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How you squad lead

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  • How you squad lead

    About a week ago I led a squad even though I don't really enjoy giving out orders to people. It didn't go incredibly well, but I don't think it was horrible. The one thing I did notice was that my style of squad leading wasn't everyone's cup of tea, just like I find not all squad leaders are my cup of tea. So wouldn't it be great if we knew what kind of tea everyone likes?

    I encourage everyone to fill out the "How I squad lead" section, even if you don't squad lead much or ever. Maybe someone will read it and be like "Hey, I really like this guys style, I want him to be my squad leader!"

    How I squad lead:
    Unlike most squad leaders I run a very loose ship. I like to put my trust in the decisions of my squad members, and I encourage free thinking. I operate the squad very democratically and treat myself as just a squad member with a beacon and a waypoint. If I have an idea for a tactical advantage, I will suggest it to my squad, if they agree then we go forward with the plan, and squadmates are welcome to make suggestions as well. I prefer to run a small 4-8 man infantry squad that way its easy for members to keep track of each other and provide appropriate cover. I also allow squad members to take initiative without reporting in, if you see a threat and you feel like you can deal with it yourself and it won't affect the rest of your squad, you don't have to report it. So if you like strict rules and order, I'm probably not the SL for you.

    What kind of squad I like to be in:
    I like a squad leader that prefers to run infantry. I don't like camping bases with armor (not that there is anything wrong with that). I like a squad leader who can be flexible and is open to input, cuz sometimes I like to contribute without actually leading. I also like a SL with energy in their voice, who sounds like they are having fun.

    So, what about you guys?

  • #2
    Re: How you squad lead

    How I squad lead: I don't, and the reason is because as I've said before it's like herding kittens. My expectation is for people to follow orders, plain and simply. I have a very aggressive approach to my game play. I like to position in places the enemy doesn't expect and doesn't look. I like taking out tons of armor with a raven MAX and expect people to know how to support the roles the squad is playing. I like pressing the enemy into making mistakes and then capitalizing on those mistakes which means people should know how to play the game. I don't like sitting on a lone ridge somewhere with 12 other people and shooting at a occasional aircraft or tank that happens to come around. I like to be the point guy so that when I issue an order I know what I'm talking about and not reading a map and deciding what the situation should be based on little colored squares and triangles. As I've said before there is a flow to the battle and a momentum, the only way you can determine that is to look at a map for a long time, or engage the enemy and see it instantaneously. So with the way I play I don't have time to herd kittens to boot.

    What kind of squad I like to be in: See above but in reverse.


    • #3
      Re: How you squad lead

      Great and timely topic Emrys, repped.

      Rage, some times it is like herding kittens initially, but once you get past that initial hair pulling and maybe kick a person or two, usually the squad starts to fall in line and then eventually gels into cohesiveness. After that, usually the squad starts to take on an identity of it's own, people start to get the hang of it and do things automatically, and it goes on that way for most of the evening / session (periodically you may need to refocus as people leave and new people join). And those squads that are working great together provide some of the best experiences I have had in game, and many other people have agreed and told me the same. In fact, many people have asked for Outfit invites after being in my squads. Many guys from other outfits even join my squads to get that same experience, as it is apparently pretty rare to find a good and cohesive squad in this game, most squads/platoons seem to be casual and let their guys sort of do whatever. But that is not what we are about here at TG.

      I am a big believer in squad cohesion in order to be most effective. In this way you can take a group of even mediocre skilled / kitted players and mold them into an effective fighting force. As I have said innumerable times upon starting a squad, I only have 2 rules: follow orders and stick together. This is the basis for a cohesive, and therefore effective squad. After that I usually dictate a certain kit makeup (depending on objective) and then there will be other specifics as we go along. I like to take charge and direct my squad with specifics, and this is what all squad leaders should be doing IMO.

      Now I will take suggestions, especially if a squad member happens to notice something I have overlooked. I am not perfect, and I do not see everything, all of the time. Sometimes I will even ask the squad what they want to do. I try to have respect for people and their ideas, and remember at the end of the day this is a game, that people play in their free time for enjoyment. But at the end of suggestion time, or if there is no time for it, I expect my squad to follow the orders that I end up issuing.

      I think now is a good time to remind everyone that we have all agreed to follow Chain of Command (CoC) here at TG, because to us, that is what enables the most fun. That is what we have all signed up for. That is why it is listed in The Primer and is one of the core values here at TG. Garthra sent me a PM of an excellent post he is working on regarding being a good squad member and giving up a little autonomy in return for more effectiveness (i.e., being a part of something, a squad, platoon, company, alliance, faction...). His points were so well made that I would love to post them here but he is on vacation for 2 weeks and I don't want to steal his thunder so I will likely wait until he returns to post them up himself.

      Now some times I have run some pretty casual squads (even platoons) but that is because I didn't have the energy to do a proper job of it. Or because I took charge of a pubbie platoon and I was being realistic with my expectations by setting them pretty low and not trying to do anything too complicated (and get myself worked up in the process). But when I have my game face on, and am serious about SLing (as I have been again recently) the above is how I run squad. Penandpennyman made a post recently about the alarming rise of casual squads at TG and I have to say I agree with him. Casual squads at times are fine, some times we just want to get in game and socialize or derp around a bit (even I feel this way some times) but let's not lose sight of who we are here, we are TG, we are Tactical, we have all joined TG because of great teamwork, good comms, and following CoC. Because to us, that is what is the most fun and enjoyable way to spend our free time gaming.

      But you make some interesting points about encouraging free thinking, there is certainly a balance there, each individual within that cohesive squad needs to maintain SA (Situational Awareness) and do his or her own little part in the battle in order to be successful, whether that be smart placement of ammo packs, good positioning, or watching a flank / door that they see no one else is watching. "TG does not want robots..."

      Also, I am making this point from the perspective of being a very experienced squad and platoon leader. My experience goes back to Project Reality (a BF2 mod) and vanilla BF2 before that, here at TG. I mean, I Platoon Led my first or second night in PS2; even though I was new to the game, I had been Commander a lot previously in BF2 and PR. There are a handful of us here that fall into this category, these are the very confident and take charge SLs/PLs (and even a few of the newer guys who are starting to step up in this way after being in our squads and seeing how we do it, and initially emulating us until they develop their own personal style).

      But there is another case, where maybe you are not as confident or experienced as an SL, and in that case I would recommend maybe being a little less overbearing, less demanding of adhesion to CoC and perhaps more open to suggestions. Maybe you want to run your squads a little more casually until you grow in confidence in not only your tactics but also your abilities as a leader. And there is nothing wrong with that. Luckily, we have not had very many (any?) situations where we have had incompetent leaders being overbearing and demanding adhesion to CoC where they were completely out of line and everyone was having a bad time. If anything, I think it is the opposite where most people seem to be naturally hesitant to step up and SL/PL, or when they do, very cautious about being overbearing. I think that is a testament to the great group of people we have here at TG in general and in this title specifically.
      "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw


      • #4
        Re: How you squad lead

        When I squad lead I'm usually harping hard on squad cohesion because everything else tends to follow. Teamwork, general effectiveness, and responsiveness to orders all are improved substantially just by keeping everyone close together. My squads typically move point to point taking time to regroup and I'll quickly remove anyone who consistently wanders away. Rather than be the fastest, most aggressive, or most flexible squad, I prefer my squad to take it a bit slower and be methodical, solid, and unassailable. Ironically, the latter qualities can often help achieve the former; as Randy is fond of saying, "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast".

        I like methodical and intentional maneuvering and taking tactically dominating positions and holding them against all comers. You'll often see my squad sitting on a hill on the enemy's flank rather than being right on the tip of the spear. I also have a fondness for armour and especially fighter squadrons, and I'll occasionally lead those types of squads as well!

        When I'm a squad member I prefer to be in squads like those described above (which is, coincidentally, why I tend to lead) and I tend to get bored or frustrated in loose, uncoordinated squads. The tighter the squad and the better the communication and teamwork within it, the happier I am!


        • #5
          Re: How you squad lead

          Good Thread Topic!
          Emrys, a good thread, to bring up the topic of different people have different leadership styles! It is worth knowing which squad leads run a squad the way you (meaning any player reading the forums) like your squad run. That way if I see we have a TG platoon going with 2 or 3 squads open for joining I can join the squad with an SL I work best with.

          Agree with Randy, TG is Tactical Gaming
          I agree with Randy, there is a floor of seriousness at Tactical Gamer, and a limit of loose "just mess around" play. Certainly there is some space between the floor and the ceiling, but there is a floor somewhere.

          I prefer serious squads, either as squad leader or squad member.
          I am in favor of very tightly controlled and disciplined squads. I enjoy very tight squads, either leading them or being a part of them. Loose squads are not my cup of tea.

          Being a Squad Member
          I posted my thoughts on being a squad member, (the ones Randy discussed) in the Strategy and Tactics section.
          The question foremost in my mind is "what will bring the most tactical fun to the server?"


          • #6
            Re: How you squad lead

            Here is my progression through the afternoon / evening:

            Get on in afternoon, fire up game, visit forums, do admin work, not really playing (this is when you will see me standing in my spot on top of the spawn in the warpgate (literally and figuratively "above the unwashed masses") in the afternoon, in game but not running anything or playing). This is a good time to ask me noob questions, or Outfit business, as that is what I am there for. May jump in TG squad or platoon to just listen in or crack heads / deal with trolls if that becomes necessary. Just let me know if you need me to take out the trash, happy to do it.

            Join an existing squad, because I want to "just be a grunt" and start socializing, shooting a few things / may actually get some certs for a change, and helping out doing whatever the SL/PL is trying to accomplish.

            Start to back seat SL, second guess the SL/PL, sometimes offer to start another squad when we fill up. Or take over the existing squad because "I know I can do better." Or, an alert goes off and my competitive nature takes over, and I take over the entire platoon. Game face on, watch out, you better be following along now. lol

            Alert ends, and I pass control of the platoon back to someone else.

            On a Friday/Saturday, there may be an additional stage after this where I start / continue drinking and end up flying around in the Gal until the wee hours of the morning, playing old country music in prox and bombing the crap out of poor hapless enemy infantry on the ground. And a few enemy Libs and ESFs too. If I am feeling particularly uppity, I sometimes challenge myself to scraping together a squad / platoon of drunk pubbies and seeing if I can mold them into something resembling a functional squad/platoon.

            I was going to draw up a graphic, showing this arc shaped progression, but I think you get the idea. I have taken the time to write this as a sort of a PSA, as I feel it is important to know where I am in the progression, so you know what you are in for. LOL
            "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw


            • #7
              Re: How you squad lead

              My squad lead style: still developing... leaning towards: the small, tight, disciplined, and trained (I plan on addressing this...). Zerging is a tactic i do not rely on. Those in my follow will find that I micro manage spawns. I joined TG because I was tired of zerging. I will generally avoid leading blueberries almost every time. Much like Rage I have high expectations and they don't have the discipline and values that TG does. Getting this out of them is possible, however I generally don't have the time, patience, and inclination, to squeeze it out of them.

              Squad followership style: Direct to the orders given to best of my ability. Focus on my piece of the puzzle. I plug wholes in tactics where possible. (Example: order get to point from spawn and hold, first approach is as directed, if fails due to gauntlet of enemy then I will set a turret to keep a part of the path safe for others.) I am picky who my leaders are, I will follow most TG leaders who lead respectfully, and will due my best to enforce the orders given where I see falters. I am resistant to resource/spawn careless leadership. My intent is to play with tactics which do much with little, not little with much, another reason I joined TG.

              My squad lead followership to PL: Direct to the best of my squads ability. I strive to be prepared for the mission before moving out which often takes more time depending on squad member discipline. This tends to bust PL time frame expectations, which aggravates me and is why I generally don't want to lead undisciplined/untrained squads. I prefer PL's leave the tactics/governance of my squad to me and simply give operational objectives to achieve (IE: take/hold point/building/hill, deny air/armor at/around location X) vice: (someone pull skygaurd, everyone to location, everyone pull maxes). PL's that can do this tend not to need to speak much keeping my squad comms clear for my use. I expect PL's to give clear objectives that are attainable and forecast there plans so I can prepare my squad to meet needs ahead of time.

              My Platoon Lead style: Indirect. Squads belong to their squad leaders and I do not interfere to best of my ability. I try to keep my instructions at the operational level and let the SLs execute as they see fit within the confines of my instruction. This keeps Platoon comms clean and minimizes interference with squad comms. (starting to see a pattern?) This also leaves the stresses of squad level issues on the SLs leaving more time for more operational or strategic level planning.

              Additional notes:
              - I despise Ghost/couch capping
              - I am an adult playing a game for entertainment and do not take kindly to those who would use a position of trust, show disrespect to myself or others. This is another reason I joined TG.
              - Since the Game has no win condition or reward, the intended win conditions of taking bases/continents mean little to me. Winning my chosen/assigned objectives is where I consider a win
              -- I can easily objectify outside of the game content (IE: keep path to point safe for zerg reinforcements.)
              - I believe backseat leading is helpful in small doses, however I see this abused often especially by those who are used to leading or those who feel they can do better. I think those in this position would benefit the squad/platoon more by either stepping up and lead themselves or more importantly support and encourage others to follow the set objectives. Instead of constantly undermine the leader.

              There is my leader/follower profile.


              • #8
                Re: How you squad lead

                Good post VLAD, repped.

                Also, just so there is no confusion, my post #3 was serious, and #6 was a bit tongue in cheek, but based in truth. lol I guess my point being, for me personally it's important to balance seriousness with sometimes screwing off a bit, which can make for a nice change of pace, or is OK late night when everyone is tired after playing for many hours through 2 alerts. There are some social elements involved in this game, I think this is a good discussion for everyone to realize we all bring to and get a little something different out of this game.
                "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw


                • #9
                  Re: How you squad lead

                  The way I squad lead:
                  I try to have fun and keep it loose. That's why if there is any serious ops going on, I do not take it. I prefer to lead a mixed squad as I would rather have people play with what they want to play with.

                  What kind of squad I like being in:
                  Any TG squad would do for me. If there isn't a TG squad up, I usually bounce around to a few squads, give up, and go solo.

                  Squad preference for:
                  CAS (Gunning/repairing a Gal)
                  Air (usually join an air squad if nothing else is up and become the rabbit to bait the other ESA)




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