Quick History Lesson
What is Unit Cohesion by definition? “the bonding together of soldiers in such a way as to sustain their will and commitment to each other, the unit, and mission accomplishment, despite combat or mission stress” In simple terms it is how a closed unit accomplishes assigned tasks while its members are under great pressure and in dire straits.
Soom good historical examples existed as the Legions of the Roman Empire, the Polish Winged Hussars and during WWII the Werhmacht. Against all odds, even when situations seemed dire, these armed forces would stand together, rely on each other, and use their skill as one cohesive unit. Even when they knew the battle was over they fought until the end and did so very effectively. This is why their combat tactics almost seemed fanatical to those without an understanding of the art of war.
So, how can you incorporate unit cohesion into your EFT Gameplay?
EFT Unlike most FPS games focuses heavily on teamplay, communication, situational awareness, ballistics and basic tactics. Similar to small Special Operations units you have a maximum of a 5-man squad, in which using the skills mentioned above will dictate your chances of mission success and unit survival. Don’t worry you do not have to be an Operator to be successful in EFT.
Every functioning unit has a Hierarchy, appoint such a person in your squad, this is usually the most experienced player, and one that you can learn from. This is the person leading the unit, he/she will be responsible for the decision making and delegating the Op. Listen to callouts given by this person, and try your best to keep this person’s insight or at the very least, know where this person is at all times, he/or she will usually be the first to make contact with the enemy. Also, have subordinates to replace your squad leader in the event he falls in battle. This is important because without leadership, a unit will fall apart. This is a fact and has been seen throughout history. Trust each other, help each other, and most importantly learn from each other’s mistakes. Develop your team as you would in a real-life unit, comradery and brotherhood, ultimately you trust these mates with the life of your character, and they do the same. Stay true to that responsibility, your survival ultimately depends on it.
Considering EFT does not have an in-game VOIP system we have to rely on 3rd party comms to be effective in the raid, Whichever software you use take measures to ensure your comms are clear, without any background noise, bleeding into your comms that can distract your teammates. Comms are crucial in a combat situation and should be minimal, the fewer syllables the better standard military callouts are usually as follows.
Who – Contact – Type – Distance/Action-Direction
For example, my callsign in-game is Captain, so my comms would sound like this.
“Captain-Moving-3 Story dorms”
“Captain- Entering-2nd Floor-car side”
Similar callouts should be used to help your teammates track your movement. When you change position when you fall back or advance when you reload, heal, or do anything that your team needs to know about. This becomes very important when eliminating targets, avoiding speaking your thoughts, unnecessary comms is something a lot of even professional teams suffer from, telling your teammates you found a graphics card and how awesome that is doesn’t contribute much to the squad, especially in a dangerous situation. I will provide a list of callouts the BOBI army uses as a reference.
Enemy Killed- Minus
Multiple Killed- Minus+#
Looting – Looting (say your name and say what you are looting)
Reload- Mag Change (real operators don’t say reloading 😀)
Need help- Need Cover (say your name first)
Getting shot at – Taking Fire (say your name first)
Unlocking doors- Unlocking Room # (say your name first)
Got shot – Hit (say your name first)
Dead-Dead (say your name first)
Throwing grenade- Frag Out
Grenade landing close to you- Grenade!!
Walking on metal,wood,glass, – metal,wood,glass (say your name first)
Sprinting (say your name first)
Jumping (say your name first)
Where is the enemy?- Location?
Are you friendly?- Crouch Check
Everyone be quite- Comms
The key is to use as little syllables as possible
Why do we do it like this? Well, its minimal, it provides you with the information you need without creating confusion, sometimes in the heat of the moment things can get pretty confusing, this helps us keep unit cohesion. The word dead should only be used upon the event of your death, because death is an emotional state, and military callouts cannot contain emotion. It is done like this for morale purposes in real life.
In the event of your untimely demise, you have a duty to your squad to provide the last but maybe the most crucial piece of info, what ammo type and how many different types you got killed by and if it was suppressed or unsuppressed. PMC or Scav
This can save your entire team from being wiped, this information will help your mates decide how to best deal with the threat, so please don’t forget this you can still help out the unit even from the grave.
Communication breakdown has been the downfall of many battles throughout history, the most important guy in the squad in real life is the guy with the long-range radio, even if he is the last guy alive the battle can still be turned around, think about that.
Just like comms this aspect is very important and ranges from knowing where your teammates are, to the gear they are wearing. Also understanding where the enemy will be during different times in the raid, Scav spawns, PMC spawns, which spawned group is most likely to go where, hard cover, soft cover,stash locations, boss locations, this however comes with experience,
The best way to know your role in the formation is by numbering, 1 to 5 or squad size dependent, 1 being the point man or leader and 5 being rear scout. When moving about Tarkov find where you are in the squad.
1-Covers Front 12o’clock
2-Covers Left 9o’clock
3-Covers Right 3o’clock
4-Covers Rear 6o’clock
5-Trail behind make sure no one if following you
To figure out your number look how many people are in front of you, it’s that simple, it will give you a 360-degree field of sight, fire and cover. It’s much less likely you will get caught off guard or ambushed. This is to be maintained at all times, when stopped, moving even fighting. This becomes crucial, when healing reloading and looting your sector will change and you have to decide how to best maintain as much coverage as possible
Do not put gaps in your perimeter because 1 is engaging a Scav, if the point man needs help, he will call for it, stay on your sector, there’s no need for all 5 operators to engage one Scav. It opens your perimeter for a flanking attack, more often than not leads to unnecessary engagement
This applies to holding any position in any situation, unless engaged and fire support is required at one specific location each member of the squad should cover a different sector maximizing coverage of the field, thereby increasing situational awareness. In buildings pick a window or door that will provide you with the maximum firing angle left to right, up and down, this takes practice to understand but as long 3 guys aren’t covering the same direction you are on the right track.
Combine these skills with good comms and you should have no issues locating and tracking your teammates, of course, knowledge of the map and callouts will impact your ability to stay with your unit. If you lose sight of your teammates, notify them, if you see contact and are unsure if they are friendly simply say “crouch check” at which point your mates will spam the “crouch button” to show you they are homies. Give them a second to react however, best to say “crouch check” multiple times, count 1 steamboat, and if they aren’t crouching, fire.
Take a minute at spawn to glance over you mates gear, backpack, helmet, weapon, try to train your brain to memorize these, this will also help identifying your team.
In EFT sound is a huge part in situational awareness and overall unit cohesion, this is why sound must be minimal, and comms must be clear, precise and minimal as well, real life operators use hand gestures, in EFT we do not have that luxury polished yet, the point is the less sound you make, the more likely you will hear the enemy first. Simple rule of, if it isn’t important, don’t say it, applies.
This is further explored with trigger discipline, try to stay minimal with your shots, headshot if you can, you want your target to leave this world without him knowing what hit him. Going loud should be a callout given in an emergency situation where death is a risk and you have to defend yourself, the more shots you fire the more aware your enemy is to your location, one shot could be misleading, a mag dump from an unsuppressed AKM, will announce your presence to the entire map.
Situational awareness and comms are the hardest thing to master on your journey to elite unit cohesion, only practice and trial by fire will allow you to understand how to systemize this information.
This topic pertains to the gear and loadout of a squad, this should be balanced, of course some players are more advanced than others and simply cannot gear the same way, this is just about balance. Just as in real life operations the unit should be prepared to handle a variety of combat roles, this means that before entering a raid communicate with the unit what you are bringing, what sort of armor, ammo and ordnance you are fielding. This will help the SL decide how to organize the Op. It is helpful however not mandatory that there is at least 1 long range and at least one close range fitted operator in each unit. Ammo types are important here as well, avoid using tracers in team raids as it can get your mates killed, although tracers are a cheaper alternative to buying the best ammo in game, if you are going to use them make your shots count, tracers are coated with phosphorus that burns in flight making you bullets look like star wars lasers, obviously this gives away your position immediately and if you are the only guy using tracers in the squad and you get a buddy killed they won’t be very happy about it. Understanding ammo types will benefit your unit.
Grenades and UBGL’s
These deadly fun balls are how you will win a lot of engagements, however used incorrectly can be deadly to your team, use them only combined with situational awareness, and good comms. Announce your intent, announce the grenade going out, doing so will give your mates a few seconds to get cover, as grenades fragment and do so unpredictably. This also applies to UBGL’s and RPG’s. Practicing using these is a must for unit safety.
In correspondence to situational awareness and comms, tactics are how you execute your duties as a squad member, this involves moving, aiming, covering you mates as well as engaging and pushing your targets. Going back to 360 perimeter and sector coverage there are certain tactics to increase unit cohesion and survivability. Depending on the situation your character placement in a squad is very important, leaving yourself exposed or running out of stamina in the middle of a field is not only hazardous to you, but your entire unit. Note that everthing you do in raid makes a sound, even aiming your gun, it is within your duties to develope the tactical skills the sound you produce. I will cover the basics.
Always position yourself against cover, the human brain and eyes are hardwired to react to movement and things that look out of place, so stationary it’s very hard to see you, however if you are in the open the human eye will seek out the unnatural shape of an Operator, in the same sense that a ghillie suit is designed to break up the silhouette of a man, use your surroundings to do the same, crouch against a tree, this will conceal you more than crouching against nothing, grab a bush, or if you have nothing go prone.
Use your teammates zone of cover and turn you back to the zone your mate is covering, this way you cover him and he covers you, place hard cover in any direction where your team can’t cover you, for example in a team of 3, 1 is facing North, 2 is facing West and you being 3 are facing East, the south is exposed with no cover, however East has a concrete fence, so your job is to cover 2 zones, well you can place the concrete fence to your back and cover the south. Being aware of your surroundings and using them will give you an edge over your opponents.
This also applies when moving about the map, the map Woods is a great example, lots of trees lots of fields and open areas, when moving with the squad coordinate movements across these open areas, stop, get the stamina you need then cross, do not put you unit at risk but putting yourself in a situation you could have easily avoiding,
When pushing any type of target, it is better to do so as one wait for your unit to get into position glory isn’t glory if everyone get picked off one by one, the idea is to get all your boys home, in EFT patience always wins, make a plan, and execute. There are hundreds of factors that play into tactics and they are dynamic, meaning every engagement will be different, there are some golden rules as we call them listed here.
Never bunch up or line up, this differs depending on engagement distance but the idea is to never position yourself within a unit where you can be detected and engaged all at the same time, what I mean is do not stand next to 2 other mates where 1 salvo from a rifle can kill you all, or 1 grenade can kill you all, this also applies in CQC for example dorms, at customs, when traversing the hallways never walk directly behind your mate, if he takes a shot to the face, the next one is going into your face, walk beside him, so you can shoot over his shoulder if you have too. This also applies when moving normally, 6-10 meters is basic military formation, your SL will designate the combat distance to you.
Conceal your firing position, when engaging a target your head, and upper body will be exposed to enemy fire, so you must give your enemy the smallest possible target to shoot at,do this by leaning out of cover, never go prone in front of an enemy it makes it so they will get a certain headshot on you. In CQC blind fire is viable but be carefull not to shoot your team, only blind fire if you have a confirmed target, also get into the habit, of moving after giving away your position, especially when fighting scav bosses, and other PMC Operators. Never peek the same spot twice chances are if you didn’t hit your target when you fired your first shot your target will be already peeking you. When falling back from an engagement you can look at the ground while sprinting this will make the profile of your head smaller.
Where there is one there is another This pertains to looting your kills, after eliminating and confirming your kill, stop, wait, listen and look, where there is one PMC there is likely another, and where you wiped one squad another is on the way, secure and clear the area before moving in for the loot. Dont be greedy as they say once the area is secure your unit will cover you while you loot.
That concludes this article on Unit Cohesion, in conclusion this game, weighs heavily on unit cohesion, learning what this means, and practicing it will improve your gameplay, its tons of fun to be Tacticool with your homies, and you will find yourself learning valuable skills not only in EFT, but in real life as well.
If you have any questions about Unit Cohesion, feel free to message me on discord, there’s no such thing as a dumb question and I will try my best to share my experiences and my knowledge, with you
Thanks for reading – BobuubiTvCpt
All information provided from personal experience, and
Edmund Walendowski’s – Combat Motivation of the Polish Forces