Next setup I think we have to plan it a bit more, and also perhaps not use ROs. Take a slower pacing. Squad cohesion was excellent, and that showed on how we steamrolled from our WG down to the NC one. Platoon cohesion still needs a lot of work.
Next setup I think we have to plan it a bit more, and also perhaps not use ROs. Take a slower pacing. Squad cohesion was excellent, and that showed on how we steamrolled from our WG down to the NC one. Platoon cohesion still needs a lot of work.
Unfortunately I only made the last half hour or so last night. Grible did a fantastic job as Squad Lead, and it was good to have Esoteric tagging along with Charlie. I'm aware that I'm still learning a lot about the game, so it's easy to conflate natural improvements with the results of TACGIR, but I think that having clearer roles and objectives actually makes it easier for inexperienced players.
As was mentioned in the debrief, taking things a tiny bit more slowly might help us be a little more targeted in our actions. While I enjoyed a more structured arrangement, I felt that we ended up being the 'main' force while the 'casual' force got left behind.
Lastly - this being the AAR thread, should we try and keep discussion about the unit's purpose/design in a seperate thread? It's so easy to spread discussions over multiple locations, which doesn't really hold any benefit.
Proposed 2 squad in tandem might help that. You were also in my squad GinSoaked, and it was a total mess at the start since I had to PL.
Another thing to note is that we haven't really played this way much. We will get better. We have never even attemped tactical play between two squads.
[RPS TACGIR] Development Discussion. Let's move this exchange over there, and link any future AARs from there.
Introduction - Goal of the operation:
Last night was the first outing of our new TACGIR comms setup. You can visit Esoteric's post on the Mumble thread. Main goal of the operation was the familiarisation with the setup, and most importantly how to utilise it for better squad coordination. Also, an effort was to be made on utilising an Air Squadron and fostering combined arms play.
Continent: Amerish. The situation on Esamir did not seem favourable at the beginning of the evening, and Indar is, well, Indar. On retrospect though, perhaps Esamir, due to the flatter terrain, should have been preferable. Amerish, due to its mountains and deep valleys, adds further complexity in organising transport.
- BL: MrEclectic
- Comms Liaison: qaz
- Alpha: Cortosis, relieved by Wardancers (Alpha didn't have an RO due to the BL being a member)
- Bravo: GinSoakedBoy/Skumby
- Charlie: EsotericReverie/Orius
- Delta: Ridebird/Richtersen
- Echo: (for the life of me cannot recall)
- Air Squadron: Jerbul/Heigh-Many Popes-cannot recall (they sure changed a lot of ROs)
Rough progression of events:
- First scale - targeting Mekala - moving South towards NC: Nothing spectacular. We capped the surrounding territories, reaching to Auraxicom Substation, Splitpeak and Auraxis Firearms, looking for a NC reaction. Good response times, coordinated strikes. During all this time, Air was apparently doing a great job, because we never felt any enemy air threat.
- Noteworthy action: Auraxis Firearms. Alpha secured the bridge, having one Battle Bus Sunderer guarding the deployed AMS Sunderer. Delta arrived and pushed beyond.
- Second scale - switching to West: Although we did encounter some fights when moving down SE, there was not anything big so we could have a fun fight. After Mekala, and as we were coming Substation and Splitpeak, the Ascent presented itself. Air scouted, and supported as Delta first hit the ground, followed by Alpha for the main tower, and Bravo and Charlie to reinforce and if not needed cap the other points. Friendlies were around, but so a big enemy force. Drops were successful and on targets.
- We pushed West. Seeing no significant enemy presence, we spread out trying to cap territory towards the TR WG. The TR started concentrating on Lithcorp, but we had Delta gal drop on the facility, one Sunderer IIRC from Charlie on the east cliff overlooking the facility, and Alpha and Bravo guarding the crossroads north of the facility, preventing TR armour and air approaching (there was some, but not much).
- After that, again spread, as we were trying to negate and fix the TR from pushing across the North edge of the map eastwards. During this, Bravo was dispatched to Deserted Mineshaft.
- Bravo encountered heavy resistance. but they didn't ask for reinforcements early on. After asking if they needed, I started concentrating all our forces there. It turns out, they were facing a force of platoon-strength, probably more. Response and arrival of reinforcing squads was very good. On the ground, we managed to clear their reinforcements and Sunderers from the west, Bravo, Charlie and Echo pinned them from the west side and around the cap, and Alpha and Delta secured the eastern airpad, suppressing and then flanking their approach to the cap point from the spawnroom.
- Final scale - Ikanam: After that, I recall we also had some major action, but not details. Final action was around and inside Ikanam, where we secured it with ease.
- Coordination on the ground was great. Squad leaders, during the debriefing, were satisfied with how easy it was for them to coordinate on the ground, supporting each other's squad. The Unit Chat aspect of the new comms is undoubtedly a success.
- Air Squadron was a success. For the first time, it was us that had total air domination, and the TR constantly harassed by our air.
- We did not lose during any action IIRC.
Areas that need improvement:
- In part because of the new comms setup, PL/RO communication sometimes was problematic. Some ROs didn't respond at times, and the sitreps were not informative. On occasion, information about the situation on the ground, especially from squads dispatched on different locations, was unreliable. On my part, and I think this further contributed and amplified the situation, I was trying to micromanage on occasion. Although I feel that it is the role of the BL to coordinate squads during major action, I overdid it. I felt at the time that micromanaging would negate the information deficit (when they're doing what you tell them, you know what they are doing - sic!). Of course that was the incorrect response. Also, I didn't call for sitreps in squad order. I rectified that further in the evening somewhat, but I need to further improve.
- The new comms setup is kind of problematic for the PL. The PTT is used to talk to the whole platoon, so he cannot use it to talk to his squad. So I set up a whisper for that. During the evening, it also turned out that the whole Alpha squad could listen to the Radio Chatter, so the solution was for them to mute me (as I said during the debriefing, perhaps this should be outfit policy!)
Personal Mistakes and Failures:
- Did not take advantage of opportunities for combined arms play. Amerish of course is the worse map for that, unless there are major enemy and TVA operations going on at the same time, so big concentrated battles take place. Still, there were a couple of opportunities I missed.
- Sometimes called the Air Squadron to provide Galaxy taxi service. Wrong. To my defense, did not have a clear picture of what was happening with the Air Squadron, besides that they were doing a great job. I assumed that they usually had people on cool down. Never assume, always confirm (ass+u+me). To make matters worse, those galaxies some times were not even needed. I should have been clearer on the role of the Air Squadron, and also at coordinating with the SLs on that aspect.
- Regarding the Air Squadron, I was kind of reluctant to widen their CAP areas. In the future, Air Squadron should be free to operate in a wider area. As yesterday showed, just knowing where the closest friendly AA is is enough.
- Not making sure the Comms Liaison was in my squad, and not taking a pause to rectify that. We kicked off the evening late, due to having to discuss the new setup, but that was no excuse. If so, CL could make the general strategic decisions, and I could focus. Also, the need for back-capping would be reduced, if I had coordinated better with the CL and hence the rest of TVA. That is an even greater failure, considering the importance of TVA coordination.
- The above lead to too much ghost- and back-capping. Also a failure to correctly read the map. I should have stuck to my intent on my initial post to delegate these decisions to a SG/CL. I still feel that such a setup would be better, with the SG/CL setting strategy and goals, PL coordinating the squads to achieve those goals, and the squads coordinating on the ground to secure their objectives.
- Talking too much at times. Already mentioned it in the "Areas that need improvement" section. To my defense, but not excuse, the problems with the comms and the crashes (got a mumble crash, and after half an hour got a blue screen of death) made for a very hectic gaming experience at times.
Best personal moments:
- Reinforcing Deserted Mineshaft, and recalling our whole strength there. Fun fight, and really good operational and tactical coordination on the ground. One of the highlights of the evening.
- During the mumble crash, managed to coordinate the attack on Lithcorp (I think the second one) through text messages in outfit chat. Concise and accurate objectives, in retrospect I should always operate as if typing orders in Twitter!
Suggestion: In future operations, the chain of command should go SG/CL->BL->SLs. SG looks how the map is going and asks "where should the oufit be? Are we achieving our strategic targets?", both to themselves and the rest of TVA. BL looks at how the operational objectives are going and asks "where should the squads be? Are we achieving our operational objectives/capping or defending regions?". SLs look at how the tactical objectives are going and ask themselves "where should the squaddies be? Are we achieving our targets/buildings/cap points/generators?"
Fun was had by most, so that is good. The Unit Chat aspect of the comms and the utilisation of a dedicated Air Squadron are now a proven concept and a tool of immense value to the outfit. On a personal note, I need to shut up!
Bringing all my ramblings from the wrong AAR thread into this one:
Last night was pretty good (I was in Delta), no action for quite a while but things got going after a few empty caps. The new comms seemed to work well in terms of our squad with Ridebird and our RO seeming not to be flooded with comms traffic. I didn't much like the way the air arm worked, seemed (as others have said) to be mainly as a taxi service. I'd like to see squads move themselves around in gals and have the air arm do the air cover. More guns, less seats?! Internal squad comms were excellent, loads of tactical ideas flying around. In the fighting we seemed to gel pretty quickly, self balancing classes effectively and basically taking most things apart we came up against. Fun!
Just trying to think of my personal highlight from last night. I forget the base now but we had the enemy mainly pinned in their spawn. I went LA and went high, some steep pointy rock with good overlook. I had the idea to start sniping with my shiny new 'Underboss'. After a couple of shots I thought it was bugged, kept getting double shot sounds. Then spun around to find Ridebird had had the exact same idea lol. What a sound the new pistols make!!!
Cross-posting from t'other thread (also I can't get rid of the italics for some reason):
Caveat: I've only lead twice, and I'm relatively new.
As a platoon lead I'd like to be able to call on ROs individually, have them report in individually as the situation requires. I can call on an RO for a sitrep easily enough, especially if I'm only talking to the RO:
PL "Bravo sitrep please?"
RO "On objective, minimal resistance, securing now"
RO "Bravo to Platoon"
PL "Go ahead."
RO "Meeting heavy resistance and require support"
PL "Copy that Bravo."
and then PL takes charge of sorting out support or changing plans if everyone's getting hit hard. The inter-communication flows from PL to RO to SL to squads and back again. Once you get a selection of good SLs and good ROs who aren't having technical problems and know what's expected of them, this system will just get slicker and slicker.
"Delta is on site" or "Charlie objective complete in 30 seconds" are useful bits of information to throw out, but as a PL I do spend a large amount of my time in the map looking at how things are going as a whole anyway, and with the new changes to how information is displayed on the map you'd probably be able to keep on top of that as a PL more easily now as well.
On another note - having the air squad was fantastic; as we're so used to being swarmed by Mosquitos and Reavers, seeing that many Scythes up in the air and chasing off enemy attackers was great. It also means that infantry and tanks can focus on killing other infantry and tanks rather than having to worry about air defence.
I definitely think the air squad shouldn't be used for taxi service though. Yes there's a lead time if a squad member has to drop back to a Warpgate or Tech Plant to pull a galaxy, but hopefully SL should know where he's going before he's finished his current objective and can call for someone to drop back and pull transport before they have to move out (in an ideal world, of course ... and if the PL is on his game!).
Unless we're doing a platoon sized gal drop on a large facility, having SLs worry about how they get from where they are to where they need to be seems like the best option (with guidance from PL if required, but to assume that the SL will take the lead unless told otherwise:
PL to RO: "OK, great work on capping X - next objective is Y."
RO to SL "PL says we're awesome and we're going to cap Y next."
SL thinks: we can get there by sundy / we need a gal to get in there
SL to squad "Great stuff guys, once the cap is done I want everyone to gather on the squad waypoint. Need one volunteer to pull a sundy / drop back to warp gate and pull a gal."
Nine times out of ten you'll get someone volunteering. So SL takes care of the how, PL takes care of the where (and can also advise the SL of how quickly the how needs to get done if that's important).
Keeping the air squad flying close air support and combat air patrols gives us a great option in the air, not just for defending ground forces, but also for interdicting enemy action against us - e.g. we are taking a tech plant, we have all four squads committed, we have CAS hunting out enemy sundies around the base and CAP a bit further out hunting down enemy reinforcements etc. (I have visions of enemy Gal drops being destroyed on route etc.)
I got online after the comms teething problems had been sorted out (up until the point Eclectic blue-screened), and had GinSoaked and Skumbly for SL and RO - felt like both knew what they were doing and kept things moving, but we had the unfortunate experience of getting to the fight late or not being able to get into the fight at all.
Something more game-related for the PL to bear in mind - Alpha and Charlie are getting a lot of fighting done, Bravo's been off on a ghost cap for a while. Let's have Bravo and Delta take the lead on the next big fight and have Charlie ghost that outpost to the south ... or whatever.
So yeah ... this post turned out to be really long.
Further thoughts on air giraffes: from my point of view, I think the best use of the Air Squad as a group is to have the people in it always be doing one of three things:
CAS - taking out enemy armour or strafing infantry, staying close in around whichever objective is being taken.
CAP - destroying enemy fighters/Liberators, dogfighting, even just keeping enemy air engaged so that they can't attack ground targets. This could be more of a wider area, free roaming thing (even a mere six pilots could cover a huge amount of territory).
Scouting/harassment - I get that you'd be doing a fair amount of this anyway. But spotting enemy armour off in the distance so we could chop a CAS strike onto it, or spotting enemy transports early enough so that our infantry squads can be in position to ambush them ... maybe the game moves a bit too fast for that kind of stuff to happen except rarely.
In terms of numbers I think having wingmen buddies would work well, and then if they get a nice target rich environment they can let the others in the Squad now and have them swarm over. I'd love to see our Scythes taking out enemy Galaxy drops before they can get near us, or interdicting armour that's moving up to attack us from another facility.
I think that would help to keep the level of enjoyment up for the pilots as well, giving them more targets to shoot at.
Sorry about the other thread.
To make sure the Air Force is constantly busy why not say "If you have no current orders then patrol the general area of the squads and destroy any esfs". Then either the PL or SL can call in air support when needed or the PL can send in libs ahead of the ground units to soften up a target. Scythes could also act as scouts, giving intel to the PL on enemy forces.
I should have called in other squad support for Bravo last night but it was our first proper fight and I wanted my squad to actually be able to get stuck in. In hindsight it would have been better to request support earlier.
AAR - Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting - 20/04/2013
Regular Saturday night gaming with the RPS PS2 crowd. No split comms, everyone in one channel. Originally we were just pootling about with a squad and a half looking for a fight, this turned into doing our best with the alert when it was declared for Esamir - I think our numbers swelled to three squads at the end.
I'm posting this here to gain some feedback on how people felt the platoon leading went.
Continent: Esamir. With no particular objective in mind a group decision was made that the few people online when I volunteered to take Platoon Lead would warp gate to Esamir and go looking for a fun fight to get stuck into. This turned out to be a bit of good fortune when Esamir came up as the alert.
Comms Liaison: N/A
If I screwed any of those names up I apologise, one channel comms got very chaotic but there was no time to try and sort out split comms.
Rough progression of events:
Initial operations; we went looking for a fight on Esamir, and were involved in multiple changes in possession of Mani Bio Labs. We were fighting against TR for the majority of this time and were quite successful in taking the labs; on other occasions, the TR would arrive in large numbers and push us out, only for RPS units to recapture all the satellite outposts and push back into the labs.
We had a lot of success on being pushed out of the labs by falling back to Stillwater and Northpoint, and setting up defensive lines on the eastern bank of the river. We broke multiple TR attempts to break out east from Mani Bio Lab, and were then able to push back into Mani and resecure it.
Esamir alert: The fight continued around Mani; huge amounts of TR were being thrown into the mix. Attempts to push out west and south from Mani (Haven, Aurora Materials, Apex Genetics), while initially successful, were ultimately swamped by mass TR pushes. We fell back to defend Mani and were involved in heavy fighting around the satellites and the bio lab itself. RPS held on as long as possible, including recapping the satellite outposts numerous times, but were ultimately pushed out by overwhelming TR numbers. We again fell back to the east, got in position at Northpoint and Stillwater, and dug in - I was fully expecting the TR to attempt to keep rolling east and press our Warp Gate.
When it became clear this was not going to happen, we then headed south, attempting to snatch territory back from the NC. We were able to reinforce Nott Amp Station and save that from the NC attempting to cap it, and then pushed out towards the south to continue to try and grab ground. While we weren't able to secure new territory, we were able to defend those parts that we were holding and keep the NC from getting any more ground.
The alert finished with an NC victory, at which point most people logged off.
Personal mistakes & failures:
I cost us time at Stillwater and Northpoint when we were waiting for the TR push that never came; we should have pulled out earlier and the time we lost there might have made the difference later on when trying to snatch what we could from NC before the end of the alert.
Also when we were trying to get moving quickly to seize territory from the NC things got very chaotic as I was trying to get squads onto objectives and reinforce other squads etc. - with a lot of the squad chat and general communication that was going on things got a bit messy towards the end. I think if it had been a TACGIR night with split comms that might have improved things but I wasn't about to try messing around with my binds (they're not set up yet) in the dying minutes of the alert.
Best personal moments:
RPS plunging into the fight at Nott Amp Station and blocking the NC cap in literally the last few seconds of the timer. Great work from everyone involved there, that was a beautiful bit of play. And all the sweeter due to one NC yelling his congratulations to his teammates moments before we stormed the point and cleared them out - much crowing was done in return.
I hope people had fun, we got stuck into some great fights, and although we didn't win the alert, the RPS outfit did make the key difference in a number of different fights, whether that was the defence and delaying action at Mani, or the saving of Nott Amp Station. Thanks to everyone that was online while I was lead, the Giraffe's gave a hoofing to the enemy far above our weight, and especially to the squad leads who all did a great job.
I'd love some feedback on what people thought about me as PL and if there's anything that they think I could have done differently/better/areas that I can improve on.
Overall Sketch did an admirable job in the face of some pretty overwhelming odds and well organised TR outfits. I think the fact everyone was pleased with the number of certs they'd racked up last night suggests it was good hunting. My favourite jaunts were:
- The defence of Mani; the successful taking and holding of satellites there and perseverence against an enormous force. Our efforts slowed and distracted a major TR push.
- The (multiple) defences of Stillwater. A good many mosquitos were swatted last night and the giraffes should be proud of how well we held Stillwater against multiple sunderers, prowlers and a sky full of air units.
- The fight for Aurora (and surrounding areas). After Grible became 'highly suspicious of those purple crystals' we ended up having a real slog to take the mountains south of Mani Lake. After a vicious fight, we ended up being able to attack Aurora from an unusual angle and again ended up fighting TR defenders who outnumbered and outequipped us. Props to FrozenRain and his gang for sticking with - and taking - that one after Sketch called us away as a lost cause.
I don't have a great deal of criticism for anyone last night. Some people would have been lynched if it was a TACGIR night for being part of the platoon but not part of the fight, instead choosing (it seemed) to holiday 3 bases back from the rest of us. Likewise, being recalled to a warpgate should be a basic giraffe skill but some clearly found it too difficult a request. Sketch tried to micromanage what became a sizeable platoon and could have saved some effort if he'd left a bit more to us SLs. Saying that, it was just a casual night, we were all in single channel and it was my first attempt at SLing so I am not going to complain (just whinge).
I know I was too quiet and am going to have to up my game if I want to SL effectively. Last night's action was perfect practice though as I got to play with beacons, waypoints and holding maps in front of my face without any pressure to perform. I suggest other wannabe SLs try to have a bash on a casual night first. Feedback would be appreciated but I know I had too little to say so I don't expect there was much to comment on.
On a TACGIR night with proper split comms, I'd have been talking only to ROs (unless there was something urgent that needed to be communicated to everyone at once), and the SLs would be to trusted to get the job done on the ground.
Not sure whether I agree on that, actually. To me, casual nights tend to be so messy that I find anything I as SL say to my squad is lost in the general hubbub. You need to be very asertive and sound like you know wha the hell you're doing, two things that requires bit of confidence, which newer leaders may not yet have gained. I'd much rather have a nice and easy time alone with my squad, but I guess others night feel differently.
we really should get going on the mentoring thing by the way. Putting a squa with a new SL into its own unit, the mentor and mentee can both be in the SL channel and use their coordinate shout to talk to each other. And any others who want to take part, for that matter.
I find it hard to keep track of where I am, what's going on, etc. Probably not cut out to be a squad leader when situations are busy, but I'd dumped certs into beacon and smoke so gave it a go. Often I heard in Mumble that there were orders, but by the time I've moved my focus to mumble the details have already finished. It was embarrassing to keep asking for repeats :( Having the PL put text orders in platoon chat after speaking for people to refer back to would be useful in future. At one point in the evening I was at the wrong base for a while, having mixed up east and west.
Chaos set in when I placed some yellow smoke to aid navigation, and about 4 sundies got confused as to which road to take. Extra thanks to Moxxi for picking up my "crab" (MAX) and saving me a long waddle between bases! Cobbled together a picture (giraffe in a cart) in thanks of good driving. No idea how to attach it, so here is a link: http://postimg.org/image/9clkbp74h/
I was slower with the squad beacon than I should have been. Partly due to being a MAX for a while and unable to place it, and then forgetting I had it. One of my squad asked if I was away from keyboard, which helped remind me to place it.
I tend to think in terms of 'routes to victory', but have been forgetting something important. Even if they're going to win, you can still make it hard for them. Not much fun to face a slow loss though.
Getting a feeling for the timing of the alerts will help me and other people who step up to the PL role in future I think; with last night as an example, although we did break the TR momentum in the north, the NC were holding enough ground that they won the alert.
Which brings me back to the defence at Stillwater for the TR push that never came - with the benefit of hindsight I should have pulled the platoon out of Mani as we were being overwhelmed, but have taken that moment as the cue to head south and start focusing on the NC straight away - catching another TR push across the river would've been good but the NC were the ones that were winning the alert (and by that point we were into the last 20 or so minutes anyway).
Last night's gaming session kind of changed objectives as we went along; first of all it was just "let's find a good fight" and then became "alert's on let's do what we can". Both times the initial objective was fairly simple; hold the TR in the north. In the end we tied down huge numbers of TR in and around Mani for most of the alert, even if actually holding the facility was impossible.
Incidentally, ProdigalVS was apparently raging at Grible in whisper chat about RPS leaving Mani, and that our pullout was the reason we lost the alert. I think both he and I are of the opinion that this is entirely untrue.
Things got very confused when we were trying to push south and that was down to me I think, and the fluidity of the situation - I was trying to push out, but we ended up having to reinforce and defend against NC flipping outposts instead - which meant a fair bit of me saying 'Charlie go here." and then two seconds later having to recall you and send you somewhere else instead.
Actually we are just splitting hairs. I think that the real answer is that you when you have as many as 4 squads on a casual night you either keep everyone in 1, maximum 2, groups or you get a TACGIR going. Sending the 4 squads to four different directions without squad leadership is a headache.
Anyway, there hasn't been that much TACGIR play lately, is that because everyone is burnt out on tactical play after Thursday night ops, or simply that nobody wants to take the first step and propose it? I will want to play that way most of the time, but won't want to SL every time, and thus feel a bit silly asking for someone to step up to lead TACGIR for me.
I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't and neither should anyone else who feels like a bit of tactical play, at any time of night or day!
I think it's hard to ask even just to run in separate channels when there are 40 people in channel with lots of people all talking at once. I'd happily lead a squad or platoon most of the time, I could do with the practice and I really enjoy it. I kind of feel that people seem to think TACGIR means strict, po-faced play without fun which I think isn't true at all. I have much more fun playing in a more organised manner.
Alright, that's good. Rather than get bogged down in a fourth repeat of an old discussion, I shall start asking if there's anyone willing to lead a TACGIR squad, whenever I happen to feel like it. Much more constructive, really. :)