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Lessons learnt leading a full platoon for the first time.

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  • [GUIDE] Lessons learnt leading a full platoon for the first time.

    :icon32::row__739::icon32:Hi!:icon32::row__739::ic on32:

    • Game interface (as in beta at date of this post, things will probably become easier soon)

      • How to make a squad

        Invite anyone using the menu button next to their name in your friends list, or add manually by typing name in invitation box.
        Or use the chat command: "/squad invite biggaayal" without the quotation marks.
        I haven't found an equivalent for the platoon.

      • How to open a squad

        Press "p" to open the squad menu.
        Below the squad list is a recruitement interface. Select which kinds of classes you want to join you.
        Below that is a box which is your squad's name. I propose as a convention:
        " - [Alhpa/bravo or charlie] - [squad description]"
        Untick the checkbox at "private squad". I don't know if this does anything at the moment, but to be safe I turn it off allways. THis box can change status sometimes when forming platoons from squads.
        Click the "enable recruitement" button.
        Your squad is now listed and open for pubbies

      • How to make a platoon

        Invite another squadleader to your platoon by filling in his name in the "invite to platoon" box. You see this box below the platoon list. (I should add pics :p but servers are down)
        An easy way to do this if the person is not in your outfit/friends is to ask them to to yell something in chat. You can also ask SL's if they want to connect using command chat (numpad7 when sl). When they respond you might be able to read their full name.
        Connecting can also be done trough the menu at a person's name in friends/outfit but it is not working (reliably) at the moment.
        You can in fact at any time invite someone to form a platoon. Even if you have only 2 guys you can invite a third by using "invite to platoon". He will then not be added to the squad, but he will be alone in a seperate squad your new platoon.

      • How to open all squads in a platoon

        If at any time you suspect one of the squads in the platoon are not opened, disconnect the squads by using "remove from platoon" on the squadleader. They will then be removed along with all their guys. Whilst in his own squad the removed squadleader can have acces to and change the squad recruitement settings. This allows him to open the squad or rename the squad.
        After that just reconnect the squad to the platoon. This may also help fixing some bugs.

    • Waypoints and smoke

      Everyone has a personal way-point which is blue
      Only the platoon leader can place a platoon waypoint.
      The SL and the PL can also place:
      -an attack or defend symbol, possibly for the whole team
      -Four smoke signals which reach about as high as a spawn beacon beam.
      These signals have the four colors that correspond to the colors of the four squads. However they do not render very far at all. I think a good way to use these is as waypoints for navigation. Another way to use them effectively might be as follows. Say you have to move a long distance with the whole platoon. You can use the waypoints which you can see from everywhere in the map. However when you get close to the objective, if the platoon leader wants he can easily designate specific positions for each of the squads by using the smoke signals in the corresponding colors.

      THe platoon waypoint was/is bugged sometimes. It will duplicate itself when you change it's location. After a while you will have a screen full of waypoints. For my client it has been fixed by re-logging. Some others seem to also experience this bug, but not all squadmembers have it at the same time. Perhaps it is purely clientside.

    • Managing communications

      I found this came with very little effort. It came naturally to the platoon. Perhaps the game I played was a one-off. I hope not. The easy with which comms worked was such a change coming from the complexity of PR(mumble,voip,ts). I was amazed by how easy it was to keep comms discipline.

      I had asked the platoon to follow:
      -Do not use platoon chat.
      -Do not use squad chat when platoon chat is active.

      So platoon chat is reserved to only the squadleaders. I made a point out of it as soon as the platoon started to use platoon chat myself more often than not. I thought this might help in keeping the squads together, a problem I had been seeing a lot. I think it did help. It is important not to have separate squads. You are one squad, incidentally called a platoon. I think it is really important for the PL to use platoon chat and much less squad chat. The platoon leader should address the platoon, not just his squad. It is important to create the feeling of being one group I think. The psychological element here can be very important because you are dealing with up to 48 people.

      Once the squadmembers started following the rules, it suddenly amazed me that every time I was discussing decisions or sharing intel with the other squadleaders, My squad was quiet. I think it might be caused by the fact that they hear all the discussions going on. Perhaps it is quite natural to observe being quiet when someone specific is talking. In Pr/bf2 the squad could not hear when another squadleader suddenly started talking to you. By the time you had asked the squad to be quiet you missed the message. Now the whole squad knows what is going on. They know what is being debated and decided immediatly. They can comment on decisions or share opinions using squadchat trough their squadleader.

      I would also regularly request status reports from all squads. They would then give them, and everyone on the platoon can hear this, thus again reinforcing the sense of being one group with one goal.

    • General thoughts

      Maybe the most important thing of my whole post: get lucky and get great squadleaders to help you out :D !
      As a pl you don't need to worry about the other squads too much. Trust the squadleaders to micro manage them. You basically only say what the whole platoon is going to do. Attack here ... rally there ... fall back to ...
      Then the squadleaders do the rest. As the platoon becomes more effective, you can try more and more complicated tactics. That is where the real amazing fun is at for me. That attack from the crown for example did it for me, a sight to behold.

      It was in a way surprisingly easy to run this the platoon in the game I based this post on. It felt barely different from leading a normal squad to me. A big part of that was the ease of communication. I had to keep track in my head a bit of where the other squads were. And we had to wait sometimes to get the group together. After a while the platoon took sort of a life of it's own. It felt like I had a mountain sized fireball in my hands that I could just aim anywhere, roll and know it would leave nothing but cinders. It had to keep rolling too, because when we stopped for too long, all the squadleaders and my own squadsmembers started communicating impatience. So to keep the squad running at that point, we had to let the ball roll and roll, until eventually we epically rolled the crown.

  • #2
    Re: Lessons learnt leading a full platoon for the first time.

    Excellent write-up.

    Keeping the whole Platoon together is probably what we need to keep in mind.


    • #3
      Re: Lessons learnt leading a full platoon for the first time.

      If you are referring to yesterday evening's action, I was part of the platoon.

      And I have to say that coming from another server / another group of players, it was another dimension altogether. Epic battle indeed, and great job leading us through it! You gave a mix of strategic goals (e.g. defend X, attack Y, retreat to Z) and tactical tips (e.g. please do not move your Vanguards while being repaired, move it if you are hit by a tank shell, as the enemy now has you zeroed in).

      All in all, we rolled as a team and it was loads of fun to see our tactics work!


      • #4
        Re: Lessons learnt leading a full platoon for the first time.

        A few other things I noticed that you did and did well.

        1.) You gave Orders, you did didn't debate with the SL's or let someone else (I forget who) influence you. You didn't make suggestions on what to do. You gave Orders.

        2.) You cut the dead weight out. You didn't try to cajole squad members to get with the group, if they weren't there after a certain time working with the group they were booted. I felt this gave the Platoon a sense of unit cohesion and working toward the same goal.

        3.) You had a strategy and you adapted the tactics to that strategy. I've seen many a SL or PL try to adapt their strategy to their tactics, a clear path to disaster.

        4.) You knew when to fall back and regroup. To many Sl's I've seen will let their squads members come at the enemy piecemeal and get ground up in the meat grinder. You brought us back out in force and choked the meat grinder down.

        You had a good squad that could follow orders backing you up, but that you did a great job leading is what brought me to TG. It's nice to have a PL that has a clear idea how to lead and you proved that at ever turn BGA.


        • #5
          Re: Lessons learnt leading a full platoon for the first time.

          Great wright up Al


          • #6
            Re: Lessons learnt leading a full platoon for the first time.

            Thank you all.

            Please all give it a go yourselves, whatever your experience. One of the most pleasant things is to play with different PL/SL and see the different approaches and play-styles they result in.


            • #7
              Re: Lessons learnt leading a full platoon for the first time.

              Awesome write up Al, with lots of great advice and insight.

              I love watching you lead -- always learn from you!




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