New CEO Guide:SI

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New Combine CEO guide: Suggestions, Structure & Templates

One of the most time consuming, frustrating and rewarding roles to play in Soldiers Inc is that of a combine CEO. A combine is a group of players who are joined together in unity towards a common goal. You have the ambition, the drive and the ideas, but are you ready for the challenges that lie ahead?

Other games refer to groups as clans, guilds, companies, teams, etc. Soldiers Inc calls it a combine. A combine is run, at minimum, a leader known as the CEO, and members of the combine underneath the CEO. The key to success is correctly balancing your time, resources, effort and delegation of tasks or the CEO will quickly be overwhelmed and frustrated. Management is as vital as the quality of the soldiers that make up the combine.

Before You Begin

To create a combine, you will need 1000 diamonds and the Joint Ops Center. You can construct the Joint Ops Center from the command tab of the construction window found when viewing your base. Before committing to starting your combine, take a step back and figure out if being the CEO is something you are ready to take on.

To be a successful CEO you will need to honestly weigh the following criteria:

  • Strong management skills
    • You can’t do it all, so you need to delegate tasks to commanding officers
    • You need to be able to put the right people in the correct positions
  • Previous experience in gaming leadership
    • There is no replacement for previous experience, good or bad
  • Time
    • You need to be active in the game
    • You need to be available for your combine members
  • Diplomatic skills
    • Many wars are over before they even begin, diplomacy can save time, and frustration
  • Fairness
    • Being fair to yourself and your combine members will earn you respect and loyal members
    • Being fair to neighboring combines and alliance members puts you in good standing
  • Leading by example
    • You have to be prepared to always lead by example
    • Never put your members in a position where you may take away from them
  • The ability to perform any task delegated under you
    • You may have the game’s best Defensive General in your combine, but if he’s not online during an attack, you need to be able to take control
  • A strong understanding of game mechanics
    • Knowing how the game works is paramount to teaching your other members to follow in your footsteps.
  • An understanding of human behavior
    • Soldiers Inc is a game available on a social network that spans the world. You will meet people of different nationalities, races, creeds and backgrounds.
    • Get to know your members and how team dynamics work. Not everyone will get along all the time.

Creatively Creating the Combine: Time and Effort:

Once you commit to starting your combine, you have to choose a name, team colors and logo. Take your time, because this choice is permanent. There are many logos, colors and background combinations to choose from. Go through the entire list before making your final choice. Make the name creative and unique. An uninteresting or confusing name may deter members from joining the combine based off of perception. An example of this would be names that are inappropriate, a mixture of hard to read symbols or number combinations or names that are controversial. No one wants to join a combine that appears to have little interest invested in its own creation.

You’ll also have to set some information for prospective members or allies. This is a brief description of your values, alliances or member requirements for applicants looking to join up with your combine. This text will be available for anyone that clicks your combine logo on any of your members, by searching your combine on the combine ranking list or by applying to your combine directly. You’ll want to make sure this is organized and neat, as this is what others read about you first.

To change this text, go to the Joint Ops Center, then the ‘My Combine’ tab. Click the Question Mark (?) icon near your combine name in the upper left corner of the window. Follow the on screen instructions to update and modify this text. Choose a minimum level for applicants to pre-screen low level players from being able to apply.

Getting off the Ground: Adding Members

So now you’ve started the combine, you chose your logo and your team colors, a cleaver name and are ready to go. Where do you go from here? The first suggestion is to invite likeminded players who share a common goal, language or desire to grow as a team with you. It’s tempting to send invites to every high level player you see who are solo, but not only is this a poor decision, it will fill your combine with members who may not understand the nature of the combine, it’s goals or be willing to sacrifice on its behalf. Good members attract other good members, so take your time. Each level of the combine allows you to add more members, up to a maximum of 100, so choose carefully. These founding members are often the ones you stick with throughout your career as a CEO in Soldiers Inc.

Members can be added by sending invites or accepting applications to your combine. To review or accept players applying to your combine, check your Joint Ops Center under the ‘My Combine’ tab. Towards the middle is a section for applicants that show you who applied their level and location. It would be a wise decision to visit the applicant’s base, send them correspondence as to why they are applying and what they expect to gain from joining. If you decide to accept the member, simply click the Accept button and, provided they haven’t joined another combine already, the member will be added to your combine’s ‘Associates’ section. To invite a player directly, you will need to first visit their base and choose ‘Invite to Combine’ from the actions tab on the right hand side. These players will be notified of your offer in the Joint Ops notification area of their radio. They can either accept or decline the invitation.

Note: you can still invite someone to your combine even if they are a member of another combine.

Rank Structure and the Chain of Command: Order and Respect

Rank structure goes back to the 1700’s, giving order and structure to any military and defines roles, respect and a chain of command. The chain of command is crucial because it gives members a way to perform their duties and relay orders effectively. Without a chain of command, it becomes increasingly difficult to bring order to the group, and confusion will set in as orders may come from different generals. Sometimes these can contradict and frustrate members, who become unsure of which commands to carry out, leading to failure and unsatisfactory operations.

Internal Ranks

Soldiers Inc gives you several ranks in which to run the combine:

  • CEO
  • Executive Officer
  • Brigadier General
  • Tier 3 Specialist
  • Tier 2 Specialist
  • Tier 1 Specialist
  • Soldier
  • Recruit

Brigadier Generals

Brigadier Generals and up carry the most responsibility for the combine and have the ability to recruit, change member ranks and use Syndicate Cash rewards from Mining Complexes (by default). Executive Officers typically run the critical operations and have the ability to appoint Brigadier Generals to assist with their tasks. The CEO is usually responsible for leading, public relations, watching over the combine and appointing Executive Officers within the combine.

Tier Specialists

Tier Specialists are the game’s mid-ranks that can be used for promoting soldiers above others, can offer reward or recognition for duty and provide a path for command candidates to escalate through on their way to running a part of the combine. Other uses are for tactical operations, demoting command ranks or a variety of ways to distinguish a player within the associate list.

Soldiers

Soldiers will most often make up the bulk of your combine associates. Soldiers are responsible for carrying out orders, dealing with logistics, scouting targets, defending mining complexes and other combine assets, etc. Soldiers are just as important as command ranks, without soldiers, the body and soul of the combine will have no momentum and nobody to participate in coordinated operations.

Recruits

Recruits are new applicants or invitees who join your combine. By default, anyone who you invite or accept will start off as a recruit. Recruits should be carefully screened for participation, progression of growth, and a desire to contribute to the team. The recruit rank can be used as a buffer for soldiers who are underperforming or as a disciplinary measure. Recruits should prove their worth before being promoted to the soldier rank in a timely manner. A good rule of thumb is that a recruit needs to meet certain expectations within 2 weeks, when they are re-evaluated by an appointed Executive Officer, the CEO or another appointed command member, or they are removed from the combine.

To remove a member from the combine, you will need to visit your Joint Ops Center, and then click on the ‘My Combine’ tab. Scroll through the Associates section until you find the member (or search for them with the search tool). Click the trash can icon to remove the member from the combine, or click the Mail Icon to send them a message first. When removing members, it is considered courteous to message them prior to removing them, so they have an idea why they were removed. When possible, it is always best to not burn bridges when removing members, because if they are removed unfairly they could become enemies in the future!

Command styles

There is more than one way to run a combine. Here are two sample examples of command structure to run a combine:

10% Command Structure and Executive Duties

Depending on your style of command you may want to consider a 10% command approach, and the following Executive Officer duties. The 10% command approach simply means that approximately 10% of your entire member base is in command. The other 90% carry out the orders. This balance creates a clearly defined set of command officers and roles within the combine. This leaves little room for confusion as to who is in charge of what aspect of the command chain.

Suggested Executive Officer duties in a 10% Command Structure:

  • CEO – Provides over watch of the combine, Public Relations, Recruitment and Direction
  • XO of Offense – plans, coordinates and carries out strategic operations to acquire combine assets, strategic attacks and seizing resources. The XO of Defense will typically appoint a Brigadier General or two (depending on the combine size) to work with members who have advanced units and contracts and ration reduction in building large armies for assault operations.
  • XO of Defense – Develops, coordinates and carries out the defense of controlled combine assets, works with members to produce defense for member protection, and defending resources. The XO of Defense will typically appoint a Brigadier General (or two, depending on the combine size) to specifically work with members to achieve defensive unit contracts, and providing the correct defense to all combine assets.
  • XO of Logistics – Works with members of the combine to raise resources for advancing mining complexes, combine HQ building levels, providing fuel for defenders and munitions for offense, rations for members and contract referrals. Logistics will typically work with members in seizing and holding specific Depots, managing raid farms and maximizing their logistics branch of the tech tree up to and including Fuel Management.
  • Other roles for a 4th XO – If utilized could include recruitment, scouting, combine maintenance, off-game communications (Facebook combine groups, chats, etc.). In a full combine of 100 members, the CEO, 3 XO’s and 6 appointed generals (2 for each XO) will equal 10 members, completing the 10% command structure. The Tier Specialist ranks can be used to separate prospective and accomplished members as a reward.

Classic Command Style (Top Down)

If you don’t like to share control, a more conventional approach is to run the combine with direct approach, giving yourself more control over all aspects of the combine and putting players in direct expectations and little room for diverting from your own plans. This can be easier for smaller combines when not a lot of members have joined, if you have great leadership and organizational skills and are fair.

  • CEO - This is the leader of the combine. The CEO sets the rules and the mood for his team, has the final word on what the combine does or does not do and is also ultimately responsible for what his or her players do or do not do. It is the responsibility of the CEO to adhere to his/her own rules. If you make a rule that stipulates that players must be ‘daily players’ and you have a few members that do not adhere to this policy, it is the CEO’s job to kick them. As a CEO, you must not show favoritism and treat all members of the combine with the respect and fairness. A CEO in this configuration will be responsible for the day to day operations of the combine and ultimately the final say in all matters when dealing with alliances and other combines. Operations Officer - CEOs may delegate specific duties to their OPS Officers but the ultimate responsibility for these jobs remains with the CEO. A CEO can promote as many players as needed to the posting of Operations Officer.
  • Brigadier - These are the Generals of the combine. CEO’s may set as many of these as desired, however each should have a specific area of responsibility. Typically there is one designated for each style of play: Offense, Defense and Logistics
  • Tier III Specialist - These should be your assault specialists. These are players that are best at or prefer an offensive posture and will develop their bases and troops to that end.
  • Tier II Specialist - These should be your defense specialists. These are players that are best at or prefer a defensive status and will develop their bases and troops to that end.
  • Tier I Specialist - This should be your “above average player” that has not dedicated themselves to either an offensive or defensive posture but prefers a better-rounded load out.

Communications

Soldiers Inc provides a basic form of communications for the officers and members to communicate to one and other. The Command Ranks can send combine-wide communications that all selected members can read in a memo. Communications is one of the critical aspects of any military or business, without it, all the members cannot be aware of events and the needs of command.

Sending a Combine Memo

To send a combine-wide memo, visit your Joint Ops Center, click on the ‘My Combine’ Tab and then choose ‘Send All’ on the right hand side of the associates list. All memos will automatically go to the CEO and Executive Officers. Other ranks can be selected or deselected by clicking on the rank icon. Each message is limited to 600 characters, and there is a tentative limit of 5 memos per day. Memos will appear to each member with a large combine icon as the sender, rather than the member who sent it.

Remember: Combine memos do not reveal who wrote the message, as a memo is more of a formal message without personalization.

Individual members can be messaged through the normal messaging channel, or by searching the associate list on the My Combine page of the Joint Ops Center. To the right of each member in the associates list, is a mail icon that can be used to directly message the member.

A good suggestion for writing multiple messages and combine memos is to use a text editor such as Windows ‘Notepad’ or Mac’s ‘Notes’ to compose the message prior to sending it. This gives you a chance to format the message, gage the length (max of 600 characters) and a chance to redact (or edit) critical information. Copy and paste the message into the Soldiers Inc message interface and click send. There is a chance that spending too much time reading your message before sending it triggers the inactivity window to pop up and could erase the text of the message.

Tip: By composing your memos externally, you can then save a copy of the message for future reference. A suggestion is to save the memo by date and subject: (12-1-13-Memo about mining complex.txt).

Using Facebook as an external lobby for members to communicate

Soldiers Inc is a game designed around social interaction. One of the biggest benefits of running a combine is to make friends in and out of the game with people all around the world. Sending friend requests and staying in touch is a big part of the game. Using a Facebook group page for combine members to interact is logical.

There are many resources on how to create a Facebook page for your combine. The Facebook page admin staff should have the CEO, Executive Officers as administrators at minimum. As indicated in the XO responsibilities, a 4th XO can be appointed to run the off-game and 3rd party pages and lobbies for the combine. Take care when removing members from the combine; they should also be removed from the combine group page in Facebook as well.

My Combine Quick Message

There is a 5 line maximum message field for a brief message on the My Combine tab of the Joint Ops Center that lets the CEO, XO or General communicate with the group. This feature is largely outclassed by the messaging and combine’s memo feature, but still remains in the game. This is handy for leaving instructions and a URL for an external combine page, voice communication software and credentials or other upcoming events.

Growth and Direction: Maintaining the Combine

As you expand and grow your combine, you run into limitations in the way of maximum members, command structure and finding active players. As players come and go, you will need to constantly groom candidates for bigger roles and recruits for performance. But once you reach the capacity of your combine, you will need to expand to the next level.

Expanding the combine

At first, you are granted 10 member slots. Once you fill these 10 slots, new applicants cannot be added, although you can still send invites out. To expand the combine you must visit the Joint Ops Center, click on the ‘My Combine’ tab and then the ‘Expand’ button in the upper left corner of the window. Each level becomes increasingly more expensive, requiring the CEO to advance the storage capacity of their base and the combine logistics operations to pull resources from members together.

The combine expansion chart is as follows:

Combine Level

Cost (Each Resource)

Member Limit

Level 1

N/A

10

Level 2

40,000

20

Level 3

60,000

30

Level 4

80,000

40

Level 5

100,000

50

Level 6

120,000

60

Level 7

140,000

70

Level 8

160,000

80

Level 9

180,000

90

Level 10

200,000

100

Stand Together, Fall Together: Where You Rank

From time to time, you’ll want to check your combine rank. This updates every 30 minutes and is directly tied to the territory in which your combine controls. Territory is a combination of the total of all combine members’ Experience level (shown on their experience bar) and the territory covered by the Mining Complexes on the map.

To check your rank, go to the Joint Ops Center, ‘My Combine’ tab and check your rank in the upper left corner. Your rank is in contrast against every other combine in the game. If you capture or lose territory it may take up to 30 minutes before your rank changes. Each mining complex level brings a specific amount of territory to the combine. A Level 1 Mining Complex brings in 10km of territory. L2, L3, L4 and L5 bring 20, 30, 40 and 50km respectively. If a neighboring complex is occupied, some territory is lost due to the overlap of the mining complexes on the map. You can check this by bringing up the map view, then click on the combine view option. Mining complex territory is shown with a colored overlay for the actual territory owned by the complex.

If a nearby complex is advanced in level, it may overshadow your own complexes and members, which in turn reduces the territory total. To combat this, you can either level the complex to match or exceed the neighboring complex, or attack and occupy it, controlling both.

Note: If your rank is lower than the top 2001 combines, your rank will simply be shown as 2001+.

Remember, the higher your combine rank, the easier it is to recruit members and the more attention your combine attracts from the more aggressive, warring combines.

Coordinating Attacks: Rise and Conquer

Another big challenge for your XO and combine during offensive maneuvers is coordination. Time is the biggest factor as different locations and time zones will have differences in clocks. A suggestion is to have the combine use a common universal time clock.

Universal Time for Coordination

WorldTimeClock.com is a free web-based source for time. The UTC is the best choice for a time selection. Coordinating attacks to land at a certain time should always be referenced by UTC by all members to avoid confusion.

Combine attacks

Having a combine means you can use the combine attack feature on non player combine assets. These currently include Mining Complexes and Depots, but not players or combine HQs.

Using a combine attack is a great way to improve the odds of victory against a hardened target. The way the combat engine works in Soldiers Inc, the attacking army must be greater than the defending force. By taking your members and grouping the offensive units onto one of the Brigadier General, Executive Officer or CEO’s bases as reinforcements, these command positions can launch coordinated attacks easier with the combine attack feature. Combine attacks lets the sender include up to two other members for a 3-member joint attack.

To launch the combine attack, a General of higher rank must have other members reinforce the base with their offensive units. Then simply browse to the target and choose the occupy option. In the upper right, elect to combine attack, and then choose up to two members to participate in the attack. The relative strength of the reinforcements is depicted with the three handgun icons. The more handgun icons lit up, the more powerful the offense. Once the two members are selected, all the reinforcement units are pooled and can be chosen. Confirm the raid and the units will embark on the occupation.

When the attack hits, all participants will be notified, and the combat report will show the participating members in the info bar in addition to the normal combat report. If the occupation is successful, each member that participated will have to individually withdraw their offensive units from the newly garrisoned Complex or Depot. All members will be free to send in defensive reinforcements after the target is occupied.

Alliances

While alliances are purely optional, and no game mechanics are in play to prevent players from breaking the alliance agreements. Alliance agreements are more or less non-aggression pacts or joint operations negotiations for mutual aid if attacked or are attacking a common enemy. To offer or discuss an alliance, you will need to discuss the opportunity with other combine CEO’s. Keep in mind, there are positive and negative implications to an alliance. On the positive side, alliances can offer lesser combines a way to stay protected while expanding and ranking up. On the negative side, alliances can cause your combine to be attacked inadvertently due to your affiliation with a rival of the other combine as a warning or provocation. The choice is yours, but be sure to consider all sides before agreeing to an alliance. Who benefits most from this alliance? Study all sides and associated combines and their command members, and most importantly, include your executive officers in a vote on what’s best for the combine, if the combine is run this way.

Review and Other Functions

Stepping Down

Sometimes it’s not possible to run the combine as CEO. Sometimes it’s the best decision for the combine to step down as CEO. You can appoint another CEO by promoting an existing member of the combine to the rank of CEO, which will reduce yours to Executive Officer. To do this, you must visit your Joint Ops Center, then the ‘My Combine’ tab. In the Associates section, locate the member you wish to promote, and then click their rank icon with the green chevron box. Choose CEO and confirm.

Merging

If or when the time comes you wish to merge your combine with another, there are a few steps you need to take. Soldiers Inc does not provide an actual combine merge functionality so you should do the following steps. First is to communicate the change with your commanding officers. A combine memo should be sent out as soon as it is settled with your commanding officers. The message should be honest and explain the situation in a way that informs the members of steps they need to take, if any to stay onboard. As with any business merger, there will be people who agree with the merge and people who disagree with it. It may not be possible to make everyone happy. If you are using a FaceBook group page, the page should be updated with a pinned post for all the members to see, with the steps that need to be taken, if any. Try not to alienate any members as these members could potentially bring your command methods or tactics to the enemy… troop numbers, strategy or internal documents, etc.

Note: Any Mining Complexes will lose a level as they are transferred, any Depots will not.

Disbanding

Disbanding the combine will involve removing all the members individually. Finally, you must remove yourself to disband the combine completely. Any held assets will be released and reoccupied by the Zheng Shi, and Mining Complexes will be downgraded one level.

So if You Still Want to Run a Combine…

Starting and running your own combine is a wonderful way to bring people together and enjoy Soldiers, Inc on a level beyond solo playing. As a team, you can grow and conquer in ways not possible for a solo player. Running a combine is a challenge that can bring frustration or rewards, depending on the time and patience of its CEO and command structure. By giving the combine everything you have to offer, and taking the time to build a solid command structure and clear, defined goals, you stand to succeed as a team and rise through the ranks of the best Soldiers Inc has to offer. Put the time and effort in first, and enjoy the success that comes with being a CEO of your own combine.

Templates

Combine Organizational Chart Example

Combine Command Memo Sample

Combine Wide Memo Sample




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