After some time we are now running a Minecraft Server again. The modpack is "Sevtech Ages". You start out as a cave man and have to work your way through the ages. There is a whitelist to which you wil lhave to apply. All the needed information can be found here.
Third-Party DLC was announced back in October 2017, at which time they were looking for people interested in releasing premium DLC. Now one and a half years later, we are still none the wiser what the new DLC's will be. In that time I have heard a lot of comments about the Third-Party DLC, but no one knew for certain what it is supposed to be. I have done some research and hope to explain to you what the new Third-Party DLC's mean.
WHO MAKES IT?
The most common misconception is about who makes the DLC's because this is not the first time there has been a Third-Party working on Premium DLC for Arma 3. The Jets DLC was the first and so far only Premium DLC made by a Third-Party, Bravo Zero One Studios. They were also responsible for the Encore Update, a free update that introduced the destroyer, USS Liberty. Bravo Zero One Studios was explicitly formed to create the Jets DLC, headed by the creator of the F/A-18X Black Wasp addon which won third place in the Make Arma Not War competition. So will make the next Third-Party DLC? We can't say for sure yet, but there is some information available.
In October of 2018, there was an Arma 3 Creator Bootcamp where 18 community creators were present, most of whom work on potential Third-Party DLC's. Some of the people attending were IceBreakr, maker of Lingor, Panthera, Isla Duala and many more maps, and LAxemann, creator of Dynasound, Enhanced Soundscape, several other mods and also the sound designer for some of RHS. All the Third-Party DLC's will be created by community creators, but what they make is not what they have already made before.
WHAT WILL BE MADE?
We don't know yet what will be made because the list of creators and what they will make has not been announced yet. But there are some certainties; the new DLC's will be unique content. Bohemia Interactive has said that they do not want the Third-Party DLC's to be something that was previously free. So we can only really speculate what could be made, could be something similar to IFA or RHS, or it could be smaller things like individual Firewill jets or maps. Who knows, maybe we will see a functional ship rather than the static ones we currently have, although I doubt it.
There is one big difference between all previous DLC's and the upcoming Third-Party Premium DLC's. The upcoming DLC's are optional installations! What this means is that the content is not downloaded to your computer until you buy the DLC, so if you don't own the DLC it will not show up anywhere in the launcher or the editor. Whether the DLC's will be used in our missions remains to be seen, at this point the complete functionality is unknown. Expect content that is up to Vanilla Arma quality, though. All the content creators working on Premium DLC have access to the guidelines for technical and quality requirement, get support with the Quality Assurance process and get support from BI for promotion.
Bohemia themselves won't be sitting still, however; they will continue working on improving already existing content, bring new content that builds on what already exists, and their Amsterdam office is working on something experimental that builds on Arma. In the future, we can probably expect more updates like Warlords and the NATO Pacific vehicle retextures but don't expect content that will drastically change how elements of the game work.
WHEN CAN WE EXPECT IT?
Simple answer, we don't know. There has been no information other than the original announcement and the updates of the Creator Bootcamp. We know that we can expect a few per year so that it won't be a very rare occurrence. When the DLC's stop coming is unknown, but the best guess is when Arma 4 is announced or is close to release; It is still unknown when that is though. I'm going to make some guesses here though; the first DLC will come later in the year, probably end Q3/start Q4, and I think Arma 4 will be announced in 2022 with a release in 2023, which will coincide with the 10th anniversary of Arma 3.
Again, all of this is speculation based on information already provided by Bohemia Interactive. I just hope this clears up some stuff for people.
It has been a while since the last modset update, and it is about time we updated it again. On the 8th of April, we will change the modset on the first server at an undetermined time; we will announce once the first server is updated. Until that time you can check out the new mods on the second server, but more on that later. These are the changes to the modset in alphabetical order:
3CB Factions ADV - ACE Splint (will be part of FK - Mods) Anizay BWMod Diwako's ACE Ragdolling DUI Squad Radar FIREWILL Aviation Pack (Complete) FRXA TFAR Retextured Equipment G.O.S. N'ziwasogo Lingor/Dingor Island MBG Buildings 3 Rosche, Germany SU-34SM FULLBACK-D AWS Removed
3CB BAF Units Action Builder Diyala F-15SE Silent Eagle FIR AWS(AirWeaponSystem) G.O.S. Gunkizli PLP Containers Project Uncut Sabs SU-34 Fullback Shacktac User Interface Spartan Factions v3 US Special Operations Command Changed
Achilles (moved to FK - Mods) Along with these changes, there are some changes to FK - Mods; Achilles and ADV - ACE Splint are being added to the mod, along with some files to improve the balance and compatibility of mods in our modset. These changes, however, will only take effect on the 8th of April; until that time FK - Mods won't be loaded on the second server either.
To help you with these changes, here is a download for the new HTML preset.
Because the FK - Mods mod is still being used on the first server and there is some stuff in there that is still relevant to the current modset, we can not use it on the second server for now. This means that when you want to test stuff on the second server you need to disable FK - Mods and enable ADV - ACE Splint, BWMod - ACE compatibility and Achilles.
We are also taking this opportunity to make some changes to the templates. Besides new templates being introduced, we are re-enabling the environmental sounds. If you find any issues, make sure to report them here.
Because we have been unhappy with how the community has been running, the Technicians have, after careful consideration with Mavy, decided to suspend all CMs from their position effective immediately. We will be working the coming week on reviewing each of the CMs on their efforts and commitment to the community, and decide for each of them what the best course of action is. To better facilitate this process we will, for the time being, remove all CMs from their position and take over all decision making until we have concluded the reviews. Once those reviews have concluded we will work on making sure that the new CM team is one that works better in the interest of the Technicians and Mavy. Do note that Technicians will not be dealing with player reports during these weeks, the Moderators will still be there for you to contact regarding player reports. We know that they will probably get quite some stuff to do, but we trust they can cope with it.
So with the release of The Division 2 and a few of us playing the Game an FK Clan has been created for ease of members getting groups together. So "what are Clans?" you may ask. Here's a quick description.
Some people have already been asking about it and should have Invites sent to them already, if you are interested in joining there are a few ways to get invite's to can do 1 of the following:
PM MulletShock(Clan Commander) on the Forums or Discord. Ask in the Division 2 Thread on the Forums Here. Tag Mullet with your Uplay Name in the Misc Games channel on Discord. Ask someone already in the Clan for an invite. For more information ask Mulletshock, and also here is a more in-depth video as to what the Clan can bring to the game:
Dates Thursday 18th July - Tuesday 23rd. Airsoft arranged is for Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st and costs £50 with a £40 deposit needed, which you get back provided you don't break anything, or £25 for walk ons with your own equipment. (this also includes lunch)
Camping is available, probably not for the full 5 nights (TBC), hotels available - Travel Lodge is currently £235 for the full 5 nights and caters to 3 people. (£80pp) Closest airports are Gatwick and Heathrow (Heathrow is twice as far away as Gatwick), some people will have cars but check for public transport to avoid any issues.
Check out this post for the Discord link and read the thread for more info!
-Post has been written by Benji
As per the latest Meeting Report we now have 3 new Community Managers and we would like to formally welcome them! The latest additions to the team are:
Give them all a warm welcome to the CM Team as in the coming weeks these guys will work themselves into the system.
ARVN soldiers fighting around Xuan Loc
In the mid 1970s, South East Asia was in turmoil. Vietnam was a nation split in half, into the Republic of Vietnam in the South and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the North. They had been involved in a conflict together for decades. During the 1960s and early 1970s, the United States of America had been directly involved in the conflict, supporting the South's Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). After nearly 10 years of fighting and hundreds of thousands of American casualties, the governments of the USA and ARVN concluded peace talks which had been secretly ongoing in Paris for many years. The talks would order a cease-fire between North Vietnamese and US Military personnel and drew up a plan for total American withdrawal from South Vietnam, with the exception of Embassy guards and other such non-combat personnel. This agreement also ended the American Advisory programme, which had seen US servicemen training the ARVN in modern tactics and the use of military equipment for nearly 20 years. Also included in the accords, were limitations on US Airforce combat operations and US Navy patrols near either Vietnam. US Congress also voted to stop sending South Vietnam military aid around this time.
This accord left the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (South) in a difficult position. Under-funded and poorly trained, they had relied on US aid and supplies for years. Almost exclusively equipped with American arms and material, the ending of training and armament from America meant that the ARVN would have to very quickly learn how to produce its own military equipment and train new pilots, armoured vehicle crews and artillerymen within a rapid timeframe.
The threat of full-scale invasion from North Vietnam loomed over the South Vietnamese government like an ever present spectre.
Both nations utilised the Ceasefire. The South began a large conscription and training programme to bolster it's forces, also allegedly spending large amounts of civil aid money on purchasing ammunition. The North started re-organising its military. Pulling many troops out of South Vietnam where they had acted as guerrillas, divisions were reinforced and re-equipped with weapons fresh from the Soviet Union and People's Republic of China. The Ho Chi Minh Trail - a network of hidden pathways stretching from North Vietnam through Laos and Cambodia before reaching South Vietnam - was also repaired and upgraded. The ceasefire remained in place for nearly a year, with small skirmishes still being fought.
On 4th January, 1974, President Thieu of South Vietnam declared the Paris Peace Accords void, after 55 ARVN soldiers were killed in clashes with Communist guerrillas.
During the 74-75 period, multiple clashes between ARVN and PAVN forces erupted, much the same as the North had fought the Americans before. Small engagements, utilising hit and run tactics against the slower Southern troops. The North was attempting to buy time until they had stockpiled enough equipment to launch a full scale invasion of the South. The North were concerned with threats the Americans had made while signing the Peace Accords, in which they had sworn to defend South Vietnam and re-enter the war if the North showed overt hostile activity against another sovereign nation. However, with a shifting political landscape in America, North Vietnam's First Secretary Lê Duẩn approved a test of American resolve by launching a limited offensive into neighbouring Cambodia. When, after a few weeks of fighting, the United States did not intervene; it was decided that the Americans were no longer a threat in Vietnam and final plans were prepared for a large offensive South.
The South Vietnamese government was plagued with issues at this time. While they had stockpiled vast reserves of weaponry - 1,400 aircraft, three times as much artillery as the North and twice the amount of armoured vehicles - an oil crisis, coupled with ammunition and spares shortage meant that the majority of these weapons were not ready for use. In fact, there were allegedly 3 full squadrons of A-37 Dragonfly Ground Attack Planes sat in Nha Trang airbase until the end of the war.
On December 13th, 1974, North Vietnamese troops attacked Route 14 in South Vietnam - an arterial highway in the border region of Phuoc Long Province. In under a month, the provincial capital of Phuoc Binh fell. Surprised by the speed of the North Vietnamese, their brazen use of armour and a lack of US response, the South Vietnamese started to see an eroding of morale which was endemic to the end of the war. The North Vietnamese Army increased the speed of their campaign, which they had intended to last several years. In the Spring of 1975 they launched a full-scale offensive across the Central Highlands.
Several units of the ARVN fought bravely, but the lack of American intervention was affecting morale severely. Defeatism was spreading through the ranks. Entire companies would abandon their positions with no regard to the plans which existed. The ammunition shortage began to be felt after Da Nang airbase was captured. Some companies were limited to 3 rounds of artillery a day.
President Thieu had placed himself in charge of the military planning for the South Vietnamese Army from the onset, and had continuously made rash and contradictory decisions. One day, he would order a company to stand and fight and then a few hours later would demand to know why they were holding a foolish position and not falling back. Forces dug in to key defensive positions were ordered to abandon them to secure stretches of open ground. This political turmoil led way to countless acts of insubordination and desertion. It also led to several assassination attempts on Thieu. On January 23rd, an ARVN officer fired his pistol at Thieu, failing to hit him. On April 4th, Independence Palace - the Presidential and Governmental offices - were bombed by a South Vietnamese pilot in his F-5 Tiger. It later turned out that the pilot was in fact a member of the Viet Cong, the Communist guerrilla force backed by North Vietnam, and had infiltrated the Air Force in 1969. This fuelled Thieu's suspicion of his military staff, leading to arrests of his senior commanders.
Meanwhile, the North Vietnamese continued to push their way South. City after city and province after province fell to their forces as South Vietnamese soldiers fled before them. Eventually, only a few cities were left before the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon. One of these cities was Xuan Loc. Thieu ordered his reserves to Xuan Loc and began phoning the US Embassy almost hourly, desperate to convince President Gerald Ford to mobilise the US Navy Group in the South China Sea.
With ARVN troops entrenched in Xuan Loc and PAVN forces approaching the city, the stage had been set for the final major battle of the Vietnam War.
Communist forces seize An Lac
ORDER OF BATTLE
Army of the Republic of Vietnam - ARVN (South), Commanded : General Le Minh Dao
Initial Defenders ARVN 18th Infantry Division 43rd Infantry Regiment 48th Infantry Regiment 52nd Infantry Regiment 5 Armoured Brigades, assembled from remnants of old forces 4 Regional Force Battalions 340th, 342nd, 343rd, 367th 2 Artillery units, consisting 42 guns 181st & 182nd Artillery Battalions 2 companies of Civilian Self-Defence Force Reinforcements (arriving April 12th) 1st Airborne Brigade 3 Armoured Brigades 315th, 318th, 322nd 5th Infantry Division's 8th Task Force 33rd Ranger Battalion Air Support provided by 5th & 3rd Air Force Divisions. In all, this totalled to 25-30,000 men, with 12,000 estimated within Xuan Loc itself.
People's Army of Vietnam - PAVN (North), Commanded : Hoang Cam
PAVN 4th Army Corps 6th Infantry Combat Division 7th Infantry Combat Division 341st Infantry Combat Division Supported by : 71st Anti-Aircraft Regiment 24th & 25th Combat Engineering Regiments 26th Communications Regiment 2 Armoured Battalions 2 Artillery Battalions 2 Provincial Infantry Battalions (Viet Cong) This totalled 40,000 men, with 20,000 estimated to be within Xuan Loc itself.
Le Minh Dao (3rd from Right) and his Command Team
The Battle of Xuan Loc was fought in and around the town by the same name. It was a bastion of the ARVN and the key part of the final defensive line of South Vietnam. Lee Minh Dao's plan was a fairly straightforward one. In an attempt to but time against the North Vietnamese, he deployed his men around the town, making use of two natural chokepoints presented by the terrain : the Nui Soc Lu - Doi Mong Ngua - Nui Ma hill and valleys to the North West, and the narrow passage between the Suoi Ret and Song Vong rivers to the North East. With the towns of Bien Hoa to the West and Binh Tuy to the East both still in ARVN control, any PAVN attack was expected to come from these two corridors. These two chokepoints allowed Lee Minh Dao to focus his defence on the 5 main roads which lead into Xuan Loc. Fortifications were raised and armoured vehicles dug in at key points throughout the area.
Hoang Cam's plan of attack almost mirrored Dao's plan for defence. Two strong thrusts would attempt to push through the ARVN defensive lines and advance on the city. The 341st Infantry Division would assault the valleys, and the 7th would attack between the rivers. Both offered direct routes into the centre of Xuan Loc, with heavy duty highways providing easy transportation to Saigon once the city was dealt with.
The approaching PAVN units began to engage the dug-in defenders of Xuan Loc a few days before the battle began in earnest. With elements of destroyed formations being used as 'roadblocks' against the PAVN, Dao managed to buy the defenders 4 days of respite before Cam launched his offensive on the city.
At 0540 on April 9th, 1975, the PAVN 4th Army Corps began shelling ARVN positions around Xuan Loc. After approximately an hour of bombardment, the 341st Infantry Division attacked an ARVN communications centre to the North of the city. It took an hour of heavy fighting before the communications centre and a nearby police station fell. This dogged resistance allowed the ARVN 52nd Task Force to counter-attack the position, effectively halting the 341st's advance. To the east, the order was given for the 7th Infantry Division to attack across open ground without any armoured support. Unsurprisingly, the assault failed; and subsequent efforts to provide the Communist soldiers with armoured support failed, with 3 tanks destroyed and 5 being forced to withdraw.
With both attacks being stalled, Cam launched his surprise offensive. He had managed to march the 6th Infantry Division past Xuan Loc, and had them attack from the South. Dao's men held their ground, but due to the nature of his battle plan, the Western approaches to Xuan Loc came under attack from the 6th Division with supply and support convoys having to fight their way clear.
The PAVN 209th and 270th Infantry Regiments took advantage of a weaker section of the southern defensive line and stormed into the perimeter, capturing the ARVN 18th Infantry Divisions Headquarters. The remainder of the day saw ARVN counter-attacks at the exposed PAVN flanks to slow their advance.
Fighting in ruins at Xuan Loc
The days of April 10th and 11th saw little change around Xuan Loc. PAVN forces would advance, only to be counter-attacked by ARVN units and repulsed. The 209th & 270th continued to fight over the Gia Lien Bridge but faced stiff resistance. In the North, The ARVN 52nd Task Force was reinforced by the 43rd Infantry Regiment and the 322nd Armoured Brigade, forcing the PAVN 341st's advance to a standstill. During these 48 hours, the South Vietnamese Airforce more than 200 bombing sorties.
On the 12th, the South Vietnamese government decided to send more troops to Xuan Loc. The already limited reserves found their number dropped drastically as the ARVN 1st Airborne Brigade, 33rd Ranger Battalion, 8/5th Infantry Division, 8th Artillery, 315th and 318th Armoured Brigades were all committed to the defence. In terms of fighting, the large offensives had began to lose steam. They made little headway against the dug-in ARVN infantry and the ARVN Air Force. On the 12th, fighter-bombers from Bein Hoa and Tan Son Nhat flew between 80-120 combat sorties. A pair of C-130 Hercules transport aircraft were used to drop two CBU-55 Fuel Air Explosives on the town of Xuan Vinh, causing widespread devastation and killing around 200 PAVN soldiers.
VNAF Figher Bombers
The 13th of April saw the large PAVN offensives stop almost altogether. Instead, smaller skirmished and company sized actions continued on. Frustrated with the lack of progress, General Tran Van Tra, commander of the Viet Cong, arrived at the headquarters of the 4th Corps and began to change aspects of the offensive plan. He identified that Dau Giay was the weakest point in Xuan Loc's defensive line, and ordered units to begin acting as blocking forces along the two major highways leading into Xuan Loc from allied positions - a tactic which was to severely hinder the flow of reinforcements and materiel into the beleaguered city. Thieu, President of South Vietnam, declared that the ARVN had "recovered it's fighting ability" upon hearing of the diminished attacks on Xuan Loc.
Unidentified ARVN soldiers at Xuan Loc
On the 15th, Tra's new plan came into action. The units around Highway 1 and Highway 2 began to tighten the noose around Xuan Loc, effectively cutting the roads. To the North and East, PAVN units resumed their large scale attacks, but this time without major artillery support. Instead, the artillery was shelling Bien Hoa Airbase, preventing a large number of ARVN planes from taking off. While aircraft from Tan Son Nhut continued to support the ARVN forces in Xuan Loc, an offensive closer to Tan Son Nhut diverted many of the flights in the air. The first major disaster at Xuan Loc happened on the 15th, as the PAVN 6th Infantry Division and 95B Infantry Regiment defeated the ARVN 52nd Task Force and 13th Armoured Squadron to the West of Xuan Loc and captured Dau Giay.
The following day, the 16th, Dao ordered the ARVN 8th Task Force and 3rd Armoured Brigade to retake Dau Giay. These men met the same fate as their comrades the day before, with large numbers of casualties being suffered they were forced to withdraw.
During the 16th and 17th, many ARVN units on the perimeter found themselves under attack from all sides as PAVN infantry infiltrated the defensive line around them. The 43rd and 48th Infantry Regiments, and the 1st Airborne Brigade, suffered major casualties as a result of this. They were ordered to consolidate their defences towards Xuan Loc.
An ARVN convoy outside of Xuan Loc
The 18th saw the PAVN focus their attacks on the outlying townships and hamlets leading to Xuan Loc. Each small collection of buildings fell after being doggedly defended. The morning of the 19th found Xuan Loc nearly completely surrounded and cut off. The South Vietnamese General Staff ordered Lee Minh Dao to abandon the position and evacuate as many members of the 18th Division as he could towards Bien Hoa in preparation for another defensive line. On the 20th, under cover of heavy rain, South Vietnamese soldiers and civilians began to leave Xuan Loc. The convoy numbered some 200 military vehicles. The remainder of the battered 1st Airborne Brigade was the last to leave the city. They remained until 0400 on the 21st, waiting for their 3rd Company to make it to Xuan Loc. The 3rd Company never did, having been trapped and destroyed in the hamlet of Suoi Ca.
The evacuation at Xuan Loc.
By the end of the 21st, the North Vietnamese Army occupied Xuan Loc. Their path to Saigon was clear.
North Vietnamese soldiers parade a captured M48 Patton Tank
South Vietnamese civilians attempt to climb into a CH-47 Chinook Helicopter
The planned defence of Bien Hoa never happened. The fall of Xuan Loc crumbled what was left of ARVN morale. With barely any reserves left, President Thieu resigned after the General Assembly agreed that he should be held accountable. The ARVN units began to withdraw towards Saigon, those who remained in uniform. Many changed into civilian clothes in an attempt to flee the North Vietnamese Communists. As the North Vietnamese Army approached Saigon, the US Embassy began to evacuate its personnel. There were scenes of pandemonium at Tan Son Nhut Airport as people tried to climb onto planes as they taxied onto the main runway. South Vietnamese Airforce helicopter pilots commandeered their helicopters, picked up family members and flew out to sea, hoping for salvation from the US Navy. Those who did not run out of fuel found their salvation.
Soldiers and Civilians cling onto a Huey
The deck of a US Aircraft Carrier. All helicopters seen here were VNAF.
Xuan Loc saw the end of the nation of South Vietnam. Saigon fell to the North and the country was unified under a Communist Dictatorship, as it remains today.
Captured ARVN soldiers are paraded through Saigon, renamed Ho Chi Minh City.
Normally, in this part of the article I describe how you can re-create the battle written about here. The Battle of Xuan Loc is incredibly difficult to quantify in the same manner, their were vast issues surrounding the ARVN morale and supplies that would be nigh on impossible to re-create, especially with the limited numbers we are able to play with. Regardless, I will do my best to give an abstract scenario that can be tailored to fit nearly any map and any force.
Players should, ideally, be split into 3 forces comprising of 2 squads each - all holding a vital route into an urban area. Ammunition and supply restrictions should be enforced, with resupply points available in a central defensive location - a key building in the centre of the urban area which can be considered the primary objective. Players should, ideally, have access to superior technology. Perhaps a few IFVs or MBTs crewed by AI dug into the area, ensure that they don't have the ability to move. Let the players call in AI air support, they need to begin with the advantage. This should be faced with increasing numbers of hostiles, including more and more armoured vehicles which will compound the supply and logistical situation. The idea would be for the players to survive long enough to allow reinforcements or supplies to arrive to enable them to continue the fight, while preventing enemy forces from reaching the command centre. If hostile forces do reach the command centre, consider it a mission failure. I think heliborne or airborne enemies should be avoided in this scenario, to prevent AI avoiding player defences.
I hope you enjoyed this article, if you want to read more you should check out the vnafmamn article on Xuan Loc, and watch the final episode on Ken Burns documentary on Vietnam.