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How to attack a tower.

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  • [GUIDE] How to attack a tower.

    Hi guys I've made a guide for on attacking bases using towers as an example. I didn't manage at all to structure it well so it is barely readable. Perhaps I'll rework it someday but I already spent a bunch of time on it. It is inspired by seeing a lot of what I would call mistakes. I use towers as an example because everyone knows them, but principles can be applied for most bases.

    A) Attacking towers
    First of you have to decide between three scenarios, depending on enemy strength.

    1)Enemy force considerably larger
    => Retreat. You will never take a tower with a larger force defending. Wrong battle.

    2)Enemy force considerably smaller
    => Attack in any way. You could walk in a conga line backwards to assault, you will win because of manpower and respawns. Take a B-line to lock down the spawn, and the fight is over.

    3)Enemy force near equal.
    =>Siege, drawn out fight where surrounding the enemy from advantageous positions decides the battle

    The third scenario is where in my opinion the mistakes tend to happen and hurt. People will get one sundy, and have the whole platoon barrel straight in to the base of the tower, or just as badly, go for the A/B/C control points. Usually these four locations are on tactically weak areas. The tower base is usually on lower ground than the surrounding area, and so are all the control points.

    Sure we can go into the control points and be reasonably safe but for every man that is put put inside, we are losing more of the fight outside, more of the fight that really matters. If you have most forces inside, you will have such weak positions on the rim of the base that your sundy shall be taken out.
    In this situation people are sacrificing the mapcontrol, key in any RTS, for game mechanic control (A/B/C).
    If people are going straight for the enemy spawn in the tower, then they are confusing the scenarios above. They are fighting the wrong tactic for the scenario and sacrificing in the same way map control, for pressure on the enemy spawn.

    I propose the correct way to attack such a tower is the following.

    Think of the tower as a hill that you want to take. It is no longer a tower just a hill. The control points have disappeared, all buildings become hills. Now. If you are an equal force attacking a force on a hill, you will set up your spawn. Will you now send all your guys barreling up the hill straight to the enemy? No. This is what I see quite quite often though in the game.

    What people do in the case of hills, instinctively I may add, is set up a base of fire at the point of deployment, another hill. Then the force will spread out along whatever cover/high ground is available, and find adjacent positions to fire on the enemy, thus slowly enveloping the enemy hill, setting up bases of fire around it.

    THus the enemy is surrounded, pinned/suppressed and isolated from reinforcements. This is THE time to assault. Only now is the ideal time to assault. Goes without saying that in a computer game, during the surround, a bunch of rambos will have been charging straight up that hill for the enemy and re-spawning. But they have been mostly a waste to the large battle.

    So the enemy is suppressed, time to assault. Now military doctrine says you should commit no more than 1/3rd of your force to the assault. Most of the team must remain at distance, providing covering fire and keeping the enemies' heads down whilst also protecting the mapcontrol you have won, protecting your sundies.

    I think an attacking force should never willingly give up mapcontrol (bases of fire, high ground, can be called various things). You want to keep dominating the whole area you just seized control over, until you are ready to leave again.

    Now the assaulting force are all the guys that are going to cap the three points, camp spawn and hack consoles. All those that are leaving tactically strong positions for tactically weak positions. All the people doing that are to be counted as assault. This should be no more than 1/3rd! Obviously our assault forces are usually way larger. This is because of various habits. But also because the 'equal force scenario' happens the least of all scenarios. So people don't expect it and don't learn to play it much. The assault force will have a much easier time moving up and securing their objective if 2/3rd of the team is watching them with their guns.

    Think of it as the difference between attacking say an objective B inside a building off the tower.
    -Now with a bloated assault force, the enemy can reinforce from the tower. Two forces are colliding head on in the building with respawns. Takes time, end-result unpredictable.
    -With a properly sized assault force, the enemy will not be able to reinforce as he is being cut down on the way there, or at least scared enough. There is a small pocket of enemies isolated in the building. You have respawns and reinforcements. You will win.

    Now you will achieve mapcontrol; control of the tower and of enough control points as well.
    -If the enemy respawns on a different base and surprise-attacks you, you will be able to keep enough mapcontrol (spawnsundies) and manpower in good positions to stop them or slow them down enough.
    -You can absorb a max crash; as you have the area. The assault team will die, but the maxes would be killed by the suppression elements. The assault team then restores control.
    -If Air attacks you, you have some idle AA guys on the surrounding hills.

    If you lose mapcontrol
    -Basically any attack will take out your sundies on the outside perimeter.
    You have most of your forces inside the tower. One by one sundies are going down. You don't worry about it too much, because you have a sundy inside the vehicle bay, and have the spawn locked down with maxes.
    But the enemy is surrounding the tower again. They have the other hills. They have spawns, new sundies driving up all the time. Then suddenly... a max crash wipes out your spawncampers... it all falls apart and the enemy resecures the base.


    B) For Platoon leaders:

    Identify which scenario you are in. First, Always. This is your main job. If you get it wrong it will mostly be harmless.!?!

    Yes because most of the time you are not fighting an equal force. If you are in the 'enemy force smaller' scenario you can do whatever you want and you won't notice mistakes because you cannot lose.
    If you think you are in 'enemy force equal', but the force is really smaller, you will just have done an easy job better. So again, the mistake in gauging the situation goes unpunished and unnoticed.
    And well ... if you make the mistake of attacking a larger force... Platoon-wide frustration is your reward :D. Oh yeah, we've all done it!

    But if you get it wrong, at the wrong time, you will lose a great fight, exactly the kind of fight you are looking for.

    So identify the scenario.

    Smaller force => If you use tactics, it is to just be careful and for practice. Very important, these are great opportunities to get the platoon rolling in a forgiving environment. Alternatively you can use no tactics, emphasizing speed. good for an uncontested outpost

    Equal force => Lay siege, as explained above, try visualizing everything everything as hills. Place your forces around objective in positions of power, send in assault force.

    Larger force => Retreat or use delaying/skirmish tactics


    C) For squadleaders (or PL in very large battles):

    Pay attention mostly to the supression/assault ratio. Identify which of those elements needs more manpower. And add your squad to that element. The doctrine says I believe 1/3rd to 2/3rds. So the supressing/surrounding force must be at least twice as large as the assault force.

    If there are enough people running in there is nothing at all wrong with just putting you behind on a ridge in great cover getting easy shots and kills on the enemy. Usually the suppression team is understaffed. Because people tend to rambo. People tend to zerg. On the other hand if everyone is sitting back, don't hesitate to take advantage of their fire, by taking the ground they are controlling.

    If you can identify the scenario:

    Smaller force => Time for training. Get your squad to form up. You have time to identify stragglers and cajole them back under your wings. Practice anything you like, and get some easy kills while doing it for extra fun.

    Equal force => Money time. Identify where you need to be, execute and hope for the best. You may lose fights, but keep your focus on your role in winning mapcontrol and assaulting. No time for cajoling. Don't try, let stragglers straggle and focus on the battle.

    Larger force => Pl will call retreat or organize delaying or skirmish tactics. That is a whole other topic I haven't experimented much with.


    D) Note on switching scenarios

    Scenarios can change, at any time.

    Change to larger force => Identify asap and act accordingly or get slaughtered

    Change to smaller force => A great time to call for an all out assault. This is how we crushed almost a platoon of guys in a valley that one day. You have gone from siege, to clean-up. Enjoy.

  • #2
    Re: How to attack a tower.

    Very good points, some of which I follow already, and others I will incorporate into my strategic thinking. Particularly the part about withholding 2/3 and sending in 1/3 as the assault force.

    You have to also pay attention to what the blueberries/zerg are doing, and realize their natural inclinations. Very often all the blueberries will be assaulting because there is no thinking involved, they just want to rush right into the tower (/base/"hill"). So if it looks like they are 1/3 or so of our friendly force, let them do so and deploy our TG controlled force on the surrounding hills to provide the fire support. I often put our troops in places I anticipate that the zerg will not be going, because I know the zerg will be going there. Someone with more discipline (us) need to hold the non-obvious points, or play defense, etc. sometimes.

    I would like to add, that the only options you really have when facing (or planning an attack against) a larger force are to try and get more people into the fight via /orders and/or /leader chat, or get in NCC comms and hope another outfit is on your continent and willing to help. That's why sometimes in a large battle when I am PL/CC I will take a few moments and try to raise additional reinforcements because I know otherwise it will be a losing proposition no mater what we do.
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw


    • #3
      Re: How to attack a tower.

      Great guide Al.

      I love the emphasis on awareness of enemy strength and the need to commit forces to defence and suppression.


      • #4
        Re: How to attack a tower.

        A reply to bump this, and to express my disappointement that apparently the people who needed it the least seem to be the only ones that read this thread.


        Oh well, I just checked the views and at 147 ... well I guess many more people are reading than posting perhaps.

        Still worth the bump imo, because I regularly deadly fails where the whole platoon dies, that could be avoided using the principles proposed.


        • #5
          Re: How to attack a tower.

          Read and took it to heart.

          Any thoughts on how to respond to the arrival of reinforcements? Take too long to establish map control and you can give the enemy opportunity to flip the bulk of their assets to exterior spawn points. Essentially, while you surround the tower, a larger force surrounds you. When an assault goes bad, that's usually when it happens - the timer gets within 1 minute, some of the enemy shifts over to neighboring regions, and then fresh defenders come over the hill to hit your outer positions.
          In game handle: Steel Scion


          • #6
            Re: How to attack a tower.

            The percentages are that a squad of infantry can hold off 2 squads if the defending infantry holds the high ground (Reference: But I can see how that would translate the other way around as well.

            While playing the sniper I ALWAYS look for the 'just as high" or higher ground than the enemy. And I can clear the outside of a base in just a couple of kills, because no one wants to be sniped and "there is an infil sniping people" goes across comms like wildfire. Even when you BigAl called me a "Rambo" I was looking for the higher ground.............It concentrates the enemy into the base/tower to be engaged. And something that we never do is vectored firing lines across their spawning areas.........folks if we do that then they can't recap the's impossible. But more and more I get the feeling that all we do is talk and plan and nothing ever comes of it..............maybe before we do anymore planning, we should figure that part out first.


            • #7
              Re: How to attack a tower.

              Well when you have enough forces providing mapcontrol the guys on the outskirts will spot the attack more quickly then they would if you collapse your forces.
              That head warning is your best bet.
              Furthermore, supposing we haven't changed scenario to "enemy force considerably larger", if the enemy is spawning somewhere other than the tower, that means the force in the tower has just gotten weaker. So you can pull away one or even all over the squads on the outskirts, and have them respond to the counter attack.

              I remember we had this battle on Esamir, northern tower, right next to warpgate. Randy was PL and had just read this guide. We attacked from all sides. My squad was safely on the south hill.
              So slowly slowly we whittle down the enemy until they are caught in the tower. Suddenly my squad spots a considerably group of armor flanking from another base hitting my squad from south.

              Normally this squad would have taken out our nearly undefended Sundys before we knew what happened.
              Now they ran into a pretty bored squad that had nothing to shoot at by then. My squad spotted them, and immediately took out the first vehicle or two, while spotting the group and phoinng it in to Randy.
              THat right there is a huge difference. Putting that first dent in the counter attack slowed them down. And we already had more time to spot him and respond.

              In the end the counter attack got stuck in no-man's land to our south. One or two squads were focusing on them. They never even reached our south hill,... as we also had an armor platoon that came to mop em up.

              That was very gratifying gameplay. I was practically screaming at my squad: "Oh my God this is so textbook". As What happened was exactly what I described here. Then I heard Randy also saying how textbook it was. That was one of the best gaming moments in PS2 for me.

              Mind you it is rare that a larger force really is added to the fight by ground. Usually what happens is just that the good squads/platoons that are being spawnraped, respawn elsewhere and mount a counter attack, smartly, as they are otherwise caught in a pit of death. It is rare to see actual reinforcements come by ground to change a battle; it takes a long time to do that. The usual way a large force will suddenly come to assist is by using the spawn mechanics to redeploy suddenly into e.g. a biolab and push out with a MAX crash.

              If they really do come with a larger force...all they need to do is MAX-crash you and they will regain control easily. Nothing one could do about that afaik.

              It is a really good tactic imo to try and resecure points any way we can. It makes the enemy lose a lot of time! Time=mapcontrol in the sense that when you make someone lose time waitning for a cap, and make that waiting in vain, some guy somewhere else on the map on your team will have taken advantage of that by capping some other hex.


              • #8
                Re: How to attack a tower.


                I doubt that there is such a thing as a position that can never be overcome, a defense that is undefeatable, within this game. Even Superman can shave his own beard . . .

                Percentages and exmplars from the "real world" of military history only illuminate part of the darkness of the virtual battlefield. Much changes when nobody really dies.

                For every tactic, there is a counter tactic.

                As to planning versus action, a curious comment indeed.


                • #9
                  Re: How to attack a tower.

                  Maybe I should have said.....planning/training/implementing since training seems to be the only part missing of the action formula. There is no doubt planning........not sure how much but I'm sure there is some, as for the action part.......well seeing how well organized the VS is and how many times we lose the alerts and get wrapgated, yeah there's plenty of action.

                  Bottom line is measurable results and so far we're in the red on the tick line, it is what it is. And I hope for the love of God that I'm not the only person that sees that. I want us to be the dominating force on the Matterson server not just one of the largest.

                  BigAl has great plans and one of the best strategic mind I've seen in a long time and the plans need to be followed-thru, Sparhawk is one of the best SL I've ever seen because he runs unpredictable ops and has a feel for the flow of the game and gets results. But a lot of times we're basically a zerk following someone instead of who ever is the lead tank/harrasser/flash. What differentiates us from them really, beside that 'someone', I'm sure who ever is in the lead tank/harrasser/flash of a zerk opened their map and had some sort of plan/action in mind.
                  Last edited by Rageq3a; 06-04-2013, 02:32 PM.


                  • #10
                    Re: How to attack a tower.

                    Wish we could do training in VR where 1 squad can be OPFOR and the other TG and a third watching whats going on. Would be good to practice without getting grief taking a tower and clearing the floors. That's the one thing this game really lacks, a way to practice tactics with live opponents that are working with you to hone skills.


                    • #11
                      Re: How to attack a tower.

                      @ Biytor

                      I usually try to practice whenever there are very few enemies; like when you have defeated the main enemy force and are just finishing capping the continent against ghostcappers. I think it is a great way to practice formations and room clearing while still getting something done for the faction, and still getting some xp. I'd recommend everyone that leads (SL and PL) try to implement this. It keeps things interesting.

                      One time DocFinley asked me when PL how come my squad is always (huge exaggeration on his part) nicely formed up on the map while the others aren't so much. Short answer is, because I take the time to get them together during downtime, of which planetside 2 has much to offer. If a squad is not in the habit of forming up when there are no enemies, they sure as hell won't do it when there is all the chaos of a battle going on. Which is exactly when the SL actually NEEDS them to be a functional unit instead of an amorphous blob

                      That said, nothing at all against practice in VR.

                      @ Rage

                      I do see what you mean with being in the red, and I agree to some extent. In part this is due also to our outfit growing quite fast recently, if not exponentially. At the same time we have many more good leaders now. To be better we will need more practice, and more discipline mainly. Perhaps also we need more specialization; core squad-members playing together in a role, in a squad, regularly. If you are always playing with different people, it is very difficult to do more complicated tactics. I know this from previous games where I would now exactly what TG members were good at and what they liked to do. Then you can match what you ask them with that.

                      A team based computer game is like a sport. You field the same players often, then you get automatisms.

                      I think if people want to take us in this direction, the best way may be to set up practice just before FNF, so that you can immediately see how your practice pays off in live gameplay, when you still have the same people online, and have the memories fresh.

                      @ Rage's comment of planning not getting implemented

                      I would suggest make more specialty squads, and stick with them. There is no reason that we cannot have a platoon with some squads beng locked and containing less people.

                      I've toyed for example with having a lib platoon with 4 lib-crews, each in their own squads, and then assigning reavers evenly to the squads. All I need though is enough people willing and patient to keep doing it for a good time. I think it could help with the reavers giving better protection instead of getting distracted. Also comms would be easy as the libs can use squad chat with little harm while pl chat can be used to spot enemies for the whole platoon.

                      You could do something similar; e.g. having 6 infiltrators in a locked/outfit-only squad.
                      Last edited by BigGaayAl; 06-05-2013, 03:30 AM.


                      • #12
                        Re: How to attack a tower.

                        I'd love that idea BigAl and I agree with the concept of training with little enemy present to promote training and technique and the principle could also be applied to having no enemy present but in firmly held ground. I agree also with the idea of playing with the core players, those who get on PS2 regularly (which was my meaning of "TG commitment" made in another post). You can't train people who casually get on-line because your training would be in various stages of training all the time.

                        I'm glad the 'tower siege' plan worked as outlined in your strategic guide, I had no doubt it would show positive results.

                        I encourage all players who want to excel at this game or anything in life for that matter to put forth the time and effort to learn, training (practice), and apply that is the well known and proven formula for success.

                        For any training I do, I would start in VR....why? Because the infil/sniper role relies on a few more complicated factors.........

                        timing - knowing when to cloak and uncloak and how much time do you have between the 2 actions, it eventually become instinctual but you have to start with the timing.
                        Reading reticule - Each scope is different and compensation has to be made for the 'bullet drop' over distance
                        Location - where do you go to provide the most benefit for the role and the support of the squad

                        These are static techniques and can be learned in VR.......and practiced alone once you learn the basic foundations without anyone else being there.

                        This is not an attempt to hijack this great thread but to expand on it with regard to Al's suggestions. Thank's for the advice Al.


                        • #13
                          Re: How to attack a tower.

                          BigGaayAl, good stuff but I just have one questions out of curiosity. What country's mil doctrine are you following? You say 1/3 assault to 2/3 support ratio. I have literally never heard that, the only 1/3, 2/3rds rule that I know of is in terms of planning time. Or is this a game'ism?


                          • #14
                            Re: How to attack a tower.

                            This video captures a basic approach to taking a tower.



                            • #15
                              Re: How to attack a tower.

                              Originally posted by Rikrulfr View Post
                              BigGaayAl, good stuff but I just have one questions out of curiosity. What country's mil doctrine are you following? You say 1/3 assault to 2/3 support ratio. I have literally never heard that, the only 1/3, 2/3rds rule that I know of is in terms of planning time. Or is this a game'ism?
                              It certainly does not come from gaming. It might even come from a US military field manual. I picked it up somewhere on our forum one day, but I really cannot remember from where exactly. I do know it was in the project reality forum.

                              I think it must date from WW2 though. As before that armies didn't work with fire and maneuver tactics. It is only really with the advent of the SMG that these tactics were developed. Perhaps there are links to much older combat tactics that I don't know of.

                              I have googled a little, but couldn't find my source. Most likely it will be under the banner of "fire and maneuver" if someone can find it. Can anybody else help out here? I'd love to find a proper source to add here.




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