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Squad-Based Tactical Drill: Establishing A Front Line

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  • Squad-Based Tactical Drill: Establishing A Front Line

    Of late I have been running informal training squads were I 'drill' the troops in the concept of cohesion and tactical advance.

    I am working on a video to demonstrate the concept. In the meantime, a brief description.

    The objective of the training drill is to move a squad forward to a hostile objective without putting the squad in a position of being overwhelmed by enemy forces. Executing the strategy requires holding the men in position while allies accumulate in sufficient numbers so as to allow for a safe advance to a closer position to the objective. Cover, terrain, and control of flanks are critical in this drill. The execution of this drill requires patience and firm control of the troops, who will be inclined to rush forward into kill zones and unsecured regions.

    I start by insisting on cohesion (as usual). Once ALL of the troops are grouped up on my safe mark we move out to the next marked objective. The squad leader should move the troops forward so as to constantly assess the situation and ensure maximum cohesion.

    The objective is to move your squad forward until it is the (or part of the) front line -- the closest possible proximity to the enemy target while still maintaining cohesion. If you are too close squad cohesion is lost due to lack of cover, protected flanks, and unfavourable force ratios. A sure sign of "too close" is when your men are frequently getting killed!

    The squad leader moves the men forward, cover to cover, while assessing the advantage of terrain and allied support, and weighing these factors against enemy strength. A successful drill will see the squad move forward, cover to cover, followed or supported by allies, until in a position to directly move into the 'flag' zone and capture a target. Under the conditions of a successful drill, the squad leader should seldom, if ever, die or require resurrection.

    There is an element of 'magic' to this strategy. By virtue of holding almost any position within effective firing range of an enemy target over time, allies WILL accumulate on your position. Here an AMS-Sunderer is helpful but not necessary. I have found that the AMS-Sunderer, while having obvious benefits, is often too vulnerable to incoming fire and can be a distraction in and of itself. This drill can be entirely effective with just the use of a squad beacon.

    The strategy outlined here does not guarantee success as it is never certain to what extent the enemy will rally force to your position. You may face favourable conditions or you may face a sudden onslaught of 100s of enemies. Nonetheless, I have found the strategy to yield significant results (and darn fun gaming) time and time again.

    The critical moment comes when your have reached the closest possible cover to the enemy target. Here you MUST hold your men in position until allied forces warrant a final assault on the target. A lack of support will require a change of objective.

    I find the use of smoke to be a vital tool for helping the troops move forward when under fire (see the video clip below, uploaded soon!).
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  • #2
    Re: Squad-Based Tactical Drill: Establishing A Front Line

    Here is a video clip that captures the final stages of the tactical movement described above. The scene opens with me overlooking the squad's new position from our former position, which we held for about 10 minutes and fought off enemy attacks from the left and right flanks as we suppressed the enemy's flag forward down hill.

    Once allied tanks rolled in on our right flank and allied troops joined us in our higher overwatch I sent the squad to the forward position seen in the opening sequence, marked by the green squad mark.

    I smoked the approach for the squad as they took their current position and continued to smoke their right flank. Note the green dots moving to my squad mark in the HUD minimap. Within 90 seconds of my moveout call (at time 1.26 on the video) you will note that all of the squad is at the new location.

    I find smoke acts as an allied magnet. Smoke an area long enough and allied troops will investigate.

    Note on the minimap at 2:49 the large mass of enemies at the target. Note how I have held my men back and we act as a suppressive agent while allies directly attack the target. The general, and incorrect, assumption is that one must rush directly to the target and get as close as possible to the enemy. This is mistaken. Use allies as the equivalent of cannon fodder. You can always count on allies (blueberries) to run in close, die, and repeat, effectively distracting the enemy from your own more secure position. This allows your squad to act as a suppressive force, secure a section of the perimeter, and enable other allied units to move forward. You can be effective as a squad without ever being in the capture (cert-point) radius.

    The second half of the clip shows me grouping up with the squad at the mark and ordering them to hold position. We wait until sufficient number of allies are in place. I call for the final assault (3:18) and smoke the enemy's location, providing cover for the troops as they cross the open road. I remain at the launching area where the squad beacon is dropped and continue to smoke the enemy spawn position thereby inhibiting their ability to effectively fire out from the spawn.

    We soon capture the flag.

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    • #3
      Re: Squad-Based Tactical Drill: Establishing A Front Line

      Excellent Emale! I hope to attend one of these informal drills in the future.
      The question foremost in my mind is "what will bring the most tactical fun to the server?"

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      • #4
        Re: Squad-Based Tactical Drill: Establishing A Front Line

        BigGaayAl also uses this method as a standard approach. It is not meant to be the ONLY way to approach a target, but it often is the best way.

        If I get my work done early today I'll give it another run this afternoon.

        Buy the Guass S (Eng gun with under barrel nade launcher). I have not used the regular nades in a long time, but I use the smoke nades in every engagement.

        Every SL should have smoke as an option.

        Smoke changes everything . . .
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        • #5
          Re: Squad-Based Tactical Drill: Establishing A Front Line

          I have long had the smoke launcher thanks to Randy. I would love to use it in a tactical-coordinated manner.
          The question foremost in my mind is "what will bring the most tactical fun to the server?"

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          • #6
            Re: Squad-Based Tactical Drill: Establishing A Front Line

            Originally posted by Garthra View Post
            I have long had the smoke launcher thanks to Randy. I would love to use it in a tactical-coordinated manner.
            Keep in mind the smoke nades have a max distance of around 100 meters.

            Two main tactical uses:

            1) Blind the enemy. When attacking the enemy's position cover them in smoke. Do not worry that allies cannot see them through the smoke. By blinding them you negate the immediate advantage of their cover and force them to move out into the open. This also directs allied attention on the smoke/position.

            2) Cover your friends. When moving to a hostile target across open terrain, through smoke forward or off to a flank. A little cover is better than none at all when advancing.

            Two people working together with smoke can drastically change the environment.

            Soon I will run a smoke only fun-squad. We will find the enemy and smoke smoke smoke. I want to see how it changes things when used on a massive scale. No one has done this yet.
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            • #7
              Re: Squad-Based Tactical Drill: Establishing A Front Line

              What guns have the underbarrel?

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              • #8
                Re: Squad-Based Tactical Drill: Establishing A Front Line

                Gauss Compact S

                It may be the only one. It is available to ENG.
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                • #9
                  Re: Squad-Based Tactical Drill: Establishing A Front Line

                  There is one gun for the Medic that has it as well. I will look up the name later.
                  "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: Squad-Based Tactical Drill: Establishing A Front Line

                    Hello E-male,
                    that is indeed similar to my natural way of trying to organize an assault, as a defensive minded player. I see two main assault strategies; this one you described, and then blitzkrieg, where the mode of operation is almost completely opposite.

                    The default way the blueberries attack is very close to a blitzkrieg tactic, but without the germans' exquisitely organised supply lines that were the crux of the strategy.


                    *Last sunday,
                    you just about came in E-male as I had the platoon take the same line on high ground north of the Yaeger's crossing tower. It was part of a battle that lasted hours, being fought over a few hundred meters. In the very end I felt our west flank open, lightly used by the enemy.
                    Asked for a volunteer squad to go there. After some cricket noises Delta volunteered. (SL: J****; something with J and no vowels).
                    They took the position in about a minute and a half. About the same amount of time after that, we were suddenly able to retake the hill we had been fighting terribly hard over, and had just lost.
                    You can never be sure, but in this huge fight. I believe it was the action done by delta that tipped the scales in this moment of the battle. I felt so proud of them!

                    * Recommendation about distance between squads:
                    As long as they can both shoot at any vehicles that come in between squads they should be close enough. Depending on the situation and terrain of course, I'd say anywhere from 150m up to 800m can work. Often I think further is better, as it provides the enemy with increasing difficulty flanking. If he does come in between you he will get hit more from the side and the rear instead of the front. If squads are far apart (but in support range) in many situations it just makes the choices the enemy has to make less desirable.

                    @ Smoke-only-fun-squads... ROFL sign me up. My only question is what kind of smoke? I hope the one that makes both factions drop their weapons, pin flowers to their helmets and start multi-colored drum-circles. I can see it now. Biggaayal prancing around the continent like a proper bum, spreading the thick fog of peace. You'd find a vs infiltrator, an NC max and a TR heavy lakeside on Amerish engrossed in debate trying to reverse-engineer why they were trying to kill each-other.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Squad-Based Tactical Drill: Establishing A Front Line

                      Originally posted by BigGaayAl View Post
                      * Recommendation about distance between squads:
                      As long as they can both shoot at any vehicles that come in between squads they should be close enough. Depending on the situation and terrain of course, I'd say anywhere from 150m up to 800m can work. Often I think further is better, as it provides the enemy with increasing difficulty flanking. If he does come in between you he will get hit more from the side and the rear instead of the front. If squads are far apart (but in support range) in many situations it just makes the choices the enemy has to make less desirable.
                      Great advice!

                      And yes, when faced with an apparently balanced battlefield, shift some forces so as to force the enemy to redirect forces.

                      Battles that fully engage the entire platoon as a cohesive fighting unit spread out along a front line but close enough to bring fire on targets between squad locations/zones, the type you describe above, are rarely seen in PS2. This I need to master as part of a TG PS2 Outfit strategy.

                      More cohesion drills this afternoon for me.
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