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  • Moving Quickly

    Here are some disjointed thoughts about improving our strategic pace.

    As a general rule, we don't like the "redeployside" strategy here at TG. In fact, it'd be safe to say that our guys hate it, and would prefer to do almost anything else, including not get to the fight in time if the alternative is to jump around the map like crazy. As a result, we've got a well deserved reputation for being a very slow force on the strategic level.

    Obviously, I'm the last person who'd advocate for adopting the redeployside approach; we have way more fun playing the game without it, and that's obviously the end goal. However, I think we can still take steps to improve our ability to get to a fight promptly.

    The first and most obvious just comes down to having our squads organized, well led, and cohesive. This is a big cause of delays as SLs get their people together and their next moves organized; fixing this is easiest in a TG heavy squad and hardest when there's a big percentage of blues.

    The second is to sacrifice platoon cohesion a bit and commit our squads as they come online, rather than waiting for the slowest squad to catch up before moving the force in. This is obviously very situational; platoon cohesion helps us make more of an impact as we all enter a fight at once, and we should be loath to lose it. However, in a tightly fought defense that extra squad arriving earlier could be the difference in losing the base or not, and in offensive fights I'm a big advocate of a "staggered drop" approach anyways; implementing that by prioritizing the first squads airborne in their galaxy to drop is a fairly reasonably approach.

    Another thing to keep in mind, particularly in an alert context, is to be careful about committing our forces when we know we'll be slow to arrive. Support requests on command are usually time sensitive; they want their reinforcements well before the timer hits 0. If we're not in a position to move that quickly (if we don't have all our squads Gal mobile we aren't in that position!) then we should hold off committing to anything until we're ready. The best time to ask where to help is when you've got your Galaxies airborne and en-route to a likely target.

    Last, but definitely not least, is that we should try to plan ahead and have things moving before they're needed. This is largely a problem of leadership, and it's a tough one.

    For example: We're currently taking a base, and it's about to go through. The wrong way to approach this is to sit there and wait for the timer to flip over before even considering what our next move will be. Such an approach means that several minutes will be spent deciding on a target, putting together transport and loading people up prior to actually getting to it. Instead, as you see the assault is going to be a success, you should be deciding on that target ahead of time and arranging transport well in advance of actually needing it. If you need a Galaxy to hit the next target, that should be delegated and en-route a minute or so ahead of the capture. If you're the PL, you should be communicating this expectation to your SLs in that timescale.

    (as an aside, you should also be delegating and calling for replacement spawn Sunderers well before you lose your last one; similar principle).

    A compromise I've been leaning towards between our style and redeployside has been to rely very heavily on airborne infantry tactics; we're less bothered by deploying to an in-transit Galaxy in a time critical scenario and it enables us to choose our LZs and implement strategies like staggered drops. It's also reasonably fast, and we're usually blessed with willing transport pilots to keep birds in the air to minimize downtime in that respect. So far nobody has mutinied or thrown things at me, time will tell if this is a popular option.

    However, a lot of these points stand when moving on the ground in Sunderers. Vehicles can be pulled and loaded up in well in advance, and if the current base isn't down to the wire then you can usually afford to pull a squad off early and send them ahead.

    Thoughts?




  • #2
    Re: Moving Quickly

    Originally posted by starstriker1 View Post

    A compromise I've been leaning towards between our style and redeployside has been to rely very heavily on airborne infantry tactics; we're less bothered by deploying to an in-transit Galaxy in a time critical scenario and it enables us to choose our LZs and implement strategies like staggered drops. It's also reasonably fast, and we're usually blessed with willing transport pilots to keep birds in the air to minimize downtime in that respect. So far nobody has mutinied or thrown things at me, time will tell if this is a popular option.

    Thoughts?
    Some of our best work, in my memory, was as airborne infantry. Let's all come to the sad truth that fighting from the spawn room to the point during a cap is simply a waste of resources and severely lacking in any sort of tactics. In almost ever situation it is best to come in from the outside after identifying a weakness in the enemies' assault. Typically this weakness is either poorly defended logistics, or a poorly defended point. Everyone knows that once you have the enemy pushed back to the spawn room the zerg seals them in there tighter than a Tupperware container. I have, more than once, simply walked up to the point and started recapping it uncontested during a 48-96 battle because nobody was watching the back door. Dropping on top of it from a gal is all the better, especially if you can come in from the appropriate angle to minimize your visibility until you've already dropped your payload of space marines.

    I think your point on not committing is critical: Communication between our outfits/platoons is key, however we are not in any way required to simply drop our work on a whim and run off to the other side of the continent.

    [Edit] Oh yeah, keep that bird in the air! It ain't free, and I don't like my insurance rates going up when you put in all the claims for your disposable premium assets.
    MacKahan -- Mac-Kay-an In case you were curious. ;-)

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    • #3
      Re: Moving Quickly

      Oh, yeah, airborne infantry has always been TG's bread and butter, but using it to maintain a breakneck pace is maybe more controversial? I could see some of the same redeployside complaints being leveled to rapidly redeploying to airborne galaxies, for instance.



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      • #4
        Re: Moving Quickly

        Would it be much different from the long since dead Instant Action deploy system? I loved shuttling the four SLs in a galaxy and having the entire platoon Squad Deploy over a base. 43 drop-pods raining down with only one galaxy telegraphing the attack was always fun and impressive to watch. More often than not the members really enjoyed the experience too.

        But what, specifically, are you suggesting? Running all squads with a 'in air' galaxy at all times? I'd enjoy this, especially with a combined force of 3 AB squads and one supporting Air squad.

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        • #5
          Re: Moving Quickly

          Not quite.

          An in air galaxy is something we already do and cuts down the foresight burden a fair bit, but my point stands even if you need to pull it from warpgate: the PL needs to be thinking several minutes ahead of time to keep things running smoothly. The delays associated with procuring transport--even transport on standby in the air nearby--is significant and preventable.

          It's not just restricted to transport, either; knowing the next target ahead of time is also a place to save time, as is having a plan of attack, as is knowing when you're over committed and can send squads ahead to keep things rolling. Nor is it restricted to saving time; knowing to call for backup Sunderers BEFORE your logistics are whittled down can be the difference between an attack succeeding or failing!

          The PL (or anyone undertaking those duties) needs to be thinking ahead, not just behaving in a reactionary way. If you're only calling for things when you need them, you'll be waiting for them a while. Call for them before you need them, though, and the whole machine keep churning along.



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          • #6
            Re: Moving Quickly

            So the gist is that: Soldiers win battles but Logistics Wins Wars- No?

            The power of redeployside is that it simplifies logistics to a pretty easy to master/control mechanic. We dislike that simplification just from our roots, but also as it has been hinted at by someone else, it isn't necessarily the smartest or most efficient use of man power.

            I think maybe we can tackle this by training 'campaign' level strategy a little bit. Obviously, everyone has their methods as a leader but certain things are just good basics like a reasonable control of logistical planning.

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            • #7
              Re: Moving Quickly

              Logistics are everything. 2-4 people wandering the countryside destroying sunderers from maximum turret range is enough to stop a serious enemy assault on a base, even if they've dug in and have some armor protection. As I hinted earlier, the blues will be pushing from the spawn room, that's the easy concept quick fix meatgrinder solution. If you, the much more tactically savvy spaceman come in from another base, carefully approach, and destroy their logistics, their assault is over. What might take a platoon on the inside dying over and over and finally max crashing to limited success can be accomplished by less than a squad from the outside, banking on the typical response of our fellow gamers to be beating their face off of the enemy assault from within the base.

              Examples:

              Squad on Indar Comm can completely disrupt operations between Indar Ex and Quartz.

              "Douchebag Mountain": 'nuff said.

              Literally any place along a river on Esamir, or along the edge of the map on any continent.
              MacKahan -- Mac-Kay-an In case you were curious. ;-)

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              • #8
                Re: Moving Quickly

                Originally posted by Ytman View Post
                So the gist is that: Soldiers win battles but Logistics Wins Wars- No?
                Exactly; nothing revolutionary! We just need to get better at managing our logistics, and a big part of that is getting good at planning ahead and being ready before you need to be ready.

                Definitely on board with the idea of training campaign level strategy. Any ideas on how to do that?



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                • #9
                  Re: Moving Quickly

                  Originally posted by TonyMac View Post
                  Logistics are everything. 2-4 people wandering the countryside destroying sunderers from maximum turret range is enough to stop a serious enemy assault on a base, even if they've dug in and have some armor protection. As I hinted earlier, the blues will be pushing from the spawn room, that's the easy concept quick fix meatgrinder solution. If you, the much more tactically savvy spaceman come in from another base, carefully approach, and destroy their logistics, their assault is over. What might take a platoon on the inside dying over and over and finally max crashing to limited success can be accomplished by less than a squad from the outside, banking on the typical response of our fellow gamers to be beating their face off of the enemy assault from within the base.

                  Examples:

                  Squad on Indar Comm can completely disrupt operations between Indar Ex and Quartz.

                  "Douchebag Mountain": 'nuff said.

                  Literally any place along a river on Esamir, or along the edge of the map on any continent.
                  You are so very right Mac. Question is, how to do that in a time effective manner (especially during an alert) where you need to be able to respond (travel to) and successfully whittle down enemy spawn logistics within maybe a few minute time frame. I say persistent Galaxy (or 2) transporting 1-2 squads of A/V specialists. Throw in a couple A/A MAXes or multipurpose lock ons to deal with air threats.

                  Originally posted by starstriker1 View Post
                  Exactly; nothing revolutionary! We just need to get better at managing our logistics, and a big part of that is getting good at planning ahead and being ready before you need to be ready.

                  Definitely on board with the idea of training campaign level strategy. Any ideas on how to do that?
                  Re: training campaign level strategy. Just spend more time as a dedicated PL (i.e., not also squad leading). All the things you mention here SS in terms of planning ahead. Listen in (and actually pay attention to) COMMAND comms (you will find out pretty quick who the trolls are and who knows what they are talking about). Join NCC. Watch the map and study population shifts (VS and TR have definite tendencies, also pay attention to the VS/TR front, if a big fight is just wrapping up between them, expect those forces to redeploy, ask yourself where would you go if you were them). Learn the layout of all the bases, which ones are particularly bad for direct respawn reinforcement (and therefore are a good candidate for exterior reinforcement / siege breaking) and how to attack/defend each base in general. If anyone is interested, I am willing to give pointers / discuss campaign level strategy with any who are interested. We could form a 3 man platoon with 2 SLs and me as PL and just listen in to COMMAND with our maps open and I could give commentary as to what where and why. If there is interest (and approval from Management) I could maybe work on codifying some of the PL level training I had been working on previously. Or maybe I will just start doing it anyway for posting on NCC. There are a number of facets to this (logistics management, map strategy, dealing with allies/NCC/COMMAND, etc.) and so it's too much to elaborate on in one short post, but you get the idea.

                  Re: being ready before you need to be. This is critical. Watch map and study population shifts as mentioned above. Many times you can see enemy pop swelling at a certain base before they flip the flag. If you notice this soon enough, you can get there and start killing their Sundies, effectively lengthening the few minutes I mentioned above and giving you more time to get into position to do your dastardly work.

                  Putting this all together, I am getting very excited about the concept. I am smelling a new niche for TG. :) I feel that an airborne anti asset squad is right up our alley in terms of core competencies. If it were applied as a dedicated 1-2 squads during an alert, with a PL with good map knowledge who was closely watching the map looking for swelling enemy pops, I think this strategy could be employed to devastating effect. Imagine how effective and fun it would be to turn away a 48-96 force using only a couple of squads. Talk about a force multiplier.

                  Also it gives a good balance between those who like to be competitive and play the alert (which requires moving around quickly under current mechanics), and those who may not be such big fans of redeployside, as we would be using persistent Gals as transport, which is a skilled and fun thing to do in it's own right, and does not break immersion for those people.

                  Therefore, I am going to be employing this strategy the next time I am PL. Maybe even tonight? :)
                  "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: Moving Quickly

                    Re-reading the OP, I did have one more general point, something that Mac and I have discussed / joked about in game. Well, what we said the other day, for those who missed it, was that we have gotten soft in my absence. Now that is a bit of an off color / joking remark, but I do think there is some kernel of truth to it.

                    What I am saying is that you should train how you fight, and fight how you train. I have noticed that it can take us a long time to redeploy to warpgate, load in to Gals, and move out. If that is allowed to be the standard during "casual" or "non-ops" or "non alert" play, then guess what? That will be the standard during "alert" or "ops" play, in other words "when it matters."

                    Now some people would call me a task master as an SL or PL. I hold people to account and am always pushing for improvement in the fundamentals of doing your job (Medics heal, etc.), discipline, and squad cohesion. Well guess what? Redeployment speed is really a metric for squad cohesion and discipline. Now I am not saying to yell at people and make things not fun. There is a fine line between getting the most out of your squad and yelling at them in a not fun way. As BigGaayAl used to always say, anger is a red flag. But you can still set high standards in a joking and fun way by teasing people for being the last one to get into the Gal, saying "don't be laaast" or whatever. Whatever your personal style, don't be afraid to set your standards high. Just make sure you are explaining to your squad what your expectations are.

                    It's really about good leadership. People want to be led by good leaders. People want to be a part of a tight (=effective) squad! And people want to learn and improve. It makes the game so much more fun. If I think back, I always looked up to those guys who were the popular SLs in PR. They held you to account if you were screwing off, but they were cool, they had personalities, and you looked up to them. And as much as I joke about yelling at people, you can't really just yell at people. lol You have to be cool about it.

                    As an aside, some people would say that video games are a waste of time. I would contend that there are real lessons and experience to be learned in leadership when you SL and PL. This translates directly to leadership skills at work, in life, and vice versa. So I would encourage any of you out there who may be on the fence about SLing to go ahead and try it some time. You won't regret it.

                    Luckily we are blessed with a lot of good, great, and aspiring SLs here at TG. I would encourage all of you not to shy away from holding your squad to account, and always setting a high level of expectation. Just be cool about it!
                    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



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                    • #11
                      Re: Moving Quickly

                      Originally posted by Randy_Shughart_ClwFL View Post
                      You are so very right Mac. Question is, how to do that in a time effective manner (especially during an alert) where you need to be able to respond (travel to) and successfully whittle down enemy spawn logistics within maybe a few minute time frame. I say persistent Galaxy (or 2) transporting 1-2 squads of A/V specialists. Throw in a couple A/A MAXes or multipurpose lock ons to deal with air threats.
                      Easy answer. Our Walker Harrasser Rapid Response units that we've been running for almost two years now. You take your standard Walker Harrasser to counter aggressive air, two Engineers with Mana Turrets, Tank Mines and Archer Rifles to the base under attack, locate the spawn logistics which typically aren't being defended and destroy them at range with Mana Turrets. The Harrasser gives you the speed and mobility to criss-cross the continent in a very short time frame and to get where you are needed without having to redeploy large numbers of people or burn up extra resources. In this type of setup you can easily destroy the enemy spawn logistics in three to four volleys of Mana fire and then jump back into the Harrasser and drive off to the next base under attack.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Moving Quickly

                        Originally posted by Assault9 View Post
                        Easy answer. Our Walker Harrasser Rapid Response units that we've been running for almost two years now. You take your standard Walker Harrasser to counter aggressive air, two Engineers with Mana Turrets, Tank Mines and Archer Rifles to the base under attack, locate the spawn logistics which typically aren't being defended and destroy them at range with Mana Turrets. The Harrasser gives you the speed and mobility to criss-cross the continent in a very short time frame and to get where you are needed without having to redeploy large numbers of people or burn up extra resources. In this type of setup you can easily destroy the enemy spawn logistics in three to four volleys of Mana fire and then jump back into the Harrasser and drive off to the next base under attack.
                        I guess that's my airborne infantry bias showing. But the reason I lean that way is because I think it takes a lower skill cap to pull off, and is still much faster. Now, I'm sure you guys are intimately familiar with every little shortcut between mountains, etc. on the ground. But not everyone is. I know that I for one get lost on the ground. It just seems so tedious to me, the distance you need to go around some times to overcome terrain (mountains) or to get into good position on enemy spawn logistics. Plus the chance of running into another enemy force on the ground. Again you could go around them, but that again costs more time. In a Gal, you can criss cross the map and just avoid all of that easily (and quickly), and then drop your A/V squad precisely onto some high perch where they have a great shot at the enemy. And I just don't think you can do the same in a Harasser. I would think you could cover a good few, maybe several hexes (depending on terrain) in a minute or two, but I still think a Gal is faster and more optimal on a number of levels.
                        "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



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                        • #13
                          Re: Moving Quickly

                          Something I'm thinking of trying out next time I'm in the PL seat is to be explicit with my SLs about the timeframe I want a response in, and holding them to it/keeping them apprised of the time. This is a method Garthra has used to great effect in dealing with errant blues in his squads (if "you have 60 seconds to rejoin the group" doesn't motivate you, everyone else will be motivated when he tells you "it's been 65 seconds since I gave you a warning, I'm removing you").

                          Not that our SLs need heavy handedness the same way blues do, but it would clarify PL intent and give the SLs (and SMs) a timeframe to work with. If I order a squad to get Gal mobile, that order could be interpreted as:
                          • Redeploy to the warp gate, get your kits sorted, load up and wait for orders
                          • Have someone pull a galaxy then have the entire squad redeploy to it
                          • Send one person back then hold position for two minutes so that the Galaxy can pick you up on the ground


                          All of which have much different implications for time spent, how much time the SL has to deal with kits/discipline/etc, and where and how the squad is employed in the meantime. By contrast, if I say "I need your squad gal mobile and at the designated waypoint in two minutes" that clarifies the intent to a fairly rapid pace, and the SL will be able to shape their orders accordingly or tell me they're unable to execute that fast.



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                          • #14
                            Re: Moving Quickly

                            Originally posted by Randy_Shughart_ClwFL View Post
                            I guess that's my airborne infantry bias showing. But the reason I lean that way is because I think it takes a lower skill cap to pull off, and is still much faster. Now, I'm sure you guys are intimately familiar with every little shortcut between mountains, etc. on the ground. But not everyone is. I know that I for one get lost on the ground. It just seems so tedious to me, the distance you need to go around some times to overcome terrain (mountains) or to get into good position on enemy spawn logistics. Plus the chance of running into another enemy force on the ground. Again you could go around them, but that again costs more time. In a Gal, you can criss cross the map and just avoid all of that easily (and quickly), and then drop your A/V squad precisely onto some high perch where they have a great shot at the enemy. And I just don't think you can do the same in a Harasser. I would think you could cover a good few, maybe several hexes (depending on terrain) in a minute or two, but I still think a Gal is faster and more optimal on a number of levels.
                            I can agree and disagree with a few points here. One is the skill requirement. In the simplest terms, the only necessary skill is patience. The Harasser is a death trap on wheels, ask almost any beginner driver. The urge to run WOT and turbo every 3 seconds is irresistible to some, and TG is certainly not immune to this. After Assault and I attempted some harasser squads I voiced that opinion quite loudly, because I was very disappointed and frustrated with our lack of discipline. Drive without hitting the turbo, and not at full speed, and you can traverse any terrain safely enough.

                            I do agree that there are places the airborne can one up the harasser. Hossin is no-mans land for fast vehicles. Can't do it. Amerish can be frustrating, and does result in localized operation (You're not going to change fronts quickly through some of those mountains, but, since you need a maximum of 4 people have to be in any region, so what? Indar and Esamir are free reign, the river system and gentle terrain make it easy. On Indar the basic fronts are always the same, huge sections of map are easily traversed.

                            The trick to surviving these events is avoiding detection. A small, nimble ground vehicle is absolutely invisible at 400 meters with cover. Jump out, destroy target, run away. Not only did you destroy their spawn, you were completely invisible when doing it. A Galaxy can't possibly hope to pull that off, being larger than some of the buildings in-game, and being airborne. (Hossin, again, is unique in that you CAN hide a Gal effectively, and Amerish provides a few places where that can be accomplished as well)

                            The situations vary, but often 2 turrets can kill multiple sunderers and even a few MBT's and lightnings before anyone figures out what's going on. I would go as far as to argue that 2 appropriately outfitted Walker Harassers can be as effective as a full squad of armor, and provide superior persistence.

                            The whole thing of the harasser squad is also resource consumption: At no point do we ever run out of resources. Indefinite operation, anti-air harasser provides adequate support against land and air vehicles, Archers cover long-distance harassment of vehicles, maxes, infantry, and mine everything in sight, especially roads that new logistics travel.

                            Ideally both methods would be realized. A squad of 3 harasser teams could cover the entire front on Esamir or Indar, however a second squad of airborne infantry would be great supplemental firepower for the heavier battles, or in case of a surprise attack of overwhelming numbers. (A not identical but related situation when Assault and I were holding the enemy advance with swarms on Amerish, TheFatz dropped his AV squad in and used their firepower to simply walk up to the enemy base.) Airborne would also have to cover sections of Amerish and Hossin, with the land team serving as supplemental forces.

                            Again, this all comes down to patience and discipline.
                            MacKahan -- Mac-Kay-an In case you were curious. ;-)

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                            • #15
                              Re: Moving Quickly

                              We are branching off into two conversations:

                              1. Real time redeployment via Galaxy: This is what Garthra has always done and what I try to do, depending on the alert/fight situation, setting up squad movement and logistics for the next fight before the current fight is over (assuming SL can spare the manpower). We seem to have gotten away from this but it is most useful especially during alerts or huge enemy zergs.

                              I am partial to an airborne AV/anti-logistics unit due to it's greater speed and flexibility. the only time it would be ineffective is when enemy logistics have effective ground or air based anti-air elements that prevent the gal from getting close, in which case the harasser squads are the close second choice.
                              Communications, Cohesion, Confidence.

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