1-3: Breaking Bagram (Prologue)
Forward Air Controller Ninja Sniper
With the enemy located, the key to defeating them begins with securing a former Soviet airbase as your Tactical Operations Center. Alongside AFO Neptune and Tariq's local militia, you must penetrate the Taliban's defenses and seize the control tower.
After you arrive at the meeting point you have a chat with Tiraq, and he convinces you that he is on the level. The enemy have retreated to the Valley of the Kings nearby, and they are there in Battalion force, with an estimated 500 plus effective. It may help you to understand how you measure unit force, so with respect to this walkthrough, we use the following terms:
• Fireteam - 4 to 5 men, usually commanded by a either a Corporal or a Sergeant.
• Squad or Crew(1) - 8 to 16 men, usually commanded by a Corporal or Staff Sergeant.
• Section or Patrol(1) - 8 to 12 men, usually commanded by a Corporal or Staff Sergeant.
• Platoon - 25 to 60 men, usually commanded by a Warrant or a Lieutenant.
• Company - 70 to 250 men, usually commanded by a CWO, Captain, or Major.
• Battalion - 300 to 1000 men, usually commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel.
• Regiment - 2000 to 3000 men, usually commanded by a Colonel.
(1) Can consist of 2 or more Fireteams.
There are larger units but the Taliban did not field anything bigger than a Regiment, and even that is arguable since it was not a cohesive unit, but a group of what would be considered Battalions that happened to be in the same place and placed under the command of a major officer.
Into the Valley Rode the Four Horsemen
As the mission commences you find yourself riding as the passenger in a Technical that is driving through an active fire zone. Ahead of you an A-10 Warthog banks to the right -- these are tank killers that fly low and slow and can provide incredible air support for small units, considering that they are constructed around a very large Gatling canon that shoots depleted uranium rounds.
You start this mission armed with an M60 -- a very good weapon with excellent penetration. Your windscreen takes a hit, which can interfere with your view, so smash the rest of it out, and then deal with both the enemy on foot on either side, and the enemy-occupied vehicles on either side. Eventually you will reach a heavily defended area, and you will dismount. The Gun can be a difficult weapon to quickly master if you have never had experience with it before, so try to fire in short bursts rather than long, because reloading this beast takes a fair amount of time, and you do not want to be forced to do that when you are being shot at!
When you take over the mounted 50 caliber on the back of the truck concentrate on again firing in bursts so that it doesn't get away from you. Just hit what you can and do not bother trying to track a target that is already moving past on either side, as that is usually a waste of time and effort. When you finally dismount, take cover and begin working your way through the enemy ahead with your M60.
This is actually a fun level, and one you will want to replay later just for the novelty of its structure -- well that and the big 50 in the back of the Technical, which is a lot of fun to fire!
Mind that pit ahead -- there is a Tango below and he will shoot you in the back as you cross if you fail to take him out first. As you work your way through the building ahead you will have the opportunity to play as FAC -- you need to take out the gate ahead and the APC. Once you do that you are back in normal mode, and your next objective is to take out the mortar teams.
You will be in position to look down on that mortar crew -- switch to your M14 and take them out with some finesse, doing head shots for brownie points (grin). A gaggle of Tangos will egress from the nearby building once you have taken out the crew, so concentrate on helping them make the journey to Allah now.
Up the stairs past the mortar is a Connex box with grenades if you need it -- and just past that (outside) you will find two more mortar teams to eliminate. Work your way through the aircraft graveyard and take out the five members of the final crew and then take out the snipers before moving through the wreckage ahead. You will spot a gun emplacement in the center distance ahead and up -- take out the gunner there, and his AG.
Your next task is to clear out the warehouse ahead, and as you enter there will be a few Tangos on the catwalk above. Take them out and then sweep through the warehouse and take out the resistance as you go. A Technical will smash through the far wall -- be sure to quickly take out its gunner, since that 50 cal qualifies as a major threat.
Outside there are a variety of targets to aim for, some on the ground and some above on the catwalk where there is also a mounted gun. After you take them out, work your way through the hanger, clearing away the resistance there, and then stack up to head outside, where you will find a new and significant threat -- a tower full of snipers and rocket launchers!
Taking them out is more a matter of patience and finesse with your weapon, but first you need a stable and safe place from which to shoot. Find cover and use your M14 to begin taking out the distant enemy. The team will move inside the nearby building where there is a sniper rifle that you can pick up if you need to -- I found that the M14 was perfectly sufficient for this engagement and did not bother changing to a new weapon.
After you take them out you stack up to enter the next building, and it is a bit of a Chinese Fire Drill in there, with bad guys popping out of doors like it is a Scooby Doo Movie! Just try not to shoot your own guys as you spray-n-pray with The Gun, right? Through the next door you are treated to a quick CS of one of your buddies getting jumped -- and using his hatchet to deal with the Tango, and then you face a definite high mark on the list of situations to avoid -- a narrow set of stairs you cannot cover from below that you have to move up. Fortunately you have already taken out all of the bad guys, so this is just a trip up a set of stairs!
When you get to the top head to the blown open side to play FAC again -- this is actually a fairly complicated task this time, as many of the targets are moving...
Calling in Hellfire Air Support
As this part of the mission progresses you will be presented with a variety of different targets that must be dealt with, from Technicals to T-55 Tanks and ground forces. The manner in which you are meant to deal with them depends upon the type of target -- stationary targets can be locked on and hit with missiles or a large HE bomb, but moving targets must be dealt with using open sheaf runs.
To set up an open sheaf run you target the path line that you expect the target to follow by using the Right Trigger to initiate the targets, and then using the Right Joystick you set the direction or path of the attack. This is the green line with an arrow point that appears in the targeting unit when you commit an attack.
With moving targets you must judge where the target will be a few seconds after you order the attack in order to hit it -- this takes a bit of skill and experience, and can be tricky, but if you fail this mission section at any point it will simply reset you to the start so no worries, you can pick up the experience that you need now!
When the group of three tanks comes out of the hills, if you target the middle tank and select the GBU-24 you can take out two of the tanks with one bomb, unlocking the Achievement "The Sledgehammer." Basically you have brief and limited control of the bomb as it is in the air, so you should be able to position it between two of the tanks for this double-kill.
Successfully completing this part of the mission ends the mission, unlocking the Achievement "Welcome to the TOC" for completing the mission Breaking Bagram, and triggering the next CS Movie.