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In game etiquette


ChrisWerb
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OK, I apologise for this being a long one in advance. 

 

I have watched quite a few videos of multiplayer games/scenarios. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but the ones I find the most immersive are the ones that use the closest to real radio procedure/discipline. 

 

My specific question is, in these "realistic" games, how would you get on if your Company commander or the BG commander told you to do something that was obviously suicidal and was of little obvious use in accomplishing the mission?  For instance to move onto a forward slope in the open, to have your tank platoon move into a town unsupported to clear out infantry or to move past a position where you previously detected capable enemy AT systems. I don't want to get into a discussion as to whether this actually happens because I don't want to annoy anyone.. Let's just say it does for the sake of argument. You have just been told to do something you think could get you killed for no real benefit - do you respond and if so how? This is a new situation for me and I have nothing to contribute here - I'm just interested in how you do this.

Edited by ChrisWerb
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Just now, teitr28 said:

just go "With all due respect I think this is a bad idea"

I would recommend against even saying that your commanders plan is a 'bad idea' - because you added 'with all due respect' doesnt mean anything. 

 

If you're given a bad order, just acknowledge and provide your commander with 1) the situation as you see it 2) a recommendation for your action that will achieve both results. 

 

It's win-win, and any commander will appreciate the situation update and see that a subordinate is maintaining situational awareness and can give solid recommendations that will support his plan. 

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15 minutes ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

I would recommend against even saying that your commanders plan is a 'bad idea' - because you added 'with all due respect' doesnt mean anything. 

 

If you're given a bad order, just acknowledge and provide your commander with 1) the situation as you see it 2) a recommendation for your action that will achieve both results. 

 

It's win-win, and any commander will appreciate the situation update and see that a subordinate is maintaining situational awareness and can give solid recommendations that will support his plan. 

True. However that was a poor example. And I agree with you that you should let your commander know why you think it's a bad idea if you think it's a bad idea. Never do as I said and just go "Yeah this is a bad idea" unless it's to yourself.

And as you said in the second point I do agree too. Think of a better way to achieve the objective. As that'll as well as supporting his plan it might give him some better insight into strategy if say he's a new player or doesn't know what the landscape is like.

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There have been a few occasions where I was ordered to do something in a MP game/ mission I disagreed with

But if you want to keep it real.

Follow your orders and point out why you disagreed with the order when the VU/Team is reviewing the AAR.

Arguing about it while in the middle of a mission is not a good idea.

You can say though be adviced --------- is happening do you wish for me to proceed.

Edited by Marko
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Well most of the time the "go here and do this" is just a rough position, as the commander will know that, you will pick the best ground to accomplish his task that was given to you.

 

The CO's

usually do not give a 10 figure grid to go to, it's a general area, he wants you to sort it out most the time. The Co is usually  busy.

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3 hours ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

I would recommend against even saying that your commanders plan is a 'bad idea' - because you added 'with all due respect' doesnt mean anything. 

 

If you're given a bad order, just acknowledge and provide your commander with 1) the situation as you see it 2) a recommendation for your action that will achieve both results. 

 

It's win-win, and any commander will appreciate the situation update and see that a subordinate is maintaining situational awareness and can give solid recommendations that will support his plan. 

 

This is the best way to handle it. However, be prepared to accept the fact that the CO may acknowledge your recommendation but tell you to execute the original order. At that point, execute it to the best of your ability. Bring it up during the AAR, but try to find out the though process about why the CO made that call. As opposed to calling it a bad order, or asking why the CO would do "something that stupid," ask him what his thought process was behind issuing the order. 

 

Sometimes, a "bad order" may seem to be that way due to not having the same picture of the battlefield as the CO. I remember watching a documentary on the Vietnam War, where a Company underwent a Change of Command. The old CO would always have his formation travel through the jungle as opposed to hand-railing roads to avoid enemy ambushes, and to make his force harder to detect. The new CO gave his unit an order to conduct a movement along a road, which caused a few NCOs to refuse to execute what they believed to be a "bad order." As it turns out, an airstrike was going to be conducted close to the area the unit was operating in, and they were in danger of being hit by fragmentation from the blast. To move his Company out of the surface danger zone rapidly, the CO elected to conduct a road march in order to make the timeline. Due to the NCOs refusing to execute the order, the airstrike had to be delayed, which desynced an adjacent unit's entire operation. 

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I can only agree with the previous posts.

 

As, for example, a platoon leader ask yourself: If the CO knew what you know, would he still have given the order? If the answer is "No", contact him and give him the missing information like "be advised that ..." and offer a solution " requesting permission to ... in order to...". The bold part is important, tell your CO what you think you'll achieve by this course of action.

But then again, if the CO still thinks the original order was the better idea, the discussion is over and you do as you're told!!  Because the most dangerous thing to do on a battlefield is nothing!

Then also, conduct the order to you best ability and...and I can't stress how important this is...be positive about it. Telling your platoon mates "Oh shit, with this task we're all gonna die for nothing", is a 100% sure recipe for disaster.

Edited by Grenny
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To expand a little more on what has been said: let's say you are ordered to move into an exposed position or into an enemy occupied town unsupported (or so you think), as per the examples. Perhaps the CO is telling other units to move to the same position at the same time and you did not/could not hear their radio traffic. Perhaps he has called an artillery strike to cover you that he just didn't mention. I had something kind of similar happen to me in an online game once. My platoon and several others were ordered to move over the crest of a hill where we had just seen at least one other platoon get slaughtered. Several of us (including myself) expressed concern for the safety/survivability of our platoons and did not immediately advance. We were told to go anyway, which we did reluctantly and in a piecemeal fashion. The result was that the delay we caused gave the enemy enough time to focus even more firepower on that crest and pick us off as we sheepishly crept over, one platoon at a time.

 

Now, had we all immediately obeyed the order and charged over the hill en masse, whoever was on the other side of said hill at the time may have needed a change of shorts upon seeing 12 to 16 determined tanks coming over all at once and may very well have retreated, Or they may have even been destroyed by our concentrated firepower. We'll never know.

 

Point is: the CO is just that - the commanding officer. It is his responsibility to formulate the plan and issue orders. If you are not the CO, your responsibility is to follow orders to the best of your ability and to try and execute the CO's plan as successfully as possible. As the others have said, there's nothing wrong with making sure the CO is aware of factors that might hinder your ability to execute the plan. But if you want to have any degree of control over the plan, you should consider volunteering for the CO position yourself. But remember: along with the freedom that brings, it also carries the responsibility if your plan fails.

 

Having said all of that, if you're playing a casual game with close friends, it may be okay to say "Hey, that's a crazy idea." But that is entirely up to the participants and may still result in some misunderstandings and unwanted consequences.

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I suppose it depends on your level of control...

 

In situations like Lt DeFault mentions, as the CO I would have made it clear in some fashion that the orders I was about to give were not a suicide mission.

 

As a superior, am I required to give an explanation to my subordinates?  Of course not!  If I wanted to I could order them to attack a position defended by T-80s with their HMMWVs! 

Every other crew gets a tank!  Everybody carries a round of main gun ammunition!  The crew in the tank attacks!  The crew without a tank follows them, running behind on foot and carrying their rounds of main gun ammo!  When the crew in the tank gets splattered all over the inside by a sabot, the crew without a tank climbs in and attacks!  Also, don't even think about turning around, because if you don't die in a suicidal charge into enemy lines, all the tanks, APCs, and ammunition that we didn't give to the crews without tanks is waiting to kill you!

600px-EnemyGatesM9130.jpg

 

The question is, is that the best or most effective way to command?  I don't think so.  There's a certain element of trust that goes both ways.  Ideally, I can, over time, earn the trust of my troops by not getting them killed, or by explaining that no, this isn't a suicide mission, I made plans you don't know about and you're just part of a larger operation.  Eventually then if the day comes that I need to get them to do something and all I have time for is "YOU, GO THERE!" they'll do it without question.

 

As a subordinate, I guess you need to weigh your concerns about getting killed against the possibility of being demoted, imprisoned, or executed for refusing or disobeying an order.

Edited by Maj.Hans
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21 hours ago, Marko said:

There have been a few occasions where I was ordered to do something in a MP game/ mission I disagreed with

But if you want to keep it real.

Follow your orders and point out why you disagreed with the order when the VU/Team is reviewing the AAR.

Arguing about it while in the middle of a mission is not a good idea.

You can say though be adviced --------- is happening do you wish for me to proceed.

 

 

OK here we go, from the other side of the fence.

 

Context:

Marko was my subordinate  in an Soviet VU battle maneuver training mission (running an mech infantry company)

We had tree lines on the left and right flanks and clearish ground in the middle with a treeline perpendicular to our advance about 4 km away.

 

So I ordered him to secure / sweep/ clear a wood line on the right hand flank of our attack before we committed the Tank battalion up the centre

Left flank was being cleared by another inf company and was going well. 

 

Soviet method of war:

Now the thing with soviets is anything lower than a regimental commander is not expected to think, sometimes even a regimental commander isn't allowed to think, you are not given enough information to think!

You do as you are told by higher command, you are given very little leeway.

Also Casualties don't matter.

And the other thing about Soviets, is keep 'effing moving,time is money in the soviet attack.

 

Anyway Marko was starting to dally around minimize his losses on the ground, etc etc etc all good attributes for a NATO commander, not for a Soviet commander.

So, with this faffing about and i had to tell him to get his arse in gear, because he was holding the attack up, all in the politest possible way, of "unit XYZ why haven't you cleared ABC yet?"

 

It was kept civil more or less, but the message was "stop trying to kill the enemy, bypass them and get moving." as always its a comms/understanding break down.

 

It had to be repeated a few times until, "Stop messing around get in the working APCs and drive NORTH!" was used. :)

 

Commanding is a poisoned chalice.. :P

 

As it transpires :

 

It was an infantry mounting up bug, I.E. if the infantry didn't want to mount up the PC stayed where it was (Something about a Parent child relationship) 

And as Marko didn't want to shoot his own virtual men.

Which is laudable but these are virtual men, holding up a virtual attack.

But.

If this had been the real deal, the soviets would have just shot them out of hand,

which is what was agreed should happen next time in the AAR.

 

I think this bug has been fixed since then.

Edited by Hedgehog
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Friction like this would of course also occur in real life (though for different reasons). And while I do not intend to make the case that "bugs in the simulation that cause friction in network sessions are a good thing", it's something to keep in mind. Your subordinates occasionally come up with harebrained ideas for the weirdest reasons. And our computer-controlled units are about the most obedient, ready-to-serve type of guys you will ever meet. It only gets worse from here.

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5 hours ago, Hedgehog said:

 

 

OK here we go, from the other side of the fence.

 

Context:

Marko was my subordinate  in an Soviet VU battle maneuver training mission (running an mech infantry company)

We had tree lines on the left and right flanks and clearish ground in the middle with a treeline perpendicular to our advance about 4 km away.

 

So I ordered him to secure / sweep/ clear a wood line on the right hand flank of our attack before we committed the Tank battalion up the centre

Left flank was being cleared by another inf company and was going well. 

 

Soviet method of war:

Now the thing with soviets is anything lower than a regimental commander is not expected to think, sometimes even a regimental commander isn't allowed to think, you are not given enough information to think!

You do as you are told by higher command, you are given very little leeway.

Also Casualties don't matter.

And the other thing about Soviets, is keep 'effing moving,time is money in the soviet attack.

 

Anyway Marko was starting to dally around minimize his losses on the ground, etc etc etc all good attributes for a NATO commander, not for a Soviet commander.

So, with this faffing about and i had to tell him to get his arse in gear, because he was holding the attack up, all in the politest possible way, of "unit XYZ why haven't you cleared ABC yet?"

 

It was kept civil more or less, but the message was "stop trying to kill the enemy, bypass them and get moving." as always its a comms/understanding break down.

 

It had to be repeated a few times until, "Stop messing around get in the working APCs and drive NORTH!" was used. :)

 

Commanding is a poisoned chalice.. :P

 

As it transpires :

 

It was an infantry mounting up bug, I.E. if the infantry didn't want to mount up the PC stayed where it was (Something about a Parent child relationship) 

And as Marko didn't want to shoot his own virtual men.

Which is laudable but these are virtual men, holding up a virtual attack.

But.

If this had been the real deal, the soviets would have just shot them out of hand,

which is what was agreed should happen next time in the AAR.

 

I think this bug has been fixed since then.

I was a mech infantry company commander, Not MGB shooting my own men was not an option.

Your ruthlessness in command was noted comrade hedgehog you were heading for the top. LoL

Glad they sorted that bug it made life very difficult for mech inf guys

Edited by Marko
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Yet another dumb question, but if you start taking artillery (full-on - not just ranging rounds and HE, not ICM) - and you are commanding an IFV or APC platoon with your dismounts nearby, do you drop the ramp and have them re-embark, potentially losing the vehicles and crews in the process, or do you just accelerate out of the impact area as fast as possible and hope they took cover effectively?  If it's ICM raining down, I assume you just floor it*? 

 

*I understand the Warsaw Pact/Russians don't have DPICM or similar in the sim, so it's more a real life doctrinal question.

Edited by ChrisWerb
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ANY party in Steel Beasts has access to ICM, in principle. The reality these days probably is that THEY have it but we don't. As to why that is the case should be well known.

 

Coming back to your original question, if your vehicles are in the middle of a full-on barrage it is utterly futile to invite troops to mount the vehicles. Running across the open towards the vehicles will only get the troops killed (and increases the chances of the vehicles getting killed as well). Preserving your combat vehicles for the time after the barrage is over is the overall better choice.

It is however a somewhat academic question because if you let yourself get surprised by an artillery barrage you already are in a terrible situation that is probably not going to end well, no matter what.

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I probably misunderstood the answer last time around, but I think what was meant was the assumption was that ICM was not available to the Soviets (until perhaps very late) in the Cold War period, and I haven't seen it in used by the OPFOR in any CW scenario of which there is a video online. I'm aware of the daft treaties we signed up to and that the Russians and their proxies have been using various submunition weapons in Donbass and elsewhere like it's going out of fashion, so would expect it to feature in some scenarios set post CW, in the present or future. Not sure about the "let yourself get surprised by an artillery barrage" thing as, however hard you try, that eventuality could happen, simply by happening to be somewhere that the Russians thought you might be, being ordered to hold an objective (by literally being in it, however unwise that might be), or being caught in a final defensive fire - I have seen some pretty lavish expenditures of artillery by the red side (Red Tide 1985 campaign in particular) which would presumably emulate what would have happened in reality had things gone TU sometime in the 70s or 80s. I have also seen entire platoons survive artillery by displacing, so it doesn't aways end badly, although I expect the vehicles' collector values might have declined somewhat in the process...

 

Edited by ChrisWerb
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Getting caught in a barrage isn't always your own fault, I agree. But even then, if you get caught in one, no matter the circumstances, you would want to minimize the amount of time spent in it. If everybody else is outside in that moment they are better off to keep their heads down, as nasty as it may sound because mounting the vehicle usually takes too long. There may of course be exceptions - if everybody is nearby and the intensity of the fire is not that terrible.

This may be more of a question of the volume of real-life artillery fire compared to how it's shown in SB Pro. I suspect that our current model has too many rounds impacting, but with a smaller area effect than it would have in real life. Future upgrades may paint a different picture as to which strategy (mount, or scoot) works out best.

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Yes. All points well taken. I hadn't specified what I meant by artillery - an asthmatic 75 year old one-armed Taleban working a ZIS-3 single-handed or a hypothetical contemporary Russian front-level time-on-target with every tube within 100 miles aimed at your 10 digit grid ref.  I appreciate your comments re artillery in the sim.  Even in youtube, being on the receiving end of artillery in SB is a very immersive and deeply scary experience - immersion is something SB does like no other wargame I have ever seen except Harpoon/CMANO, and that's a different kind of experience. What would add to it would be the sound of chunks of metal pinging off your vehicle. I don't know how hard that would be to implement, but it would make the atmosphere even more intense. This gives an idea: Soviet era M1946 130mm, impact-fuzed, coming in at a relatively low angle.

 

 

Edited by ChrisWerb
Crappy readability.
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On 9/25/2016 at 3:17 PM, Ssnake said:

ANY party in Steel Beasts has access to ICM, in principle. The reality these days probably is that THEY have it but we don't. As to why that is the case should be well known.

 

Coming back to your original question, if your vehicles are in the middle of a full-on barrage it is utterly futile to invite troops to mount the vehicles. Running across the open towards the vehicles will only get the troops killed (and increases the chances of the vehicles getting killed as well). Preserving your combat vehicles for the time after the barrage is over is the overall better choice.

It is however a somewhat academic question because if you let yourself get surprised by an artillery barrage you already are in a terrible situation that is probably not going to end well, no matter what.

 

OK lemme expand on this with some questions because I do lots of scenario design both for myself and others.

 

About DPICM, when you say "THEY" who specifically do you mean?  Does Russia have it?  Does China have it?

 

When you say that "we" don't, who exactly do you mean?  The United States?  Germany?  The Netherlands?  European countries in general?

I was under the impression that although many European and South American countries signed on to the cluster munitions ban, that the United States did not, and continued to use and produce cluster munitions for appropriate use in warfare.

Edited by Maj.Hans
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