Blind Firing The SAW (M249) in AA

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While playing on the bridge map, a lot of people ask me what I'm shooting at with the SAW. I seem to be blindly shooting in the fog, hoping to hit something.

Not so.

With proper practice, a SAW gunner can identify certain reference points on the map, and know where he is shooting.

One thing that must not be forgotten: the role of the SAW is suppression. This means that applying fire using this method is only meant to keep opponents in the target areas from hindering your team's advance as much as possible. Trying to get kills with this method, while possible, is very inefficient due to the large amount of ammunition you would have to expend.

Is this cheating? Maybe. Everyone has their opinion on this. As I've never handled a SAW in the field, I don't have a specific "real-life" rationale for this.

Whatever your belief, my point is simply to show you how it is done.

Example SAW Positions

Position 1

  • Start up Army Operations
  • Open the bridge map ("open bridge.aao")
  • Enable movement ("playerlock 0")
  • Change class to SAW ("mpcheat changeclass ar")
  • Move to the assault side.
  • Move to the right side of the assault tower.
  • Jump on the wooden rail.
  • From the rail, jump on the side ledge of the assault tower.
  • Go prone, and advance towards the front right corner.
  • Move sideways until you can see the center arch and at least two bridge pilons.
  • Deploy the bipod ("H")
  • Put yourself in SLOW mode ("Insert"). This increases your accuracy.
  • Optionally, you can disable fog ("show fog"). This is simply for training purposes. The screenshots are show with fog, but with the defense positions drawn. Without fog, you can better get your bearings.
  • From this position, you can supress targets on the defense tower stairs by aiming about mid-way up the center arch (where the ladder support cross bar is), and mid-way across the arch side-ledge.
  • You can also suppress targets on the hillside at the bottom right of the defense tower stairs by aiming to the right and down from the center arch right ledge.

This is what it should look like:

Position 2

  • Move to the left stairs of the assault tower.
  • Go to the extreme top left railing.
  • Go prone on it.
  • Advance to the pilon until you can see the pilon on your left and in the distance, the center arch on your right. This is an approximation.
  • Optionally, disable or enable fog ("show fog") to get your bearings.
  • From this position you can suppress targets in the left and center windows of the defense tower by shooting close to the center arch top left side.
  • From this position, you can also suppress targets on the back of the left ledge on the defense side, as well as the wooden catwalk and the far left tree.

This is what it should look like:


Proper preparation with the SAW will make it an effective weapon, even on a map with limited visibility such as the bridge.

This concludes the demonstration.