This Arma 2 firefight video has a teeth-gritting, cinematic ending

Evan Lahti at

What does it take to rattle 80-some veteran players of Earth’s most hardcore military sim? ShackTac bossman Dslyecxi pointed me to this insane firefight and extraction attempt in one of his recent videos. Short on ammo, shorter on men, and their backs literally against a wall that may or may not be indestructible, Dslyecxi leads the survivors of a trapped infantry unit as they improvise an escape plan.

Arma 3's latest community guide teaches you how to be a helicopter

Phil Savage at

ShackTactical's Dslyecxi is back for another official Arma 3 community guide. Given how long the game's been available in its alpha/beta state, the community have had more time to get to grips with its basics. To keep up, this latest video focuses on the advanced lessons: like keeping an improbably hovering metal box from crashing into the ground.

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: 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: 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.