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  • [GUIDE] Platoon Leading for Dummies

    I have been platoon leading, on and off, since the days of BF2 and PR. I am very far from an expert in the art of war and leading a platoon but I have reached the point where I am comfortable stepping up as PL in PS2, a task made easier with excellent SLs and PLs such as Daddy, Al, and others.

    I'll use this thread to record my thoughts on the business of platoon leading here at TG in the PS2 environment. I suspect that PS2 is going to be an active platform for at least the next three years, and it has nice built-in tools for commanding, so it seems worth investing the time to develop further as a commander.

    One trick I learned years ago was this: write things down . . .



    Who is in charge of each squad, the colour signature of the squad, and the LAST ORDER given to the SL.

    Just bought the squad objectives feature, command comm chat, and the rally point smoke, all which should also prove useful.




    I do not squad lead while commanding the platoon, as this frees up my limited cognitive resources. Ideally, there would be a fifth squad slot just for the commander (this keeps squad comms out of my ears), but no such animal and unlikely to be one.




    As to platoon leading in PS2 -- all the usual principles apply:

    • carefully observe the best PLs and take note of their procedures,
    • rely on good SLs,
    • give clear and concise orders,
    • say as little as possible so your SLs have a clear channel for their squad comms,
    • focus on the big picture and let the SLs take care of the details,
    • when uncertain consult your officers,
    • give your men the time they need to get the job done,
    • vary the battles between cert-rewarding engagements and group exercises that give SLs a chance to informally drill the men in proper grouping up and moving out.



    The best battles begin with adequate preparation and organization -- this takes a bit of time but communicates to the men that TG is a disciplined group of team players.
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  • #2
    Re: Platoon Leading for Dummies

    Looking forward to coming entries you make in this thread; also exemplary videos I suppose? (hope so the more)
    Whilst you said the game offers nice features for leading (and this is true of course) I feel like there is still a major lack of leading tools, though (just a side note).
    Say, could you make any use of the command channel so far?
    I myself feel like it was kind of a misinvestment, as it is used by many in an unthinking way, which pretty much takes the edge of it, because people don't pay attention to that channel anymore this way (is they ever did so at all...). When I use it, I never order things to be done, I only request things (like AtG support when we are facing an overwhelming tank force). And that is imo the better use of the channel (would rather like it to be called requests channel therefore).
    On the topic of clear comms: Do you already use TS for that? When not working with fireteams, all SLs + the PL could simply occupy one channel together, as unfortunately (and this is a big point of criticism for me) the game does not offer 'inter-leader-comms' for all Sls (inlcuding the PL) of one platoon.


    Edit:

    Just another sidenote: On topic of the smoke flares: It bothers me quite a bit they those have a cooldown... if it was to bring people to buy more of them so you always have some left that are not on cooldown, fine, but then the cooldown should be removed as soon as you bought all four of them... I mean, there is also no cooldown on WPs...

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    • #3
      Re: Platoon Leading for Dummies

      Originally posted by Evilhardt View Post
      Looking forward to coming entries you make in this thread; also exemplary videos I suppose? (hope so the more)
      Whilst you said the game offers nice features for leading (and this is true of course) I feel like there is still a major lack of leading tools, though (just a side note).
      Say, could you make any use of the command channel so far?
      I myself feel like it was kind of a misinvestment, as it is used by many in an unthinking way, which pretty much takes the edge of it, because people don't pay attention to that channel anymore this way (is they ever did so at all...). When I use it, I never order things to be done, I only request things (like AtG support when we are facing an overwhelming tank force). And that is imo the better use of the channel (would rather like it to be called requests channel therefore).
      On the topic of clear comms: Do you already use TS for that? When not working with fireteams, all SLs + the PL could simply occupy one channel together, as unfortunately (and this is a big point of criticism for me) the game does not offer 'inter-leader-comms' for all Sls (inlcuding the PL) of one platoon.


      Edit:

      Just another sidenote: On topic of the smoke flares: It bothers me quite a bit they those have a cooldown... if it was to bring people to buy more of them so you always have some left that are not on cooldown, fine, but then the cooldown should be removed as soon as you bought all four of them... I mean, there is also no cooldown on WPs...
      I wish the smoke also matched the color of the individual squads, I think they do except black. Would help out in giving individual squads objectives.

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      • #4
        Re: Platoon Leading for Dummies

        Hmm, how long is the cool down on the smoke?

        Yes, the ORDERS (yellow) comm chat is misused and of course ignored. My intention is to use it merely to tell the rest of the allied forces what my platoon is doing. It is probably pointless to ask anything of random strangers here, but telling them what we are up to might encourage coordination, similar uses of the channel, and such.

        TS is only useful to me if there is absolute discipline in it -- otherwise it is just another source of noise. I'll return to it and see how it helps.
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        • #5
          Re: Platoon Leading for Dummies

          The cooldown is 5 mins. The duration of the flare itself too. If I am not mistaken...

          Leaders talking to each other in a dedicated TS channel would educe noise for everybody else too, that was my idea behind. But this only works as long as no use of fireteam sis made, as those would ideally each have their respective TS channel too (at least according to the comm-structure I proposed in the strategy section)

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          • #6
            Re: Platoon Leading for Dummies

            Platoon Leader should be separate from all squads if desiring; We must make this a demand of SOE, would not be difficult to accomplish within a year time

            Platoon Leaders are only as good as the Squad Leaders; Always understand this two-way street. The Platoon is nothing without the Squads and the Squads are nothing more without the Platoon Leader. Squad Leaders are the most effective pound/use asset on the field.

            Platoon Leader should expect to play the game out of combat, or out of direct combat when not in a tactical fight. The platoon operates on the level of minor strategy and the squads enforce tactics. The Platoon leader, while certainly always in combat, is not in a combat specific role and should not be. A Captain of a ship commands the ship and does not man a gun.

            Platoon Leaders should always be concise about orders. Seriously, if you doubt an order you are going to be giving don't give it! Stay firm. This comes right back at Squad Leaders. Follow Orders and pretend you are in Canada so you can't give the PL your two cents.

            Finally... I really want to get a two Platoon Op going. Seeing as we have enough SLs and an ever growing roster of PLs it is certainly manageable!

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            • #7
              Re: Platoon Leading for Dummies

              Nothing special -- a few minutes of platoon leading . . .

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              • #8
                Re: Platoon Leading for Dummies

                I have been on a staycation this week, practising platoon leading each afternoon. My first day was a bit of disaster. My second day went very well. I focused on smaller targets and ended up with a great platoon.

                Tried again late last night and fell on my face. Probably just too tired.

                I face an inextricable enemy that was in complete control of INDAR. When I retreated, I failed to order a sufficiently distant retreat (rooky mistake) which of course left us with no opportunity to properly regroup.

                My error was a failure to fully assess the enemy's superior position. The Art of War is great because it is correct -- when faced with a superior force, do not fight them head on!

                I can see that I will need hundreds of hours in the command chair before I have a competent mastery of the PS2 environment.

                Fortunately, TG provides me with many excellent leaders as exemplars.

                Time to get back in game and practice the Art of War.

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                • #9
                  Re: Platoon Leading for Dummies

                  E-Male, I would also recommend Book of the 5 Rings by, Miyamoto musashi. There are some interesting cross over in understanding when to use what. Recognizing when the enemy over extends himself and seeing openings in their defense.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Platoon Leading for Dummies

                    Originally posted by johnflenaly View Post
                    I wish the smoke also matched the color of the individual squads, I think they do except black. Would help out in giving individual squads objectives.
                    I hope they change 4th to black smoke. It used to be that way.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Platoon Leading for Dummies

                      I'm personally highly against the smoke. I find it is an obstruction more often than not a benefit. For long range identification it sure helps, but its a hindrance when it's deployed on top of the objective and obscuring the view from MAX's/Infantry, and you constantly have to work around it.

                      Regardless E-Male it was a pleasure serving under you the other day. Was fun to get an exposure to a new PL and their style. Keep forming your own system


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

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                      • #12
                        Re: Platoon Leading for Dummies

                        Highly against is a bit of a strong wording?

                        Well there are various things other PL's do that fundamentally disagree with. I can't do it all the time though.

                        With such strong opinions you should platoon lead often. Best way to let go of them :p.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Platoon Leading for Dummies

                          I like to use smoke to mark a path for armour columns.

                          It is not essential but I believe it has a psychological effect, perhaps promoting a shared sense of mission, a way of saying, "we are one".

                          Visible symbols of command and control, like seeing each squad colour concentrated in distinct areas, are powerful forces.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Platoon Leading for Dummies

                            Feedback, absolutely essential to command.

                            Here is some EXCELLENT feedback I just received from a TG member, reposted here with permission.

                            I printed this feedback for careful study. Thank you!
                            Hey, so I wanted to send you a PM just about some things I noticed today while SL'ing under you for a more pronounced time.

                            -You have the great ability to direct the squads to different objectives. This is something I think most people have trouble with, developing that "where we do need to go after this" mindset, but I definitely saw it today, versus other times I've played with you. Really good improvement.

                            -However, don't be so quick to just throw us around the map. Today was definitely hectic, but it was hard to rally my squad to objectives when they were changing every... ~30secs. Specifically, there was a time you wanted us to go to one of the points just north of VS warpgate, having just left a point, almost got there, then needed us to turn around and go to this totally new point. I don't want to say its frustrating, and I know the situation/fight is always fluid depending, but it can get a little out of hand.

                            -I noticed today, and the last time (couple days ago when we had pushed south, just to the west of Hvar Tech and were going towards TR Warp) you like to push in straight directions. I'm not sure if this is intended or if you've got a bigger methodology in mind, but when you push in a straight line, with the only connecting points being the point you just capped behind you, it becomes very easy for the enemy to cut you off by taking a point 2-3 hexes behind. When I sent you that PM earlier today about possibly pushing out to the surrounding territories around Zurvan, we had pretty much pushed straight south to the Stronghold, not having secured any of the surrounding territories around Zurvan. As constructive criticism, I like to create a buffer.. maybe 2 or 3 hexes or move almost in snake, take 1-3 points, move south, take a point, then move west, then move south, then move east etc. This way, each point I'm taking has at least 2 points of influence to assist in the cap, while also giving me accessory spawn locations if we get pushed off. Likewise, if the enemy is trying to cut us off, they have more territory to go through, we'll see it on the map and can respond accordingly.

                            -When you PL, I love doing SL, because you ask for your subordinates input on an idea you've got. Most people don't do that, and the platoon suffers. Definitely a remarkable and highly desired trait to have as a higher level platoon leader.

                            -Keep working on your overall PL communication, this reinforces the previous point. When we go into those bases that have 3 objectives, tell me as your SL where you want me to go. I know I can be a little headstrong and I took control of my squad from you, and for that I'm sorry - it tends to get away from me. If you want each squad to go to their alphabetical point, let us know and then its up to us on how to defend. You've just now gave us orders, delegating effectively.

                            -For the smaller control point/single point bases, I noticed today as well, you had the whole platoon going to one point. This changed throughout the course of your PLing where you were splitting the platoon up to capture different points. Definitely appreciate at this, as I see if we as a platoon are all focused on a single point with ~36 people, we're not utilizing our resources effectively. You could, and did again towards the end, split us up, and thats another way that you can create that hex buffer. Have 1 or 2 squads stick together for mutual support, while the other 2 are together pushing points parallel to each other. This way, each base has an attack/defense squad as necessary, and you've got the ability to call the other squads over for help as needed.

                            Overall Emale, I've been really impressed and definitely had some fun the past couple days. Major emphasis is just get a plan together, and then think where you want to see the platoon 2-3 moves ahead. Not everyone has to go to the same hexes, which helps again to give you some flexibility on how you position the platoon.

                            If this comes across as me trying to micromanage your abilities or criticize you, that was not my intentional at all. I know we're all learning, and I need to work on it all as well.
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                            • #15
                              Re: Platoon Leading for Dummies

                              Originally posted by BigGaayAl View Post
                              Highly against is a bit of a strong wording?

                              Well there are various things other PL's do that fundamentally disagree with. I can't do it all the time though.

                              With such strong opinions you should platoon lead often. Best way to let go of them :p.

                              I do platoon lead, and know I can. More often than not when you get home from work I just want to game for a couple mins before having to start studying again. On the weekends I'll step up for you Al.

                              Also, I don't mean I'm going to pitch a fit about the smoke, it's a really minor opinion. It's good in open areas but in congested/building and fighting around outposts I just find the smoke annoying more than beneficial


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

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