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This is Part 2 of the Basic Field Combat Tactics Guest Post by “Venator”. Click HERE to read Part 1.
“Venator” (Latin for “hunter”) is an avid airsofter who enjoys airsofting with his family on their 10 acres. He prefers the support role when he goes into battle, but isn’t afraid to take command if the situation warrants it.
His primary weapon is a KWA SR7 and his current dream gun is a KWA SR10. I hope you enjoy the second part of his post and the insight he gives into troop placement and airsoft tactics in open field operations.
Placing both attackers and defenders is critical in any airsoft battle. However, field battles are especially tricky because there is little cover to hide defenders and to temporarily shield attackers charging a position.
As with any airsoft combat situation, placement of forces is critical to surviving an assault or attacking a position.
Snipers, as mentioned in Part 1, are useful in maintaining a defensive posture. A smattering of assault riflemen with snipers should be sufficient to hold a position. A good rule of thumb in defensive placement is to have at least one assault rifleman per sniper. Team up these infantry types into pairs (or groups) to maintain that balance.
Place the snipers at both ends of the position and space them unevenly throughout the rest of the area. Why unevenly? Because it prevents attackers from guessing where a well-hid sniper is located. If the snipers are evenly spaced, a calculating commander who finds a few snipers can guess the other snipers’ positions. Snipers also should not be placed in areas of cover if the regions of cover are pronounced. Again, a good battle leader will assume that snipers are placed in those areas of cover. However, use discernment. If the snipers will be sitting ducks (obvious targets) if they do not use the obvious cover, then place them behind cover. Use common sense and modify these tips as necessary.
Assault men are present to provide sweeping fire when the attackers grow closer. This fire provides two advantages. First, it typically causes the attackers to hit the dirt, thereby providing easy targets to the snipers. Secondly, it protects the snipers from a charge.
Charges are very dangerous to snipers. Since snipers typically have fewer shots than an assault rifle and reload slower, charging assault riflemen can quickly overrun a position if the snipers do not have men with assault rifles to back them up.
Diagram 1 shows the basic positions for snipers (represented by an S) and assault riflemen (represented by an A) in a situation with only sparse bushes for cover. The blue swaths represent the sniper’s areas of engagement.
Attackers will have a much harder time, and offensive tactics are not so easy. As with the “over the top” trench charges of World War I, expect numerous casualties.
One strategy is to use a catch-up style of engagement. This will again utilize both snipers and assault riflemen, but they will not be split into groups. When charging a position, the assault rifles should go first (oh goody!), securing the path as they go. This is the normal method of assault, but there is one big difference. After the assault riflemen have advanced a few yards (more or less yards may be necessary depending on the size of the field), the snipers should rush up to the assault riflemen’s spots and lie down, prepared to shoot from a prone position. Again, the assault riflemen will dash forward a few more yards, and the snipers will repeat the process.
If they are suddenly swept by fire at any point, the assault riflemen should immediately crouch and return sweeping fire, taking care to present as little of a profile as possible. Meanwhile, the snipers behind the assault riflemen can provide cover fire for the assault men, picking off defenders that are too hidden for the assault rifles to reach. Then, when the returning fire dies off, the march should continue.
Every time the assault group is challenged by fire, they should report the approximate location of the shots to command (see next section). This method of assault allows the snipers to provide cover fire for the main assault group without ever being too far behind to help effectively. Note in the following diagram how the movements of the parties are apparently random. In any operation, it is best to maintain an apparently random, yet highly coordinated system of movement to confuse the defenders.
In the style of warfare discussed in this article, an established command base with communication lines to its soldiers is of paramount importance. This command post should consist of the overall leader and an assault rifleman. Move command forward with the troops if communications become strained, but always keep command behind the lines of fire. Radios are recommended for this setup if available.
I hope you all enjoyed the insight that “Venator” presented in Part 1 and Part 2 of Basic Field Combat Tactics. Be sure to comment your thoughts and questions below!