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Teeny Weeny hint for mission design - groups/plat. contents

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  • Teeny Weeny hint for mission design - groups/plat. contents

    Hey guys, I think this is one of those things that "doesn't REALLY need to be said" ... but ... should be said anyway, by whoever's dumb enough to say it (me):

    The biggest problem I find we get in MP is an overload of comms. When there's 8+ people all in connection w/each other via side channel or TeamSpeak, it is comparable to hurling crap at a fan. I'm no army man, but I know this is why organized forces make sure that no-one ever has to worry about any more than ~2-4 people. That's why the platoon leader usually commands 2-4 squad leaders, who each command 2-4 fireteam leaders, who each command 2-4 soldiers. Notice anything? :p

    At TG we have 3 levels in our command chain... ideally laying out like this:
    1)Teamspeak/Global/Side -- (Platoon Leader / Squad leaders)
    2)Group ------------------ (Squad leaders / Fireteam leaders)
    3)Direct ------------------ (Fireteam leaders / Soldiers)

    If everyone has *only* 3 people under their command, it leads to a platoon size of 40 men. (!)
    If everyone has 4 people under their command, it leads to 80 men. (!!!)

    please bare this in mind when making up the groups for your mission. Don't put in 2 AH64's and a Harrier, along with 4 small squads of infantry and 2 medics in HQ and expect the platoon commander to keep track of 9 objects. Unless they're Obi Wan Kenobi, it's not going to happen and the mission will go bad. If you have more than 1 air unit, you might need a *real* Forward Air Controller (EVERYONE in the air should be in the same group, with the FAC as their leader). Squad leaders ask HQ for support, HQ asks other squads and FAC to get it done. FAC reports something is available and organizes it. Notice an "equal division of role work".

    Anyways. Rock on. Post a topic about your mission (or post here) if you want help with organization! Pay attention to it! it makes the difference between an enjoyable mission and a ... non-enjoyable mission. heh.

  • #2
    Re: Teeny Weeny hint for mission design - groups/plat. contents

    The only problem with direct chat is that some people don't hear so good in that, so I have to use group chat most of the time.

    What I think you guys (missions makers) should do, is put the "Team Status" option in your missions, that way it's easier to from squads, when the numbers are not the ones that the missions requires.

    The communications flawless of arma can be easily overrun, by arranging communication channels in TS. For example, the real "Forward Air Controller" that you talk about it's easily obtained by putting all air units in the same TS channel.

    The biggest problem with communications is always how people use them, and some times CO's just tend stay to much time in comms during operations and that makes squad/fireteams cooms almost impossible. The information should always be concise, clear and adequate to the person who receives it, between fireteams->squads->CO.
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    • #3
      Re: Teeny Weeny hint for mission design - groups/plat. contents

      the main problem is that you cant 'tune out' a net. the 'grunt' shouldnt have to listen to side chat (which acts as a Combined arms/coy net most the time). similarly the leader of the mission really shouldnt be listening to his group contacting the enemy and dealing with the minutae of a contact drill.

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      • #4
        Re: Teeny Weeny hint for mission design - groups/plat. contents

        I definitely agree with both of you. And I admit, I didn't think about putting the FAC in a separate TS channel with other pilots :D

        I just wanted to iterate that the group arranging, which I think is the *most basic* form of organization in a mission, needs some love too :) It's usually OK when soldiers have to use group chat instead of Direct to talk to their squad... individual grunts usually don't have a lot to say, and grouping 8 of them into one comm channel is almost acceptable. It is when there are 7+ squad leaders trying to comm over side chat that it gets bad for *everybody* ... the best aid is to reduce the "heard by everyone" VON chatter by making sure groups are large enough, and subdivided so that leaders don't get disoriented.

        I think allowing people to change groups mid-mission is good practice in mission making. As long as the commander can be kept informed with what he has... I'm almost thinking of coding a dialog similar to Dr Eyeball's, except more oriented towards just the platoon commander. Have it inform him of what groups he has, their strength, and their capabilities. Dr. Eyeball's dialog, although a great piece of work, is a bit "too much info" ...

        I might also start putting in briefings, a "suggested TS usage" section. If I ever release any more of my missions, heh. (waiting for ACE 1.02 ... )

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        • #5
          Re: Teeny Weeny hint for mission design - groups/plat. contents

          Four people on Group is alright, rarely overloaded. For some reason, eight people on comms equals about four times as much traffic compared to four.
          Last edited by Apocal; 02-07-2009, 10:42 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: Teeny Weeny hint for mission design - groups/plat. contents

            Originally posted by Apocal View Post
            Four people on Group is alright, rarely overloaded. For some reason, eight people on comms equals about four times as much traffic compared to four.
            Er... well, a secondary point that I was trying to make, is that 6+ soldiers are usually OK in one group channel.

            If you have 24 soldiers, it's much better to have 3 groups of 8, then it would be to have 6 groups of 4. Purely to keep the mess on SIDE channel down, which everyone hears.

            [edit] I also didn't really intend for anyone to get nailed in this thread... but oh well :p
            Last edited by Homer Johnston; 02-07-2009, 04:53 PM.

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            • #7
              Re: Teeny Weeny hint for mission design - groups/plat. contents

              The best solution to the comms issue is simply Teamspeak. Unfortunately, as proven time and time again by the attempts at it, it's hard to keep a public server following this requirement. Even when all the squad leaders are in Teamspeak together, I've seen more often than not the leaders still using Side Channel VON, and TS being almost completely ignored.

              This isn't to say I haven't seen TS used correctly on the TG server. I remember squad leading for a round of Burning Sara with Fuzzhead as Plt. Co. and we strictly used TS for comms. It's no surprise that that was one of the best rounds I've ever had on TG.

              It's my opinion that if the current admins of the server were as strict about using Teamspeak as they were about the use of global chat, Side VON, et cetera, then you should solve a large portion of the communication issues that has already been brought up in numerous threads.

              Just my two cents.


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              • #8
                Re: Teeny Weeny hint for mission design - groups/plat. contents

                Originally posted by Apocal View Post
                That's about my only issue with General Carver's missions. He sometimes groups squads of eight instead of two teams of four. Four people on Group is alright, rarely overloaded. For some reason, eight people on comms equals about four times as much traffic compared to four.
                I personally think breaking the 'green' chat nets up into groups (US fireteams) actually detracts from your command and control. This means that a section/squad leader(controlling 3 groups) ie: 9-12 men, has to use the SIDE blue net to command them, overlapping the pln/coy cmd and control.
                A section NEEDS to be on the one Green group net for the simple fact that we dont have another net available to us.
                This does require the fireteam leads within a squad to take control of 2 others on that Green net and follow the squad leads orders. I havent seen this done within squads in tactical game to date.

                Green/Group = section comms. thats 3 'fireteams'
                Blue/Side = Pln Net and if need be, coy/combined arms net.


                From the infantry perspective Ideally it should be:
                Green for section
                Blue for platoon (pln cmdr, and his section cmdrs, no one else)
                Another net for combined arms: pln cmdr, air assets, JOST/FO, battletaxis, armour platoon.

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                • #9
                  Re: Teeny Weeny hint for mission design - groups/plat. contents

                  Originally posted by Homer Johnston View Post
                  Er... well, a secondary point that I was trying to make, is that 6+ soldiers are usually OK in one group channel.

                  If you have 24 soldiers, it's much better to have 3 groups of 8, then it would be to have 6 groups of 4. Purely to keep the mess on SIDE channel down, which everyone hears.
                  Well, I was speaking from experience of using group as team internal, where many explicit instructions are needed. When you're a squad or section manuevering as fireteams (which is typical of TG missions) the squad leader generally doesn't (or shouldn't) need an incredible amount of specific guidance to his team leaders. Assuming they understand the mission and his intent.

                  [edit] I also didn't really intend for anyone to get nailed in this thread... but oh well :p
                  Noted, edited it out.

                  Originally posted by Oakley View Post
                  The best solution to the comms issue is simply Teamspeak. Unfortunately, as proven time and time again by the attempts at it, it's hard to keep a public server following this requirement. Even when all the squad leaders are in Teamspeak together, I've seen more often than not the leaders still using Side Channel VON, and TS being almost completely ignored.
                  It's hard enough to get people to read the briefing.

                  This isn't to say I haven't seen TS used correctly on the TG server. I remember squad leading for a round of Burning Sara with Fuzzhead as Plt. Co. and we strictly used TS for comms. It's no surprise that that was one of the best rounds I've ever had on TG.
                  My experience with it is varied. When it works, it's fantastic. When it doesn't work, the comms pretty much go up in flames.

                  It's my opinion that if the current admins of the server were as strict about using Teamspeak as they were about the use of global chat, Side VON, et cetera, then you should solve a large portion of the communication issues that has already been brought up in numerous threads.

                  Just my two cents.
                  Undoubtedly, but how much of the playerbase would they drive away enforcing that standard? I have TS, know how to use it, but prefer not to. Many other players don't have it at all.

                  Originally posted by chappy View Post
                  I personally think breaking the 'green' chat nets up into groups (US fireteams) actually detracts from your command and control. This means that a section/squad leader(controlling 3 groups) ie: 9-12 men, has to use the SIDE blue net to command them, overlapping the pln/coy cmd and control.

                  A section NEEDS to be on the one Green group net for the simple fact that we dont have another net available to us.
                  This does require the fireteam leads within a squad to take control of 2 others on that Green net and follow the squad leads orders. I havent seen this done within squads in tactical game to date.

                  Green/Group = section comms. thats 3 'fireteams'
                  Blue/Side = Pln Net and if need be, coy/combined arms net.


                  From the infantry perspective Ideally it should be:
                  Green for section
                  Blue for platoon (pln cmdr, and his section cmdrs, no one else)
                  Another net for combined arms: pln cmdr, air assets, JOST/FO, battletaxis, armour platoon.
                  I'm sure it brings up issues when you have four levels in the chain (grunts-FTL-SL-PL), but honestly, those are the minority of TG missions. Anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

                  But in the case you do have platoon level missions going on, my personal, probably unpopular, opinion is that you should maneuver as squads and alleviate the need for FTLs to talk as much. Platoon leader makes a plan and ensures the squad leaders understand it. In-game the platoon leader should (perfect world) be able to restrict himself to "audibles" and broad guidance to his squad leaders on SIDE. Squad leaders should be the primary "talkers" as they fill in the broad guidance with details on GROUP. Team leaders could probably get by with DIRECT. Admittedly, supporting arms like air, motor-T, etc. are something this setup would probably break down under and I haven't had the opportunity to test, so if you have actual experience, feel free to shoot it full of holes.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Teeny Weeny hint for mission design - groups/plat. contents

                    Originally posted by Apocal View Post
                    It's hard enough to get people to read the briefing.
                    Like I said later in the post, if the admin enforced it on the server at slot selection, then this point is moot.

                    Originally posted by Apocal View Post
                    My experience with it is varied. When it works, it's fantastic. When it doesn't work, the comms pretty much go up in flames.
                    All you need on TS is leaders. Everyone stays off side chat. Comms are pretty much clutter free at that point.

                    Originally posted by Apocal View Post
                    Undoubtedly, but how much of the playerbase would they drive away enforcing that standard? I have TS, know how to use it, but prefer not to. Many other players don't have it at all.
                    The only ones who need to be on TS are leaders. Most of the usual leaders on TG have Teamspeak. If you keep having cluttered comms, I guarantee that you'll see more players drop from that than the alternative (enforcing leaders to be on Teamspeak).


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                    • #11
                      Re: Teeny Weeny hint for mission design - groups/plat. contents

                      yeah... sorry guys... didn't mean for this to turn into a TS debate. I should have known it would :D

                      All I really wanted to push forth is: mission editors: try to keep the number of people that any one person in the mission has under their command, to a minimum. This ALONE will only reduce excess radio chatter and improve organization, not make it worse.

                      As for the Amazing Never-Ending TS Debate (ANETSD? ...got a nice ring to it) ... even if only some leaders are on it, it helps. Try to get others to use it. Doesn't need to be forced... I use it - but I also forget and still hit sidechat from time to time. if I do this much feel free to remind me.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Teeny Weeny hint for mission design - groups/plat. contents

                        Originally posted by Homer Johnston View Post
                        yeah... sorry guys... didn't mean for this to turn into a TS debate. I should have known it would :D

                        All I really wanted to push forth is: mission editors: try to keep the number of people that any one person in the mission has under their command, to a minimum. This ALONE will only reduce excess radio chatter and improve organization, not make it worse.

                        As for the Amazing Never-Ending TS Debate (ANETSD? ...got a nice ring to it) ... even if only some leaders are on it, it helps. Try to get others to use it. Doesn't need to be forced... I use it - but I also forget and still hit sidechat from time to time. if I do this much feel free to remind me.
                        this is my point though, by decreasing the number of people under the command (ie in the same group) as any given leader will actually increase chatter on the side comms.
                        Breaking the mission down into fireteams so that 1 section occupies say 11A B C rather than just occupying 11A, has just tripled your side chat comms.
                        The section leader still has to control the fireteams (presumably) but now has to do it on side rather than on on group.
                        The critical element in my mind is that fireteam leaders lead within groups and groups consist of 3 fireteams, leaving side chat for platoon and combined arms.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Teeny Weeny hint for mission design - groups/plat. contents

                          What if we just put the platoon leader and all the fireteam leaders (fireteam leaders of Alpha, Bravo, etc...) into one group, and everyone else (regular ground troops) into another group. The group channel will then be the "command channel" for the platoon leader to command all the fireteam leaders, while everyone else must communicate via direct channel. This way the side and global channels will never have to be used, and all the individual soldiers will never have to listen to all the radio chatter. Plus, this structure will encourage fireteams to stick together since direct channel will be the only way to communicate within the fireteam.

                          As for knowing which player is on which fireteam, the slots could be labeled accordingly, such as:
                          1-1A
                          Platoon leader
                          Alpha fireteam leader
                          Bravo fireteam leader
                          etc...
                          1-1B
                          Alpha rifleman
                          Alpha automatic rifleman
                          Alpha grendadier
                          1-1C
                          Bravo rifleman
                          Bravo automatic rifleman
                          Bravo grenadier
                          etc...
                          Although the riflemen of each fireteam will end up as an in-game squad leader himself, at least we will then have an in-game "command channel" that only those in leadership roles will hear. I think this is kind of what chappy was getting to, except TG rarely has the [platoon leader>squad leader>fireteam leader>grunt] structure.
                          Just an idea

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                          • #14
                            Re: Teeny Weeny hint for mission design - groups/plat. contents

                            Originally posted by Oakley View Post
                            Like I said later in the post, if the admin enforced it on the server at slot selection, then this point is moot.

                            All you need on TS is leaders. Everyone stays off side chat. Comms are pretty much clutter free at that point.

                            The only ones who need to be on TS are leaders. Most of the usual leaders on TG have Teamspeak. If you keep having cluttered comms, I guarantee that you'll see more players drop from that than the alternative (enforcing leaders to be on Teamspeak).
                            I think we're playing during two drastically different time blocks. When I play, any given mission the overall commander and one or two team leaders might be TG regulars (Barnes, AS, Shemash, Steven Seagal, "Sean Connery", and a few others I'm forgetting) but the rest of the team leaders are catch-as-catch-can.

                            Originally posted by aceking View Post
                            What if we just put the platoon leader and all the fireteam leaders (fireteam leaders of Alpha, Bravo, etc...) into one group, and everyone else (regular ground troops) into another group. The group channel will then be the "command channel" for the platoon leader to command all the fireteam leaders, while everyone else must communicate via direct channel. This way the side and global channels will never have to be used, and all the individual soldiers will never have to listen to all the radio chatter. Plus, this structure will encourage fireteams to stick together since direct channel will be the only way to communicate within the fireteam.
                            Direct cuts out when people are firing nearby.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Teeny Weeny hint for mission design - groups/plat. contents

                              Originally posted by chappy View Post
                              this is my point though, by decreasing the number of people under the command (ie in the same group) as any given leader will actually increase chatter on the side comms. .... The critical element in my mind is that fireteam leaders lead within groups and groups consist of 3 fireteams, leaving side chat for platoon and combined arms.
                              Communication malfunction!! this is EXACTLY what I'm suggesting Chappy, we're on the same page. by minimizing "under their command" I didn't mean, in their group -- I meant, under their command. :D (oh gay, I can't edit my previous post to reflect this)

                              Aceking I gotta say that's a pretty ingenious idea, although... it does bring its own set of problems. At this point, I think we just hope they do something smarter for ArmA II!

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