Wanda Shan

Squad led a round on Wanda Shan for the first time. I let everyone know that I'm new to squad leading and would probably take it slow but still play tactical. Some guys said it was cool and a few left which was totally okay with me. Had some familiar faces in my squad-- HappyTimes123 and Noniol (my good friend). Round started with a 12 on 12 and since we were the only infantry squad we went on the attack to Northern Forest. My squad loaded up in an APC and I took a logi. The drive was long and we built a firebase NE of the objective. Then we made our way south and it wasn't long before we made enemy contact.

What I soon discovered was that I am hesitant and unsure of what to do after making contact with the enemy, especially when I am on the move. Should we hold our ground? Should we set up base of fire and flank? Most times I have no idea and it seems like the time to make a decision is very short. "I just hope we win this firefight" is what I often think. This is probably my biggest struggle as a new squad leader and one I'm trying to figure out. I know this will all come with experience but for now, I want to think about my options "after contact."

Most of the round saw us battling for Eastern Villiage. I had some ideas for how we could advance from the woods to the village and each time we were shot down.

The first was to set up a base of fire on overwatch and have the squad move up. I got into position on what I thought was the tree line and called my squad to me. Told the AR to setup and we would move in. Then we all got shot up and I realized I was in the open lol.

The second attempt was with my grenadier. Told him to lay some smoke to cover our advance. As soon as I gave him the distance he was shot and then me. Assault fail. Happened everytime, just before I said "go" we would get wiped out.

Eventually we took Eastern, actually twice. The first time is worth mentioning because I learned something. We were sweeping the woods all around the perimeter looking for enemy FOBs (didn't find any) and when HappyTimes123 told me that the enemy is probably all at our defensive flag, we moved in to Village. It capped quick. We were the only squad there and so defended. Then we spotted one, just one, enemy infantry in the fields west of village. I had my guys fire at him and ordered another to follow me. We were going to get him! We advanced FAR into the fields but never managed to find him. He deployed smoke and stayed hidden in the big bushes. So hard to see infantry prone in those bushes. Then my guys back at Village were reporting enemy contact and soon my guys were down. As we ran back I saw a stream of enemy contacts running into Village from the west. The next moment I was down.

What I learned was that I shouldn't get drawn out like that, especially when it's just one guy and he's in the open. When he's motionless (ala Yamalia of recent times) he has a little advantage as he's hard to spot but he can see us because we're on the move. We were also getting farther and farther from our cover fire. And we weren't there to defend Village when the enemy arrived. I don't know if that one guy's plan was to draw us out so the main attack could hit Village but if so, brilliant.

Later in the round, with the server reaching full capacity, we managed to take back Eastern Village. We ran in with armor support and capped quickly. Northplum was CO and I practiced my COMMs. "CO, this is Squad 1, over." I asked him what he wanted us to do and he suggested we defend and get a FOB up. No problem. We then went on to have a very dramatic and exciting defense. The enemy kept streaming in from the open fields to the west and I spent most of my time looking through my binos marking targets. The guys had fun lighting up the enemy. Then we got mortared and ran to cover. A couple of our guys were wounded but we got them up. The mortars got our FOB, crates, and we had no fortifications and no extra ammo-- quite dramatic. We held until Logi's arrived with two crates. I got up a FOB and placed a TOW covering the wide west approach. Before the round ended HappyTimes123 used the TOW to take out an enemy tank far on the horizon.

*after rereading this entry, with regards to making contact with the enemy while on the move; one thing I might want to do if I spot enemy and they have eyes on my position is simply to fall back. If I spot an enemy there might be more and we're walking into a position where they're in cover and we're on the move. Might not be good. Either that or take cover, return fire, and for a few seconds see how the firefight is going. Are we taking more fire than giving? Can I spot all the targets? If it looks like we're at a disadvantage, perhaps pull back and reposition so that we can get into a situation where we have the advantage. Live to see another day. More things to think about.

For any squad leaders reading this; when you make contact with the enemy, when do you feel you have to break contact?