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Squad Leaders - your ten cents

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I see a bit of drift from OP's threads, I've spotted a roll towards squad leading, how to do it and how not to do it. Those of you that know me well know that I did a lot of leading, before I get on my high horse and tell you how great I am I'll invite you all to include your input(Ask Danny, I sent our squad's medic across an open field in a firefight). One great trait of a good leader is to become good at figuring out human performance and more importantly, combined resource management so to follow the latter of these, it's time to create a thread and gather inputs from all...

 

It's a place to put your $0.10 into this topic, go forth and discuss....Well go on, write a reply

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I'll re-iterate here what I've said in practice and in other places.

 

I believe the following illustrates how leadship on AWE "should" work: imagine the objective is to destroy an enemy radar installation.

 

1) at the Platoon Commander level:

a) before the operation begins, the PC organizes the rough plan of how all the squads are meant to carry out the overall objective. How infantry is to be inserted and extracted, what the heavy asset teams will be doing to support the infantry, and who is responsible for what level of the overall plan.  If players need to re-slot to take on different roles, it's coordinated by the PC.

b )  during the operation, the PC serves as a traffic coordinator - managing the flow of information and requests from one squad to another.

 

2) at the Squad Leader level:

a) before the operation begins, the SL coordinates with PC to determine best how they will be used in the mission. The SL can offer suggestions and debate heatedly over proposed landing zones, avenues of attack and so forth, but ultimately the PC has final say on what will happen.

b ) during the operation, the SL implements the plan on a strategic level, making adjustments based on developments that arise in the field. A pilot may choose a different LZ because the intended LZ has enemy units on it; an infantry squad leader my choose to send the squad in a different direction due to terrain; a HAT team may choose a different overwatch point based on limited visibility.

 

3) at the Team Leader level:

a) before the operation begins, the TL receives the mission plan from the SL and ensures that his team has the proper resources to accomplish their part of the mission: for example, in the radar installation objective, if their infantry squad has an engineer, ensuring that that soldier has adequate explosives to do the job. Ensuring that there is a backup in place. Ensuring that autorifleman assistants carry the right type of ammo for the autorifleman. That sort of thing.

b ) during the operation, the TL implements their part of the plan on a tactical level, making adjustments based on developments that arise in the field. For example, the Squad Leader of an infantry squad may push the part of the plan that has the fire teams pushing up a hill, but if the fire teams are taking major fire from entrenched positions, the FTL has the tactical authority to choose another path, or pull back to avoid taking losses, perhaps suggesting the help of a support team.

 

I find AWE works best when leaders at all levels avoid micromanaging the level beneath them; there is a real attraction to do so, but ultimately it makes your own job harder and takes away the job of the person beneath you. Yes, they may not appear to be doing what you've told them ("I have told Alpha 1 to move up onto that ridge, and they are still there in the valley. What are they doing?") but usually there is a good reason, and if there isn't, that's when you may need to investigate further.

 

In all of this it should be stressed that the leader at the particular level is ultimately responsible for the well being of the units under their direct command. Players must follow the chain of command, but they do so to the best of their ability and in a way which doesn't violate other rules - so if ASL is telling you to charge across a field that's being pounded by artillery shells, this could be interpreted as inciting to teamkill.

 

- R

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SLs: most of them are bad at that job, period.

Now to give some context.

NOTE: If you are learning or inexperienced I will gladly help you at any role, including SL/PCO. /NOTE

 

By bad I don't mean those that don't know how to do it, in those cases its just inexperience and that can be learned.

What I'm talking about is bad SLs. The ones that decide to leave a mission to the support groups to take (e.g. call in vortex to take out a mission target when troops are at still at base or on route), the ones that give orders and no one understands why (take a convoy of 20km when vortex could safely drop troops in 5min), SLs that think that its a perfect idea to sit in a hilltop and snipe all targets.
Those and other types, I don't like them as SLs/PCO. I don't have fun playing when they are leading and usually I rather go play something else or go into EU1, there at least I know exactly what to expect of the other players in the server.

 

Again, I don't know much or what I know could possibly not be useful, but I will give all my knowledge away to anyone willing to learn it, just don't ask me to play when the command structure is like the examples above.

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This might stir up (yet) another separate topic, but I'm wondering if the problem with "bad quality leaders" lies in the current concept of AWE.

 

What I mean by that is that it's not random public lone-wolfing, but not fully milsim either. I feel like that may be catering to too wide an audience, creating mentality issues.

I know a server on Falcon BMS (study-flight sim) that does the same, and they face the same problem (sort of). Some people (the "purists") on there want to take it all the way, others (the "rookies") just want to do their thing in a slightly more organised way, and maybe pick up a few things from the purists. But because they both have different interests in the sim, the purists don't like going there because the rookies kill their immersion, the rookies don't like going there because the purists are going way too far and too strict.

 

That being said, "bad quality leaders" may in fact be a result from the different expectations everyone has on AWE. Maybe (it's just an idea), if you were to go more strict (i.e. leaning towards or going full milsim), you might end up with a better organised bunch that doesn't actually need micromanaging, making SL's job a lot easier.

 

Should note I wrote this reply in a hurry, so it may not be as clear as I intended.

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9 hours ago, Lost Bullet said:

 

SLs: most of them are bad at that job, period.

 

I have to disagree with that, SL's are doing a bad job but that's your opinion. 
I think what we need to realize here is that everyone has different goals and understanding of "Victory" or "Accomplishment of the mission" , some people prefer to make sure that Vortex and Heavy Assets are on a very short leash, making it more fun for infantry - often ends up with a million reinserts and Not the most realistic approach, but for sure very fun - i believe that's closest to what You like and for those people the "Mission Accomplished" means that everybody shot a lot, we had some screaming and some Arma fun.

 

I on the other side, like realism, played a lot of Mil-sim, went through Danish Basic and Adv officer training, and what i do is i take ASL and for me a proper "Victory" is a the full platoon coming back home with no-one killed, im that guy ordering MAT/Vortex to take out tanks before they even spot us, and, i believe that's an example of me - 

9 hours ago, Lost Bullet said:

SLs that think that its a perfect idea to sit in a hilltop and snipe all targets.

I do that very often, i love long-range engagements, because that's when i come back with alpha in-tact, and even you may believe it is boring, and as you once told me after i lead Alpha on a hill firing 450-600m down at the target, you believe it's what "AWE" is and shouldn't be done. While for me, that is the more realistic part of AWE and that's what it is for me. When i can sit on a hill further away shooting enemies, i will, obviously i don't always do that, i don't want it to be too boring for infantry. 

And us two, is a very good example of what @Eagle-Eye spoke about, the two totally different approaches. But i really like that difference, what is the problem for me is when people of those two different approaches start criticizing the other side. I do not agree that the audience that AWE aims for is too wide, it is the greatest part of AWE, that everyday there is a different leader, different command structure, different people doing completely different things, me as the best example, am a very aggressive pilot, i don't break off the LZ when my rotor is having a lead overdose, and i fly into AAA's "red zone". Sometimes ending up in a nice firework show, sometime in heroic extractions. But whenever i take an ASL, everything somehow changes, i make sure that there isn't anything bigger than a group of enemies when entering a town, and i call in a million airstrikes as soon as somebody spots a tank.  A totally different behavior of totally different and diverse players while keeping a good level of teamwork, and assuring that everybody is having fun - that is the purpose of AWE for me, and i think it is serving that purpose as best as possible. 
The problem is the clash of different beliefs and mentalities - and i think that should be adressed, instead of saying that "SLS are bad" or "Those people are bad at it". And at the same time, a little advice from the realism side of the wall, sometimes its a very good idea to listen to people on the other side of that conflict, and find a common ground, that's when everybody has the most fun, and that's what AWE stands for. 
But hey, that is just my opinion.

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2 hours ago, Miczils said:

The problem is the clash of different beliefs and mentalities - and i think that should be adressed, instead of saying that "SLS are bad" or "Those people are bad at it". And at the same time, a little advice from the realism side of the wall, sometimes its a very good idea to listen to people on the other side of that conflict, and find a common ground, that's when everybody has the most fun, and that's what AWE stands for. 
But hey, that is just my opinion.

 

I didn't point any finger at anyone, I expressed my opinion of what I think is wrong.
More on my personal opinions:
Alpha has 10 slots (excluding ASL and Medic). If those 10 players go to a town to kill the remaining 10 guys its not really that fun. I rather die a few times or be pinned down by armor for several minutes (waiting for the support group(s) to get into position to take it down) than go into a mission and fire a single shot or don't shoot at all.

 

I guess that any server can't make everyone happy, if that was the case than people wouldn't come to AWE from MilSIM or go from AWE to MilSIM servers, nevertheless AWE should in my opinion make the majority of players happy, and the majority is infantry units.

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 I totally agree with what Lost said:

12 hours ago, Lost Bullet said:

SLs: most of them are bad at that job, period.
By bad I don't mean those that don't know how to do it, in those cases its just inexperience and that can be learned.

Because even though a few people don´t want to hear this but in my opinion people who don´t have the experience just shouldn´t (and with that I really mean mustn´t if possible) take higher command slots.

I for example don´t think that I have the experience to manage a mission with Alpha, Brave, 2x Vortex, AT, etc in a way that everyone would enjoy the mission as much as they should be able to expect. Because of that I just don´t take Plat CMD or ASL when there is no Plat CMD.

This for example also was one of the resons I wrote this "apology-text" when I got the one in charge because Plat CMD DCed and then f*cked things up at the ZEUS mission Kenny made a few weeks ago. As reaction to my lack of experience since then I didn´t took ASL another time because I could again get by accident get in charge and I think that more experienced ones would be the better choice for that. And pretty much it is behaviour like that what I want to be able to expect from others but instead you´ll often enough see some people doing a bad job but instead that they take another slot next time they just do it over and over again with the same bad result (what is btw the definition of crazy).

 

9 hours ago, Eagle-Eye said:

I feel like that may be catering to too wide an audience, creating mentality issues.

"bad quality leaders" may in fact be a result from the different expectations everyone has on AWE.

I totally agree with that one.

 

And as Lost also said:

14 minutes ago, Lost Bullet said:

AWE should in my opinion make the majority of players happy, and the majority is infantry units.

And that is also what in my opinion is the main job/target of the one in charge (and which is pretty much similar to the one ZEUS has): do the mission in a way that everyone has the most possible fun.

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And that is also what in my opinion is the main job/target of the one in charge (and which is pretty much similar to the one ZEUS has): do the mission in a way that everyone has the most possible fun.

 

This is perhaps the best standard to attempt to achieve.  I went through a phase as ASL where I wanted to accomplish the objective as quickly as possible with as few losses as possible. It's entirely possible, but is usually boring.  My most fun times on AWE have been where the mission completely goes off the rails.

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2 hours ago, Noah_Hero said:

I for example don´t think that I have the experience to manage a mission with Alpha, Brave, 2x Vortex, AT, etc in a way that everyone would enjoy the mission as much as they should be able to expect. Because of that I just don´t take Plat CMD or ASL when there is no Plat CMD.

 

That's one of the gripes I've had for several years.

 

I still see people get into MAT or Marksman without ever having used the tools specific to that role. Many new players will look puzzled when you start talking about ACE interaction menus.

 

Many of these things can be tried out and/or learned by simply using any of the gazillion Steam Workshop practice ranges and/or watching YouTube videos, but despite that some players don't seem to wanna put in that work.

 

That is why training sessions are starting up once again, but deep down it vexes me that it should be necessary in the first place, I must be honest.

 

That said, some things can't be learned without practical experience.

 

The confidence to make the calls without thinking about it for five minutes first, let alone the knowledge that allows one to, most of the time, make a call that doesn't kill everyone.

 

Anyway. More to come I guess. Gotta be off for now.

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4 hours ago, Noah_Hero said:

And that is also what in my opinion is the main job/target of the one in charge (and which is pretty much similar to the one ZEUS has): do the mission in a way that everyone has the most possible fun.

I disagree completely on this one and i see a major problem with this approach. In my opinion  Zeus's mission is to make it as much fun as possible for everyone while SL mission is to make sure that all players get a pie of the action and enjoy the fun Zeus and Gauntlet provides .... Combining Zeus with ASL is, in my view,  the biggest mistake leading to at least one of the 2 very important "jobs" being done wrong every time.

(Even an ass. rifleman could provide this kind of fun by pretending he didn't spot that BMP sneaking so it surprises everyone at close range for exhilarating fun and screams but that is not the right approach imo).

I think zeus should just zeus and enhance the mission in a fun way for everyone while ASL should just lead the troops into that fun so that the perfect positioning between a milsim and "arcade" :) gets achieved.  

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6 minutes ago, D34TH said:

Combining Zeus with ASL

You missunderstood me. What I said is that the tasks are somewhat similar. This does NOT implies that ASL is ZEUS.

 

8 minutes ago, D34TH said:

SL mission is to make sure that all players get a pie of the action and enjoy the fun Zeus and Gauntlet provides

Well that is what I wrote and meant.

 

3 minutes ago, Ryko said:

If ASL starts making decisions which impact on the fun of the players, you can guarantee they won't be enjoying playing as ASL.

As said: In my opinion the leading roles should influence the gameplay in a way that everyone gets the most fun out of gauntlet. If that´s stressfull then it is like that but that´s the job of ASL/etc. And like you said:

3 hours ago, Ryko said:

This is perhaps the best standard to attempt to achieve.

:)

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Yes, I completely agree that both Zeus and SL should work towards gaming fun as the ultimate goal (because that is why we  all play here) but should be 2 different people with 2 different jobs and tool sets in working towards that goal (like a pilot and co-pilot in an F18 if i may say so) ....my ten cents :)

 

* only the mission makers and Zeus's approach to doing his job can define what the specific fun in AWE means, SL can only add to that a more subjective kind of fun given his style within the Gauntlet context. Otherwise, each of us risks to define fun for everyone = what he personally sees as fun*

 

**short historical reference: they said communism is perfect because it asks from you only what you can give and gives you what you need ... the deal breaker, in reality, is that the party gets to decide what each can give and also what each needs ...*

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Having recently started taking SL roles and having more experience now as a TL, I'd like to add my 2c.

 

I'm starting on the premise that AW's mission is for people to have fun (so much fun that they spontaneously donate money and bring their friends). So, starting from the bottom up:

 

Fun for the foot soldier is having a clear mission and having plenty to shoot at. I also think you you enjoy getting shot at, no point taking pot shots and never hearing a bullet fly near you. If you are Vortex you want to be flying for a purpose, whether CAS or transport. If you are MAT/HAT you want big metal things to shoot at and if you are Logi, well you want something to do. Medics, of course, want people to get shot or blown up.

 

That to me means that a TL has to make sure that his/her units get stuck into the mix. He should of course make micro plans to keep them safe(ish), no point dying in 10 seconds. But sometimes sacrifices need to be made. Think Saving Private Ryan, TL Tom Hanks sends his guys to take the machine gun emplacement. The medic dies. Micro mission achieved. One man down. Fun. TLs need to be quick on their feet. They need to be able to see the micro battle area and make good decisions. Bad TLs are the ones who don't do those things or give unclear orders. We can all name a few. However, it is very important to encourage TLs to make decision on the field, give them ideas and allow them to make them their own. "TL, perhaps we can throw smoke at the building and then storm it?"

 

Let's assume now you have a great TL (there are many in AWE). The SLs role should be to make sure the Teams have fun. No sense an SL telling them to take a position on a hill and shoot from 800m with a 10km crosswind. That gets boring quickly. Same for telling a MAT team to shoot from max range, or getting Vortex to sit at base waiting for reinserts and do nothing much else. So, make sure that your TLs are given challenging tasks, give them clear orders but discretion to decide changes at the micro level, guide them, pass them information and pass their requests on to the higher echelons. SL should keep awareness of the situation rather than get himself shot right away, but he shouldn't be so far away that he can't tell what's going on.

 

I agree with a lot said above that SL level is where we are most lacking. I don't yet have a lot of experience as an SL, but one thing I always do, and unfortunately have never been on the receiving end of, is request feedback from the TLs and even the troops. This allows you to learn their playing style, what they liked and didn't like, and tailor your game. In real life I spend a lot of time on leadership matters, and something that always comes across is how poor people are at tailoring their leadership to suit the situation. Some SLs just shout and swear. When they don't get results they expected they just shout and swear some more!

 

On the subject of Zeus, one thing that bothers me is when you are in the middle of the battle and the SL jumps on Zeus, looks where the enemy are and then makes a plan. Perfect intelligence is no fun. It removes the fog of war and makes everything predictable. SLs should not Zeus and vice versa. (It's ok to fix things like bugged vehicles, etc.).

 

Now, the last level up. PlatCo. Hard job. You have to make sure everyone has fun and has a piece of the action! The first and most important thing is that PlatCo. understands all his assets and doesn't just jump in to making a plan without that knowledge. He also needs to think what will happen in people join in during the mission. I'm nowhere near being a PlatCo, so I can only speak from what I've seen rather than experienced myself. The good ones pass on lots of information to the SLs, make the mission very clear, and deliver short but specific sets of orders during the mission. Maybe unconsciously, but they send SLs into the fun.

 

Just my thoughts.... fire at will.

 

 

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Guess i'll add my 2 cents as well.

Before i begin about SLs specifically let me say something about fun, seeing how most people seem to agree that SL (and platco and TLs and ...) should always keep the amount of fun players have in mind.
Fun is subjective.  Some people have a lot of fun driving around a tank shooting 'big metal things'.  Some people would rather leave than drive around a tank.  Some people have had fun if they got to shoot their gun a lot.  Some people have fun even tho they only shot one or two bullets.
For example: give me a m107, put me on a hill 1.5-2km out of the AO with a spotter i can chat with the entire op.  I don't even care if i get to shoot that beautiful gun or not then.  Crawling up to our overwatch, remaining undetected, having a nice chat, calling out what we see to the commanding elements, ... that's fun for me. (that's why you will only see me taking HAT if i know i can chat with the other people in HAT for the duration of the AO.  I know we're only gonna get to kill a handful of things.)

 

Now to get to the SLs; yes they should keep fun in mind for all people.  However it is almost impossible for an SL to know what fun is for every single person he's commanding.  On top of that is that ASL is a very versatile role.  You can be commanding A1, A2, B1, MAT, Hammer, Vortex 1 and vortex 2 in the first AO and the next AO you only have A1 and A2 to command and you'd have to listen to platco.  The first AO requires a different mindset and approach than the second one.  In the first one you'll be running far behind friendly troops to make sure you don't die.  In the second one you can happily be right behind friendly troops and s

hoot some stuff as well.

 

Now some reactions to previous posts:

 

On 2017-5-11 at 3:45 PM, Noah_Hero said:

Because even though a few people don´t want to hear this but in my opinion people who don´t have the experience just shouldn´t (and with that I really mean mustn´t if possible) take higher command slots.

You might not wanna hear this but this is what popped to mind when i read this:

Spoiler

were-looking-for-someone-age-22-26-with-30-years-of-experience-job-interview.jpg.f46b9f57acd5481d4340ffb558b2d00b.jpg

There is only 1 way to gain real experience and that's by doing it.  Not to say that you shouldn't start off small by being SL for MAT or HAT or something.  But in the end you will have 0 experience on being ASL when you first take the slot.

 

On 2017-5-11 at 3:45 PM, Noah_Hero said:

And as Lost also said:

On 2017-5-11 at 3:26 PM, Lost Bullet said:

AWE should in my opinion make the majority of players happy, and the majority is infantry units.

And that is also what in my opinion is the main job/target of the one in charge (and which is pretty much similar to the one ZEUS has): do the mission in a way that everyone has the most possible fun.

Agreed, definitely not easy, but agreed.  (small example: some people in vortex have more fun doing CAS some have more fun doing transport.  If you happen to end up with 4 people in vortex that all enjoy doing CAS you have a problem)

 

2 hours ago, JaSmAn said:

Fun for the foot soldier is having a clear mission and having plenty to shoot at. I also think you you enjoy getting shot at, no point taking pot shots and never hearing a bullet fly near you.

Respectfully, no.  I don't have a single problem sitting on a hill killing everything before it can even shoot back.  Then again, i have to admit that doing that every single AO isn't fun either.  
Basically you can't say "Fun for that role is doing this".

 

 

2 hours ago, JaSmAn said:

If you are Vortex you want to be flying for a purpose, whether CAS or transport.

Again, respectfully, no.  Put me in a 2 seater with someone i can have a nice chat with and i don't have a single problem not shooting anything nor transporting anyone.  But again, not every single AO, you kinda run out of stuff to talk about.

 

2 hours ago, JaSmAn said:

The medic dies. Micro mission achieved. One man down. Fun.

In my personal opinion, it's more fun to get everyone back to base without a single casualty.

 

2 hours ago, JaSmAn said:

Same for telling a MAT team to shoot from max range

I can tell you that it was a heck of a lot of 'fun' when i hit a target at 1.1km away on the first shot with the maaws. 

 

2 hours ago, JaSmAn said:

ne thing I always do, and unfortunately have never been on the receiving end of, is request feedback from the TLs and even the troops. This allows you to learn their playing style, what they liked and didn't like, and tailor your game.

Agreed, definitely important.  Unfortunately doesn't happen that often.

 

2 hours ago, JaSmAn said:

Some SLs just shout and swear. When they don't get results they expected they just shout and swear some more!

If i'm being SL i will shout at people and i i'm do swear to a certain extend.  But don't think that this is because i think you're incompetent.  If i shout at you i believe that you can do better, i don't waist my time shouting at people of who i think they cannot improve/do better.

 

And as i said in the beginning, this is just my 2 cents.

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9 minutes ago, Stanhope said:
On 11.5.2017 at 3:45 PM, Noah_Hero said:

Because even though a few people don´t want to hear this but in my opinion people who don´t have the experience just shouldn´t (and with that I really mean mustn´t if possible) take higher command slots.

You might not wanna hear this but this is what popped to mind when i read this:

  Reveal hidden contents

were-looking-for-someone-age-22-26-with-30-years-of-experience-job-interview.jpg.f46b9f57acd5481d4340ffb558b2d00b.jpg

There is only 1 way to gain real experience and that's by doing it.  Not to say that you shouldn't start off small by being SL for MAT or HAT or something.  But in the end you will have 0 experience on being ASL when you first take the slot.

Hahaha, nice one:lol: But that´s not what I meant. I meant it like: Play AR-Assistant before you play as AR so you can get a lot basic-experience, play AR long enough before TL so you can gain a good amount of experience on how to lead and maybe lead a team also for short times when you TL dies. Then play TL lonng enough and than take BSL so you don´t have a that big squad to manage and dont come into command by accident. When you have played BSL long enough take ASL when there is a Plat CMD, etc. So what I basically meant is that you really should have enough experience before you take a leading slot. And not be like: "Oh I played TL and it didn´t went good, then lets take SL!" But instead be more selfreflected and think about if you do have enough experience to finish the mission in a good way or if you probably will f*ck things up. And if you really f*cked things up maybe get a step back to gain more experience before again taking that slot.:)

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