August 2018

The Changing face of Chernarus

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One set of changes in the 0.46 update that may have a significant impact on scenarios and communities using RHS mods, is that we have taken the decision to re-equip many of the existing factions in RHS:GREF, with different rifles to the ones they carried in previous releases.

The Red Hammer Studios team do recognise that not all of these decisions and the resulting changes, will be popular ones. However, we hope that people can recognise that we have not done it without careful consideration for our users, that we have made a commitment to give adequate explanation of the choices we have made so far, and efforts to explaining how users may be affected further in the future.

Across the board, GREF’s GREENFOR factions; the Chernarus National Guard and Nationalist forces, were heavily equipped with Zastava rifles: M70s, M21s, M92s and M76s. Rifles that also form the (real life) primary armament of the Serbian Armed Forces.

As such, several government and irregular groups in the mod had the same kind of TO&E, and merely dressed in different clothes. Meanwhile, as the mod has continued to develop new content over the years since GREF’s initial release, we have ended up with quite a number of additional rifles that so far, have been under-utilised in scenarios.

We felt it was high-time to shake things up a bit and get some more variety in to these factions, and address how certain aspects of GREF adhere to established Arma lore. Ultimately this has resulted in all Zastava rifles apart from M76, being removed from GREF inventories, and replaced with an alternative weapon. Now the only units equipped with M70s, M21s and M92s in RHS, belong to RHS:SAF We have done our best where possible to ensure that individual units are equipped with a weapon using the same calibre of ammunition as their previous loadout, so as not to completely mess with how scenarios are balanced. And all classes that existed in the previous versions GREF are still there so as not to outright prohibit older scenarios from loading, in spite of the changes.

It is likely that in future we will completely remove the models and classes for these weapons from GREF where they are no longer used, and make them exclusive content to SAF. However, this will not be for several months. So consider this to be an advanced warning to update your modsets, dependencies or missions if they make use of

rhs_weap_m70ab2, rhs_weap_m70ab2_fold, rhs_weap_m70b1, rhs_weap_m92, rhs_weap_m92_fold, rhs_weap_m21a, rhs_weap_m21a_pr, rhs_weap_m21a_fold, rhs_weap_m21s, rhs_weap_m21s_pr, rhs_weap_m21s_fold, rhs_weap_m21s_eo

In the future the following weapons will also likely be withdrawn from GREF when a suitable replacement can be implemented

rhs_weap_m76, rhs_weap_m76_pso

In some cases you might find it necessary to replace these classes in your missions and loadouts if you plan to only run a RHS:AFRF+USAF+GREF mod-set. However, the easiest solution for the majority of users who might wish to continue using there weapons will simply be to install RHS:SAF (if you haven’t already) and it will allow to continue using those weapons without significant problems: Currently the classnames above are identical between SAF and GREF, and simply overwrite each other depending on which mod is loaded first. So removal of these classes from GREF is in truth, just a complete transfer to SAF.

The problem we have faced with every update of the mod thus far, is that we often find it very difficult to maintain the Zastava models and configs in both mods to an identical standard, while ensuring that SAF and GREF are not dependant on one another. So when re-evaluating GREF’s equipment, we have seen it as an opportunity to hopefully resolve one of our own little problems.

Now, the other problem with all these various Chernarussian factions having Zastava rifles: It didn’t really make a lot of sense!

What is Chernarus? A Czech-speaking, former Soviet Republic - not merely a Warsaw Pact state: a country that according to Bohemia Interactive’s lore for Arma and DayZ, has history similar to places such as Belarus, Georgia, Azerbaijan: Countries that were part of the Russian Empire and became Republics of the Soviet Union until its collapse.

It makes more sense that there would be Russian or Czech weapons stocking the armouries of the National Guard and Paramilitary forces, than Yugoslavian ones, right?

The rogues of the Nationalist militia have cobbled together a slightly more eclectic mix of weapons taken from our back catalogue, with Romanian PM Md. 63s (by our own Pufu) and older bakelite Vz. 58s (supplied to us by the talented Elena Bolshevykh) that have became a staple of militias and terrorist groups across Europe and the Middle-East in conflicts since the 1990s, and a selection of relics of by-gone occupations of Chernarus, which we are honoured to bring to you from the former Westwall mod team.

On that basis, we have successfully found what we feel are suitable replacements for the M72 and M92 rifles. But what to do about replacing the 5.56×45mm M21 rifles that equipped the CDF’s Paratroop Battalion? The small faction that reflects a modernisation of Chernarus’ Defence Forces in a post-Soviet world, and its divisive leanings towards NATO in doing so.

The funny thing is, the M21’s replacement in GREF does actually also come from the former-Yugoslavia. But this time, the rifle is Croatian!

Our SAF developer and resident Blender wizard, Fuxna coordinated with another very talented Blender artist Tim XM, in order to bring his VHS-2 bullpup rifle in to RHS. As previously mentioned on the BI forums the rifle is available in other Arma mods, and source files are available through Tim on gumroad, but we have been keen to make sure that incorporating the model in to RHS has added the kind of enhancements that people have come to expect from weapons in our mod, such as working SAFE modes, working grip attachments (try some of the new ones we added courtesy of the guys at MGM), and GL sights calibrated to our own NATO 40mm grenades.

While some may look at the futuristic design of the rifle as a bit of a departure from what they have come to recognise from the CDF Paratroop Bn. on operations; we have observed that the VHS-2 has been a rifle that has seen a great deal of success in being exported to equip forces receiving direct military aid from NATO member states in the world’s most recent conflicts.

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