As mentioned above, towns are an important part of Antistasi but they function very differently from conquerable zones. Since the FIA is fighting to free the people and not subjugate them, your job is to prove to the residents of Altis that the FIA is worth supporting. To do this, you must either disrupt and discredit the AAF or accomplish charitable acts for the people. Unlike bases and other zones, you cannot just kill the enemy and march into the center of the town and raise your flag. The residents will decide when they think the FIA is worth supporting. Each town has several important attributes:
- 1. Population – Population generally does not change throughout the campaign but it is a very important statistic because the more civilians support you the closer you are to victory. Antistasi is capable of modeling every citizen on Altis as an actual avatar if your server/computer is able to handle it. You can change this setting under game options, which will be covered later. The higher the population the more people you will see walking around the general vicinity of the town. Bear in mind that citizens may support the AAF and will report your position if they spot you (or blow your undercover if you’re seen doing something aggressive like plant mines or driving through the wilderness).
- 2. AAF Support – This is a percentage of the town’s population that supports your enemy, the AAF. At the start of the game, towns will support the AAF at 50% if playing on Recruit or Normal and 75% on Veteran and Elite. Regardless of difficulty, towns will start out with no support for the FIA.
- 3. FIA Support – This is the percentage of the town’s population that supports the FIA.
- 4. Power – Every town in Altis has access to power provided the nearest power plant is owned by the side that controls the town. Obviously, citizens who do not have power are less pleased with their owners because they can’t play ARMA 3 without electricity!
Capturing and Holding Towns
When the FIA’s support number is greater than the AAF’s number the town will change to the player’s control and begin providing you with money and HR. Note that this does not mean the town is permanently in FIA control. There is a chance that the AAF will send a supply convoy to a newly-converted town to make a last bid to win the population’s support back. Even if this initial attempt is thwarted, the AAF will still periodically run operations in and around the town to win it back. Be sure to continually address missions that arise in your towns to avoid having them flip back to the AAF.
You can work the population’s opinion in two ways: Lower the support for the AAF (by disrupting their activities and destroying their assets) or raise the population’s support for the FIA. Of course, you can capture a town simply by doing a lot of good deeds for the population, but also disrupting the AAF’s control of the town helps to accelerate flipping the town to your side while simultaneously harming the AAF’s ability to make war.
There are several ways to change a town’s opinion of the FIA to your favor:
- Completing missions in that town.
- Conquering the local power plant and denying that town electricity.
- Conquering zones near to the town like resources and outposts.
- Just destroying AAF assets and killing soldiers near the town in general.
- Minimizing civilian casualties and collateral damage in and around the town. However, bear in mind that there are two types of collateral damage: killing civilians directly by small arms fire (i.e. a very direct method). This will lower the population’s support for the faction responsible for killing the civilian(s). Indirect fire like NAPALM or playing with ACE active is counted by Antistasi as indiscriminate killings where the civilians do not know exactly who was responsible. In this case, both factions lose support from the population.
Tip: It’s important to note that missions to garner support for the FIA only appear in towns that are within [4 km] of your HQ. You can use this to your advantage by moving your HQ away from areas where you have all/most of the towns under your control. If these towns are not within the mission radius of your HQ then the AAF will not contest them. The AAF will have a shot at recapturing a town that is within the radius of your HQ where missions can randomly generate.