View Full Version : Repair squads

2007-09-28, 17:04
The purpose of this writeup is to describe a squad strategy I've been using lately. This isn't necessarily the greatest way to go about it, and I am therefore open to any comments or suggestions. Oh, and I didn't really mean for it to sound so serious.

== Repair squad ==
Lately, on armor-centric maps, I've been running Repair squads. These squads are usually quite small (1-4 members), and are primarily concerned with support. The squads consist entirely of engineers most of the time. The primary vehicle is the supply jeep.

== Mission objectives ==
Repair squads have three primary objectives, in the following order of importance:
1. Repairing/resupplying friendly tanks and other AFVs.
2. Assisting commander
3. Resupplying ground troops

=== Repairing friendly vehicles ===
Repair squads are a departure from the usual doctrine of having an engineer or a supply jeep attached to an armor squad. While this might seemingly be a disadvantage due to the resulting breakdown in communications, it, in fact, has advantages. An supply jeep can follow an armor squad, but he can also operate independently in other parts of the map, performing other tasks when there are no high-priority tasks to be performed within the armor squad.

Generally speaking, tanks that are damaged are in either of two situations - they are either in immediate danger, in which case, even if a repair crew is on site, likelyhood of the tank being destroyed (and the repair crew being killed) is high. When a tank is not in immediate danger, and retreated in order to get repairs (which is something that is always a good idea), then the additional delay that might occur as a repair team travels to reach the tank does not cause a significant disadvantage. In other words, if a tank needs repairs right now and is under fire, he's screwed anyway, and if he is not under fire and retreating, then he doesn't really need a repair crew right this second.

Another advantage to independent repair squads is that they can provide repairs to multiple armor squads. Generally, when a supply jeep is attached to one armor squad, and another squad loses its supply jeep (or actually never assigned anyone to one), that other squad is very unlikely to receive repairs, as the engineer of the first squad will be primairly concerned with his own squad. A mobile, independently operating repair unit can offer assistance to any armor unit on the map, provided that such units request repairs via the commo rose. In my experience, situation is rarely so severe that multiple tanks require repairs at different sides of the map at the same time. Even then, operating two supply jeeps allows you to cover a large portion of the map.

=== Assisting commander ===
The common way of doing things seems to be having a separate "commander's bitches" squad dedicated to nothing but repairs. However, repair squads already have engineers who can build stuff. Additionally, repair squads have supply jeeps, which can be used for deploying commander's assets if the supply truck is not available. Because they have their own vehicles, repair squads are generally highly mobile and do not require the commander to provide them with a ride to the site where assets are to be deployed. This somewhat simplifies things for the commander: when he says he needs people with shovels at a particular flag, the repair squad is able to respond immediately and simply drive over there.

If the commander isn't overly enthusiastic about building stuff, the repair squad can usually move on to other tasks soon afterwards, and building stuff doesn't occupy all of their time. Tanks don't need repair and ammo ALL the time, so the squad has some time do build a bunker. Additionally, no other squad is tied up being commander's bitches while the commander isn't building anything.

=== Resupplying ground troops ===
With the somewhat more scarce ammo in the latest PR version, any ammo source is important. Supply jeeps have unlimited ammo available, so, if a infantryman needs ammo, he might as well grab some from a supply jeep. Obviously, unarmed jeeps do not belong at the frontlines, where they can be easily blown up. However, when a squad is defending, and it just expended all of its H-AT rockets, a supply jeep can resupply them faster than a falling crate, or any other vehicle which can potentially run out of ammo at the worst time.

== Issues ==
=== Repairing friendly AFVs ===
One problem is that tank crews don't like calling for repairs. In the latest version, they can no longer repair themselves, and are therefore more likely to ask for help. Still, because of the lack of communication between the repair squad and AFVs, the engineers from the repair squad might have to disembark and actually go and try wrenching the tanks to see if they are at full health. Another, less frequent problem is engineers in armor squads, who will sometimes jump out of the 3rd position in the tank they were riding in, and steal your supply jeep while you are busy fixing a tank. It's rare, but I had it happen to me.

=== Assisting commander ===
Some commanders cannot understand the concept of a squad that assists the commander only some of the time, and will still request a dedicated commander's squad. Other commanders like to build entire cities made of barbed wire, which will keep the repair squad occupied for a long time. Additionally, the same issue of people stealing the supply jeep is still there.

=== Resupplying ground troops ===
Since the repair squad consists of engineers, they cannot see ammo request icons on their maps. Additionally, many ground troops find ammo soon after asking for it, and therefore repair squads need to be on a lookout for repeated requests for ammo (a sure sign of a desperate H-AT guy). Finding where the requesting infantry is requires opening the capslock map, finding their name, and then clicking on it furiously in order to pick it out of 32 other flashing circles and circles in wrong colors on the battlefield (how I love BF2, some units seem to flash at random, or become white at random).

=== Retards and supply jeeps ===
Some people will use supply jeeps as battle taxis, and get them killed soon afterwards. Or, they will use the supply jeep to drive somewhere and then abandon it. Fortunately, supply jeeps can only be operated by specific kits. Still, that doesn't seem to stop some people from using them wrong.

A repair squad without supply jeeps is significantly less effective. Normal jeeps can be used for transportation instead of supply jeeps, but a supply jeep should be obtained as soon as possible.

=== Combat dangers ===
Some snipers/riflemen/guys with rockets/angry medics with good aim will soon figure out that repairing tanks is important, and will therefore target the supply jeeps and the crew within. Often, repair jeeps will come under fire in a seemingly safe area. Since engineers don't get scopes, they are unable to effectively return fire.

If a supply jeep crew gets killed while out in the field, that supply jeep remains there, and doesn't respawn back at main base. This makes it quite difficult to recover, especially if no other suitable vehicles are available at main base. In such situation, it takes a lot of effort, and valuable time to get the repair squad operational again.

== Conclusion ==

So, basically, that's it. I hope that some people read this and realize what I do, and adjust their strategies to better cooperate with repair squads. Many tank crews, for example, assume that they won't get repairs if they don't have an engineer with them, so they don't call for repairs. Infantry often doesn't understand that you're bringing them the ammo they requested. Commanders will issue attack orders to repair squads. Better cooperation from other people would make repair squads that much more effective, so that's why I posted this. Also, maybe someone will find this to be a good idea and also use it.

Also, holy crap, this post is long.

2007-09-28, 18:49
Nice guide! My thoughts is that 4 member is too much. There is no need to take out needed infantry for a repair squad.
I would do like this. It would be enough having one vehicle with engineers out there operating. The vehicle is fast and you are there in no time for support. 3 men thats what I would need. 2 engineer and 1 H-AT. 2 engineers is enough in a vehicle. Let say a tank needs repair, either one engineer is working on the tank and the second is covering, depending on the location and situation. If it's safe 2 can repair. And the H-AT can cover.
The purpose of having a H-AT on the squad is that you will surely find you in a situation when you advance to your tank for repair but will also find an enemy tank close.
Also you will be on the road allot and will encounter tanks and APC's that you want to take out.

One other thing a repair squad can do is to with the guidance of the commander set out supply drops.

2007-09-29, 22:21
4 sounds fine, you have enough people to repair and build and no extra squads doing the same are needed.

2007-10-03, 16:17
Also, three is an awkward number as the repair jeeps hold two, and a non-engineer/crewman/officer can't drive it.

I've run a repair squad once, and this was the setup I used:

Officer (For mid-long range encounters with infantry and Rally Points)
2 x Engineers
LAT or HAT (preferably the latter)

I then had an Engineer in each supply truck, each assisted by a non-engineer. The advantage was that at close range, both trucks had two men able to effectively fight infantry. When together, the squad had someone with a scope to engage at range (although this was lost when the two teams split off to repair at seperate times).
By having a HAT in the squad, you can help finish off enemy armoured units if your own are unable to kill them before being lost, and can provide enough of a scare to force tanks to withdraw if they stumble across the repair team if they're without support nearby.

By having two vehicles, you've got the flexibility to either repair a single armored unit (either an individual tank or a squad of tanks) very quickly, or to support two units operating in different areas.

Finally, by having the officer available you're able to put down rally points near tanks when they're operating from a particular area. Then if the worst happens and both or one of the repair trucks is lost, you have a nearby spawn point from which the squad can spawn as engineers to continue providing backup on foot.

2007-10-18, 01:06
very nice guide =)