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RAMADI (Iraq): Mother of All MOUT Maps

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And last, the Brobdignagian Saddam Mosque and its adjoining madrasah complex, erected at huge expense by the dictator in his favoured city following the first Gulf War, when he decided that a veneer of Islamic piety was more useful than a veneer of socialism. This is at the northeast corner of the map, and also lies at the intersection of three major city boulevards: Route Michigan, "Easy Street" and Racetrack Boulevard.

Ramadi_SE_Saddam_Mosque_ext1.jpg

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A top-down shot of the gigantic mosque building itself, with some infantry for scale. Insh'allah, the Saddam mosque will get a special scenario all its own, SADDAM'S MOSQUE featuring a mid-2005 raid by Iraqi army forces and 1/503 US Army Infantry.

Ramadi_NW_SaddamMosque_Ext2.jpg

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Here's the interior of the massive domed musala. The mizhrab, which marks the direction of Mecca, is visible. As in old Christian churches, the colonnaded galleries on either side were for VIPs and women.

Ramadi_S_SaddamMosque_Int1.jpg

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Close up shot of the same. This is M1A1TC's awesome Iraqi Army reskin of the Syrian special forces. He also did an Iraqi police commando skin.

Ryujin, I'm honoured by your offer. I will think about it and let you know. At some point I do know I'm going to need to develop some variant building facades with blown out (alpha channel) windows and doors, pockmarks, shellholes and scorch marks. This will be essential for the "battle-scarred" late 2005-2006 versions of the map. If you want to take a shot at that, please do by all means.

Ramadi_S_SaddamMosque_Int2.jpg

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Certainly, let me know what ones you need changed and I can shoot it to bits (let me know if there's any particular textures you want unharmed and if you have any modded textures you need shot up).

M1A1TC's Iraqis look great, so that's certainly covered.

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Here's M1A1TC's Iraqi police patrolling the Souk, late 2006.

Unlike the predominantly Shia Iraqi Army forces, who were despised by the Sunni locals, these guys were homeboys, US-equipped and trained volunteers from the tribal militias who had initially fought the Americans, but had finally gotten sick of Al Qaeda fanatics oppressing and killing their people.

Souk_1-1.jpg

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And here's another shot of the IP commandos in action, with a US Army adviser (1/506 Airborne). That rubble and blown away walls in the background were pretty typical along the main boulevards by 2006. Half of the damage was from indiscriminate IED bombing (with the insurgents resorting to bigger and bigger calibre shells as the US vehicles became more heavily armoured) which also ruptured the sewer lines creating huge pools of filth in the streets. The other half was caused by US forces riddling insurgent ambush positions, real or imagined, with huge volumes of small arms fire, and less commonly, with autocannon or tank fire, SMAWS/Javelins, mortars and aerial bombs or Hellfires.

However, most of the rest of the city remained largely unscathed except for 3 years of 350,000 people's garbage not being removed regularly. Ramadi was not Fallujah.

MiTT.jpg

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A close up shot of the smaller of the two cemeteries. Traditional Islam regards ostentatious tombs as a form of idolatry (although the Taj Mahal is technically a tomb, go figure), so most Islamic cemeteries are densely packed with plain, undecorated mausoleums and cairns even more basic than the mod I'm using here.

Cemetery2-1.jpg

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Certainly, let me know what ones you need changed and I can shoot it to bits (let me know if there's any particular textures you want unharmed and if you have any modded textures you need shot up).

Here are some thoughts off the top of my head. I will need "mildly damaged" variants for all the base building textures except the blue one, which I used only in mosques (which remained relatively undamaged). Basically, these buildings are not ruined or burnt out, but their walls bear visible scars of combat -- pockmarks from small arms and spalling from nearby IEDs going off... maybe a few scorch marks as well. The doors can remain intact, but the windows should be shattered -- say 75% of their panes or slats are gone, leaving a ragged look.

Heavier damage and outright ruins can be largely replicated using the tools already in the game: using the shot away walls, removing parapets and placing adjacent rubble tiles. That's shown in the following example.

Ruin1.jpg

I "weathered" the building wall using a patch of bullet marks lifted from a photo of a wall in Baghdad, then rotated and distorted that pattern to mix it up. Then I used my crude alpha channel skills in GIMP to render the windows and doors transparent, which gives a pretty bleak look. Again though, only about 1 in 5 buildings in the warzone along Michigan are going to have this level of damage even at the height of the fighting (2006), the rest will be scarred and windowless but still structurally intact.

One problem with my mod is that fully transparent windows and doors only show up in a zoomed in view. They disappear entirely as soon as you move a little farther away -- this makes the building facade look strangely blank next to its neighbours (whose windows you can still see). I don't know if you have a solution for that.

A shot-up balcony, perhaps the metal railing one with a bullet-riddled billboard hanging crookedly, would be cool too. Warning: the "solid fronted" balconies share textures that also appear on other surfaces (e.g. on floors and roofs), so modding them can create odd unintended effects.

I never uploaded this mod to the GreenAsJade site (I don't use the Repository since I can never seem to log in there), since it wasn't that good and I had other stuff to do than to become a GIMP expert. But I'm happy to hand off that work to more talented hands if you're up for it. Feel free to post some screenies here for comment.

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Again, incredible, with each new view - Question?, Do you have any concerns about how the CCQ will play out? Meaning sometimes it seems with CMSF, CCQ can be complicated in how it plays out within different maps.....(than again, CCQ/MOUT is inherently complicated / dangerous).

Also, is it possible to play with three different units on the BLUE side? Meaning, can you have US ARMY, MARINES and an Iraqi unit all on the same side?

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You can absolutely mix and match forces, as long as you own the appropriate Modules. To give BLUE access to RED units (and vice versa), you just switch the settings temporarily to RED vs RED and your menu of forces changes.

I'm designing my scenarios the way I typically play: RT at levels 1-3 with a fair amount of micro and pausing to make sure my guys are doing what they're supposed to. I keep the forces to reinforced company size or less.

If you're in the habit of dispatching masses of infantry hey-diddle-diddle straight up the middle into unscouted buildings while staying up in "God view" and never hitting pause, you should walk on by the Ramadi series. You're going to lose my scenarios big time even if you kill every last insurgent, because US casualties will be very high using brute force tactics, and that's most of the VC. That simply isn't the way the Marines and Army fought in Iraq, or any other war since 1945.

As I noted earlier, gamers can get away with crude tactics in most CMSF scenarios because it's too easy to find overwatch positions that can "see" most of the map -- as soon as Red opens fire, he gets plastered from a dozen points and it's over. The only way to create a challenge seems to be to have overwhelming Red superiority in numbers.

I am all about immersion and realism, and "being in the boots" of the squad leaders, sharing their tactical challenges and frustrations. That's why I built such a painstakingly detailed map, and am taking my time with the AI to get Red to fight "realistic and flexible" as well as much as the engine allows.

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I am all about immersion and realism, and "being in the boots" of the squad leaders, sharing their tactical challenges and frustrations. That's why I built such a painstakingly detailed map, and am taking my time with the AI to get Red to fight "realistic and flexible" as well as much as the engine allows.

I try to play much the same mannner.....Though with some of the CCQ engagements I find US Forces not to be as decisive and as thorough in violence of action as Crack/Elite US forces are (have been documented to be) in small CCQ engagments in both Iraq and Stan....

Though there are work arounds that CMSF allows for to try and balance this out....

Can't wait to see your mission work....

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Looks awesome, and when you release the map I will definetely be making some missions based on chunks of the map. I'll also extend the offer of doing any graphics mods you need done.

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Looks awesome, and when you release the map I will definetely be making some missions based on chunks of the map. I'll also extend the offer of doing any graphics mods you need done.

M1A1TC (who doesn't seem to be very active here any more -- might be on deployment) took care of most of the critical unit mods I needed:

- Iraqi army, including GAZ jeeps

- Iraqi police, including GAZ jeeps

- 3rd I.D.

- 101 Airborne

- Humvee guntruck in both US and Iraqi Army livery

In addition to the above, my priorities would be:

(a) the heavy tanks of 2/72 ("Cold Steel" and "Dealer" Cos), 3-103 ("Animal Company") and 2/69 ("Death Dealer" Co), all of which saw pretty heavy action downtown during the bad times. Animal is here:

(B) 1/503 (part of 173rd Airborne). They got merged into 1-9 infantry somehow (don't quite get the details) so it seems they wear the 2nd ID Indian head patch too (I have a shot of them atop the Saddam mosque in 2005 wearing it)

© 1/16 Infantry (1st BCT / 1st ID. I think there's a 1 ID mod somewhere).

(d) 1/9 Infantry "Manchus"

minute 1:36

The following US Army units saw significant action in Ramadi from 2004-2006 (apologies to anyone I omitted):

1/16 Infantry "Iron Rangers" (1BCT / 1 ID) eastern city Sep 2003 - Aug 2004

+ 2/72 ("Cold Steel" company)

2/2 BCT Aug 2004 - Aug 2005. 4 bns:

- 1/503 Infantry

- 1/9 Infantry ("Manchus") + 2/72 ("Cold Steel" and "Dealer" companies)

- 2/17 FA

2/28 BCT Aug 2005 - Jun 2006. 6bns+:

- 3-103 Armor ("Animal Company", Pennsylvania Guard)

- 1-104 Cav

- 1-109 Infantry

- 1-110 Infantry

- 1-172 Armor (Vermont Guard)

- 876 Engineers

228 Forward Support Battalion, Pennsylvania Guard

231 Military Intelligence Company, Kentucky Guard

A/1-167 Armored Cavalry Troop, Nebraska Guard

A/138 Signal Company, Indiana Guard

779 Maintenance Company, Tennessee Guard

+ 2-222 FA (Utah Guard)

+ TF 54 - specialized IED hunters on Rt Michigan

TF 2-69 Armored Regiment ("Death Dealer" Co.), (3rd ID) attached Sep 2005 - Feb 2006

(incl "Shadow" sniper team).

1/506 Infantry ("Band of Brothers") Nov 2005 - Oct 2006

+ Rangers (TF 145) - 2006

+ Seal Team 3

1 BCT / 1 AD Jun 2006 - Feb 2007. "The Ready First"

- 1/506 Infantry until Nov 2006

- 1/6 Mech (6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division)

- 1/35 Armored "Iron Knights"

Task Force 1-9 Infantry "Manchus." - Oct 2006 - 2007

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Actually, I was just looking at some Ramadi videos and the local police commandos wear basic police uniform -- solid long-sleeved blue shirt and navy trousers, with black body armour and black helmets identical to the Syrian SF base model. I assume M1A1TC was modding one of the Baghdad-based elite units.

So if someone wants to work up a more basic mod, go for it!

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I got a bit of free time, so I'm on it. Got an idea of how to use some model swapping to mix it up a bit too. The blue digital camo is a more recent IPS uniform, might be useful in some of the later scenarios, I don't know exactly when it was adopted. I think it's pretty wide spread now.

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I also discover to my chagrin at this late date that I've misplaced one of the key landmarks in Ramadi. That's what happens when you try to map a place without having been there (and I will be in no hurry to visit). I also notice that I need to stick a 3-, not 2- story building in just south of the central water tower.

Notorious IED magnet Checkpoint CP-295 in fact lies a block west of where my map ends, at a major multi-way intersection (Michigan and Racetrack / Firecracker / Ice Cream / July 17th Street). I had placed it slightly east of the GC, near the souk. My bad...

I had always been a little uncertain about the spot I'd chosen, but became even more suspicious upon seeing this video recently. No Fatemat mosque or Gay Palace in sight here.

A new Ramadi memoir called "Rage Company" by Lt. Tom Daly, a 1/6 Marines veteran (in city 2006-2007) confirmed my error. Need to add this one to my reading list.

http://books.google.com/books?id=L1NEapwc-6AC&pg=PA92&lpg=PA92&dq=ramadi+295+qatana&source=bl&ots=SRMPlRZAFu&sig=uxAsh82TQ3qvQpvji9dDjwYhANY&hl=en&ei=5WoeTKDHN4P88AbRuOC0DA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=ramadi%20295%20qatana&f=false

Game-wise not a big problem, since in spite of the video above, I don't have record of a complex attack occurring at CP-295 or OP-VA that would make for a uniquely interesting CMSF scenario (piles of IED + RPG / moojie spray and pray ambushes occurred in the area I have mapped already).

But who knows, I might push the big map a couple of hundred meters west at some point. There's a big old memorial park south of there, as well as a school and a small cemetery. Not for some time though; I need to crank some scenarios out.

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Iraqi Police Service WIP (nearly done). Replaces SF texture and replaces black plastic AKs and etc with AKMs and other wooden furniture models (not done yet).

th_CMShockForce2010-06-2015-11-37-89.jpg

th_CMShockForce2010-06-2015-13-49-60.jpg

th_CMShockForce2010-06-2015-15-27-34.jpg

(the guy on the left in the second screenshot looks like he just lost a contact lens :D )

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Outstanding work! Maybe we should be forming a company to sell an Iraq module, like that Russian outfit Snowball! Get busy on those Fallujah, Baghdad and Basra maps (hopefully BFC should have copy-paste terrain/buildings down by then).

Maybe pick up some contracts from Quantico, the War Colleges and various other institutes....

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