6mm & Ikaros command feedback & constructive criticism

Feedback and debriefings from Berget 13
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6mm & Ikaros command feedback & constructive criticism

Post by vinni » 22 Aug 2015, 13:23

This text comprises the feedback from the members of 6mm who served in command of Ikaros forces. Input was taken from other officers not belonging to 6mm, but this document was written, and its contents approved by, 6mm.
It is therefore not to be taken as Ikaros officer feedback in general, but only from 6mm.

The text mainly mentions flaws, but do not let that sway your judgement of our experiences. We had a blast of a time, and we most assuredly appreciate the openness of BE towards us in discussing several matters.

6mm & Ikaros command feedback & constructive criticism

Overall, we as Ikaros HQ had a good game and so did our players. However, there are always a few points of constructive criticism. As agreed with BE pre-game, these issues have been presented to the crew for review before we posted them publicly.

Within the command structure we had plenty of shortcomings, we lacked a proper base defense structure, did not put up a mission log to keep players in the loop with the story, etc. These items need to be improved upon by ourselves and will not be discussed in this text, but feel free to point some points out to us if you feel it is needed.

Balance issues
We understand that the game needs to be balanced, and we also understand that everyone must be able to choose their own side. However, we would like our voices to be heard a bit more when it comes to rebalancing measures taken by BE GMs, as some things are completely illogical and may even hurt the flow of the game (at least for us) more than the balance helps it.
Some examples of balance situations that could have been handled better:
- When our operations started in our country, we were bound by the 2100 departure time. Not only was it illogical to have no presence in the village that we owned, but afterwards we learned that some Blue forces were allowed into the game area sooner. Another solution that would fit the story better (and feel less like being nerfed) would have been preferred.
Referencing any balancing measures in the Situation paragraph of the OPORD would also make them more acceptable.
- The Liburanian artillery and airstrikes were a good idea. It fits into the story and balances some issues quite well. The OPORD stated that severe repercussions would take place and we calculated that risk. However at times the airstrikes occurred unprovoked, by merely driving along the Eastern road on Fadjiki soil, or seemed biased towards hitting red players over blue players whilst they were both within the hit radius, or GMs taking out vehicles before the airstrike had even been initiated.
We understand why the Liburanian strike mechanic was needed, especially on Friday morning, and we agreed with Spof that they could bomb us to smithereens if it meant the players could have some fun. But we would like to ask to process it fairly. No casualties should fall before the airstrike comes in, nor should blues be untouchable from it.
- While we, given the situation, understand the need to stay in base until 1200 the final day, it is simply uncalled for to have us sit back and twiddle our thumbs if the GCT is allowed to make attacks on our base.

Aside from these points of criticism it must be said that the openness from GMs concerning the matter was very, very welcome.

Physical organisation
Due to all vehicles being needed for the helicopter drops, we lacked off-game transport for dead players, being a real pain for troops operating on the other side of the AO.

Radio signals were pretty much fucked as always, and while we appreciate the repeater setup and the availability of radios for officers, some form of briefing for the use of the repeater channels would be very helpful. Even better would be having a dedicated comms GM in HQ, but even I think that might be too much to ask for.
The cellphones were a very good idea, but unfortunately lacking since the installment of the BACS internet page. Smartphones for select commanders (on request if need be) and a provided WiFi signal in HQ area would bring the cellphone system up to date.

GMs and rules
Many reports were made on GMs not knowing the rules or making contradicting statements. A structured app or booklet for GM and general use would be useful, as well as a update in rule structuring.

Higher GM presence at big fights would solve a lot of cheating and general conflicts concerning assumed cheating.

We missed a lot of specific missions this year. At a certain point we started inventing our own stuff (trying to mount a SAM on a vehicle for shits and giggles, extracting an ‘unofficial agent’, ...) in order to occupy the troops with more than ‘go forth and capture point X’. While the capture point system worked well, aside from technical kinks, it is insufficient to keep the troops entertained if one party gets steamrolled into oblivion.
Therefore, we would suggest a pool of ‘shits and giggles’ missions that might not have much story or in game value, but can be called upon when the game gets boring.

Friday was a perfect example of this. When GM HQ and main Ikaros command were occupied with the fistfight matter, the game ground to a halt. No one was available to talk to to ask for missions, permission for incursions, etc. It came to a stand still. Any random missions for nothing but entertainment of the troops would have been very welcome.

Anything from a downed pilot to a lost runner or even stories of a crate of gold would be enough to get both sides to commit manpower to a mission and have a wonderful fight with a minimum of BE effort.

If one side’s headquarters is completely lacking, we would appreciate it if BE were to step in on their behalf. Situations such as this year’s make it frustrating for one side and boring for the other. If people are being bad commanders, they are ruining the game for hundreds of players and should be replaced by competent personnel.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to ask for command teams rather than individual commanders. We realise that these are rare and that, as the 6mm crew, we might be promoting ourselves a bit, but we believe that the advantages of a command team that knows each other over a group of individual commanders were made clear during this game.

The 6mm group fulfilled the roles as commanders of Infantry, Mechanised Infantry, and Recon. As these are all the Military roles, we decided early in the planning to have a joint HQ, as this is the only logical solution. We sat all commanders equal and able to cross task soldiers, teams and units, rather than having every commander ‘do his own thing’. This worked very well together with our 5 Star GM Big Boss, as he as well always had an updated overview.
We also worked with an open door policy. This meant that company commanders, platoon leaders etc were always welcome to report in, ask for missions or just get an update on the story.
All company commanders participated in all meetings, and help finding good solution to both entertain players and solve problems.
To fill the gap between MilSim, LARP, and the regular player we had our own designated Public Relation Guy who, we hope, managed to entertain both soldiers and civies alike.
In our views, such a cooperation between commanders is vital for the success of any operation, BE or not, and is best achieved by selecting commanders that can work together, rather than a group of highly skilled individuals that can’t.

Props and equipment
As you are probably already aware, many of the props did not arrive on time (or even at all) which botched a few missions and made life generally difficult. It would have been nice to have everything arrive as scheduled, or to have a story-wise reason for it (by example: the convoy has been ambushed and will be delayed). It is very frustrating to keep hearing an ‘I don’t know’ when asking the GM representative.

A perfect example is the Demeter crate that we needed to find in the area roughly south of Krasnovo. We had teams searching literally for hours only to return empty handed, because the crate had not yet been placed by BE crew (even though it had been lying there since 1984).

Similarly, the commander of Cerberus had been promised the availability of a rubber boat to execute an amphibious mission. As it had been promised, the teams selected for the mission started training and bought equipment (such as life vests) specifically for that mission, which made it a great waste of effort and equipment when the boat never showed up.
While we understand that not everything can go according to plan, and that not all equipment can be made available, it would have been nice to get a straight answer some time before game start rather than having to re-pack gear and suit up for another mission at the last minute.

Access to closed forums
It has to be said that this year’s system of password protection was a security issue, especially since the Ikaros password was far too easy.
We learned relatively soon that the password to the barracks had been learned by (a) certain GCT individual(s), and we also know that certain pieces of information posted on our closed forum had found their way into GCT hands.
A system with access limited by account settings as it was used in the past may be more time-consuming, but would be better for security and fairplay.

In closing, we would like to thank you for what we experienced as a great game, and we hope you will find this feedback of any use.
B7: Orlov Corp
B8: Poldavian III Mntrs
B9: Poldavian III Mntrs
BX: Poldavian BRF
BXI: Blood Raven Recon
BXII: Blood Raven CO
BXIII: Cerberus BAT CO
BXIV: UPIR Senior Management
BXV: UPIR HQ resident cripple
BXVI: UPIR old fart

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