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Big squads or little squads?

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  • Big squads or little squads?


    My online gaming group (I hate the word clan) is preparing for a match on wednesday. It will be a 32 player stirke at karkand affair, and at present we have 3 5-man squads with 1 commander. I'm arguing for smaller squads. What do you think? Rather than repeat myself, here's a copy and paste of my gaming group forum post:

    May I ask one question though? What's the rationale for having 5 man squads? I've thought about my squad leader tactics more and I honestly think it would better to have more than 3 squads. Some suggestions on this:

    1. Drop a man from each squad and form a more specialist 3-man squad up. Like anti tank or something - with cover fire and smoke grenades from the other squads 3 anti-tanks in a squad will lbe able to take out any armour before the enemy knows of their existence (hopefully). This would give 3 4-man generalist squads and 1 specialist.

    2. Drop 2 men from the 2 frontline squads, or 2 from 1 and 1 from the other, to form another general squad. This would give a couple of different formations. In the first case - 1 4-man centre assault squad with two 3 man flankers. In the second, two 4 man squads to fill the place of the 5 man squads we have, and a 3 man squad that can be used to reinforce wherever the enemy attacks strongest. In both cases we'd still have the strong 5 man reserve squad.

    3. Re-organise completely into 5 3-man squads. My favourite option since 3-man units seem to be the perfect fighting force in BF2. They can fit in any transport, can dodge arty, are easy to organise and can still bring enough firepower to bear against any target. In particular, it makes concentration of firepower REALLY simple. With a 3 man squad, the leader can get them all to aim at the one place and concentrate on identifying targets in their cone of fire. You cannot do this with a 5 man squad, it is overkill and will cause wastage.

    I'm suggesting this for several reasons. First, it makes it easier for the leaders. Whilst I'm happy with being a leader (my name comes from the fact that next year I'm applying for entry into Duntroon), we're still getting used to BF2 squad tactics. I think it's better to spread the command load around because of this so each squad leader only has to know the wherabouts of 4 people at most. And, as I mentioned in the last paragraph, it means the squad leader does not have to be watching two direcitons at once. They just need to look where their squad is aiming at.

    Second, far more flexbility, esepcially for dealing with splinter cells. We don't want to have to send a 5 man squad off to deal with a 2 man infiltration squad. Splitting a big 5-man squad in two to accomplish this is a poor solution. Not only will the comms be confused, with two sub-units trying to communicate on the same channel, but it will also screw over the main squad, as the sub-unit will need to be the assaults/support/shotgun people, leaving the SL and medic without any good fighting classes left in the squad.

    Third - many transports just aren't big enough for 5 men!!! As the soldiers in Black Hawk Down found out, choosing to run behind APC's is not a good idea.

    As long as our illustrious, highly decorated and incredibly competent commander (here's hoping anyway...), is able to keep the squads on track, I don't see any problems with smaller squads. for example, for 3 man squads, the commander can order Alpha to cover Bravo and vice versa. That seems to be a better solution that getting a big Alpha squad to cover two direcitons, as they won't have the big picture.

  • #2
    Re: Big squads or little squads?

    You could try compromising with a 5-man squad, 4-man, and two 3-man squads. You could use the smaller squads for defending or maybe the bigger squad for defending if you want more security at the flags you hold.

    An extra squad would allow you do roam the map a bit more and go for those flags that are undefended while still attacking/protecting with the other squads.

    - It's who you game with.


    • #3
      Re: Big squads or little squads?

      On a 32 player Karkand, as MEC I would go with a 4 man squad for the bridge area, a 2 man squad to cover the beach to the east, two 4 man squads to cover the south/west areas of the map, and a single spec ops squad to harass the arty/base of the USMC.

      As the USMC, the squad layout would be different and dependent on how the inital push goes.

      3) Support game play in a near-simulation environment. Where the focus of play would not be solely on doing what it takes to win, but doing so utilizing real-world combat strategy and tactics rather than leveraging exploits provided to players by the design of the game engine.


      • #4
        Re: Big squads or little squads?

        I think a mix would be best. Small 3 man squads dedicated to the heavy vehicles and larger squads for infantry. My reasoning is that is that I believe the heavy vehicles (tanks/APCs) are the deciding factor of the map.

        On the USMC side you really need a strong tank push either to break through or draw off enough defenders that you can sneak into the city through other routes. The MEC needs to keep its heavy vehicles mobile and active because they have a large front to defend. Both sides have a good distance to drive their heavy vehicles before they reach the front.

        My theory is that you can back up the tank driver (an engineer) with an AT and another engineer. The tank crew hunts down the enemy tank. When they engage the AT dismounts and gives the tank crew a little extra fire power while the second engineer starts repairing. If they begin to loose they can retreat, repair, and then go for another try. When the enemy tank is killed the AT becomes the driver while both engineers repair any damage. This will get their tank back into the action long before the enemy tank respawns and is driven back to the field. While the enemy tank is down they can hook up with a group of friendly infantry and make a push.

        I just like larger squads for infantry because it utilizes more of the squad leaders potential. With only 3 man squads you'll have to hold back 1/3 of you entire team so that they can be effective spawn points. You'll also be completely reliant on your Commander. He'll tell you where to go but there isn't much room for the squad leader to improvise, he can tell one man to go left and one to go right and then he's out of men.




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