunner at most. All infantry using them as transportation dismount to fight on foot once contact is made, or whenever it is anticipated as being imminent.
Types of Soft Vehicles
Unarmed soft vehicles fall into two general categories - transport and service. Transport vehicles are concerned with getting troops somewhere, while service vehicles carry fuel, ammo, and provide mechanical support to damaged vehicles. All of these are death traps once bullets start flying.
Left to right: GREENFOR Zamak, BLUFOR HEMTT, OPFOR Zamak, BLUFOR Hunter
Armed soft vehicles are generally vulnerable to enemy attack, yet have a powerful weapon on them that helps to counterbalance that vulnerability. HMMWVs with HMGs, GMGs, ATGMs, and such are the prime examples of this class of vehicle, while guerrilla vehicles like technicals also fit.
The following threats are the ones most commonly employed against soft vehicles. While there are plenty of other things that can destroy a soft vehicle, these are the most commonly encountered. For more information about additional threat types, read the "Armored Vehicles - Typical Threats" section below, and understand that most of those can also be employed against soft vehicles.
If you take anything away from this, it should be that soft vehicles do not stand up to serious enemy resistance and are best employed in low-intensity conflicts. If you're going into a serious fight, bring a serious armored vehicle.
Small-Arms Fire (SAF)
Small arms fire is by far the greatest and most prevalent threat towards 'soft' vehicles in A2. The key characteristics of it, as it relates to 'soft' vehicles, follow.
- Generally massed. Most infantry units will mass fire on soft vehicles to ensure their swift destruction.
- Can puncture the hull of a soft vehicle easily, wounding or killing those inside.
- Can destroy tires and cripple the mobility of a vehicle.
An OPFOR soldier blazes full-auto with his Katiba rifle
Heavy Machinegun Fire
Heavy machinegun fire typically is encountered in the form of enemy vehicles. Heavy machineguns are more than capable of quickly destroying a soft vehicle. They do everything that small-arms fire does, except multiplied in intensity. They can destroy tires, tear through the vehicle hull and kill anything they hit, destroy the engines, and generally swiss-cheese soft vehicles in short order.
Light Anti-Tank Rockets
Light anti-tank rockets, such as the RPG-7, are deadly threats to soft vehicles. One good hit from an RPG warhead is usually enough to disable a soft vehicle, if not outright destroy it.