Squad - Midway Between Battlefield and ARMA

And the manscaping!

It’s a bit amusing to me how the game seems to have revamped because it was currently to run & gun & respawn and not realistic enough. Originally, that was the intended way of playing!
I say this because let’s remember Squad wasn’t done as an Arma competitor, with full-uncompromising realism, but as something in between Battlefield and Arma. It was actually developed the devs of a famous ‘realism mod’ of Battlefield 2, so it was always a bit closer to BF than to Arma. Which is why it played like it played.
I guess over the years the community has been evolving and taking a taste for more and more realism, while at the same time the more casual players left the game time ago, so there was self-selection going on, toward the more harcore players.

Looks like all the Squad YouTubers are releasing their experience

Honcho has a lot more gameplay, starting around 90 seconds.

My experiences in Squad were overall positive, but finding a server that had room and then trying to play with others who were also mostly randos made for hit and miss sessions. I generally don’t have the sort of fixed gaming schedule that makes permanent or quasi-fixed grouping work, and I also am East Coast and go to bed early. Because old.

Nano is nothing but gameplay

I’ve played quite a bit since it was released (~480 hours) and played the ARMA II Project Reality mod before that. The past 6 mos. - year haven’t been as heavy, but starting to get back into it in anticipation of the new release.

Don’t be too concerned with being inexperienced - there are always new players coming in and most folks are pretty accommodating and helpful. I’d imagine 5.0 will bring in another wave of fresh blood.

Just a few suggestions as you get your feet wet the first few games:

  • stick with basic roles like the rifleman (for anti-tank, engineer/sapper, etc. your squad will have certain performance expectations); medic may be the next one to move up to as you want to stay close to your squadmates (but not out in front) and can be a big help without needing a ton of skill or experience
  • stay close to your squad lead and be ready with your shovel to help out when they need stuff built
  • also listen to your squad lead, 20% know their shit and you can learn a lot, 20% are completely silent and/or bring nothing to the table, the remaining are somewhere along the “they’re trying” to “giving a good effort” to “seem to be doing pretty alright” spectrum, but regardless of their ability it is usually good to be responsive to the SL’s direction
  • don’t try to drive or crew vehicles right of the bat, just be content to ride in the back of the truck then hoof it once you reach your drop off location
  • make sure your mic works and at least communicate when necessary (confirming orders, calling enemies)

Excellent, @stummer! Thanks so much for the tips. I’m currently knee deep in another very unlikely shooter/strategy game, but I still plan to give this a shot. If anyone else has tips or suggestions, please keep them coming.

V5 is now out. Two new factions but none of the major infantry combat overhaul. They just finished a public playtest of the new combat system and now the entire userbase wants it to go live now.

Anyone wants to play 5.0 this weekend, hit me up on steam Jon_Danger

Russians have been a faction in the game since launch.

China was added in Dec 2022.

These are variants of already existing factions. Chinese Navy and Russian Airborne troops.

I mean, you have to have a Redfor right?

For the longest time they had an issue with only having Russia, Insurgents, and Militias on the REDFOR side, and the last two were at a disadvantage in terms of equipment compared to Western factions. They were also adding a ton of Western factions, so it was unbalanced in terms of BLURFOR and REDFOR. They finally did add the PLA last year, but they’re bolstering the number of high-end REDFOR factions.

They just announced another playtest of the infantry overhaul this coming weekend, with some adjustments made from user feedback from the first playtest.

All the time.

USMC last summer, Australian Army last year, British army etc.

I guess you could see it as skeevy, but it isn’t really out of the ordinary for the game, the release new factions or retool existing ones all of the time.

I think it would be more skeevy if they added in a Ukranian faction for the Blufor faction list. (I could see a lot of people getting way too into this)

I say Blufor and Redfor which are terms not all might be familiar with, but Squad does not have Blufor (traditionally NATO) forces fight other Blufor factions (most of the time). You have Blufor vs Redfor scenarios or Blufor vs Insurgent or Redfor vs Insurgent scenarios. I think you can have some blue on blue scenarios on maps, but that typically is not happening.

It also pushes games into 2 styles. You have Peer-Peer combat with Redfor v Blufor and COIN (counter insurgency) combat with Red/Bluefor vs insurgency.

There was a LOT of complaining in the Squad community that the only Peer-Peer combat was Russia v everyone else. So they added the Chinese faction last fall, and I see this update (2 more Redfor factions) as continuing that trend to balance the factions, and add more variety to the gameplay.

I think it is very tricky to have to develop for a game like this, where you are trying to be realistic around equipment and weapons used in real world conflict, but that is part of being a sim. Arma skirts this by using made up countries in future wars, but Arma reforger is going to be cold war Nato v Warsaw Pact. Gunner HEAT PC has Nato v Warsaw Pact. You gotta have bad guys to shoot right?

I do think that the timing might be a bit weird looking at this from the outside, but as someone who has been playing Squad off and on from the Early Access days, it doesn’t feel surprising they would add this.

Even more interesting in life imitating game. Squad added amphibious vehicles along with the USMC faction last summer, and added a flooded version of one of the Eastern Europe themed maps “Narva”

Some eerily similar photos from that map and parts of Ukraine now.

Canada, too. And there’s a really high-quality French mod. I’m surprised that the devs haven’t bought it up. The Australian faction started as a third-party mod.

I don’t know what you want in a Milsim game with multiplayer.

Someone has to play the bad guys.

Did you not play BF 1942 because you could play as the Nazis? COD2? Is it bad to play the Americans in Rising Storm 2: Vietnam? Or are the NVA/VC the bad ones? Do you only play as the US/Britain in Axis&Allies?

As someone who has followed Squad’s development from EA, it isn’t surprising. They add factions all the time, with a big focus on redfor lately, due to how few options there are. There isn’t any pro Russian or pro Chinese agenda here. The community just wants more factions to play, and to keep the game a simulation those factions have to be Russian or Chinese (Or maybe Iran? IDK).

You played as the Russians long before 2022 (you basically had to, as they were the only Redfor faction until last fall, when China was added)

It is a simulation, and you have think of it that way. Putting in a faction of one side of the conflict is not support, it is just being accurate.

Welcome to the quagmire of mixed messages that is military gaming with a contemporary setting. There really is no way to square this circle. Going back ages, to the 1970s, the wargaming clubs I’d go to on Saturdays to play SPI, AH, GDW, etc. games were in part populated by steelheads who nearly always played the Germans, others (sometimes the same people) who would never play the Soviets, and a smattering of self-proclaimed Marxists who would only play the Communist side in any game.

Things are still wonky, because if you go for real-world stuff, and real-world actual or potential conflicts, you will run into problems ranging from tone to questions of aiding and abetting. If you keep it totally fictional, you lose a huge chunk of the appeal for many gamers.

Personally, I have no solution to the problem. In most cases I’ve become sort of blind to this sort of thing unless it is totally blatant. Not saying that is a good thing, only that it’s a thing.

Let me tell you, playing as the Russians in Squad, or particularly the VC in Rising Storm 2 can be PROBLEMATIC. The amount of muting you need to do in these games can be quite high. If you find the right servers, and play with the right people, however, you avoid a lot of that ickiness. People shouting racist shit, using accents… yuck.

Playing the VC in Rising Storm 2 (gameplay) is awesome. The asymmetrical nature of the match is so much fun. You got worse equipment, but more mobility, traps etc. Squad is a bit similar with the milita/insurgent factions.

You know what was really crazy?

When Medal of Honor had multiplayer where it was the USA vs Taliban, while the conflict was going on. I remember that being quite jarring.

Well, MEA (Middle Eastern Alliance) was added about a year or two prior.

The game hit early access with US Army, Russian Ground Forces, Militia, and Insurgents.

Over time, they added

UK
Canada
Australia
MEA
USMC
PLA

And now the VDV and PLN.

The first multiplayer shooter game I can remember that did something about this was, oddly enough, the US Army’s recruitment game America’s Army. In that game, you always saw yourself as the US Army side, and the other team always saw you as the opfor. They just swapped visuals!