Advanced Tactical Manual - Tactical Control
By: EricJ

Published : October 17th, 2004
Download PDF version here.


Face it, Ghost Recon wouldn't be Ghost Recon without the Tactical View. Even with the "analog" look of the Original Ghost Recon (OGR, GR1, etc.) you'd probably be lost. Not necessarily, as tactical control is really just pointing and saying "Hey! Go there!" Well this is more of a better way to do it, even though in reality… it doesn't exist. But since we're talking about a game, and not reality…

The first thing you'll notice about the above image is the large screen. That's obviously the map you're playing on at the moment, etc. You use that to figure just where you're at, and can obviously see where your team is at. Simple enough.

Just above that is the "M" button. Click that to get an idea to where you need to go, as you'll need to figure out from where you're at to where you need to go, simple.

Objective Map View (where you need to go)

If anything just head in the general direction, there's a Halo-ism about GR: AW, that if you're not in contact, either you killed them all or just not going the right way. Besides, the green arrow points you where you need to go, and your CrossCom will put the "You have to go here" square in your HUD. Obviously, the blue diamond is where you are in relation to the next objective. Naturally there is a window that pops up of the controller that tells you that you're leaving the mission area, etc. etc. The "+" is to Zoom, and "-"is to zoom out. Generally I like to keep it zoomed in max to get a closer look at what's immediately in front of me and around me rather than halfway across the map. Course it helps to get an idea anyways.

And to the left is the Objectives ticker, which shows your current objective. The green ">" in the upper left corner of the map window is the direction to the objective. Simple stuff really. Note of course that is relative to the current objective you need to complete.

Just below that is your team and any attached assets you may get or lose during a mission. It's fairly simple, click on the team or the individual soldier and tell him where to go and where not to go.

Last but not least are all the pertinent commands for that asset. Your Ghost Team will of course have the most. Drones will only have the Move command available, and Apaches, Airstrike, and Artillery will only have the Attack option available. When you command Tanks (M1A1s) you will have the Move, Attack, and Cancel options in your CrossCom.

One last thing, "Waypoint" is only designed for you. It's in my opinion in target designation, mainly for static weapons, like the .50 cal, and Mk.19, or if there's a sniper that isn't visible (hint it's good for the last mission….). Note that you can only place one on the map. I'd also suggest using that in case you don't know the map well. Simply head towards it and that's it, and the range to that waypoint is displayed.

Move Em Out! Most of your commands may or may not be done through the Tactical View. Right now we're going to work on the Tactical View first. If you've played OGR, then it's nothing different, well okay there's a lot missing that we know should be there, and miss. Anyways, Instead of telling them to hold, you simply place your mouse, click. Note for this example I'm using the mission "Strong Point" and heading to the Power Station along Ambush Alley (nickname I'll give it). For those who know where I'm at, I want to set up far side security along the road just in case of snipers and any leakers. My intent is to stay at the south" side while I have an element to cover me:

Positioning Brown's Waypoint

Positioning Kirkland's Waypoint

Positioning Allen's Waypoint

As you can see, Brown and Kirkland are going to go first since they are simply closest to the road, while Allen will (intent-wise) cover the near side, while Brown and Kirkland handle the far side. This can also be termed as "Scrolling the Road" a tactic used to move to another side of the road, but also have security setup, which wasn't my intent, but can be done. So there are two obvious ways to do this, hit F5 for each individual person OR better, hit F6, so they all move at once, which in this case, I want to move all at once. So I hit F6 and end up with this:

This brings up the example of how you know the mission and what should be expected. Does this work? Sure realistically it could. I got forward and rear security, plus a little flank due to arcs, but when you play a mission for so many times... I took Allen's spot since he didn't execute as intended. By this time the Panhard was neutralized so I was okay. So you may have a grand move but realistically it may not work how you see fit. However, you can execute this movement through the CrossCom interface while in first person mode. Simply highlight a soldier or your team, and click on "Execute":

Positioning Brown

Positioning Kirkland

Positioning Allen

Execute

Move Executed

Keep in mind again, they won't always go exactly where they wanted to, and will find the nearest cover or "best" position, but I can live with that.

Also a quick note on arcs of fire. Most of the time they are REAL important. However, as you see above, it didn't quite work out. The intent is to try and provide 360 degrees coverage. However, most of the time you don't have to worry too much about them trying to sneak up on you, as it's pretty straightforward, go this direction and kill them. What more can you do? The blue field shows yours and your team's field of actual vision, i.e. what direction they are really looking at. Most of the time they will look around, so that's kinda good. However, they don't know much so just use your own vision and sense to get through them. While the hints during mission loading screens mention to cross arcs of fire, realistically in some situations it's impossible. Cover as much as possible, and maneuver yourself necessary to support your soldiers when the situation arises.

Note that it says in the "hints" during mission loading that the Tactical view is more precise than using the CrossCom system. Personally I think otherwise, as I can sometimes point and designate where my team needs to be better using the CrossCom (because I can see where they might need to go) than the Tactical View. But as you can see above, you can at least set sectors of fire needed for cover and movement. CrossCom is great if you need to move your team fast and quick in order to gain fire superiority in an engagement, or to at least generally get some kind of security (worthless in some cases) to support your or your other teammates move.

To go into tactics for Single-Player would be its own lengthy file and not needed. Everybody has their own style and play; this is just a guide on getting you started. Also, regarding using the Drone, it will set its own sector depending on its own sensor suite. So the most you can do is just tell it where to go, and let it do the rest. Here's another way of setting up what you need to continue on moving:

Of course, if you need to have your team stay in one location:

Either press F5 or click on Execute (it's considered "one" command so you do not have to press F6 to have them all execute), and they will set up a perimeter facing whichever direction they feel like.

The above screenshot also illustrates another use of the CrossCom and TacView combined. As per the example, I have Kirkland and Allen overwatching one approach; while I'm having Brown follows me as additional security. Since at this time there are two additional tangos around, I have to make sure we all are secure when I go to the MH60 for the supply drop.

As briefly mentioned above, the TacView allows you to place your own waypoint, to get you oriented. In some cases it is useful, if you are new to the map, and can't figure out where to go in relation to your position or what path to take. Sure you know where to go, but the problem is, getting there. Generally speaking, you can only put one waypoint yourself as it's assumed you have a good idea where to go, least supposed to anyways… However, the best use for this waypoint is generally for counter-sniper actions:

These two shots are from "NORAD on the line", of course if you finished it, the final mission. The threat? An Aguila Seven sniper with a Barret. Generally there are two positions this one sniper takes, and I prefer him here. Once I establish security, I place the waypoint right on top of him. Thankfully the Waypoint stays at the vertical height, so I can come around the corner, and kill him, as per the bottom screenshot. I use it constantly, as in most cases; it's saved my butt quite a bit. Also, for sniping, it can be used as a trigger point for engagement, or something to orient to:

Once a target comes by:

Last is the "Attack" option. I tend to start using them for designated targets, such as if I want a particular teammate to attack a certain person. Which of course what it's really designed for ;) Anyways, via the Tactical View the real requirement is that you "see" the target. Whether or not a designating marker shows up is not the issue. The fact is that you have to tell him to attack what you yourself see. Case in point:

As you can see from Coup d' etat, this is the machine gun near VIP1's position. So as you can see, I have Allen's commands setup. First he's going to come around the corner, and shoot the gunner, while I play bait. I have both Brown's and Kirkland's paths setup, so Brown will cover Allen, while taking care of the dismount that is hanging around the machine gun nest. Kirkland today is taking a break pulling security. So I initiate the attack by allowing the machine gun to shoot at me, duck back behind cover and Execute via CrossCom and take out the nest. The thing is you have to be as quick as possible or your teammate will die.

One of the major things people have to do (and in some cases me) is get away from any "disassociation" involved with its use. The fact is that the TacView is a tool. So when you get shot at, it will naturally bring you back to the "real world" as well, getting shot is important than digital movement. The thing is that I have a nasty habit of hitting the Tab button. And it's weird in its own way how you can be fired at yet seems "not happening". Key things of course to solve this is clear the area of any enemies and go from there. CrossCom can help you in setting up a perimeter. Get them situated, hope they will cover you while you "disconnect" from the mission and start planning. Or in the few missions where you're by yourself, just remember to find a good spot to hang out at so you can get your planning accomplished.

CrossCom System

CrossCom is the Big Thing of Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter. It's right now only a technology demonstrator and incorporates a wide range of stuff, some of which is quite nice… in a way. As the above screenshot shows, this is your CrossCom menu which you use to move, shoot, and communicate with your team. "Move" is well, self-explanatory, as well as "Attack". Note that you have to place your reticule on the target for your soldier to attack, along with anything else (Airstrike, Artillery, etc.). "Cover" means to cover the movement of the others, i.e. suppressive fire. "Stop" is self-explanatory, along with "Follow", and "Cancel". Stuff like this is explained in "Contact!" but the thing is, it has its uses.

The general thing about the CrossCom is that it's faster in some respects to the Tactical View. With CrossCom you can tell a soldier where to go, as per the screenshot above. To me, it allows quicker positioning for at least some kind of perimeter. You can do a lot less with the CrossCom, but then again for coordinated movement/attacks use the Tactical View. In the picture below, the "Move" order with the CrossCom menu automatically generates a Move Waypoint and the soldier automatically goes to it. Note that you cannot setup an arc of fire for the soldier:

You just have to hope he's looking in a preferred direction, but reality will show that he tends to look away, or sometimes you do get lucky and do get what you want, but then again using the Tactical View is preferable. Using the CrossCom is quite simple. I have the menu setup so that I use my right mouse button to open and execute CrossCom commands. The thing is you have to have your setup correctly and comfortably done so you can execute commands on the fly, which is necessary for the fluid nature of MOUT combat. And pretty much, GRAW is all about MOUT, or Military Operations in Urban Terrain. Only "Strong Point" gives some semblance of tactical movement, and it would be nice if GRIN made something like that, at least for Single Player or even Co-op play.

Another useful feature is of course it highlights enemy soldiers, whether from one of your teammates, Drone, or other friendly assets:

In all manner of speaking, CrossCom gives you information, and allows you to make better decisions for it. While it may never replace the human mind, it sure helps you in taking care of your mission. It also allows quicker execution of targets, such as "VIP 2 is Down", you use your mouse wheel or configured button/key and select the Airstrike option, point, click and execute. All without going into the Tactical View. Of course the most known feature of CrossCom is the helmet mounted camera. Overall I tend not to get too excited about it, except for maybe using it for what it's probably intended, route reconnaissance. In "Quarterback" it helped me figure out an alternate route as the first roadblock with the .50 cal was holding me back quite a bit. Once I moved Allen a bit around some buildings, I saw what he was looking at, and found a bypass, or better yet, a better angle to neutralize the .50 cal. Also bear in mind that you can only select one soldier at one time, not a combination. So it's individual, or the team. If you want coordinated attacks in multiple directions then use the Tactical View. Again, CrossCom is a quick orders interface for the game.

Use is pretty simple as all you do have to is select the soldier, and hit "G" (default key) and it will bring up the selected soldiers camera view. You can access it also through the Tactical View. Note that when you shut the feed down, you will automatically return to the Tactical View. Unfortunately you cannot control the head movement so you have to deal with what he is looking or not looking at. If needed, cross-check with the Tactical View to see what direction he is looking at and then of course go from there.

Modded CrossCom Video Feed

Symbology for the CrossCom system is pretty simple; Bottom left is the currently selected soldier by name, and health status. Bottom right shows the weapon he is currently using at the moment. Upper left shows the orders status. The upper right shows mission time, game-wise, not actual time. It's a timer basically. It can show anything from "Cover" to "Move" "Following", to "No Order". It's pretty easy to figure out and you cannot use nightvision either with this system. Weird but true.

The "Attack" option? I never needed it. Generally for team movement and engagements, you never have a problem getting them to attack. Maybe take them to the firing range more, but that's about it. Use this function for scripted events and to designate people you want shot by somebody else if needed.

The "Cover" option is quite simple to use as a matter of fact. Orient yourself to the direction you want your teammate to cover and then select "Cover from the CrossCom menu. Execute and the selected teammate will cover that area, and may adjust himself as necessary given terrain, but needs to be selected per teammate:

The only thing with a few missions is that the Scramblers can neutralize the effects of the CrossCom system. Oh well, get used to not operating it. Generally though, even with it in "Fierce Resistance" commands can still be executed normally. Sure there are some differences, but really, we're used to working without it today, so the advent of hand signals, or voice won't go away. Even then, you're still getting the satellite feed so what difference does it make, other than regular updates, but still your Mk.1 eyeball and brain will keep you in the fight.

One more thing that makes the CrossCom useful is that it allows you to position your soldiers when under things, such as bridges:

While you can never of course orient your teammates how you want to, it's good for fast maneuvering when satellites can't see through man-made or natural objects.

Section Split

While previously I did say something about not really doing tactics, here's something and an example on how both can be used to execute an attack. For this I term the Section Split, in which really just split your team, which turns into a Pincer attack. However, right now it's only effective in "Bulldog" where the terrain favors it. First off, we'll start off with the first roadblock. In this instance, we all manage to get to the overhang just directly "below" it.

As you can see, I've already prepositioned both Kirkland and Allen to where I want them to step off from. Brown, since he's on the right, doesn't need prepositioning, and therefore only needs to be oriented towards the roadblock right by the LMTV. His job is to catch anybody that Kirkland and Allen may miss (it turns out the two hand grenades I used effectively wiped out the whole defense except for one guy) or if they move towards any direction towards us. Now to get Kirkland and Allen to where they need:

Allen is going to follow the same pathway so I will not show him. And this is a Team effort:

Yep, I will move to my own waypoint, but naturally they should get most of them. But I'm in the fight too. Execute via CrossCom:

Quick, effective. Note that I got lucky this time as said before, the two hand grenades I tossed pretty much took out a lot of infantry that I didn't realize, that and I chopped two down, along with the sniper in the area. Be advised you might have to flex as necessary, or adjust to support them, as I could have easily moved Kirkland and Allen more forward to cover more of the roadblock. Note that if it was worse, I'd move Brown in and follow or support myself, or adjust Kirkland and Allen as necessary. It's a flexible tactic that so far is useful in some instances.

Note that you can use it other situations to, such as Quarterback. After getting through the ambush, and such you have to deal with the roadblock. Okay first thing, always go for the dismounts. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. In this case, it didn't work, so I was suppressed by the dismounts, and the .50, and the HK21E on the Panhard there. So don't fear, just reappear. So anyways, I flex downwards (map-wise) and setup the Waypoint:

Initially I tried to flank and he spotted me, and attempted to light me up. No biggie, I had caught a glimpse of a dismount to his left, so I got him first. Still the .50 was firing, time for a modified Split. I positioned my guys like this:

Allen and Brown are my shooters, I'm bait. Kirkland, security. So as you can see, I set the waypoints. Brown and Allen orient on the .50, while Kirkland holds. Setup and ready to fly. I hop out; get the .50 cal's attention, Execute via CrossCom:

By the time before the above screenshot was taken, I had three dismounts left. Therefore when Brown and Allen were in contact, I flexed (moved) Kirkland into position as well as I flanked while Brown and Allen ducked for cover. As you can see you can immediately adapt to the situation, and survive a major engagement, or a quick one involving dismounts you missed. So basically, overall security was already set after conducting the attack on the .50 cal.

Configuring Your CrossCom

The major issues I've noticed was the lack of knowledge of configuring your CrossCom controls. You have to go to Options/Controls/Misc. From there you have these Options:

- CrossCom prev
- CrossCom use
- CrossCom next

Pretty much it's self-explanatory as all you do is assign keys to these, that's it. Me I use a four button Logitech trackball. LMB and the small button is used for firing the weapon and optic/zoom view. RMB is configured for the "CrossCom use" so basically I simply right-click and it brings up the menu. On top of that button is "CrossCom prev" which works in that I use the RMB to bring up the menu, and also to execute the commands. Simple eh? Then to select, I simply hit button 3 and select my options. In some situations it's kinda difficult, but then again, I never take my fingers off the weapon controls so if I get in a bind, I can fire while the menu is open, and when able to, execute commands when able.

Cypher Drone

First introduced in the first tutorial/mission, the Cypher drone is your recon asset that is given to you only in a few missions. Most of the time it's good to have, especially when you're all alone, such as Mayday Mayday! or Guardrail IX. It's pretty simple; it's a propeller driven hover drone that you can order around like a Ghost. The benefit is that it won't get shot at, and follows orders. While the cynicists can say what they want, the main problem is people actually using it that I've noticed on the forums. Some people call it useless, but never had an issue with it.

The thing is you have to move it to a position, and then sit it out for a minute or two. Let it scan the area, and it will happily project the markers for enemy troops or personnel for you. Simple enough, and can help plan things out. The only thing is though, with some missions (like the two previous ones) Scramblers can interrupt the signal so you won't get the markers. Generally if you can still access the satellite view, then go by that, by remembering the locations.

Note that I actually "confused" it. There seems to be a "hiccup" between using it with the CrossCom or with the Tactical View. Apparently the Cypher has to stop, and then execute its next order. Then it gives its own "Does Not Compute" by constantly looping the sound. I've also noticed this when the drone is not in your tactical view. Keep this in mind when giving it too many orders.

Mods Used:

Mig1's SCAR 6.8SPC Pack Lancer's Multicam camo weapon skins Vth F Smith's Realism Mod 1.4 DiGiTALY -TC-‘s Multicam Uniforms

ds used:

Multiplayer Co-op

Since we're talking about Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, we're going to add the multiplayer Co-op. First off, it's generally the same as any other co-op. Thing is… you have to keep the Team Leader alive. Generally it's the dumbest concept. Nothing wrong with looking out for your team leader but the point is while death is unfortunate regardless if it's real life, or virtual, the show must go on. Enter GRAW. If the TL dies, the game is over. I've seen a field exercise stop because the commander got killed. Sorry, anyways, gotta stop another rant.

Client

Client-wise, things are definitely different. CrossCom is not available to you; you basically follow the directions from the TL.

As you can see, the Tactical View is very very limited. Gone are the tools that you were accustomed to while in SP. That's because you're the subordinate. Simply put that's how it is. Only options are "Exit" Other functions, such as overall map view and zoom in/out is of course present and executable. Current objectives are of course present, and you can Exit out. Not much eh? Generally not much you can do. Note that the commander if you are a subordinate is "1". Pretty simple really and a good reference without cluttering up the HUD with the typical long names most gamers give themselves. Note that as in SP, your own position is the same, using the "O" as your actual position, not the commanders.

However, since it is client/teammate sided, here is what happens when you are given particular commands. SMS Tinker was commanding this mission, and much is appreciated for his help in this area. First he'll give me a "Cover" order:

As you can see, the projected arc he wishes me to cover is shown on my compass. So naturally I orient that way, covering that arc. Simple. Now he tells me to move via the map to move to a certain point:

Naturally, where he wants me to go (along with the other two AI along with us) is shown in my HUD, and that's where I go. Simple enough:

Here's the Commanders Waypoint. Why it shows up in my HUD I don't know but then again, I'm beginning to think that the Waypoint is also used as a designator, much as above, in SP.

Another useful feature… is that you can view through the Commanders Helmet Camera:

While useful, in a sense this test was limited, but as you can see, it added a whole new level of information to the game. Generally its player's choice if needed to look through it. Overall I think it's a nice feature, least for screenies anyways. ?Note you can also look through everybody else's. Only one you can't look through of course is yours. But your Commander of course can look through it to see what you're looking at, doing. Big Brother but in a sense it's welcomed as it can help you out during Co-op play.

Missions played:

Strong Point, Coup d' etat, Bulldog, NORAD on the line, and Quarterback on Normal Difficulty. Thanks to SMS Tinker for being the Commander and helping me understand this system in our Co-op session playing Contact!


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