How is that title for an oxymoron? Nonexistent right? Impossible even!
Sort of yes and sort of no. See like other leadership situations you only have as much authority as the people around you are willing to give you (see my tanking leadership post for more on this). In a battleground that is zero. So what is left? What is left is going with the flow… mostly.
So I just read a great post by Cynwise on simple battleground strategies. One very critical point he made is that execution is more important than the actual strategy. I wanted to expand on that point. The thing is that almost any strategy CAN win a battleground. The critical thing is not which you pick (as long as you are not going for the dreaded nekkid rush). The critical thing is executing well the strategy that is there.
The astounding thing is that the strategy can work even if there is no strategy there. Have you ever been in a WG where all the ‘morons’ run around in the center while one or two people that are actually good went around them and ran the flag? Did you think those one or two good players won the battle DESPITE everyone else? If you thought that you were wrong. What happened was a very sound battle ground strategy. By controlling, or even just semi-effectively attempting to control, the center of the map, the bulk of your team limited the movement of the enemy, slowed their ability to get to your base and perhaps even intercepted enemy flag carriers. The only thing left to make that an effective strategy to win is to have a few players run in and get their flag. So it works or can work. The bulk of your team may have had no concept of that. The flag runner might have even though he was going for the solo win. But in reality they were executing a simple and effect strategy.
Now let us say you are in this battle and not sure what to do. You think everyone is a moron for not defending so you go defend and grumble in chat about it. Then when the 3 rogues jump you and take the flag you blame everyone else for not defending. Is it their fault that you decided to use a completely different strategy? Then because there is one fewer person controlling the center their flag runner runs past. You blame them again for being ineffective despite the fact that you deliberately weakened their force by taking one more person (you) away from it. On the one hand you are sort of right. They didn’t defend well and they didn’t stop the runner… but you did things that did not help the overall picture because you were fighting your own team by running off and doing some other strategy.
We have ALL done what I just described at one time or another.
What if instead you stay near the center. By being near the bulk of the players you might help turn the tide there. To be more effective and to help the whole you also call out when you see them with the flag and you help slow the flag runner down. You are working WITH the masses instead of swimming upstream. By doing things that help them do a better job in the center (calling runners etc) you are helping the overall strategy. Or maybe you go run their flag, or some other thing. The point is not the particular strategy. The point is that you assess the situation and adjust your personal tactics to work WITH everyone else rather than just griping in chat about how dumb they are. You are probably right. But even if you are the smartest one there you are wasted if you just run off and try to run some solo strategy that you can’t actually do solo.
So what should you do? You should constantly adjust your strategies to be complimentary to what everyone else is doing. EVEN if you think what they are doing is dumb or ineffective. Additionally you can work to push the mass in a direction or take steps to make them more effective. No one is defending in AB? YOU defend. And you call out incoming as early as you can to give the others time to help you defend. Doing what you should do is a form of leadership. It is leading by example. Does it always work? Hah! No way. But it does help. The key is not to grit your teeth and just stubbornly execute your own favorite strategy. Instead constantly check the map, see what everyone else is doing, and update your personal plan based on that. Adapt and overcome but do it by working WITH rather than against. A weak strategy well executed will always defeat a team trying to do 3 strategies at the same time. You adjusting your personal actions can at times be the final stone falling into place to turn a rabble into an executed strategy.
No one is driving a demolisher? YOU drive it. But either drive where you don’t need defenders or keep near your team so they can defend you, even if it is accidental on their part. No one is defending? Decide if they are doing an effective rush that you should join, or if one person defending will be effective. And then do something that works with the whole. No one capping and guarding AV towers? Do it! And call out as early as you can when you are getting attacked. Lead by example but not by going against the flow. One person defending towers can be effective. One person charging the general and dying, not so much.
How to win Battlegrounds:
-Know the basic strategies.
-Adjust your personal actions to adapt to the group strategies.
-Where possible, help increase the effectiveness of the strategies being executed.
-Do NOT attempt strategies that are incompatible with the whole, or weaken the whole.
Execution > Strategy