Recon:Overview

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Sample gameplay image.

Mud and Blood: Recon is the 4th game in the Mud and Blood Series, and is currently in Open Beta. It was preceded by Mud and Blood 2.

Contents

What is Mud and Blood: Recon?

Mud and Blood: Recon (MnBR) is a Vietnam War themed Real-Time Strategy (RTS) game centered on a squad of four elite Rangers the player controls, and based around reconnaissance and gathering intelligence about the enemy. The game is set in 1969 in Laos and Cambodia, on the border of North Vietnam. Missions vary greatly from gathering intel for the task force leadership to assassination. Due to the fast-paced nature of these missions, players cannot 'dig in' and entrench themselves: they will have to keep moving and remain vigilant to not expose themselves to flanking and overwhelming enemy numbers. The game centers around completing missions within the duration of their tour of duty in Vietnam. Consistent with Mud and Blood series tradition, the game is designed to be extensively unfair, random, and brutal. You may play the game here.

How do I play Mud and Blood: Recon?

Although all Mud and Blood games are particularly hard, new players need to keep in mind that MNBR is by far the most unforgiving.

It painstakingly reproduces with a rare historical and technical fidelity the process of hunting human beings in Vietnam. Like any hunting game you will spend most of your time strategizing, maneuvering and sneaking up on your prey. In that sense, Recon is not an action game but rather a hybrid between stealth and hunting.

If you want to read up a bit on how to play tactically before jumping in head first, this excellent beginner's guide to Mud and Blood Recon has everything covered for maximum survivability.

The control room, where you can decide what to do.
An example of the squad customization screen.

After the gameloader finishes, you may click the famous urb big yellow button to start. After entering your name, hit the button again to be taken to the control room.

Your Desk

After starting the game, you will be taken to your office. On and around your desk are several items that serve as your menu for navigating Recon. These items include:

  1. Operation Thunder Defuse - The name of the current operation. An operation can have more than one simultaneous mission going on at the same time. Depending on your rank, more than one missions may appear on the map. As a higher ranked commander you will be able to decide which mission can be best suited for your team. As a starting 2nd Lieutenant, you will have to bite the bullet and go with what is assigned to you. Welcome in the marvelous world of the military food chain.
  2. Calendar - The calendar in the top left shows you how many days you have left before the end of your tour. When your tour ends you will sit in front of the task force commander and he will sign you for another tour OR not depending on merit. You can view your merit score in the career panel (by clicking the dog tags). Clicking the calendar will skip a day. Sometimes, skipping a day can be a good option. It allows wounded soldiers to recover hit points and to drop their fatigue level. Note that skipping a day will also slightly reduce the morale of your troops. Rangers are hard chargers and if they are not in the boonies killing communists they tend to get sad.
  3. Telephone - The telephone is used to call the task force HQ and to be informed of your current Intel score and your heat level.
  4. Beige Folder - The beige folder will take you to your roster, where you can manage your team and select who will participate in the next patrol. For more information see below.
  5. Dog Tag - Information about your profile including rank, exp, intel, merit and ribbons.
  6. Map Items - Missions will appear as markings on your map. Hovering over each marking gives a brief description of what you have to do. Different markings indicate the type of mission.
  7. Cassette Player - Click this to blast some Vietnam-era tunes over on the website.
  8. Coffee Cup - The coffee cup links you to this wiki, but I bet you already knew that ;)
  9. Inbox - Memos will appear in your inbox from time to time. Memos are basically any correspondence between you and another person such as a fellow commander or one of your own men. Before going out on patrol you are required to complete the day's paperwork, which usually involves some careful decision making on your part. Decisions you make can affect your profile stats such as rank, merit, and intel as well as your soldier's stats such as their morale, fatigue, and skill points.

Squad Customization Screen

After clicking a mission and read through the intel brief, you will be taken to a squad customization screen much like the one seen on the right. First, you click on a soldier to select them. Then, you can click on his weapons and items to change them to something else. When you have selected the desired equipment, hit the skills button to spec in skill points where you need them most for each soldier. It is advised that you match a soldier's skills to their equipment (i.e. give a soldier with high comms skill a radio). When you have loaded and geared up your soldiers to your satisfaction, hit 'GO' to be dropped into enemy territory. All skill points must be assigned and a least one team member must have a radio before you can hit the ground.

Battlefield Interface

Once on the field, you will see the area of operations, your soldiers, and a tab at the bottom right saying 'Orders'. MnBR is played on a 5000x5000 pixel screen, which can be panned around by using WASD or the arrow keys. For reference, the viewing window of the game is 550x450 pixels. To order a soldier to move to a position, click on them once and then click their desired location. A small throbber will appear at the destination after you click, showing that the movement command was understood. Soldiers will automatically detect enemies and, if allowed to, will automatically engage them. For more advanced orders, click the 'orders' tab. A switch and a row of buttons will then be visible. Scrolling over each button will describe what it does. The buttons are as follows:

  1. Weapons Free - Flipping this switch allows your men to engage hostiles. Flipping it again will order them to no longer engage hostiles.
  2. Use Gear - After selecting a soldier by either clicking them once or by using the hotkeys (1-4) and ordering them to use gear, the orders box shows each of their items. Click an item to use it. In the case of the radio, the radio screen will pop out. See the radio page for more information on this complex interface.
  3. Carry - Start by selecting a soldier. Then, you may order them to carry a soldier in critical condition by clicking this button and then the disabled soldier. A carried soldier may require periodic stabilization to prevent them from bleeding out.
  4. Collect - Start by selecting a soldier. Then, you may order them to collect intel from a dead hostile or item by clicking this button and then clicking the hostile/item you want to collect intel from.

The top of the screen acts as a visualization for incoming radio messages as well as game information including the status of available support, notable hostile activity, and other battle information.

Objectives

An example of the mission end screen, detailing how many points and intel were gathered that mission

The goal in Recon is to complete missions while dealing with the administration/disciplinary issues of your chalk. A good performance on each tour will give you the chance to continue your career for the next tour. The completion of certain objectives can be rewarded with Medals (for your soldiers), ribbons (for you), and Kill Cards (for future patrols).

Ending a Patrol

For further reading about the extraction process, see extraction.

Since you know how to get your troops on the ground and what to do when you're there, it's time to learn how to get out. There are two methods of extraction thus far:

An extraction huey called at any time and will always land at the landing zone (LZ). To access this extraction, set your radio to the 'Hueys' channel and click 'Request a dust off at the primary LZ'. There are no second chances for extractions so make sure everyone you want to bring back to base is on the chopper when it leaves.

The second method has been put in place in case your radio is not available for use and you cannot contact the TOC for an extraction. If your radio has not sent a message after a few minutes (hours in game time) a message will be broadcast to warn you that if you do not send a message soon a search party will be dispatched. After a couple more minutes if all is still quiet on the dial a huey will be sent to the primary LZ to come pick up your team.

In addition to extraction, there is also an unsuccessful way to end a patrol. If all your men are left critically wounded or killed, a 'Team Lost' screen will appear. All 4 troops will be considered MIA at this point, and no exp/intel is awarded.

Commander Rank

For more information about commander and soldier ranks, see Rank.

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Ranks and Unlocks
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Rank Experience Required Unlocks
Second Lieutenant Starting Rank Nothing
First Lieutenant 5000 M3, M60, Xm177
Captain 20000 BAR, Stoner 63, Additional LZ's
Major 40000? Sten Mk2, Thompson
Lt. Colonel 90000? FN FAL
Colonel 150000?  ???
Brigadier General? 300000?  ???
Major General? 600000?  ???
Lieutenant General? 1000000?  ???
General? 2000000?  ???
Mud and Blood General? 3000000?  ???

Mission Options

For deeper reading about missions, see Concept of Operations.

All missions in Recon are based on real life LRRP accounts. During the war Recons were called to do a wide array of operations ranging from observation to direct actions. The versatility and the high level of professionalism made Recon teams a serious asset to be employed behind the enemy lines. Here's the current available missions.


  • Hunter/Killer: Patrol an Area and kill the enemy.
  • Recce: Recon x amount of the map.
  • Scout: Infiltrate an AO and recon a specific site to be exploited in the future.
  • Surveillance: Spot x amount of hostiles. Hostiles killed don't count has a valid spot.
  • Pilot Rescue: Infiltrate an AO, locate the crash site and extract the pilot.
  • POW Rescue: Locate temporary detainee camp, raid it and extract POWs
  • Dead Drop: Cross enemy lines, locate secret box of documents left by an informant and extract.
  • Attack: Offensive action against a soft target in a firebase.
  • Defend: Defensive action to protect a vulnerable firebase for a set amount of time.
  • Radio Relay: Insert and find a location where you have a strong radio signal. Relay allied transmissions and extract when done.
  • Wire Tap: Infiltrate AO and locate the communication wire without being detected. Place a device on the wire and extract
  • Bypass: Find the gap in the enemy defence and infiltrate your team through.
  • BDA: Battle Damage Assessment. Infiltrate a bombed area take pictures of the casualties and extract before the area gets flooded by enemies.
  • Screen Act as an early warning for a main body force expecting an NVA attack.

Helpful Information

Covert/Overt

The skull at the top of the screen shows whether you are currently covert (white skull) or overt (red skull). When covert, soldiers move slower but generate less noise and are harder to spot. Whenever you make copious noise such as when engaging a target, setting off an explosion, or inserting/extracting you will automatically be sent overt for a period of time. When this expires, the default setting is to remain covert, though the player may click on the covert skull to force the team to be overt (useful for clearing ground faster if you don't mind the lower stealth). It is important to note that going overt does not necessarily mean you have been spotted, and you can still sneak up on enemies while overt, though it's a much harder task.

A soldier's vision range is 600px while covert, and 500px. while overt, to simulate the way an adrenaline-rush/excitement will reduce your ability to focus on objects. At night a soldier's vision range is halved so that he has 300px of vision while covert and 250px while overt.

Heat

Heat is a very serious factor in Recon, which basically measures the notoriety of your squad. Higher heat greatly increases the number and skill of enemies, as well as chances for booby traps, mines, snipers, ambushes, and even vehicle-backed NVA assaults. Heat can be gained by killing VC's, destroying assets, calling support, and generally making your presence known to the locals, so keeping stealthy, tightly-controlled operations is a good way to keep your heat score low.

Bulk

Bulk roughly measures the weight and unwieldiness of an item in Recon, with a rough equivalency of 1 bulk point to 1 pound. A soldier with a high bulk score will move slower and generate more noise, generally creating issues for a stealth mission. Extra bulk is generated by all weapons and equipment, though some more than others (i.e. an M3 vs. an M60).

A Ranger's bulk rating in the Loadout screen.

Minimizing Bulk

To minimize bulk, first plan what you will need on your mission (a radio, for example), calculate roughly the kind of firepower you need to bring (higher bulk weapons tend to have more stopping power), and grab the lowest bulk items that satisfy your conditions. A tip for squads that stick together is to have similar bulk values among all soldiers (your radioman can pack a light gun, for example), so all your men move at roughly the same speed and stick together well.

Stages of Overencumbrance

A lightly packed Ranger.
A normal-weight Ranger.
A slightly overencumbered Ranger.
An extremely overencumbered Ranger.

Bulk will give a Ranger one of four potential Bulk ratings, denoted by either a Green, Yellow, Orange or Red indicator in their stat panel. These ratings will serve as an indicator as to the average overencumbrance of a Ranger in the field; however, these ratings will not penalize a Ranger's movement speed by any additional amount on top of their existing penalty or bonus due to their Bulk.

Currently, the threshold for a lightly packed Ranger is 25 Bulk - that is, 24 and below will denote a Ranger who is packed at his minimum Bulk rating. Due to the high Bulk of the mandatory PRC-77 Radio, it is only possible to achieve minimal bulk in a squad if the Radioman is equipped very minimally - usually with an M3 Grease Gun and light equipment such as a cleaning kit, field dressings, morphine or M14 AP mines.

Usually, most squadrons will use a loadout between 25 and 40 Bulk, which falls under the category of a standard weight loadout. However, for stealth missions, many commanders opt for all Rangers in their squad to maintain a loadout at 24 Bulk or less to maintain noise discipline and ensure extremely fast movement. Due to the higher bulk nature of heavy-hitting weapons and assault equipment, it takes extreme coordination and skill to formulate minimally bulky and yet effective loadouts for Overt missions. For this reason, almost all squads entering an AO with the goal of killing enemies or assaulting positions will be seen with a Bulk between 25 and 40.

Though unconfirmed, the believed threshold for moderate overencumbrance is 40+ to ~60. This stage denotes a Ranger who is above his average carry weight and is now burdened significantly more than a Ranger should be. This stage of overencumbrance is typically hard to achieve by itself; the only potential exception being assault loadouts which feature the Ammo Box due to its extremely bulky nature.

Finally, 60+ Bulk denotes extreme overencumbrance - the point where your Ranger is so heavily loaded that it's a miracle he isn't sinking waist-deep into the mud as soon as he leaves the Huey. This stage of overencumbrance is nearly impossible to achieve accidentally as the Bulk requirement is exceptionally high.

Wounds

Soldiers in Recon can get wounded by direct gunfire, stepping on traps/mines, and through explosions/shrapnel. Each soldier starts with the maximum of 100 health, but this can quickly drop in a mission. A soldier which drops to 25 health or less will be in critical condition and bleed out (gradually lose health) until he is stabilized with morphine, field dressing, or an IV. A stabilized soldier is still disabled as far as actions, but is no longer bleeding out. Since the only method of saving a wounded soldier currently is to keep them stabilized for long periods of time while carrying them back to the LZ for an extraction, it is recommended that a team plans to extract when they have badly wounded soldiers.

Weather

Weather in Recon can take the form of light rain or extreme heat. Rain will cause a drop in visibility as well as a greater jam chance for your soldier's weaponry. In high temperatures soldiers will sweat and need to cool off if overheated. This means that if you start to see little droplets surrounding a soldier you should stop moving him for a while and let him rest.

Day/Night Cycle

One minute of time amounts to 1 hour in Recon. Every mission starts at 0600 hours RT (Recon Time) with night falling at 2100 hours RT and ending at 0400 hours RT. The rules of the night apply to both the VC and the LRRPs. Non moving objects take 3 times longer to be found. Tactical pauses are now extremely important during night in order to allow your soldiers to look at what is in front of them (Especially in a high-heat A.O filled with traps). If you have been careless and raked a lot of heat it would be advised to not group-move across the map in one shot. This is just asking for trouble.

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