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Fundamentals of an Effective Infantryman in PR .87, TG Style

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  • Fundamentals of an Effective Infantryman in PR .87, TG Style

    Note: This was originally posted in the Project Reality forums. At the suggestion of others I have reposted it here. While it was written with PR in mind much of what is found here can be applied to vanilla BF2 and probably other mods as well.

    Fundamentals of an Effective Infantryman in PR .87, TG Style

    This guide does not attempt to be a comprehensive guide to playing a grunt but rather focuses on what I consider to be the core concepts that one must master in order to be an effective, contributing infantryman. It assumes familiarity with vanilla BF2 and to some degree PR as well. You should at least have read the manual before you read this guide.

    Do not be discouraged if you find these concepts difficult to master. In the heat of the moment it can be very hard to respond correctly. With the exception of following SL orders, I am guilty of failing at each one of these fundamentals from time to time. Practice and experience are your two best friends.

    By no means do I claim to be the final authority on how to be the guy on the ground. This guide is primarily a response to the influx of new players since v.85 but also an attempt to stimulate and contribute to the discussion of what habits make a good player on our server. Unfortunately not everyone reads the forums but hopefully some of those who do will find this helpful.


    By far the most important attribute of any good player is having the proper attitude.

    -Read the TG primer.
    This is an excellent introduction to the kind of attitude everyone should bring to the server.

    -Teamwork first.
    The core philosophy. Rather than looking for the fastest way into the fight you should be looking for ways to help the team. Not only will it keep your teammates happy, it will also increase your own effectiveness.

    -Play realistically
    The battlefield engine is imperfect and allows many opportunities for exploitative and unrealistic behavior. You can contribute to the realism and quality of play on the server by consciously avoiding these tactics and adopting a realistic style of play.

    -Ask questions.
    You should definitely read the manual but there are many questions that it does not answer and skills it does not teach. If someone asks you to do something and you don't know how, ask them. Most regulars on the server will be happy to answer any reasonable questions you have.

    -Be a role model for others.
    The way you play and act influences others, act accordingly.

    -Above all, be positive.
    Sometimes you will not be in the action.
    Sometimes the other team will be stacked.
    Sometimes people will horde/waste assets.
    Sometimes things will not go your way.
    Please keep the griping to a minimum.

    This is part of having the proper attitude.

    -You, your squad, and your team will all be much more effective if you follow SL instructions; even bad ones.

    -Its the law!

    The most important force multiplier in the game. Unless you have orders from your SL to the contrary you should always stick with your squad and know where they are.

    -Know where your squad leader is and stay near him.
    You don't need to be attached at the hip but it is a good rule of thumb to at least be in running distance of your SL.

    -Maintain visual contact with the nametag of at least one other squad member.
    This will help you maintain squad cohesion when on the move and help prevent friendly fire incidents.

    -Wait for other members of you squad to spawn before moving out.
    Do not let your squad repeatedly trickle into a hot zone in 1's and 2's only to get wiped out. Depending on the urgency of the situation this can require a judgment call but you should always check to see if other members of your squad are dead and wait for them when possible.

    The second most important force multiplier in the game. Good communication is a cornerstone of any effective team.

    -Comms discipline.
    Before you get on the radio make sure you have something worth saying. This goes for all communication tools. Comms spam is both irritating and distracting, communicating only essential information will ensure you don't contribute to this.

    -Grid/keypad references
    When specifying a location that is not a flag or obvious landmark use a grid/keypad reference (i.e. A3kp6)

    Although the TG server does not require you to use voip, doing so will dramatically improve your effectiveness. It should be your primary comms tool.

    -Making contact
    When you encounter the enemy call out their position with a unit type/amount, bearing, and range. I.E. “Enemy squad south, 190, long range.” I find it useful to give both a general heading, south, and a more precise bearing, 190. This helps other players orient more quickly on the compass and helps mitigate the fact that the contact may be on a different bearing for other squad members.

    When applicable try to describe landmarks near the target's position. I.E. “He's behind that white burned out car.” or “On the roof of the two story building with the blue sign.”

    When you encounter unknown forces it is useful to distinguish this by saying “contact” in place of “enemy”. After calling out the contact you should check your map to confirm its identity and then update your squad. If time and situation permit you should confirm the contact's identity before calling them out.

    -Situational updates
    If you see events happening that affect the tactical situation and which your squad/SL may not be aware of, let them know. This also includes relaying important text updates that your squad/SL may have missed.

    For leadership and specialty squads.

    -Good for:
    Squad Leaders

    Close Air Support (CAS)

    Assets that need to communicate with infantry squad leaders or other asset

    -Bad for: General intra-team communication
    Others may disagree but in my opinion broadcasting to the entire team only leads to comms spam. If everyone is on teamspeak then there will almost invariably be someone in a situation with the need to communicate to team members not in their squad. on the other hand, if all or most of the team is not on it then it is not a reliable general communication tool. Therefore its use should be limited to squad leaders and specialty uses such as Close Air Support (CAS) and assets that need to communicate with infantry squad leaders or other asset squads.

    An excellent tool (if you can run it) but requires good comms discipline

    -Intra-team communication
    Mumble is useful for all essential communications with nearby team members. Its primary uses are:
    -comms between squad leaders
    -talking to nearby assets
    -responding to medic requests from non squad members/calling for blue medics

    Like teamspeak, broadcasting to your entire team should be avoided as it only leads to comms spam. Keep in mind that after loading a map locational voip will be broadcast to the entire team until you spawn for the first time.

    -Jet pilots
    Mumble should not be used by jet pilots as the locational voip fails above the normal cruising altitude of experienced pilots, causing you to broadcast to the team.

    -Not everyone is on it
    Not only is its use not required but some people simply cannot run it. Its great when the blue guy 2 steps away can hear you but don't be surprised if he can't.

    This will likely be your least used form of communication but it can be useful for inter-squad/intra-team communication.

    -Talking to transports
    One of the best uses for team chat is coordinating with transport assets. If you need to get a ride from a transport this is a semi reliable way to get their attention. Drivers/pilots will also ask you where you want to go; specify with a flag/landmark or a grid/keypad reference.

    While not guaranteed to get a pilots attention, calling out asset types and locations (“CAS: tank, c5kp2, lazing”) over team chat as you laze them will net you much better results than randomly lazing targets.

    Getting the kill, staying alive, and winning the firefight are as much about knowing when to shoot as how to shoot.

    -Making contact revisited
    When encountering the enemy take the following steps:
    1. If not immediately engaged/compromised DO NOT open fire
    2. Observe and report enemy bearing/range/disposition as appropriate
    3. If your squad leader has not explicitly set weapons hot, request/wait for permission to fire.
    4. As situation permits, wait for squad members to acquire the target
    5. Engage the enemy if cleared to fire.
    Fire and move. It is the core tactic of any infantry engagement. When used properly suppression fire will keep the enemy's heads down and allow part of your squad to flank the enemy, gaining a superior firing position and dramatically improving your probability of winning the firefight.

    Understanding what is going on around you will dramatically improve your chances of survival on the battlefield.

    Besides what you can actually see, there are 3 main information channels that should inform your situational awareness.

    Check your map frequently to know where you are, what the flag situation is, and where friendlies are in relation to you. This allows you to rapidly confirm the identity of new contacts, helps you assess the tactical situation more quickly, and helps prevent friendly fire incidents.

    It should go without saying but pay attention to updates from your squad members/SL.

    Text is easy to miss, but when things are quiet try to check the chat window periodically. People will sometimes communicate useful information or may be trying to get your squad's attention.

    -Audio cues
    Whether in the distance on right on top of you the sounds of the battlefield can tell you a great deal about the tactical situation. It will be easiest to detect the direction of sounds if you use headphones.

    -Weapons fire
    Note the direction, type, and volume of fire. It is not necessary to be able to distinguish between rifle sounds but knowing what AT, sniper, and LMG fire sound like (as well as asset weapons) will help you assess the tactical situation.

    When the fire is distant, check your map to see what friendlies are in that area. Are they getting wiped out or clearing the area? With this information you can analyze distant firefights to know if that flank is likely to be clear or if you should expect enemy presence in that direction and in what strength.

    You can often hear incoming vehicles long before you see them. Different vehicle classes make different sounds and it pays to be able to identify them. This makes the difference between being lying in wait for that incoming command truck and taking cover to avoid being wiped out by an approaching tank.

    When in an area with limited visibility keep your ears open, the enemy will often give away their approach by running.

    When possible, always find cover before engaging or returning fire from an enemy. (If caught in the open, depending on the situation it may be useful to put a few hip shots downrange for suppression before running for cover.) This dramatically improves your odds of surviving a firefight. The better the cover the better the odds.

    -Crouch not prone
    Crouching is generally the most effective way to take advantage of cover.

    When prone the camera is actually located in the middle of your torso. This means you may be sticking out of cover when hiding prone behind hills or next to thin walls. Instead use prone only when you cannot crouch and still be behind cover.

    Not only will this prevent you from unknowingly exposing yourself but it will allow you to adapt and move more quickly as there is a significant delay before you can fire when getting up from the prone stance. Crouching also allows you to quickly pop up to scan for targets or engage known enemies and then quickly drop down to avoid return fire.

    -Some things don't stop bullets
    Tin shacks, fences, and some walls will not stop bullets. Pay attention to what you are hiding behind, you might not have as much cover as you think.

    It might not stop a bullet but if the enemy can't see you they are much less likely to hit you. Use proper concealment to approach the enemy and mask you position.

    Be aware of the surrounding topography and use it to mask your approach and gain superior sight lines. Avoid moving directly along ridge lines as your silhouette will stand out well.

    Grass/undergrowth (excluding wheat fields) does not render at long distances. Contrary to one's instincts, hiding in it for long range engagements only serves to obscure your view. Try finding more solid cover.

    -Walk don't run
    The enemy cannot hear your footsteps unless you run. When moving in an area where you expect to make contact with the enemy or where a known enemy is unaware of your presence NEVER run.

    -A few words on hitting the target
    This guide purposefully does not focus on actual combat. If you are constantly closing with and killing the enemy you are doing, at best, only 50% of your job. However, the ability to put lead on target is a valuable skill and some basic advice will go a long way to helping a newcomer succeed inPR.

    -Deviation + sight in times
    All rifles have a cone of deviation within which your shots are likely to fall. The size of this cone depends on your stance and the amount of settle time you allow after moving before firing. Any movement movement with the WASD keys will completely reset you settle time. Small rotations with the mouse will not affect your settle time but large, jerky turns will.

    I was unable to confirm the exact sight in times and deviations for v.87. According to the manual sight it times currently take up to 5 seconds. For close targets it should not be necessary to wait the full length of time.

    I am unable to post a link but you can find an excellent video tutorial on basic marksmanship on youtube by joeyed under the title Project Reality: Marksmanship and Deviation Tutorial. Although based on .85 deviation and settle values it should serve anyone well in understanding how to shoot in PR.

    Due to BF2 engine limitations PR cannot implement realistic bullet ballistics. Instead, your weapon will fire on a flat trajectory out to its zeroed range and then drop precipitously thereafter.

    See this thread for more information and a diagram.

    -Collision mesh/hit detection
    Rather than using hitboxes, BF2 has an invisible, low polygon model called a collision mesh which mimics you on the battlefield and is used for hit detection. Depending on your latency this mesh can trail behind you significantly. This means you can make it to cover behind a wall only to have your mesh shot while it is still running to get there. Conversely, this can explain why you are not hitting your running target.

    On a side note, this can also cause problems for medics when trying to revive wounded teammates. If you are trying without success to revive someone who has fallen or slid from another location try using an epipen where their kit is/was. Their collision mesh is likely still stuck in that spot.

    -Guides forums
    -A Light Infantryman's Survival Guide
    A truly excellent guide by IceMan on how to survive and win infantry engagements in PR. Where our guides overlap he did it first and did it better.

    -Zedic's Military Radio Procedure Adaptation
    For an in depth look at effective comms techniques this is the place to start. While I disagree with the idea of using complex callsigns in PR (in my opinion this would introduce an unrealistic level of complication into public games) there is certainly a lot of good information. forums
    Since I do not have 15 or more posts I am unable to submit urls. However I have provided the actual thread titles and you should be able to search the forum for each thread.

    -Guide to Squad Combat Medic
    Though somewhat dated, this guide from fuzzhead still contains a lot of useful and little known tips about playing medic.

    -Cassius' guides
    While I have not read them all and cannot fully endorse them, reliable guides are hard to find and these do contain useful information about playing specific kits.

    -Cassius guide rifleman

    -Cassius guide Automatic Rifleman

    -Cassius guide Grenadier / grenade launcher

    -Cassius guide Hat Kit

    -Cassius guide sniping

    -Cassius guide squadleader



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