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View Full Version : A different take on being a successful SL


ZiRo
2009-03-23, 09:06
Hi guys just thought I'd post a quick one.

This post isn't your typical 'take command, kill all who trip up' approach. I'll start with an example.

In one particular instance on FW, there was a hmmwv in the middle of a street, the squad was moving across the street and someone jumped on the gun of the hmmwv, to put some fire down on some insurgents who had already inflicted casualties. The SL went apesh*t and threatened to kick the player unless he got off it immediately.

This guy thought he was the dogs-danglies SL, infact all he did was piss people off and put them on edge, not great when you want co-operation and free thinking individuals. Micromanaging your squad is a lot more difficult than building up a good relationship with the players and letting them think for themselves.

By all means take command but also don't order your squad around like drones. After all, it's a game with other HUMAN players - if you want that level of control go play red alert or something where the AI will heed flawlessly to your every command.

A good SL brings out the best in people, not 'oh yeah one time I made this guy do exactly what I said and we won'.


3 things in particular that I do that I think makes me different from a lot of 'hardcore' SL's are these:
- Let people know I'm not going to get on their back if they don't perform at their best, It's a game. The only standard they should meet is having read the manual. We're not in the army, they've not been range tested, they've not been role trained, they're casual players.

- Make sure I say good job to individuals as well as the team, because it encourages people who aren't performing so well to try a little harder so you congratulate -them- as individuals because they respect your ability and get a hard on when you point out they did something good and they'll strive for that. It's about building a relationship. It also keeps people motivated and having a good time.

- Ask for VOLUNTEERS to go medic. I always ask for 2 medics. I have yet to start a game where I couldn't get 2 volunteers for medics. A volunteer will always be better than assigning someone who you really don't have a clue about. If you don't get any initial volunteers, ask twice. Seriously. I have to ask twice 50% of the time and every time I'll get at least 2 guys chirp up.

Let me know what you think to taking a more relaxed approach to squad leader'ing and the ineffectiveness of micromanaging.

UntenablePosition
2009-03-23, 10:21
A good SL brings out the best in people, not 'oh yeah one time I made this guy do exactly what I said and we won'.
TEAMWORK is defined as: when everyone does exactly what I say.
The real trick is to say as little as possible and them the SM figure out what to do.
Tell a guy to cover a flank and look in a direction.
I have found that most people don't even need to be told when to fire and when to observe.
I know there is random factors in how squads come together but I end up as SL often because the the SL quite/ gets D/C'd and everyone else cycles out.
All you need to do is provide the general direction and rough plan and most times people will fill in details themselves.
The example of the guy jumping on the 50 makes me think of two things.
#1 ALWAYS man the 50 unless you are inserting on stealthtip and will be abandoning the vehicle.
#2 Discipline
It is not micromanaging to expect you squad to m ove to the marker/ follow SL etc.
If SM decided they have a better idea and implement that idea with no communication with the SL things can go pear-shaped very quickly.
Now actually yelling at people on VIOP is ridiculous.
I never tolerate SL who have a R.L.Ermy complex and so I don't behave that way myself.
There are times, however, where the SL does need to take an agressive tone to maintain squad discipline.
I go for the 3 strikes rule.
If I have to ask you to do something more than 3 times I will simply kick you from the squad.
If you rejoin and are unable, via VIOP or text to explain why you could not follow orders then I kick and lock.
People get the message fast, especially when they are REALLY far from another spawn point.
You can micromanage, but IMHO, it is better done toward the end of the round when you have a good rapport with the squad and I think of it less as micromanaging and more as getting the most out of your people.
Viop and people who actually use it, make a huge difference in squad management.

ZiRo
2009-03-23, 10:33
Your post made no sense to me since you contradicted yourself. You said everyone needs to do what you say, yet people don't need to be told what to do.

Ordered Vs Free thinking.

And please, if I find myself in your squad, never tell me what to do, ask me to do it and I'll be more than happy. I'll do it how I want to do it though, if you want to control my keyboard, come round to my house.

Rudd
2009-03-23, 11:05
- Ask for VOLUNTEERS to go medic. I always ask for 2 medics. I have yet to start a game where I couldn't get 2 volunteers for medics. A volunteer will always be better than assigning someone who you really don't have a clue about. If you don't get any initial volunteers, ask twice. Seriously. I have to ask twice 50% of the time and every time I'll get at least 2 guys chirp up.

yeah thats a good technique, though I do say "any volunteers for medic? I want at least one" if no1 chirps I do say "if I don't get volunteers I'll just pick som1" :D then som1 usually volunteers

ZiRo
2009-03-23, 14:18
It's being fair though - it sets a precedent.

UntenablePosition
2009-03-24, 23:01
My new technique is to ask for the medic... or a squadleader and somebody always decides they would rather be the medic than the SL.
It is also nice to ask new players to the squad to spell the medic so he can use other kits as well.

T.Nightingale
2009-04-27, 04:19
Your post made no sense to me since you contradicted yourself. You said everyone needs to do what you say, yet people don't need to be told what to do.

Ordered Vs Free thinking.

And please, if I find myself in your squad, never tell me what to do, ask me to do it and I'll be more than happy. I'll do it how I want to do it though, if you want to control my keyboard, come round to my house.

You are quite right and so are the others.
Unfortunetly its not either/or. It is a happy balance between ordering the drones who dont free think and the ones who do nothing but thing of BF2 and asking those who are ready to put their life on the line for the squad and do their best. The latter are usually asked to come to my clan lol.
You need Leaders and Followers but they all need to be Contributing to the objective. I have a couple guys that when shit goes down theyll do what is best save themselves (saving tickets and maybe come back grab the medic kit and get us all up But when i say jump they say "how high?". So basically its about treating them as individuals and what those individuals need there is no black or white.