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08/02/2015 StraStriker PL, LtShearer SL, Bregard SLl

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  • [AAR] 08/02/2015 StraStriker PL, LtShearer SL, Bregard SLl

    A few notes on tonight's action:

    Starstricker PL: I was a only a grunt but I appreciated his minimal use of PL-wide comms. Strategy was solid. Led the platoon for 4.5 hours or more!

    LtShearer SL: solid lead, good comms.

    Bregard SL (took over from LtShearer): excellent lead and comms. Very good use of amour making use of line and column formation -- solid control of vehicle positions and formations -- good use of terrain. Noted his use of BOTH ammo and repair Sunderers in an amour squad -- very wise.

    2.5 to 3 hours of in-game time well spent. Once again noted the SIGNIFICANTLY different level of organizational complexity between PS2 and BFx titles. Regretable that my GPU limits me to medium graphics in PS2 and recording frame rates of 25-30 fps. The game looks terrible as a result, but the game-play is unique (similar to ArmA but without the technical realism and plodding pace).

    The contrast between BFx and PS2 provides much food for thought for my ethnographic study of gaming. A key question for study: what are the differences between PS2 players and BFx players (many have played the same games of course, but still courses are made)? What is motivating the choices between BF4 and PS2 among PS2 regulars? Is it the organizational complexity and higher level of group cohesion offered/created in PS2 or just the sci-fi imaginarium? I suspect the former is a key factor.

    Also, PS2 is much easier on my aging hands and fingers (mostly as I spend the majority of time in my Sunderer, my preferred supporting role).

    Good to be back.

    Till next weekend,

    Dr. Strangelove
    aka E-Male





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  • #2
    Re: 08/02/2015 StraStriker PL, LtShearer SL, Bregard SLl

    Total play time: 6.5 hours.

    ...Guh.





    I'd say "sci-fi imaginarium" is not a particularily strong draw of PS2. The "sci-fi"ness of the setting is window dressing at best--the game largely plays like a battlefield game and most of the weapons and vehicles are direct analogues to familiar concepts in modern war FPS games (which I suspect is an intentional attempt to chase mass market appeal). The scale and organization, on the other hand, is consistently mentioned as a draw. "There's just no other game like it" is a very common sentiment.



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    • #3
      Re: 08/02/2015 StraStriker PL, LtShearer SL, Bregard SLl

      Nice to see some former faces back in the game.
      Welcome back [MENTION=8381]E-Male[/MENTION] and @LtShearer

      For me I choose PS2 as it was free to play and I was aware that other TG members were playing it.

      I have since spent a lot more on PS2 (membership, SC) then the one off payments of £40-£50 for other titles, start up costs been my main reason for not owning theses other titles.

      (6..~)Z Z z z....

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      • #4
        Re: 08/02/2015 StraStriker PL, LtShearer SL, Bregard SLl

        Also VERY noteworthy last night:

        Bergard was maintaining close watch of TG's Communication SOPs. Whenever one of his SLs spoke by mistake or ignorance in the PL channel Bregard noted it and politely corrected the individual. Same again when foul language was used -- instant and polite correction.

        A superior example of excellent leadership and TG principles at work. I always learn from watching Bregard in action.
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        • #5
          Re: 08/02/2015 StraStriker PL, LtShearer SL, Bregard SLl

          Originally posted by E-Male View Post
          Also VERY noteworthy last night:

          Bergard was maintaining close watch of TG's Communication SOPs. Whenever one of his SLs spoke by mistake or ignorance in the PL channel Bregard noted it and politely corrected the individual. Same again when foul language was used -- instant and polite correction.

          A superior example of excellent leadership and TG principles at work. I always learn from watching Bregard in action.
          Are SL's no longer talking in Platoon Chat? Or where you referring to the content of what they where saying in PL channel? Also, welcome back, great to see some new/old faces. Okay I just confused myself with that statement. Oh well great to see you anyway! :)
          "When attacking a stronger opponent, Attack swiftly and with full force at their weakest point— take them out before the can react, or Fall back and engage in guerrilla actions,” Spartan 117.

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          • #6
            Re: 08/02/2015 StraStriker PL, LtShearer SL, Bregard SLl

            I think E-Male meant the squad MEMBERS, not the SL!

            At any rate, I certainly noticed as the PL. I usually won't tell someone to get off platoon comms unless they're in my squad or they're a repeat offender. I prefer instead to let the SL/squad mates tell them to stop, lessening any potential embarrassment and keeping the comms clear. It's always gratifying to only hear a new SM break the rule once... it means someone in their squad is on the ball!



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            • #7
              Re: 08/02/2015 StraStriker PL, LtShearer SL, Bregard SLl

              Originally posted by starstriker1 View Post
              I think E-Male meant the squad MEMBERS, not the SL!

              At any rate, I certainly noticed as the PL. I usually won't tell someone to get off platoon comms unless they're in my squad or they're a repeat offender. I prefer instead to let the SL/squad mates tell them to stop, lessening any potential embarrassment and keeping the comms clear. It's always gratifying to only hear a new SM break the rule once... it means someone in their squad is on the ball!
              Inded, I was referring to SMs using the PL channel.

              And I agree with Starstriker1 on delegating discipline to the SL. In rare cases when I see repeated infractions from a SM in my PL channel I'll ask the SL to take a moment to brief his men in comm channel SOPs. A PL directly disciplining a SL erodes the SL's authority and thus should be avoided.
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              • #8
                Re: 08/02/2015 StraStriker PL, LtShearer SL, Bregard SLl

                I post this as more of a curiosity over a fact and I don't even disagree with Bregards call on our SM, but when it comes to SOP on using Platoon comms it comes off rather strict that only SL's and PL's should use it. I agree more to the concept that it should be a controlled channel but have found myself in situations where speed of a contact/situation report should trump this protocal. The SOP's do disagree with me and I'm curious to know am I the one in the wrong?

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                • #9
                  Re: 08/02/2015 StraStriker PL, LtShearer SL, Bregard SLl

                  Originally posted by GeneralCain View Post
                  I post this as more of a curiosity over a fact and I don't even disagree with Bregards call on our SM, but when it comes to SOP on using Platoon comms it comes off rather strict that only SL's and PL's should use it. I agree more to the concept that it should be a controlled channel but have found myself in situations where speed of a contact/situation report should trump this protocal. The SOP's do disagree with me and I'm curious to know am I the one in the wrong?
                  I have just returned to TG PS2 from a long "sabbatical" but I'll stick my neck out here and say yes, this is a strict protocol that should never be violated by squad members.

                  If there is a dire situation that is the very time when the PL's comm channel needs to be clear. As a SL is never really dead and so never really out of comms it remains the duty of the SM to report the dire information to his SL who will then immediately relay the information to the PL.

                  The problem with opening the door to exceptions here is that it quickly multiplies noise in the comm channel and establishes in the minds of less-aware (less trained) squad mates that they may do the same.

                  There are also back channels of communication, such as teamspeak, which the SM may not be aware of and which may already be in use relaying the relevant information.

                  A platoon is a large machine and as such it must often compromise speed of action for cohesion of operation. This means that information flows faster than action thus information (comms) must be strictly controlled so as to not degrade further comms and action.
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                  • #10
                    Re: 08/02/2015 StraStriker PL, LtShearer SL, Bregard SLl

                    By and large I agree with E-male; there's rarely a situation so large and so urgent that bypassing the SOP is worth the disruption. The PL or an SL is usually going to be aware of it around the same time as you are, usually rendering the extra comms traffic more harmful than not. At the end of the day the SM doesn't have the same view of the big picture that the PL does, any more than the PL understands the nuances of their particular situation on the ground.

                    Where I'll quibble with E-Male is that explicit exceptions for SMs in specialist roles--in particular, scouts--can be a really helpful trick. This is something the PL should explicitly set up, though, not something done in an ad-hoc fashion. The individual should also be using their own callsign (I.E. "Scout to platoon").



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                    • #11
                      Re: 08/02/2015 StraStriker PL, LtShearer SL, Bregard SLl

                      Originally posted by starstriker1 View Post
                      Where I'll quibble with E-Male is that explicit exceptions for SMs in specialist roles--in particular, scouts--can be a really helpful trick. This is something the PL should explicitly set up, though, not something done in an ad-hoc fashion. The individual should also be using their own callsign (I.E. "Scout to platoon").
                      No quibble or tribble here. The PL can assign anyone to do anything. Such comms would not be noise -- they would be managed information flow under the direct supervision of the PL.
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                      • #12
                        Re: 08/02/2015 StraStriker PL, LtShearer SL, Bregard SLl

                        With any situation I find that my real experiences are what guide the minor differences in opinion on SOP. From my prior point of view information is the most vital resource anyone can have, even as a SM in a real world situation coms to platoon was common practice and major contact reports (Squad+/2+ Armor) was a platoon call. While not exactly translated for PS2 I do believe it cleans comms up more by not having the same major information disseminated up two and three times and allows for SM's to have more situational awareness. When I say this I'm not saying it should be the please chat here comm but the important information, when a PL needs to chat that's what the clear commands of BREAK. BREAK. BREAK. which is PL/SL saying shut up I have orders for you, with CLEAR COMS being I have orders and will be passing them along shortly.

                        When it comes to us having our Teamspeak up which several of us do keep active while in game, normally the ones I see on teamspeak tend to be our NCO's and above (but not always) it would come as a better recommendation to use our Teamspeak assets for the planning/stageing as it can be tailored better during the downtimes if keeping the minions out of those tender officer moments is truly needed. In this regard I offer it more as advise from tradition knowing that it does change the dynamic we have been useing, and I am still "relatively" young to the TG core it's just a different perspective not law. Also it does become completely negated should the PLT be in different locations which does happen from time to time.

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                        • #13
                          Re: 08/02/2015 StraStriker PL, LtShearer SL, Bregard SLl

                          Thanks for the perspective, Cain!

                          There's definitely some utility we lose out on by making the restriction on platoon comms absolute. I can recall a few situations in the past where someone breaking that rule (usually leading with "flash comms" or something similar) brought everybody's attention to an incoming Gal drop, which is one of those rare situations that IS platoon wide and where seconds matter.

                          Here's a few disjointed counter-points:
                          • The pace of the game is nuts, and while we're pretty good about our comms discipline we're rarely perfect. On top of that, a platoon lead might have four or five different comm channels barking in their ears at once. Comm channel overload is a huge hazard when platoon leading, and the SM very likely doesn't know if I've got prox, squad, command, and/or teamspeak channels in my ear at the same time.
                          • We've got a lot of newer members and often run open squads. There's a potential discipline issue in making exceptions as even if the original callout was sound. For example, the galaxy drop mentioned earlier, even if the person who call it out made the correct judgement in ignoring the SOP given the situation, there's a risk that new or non-TG players might follow the example and become more lax on their platoon usage, which we then need to reign in again (with a bit less credibility now that we've let someone else get away with it).


                          In an ideal world I'd definitely fall on the side of "let common sense override protocol in a pinch". I'm still open to the idea of particularly urgent contact reports getting immediately called on platoon chat, but I'd only even consider allowing it for really major contacts like a MAX crash, sudden appearance of a tank column, or galaxy drop... and even then, the chance of getting multiple overlapping and disorganized callouts is really high. I'd still prefer an SL breaking comms discipline in this situation to an SM doing so!

                          As a PL, I'll usually trade a little bit of promptness in communication for clear comms. Clear and disciplined comms keep the platoon running smoothly, which is often worth a a few major contacts being slow to report. We can always regroup or reorganize, but if I'm swamped in comms and getting disoritented trying to figure out who's talking to me where I'm completely useless as a PL... not to mention that I'm probably tearing my hair out and ready to snap at someone!



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                          • #14
                            Re: 08/02/2015 StraStriker PL, LtShearer SL, Bregard SLl

                            Can you imagine if:

                            Everyone in both squads made a call out in platoon at the same time, 'everyone' in the platoon would have a bad time focusing on their current job, plus the extra garbled comms and no one would be able to respond the comms. It would take an age to decipher the chatter and by then this 'urgent information' would be stale.

                            I see a armour squad flanking Bravo:

                            Code:
                            Alpha 10 to Alpha Lead........
                            
                            ......Go
                            
                            
                            Message for Bravo.....
                            
                            ..OK..
                            
                            North bravo 8 close , armour 1 squad prowlers

                            Now, its up to the SL to use and pass this info or not.

                            The only time I can remember breaking Comms Discipline is when the SL was connected but unreachable or an area of discipline needed to be addressed NOW(as an NCO/Officer)

                            (6..~)Z Z z z....

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                            • #15
                              Re: 08/02/2015 StraStriker PL, LtShearer SL, Bregard SLl

                              Good discussion and excellent points made. From personal experience I would stick with what you've got, no exceptions unless it pertains to an assigned role, 'radio operator', 'scout' etc.

                              Opening up the Platoon channel in 'exceptional circumstances' leads to a breakdown in coc, cluttering and devaluing of that channel, potential for other coc approved comms to be missed etc.

                              Information is key however it only informs the decision making process. Those decisions are made via coc. Someone hurriedly breaking comms on the PL channel to announce 'gal drop to our north' may inadvertantly mislead others to react to that Intel as opposed to waiting for orders. It just contributes more potential for breakdown in discipline.

                              The negatives far outweigh the positives IMO.

                              Instant relaying of platoon wide Intel by anyone who personally deems it appropriate can induce paralysis through overload. For information to flow freely in a large group it has to be disseminated carefully without hindrance. The less traffic in channel the faster the message is actually meaningfully communicated. Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. Have the SM relay to SL and so on up the line. Those tiers in comms also act as filters and cutouts, necessarily, and actually keep pertinent info flowing more freely.

                              My personal experience is that this type of streamlined system is by far and away the most efficient. I have also noticed a correlation between SM's who like to broadcast on the wider net and those who like to backseat SL (without the responsibility) or do their own thing (many games).

                              Lastly it undermines your leadership. It is your leaders decision what information to relay. Leading reduces immediate area situational awareness at times. That is a tradeoff against the benefits of having someone using orderly comms to relay vetted Intel. If everyone starts doing it the leader is wasting his time and the SM's aren't focused on their actual roles. The burden of pl wide comms is not for SM's, they have work to do and they aren't privvy to all other relevant info (as stated).

                              A unit/organization with structure and organized comms actually moves quicker overall than a rabble that potentially reacts to random call outs.

                              It sounds like you have the best system in place already.

                              (Great discussions in here as always, good reading!)


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