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  • Employing Smoke at the Squad Level

    I play medic a lot, and SL. So, while I was researching which weapon to get for my primary kit, I came to the conclusion that the stock weapon is pretty good, and I did not see any compelling reason to change to anything else, particularly at the cost of 1000 SC (or 700 certs). During my research, however, I did come across the Gauss S rifle, which is available to the medic. I gather it is another variant of the stock Gauss rifle, as it has very nearly (if not identical) stats. One thing that did catch my interest about this weapon in particular, however, was the availability of an under-slung grenade launcher, in particular the smoke grenades... /wheelsturning... :)

    Now, am I the only one to see a dramatic tactical advantage here? Not only when covering open ground to a defended objective, but also as a way to storm a room or entire facility. Think of a breaching fireteam (or whole squad) equipped with the night vision optics. Pop some smoke inside, switch to our NV sights, and we would be the only ones able to see anything!

    I became so excited with this idea, that I have already spent 100 of my hard earned certs on the smoke grenade launcher. :D Now I just need a handful of guys with NV optics to join me in the carnage. :) The good news is, the NV optics are only 30 certs if you don't have them already, and can be added to many weapons.

    I raised this idea late the other night when our TG op had wound down to only one partial remaining squad, and someone informed me that some Terran outfit had been known to employ these tactics to great effect. I would like to get some other guys together with the equipment and start practicing employing this. I think it would be a great addition to our TG "bag of tricks." So if you are of like mind, please contact me in game (TGRandySughartClwFL) or post here.

    And/or, let us discuss particular tactics in further detail. :)
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw




  • #2
    Employing Smoke at the Squad Level

    Smoke is next on my list. I was a huge proponent in the BF series. Would like to see it employed more in PS2.

    Snarlin


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    • #3
      Re: Employing Smoke at the Squad Level

      While I like the idea for open ground, in rooms it can get to be too much. Even with NV, I now have to look for the lack of triangles above someone's head to ID them as the enemy. While it's helpful on the initial push into someplace, everyone tends to then keep it going, which then loses it's effectiveness as the enemy adapts.
      sigpic




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      • #4
        Re: Employing Smoke at the Squad Level

        A couple of observations here. Smoke grenade effects are drastically affected by what graphic settings each user is using. If you're using low graphics you may as well be immune to smoke grenades. That being said, I don't see them used nearly enough on the battlefield and would love to play around with that tactic.

        IRNV scopes are awesome. If you don't have one, it behooves you to at least spend some time in the VR room and try it out. They're not only useful for situations like the above mentioned smoke grenades (and obviously nighttime) but also for those times where it's hard to distinguish an enemy from his surroundings. For example, during Biolab fights where you're either outside the platform looking in, or inside looking out. It can be hard to distinguish a player from his surroundings because the contrast in lighting, or maybe too much clutter. IRNV lights them right up (so you can distinguish a player profile against, say, a railing or a box or a rockwall). Enemies hiding among foilage or trees or gratings (like the walls/metal mesh of the Stronghold) are better displayed.

        One last important thing to highlight about IRNV...distinguishing between friend and foe. It's easy to argue that the primary IFF method should be uniform color to determine at a glance what to shoot. But that's not necessarily (and shouldn't be) the case. PlanetSide 2 uses distinct player silhouettes (both for infantry and empire specific vehicles) to show differences between the empires. NC are more boxy, TR are more bubbly/round, VS are more slim/angle-y. Whereas color (thank you giraffe camo) can confuse you at a glance, they cannot ever hide their profile, so THAT should be your first clue who to shoot. 90% of the time that I fight, I have an INRV scope. Whenever I'm in a crowd of people and an enemy jumps in the middle of us and starts firing away, the first thing I do is ADS. Yes, the color of the dorito (or lack thereof) above players is one of the very first things I look for before firing, but by using the scope and taking away all color, the shape of my target becomes instantly apparent. Guess who gets the kill....

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        • #5
          Re: Employing Smoke at the Squad Level

          In regards to the identification of enemies argument, I would think that you could easily see your squadmates, as they would have a distinctive silhouette either standing or crouching, with their gun up to their face and looking through the scope (assuming a full squad or at least fireteam all with NV scopes on their weapons). Also, I would think the need to run would be mitigated, you could all sweep in at walking speed and would have slightly more time to sweep the room and ID, as you would be the only ones able to see.

          I do agree however, that the efficacy would have a time limit, in a given situation (minutes) as well as long term (weeks, months, years?) in game. By that I mean, at this point in the game, not many people have the NV scopes. But that will change as time goes on in the game (weeks, months, years?). More people will be getting them. Also, on a more immediate timeframe within maybe 15 minutes (or less) I would think that anyone who had a NV scope would equip it as they re-spawned, especially if they were the one getting killed in the smoke room. But could they bring enough NV scopes to bear in time in an organized squad or fireteam to overcome our fireteam (or better, mostly full or full squad)? I am thinking not. By the time they got that together and organized, we may have capped and then they can't spawn. Although this point should be remembered, as I don't think it could be employed to as great of an effect in a longer battle, such as a biolab for instance. Too much time for them to adapt and counter (again though, assuming they have the equipment to, but enough players on the opposing side in a large fight like a biolab probably would).

          Another point would be to not over-use it, lest people get NV scopes and learn to adapt. I just want to try this out some time, and then put it away and save it in the "bag of tricks" for those "tougher" fights, lest people learn to adapt. Because once everyone has NV scopes it's game over (well, or it would be much more short lived, until people re-spawned with their NV gear). That's why I would say only employ it on a smaller battle that would be over in relatively short order, and selectively.
          "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



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          • #6
            Re: Employing Smoke at the Squad Level

            Randy, when you brought this up last night as we were locking up Esamir I went out and got NV for my Heavy, so I can take part in this tactic.
            |TG-6th|Belhade
            "I am actually looking forward to watching Jon and Kate plus 8." - Dirtboy




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            • #7
              Re: Employing Smoke at the Squad Level

              Originally posted by Belhade View Post
              Randy, when you brought this up last night as we were locking up Esamir I went out and got NV for my Heavy, so I can take part in this tactic.
              Cool. :)

              Yeah, I have employed it once or twice to pretty good effect, when I had at least half my squad with the NV scope.

              I have so far also used it to smoke out an unexpected tank or max while we re-arm or otherwise come to bear on it. And I have used it to cover our advance when we are pushing out of a bottled up spawn, or doing a large infantry push on a heavily defended base.

              It really does work nicely. :) I am pleased to report that I am not disappointed in spending those 100 certs whatsoever. :)
              "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



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              • #8
                Re: Employing Smoke at the Squad Level

                Smoke is definitely under used and as I proved the other day outside the palisade it can save a position. deployed at the right distance away from your position the enemy has to run through and can get disorganized easily and as long as we are all spotting the enemy they will light up like Christmas lights in that dark cloud so we can all shoot them and they can maybe get one or two of us that are standing in the front? It also cut off LOS to the sundy which in my opinion is the only reason we kept it up. The MBTs couldn't hit the sundy easily nor could they target the engies healing it. used by a mostly TG squad it can be the turning point for any fight with or without NV scopes especially outside of buildings.

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                • #9
                  Re: Employing Smoke at the Squad Level

                  Yeah, that was awesome JG. :) For those who weren't there, a single squad of us with a Sundy behind a rock were slaughtering dozens of enemy vehicles (tanks, Sundies, Harassers) as they were passing by on the road below. We even held them off after many attempts to dislodge us. Finally, they sent a bunch of Harassers and a few Libs which we held off for a while but they finally overcame us. I think we held that position for what, about an hour? lol

                  Anyway, cutting off LOS is one of the main benefits, yes. It is better to have the enemy in the smoke (or smoke between you and enemy) than to be in the smoke yourself. Another good use is in giving a clump of local friendlies some "extra courage" to advance. I used this latter application just last night in fact to advance out of the teleport room and retake the SCU shield gen in a Bio Lab.

                  These and other good points can be seen in the following video from Wrel:



                  I disagree with his assessment that smoke is useless because you can just Q spot through it. I don't think that enough players would think to do this, and the few that might could easily be overcome by a few guys with IRNV scopes before they could make a difference. But that is a good tactic to remember should you find yourself at the receiving end of an enemy smoke advance without your IRNV scope.
                  "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



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                  • #10
                    Re: Employing Smoke at the Squad Level

                    It's a strong possible counter to a MAX crash as well, since it is impossible for MAX units to equip optics.

                    I think an engineer might be a better choice for the smoker. The ability to rearm your own smoke grenades without relying on a teammate gives you a bit more flexibility. Additionally it gives the engineer a defined role in an assault, as the engineer is a defensive-focused unit regularly, (turrets, mines, repairs, etc.) all the Engi is in an assault is another foot soldier with a slightly weaker weapon and no defensive ability. This would free up a medic, which is a critical unit in an assault.
                    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".

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                    • #11
                      Re: Employing Smoke at the Squad Level

                      Also known as "bringing an E-Male to the fight"! ;)

                      Covering an enemy position in smoke can effectively neutralize them a lot of the time. NV scopes aren't too common, especially in open field engagements, so you'll effectively blind them and possibly even force them off the terrain they're on if they want to continue engaging. That's especially true at long range, where NV scopes are useless, though it can be difficult to get smoke that far downrange with the low muzzle velocity of the round.

                      Also, if you bean someone in the head with one they die instantly. :D



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                      • #12
                        Re: Employing Smoke at the Squad Level

                        Originally posted by starstriker1 View Post
                        Also known as "bringing an E-Male to the fight"! ;)
                        I'll apologise for that, I use to run with smoke A LOT during beta, I think I got E-Male hooked :P

                        NV scopes aren't too common, especially in open field engagements.
                        That's especially true at long range, where NV scopes are useless
                        I beg to differ... The reason I stopped running with smoke is because such a large amount of people run NV.
                        I myself run NV exclusively, on all my weapons, all of the time... there's no need to ever use another scope, if you can see a target when you are not ADS, just spot it and shoot the bottom of the dorito.

                        Simple, and the reason why spotting mechanics are dumb.

                        That being said, I haven't bothered using smoke for some time, maybe with the turn around of players you may see some success, but most decent players I come across use NV too. IMO the best possible use of smoke is to counter a MAX crash, I guess it's worth the medics having it in the UBGL just for that alone.
                        It matters not what letters or numbers come before my name, I'll always be 1stMIP.

                        sigpic

                        "It is all about being a teamplayer. Give a kitchen sink to a teamplayer and he'll find a way to support his squad with it."
                        - John_CANavar (Marshall & Founder of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Platoon)

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                        • #13
                          Re: Employing Smoke at the Squad Level

                          Hm. I'd thought that NV usage had tailed off a bit after the nerf, but maybe not. I know I don't run NV on my weapons unless I intend to use them at short range only.

                          Even without that, though, you'll still be incapacitating a lot of players and vehicles with smoke, especially at range, and MAXes and Snipers can be completely blinded by it. I'd love if it was buffed to be more definitively useful, but there's still a lot of interference that can be done with it as it stands.



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                          • #14
                            Re: Employing Smoke at the Squad Level

                            I stopped using NV because of all the glare I seem to get on Esamir and I couldn't be bothered to switch sights on all guns every time I change continent.

                            Has the scope sway not made any difference Finestyle? I guess I stopped paying attention to the NV or red dot opinions.


                            As far as smoke, if it's specifically intended to be spammed and provide your squad with a firing advantage then please warn people to bring night vision before the fight. Otherwise, usage should be restricted solely to times where the enemy clearly have the upper hand and friendlies are trying to advance.

                            If it turns out your team actually has the upper hand and smoke is used without pre-planned warning, all you do is neutralise your own advantage. One squad vs one regular guy behind cover does not warrant smoke, for example, it lets him run off.



                            |TG-Irr| MrJengles - You know you want to say it out loud.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Employing Smoke at the Squad Level

                              Originally posted by MrJengles View Post
                              Has the scope sway not made any difference Finestyle? I guess I stopped paying attention to the NV or red dot opinions.
                              The scope sway didn't really effect it much for me tbh. Plus if you have a decent enough control of your weapons recoil to have the best chance of landing your shots, you can hold your breath for long enough to get the longer ranged kills most of the time.

                              TBH though, most engagements are within a tolerable range for it to not really be an issue, unless your plan at the time is specifically to sit far from the action and camp something. Each to his own I guess, but for me there isn't enough "cons" to give the NV up.

                              Maybe this thread will do the opposite for me and I'll consider putting the NV down on occasion and see how it impacts my play.

                              *off topic*
                              I just wish there was better implementation of in game darkness and a revamp of the NV/thermal systems as a whole to make it more of an important decision.
                              I've had an idea floating around in my head for some time of incorporating the NV and thermal vision into the helmet itself and ditching the scope method alongside changes to the way the system works to make it more of a decision which one you chose depending on your setup. Alas, I know something like this would never make it into the game, it would require a revamp of the gear system as a whole, but I can dream.
                              It matters not what letters or numbers come before my name, I'll always be 1stMIP.

                              sigpic

                              "It is all about being a teamplayer. Give a kitchen sink to a teamplayer and he'll find a way to support his squad with it."
                              - John_CANavar (Marshall & Founder of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Platoon)

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