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Suppressive fire command does not work
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It seems that a recurring theme from successive versions of ArmA is the lack of a functioning "suppressive fire" command for use with AI subordinates.

The issue

In the existing command menu, we do have a "suppressive fire" command, but as with ArmA2, it doesn't cause subordinates to fire suppressively at a piece of ground. Although i can't get it to work at all in the alpha, I suspect it's meant to function the same as in ArmA2 where you command "suppressive fire" against a known enemy, in the same way you'd command "engage that...." against a known enemy, the only difference between the two commands being that with "engage that", units will only shoot at the target if they can see it whereas with "suppressive fire" they'll fire at the target's last known location if they don't currently have visual contact with him - but only until their knowledge of the enemy expires (or such is my understanding anyway).

The issue here being that a unit has to have knowledge of an enemy at a location before you can get that unit to shoot there.

What I'm suggesting is that we be given the ability to command units to fire at a location/area whether or not they currently "know about" an enemy at that location. You should be able to command your squad to begin laying down fire on any area at any time, regardless of enemy being acquired there.

The reasons are simple:

In a firefight, it's perfectly reasonable for a commander to order his subordinates to fire at a piece fo ground where said subordinates don't see enemy. The contexts where this is done include, but are not limited to:

-Suppressing a *suspected* enemy location as opposed to a known one.

-Higher units or lateral units informing you of enemy at a location even if you can't see them.

-Denying ground to the enemy i.e. cutting off likely escape or reinforcement routes with fire.

-Speculative fire, or "recon by fire", engaging an area to see if you get a reaction.

-The commander knowing about an enemy at a location that the others cannot see.
(sometimes you spot an enemy, but the the behavior engine doesn't think you see him, so there's no communication of "Rifleman, 300m, bearing....", even though you're looking right at a unit)

All of these techniques are perfectly reasonable in the real world, and they involve a commander ordering subordinates to shoot at a place as opposed to a seen enemy. As such, we should have that same freedom in ArmA.

Even more importantly, the ability to fire at locations regardless of whether enemy are seen there is critical to supporting fire. Indeed, that's preciceley what supporting fire is - trying to keep an enemy's head down in order to enable another friendly element to maneuver.

Shooting only at targets you can see is not supporting fire. That's just firing at targets of opportunity, and has little suppressive value. Effective supporting fire results in not being able to see the enemy because you've forced him to keep his head down. So having units only capable of shooting at targets they can see means precisely that you have no supporting fire function in your simulation. And anything deserving of the term "infantry simulation" would have supporting fire modeled, being that it's one of the most fundamental concepts of land warfare.

Suggested solution(s):

I feel that the current system for controlling AI's direct fire is very convoluted and disjointed, and which is very unrealistic. In reality, all an infantry section commander really does is either points at a piece of ground (which may or may not contain a seen enemy), and says "shoot there" or "shoot those guys", or he says "Just watch out and shoot any targets that pop up", or he tells them not to shoot.*

To realistically simulate squad fire control, they should model several rates fire and use that as a basis for how the commander orders the AI to engages/fire. At the very least, the rates of fire should be should be "Slow Rate (suppressive)", "Rapid Rate (suppressive)" and "Watch and Shoot" (and of course, hold fire).

While pointing the cursor at a place on the terrain, ordering "Slow Rate" or "Rapid Rate" to your subordinates should cause them to shoot slowly or rapidly respectively (exact RPMs being open for debate) at the area you're pointing at (not unlike "fire at location" for artillery). They should fire randomly within a general area centered around the designated point (as opposed to directly at the precise point, for obvious reasons). And while they're doing that, they should be free to take aimed shots at any targets of opportunity that appear in the vicinity of their designated target area, and then go back to firing suppressively within the designated area once the target is gone, and continue to fire there until you tell them to stop. This is how section/squad fire is controlled in the real world.

Ordering "Watch and Shoot" should simply make your subordinates watch the designated area, and shoot anything that appears in front of them.
(Note: The watch and shoot *area* would want to be modeled larger than the suppressive fire area as "watch and shoot" is a speculative, "keep an eye out" kind of command, where "suppressive fire" is specifically directed at a particular place/area. This could serve as a decent analogue for assigning arcs/sectors of fire/observation to individual subordinates)

*The other thing a section commander does is he divides the ground up into "arcs" or "sectors" and allocates them to individuals/teams. This stops the whole section observing the same area and potentially missing things in front of them.

I don't see this being all that difficult to model. In fact, you could even use the existing "Fire at Location" command menu item, and then have the sub-menu offer "Slow rate" and "Rapid Rate" or "Watch and Shoot" (where for mortars it has "Single round, 2 rounds, 3 rounds" etc).


Legacy ID
AI Control / Commanding
Steps To Reproduce
  1. Run Arma 3
  2. In the Editor
    1. Place two BLUFOR soldiers (one player) and one OPFOR soldier
    2. Put "this allowDamage false" and "this reveal *" commands into their inits
    3. Put the OPFOR soldier behind some partial cover
    4. Preview
  3. Order your subordinate to attack the OPFOR soldier
  4. Order him to use "Suppressive fire" (via LAlt command menu)

(# Maneuver around and change the LOS on the enemy unit)

Event Timeline

Chris2525 edited Steps To Reproduce. (Show Details)Mar 9 2013, 4:02 AM
Chris2525 edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
Chris2525 set Category to AI Control / Commanding.
Chris2525 set Reproducibility to Always.
Chris2525 set Severity to Major.
Chris2525 set Resolution to Open.
Chris2525 set Legacy ID to 60754023.May 7 2016, 11:53 AM
Chris2525 edited a custom field.
Hanz added a subscriber: Hanz.May 7 2016, 11:53 AM
Hanz added a comment.May 21 2013, 3:08 PM

This suggestion was processed by our team and will be looked into. We thank you for your feedback.

Peter added a subscriber: Peter.May 7 2016, 11:53 AM
Peter added a comment.Apr 29 2014, 7:39 PM

Quite important bug since Alpha

It would also be quite nice if suppressive fire were worked out for vehicles as well. For example, a player with an AI controlled fixed-wing in his or her group could command the AI to lay down "suppressive fire" on a location, and the aircraft would perform a few gun runs and possibly even fire a few unguided HE rockets on the target location, or the player could command an IFV in his group to lob HE shells and machinegun fire at the target location.

It is currently very difficult to force a unit of any type, including vehicles, to stop engaging an enemy and fire at a point in space, and requires rather "advanced" scripting methods. This seems strange, considering the numerous scripting commands that seemingly should enable a player to control what a unit is shooting at, yet none of them work effectively. The proposed modification to "suppressive fire" and an associated change to the related scripting command would be immensely helpful.

it would also be nice to have something like VBS3 suppression system - when it's finalize.
video here:

I believe this is a marketing tactic to differentiate ARMA from VBS as it is basically the main thing missing from infantry command and removing the ability to lay suppressive fire onto an area makes VBS much more appealing for the serious client.

agree with Mr_Centipede.
Something like VBS3 (video example) would greatly decorate gameplay.

Today, the BIS says that the issue of AI-suppression is solved:
But how any player, does it check, if the command "Suppression" in action menu not working?

Also Zeus needs a suppressive fire / area fire / watch direction command. I´ve made an ticket about it: