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Methods for becoming a good Squad Leader - your thoughts needed!

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Update 2016-02-09: Sorry for letting this thread rot like a corpse in the sun for two weeks. Judging from the replies I have gotten so far, it seems like I have not conveyed my thoughts properly. (A notable exception would be Karm. I think that he understood what I was aiming at. ;]) So I will get back to the drawing board until further notice. As for the thread, you can all let it die. I do not mind if a stray moderator locks it, but in my opinion it's not important enough to bother them about it.

 

A lot of excellent resources have been posted on what properties make up a good Squad Leader. As stated in the thread Leadership behaviour in SQUAD - your thoughts needed!, "SQUAD at its core is a game about leadership while under pressure.". But what practical things can you actually do in order to gain to gain this elusive leadership ability? And what can you do to condition yourself to keep your head cool when the stress is rising?

 

This thread is meant to explore just that:

 

1. What can you do, inside and outside the game, to attain one of the qualities that marks a good Squad Leader?

 

2. Which good Squad Leader qualities should you try to attain first?

 

In order to explore this efficiently, I recommend posters to bring up only a few qualities (that a good SL should have) per post, and then focus on suggesting ways you can practise in order to approach these qualities. And let's get the most obvious one out of the way first - "just play a lot as an SL". While that is a fine suggestion, we can't stop there if it doesn't work for some combination of SL qualities and people. ;]

 

 

 

Example subject: 58 (me, the opening poster)

58 tries his hardest to become a SL for ulterior, personal reasons. He has a medium-to-high amount knowledge about infantry tactics but is having trouble converting them to practise. In particular, 58 has troubles with being short and to the point in his communications in spite of being aware of the problem. He is also feeling overwhelmed a lot while being SL, so he also needs to improve his mental endurance, or initiative and squad morale will suffer.

 

 

Example post that could help 58:

Brevity (conveying a lot of info in few words) in communications is a good SL quality. If you talk a lot in-game, people can become frustrated and important information may not be relayed in time.

  1. You can practise brevity in-game by saying your out loud to yourself a few times, before hitting the push-to-talk buttons and repeating it in-game. This way you can polish what you say so it becomes shorter and shorter before letting someone hear it. A downside is that this slows down your communication. On the positive side, it should help the brain to learn quickly since practise is done in close proximity to live usage.
  2. You can look up procedure words for radio communications to expand your vocabulary. You can note down words or phrases you like in a text file on your PC.
  3. Try to be simple in your communication to help new players. Military acronyms, while precise, may be unnecessarily complex for other players and your brain. Which is easier; "RPG", "LAT", "LAW", "rocket" or "rocket launcher"?

Endurance.. blah blah ladie-dah...

  1. herp
  2. derp
  3. Rob Schneider

 

Reference material:

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Talk and express yourself confidently with the odd joke thrown in and you will find your squaddies will keep returning.

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Really depends on the nature of the match, like is the other squad going to communicate and work with you on capping objectives, or are they gunna just play team deathmatch in the woods against enemy squad. I've found this to be a problem, what is the nature of this match going to be, cause that sets the tone on how your going to coordinate and play as a SL.

No matter what happens you try to mold to the situation, even if other Squad Leader are unresponsive.

...No "one tactic" will work every time...

"Make" your squad work together, and gather intelligence on the battlefield... together...

Communicate, & Coordinate... Get a situational awareness "as a squad"... then Comunicate, & Coordinate... over and over...

But seriously their is a lot of people playing that say "points don't matter", "kills dont matter", "capping point don't matter", and everyone just plays team deathmatch in the woods...

I know it's Alpha, but what does win rounds and is the objective of them game... tickets...

So better be thinking about who and what your medics are up too, hehe

(These are just some thoughts I've had playing as a SL)

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Talk and express yourself confidently with the odd joke thrown in and you will find your squaddies will keep returning.

Well yes, but that is more of a goal than a method. Imagine someone with lousy humour and who has no clue how to express themselves confidently - what could they do to get there?

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When working on brevity think large to small. It's a technique you would use to talk on aircraft in a CAS mission, but it works well for any sort of information. What's the most important thing you need to relay - in as few words possible? Then so on and so forth down the importance matrix. It might help in keeping your communication a bit more concise.

 

I also struggle with the overwhelmed thing occasionally, I think that the key there, is to have a network of friends you play with. If you have people you can spread load responsibility to (Fireteam Leaders?) and delegate tasks it becomes much easier. 

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some ideas,

 

a good SL should:

 

know the map,

 

give clear orders and use map markers,

 

communicate and coordinate with other squads,

 

know where and when to place FOBs/ammo crates/rally points, 

 

know the capabilities and limitations of the different weapons and employ them accordingly

 

back up other squads

 

know when to stop attacking and fall back

 

know when to stop defending and push out

 

know how to make good use of building walls and stuff without turning it minecraft

 

(when the squad is full) kick squad members that are not helping the squad, lone wolfing etc

 

and yea being funny helps def

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Don't be afraid to try something different!  Stand behind your decision and own up to any mistakes.  Maybe ask for some input/perspectives from your squad after the round that may have been the turning point in the match.  You can do this while the next match timer counts down and on the next map once you form a squad.

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Don't micromanage. Assume your squaddies are competent until they prove otherwise. Trying to micromanage your guys instead of letting them accomplish your orders will result in you having less awareness and possibly getting your squad killed.

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Here's something I've been working on. Hopefully by the end of the week I'll be able to release the more complete, revised version with Images, gifs, and some color to attract the dead-heads. It's pretty damned detailed, and gives my contact information for anyone who wants some hands-on live fire training. The whole layout is eventually going to make it look like an actual Military document with proper notations and headers, which is based off of the idea I had for a "clan" that I'm trying to get off the ground. People click 'join' and that's it. They don't check the damned forum, attach rank to their callsign, give feedback, help recruit... I'm putting a LITERAL METRIC FUCK-TON of work into this, to make it as professional and official as I can. I know this 'niche' of the gaming community is out there... they love the realism and roleplay of mil-sim, and I know I can bring exciting, engaging, and addictive enhancements to that part of the community.

Anyways, the guide:

http://forums.joinsquad.com/topic/4766-the-squad-user-manual/?p=167528

 

My Steam Group

http://steamcommunity.com/groups/2-11

 

I'm about to finish the S.O.P. & C.O.C. guidelines, and hopefully have them posted to the group tonight, explaining a little better what the group is, what it's not, the rules, vision for future, etc..

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some ideas,

 

a good SL should:

 

know the map,

 

give clear orders and use map markers,

 

communicate and coordinate with other squads,

 

know where and when to place FOBs/ammo crates/rally points, 

 

know the capabilities and limitations of the different weapons and employ them accordingly

 

back up other squads

 

know when to stop attacking and fall back

 

know when to stop defending and push out

 

know how to make good use of building walls and stuff without turning it minecraft

 

(when the squad is full) kick squad members that are not helping the squad, lone wolfing etc

 

and yea being funny helps def

Pretty much sums it up.

 

One thing I have noticed is that when S hits the fan, most SL's just give up and quit giving orders.  I like it when a SL is repeating the current set of orders every few minutes or so.  It keeps the squad from lone-wolfing.

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Don't give attitude to people. I was explaining how to mark the map to all squad leaders since it seems that someone might not know how and one of them groaned with attitude saying "We know....."

 

Nothing was marked on the map and everyone was getting confused on exactly where the enemy was.

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Some people are not cut out for it... Some of which I'm talking about even posted here....(dear god) that being said I learned how to be a effective SL by watching my peers during pre Alpha and learned a lot. By doing this I found a group of people who had a similar play style and we grouped up from there and considering most of my guys are vets I managed to learn what to say how to say it and how to be brief in saying it.

At the end of the day though it doesn't matter if you are good at it especially at first because there is a learning curve!

My advice find a good group of people and sit back and play with them and grow with them and they will help you out along the way!

EDIT- No one is a good Squad leader in this game it's all about who you work best with

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Don't give attitude to people. I was explaining how to mark the map to all squad leaders since it seems that someone might not know how and one of them groaned with attitude saying "We know....."

 

Nothing was marked on the map and everyone was getting confused on exactly where the enemy was.

I'm not yanking your chain... hard... BUT, I watched one of your vids... and you're one of those SUPER-FOBBERS AT MAIN! NAO! BUILD THE WALL THREE TIMES HIGH! MY CITY WALL! King of the castle and the land of NO FUCKIING WHERE guys. Perhaps YOU could read a few guides? Sorry if I offended you. it's just the vibe I got, watching that derptastic spectacle!

 

 

 and VaaSHARK is CORRECT! NOTHING beats playing with the same guys every single day or night for a couple years. At some point you realize that you all know EXACTLY how each other plays, what weapons you'll want to use, and how. Where your preferred points of defense/lanes of offense are going to be, and you all know how you can motivate and communicate with each other in an intuitive, almost psychic, way like only families can!

 

  I've missed my old BC2/Early CoD family from Ps3 for a while. Every time i think about it, I get really depressed that it will never be the same for me again. Those guys were like brothers, and you don't realize the bond you had until it's up and gone. Had to smash my Ps3 because it quit working. We got so familiar with each other, half the time we would know EXACTLY where the others were, without ever looking because we just could recognize where he was headed, three blocks and a twist through some buildings away behind a tree that had 4 blades of grass sticking out there, and he felt it gave him concealment and he felt protected there... It's just his psyche... and we were all connected on this level, that is hard to describe.... and we never did anything besides play a few different games together ALMOST EVERY SINGLE NIGHT FOR YEAAARS.

 

 cant explain that "psychic connection" without really calling it exactly that...

If I could just recruit a Major to help me with my community plans soon, I might actually get them done before i keep getting to the point I'm so tired i destroy it all. But it'd be hard to trust him and and place that "this means I've got your back, NO MATTER WHAT. Our whole group, the mods, devs, local population, and various government branches could turn on us, and i'd be back-to-back with you to the glorious goddamned death do us part, you fuckin tard!" lol, and I'd expect the same from him.... It's just the only bond I know since my days playing that seriously, Never once met in real life, only knew a few real names and locations... nothing outside of what we came to function SO WELL (like a damn couple of atomic clocks running off of the same photon in a state of quantum entanglement) ever mattered, besides a little banter here and there.

 

 I'm on mission to find that again, now that this game has inspired me to FINALLY, after ALL THIS TIME, let myself become dedicated to something like this again.

 

I hope you all have, or will experience these indescribable brotherhood bonds yourselves, one night deep into Squad

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1. What can you do, inside and outside the game, to attain one of the qualities that marks a good Squad Leader?

1. Know the game inside out. Know the game modes, understand how AAS bases are linked, 'locked' and captured, know the risks involved when placing FOBS (and how they usually play out), know about smart rally point placement, know about weapons, weapon sounds and positioning.

2. Keep your squad together. Regroup. Regroup. Regroup. (Not on a dime's edge, some spacing goes a long way, but don't start pushing forward when three squaddies are still way behind.)

3. Be fun. Keep the game fun for everyone. Enjoy the game. If it isn't fun for you, make it fun.

4. Communicate with the other squad leaders before the game starts, before you make your move, while you make your move, and tell them the results. Ask them how they're doing when it matters, especially if you're free to move.

5. Be clear and brief in your communication. Practise on keeping it short.

6. Learn to read the map. Shitload of information to be had from just looking at the map. Sometimes you don't have to ask in SL chat to know that shit has hit the fan.

7. Adapt. Avoid deadlocks (except when defending the final captured objective). Order a full retreat if fights take too long and try from a different direction, or try something else. Take the blame. Learn from your mistakes.

 

 

2. Which good Squad Leader qualities should you try to attain first?

1. Know the game inside out. Know the game modes, understand how AAS bases are linked, 'locked' and captured, know the risks involved when placing FOBS (and how they usually play out), know about smart rally point placement.

2. Keep your squad together. Regroup. Regroup. Regroup. (Not on a dime's edge, some spacing goes a long way, but don't start pushing forward when three squaddies are still way behind.)

3. Be fun. Keep the game fun for everyone. Enjoy the game. If it isn't fun for you, make it fun.

4. Communicate with the other squad leaders before the game starts, before you make your move, while you make your move, and what the result was. Ask them how they're doing when it matters, especially if you're free to move.

5. Be clear and brief in your communication. Practise on keeping it short.

6. Learn to read the map. Shitload of information to be had from just looking at the map. Sometimes you don't have to ask in SL chat to know that shit has hit the fan.

7. Adapt. Avoid deadlocks (except when defending the final captured objective). Order a full retreat if fights take too long and try from a different direction, or try something else. Take the blame. Learn from your mistakes.

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Don't give attitude to people. I was explaining how to mark the map to all squad leaders since it seems that someone might not know how and one of them groaned with attitude saying "We know....."

 

Nothing was marked on the map and everyone was getting confused on exactly where the enemy was.

Yeah, those are touchy subjects. There's a very fine line between being helpful and being 'annoying' or 'patronizing'.

 

I've had a squad leader recommend me and another squad to place a new rally point, when I was already planning to do so and was just waiting for the cooldown. That felt annoying, and my mind went " <_< ". Felt like being treated as a noob, which sucked. Kind of like over-micromanaging when you don't feel it's needed. Had one of my squadmates said the same thing, it would not have felt even nearly as lame, and I'd kindly respond that I'm waiting for the cooldown.

 

At another game, with good positive communication, another squadleader had just taken down the fob they had built on a defence point (to prevent enemies from taking it). Some twenty seconds later, when flipping open the map, I noticed they had no spawn nearby anywhere. I reminded him to make sure he had a rally point to fall back on, and was thanked explicitly for reminding him. The same (kind of) message can land in totally different ways, depending on situation, timing, and the persons involved.

 

Concerning map markings, "Could you please mark the enemy positions on the map?" might have worked better than an explanation on how map markers work (which they should know as a SL). Sometimes it's hard to determine what you're dealing with, though.

 

 

Don't give attitude to people.

...On another topic, I could quote you as saying "You guys don't know how the game works!" while making a superFOB on a distant hilltop. :rolleyes:

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give long term and short term objectives.

A squad without a goal is just a bunch of ppl.

 

ask for intel, pass intel via SL channel. give intel back to squad.

 

#1 priority for SL = Maintain the spawn points. Rally and fobs. Keep them safe and effective, move them as needed. A fob does not need to be permanent.

take charge of the team if no one else is. 

make it fun, it's a game. Defending for 50 mins is only fun if you get some action.

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A squad leader needs to know the game meta and features, bugs, glitches etc. better than a regular player. 

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How about realize when your wrong?

 

Fed up being lead away from objectives to fight in areas of a map that have no meaning. So they have a fob up on the hill not on a cap,  go cap the next base where there are fewer players and there have twice as far to run!

 

Take other players ideas and tactics into consideration... But im Squad leader your do as i say, i know whats best!

 

SQ lead..... Spawn on me, were go the same route we have taken the last 5 times that got us all wiped out.... Wonder why I have run off now.

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How about realize when your wrong?

 

Fed up being lead away from objectives to fight in areas of a map that have no meaning. So they have a fob up on the hill not on a cap,  go cap the next base where there are fewer players and there have twice as far to run!

 

Take other players ideas and tactics into consideration... But im Squad leader your do as i say, i know whats best!

 

SQ lead..... Spawn on me, were go the same route we have taken the last 5 times that got us all wiped out.... Wonder why I have run off now.

If you stick with the same squad leader with the same failing tactic 5 times in a row, you're at least partly to blame for following him. :P

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At the end of the day though it doesn't matter if you are good at it especially at first because there is a learning curve!
 

 

This ^ 100%

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SL

1. Your not breaches, pointman

2. Your not a Sniper

3. Your not a troll

4. Your not a punchbag

Your a Squad leader, you should have enough experience so to bring a positive play and constructive game. It's not a ego trip, but a journey for the length of that map where if your lucky people in your squad will see what your aim for in the game and want to go along. Once and a while your find other SL'S that will work together making a great team. Most people will give you enough rope to hang yourself, which can back fire if you go too far.

Let your squad know your plan, and give people a chance to input, or move squad. Aim low with your expectations of a pub group and build on it. I start, rally point location, then Fob. If they are communicating well, decide are they good for defence or attack. Poor comms will make a poor squad. Experienced players will let you attacks with more ease.

Take note of your supply with your squad, munitions take a lot of strain out fighting. Screaming for bandages or ammo only adds to difficultly.

At the end of the day, try to had fun if you have fun your squad will. When you find that you make a squad and it fills with strangers you have played with your start notice every game rocks.

Happy gaming

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 Right now I still have a lot of things I need to work on to become a better SL, but today I learned two things about myself.

 

- I am not someone who can manage a Squad that is spread over three or more different objectives/places, some people might be able to do something like that, but I am not. The conclusion for me is that I will try to keep my Squad a lot closer to me in the future. (Normally that would not happen in the first place, but during this specific game, it happend.) 

 

- I need to stay calm. (Sounds easy, but will be something I actually need to remind myself to do. Maybe I will make a twist into my sleeve or something like that just to keep reminding me.) 

 

But obviously I would not simply make this post to tell you guys, about my "self-discovery". I actually have a very specific question, one that I can't answer because I lack the expirence. 

 

Assume there is a situation where half of your Squad is still up and fighting at flag A, but you also need to help other squads neutralising the next flag B. Now there is a big chance you will capture flag B when acting quickly, making it impossiable for the enemies at flag A to get it, would you:

 

- send your people over to B as soon as the respawn (one by one) to support the other squad already fighting at B

 

- wait till all your dead people have respawned and go with them (taking half the Squad, while the other half is still fighting at A)

 

- tell the other SL's that it is to risky and go to help defand A even if that means you do not make progress

 

If you say that none of these can't be the right answer, because the situation as I described it is not clear enough (because the map is not clear, what squad classes are currently fighting at (A) and so on), than the question is different for you: 

 

- Based on what would you make your choice when it comes to a situation where you can risk something but also gain something for your team, by spliting your Squad in two? Is it just gut feeling (with gut feeling I mean that there is nothing like a single or a couple of factors important and you just decide based on how the game went so far and your overall assessment of every possiable factor)? Or is there something else (for exarmple, never attacking with only a part of your squad when you don't have a medic, grandier, AR or some other class with you, Never attack when there is less than 4 people defending the last flag. And so on)? 

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Yeah, those are touchy subjects. There's a very fine line between being helpful and being 'annoying' or 'patronizing'.

 

I've had a squad leader recommend me and another squad to place a new rally point, when I was already planning to do so and was just waiting for the cooldown. That felt annoying, and my mind went " <_< ". Felt like being treated as a noob, which sucked. Kind of like over-micromanaging when you don't feel it's needed. Had one of my squadmates said the same thing, it would not have felt even nearly as lame, and I'd kindly respond that I'm waiting for the cooldown.

 

At another game, with good positive communication, another squadleader had just taken down the fob they had built on a defence point (to prevent enemies from taking it). Some twenty seconds later, when flipping open the map, I noticed they had no spawn nearby anywhere. I reminded him to make sure he had a rally point to fall back on, and was thanked explicitly for reminding him. The same (kind of) message can land in totally different ways, depending on situation, timing, and the persons involved.

 

Concerning map markings, "Could you please mark the enemy positions on the map?" might have worked better than an explanation on how map markers work (which they should know as a SL). Sometimes it's hard to determine what you're dealing with, though.

 

 

...On another topic, I could quote you as saying "You guys don't know how the game works!" while making a superFOB on a distant hilltop. :rolleyes:

 

I did not say that at all.

 

I said "you guys don't know what you're doing."

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