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  • Special Operations Discussion

    Planetside 2 is large enough and relies heavily enough on logistics (and especially will once spawning changes come into effect) that Special Operations can be very effective in securing victory. What I'm considering right now is how to run Special Operations, what kind of vehicles to use, and so on, as the majority of such operations are designed to be covert in nature.

    The primary objectives of these operations would be infiltration behind enemy lines, recon, and most importantly, sabotage. As such, operations of this nature do not entail capturing facilities, but instead rendering them helpless to future capture. The enemy can see a push by our forces on the map if they're taking hexes and facilities, but what isn't shown is the status of a base's spawn generator and terminals. Because of this feature, it is theoretically possible that dedicated Special Forces could potentially nullify the enemy's ability to spawn anywhere other than their own warpgate, (potentially barracks?), and on mobile spawns. With the coming removal of the Galaxy as an easily-moved mobile spawn (at least until you put a lot of certs into it), and the rise of the much slower, terrain restricted Sunderer mobile spawn, I believe that such covert tactics will soon become even more viable.

    Of course, one of the big problems I'm considering right now is the difficulty involved of remaining covert, and yet remain mobile enough to be effective, or how much mobility can be sacrificed to remain undiscovered. Even flashes, for instance, are fairly easily spotted from the air, slightly less so from the ground. Traveling by foot is generally the most covert method, but even that can be spotted by a hawk eye in the air (Varies depending on terrain and the color of your suit. I've found it immensely more difficult to pick out infantry from the air while in the prior TR forest lands, while it's far easier in the deserts and canyons). Obviously, that all changes the moment that night falls, when it becomes far easier to remain both covert and speedy. Special Forces could even get lucky enough to get the unholy combination of night and blinding weather effects to potentially make even a fat Gal covert.

    But my current thinking about Special Operations is that a Galaxy will generally be unnecessary as well as a liability. This is because nullifying a base takes less than a handful of men, assuming the base/facility is behind lines and therefore unguarded. Spawn generators fall easily to light arms fire, as do shield generators. Right now, I believe that the minimum number of Special Forces necessary to undertake these missions would be three men; two medics and an engineer. A small enough number to go unnoticed, but a powerful number nonetheless. The engineer can keep the squad topped up on ammo, while the medics keep each other and the engineer alive should they encounter hostile forces (And they must go out of their way not to encounter such forces). There may be other combinations of kits and whatnot, but I believe this central trinity can serve as the basic unit of Special Forces, particularly as four fire teams of three can be in one single squad (To serve as the 'Special Forces' Squad of a Platoon, for instance). I suspect that four coordinated fireteams could cripple the enemy's supply lines across the map in under an hour, maybe even half an hour.

    In any case, it must be considered what vehicles are most useful to Special Forces. I shall cover the NC's vehicles for now, assuming that TG will be a New Coalition-oriented outfit.

    1. Flashes
    Flashes are, what would appear to be, the best method of covert transportation available to Special Forces. They're small, fairly agile, and don't attract a lot of attention. Plus they can be a real bitch to spot at night (My memory currently doesn't tell me whether or not Flashes have headlights, and if they do, if they can be removed). Unfortunately though, flashes require that every member of the fireteam pull them, and they also currently disappear really, really quickly, a fact that I don't believe will change any time soon. Because of their short lifespans, it would require that either one of the fireteam constantly cycle between all three flashes, or that a fourth man be added, as because of the nature of Special Operations, the fireteam will be unable to pull additional vehicles. A secondary side-effect of this inability to pull additional vehicles is that, should a member of the fireteam be lost, and his flash destroyed, he will be forced to pull a new flash and ride out to the fireteam, lest he be left hoofing it. Flashes also currently handle as if their wheels had skis attached.

    2. Lightnings
    Lightnings have small silhouettes, are fast as all hell, and pack a bit of a punch. Unfortunately, they're much more easily identified during the daytime by passing aircraft, though, like all ground vehicles, much less so during the night. However, Lightnings are of unusual interest as they can mount the Skyguard, and at least scare off aircraft long enough to make them think twice. However, the usefulness of this ability is disputable, as the entire objective of covert operations is to remain covert. That passing, suddenly intrigued Mossie or Scythe could well be part of an outfit, could be a pubber that hates backcappers and believes the fireteam is backcapping and thus won't relent until the fireteam is dead, or could just be a pubber or even a clan member and not care. But like Flashes, Lightnings suffer from the same drawbacks with regards to spawning, in that the loss of a single Lightning means one less mobile commando, unless they respawn and pull another from friendly territory.

    3. Vanguards
    Vanguards pack one hell of a punch, and can seat two, but the problem is that they're very noticeable, and very vulnerable to enemy A2G (depending on the stupidity of the pilot and the terrain, e.g. hills to increase elevation to land that sweet, sweet cannon shot to the face). They're also as slow as a damn slug, and suffer from the same pulling vehicles problem. A fireteam would only have to pull two, but should one go down, another is still required to keep the entire fireteam mobile. I will say this about the other faction MBTs though, the Magrider would be an exceptional fast covert mover at night, and the Prowler, since I believe it can be certed to seat three, could allow for the fireteam to be contained within one piece of armor, or spread across two, so that one can act as backup.

    4. General Air Force
    Liberators, Galaxies, and Reavers are all exceptionally outstanding targets. Liberators have no place in Special Forces since their overt purpose of bombing would in no way assist covert operations. Reavers call a lot of attention to themselves, and suffer from special attention from passing enemy air, as in enemy air will under no circumstances leave them alone. The same goes for Galaxies, only far worse.

    5. Sunderers
    The Sunday Bus is a peculiar prospect. It already draws a fair amount of attention to itself, and that attention is only going to be increased once it becomes the main spawn vehicle. However, it does have a fair amount of firepower and armor, can be difficult to spot at night, and has the ability to carry the entire fireteam. A good driver may also be able to hide it snugly between buildings, and drive it in such a way that it doesn't call attention to itself.


    Thus, I can not really decide on what vehicle would be best suited to Special Forces. Arguments could be made for almost any of them really.


    Now that that monster post has been written, let the discussion begin!

  • #2
    Re: Special Operations Discussion

    I'd suggest attempting to use special ops to systemically destroy hostile vehicle spawn pads.

    I also suggest to use the Galaxy at high altitudes since it would provide a good effort at a rear point drop. The potential of covert ops will greatly increase with the refinement of the Infiltrator class.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Special Operations Discussion

      Destruction of enemy equipment terminals, vehicle terminals, spawn generators, and etc ahead of a strike is generally the name of the game. As to flying at high altitudes, aircraft seem to be rendered at any altitude, which makes fly higher so they can't see us a problem. :/

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Special Operations Discussion

        White I love the fact you're starting this topic since we've got a lot of Theorycrafting people in TG.

        You approach to the "ideal squad/platoon" is spot on. You have to keep it small. Anything over 5-6 people is ineffective for quick small man squad movement. You have to rely on those members to be where they need to be, cover their assigned sector, and not be "derpin" like you have the liability in a larger squad in confined areas. Definitely agree. This is also the only time I think I really can see the LA kit being useful. The idea of having people able to quickly jump into a base/over walls/terrain makes them a quick, mobile force to be reckoned with. I would take your 3man team and expand to 2x Medic, Engy, 2xLA (possible HA also) as a core setup.

        I think the transport issue you bring up/"how to remain covert" is interesting. Right now Galaxies are big. Really big. However, this is a disadvantage that can be mitigated. The issue comes up with how the planning goes. Usually we see pilots go direct Point A to Point B, which usually will bring them right smack dab through heavy traffic, locations of enemy planning/movement/core facilites and highlighted against the sky/background. This comes from people being impatient, wanting to get to the fight now. By proper route planning (utilizing terrain/general outline of the world map) a single galaxy can and should be able to skirt the front lines of battle. This can be done by low level, nap of the earth flying, utilizing terrain masking to cover movements. By taking an indirect route to the drop off point (which again, does not have to actually be the objective), a SF team could be inserted quickly, quietly, and efficiently. The Pilot would then break the aircraft off, egress out to a preplanned holding/landing zone, before proceeding back inbound to pick up the squad.

        The problem with the above planned is hinged a lot on the skill and patience of a pilot to want to be that extremely focused. Timing and skill is critical in accepting/flying "out into the boondocks' instead of going "direct direct" to a point, as well as not hitting obstacles/trees etc. Some of mission planning/flying Im doing right now in Helicopter Training I'm seeing myself apply as I fly in PS2 also. The carry over is extraordinary and really rudimentary.


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

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Special Operations Discussion

          Originally posted by WhiteFyre View Post
          Destruction of enemy equipment terminals, vehicle terminals, spawn generators, and etc ahead of a strike is generally the name of the game. As to flying at high altitudes, aircraft seem to be rendered at any altitude, which makes fly higher so they can't see us a problem. :/
          Not an issue unless you are facing a ton of scathing fire. A quick in and out drop is all I'm speaking of. Maybe just ask Platoon 1 for a single Gal for air drop.

          The damages and projectile speeds in this game are arcade and when up 1000m you don't have to worry too much in the bulky gal. The 'stealth' portion might go away when the 'drop pod' becomes the main way of Gal droping.

          And Serj, the Light Assault is a freaking GNAT. So DANG annoying. Its great in almost all situations.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Special Operations Discussion

            Pardon the walls of text, please.

            Classes

            I think we are critically overlooking the Infiltrator.

            Granted, the infiltrator currently doesn't have much going for it in terms of special operations except for its stealth ability. It can't support teammates through ammo or health, it can't travel rapidly like the LA, and it's a weak fighter if the fit hits the shan.

            But keep in mind the name. Not 'Sniper', not 'Recon' (though you will likely be able to cert into either role) but Infiltrator. The primary focus of the class is special operations. Now, it seemed pretty useless... until the next update.

            The Infiltrator will gain the ability to hack turrets and consoles, effectively changing them to your side.

            That's huge. Suddenly you can swap classes on the fly deep behind enemy lines. Resupply if you lost your engineer. Replace grenades and C4 that the engineers can't. Pull vehicles to gain mobility. Pull MAXes in the middle of a base assault. Acquire a forward supply point for friendlies in an enemy base.

            For all these glorious reasons, I would suggest at least one infiltrator per squad.

            For a 4-man squad I would suggest
            1 Light Assault
            2 Medics
            1 Infiltrator

            I've cut the engineer on the assumption that ammo resupply via hacked terminals will be sufficient as the team will be making all efforts to avoid combat. The light assault is optional and mainly serves as a C4 carrier, destroying points quickly and reaching difficult areas while also providing a tactical reconnaissance role. The second medic is optional and only really comes into play if you lose your first medic through combat, otherwise he is simply another C4 carrier. This could easily be a 3-man or even a 2-man squad - the primary loss is the speed at which you can destroy points. (which increases the chances of being caught)

            Transport

            Galaxies are an option, but in my mind they are only effective as an initial insertion method, to get you behind enemy lines asap. A Gal will not go unnoticed for long behind enemy lines, no matter how well you mask your travel. The continents aren't really so large that you can avoid air contact for long, especially on a populated server. The Gal gets you in, then tries to get back to friendly lines without being smoked. Adding in escort just increases your chances of being spotted, and IMO is a poor allocation of resources. Ideally, having a small team jump from a moving galaxy will allow them to exit unnoticed. If enemies are present, they may be so fixated on the Gal that they miss a small drop. Subsequent transport may be acquired through hacked vehicle consoles.

            Flashes are probably the best all-round bet for ground transport. Currently the game just moves too fast for hoofing it to be viable in most cases. They are viable for insertion, though breaking through enemy lines is slower and less reliable than with a Galaxy. On the plus side, you're not tying up a galaxy and a pilot on what is quite possibly a suicide mission. With the planned addition of a scout radar to the Flash, this could prove very valuable in avoiding enemy contacts and scouting out bases. The short respawn timer and small cost of the Flash make it very flexible for spec ops, as you can draw one at any time with just a small cert investment. With the high number of hackable flash spawns in enemy territory, you should be able to draw one almost anywhere as well.

            "3-Man Buggies" if they ever make a return, may become a go-to vehicle for special operations with the ability to fit a small team in one vehicle with additional firepower and good maneuverability.

            Tactics

            1. Asset Denial

            Get in, break stuff, get out. Objective is to force the enemy to spawn further away from the front, particularly vehicle spawns as well as denying resupply and class swap abilities.

            a. Infiltrate
            b. Place squad spawn beacon in hidden place (indoors)
            c. Smash spawn console
            d. Hack one infantry console for ammo resupply and one vehicle console for transport
            e. Pull kits/ammo as needed, smash all other consoles/generators/turrets
            f. Pull transports
            g. Smash hacked consoles to prevent un-hacking
            f. Exfiltrate

            This is for a 'complete' asset denial. Alternatively, you can smash only the spawn console to prevent spawns or spawn console and vehicle consoles to deny vehicles, though leaving infantry consoles will allow the enemy to pull engineers and repair consoles.

            2. Prepping the Ground

            Get in, prepare the ground for attack, hold until relieved. Objective is to deny enemy local assets in a base as well as flipping assets to assist your team. Prevent your actions from being undone as best able until the assault is complete.

            a. Infiltrate
            b. Place squad spawn beacon in hidden place (indoors)
            c. Smash spawn console
            d. Hack consoles as needed that you believe will assist the attack; vehicle and infantry consoles on the line of attack
            e. Pull kits/ammo as needed, smash all other consoles/generators/turrets
            f. Defend priority objectives (spawn gens and shield gens) from enemy counter-attack or re-destroy these objectives during the assault as able
            g. Once base is under control, join defense of base or move on

            Timing could be critical with these - smash too soon and the enemy will root you out and undo your actions before the assault, smash too late and the enemy may already have significant defenses in place.
            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".

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Special Operations Discussion

              Originally posted by WhiteFyre View Post
              As to flying at high altitudes, aircraft seem to be rendered at any altitude, which makes fly higher so they can't see us a problem. :/
              My limited experience in PS2 makes me think that players on the ground barely look up.
              When i flew low i eventually got shot down by enemy air or a tank, but by flying high at the altitude limit i was able to survive a lot longer.
              At that range nothing on the ground can touch me, and evading air is easier when you can quickly trade your altitude for a lot of speed.
              Small recon/specops squads are better off using light assaults(they can fly!), infiltrators(invisible) and a lot of spawnbeacons.

              Vehicle terminals, i've seen some destroyed ones but they were still accessible for the team owning them. Only the big screen was missing.
              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Special Operations Discussion

                As to the infiltrator, they will of course be more important once they're actually given the abilities they need to have. My post was based on current principles.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Special Operations Discussion

                  I think we're overlooking one potential thing here. Paratroopers. The light Assault class can break any fall with their rockets, just wait till they start getting close to the ground and power up the pack, stopping your fall. Imagine two liberators flying at a very high altitude. They arrive over the drop zone which is either on the area needed to be destroyed or over a designated LZ nearby. At this point the four light assault soldiers would bail out of the gunners seats on the two libs and the pilots would stay in and promptly bug out. The light assault soldiers have enough ammo between them to take out the generators, spawners, etc. and then retreat to an area nearby, the liberators would then fly to them (not using a direct course, but using the terrain and a route not likely to run into people), pick up the light assault and bug out again back to a point where the light assaults could A. Resupply B. Regroup if one or more members died. C. Plan a new assault in a safe area as opposed to deep in enemy territory.

                  Discuss?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Special Operations Discussion

                    Currently any airdrop from a Gal results in a safe landing 90% of the time.

                    I'm not sure if this is intentional.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Special Operations Discussion

                      Originally posted by Ytman View Post
                      Currently any airdrop from a Gal results in a safe landing 90% of the time.

                      I'm not sure if this is intentional.
                      I believe it is intentional and is a stopgap measure until they implement the Galaxy drop pods.

                      Jump from a Galaxy, receive no fall damage the first time you hit something.

                      This means that if you glance off something without losing much speed and then hit the ground, you will still receive the damage.
                      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".

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Special Operations Discussion

                        I'm glad this is being brought up, because this is precisely the kind of operation I intend to do. Black Ops behind enemy lines as an Infiltrator, hacking consoles deep in enemy-controlled territory, and being the "front-line" to a much larger assault down the line.

                        If you imagine a small blue hex surrounded by red hexes (or red surrounded by blue if that's what you're into), you've got the idea of what I'm talking about. Such a strategy allows for the battle to suddenly be waged on a different front (it's not front-lines anymore and push/hold/push/hold/defend/hold) in that suddenly, our faction has a base behind enemy lines and can completely nullify the war being waged at the borders. The border combat is nice for securing and holding land, but the disruption caused by getting a small group to secure a base deep in enemy territory and then make headway for a larger assault force in that area is where the battles are really won.

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