Welcome back to a new year and a new Going Commando post. Returning to the field in 2019 has been an eye opener in general for me. A new generation of airsoft players alike, but I found myself constantly stuck in stalemates or games that lacked tactical movement. So go figure I thought I’d share my thoughts on basic combat tactical movements. I will explore urban combat tactics later on more in-depth.
Individual infantry tactics can be quite the concept for most to digest. It can vary based on country and military doctrine. Now we are going to explore more orthodox North American/Western combat tactics and I will share with you what I’ve found to works effectively for airsoft (Yes BBWarZ can adopt certain fundamentals to achieve a win). So I’ve simplified some basic concepts and turned it into a 5 step formula that should help any new play or even experienced player on the field.
Step.1 Establish good communication.
Having Coms (Communication) either verbally spoken or radioed is essential to forming an effective battle plan and execution. Simply being able to organize a small group of airsofter’s sounds easy but in principle is a nightmare without it. Example: If your team is making an effective push on the OP-FOR having two guys on the flank noodling around is about as useless as teats on a donkey. Keeping good communication allows your team to react more accordingly in any given battlespace and makes cohesive attacks incredibly effective.
If you don’t have a radio stay within eyesight and verbal distance to communicate with your teammate(s) at the least so you don’t lose each other. Being able to communicate on a basic level with hand signals or simply being able to call each other to action is important. The Rule is known to keep within the “Line of sight”.
If you do take the monumental step and get a radio you’ve not only increased your effective capabilities but increasing your communication range by nearly double. We’ve all seen or heard the stories of a single soldier’s actions on a radio saving the lives of his fellow troops around him by calling in support. Radios, however, are not something that should be used liberally, they should be used conservatively for when you are “Out of the line of sight” and you need to contact your fellow teammate(s) on the fly. This can also increase your effective avenue to coordinate more effectively on the battlespace. From ambushes to reporting back to a command structure to report OP-FOR movement, this now leads into my second step.
Step.2 Take the High ground!
Ever since I was a young and started watching war films, or reading books related to the subject the fraise “Take the high ground” was always present. This should be a common principle applied liberally in general at all engagements having the high ground gives you a decisive advantage over your opponent(s). It not only gives you an overwatch of the battlespace but allows you to see a bigger picture of OP-FOR movement in general. In any case, this also comes down to reading your terrain which I covered in in Camouflage 101. Any highpoint should be the first point to seize or gain control of. For myself this is a simple fundamental if violated will put you at an extreme disadvantage. Nobody in the right mind wants to be fighting uphill, it’s a horrible experience.
In any natural environment look for highpoints either while on patrol or better yet a map of the AO and mark them. These will be some of your best points to fight from, so Take them! this includes hills, mountainsides, or the crest of a ridge.
In an urban space, tall buildings are your go too (two stories and up). Seizing a rooftop or second floor will do exactly the same in principle as it would if you are in a natural battlespace. I will go over this more extensively in an Urban combat post in the future. Once you’ve secured a highpoint bring your assets to bare (Machine guns, sniper rifles, and or heavy ordinance) set up an over watch if at all possible and relay information directly back to friendly forces.
This motto is an excellent representation of taking the offensive. Getting after it and pushing forward is, in general, the best method to win any combat engagement. As a rule in airsoft, we tend to take defensive actions into play to heavily and lack offensive means from breaking a stalemate. Remember we all walk off at the end of the day, so as a rule, this should be a liberally used practise.
Example: Often when engaged in frontal attacks with evenly divided teams the team with the most numbers or volume of fire tends to win. To curb this and effectively break a stalemate involves performing an effective flank. This can be archived using a small group of teammates and routing your OP-FOR to overtake. Once this has been exploited and effectively opened as an avenue of approach breakthrough and continue to push until you’ve whipped out the enemy. This is a common battle tactic known as the “Flanking” manoeuvre you can read about in Sun Tzu, in The Art of War and many more.
Step.4 Use the buddy system -“Battle buddies”.
This is as simple as is sounds, go with a buddy, because two is better than one. This is commonly practised in most western militaries. Being paired up down to just two individuals can greatly increase your effective lethality when you’re operating as a single unit. This is something I constantly strive for when operating in a field. Both players may be different but share the same duty to work cohesively in the battlespace. It not only makes the two of you better at combative needs but psychologically keeps you calmer to know you’re not alone, allowing for better decisions.
The buddy system lends itself to working with others and can greatly increase team play and communication levels in practice. This is the ultimate goal if you’re looking to squad up, work with small numbers first before you go full bore to large scale teams. Working with the Buddy system you will often find yourself in a better position for fighting out of firefights and leads into my last point nicely.
Step.5 Cover and move!
I can’t express the importance of this enough for the average player. Far to often players will find themselves outgunned or easy prey due to the lack of cover use. What do I mean? those players you find standing abruptly in the open shooting directly into your flanks. Get behind something to cover the majority of your body, practise different types of cover from high to low and get comfortable with uncomfortable positions; Use everything you possibly can!
High cover is your general types most can immediately identify. These are often objecting larger than you and you can easily stand behind, trees buildings, fortifications, etc. This often leads to players failing to move forward or turns into a goffer shooting match, because it’s to easy to stay behind and offers a great deal of comfort and can turn into a bad thing if you’re attempting to push forward and overtake. Hardcover is great for defensive manoeuvres and pieces used for periods of time to plan or prep for a follow-up movement.
Low cover is anything under waist height. These are pieces most players either avoid or ignore, but often lend themselves to decisive movements and even being able to effectively conceal a player from probing enemies. Often out of mind but not sight, these are pieces such as road barricades, fallen trees, barrels, low footpaths, creek beds, and plenty more. This is generally where I thrive based on principle. Most players observe these areas and either avoid or use EXTREME caution when approaching. Low cover lends its hand to flanking manoeuvres nicely and accents the sneaky elements of airsoft. However, there is an acylase heal to this! That of which if you are discovered you’re either dead meat or in a position of being overtaken easily. To remedy this ether bring a battle buddy with you or avoid this type of cover if the area that is hotly contested and if you’re alone.
Move-ment is the piece that brings step five altogether. Keeping in mind the two different types of cover I gave examples of in the paragraphs above. Movement is essential to make this work. How often do you find fellow players moving 20 meters from the spawn before they either don’t move or end up getting “pinned down”. “Cover and Move” is how you break the cycle, start with getting your battle buddy to cover you while you move to the most forwarded position you can. Once you’ve gotten there in one piece proceed to cover him as he bounds up to you. One rule to keep in mind NEVER bunch up! Keep your distance at the 5-10M spread and within the line of sight. Using the volume of fire and closing your position to apply pleasure can assure you a more firm hold on potential victory.
Conclusion – Putting it all together
Now that we’ve gone over some basic principles and fundamentals lets sum up what this can do for us. As a new, intermediate or experienced player we can all benefit from practising these 5 101 tactics. To summarize the goal here is to help increase the players capacity to go from the basic goffer tactics to running more effectively on the field. These are some basic stepping stones to increasing your commando capabilities.
I look forward to sharing more in the future!
– Schoolboy out