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Infiltrator as squad support element

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  • Infiltrator as squad support element

    I've been messing around with the infiltrator a lot lately, and I'd like to start a discussion about how the infiltrator can integrate with TG squads beyond being the guy with the darts what can hack the terminals without becoming "that guy I'm about to kick because he's lone wolfing, the jerk".

    When it comes down to it, the infiltrator has a pretty flexible kit:
    • Sniper rifles for many ranges and use cases
    • SMGs and scout rifles as alternative primaries for close quarters work
    • A cloaking device that makes stealth much easier
    • The stalker cloaking variant which allows indefinite loitering, even in the open, and more patient tactics
    • Sensor darts and motion trackers for detecting moving targets without line of sight or active attention
    • The ability to hack terminals and turrets
    • EMP grenades, which are pretty much the ideal breaching grenade
    • Proximity mines, which allow additional ambush options and opportunities for disruption

    That's a lot of tools with a lot of potential applications. Some of them require close coordination with the squad, some of them require a fair amount of autonomy. Here are a few different options I've found for employing an infiltrator in a squad context:
    • Close squad support: In this case the infiltrator is mainly there for sensor darts, hacks, and maybe a little bit of long range power (or another grunt with an SMG). This is how we typically employ infiltrators right now, and it's by no means an ineffective usage; this infiltrator is giving their squad some very solid intel and often critical utility in being able to hack terminals. It's also fairly easy to transition to a lot of other roles from here providing the proper kit is available. However, it's not making the most of what the infiltrator can do, and the infil in this role is a substandard infantryman due to their lower health and their weapons weaknesses in direct combat. The intel alone often makes it worth it.

    • Intelligence specialist/spotter: This role is more about aggressively providing detailed intelligence to the squad, and implies a degree of autonomy and physical separation. Two effective ways of doing this are with a stalker cloak or from a distance through a scope, though I'm of the opinion that stalker cloak is superior for this because you can literally sit on the edge of a balcony in the open and as long as you don't try anything too visible you'll be providing constant up-to-date information about the fight from whatever range you choose.

    • Harassment element: Here's where things start to get interesting: combined with traditional stealth skills, good situational/terrain awareness, and knowing when and where to engage, the infiltrator's kit allows some enormous flexibility in engaging and harassing the enemy. It's possible to maneuver around to places the enemy doesn't expect you, engage effectively, then peel away before they can muster a response.

      Pulling this off isn't trivial; you need to be very cognizant of your own safety (no medics to pick you up) while simultaneously being fluid and aggressive. See my note at the bottom for tips on staying stealthy while doing this. You're looking to take routes off the beaten path, catch enemies from unexpected angles and ambush them, then fade away. ALWAYS relocate after engagement, and don't get greedy; better to miss a kill than to get shot because you stayed too long trying to make it stick. Avoid direct combat; try to engage from the side or behind, especially if the target is engaged with someone else, and fade away immediately. Prioritize enemy medics, engineers repairing MAXes, etc... the goal is disruption of any organization or critical mass the opponent has put together. If the enemy starts to target you instead, awesome: set up ambushes or frustrate them by disappearing while they hunt fruitlessly. Leaving mines behind you as you round corners is a great way to punish their pursuit.

      My preferred kit for this is the Gauss SPR with a silencer. It's a cheap 3 shot kill sniper rifle (two shots with a headshot) that I really enjoy using as a short to medium range assassination weapon. I don't have an SMG unlocked, which could possibly be better for this role, but I like the SPR for its flexibility and the quick reactions it allows with the ability to VERY quickly spam down the 2-3 shots needed for a kill without making a miss being too big a concern. My secondary is also silenced (Desperado) and makes an excellent short range ambush weapon.

      This obviously requires a high degree of autonomy, but nicely complements the rest of the squad in a point hold situation. One of the vulnerabilities of a point hold is that the holding force is static and predictable, and if the enemy is given free reign in how they approach and sufficient force they can shatter that point hold (indeed, this is what WE are trying to do when we stack up for a proper building breach). A way to help mitigate that risk is to prevent the enemy from organizing in peace, and constant hit and run attacks from an infiltrator does this nicely.

    • Designated Marksman: This is an obvious one; the sniper rifle allows you to stay attached to the squad and be the squad's long range firepower. You're ideal for counter-sniping or picking off enemies in the open and are still able to bring all your recon tools to the table. Especially with additional infiltrators in tow (I've done entire infil squads for this) you're able to put an alarming amount of suppression down at long range, especially if you've got a good angle on what you're covering. We've all done hill holds where sniper fire is the primary irritant and sometimes even kills us if it drops someone at a critical moment or has us out of position. We can do that too, and deny the enemy the ability to operate in the open.

    • Overwatch/flanking: The infil can take high ground and call out and engage targets for the squad, operating independently but using their range in order to stay effective in their support of the squad in open terrain. Bonus points if you can flank enemies your squad has suppressed, allowing you to pick them off when they're already under strain.

    • Bogging down the enemy: A very traditional role for a sniper; just the other day I was running as infil in Zombiesnack's squad when he ordered a retreat away from advancing infantry that we'd managed to cheese off by taking an inconvenient hill and firing at them. As the squad retreated through narrow terrain I put bouncing betties down to frustrate their advance. When they still persisted in pursuing us over open ground, I hung back and dropped a few of them, forcing them to waste time seeking cover and picking up their dead. When they were stuck behind a rock, I forced them to keep their heads down or have them removed, and they certainly weren't prepared to advance over open ground towards me; I was already suppressing them in cover; at a distance and with nothing but open fields between us charging me would have been suicide. The squads was able to completely disengage from these guys, and I was able to cloak to slip away and regroup... and I imagine any of them left behind would be very reluctant to advance just in case I was still there!

      A good sniper with the proper terrain can sufficiently threaten groups many times their size and waste a lot of their time and effort, allowing the rest of the squad to do other things.

    • Lingering to harass a CP or other asset: stalker cloak works great for this, but you can easily use hunter cloak as well; an infiltrator left behind can keep several people busy by causing trouble. An obvious use case is flipping capture points and then either ambushing people coming to resecure or fading away so that their search for the infiltrator proves fruitless. This can keep a few people busy at a base chasing ghosts, possibly leaving the base with the cap timer going and frustrating an attack further down the lattice line.

    That's a lot of different roles the infiltrator can fill for the squad, and a lot of them can be transitioned to very fluidly! Some need to be explicitly kitted out for. SLs should be aware of what the class can do for them.

    I'm eager to hear your guys thoughts!

    While I'm on the subject, an important note on the infiltrators cloak:

    If you're trying to stealthy you need to act as though you don't have a cloaking device, instead of using it as a crutch. The fundamentals of stealth (avoiding direct line of sight, minimizing time in the open, knowing where your enemies are, using misdirection, and avoiding making a silhouette that's easy to pick out) still apply and will save your life far more reliably than a cloak will. You've all picked off infiltrators who were waltzing around in the open, it's not complete invisibility and if anyone is really paying attention you WILL be spotted. The cloak is instead a supplement to traditional stealth skills, allowing you to reduce the chance of an incidental spot and maintain near-invisibility if you're completely still. The main use cases for the cloak:
    • Crossing open areas
    • Peeking over cover/hilltops without giving yourself away. Normally doing so would silhouette yourself against the sky, which makes you very obvious.
    • Making yourself difficult to track and keep a bead on once you've made contact. They know you're there and your rough location, but aiming at you directly is more difficult.
    • Guarding against accidental exposure (someone sneaking up behind you, accidentally running into an enemy, etc). It can prevent them from cluing in on you if you aren't too obvious about it.
    • Maintaining stationary stealth until your opportunity to attack arises (most infiltrators do this when sniping; cloak until you've spotted your target and are ready to fire, uncloak, shoot, recloak).

    The cloaking device is NOT true invisibility, and you'll be much more effective if you don't treat it that way. If the enemy is looking in your direction, you're probably visible unless you're stationary or they're sufficiently distracted.

  • #2
    Re: Infiltrator as squad support element

    Great write up on a topic that needs more thought! Interesting stuff! I would +1 rep you if the forum gods allowed me to!
    The question foremost in my mind is "what will bring the most tactical fun to the server?"


    • #3
      Re: Infiltrator as squad support element

      -As a frequent Infiltrator in the past I agree with this post. infils provide some extremely valuable Uses like suppression harrassment and sometimes the information they can see outside the point room is valuable too the darts help but the exact troop layout can be relayed from afar... Honestly I feel as though in many squads the other classes are underutilized quite a bit. Maybe its a strong word but in the past I noticed a sort of "Racism" Towards Both the Light Assault and the infiltrator classes... Because they have generally been viewed as the solo classes, and non team work based classes. This is Understandable... But unreasonable I feel... and a little frustrating and disappointing due to the fact that because of their unusual play styles they tend to be my favorite classes... (Alot more thinking and creativity before engagements then classes like HA) Honestly just as with anything if used correctly both classes are Valuable assets to the squad. LA's are valuable for some of the similar reasons but should be used very briefly for over watch things but can quickly get back inside to support the squad... Also Light assaults can briefly pop up to the roof to drop c-4 to take out an invading force prepping for a breach... Also sometimes its how people like to engage in QQC Jump over the head of the enemies and spray most people aren't expecting it. so they expect to move their gun left or right not up or down.

      -Infils on the other hand are better at over watch and longstanding overwatch and things like it and light assaults tend to be better for bursts amount of damage when harrassing the enemy The light assault with grenade launcher and c-4 can cause massive amounts of explosive damage... Nonetheless Ignoreing what both these classes have to offer I feel is Is cutting down our possible effectiveness. Of course when running smaller 6 man squads the power provided by the core 3 classes is important... However when the squad is larger closer to the 9 to 12 man range I think SL 's can afford to have a Light assault and or infil in the squad... As often times you'll see with my squads if asked for...


      • #4
        Re: Infiltrator as squad support element

        A few things to add/supplement:
        - Infil warm fuzzy feeling? - Infils are often discriminated against because when it comes to point holds which we spend 60% of the time doing, a leader will not have the infil in sight and in mind. This means the infil can kill the enemy at 50/minute but when the point hold fails the leader will likely convince themself that the infil would have been better placed on point guarding the window or something. That level of effectiveness would be insane to get rid of, why would a leader do that? SimpleÖ He didnít see it therefore it didnít matter, so he assumes. Infils can be very situational but I donít think their perceived lack of flexibility is TGís issue in their integration, I think our biggest issue implementing infils comes back to poor comm standards for their use. The leader needs to know his whereabouts and activities and get the feeling they benefit the group same as he gets be looking at the two guys guarding the stairs and knowing its covered. This is difficult and I think the key issue TG has with maximizing the Infil support. I donít have the answers but I think this should be discussed in depth and a TG standard established in how to do this effectively.

        - Force multiplier - Being shot by an infil is like someone denting your new car. People take it personal. This works to draw people out. I have observed that overlooking a point hold, I can draw between 3 Ė 10 people off that point EVERY time. This means that 3-10 less potential MAXís or C4 faeries are too busy swatting at that fly on the mountain instead of bashing against the point defenses. Realities to understand is that yes when this happens it distracts the infil from more direct responsibilities such as spotting, fire support, sensors, etc. These periods the infil goís black does not equate to a squad member not contributing to the efforts of the whole, but in fact proves its effectiveness. The level of effectiveness will likely be hard to determine even for the infil.

        - Shoot through the wall? - Of course you canít shoot through the wall, or wont (because your TG). However you donít need to with an effective infil. Often our coveted point hold loses its effectiveness as time goes on. More enemy show up and ones already there have probed our defenses to their death a few times and begin to gain effectiveness on us by exploiting our weakest spots. Since 85% of the bases are single buildings outdoors, these week spots can be covered by an infil.

        Last words: Infils have been utilized by almost every major armed force in the real world history despite not having re-spawns and have been for at least since the invention of the bow. This is not by mistake or coincidence. We should learn from this and not ignore them and the capabilities they bring to the fight. If we fail to do so its because we failed to do so and not because it couldn't be done.


        • #5
          Re: Infiltrator as squad support element

          To add on to what Vlad is saying about anti-infil biases, a SL might not appreciate the external disruption because it happens BEFORE it becomes their problem. They're feeling the pressure of the point hold already and are thinking "I could have held that stairwell with one more person", not realizing that the force attacking that stairwell was several people smaller because the infil had shot them or led them on a wild goose chase for a bit.


          • #6
            Re: Infiltrator as squad support element

            Very good right up starstriker1. Very well thought points and good topic.

            I think thay the Infil might have a needed chance to change the minds of a few people here at TG. I will be implementing them into the TD (Tango Down) events.

            I often just dismiss enemy snipers as lone wolfs who are not connected to a squad. But when I get sniped in a TG vs TG fight, the person behind the gun will no longer seem a lone wolf just trying to get kills but a deadly precision tool being used by the enemy SL. Same goes to the light assault but as the nature of these fight will be more dangerous, I'm not sure how well they can be used.
            "When attacking a stronger opponent, Attack swiftly and with full force at their weakest pointó take them out before the can react, or Fall back and engage in guerrilla actions,Ē Spartan 117.


            • #7
              Re: Infiltrator as squad support element

              Is this the first of an "equal rights for Infils" movement at TG? LOL
              "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw


              • #8
                Re: Infiltrator as squad support element

                -I think it is Randy LOL
                -But in all seriousness Obviously a squad shouldnt be all infils... Because of the fact that a group of them more than a bout two to three does more harm then good as far as there stealth go's VLAD I felt put it very strongly and in a very Obvious way why the infil is under recognized as a sniper man and generally sneaky sneaky assasin that is useful to the squad. "The bit about the dent in your shiny new car made me Literately laugh out loud" I think Infils do have the capacity and then some to Be very useful. If Im ever infil and outside sniping at people and providing over watch (Witch hasn't happened mutch for me) Im always telling them what im seeing as the enemy gos after them from the outside. I think this could help the SL to feel the presence of the infiltrator a bit more.

                -LA's on the other hand are can be deployed for two more uses... As mutch as I hate how mutch they draw heavy assault fire They are excellent distractions provided you know what your doing. you can fairly easily suppress with full auto fire from a high up tower, and work to soften them up as they attempt a breach. In this way LA's are mutch like infils with the main suppression and annoyance element coming from two different directions for the two classes of LA and Infil one is along the ground but far away the other is high up but raining down fire from above.

                -The Secondary way Light assaults can be employed is a quick large damage element while the squad is busy with other things c-4 and the grenade launcher is an excellent means of doing this.

                -Nonetheless both have there uses On a whole Id say Infils are more useful than LA's But thats not to say LA's are useless either. Each has there purpose
                (EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL CLASSES SAYS THE Martin Luther King JR OF Planetside as Ive been called by willis... Me! X^D)


                • #9
                  Re: Infiltrator as squad support element

                  The previous thread on integrating Light Assaults has a lot of interesting discussion on the subject. My overall conclusion there was that there was some substantial opportunities for integration, but that a naive implementation wasn't going to work. Using light assaults effectively in a squad context (as opposed to just letting the blues do the job) will require very disciplined LAs and substantial organization. I've had some success in using small LA only squads or contextual use of light assaults in certain terrain (southeast Indar is a great place for them) but I haven't given them a real go as a dedicated specialist element. I plan to give them another look once fire teams are a little easier to manage!

                  As for infils, though, they're already a class we respect in a squad context as a recon/hacking/counter-sniping specialist. What this thread is about is recognizing the additional utility and flexibility they can provide, especially if given a longer leash.




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