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Advanced Field Tactics
By Pte Maylam
Comprehensive and detailed guide from basics to advanced tactics. New for 2014: Spotting and ID'ing Marksmanship, movement, cover, smoke, close quaters, concealment and more. Lots of in-depth advice for new players and old. The intent is to complement the other guides also released. This goes into more depth and detail on items such as movement and where and when to deploy smoke, as well as tactics for fighting up close and room to room. Use the advice here to supplement your own ideas or other people's advice. It's not a be-all and end-all set of advice -- at the end of the day, you should do whatever suits your play style and whatever works.


This work is finished, but will be amended and updated as I think of more things that might be worth sharing. Any advice or additions or feedback so is welcomed, although I'd prefer them to be constructive.

Finally,

If you have found the guide useful, interesting, or even just respect the amount of effort that has gone into this guide, please do rate it up or favourite.
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Battlefield Basics
Originally, the guide plunged right into the deep end, starting straight away with one of the main sections. As I've written and added to the guide, there are various things which don't really belong in any one section, but are useful throughout. They are therefore going in a 'basics' section.



Mark your targets: Positive Identification -- PID
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- Friendly fire is almost to be expected in games with large teams, fighting in confused close quaters. Some people accept it serenly, others throw out a lot of unecessary abuse for it. At any rate, there are things one can do to minimize the chance of blatting your own comrades.
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Germans wear Grey, Russians wear Yellow: Uniforms and dress
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- So yes, if the person in your sights is in grey, he's on the Axis team, while if he's in a delightful yellow number, he's going to be a soviet. Other distinctions to note are that most russians wear pilotkas [side caps] or other soft hats (ushankas [fur caps with ear flaps] on winter maps), nearly all germans wear helmets. Learn to distinguish between the German helmet and the Russian helmet; they are extremely distinct. Russian ones are green, german ones are grey. On winter maps, Russians wear great coats (except some hero classes that wear a green padded tunic - very different to the Germans), while the germans lack a lot of winter gear and wear standard tunics. The two armies are very visually distinct, be careful!
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Movement
- Germans sprint carrying their weapons one-handed. Russians sprint carrying their weapons with both hands.
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Voice
- Surprisingly useful up close: pay attention to what accent nearby people are shouting in, and in what language. Generally (on the UK game at least), your enemies speak in their native tongue, while allies [and you] speak in accented English. If you hear someone shouting nearby "Za Stalina!" or "Sterbe, du Russen bastart!" ["For Stalin"; "Die you Russian ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥!"] then there's a good chance an enemy is extremely close and about to try and kill you.

Don't make yourself easily team-killed
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- I cannot stand people who run RIGHT in front of me while I am clearly shooting as I often plug them. The worst offenders are people who run right in front of deployed machine guns -- it's an invitation for a teamkill and entirely the fault of the victim.
-Move behind people who are clearly engaging the enemy; always leave lanes free for machine guns, one of the team's major assets. Have some awareness of the others around you.
Separately, pay attention to engineers with the large square packs on their back - take note when they are hefting satchels etc. Pay attention to what your mates are doing, you're on a team.
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Generally, Team-Killing is an honest mistake.
-If you inadvertantly slot one of your chums, apologise. It's only common courtesy. When you're having to snap-shoot fleeting targets, everyone makes mistakes - be remorseful, don't dwell on it. Conversely, if it happens to you, be reasonable about it.

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Communications
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- Many an attack has broken down because no one tried to coordinate. Use Voice-chat or text - pay attention to both.
- Don't be a prat and spam them, try to use them constructively.
- Don't just mark targets - if you have voice chat, use it to warn your mates. Not everyone can concentrate on the map the whole time. Someone threw a lot of abuse at me once as I was a tankist on Krasny Oktyabr. A german tank on the left flank had been killing Russians, yet I wasn't aware as I was trying to cover the team as they actually entered an objective, rather than swanning off to the side. He had been marking it on the map, which I was too busy to check, but never thought once to use voice to warn me - he saved that for throwing abuse later. Use communications actively to let your comrades know what is happening.

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Camping has a time and a place
- I respect people who can find a reasonable spot to set up shop, and I enjoy hunting them down if they're opposing me, and respect the support they can provide if they're with me. But some times, it is critical for people to move to the objectives. My team has lost on Dom Pavlova (Pavlov's House) several frustrating times because too many people set up in the buildings and never pushed forward, and worse, were innefective. Objectives could be taken but not held, because too many people wanted to be another Vassily Zaitsev.
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Remember -- you are still a member of a team.
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There are NO snipers in RO2, only marksmen, who would have operated within a platoon or squad, rather than ranging off on their own (technically in pairs). There are times when it is critical to push forward or directly hold a cap area. Have the battlefield awareness to know when you can amble off on your own and when you should be directly helping your team.

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Light
- Even on lower graphics, as my crappy computer cannot handle more, light is realistically modeled. Stand close to a window, you will shine up and be really visible. Stand well back and you will blend in a lot better. Use this to your advantage.

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Sound
-Get used to the difference between far, near, and effective fire. All the weapons - and their rounds - sound different depending on if they're being fired on the map somewhere, near you, or at you. Use the sounds to guage a reaction - throw yourself onto the dirt? Ignore? Cover a certain arc because the enemy is over there? This can allow you to surprise the enemy and not vice-versa.

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Bolt-Action Rifles: working the bolt manually.
RO2 is thoroughly realistic, to the point that you can manually work the bolt on bolt-action rifles. It's a very useful feature: first, you can see if your shot was effective before re-bolting, which obscures your sight picture. This can actually be very important in choosing whether to relocate, take cover or seek another target etc. Manual bolting allows you to ready the rifle faster than when your avatar re-bolts the weapon automatically. This can make all the difference. It also allows you to reload having fired a round (assuming you haven't emptied the magazine) without ejecting a useable round, which can be important in prolongued firefights (or on maps like Kurgan where ammo crates are very few and far between). When you get used to it, manual bolting can be thoroughly useful.
Movement and Cover
It sounds obvious to start, but remember - standing up makes you highly visible. It's very tempting to leg it as fast as possible to reach an objective, but moving around in the open makes you a very easy target indeed. Wherever possible, use cover to move. Cover is important because it shields you from view. It's not always bullet proof (more on that later), but that does not matter if you are not there. A tall wall in the right place might allow you to sprint while standing (the fastest form of movement) without presenting yourself as a target. Crates or sandbags might provide sufficient cover to crouch wherever you want to go, and even demolished walls might provide enough cover to crawl through.


Be patient
- It's usually better to move from one item of cover to another, breaking up movement over distance. This reduces time spent in the open, and allows you time to recover stamina before moving to the next point. On maps like Mamayev Kurgan, this is very important. You can sprint continually, but you end up waddling up the hill, exhausted, and shot before you reach the objective.


Crawling is not a Dirty Word

- Crawling has its place and isn't always used in favour of running (usually crouched) from A to B. Crawling is very slow, but on the plus side, at distances you are markedly less visible than your chums who choose to stand up. Also, it allows you to......:


Make use of the shape of the terrain
- On larger maps like Kurgan, Barashka or the custom Bridges of Druzhina, the undulating nature of the terrain means you can move with a certain amount of freedom if you're careful, even if large spots of cover aren't available. For example, the Germans on Kurgan, before reaching the first objective, can more or less run up the hill in the open on the extreme right flank and reach the objective area (and an entrance to the dugout network) without really recieving much fire. Crawling can allow you to use dips and craters to move without being seen. On Bridges of Druzhina, lying prone and careful use of terrain or vital for being of any use to your team.
Above: a smill recess in the ground can mean cover from view and fire.

Two tanks: one is very easy to kill; the other less so (although from the point of view of a determined AT infanteer, very easy to sneak up on. But more on that later.)


Stand up to sprint in the open - in bursts
- This one is probably a contentious point for some - crouching presents a smaller target. I would argue that you do not reduce the target presented in the open enough to justify it, but you do move considerably slower. You are easier to shoot while moving slower. Need to cross the road on Barracks? Best to sprint as fast as you can. As with the above point, move in stages - pause to regain stamina and move from cover to cover as you (let's face it) run about on the maps.


Do crouch if it makes sense to do so
- Obviously, if there's a shoulder-height wall between you and the enemy, crouch while moving along it so that your head does not present a juicy target. When scuttling up and down trenches, again, crouch if standing up means your head is out of the trench as you move. Use a bit of judgement to decide when and when not to crouch. But the main point here for me -- stand up when sprinting in the open.
Pictured: the one who moved while crouching and the corpse of one who didn't.


Be logical
- Something that offers an obvious source of cover will be obvious to the enemy as well. When going for camping spots, look for less obvious positions to hide in, to avoid having your melon blown off as soon as you get there.


Be methodical
- Plan your move before you head on out. It doesn't take long to assess a route for a 150m run. When moving from the Voyentorg Ruins to the 9th January Square on the Pavlov's House map, you can move in stages using the trams and wreckages and sheds to shield yourself from a lot of fire which could come from Zab's House and the streets either side.
Getting to the cap area - in bursts from cover to cover: Voyentorg to this tram; tram to tram; tram to hut; hut to building in 9th Jan Square.


Be aware of the limitations of cover
- On a number of occasions, I've shot someone in the head because the pile of sandbags they hid behind was not quite tall enough, and their head stuck up even when crouching behind it. Consider from what angle the enemy will most likely be firing from - case in point, a lot of German casualties are suffered when they hide behind the sandbag positions on Apartments at the begining. A lot of Russian fire comes from 2nd or 3rd storey windows. Even crouching behind the sandbags won't remove them from the line of fire.
Fighting in Cover
In a game that encourages good tactics, as well as attack and defence like Red Orchestra 2, fighting from and in cover is one of the bread and butter aspects of the game. That said, there are things you can do to prolong your life considerably, which at the end of the day will make you more of an asset to your team.


Avoid sillhouetting like the plague
- So many people seem to stand right next to the windows. Even when they are careful to keep low, they still are extremely noticeable. If you can see them, you can shoot them. Stand back from windows and firing slits, and stand to one side of them. Your field of view will be somewhat limited, but you will be far less likely to be shot. Which is a good thing. You can always move to the other side of the window as well to get different arcs of fire. The more successful snipers on Spartanovka who stick to the main buildings (church or town hall) are the one who stand well back from the windows. RO2 is good in that it models how visible you are - stand well back in shadow, be far less obvious than standing in open sunlight. Exploit this.
A very obvious target... [Actually, I got shot by him because I fumbled around looking for the screenshot key, which I had re-assigned and then forgot what I re-assigned it to....]

Much better - their fields of view are decent and they are far less likely to be shot because the enemy tends to look to their front, not their side. If they were standing directly in front of the window, their life expectancy would drastically decrease.




Move around
- Lots of people are very good at firing and ducking. But when they stick to the same spots, its easy enough to shoot them when they pop back up. Trench maps are especially bad for this. Get off a few shots, then move to another section of trench, or window, to avoid making it too easy for the enemy to blow your head off.


Don't trust walls, floors, ceilings...
- A lot of the larger callibre weapons can shoot through walls. The Mg34 particularly is nasty for this as the large magazine allows for a lot more 'trial and error'. A canny player can exploit this. Hear an enemy shouting upstairs? Maybe shoot through the floor (Pavlov's House and Commissar's House are good maps for this sort of thing). It can be surprisingly effective. On Appartments, it's possible for the Russians to be bled of reinforcements by Germans hiding in the buildings at the flanks of the first two objectives. It's possible (with a bit of luck and judgement) to shoot them through the walls, which I have managed on occassion, which is rather satisfying.


Less obvious is better than bullet-proof
- It's all very well hiding behind a set of sandbags, but they're of little use if the moment you stick your head over the top, someone shoots you. There are a lot of things that can be used to offer you a reasonable field of view without being too obvious. The best cover will prevent you from being seen, although it's not necessarily bullet proof. That doesn't matter - they cannot shoot you if you cannot be seen. It could be a small gap in a thin sheet of corrugated iron, or through gaps in the wooden stairs outside the Propaganda House on Apartments. Similarly, pay attention to canny players who aren't using the obvious items of cover.
The best cover will offer a decent field of view, but won't be obvious. Staying hidden is safer than being in a bullet proof area that everyone knows about, because when you stick your head over the parapet.... Bang.



Search for loopholes
- Loopholes can be small gaps that up close allow you to shoot out of, but are much harder to shoot through from a distance. A lot of crate stacks have gaps that offer you decent shots (eg on the rail bridge on the Barashka map) if you get the distance from them just right, but are near impossible for the enemy to get you back through.
The wood covering the windows is not bullet-proof, but it does not have to be. This excellent loophole can allow a canny player to completely dominate the blown-open area of the German Infirmary objective (D) - you are very difficult to be spotted but can even kill enemies hiding below the sandbags because of the angle.


Be aware of flanking opportunities
- Your cover may be ideal for fighting enemies to your front, but be aware that it may be abysmal to your sides. The Grain Elevator is a great map for highlighting this. Watch your flanks and look for opportunities to enfilade enemy positions.


Defensive Smoke
- Mainly use to avoid being enfiladed (recieve flanking fire) or to cover reinforcements as they move into the objective. Generally counter productive to pop smoke in front of the position (if you must, do it *far* in front. Not up close, NEVER on the position. See the "Smoke" section.
Assaulting
So, the antithesis of sitting in cover is of course assaulting the enemy. This is where people who are observant and have quick reactions can come into their own. These tips could help improve the life effectiveness of an attacking force.


Exercise care when throwing smoke
- Don't forget you have smoke, if you are a smoke-carrying class.
Consider what you are assaulting, and how your comrades are likley to go about taking it. Smoke should ideally be landed just in front or on the enemy position. It should mask your approach, but not to the extent that it hinders your ability to operate. It should blind the enemy so that they cannot fire with any effectiveness on you. Too often it is thrown short - you want it just in front of the objective.
Do consider using it also to cover your reinforcements as they attempt to approach the objectve.
Do consider using it to mask your flanks to avoid being shot by enemies attempting to go around.

See the 'Smoke' section for more.

Look for alternative entrances
- Charging down the middle rarely works, and most objectives offer multiple means of entry or flanking. Moving around and coming from behind can remove the advantages of a fixed position and - assuming your character doesn't shout loudly, giving away your position - allow you to surprise an enemy, inflicting multiple casualties and severely damaging their defence.


Don't be afraid to bayonet
- Or club, of course. In short range meetings, eg moving from room to room, the impulse is to shoot, or aim and then shoot. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, actually sprinting forward and shanking the enemy can be more effective especially as surprise and panic will hinder their aiming. Don't crouch for this. I've found when I've stood up and charged at close range, the bayonet is more likely to be lethal. When crouching, it is more likely to injure the enemy (stomach or leg wounds versus chest). They can then shoot you or stab you back before bleeding out. Be careful not to overshoot your target when charging. I have on a number of occasions (especially when the enemy is running in my direction anyway) run past and stabbed a wall to the side of them... Be careful to hit first time as you will rarely get a second chance


Use automatic only up close
- On the other hand, while moving to your target (Mkb42 and AVT-40, I'm looking at you in particular), use semi automatic. It encourages you to aim first rather than firing and correcting when you miss, and allows for ammo conservation and a decent rate of fire if necessary. Moving from room to room, it's probably best to use auto as living is more important than conserving ammunition. Weapons like the PPSH should be used in bursts at range or better still (particularly if you have low profficiency), kept until the enemy is closer. When to shoot and when to skewer? Usually a matter of judgement. If you're prepared to shoot (crouching and aiming down the site, moving slowly), shoot. If you've sprinted into a building and bumped into an enemy, shank. If they've a rifle, charge. If they've a machine gun (the russian one, not an Mg34), charge. If it's a PPSH with a drum mag, or an Mg34, probably best to shoot.


Listen
- You can hear where an enemy is coming from based on fire, voices and footsteps. Use this to ensure that you surprise him, and not vice-versa.


Engineers
- Can, on certain maps, blow new entrances into buildings, and routes for tanks (Fallen Fighters, Dom Pavlova, Krasny Octyabr). Look for these (they highlight yellow to engineers). Conversely, pay attention and try to avoid being blown up by their satchel charges.


Section Commanders (Squad Leaders)
- It's not always about charging in. Your duties in an assault are far better suited to acting as forward spawn points just outside an objective (find a safe area first though, huh?) and deploying smoke correctly than charging in and blatting away with a shiny gun. Successful assaulting teams have SLs who allow the fight to keep up momentum by allowing reinforcments to more or less spawn straight back into battle. On maps like Fallen Fighters, Barashka, Mamayev Kurgan etc, where there are long distances involved from Spawn point to objective, this role is vital. It is a rather selfless role, since you don't get team points or much experience for hiding in relative safety outside of an objective zone, but consider that the blokes in your section will be far more effective for it.


Artillery
- Artillery in support of an assault should be used to cut off reinforcements to an objective. The easiest assaults are where enemy reinforcements cannot reach an objective. The church and town hall on Spartanovka; the Voyentorg Building on Pavlov's House; many of the objectives on Red October, etc, etc....
- Avoid bombing buildings with the roofs on directly. On Barracks, this is vital, as most buildings have roofs. If your SLs do their job, you can get a good stream of reinforcements into a building to overrun it, while the enemy won't be able to thanks to denial of their routes of entry by artillery.
Around 3/4 - 4/5 of the shells dropped on this (D on Barracks) are wasted due to the roof. It was still possible for German reinforcements to enter the building; they could even run around upstairs in relative safety. A better place to drop shells would have been around the wrecked tank. Reinforcements would have had it far harder to enter the building.
Room Clearance - FISH and CHIPS
FISH and CHIPS -- Fighting In Someone's House and Causing Havoc In People's Streets

Room clearance is ultimately what the break down of OBUA (Operations in Built-Up Areas) will result in -- Stalingrad is of course well known for being a brutal urban battle for the most part. Fighting in buildings is characterised by intense, close range exchanges, as well as a somewhat confused and often 3-dimensional battle. Do not be surprised to find enemies above, below, or behind you.

Ultimately, caution is needed to ensure that you are shooting the correct people. A split-second decision is needed, or you usually end up dead.

As with the rest of this guide, it's obviously not the be all and end all of room clearance, but the principles ought to help you function more effectively / maybe live a bit longer.


Entry Under Fire
- Entry can come in two flavours -- those under fire, and those not under fire. Entry while under fire means you do not have the luxury of preparing your entry and need to get in ASAP (usually because the enemy has the flank covered) or else you'll get shot. It doesn't really leave you much space for art. With an automatic weapon, be prepared to fire from the hip; with a rifle it's probably best to hold down the melee button (for me, Left Alt) and attempt to shank the enemy - if he's there. Reasons:

1) You close to him. He might miss in panic, he might be paying attention elsewhere. People usually react badly to being bayonet charged if it takes them by surprise.

2) His mates are more likely to watch the door. If they do turn on you, you are in the middle of them -- it's harder for them to shoot without hitting one of their comrades and adds to the confusion. And if they are looking inwards, they cannot stop your allies from entering.

3) If you are successful, you can move around and stab others from behind.

Of course, it doesn't always work, but with a rifle, if the alternative is standing in the doorway and firing, I know what I'd rather do.


Entry from relative safety
- Where you're not likely to be shot if you take a breather before going in. There are two ways which you can enter. One is bursting in, similar to above except that you have time to consider what you're intending to do once you're through the door, hoping to snap shoot enemies before they can react, relying on speed and surprise. There are circumstances where it can work, particularly if there is the relative safety of a room a few metres from the entrance. (Eg the side entrances of C, the NCO's Barracks on the Barracks map, there are side doorways soon after you enter). This is also useful if the enemy is set up in a difficult to see location - moving in slowly with caution will allow them to paste you; with speed can allow you to pass their field of fire. A major example is the two flank buildings' stair cases on Appartments. Many a machine gunner has dealt major damage from those positions. It's best to move in toward the back wall of the entry room, although you have to be careful there weren't enemies hiding beside the doors.

- The second method is slower but more cautious. It is similar to the current British Army method of 'cutting the cheese'. Essentially, you start to the side of the door and slowly make a semi-circle around it, at all times covering it with your weapon. You are therefore mostly shielded from veiw and can cover the whole interior (in stages). It gets its name from the stop-start movements the troops make as they side-step around the door, like slices of cheese or cake. There are times the added caution can be very useful in spotting enemies before you enter.


Grenades
- Are extremely useful for room clearance. Remember that they can be bounced off walls, allowing you to throw them from safe angles, without having to run into a doorway to throw it. Also remember that they can bounce off the door frame.. Another sometimes forgotten action is that you can gently bowl them under-arm. This is great for posting them through windows, or short distances, and can catch out unwary enemies. You can also cook them off so that they explode sooner although I wouldn't recommend doing it for longer than 2-3 seconds else they'll either take you out or explode in mid-air. On the other hand, an instantanious explosion can be very handy as it gives no time for enemies to get out the way.


Walls
- Are never sound proof and not often bullet proof in interiors. With weapons that fire rifle-calibre rounds, do not forget that you can often shoot through walls. This can be handy if there are enemies hiding from view who can pick you off as you move through doors. Cover from sight does not mean cover from fire - something I fidn that many people forget. I have been shot at and hidden behind corrugated sheets. I have survived because the enemy stopped shooting when I wasn't in view. Conversely there's something pleasing about hosing a wall and then seen a dead enemy topple out the door way.


Sound
- Keep your ears open - they can tell you how far away an enemy is; where he is. I have killed enemies through floors based only on footsteps sounds. Check the sound section in Basics.


Movement
- Crouch can be handy inside - you move slower and quieter, and crouching low can avoid you getting picked off from outside. Be aware of the limitations of crawling in enclosed spaces, and of being able to manoever quickly - it's easiest to bayonet people who are prone as they have the greatest difficulty reacting and bring their weapon to bear (in close ranges).


Awareness
- Be sure to quickly check your map at times (default: M) as this can tell you if your allies are near. It can help you positive-id (PID) enemies. If you can tell someone is there, but no friendly dot appears on your map - he is hostile. Awareness extends to the environment. Be aware the enemy could get behind you. Examples are on Barracks, Grain Elevator, Zablotony's House and Voyentorg Ruin on Pavlov's house. Don't assume because you are facing the front that the enemy is also going to be in front of you. Conversely, getting behind the enemy gives you a huge advantage as you have the element of surprise. As an engineer I have (to my own surprise as much as anyone else's) managed to get into Zab's house as a German from the Russian end, and then clear and blow the (reasonably well defended) machine gun positions without even getting wounded because I came from an unexpected direction. Alternatively assaulting as a German on Station, it's possible to inflict heavy casualties on the defenders by getting around them as they defend the entrance to the building - if you can get around them...


Streets
- Are best used for movement, rather than fighting, unless there is convinient cover. Be aware of the various windows enemies might fire from. Watch for movement. It's usually best to avoid fighting in the street if possible, especially if the enemy is in a building. If not, try to make sure you have mates with you.
Marksmanship: the art of getting your bullets to hit more than the ground
Various armies, over the years, have produced various guides to improving marksmanship. Although much of it is irrelevant in a videogame, due to the fact that all you are doing is aiming, there are still certain aspects of marksmanship that can be applied to the game to try and improve one's shooting.


Shooting through sights vs shooting from the hip
- Most of the time, you should be aiming down the sights of the weapon. The rounds will not deviate much from the sight picture at all, except for in prolongued bursts where the weapon shakes horizontally, and at long distances, where the rounds lose momentum and begin to drop.

Sight picture on a Mauser

- Firing from the hip rarely sees (with a very notable exception) rounds going anyway near the centre of the screen.
- It is therefore only reasonable to fire at the hip if you abolutely have to open fire immediately (eg you've run into someone in a building) and have an automatic or semi-automatic weapon. There, it is the weight of fire that means you might hit something.
- At close range, it can be sometimes better simply to close the gap and use cold steel, i.e., bayonet, especially if you have only a rifle.

- The Mg34 is the exception. It is supremely accurate up to maybe 50--60m from the hip, for the first 1-3 rounds. After that, it climbs too much and the kick sprays a wide area. This assumes you are stationary. Beware Mg34s during room clearance. Especially as they are very good at shooting through walls.


Pictured: belt-fed, man-portable death dealer.

Stability
Simply:
- Standing
and aiming down the sights experiences a lot fo swaying, as it is hard to hold a weapon steady completely unsupported. Standing should be saved for close ranges, or when you don't have time to take a better shot.
- Crouching
allows the weapon to be aimed with less sway. For all rifle-like weapons, where possible, crouch to fire.
- Prone
Allows the weapon to be aimed for long periods of time without the player's arms tiring (and hence, the weapon swaying). All long range shots should really be fired from the prone, and machine guns (except occasionally at close quaters).
- Resting
- it is possible to rest one's weapon on a ledge or wall, using the cover mechanic. The weapon will not sway at all. The issue is that using the cover mechanic often means you are *right* by a window, something which, as has been said above, is not an ideal place to be...

Ranges
- Rather hilariously, you can sight the Mg34 at up to 1800m.
- Bullet physics are modeled accurately, and as bullets lose momentum over distance, they drop.
- Most weapons are fine left on the (usually) default 100m sight setting, and no compensation for bullet drop is needed.
- If you are experiencing wide ranges of fighting, eg on parts of Spartanovka, Fallen Fighters or Bridges of Druzhina, set the weapon to 200m. Aim a little lower for close enemies and higher for far enemies. Alternatively, aim for the neck / jaw. At long distances, rounds should hit their chests and at close distances the head.

Moving targets: Deflection Shooting
- Moving targets are hard to hit as one has to take into account the fact that they are mobile. For people sprinting side on to you, aim around half a body's width infront at 100-200m.
- For very close ranges, aim at them, or to the side of them in the direction that they are moving. It takes a bit of practice, but being able to hit fleeting, fast moving targets is a very useful skill.,

Remember, you should be dropping them with one round on rifles, assault rifles and battle rifles. Make sure to be set to semi-auto, and don't fire wildly. Take your time, conserve ammo.

Focusing
- Holding *default* Shift will zoom your sight picture a bit, and steady the weapon, to simulate the firer holding their breath. If you have time and are firing from concealment, use this. If you are in a firefight with rounds coming in, it can sometimes be wiser to not hold shift, to avoid getting tunnel vision and not seeing more immediate threats. I have personally found it can be easier to hit moving targets without using the focus button.

Finding targets
- Can be very hard. See the P-ID section of Battlefield Basics for more. Look for fleetin silhouettes in fog. Most importantly, watch for movement. The eye's peripheral vision is best for this (especially in dark conditions). Try to pick up movement and muzzle flash to find targets rather than directly scanning for enemies. Be careful to be too exposed while doing so. Ultimately, this is a skill which you will develop with time.

Smoke
Smoke, the little item that got a few lines in the first format of the guide, then paragraphs in several sections, then multiple paragraphs and now like the little child that grew up -- congratulations, smoke grenades, you get your own section. Take a small holiday.

Did you enjoy it? Now back to work.



So, smoke can be decisive when used right. Smoke tends to come in two, less useful, varieties - hurled when the player is reasonably close to the enemy and in their general direction, or sitting in the pocket of a section commander who has forgotten he has it. Smoke can be extremely effective when used properly, but it is a double-edged sword and needs to be thrown with consideration for what your objective is, and how your comrades are likely to go about completing it. Too many times I've found smoke hurled by my own side to be more of a hindrance to me.

Defensive
- If you want smoke to cover a defensive position, pop it in front of, not on, your position. Better still, avoid smoking out your own position altogether. The benefits gained from being invisible will be negated by the cover it provides the attackers.

- A good defensive position won't really require smoke to hold. The first German line on Krasni Octyabr and the building overlooking Potapova Park on Appartments stand up reasonably well on their own.

- Consider smoke to cover reinforments as they enter an objective, rather than to protect the objective directly.

- Consider smoke on your flanks to avoid being enfiladed from the side.

Smoke will provide some respite from fire but will mask your enemy's movements too, allowing them to move closer and even negate the benefits of your defensive position in some cases. It has its place when defending from an assault, but exercise caution in its use.
Good use of aggressive smoke / poor use of defensive smoke - you are safe from view, but the enemy can now directly reach your position while covered from fire. The position is not itself smoked out, making things less confusing and team-kills less likely.



Assaulting
- Smoke should ideally be landed just in front of the enemy position. It should mask your approach, but not to the extent that it hinders your ability to operate, as will happen when smoke is directly on an objective.
- It should blind the enemy so that they cannot fire with any effectiveness on you.

- Avoid throwing short of the objectives, eg Russians assaulting on Appartments - the attackers emerge from it in the open, disorientated to a degree, and presented as silhouette targets to the defenders. Had the smoke been thrown further, it would have allowed the attackers to get far closer to the enemy, which negates some of their cover and allows short range weapons to become effective.
Poor smoke, though it could be worse -- the smoke needs to be at least on the lip of the gully (left of image) although closer to the church is better. Most of the smoke here is wasted in the gully; smoke on the German (right hand lip of the gully) side is useful, but only if there is more smoke further in front. Otherwise attackers emerge from the smoke too far from the church.

- Do use it to cover your men as they move to the objective - especially important on long-distance maps.

- Do use it to provide cover from flanking fire. But do remember you will not be able to see enemies who might try and sneak around.
Concealment
Finally, and somewhat overdue: Concealment -- some observations on how to find decent firing positions which offer good fields of fire, but don't attract enemy bullets too badly.

Hard Cover vs Soft Cover

- As has been emphasized in earlier sections, having a bullet proof piece of cover is of little help if the enemy know where it is. There is no point hiding behind a pefectly safe obstacle if the moment you stick your head up , it gets blown off.

Something that keeps you from the enemy's view is far more effective as a means of cover.
Who has the higher life expectancy?

Should I be hiding in bushes?

- Not necessarily. Some bushes and shell holes are such obvious cover that they're just as bad as a solid emplacement. Furthermore, bushes can severely restrict your view. The result is, you miss threats coming toward you, or crawl so far out of them that you are blindingly obvious - and shot.

Using the terrain

Very quickly - the first image: using it to move up unseen; the second - to reduce exposure to the enemy. On that note, those shell holes on Pavolv's house are excellent - no one checks them. You can sprint from hole to hole and go wherever you want. Do it in bursts and no one shoots you...

The result:
(The wrecked tank is my doing - I picked up a dropped Mosin on the way over. So many snipers in that building copped it...)


Below: on a hill, you should be an easy target, but every playthrough of Winterwald someone sets up about where my rifle is pointed at. The grass does not hinder their vision, but makes them jolly hard to spot. I have even had enemies run past me 10m away when I have been sheltering there.
It seems using a bit of nerve is more important than finding the perfectly safe position.

Thinking outside the box:

Finding creative firing positions can allow you to practically dance around and the enemy won't notice you. The enemy usually fights directly to their front. When they check their flanks, it's for obvious enemy locations. Firing to the side from a window usually allows you to stay quite safe:

In the instance below, the rifleman is completely exposed. But he ratcheted up a number of kills (one of the highest scorers that match) and was not himself killed once in the defence of the objective that the window overlooked.

In this instance below, the rifleman again caused a number of kills in a thoroughly exposed location because none of the enemies expected anyone to be attacking from that direction (defence of Elevator Foothold (C), Grain Elevator)

Again, here, the Germans were expecting enemies to their front or in the rooms to the right of the image - none were expecting an enemy sitting out in the very open....

Enfilading the Enemy (flanking fire)

Furthermore, a canny player can cause havoc by either moving beyond his objective or not falling back as the enemy advances.

Here, myself and a machine gunner caused havoc by pushing forward on Bridges of Druzhina. The attackers were not expecting an attack from the flanks that far in their territory. We were completely exposed but got away with it for far longer than we should have been able to by sheer brazenness:

Flanking: Cover your sides
Things to note - you're likely to die, and because you're behind the enemy's leading battle line, you are likely surrounded. Covering your sides, and staying far enough back means they are unlikely to see your muzzle flash. You also cannot be shot from the side (i.e. fire from an unexpected direction)

In both instances, particularly the top one, the enemy entered my killing zone. Engage the enemy on your own terms.

Narrower field of fire usually means safer
I got a decent number of kills from this position as a sniper on Pavlov's house. I didn't get killed once. Why? I hang right back in the shadows. People who stick around directly in windows get killed; hanging back means you are far less obvious usually. The downside is - you can't see as many targets - so be prepared to move around.

Conclusion: sheer nerve trumps most things; think outside the box

As a poorly armed AT'er, with AT rifle and pistol, I single-handedly held the bridge on the Russian Right flank on Barashka. The bridge seemed SO obvious that no one went on it - I had free reign to shoot people running past and take out tanks, or shoot those who made it to the other bank in the back.

This was not a testament to my skills so much as testamony that people tend to only search for the enemy where they expect to find them. To be honest, the whole thing was rather surprising.

The above image highlights several points: The building to the left completely hides me from enemies looking down the hill. They would only spot me if they looked to their right (or behind them and to the right). There is no cover, I am completely exposed. I survived merrily shooting people until someone I`d killed twice worked out where I was and stabbed me with much satisfaction, I suspect. It was an excellent firing position with excellent fields of fire and was relatively safe because it never occurred to anyone to check to their right. They assume fire was coming from up the hill.

Camping does have a time and a place
However, it remains to be said: Hiding and camping and hunting the enemy is a challenging and rewarding and fun way of playing.

HOWEVER

One must always be aware of the battlefield situation.

You are aiming to contribute positively to the team and this more often than not means TEAMWORK. Working together to take objectives. Yes, wonderful, you ranged off and killed 3 people, but an objective fell because no one defended it.

Use the advice in this section to better stop the enemy taking objectives or to help flank them. Be careful when you go all lone ranger on the enemy.
Spotting and Identifying Targets
Spotting, the antithesis of concealment. It's no good being well hidden if you can't see anything to shoot, and nothing's more frustrating than getting repeatedly killed by someone you really cannot see. As with all this advice, the more you practice, the more you will find methods that work for you, but these pointers should help you know where to start.


What to look for
- Look for movement. The eye detects movement better than it detects shapes. The eye's peripheral vision is very good at spotting movement, so scanning an area for movement rather than attempting to discern shapes can be surpringly helpful for spotting an enemy before they can spot you.

- Look for muzzle-flash. Especially at ranges and on darker or foggier maps, you may not be able to make out that enemy rifleman in the window, but when you see that bright flame as he fires - you can work out where he is and shoot him. Conversely, to hide your own muzzle flash, consider being far enough behind cover that it shields your weapon's muzzle flash from the enemys' view.

- Look for silhouettes and shadows. The enemy might not be visible directly, but their shadow can give them away, allowing you to wait for them to reveal themselves, or just fire through the wall or post a grenade there. Flickering at a window can indicate someone's presence, even if you are too far away to make them out for sure. And finally, as emphasized before - avoid silhouetting like mad, and keep an eye open for those generous enough to present an obvious target.

- Look for odd shapes or things that look out of place An out-of-place shape might turn out to be a concealed enemy, so keep an eye open.

- Look for obvious positions. Perhaps most importantly, 8 or 9 times out of 10, your opponents will broadly speaking hide in the same, reasonably obvious locations. Try to get to know the maps, and from there it becomes clear that certain positions offer favourable locations to try and fire on the enemy. These, however, have the inherant weakness that if you scan those areas, you are likely to find targets. For example, there is a wrecked tank on the German Left / Russian Right flank on Spartanovka that Germans players generally always use for cover. Setting up as a Russian in the church, one only needs to lie there prone with a weapon pointing at the tank and wait for targets to present themselves. There are many, many other locations on the various maps which are like that.
Defending E, Spartanovka: enemies will always oblige you with targets if you cover the flanks from the Town Hall as you defend it.

Other things you can do
- Allow the enemy to enter your field of view. This one follows on nicely and I cannot emphasize it enough. You place yourself at an incredible advantage to cover a likely position and fire on enemies as they enter it. They have to react, locate you, raise their weapons and then aim at you before they can fire. You will have already done this and can fire several times at them. If you fire on a target and then they duck away while they reload, DON'T do the same unless you really have to (no ammunition, or someone else is firing on you) -- keep aiming, and when the enemy leans back around their cover, you can shoot them before they can even aim at you.

- Listen for footsteps, voices, etc. I've said it before, and I'll re-emphasize it -- predict an enemy's location and the direction they are moving based on footsteps and voice (at close quaters). Use it to try and get the drop on them. Conversely, in close quater fighting, moving without sprinting (especially while crouched) is much quieter than moving while sprinting (which most people do). Being quiet allows you to surprise the enemy. Use any advantage you can gain.


- So this section has just been written and will like as not be amended and added to, particularly more screenshots.
TL: The Platoon Commander
There is already an extremely well written guide on Steam for the fundamentals about the classes. I highly recommend checking it out. Just as there is already a guide on the RO2 basics, this guide in general aims to complement those other guides, rather than treading on its toes / be a rival.

With that in mind, this section aims to discuss tactics for certain classes as well as discuss different weapons and their relative merits. Here, we deal with the Team Leader and Squad Leader: vital to a team playing well.


Commander

- The commander is obviously the Team Leader, the Platoon Commander, and is therefore a very important role. Good commanders can turn battles (to trot out a cliche); poor ones can deeply hinder their team.

Anyone using the Commander role purely for the weaponry has no right to be commander

- In a role that requires greater input other than purely fighting, this is inexcusable. Ideally the commander should be trying to coordinate his team's battle.
- In human-populated maps, this involves convincing everyone to cooperate for the same goal.
- The command widget (similar to the chat widget) allows a variety of orders to be quickly broadcast which will even appear on the map (attack, defend, move *here*) - some commanders do not use this, and it means fights can get less coordinated.

Smoke

- Don't forget you carry more smoke than anyone else. Use it, effectively. Check the 'smoke' section for more.

Recon

- Always call up recon planes. The more you call up, the better your team can function thanks to the 'visibility' recon planes provide. Very useful for finding snipers, or deciding where to call artillery, as well as seeing the enemy's intent (are they moving to one cap area or another?).
- Poor commanders rarely call up recon. Good commanders should be calling it almost as soon as it's ready.

Steering Bots

- Bot maps are useful for practice, especially as early forrays into full human servers can often lead to repeated (and frustrating) death by someone a lot better who shot you from 200m away. Having said that, bots have an terrifying accuracy - if they shoot you, you will be hit....
- Nonetheless in bot servers, the commander is vital in making up for his bot's lack of common sense. The command widget is vital -- attack / defend *here* can coordinate defence better; follow me can hold back the bots and avoid them running into an artillery strike and bleeding reinforcements. It can also allow a build up for a rush at enemy positions, rather than a trickle of men.

Artillery

Comes in 3 flavours: mortars, artillery and Katyusha / Nebelwerfer batteries (rockets).

-
Mortars
have a tight grouping, they fall fast and have small blast areas. They can be relatively easily placed to avoid friendly fire too much. They also have a short recharge. This can be handy in providing support to threatened areas on a fluid battlefield like Barracks or Pavlov's House. The mortar barrage is intense reasonably intense but does not last that long.

-
Artillery
is the main form of off map support that I would suggest. It has up to 5 / 6 salvoes, saturates a wide area, and lasts a while. It is fantastic at denying routes to objectives or suppressing areas. The downside is that it has a reasonably long recharge time, however it can also continue to suppress a position over several respawn waves.

-
Rocket Artillery
gives an intense, single salvo 'hurricane' bombardment, but gives the longest recharge time. Personally, I would avoid it in favour of a longer lasting arty bombardment. It *can* be devastating, but it does not last long enough, and only falls for one salvo. Salvo for salvo it covers the biggest area. It also goes through more building types than the other types. This can be extremely useful when done correctly.

Points to note on covering an area
- Avoid buildings, especially roofed ones -- artillery will *not* go through the roofs [rocket artillery can, I am told, penetrate certain buildings] and more often than not it means a lot of wasted shells. Maps like Fallen Fighters, Barashka and Mamayev Kurgan allow for good use of artillery. Building-heavy maps allow some level of negating it.

- Consider on defensive maps aiming artilery on your current position (Kurgan is a good example). If it looks like you've already lost the position, order your men to retreat and then call down arty.
- The reason you aim at your position before losing it is that it can be difficult to place a marker accurate when you're 150-200m away, and to aim a marker you have to expose yourself to enemy fire.
- It's easy to get a marker on the map safely, but very hard to get a marker on the map in a useful position. Do consider placing it ahead of time.

Danger Close
- Beaware of how widely your shells will fall - you do not want to be incurring temakills but conversely you don't want to be so careful about your men's lives that you waste most of a barrage.
- At least a gridsquare ought to separate the falling of the barrage from the closest soldier - usually. Use judgement of the distances, numbers of troops and the desperation of the situation.

Letting your men know

- Always warn yourside where you're calling down artillery. Make it clear, via VOIP or text chat. It's best to give a grid and then describe the target, eg Grid G7, road between objective C and D. Be concise but useful.

Force Respawn
- Try to balance the length of time before the next timed respawn as well as numbers of people waiting to go. Consider if a lot of men have been caught by say an Mg or artillery. But if there's only a few seconds to go, don't waste it.



SL: The Section Commander
Section Commanders

- Great news! Updates to the game have made the SL's primary functions give you team points! Now you get rewarded for actually doing your job!

- Squad leaders are vital to the team. Just playing SL usually encourages some of the men in a squad to formate and fight together rather than as individuals. SLs have to balance being active fighters but not to the point that they are continually being killed.

Mobile Spawn Points
- First and foremost, the most valuable thing an SL can do is stay in or around a cap area and act as a spawn point for his section. This can vastly improve a team's effiency, especially as it can reduce a long distance move between the spawn point and objective. Barashka and Kurgan are awful for this, and a good SL can negate much of the disadvantage. Of course, one should fight, but helping the team ought to really be the main priority. If you are outside a cap zone, your section will spawn directly on you. If inside, they spawn at the edge.

Artillery Spotter
- TLs should not be so imperious that they won't spot their own artillery markers, but good SLs should most definitely be finding alternative artillery targets. They know where the enemy is most effective, they can spot different things from different parts of the map.
- Choice is a good thing for the Platoon Commander when choosing where to dump High Explosive. Remember your binos (and the artillery spotting widget) and make good use of them.
- You get kill assists for every kill that artillery achieves if the TL uses your artillery marker.

Coordination
- Teams always fight better when they work together, and SLs are the most important troops for getting a team to function together. An active and communicative SL (voice is very useful, though I myself lack a mic) will often vastly improve a team's fighting ability just by getting players to work together. Voice, text, squad chat and the command widgets. Make use of them all.

As we can see, not exactly an excellent round, kills-wise. However, I managed to place highest on the Russian side through good placement of artillery markers for the TL, fighting in the capzones and, most importantly, being a good forward spawn point for my section. Similarly, the chap highest on the otherside was almost certainly playing Squad Leader. Case in point -- it is now entirely possible to level SL while playing the role properly (rather than grabbing gucci weaponry and slaughtering the enemy but not playing the role.)

Chain smoker
- SLs carry the much hallowed Smoke Grenade. Knowing where and when to use them is extremely important, but they can be used in a very effective manner.
- Get them just in front or on a target you are assaulting. Use smoke to cover your approaches to objectives (especially defensive ones). It is usually best not to put smoke in front of a defensive objective, as it usually hinders the defenders more than the attackers. NEVER place smoke on a defensive objective, unless to cover enfilade fire (eg, one flank is compromised, so you smoke it out to prevent machine guns from destroying your defence).
- Do use smoke in stages, on maps with long distances to the objective (Kurgan, Barashka etc), but do try to place a final smoke in front of the objective.

- Wait for your smoke... Many people heft them at the enemy and then sprint past them before they have started working fully.

- Use them to block enfilading fire. Cover your sides - they enemy can't hit (without a lot of luck) what they can't see.

Weapons
- The benefit of having rather important roles to do is to use shiny exciting weaponry.
- Use it to function effectively and to justify your taking the role / as a reward for doing the SL job. DO NOT take the role to get the weaponry. If that's the case, play assault or elite assault, or play as rifleman as penitance for being a non-team player.
Armour: being a mobile battle winner, not a mobile firework
Tanking is one of the harder aspects of RO2. On the one hand - wayhey! - you're in a giant bullet-proof box, but on the other hand, you also have limited manoeverability and most importantly, vision. Remaining battlefield aware can be very difficult, especially as your ai crew were oversleeping when intelligence was being handed out.

I'm not a brilliant tankist and I have held off doing this section for rather a while because of just that, but I have managed to be effective in both of the tanks tanks, and moreover at the moment I find the most fun role to be the engineer and occasionally AT. Tank hunting is so very satisfying, because it's quite difficult not to get mown down, especially if you're using an AT grenade. I therefore feel more confident to speak on survivibility of tanks. Any advice or observations for this section is gratefully welcomed.


Getting to know your tank: The Panzer IV

- Below is a 3-view image of the German Pz IV. Take a note of vulnerable locations, and keep in mind the relative location of the crewmen. The Pz IV goes in for thick armour to stop enemy rounds rather than sloped armour. It has a crew of 5, which makes life slightly easier because your tank commander is not also your gunner. The PzIV is superior at long ranges, especially due to its optics, and is more suited to sitting things out and slugging at long range.


The adversary: the T-34

- Sitting in the Red Corner is the famous T-34 76. Able to be produced is vast quantities (taking considerably fewer - by a factor of something like 10 - man hours to produce), the T-34 had a major impact on the war and was what encouraged the Germans to develope their heavier models - the Pz V Panther, and the Pz VI Tiger I. The T-34 really goes in for mobility than direct staying power. In earlier game versions, it was markedly inferior to the Panzer IV at long range. The T-34 sports the famous Christie suspension, which makes it much easier to take shots on the move. It is also faster, and the Driver has better visibility, especially if you open his frontal hatch. The T-34 has sloped armour, which is particularly good at negating AT rifle rounds to the front.
Below: Weak spots.

Commanding

- You must make use of your command widget to get the most out of your tank; ordering your crew to fire at will is important too as the hull machine gun will not always show initiative.
- Be wary of poking your head out of the turret for too long, and get used to the delay in movement commands - or use the go *here* widget.
- You can order your gunners to engage armour by RMB'ing the target, but keep in mind, the commander in the T-34 IS the gunner as well.

- Be aware, the ai is rather thick, so beware sending them down too narrow roads or areas with too many objects to get stuck on. Armour is a bit buggy and on a number of occasions I've hit a wall and got *stuck* on it.


Periscope
- In the T-34, you can detatch the periscope from the gun, so that you can look around much quicker and without the delay as the gun moves to what you are looking at. F will link the gun to the periscope; it will rotate to find the target you are looking at. This can allow you to spot enemies without the gun slowing your view speed.
- To do so, scroll out of the gunsight view, then right click on the optics you just leant back from. You will be in charge of the periscope.


Gunnery

- The tanks really do need their sights adjusted for ranges, even at reasonably close range. On maps like Pavlov's house I find immidately altering the sights by 2-3 increments allows me to better score first time hits.
- Also to be noted is that with the T-34, their sights are zeroed horizontally to 300m. You can only adjust range vertically (to account for shell drop). Below 300m, shells will hit a bit to the right of what you are aiming at, and to the left at 400m +.
- Always try to hit the side or rear of another tank, although firing to the front, aim below the gun on the T-34, and aim below the driver's hatch on the Pz IV (for the ammo supply) to try and get head on kills.
- Track shots from the front will guarentee a certain amount of damage, but rarely an actual kill.

- Try to get the first hit on enemy tanks and watch for their approach areas to hit them before they reach the main battle site (like Pavlov's house or Red October).
- It is much easier to kill a tank by hitting it unawares as often you can let off a second or third round before they can spot you.
- Conversely, don't follow the same route every time you respawn. That's good advice for all classes.


Driving

- Driving the tank directly is fun, but you must be aware of the width of a tank as nothing is more frustrating than going down a street and getting stuck because the tank was just a bit too wide.
- For a better view, consider going on the Pz IV to the front Gunner's position and sticking his head of the hatch. You can order the driver around still, using WASD, and if the hull gunner is killed, he is the most expendable member of the crew. This is useful for navigating on maps like Barashka.
- Consider from where your threat is likely to come from when positioning the tank. It turns faster at speed, so try to get its front pointing toward the enemy.
- Try where possible to make use of the rubble, walls, and wreckages when parking up the tank. Anything that reduces the amount of exposed tank to the enemyis a good thing ("Hull down") and can still let you take accurate shots.


Not dying from infantry

- The machine gun is effective at all ranges at infantry. Try to keep a safe distance away because the closer you are, the more effective their AT rifles are and the easier it is to be flanked.
- Beware engineers and AT troops running toward you. Their AT grenades are guarenteed tank killers. Hang back or try to keep infantry near you.
- As far as possible, try to keep a watch on your flanks, as humans are not stupid and will not (often) run obligingly in front of the hull gunner, or where the turret is pointed. It is very easy to get tunnel-vision in a tank, and for this reason I've got an awful lot more kills with the 10m range of the AT grenade than I have with an AT rifle.
- The closer an enemy is to the tank, the harder it is to bring the guns to bear in time. In many respects, open areas suit the tank as it's much harder to be snuck up on, and any decent team will usually be situationally aware enough to know where the enemy tanks are operating.
- Arguably hanging back is much more effective against infantry as your field of view is much wider allowing you to spot and defeat them long before they pose a threat. The park on commissar's house is ideal tank country.
Armour: Creating scrap metal as an Infanteer
Tank hunting is a daunting task for new players, and the equipment you have can severely limit your ability to be effective. Do not expect to top the scoreboards as a tank hunter; instead measure your success by how far down the scoreboard the enemies' tankists are! Nevertheless, tank hunting is one of the more rewarding roles -- afterall, scoring a tank kill ensures lots of fireworks, a burning wreckage and a noticible and immediate hindrance to the opposing team. How many marskmen can boast of that? Nevertheless, it takes a bit of practice to start nailing tanks as an AT infanteer, although some of the advice will count for all classes now that TW has included equipment for that can blow tanks up (i.e. satchel charges) placed at ammo points on stock RO2 maps.


The equipment of an AT infanteer

Anti-Tank rifle: PTRS-41 / Pzb 784(R)
- The AT rifles are the stock in-trade weapons of the AT rifleman. They are both the same; the Pzb 784(R) being a captured version of the Red Army PTRS-41. Both weapons level separately, however. The weapon is extremely bulky and at low levels, your stamina will drop like noboady's business if you sprint. It cannot be fired from any position except the prone and supported (eg rested on a window) positions. It has a 5 round magazine, which cannot be reloaded until the magazine is empty. Historically the weapon was carried and operated in pairs, with one man helping lug it about, and sporting extra ammo and some defence for the gunner.

AT Grenades
- Bulky and with a short range, AT grenades generally speaking can murder tanks with ease, provided you get them to land on the top of the tank, which is generally not too difficult. Great fun when you pull it off, since you have to sneak right up to the tank to crack it. The Germans get a magnetic anti-tank mine and the Russians get a more powerful, heavy stick grenade. Both function identially. They detonate on impact, and you can get caught by their blast.

Satchel Charges (at higher levels)
- Long-fused box of high-explosives. Can destroy objects such as walls or tank traps or pillboxes (assuming they highlight yellow when nearby), as well as tanks. Difficult to successfully use because of the long fuse.

Pistols
- A side arm. Effective only really at close range, unless you've had a lot of practice, personally I would counsell ditching them in favour of a rifle picked up off the ground, especially if you're planning on using the AT rifle.


Long-Range Tactics
- For the AT Rifle. They can be used up close too (and is generally more effective), but the same principles apply.

- NEVER raise the sights of your AT rifle; instead get closer. It is possible to get distance kills on tanks if you hit the correct spot, but the target area is harder to hit at distance.

- Avoid firing on the front of tanks; you can damage the treads and if you are lucky, kill a crewman (aim at the vision slits) but will rarely destroy it outright, and you only have 20 rounds unless you are of hero rank; instead approach a tank from the side or rear and aim at its vulnerable areas. This usually means moving around creatively and utilising concealment / cover to fire at the vehicles.

- As a rule, an easy spot to score damage are between the 2nd and 3rd running wheels of the tanks from the side, and the exhaust on the back.

- Fire slowly, and aim each shot. If you successfully damage the tank, you will see a small and somewhat dubious explosion where the bullet shot. If you fail to damage the tank, you will see small sparks where the bullet bounced off, and hear a ping noise.

- It often takes a good few shots (I think I was able to knock one out in two shots, but the average was between 3-5) to knock out a tank, assuming each one does actually damage the tank.

- As has been said before, less obvious but not bullet proof is better than obvious but bullet proof in terms of cover. Be original, tanks will look for the obvious AT riflement hiding positions, such as in the loftspace of Dom Pavlova or the Voyentorg Ruins (both on Pavlov's house map).

- Tanks have a poor field of vision -- exploit this! If the hull is not pointing directly at you, nor the turret, you are unlikely to have been noticed and can get around the vehicle to damage it more.

Cpt Praxius has kindly let me link his guide on the vulnerable points on tanks

- Rather than retread old ground (but less well), see here for a comprehensive guide on just where you should be aiming to knock out tanks with the AT rifle.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=144224938



Up close and personal: AT Grenades and Satchels

You need to be within 5-10m of a tank to knock it out with these.

Reaching the Tank safely
- Never run directly infront of its hull, or the front machine gunner will mow you down;
- Never run through the area where the turret is pointing for the same reason.
- Beware the T-34's periscope spotting you. It moves quickly and is hard to see moving.
- Use cover. Walls, buildings, slit trenches, bushes, undulations in the ground -- anything to remove the chances of being spotted.

- Beware enemy infantry, they're more of a threat to you. Never use the obvious route, and be methodical and patient. Sprint in bursts from decent bits of cover, if it seems like the enemy is paying attention elsewhere. Even be prepared to do a spot of crawling. On maps like Commissar's and Pavlov's house, it's often difficult to effectively use the AT rifle because of how tanks position themselves. Getting forward with the AT grenade is sometimes the only option. Use caution, use an cover -- even a shallow shell hole is better than nothing.

- Never crouch while sprinting in the open: you need as much speed as you can.
- Get rid of unecessary weight. If you are going in up-close and personaly, ditch the satchel if you don't need it; if you hate and cannot use the AT rifles, ditch them too and rely on the grenades.

- I have found a decent tactic to be to move past maybe 50m to the side of the tank before turning toward it. Remember, its field of vision is blinkered, and tankers have a tendancy to sit in spots away from infantry. You can easily catch it when it has no support (eg vast swathes of C on Pavlov's house [9th Jan Square] or the park on Commissar's house).

- Stop short of the target - stop maybe 20m away from the target in a safe place and stand by to sprint. In this time, get the grenade out ready.
- As you begin to make the last sprint, prime the bomb (i.e. pull the pin and hold it ready to be thrown.)
-When you're close (less than 10m), look up above the tank at a steep angle and throw. You need the grenade to land on the roof of the tank and not the side, otherwise it won't destroy the tank. Regardless of if you hit, run away immediately to safety! You will likely be shot anyway, but the aim is to kill the tank, and if you survive, it is a bonus.

- Satchels will stay on a tank even when it drives off. It is great watching a tank try to drive away from danger, but carrying a satchel charge with it.

- Try to get them when they're in a happy stationary position. Your grenade is an awful lot more likely to land on target.



Leveling, or: what to do when there are no tanks about
If tanks never seem to be about, you really need to behave just as a plain infanteer. Pick up a decent weapon off the ground and get to the cap-zones. If tanks are really rare, maybe ditch EITHER your grenades or AT rifle. Keep one though, as a means of destroy tanks if they appear, and keep which ever one suits the map, eg AT grenades on Red October Factory.
Morale and Stamina
This section will cover the ingame morale system, a somewhat confusing customer. Really, most of the tips will be farely obvious, but it's a compilation of my own observations and that of steam member Cpt Obvious. Unfortunately, more of this is speculation than definite statements, based on our observations.


What is the Morale system?
The morale system in RO2 is a means of loosely simulating the mental state of the soldier in combat. Stalingrad the battle inflicted a huge amount of trauma and stress on either side's troops, so it makes sense to include some for of reference to this ingame. Morale also includes the idea of suppression, so a lot of rounds coming in from a machine gun etc will reduce the combat effectiveness of troops through the morale system.


What are the effects of Morale?
The major effect of morale is drain colour from the screen as you get more and more panicked or suppressed. One's vision loses its colour, you can hear your heart beating, and other sounds become more distant. While suppressed, you lose the ability to zoom in with the [default] shift key. Your character is more likely to shout or talk. the culmination of these effects makes it harder to spot enemies, and harder to function effectively.

Your morale is measured by a green bar; nothing will happen until it reaches orange / red (nearly empty) and then you will fall into a suppressed state. Things which drop morale will stack with no noticable penalties untill you actually become suppressed.

Below: Morale low: You are being suppressed.



What causes a morale drop?
Most of these are fairly obvious, but what we have observed as causing a drop in morale:
- Getting shot at. A single round hitting nearby will cause a small dent; lots of rounds incoming will quickly drop morale, and machine guns are buggers for this.
- Enemy in proximity: Will cause a dent in morale -- you are worried. Lots of enemies and few friendlies will exaggerate this.
- People dying: When several friendlies are killed in quick succession, you can become suppressed (as in, your morale drops too much). However, in close fighting, even multiple dead enemies can cause a drop in morale -- maybe the stresses of fighting, or the sight of death..
- Being in smoke: Try not to stay in smoke for long periods of time. The disorientating effect can cause you to panic, and it will exaggerate fear from rounds passing your or comrades dying.
- Sprinting: Causes a very small dent in morale. This is rarely worth worrying about.
- Artillery: Nearby shell bursts will almost certainly send you briefly into the suppressed modes; being caught in a full on bombardment will certainly see your character panicking.


How to reduce the effects of suppression
- Avoid, or wait it out: If you find suppression to be too much of a hindrance, it's best to wait it out. Find a stack of sandbags or a shell hole and crouch or prone in that until your character is a bit less worried.
- Stay with your team. Being with your section (squad) will dampen the effects of suppression. Being near Heroes also increases recovery / lower the rate at which your morale drops.
- Find a less obvious area on the battlefield. Certain areas always attract lots of fire, and fire brings morale drops. On the flip-side, finding a decent loophole can let you merrily blat away without attracting so much return fire.
- Avoid artillery: Well, duh... But seriously, consider going around an artillery strike, even in a building where you may not be in direct danger of being blown into a red mist. It will cause your morale to crash if nothing else.
- Avoid killing zones: Again, duh. But if a lot of people have been mown down by an Mg covering, say, a doorway, it makes sense to go another way.

Most of the ways of preserving morale and avoiding suppression have much to do, in general, with self preservation. Don't put yourself in harms way, or get to somewhere safer if you are in harm's way. Most of this stuff is obvious and logical, but it's worth putting down as well.




Stamina

A note on stamina.

- Preserve it!
-- When your stamina falls low, you are more susceptible to suppression. Several people hjave noted you appear to shout more when you are tired. If you're attempting something sneaky-beaky, this can be a game-ender.
-- You run ridiculously slowly when exhausted. You also cannot jump when exhausted (a pain when trying to jump slit-trenches). Should you need to get out of the way of fire etc in a hurry, it's worth having a bit of stamina held back for that "Oh drat, RUN!" moment.
-- You struggle to support your weapon when tired. More wobbling, harder to get a sight picture, Less likely to be accurate... Especially in the standing and crouching position.
-- Jogging isn't a bad thing. You can generally react faster when you are not sprinting and your weapon can be fired or melee'd straight away, which can make all the difference.
---> Be careful to preseve your stamina and although it is tempting to always sprint, consider taking a slower, more methodical approach to combat. You might well live longer and not be snap-shot straight away.

Bleeding and Health
My most sincere gratitude to the member Pyro Gourmand [$1≠1€] , whose observations and tips have been invaluable in adding this section to the guide. Spasibo, tovarisch!

Bleeding, what is it?
In Red Orchestra, you have a tendancy to be killed rather easily and it only takes a few rounds to make you snuff it. However, not every hit will kill outright (the Mkb 42 and also pistols are guilty of this), and instead you will begin to bleed. If you don't deal with it quickly enough, you'll begin to bleed out.


Kinds of Bleeding

- Minor Bleeding
- Moderate Bleeding
- Catastrophic Bleeding
--> These affect the rate of blood loss / health drain, as well as how red your screen goes.


Mechanics of Bleeding and health damage

--> The level of bleeding, along with your remaining health, will determine how quickly you start to bleed out (i.e. vision fades to black, you cannot really move, you can fire your weapon, but your character will scream or weep, and you will die.)

--> The amount of blood loss is in aggregate, so if you stem a bleed but get injured again, you will have far less time to deal with it before you begin to bleed out. Your actual health also makes a difference. Every round you get hit by will wham a huge amount off your health, and if you bleed, your health drops further

--> Getting hit in vital areas puts a huge multiplier on damage to your (unseen) health meter. Don't expect to survive head-shots or heart shots.

--> Bandaging IMMEDIATELY stops bleeding, the moment you press the button. However, the rest of the animation will play out and is really to slow you down and add to the pressures of your injury.

--> Surviving an injury will not give you any penalties other than being more fragile, i.e. smashing your legs in a fall will, once you have recovered after a few seconds, not inflict a penalty on movement speed or stamina (I have NOT observed this myself); nor will an arm injury impede your ability to aim. However, you will have less health which in turn means you will be easier to kill.

--> Minor bleeding will usually sort itself out without being bandaged, assuming you weren't plugged in a vital organ. As a rule, unlike the other two states, your vision does not take a red hue, and remains normal. HOWEVER, it is useful to bandage even these wounds after a second or two to prevent any undue extra damage, and in case the bleeding gets worse.


Actions on: Recieving a wound
Assuming you don't die outright, you are almost guarenteed to get some form of bleeding wound, when you are injured, be it being shot, clubbed, or stabbed. You have between 1/2 and 3 seconds usually to respond before you enter the bleed-out state and die.

-- Take cover. Depending on your location and the severity of the wound (how red the screen goes), get to cover. Dive to prone (sprint and press the prone button) or try and find a wall or shell hole. Then bandage. This has to be done quickly, so if there isn't an inviting safe spot, hit the dirt and try to minimise your exposure to the enemy. It often happens that they turn on someone else anyway.

-- Neutralize the threat. Especially in close quaters, this is necessary. Kill your enemy before you bandage. Waste a whole magazine at them if necessary. You can get more ammo for free, but dying costs your team reinforcements and you spawn disadvantageously far behind the lines. I have on occasion shot at someone and been shot at the same time in close quaters. He attempted to heal himself; I shot him again and then healed. Makes sense to do so, unless you're at death's door:

-- If you're more or less about to die anyway, you might as well bandage and hope they've already turned on someone else. IF the choice is bleed out or bandage immediately and possibly not die, you might as well choose the less certain fate, just in case.

-- I would generally advise you bandage ALL wounds, even the minor wounds. I have very rarely been in a position where I needed to use a third bandage. Most of the time, the third time you're shot, the aggregate of damage from the last two rounds you took, as well as any bleeding, is so high that you're killed outright, even if the wound have normall only caused a minor bleed. If you are careful about these things, you can try to avoid bandaging the minor bleeding, which sorts itself out. However, in the heat of the moment, I find it not always easy to judge when you are concentrating on other things, so I personally would not run the risk. You very rarely live long in RO2, and you do get fresh medical supplies on respawn.
A note on Rising Storm
Pte Maylam would like to explain that he has played RS a fair few times, but not nearly enough to be able to give any meaningful advice. There are several decent guides describing the major nuiances of RS out there already, and far be it for Pte M to tread on anyone's toes, especially if the guides are better.

MOST of the advice should generally transfer over into RS. They're just sensible principles for not dying too often.



The fact is though, I bought RO2, and really enjoyed it, and chose to write a guide about. Rising Storm, though not because it's a bad expansion particularly, covers an area and period of the war that are simply of little interest to me, so I don't play it.

That being the case, it would not really be right to write sections specifically for RS, particularly because the gameplay of the two new armies is rather different to the gameplay from the Russians and Germans in HoS. So at this stage, apply the advice of Advanced Field Tactics to Rising Storm where appropriate, and otherwise read some of the guides that I have linked below which offer good advice for Rising Storm itself.


On the other hand, show me a game that shows this (even more) forgotten war and I might well dive in..
A Final Word
This guide is, to me, complete. That does not mean that I won't occasionally update it, or improve some of the writing, or add screenshots that I've taken which I believe to be relevant. While sections will appear, sections will not be deleted, although I might have a stab at writing them a bit better.

I have tried to make this guide as comprehensive as I can, and give as much helpful advice as I can, but ultimately, learning the maps and finding out a play-style and tactics that work for you will enable you to top scoreboards and the like.


I have spent many hours writing and formatting, and I value all feed back, so if you have any thoughts, please post comments. Finally, I hope you've found the guide useful. Please vote it up and or favourite it!


Also, behold the Party Bus. Aw, yiss!
Recommended Further Reading and Viewing
There are a number of guides available to be read along side Advanced Field Tactics. Some of them are little more than copy / pastes from the internet, or patronising, or a single, unfunny joke. Others are absolutely excellent, and well worth checking out, providing insights and advice that really will help you improve as a player.


General Sir Anthony C H Melchett's YouTube Channel

General Sir Anthony is an excellent player and leader of The Russian Resistance. His videos are outstanding, really looking in detail at certain maps, and giving the best advice for fighting on them, as well as good this-is-how-to-do-it videos. You will not regret watching any.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCev3s4wD-o0p0ZvhKpkahoA/videos
Listen to this man. Always. One of the best Team leaders that I have seen. Follow his commands in battle. Listen to his wisdom out of it.


Red Orchestra 2 Guides
T/5 Flesch [29th ID]'s RO2 Beginner's Guide
Flesh also goes by the moniker of 'Me First'
I really think you should have read this one before coming here, but if you're unsure of the basics and the mechanics of the game, look no further. Well-written, with helpful, annotated screenshots as well as the low-down on the in-game classes, this one really compliments AFT (or vice-versa)
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=137146141


Praxius's Aiming Weapons and Hitting Tanks Guide

Praxius has a wealth of experience in Red Orchestra, having been playing since the original mod, and his guide reflects it. Indeed, the guide has already been linked once, but is well worth linking again. You will not find a more comprehensive guide on how to successfully use the sights on the weapons in game, but to my mind, the guide's second function is even better: His summary on where and how to be hitting tanks to actually deal effective damage should surely be the go-to for any budding tank hunter.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=144224938


SmaSh It Up's Guide on being a TL

A nice look in more detail at the vital role of Team Leader.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=192150438


Danh {TP}'s Guide to Effective Team Work
The man, the legend, Danh has written many excellent guides for this game (and, more excitingly, made maps for the game, but more on that later), and his guide on teamwork is completely unique. This will not be the last time we meet some of Danh's handywork...
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=132685568


Rising Storm Guides
As promised, links to good Rising Storm Guides
BlackJack's Guide to Japanese Weapons Scopes
Confusing to use at first glance, this well-written guide will help you master the idiosyncracies of the Japanese scope.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=149114632


Marquis de l'Harmy's Guide to Fighting as a Japanese Soldier

The Japanese team arguably is much harder to master than their more conventionally-based US enemies. This guide lays out some of the major differences as well the sort of play style you might want to adopt. Well worth a look.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=154308932


Nordkindchen's Knee Mortar Guide
The knee mortar is a thoroughly complex piece of equipment which takes skill to understand and master. When you do, though, it can be devastating to the enemy. Nordkindchen's guide gives a masterclass in using its indirect function.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=185385451

Killed Alive's Idiot's Guide To The Knee Mortar
Managing to be both amusing useful, this guide is excellent for understanding the usage of the knee-mortar in its direct-fire function.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=159041400


Guide using the Japanese booby traps effectively
One of the most unique aspects of the Japanese (especially since all teams get some form of Banzai charge - look at the Russian Urrah charge mechanic) is their ability to turn their grenades into landmines. This guide explains how to utilise them more effectively.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=258031393


Craziersnow's Banzai Mechanics Guide
Just what is the Banzai charge? How does it function in game, and what exactly are the benefits of it? Whilst not being a how-to bayonet charge guide (does it need much explaining?), this guide cohereantly explains exactly how the mechanics of the banzai charge work.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=188036393


Utilities Guides
Danh {TP}'s Various Guides on using the SDK and making maps
Told you he was a legend. So yes, Danh {TP} made the Winterwald map and is worthy of your respect for that alone. However, he also wrote the only guides on steam for those who would want to emulate his achievement. Here is one linked, but there are many, invaluable to any potential mappers:
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=119712041


Khan Solo's Guide on tweaking the ROgame.ini file to Make Dead Bodies Stay (and other things besides)

Such a simple set of easy-to-follow instructions that added so much immersion to the game for me. Add to increase the number of bullet holes, bodies on the map and blood effects. Completely legitimate, you will not get penalised on servers for it, and it does add to the atmosphere of a game when bodies don't despawn after 10 seconds.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=149065379


Branik and Co.'s Guide to weapons and their unlocks
It's fair to say that the leveling system is somewhat controversial among certain players, but at any rate, this guide is exhaustative, with many screenshots of exactly *what* you can unlock through long and skilled play.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=180151731
111 Comments
< >
Pte Maylam  [author] 8 minutes ago 
Not sure I could get might of a higher compliment, so thank you very much - feedback like that made writing this worthwhile, I'm glad you've found it useful.
LowFatMilk 2 hours ago 
I like the part where it teaches you stuff.
But honestly this guide is utterly fantastic, very well done, extremely imfromative. I'll be recommending this to any and all newbs I play against/with.
H0enir; WELTMEISTER ! Jul 6 @ 6:22pm 
Awesome ! good job :)
The Asian Driver Jun 7 @ 9:40pm 
A+ for effort!
Pte Maylam  [author] Jun 2 @ 11:56am 
If you haven't, by the way, do check out General Sir Anthony C H Melchett's youtube videos, they're linked in the last section, there is some excellent stuff there.
Pte Maylam  [author] Jun 2 @ 11:55am 
Mate, I'm glad you've found it helpful.
MiG Jaguar Jun 1 @ 8:17pm 
I don't know how many times I've came back and read this but everytime I do I come out of it a better player. You have my thanks. Sir, if I ever join you in battle I will make it my sworn duty to keep you alive and ensure your safe return to the wife and kids.
Pte Maylam  [author] May 10 @ 4:57am 
Appreciate the comments, gents.
aegisCactus Apr 23 @ 8:51pm 
Awesome guide.
Badstormer Apr 17 @ 9:43am 
Holy fuck this is a long guide. I've never seen anyone put this much work into a guide for anything on Steam. Author, you deserve a medal.