Familiarisation Guidebook

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This guidebook acts as an accompaniment for familiarisation sessions. It covers the same topics & concepts as in familiarisation so new members can recap their knowledge at will.

The BSO Familiarisation Guidebook was originally created by Killslim but has since been edited and updated by Vallu & Dapper Bear.

Note: The Familiarisation Guidebook is a WIP. Information may be added or changed in future.

Advanced Combat Environment 3 (ACE)


Advanced Combat Enviroment 3 or ACE is a modification which aims to improve the realism and authenticity of ArmA 3. ACE adds & improves tons of features to the ArmA 3 experience.

You don't need to learn everything ACE is capable of, but you do need to learn how to use a few of its key features.

If you'd like to learn more about ACE you can visit the mod's website ace3mod.com

ACE Interaction

ACE introduces new ways to interact with a variety of things within ARMA 3. ACE now allows you to interact with the following systems

  • ACE Medical System: Treat yourself & others using ACE's medical system
  • ACE Groups: Organise groups within the ORBAT
  • ACE Weapons & Equipment: Change weapon barrels, Clear weapon jams, plant explosives etc
  • ACE Radios: Integration with ACRE 2, assign headphones etc
  • ACE Vehicles: Repair functionalities (changing tires, repairing engines) & Refuelling
  • & Much much more

To interact with another player, object or vehicle hold down the LEFT WINDOWS KEY to bring up the ACE Interaction cursor.

Keep holding down the key and use your mouse to hover over the interaction you want to complete.

To complete the action simply let go of the LEFT WINDOWS KEY.

ACE Vehicle Interaction

Interacting with Vehicles uses the same principles and keys as interacting with players and other objects.

To interact with a vehicle use the LEFT WINDOWS KEY when sitting inside or looking at a vehicle.

You can interact with vehicles to do the following actions.

  • Unload Vehicle Cargo (Ammo Boxes, Medical Boxes & Spare Tires)
  • Heal & Unload Injured Passengers
  • Repair Damaged Components
  • Remove & Replace Damaged Wheels
  • Refuel & Rearm Vehicles
  • Load Captives & Hostages

ACE Self Interaction

Some ACE interactions only affect yourself, the player. When interacting with yourself using ACE you should hold down CTRL+ LEFT WINDOWS KEY.

Self interaction works the same way as standard ACE interaction. Keep holding down the keys and use your mouse to hover over the interaction you want to complete.

To complete the action simply let go of CTRL+ LEFT WINDOWS KEY.

When using self interaction a radial menu will appear with a list of the following actions.

  • Equipment: Allows a player to manage their equipment
    • Earplugs: By default all players should be equipped with a pair of earplugs to prevent hearing loss during battle
      • WARNING: Ensure Earplugs are In when you respawn in a session otherwise gunfire may prove deafening
    • Rangecard: The ACE rangecard allows you to effectively range your targets using the ACE ballistic system
  • Explosives: Allows the player to place & detonate explosive devices (Mines, IEDs, C4)
  • Team Management: Used to assign fireteams and micro-manage ORBATs. This corresponds to the player's icon and colour on the ShackTac HUD
  • Medical: Used for self-medical treatments. Icons will appear for body parts in shades of red.
    • Red is severely injured, Yellow is lightly injured and White is normal
  • Radios: The radio section of self interaction is linked to the ACRE2 system. Radios are used for distanced communication.
    • More details about radios can be found in the ACRE2 section of the guidebook

ACE Interaction Key Bindings

  • ACE Interaction: LEFT WINDOWS KEY
  • ACE Self Interaction: CTRL+LEFT WINDOWS KEY
  • Toggle Safety: CTRL+TILDE
  • Pointing: SHIFT+TILDE
  • Check Magazine Ammo Count: CTRL+R
  • Clear Weapon Jam: SHIFT+R
  • Wipe Goggles: CTRL+SHIFT+T
  • Climb: CTRL+V
  • Cancel Interaction: ESC

ACE Medical System

This section will cover the basics of the ACE medical system and tell you how to help yourself and others when injured.

Beowulf Strategic Operations uses ACE's advanced medical system to give a more realistic and authentic experience. This means you'll have to make the right decisions to save your life or that of other players.

Knowing When You're Injured

Identifying that you're injured is the first step on the road to recovery. Here are the things to look out for to identify when you've been injured.

  1. Visual Cues
    • Flashing White Screen: This indicates that you are in pain. (The more severe the flash the more severe the pain)
    • Blood Splatters: This indicates you are bleeding. (The more blood the more severe the bleeding)
    • Greying Colours: This indicates you are experiencing extreme blood loss. See a medic immediately
    • Vignette Stationary View: This indicated that you are unconscious. While in this state you may not interact or communicate with other players.
  1. Audio Cues
    • Groans & Screams: Groans of pain indicate that you are currently in pain
    • Loss of Hearing: Indicates you are unconcious
  1. Physical Cues
    • Unable To Aim: If your aim is unsteady it may indicate that your arms are injured.
    • Unable To Jog/Run: If you are unable to jog or run it may mean your legs are injured

Treating Injuries

Once you've identified that you or an ally has been injured the next course of action should be to treat the injury asap.

Presently there are two ways to treat injuries in ACE. They are as follows:

ACE Medical Menu


The ACE Medical Menu is the most effective way to triage and treat injuries of yourself or other players.

Note: The ACE Medical Menu hotkey is disabled by default. To re-enable it hit ESC> ACE OPTIONS> MEDICAL> MEDICAL MENU: ENABLED

  • ACE's Medical Menu is context sensitive, this means it changes it's function depending on what the player is looking at.
    • If the player is close to and looking at another player or AI the medical menu will open the menu for that player/AI.
    • If the player isn't looking at another player or AI the medical menu will open for self treatment
    • Note You can toggle between yourself and other patient by using the toggle tab in the medical menu
  • The Medical Menu is also available through ACE interact and ACE self interaction
ACE Medical Menu Features

Note: Some menus & actions are only available to medics

  • Name: The green bar along the top of the menu will identify the patient. Look at this to make sure you're treating the right person
  • Examine & Treatment: The Examine & Treatment section of the menu allows you to interact with the patient]
    • Triage Card: This allows you to triage the patient and assess the priority of their condition
      • Patient Priority is assigned below the Overview tab
    • Examine Patient: This allows you to diagnose the patient, check blood pressure & check heart rate
    • Bandage/Fractures: This tab allows you to bandage & tourniquet injured limbs.
    • Medication: This tab allows the use of auto-injectors such as Morphine, Epinephrine, Atropine & Adenosine
    • Airway Management: Not currently in use
    • Advanced Treatments: Allows use of IVs such as Blood, Saline & Plasma. Also allows you to perform CPR on the patient
    • Drag/Carry: Allows you to drag or carry the patient out of the line of fire
    • Toggle (self): Allows you to activate your own medical menu if you're in close proximity of another player/AI
  • Status: This picture shows the patients body.
    • Injuries are represented in shades of red. Darker reds indicate a more severe injury
    • Click on body parts to display injuries & tourniquets in the overview section
  • Overview: Shows the type and size of injury for the currently selected body part
  • Activity Log: Shows the time of treatment and type treatments carried out on the patient
  • Quick View: Lists the times and types of medicine used on the patient
ACE Interaction & Self Interaction

ACE Interaction & Interaction is another way to treat injuries and wounds. However it is much more time consuming & finicky than using ACE's medical menu. However if you want to use this method you need only follow this information:

  • Self Treatment: To treat your own injuries use ACE SELF INTERACTION
    1. Step 1: Navigate to the Medical tab
    2. Step 2: Navigate to the affected body part
    3. Step 3: Select the method of treatment & release the ACE SELF INTERACTION keys
  • Treating Others: To treat the injuries of other players use ACE INTERACT
    1. Step 1: Use ACE INTERACT and look at the other player
    2. Step 2: Look at the affected body part
    3. Step 3: Select the method of treatment & release the ACE INTERACTION key

Casualty Care

When you or another member of your squad is hit we follow a standard procedure to deal with casualties.

  1. Alert: First let the other members of your squad know that you or a squad member have been hit. You can do this over the radio or by using local communication.
  2. Eliminate Threat/Move Into Cover: Try to deal with the imminent threats to the downed squad member. If that's not possible seek cover or concealment. Pop smoke for downed squad members in the open.
  3. Triage: Check if the patient is alive. Check their vital signs (Responsiveness, Heart Rate & Blood Pressure). Determine the seriousness of their injuries and call for help if required.
  4. Tourniquet: Tie tourniquets around bleeding limbs to try and stem the bloodloss.
    • Tourniquet limbs before dealing with injuries to the torso & head.
    • Remember to remove tourniquets from patients after stopping the bleeding with bandages
    • Always inform the patient that you've affixed a tourniquet and tell them what limbs you have tourniquet-ted
  5. Treatment: Prioritise the more severe & larger wounds (Avulsions & Velocity wounds) to try and save the patients life.
  6. Assessment: After treating the patient assess the situation. Do they need further medical care? Do you have enough medical supplies to deal with the situation? Could they be in better cover?
  7. Advanced Medical Treatments: If the patient has experienced bloodless call a medic to administer IV fluids. Or if they have a low blood pressure call a medic to administer auto-injectors.
  8. Pain Management: Morphine may be administered if all of these requirements are met:
    • If the patient is in pain
    • The patient has not been administered morphine in the past 10 minutes
    • The patient is in a stable/conscious condition
    • The patient has a good heart rate and blood pressue

ACE Grenades


ACE Grenades allows more precision and safety when using handheld/thrown grenades. Follow these steps to use the ACE Grenade system:

  • ACE Grenade System: SHIFT+G
    • Throw Grenade: LEFT CLICK
    • Cook Grenade: MIDDLE MOUSE BUTTON
    • Change Throw Type (Throw/Lob): MOUSE SCROLL
  • Cycle Grenade Types: CTRL+G

WARNING: Be careful when throwing grenades through windows & doors. The trajectory indicator is more of a guideline.

RECOMMENDED: Rebind default grenade throw key (G) to (double-tap G) to avoid accidental team kills

When Throwing A Grenade: yell "FRAG OUT!" & the cardinal direction of the throw. For example...


When A Grenade Lands Near You: yell GRENADE! and take cover if no cover is available reduce your profile by going prone.

Advanced Combat Radio Environment 2 (ACRE 2)

Acre banner.jpg

The Advanced Combat Radio Environment mod or ACRE 2 allows for much more detailed communication than vanilla ArmA 3.

ACRE allow realistic radio simulation and voice communications through TeamSpeak 3. Some of it's features are as follows:

  • Accurate simulations of real world military radio
  • Babel language systems which allows the implementation of virtual languages on other players
  • Multi-channel audio, allows people on radio to be heard locally
  • Real-time voice occlusion for world objects, including buildings & terrain

How To Use ACRE 2

  • Speaking Locally
    • To speak to other players within hearing distance use your default TeamSpeak Push-To-Talk key (PTT) or Voice Activation
    • To adjust the volume of your voice locally hold TAB & USE MOUSE SCROLL. You will be able to reduce your voice to a whisper or raise it to a shout.
  • Speaking Over Radio
    • Use your Radio by pressing and holding the CAPS LOCK key
      • This uses the currently active Radio
    • Open your active radio by pressing CTRL+ALT+CAPS LOCK
      • You can open radios by double clicking them in your inventory or by using ACE Self Interaction
    • Only one radio can transmit at a time on a single frequency. Therefore KEEP UNNECESSARY CHATTER OFF THE RADIO

Note: Environmental features such as trees, buildings, hills etc will impede radio communication clarity.

Note: Each radio has its own maximum range. The PRC-343 can transmit up to 500 metres.

The AN PRC-343


The AN PRC-343 is the default radio issued to members of a squad during sessions.

  • It is a short-range radio for inter-squad communications with an effective range of 500 metres.
  • The AN PRC-343 has two knobs, a volume knob (left) and the radio channel knob (right)
  • The radio can be switched off by reducing the volume knob to 0

Contact Reports

The purpose of a contact report is to alert other members of your squad to a possible threat.

By alerting them you'll be in a better position to engage and neutralise the threat and limit potential casualties.

To give a contact report take the following steps to communicate the threat to the rest of your squad.

  1. "CONTACT!": Alert the other members of your squad that you've spotted a threat, so they know to listen out for more information.
  2. ORIENTATION: Let your squad know the direction of the threat
    • If the contact is close & putting squad members in immediate danger let them know "CONTACT! NORTH EAST! CLOSE!"
    • If the contact is further away be more precise with your direction. Give a compass heading. "CONTACT! BEARING 30 DEGREES!..."
  3. DESCRIBE: Let your squad what the threat is. "CONTACT! BEARING 30 DEGREES! ENEMY APC!..."
  4. EXPAND: Provide more information about the threat to your squad.
    • If you haven't already give the distance between your squad and the threat. "CONTACT! BEARING 30 DEGREES! ENEMY APC! 400 METERS!"
    • If the threat is close to a landmark tell your squad to make it easier for them to locate it. "CONTACT! BEARING 30 DEGREES! ENEMY APC! 400 METERS! NEAR THAT CHURCH!"
    • If the threat is moving let your squad members know what direction it's moving in relative to you. "CONTACT! BEARING 30 DEGREES! ENEMY APC! 400 METERS! NEAR THAT CHURCH! MOVING TOWARDS US!"

If you execute all this correctly your contact reports should sound something like this...


Radio Protocol

Should the situation arise where you need to communicate with another squad you will need to adhere to radio protocol. (This might happen if the Squad Leader or Team Leaders are killed).

Here's a guide on how to form your radio messages.

  1. IDENTIFICATION: Start each transmission by identifying who your message is meant for, then tell them who you are. "SABRE-1 this is SABRE-2..."
  2. THE MESSAGE: Follow this by letting the recipient know what they need to know as briefly and clearly as possible. "SABRE-1 this is SABRE-2. SABRE-2 is taking heavy fire from a machine gun emplacement to our north and needs urgent support. Over.'"
    • REMEMBER Try to keep your messages clear and brief. Only one person can transmit over radio at a time.
    • RECOMMENDED Try to end your transmissions with over so the recipient knows you've finished your message

ESTABLISH CONTACT: If there's a lot of chatter on the radio frequency you want to send a message on try to establish contact with your recipient first.

  • To establish contact tell the recipient you have a message for them
    • "SABRE-0 this is SABRE-2, message, over. "
    • "SABRE-2 this is SABRE-0, send message, over. "
    • "SABRE-2 is taking heavy fire from a machine gun emplacement to our north and needs urgent support. Over.'"
    • "SABRE-0 copies, we're sending SABRE-1 to reinforce your position. Over. "

FALLBACK: If you forget the correct radio protocol try to use plain, simple English to convey your message.

Movement & Situational Awareness

Correct movement techniques are critical to a successful mission. Knowing how to move through a variety of environments in combat will keep you and your squad members alive.

Although a lot of movement techniques come through experience and training here are some essential techniques to get you started:

  • DON'T BUNCH UP: Keep a 5m spacing from your squad members at a minimum. 10m is much better.
    • Pay special attention not to bunch up when:
      • An ally is down. Let one person help get an ally up while other provide security
      • There's limited cover. If there's not enough cover for everyone try to reduce your profile by changing your stance
  • DOORS, WINDOWS & CORNERS: Take extra care when moving past these as they can expose you to new firing positions.
    • Make sure to clear doors, windows and corners when you're moving through an urban environment.
  • USE COVER & CONCEALMENT: Use hard cover as much as possible when moving. Use concealment when no cover is available.
    • Make use of smoke grenades to provide concealment when you need to cross open areas
  • CHECK ON YOUR BUDDIES: Before moving to a new position check to see if your allies are all up and uninjured.
  • LOWER YOUR WEAPON WHEN NOT IN CONTACT: Preserve your stamina by lowering your weapon while moving. To lower your weapon DOUBLE TAP CTRL
  • KEEP TRACK OF FRIENDLIES: Maintain situational awareness and keep track of your friendlies to avoid friendly fire incidents.


Formations are typically employed by fireteams to maximise their effectiveness in different environments and situations. They decide upon the distance between soldiers, sections of fire & security responsibilities.

Formations can be utilised on different levels, Fireteam level and Squad level. They also offer different advantages and disadvantages that must be taken into account when choosing a formation.

Effective use of formations is determined by arranging soldiers correctly bearing in mind the current situation and terrain.

Fireteam Formations

As previously mentioned, a fireteam formation is utilised to maximise the effectiveness of a fireteam. At Beowulf we make use of several different formation types but we mostly make use of files (columns), lines & wedges.

In this section of the guide we'll go over these formations, when they're employed and what they're utilised for.

Fireteam File/Column


The first and most common formation used in Beowulf sessions is the fireteam file/column. Usually these are employed when moving over long distances when not in contact.

If a fireteam is attacked from the side it is easy to instantly switch to a fireteam line to fend of aggressors. However it is not effective when attacking to the front or the rear of the formation.

A fireteam file is also useful for navigating close terrain and dense vegetation or any time that visibility conditions are limited.

Fireteam Line


The fireteam line is most effective when engaging enemies to the front. When using a line the fireteam is usually stationary and may utilise terrain or objects as cover or to steady aim.

A line can also be used to carefully move through an area. This can be used when searching for hazards such as landmines. However when moving in a line it may be difficult to keep track of your other squad members as they will be at the limits of your peripheral vision.

Fireteam Wedge


The fireteam wedge offers good all around security for members of the fireteam and also allows the squad to move and engage targets simultaneously. The wedge is used most effectively when attacking an enemy position as it offers good visibility to the front and flanks to effectively engage targets.

Formation Type Advantages Disadvantages
Fireteam File/Column Controllable, fast & offers secure flanks Weak fire superiority to the front, clears a limited area & offers a good target for air attacks and machine gun zones
Fireteam Line Good front-facing fire, clears a large area, transitions well to other formations Difficult to control in restricted visibility and close terrain, vulnerable flanks & slow to move
Fireteam Wedge Controllable, secures the flanks, transitions well to other formations Members of the fireteam have to clear their own path and is a difficult formation to maintain in close terrain

Try and keep in mind these formations when you play in your first session. There may be other formations and advanced movement techniques used but if you have a question you can always ask a more experienced squad member for help.

Server Etiquette

When playing in sessions with Beowulf or using Beowulf servers it is expected that members retain a good etiquette.

For details about how our sessions operate read the BSO Standard Operating Procedures

For our rules and members charter go to the BSO Members Charter

You can find the latest information about our sessions in the Announcements tab in Slack or you can look at our BSO Session Schedule