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When I am Leading a Squad . . .

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  • When I am Leading a Squad . . .

    I have been developing a method of squad leading appropriate to BC2 and have seen some great teamwork recently.

    The method involves stripping down operating procedures to those that can be immediately communicated and followed by men with little training in standard operating procedures.

    Keeping in mind that I realize that I am far from an expert level of player, and am an easy ticket for anyone from the feared 70th (and many others), and also keeping in mind that I am not making claims that this is the best way to play, herewith are some thoughts on my squad leading exercises.

    Generally, here is what I am trying to do with my squad:

    1) Keep everyone in the same field of action.
    This ensures that we all have the same immediate points of reference for calling contacts, and that we can bring collective fire on an enemy contact.

    2) Die less, kill more.
    This means playing as if your life counted. Every death is an interruption in situation awareness, and is usually the result of "player error". Force the enemy to make an error.

    3) Coordinated Re-engagement
    Usually we see people die, respawn, and immediately rush in. While this is sometimes appropriate, I am training my squad mates to move as a collective to the target. So I'll often call upon my men to spawn in on me and wait (obviously only when my position is secure). When all are spawned in, then they are sent out with a fireteam leader (whomever I designate as being on point). This dramatically increases the force ratio and increases the team's odds of success.

    4) Fire discipline
    Fire only when there is something to kill. Don't shoot at tanks or helos that you cannot take down. Don't engage enemies that do not need to be engaged as we move to a target.

    5) Retreat and Regoup
    Rarely used, but highly effective for regaining control of a situation.

    6) Pick your battles (assess force ratios)

    Increasing so, I will hold my squad in position if we are unsupported at the front lines, or faced with overwhelming enemy forces. This is the "first principle" -- fight on our terms, not the enemy's. It is usual only a matter of moments before reinforcements arrive, and BC2 in hardcore mode allows for the effective use of cover. So we use it to our advantage.

    So when I am leading a squad this is what to expect from me, and what I expect from you.

  • #2
    Re: When I am Leading a Squad . . .

    Very good post E-Male
    I use #5 alot when playing lately knowing when your guys in your squad are down, and finding a good place to wait for them is better then getting that 1 or 2 kills

    Calling out last person up has been big when we are playing ( I don't always see when everyone in my squad goes down so when my boys tell me i am last up it helps me alot)


    • #3
      Re: When I am Leading a Squad . . .

      Originally posted by rockford_69 View Post
      Calling out last person up has been big when we are playing ( I don't always see when everyone in my squad goes down so when my boys tell me i am last up it helps me alot)
      A good reminder of an issue that should have been noted above, Rockford!

      The main objective must to to keep the squad itself operational in a field of action. I do not have sufficient reaction speed to operate effectively up front in close quarter battles, so I usually play the role of squad anchor (respawn point). Nonetheless, the last man alive must remain alive.

      Once you start calling last man alive the rest usually quickly catch on and do likewise. If you are the last man standing in my squad, your objective, your priority, is to find cover or concealment and remain alive.
      Last edited by E-Male; 01-14-2011, 02:29 PM.


      • #4
        Re: When I am Leading a Squad . . .

        Originally posted by E-Male View Post

        4) Fire discipline
        Fire only when there is something to kill. Don't shoot at tanks or helos that you cannot take down. Don't engage enemies that do not need to be engaged as we move to a target.

        I must say that on rush maps for attackers, this is one of the most important skills to learn. Once you learn to hold your fire, even when an enemy is in sight, it is amazing what you can do. I marched past two full squads the other day simply by not shooting at them to not draw their attention.

        Former TG-21st
        Swift Mobile On Target


        • #5
          Re: When I am Leading a Squad . . .

          It is better, even on defense, to fall back and keep killing, spotting, rearming, reviving, repairing, than it is to stubbornly stay alive for 1 or 2 kills completely surrounded by the enemy. That 15 seconds awaiting respawn could have repaired a tank, revived a teammate who was racking up kills, spot an enemy squad, or heal a bunch of buddies.

          S.R.R.R always has priority over getting kills.


          • #6
            Re: When I am Leading a Squad . . .

            Some more notes on squad leading.

            I have a long way to go in delivering precise and concise orders and contact reports to my squad mates and appreciate the willingness of others to tolerate my squad leading.

            That said, I find that the single biggest obstacle to effective squad leading is ill-trained (and usually not trained at all) squad members. You may be an exceptional BC2 player, but you may not necessarily know much about the demands of teamwork and standard operating procedures in my squad.

            The first principle of participating in an organized squad is

            Let the Squad Leader Lead.

            It is noteworthy that many of the players encountered in BC2 have little or no training in disciplined squad operating procedures, so this throws the Squad Leader (SL) into the position of trainer.

            There are many styles of teamplay, and many styles of squad leading -- herein I am only concerned with the development and explicit communication of my own leadership style and expectations.
            The way I run a squad is not suitable to all player types, and is not intended to accommodate all players types. The top tier players will usually be ill-suited to participating in my squad. While they are very good at what they do, they are not great as team-players within my type of squad. This player type generally runs ahead of the pack and will only feel like he is being held back by my orders (which may indeed be the case). ALL are indeed welcome in my squad, as long as they are willing to follow my orders.

            Some common issues I encounter when SLing:

            Excessive comm use by an Squad Member. The comm channel must be kept clear as possible for use by the Squad Leader who is tasked with keeping a high level of Situation Awareness and coordinating the movements of all Squad Members.

            Comms regarding action outside of the immediate field of operation. Generally speaking, if it is not an immediate threat or a target that we can engage, then it falls under Not Our Problem.

            Improper Spawning. Spawning back at base to grab a vehicle of any sort, without prior authorization from the Squad Leader, is very bad, as it disrupts squad cohesion and interrupts the Squad Leader's current strategy.

            Generally, I either run an INFANTY squad or a MECHANIZED squad, and I avoid switching between the two without the proper kits on hand.

            A Squad Member giving kit and objective orders/suggestions to another Squad Member. Run all such suggestions through the SL. Let the Squad Leader lead.

            Running off everytime the MCOMM is flashing. Nothing breaks the unit's force ratio and current strategy faster than a squad member rushing off position, without being ordered, to secure an MCOMM. A squad cannot be everywhere at once, and my squad cannot be responsible for all aspects of the game. As important as the MCOMM is, there are other priorities, such as protecting the periphery of the MCOMM while our team-mates move in to disarm. Remember: the squad leader sets the priorities. You may not agree with my strategy(s), but you will follow my orders.

            My Squad Leading methodology centres on bringing order to the squad to maximize force ratio and focus on common targets within a shared field of action.

            Anything that disrupts order, reduces available force, detracts the group's focus, or degrades communication will be a grave disservice to the squad.

            Ideally, squad members should be close enough to provide fire support, but separated enough to cover maximum area. It is my job as squad leader to ensure that the squad is well-positioned and mutually supportive.

            Running in my squad should (and will) be anything but gaming as usual.

            I intend to be more rigorous in my application of these principles and build a group of teammates that are familiar and compliant with my standard operating procedures.

            When I am in a squad, I will not always be Squad Leader, but I will always make it clear when I have assumed the leadership role.

            And one more thing (for now):

            For heaven's sake, stay out of my team speak channel if you are not in my squad.


            • #7
              Re: When I am Leading a Squad . . .

              Very good read, E-male. I also watched a couple of your youtube videos and I certainly have a lot to learn about organized squad play. I only wish I'd read this before playing with you earlier today. Sorry I joined your TS channel when I wasn't in your squad - I was used to the whole team on the same channel. If I happen to squad up with you again in the future, I'll try to follow these guidelines :)


              • #8
                Re: When I am Leading a Squad . . .

                Greetings Britishbornazn,

                I was not really acting as a formal squad leader last night (it will be crystal clear when I do), moreso just providing suggests and helping to keep the squad cohesive. Same with the TS channel last night, so no foul.

                Nonetheless, great to see you with us at Tactical Gamer -- many styles of play and team leading here, so you are bound to find something that suits. There is no one "right" way to play or lead -- I am simply using the videos and the forums to formalize (and communicate) my expectations for others and myself when in my squad.


                • #9
                  Further thoughts

                  An excellent night of gaming with many players, ending up with FrozenChrome, PL_ostry, and filled with many others.

                  My squad leading ranged from effective to confusing, and I am always grateful to those who put up with my orders.

                  It is too late at night for a detailed commentary, but once again I was reminded of the infinite variety and challenges that otherwise repetitive maps can provide.

                  I was reminded of my own limitations again tonight. To squad lead effectively I need to ensure a certain set of conditions:

                  I MUST stay alive.
                  This means that I cannot be in front, aside from leading my men to the front line (which is often more efficient than trying to orient and direct my point man). It also means that I cannot play in the usual manner of the rest of the team. Designate a squad member to be fire team leader and provide coordination and intell. This requires a delicate balance of being close enough to support a rear flank and far enough to ensure I am not frequently fragged.

                  I must not hesitate to assert leadership.

                  A squad can quickly degrade into a collection of men. I need to call my men back into line when it is clear that they are no longer on position with the rest of the team. Most players are accustomed to very little direction, so it is frequently necessary to remind squad members of my expectations.
                  The corollary of "Let the squad leader lead" is "The squad leader must reinforce leadership through clear, concise, explicit, polite, and confidant communication."


                  • #10
                    Persistent Defence

                    Had a good evening of squad leading which wrapped up with TG Nagin and Hawk_Lead in my my squad. Following my general strategy, I assigned the squad to a strategic area and we would hold that area throughout the round. Our last map was Harvest, on which our team held an initial lead, lost the lead, then regained it to win by about 20 points or so.

                    I tasked the squad with taking and holding D, the flag closest to the enemy base. At one point we were overwhelmed, lost the flag, and Hawk said he was moving out. Fortunately, he changed his mind and remained with us, for which I was grateful, as after a few minutes the main enemy force moved off and we retook the flag and held it to the finish. A nail-biter of a round...

                    I missed a "teachable moment" with Hawk, as I should have briefed him on an alternative response to being overwhelmed:
                    1. Find cover/concealment
                    2. Provide a situation report to the squad leader

                    Had we simply bailed on the flag we probably would have lost that round.

                    You can often count on the enemy not defending the flag closest to their main base. I was counting on the enemy moving on, and they did, which opened up an opportunity for us to retake the flag with little resistance.

                    On Facing Defeat at an Objective
                    Do not simply head off on your own when things look grim. Such action weakens the squad's force ratio, opens up an opportunity for the enemy, and means that your squad leader has one more situation to deal with -- you.
                    Having said that, Hawk_Lead (I think that was his name) is an excellent team player and welcome in my squad any time.

                    Leadership and Uncertainty
                    One of the most challenging aspects of squad leading is dealing with doubt. Have I made the right decision? Is my strategy effective for the team or ill-advised? I think in many circumstances one simply cannot be certain -- uncertainty is a constant condition of battlefield leadership. But this uncertainty cannot get in the way of command -- leadership requires infectious confidence.

                    So aside from moments of obvious change in strategy or objectives, persistence in defence or attack is the best course of action.

                    The Squad Leader as Trainer
                    Tonight I was once again reminded that it is not enough to merely lead by example. I should not hesitate to correct a squad member and instruct on my requirements for squad members. The point of this is not that I assume that I am training squad members in the "correct" way of playing. The point of constant training is to teach my squad members what I require from them while they are in my squad. It is in my best interests to be a better trainer.


                    • #11
                      Fireteam Management Training

                      With the official launch of the new in house squad, TG United Nations [TG-UN], I am implementing a more rigorous style of squad leading to train myself in communicating basic standard operating procedures.

                      Here is an example of some of fireteam management training:



                      • #12
                        Re: When I am Leading a Squad . . .

                        I should have turned on FRAPs tonight -- an awesome evening of squad leading with BrownCoat, Yack, and sorry-buddy-you-were-awesome-but-not-in-TeamSpeak (I forgot your name -- sorry!).

                        My main goal was to keep the squad together as a unit, effective in a strategic location, and continually moving forward. We did this and did it well. In fact, I think we won a few for the team.

                        We created and held front lines, held fire when overpowered and waiting for friendlies to advance, and pick just the right moments to attack.

                        We sustained the minimum of causalities and only once lost our forward position (when we all die).

                        It was excellent.

                        Thank you guys!




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