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FOB placement on pub servers
By Gopblin
Explains the nuances of FOB building, radio/HAB placement, the dos and don'ts, etc
 
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Proper way to build a FOB on pub servers
A) If possible, hide the radio. The build radius is 150m. Use it. Drop the radio 150m closer to your Main inside some container/garage/bush/gully. This will make it much easier to supply, will make sure it's not taken out when HAB goes down, and makes sure enemies around the HAB don't increase spawn timer on radio. Also, with proper radio placement, you can make it easier to place other radios (i.e. you can hide 2 radios on either side of a large key objective, then place HABs in capzone). Of course, this is not always possible.

B) The #1 thing you need is the HAB of course. Everything else is secondary. It is entirely possible to build 4 HABs with one small insurgent logi, if loading nothing but build points (i.e. it's possible to have a HAB on every point in Basrah PAAS during one logi run, with some creative FOB placement).

On pub servers, the HAB absolutely has to go inside the capture zone. Otherwise, the pubbies will just hang out next to HAB as the flag is being lost. A classic mistake on aforementioned Basrah, for example, is building a HAB inside a tall building next to Outskirts, rather than inside the Outskirts zone itself. This leads to the entire team plinking out the windows and fearing to leave the building because of one M249 overlooking the street between the flag and HAB building, while a couple Americans take the flag.

Try to hide the HAB inside something, to make sure the enemy can't farm it. Remember it's mostly about sightlines, i.e. a deep gully will work almost as well as a building (yeah you can get mortared, but that's still not common in pubs). Make sure the HAB has 2+ good exits, i.e. if placing in a building, make sure the building has more than one exit on different sides. Sandbags MAY be appropriate in this instance to cover egress from the HAB.

C) The other things you build depend on your faction and position. Regular factions depend less on LATs and scouts, so ammo box spam isn't as necessary, and their emplacements are few and only directional. On the other hand, vehicle repair stations may be more important. Keep in mind that emplacements will also give away the rough location of your FOB.

Basically, as insurgents/militia, when fortifying an area: - Spam ammo boxes and DShK guns in places with good lanes of fire (this doesn't mean setting it up in the middle of a street, but rather a shielded DShK behind a window looking down said street). Don't concentrate everything in one place - your goal is to have multiple firing positions in/around the flag, i.e. an ammo box in every good building and an emplacement looking down every street.

As regular factions: - Drop a repair station next to HAB (so vehicles can guard your spawn point), a couple ammo boxes so people can resupply, and MG nests where appropriate.

Sandbags are occasionally handy but keep in mind 2 sandbags cost the same as ammo box and 3 sandbags cost the same as an HMG, while being a LOT less useful. Use sparingly and only in key areas. Also keep in mind that a sandbag-with-firing-ports is better dropped on ground, to fire prone - much harder to spot the shooter, and a more stable firing position (Squad doesn't have weapon resting).

D) While losing 20 tickets for a radio is noticeable, it's not the end of the world. It's absolutely worth deploying a throwaway FOB to take a flag or even kill a couple vehicles (a Stryker is worth more than a FOB). Especially for irregular factions, it's generally better to lose a few tickets than to lose map presence.

Illustrations (also see the Case Study: Sumari section):

Rough FOB placement outline for Insurgents on Al-Basrah. FOB markers indicate rough FOB placement, HAB markers indicate HAB placement.


Note that the Outskirts FOB Radio isn't actually in Outskirts, but in a shipping container 150m to the south in an area that is hardly ever in play (moreover, with the much quieter V10 radios, enemy would likely need to specifically search the containers to find it). The HAB is inside the flag however.

This means that if the push for Outskirts fails, the FOB is not lost, which saves 20 tickets and saves the FOB for reuse. Also, if the HAB has been destroyed and the US forces are storming Suburbs, this FOB can be used to drop a HAB inside tall building in Courtyard, giving the Insurgents another avenue of approach and an excellent firing position (alternative red HAB marker to the SE of Outskirts FOB Radio).

The radio in Refinery is next to the probable HAB location in the big warehouse, but in a concealed position by the water.


It is unlikely the attacking US players will crowd around it since the area offers little cover. They are very unlikely to find it before destroying the INS HAB (if they find it at all), and a single grenade out of warehouse can prevent any digging attempts. The radio is also in a position where it is hard to shoot with a LAT/vehicle (although most people still don't know that it is possible to destroy radios with heavy weapons).

Note: It is possible to place radios so deeply in the water that they become not diggable, but I'd consider that an exploit. On the other hand, placing radios on edge of deep water (somewhat visible, still diggable) is OK in my opinion.

A couple other locations for radios in Refinery, beyond the obvious (and sometimes necessary) placement next to HAB inside big warehouse:
- inside shipping containers (and trying to barricade with double barrels or techie)
- in a little bunker south of warehouse, barricading the entrance the same way

In order to observe 400m distance rule, if a radio is present in south refinery, it means that Suburbs radio has to go into shallow water south of the Suburbs flag, under the bridge, or in buildings south-west of it.


If Refinery Radio is not a concern, and/or if the server rules don't allow any radios in shallow water, Suburbs radio can be placed inside a building visible from Main, like so:


This way, if Americans try to dig it, a single LAT or SPG-9 round from Main can put a stop to it.

The Fringe radio placement is pretty obvious: in a garage with one entrance, in an open area that will certainly be overwatched by INS players. If barricaded, US players will not destroy that radio until they take down the HAB and clear Fringe, and even then they may not find it.

One last case study: Radio placement for Militia middle flag on Mestia map.

A common pub blunder for Crucibles is placing the radio/HAB inside either ruin. This works for US or Russia on Crucible Gamma because they can defend it with their superior firepower (Gamma is also a larger ruin with more cover).
However, MIL spawning on Crucibles are easily farmed by enemy optics shooters and armor, the open top of ruins is easy to correct fire on, while the enemy storming the flag increases the timer on radio. Not to mention possible issues supplying the radio and even taking a logi up to Crucibles to place it.

Instead, a more reasonable approach is placing the FOB radio under the mountain, in a bush and out of view, then placing a HAB behind the ruins in a concealed location (note that while these HABs are in the open, they are in depressions and the enemy can not snipe them).



Of course the enemy might still mortar the HABs, but it rarely happens and isn't successful every time (especially considering the enemy probably won't have a clear view of the HAB, and the fact that people hiding inside the HAB and re-building it are not vulnerable to mortars).
Bad types of FOBs
There are a other few types of FOBs (we're talking pub servers here, obviously clan/organized play is completely different), most of which you should never build:

1. Mortar FOBs near Main. They serve to make a lot of noise, keep a squad and a couple vehicles away from the fight, spam Command chat with target requests, and sometimes, by some freak accident, they kill 1-2 enemies.

You should never build them and feel bad for those who do. If an enemy is stupid and built a HAB in the open, quickly build a mortar at your current FOB and shell it. In all other cases, using mortars isn't worth the return.

2. "Backup FOBs", "sneaky FOBs", etc. with HAB a couple hundred meters from objective - close enough to prevent building a proper FOB near objective, yet far enough to where pub players won't actually go for capzone and will instead wander aimlessly around the HAB. They serve to lull the enemy into a sense of false security by showing that your team is dumb and likes to spawn very far from relevant flags.

If you are extremely lucky, the enemy are also mentally challenged and will come off the flag to attack your FOB, enabling a few scouts to back-cap them. Otherwise, this FOB will cost you the game.

3. "Strongholds", "MINECRAFT Fobs", "Pillow forts", etc. Basically picking a compound or a piece of ground near objective, dropping a radio inside, then building a HAB and an immense amount of sandbags in roughly circular pattern. I honestly can't understand the fascination with these, I guess people still don't know that for about half a year now, sandbags have been destructible, with V10 they can be vaulted over, and Squad doesn't have weapon resting.

Basically having a massive sandbag wall around your FOB does several key things:
a) Herds your pubbies in one small area to be farmed by the enemy

b) Clearly indicates said area for every enemy within 1000m by a very visible landmark (this also makes sure the FOB will be found and destroyed if the fighting moves on elsewhere)

c) Prevents effective return fire by making prone shooting much harder (and as mentioned, Squad doesn't have weapon resting) and clearly silhouetting your fighters above the wall

d) Leaves no points for other SLs to build actual useful things such as ammo boxes, emplacements, repair stations etc

e) Makes sure that any enemy that uses the many deadzones around the wall and comes up to it to farm you with grenades, will also increase the spawn timer on radio

Illustrations:
1. (everyone knows what a mortar FOB near main looks like)

2. Common pub situation: All FOBs are built away from capzone, forcing Insurgents to traverse 200-300m of open ground against a technically superior Russian team.
Radios are placed on HABs so they will be easily found and destroyed, also preventing useful radio placements near the actual flag. No ammo boxes or emplacements are placed closer to combat area.



3. For illustrations of bad pillow forts, refer to the last section of this guide (Tower of Babel awards)
A case study: FOB placement on Sumari
Now, let's give an example with Sumari, which is a small map and shows the effects of FOB building most clearly. I'll use INS/MIL side because their side of the map is more cramped and they're more dependent on FOB placement to win.

Cancer mortar FOB: SL5 builds a mortar FOB 200m west of Main and hogs the only logi. Completely blocks any ability to build radios on the west half of the map, or supply them. Gets 5 kills for his entire squad in a 30 min long game, blames the loss on other SLs not giving him target markers, does the same thing next map.

Regular Pub FOB: SL1 drops a radio and HAB inside Palace/Mosque (whatever the 3rd irregular flag is). Proceeds to build 100500 sandbags around the place, hogs the logi for the purpose of feeding his Minecraft insanity (not that it matters, because central radio blocks every other possible radio placement on map). When asked repeatedly, drops one ammo box next to HAB. Pretty soon, the Americans push in with superior firepower, despawn the Great Wall of Sandbags in 30 sec with one grenadier, the spawn timer on radio goes through the roof, game gets irrevocably screwed. SL1 lowkey blames other SLs and squaddies for failing to defend his creation.

"Creative" Pub FOBs: One of the SLs has a plan. If this plan is attacking, he grabs the logi and deploys a forward FOB near Quanat or west of it, then drops a HAB (if he doesn't get killed by an attacking enemy element, leaving the whole team without a FOB). The idea to attack Police Station is decent, the problem is that Americans will still be at Police by the time INS start moving in from that first FOB, so the attack will almost certainly get defeated. Then INS will lose because they don't have a FOB on their defense flag, unlike Americans that do (basically, Americans will either take INS defense flag, or destroy their FOB). Now, if the plan is defending, SL2 might drop the FOB at Souk (2nd INS flag). Basically it's the same deal as a Regular Pub FOB, only straight up worse because you're giving up the middle flag.

Actual decent FOB placement for Sumari: First radio goes up 150m East of relevant flag (Palace/Mosque), i.e. the radio gets hidden somewhere around School area. Radio probably barricaded in a location that is awkward to get too, entrance possibly blocked with an MG techie. This cuts the supply run in half and makes sure Americans don't increase spawn timer when storming central flag. HAB goes inside the relevant flag (Palace/Mosque), with a few ammo boxes / emplacements sprinkled around as time allows. However, the game is now a race against time as Americans will eventually push into the flag with their superior guns.

Therefore, Insurgent SL and two squad members jump back in a logi (possibly reloading it at Main) and places two more FOBs, hidden far north of Police Station and south-west of Raisin dryers. HABs get placed 150m closer to objectives, ammo boxes get sprinkled around for the Scouts to mine every road between US Main and the rest of the map.

Now, all US objectives are under attack from the back, and while US may find one of the HABs, they probably won't find all of them, and they almost certainly won't find the radios. US forces may still keep their hold on objectives, but they won't be able to attack and defend at the same time, and losing vehicles to mines will probably mean ticket loss in the long run.

Illustrations:

1) Theoretical outline of FOB placement on Sumari (green FOB marks show possible FOBs, red HAB markers mark rough HAB locations). Of course these are only guidelines, FOBs can be placed further East/West as 400m restriction allows.


2) Hiding a radio in a nook under a ladder in a rarely-traveled part of the map. It is very hard to spot and can only be dug by one person at a time, meaning it will take a long time to destroy, AND the enemy has to stay in the open next to a wall while doing it, meaning any explosive weapon can be used to kill him (theoretically, it's even possible to defend such a FOB with mortar barrages, although I've never had to resort to that).

The two FOB marks on map mark two such nooks suitable for your first FOB on School with a HAB on Palace. Note that in an actual game the 400m restriction would of course prevent you from building two FOBs there, it's one or the other.


The radio can also be barricaded by some barrels. Just make sure they don't stick out beyond the wall and give away the position. Barrels are a lot less noticeable than sandbags and they take a while to dig down, meaning that the barrel-digging enemy will slightly damage the radio through proximity, alerting you to his presence.

3) Gameplay on Sumari yesterday. US team was better organized and a lot better shots, yet we managed to hold out through creative FOB placement (the 3rd FOB behind Raisin Dryers is already destroyed, but not before we took the flag and made the entire US team come back and reclaim the flag - twice). In the end, the game was extremely close and we lost by 11 tickets. With regular FOB placement, the superior US team would have steamrolled us in minutes (and yes I'm rocking the Scout kit in that screenshot, because US kept running vehicles past us and no one else on the team knew how to use mines).


4) Theoretical 4-FOB setup for insurgents on Sumari. It is in fact possible to fit 4 FOBs onto the map, but in most circumstances the game would be won or lost before you manage to herd enough cats to place them all.



5) The 4-FOB placement on Sumari in actual gameplay. HAB on Ancient came in handy when the Americans tried to counterattack. Basically we've kept them off balance the whole game.



Once again, I'm rocking the HAT kit because I was tired of telling the team to take out 2 MRAPs firing down the main road. And it's not like the squad needed rallies at that point with 4 HABs on map.
The Americans eventually managed to find one HAB but never found any of the radios. We won by 360 tickets or something.
Testing FOB placement on local server
The easiest way to practice this is on a local server loaded with the map you want. You can look up console commands, I'll try to give a few from memory but I may be a bit wrong.

A. Launch Firing Range

B. Go into Console (default "`", basically the button above Tab)
Type AdminChangeMap name_of_map_you_want_to_test

C. AdminSloMo 10 (this changes the time factor of the game, i.e. in this case time will pass 10x quicker, so you won't have to wait for map change. You'll have to use this command a lot, for example when the game starts you can use it to skip the staging period)

D. Spawn in as SL. Press Shift+P to go to admincam. Fly to the location you want (use AdminSlomo 5 or 10 to fly quicker) and press Shift+P to spawn there (make sure you're not too high or you'll die from fall damage, use Space or CNTRL to go up and down)

E. Try to place radio. If the message on top left says "Ground too steep", find another place. If the message says "Can't Deploy That Here", you're too close to Main. If the message says "Need 2 more team members within 8m", use command AdminAlwaysValidPlacement 1 to enable radio placement (switch this mode off immediately after via AdminAlwaysValidPlacement 0, so you are not misled as to what can be placed where)

F. Spawn logi near you using vehicle spawn commands listed here
https://squad.gamepedia.com/Server_Administration#Vehicle_Spawn_Commands

Use AdminDisableVehicleClaiming 1 to get in logi (1=valid 0=not valid, this is so you can claim vehicles)

Unload supplies on radio, place down ammo box

[ These "normal" methods are slower than using Admincam + vehicle spawn, but somewhat easier, so if you struggle with the above you can simply spawn Main, disable vehicle claim, drive logi to correct location, etc]

G. You will need to either die to go to Main to change class to someone with a shovel. AdminSlomo 5 or 10 makes this really quick. Going to AdminCam and back resets your spawn timer to 20 sec, so you can use that too

H. Come back as shoveler, build ammo box, now you can change class between SL and shoveler

I. Proceed to place anything you want and shovel it (use Slomo for fast shoveling), testing out places for HABs/emplacements/etc.

J. This mode is also good to test various crazy things, like if placing a bunch of ladders below a highrise would make it possible to jump off without hurting yourself (edit: turns out it doesn't, sad)

Illustrations:

Some of the relevant console commands should be visible in the console box on bottom-right here:
Tower of Babel Awards (AKA Worst FOBs collection)
This section is a work in progress, to be updated with the worst FOBs I've seen. It's not terribly instructive and mostly included to appreciate the depths of human insanity.

#1. "Leavenworth"
(I call the little pillow forts that contain the Russian team "mini-gulags", so naturally a pillow fort for the American team would be Leavenworth).

Leavenworth was a thing of beauty, a pure example of every last thing wrong with pub FOB building.

1) It was built by a clan squad who were very excited about creating a "SuperFOB", and enthusiastically built it for about 10 minutes, then sat on it as long as they could.

2) Placed between two invasion flags on Narva, about 300m from each one - just close enough to somewhat interfere with radio placements, yet much too far from either flag to be of any practical use.

3) Original layout included nothing but radio+HAB, sandbags and HESCOs, ringed by barbed wire on the outside. Only a single exit was left, and that was facing open courtyard towards the enemy. The pre-existing exit to the back was blocked by HESCOs and surrounded by barbed wire, because real heroes don't run away from bullets, but bravely run into enemy machine guns.

4) Ft. Leavenworth was also very small, right about the size of an RPG frag round radius. It conveniently included a backstop (building wall) for enemy rockets and 40mm to detonate against, and to make sure enemy nades bounce back into the HAB area.

5) Built in a large courtyard, with multiple buildings overlooking it from above (some of which only had entrances from the enemy side, i.e. provided excellent firing positions), basically in a perfect killzone.

6) Finally, Leavenworth was built by a very serious SL who ♥♥♥♥♥ed at me for putting down ammo boxes in surrounding buildings (real heroes never leave the pillow fort - interlocking fields of fire and area control are for losers!), and ♥♥♥♥♥ed at SL2 for putting a backup FOB near the next flag (SL2 couldn't build it on flag because as I mentioned Leavenworth blocked the two neighboring flags).

Unfortunately only a few screenshots survive of this magnificent base. Feast your eyes upon them:

A) Here you can see American soldiers completing the POW camp / imminent war crime area by locking themselves in with barbed wire.

Note that barbed wire placement prevents Americans from getting out, yet is built such that it will be immediately destroyed by enemy explosives during fighting, allowing the enemy free passage.



B) Here is the rear side of Ft. Leavenworth. Note that the pre-existing back exit from the killzone has been thoroughly blocked, and no cover was placed anywhere outside the prison (to prevent the inmates from escaping, I guess).


C) Here is the view of Ft. Leavenworth as seen by attacking enemies. Keep in mind that there were multiple buildings overlooking it in this manner.


The HMG bunkers in front were not part of the original floorplan, I had to switch to SL kit to deploy them because I was afraid of developing permanent facepalm marks on face.
Of course, all the HMGs could do is slightly prolong the agony.

D) Here is the map of Leavenworth as it's being wiped by enemies. Note that the ammo boxes and HMGs were dropped by me (despite SL1's objections) - original floorplan included absolutely nothing outside the killzone.


Of course, Leavenworth's end was swift and painful.

The best part is that most of the enemy team moved on after wiping it, but did not dig the radio, enabling Squad 1 to eventually re-occupy it and sit there taking sniper fire until the end of the match, while the rest of the team defended flags. They then claimed that their "SuperFOB" won the game.

It almost makes me sad I can't be such a simple and happy person as that jolly group of people, enjoying the life in a little prison of my own design...
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25 Comments
Para94 Mar 16 @ 5:49pm 
1. As I said depending on map and team. Although I wouldnt say almost always.

2. Not everyone needs show how cool he is by posting a screeny on Reddit. Especially because many of the gaming related reddit pages consist of crybabies. which is why I barely ever use them

3. As stated above depending on the team. yes a motar is more or less useless. Because if you are shelling a HAB and noone moves in it is definitly useless. But yeah in the end they can be very effictive with a proper team. anyways I don't think we can convince either of our opinion.
Gopblin  [author] Mar 16 @ 5:13pm 
3. Mortars are indeed terrifying until you realize they're not actually dangerous. For example, in a recent round, our HAB was shelled with multiple mortars for 10 minutes, and I simply proned inside and kept digging it back up. They never took it down (although killed a few people), and quickly lost the game. They would've had much better luck trying to build a back HAB.
Gopblin  [author] Mar 16 @ 5:13pm 
You can refer to this Squad reddit discussion for mortars.
https://www.reddit.com/r/joinsquad/comments/82j402/mortar_squads_need_more_respect/

Brief points:
1. The squad subreddit population (i.e. the more experienced players) overwhelmingly agree that mortars are almost always inefficient.

2. It's virtually unheard of to have 20 kills with mortars per player in a mortar squad. In the entire history of Squad forums and Squad subreddit, only 1 guy ever produced a screenshot that approached this result (in WIA, not in KIA), and then a lot of these kills were received by his squad members shooting people.
The vast majority of people boasting exceptional mortar rounds show screenshots with 5-15 kills per member, which is pretty anemic. One scoped M249 can easily farm more noobs than an average mortar squad does.
Para94 Mar 15 @ 7:29pm 
And it's all on the current player base... Which I think in most cases is pretty inexperienced and in my opinion as a squadleader in many cases quite difficult to lead... (all coming from an early baker and long time project reality player)
Para94 Mar 15 @ 7:25pm 
After all I think it is just a different playstyle I sometimes like(for example after an intense round to relax). Also it works pretty well on pub servers as the enemy team barely hunts you down. And being on the receiving end of an properly led motar team is just terrifying.
Para94 Mar 15 @ 7:25pm 
I feel like you are underestimating the impact of a dedicated motar squad in this guide. (if it's only 3-4 players)
Yes it is highly dependent on the map and also on the other squadleaders(for example their ability to use the squad to squad channels instead of the command sl channel to ask for motar support) . Then it depends on the ability of that squad to pinpoint the target (easy with squadcalc).

But yeah if a team wins or looses is dependent on the Sls anyways.
OK let's say the map is good and the Sls are decent as well you can easily kill more than 20 players each. Also you can either take down hab that are in the open or support the push of a different squad onto the fob, by first using he and switching to smokes for the last barrage. Same thing goes for objectives.
Gopblin  [author] Mar 9 @ 10:45pm 
1. If you always lose the radio, hide it better ). If absolutely necessary, It is in fact quite possible to place radios such that they are impossible or very hard to dig, i.e. in a nook that is blocked by a vehicle wreck

2. If the enemies overrun your HAB, then placing the radio on it doesn't help, just loses 20 more tix. In fact, when the radio is next to the HAB, it's much easier to overrun due to spawn timer increase. Plus it's much easier to place an alternative HAB if your radio is not on the point

3. Pubbies will never defend the FOB unless it is right next to the HAB, so it's either "hide 150m from HAB" or "place right next to HAB", middle ground is generally worse than both options
Jubaliah Mar 9 @ 5:02pm 
Im not really sure where you play that you don't see fob's getting pulled when the radio is hidden. But everytime I play and that is the case the radio gets pulled or, the hab is placed so stupidly that the enemy quickly overrun it and dig it halfway down. At which point you can't do anything at all. Because you can't place a new one. I've always found it better to place it all in such a way that the pubbies can be hearded over to defend it.
Gopblin  [author] Mar 9 @ 4:15pm 
As for encouraging team play, I get what you're saying, and it's a worthy goal to strive towards, but there are two issues:
1) The "teamwork first" playstyle is largely impossible in the current state of the playerbase, because of how many new players there are

2) This playstyle is also often inefficient or misapplied.
It's much better to have your squad spread out over 200-300m using overlapping fields of fire than to succumb to herd mentality. OTOH, run&gun gameplay or zerg spawning are oftentimes the most efficient way to win
Gopblin  [author] Mar 9 @ 4:11pm 
One question, both to you and the other poster: How will the enemy team know where the radio is?

In V10, the audible range is maybe 10m (in practice its less, but let's say 10). The FOB can be anywhere within 150m of your HAB. How will the enemy find it, ESPECIALLY since you take the effort to place it in a hidden position in the least traveled areas of the map? You speak as if the radio positions are known to the enemy. This is just not so.

The whole premise that the radio will be found and taken down is wrong, and happens at most 5% of the time in my experience. OTOH, if you place the radio on the point, any enemies that come in to contest the cap WILL increase the spawn timer, quickly making the point undefensible