Journey of a BF2:PR Rookie 11

I already shared a little about this in the PR forums but wanted to give a more in depth report about what happened, my thoughts, and things I want to work on. Some of you know that recently I stated, "I'm not ready to SL just yet, just taking my time learning the basics...etc." Well, I was pleasantly suprised tonight when TMAN, commander of our IHS, said to me, "I think you're going to squad lead tonight." My mouth dropped as I felt I wasn't ready. But he and TomKing encouraged me and I have no resistance to peer pressure. TMAN said he'd be in my squad and coach me through TeamSpeak.

Without thinking I clicked "Custom Squad" and typed "189". A moment later the squad was filled. The pressure was on! First things first, I assigned kits and had everyone meet up in the main base. We were playing as US on Kokan in Insurgency mode. I organized everyone into fireteams; specialist and rifleman had point. Me and TMAN (as medic) in the center, with the AR and Grenadier bringing up the rear. The move marker was set and we headed out of Main.

Took things slow and TMAN said to tell them that we'll go from compound to compound clearing them out. He had me set up the AR as soon as we moved out to give overwatch over the squad. I always did that from then on. Do you know when I first felt the pressure coming on? As soon as one of my SMs called out a contact. It was a simple report too, just a vehicle or something but I didn't know what to do! lol. What do I tell them? TMAN quickly told me to say, "take a shot if you got one" or something like that. Everyone fired at the technical. It got away, and we continued our move south. We got pretty far before we ran into some enemy contacts. Our pointman reported gunfire and contacts south. We were the furtherest squad out of base. The rest of the squad moved up to the point. Soon we were surrounded. A little disorganized, we were soon picked off one by one.

So what could I have done differently there? Well, knowing that you are the front line squad, you have to be extremely careful I imagine. Next time I will make sure that my squad is cautious and we have overwatch in front of us. Then move up slowly. When we got to the compound in front of the pointman, we stayed outside for too long all huddled by a wall. I should have either had us rope over so we could get into the compound and defend or leave a fireteam on overwatch a little behind the front fireteam. Then the overwatching team could see enemies approaching. Easier to cover each other that way instead of all being together in a ball next to a wall.

When our squad respawned at Main, I had the bright idea to take humvees and since a full squad can't fit into one, we took two. My reasoning was that it would take forever to walk to where we were before so why not drive? But soon after leaving our main base I realized something, I had no idea what to do with the humvees! Do we patrol? Do we park them in a bush and go on foot? can I abandon a humvee? what? >< Luckily we died on a mine or rpg and started again at Main. But for some reason I tried the humvees again and we would avoid the roads. We didn't get far before our whole squad was wiped. TMAN suggested I focus on infantry since I'm new and I wholeheartily agreed.

Back at Main I said, "screw the humvees. We're going to take it nice and slow." Thankfully they all stayed in the squad and we headed south again. Felt REALLY good to be on solid ground and walk. That's definitely the style that I like.

Our last effort was a walk east along the main road, reaching the first compound and setting up there to check our surroundings. TMAN said that we needed to keep moving and soon I learned why; wave after wave of Insurgents hit our position with every car in their garage-- white ones, red ones, some that exploded. We actually defended for quite a while but eventually were slowly taken down. TMAN throughout the round knew things before I did and had a sixth sense that can only come from experience, like knowing that the squad had to keep moving. Another time he knew there was enemy to our east and I wasn't even aware of it. But this will all come in time.

Our team was pushed back to Main and I'm not sure we even took a single cache but overall my experience with squad leading for the first time was a good one and I plan to do it againn. So what will I do differently next time? and what will I focus on?

Well, I will DEFINITELY focus on infantry and will try to avoid transport as I haven't figured out what I'm supposed to do with the vehicles. But of course I'll take a heli or APC if its a dedicated transport. So Infantry squads and focus on squad movement. That's gotta be the basic thing to learn first; how to get your squad to move to the move marker and how to do it safely. Want to still have fireteams and work on communicating with my squad that when I expect enemy contact, I want the squad to have one fireteam covering the other during movement. This will keep us safe rather then all of us running at the same time, "to the move marker!".

I'll also have to rehearse my pre-round greeting; that period of time before you spawn and you assign kits. I just have to let the squad know how I plan on doing things-- basically that this is an infantry squad and we stick together, take things nice and steady. And kits-- that I want them to take the same kits that I assign them. They can ask for new kits but don't get one before asking.

With regards to fireteams, I ran 3 fireteams of 2 people each and I know that can work well (and should) but I wonder if it's easier to have just two fireteams? I might have to just try experimenting with that.

So here's my checklist for the next round:

1. give the squad a heads up on how I will run things
2. assign kits
3. focus on movement and basic markers: move and attack
4. set fire conditions.