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  • Words of advice

    Heylo, noticed a few big mistakes being made on the server repeatedly, so I'd like to bring attention to a few ways you can increase the survivability of your squad / vehicle / team / platoon or just yourself (ordered in rank of most frequent mistake).

    #1 - Don't all look in the same direction.

    When at rest / stopped, unless your team / squad lead has ordered you all to watch a particular direction (say north) you should establish 360 degree security, have a quick look to see where the rest of your team is looking and adjust to cover any sector not already being covered.

    #2 - CO's - Don't have every element covering the same sector.

    A big problem I've seen of late is getting flanked / shot in the back - this is mainly because there has been little in the way of flank security established when moving into a hostile area. If the briefing mentions or points out the presence of hostiles nearby and you aren't trying to be stealthy have your individual elements form a Spearhead - or a wedge, at the platoon level. You will find very quickly that threats can be spotted long before they become extremely dangerous and that you will have a plethora of opportunities to establish covering fire between elements.

    Plus, they won't all be moving to the same place and hence you are less likely to loose half the platoon to a single tank. Infantry are much tougher than armour when used correctly. Put faith in your squads and squad leads and trust them to be able to look after themselves in a pinch. That said, if they ask for help as their sector is being overrun, you should provide or arrange for a fighting retreat and break from contact.

    #3 - Vehicles, particularly tanks or APCs are not invulnerable.

    Seriously, take cover. I mean it, commanders - get your bradleys behind a wall you can poke the turret over, one hit from an RPG and you can bet you'll either be painted all over the inside of the hull or bailing and running for your life. Always be on the lookout for buildings, small rises in terrain, walls, other wrecked vehicles you can hide behind and still get the turret over. NEVER go out in the open. Move from cover to cover unless you are CERTAIN that supporting elements (i.e. infantry) have the area secure for you move into said open.

    Similarly, don't push recklessly out to take that one rifleman that's just out of your field of view. If he's going to be a problem, report it so other elements nearby are aware and can take him out themselves.

    Commanders - Don't be fooled, your tanks and APCs are NOT assaulting elements - they are transport and fire support only. You should never have Bradleys moving first unless you are convoying through a set of waypoints and you don't have an M1A1 available. This changes a little with Russian BMPs as they are designed to be right up with the infantry.

    Quick guide for good use of assets (US)

    M1A1s - Get these guys a good km out of the ao or from their target, somewhere where they are not easily identifiable but have a good view of the ao / target - try to keep this as level terrain as possible, where the enemy could only get lucky enough to take a shot at the front armour. Ideally they'd be hiding behind a low wall / building / small rise in terrain, or looking over a crest. M1A1s are designed to put copious amounts of shells onto a target or targets from a long way off. If you put them right up front in the action they will be quickly flanked, rpg'd and eliminated by infantry with superior movement and flexibility.

    Bradleys - Simple, get them to drop infantry off as fast as possible in a safe location as close to the ao as is possible without drawing unnecessary fire / attention and then keep them at a distance, call in to take out superior threats to the infantry by careful manoeuvring and smart positioning, then have them pull back until needed again. In the event you need to push through a town, it is advise-able to have infantry move alongside them, clearing buildings and scouting ahead for any danger. They are more manoeuvrable than the M1A1s, but they can still be easily overwhelmed by skilled infantry, very easily in tight quarters or when in the middle of a field.

    Strykers - These guys are built to go trampling down streets, being low profile, quick and highly manoeuvrable, for a vehicle. They can't take much of a beating however, one rpg is almost certain to knock them out so use them as fire support and ensure their flanks are secured by infantry. They still very much come under the US doctrine of getting troops in, then standing back until they are really needed and staying clear of the frontline unless absolutely necessary. This is purely because they are still a large, easily hittable vehicle by a half decent RPG gunner. Again, get them in a position where they are hull down and only the gun is really visible so that they can properly lay down covering or suppressing fire to support infantry when needed. There's a mortar varient of the stryker also, which should be treated very much like an actual mortar piece, only one that can get out of trouble very quickly. It still needs to be supported as any other Mortar asset does.




    I need to do some RL stuff nao, but will expand later on tonight. Feel free to chip in / debate counter points below if you don't agree!


    ( For great supporting experience in the above - try playing 'Combat mission shock force' - there's a free demo out and you would be surprised how much of it directly relates to commanding in Arma. )

  • #2
    Re: Words of advice

    Good points here, I know from the Bradley mission we had the other day we were given very little direction, just driving through areas with known IEDs was a no-no but done more for the sake of "getting it done", we basically just tried to keep up with the infantry and take out any bigger threats/technicals they ran into, but at the end when we were just parked out in the middle of an open field was just asking for trouble.

    One thing that irks me however and I see it on almost every mission, is that whenever the players are given "asset x" the enemy are given a rediculous amount of hardware to counter it. Any mission with helicopters/fixed wing, every third enemy infantry has a AA weapon, or the one platoon of enemy has half a dozen shilkas/tanguskas sitting around with them, totally countering the idea of even trying to use it. And sure with good terrain and an Apache with competent crew you might be able to counter those threats but all the tg missions ever have are at best an armed little bird! I understand its all about the infantry fun and nobody wants a chopper stealing all your kills. But really, just kick the cowboys outta the pilot seat and let a mature crew respond to your CAS requests as needed with equipment that can operate from a safe distance.

    Same thing happens in any mission with armor or apc support like the bradley mission we did, every other enemy suddenly has AT now and there's none of those AA troops to be seen! And half the technicals are now AT weapons as well. I'm not sure that these 'insurgents' could be that well equipped to ready all of their guys for exactly what's coming? Again its a gameplay balance issue but modern forces we represent (US, Brits, whatever) are almost never facing a balanced opposition, the threats we should be facing are a rogue sniper here and there, yes IED's but not 10 of them in one city block, ambushes with 1 or 2 rpgs and a couple dozen poorly equipped militia, deadly yes but the firefights are over in a few seconds we don't have one US platoon cut off and surrounded by a company of enemy getting picked off left and right, it's not a very realistic situation that units in the size we can field would be moving into such heavily enemy territory without support.

    Anyway, it comes down to where you draw the line between fun/realism in mission planning I suppose.

    /rant off

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Words of advice

      Originally posted by Dekul View Post
      Good points here, I know from the Bradley mission we had the other day we were given very little direction, just driving through areas with known IEDs was a no-no but done more for the sake of "getting it done", we basically just tried to keep up with the infantry and take out any bigger threats/technicals they ran into, but at the end when we were just parked out in the middle of an open field was just asking for trouble.

      One thing that irks me however and I see it on almost every mission, is that whenever the players are given "asset x" the enemy are given a rediculous amount of hardware to counter it. Any mission with helicopters/fixed wing, every third enemy infantry has a AA weapon, or the one platoon of enemy has half a dozen shilkas/tanguskas sitting around with them, totally countering the idea of even trying to use it. And sure with good terrain and an Apache with competent crew you might be able to counter those threats but all the tg missions ever have are at best an armed little bird! I understand its all about the infantry fun and nobody wants a chopper stealing all your kills. But really, just kick the cowboys outta the pilot seat and let a mature crew respond to your CAS requests as needed with equipment that can operate from a safe distance.

      Same thing happens in any mission with armor or apc support like the bradley mission we did, every other enemy suddenly has AT now and there's none of those AA troops to be seen! And half the technicals are now AT weapons as well. I'm not sure that these 'insurgents' could be that well equipped to ready all of their guys for exactly what's coming? Again its a gameplay balance issue but modern forces we represent (US, Brits, whatever) are almost never facing a balanced opposition, the threats we should be facing are a rogue sniper here and there, yes IED's but not 10 of them in one city block, ambushes with 1 or 2 rpgs and a couple dozen poorly equipped militia, deadly yes but the firefights are over in a few seconds we don't have one US platoon cut off and surrounded by a company of enemy getting picked off left and right, it's not a very realistic situation that units in the size we can field would be moving into such heavily enemy territory without support.

      Anyway, it comes down to where you draw the line between fun/realism in mission planning I suppose.

      /rant off
      Because if there is nothing to counter heavy assets, then the mission is basically a shooting gallery for those heavy assets, and the infantrys job is to sit in base conserving tickets while the heavy assets finish the mission.
      I find your alternative much worse when it comes to realism. If there is no AA threats, why would the apache sit above the infantry looking at the guys that are about to shoot the infantry and doing nothing because it hasn't got a specific cas request? If there is no AA threats, the apache SHOULD finish the mission solo, because that would be the most effecient way to do it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Words of advice

        I'm not saying there should be no threat, I'm saying the threat should be proportional to the enemy, when you have one platoon of insurgents who have between them 10 AA troops and a couple shilkas backing them up, why bother putting air on the map at all? No-one in their right mind would fly there. If there was an Apache or other asset with laser guided weapons they can at least attack from standoff range with infantry guiding their weapons.

        And putting the apache aside because it is overkill for most things (and I'm sure IRL you'd much rather have an apache shoot all the enemies for you), unless the infantry's focus is clearing the inside of buildings or you have enemy in close proximity to civvies that gives you a definite ROE situation where the helo can look but not touch. But say all you have is a littlebird with a flir on it, that's fine and it could still be a useful and fun aspect to include without being able to take on the entire army itself. But the missions where they are included they can't even spool up in base without taking fire let alone do anything useful.

        As for ground units a few guys with rpgs is one thing, but it should be the amount you'd expect to see in a normal squad, what I notice is that missions that DO have armored support, every other enemy suddenly has an rpg.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Words of advice

          No expansion tonight, however chipping in here : It is extremely difficult from a mission design standpoint to include more than Personnel carrier assets to a mission and keep it balanced and fun for the infantry. One such way of doing this is to add several AAA positions in tactically advantageous locations which the infantry must eliminate before the Apache / A10 can do it's job. It gets easier when you have larger numbers to work with player count wise, but it's still a very real concern.

          Without them, as mentioned, the apache pretty much rolls everything in sight. The A10 not so easily as it does require co-ordination from JTAC's on the ground to be fully effective, but if the enemy is in a town dumb bombing it to shreds is still going to remove 90% of the enemy from it.

          My personal belief is that if you want to fly or gun, expect to be patient and play realistically. For example, I flew for 3 hours straight in a holding pattern (with one return to carrier to refuel) one mission before being called on to blow two buildings and a tank up at the end. If you are not willing to do this, you need to reconsider wether flying is for you or not.

          A tip - If you see a transport chopper slot on a mission for 20 players, think very carefully about wether that's really what you want to do. You are likely to be dormant and doing nothing for the majority of the mission. I've personally in the past crippled or severly challenged players looking to take up these roles with severe tests of patience, skill or just thrown impossible odds at them to weed out those that just want to be snipa / pilot and those who play seriously and have the gumption to stick it out and fulfill the role correctly.

          Personally, if I ever see someone I'm not familiar with take a Pilot role (it's been a while) I will drill them before we go in as to their commitment. I don't mind if you aren't the best pilot ever, but I do expect you to not ragequit after half an hour of nothing. That's the slot and that's how your job plays out.

          That said I am working on a mission idea based on current day Lybia which focuses on a pair of Apache's and a ground team lasing targets. This will hopefully mean more balanced play for both sides of the op, however the ground team and apache's will have to accept that they will have their turn, then likely have to do little whilst the other side fulfills their half of the operation.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Words of advice

            Understand completely what you mean about having patience, every role has its purpose and in the game their mainly to make things more enjoyable for the folks on the ground. My previous unit I was a pilot for a very infantry heavy group so I understand patience and that the specialty role may only have one thing to do in a particular mission. Still some fun non-combat roles to include are doing casevacs for severely wounded/KIA, and of course observation for a ground unit clearing an area, and often in a hilly map like Takistan, playing comm relay for the ground units can be important as well.

            But anyway, I don't mean to distract from the original thread, tactics and advice for new CO's I think is the topic of the day. In that light another thing that needs to be looked at is advancing or withdrawing under fire, it seems, and I'm guilty of this too, that when a leader's unit comes under fire what they tend to do is hunker down in one spot and try to kill all the enemy as they come. This may work but it often leads to the unit getting surrounded and overwhelmed or else just takes too long for the objective which is often a timed objective. Depending on the situation (being flanked by superior numbers, or needing to press forward to complete a sensitive objective) people need to be much more ready to give the orders and press forward or peel back and break contact when they come under fire in a bad position.

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