A Defense; or A Guide in Killing PFM

It has come to my attention that another player has listed my name along with a fellow squad member’s as one that has found its way into the Axis chat box. Here is the quote:

You [referring to Bar] are one of the people who have questionable gameplay, suck when you play Axis but somehow have this funny speed when playing Allied plus the Allied SMG is a LAZER. I wouldn’t be proud most of the times you killed me I was hard headed running back in the CP trying to get revenge. I do also have to add (Desktop > Laptop). It’s funny because johnlemon is getting more credit with stuff than you now adays as well as pfmosquito. Remember Axis equipment is crap now a days and nothing like it used to be back in the day.

There seemed to be a couple of ways to read this. Perhaps it was a compliment. Perhaps it was an insinuation. In either case. it implies that I have been spoken about amongst the Axis. And that, of course, gives me warm and fuzzies. Naturally, it is flattering to be listed in the same paragraph as Bar and Johnlemon. When I am lumped in with Xohorvath, I know that I will have made the grade.

However, clarification has since been received that the ‘credit with stuff’ was meant in a pejorative sense, referring back to the phrase ‘questionable gameplay.’ In this thread, I’d like to answer some of those questions, so I have created a handy guide for how to properly swat a mosquito.

Step 1. Begin at the beginning. PFMosquito is part of the Pathfinder squad. This squad was formed with his brother years and years ago, before WW2online was a twinkle in anyone’s eyes. It was organized in honor of our (now deceased) grandfather, who served honorably in the United States military as a Pathfinder (8th Infantry). He landed on the beach of Normandy +5 and participated in the liberation of Europe. In the process, he killed at least two men, which turned him into a changed man. He never talked about it. He didn’t want to remember it. The Pathfinders remember it always so the veterans won’t have to, to give tribute to men who deserve fame and credit and honor but never seek it for themselves.

Nobody forms a squad on such principles and then proceeds to disgrace the good name of those the squad was created to honor. Moreover, those who join the squad wish to honor our veterans by becoming the very best they can be within any of the games we’ve played (Rainbow 6, BF1942, etc). Hence it follows, that the first step in killing PFMosquito is to know what makes him tick. You may make excuses and and cast aspersions as your corpse lies at his feet, but this will not prevent you from dying in your next attempt.

PFMosquito is constantly seeking to improve his game and the game of his fellow squad members so that the honoring we strive to do is indeed an honoring. The Pathfinders have no control over factors that lead you to refuse to improve your own game. We thank you for chalking it up to ‘questionable gameplay,’ because that means you will do the same things you did before that allowed us to dispatch you with extreme diligence.

Step 2. PFMosquito did not serve in the military. He has, however, taken a thorough interest in the military, especially military history. PFMosquito has been known to study maps of famous battles to understand how topography impacted the outcome, for example. PFMosquito believes that one of the best features of WW2Online is that the principles that generate successful outcomes in the real world apply within Battleground Europe. Eg: covering fire, cover vs. concealment, etc. Oh, and displacement.

If you enter a CP and run up the stairs and turn to your left, and then die in a blaze of SMG fire, when you return to the CP, run up the stairs, and turn to your left, but do not see PFMosquito, that is because he is not there–he is risen, he has risen indeed: he has got up and moved somewhere else.

If you run up the stairs and you inexplicably die from behind, it is because he has exited the building and circled behind you. If you are standing in the top floor of the CP, finally making it there alive, and then die, it is not because PFMosquito is invisible. It is because he exited the CP and found line of sight into the CP from a nearby building.

PFMosquito doesn’t give away all of his secrets, but the long and short of it is that he doesn’t do the same thing twice: except when he does, because you’re not expecting it.

Step 3. To understand PFMosquito’s gameplay you must understand who his favorite general is: the Swamp Fox.

Step 4. To understand PFMosquito’s gameplay, you must understand that he has been playing FPS games since they were invented, in the 80s. PFMosquito played WW2online in from its beginning through about 2004, and has been back now for about a year. PFMosquito does not just play games, he studies them. If you do not do the same, what do you expect?

Step 5. PFMosquito is a stubborn ol’ coot. The best way to kill him is to bring four of your friends, but be advised that, unlike some players, he will throw himself at the target over and over again until the objective has been reached–even if he dies 20 times in the attempt. This is called attrition. There are 5 of you, 1 of him, but he can spawn in nearby, and he WILL BE BACK UNTIL YOU ARE ALL DEAD. Otherwise, he can’t sleep at night, and his hands tremble with rage. Solution: bring ten of your friends, and a 232.

Step 6. PFMosquito is not a particularly skilled player, but he is persistent and canny. He specifically attempts to anticipate where the enemy will be and then will try to get there first. This is in contrast to just running headlong into a coming foe. If you spent five minutes slinking into a city only to find PFMosquito exactly in that spot waiting to kill you, it is not because he is utilizing nefarious tools. The Pathfinders enjoy superior comms, and since we are all cut from similar cloth, know precisely what kind of intel our comrades need. When you enter a town, there is a good chance that one of the Pathfinders has watched you come all the way in, and another is waiting to greet you.

What can you do? Nothing. That said, tactical elements might give you a chance (eg, cover vs. concealment, etc, advance under suppression fire, etc). PFMosquito is part of the Pathfinder squad, which is a relatively small squad. So you have this going for you: they cannot be in two places at the same time, so if they are defending Town A and are proving to be a nuisance, go to Town B.

Step 7. PFMosquito and the Pathfinders specialize in defending towns and specific objectives, such as CPs. PFMosquito has been the DOIC some twenty times, and in that time, never lost a town. Indeed, only one CP was lost in that whole time, and that was because AHC pulled players away for an attack. In other words, there have been times when PFMosquito and the Pathfinders killed you, and you didn’t even know it; they were an integral part of a town’s defense, and working in concert with other capable players, handed you your hat. Given this, if you die, what did you expect? The Path were in town. What to do? Go to a different town. Don’t even waste any more time attacking that town or defending a particular objective, because it is already the Pathfinder’s, even if you don’t know it yet.

Step 8. This game has many quirks. We all know this. What you see on your screen is not always what people see on their screens. 99.95% of the time, no one is engaging in ‘questionable gameplay.’ It is not productive to make such allusions. It is much better to fall at the hands of a skilled opponent then an unskilled one. Remarks such as these serve to render the people playing on the other side as something much less than the worthy foes that they are. There is no honor in defeating the weak player. There is no glory in taking a town that was not defended, or was defended by green tags. If your opponents do not have skill, why should you be proud of the fact that you are able to defeat them? Is that the narrative you want: a mediocre player was victorious over a noob? Do you think that if you characterize other players as mediocre that your personal narrative that you are a better player for besting people who only succeeded by engaging in ‘questionable gameplay’ comports with reality? No. That would be a false narrative.

No; we can only be proud of our achievements and accomplishments, both in game and out of game, if they are obtained against formidable opponents who have earned and deserved our respect. Hence, even if I were to suspect that someone was not playing completely on the up and up, I would still prefer to credit their accomplishment to skill and expertise. My personal narrative is this: whoever beats me must have been very, very good.

Realize, then, that to defeat a player–nay, a whole squad!–that thinks like this, you’re going to have to bring your A game. And that’s good. And you should desire it. And you should walk away from the battle saying, “Well met.”

Here is the Pathfinder Roster if you would like to ascertain whether or not you were dispatched by a Pathfinder:


Any ‘questions’, or concerns, or implications, etc, can be sent to the leadership of the Pathfinders through the contact form on that web page.