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[HOW TO] Squad Stuff - Loadouts, Roles, Teamwork!


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Hello everyone, my name is Buglet, and in the hope of enhancing squad-based gameplay here on EU 1 & 2 I'm creating a guide on character loadouts, as well as giving information on how to use the equipment, and how each role is best optimized.








Just like in the real military, ArmA 3 allows us to play in squads. A squad is a group of soldiers (typically 4-10 units) who work and stay together in order to complete a set of defined goals. In a squad, every unit will have a different "role" to fulfill, and it's the unit's equipment that allows them to fulfill that role to the best of their ability. When everyone in a squad fulfills their role to a high enough standard, it is a common occurance for the squad as a whole to preform well.


In a squad, communication is key. Although each unit has a specified role it is often the case that units must collaborate and merge their skills (e.g: a squad medic cannot preform well unless supported with cover by his squad members). Each member of the squad should be able and ready to follow simple commands ("Move there", "lay down covering fire", "engage that enemy", etc...). Without this level of basic communication, the squad will fall apart.


Let's get to the details!




Squad Formation


Squad formation is all about hierarchy. Orders must be given, and without someone to give those orders they'll never get done. That's why we have squad formation. I'll try and make this quick.


Here are the components of a squad:


  • Squad Leader
  • Team Leader
  • Autorifleman
  • Asst. Autorifleman (x2)
  • Rifleman AT
  • Combat Lifesaver
  • Marksman
  • Ammo Bearer

And here is the structure:


  • Squad Leader - SL
    • Team Leader - TL
      • Rifleman AT - AT 
      • Asst. Autorifleman - ASST. AR 1
      • Ammo Bearer - AB
    • Autorifleman - AR
      • Asst. AUtorifleman - ASST. AR 2
      • Marksman - Mks. M
      • Combat Lifesaver - MEDIC

None of this is set in stone. The squad formation is at the jurisdiction of the squad-leader; he can change roles, change the hierarchy, etc... You'll notice that the squad isn't led by only 1 person - in-fact, three members of this squad are in leadership positions. This is so that commands can be simplified. It's much easier for the Squad Leader to command two people (Team Leader & Autorifleman) who then command their troops, than for the Squad Leader to command eight people directly.


If you are a Squad Leader remember this. You DO NOT have to command everyone - pass the command down, and it'll get done. (Example: SL can say to TL that he wants a compound cleared. TL then commands his 3 guys on what exactly to do. Saves a lot of time and effort for the SL who probably has other stuff to do).






Ah, the loadout. Like I said, every member of the squad has a job and its their equipment that allows them to do that job. I'll try to make this brief too (may add pictures soon!)


ALL MEMBERS OF SQUAD should have a Map, Compass, Radio, Watch, Binoculars, a few Smoke Grenades, RGO Grenades, a small backpack (unless stated otherwise), appropriate clothing for mission, and (if needed) NVG's.


  • Squad Leader: When it comes to equipment, a squad leader has little specialized stuff. I would recommend a GPS as it allows awareness of immediate terrain without having to commit to opening the map. An IR laser on his gun is a must, as well as range finders. The Squad Leader should not carry any heavy explosives or weaponry - in-fact, a Squad Leader is perhaps the member of the squad with the least firepower. That's okay, though, because quite often the Squad Leader travels near the back of the group! A good sight (ARCO) is always helpful too.
  • Team Leader: Not dissimilar to the Squad Leader. Would also suggest a GPS and perhaps an underbarrel Grenade Launcher on their weapon. Not essential!
  • Autorifleman: This role merges leadership with firepower. Obviously, some sort of LMG is a must. Don't be tempted to carry a lot of ammo - you've got the Ammo Bearer! Again, IR Laser on the LMG is a good thing!
  • Asst. Autorifleman: A simple Autorifleman. Would perhaps carry a little less ammo than their counterpart.
  • Rifleman [AT]: This role is always subject to change - there are multiple launchers with multiple uses - Anti-Tank, Anti-Air, guided, unguided, etc... the details of this role are to be decieded by the commanding roles depending on the mission at hand, however it is essential that this unit carries some kind of launcher. Even if you don't think it'll be needed, it's safeer to go with than without!
  • Ammo Bearer: Better get that Carryall Backpack! This unit should not be carrying much ammo for himself, but rather ammo for other people! That means LMG mags, rockets for AT, more First Aid Kits, and so on... The precise contents of this pack always change - if you're expecting A LOT of enemy infantry, but limited enemy air support, it's probably not a good idea to fill up with AA rockets... etc... Have common sense!
  • Marksman: This class is specifically for longer-ranged engagements. I'd suggest a slightly higher-caliber weapon with a longer barrel (Mk 18?) with a more precise optic set. Also, one tip is to travel light! This unit should be able to move freely and swiftly around the battlefield in order to deliver precise, longer-ranged engagement. While the rest of the squad is effective up to about 400m, this unit is effective at over 700m! It makes a difference!
  • Combat Lifesaver: One misconception is that this unit is explicitly a walking First Aid Kit - alternatively, some people forget that their role is to heal people. It's a difficult balance. In a perfect scenario, this unit will never have to stop being a normal, everyday rifleman. However, when another unit suffers a casualty, it is up to this unit to fix them! You'll want a lot of First Aid Kits and a Medkit, as well as a lightweight gun for simple engagements a personal protection. One tip: stock up on those smoke grenades! They're VERY useful.


All this is merely my own recommendation for a working squad. Feel free to make changes to any unit's equipment, but be careful not to hinder their performance as their role while doing so!




Final Tips


  • Covering fire is useful. If a medic needs to get somewhere, smoke grenades are a good idea, but so is making a lot of noise. If the enemy is shooting at you, they're not shooting the medic - simple.
  • USE COVER! AI squads in ArmA don't do this much. They like to go prone and stay there. Use rocks and trees and walls and objects to conceal and protect yourself.
  • If you want to question a command, do it quickly. The Squad Leader and Team Leader are people too, and sometimes make mistakes. If they give you a command you disagree with, don't have a go at them. Just say: May I suggest we do [this] instead? It would be safer/quicker/more fun, etc...
  • Know where your squad is and what they're doing. I can't explain this in any better way than to give an example. Once, a squad I was in was having a bit of difficulty. A few of us couldn't spot the targets we were supposed to be shooting. Due to what can only be a lack of communication, we were in-fact looking in the wrong direction, and had been doing so for a few minutes already. Keeping good communication so that you're always aware of your squad's activity is ESSENTIAL!


And that's it! Enjoy!


Will be adding more in future!


sorry for using Comic Sans



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If you are a Squad Leader remember this. You DO NOT have to command everyone - pass the command down, and it'll get done. (Example: SL can say to TL that he wants a compound cleared. TL then commands his 3 guys on what exactly to do. Saves a lot of time and effort for the SL who probably has other stuff to do).


Ah yes, delegating tasks, so much quicker than coming up with a complex dance of formations and shit for attacking that will likely go to rat shit the instant enemy contact is taken. Something a few people need to learn if they want to take on leadership roles.

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Suggestions for changes, if you will allow it:


* Adding more squad/team setups (exempli gratia sniper team setup, mortar team setup, armoured vehicle team setup, helicopter crew setup).


Suggested guides:


Sniper team (ignoring the fact that Hell will freeze over before most people playing as Snipers will do anything to coordinate and cooperate with the rest of their team):




Sniper teams are responsible for recon (before the AO is flooded with pilots, effectively alerting the enemy), eliminating targets for friendly troops, and otherwise providing intel about the AO




* Spotter


  * Sniper




* Spotter:


  * Senior member


  * Providing security for the Sniper


  * Locating, identifying, prioritizing and ranging targets, as well as relaying effects of the Sniper's shots


  * Acts as point man(the lead) when on the move


* Sniper:


  * Junior member


  * Engages and prioritizes enemy key personnel


  * !!!IMPORTANT!!! Listens to his Spotter's directions !!!IMPORTANT!!!


  * Provides intel and recon to other troops/command


  * Picks the hide location that will be used, and plans the route to and from this location




* Spotter: Lightweight equipment that blends in with the surroundings (ghillie suits for forested or open terrains, urban fatigues for urban terrains, lightweight body armour or chest rigs), assault rifle (most commonly with a UGL attachment), rangefinder, extra ammunition for Sniper (optional)


* Sniper: Lightweight equipment that blends in with the surroundings (ghillie suits for forested or open terrains, urban fatigues for urban terrains, lightweight body armour or chest rigs), Sniper rifle




* Snipers: Remember, cooperate.


* Defensive mines are always good, though not always necessary.


* Stay on the move. Avoid detection. If you take fire, bug out immediately and relocate to another hide.


* Make sure to confirm your targets. Working with a Spotter will make this easier.


* It's always good to know real Spotter/Sniper brevity ("hit", "splash (right, left wherever)", "hold scope", "disengage", "range target", etc.).


* #bipods will be coming soon. It's a platform update. You're not required to own the DLC to use them.


* Snipers: You can hold the right mouse button (RMB) while aiming to hold your breath until the above is added (such a cliché, am I right?).


* Spotters: When ranging targets, round off to the closest hundred, exempli gratia: If the range is 644 metres, call it in as 600 metres. If the range is 647 metres, call it in as 700 metres. This will help your Sniper zero in on targets accordingly.


* Spotters: Keep commands simple, exempli gratia: Target, azimuth (bearing) 185, 600 metres, AT soldier, fire when ready.


* Snipers: Be aware that targets are unpredictable, and that it is therefore recommended until they stop before firing. However if the target stays on the move, you have to compensate for bullet travel time. On average, you can assume that the bullet travels 500 metres per second, depending on what rifle you are using.


* Prioritize targets! If you eliminate a team leader, he will be unable to coordinate the AI to engage different targets, leaving them to prioritize targets themselves, effectively eliminating their hierarchy's infrastructure.


* Last tip for Snipers: WILL YOU COOPERATE ALREADY?!


Mortar team (Fire Support Group/FSG):




Mortar teams, being a part of the broader term Fire Support Groups act as indirect-fire support. They are usually deployed no more than one kilometer away from the AO, and take fire-support requests from friendly troops inside the AO. However friendlies rarely, if ever, ask for it and as such it's nice that we have a UAV Op in our team that can help coordinate targets, though this role is not really a part of any mortar teams I've ever heard of. Matt Foley, a server regular, has real-life training in a mortar regiment, and he is a good teammate when it comes to operating in a mortar team. If he sees this post I'm sure he can provide some corrections where I am wrong.




* Team leader


  * Gunner


    * Ammo man (replaced by UAV Op)


Responsibilities (as Team leaders cannot operate the mortar, some roles are changed to reflect on this):


* Team leader:


  * Senior team member


  * Assuring the safety of team members


  * Coordinating the FSG


  * Providing security while the mortar is being operated


  * Communicating with command and other troops


  * Relaying support requests to gunner


  * Choosing where to employ the mortar, and relocating it depending on requirements


  * Carrying the main weapon compartment


  * Acts as a spotter for his gunner


* Gunner:


  * Second in command of the team


  * Carrying the secondary weapon compartment


  * Listening to the Team leader's directions and engaging targets


* UAV Op


  * Junior team member


  * Listening to the Team leader's directions and engaging targets


  * reconaissancing the AO and marking targets for the Gunner


  * Providing security for the team (unless they choose to laze at the HQ while joyriding with the UAVs)


  * Providing general CAS- and reconaissance support for friendlies at their own discretion unless directed to do otherwise by the Team leader




* Team leader: Standard-issue Team leader equipment, Binoculars/Rangefinder, Backpack (Mk6 Tube)


* Gunner: Standard-issue Rifleman equipment, Backpack (Bipod)


* UAV Op: Standard-issue UAV Operator equipment




* UAV Ops: If someone says something along the lines of "lazing targets in the AO" you are FORBIDDEN from providing ANY support, and required tell them that they can deal with it themselves. Lazing targets can easily be dealt with by infantry and are therefore not worth a bomb. Laser-designated targets, or for the lazy ones, "lased" targets are, however.


* The Mortar can be reloaded by replacing the tube.


* Gunners: Make friendlies aware of fire missions that are danger close. If they start whining in side chat when they get killed if you've given a fair warning, they are at fault. However this does not mean you can drop shells willy-nilly inside large concentrations of friendly forces.


* Play with Matt Foley if you want to go as FSG. Seriously, he's really cool.


* It's always good to know real mortar team brevity words ("rounds complete", "splash", etc.).


Armoured vehicle team:




Armoured vehicle teams are operators of huge, metallic beasts known as armoured vehicles. They have a limited field of view (unless you abuse the third-person view, as most people do), they are very powerful, well-protected, and prone to being targetted by friendly AT soldiers that can't be bothered with confirming their targets.




* Commander


  * Gunner


    * Driver




* Commander:


  * Senior team member


  * Directing the Driver where to go


  * Coordinating with friendly forces


  * Scanning for and designating for targets for the Gunner


 * Employing the Commander weapon (if applicable) and using countermeasures if engaged by AT-weaponry


* Gunner:


  * Second in command of the team


  * Scanning for enemies


  * Calling out enemy contacts


  * Listening to the Commander for orders


  * Engaging enemy contacts unless directed to do otherwise by the Commander


* Driver:


  * Junior team member


  * Following movement orders from Commander and Gunner


  * Scanning for enemies and potential mines/explosives




* All: Standard-issue Crewman equipment, Toolkit recommended for emergency repairs




* If operating a tank belonging to a non-BLUFOR faction, always communicate this to the rest of the team to avoid potential friendly fire.


* When operating in urban terrain, infantry is needed to safely maneuver. Always request support from a fireteam to cover alleyways. If none will aid you, refuse to help them in open terrain, as they will need you while operating in it.


* Gunners: Use the correct weapon for the correct target. HE rounds are effective against infantry, AP rounds are effective against armoured targets and buildings. Don't waste AP rounds on infantry.


* Know armoured vehicle brevity words ("forward", "fast", "left", "right", "halt", "backwards", "hit", "up","on target", "no visual", etc.)


* Commanders: Keep commands simple. exempli gratia: Target, bearing 247, 900 metres, tank.


* Gunners: The "target" and "fire" commands are different. Just because the Commander is telling you to target something doesn't mean he wants you to engage it yet.


* Drivers: Always move the tank after smoke is deployed, as AT missiles will continue travelling in the same direction, even though they will no longer be locked on.


* Use smoke effectively to mask movement of friendly forces.


* Maintain situational awareness.


* Drivers: Running over enemies is fun. Go for it!


Helicopter crew:




More often than not, pilots will operate on their own, transporting impatient people to that LZ on that slope marked right in the middle of that big red circle, then get complaints from kids about how they are a horrible pilot when they get shot down. However, when operating a gunship, a gunner will be needed to be an effective asset, and teamwork will be required. I'll cover both the attack- and transport helicopter roles.




* Pilot


  * Gunner




* Pilot


  * Senior team member


  * Flying the helicopter and assuring the safety of everyone embarked upon it


  * Planning the route to the LZ


  * Making the final decision on the LZ, and changing the LZ if necessary


  * Employing unguided rockets, which should be released by the Gunner and manually operated by the pilot (Attack Helicopter)


  * Helping Gunner maintain situational awareness (Attack Helicopter)


  * Aiding the Gunner by maneuvering the helicopter in a manner that'll make it easier for them to engage targets (Attack Helicopter)


* Gunner


  * Junior team member


  * Navigating for the Pilot


  * Scanning for and engaging enemies


  * Communicating needs to the Pilot


  * Communicating with friendly forces


  * If possible, taking control of the helicopter if needed




* Helicopter Pilot: Standard-issue Helicopter Pilot equipment




* Be sure to land at least one kilometer away from the AO. If players start ordering you to fly a little bit closer as would be their impatient nature, ignore them and act as if everyone has disembarked, returning to the HQ to transport more friendly forces.


* Take your time when landing.


* Flying is NOT easy unless you're using the simple flight model.


* You are NOT allowed to call yourself a pro unless using the RotorLib AFM.


* The RotorLib AFM can be enabled in the main menu game options.


* If you fly with the simple flight model, you are automatically deemed a noob, regardless of how "good" you may be at using it.

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Great addition! Maybe deserving its own thread though. But, I would disagree on some points:


1. Now PLEASE correct me if i am wrong, but I think the Sniper is the senior member in the squad. Also in RL The sniper and the spotter will take turns at shooting to reduce eye fatigue. But I think in our case of ARMA , the sniper takes command. 


2.  This is not really critique but rather a question : Do AI have a chain of command?? Will the AI panic if you take out the Team Leader???


3. I really like your set up of the FSG unit. But I think the UAV Operator should rarely enter the AO. Okay, if we have a AA jet and enough Tanks in the AO, I guess using a quadcopter would be fine, but usually he is better off at base, coordinating the UGV for infantry support and CAS.


4. The Spotter has a secondary role as Forward Ops. He should always relay intel back to base. He should coordinate CAS and mortar teams when ever possible. This is not the UAV Op's job really. ( But as I said, if there is no need for UGV and CAS he could also take this burden from the spotters)


5.  Not reporting to "lazed" targets is being a bit harsh, no? 


6. Em.... 1 click out from the AO? This is good for the first drops done in a new AO but as soon as the infantry has breached it, you can pretty much land right next to it if you pick a good spot. I agree that you should normally avoid the AO zone but in some cases you can even land within the circle. 


7. I don't deem peeps flying without advanced mode as noobs. I know allot of good pilots that don't use it. I will rather give a pilot the thumbs up who does a swift and clean insertion on easy then a pilot that takes fucking ages to get the bird on the ground cause he is using advanced. 

Advanced is cool but not necessary to be a good pilot. There is so much more to transport piloting then your skill in using the chopper. 


8. I agree a landing should be careful but dam, when your inserting, that chopper needs to be on that ground ASAP. You do not want to be hanging around in the air for too long. This is crucial and also why going auto-hover and then slowly descending isn't a good way of doing it. When flying hummingbird you want to be hovering 10-20 m above the ground on your final 300m of approach on the LZ. 


Now, these points are MY OPINION and are not intended to be taken for granted. I think both guides are really good! 





See you around Ahoyworld, mate!



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Heya Stuart. Thanks for the critique. I'll try to address all your points. :)


1: It really depends on the military branch/country. Exempli Gratia, in the Unitede States Marine Corps (USMC), the Sniper is the highest-ranking member of the Sniper team, whereas in the United States (U.S.) Army, the Spotter is the senior member. Because the BLUFOR faction is NATO, one could, according to the game's campaign story, assume that the U.S. mandate tasked with operating on Altis is composed of members of the U.S. Army, judging by their equipment and that, as far as I am aware, there is no NATO-brigade composed of USMC-soldiers, though there is one for the U.S. Army, in which case the Spotter would be the senior member.


2: The AI do have a chain on command, however they will not panic per se. In the event that a Team leader is taken out, he will no longer be able to relay orders to his squad, exempli gratia assigning targets, giving orders to fall back, or position his squadmates (all this will be improved in the upcoming Marksmen DLC, so expect a big AI overhaul). When a Team leader dies, a squad mate of his may eventually report a man down, in which case the second-in-command will automatically step up and take his place. The time it takes to report the Team leader as confirmed killed in action depends on if he blatantly took a rocket to his stomach right before the eyes of his squad, or if he was silently neutralized by a recon squad. Disrupting the chain of command of a squad, depending on what pace it is done at, can greatly disorient the enemy, and if enough holes are put in the infrastructure of their chain of command, the AI will eventually start to flee.


3: That is your opinion, but since the ammo man is out of the picture, I personally believe the UAV Op should fill his role as security. I'm glad you have your own point of view, though. :)


4: Indeed he does. I should have been clearer on this. Then again, at the time I posted I was focused on task delegation, and how to make this work with the server unit setup for the FSG unit, being how the Team leader is actually supposed to operate the mortar and et cetera, which is not possible due to it being locked for all classes apart from the Mk6 Gunner.


5: No... >_> Personally I don't even know why they would be allowed in service if they're lazed. D:


6: I believe one kilometer to be a safe distance to avoid potential enemies. The lock-on range of a mobile AA vehicle in ArmA 3 is near 2.5 kilometres. If you feel confident in landing close enough to the AO for the hostiles to smell your breath, so to say, then of course you are welcome to do this. One kilometer is merely my recommendation. :)


7: That is your opinion. While I personally prefer the Advanced model, I was only sneaking in a few jokes. If you feel more comfortable using the simple model, you are by all means allowed to do this, as it is optional. However, I take my hat off to everyone using the Advanced model, regardless of their skill with it. As for landing time, this depends on the size of the helicopter, the pilot's experience and obstructions in the LZ. Generally, having used RotorLib ever since it was released, I only take a long time landing when I have to land on roads inside of cities, or in forested areas.


8: I should probably have been clearer here as well, but when it comes to landing, you can't just fly to the marked LZ without regards to terrain and other important factors. Yes, the LZ might be hot, and as such it is important to not spend too much time loitering around the area. I generally advocate against the use of auto-hover because of how it slows the helicopter down so much, and I fully agree with what you're saying about slowing down at a low altitude when closing in on an LZ. However when inserting, a pilot needs to quickly deem the LZ safe for landing or not, then decide to either proceed or abort.


I hope I've cleared up a few things here, and I'm hoping to see you on AW sometime.


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