Know Thyself – a brief guide to the general strengths and weaknesses of the single squad in Planetside 2

As a small squad based  you are often faced with overwhelming enemy numbers, you lack the resources of the massive outfits that are able to field hundreds of players at once, yet all is not lost.

If you take the time to study where you will attack and defend and decide in advance how you will do this you can more than hold your own, I often find that our single MoX squad we will make a huge difference to a fight. Much of this is possible by knowing what our strengths and weaknesses are

Our Strengths

. A small well organised squad can easily slip under the radar and cause havoc, we have the advantage of the fist level of enemy activity being 1-12 players, which means we are placed in the same category, threat-wise as ghost cappers, lone wolves and other small groups which when we are attacking a base lets us either pass below the attentions of the large organised outfits, or draws in an enemy force totally unprepared to face an entrenched   and well motivated squad deployed intelligently in positions designed to funnel the hapless foe into kill zones.

. We are the perfect size to camp a hill and rain long-range fire down upon an enemy. This is not just the AA nest tactic that ESF pilots get somewhat worked up about. We will fill that role with Burster MAX’s and Strikers, we will also fill an anti armour role with Engineer turrets and Strikers, we will also fill an anti infantry role by deploying in a tactically valuable position on the edge of a large fight to either prevent the enemy from encircling allied positions, or provide suppressive fire so friendly forces can advance unmolested.

. A small squad is the perfect tool for advancing ahead of the main fight to suppress the enemy spawn rooms at the next base, or “prep the generators” if we are on the attack, or prepare a defensive position to delay the enemy if we are retreating. This all means not waiting for the capture to finish at the base where the fight currently is, and can be a bit of a balancing act to ensure you do not arrive to late, but are also not sitting waiting inactive for too long.

The objective here is always to provide time for the main friendly force, either holding against increasing enemy numbers to allow the main friendly force time to get to the next base without having to fight through prepared defences, or time for our friendly forces to set up a defensive line and regain the initiative ready for a counter attack.

. We are a good size to hold one point in a multi-point base. Choosing the correct target is key here as it needs to be defensible, and a strong enough lure for the enemy to warrant moving your squad from tactically strong ground where you can flank the enemy position to one where you are bottled up in a small building . These when managed correctly can be very intense and fun encounters where your squad will not only hold off the majority of the enemy foot-zerg but will enable your friendly zerg to capture the rest of the base.

. We are more agile and able to respond quicker than a larger outfit. Some of this is down to training, some to logistics. It is generally quicker to redeploy twelve players than forty-eight, there is also a smaller chain of command and intelligence and orders can be passed to players without needing to go through a formal structure such as Player – Squad Leader – Platoon Leader – Outfit Leader. This also aids us a mobile defensive or offensive situation where fire and movement are key to victory

. It is easier to know everyone in a small outfit than a larger one, this has many benefits, you know straight away who is best suited for a particular class or role, you know who has the best vehicles, players are now people rather than just another body in the mass.

You train and play with the same people. It is hard to understate the importance of this aspect and is the key to all our other strengths. Everyone has a role and everyone knows their role, other players role and how it all fits together into the overall plan. Squad cohesion is thus much easier and you will naturally move as a tight well-disciplined unit, this will often even grant you local numerical superiority as encounter one or two disorganised enemy units dispatch them and move on.

galaxy landing

Our Weaknesses.

Or Weaknesses as a small squad can be summed up in one word “Numbers”. Yes we are an agile fast striking well-trained and motivated force, but used incorrectly we are wiped out quickly and easily.

We are fragile, and do not have the ability to take losses and push forward while retaining squad cohesion, and once that goes then we are little better than a zerg and need to be reformed before re-assessing the target. For that reason you will rarely see my squad directly assaulting a tower where enemies continually spawn. You will find us more than capable of assaulting individual buildings or enemy positions however, and this is often a prelude to holding a tactically important location.

We also lack the ability to attack or defend more than one location. While we will regularly split into fire-teams to grant us more flexibility we are forced to rely on other friendly forces if we face any real resistance and there are multiple locations that need to be attacked or defended.

There is also the obvious weakness that we don not have as many guns pointing at the enemy as they do at us, in these situations knowing when and how to evade the enemy is crucial. It is not just a matter of running away, but of drawing the enemy along with you, making them dance to your tune while you simultaniously retain squad numbers and cohesion.


2 thoughts on “Know Thyself – a brief guide to the general strengths and weaknesses of the single squad in Planetside 2

  1. Gavor

    I’m 100% with you on this one, I run a very small outfit of close friends and their friends. Most of us played in the PS1 beta and we know how to fight together and what each other is good at. Depending on the night I sometimes open the squad to randoms as well to bulk up the cannon fodder.

    When you run a small squad (4-6 usually) you need to pick very specific objectives such as support, re-secure of bases or points, running a handful of vehicles on flanks and so on. You’re in a tactical position, keeping an eye on the overall strategy and communicating your next move to the other active commanders on a semi-regular basis. You just have to keep in mind that you’re not ‘the plan’ but you can be a big part of supporting the plan to running distractions so others can carry out the plan.

    The only truly frustrating thing when running a small squad is when you execute a brilliant move o some kind, but don’t have the numbers or cannot attract the necessary support to hold it. Charging around a battle, turning the flank and digging in can be really frustrating when no-one comes around to bolster your move.

    Anyway, love your ideas, keep running those tight-knit squads. We’re the special forces that pull off those crazy moves that make the impossible possible (sometimes).


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