Just a place for Pepper to collect together various AARs from her attempts at squad leading etc. Chances are the lists of squad members willl be wrong, as I can't remember them half the time.

Date: 29th February, 2012
Mission: Chernarus Domination, Spec Ops sidemission, south-east of Vybor
  • Dimitrius
  • Luke (Marksman)
  • Ghostdog
  • Mark (Medic)
  • Pvt Recrut
  • ... and two/three other guys whose names I forgot. I'm sorry!

IIRC, the in-game time was about 8pm. To get to the objective, we took a truck from the base and drove south to Vybor, cutting cross country a bit to avoid the crossroads just north of the objective (in case it alerted the enemy, or worse got us shot at - the idea was to be stealthy and such). Most of us either had night vision optics, CQB / holo sights, or heat vision optics. Anyway, we stopped the truck just off the road to the west of the objective, using a hill and farm building to hide us from sight of the objective. We then moved around the hill to get a good look at said obj through thermal optics, aka HaktoSight. We left Luke on the little hill with his sniper waffle to provide overwatch if needed, or pick off enemies we (rest of thes quad) couldn't see as we moved up through a small line of trees, bounding between copses etc - we were moving in a slight trough, so it reduced our lines of sight a bit. Medic stayed at the back of the squad, out of the line of fire as much as possible. Anyway, we moved up to within 300m or so of the objective, and then I sprayed the objective with smoke grenades from my grenade launcher, purposefully landing them as close a I could to the main concentrations of enemy infantry, or between them and us. Given that they were meant to be Special Forces, they probably had night vision. Smoke stops night vision... it isn't so good at stopping TWS. Fish in a barrel. As the smoke covered the hill, we opened up on the poor guys on the hill, shooting at anything giving out body heat. Not long after opening fire it was over. No-one had been hit, and less than 5 shots had been heard fired by the enemy. Back to the truck, RTB.
Improvements: Honestly, I can't think of any way this could have possibly gone better as a mission. None of us were even grazed by bullets, and the enemy hardly even managed to get a shot off. Mark (medic) and Luke (marksman) were probably horribly bored. In terms of personal improvements, I need to learn to use proper radio discipline, prowords etc.

Date: 29th February, 2012
Mission: Chernarus Domination, radio tower sidemission, north of Staroye
  • Dimitrius (AR)
  • Luke (Marksman)
  • Mark (Medic)
  • Pvt Recrut (AT)
  • gijoe
  • Quitsosidegamer
  • And some others I've forgotten. Sorry!

Flew the Merlin over to the mountain south of Staroye, by going East from base then along the coastline to the south, then zooming up north along a valley. Had to pause half way down the coast because the cat was head-butting my hands for attention – gently threw her off the sofa twice, but she didn’t give up. Eventually she just flopped on my lap and decided my knees needed acupuncture instead. Paused again at the junction just south of the planned LZ (LZ Banana) because I couldn’t see the clearing, and wondered if the road was a good idea. Wasn’t entirely sure if the AI had MANPADS or not – and whether or not they’d haxxor see through trees with them. Eventually touched down at Banana, and I did my typical ‘command’ thing of, “Do what you’re comfortable with, tactical blob, no specific formation, off we go along this road to the village.”
I suppose that in some ways this is an absolutely terrible way to lead because people sometimes actually want to be told what to do. After all, if you mess up doing something you were told to do by someone else, or it goes wrong through various unfortunate circumstances, it wasn’t your fault or your bad decision (which people can then beat themselves up over). It was the ‘fault’ (although people usually don’t point blame around) of the person that gave you the order. I guess this can cause an unwillingness for people to “do what they’re comfortable with” in case it turns out to be the wrong thing. Anyway, going off topic.
Dimitrius and Luke had mentioned that the side mission we were heading for was absolutely horrible to assault, being a single outcrop hill in the middle of a forest – uphill from every side, no way to gain the height advantage to assault it. My solution was sort of exploit-y like the last one – AI tend to chase after enemies. So instead of going in to attack them directly, we’d just make a lot of noise down in the village and draw them into us. Hopefully box them up nicely in a choke point then slaughter them from either side in an L-ambush thing. This being the case, none of us had silenced weapons. The original idea was to set up most of the squad in suitable locations with a height advantage on the town, then find a single enterable building. One or two people would run in the vague direction of the enemy objective (staying out of effective weapons range), make a lot of noise, then head back to the house and barricade them inside. When the AI came to visit, they’d get mowed down. Anyway, Luke suggested that he climb up the church tower and snipe in the direction of the enemy to get their attention, then duck back down – a nice defensible position, and he might even be able to make a kill or two.
Unfortunately this was not to be – turns out the church was locked, the valley containing the town was irritatingly flat, and there were trees all over the place that weren’t marked on the map. Fine, fine… so we moved further north towards the objective, and the northernmost buildings of the town. Terrain was still in our favour – that is, a little too far for the enemy to engage from their hill – with a large field of hay bales between us and the objective. Things were a bit too crowded for an 8-or-so man squad at the farmhouse, so I sent Dimitrius and… someone else, I think, off to find a nice position for a base of fire. Turned out the only decent place they could find was about 100-150m to the east behind some rocks. Actually, I think I might have sent him off on my own. Bad move, but at least no-one died from it. Personally always prefer splitting up squads like this (minus sending the AR on his own) in rural environments – something about eggs, baskets and high explosives.
Things were pretty much set for our passive aggressive assault, when it was decided that as part of luring out the enemy (which we still couldn’t see) we’d check if hay bales were bulletproof or not. Luke did the honours of shooting through one side while I peered at the other, waiting for a bullet to appear. Seems that hay bales are bullet proof – I guess they’d snare up a bullet pretty well, but not stop it entirely. Ho hum, not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Anyway, then we settled back to our positions, and Luke scuttled off to join Dimitrius – can’t remember if I asked him to or not, but it’s the choice I would have made personally – sticking the two weapons with longest range together. Not sure why this seems to make sense to me, but somehow it does. Anyway, as planned (love it when things do that!) the angry Russians came down from their hill to see who had so rudely interrupted their slumber party at the radio tower. Any that poked their heads near the treeline or attempted to cross the field got mowed down (Later on, crossing the field, I think I counted about seven of their dead). During this early stage Quitso took a small bullet graze while stationed at the farm house and scuttled back to Mark for treatment. Kept regularly checking up on overwatch team (team Rock) and the farm team (team Farm) – Dimitrius got shot, but I don’t think it was enough to put him onto lifetimer, as he was up again pretty quickly. Still, I scuttled back to the south of the Farm (keeping it between me and the enemies) and then through the southern treeline (and the other side of a slight hill) up to check on Rocks team. They were alright, so scuttled back to the Farm – I think some of the AI might have taken shots at me, but didn’t stay out in the open long enough. Quitso had to disappear at some point, so I stole his SMAW. So far only two wounded, only one seriously enough to lose consciousness.
After a while I ordered (god, saying ‘I ordered’ feels so wrong. Feels more like ‘I requested’) everyone to hold fire and listen – everything was completely silent. Checked the map looking for a crossing point to get over to the hill – pretty sure most of the Russians were dead, but can’t always be sure (they weren’t). Anyway, only good crossing point was actually over at Rock team (a copse of trees north of them, shortest area of open ground in the vicinity), so everyone from Farm packed up and scuttled over (terrain as cover, etc) to join Rock in a big “HE GRENADE HERE PLX” meeting. Some AI shot at us as we got close to the rock, and was promptly shot for his brave efforts.
At this point I sort of switched leading styles and started leading from the front (rather than behind the farmhouse as I had been), although that was mainly simply due to not wanting to have the BOF element bound across the open space first, and wanting to get to the other side with the first wave to assess the situation. Anyway, IIRC it was me, Gijoe and Pvt Recrut that went across first, leaving Mack with the BOF. Bound went well, settled to look to the north as Rock hopped up behind us. Farm bounced ahead again to the edge of the woodland at the base of the hill, at which point things got the most ‘hairy’ (for me, anyway) they had during the entire time. Apparently some of the AI were actually clever and hadn’t run out into the field to get slaughtered – they were waiting in the forest for us. Forest fights are never nice. Then again, given the corpses scattered across the field, it could have been a lot worse. There were only three of us in the forest, and I counted five or so contacts, all of which went down pretty quickly. Recrut took a bullet at some point, but not sure when – just heard him groaning. So three wounded during the assault, but only one enough to black out. Carefully scuttled up the hill clearing as we went (not much to clear, TBH). Recrut had the satchel charges, so I asked him to plant them as soon as we got to the top – Joe and I covered him while he did, set the timers to 1 minute (Joe found another satchel on a corpse and added that to the asplosion pile) and we legged it back through the woods to the south. Radio tower exploded, mission complete. Potential horrific slaughterfest in the forest avoided.
Improvements: Not sure how to improve on it. It'd be better if no-one had been shot, but doubt that could have been avoided in the circumstances. Probably should have taken more time to peer into the forest before making the final bound. As always, need to be more firm with orders ('requests'), keep my radio traffic to a minimum.

Sort of worried that these may count as exploiting weakness of the AI and going against SOP / TG Primer. "3) Support game play in a near-simulation environment. Where the focus of play would not be solely on doing what it takes to win, but doing so utilizing real-world combat strategy and tactics rather than leveraging exploits provided to players by the design of the game engine, regardless of the level of advantage, if any, it gives over the opposing team."