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  • Breaking contact

    In some conversations I've been having with Garthra I've been touting the virtues of breaking contact and maneuvering around/retreating from superior forces and getting away from the "static hold or wipe" mentality. Garthra has quite reasonably pointed out that wipes in Planetside happen very quickly indeed, which makes it difficult to properly retreat or fade away. The pace of the game is an impediment to breaking contact, save for long range engagements. I'd like to start a discussion on how we might mitigate this difficulty and increase the range of scenarios in which we can realistically break contact and outmaneuver a larger force instead of holding fast until we've been destroyed.

    The first problem is that a retreat against an enemy at close range will often be in their line of fire and require breaking cover. Another is that the enemy will almost certainly pursue with the reckless abandon you expect from a zerg. Finally, there might already be elements of the enemy force on your flanks. Ideally you'd break contact before you're at risk of being enveloped, but that's not always possible... indeed, realizing that the enemy is in the process of surrounding you is often what prompts the desire to reposition.

    So, how do we overcome these issues? Here are a few of my thoughts:
    • Smoke: This is a great place to employ it, dropping smoke to obscure your enemy's vision and make your line of retreat more difficult to see. You'd probably want to pop it closer to your position than normal so that your enemy's view of you is obscured for longer. Nice benefits of this are that underbarrel smoke is unlimited as long as you have an engineer (indeed, they're the best people to employ it) and that it can be employed very flexibly. However, if you're already in contact chance are you've already been Q spotted, meaning that you'll be visible to a degree even through smoke, so that's a mitigating factor. Also, be cognizant of blues in your area; once you smoke them, you've possibly screwed them pretty badly

    • Grenades: This is most useful for disengaging from extremely tight quarters. Most grenade types are helpful here; flash, EMP and concussion grenades will buy time while the enemy is disoriented, and frag grenades will force them to scatter and trip them up. Obviously a big downside here is that it expends a bunch of your grenades in the process of retreating.

    • Mines: Bouncing Betties left behind you will frag the first few enemies to stumble into them and possibly slow them down as they watch for further booby traps. They can be employed quickly. Downside is that only engineers and infiltrators can employ them, and usually only in small numbers.

    • Turrets: The new auto-turret is a decent distraction. Stick it in a corner and the enemy will waste time getting shot in the back and have to turn to face it. Really limited utility here: engineer can only carry one between trips to an equipment terminal, placing it is finicky, the damage isn't too hot and they're a little fragile. Even so, you're looking to gain space, and having this in your back pocket is yet another distraction and way to inflict attrition. Place it out of obvious sightlines and out of view of long range combatants for best effect.

    • Snipers: A sniper lagging behind or somewhat off of the retreating group can tie down advancing enemy infantry with well placed sniper rifle shots, forcing them into cover and preventing pursuit over open ground. The cloak also means the infil is more likely to be able to evade and disengage with the enemy on their own.

    • Australian Peel: This is a real life military technique for breaking contact under fire. It essentially goes like this: the person closest to the enemy runs to the back of the group to the next piece of cover and reload. Once there, they put down heavy suppressive fire while the next person moves. Through repetition, the whole squad breaks contact while expending enormous amounts of ammunition at the enemy. We can do this ourselves without a lot of training in a more ad hoc fashion.

      How I think it will work is that individuals in the squad, if they're near the front of the group, begin to retreat. Once they're not in the front of the group, they turn and cover everyone else until they're all behind them. Rinse and repeat. That's it; if everyone did that, you'd have something a lot like an Australian Peel.


    So how might we implement this into our squad?

    I'm thinking maybe one or two squad members outfitted for exactly this task. One or two engineers with underbarrel smoke, auto turrets, and bouncing betties would allow for a huge amount of smoke and booby traps on demand, and those same kits could be used for helping hold a building or putting down covering smoke for an advance as well. Infiltrator(s) with prox mines is another possibility, since they could put down their booby traps and then use their sniper rifle to suppress and delay the enemy when they hang behind the group and keep them busy before cloaking and fading away themselves.

    What are your guys thoughts?




  • #2
    Re: Breaking contact

    [MENTION=16189]starstriker1[/MENTION];
    I have seen squads use smoke like this to some good effect even in the face of direct enemy engagement.
    Austrialian Peel might be modified to increase the speed (instead of 1 by 1, do it like a bounding overwatch, 1/2 the squad moves, than the other half.
    I like that use of the auto turret.

    A good concept to think on Star.
    The question foremost in my mind is "what will bring the most tactical fun to the server?"

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    • #3
      Re: Breaking contact

      I think using two elements makes it stop being an Australian Peel, and just bounding overwatch. That said, bounding overwatch might itself be a reasonable way to break contact, but my understanding of the Aus. Peel is that the purpose is to keep as much of your squad suppressing the enemy as possible at each moment.

      Whether you'd use a peel instead of a bound would depend on how heavy your contact is and how badly you need the speed. Under sufficiently heavy contact, having half of your guns stop shooting for 20 seconds might cause your line to collapse. Conversely, if there's a massive mob coming and it's going to run you over, speed might be of the essence.



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      • #4
        Re: Breaking contact

        I really would be into some kind of training drill for this. It could give us a way to lure in and take out a part of a bigger enemy task force.

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        • #5
          Re: Breaking contact

          As for the specific part about laying mines and Spitfires:
          engies outfitted for this role may carry, each, one spitfire, and 3 betties with utility pouch. IMO, mixing one engi with 3x betties and one engi with 5x AT mines might work even better (since AT mines trigger on MAXes now).

          As for retreating:
          What bugs me is that suppressive fire doesn't work very well in Planetside - except when it's applied to a spawnroom, or when a few individuals know, for a fact, they're at a numerical disadvantage (eg. playing peek-a-boo).
          The more zerg-ish the push you face gets (and that is usually what leads to retreating), the more they will simply run, overrun you and make you empty your magazines. Either you kill your opponents, or scatter them and pick them one by one, or they simply run towards you.

          That, however, might be a strength if the retreat is already planned (as said, mines, and snipers), provided the squad is not facing an oversized push, as a simple number equalizer, and I think this is your point here.

          Ba-dum-tss
          My life before TG http://stats.dasanfall.com/ps2/player/Cairbre
          Who cares about stats ? http://stats.dasanfall.com/ps2/player/Cairbr

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          • #6
            Re: Breaking contact

            I saw good results in using AI MANA turret for peel-off retreats!

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            • #7
              Re: Breaking contact

              Originally posted by Cairbre View Post
              As for retreating:
              What bugs me is that suppressive fire doesn't work very well in Planetside - except when it's applied to a spawnroom, or when a few individuals know, for a fact, they're at a numerical disadvantage (eg. playing peek-a-boo).
              Keep in mind that the shield provides a buffer that makes players fearless in the face of stray shots; someone is only suppressed if they're afraid to move or act, and to achieve that you need to knock their shield down (or knock THEM down--a dead but revivable player is for all intents and purposes suppressed but not out).

              The upshot of this is that suppression in PS2 is not about laying down a wall of lead on an enemy position, but precision fire that forces an enemy to duck for cover. This sort of suppression happens pretty often, actually, and it's effective enough.

              Interesting aside; an EMP nade is a really effective way to rapidly suppress an entire group. With all their shields down, they'll be very reluctant to try anything for a short time.



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