Operation Flashpoint: FAQ: Armor
What are HEAT and SABOT rounds that are available in OFP tank models?
In one simple sentence, use Sabot rounds against armored vehicles, like APCs and tanks and use HEAT rounds against infantry, cars, trucks and buildings. For a detailed explanation of the difference between Sabot and HEAT rounds, read the following:
Tank projectiles are basically broken down into two types: shaped charge rounds and kinetic-energy penetrators. The two rounds differ in both composition and concept. Shaped round charges--or HEAT charges--focus the energy from an explosion into a small, concentrated area in order to penetrate armor plates. In order to defend against such projectiles, scientists developed combination armor that combined the hardness of steel with the fluid properties of ceramics. Combination armor combines a layer of honeycombed ceramic sandwiched by two layers of steel plates. Although the HEAT round easily penetrates the outer steel plate, the ceramics "flow" around the jet and break the jet into smaller components, spreading the force of the blast out into a larger area and reducing the effectiveness of the HEAT round.
The innovation of combination armor required the use of kinetic energy to punch through armor. This was no new inspiration, but was the original concept behind tank projectiles. Instead of relying on the HEAT round's explosive jet to pierce armor, kinetic-energy penetrators rely on mass and velocity. The armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding-sabot (APFSDS) rounds contain very dense, long, slender darts, and are called long-rod penetrators. Commonly referred to as sabot rounds, these rounds burrow into a tank's armor upon impact. If the round contains enough kinetic energy, it will pass through the tank's armor and destroys whatever is inside. Often times, however, the round does not contain enough energy to penetrate all the way through. Although the round does not fully penetrate the armor, it creates many small armor fragments that discharge into the tank, causing destruction inside.
With rounds that use both kinetic-energy and the concentration of explosions to penetrate armor, scientists constantly research new ways to defend against such rounds and improve the survivability of armored vehicles. Using a combination of armor thickness, innovative materials, (combination armor and depleted uranium, for example) and armor slope assists the scientist in protecting against the different types of projectiles. The latest type of protection comes from reactive armor. Reactive armor is described as a sandwich of explosive between metal plates that explodes when a round strikes it. The explosive in the reactive armor detonates at the same time as a HEAT round, throwing the steel plates out against the round and highly disrupting the jet. Reactive armor's effectiveness against long-rod penetrators, however, is less significant because the sabot round is too massive for the steel plates to block.
Additional descriptive and technical information about HEAT and Sabot rounds can be found on the following pages at FAS.ORG:
- M830A1 High Explosive Anti-Tank-Multi Purpose - Tracer (HEAT-MP-T)
- M829 120mm Armor Piercing, Fin Stabilized, Discarding Sabot-Tracer (APFSDS-T)
I can't command a tank for the life of me - help!
OFP NG reg Chris G., a.k.a. Miles Teg<GD>, has submitted the following tips to help you control you tank mates and hit the enemy hard:
In order to take full advantage of the tank commander's station, it is usually best to turn in as that allows you to rotate a full 360 degrees. In addition, if you hit the "V" key, this will give you the powerful telescopic sites on the commander's periscope view that allows a fairly wide view and more importantly allows you to zoom in and out and thus target enemy vehicles at great distances. This is done with your numeric keypad's +/- keys.
To target an object, simply right click on the object. To untarget it, simply move the crosshairs to an empty spot of ground and right click again. To target another target, just right click on the new target.
Once you've targeted an object, you can order your gunner to fire at it. Simply press the left mouse button and usually after a second or two he will fire. Keep in mind that you he will not fire until the active weapon label (HEAT, SABOT, etc.), on the upper left part of the screen, turns from red or yellow to green, meaning that the round is ready to fire. Also wait until the gunner has his sites on target before you give the command to fire, otherwise the gunner will miss the target. You can tell where the gunner is currently aiming at by looking at the little white dot on your view screen. This indicates the gunner's point of aim. You will not see this white dot if the gunner is pointing in another direction. But when you target an object, the gunner should swivel the turret to engage that target and you will see that little white dot stop on or near the target. If the weapon is loaded, then hit the left mouse button and he will fire at that target. While the gunner is engaging a target you can swivel your sites elsewhere in order to locate and target other enemy objects that perhaps may be more of a threat to your tank.
Another problem people have commanding tanks is ordering movement from the commander's position. If you are playing a campaign mission where you are the tank commander and someone else is the platoon commander then just let your driver follow the platoon commander's orders while you concentrate on finding targets for your gunner.
However, if you are in complete command of a tank or a tank platoon you can give movement orders in a variety of ways. The easiest way is to select either all your men or just the driver and then hit "1" (MOVE). Your crosshairs will show a square around it. Simply left click wherever you want your driver to move.
You can also use the arrow keys to move in all directions. You'll have to hold down the right or left arrow keys until the driver turns to the desired direction. To command your driver to go fast-forward, press on the forward arrow key and the SHIFT key simultaneously and release the keys.
Unfortunately there is a bug in the game where sometimes the driver just ignores you. This affects other vehicles as well, not just tanks. If that happens, try doing the same thing except, instead of left clicking on where you want the driver to go from your view, go to the map screen and left click on the map wherever want the driver to go. If that still doesn't work, unselect every one under your command, then left click again on the map where you want the driver to go. The driver should now move to that location. If you are commanding more than one tank, simply select all of them, hit "1", and then hit "1" again to order them to fall back into formation.
While all this may seem tedious at first, with a little practice it all becomes second nature and before long you'll be commanding tanks like a pro.
I'm driving and my vehicle starts zigzagging from side to side!
This problem is resolved as of OFP version 1.30.
If you're running OFP version 1.20 or below, whether you're driving a land vehicle or piloting an aircraft in OFP, there's a bug in OFP that can make you lose control.
One solution is to hit your keyboard's ALT or asterisk ("*") key, which will put you into "mouse look" view but will force your vehicle to go straight. Hit the ALT or asterisk key again to quit "mouse look" view and resume driving.
Another solution to this problem is to jump into 3rd person view and, when the cursor returns to the center of the screen, return back to 1st person view.
Yet another solution is to quickly tap the "A" or "D" keys or right or left arrow keys.
Why doesn't the BMP have gunports like the Field Manual says?
The OFP Field Manual's description for the BMP-1 includes the following:
- "With aggressive anti-tank and relatively high speed capability, this combat zone transport also provides visual systems and gunports for each troop member aboard, thus allowing them to add to the BMP's own killpower with their personal firearms."
- While the manual is stating facts about real BMPs, the OFP gaming engine does not support firing personal weapons from onboard a vehicle. This cannot be implemented in OFP because of the complex code modifications that would be involved.
- (Source: Ondřej Španěl, BIS Lead OFP Programmer).
When I fire a multi-round burst from the Vulcan gun, how come the ammunition counter is only reduced by one?
A minimal burst of fire from the Vulcan shoots off 5 rounds of ammunition. The Vulcan's ammunition counter measures the number of ammo bursts remaining, not the actual number of remaining bullets. So when the ammo counter is initially set to 500, it means that there are 2500 bullets remaining (500 bursts of 5 bullets each).
Why isn't my armored vehicle's weapons and/or armor status HUD showing up?
Recently, OFP player SelectThis has come out with his own beta patch to resolve the HUD problems caused specifically by Gunslinger's Editor Update.
To determine which addon is causing this problem in your installation, temporarily remove all of the unofficial addon files from OFP's ADDONS subdirectory, add them back one at a time, and check the HUD display each time to determine which addon is causing the problem.
Where's the BRDM? It's in my manual but is nowhere to be found in the game!
The OFP Field Manual, for the US version 1.20, documents a Soviet BRDM armored reconnaissance vehicle as one of the vehicles offered in the game. For whatever reason, it was not included in OFP V1.20 itself. The BRDM is now available as of OFP version 1.30.
Which of OFP's vehicles are amphibious?
The M113, M113 Vulcan, BMP-1, BMP2 and the BRDM can transverse water in OFP.
Does the amount of munitions or fuel in a vehicle affect the intensity of such a vehicle's explosion?
Yes, says Ondřej Španěl, BIS' Lead Programmer. The more fuel and/or munitions laden a vehicle is when it is destroyed, the greater the radius of damage from the ensuing explosion. The same holds true for ammo crates. An exploding empty ammo crate will minimally impact its surroundings compared to an ammo crate full of LAWs, satchels or other munitions.
I can barely see anything outside whenever I'm in an armored vehicle!
Have you tried pressing the weapon view key ("V")? That will offer you an expanded 1st person view. Press the weapon view key again and you'll see the vehicle in 3rd person view.