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  • Hardcore Communication and Leadership Examples and Issues

    Seeing the spirited discussion about hardcore settings, communication, and leadership I opened this thread for a more focused discussion on the implications of communication and leadership in the BF4 hardcore environment.

    Below is a 20 minute battle edited down to 6 minutes of SL comms. I make plenty of errors, am (perhaps) unnecessarily distant from the action as SL, but the video record provides an example of communicating and navigating under hardcore conditions.

    Note that the VOIP was quite choppy. This severely limited the effectiveness of my comms and made two-fireteam (Alpha/Bravo) management impossible. Nonetheless, also note that the 'M map' enabled precise directions, the use of cardinal points, the identification of enemy locations (q-spotted) and so forth.

    I am NOT arguing that my mode of operations is optimal. The following is merely for discussion and analysis.

    The video will be available in a few minutes.

    Last edited by E-Male; 11-23-2013, 10:45 AM.
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  • #2
    Re: Hardcore Communication and Leadership Examples and Issues

    Originally posted by E-Male View Post
    Nonetheless, also note that the 'M map' enabled precise directions, the use of cardinal points, the identification of enemy locations (q-spotted) and so forth.

    I am NOT arguing that my mode of operations is optimal. The following is merely for discussion and analysis.

    The video will be available in a few minutes.
    The reason you were able to use the M-map successfully is because you sat on the sidelines and acted as a hybrid mini-commander/radio beacon. It is the most gamey and unrealistic use of tactics I've seen in a long time. Acting as a reinforcement hub endlessly spawning troops from behind a rock is exactly the type of thing I don't want to see in TG.

    This video has inspired me to make a thread!

    Also, sorry if you are offended by this. I don't truly intend it to be disrespectful and I really respect and appreciate the time and effort you put into this. You don't have to and it benefits us all.
    Shhhh I'm being made



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    • #3
      Re: Hardcore Communication and Leadership Examples and Issues

      You are assuming that I am always "on the sidelines" (active flanks, usually), that is gamey to make tactical use of distance, and that I am always "behind a rock".

      The video is not representative of the majority of my time in game or the majority of my actions -- I edited out everything except clear instances of SL comms.
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      • #4
        Re: Hardcore Communication and Leadership Examples and Issues

        Originally posted by E-Male View Post
        I edited out everything except clear instances of SL comms.
        Why were there no examples of this while you were standing?
        Shhhh I'm being made



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        • #5
          Re: Hardcore Communication and Leadership Examples and Issues

          Originally posted by Guardianx11x View Post
          Why were there no examples of this while you were standing?
          I generally make a point of finding cover or hitting the dirty when checking the map and engaging in any complex squad/CO comms. Standing up in a battlefield while looking at a map is not covered by my insurance.
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          • #6
            Re: Hardcore Communication and Leadership Examples and Issues

            Aflac!

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            • #7
              Re: Hardcore Communication and Leadership Examples and Issues

              Here are two typical replies to my method, as found in comments to a recent YouTube video:

              Even with all your communication your squad is the worst on the game and your team lost.
              Nice gameplay I wish I could have a squad like this.. I'm a but a a realism junkie on bf3 I loved hardcore keep up the video you may not get the view but the few people are thankful for you
              The first commentator has no empirical basis for the claim that my squad was the worst.

              The second commentator acknowledges that my methodology is not normative but is representative of hardcore playstyle.

              And so it goes . . .
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              • #8
                Re: Hardcore Communication and Leadership Examples and Issues

                If you see and shoot E-Male wading ashore alone, BEWARE! I paid the price when I stopped to text him to ask where his troops were when suddenly out of nowhere I was attacked by a vicious Yack! It was horrible! I could see several stabbing motions to my poor body!

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                • #9
                  Re: Hardcore Communication and Leadership Examples and Issues

                  Originally posted by OldGunney View Post
                  If you see and shoot E-Male wading ashore alone, BEWARE! I paid the price when I stopped to text him to ask where his troops were when suddenly out of nowhere I was attacked by a vicious Yack! It was horrible! I could see several stabbing motions to my poor body!
                  That is funny as I am certain I was killed while trying to compose some witty remark about OldGunny.

                  Death by chat.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Hardcore Communication and Leadership Examples and Issues

                    I question your "method" E-Male. It seems to me like you're playing the game you want to play and having fun doing it but I don't think you bring value to your team.

                    Your hunt for the best squad play that suits you vision of playing the game often leaves you and your squad failing to contribute anything to the success of the team. I've seen you play entire rounds sitting on an uncontested flag which you may see as a valiant effort to hold down the fort but being so rigid and failing to move between actively contested hotspots or stay with the team at large you're quite often, effectively, making the teams unbalanced by up to 5 players.

                    I respect that you are playing the game your way and enjoying it but it's far from optimal.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Hardcore Communication and Leadership Examples and Issues

                      Originally posted by KnyghtMare View Post
                      I question your "method" E-Male. It seems to me like you're playing the game you want to play and having fun doing it but I don't think you bring value to your team.

                      Your hunt for the best squad play that suits you vision of playing the game often leaves you and your squad failing to contribute anything to the success of the team. I've seen you play entire rounds sitting on an uncontested flag which you may see as a valiant effort to hold down the fort but being so rigid and failing to move between actively contested hotspots or stay with the team at large you're quite often, effectively, making the teams unbalanced by up to 5 players.

                      I respect that you are playing the game your way and enjoying it but it's far from optimal.

                      Pfft. You are making a highly subjective claim. What is the proof that you can bring to the table to back up your opinion that my squad "often" fails to contribute "anything" to the success of the team?

                      Who is to say that doing what many other squads and individuals will not do -- actively defend a flag throughout a round, unbalances a team or otherwise fails to contribute to the win? Indeed, how many times across how many TG game titles have we not seen the issue of the failure to defend arise in these forums? How many times has each of us witnessed a squad move off a flag only to see it almost immediately fall into enemy hands? I have never advocated defense as superiour to attack (military doctrine makes it clear that the two are often functionally equivalent).

                      You incorrectly describe my method as "rigid" when I have made a point over the past 7 years or so of noting the need for forward defensive positions, variable distances of defensive postures, active movement of fireteams and so on. I could cite numerous video records to this effect across numerous game titles but you seem to have a uncanny ability to assess all this data and dismiss my methods and tactics as non-contributory.

                      What algorithm are you using to parse the thousands of variables that arise from such decisions I have taken? What god-like capacity do you possess that allows you to evaluate thousands of hours of squad play or any one battle and ascertain the unique contribution made by each action?

                      What is this strategy of "staying with the team" to which you refer? Moving with the zerg? Doing what everyone else is doing? Mindlessly following the masses. No, I am sure you have something more sophisticated in mind. What separates me from the team? How can I be so wrong, so detrimental to the team, when over the years some of TG's finest have squaded up with me and found my methods adequate?

                      I do not stand alone in my approach and neither do I call for all others to follow my approach. I have repeatedly acknowledged the need for various types of squads with various skill sets. You, on the other hand, appear to call for a homogeneous approach to the game that suggests that there is only one way to play, one way to contribute to the team.

                      Your claims represent a fundamental error in thinking about what constitutes sound tactics, contributory teamwork, and the dynamics of FPS online military gaming.

                      There is much value in my methods. There is certainly much value in yours.

                      The range of optimal, contributory tactical play is much greater than your narrow and overstated argument.
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                      • #12
                        Re: Hardcore Communication and Leadership Examples and Issues

                        Originally posted by E-Male View Post
                        Pfft. You are making a highly subjective claim. What is the proof that you can bring to the table to back up your opinion that my squad "often" fails to contribute "anything" to the success of the team?
                        Your battlelog stats are a decent place to start though I will admit they are far from a complete overview of your performance but at a glance they would indicated that your presence on the battlefield is often not felt.

                        Originally posted by E-Male View Post
                        Who is to say that doing what many other squads and individuals will not do -- actively defend a flag throughout a round, unbalances a team or otherwise fails to contribute to the win? Indeed, how many times across how many TG game titles have we not seen the issue of the failure to defend arise in these forums? How many times has each of us witnessed a squad move off a flag only to see it almost immediately fall into enemy hands? I have never advocated defense as superiour to attack (military doctrine makes it clear that the two are often functionally equivalent).
                        When the flag being defended is uncontested it seems common sense that indicates the opposing team has superior numbers on the flags that are highly contested with the exception of a squad mirroring your own tactics and sitting on a flag all round which is an unlikely occurrence because your style of play is quite a small niche in BF4.

                        Originally posted by E-Male View Post
                        You incorrectly describe my method as "rigid" when I have made a point over the past 7 years or so of noting the need for forward defensive positions, variable distances of defensive postures, active movement of fireteams and so on. I could cite numerous video records to this effect across numerous game titles but you seem to have a uncanny ability to assess all this data and dismiss my methods and tactics as non-contributory.
                        A: What you do in other titles doesn't matter here; we're discussing your tactics as they apply to Battlefield 4. B: You incorrectly assume I need to review your entire video history to pass review on your leadership style. You post on the forums quite frequently about what we all should and shouldn't be doing as squad leaders and you are quite often in game at the same time I am. From this it can be observed that you're very happy to sit on an uncontested outlying flag of little stragetic value for an entire round but also that you overly rely on command structures that, in this title, make your squad a weaker fighting force. While away from the team you are not reviving as many people as you could, resupplying players that need ammunition or proving extra fire support for friendly squads pushing on a contested objective.

                        Originally posted by E-Male View Post
                        What is this strategy of "staying with the team" to which you refer? Moving with the zerg? Doing what everyone else is doing? Mindlessly following the masses. No, I am sure you have something more sophisticated in mind. What separates me from the team? How can I be so wrong, so detrimental to the team, when over the years some of TG's finest have squaded up with me and found my methods adequate?
                        You disregard staying with your team so callously it's quite shocking. Do you really see so little value in being among a larger force working towards a common goal? Players joining your squad is not a measure of your relative success in the team; it just means they enjoy your squad leading style. Your style certainly appeals to some of the population here but that isn't to be confused with it being effective.

                        Really, I don't see you bringing any argument to refute my claims but rather snipe at them with no logical or sound reasoning behind your comments. You insist I'm wrong in bringing critique to your "sophisticated" methods but don't bring examples of how they have turned the tide of many a round, given your team the upper hand or served anything but your own interest in leading a squad with your "method".

                        I don't bring judgement or anger or anything of the sort for you playing the game how you want to. Your squads are fun for the people who want that style of play, you seem to enjoy yourself when playing and producing your videos, have at it.

                        However, I don't think they help your team to win one iota.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Hardcore Communication and Leadership Examples and Issues

                          I guess we will just have to agree to disagree, KnyghtMare.

                          It is a logical fallacy to relate personal Battlelog stats to squad leading methods, as such an argument overlooks the multiplicity of methods and playstyles that I may be using, the time that I may be ingame but not squad leading, and other variables that would not be represented in the narrow set of behaviours captured in BL stats. The undeniable fact that I am a terrible shooter, have slow twitch, and am an easy ticket has no bearing on the larger issues herein of tactical group behaviour. BL stats provide no granular information regarding group behaviour, squad methods, or tactical proficiency.

                          Your understanding of uncontested flags fails to take into account that all flags are contested. Any flag left undefended will quickly, usually very quickly, fall into enemy hands. In terms of strategic thinking and the actual nature of gameplay all flags are contested.

                          I would argue that my tactics apply to all titles I have played here at TG. My tactics are adaptive, based on increasing cohesion and force ratios, and focus on objectives that are often unpopular, such as defense, for no other reason than the principle of seeing a need and filling it. Of course, minor changes in approach are necessary given the differences across titles as diverse as ArmA, PR, BF2, PS2, BC2, BF3, and BF4, but I have approached all of these games with the same basic squad management principles and tactical tool kit and have contributed to my team in all titles. The principles of warfare and leadership remain fairly constant across all virtual battlefields in the FPS genre of the past 10 years.

                          Your argument manifests greater ignorance than knowledge of the range of my activities and severely undermines the integrity and usefulness of your critique. Consider the grossly overstated and unfounded observation,

                          "While away from the team you are not reviving as many people as you could, resupplying players that need ammunition or proving extra fire support for friendly squads pushing on a contested objective."

                          This is nonsense. I am frequently (very frequently) resupplying, I am often engaging enemies from my position, or spotting, or providing intel (and so on). Again, you undermine your argument with such overstated claims and counterfactual observations.

                          Again, you claim that I am not "staying with my team" yet it remains unclear what, in your mind, would constitute staying with my team -- abandoning a flag so the enemy can quickly retake it? Failing to secure a hostile flank? Allowing the enemy free reign of dead zones? I am always with my team, responsive to CO orders, and attentive to the action and needs of nearby squads. Your accusations are unfounded and impressionistic and distract from an otherwise potentially fruitful discussion of squad management and tactical issues.

                          You may continue to insist that my methods do not "help your team to win one iota" but I see no need to defend myself against grossly overstated accusations.

                          My methods work and contribute to my team.
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                          • #14
                            Re: Hardcore Communication and Leadership Examples and Issues

                            Knyghtmare, you're not new to these parts, your forum account was created in 2008... You don't need to have been playing on TG servers anywhere near that long to know that uncontested flags don't stay uncontested flags for very long at all on a TG server. In fact, given what seems to be the ever shrinking in size of maps since BF2, flags don't tend to stay uncontested for long on most servers.

                            Frankly, to even suggest that a squad holding and defending an objective isn't helping the team "one iota" in a bleed based game mode boggles the mind.
                            It is a reoccurring theme on many servers out there for the team to capture a flag, move to the next and have the flag they just captured taken back off them moments later. The fact that you don't seem to see any benefit of or put any value on defending your teams territory is worrying to say the least, especially when the game play we are talking about is on a server where you know there will be squads looking to get in behind at any given opportunity.

                            In fact, a few nights back I was on the opposite team to e-male and his squad. the squad I was in at the time headed up the flank to attack the back flag which (unknown to me) his squad was defending. After about 5 minutes or so, we took the flag off e-males squad. Moments later my squad leader pulled us off the flag we had just fought over for 5 minutes and within 1 minute of us leaving e-male had the flag back again.
                            So in that situation, e-males squad held a flag against my squad for over 5 minutes, all the time contributing to his teams territory count. Yes we took the flag, but then my SL moved us out to hit the flags which the rest of the team were attacking, almost instantly giving up the flag we just spent 5 minutes fighting for.... Is this the type of play you feel contributes more to the team? Because even though the squad I was in pushed e-malls squad off the flag, it felt like we were the losers in the long run.
                            It matters not what letters or numbers come before my name, I'll always be 1stMIP.

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                            "It is all about being a teamplayer. Give a kitchen sink to a teamplayer and he'll find a way to support his squad with it."
                            - John_CANavar (Marshall & Founder of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Platoon)

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                            • #15
                              Re: Hardcore Communication and Leadership Examples and Issues

                              Originally posted by Finestyle View Post
                              Frankly, to even suggest that a squad holding and defending an objective isn't helping the team "one iota" in a bleed based game mode boggles the mind.
                              Defending a singular flag that isn't seeing any action, as I've seen E-Male do, isn't something I think helps the team. BF4 has flags in close proximity quite often and quick, responsive squads moving between two well paired flags will prove more beneficial than defending one.

                              If we use Paracel Storm as an example, the E flag is useless here. I think a helo spawns on it(?) but I'm not convinced that helo balances out moving a squad on A+B coverage or C+D coverage. Not only does this assignment allow one squad to cover multiple flags so long as they are responsive to threats it has the benefit of keeping the squad with the bulk of the team which allows for more efficient engagements with the enemy and better logistical support (health, ammo, armor coverage etc.).

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