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Onil
September 25th, 2015, 12:43 AM
First of all, I will explain my PR Background as the basis for these Tips or Guidelines. If you're only interested in the tips and don't care if they're actually based on real experience, just jump to point 3 or 4.

1. My PR Background:

I started playing PR around v0.5 and joined a clan where I created my first PR recon squad and trained a few of its members. After a while, some of us joined the Official PR Tournament (PRT) in which I participated in 4 campaigns, (C6,C7,C8,C9) in the CATA Team.

I was a grunt in C6 but got noticed for being effective behind enemy lines, so I was invited by the commander to create a specialized recon squad for C7. I created and lead Cougars from C7 to C9 which proved to be extremely effective and a huge annoyance to the enemy.

I also lead the Advanced Logistics & Trainings Division of CATA where I developed an extensive list of specialization courses that any player could take. When the PRT closed, I accepted an invite to join another clan, where once again, I created a recon squad, recruited a few members and trained them.

In 2013 I created a group for players interested in recon, independently of clan affiliation, to train and play together. I trained a few guys and we continue to play together up to this day.

2. My Gaming Style:

Over-all, I'm an extremely serious player no matter if I'm playing in a public server or in a tournament. I'm quite strict in terms of structure and standards and I believe that no matter how skilled, how experienced or how much knowledge you might have, there is always something to learn, to improve, to practice. However, most players tend to stop training after they reach a comfortable level of skill. Those rarely fit into a Recon squad.

3. Defining a Recon Squad:

A Recon Squad is a Specialized unit focused on reconnaissance, ambush, sabotage, disruptive tactics and, on occasion, logistics.

These roles are unfortunately often seen by the community as lone-wolfing, a selfish gaming style that does not help the team in any way. It is common to find "recon" squads created by snipers focused only on killing as much as possible. Those give a bad reputation to the proper recon squads.

A proper recon squad supports its team by reducing enemy reinforcements and armor, disrupting enemy tactics and logistics, sabotaging enemy assets and providing vital intel. This can give a big advantage to a team when done properly but there are only very few players in PR that are truly specialized in these roles and those actually rarely use a sniper rifle for the job.

4. Tips on Recruiting for a Recon Squad:

- If you already have one or two experienced players who Really enjoy these roles and that you can trust, bring them into the squad to help you establish the basic effectiveness and train inexperienced players.

- Do NOT invite anyone else into the squad, instead, open an Applications Thread and see what you get.

* You can also get in touch with some players that you think may have some potential. If they're interested they will apply.
* You will always get a bunch of Snipers and l33t Operators applying, they're rarely a good option but meet with them on TS for confirmation.

- You should be searching for players with the following characteristics:

* Great Situational Awareness, both Tactical/Map and Visual/Sound Based
* Extreme Patience for both Playing and Training
* Players that are Humble and Willing to Learn are easier to train and work with. Less Experienced Players are better since Bad Habits are hard to break!
* Medics make great Sneakers. Interest in Explosives and AT's is a plus.

- Basic Selection happens with a few questions on TS to get a good understanding of personality, interest, availability and experience. After that, it's all about in-game exercises where you can better analyze their situational awareness, movement and decision making.

- Once you have a good number of recruits, you start with Specialization Training/Courses in the roles and kits that are used the most by the members of a recon squad. Sniper ain't one of them!

5. Tips on Structuring a Recon Squad:

- Depending on Map, you might have only 1 or 2 "missions/roles" or a bunch of them. All of your squad members need to be trained to be Self-Sufficient in surviving and completing an objective without needing too much guidance from the SL and without dying (too much..). At the same time, they need to be able to work as a squad or in fire-teams when needed, Adaptability is a Requirement!
- Due to the constant changes in game-play and the increased number of players in a server, the use of Fire-Teams became more and more needed. It is advised to use a "Spotter" and a "Mover" in order to increase over-all situational awareness and survival.
- There will always be a player better suited for a certain role or more effective with a certain kit. In a Specialized Squad such as a Recon squad, that becomes even more important. Use their Specialties accordingly and you will greatly increase the over-all effectiveness of the squad.

6. Tips on Training a Recon Squad:

- Kits are of little importance unless if you really need Explosives, AT or the ability to laze targets. You can do proper recon with any kit and should be effective with all.

- Nothing is more important than Proper Communication!

* Use push to talk! Nothing is more annoying and disturbing than your mic activating when your dog barks or your phone rings.
* Keep It Simple and Short! Use common terms and remove unnecessary words from phrases to reduce their length.
* Think what you're going to say before you start transmitting! It reduces the length of Comms.
* Stop rambling/whining when shot/fail or random conversations.
* Improve your selection of intel priority/importance (What gets transmitted first/last or shouldn't get transmitted).
* STANDBY / COMMS = Shut the F*ck Up - Your SL needs silence to be able to talk to the CO/Other SLs and some players do rely on silence to be more effective.
* Channel Clear = You can talk again. During a Standby you can use pre-set TS whispers to talk to your squad members (except the SL) if you're using a fixed squad.
* When using Fire-Teams, use TS Whispers/Local Mumble to talk with your FT Members and Squad Mumble for the whole squad. If you need to pass information only important to your SL (To be passed to the CO), use the key with the number of your Squad to talk directly to him on Mumble. It is also advisable having a TS Whisper for the Squad Medic.
* Enemy Spotted = Enemy that hasn't spotted you and is a reduced threat to your squad (being far or moving away).
* Contact = Enemy that has spotted you or probably will, is engaging you (or about to), or that you will have to engage (being close enough).
* Danger Close = Enemy/Contact very close (independently if he has spotted you or not).

- Situational Awareness Keeps you Alive!

Visual Situation Awareness:

* Avoid focusing too much on one single angle or distance (Tunnel Vision).
* On the move 90 Angle of Coverage aka Short Angle (Between 3 Directions: Ex. From NW to NE).
* Stationary 180 Angle of Coverage aka Wide Angle (Between 5 Directions: Ex. From N to S - Often Overlapping with other squad members Wide Angles).
* Angle Vulnerability: Analyzing the danger level of certain angles based on the amount of cover/firing advantage that they may provide to the enemy.
* Reduced Vulnerability: The use of objects as obstacles between a danger angle and your stationary position (360? check) or path, to provide cover/concealment.
* Reduced Angles: Sometimes having less angles of view (doesn't necessarily mean less Situation Awareness) but more cover, can be an advantage. Let the enemy come to you and be surprised.

Audio Situation Awareness:

* If possible use a sound-card and headset (With Adjustable Volume) with 3D surround (Front/Rear/Center) and Enable EAX.
* Raise the volume of sound effects as much as possible.
* Lower the volume of of Voip/Mumble/TS as much as possible.
* Set keybinds to Raise and Lower the volume for Mumble/TS.
* Set Keybinds to Mute/Unmute/Change Channel on Mumble/TS.
* Reduce Comms to a Minimum
* Sound Checks! Stop Moving / Shut Down Engine from time to time to be able to hear your surroundings and predict enemy movements (Also reduces the rush).

- Rules of Engagement are Important!

* Your main objective should always be to stay alive (Exceptions on suicide tactics or based on Advantages Gained before dieing and Ticket Balance).
* Avoid Engagements when your primary objective doesn't require them (most of the time it just lowers your survival chances and gains very little).
* Don't approach from the most predictable direction and Avoid Direct Confrontation - Flank as much as possible and use suppressive fire or distractions to gain the element of surprise.
* When caught by surprise or engaged in direct front contact, engage only as much as needed to fall back and Regain Advantage - Break Visual, Hide & Ambush or Flank and Strike

- Terrain Analysis & Adaptability can make you a Ghost!

* The use of terrain for cover should be constant. Avoid Running in the open and reduce your vulnerable angles.
* Use ditches or hills(Independently of how small). Avoid the top of hills to reduce your silhouette. Use their side instead - Stand to view/shoot & Crouch or Prone to get in cover.

* Align the trees/bushes between you and the enemy positions. That will allow you to approach them without being noticed.
* Stick close to walls (but not too close - avoid glitching through) and be careful with possible holes in them.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/17092517/Tree%20Alignment.jpg

* Avoid main routes and predictable approaches. Find new ways to infiltrate different types of compounds and flags.
* Avoid making unnecessary noise when possible (like opening doors or using the hook) - Use the environment (Garbage Bins, Flower Pots, Chairs) around you to overcome obstacles.

* Blend in with the environment (Slow and Stealthy Movements) and through enemy lines (use enemy kits & don't stand out).
* If caught by surprise (vehicle approaching) without any proper cover, drop your kit and go prone in it. Sometimes the enemy won't distinguish you from a dead soldier.

* When approaching corners or doors - Do a Quick Sweep (half a circle/circular movement) to take a peak - One small angle at a time.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/17092517/Quick%20Sweep.jpg

* When going up stairs - Go up crouched until you're high enough to stand up and view the room while still being able to quickly crouch to cover.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Most of the above was taken out of a Very Old Tips and Tricks thread I created on the main PR forum: http://www.realitymod.com/forum/f138-infantry-tactics/104645-pr-guide-tips-tricks.html

Some of it might be a bit outdated but most is still required and effective. My experience in training recon guys goes into more detail and specialization than this but that information is too extensive to post here and is better explained in a practical course.

If any SCO or Recon SL is interested in my help, he can get in touch with me. Same applies to any individual who would like to be trained in these roles. Depending on my availability, I might be able to help.

I end this long thread with a few old videos I made:

h3X5F_iLfjM

-jWnkrgL-HI

Hope you get something out of this.

Cheers.

Steeps
September 25th, 2015, 03:54 AM
Really like the use of environment video, honestly never thought of some of those objects.

Very nice post, thank you!

Frosty2200
September 25th, 2015, 04:37 AM
The freaking Cougars, I can't tell anyone here how good these guys were back in the day.

CATA was always a brilliant fighting force, but man, that SF unit was something else. You guys had pretty much the same crew all through C7-C9, didn't you?

Cossack
September 25th, 2015, 05:23 AM
Onil still continue passing his knowledge to others. :)

Soban
September 25th, 2015, 06:10 AM
Onil... I thought it suppose to be classified ... :D

Disnoxxio
September 25th, 2015, 08:07 AM
Thanks for passing on :) let the new generation get known with this ;)

Murkey
September 25th, 2015, 09:43 AM
Funny how these techniques are still relevant, but are not often used or talked about. Special mention to the jumping technique, after years of practice I still work on it to get further, faster.

So many fond memories of the Cougars; memorising map features and running around with no support, just our training and our wits :D

I made this video recently to illustrate the importance of sound for situational awareness. As well as the audio settings and key binds there's a little more in here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJZHH2w-ktc

Always a pleasure Onil! Cheers, Murkey.

Finrar
September 25th, 2015, 01:34 PM
I have almost breken my thumb by jumping techniques. Hopefully it wont happen in this tournament. :D

Oh btw soban and murkey, remember to watch your back :D

Onil
September 25th, 2015, 01:42 PM
Its nice to see some of my sneakers playing against each-other in the tourney :)

Rivalry leads to self-improvement.

Pronck
September 25th, 2015, 03:04 PM
Great to see someone almost single-minded in the PR community. Most people either think Recon is for 24/7 sniping and lazing or they think it is completely useless. But you have summarized it solidly! In case I could participate I will keep it in the back of my head!

Frosty2200
September 25th, 2015, 03:25 PM
Onil, can you go a little more in-depth about the technique used for climbing?

It seems like spacebar+ctrl spam while moving forward but I want to make sure.

Nate
September 25th, 2015, 03:28 PM
MRF|Frosty2200;344918']It seems like spacebar+ctrl spam while moving forward but I want to make sure.

That's pretty much it. Although ctrl is only needed when jumping on an object, running up hills only needs spacebar.

It's important to get the right momentum though. I remember back in 2013 when Finrar, Spook and I joined Onil's Recon Group SnK we learned all the stuff and Onil said he'd kill us if we shared how to do it or were actively using it in public play :D

And now he posts it everywhere.. ;)

My thumbs are still fucked from spamming spacebar to this day.

Onil
September 25th, 2015, 03:44 PM
MRF|Frosty2200;344918']Onil, can you go a little more in-depth about the technique used for climbing?

It seems like spacebar+ctrl spam while moving forward but I want to make sure.

It can be found here: http://www.realitymod.com/forum/f138-infantry-tactics/104645-pr-guide-tips-tricks-3.html#post1693913

Rabbit
September 26th, 2015, 02:26 PM
To add if you have a dumbass player like myself who no matter how many times I try can't climb a hill look for any static near the cliff, ropes will lock to any statics including trees allowing you to climb.

Norby
September 26th, 2015, 06:31 PM
MRF|Rabbit;345250']To add if you have a dumbass player like myself who no matter how many times I try can't climb a hill look for any static near the cliff, ropes will lock to any statics including trees allowing you to climb.

Ah. So thats why you removed Shikotan. Makes sense. One more advice: If you have Smiddey in recon squad, dont give him the hook!

tikijoe
October 25th, 2015, 04:37 PM
MRF|Steeps;344693']Really like the use of environment video, honestly never thought of some of those objects.

Very nice post, thank you!

I agree that I need to see those objects as leverage for accessing areas that previously seemed out of reach.

Onil
October 25th, 2015, 06:10 PM
When I first created this guide on the main PR Forum, I noticed the difference the following week with people using some of these tricks on the pubs. Unfortunately, that only lasted a week or two.

The simple fact is that most people won't remember it when it might actually be useful. The only way to use these tips on a regular basis is by practicing until it comes automatically as a reflex, without even having to think about it. I would say that 90% of players are incapable of reaching that level and the few who will remember some of it will only do it once in a while. Basically, the more you use it, the easier it gets and as Murkey mentioned, map knowledge is key.

But the objective is not only go give some tricks for people to use, it is also to spark the interest in coming up with their own tricks and procedures. However, either that barely happens on the ones who actually achieve it never share it afterwards. I guess that the only reason I eventually started sharing was because I wasn't playing as often specially in a competitive environment and because I wanted to see some more of a challenge when pubbing.

The one thing I do regret is that I am yet to see a proper coordination between the normal Inf squads and a recon squad, even in the PRT. Even after so many campaigns, that never really improved as squads make their decisions in a rush and never wait for recon to check the area for them. I suppose that the UAV and CO partially do that instead of recon but you can't see everything in the UAV as well.

So I would love to see each infantry squad having dedicated point-man that are not the squad leaders and that are trained by recon guys to infiltrate before their squad assaults or moves into a certain area. With the increase of squad slots that is definitely possible to do, even with a 2 man fire-team. They should however never expect revives, just like recon.

Chip0_IT
October 25th, 2015, 06:43 PM
Onil;348728'] They should however never expect revives, just like recon.

That's the most difficult mindset to achieve!

Cheers,

Chip0
Recon's humble Apprentice
3dAC's Outlaws

Cossack
October 4th, 2016, 11:58 AM
I will just bump this up, because good thread.

Smiddey
October 4th, 2016, 09:18 PM
Ah. So thats why you removed Shikotan. Makes sense. One more advice: If you have Smiddey in recon squad, dont give him the hook!

Only just read this, if you are on about the rope bridge on Kozelsk that totally was not my fault, Tarzan told me that it would swing!:D

xact
October 4th, 2016, 11:25 PM
Good memories of C8 ninja training on Asad Khal. "Just jump up", he said. "It's easy, just hit the jump at the right time".

Many hours sitting with my nose against the screen, mouth gaping and twisted in a soundless contortion of frustration while my hands scrabble at the keyboard. But all in futility. Thank you, Onil.

As I am old and slow now, I take the long route around. On the plus side, when I stab, I am rarely out of breath.

Merchant
October 4th, 2016, 11:26 PM
No one mentioned it, but from my experience running up hills as the video shows, and after nearly chaffing my thumb to the bone, I accidentally discovered that as you're doing those jumps up the hill, you also need to hit the A or D key in order to get an extra little bit more reach up the hill.

Those of you struggling with this hill climbing, try some A and D.

Chip0_IT
October 12th, 2016, 11:09 AM
the right sound settings are very important for all roles in PR but they are vital for a Recon guy!

everybody HAVE to read & apply Spook's Guide: http://www.realitymod.com/forum/f27-pr-bf2-support/119843-pr-noise-problem-solution.html

It changed the PR experience for me, and I'm astonished by the amount of PR vets who don't use these settings

Merchant
October 14th, 2016, 03:40 AM
the right sound settings are very important for all roles in PR but they are vital for a Recon guy!

everybody HAVE to read & apply Spook's Guide: http://www.realitymod.com/forum/f27-pr-bf2-support/119843-pr-noise-problem-solution.html

It changed the PR experience for me, and I'm astonished by the amount of PR vets who don't use these settings


I've been using it for over a year (maybe two even, can't remember), and now there's absolutely NO WAY could I play PR without this.

Senshi
October 14th, 2016, 05:44 AM
And now there even is an easy-to use version of it that works with ts3 32/64 out of the box :D .

Yrkidding
October 14th, 2016, 05:46 AM
I've somehow never stumbled onto Spooks audio stuff, going to have to give it a try ahead of this campaign.

Murkey
October 14th, 2016, 11:47 AM
I've somehow never stumbled onto Spooks audio stuff, going to have to give it a try ahead of this campaign.

After all this time there are so many players that haven't been clued up. For sneaking it is really useful, but it also means you can talk to people whilst in a chopper or near a loud vehicle.

VJZHH2w-ktc

No excuses. Cheers, Murkey.

Camel
October 14th, 2016, 07:05 PM
the right sound settings are very important for all roles in PR but they are vital for a Recon guy!

everybody HAVE to read & apply Spook's Guide: http://www.realitymod.com/forum/f27-pr-bf2-support/119843-pr-noise-problem-solution.html

It changed the PR experience for me, and I'm astonished by the amount of PR vets who don't use these settings

Same here. A clear before and after, and never going back.

Absolute must. +1 to have a look at it, if you haven't yet.

Hey_bruh
October 17th, 2016, 02:55 PM
Spook's guide is great.

Steeps
October 17th, 2016, 05:31 PM
I would like to give credit to both of these guides being mentioned. Here I was in the Xiangshan battle in C11. Called in the best artillery strike of the tournament from here.

I walked all the way from that FOB in the northwest corner of the image.

http://i.imgur.com/g0XGIfH.png

Onil
October 22nd, 2016, 05:07 PM
I'll be organizing some test sessions to gather content for the "Play it Smart (https://www.twitch.tv/0nil)!" Project.

It will mostly be testing stuff, intel gathering and brainstorming ideas. Anyone can join and participate, contribute or pick our brains.

There will be no scheduling, we will do it when I have the time to focus on it. So if you see me in that channel, feel free to join me.