To improve coordination and team play, this chapter describes the basics of tactics.
Basic team maneuvers:
To organize a team, it will be divided into two peers of men. Two pairs form a group. Therefore a group is made up of four people. A group should consist of three people with standard weapons, and one with a support or sniper rifle, but it is not mandatory. In a group there is one person who is the Chief, and another who is the Deputy Chief. These two people are not in the same pair, so each pair has a Boss.
When a group can move in a coordinated and silent way, it has come a long way towards the perfect group. In Airsoft there are two kinds of general movements: patrol and tactical movement.
Patrol is used when sweeping a large area of enemies. Using tactical movement in areas of one or two square kilometers is very time consuming. Some scenarios may specify that patrol be used. It is in cases like this that the patrol is the best option.
The group walks in a single line, with a gap between the players of about 3 meters so that everyone can see in all directions (the black dots in the drawing). If they are attacked, or stopped, the first and third go to the right, and the second and fourth go to the left. These new positions are circled, and from this diamond-shaped position the group can move forward or backward. When you walk in a patrol, sweep back and forth with your eyes looking for the enemy. The person who walks first (”heading” in the drawing) is called a pointman.
Tactical movement is used when the group is moving through an area where enemies are present and an exchange of fire can occur at any time. The movement is in the form of a square, where the pair that walks first watches the front arches (dark gray) for 70% of their time, and the side arches (light gray) 30%. The rear pair controls the sides and rear (medium gray) 50% of the time each. The distance between each member should be 5 to 10 meters.
Shooting and movement:
It is based on the principle that all movement towards the enemy must be covered under friendly fire. This provides players who advance benefits that they would not otherwise have.
The enemy walks away with movement, noise and flying BBs, and that gives the support team information about the enemy's intentions, and they can eliminate it, or at least give suppression fire so that the enemy does not fire on advancing units. . This prevents the enemy from fighting effectively and regrouping. One advantage is that enemies can retreat or break into smaller groups that are easier to kill. There are a few things that make this maneuver difficult:
Performing suppression fire with Airsoft weapons can be difficult due to their relatively short firing ranges. Continuous shooting is fun, but it's not an effective way to use ammunition.
· You cannot advance in steps greater than 15 meters, since an Airsoft weapon does not go any further.
· The third problem is that the support team remains in one place, and therefore can be the target of enemies that attack from one side.
Apart from this, this is the basic technique on which other techniques are based, and here is one of them.
Shooting and Movement:
As stated, each group is made up of up to two pairs of members. We will call these pairs Alpha and Beta. With this technique, Alpha fires suppression while Beta advances from 10 to 15 meters and takes cover. When Beta has reached cover, they begin to do suppressive fire and Alpha stops doing so, and begins to advance. Alpha goes to Beta, advances from 10 to 15 meters and covers himself. Then Alpha begins its suppression fire and the cycle repeats itself. Suppression fire is great, but think about keeping the ammo.
Smoke is one of the most helpful tools if used properly. The first thing you think about is saturating the entire area with thick smoke, and although it may seem spectacular, neither you nor the enemy will be able to see more than 10 meters away, and that is when the problems begin.
· If the recon units have not determined the location and number of enemies, you will not know where you are going.
· As long as you can't see the enemy, you can reposition or make an attack from the flanks or the rear.
· It is difficult to have the situation under control, coordinate the team and the attack.
Smoke should be used to cover a retreat, as a decoy for an attack, or to confuse attacking enemies. Another great utility is in urban combat, but it is detailed later.
Urban Combat and Close Quarter Battle (CBQ)
This is the same technique that has been discussed, but there are some things to keep in mind:
· Do not drive on the main street.
· Perform the movement in small steps between cover, and do it as a unit, not one by one, since this way a sniper will have less time to react.
· Move as directed in Shooting and Movement, with one pair covering. Consider each cover as a place where the enemy can hide. There is no way of knowing what is behind the corner in a CBQ.
· Avoid windows and doors. Remember to duck when you pass in front of a window, and avoid going through doors, if there is an alternative.
Get down and stay low. Most people aim above the stomach, so don't twist the corners of your foot. Lie on your belly, so you will be a smaller target.
· When possible: use smoke to cover your movement.
· When you move down a street, place the support team on the side with the most coverage. Movement should be done over short distances, while windows, doors, and roofs are covered.
Avoid using obvious positions, such as windows and doors. If you decide to use them, make sure that the barrel does not protrude. Stay in the shadows, and mask your position. Rooftops are good places, but if the enemy sees you it can be really difficult to get out of there.
Don't forget which types of weapons are best for this type of combat. Small arms like submachine guns and pistols are best, but shotguns and carbines can be used, if done well. The basics of cleaning a room is as follows. It is the military version, where you are not interested in possible hostages.
A group must clean the room all together. Three people do the cleaning while one remains outside checking the rear in case an enemy occurs to look through another door.
Before you start cleaning, check a few things. Does the door open inward or outward? If there is more than one door, try to enter through all of them at the same time, although it may take more than one team. If the team has grenades, it is time to use them.
The first man stands at one side of the door, and the second stands at the other side and prepares a grenade. The third man stands on the same side as the man with the grenade. The room checks the surrounding area. The first man opens the door and the second throws the grenade inside. Immediately after the grenade explosion, the first and third men enter. The former checks the room while the latter covers from a location from which you can see as much of the room as possible. The grenade launcher has grabbed his weapon and covers the room from the door.
When one room has been cleaned, go to the next as soon as possible. Don't yell "Clean!" or anything else, because the only thing you do is alert nearby enemies. Never mark the rooms as clean, since in the time that has passed since they were cleaned the enemies may have taken it up. Consider each room as hostile.
General tips about movement:
· Before starting the movement, have each man jump to discover any equipment that makes noise. Half-full bottles are a mistake that many beginners make.
· Avoid moving down a path, as it is quite obvious and the enemy will have someone to check it and it is easy to ambush. The road may also have alarms.
· Avoid walking through obvious places, such as banks and open areas.
· If the group is attacked by a force majeure, don't just turn around and run. This will probably lead to the division of the group, and its elimination. Instead use Shooting and Movement, where the front pair retreats while the rear pair fires suppression.
· If the group must cross an obstacle, think ahead of time how you are going to cross it. It is very common for a group busy crossing an obstacle to forget to watch for possible enemies. Stop and plan before reaching the obstacle.
·Communication. When the group is inside a play area no sound should be made. Silence is as important as the weapon, because it decreases the chances of being discovered. Use hand signals instead. When someone discovers something, get down and point to it.
· If you are detected, don't worry about the hand signals. Yelling is faster and can even scare the enemy.
· Aggression works. In some cases, and when you have nothing to lose, charge. This will often scare the enemy, and can even run. When charging at the enemy, fire in automatic mode or short bursts against their lines. Shooting and Movement works very well in these situations.
The two-man team
A two-man team is the smallest tactical unit capable of maintaining cover and support fire advantages. A well-trained and coordinated team can achieve more objectives than a larger unit of untrained troops. In History there are many examples of small trained groups that have defeated enemies with more men and equipment. The key is training and coordination.
This is without a doubt the most important advantage of a two-man team. At any time of the operation there is a risk of receiving fire from an uncovered area. On approaches to any door or vehicle, a covering man should be used. Also, during combat in closed rooms or structures, one man cannot dominate 360 degrees, but two closely coordinated men can. Whatever someone does, they will feel more secure if a friendly cannon is covering their danger areas.
Fire Superiority - In military operations, the first stage of a successful assault is to achieve fire superiority. It means firing more accurate shots than the ones you are receiving.
Convergent Fire - Two firing ranges can be combined to cover an enemy sector. When planning an attack or defense you always have to make sure that the shooting angles of the teams overlap.
Covering Fire - Movement through an area dominated by enemy fire should be avoided when possible, and the surest method of suppressing enemy fire is to gain fire superiority.
Flank Fire - A coordinated two-man team can have one man fire from the flanks, while the other advances towards the enemy.
Mobile Fire - If a vehicle is used, the driver can focus on driving, while the other man can shoot the target.
Backup - In a two-man team, you must ensure that the equipment and weapons are as compatible as possible.
Moral - A two-man team has a great psychological advantage over a single man. Having a friend who can help if you are impacted and having it on your side in any situation considerably increases morale.
Static and flexible defense
In some scenarios you need to protect something. In a Capture the Flag you must prevent the enemy from taking your flag, so you need a defense.
· Make it easy first: consider the terrain and think. How would you use the terrain if you were the attacker? Position your defense accordingly, to counter an attack.
· Obviously static defense will be required to achieve the above, but make sure you have a pair or a group to cover any holes that may arise in your defense. The extra pair can beef up defense where needed, flank enemies, and give you extra time to rearrange defense.
· The lines of defense must be thick. A slim fender is easily broken, but a 3-line lasts a long time. Each post must have one or two withdrawal routes so you can go back one step when you need to.
· The attacker's biggest advantage is mobility and the possibility of using different covers. The defense sacrifices mobility, so if an attacker leaves some players to defend the base, the rest of the units can be used in a great attack. To counter this, make sure that all shooting angles overlap so that different positions can support each other.
· Hide all positions. Hide bunkers and trenches, so the enemy doesn't know where they are before they open fire.
· Alarm mines and signal flares can be used day and night as they give information about the location of attackers to defenders. Do not place alarm mines further than 10 meters, as the enemy has to be within range when fired. This increases the possibility of impacting because they are going to know that it is a trap anyway.
· ACHTUNG MINEN! Yeah that's right. If you have any type of mines use them to mine the entrance to the base, and in front of the trenches.
The theory behind an ambush is to predict where the enemy will pass, get into position, and wait for the enemy to fall into the trap. This rarely works because nine times out of ten the enemy goes another way. An ambush should be made where the enemy is least expected. The easiest way to ambush is to bait. Two groups (8 men) are used in this example. A pair moves ahead of the rest and are the bait.
The bait's job is to locate the enemy, fire a couple of bursts, and return to the main group, which will have prepared a hasty ambush. The bait goes through the ambush and does not stop until the shooting starts, then it will go back and cover the rear of the ambush, so that the enemy does not escape.
The main group must use simple tactical movements when they move. The pair that belongs to the same group as the bait is the one who watches the rear. The ambush should be in the form of an L or a line, to avoid shooting each other. Long ago, an ambush was set up with men on either side, and they wondered why they were killed. The arrow indicates how the bait pair moves through the ambush.
Make sure a support weapon is located at the end of the ambush, as it will have a good firing angle. If everyone shoots the same enemy, the rest will have a second or two to react. Everyone must shoot at the same time, and each must have their shooting angle. The last pair starts firing at the first enemies, the center pair shoots at the enemies in the center, and the first pair initiates the ambush when the last pair of the enemy passes through its firing angle. When the last pair of the enemy has been eliminated, it shoots towards the center, and the rest of the enemies. If grenades are allowed, use them, but check that they cannot harm your own equipment.
During an ambush be sure to use flares and anything else that confuses the enemy. Always check that the enemy enters the mine zone when they are within the perimeter of the ambush. Try to wait until the enemy is within 5 meters as this increases the chance of success. If an ambush goes to hell, perform a controlled retreat using fire and movement while using smoke as cover.
Movement at night is radically different from daytime. The first thing you will notice is that your senses are more alert than during the day, so use them. Hearing is especially important at night. Your movement should be slow, and before putting your foot on the ground check for dry leaves and branches, to make your movement as quiet as possible. This is rule number one.
The other big problem is the sky line. As you probably know the night is not completely dark and if you leave your eyes long enough to get used to it, you will see quite well. One of the first things you will notice is how clear you can see objects against the bright sky. This is the line of heaven. To make it easy, if something creates a silhouette against the ground, and that something is you, you will be shot. Therefore the second rule is to avoid the sky line.
If you need light to read maps or something else, use a flashlight with a red filter and look at the illuminated object, not the light source. Red light does not cause you to lose night vision. It takes about 20 minutes to get your eyes used to low light. In the dark the eyes work differently, and if you look directly at an object it will appear blurry and dark. Instead, look around the object, and move the focus of vision around it. Try looking with a bright background, like the sky, and you will see clearer. If there is a moon, you will see better with it on your back. Objects are perceived differently at night and day, and if possible learn the terrain during the day, to make it easier to see at night. Binoculars are useful at night because they collect light, but use only the low end of your field of view.
At night it is difficult to maintain formations and it is easy to lose contact with your teammates, but the same techniques used during the day work, although you may want to cut the distances between men in half. This means that you should be able to see your partner when he moves, but not when he is still.
The first problem with night combat is that open sights are useless, but if they are painted with light paint or with tritium they can be used at night or in low light. One point in the front sight, and two points in the rear is best. Most important of all, check your target and your shooting range so you can identify targets before shooting.
Hand signals are often totally useless at night as your peers may not be able to see them. Use small sounds and blows on the body to communicate. A series of short shots is the best method, but it requires you to be close to your partner. A communications radio with an earpiece and morse signals are helpful, and they increase the distance you can communicate. Throat microphones are excellent, but expensive. Whoever wears them should just whisper and their voice will be perfectly heard through the headphones.
If you find yourself lit by a flare, immediately close one eye and try not to look into the light. That way you won't lose night vision. By closing one eye you will retain some of the night vision. Don't panic, use shooting and movement to withdraw in a coordinated way. Shout the orders, since the enemy knows where you are. It is more important to make a good withdrawal than to be divided. If you are the one using the flares, try to position them so that the enemy shows his silhouette in front of the light caused by the flare, or is directly illuminated. Signal flares are good for other things, too, like being decoys.
Being able to use the right amount and type of fire for a given situation can be the deciding factor in winning a game. Whatever confrontation is often based is to obtain the superiority of the shot. If a team achieves superiority and is able to maintain it, the confrontation is won. Or at least it's the theory ...
Aimed when 5 or 6 shots per minute are fired at an enemy. The shot is accurate. Aimed shot is used when there is a great distance and the target shows little surface.
Two quick shots at an enemy. The double plug is used to increase the chance of hitting an enemy that appears and disappears quickly.
Suppression fire is not pulling the trigger and spraying balls in the direction of the enemy. This is called "sprinkling and praying" and should be avoided as ammunition is often wasted. Instead it fires short bursts of 3 to 6 shots in the direction of the enemy every second. The closer the better.
It is used to stop the advance of the enemy without wasting ammunition. Sustained fire consists of firing 5-9 times every 5 seconds.
Someone may notice that a standard weapon can only fire suppression for about 10 seconds before emptying the magazine (not a HiCap). And it will take about 40 seconds before emptying a magazine if sustained fire is used. That is why there are support weapons. A support weapon in Airsoft, such as TOP's M60, can provide suppressive fire for about 5 minutes.
For a team to function effectively they require communication. Therefore communication must be established and maintained during an operation. Your partner should know what you are doing, and when you are doing it. The easiest way to do this is by talking. Common sense tells us that this way is not appropriate if stealth is important. Hand signals or another form of communication is appropriate in these cases. Radio communication increases team coordination over long distances and can boost morale. Some verbal commands help a lot, and the other team members should respond when they understand them, so there are no misunderstandings.
Recharging! - It occurs when a member needs to reload his weapon. You should not start recharging until your partner has confirmed with "Covering!". While recharging you must be aware of your threat area.
Covering! - This is the response of the person covering when your partner is recharging. With this procedure the covering person must keep both angles of fire under their covering curtain.
Cover me! - This command is used when you need cover fire to move. Do not start moving until your partner confirms with "Covering!".
Moving! - This lets your partner know that you are moving and you can cross his shooting range. The other team member should lower his cannon and be more alert.
Suspension! - This order not only informs your partner that you have a problem, but also indicates that it must cover both fields of vision, and that it will not have support until you have fixed your problem.
Injured! - If you are impacted you must give this order, and it is the responsibility of others to cover you and evacuate you. You must maintain coverage on your sector.
These orders must be specified for each specific mission, so that specific needs are met. It may be smart to replace these commands with keywords, so that the enemy does not understand what you are doing.
Hand signals are used to coordinate a team and communicate silently. I don't know where some of the drawings have come from, so if someone has Copyright on them, please send them an email.
Here are eleven different hand signs:
AIRSOFT FOR BEGINNERS
By: Orestes García