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The Second-in-Command: Beans & Bullets

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  • The Second-in-Command: Beans & Bullets

    I would like to open up a discussion on squad 2ICs within Planetside 2.

    Do we need them? Do we want them?
    Should we develop an SOP?
    What would said SOP contain?

    This is something that has been in the back of my mind for a while. This started several weeks ago.

    I was leading an air-mobile infantry squad. I never did get to thank the man for this, but Serjikal was our pilot. He also slotted very well into the role of 2IC. While I was leading the squad on the ground Serj would look after the galaxy, monitoring its health and ammo and making sure it got where it was needed, including rounding up and directing lost squadmembers.

    I realized immediately that this gave me much more time to lead my squad more effectively. With someone else looking after transport, ammo, and minor issues such as lost squadmembers, I could concentrate on target priorities, route planning and communication with other SLs.

    It also went a long way towards reducing the stress of the SL role, making it more enjoyable. (and I therefore stayed SL longer)

    With games like BF3 you have small squad sizes and limited logistics - it's not terribly difficult for an SL to manage all of his squad's needs on his own. In planetside we have huge maps, varied objectives, logistics, transportation, strategic planning, etc, etc, etc. That's a lot to ask of one person.

    What can we think of that we would like to see in a 2IC role to reduce the workload of the SL and increase his effectiveness?
    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".

  • #2
    Re: The Second-in-Command: Beans & Bullets

    Sounds like he was taking on the logistics role. In the BF series this role would have normally been played entirely by the commander and one or two people running transport vehicles.

    In Planetside I see these roles dished out to a accordingly slightly larger group.

    With a full 12 man squad I imagine 1 person dedicated to securing transport, supplies, and keeping track of the big picture(the map). While someone else is in control of the combat group, calling out objectives and assigning roles. I am not clear yet on whether it matters which one of these roles the actual squad leader takes on as it may be affected by game mechanics that I don't yet understand.

    When you get into larger groups of ~48+ working together is when I see these roles really being key. The way I have seen this done before is to completely separate the command and logistics teams from any particular squad so that if that group becomes locked down or ineffective they do not hold up the mission. The Commander at this point would be in a completely non active role as almost all of his attention will likely be taken up gathering all of the information from his units together along with that gleaned from the map and analyzing it all the while keeping his SLs updated on their objectives. The logistics while separate from squads can for the most part attach themselves as needed to a squad until stuff hits the fan and then be redirected by the CO.

    These sort of roles are going to be integral to any large scale success in this game. I suspect we may be slightly lacking in people who are competent and willing to play this role as of now. It certainly is not nearly as glorious as being the MAX that bursts through the portal and sometimes you feel like you should be paid for doing it, but when it all goes right the satisfaction is there.
    |TG-12th| Namebot


    • #3
      Re: The Second-in-Command: Beans & Bullets

      I'd definitely look into this, from what I've seen in PR (a high teamwork orientated mod for BF2), an NCO/2ic is helpful at the very least. In Planetside there's much more logistical problems as well as somewhat more fast paced, not to mention the fact that the game is HUGE compared to PR's 4km by 4km maps. Not only can an NCO manage the logistical problems, but the moment an SL dies, he instantly starts losing situational awarness to what is happening around him. Should the SL need to spawn 200-300 metres away, its going to take him a minute to get back to the squad on his own. The NCO/2ic can take over basic squad management for this period of time. Nothing like moving them across the map or anything, but the ability to organize the defense or continue coordinating the attack and implementing basic combat manuevers such as a flank. Give it a shot and perhaps try the NCO taking some control when you die. Either way, definitely try having a 2ic.


      • #4
        Re: The Second-in-Command: Beans & Bullets

        Strait thanks for the complement dude, and I'm trying to think back to when this was haha! Yea I'm a very Logistical/Transport/Support role focused type of person, and the same thing I did in BF2:PR. I like breaching the door everynow and taking points but if we can keep the doorkickers supplied, healthy,and moving I rather do that.

        I think the 2IC role is something within the squad itself. With a 12person squad, and multiple platoons I think this Logi/Transpo role can be delegated out to the air/support squad if you will. Via good communications discipline you as a SL/PL would call for ammo, support, and whatnot from that transport squad. Within the SQ itself definitely having another person to watch out for the stragglers/keep a track of the squad in the small picture, while the SL has the big picture just helps reduce the task saturation that you as an SL can have. Take the approach big to small. The "Sgt" in the platoon is who will then step up also if for some reason the squad needs to split into 2 smaller Fireteams (clearing a building/attacking a different point) or if the SL DC's/crashes/gets cut off.

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


        • #5
          Re: The Second-in-Command: Beans & Bullets

          This is, imo, imperative when commanding squads in excess of six.
          No person can simply just be; they are what they do.


          • #6
            Re: The Second-in-Command: Beans & Bullets

            This seams like a reasonably good idea that just never went anywhere. And while it doesn't seem to important now, when we implement Fireteams, the squad leads postion, will get more complicated. A squad Sgt. would be nice to have for certain roles. He could be the cleanup guy who makes sure everone is in line. Sending PMs to people who need them etc.… and if you were running a public squad he could be the one who helps a new blueberries and keeps trouble players from taking up the squad leads brain power. Well the new player helper might be someone else, I think the role of a sergeant in the squad would take some of the heat off the squad lead and help with cohesion in the unit.

            Or I guess the other side could be that the second-in-command would work as a assistant platoon lead. This job would mainly be to convey information over command channel and then to pass any requests on to the PL.
            "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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