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  • In game mechanics of Leadership

    For over the many years here at TG ArmA, drawing from experiences here. I can say this with confidence; There are players that do not understand nor realise how/or why a "Squad leader" should be played. This goes for both the players who have been with us for years to those that joined us recently.

    I'd like to cover these points to start, and it may get fuzzy after few paragraphs. Bare with me.
    To explain to the players to fulfil their roles within various mission sets/types, by keeping within the organisation made by the mission makers.
    To explain the reason, purpose of such roles of leadership. Also to realise why, breaking away from the original organisation is a bad idea. As well as, in few instances. It needs to be re-organised to meet the demands of the mission or the player counts.

    First and foremost. We need to understand the basic break down of where the squad/section fits into a platoon.
    So, where does it fit?
    Quite simply; A squad/section fits directly in between their sister squads, which makes a part of a platoon.
    (There are many, many variations within but that isn't what this thread is about)

    What does it mean?
    It means quite simply. Squad leaders of say Alpha, Bravo, Charlie squads. Are there to carry out the intent of the Platoon leader. Who is your leader if you're a leader of Alpha, Bravo, or Charlie squad.
    None of the squad leaders of Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie are to at anytime promote himself to a Platoon leader role.

    Why? This confuses the command structure that was established prior to starting the mission. Players will need to figure out which roles they are playing, and which fireteam, squad they will be assigned to.
    It also allows for more confusion to take hold, whether it be from fly-by-wire callsign adoptions, to the simple fact of "who is in charge now?". You don't need to add another element of war that you need to manage as a leader. Battle is chaos, and you don't need another layer of confusion. Besides, who will lead the squad? you just left a huge vacuum!

    The only time, the organisation should be changed. Is to suit the current players online, and would be nice to have the foresight to expect more players to join versus taking the Squad leader slot then expanding your squad to double its size or more. Which leaves that squad leader to essentially become the platoon leader whilst playing as a squad leader. This does not work. Establish and a clear and direct chain of command. Figure out the callsigns, if the mission doesn't provide one, double check if all the players (from rifleman above) understand who is who. So they will know, who to contact when the fat lady sings in their AO.

    To be an effective squad leader, said squad leader must move with and fight with the squad at all times. I will write this again, because it's crucial!
    To be an effective squad leader, said squad leader must move with and fight with the squad at all times.

    At no time, a squad leader will detach himself from his squad (your responsibility) to control other sister squads. Your sole responsibility is keeping your players within your squad alive. Coordinating with your sister squad to achieve the mission objective as laid out by a higher up.

    Another tip. Distancing yourself from your own squad members. You can't expect to cover your men from the rear. You can only cover them if you are there in the fight with them. Covering sectors, avenues of approach, the corner, the window, the alley way that is not covered because you could've noticed it and have your guys cover it, or worse you not covering said empty pockets when needed.


    Communication. Now, this is huge. I see a large breakdown of communication between the elements within the fireteam. All the way up to squad leaders and above.
    Do not expect the players to know your movements at all times. Leaders, learn to order your guys more. Don't be shy. The more you talk to each other the better it is. Remember this? "Prepare to" (check TGU) use it more, it's within your tool belt as a leader. Learn to control your guys, micro-manage them, tell them that he is not watching your flank. That is your job. Conversely, elements of the fireteam should know where his buddies are covering and fill that gap or follow your fireteam leaders request.

    Movement. Fireteams must and should move together optimally, unless situation dictates otherwise. Same thing goes for a squad.
    If Alpha squad, has his Charlie fireteam 100m ahead, and Delta fireteam in tow whilst movement. If Charlie fireteam gets into contact. How quickly can you get Delta fireteam into play? More crucially, how can you see to control them effectively?

    There are needs when certain conditions come up, but mostly move together as one team. Unnecessarily separating your fireteam is not a good idea.

    More to follow...

    TGU Instructor · TG Pathfinder

    Former TGU Dean · Former ARMA Admin · Former Irregulars Officer

    "Do not seek death. Death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment." - Dag Hammarskjold

  • #2
    Re: In game mechanics of Leadership

    Originally posted by LowSpeedHighDrag View Post
    Learn to control your guys, micro-manage them, tell them that he is not watching your flank. That is your job.
    I disagree. My job as a squad leader is not to micro-manage 8 or more players. My expectation of the people I lead in game is that each member can carry their own weight. Only occasionally should I have to look over my shoulder and give specific orders to any one person. Only occasionally should I have to repeat an order. These are things taught to soldiers for 2-3 months in basic training: That they follow orders quickly and without question. If we play in a "tactical" environment then we effectively model after the real world. Squad leaders don't hold their squadmates' hands.

    Further on that note, it should be each member's responsibility to watch the other's back. Same goes for watching sectors. If The guy in front of me is watching our 12 o'clock, what reason have I for looking in the same direction when another sector is completely open? How many times has a squad been wiped because they were outflanked, many times without realizing it until it's too late?

    Overall, good post, good conversation piece.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: In game mechanics of Leadership

      Good points, Hummel. Thanks for your input.

      That quote you've highlighted, is proceeded by the word "Leader". Does not necessarily only apply to Squad leaders. In this instance, a Fireateam leader.

      This isn't an army. Otherwise, I wouldn't have had to post this or even this and other threads are pointless. But this isn't Army, (Royal) Navy, (Royal) Airforce, or the (Royal) Marine Corps.
      As most here haven't gone through the various stages of training, as one would have received in their real professional lives. We need to at times 'hold their squad mates hands'.
      Few examples, many of times I have noticed, that the fireteam leader misunderstands what the squad leader said. Sure, this could be a miscommunication error. But that is why sometime you repeat the order twice, to make sure. Or have him, report back the order. Or you direct him to "South-West/Half left, 100m, two story building with a barn on the right of it." FTL "I see it", SQDLDR "That's the one, take it".

      How about when you, and your teammates are clearing houses. How many times must the squad leader instruct his members to buddy up and keep to that at all times when clearing. I know I've had to keep on saying it when I realised that the buddy teams were separated, again and again.

      Now, if someone say a medic for example. Runs off on his own and gets wounded. That's not your fault. Specially, when that role requires the medic to be alive to save others first. Not be on point. That's not your fault but his own. That's just selfish.

      Not everyone have gone through "basic training", whether in real life or otherwise. But the fundamentals and the control measures a leader must perform is something we need to be aware of.

      Perhaps, you aren't like the rest. Perhaps, you know this because you yourself went through basic training. But the fact is, the basic TTP (Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures) of a leader is thrown out the window when not in TGU class or an actual game. Ideally, yes. I would like all players to know and have it ingrained into them. What they learned from Basic, to Advanced, and to other specialised roles. But since, this is not possible. We need to remind ourselves from time to time and accept that we're not at 100 percent, at any time. That is if you want to improve.

      TGU Instructor · TG Pathfinder

      Former TGU Dean · Former ARMA Admin · Former Irregulars Officer

      "Do not seek death. Death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment." - Dag Hammarskjold

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: In game mechanics of Leadership

        And with that post you've highlighted why most people don't like to volunteer to lead (if it's not because they're not confident) in TG Arma. I can say from experience that it's an uncomfortable proposition to lead a squad of newcomers -- Not because they're inherently bad players, but because it takes an extraordinary leader to organize such a group and utilize them effectively while at the same time teaching them/answering the many questions they may have.

        It seems to be a rare occasion here that a squad leader gets a full rifle squad (no medics to save you... :) ) aka 12 men including themselves. 3 fire teams or "chess pieces" to bound with, cover sectors, etc. I long for the day that I can lead 11 of Tactical Gamer's best in the Armaverse.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: In game mechanics of Leadership

          Originally posted by Hummel View Post
          And with that post you've highlighted why most people don't like to volunteer to lead (if it's not because they're not confident) in TG Arma. I can say from experience that it's an uncomfortable proposition to lead a squad of newcomers -- Not because they're inherently bad players, but because it takes an extraordinary leader to organize such a group and utilize them effectively while at the same time teaching them/answering the many questions they may have.

          It seems to be a rare occasion here that a squad leader gets a full rifle squad (no medics to save you... :) ) aka 12 men including themselves. 3 fire teams or "chess pieces" to bound with, cover sectors, etc. I long for the day that I can lead 11 of Tactical Gamer's best in the Armaverse.
          You want to lead the best, then you should "Micromange" the new guys until they become the best. That's honestly how it works. I learned so much my first months here by squad leaders and FTLs just constantly telling me where to look, when to move, etc. It is hard, but that's the fastest way the knowledge gets disseminated. Otherwise its months between TGU classes (and not everyone can or will attend those).

          I say this recognizing I'm terrible at doing it. When I'm leading its usually all I can do to keep up with where the squad is and where the threats are :)

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: In game mechanics of Leadership

            No one disagrees with you. However I don't remember ever being micro-managed as a new player and I do alright in a squad.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: In game mechanics of Leadership

              In its simplest from:
              FTL – Leads from the front
              SL – Leads from the back
              PL – Leads from the rear

              The FTL is up with his team taking bullets and leading the team on the ground and while “From the front” may not mean taking point (no FTL really should) it does mean managing the men under his control at an individual level. Micromanagement only takes place at this level (MHO). It’s up to the FTL to manage his team and if he has a noob or two (hopefully only one per fire team) then it’s up to the FTL to manage his assets as he moves. FTLs are leaders and shooters, picking tactically where to move next based on the orders of the SL and the nature of the mission and the stage of the mission at that moment.

              For SLs leading from the back is just that, under your command are 2 (usually) fire teams (disclaimer – I recommend two FTLs and one SL for a total of 9 in a Squad – tough to FTL AND SL if you have it setup with only 8 men and you’re both SL and FTL – this plays into my squad size structure below, but again MHO) that you command and it’s up to you to keep them all alive and moving, covering, and moving in concert with the other squads (one assumes multiple squads in this scenario). The SL is responsible for issuing orders to his FTLs and keeping “command management” of the immediate situation on the ground as they execute the commanders orders, keeping an eye on the location of other squads near them and most importantly the needs of the men on the field in their command. SLs should NOT be managing individuals, micromanaging anyone including the FTLs if they do they are both wasting a commander (the FTL) and breaking command (by confusing troops taking orders from both the FTL AND the SL).

              Lastly, PL . . . Platoon Lead is leading form the rear, which simply means you’re the orchestra-tor of this mission NOT one of the shooters. Your job is strategy, larger movement, tactics, mission management, logistics, (in our world JIPs) and the management of the “Flow” of the mission. Things not going well? It’s up to the PL to figure out who and when to “pull back” and regroup and take another tactic. It’s up to the PL to figure out the best approach (even if it’s not) and then come up with the collapsing plans that will be implemented if something goes wrong. PLs should (pretty much) not fire at all; they take their enjoyment from planning, strategizing, and in “leading” not from “shooting” in the mission. Their goal is command and control and in “making it happen” with the men they have and the experience on the field.

              The concept of leading from the back or the rear adds a wrinkle that I think a number of (again MHO) players don’t like. . . . you don’t shoot, certainly not as much, sometimes not at all, and if you are “up front with the men” then who is going to lead these 8 to 12 to 19 men if you go down?? I fear that this is where things break down “in game” – many players (in general – from what I’ve seen) typically like to shoot, they like to be “in the thick of it” and as such when they lead and when things don’t go “just so” they move to the front with the “I’ll show them how it’s done” attitude, usually commanding some individual men along the way. . . . total loss of command and control structure when that happens. I say if you don’t like NOT shooting . . .don’t take SL or PL, take Rifleman or some other slot and enjoy the “shooter experience” of someone else leading.

              There is another whole discussion of squad structures that we could get into – 8 vs 9 man Squads – 4 vs 6 man fire teams – 2 vs 4 squad sections – and on. In the end the key is not how many you have but in establishing the understanding that when you lead in many instances THAT is what your job is in the mission, not shooting, not taking that awesome AT snap shot, not running in with the team as they assault the command bunker, but more so leading the team(s) that are the “trigger men” that get the job done.

              Just MHO on the topic – something near and dear to my heart and something I’ve long thought about relative to ArmA and the nature of command and control in all its meaning.

              Alternate opinions always welcome

              Solo

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: In game mechanics of Leadership

                The original post is bang on here LowSpeed. A squad leader must be the one who leads his men forward and by example. There is a level of overlap where a SL will walk up the the Blue FT and take a member of that team and say, "Follow me". He will take that unit and give specific commands to that unit to perhaps cover a specific area. The FTL here is going to go with the flow. The other FTL's in the squad are going to adjust their sectors of fire accordingly if the SL doesn't do it man by man.

                The FTL's job here is to keep the fire team effective as a unit. The FTL's job is not to get bent when the SL leads from the front, in a do-as-I-do manner. The SL then may take the position in the middle of the squad during movements. This is not leading from the back. The SL leads from the middle of the squad.

                Yes it is rare when we use proper squad level techniques for movement and so forth. That is always a few steps away from getting better. We just need to take those steps together and do it.

                Low you have some great points and we should take more chances during any mission downtime to spread some of this info around again. TGU Moments - expect them to show back up during your next game!
                |TG-189th| Unkl
                ArmA 3 Game Officer
                Dean of Tactical Gamer University
                189th Infantry Brigade Member
                SUBMIT A RIBBON NOMINATION OR CONTACT AN ARMA ADMIN
                "We quickly advance in the opposite direction and take cover in a house on the SW side of town." - BadStache

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: In game mechanics of Leadership

                  The topic itself is an overdue one. I think there are several play-styles competing against each other on our servers. Every leader has their style and philosophy on what is leadership and what kind of duties each leadership level is responsible for. Studying and trying to mimic real life counterparts in this department is quite an uphill task here at TG, as we do not stand on that spectrum of military realism simulation. TG Arma culture is more on the open and welcoming yet tactical and fun without too much goofing off and too much seriousness (ranks, constant squads, dedicated roles, forced participation, role playing with rank addressing, mandatory training, promotion and expectation of leadership at all time from the higher ranked officers.). Now since we get all kinds of players from new players to veteran players, the level of information that should be provided is situation-dependent. Sometimes I have to describe certain formations because most of the guys in the squad are new, while sometimes one or two words create an organized chaos from a squad of veteran players.

                  As JFTL: I try to maintain a certain mindset when playing. Trying to keep this mindset is difficult at times because of burn out from the game. The mindset is enthusiasm. When following newer leaders, I try to communicate and encourage as much as I can while not being undermining of their leadership. This would include repeating their orders in direct channel for other squad mates, announcing my movements and all that. A quiet team is an ineffective team.

                  As FTL: I usually try to follow SL directions and much more micro-managing in this role. I try to direct almost every movement as we move, breach and cover. FTL is the position that I am most obedient from SL direction.

                  As SL: When leading a squad I try to maintain polite and friendly environment. At one time I think I used to shout my orders and be very much demanding. As I age this has changed fortunately. The mindset I try to maintain is "How can I make sure everybody in the game has the most fun they can have." I try to consider everybody and how they are feeling and what they might wanna do. A jet pilot under my command or in my sister team, would get a request for a few missions for sure with an acceptable rate of time intervals. An armor under my command would definitely get a chance to get shot up by enemy AT.

                  Some newer SLs lead with Commander in their mind. They talk to CO a lot and give a lot of SITREPs while neglecting his soldiers under his command. The victims are the soldiers in that squad simply sitting around waiting for some kind of order. I try to make sure I keep the grunts informed of overall plan, talk to them more than CO. I put the CO on hold while in firefights to concentrate and focus on the firefight and direct my guys during the firefight. And I barely initiate SITREPs to CO unless they call me specifically.

                  This is a big pet peeve of mine: As SL I try not to overly control everybody's fire conditions unless the mission demands it. Even usually against my commander's orders, my squad would be kicking ass taking names with their trigger happy fingers. In my mind, CO should not be controlling my fire condition, so I usually get into fights and create chaos from SL position.

                  Now, in the end everybody got to shoot and they are having fun.

                  As CO:As CO I am much more hands off and delegate as much as I can. COs who control fire condition of squads is definitely micro-managing. SLs who ask their fire condition from CO is also asking to be micromanaged. My standard answer to this is "SLs should determine their own fire condition." CO is not with the squads in the front lines. As CO I also try to stay off the CO channel and let the SLs do their thing after giving them order. This CO style is for me is because of my SL style. And because of this I also find CO job a bit on the boring side. After making the initial plan, as CO I usually wait around until the SLs complete those objectives.
                  Last edited by hedgehog; 06-06-2016, 12:22 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: In game mechanics of Leadership

                    [MENTION=4091]|TG| B[/MENTION] - Love it

                    On the "As I age" part - found an awesome book that applies to business but equally well here, and to all levels of players and leaders.

                    https://www.amazon.com/Extreme-Owner...al-text&sr=1-1

                    Extreme Ownership

                    let me know if the link doesn't work.

                    Solo

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: In game mechanics of Leadership

                      If all games were guaranteed to be without JIPs, with players who have intermediate skillsets(At least) and included a solid and easy-to-use method of communication, then I think many of LowSpeeds points would be the norm.

                      We have many different play styles and levels of expectation from each one of us and that alone will provide an environment of varying requirements when it comes to leadership.

                      I could write a book on this phenomenon but do not have the time so I will do my best to summarize my take on this thread; I get what you are saying LowSpeed, but I would posit a question. Are you ranting, which I totally understand, or are you calling for changes that will allow us to align our playstyle with your very well worded ideals for team behavior? If you are ranting, I get it, there are times when I wish I had nothing but a squad filled with intermediate-level to veteran level players who all knew at least the basics. But the reality is we purvey TG as a player friendly environment where all are included. Therefore we will always have a certain number of players who will be on the bottom side of the delta with respect to skill set and battle sense. All of our avenues of play welcome everyone(which they should) but that means we will faced with the same difficulties as any school faces. Which is a tiered level of competency in terms of awareness and capability within the games we play.

                      We don't have separate servers which cater to different skillsets anymore. We have the long play server, which serves the purpose of seeding for new players, obviously. We have the Coop server which has new modsets that help with communication(So very thankful for that decision) and also allows all players to arrive and be welcomed at any time. So the result is a server where we will always be faced with the possibility of having more new players than familiar players, in terms of gameplay. I don't have to tell anyone reading this thread how difficult organization within the Command role, Let alone Squad role, can be, but the moment we have jips who are new or need assistance, or are playing with newer players we are immediately faced with a decision. Do we. A. lower our expectations of said player(s) because of the reasonable fact that they may be as green as they come, or B. Ask them to wait for the next mission to join so we don't lose our limited capability to focus on the mission at hand(with the attention to detail you are making a point over) at which point we can re-organize? The answer is A for the reasons that I mentioned above, we welcome all to our server.

                      When we have event missions, we are faced with the same problem that we see quite often. We have veterans volunteering to lead, and newer players slotting as shooters. This puts us in a situation where I think our satisfaction is less than full. We all know that each SL/CO has different playstyles and tolerances(And critique for fellow commanders) but that alone does not guarantee that the players following them will be capable of following the orders given because of either inability(training issue or familiarity) or unwillingness to comply(''Just not invested in this as much as you are'').

                      So while there are days when I am leading 20 players and it seems like the most difficult point to get across to all members of the team is basic communication, something you would expect to be "muscle memory" for many by this point, there are also days where my worst complaint was we didn't have more objectives to clear because of the squads amazing cohesiveness.

                      I think we all know what FTL, SL, CO, XO roles require, at least many of the responders in this thread do, but maybe the greater question is, how much can we expect from a player base, regardless of the inquiry, that will constantly be made up of newer players and have no incentive to sign up for TGU, or have the need to want to learn how to lead?

                      It's a chore to get those who Do join our community to at least visit the forums once a week, two weeks even.

                      I may be the only one to receive it this way, but Lowspeed, your topic influences my response as it immediately took my mind to the issues I have described above.

                      When I make Scorpion OPS missions, I do so in hopes that people who work really well together will sign up as they are meant to be played by advanced skillsets to mitigate the advanced threats I try to include. But the reality is we don't have an environment where we can have those expectations all the time, because of the flat plan that we subject all of our players too.

                      Which is one of the major things that make TG so great.

                      Current ARMA Development Project: No Current Project

                      "An infantryman needs a leader to be the standard against which he can judge all soldiers."

                      Friend of |TG| Chief

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: In game mechanics of Leadership

                        "You must spread some reputation around before giving it to B"

                        For the age comment.

                        Current ARMA Development Project: No Current Project

                        "An infantryman needs a leader to be the standard against which he can judge all soldiers."

                        Friend of |TG| Chief

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: In game mechanics of Leadership

                          Nobody has signed a contract and taken the oath when joining TG Arma , the UCMJ doesn't hold much sway here so as long as we are not a MilSim community and we have an open door welcome to all where training is not required, we will always be in the teaching the TG way to new people mode. The things that you are asking for take a large amount of time, training and real love of the game which not everyone has the time or energy for. We would have to put on special small missions and lock the server to all but those properly trained and want to play that way. We all know that is not what TG is about so we will keep doing our best to get the new guys up to speed and hope for those "perfect" games that come along once in a blue moon. You guys just keep leading the way and I will try to be the best JFTL I can be.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: In game mechanics of Leadership

                            Originally posted by Noyava View Post
                            You want to lead the best, then you should "Micromange" the new guys until they become the best. That's honestly how it works.
                            Very well said [MENTION=109039]Noyava[/MENTION]. I believe I missed this part of your response on first read.

                            I agree, and the consequences of doing so are two fold.

                            The negative is that it takes away from your ability to focus on the greater picture, within reason. We assume your SLs and FTLs can pick up the slack, but sometimes, they are in training themselves so the entire effort is affected, whether in terms of time-management or outcome.

                            The positive is that you are helping a new player become familiar with the way we do things.

                            Players who stick around do so because they like our example; they yearn for it. "Now THIS is what I have been looking for, but I do not know how to perform yet."

                            We either have an environment specifically for that type of player, which we don't, or we have one environment which attempts to fit all skillsets, in a juxtaposition of expectation and performance/capability.

                            Current ARMA Development Project: No Current Project

                            "An infantryman needs a leader to be the standard against which he can judge all soldiers."

                            Friend of |TG| Chief

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: In game mechanics of Leadership

                              The model at hand and at the route of the discussion is that it is the FTL who should be doing this micro-management. It seems like we are all saying the same thing but nit picking different words. The SL leads in a very hands on way and by managing the bigger picture of the squad from the "do as I do" perspective. This leaves the FTL to worry about all the new guys. It's the same thing fellas.

                              What we have is a problem when the SL is acting like a PL. We really only have Command or Six-Actual or Platoon Leader during events because it is rare for us to have more than 1 squad or section. It all boils down to making the right selection of leadership based on the number of players you have to keep interested and moving and doing something. It does kinda grind my gears when someone calls out for Six-Actual really formal like when there is 8 players on the server. If those 8 players turn into 12 then 18 then it will go to 30 really fast. Then you will need a platoon leader!

                              The leader in action should also not be worried about being the JIP welcome mat. Go lead the mission and someone else should handle the JIPs. Rotate that person so they can have some fun too. The leader should be worried about the players that have been patient and on the server for the last 45 mins. Keep them going!
                              |TG-189th| Unkl
                              ArmA 3 Game Officer
                              Dean of Tactical Gamer University
                              189th Infantry Brigade Member
                              SUBMIT A RIBBON NOMINATION OR CONTACT AN ARMA ADMIN
                              "We quickly advance in the opposite direction and take cover in a house on the SW side of town." - BadStache

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