Saturday, January 24, 2009

LO: Scorpian

Joined TG#1 today, PG#1 was mostly full and I didn't want to take a slot from
the SAS friends there. Managed to get a bit of a warm up, then Carter joined
and I had to shift my brain from skills-focused training mode to team-focused
mode :\. We finally hit the end of our launch envelope, just before 2230Z came
around. I think, I forgot just how much stress it is on the server admins and
live op conductor.... hehe. But it was a great Live Operation.

We had some problems with the first map, so Medic pulls out his plan B. When I
saw the map name, I started shouting "where the hell did you find that map!",
for a moment I thought he found my secret storage place... *sigh*, now I need a
new map one for LO: Vengeance #1 -- Vipers Edge. It was good though,m to
finally set foot on that map again, and see it in Live Op action! We finally
got everyone in the server, organized swiftly into to combat teams by JB, and
ready to rock. I was a bit disappointed by the insertion, but I expected it
because I know the maps spawn point lol. It is the kind of map, you have to
cover 360' degrees at all times or you get screwed up bad. And even then, you
risk getting rolled hard from several angels at once -- most of the map is like
a staircse, a 3-Dimenisional death trap! The problem we had at spawn, it's
mostly a psychological thing IMHO. People tend to bog down and become confused
in those kind of insertions, the old "Where are they", "What am I doing", "What
is expected of me", "What am I doing here", et cetera. Once everyone
got past their initial confusion, and made a coheisive response -- we lit up
the enemies world like hellfire

We managed to put down the enemy threat and freak'em out. Once we got the team
moving out of the area, we secured safer ground and sprang out along the
paraemter streets -- cutting down snipers (Headshot!) and X-Rays along the way.
Then we made it into the subway without further incident, and ended up forking
into 2 scout-assault groups.

The EL took our main body right, I was on point-cover to our left with a backup
man (MB & his SAW). I usually try and makes use of our radio commu to ease the
confusion, so we don't get lulls where people are waiting for instructions:
when I can I try and reduce the Element Leaders workload, so he doesn't have to
be reading over my shoulder in order to keep me in line with his plan of attack
lol. Once my scouting order came through, me and MB headed up and got the
clearence to take the high ground above. I figured, getting up here will
probably do nothing more then get my ass shot.... but it was a great spot.
Well protected, about the only place on the map that you can put a
sharpshooter, without making him a sitting duck lol. We didn't expect to see
any threats from there, but I was hopeful that I'd be able to provide JB enough
intel and overwatch, that the elements main body could clear out their AoR
without getting overwelemd by a QRF.

Later on, I'm like, "I think I can see Ghost from over here", so I lower my
gun, and you could say gave the proverbial wave in my minds eye lol. JB
summery turned around, and shot me twice in the head on reflex, seeing nothing
but a head (in our teams camo) looking at him from the roof top. Never mind the
fact, that we were feeding them the positional information to avoid that kind
of incident.... Intentions completed (support the teams efforts), but got shot
by a confused teammate in the process lol. The team then went on to secure the
last threats; we took about 30% casualties at the insertion, one down during
the street to street fighting, and JB took off my avatars head by mistake >_<. Maybe next time, I should use Smoke. I didn't want to puff one on the roof, because it would've just gotten any remaining snipers looking at us; and I expected to get shot on the way up anyway lol. If I had puffed a smoke grenade on our roof, when the other team was closer, and called it over TS to mark it.... Rather then telling them WHERE we were (the maps big, but not really that big lol), mayhbe it would've eased the confusion... And drawn more enemy fire our way.

Once people got it sorted at the insert, everything went pretty well. It's a
mission that is some what, close to our problem domain but also far enough from
most peoples general training, that the unexpected can hit them hard. What was
really needed, I feel, is for Element Leaders to anticpate such a situation and
be snap to it [faster]; directing people where they need to be, in order to cut
down the confusion and get people responding to the situation again. Enlist
their 2nd in commands to assist would help to, especially when (like in this
Live Op) there are/were multiple teams involved.

You've got to get things organized so no one gets cut off in the corners alone,
or bunched up waiting for spec fire to grind their ass. People need to have the
initiative to react FAST, and deal with things without direction. The problem
is, when people hit a situation like the one we spawned into on that map; most
people expect direction from EL, and naturally become mentally "slow" until
they get past the initial shock of the engagement, or you pop'em over the head
with an idea (any idea) and get them back into the action. Like wise, most seasoned ELs tend to know better then try to micromanage people that know how to cover their sectors; but dealing with team confusion :\.

That's been my experience after 3 years of Element Leader, dealing with
everything from noobs screwing up our plans, to live ops with deep recon of the
enemy. I actually had it drilled into me during ops training to respond this
way to bad situations: take control of the situation QUICKLY or people

Hmm, I still remember one Live Op I did when I was a young trooper. The Lance
Corporal took Element Lead, since he was the highest head on the totem poll and
we were still just a few months out of the Selection Course. We went through
each phase of the mission smoothly, our CQB training combined with the ELs much
greater green field experience got us through it like clock work. But when we
got the VIP to the car, surprise! A third map loads, the escape car as been
sabotaged, and every tom, dick, and harry with an AK47 was out for blood. The
element was quickly overwhelmed and destroyed, leaving the VIP to the opposing
force; mission failed, after such a successful run lol. Like our Sergeant
drilled into us all after that -- don't bog down, take control. If LCpl Rand
had come out of the surprise faster, and shouted at us young Troopers into a
proper response, we
might've survived that Live Op; we had a perfect position to use our Tactical
Aids and man power to slow down, evade, and flank the enemy from our own
ground. Most members present that day (~3 years ago) chalked it up as a
critical lesson learned. That's also when contact drills entered our young
minds, hehe.

I'm the kind of person, shit happens, deal with it now, panic later. Only way I
know to be lol. Every member of Elite Virtual
is extremly skilled within the scope of our games. But most
people, haven't been exposed to enough hard action in game or in real life, to
deal with a nasty fire fight like that outright: the team spawned into the
game in such a way, we almost had a man shot before anyone could phyiscally
pull a trigger: such was the map deesign of todays live op. Whenever I can, if
I see people loosing the initiative to DO, rather then have the EL hold their
hand; I try to get the people around me working and reduce the Element Leaders
thought-load, so he can focus on getting us the heck out of the there lool.

A keen battlespace awareness is crictical! But it's something that has to be both educated into people, and drilled sensely into them. Hey wait, that's what we do.... hehe :-). It's jsut it takes longer to work on it in game, then it does in live combat.

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