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Early thoughts about organizing a dedicated armor squad.

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  • [GUIDE] Early thoughts about organizing a dedicated armor squad.

    I recently with some succes ran a dedicated armor squad. Thanks to Viking for helping me start it, and the other TG members here that helped me lead by setting the example for the squaddies.


    1. Deployment: kit and vehicle choice

      • A sunderer or two.
        I prefer to be in a sunderer as SL, that way I have more time to spend looking at the map. The sunderer will resupply all vehicles, and if unlocked, will also repair them. You will run out of ammo fast, thus the bloody sundy is essential. The sunderer is also very effective to help fend off enemy air-vehicles.

      • Kits: all engineers - this is to improve cohesion in the squad. It is an armor squad => no other kits needed. People get distracted by switcheroo habits, it makes them run off to do all kinds of things that destroy organisation of the squad. At least if they are engi they can only repair stuff and the will always be able to do that near your armor.

      • Equal amount of lightnings/vanguards; this way when the tanker dies he can switch to lightning if needed and vice versa. This is a workaround to avoid people having to wait before getting a vehicle. This plan also helps to avoid suddenly finding your squad consisting of only lightnings and thus suddenly being much weaker as as squad than you were expecting.

      • ATV's or engis in a sunderer or in the secondary position of the vanguard are also allowed.



    2. Logistics in the field: stay close to a Forward Operating Base of your choice.

      • By this I mean stay within reasonable driving range of a safe friendly base that as an armor spawn. This is really a key element of my plan. If you cannot easily form up with respawned tanks, your squad will fall apart into being a random bunch of people; no one wants to spend their day driving single from the warpgate.

      • Secondly, in the current build you seem to be able to spawn only on spawnpoints that are in your general area of the map. Just like all tanks in history, they have a lot of power, lots of mobility, but they depend highly on fuel logistics, and when supply lines are cut, the loses almost all of it's power. In Planetside 2 you similarly depend on a supply line of respawning tanks (ammo less so with mobile sundy).

      • This is a point where most people would do it differently I bet. Usually people are quite agressive in moving forward. Also usual is that people don't do tanks for very long as the logistics dry up and they switch to infantry.



    3. Battle tactics: location location location: fight exclusively where the tank is most powerful.

      • Try to fight more on flat open ground than on mountainous terrain.

      • Do not ever, ever, ever drive in between buildings on a cap point!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously don't ever!

      • You can spread out to control large areas of the map

      • You can come together and focus fire on galaxies, groups of enemies

      • You can quickly surround the smaller bases thus eliminating every chance of finding cover for enemy infantry. This is really effective. After one hour and a half of tanking the squad discipline was such in my test, that they would finally stop driving into bases and leaving formation. At this point I started asking them to surround bases in this way. If the surround was completed, the enemy seemed to give up spawning and some infantry would come cap it for us withing minutes. Capping can also be done by any engineers that do not have a vehicle at that time. Usually some pubbie will come along more than soon enough to justify keeping your engis safe and close to you, where they belong.

      • Control the airspace for your team. A squad full of armor turns out to be very effective at killing air assets. The sunderer and vanguards together pack a lot of anti-air firepower. We were able to kill many galaxies even, so you can imagine neither liberators nor mosquitos were a threat. A liberator could in theory take out lots of tanks, but in practice it simply cannot, not if the armor isn't in a place it shouldn't be (like the crown :p).

      • Control ground-space; try to not let any back-capping atvs pass you by spreading out your formation when the squad is not focused on an immediate threat.

      • Stay away from (hostile) biolabs. It is where too-old-tankers go to die. The biolab has great elevation on you, there are plenty of infantry with an infinite supply of rockets there. before you know it it'll be raining rockets on you, and you cannot even see or elevate your gun to shoot them. So,.. stay away from the biolab if there is even a chance it might have enemies inside. I think 1000m is probably safe, 500m too, but then I think you will be nearly in range for lock-on missiles and dumbfire missiles.

      • Fixed AT-gun positions. Do not go near any base that has these before checking that they are absolutely down or in friendly hands. THese are afaik the most powerful at weapons in the game and they will decimate your squad quicly if you get caught of guard by them. 3 shots I believe to kill a vanguard.


        As you see, these are a lot of do's and don'ts that many will have a different opinion on.



    4. Strategic considerations: is a dedicated tank squad viable or a hindrance?

      • This part is inspired by my discussion and final disagreement with an other of our members on the matter. When I ran the armor squad, we were coordinating with a tg infantry squad until said squad left to go to the other side of the map. By the time we reluctantly got there the squad was again fighting on the side of the map we were on first. That is the point where we ceased to be a platoon as organisation became impossible. Thihs was very very disappointing and discouraging for me. But the experiment was continued succesfully for a total of three hours, without inter squad coordination for most part unfortunately.

      • A tank squad is very slow. THe NC map has a big ravine dividing it vettically in two. SO if there is to be combined operations, the infantry will have to take this into consideration, and adapt thier pace to the armor, or at least keep their area of operations around the armor squad so that coordination is still possible and useful. THis is an area where we have been lacking the discipline in my opinion to take the game to the next level.

      • I feel it is perfectly possible, fun, and useful to have a full squad do only armor. This TG-member I had a discussion with felt that the game demands that you be prepared to suddenly change not only your area of operation but also your classes, vehicles if the game situation demands it.

      • Me, not only do I not want to play in that way, regardless of the effectiveness of it. But I even think that all the flaghopping in galaxies, is less effective than controlling the ground you already hold. To be more concrete: I think it is perfectly fine to hold the west of the map with tanks, even if vanu are up to your warp gate. Whatever attack the enemy sends, as long as the territory your are controlling is not surrounded by enemy controlled sectors, it is worth holding it. Furthermore, I believe in smurfs :D.



    5. Final thoughts

      • I wrote this out in hopes of sort of getting the ball rolling a bit, getting people thinking about the different squads one could run how one could make them effective.

      • I also would like to ask all tg players to set the example for others, especially when the squad is open and pubbies are in. Lets focus on following the chain of command as much as possible, and let us not go off doing our own great ideas without checking with the squadleader.

      • A good sergeant is the squadleader's best asset!


  • #2
    Re: Early thoughts about organizing a dedicated armor squad.

    Implants and certs in acquisition timer significantly reduce the need for lightning/vanguard mix. Lightnings suck against everything, there's no point using them without specialized weapons. Skyguards only would be my preference for the lightnings.

    Increased zoom also results in the ability of the vanguard to essentially arty a base to death. I've single-handedly demolished enemy air over the Crown by sitting in the valley resupply base, and just nailing them as they come in on the East server, and as they spawn, and so on. But I have upwards of 2x zoom on my vanguard. Consequently, concentrated artillery fire on AT emplacements results in an essentially nullified base. Consistent arty fire should be able to even totally suppress an entire base, assuming the infantry lack effective cover, especially with a sunday bus resupplying.

    Another big point is just knowing how to operate a tank properly, how to use hills to increase the effective elevation of your cannon, and so on. I can't count the number of times hills have won me easy kills against stupid fighter pilots thinking they could hover just above me. Maintaining distance is also especially important if a Lib is around, as a skilled Lib crew should be able to demolish armor.

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    • #3
      Re: Early thoughts about organizing a dedicated armor squad.

      Yea agree with WhiteFyre. I've seen Lightnings with Skygaurd upgrades completely wreck air assets. I think if you're going to include Lightnings, they need to have this upgrade. I've seen them effective vs. infantry but only just. MBT's still do a more effective job of killing infantry. Once some conclusive tests come out about the armor certs I think if you have a fully zoom/armor certed tank, it'd be pretty hard to kill especially with the lib nerfs.


      These Things We Do... That Other's May Live

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      • #4
        Re: Early thoughts about organizing a dedicated armor squad.

        Armor certs on tanks are one type only, E.G. top/sides/front. I'm not even sure if those arcing rockets that hit the top are considered top armor hits or not though, etc. Plus putting armor on the Vanguard currently ruins its mobility completely. As in the damn thing accelerates even slower, literally cannot turn past 22kph, and so on.

        Looking at what the devs want to do though, the game should be getting much more interesting in terms of forward spawns, ground pushes, and so on, per Higby's post: http://forums.station.sony.com/ps2/i...gistics.17169/

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        • #5
          Re: Early thoughts about organizing a dedicated armor squad.

          Originally posted by BigGaayAl View Post
          A liberator could in theory take out lots of tanks, but in practice it simply cannot, not if the armor isn't in a place it shouldn't be (like the crown :p).
          Naw, man, we need to hide a FLEET of NC aircraft inside the giant impact crater north of the Crown. Then, just as your armor column is almost to the Crown the fleet springs up and we attack simultaneously!

          But seriously, I don't have the map in front of me, but how feasible is it to hold Hvar and the Crown and have armor and air power patrol between those two points like a net running east-west to keep anything from heading north? Seems like with that steep ridgeline there aren't too many places for ground vehicles to navigate and sneak through. Park Galaxies at landing pads at Hvar and the Crown so if infantry needs to redeploy quickly we can do so to meet threats (as in, spawning on those Galaxies if spawn tubes are compromised). But again, those two bases might be too far apart, but would be interesting to try something along this line.

          Originally posted by BigGaayAl View Post
          A good sergeant is the squadleader's best asset!
          Very crucial. I think with the 12 man squads it's going to become pretty important to have fireteams. As you point out, the SL will constantly be looking at the map and planning the next move while the "sergeant" makes sure the SLs orders are executed properly.

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          • #6
            Re: Early thoughts about organizing a dedicated armor squad.

            There was such an "anti-air tank" in the squad in fact but I didn't speak of it since I had no information about it. But please don't discuss the specifics of upgrades and unlocks here further on, it is a different topic, as any sort of tactic for a bigger group should not depend on any unlocks or certs.

            I am writing, but also asking, how can one organize an armor squad in this game, with pubbies in a normal game, possily in a platoon.

            @Coridon:
            There certainly is room for tanks in between hvar and allatum, where there is some nice high ground, open ground. It is also quite possible to attack allatum's western cap point (B I believe). However to keep tanks near the biolab will cost you I think, unless the dome itself is clear of infantry.

            I also thought of having a galaxy follow the tanks around. You could pretty much keep it safe, and move it forward carefully only when needed. In case you would have an associated infantry squad, this could serve as their main or as their backup spawn.

            *edit* Lol my last line is already obsolete:
            "Repair, Rearm, Respawn and other cool toys like Blockade Armor (which allows you to drive through gate shields) will all be certifications for the Sunderer which unlock loadout choices. Which functionality you want to have with the Sunderer will be up to your loadout, you'll be able to select one of these benefits at a time." (Higby - posted today)

            link: http://forums.station.sony.com/ps2/i...gistics.17169/
            Last edited by BigGaayAl; 09-11-2012, 05:33 AM.

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            • #7
              Re: Early thoughts about organizing a dedicated armor squad.

              Originally posted by BigGaayAl View Post
              I am writing, but also asking, how can one organize an armor squad in this game, with pubbies in a normal game, possily in a platoon.
              To answer your question that would be the commander seat. Which is unlocked with certs. the commander seat will be able to control the entire factions side. It will give the ability to offer missions or commands to the pub's and SL and PLs. Unless your talking about how TG will handlle it's tactics with pubbies then that is something I haven't thought about ill get back to you later :)

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              • #8
                Re: Early thoughts about organizing a dedicated armor squad.

                Originally posted by BigGaayAl View Post
                There was such an "anti-air tank" in the squad in fact but I didn't speak of it since I had no information about it. But please don't discuss the specifics of upgrades and unlocks here further on, it is a different topic, as any sort of tactic for a bigger group should not depend on any unlocks or certs.[/url]
                I would respectfully disagree with you with regards to the SkyGuard, if only because the SkyGuard is currently the Only dedicated AA vehicle. One man in a SkyGuard is more effective against aircraft than 3 men in a Sunderer. I consider them absolutely necessary to any vehicle column unless you can count on always having overwhelming air superiority.

                Management of your MBT's weapons might be a secondary concern as well. Although unlikely, if you were to wind up with all your MBTs firing HE ammo, you would be extremely vulnerable to enemy armor.
                Teamwork and Tactics are OP


                Strait /strāt/ (Noun) A narrow passage of water connecting two seas or two large areas of water: "the Northumberland Strait".

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                • #9
                  Re: Early thoughts about organizing a dedicated armor squad.

                  Originally posted by Strait Raider View Post
                  I would respectfully disagree with you with regards to the SkyGuard, if only because the SkyGuard is currently the Only dedicated AA vehicle. One man in a SkyGuard is more effective against aircraft than 3 men in a Sunderer. I consider them absolutely necessary to any vehicle column unless you can count on always having overwhelming air superiority.

                  Management of your MBT's weapons might be a secondary concern as well. Although unlikely, if you were to wind up with all your MBTs firing HE ammo, you would be extremely vulnerable to enemy armor.
                  I would have to agree with strait, Certs/unlocks Do mean what you have available, as a squad or Platoon leader you need to know what you equipment you have at hand and knowing what we have for certs/unlocks is crucial knowing what tactics you need to use of course this just secondary but just as crucial. The skyguard currently is the strongest Anti Aircraft weapon. You have to only wonder if the skies were full with a dedicated pilots and a Platoon/squad/outfit, that tank column is very vulnerable with just sundy, and MBT tanks machine guns. (unless you unlock there weapons)

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                  • #10
                    Re: Early thoughts about organizing a dedicated armor squad.

                    I think what Al is talking about (please, correct me if I'm wrong) is the basic foundation of a squad running armor, like: class choice, vehicle mix, and basic tactics that keep the armor relatively safe and effective. Most other replies, so far, are going into specific types of armored squads, which isn't a bad thing, just jumping the gun a bit. (some very good ideas!)


                    Originally posted by BigGaayAl View Post
                    [*]Deployment: kit and vehicle choice

                    [*]A sunderer or two.
                    I think that 2 sunderer's should be the minimum. This will allow more ability to resupply/rearm the rest of the squad when they are deployed around an enemy base.

                    Originally posted by BigGaayAl View Post
                    [*]Kits: all engineers
                    I agree that the best choice for character class is engineer. Although, it might not be a bad idea to have a couple of heavy assaults and a medic driving the Lightnings. They could be useful in ferreting out pesky enemy HA's that are harassing the column from good cover. Also, they could be the squad members that would move in to capture smaller bases, thereby making the squad a little more flexible.


                    Originally posted by BigGaayAl View Post
                    [*]Equal amount of lightnings/vanguards
                    [*]ATV's or engis in a sunderer or in the secondary position of the vanguard are also allowed.
                    Just so we're on the same page here, are you thinking of having dedicated machine gunners for the vanguards and sunderers, or each squad member rolling a piece of armor? In my opinion, the benefits of having dedicated AA and AI gunners would outweigh the drawbacks of having less vehicles.

                    Originally posted by BigGaayAl View Post
                    [*]Logistics in the field: stay close to a Forward Operating Base of your choice.
                    [*]This is a point where most people would do it differently I bet. Usually people are quite agressive in moving forward. Also usual is that people don't do tanks for very long as the logistics dry up and they switch to infantry.
                    I don't know how many of us would do it differently but, I'm one of them. ;) I think that with the modifications I've suggested so far, along with good leadership, makes staying near a FOB less of a priority.

                    Originally posted by BigGaayAl View Post
                    [*]Battle tactics: location location location: fight exclusively where the tank is most powerful.
                    Agreed!

                    Originally posted by BigGaayAl View Post
                    [*]Strategic considerations: is a dedicated tank squad viable or a hindrance?
                    Not only would an armor squad be viable, it sounds damn fun!

                    Great work Al!

                    **edit**

                    bah, I should've read the links before replying. Even though the rearm/repair function of the sunderer will require certs, I don't think it will change any of my suggestions.. Higby stated the cert cost will be low, and I'm sure many of us will gladly grab them.

                    sigpic


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                    • #11
                      Re: Early thoughts about organizing a dedicated armor squad.

                      Unfortunately until the spawn changes are made, rolling armor is pointless and inefficient. It's just plain better to be pure airborne until the game is radically changed like they plan to.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Early thoughts about organizing a dedicated armor squad.

                        Which will be before BETA is over right? In which case all this effort is very valuable and will lay the ground work (puuuun!) for when said changes occur. I really liked this assessment and would love to see more assessments on this level. I certainly figure specialization will help people who want to get involved post release fit into the niche they want quickly instead of meandering and attempting to jack-of-all trades.

                        This analysis really whet my appetite and is inching me closer to the foundation pack just to get a beta key.

                        I'd love to see concepts about squad level organization and loadout considerations.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Early thoughts about organizing a dedicated armor squad.

                          Not much can be said about loadout other than normal tactics, most of the game isn't even implemented yet.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Early thoughts about organizing a dedicated armor squad.

                            Thank you mindkill you explained perfectly why I think discussion of specific upgrades is not necessary here. In any case all of the specifics on that front are going to change a lot still, things will be nerfed, others will be buffed. I just don't see the point of thinking about it at this time.


                            Originally posted by WhiteFyre View Post
                            Unfortunately until the spawn changes are made, rolling armor is pointless and inefficient. It's just plain better to be pure airborne until the game is radically changed like they plan to.
                            I've given up having effectiveness as my main goal in games many years ago. I take my joy from organising, having fun in a team with people, immersion, and only then effectiveness.

                            Effectiveness is alway a goal, but never more than an afterthought for me. Playing in a cool way, doing things we haven't done before (e.g. running a full platoon) are much more important to me. Winning is gaining me nothing except points in an online game. Novel experiences with friends however earn me lots of joy. I've played too long with anger and frustration, a most common problem in games/gamers. I decided to stop this, and to that end I put effectiveness way down on my priority list. I reccomend you try it too!




                            Originally posted by Mindkill View Post
                            I agree that the best choice for character class is engineer. Although, it might not be a bad idea to have a couple of heavy assaults and a medic driving the Lightnings. They could be useful in ferreting out pesky enemy HA's that are harassing the column from good cover. Also, they could be the squad members that would move in to capture smaller bases, thereby making the squad a little more flexible.

                            My main reason for this was pubbie/squadmember management. It allows you to see who has a different kit easily and kick them if needed. It could certainly be useful for capping, but unless the server is very empty, there is usually no lack of cappers. ALso the sunderer can often move close enough to cap. I like to cap from the sundy, as it gives you good protection from the lone infiltrator that may be stalking the base.

                            THat said, I think it is probably better to have some different kits in the sunderers, in principle with a great squad that doesn't require much effort to hold together and move about.



                            Originally posted by Mindkill View Post
                            Just so we're on the same page here, are you thinking of having dedicated machine gunners for the vanguards and sunderers, or each squad member rolling a piece of armor? In my opinion, the benefits of having dedicated AA and AI gunners would outweigh the drawbacks of having less vehicles.
                            I think the main issue here is how alert are the eyes that are scanning the sky. If you have two people diligently providing air cover, the others can quickly swith (in the vanguard) to the aa-gun position, same for any people in or near the sunderer guns. If air threats are being spotted early, I think more tanks is better, because it will also mean more lead to send to enemy airvehcles. If spotting is not so effective, having dedicated gunners might be better.

                            Somethng in relation to this that I lack information on is, how effective is the vanguard secondary against infantry? If it is effective against both air and ground targets, then I would lean more towards having the position manned.

                            Originally posted by Mindkill View Post
                            I don't know how many of us would do it differently but, I'm one of them. ;) I think that with the modifications I've suggested so far, along with good leadership, makes staying near a FOB less of a priority.

                            Mind you, by close I mean within a 2 or three minute drive. You can drive a good bit of the map in this time, but some areas are difficult to traverse with ground vehicles. I would try to avoid putting those areas in between me and a vehicle spawn. This is mostly to keep people that die from getting discouraged. It is to keep the squad from bleeding members.

                            But, as you say, if the squad is running, well, time to put some pressure on the enemy with all that power combined!
                            Your modifications also would make the squad more suited to attack by itself, having more infantry as capping power that do not need a vehicle spawn to come back to the squad.

                            I think if one is running (almost) only armor, it might forcibly limit the squad to being a supporting force, unless you are in really advantageous terrain.
                            If there is some good cover that your tanks cannot hit behind or flank, a few infantry can cause serious problems. So if one is doing only armor, I think you would always have to find friendly infantry, to support with covering fire, or the push the attack for. You will need infantry to ferret out the enemy infantry from structures and terrain features.

                            :)

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                            • #15
                              Re: Early thoughts about organizing a dedicated armor squad.

                              I agree with trying to have 2 Sundies whenever possible.

                              #1 the Sundie cannot resupply its own weapons, but another Sundie can.

                              #2 groups of enemies will target your Sundie first to deny you repairs and reloads. Having 2 divides their attention and gives you a backup, or allows you to retreat one that is under fire.

                              I think that currently it is more effective to 1-man every tank, given the current resource cost. Squad members that lose their vehicles are then able to hop onto secondary guns. Fact of the matter is, with vehicles as cheap as they are, it's better to just bring a specialized vehicle. An MBT with HE shells will do better against infantry than one secondary turret. A SkyGuard will do more damage to aircraft than several secondary default turrets.
                              Teamwork and Tactics are OP


                              Strait /strāt/ (Noun) A narrow passage of water connecting two seas or two large areas of water: "the Northumberland Strait".

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