The Arma series aren't just amazing games, they're platforms for a huge variety of experiences: ArmA 2™ gave us realism, WWII and DayZ, to name just a few (even before you open up the editor and make your own). Now, ArmA 3™ is taking us to the future. We believe all the best experiences begin with a great community. Our regular sessions feature tactical gameplay with consistent in-game organisation, multi-layered comms and a mix of coop and adversarial missions created by members of our community. However, we're not MilSim: there are no ranks or mandatory training - just friendly people.
You won't need any mods, just the latest non-dev version of ArmA 3 (including the APEX expansion) and TeamSpeak 3. There are no applications or tests. We only ask that you read through our introductory information.
Visit our forum for 5+ years of 'after action reviews', watch one of our YouTube channels or play these highlights:
Welcome, comrade! The Third International Fighting Brigade of Takistan in the name of Che Guevara is overjoyed to have you with us. I can see that you are ready to charge off into action. Unfortunately, you will have to curb your enthusiasm for a bit, as our scheduled operations do not begin before 1920 UK time, every Sunday and Tuesday.
The what now?
The sessions, of course! Twice a week, we will embark on a mix of Coop and PvP missions. Generally, they are affairs of 20-50 organized, focused individuals, who can be relied on to bring them to a close within 40 min, without resorting to revive or third person.
Oh, yeah, the sessions. That's what i came here for. What are the requirements for joining up?
To attend, you will need the latest (official, stable, non beta version of) Arma 3, and (the latest stable, non beta version of) TeamSpeak 3. The Arma 3 DLC is not strictly required, but players who don't have the APEX expansion will not be able to participate in missions set on Tanoa. There are also no required addons. There is a small list of optional addons, but they are, as the name says, optional.
So that's for "attending". What if I want to join?
There is no "joining" process in FA. Everyone is welcome to hop on and play. There is also no saluting, no ranks, and the slots are handed out on a 'first come-first served' basis, and you can take any slot the host calls out, be it commander, tanker, pilot, or the common grunt.
Yes it is.
Wait, there are no ranks, but there's a commander?
Exactly. Anyone can step up to command, anyone can step up to be a grunt. But whatever slot you pick for the mission, stick to it. If you're a rifleman, do what your unit lead tells you. If you're a unit lead, do what your commander tells you. If you're a commander, devote your time to actually commanding. ArmA works best as a team sport. Folk ARPS believes you don't need ranks to be a team.
But what if I screw up?
Then you screw up, you laugh it off, and you do better next time. Like most other things in FA, competence is entirely optional. Your comrades will not feel less of you for trying. Or else.
But enough about unpleasantries. Step right on to the next room, while we walk you through the standard setup:
So, first of all, before you join, you should probably set up your Teamspeak client
How do I set up Teamspeak?
For starters, if you don't already have it, download the latest version of TS3 from their website and install it. Once it's installed, launch it and connect to server.folkarps.com:9988. The password is freedom. You will be connected to "General Chat", at the very bottom of the list. For the session, move to "Limbo", at the very top of the list. Next, you should probably join the game server.
How do I join the ArmA 3 server?
In the ArmA 3 Launcher that starts when you launch the game from Steam, go to SERVERS, then INTERNET, then search for 'folk' (it may take couple of minutes). Of the two servers found, select the "Folk ARPS" server and click "join". The password is "freedom".
The server just kicked me.
Yeah, that tends to happen if you have non-authorized mods. Close the game, disable any non-authorized mods (or, as a last resort, all mods) and try again.
Ok, I'm in. What now?
Now we wait for the host to pick a mission. Once everyone is in the Limbo channel and on the game server, the Host load up a mission and begin calling slots. For example, the Host will call for a Commander, and open the CO slot. Whoever takes the slot is the commander for the duration of the mission. Next he will call the SL, then FTL etc. Once everyone is slotted, the session Host will launch the mission, ask you to move to a different Teamspeak channel, which will be used for the duration of the mission.
So how do the actual missions work?
Once the mission is launched, you will see the briefing screen, and should move any banter to the sidechat (press '/' to type, press 'enter' to send). This gives the CO time to read the briefing and think of a plan in peace. It's a good idea to read the briefing yourself. When the CO is done planning, he will then share his plan with the rest of the platoon, and the mission will start.
When If you get killed, return to Limbo, and once the mission ends, the Host loads the next mission, and the slotting starts again.
Hold on. If just anyone can join, then how do you keep out the... how to put this... more disruptive people from ruining the sessions?
The, uh, the etiquette?
Oh, that's right, how (ironically) rude of me! Step right into the next room:
So, what is the etiquette?
We ask that every comrade observes a few very simple principles with regard to communications, gameplay and banter:
That seems reasonable. What about during gameplay?
If you do only one thing, simply to follow the orders of your element leader and avoid lone-wolfing. Beyond that, we like to respect the design of each scenario and play the parts we have selected during slotting: unless ordered to, please don't scavenge for fancy/different weapons or vehicles not relevant to your role. Non-regulation gear tends to attract friendly fire and falling submarines.
Nevermind. Just follow the etiquette and keep the banter to chat during planning.
Is, uh, is there an etiquette guide for banter?
Just one rule: please don't use humour that is at the expense of any group of people, be it defined by gender, race, sexual orientation, nationality, political views etc. At FA, everyone is welcome - because we all strive to ensure nobody feels unwelcome. We're sure you already know that outright sexism, racism, homophobia etc. are unacceptable here (as in many communities) - we just ask that when you crack a joke or make a witty comment, you consider first whether it will make someone feel unwelcome. If your remark boils down to 'lol, gay'/'lol, swedes'/'lol, rape', then it's just not our kind of banter. This applies not only to 'Banter' banter, but to any and all FA comms channels, be it forums, Discord, or party-approved carrier pigeons.
But what if me and my friend have this in-joke that s/he doesn't find offensive at all, even though it's about Swedes and Australians and sex? Isn't this all a bit Social Justice Warrior?
Remember that anyone can participate in our sessions - new comrades might not understand that you're friends, and may feel uncomfortable enough not to come back - which would be a shame for you, them and everyone who works hard to make the sessions happen. This isn't about politics for us, it's about ensuring that FA is a community where absolutely anyone can come and enjoy some tactical ArmA. Even sex-loving Swedes and Australians.
Ah ... yeah, that makes sense now that you put it that way. So what happens if someone says something that makes me uncomfortable?
Contact any of the hosts and they'll do all they can to resolve the situation. Hopefully without having to use a Party-issued Makarov.
So, basically, don't be a dick?
Anything else I should know?
I am glad you asked! Step right on through this bunker for the organisational briefing:
So, what exactly are all these CO, SL, FTL things I keep hearing about?
The missions (mostly) incorporate the FA2015 Platoon structure. The Platoon, led by a CO, consists of three Squads, led by SLs, each made up of two Fireteams, led by FTLs.
Oh, well, obviously. But let's pretend for a moment that I didn't understand a word of that...
You'll figure it out the minute you see it in action. If you're 100% new to this, my advice would be to grab one of the 'riflemen' slots. You can even ask the host to save you one. It's a perfect position to see how the system works, and it takes no prior knowledge past "listen to your leader" and "point and shoot".
Right. But suppose I still wanna hear the details?
The fireteam element consists of the Fire Team and Maneuver Team. They all talk to eachother over Group VON (AKA the in-game channel). It's advised to have a dedicated push-to-talk key set up for group VON exclusively.
Fire and Maneuver?
Exactly. One team suppresses the enemy (so they can't shoot back), and then the other team moves in for the kill.
An infantry squad consists of two fireteams and the Squad Leader element (basically, SL and Medic). SL and FTLs talk to each other over TeamSpeak.
So, if I'm not an SL or FTL...
You generally don't talk on TS. Unless there's something really, really urgent.
An infantry platoon consists of (up to) three squads, attachments, and the CO element (basically CO, Medic, and UAV operator). The CO and SLs speak to each other over Chanel Commander.
Infantry squad. There are other kinds?
Very observant! There is, indeed, a mechanized squad. Basically, the mech. squad trades one fireteam for an armored transport/fire support vehicle.
And as you can imagine, three mech. squads and attachments make up a mech. platoon.
Wait, what are 'attachments'?
Attachments are typically 2-man elements (spotter and gunner) that can be used to add a specific type of special weapon to the platoon. For example, the Heavy AntiTank (HAT) team adds, as the name suggests, a heavy AT weapon. An MMG team adds a medium machinegun, which is bigger than what the automatic riflemen have. A mortar team, well, you get the picture.
So, where do they fit on the diagram?
Wherever the CO wants them. When attached to a squad, the Attachment lead (the 'spotter') talks on TS. When attached directly to CO, they speak on Chanel commander.
Wait, wait, back up: what's "Channel Commander"?
Oh, right, that thing. Well, CC is a TeamSpeak feature that lets you talk to people outside of your channel. We use it for comms 'one level up' from TS. You can more or less ignore it unless you slot as an element lead. or your lead gets shot and you have to take over.
And if that happens?
I am glad you asked! Proceed right down this hatch for your comms training:
OK, I got the latest Teamspeak 3 from the website, and have it installed and launched.
Go to "connect" and use these details:
I'm connected. Which channel should I go to?
For the session, you're going to start with "Limbo (Slotting/Dead)". When you've just arrived, hang out there. When the mission starts, everyone will move to the appropriate side channel family (BLUFOR/OPFOR/INDFOR). Further channel split will be handled by the CO. When the mission ends (either for everyone or just for you) return to limbo, and wait for the next mission.
What about Channel Commander?
CC is a TeamSpeak feature that lets you talk to people "over the fence" of your channel. The setup we use is pretty straightforward:
And you're set. To turn CC on/off, either right-click your name in the playerlist and select Channel Commander, or set-up a hotkey (or combination, such as Shift+H):
Sounds, yes. But once you see it in action,it gets intuitive. In general, it's highly recommended to have CC if you plan on taking leadership slots. Or, when your superior gets shot, and you get assigned leadership.
That doesn't sound like something that should happen very often, right?
Er...Well, why don't you follow me to the leadership course, just in case?
So, suppose I get 'promoted' to a leadership position. How do I exactly run my unit(s)?
That's a difficult one, but there are a few best practices:
Got it. I think. Wait, is there anything I shouldn't do?
Lots. Here are some to things to watch out for:
Well, thanks. That was a fairly comprehensive infodump.
The pleasure is all mine, comrade. The Party is always happy to help. if you have any other questions, feel free to ask in our Discord channel. Now please, after me:
I really liked the presentation so far, but I don't think I'm quite ready to hop on just yet. I was thinking maybe I'll... wait, why are you handing me a bag of ammo?
You can thank me later, comrade. Your uniform is also inside.
Where the hell are we?
Supply depot, naturally! Where else to we get you your equipment? Oh, and here's your helmet.
Is that a BTR?!?
Of course. And your trusty AK is waiting inside!
...You know what, maybe I 'll come round some other time...
HA HA HA! You are a witty one, comrade! Now, really, and before I draw my Makarov ... Get. On. The. Troop. Transport.
Are any of the addons listed on this page required?
No. all addons listed on this page are optional. You can choose to use all, some, or none of them in an FA ArmA 3 session.
Can I use any client-side addon in an FA session?No. We are currently white-listing addons on the ArmA 3 server. Only the addons listed and linked to in this post are permitted (the server will not let you connect with other addons).
Already included in the swifty repository:
ZEUS addons - running these addons as ZEUS will guarantee players a similar experiencing as with our server-controlled AI
Not part of the swifty repository:
Optional TeamSpeak 3 addons:
Automated Folk ARPS mod repository
Folk ARPS does maintain a repository for Swifty, a highly recommended and very lightweight tool to keep mods up to date and in synchronization with our server.