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"Are we at war with Russia now, is that what's happening?"

Steve Campo

Rock and a Hard Place is the tenth mission in the singleplayer campaign of Battlefield 3.


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"We can avert war between our nations. Just two of us.
No politicians, no money changing hands.
Just two soldiers speaking the truth."
This section contains spoilers for Battlefield 3.

In the forests of Araz ValleyEdit

The player starts out in the back of a Growler ITV, next to a sleeping Matkovic. They are en route to link up with the rest of the Misfit units, who have started to move towards the villa of the Russian arms dealer Amir Kaffarov in northern Iran. However, as they move through the forest, they are ambushed by an unknown unit. After successfully fending off the first attackers, Blackburn and his squad learn that the Russians are also in the region - according to some of the Marines, their intent is to kill Kaffarov so as to cover up their assumed involvement with the PLR.

The combat towards the valleyEdit

As the Marines make their way to the highway, they link up with a convoy, the other Misfit units, observing a very large combat jump being made by the Russian forces in the valley. A decision is made after some discussion regarding the possibility of sending Russia and America to war, and after Cole tells them that self-defense is not 'war,' the Misfit units move towards Kaffarov's villa, with the intent of continuing their set mission. Along the way, the Russian airborne soldiers put up heavy resistance, killing or incapacitating many of the Americans, and disabling or destroying many of the vehicles. By the time Blackburn, his squad, and Cole reach the end of the ground resistance by destroying and killing most of the Russian unit, most of Misfit has been disabled.

Jet RunEdit

Suddenly, while the remaining marines are debating what to do next, a Russian Su-25TM streaks overhead, strafing the Marines. After an initial confusion, it is revealed that the necessary anti-air weapons - the FIM-92 Stingers - were on the Growler ITVs that were at the head and rear of the convoy. They make a dash for the ITVs at the front of the convoy, realizing it was too far to go back to the ones at the rear of the Convoy, moving from cover to cover as the Su-25 makes passes at them. Finally, Blackburn obtains a Stinger and manages to bring down the Russian fighter. However, he learns that on the aircraft's last pass, Christian Matkovic and Steve Campo were both killed. When Montes sees Matkovic and Campo have died he says "You fuckin' dick Steve" displaying how upset he is with Campo for leading himself and Matkovic to their deaths by not standing up to Cpt. Cole. This leads Montes and Blackburn to separate themselves, and arrive at odds with Cole, who seems undeterred.

Related Achievements and TrophiesEdit

The following achievements/trophies can be completed on this mission.

Image Name Criteria Gamerscore Trophy type
11S07bb0a What the hell *are* you? Took a Russian Dog Tag in the forest ambush in Rock and a Hard Place 20 G Bronze
16S9ebed5 Butterfly Took down the jet in one attempt in Rock and a Hard Place 25 G Bronze



  • During the end of the level when players have to grab the Stinger and shoot down the Su-25TM, there is currently a glitch associated with the 5th Multiplayer Update where the Stinger launcher is nonexistent. Players will run up to the waypoint where it is supposed to be, but the launcher will not be there. This renders the entire campaign after this to be unplayable, since the level cannot be completed. It has been fixed as 1.08 hotfix patch
  • If the difficulty is set to Easy, the player can easily kill the Russian enemies by a knife takedown. It is because the Russian enemies in this mission are weaker when compared to the PLR forces.
  • If the player does a knife takedown on a Russian paratrooper at the forest before meeting Cole, they will earn the What the hell *are* you? Achievement/Trophy on the console versions of the game, a reference to the 1987 movie Predator, where the main character poses the question to the titular alien creature.
  • Also, if the player takes out the Su-25 in one attempt (using one rocket and without getting killed), they earn the Butterfly Achievement/Trophy. This trophy can sometimes glitch however making the player restart the mission if they wish to receive the trophy.
  • When the marines are walking down the road, if the player goes back and jumps while running into a moving tank, the player can get launched half a kilometre backwards.
  • The LAVs in the adjacent field are not out of bounds and constantly firing. However, their weapons are silent and leave only a small puff of smoke.
  • There is an easter egg joke on a supply bag in dark marker, saying: Vehicles left behind will be towed at owners expense.
  • Occasionally, presumeably attached to the aim-assist script, your crosshairs will repeatedly "dodge" enemies; basically a reverse of the aim-assist. This may occur when the player is in cover behind the first stone wall, and makes dealing with the attacking Russian buggy difficult. This glitch does not affect non-ADS firing.
  • If the SMAW has run out of ammunition and one of the tanks are still intact, the game script will automatically refill the player's total ammunition (much like an Ammo Crate), it is because the SMAW is the only weapon available in this mission capable of taking down a tank. Note that this ammunition refill trick only works when at least one tank is still alive, as the script will proceed to the original when the two tanks are destroyed.
  • The SMAW will also refill from the point of the appearance of the tanks when the player has already used the weapon before the script.
  • Note that this script only works if there are no Ammo Crates near the given area, when there is one, the player has to refill it manually instead.
  • Driverless IFV

    Notice the ITVs without a driver and a passenger

    Curiously enough, the Growler ITVs of the USMC forces are seen "driving" during the assault down the valley, but they are actually driverless. Both the driver and passenger seats in front will be vacant, yet the vehicles will still speed to the front in spite of only having a single gunner as an occupant.
  • There is a small map glitch on the bridge after the player takes down the Su-25. Before going to the corpses of Campo and Matkovic, going to the open edge of the damaged part of the bridge will reveal that it has no supports. From this point, it is possible to jump from the bridge into the river, but doing so causes death, or worse, a glitch that will freeze the mission.
  • Using weapons with an ACOG or similar medium scope allows the player to engage the enemy from quite a distance away, far enough that only the HMGs on VDV buggies pose a threat. Certain areas also allow the player to effectively flank the enemy, even though the player is expected to remain with their squad.
  • The Russian paratrooper regiments are outfitted with anti-tank guns and other light vehicles in their airdrop, but did not have time to set these up.
  • The Su-25TM is only scripted to crash when heading south, into the western floodplains, and will even make a full pass if the player can get to the Stinger early enough.
  • Sometimes a player will see a Russian paratrooper wear the USMC Recon headgear with SURPAT camouflage.
  • There is a glitch, if you flank the Russians, you are expected to go to the checkpoint, but your squad, excluding Captain Cole, lines up in a formation where their bodies are tightly packed and are in each other. Cole will be all the way back there standing up with another Misfit soldier. You can do nothing but restart the mission. So it is suggested you don't flank to avoid possbily triggering the glitch.
  • During the final enemy counterattack, two BMP-2Ms approach the Marines and Campo yells "Enemy armor drop! Two more BMD:s! Armor's active and mobile!" This might indicate that BMD-3s were originally supposed to make an appearance.
  • In the cutscene before the start of the mission, Blackburn tells the CIA agents that Kaffarov's villa is in the "Gilad Valley", along with Campo stating "...behind the Gilad Bridge..." at the start of the mission. However, the infobox states that the location is set "Araz Valley, Iran". DICE most-likely overlooked this. Also, Gilad was most-likely intended to be Gilan, a real life province in northern Iran. This was also a developer overlook.
  • In the game files this level is named SP_Valley.
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