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  • Your Ideal Squad Size

    This thread is to discuss just how big is "too big" regarding the number of people under your immediate control.

    As a CO, I don't like managing more than 5 or 6 men: 3 rifle sections, a special weapons section, transport, and force-multiplier. I use command net, and let the appropriate leaders do the rest.

    As a SQL, I hate squads larger than 5 men. One could argue that a 9-man section divided into two fireteams is best, but I find that inter-fireteam communication is unavoidable and irritating. I usually end up managing the entire thing like one big group, and then I have to manage everyone individually.

    At 5 men, we have just enough to squeeze into a humvee, and I have enough firepower to engage an enemy rifle section with enough of a tactical advantage. With 5 men, I can also assign a 2IC to manage the micro details of our unit as I coordinate with command, a luxury I don't get as part of a 4-man fireteam.

    At 5, my entire squad is forced to stick together, which means that I can use direct chat to communicate with them; if we spread out on specific assignments, I can use group chat without fearing that my communication is interrupting someone else, or is being broadcast to people that don't need to hear me. I do not have this assertion as part of a larger section.




    So, mission makers, squad leaders and commanders, sound off. I want to hear how many men you can ideally manage, and how the limitations of ArmA's radio engine may impact your choice. I ask primarily to start a debate, but secondarily because I'm getting the editing itch and can't decide how big my sections will be.

  • #2
    Re: Your Ideal Squad Size

    Personally I prefer the 9-man squad. SL and two 4-man fire teams. I'd say that a lot of time I don't feel like at least Chernarus or ArmA2 offers anything that motivates 13-man teams, and neither does our player numbers on TG. Getting two 9-man squads, Plt. HQ, and either a 3rd rifle squad or a weapons section is usually the numbers we have on the server.

    Also, I'm not sure if TG overall is at a level where a larger-than-9-man-squad is manageable out of player proficiency. As Scope says communication becomes an issue in larger squads, and to keep that down to a minimum it requires that people are on the same page about how to do things, and that there is very little communication per fire team to actually get something done. As it is now I feel that we can achieve such a level making leading larger squads working.

    At the same time I feel like small squads (like the suggested 5-6men) doesn't pack enough of a punch should they suffer some casualty. 1-2 people die and the squad is more or less fighting-ineffective. If a 9-man squad loses 2 men it is still a force to be reckoned with.

    I also believe that the 9-man squad fits in all of the listed vehicles making transportation manageable: LAV-25, Stryker, UH-1, two Humvees.

    And also, with ACE, it makes each squad able to carry a sufficient amount of weapons, without overloading each individual soldier. You get two automatic rifles, at least two grenade launcher attachments, and at least two AT weapons, easily up to 6 AT rounds (be it PG-7 rockets, or disposable AT launchers) without overloading the squad, and with the new really heavy land mines and satchel charges (9kg) even combat engineer squads can carry a sufficient amount of fire power while being able to carry explosives enough for their job.


    It boils down a lot to playing style. A SL that feels like he has to (and subsequently does) micromanage will have A LOT to do with a 9 man squad, and in unsurmountable task with a 13-man squad. However delegating stuff to fire teams, and letting the FTLs sort out the details, making the FTLs LEADERS, and it is a very manageable job. Even for a 13-man squad.

    Basically I like the USMC rifle squad setup, if we just scrap one fire team. With the FTL being a leader and a manager of the fire team, instead of just running at the front end of it and leading by example. A squad easily gets tunnel vision if everyone is fighting, but with the FTL being a manager and instead directing his three men, as well as carrying the M203 for when it's needed, I think we have both a good, TG-suitable, and fun-to-play setup.
    Last edited by Inkompetent; 12-08-2009, 12:18 PM.



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    • #3
      Re: Your Ideal Squad Size

      From a comms standpoint, I like to see squads with max 5-6 people. If there is less than 30 people in the map, I think the FTL's are worth giving the extra command chat channel. When you have 2 fireteams in the same squad comm its a pain for squad level comms. Direct VON is too poor quality and level control to replace group chat for almost any situation but within 5 feet of the speaker.

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      • #4
        Re: Your Ideal Squad Size

        A USMC-style set-up of SL + 3 x FTs (each of FTL + 3 other players) is very flexible, but to be successful in-game it depends heavily on two factors:

        a) Willingness of the SL to delegate management of players to FTLs (i.e. regard the role of SL as one of managing 3 FTLs, not micro-managing 12 players)
        b) A comms set-up that permits conversations to happen both within each fireteams and within the squad as a whole

        Practically, this means:

        1. Using separate groups for the FTs, which allows Group VON to be used for conversation within the FT
        2. Using a single TS channel for the squad, which allows the SL to converse with FTLs or even address the whole squad
        3. Using TS Channel Commander to link SLs and the PltCo (and other major element leaders)

        Used correctly, this approach is very liberating for the SL, whilst retaining a lot of firepower. It's also very straightforward for the FTLs, as they effectively get their own indirect channel for talking to their team-members. Transport-wise, you can throw this set-up into 3 Humvees.

        @Inkompetent - you make a great point about limited player numbers, but I think the answer is that when a mission is set up with 13-man squads the PltCo can always elect to drop the third FT in each squad. That in itself provides a lot of re-playability.

        @Sc[+]pe - if you enjoy leading 3-4 other players, are you sure you're not gravitating towards FTL rather than SL? Assuming a delegated approach to leadership, the FTL and SL positions are very different challenges.

        FYI: With the addition of a corpsman/medic to the SL's group, F2 supports this squad composition as standard.

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        • #5
          Re: Your Ideal Squad Size

          I like what I am familiar with.

          Breaks down as such:

          Rifle Section
          -Assault Group 1
          --Fireteam Alpha
          ---Section Commander (Section leader, Assault Group 1 leader, Fireteam Alpha leader)
          ---Light machinegunner
          --Fireteam Bravo
          ---Rifleman (Fireteam Bravo leader)
          ---Rifleman
          -Assault Group 2
          --Fireteam Charlie
          ---Section 2ic (Assault Group 2 leader, Fireteam Charlie leader)
          ---Light machinegunner
          --Fireteam Delta
          ---Rifleman (Fireteam Delta leader)
          ---Rifleman


          Whole slew of battle procedure goes along with this organization.

          I like 8 for a section size because it is in the middle, not too many, not too few. You can take some casualties and still absorb the loss, retaining valuable equipment (LMGs, AT weapons, GLs, any Platoon weapons) as you have extra riflemen. However, you don't have too many people, so it is easier to deal with close country, FIBUA, and low visibility.

          I also prefer to see the Section commander involved more directly in the fight (being a commander of an assault group), lead by example and such. Also, quality and willing leadership is somewhat of a rarity, you don't often see a platoon full of good leaders, reduce the number needed by 3 and it becomes more possible.

          To further this discussion, really, you need to talk about the Platoon as a whole too. Squad size directly effects how the Platoon functions. Say you do have squads of 6. Average size of a platoon (in the various armed forces) is between 30-40. You would need 5 squads of 6 in order to get to the low end. That is a lot of comms that would be going across the platoon net. The platoon commander would have to keep track of a lot of people too.

          I have an ulterior motive in pushing the platoon into this discussion by the way ... would be one step closer to getting a definitive TG ORBAT ;)
          Last edited by beita; 12-08-2009, 05:34 PM. Reason: The spaces, they do nothing!

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          • #6
            Re: Your Ideal Squad Size

            I agree with Fer on this one.

            The hungry, ignorant man immediately grasps that he is handed a fish, but is bewildered when handed a net. The man who shivers in the cold thinks happily of the man who invites him to sit by his fire, and somewhat poorly of the man who loans him an axe, flint and steel.

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            • #7
              Re: Your Ideal Squad Size

              10 man squad. Just like ArmA has it. I can split up the members into two teams and then issue movement points to each to coordinate squad movements. But of course we like playing with every hud feature off and a blindfold on our eyes.. sooo.. that won't work out too well.
              Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. - General George S. Patton.

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              • #8
                Re: Your Ideal Squad Size

                I did a little research on basic British Army Sections for some of my first missions, which I think work best if only using in-game VON (and maybe Teamspeak for all section leads).

                I'm trying to remember it off the top of my head, but it's roughly:

                8-man section total. 4-man fireteams, with the section leader heading the first FT, an appointed FTL leading the second 4-man FT.

                It would look something like this...

                Section Lead
                AR
                Asst. AR
                Rifleman

                FTL
                AR
                Asst. AR
                Rifleman

                Everyone is in the same ArmA "group", with the only division being the two fireteams.

                | |

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                • #9
                  Re: Your Ideal Squad Size

                  Taking the British/Canadian model as a starting point, how about combining that with the combined TS/VON approach to comms that I illustrated? For a squad it would be:

                  Group: 1 Sqd FT 1
                  - SL
                  - AR
                  - AAR
                  - Rifleman/AT

                  Group: 1 Sqd FT 2
                  - FTL
                  - AR
                  - AAR
                  - Rifleman/AT

                  Communications would be:
                  - PltCo to SL: TS Channel Commander (exclusively PltCO and all SLs)
                  - Squad-wide comms: TS channel (primarily for SL and FTL to talk, but open)
                  - Fireteam-wide: VON Group (exclusively for FTL to talk with his fireteam)

                  Assuming 3 squads, that provides baseline of 24 players. Add an 8-man fire support section and a 4-man HQ section, and now you have a platoon of 36. For event-type missions that number of slots can easily be increased via CSW or combined arms attachments, or even the addition of another squad to make it a reinforced platoon.

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