Founded in January of 2006, Shack Tactical is more than just a group of people who come together to play ArmA2. It is a community of like-minded gamers who want to experience a level of gameplay above what is possible in most other games, or on public servers. It is a group that cares about tactics, realism, authentic simulated combat, and serious fun. We know that quality surpasses quantity any day of the week, and twice on Saturdays, and we each do our part to ensure that the group as a whole, and the experiences we have in it, are the best they can possibly be. Many of us pour a great amount of time and energy into maintaining the group, providing feedback for it, organizing the sessions, creating missions, suggesting missions, and so on and so forth. We find that the effort pays off with some of the most memorable gaming experiences we've ever had. I personally have never had more fun in any online game than what I've had with ShackTac in OFP, ArmA, and now ArmA2/Arrowhead. Hopefully this page helps you to get a feel for whether it's the kind of group you're looking for.
To all of those reading this - best of luck to you in your ArmA endeavors, whether we end up crossing paths or not!
Our mentality is best summed up with two words: Serious Fun. The "serious" reflects our emphasis on game-adapted, rooted-in-realism tactics, techniques, and procedures, as well as our maturity and collective attitude, while the "fun" stands toe-to-toe with it to ensure that everything we do is oriented towards making the most enjoyable experience possible for our memberbase.
To go into a bit more detail, allow me to quote from my interview with CharlieFoxtrot about our playstyle.
Generally speaking, our missions revolve around infantry combat, without many supporting assets or fancy weapons. We stick to a platoon structure that has every player using a weapon with a reflex or ironsight optic – magnified optics are very, very rare to see. Our anti-tank assets typically are AT4s and SMAWs, with Javelins being incredibly rare. In short, we like a tough fight, and we equip ourselves accordingly. When we have air support, it’s often in the form of something basic like an AH-6 or a Blackhawk with an M240 on it. We generally avoid stronger air assets, and when they are employed, they’re done so in careful moderation to ensure that the infantry gets a tough fight without the air “stealing all the fun”.
ShackTac members aren’t looking for easy, pat-yourself-on-the-back scenarios that use endless respawns to ensure that defeat can never happen. We’re always looking for hard fights, and we want our triumphs to be earned through skill, determination, and the proper coordinated application of infantry tactics at the platoon level. If we don’t play at the top of our games, we expect to be defeated. Any defeats we suffer are their own special type of fun, and apart from entertaining us as we spectate the remainder of our platoon getting chopped to bits in a brutal mission, they also inspire to do better next time, refine our tactics, and learn from our mistakes to ensure that we’re a better team because of it.
We play no-respawn scenarios as a rule, though we have experimented with limited respawns in creative ways that attempt to resolve the issues that we feel exist with respawn as a general concept. So far they’ve been quite successful, though we expect no-respawn to remain as our primary play method for the foreseeable future.
As far as mission variety goes – we play all sorts of different types of scenarios. Our typical playercount is from 50-70 players, so we have a lot of flexibility in what type of scenarios we craft, whether intended for coop or adv. All of our scenario development is done in-house, and at last count we had over 650 ShackTac-developed ArmA1 missions on our server.
Our coops can come in a wide variety of flavors – from heliborne ops to convoys, platoon attacks, raids, defenses, etc, along with all sorts of other types. Adversarial scenarios show even more variety, as we’re able to take advantage of the human-vs-human dynamics to get extremely creative with objectives, scenario concepts, etc. We take full advantage of ArmA’s VON system and have developed a myriad number of scenarios that integrate it into the mission dynamics.
A good example of the kind of creative and unique experiences our playerbase gets in our gaming can be found in the “Paradrop!” AAR I wrote up in early 2008.
Since the time of writing that, we have transitioned fully to ArmA2 + Operation Arrowhead and the ACE2 mod, along with the ACRE radio simulation mod, and have begun building an impressive catalog of in-house missions for ourselves. Old favorites have returned, along with a wide variety of new ideas. The mission designers of our group continue to evolve and grow, aided in large part by the F2 Mission Framework that we helped to cultivate, and more recently by our own in-house ShackTac Mission Framework (STMF) that we use.