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  • Leadership

    I started this thread in the hopes that more and more players will take an interest in being a leader in ArmA.

    First, let me start off with this, it is not NECESSARY to have a mic to lead, but it will make the whole process MUCH easier. It is very hard to get people's attention with text, they tend to ignore it, but when you walk up to their virtual face and TALK to them, they will typically snap right up and listen.

    Furthermore, this is all MY OPINION. This is not taken from any leadership courses or anything, it may not even be RIGHT. But this is what I have learned over my time spent attempting to be a good leader in ArmA and PR.




    If you ever even considered trying out leading, give it a shot. An EXCELLENT mission to do this in is Domination. Lately, we have been running organized Side Missions on Server 2, this is IDEAL training ground for any leader-to-be. You don't have to start out leading the whole mission, you can start out by simply leading a fireteam (typical size from 3-5 players, no more).



    <b>Getting Players Attention</b>

    The first thing you need to work on when you decide to lead is ways of getting player's attention. TG Server 2 is a semi-public server, anyone can join as long as they can find the password .. it is not THAT hard to find. In my experience, a surefire way to get someone's attention is to simply say their name. So, something like "Sam, come over here by the truck". Most players recognize their name as they made it.

    This can be a problem however when you cannot seem nametags. In that case, you need to use a more general statement "Everybody meet me over by the truck". Doesn't work as well, but say it enough times and you should get everybody. Without name tags, you are going to have to talk to each player individually and get their name. This can be the difficult part, as it can be hard to remember 4 names, especially when you change players every 30 minutes. My advice is, if you can't pronounce it, ask them if it is OK if you call them by a short-form, or different way of pronouncing it that you can manage.


    The Basics

    Once you have your team's attention, you can start by going over 'the basics'. Things like, follow me, don't rush ahead, don't shoot at random things, keep off side channel unless it is very important, etc. These are things that I can't really help you with, as every leader has things that manage to piss you off just right, you simply have to find out what they are the hard way. If you are frustrated or angry about something one of your teammates does, don't yell at them about it, simply tell that to try and avoid doing that unless they must.

    A typical list of 'the basics' for me is this:

    1) Don't rush ahead, stay with the team.
    2) Don't run off on your own, if you are going to be out of voice range, tell someone before you leave.
    3) Do not shoot at nothing.
    4) Keep off side channel unless it is of the utmost importance.


    You will find that you won't be able to go over these every time, it really depends on how focused your group is. If you notice them looking around, leaning left/right, or just generally screwing around, sorry, but you have some "problem" ( ;) ) players. Don't force it, go over the REALLY basics, and if the mess up, don't sweat it too much.



    Formations

    The next thing I would go over would be some basic formations. The key here is to keep them SIMPLE. Players simply aren't used to staying in a formation, they want to run ahead to cover and good vantage points ALL THE TIME.

    Don't be a formation nazi.

    If you have to ask players to get back in formation more than 3 times enroute, relax a bit, and let the formation get a bit looser. This is another one of those things that comes from experience, you will eventually learn what is "too much" when concerning how much out of formation the players can get. It really all depends on the players, the worst thing you can do is to constantly be stopping and yelling at your players to get back in formation. It frustrates them, it frustrate you, and they lose confidence in your leadership.


    The two basic formations I like to use are the Column and the Line.

    The Column in the simplest of the two, you simple tell the player to follow the person in front of them, and you tell them how far away to keep. For example, "OK, I want a Column formation with a 5 meter spacing". Stress to the players that they should follow exactly where the player in front of them is going, otherwise the formation will get loose and turn into a "mass" instead of a column. During night ops, this can get members of your team lost.

    The Line is more complicated that the column because the players can't see eachother as easily. They have to look left/right to make sure they are in formation. Be much more relaxed about keeping the formation here, as it can be difficult, even for more seasoned players. A very important thing to do for the line formation is to give a direction to face. Unlike the Column, simply saying "Form a line, 5 meter spacing" is insufficient, some players interpret that as form a line perpendicular to where you are facing, some don't. Remember to give a direction when you order a line. For example, "I want a line formation, 10 meter spacing facing North-West towards that tower".

    More complicated formations can be used, but these are the most common.



    Spotting

    This is something that each player does differently. It is up to you how to spot your targets, but try and use the same method.

    For me, I will spot with 3 basic methods.


    The "Fraction" system
    I find that players either get it or they don't so it is not a very reliable method, but I use it in tense situations because it is what I'm used to.

    The basic premise is that the direction your formation is facing (or the direction of a target/objective) would be the "centre". A quarter of the way out of your field of view is Quarter Right, half way out of you field of view is Half Right, so on for Three Quarters, and just at the edge of your field of full is Left.

    This can be broken down simpler into Left, Right, Centre. This is often used in a surprise contact or ambush where the enemy is obvious.


    The Compass method
    Players tend to understand this very well, and is great for a precise spotting.

    Simply bring up your compass, and give off the degree bearing to the target. Keep in mind, if you squad is spread out more than 30 meters, your bearings will be off, so, if you are giving these spots, do it within close proximity.


    The Directions method
    This is the most difficult method for the spotter, but the spottee typically will understand quite easily.

    First, find the most obvious object in your area, ie: a radio tower, a big church, a lone house. Then, give a direction from that object to the next obvious object, ie: left of the church there is a house with a red roof. Continue this until you "walk" your observer's eyes onto the target.

    The key with this method is to confirm that the observer sees each successive object, otherwise it will be a long frustrating spot.



    Marking Up The Map

    Another skill that leaders should be proficient with.

    When marking the map, the most important thing to keep in mind is this: The markers follow the same rules as text. If you are in the Group channel, only YOUR group will see them. If you are in the Global channel, EVERYONE will see them (including your enemy, if you are playing TvT). Sometimes, if you absolutely get the others to see your marks, switching to Global will fix the problem, but all your marks will be visible to everyone.





    That is all I am going to write for now, I might add some more later, but I am interested to hear everyone else's experience with leading (both of leading and being lead).

  • #2
    Re: Leadership

    I agree - we need more guys to lead but not many feel confident doing so. I disagree about the mic though. I think if you want to lead then you grab a mic. They're cheap enough these days and there's not much reason not to have one.
    Jex.

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    • #3
      Re: Leadership

      Originally posted by jex View Post
      I agree - we need more guys to lead but not many feel confident doing so. I disagree about the mic though. I think if you want to lead then you grab a mic. They're cheap enough these days and there's not much reason not to have one.
      And I agree with you Jex.

      @Beta: Good initiative!
      sigpic

      PR BF2 Alias: NewOrder_JoyDivision

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      • #4
        Re: Leadership

        Thanks for the read. Good thing you're doing here.



        -- I always wanted TG to be different than anyone else out there. We need to be unique in what we offer and how we play, if not we are simply competing with everyone else. --
        The BigC

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        • #5
          Re: Leadership

          Nice thread Beita, repped you.
          |TG-12th| tHa_KhAn

          XBL GT: Khan58

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          • #6
            Re: Leadership

            In regard to spotting, I prefer to give a very general direction first, e.g. "Man in the open, 10 O'clock" followed by something more detailed "Man, running in the open, near the two story building with a yellow roof!" Having a big landmark to start with helps me a lot when I'm looking for targets.

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            • #7
              Re: Leadership

              It really gets difficult when you are in open ground, or in a forest, to find that landmark, or to know what's your facing and understand clock directions (it works when we are in column formation).

              I think the compass (bearings) are always the option, as you get everyone to see that direction quickly, if people start to check the compass and see where is the north constantly, they will always know what you are talking about.
              sigpic

              PR BF2 Alias: NewOrder_JoyDivision

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Leadership

                Nice write up Beita. Having been led by Beta in game it's apparent he knows what he's talking about.

                I'm always hesitant to lead a fire team for several reasons. Mostly though I sometimes have to jump up and be AFK for a short while or my game freezes. Two things that can wreck a mission.

                I think Beta made some key points though. Keep it simple but make sure people know what you expect. The few times I have led a fire team I find sometimes it's good to take suggestions from your squad for an approach or tactic. It's good as the leader to be conifident but allot of times other players will have some good ideas on how to proceed.

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                • #9
                  Re: Leadership

                  Great stuff Beta.

                  I'll add random thoughts to this thread as they come up but right now I'll say that people like to have the plan told to them as soon as possible. Even if you don't have the details of the plan worked out, eg fire team assignments or asset location, sketch out the general plan for the group as soon as you can get them herded up at base. Even if you are simply sketching out verbally what everyone just read in the mission brief. Call the troops together, get their attention and sketch it out. This gets everyone on the same page and buying in to the idea that YOU are in charge.

                  That's another thing....take charge. Troops will lead if you take control and let them know you are stepping up to a leadership role.
                  sigpic
                  |TG-1st|Grunt
                  ARMA Admin (retired)
                  Pathfinder-Spartan 5

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                  • #10
                    Re: Leadership

                    ALSO.......... You know who some of the regular squad and command officers are (you've played with them enough). So ask them if they wouldnt mind teaching some one on one or when in game and you know these guys are on the squad, ask their advice if your really not sure about stuff like where to insert, squad deployment, etc. I will be more than happy to come stand next to you in direct chat mode and give you my thoughts if you ask for them, leaving you to then decide how you want to address the squad. Effectively it's like a "2ic" role and that person could also stick next you in the battle if you like to provide input as required.
                    BlackDog1




                    "What we do in life... echoes in eternity!"

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                    • #11
                      Re: Leadership

                      Platoon leaders should always stay in the rear. Most of your time probably should be spent with your eyes on your map and your ears attuned to the radio. Apart from suddenly being overrun by the enemy you should be the last line of defense and it's not unreasonable to expect that you won't be firing your weapon at all, unless in dire self defense.

                      Try to assign a second in command so if you do go down someone will step up.
                      sigpic
                      |TG-1st|Grunt
                      ARMA Admin (retired)
                      Pathfinder-Spartan 5

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Leadership

                        Originally posted by Jorge.PT View Post
                        And I agree with you Jex.

                        @Beta: Good initiative!
                        This is a hypothetical, but suppose I end up leading in a mission? I can use a mic, since I'm deaf, but receiving data from teammates is a questionable issue. :|

                        Again, this is one reason why I am unlikely to be a leader, except in slow-paced operations (Warfare mode, for instance).
                        Hey guys, this is a public service announcement from NKato. I am Deaf, so when the helo goes down, you're best off typing "AAAAAAAAIIIEEEEE!!!" instead of attempting to scream it. Thanks!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Leadership

                          Very insightful. Although, I don't think you can lead effectively without a mic--especially if there are a lot op people on the server.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Leadership

                            I'm going to keep bumping this thread. I've seen several new Platoon leaders step up over the last few days and I think this thread will server not only the new commanders but all of us well.

                            I recently commanded a large group of players on a city attack in Domination. The enemy was tough and were reinforced by air 3-4 times. Cannon fire tore us up and made organization very difficult. I had broken up the platoon into three large fire teams with one of them being led by myself. This was a bad decision as I lost effective command of my own group in the chaos of the battle. I decided after this that with larger groups I'm better served operating as a HQ unit with myself and one or two medics. I attach the medics to the assault teams or order them to shadow me waiting for assignment. This allows my focus to be on our general deployment as a unit rather than trying to keep sharp focus while trying to lead a forward fire team. Seem obvious but ....

                            I employed the HQ concept on a later operation outside of Pita. I assembled a large group 20+ players and was assigned to destroy an experimental prototype of an SLA attach chopper. The base at Pita was guarded by numerous armor and concentrated infantry. Since this was a Domination mission troops were constantly logging in to the server. I made it a priority to contact them upon arriving in game and coordinate a rendezvous point for arriving troops. Upon arrival I fed them into the fireteams systematically and alerted fire team leaders they were coming in. The op lasted about an hour and I was very impressed we were able to keep order up with a steady stream of incoming players. We even suffered zero casualties and I was most satisfied by the groups performance.
                            Last edited by Grunt 70; 08-18-2008, 01:23 PM.
                            sigpic
                            |TG-1st|Grunt
                            ARMA Admin (retired)
                            Pathfinder-Spartan 5

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Leadership

                              Originally posted by NKato View Post
                              This is a hypothetical, but suppose I end up leading in a mission? I can use a mic, since I'm deaf, but receiving data from teammates is a questionable issue. :|

                              Again, this is one reason why I am unlikely to be a leader, except in slow-paced operations (Warfare mode, for instance).
                              There's always an exception to every rule. Since you are deaf I think it's safe to assume my point was directed at other people.
                              Jex.

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