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The case against ATs

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  • The case against ATs

    I was going to post this in the AT tactic thread but I decided not this rant might be a dreadful hijack so I made this thread instead:

    I'm honestly not trying to pick a fight but I need this explained to me. I must be retarded or something but I think ATs are a total waste of a class. A total waste of one of six slots in a squad.

    They are utterly useless in an infantry fight compared to all the other classes(even the snipers and engineers have nades if I'm not mistaken). I know you ATs get your share of kills but I have zero doubt you'd get more with any other class and a bit of practice. So as a SL they are about the last thing I want to have running around.

    But I get it, that's not the point; they're anti-TANK not anti-infantry. Well. In my experience, and again, maybe I just haven't met the right AT, but one AT + squad vs. one piece of armor normally seems to result in the toothy death for like half of my squad. I'm not saying we shouldn't get our hair mussed. But it seems to take at least 2 ATs working together to keep even have the squad intact vs. a tank.

    And then there I am with 2 ATs in my squad. And again, I don't mean to insult the AT corps. You guys play your game very well. But I'd rather have two French poodles in my squad once the severely-damaged APC's infantry hops out to party.

    Now if even one of those ATs were an engineer(or even both of them), things would be totally different. Keep them spawning where ever they can find the empty armor and reinforce the squad with it. That always scares vehicles more that that furiously blinking red AT light.

    And why do we want to counter the tanks in the first place? Because they are mobile and have bigger guns than our infantry. Well if those ATs play engineer and drop mines suddenly armor mobility is nullified, especially on base defense. And with that comes the ability to simply stay out of their guns' fields of fire.

    You park some mines across any of those little breaks in the ever-present walls/fences/sandbags that seem to encircle EVERY CP in BF2, and those armored vehicles politely stop to rubber neck at them. It's like moths to a light bulb. We've all seen that. Meanwhile, all your little squad mates are sitting around corners and barriers out of sight of this bizarre spectacle watching the flag(perhaps with one eye popped out occasionally if some tanking-engineer actually has the cojones to hop out and defuse those mines).

    Meanwhile, if you are lucky your engineer is on the happy side of his mines in his own vehicle enjoying the mobility(and consequent firepower) superiority he has over this stunned enemy vehicle. Advantage friendlies.

    In this case, my squad's totally unfazed by the biggest meanest tanks and APCs. If the infantry does show up my squad doesn't have AT's hanging like albatrosses around their necks and have more lethal kits helping out.

    Like I said, I got to be missing something, maybe I'm retarded. But could someone please explain the usefulness of ATs to me? There is the increasing use of vehicle based .50 cals at TG that ATs are great for I admit. But even then an engie in the same or even an APC will quickly ruin their fun. That AT tactic thread detailed many sound tactics, but they seem pale in comparison to the alternative kits that could compromise a crucial sixth of the squad.

    Again, I'm not trying to tell anyone what class to play here or start a fight(although last night I did kinda rail an AT in my squad to switch to engie... hated that). Just as a contentious SL I feel like this is a big hole in my game plan: not knowing how to use ATs in my squad. Right now I just tell them to hide outside the perimeter and get tail shots. But that tactic I have found flawed in the long term for many, many reasons(supply, c&c, health, etc.). Sorry to rant but it is a pet peeve of mine that I can't seem to grasp this.
    42
    worth two in the bush.
    11.90%
    5
    better than a tank in the ass.
    59.52%
    25
    as vital as a medic on a dead SL.
    19.05%
    8
    as useful as tits on a boar.
    9.52%
    4
    Xbox Live Gamertag: TG ABRA
    live.xbox.com/member/TG ABRA
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  • #2
    Re: The case against ATs

    Originally posted by ABRA
    (perhaps with one eye popped out occasionally if some tanking-engineer actually has the cojones to hop out and defuse those mines)
    He doesn't have to get out anymore. Mines can now be nullified by grenades, bombs, and tank shells. So mines wont cut it anymore. If you play AT you have to know when to engage the enemy armor. I like having AT in my squad but if they are spec ops they can do the same job but the armor has to be closer.

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    • #3
      Re: The case against ATs

      in my opinion AT is a must in a squad. They come to save you when you are pinned down by a single tank. even urban maps need AT s for jeeps, 50 cals... Well, I have been in a situation where I wish I had an AT right beside me so many times.

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      • #4
        Re: The case against ATs

        Originally posted by ABRA
        You park some mines across any of those little breaks in the ever-present walls/fences/sandbags that seem to encircle EVERY CP in BF2, and those armored vehicles politely stop to rubber neck at them. It's like moths to a light bulb. We've all seen that. Meanwhile, all your little squad mates are sitting around corners and barriers out of sight of this bizarre spectacle watching the flag(perhaps with one eye popped out occasionally if some tanking-engineer actually has the cojones to hop out and defuse those mines).
        Except now tanks can shoot the mines and just keep trucking. Tankers will now send a few rounds into any bottle neck before passing through it.

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        • #5
          Re: The case against ATs

          Man first this new patch kept me from playing for the entire last week and now this. I had no idea mines were now useless. That does change things a bit.

          Still though. All those times you guys "wish you had an AT" and it turned out you did how many times did they actually turn the tide. In my experience a single AT just doesn't halt armor before it collapses your position and any infantry who happen to not withdraw fast enough.

          From an individual perspective we've all been frustrated by a tank when we're a class with no weapons that even slow it down. We've all wished we were an AT in those instances so we could act.

          But how many times does that lone AT really repel that tank. If it's multiple ATs not alone and they pulverize that tank with ease how long until a single enemy rifleman comes along a brushes them all aside with ease?

          ATs seem to be a temporary solution for a temporary armor problem without being able to make lasting contributions to a squad.

          Seems to me from a SL perspective one AT is too few to get the job done in a timely fashion and more than one just cripples your squad against any kind of serious infantry resistance.

          Do you other SLs really find a single AT makes or breaks your squad or that multiple ones don't cripple it?
          Xbox Live Gamertag: TG ABRA
          live.xbox.com/member/TG ABRA
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          • #6
            Re: The case against ATs

            I've been thinking about this and I feel your pain. Part of the problem is the AT kit is the hardest to master.
            1. SMG - This weapon is actually very deadly at close range, but it takes a lot of getting used to. A good AT player needs to get good at sneaking towards the enemy undetected and under cover, and engaging them at very close range. Best advice I've heard is to treat it like a shotgun.
            2. AT missile - Easy to use if the enemy armor is just sitting still, but takes a lot of practise to get good at engaging tanks at long range or under cover.
            3. No grenades. This is the one thing I really hate about AT. I like grenades. :(

            What we need more of is people who play AT regularly and for them to identify themselves to their squad leaders. I think a practiced AT player can be a real asset. You're right, mines and C4 are also deadly to tanks, but mines are now nerfed and C4 relies on the spec-ops guy not dying. And while you may be defending the flag now, in five minutes the commander might send you to attack a different position; without an AT you're screwed if the flag is being defended by any armor.

            The other thing to consider is the other kits in the squad in relation to AT. If you've got AT, you either need a support guy or a constant stream of supply crates. Plus, there are situations where there is no cover for the AT guy to use, in which case he needs to be buddied with someone who can engage at longer ranges. I'm just speculating here (never tried it), but I bet an AT/Medic pair would be pretty effective.

            I didn't vote because it depends on the map. Some maps AT is essential, others not so much.

            ADDENDUM: I've been thinking about trying a dedicated 3 man AT squad on certain maps, like Mashtuur or Sharqi. The purpose would be to hunt and kill enemy tanks to resolve this dilemma for other squads.

            Yes, a single AT is going to have a hard time against a tank. But that single AT is going to occupy that tank's attention and give the rest of your squad a chance to find cover and wait for reinforcements/someone else to respawn as AT.

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            • #7
              Re: The case against ATs

              One AT in a squad is very unlikely to repel an enemy tank yes. But I think you're making an assumption that skews the argument. You're assuming that the armored vehicle is at or near full strength when it attacks, so here's the immediate counter argument:

              If every squad had an AT taking shots as they were presented, an armored vehicle is very unlikely to make it across the map to attack anyone.

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              • #8
                Re: The case against ATs

                I play AT a lot, and I think that in most situations, a squad should have at least one. If you don't think an AT can take out a tank without your squad gettin ruined, either you haven't been playing with good AT's, or you haven't been using them properly.

                Put that AT on point! If he encounters infantry, he can close the gap much more quickly that way and become useful against them and leaves your ranged fighters to fire on the squad that just gave their position away. Also, he can take out vehicles before they even have a chance to shoot at/run over squad members. If there is a tank, he will get ALL of that tanks attention. If the AT is good and knows how to use cover, he's got a real good shot of killing a very good tanker.

                AT's are also great for killing/scaring away choppers. If your squad is in the relative open and you encounter a chopper, you are all dead.... unless an AT rocket kills it or chases it away.

                A good AT is effective against infantry too. The AT can kill a prone player at pretty long range. If he knows how to play AT, he closes the distance, using cover and turns it into a close range fight. And, a little know fact, an AT can get in any vehicle and use any mounted .50 cal that every other class can use ;) And never forget, the AT has a knife too. :)

                Try using a good AT at point and I think you will change your mind I think. Heck, if you're leading a squad and I come on, feel free to invite me, I'd love to show ya ;)

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                • #9
                  Re: The case against ATs

                  im going to say keep the tanks out of my ass....yah definetly out of my ass
                  that sounds like a good idea trooper.
                  -Vulcan

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                  • #10
                    Re: The case against ATs

                    How about helo defense? That engineer in armor is a sitting duck in a base against the more manueverable attack chopter. The AT is can be a huge asset since they can move and hide much easier than a vehicle. One hit from the AT missle and the pilot usually hightails it out of there.

                    You dont have any love for the AT class because you cant grasp that someone can be effective with it. Other less played classes, engineer and support, have a similar reputation. I mastered the support class because I got tired of running out of ammo when the game first came out. Compared to the other weapons, the support gun is used quite differently. After practicing, I figured out how to use it quite effectively. The same can be said for the AT class weapons. As an SL, I normally let members play with whatever kit they are most comfortable with. But I wouldnt go so far as to frown on a class in your squad because you arent proficient with it.
                    -33rd- BaneII
                    Smokers & Jokers

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                    • #11
                      Re: The case against ATs

                      I think ATs are vital, and they are very effective against APCs. Against a tank, I would suggest the way overpowered SpecOps.

                      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.

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                      • #12
                        Re: The case against ATs

                        Even if an AT is not going to kill the enemy armored vehicle harassing you he may be the deciding factor in making the enemy retreat. It is the same psychological factor as with choppers although those are easier to scare.

                        Agreed - if your squad encounters an armored vehicle in the open one AT alone won't help much. I like the AT kit and I really enjoy playing it - it is second place in my usage time (first place is the light machine gun).

                        [defense]

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                        • #13
                          Re: The case against ATs

                          Interesting points. I have limited my discussion primarily to defense and being on the attack does change these things.

                          Jep you mention the lone AT dilemna and how to reinforce them. I agree they need a support/supply and a medic if they are going to engage tanks in a meaningful way in a variety of circumstances. I prefer the support/AT pairing but thinkt he medic is necessary too. But again think of how this looks for the squad vs. squad combat from the SL perspective. If a SL positions a fireteam of AT, support and medic to counter a guy in a tank. That really only leaves 3 guys(including the necessarily more defensive SL) who are able to freely maneuver and engage the remaining 5 infantry of the opposing squad. I know that's just abstract theory and rarely how combat unfolds moment to moment, but when I stand back and manage my squad from longer time frame, those odds do tend to take their toll eventually.

                          And again as a SL, looking beyond individual soldier survivability toward completing objectives, what use is your last point? That single AT that buys time with his ticket is only justified if that time can somehow be capitalized on. During this time, in an even squad on squad fight again, the displacing squad will be fighting at a mobility and firepower disadvantage against infantry as long as that tank is prohibiting their maneuver into its fields of fire. You've heard of surpressing fire. Well this is the textbook use of it. In fact this very example is used in a Marine Corps tactical phamphlet on combined arms: armor providing supporting fires while assualting infrantry provide organic fires.

                          A tank smoking but unsurpressed and unafraid is keeping your squad immobile in cover. This is the support or suppression fire. Meanwhile the rest of the enemy squad is allowed free maneuveur through the tank's fields of fire that are denied to you. Through these they advance into the most advantageous positions of their choosing. The ensuing infantry engagement that takes place totally outside of the tank's FoF is totally choosen and controlled by your enemy.

                          That Marine phamphlet describes this as putting your enemy to a no-win decision. In this case if you leave your cover the tank will easily destroy you with its firepower advantage. If you stay in cover you are not as instantly killed but your optimum resolution is only as ambitious as defending your immediate cover. More likely grenades will find you hunkered down there from enemy infantry that is able to maneuver to close range totally unmolested by you.

                          As a SL putting my squad in that disadvantagious a position is a terminally foolish tactic. Choosing to engage on those terms is simply ... I mean I don't know how to express this more plainly. Why would you choose to fight in that situation?

                          In my mind I only engage armor if it is surpressed or more plainly said fleeing in a panic. And I just don't see ATs as a way to accomplish that.

                          As tacticians, be it in the SL or squad member role, why are we choosing to fight armor with infantry? Why do we tolerate ATs in our squads when we could have a vehicle instead?

                          Fallen-yes this is true. You raise a good point. I am trying to look at this from the perspective of squads vs. squads. Your example pits multiple ATs from multiple squads against a single vehicle. I know I am over simplifying and perhaps you can suggest a better perspective. I think though that we need to allow for even teams and if we have three ATs taking shots at one tank driver, I think it is safe to assume that somewhere on the map there are 2 enemy players outnumbering the otherwise evenly matched remaining forces. That can last in the short term, but over the course of the map such inbalances do grind down the rate of ticket loss.

                          Doug- I believe you will show me a thing or two. But in most of those examples you listed you seem to be talking about ATs 'holding their own' so to speak. This is kind of my point. They have to try and hold their own when confronted with either a tank or infantry. In neither instance, by and lage, in most situations all things being equal, ATs are at a disadvantage that must be compensated for. This may just mean that you're right and they shouold only be used by a finese player. But I think it way mean that that same amount of finese employed by another kit that isn't at an immediate disavantage would be rather devestating instead of just 'holding its own'. The exception being that while both riflemen and ATs are at a disadvantage against armor, ATs are significantly less so.

                          Bane- You are right and I certainly do not grasp the use of the AT. YOu guys are helping me get it though thanks. The helo defense point is a very good one that I have never considered.

                          In this threads discussion, I think I'm kind of guilty of that tactical mindset that there are silver bullets for all situations. That's probably my biggest error in my consideration of ATs. Like you have pointed out. In certain circumstances they are more benefitial than engineer/vehicles.

                          Sorry for the long post but I figure this is the tactical forum...
                          Xbox Live Gamertag: TG ABRA
                          live.xbox.com/member/TG ABRA
                          Friend me!

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                          • #14
                            Re: The case against ATs

                            during base defense, i most definately can take out a tank by myself. the key is early warning. if you're sitting by the flag, and an armor column rolls in, yeah, you're screwed. but if you can get a decent vantage point, it's not uncommon to heavily damamge armor before it even gets to you. on many occasions, i've hit a tank with a distance shot, reloaded, and his hit and again as he approached the flag area...now, you might not get the very last shot in until he's already sitting on the flag, but as least you get him- it's better than a tank or APC decimating your whole squad as you pray for air support.

                            likewise with attacking. you just have to pop off shots, and keep swapping hiding spots. you may even fool the guy into thinking your squad has more AT than it does, causing one of those oh-so-sweet early abandons.

                            my biggest problem as AT is lack of support. i often find myself without ammo, and i often find myself being taken out by infantry before i can get some rockets off. for AT to be really effective, the assault, specops, support and other good anti-infantry classes have to try and keep the enemy down and away from the AT guy while he does his thing. i can hide from one, maybe even two piece of armor just fine, but i can't focus on it and ground-pounders at the same time.

                            abra, you seem to think that all squad vs squad fights should be even. yes, in a 6 infantry vs 6 infantry fight, the AT guy has the disadvantage. but, it has been my experience that this rarely even happens anymore. most good squads will try and keep at least one piece of armor, or, lacking that, they may use jeeps/buggies for movement. the team with the vehicles always has an advantage. AT are there to counter that.

                            is one AT sufficient opposition for one tank? no. but he'll fare a lot better than one assault, or one medic.
                            [TG]epheneh

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                            • #15
                              Re: The case against ATs

                              I think my major problem as a SL is finding a use for ATs in infantry fights with no vehicles in sight. In such situations I find them to be a hinderance. But when vehicles around and I think that single AT will finally earn his keep I am impatient waiting for his time-consuming finese to bail out my rapidly routing squad.

                              Any suggestions?

                              I see using them on point as being a fantastically good idea now that I really think about it. Bane bear in mind when I grudgingly restrict an AT in my squad to another kit(I really am quite reluctant to force players into kits), it is not because I suck as AT. It is because I have no idea what to do with an AT in my SL and my squad might as well be fighting as a 5 man unit since there will be little conscious coordination with the AT on my end. In the future I think you guys have given me reason to watch and learn some mroe though.
                              Xbox Live Gamertag: TG ABRA
                              live.xbox.com/member/TG ABRA
                              Friend me!

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