So you wana lead?Edit
Unlike other outfits that have limited advancement oportunities, the 382nd offers a leadership role to anyone who shows the capacity to have such responsibility. This guide is made only for those who intend on getting to Hell Jump Lead (HJL) and beyond. This guide will cover the following: Ranks in the 382nd (their role, meaning, and expectations), Squad Leadership, Platoon Leadership, Dicipline, Platoon Types, Leader Chat, Attack, Defense, Alerts, Overall Communication, expectations of an officer, and your overall place in the platoon even if you aren't a leader. I have included some recomendations on various works as well, if you feel the need to go above and beyond with your learning, or you just feel like reading something good. This all has been learned through trial and error of over a year of PlanetSide 2 leadership expierence, as well as my own real life back ground and prior historical knowledge. Read this entire thing. Know it. Quote it. Refer to it. If you want to lead, it takes some work and dedication. Yes, I realize it is quite wordy, and I apologize. However, to cut corners would only hurt us in the long run. I am serious on this. I can tell on who does and doesn't have a firm concept of this stuff. Even if you think you know what you are doing, read through the whole thing, and you will find some nuggets of information that just might stop the dreaded Vanguard blitz. I hope you enjoy it!
A refresher on ranks.Edit
The 382nd has seens itself grow from the early "Spanky Air" era, with only a single platoon at any one time (and usually only with two squads worth of true 382nd members in the entire platoon) to being the largest outfit on the entire server, running two platoons simotaneously with 80% or higher 382nd member composition rating. Why is this? To put it simply, it can be broken down into 3 simple things; We are fun/unique, we are lead well, and we are laid back. ODAM, TRAF, BRIT, have strict ranking structures that inhibit their ability to have fun. We are much more relaxed. That being said, we do have ranks, and a defined role that is associated with them.
Sky Marshall- Includes Spanky and his closest associates. Role: Platoon lead/outfit manager. Makes most decisions. Activity: Very Active. Mic: Yes (looking at you brownkid) Weight of Opinion: Very High
Winglead- The upper crust of officers. Among the most active and trusted members. Role: Platoon lead/squad lead. Activity: Expected to be very active. Mic: With few exceptions, yes (brownkid). Weight of Opinion: High
Hell Jumper Lead- The lowest of the officer class. Trusted. Role: Squad lead/Platoon lead reserve. Activity: Active. Mic: Yes. Weight of Opinion: Medium
Hell Jumper- The backbone of the 382nd. Hell Jumpers make up about 30% of the 382nd, but contribute 70% of the kills. 20% of which are Adam360x. Seriously, that guy is a monster. Can move up into the officer ranks if potential is shown. Depending on the person, trust can be an issue. Role: Ground Pounder, Badass, Reserve Squad Lead. Activity: Play when you want. Mic: Optional. Weight of Opinion: Low.
Jumper- New to the 382nd, they are the vast majority of our members. Statistically, 50% of them will go inactive. Promoted to Hell Jumper when activity is demonstrated/has a high BR (this policy is due to the fact that mid-high BRs (30s on up) are unlikely to go inactive, and by the nature of things, move on to the next rank), or srikes an officers fancy. Trust? What trust? Role: "I want you to drive this C4 rigged Flash that way....." Activity: Play when you want. Mic: Optional. Weight of Opinion: LOL.
Ahhhhh, so we have covered the first section. Can you feel the leadership springing forth within you! I promise, that you will be enlightened at the end of this.
Chances are, many of you will be squad leaders. As there are 8-12 spots for squad leaders, and only 2-3 for platoon, you will be a squad lead.
What is the point of a squad leader? The more cynical type would toss them out as near-useless figurehead, like the Vice President or Roman Senators during the times of the Emperor. But this is far from the truth. The ideal squad leader runs his squad like a platoon. He assigns roles, directs posistions, and keeps people organized. Platoon lead is a flashy posistion that holds more strategic weight, this is true. However, Squad leads have more tactical impact. For example: Platoon lead orders the entire platoon to a tech plant, via galaxy. For ease of conversation let us assume that the entire platoon has made it, taken no casualties on drop, and taken hold of a spawn satellite. A massive fortress brimming with turrets looms in the distance. We are all here. Now what? Unless if the platoon lead has delegated a specific task to your squad or the entire platoon, it is up to the squad leads discretion how to handle things. For example, you may send them to attack a specifc generator, or surrond the spawn room. This is what the ideal squad leader does. He LEADS. Do not be afraid to take charge of your own squad. You were put into that posistion for a purpose. Act out on it. Take intiative.
As far as equipment goes, a squad leader may play as whatever they choose to play as (the exception being a max suit). The only things that are required is a spawn beacon, and leader (or command) chat. Spawn Beacons are very useful in spawning in your squad to tricky, hard to reach places, or a forward combat zone that a sundy can't quite reach. Be careful and clever where you place it however, for it takes a while to respawn. Purchasing colored smokes is also useful. They can be used to mark a rally point, specific target, point of interest, and of course, a landing zone.
Often times, the platoon leader will make a decision that will be disagreeable to you. You are a squad lead, and as such you may disagree with what your platoon leader has set forth. In fact, the entire platoon can. That is what I have founded the 382nd on, accountable leaders. However, if the platoon leader does NOT change his mind, it is expected that you do a 180 and begin supporting him with zeal. You may not like it, but you must deal with it. It is important to NOT get angry at this point. Differences in opinion do occur, and you do not have the heavens praising your name. Take a deepbreath, and move on. If in the event a HJL is in command of the platoon, and you are a Wing Lead, you may seize control at any time. Such is the right of your rank.
A final point that I shall reiterate through the entire guide: HAVE FUN. Don't get stressed out too much over what is quite simply a game. Stay relaxed, and continue the 382nds mantra of having a chilled, chatty, and enjoyable platoon.
Don't stop reading now, there is so much more to learn! WOOOT!
Ah, so you want to be a platoon leader hmm? It is without a doubt, one of the most stressful things you can do in PS2. After trying to follow multiple conversations across leader chat, platoon chat, outfit chat, prox chat, squad chat, and chatchatchat, your head will explode in a glorious gooey maelstorm. Well not really. But you will want to scream. Once assuming this role, know that you will be critiqued at every angle, from how long your taking to get things organized at Warpgate, to where you are taking them. If you are a sick little bastard and this sounds good to you, then prepare yourself, because this is a complicated and diverse thing to behold. Yes, it may seem simple to the average grunt, looking from the outside in. But ask anyone who has participated in the frantic discussions that consume a platoon leaders existence during an alert or tense segment of battle, and you will know that this is NOT the case.
Right off the bat you must ask yourself if you are prepared to do this. It does take some mental fortitude.
Firstly, the mechanics. They are actually quite simple. Make sure your squads are NOT private. This is your responsibility to check, and you must ask all of your squad leaders. Please call 382nd platoons "382nd Terran Airwing!" and if need be, add a " -2nd Platoon" or " -3rd Platoon". A common misconception is that all squads have a different description. This is not the case. All squad leaders can set the platoon description however, so please check back every so often to make sure it is the correct format. It is up to you to try and balance the squads. This is not absolute. For example, if delta has 8 people, and alpha through charlie full, then move the last two people of each squad into delta. Generally when forming a new squad, move the last two people of your "full" squads into the empty squad. It is also your duty to make sure that all of your squad leads are logical, competent, have the bare minimum of a level 1 squad beacon, are 382nd members, and have mics. It is also your duty to broadcast the platoons existence into outfit chat, and get members to join it. Remember, 382nd members have priority. Kick people on other continents, pubs, and other outfit members to make room. Or, delegate someone to make a second or third platoon, if someone hasn't already.
As for equipment, a maxed out (or nearly maxed out) spawn beacon is a must. The squad that you control (should you choose to retain a squad) is going to be the model for the others, and should be superior to them. Leader chat is also a must, as well as reinforcement request. All of this put together is around 1,000 certs, maybe more, so be ready to invest in this.
Tone of voice is key. You must be stern, and put iron in your voice, without seeming silly. This is something that I can not help you in any great sense. Someone just has it. Why do people listen to a late- teenager, and follow what he says? Why should I expect anyone to listen to me, and better yet, why DO they? That is a good question. It is your tone, your bearing, your aura, your personality. This is the hardest part of being a good platoon lead. Do people listen to you? Dicipline and such will be covered later in this guide, but suffice to say, you must find the balance between being stern (without it being overdone) and being likeable (yet still make tough calls). Sound confident, in charge, yet not demanding.
When shifting focus, I find it good sometimes to explain why you are suddenly shifting. For example, in the middle of a Aurxais wide tech lab alert we found ourselves on Amerish. As usual, we loaded up into our Galaxies at the Warpgate. I made the decision that we would drive for Tumas tech plant, just north of the Southern Warpgate (NC). However, just to hte west, there was an enemy controlled Amp Station, as well as some smaller surronding territory. It caused quite the stir in both my platoon AND leader chat when I promptly announced that we would NOT be attacking Tumas, but driving for the Amp station (I think it was Wokuk?). You have become an officer, or you are planning on it, so you should have a strategic mind. Would it have been a good idea for us to charge into a tech plant, with the NC left with a fortress in our flank that they could have used to cut us off? No, of course it wouldn't be. So we took the amp station, and proceeded to take Tumas. So the lesson here is two fold: One, think flexible. Two, explain yourself. Don't be offended when you make a controversial decision and people ask you about it. Explain yourself, stay calm, and provide a logical, mature, and smooth argument. You are platoon lead, and you shall make decisions. That being said, hear out their arguments as well. The 382nd prides itself on holding true to the concept of "Every man a General". Anyone who is able should be allowed by you to contribute his/her opinion on what you should do, time allowing. Do not just hear their argument, understand it, and where they are coming from. Which leads to my next segment......
Don't be afraid to admit mistakes! Do so graciously, and continue the fight. When his battered men came down the hill from their failed assault on Union lines, General Pickett rode amongst them and repeated "It's all my fault lads, all my fault". He did not have the awesome ability to respawn all his men, regroup, reload into massive Sky Whales, and try again. As a platoon leader you WILL make mistakes. The key is to learn from them and accept them, as well as admitting that you were wrong, as cliche as that sounds.
I have said it hundreds of time: We are a unique outfit, and we manage to be organised, chatty, and fun all at the same time. It really is a marvel that we pull it off. If you give people lax rules, they will follow them. Have faith in humanity! However, sometimes you do need to smack some people down, or quiet a too rowdy platoon. Occasionally, you will need to have drawn out conversations with the other platoon leaders via leader chat, and so you will have to use the platoon mute feature (found by pressing P, under the squads) in order to shut the platoon up, assuming of course they have not obeyed the clear comms signal. Generally, the platoon is fine, and has a pretty good sense of when it is okay to talk. If someone is being too rowdy however, action must be taken. This is totally up to the discretion of the current platoon lead. If someone is being a dick, despite being told to stop, then by all means, kick them. Please promptly inform the highest ranking officer online so that proper action can be taken (assuming this is a 382nd member, which is unlikely).
Here I am going to lay out the types of platoons that you will often times run into. I am going to talk the most about the 382nd model, however.
The Elite Group- Usually only comprising of one to two squads, these are well co-ordinated and effective squads. They usually consist of either legitimatly good players (NUC), or total dooshe-bag try hards *cough ECUS cough*. They work well, know each other well, and get stuff done. Usually one to two people in charge, with no real ranking structure below them. Although friendly and social to each other, they have a chip on their soldier. It is doubtful that they would allow pugs into their squads under any circumstance. Very rude to outsiders.
The ODAM model- Employed by almost every large outfit in the game that I know of. VERY strict ranking syestem, with strict activity and play style limitations. Platoons are hush hush, and dicipline is very strict. No real ranking advancement oportunities, and officers are borderline Aristocratic. Can be led by a single person, or a council (fun fact, this is what led to the downfall of the original ODAM. Slyguy, who was the headhoncho, had a disagreement with the council, leading to a split. Most people sided with the council).
How the 382nd does it- To call this a model is faulty, because I really just created it from scratch as I moved along. After playing in several Mount and Blade: Napoleonic Wars Regiments (its a long story, if you are interested what all that shit is, look it up), I got fed up with the strict requirements. They made you stop what you were playing at that moment and get on Napoleonic Wars to get in the event. On top of that, they had activity requirements, booted you if you were gone for longer than a week, and expected you to attend "training" sometimes at the cost of RL obligations. So I made what we have. The ideal 382nd platoon (and believe me when I say that most of our platoons are ideal) is chatty, social, welcoming to outsiders, active, and fun. However, we are organized, and effective. We do allow people who want to step up to the plate and advance in the outfit to do so, provided that they prove themselves by being active and showing a good strategic mind.
Leader Chat is important for both Squad leaders AND Platoon leaders. It allows you to listen in on what is going on, as well as meet your equivalent in other outfits. Very quickly you will find outfits that are warm and friendly towards the 382nd (such as Republic Marines and BAT5), outfits that are blatantly hostile towards the 382nd (ECUS), and outfits that can go either way, depending on the person in charge (OPDM). When in Leader Chat, have a good idea what you are going to say. If you slip up and say something stupid, those in Leader Chat WILL jump on you for it, whereas you will get lightly ribbed if you were to say a similar thing in the platoon chat, and there is a difference. Always be on your toes.
Tensions can quickly escalate in leader chat. Blood can (and dare I say, WILL) boil, so it is always best to keep a cool head about you. Stay calm, and remember that you are representing the 382nd. Stay mature, as I know you all are (erm, well, you can be anyway). Always check your map so you are updated on the overal strategic situation, in particular during alerts. If the other outfits suggest that you go somewhere, do not be afraid to go along with it. Just because another outfit suggests something doesn't make it a bad idea. Consider it at least, and if you can't go along with it, state why in a brisk and curt manner.
Which brings me in a circle. I am adament about this one. KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. You can afford to ramble in platoon and outfit chat. I do it all the time. Its your family. You say stupid *&^% you will be made fun of, but no one really cares and everyone quickly moves on. In leader chat, people judge immediatly, and it hurts the 382nds image. Be short, and to the point. Brevity (while certainly lacking in this guide) cannot be forgotten when using leaderchat.
This also applies to /orders. You have a powerful tool. You can broadcast to the entire TR military machine on any one continent. This opens the way for gaffes of truly monumental proportions. Know what you are saying, read it for typos, check to see if it is relevant, and double and triple check spelling again.
Attacking, 382nd Style. Aerial BlitzkriegEdit
Ah, finally, something interesting! Congrats on nearly finishing this horrendously long guide. I hope you are finding it most insightful.
Now, being an officer (or soon to be) you have probably noticed a common theme in our attacks. We use Galaxys. Alot. This allows the 382nd to have a flexibility that most outfits can't hope to match. We can come out of the blue in a hail of missles and MAX suits, take the base, and continue down the lattice line. When we meet opposistion that begins to push us back, or holds up multiple attacks, we can simply melt back to the warpgate, and strike where they are weak. Prowlers can't do that (at the time of this writing, ground vehicles can NOT load into galaxys)! A key part of blitzkrieg is hitting where the enemy is weak, and driving a wedge into that weak point. As soon as he tries to stop you, melt away. That is how we do things, and it works pretty damn well.
Now with the lattice line, this method is a bit trickier in some senses, but easier in others. You still should attack lattice lines that are lightly defended, and work towards the most signifigant facility on that line (you will eventually hit a lab of some sort). Hopefully you will move so fast that you will plow down the line, with light enemy resistance, eventually blockading their warpgate. That however, is ideal and unlikely. Eventually they will wise up and make a stand, in which case you must examine their relative strength. Are they dug in? Do they have alot of MAX suits? Can you get around them some how? I cannot hold your hand through every decision. You must learn how to think strategically. One option available is simply pulling back. But purhaps your cannot do that? Maybe you have invested too much already, or it is vital that you take that facility to complete a pincer movement, or it is required to take for that alert win? In that case, we have the mighty 382nd MAX crash. It is very simple.
First, have either another outfit hold the line, or keep one platoon their. The other platoon will go to the Warpgate and fill up 4 Galaxys with MAX suits. As an officer, squad/platoon leader or not, it is your duty to make sure that as many people are Engineers/Medics/MAX suits as possible. Once you are filled, fly in a loose formation to the target and drop as close to the point as possible. You should have made arrangements with your brother 382nd platoon to charge exactly at this moment, or whatever outfit was holding the line for you. Grind inside, and take the facility.