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  • Squad Formations

    I've seen a lot of discussion about using "Real Life" tactical small-unit formations, and I understand their need and use in the real world. However, BF2 is certainly not the real world. Could someone please help me to understand the applicability of these formations in BF2 when it comes to squads? Thanks. :icon14:

  • #2
    Re: Squad Formations

    Originally posted by Strag
    I've seen a lot of discussion about using "Real Life" tactical small-unit formations, and I understand their need and use in the real world. However, BF2 is certainly not the real world. Could someone please help me to understand the applicability of these formations in BF2 when it comes to squads? Thanks. :icon14:
    There is some debate on this.

    The 42nd, for example, drill small unit formations incessantly. It does provide good field of fire coverage, in a pristene, controlled, situation, but on a live server, I have yet to see the relevance.

    It's difficult to hold formation under armor, arty and air strikes.

    But the idea can be modified to work. Fireteams are a godsend, if it's executed properly.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Squad Formations

      All true. But the axiom holds that you generally want to make contact with the smallest element first so that you can develop the situation. Point man concept. Economy of force. Retaining the initiative. Create space for maneuver...call it whatever.

      Arcade, ahhh, whatever.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Squad Formations

        Originally posted by Sabre Six
        All true. But the axiom holds that you generally want to make contact with the smallest element first so that you can develop the situation. Point man concept. Economy of force. Retaining the initiative. Create space for maneuver...call it whatever.

        Arcade, ahhh, whatever.
        True.

        The problem with assaulting (since that is what you have to do in Battlefield) with economy of force is that you often have your point men dead and respawning before the situation can be "developed".

        As your point men respawn, the rest of the fireteam that followed them in are respawning, unless you got lucky with either a poorly executed defence, or some godly twitchers on the rest of your squad....(that have the appropriate kit for the battle, I might add).

        So you are actually, at any given time, assaulting with 3-4 members of the team. What is required then is adaptibilty, and initiative, not formations.

        I'll take 6 guys that can fill multiple roles and can adapt to the developing conflict without losing their cool over 6 guys that can execute a perfect bounding overwatch.

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        • #5
          Re: Squad Formations

          Originally posted by TG_Mateo
          True.

          The problem with assaulting (since that is what you have to do in Battlefield) with economy of force is that you often have your point men dead and respawning before the situation can be "developed".

          As your point men respawn, the rest of the fireteam that followed them in are respawning, unless you got lucky with either a poorly executed defence, or some godly twitchers on the rest of your squad....(that have the appropriate kit for the battle, I might add).

          So you are actually, at any given time, assaulting with 3-4 members of the team. What is required then is adaptibilty, and initiative, not formations.

          I'll take 6 guys that can fill multiple roles and can adapt to the developing conflict without losing their cool over 6 guys that can execute a perfect bounding overwatch.

          No doubt. But the movement formations are traditionally for traveling or movement to contact.

          The formation for assault is on line, move out, draw fire.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Squad Formations

            Originally posted by TG_Mateo
            So you are actually, at any given time, assaulting with 3-4 members of the team. What is required then is adaptibilty, and initiative, not formations.
            I dont agree...

            Adaptibility is a great concept but by just saying it, nothing works ! You have to show how it is going to work.

            For function you need definitions and standards. from very small to large scale. it is combination and proper/timely use of these standards that will give you the adaptibility.

            Adaptibility does not mean to act spontaneously. You will still stick to procedures and rules but make such a great combination and use of them, it will look like a new effective tactic. without knowing those basics, you cannot show it.

            lets get back to formations. they are crucial, period. in real-life and in-game. Formation is not only a shape, each position within a formation should be carefully assigned. For example, whatever formation you choose (line, column, wedge) keeping medic as Alpha 2 or Bravo 3, at the back of the team makes sense and is effective.

            Formations help you to minimize detection, concentrate fire power and most importantly "connect functionalities" (kits) within the team.

            Formations give you agility. you can very quickly organize your squad, not randomly, but with a tactically advantageous alignment.
            Last edited by John CANavar; 08-25-2005, 03:51 PM. Reason: grammer mistakes

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            • #7
              Re: Squad Formations

              In the beginning, I tried to use formations and more detailed tactics. It worked okay, but not to the level that I desired. I no longer try operations that get too far past simple for these reasons:

              1. People are not afraid to die. When you have people unafraid to assault a tank from the front by themselves as a medic because they will respawn in 15 sec, tactics kinda go bye-bye.

              2. Because people are not afraid to die, things happen too fast to organize. Taken from my experience in paintball competitions, I had anywhere between 5-20sec to work out and execute a plan once contact was made. In BF2, I have about 2sec; most everything boils down to a "There they are, get 'em!" rush mentality when the bullets start to fly.

              3. I can't point. I want people to move specific places, but even getting someone to make a simple movement to a corner of a building 20m away can take 2-3 seconds to communicate. "No no, that corner over there, to the east behind the barrel and boxes," as opposed to "Go there *point*".

              4. Bad field of view. It's a restriction of all games to date that you have to spend time swinging your mouse about to look around, and that takes time. In reality, I could swing my head briefly and know everything about the terrain around me.

              5. Inconsistent squad makeup. If I could lock my squad and only let certain people in, we would be familiar with each other and be able to practice and work together a lot better. This isn't fair though, so I don't do it.

              I still operate at a level of tactics/organization a bit above the standard crew, but nowhere near the level that I want to.
              [squadl]
              "I am the prettiest african-american, vietnamese..cong..person." -SugarNCamo

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Squad Formations

                I hear what you guys are saying, and I asked because the more I play this game, the more I question the idea of using traditional "Real Life" (henceforth known as "RL") tactical small-unit formations for movement and attack. I just don't think there's a need for them in this game. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but formations of this type in RL are used (1)to maintain an awareness of others' proximity within the group, (2)to maintain security of the group, (3)to prepare the group for contact with the enemy, (4)to position and maximize the group's firepower. Now, consider each of these within the framework of Battlefield 2 instead of RL:

                (1a) Using traditional RL formations to maintain an awareness of proximity is unecessary because of the minimap. Everyone on the same squad/team can easily see where everyone else is located simply by glancing at the minimap, including their directions of movement and even what vehicles are being driven by whom. Further, within a certain range the locations of your squadmates appear to you both as "floating text" (you can see your squadmates' names in bright green letters even if they're behind a hill or inside a building) and as green arrows at the sides/bottom of your screen when they're behind you or off to the side. So with three different means for easily keeping track of your squadmates' locations, there's no need to use traditional RL formations to maintain an awareness of proximity.

                (1b) Hand signals don't exist in the game, so there's no real need for players to stay within visible range of one another. VOIP, Teamspeak (optional but nice to have), and the minimap provide all necessary and available means of communication within the context of the game.


                (2a) Since an enemy CO can see your movements in the game at any time (even if he/she has lost all assets, a CO can still zoom in on the map to observe activity from overhead), it is wise to stay as dispersed as possible when operating as a group. Otherwise, your group will likely find itself obliterated by enemy artillery, attack helicopter, or bomber strike; obviously this is not a very secure situation.

                (2b) When an enemy CO does have access to his/her assets, he/she will be able to spot neat little formations of troops easily and make them visible on the minimaps of all his/her teammates. Enemy squads will then know exactly where a squad formation is and will have time to prepare a hasty ambush. A squad moving in formation is an easy target for a dispersed group of attackers. (Think about the times when you've been moving in formation as part of a squad and you suddenly come under fire from multiple directions. You see one enemy at 11 o'clock and start firing on him, but suddenly you're taking fire from 5 o'clock. You want to turn and engage the guy at 5 o'clock, but the guy at 11 o'clock has started plinking at you. Your squadmates are all in similar predicaments. The enemy squad members probably see your squad as little red dots on their minimaps, so they know right where to shoot. Not a good situation for the squad.)

                (2c) A player can take multiple hits in Battlefield 2 and keep right on ticking. On more than one occasion, I've seen a single player surprise a squad formation and take out three or four players before being killed. The idea of squad security still has merit in Battlefield 2, but I think much less so than in RL.


                (3) In Battlefield 2, the majority of the time we know where the battles are going to occur -- at the flags, or at choke points. It's not like we're moving across large stretches of unknown enemy territory, waiting for the enemy to pop up and surprise us. We can all walk around in the various game maps as much as we want and learn the (unchanging) terrain. On a live server, we typically have a lot of intel available on the minimap before we go charging into battle. In short, we almost always know where and when contact is going to occur. So why travel around in formations built around the idea of being surprised by the enemy? We know where he's at -- why not *travel* to his location already dispersed and ready to attack as we close in?


                (4) See my example in (2b) above. Firepower in Battlefield 2 seems much more practically employed when it's applied from multiple directions at once. Surrounding the target allows your squad to triangulate and eliminate the enemy, while keeping your squad dispersed and less vulnerable.


                Now, having said all that, I'm not necessarily against the idea of practicing and using some loose formations in Battlefield 2, but I think they need to be effective in the context of the game (meaning, they actually serve a useful purpose to help win the round, and they also don't completely fall apart in the face of actual game conditions). What I'd like to discuss is the idea of a tactical squad formation(s) that's actually sound in the Battlefield 2 world.

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                • #9
                  Re: Squad Formations

                  Good synopsis of why RL stuff just doesn't work well.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Squad Formations

                    but one important point is missing here so far. Then what is your alternative?

                    Is it "ok spread out and do your best !"

                    In my book "even the worst plan/tactic is better than not to have one" and I am not talking about winning the game here.

                    Before we go forward in this discussion, we should ask ourselves "what is my expectation?" or "why I am playing BF2?" The answers you will give to these questions will change your position on tactical concepts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Squad Formations

                      Originally posted by John CANavar
                      Adaptibility is a great concept but by just saying it, nothing works ! You have to show how it is going to work.
                      I believe the thread was in general. Notice, I did not say that practice was worthless, only that formations are not practical in a live server situation.

                      Adaptibility does not mean to act spontaneously. You will still stick to procedures and rules but make such a great combination and use of them, it will look like a new effective tactic. without knowing those basics, you cannot show it.
                      I think you can learn effective tactics via assault/defend exercises, combined with AARs to discuss what works, what doesn't. Assigning procedures is a fallacy: on a live server, you may not be squadded up with someone that has drilled these things before, so you need practical information to impart on the squad.

                      lets get back to formations. they are crucial, period. in real-life and in-game. Formation is not only a shape, each position within a formation should be carefully assigned. For example, whatever formation you choose (line, column, wedge) keeping medic as Alpha 2 or Bravo 3, at the back of the team makes sense and is effective.
                      That's tactics, not formation. By the time the SL decides who is in alpha, and who is in bravo, the battle is over. What a Sl should be doing is saying, Alpha 1, you are sergant, either play or designate a medic, and take alpha 2 and 3 and cover our approach.

                      B executed this perfectly the other night: he assigned leech and I to cover fire, while we covered their assault on an objective. But that's a tactic, not a formation.

                      Formations help you to minimize detection, concentrate fire power and most importantly "connect functionalities" (kits) within the team.
                      In real life, I agree. The pace, and tools, of BF2 doesn't exactly lend itself to this. UAVs, Sat. Scans, and snipers all have a good lock on troop movements on our servers. You can't get anywhere undetected.

                      As for "connect functionalities", that's purely conditional. Given when teammates are respawning, you may have a mismatch of kits for the assault at hand. I can't tell you how many assaults I've seen where the squad got blindsided by armor, a bombing run, or a swift attack chopper hit.

                      You have to be able to take the cards dealt, and still win the objective. I don't see how drilling squad formations achieves that.

                      Formations give you agility. you can very quickly organize your squad, not randomly, but with a tactically advantageous alignment.
                      In a perfect world, that's true. BF2 is not a perfect world, and no amount of procedures will fix that.

                      Adapt, assault, achieve the objective.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Squad Formations

                        And lets remember that we will not have to play "vanilla BF2" when good reality mods come out. I am looking forward to deteach from arcade feel of BF2 forever.

                        I never played BF1942 vanilla since the first day of Forgotten Hope mod.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Squad Formations

                          Originally posted by John CANavar
                          And lets remember that we will not have to play "vanilla BF2" when good reality mods come out. I am looking forward to deteach from arcade feel of BF2 forever.

                          I never played BF1942 vanilla since the first day of Forgotten Hope mod.
                          Total agreement. When a decent reality mod shows up, all this theorizing will be thrown out the window. We are adapting tactics to the game at hand, a game which is arcadey, flawed, and not realistic.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Squad Formations

                            Let me make a couple of things clear though. I wasnt talking about a random group of people here.

                            we dont assign kits and fire team positions during the game. They are pre-assigned. SL doesnt explain formations. they are practiced. And I never say these are giving us huge advantage over a random gorup of people. Nope, we just enjoy playing like this. I dont like arcade style of BF2 and looking forward to more tactically-minded/realistic mods and games in which all these efforts will become valuable advantages as well.

                            I dont agree with Tarpan on fairness issue. I dont see the unfairness in forming a regular group. It is the only way to achieve the level of organization and discipline we are after. What we are doing here is to bring together like-minded people with identical expectations/gaming styles. To have high expactations from a game is not wrong. It is a game for some, a simulation (in general sense, not as genre) for others.

                            People who are not getting involved in regular groups are also in a group: "Group of people who dont want to be involved in a regular group" :)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Squad Formations

                              Originally posted by John CANavar
                              Before we go forward in this discussion, we should ask ourselves "what is my expectation?" or "why I am playing BF2?" The answers you will give to these questions will change your position on tactical concepts.
                              I know, but this is starting to change now that TG is engaging in BF2 scrims/matches with outside groups. Honestly, if we're playing an outside group, I want to beat them (but that's just me). And we have a lot of our in-house squads participating in these external matches now, so I think it's a good idea if we're all on the same page.

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