************* America's Army Strategy Guide ***************

by spam_bank (spam_bank@yahoo.com)

Last Updated: Sunday, August 31st 2003

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Table of Contents

1.  Copyright
2.  Introduction
3.  General Info
    a. Honor
    b. Rules of Engagement
    c. Health
4.  Movement
5.  Shooting
6.  Close Quarter Combat
7.  Extended Range Engagements
8.  Weapon Analyses
9.  Teamplay
10. Tips for Counterstrike players
11. Contact Info
12. Acknowledgments

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Section 1: Copyright

This document is protected by copyright, 2003 and may not be used for profit.
If you wish to use this FAQ or portions of it please obtain my permission by
contacting me via email.

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Section 2: Introduction

America's Army: Operations (AAO) is a first person shooter developed by the US
Army and the Department of Defense as an "an entertaining way for young adults
to explore the Army and its adventures and opportunities as a virtual Soldier"
(i.e. it's a recruiting tool). In contrast to similar games such as
Counterstrike, Rainbow Six, or Battlefield 1944, AAO tries to faithfully
simulate the Army experience by accurately modeling the weapons, training,
and teamwork of the US Army.

This guide is intended to serve the intermediate to advanced player who is
familiar with the mechanics of first person shooters and who has completed all
of Basic Training (including sniper and jump training).

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Section 3: General Info

*** 3a. Honor ***

Unlike almost all the other games in the FPS category, AAO gives each player a
persistent, password protected account. With this account is a ranking system
known as "Honor". At the end of each round, your score points for that round
are added to (or subtracted from) your total career points. The more career
points you have the higher your honor. First time players start at 10 Honor
and for the first 10 levels gain 1 Honor per 1000 points. Past 20 Honor it
takes more points to increase your honor level.

The Honor system serves two purposes. First, since higher honor players have
first choice at squad roles (and the weapons that come with each position),
the system rewards better, more experienced players by giving them their
choice of weapons. Secondly, since you will lose honor for violating the Rules
of Engagement (ROE), i.e. by firing on or killing your own teammates, the
level of PKing is much less that it would otherwise be.

It's important to note that the Honor system does not punish poor players. If
you are on the losing team, you will NOT lose any Honor points. Instead you
will just gain Honor at a slower pace. The only time where you would lose
honor is if you violate the Rules of Engagement.

*** 3b. Rules of Engagement ***

Since AAO is designed to faithfully recreate the Army experience, friendly fire
(FF) is always ON. Thus, an errant shot or a badly thrown grenade will kill
your teammates. It is therefore very important that you understand the Rules
of Engagement when playing. Failure to do so will very quickly wipe out your
honor and result in your account being banned.

The following are some useful tips in making sure that you never fire on your
teammates:

1. Know the difference in appearance between your team and the opposing forces
   (OpFor). In particular, your teammates will always be wearing:
       - a helmet
       - a backpack
       - camouflage clothing

   The OpFor will always be wearing:
       - no helmet
       - no backpack
       - single color, drab style clothing

2. Know the difference between the sound of US weapons and OpFor weapons. AKs
   of all types have distinctive *clack-clack* sound. Listen for this sound as
   it is a good indication that an enemy is nearby. *Note* This is not always
   reliable as your teammates might be firing OpFor weapons that they have
   picked up.

3. Do not impulsively fire on targets that you cannot identify. It takes only a
   few shots to kill and an TK can wipe out your points for the entire round.

4. Never throw grenades unless you are positive there are no teammates nearby.
   Grenades are very powerful in this game and will kill in a large radius.

5. Watch for messages indicating that you have attacked a teammate and stop
   firing immediately if this happens.

6. Report your position often (default key is "u") and watch for the reports of
   other players. This helps everyone keep track of each other's positions.

*** 3c. Health ***

In AAO your health is indicated by the color of the soldier icon in the lower
right corner of your screen. Green means you are healthy, yellow indicates
that you have sustained moderate injury, and red means that you are near
death. A red flashing blood drop icon indicates that you are bleeding and will
lose health. Call for a medic (by pressing "m") to stop the bleeding.

Your health has consequences on your movement and accuracy. The lower your
health the slower you will move and the less accurate you will become. It is
therefore very important that you avoid taking damage!

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Section 4: Movement

AAO has a wide array of movement options which affect your movement speed,
weapon accuracy, and stealth. There are three movement positions that you can
be in: standing, crouching, or prone. Each position allows you to fast move or
slow move (toggled by the Shift key). Furthermore when you are standing you
can sprint for even faster speed (by double tapping and holding the W key or
toggling the Alt key). You can also jump by pressing the Space Bar.

These movement options have the following effects:

Standing:
 - Sprinting: You will move the fastest. However you will lower your weapon
   and will not be able to fire it unless you come to a stop.
 - Fast move: The default movement option. You will move at the second fastest
   speed but your accuracy potential will the be lowest possible.
 - Slow move: You will move at half the fast move speed. However you will be
   more accurate. Furthermore if you have your sights up (by pressing Z), you
   will move without lowering your weapon.

Crouching:
 - You will move slower than standing but have greater accuracy. Slow crouch
   moving is faster than fast crouch moving.

Prone:
 - You will move the slowest but you will have the greatest accuracy.

When you are motionless you can lean around corners and roll side to side. This
is very important in close quarter combat (in hallways and such) so you should
be aware of it. Since default keys (comma and period) are too awkward to reach
I recommend you check the "toggle lean" option and bind the lean left and
right functions to scroll up and scroll down on your mouse. This will make it
effortless to lean around corners and more importantly allow you to keep your
fingers on the movement keys.

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Section 5: Shooting

Aiming in AAO is modeled much more realistically than in other games. Effects
such as bullet drop and firing position are accurately simulated. The
following are some tips to help you hit your target:

Riflemen:

1. When your target is far away, switch to single shot mode and use your
   sights (press Z)! For the M16 or the M4, you want to line the top of the
   post with your target's center of mass and fire. Readjust your sights after
   every 2-3 single shots. If you are using the M4A1, just put the red dot on
   the enemy and tap out single shots. Try to be in a prone position and do
   not move while firing. Also try to fire at the pauses in your breathing.

2. If your target is at medium range, switch to burst/automatic but still use
   your sights. Aim at the enemy's center of mass. You can be crouching or
   prone. Do not move while firing.

3. If your target is very close, switch to burst/automatic and use your
   crosshairs. You do not need to bring up your sights at this range. Aim for
   the enemy's chest or head and sweep your crosshair left-right slightly. You
   can move around (fast walk or fast crouch) if you wish.

Automatic Riflemen:

1. When your target is far away, you have very limited chances of hitting him.
   Instead, your job is to shoot in his general area to provide cover for your
   team's riflemen or snipers to close in and engage the target. Your fire will
   lower the target's accuracy potential if it lands near him. In this
   situation you want to be prone, have your M249 supported and be firing shots
   of 6-8 bullets at your target with your sights up.

2. If your target is at a medium range, it is still best to be prone and have
   your weapon supported. However crouching is okay too. Sights are preferred
   but not entirely necessary. Fire in 6-8 shot bursts at the enemy until he
   dies.

3. In close combat, you have an overwhelming advantage. Do not use your
   sights. Put your crosshairs over the target, sweep slightly left-right and
   keep firing until your target is killed. Move toward your target to get
   a better shot.

Grenadiers:

1. Grenadiers equipped with the M203 grenade launcher are the sole means of
   indirect fire. Unfortunately, the game does not provide you with a good
   means of aiming the weapon. While your crosshair will let you accurately
   fire in the direction of the enemy, the range that your grenade will hit can
   only be judged by your experience. The best tip if you are a grenadier is to
   learn the map and especially learn how to accurately fire grenades into
   important windows, doorways, hills, and other positions.

2. The M203 is useless at close range as your grenade will not detonate under
   150 meters. Switch to rifle mode if you are in close range combat.

Snipers:

1. Snipers are only useful in medium to long range combat. Furthermore, since
   your scope moves with your breathing and jerks heavily when you fire, they
   are NOT the wonder weapons of games like Counterstrike.

2. When playing as the sniper you should always be prone and supported.

3. When engaging targets always try to aim for the head or chest. Other shots
   will not be 1-hit kills and will often bring enemy fire in your direction.

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Section 6: Close Quarter Combat

Close quarter combat (CQB) is very important for certain popular maps such as
Weapons Cache or Insurgent Camp. Such combat typically happens inside buildings
and are very fast affairs. The following are some useful tips for CQB:

1. Always use burst or full auto and never use your sights. Your crosshairs
   give you a wider field of vision and the accuracy penalty you incur is
   negligible. An exception to this rule is if you have the M4A1 with its reflex
   sight. Since the FOV on the reflex is very large it can be useful in a
   defensive position or if the target is at a somewhat longer range.

2. If you are ambushing, crouch instead of lying in a prone position. You will
   lose mobility when prone and present a BIGGER target if the enemy is close.

3. Machine guns (M249 and RPK) are much more deadly than rifles. They have more
   ammo and also decrease the enemy's accuracy significantly. If you get
   involved in a standing fight with an enemy with either the M249 or the RPK,
   RUN AWAY and use grenades. You will almost certainly not win the fight
   unless you are much better than the enemy. If you are in a defensive
   position you have an even chance of taking the enemy out as long as you get
   the first shot off.

4. Try to get a machine gun off dead bodies. Both the M249 and RPK are better
   than the M4 or M16. Try to get the RPK especially as it has more ammo and
   its bullets are more powerful.

5. In a similar vein, if you have the M16 pick up enemy AKs if you can't find
   any RPKs. AKs have full auto and more powerful bullets and are thus better
   in CQB. If you have the M4 then it isn't necessary because you have full
   auto as well. Do pick up RPKs though.

6. Learn to use grenades but be careful of friendly fire. One frag grenade will
   kill everyone inside a small room. If you see a bunch of enemies entering a
   particular room (and made sure that there were no friendlies with them),
   throw a frag grenade in (cook it off first) and watch the fun. If you are
   entering a room, it's better to use stun grenades than frag grenades. Stun
   grenades have a wider radius of effect and can affect players shielded by
   walls. Also their fuses are much shorter and so they are harder to avoid. Do
   not cook off stun grenades.

7. Learn to lean around corners. This is very important because by doing so you
   shield most of your body from enemy fire. Bind your lean keys to your scroll
   wheel and turn on toggle leaning. When you reach a corner or a doorway,
   stop and lean in to see if there are any enemies inside.

8. Try to stick with a teammate. In AAO, firefights are very fast and you want
   all the help you can get.

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Section 7: Extended Range Engagements

Extended range engagements are important for maps such as Bridge and Mountain
Pass. The following are some tips for such fights:

1. Teamwork is paramount. Enemies are far away and not easily seen. Report any
   enemies you see and rely on your team.

2. Do not go gun ho and engage the enemy. They will most likely be in hiding
   and you will be shot for running like a fool across the battlefield.

3. Snipers and grenadiers are very important and will provide the bulk of the
   kills. They can accurately engage enemies at long distances whereas players
   with the M16 or M249 cannot. If you are a sniper or grenadier, try to get
   your team to help you out. If you are a rifleman or automatic rifleman,
   support your snipers and grenadiers and call out targets.

4. Use your binoculars if you have them.

5. If you are assault, try to move as a team have have your sniper/grenadier
   provide cover. Use smoke at strategic choke points to cover your movements.

6. If you are on defense, try to pick out a hiding position and lie prone. Try
   to be with at least one other teammate for support.

7. If you are seen and enemy fire is coming your way, try to finish your target
   off. If you feel that you cannot do this, stay prone and back away. If you
   hear or see a grenade being sent your way, sprint and pray that it doesn't
   hit you.

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Section 8: Weapon Analyses

There are four types of weapons in AAO: 1) Assault rifles (M16, M4, AK47,
AK74SU) 2) Machine guns (M249 SAW, RPK) 3) Grenade launchers (M203, GP30) and
4) Sniper rifles (M24, M82A1, SVD, Mosin-Nagant). The following are some
analyses of their use:

Assault Rifles:

Loadout: 6 clips of 30 bullets each.

The M16 is the most accurate of the three and is the best for medium to long
range engagements. The M4 is almost as good as the M16 at long range but much
better at close range due to its full auto capability. Also the reflex sight
on the M4A1 is much easier to use than the iron sights of the M16. The
AK47/AK74SU are much less accurate than the M16/M4 due to their inferior
sights and the accuracy penalty the game sets on using OpFor weapons. However,
their bullets are more powerful and their full auto capability make them very
useful at close range.

Machine Guns:

Loadout: 200/3 clips for M249, 100/3 clips for RPK

The M249 is in general better than the RPK at all ranges except close range. It
has more ammo (200 vs. 100) and is more accurate when supported. In close
range, however, the RPK is the king of all weapons since it has enough ammo to
be useful and its bullets are more powerful than the M249's.

Grenade Launchers:

Loadout: 7 grenades, reload after each shot

Both grenade launchers are basically the same.

Sniper rifles:

You will get either the M24 or M82 depending on the map and cannot choose
between the two. They function pretty much the same. The Mosin Nagant is the
enemy version of the M24 and the SVD is the enemy version of the M82. Note
that neither can be supported and thus are far less accurate. Only pick up
opposing sniper rifles if you are desperate or are just goofing around.

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Section 9: Teamplay

Teamplay is critical to success in AAO. A good team that sticks together and
communicates will always win. Unfortunately in most online games players run
off and do their own thing. If you find yourself in this situation try to
stick with another player and provide back up for him. You will be more
effective. At the very least you should report in often by pressing "u".

If you are playing with a friend or a clan then you are in luck. Coordinate
your movements and you will easily dominate the map.

Finally, fireteam and squad leaders who stick with their teammates give them a
higher accuracy potential. Keep this in mind and stick with your leaders!

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Section 10: Tips for Counterstrike players

Counterstrike players who switch to AAO are often frustrated by their lack of
success. Here are some tips to get better:

1. Unlike Counterstrike, your score is not based solely on the number of your
   kills. Instead, a very heavy percentage of your total score is based on
   your team accomplishing its objectives and you being a good team player.
   Therefore play to win the objectives and not to kill the most people
   possible.

2. Do not impulsively fire at everything you see. If you hit or kill your
   teammates you will lose a LOT of points. Especially do not throw grenades
   at places where your teammates might be.

3. Your movement speed is much slower than in Counterstrike making the game
   slower paced. However, firefights end much sooner so the action parts are
   more intense.

4. Aiming is much more realistic. At close range you will hit what you put your
   crosshairs on so don't be afraid to go full auto. At long ranges, however
   use your sights and fire single shots from a prone position.

5. Headshots are not important unless you are a sniper. Don't go for them. In
   any case 3-5 bullets will kill any enemy.

6. Watch your ammo. Guns fire much faster than Counterstrike and reload times
   are much longer. There are also no pistols to provide backup.

7. Grenades are completely different. A grenade will kill anyone nearby no
   matter their health. However, grenades take much longer to prep and throw.
   They also explode with a delay unless you cook them off. Stun grenades are
   also much better because their effect lasts for ~30 seconds so use them
   often.

8. Teamwork is much more important. There is almost no chance of you taking on
   the other squad on your own so don't try!

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Section 11: Contact Info

Contact me via email at spam_bank@yahoo.com

All comments and suggestions are welcome. Your contributions will be
acknowledged in future updates.

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Section 12: Acknowledgments

The Dev Team for making the best FPS out there.
The US Army for supporting the project.