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2/2/14 - 3pm EST --Charlie Squad Infantry Movement Over Indar's Open Terrain

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  • [AAR] 2/2/14 - 3pm EST --Charlie Squad Infantry Movement Over Indar's Open Terrain

    Charlie was an infantry squad in the western deserts of indar. We started mostly TG, and became less and less TG. Our cohesion and discipline faltered as we lost our core TG guys. By the time I left, discipline was poor, but no surprise, not enough TG guys. It goes to show you, the squad members are the heart and soul of the squad.

    At first I was squad lead over Charlie, later I was platoon lead. DaddyofThree took over Alpha as infantry. I know they had a lot of hard fighting, but since they were mostly too far for me to really see what happened to them I am going to talk about some great infantry work I saw in Charlie. We fought across the desert plains of Indar, rarely seeing the inside of a base, but engaging in heavy firefights with infantry, armor, and air nevertheless.


    1.) Mistake #1: A flank too far.
    While attacking a base, the squad was trying to pull a flank. The squad made it to the flank of the base (left flank, as compared to the “front” which was hot). I tried to go for broke and flank around to the rear. However, when I turned the corner on the exterior wall, I saw the only way in on that side was a long way down that side. (far from the corner, and the squad). What I should have done, was order us back to the “left” side and in. But I stuck to my original plan of a rear flank. That was a mistake that cost the squad. We were wiped out on the rear of the base. The lesson to be learned is that there is such a thing as too bold a maneuver. Squad leaders need to constantly reassess and be ready to order a retreat or change their plans if their initial plan meets heavy resistance. Today I was too slow to do that, and I cost the squad. There were other examples of me being too slow to order a movement or retreat, but I thought this was the clearest example of a mistake in tactical thinking, which people (and myself) could easily grasp and learn from.

    2.) Good thing #1: Bounding overwatch and suppressive fire.
    At one point our squad was two long “jumps” from the doorway to the enemy base. We were attacking on a hot front. I asked for engineers and our tank to lay down suppressive fire while some of us moved out to the intermediate cover (1 “jump”). Several members of Charlie squad and I advanced with fire flying over our heads incoming and out going. It was exhilarating.

    When we arrived at the first cover I called for the first group to put suppressive fire on the door while anyone still behind moved up. I was a medic but I started putting bursts into the door to the base. Meanwhile the stragglers advanced to us and regrouped. It was not exactly textbook or perfectly done, but it had the fundamentals of a simple “fire and movement” drill. I then called for our armor (which was part of the “second” group) to cover as the rest of us all made the final move to the door. Our attack was eventually stopped at the door to the base, but we made it to the door, mostly alive, I believe because of our good tactics in crossing open terrain. It was a really fun exercise to be part of.

    3.) Good Job #2: Flanking the Line
    There was an enemy line of VS infantry dug in with good cover running west to east at another base. They were facing south and shooting. The friendly zerg had been held back for quite some time and was engaging this enemy line without advancing. The enemy spawn was just past this defensive line, north of it, making gradual attack insufficient to breach it, since they just respawned as they died. Charlie squad approached from the west, attempting to flank the line.

    Our squad spawn point (beacon) was approximately 2 “jumps” (movements across open terrain to pieces of cover) from the line, to the north west. The enemy defensive line was in a rough, slightly elevated piece of terrain. This meant we would be advancing "up hill" into our flanking maneuver, but the roughness meant the enemies further down their line would not have warning, and once we reached the line we would have some cover.

    I called for the squad to group up, I advised them in about 20 seconds we would be attacking to our south east, flanking that line. About 20 seconds later I gave the command to move and I moved. We jumped to the intermediate point with smoke, and made the final charge without smoke. I died a little while later, after taking out three enemies. When I was dead I saw the map, and noticed that my squad was advancing into contact in a column formation. (in a line long stretching from the start of our movement to the enemy position.) Column is a poor arrangement for an attack. I puzzled for a second as to why that happened.

    I thought “Were my orders clear? Yes. Were they precise (sufficiently detailed)? Yes. Did the team have time to hear them, process them, and obey them as a unit? Yes. Did we take casualties at the start point which caused us to spread out? I don’t think so, could be." So why didn’t we attack as a unit? Why were we spread out and therefore ineffective?” I decided I needed to be more forceful in my tone.

    Once we respawned I told the squad we were doing it again, and tried to explain that last time we were not grouped up. I let a little of my impatience and intensity into my voice. I changed my tone to something a bit more direct and emotional, less cool and detached. I called for smoke for the first “jump” to the intermediate cover. As soon as I saw the smoke I said with emotion “GO GO GO GO GO!!!” and suddenly the group MOVED as a group. I said in the same voice to hold at this cover, drop ammo, let the engineer get new smokes out for the second jump. Everyone held, right under the enemy spawn and in a very dangerous position, they sat there. About 10 seconds later the next smoke was up and I again ordered the squad forward we charged again.

    This time the squad hit the enemy as a unit. Medics were able to revive me several times and we actually cut through about half that defensive line and put the rest of it into chaos.

    There were several good moments today, but this was my favorite because it was such a classic infantry maneuver. Flank the enemy line and break the otherwise impregnable defense. Granted, that line eventually reformed, but the western half of it was gone when it did.

    Through discipline, planning, and cohesive teamwork, Charlie squad members did a really fine job. I also think this maneuver also highlighted the great utility of a squad leader - his tone and voice can motivate people to maneuver in a way that a zerg of blueberries acting as individuals simply cannot do. Thank you to everyone in that maneuver. It really showed the kind of outfit that TG is.

    I had a great time. We moved across open terrain well, often harassing or flanking the enemy in large (48+/48+) battles. It was very hot action and I hope you all enjoyed it. Thank you to the Tactical Gamer guys in my squad, you are the ones that made it happen. Special thanks to Berto1d, whose obedience, discipline, and teamwork was, as always, exemplary.
    Last edited by Garthra; 02-02-2014, 05:00 PM.
    The question foremost in my mind is "what will bring the most tactical fun to the server?"

  • #2
    Re: 2/2/14 - 3pm EST --Charlie Squad Infantry Movement Over Indar's Open Terrain

    Great AAR! I like the format, focusing on the highlights and lessons learned instead of a strict chronological retelling. I think my own AARs get pretty rambly as a result of that.

    With point #3 there, it's amazing how much of a difference tone makes in leadership. It's infuriatingly difficult to quantify, but you can bet that your squad members will pick up on it. If the SL is frustrated, tired, demoralized, or uncertain and they let even a hint of it in their voice, it'll affect the whole squad. At the same time, if the SL can communicate enthusiasm, confidence, and energy, the squad will be energized and motivated in turn. I suspect it even leaks into the subtleties, like how serious a commander is about his operation altering how much squad members feel inclined to relax and goof off versus bringing their A game.

    Just emphasizes to me that SLs need to take their own mindset very seriously and to be certain that their communications are carrying the proper message not just in terms of the words they choose, but in how they say them and what's communicated on that emotional bandwidth underneath the words. SLs should be doing everything they can to maintain their own good mindset, and if they don't currently have it they need to "fake it 'till they make it" and avoid having their own negative feelings spread to their subordinates.




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