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Promoting Coordination Between Squads

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  • Promoting Coordination Between Squads

    As occasional PL, I often find myself with two rather isolated squads, with neither near enough to the other to attack the same target at once (all this by my own design...).

    When the conditions are right, I intend to use squads in closer coordination with each other within urban/village settings, so as to create a stronger unit, expand tactical options, and promote SL to SL coordination.

    As I have been PLing thus far, we end up with isolated fight units (my own fault), often unable to bring fire to bare on the same target.

    In other words, the tactical situation I wish to create is as follows: just as an SL might have an Alpha and Bravo fireteam operating in close concert with one another, so will SquadOne (variously, Section One or Alpha Squad) and SquadTwo effectively operate as parallel fireteams.

    I think it would be a richer virtual experience if we were operating under conditions of much closer coordination between all units.


  • #2
    Re: Promoting Coordination Between Squads

    I agree.

    Whenever possible, I will make a plan that will involve all the units within 100m of eachother. They can provide mutual support, and it makes the battle more decisive. You don't have to wait 2 minutes for everyone to get back into a movement formation, you wait 20 seconds. Quick attacks can be done much more successfully I find.

    Spreading units out leads to a indecisive, slow crawl of an attack. Typically, the units of overwatch won't see the enemy who is engaging the units advancing. When both units are advancing/overwatching within the same area (50m apart max), they will usually have a much better field of view on threats to the advancing element.

    Splitting your forces to execute various "advanced" tactics seems enticing to most new leaders, but the reality is, there is simply not enough people to effectively attack with 2 groups. When you have upwards of 40 players, then two groups could be considered.

    Currently, most attacks I have witnessed/been a part of have taken far too long. You don't want to speed through an area, but you don't want to sit still either. Either suppress and attack a problem area, or flank it. If you find you are sitting and shooting for longer than 60 seconds, you NEED to either attack what you are shooting at, or begin a flank.

    Fire and movement is a great tactic that works well, but it can be used to a much greater effect. When both elements are withing Direct VON distance, there is less radio chatter, and faster reaction times.

    Fire and movement should also be used inside the squad/section, especially when assaulting a position. When you start to get close, lots of areas stop popping up that the overwatching element simply can't see, so you have to cover them yourself.

    Such situations can be practiced with one of the dynamic mission builder missions that has been posted on the forums. It would really help everyone (from the rifleman to the Platoon leader) understand how things work and how they should work. Simply need to load it onto the server and PLAY it.


    • #3
      Re: Promoting Coordination Between Squads

      I think you should look beyond just urban/village operations, E-Male. The concept of using a platoon as a platoon, or a squad as a squad, applies in most areas of combat. This is in contrast to what you describe now - using a squad as a platoon, or a fireteam as a squad. In short, it's overtasking a unit based on using tactics intended for larger formations. A multiple-front attack may sound sexy and fun, but if you don't have the numbers for it, you'll very possibly end up putting a lot of risk into the situation that may be unnecessary.

      Mutual supporting fires are a key part of multi-unit coordination. The concept of overwatch - be it travelling or otherwise - is meant to ensure that any given unit can always be operating within the protection of a fellow unit. This doesn't mean that one squad must remain a fixed distance from another squad - rather, they must change their relative positioning based upon the terrain, enemy threat, pace, etc. Being 50m apart may work in some situations and fail in others. The important thing is to maintain a distance which allows for effective supporting fires to be delivered on short or no notice. In the open area this could be 300-400m of distance, provided you have some crack shots in your units (or magnified optics). In urban areas it will shrink dramatically. Consideration of the threat means a lot as well - against infantry, you can probably get away with being closer than normal. If heavy vehicles are expected, more interval is needed to prevent one from driving into the middle of your formation and mowing down everyone before they can move to cover. Situation dictates, and it's always a judgment call from the command side of things. Semper gumby.

      Fire and maneuver is another one of those things that requires a lot of teamwork and consideration. It requires leaders that can act with initiative and exploit situations as they see them develop, be they fireteam, squad, or platoon commanders. It is also a balancing act of risk vs reward - the leaders must decide rapidly the best course of action available to them, considering things like what might happen if their maneuver element is engaged unexpectedly while working onto the enemy's flank. The next level of leadership up must also be able to trust in their subordinates to make good judgment calls, and allow the plan to become more of a guideline than an exact list of precise steps that must be obeyed. You have to think several steps ahead as well - if you suppress an enemy element with one squad and then flank them with another, what kind of tactical position does it leave you in once all is said and done? Has the situation developed in your favor, or did your maneuver leave a new squad vulnerable, requiring the previous support team to become the new maneuever element to extricate the prior one from their latest position? Granted, not all of this is of the utmost importance in cooperative gameplay, but it is a great thing to become proficient at regardless, and pays off big dividends in adversarial gaming.

      Another aspect to consider is the pace. While not necessarily that big of a factor in some missions (ie: particular coop missions), once you start dealing with humans the pace of things can easily be the deciding factor between victory and defeat. Move and act with intensity - if on the attack, never give the enemy time to relax. Strike them, maneuver against them, and keep aggressively pursuing the fight until it's finished. Speed, surprise, and violence of action can turn the tides of an adversarial mission in ways that the slow, methodical, plodding advance oft seen in coop cannot. Aspects of this can be practiced and applied to coop as well. The key thing here is simply to know your troops and have an understanding of how hard you can push them before you start to run into issues.

      I'll stop here, at the risk of rambling on a bit more. Good to see you making these sorts of posts, E-Male - they have the potential to be some of the most constructive tactical discussions to come from the forums in awhile. Very nice to see this sort of discussion happening again.


      • #4
        Re: Promoting Coordination Between Squads

        Thanks for the feedback. Let me clarify. I seek to move towards more use of the squads in closely coordinated ops as part of a platoon -- not to micro-manage each squad as if they were my own fireteams (I know this is not what you implied).

        As Dyslexci notes above, this requires flexibility and initiatve at the SL level.

        We have a evolving TS VON comms SOP and a pool of able SLs, so there are no serious structural or logistical impediments for doing so.

        Dsylexci rightly notes the complexity of various considerations for implimenting battle plans (which are indeed little more than fast changing guides) and leading men in battle.

        His point about "overtasking a unit based on using tactics intended for larger formations" is well taken. Nonetheless, given two squads or 6 or more men in a platoon, I think we would then have minimum conditions for close tactical coordination between two squads against a common target (just to clarify).

        What we gain in force ratio against the enemy we also loose in comm complexity (initiative not withstanding), but this is less an insurmountable problem than it is a welcome challenge to SOP use and discipline.

        I'll continue to explore and impliment a higher level of coordination between squads against common targets and assess the outcome in these forms.

        Comments are still welcome on this issue.


        • #5
          Re: Promoting Coordination Between Squads

          Glad to hear your enthusiasm Emale... I try to do this in PR whenever possible as well, getting multiple squads to work together to use mutual tactics to advance and clear objectives.

          I agree, whenever you have 2 squads fielded, the opportunity comes up to use these 2 squads in unison, these opportunities should be used to work with each other and get used to the idea of 2 squads working towards one common goal, all within reasonable distance of each other, and staying in comms with each other.

          I much prefer this route to, well, squad 1 comms in from the north, and then squad 2 comms in from the east, and lets hope they both dont get destroyed...


          • #6
            Re: Promoting Coordination Between Squads

            On our illfated attack on the Coarzol HQ I wrongly decided to split the squads with one heading north the other advancing along the coast ,this proved costly,if this kind of tatic is going to work you need more players and to sycronise your attacks perfectly.





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