So you want to call? That's cool. Always fun to be the one calling shots. Sometimes it can get a little stressful, but a good caller can make a win happen with almost any group of players. As a caller you have to ask yourself "What is my job?" and the answer to that question is rather simple.
"As a caller my job is to put my boys and gals in the best possible situation in order to win."
So how do you that? How can you manipulate the battlefield in order to win? The answer to that is to know maps/tanks/players/and enemies. It's not easy to call for a group of guys you know nothing about so let's talk first about some basic tips when you join a random detachment and are asked to call.
(For the sake of discussion we'll talk about tier 6 since most of my experience is around Tank Companies, Strongholds, Tournies and clanwars in that tier.)
Tip 1) Take a look at the setup.
Ask yourself the following questions... What are the strengths of the tanks they readied up? (Penetration, DPM, Gun Depression, Armor). Do they have all their bases covered ?(heavy, medium, lights) Will they be able to stay together speed wise?(An OI can't keep up when paired with a KV85) It's more important when starting out to have pairings of tanks so that you can organize the call easier (It also makes it easier to identify players out of position)
Tip 2) Who has a fully upgraded tank/crew?
You would be shocked the amount of players that will ready up a Cromwell that has a 75% crew. Do not let that happen. Ask players if they have a fully upgraded tank and 100% crew (Added bonus if they have sixth sense already.) Strongholds is not the place to be grinding for a tank. Any serious team that wants to win will have a fully upgraded tank, 100% crew with at least 1 perk, 3 pieces of equipment, camo and will shoot APCR when needed. If your team doesn't have that? The enemy will. It is better you take a less than preferred tank that is fully upgraded than a tank that can't even preform at the basic level.
Tip 3) Identify your reliable/unreliable players.
Every detachment has them... That one guy that people always say "Aw man he's a great guy! I really like him, but... he isn't the best."
It's extremely important you figure out who these players are and fast because you have to PLAN around their stupidity. And yeah... That's a mean way to put it but it's true. And don't make the mistake of thinking "Oh he's talking about red players..." Because I'm not. I've met plenty of purple players that are unreliable and red players that can do what needs to be done. Here are some tips to help you to identify an unreliable player: (These aren't full proof, sometimes people just have a bad game. Form your opinion about someone over the course of a few matches, don't write them off immediately.)
-Player has to be told repeatedly to follow the same order.
-When given the option the player will sit out in the open instead of automatically seeking a bush to hide behind.
-Player argues with orders or worse ignores them. (Yes sometimes we make bad calls, but during the battle is not the time to debate them)
-Player is constantly moving out of position
-Player throws away their tank by rushing in for no reason
-Player makes bad exchanges or no exchanges at all (example: Poking out to fire at a reloaded KV2 that's aimed down. Or Player won't poke out for shots against a KV2 that's already fired.)
-Player is constantly in other team-mates way.
-Player simply has a bad attitude or won't stop goofing around.
-Player is constantly readying up tanks you don't want or need.
-Player is constantly talking during the match and disrupting battle coms with comments like "Seriously RNG?" or "What a lucky ******" etc
-Player has less than 50% hit ratio AFTER a battle. (Pay attention to who you expected to land shots and who actually did, study the after battle statistics.)
Now when you find a reliable player try to put them in the positions you think they'll excel. Those are the players that will deal the damage, the ones that will do the job you need done. The unreliable players need to have minor roles of lesser importance. Keep your personal feelings out of it, if you like someone but they just can't do what you need done then don't ask them to do the important stuff.
Tip 4) Enforce your call.
If someones out of position? TELL THEM. If someone is poking when you don't want them showing themselves? TELL THEM. If you need someone to shutup because you have to make a call? TELL THEM. You have to establish that you are in charge and when you tell someone to do something they need to DO IT.
Tip 5) Don't ask for advice in game.
Asking for advice makes you sound weak, like you don't know what you're talking about. When you open that door, every tom-[edited]and harry start to give you their opinions "WE SHOULD PUSH!" "THAT GUYS ISOLATED!" "THIS FLANKS OPEN! LETS CAP!" ... Most of the time? These guys don't know what they're talking about or they're jumping the gun. If you need advice about your call, you should instead ask "yes or no" questions like "Hey Hellcat? Do you have shots onto this area?" "Hey E8's are you able to get into cover if the enemy comes this way?" "Hey T37 will you be able to light the cap from that bush?" Your players will have the answers you need to determine if you made a poor decision. Rely on FACTS of Yes or No questions, not people's opinions.
Tip 6) Keep coms clean!
This is one of the most important tips. I've seen top tier clans that have ZERO discipline in detachments, they can't shut up and it's super distracting when you have 30 seconds to describe a complex battle plan. Tell your guys when you say "Battle Coms." that means shut up and listen! But don't get me wrong... I love relaxed and laid back detachments, however during the match I want our execution to be flawless. You cannot run a successful detachment when people can't keep quite. Your goal should be their SILENCE when you open your mouth to speak.
Tip 7) There are only 2 ways to win.
You can either cap out the enemy or kill them. When you make a call for a push? Don't forget you're creating a vulnerable cap. Make sure that when you leave your base exposed it was planned ahead of time. Also always watch for an enemy that leaves their cap exposed and take advantage of it. The reason the cap is so important is because it makes it easier to force a team to do something about it. And honestly? At the end of the day? A win is a win. Don't be picky about it.
Tip 8) Don't pay attention to XVM.
"We have a 28% chance to win." I hate it when players tell me the odds. Why? Because I've been in detachments where people will say "Dang, it's a team of purples we lost." ... They give up BEFORE THE FIGHT STARTS. Do not pay attention to XVM, just because they're purple doesn't mean they know how to call! Use discipline and positioning to counter the terrifying "Wolf Pack" Strat. Same goes if you see "We have a 90% chance to win." your guys get cocky and forget the enemy still has a gun.
Ah crap I ran out of time on my break... x,x Back to work! I'll post more later!