America's Army 3 Squad Tactics (Bridge Map)

This is a currently evolving guide, which I will update regularly, until such time that I feel that it is complete.
Last Update: May 17, 2012.

America's Army 3 Squad Tactics for Bridge Map (Classic)
Assault and Defense
Written by: Danny Garcia

I. Disclaimer
II. Erratum
III. Introduction
IV. General Functions of Squad Members
  • A. Rifleman
  • B. Automatic Rifleman/Machinegunner
  • C. Grenadier
  • D. Marksman/Sniper
V. General Tactics

  • A. Teamwork (Communication)
  • B. Combat Medics
  • C. Tips for the Grenadier 

America's Army 3 is a free First Person Shooter (FPS) game which is as close to an army squad simulation you can get on your PC. I've been playing the game for quite some time now and have earned myself the rank of Staff Sergeant (E-7). This is the first ever such guide that I am making for any game.

I. Disclaimer

I am writing this AA3 Squad Tactics Guide for AA3s Bridge Map, because 
  1. I have made some observations regarding successful skirmishes and a lot of unsuccessful ones.
  2. Personally, I don't consider myself a very proficient player, I just love the game and I believe that it may be of some help to people who want to build a better team. 
  3. I am in no way connected to the developers/publishers of AA3 or the US Army, I'm just a big fan of this Free FPS Game.
  4. I'm not claiming to be an expert in this game, but that I have some ideas on how a squad could win, having seen hundreds of skirmishes.
  5. I will not be held liable if you lose a game because of this guide. ;P
  6. I do not know any military terms or lingo, so if you find one that I may have misused, please contact me.
II. Erratum

For any errors, suggestions or reactions, you can either comment on this blog post, or email me at 
dan @ dannybuntu dot com

III. Introduction

The bridge map (Classic Mission Type) is composed of two opposing teams which spawn about 100 to 200 meters away on each of the opposite sides of the bridge. Each team is actually very similar to an army squad which consists of 1 to 13 players. The two teams, Black and Gold, take turns in defending or assaulting the bridge. The objective is to secure, defend or capture objective Zulu. 

Bridge Map 
With Objective Zulu indicated as red Z
Mission Briefing Legend Bridge Map
Assault Fireteam Alpha, Bravo and Charlie to Proceed in Capturing Objective Zulu

IV. General Functions of Each Squad Member

Each squad member is a unique component in every squad who performs an assigned task according to the tactics laid out by the Squad Leader. It is possible for an individual to win a skirmish even on his own, like Rambo or Stallone or whatever - but highly improbable if against a full fledged fire team or squad. There is no "I" in the word TEAM.

Enemy soldier

Enemy soldier silhouette

The probability of a team winning relies both on skill and teamwork of the squad. A poorly organized squad with very proficient players is at a disadvantage compared to an organized squad with players of average skill. 

Communication, preferably via VOIP is essential for team success. 

A Defensive Squad
  • 8 Riflemen
  • 2 Grenadiers
  • 2 Machinegunners
  • 1 Marksman

An Assaulting Squad

  • 7 Riflemen
  • 3 Grenadiers
  • 2 Machinegunners
  • 1 Marksman

A. Rifleman - Comes armed with either an M16A4 Rifle or an M4A1 Assault Rifle. It is the most basic unit, yet also the most versatile. Riflemen have the distinct ability to move faster than other soldiers due to lighter equipment and loadouts. They are ideal scouts or rushing units that could take enemies by surprise with enough smoke cover.

  • Light load out - 3 Rifle Magazines, 1 M18 Smoke Grenade, 1 M106 Fog Grenade, 1 M84 Flashbang, 1 M67 Fragmentation Grenade
  • Standard loadout - 6 Rifle Magazines, 2 M18 Smoke Grenades, 2 M106 Fog Grenades, 1 M84 Flashbang, 2 M67 Fragmentation Grenades
  • Heavy load out - 8 Rifle Magazines, 3 M18 Smoke Grenades, 3 M106 Fog Grenades, 1 M84 Flashbangs, 2 M67 Fragmentation Grenades
B. Machinegunner / Automatic Rifleman - Comes armed with an M249 SAW (Box or Soft Bag). The automatic rifleman's task is to provide suppressive fire to ensure that other members of a unit could move from one place to another with minimal exposure to enemies. The marksman or sniper could point out the location of the enemy to the teammate while the automatic rifleman could fire at it to ensure that the enemy would have minimal space to operate on. Meanwhile the rifleman/sniper/grenadier moves to another location with a better vantage point to hit the target.
  • Light load out - 1 Box of Ammo, 1 M18 Smoke Grenade, 1 M106 Fog Grenade and 1 M84 Flashbang
  • Standard load out - 2 Box of Ammo, 1 M67 Fragmentation Grenade, 2 M18 Smoke Grenades, 1 M106 Fog Grenade, 1 M84 Flashbang
  • Heavy load out - 3 Box of Ammo, 1 M67 Fragmentation Grenade, 2 M18 Smoke Grenades, 2 M106 Fog Grenades, 2 M84 Flashbangs
C. Grenadier - Comes armed with an M16/M320 underbarrel, the grenadier is essential to providing long range support for the squad. What can I say, it bombs enemy positions that even the sniper can't reach. Less grace, more destruction. It is also the most cumbersome member specially when he is switching from using the underbarrel to the rifle, and vice versa.
  • Light load out - 3 Magazines, 1 M320 Fragmentation Grenade, 1 M320 Smoke Grenade, 1 M18 Smoke Grenade, 1 M106 Fog Grenade and 1 M84 Flashbang
  • Standard load out -  6 Magazines, 2 M320 Fragmentation Grenade, 2 M320 Smoke Grenade, 2 M18 Smoke Grenade, 1 M106 Fog Grenade and 2 M84 Flashbang
  • Heavy load out -  8 Magazines, 3 M320 Fragmentation Grenade, 2 M320 Smoke Grenade, 2 M18 Smoke Grenade, 2 M106 Fog Grenade and 2 M84 Flashbang
D. Marksman - Comes with the M16DMR Sniper Rifle. The marksman is the most vital member of the squad for two reasons: 1. there's only one sniper, 2. essential in guiding squad members by pointing out enemy locations. He is also the one who is most likely to get the most kills in the squad provided that he is experienced and skilled enough to use it.   
  • Light load out - 3 Magazines, 2 M18 Smoke Grenades, 1 M106 Fog Grenade, 2 M84 Flashbangs
  • Standard load out - 6 Magazines, 1 M67 Fragmentation Grenade,  2 M18 Smoke Grenades, 2 M106 Fog Grenades, 2 M84 Flashbangs
  • Heavy load out -  8 Magazines, 2 M67 Fragmentation Grenade,  2 M18 Smoke Grenades, 2 M106 Fog Grenades, 2 M84 Flashbangs
V. General Tactics

Later on, I would be discussing specific tactics or playbooks for America's Army 3 Bridge Map Classic.

Generally speaking when it comes to AA3, whether you are on the assaulting team or the defensive team, there are tactics that may seem obvious to veterans but are quite alien to newbies. This segment will discuss the general principles for playing the game to its fullest.

A. Teamwork
Teamwork in America's Army 3 happens when players communicate with each other on a timely basis. While the "z" key on your keyboard is very helpful in pointing out enemy locations, it is insufficient due to the real time nature of unit movements.

Like in real life, timely communication will ensure your teammates success or at the very least their survival.

When you see an enemy running within your point of view, resist the urge to shoot unless he is within your range. The first thing you should do when you see an enemy, not within your range is to inform your teammates of that fact via VOIP.

Learn the name of the locations. Since everybody on your team is supposed to be facing the same way, saying Right Front, Right Back, Left Front or Left Back is sufficient to describe the location of the enemy.

More concise = better.

America's Army 3 is different since the gameplay compared to other FPS is built around the team.

Always remember that each soldier is a sensor that feeds each other information.

The marksman or the sniper is the one who bears this responsibility the most. When you choose to be the marksman, make sure that you do this task first before killing enemies. Many newbies have been kicked out of servers for taking the sniper rifle and not telling teammates about enemy locations.

B. Combat Medics
Like in real life, every soldier in America's Army 3 is supposed to know the basics of first aid. Healing your teammates could mean victory or defeat for the entire team. Familiarize yourself with first aid via the training section of the game.

First aid actually garners more points than kills or frags.

Never medic if you have no cover. If your teammate is out in the open, make sure that you throw either an M18 or M106 to conceal your activities. The smoke should be between the enemy's line of sight and the location of your teammate. Another option is to throw the smoke directly on the location of your teammate, it's better but you would have to move blind.

If you can move using the minimap to your lower right, you should be able to navigate easily.

Not doing first aid on a teammate who is nearby could be grounds for kicking in some servers.

C. Grenadier
The primary role of the grenadier is long range support. Next to that of course is making enemies explode. When I was a newbie, this was my favorite role. During assault, my task was to provide concealment via the M320 smoke shell. That was fairly easy. Smoke the middle tower then smoke the roadway to the enemy tower. Like the sniper, the grenadier's skill also relies on accuracy. Be sure to practice your skills via the training section of the game.

TIP: Another great way to practice your M320 skill is to play on an empty server or with a friend. Choose any location on your map and fire the smoke shell where you want. Sprint to the location of the smoke as fast as you can to see exactly where you made it land. Your friend's role is to confirm the location to you so that you won't have to run just to know where it landed.

TIP: Never run with the M320 sights up and always make sure that you press the "R" key on your keyboard after firing so that it's always loaded. The exception is if you know what you are doing. An enemy might pop up in close range and you won't have the time to fire your rifle.

TIP: Always remember if you are using the smoke shell or the frag shell. The default is the frag shell. Holding down H while the M320 sights are up, gives you the option to change to a smoke shell.

TIP: Always pay attention to the instructions of the DMR or the marksman. Fire as soon as they give you the location of the enemy.

D. The Sniper/DMR
Like I mentioned before, the sniper is very important to the team. If possible, at least one rifleman or one grenadier should be at his side to guards him while he scopes out the enemy positions. Most servers require the sniper to have a microphone, so that he could point out the enemy locations as quickly and clearly as possible.

I've taken many screenshots of the different vantage points a sniper can take. Not all of them are optimal since they are all exposed locations.

Always move around when you are the sniper at least every 5 to 10 seconds. Remember, the opposing team also has their own sniper.

TIP: Try to take out the enemy sniper as soon as you can. Or if you can't inform the grenadier where his location is.

Sniper Vantage Points
1. Low stairs

View to enemy patio from low stairs

View to patio entrance from low stairs

View to enemy tower from low stairs

View to Left-Front (of Middle Tower) from low stairs

View to Middle tower from Low Stairs

View to the "Pickup" on Left Front from Low Stairs
2. High Stairs

View to Middle Tower Arch from High Stairs

View to Middle Tower Top from High Stairs

Left side view to Middle Tower from High Stairs

Right Front View to Middle Tower from High Stairs
3. Tower (Friendly-Left Window)

4. Patio

There are more vantage points, so feel free to explore them all. The sniper often gets left behind because he has to scope out the enemy locations as soon as possible. Once the team is able to penetrate then secure the enemy tower, the sniper can then move up to join his teammates. Of course, this is not a hard and fast rule. I've seen great game play from snipers who rush along with the riflemen and take position at the top of the middle tower.

AA3 Playbooks (Assault and Defense)
What made me love this so much is its organized game play. Everything has to be done like a concert where people each play their role. Unlike other FPS games, this game really does well in simulating combat situations.

There are other more realistic FPS games like Arma, but AA3 manages to balance realism with fun. Moreover, I find that even the kids who play this aren't so cocky and actually play with the knowledge that they have a responsibility towards their teammates.

The playbooks I will be writing are not perfect, but they are effective in contrast to a disorganized squad.

Not all situations are the same, so it is important to know that flexibility is of utmost importance when it comes to tactics. The playbook is a general guide for general circumstances. If things go wrong, go with what the situation calls for, trust in your training and modify accordingly.

Playbook 1. Storm Rushing 
There is rushing and there is storm rushing. Storm rushing is basically rushing the enemy position with light loadout and attempting to reach the enemy tower in 60 seconds or less. It's different because everybody goes all out. I've done my calculations and they are as follows:

A rifleman with light load-out can reach the friendly tower in 23 to 25 seconds.
The same rifleman can reach the middle tower in 40 seconds.
60 seconds to the enemy tower via the "closet".


  • Enemy forces are not alert and squabbling with each other. 
  • Enemy forces do not reach their designated assignments on time. 
  • Enemy closet is not guarded in 60 seconds.
  • No sniper on enemy tower or high/low stairs in 60 seconds.
Lead Rifleman - Light Loadout

The lead rifleman smokes the middle portion of the underside of the middle tower, thereby obscuring the view of the sniper. He can do so via the left or right catwalk, or directly from the roadway. He then immediately ascends to left back or right back and then uses the M106 to conceal the middle of the road. 

How far? As far as he can! If he can run without getting hit by sniper fire, the farther he throws the m106 smoke the better. It has to be directly in the middle of the road facing the enemy tower. After doing so and with no enemy contact, he can run and assault the closet on his own or with a teammate. Most teams don't guard the closet in less than 60 seconds. He then waits for his teammates.

to be continued....