It's been some time since I wanted to post this: a quick illustrated guide to the positioning of the marines in a squad, in order to give them a better chance of staying alive (a little bit longer). This idea came after a heated discussion I had with a good friend of mine about my emphazis on NS and him finding that the game truely lacked of either a strategical or a tactical aspect...
I had made those graphics for another game and had to symplify them a little, but I think it helped convincing him, and at some point, I thought I would post this on the forum, since this should still prove to be somewhat useful and understandable for most of you guys (and girls).
The following points are about how I thought, as a commander, my squad of marines should ideally be moving, with a specifical assignation to each squad member.
It came to my mind that most (or every) clans may already have integrated those points, or similar ones, and thus not need to spend alot of time on this topic.
I also understand that achieving such a coordination between players on a Pub is merely of the domain of dream, but still... If a sufficient amount of people (claners or not) find it interesting enough to be reffered at, maybe more people will try to follow those concepts and so on, resulting in a maybe successful use of those concepts on public servers.
I, for myself, based my work on the way I thought a Small Tactical Unit such as SWAT unit members may work together. Meaning I never been in such a Unit and thus can only guess how it may work.
As I don't mean to hold the Ultimate Truth, some of my examples may not appear right or featful enough in the context of a game like NS for some of you, or subjects to correction.
Feel free to coment, post your thoughts and what you think sounds correct or not, and how to remedy.
Remember that this topic is just suggesting, no obligation intended for you to reply if you don't like it 1.1 Small Squad Tactical Positioning in NS: Who's Who?
It's good for a commander to see his marines rejoin their dedicated squads.
But still, this is not good enough.
How many squads of lost souls just barely had a glimps of their death since it came from behind while all of the squad members were happily running forward to this remote WP, never noticing this lonely or couple of skulks waiting to jump on their backs...
Small Squad Tactical Positioning (therefor refered as SSTP) is about preventing this kind of misadventure and some more.
Notice: To prevent, but not to completely eliminate it, because this cannot properly be achieved, and because no best plans ever passed through the few sec of battle...
In order to improve the longevity of a squad, the way it's members are moving should be loocked at with a particular attention:
I'll devide the members of the squad as:
: Alpha, to refer to Attack
. These guys are the one who will take the Heat coming from the front of the Squad, the ones leading the way toward the objective assigned by the comm.
: Delta, to refer to Defense
. The Deltas are to keep the 6 of their teamates clear, thus forming the rear guard of the Squad. If something try to sneak from behind, they are the ones who will have to deal with it in the first place, and let their teamates know.
: as in "All-Around
". Remaining between the Alphas and Deltas, these soldiers are intended to play a multiple-purpose role. They must be able to be versatile and provide quick firepower assistance to both front and rear Squad members.
Usually, we will count in it the Grenade-Launcher carriers, those who have welders, those who will build a structure or destroy an alien RT while the others are covering them, those who will place mines and such.1.2 SSTP: The Utility of a Sarge'
Not messing up with the roles of each other amidst mission is key to keep the minds cool, so this should be decided at the very beginning of the game and stay in order all along the game, unless specificaly specified.
Note: The commander not always having the time to assign each player to a Squad fonction, a "Field Commander", "Sargeant" may prove to be very usefull to organise things together and assign positions.
Thus, having a sargeant for each squad would be the best, as the com would only have to specify tasks to the Sargeant.1.3 SSTP: For Who is it meant to work the best?
Since insuring that you arrive at destination almost safely is a must, the SSTP may also slow a little bit down your movement rate.
This is, I think, it's biggest default.
Thus, if you keep high the chance of survival of your squad, it may not allow you to rush like hell.
Still, remember, if all or half the squad gets decimated before even arriving at destination, waiting for reinforcements may be a bigger drawback.
Plus, marines weren't meant to match the speed of skulks basicaly.
This being said, the best situation for the SSTP to work with greatest efficiency maybe on a squad of Heavy Armors, but this is only my opinion. Even if their longevity has already received a a good improvement because of the armors and their number, it will still improve it a little bit.
Now let's move to the next chapter:2.1 SSTP: Now to (theorical) action:
To be properly called a "squad", I think a group should count at least 4 peoples in it.
In the next few examples, I'll take for reference a group of 5 marines:
- 2 Alphas refered as Alpha1 marine and Alpha2
- 2 Deltas (Delta3 and Delta4)
- 1 Omega (Omega5)
Thus, even if you don't have a mic and no time to type alot, "1" or "2" will always refer to an Alpha member of your squad.
This icon means the marine is standing still, "In position", aiming at where the Triangle is pointed at. The number indicates what's the position of the marine (in our example, "1" refers to marine Alpha1, one of the marines who are leading the way for the squad). Usually, we''l assume the marine who is "in position" is crouching, thus allowing people behind him (for example Omega5) to provide him firepower.
This icons means the marine is moving from the green hollow circle (his previous position) to the more solid and sharp looking blue shape (his next position), while looking forward.
This icon means the marine is strafing while moving. In this example, Alpha1 is left-strafing.
This red fading cone represents the zone a marine covers, it's sights. It is refered as his "Kill Zone". To keep things clear, only the Kill Zones of covering marines are displayed in graphics.
This being said, my next post will provide my first Tactical Positioning advices.