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unfrail

FOB Placement Basics for AAS

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Lot of this discussion going around, and I suppose it will always be so, but I wanted to share the conventional wisdom that has been gained regarding FOB placement through the pre-alpha period.

I can be long winded, so lets start with a picture;

 

NdTdy5J.png?1

Here we have a quick overview of FOB placement and its need for structural defense.

 

The infographic states the opinion, but let me explain the logic;

 

Red areas are areas that the enemy NEEDS to attack if he intends to play the AAS objectives. If you build a FOB in this zone, and you intend to keep it, it will need defenses. This doesn't mean you can build heavily in ANY one of these red zones effectively. Ideally you push the boundary of heavily defended and forward placement. In the event of advance traction loss, the structural recourse can be beneficial. The disadvantage is that this placement becomes glaringly obvious, and becomes a easy target for effective 40mm rounds.

Yellow areas are high-traffic flanks, areas that can be expected to have travel more often than not, and thus, Radios in these zones will likely be discovered. That doesn't mean they are priority targets.. If my team is well coordinated, and we are taking a flag with ease, knowing you have a FOB in a close but not preventative proximity, we can stage troops on the next objective, and we can choose to bypass your FOB on the path to out-capture. If you are making life hell for us trying to capture a local flag, we will be obliged to attempt to reduce your ability to reinforce. Thus, some guarded entrances are useful.

 

Green areas are areas where radios will more often than not be unencountered. That doesn't mean they wont frequently be encountered, but the probability tips in the favor of obscurity in this zone. These Radios benefit greatly from this obscurity, and Radios scattered throughout the green zone along the path of advance is the most common utilization of effective Radio placement (thus far), providing the whole team rapid response for minimal manpower investment, leaving all soldiers to fighting and giving them a flexible mechanism of recovery in the event of ground lost.
 

Obviously the beauty of tactics is that there are always counter-tactics that can overcome. However. Spending lots of player resources on a "castle in the sky" that can easily be bypassed, cripples your team. If you are determined to play "FOBcraft", make sure the enemy has no other option but to attack your castle if he wants victory. Efficient respawn-reduction is what wins the game, as long as you can keep your flags.

If you lose all your flags, you lose a ticket a second.

PTFO. PAAT. and may the best team win.

I invite you to critique this if you think otherwise, and we can argue (respectfully) together here because I am very much interested in the communities take on this. This is my grasp of things, and its possible my summary is somewhat off, and I would appreciate the correction for myself and the community understanding.

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No argueing to be done unfrail i think your 100% correct, i will say though im interested to see how 50 cal / dskk emplacements will change the functions of fobs id like to see that "castle in the sky" finally have some hot tar and oil to pour on would be attackers

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You wouldn't believe the number of times players have complained about me sticking radios in places that are not a capzone...

Oh well, it's a new game.

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one little problem would be placing the fob on the hills to south of the map, cause coverage on the way down isnt great. sides that i agree =]

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I think it's important to consider fob placement as it relates to the next fob(s) you will place. Ideally some sort of triangulation around objectives so that you can get onto the next objective quickly. Too often people place them in a "central" location that makes it slow to get anywhere and difficult to place more FOBs (due to the 400m limit).

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Hit the nail so hard on the head.

 

Not only does it pull the manpower and resources from taking objectives, but sitting back and building up a super FOB in bad locations does nothing but turn the area into a meat grinder and paint a big target for enemy grenadiers and LAT. Not even to mention when mortars finally come into play. 

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...im interested to see how 50 cal / dskk emplacements will change the functions of fobs id like to see that "castle in the sky" finally have some hot tar and oil to pour on would be attackers

I agree, there are a lot of mechanics that are yet to be implemented that can change this greatly.

I'm not sure however, inside the AAS framework, that a SuperFOB that can be easily avoided and that doesnt prevent capture, will ever be a reasonable tactic in AAS, unless they have serious fire-position advantage on attackers of an objective, enough to offset the disadvantage of manpower and time removed from defending in close quarters.

Personally I dont think SuperFOBs are functional (in AAS, at present), but there are people who are gunna build them regardless.

 

My hope is, that this understanding will at least help them understand why if they are determined to build a SuperFOB, it only makes sense where it can directly prevent the enemy team from Advancing and Securing past their structure.

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Only once have I seen a "FOB castle in the sky" work. Ever since then everybody tried to do it and all it does is just irritate a team that is just sprinting by ignoring your stupidity.

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Well i agree not a super fob but right now a medium sized what id consider ptfo fob either for advancement, defense or both would greatly benifit greatly from emplacements, sorry i had just wanted to use "castle in the sky" as a generic term for a fob not useless super fob that was my bad useing incorrect context once again i agree with unfrail unless its in a superb position theirs currently not a place for super fobs

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Great explanation. Putting FOBs on objectives is extremely risky and we're still seeing it. It can work on the "split route AAS" (Not sure what the official name for that game mode is) since half the team will be attacking/defending other areas so you don't get a full 25+ attacking the FOB. On maps like the one in the picture putting a FOB on the flag is madness since the sheer numbers pushing onto it will make it useless, force people to spawn on rallies or even back at main. Plus losing the FOB costs tickets.

 

Also for the love of god please ask other squad leaders before you put one down. There's nothing worse than being about to put one down in a really good location only to have someone put a bad one down 100m away.

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Very nice post! You're absolutely right on this (right now).

But I'm curious if this tactic still stands when the game mechanics will change when they implement vehicles and what not. I mean, roadblocks, minefields, tanks, MG placements, mortars and lot of other things will drastically change the game, and how it plays out. Hell, even how fast you place certain objects will even change the game entirely.

 

But that's what I like about this game.It's huge in terms of possibility's. Endless tactical decisions can be made. And I really like to read what you guys come up with on the forums. This game is all about getting your objective done, completing your mission. As a team that is. How you want to achieve that is all up to you. Or better said, to your commander:P 

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I agree with most said here, from my little experience of squad so far it feels like you are better of placing small hidden fobs and focusing on the flags and not staying in 1 place. However, it is still a new game to many of us and the FOB/defenses are part of the game, so I understand if new SLs want to test the FOB system. Besides, it´s a nice feeling when you put up defenses and dig in. It might not be the smartest tactical move, but it sure is fun. :)

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It will change a lot, we will get bigger maps and as you said emplacements of mg´s and mortar´s. Also, if that´s still the plan, there will be medical tents/heli pads and repair stations on tech 2 fobs (fobs will be upgradeable in the future).

 

So yeah, it will change a lot! :)

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I agree. As it stands, right now, super fobs seem pointless. They're more likely to give away a fob location, and with proximity takedown and no emplacements, it seems like a waste of time. Like has been said, once roadblocks are useful and we have MLGs etc things will change.

I've seen people block off entrances to buildings (which are usually near cap radius), and that seems to attract grenades.

Sick write up brah

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Since I have a hard-on for FOBs, I think that the main uses of a realistic FOB(outpost or whatever the real-life counterpart is) is in  close defence of a flag or on the highest bit of land available for area denial. Ideally both. A built-up FOB could also be the main hinge in a web of FOBs with radios/FOBs in a green zone to support it or vice versa if either FOB is attacked. People are jumping the gun on Squad's FOBs effectiveness since there are no goodies yet like machine guns.

 

As far as green zone FOBs/radios, I think that team based markers to help hide minimal radio would be a good idea so that players don't inadvertently give away a more discrete radio's location. The markers would be to designate preferable paths to exit the radio's location, but that's just a thought.

 

a real FOB's effectiveness will come down to the radius in which it can be disabled in the same way that a hidden radio's effectiveness will come down to the alert radius that there's an enemy spawn.

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Great post Unfrail.

Just a little out-of-the-box thinking. You don't always have to fortify the compound the radio is in. Sometimes it's beneficial, given the tactical situation, to hide the fob radio (spawn point) in a easily defensible compound then move closer to your objective/better position to build the actual fortified fob and place rallies. Keep in mind that everybody is going to have to be aware of the fobs status.

This tactic gives you a little more freedom of movement. As long as you stay within the fob radios radius, you can fortify a compound in any direction the enemy is attacking (in theory). By fortify I mean blocking out doors and throwing up ladders/ammo, won't work with superfobs too many points. Also, if your fortified fob gets overrun, you still have a relatively safe place to spawn to organize a counter attack. Needless to say, you're going to need good inner squad and squad to squad comms.

This might be a better tactic to use on the Parallel AAS game mode but it can be done on the others as well I think.

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Thanks for the feedback gentlemen.

I want to clarify that this is not the only way to place fobs, but that its the common method that yields effective results. There are always going to be exceptions.

 

I was considering the nature of FOB construction, and positioning, and the reasons that FOBs, even SuperFOBs are not as useful as it would seem they should be in AAS. Here are my thoughts.
 

  • Positioning

    In AAS, most of the objectives exist in areas where there are natural systems of defenses, whether its walls or precarious terrain, these things are unbreakable, and they are effective at hiding, protecting, and allowing troops to maneuver in their bounds. The reason you build a FOB is for protection, however there is more protection afforded through obscurity and indeterminate location as well as indestructible map elements. Also, most compounds have structures with roofs, a natural defense against all but the most well-placed artillery (UGL/RPG/LAW).

    If there were objectives in barren fields, with no natural terrain that facilitated movement and hard cover, this cover would need to be established to maintain control, and any establishment would provide a measurable advantage against an unprotected enemy. Consider the top of a mesa, or a large barren hilltop, or a large field with no near structures or walls sufficient to enable rapid movement and hard cover. These are places that are "boring" but if they need to be defended, having sandbags would go a long way in assisting defense, provided that there are no large cliffs overhead allowing easy downward artillery targeting.
     
  • Protection

    The question here is the defense against artillery, which discussion hails back to the "Will Super-FOBs be Useful?" discussion. If you are constructing defenses in any sort of valley, there is little protection a player-made FOB can presently offer against incoming fire. What purpose does a FOB structure serve if it cannot effectively provide protection against its assailants.

    I have been considering the methods that FOBs are typically constructed, and someone suggested that the single-wall exterior alone is a flawed design. I agree. There need to be internally compartmentalized sandbags/defenses so that when artillery hits, there is rapid access to cover. Otherwise you have a bowl full of frag-stew.

    Roofing is another serious issue, and I have some work to do testing Insurgent "Bunker" facilities against explosive rounds. Its camo netting, and it should do little, but its the only Insurgent piece with a roof (at present).
     
  • Overrun

    As long as the overrun radius extends beyond the defensive walls of a Hideout, it will be a defensive liability rather than a defensive asset. What I mean to imply is, you are going to spend more effort to play the FOB game, than you would to just utilize rapid respawn radios, and good aggressive tactics. A defensive stronghold should make life easier, but in truth, you can lose it easier than you can hold it. Enemies simply need to stand in range, with greater numbers, with a centralized target ripe for frag-throws, while the defenders are obliged to leave their defenses if they intend to maintain control.

    Alpha means alpha, but hopefully, for the sake of FOB venerability, de-cap radius can be reduced dynamically based on assets, or it can be permanently reduced, or eliminated all together.

    I would prefer to see a different "Anti Spawn Mechanic", say for example the RTO/Signals Specialist Role as a means to detect Radios, and jam, within range, to prevent spawning. Otherwise, I think their elimination should be one solely accomplished by kinetic energy (explosives) or sabotage.

This is all my opinion on the matter, particularly as it relates to AAS, but even still, I want to make it clear that I think the FOB mechanics are awesome. They just need a little tweaky-tweak, and based on the latest post-alpha thread, it sounds like we're in for some upgrades.

I look forward to the new challenge.

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Fantastic post, Unfrail. Even more props for using my own video as reference material -- Uphill Battle.

 

TLDR: Players will, I think, soon work out the best formula for fob placement. However, the key ingredients for me are 1) coordination between Squad leaders, 2) the necessity of fallback infrastructure if you lose a forward flag/base, 3) appropriately defensible depending on the role of fob and its location. Point 2, for me, is key. Fobs should never be treated as standalone structures. Fallback positions are just as important as forward bases. The two must be balanced -- and the team must have depth otherwise you run the risk of being quickly and devastatingly back-capped and overrun. 

 
--

 

Without conceit, I think that the video actually serves to illuminate several key points that you raised. Particularly, that OpFor's Fob turned into a defensive liability rather than a defensive asset -- when it could have easily been the opposite. It also serves to highlight the difficulty in defending an established position that is under a sustained, coordinated attack -- even if that attack must be made over open ground. And the effect of suppressing fires against an enemy that, by the very nature of their position, must skyline themselves to engage the enemy advancing at them.

 

Here's a bit more of an in-depth analysis--

 

In the context of that particular match, the enemy's Fob was your classic balls-out red-zone firebase. It was positioned on a dominating feature, surrounded by open ground, only several hundred meters away from a key (read, central of 3) flag zones. It was just outside of the capture radius - but not by much. For the enemy, it provided them a domineering position from which to observe US movement across the entire map. Including the other two capture points. However, just as that position came with several distinct advantages it also had a few serious shortcomings. These ultimately led to its undoing. Just as the Fob afforded no hard cover for any element that wished to attack it, it also provided the OpFor no hard cover from which to advance from. By nature of it's location, and it's necessary built-up defenses, we spotted it easily and knew from where precisely OpFor reinforcements were originating.

 

Having established the position of the OpFor Fob, we merely set about capturing the flag that it was meant to defend from right under it's nose. When the enemy advanced on us, we were already postured to meet that threat. After the flag was captured, our Squad, almost without direction, set about the next logical task -- assaulting the position. Having placed their Fob so close to a hotly contested flag zone the OpFor were obviously gambling on being able to defend it and thus dominating the centre of the map. But, by implication, they could have no other infrastructure within 400 meters. A risky proposition. We duly overran the feature, destroyed the fob, established our own (using their own hard-earned points against them), and mopped up the stragglers in the town.

 

So what did they do wrong? Well, not much except fail to defend a valuable asset  It's an interesting example of a super-fob gone wrong. But I can easily have seen it working out the other way. If the enemy Squad had been tenacious and coordinated enough, they could have smashed us. Not to mention if they had received help from a second squad, leaving them either free to defend or free to attack, they could have caught us in the open between an objective (behind) and a fob (in front) effectively nullifying our impact and ultimately destroying our element). Odds of 2 against 1 fighting on the flat seldom work out, odds of 2 against 1 fighting uphill will never work out. Further, our assault was (tenuously) supported by a refreshed Squad rally, they had a fully-fledged Fob. I think it's clear from this that a super-fob has potential. But if it is left undermanned or under-supported it can be seriously vulnerable even against in an even-numbers scenario.

 

--

 

That aside, this also goes to show how a properly coordinated Squad that takes the initiative, uses concise communication, and employs effective fires can quite comfortably overrun a fortified position. We took no KIA (though had a few close calls) in that assault (thanks to our Medic).

 

Anyway, those are my thoughts :)

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I don't know after watching that video, I can't help but say that I think we're getting a little loose with our definitions of superFOBs. That thing was an L wall with a radio. I agree with what was said before too about the shapes. There needs to be reverse walls or side walls so that one grenade doesn't take out everyone inside. So far, in game, all designs of attempted FOBs have really had poor designs.

 

Plus, those guys were defending it horribly. Running into the open doesn't really constitute defence and one of the guys was on the outside of the wall.

 

Since I'm the pro-FOB guy here, I'd love to see the same attack, but instead of an open bunker, it's an MG bunker. Also, the defenders stay inside not go outside and expose themselves.

 

 

I'd like to just reiterate too that the effectiveness of a FOB will come down to the capture radius of the radio, the destructibility of the barriers and their design, and the defenders themselves. I mean I just haven't seen one radio that I'd consider a FOB(or superFOB) so far in my time playing the pre-alpha. They've always been collections of walls loosely put together around a radio with very poor design. Most of the designs being so open and unsegregated that they're just a mixing pot for enemy grenades and defending soldiers. Not a great idea all around.

 

That's why I suggested pre-made FOB designs in the topic in my signature. Most SLs just don't really build good FOBs. (mainly cause there's no MGs right now and a big capture radius on radios, but also laziness)

 

I think a major way to give the defenders the advantage would be 2 to 4 fixed machine guns. We'll see what ends up being fair.

 

I think what I'd like to see is squad-built FOBs being a decisive factor in a battle over a flag. Unshovelable walls would go a long way. Maybe even make it so that the radio counts as another 5 men on the flag. There's all kinds of ways to make FOB building worthwhile. I just don't like seeing squad being a game of just dropping radios because no matter how much stuff you build they'll still get close enough to destroy the radio(if the radio's radius is too big).

 

In short, make FOBs viable and don't squander the build mechanics.

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I agree with this draw and will not substitute with my own lol. Except the red zone should be an absolute no no for building a fob

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-snip-

A very accurate assessment. Thanks for that, and thanks for posting the video.

You reiterate some of the key points here that I'm trying to drive home, one in primary where you state:

 

So what did they do wrong? Well, not much except fail to defend a valuable asset (emphasis added)

 

I'm sure you get the irony in this statement, which is, they failed to do anything of effect for the only measurable objective in the game. :blink:

 

Your example was perfect for many reasons, and it wasn't all bad things.

 

I think they, in terms of traditional tactics, made some excellent decisions on locational placement; on top of a hill with an uncovered approach. This affords them a hard target to assault, and a hard target to barrage because of the difficult vertical trajectory to land the 40mm rounds in effectively.

As you stated it however, they lost their position because it was sub-optimal for a counterattack, and they didnt have a supporting squad to assist in the counter attack. That however, wouldve required a severe concentration of manpower over a single, non-decisive (conquest-gamemode) objective.

Once they started dying in the counter attack, your team was able to get close enough while they were waiting for respawn, to prevent their ability to respawn without actually defeating their defensive structures. This is a 2 part failure in my opinion;

  1. They shouldnt have made a horrible, squad-wide assault on your team leaving insufficient manpower to defend their investment.
  2. The benefit of radios is so easily negated through indirect action (enemy presence) that there is no value to the defenses in close quarters.

What are defenses good for?

  • at range they provide cover. (This only works if the structure is elevated sufficiently to prevent a game of 40mm basketball.)

    however

     

  • once the enemy is in "block the fob radius" the defenses become a liability for the defenders, because they now need to egress their own defensive and known position into concentrated fire, to clear a scattered enemy with unknown positions.

I'm sure you understand this, and I rather enjoy the tactical conversation and AAR regarding the success of an operation, in an effort to learn from observation, rather than experience.

 

This is all critique of the defenders.

In short, their position was insufficiently close to defend the flag through position, and their structure and coordination was insufficient to defend the flag through direct action.

 

Bad FOB positioning.

Your team, and your comms, as a squad, were exceptional. Seriously, good shit.

 

I do wish the mechanics or enemy tactics were such that you would've been obliged to a more difficult forced entry of an occupied compound, simply because I expect you would've steamrolled them still, and we could be having a useful discussion about breaching tactics now in a different thread. :)

 

-snip-

I think you are dead on with your assessment as well.

  • I agree that the FOB we viewed had structural shortcomings that made it more of a crescent of defense rather than a "SuperFOB"
  • I also agree that the Range-to-RadioBlock is crippling when it comes to the defensive efficacy of a FOB, if the FOB is placed within the center of the defensive structure.

 

This can be compensated for by decentralizing the Radio position, but that comes at a cost of exposing the respawn structure.

In the context of the game at present, with the slow supply build rather than the "Crate of Materials" that could be logistically dumped on a position to facilitate more rapid construction of significant defenses, structures that are being built during active gameplay in a non-reclusive position on the battlefield are going to have a significantly difficult time getting enough defense structures up to make a reasonably useful operation out of the manpower invested in establishing them (typically).

 

This is something else that needs to be discussed. FOB-Squads shouldn't exceed more than 4 people. 3 people digging will rapidly out pace the Squad Leader's ability to place structures compared to the incoming supply rate.

 

Under existing conditions, there should be no more than 3 people and an SL specifically operating to build FOBs. Any quantity over this is a waste of team resources (manpower) that could be used elsewhere, either constructing another FOB with a different squad in an alternate useful position, or engaging with the enemy to impede progress sufficient to allow the time needed to construct the FOB.

I wouldn't say that I'm anti-FOB. I'm pro-effective-tactics. I'll do what has the highest probability of working, including remaining on flags to ensure they are defended, or playing medic effectively, etc. etc.

The present state of the FOB game needs some work. It needs some good thought.

  • Are the underlying FOB mechanics broken?

                     Or

  • are we just misusing them?

I think the obvious answer is the perpetual reminder of what is essentially Pre-Alpha implementation of FOB mechanics.

 

That said, given the current mechanics, how can one effectively apply the structural, and objective oriented placement of FOBs?

I have some thoughts, and I think this harkens back to your discussion of pre-fab or pre-planned FOB structures.

Since this thread is about "FOB Placement Basics" and since a careful reading of my original post doesnt condemn FOB building, but scrutinizes its application, if you're interested I would like to delve into some placement theory.

Here is one concept that I will offer up, that is roughly laid out, but not foolproof. I'll edit later with structural logic

 

 

9DKR2zX.png

 

The premise is to decentralize your structures, to provide cover fire for each other. Also note that the Radio is not in the aggressive defensive position, but provides cover for those respawning, and allows them to rapidly return to the defensive positions.

 

I'll upload these high-res pngs in a bit so you guys can mess around with placing them and we can get some interesting ideas going on.

I'd also like to quantify the materials it would take to construct these things so that you can more accurately calculate what the investment of time and manpower should be appropriately aimed at facilitating.

 

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Fob placement is crucial for safe spawning and advance strategy.

Once armed though they will be useful as attackfobs also.

Think Kashan, N bunk and eastern mountain.

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-snip-

 

I'm glad I'm not the only one investing time into this.

 

We'll have a chat on comms someday soon, Unfrail. I very much look forward to it.

 

In the meantime, I'll write a more detailed response tomorrow.

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