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The myth of effectiveness of the 'Clean Round' and 'Dodging the Draft'

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  • The myth of effectiveness of the 'Clean Round' and 'Dodging the Draft'

    The mythical 'Clean Round'. That holy grail of combat effectiveness. Every enemy falls before your feet and you stand victorious! Unscathed, untouched and untouchable. You have moved like a panther, undetectable. You have have out thought and outplayed your opponent like the product of some weird genetic experiment involving surrogacy and multiple fathers, Sun Tzsu, Von Clausewitz, Ghengis Khan to name but a few. You have shot like a master. You've manoeuvred like savant who has mastered his environment.

    Or have you. Maybe there is an alternate version of events, no?

    Maybe you placed such an emphasis on staying alive personally that you put your combat effectiveness aside, threw your teammates under a bus repeatedly and jeopardised the misson. Maybe, just maybe you caused fights to be lost, friendlies to die.

    As ever with such things the truth usually resides somewhere in between.

    Since a 'Clean Round' is easily and clearly identifiable by a numerical measure, ie zero deaths, let's examine this from a purely mathematical perspective first.

    Player X does his thing and finishes out the round with 5 kills, 3 incaps and 0 deaths. Good job X! Or is it? It's not an impressive number of kills, so mathematically he didn't cost the enemy many tickets. Aha, but he lost zero tickets himself and also achieved the holy grail. Yeah, this is a team game, so lets bin the personal goals here for a minute shall we, because without a significant impact on the battle (ie tickets removed, friendlies supported etc) a 'Clean Round) is just that, a personal goal, a pointless steam achievement if you like.

    Wallflower of War - Don't be spectator to your team's defeat, don't watch on shamefully as your teammates die.

    At some point when you are down you need to honestly assess whether you deserve a clean round, whether you leaving the squad a man down is acceptable in view of the bigger picture. Whether it's acceptable that the Squad's mission shifts to protecting that zero on the scoreboard for you instead of the 8 men alive and the current objective.

    "But it's about valuing your life and playing with a degree of realism". Damn, you have me there to a degree, it's a valid point, one I support, but wait. Shouldn't the medic and the rest of the Squad value their lives too, what if you are in a really bad spot? Another thing, how did you end up down, just asking? Did you assess the risk of how you were playing, did you value your life then? Or only once you were done running across that open field, or when you ran blindly into a building with no support? At what point did you start playing like you had one life to lose, before or after it had a cost for you?

    The best way, the right way to achieve a clean round is to increase your lethality. To increase your 'uptime' by being smart. Not to sit there waiting for a medic and god knows who else to risk his 'Clean Round' (if he cares) to get you up, to rectify your mistake, to clean up your mess. Not by dodging the fight. Not by expecting your Squad to start re-enacting Saving Private Ryan.

    Getting downed quickly, melting in the first flickering heat of the battle is a YOU problem not a SQUAD problem. It isn't solved by taking the entire Squad off task to get YOU back up, nor would that solution ever be desirable. It's solved by YOU doing everything to increase YOUR lethality and uptime.

    Waiting for a medic is good, no, it's great. Don't stop doing that. However, waiting for a revive forever while people are dying out there is not always the best choice. Not from the "get the flag at all costs, stop roleplaying" perspective but from the "why is your clean round more important than anyone else's". So what's the solution?

    First work on being in the fight as long as possible and not needing a medic. The medic is your last resort, not your first line of personal defence. Change your mindset.

    Move better, think. Use terrain, use cover and concealment. Understand the space around you. Shoot better, practice that stuff.

    Understand that being out of the fight, for whatever reason, increases pressure on your teammates and changes the force ratio of every gunfight. It turns a 2 on 2 for your buddy into a 2 on 1 and increases the chances of him being killed and when that happens the 'failure cascade' starts and it's a dice roll for a one way ticket to wipe city.

    You can't be combat effective if you aren't in the fight. Your teammates' combat effectiveness is reduced if you aren't in the fight with them. Taking another member of the Squad out of the fight (if not more) to get you back in the fight isn't combat effective either!

    Don't get me wrong, it will happen, we all get shot, random stuff happens, we'll all need the tender care of the medic at some point. However your job is to need it as little as possible so when it does come time to revive you have as many guns in the fight, as many people who are combat effective as you can muster.

    A clean round should be a reward of smart play, not the sacrifice of others nor the subjugation of the mission, it should happen because of how you played, not how others did.

  • #2
    Well said, thank you for taking the time to write it out.

    Current ARMA Development Project: No Current Project

    "An infantryman needs a leader to be the standard against which he can judge all soldiers."

    Friend of |TG| Chief


    • #3
      I don't play Squad but I enjoyed reading through the post. This mentality can be used in games outside of Squad too.


      • #4
        Well written!

        I'd like to think that your SL in Squad is a HUGE factor to how effective you are as an individual and squad. If an SL can't utilize his squad by understanding that MGs/medics should not be on point or doesn't understand the importance of an overwatch fire team, then you can't blame yourself if you are not as effective.

        If I'm in a fire team that is assaulting a point, the and the overwatch fire team is made up of GL and MG's... I have a greater chance of getting to the point and using the suppression on the enemy to my advantage in eliminating them.

        However, if the SL is doing this incorrectly or prefers banzai charging, your chances of dieing in the middle of the engagement are increased ten fold. Which has a cascading effect of making those great medics crawling out in the middle of the fight to revive you, the entire engagement gets put on pause to smoke the point to start reviving... which in return allows the defenders of the point to reinforce the direction of your attack.

        Typically if I'm in a squad like this, you'll see me lone wolf up a flank trying to draw as much fire from my main squad as possible.

        As an SL, I'd like to think I don't allow this to happen but I know it happens to all of us from time to time.


        • #5
          Great points Gaunt totally agree. From the individual Squad Member through to the SL it's often about a series of small things, decisions, actions, movements, micro choices and actions really as opposed to catastrophic single point failures. By and large for a single decision to bring about complete failure it usually requires either really bad luck or an opponent who is able to capitalise on that mistake by either good fortune or good play.

          Usually stuff falls apart piece by piece. Minor almost apparently insignificant errors that at first glance would seem like they only got the individual killed are, when you look closer, much more influential due to co-dependency. The one guy looking the wrong way or doubling up on an engaged target doesn't just die to the enemy he should be engaging, so does his Squad Mate. That Squad mate was the medic etc. The cascade.

          This is part of what drives my obsession with fundamental Infantry skills, because the same is true in reverse. A small increase in those skills (movement, use of cover and terrain, situational awareness, basic shooting etc) across the group is huge collectively. Suddenly you're winning match ups faster and winning the numbers game, angles of threat decrease, you start facing more 2 v 1's in your favour facilitating more fire and manoeuvre and ramping up the pressure.




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