In your Squad experiences you will die. Over and over. Time and time again. Without fail.
But, and maybe in a personal effort to co-opt an old cliché and give it new life for Squad – you will live by the FOB, and you will die by the FOB.
As one of the two spawn points available in game for an entire team, Forward Operating Bases play an important role in ensuring success for your side: they will allow you to maintain assaults on key objectives, they grant you the ability to hold the line against a hostile advancements, and they will, if used properly, provide fire support and suppression that could save your team precious tickets.
With all of that said, below is a brief and basic guide for successful FOBs. But before we begin, you should understand, recite, and remember one almost crucial statement for any squad leader new or old: don’t suffer from a paralysis of analysis, make a decision and work with the outcomes, good or bad.
A lot of what is discussed below is baseline, as a good working knowledge of FOB placements ultimately do come from experience, and varies from map and layer.
Radio Placements are Key
The first step in getting an FOB setup is the FOB radio. However, there are a number of factors to consider in this initial step: supply route length and difficulty, radio overlap, potential or otherwise, distance from objective, enemy and friendly traffic and line of sight. I may have cut it short there, but in practice, the list really goes on and on and on and on.
Essentially it does boil down to three key points to always remember: can this FOB radio be properly and consistently supplied, is it a viable distance away from an objective and can it place a usable HAB within it’s 150-meter radius, and is it in an easily defendable location, if needed.
Logistics are a Necessity
Logistics might be the most overlooked and neglected portion of a successful FOB – after all, logi runs can be, and often are, long, monotonous, and, well, boring. But that is not to say they’re not outright vital.
As of Alpha V12, Logistics Trucks begin with enough supplies and ammo to setup a HAB, ammo box, and a few barricades and barriers. This is more than ample for any well-placed FOB.
But if a FOB is going to sustain more than a single squad for any length of time, or if it is setup as a firebase FOB, it will need constant and frequent supply runs.
Make certain to keep this in mind, and even consider dedicating one or two squadmates to logistic duty.
The Important Distinction
Simplistically and broadly speaking, there are two types of FOBs: offensive and defensive.
Offensive FOBs are, again speaking in a broad sense, meant to be hidden from view, placed in a reasonable distance and direction from the objective, and draw as little attention to its existence as possible – thus enabling the squad and team to apply the pressure upon the enemy. If properly placed, an offensive FOB can be highly effective in a sweeping and overwhelming assault from the rear, or in helping to form a pincer movement.
Defensive FOBs are usually placed tightly against an objective. They should be primarily focused on supporting the rearguard with ammo and fire support. They should be established to repel, reject, and redirect enemy advancements through the use of emplacements, sandbags, HESCOs, razor wire, etc. The aim is to force the enemy into highly exposed positions.
The More the Merrier
Too many times an entire team is forced to funnel toward an objective or emplaced enemy through one direction and from one FOB. That, in and of itself, is a sign of a failure to communicate and coordinate.
As a team, or even as a squad, there should be a focus on having at least a single FOB on or around both the defensive flag and the offensive one. There could, and should, also be multiple FOBs set up around the offensive flag, if at all possible.
All the above provides at least three important benefits: a maintenance of friendlies engaged in and around the objective, even despite the potential or actual loss of one or more of the FOBs; hitting an offensive flag from multiple directions, which will work to confuse and stress the opposition; and to provide a fallback and rallying position on the defensive flag if the attack is ultimately broken.
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