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08/03/2013 feat. E-Male as PL

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  • [AAR] 08/03/2013 feat. E-Male as PL

    In this one we see me fail to clearly communicate orders and tension arises as a result.

    I will adopt JohnF's method of asking for a "copy" upon issuing an order.


  • #2
    Re: 08/03/2013 feat. E-Male as PL

    Thanks for taking up the reigns from John when he had to leave early. I think you did really well.

    It's always difficult when we change PL. This results in a change both in strategy and in leadership style and I think we struggled with both. I was in Charlie (Pheleah as squad leader) and I think we had difficulty re-orienting ourselves from a massive tank battle at East Hills Checkpoint to a staggered retreat to Rock Slide Outpost. Getting from one side of Mekala tech plant to the other was not only difficult logistically, we also didn't fully understand why we were leaving a battle that we thought we were winning. Obviously we didn't have the strategic viewpoint you did, so we didn't know what you had in mind. Perhaps it's worth introducing the general strategy to the platoon after a change in leadership.

    However, once we re-grouped and understood what you were trying to do, we made good progress to the TR warpgate.

    We also had a bug in comms where the names of squad members and platoon leaders stopped appearing when people were speaking, which just added a bit of confusion.

    I'm a bit confused the the procedure of asking for comms. Sometimes a squad leader of Delta, for example, will say "Delta Comms" meaning Delta is asking for comms with the PL, but sometimes Delta SL will say "Charlie Comms", which sounds like they are the Charlie squad leader asking PL for comms, but in fact it's Delta SL asking Charlie SL for comms.

    I had a lot of fun though, so thanks John, Emale, Wyatt and all the squad leaders for a great evening/early morning of teamwork.


    • #3
      Re: 08/03/2013 feat. E-Male as PL

      I had lead on Bravo squad from the start till way late. It was one hell of a ride.

      From the beginning of this video Bravo was holding the south east outpost of Mekela Tech plant, if you notice there is a geological barrier to the south and east, with a fortified shield gate bottlenecking that point. Notice both TR and VS where both up to that point. At first VS was rolling up and managed to take down the shield, spilling 4 tanks and a APC into our tower. I was quiet on PL Comms due to this becoming a defensive siege for our squad.

      Over the course of what seemed like a hour to us, we managed to hold out both TR and VS incursions. Thus keeping the plant clear for Alpha and freeing up Charlie and Delta to roam as needed. Granted I should have informed more to E-male about my decision, when I was told to repair a shield, all I gave back was "If we move from this point, we are going to lose it" I was joining into the firefight the best I could to support my own squad and with our fierce battle, our squad comms were heavy. I didn't even listen to PL Comms unless I heard "Bravo" mentioned.

      After Mekela SE was secured by allowed blue friendlies to secure past use and push VS out, we were able to move as ordered. The terrain did prove difficult and I know some of my newer squad members were heading to the platoon waypoint rather than our objective, splitting us for a moment.

      The Biolab became a heavy fight be far more short lived since our all forces moved in together. Once the lab was secured, Bravo was out of comms with E-male AFK and secured the south points of TR resistance. We quickly rejoined the fight at the TR warpgate for the rest of the night.

      Overall, I think we handled it pretty well. There was tension but when your getting hammered and cant even properly disengage, stress goes up. I know mine was just holding that damn SE tower. I think its moments like that, that make games like this a tad more realistic and enjoyable honestly.

      Good work everyone!
      The soldier formerly known as, Eroak.

      From the TG Primer: 2) Create an environment where there is
      mutual respect for your fellow gamers
      and where all members
      would be working together to advance the enjoyment of their hobby.
      Former TGU Dean, 3rd, 9th, & 56th IHS member.


      • #4
        Re: 08/03/2013 feat. E-Male as PL

        Awesome AARs, C and M, thank you for taking the time to add your thoughts.

        Explaining the strategy -- a great idea.

        Asking for a sit rep prior to ordering a retreat -- also a good idea.

        Learning more about what to say, what to ask -- more later.


        • #5
          Re: 08/03/2013 feat. E-Male as PL

          I was charlie leader. Sorry for loosing my cool a bit. Thats no fun for anyone. Like Coiled said, we were in a huge tank battle and to be honest it was fun. I
          managed to hold onto my tank the whole time, and only lost it at Arch bio 30 minutes later.

          A couple of things, I think we should move as a platoon more instead of being spread out a few hexes from each other. There were a couple of times I called for back up and didn't get a reply. That is what frustrated me the most is knowing we had 3 other squads in the platoon but none of them were around to help us.

          Thank you for steping up though. I would rather squad lead than platoon lead. Leading is such a thankless task so I appreciate it. The fun in this game is in the engagements. Even though the maps are big and there are a lot of players actual territory doesn't mean that much. It's not like PR when holding a flag means everything because of ticket bleed.

          I think we could have won at Blackshard and if the whole platoon was at Makela we could have held them off for a very long time and had a lot of fun doing it. The fight at the Warp gate was fun but at that point we needed more than just a platoon spread out amongst 4 different hexes. We needed a platoon strength or more in each hex to actually prevent the TR from pushing out. Their continent lock was on the line.
          Last edited by eD_ru$h; 03-10-2013, 03:58 PM.

          Never Beat Ninja Gaiden


          • #6
            Re: 08/03/2013 feat. E-Male as PL

            More great points from eD (Pheleah?), and again, thank you for taking the time to provide additional AAR details.

            My bad for not taking more time to understand the local situation facing a squad.

            These issues cut to the core of platoon leading: the demands of the larger battle vs the trials of a local situation.

            By asking Charlie and Delta to exit from the Blackshared quadrant I was engaging in a "high-level" strategic decision -- the abandonment of a territory under our control to gain control of a key sector that would have greater consequences. I did not expect squads C/D to get to the new destination instantly, and in fact started the series of orders well in advance of the collapse of the north-eastern front so as to ensure ample time. My own frustration (for which I owe you an apology) was due to the allowance of extra time being eroded by a failure of communication and execution. Nonetheless, the retreat worked and my strategy proved successful. Everything worked out in the end.

            Such decisions are made knowing that the outcome is always indeterminate, and that I am asking a squad or more to give up what they have gained, or are about to gain, with great and heroic effort. They are not easy decisions.

            In a corporate environment management's communication strategy would be to get a "buy in" from all parties. In the theatre of war such is a luxury that is ill-afforded. At times the PL simply needs immediate compliance, fast (as possible) execution. I blame no one but myself for any issues that ensued, as I fully subscribe to the principle that the PL is responsible for clear communication and for creating an environment that ensures cohesion.

            As to putting squads on disparate targets, this is of course a compromise that brings both risks and rewards. I was willing to attack and defend multiple quadrants at the same time in this battle as we had a substantial population advantage. Throughout most of the battle I had the platoon divided into two units, A/B and C/D, which is (usually) and excellent compromise and also serves to minimize PL comms.

            You will note in the above video that Alpha (BigGaayAl) occasionally asked for assistance and was often denied. A platoon leader is always under-resourced and faced having to make compromises.

            The whole business of war is the ultimate post-modern game -- uncertain, indeterminate, and void of absolute claims!


            • #7
              Re: 08/03/2013 feat. E-Male as PL

              Originally posted by CoiledTortoise View Post
              I'm a bit confused the the procedure of asking for comms. Sometimes a squad leader of Delta, for example, will say "Delta Comms" meaning Delta is asking for comms with the PL, but sometimes Delta SL will say "Charlie Comms", which sounds like they are the Charlie squad leader asking PL for comms, but in fact it's Delta SL asking Charlie SL for comms.

              I also encountered this. I propose the PL just says "CLEAR COMMS" then speaks. It will help also to make squadmembers be quiet during PL orders.

              @ Emale, looking at the video it blew my mind how different PL looks from your in)game perspective vs mine e.g. on saturday. I can see the benefits of both. I think you've become really effective in listening and responding to bottom up information coming to you.

              I believe it was this day when I had a squad guarding Mekala, and all the other squads were moving out fighting around it. It was great fun, a tactic that I've liked a lot since the start of PS, but is very hard to do; because you need a skeleton crew to stay back, guard Mekala; make use of the powerful turrets, keep an eye on [a] and the shields,...

              I had the coolest squad though they were up for it. We had 2 guys on sundy bottom floor using the mortar. 2 guys then on the [A] floor guarding the point (they did so for almost 45mins or so - best of TG imo) and the rest on the top with the turrets. THen we had a designated rapid-response team led by mindkill. Whenever there was a spefic problem outside the building that needed attention, I would call them out to pounce. I mean it worked great. It was great fun. A nimble yet defensive force... But it was not good at all for our exp.

              Thank you all in that squad. I really so much enjoyed that slow, but very organised & effective play. On top of that we watched the rear for 3squads, thus enabling our other squads to strike out.

              *A note on defending.
              One of the key reasons why I love defending, is that you only have to organise defense ONCE.

              As in the example above, once all roles where explained and executed one time, from there it's automatic. While on attack you constantly have to make totally new plans, on defense, the environment is contant. While the battle will still require you to adapt, it basic organisation of defense can remain the same.

              SO then when you move out, and you have to come back to the same position an hour later, you can just say "all assume defensive roles as before".

              That makes it much easier to develop a play style most of us are looking for, at the expense of sometimes considerable down-time (non-combat). Once you get this type of organisation working in the game, it gets a ball rolling. And as some of you may have seen when I run an infantry platoon, the better the organisation, the faster I will steer the pace of play.

              Usually this ball rolling happens after we have had a period of time where combat was low, but we set up positioning/roles and did a few squad-based movements.

              At this point the platoonleading becomes a totally different experience. Instead of feeling like you are trying to steer a huge oil-tanker, you suddenly command a patrol boat that will speed off in the right direction with a flick on the rudder. You could measure the amount of "ball rolling" that is going on by measuring the TTMC (Time To Max-Crash) that I just invented; the time needed when the order to take maxxes is given until 90% of the platoon are at the teleport with a max.


              • #8
                Re: 08/03/2013 feat. E-Male as PL

                Excellent notes on defense (above) by BigGaayAl -- imagine what we can do once we grow to two full platoons!

                As to comm requests, keep in mind that when the Delta SL says "Charlie Comms" it is clear to both the PL and Charlie SL that a request for comms is being directed to Charlie SL. I like this SOP for SL-to-SL comms in the Platoon channel -- a good compromise in the absence of a dedicated SL channel, and one that must be used sparingly so as to not clutter comms. The ideal solution would be SL-to-SL comms in a TG teamspeak command channel, one we should implement down the road.

                SL-to-SL comms in the PLATOON channel is ONLY appropriate when the platoon leader has two squads working on the same objective. Otherwise direct queries to the PL.

                If things get out of hand the PL can always call for a reduction in comms.

                I will begin to implement BGAl's suggestion of preceding comms with the "Clear comms" order. This itself will add to comm traffic (two words prior to each PL communication), but I estimate that my own PL comms can be cut back by 20% to 25% simply through more concise phrasing (and I intend to stop saying "thank you" and "please" to this end).

                I believe PL comms MUST be kept to an absolute minimum so as to free the channel for SLs to communicate with their men. SL-to-squad member comms are the workhorse of platoon communication and need to be given maximum space in the channel.


                • #9
                  Re: 08/03/2013 feat. E-Male as PL

                  I just want to add a few more things to that.

                  One of the issues I see with the PL or SL adressing requesting comms by asking "bravo comms", is that sometimes people have similar voices. If this is the case, and it is impossible to always see the voip-name on your screen, then it can get really confusing who is asking for comms, leading to more comms.

                  Another reason I like the "clear comms" procedure, is that even if you have to talk to only one squad, the other squads and all their members will still have to clear comms even though it is not intended for them. On ecould imagine better systems, but as it is now, with advantages and problems, I think the short pain of just telling the whole platoon to clear comms is better.

                  I myself have to work on talking less in PL-VOIP myself, because on Saturday I was really conscious that I talked a lot, micromanaged a lot. On the other had the platoon was very effective and teamwork was top notch imo, in part because of the micromanaging.

                  THe style of PL I was using, will always use more PLcomms though. As I have my squads in visual range of each other usually, it seems best I move them about, rather then letting the SL's cooperate in a democratic way; this would need more comms traffic, and is never going to create the same focus in the planning as if one person decides.

                  *As a closer on the comms:
                  I found myself doing something which I found quite fun as I noticed myself doing it. I was running back and forth along the squads, and on proximity cajoling people that were with the wrong squad to get to the right position, also trying to motivate them and compliment them on good form. I guess I started doing this to help out the SL's organising their squads, but feeling constrained as I mentioned earlier to use platoon voip. I caught myself laughing because it reminded me of general Patton in movies, or that commander in Apocalypse now, acting as if they are impervious to bullets :P. There is certainly a reason why some generals with that attitude are remembered.

                  THis is also a nice example of very how different we operate sometimes. Remarkable really. I wonder how different it would be to fight a platoon run by you or by me :p. My guess is actually: not that different.

                  I was going to write an AAR, but I was hoping you would post some footage. I thought it'd be easier to write after watching, so that I could write an AAR that is more directly related to what can be seen of it in a video. The memory is fading :p.


                  • #10
                    Re: 08/03/2013 feat. E-Male as PL

                    Originally posted by BigGaayAl View Post
                    One of the issues I see with the PL or SL adressing requesting comms by asking "bravo comms", is that sometimes people have similar voices. If this is the case, and it is impossible to always see the voip-name on your screen, then it can get really confusing who is asking for comms, leading to more comms.
                    True, but I suspect that 90% of the time the context will make the "who is calling" clear. Consider that only two types of people are permitted to issue a comm request in the platoon channel -- SLs and PLs. When an Bravo SL hears his call sign in "Bravo comms" it does not matter WHO is calling (PL or SL), it only matters that the Bravo SL respond in a timely manner to the comm request.

                    Let us continue in this manner and see if more clarity is indeed needed.

                    And I agree that the PL (not SLs) should institute a "Clear comms" protocol prior to starting a communication with the platoon or a specific individual. It will generate respect for command-level comms and reduce error.

                    You make a good point on personal style and the circumstances when PL-intense comms are necessary (such as your excellent 'training' exercises) and note a good use of proximity chat.

                    One thing for all of us to keep in mind that it takes a while for new procedures, SOPs, and best practices to become a habit. I myself am still working on the habitual use of "Clear comms" and need to remind SLs more often to be rigorous in giving me a "Bravo copies" reply. I hate the uncertainty of not knowing if an order has been heard and understood!

                    PLs will have different styles of communication, and this is good.

                    Sometimes micromanaging is appropriate (I myself need to learn to be a little more hands on in certain instances).




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