To me one of the best changes to Battlefield, in the latest installment, is the increase of squad count. It’s not quite as good as the original 6 we used to have, but having 5 in a squad makes it so much easier to be tactical, and versatile in game. If, and this is a big if, everyone in your squad works together. You need a good squad leader, and four people that are more concerned about the team winning than they are about their points, K/D, or stats. You also need to make sure that everyone has a role, not all running the same kit. The key here, is to work together and do your job. If every squad on your team does that better than the other team’s squads, you win. It’s just that simple. Almost every match I’ve played in has come down to which team had more communication, more teamwork, and cooperation.
There are quite a few different schools of thought when it comes to how a squad leader should play his role in the game. Some people like to get in the middle of it, lead their squad head-on and guns ablazin’ but personally I subscribe to a tactic I learned in BF2 and modified for BF3 and now 4. Hang back, run recon, and be a spawn beacon. I learned this in BF2, before the advent of spawn beacons, when the squad leader was literally the only place for your squad to spawn near an enemy objective. Even with mobile spawn points, the SL is still the safest spawn point, mobile, quiet, and able to defend himself. I also remember something someone said back in BF2: “A good squad leader has the least points in his squad.” He shouldn’t have as many kills, flag caps, or team score if he plays the way I have found to be one of the best ways to lead a squad.
As squad leader, run dmr or sniper rifle, either really works. Top it with a medium-range scope and a suppressor, and make sure your sidearm has a suppressor. Pack your range finder and your spawn beacon. Why a spawn beacon? Insurance, and backup. Your team winning is directly related to how fast you can take an objective, especially a heavily defended one. You want to use your scope or range finder to recon the objective, give cover fire to your team as they move in, and be a spawn point when they die. Be close, but not so close that the enemy hears your team spawn on you. Move around, the enemy will catch on if your squad keeps coming from the same direction. Drop your spawn beacon, and move away from it, preferably drop it further away from where you plan to orbit the flag. Stay alive, but if you die use your spawn beacon and get back in it.
Two major bits now. However you play SL, whether it’s hanging back as a spawn point, or running at the forefront of your men, these two are the most important things. First, use VOIP. If anyone in your squad should be using VOIP it’s the SL. If you don’t have it, don’t have a mic, or don’t like it, don’t be a squad leader. You need to hear the commander, and your squad needs to hear you, period. Second, DO NOT drive a single-seat vehicle! I can’t stress this enough, if you are going to fly or sit in AA, do not be a squad leader. You are not helping your team or your squad if they can’t spawn on you.
Two Turtle Do…I mean Two Engineers
A good squad has a healthy mix of kits, and since pretty much every map (with a couple of exceptions) has ground and air vehicles it helps to have surface-to-surface and surface-to-air ordinance. The kit structure doesn’t much matter on maps like Operation Locker, but in general you want an engineer that can take down air and one that can throw rounds at ground vehicles. They are also essential to keeping your support vehicles in working order. Your primary job is to watch for vehicles, get close to infantry (because your weapon is no good at range), and keep support vehicles repaired. In that order. Other squad’s vehicles should have their own repair crew so don’t risk your mission by getting yourself shot repairing another squad’s assets. Finally, work with your squad, listen to the squad leader, and play the objective!
Every squad needs a medic. Someone to revive, good medium to long range fire support, and someone to drop med packs. DROP YOUR DAMN MED PACKS! Nothing is more frustrating than watching a medic run by you, and not drop a pack when you need health. I know you can see the blinking cross over my head! Give me some meds! Keep your crew alive, and on the objective. Give cover fire as they move in, and get them back in the fight when they fall. Remember, you don’t have just one med pack. Drop one in a central spot when you start taking an objective, and if it’s gone when you leave, drop another one. Drop those damn things like candy! Finally, for everyone else in the squad, if the medic goes down guess what?! Become the medic, get his kit and get him back up. Little pro-tip, every revive saves you a ticket. You might take that flag, but if your medic respawns your team still loses a ticket.
Support, not the athletic kind
Your squad needs rounds. Especially your engineers. It takes all his explosives to take out one tank most likely, but how often are you up against just one tank? You are also the base of fire when they have to move up, and the strong defense if your mission is to hold a flag. You have rounds, a whole damn bag of them, so keep that gun shooting and those bullets down range. Pack your C4, to help the engineers against vehicles (engineers, keep an eye on this crazy ass gunner when he charges a tank with nothing but C4 in his hands, don’t shoot him with a rocket!) I like to run with the 2x flip-down scope attached to a red dot sight. This gives you short to medium ranged fire. Lose the bipod and add the grip. You need to be on the move and it takes too long to pick that gun up off the pod and put it back down. You want a 360 field of fire. Also remember, short bursts. You can be deadly at up to 300 meters if you learn to control your fire to very short bursts.