What is a Warband?

A warband is a big party of 24 people.. which consists of 4 full parties of 6 member isn each. To form a warband you need to first make a group with one more person then create the warband. There are two types of warband formations Public and Private. If you want to find a public warband you need to press the letter L and see availible warbands in the game for your faction. For a private warband you need to be invited by the warband leader or assistant.

In this post we will talk about pug warbands. A pug warband is a warband that consists of random people and there are many kinds of pug warbands depending on the level of organisation they display.

Total Pug: This is a warband that someone started with no intention of leading. This warband has no group sorting, by group sorting we mean that the leader is checking the best possible 2-2-2 composition (2 tanks – 2 DPS – 2 Healers), no leadership, no direction. This warbands are usualy formed for one reason adn one reason only, to “leech” renown from combat. The effectiveness of such a warband is zero. Its more of a burden than usuful in the big piucture of moving maps / campains forward. they also create another problem. The illusion of forces. People see others around and think we have the numbers to attack a keep but when it comes to the attack they realise that those numbers are mostly afk, or in different parts of the map and its only a handfull that actuly playing. How can you spot those warbands? basicly you can not but seeing a lot of people mounted and or not moving could be a good indication. With experience and game time you will come to recognise the some of the leading guilds of your faction and you will know if its a good day or not.

Semi-orgnaised  Pug: This is a warband that some one started with the intention to lead it, but with no voice communications. In this warband there might be some group sorting. By group sorting we mean that the leader is checking the best possible 2-2-2 compositionn (2 tanks – 2 DPS – 2 Healers). In this warband the leader will attempt to lead with commands on the chat such as follow me, ew are moving, attack etc. However alot of people will not pay attention to the chat especialy during combat this will result in poor results and win / loss ratio. Some times the leader will remove people that dont follow or are afk in an attempt to improve performance. This type of warband has some effectivness on the maps and pushing campaigns, especialy when they follow the lead of an organised guild leading the charge.

Fully-organised Pug: This is a warband that some one started with the intention to lead it, and lead it well with voice communications. In this warband there will be group sorting, by group sorting we mean that the leader is checking the best possible 2-2-2 composition (2 tanks – 2 DPS – 2 Healers). In this format you should expect that people will be kicked from the warband if too many dps, if afk, or not follwoing. The fact there is voice communication is good and improves overall performance and efectiveness of the warband. Never the less still a pug warband. This means that the performance will be high depedent upon the idividuals. Since they don’t play every day together and practice movement, targeting and or other tactics the response time ofn commands will be delayed. This is a major difference between pug and guild warbnads, the experinces of everyday combat with the same people and style. This type of warband has good effectivness on the maps and pushing campaigns, especialy when they follow the lead of an organised guild leading the charge.

Composition of a Warband

A warband usualy has a 2-2-2 composition (2 tanks – 2 DPS – 2 Healers). with most DPS in a AOE build. Depending on the type of pug warband the composition may vary in composition and quantity. Pug warbands also tend to have more low levelr character as well (16-39) and undergeared ones at that. Do the best you can with what you have! Know your limitations according to composition and act accordingly.

Leading a Warband

Leading a pug warband is not as easy as people may think or want to think. The hardest part is to control all the people that do not read the chat or listen to you. I mean why would the join if not willign to follow and play? Simple leech renown. Now if you plan to create a:

Total pug warband there is no leading. I mean come on…

Semi-orgnaised  Pug: In this setup you will have to start kicking some people that do not follow or listen. Give them a fair warning and then remove them to try adn get some people that want to actualy play. A fair warning is somethign like “regroup on my location..if not here in 30 sec will be kicked”. Be vigilant IF you want to lead. Don’t do exceptions or its ok, he will not do it agian etc. Of course if someone just joined and he replies to you on my way.. that is acceptable. Be firm but fair. In this format of warband you are not ready picky so do the best you can.

Fully-organised Pug: The same rules apply here as on the Semi-Organised Pug warbands above. Here however since you are in voice communications the response time has to be faster there is no typing, no i didnt see it on chat etc. In this warband you have to be more vigilant and controling. Otherwise you will end up again having a warband of randoms ending up with a Toatal desaster on your hands.

Do readiness checks:

  • Ask the warband to type ready or 123 on /wb to see how many are ready to go!
  • Move randomly left and right and see how many are following.

Do Buff / Potion Chekcs:

You can’t go out there to fight and missing auras / commands, armour pots etc. Just because its a pug warband dont mean you have to suck when clicking potions is easy enough to do.

10 thing you need to understand when leading warbands:

  1. You can not please everyone
  2. You will be the bad guy in this!!!
  3. You will be blamed for loosing
  4. Its your fault people die when in other parts of the map and not following
  5. You will be pm’ed by many telling YOU what to do or where you need to be! (Ignore)
  6. You have to find all the members
  7. You have to balance / fix the groups
  8. You have all the answers
  9. You are to blame for the game having no fights or boring keep takes
  10. Its your fault you end up fighting against 2-3 enemy warbands! – Its all YOUR fault!

Movement of a Warband

A warband is only strong when its all together. If you have 2 parties starting to fight and then 20 sec later the other 2 arrive then you are all dead, espcialy versus an enemy warband. The movement of the warband needs to be tight formation, the so called blob. You need to move as one, fight as one or perish. Grouping up, making stops to regoup is imperative in controling a warband and increasing the win / loose ratio. Be carefull this may sound as a simple thing, but trust me in a pug warband nothing is simple.

In addition try and keep the classes are they need to be while moving.. this is the harder thing to do in any warband for many reasons. The tanks need to be in the front with melee followed by the ranged and last the healers.

Always check behind you so that you are never outflanked. You need to have a very good space awareness. Checking behind you can be done easily. Autorun and use left click (hold) and rotate to check. Get in the habit of chekcing. It might even give you the opportunity to surprise some attackers that might be following you.

Addons to help you

There are two places to find useful addons for Return of Reckoning.

For warband leading the best addons to get are:

Just those should be enough to assit you in leading a warband a bit easier.

Controlling a warband in combat

When the fighting starts, thats when a true Warband Commander shines. During the fight you need to do the follwoing depending on the warband you are running, player skill, character levels and of course your personal skill in leading. If you are a new player trying to learn how to lead and play in warbands, you need to understand that this takes time.

Now depending in what type of warband you will be leading you need to know all or some of the things listed below.

 Thing you need to know to lead a warband in combat:

  • The limits of your warband | How many low levels you have and how many will dive in instead of waitting then fight!
  • What classes you have and what they can do.
  • The ratio between ranged to melee | indicating different gameplay
  • All the skills of the classes in your warband
  • All the skills of the classes in the enemy faction
  • Ability to recognise enemy character – thus the eneny composition
  • Know when your warband and enemy has morals ready | Either when you start he fight together or if they were in combat befroe the engage your warband
  • Space aware | Where you are, where they are, and hwo you cna maneuver your warband.
  • Map aware | Know the map and shortcuts, ambuse points, choke points.
  • Defence tactics | When to defend Bottom floors in keeps or top floors and how !
  • Control warband movement | Spread to avoid moral bombs and re-group to push.

Things you need to do as a warband leader in combat:

  • Give direction to the warband | attack straight or move left and hit the back line, move right and hit middle section etc.
  • Call movement to avoid oil, moral bombs, aoe attacks
  • Inspire to keep moral up , We are winning this! keep it up! .. they are dying push NOW! etc
  • Call targets while in combat | Attack the zealot my target…All ranged focus oil…etc | Using assits, swft assit or enemy targeting addon might help. Game comes with swift assit so no excuses there.
  • Call for spesifc skill usuage such as Challenge, punts, aoe knockdowns, moral usuage( offensive and defensive)
  • Remind people to do their jobs | Get the resurrection up.. dont slack..
  • Tell them what to resurrect first… You need tanks to hold the funel or healers to sustain and resurrect even more? You know what needs to be done first.. Tell them.

Note: The above bullet points apply to guild organised play as well. I belive that most of the above points will not be used in any of the Pug like warbands. However i felt the need to mention them. Take your pick on what to use  – if applicable to your pug warbands. 

Win / Loose Ratio

The win to loosing ratio is what will make you a loved warband leader or a not so loved one or popular. You can not win them all. Most people will undestand this and the circumstances at which victory or defeat was achieved. So don’t go into all the fights with no thinking. Don’t go and fight 3 Warbands with 1 or don’t go against a fully geared guild warband with your pug filled with undergeared and low level composition. Best to follow and assist other guild warbands of your faction.

Final Thoughts

Been a warband leader is not easy. You need to control all aspects of the warband, every detail. the people, the skills, the morals, the moral of the people, the movement, call targets, sort groups and many more. There will be good days and bad days. So don’t get disappointed with the bad ones, focus on the good ones and push forward. If you have a guild ask for a day to lead a warband and learn in safety. Ask for feedback, learn and grow. Both factions need new and good warband leaders. Most people don’t won’t to lead warbnds due to the effort it requires, however its the most needed thing in this game. Numbers, gear and organasition is the key to victory.

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