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    Strategy Guide by spambank

    Updated: 09/01/03 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    ************* America's Army Strategy Guide ***************
    by spam_bank (spam_bank@yahoo.com)
    Last Updated: Sunday, August 31st 2003
    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
    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.
    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).
    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
    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!
    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:
     - 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.
     - You will move slower than standing but have greater accuracy. Slow crouch
       moving is faster than fast crouch moving.
     - 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.
    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:
    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
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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!
    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
    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
    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!
    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.
    Section 12: Acknowledgments
    The Dev Team for making the best FPS out there.
    The US Army for supporting the project.