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Old 2007-09-07, 22:27   #1
Retired PR Developer
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fuzzhead's Avatar
Default Communications and VOIP Guide by Darkpowder

This guide will highlight some of the conventions, good rules of thumb and comms discipline often desired or requested by squadleaders or Commanders for accurate and unambiguous comms in-game.

Following some or all of these guidelines will make; for those players who want to create an immersive and efficent squad environment, for a more satisfying and probably successful game.

This guide isn't a training guide for fireteam movement, or specific infantry tactics as this is covered elsewhere.
Infantry tactics in simple terms involve the basic move, observe, fire, and basic "rollouts" and pepperpotting (covering fire for advance toward enemy). I assume some basic knowledge of this for those reading this.

If you dont know basic infantry tactics.. go read the excellent guides on this forum, with a degree of infantry tactics good comms will redouble your efficiency in the game. If you dont know what basic "fire and manuevre" looks like. Go watch "Heat", "Dog soldiers", or ask a mate in the army. Or ask on the forums or an experiencd SL in-game.

=Limitations of VOIP in PR=
*As with the main Vanilla BF2 game, there are limitations to the voice comms built into the game, and tournament players and other clan players will sometimes use their own voice systems, such as ventrilo or teamspeak (used in the tournament).
*There is a certain degree of delay introduced when speaking to your squad so voice comms is often best used for situations where you might otherwise use a radio, but it can be very effective at close quarters to inform your squadmates on imminent threats they may not have spotted, or as a SL for giving movement or fire orders.

I notice that a lot of radio VOIP comms consists of a Squadleader who has the confidence to speak often giving orders (good). Trouble is this often results in the SL giving -most- of the information on enemy and tactics and not listening enough. Now and again, one other guy (or girl) or two in the squad speaks up a lot, but we often have 4 silent ones, or so who only speak when they are dying.

Firstly, the SL if the other members of the squad do not speak up and call out the enemy positions, the SL tends to get shot, and has to lead most of the movement and assaults on objectives. This can cause problems, as we all know that given the choice you take out the pointman, hopefully resulting in the death of the most able or squad leader.

Clearly for most radio calls, you need to know where the rest of your squad are. So, if you are too far apart, guess what, stick together. Good voice comms is not a substitute for mutual support.

You will find that with many successful squads that silence reins more often than constant chatter. That is why concise, unambigious, and consistent target identification and fire-discipline orders are necessary. If as SL you prefer to only hear target identification information from your squad and nothing else, spell it out to your squad. Personally I give small (few seconds) briefings as to re-organisation points prior to attacks or defences, then a 10 sec brief on how we will assault the target after hearing any target assessments from commander and the rest of the squad.
Either that or if a team member i hear from blind or TBone or Dr_Rank or whoever is squadleading B1ind: "Don't shoot him... get your knives out".

=Useful Basics=

Try to keep your nicknames short(ish) and if complicated use an abbreviation i.e. Pwn567GunnerX could just be cut down to "gunner" or "X" on the comms.

*When calling out enemy, state Elevation, Range (estimate or precisely if you have Binos), posture and direction of movement. Clock face movement should be directed realtive to the axis of advance. So if your squad is advancing to the east toward an enemy flag a contact 90 degress to the pointman's right (who spotted them) would be. A fair rule of thumb is about 1m to each stride at a running pace in PR.

i.e. "Contact!, Enemy MG 3 o'clock Rooftop High" (useful landmarks should be mentioned such as the fact that they are on the roof, not the window in the same direction).

*"Reloading!" - Tells your squad that, guess what you are reloading. When you hear this command it is often during a period of suppressing fire from a key member of the squad covering an advance.
*"Coming through!, Advancing!" tells your buddy who is forward of your position that you will be advancing past (but not in front of his position).
*"Stay in your lanes" - Tells the squad to not cross over each others direct forward line of fire.

==Key Points to Remember==
*Dont be shy, speak up, (some SL's do all the talking and forget that more is sometimes achieved by allowing and encouraging their squad to speak to one another, so if you are in a squad like that start off with "<callsign> here contact enemy squad <location>" that will get them listening believe me as precise information like that can save an engagement.
*obey orders, but suggest courses of action if you think they might have missed something.
*think of the team not yourself, so comms about enemy heading to a team-member will often benefit the team more than telling them you are under fire, or down, the medic in the team will usually know you are down and out.
*if you think the SL hasn't seen something, tell them
*Use comms efficently, "oh damn that sure was painful man, they have sure pinned us down here, did you see that guy by the box." this statement tells nothing about the situation or the threat... in which case shut up and K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple stupid).
*Have confidence as SL so dont be afraid to tell your squad to be quiet or to "Clear comms" perhaps if you are trying to concentrate on speaking to or listening to the commander, or only report in a concise way.
*Multi-task if possible - SL's dont forget you have two radio keys,, one for talking to your commander, one your team. And if you are a squad member, dont get yourself killed for a non-essential chat or information that isn't essential.

=How will my game playing change?=

If your squad is on VOIP and you are sneaking, learn to appreciate some new things and ways of playing.
*Don't use the in-game radio calls if you can help it. i.e. "Need a medic" "Need ammo" as you can be heard miles away, and if you have the non-english voices switched on you will know there is enemy close.
*Learn some basic fire discipline. When the SL says, "no firing", "ceasefire" or "No firing unless fired upon" don't decide to fire, else you might give away a key stealthy approach the commander is relying upon. For example, firing upon troops disembarking from an APC at long range when your SL just wants to get his heavy AT guy to take it out in one shot, the SL may decide the infantry is the secondary objective.
The shock of holding fire until the SL gives you a precise attack order with smoke indicators can be overwhelming to the enemy instead of popping off round after round with other members slowly joining in, which will often get you nailed by a well organised squad with fire support.
*Ask the squadleader if they wish you to change roles. - Don't just pick a kit you like unless you are inexperienced with all but one kit. Riflemen are the backbone of any squad and extra ammo and grenades are always welcome. So if in doubt, pick rifleman. They may not know you have died or may ask you to adopt a new kit if the balance of the engagement or the role your squad is performing changes - If quite close to the enemy and you respawn on SL, -ask- the SL if it is safe to respawn on them, and if you do... move off prone or concealed, to try to keep the SL or in 0.5 the Rallypoint position hidden.
*Sign-In, Whilst waiting for the game to start, call out your name and ask the SL what kit he wants in the squad. If you are not expert at a kit, then say so, by calling out your name (i.e. mine is "DP" or "Dark" or "Delta, Papa" a good short version) and saying what kit you have you will find your team members get used to what to expect from your role in the team. Keep repeating your callsign when making reports so people learn your voice.
:Personally i choose many kits, but in a VOIP game, sticking with the same kit is very useful as the squad will learn what capabilities you have rather than wondering who is the AT-guy or the Medic, or who has the ammo.
*Help other Squads and their Objectives if possible - When on VOIP sometimes other squads are not, so remember to point out enemy positions with the Q key to nearby squads and individual soldiers, their actions might well save your squad.
There is also a tendency to "go off on your own as a squad" in VOIP sqauds, remember that your enhanced comms, may well give you the edge to get through a position where the rest of your teams attack is pinned down with effective (i.e. its killing people) fire, so use the opportunity to flank around and bring fire to the enemy from another direction, a general "breakthrough" works better than your lone squad succeeding in its objective. Assisting non voip squads can often produce better results for the match.

=Unusual Circumstances=
The most useful feature of comms is when you are deviating from the flow of the assault and capture routine seen on most BF2 mods.
For example:
*Squadleaders should arrange a simple rally point. and say... "Rally point here i.e. a nicely located away from the firefight position landmark or building. These rally points, will serve to allow the SL to say "Rally Point Re-Org!" which will tell the team to retreat under controlled covering fire to that earlier point.
:With 0.5 and physical rallypoints, remember that rallypoints are good as emergency "Gather" points but a SL may say rally here, when they are not referring to their rally point.
*A controlled retreat rather than a headlong run will often unbalance the enemy as they see one soldier running and retreating, so they get up and follow, not expecting (for the average player) another soldier to be covering their retreat with as much vigor as an advance.
*The times when a controlled retreat is good, is when the squadleader finds themselves in danger, and not wishing to lose the "spawn point" decides to retreat to a previously specified rally point.

=Very [PR] specific tips for Voice Comms=

*Identifying yourself is important on public servers, as you might not have fought in a squad with your team before.
*As SL use move, attack or defend markers to re-enforce your verbal commands, and reminding the squad of your position is vital, remain near critical team members, which may be engineer, AT, or Medic.
*Don't be afraid to use absolute compass directions in your voice comms instead of clock-facing, as it is often quicker for understanding for a new squad.
*Try to think of some useful order-based signals for Red and Green smoke..... that is other than spamming it at enemy armour to blind them

=More Advanced Concepts=
Thanks to my friend Drabzz for the references

==Radio Comms Word(s)==
*Roger - Affirmative, understood.
*Wilco - I will comply with your request/orders.
*Wait-out - I am distracted, please wait for further information from me.
*Over - Over to you, I await your response.
*Out - End of current conversation.
:*Over and Out - HOLLYWOOD CRAP! A ludicrous contradiction of terms. Unlearn it.
*Contact - Engagement with the enemy has begun.
*Sitrep - Situation report.
*ACE - Ammo, Casualtys, and Equipment Report.
*Target - Identifies a target to an attacking call sign.
*ERV - Emergency rendezvous point as assigned in battle orders.
*FUP - Form up point for operation launch as assigned in battle orders.
*FRV - Final rendezvous – post battle.
*RAR - Re-arm/repair and return to group.
*Break Off - Disengage and return to group.
*Tally-ho - Engage any target of opportunity.
*Form on me - Disengage and/or return to my location.

==Reaction to Fire Control Orders==
Having identified a target, a fire control order is given by the commander or squad leader as appropriate. Fire Control Orders (FCO) are used to bring fire to bear on the enemy quickly and effectively.

==The sequence of an FCO is as follows (GRIT)===
*GROUP. Indicates who is being addressed: "Section", "Fire Team", "Number 2
Rifleman", "Gun Group", etc.
*RANGE. This indicates the distance to the target in metres. "200", "300", etc.
*INDICATION. This indicates where and what to look for.
:*Deliberate. (1 shot every 6 seconds) used for long range or sustained engagements.
:*Rapid. (1 shot every 2 seconds) most commonly used type of fire. Ideal for keeping the enemies head down while not using excessive ammunition.
:*Burst. (2-3 Round bursts on automatic) Used for close range engagements or where a high volume of fire is necessary.
:*Watch and Shoot. Used when the commander wishes members of the section to fire at any enemy they see at the given location without further instruction.

===Types of Fire Control Orders===
*FULL - Given if there if sufficient time. "Squad – 300 – signpost – left 9 o’clock – bushes – left edge of bushes – 2 enemy – fire"
*BRIEF - Given when there is little time and the target is obvious. "Fireteam 1 – quarter right – rapid – fire".
*DELAYED - Given when the movements of friendly forces or the enemy are known or can be guessed.
:"Squad – 300 – signpost – right 3 o’clock – 2 trees – gap in trees – await my order………fire!".
*INDIVIDUAL - Given when it is impractical for the commander or SL to control the time to open fire so he passes the responsibility to the individual(s) concerned. "Rank and Squidy" – 300 – gate – enemy crossing gate left to right – watch and shoot".

==Irontaxi Suggestion==
another tactic to keep people speaking in games is to ask questions...

I know its kind of anti chain of command..but I often present the squad with options or ask for suggestions and rarely dictate plans as SL...

This is a trick of sorts as my objective is to establish a banter or flow of communication.. I dont assume to be the most experienced but if i can create this flow it really helps to keep people talking throughout the level..

Like many have said after the first few minutes many squads break down and in fact some of the most experienced players are the quietest..

I really like all the TOGs from aus...will join there squad anyday..

Commander has been sucking recently..not much for them to do.. I used to like being the commander but now.....

==Red.Halibut suggestion==
Regarding the start of play, I agree with the sign-in procedure completely.

I use the following format:

"Squadleader, Call-sign 'Red', signing in, default kit 'medic'"

This lets the SL know a) that I have joined, b) my call-sign and c) that unless he needs a different kit I will spawn as medic.

When tabbing in-game it is not always possible to use the "spot" command so I generally use a version of the aviation BRAA (Bearing, Range, Altitude, Aspect) call, either using an absolute bearing, or using the line from SL to target as the 12 O Clock line, depending on how the SL calls it.

"Enemy, East, 50 yards, level, inbound, hot"

or even

"Three Bad Guys, 10 o'clock, flanking left, cold"

Where "hot" means they have seen us and are firing and "cold" means they haven't.

More often than not in the heat of battle I fall back on the more succinct:

"Jesus Christ! Squadleader we have a whole heap of bad guys coming in from the South, take cover and stay alive while I respawn!"


Hope you found the guide useful, and look forward to your suggestions for the next revision.
See you on the field (or in the tournament).

Most commander voice comms are dealt with in the planning stage at the start of the round, but are more suitably dealt with in a guide for commander training and battle execution.
fuzzhead is offline Reply With Quote
Old 2007-12-19, 00:43   #2

more ppl should read this, most of the PR players don't take full use of the VOIP system, great guide by the way, its hard to follow all the aspects but its necessary.

what does klicks mean? i didnt see that in ur guide,

when ppl say like

10 klicks comin up did u ever hear of that?
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Old 2008-01-01, 04:41   #3

andretmzt's Avatar

Really good guide and that would be excellent for playing in matches and tournaments but for me just playing on servers its overkill. All I do is tell my squad what to do, where to go and let them play. While there may not be much dialogue, it is at least teaching new players how to work as a basic squad without confusing them with too much jargon and tactics.
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Old 2008-01-01, 04:55   #4

Safekeeper's Avatar

Excellent read, but it would be nice if you bothered to fix formatting when copying things from a Wiki to a forum. It'd make everything 10 times easier to read.

Not to mention the headers are actually wrong to begin with. Your main headers should have two equal signs, not one. The header format with one sign is reserved for the article's header. So it should be

==Useful Basics==



=Useful Basics=

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Last edited by Safekeeper; 2008-01-01 at 05:05..
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Old 2008-01-15, 20:37   #5

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Originally Posted by Safekeeper View Post
Excellent read, but it would be nice if you bothered to fix formatting when copying things from a Wiki to a forum. It'd make everything 10 times easier to read.
Yeah true, i just hacked all my glorious info together Not responsible for all that wiki wizardry. And yes it was hacked into the forums after previously being on the wiki.

I'll be re-writing some stuff in the meantime to help peoples comms in the new version of PR, once i'm inspired to do so someone can make it look good for me. Remind me sometime.

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Old 2008-01-26, 03:24   #6

A great guide Darkpowder!

One of the other things that I find v important in squad voip is acknowledgment of squad communications, meaning that when a squadmember reports an enemy sighting or contact etc the SL verbally acknowledges that the report has been heard and understood.

Even a simple "Roger" or "Copy" is sufficient. The importance is because voip sometimes cuts out on some people and they don't even realise that they weren't heard, and also the SL may not have heard the report because of CO chatter or game sounds etc. So it is important that the SL acknowledge, "Copy... enemy APC 200m North of our RP...".

If a SL does this consistently it will prevent multiple contact reports or missed contact reports. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 2008-01-28, 17:38   #7

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I started using "Shooter" and "Runner" instead "Guy", "Bad guy".
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Old 2008-02-28, 05:17   #8
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Great reporting fuzzhead!



S = SIZE of enemy force. Actual numbers if possible. (Squad=12, Platoon=38, Company=145, Battalion=600)

A = ACTIVITIES of the enemy. ( If moving, give direction and method of transportation. Take your time. Be specific. Include small details, even if they seem insignificant.)

L = LOCATION. 6 digit coordinates, or clear description.

U = UNIT IDENTIFICATION. (Markings, symbols, uniforms, vehicles, agency markings. Don't give up until you are sure about this one...)

T = TIME and DATE of sighting. give Military 24hr time or am/pm.

E = EQUIPMENT carried by the enemy. (To include: type weaponry, webgear, electronics, night vision, body armor, vehicles, tents, etc.)

Not all of these are used but its a good guide

"apcs, like dogs can't look up" - Dr2B Rudd
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Old 2008-04-06, 22:30   #9

Darkpowder's Avatar

Thanks for the compliment, yes it was me who wrote the guide, fuzzhead kindly reposed it from the original PR Wiki.

SALUTE is good, but i would settle for basic disposition, ie. hot (engaged or directly threatening, i.e. aiming/firing in our direction) or cold, (unaware of our (squads') presence).

Getting that alone from the average squad is a a rarity.

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Old 2008-07-26, 09:30   #10

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Default Re: Communications and VOIP Guide by Darkpowder

I should be re-writing and improving on the VOIP guide for 0.8 but until then, a few generalised voice phraseology commands that are useful for airborne units, mainly attack copters.

But for those who enjoy "Love from above" this is for you.

The aim as with all my voip guide info is to improve and keep consistent voice comms among those players that play the game tactically and appreciate the value of brief and pertinant comms.



This section has been pulled directly from crew warfighting manuals (in the public domain).

Much of this is useful for ground-directed airborne engagements, but i will be presenting a full FAC voice guide, and indirect fire voip guide in future.

So if you don't know the difference between a bandit, a target and a bogey, and have yet to learn the value of "Heads-up" and "heads down" read on.

I have edited out all the real-life military specifics that are irrelevant for PR. As with all these guides and edits, go test them and report back on their success aircrew.

The most important aspect of crew coordination is the sequence. The following phrases are used to conduct crew coordination.

a. Alert Terminology.

(1) Target. A groundborne target has been spotted.

(2) Bogey. An unidentified airborne target has been spotted.

(3) Bandit. An identified hostile airborne target has been spotted.

(4) Gunner, target. The pilot wants to hand a target over to the copilot/gunner or door gunner.

(5) Pilot, target. The gunner wants to hand a target over to the pilot.

NOTE: "Bogey" or "bandit" may be substituted for "target" in (4) and (5) above.

(6) Multiple targets. Alert that more than one groundborne target has been spotted.

(7) Multiple bandits (Bogeys). Alerts that more than one airborne target has been spotted.

b. Target Location.

(1) Identification of target (if known).

(2) Magnetic heading to the target, for example, "090 degrees." Heading is stated from nose of aircraft.

(3) Range to target. Estimated range or laser range to target.

c. Movement Commands (If Required).

(1) Break. Immediate action command to perform a maneuver to deviate from present ground track. It will be followed by the word "right" or "left."

(2) Hold.

(a) At hover. Maintain present hover altitude and heading.

(b) In flight. Maintain airspeed, altitude, and heading.

(3) Slide. Horizontal movement of aircraft followed by a direction, "left, right, forward, or back."

(4) Stop. Go no further; halt present action.

(5) Turn.

(a) At hover. Perform pedal turn right or left.

(b) In flight. Turn right or left from current ground track.

(6) Stop Turn. Terminates turn. Pilot holds heading/altitude present at stop turn command.

d. Target Identification. Self-explanatory. The crew states the identity of the target.

e. Weapons Selection. Self-explanatory. Engaging crew member will announce the weapon of choice for target engagement.

e. Weapons Engagement.

(1) Ready. Used by the pilot or gunner during engagements. Tells the other crew member that the selected weapon is ready to fire.

(2) Shot. Announced at trigger pull for rocket or missile engagements.

(3) Firing. Announced at trigger pull for cannon engagements.

(4) Searching. Indicates that the gunner is actively searching for targets or that he has selected a wider field of view and is observing the target area for munitions impacts.

f. Weapons Effect.

(1) Hit. Rounds complete and target was hit.

(2) Destroyed. Rounds complete and target was killed.

(3) Miss. Rounds complete and target was not hit.

(4) Adjusting. Command from gunner that a miss has occurred and rounds are being adjusted to target.

g. Adjust Fire Commands.

(1) Range adjustments.

(a) Long. Impact is behind the target.

(b) Short. Impact is in front of the target.

(2) Azimuth adjustments.

(a) Line. Azimuth is correct.

(b) Left. Impact is to left of the target.

(c) Right. Impact is to right of the target.

(3) Examples of adjust fire commands.

(a) Short, line. Impact is in front of the target, but the azimuth is correct.

(b) Long, left. Impact is to the left and behind the target.

(c) Short, right. Impact is to the right and in front of the target.

h. Miscellaneous.

(1) Cease fire. Command to stop firing but continue to track.

(2) Heads down. Indicates the gunner is in a weapons mode. The gunner's attention is primarily focused inside the aircraft.

(3) Heads up. Indicates the gunner is not in a weapons mode. The gunner's attention is primarily focused outside the aircraft.

(4) Spot. Laser target designation energy is being received.

(5) Tally. I can see the traffic, obstacle, or target.

(6) Drifting. An alert to the unintentional or uncommanded movement of the aircraft.

(7) Looking. Traffic, obstacle, or target is being acquired.

(8) No joy. Traffic, obstacle, or target not seen or identified.

(9) Traffic. Refers to friendly aircraft that may present a hazard to the current route of flight of your aircraft. Will be followed by an approximate clock position, altitude, and distance.

(10) Visual. Contact is established visually.

(Thanks for reading, and here's hoping some of the awesome attack copter pilots out there get even better and avoid all the friendly fire i still see a lot of).

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Last edited by Darkpowder; 2009-05-18 at 20:39..
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