VOLCBAT Transition To ArmA3
On 17th November, VOLCBAT will formally close the book on operations in ArmA2 and move to the new game. VCB has operated as a Milsim group since 2003 and has seen action on every island since Operation Flashpoint. 3 (Morton) Platoon even inherits its formal name from a Battalion battle honour won during an early campaign deployment to Everon. We have consistently provided high quality operations twice weekly for over 10 years - that's nearly 1000 unique missions - and our team of dedicated mission makers continue to produce exciting new content for the future with a number of ArmA3 campaigns already finished and in the deployment schedule.
Moving to a new game always presents a challenge but our admin team has been working hard to ensure we have a fully customised collection of addons so we can continue to operate in our role as a British unit attached to 3 Commando Brigade.
Our first official forray into the world of ArmA3 will involve a ground familiarisation exercise, which we are conducting as a fun patrol competition lead by our Senior Riflemen with NCOs taking the part of OPFOR and civilians. Thereafter we will deploy on our first full campaign.
Iranian forces supporting elements of the Greek 88 HQ Company (ΛΣΤ/88 ΣΔΙ) have seized control of the strategic island of Altis and the former NATO base on Stratis. In an effort to delay the Iranian advance into Europe, NATO forces are to stage an invasion of Altis. Before the main invasion can begin British and American forces are to secure Stratis. 1st Ranger Btn are preparing for an amphibious landing on the northern coast of Stratis to secure the Airbase, whilst S Squadron SBS are preparing to carry out amphibious operations to remove the mine threat on the coast in order to allow 3Pl 1VCB to conduct amphibious landing at Tsoukalia Bay.
A New Senior Rifleman
Recently elevated to the lofty heights of Senior Rifleman, Pte Dai Hard was coaxed out of his Llewellyan man cave to give us his summary of the situation.
Q: VCB defines a Senior Rifleman as someone who "has consistently demonstrated a level of knowledge, experience and above all commitment to VCB that surpasses that of our average members." How did you get to be an SR?
Dai: Honestly it came as a surprise I just turned up, paid attention to what I was told in training and got stuck into being an active member of VCB.
Q: Well, the definition of SR likens you all to being a cut above the rest?
Dai: It really doesn't feel that way. I know loads of switched on blokes in all three sections that could be SR's no problem. I guess it's because I really enjoy playing with VCB, turn up to every op and make an effort to do things the way I was taught.
Q: So do you considering being an SR a promotion?
Dai: No not at all, it's more like recognition of progress. A pat on the back for a job well done. I'm just the same as every other rifleman in VCB really.
Q: So what in your opinion sets SR's apart?
Dai: Well, one of the first is the additional responsibility that comes with the post. As an SR you are trusted to contribute more to the day to day running of VCB, for example by looking after the new recruits or helping out with Phase 1 training.
Q: What does looking after new recruits entail?
Dai: VCB uses a whole bunch of mods and setting that all up can be challenging to get your head around, especially if you're fairly new to the game. Each new member will be assigned an SR to help out with this, and be around to answer any questions, keep an eye out for them on their first couple of missions...that kind of thing. It can seem pretty bewildering to a newcomer, I can tell you!
Q: SR's also help out with Phase 1?
Dai: Yes. Phase 1 is our basic training for new recruits. We may be "Realism without the bollocks", but we are still a milsim group and we have a tried and tested way of conducting operations that is based on real military techniques. That requires that all of us have the same basic training and teach new members how to do it too.
Q: So SR's run this training?
Dai: No! It's run by one of the NCOs or the Platoon Commander . The SR's help out by demonstrating the various techniques for the recruits whilst the instructor does the talking. It does sometimes feel like dancing monkeys!
Q: What other responsibilities do you SR's have?
Dai: None really, except we are expected to pick up the slack for the section NCOs. Say when a JNCO goes down in a fire fight or can't attend at all it's usually an SR that steps up and picks up the slack. It's great experience and I've learnt a lot by doing it.
7 Month Review of VOLCBAT by Pte Ninjafox
When I noticed that in just under 3 months I will have been a member of VOLCBAT for a total of one year (having joined in December 2012) I decided to look back at my experiences within the group.
When I first joined I never really knew what to expect. Some sources said VCB was a super serious group, while others said it was generally pretty relaxed. I’ve come to find it being a combination of both of these, having a relaxed and welcoming community within the group that plays ArmA to the standard that the game deserves. While they are serious about what drills are done, what kit is used and how it is used, the group also knows that it is just a game and that people turn up to have fun.
“Realism without the bollocks” is the motto of this group, a motto that explains exactly what the group is about with the realism of using combat drills that are used in real life but without the bollocks of having to call everyone by rank and Sir.
Over the last 7 months of being a rifleman in VCB I have found that it is more of a family than just a group that you turn up to play with. If you have a problem members will go out of their way to help you and are always happy to talk to you be it game related problems or real life ones.
Volcbat is a light infantry platoon in the Arma world, something at first I wasn’t sure about as I personally wasn’t sure if it would get boring but thanks to some brilliant mission makers, ops never get dull and nothing is the same: from stand alone missions to multi operation missions and MSOs.
(Above: elements of VCB awaiting helicopter extraction)
Favourite experience in VOLCBAT
My favourite experience in VCB game play wise would have to be on the recent Op Nostalgia XIII. The mission saw the platoon performing an attack on a village in enemy hands. While this itself is nothing special what made it great for me was that from my view as One Section Charlie LMG, it was a mission where all of the practising and training had all come together and everyone was working well as a team.You can see footage taken from that very mission here taken from the view of another member of one section.
This is what is the most rewarding thing about playing ArmA with a group like VOLCBAT: you get to practice real life drills which leave you thinking “Did we just do that?” as you look back on a destroyed enemy position (reference picture below from Op Ballentine).
Another favourite experience of mine is that in my time playing with the group I have been fortunate to meet and play with other groups in joint operations, the latest of these was a joint op with an American group called 15th MEU. Being able to team up with other like minded groups to play out an operation together in order to complete an objective can’t be described in any other way than awesome!
Picture from joint operation, Volcbat right, 3.jägerkompanie left.
Worst experience in Volcbat
Applying for the group when I first wanted to join!. For myself, I found it a very nerve wracking experience as I hadn't been in any large milsim groups before, but once I was let into the group I found it full of welcoming members from many different nationalities.
Would you recommend?
I would happily recommend VOLCBAT to anyone who wants to join an ArmA group that enjoys being serious about gameplay but is still able to have a laugh about it. I hope I shall be a member of VCB for a long time to come. Turn up with an open mind and a good sense of humour and anyone can get on well here. I’ve said before that VCB is more than just a group: it’s a family, which is completely true. Everyone looks out for each other no matter where they are from or who they are. We are a family and look after each other. We are Volcbat.
Op Nostalgia XIII
The latest installment of Op Nostalgia sees VCB return to Everon after clearing through Malden. Tasked with clearing the island North to South of OPFOR, VOLCBAT have had their work cut out with numerous hard fought battles against Russian forces. Parachuting on to Montignac and being taken as POWs, the platoon was subsequently broken out by the Everon Defence Force and returned to friendly lines before advancing South through Lamentin onward to Morton. VOLCBAT are embarking on the final part of this installment tonight (112000AUG13) before a general recall to prepare for a rapid deployment to a new theatre.
The above video shows footage from Op Nostalgia XIII.
As ever, if this is something you're interested in, feel free to browse our forums, read the information pack and feel free to apply.