Para/Glider

When will they be done? Come onnn!!!

Okay, so it won’t be that easy. Will it? No, no…

I do have some ideas, though.

First of all is actual physical behaviour. The C-47 dropping US paratroops will be the easiest; it will simply appear from off-map like any other aircraft, fly to the drop location, and upon reaching it will unleash its load of paratroops and fly back off the map. It should NOT be controllable at all during this procedure. If the C-47 comes under anti-aircraft fire, rather than running back to the HQ, it should either do nothing or cause the drop to become “inaccurate”, as in if the C-47 takes AA fire the point at which it actually drops the paratroops will be randomly off-course rather than on-target. Individual paratroops who land in water, on steep inclines, features, etc, will die.

For the glider, I have a specific idea that seems feasible. First, a unit will fly from off-map to the designation location; it will be a C-47 with a Horsa glider in tow, probably a single unit with the Horsa being a seperate piece. Upon reaching the location the Horsa piece will be hidden and a new unit, a descending Horsa, will be generated on the ground directly beneath the C-47 aligned with its current heading. This unit will have a Horsa object begin at a point that more-or-less makes it obvious its the Horsa that is detached from the C-47 (so generally it will start high up in the air above the origin/base of the unit). It will circle down in a simple animation as it descends. Upon reaching the ground and the end of the animation it will spawn its squad of soldiers not unlike a barracks, and then become a crashed Horsa feature/corpse.

Maybe the attached picture will help demonstrate?

As for differentiation, both US and GBR dropped more than just infantry. The US with its Waco glider could drop Jeeps or M8 Pack Howitzers; the Horsa glider could drop (for the Brits) Jeeps or 6-Pounder anti-tank guns. Of course, allowing the US to drop more than infantry would require model/map/texture of the Waco so let’s just concern ourselves with the Brits! The C-47 could carry 28 troops (could be modified to 24 for the “two platoons” number), the Horsa from 15-20.

Cost-wise, we should balance them so that it is entirely feasible (infact suggested) that airborne forces be deployed in numbers rather than a single plane. Dropping 50-100 at a time (the latter being a “major airdrop”) to compose a rather significant tactical move would be best.

Suggested uses for airborne forces would be: deploying large forces far behind enemy lines to contest flags and raid undefended/vulnerable structures, resources, etc; deploying large forces in the rear/flanks of heavy defenses (deployed guns etc) to hit them from behind. Airborne forces should NOT be able to be dropped carelessly right into the middle of the enemy except in enormously huge numbers where some will survive the wholesale slaughter of them as they descend to the earth. Suppression/Pinning should largely take care of this; as they’ll be hitting the ground in relatively bunched-up groups they’ll be easily pinned by any nearby machineguns. Their main strength will be when they are dropped out of firing range of an enemy and can then hit the enemy from a completely unexpected direction.

The actual force dropped should be relatively well-rounded, with mainly rifles and submachineguns but also a machinegun and anti-tank infantry or two.

Just so you know: US glider (Waco CG-4A) is modeled since forever and is sitting with all the other my models awaiting map/tex (along with the Horsa and C-47, plus I have a dedicated glider tow aircraft for GBR as well - the Armstrong Whitworth AW.41 Albemarle).

Code for this is pretty much done, just need to polish it off.

I’m figuring this for squad breakdown: plane holds 28 men.

Regular american rifle squad: 8x garand, 2x SMG, 2x BAR, 1x bazooka. Do that twice, you have 26. Add 2 .30 cal MGs, and we’ve got ourselves a chalk.

Further, I’d like to set up 2 or 4 of these riflemen as grenadiers (rifle grenades) to give them a bit more punch than regular infantry. I’m not sure yet how to deal with grenadier/regular rifle fire duties, but I’ll figure it out (or give them a command to toggle grenade mode).

Just kidding, going to revise my approach with this and start over. I was going to try to use the transport stuff, but I ran into trouble feeding lots of unitIDs into cob to load via a loop. SO, instead I’m just going to have the units start spawning once the plane hits the drop area, and do some cob stuff to have them sort out when to hide the chutes.

Lua’d, including some drifting + wind effects. All we need now is animations and parachutes for the paratroops.

BTW Wikipedia says that a plane load was only 15-18 men; perhaps the figure of 28 troops corresponds to conventional transportation?

Its either 28 or 13/16 people people. I have found different numbers online but i think 13/16 makes sense. if you try really hard then you can squeeze 14 skydivers in a cessna 208 caravan. And those have way less packaging with them then paratroopers. so for the fully loaded paratroopers of the same numbers you probably need a plane with the size of a c-47.

Oh, sweet, thanks zerg. I was really struggling to find time to start over, glad that you managed it.

Unfortunately we can’t stick the parachute onto the regular paratroop models quite so easily, because its not in their UVmap; my original plan was to have them transform into the normal troops once they hit the ground.

I see. Maybe I’ll change it to do that–it would probably work better for the glider too.

Alright, here we go. Also, a few more things that would be nice:

Paratrooper icon.
A “parachute opening” sound.

How to make paratroopers: Make a non-impactOnly weapon with the customParam “paratrooper” set to 1. Every time the weapon hits, a paratrooper will be spawned at the firer’s position. In LuaRules/Configs/paratrooper_defs.lua, you can specify what paratroopers are dropped. For each firer, each paratrooper is dropped in sequence; if the end of the list is reached, it cycles back around to the top.

Very, very cool stuff here guys.

Two problems:

First, the parachuting infantry look rather immobile. Actually I could easily fix that by editing the s3o so they’re atleast holding onto their chute cords “properly”, but some animation would be cool too, like having their legs dangling a little, and having the entire model itself slowly bob to and fro.

Second, when the C-47’s begin dropping their loads they seem inclined to pitch their noses up into a steep climb, while still dropping paratroops. It looks a bit odd.

Third, as a suggestion; like the gliders, perhaps the paradrops can also include a paradropped crate of ammo that magically becomes a small supply stockpile upon landing.