Sam Nichols is a main character in ArmA: Cold War Assault's Cold War Crisis campaign.

Background

A veteran aviator in the U.S. Army, Nichols was formerly attached to the U.S.-led NATO task force on Malden.

At the height of tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, he carried out logistical operations for the task force as a UH-60 pilot.

As the crisis on Everon continued to grow however, he would be transferred to a combat unit as an AH-1/AH-64 pilot. Eventually, he would be also assigned as a fixed-wing aviator as well.

Nichols initially went by the radio callsign of November One and later, Thunder Three. He is married and has a wife named Sally.

Cold War Crisis (1985)

« U.S. Pilot: Hey Nichols. This should be pretty routine, right?
Nichols: Nothing's ever routine around here, man. See you in the sky!
Nichols prepares for his first mission
»

With the defeat of the last remaining Soviet troops on Malden, Nichols and all available pilots who were not already involved in combat operations were mobilised to assist in logistical operations on Everon.

They were to ferry troops to and from the makeshift harbours established on the north of the island to the front lines south of the airport, while also taking out any targets of opportunity along the way.

After dropping off one infantry squad, Nichols was tasked with evacuating another squad that had taken casualties and were pinned down at the town of Le Moule. Nichols picked up the wounded and brought them back to the airport, but not before destroying a convoy of Soviet IFVs that were bringing reinforcements to the front line.

As there was a general shortage of aviators at the front lines, Nichols was soon reassigned for combat duty instead. He regrouped with his new CO, Major Bayliss, and took charge of an AH-1 to intercept another convoy of enemy trucks that were mobilising from the village of Morton. Nichols' flight of gunships quickly destroyed the convoy before heading towards Le Moule to soften the Soviet defences and tanks around it.

« Firefly base, this is November. Looks like we've broken all of Ivan's toys, over.
Nichols' helicopter squadron clears Le Moule
»

Their mission was a complete success and Nichols' gunships allowed ground forces to continue their offensive towards the city of Montignac. Their victory helped NATO forces liberate Montignac soon after and paved the way towards the main Soviet headquarters at Saint Pierre.

Now that all other sectors of the island were under NATO control, Nichols was assigned to lead the attack at Saint Pierre to push the Soviets off Everon once and for all. Taking control of an AH-64 this time, Nichols took off from Buffalo Base and moved to eliminate the remaining defenders protecting the HQ, while friendly ground forces secured the port.

Before he could do so however, Nichols diverted to support nearby allied forces at Durras who were under attack by a platoon of mechanised infantry. With all the enemies destroyed, Nichols returned to the attack against Saint Pierre. The outnumbered defenders were simply no match for the combined firepower of Nichols' gunships and allied troops. Within an hour, both the city and main HQ fell to NATO forces after a bout of fierce fighting.

Though Everon had been liberated, the fight against the Soviets wasn't over just yet. Nichols was now ordered to take a flight of A-10s directly into Kolgujev itself; the Soviet-held territory which had been used to stage the invasion of Everon in the first place. The southern beachhead of Kolgujev had already been cleared but the rest of the island's fortifications had not yet been neutralised.

« Thunders Two and Three. Heading east to Kolgujev. Let's give those Russkies a taste of steel rain.
Nichols' squadron leader rallies Nichols and his wingmen
»

Nichols was now assigned the callsign of Thunder Three. His squadron of A-10s took off from Malden and destroyed Soviet patrol boats guarding the coast, several tanks and some anti-air defences around the central sector of Kolgujev.

Having succeeded in destroying all their targets, Nichols' squadron began making their way back to Malden to rearm and refuel. Nichols' plane had been inadvertently damaged during the mission however, and is forced to eject from his beleaguered jet; landing right into the heart of Soviet territory.

« Welcome to hell, imperialist!
Nichols' A-10 is shot down by Soviet troops
»

Though he managed to parachute to safety, it was already too late for him to get away. A team of elite Soviet Spetsnaz were dispatched to scour the nearby woodlands for signs of the American. They quickly surrounded him within a matter of minutes, and brought him back to the main Soviet base.

Nichols' capture was the perfect catalyst for General Guba to make a second televised threat to NATO forces. As the first of many to follow, Nichols was to be summarily executed if Col. Blake continued to defy Guba's demands to leave the region. Without a means to rescue him however, Blake and the others could only hope that Nichols would be able to find a way to escape by himself.

Following the recording, Nichols was transferred to another Soviet camp deep within central Kolgujev. As dusk began to fall and Guba's deadline approached, Nichols knew he had no choice left but to flee by force. While his captors were distracted, Nichols managed to grab a rifle and quickly killed the two guards in front of his tent. Before the other Soviets could respond, Nichols managed to flee into the wilderness, relying on the darkness and tree cover to evade pursuit while making his way towards the south of the island.

« U.S. Soldier: Sir? Where have you been?
Nichols: To be honest with you soldier, I FEEL terrible. You got anything to drink around here?
Nichols finally reaches the safety of NATO lines
»

After what seemed like hours of stumbling in the darkness, Nichols finally reached the outskirts of NATO lines. Relieved to see friendly faces at last, Nichols identified himself to the troops stationed there. He was immediately taken back to the garrison's field headquarters for debriefing and much-deserved rest.

Post-Cold War Crisis

The capture of General Guba and destruction of his SCUDs by Maj. James Gastovski's team would eventually result in a total victory for NATO forces, putting an end to the flashpoint on Everon.

« Nichols: Glad you could make it, James.
Gastovski: You too, Sam. Let's get a drink.
Nichols and Gastovski reunite for the first time in six years post-flashpoint
»

Six years later in 1991, Nichols (now retired from service) was contacted by Gastovski and together with Armstrong and Hammer, agreed to meet on Everon for drinks and small talk at the local pub.

Personality and Appearance

Nichols was a white male with a pale complexion. His usual attire of olive drab green flight overalls, and an SPH-4 flight helmet. On occasion, Nichols also wore a set of black aviator sunglasses as well. Following his retirement, Nichols preferred to wear a slate grey jacket with black pants instead.

A circumspect individual, Nichols always remained collected and calm no matter the situation. Though he was never hesitant to leap into danger, he was generally careful to avoid getting himself tangled into such unfavourable situations in the first place (perhaps ironically, he would find himself getting into one not long after the operation on Kolgujev).

Nichols worried extensively about his wife Sally and always reminded himself to call her back. Due to the urgency of the ongoing operations on Everon however, he was forced to put off his attempts to call her every time.

Trivia

  • Nichols is the last of the four main characters to be introduced in Cold War Crisis and also has the least amount of playable missions with two of those, Planes Start and Maverick, technically being considered as one mission.
  • His callsign November is notably reused by Lt. Jeff Larkin in ArmA 3's The East Wind campaign.
    • Larkin was intended to have been a playable character that would've fulfilled the same role as Nichols in Cold War Crisis, though this was eventually scrapped in favour of having only one main protagonist for ArmA 3's campaign.

See also

Characters of ArmA: Cold War Assault
United States Berghof† • Bormioli† • Caper BlakeDavid ArmstrongFowley† • James GastovskiKozlowski† • Robert HammerSam NicholsSutherland
Soviet Union Aleksei Guba* • Angelina Malevich
Resistance Nogovan Partisans Anton† • Gabriel† • GeronimoStoyan Jakotych† • Victor Troska
Everon Freedom Alliance Ian StoyanSlava† • Tomas
Civilians Nogovan Liz† • PeterTom
Unknown Tasmanian Devil
indicates deceased characters | * indicates character status is unknown
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