Originally Posted by Terraphon
Yeah, agreed...we'll need some good coordination for big operations.
May even be a good idea to run through some basic squad and small unit tactics, tactical movement, etc...That way when a squad leader calls for a bounding overwatch or a wedge, people won't go "huh?"
There is no way that TOG will be too rigidly organised, but there can still be some basics that are easy to follow. Below I have listed some basics that I have adapted for PS2. I used to use something similar when training my guys over in Europe for the previous clan I was in before joining TOG (that was for BF2142).
The most important aspect of coordination is communication over TS. However there is the problem that communicating over TS shuts out people who are not in TOG who may want to join the squad. The solution is simple: all people who are currently squad leaders in the game should be logged into TS and be on the same squad leader channel. They can use TS to coordinate information between squads.
All other communication within the squad can be done using the in-game built in voice system. Everyone who wants to use TS to chat with their TOG buddies who are not in the same squad can sit in a joint PS2 social channel in TS.
The only other guideline to maximize coordination should be: everyone in a squad uses the same general troop type if possible. Ie. everyone play ground armor, everyone play air units, or everyone play infantry. If people need support from air units they should be able to call for air support from the air squads, etc. Note I consider Galaxy transports and MAX to be part of an infantry unit. If people want to switch unit types in the game they should be encouraged to either wait for the entire squad to change together, or to jump into another squad that is using that unit type. Realistically though people will probably play whatever they want any time they want, and a squad leader should be happy if he/she can just get the group to even stick together.
Just get everyone to read through a coms document on signing up to the outfit, then leave it up to people if they want to use it or not.
- Contact <compass bearing> <description of contact> (eg. Contact North-West two tanks, Contact South Infantry) - used when an enemy is first sighted. This vital command must be utilized immediately to warn the other members of your squad on the positioning and strength of enemy forces. This command is so important that it really doesnt matter if you follow the format exactly when calling it. The important thing is to let the squad know where the enemy is. Eg. Contact infantry on the hill, Contact two guys in the building. Sure compass directions are great, but dont hesitate to yell out something rather than keep quiet and watch everyone die.
- Contact <clock bearing> <description of contact> (eg. Contact eight o’clock, mosquito) – used exclusively by passengers on airborne vehicles as a means of alerting the pilot to the positioning of enemy troops, or by the pilot on an airborne vehicle as a means of alerting the gunners to the positioning of enemy troops.
- Affirmative – yes.
- Negative – no.
- Roger – acknowledged message.
- ASAP – as soon as possible.
- Say Again - If you did not catch a message fully then say this command. Avoid saying 'what?', 'I didnt catch that', or 'repeat'. Say Again is nice, simple, and cannot be mistaken for any other voice comm.
- Enemy Down/Target Eliminated/Area Secured – used when all enemy units in the vicinity have been eliminated.
These are squad leader commands:
- Squad Leader Down - if the squad leader is a mobile spawn point, then the squad leader needs to be protected and revived. Everyone must know when the squad leader goes down so they can mobilise to secure the area and revive him. Nobody else should announce in voice when they get taken out - it is much more important for them to call out the contact information on who killed them than to state that they died. The squad leader on the other hand should always call out when they get killed.
- Halt - stop moving, called out by squad leader.
- Assault/Defend <insert position> - called by squad leader.
- Listen Up – used by high ranking officers when about to give important information (eg. overall strategy) to everyone in the channel. This is a cue for everyone to stop talking and listen.
- Be Advised (eg. Section 1 Be Advised, enemy tank column heading your way) – used by squad leaders or commanders when alerting the group of something.
- Disregard Last - Called out by squad leader if he made an order but wants to cancel it. It can also be called out by a squad member e.g. if they call a contact and that contact is killed while they are saying the contact message.
- "Standby" and "Go" commands - These commands are straight forward. You may be briefed on what the squad is going to do as a whole in game but be told to wait for command. The squad leader will call Standby to signal for you to wait and then Go for you to execute your orders. Eg. Section 1, standby for instruction. We are going to break cover and charge across open ground. I want X to lay down smoke. I want Y to suppress that tower. Form line abreast on me now. (waits for formation) Go Go Go.
- "Form <insert formation> On <insert point man> - The squad leader may call to change a formation by calling "Form" followed by the type of formation. Eg. Form Line Astern on me. Eg. Form Wedge on Graakul.
- Need Air Support <insert location> (eg. Need Air Support grid XX on the bridge) – used by squad leaders to call for air support. Remember, air units should also be organised into their own squads. Squad leaders on the ground need to be able to request support from their air units.
This comm is used specifically by ground armored units:
- Priority <armor position> (eg. Priority lead tank, or priority left tank) – this command is used by squad leaders to direct the group to focus their fire on one particular unit. If the squad leader is not present, then someone else in the group must call out this command. It is imperative for armored units to neutralize enemy armor quickly by use of focused fire. If nobody calls this out then just fire at whichever tank your buddy is trying to kill.
Formations are fun and effective, but require too much coordination for the casual gamers of TOG. Maybe a resource just to let people know what some basic formations are would be nice just for interest, but realistically most people are not going to use them. Forget about watching sectors as well.
General rules of formations:
- Everyone follows whoever is on point. The squad leader calls out the formation and point person, and will also name an objective. Eg. "Form Line Abreast on Bob. Bob assault Vanu Labs." In this case Bob would move however he pleased to the Vanu Labs, and everyone else would follow in a line abreast formation.
- Try to stay several meters away from your buddies in a formation - minimum distance should be at about the blast radius of a grenade.
- Dont panic. Its just a guideline really. Ideally you should be getting into formations without the need for anybody to call out, but as long as you are sticking around your squad then you are already doing your job.
The main ones:
- Line Astern - everyone in a line. Good for fast movement from one point to another. Not very good for fighting the enemy.
- Staggered Line Astern - everyone forms two lines staggered to each other. Very good for moving down narrow areas or between buildings, where the two lines would occupy both sides of the alleyway/valley/road/etc.
- Line Abreast - everyone side by side. Good for assaulting a fixed point across open ground.
- Wedge - an inverted V shaped formation with the tip of the V in the direction of travel. Picture a bird formation. Good when in more open ground and when attacks can come from any angle.
- Diamond - Everyone surrounds a fixed point and guards it. Only really useful if the point is out in the open. In bases everyone is better off setting up crossfire positions.
- Scramble - not a formation at all. Calling out scramble just means everyone runs off and tries to keep themselves alive by any means necessary. This is the usual way that everyone plays games. Its called out when all hell breaks lose. Eg. two tanks come charging into your unit, you see aircraft coming in for an attack run, artillery starts raining down, etc.
- Echelon - picture a line drawn at 45 degrees to the direction of movement. This is almost the default formation for tanks. When you fire a tank shell at a target, if you miss you tend to either miss by aiming too high or too low. By putting everyone in a diagonal line you minimise chances that an enemy shell aimed at your buddy will hit you by accident, and it ensures that all tanks in the formation can fire back at the targets.
Really I think that the only people that should practice using formations are tank drivers and aircraft pilots. Tank drivers because they need to be slow and methodical about clearing out enemies. Air units because it just looks so damn cool to fly around in a formation, and because there are few things that boost morale more than having air units do a low altitude flyby in a formation over friendly ground troops just before unleashing death on the enemy those ground troops were about to engage.