There has been a lot of talk lately on leadership in game.
I'll be posting different sections from Sun Tzu's Art of War. I have an abused copy that's been my bible for almost everything in life, as odd as that sounds. Notes, highlighter, and stains riddle this poor little paperback I bought in my Junior year of high school over 4 years ago, but I keep it close. It's served me well. I hope these sections and my discussions on them can spark some minds around here on the values of leadership and how to apply them to BC2.
Wisdom only comes through experience, in my opinion. You cannot "learn" wisdom. The difference between a seasoned commander and a fresh-out-of-ROTC lieutenant will always be their experiences and wisdom. You can know all the technical know-how in the world, you can know all the weapons and tools on the battlefield, but you may lack the wisdom to know how best to use them. Practice. Gain Experience. Experience is not a number, or time, or a statistic tied to your account - experience is through all the unique things you've accomplished.
Integrity in most scenarios is doing what's right when nobody is watching. Integrity as a leader involves admitting promptly when you were wrong, and having the guts to try to fix it. I've never met a leader in real life who didn't have integrity. Who did not know the value of humility. Just be honest with yourself and others. It will work out better for everyone on your team.
Compassion, believe it or not, is probably the most important feature of a proper leader. I could write about the personal experiences I've had, but I'll just say this: Keep in mind that what you do on the server affects not only your team, but the other team. Have some compassion once in a while, in the interest of good gameplay. You don't have to squish your enemy in game every single chance you get. A little give and take can make a real memorable round.
Courage in a video game? Courage in a video game. You are not your rank. You are not your IHS. You are not your tags. You are judged on an individual, case by case basis. Your stats do not make you a good player - your actions when under pressure do.
Severity. Strict but fair. Always honest. Severity as a leader does not mean a tyrant in game. Severity means making the tough choices. Doing what's necessary to accomplish the objective. It does not mean you have the right to boss people around. Leadership stems not from authority, but from mutual respect among players. You can type in ALL CAPS on the server and berate your team all you want, that won't gain you there respect. You can say that you're in charge of something, but that does not mean that you're a good leader, or have experience. And lastly, it's a game. Seriously. Kick back, have fun, have some laughs, do some cool teamwork stuff, and have some more fun.
Chain of Command,
Control of Expenditure.
Organization. BC2 has squads. 4 man squads. 4 Kits, each with strengths and weaknesses, and special abilities to bring to the battlefield. The team is usually composed of 4-5 squads, with some specializing and others just adapting to whatever situation arises. There is absolutely nothing wrong with no specialized task in your squad. There is also nothing wrong with choosing a specialized task as a squad and doing it the whole round. It's all situational. Sometimes it's best to have your squad focused on a single objective or tactic the entire round. Other times, it's not. You need to be aware of this.
Chain of Command is something we're familiar with in other games, but that all blurs a bit in BC2. Stepping up and helping decide things for your squad and team is helpful, but sometimes can be detrimental to the gameplay. I can't just waltz onto TS3 and start barking orders to other players on my team - that's not really how the game is designed. I can't just play in a squad and mid-round decide that suddenly I am their leader and they will do as I say. Be tactful. That is the only thing I can really say about CoC in BC2. Be tactful.
As an Admin side note, always use the proper channels. Please make reports in squad chat, not in all-chat. Please take issues directly to admins via TS3, Xfire, or the Contact an Admin forum. It's kind of disrespectful to everyone if you just yell in public. Tact. Tact. Tact.
Control of Expenditure. To me, this means "you're not gonna win them all." Because you're not. You're going to take losses, but the key is that when you do, they are minimized and don't detract from moving forward or completing your objective. Sometimes it's better to bite the bullet and wipe as a squad than to stubbornly fight in an overrun area. Sometimes it's better to ensure a vehicle can be used by your team for the next stage of Rush than it is to zerg towards the enemy. Sometimes it's better to take what you can get and move on. You're going to have to concede a lot in BC2.
I have heard that in war
Haste can be
But have never seen
Delay that was
Pretty self explanatory.
Ultimate excellence lies
Not in winning
But in Defeating the enemy
Without ever fighting.
The highest form of warfare
Is to attack
This harks back to patience. You and your squad are not going to win every engagement. But the best victory, the total victory, comes from out-playing the enemy. Out maneuvering. Faster. Swifter. But not necessarily more "deadly." Sometimes you'll have to just soak up bullets and get no kills if it means that your team can move forward and get other flags. Othertimes, it's better to just hold the enemy off from doing their favorite flanking route on a rush map, even if it means your squad sees little action. It is better to win through guile than force. Even in BC2.
Great couple of posts, not just for this tittle, but for all!!
TacticalGamer Arma Pathfinder - Callsign Pathfinder
"TG was created to cater to a VERY specific type of gamer rather than trying to appeal to the greater gaming population....Tactical Gamer is not mainstream. We are not trying to attract mainstream gamers" ~ Apophis
Without knowing the lie
Of hills and woods,
Of cliffs and crags,
Of marshes and fens,
(If you're not familiar, marching is just painful. Be glad there are no marching simulators.)
But I digress. The most important thing that comes with experience as a leader is map knowledge. Which hills provide the best vantage points to cover objectives? Where are the best paths to assualt that mcom? Where are the most popular sniper spots for defenders? Where can you get good anti-tank shots on armor, or on buildings? What are the best routes for armor and vehicles to take? For example, look at Heavy Metal. Huge, rolling hills and plains, with sparse cover for infantry - to the untrained eye. You just need to know how to navigate your squad. There are some tank spots that cover certain flags that are practically hull-down positions - very hard for tracer darts or rockets to hit without elevation on your tank. The hill near Bravo flag on Heavy Metal? Perfect pop-up spot for attack choppers. If you're going to lead a squad effectively, you need to have a good understanding of the map's layout and how players move. Positioning can turn a lousy bunch of shooters into deadly marksmen, even in the chaos of BC2.
Do not pursue an enemy
Do not attack
Do not swallow
Remember my mentioning of Halo player's wise words of "don't give chase"? That applies in BC2. Don't send squadmates chasing after every kill. You may have the advantage when he's out in the open, but unless you're sure what's behind that barn, or just over that hill, you need to be prepared.
"Keen troops." Hmmm. Well, you're gonna have to engage them, but don't just engage them. Stack the odds against them. Tell your team. Tell your team what you're doing about it. Keep them informed. Really good sniper in a building? It may be better to bypass the building than stubbornly take the sniper out, costing tickets and time. Sometimes
Baiting. Oh lord, baiting. What separates the cunning from the silly? Reloading. Lying in wait. Lurking. Patience. Always the patience, gentlemen, always the patience. Patience will kill you more than the end of a gun. He didn't reload. He didn't stand there. He fell back behind a building. You ran right by him. He only needed 3 rounds from his USAS-12, but you were sure he was going to "halo curse" (reload after every single shot [raise your hand if you reload too often!]). WRONG. He just fell back. He wasn't retreating. He knew you were alone, and that you wanted the kill. He told his squadmate you were coming, too. So as his 12 guage slammed into your character, a hail of bullets from his buddy 50m away came shortly after. You practically gave him the kill.
Don't. Give. Chase. Of course, keeping this in mind will not work 100% of the time. And of course, nobody is perfect. But keep it in mind. Try and gain as much information as possible before entering a building. Try and get as many rounds downrange on a target before trying to move up. Try and make the enemy chase you and you're better off.
He regards his troops
As his chidlren,
And they will go with him
Into the deepest ravine.
He regards them
As his loved ones,
And they will stand by him
Pretty self explanatory. Treat your teammates and squadmates like they're your friends, and they will help you out. If you say please and thank you, you're likely to get one in return. If you take the time to thank a good deed by a "pubbie," he is likely to do it again for you. If you congratulate your squad after each round on a job well done, they will likely return that gratitude to you.
He changes his ways
And alters his plans
To keep the enemy
The mark of a good leader is adaptation to any situation, good and bad. In BC2, as fast as it all happens, take time to think of the alternate plans. Also be aware that your opponent may be doing the same exact thing - they're going to switch it up on you. One minute they're coming from the riverbank, the next, a buggy storms into your flag and a whole squad is now spawned in
So it is said;
Know the enemy,
Is never in doubt,
Not in a hundred battles
Know your own strengths and weaknesses. Embrace them.
Know your teams strengths and weaknesses. Try and fill the gaps, and make up for any weaknesses.
Know your enemy's strengths and weaknesses. Exploit the latter. Prepare for the former.
Your team has some great armor users? Keep them alive.
Your team has a weak defense at a back flag, and it keeps being taken? Put a guy or two there.
Your opponent has a deadly sniper? Avoid him.
Your opponent is not defending their left side on the mcomm? Use that area as your spawn and staging area.