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Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Squad Leaders and Squad Members

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  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Squad Leaders and Squad Members

    It is up to us as a community to define what TG gameplay is all about. BF3 presents a unique challenge to our way of gaming. Some bemoan the lack of commander, others say that the squad size is too small, Armor is imbalanced, players run too fast, or the server settings are borked. The list of complaints goes on and on.

    Meanwhile, our server population is at its lowest points since launch. What gives? I don’t really care about blame. I am always a reluctant leader. But I want to do what I can to make bf3 at TG feel special and unique.

    The only solution I can offer is to suggest that the community leaders unite in our efforts to develop a basic set of squad SOPs. I would like to see a clear set of tactical expectations for players on this server. When we say, “play the TG way” how are players supposed to know what is expected of them? We really don’t have any solid guides on how a squad should behave in BF3.

    Right now there is a culture on the server that is permissive of a very casual squad leadership style. Most of the random squads I join have squad leaders that do almost no leading. Some have great leaders that are doing things like we did back in bf2/poe/PR/2142 etc, but these are the exception rather than the rule. When I end up being squad leader, players often accept me just clicking a flag as a target and being in a good place to spawn. I admit, this is the best I could do as a squad leader when I started playing. I have since stepped up my efforts to lead the squad – this post is clearly an effort to get others to do the same.

    Unfortunately, a group of 3 or 4 players working together often don't have to do much more than just be pointed at an objective to be effective. The problem I take with this is that it seems less fun. It lacks depth and the feeling of close knit teamwork. I know we can run loosely organized squads, but I don’t think we should. I think in the long run, loosely organized or even self-organized squads are effective for winning the game, but lack the depth that makes them enjoyable as a tactical style of playing shooter at TG.

    The solution: Squad leaders start leading like it matters. Most of you can do it, I know it feels awkward telling guys to stick together and what kit to use, but we should be doing this.
    Lately I have been trying to bring a more focused squad leadership style to bf3. I think it is possible, but it is going to take some work.

    I would like to establish a higher standard of squad leading on the server. I think we need to develop a clear set of SL SOPs and squad member SOPs. I have posted two rough drafts of SOPs for bf3. I humbly ask that you look them over and offer constructive criticism and feedback.


    BF3 Squad Member SOP
    1. Contact reports.
    a. Direction of fire on compass or by visual marker (“northwest or by that broken down building up ahead”), number of contacts, enemy movement (they are heading to alpha flag! Or they are reviving and moving to cover”)
    2. Act like a squad:
    a. Communicate with each other over VoIP, coordinate your actions, cover each other, act like a single unit rather than collection of Rambo’s with a convenient spawn point.
    b. Move cover to cover
    i. Don’t all move at once. Half move while the other half cover. Then the guy at the rear moves.
    ii. This is very loosely organized bounding over watch.
    iii. You will get more kills and suppression points by covering your moving squad members than by hunting for hidden enemies or running around Rambo style.
    iv. Think of your moving squad members as “bait”(giggle)
    v. By covering your moving squadmate from cover you can suppress locations that are shooting at them and kill the guys shooting at them.
    c. Maintain enough distance to avoid being taken out by a single grenade
    d. Maintain open sight lines to probable enemy locations.
    i. Your gun is useless if you have to shoot through your teammate to hit an enemy.
    e. In tight spaces, the point man should duck or prone when contact is made so that squad can shoot over his head.
    f. Pin and flank whenever possible.
    i. Suppression mechanic can pin an enemy while your squadmade moves in for the kill.
    g. If you don’t know where your squadmates are, you are doing it wrong.
    i. It is great to know when they are engaging just by hearing their gun or seeing them engage.
    3. Keep your squad leader alive! (Most TG settings are spawn on squad leader only.)
    a. Squad leaders should make liberal use of cover and try to stay safe as a spawn point whenever possible.
    b. Spawn on squad leader unless ordered otherwise.
    4. Give supplies or medpacks to those that need them
    a. Place these things in locations that are behind cover.
    5. Squad lead should request kits and modify them as needed.
    a. Squad perks should be coordinated.
    6. Be on VOIP!
    a. Even if you can only listen, squad voip is what makes this game work. Don’t expect us to type anything or even see stuff that is typed in squad chat.
    7. Follow orders
    a. Don’t decide to spawn at the base and grab a helicopter unless your squad leader asks you to.
    b. When defending
    i. Patrol rather than camp.
    1. Move from cover to cover like you are expecting contact. You are trying to flush out the enemy.
    2. If you are camping, the enemy will know where you are and move to avoid detection.
    3. You will be sniped or take explosions to the face if you camp.
    4. Camping is permissible if you are snacking and drinking a quality beverage at the same time.
    ii. Communicate with your squad.
    1. All clear <location> every minute or two is a good call.
    c. When attacking
    i. Use cover
    ii. Call out enemy camping locations
    iii. Take your time and try not to die.
    iv. Be in the capture radius, but just on the edge
    1. Many flags have a huge capture radius.

    I think we need to rebuild bf3 at TG from the ground up so that this kind of tactical play is the norm rather than the exception. It is possible, but it is going to take time and effort from all of us. Squad mates will not step up and follow the above SOP unless they are led by a squad leader that expects this from them. To this end, we need a squad leader SOP.

    BF3 Squad Leader SOP

    If you are a squad leader, you absolutely should be doing the following:
    1. Give orders over VOIP.
    a. Update these orders every few minutes.
    b. Stay in verbal contact with the squad.
    2. Act like a leader
    a. Try to make it fun
    b. Don’t complain and whine when your squad sucks
    3. Update orders via in game commands
    4. Request squad kit loadout
    a. Coordinate perks
    5. Control your squad’s movement
    a. Don’t let your squad run blindly one by one towards an objective.
    b. Make sure you tell them to stay close and move in as a group.
    i. Pair them up if you have to.
    6. Provide appropriate orders and intel to your squad
    a. Contact reports
    b. Don’t say attack the flag and forget to mention that it is guarded by a tank and a sniper.
    c. When squad lead goes down, request a player to get to a safe spot so that you can spawn on them.
    i. Rest of squad protect that player.


    I am requesting that the above SOPs serve as an initial rough draft. Please look them over and offer suggestions. If you are willing to step up and lead a squad, please do so. Be the change you want to see. I look forward to your responses and constructive criticism.

    “Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough!” Benjamin Franklin

  • #2
    Re: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Squad Leaders and Squad Members

    This should be moved to the tactics/guide section, IMO.

    Honestly, while other games require more leadership, BF3 simply doesn't. I'd rather not be reported for "not following SL SOP" on the server simply because I don't adhere to a certain leadership style. As much as it pains me to say it, I just don't feel like squad leading is all that important in BF3.

    Informal SOPs are good, though. Those have served Squad Leaders well in the past with previous games. For example, over time, it pretty much because SOP in Project Reality that if you're going to Squad Lead you were going to be in the correct TS3 channel (and then mumble later on). This was not a rule, or an SOP that was enforced. It just evolved overtime.
    Skud


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    • #3
      Re: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Squad Leaders and Squad Members

      Epic writeup science. +rep

      FWIW, if the OP you listed was even close to S, I'd still be playing BF3.




      edit, damnit. You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to sc1ence again.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Squad Leaders and Squad Members

        Originally posted by Skud View Post
        Informal SOPs are good, though.
        I did not intend for the SOPs that I posted to be used as an enforceable rule set. I apologize for not making that clear. However, I am hoping that they are ideals that we all want to aspire to.

        Originally posted by Skud View Post
        I just don't feel like squad leading is all that important in BF3.
        Squad leading is important in BF3 at Tactical Gamer. It should be what defines TG gameplay. Good squad leaders and a squad working under their command is the experience I think we are all looking for from a squad based tactical shooter at TG.

        “Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough!” Benjamin Franklin

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Squad Leaders and Squad Members

          Originally posted by Skud View Post
          This should be moved to the tactics/guide section, IMO.

          Honestly, while other games require more leadership, BF3 simply doesn't. I'd rather not be reported for "not following SL SOP" on the server simply because I don't adhere to a certain leadership style. As much as it pains me to say it, I just don't feel like squad leading is all that important in BF3.
          While it's true that the SL role may not be "mechanically" important to the way a normal pub game of BF3 works, It's important to the way TG is supposed to work. The proposed SOPs sc1ence has listed, for both SMs and SLs, are spot on, IMHO. The behaviors he lists are basic infantry and leadership skills that all TG tagged folks should be aware of and strive to achieve.




          * *

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Squad Leaders and Squad Members

            :( You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to sc1ence again.


            Originally posted by Skud View Post
            I'd rather not be reported for "not following SL SOP" on the server simply because I don't adhere to a certain leadership style. As much as it pains me to say it, I just don't feel like squad leading is all that important in BF3.
            I'd rather not be in a squad where the SL agrees with those statements.


            I completely agree with sc1ence.
            1. We should be playing according to something like that SOP as a BARE MINIMUM common expectation among us all.
            2. Using those SOP's is not just Role-Playing BF3. I believe those tactics *would* enhance the effectiveness of a squad that has practiced them to the point where they become quick and fluid. (Yeah, which could take a while; and be worth it)
            BF4: Indiscrimin8

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Squad Leaders and Squad Members

              Originally posted by Indiscriminate View Post
              1. We should be playing according to something like that SOP as a BARE MINIMUM common expectation among us all.
              2. Using those SOP's is not just Role-Playing BF3. I believe those tactics *would* enhance the effectiveness of a squad that has practiced them to the point where they become quick and fluid. (Yeah, which could take a while; and be worth it)
              Good points!

              I do see these SOPs as a bare minimum for BF3 at TG. At some point we can get a bit more organized and start talking about combined arms squads SOPs and more elaborate strategy, but we have to start somewhere.

              “Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough!” Benjamin Franklin

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Squad Leaders and Squad Members

                Thumbs up for taking the time to write that.
                |TG-12th| Namebot

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Squad Leaders and Squad Members

                  Nice write-up, sc1ence. I do find it a bit specific to a certain play-style though. Here is a more general compilation of ideas regarding squadmembers and squadleaders by Gorhaut over at S7:

                  Disclaimer
                  This is a compilation of the collected wisdoms from the community. As such, many people have contributed to this write-up. This shouldn’t be seen as the finite guide to being a leader in-game, but as a tool to be used. Furthermore, this is a work in progress which will be added to as our own wisdoms grows .

                  Squadmember
                  • All leaders tend to start as good squadmembers.
                  • As SM, your job is to follow SL:s orders no matter what.
                  • When you join a squad, always ask the SL what he/she needs (kitwise). Also a nice way of letting your SL know that you have voip and will use it.
                  • Leaving the squad just because a more wellknown SL creates a squad = fail.
                  • As a SM it is also good to think with the SL, because he can't see everything. When you have time over, look at the map.
                  • Multitasking at its finest really (for the SL) ... that can be very tricky at first. So I only say what really needs to be said eg.: "full enemy squad on the right".
                  • Try to find a good balance between giving information and suggestion while at the same time letting the SL make the decisions. Make suggestions when appropiate: eg.: assault failed three time: "Shall we try the right flank? Looks less busy at the moment?"
                  • Treat others as you want to be treated yourself.
                  • With a new SL, be patience. Let them have the time they need.
                  • Learning is how we grow, teach others and learn from them.
                  • If you can convey the feeling, that it is very welcome, when beginners are taking over certain roles, although they lack experience and fail once in a while, they will do.
                  • Remember to thank the SL after the round.

                  Squadleader
                  • Don't despair! You are going to lead your squad to total annihilation a number of times. So does everyone else from time to time. Don't let it get to you!
                  • As SL, your primary weapon is your squad, not your gun. Focus on the big picture/support (checking map and giving intel, calling backup if needed, giving warnings/reminders, and of course staying alive as a spawn point)
                  • If you’re the spawnpoint (depends on the game), staying alive is vital. This is usually easier if your hanging back a bit.
                  • If something doesn't work, try a new approach.
                  • When you are starting as SL get to know the maps.
                  • You can tell your SM that you are new at SL so they know and might give you some time to issue your orders (this is if you don't name your squad as stated before: "NewSL") but let them know that you are leading, so they should follow your orders and they should ask if they want to do something, like take a vehicle, change kits etc.
                  • You won't learn to SL if you dont try.
                  • You could rotate the squad, so that everyone gets a turn at SL. It's a fun way to learn from eachother and a good way to make new friends.
                  • Get on TS or Mumble or whatever communication channel is available. Information is vital.
                  • Give positive feedback to your squad! Even in failure. This is a game after all.
                  • A bad decision is better than no decision at all (imho). Shows that you are trying and it will keep the squad occupied. Bored people start to wander off. This one is tied a bit to the game aswell.
                  • Watch the map/minimap/radar/whatever and in-game chat in addition to VoIP to get the most intel. Learn and use basic communication standards (orders/intel/etc)
                  • Listen to your squads feedback and suggestions even if you have the final say. You can ask for advice/suggestions. Especially if you are on an unfamiliar battlefield, dont be afraid to ask for suggestions from squad mates.
                  • Ask for help. I have found my fellow players very helpful when I've needed help.
                  • The order: “Silence on voip!” is yours to use as needed. Can be used if you get to many suggestions or have an squad who is just talking to much .
                  • Share the plan and comms. Let your squad members know what your plan is. If they know the big picture, they perform much better. Also, if you are in contact w/ other squads/commander, tell your squad members what's going on. Include them in all squad related comms, plans, etc.
                  • Take advantage of the times when there is less to do, to let your squad know the reasons behind why you do certain things.
                  • Don't be shy on kicking people out of your squad if they don't follow orders. Sometimes you just get people who don't play ball. Try to talk to them first though.
                  • Don't kick people from your squad just to make room for a friend. "in the vein of - strangers are friends that you havn’t met yet".
                  • Win some, lose some. Have fun! For some reason the most memorable rounds for me have been those nail bitingly close losses.
                  • Control your voice, try to sound calm (you don’t have to be calm, just sound as it). Some SL:s talk a lot, others don’t – up to you to decide what works for you.
                  • Search on Youtube for the game. See what other SL:s have done in the game.
                  • Imitate – how have other SL:s done on this map? In this situation? How do they talk to sm:s?
                  • There are many ways of leading a squad, none are in themselves better. After a while, you will find your own style.
                  • Use a set of standardized verbal commands, especially important if English isn΄t your first language.
                  • Standard SOPs that are actually in use by squad-members.
                  • Don't worry if you'r having a bit of trouble filling your squad in the beginning - it happens to all of us. After a while, you will get a "following" with people who have enjoyed playing with you before and will do so again.
                  • Don't despair!
                  http://sectionseven.net/showthread.p...ull=1#post5428
                  sigpic


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                  • #10
                    Re: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Squad Leaders and Squad Members

                    I think this sounds like a very reasonable goal for people to start playing towards. Is it the right recipe for everyone, probably not, but I do know this sounds more and more like it could have a great impact on how other look at the game and the attitude they take in with them! I play here because of SOPs like this and a "want" to move towards this type of play!

                    Its good to know some want this type of TG play!!

                    +rep






                    "TG was created to cater to a VERY specific type of gamer rather than trying to appeal to the greater gaming population....Tactical Gamer is not mainstream. We are not trying to attract mainstream gamers" ~ Apophis

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Squad Leaders and Squad Members

                      I do my best squadleading when there's no one else around the household to hear me talking on VOIP. Is there a name for the phobia of having someone hear you while you're talking to people you're playing a video game with? lol.

                      This is also why I once told DaddyOfThree, that when I'm talking to him on VOIP, I'm always going to refer to him as "dee-oh-tee" (D.O.T.) or by his real first name. If someone walks by me when I call someone "Daddy" online... well I'm not quite sure what they'd think. ;)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Squad Leaders and Squad Members

                        Thanks for the clarification, Science.

                        Yeah, this is a great post.

                        When I said "I don't think it's all that important in BF3" I meant mechanics and gameplay, not community.
                        Skud


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                        • #13
                          Re: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Squad Leaders and Squad Members

                          Originally posted by P.Drona View Post
                          While it's true that the SL role may not be "mechanically" important to the way a normal pub game of BF3 works, It's important to the way TG is supposed to work. The proposed SOPs sc1ence has listed, for both SMs and SLs, are spot on, IMHO. The behaviors he lists are basic infantry and leadership skills that all TG tagged folks should be aware of and strive to achieve.
                          A good SL makes a huge difference in how the squad performs. I cannot stress this enough.

                          Nice writeup sc1ence.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Huzzah! This has my support
                            "Everyone makes fun of us rednecks with our big trucks and all our guns........until the zombie apocalypse"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Squad Leaders and Squad Members

                              Great work, science. Really nice to see a guy making a well-thought-out effort at making a game turn into something better for TG. Plus, it hits me in that 'kinda' old-school nerve. (as in I'm kinda, but not really, old-school. :) )
                              OPS, the bacon is on you.

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