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Inside the mind of a commander

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  • Inside the mind of a commander

    I've had the itch lately to command more, since I am a firm believer in the rule "don't criticize unless you can do better" I've kept my mouth shut on what seem to be some questionable move's I have witnessed CO's making. Now, I understand commanding is rough on a public server, even one where you have to follow orders. I thought I might lay out my ideas for being a good CO, and get some feedback from the community and see if maybe my "plans" need adjustment's or if they are just crap overall... :)


    1) A good commander has to always think "big picture": It's like a chess game, you can't just think about the move you are making, but about the 4th move from now. Position a squad to cut off reinforcement's and hunt down RP's when you are attacking a flag. 9 times out of 10 they will be in an excellent position to launch an attack at a new target once your current assault target is taken.

    2) Use asset's judiciously: A squad "hidden" in the hills won't remain hidden if you drop them supplies. The artillery, vehicle drops and supplies can be game-changing if used properly, make sure they get used properly. Don't be afraid to tell someone no when requesting artillery to kill 1 sniper killing a squad who is off somewhere where they shouldn't be or that single cut-off tank they could just bypass.

    3) Watch the [email protected]!!: Adjust your strategy based on the ticket count as much as "map position". Winning the map can make a long, tough struggle seem worth it to squads who are asked to defend seemingly remote area's of the map. Play more aggressive and take more chances when the tickets are more in your favor, and play more cautious when the tickets are against you. Having said that still take advantage of opportunities, but do it smartly. Don't send a single squad to assault a fortified position defended by multiple squads, all you are doing is giving tickets away.

    4) Let the SL's in on your plans: Don't send them a move order to a position, without telling them why. Tell them when you want them to remain covert. Tell them your plan is for squad 2 to set up a base of fire west, and you want squad 4 to assult the flag on your go. If they have input, take advantage of it! It not only gives the squads an idea of what you want from them and you are trying to help them. It also gives them "ownership" in the plan making them more agreeable to do their part in it, however marginal it might be. (assuming your plans are sound tactically and work more times then they fail) If squad 1 knows it will be the assault team, chances are good people wont be taking sniper kits and instead grabbing the proper assault kit's to get the job done.

    5) Always play to win: Some maps that means you can play to "cap-out" all the flag's, some maps you have to come out of good defensive positions to cap a flag to go for the "bleed" on your enemy. If the CO plays to win and has a sound plan and communicates the plan to his squad leaders, chances are they will follow orders and you will win. It really is that simple more times then not.

    That's all I have, thoughts, comments, suggestions?

  • #2
    Re: Inside the mind of a commander

    6) Communicate! This relies heavily on the SLs, but the CO should bet gathering SITREPs. If a CO wants to utilize two squads on the same flag, he should get an ETA for when a squad will be in position. If a squad is moving slowly, maybe that squad is hung up by an ambush. Communication is key.
    |TG-12th| asch
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    • #3
      Re: Inside the mind of a commander

      I really want to see more people requesting permission to speak to the CO instead of just going ahead. Having 4-5 full squads all with voip means that you're inevitably going to be talking over someone else at some point in the game.

      All you have to do is ape root's system, and say "comm, <squad number>" or similar. Then wait until the commander acknowledges you. It makes things much, much easier to manage as CO.

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      • #4
        Re: Inside the mind of a commander

        7) Don't go against the grain.

        Respect squad's function if remotely possible. If you have a squad that wishes to do something specific, because they tell you or you can read it in their squad's name, use them accordingly. Chances are they are good at what they want to do.

        E.g. Yesterday on muttrah a decent co kept sending me off although I had named the squad mipsupport to try and give the mip some more strength in numbers with the half squad I had.

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        • #5
          Re: Inside the mind of a commander

          Yeah guys I command a bit and love it when things work.

          In fairness I usually find SL's will do what they're asked if you do so properly.

          I've a fairly simple strategy............I always try send an understrength squad to the next flag (2-3 guys NNNNB)

          Last nite we would ve won the map as chinese if squad 4 had one more man in his squad at facility (only himself which meant he could nt cap flag).

          US "copied my tactic" and sent a heli to estate so as soon as the river + office were capped that flag fell.
          Gerardnm

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          • #6
            Re: Inside the mind of a commander

            Use a squad with only one or two in it to be the forward observer and call in arty strikes... This works wonders. Use the specialty squads. Be open to suggestions and treat the SL's as peers.

            I have often times used two squads as spearheads with the main attack then use another squad as a flanking killer...this also works well.

            HAVE FUN!

            B
            "Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results." Gen. George Patton

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            • #7
              Re: Inside the mind of a commander

              1 thing I noticed last night, I am a newb at the voip stuff. (I'm used to using ventrillo for this game). How exactly does the CO speak with a single squad?

              A CO can't read the squad names unless he hit's the TAB key and sort's by squad. I personally make it a point to never hit the tab key while commanding, checking scores seems to go against the whole "playing to win" thing.

              Going against the grain: Sometimes a CO has to go against the grain. Muttrah last night, we capped docks and hotel almost instantly. I asked for only gunships up at that point, but we still had almost everyone spawning on the carrier, and 3 different squads with pilot kits and all the choppers up. So when nobody else wants to do a job, the squads that are willing to follow orders end up having to run all over the map and probably not do what they would prefer. That is why I kept seperating 2 squads that asked to be used together, they were my only dedicated ground troops doing something even remotely usefull!


              I personally think maps like Muttrah and Basrah are crap to play period, and even worse in a situation where nobody wants to spawn forward. Everyone wants to fly, whether they can or not is irrelevant, whether the air assests are even usefull or not, they dont care. All those maps turn out to be are hour+ deathmatch sessions. Example: Muttrah again, I wanted to send a squad down each "street" once we capped gas station so they would have fields of fire that were clear of friendly's and could mutally support each other. 2 sqauds backed off to get airlifted somewhere useless, 2 squads wanted to work down the same street, and another squad decided the best place to defend the gas station was to spawn on the carrier! We wont even get into the squad that wanted to defend hotel once we capped it. The CO can see what every squad is doing, and sometimes your orders have to be adjusted because another squad aren't following their orders. *shrug* Once squads stop taking orders and start giving them, playing as the commander is useless. I'm fairly sure the server intro read's "follow orders or you can be kicked". I see no exceptions to that listed anywhere in the rules.

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              • #8
                Re: Inside the mind of a commander

                Originally posted by mingmong View Post
                All you have to do is ape root's system, and say "comm, <squad number>" or similar. Then wait until the commander acknowledges you. It makes things much, much easier to manage as CO.
                And proper procedure in reverse : <squad number>, comm.

                Now, here's where I'm the biggest offender on the server : If you're the CO and you want to contact an SL, wait for them to give you permission to tx. You can't be talking over SL's when they're talking to their SM's.

                EVERYONE needs to learn the meaning of the word "urgent". When an SL transmits "comm, 6 urgent" that's not an invitation to be kept waiting. That's an SL saying "CO, no matter what you're doing, what I have to say is more important, and your reaction could be the deciding factor at either this critical juncture, or even whether we win or lose the entire round".

                SL's NEED to understand just how significant use of the word "urgent" is too. It's not a keyword to make you the center of attention. To give you some perspective, I've used radios IRL, and the last time I heard the phrase "urgent message" it was followed by a detailed description of a male, and ended with "and he's carrying a machine gun". Given that this was put out in a shopping center, you can appreciate the seriousness of that situation.

                Last lesson for this post : SL's / CO. Wait means wait. When I get 2+ SL's trying to talk to me at once, I'll send my response to all SL's, typcially : "3 wait one, 5 go". When SL 3 then proceeds to talk, SL 5 has to go again, and almost invariably, SL 3 will talk over SL 5 at least once more. That's frustrating for the CO, and it's frustrating for the guy who's knee deep in the brown stuff, and is trying to get help.

                Originally posted by Morganan
                I personally think maps like Muttrah and Basrah....even worse in a situation where nobody wants to spawn forward. Everyone wants to fly, whether they can or not is irrelevant, whether the air assests are even usefull or not

                The CO can see what every squad is doing, and sometimes your orders have to be adjusted because another squad aren't following their orders. *shrug* Once squads stop taking orders and start giving them, playing as the commander is useless. I'm fairly sure the server intro read's "follow orders or you can be kicked". I see no exceptions to that listed anywhere in the rules.
                You are correct that games are sometimes ruined by this nonsense with the helos. You are also correct that there are no exceptions to the rule about following CO orders. Hold your SL's accountable. Make it clear to them that if they don't have their squads spawn in where you tell them (with a little common sense applied), THEY are the ones you'll be reporting to the admin. After all, the squad members can't spawn if a rally point is required unless the SL provides one. If a team spawn point is available, the SL is in the best position to identify SM's who are refusing to follow the order on where to spawn, and it's down to them to help get those players reported. If you're one of those SL's, and for some reason you're unable to get on TS (this doesn't mean because you're too busy playing!) then get someone else to do it. Put it out on text "<playername> isn't following orders on where to spawn / kit assignment / other". Admins do monitor the chat, so that sort of thing gets picked up on. If another player is on TS, one would presume they would help out by relaying the issue to an admin.
                BFCL TF2 league admin

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                • #9
                  Re: Inside the mind of a commander

                  is it possible to use dedicated CO SL channels on TS?
                  Gerardnm

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