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Hi I am not very good with reading maps with no destinctive features on, tonnight when I was training with th 22SAS clan doing selection to become a member I took to long with reading the map there were no destinctive features only mountains and landscape variations on the map and I got lost going round in circles. Some people from 22SAS said they would basic train me in reading maps but in the mean time is there any training maps, videos etc to help me? All help would be great smile_o.gif

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this can be a problem for a beginner. To make this problem go away I suggest you start the mission editor of ArmA and put a unit for yourself into the map along with some vehicles and spend a couple of hours going through the whole island, and memorize the locations and reduce gradually your need to look at the map. The aim is to get rid of the map completely, you should know the place well-enough so you don't need a map. Do it again everyday until you feel comfortable with the island.

I think you should be able to navigate in the islands without even looking at the map. Use the compass and landmarks, that should be enough. In intense fights it is better not to look at maps or you lose because the other guys probably know the island without looking at the map.

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Use google images to print yourself a compass rose off the net (360 degrees).

Locate the Objective on the Map (mouse wheel to zoom in/out). Double click the map to give yourself a waypoint.

Using the compass rose AND the in game compass (k key) get yourself (and the rest of the team) heading in that direction. You can allocate the in game compass a toggle switch so it will always be on the screen. Go to your keyboard options (one isn't allocated by default).

Obviously allow for obstacles, and adjust your bearing as necessary.

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At the moment i'll always know where i am if im on south sahrani, but in north sahrani i'll get easily lost.

The best way to learn it is to simply travel around, and you'll recognise areas.

(i know pretty much all the main road routes around south sahrani and i always know where i am)

Use your compass to help you identify which direction you are facing, e.g. you see a big hill, compass the direction, hit m, see where that hill is and u'll know where u are

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to be totally honest, the island is small enough that if you know the ridges and the town shapes, youll know where you are 9 times out of ten. just fly around the island alot. after an hour or so you'll know where your at.

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If you really need to, you can just try some vietnam mods for OFP and then you'll learn map reading skills fast! You'll need to know it by terrain difference seeing how the jungle is almost always the same.

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another neet little thing i noticed.. when you bring up the mini-map via the esc key, your position is always in the dead center.

so even if you dont have team markers that show your location, just hit esc and there you'll be in the center.

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This is a good You Tube vid showing how to use the compass in veteran mode.  I know it relies on some distinctive features but it's a great tutorial anyway.

ArmA" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v....utorial

P.S. I tend to use the GPS (especially in EVOLUTION) which centres on where I am and just cross reference it with the main map.  wink_o.gif


Just watched it again and it's actually by =22SAS=. Good work chaps.

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yeah I did'nt know you could use a compass like that on the map until I watched this ... ! smile_o.gif

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Hi all

staniland it is easier to use the scaled edge of the compass on the map as it is in the same alignment as the sighting wire and it is longer and does not obstruct the area of map you are looking at so much.


In real life GPS is not much good in steep sided valleys or under dense forest or in heavy rain (microwaves through water)  wink_o.gif

I would suspect they are also problematic in a white out or dust storm. I have tested several. Their batteries fail and their electronics go on the fritz and none of the ones I tested lasted through being dropped off a small cliff or in one case me dropping my rucksack, full of ropes carabiners, hexes, nuts and camming devices on it.

You are far better learning to use a compass and pacing beads and ArmA is great place to start learning this valuable skill. You can use real pacing beads and count steps in ArmA.

Here is a simple article on Navigation


If you really want to learn how to navigate you need to learn micro navigation; part of the mountain leaders training and qualification, on somewhere like Kinder Scout or Bleaklow in the Peak District in the fog. I have been up to my waist in those bogs 3 times and crossed them both many many times in 30 years in every weather from white out to 36 degrees and MIDGES YUK!

The paths and even the shape of the land change every few year as some vast part of the bog gas burps up new hillocks and the streams find new courses. Undulating but generally flat with no major terrain features other than the trig point at Kinder Low and the streams leading to Edale and Kinder Downfall, and Bleaklow is even more barren. Just pacing and compass work. Now that is navigation.

I realy must get round to modding a silva compass and pacing bead weapon into ArmA. Use left mouse to click a single lower bead on one and reload to flick the upper group on one; then an action menu to restset it.

Kind Regard walker

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thanks for the input..

i also done alot of nav in brecon and know exactly what you mean with midges crazy_o.gif

will probably make allot more detailed video when i am back in action

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I realy must get round to modding a silva compass and pacing bead weapon into ArmA. Use left mouse to click a single lower bead on one and reload to flick the upper group on one; then an action menu to restset it.

Yes Please! smile_o.gif

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As to locating your pos in arma, scrolling in on the map is your friend.

The map makers have seem to have gone to alot of trouble in making most areas distinctive, so as long as you know (IMHO) the vague area you are in there will be a land markor two you can ID to guage your location.

It can be easy to get lost ,but take your time and find 2 points of reference and 9 times out of 10 you can pinpoint you location.

obviously GPS and compass helps.

But saying that I do still get lost, but thats the diff tween real life and emulated life.

Saying that i sometimes get confused tween the two...

I think that says more about me than the game tho...

But seriously, In this case real world values work a treat.

Also, i do belive the star constellations are also valid to work from in locating your dir in Arma, although ive not been in that situation yet. Im sure other vets can confirm deny this.



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Don't know if this helps. Had it laying around.

Quote[/b] ]4IB T (05) Land Navigation


This document and it's corresponding ArmA mission are designed to provide a satisfactory informational introduction in map and digital net interpretation and familiarity by practical application and academic exercise.

Information in this mission is gathered partly from US Army FM 3-25.26 MAP READING AND LAND NAVIGATION published 20 July 2001 and adapted for use in Armed Assault (PC) for the 4th Infantry Brigade Gaming Group.


In Armed Assault, the player has available to him a great deal of mapping information. Along with a dedicated map screen, he always has a minimap, and sometimes a GPS when specially equipped. The player can use this information to navigate effectively and communicate with his fellow soldiers.


Lesson 1: Introduction to Armed Assault digital map features, capabilities, and limitations.

a. Can open and close map properly. Note: Time required, mobility, default settings, effect on night vision.

b. Able to zoom in and out fully. Mouse wheel and Num_+/Num_-.

c. Can identify grid locater numbers and letters.

d. Can identify correctly major and minor grid lines. Thin, thick lines. Minor lines only at higher zoom levels, sizes.

e. Note the distance scale.

f. Note the change in information shown with zoom (largest scale, least information).

g. Note the secondary map with texture data. Use for showing ground cover.

h. Note the equipment on the map page, radio, gps, watch, compass, dossier and their ability to be dragged and sized.

i. Note the digital map system is capable of sending symbols via the digital net. Limitations. Symbol set and typed words. Demonstration later.

Exercises 1:

a. How would one describe a position on the map in the middle of a large featureless desert? (with a 2-figure, 4-figure, or 6-figure grid reference)

b. What are the advantages to a larger scale display? Disadvantages? (Easier to read, some information lost)

c. What does the scale bar show at the largest scale? the smallest? (1000m, 100m)

d. How can you make a map screen equipment more readable? How can you declutter the map screen? (Double click to resize larger, size map items to their smallest size and move from the center of the screen)

e. What would you do to tell if there was grass or sand along the planned route? (Check the satellite imagery map page and visually identify)

f. What type of information can be sent via the digital net regarding the map? (Map markers with text)

Lesson 2: Map grid and terrain features

a. Learn phonetic alphabet.

b. Define major grid, minor grid, and their use.

Small scale: minor line 5m elevation, major line 25m

Medium scale: minor line 10m elevation, major line 50m

Large scale: minor line 20m elevation, major line 100m

Huge Scale: minor line 40m elevation, major line 200m

c. Explain what a contour line is, how to read them, what is a contour interval, number of minor lines between major lines. Vertical distance.

d. Define the following terrain features: Hill, mountain, saddle, valley, ridge, depression, draw, spur, and cliff.

e. Define gentle, steep, concave, and convex slopes. Speed and cover implications.

f. How to measure horizontal distance with the map. Use scale, count grids, use compass body. For slant distances: If vertical distance is equal to horizontal such as a direction south-east or north-west, slant distance is 1.4 times the horizontal. If the direction is half-way between NW or NE and N or half-way between SW or SE and S, slant range is 2.6 times the horizontal distance. If the direction is half-way between NW or SW and W or half-way between NE or SE and E, slant range is 1.08 times the horizontal distance.

Exercises 2:

a. Identify major grid town Everon is in ("India 5")

b. Estimate straight line distance between centers of towns Modesta and Gaula (950m)

c. Identify the terrain feature near the center of Hg54. (Ridge, rising to the west)

d. Identify the terrain feature near the center of Ic51. (Saddle)

e. Identify the terrain feature at EB8199. (Hill)

f. Identify the terrain feature at GH5397. (Valley)

g. What is the way to say "HY790" phonetically? ("Hotel yankee seven nine-er zero")

h. What is a special feature of a convex slope? ("A person at the bottom of the slope cannot be seen by a person at the top")

i. How can you identify a concave slope on the map? ("Tightly spaced contour lines at the top of the slope and widely spaced at the bottom")

j. What is the horizontal distance between the centers of grids Ba01 and Bb02? ("141m")

k. How accurate is a 6-figure grid reference? (to the nearest 20m)

l. How wide is a minor grid on the map? (200m)

m. How far apart in altitude are dark brown contour lines at the smallest scale? (25m)

Lesson 3: Additional symbols and digital net.

a. Know map symbols: church, mosque, shrine, fence/half-wall, fountain, building, bus stop, leafy forest, pine needle forest, road unpaved, road paved, road two-way paved, rocks, rock formation, docks, point of interest, power lines, radio tower, water tower, castle, mountain peak, watch tower smoke stack, lighthouse, maximum height reference, major building, local named land feature, local named aquatic feature, town, city.

b. Know digital net symbols: Objective, installation, box marker, targeted box marker, departure, destination, danger!, linkup, transportation point, unknown, X-marker, arrow, observation, modifier ring. Colors should match situation.

c. Know how to place map symbols in different channels, with different colors. Learn abbr. titling of map markers.

Exercises 3:

a. Find the closest shrine and place a green targeted box marker over it with text indicating enemy squad in the group channel.

b. How can you tell a paved road from an unpaved road on the map?

c. What does a map marker consisting of a bent arrow with a horizontal line on the bottom signify?

d. Another squad cannot see the map marker that your squad just laid down, what is likely the problem?


Lesson 4: Equipment and Terrain Association

a. Use of compass, GPS. In hand, on map. Degrees, mills, azimuth, ruler, compass rotation.

b. Intersection method Where is it out there? two positions needed.

c. Resection method Where am I? one object+range, two objects, one object and linear feature.

d. Terrain association. Slopes to N, S, E, W, prominent distant features, prominent local features, vegetation.

e. Range estimation. Double range method. 100m unit method. Compare against known range.

Exercises 4:

a. Determine own position 4-figure grid.

b. Determine 6-figure grid position of nearby selected object.

c. How long is the compass body compared to the smallest scale map? (200m)

d. What two pieces of information do you need to know to use the two-object resection method besides a map? (Azimuth to each object)

e. Estimate distance to select distant object.

f. What is a linear terrain feature with a length corresponding to the direction of movment called? (Handrail)

Lesson 5: Navigational planning


Observation, fields of fire. Plan maneuver to not be seen and outside of fields of direct and indirect enemy fires.

Cover and Concealment. Plan maneuver so cover and concealment are at hand. Most effective cover and concealment is terrain, second most is structures, third most is vegetation.

Obstacles. Plan maneuver so obstacles are best used to your advantage. Avoid obstacles that could conceal or aid ambushing enemy, inhibit friendly forces. Seek obstacles that inhibit the movement of enemy (esp. armor) while allowing your own freedom of movement.

Key Terrain. Identify key terrain and decide whether to avoid or occupy it. Plan stops and meeting points in unassuming, non-key terrain.

Avenues of approach. Plan maneuver that corresponds to an avenue of approach that is favorable.

Avenues of departure. Anticipate how you will depart the area after completing the movement or after aborting a partially completed movement.


Distance. Is the distance greater than 1km? Can vehicle transport or a shorter alternate route be found?

Time Allowed. Arrive neither early nor late.

Likelihood of enemy contact. Maneuver in areas where enemy are unlikely to observe friendly forces.

Terrain. Danger areas, inaccessibility to vehicles, speed permitted by terrain, vegetation, typical weapons engagement range.

Weather/Daylight. Navigation is more difficult in poor weather and at night. Reference points must be more prominent and closer together.

Condition of soldiers. Are all soldiers healthy? Do friendly forces excel at long range or short range engagements?

c. Route selection

Know: current position, time allotted, maneuver room needed, potential for surprising the enemy, availability of landmarks for control and navigation (such as handrails, perpendicular linear features), stealth from the enemy, reaction to enemy action, coordination with other friendly units, availability of assistance, likely enemy ambush locations. Route selection is an art that takes much practice to perfect. Plan several routes and use the best one, remembering alternates if mission needs dictate changing.

d. Navigation methods

Dead reckoning. Dead reckoning is a method for movement from a known position in a known direction for a known distance (a known time at a known speed also gives a known distance) which positions the maneuvering group in a new known location. Reaffirm position and adherence to route at regular intervals. Reevaluate route at regular intervals. Have a compass man and pace counter with backups. Reevaluate pace at regular intervals.

Terrain association. Terrain association is a method for movement in reference to a terrain feature. The terrain feature can be linear like a road, stream, power line, valley, ridge line or a point feature like a hill, prominent rock, body of water, or man made object. A linear feature that is elongated in the direction of movement is called a handrail. A linear feature that crosses the direction of movement at right angles makes a good reference for forward progress and is called a catching feature. A catching feature can tell you if you've gone too far or have gone far enough.

e. Pace count. Distance is measured directly by counting steps. Equivalency to distance is gained on a 100m (or longer) pace course. Paces over terrain are only equal to horizontal distance when the terrain is flat. Hilly terrain reduces the horizontal distance traveled per step.

f. Timed march. Distance is measured indirectly by moving at a constant speed for a measured time. Testing shows a 14.4kmph run and a 9kmph walk. Or 100m takes 25 seconds running, 100m takes 40 seconds walking. 1km takes 4:10 running, 6:45 walking. In combat conditions, over uneven terrain, and while bounding these speeds are significantly lessened, times extended.

Exercises 5:

Lesson 6: Offensive Operation Control Measures

a. Assembly area, start point, release point, line of departure, probably line of deployment, phase lines, attack/assault position, limit of advance.

b. An assembly area (AA) is a point or small area where a unit gathers prior to mission movement. Gear is checked, mission details are reviewed, and mission discipline is assumed.

c. The unit moves from the assembly area directly to the start point (SP) and then follows the selected route to the release point (RP). RPs are also given at any point where a traveling unit separates into smaller units.

d. The assault position (ASLT PSN) comes directly after the traveling RP and is where the final preparations to attack are made. The unit readies itself for contact a short distance away from the objective. Ideally the unit occupies the ASLT PSN for a minimum amount of time. On the commanding officer's permission, units at the ASLT PSN maneuver to the LD and beyond.

e. The line of departure (LD) is an imaginary line that crosses the direction of movement where the offensive phase begins. Where the unit crosses the LD is the point of departure (PD).

f. Movement from the ASLT PSN through the LD and to the PLD is continuous, uninterrupted, and rehearsed.

g. Once units arrive at their respective probable line of deployment (PLD), they continue in the attack to the objective without delay unless specified in the mission plan.

h. The limit of advance (LOA) is a control measure which attacking forces must not maneuver beyond. Indirect fires are shifted beyond the LOA or cease entirely.

i. Phase lines (PL) are lines which are reported upon crossing along a route useful for synchronization.

j. Order of control measures (typical): AA -- SP -- RP -- ASLT PSN -- LD -- PL(optional) -- PLD -- Objective -- LOA

Exercises 6:

Field Training Exercise: Multi-part orienteering course to include resection, dead reckoning, terrain association, and movement under combat considerations.

I have a mission that goes along with this as well...

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