ArmA 3 goofing chronicles: Frigate & The Pirate Cave

Updated: December 9, 2020

Welcome to Stupidity Corner. Your humble host today, Dedoimedo! Once again, we will help ourselves to the splendid art of much ado about nothing, the quintessential timewaster slash PTSD healing techniques for the entrepreneuring IT employee, infected by passive-aggressiveness. First Person Shooter as the cure to office nonsense.

I'm talking about the wunderbar ArmA 3 and the meditation sessions therein, focused around sandbox games on the island of Stratis. When you're not in the mood for any serious combined arms operations, you can just do some casual destruction with readily available 21st century materiel, especially if you happen to be the mission Zeus. Indeed, I've already shown you how to use the WASP class amphibious assault ship - aircraft carrier in plebeish - as a gigantic ski/car jump pad. Now, we will do some more nautical work with the ANZAC class frigate and embark on a search after the hidden Pirate Cave on the island. Let's.


Spawn it, catch it

The trick with the frigate is that it may not want to wait for you. It may bouncey bounce, so better be ready to chase after it with a speed boat if necessary. If you're lucky, it won't sink or glide away, so you can bump your other water transport against it, and then clamber on board.

The frigate has several useful stations, and tons of nice weapons. Most importantly, you can use Harpoon anti-shipping missiles, Mk.45 127mm naval gun, or the Phalanx CIWS, none of which are ordinarily available when you fight on land. You can also deploy chaff, although this is probably less glamorous than it sounds.

Anyway, the frigate can sail at a comfy 30 km/h or so, although it takes forever to slow down or turn, so if you're planning on maneuvering close to the coast line, make you have lots of room. Otherwise, you may beach your ship, and you will have to start all over again.

Firing gun

Present broadside, to port. Or wait, is it starboard? Larboard?

Provided you're skilled and wise, then you can start engaging the plethora of targets on the mainland, including the airport with its colorful arsenal of weapons, or one of the several mini-objective camps available in the Stratis Sandbox. The Phalanx does a great deal of damage, with the ideal range of about 1,000-1,500 meters. The naval gun can fire up to 5 km away, but the shells have a rather deep, slow trajectory, so it's like an Mk.6 mortar, only slower, louder, and far far more impressive. Plus those on the land can't really do much about it. Although a boss fight between a frigate and a tank would be an interesting one, hmm ...


Using Harpoons against land targets, well ...

Helicopter attack

We have an Under Siege moment here ...

Air attack

Not unlike the real photo from an egressing Argentinian Mirage III over an RN destroyer in the 1982 conflict.

The Pirate Cave

You will need to suit up for this one. You need that fine latex wear AND a rebreather. I tried diving the little submersibles quite a few times, and always wondered why the screen would dim and blur, and my character gulped for air before the quick, inevitable demise. Well, duh!


The Hunt for the Red October, or something.

Once you're geared up all proper, you can begin your underwater voyage. ArmA 3 brings in a fresh buglet here, and that's the inability to change the trim (dive/rise angle), so you can navigate around just fine, but you will also end up scraping the sea floor, too. However, if you're careful and patient, you will discaver [sic] the cave!

Searching for the cave

I won't tell you all the details, but it's not too difficult finding the cave. You just have to look for what looks like an island of air in the middle of the sea (from underwater, duh). Step out, and shiver me timbers, you get all the goodies. The chest, the dead pirate skeletons, everything. Very nifty and totally fun.


Submersible, helicopter attack

And then, on a completely silly note, trying to hit a submersible from a helicopter, because, why not.


There we go. You are now cured of the work from home blues inflicted upon you by your IT-ness. If you're keen on some serious war simulation but also have a soft spot for childish nonsense, ArmA 3 doth provideth all the necessary ingredients. In today's article, we discussed nautical shenanigans.

Very soon, we shall have some more ArmA 3 funses. I've purchased the Contact DLC, which also includes the nice and detailed Livonia map, very similar to Chernarus. So there might be a major nostalgic moment there, too. Well, that would be all for today. Happy games.