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Forums » Discussions » Tactics and Techniques » Content - Formations & Duties
Content - Formations & Duties
RaptorDate: Thursday, 2012-03-01, 03:12 | Message # 1
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Murphy's Laws of Combat #9: Teamwork is essential, it gives them someone else to shoot at.

Ok, serious: working in a team reduces the risk during swat operations significantly. Obviously team members can cover and support each other. More team members allow a faster approach.
Team members can also block each others movement. Block each others fireline. Even shoot each other. Or all get killed by a single threat in an uncovered area.

To avoid such nasty things and maximize the chance of mission success, the group of available officers should establish a team structure called formation. There are different ways to do to this.
If there are different possible entry points at the location, the group may split up in more than one element. Each element enters at one entry point and takes a certain area of operation AO (or 2 elements enter at the same point but split up later inside the location). All AOs of all elements add up to a general course of action CoA.
Within an element every officer gets certain task to carry out, certain responsibilities, certain areas to cover and a certain postition within the element formation. In short, every member within the element gets a certain role. We usually use the following roles:

Assault Team
2 (sometimes more) officers working together as an integrated unit. Called also just "assaulters" if there is only one such team. More teams often get callsigns like "Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, ..." or "Blue, Black, Red, ...".
Such teams represent the spearhead of the entry. They are the spine of the element. Their dutie is to move in first and clear the area.
Both assaulters of an assualt team have a fixed role aswell: pointman and coverman.
The pointman (aka assaulter1, A1, Bravo1, Black1,...) leads the assault team. He:
- goes in first
- covers the next, most dangerous area
- is responsible to carry out the predefined plan and the commands of the element leader
- is also mainly responsible for the communication with the rest of the element
- chooses the specific way and speed of approach
The coverman (aka assaulter2, A2, Bravo2, Black2,...) follows, covers and supports his pointman at every time. That means during normal movement he follows directly behind his pointman in L-shape (with a distance of 1 or 2 steps, so his pointman can move back if necessary). He doesn't pass his pointman. Never. He always stays with his pointman. There are only 4 reasons why a coverman leaves his pointman:
- the next tactical movement demands a split (e.g. dynamic entry; after "all clear" you return to your pointman asap)
- the element leader gives you a direct command ("A2 ..."; if EL just orders "A right" and A1 moves left, you as A2 may advise him shortly if the situations allows, but you'll follow him under all circumstances)
- the pointman orders so
- the pointman is incapacitated
If you leave your pointman for any other reason, you simply failed your duty.
If there are more officers present in the assault team, they follow A1 and A2 (A3 can take the role of an Scout as well).

Rear Guard RG
Simple duty: cover the back of the element. Always. For the RG it's ok to get some distance to the rest of the element. He should stay covered and do not interfer in the actions at the front of the element.
This positions can look pretty boring. Sometimes your just watch empty hallways all mission long and don't fire a single shoot. Nevertheless it's a really important position for a simple reason: YOU are the only one watching the back. Rest of the team is focused in the opposite direction. If a sus appears at the teams 12 oc, there are 2, 3 or more officers taking care of the threat. If a sus appears in the back of the team, you are the only one recognizing this. If you fail to handle the threat, the whole element may be killed because the rest of your element doesn't even get the oppertunity to turn around and open fire.

Element Leader EL
In short: the boss. He determines the element formation, the equipment and the general tactical approach. No one move without his order and everyone moves in the direction he wants to. It's mainly his responsibility that every element member and civilian is going home healthy. He should develop AO for his team and general CoA in discussion with the leaders of the other elements.
Leading is a difficult and complex issue, therefore we have an extra training lesson about it. There are many different ways to lead wink

Scout SC
A single officer to support an assault team. Also called SpecialOperator, SpecOps or Supporter. He usually take the third position behind A2. He can carry out different tasks depending on the situation at hand:
- scout the enviroment for EL and assaulters (e.g. with an optiwand)
- cover flanks of the assault team
- deploy LL primary, nades, c2, bsg or a grenade launcher to support the assaulters
- reserve officer in case an assaulter goes down

Backup BA
The backup officer mainly supports the RG. While the assaulters are clearing a room and the RG covers 6 oc of the hallway, the BA cover the original 12 oc of the team (opposite of the RG). In case the situation inside gets critical, the assaulters or the EL may call in the BA.

This roles allow you to focus your whole concentration and effort to a single or just a few tasks at the same time. E.g. an assaulter doesn't need to worry about the elements 6 oc for a single second, since this is covered by the RG at all times.
Also the equipment of the officers can be more specific to meet the requirements of his role. E.g. an assaulter should use an SMG during CQB to recover his aim fast in dynamic movements. In the same enviroment a RG should carry an AR to provide huge firepower and medium distance capability if needed.

The different roles demand for different positions within the element. Usually the element moves in kind of a line.
The assaulters take point. A1 first, crouched if possible (so A2 can cover above his head) and focused on the next dangerous area. A2 covers him, looking at other dangerous areas or (if none such exists) pointing a second gun towards the most dangerous area.
If a SC is present, he usually follows the assaulters close up. The RG is obviously at the end of the line looking backwards. The EL should stay in the middle of the formation. So he is covered from all sides and can focus 100% on leading. Additional assaulters or scouts may also stay in the middle of the formation.
Note that in swat the element usually stays tight together. In military scenarios, where grenades or mines may be present, the team members may keep more distance to each other to avoid many casualties due to a sinlge explosion.
Each element must have at least one assault team (2 officers) and should have a RG. The role of the EL can carried out by one of this 3 officers, but a 4th officer who can focus completely on leading is absoluty preferable. So an element should consists of 4 officers. Additional assaulters or scouts open ofc more tactical oppertunities.

The formation should meet the situation at hand concerning number of officers and structure of the location. Some default formation:
3 Officer:
- A1, A2, RG

4 Officer:
- A1, A2, EL, RG
- A1, A2, B1=EL, B2=RG

5 Officer:
- A1, A2, SC, EL, RG (basic AST line formation)
- A1, A2, B1, B2, EL (basic AST split formation)
- A1, A2, EL=SC=B1, B2, RG (my favorite variation of AST split when leading; I support my assaulters as scout with an coverman behind me for independent movements)
- A1, A2, EL, BA, RG (often used in SAS)

6 Officer:
- could be splited in 2 elements
- A1, A2, B1, B2, EL, RG (split + RG)
- A1, A2, SC, EL, Coverman for EL, RG
- A1, A2, SC, EL, BA, RG (line+BA)

7 Officer:
- could be splited in 2 elements
- A1, A2, SC, EL, B1, B2, RG (line and split combination)
- A1, A2, B1. B2, EL, BA, RG (split + RG and BA)

8 Officer:
- should be splited in 2 elements
- A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, EL, RG (split with 3 assault teams)
- A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3, EL, RG (split with teams of 3 assaulters)

In a fixed formation the duties of all officers are fixed and determine his position. This forces often a regroup of the team (e.g. after clearing a room and extract to the hallway) which takes time.
A liquide (or fluide) formation offers more flexibility and allows faster movement in certain situations. Here the position of an officer in the line determines his duty: the first in line becomes A1, the second A2,.., last one in line is automatically RG. Only the EL stays always the same officer (he should try to stay in the middle of the line). After a room is clear, the former RG may take point and become A1.
This technique demands for a good awarness of the current position. The officer must always watch his current position and may have to take a new duty every minute (this demands for practice!). Futhermore, when using a liquide formation the advantage of special equipment for every position is lost.
Usually in a 3 officer element the liquide formation works better than a fixed formation. 4 and 5 officer can work liquide also, but with untrained players this becomes a chaos pretty fast. More than 6 officer shouldn't move liquide.
It can be effective to mix both techniques: some officers get a fix role, other move liquide. For example A1 and A2 change formation liquide, so stacking up is faster. Or if there are assault teams alpha and bravo, the teams could liquide change the order (alpha stackes first, bravo behind, next door the other way around). While this liquide moving at the front speeds up the attack, one officer stays fixed as RG watching the back of the team.

One can even use kind of an liquide element leader or scratch this role completely. The basic function of the element leader is to ensure that everyone acts in concert. The whole team must move in one direction, and the general CoA must be fullfilled.
If all players share a common sense of tactic and agree on a general approach to the mission, there is little to no need for an EL during the mission. The team can practice pure teamwork without a single officer yelling commands.
Anyway it's often difficult to maintain the common sense in the middle of the battle. So a liquide leader can be useful: a certain position (first in line would be reasonable) takes the leader role.


"Teamwork is essential, it gives them someone else to shoot at."
Murphy's Laws of Combat #9


Message edited by Raptor - Friday, 2012-03-30, 21:04
 
RaptorDate: Thursday, 2012-03-01, 03:14 | Message # 2
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I thought I write some basics down and order my mind this way smile
Was again to lazy to check for typos.

@Shadow:
Do you like the way I combined the SAS-AO and your CoA? biggrin
You want to explain your "second SC" here?


"Teamwork is essential, it gives them someone else to shoot at."
Murphy's Laws of Combat #9
 
BoooneDate: Thursday, 2012-03-01, 07:36 | Message # 3
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TL;DR

I'll read it later biggrin


 
SAS_RandomDate: Friday, 2012-03-02, 02:16 | Message # 4
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I read it ;-) Looks good.

SAS_Vet_Random
Lt. Colonel (Retired)
22nd SAS Elite Virtual Regiment
www.sasclan.org
 
BoooneDate: Friday, 2012-03-02, 07:30 | Message # 5
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Quote (Raptor)
If all players share a common sense of tactic and agree on a general approach to the mission, there is little to no need for an EL during the mission.


I don't agree with this. Even if players know each others playstyle to an extent there is a need of a leader just because having a leader disallows any discussions in the team as he just gives his orders and no questions (should be) asked.

If we have a team with more than 1 person with "strong opinions" (if you want to call it that), the case might come that they get in a discussion and in the worst case die whilst it.

But in a 2-3-person team this may work great and having only 2-3 person teams may be a good way of approach too. At the missions start we assign 2-4 small teams of 2-3 people and assign RoE. This actually may work a lot faster than any other way of approach but the downside to this is that more than 2 of these teams don't make sense in most missions and would have to go after one another anyway, seeing the lack of space and seeing that most maps are linear... to an extent. Tactics like this work better in more open areas as we have them in RvS mostly (in which the singleplayer fittingly focuses on either 2 4-man teams or 3 2-3-man teams).

Nice read though, yet nothing new tongue


 
RaptorDate: Friday, 2012-03-02, 12:41 | Message # 6
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Quote (Booone)
having a leader disallows any discussions in the team

Discussions during the mission are either way completely disallowed, no matter if a leader is present or not. The requirements I mentioned ("common sense of tactic" and "agree on a general approach before the mission") make any kind of discussion simply unnecessary.
It works on our server, ask sernas and Ice. If I remember correct, the SAS "Sabre" subgroup also pratice (practiced?) this. And at the Breeding Place it's even the general tactical approach to work without an element leader (I personally don't play there often because I don't like some of their tactics [using optiwands...], but it works for them really good).

Next thing is that I do not like 2 officer elements. You simply lack of cover in some situations: A1 deploys c2, A2 prepare a bang, both get shoot by a single sus (the problem becomes even more worse when using bsg). Even a 3 officer element lack of cover for their back when using breaching tool and a nade at the same time.

Pls remember that this tactics are for swat. RvS may seem similar in many aspects, but there are certain differences. The argument in this case: in RvS you can operate much faster (no need to cuff and collect evidence). If the element moves faster through the structure, the chance for runners in their back decreases. Futhermore both the tangos and the RoE are more aggressive, so you have less runners in general and other teams usually do not let runners escape. All this doesn't eleminate but reduces the need of rear security.


"Teamwork is essential, it gives them someone else to shoot at."
Murphy's Laws of Combat #9
 
SAS_RandomDate: Friday, 2012-03-30, 19:07 | Message # 7
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Thought I'd jot down a few things. Not a big deal but you show an extra EL where the RG should be in an SAS element.
When we break up a five man team for a dual entry, the A1,A2,EL,B2,B1 are the preferred positions. It keeps our covermen toward the inside of the element. So you see our RG is B1. In this static five man set up, the first three are the room entry team, while the 4th and 5th provide corridor security. The 5th continues to cover the original rear, while the 4th man steps across the doorway to cover the other direction. When the entry team exits the room, no fire lines are crossed. If backup is needed, the fourth man enters and the fifth man collapses into the doorway and covers it from just inside the room.


SAS_Vet_Random
Lt. Colonel (Retired)
22nd SAS Elite Virtual Regiment
www.sasclan.org
 
RaptorDate: Friday, 2012-03-30, 21:15 | Message # 8
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Quote (SAS_Random)
Not a big deal but you show an extra EL where the RG should be in an SAS element.

No, actually I used EL for "End of Line" xD
*fixed*

Quote (SAS_Random)
A1,A2,EL,B2,B1 are the preferred positions. It keeps our covermen toward the inside of the element.

I didn't get this point. Why you want to keep the coverman inside the formation? What would change when B1 and B2 stay in order (so B2 as RG)?
And how about equipment? Usually the RG is carrying an AR. Kinda unhandy choice for a pointman, isn't it?


"Teamwork is essential, it gives them someone else to shoot at."
Murphy's Laws of Combat #9
 
SAS_RandomDate: Friday, 2012-03-30, 21:36 | Message # 9
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When the team moves as one, the rg is in the back. That puts the backup man interior. Interior is safer than exterior, so his life and tacaids aren't as exposed. This makes the backup a good choice for bravo coverman aka B2.

SAS_Vet_Random
Lt. Colonel (Retired)
22nd SAS Elite Virtual Regiment
www.sasclan.org
 
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