SWEDGE’S
CHEEKY BASTARD
STRATEGY GUIDE FOR PR:ARMA2 BETA
Document v1.1. October 29, 2011
www.swedgey.com

SWEDGE’S MAGIC FORMULA:
SPAWN NETWORKS + SPEED + FOCUS ON OBJECTIVES = GREAT SUCCESS!

Introduction

If you’re a lazy bastard, speed through to the Summary at the end!! :)

In January 2011 I wrote the Sneaky Bastard Guide to Insurgency, based on an Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead mission created and developed by Pogoman and Fireball. The guide was apparently well-liked by the community and I received an Australasian Arma forums award (www.ausarma.org).

Since September I have been excited and challenged by the Project Reality:Arma 2 Beta mod and its’ new dimensions of PVP gameplay. My fireteams have setup many FO networks, captured and defended numerous towns, and destroyed many caches.  I have had the privilege of leading many outstanding players and I daresay we have have often contributed in no small measure to our side’s victory and are often the highest-scoring fireteam.


The purpose of this guide is to tell you about the approach to
 PR:Arma 2 Beta that has worked for me. It is the style that I currently find most effective and enjoyable. It is not for everyone and there is certainly room for improvement. To each their own. If a different style works for you, knock yourself out.

These 3 elements in the diagram above represent my approach to PR:Arma 2 Beta and I believe are the current keys to victory: 1) Build Spawn Networks, 2) Speed and 3) Focus on the objectives.


SPAWN NETWORKS + SPEED + FOCUS ON OBJECTIVES = GREAT SUCCESS!

Focus on the Objectives

Depending on the game mode, the objective at any given moment is ultimately to, as quickly as possible, capture or defend a town or to destroy a cache. These objectives will be clearly marked on your map. It couldn’t be simpler: “Go to the circle”. You need to do whatever you have to to learn about and understand these objectives. You don't win the game based on bodycount, headshot stats, long-distance-shot records, vehicle stunts, Hollywood posturing, popularity, army roleplay, rageing, epic paradrops, mortar-spam, or Kill Death Ratio's. You simply win it by achieving objectives faster than the other side. Go to the circle.

The key question you need to ask yourself before doing anything in PR is, "Is this really necessary to achieve the objective as fast as possible?"

Many of your fellow players will play the entire round almost completely distracted. I know because sometimes I get distracted too. Here are some of the most common distractions:

DISTRACTION #1: Following friendly units blindly

You've probably seen the car bumper stickers that say, "DONT FOLLOW ME. I'M LOST TOO". Well, that can happen in PR. Players who are a bit unsure of themselves often just gravitate to clumps of friendly markers on the map or uniforms on the horizon. And it snowballs. I've sometimes stumbled upon large clumps of friendly units just milling about silently like sheep - in some strategically-insignificant part of the map - for no particular reason that any of them is aware of. They're just there because they are and because everyone else is. If you find such a group, find out what they're doing and ask yourself, "Is this really necessary to achieve our objective as fast as possible?". If your answer is "No" or "I don't know", either lead them away or leave. Often, the reason that there's a bunch of players milling together randomly is that one of them has lost focus on the objective and is distracted by unnecessarily chasing some random harassing enemy unit.

DISTRACTION #2: Trying to kill every enemy unit
I’ve seen 8-man squads delayed for 15 minutes trying to kill some random AK74 in the hills, screaming bearings hysterically, and shooting anti-tank rounds at him like the game depended on it. I judged from the terrain and the distance that he was not a threat to us achieving our objective and I marked him on the map, told people, and bypassed him.
Just because you see an enemy unit or are getting shot at by one, it doesn't necessarily mean that you need to let them distract you from your objective or draw attention to your position by stopping, chasing, or shooting them. Sometimes enemy units will present minimal risk and will only waste your time. Sometimes they present a significant risk and will prevent you from achieving your objective. Before going after an enemy unit ask yourself, "Is this really necessary to achieve the objective as fast as possible?".
To answer that question, consider how they fit into the bigger picture. Determine or estimate what kind of weapons and equipment they have, their skill, number, direction, range, and location relative to friendly units, other enemy units, rally points, FO’s, and the objective. Then you make a judgement call. You may have only a few seconds to do so. Sometimes you’ll make the right call, sometimes the wrong one. Your ability to make the right judgement call will improve over time, with experience. Getting better at that judgement call will mean that you are more effective - that you are distracted less, operate with more speed, and get slaughtered less frequently.

My fireteams and I have frequently pushed ahead of our side by advancing to the objective under inaccurate enemy fire and captured it alone. This is a calculated risk and sometimes it takes Brass Balls. If the enemy doesn’t have their shit together, you can actually get away with being reckless sometimes. Mark the suspected enemy locations, communicate them to your team, and move on. You don’t have to drop every hostile and clear every building. Pick your battles.
The flipside of this is about being cautious when it is warranted. I have sometimes refused to board a helo that intends to insert directly into the middle of a town that I think is too hot. Then I have watched Side Chat with disappointment to hear the helo has gone down to enemy fire.

Another important element of this distraction is about trying to kill enemy units that have ‘sex appeal’. Snipers, saboteurs, helo’s, armour, etc are Hollywood Sexy. Their image alone has a psychological impact that is often out of whack with their actual impact on the battle. But don’t fall for the mystique and the drama and dont lose your head. During one engagement, men in my fireteam began to get distracted by a single sniper in the hills that was doing wonders at making the Eastern flank of our Northerly advance almost entirely uninhabitable for a kilometre. I gave some of my units permission to try flank him close. It took them a long time to get into position and their first effort was unsuccessful. Sometimes, one of the best ways to defeat a sniper is to ignore them. We marked his estimated position on Side chat, informed the team, and I told my men to just make sure that as we moved forward that they were mindful to keep the cover between them and his direction. This simply meant, when passing a rocky outcrop for example, using the West side instead of the East side. As we moved rapidly through cover, he was unable to put accurate rounds onto us and we rendered him meaningless by refusing to buy into the drama. At the town objective, a simple one-story building located between us and his position obscured his line of sight and rendered him useless. We captured the objective unchallenged and moved to the next one.

Similarly, I once led a fireteam through cover past 2 warriors that were doing donuts on the lawn and shooting everything that moved. I told my team, “If you have AT, take ‘em out. If you don’t, don’t let them distract you”. We sprinted past them with buildings and trees between us, managing to beat them to the objective and capture it, winning the game. Again, this is a judgement call. When you can afford to ignore the enemy, ignore them.  When you can’t afford to, disable them as quickly as possible. There’s a time and a place for killing bad guys. The time is Now and the place is at the Objective.

DISTRACTION #3: Tactical Masturbation

There are many players that have profound talents, insights, and experience into best-practise for infantry units, and proceed to then focus on these at the cost of the objective.
In an ideal world, players will all speak your language, have functional microphones, not be AFK, know how to play, be familiar with infantry tactics, techniques and procedures, and be attentive and willing to follow your orders promptly. If that’s the case, it’s your lucky day - enjoy! In reality though, you’re going to have to make do with the players that are available and they may be a mixed bag of anything from brand new players, lone-wolfers, to the highy-experienced.

A four-man fireteam who simply sprints headlong through cover into an objective zone can often outmanoeuvre a 12-man fireteam that insists on waiting first to: arm and distribute kits, breakup into fireteams, assign fireteam leaders, designate assault and support elements, designate areas of responsibility, clarify Rules of Engagement, explain Chain of Command, explore contingencies, advise movement plans in detail, and execute bounding overwatch.

I love tactical realism and best-practice as much as the next guy and probably more than most. Sometimes you can draw on those elements in a practical and timely way and doing so will be necessary for achieving your objective as fast as possible. But often, in this context, it will just slow you down. My personal style is characterised by classic light infantry principles such as high tempo, loose, unfixed and decentralised formations, agile, fast, and adaptable units and barely coordinated group maneuvers. The key here is speed and surprise.

DISTRACTION #4 Destroying, enhancing, and defending Forward Outposts

To many players, an enemy Forward Outpost has all the danger and excitement of Tits. They are one of the most common distractions. I have a screenshot of 12 Blufor units waiting at an enemy FO marker for over 15 minutes while I tried desperately to capture the actual objective town on my own with only 2 friendlies.

Currently it only takes 2 units to ‘block’ an FO so that enemy units can’t spawn on it. It only takes 1 engineer with a maximum of 4 satchel charges to destroy an enemy FO. A third option is to assign 1 infantry unit to camp the FO from outside of 100m range (so that the enemy are not warned) and kill whoever spawns on it. The only time you will need to reinforce these sorts of numbers at an enemy FO is if you judge that the FO is strategically important and that other enemy units will move from elsewhere to liberate it. But some FO’s are insignificant and will be left for dust as you speed through and capture the towns nearby.  I regularly ignore enemy FO’s that I judge will not interfere with me achieving my objective. Often, your advance can outrun and outbuild their FOs and render them meaningless..

So, when you encounter a possible distraction such as an enemy FO and are considering blocking or destroying it, ask yourself, "Is this really necessary to achieve the objective as fast as possible?". If the answer is “Yes”, that the FO is providing a continual stream of enemy that are likely to prevent you from achieving the objective, you neutralise it as efficiently and quicky as you can, and move on. If the answer is “No“, mark the FO on your map, communicate it, and move on.

The flipside distraction of destroying FO’s, is decorating them.

I have watched people fart-ass around at a built-FO like it’s their boys-only club treehouse. As I’ll describe later, FO’s are usually a critical part of the victory formula but they are ultimately a means to an end and a necessary evil. Don’t get personally invested in them.
I’ve played games where players begin screaming hysterically on VON because an FO is under attack. And every man and his dog sometimes sprints off, abandoning the objective area to go defend an obscure rear FO at all costs. FO’s are critical but not every one is essential. Again, it’s a judgement call. Do not defend an FO just because it is an FO. Some FO’s become strategically meaningless because of their location and because they have little or no impact on achieving your objective. Sometimes you have to let one go because you’re focusing on objectives and speed. If a rear FO is under attack but you’re at the enemy objective and you have multiple FO’s nearby, forget the rear FO. I lost one particular FO recently and I reminded my guys not to let it distract them - the other three that we’d already setup to the West, South, and East of the objective would surely see us through! On the other hand, if your judgement call determines that it’s a critical FO, you defend it with the minimum time and effort necessary.
Having said all of the above, having a network of FOs and rallypacks is usually
critical to the formula for winning PR. See elsewhere in this guide for more info.

DISTRACTION #5 Lone-wolfing

This is often just a combination of the other distractions.

Some players aren't interested in their team winning the game - they just want to focus on distractions such as killing. I can understand the appeal of lone-wolfing and trying to see how many kills you can get with particular weapons or vehicles. Sometimes people find that the most comfortable way to learn the ropes too.

At first there's certainly a thrill and a challenge to Lone-wolfing but for me it got old after a while. “Been there, done that”. Eventually, you’ll barely break a sweat and barely get your blood up. You’ll discover that yes you can bring down a helo or destroy a tank and yes you can erase a lazy fireteam with your sniper rifle but after a while that just isn't enough. There's a far greater thrill and technical challenge in being the fireteam who destroys the cache or captures/defends the town. It takes cunning, patience, leadership, and Balls. That’s the juice! It's far more exciting to be one of the handful of guys responsible for that Game-Over screen and the defeat of the entire enemy team - 30+ enemy units rendered irrelevant in one fell swoop! Be the hardcore players who were the smartest, most proficient, and got their shit together the fastest!

DISTRACTION #6 Being ‘Special’

Often you can be in a side where there is no group actually intending to capture/defend objective towns or destroy caches and every group considers themselves exclusively “Special Operations”, “Recon”, “Snipers”, and “FO-destroyers”. They can all mean well and believe that they are each a ‘special’ element supporting the main thrust in different ways. But there is no actual main thrust - no grunts, ground-pounders, warfighters, workers, and door-kickers available to do the hard yards and put their balls on the line where the balls go - under the objective marker. This is also often a variation of distraction #3 - Tactical Masturbation. Some players are sometimes too smart for anyone’s good and move to some other position well away from the objective area as part of an elaborate strategic theory intended to indirectly support a non-existent direct approach.

It’s better to have an unsupported main thrust than a supported nothing.

When you’re capturing a town, you need friendlies in the capture zone ASAP. It couldn’t be simpler: “Go to the circle”. Not doing so is one of the most frequent problems I encounter on the battlefield. You don’t need friendlies spread out randomly outside of the capture marker being ‘special’ and hoping with fingers crossed that your effort is going to be successful. Sometimes it does make tactical sense to have some specific units placed deliberately outside of the cap zone. But by and large, when that happens, it’s more about laziness, fear, or lack of focus. The more people there are outside the cap, the slower it gets capped, and the more time that players will have to stand around outside of the cap wondering why it’s not done yet.

It’s a case of ‘all hands on deck’. Dont tell yourself that “Someone else will go capture/defend. I’m special and am needed elsewhere”. Get yourself up, get onto the cap, get indoors, keep your heads down, and face-out until that timer ticks over. Get ‘er done and move on. The really special players are the ones that have their head screwed on straight and, with balls and self-discipline, get themselves in the objective area.

Even an unskilled player at the objective area can contribute to his side’s victory. His very presence assists the timer for capture or secure and can obstruct and delay enemy units nearby. He may get lucky and drop a few bodies, or stumble upon the cache location himself. But a skilled player who is not focused on the objective or building the spawn network, does not contribute. He may be the best shot in the world, but if he’s not dropping bodies at the objective, the enemy may route around him and render him irrelevant.

There is nothing a fireteam leader values more in his men than the simple act of being right next to him when the time comes to setup a rallypoint, construct an FO, or to capture or defend an objective together. Get in there with me and put your body on the line.

So, above all, the lesson for this element is to refuse to let yourself get distracted. That’s what I tell my fireteam at any of a hundred distractions - “Don’t let them distract you!” Focus on the objectives.
Always ask yourself, "Is this really necessary to achieve the objective as fast as possible?"

Speed

"I don't want to get any messages saying, "I am holding my position." We are not holding a Goddamned thing. Let the Germans do that. We are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything, except the enemy's balls. We are going to twist his balls and kick the living shit out of him all of the time. Our basic plan of operation is to advance and to keep on advancing regardless of whether we have to go over, under, or through the enemy."

-- General George Patton, England, 31 May 1944

U.S. General Tommy Franks, paraphrasing General George Patton, describes this approach as “hall ass and bypass!”  I’d maybe adjust that to, “Hall ass, kick ass, and bypass!”. Franks shared the same philosophy as Patton and some of his troops once graffiti’d the phrase, “Franks is a Speed Freak” onto a wall.

As I said before, you don’t win PR Arma 2 by having the biggest body-count. At its’ core, the game is designed to be about achieving the objectives faster than the other side.

Faster.

So, the critical role of speed is no accident - it is built into the actual gameplay itself.

If you want to get a feel for how important speed is in war - study General George Patton. Watch the movie, Google him, read the book, listen to the audio book. Patton was flawed and human - a man of many faults - but delay was not among them. This is typified in the film of the same name when the general encounters a local mule that has blocked their entire advance across a bridge. Patton gets out of his car, shoots the mule, and has it dumped over the side of the bridge. Patton believed, “Success in war depends on the “golden rules of war”: speed, simplicity and boldness.” That’s what you need to do in PR - shoot the mule. Don’t let anything get in the way of you achieving the objective as fast as possible. Ignore, abandon, and disregard anything that is not critical.

I believe that a gram of surprise is worth a kilo of firepower. Surprise is achieved by speed. Speed means getting to the objective, and achieving it, faster than the enemy. Getting there faster means that you are ahead of them, and already prepared - that you are imposing your will upon them. Speed to the objective via the directions or approaches that are least likely to be defended - the flanks or the rear. What direction are the enemy most-likely to be facing?

Speed is achieved by proficiency, teamwork, focus, and unity of commands.
Proficiency is achieved through practice and experience. It is also achieved by reading and understanding the current PR manual, watching YouTube videos, and spending time on the forums. Know and practice the minimal amount of effort required to achieve a task in the quickest way possible. I do this by creating new PR games on private LAN servers, and testing anything that I don’t understand. Individual soldiering skills and proficiency can also be improved by reading Dsylecxi’s Arma 2 Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures Guide:
 http://ttp2.dslyecxi.com/

Teamwork is achieved by demonstrating proficiency, communicating your proficiency and objective-focus, and deploying your team-members in a way that focuses them on the objective.
Focus is achieved by reminding your team-members about what’s important - the objectives or anything that gets in the way of them - and preventing anything from distracting your team. It’s about protecting, securing and supporting your team. Speed is achieved by focusing on the objective, and using your spawn networks to get as many units there as fast as possible.

Unity of command is achieved by not allowing other units to confuse your team or provide conflicting instructions. There is a time and a place for constructive suggestions from your team-members. And these should be welcomed and encouraged. My fireteam members have often corrected my mistakes, pointed out things I’ve missed or forgotten, or suggested better courses of action. But players who harp on ineffective strategies, or are selfish, or sow confusion, or encourage distraction, need to be counselled, warned, or kicked.

This minimises distractions and maximises the speed of your fireteam.

Ten Problems That Can Reduce The Speed of Your Fireteam

1. Not communicating to your fireteam about what your overall objective is, and how you intend to achieve it. Don’t leave them in the dark. Give them the information necessary to start drawing on their own individual skills and initiative.

2. Letting fireteam members hog the communications and cause distraction by talking about things that aren’t mission-critical, including what they had for breakfast, how fast their PC is, or their favourite PC games

3. Waiting for every single unit to regroup before advancing

4. Allowing fireteam members to issue orders that oppose your own and cause confusion

5. Trying to get the perfect combination of player kits. Sometimes the right kit is essential, but sometimes you cannot afford to wait any longer and you just have to make-do

6. Not using appropriate markers, or leaving old ones up

7. Letting individual fireteam members provide overly-detailed contact reports and running updates on their individual progress and status in a way that prevents other fireteam members from communicating, from focusing on the objectives, or from listening to their surroundings.

8. Letting fireteam members break-off from the main body into different locations for unnecessary ‘special’ tasks. This can weaken your unit strength, create branches of different communications topics, and cause confusion when other fireteam members try to track map markers and enemy contacts.

9. Letting fireteam members become distracted by particular advanced/sexy weapons, vehicles, or tactics. Just because one pilot believes a Little Bird insertion directly onto a hot objective might be a shitload of fun, doesn’t mean that it’s going to be an effective way to achieve the objective in the quickest time possible.

10. Insisting on always finishing what you started. For example, you may plan to setup an FO, and take time to organise and travel there, but then discover that the situation on the ground has suddenly changed and that you suddenly may need to setup an FO elsewhere, or ignore FOs completely and move to the objective ASAP. Be flexible, and adapt to the changing battlefield.

“Speed is the essence of war. Take advantage of the enemy's unpreparedness; travel by unexpected routes and strike him where he has taken no precautions.” -- Sun Tzu

“The primary factor in a successful attack is speed.” -- Lord Mountbatten

“Every gain in speed increases not only the attacker’s security but the defender’s insecurity. For the higher the speed the greater the chance of, and scope for, surprise. Speed and surprise are not merely related; they are twins.” -- B.H. Liddell Hart (Thoughts on War)

“Again, speed in action must be cultivated; the power to think quickly in an emergency is one of the greatest assets both of the boxer and the commander; and the power to move quickly often gives to a body of troops, as to a boxer, the advantage of surprise.” -- Field Marshal A. Wavell (The Good Soldier)

Build Spawn Networks

‘Spawns points’ - forward outposts, rally packs,  hideouts, tunnels, whatever form they come in and whatever you want to call them - we’re talking about anything that lets your team-members come back from the dead and rematerialise, alive. In some ways, spawn networks are a big part of the game’s metaphor for reinforcements and supplies. They are critical. If you think that you can win a war without any reinforcements or supplies, read some more field manuals.

If you read Sun Tzu’s ‘Art of War’ you will see the apt comparison between military tactics and water::

Military tactics are like unto water; for water in its natural course runs away from high places and hastens downwards... Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows; the soldier works out his victory in relation to the foe whom he is facing.”

I see spawn networks in the same way.

Approaching a remote objective via vehicle or on foot is like throwing a water balloon. Sometimes it can be exactly what the doctor ordered - fast and objective-focused. But it can also be a bit hit and miss. There’s a chance that you wont make it, that the water balloon will fall short, miss, bounce off, or that - even if it does burst - that the effect will be limited and unsustainable. All it takes is 1 RPG, AA round, anti-tank mine, etc and your fireteam is toast. All that time spent coordinating, rallying, and travelling is wasted. Speed is lost and objectives go unchallenged.

But spawn-networks are like water taps or faucets. Water, friendly units, flows freely from them towards the enemy objectives. Not always - but generally.

You can’t lead water to a horse, but you can build a shitload of running taps around his mouth.

You can’t always tell friendly units what to do, and where to go, but if you make it more convenient for them - if you create a path of least resistance - you channel the ‘water’ flow of your side towards the enemy objectives.

Providing spawn-points closer to the objectives increases the speed, convenience, weapons-availability, flexibility, and frequency with which your friendly units can focus on achieving those objectives.

Generally, all things being equal, the more FO’s that a side has that are closer to the objectives, the greater the speed available to that side, and the greater the chance of victory. When you join an ongoing mission, you can usually assess from the map within less than 3 seconds how well your side is doing by the number and placement of friendly FO’s, and friendly units, relative to the objective markers.

When I first started playing PR: Arma 2 Beta I would try to just warn our side on Side chat whenever our FO network seemed insufficient - which was often. Eventually I decided that if it was so important, that I needed to man up and carry my share of that responsibility myself. Like Gandhi said, “Be the change that you want to see in the world”. Since then, if you’ve ever played a complete round with me there’s at least a 50% chance that any FO you spawned on was lovingly and painstakingly hand-crafted by my fireteams through a great deal of speed and proficiency or cajoleing and cat-herding. Sometimes I will suicide, run 5 kilometres, wait 10 minutes for a vehicle, or do whatever I have to to get back to Main, to load up some FO crates, rally some friendy units, and to move out and start setting up FOs. Again with the Speed!

Use the map to assess which current objectives need more support from a new FO, or which ones soon will (by the time units get there). Where possible, build FO’s between 2 objectives. That’s 2 functions for the price of 1. Where possible, build them as close to the objectives as possible (outside of the build boundaries). This maximises speed and increases the focus on objectives. Having said that, depending on how far the enemy pushes out from the objectives, or their use of terrain and long-range weapons, and how effective they are, your judgement may dictate that FOs be setup further out from the build boundaries or ‘in depth’. Perhaps in networks of FO’s that support one other. Sometimes the best way to find out is to just probe the enemy positions. If your first ‘close-shave’ attempt fails epically, come back again to a safer location with a more cautious approach to setting up FOs and RPs. Or, set them up safely, and then go back to collect them and relocate them as your side advances further.

Generally I prefer to setup FO’s in locations that cannot be observed from likely enemy directions - often with terrain or buildings on several sides obscuring enemy view. Often when I see or find enemy FOs, it’s because they have elaborate high-profile, large-footprint, arrangements of defensive structures and crew-served-weapons. So, when I build FOs I often like to do the opposite - keep them low-key and low-profile. I generally aim to have FO’s providing at least 2 approaches to any given objective, ideally in different directions, eg. North and West, South and North, etc. If I can afford to, I will setup FO’s in every direction, surrounding them, but this is subordinate to the importance of speed and the focus on objectives. If I judge, based on the enemy resistance, that we can achieve the objectives without the FOs, then I will not build them. Sometimes I get that judgement wrong - and are too cautious, or too reckless. Shit happens.

Rally packs can also play an important role and can complement FOs. Unlike FOs, these can be built within enemy boundary areas. However, like FOs, they can be blocked by enemy units nearby. So either set them up off to the side on pathways unlikely to be used by the enemy, or go for broke and get them in as close as you can. Use your judgement. Remember though, that unlike FOs, rally packs do not require satchels to destroy them. They can be destroyed by 2 bullets. So either hide them really well, or put them in a building that offers some protection.

Many players don’t realise that trucks and helo’s can take not just 1 FO crate in their cargo, but 2.
Generally, I will decide whether to use a truck or a helo depending on the kind of resistance we’ve been experiencing from the enemy. Helicopters are the fastest way to travel but with their height and immense sound, will often announce your presence. If you want a ‘safer’ chance at getting some more FO’s up, or the enemy have been making effective use of Anti-Air weapons, then a truck is sometimes a better way to go. Whichever you use, the approach is important. With patient passengers I have sometimes driven through a back route for 5 minutes to insert an FO from an unexpected direction, and without detection. Similary, I have asked pilots to fly 7km away into no-man’s land so that they can leave or approach in a way that doesn’t betray their presence, announce their intentions, or expose us all to enemy fire unnecessarily.

Sometimes I may set FOs up at the first place I can find level ground - even in the open sometimes - because I’m trying to maximise speed and because they will provide an important new approach to an enemy objective. Having said that, there is a time and a place for defensive and well-constructed FOs. Given what I’ve said before about the sex appeal and magnetic intrigue of enemy FOs, sometimes I may set ours up in a more obvious high-ground location to distract enemy units and draw them in and to reduce their presence at other approaches that we intend to use. Placed at high-ground they can also be genuinely effective for overwatch etc, particularly with some crew-served-weapons. One option is to build the actual FO on the reverse slope (ie near the top of the mountain but on the opposite to the enemy), but then build the actual crew-served-weapons closer to the top of the mountain or on the enemy side. FO Armaments provide tactical flexibility too. If you’re at or near an FO and there’s sufficient kit available, you can swap out into a different kit as the battlefield changes and tactics dictate.
Just don’t get distracted!


Summary

So, to summarise,

SPAWN NETWORKS + SPEED + FOCUS ON OBJECTIVES = GREAT SUCCESS!

The key here is judgement and balance. Good players may legitimately disagree about the ratios during any given battle. Getting too distracted by any one element of this formula will not lead to victory. If your side spends the entire game building spawn networks but does not actually use them to go to the objectives, you will lose. If your side puts all its’ effort into blind speed but doesn’t actually focus on achieving the objectives, you will have streams of units sprinting to their deaths in storms of machine gun fire.

Start your approach by focusing on the objectives and then backtrack from there as far as necessary. The objective is the key. Spawn networks and speed are the means that we use to achieve the objectives in the most effective way possible.

Look at the map and the communications from your side. How many of our units are how close to the objectives? How many of the enemy units are how close to them? If your side is surging through the enemy objectives like water from a burst dam, you may not need any more speed or spawn networks - you may just need to get on board. If not enough friendly units are near the objectives, you may need to improve the networks of spawn locations. If spawn networks are good and lots of friendly units approach the objectives with speed but then quickly disappear, you need to think about what direction they’re approaching from and what specific weapon-systems have been preventing them from achieving the objective. If a single tank has been thwarting everyone, take responsibility for that key problem and eliminate it so that your side can continue to focus on and achieve the objective. If there are lots of spawn locations but not enough people at the objectives, you need to lead them from the front and encourage them to follow you with speed and to focus on the objectives.

Many PR: Arma 2 Beta players are extremely talented, proficient, loyal, and good-natured. You will find it a pleasure to lead them, to serve under them, to fight alongside them, to learn from and teach them, or to fight against them! I’ll see on the battlefield. Happy hunting!

GREAT SUCCESS!