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FNF April 11th 2014 - Training night!

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  • [AAR] FNF April 11th 2014 - Training night!

    I ran platoon lead for this week's FNF. Unlike our regular ops, tonight we mostly ran TG in our squads and one of our squads was set up as a training squad.

    The training squad was loaded with experienced TG leaders, but the actual SL was rotated between aspiring trainees for roughly 30-40 minute increments. At the end of each segment the squad would pull back, do a brief AAR/feedback session for the SL, and then switch to the next squad lead for their 30-40 minutes. We had many leads in Charlie squad, and a big thank you both to the trainees and to the mentors for participating! From my perspective as PL, every trainee SL seemed to be doing a fantastic job, and the TG-only squad that accompanied them moved quickly, stayed grouped, and fought hard. A big shout out to SierraSyke, CliveOwn, ZombieSnack, and Llamar for sticking their necks out and volunteering for SL.

    We started the night off on Amerish, with Bravo (led by penandpennyman) running a mixed vehicle/infantry force while Charlie was lead by Sierra. The target was Subterranean Nanite Analysis, a notoriously tough to crack base. However, we had a decent pop advantage and were able to lock it down. Bravo secured the topside and kept the Sunderer protected while Charlie knocked out generators and drove deep into the base to the control point. Unfortunately, the TR weren't willing to leave it at that, and we soon had a fairly large force of defenders spawning at the base and were driven back to the surface. Despite a valiant and prolonged hold, we couldn't maintain our position in the face of TR air and a constant surge of TR infantry from below. We pulled back to the northern Biolab satellite and braced for an assault.

    I had Bravo kit for AV/AA duty and put them on the west tower on the gate, while Charlie rallied up on the east tower. Expecting an infantry attack through the wooded hills to the north and a sunderer push on the main road, I had Sierra move his guys into the hills and clear out the inbound infantry push there, then sweep west to engage the Sunderers that Bravo was already engaging. That Sunderer was gone by the time Charlie got there, but the cohesion was good and Charlie was in a great position to push forward. While Bravo dealt with some back-cappers at the Biolab Satellite Charlie came in for another go. While the squad lasted a while, they were outnumbered and didn't last long enough for Bravo to bring in a Sunderer. When they wiped, Charlie pulled back for Sierra's AAR.

    In the meantime, Bravo pushed forward with a Sunderer, a Lightning, and infantry, and began sweeping the SNA perimeter for enemy infantry and Sunderers. While unable to really gain a foothold against their superior numbers, Bravo kept them busy and bought time for both friendly blueberries to arrive and for Charlie (now under CliveOwn) to bring a Sunderer to another side of the base. Once again, we pushed deep into the base and overran the defenders, but this time an Amp station alert had triggered and no reinforcements were forthcoming. We capped the base without further incident.

    At this point, we had enough people to open up Delta squad, which was to run armour. At the same time, Wokuk was under attack by the Vanu, who held the northern base. I had Bravo and Charlie load up in Galaxies while Delta started rolling cross-country. The two Galaxies then hit the northern depot, largely depleted of defenders due to the main amp station attack, and started capping the base. While they eventually wiped when the Vanu returned to resecure it in force, the overcorrection depleted their amp station offensive and Charlie and Bravo both procured Sunderers on opposite ends of the base to push in while the NC zerg started marching in to support us. It was a tough fight, but the Vanu were badly outpopped. Bravo set up on the south side of the base while Charlie moved to defend the point proper, and within short order we had the base. During this time, Delta arrived to secure the perimeter and secure a position near the West Pass Watchtower. After the base flipped, I sent Charlie to provide an infantry security layer to Delta's position and Bravo to secure the other side of the road to the east while the zerg pressed forward.

    Taking that tower was a long, involved fight and the Vanu didn't make it easy. However, we eventually locked it down completely with the help of the zerg and, in retrospect, permanently secured the amp station for the rest of the Alert as a result. It's at this point that CliveOwn pulled his squad back to do an AAR and then ZombieSnack took the helm.

    With the watchtower secure we started pushing up towards Kwahtee Amp via Cobalt Communications. The long corridor between the two bases proved, as it had in the past, to be a very tough nut to crack. Both sides of the lane are steep mountains and the road passes in and around a series of rolling hills that make lovely infantry strong points, and that's exactly what the Vanu did. The valley was fortified front to back, and we couldn't really make headway. At some point the Vanu snuck a platoon behind us and we had to fall back.

    The Vanu attack on the watchtower was overwhelming. They had more Sunderers than we could effectively address, and a population advantage besides. Nevertheless, we did everything we could to slow the cap down. With the alert reaching its end, the Vanu had very little time before they could reach the amp station proper, and we wanted to slow that down. Even though we eventually lost the watchtower, we were then able to fall back to the Wokuk depot to make another line of defense. All three squads admirably held the front line against the initial rush, taking out enemy Sunderers and preventing a logistics backbone from being formed in that direction. Unfortunately, the Vanu still outpopped us and had enough options in other areas to bust down the front gate and get to the point. Charlie, now at half-strength, was overrun in their tower and had to pull back. Bravo pulled back from their position to resecure the point. Meanwhile, two enemy Sunderers were set up in the hills to the west, and Charlie and Delta were tasked with hitting them. Delta took the long way around the east side of the base to avoid enemy AT, while Charlie reformed. When Charlie arrived, the first Sunderer was quickly destroyed, and they moved on to the (now relocated) second Sunderer. By this time, Delta's tanks had arrived, and between the two squads two Sunderers (the one from before and a new one being rolled in) were destroyed, breaking the attack on the depot.

    This was followed by a bitterly contested attack on the watchtower once more. This time we weren't able to crack it, and despite a valiant effort on multiple fronts to hold on, all squads were eventually wiped and pushed out of the base. It's around this time that ZombieSnack's stint as SL ended.

    LLamar was next up, but unfortunately we were basically out of steam by that point and the platoon started winding down. We hung around on Esamir for another hour while Ghostshooter ran an excellent armour squad and Randy flew around an old-school battlegal (and I terrified Assault9 with my reckless-to-the-point-of-suicidal Harasser driving), but eventually I was out of steam too and I called it a night.

    So! How was it, guys? In particular, how was the training squad? Worth doing again? Were there things that should change?




  • #2
    Re: FNF April 11th 2014 - Training night!

    One Item Of Note for me: If you are certed into command chat, learn how to turn it way down. (Social tab, voice and chat, voice options, leader chat - turn it down there) Very hard to listen and think with so much arguing going on.




    I think SL training should be tiered, to make it easier to start, and to get the basics down before adding platoon orders, squad coordination, and alert intensity. I felt that some potential SL trainees were not ready to screw up in the prime time, and thus did not get the SL experience. Something like this:

    Tier 1. Practice in freindly territory. SL gets used to kitting a squad, forming the group, starting to develop cohesion, selecting target and general plan of attack, movement to target, taking the (friendly) point, setting up defenses, and holding for a minute. I would imagine no SL trainee one would need to do this more than a couple of times.

    Tier 2. Same as tier 1, only in lightly held enemy territory, even ghost capping. This adds some risk and potential enemy contact to the attack and defense. Depending on comfort level of SL trainee, fight would ideally be near 50/50 pop. The SL trainees would do this until they are very satisfied with their general SL ability.

    Tier 3. Fighting with PL and other squads, and this would probably be done in conjunction with an alert, like last night.


    Working with Randy last night after the AAR was very helpful. My training and learning philosophy is that you really have to fail, as I think the lessons best learned are the ones in which you fail. If you are gently corrected before you fail, the lesson is not learned as quickly, and often you fail anyway once you are on your own. Failing has consequenses in an alert or a serious fight, which is why I think SL training during less critical times are better. I would like to see a SL trainee take a squad, fail in a task, pull back and analize what went wrong, then retry the objective with the lessons learned. That's just me though, and my observations- I am sure some people learn in a different way.
    Communications, Cohesion, Confidence.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: FNF April 11th 2014 - Training night!

      I'd love to see training squads like that run throughout the week as well, it'd certainly help address some of those issues. I would say that it's probably best for those SLs to be operating under a PL, though, because that means that they don't need to think about the strategic layer at all.

      I like the idea of pulling back for AARs immediately after failures, especially with the same SL having a chance to give it another go and correct for it a bit. That seems like an excellent way to run it, rather than doing that AAR at the end and giving the SL no chance to apply the lessons learned. I think next time I'd have someone IN the training squad running the switch-off rather than manage it as the PL, since I was essentially blind as to how the squad was running.

      Running it during prime-time puts a bit of extra pressure on, but it also ensures enough experienced people are on to make the squad a great experience. As I said during the kick-off speech (dunno if you were there for that) our mode of operation was "if we help out on alerts and major strategic objectives, great, but our objective tonight is a good training fight". I don't know how close I held to that, though, as the PL it's easy to lose track of that and just focus on my main job of "how do I maneuver these squads to win this fight". Having the "we're pulling back for an AAR" authority back in the training squad might alleviate that somewhat.



      Comment


      • #4
        Re: FNF April 11th 2014 - Training night!

        Thank you Starstriker for running this op and putting the time in to write the AAR.

        Never Beat Ninja Gaiden

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: FNF April 11th 2014 - Training night!

          Awesome job star. I had great fun running bravo squad while I could. Sorry I had to bail so quickly.

          “Big Brother is Watching You.”
          ― George Orwell, "1984"

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: FNF April 11th 2014 - Training night!

            I took part in this and loved it. Trying to render most of the evening session that I played. Was apart of the Charlie learning squad and had some outstanding new leadership that lead us into the battles and took the constructive criticism in the AAR to heart and will make them better leaders. I missed my chance to lead after alt tabbing to ensure I had enough disk space to get the rest of the evening, when I cam back...damn thing froze! :(

            Anyhoo....Hell of a night all around, people listened, communicated and helped us newer folk along!! Thanks to all involved and here's to next Friday's!! It really cool to be involved at some point of that Friday night with a full Charlie squad (12) and having delta's armor (12) along with bravo (12) and Alpha (12) all taking on different roles within the platoon, along with the countless (~50-60 other NC's friendlies) all in one little battle helping each other out!

            Really cool!!!






            "TG was created to cater to a VERY specific type of gamer rather than trying to appeal to the greater gaming population....Tactical Gamer is not mainstream. We are not trying to attract mainstream gamers" ~ Apophis

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: FNF April 11th 2014 - Training night!







              "TG was created to cater to a VERY specific type of gamer rather than trying to appeal to the greater gaming population....Tactical Gamer is not mainstream. We are not trying to attract mainstream gamers" ~ Apophis

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: FNF April 11th 2014 - Training night!

                Yeesh. Is that how bad my comms are? That's hideous. How does anyone EVER understand me?



                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: FNF April 11th 2014 - Training night!

                  Thanks for recording J4ck, I'm sure that took a huge amount of space and time to upload :P

                  Star, are your coms bad due to your internet or just a bad mic?

                  “Big Brother is Watching You.”
                  ― George Orwell, "1984"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: FNF April 11th 2014 - Training night!

                    I'm pretty sure my mic is high quality, it's almost certainly my shoddy, inconsistent internet. When I'm not so busy I need to take a few hours and give my ISP a call.



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: FNF April 11th 2014 - Training night!

                      I love how everyone is like lined up on the wall. Lol
                      sigpic

                      Do or do not, there is no try. -Yoda

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