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Having a Plan B

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  • Having a Plan B

    Hello everyone I am new to the community and new at SL but there is something regarding SL that I think is critical. Having a backup plan.

    1. Why have a backup plan.
    2. What is a backup plan.
    3. When to use a backup plan.
    4. Backup plans on the fly.

    1. It is easy to be a SL and not even think about what to do when a plan fails. Most thoughts that come after a plan rely on the completion of plan A. I find myself saying, "OK once we take this flag we will be in perfect position for a surround on the enemy." For instance, on Kharg Island lets you (the US team) controls flags A and B, and your squad is defending B with little opposition. You plan to then move out and attack D. It is obvious that your next plan should then be to defend D from C or even attack C with help from A. But what if you never take D. Worst case: your squad has full eyes on D and is ready to move in when an enemy squad comes in from your flank and cleans up your entire squad. When one of the squad members ask you what to do next do you have an immediate answer or do you have to quickly think of something? As a SL one should always have an answer for every situation. A great example of this is in the game of chess. We all try to get our pieces to checkmate his king in its current spot. But once he sees this and blocks it most people have to stop and come up with another checkmate plan.

    2. A backup plan should be a predetermined plan that is implemented when plan A fails. I must make a distinction that plan B should not be a deviation of plan A. For example, lets say your squad is attacking a flag from one direction. You realize that the enemy is ready to receive confrontation from that direction so you call you squad to reposition in a better position. This is not a backup plan. It is a variation of plan A and has the same end goal. This is a response to how the current plan A is going. One more very importation point is that a backup plan should be easy. Something that you know your squad can do and not fail. Using Kharg Island again, when an attack to D from C fails a backup plan can be just to pull back, reposition, and defend C. It should be simple, not complicated. If you spend all your time coming up with a great plan B, then why is this great plan not plan A.

    3. This is the hardest part. Knowing when to switch to the backup plan. Looking at the example in part 1 it might be the right decision to regroup at B and try for another attack to D noting the enemies current position. This is all situational that comes from experience and knowing the other team. The important part is making sure one does not fall further behind with continuing plan A. One must know when to cut their losses. There are some cases where one may never even complete plan A but never stop going for plan A. Using the same map, lets say you are attacking from C to D but you never take it the entire round. Is this bad? No. You are forcing the other team to constantly defend D. Given the amount of flags the enemy has or other stuff that is all situational, continuing to just pressure a flag is OK. Again this is a variation of plan A that is depended on the situation.

    4. Ideally this should never happen. But just as plan A can change in accordance to a situation, plan B can also change. This again is all situational and relies on the SL's leadership and planning skills. In this case when I reference a situation I mean something that happens before plan B is used. Once plan B is used it then becomes plan A. For the most part just come up with a plan B and focus any changes to strategy on the current plan A. For plan B start with something simple and once we have to use plan B use your head in order to adapt the new plan A just as you would with the previous plan A.

    My overall point is that from any plan, two plans should follow: one when plan A works and one when plan A does not work. Both of these should be considered before plan A has failed or succeed. The one that seems to be missed the most is the backup plan. This is probable obvious to any veteran SL here but it is still important.
    Last edited by HardWind; 11-01-2011, 10:37 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Having a Plan B

    great post....is a must read for those who SL....and WELCOME!
    "Everyone makes fun of us rednecks with our big trucks and all our guns........until the zombie apocalypse"

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    • #3
      Re: Having a Plan B

      " Of corse with advance tactics one may already have a very detailed response to the enemy overrunning your attack but this is still a predetermined plan."
      Absolutely not! This already sounds like a setup to problems. "Very detailed" should never be in a tactical plan. As a rule, when people both in-game and in-realwar start getting "very detailed", it goes wrong and is too much. I regret to tear apart that sentence in public but that shouldn't be taught.

      The most complex you ever want to get would be The Defence of Duffer's Drift where in the end you have a "very detailed" plan, but is actually just following basic rules of combat which should be normal in all your plans.

      Your article itself however, is completely separate from that lone sentence and demonstrates your ability to think like a squad leader. I think your probably a good leader!
      [TP]Cavazos
      www.tigersplatoon.com

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      • #4
        Re: Having a Plan B

        Thank you for pointing this out Miami. The "Very" was not need. I have a tendency to over word what I mean to say. I am not suggesting a full detailed plan but instead something more than just "Attack A" or "Defend B". Given the situation a detailed plan should look something a little more like "Attack A on the left", "Rushing to C with smoke", or "Set up defense in this building to the north". Also What I meant by predetermined is just what a SL has learned from experience for example: enemy squad is trying to capture A-->send squad to clear enemy from west entrance because they believe it will offer the most cover for their squad. It relies on experience. The thought behind the plan is more "detailed" to the leader but the order to the squad is just a simple "Move to the west of A and move in to clear enemy squad".

        Please let me know if this is what you mean or if I am still wrong in how I am picturing a detailed plan.
        Regardless I will remove that out of place sentence from the OP.

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        • #5
          Re: Having a Plan B

          Originally posted by MiamiHeat87 View Post
          Absolutely not! This already sounds like a setup to problems. "Very detailed" should never be in a tactical plan. As a rule, when people both in-game and in-realwar start getting "very detailed", it goes wrong and is too much. I regret to tear apart that sentence in public but that shouldn't be taught.

          The most complex you ever want to get would be The Defence of Duffer's Drift where in the end you have a "very detailed" plan, but is actually just following basic rules of combat which should be normal in all your plans.

          Your article itself however, is completely separate from that lone sentence and demonstrates your ability to think like a squad leader. I think your probably a good leader!
          I read that entire PDF and don't really understand how it applies here. The officers mistakes were not having too detailed a plan, he lacked a fundamental understanding of the battlefield and the enemy.

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          • #6
            Re: Having a Plan B

            My first rule when SL is be prepared to fall back if overwhelmed. Even if you lose the flag it's better to retreat without being killed and then immediately regroup in a safe zone. Much of the time I'm passive as a SL. Out of the way but usually with a view of the flag or an overview of the area...and out of the way enough to provide a spawn point if necessary. There is a very fine line that defines when to fall back and when to stay. Alot of circumstance to consider. One tactic I'll follow occasionally when under very heavy attack and we are clearly outnumbered is to withdraw strategically then move to an undefended or lightly defended flag. This usually occurs when we are being attacked by more than one infantry squad or by armor coupled with infantry. This works great now but as the new launch hoopla dies down I'm pretty sure we are going to see a shift to more organized defense on an increasingly frequent basis.

            Most often as a SL I'm defending. I'll attack if the time and opportunity presents itself or if the course of the battle dictates it but most often we are dug in tight like a tick on a flag.

            EA really dropped the ball on no commander. Leaders in the field should really only need to worry about their current assignment. Too much focus on circumstances outside of your immediate sphere can easily lend itself to distraction. This will kill you every time. The commander's job is to think big picture strategy but BF3 really doesn't allow it.

            Good Post. Welcome to TG. I found my way here during the early BF2 days thinking about the same kinds of things you are. Never looked back and glad to have found a gaming home.
            sigpic
            |TG-1st|Grunt
            ARMA Admin (retired)
            Pathfinder-Spartan 5

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            • #7
              Re: Having a Plan B

              The map always tells me what plan B is.
              |TG-12th| Namebot

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