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  1. I present http://gametactic.org/squad, an interactive/collaborative map planning tool for Squad. To get started: follow the link press the create new room button and select a map. Invite other people into your room by giving them the link. Start planning using the tools to the right. You can zoom in using the scroll wheel and pan around with the right mouse button. You can allow other people to draw by clicking their name or unlocking the room with the lock icon. To give you and idea, It looks something like this: Now that I have your attention. Consider the available icons as placeholders for now. I'd like to know from yoyu which icons would be useful for Squad specifically ?
  2. Hi all, I've been squad leading for a good three months now and I thought I'd write a little guide as to my train of thought on numerous aspects of the role. I enjoy playing SL, because there is currently no other role in the game that has such an active force in determining the outcome. The SLs decide if you get stomped, or if you stomp. They are crucially important to the flow of battle and overall success. For the purposes of this first guide, I'll assume we're playing AAS mode. Background: I played PR for 8 years or so as an SL, AR and crewman. I've played Squad since closed Alpha - predominantly as an SL. General Qualities: These are mandatory requirements for an SL. If you cannot do this, do not play as an SL: Have a working mic.Understand the game mode mechanics (Insurgency, AAS etc.), including order of cap.Know how to communicate with your other SLs (G key).Know how to communicate locally (V key).Have a communicable plan.Be calm under pressure.Be kind and affirming.Be firm and authoritative.Be direct and unambiguous.Have the Officer kit.Know how to place an RP (and understand mitigating circumstances and how they work).Know how to place a FOB (and understand mitigating circumstances and how they work).Have a general understanding of each role and how it works (ie. so you don't ask your medic to do suicidal things, or get your GL to waste all his ammo suppressing an empty target).If you don't have these qualities or knowledge, play the game and vary roles over your first 25 games. You will pick up all of these things. It is not unusual to be jittery in your first 20 engagements. In no time at all you'll find your feet, be able to work out exactly how scary the situation is, and end up killing people one moment and writing little symbols on your map the next. Beginning the Game: On joining the game, I always tend to pick whichever side is under strength, as I enjoy playing as an underdog. I'll make a Squad and either use a default name, or make a custom name describing the squad (teamwork). Eventually, I'll name it after the armour class or if it's a supply Squad. I will choose the Officer kit NOW, so that I don't have to respawn later. I'll wait as people join the Squad, and greet them. I only ask that the two medic roles are occupied. If nobody is choosing Medic, I'll ask Riflemen to take it (as the roles are pretty much identical). I'll let them know I'm going to chat to the other SLs to determine the best strategy. I usually check to see if I know other SLs. I'll then hit G and offer a strategy. For example, as playing as US on Chora: Squad 1 (us) will move straight to River Bend and set up a FOB if Squad 2 (9/9 Squad) want to go straight to Lilac and do the same. Squad 3 (4/8 - making sure they have enough men to cap, but are also under strength), is it possible for you to cap the two first points? Note that most people are happy to follow a plan that is easily presented. I always choose the understrength Squad (and will volunteer my own if that's the case) to cap first, as it gives them time to come to full strength and lets the full Squads occupy the front line. If all Squads are agreed on this strategy, I'll say thanks and relay all of this information to my Squad. I'll drop an arrow marker on the map near to where I want us to move to, and I'll let them know to go to that particular arrow marker. As we walk, I will always drop an RP 300-400m from main, to allow any slow loaders to spawn. This will allow me enough time to refresh it later before we attack/defend. If I start to have issues with other SLs this early (or they don't communicate and I can't work out what they're doing), I'll simply break my Squad into a team of 4 (addressing each by name and splitting the two medics up) and 5. I'll send the team of 4 to the first cap, and I'll go with the other to the second. The reason I go to the second is so that I can be close to the front line to set up an FOB (at which the whole Squad will then form up and move out). Roles: As said above, I'm keen to always have 2 medics in a 9 man Squad. I also recognise that some guys I regularly play with are exceptional at killing, surviving or at calling targets. I keep that in mind when knowing what my particular Squad can handle. If someone in the Squad is fantastic with a certain kit (like the GL or AR), I'll ask the occupying player if he wants that particular role. Often, people are happy to swap to another, equally desired role. FOBs: The very, very first thing a competent SL should do is ask "what happens in the worst case scenario?" The answer to that is always a FOB. As such, it is always the first key objective before doing any fighting in the field. The FOB is the MOST important thing an SL should do, and it is very easy to do badly. I am staunchly against superFOBs, as I have never had a good experience with them, and find them particularly easy to overcome and destroy - losing tickets for the FOB and for those dying on it. I use FOBs for 2 key reasons: It is a place for us to spawn should we lose our RP or are wiped. It is a way to channel the rest of the team to the front line, the new cap, or one we need to fall back to. As such, I always make sure to place a FOB at almost EVERY cap as we progress to the front line. On a map like Fools Road, this allows us to quickly present strength if we have to fall back. To this degree, I have a pre-set list of locations for each map and each team that work with the 400m rule, and with the rules I'm going to establish in the next section. FOB Placement: Note that the BIGGEST mistake to make is to place the FOB within 50-100-200m of the cap. Doing so basically allows the enemy the tickets for the FOB, as well as removes the spawn point entirely. Not only that, but it allows them to camp your FOB and kill people spawning there. You are essentially removing all work from them in having to find it. To place a FOB well requires knowing the map well. I always follow these criterion: Only ever drop a radio, as it is almost impossible to see. By building ANY other objects near it you more than double it's chance of being spotted. I always laugh when I spot a random sandbag in the middle of the desert/forest, as I would never have normally seen the radio otherwise. Dropping only a radio also vastly quickens your speed into combat and gets you as far from the FOB as possible. Place the radio in a small, heavily wooded depression. On a hilltop lets it standout and makes you target for grenades and rockets. In a small depression also serves to disguise the player spawn. Place the radio ATLEAST 100-150m away from the capture RADIUS EDGE. By doing so, the enemy will 95% of the time assume there is no FOB. Always place the radio on the OPPOSITE side of the enemy approach. Think: "if I was the enemy, where would I not bother searching?" Place the FOB within 500m or about 1-2m walking distance. Remember, the FOB is only for use in dire situations. Your Squad will be spawning off RPs for 95% of the game.After placing a FOB, I tell my Squad that we will ALWAYS be spawning off the RP from now on. This ensures that the enemy will have very few clues as to where our FOB is, and it will keep our fight very close to the front line. NOTE: Often we will move off the FOB and in the next 10 minutes encounter the enemy and fight. More often than not, we will win, but my squaddies will need ammo. I always make sure that after the fight we move to the very, very edge of the FOB build marker and drop an ammo crate (normally in a bush). This allows us to re-arm, but does not compromise our FOB location. Rally Points: You should be spawning on RPs 95% of the time. A common mistake in Squad is SLs with either build a superFOB and then not drop RPs at all, or they will drop RPs as a throwaway spawn point only if they need to (ie. in a building they're surrounded in). The CORRECT way to use RPs is to think of them as mini-FOBs. After we've dropped our Radio, we will then begin to move to the capture point, however, I will always make sure we're approaching the cap from a direction dissimilar to that of our FOB. Usually, the FOB will be off-center, and our RP will be behind them entirely. We will then attack from the direction of the RP. I always drop my RP in a bush and make sure it is 100-150m from the capture point. The reason for this is: It keeps the RP safe from being taken down by common fighting. If the RP goes down, it acts as a warning that we're being flanked. It offers a safe, reliable spawn point for downed squaddies. It allows distance for Squad members to potentially kill enemies between the RP and the capture point - stopping us from being encircled. It is close enough that we can reinforce quickly, but far enough that the enemy confuse it with our FOB.Something to note is you should always be actively updating the RP as an SL. You should build 2-3 DIFFERENT FOBs the ENTIRE GAME. You should be dropping upwards of 15 RPs every game. By constantly moving your RP (I drop mine to orbit the cap point), you: Consistently baffle the enemy as to the direction of your approach. Consistently allow your squad members the element of surprise.Attacking: As you've probably gathered, the best way to attack is always from a direction the enemy is not expecting. To do this most effectively, you need your Squad to be wary of showing themselves. As an SL, you should think of your Squad as a drop of liquid. You want to move your guys into position in the smallest and most unnoticeable way possible, so that when the drop "lands" it immediately disperses to cover the location. 99% of success in your fighting as an SL will be allowing your Squad to completely wipe an unsuspecting enemy. Many, many, many times I have enabled my Squad to intersect an enemy or ambush them in a way that wiped all 9 enemy players while we sustained zero casualties. You would be very, very surprised how many times I'm able to accurately predict exactly which way the enemy is going to come. Not because I'm particularly bright, but because many players work very predictably every game. By playing enough, you'll be able to work out with relative accuracy what is about to happen, and you'll be able to pre-empt it to great effect. Another important thing to remember is that you really want to be fighting for about 30 seconds - 120 seconds at most. My general experience has found that if you're firing for more than 30 seconds, the longer you continue without wiping a Squad, an FOB or an RP, the higher the chance you'll be killed by rogue enemy players around you. I know from my own experience, that if I hear enemy fire, I quickly move to a place where I can attack them. A static Squad looking all in a single direction is an incredibly vulnerable one. It is possible to wipe a whole Squad as one man if you come across such a blinded Squad. As such, position your Squad to attack in a way that will allow them to completely overwhelm the enemy very quickly. If you feel you're getting bogged down, ask them to pull back, reset the RP with another member, and then keep pushing them to flank or move. Always remind them to look behind them. Don't tunnel vision. Oftentimes, if I'm playing with really good players (killers), they'll flank and move During an attack or fight, I also make sure to open my map and drop sword markers on suspected enemy locations. You and the squad will be calling bearings, but putting sword markers or a FOB marker down will focus your Squad onto a single objective. It also helps to wordlessly communicate to the team what your Squad is encountering or doing (if for whatever reason you're unable to communicate via Squad chat). NOTE: When my Squad begins or completes any significant action, I'll quickly let the other Squads know. This should give them a good idea of major shifts in the battlefield. i.e. "Just attacked Mine Entrance, wiped a whole squad and took down their FOB. I'll let you know when we've almost capped and then you can begin to move up." "We just engaged another Squad. We think there's an FOB. I'll let you know what happens." Other good SLs will be able to take this info and use it in their future plans or work out: "well, if Squad 2 is engaging a whole Squad, and Squad 1 is engaging another, then really we don't face any opposition here". Defending: Like the old adage, the best form of defence is attack. What I mean by this, is that when defending an area you should always post you squad AROUND the cap, not directly in it. By being directly in it, you can immediately and predictably be located. By being around it, one man will be engaged (or spot the enemy), allowing nearby Squad members to engage from the enemies flanks. When the engagement begins, I always drop sword markers on the map where the enemy is located, in order to allow my Squad a solid understanding of their location. As SL, I have begun to do one other thing. Often, I will move to where the enemy is and drop coloured smoke on them. It acts as a brilliant marker for the enemy, and can often focus necessary attention to a location. Note, that to use the smoke tactic, you need to be playing with good players who are able to maintain wide situational awareness and not all tunnel vision on the smoke. When under attack, try to give numbers. Know that rarely will a full Squad all attack from one bearing. ie. "Four on the sword marker, possibly more, keep looking around guys." 99% of defence is successful based on immediately tying the enemy down with casualties. Know that if you are able to take down a couple of their guys, they will most likely "dig in". That basically means their attack has dissipated. At this stage, I always encourage players to begin to counterattack. To do so, I place shield markers on the map at the flanks of enemy locations. Often times, a pinned enemy is easy pickings for a GL or a good shooter. It is really important that during a defence, your main priority is in clearly communicating enemy locations, and predicting their movements. By blunting the initial blow (the first minute or so of fighting) you have a hugely high chance of winning. Meta Strategy: While there is no Commander role in the game, SLs have a very heavy burden on having to watch the meta game. There are two large rules for succeeding in the meta game: Always have as much strength on an active flag as possible. Always provide a way for players to reinforce via FOBs. This means keeping an eye on FOBs, and making sure they don't go down. For example, when moving to cap Mine on Fools Road as Militia, always make sure to have a Squad defending Hill 30. It's very, very easy to be screwed via that back cap. It's not rocket science, but so often this stuff gets overlooked and it costs games. In terms of your own involvement, try not to get your Squad bogged down in between-cap fighting - unless it is specifically to kill an enemy FOB. Fighting for the sake of kills between flags is denying your strategic front line 9 fighting men. Try to avoid this as much as possible. Many, many games are lost due to whole Squads being "pinned down" by 3 guys in the middle of nowhere. Losing an Engagement: Hopefully with the above tips you won't frequently lose engagements, but in the event that you do it is important that you make sure your Squad is communicating both their status, and letting them know what to do when they respawn. A hugely difficult thing to do as an SL is to determine if a battle is winnable, or whether it is a better idea to regroup and either attack again in force, or to continue a sustained respawn. Sometimes, the best decisions I've made are to withdraw and attack in force from a different angle. When being attacked (and having lost the initiative) between flags, it is often much more important to withdraw and accept 1-2 losses than it is to let the whole Squad fight for the next 20 minutes. A whole, calm and clear Squad is a much stronger fighting force than one torn apart. Additional Tips: I'll add some strategy plans and FOB/RP layouts for maps like Chora and Fools in the next hour or so. Killers: Often I play with competent players who are not only good communicators, but are also good killers. By this, I often ask that 2-3 players designate themselves as flankers. These guys always have one MO when the shit hits the fan - flank the enemy Squad and shoot them in the back/side. Normally, the moment we begin an attack or defence, these players will move out and attempt to get on a flank of the enemy squad. These guys usually use the AR or GL kit, and much of the time they'll be the ones who kill 90% of our opponents. By dropping sword markers on the enemy squad, you allow the flankers to get a confident sense of the enemy location and to get within killing/grenade range. Often, these guys will kill 4-9 of the enemy players. They will also often go down. They should be coached to know that if they go down you'll come and revive them in the mop up you do with the rest of the Squad. Moving Off Point: Rarely I'll find myself in a situation where I can't afford to split my Squad and that we need to cap the next point (normally in the cancerous AAS Parallel cap mode), or move off a defence point to take down an aggressive enemy FOB. In these rare situations, I always place the Rally within the cap of the defence point. This does two things: Allows us to always check the status of the defence cap when we respawn. Updates me that the enemy have moved into cap should the RP disappear. EXAMPLE: Fools Road Opening Play by Militia: The Yellow arrows indicate the movement of the Squad before the begin the first engagement at Mine.The Red circle indicate the rough area where the FOB should be placed - opposite side to enemy attack direction, outside of the 400m radius. Notice no FOBs are placed on the right side of the map, as this does not assist in the mine or hill objectives. Often, placing the FOB on the right not only gets it discovered very quickly, it also pulls men away from the objectives. In all cases, you never want to place a FOB on the enemy's way to an objective.The Blue circles indicate where I drop my RPs.The White circles indicate where I drop my ammo crates.The Purple lines indicate general enemy direction of attack. Notice in the above example that in every case, the Russian team must push past the cap to locate our FOB. Not only that, but pushing in the direction of our FOB will put them in a vulnerable position to our RP placement. For them to take down our FOB, it will require a concerted effort of a Squad to scour the area for our radio (which they won't really be aware of as we won't be spawning in that direction).Notice that all spawn locations are hidden by trees. The RP placed before the assault on Mine allows the Squad to move into Mine in tree cover, when 99% of the time they're expecting you on the cliff (shooting gallery) to the N/NE. By moving in trees, this makes good use of the Militia iron sights and completely surprises the enemy, making it very hard for them to get overwatch.Notice that the ammo crates are close to the cap (but not too close) and are very far from the effective "yellow bar" of the FOB itself, meaning that if the enemy do find the ammo, they will have to search in many directions to actually locate the FOB.Notice that if we get pushed back to the First FOB at Hill 30, we will be able to approach the cap in tree cover, and not have to cross the sweeping, open plains that generally encircle the cap. EXAMPLE: Fools Road Opening Play by Russians: The Yellow arrows indicate your Squad's movement.The Red circle indicate the rough area where the FOB should be placed.The Blue circles indicate where I drop my RPs.The White circles indicate where I drop my ammo crates.The Purple lines indicate general enemy direction of attack. Notice that the first FOB at Mine is placed on the opposite side to enemy attack (slightly to the SW) and offers the most cover when crossing the road. While I don't like crossing roads ever, I've found it is better to keep it south of the road as putting it to the east or west is not only easily found by the enemy, it also allows your team to be distracted and fight from the FOB.Notice that the RP is kept on the flanks to allow you to determine enemy angle of approach. They will always come from N, NE, E or NW. They arrive roughly 3/4 through the cap of Mine (if a Militia squad moves straight there from spawn).Notice that at Mine the position of strength is always in the S/SW. It allows you lots of cover, high ground (to the W) and a closed way into the cap. On capping Mine, you want to immediately move into the West hills and watch the N/NE/E. Very often a Militia squad will appear as easy targets in the cover-less NE ridge. They make for very easy AR and GL targets.Notice that the FOB location for Hill 30 allows a tree-covered approach, as well as forces the Militia to completely bypass the hill to find your FOB. Notice that the RP placement at both Mine and Hill is tree covered and on the flank. Re-spawning will consistently put you on the enemy flank or behind them. It's disappearance will also warn you of a flanking move by the enemy.NOTE: You may choose to place a third FOB in the i4 area as a buffer. This allows you to watch to the north and north east and kill the enemy as they move to Hill (and have to cross open ground). However, this FOB also becomes a high value target to the enemy, can encourage base raping and can also distract your team - allowing the enemy to back cap Hill 30 (especially if they place a FOB to the north of it).When we push the enemy back into their base, I never, ever defend the hill from the top plateau. My Squad is posted to ring at least half the circumference of the Hill and call targets in the open as they appear. By doing this, you play to your strengths of being able to fire down on them (particularly brutal with a good GL). If you sit on the Plateau, you allow the enemy the cover of the lip of the terrain and it becomes very hard to see where they're attacking from. It's also easy to get caught in crossfire and wiped. If you are pushed back to Dylym (I have never experienced this), I would quickly try and get a FOB up in the i9 or j9 area. This allows you to spawn in tree cover and not have to cross the river/bridge (instant death). It will also allow you to pour your team into the space between the enemy FOB and Dylym (unless they've set up wisely to the north of Dylym). This is a pretty dire situation for any team and basically requires you to have very good killers on your team for this to work (which usually isn't the case anyway if you've been pushed back this far!). Conclusion: In order, as an SL you should worry about: Are the Flags safe and occupied? Is the FOB up and safe? Is the RP up and positioned correctly? Where do you think your enemy is? What will you do if you get attacked? What will you do when you attack? What to do if you win your attack/defence? Taking down the attackers FOB. Organising a Squad to move to the next cap. Prioritizing the Enemy FOB: In the future, when the maps are larger and engagements are more decisive, the meta will become much clearer with regard to how important FOBs are. You can already see this on Kohat and Fools Road, and to a lesser extent on Chora. On these maps, taking down an enemy FOB guts the team and more often than not decisively ends action in a large area of the map. You will always need to toss up whether or not it is worth it, but often, if another SL or one of your Squad members finds the enemy FOB (which is reinforcing a hot flag) within 500m or so, it is worth prioritizing it's destruction. You always need to play this by ear, but if you're consistently under attack on a flag you're defending, you know two things: They're most likely spawning at a FOB (you'll know this after you wipe an attacking squad a couple of times and it still doesn't end the fight). The FOB is in active range.If the situation meets these two criteria, it's often beneficial to make taking down the FOB the direct objective OVER defending the flag (which will inevitably fall if you don't deal with the FOB). To do so, ask your Squad members to try to find it. The SECOND they do (and they most likely will within 2 minutes of you asking), mark it's location on the map to direct all your attention there. Unless you're opposing two Squads, you can safely move off cap and attack their FOB, knowing that the enemy will attempt to defend it (and won't have the manpower to back cap you). If you get back capped while attacking it, make sure you take the FOB down before pushing back onto the new enemy, as you can be confident that once you've wiped them from the flag they won't be able to respawn anywhere other than an RP. To take down an enemy FOB, do this: Players are disparate and attempting to find the enemy FOB. A player accurately locates the FOB (yellow bar and sees Radio). You drop marker on FOB and tell team via G. You FORM YOUR SQUAD UP to a whole fighting unit (no more disparate fighting). You flank and attack it exactly as described in the section on attacking above. You want to land 3+ guys onto it (which often means ignoring targets as you approach) and decisively take it out. A Word About Maps: It's probably worth noting that I judge the quality of Squad's map on a certain criteria: "Can a Squad of organised rookies win a game through tactics over killing power?" To me, this is the test of a good map - one that showcases strategy and tactics and discipline over wrecking the tickets of the enemy team. Generally, my favourite maps for this are Chora, Kohat and Fools Road. Logar is not bad, but I find FOB location and paths of attack very limiting (in that it forces you to be good at killing to survive the centre of the map). For me, Operation First Light is a very fun map, but the size and lack of rocks/fallen tree trunks and cover combined with relatively crowded cap points makes this map very much like knife fighting in a bath tub. It's hard to keep a Squad together and cohesive if said Squad is not good at killing the enemy, or on the US (ACOG) side. Lastly, Sumari is by and large the worst map for me currently. Squadleading on it is almost useless beyond suggestions to flank. RPs and FOBs are outstripped by instant base spawn and run-back. The fighting is crowded and somehow manages to be boring. This map either needs to be expanded to be 75% desert or rural and 25% town, or have the number of cap points in the town drastically reduced. I am able to kill loads of enemy players, but it feels very much like a solo affair and not the cohesive team experience that the other maps offer.
  3. Hey folks, I've been around for a while, but mostly just ghosting around, checking the forums but not participating. I've looked for some squad lead guides and found some incredible ones. They all range from super basic, to wonderfully complex. I wanted to create my own that's long and definitive, but also bite-sized and easy to digest. Here goes! https://medium.com/@SpinCrash/100-lessons-learned-as-a-squad-leader-474d7966e993 Please feel free to comment your own lessons learned here, and I'll be sure to add them! Thanks! -Spin
  4. I'll argue that the best place for a radio is in the open, against a wall. Being a player from the Free Weekend, my naivety affords me something else -- some fresh perspective. I think that the thinking regarding radio placement hasn't evolved from the times when the radio was still a spawn point. Because of this, we see radios in places that don't make sense. Before, there was a reason to put the radio in a defensible spot and a place that wasn't easily accessible. But now, after the radio is placed the next things to interact with it will be an enemy shovel. SLs put them in rooms out of habit, and it's time to change that. Hopefully you can start to see what I'm getting at: if you're building a FOB you actually want to make the radio as attackable as possible, because if the enemy has shovels on the radio then you will be the one attacking it. Having the radio placed in a location without cover ensures that you don't have to be the one entering chokepoints to get to the radio. The reason that you want to put a radio against a wall is twofold. Firstly, a lone digger could potentially hide behind the radio, meaning that you have to move positions to find the shot. If the radio is against the wall, a digger must expose themselves. Secondly, grenades. To ensure that an RPG/underbarrel/good ole easter egg lands right where it should, having the radio against a wall is the perfect solution. If you overthrow then the grenade will hit the wall and drop onto the radio, or it will roll into the wall. These are the two key parts of my thinking regarding radio placement: Put the radio in a place with minimal cover/maximum viewing angle Put the radio against a wall Let me use an example: Police Station on Sumari. It's common to set up a FOB there with a HAB on the roof and the radio in one of the rooms in that building. But consider the two situations in which a radio can be dug up. There's the "hot dig", where you've having to fight your way out of the HAB and to the radio to try and stop the enemy from digging. There's the "cold dig", where you realise the enemy's digging the radio but no one else is there, so you have to send the next spawning/nearby person there. In the hot dig, it's pretty much game over if you're stuck on the roof. Going downstairs can be walking into a firing range. In the cold dig, even reaching the radio in time can be difficult enough. If there's even a few enemies keeping watch, then you can forget about saving the radio. But if we place the radio in the north side of the southern part of Police Station aka the south side of those closed double doors that separate the two parts of Police Station, then we can resolve these issues. In the hot dig, you can underhand throw a grenade onto the radio, or you can shoot at it from the roof. For a cold dig, you can do the same thing. What's more interesting about the cold dig is this scenario: imagine that you learn the radio is being dug but you're already near Police Station. You can throw a grenade from outside of Police Station onto the radio. Considering the radio is against a wall, your chances of landing the perfect grenade is pretty high. If the radio is in a room, then you simply can't pull off a cheese nade. This is what we should be thinking about when placing a radio: how do we make it as easily attackable as possible for ourselves? I think a similar type of thinking can be applied to sneaky FOBs. You want to prevent the enemy from seeing it from a long distance, but hiding it in a room will actually be detrimental. If the enemy going through the compound then they're going to hear it anyway, so hiding it in a room won't stop them. Instead, courtyards are the right places. TL;DR: Place radios in places that are easiest to throw a grenade onto, because the only people who touch radios are enemies.
  5. After nearly seven years of darkness and despair the third chapter of the Dawn of War franchise has finally been announced. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to play and honestly never though this day would come. Let's hope SEGA can keep their shit together and not release a bunch of day one dlcs.
  6. TLDR Summary: Introduce a planning phase at the start of each round (1 minute long?). Map displays on screen for all team members, squad leaders can draw on map (visible to whole team) with different colour for each squad. Squad leaders can chat in text with each other to plan, visible by entire team. This allows obvious objective planning for entire team to see and know the battleplan from the start. Proposal: SQUAD is a game which, particularly in its AAS mode, benefits greatly from each team having a plan. Not necessarily to achieve victory (though that's nice) but to ensure a good cohesive game, where everyone, knows what they're doing and has fun, win or lose. The problem is that right now it is very hard for squad leaders to make concrete plans and pass them on to the team without using lots of confused voip chat at the start of a game. Voip chat has a place, and a very central one to SQUAD, but I contend that an army never hit a battlefield without every soldier knowing the broad plan. No army hits the deck and then decides over the radio who goes where. No successful one anyway! Please bear in mind that I have no idea of the technical difficulty of the following suggestion. It sounds simple to me but I don't know Unreal engine from a pile of rocks. I think that the answer lies in SQUAD's pre-game time. Instead of staring just at a random background while people decide what squad to be in before a game starts, this time could be used for a 'Planning phase' where those in Squad Leader roles could place and remove objective markers as well as draw on a copy of the map screen displayed to the entire team. This would enable a preliminary plan to be established and made obvious to every member of the team. Objective markers would have the squad number identifying which SL/Squad is going for that point. Drawn arrows or diagrams could also be tagged with squad identifiers. There could also be a text chat visible to the entire team but usable only by Squad Leader roles which would also allow a plan to be communicated clearly to the team, accompanying the above markers and drawings on the map. I feel like a minute or so of this, prior to a match starting, would allow each team to start the game with a much more obviously defined set of objectives, known by each squad and clearly communicated across the entire team. What do people think? Anything obvious this idea is missing? Would this enhance the SQUAD experience? I personally feel like it could help to avoid some of those rounds which turn into abject trainwrecks in the first five minutes due to lack of a plan, as well as helping the team get more engaged in the battle plan.
  7. Map Playback

    I wonder if it would be possible to implement something like a server side recording for each map that is downloadable and replayable for the players. So that after the Round you could analyse the enemy movement & fob placement on the map, or maybe analyse what went wrong in your own team. It would be nice to see the different strategys the enemy uses to learn from them in future games.
  8. FOB mechanics

    Reading the uprising topic as a game mode suggestion I kinda realized that I'm not discerning the point in that compared to assault and secure, which lead me to conclude that it's more than likely a question of spawn mechanics. I think as things stand there's little in way of command and control other than flanking and bunching together. I've never seen people spread out in bid to crossfire, storm or siege areas. More than anything it's about the way that FOBs work where they will spawn irrespective of what happens in the field other than the spawn que. If it were so that in order to confront FOB you'd have to do little more than to find it and begin spawn camping it than it's more likely that people would see to it that they actually secure the area around it and on opposite scale of balance actually deem it necessery to actualy situate FOB out of harms way on attack since squad on defence is less likely to explore the FOB to which end there will generally be an offensive FOB if previous FOB and terrain allows it (specifically in city based maps). What I'm pointing to is that there's little reason to get sophisticated if current FOB mechanics encourage clusterfuck of COD as apposed to say simulate what "Pentagon" would feel about the situation and thus offer up as relief. If an area around FOB is heavier on enemies or it's really just surrounded by enemies then spawns should be forbidden for another squad say en route from FOB built more like 200/300 meters away instead is actually expected to clear the enemies for it to work again, and counterbalance to that being that you may pretty much spawn instantly as in base if that FOB is rather remote from any enemies. What that does is give you an immidiate sense of what happening as apposed to rellying on your squad lead to trust a stranger to both properly assess situation and convey it with same degree of gravity to then convey it to you. On strategic level it makes it both easier to pull offensive maneuvers on the large maps where your whole squad could spawn immidiately not 300 meters away if they were wiped instead of spreading thin and on defense it makes it that much more rewarding and intense as things really may go sour therefore you'd really not want anyone coming anywhere near the FOB. So if the FOBs begin reflecting the situation on the ground I feel like it's inappropriate to lose tickets for lose of them as they're condusive to that on their own and thus have a more organic motive to protect it or not (the whole lego building thing becomes a bit more in the right order of things, as in squad leaders see less of a need to spend time away from really leading while soldiers are more so affected by what occurs when they don't have appropriate fortifications). I also think that Otherwise if FOBs must have the ticket loss associated with them because you don't wish to make this dynamic overly dramatic, than it should be supplemented by some mechanic that would make the dynamic viable while not discouraging FOB construction. In that same sense rally points should probably encourage mobile warfare where shootout across the 100th of meters are just lame if for example spawning a rally point near any FOB or objective acts as force multipliar thereby making it more so a special power as apposed to a chore for the squad lead in game without vehicles. While it is conducive to COD sort of thing, I feel like it makes it that much more a tactical thing with FOB fullfilling strategic purposes instead of both sharing reponsobilities. It fills it with more purpose and allows squads to disperse more in anticipation that SL will place the rally on any single member on the objective/FOB while letting squad leaders die now and then meanwhile for that same reason they are also usually expected to take point- to determine FOB/rally location of placement- (I'm implying that the 50 meter limitation be removed, have no cooldown penalty). This makes leads to less fragmentation where you wouldn't necesserily wish to spawn on the rally point for the rest of the squad to spawn on FOB (more so closely situated) because it may be easier to spawn on FOB without the timer. This mechanics should lead to players fighting over FOBs as much as objectives with less stress placed on SL and without obligation from soldiers to directly follow them as much as is sometimes the case on the map with storage which is my favorite. Average player will find more meaning behind spawn mechanics possibly more so then objectives thereby making the games more so interactive instead of "we will follow the SL confined by somewhat consistent spawn mechancis aspiring to complete somewhat arbitrary objectives".
  9. ADVANCE AND SECURE Advance and Secure or AAS for short is old game-mode that first did see light over ten years ago in the massive multiplayer military fps game. It do share some similarities at the first look with the better known Conquer game-mode mainly seen on the Battlefield franchise, but soon you start to play it, it will be clear that it is a completely different animal. It does also share similarities in the game-modes seen on the Planet Side 1 and Unreal Tournament 2004, but because Conquest is generally (assumption) better known than those I use Conquer as a comparison. The main similarity is the main base, Capture Points and the fact you can cap the CPs in the map, but after that there is not too much common in bigger perspective. In Conquer which you probably know, you can cap the CPs in any given order you want in any given time, in the AAS (regardless of implementation or historical version) you can capture the CPs [sQD / PR] ( also called bases [JOps / PlanetSide?] / flags [uT?]) only in some predefined order. This will make AAS to play differently and will require different approach than Conquer. You might wonder why the order is predefined? One strong reason is that the game-mode were seen in 2004 in a mil-fps game that had up to aprox. 55+ km² maps and 128 players in one PVP map, this size factor (which even today is Big with capital letter b ) required something to draw the player in certain areas of the map to get player really fight against each other. The predefined capturing order in AAS does that and more importantly it prevents the typical constant back-cap cycle in the Conquest game-mode. Where one of the best strategies is just to run as fast as you can between the Capture Points, while in some BF maps this is tried to encounter with pipe maps ( return to war-zone in 5 secs, soldier! ) or totally open fields so you can not flank around certain points without notice, even then the outcome is typically the back-cap cyclone. This major weakness of Conquer mode even were noticed in Squads Closed-Alpha state when some servers did run Conquer like game mode in Kohat-map, while teamwork (and defending of the objects) were few notches better than seen in typical BF settings the game-mode proved to be extremely boring and introducing again this back-cap cyclone effect, which weren’t surprise since it have been proved again and again in the time span of an over a decade in different titles. AAS on the other hand have proved to play without such major drawbacks if the map designer didn’t do major mistakes in his or her design, creating a clear front line to the map that needs to be preached and secured before the team can advance. Someone might argue that Conquest does play good with good commander, which might be true, but it is too rare to see that actually happen outside of closed communities. The predefined capturing order of the AAS on the other hand is best seen as a command of the general of the army (the map designer). One more point need to be said. AAS does have two (or three to be precise) variations. First is the linear capturing order and second is a parallel capturing order. The first is pretty self-explanatory as the capturing order of CPs is one chain, where is always just two CPs open for direct actions (1 attack & 1 defence), but the parallel might need a few more words. The parallel order (not seen in PR?) does mean that there is two or more CPs that need to be captured before your team can advance and gain control closer to the opponents mainbase. In these parallel CPs the order of capture is open and plays more or less like Conquer, but since the bases are typically in smaller area (simulating more like a control of certain area) the back-cap cyclone effect doesn’t form as easily. After one of the teams control this set of parallel CPs new set of CPs open for a attack and capture. While the lastly captured set of CPs change as a defence objectives (if enemy captures one of them before you take all CPs in the new set, the state of CPs return to previous state). The third one is the mixed serial and parallel mode, which is the most typical with the plain serial one. In this third one some CPs are linked serial manner and some are linked or grouped as a parallel manner. Now after that long winded ramble, it might be time to start to thing the strategies? These are general rule of thumb ways to play and not the only right way, since the player population, average skill level of the teams, the map and everything else makes a big different what will work in which way at certain time. That of course is something that experience will sort out eventually and I will not to try to write a complete quite for different situations, since that would be a hundreds if not thousands of pages worth of examples. Instead I try to provide solid food for thoughts. Reader should also note that most if not all of these are in the end pretty basic ideas and not by no means impossible to to find out just by playing, but simplest things are sometimes the hardest ones to notice. The near future of the game can many times be predicted, by just opening the map and listening what it have to say. I start by some basic advises about timing, resources, information, distraction. Timing is many times the key between failure and success, you need to be at right time at the right place. It wouldn’t be wise to attack enemy CP when there is enemy tank battalion passing it by. Resources, may it be headcount, bullets in the magazine, trees in the forest, friendly vehicles, ticket count or communication channels, use them wisely, since all of these matters. Adapt and overcome. Information? You get it constantly by looking around, if I would ask you what you should look-up, while you are out in the battlefields you might answer “enemies". If so, you are doing it wrong, while enemies are of course good to keep eye on, you should scout trees, doors, shadows, abandoned vehicles, noises etc. they are valuable resources to use when you eventually see the enemy, not to mention what those resources - which are actually information - (or are the information actually resource?) can sing to you. Even then the information you can gather is really limited, for counter that you need to use communication. Sharing is caring is one internet slogan, in this context sharing means that useful information you gathered. You should share the information inside of the squad and with nearby friendly units, since two pairs of eyes see more than one and between squads to give information of your plans and the information you gathered (mainly status of the enemy troops and resources) for that you should get information back from other units to form knowledge of the state of the battlefield. Information forms knowledge through communication and knowledge is power and power brings responsibility (...and no that is not from Spiderman movie). Be a fisherman. You know sport-fishing, it is relaxing hobby. There you are at the river bank casting a lure to the stream to get a fish. Ok, ok we were speaking about strategy in PC-game, not a sport-fishing. I assume you have heard advice “don’t shoot everything that moves”. Yes, yes that is said thousand times already, but there is solid wisdom behind that phrase. Main argument is usually that you should not shoot everything that moves since it gives away your spot (through visual, sound and enemy communication), this is certainly one of the base reasons. But how this relates to sport-fishing and why I’m talking it again. Well it relates to the lure as you distract the fish to eat it to get it off from the water. Same way distraction is useful tool in game. Advance and Secure is nice game-mode, but unfortunately too rarely I have seen truely good game play on the servers. It is at its best when there is competent teams for both sides. In hopes of better rounds in the future I wrote this article, hopefully it is helpful to those who aren’t too familiar with the AAS and maybe partly at least interesting those already familiar of this game-mode. I’m writing this from the experience I have accumulated while playing some thousand hours the classic AAS implementation on and off from 2006 to these days, while it is not 1:1 to AAS implementation found in Squad, it is plenty of similar. At the beginning of the round in current SQD implementation all the CPs are neutral, this is similar feature to Conquest. These needs to be taken also in order while troops head to deeper on the map, how ever whole team shouldn’t stop in the first CP instead team should be taking care that there is people already in the next CP when previous is taken up to control (if possible), remember the timing. So it might be the best that ie. the first squad actually jumps over the first one, while the 2nd squad ready to move caps the first flag and then moves to 3rd while squad in 2nd CP is taking that down. At the beginning of the round every squad should have at least a rough idea where to go and what to do. One or two can take (depending of the CP layout etc.) the neutral CPs while heading toward the the enemy grounds. One or two can go flanking to support or distract the enemy at the CP both try to get. One or two can start to build FOB at the suitable place to support the troops when enemy troops are met and front line forms. Someone also needs to handle the logistics at the point that feature is implemented to the game. Every role is important for the whole teams success. While in classic AAS the CPs did also serve as rigid ammo grate and spawn point, in SQD these are separated to player deploy-able objects. This means that it is extremely important to take care that the team have at least one defence FOB somewhere closer to the main-base. You might wonder why, but that is because of the long distance between the main-base (resource depot) and the front-line that forms easily in this , if this happens and there is no single defensive FOB (resource buffer) build then if the team loose the upper-hand in the front-line and enemy get the control, it usually means that enemy get the SteamRoll. That means that the enemy steamrolls to deep to your territory capping most of your CPs along the way, until you can reform a counter attack from the main-base, it is obviously called steamroll because it is extremely hard to stop if you do not have resources readily in the area. This separation of resources from the CPs and some ruleset coding bugs have also reduced the meaning of the CPs significantly in the early version of the Squad, but this will change in the near future (actually is already happened in the latest version). Team can and ( at least currently ) should also consider building temporary FOB for advancing purposes relatively near of the front-line. This should be also secured, even if it is only one of those hidden radios in the bushes. Your team should be taking eye of it and defend it if enemy is getting near to it, since if you loose it your team is punished with high ticket penalty. It also should be build in the mentality that it is lifted up and moved (or even evacuated to the better place when need arises, so no one should get too insulted if someone else in the team dis-samples it. FOBs have 400 meters clearance radius from each other so it is many times needed to dis-sample it to place a new FOB for more suitable to changed situation. FOBs will not last forever, if enemy knows its spot it will be highly lost at some-point if it falls under constant attacks. Know when to give that spot up and secure the tickets by lifting the radio up. If you end up building so called super FOB (which looks like a fortress) keep in mind that such monstrous base need to be in relevant spot or else it is just waste of resources. As the rigid nature of it it easily ends up to the enemy constant attacks or even deep to the enemy territory if breach of the front-line occurs. Also one of its drawbacks is that while easily drawn enemy attack it easily turn also a deathtraps without safe way to get out when enemy is circling around it like a predators. ...and time.. to be continued.
  10. Medic Whole team gunned down Hold out in a house Enemy squad camps - Since bodies didn't disappear - players didn't respawn - wait for the medic With the simple wounded player model and audio, the enemy is in possession of vital information: - Player is waiting for a medic - Player values ticket over respawn - Squad FOB is not a threat This may have been addressed in another thread, however this simple wounded model significantly alters the fog of war. In the sense that from a tactical standpoint, an enemy knows if a wounded player is a threat or not (model disappears) That's way too much information leaked. Suggestion: The enemy shouldn't know if a wounded animation has a player behind to be revived or not (either 100% of the time or a randomized probability to trigger the agonizing animation) In my case scenario, two squads camped my pos out while a friendlies captured another position. When I asked team mates to respawn, enemy squad just left. It's an exploitable mechanic (info on respawn vs revive) with a critical tactical aspect which can tip the balance of a game What do you think? Let bodies stay on the floor (have 12GB of video memory), more realism with blood and gore.
  11. Hey Guys, made this video to help people out who may be brand new to the game, as it's still very new and in the alpha stage. Let me know if you have any questions, I plan to make more guides and new medic guides as things get added into the game.
  12. If I understand the way drawing on the map works, if I am NOT a SL, whatever I draw on my map is for my own notes. If I am a SL then the rest of the squad members will see what I have drawn. Im hoping that is correct. Im thinking that a map sharing feature might work out well. Heres what Im thinking: Sharing up chain of command (squad member to SL) If a squad member recons an area and jots down notes based on enemy activity, he can meet the SL and share it with him. SL can them transfer the updates to his own map, inform the squad members that the map has been updated, and [sic] "heres what Im thinking for [insert next objective activity here]" SL to SL map sharing Also, lets say a squad is taking a beating and another squad needs to come help. and SL can draw up a quick map and share it to the other SL. If there is an opening or an area that the enemy could be easily flanked from, that can be communicated between SL's just a quick thought. PS: One of the reasons why I thought this could be helpful is because its very easy to lose or have an idea interrupted over the radio whereas this is easily referenced no matter what happens via comms. -Doug
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