Forward Operations Bases (FOB)

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Forward Operations Bases (FOB)

Post  Tusker2Zero on Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:28 pm

First off forgive me for the following long winded post. This idea that I present below is an idea that I've brought up before (at least parts of it) to other mods, and have spent a bit of time researching. This is a military concept that I've been kind of fascinated with for a long time now and has some serious potential for wartime operations in Zero Hour. It's the concept of a forward operations base (FOB).

I know this is going to be a very controversial topic for this mod. I realize that in this mod you are trying to avoid buildable structures, but in a mod where military realism is also a big factor in the mod, I ask you to keep an open mind about this idea.

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Ok, first off, for those who don't know what a forward operating base is, here's a definition of one:

'A forward operating base (FOB) is any secured forward position that is used to support tactical operations. A FOB may or may not contain an airfield, hospital, or other facilities. The base may be used for an extended period of time. FOB's are traditionally supported by main operating bases that are required to provide backup support to them. A FOB also reduces reaction time and increases time on task to forces operating from it.'

Source - http://www.answers.com/topic/forward-operating-base

An example of the types of units that have deployed to an FOB. In this particular case FOB Abu Ghraib:

* Echo Battery, 2nd Battalion 10th Marines
* HHB 1-102nd Field Artillery Forward - Rear Area Operations Center (RAOC)
* 2nd Battalion 111th Field Artillery
* 115th Field Hospital
* 1st Battalion 119th Field Artillery
* HHC 306th Military Police Battalion
* HHC 96th Military Police Battalion
* 1st Battalion 623rd Field Artillery
* HHC 524th Military Intelligence Battalion/JIDC
* HHC 327th Signal Battalion
* HSB 3rd Battalion 321st Field Artillery - Base Defense Operations Center (BDOC)
* 803rd Engineer Detachment
* Bravo Company, 2-185th Armor
* Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion 24th Marines
* 1st Battalion 9th Marines
* 1st Battalion 1st Marines

Source - http://www.answers.com/topic/forward-operating-base-abu-ghraib

An FOB also has been important for the psychological well being of a solder (in this case Iraq):

"... The Forward Operating Base (FOB) has become the "home away from home" for the American soldier. It has evolved to a place where many of the stresses, frustrations, and discomforts commonly thought endemic in the combat soldier's life are mitigated. In addition to being a base for launching tactical operations, FOBs have become refuges from danger, places of renewal for physical needs, a respite frome the mental stresses of battle, and finally, a means for soldiers to stay connected with the world outside Iraq. On a FOB, soldiers can renew their fighting spirit and also find a psychological escape from the rigors of battle. Soldiers appreciate creature comforts like the good and abundant food, refreshing air conditioning, hot showers, and safety afforded by the FOB. ..."

Source -
CU @ The FOB: How the Forward Operating Base is Changing the Life of Combat Soldiers
Authored by Dr. Leonard Wong, COL Stephen Gerras
http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/PUB645.pdf

FOBs have also roles for Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (or JTACs), and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV):

"... Usually, joint terminal attack controllers, or JTACs, who are assigned to Army units, direct combat aircraft for close air support from the front lines, but during this current deployment, several of them were moved up to brigade headquarters to work directly with Army leaders.

"This is the first time we ever really worked at this level," said Captain Carrigan. "It's good because we have access to all kinds of information that we wouldn't have in the field. From this position, we can provide support to both the leaders and our JTACs downrange. ..."

Source - http://www.rs.af.mil/recruiter-online/story.asp?id=123060339

‘ … The Desert Hawk III [Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)] is one of many assets that are employed to help seek out enemy fighters and one of the newest UAVs that the Royal Artillery use. The UAV provides an over-watch capability for soldiers patrolling from Forward Operating Base (FOB) Inkerman near Sangin. …’

‘… Lance Bombardier Ricky Talbot, explained: “It’s a mini UAV; it provides reconnaissance for the FOB and over looks patrols.” …’


Now, the reason I bring up JTACs, and UAVs in FOB operations here will become relevant later in this post. For now just keep in the back of your mind that FOBs can have the ability to deploy or in this case call in aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles for recon and close combat support.

=======================================================================

Ok. Now that you know what an FOB is, lets get down to how I see the FOB being designed and deployed for purposes of the mod.

I actually envision two separate FOB structures for the mod.

The first version would be a “normal’ mid-sized (if you will) FOB that doesn’t include an airfield. This type of FOB would become available (buildable) as a 3-star ranked item. It would have a structure build limit of 1 (or 2) and would include the following features:

* The building would have x number of ‘ports/slots’ for infantry to garrison and defend the FOB.
* A field hospital battalion that will allow troops to heal within the structures slots.
* An artillery piece (or two) for base defense operations.
* An engineer detachment to repair vehicles and/or the FOB at a slow rate.
* A Military Intelligence Battalion for spy satellite and UAV operations.
* Builds regular infantry (build limit (fill in the number)) with morale and/or health bonuses.
* Builds hummers/land rovers (build limit (fill in the number)) for tactical operations.
* Builds APCs (Strict build limits. 1 or 2 perhaps) for firefights that require more weapons/armor.
* Joint terminal attack controllers to call in air strikes.

The second version would physically be a larger version of the FOB listed above, and would perhaps have a few more units than the FOB above. The larger FOB would become available as a 5-star ranked item, and would have a structure build limit of only one. It would include the following additional features:

* Builds close air support aircraft (strict build limits. 1 or 2 perhaps) for close combat support operations.

[In this case I was thinking about the Marine Corps JSF F-35B VSTOL aircraft:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/f-35b.htm
The aircraft would be player controlled and not called in like the JTAC controlled aircraft. The fighter(s) would have to returned to the FOB to rearm.]

* Builds medivac chopper (build limit 1) primarily for SAR operations of downed pilots and such.

OK. Before someone screams, “This is too powerful, or it’s a super weapon in itself!” Let me say here and now that both types of FOBs are for mid-game and end-game operations where everyone including the AI would have (or should have) ample defenses against just about anything the FOB would throw at you by itself. Especially since were talking about an FOB with light infantry and vehicles deployed from it with strict build limits, and aircraft that were meant for close air support. This type of JSF should not come equipped with entire base killing armaments. This type of JSF is for meant for infantry frakking and tank busting close air support. (at least as the game should have it that way, in my opinion)

The main purpose of an mid-sized FOB in this game should be to control a small area of real estate (an oil derrick field, small villages with supplies, or even part of a full city map) and defend it from light weight attacks. Not to single handedly launch a major offensive from what the FOB can create alone. Hence the strict unit build limits.

On the other hand of this, yes, it could potentially be used in a support role of a major offensive since it has some medical and repair facilities in addition to units the FOB has. Meaning that your larger forces that you have previously built up elsewhere in the game can rally at the FOB for some sort of major offensive, but the FOB alone wouldn’t be able to launch a major offensive all by its lonesome (unless of course your opponent is near death anyway).

Ok. Now lets move on to what this mother should look and act like (in my personal opinion).

Starting with looks. In this link (that was presented earlier) was a picture of FOB Logar located in Afghanistan:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Forward_Operating_Base_Logar,_Afghanistan.jpg

I just like the looks of this one as a medium sized FOB. The recently built from scratch look. All new and shiny.

The larger FOB, in my opinion, should have some sort of short runway, and have a more previously been built before the war look to it with regard to its structures, with additional army built structures and add-ons after the conflict broke out. Know what I mean? Like there was a small private airfield here, and now it’s been commandeered by the army, and combat engineers came in and went wild fortifying the place.

Since I brought up fortifying. Lets talk about that for a minute. One thing I liked about the GLA palace was the fornication upgrade. I also liked the visual that came with the U.S. Strategy Center. When you clicked on the ‘hold the line’ strategy this big wall built up out of nowhere and surrounded the center. So what I’m picturing in my head here is to initially have the FOB surrounded by Concertina wire [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Concertina_wire.png] and sandbags. Then once the fortify FOB upgrade is purchased, bam, concrete walls and obstacles appear. Another possible upgrade would be land mines.

Ok now I that I’m done talking about FOB fortification, I need to back the train up a bit and talk about a feature that I listed earlier and didn’t get into too much detail about. The ‘Military Intelligence Battalion for spy satellite and UAV operations. On the spy satellite side of things I’m suggesting here that the games spy satellite command button should be available from an FOB and/or similar mobile command vehicle. Not automatically granted to you of the games special powers sidebar. Meaning, if you wish to use this intelligence power you had better protect you mobile command post and/or FOB. Can I get a h*** yea bro!

As for the UAVs. Remember the above statement, “It’s a mini UAV; it provides reconnaissance for the FOB and over looks patrols”. Well this is what I’m thinking. The FOB should have an upgrade to have a buildable UAV that once spawned flies around in a circle on the edge of the FOB’s normal games visual range (if this can be coded in that fashion) and constantly uncovers the fog of war effect within it’s own visual range. The FOBs visual range should be fairly big in the first place, with watchtowers and special equipment (I smell upgrade here), but the UAV would provide that little extra punch just outside games normal visual range for a structure of this stature.

For the final bit of my rambling on and on here, I just wanted to touch on the FOB’s cost. Yes, I agree that this mother frakker should be expensive, difficult to build, and very time consuming. But, I want to talk about another cost of base building that hasn’t been seen in zero hour. The cost of maintaining a base, or in this particular case an FOB. Ok. Now you have the mothership of bases built. Now you need to have to patch the shot/blown up wire and walls. Fix the shot/blown up structures within the FOB. Replace broken equipment such as AC/heating units, plumbing fixtures, electrical wires, etc… . Feed and entertain the troops before they frag you. Pay the civies working on the base (coincidentally, also before they frag you). That sort of thing. The list goes on and on. All a reoccurring expense of base life. So why shouldn’t a zero hour mod reflect that expense and start deducting it from your wad of mula in the bank?

So, this is my thought (and I’m sure you might be able to think up better ways of doing this). I’ve always loved seeing the Chinese hackers in the game getting like $5 floating up from their computer. So why not do the reverse? Have somewhere on the FOB a big window that has -$5 fly right out the window? lol

Ok folks, that’s it. I’m done. I now return you to your normal programming… Whatever the frak that was.

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Re: Forward Operations Bases (FOB)

Post  Snake on Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:26 pm

lol! That's an excellent idea and I can say that we have adapted it to some extent.

Campaign Missions:
Players will sometimes have starting facilities, not exactly like Zero Hour, but these facilities will allow the player to launch his/her attack force.
Then again, players may need to capture the enemy location.


Naval Missions:
Remember when I talked about "A central base on an inland location which players will want to capture"?
Well, that's basically an FOB, that particular location will have a main runway for landing of heavier gear and units (specially Mobile ASM's - Anti-Ship Missile launchers) and other equipments which will need to be manned (garrisoned) in order to function (that's where landing infantry will be most precious, not to mention that they are the ones who can capture and claim the FOB).

These inland bases are able to attack and defend themselves (if properly manned), there will be a huge radar which will not only reveal a great portion of the terrain around it but will actually serve as the "guidance center" for other fixed anti-ship missile launchers and even some special anti-air / anti-missile weapons.

I'll assure you that players will surely need that important location to gain the upper hand on the naval battle (for a great number of reasons).


Skirmish Missions:
We will adopt these as "capturable" locations, the main facility will be the airfield, the airfield will able the player to land his/her aircraft for real time rearming and repair (kind of similar to the duties that current ZH Airfields have, only these will be much larger).

Other tactical locations similar to the FOB will be the FARP's (Forward Arming and Refueling Points), we even wanted to include stuff like "real-time fuel" (vehicles would actually consume fuel depending on their movement and and would need to be refueled on a certain time basis.
Ammo would be another point, vehicles would have a limited capacity and would need to rearm on a FOB/FARP.

But due to coding reasons we aren't too "vocal" on those two points though we still want to include them (and are still working on them on the coding level).

The FARP is captured instead of being deployed, there would also be certain defenses as the player progresses through ranks, for example, anti-stealth radars for the EU and Russian players to be able to intercept B-2's and other stealth fighters.

There are many of the features that you named which are very interesting and we could certainly include them in the mod (to possibly "upgrade" the FARP to an FOB), but at these point such locations are usually "capturables" which will be tactically distributed in the map.

About Satellites and UAV's, there will be a Command Vehicle responsible for them (if the vehicle is destroyed, there is no way to use a satellite (kind of what happens when an US Command Center is destroyed in ZH, there is no way to use a satellite).

Then again there are ways to defend Command Vehicles (camo netting, Active Protection Systems, etc.)

There will be also "offensive" Command Vehicles like Command Tanks (players may send them to front lines with great effectiveness).

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Re: Forward Operations Bases (FOB)

Post  James100 on Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:50 am

if you're gonna include fuel and ammo , sonds a lot complicated , but also cool
if you're gonna include in , may you include a Tanker Aircraft.... maybe the KC-135 for the US and VC10 for the EU

i've heard in this coding
and it's practicly insane!

ANW Gd Luck ! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up!


Last edited by James100 on Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:29 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Forward Operations Bases (FOB)

Post  James100 on Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:13 am

BTW Check This Out It's on pdf format
http://www.azguard.gov/PublicAffairs/March_April2007DesertSentinel.pdf
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Re: Forward Operations Bases (FOB)

Post  James100 on Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:21 am

Yeah Tusker's right
i mean they repair
and *where did the F*** did u get that equipment* no money spent (cool but well unrealistic Razz)
btw in TAOW money is gonna be the biggest issue

BTW (again Razz)
are u gonna include each faction with it's own money:
like US: Dollar$ EU: Euros etc......
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Re: Forward Operations Bases (FOB)

Post  Snake on Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:55 pm

James100 wrote:if you're gonna include fuel and ammo , sonds a lot complicated , but also cool
if you're gonna include in , may you include a Tanker Aircraft.... maybe the KC-135 for the US and VC10 for the EU

i've heard in this coding
and it's practicly insane!

ANW Gd Luck ! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up! Thumbs Up!

Too true, the ammo/fuel project is a huge ambition and that's why the team isn't too "vocal" about it (in fact, my previous post was one of the few public statements we ever made about it), the odds are completely against us and we aren't expecting to have a great chance of making it happen. If we do manage to include it, then it will be at a later point (due to it's completely crazy coding).

James100 wrote:BTW Check This Out It's on pdf format
http://www.azguard.gov/PublicAffairs/March_April2007DesertSentinel.pdf

That's a very interesting story (serving the country while at "home").

James100 wrote:Yeah Tusker's right
i mean they repair
and *where did the F*** did u get that equipment* no money spent (cool but well unrealistic Razz)
btw in TAOW money is gonna be the biggest issue

BTW (again Razz)
are u gonna include each faction with it's own money:
like US: Dollar$ EU: Euros etc......

Nope, TAOW won't use cash and players won't be actually "buying" their units, the new "currency" is called the Reinforcement Points (RP).

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Re: Forward Operations Bases (FOB)

Post  James100 on Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:14 am

btw reinforforcement points , there were the funding in (WiC) Razz
In TAOW How do you earn them?
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Re: Forward Operations Bases (FOB)

Post  Snake on Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:18 am

Yeah, our Reinforcement Points share many similarities with WiC's Reinforcement Points.

This is due to the fact that we don't want the game give out a "capitalizing" message (treating our units like they were objects, by "buying" and "building" them like they were objects, we want players to look upon them like they aren't mere dolls but give them a much more "humane look" and actually caring for the units).

Reinforcement Points are earned by many ways, the standard one is to capture and hold a tactical location/zone (it will gradually give the player more RP as time passes), other alternative ways are to complete secondary objectives (which can also earn the player extra reinforcements and even to start an alliance with "locals" like local rebel factions).

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Re: Forward Operations Bases (FOB)

Post  James100 on Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:59 am

US Special Forces:
_Army Rangers
_Paratroopers
_Navy Seals
_Marines
_Delta Forces
_Green Berrets

RF Special Forces:
_Spetsnaz
_Alpha Forces
_Vempel

EU Special Forces:
_EU Marines
_Kampfschwimmer
_Comandos
_SAS/SBS/SRR


What Are In/Out ?
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Re: Forward Operations Bases (FOB)

Post  Snake on Sat Jan 03, 2009 12:29 pm

James100 wrote:US Special Forces:
_Army Rangers
_Paratroopers
_Navy Seals
_Marines
_Delta Forces
_Green Berrets

RF Special Forces:
_Spetsnaz
_Alpha Forces
_Vempel

EU Special Forces:
_EU Marines
_Kampfschwimmer
_Comandos
_SAS/SBS/SRR


What Are In/Out ?

Well, there are a LOT of those alternatives which will be included, about European Special Forces, we will try to diversify even more (the spec ops will have several classes of extremely specialized soldiers, this will give us room to include spec ops from various countries 8) , though I can confirm that the SAS are in).

Our special ops infantry are notorious for their "specialized" equipment, not only they will carry "exotic" (non-standardized) weapons, but you'll clearly notice their different uniforms, camouflages and even gear (like special Helmets, night/thermal vision devices, gas masks, highly customized weapons etc.).

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Re: Forward Operations Bases (FOB)

Post  James100 on Sat Jan 03, 2009 1:52 pm

BTW in 8) TAOW 8) How Much A.I. Difficulity is There Gonna Be Included
And How Many Players in maximum maps 8 or 8+

About Naval Missions , Will They be played in campain , or another type of Skirmish... confused
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Re: Forward Operations Bases (FOB)

Post  Snake on Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:40 pm

James100 wrote:BTW in 8) TAOW 8) How Much A.I. Difficulity is There Gonna Be Included

We are creating a highly adaptive and responsive AI, in fact, comparing to Zero Hour's AI, we even nickname our own as a "Smart AI" lol! (it'll be GREATLY enhanced Twisted Evil).

And How Many Players in maximum maps 8 or 8+

Well, since bases can no longer be built, I suppose that the terrain can easily accommodate many players (this is due to the fact that the game won't need to support tons of buildings and bases), plus TAOW will place a lot of emphasis on team cooperation (even with Allied AI) so I'd say there are going to be large matches (not sure though).

About Naval Missions , Will They be played in campain , or another type of Skirmish... confused

Yup, there will be important Naval Missions on the campaign mode, about the "Skirmish Naval Mode", well we are creating new "Map Types" which will dictate the "Game Mode", Naval Mode is one of them (and will have unique maps/factions).

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