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Calling in Artillery: Improper Radio Etiquette
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The Call for Artillery Support uses the wrong radio etiquette.

When calling for artillery, the most common is called "Adjust Fire." Adjust Fire uses one shot from an artillery batter to determine whether the grid is correct. If the grid has been confirmed by the spotter, the command "Fire fore Effect" is given, and the battery will send what ever they assigned to the observer.

Reaper 1: "Steel Reign (Battery), this is Reaper 1 (Observer), adjust fire, over"

Steel Reign: "Reaper 1, this is Steel Reign, send it"

Reaper 1:
"Grid AB 1234 5678
6400 mils
Enemy Troops in the open, over"

Steel Reign: "Roger,
Grid AB 1234 5678
6400 mils
Enemy Troops in the open, out
Message to Observer, Fire control number Alpha Foxtrot 1027 break,
1 Battery, 3 Guns, 2 rounds ICM, 25 seconds, over

Reaper 1: "Message to Observer, Fire control number Alpha Foxtrot 1027 break,
1 Battery, 3 Guns, 2 rounds ICM, 25 seconds, out

Steel Reign: "Shot Over" (Round Fired)

Reaper 1: "Shot Out"

Steel Reign: "Splash Over" (5 Seconds to Splash Down: gives observer time to acquire impact area with binos)

Reaper 1: "Splash Out"

(Round Impacts)

Reaper 1:
"Add/Drop 400, Left/Right 30-300" (Bracketing consists of Adding or Dropping rounds to impact the target starting with 400, then 200, then 100, then 50. Kill radius for a 155 shell is 50m, so we don't bracket less than 50m. Left and right is determined by how far away you are from the target. Looking through your binos, if you place your target in the center and the first round impacts on the 2 to the right, multiply the number by 10 then by your distance. x2 for 2000m, x3 for 3000m etc.)

Steel Reign:
"Roger, add 400, right 70
Shot over"

Reaper 1: "Shot out"

Steel Reign: Splash over"

Reaper 1: "Splash out"

(Round impacts target area)

Reaper 1: "Fire for effect, over"

Steel Reign: "Fire for effect, out"

(Target destroyed)

Reaper 1: "Enemy troops destroyed, end mission over"

Steel Reign: "Roger, enemy troops destroyed, end mission, out."

Alexander Whatmore
United States Army Infantry
B Co, 2-8 Cav, 1 Bct, 1 CD
Fort Hood, Texas, 76544 {F19240}


Legacy ID
Feature Request

Event Timeline

Stalker1 edited Steps To Reproduce. (Show Details)May 2 2013, 7:35 PM
Stalker1 edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
Stalker1 set Category to Feature Request.
Stalker1 set Reproducibility to N/A.
Stalker1 set Severity to Feature.
Stalker1 set Resolution to Open.
Stalker1 set Legacy ID to 2366674080.May 7 2016, 1:57 PM

Yeah this is right, but how do you implement this with AI? You would need to overhaul the comms...

What about Player to AI Battery, or AI Observer to AI Battery?

The problem is not such much the right radio calls, but the contextual element that would require a real change to AI, understand (or at least follow a set of rules that simulate) proper calls and then works the distance from the fall of shot, to the intended impact point and will then pass this correction to the other AI unit, whilst then articulating this passing of information with the Corresponding RT. Equally how would AI handle Danger Close? Will they not fire? Warn Players on their side etc?

This is why many of things work much better with all Human Players, as it's easy to implement whereas with AI Non Player Characters. It's one of those deceptively simple things that actually, on closer inspection is massively complicated and difficult.

From a fellow Artillery Observer, respect... "Quo Fas Et Gloria Ducunt"

At least the possibility to call in artillery with ingame mouse cursor should be removed. Want to mark a target - open a map, mark it with a click (based only on observations from the game), order one round and then observe, if the round hit where you wanted. Repeat marking and spotting, if needed, or call for more rounds, if the previous one was on target. This could make calling the artillery more along the lines Stalker 1 wrote, but without a complete rebuild of the current system. The "map system", as described, is in game already.

AI has already some method of directing artillery fire on detected enemy's positions.

All you do is set the comms with the Battery priority over targets and directions so your AI team mates don't drown you out, after that it's one trigger with a fill in the blank. Standard battery size set to 3 guns, 2 shots ICM for spotted enemy infantry. Location will be an 8 digit grid. Second left mouse button calls fire for effect.

The whole "fun" in call for fire is that you might get the grid wrong and you can adjust the round on target, or you might get it right and you're the shit. The problem with arma is that you can put your cursor over the map and it tells you the grid, and you can see the enemy on the map in real time which makes it way too easy. So with that being said, a simple mouse click through the binos won't be any different unless you would have to call out the grid with out being able to see enemy on map or know the exact grid using the mouse cursor.

If they had those functions removed, then you could allow the player to use terrain association. Which is where skill and experience comes into play.

The simplicity of this feature can be as follows:

Fill in the blanks
Grid _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Direction _ _ _ _ mils
Enemy type ________

After those terms have been set, the scripts take over

Ferrard added a subscriber: Ferrard.May 7 2016, 1:57 PM

Server-side difficulty settings already handle some aspects of this (e.g. real-time markers can be prevented from appearing on the map), and the rest is a little more complicated than is strictly necessary for a game. AI doesn't handle context very well, and the less quirks we have to deal with from the AI, the better.

While I recognize these procedures are there for a reason in real life, they do not necessarily apply to typical gameplay. If a community mod wants to bring it in, then awesome! However, I personally would prefer if knowledge of real life military procedures was an enhancement to gameplay, rather than a requirement.

Well I would say at least fix the radio etiquette and make it official

+1 Ferrard. A high official radio etiquette should not be a requirement.
But also:
+1 Stalker. At least make a bit more official.

@Stalker: May be you should change your description to find a good compromise between reality and gameplay. And take into account what 'armapirx' said: Calling in an artillery strike with "1st person point and click" should be removed, too.

I've got the be honest here, there is a little bit of naivety.

Fill in the blanks
Grid _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Direction _ _ _ _ mils
Enemy type ________

This would work with the correct Scripting, and with a Human entering the Values.

It will not work with AI, you would need a huge change to the AI. It's not impossible but it's not easy.

If you got the AI to do this, I can guarantee you that WEIRD THINGS WOULD HAPPEN! The AI in ARMA is Quirky, you would end up with AI Observers etc firing Bombardments on Individuals, or worse firing on positions where BLUFOR and OPFOR are within Metres of each other (such as Urban Battles).

What about predicting movement of Vehicles, and Fire time to Splash time? Will the AI take this into Account? What about MRSI Fire missions? If we implement this, people will want more refinements, more tweaks, more functionality.

You can easily "Spaz Out" the AI with very basic commands, ARMA 3 is much better than any other version but it's not at the level where something this sophisticated would be easily implemented.

Nicolii added a subscriber: Nicolii.May 7 2016, 1:57 PM

This should be a feature request, not categorised as anims.

I've uploaded a simple mission. You are a forward observer and your task is to destroy 2 empty Ifrits, parked somewhere north from your position. You have 3 mortars with unlimited ammunition at your disposal.

Rules of engagement:

  • you can't move from your starting grid,
  • you have to set "extended map info" to disabled,
  • you can't call artillery with 1st person view mouse click,
  • using of shift+left mouse click marker is not allowed,
  • you can use standard markers placed on a map, to aid you with correcting fire,
  • you can use mouse pointer for a "laser rangefinder", if needed, but only after Ifrits have been pinpointed with binoculars or rifle's scope.

Tip: you have a GPS in your vest.

Suddenly, artillery spotting becomes an interesting art!

Regarding the original issue, recording different voice samples for interaction with artillery (and air support) could make it sound more real, but that would be audible only for those, who know the real procedure. For the majority of casual players, the current voices are "pro enough".

I satisfied if.they just fixed the etiquette. The way I wrote it in the original post is how we do it in the army

Khan added a subscriber: Khan.May 7 2016, 1:57 PM
Khan added a comment.May 14 2013, 1:59 PM

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

chose added a comment.May 24 2013, 1:23 PM

We're very aware of the fact that the radio protocol for calling in fire missions is FAR from realistic, but the sheer amount of calculations the system would have to do to simulate real human observation made by the player is just too complex.

Supports module handles various support types in a consistant manner and we feel this is acceptable for the gameplay.

@chose Just a suggestion, Stalker 1 said he would be happy with a Radio Etiquette change.

Is it possible you could re-record the Voice Radio Protocols, to be more realistic even if you made it much more Generic (thereby avoiding the need to reference precise positions via radio?).

Even just a Generic Fire mission (omitting the position, Grid and Reference) but would include the Shot and the Splash out.

You expect the SPLASH OUT 4-5 seconds before the strike, so you have time to shout "GET DOWN!"

The "Splash out" would help immersion especially if well implemented, so take the Time of flight take away 5 seconds and play the Radio Clip at that time across the relevant RADIO NET.

please no, too anal, leave it to ACEmod to be inefficient and "realistic".