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Version 1.0: Initial Release (3/24/03)
Version 1.1: Added Expert Marksmanship training
Table of Contents:
1. Copyright Information
2. Version History
3. Basic Training
4. Airborne School
5. Expert Marksmanship
Ah, the joys of Rifle Marksmanship. This is one of the most frustrating training missions in the entire game. Although easy to pass, it can be quite difficult to master.
-23 hits: Marksman (lowest level required to pass)
-30 hits: Sharpshooter
-36 hits: Expert Marksman (required for sniper training)
You begin with the drill instructor informing you of the basics of the Rifle Marksmanship training course. You get 40 targets, and 40 bullets. You only need to hit 23 targets to pass, although you'll want to hit more if you want access to sniper weapons (and who doesn't). When the instructor finishes speaking, walk over to your right and pick up the M16A2 rifle and ammo from the table and proceed to firing point 9 (go outside the gate and head left. Alternatively, you can just stand there for a while and you will be teleported over to firing point 9 with your gun.
Now you get the chance to fire 4 clips of ammo into the targets to the front of you. Two clips will be in the standing position, and two will be in the unsupported position (i.e. you can stand, crouch, or lay down). You must wait until the instructor says, "commence firing" to start shooting, or he blows his whistle and you have to start over. Alternatively, fire only in front of you. Shooting anywhere else (such as at the soldier in the observation tower or at the recruit to the far right you of will result in you starting over. Also, killing the instructor (and believe me after retrying a few times you'll want to) will result in a lengthy stay at Ft. Leavenworth. The first time you try and qualify, I recommend using your shots to try and hit targets while zoomed. For the rest of you who are just trying to qualify for Expert Marksman, I find rapidly clicking in semi-automatic mode is quicker than burst mode in finishing the hated practice rounds.
Now comes the tricky part: the qualifying trial. You get 20 rounds standing and 20 lying down. Remember that you only get 40 targets, so although you don't have to hit every one you shouldn't be too choosy. You will also need to reload your weapon before you qualify, so don't forget. There are two basic methods for succeeding on the firing range, so try both and see which better fits your style.
As the name implies, you will be zoomed in for the entire exercise. This allows you to react quickly and hit the target sooner (they only stay up for a few seconds). The main downside is that your soldier's constant loud breathing throws off your aim.
However, it is still possible to shoot accurately if you know when to fire during his breathing cycle. You can fire accurately just after the soldier breathes in or out (listen for the distinctive "Wheeee," and "Whoooo" sounds). Be careful, since you only have a window of about a second to aim and fire before he inhales/exhales again. When scanning for targets, move the scope down so that you can see the range on the upper half of your screen. However, since your soldier breathes regularly, you can easily time your shots to coincide with his breathing cycle.
Snap shot refers to seeing the target, then quickly going into zoom mode and firing. The advantage to this method over Continuous Zoom is that you don't have to contend with the breathing problem. The main disadvantages are that you don't have a lot of time to properly aim you shot, and if you wait too long your soldier will start to breathe and throw off your aim. If you choose this route, aim your rifle at the target and then use the scope to make any minor adjustments before firing.
However you ultimately choose to shoot, using the scope is a must. With it, you have almost no chance of hitting faraway targets. When aiming, try and have the black bar in the middle of the scope cover the body of the target (where you can only see its head). The first 20 rounds are where you will make or break your qualifying trial (when you are standing up). Since it is more difficult to accurately hit targets when standing, you must make sure you don't waste your slack (remember, you can miss 4 rounds and still qualify as an Expert Marksman). Also, if you miss a target the first time, do not try for it again (unless you have too many missed targets already). Some targets seem to have force fields around them that makes them bulletproof, meaning you can waste your shots on them all day and not hit them.
With the horrors of the rifle range behind you, you can now advance to the next training mission. The obstacle course will introduce you to the basics of movement in America's Army by having you maneuver around the course.
-Complete the obstacle course in under 1:30
Once the instructor is finished explaining the basics of the course, move forward and sidestep (strafe) through the mini maze, staying in the white lane of the course. The next part of the course teaches basic jumping and crawling skills. You must crawl, jump, and crawl again under the logs to pass this part. Simply crouching down isn't enough; you must lie down to get under the logs. If you find yourself unable to get into the crawling position, you may be standing too close to an object. Take a step back and try again.
Next comes the climbing portion. Climb up the wooden ladder and walk across the beam. It's best to look down at the beam when walking and try and keep the beam in a straight line in your vision. Instead of climbing down, you can simply jump off the beam; it will save you time during your timed run of the course.
You are faced with a wooden wall with handhelds. It is too big to jump over, so obviously you must climb it. Look up and move forward when facing the wall to climb over it.
This part of the course combines you skill of climbing with your skill of walking forward. Just climb up the ladder and walk across the planks (don't worry, you won't fall through them). You can then either climb down the net on the opposite side, or simply jump down (and be treated to a sickening crunch when you hit the ground).
In keeping with the previous theme of "you'd have to be a retard not to pass this course," the instructors challenge you with a tube to get through. But you'll show them! Simply crouch and walk through the tube. Now who's Mr. Smartypants? Hmm?
You must now walk across a thin beam over a sand pit. Although easy, you might want to fall just once to spite the instructor who has an unnatural attraction to his "freshly raked sand pit."
Your final obstacle consists of rows of barbed wire you must pass under. Just lie down and crawl underneath all the barbed wire to finish the course. There, wasn't that fun?
Now you are ready for the timed part of the course. Simply navigate the course again under a minute thirty seconds to pass. Since the instructor doesn't stop you at every point like he did before, this should be easy for you (although he seems very impressed in your ability to perform these simple tasks).
Now you get to handle the fun stuff. Heavy weapons abound in this mission, and best of all - no marksmanship test!
-Familiarize yourself with U.S. infantry weapons
Walk over to the M249 SAW and pick it and the ammo up by using the "action" command (default button: E). On the firing range, you can try and hit the tanks or (your old arch nemesis) the red targets. Once you're done spraying the field with inaccurate fire, proceed to the next table.
You get the M203. It's like the M16, but with a grenade launcher attached. You ought to fire off a few grenades (default button: H) because they make this comical "boink" sound when you lob one off. And just in case you were wondering, no you cannot shoot one at the ground and blow yourself up. You only get practice grenades (and a good thing too if you were planning on using them to blow yourself up). Next come the smoke and frag grenades. Those of you who have suicidal tendencies can rejoice in the knowledge that these are live grenades that can kill you. However, you might want to throw a few onto the range to see what they're like. Also, you can "cook" a grenade by holding it in your hand and then throwing. Remember that the grenade only has a 5 second fuse, and you don't want to be holding it when it goes off.
If for whatever reason you don't want to try the weapons, you don't have to. Just walk up the stairs at the far end of the range to complete the mission.
Although MOUT sounds like the noise an agitated barnyard animal might make, it actually stands for Military Operations in Urban Terrain. As the name implies, you will spend the course in an urban setting (actually just a big building with a bunch of doors) and have to differentiate between friend and foe. For those of you who are old enough to remember, it's a lot like Hogan's Alley for the NES.
-Shoot target Charlie
-Shoot target Bravo
-Shoot target Alpha
-Unlock door in dark
-Cross finish line
When you first start out, you are told that you should throw a flashbang grenade into the room to stun your opponents, then rush into the room before the effects wear out. Actually, all that's required of you is to shoot the three cardboard cutouts of the terrorists (one is to your left behind some tires, one is in the window to your right, and one is in the upper lefthand corner). They won't fire back, so you can take your time if you choose. When all three are shot, the door will open. Inside the next room are a doorway and a ladder leading down. Take the ladder down and crawl through the tube (the doorway just leads behind the window where you shot the terrorist. Turn on your night vision goggles (default button: V) and you should see a person behind the grate up ahead. This person is a civilian; so don't shoot him (although you have to wonder what a civilian is doing in a pipe). Take a right and go down the pipe. At the end of the pipe is yet another person behind the grate, but this one is a terrorist. Shoot him and follow the pipe out until you see a group of terrorists (don't forget about the other terrorist in the final pipe to the right).
Shoot the three terrorists in the room and head out the door. Continue down the hall, shooting terrorists along the way (use your night vision goggles to get the all). You should come to a locked door. Face the door and hold the "use" command to pick the lock. Head right and you should see a ladder. Climb the ladder and go through the doorway. Shoot the terrorists and go through the doorway (by the civilian in and yellow jacket). Follow the hall down and open the final door. Walk outside to finish the mission. Since you have finished basic training, you are now able to play online.
Finishing Airborne School allows you access to the 82nd airborne division as well as Ranger School. But first, you must successfully parachute off a 250 foot training tower. Given the difficulty in making a safe landing plus the game's rather lackluster instructions, this is easier said than done.
-Successfully parachute off the training tower
Airborne training is conducted at Fort Benning, Georgia. The instructor tells you the basics of airborne training and leaves you with one very important bit of information:
"Make sure you are facing 90 degrees from the direction you are moving and flare before hitting the ground and go into a PLF."
What this basically boils down to is: look straight ahead when you are about to land if you don't want to be 2 feet shorter. The easiest way to tell if you are looking straight ahead is if you can see equal parts of both your left and right hands at the very top of your screen. Of course, since you start the mission looking straight ahead, as long as you don't move your mouse you won't have to worry about that. When you reach the top of the tower, you get the second vital piece of information for parachuting safely:
Unfortunately, the game isn't nice enough to tell you when "too soon" or "too often" is, so I've developed a good rule of thumb for flaring the chute at the right time. At the top of the tower, the instructor will say what sounds like "sixty-nine times sixty- nine times sixty-nine times" and then you will drop. When you drop, repeat to yourself "sixty-nine times sixty-nine times sixty-nine times" at the same rate as your instructor said it, and then flare the chute. When you flare the chute, just tap the "flare" button a few times before you hit the ground. You can only flare your chute about 3 times before it collapses, so don't tap the button too quickly. With any luck you will land safely (your soldier automatically rolls when he hits the ground) and pass the mission.
Your final jump is from an airplane flying at 1,250 feet. Furthermore, you must land within the designated circle to pass the mission. Although slightly more difficult than the training tower, it can be done on the first try with proper instruction. Oh, did I mention it was being done at night?
-Successfully parachute from a C-17 Globemaster
-You must land within the circle to pass the mission
Again, this jump can be done easily provided your timing isn't off. You start the mission looking out the door of the airplane. Pay attention to the lights near the doorway. They flash from red to yellow to green to signify when you are to jump. Once outside the aircraft move forward and left towards the drop zone. Your goal is to get as close to the green smoke as possible. All the meanwhile, you should be counting "one and two and three and four:" all the way up to twelve. When you hit twelve, you should flare your chute. This will slow you down some. By this time you should be facing forward. Flare it again about a second later to slow down even more and you should hit the ground. You will go into a roll and with any luck end up still inside the circle. Congratulations, you just earned your airborne wings!
Congradulations! You finally made Expert Marksman. Welcome to sniper school. You will be training with the M-24 Sniper Rifle.
-Hit the white target. You only get one shot.
All snipers live by a simple rule, "one shot, one kill." Unfortunately, this will be your standard as well when qualifying for this course. The good news for you is that you only have to be accurate once to qualify. Therefore, I would suggest training a little before you have to make it count (if you choose not to train you can simply train you can simply walk off the range to begin your qualifying shot. At these ranges, hitting a target is virtually impossible unless you take the following steps first:
1) Drop to the ground
2) Make sure there are no obstructions and you have a clear shot
3) Use the tripod (default button: H)
4) Make sure you take the shot at the right time during your breathing cycle.
You have all the time in the world to make the shot, so only take it when you are good and ready. Scan the range and find the white target. Get into position and aim the cursor at the target. You will notice how much breathing affects your aim, so remember to shoot only after the "Wheeee" and "Whoooo" when you aim is at its best. Finally, try to aim at the head of the target, since there seems to be a slight drop in the path of a bullet at these ranges. This is a lot easier than qualifying for Expert Marksman, so relax and only fire when you feel ready.
The M-82 is the big brother to the M-24, firing a whopping 50 caliber shot. This will allow you to take on both infantry and vehicles with ease.
-Destroy unexploded ordinance. You only get one shot.
This rifle handles a little differently from the M-24, so you might want a few practice shots. The recoil on the M-82 is unbelieveable, and is so powerful you will be jolted out of zoom mode when you fire. Your job in this case is to destroy an unexploded mortar shell. Line up your shot using the same steps as the M-24 and look for the mortal shell. It looks like a typical image of a bomb (actually, it looks like a giant chicken leg sticking out of the ground). When you have located the shell, aim for the top white portion of the shell and fire. That should give you enough height to compensate for the distance and allow you to pass the course.