Part 7: Episode 8: Turret Gunner Mission #8473746Episode 8: Turret Gunner Mission #8473746
The mission is pretty quick, I'm thinking I may try to post the last few missions before the weekend/into the weekend if I can manage it because I don't feel right making people wait to see the ending.
The Weapons of Battlefield 3
Hell yes C4. Composition 4, or C4 or C-4 is a plastic explosive first introduced in the 60's and since has become a staple of military and police forces the world over. C4 is a combination of explosives, plasticizing agent and an odor tag mixed in a solvent which is evaporated off leaving a mass of off-white material that can be shaped like clay.
Unlike clay, however, C4 explodes with violence at 26k Feet per second. Due to the moldability and high explosive nature of C4 it is used in a variety of situations that require explosions. SWAT door charges, Claymore anti-personnel mines, shaped charges and general explosives make use of C4 in some manner. Despite a movie and video game depiction as a volatile compound, C4 is rather stable. It can be set on fire and has had people attempt to eat it, though it does make one rather sick. In BF3 C4 is actually depicted with both real world and video game properties. The only thing that can set off C4 is more explosives or the detonator, which sends an electric arc through the material setting it off. In most games bullets will somehow do this. Unlike real life, however, C4 in BF3 is sticky and will adhere to whatever solid, non robot surface you toss it on.
C4 is also the best weapon in Battlefield 3. It is exclusive to the Support class and is the first unlock available to the class, which is good because it should never leave the inventory slot it occupies. C4 is useful for a number of reasons. The first is that it is an anti vehicle weapon, three charges placed on a tank will generally take it out, all six available with the Explosives perk will destroy an Amtrak, and most other vehicles will fall to one or two charges. Second, it is great to tearing down walls. Due to the implementation of Destruction in the Battlefield games explosives like C4 are extra important as they can be used to take down buildings, destroy barriers or as really cheap bombs if you toss them from the side of a transport chopper. C4 users also have a very important duty: pissing off tanks by loading up jeeps with C4 and slamming them into their sides in a move known as the Jihad Jeep.
The Jihad Jeep is a move as old as the Battlefield franchise, though it seems less common in this game than in previous ones. That may be because it is risky. The spotting system in the multiplayer tags not only you and the vehicle, but the C4 on it as well, making you a prime target. Despite this it is an effective tactic, especially because tanks and other vehicles have proximity scan, making it harder for people on foot to approach tanks without being spotted and an interesting glitch: If a target vehicle starts too move too fast it will appear that the C4 has stuck to the vehicle, but will in fact be lying on the ground. Unlike other games C4 isn't thrown so much as placed, so this becomes a major issue. Because C4 has such a large blast radius and because of this glitch users should get used to the idea of accidentally killing themselves a few dozen times a match.
Mentioned in the Tehran Assault mission as the Cobra the Venom is the Marine equivalent of the Army's famed Apache helicopter. The Apache has hundreds of helicopters in service and thousand of of hours of flight time, the Viper has 28 units and has only been in service since 2010. This fact is odd considering the Viper began it's life in the early 80's as part of an upgrade program for the very successful Cobra program run by the Navy and Marines. This isn't at all uncommon in US military purchasing, as upgrading existing units is generally cheaper than a brand new unit. Bell was offering a number of improvement to their Cobra program, including a new engine, rotor design and electronics suite. While the program sparked interest, it didn't spark any immediate sales. It would take over ten years from the first offering to create an upgrade package that would see Bell upgrade it's own SuperCobras into Vipers and the Twin Hueys into Venoms (also in BF3 as a multi passenger, two gunner transport chopper). The Venom would deliver it's first unit in 2003, three years after it's first flight and would see introduction to the Marines in 2010. While production numbers are low today, the Marines are anticipating a nearly 300 unit buy over the life of the program ending in 2019.
The Viper is an interesting creation, the rotors are bearingless, meaning a huge reduction in parts and therefore complexity that allows for easier maintenance. Because the upgrade from Cobra to Viper was done with the agreement of upgrading the Twin Huey to Venom a large number of parts can be used on both helicopters, saving time and storage space needed for spares. The Viper can mount a number of missiles and rockets, namely the Hydra and Sidewinder armaments.
In game the Viper is also a two seat helicopter with a number of possible upgrades. It is the functional equivalent to the Russian Havoc helicopter and head to head they are equally matched. The Viper pilot has access to a 14 rocket compliment on first flight, good for attacking ground based targets and not much else. The second seat is occupied by the gunner and at first only the remote controlled machine gun is available. This weapon is good against vehicles, but takes infantry out in one to two hits. Upgrades add stealth, proximity scan, air radar and laser designator to the pilot and guided or TV missiles to the gunner along with a couple optic choices and the Autoloader for both. Vipers are weakest against land based AA guns and jets, which have a speed and firepower advantage over the helicopters. A good helicopter pilot can keep a single Viper alive for a full match with little trouble and some smart moves. Also popular is sitting as high as possible on the map and having the gunner fire down as no one will be able to target the helicopter at that height.
The Viper and the Havoc, like all helicopters are not invulnerable to ground attack, as stinger, SOFLAM Javelins and tank drivers with good aim can all knock them out of the sky easily enough. For this reason hovering in one place for too long or making predictable passes is discouraged. Another fun feature of the BF3 is the ability to straight up murder a pilot by shooting through the cockpit. It's never not funny to watch that happen.