Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Commanding tip's+ more.

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Commanding tip's+ more.

    I've noticed a lot of people recently voicing their inhibitions about commanding, how it can be quite a daunting task especially in a public server where everyone might not be on the same page, and how new CO's just aren't sure what to do. My hope is to get a thread going where people can discuss some of the generalities with commanding that can eventually be compiled into a type of resource that people can read and gain some insight into commanding so more people are willing to jump into the role, as a smart commander can really help a team, just like a bad commander can seriously hurt a team. This resource might also be helpfull to SL's to gain some insight into what a CO has to do, what he can do and what they should be expected to do during the course of a map. What I would like to do is compile some insights from both experienced and inexperienced CO's to give some tips about "what to do" in both a general and specific sense. Due to the nature of this game obviously every situation that might arise for a commander to deal with in-game cannot be covered in specific's, but hopefully this eventual resource might better prepare people to face the ever-changing battles as a CO and not be overwhelmed with the responsibility's that entail playing a CO. Please feel free to criticize my opinions stated in this post and also add your own. I have 4 daughters so my skin is as thick as steel and I certainly do not pretend to know everything. (except to said daughters) The idea here is to help people be solid CO's, nothing more or less. I will post this in sections to better allow for time for people to comment on the different area's of responsibility CO's have and how to best accomplish them, and eventually once we have more of a finished product compile all the various threads into 1 finished product to chew over.

    Onto my thought's..

    For a new commander, my personal suggestion would be to "take the chair" before the map begins, and always CO on a map you are very familiar with as just a normal player or SL so there are very few surprises in store for you. You will have a lot of work ahead of you, and the more time you have to prepare before the actual action begins the better. You will be the "commanding general", "supply officer" and "mission coordinator" at various times during the map, and you will need to seemlessly shift from one role to another whenever it is required.

    Ok, you were finally accepted as CO of your team, Yay!, now it's time to get to work. Open up the squad interface (capslock by default) and check out how many suckers, I mean squads will be relying on you for intel, support and logistic's during this map. See if these squads have set "move to" point's. It isn't a huge deal if they haven't before the map begin's, some squads will take more time to get organized then others, and some SL's might not have their act together 100%. This isn't a problem at the moment, but it can be if you let it continue. Now check out the actual map you are playing, what flag's can be capped initially? What flags need to be defended initially? Is there important terrain features you really need to hold? Bridges that need to be blown or defended? All these things have to be taken into account before you can make any kind of plan to help your team win the round.

    Making the plan: Ok, your squads are forming up, and you know what your initial objectives will be. The next question you have to ask yourself is "how are we going to accomplish these objective's"? Well my friend, you are going to need some type of plan. There are good plans and bad plans, there are smart plans and there are stupid plans, there are NO right plans and wrong plans. (exception: if you order your team to form a circle on the carrier and sing folk songs, that plan is just wrong on many level's) :) The best your team can do is to try and execute your plan. The other team will have the ultimate say as to whether your plan was good or bad. I do not remember whom to attribute the quote to I am about to paraphrase, but this quote explains commanding in a nutshell. "No army can survive contact with the enemy without a battle-plan, but also remember no battle-plan survives first contact with the enemy." I tend to let the SL's themselves set out initial "move to" marker's, I only adjust their orders if I see to many squads moving to the same area. Squads that don't have movement orders from the SL's I give orders to so as to fill in gaps in my general plan that I don't have squads already moving to.

    Communicate: Let your SL's in on the general idea(s) of your plan. If you want squad 1 to take up positions on a hill to give cover and a fallback position to another squad who will assault a flag, make sure they know that! I can almost guarantee they will be better able to complete "their mission" if they know what mission you want them doing. If you assign squads 4 and 5 to defend a flag, do you really want 12 guys sitting in 1 flag radius? Send a squad to patrol an area near the flag and actively hunt down enemies/RP's/asset's but LET THEM KNOW IN ADVANCE not to stray to far from the radius, as you might need them to fall back if the enemy makes a push.

    I will stop at this point to allow for feedback and comment's. I am looking for any helpful tips for the "early game" to pass along to new CO's, both do's and dont's. By early game I mean "up to first contact with the enemy". Plans will change as the game progresses, but the general aspects I have outlined so far in my humble opinion are things you will do every single game you command from the beginning. Down the road I want to take a crack at the "mid game", after first contact and how you might want to adjust your plan based on tickets, map situation, assets available to both you and the enemy and so forth but for right now lets focus on the early aspect's of the game and how we can better educate new commanders to simplify things to make them easier.

  • #2
    Re: Commanding tip's+ more.

    YAY! I'm glad someone decided to start this up. I have been wanting some nitty gritty on being CO and so far this thread delivers.

    I hope others will pass along their wisdom for me and others to take full advantage of.

    Romans 3:23

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Commanding tip's+ more.

      +rep for a great start to the thread.

      Do tell your SLs what you want them to do.
      Don't macro-mange HOW they do it. Primarily the CO should handle stratagy and the SL should handle tactics.

      Do have an overall plan for the map.
      Don't bog your SLs down with every last detail. Just have their next orders ready and where appropriate, give them warning of those orders.

      Do talk to your SLs. They know more about the tactical situation than you do because they're doing the fighting and you're staying back to command.
      Don't talk AT your SLs.
      BFCL TF2 league admin

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Commanding tip's+ more.

        One thing I didn't touch on and would like to but am unsure how to properly put it would be tickets and the maps themselves. To many times I see squads rushing out to cap points in a close game coming down to the wire that wont give them the "bleed" and therefore actually set's up a situation where taking a flag can be determental to the ultimate goal of finishing the map with more tickets remaining then the other team. Then there are map's where nothing matters except rushing to and securing certain flags as quickly as you possibly can just like there are maps where patience is your best ally. (sometimes you encounter both situations at different times during the same map as commander!) There is a delicate balance between offense and defense that is tough to define other then with experience. Sometimes "balls to the wall" offense is the only answer, sometimes you need to dig in and defend when your enemy has map control and your instincts tell you to push out.

        95/100 times you loose on a map is because

        a) You didn't "waste" tickets when you should have to make sure a bleed get's stopped as quickly as possible or a bad strategical situation is addressed quickly.

        b) you waste so many tickets going after a flag you didnt need to push hard for that you create a situation where you put your team under such a large ticket deficit that your only chance for winning is to "cap out". (I'm skipping choice C where your teammates are idiots)

        I'll use Sunset city as an example of both A and B when CO'ing as US:

        A) The most important thing to convey to your squads initially is to spawn as far foward as possible and rush the temple/lower city flags. Your best chance to cap them and allow your side to gain initative is to do it as quickly as possible once the map begin's. Remember, the Chinese cannot cap these flag's right away, only the American's can.

        B) Don't waste 50 tickets in a close game trying to cap the River flag when the score is 125-122. Form a perimeter, defend your gain's, let the enemy come into your kill zones and wait for the ticket advantage to be more in your favor, say 105-75 before you push in.


        How do you incorporate tips of this nature into a guide without forcing yourself to almost give out tips for every map and chance risking getting to in-depth and loosing the people you are trying to reach the most with a guide?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Commanding tip's+ more.

          Great stuff Morganan!

          Originally posted by Morganan View Post
          How do you incorporate tips of this nature into a guide without forcing yourself to almost give out tips for every map and chance risking getting to in-depth and loosing the people you are trying to reach the most with a guide?
          There's an entire forum dedicated to this stuff! If you have some ideas, make a new thread for each map!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Commanding tip's+ more.

            <<<<------ Noobish CO here with a bonified question. When giving direction to a singular squad it is simple, click squad and tell them to "move here." Can you give a general "attack" or "destroy" command to all squads at once?

            I know I was the only squad seeing commands from a CO the other night and it got to be REALLY irritating with arrows and pointers popping up all over the map and it seemed that no matter how much I told the CO it just wasnt getting through to them. I got so many commands in a one minute time frame I was "put on hold" for a minute or two because, apparently, I was spamming the server with all the move orders I responded to. This is really a general question intended to be a part of the pointers for other noobs such as myself except for the "global" command part - that part is all mine ;)
            sigpic
            Don't let the bastards grind you down!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Commanding tip's+ more.

              When giving commands to squads, the command is given to ALL SELECTED squads. So you can highlight multiple squads and give them the same order.
              |TG-12th| asch
              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                Field reports from a noob CO

                This is a great thread for me since I have really enjoyed commanding whenever I can since playing on TG. Truth is its not something I have much experience in and tend to shy away from in games before PRMM but I like the challenge. One of the exceptional features of the mod is how dependent the CO and his SL must be on another to win. I am surprised how many times I have looked at the squad list and seen the the top slot open in a game where one team is getting spanked. I will never pretend to have 1337 skills on the ground so if I can help my team by grabbing the steer by horns then I will always give it a shot. I figure its worth trying until people complain. Luckily it hasn't happened yet.

                -So here are some off-the-cuff thoughts from a noob CO-


                Comms: IOOB_583 brought up the first and perhaps the biggest hurdle I faced. Namely learning how to navigate the comm browser and use the radio. It takes time to learn. Patience all around is golden.

                V is def key for commander to address all squads; I use it whenever I am relaying or responding to enemy positions or don't have time to use squad selection buttons.

                Tip: Press SHIFT and then left click squads to select more than one squad to issue orders to or talk to over radio

                B is the default key to address individual or selected squads; I think its important to manage different squads individually as some teams will have more experienced players or an aggressive attitude which suits it self for certain forward positions over a less mobile fractured squad with less experienced players who are better off holding a position or supporting an attack;

                Squad Leaders: The good ones out there are the best asset you have, period. Those guys rock and they know it so I pay attention to ones who know their stuff. I have learned more about this game by listening to good squad leaders than by playing it for months on end. Patient SLs make my job easy. They wait until the channel is quiet, report with the squad number and current location and then tell me what the sitrep is or what assets they need. The best guys mark targets on the map as well. Squad leaders really make the mod happen so the CO needs to respect them and give them the tools to win. Things happen fast and I cant always explain whats going on and I just need it done immediately because there is another fire here to put out. Be cool! I try to explain what and why I may be trying to do when giving orders but there isn't always time so they need to trust you. This is why the mutual respect is important. If a good SL tells me why he cant or wont execute orders I rethink my plan. If I don't listen and trust his judgement I may not get quick responses and things shift so quickly this is fatal. Its a two way street but theres a fine between you and them so make your decisions and give orders without a debate but I believe the best tools a CO has are his ears.

                Assets: My job is to make sure the people on the ground have what they need so I try to think ahead. If Squad1 is holding a good position while squad 2 is advancing and squad three is taking fire I will ask the Squad 1 leader to call in a supply drop at squad 2s anticipated forward position. This is critical for squads with heavy tank kits. In the future I would hope we can mange who has these kits because in the right hands at the right spot this is a deal breaker but if there isnt ammo when you need it you are SOL. Think ahead. No one ever calls for vehicles but that will likely change in the future.

                Arty: This is the biggest hammer in the box but I still have a hard time getting good calls. Last few games I have tried to use smaller squads just as spotting teams and it has helped when you have a few guys who can move fast, stay low and spot targets without engaging. These teams can do other things but its all about willingness. When I command I try to see who wants to do what then give them orders where they may be most effiecent. If a squad isnt getting a certain job done I try to find something else until it clicks (if it clicks, if not Larry, Moe and Curly can always defend a bridge and stillbe useful)

                Armor: I love tanks. I really do. I also know tanks love having me looking out for them. This relates to spotters. Enemy armor locations is imperative. If you see a tank and you arent firing your weapon just spot it please. You may be helping your team win. Telling me a tank is near a rock by the dam is useless. Even calling map grid locations is too slow in most cases. Make good calls though as a bad one may cause friendly fire.

                Air: Freaking angels aren't they? Well until you get on the bad side of a hellfire missle. There are cowboy sky jockies and the cool pros. I played with a air team the other day and the SL basically taught me his protocol for selective engagement and it was brilliant. And by brilliant I mean many enemy tanks were being lit up as he ducked in and got out without taking fire. Unless we had a confirmed target and an order to engage he waited. This kind of controlled response spurned another idea for me. Knowing when NOT to attack. If you can set up a chokepoint or flag grouping and engaging targets on your terms is amazingly effective when well executed. Obviously this is a resource that can be used in a number of ways. On a map like Steel Thunder the hills and trees make finding and tracking armor difficult so I tried to use the helo as recon for specific orders to advance. The guys below knew what to expect and they knew air was close by waiting. Obviously that level of combined arms is capturing a genie in a bottle for more modern military forces so I dont expect to see that often but when it works its awesome.

                Maps/markers- This just takes time and practice. If there are some better shortcuts to get in and out the map I want to hear em. I have a warrior pad usb keyboard that gives me a few more keys close at hand and I am trying to use this more than the mouse. Keeping up with the current squad locations in relation to order markers and spotted enemy targets is hard for me. This is where experience as a foot soldiers pays dividends. Don't use a 2D map to guide your men to victory. Knowing the terrain intimately is critical. Put the blast shield down Luke!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Commanding tip's+ more.

                  mmm keep them coming..

                  /absorb

                  Romans 3:23

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Commanding tip's+ more.

                    These may not work for everyone, but these are rules I, personally try to adhere too when I'm commanding, in this order.

                    1. Perform a verbal comm check. Rationale: Verbal communication is much quicker, informative, and actionable than typing out an order or asset availability (e.g. arty), or simply delivering an order ingame (e.g. attack here)

                    2. Remember that you are the Squad leaders SL. Rationale: Just like a SL to his/her squad you aren't doing your SM's any good if you are dead. Self preservation is of pinnacle importance. Granted no one is spawning off of you, or relying on you for RP's (at least not until .6), but you can't confirm arty, supplies or vehicle drops, spot opfor RP's, opfor movement, or deliver orders via the command screen until you respawn. When you do die as CO additional time must be devoted to regaining Situational Awareness, which delays strategic assesment of your command options, and your unit(s) capabilities, survivability, position, and composition. Moral of the story, stay alive, and off the front lines Patton!!

                    3. Remember your primary responsibility is coordinating 31 other people via their SL's to accomplish one objective...winning the round. All that you NEED to do this at the basest level is the ability to communicate and an attention span greater than that of a gnat. Do not preoccupy yourself with using the command interface if it hinders your ability to keep your SL's on the same page, effective communication to and from them is a higher priority than being able to place snappy markers. More on this later.

                    4. Be consistant with verbal commands. You don't have to use perfect mil-speak to deliver information, furthermore, you may have 4 SL's that understand you perfectly, and a 5th that thinks you are speaking a different language. The 4 are more likely to understand you catering to squad 5, than squad 5 is to instantaneously begin understanding what you are saying to the other 4. Example: Squad 1, Defend sector E2. Sounds simple...next order, Squad 1 Hold sector E2...ok?! does this mean stay here until ordered otherwise, or is this the same as defend? If you want a squad to defend and stave off an enemy advance and then prepare to move on, tell them to defend, if you want a squad to hold up until you determine what to do with them, tell them to hold, and standby until you've determined how best to use them. If you reissue 4 orders to a squad inside a minute, you'll find that SL's will tend to disregard your orders simply because it has become more difficult to remain in coordination than it is to operate independantly.

                    This may seem really nit-picky, but remember as commander, you potentially have 9 squad leaders that may be trying to communicate not only with you, but also with other squads, through you, thus you are the bottleneck. Be as clear and consice as possible at all times.

                    5. Learn to use the commanders interface. This is easier said than done since seeing proper implementation of your command capability requires a team to test it on. This being the case, if the command interface is more of a burdeon than it is a benefit, don't fight with it, work with what you've got. Remember your handicap is your teams handicap.

                    6. Always be mindful that your job as CO is to plan, adapt, relate, and communicate, not to lead a charge. Your squads do the fighting.

                    A couple of pointers here;
                    * Don't force a bad position. If you plan is falling flat, adapt, don't continue to use the same non-functional strategy, not only is this irritating and counterproductive, it also happens to be really UNFUN, and will contribute to insubordination.
                    * If you don't know what to do, don't panic. Give a general order to hold, and request suggestions from your SL's. They have more focused Situational Awareness of thier own scenario than you, don't be afraid to request a course of action if you are unsure of a productive path to follow. Pausing to regroup your forces is NOT an unproductive move, waiting for your entire team to respawn is. Be a big enough person to ask for help, if you can't, you should probably resign and hand the reigns to a more mature individual. If all else fails, just follow HQ orders.
                    * You will almost always have squads that can't, won't, or don't follow orders. Don't waste time berating them or clogging your comms trying to coax them onto the same page. If a squad leader refuses your order, and you rebuke them, the SM's won't have anyway of knowing, (unless the SL tells them), what they were doing wrong. Regardless of the reason, if a squad doesn't comply with your commands, simply reduce thier priority within your game plan.
                    * Commend success!! Within the command menu, you have the ability to select squads and right click on them for a submenu of verbal statements, one of which is the "Commend Squad". If you have a responsive squad that completes the task assigned, don't be bashful about commending them. You could simply hollar, 'nice job squad X' over comms, but only the SL(s) hear that, the commend squad function is broadcast to all SM's as well. Positive reinforcement, not only bolsters morale, (and yes that does play a part), it also facilitates focused attention, as well as illiciting a sense of achievement.
                    * If you have one or more of these responsive squads, put them in the lead, utilize other squads to support your more responsive units. This allows you CO to utilize more basic strategy, and more basic tactics, while applying your unique capabilities (e.g. overhead view) to make those repsonsive units, and their support forces, even more effective, and survivable.

                    Thats all I have time to type up now. Hope it helps some of you folks out.

                    TY that is all.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Commanding tip's+ more.

                      When I CO I often treat it like a RTS game, like Age of Empires. I was actually playing AoE last night for awhile and the similarities really came to mind. You have pre-formed groups of units that you can direct around, supply routes you need to keep clear, etc. Squads can be assigned to attack, or hold a position, or even patrol an area at your command. Sometimes individuals need to be reigned in but that is generally the SL's job.

                      When assigning orders, I've never selected multiple groups. If I want multiple groups at the same location, I'll send one on the location and another to the perimeter. You can mark specific targets for a squad (like a rallypoint you picked out on the zoom) and tell them to hit that mark without giving up their primary location. Or tell them where to focus their attention when enemies are coming in.

                      I often talk to all groups at the same time, explaining the overall plan, or to announce when supplies or artillery are available, or when they're being dropped. All squadleaders should be informed of this, so they know how long before they can spot their own targets. This was of great benefit tonight on EJOD.

                      Always take into consideration your squadleader intelligence. They know more about the terrain and the immediate threats than you can determine. Let your squads know what adjacent squads are doing so they can work together. You can either talk to individual squads to give them orders or you can talk to all squads, but make sure you point out the individual squad name/number so they know who you're talking to. This really helps the other squads know what's going on around them and what to expect.

                      I do tend to commend or thank my squads or the entire team in general, pointing out specific maneuvers or missions they accomplish. It really does make everyone feel like a team and that they're doing their job right.
                      |TG-6th|Belhade
                      "I am actually looking forward to watching Jon and Kate plus 8." - Dirtboy




                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Commanding tip's+ more.

                        Great discussion, some great tips!

                        just a headsup for v0.6: vanilla arty will play very little role for commanders. Only 2 maps (EJOD Desert and Hills of Hamgyong) will have vanilla arty in them.

                        Eventually we wish to have player controlled artillery, but we find the vanilla arty unacceptable because we cannot edit the reload time or duration of barrage.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Commanding tip's+ more.

                          Originally posted by Belhade View Post
                          This was of great benefit tonight on EJOD.
                          Excellent job that round, BTW. I think we MEC took West City only once, and that was for a very short time. Otherwise the fight was around Gardens, and eventually we had to do an organized retreat north with arty falling to keep it from becoming a rout.

                          I genuinely felt "outplayed" the entire round, but we were cautious enough at the end to pull out a 2-0 win.

                          Very exciting round, and well played by both teams.

                          /end hijack.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Commanding tip's+ more.

                            Originally posted by fuzzhead View Post
                            Great discussion, some great tips!

                            just a headsup for v0.6: vanilla arty will play very little role for commanders. Only 2 maps (EJOD Desert and Hills of Hamgyong) will have vanilla arty in them.

                            Eventually we wish to have player controlled artillery, but we find the vanilla arty unacceptable because we cannot edit the reload time or duration of barrage.
                            NO!!!!!!!!!!!! There is nothing better than dropping arty on and entire squad huddled around one single rock or arty'ing a APC or RP with troops all around it. That is probably the only joy I get when I command.

                            Originally posted by Coridon View Post
                            Excellent job that round, BTW. I think we MEC took West City only once, and that was for a very short time. Otherwise the fight was around Gardens, and eventually we had to do an organized retreat north with arty falling to keep it from becoming a rout.

                            I genuinely felt "outplayed" the entire round, but we were cautious enough at the end to pull out a 2-0 win.

                            Very exciting round, and well played by both teams.

                            /end hijack.
                            Damn that was fun...I have to give special props for EVERYONE that was in that game...if you guys didnt know, I was the MEC commander:icon26:

                            Someone make a AAR quick:)
                            "Dirtboy is super awesome, and chicks dig him too!"- Everyone



                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Commanding tip's+ more.

                              Loving this thread! Much good info!

                              Keep it coming guys, Hopefully it'll help put more people in the CO's chair.
                              7Shades

                              How sweet, thought lifeless, yet with life to lie,
                              And, without dying, O how sweet to die!
                              - from Thomas Warton's "Ode to Sleep"

                              Comment

                              Connect

                              Collapse

                              TeamSpeak 3 Server

                              Collapse

                              Advertisement

                              Collapse

                              Twitter Feed

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X