The C&C unit

Feedback and debriefings from Berget 10

Shall the C&C unit be overall commander for the other units.

Yes, it worked well.
34
54%
No, dont keep this.
20
32%
Yes, keep it if BE still distrubates unit specific missions.
9
14%
 
Total votes: 63

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Puma
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Post by Puma » 03 Jul 2012, 23:00

JudgementDay wrote:The way I see it, ticket lockdown is a necessity for both BE as well as Commanders to be at some point able to tell how many players will attend or not.
I would argue against this premise. That is clearly the intention of the lockdown, but like so often, results of rules and regulations do not correlate with its intentions. I'm going to argue that not only is it not a necessity, but has the opposite effect than that what is its intention.

Making the tickes non-refundable will make the roster more static, but making the tickets non-trasferrable makes it less static.

From the airsoft organization that I am a part of, out of 24 people with berget tickets this year, eight ended up cancelling the trip for one reason or another. Five of those on a relatively short notice, so they could not sell their tickets largely because of the lockdown. The reasons of these late cancellations ranged from sudden onset of illness and injuries to work and family emergencies. So the unintended consequences of the lockdown made it so that those eight people in the roster ended up just missing, rather than possibly being replaced with a second hand ticket buyers.

The fact that the ticket in non-sellable doesn't prevent anyone from not-attending. It just prevents anyone from filling in for that person.

And I'm also going to argue that...

a) Ticket holders are unlikely to sell their tickets willy-nilly regardless of lockdown or not. If a person is motivated to participate, he will do so.

b) There was not a single player this year in Berget, who was there only because he was unable to sell his ticket. (this should be fairly easy to disprove if I'm wrong)

c) It is better to have an unwilling or unmotivated participant replaced by a motivated second hand ticket buyer. This is true from everybodys perspective (commander and fellow player alike).



Prior to seeing this unfold I might have agreed with you in thinking that lockdown was a good idea. But after seeing the real empirical consequences of the lockdown first hand, I can tell without any doubt that it does not do what it's supposed to.

Lockdown or not, no rosted made prior to game start is final or accurate. It is infinitely better to have the not-final roster in the hands of the commander in February, rather than have the not-final roster in his hands 3 weeks prior to game start. Neither roster is final, but atleast the one in February will let the commander adapt to changes gradually as they happen.
wormbyte wrote:There are other ways this can be achieved without compromising top level planning and without making evident to the players.
I think that placing a commander between the situation board and the player is quite enough to prevent it from becoming evident to the player. The only person to whom it is evident is the commander. If you don't believe me, go ask around. How many people felt like the game was scripted.

When the commander gives an order, there is no way the underling can tell if the commander came up with that order himself or did he read it from a script. Unless he is literally reading it from a script right in front of them.

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Post by jdoe » 04 Jul 2012, 17:49

C&C idea works with adequate staff and resources. And I think it has only good things to offer to their faction.

My 2 cents;

- permanent adjutant / liaison crewmembers, preferably Gamemasters, to be attached into C&C and be there physically, on site. They would be marked as faction officers, not crewmembers, but would have also a clear mark on them of being ingame Gamemasters, if needed to clear out disputes or emergencies. They would be able to adjust, assist and instruct C&C to work properly and according to rules and game-flow. As Gamemasters, they would have the authority to step in if things go wrong.

- reduced price tickets to C&C members. Commanding officers get free tickets, as usual. This has just one drawback; sometimes motivated is not the same as capable. Thus, every C&C member should be approved by the commanding officers of the C&C and subordinate battalions, and of course, BE.

- online C&C interface between BE and C&C units. This would provide missions and intel to C&C:s, help them control their subordinate units and feed in reports to BE, to keep them informed at all times. One laptop with internet access per C&C unit should not be a big investment. And I am sure there are willing and able people in Sweden and in BE to make up the software to build this interface. All recon elements should be able to access this interface too, at limited access, to feed their intel to the system and to C&C.

- 2 types of missions. Non-timeframed, factionwide overall missions and more defined, timeframed and scripted missions, maybe unit-specific (although I strongly oppose these). The latter type should have workable timeframes (min 1hr prep-time) and BE should be ready to provide transportation, if the mission takes place over 1km away from base, or adjust the preptime properly.

My personal opinion is, C&C/OPS unit is important on factions larger than 200 players. Even in smaller units, if their tasks and missions are designed to smaller-scale patrols and platoons. We had plans and intentions to have our own OPS unit in Zansian faction, but we ran to the same problem everyone else; lack of staff. 4 weeks to the game, we had 2 volunteer staff which is in my view clearly not enough. So we scratched the idea, and I think it was the right call at that point. However, we had a temporary OPS unit on Friday, because 3 officers were unable to march that day (myself included). From our perspective, and from feedback from other officers, it was a useful and positive tool, and only made my perception more clear; if the Finnish contingent will be in future as large as it was this year, a C&C / OPS unit is a must.

I have thought about this system since before B8, and have a lot of ideas for it, in detail, but I'll save you the information overflow and will give more info only if wanted :)
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B15 - CPT/HQ/FinBat
B10 - 1st Coy CO / Zansian "Black Guard" Btn XO
B8 - I/1.Coy/1st Pold.Inf, Platoon Ldr (Fox 1-0)
B7 - SRP Fox Platoon 2IC/Arty FO
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Post by wormbyte » 04 Jul 2012, 19:49

I think you are bang on jdoe! :)
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Post by jdoe » 04 Jul 2012, 20:46

Don't know about that, but thanks. Any idea is workable but raw until tested in practice. I hope this helps in the future.

Btw Ian, I am the other Zansian dude who was shaking with fever on Saturday morning, when we talked about the "final battle" in front of our (Zansian) command tent :)
B16 - The Firm / Gun for hire
B15 - CPT/HQ/FinBat
B10 - 1st Coy CO / Zansian "Black Guard" Btn XO
B8 - I/1.Coy/1st Pold.Inf, Platoon Ldr (Fox 1-0)
B7 - SRP Fox Platoon 2IC/Arty FO
B5 - FFF Oulu Platoon Ldr

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Post by wormbyte » 04 Jul 2012, 21:21

An cool, well it was my pleasure to finally have a chance to chat with you guys. :)
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B7 - Company Commander (India Coy) - NATO
B10 - 3rd Rangers Commander
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Post by motorhead » 05 Jul 2012, 04:18

Had to work this time, but quite frankly I had a blast attending a motorcycle rally for INTOPS-vets instead, and got some quality time with fellow ex-INTOPS-soldiers. Put a big grin on my face, and had a good party :D

Nice to see the C&C evolve like this. Brujo, Jdoe and Wormbyte got it right in their observations, and I'm happy to see at least the Poldavian C&C work as planned. Kudos to Tiger and Pol C&C for working it out, The way this game keeps increasing in size the C&C will become crucial for Berget games to work cohesively.

However, some other factions than Pol have already pointed out several vital game admin bottlenecks - among which the sheer lack of C&C personell is the most noticeable. This generates its own internal game-plan - the faction HQ must be manned and work for an airsoft game this size.

Suggestions are already at hand and proposed. A good start:

- Make vital C&C functions get motivational free tickets, Not doing this is bad game economics and game performance simply suffers.

- COM was reportedly better this year - that's good. Now keep that standard. Anything less is catastrophical for an airsoftgame this size.

- Keep learning, Berget-Events. Don't increase participant numbers beyond 2400 before a proper, experienced command-chain is at hand. Not learning this is a recipe for lackluster game performance and lots of dissatisfied players feeling they invested badly in a big clusterf..k.

- Evaluate this years total participant numbers versus potensial ingame flaws caused by lack of experienced commanders for a game this size.

- Recalculate the number of participants based on these evaluations.

Even from the sideline one can observe late faction forum openings and late commander assignments this year. This is not a good trend and shows potensial game planning flaws needing to be adressed. The bigger the game, the more demands are put a functioning command- and faction HQ chain.

Have fun, dudes :D
Last edited by motorhead on 06 Jul 2012, 00:04, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by jdoe » 05 Jul 2012, 13:26

Good points there motorhead, sorry to have missed you this year, but maybe we see in the next ;)

One more thing I forgot. To get motivated and good command staff from player-pool, BE needs to make sure commanders have enough freedom to work their command position and tactics the way they like. Totally scripted game, where the commander is just a poser and issues BE given orders, is not fun for anyone. And BE will not get enough applicants. I would guess, we saw a bit of that this year. Maybe some people thought the C&C concept takes out much of the freedom there has been earlier. I know I had some thoughts of that kind before the game...

Also, having a workable C&C is essential for the commanders to lead from the field. That is something I see missing from most BE games and both major factions, always. Leader needs to be on the field, not in front, but with his men. Especially on larger operations. A working C&C unit will keep overall control and support the commander, even if he is not physically at the command post. This has huge effect on frontline-player morale, and also gives commander a better view of what his troops can and cannot do.

It is almost a rule, in real life as in airsoft, a unit which has it's command staff on the field close to the action, works and performs better. Even if the leadership skill and quality level is the same. Comradery and "we"-spirit is essential to a working unit, having leadership on the field to share and promote it, is very important.

About this year; I don't think any faction had bad or incompetent leadership. From what I saw and heard afterwards, NAF command suffered severely from lack of means and manpower to command to their best level. I could see it the few times I saw them in person. Then again, I didn't see them 24/7, so this impression might be false. But of what I know of the people who were there, I don't look down on any of them, I believe they did the best they could, given the circumstances. It is somewhat a shame that this "aftergame" has given us a lot of arguements about NAF leadership. Never a good thing :( From POL leadership I can only say, it must have worked well, since they were really hard nuts to crack this year :)
B16 - The Firm / Gun for hire
B15 - CPT/HQ/FinBat
B10 - 1st Coy CO / Zansian "Black Guard" Btn XO
B8 - I/1.Coy/1st Pold.Inf, Platoon Ldr (Fox 1-0)
B7 - SRP Fox Platoon 2IC/Arty FO
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Post by Hell_Viking » 05 Jul 2012, 14:17

I worked as XO PSYOPS, but hence the lack of propper civillian play ( no city to infiltrate or work with and so on) I was bumped up to the POL C&C .

I can only say from the bottom of my heart that this was fun ( tho on another level, but still fun) We had 2 guys running COMMS, one doing a Combat log, one Intell officer, one Battlecaptian and my self. We had good overall view of the situation and could thereby direct troops into the desired direction to win the battle. We absolutely saw the need for the C&C when running such large battlegroups. We had live intell running throughout the day from Psyops Undercovers and our hunter\killer team ( soulstealer), this proved to be the key to survival. When one battalion was to move out of crossroads we all of the sudden got " 30+ heavily armed NAF advancing on crossroads" from psyops. Had BE stood with last years concept that message would never had reach the correct officer in time to do something.

So GOOD Concept BE !
Last edited by Hell_Viking on 05 Jul 2012, 22:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Panzergraf » 05 Jul 2012, 14:44

jdoe wrote:Totally scripted game, where the commander is just a poser and issues BE given orders, is not fun for anyone.
Agree 100%, as this can be felt even down to the individual trigger puller.
Kinda takes a lot of the tension away when everything feels scripted and predetermined.
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Post by hezi » 05 Jul 2012, 15:33

What I think on this issue that even in a script game,
BE should have lowered the general mission into the HQ of each force,
But to give to the HQ commander the ability to choose what units are to be involved in the mission,
And in which way to get the mission done.

This is my two cents for this debate.
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Post by motorhead » 05 Jul 2012, 16:53

Where is the "Like"-button? Ooops. Wrong social medium :D

Edit: Good to see people have mature and airsoft-battle-hardened ideas on how to make this work. Looking forward to check it out myself next time. C & C has its own excellent gameplan, and once you get hooked on it - it grows on ya. :)
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B7: NATO S6 - smoke signal operator
B8: Pol. 3rd Mount. S6/Liaison - ditto
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Post by Puma » 09 Jul 2012, 09:07

motorhead wrote:Don't increase participant numbers beyond 2400 before a proper, experienced command-chain is at hand.
Here I think it is not just about growing the number of players, but largely about the type of units that are being grown in size. When increasing the size of units, it is easier to grow the milsim units than it is to grow the "funsoft" units. As they are way more likely to maintain some level of organization and not to blow out of control.

I have always found it counter intuitive that traditionally in Berget the units with least amount of C&C have always been the units that have the largest amount of available tickets. Controlling 300 motivated and disciplined milsim players is way easy compared to controlling the same amount of trigger-happy-frag-hunting smacktards.

---

I don't see BE getting rid of unit specific timeboxed mission -type of scripting. It has worked so well for them in the past. And contrary to what some people believe, the only people who notice the scripting are the commanders. Individual trigger-pullers either can't tell the difference or couldn't care less.

But hypothetically if they were to move to a system of constant predetermined objectives that stay the same throughout the game they would also have to get rid of the mini-battalion size units. 200-300 people are way too big force to be given a single simple objective, and way too big to be easily managed in terms of intelligence, communications and logistics to tackle complicated multi-objective situations without staff. This essentially means, that to be able to feed the company level units with orders and intelligence, and to handle logistical needs of all subordinate units, each battalion would have to have HQ-staff of their own.

That would not only we wasteful, but inefficient too. One of the great strengths of the napolean staff system is specialization and division of labor. Where a platoon leader is essentially the platoons everything-officer, and will handle everything from tactics to logistics, and personel to communications. And that is the main reason platoons and companies are limited to so few subordinate units, because they would become increasingly hard for a one person to manage as the number of subordinate units increases. This is however not the case when you have staff, and are able to divide areas of responsibility among a group of people.

A staff of mere 12 people can easily handle 6+ company sized subordinate units. I think we had 5 companies under a single battalion HQ in Berget 5, and I don't think the HQ was anywhere near over stretching itself.

But I think any of this is unlikely to happen, as BE has been moving towards more and more scripted gameplay to ensure that players get a certain intensity to their berget experience. Avoiding situations where people end up guarding an objective en masse for hours, and the enemy never shows up to contest it. And that is the kind of situations that would happen more often than not, if in-game commanders could just make up their own battle plans. (Or taking and objective en masse, just to find out that there was no enemies guarding it.)

---

To leave all of you something to think about I have this question that will tell quite a bit where a person really stands in the contest of scripted vs. non-scripted gameplay.

Lets say that you are a commander in an airsoft game, and the enemy has been doing poorly for a while now, losing objective after objective, unable to regroup or reorganize between quick succession of battles. And you have pushed the enemy to a corner. Do you...

a) ...give them some breathing space so they can reorganize themselves, offer some more resistance and maybe even take some objectives.

b) ...muster what ever forces you have for a final push and crush them once and for all. No quarter!

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Post by Ober-Lix » 09 Jul 2012, 10:11

You are right to a certain degree Puma. The thing is, that a military person knows what personal he needs in staff positions to operate in command. In a battalion of 200-300 you will need as commander at least 6 t0 8 staff officers to work with you if your battalion should work indipendant.
You need experienced players who can cover positions like:
Recon, Personal, Information, Communication, PsyOps, Transport, Infrastructur, Arms, Guard and Policing etc.
It is vital that these Staff positions work closely with you to help you making your tactical and strategical decitions. A constant flow of informations will keep you as commander flexible.
Without diciplin in your unit and that is mostly the job of the company COs, you can forget any successful actions
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Post by wormbyte » 09 Jul 2012, 10:26

For me [A].

Simply because its a game. I have seen many a time the morale effect it can have by totally destroying the opposing side.

For the sake of both sides AND the game it is better to keep your opposing force motivated so that there is many more great actions to be had.

As long as there is acknowledgement that one side nearly crushed the and that this contributes towards a victory condition then the benefits of such a near victory are not lost.
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B7 - Company Commander (India Coy) - NATO
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Post by Coffe » 09 Jul 2012, 17:38

Puma wrote:A platoon of 30 men sent to secure an objective could be faced with 300 strong joint operations group, and it would be a slaughter. And no-one would have any fun at all. =(
Erm, isn't that what recon/sniper teams and small units of rangers are supposed to be used for?

I.e scouting out locations and monitoring enemy troop movements and giving the commanders intel which influence the decision of how large of a force the commanders send to capture and/or defend a particular objective?

I don't know how "correct" this would be from a milsim standpoint but le's say that I had been in the C&C for the NAF forces and knew that I had some dedicated sniper/recon teams at my disposal along with all the other units and was pretty much given untied hands of how to use my armed forces (i.e no "scripting"-bullshit from BE) then the first thing I'd do would be to send out my sniper/recon teams to find a good position where they can hide and monitor the closest objectives on the map.

Based on their intel I'd assign the proper amount of men needed to capture said objectives and reinforce them so they don't get capured by the enemy.

Then I'd send the recon guys out to objectives further away and repeat the process, and adapt as much as possible to the intel I get from hem of how the enemy troop movements progress.

But then again, what do I know?

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