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  • Working alongside/against a zerg

    Found a very excellent guide on the subject:

    http://www.squadside.com/2013/08/04/...ting-the-zerg/

    The rest of the blog is also pretty excellent.




  • #2
    Re: Working alongside/against a zerg

    That guy makes some good points. I read a few of his articles, including the one about running a public platoon (which I recommend for aspiring PLs as there is some good info in there about platoon management).

    One of the things he says in that article that I found interesting is the idea of keeping all of your Outfit members in one of the squads, with only the SL and maybe a couple more Outfit members in the other squads, and the rest pubbies. And then to assign that "A team" squad to more difficult tasks, and using the other 1-3 squads as blocking forces, for supporting fire, or other supporting roles.

    When I PL (I mean when I really PL and am not just doing it and going through the motions because no one else wants to do it, lol) I usually do try to pay attention to who my SLs are, how many TG (and especially high BR, known TG and good players) are in each squad, as well as how close all their little colored circles are staying together on the map (which is an indicator of squad cohesion) and from that assign orders accordingly. By that I mean I will usually give the better functioning squads the tougher jobs, or send 2 squads that are less effective to do a certain task instead of one good squad, etc.

    But to specifically make an effort to keep (or place) a lot of our better players together in one squad is a very interesting idea which may deserve more attention. That squad could perform more difficult tasks like breaching or punching through a choke point, executing the Amp Station Fast Break technique, or other more complicated tasks that require more knowledge and/or training beforehand, while the other semi pub squads provided support.
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



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    • #3
      Re: Working alongside/against a zerg

      My main worry with that is that the "pubbie" squads would end up being pretty incohesive and ineffective without a few of the regulars to set a good example and fill the gaps. You'd need to put your best/most hard-assed SLs in those squads and be very liberal with the kick functionality to get those squads functioning at the level you'd want.



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      • #4
        Re: Working alongside/against a zerg

        Yes, I agree. And I suppose that's why we haven't done it in the past. It usually runs "pretty well" with a handful of TG regulars in a squad, fleshed out with pubbies, which seems to be about what we usually run. Also, who wants to do that (SL (babysit? lol) the pubbie squad I mean)? Personally, sometimes I enjoy the challenge of seeing what I can get out of a squad of pubbies with no prior experience together. But I suspect I am the only one maybe? lol Also, I have to be in the right frame of mind. Other times (like today) I just want to form an all TG squad and focus on more "advanced" tactics.
        "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Working alongside/against a zerg

          Originally posted by Randy_Shughart_ClwFL View Post
          That guy makes some good points. I read a few of his articles, including the one about running a public platoon (which I recommend for aspiring PLs as there is some good info in there about platoon management).

          One of the things he says in that article that I found interesting is the idea of keeping all of your Outfit members in one of the squads, with only the SL and maybe a couple more Outfit members in the other squads, and the rest pubbies. And then to assign that "A team" squad to more difficult tasks, and using the other 1-3 squads as blocking forces, for supporting fire, or other supporting roles.

          When I PL (I mean when I really PL and am not just doing it and going through the motions because no one else wants to do it, lol) I usually do try to pay attention to who my SLs are, how many TG (and especially high BR, known TG and good players) are in each squad, as well as how close all their little colored circles are staying together on the map (which is an indicator of squad cohesion) and from that assign orders accordingly. By that I mean I will usually give the better functioning squads the tougher jobs, or send 2 squads that are less effective to do a certain task instead of one good squad, etc.

          But to specifically make an effort to keep (or place) a lot of our better players together in one squad is a very interesting idea which may deserve more attention. That squad could perform more difficult tasks like breaching or punching through a choke point, executing the Amp Station Fast Break technique, or other more complicated tasks that require more knowledge and/or training beforehand, while the other semi pub squads provided support.
          I've been in a few platoons that seemed to operate this way and I really dislike this mentality; it smacks of "if you're not in our outfit, you must be no good". In these cases, I have even been moved from the main squad to one of the others - suddenly, all the comms and teamwork oriented players disappear and the SL does little more than place a waypoint.

          TG makes an effort to let everyone in our squads, show them how we operate and give them a chance. Indeed, this can make us more effective by getting those who could do with a bit of guidance working on another level. What would it say about our outfit if people join a TG tagged squad that always gets the boring tasks, while able to see most of the TG players in their own squad working on strong cohesion, teamwork etc. with each other?

          Where I think we sometimes err - and has been pointed out on the forums as something to keep an eye on - is to make sure ALL squads have sufficient TG players for us to be effective and to not let things get to the "herding sheep" stage. Likewise, we shouldn't start new squads without enough TGers ready to move over / asking to join the platoon. People have noted the stark difference this achieves without the need to be TG only.

          Therefore, I believe the above should remain general practice.

          I have no qualms with making a TG only squad but it should be reserved for specific, complicated tactics/roles that cannot be explained as you go. This means that if people want to do that sort of thing they should be expected to make an effort to practice together. In fact, that's how In House Squads typically operate and we could probably do with more of that in PS2.



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

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Working alongside/against a zerg

            Jengles, excellent post, repped.

            I suppose that's why I said it was an "interesting" idea. But in the end, I agree more with everything you said. Save the A Team for special tactics, and form up on an ad hoc basis when needed.

            That's why I have never joined an IHS, it's because I think it can sometimes contribute to that age old division between the experienced and newer players ("smurf," or in PS2, "blueberries"). But maybe it is time for a spec ops PS2 IHS, for training, etc. purposes. In the meantime though, I am just going to run training with some Outfit only squads (will do one later today in fact).
            "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Working alongside/against a zerg

              Thanks. Finding out how other people do things is never a bad thing and usually interesting. It's that singular point which I don't think translates to TG.

              As for paying attention to which squads are the most cohesive, responsive etc. and giving them the hard tasks, that seems like very prudent PLing and a good tip Randy.


              The "zerg" article raises some good points about intelligently separating yourself from the zerg - do not go for the closest objective, hold high-ground and maybe fill the anti-armor/anti-air role in support. Happily, I think we already make an effort to do these things. Extricating ourselves once part of a friendly zerg is something to keep an eye on as well.

              Also, during a defense the friendlies can be counted on to repeatedly run from the spawn room. I think we need to make more use of beacons and squad deploying then, if that fails, falling back for counter-attacks.



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

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Working alongside/against a zerg

                I thought that the "the zerg does these 4 things very predictably" thing was probably the most important part of the article. I've often had squads go for the main objectives (control points, generators) abandoning tactically superior firing positions to do so, but if you've got enough blue players around you can usually rely on them to manage the obvious objectives themselves, making the less obvious jobs like territory control, suppression, and general purpose disruption things we can excel at and enable the zerg's success with. Like Jengles says, we already do this, but I think I'll personally be more consciously taking into account zerg behaviour in those instances going forward.



                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Working alongside/against a zerg

                  Hi , Thanks for linking to my blog and for the discussion.

                  I guess I should explain the mentality behind the pub squads and outfit squads being seperate.

                  Firstly we are a small outfit, and count it a good turn out to get 10 - 12 players online, so we really do not have the required mass to go toe to toe with larger outfits without support. This is where the public squads come in, they are started early in the evening, led by an experienced Squad leader and it is normal practice for us to only have one or two additional squads both as a result of our gameplay style, and my own inexperience in running larger groups.

                  If I am running the platoon (and most of the time I am) I will be actively communicating within platoon chat, giving targets while squad leaders will be acting on a more immedite level reacting to the evolving situation.

                  We find that after an intial "warm up" period the public squad/squads become quite effective and will follow directions, hold positions, assault etc, however the outfit squad is very important for us. Mostly they are used to hold a vital point, flank or perform the more "boring" jobs that public members would not wish to do.

                  I totally agree that it is important to keep public members engaged and involved in strong tactical gameplay, and I think we are succesful in doing this especially on Miller where it is rare to hear any form of in game voice communication and as you mentioned the squad leaders do little more than herd sheep.

                  Thanks again

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Working alongside/against a zerg

                    "I have no qualms with making a TG only squad but it should be reserved for specific, complicated tactics/roles that cannot be explained as you go. This means that if people want to do that sort of thing they should be expected to make an effort to practice together. In fact, that's how In House Squads typically operate and we could probably do with more of that in PS2. "

                    Here, here............

                    I took a little toddle around the warpgate today, and amazingly enough mostly of the buildings on the far end of the warpgate mimic some of the main building we have to fight in...........now why do you suppose they placed those buildings there totally out of harms way? To practice in?...................hmmmmmmm maybe.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Working alongside/against a zerg

                      Heh. Looks like SOMEONE is monitoring his trackbacks! ;)

                      Thanks for the input, Pirate Cat! I can definitely appreciate the value of having people you can count on to execute the boring-but-important roles in the game.



                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Working alongside/against a zerg

                        Originally posted by Pirate Cat View Post
                        Hi , Thanks for linking to my blog and for the discussion.

                        I guess I should explain the mentality behind the pub squads and outfit squads being seperate.

                        Firstly we are a small outfit, and count it a good turn out to get 10 - 12 players online, so we really do not have the required mass to go toe to toe with larger outfits without support. This is where the public squads come in, they are started early in the evening, led by an experienced Squad leader and it is normal practice for us to only have one or two additional squads both as a result of our gameplay style, and my own inexperience in running larger groups.

                        If I am running the platoon (and most of the time I am) I will be actively communicating within platoon chat, giving targets while squad leaders will be acting on a more immedite level reacting to the evolving situation.

                        We find that after an intial "warm up" period the public squad/squads become quite effective and will follow directions, hold positions, assault etc, however the outfit squad is very important for us. Mostly they are used to hold a vital point, flank or perform the more "boring" jobs that public members would not wish to do.

                        I totally agree that it is important to keep public members engaged and involved in strong tactical gameplay, and I think we are succesful in doing this especially on Miller where it is rare to hear any form of in game voice communication and as you mentioned the squad leaders do little more than herd sheep.

                        Thanks again
                        Hello Pirate Cat, it's nice to hear from you.

                        I fully appreciate that outfits tend to operate differently and any effort to engage with public players (we've begun using the term "blueberries" for NC) wins points in my book. All the more so for a small outfit, while some of the larger ones only use third party VOIP and/or lock squads regularly. The method you use appears to make the most of your numbers.

                        On the whole, it is also TG's experience (I feel if there's anywhere I can use the collective, it's here) that public players can be molded into a tactical, cohesive and teamwork oriented unit - indeed, they enjoy the added depth. Those that do not wish to play that way are welcome to leave or meet the kick command.

                        We also make use of an initial platoon-wide group up so each squad knows their actions will only be part of a collective. Following that, a "warm up" period as people get used to what is expected of them sounds very familiar. To be fair though, I mean "we" as in our excellent platoon leaders at TG, such as Randy and Starstriker here, for my part I currently stick to squad leading.


                        With all of that said, a player not in the same outfit as the platoon leader could be anywhere on a wide range of requiring guidance and fitting right in. Thus, my comments that moving someone out of the squad with the best teamwork leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Likewise, some players will not be as capable, which is where maintaining a high outfit : public player ratio comes in, although this is an option you don't have for too many squads. Beyond that, public players clearly cannot be expected to do anything complicated that a particular outfit has been practicing.

                        Note: I speak for myself, as part of TG, but I hold no authority.


                        Feel free to browse our forums, we have lots of good guides, tactics and discussions you may be interested in. Also, just in case you'd like to see how we operate, we play New Conglomerate on Mattherson. Post/PM/friend request as needed (my in-game name is the same).



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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Working alongside/against a zerg

                          Rage made the following comments in this thread, I copied them here as I think they better belong in this discussion.

                          Originally posted by Rageq3a View Post
                          Now a days I refrain from posting but I'm breaking the silence this one time, I third the vote from Finestyle and MrJengles about knowing the plan. I too have multiple setups for my class kitting depending on what the objective is, know that objective prior to deploying in a Gal is helpful if not necessary.

                          I'd like to add a thought if possible that I know will bring comments and opinions. I realize the concept behind not making a dedicated squad of the "better players" is to have the "better players" interspersed in the squads to act as an example of how things should be done. But what happens in reality is that the players that don't follow orders or that don't understand the concept of team play just aren't watching or getting the concept. That in turn drags down the better players that are focused on the objective and operating as a team. What seems to happen is that the PL then has to continually correct and adjust the squads collectively. It reminds of the class of 33 students all getting punished because of 5 of the bad ones.

                          I'd like to suggest something to try. As the squads start filling out, move the "better players" (PL to decide who those may be) to say Delta squad and make it a private squad. The SLs are responsible for making sure their squad is on the objectives, pulling kits, redploying per PL orders. Delta squad now becomes the example by the completing their portion of the objective and maintaining squad cohesion. In turn the SLs are the ones that need to get their squads together on the objectives, get them rekitted, and get them deployed. The only stress aspect of the PL then is to ask "Why isn't Alpha squad on the objective". Alpha SL then has to decide if someone isn't following orders and ask to have them removed if there is a clear example that it needs to be done.

                          This process takes the stress off the PL who has enough as it is, and places the management of the squads back on the SLs where it should be. It also lets the "better players" do the job assigned and have a feeling of accomplishment and offers an example to those who don't know how to play the TG way. 9 out of 10 times that I quit a squad is due to frustration............and not because I disagree with anyone.
                          There are pros and cons to the point RAGE makes about moving the "better" players to a separate squad. If you search these forums, the debate is ages old about being inclusive, open, and friendly and helping out the new guys vs being more serious or at least not having to deal with the BS and forming a private locked squad (or, in other games, all the same guys, or IHSes stacking one side, etc.). Too much of the former at times can be frustrating for regular and experienced players, too much of the latter and we will slowly wither away for lack of new players joining the Outfit and TG in general. So I feel we must strike a balance. I think we are doing this fairly well presently with a good mix of Outfit only squads a good amount of the time, while still doing partial public squads (usually, platoons) other times.

                          I am afraid if we put all the good/regular TG players into one squad, and filled out the rest with puggers, that the other 2/3 squads would be about as effective as wet noodles, just derping around all over the place, not working together nor tactically, etc. Besides being completely ineffective, anyone joining one of those squads would most likely not get a proper impression of what TG really is all about. That's why I am against it, although I agree it would be great to have one squad of very good team players, almost like a spec ops group, which could take on more difficult objectives.

                          Therefore, in the end I say we keep doing what we have been lately, which is to say, just keep forming outfit only squads when you "don't want any more BS, from anyone, including me!" (1) Or, when the squad is almost full of TG, open it up to non outfit and let a few lucky puggers in for the experience. Usually when we do this, we gain new recruits. Don't be so hard on the blueberries. Just remember, we were all blueberries at one time, and look at what many of us have gone on to become. :)

                          (1) This is a reference from the (pre-YouTube, it was on VHS tape) viral video "Winnebago Man" which I mentioned in game previously. I was going to post it but on second thought I think there is way too much foul language for TG community standards. lol So, if you are interested, have a look on YouTube for "the Definitive Winnebago Man." The guy is really having a bad day. We've all been there, especially if you have ever led a platoon full of puggers. lol

                          Incidentally, that was me last night after an hour or two of leading a platoon full of puggers that was passed to me, against my wishes. We were badly outpopped and losing in the alert, I couldn't get anyone to do anything right, and when one of them flipped their Gal on top of mine in the warpgate, and destroyed mine in the process trying to get it off, and therefore we couldn't reach the objective in time, it was too much and I finally lost it. My apologies to anyone who was present for that btw. /hangsheadinshame :/
                          "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



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                          • #14
                            Re: Working alongside/against a zerg

                            To be honest i didn't read a lot of the earlier posts in this thread, but i had a small thought on some of the comments randy made. What if for this proposed spec-ops delta squad we didn't make it ENTIRELY TG members, but only MOSTLY TG members and then as the platoon develops squad leaders could recommend some of the more promising blueberries to fill the last spots. That way we have strong squad, TG members get less frustrated, and we can show potential recruits how well organised a primarily TG squad is. If the other squads become too weak we can move some TG members into them and just have smaller delta squad. What are your thoughts?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Working alongside/against a zerg

                              I'd rather not bother with "TG Spec Ops" squads. That's skirting the issue of TG members only wanting to play with TG members. It's an issue that plagued BF2142, and necessitated the creation of "LEARNTG" squads run by SLs sacrificing their time spent in the server to cultivating new TG members.

                              Being a Battlefield game, not everyone who joined the server was necessarily interested in playing as a team, and simply joined a squad to avoid the automatic kick from the server as they went off into a corner and impersonated Vasily Zaitsev in their personal version of "Battlefield At The Gates", so to speak. I digress.

                              Keep everyone dispersed within the platoon, keep the squads generally balanced with a nice ratio of TG members and other PS2 players. Kick those that don't listen to orders. I'd rather not repeat the self-defeating cycle of TG members only wanting to play with other TG members, thereby never gaining new TG members from the blueberries... It also removes the burden of cultivating the PS2 group that is placed upon SLs if we adopt some sort of "Learn TG" system in PS2, as well.

                              From what I've seen, we're not that much larger the handful of players that Pirate Cat described in his clan. Perhaps on scrim nights we have the numbers to form multiple TG squads within a platoon, but on the average weekend night, there's a cluster of us supplemented by players of another organization and a smattering of blueberries...

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