Skill Level One. Beginners Guide to being Tactical

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by CombatSports, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. CombatSports

    CombatSports New Member

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    Calhoun
    Ok kiddies, I have a lot of spare time here lately so I wanted to address a very nerve racking problem with new players and even some old players who never took the time to learn. In light of these aggravating habits and lacks of knowledge I am making a guide to being tactical. It will cover a wide variety of subjects, some more in depth than others, but by the end of this thread you should be able to walk away with new knowledge and a better player. So, without further adieu, here we go.

    Tactical Communications​


    So, you and your team do not have any of those high speed throat mics that pick up whispers but you are moving through the terrain and have yet to be engaged by enemy forces. This is a situation where you should BE QUIET! Talking out loud or even worse, yelling, is a stupid decision. Why you ask? Simply for the fact, if they have not found you yet, why give yourselves away and ruin the element of surprise.

    “All warfare is based on deception.” – The Art of War

    People are lazy, so if you make your presence unknown, they will lower their guard and your attack will be more successful than it would be if they knew you were coming and from where. So how do you communicate silently? Simple; hand signals. You can use the ones I am about to provide or you and your team can come up with your own TTP’s. (Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures) These allow your team to communicate with each other and everyone will know exactly what you are saying. An example being, you are point man for the right side on a staggered column movement and you spot movement fifty meters ahead. Holding up a flat hand like you want a high five will freeze the team where they are. Then waving your hand towards the ground will make them all go prone, taking 360 degree security while you look back and basically karate chop toward the position of the movement you had spotted. These actions just stopped your team from walking into a possible ambush, got them all into the prone which provides concealment and complete security on all sides, and made your commander aware of a possible enemy location in three simple hand movements without ever giving your teams position away. Much better than yelling or shooting at the squirrel and letting the enemy who is actually on the opposite side know where you are right? I thought so. So here is the Army TTP on hand signals. Be aware these are VERY generic and old. BTW all hand and arm signals are made with your NON firing hand; this means the one that isn’t on your trigger!

    [​IMG]

    Moving Tactically​


    風 Swift as the wind
    林 Quiet as the forest
    火 Conquer like the fire
    山 Steady as the mountain

    The worst decision is no decision. This is something I learned early on in the Army and since then I have seen many situations that proved it true. Moving tactically is more than just walking through the woods or down the trail, it is moving in a way that shows unit cohesion and preparedness. It allows your unit to successfully and safely react to fire when the **** hits the fan. How you move is determined by a lot of things including instinct and good judgment, remember though, how you move could be the deciding factor as to whether or not your team makes it to the objective. Yes, it is that important. So in this subject we are going to go over certain movements and how to react to fire from these positions. Ready?

    The File- A single file line is easy right? Wrong. A lot more comes into play here than your average person would think. First let’s go over when this should be used.
    - When moving through dense brush.
    - When moving along trails to small for a wedge or column.
    - When trying to expedite your teams movements and get to the objective quickly.
    - When METTTC determines this movement necessary.

    Now that we know the ideal times to use the file let’s discuss what the file does and does not provide for your team. When using the file your team has excellent left and right security, speed of movement, and allows versatility when it comes to switching to another formation. On the downside, the file does not provide good forward or rear security and makes your point man a target for the enemy. So how exactly do you accomplish a GOOD file movement? It is actually up to the team leader but general TTP is this. Your point man is the tip of the spear and never your team leader; he must be vigilant of booby traps and IED’s and he is also the first line for calling out incoming fire. Your rear man is also equally important; he is the only person keeping you from being attacked from the rear unknowingly. How you form up the center of your line is up to you but there are a few things you need to know. When moving tactically your mean should have alternating fields of fire; meaning that if the man in front of you is looking left, you should be looking right. Your file should be spread out, 3-5 meters in between each man, because one good grenade can kill a lot of people when they are nut to butt.

    So how do we react to fire from this formation? It is actually really simple. Let’s say you get shot at from the right side, well now that you have been shot at, all those hand signals go out the window. You are compromised and the world is blowing up all around you, why be quiet now? Whoever gets it out first should yell “CONTACT RIGHT!” At this point, the entire team should move like water, facing right, moving forward, and taking cover. If cover is not present what do we do? Go prone. The smaller your silhouette is; the better. From here there are many options available but this comes later, I am just teaching you basic react to fire techniques for this particular formation. Obviously, the same applies to the left side but what about front and rear? If someone yells contact front, the team will move forward and form a wedge off of the point man, taking cover and firing. The same applies to the rear. Now that we have the basics down, let’s move onto the next formation.

    The Wedge- This is a personal favorite of mine, the wedge is basically an upside down vee and provides an excellent advantage over the file. Let’s talk about when it should be used first though shall we?
    - When negotiating an open field.
    - When moving through light vegetation.
    - When METTTC determines it necessary.

    So what does a wedge bring to the table when moving tactically? Well the one major thing is an excellent forward security but it also allows a good reaction to indirect fire and rear contact, it also allows for a less noticeable movement. Meaning the enemy may spot one of you but he will most likely miss one or two of you and underestimate his opposition. What it does not provide is good rear security or good reaction to left and right contact. So how do we move in this formation? Well, the wedge is actually an easy one; normally you have a point man followed by people to his left and right rear. There should always be a strong side, meaning one side should always have at least one more person than the other. This provides good security to an anticipated contact on a particular side. Some units place their team leader in the middle of the wedge directly behind the point man, I advise against this because you never want to identify your team leader. There should be, as with the file, at least 3-5 meters between each man.

    Now let’s learn the very easy way to react to fire from this formation. This explanation is very simple and short, when reacting to fire from any side including front and rear in the wedge, your team will move up and form a line on the forward most man to the fire. See, simple right? Yeah I thought so.

    The Column and Staggered Column
    O-O -----------------O
    O-O -------------------O
    Column---------------O
    -----------------Staggered Column

    This is used mostly when moving down a road or large trail and not really any other time unless METTTC determines it necessary. This is also a very simple formation and it brings a lot of good things to the table and very few bad things. Some good things are excellent left and right security, better forward and rear security than the file, and a better visual for entire team. The worst of the bad things is that your team because an easily spotted target. So let’s learn how to move in a column. Paying attention to the nifty little diagram I gave above you should get the general idea of the difference between a column and a staggered column. A column is two files, one on each side of the road in this instance. In a staggered column you should never be online with the man across the road from you. 3-5 meters distance between the men of course. Your point men serve the same purpose as they do in the file and so do your rear men. The men on the left side should look left and vice-versa with the right side. Now for the tricky part, this formation requires two team leaders; or more technically a team leader and a squad leader. This serves a good purpose when reacting to fire which will be explained later. When moving in the formation your speed should be good but not running, your team is a target when moving like this so moving quickly is smart but running will distract the men.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
    Vangeroth likes this.
  2. CombatSports

    CombatSports New Member

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    Calhoun
    Now let’s go over how to react to fire from a column. Contact left or right is simple, form a line on the contact side, take cover, and start firing. Now front and rear is a little more complicated and differs from unit to unit, it is all determined by TTP’s usually. If you take contact front, each side should form a straight line on each side of the road but not on the road. They should branch off the road taking line with the point man from each respective side. This is where your team leader/captain and squad leader come into play. Once the react to fire is complete, there should be a key leader on each line. The same applies to the rear as the front, only reversed.
    In all of the listed above, your men should be looking back every 5-10 seconds to make sure they are not missing a signal sent from the rear. All teams should be divided into sub teams prior to mission, meaning an Alpha and Bravo team.


    Reacting to Types of Fire​


    He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious. – The Art of War

    So we got a general touch up on formations and how to move using them. There are many that I didn’t cover like the diamond but after the explanations above, that should be simple for you to figure out on your own. Now we are going to learn the skill level one task of reacting to different types of fire. This is one of the most important parts of this thread and con get a little complicated but just remember what I said earlier. Bad decisions are better than no decisions.

    React to Indirect Fire

    This is actually a pretty simple one; the enemy has caught your position and is now raining mortar fire down on you and your men. The first thing you do is whoever gets it out first yells “INCOMING!” from there it gets even easier. Where ever the fire is hitting, you or whoever notices first should call it out.
    So it would be like this.

    Mortar rounds hit. Team yells and echoes “INCOMING!” at this point, everyone will go prone and lay on top of their weapon. Your point man notices the mortar rounds are hitting to his twelve o’ clock about fifty meters away. Now the Army standard is 300 meters away from indirect fire. So in the ideal situation your point man or whoever spots the general distance and direction of the fire will yell “SIX O’ CLOCK, 200 METERS!” Whereas your team will pick up from the prone and haul *** in the given direction and distance, notice it moved the team AWAY from the indirect fire. Once your destination has been reached or your team leader says it is safe to stop, the team will get back into formation and pull 360 degree security while a status check is performed to make sure all personnel, ammo, water, and equipment is accounted for. After the team leader has confirmed all of this and sent it to his commander, movement will be resumed. Simple right?

    React to Near/Far Ambush

    Your team is moving along the road and you get a contact right. The enemy has been spotted by a man on your team and after moving on line with each other he has called out a distance. If he calls fifty meters or less it is a near ambush. From this point you have a decision to make, charge the enemy position or retreat. A few things come into play when considering this and this decision must be made up within seconds. What comes into play? Well, does the enemy outnumber you? Army standard is 3 American soldiers to one enemy. Do they have superior firepower? If they have 3 heavy machine guns and rocket launchers and you have 6 guys with M4’s and one guy with a M249, it is not a good idea to charge the enemy. Does the terrain permit it? If there is a alley ahead of you that your team can cross through, don’t. This gives the enemy fire superiority by giving them the high ground. For training purposes though, let’s say you can charge them. How do you do that? I will explain this just like I did above.

    The first person or everyone should yell, “CONTACT RIGHT!”. Your team should form a LOF (line of Fire) against the contact, meaning they are facing and firing at the source of contact. From hear your team leader decides to charge the contact, no we do not run at them with a war cry and guns blazing. You will die if you do that. Let’s say the team leader picks bravo team for the charge and alpha team to suppress the enemy. He will yell his commands, “ALPHA TEAM SUPPRESS, BRAVO TEAM ASSAULT!”. Bravo Team will NOT move yet. Alpha team will swing around to the left or right and form an L shape with Bravo Team while Bravo Team suppresses the enemy. Once Alpha team has finished moving they will yell “SET!” and continue to lay down suppressive fire. Now Bravo team will move, bounding forward, this means bounding forward in small groups toward the enemy and firing to cover each other as they move. Once they have reached the enemy, Bravo team will yell “SHIFT FIRE SHIFT FIRE!” and Alpha team will shift their fire out and away from the enemy, never in and away. If you shift in and away you will be shooting at your team. This only changes if your team has moved around behind or to the flank of the enemy. Once bravo team has killed the enemy they will yell “LOF LOF!” Which means they have completed the charge and now alpha team has to form a line and sweep the area conducting an after battle assessment. After this has all been completed both teams will pull 360 degree security while the team leader conducts a status check.

    Now let’s say the contact is more than 50 meters away, this is a far ambush and it is better to retreat than to assault due to the distance between you and the enemy. So how do you retreat? It is actually much simpler than assaulting and we are going to run a similar scenario as above to explain it.
    Someone has yelled “CONTACT RIGHT!” and your team has moved on line to lay down suppressive fire. You as the team leader have determined that the enemy opposition is too great, the enemy is too far away, or the terrain does not permit it. So now you have to retreat. The team leader will yell at his own discretion “ALPHA/BRAVO TEAM BOUND BACK!” now the entire team knows you are retreating. So let’s say he ordered alpha team to bound back. Bravo team will now suppress the enemy while alpha team moves back to cover between 20-50 meters away. Once they have finished moving they will yell “SET!” which signals Bravo team that they can move back because Alpha team has begun firing at the enemy to suppress them. These actions will continue like this until you are out of the enemy contact zone.

    Closure​


    Well! You have learned a little bit here today haven’t you? Well I know some of this is much to military oriented to be used in airsoft but you never know when you will find yourself taking airsoft mortar rounds! These are all skill level one and I have generalized them due to the fact that they teach us these things in a span of nine weeks and I just wrote it all down on 6 pages in MS Word. So take this knowledge and go turn your team into a fluid machine that can be feared. Before I let you go though, I want to explain METTTC a little since I know some of you are completely lost on that.
    METTTC is the basis for practically every military decision and can be applied equally in airsoft. METTTC means Mission, Enemy, Terrain and Weather, Troops, Time Available, and Civilian Considerations. IN THAT ORDER. Now I could go into another six page long spill about this six letter acronym but I won’t. We will KISS this one. (Keep It Simple Stupid) Let’s say you are planning a mission, how do you decide how to execute this mission assuming you have enough intel? METTTC, what is your mission? What is your enemy opposition, how many are there and what are they armed with? How does the terrain and weather permit you to move? How many troops and supports do you have available on this mission? How much time do you have to complete this mission? And lastly, what are your considerations for the civilians in the area? I know it is complicated but I am providing a good link to explain it in-depth. Anyways, that’s all I got guys, go out and have fun and BE TACTICAL!

    METT-TC Tactical Brief
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011

  3. CaptFysh

    CaptFysh New Member

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    St. Louis
    Looks really good!
     
  4. CombatSports

    CombatSports New Member

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    Calhoun
    Thanks! Just trying to get some info out to our new players.
     
  5. DaveRuination

    DaveRuination New Member

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    Alhambra
    oh nice, i didn't know alot of those hand signals before...thanks :D
     
  6. CombatSports

    CombatSports New Member

    83
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    Calhoun
  7. BoogerMc

    BoogerMc Airsoft Jedi Master Supporting Member

    4,618
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    Akron
    Send me that file if you still have it. I would love to use this in our training program at B-B Wars. However, could you do me one small favor, include some pictures of some of the movements you describe, most of my guys are visual learners, not book learners, if you know what I mean.
     
  8. CombatSports

    CombatSports New Member

    83
    1
    Calhoun
  9. CombatSports

    CombatSports New Member

    83
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    Calhoun
    Thanks for the good feedback guys. Wish I could get more of it though.
     
  10. Superstud2154

    Superstud2154 New Member

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    Byron
    Nice job it was a long ride
     
  11. Superstud2154

    Superstud2154 New Member

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    Byron
    Long read is what I meant
     
  12. BoogerMc

    BoogerMc Airsoft Jedi Master Supporting Member

    4,618
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    Akron
    Ok, I got some for you, it's more Airsoft related, but it still fits the discussion.

    If you are the one in your group that has the most protection, you will most likely be chosen to be the one put in the point position and by default the one to be out first.

    [​IMG]

    This is me a few games ago, this last game I played with another group, I was much the same, so they sent me out front each time. Let me tell you, fogged mask, dark shadows, and unfamiliar territory does not boad well for the point man.

    So, here's a question, how would you handle this situation. what tactics would you employ if you were placed in a situation where you were at a disadvantage?
     
  13. CombatSports

    CombatSports New Member

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    1
    Calhoun
    Well, if I was armed with communication devices (radios) I would send a FRT ahead of the group. (Forward Reconnaissance Team) Under optimal conditions that team would consist of two riflemen and one sniper. Preferably the most agile and experienced of the team when it comes to silent moving and recon. Have them report the terrain ahead of you every five to ten minutes or so, keeping a 50 to 100 meter distance ahead of the team. they should move at a fast pace but not so fast as they leave a wide gap in between them and the main force. if they receive contact the main force has to get their quick and if the main force receives an unexpected contact the FRT can move back to flank and out maneuver the enemy force. Of course there are other alternatives to splitting your team. Seeing as you were unfamiliar with the team, you could request to put a familiar up front. Also if you were working with another team entirely like a 2v2 4 team match, they could be your forward.

    BTW, how did you like the detailed package I sent you on the tac brief?

    For the record though, I will be the first to say, could we sticky this for new players to have at their disposal?

    EDIT: As for an individual tactic though. There really is only one, move slow and be vigilant. Stay alert stay alive guys, remember that. Oh and also, take mental notes of the new terrain, chances are, youll be playing another match after that one.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011
  14. Redfalcon

    Redfalcon New Member

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    Well said I would grab a field man and travel swiftly in a open area (light makes enemy snipers work harder and gives u cover)
     
  15. CombatSports

    CombatSports New Member

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    Calhoun
    Careful with open field there is little to no concealment and the only cover is man made. Makes you a very easy target. I always snips fields from the treeline. If there is any tactical advice I could give a person it is take advantage of another persons laziness.
     
  16. Redfalcon

    Redfalcon New Member

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    Yeah but I would move fast and low but I see what your saying though,
     
  17. CombatSports

    CombatSports New Member

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    Calhoun
    Ha ha. Do low crawls you.
     
  18. BoogerMc

    BoogerMc Airsoft Jedi Master Supporting Member

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    Akron
    Unfortunately, I have not had time to read it, but hopefully this weekend.
     
  19. Bob-o

    Bob-o Spartan 2 Supporting Member

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    Martins Ferry
    Looks great. I like.