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Old 08-19-2007, 05:00 PM   #1
BlackwaterEddie

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Default Guide to Urban Sniping

Urban Sniping Guide

Contents -
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Spotter and his/her duties
1.3 Sniper and his/her duties
1.4 Tools of the trade
1.5 Picking a Perch
1.6 Priority Targets
1.7 Calm before the storm
1.8 Urban sniping/spotting tips
1.9 Conclusion

1.1 Introduction
OiSkout wrote a very detailed tactics guide to Sniping as it is most generally known, using hidden two man teams to take out targets of importance, in this article i will be looking at the other side of sniping, Urban Sniping.

The main problem with providing effective overwatch within urban areas is due to poor visibility, there are so many things that can limit your line of sight (LOS), these can be anything from other buildings, vehicles and even civilians. In this article i will be looking at various techniques that you can use to your advantage when faced with these visibility problems as well as other helpful hints when operating within a two man urban sniping team.

1.2 Spotter and his/her duties
In general sniping your spotter is there to provide you with an extra set of eyes, a security element as well as helping you to pick targets. In an urban sniping environment your spotter is there primarily as a security element.

Upon choosing a perch the spotter must get to work, keeping an eye on access points (ladders, doorways etc) as well as informing the sniper on changes to the environment (birds flying away near perch, enemy radio communications heard, enemy forces spotted in a non-sniper covered area, friendly forces moving into area etc).

When it is time to relocate, either due to being discovered or due to the snipers gut feeling (or common sense, upon taking out an enemy unit you do not want to be staying in the same spot waiting for them) then it is the spotters duty to move out of the area first, when the spotter believes that the area is clear then the sniper will follow.

When moving between perches the spotter becomes the point man, he decides when the two man team stops, where it goes, the sniper concentrates on the area behind and any vantage points that he believes he will be able to use effectively.

Another key point to note is that if the spotter is armed as a Spec ops soldier he has access to explosives, if a two man team is spotted but has taken out the threat the spotter may like to consider placing explosives at the perch, if the enemy force arrives quickly enough they will enter just as the explosives go off, forcing another couple of tickets from your enemy.

1.3 Sniper and his/her duties
A sniper in an urban situation is their to cause physical and psychological casualties on a battlefield, with this in mind it is paramount to remain hidden, this is the snipers job, to pick a perch where he/she believes he/she will be able to take out targets effectively, effienctly and without discovery.

When in an overwatch position the sniper must rely on his/her spotter to tell him/her what is going on in the surrounding area, it is important for the sniper to not turn around or stand up, crouch etc, the sniper must be focused on the area he/she has chosen to watch, not only does this increase the snipers chance of remaining hidden but also allows the sniper to see his/her target way before his targets see him/her, not only does this allow the sniper to fire first but also gives the sniper a chance to prepare an effective shot. Shots on the fly have a tendency to not hit, and are based on luck rather than skill.

If a sniper believes that he/she has been discovered by enemy forces he/she must tell the spotter, this way the spotter has time to prepare an evacuation plan from the perch and also allows the sniper to watch the target area until the spotter is ready to move out.

1.4 Tools of the Trade
A sniper in an urban area is only as effective as his weapon, and this is seen throughout city maps such as EJOD Desert and Muttrah city. Because of the closeness of enemy positions it is important to pick the correct weapons for the map in question, there is no point having a bolt action sniper rifle on a map where youre expecting to engage targets at distances up to 300m. Bearing this in mind the majority of urban sniping happens in engagement limits of 150m to 350, because of this the sniper will want to be armed with the designated marksman kit for his/her faction. Not only does the designated marksman kit have a semi automatic rifle (which is very important when firing at numerous targets within a short space of time) but also allows the Sniper to put up a fight if confronted with an enemy soldier in an engagement limit of 50m to 150m.

The spotter must also decide on what will be more rewarding to his/her sniping partner. The Spec ops kit is the most favourable choice, not only does this allow the spotter to bring a fully automic carbine to bear but also allows the spotter access to specialised kit with which he/she will be able to use either to defend the chosen perch (C4 explosives) or to effectively survey the surrounding area (binoculars).

Another option for a spotter can be the Rifleman class, this will allow the spotter access to a scoped, semi-automatic rifle with which to take out nosey enemy grunts with, it also allows the spotter access to binoculars which are very handy when observing areas of interest that require a wider view than the optics but an increased magnification than the standard view distance.

At the end of the day it is up to the spotter and the sniper to pick exactly what they want to carry into battle, even the option of a sniper armed with the Rifleman kit and the spotter with the Spec ops kit is achievable and will limit the effectiveness of the team but will allow them to become a sniper team even after they respawn (you dont want to be waiting around to get back that precious marksman kit). Remember to pick wisely and look at the map you will be operating on before picking weapons, understanding the effectiveness of your chosen weapon on a certain map can be the difference between a failed team and a successful one.

1.5 Picking a Perch
Now that you have selected the weapons that you will be using and you know exactly what yourself and your spotter need to do its time to find somewhere to lie up and provide overwatch.This is where the majority of players come unstuck. Battlefield 2 has many different options when it comes to picking a sniper perch and the majority of players favour climbing up the closest ladder and lying on a roof, while this is effective and anyone who has been in a vanilla server will know how effective a couple of snipers on elevated positions can be it is in fact a very difficult position to secure and thus is easily discovered. However there are other perches that you can use to gain that vital advantage that a sniper team craves, concealment.

Urban sniping is essentially a game of angles, having positions on rooftops will allow you easier access to targets below you but will leave you open to attack from hostile snipers and emplaced enemy weapons. The ideal shooting position is one that allows you easy access in and out of (rooms with stair or ladder access), provides clear line of sight on an area where enemy elements will certainly use (such as back roads, alleys etc) but also allows you to provide effective fire that will increase your teams chances of success, theres no point having a perch half a mile that fits the perfect criteria and having no one come near you for the whole game.

If i posted a list of perchs that i use i wouldnt be able to play in a server again without getting anihilated, so ill leave it up to yourself to decide which perch works for you and your style of play, every sniper on this game is different and has different tastes, fine tuning these tastes and your ability is the way to becoming a better asset for your team, this can only be done through self exploration and learning the maps yourself.

1.6 Priority Targets
A Sniper is not only there to cause physical harm to enemy forces but also to act as a psychological tool, an enemy force that knows that a trained and skilled sniper can be watching them at any moment will try to protect their assets, taking out these assets will not only cause casualties among enemy ranks but will also increase an enemys reluctance to advance, couple this with your own assets, such as tanks and APCs, this can lead to an enemy defeat.

It is important for the sniper to realise what impact they have on the battlefield and to use this to their advantage without putting themselves in direct danger. This is where selecting priority targets is paramount to success.

Your main target should be enemy officers, these will have the officer kit and will be instantly recogniseable on the battlefield, taking out officers will force the rest of the squad to lead themselves, making snap decisions which can be problematic and put the enemy unit in danger.

The next priority target are medics. The presence of medics in a squad can give them the feeling of invulnerability, it is a snipers job to take this feeling away, many squads will choose only to have one medic within their ranks, taking the medic out first and then taking out the rest of the squad (knowing that they cannot be revived) will only increase the dangerous nature of their position and they will rout if enough damage is caused.

The next target that a sniper must take out are assets that the enemy can bring to bear to cause colossal damage to either the sniper team or friendly forces, these can be turret weapons on lighter vehicles such as the Humvee and the Vodnik as well as the turrets on enemy manned tanks. Taking out these targets will increase your teams chances of success and will also make the enemy relucant to get into such vehicles due to them knowing that a sniper has been taking out such targets.

The next target on the list are engineers, in the case of damaged enemy vehicles and damaged enemy held bridges taking out an engineer working on such vehicles (this can also include tank crewmen who are repairing their vehicle, taking these out will make the tank utterly useless as it has no crew to man it) will force the enemy to take precautions with their engineering assets thus limiting the amount of direct support they will be able to bring to the fight.

At the bottom of the priority target list is the average grunt, these are your basic riflemen. They do not pose an immediate threat when confronted at a distance but their main strength is in numbers, taking out a group of enemy soldiers in a confined space will force other enemy units to skirt around these problem areas to ensure that they themselves do not fall victim to precision sniper fire.

When choosing a target you have to look at a number of different things. Upon seeing a target ask yourself the following questions before pulling the trigger.

Are they a priority target?
Do they pose an immediate threat to myself or my teammates?
If i fire will they know exactly where the shot came from (are they facing towards you)?

If the answer to the first two questions is yes, pull the trigger. If the answer is no, decide on the best course of action based on what the enemy is doing. Do they have their backs turned?, Will they be able to get into cover after i fire the first shot? Are they climbing a ladder and thus vulnerable to precision fire?

Choosing your targets is paramount to your success and with the limited capacity of your weapon you will be able to provide effective fire for your team for a longer duration, thus increasing your effectiveness as a soldier and as an asset.

1.7 Calm before the storm
It is important for the sniper to be allowed to take the shot when he/she feels like it, theres nothing more irritating than your spotter talking to you down the mic and expecting a reply when youre about to fire, just ignore this, concentrate on your aim and be sure to take any follow up shots needed to eliminate your target, it sounds stupid but sniping on games is stressful, getting shot just as youre about to press your mouse button is swear worthy and i dont know how many times its happened to me, the best thing for you to do is just let it go, just say to yourself "fine, bugger it, i got shot, lets try again".

Before you fire that round, quickly think about what will happen if you do pull the trigger, look at where your target is, will enemy soldiers around the target have access to cover quickly before follow up shots are taken, is a medic near your target, if so, take out the medic first, if your enemy has access to cover but is moving towards your position, dont worry, wait for them to get closer and then open up, if they dont have access to cover its a turkey shoot and youll reap the benefit of having waited.

1.8 Urban sniping/spotting tips
- writing at the moment -

1.9 Conclusion
Sniping on Battlefield 2 and any other game that allows you access to such weapons is the most rewarding gaming experience than you can have in my opinion, ive been playing now for about 6 years, thropughout that time ive been a sniper on Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six, Delta Force, Joint Operations and many more and that feeling of providing a small yet effective asset to your team is a feeling that nothing else can come close to.

The ability to turn the tide of a game in your favour with a single bullet is a very powerful incentive, but dont get full of yourself, the best snipers i have seen on games are the ones who dont type up "ZOMG, PRAWNED!" after everyone they kill and dont brag about how "l337" they are.

I hope that this article will benefit the many snipers within the project reality community.


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Old 08-19-2007, 05:47 PM   #2
SNIPERxWOLFxGB

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Amazing Article!!!
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Old 08-19-2007, 06:03 PM   #3
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Well written and useful! I usually play marksman for my squad and I can attest to what you say. Good stuff!

I find also that camoflage in PR doesn't always work the way you wish. Tall grass and buildings dont always work in concealing you it's really just the game. When sniping from a roof, try to use an object (planter or somthing you can lay next to) to block the enemy's line of sight to you from a certain direction since most of the building tops are flat and provide no cover.

You may want to also include a section about the sniper/marksman's role in observation for the squad. It's often vary beneficial for the marksman to relay information about enemy troop composition, movements, and use that to direct the squad leader to help deploy effective defense. A sniper doesn't always need to be shooting to be effective.


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Old 08-20-2007, 04:27 AM   #4
opterios
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Such a great article, thanks for sharing your knowledge!!

I'd like to focus on the quoted text below, as it is the only part that is unclear for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackwaterEddie View Post
If i fire will they know exactly where the shot came from (are they facing towards you)?

[...]Do they have their backs turned?, Will they be able to get into cover after i fire the first shot?[...]
What I don't know is in which cases you get spotted after you shoot. From your article I understand that if the enemy is not facing you, you will not be spotted. What about the case he does face you, even if you're way far for him to actually see you, if he presses the spot commo, will you be spotted on the map?

Let me make my questions more accurate.

Scenario 1: Enemy is facing you, but he doesn't see you. You take a shot and hurt him [but not kill him] and you hide behind a wall immidiately. Will he be able to spot you by supposing where you are and by pressing the spot commo? Do walls really conceil you, or you will be spotted anyways?

Scenario 2: You take a shot and kill an enemy before he sees you. What are the chances other nearby troops spot you, even if you duck behind a wall?


I'm not an experienced player, but there are times I get spotted so fast right after my first hit, which amazes me. Even when I shoot a target 500-600m away, well conceiled behind an object in some roof, I still get shot. I know that you have to move after the first couple of shots [or even after just the first one], but enemies are so far some times that I consider it impossible for them to see me. So I guess they're just guessing where the hit came from and they press the spot commo and I get spotted on the map, right??

Like I said, I'm still a n00b..
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Old 08-20-2007, 06:20 AM   #5
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Just a small amendment to section 1.6:

First Priority
People with guns shooting at you.

Subsequent Priorities
Quote:
Your main target should be enemy officers, these will have the officer kit and will be instantly recogniseable on the battlefield, taking out officers will force the rest of the squad to lead themselves, making snap decisions which can be problematic and put the enemy unit in danger.

The next priority target are medics. The presence of medics in a squad can give them the feeling of invulnerability, it is a snipers job to take this feeling away, many squads will choose only to have one medic within their ranks, taking the medic out first and then taking out the rest of the squad (knowing that they cannot be revived) will only increase the dangerous nature of their position and they will rout if enough damage is caused.

The next target that a sniper must take out are assets that the enemy can bring to bear to cause colossal damage to either the sniper team or friendly forces, these can be turret weapons on lighter vehicles such as the Humvee and the Vodnik as well as the turrets on enemy manned tanks. Taking out these targets will increase your teams chances of success and will also make the enemy relucant to get into such vehicles due to them knowing that a sniper has been taking out such targets.

The next target on the list are engineers, in the case of damaged enemy vehicles and damaged enemy held bridges taking out an engineer working on such vehicles (this can also include tank crewmen who are repairing their vehicle, taking these out will make the tank utterly useless as it has no crew to man it) will force the enemy to take precautions with their engineering assets thus limiting the amount of direct support they will be able to bring to the fight.

At the bottom of the priority target list is the average grunt, these are your basic riflemen. They do not pose an immediate threat when confronted at a distance but their main strength is in numbers, taking out a group of enemy soldiers in a confined space will force other enemy units to skirt around these problem areas to ensure that they themselves do not fall victim to precision sniper fire.
Also another thing to consider is the overhang of your rifle/body when prone and on the edge of a building. From the perspective of the shooter it may seen that they are protected from below but in actual fact their head and upper torso will probably hanging over. A solution to this is to go crouched and close to a pillar, ramp or air-con so you don't stick out when viewed from above/below or from the side.

Another excellent position for urban sniping is out of the windows. The windows in the most common, accessible, static make it very hard to see a concealed enemy. This is due to the darkness of the room itself and the amount of bars which make up the window frame itself. Again a mate at your side to keep you safe is a must for extended urban sniping.
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Old 08-20-2007, 06:35 AM   #6
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I'd actually suggest that unless you know you can hit the medic as soon as you've hit his SL, the medic should be first priority - you don't want him popping smoke and bringing the SL back.


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Old 08-20-2007, 08:05 AM   #7
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nedlands, when sniping from windows it is also important to move slightly into the room, from outside youll be able to see the snipers rifle sticking out if he does not.


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Old 08-20-2007, 03:43 PM   #8
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Hehe nice article and thanks for the shout out!

One thing I'd like to add is when you're inside a room or on a building, one of the best things to do(to not be detected) is to be inset more. For instance, don't stand right up against a window. Like BlackwaterEddie said, don't be right up against the window. The same goes for buildings. Ideally, you don't want to shoot directly below you if you can help it. A building at a T intersection(where you look down one street) is amazingly nice. You have the enemy coming towards and away from you can shoot with ease.

For detection prevention in situations with multiple rooftops(such as Al Basrah), I advise to utilize those ramps and other objects on the roof itself. Assume you're walking down the T intersection and the sniper is hidden beneath that "ramp" on buildings. Since his silhouette is hidden by the ramp, it is harder to find him.

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Old 08-20-2007, 09:03 PM   #9
nedlands1

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackwaterEddie View Post
nedlands, when sniping from windows it is also important to move slightly into the room, from outside youll be able to see the snipers rifle sticking out if he does not.
Agreed in general. If the targets are coming solely from the from the front then it makes little difference how far in or out your weapon is. The further forward you are, the greater field of view you have but as you mentioned there is a tradeoff between it and visibility.
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:39 PM   #10
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It's always good to have an inside man, so if you're spotted on the minimap, you'll be informed.


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