So you've shot everything in sight, captured control points in amazingly blisteringly fast advances in which the enemy never even saw you; you've killed helicopter pilots on the other side of the map with a sniper rifle; you've defended your commander's assets armed only with a toothpick and a nailfile.
What else is there to do?!
When I play on public servers, this is almost all I see. Since I've not had the privelige of playing on a server that isn't public as of yet, I haven't seen anything else - except once, on the one map I never expected it (Karkand! SQUAD play - tactical squad play - on KARKAND - okay, you can all get back up into your seats now).
When I say 'this is all I see', I do not intend to paint those who believe they can do the above as all-conquering heroes. Rather, this is what many people seem to think this game is about.
Which leads me from introduction to first part…
“You can't all be Rambo.” It's a pretty simple concept. Not everybody can be a light machinegun-wielding maniac advancing through artillery barrages and mechanized advances with only a thin sheen of sweat to show for their toils.
Actually, pretty much nobody can. So forget it. Quit trying to do it. If you're not snorting at this derisively and deciding I'm a moron, you've probably played the game for some time and collected badges, medals, and rank; you know that those servers you've played on that were most enjoyable were those where you were a member of a team working towards a goal.
That goal, of course, is to eliminate the enemy. The most rapid way to do this is to capture all of their spawn points rapidly, but this has a major flaw: if the commander misses just one crucial enemy jeep, APC or tank that breaks through to the heart of your territory, and then fails to arty said vehicle fast enough, then you'll spend the rest of the battle rueing your little attempt at recreating blitzkrieg.
Why is that?
I'm sure you all know, but gosh-darn, I'll tell you anyway. It's because they then have an outlet inside your territory. Their routes of attack are no longer linear and predictable. Therefore the key to defeating your enemy is not to rush forwards as rapidly as possible, but to capture, hold, entrench, and then move forwards slowly and cautiously. Moving swiftly allows enemy forces to rush past and grab capture points behind your team's current path of advance (as described above, and seen on many many servers and many many rounds and every single map, most frequently Karkand). This provides the enemy with a greater range of options. Whether they're coordinated or not is irrelevant; even the most stupid person knows that capturing spawn points that are unguarded is easier and opens up new avenues of attack against the other team. Therefore you do not want them to capture spawn points unless those spawn points are at what is referred to in warfare as The Front.
And that, predictably, brings us on to…
Although this sounds like a lewd suggestion aiming at anti-social behaviour of some sort, it's really not. I promise. >.>
Imagine a map of Karkand. At the start of the game, 'the front' is a semi-circular area extending just beyond the southern limits of the city. Imagine a narrow band right at the extreme edge. That's the front. Beyond that is the enemy territory; before that is your territory.
You're in Alpha Squad. In fact, you're so damned tough, you LEAD Alpha. So what to do?
The obvious route, of course, when attacking Karkand, is to go for the Hotel and rack up points. This is all well and good, but the Hotel is not the critical CP. Oho-no. In some games, people pick up on this. But not many. The critical CP is over there in the top left… that base nobody really views as important to start with, but then becomes a hotbed of violence later. (In 64/32 player games - who even plays on Karkand in 16 player, anyway?)
The name escapes me because usually I'm too busy watching for snipers to read names from the map, so I'll edit it in later, but that particular CP is critical because it opens up, effectively, a second front. It cannot be attacked from the rear and so is very valuable to the Americans as a western fallback position; the MEC do not see it as valuable (unless smarter than the average bear, which does happen, of course, so don't smack me with a brick if you'd spotted this already) simply because it's “far away” from the major congestion points on the map. (EDIT - The name of the CP is 'Suburbs', thanks to 'YOURDAD' for this little reminder!)
Anyway, capture this point, and you can push for the other two 'main city' capture points with joyous abandon; dividing efforts across the river can also cause havoc, but can be exceedingly ticket-costly against good players on the other team and thus is often very risky. Which brings us on to…
When you kill someone, they die. This is, thankfully, a universal constant, even in computer games. Well, usually. Hacks aside, they're dead.
But your kill-death ratio isn't all you have to worry about. If you're thinking about winning rounds rather than just getting a Scandinavian rescue ship's hauling tonnage of points, then you need to think about tickets.
When you die, your team loses a ticket. When someone else on your team dies, your team loses a ticket. When you kill-
Well, it's an obvious pattern.
But what gains the most ticket loss of all is an artillery strike. When you see a tank, an APC, and some infantry all in one spot, then don't just call in a strike and run.
Find cover before firing. Then fire on them - even if it's useless - while maintaining cover and surprise. They'll stay still and dig in, especially if you lob a few grenades from a couple different angles (simulating a greater number of enemies) - allowing your Commander to send them all back to the spawnpoint of their choice courtesy of some big booms and bangs. This gives you fifteen seconds to advance.
So you're in a squad, and your buddies are all dead. Blimey. You're a bit screwed, aren't you?
But wait! You're assault. This means that you have a weapon which can do the enemy significant damage (and probably have them swearing in rage).
No, no, not flashbangs.
I must admit to confusing you a touch there with misdirection, but that's rather the point. From much watching of people during games, I've noticed a pattern: supply drops act like beacons to the enemy. Drop a supply crate, and watch them dash for it to grab some kills.
So ask for a supply crate… waaaay over there. Few people have the sense to ask their commander to check the location, so you should distract at least a couple of enemies low on ammo or health. Second, you have a grenade launcher. You don't need to kill with it to delay the enemy so your squad can respawn on you. What you can do is create explosions some distance away; this is useful to convince the enemy that a hapless moron is flinging grenades at them from another direction. It's like waving a flag with
HELPLESS MORON DESIRES DEATH
Essentially, distraction is one of the greatest tools of the soldier. Wield it well, and you live. Fail to, and you'll be winging your way back to the spawnpoint - and will need to advance all over again, allowing any of the enemy you killed on the way to begin their advance again as well.
Moving in squad formation would also be good. If you're in a squad, be in the squad. Don't wander around haplessly wondering where everybody else is: USE YOUR MINIMAP.
This does NOT mean moving in a tight-knit little group - this will just attract artillery from eagle-eyed commanders with the ability to figure out your destination.
Spread out. Take alternate routes through streets that allow you to keep covering at least one other member of your squad at all times.
Advance in phases, with support kit-wielding types covering your ass supported by accurate medics who can dash forward and revive friendlies with a hail of bullets covering them.
This is a tricky one, because lots of people try to do it and end up running into each other when they pick the same route. But there are a few locations that seem to be almost 'secret' - there's one in particular on Sharqi Peninsula, at the Construction Site.
The flag is at the top of the building-in-construction, right?
There are stairs. People run up these stairs. I still don't know why. Last night, I spent an entire round returning to the Construction Site to defend it periodically; every single time I used a secret entrance that nobody picked up on for some time…
It's called a 'ladder'. There's a ladder at the back of the building facing out towards the Alleyway; in crowded games it can be tough to get up there without a sniper putting one in the back of your head, but it's well worth it to find the crowd of hostiles sitting around the flag on the top of the building… and then kill them while they whirl to face the stairs, the building opposite, the other buildings around - but never where you're crouching, tittering to yourself with evil glee…
I racked up 146 points this way just last night. Much fun.
But the trick really requires an on-the-ball commander. Knowing where the enemy is means that you can sneak up on them, and kill them before they know you're there. If you're not a sniper, closing distance is your goal. You want to be so close that you can smell the BO that hours of soldiering in the hot desert/jungle has produced. You want to be able to see the flakes of hairgel in their hair as you gut them from behind.
To do this requires advancing from cover-to-cover in quick bursts. This is the staple of all military operations, in fact. It's amusingly termed 'hurry-up-and-wait' but the real technical term is 'OODA'.
OODA stands for 'Observe, Orient, Decide, Act' and is THE basis for any successful military or civilian operation involving armed action. Whether you're in an attack helicopter or an APC, a ground-pounder or a die-hard special ops who chews bullets for giggles, you need to follow the four basic rules in the correct order. Do this and victory SHALL be yours… unless the enemy does the same.
Let's run through a little scenario.
Squad A is on the Red team. Squad B is on the Blue team. Squad B has advanced and captured Mystery Spawn Point Gamma.
Squad B takes up defensive positions, expecting a swift counterstrike. They are aware Squad A is nearby; in fact they have a UAV overhead watching them.
Squad A, in this situation on any BF2 server that I've been on, will usually rush the cap point as quickly as possible in the hope of 'catching the enemy by surprise'. Or something. Actually, I have no idea why people do this, but anyway.
The real trick is not swiftness. It's efficiency. There is no point rushing a cappoint if you do not know where the enemy are, what their strength is, and whether you occupy the best position to attack them from. Without comms, this becomes very difficult, but it is still possible to individually identify the needs of an assault - each soldier figuring out the best route of attack simultaneously feels GREAT when it comes off in this game, which I've sadly only seen in play several times now.
Squad A knows that it needs to attack from cover. It therefore needs to locate the nearest cover to the defensive positions of Squad B. That might be a burnt out APC from the battle the day before, or a civilian car overturned by the armoured division that passed through this way a few hours ago; regardless, every soldier needs to identify his preferred cover before he advances. Two people can take cover in the same place - this is even preferable, since one can reload while the other keeps the enemy pinned.
So, knowing where the enemy is (Observe) and knowing where to attack from (Orient) allows us to Decide. The decision is simple if the planning is right - go or wait for support. If the planning is not right, there will be no time to decide: the enemy will force your hand. And once the decision is made, we Act.
Cradle it to your bosom at night and whisper sweet nothing's to it; for those five little words will earn you more points than tankwhoring could ever do.
(No, that had nothing to do with submarines, but I'm a witty soul, and OODA reminds me of submarines. Also, I was always a fun of spotting submarines on El Alamein, in BF1942. >.>)
DO… guard the nearest base to the enemy.
DO… take positions enabling the swift decimation of an advancing force.
DO… slaughter them in every way possible.
DO NOT… sit on the enemy's doorstep with four tanks and two APCs.
DO NOT… rain artillery down on the one remaining uncapturable spawn point to try to gain a better kill streak.
DO NOT… carry out constant airstrikes against said uncapturable spawn point.
Because it's stupid, that's why. There's no other reason. It's just innately stupid. Yes, you'll win. But half the players on the other team will leave waaaay before the end of the game, which means you get less points. Further, the God of Game Fairness (were there to be such a thing) will give your cat fleas and shave your dog. It's NOT fun to die the instant you spawn. Nor is it fun to twiddle thumbs because nobody is spawning because they don't want to die the instant they do.
Quoted from DebonairXcel
“None of these tactics can be incorporated without it, you may get folks to follow you blindly time to time, but it takes role-modeling and leadership to get them to start. Leadership is accomplished not only by thanking the squads, but be being personal with all of your players. That means using the voice option, or typing your players names and thanking them for following orders when designating them. It also means asking certain pubby-lonewolves to make squads and thanking them when they do. Or when someone screws up, saying nothing, making a soft joke, or empathizing with the squad/player, like “that had to really suck going up against the Mi-28 and armor.”
Additionally it means congratulating your team for doing what you want, and it is the sqd leaders/commanders duty to make the game fun for their team as well, even if you are losing. That said, even if the sqd-leader/commander has leadership it also requires knowledge of tactics such as Auqakuhs. And finally it requires role-modeling, if you want to lead your squad effectively, you better be about just as good as they are, or at least have some very good tactical ideas. Last but not least, get someone with the same tags to play with you, pubbies and skilled players love to join folks in one clan because it usually means either that they are half-decent or that they plan to work together, a much better choice than joining the one lone wolf who makes a squad of one.
If you want to play as commander, try playing a round as a grunt, do very well, then opt for it, players working under a skilled player are more likely to follow orders.
Anyhow, as I said before nice tips, but nothing is possible for teamwork without leadership and role-modeling.”