Looking back at the last few years in airsoft, there has been a growth in the use of tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). This can be attributed to the numerous event hosts ramping up the immersion and scenario objectives. That pushes the players to be much more into the scenario given, and the players are doing their homework to be prepared going into an event. Granted, no one is a Sun Zu, but the use of battledrills, fieldcraft (individual tasks), troop leading procedures, and pre combat checks stood out over the last 2 years at the TCA events. We will be covering some TTPs that we have observed that have worked well,
Use of Snipers/Spotters, tasked with a Focus of Reconnaissance
The above picture is an example of good roof top position, with great communication between the sniper and the support gunner, only when multiple targets presented themselves did these players both expose themselves to engage.
Often the sniper relayed his long range targets to higher command for artillery or air engagement. Too many shooters on a roof became a target for extra attention by the other side.
To aide in building solid communication, good teams trained on target description. One community in the days leading up to Serious Viking 2, had set up a scaled range (in picture above), setup clay targets marked with a sharpie, the OIC would only tell the sniper the number on the clay, then the sniper would have to provide 3 details about that target to his spotter. The spotter would turn around, identify the target by using the reports from the sniper, call out the number, then he could engage. Sounds simple, but it wasn't. This trained the players on being short, simple, and descriptive on a radio.
The use of Support Gunners to cover critical areas
Teams are discovering (or rediscovering) the value of a LMG in the art of covering critical areas, or laying down suppressing fires which enables the rest of their element to move. It was awesome to see Teams like Hellfish, 75th Black Knights, and others, use their LMGs to enable maneuver.
The use of Support Weapons and Snipers in the defense
We started seeing a great TTP at Stonebreaker 2017, then continue several times through the year, teams were "layering" their defense positions, showing only part of their line. The picture above shows only part of a defensive line with the longest range weapons exposed (a sniper and LMG) the rest of the squad size element is below the crest, unseen by the approaching enemy, as the enemy maneuvers on what was seen, they maneuvered directly into the killzone of the unexposed squad. This bait and switch defense is something that takes some discipline, but worked out several times at several TCA events.
Battledrills and assaulting through
An old favorite battledrill that Texas and Georgia Teams have constantly used is the "on line" react to contact and assault. This technique has proven itself many times over. It takes practice and some rehearsals with all players understanding they have to MOVE and SHOOT, staying on line with their squad members, retaining their distance between each other, and echoing their Team Leader's calls.
The training piece gets people to move when required versus "let me hang out behind this cover and attempt to "kill" from a distance. This offensive tool has to be drilled in a team, and works well against a disorganized enemy.
The communication piece is another TTP, when loud, stay loud, they know you're there. The noise, the shock, will add to the effort. Will some of you get hit in the push? Sure, but the threat will be eliminated and then the casualties can be tended to. At Overwatches 2 and 3, the AJ/TCA led elements used the on line push to great effect
Isolating an OBJ and building situational awareness
At Bulldog. Trenchknife, Overwatch, the ability to isolate an OBJ from the other side proved effective, communication among players providing the "why" made them understand the need to take buildings near the OBJ, not only focusing on the OBJ itself.
Players need the "why" and sides quickly learned that they had to provide that as much possible. The need to know the larger picture made the difference. Eastern Empire leadership caught up to their Western counterparts with this, and it turned several events around starting with Broken Dagger II.
Players quickly adapted to this "big picture" understanding (situational awareness), and in the later events in the year, the staff saw large scale operational maneuver occurring. The staff saw small units and teams go down, come back in, and understand where/what they had to do. Players appreciated it because it put them in the action where it counted.
Over the last couple of years, we have stressed conducting rehearsals before a mission set, and those using the TTP have seen a marked improvement on execution. Especially when you have a large group of players who have never worked together before. The rehearsals have grown into more of a Group talk versus a single person talking the whole time. "Ripper is moving here in a column, then setting an overwatch" "Saw is moving on your right in a column, then going on line when you stop at your overwatch position" "Tiger is holding the reserve behind Saw" Hearing that come from the most junior guys on each Squad involved in the mission set lets everyone know that shared understanding of execution is down to the lowest level "the shooter."
As 2017 comes to an end, we are excited to see what TTPs come out of the player base, especially at such ops like Bone Strike, Starburst, and others.