Hammer Handbook and SOP
"Hammer" is Infantry-centric, but not "Infantry only". They use FLEX tactics, such as pulling tanks to deal with an enemy armor column. Hammer is the Heart of the Fight for the Devil Dogs. As the largest division, Hammer is designed not only to FLEX in-game (tanks, harasser mobs, etc...) it is also designed to FLEX in size, taking the newest members of the outfit if they are not sure where exactly they want to go first.
- 1 What is Hammer?
- 2 Hammer SOP
- 2.1 Introduction and Governing Authority
- 2.2 Joining a Squad and Squad/Platoon Layout
- 2.3 General Orders
- 2.4 Communications
- 2.5 Squad Leader Authority
- 2.6 Squad Leader Conduct
- 2.7 Platoon Leader Authority and Conduct
- 2.8 Radio Operator Authority and Conduct
- 2.9 Application of TTPs
- 2.10 Miscellaneous SOPs
- 3 Hammer Basic Training
- 4 Hammer Advanced Training
- 5 Hammer Leadership Training
- 6 Hammer Class Guides
- 7 Hammer Vehicle Guides
What is Hammer?
Hammer Division is the leading edge of the 666th Devil Dog combined arms forces. Hammer's mission is to capture and defend territory on Auraxis. The largest of the five combat divisions within the 666th, Hammer focuses on flexible infantry tactics to suppress and dominate the enemy. While Hammer is primarily an infantry fighting force, FLEX tactics are also utilized (armor, air, etc.). Well trained, well armed, and well lead, Hammer is a force to be reckoned with on the battlefields of Auraxis. If hard hitting brute force is needed, use a Hammer!
Hammer's SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) is generally divided into two categories: Operational and Administrative. Operational SOP governs the conduct of players while Operating in Hammer in-game, and Administrative SOP governs all other-than-in-game Hammer business.
Introduction and Governing Authority
Standard Operating Procedures, or SOPs for short, are rules which govern conduct in a given area. For the purposes of this document, the area these SOPs will govern are the Hammer Operational channels in Teamspeak (that is 1st Platoon, 2nd Platoon, and Hammer 1-1 through 1-4 and 2-1 through 2-4). Any SOP developed must meet the following criterion:
- It must not, nor reasonably encourage players to, violate the CoC.
- It must be written in this document -- if it is not in writing, it does not exist.
- All SOPs must be approved by the the CO and XO of Hammer.
- SOPs may never be used or construed to violate the CoC. The Code of Conduct trumps everything, and must be adhered to at all times.
- The purpose of establishing this written SOP is based on the concept of the Rule of Law (as is our CoC) and is designed to provide players an understanding of how Hammer operates, what is expected, and what conduct is considered appropriate or inappropriate.
- As will be discussed in Section V, the Squad Leader has authority over the conduct of their squad, so long as it does not violate the CoC or SOP.
- Additionally, Hammer Officers have specific authority to intervene at their discretion if a Squad Member or Squad Leader is acting inappropriately or violating the CoC or SOPs. All Devil Dogs have recourse from any actions taken against them or a third party by utilizing the Chain of Command and/or the Confidential Issues.
Joining a Squad and Squad/Platoon Layout
To join a Hammer squad you must do the following in order:
- To join a Hammer squad you must do the following in order:
- Join the squad in-game first.
- If the squad is not listed in-game, ask the squad leader if it is listed and if any spots are available.
If the squad is not listed in-game, ask the squad leader if it is listed and if any spots are available.
- Hammer squads may only have 12 members in them (Officers may be in channel beyond the limit for administrative purposes), and each squad MUST have a Squad Leader (see Sections V and VI).
- For any Hammer platoon, including only one squad in the platoon, there MUST be a Radio Operator (see Section VIII).
- If there are multiple squads running, there MUST be a Platoon Leader (see Section VII).
General Orders are orders which are in effect unless otherwise stated by the current SL or PL. The purpose of implementing General Orders is so that Squad and Platoon Leaders are not required to explain them every time a person takes over Squad Lead or any time a new player joins a squad. The General Orders are as follows:
- Stick with your squad.
- Cohesion is crucial to being effective. It is far superior to have a nearby source of ammunition, heals and revives, and overall security of the element than relying on yourself for success. This is what we call “survivability,” and it increases exponentially with a cohesive fighting force.
- Respond quickly to orders.
- We need to be fast to be effective. PS2 is a much faster game than real-life combat at the Operational level, and we must execute an order IMMEDIATELY to have the best chance of being successful.
- Remain positive.
- The three second rule is in effect -- you get three seconds to bitch/vent, and then you’re done.
- Do not pull any vehicles or MAXes without asking permission or being ordered to.
- MAXes and vehicles require resources and timers to purchase. Although the resources and timer-locks are specific to players, they can affect the Squad Leader’s ability to employ a particular tactic if players are consuming resources and starting timer-locks.
As indicated in Section IV, all communication authority rests with the Squad Leader. Communications in the squad may be in one of three “comms modes” as detailed below. Bullshit Comms:
- BS comms means anything goes, talk about whatever you want. Staying in Battle Comms or Clear Comms for extended periods can be taxing and having some time for BS Comms can be helpful for morale.
- Battle comms means keep all communication relevant to the task at hand. No bullshitting during battle comms. Calling out targets and engagements, requesting revives/heals/repairs, and all other relevant tactical commo is acceptable. Talking about your new rig’s video card, your polkadot PJ’s, etc, is not acceptable.
- Clear comms means one thing: Take your finger off the transmit key. There are two things in Ops play that need to be done instantly: Clear comms and redeploys. The very moment you hear “clear comms” -- even if you are mid-sentence or even mid-word -- take your finger off the transmit key. One more time: If you hear clear comms, take your finger off your transmit key.
Squad Leader Authority
The Squad Leader is in charge regardless of rank, and anybody can be Squad Leader, with or without training. Even if the Squad Leader is a “Private,” all players, up to and including the highest ranked “General,” must follow his or her orders. “If you join a squad, promptly follow the orders of your squad leader...” (CoC section 5). The Squad Leader (SL) has authority over the in-game and voice comms conduct of his/her squad. If the SL says “battle comms” it means go to battle comms. If the SL says “rally on me,” then move to their position. If the SL says “redeploy” IMMEDIATELY hit redeploy (or /suicide in in-game chat if you don’t mind the K/D hit). If this seems too authoritarian, here’s what you can do:
- Leave the squad -- join another squad, start your own squad, go to non ops... Nobody has to play in any particular squad. If you don’t like the way a squad is being run, you can leave the squad.
- If you think you can do a better job at it, ask the SL if he would like you to take over squad leading. Remember CoC section 1: Respect. Be respectful, be tactful. If somebody is doing poorly at squad leading they are likely frustrated and stressed -- this is the perfect situation for things to go sour if you are not prudent in what you say and how you say it.
If a particular member of the squad is not following the squad leader’s orders, the squad leader has the authority to remove that player from the squad. The [Squad Leader] server group will give the Squad Leader the ability to kick. Note that Officers, though not exempt from this rule, have additional authority to intervene, including relieving a squad leader of their position or outright removing the squad leader from the squad.
Squad Leader Conduct
Although the Squad Leader is in charge regardless of rank, there are certain expectations of that Squad Leader.
- The Squad Leader must have the [Squad Leader] whisper group setup and the [Squad Leader] server group assigned, and must communicate, when appropriate, with the Platoon Leader and other Squad Leaders of the Platoon. Information on how to setup the whisper can be found at the top of the Teamspeak server, by clicking on “How to setup SL & RO whisper!” To assign the [Squad Leader] server group, right-click your name in Teamspeak, scroll to Server Groups and click [Squad Leader], which is towards the top.
- The Squad Leader is expected to keep the morale of the squad as their primary priority. Even if you are given an order to ghost cap or farm a base, it is your obligation to keep morale high to the best of your ability.
- The Squad Leader must follow the orders of the Platoon Leader. If you (as a Squad Leader) believe the PL’s orders will be ineffectual to the mission and/or will significantly harm morale, you are encouraged to voice that opinion to the PL. However, the PL has authority over the Platoon and the Squad Leaders, and if the PL decides to sustain the order then you must follow the order.
- Except in the case of emergencies of course, if you need to leave or want to step down from leading, you need to find a replacement Squad Leader. You may not simply vanish from the channel without properly handing off Squad Lead to another player. Utilize the following method:
- Ask for any volunteers. “Hey I’m gonna be heading out soon, anybody want to take squad lead?” Ask your squad members first. If nobody volunteers to take it, ask over [Squad Leader] if anybody in the Platoon wants to take it.
- If there are no volunteers, find the highest rank player in your squad and hand it to them. If, when utilizing this method, an NCO or Officer refuses to take it you may bring it up the Chain of Command, as NCOs and Officers are expected to lead. If there are Hammer Officers on teamspeak but not in the Platoon you may ask them (a “poke” usually works well). However, if they are not in the Platoon at that time they are not obligated to take over (they may be working on a training program or in a meeting, for example).
- At this point, if you are still having trouble with getting a squad leader, inform the squad that if nobody will take squad lead then people will need to vacate the channel. Remember, you may remove people from the channel if you are the Squad Leader with the [Squad Leader] server group assigned.
For info on Squad Leading, see Hammer Squad Leader 101, and check the forums.
Platoon Leader Authority and Conduct
As with Squad Leading, anybody is welcome to be a Platoon Leader, with or without training. The Platoon Leader’s authority and conduct expectations are similar to the Squad Leader’s, but for in a few specific areas:
- The Platoon Leader may task squads, by giving orders to the Squad Leaders, to accomplish certain tasks, and may even task the entire Platoon by Platoon all-call, but may not micromanage the players in the squads.
- The Platoon Leader may assume the role of the Squad Leader in their squad, and/or may assume the role of Radio Operator, however Platoon Leaders are encouraged to have others assume these roles especially if it is making their performance as any of those roles suffer.
- The Sledge squad is an Armor support element attached to 1st Platoon, and is under the command of the Platoon Leader. It is worth noting here that the CAS (Close Air Support) squad is an on call Air support element for all 1st Platoon squads, but is under the command of the Air Division Leader, not the 1st Platoon PL.
- The Platoon Leader gets orders from the Ops Commander, much the same as Squad Leaders get orders from the Platoon Leader. If there is no Ops Command present the Platoon Leader makes their own operational strategic decisions, and is encouraged to work with other active Operational Divisions but does not assume the role of Ops Commander. All Divisions receive their orders from Ops Commanders only.
Radio Operator Authority and Conduct
The Radio Operator (RO for short) plays a unique role in a Hammer Platoon. They are the link between the other Operational Divisions, Command, and the Hammer Platoon(s). Command and Control is an essential part of our Combined Arms model. Anybody can be a Radio Operator, with or without training, so long as they perform competently. Reference the Radio Operator’s Guide for specifics on how to communicate on [Radio Ops].
- Each Platoon MUST have a Radio Operator.
- Radio Operators must be in the same squad as the Platoon Leader, if the PL is not also the RO themselves, in order to communicate efficiently with the PL.
- Radio Operators must communicate with other Divisions and Command, by responding quickly to incoming calls and by relaying the Platoon Leader’s messages as ordered.
- As with SL and PL, RO’s must hand off RO duty to another player before leaving.
- Radio Operators may call “Clear Comms” for the purpose of sending or receiving RO traffic. Be sure to call “Open Comms” or “Comms free” after your call is finished.
Application of TTPs
Tactics Techniques and Procedures, or TTPs for short, are methods of gameplay which may be utilized from the individual all the way up to the Platoon level. Accomplished and competent Hammer players are expected to know our TTPs, and we try to facilitate this through training and mentoring.
Nobody is REQUIRED to make ANY purchases, with either certs or Smed Bucks, but we HIGHLY ENCOURAGE you to kit out your classes and vehicles in accordance with the TTPs so we may effectively employ them as needed.
To further clarify, SOPs are rules, whereas TTPs are methods. TTPs are enforceable (other than making somebody make a cert/SC purchase) by the Squad and Platoon Leaders, just like any other order.
Any SOP which does not apply to any of the above categories are listed here.
Hammer Basic Training
Hammer Advanced Training
OCOKA -- Terrain Analysis
Amp Station Tactics
Bio Lab Tactics
Tech Plant Tactics
Interlink Facility Tactics
Indiscrimin8's FireTeam Squad Orientation
Indiscrimin8's Guide for Zulu FireTeam Leaders
Hammer Leadership Training
Hammer Class Guides