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Old 04-30-2009, 09:58 PM   #1

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Default PR 0.85 fundamentals - a beginner's guide to winning.

A lot of posts here have covered the topics, some in greater depth, some in lesser. Most cover real-life tactics that have limited practical applicability to the game. So, instead of tactics, I've decided to focus on the much more useful "techniques" and "duties". Also, I've bundled SLing in here with standard infantry because the majority of the time a SL is just some poor infantry man who couldn't find a squad, and ended up having to get stuck with the job. Hopefully these guys will read the SL bit at the bottom and learn a thing or two while boning up on their basic infantry duties.

Firstly, and most importantly: GET MUMBLE AND USE IT. Most game servers are on the PR Mumble master-server, it beats the crud out of teamspeak, and it's the only way you can effectively co-ordinate with other squads (IE telling the APC you want in, or the Chopper where to drop you off, hearing a team-mate say NO, THERE'S GRENADE TRAPS THERE!).

Of course, this means you HAVE TO HAVE A WORKING MICROPHONE, and of course have vBF2's VOIP setup properly. A dumb player is like having a dumb soldier in the army - of limited use in a war-zone.


1. Join an appropriate squad. Picking the right squad is one of the most important things you can do for your team. Don't join an infantry squad thinking you're going to be jumping into APCs, Tanks, Etc. Don't join a VOIP squad if you don't have a mic or speak their language. Don't join an infantry squad called "Firebase Defence" and then think you're going to be going off running into the front lines. Don't join an infantry squad thinking you're going to get the sniper/heavy anti-tank/whatever kit. Don't join an infantry squad in the middle of nowhere when you're at the main and have no way of hooking up with them when there's another squad nearby that needs members.

2. Leave rubbish squads. It's a sad fact of life that a squad with 4/6 people is gonna get filled up quicker than a squad with 1 person in it, even if that one person is awesome. Hanging around in a squad where the leader doesn't go for the squad-leader / (or civvie for insurgents) kit is helping no-one, and is merely sucking other players into a waste of time. Likewise if the squad-leader doesn't put down rally-points, set movement markers, relay information, or play tactically you know he needs to hit the books before he comes back into the game as a squad-leader. Hanging around in a rubbish squad is *worse than lone-wolfing*, because it takes up a squad-slot, pulls other players out of squads, and lets other slackers take kits they shouldn't have access to.

3. Stick with your squad; but don't stay so close that one grenade kills you all. If your squad isn't playing properly, you should've left them and found / made a new one. The fact that you're now IN an appropriate squad means you have to stick to them like glue. The further away from your squad you are, the less accurate "bearings" become; which means "infantry at 135 degrees" is misleading if you aren't in the same position as whoever called it out, or vice versa. Calling out contacts, being close to people with the correct kits to take out armour, having ammo and medical help provided - all of these rely on you being within visual range of your squad. If you get separated from your squad (usually by dying) - hold your spawn and see if the squad-leader can put down a rally point nearer to him. If that isn't possible, ask your squad-leader to organise a pick-up for you; or ask someone in a transport vehicle to give you a lift via Mumble. If that isn't possible, ask your SL what he wants you to do. Sometimes a long-walk-back is the only option, and it gives you plenty of time to think what you did wrong in order to get greased, and what you can do better.

4. Pick appropriate kits. Make sure there's at least one medic in your party, and if there's not, man-up and be that medic. The Squad-Leader should tell you what he needs. Civillians have terrible spawn-times, so although their medical expertise are vital for insurgent forces, it's a bit more forgiveable not to have a civvy in your squad. All of the kits have their uses, all have their value. Don't pick a kit unless you know SPECIFICALLY what you are going to do with it. And no "I'm going to 0wn people!" doesn't count. Don't take a Light Anti-Tank (L-AT=Anti-Tank Rifleman) unless you both know how to fire it, and know in advance what resistance you are going to meet that *needs* a L-AT. Don't take a "specialist" kit unless you know there are walls / mountains that specifically need grappling, or locked doors / civillians that need breaching rounds. Don't take an Anti-Air kit unless the air-vehicles are already in the sky near where your squad is operating. Don't take Marksman kit unless you know your squad is going to be camping open ground. Conventional armies get limited kits from crates (usually deposited by vehicles near to locations for firebases); insurgents have pick-up kits at key locations, as well as spawning on the caches. Taliban can request limited kits from the caches.

5. Build things up! If you want to spawn at a firebase, someone has to first get out their shovel and build it. If you want to use the .50 calibre heavy gun at a firebase, someone has to first build it. If you want to use the AA, hide in a foxhole, or enjoy the safety offered by a wall of razorwire - someone had to build it. This takes time, and it takes longer if everyone doesn't use their shovels and pitch in. A properly defended firebase is a game-winner, and a squad (4 or 5 shovels) can build up a massive fortress in no-time with a little patience. AND it makes your score look good too, as if you really needed another incentive.

6. WATCH YOUR STEP!!! If you trip over a friendly grenade trap and get yourself killed, that's YOUR FAULT. Don't punish someone else just because you can't look where you're going. Mine-layers can place skull-and-crossbones icons on the map, but there is a limit to how many of these they can place, and they don't expire, which means friendly grenade traps and mines can be ANYWHERE and UNMARKED. If you're running out of an area at full speed trying to get to the enemy, it's a safe bet a GOOD player has placed traps to stop the enemy running INTO the area by the self-same obvious route. You getting yourself killed like this not only costs the team a ticket for your life (if you're not an INS faction with no ticket-loss), but it also hurts the trapper's respawn time, and it takes a FRIENDLY TRAP out of the game, and notifies the enemy of the position of trappers. Because YOU couldn't watch your step, you've hurt yourself a little, but the team a lot more. If you see a grenade trap, go PRONE and move through it until you are a SAFE DISTANCE away - that way it won't go off. All of the above applies to anti-vehicle mines too, and of course TRIP FLARES.

7. Don't be afraid to call out contacts, but keep chatter to a minimum. Between mumble, squad VOIP, commander chat, and listening to in-game effects to hear where vehicle noises and gunfire are going off - there's a lot to concentrate on. Hearing 5 people yammering on and on only makes things worse. Infantry that's taking aim and about to fire at you is a helluva lot more important than a tank that's miles away and can't even see you. "Infantry, 150 degrees" is all you need to say. "Grenade trap here!" is all you need to say. "Plane overhead" is all you need to say. Also, when you hear "infantry, 150 degrees" - get your head down, your sights up, and start looking in that direction ready for action. If your whole squad's facing that way, be the ONE guy to turn around and check out the 6 O'Clock position, or any other contact reports other people say out.

8. Smoke is your friend. Once the smoke is fully deployed, there's no way in hell anyone's seeing through it. Don't be afraid to chuck a smoke grenade into a street that's being covered by the enemy, and wait for a few seconds. Better for the whole squad to make it across one street in perfect safety than to risk a squad-mate and then the squad's medic out in the open. Likewise, you might not be able to damage a tank directly below you, but a smoke-grenade on it means they're going to have to move their position before they take a shot. If you're a grenadier, firing a smoke grenade a great distance between you and your target is a great way of saving your squad if you can't nail them with an explosive grenade.

9. Take out assets quickly and effectively, THEN MOVE ON. Nearly all infantry kits have incendiary grenades for taking out caches, etc. Firebases and hideouts can be taken out by knifing (or 'punching' if you are coalition and have restraints) the "radio" attatched to them 3 times. You will take damage from it going down, but that's better than leaving it up. It takes *TWO* supply crates to build a firebase - if you come across two enemy ones together, incendiary-grenading one can prevent them from building / rebuilding a firebase there. Rally-points can be knifed to take them out. Once you've taken the assets out, you're generally free to clear out of the area. There's no point in getting stuck in a pitched battle over worthless remains. A game doesn't end the second the cache / firebase is down, and the longer you stand around feeling good about yourself, the better the enemy's position gets.

10. Obey your squad-leader, or find a new squad. Squad-cohesion (people sticking together) relies on this, and while a squad-leader might be idiotic or otherwise incapable, he is in contact with the commander (if there is one) or with the other SLers via mumble's captain channels, he is the only one who can set your rally points or build firebases / hideouts, etc. If he isn't organising the right kits, or organising pick-ups and transport for stragglers / people forced to respawn at main; if he's getting you all killed - if there's any problem at all - you're doing yourself, the squad, and the team no favours at all by staying in his squad. If he won't listen to reason, find a better squad or make a better one yourself. There are plenty of rubbish squad-leaders around, but this comes back to point #2.


If you're squad-leading, chances are it's because all the other squads were either full, or full of idiots. Good for you, bear the following in mind and hopefully you'll do a better job of it than most of the glorified lone-wolfers about.

**MAKE SURE YOU'VE GOT THE SQUAD-/CELL- LEADER OR CIVILIAN KIT IF YOU WANT TO BE AN INFANTRY SQUAD LEADER** - you can spawn with them if your squad has enough people in it, or you can request it from crates if people join your squad while you are already spawned.

1. Create an appropriate squad; disband (lock, and kick all) and rename it if it becomes redundant. If you want to be a sniper, get *ONE* guy to be your spotter and *LOCK THE SQUAD*. If you want to drive armour, get a gunner (or two if you want a cupola gunner on the machine gun) and *lock the squad*. Some admins / commanders prefer ALL APCs to be in one 6 man squad to save on slots. That's ok, but it can be frustrating for the commander not to be able to contact the pilots separately and give them separate move markers, etc.

If you're leading infantry, make sure you have key objectives and counter-objectives in mind before you start, and name it appropriately. Call a squad "defence", and make sure that your squad is the one that is camping flags which can be captured, or is guarding a KEY (and not all of these will be key) firebase, hideout, cache or other spawn location. Realise that other squads will occasionally have the same idea, in which case be ready to fulfil another role.

2. Kick slackers from your squad. If you're doing your job, your squad should have a clear objective in mind at all times, and players not contributing to that goal should be warned, and then kicked. You can lock the squad temporarily to prevent slackers from continually rejoining if they don't get the message. Slackers are people who don't follow orders or otherwise try to lone-wolf. As SL it's your job NOT TO BE TOO ANAL about your orders, however. It's your job to keep your squad together, alive, and on-mission. It isn't your job to micromanage every little detail about how they put your instructions into practice. It IS your job to facilitate their needs and requests. That means if your squad is split up, it's your job to figure how and where to meet up or organise transport.

3. Don't whore assets. If you're in an APC, your job is to transport squads and allow them to rearm first and foremost. Close infantry support is a bonus, and laying down tons of lethal death is merely good fun. Don't forget your main job.
If you're in humvees, consider getting 1 gunner and being a transporter. 2 humvees will carry a squad, plus two dedicated drivers and two dedicated gunners, plus the two crates needed to put up a firebase: Dedicated 4 men humvee squads are rare, but of the greatest value when done properly - If the gunners go combat-engineers, they can clear mines too, or breach walls / buildings with C4 for the squads they drop off.
If you're in a transport chopper, try to find out if the squad-leader wants supplies to rearm or to build. If it's the latter, get a second crate back to him ASAP so you're not wasting 6 people's time while they're standing around.
If you're in a tank or attack chopper - that is not a license to see how many kills you can get. Supporting infantry is much more important than personal glory / blood-lust.
If you're infantry, don't take the Anti-Tank (H-AT) kit unless you have a specific target in mind, if you don't run into armour you're hurting a friendly squad who is probably face-to-face with it and needs that kit to nail it. Same goes for Anti-Air.

4. Have a clear objective in mind; if your Commander gives you one, make sure you do your best to achieve it. It is impossible to keep a squad together if none of them know what you are trying to achieve and feel they are just walking around aimlessly. For most maps, you will have two options - attack the flag with the orange attack marker, or defend the flag(s) with the purple defence marker(s). Place an "attack" or "defend" icon on either so your squad know which one to go for. Remember, these are the objectives of the game and ANYTHING ELSE IS JUST A DISTRACTION. The same is true for the caches you assault / defend in INSURGENCY game mode. Defending firebases is useful in many circumstances, but not if it's pulling vital bodies off cache-clearing or flag-capture. Feel free to query your commander, or else ask him to reconsider. Some commanders are terrible, or griefers, and are best ignored. That's fair enough, but remember to treat him as you'd like to be treated if YOU were commanding.

5. Assign kits that you need to achieve your objectives. Make sure you have at least one medic (two is nice, but not essential), get a specialist if you anticipate needing to breach doors or grapple up buildings, over walls / cliffs.
Don't be afraid to let squad-mates grab Grenadier, Automatic Rifleman kits; or the Anti-Tank Rifleman (L-AT) and Marksman kits to a lesser, more specialised extent. If used properly they can be very powerful, and you don't lose very much for favouring them over a standard rifleman. As they are squad- (not team-) limited, you won't be depriving your team of essential kits such as Anti-Air or the Anti-Tank (H-AT) kits.

Try to FACILITATE the use of these kits. Get the grenadier to lay down long-range smokescreens, smoke up a building you think there are defenders who'll try to snipe you from; launch grenades onto technicals from long-range, etc etc. It is often a much safer means of dealing with threats than the standard squad charge-and-rinse - a single grenadier-shot into a room that kills all three occupants instantly and unawares is better than a protracted gunfight that leaves one occupant prone and hiding ready to ambush the first person through the door.
Likewise, if your squad gets the drop on ANY infantry, get your automatic rifleman in position and deployed, ready to suppress BEFORE you get the scoped riflemen / marksman to pick them off. The suppression will prevent the risk of counter-fire.

6. Use the markers clearly, frequently, and usefully. You have two methods of placing them, either via the map on the squad-screen, or via the commo-rose. If you use the commo-rose, you can "place" them more precisely by targetting features with the SOFLAN or Binoculars.
Use "move" indicate the position you want the squad to make their way to, you can use this to indicate a way-point (cover, a place to regroup, a defensible position to survey the surroundings, etc etc) on your route to a more important objective.
Use "defend" icon to mark on the map flags, firebases, or terrain features (ambush choke points) you want the squad to take up defensive positions around.
Use the binocs / SOFLAN and the "target" icon to mark up enemy units. This last one is REALLY useful for people in the fixed .50 calibre guns, as they can't zoom, so it gives them a target to suppress; likewise it means grenadiers can nail the target with indirect-fire from behind walls, it gives a range for marksmen or snipers to work out the zeroing and elevation too, it lets you give the commander a very precise contact report location for air-support, etc.
Use the SQUAD-MAP and the "observe" icon to position it DIRECTLY ON TOP OF FRIENDLY UNITS so that your squad can see if the units on the horizon really ARE the friendlies on the map, or if there's enemy squads between you sneaking up on them. Also if there's an area where you suspect an enemy rally point / cache that you need to scope out.
Use the "Build" icon to mark up where you want crates dropped by squad-mates and for them to ready their shovels.
Use the "demo" icon to mark up bridges, structures, assets, etc that need booby-trapping or destruction.

As a squad leader, you can also request chopper/APC pick-ups for your squad, and supply drops. These will place an icon on the map for friendly units to see. Placing coloured smoke on safe level ground where you want the crates / pick-up also helps pilots figure out PRECISELY where you want them.

Remember, your squad will be following your orders, and if you expect blind obedience you'd better damn well be infallible when it comes to issuing them. That includes using the "HOLD!" and "GO GO GO!" verbal commands off the commo-rose.

7. Place rallies in secure places so they don't get over-run, and update their position regularly. Running for miles to catch up your squad is no fun at all. Keep your squad's rally point up at all times.

8. Don't bash your head against a brick wall. If you're making no progress with one strategy, switch. Pick a different route to the objective, go for another objective; regroup at main or a different firebase; wait for more support, ask commander for alternative suggestions. Get your grenadier to spam an area; get your CO to drop an area-attack; get your specialist to rope you onto a roof, through some closed gates, over a wall. Toss grenades into a building you can't assault safely. Try smoke-grenading every inch of the way between you and cover. Remember, deaths don't cause insurgents to lose tickets, but they do bring the coalition forces ever-closer to defeat. Insurgent deaths are nice for getting intelligence points, but are worthless if you neglect taking out caches to pursue them.

9. Build smart. Make sure the firebase isn't in a exposed position where it will get hit from long-range by snipers, grenadiers, anti-tank fire, tank-shells, APC fire, etc etc. Place a foxhole near to crates so that anti-tank/air kits can have cover whilst waiting for ammo to recharge. Use razor-wire to block doorways and roads and limit access to the base (make sure you leave a SAFE way out for the people spawning!). Place the HMGs (.50 cal heavy machine guns) so they have a narrow view to cover with their kill-zone so they are harder to out-flank. Make sure that, if AA emplacement is necessary, it's relatively high up to avoid as many obstructions as possible that aircraft can fly behind as cover. Don't build in the middle of nowhere - there's no point in a firebase that's further from objectives than a main; but don't build it somewhere that enemies will obviously get close to. It may seem "safe" up against impenetrable buildings, but it still may be in range of enemies lurking beyond the walls, even if there's no possible route through those buildings to get to it. Too many enemies too close = no spawning.

10. You're not alone. Use mumble to co-ordinate with other squad-leaders across the level, or other grunts / drivers / pilots who are up close and personal. Get the commander to relay messages to other squads, to place (AND DELETE!) contact report markers (especially for tanks, rallies, firebases, etc. etc.) or to instruct armoured squads to come support you.
As a squad-leader you can call in area-attacks (if there is a commander present) which can take out caches without you even needing to get close; or lazer targets for planes / choppers to destroy from halfway across the map.
Even if there's no anti-air/armour vehicles available to support you, even some transport choppers can drop an ammo crate for you. Get a squadmate to grab an AA/H-AT kit out of that, and your squad is capable to take on and eliminate any threats it may come across.

A beginner's guide to commanding will follow in a subsequent post, although I consider it to be of limited utility given the absence of commanders ATM, and hopefully a massive revamp for them in the near future to address the issues that lead to this.
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Last edited by Ace42; 05-14-2009 at 04:19 PM.. Reason: Added mumble video tutorial link
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: PR 0.85 fundamentals - a beginner's guide to winning.

The parts that I read while skimming this article showed that you put a lot of thought and effort in to it! Some good stuff in there! Will read this once I have more time.

Good stuff!
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Old 05-01-2009, 06:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: PR 0.85 fundamentals - a beginner's guide to winning.

Nice Work

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Old 05-04-2009, 10:22 PM   #4

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Default Re: PR 0.85 fundamentals - a beginner's guide to winning.

wow just reading the points in black and i know you have made 133t guide
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: PR 0.85 fundamentals - a beginner's guide to winning.

Read the SL part and especially point 8: dont bash your head against a brick wall is something a lot of SL's could learn from.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:51 AM   #6

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Default Re: PR 0.85 fundamentals - a beginner's guide to winning.

Originally Posted by Ace42 View Post
Even if there's no anti-air/armour vehicles available to support you, even a humble humvee can drop an ammo crate for you. Get a squadmate to grab an AA/H-AT kit out of that, and your squad is capable to take on and eliminate any threats it may come across.
Hmm... I didn't know this before. It could really come in handy.
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:03 AM   #7
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Default Re: PR 0.85 fundamentals - a beginner's guide to winning.

afaik you CANT get an AA or H-AT from the ammo crates dropped from hmmws. otherwise i wouldve taken loooong walks unnecessarily very often
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:15 AM   #8

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Default Re: PR 0.85 fundamentals - a beginner's guide to winning.

Originally Posted by General_J0k3r View Post
afaik you CANT get an AA or H-AT from the ammo crates dropped from hmmws. otherwise i wouldve taken loooong walks unnecessarily very often
Really? The use a different drop? Can the crates still be used to build firebases?
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Old 05-14-2009, 01:31 PM   #9
Default Re: PR 0.85 fundamentals - a beginner's guide to winning.

Originally Posted by Ace42 View Post
Really? The use a different drop? Can the crates still be used to build firebases?
Nope, you need the big ones from the Command/Supply trucks or certain choppers.
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:20 PM   #10

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Default Re: PR 0.85 fundamentals - a beginner's guide to winning.

Originally Posted by snooggums View Post
Nope, you need the big ones from the Command/Supply trucks or certain choppers.
Amended. I knew choppers could, not sure what other ammo crates qualify.
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