• TACTICS: Commanding

    The primary function of the commander in BF2 is to support the team's squad-leaders. As a commander, your goal should be to provide pertinent tactical information to your SLs and to provide material support for the troops...


    The primary function of the commander in BF2 is to support the team's squad-leaders. As a commander, your goal should be to provide pertinent tactical information to your SLs and to provide material support for the troops. If support comes in the form of arty, so be it. Great, you can get some kills in and piss off the other team when the screen goes yellow, but that should never happen unless you‘re actually helping your guys on the ground.


    The Basics:
    You can command even without assets, it’s just not as convenient. If the evil spec-ops have blown your equipment, then quit your whining and go back to basics. Coordinate your squads, spot enemies for your team, and drop supplies and vehicles.

    A commander who doesn’t talk to his squad leaders is a terrible commander. Period. Remember: Your primary function is to provide information.

    As a commander, you have a couple of methods of communication at your disposal:
    • You can type something out for the whole team. To do this, click the "team" option below the chat box in the bottom-left corner of your screen, type out what you have to say, and hit enter.
    • You can type out something to a specific squad. This is similar to the team chat. Highlight the squad you want to send a message from on the left side of the screen, then hit the "squad" option below the chat box, etc...
    • Most importantly, you can talk to all of your squad-leaders at once by using the V key. It's a lot easier to talk through the command channel. If you don't have a mic, go get one.
    • You can use the pre-recorded comments. Right-click on a squad’s stat bar, then pick the appropriate comment. They usually get the point across if you don't want to want to talk.

    You're the commander, therefore it is your responsibility to ensure that your squads have orders that will help your team win the battle. If you're lucky, you will have squads that are capable of covering vital points on the map by themselves.

    • How to issue an order:
      1. Give a verbal or written order to a squad through the channels listed above. You can make this order even clearer if you...
      2. Paint a line. You can give the squad a line to their objective by selecting the squad, then going to the map, right-clicking the objective, then picking the proper order from the list that comes up.
    • When to issue an order:
      1. Decide which squads are your "tactical" squads and which ones are your "fodder" squads. Your tactical squads are the ones that are self-directed and the ones that follow orders well. Your fodder squads are the ones that don't seem to accomplish much or those that are oblivious of your orders.
      2. Decide which points on the map are most important. These may be flags or they may be choke-points.
      3. Assign your tactical squads to the most important points if they haven't already done so themselves.

    -- Your tactical squads can cap flags. Your fodder squads might defend them. --

    The map:
    You can zoom in with a magnification of x1, x2, and x3. To zoom-in, click on the area you want to focus on, then use either the scroll wheel on your mouse or click the x3 button on the screen. Once zoomed in, you can use the WASD keys to slowly move about the map. The only two zooms you I use are the x1 for a look at the overall situation and x3 for spotting the enemy and placing supply/vehicle drops. For the rest of this post, I'll call the x3 option "zoomed-in."

    Spotting enemies:
    One of the most useful abilities of the commander is to spot enemies. Spotting allows you to inform your troops about enemies even when your UAV is employed elsewhere.

    The precise method for spotting: Zoom-in, right click on the enemy in question, and hit spot. If you've just done a scan and you remember approximately where the enemy is, you can usually get away with spotting zoomed out. Otherwise, you'll have to zoom in and find precisely where the enemy is before spotting.

    The fast method for spotting: Keep the map zoomed out and pepper an area with "right click and spots". If there is something there, then it will usually show up. If there isn't an enemy, then there will be question marks.

    When you have a tactical squad heading to a flag, spot everything possible. This is one of the key differences between an average commander and an excellent commander.

    Note: When you’ve just done a satellite scan, you have to wait for the red dots to fade before you can actually spot them. It’s annoying to have to wait, but it’s also annoying when your commander is raving in Arabic and nothing is showing up on your map.

    Requests from squad leaders:
    SLs don't always have the time to pick a precise location for their request, and if you blindly hit affirmative without checking, that jeep might just end up in a tree.

    Here's how to do it right:
    1. Check to see if it's from one of your tactical squads. If so...
    2. Zoom-in to place the supply/vehicle drop in a useful position.


    Commander’s assets:
    As a commander, it's your responsibility to know how to use the commander's assets efficiently -- these things don't magically make your team into a fighting force. You need to know how to use your assets to provide your team with more high-quality information and to give them added agility and fire-power.

    Satellite scan:
    So, the sat scan bar is full up, and you've pressed the button to run it. The red dots that you can now see sprawled across the screen each represent an enemy unit. How can you use this information for the benefit of the team?

    1. Check to see if anybody is capturing one of your flags.
    2. See if the enemy is heading towards a flag completely unopposed.
    3. Tell your squad leaders about the above situations! Redirect a tactical squad if you need to, or just order them to have a squad-member or two spawn at the flag and defend it.

    4. Next you’ll want to advise your tactical squads of any opposition they might have at the flag they’re heading towards. Information is the key to success for those guys -- give it to them! If there’s only a guy or two, then spot them out so that your squad doesn't get an nasty surprise. If there’s a lot of opposition, you might put up UAV or tell them to go to a less heavily defended flag; perhaps you should even put down some arty.

    Q: Why would I wait to get a bunch of kills?
    A: Those kills you could be getting might not further any strategic goals.

    Remember: As a commander, your goal is to provide support for your squads. It is not to go out and rack up tons of kills. You should put arty on a target when you have a tactical squad approaching a heavily defended flag, an opposing squad is camped somewhere where you don’t want them, or if the enemy is trying to take a flag and you have the time to blow them into little pieces beforehand.

    Also: It’s best to advise your squad leaders when you’re putting arty on something. It’s unbelievably annoying when you TK people that hopped onto the flag when there's a big red picture of artillery right there on the mini-map. Inform, inform, inform.

    At worst, an arty strike will land 15 seconds after you launch it. That means that if a flag has already been neutralized, you are quite possibly too late to keep it from getting captured! If you plan on keeping the enemy from neutralizing a flag, pay attention and launch just before they get there. This can often be done in conjunction with the satellite scan -- you see the enemy approaching, you launch the arty on the flag, and it lands just when they get there.

    As commander, your job is to provide quality information to your troops. With that in mind, the UAV is an immensely powerful tool at your disposal. However, if you position the UAV incorrectly, you may be wasting much of it's potential.

    To effectively place a UAV, first you must determine where the heaviest action is. After that, you must try to determine where the action will be headed. Finally, place the UAV between your troops and their objective with your troops just on the edge of its coverage.

    By having the bulk of the UAV's coverage in front of your troops, they will be able to see what's headed towards them and plan accordingly. They'll be able to see if their advance is clear, and where they'll be taking fire from. What your troops probably don't need to know is that there aren't any enemy units behind them.

    If the UAV is about to finish up, try to spot notable enemy units so that your troops won't be completely in the dark once the UAV goes down.

    Supply/Vehicle Drops:
    In order to let your team make the most of a supply crate or a vehicle drop, you have to do a bit more than click blindly on the map.

    Some things to consider when you want to place a supply or vehicle drop:
    • If you drop supplies square on a flag that you want captured, then the enemy gets to use them, not your troops.
    • If you drop them in the open, then your troops may be exposed to enemy fire if they try to reach the supply crate/jeep.
    • Will the drop be accessible to your troops? After all, vehicle drops are pretty useless when they land on something, flip, and burst into flames. The same goes with supply crates in trees.
    • What will happen if the enemy gets in a position to use them? Will they be exposed to fire from your team? If so, that’s good; perhaps you’ll lure them into the open.

    I usually try to place a drop on or just a bit behind the current lines, preferably somewhere sheltered. It gives my troops a good place to fall back to without being exposed to any more enemy fire while still giving access to the contested area. If I have a tactical squad approaching a flag that has some opposition, I'll try to place supplies in a position where the squad will be able to make use of them once they're at the objective. Just make sure you place the supplies well and try not to give away their position when you're doing that.

    Other uses:
    • If a lone wolf is trying to cap one of your flags, drop a vehicle on him! This will only work if the fool is in the open, but it is extremely satisfying.
    • Supply drops can repair your assets. Just place them next to your destroyed sat scanner, UAV trailer, or arty and within moments they’ll be as good as new!


    So, in conclusion: As a commander, your primary purpose is to provide information. You need to give as much support to your tactical squads as possible via your commander’s assets. Action commanding has no place on TTP!

    The key word for all of this is COMMUNICATE!
    This article was originally published in forum thread: TACTICS: Commanding started by capnemo314 View original post
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Amador +JP2+'s Avatar
      Amador +JP2+ -
      I'd love to see this reprinted in our forums and then retooled for BF4.