Maybe it was just me, but I didn't feel like we were getting much guidance at all in Alpha squad. I joined mid-way through the push on a base during which we just kind of aimlessly zerged in the general direction of the enemy spawn until someone realised we weren't even headed towards the capture point. It was good fun and we eventually all somehow pushed in the right direction for long enough to cap the base, but it did feel quite chaotic for much of it. Could have just been because I joined after the orders had been given or something. It was a fun, epic fight in the end anyway.
As mentioned in the debriefing, that was us veterans' fault for not being specific enough about what SLing actually means, which resulted in Alpha Lead being completely new and without the necessary training (which I hope zod gets!). I tried to offer some soft guidance as RO, but no more than the bare minimum as I didn't want to shake the foundations of the organisational structure at that point. But we're aware of the situation and will hopefully be able to be more informative and do more mentoring in the future.
Ultimately though, I think as combatants we did really well all the same. So props for that.
Yeah and, like I said, it was still good fun and immensely satisfying when the dam finally broke and we all steamrolled the base :D
I was only on briefly last night as my internet was crapping out on me and making the gameplay and comms a pain. I was RO for Bravo squad. I definitely could have given more info to PL, that's partly forgetting, partly being distracted by having fun with the harasser but also the RO comms were quite busy.
I would suggest that the comms work as follows:
- PL gives general orders to ROs - e.g. "Alpha and Bravo take base xx."
- ROs confirm receiving the order
- RO relays the orders to their SL
- SLs to to each other to decide who is going to which point, and from which direction etc
- ROs report in on arrivel and give sitrep
So basically ROs will only talk directly to the PL while getting an overall picture of orders by listening to other ROs.
SLs should be talking and coordinating with other SLs quite a bit.
Also, I don't think dipping the comms for ROs is a good idea, I kept missing what my squadmates were saying to me last night.
It seemed we spent far longer at North Grove than necessary from my view (as lowly grunt :) ). I personally got to point building on three occasions and waited in vain for someone else to turn up to enter with. There were far too many people spending their time taking pot shots from the ridge line. I don't know if they were waiting for someone to order them down the hill, but if they were that order didn't seem to come. That was possibly where the squad leaders could have sorted it?
You can't just sit on a hill in this game. Sooner or later you will get flanked. We were hugely lucky there was no organised counter attack on our position while we waited. Since we were halfway sandwiched between the spawn and the directions any of their reinforcements would come in on. I still feel that we need a little more aggression. I don't mean to come off as harsh, it was a lot of fun last night. But I think we could have done better is all.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, sometimes the safest place to be is hiding under the window they are shooting out of, rather than hiding behind the rock they are shooting at.
Yeah, this is where decisive SLs should have stepped in, chatted with each other for a bit, come up with a plan and executed it together. This is one area where we still have lots of work to do. It's not surprising really, since most of our players are fairly laid-back and this kind of coordination requires you to be very active and at the top of your game. I think of myself as pretty hardcore, at least by our standards, and I really don't do all that good a job at this myself, so this is something most of us need more practice at.
I'm not saying that SLs did a bad job yesterday. In fact, given the circumstances you did great! We had a couple of problems that stopped us from playing really well yesterday (at least from my point of view):
1: Startup and setup of leaders started much too late and took a long time. Setting these things up always take time, and we really should have started much earlier.
2: Startup was too messy and failed to get us started on a good footing. This is mostly my fault; I should have been more organised and ensured that things flowed better, but I really wasn't prepared to lead, so it all got a bit hectic. I should have been more attentive to the fact that we had a bunch of fairly new leads who would need to know what they were getting themselves into and what was going to be expected of them. I most certainly should have delegated some of the bloody HR management jobs to someone else, so I could focus on getting the ball rolling instead of setting up platoons and recruitment etc.
3: I should have reminded people of the squad leader chat thing, so that they were aware that they could actually talk to each other and coordinate awesome multi-pronged assaults and all that good stuff.
4: I really should have had someone else handle the platoons, recruitment, shuffling people about, all that.
5: Someone other than PL should handle the platoons. (added for emphasis!)
I've got some ideas for how to handle these things better next time around, I'll see if I can write some best practices up for us. A checklist for stratgir, if you will.
SLs can't. They're the boots on the ground leaders and have no direct comms with the other SLs. RO's do that. Which is why I personally do not like having an RO.
Originally Posted by EsotericReverie
That is actually a misconception, I am happy to say. SLs actually DO have a direct line to other SLs within their unit, using their whisper bind (parent+subs or current+linked, either one works). ROs have had their role as middlemen between SLs removed, just so that SLs can more efficiently coordinate with eachother. This is one of the real benefits to the new comms setup. Squads do need to be grouped into the same unit in Mumble for this to work, though.
If this didn't work out for you yesterday, then that is a bug, not the absence of a feature. Hook me up sometime when we're both online, and we'll check out why it didn't work as expected.
You're totally right, I ordered Unit 2 Bravo (Fox Trot ?) to move back to the South and flank them from the East, which was empty. But :
Originally Posted by Surlywombat
- It's hard to make everyone move when they are having fun/killing people where they are. I repeated the order several times, but the move was slow and not everyone did it. I learned a lesson there, outfit members aren't used to follow strict orders. So I will try to find ways to enforce orders, while still keeping things fun (the goal is not to yell at people everytime).
- I was unable to communicate with Unit 2 Alpha (Echo ?) SL to get them moving as well. I tried to whisper, but just didn't get any answer. I dunno if it was a problem with Echo's SL Mumble set up, a problem with channels set up, or a problem with my set up (though it seemed to work fine before the assault when we were settings up the first Unit). Next time, before settings off to wherever the PL wants us, I will ensure that my fellows SL can hear me and can answer me.
Btw Esoteric, can you actually rename the squad in platoon 2 to Echo/Fox ? or will it always be Alpha/Bravo/Delta ? because if that's the case, people are gonna be confused as to which channel they should join/which squad they are.
As General Melchett would say "No! It's shout, shout, shout. Baaah!"
Originally Posted by Ksempac
OK, not the most stellar authority. Still, alter the tone of your voice. You do not have to be yelling, but convey a sense of urgency. People respond to that. It is hardwired in human beings.
Also, if they are not following you, give them a focal point. The squad point, coloured smoke, yourself (everyone seems to keep track of where the SL is).
Good tips, MrEclectic!
Ksempac: no, it is sadly impossible to change names of squads in-game. I wish it wasn't but it is. And Boriz did seem to have a spot of trouble with the Mumblez. I'll check in with the Echo Squad channel, see if it's broken in any way, but I don't think it is. We'll see if we can get things sorted.
Edit: I have noticed that there are some slight problems with moving channels around in Mumble. Sometimes moving the channel won't always cause the clients (or server, whichever it is) to re-evaluate the context of the ACL rules, so they stop working. That's essentially what happen for FrozenRain yesterday. He basically got bumped up to PL status, because I dropped his squad at the wrong level, and when I moved it back down, it didn't reset properly. Something similar might've happened to Boriz.
So yeah, about my abysmal performance as SL... I really don't want you to take it as some sort of failure to guide me, I certainly got confused as to "who is supposed to be doing what" with Orius, but since I've mainly been playing with TACGIR whenever I had the choice I've had enough examples of good squad leaders (cheers Gribble!) to know roughly what was expected of me. I'm just not cut out for the job (lack of sleep certainly didn't help, though I only took conscience of it after the debrief when I tried and put my laundry in the fridge instead of the washing machine).
First of all, I'm still not comfortable speaking up, and that's a pretty huge obstacle. That's a rather silly squad leader who needs to be prompted for him to speak, and though "silly" is probably a good adjective to qualify me overall, it is not a very good thing in this particular context.
That also played a huge part in the lack of squad coordination. Well, Frozen Rain was definitely broken but I guess Ksempac and I were just intimidated due to our inexperience, where one of us should just have said "okay I'm going in, cover us please" to get things rolling (I'm thinking of North Point here, that point would have fallen twice as fast if we had some kind of coordination). Or maybe our comms were broken too, I didn't hear you either way :p
Now, part of that is simply due to me being extremely shy. That may or may not resolve itself with time, I guess we'll see in a few months.
Another thing is that I'm still unfamiliar with the map, meaning both "not sure how we're supposed to be assaulting that particular point/base" and "I can't read that mess of an in-game map". Really that in-game map frustrates me, the one in PS1 was crystal clear to me and I had no trouble reading the flow of battle, but I just can't make sense of this one. And apparently you can't see what's happening in a region without being in that region, which makes it quite difficult to decide how you want to approach it from outside. Half of the time I was ordering us to go for a satellite that was then revealed to be already ours, the other half I was throwing us straight into a nest of baddies. Which could be a useful skill for a kamikaze galaxy squad, come to think of it, not quite so when you're trying to sneak a Sunderer in.
And finally, I really don't like leading at that level. Shooting lasers at the enemy, keeping a good measure of battlefield awareness and trying to find a tactical advantage are all things I'm already doing when I'm a simple grunt, but it turns out adding all the burden of squad leading on top of that is too much for my (admittedly limited) capacity to multi-task and devolving into a beacon monkey (and a bad one at that) was pretty much all I could manage. Which is a shame for a giraffe. Unless that makes me some kind of genetic hybrid, a monraffe or a girkey. That would be both awesome and ridiculous.
So, long story short, I think I'd much rather try something like RO or liaison. I've been following the comms training more for curiosity's sake and being ready to liaise with a French outfit if need be, by the way, I never intended to lead in the first place (before at least another couple of months anyway) but since we were short of SLs I just gave it a try. I'm just sorry the people in Alpha had to pay the bill :/
Nothing to feel sorry about, at least you had the gusto to step up to the plate and try it out. In fact, that initiative in and of itself shows promise to me. I do feel you on the being cut out for heat-of-battle tactics, however. I much prefer a strategic or advisory role as well, which is why I've fallen in love with the RO duty. But one has to try things out to find out what works for you and what doesn't, so more power to you whatever you decide. And if anyone outright complains about people testing themselves and their limits, they're by far the silliest ones of the bunch. (I had to moderate my language there tbh)
Bumping this thread to share my serious thoughts on tonight operation (or at least the bit i was part of) and my evaluation of my own performance. I was squad leading Platoon 1 Charlie squad
- FUN FUN FUN for more than 4h. I wasn't expecting to keep SLing for so long but once i got into the action i couldn't stop.
- I've become way better at squad leading compared to my first TACGIR last week. I wasn't stressed out (quite the opposite, very psyched up). I was able to ask more from my team (the newbie SL question thread was very useful) and came up with plans and instructions more frequently.
- I did get to use the SL chat. And it's certainly useful when squads do coordinate. But not everything was good on that point (see Bad section)
- My team was awesome. Special thanks to my RO, INGLES. I think we made a good pair.
- PL was good. b3ll3nd did a good job to keep us entertained.
- Incorporating newbies is really easy, if you explain things to them as you go along
- The only small reproach i have about our PL was at the very beginning. He started to give orders before i was ready. I was going to explain the game to our beginners, when my RO tells me "we gal drop with the whole platoon". That was unexpected, and did trouble me (see below).
I'm all for fast action but I think at least asking SL if they are ready to go would be nice because that's the only time they get to set everything up for their night (mumble, squad, etc).
And it was especially important tonight because it was a CtA so we knew we would get beginners so there was more things to check out.
- Mumble overlay. I disabled it about 10 min after the beginning because it was too big. Someone told me later that you can set it to only show people who just talked. I know that i will set this up for next CtA. No Mumble overlay makes coms confusing.
- Communication between squads of Platoon 1. We did a bit of that but obviously we need to practice it more. For example being clear that you're talking to SL and they should answer. Maybe by giving your squad name or their squad name. Also getting used to hear and participate in SL coms that may come anytime, including when you're talking/ordering your squad.
- The one bad thing of the night for me : Poor SLing on my part during the first base assault with a mix of all of the above problems and some of my own (i did badly on that base). Luckily the rest was imho much better.
If anyone on Charlie 1 has feedback, good or bad, i would gladly hear it.
The thing with Platoon 1 is that it was pretty rushed to begin with. There were an insane number of people coming as early as 6pm BST and the welcome channel was getting swamped with "what do I do now that I'm in the outfit?".
It wasn't an issue with welcome chan/staff. You did good by sending theses 48 peoples to their squad and channels.
Originally Posted by Skhalt
What i meant is once platoon 1 was full (and people out of the welcome channel and in their squad channels), we (meaning platoon 1) could have waited a few more minutes to ready ourselves. That's only an issue with PL/SLs from Platoon 1 not the welcome staff (and btw good job filling up the empty slots when people left)
Wasn't our doing since we just told them to pick whichever squad they wanted, it was just a byproduct of people trickling in throughout the evening and replacing those who crashed/left.
Originally Posted by Ksempac
What I meant is that bellend, like everyone else at that point, was waiting for 20 minutes for something to happen, so I can understand why him and the Supreme Staffe felt they needed to get the platoon moving fast before people lost interest. We definitely should have asked explicitly to take a moment to even out the regulars and newcomers between the squads though, a couple of minutes would have been enough for you guys to take your squads in hand without seeming too long.
On that same topic, I don't know how that went since we were a bit out of touch, nor how practical it would be, but maybe we should think about taking a quick break near the half of the operation to rebalance the platoons. When I was watching on Mumble I could see quite a few squads which were down to 5 or 6 people, and Platoon 5 seemed to be almost exclusively newcomers.
I think platoon 1 stayed almost at full capacity for the majority of the evening, which was pretty damn awesome. It wasn't until the final hour or so that we started getting some heavy drops, and even then it was enough to remain effective. Someone somewhere must have done something right to keep people entertained :D
There's always a trade-off between coordination and having fun - sometimes the two work nicely together, but when people are starting to trickle in at the beginning of the night, I think the aim was to try and get them into the thick of it as soon as possible.
I had fun as a grunt in Platoon Four Alpha; thanks to GinSoaked for SLing and Duckfang for ROing - and then when I stepped up to lead after GinSoaked left we seemed to do ok. I think things got a bit confused towards the end of the night when we were losing people and I wasn't sure who was new and who was experienced, but pretty much everyone was trying to follow orders and get on objectives.
Given the vast number of people online (230+ when usually we're talking in terms of maybe 48 or 50) I think we did pretty well. No organisation works with perfect coordination at all times, even when they train in that for hours on a daily basis.
Ksempac, I thought you did well - the only confusion i experienced was a result of my n00bery / being late to the party. Some kind of preparation time would have been good, but i was pleased to get involved at all having turned up an hour late.