Game Master: Mindset & Mission Flow - Mission Support - United Task Force (UNITAF) Arma 3

P13-117 Game Master: Mindset & Mission Flow

UNITAF / Arma 3 / Mission Support Procedures

Version 1 / 4min read / Updated Sun 08 May 2022 / 978 views / of verified

Game Master attitude and mindset

When you take on the role of Game Master you assume a certain responsibility for the mission and the players attending it. As the overall architect of the operation, it’s down to you (and any supporting GMs or Assistant GMs) to try to create a fun and challenging environment for the deployed elements. This isn’t to say that Mission Support roles cannot be fun- you’ll get plenty of interaction with the players if you find the right balance.


To the end of creating a fun environment, it must be stressed that none of the Mission Support roles are PvP slots. 
When GMs make killing players their mission it shows, and can negatively affect players’ opinion of the operation and even the unit as a whole.  This also applies to destroying the players' assets; sometimes a de-tracked tank can offer an interesting scenario where the tank must be defended and repaired or saved by friendlies, so it's always a better idea to find a creative way to challenge or slow the players rather than outright kill them or destroy their equipment.


When roleplaying with the players- often as a civilian- you should try to minimise how often you slow down or grind to a halt the mission as a whole. The whole platoon doesn’t need to stop to hear about the cute puppy a random guy on the street just bought. Using objectives that inject some RP are a great idea to keep the mission flowing whilst providing a (hopefully) great interaction. The GM should work alongside the players to complete the taskings set out for the day, whilst providing a good balance of challenge, enemy threat and fun/ new interactions. Remember that as Game Master you’re creating and telling a story.


IMG: Hostages are a good way to provide challenge and interesting interaction.



Mission Flow and creating challenging balance

Whilst individual operations differ vastly in their objectives and circumstance, statistics show that it is vital there be some measure of downtime worked into your mission. This can be anything from a held position whilst resupplying, to some quiet (though possibly suspenseful) infantry movement or even vehicle travel. 

This time allows players to recollect themselves and regroup, and provide a breather in potentially stressful situations. During any downtime, element leaders will be gathering ACE checks and drawing up any battle plan amendments or additions to better prepare for the next engagement. It’s important to allow time for these brief pauses even if from your perspective nothing is happening- quite often as a GM the mission can feel slow or boring as a result of your knowledge of the whole battlefield, however the feeling can be much different from the players’ perspective.


IMG: Players regrouping between objectives in an FTX live fire exercise.


As important as the downtime are the moments of battle. Enemy contact should pose a threat to the players without being too overwhelming- players will not appreciate spending most of their mission unconscious or dead, and as a GM you should be altering the OPFOR threat according to how the players are performing. If too many casualties are being taken, perhaps thin out the herd of incoming enemy reinforcements, and try to think about what you would consider enjoyable from the ground teams’ perspective.
As a whole, aim for a build-up of threat and contact during the mission to reach a peak (at the main objective for example), then taper off the action and wind down to extract, allowing players to leave the AO so they may regroup and debrief at mission end.



This SOP has been contributed to by 1 editors:
Major James

UNITAF Standard Operating procedures (SOP)
are adapted primarly from US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). Our written and audio procedures are a combination of the following primary source materials, as well as our own learnings, modifications and adaptations:
- US Army Techniques Publication, Infantry Platoon and Squad (ATP 3-21.8)
- Soldier’s Manual of Common Tasks Warrior Leader Skills Level 2, 3, and 4 (STP 21-24-SMCT)
- The Warrior Ethos and Soldier Combat Skills (FM 3-21.75 / FM 21-75)
- Leadership Development (FM 6-22)
- Dyslexi's Tactics, Techniques, & Procedures for Arma 3 (TTP3)

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