Last week I did a post on why no one likes to take squad leader, today I will discuss what makes a good squad leader. You will need a few basic skills in the squad leading certification area, but it won’t cost you that much only 1030 certification points.
You only have a few options when spending certifications points as a squad leader. You should get request reinforcements (200 certs). This helps notify friendly troops where big fights are going down and they do tend to notice and help out when you use the offensive and defensive markers. Then you want to get each rally point smoke color (200 certs total). This gives you the ability to lay smoke more often as each one has a cool down. Finally you should cert spawn beacon to at least level 4 (630 certs). The further you cert into this the more often you can place a spawn beacon. Generally level 1 or 2 would do but in the big fights spawn beacons go down fast and replacing them quicker is a huge benefit.
There are some useless certifications for squad leading. The squad objectives is currently bugged it is supposed to give bonus experience when your squad fights near a point that is marked, but currently it does not. And the command comm. Channel is generally useless though it does depend which server you are on. Usually the only chat that goes on in there is pointless and not relevant to the fights at hand which is why I do not recommend either of these certifications.
As I mentioned in the other post if you are to be good at leading you need to figure out what it is that you want to accomplish. Taking territory, taking continents, finding fights or ignoring everything and having an ATV race can all be valid goals. Once you have conditions for victory you can judge whether or not you are being successful. Make sure you are constantly scanning the map to see if there is somewhere else you should be to accomplish the goals you have set out; for instance if you are defending territory you will be looking for areas under attack.
- Marking enemy troops or AMS’, remember smoke cannot be seen by the enemy so mark away.
- Rallying your troops, if you ever needed to load a galaxy or a sunderer this is a good way for members to be waiting by while the vehicles arrive.
- Driving directions, you have 4 smoke color options so use them to mark a route on a road as we don’t have GPS in the future.
When leading a squad keep in mind numbers matter so try to keep your squad in the same general location, and rally them often. Rallying allows your squad to re-organize before an assault though it is important to note that players will ambush you if you are standing around too long so keep on the move. A full squad or platoon defending and attacking a point at once is harder to deal with then if you run in one at a time. If you are not able to get a foothold with the first push then you should look at other strategies.
As a squad leader you should also try to keep a decent mix of classes in your squad. Now you do not need to follow any specific format but I would recommend getting at least 1-2 medics and 1-2 engineers so that you can get revives and ammo when needed. The class management is not always easy and remember that some players want to play it their way, but generally you will get volunteers for these roles if you ask. Do not micromanage your squad, it will be a waste of time and only make you and your squad frustrated. If you need a medic just ask “hey, anyone willing to go medic we really need one” and you will most likely get someone to step up. Keep your goal in mind, if you want to kill a lot of enemy tanks you’ll want maxes/heavies primarily so having 10 infiltrators does not really help you.
I don’t know that everyone can be taught to be a good squad leader but there is no doubt that you can learn and be better than most players. To be a good squad leader you need to react decisively and quickly. If you are hesitant about attacking or moving to defend it will cost you the chance to make a difference. Speed is very important when you are dealing with base and outpost captures. Don’t question every move you make, you will make mistakes just make sure you learn from them.
When fighting no matter what you have at your disposal you should use the terrain to your advantage. This is one of the deciding factors of who wins a battle and who loses. For instance if you have infantry stick to the high hills where it is harder for aircraft and tanks to strike, it also allows you to fire at them unhindered. If you have a bunch of engineers and you know there is an armor column inbound make sure to lay mines on the road and any choke-point possible to cut down as many tanks as possible. The best thing about using engineer’s mines is that you can switch class after they are laid and they will stay there till they are blown up.
Flanking is an absolute must for you to do well squad leading. So many times players just run straight at their opponents when they would be more successful spending a few more minutes going around behind the enemies. This is the most underused basic tactic in Planetside and really players should start to recognize how effective it can be. For example when I flank an opponent and shoot them they will take cover, but they usually duck behind a rock in front of them not realizing I shot them from behind and then I’ll finish them off. So when you are squad leading use your tanks, air, and infantry to go around the enemy and strike them from behind or the side while their main force is unaware that they are taking most of their damage from behind. Keep in mind you do more damage to vehicles from the side and the rear.
This is only a brief guide to squad leading because most of what you need to learn you have to do so on the field in real time. Constantly look at the map to see if there is an area that would better accomplish your goal. Try to keep a good squad mix for the goals at hand don’t micromanage but if you have 12 snipers odds are you won’t be terribly effective if you are taking territory. Make sure you are flanking your opponents whenever possible and use the terrain to your advantage. Don’t worry about making mistakes just step up and try to make a difference and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
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