So, comrade, you'd like to be CO? Excellent!

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So, comrade, you'd like to be CO? Excellent!

Post by fer » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:14 pm

WARNING: This thread was created when we used the old Folk ARPS [2012] Platoon, so some aspects may be out of date. An updated version of the opening post will be created soon. For details of the current platoon, please read: What is the Folk ARPS 2015 Platoon?

Wait a second, I didn't say--
Congratulations on putting your name forward for the role of CO, comrade!

B-b-but I--
--am excited to learn more about the challenge? Why of course you are! Only traitors and reactionaries would change their minds at this moment. And face immediate execution.

... Er ...
Come, comrade, you must have questions?!

Is there any special preparation for being a CO? Do I need to attend a course, or be taken from my family at a young age and sent away to a remote training facility for years of daily instruction?
Whether you plan to be a CO or a hardy comrade in a fireteam, the preparation is the same: know your way around the Folk platoon, configure TeamSpeak's channel commander (CC) feature, and read-up on how we communicate. Invest 15 minutes of time reading those threads now, and the Party guarantees endless hours of amusement (and death). Please note that attending comrade Tigershark's Gymnastics Academy for Handsome Young Comrades is not required by the Party, and no longer endorsed by the Catholic Church.

But the others - the other comrades - aren't they here to enjoy a quality tactical experience? Am I responsible for their fun?
Comrade, we are all responsible for each other's enjoyment in a Folk session, but as the CO your plan and subsequent orders will have more impact than most. However, you are not responsible for ensuring that all of the comrades are happy all of the time (because only the Party can mandate universal happiness). Simply avoid making plans that do not respect other comrades' time. For example: ordering the platoon to stay back at base whilst you take to the skies in an attack helicopter and personally kill all the enemies.

I see. ... No, wait, I don't see. What if I issue an order in good faith and it turns out to be boring for that squad or even for everyone?
Everyone is on your side. Except for the ones that aren't, but that's only in an adversarial mission and we're going to ignore those for now. The point is that if you made a call in good faith, your comrades will understand. If someone feels really strongly about it afterwards, they can always choose to take CO next time that mission is played. That's the beauty of our egalitarian approach to selecting leaders: all have the opportunity to fail and receive a visit from a Party official armed with a loaded Makarov.

Okay, okay. I'm at the slotting screen. Everyone has slotted. What do I do?
Visualising? Excellent, comrade! Now, you are once again a young boy. The other boys in the playground have taken your lunch money. It is cold. You swear revenge upon the world and-- ... --ahem! My apologies, comrade. Now, please, visualise the slotting screen once more. Everyone has slotted. The host is asking if you are happy with the forces at your disposal. Make a note of how many squads you have, how many fireteams in each, and of any attachments (e.g. MAT or MMG teams). Ideally, note the names of squad and attachment leaders. When you come to formulate your plan, you should know what elements are available.

Oh God! I'm at the briefing screen. Everyone has gone quiet. I'm running out of time already!
Breathe, comrade, breathe! First, everyone has gone quiet because at this point it is the Folk way to 'take banter to chat', and clear TeamSpeak. This is so you, comrade CO, can read the briefing and formulate your plan in peace. Second, all Folk missions have briefings that follow a consistent format and are designed to be read in under 2 minutes. So relax and read carefully - your comrades will wait patiently for you, as you have waited for them in other missions. Also, you can stop squeezing my hand now.

Hey - I've spotted a completely new way to complete this mission!
Excellent news, comrade. Comrades who are able to deliver victories to the Party are lauded and rewarded (often with a small apartment). But before you proceed, pause for a moment and consider if your plan is in keeping with the vision of the comrade mission engineer. Plans that call for actions that are incongruous with the scenario or forces available are frowned upon by the Party. For example: asking a simple farmer or infantryman to leap into the cockpit of a liberated attack helicopter and strafe the enemy.

Do I need to create a plan for the whole mission?
Not really. Remember the truism 'no plan survives contact with the enemy'? It certainly applies here. Have a rough overall plan, but only have a detailed one for the first phase of the mission. For example, if the mission calls for an ambush followed by an assault on an enemy base, focus your thoughts on how to deploy your forces for the ambush. You can worry about the assault later. If there is a 'later'.

How much should I tell everyone about my plan?
Here's another truism, comrade: 'few Folk platoons survive contact with the enemy'. Brief the platoon in detail only as far as the first anticipated contact. You might give a very high-level indication of your overall plan, but the emphasis should be on what each squad needs to do as soon as the mission starts. To continue the earlier example: you might say that after the ambush you intend to hit the enemy base from the South, but after that your words and markers should focus entirely on how to set up and run the ambush.

Right. I've briefed the platoon. Should I let comrades ask me questions before the host breaks us into separate TeamSpeak channels?
Yes, but be careful how you do this, comrade. For this mission (at least until you die), you are the CO, you own the plan, and in a Folk session we do not plan by committee. It's good to ask if anyone has questions - invariably someone will ask what the rules of engagement are - but do not ask the comrades to critique your plan and suggest alternatives. The host will police any 'backseat commanding' (much frowned upon by the Party), but you too have a role to play by not getting to the end of your plan and asking if anyone has any better ideas. You can rest assured that if your plan is really, really, really bad, the host will gently suggest some tweaks. Whilst pointing a loaded Makarov at you.

The mission has started! Any tips?
Make the most of your human squad and element leaders. The secret, comrade, is that being CO is far, far easier than playing an RTS because your subordinate leaders are capable of accomplishing complex tasks with relatively few orders. Talk to them as the mission progresses, and ask that they acknowledge your orders, but give them simple objectives and let them worry about how to accomplish them. They are, no doubt, veterans of the revolution and do not need to be micro-managed. Trust them to focus on their parts of the plan, as they trust you to direct the overall effort (and to be thinking about the next phase of the mission). 

Anything else?
Probably, but we're out of time, comrade. We've reached the front. Now remember, the comrade in the CO slot leads. The comrade in the DC slot follows. When the comrade in the CO slot is killed, the comrade in the DC slot takes over!

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Re: So, comrade, you'd like to be CO? Excellent!

Post by Grizzly » Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:59 pm

And, if all else fails, headshot someone with a 40mm grenade. That always works wonders.

As someone who almost never leads a mission, I suggest you start with an adverserial mission. This may sound rather weird, but adverserial missions in folk are usually simpler. The main problem for me with leading is maintaining a sense of what is going on, which can be difficult in a chaotic situation. In an adverserial, you only have half the forces you have in a co op mission, there are usually no follow up objectives, so you only have to focus on one task (which is either blow something up or kill the opposing force), and you usually have very few vehicles and transportation (which can be a pain to manage mid-mission).

Also, you can ask if another newbie takes on the other lead role, if you are worreid about that.