Some of this stuff is taken from this thread.
Note, this article is about leading a squad of “randoms” – players from different outfits, or without an outfit at all; a random assortment of players. Leading an organized squad during ops is another matter entirely, and something you should discuss with your outfit leader.
If you’d rather watch videos, visit Attlas’ youtube channel for some great videos about leadership.
First things first
- Get a microphone, and make sure it’s set up appropriately, so people can hear you loud and clear. You can get by with just using chat and objective markers, smoke signals and squad waypoints, but if you plan to have fun while playing in a company, a mic is something you really should invest in.
- Your voice. Speak loud, confident, strong. Never show any doubt in yourself. This is the most important part. I can say that again: having a confident, strong voice, fit for a true leader of men, is the most important part about leading.
You don’t have to sound like a bull. Voice pitch is not as important as emotional message. Speak natural. Just never sound sorry or unsure.
Good leader ALWAYS knows what to do. If he does not know what to do, he will order someone to come up with something. Do not ask or suggest. Tell, order.
If you’re not confident in yourself, how can you expect other people to be confident in you? Practice in front of the mirror. Nothing shameful in it. If anything, it’s a very useful life experience.
- Most people in a random squad/platoon will just do whatever they want. Accept it. You are lucky if even a half of your squad actually follows your orders. Truly coordinated group play is something that only possible in an organized outfit.
When leading randoms, you have to give them what they want, while not forcing them to do what they do not want. You can’t expect strangers to do things just because you say so. The only reason they joined your squad is to play and have fun in decent company.
Randoms want: a good fight, where they won’t get farmed, and where they all can have fun. Putting them in a fight with even numbers should be enough.
Randoms do not want:
1) Ghostcap/zerg – attack a base with next to no defenders, because it’s boring.
2) Being away from a fight for too long. Say no to:
- Often redeploying from one fight to another. It is preferable to work along the same lattice line, as long as it doesn’t mean ghostcap or zerg.
- Gal drops. Nobody wants to abandon the fight, redeploy to Warpgate and then wait five minutes until they arrive to the next fight, which may or may not be fun.
- An exception to this is taking breaks after long and arduous fights. People do need to take a pee, grab a drink, or whatever else. Turning it into a “Okay, everyone take a 3 minute break at the Warpgate – we’ll grab a Galaxy right after” lets some pressure off.
4) Unless it’s an alert platoon, people don’t want to capture territory. They simply don’t care about it, and why should they? They might care for a base they’re fighting for right now, but that’s it. Randoms want certs and to look cool. Promise them that. There’s a difference between: “Oh shi-, NC are taking X base! We have to protect!11” and “Hey guys there are some NC newbs pushing the lane, let’s go kill them for free certs!”.
5) Being told to switch classes, even when it’s necessary.
6) Constantly being told what to do. Reserve orders like “Regroup!” and “Squad, on me!” and “I want EVERYBODY on that Generator NOW!” for outfit ops.
7) Not knowing what to do. Have a plan, at least for the next 5-10 minutes. Randoms hate downtime between fights, so when you see that your current fight is nearing its end, be sure to check the map, so as soon your current fight ends, you can take your squad elsewhere right away, instead of saying: “Yeah, for our next fight we’ll go tooooo.. Hm…” followed by uncomfortable silence.
It is important to balance the rules 6 and 7. Make sure that your squad always knows the objective they’re working for, but don’t sit on their backs. Designate a base you’re fighting for with, mark enemy Sunderers, share intelligence. “Strong enemy presence at A point”. That is enough. Leave the rest to your squad.
If you need your squad to do something specific, like counter enemy armor by pulling your own, then make an effort of explaining why, for example: “Guys, we have a couple of enemy tanks farming infantry here, let’s pull our own tanks to deal with them. We’ll have a hard time fighting here as long as those tanks are here”. Explain your plan in clear and concise manner, and this will increase the level of organization a bit.
Obviously, because of all of the restrictions, your operational freedom is limited. But people will LIKE rolling with such a leader. If they LIKE it, they will be inclined to join your outfit, and when they do you can expect them to follow more complex orders, especially during outfit operations.
As long as you provide your troops with good fights they will not need any additional motivation to follow you.
Pay attention to how TobyHD issues orders
Make sure to be clear:
“somebody pull me a Sunderer” is bad.
“- Jimmy96, please pull a Sunderer and deploy it on squad waypoint. Okay?” “- Okay” is much better.
- It’s important to get confirmation that order has been heard and understood. This way the person who received the order will feel obligated to follow it.
- It’s better to use in-game names (nicks) than squad and number, like “Alpha Six”. It just confuses people and distracts them to look at their own number. Addressing people by their in-game name increases level of organization considerably. If Jimmy96 consistently ignores your orders, then just kick him. Point it out to your squad: “Jimmy96 is a bad guy, he’s not following orders, I don’t need the likes of him in my squad”.
Before actually giving an order, you can use a military-style “preliminary command”, to capture the attention of your squad. Something like “okay google”.
Examples: “Okay, guys! I need you to …” or “Listen up! We’re going to ….”.
Additionally, you can repeat short orders several times to make sure they are heard and executed: “Redeploy, redeploy, redeploy! We’re going to a different fight…”.
- SquadSide.com – a blog about tactical coordinated group play and leading.
- It’s possible some useful stuff can be found here, haven’t checked through that myself.
- Glendara’s guide “The Art of Platoon Leading” at steam community.