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Ambushes and the Art of Frustration

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  • Ambushes and the Art of Frustration

    Hello all. I wanted to take a moment to talk about one of my favorite things in PR... the ambush.

    We've all seen threads about what is too close to main, and things people consider to be "cheap tactics". The purpose of this thread is to start a discussion about unconventional tactics that have been successfully used to irritate and harass the enemy, and the fundamental aspects of a good ambush squad. I'm not looking for "sweet spots" so much as tactics used to confuse and slow the enemy.

    There are several things to consider when creating an ambush, and I hope this thread will help outline pros and cons of allocating resources to the specific task of interrupting enemy operations. Obviously these are all my opinion and open for debate, and I hope that debate will help people who want to try similar tactics.

    Many people complain when they see a squad off on it's own "in the middle of nowhere" because they do not see an advantage for the team. Sometimes the complaints are warranted. Sometimes they are not.

    So for starters lets define success:

    Successful harassment of the enemy involves slowing or stopping their ability to complete operations in particular areas.

    The most basic example of this would be camping a choke point for enemy vehicles (Launch Facility anyone?) and keeping supply lines closed or hindered. Shutting down the easiest and fastest route the enemy has available will attract a lot of attention, and if you do your job right will cause a lot of headaches for the enemy.

    This is also what I consider to be the first step in a successful ambush squad: Picking your locations. Notice I said locations, and not location. Staying in one place too long is a bad idea for several reasons. Most importantly, they know where you are. That makes you a big target, and as we all know that is a bad thing right?

    In conventional warfare we talk about speed and stealth a lot, but in an ambush squad sometimes you WANT the attention. In the above example at Launch Facility, dropping a ton of mines and blowing up anything that comes your way is a great way to get that attention. Once you have it, quietly move to an alternate spot... leaving behind your mines and a bunch of enemies trying to locate you. This not only slows down their support, but it ties up a squad or two while they try to clear out someone who is already gone. I have seen two and three squads respond to an ambush location to clear out offenders. This means that your one squad with 4 to 6 people has tied up half of the enemy team who are now on a manhunt to find you. If you haven't moved yet, now is the time. If they never find you, then all the more time spent searching.

    Stealth is still important, and sometimes letting a target that doesn't know you're there go is better than giving up your location before you are ready. So we come to the next step in an ambush: Preparation

    You've picked your spot. You have your trained killers and they have their engineer kits and rpgs. You arrive at the location, drop your ammo, and ... Oh no a logi truck is coming through! Before you fire that RPG, think about how prepared your ambush is. Do you have your mines and IED/C4 in place? If you brought a vehicle for fire support, is he in a prime position to assist? Sometimes you can get away will killing one or two trucks/infantry before they rate you as a real threat. Sometimes the timer starts as soon as you get that first kill. Either way, make sure you are prepared for contacts before you engage enemies that would otherwise drive right by and never know you were there, because once you start the party sometimes it can get out of control in a hurry.

    The third, and probably what I consider the most important step occurs after you are in place and ambushing. The SL of an ambush squad MUST be aware of what is happening with the team as well as what is happening at the ambush. If your team is in trouble, you have to be prepared to leave your ambush site to assist. Also, sometimes the site you pick might not see a lot of traffic. It's a good thing you have several locations to ambush from, time to move over to one of the other ones and see how your luck goes.

    The last thing you want as an ambush squad is to be a problem for your own team. Taking a HAT kit, for example... is not recommended if you are planning on operating from deep within enemy territory because it denies a HAT kit for the conventional squads that might really need it. There are exceptions to every rule of course, but always be aware of what your team needs and make sure you are not denying them that resource (sometimes this can simply be bodies to help cap a flag, and not necessarily a specific kit or asset).

    So...

    Pick your locations
    Prepare before you engage
    Be aware of your squad and your teams needs, and be ready to move when it becomes necessary

    If you do your job right, people on the other team will hate you and people on your team probably won't even know you're doing anything... but they will wonder why there are so few enemy in the way of their operations.

    So in closing...

    I'm hoping to see some discussion on anything from tactics used (successful and unsuccessful), locations (if we can get anyone to share), and any interpretations or additions to the above comments on drawing attention to yourself to divert attention from friendly operations and/or harass enemy supply routes and assets.

    What I'm hoping NOT to see is discussion on what is too close to main, how things are a valid tactic but "cheap", or any posts related to kittens or politics. Let the political kitten pics commence!

  • #2
    Re: Ambushes and the Art of Frustration

    Agreed about the HAT part, I've had rounds where both HATs were out ambushing while their vehicles were already in the field killing. Other than that I don't have much to say just because I don't find ambushing fun for my type of game play but it is nice to have a good ambush squad on your team.
    |TG-69th|chrisweb89


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    • #3
      Re: Ambushes and the Art of Frustration

      Good post. Its good that you point out the piece on having situational awareness about your squads actions, and the needs of the team. Ambushing isn't worth a damn if your team's last flag is about to get capped.

      I'd say personally I don't do a lot of ambushing on AAS maps. I think the prime reason is that there are so many people running Assets generally every inf body that can be scrapped up should be on lines, not behind them. But i suppose this is another topic.

      Ambushes are what make INS maps so fun. The waiting part can be very tough. But if you got 4 IEDs hidden nicely, and that full APC rolls by, or a couple Humvees trying to be all they can be and then BOOOOM! Oh i love that feeling. It makes your entire gaming session, that one awesome moment.
      Q: How many members of Congress does it take to change a light bulb?
      A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are delusional spin from the liberal media. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effort. Why do you hate freedom?!?

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      • #4
        Re: Ambushes and the Art of Frustration

        Originally posted by ThirdSin View Post
        I'd say personally I don't do a lot of ambushing on AAS maps. I think the prime reason is that there are so many people running Assets generally every inf body that can be scrapped up should be on lines, not behind them. But i suppose this is another topic.

        Ambushes are what make INS maps so fun. The waiting part can be very tough. But if you got 4 IEDs hidden nicely, and that full APC rolls by, or a couple Humvees trying to be all they can be and then BOOOOM! Oh i love that feeling. It makes your entire gaming session, that one awesome moment.
        I agree, a lot of times the infantry is needed elsewhere. I try to keep it to 4 or 5 guys, normally involving something like a BTR, engineer, and rpg. The BTR gives some extra firepower and protection from inf if it hits the fan, plus you can drop ammo for the other two. Now that we can't get kits off of BTRs (not sure if this is a bug or what) it makes it a bit tougher to get everything you would want out of 4 or 5 guys though.

        We used to be able to get an officer kit and leave the BTR parked with gunner while the officer could provide intel via map markers, support the engi/rpg, drop a rally if someone needed it, and then switch back to driver/crewman when it was time to move. That meant 3 or 4 guys and you could even have a medic. Now it's pretty much 6 if you want a medic and a crew for a vehicle.

        I do think the BMP is the ultimate ambush machine though, it's prepared for anything and you have bow guns for the engi and the rpg. Kits and ammo abound! It's a little slow on the takeoff, but if you're ambushing you should be able to hear anything that might be a threat before it gets too close.

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        • #5
          Re: Ambushes and the Art of Frustration

          Hiter Cat approves this post.

          "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea."
          -Antoine De Saint-Exupery

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          • #6
            Re: Ambushes and the Art of Frustration

            You forgot the most important rule! Patience. Patience is the difference between a lot of wrecks on a road and 4 bodies in a bush.

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            • #7
              Re: Ambushes and the Art of Frustration

              Great read Alpha, I always love rocking out with your ambush squads, lots of tension and fun. Cutting off enemy reinforcement is a key component to any strategy, and one that we don't see implemented much in game. It allows whatever element that takes an objective some breathing room to begin their next action. How many times have you been in an assault squad that painstakingly takes an objective, only as your medic is taking care of the casualties, a few enemy rush in from a far-off place to finish you off?
              Stay together, communicate, don't give up.

              sigpic

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              • #8
                Re: Ambushes and the Art of Frustration

                Great post. I would add that in preparing your ambush, try to set up a kill box such that your squad is fanned out and can put fire on the target from multiple directions. I especially love to have a few rifleman open up on a target, distracting the enemy while an RPG or auto rifle pops up from behind and lays waste to the vehicle and or infantry squad.

                And timing is everything. Make sure everybody is ready to pull the trigger at the same time. Don't be the guy that opens fire before being given the order to do so. You might just get everybody killed.

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                • #9
                  Re: Ambushes and the Art of Frustration

                  Wonderful post. Ambushes are quite the thing that makes my blood boil with pleasure. And also rage.

                  I love an ambush on maps where its a good distance from any main, not too onesided due to terrain; Kolzelsk Russian ambushes are just too much rape, and make me despise that map, Fools Road is also bad but somewhat balanced when the Brits have heavy armor [why I hate 16 layer]. The good maps for ambushes are Lashkar, Wanda Shan, Kashan (Oh how the BRDM rapes the sky), Beruit, Muttrah, Barracuda (though borderline, but I take it to be a forced gameplay element for USMC team), Ramiel, Iron Eagle, and Al Basrah.

                  I really think that Taliban ambushes are what need to be looked into. Lashkar is the only real example of it, but, a mobile ambush team can utilize the HO/SPG-9 combo to devestating effect given a little bit of prediction power and some RKG-3.

                  Beyond that Conventional Armies have varying levels of ambush ability, BRDM/VN3 ambushes can be wonderous on, Kashan, Yamalia and Wanda Shan. In my opinion US Military has a problem with ambushes due to the nature of their rifle (burst, single) and vehicles (Humvee is not a BRDM, Crows might be but has little carrying room).

                  ------

                  The art of frustration is also something that might or might not be good for TG. During PUBs it can lead to rage quitting en masse, which is unbecoming of them, but also detrimental to the long term dynamics of the server. I personally think more people need to suck it up and play through the frustrating bits, but it might be a tall order for some who have little time to play, so I just ask that on certain choke point heavy maps (really only Kolzelsk) ambushes not be done every round.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Ambushes and the Art of Frustration

                    Kozelsk actually has many routes out for the rebels, its on the way back that they run into trouble.
                    |TG-12th| Namebot

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                    • #11
                      Re: Ambushes and the Art of Frustration

                      Originally posted by Namebot View Post
                      Kozelsk actually has many routes out for the rebels, its on the way back that they run into trouble.
                      And that is the issue. When Logistics trucks are worth a lot, tanks don't respawn, BRDMS can spontaneously rearm, etc etc it sucks that the only way back is some hard to defend piece of road that is easily rushed by the BTRs of the Russians.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Ambushes and the Art of Frustration

                        Originally posted by Ytman View Post
                        And that is the issue. When Logistics trucks are worth a lot, tanks don't respawn, BRDMS can spontaneously rearm, etc etc it sucks that the only way back is some hard to defend piece of road that is easily rushed by the BTRs of the Russians.
                        There's another way back, but it's very out of the way and takes a while... and it's bumpy, causing flippage issues. But really that's the point... if you don't want to go all the way around to the west then you have to deal with that ambush. This pulls troops away from defending that first flag, which is normally a real pain for the Russians (for whatever reason). Now that there's a bleed on at the beginning, even more reason to try and de-centralize the militia.

                        Just my opinion, but you are right... Kozelsk is the one map where there is a single "road-route" chokepoint (that I know of).

                        My opinion: We see that ambush a lot because it is highly effective, easier to implement. If it was as easy to shut down traffic on other maps I think we'd see it a lot more there too. On Qwai, the land bridge as far as I know is the only river crossing point once the bridges are blown. This could be (and I have seen it done, but not as often as Kozelsk) a great ambush/harrassment area but it is normally a full blown defensive entrenchment. The map layout has a lot to do with how effective this can be, but only because the team insists on trying to move across the river if they only have one extra flag on their side. And this is pretty specific to the US as the Chinese APCs can cross anywhere that they don't get shot.

                        I haven't played .95 versions enough to know if the above is still true. The deployable bridge system is really cool, but unfortunately it is very predictable because there seem to be only certain points where you can deploy them to cross small rivers, and rivers like Qwai are beyond their ability as far as I know. (Please correct me if I'm wrong)

                        There are also other maps where there are plenty of routes out of the main because almost everything is amphibious, but when it comes to logistics you have an issue if the bridges are being harassed. I think that we have ignored the tactic of denying the enemy logistical support, and because of that we really take for granted the ability to just drive a logistics truck up to the newly capped flag and take crates in for a FOB.

                        On any map... no matter which one... if you take away that ability then you are seriously hindering the other team. It's just that some maps make it easier than others.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Ambushes and the Art of Frustration

                          There is at least 1 spot on Qwai you can build a bridge. It requires 2 bridges to make it. Its by the southern connector, by the fishing village.
                          Q: How many members of Congress does it take to change a light bulb?
                          A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are delusional spin from the liberal media. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effort. Why do you hate freedom?!?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Ambushes and the Art of Frustration

                            Ambushes can work wonders to slow the team, given the correct gamemode, but most of the time when you see an infantery squad out on its own, its really just an infantery squad out of its own. I can really only think of the Vietnam war, where regular Marine units were sent out to wait in Ambush in the jungle.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Ambushes and the Art of Frustration

                              Originally posted by ThirdSin View Post
                              There is at least 1 spot on Qwai you can build a bridge. It requires 2 bridges to make it. Its by the southern connector, by the fishing village.
                              If its the one I'm thinking of, oh god no.

                              It takes probably 7 CSBs and due to terrain issues is only feasible for the US to do it. Even then the CSB is such a risky endeavor and easily circumvented. Its best to have the bridges repaired instead of the lake CSB.

                              But then that brings me to an off topic gripe about CSBs, they cost 2 logistic crates and if you misdelpoy your CSB you've lost everything and then some.

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