Heres some basic tactics information. some of you may know most of
this, but it never hurts to make sure.
Principles of Organization
Whenever you enter the field, you have a role to play. Be it sniper,
scout, assault, command. None of these roles is better or worse than
any other. None of these roles is more or less honorable than any
other. A gunslinging expert pilot private is as valuable as a
Sergeant, or even a Major. The simple fact is, you all have skills,
and for the most part, your skills are different from each others.
You may be a great pilot, but poor at command; or conversely a great
commander but a horrid pilot. There is no shame in being a private.
There is shame in doing your job badly, whatever it may be. Positions
within the unit are granted on the principle of abilities, not merit
or time. You are placed in a role where you can best serve the Unit.
Principles of Battle
Sun Tzu once wrote, "All warfare is based on deception." In order to
implement our strategies, and to negate the strategies of our
enemies, we must be organized. That is why there are field
commanders. The position of Field Commander is not a position of
glory, but of duty and responsibility. The Field Commander bears the
brunt of defeat, and the blame for it. If we have two people on the
field attempting to give orders, they will likely be contradicting,
and we will not be organized. If nobody listens and obeys the field
commander, we will not be organized. You may know better than the
Field Commander what should be done. You may have a brilliant idea
that would win the battle, but the Field Commander does not see it.
If you chase after your idea, then the battle will be lost. There is
a saying in Latin:
'Una salus victus nullam sperare salutem' - The one hope of the
doomed is not to hope for safety. Whatever plan the Field Commander
gives, you MUST follow it through from beginning to end. You must not
deviate from it, or change it to your own ideas. Even if it results
in defeat, you must not abandon it. In a unit working as a team, even
a bad plan can result in victory. The instant members of the team
begin to deviate from the plan, the battle is lost. At that moment,
we are no longer a team, but a group of individuals each with his own
agenda. Remember this, and when on the field, live it.
Beginnings of Battle
The moment you enter the field, you should immediately find your
Field Commander and form on him. Then turn your radar off. Be VERY
careful to avoid collisions with the rest of your lance. Collisions
result in damage, and you running into someone before battle even
begins could be the difference between victory and defeat. Once you
have formed up, await orders. Do NOT shoot your weapons, destroy
buildings, or anything else of that nature. A lot of the time,
stealth makes the difference between victory and defeat. A single
shot can ruin the element of surprise for the entire team.
Upon entering the field or making contact, the Field Commander will
designate primary and secondary targets for everyone. You MUST attack
your designated target above all others. Why do we designate targets?
Imagine there are two teams of 4. Team 1, the Black Wolves,
concentrates all of its fire on one person from team 2. Everyone in
team 2 shoots a different person of team 1. Assuming identical mechs,
and identical accuracies, by the time the first person of team 2
dies, everyone in team 1 will be 1/4 damaged. By the time the second
person in team 2 dies, everyone in team 1 will be 1/2 damaged. When
the third person in team 2 dies, everyone in team 1 will be 3/4
damaged. We now outnumber the enemy 4 to 1. It does not take a genius
to see who wins from here.
Now while completely concentrated fire can be devestating, there are
times when a field commander may choose to designate separate targets
for people. An example is for fire support harrassment. It does not
do to leave a missile boat sitting happily on a ridge killing our
men. In this case one, two or even three of the team may be given a
different target than the rest of the team. No matter who your target
is, you MUST hit that target before all others.
Now, there will be times in a battle, when perhaps two or three of
the enemy will concentrate their fire on you, and it will be tempting
to leave your designated target and hit the people who are hitting
you. You MUST NOT DO THIS. Alone, you will not be able to take out
any one of the three enemies attacking you before they kill you.
However, if you stick with the designated targets, you can still take
out at least one of the enemies before you die. But it gets even
better, and this is where a good Field Commander comes in. A good
Field Commander will notice that you are being heavily attacked. And
he will name the next kill after the current one as someone who is
attacking you. And lo and behold, before you know it, the whole team
is coming to your rescue, and you may make it out alive. But the
moment you leave the designatd target to try and save yourself, you
doom not only yourself, but the entire team.
"Una salus victus nullam sperare salutem" - The one hope of the
doomed is not to hope for safety.
You must stick with the designated targets at all costs, even if it
results in your death.
Targets of Opportunity
Now that you understand the principle of the fire discipline, you
must understand Targets of Opportunity (TO). It is important that you
stick to the designated targets. However, let me paint a scenario.
Billy-bob is given as the primary target. Your lance is running
around, and they make contact with an enemy scout, named Billy-ray.
There are no other enemy mechs in sight, and Billy-ray has spotted
you. Does it make sense to leave Billy-ray untouched just because he
is NOT Billy-bob? No. Common sense would be to shoot Billy-ray until
he dies, or you see Billy-bob. Now if you are chasing Billy-ray and
you run across Billy-bob, that is the time to change targets. If you
are in the heat of battle, and Billy-bob ducks behind a hill and
there is another enemy mech there, by all means shoot the enemy mech.
But keep chasing after Billy-bob and hit him when you can.
Radio discipline is something that is of extreme importance. If
everyone speaks whenever a thought pops into their head, then
commands from the FC cannot be heard, and the whole point of voice
communication is lost. There are two people on a team who can speak
freely on the radio: the FC, and the Scout. Only these two. If you
are not the FC or the scout, be quiet. So when can you speak?
Acknowledge commands with a brief 'roger'. If you make contact or are
hit, you say 'contact, heading blah' where 'blah' is the heading from
which the fire came, or the heading you saw someone at. The last
instance is if you lose all your weapons. In this case a simple
"Merlin here. Lost all weapons." is enough.
'I'm being hit here guys, help me out, I'm about to blow, oh no, I've
lost a weapon, I'm critical, help me, I'm hit, I'm about to blow'
DOES NOT HELP THE TEAM. Unfortunate though it may be, everyone gets
hit at some time. Most good teams use target lists, and at some point
or another, you will be on the enemy's target list. You may not like
it, it may not be fun, but telling the whole world about it and
jamming up the radio will not help the team or yourself in any way.
A standard command given by a field commander is 'form up on me'.
What is meant by this? It does not mean we bunch up like a group of
sardines. It does not mean we become like a group of guys rushing to
the keg at a party. It means we make a formation. The standard and
default formation is line abreast. For this and all other formations,
refer to the advanced tactics section. There is a reason for
formations. They do not just keep the team together. They are
designed to give us a maximum field of fire. How often have you run
into a fight and not been able to shoot because your teammate was in
front of you? I'd say often. Formations are designed to keep the team
together, but also provide us space to move and fire. So when you
form up, do NOT stand on top of the person next to you. Make space,
give the team room to breath. Collisions are a bad, bad thing. They
damage our mechs, and do the enemy's job for them. Space out, make it
harder for them to hit us, and harder for us to hit ourselves.
Do not run over trees if you can help it. A tree 'crumbling' can be
seen from a very long distance away. This can give away the position
of the unit to our enemies. Also, avoid outlining yourself on a
ridge. Use the contours of the land to stay hidden.
If you lose all of your weapons you should do one of two things:
1) If your mech is not in too bad of a condition, try to draw fire
from the enemy.
2) If your mech is flashing red, try to collide with one of the
enemy, and catch him in your death explosion.