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Squad and Platoon Management in Virtual Environments: Revisions and RFC

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  • Squad and Platoon Management in Virtual Environments: Revisions and RFC

    This thread is for announcing revisions to the unclassified document, Squad and Platoon Management in Virtual Environments.

    Please provide comments in this thread.
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  • #2
    Re: Squad and Platoon Management in Virtual Environments: Revisions and RFC

    Added brief passage:

    Executive Summary
    Differentiation in space, keeping an appropriate amount of distance between the squads is a central aspect of the platoon management strategy presented herein. Keeping squads differentiated requires the oversight of the platoon leader and delivers significant benefits.

    The platoon leader must communicate his expectations and train each new platoon in basic standard operating procedures. Such training takes place in an as-needed and highly informal manner, often manifested by explanation, example, and gentle reminders.

    Communicating your expectations and teaching squad leaders basic operating procedures must not be done in manner that overwhelms communication networks (channels), takes an excessive amount of time, or assumes too much of your troops. Many common problems within a platoon tend to arise from a lack of attention to this informal training process.

    This guide identifies aspects of platoon management that can be understood, communicated, and implemented with beginner- and intermediate-level military gamers.
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    • #3
      Re: Squad and Platoon Management in Virtual Environments: Revisions and RFC

      Just one comment: I'd love to read it, but could you provide it in a more accessible format? PDF, Postscript, LaTeX, or HTML would be fine if plain text doesn't cut it.
      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. ~
      I have a tendency to key out three or four things and then let them battle for supremacy while I key, so there's a lot of backspacing as potential statements are slaughtered and eaten by the victors. ~
      Feel free to quote me. ~

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      • #4
        Re: Squad and Platoon Management in Virtual Environments: Revisions and RFC

        Originally posted by ednos View Post
        Just one comment: I'd love to read it, but could you provide it in a more accessible format? PDF, Postscript, LaTeX, or HTML would be fine if plain text doesn't cut it.
        Great suggestion!

        The draft document Squad and Platoon Management in Virtual Environments is now available in MS Word or Adobe PDF.
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        • #5
          Re: Squad and Platoon Management in Virtual Environments: Revisions and RFC

          Some feedback from the SOE PS2 forums on the Guide that mentions TG:

          I am a ArmA vet myself and have always been interested in tactics. I know tactical gamers from ArmA and I know you guys do extremely well on average. Now I want to implement some things you talked about in your thread (communication and squadleading) in my outfit. However I find it extremely bad manners just to copy-paste. If I can I will link my outfit your guide but I don't want to do that without your consent. Also I would also like to play with you guys for a night or so so I could learn some new tricks to bring back home. I am trying to do this because I value the same amount of play you guys do. And I hope to give you some better opponents to fight.
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          • #6
            Re: Squad and Platoon Management in Virtual Environments: Revisions and RFC

            Enjoying the read.

            A further thing to suggest when concerning tactical (and even strategic movement) is the ability of the Squad Deploy feature. This is actually the most useful means of ensuring your entire squad is in the same area. If extended to multiple squads simultaneously you have ensured your entire platoon is together.

            What I experimented with yesterday was a platoon that would move only its Squad Leaders to a specific location (Use of Galaxy proved safest) and would then, on PL command, initiate a Platoon Wide Squad Deploy. This effectively mirrors the old Enclave method of Hot Dropping through instant Action.

            This proved as an excellent way to quickly move large groups of persons across potentially hostile regions without worrying about abandoning GALAXIES or being discovered.

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            • #7
              Re: Squad and Platoon Management in Virtual Environments: Revisions and RFC

              Originally posted by Ytman View Post
              Enjoying the read.

              A further thing to suggest when concerning tactical (and even strategic movement) is the ability of the Squad Deploy feature. This is actually the most useful means of ensuring your entire squad is in the same area. If extended to multiple squads simultaneously you have ensured your entire platoon is together . . .
              Thank you for reading it and for the suggestions, Ytman!

              I am going to keep the Guide agnostic as to any particular gaming environment as much as possible. The issues of squad and platoon management/leadership that I wish to address are the common denominators of virtual military gaming.

              For example, the following is a video demonstration of flanking. I consider this tactic 'agnostic' to the gaming environment in so far as I have found it useful in every military FPS I have played.

              In the Guide I am not interested in explaining how to flank but how to organize troops so as to execute the flank. Keeping the squad together, having common points of reference, using clear and concise commands -- these factors enable collective action. Clearly, the discussion of leadership needs its application, must answer the question "leadership of what and to what ends" and so tactics such as flanking will be discussed.





              I'll use video examples from Planetside 2 to illustrate the issues here at TG and at standardoperatingprocedures.org as well as drawing from past (and eventually, future) games for video examples. The project will culminate in a ethnographic exploration of leadership and group dynamics in virtual environments of the gaming genre.

              What you suggest (and your suggestion is excellent) is present in the text in the draft discussion of cohesion.

              The guide will not attempt to present all methodologies of leadership and strategic approaches to military FPS gaming. It would be very interesting to see an analysis of our various styles of leadership and methodologies. I have not seen two that are exactly the same (even though we all have more in common than not). My current 'ethnographic' video project is capturing moments of various leaders at work and will provide useful data for future analysis, so the ground work is being laid for a much larger study.

              I hope to produce videographic and written work that will be useful to both gamers and scholars of gaming, virtual communities, leadership & management, Internet culture, and related fields.
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              • #8
                Re: Squad and Platoon Management in Virtual Environments: Revisions and RFC

                Originally posted by Ytman View Post
                Enjoying the read.

                A further thing to suggest when concerning tactical (and even strategic movement) is the ability of the Squad Deploy feature. This is actually the most useful means of ensuring your entire squad is in the same area. If extended to multiple squads simultaneously you have ensured your entire platoon is together.

                What I experimented with yesterday was a platoon that would move only its Squad Leaders to a specific location (Use of Galaxy proved safest) and would then, on PL command, initiate a Platoon Wide Squad Deploy. This effectively mirrors the old Enclave method of Hot Dropping through instant Action.

                This proved as an excellent way to quickly move large groups of persons across potentially hostile regions without worrying about abandoning GALAXIES or being discovered.
                Personally I feel this kind of tactic is against TG rules. It is certainly up for debate. But I certainly wouldn't recommend putting it in a guide. Also, I saw a very popular reddit post complaining about the abuse of this feature with SL's in reavers. Devs certainly saw that. I'm betting they will remove or tweak the feature as they did with the instant action function when the Enclave made a specialty out of abusing it. So for all these reasons...while effective I wouldn't recommend spending much time on this mechanic.

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                • #9
                  Re: Squad and Platoon Management in Virtual Environments: Revisions and RFC

                  It really shows how rough it is to balance a game for all levels of cooperation. A feature able to be used to drop on a squad leader and keep a squad cohesive can be extended to an entire team. I don't see how it is particularly against the primer though. . . it might be incredibly powerful but its not an exploitation of the game engine.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Squad and Platoon Management in Virtual Environments: Revisions and RFC

                    I sure hope the devs consider it an exploit of a feature rather than an intended game mechanic. It makes it technically impossible to secure any bases when defending. If that's the intention, they may as well bring back Instant Action, as Al suggested. Since they removed that, I'm reasonably confident they'll revise Squad Deploy if the practice becomes common.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Squad and Platoon Management in Virtual Environments: Revisions and RFC

                      Originally posted by CoiledTortoise View Post
                      . . . It makes it technically impossible to secure any bases when defending . . .
                      Is this the current situation?
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                      • #12
                        Re: Squad and Platoon Management in Virtual Environments: Revisions and RFC

                        Originally posted by E-Male View Post
                        Is this the current situation?
                        I think so.

                        A squad leader can use an aircraft to fly near a point (usually at flight ceiling) and command their squad to Squad Deploy on them such that they drop together, en masse, on that point.

                        If we have enough air cover to stop any SL getting even within drop pod distance of a point, then it can be stopped, but that seems unlikely.

                        It's a flying spawn point.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Squad and Platoon Management in Virtual Environments: Revisions and RFC

                          I would add that I think an SL of Alpha could then be made SL of Bravo, Charlie, and Delta while in the air and allow each squad to Squad Deploy in turns.

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