As I said during the debrief, there's a lot I wanted to say, so here is everything I've wanted to talk about
Formations and movement, I noticed a number of issues when we were moving, not keeping spacing, issues with following the pace and all around a bit of a no know about how to do things. But I know I can blame myself on a lot of occasion, by not stepping up and stopping things to tell someone what they need to do. And I know most of it will be solved as we get more time together in mission and in training as well as the new guys going through FST.
Radio comms, I don't know what happened most of the time. Either there were issues with range or simply the mods, but I had a lot of time where I didn't really know what was going on. I think most of it comes from the "split" command channel ended up having because some of us were on the original 70 and others on the Golf Command frequency. Meaning I didn't hear most of the traffic going on there.
Zeus, I LOVE IT. Having someone able to order AI to flank, or move in a more organized way is great, and having someone able to directly punish mistakes when they see them is something I love the idea of.
But what I hated having to deal with, the metagame, and mostly, playing the metagame. Having to change frequencies to not allow the ennemies to listen in, having to see if you have civilians around before you say anything as they "might relay information to enemy forces", not being able to use map markers to make plans.
I know it's intended to simulate realism and information war, but I really don't like how we would have to deal with it in game. I hope for the next missions where we have Zeus we wont go towards those behavior, be it not having civilians around that "could relay intel", or just assuming that your communication network is secure on itself (be it radio, cTab or map markers)
I believe for the next times we need have to play with Zeus, not against, let him know what's happening, what we are thinking and if we find it too hard or if we're starting to get bored. Zeus is able to change the mission on the fly and adapt it to what we do and how we are doing. That's one of it's main advantage and I think how we dealt with this mission didn't allow the Zeus to bring their best.
On a more specific part, can someone explain to me how we ended up all regrouping at CP Shaw B (OP Weyland) ?
As a B2 TL I was on the main checkpoint and heard contact over the other point and decided to move to reinforce. Just after arriving there, I see a Little bird approaching and dropping of Alpha and I believe other elements of Bravo. But I had no idea reinforcements were arriving, I assume it was due to the Radio issues described above.
I'll go ahead and use Tom's thread for my feedback.
Most of my feedback about communication falls under the category, 'If something isn't clear, ask'
- We had a lot of new members but still managed to complete the mission
- Understanding it was designed that way, our group took on a much larger mission than we should have.
- Everyone was flexible throughout the mission, taking on roles as needed. A lot of coordination of members stepping in where they were needed.
- There were some great contacts being called out (some of which were ignored), we need to keep doing that
- If there were concerns about communication or confusion over frequencies, every command role had a cTab allowing them to ping or IM anyone else in the chain of command. If they felt there was some confusion over the current frequency, why wouldn't they ask the next up the CoC for confirmation? Radios aren't always going to reach and confusion will always creep in, we should ask ourselves, what do we do to work around it.
- Yes, it wasn't something we do normally or may never do again, but it was something asked of the team and as with our core values, it should be done with the fullest effort.
- Further, every leadership role was given a frequency reference guide before the mission to refer back to. To top it off, we only had one frequency change....lol. Sill confused over the confusion.
- Even if you're not leadership, if you don't understand, ask your fireteam leader. That gives them the opportunity to push the concern up the CoC. You can't fix something if you don't know its broken.
- We CANNOT take 45 minutes to get into mission.
- We CANNOT take 15 minutes to fall into a simple formation for a patrol
I would caution taking too much time to organize anything, remember the saying 'No plan survives the first shot in battle'. Going back to our core values, it takes away from our mission time and is disrespectful to our members who are sitting around waiting for stuff to start.
I will take some blame for this. Next time as Zero Alpha, I will set a time limit for everyone to be ready to go, whether to head out on a mission or complete a task such as a patrol. However, every link in leadership should do this whether 0A sets a limit or not. And if 0A does have to set deadlines because we can't do stuff in a timely fashion, members can't complain the role is too overbearing or controlling. Pick your world.
Things fell apart when people weren't paying attention. Some examples;
- If you're leading a movement and trailing units are falling behind, you should see this and fix what's making it happen.
- Just because you're under attack or undermanned, you can't forget the basics of perimeter security.
- If members are supposed to move with you and they don't, you weren't paying attention to your HUD or your team. We easily lost 15 minutes trying to put members back into the teams they were supposed to be in during that push to the final assault.
Finally, if you're back at base, it is your responsibility to let the next person in the CoC know you're there. If the radio won't reach and you have one, use a cTab. If you don't have a cTab use in-game chat.
Again, this comes down to respect for other members. We wasted 10 or 15 minutes trying to work out who was wasn't in the AO to ensure we didn't leave anyone behind.
Glad to see people's thoughts in the last mission. Personally I believe all these feedbacks make the community better for everyone.
I agree with Tom and Rich on lots of spots (comm and formation). But I also realize that different people may want different experiences out of the community. Some may weight realism than others, some may want to keep it simple and joyful. Those are just tiny tradeoffs we can play around in every single mission. But things like being punctual and respecting the very basic rules in 1AA should be absolutely followed by every one of us.
I didn't do very well in the last mission as I was supposed to report to Tom after returning to the base but I didn't. So time was wasted. Feel sorry about that and wish to do better in the future missions.
All good points. I just thought all of the problems added flavour to the mission.
Wihout things going wrong how we will ever know what needs fixing.
I did enjoy the Zeus aspect and more so after listening to Zach's explanation of when he chose to punish and reward. I thought that was a very good way to run a zeus misson even though real life bad guys are so much harder to defeat than the AI.
I think a lot of the problems with the Comms were down to terrain. There was a lot of mountainous terrain in that region of Altis and even long range radio would struggle.
When we all got the order to switch comms to Golf, I switched all of my radios over to the Golf frequencies. I had no idea that some people remained on the intial 70 command channel.
I could have/should have used the Ctab more than I did but with it being a new piece of kit to use (even though we have had it for ages) it slipped by me and I failed to notice the little tiny envelope icon appear on the screen that informed me of a new message waiting.
The Checkpoint was tough at Bravo 1's location. Both locations only had two man teams and when our primary checkpoint was hit, my two man team decided to go and help out as we were so undermanned. On arrival we had a blue on blue and only two of the four members of Bravo 1 were able to fight. However, as we had one man KIA and one man with no pulse it took both us to treat the injured with one doing CPR while the other tried to patch him up.
It was a huge relief when Alpha landed in the DAP and reinforced our position. It was only then that we started being attacked from the town and from the hills.
The secondary checkpoint was unmanned for twenty minutes, however I am not sure I would call it a mistake by Bravo 1 to leave that inner checkpoint to assist Silvesters team in what i deemed to be the more important roadblock as well as the circumstances that evolved due to the enemy activity and the need to reinforce our two guys on that position.
IMO Bravo 1 were not combat ready and made very easy targets for even 1x aggressor. Our teams were static and on a road and needed two pairs of eyes to cover a 360 degree arc but you also need to add to that problem by having to look up into the hills as well as looking into the village with the cover of the buildings allowing a covert approach to within 50 meters of the checkpoint whilst also adhering to our primary mission of looking up and down road the road at the vehicles passing through... That was a lot of things going on for a two man team. Then add to that an approaching enemy that you never see because of all of the other things going on.
However, the great part of all of that is that we learned something new. I learned that a two man checkpoint is not going to be effective at all in that scenario, however that is what we had and we had to find ways to make it work. Unfortunately on this occasion Bravo 1 (myself) could not make it work on the ground and all I could do was keep OA informed by giving constant sit reps. It worked because we pretty quickly got reinforcements into the mix, which i thought was also very realistic and immersive and the relief that washed over me was a very real emotion. Any game that can create an emotional response like that will live long on gamers hard drives.
I also learned that I have the necessary equipment to contact people and it needs to used and checked every minute for messages and that I need to cut through the confusion over radio frequencies and make it known that we are having problems. A simple 'Switch to India' might have solved all of that.
I leaared so much from the squads feedback, from Zach's debrief and from all of the comments above and despite...... NO!! BECAUSE of all of that, I really enjoyed seeing us overcome those issues and still complete our mission. I would ike to ask you all a question, would that mission have been so interesting and rewarding had we not had those issues?
All of EC will tell you that I do not consider myself to be a good fireteam or Squad leader. That is because i need the time to think and with everything going on as an FL or SL, wether it be the 5 simultaneous voices on the radio all coming into your ears at the same time as well as being in a firefight and having to engage the enemy whilst also thinking about what you should do next to win the firefight and also keep a check on who may be injured or need a medic...... I cannot do that. I need time to think, which is why I believe my best position is as a Rifleman or in a squad like Alpha or Delta where I have the time to digest all that is going on around me. However, I will do what job I am asked to do whether I like it or not because that is what this group is all about. You might hear me mumbling and grumbling as I am sprinting off into the distance through enemy territory about how bad an idea this is but I do it anyway, because I am ordered to.
Some people like action all of the time but I am one of those people who enjoy the Tactical (Boring) side of the game because if we are slow and tactical it generally means that we are doing things right and on our terms and not just running blindly into the middle of a kill zone. That for me is not fun. Time, patience and good intelligence gathering leads to a good plan and that is heavily rewarded in this game.
Good job everyone (Enemy, Bluefor and the Commanders) for a fantastic and genuinely rewarding mission that really did leave me with a sweet taste in my mouth because of the mission success AND the way the problems were overcome during it.
Just be careful we do not sterilise that which makes our missions fun.
If life was easy it wouldn't be half as interesting.