Realism Theater

Military simulation sizzle reel: Watch ShackTac's Year In Review video

Evan Lahti at

We've celebrated the realistic fake war-waging of Arma 2 community ShackTac in our Realism Theater posts this year. We admire ShackTac's "Serious Fun" approach to playing Arma 2: even outside the context of mil-simming, it's inspiring to watch a bunch of people invested in each others' fun and to see them express that through mods, missions, and videos they create themselves.

ShackTac founder and documenteur Dslyecxi has put up his annual "Year In Review" video, a six-minute cut that represents thousands of collective man-hours of organized Arma 2.

Realism Theater: Watch this 100-man cooperative city raid in Arma 2

Omri Petitte at

Mil-simmer maestro Dslyecxi regularly orchestrates operations within Arma 2 as the leader of Shack Tactical, an established Arma 2 enthusiast group. He's caught our eye in the past with PVP convoy ambushes and large-scale training maneuvers. Chimney Sweep, his latest production, tops the scale of his previous stuff: a claimed 100 soldiers (two platoons' worth) bounding between the custom Cinder City map, which is filled with computer opponents using a custom headless client algorithm.

Realism Theater: Convoy Shootout

Evan Lahti at

Dslyecxi is a guy we count on for glimpses into hardcore Arma 2. The master mil-simmer, former US Marine, and contractor/consultant for Bohemia Interactive is the founder of ShackTac, a long-standing A2 community.

His latest PvP video centers on a disabled UN convoy; Dslyecxi plays as one of the insurgents racing toward it—bringing IEDs and grenades to the fight. Meanwhile, a column of Humvees is streaking in to assist. Private military contractors are keeping guard. A helicopter circles overhead, vulture-like. Who'll get there first? Don't miss the surprise ending.

Realism Theater: one Arma 2 battle, three perspectives

Evan Lahti at

In this episode of Realism Theater: a battle waged by men, tanks, and a Harrier. It's a kind of Trilogy of Terror assembled by three of the Arma community's best player-videographers, showing the same battle from different points-of-view. 82 minutes of war footage against deadly AI infantry and armor await you.

Realism Theater: watch a 93-man attack in Arma

Evan Lahti at

And now, a public service announcement: Arma 2 isn't just the chassis you buy in order to play Day Z. Hardcore Arma community ShackTac has been running realistic and ridiculous operations for years. Their latest is 93-player infantry raid on Sahrani, a map ported from Arma 1.

Short of EVE, WoW, and probably PlanetSide, this might be the largest group you'll see working together in real-time to achieve a shared goal. The spontaneous photography of seeing that many bodies running like war ants, gunning, radioing and reacting to threats is a gritty showcase of the teamwork and player-made experiences that're possible on PC. Grab your canteen and come watch.

Realism Theater: watch this Arma 2 battle video

Evan Lahti at

Maybe I'm getting mushy about a game I tend to not shut up about, but this clip captures so much of the uncertainty, fun panic, on-the-fly decision-making and teamwork that I love about Arma.

It doesn't feature sick headshots set to this song. There're a few lulls. There's no flashy camera work. But it does showcase real communication, spatial awareness, patience, improvisation, and a little bravery. Stuff unique to the multiplayer we're privy to on PC. Listen closely, and you can distinguish between the proximity-based and simulated radio voice chatter.

Okay, a guy does get trapped inside level geometry at one point. We cannot pretend to understand war.