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Jaeger6

Battle drill, the holy grail of tactics

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The ranger handbook defines battle drill as a collective action rapidly executed without applying deliberate decision making process. What does that really mean? It means you've been practicing it religiously. You know every aspect of what you're doing. You know what the guy next to you is doing. You can do his job, he can do yours too.

 

What I'm trying to drive here is that tactics aren't necessarily completely random. There is a means to an end for any scenario, and usually the side that is in control of themselves is the one that's gaining ground. Often I see teams out there that are together for the sole purpose of mutual fire support, which is fine. Not all of us have to time to practice. But those that do should definitely look into battle drills. The Army and Marines have their respective drills based around the weapons they are allotted, and an airsoft team should build theirs around their weapons as well. The more you add to the mix, the more complicated it gets. However, with a little work and mastery, anyone can do it. But if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

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Most teams I see out there today are far from this point, they just need to worry about the basics. Things like physical fitness, vigor, stamina, basic aggression, communication, role warfare, maneuver, etc.

When designing tactics, it's also important to understand the difference between airsoft and real combat.

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Also, the only differences you really have are engagement distances, lack of close air support and death. The weapons still work the same basic way. Grenades and rockets have a blast radius, machine guns form a tight and dense beaten zone with the long axis being parallel to the line of bore to the weapon, maneuver elements form a beaten zone the width of their opposing force with BBS falling short and on the far side, sniper rifles have ballistic advantage, PVC mortars can land indirect fires between buildings and fire from defiladed locations.

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Those are some physical difference, but the psychological aspect is huge.

 

Even the best simulation is not the activity, at least when people are aware it is a simulation. Even if you could do perfectly simulated virtual reality combat, get rid of all the physical difference, people wouldn't suddenly start behaving like soldiers.

 

In all honesty, I often see better tactics coming from OW premades than many airsoft teams, despite airsoft being closer to reality than OW. That's why I say it's more the culture behind the game that needs to change if the level of play is to improve. There is no "holy grail" to getting in shape, to being a 'team player', to quick (and meaningful) thinking, to staying on your toes, at least not if you take a holistic approach. These are things we face in our own lives, and if there were easy fixes, they wouldn't be problems to begin with.

Edited by Shutaro

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If you want to change the culture of it, this is where to start. Without cohesion and united maneuver, a team may be successful against a disunited team, I've seen it. But introducing decisive fires that are amplified by fast and skilled maneuver will only serve you better. Case in point, a game in Texas. We formed a fire team (4 people) that was split into two fire and maneuver teams (2 people). I took one FM team, an old platoon mate of mine took the other. We communicated with hand signals and executed two battle drills, simple squad attacks and one Australian pointman coverman. We cut a swath across that field with impunity, just four of us. Why? We knew what to do and when to do it thanks to the drills we were taught. I understand the culture needs to change, tracking. This is how to do it.

Edited by Jaeger6

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Maybe it's just a regional thing. Anyone can cherry pick examples, I mean, there were plenty of times we did similar things in paintball long before airsoft was even played much here. But today, in airsoft, I see many players who are in horrible physical shape, who show no vigor, aggression, or will to win on the field; it's not too hard to spot which team will win based on a few obvious factors.

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