Introduction to Airsoft Tactics: The Very Basics

September 11, 2014

Tactics are one of the most important things in an airsoft game. Whether you’re running HPA, automatic electric guns, gas or CO2, or spring powered airsoft guns, what wins at the end of the day is tactical sense and the ability of your team to work together.

The base of any tactics is the trust in your fellow team members. You have to be able to trust that they are physically and mentally ready to handle any possible situation. The trust starts with a one-on-one interaction. Buddy pairs should be established so no one has to lone wolf anything, if they don’t want to. Those Buddy pairs should work together constantly to learn each other’s habits and establish what each member needs to do to accomplish the mission with minimal casualties.

From there the next step up is the Fire Team. The standard Marine Corps styled Fire Team consists of four people, a Rifleman (READY), Team Leader (TEAM), Automatic Rifleman (FIRE), and Assistant Automatic Rifleman (ASSIST). The READY is the point man of the Fire Team; he is the first one in so it needs to be someone with good reaction time. The TEAM is the head of the team. He is the last man out and is responsible for the rest of the fire team. The FIRE does not have to be a Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW), it is just the person designated for suppressive fire, or the one with the heavy load out and might be carrying the team’s ammo supply. The ASSIST in a real steel fire team is there to help the FIRE. This is not the case in an airsoft fire team. The ASSIST can still help the FIRE; however the ASSIST position can be filled with anything from a CQB role to a Sniper role to a Special Ops or Demolitions role depending on the play style of the team and the mission objective.

From the Fire Team we then move to the Squad size. In a perfect world the average squad size is 15 people, consisting of 3 Fire Teams of 4, a Squad Leader, a Medic and a Dedicated Radio Operator. This however is not always the case in airsoft. A majority of the time a squad will consist of 9-13 people with all roles occupied minus the Dedicated Radio Operator as most airsoft players have their own radio. As long as each individual has trust in there buddy, and there is fellowship amongst the Fire Team, then there will be harmony within the squad, and it will function like a well-oiled machine.

Now, to the actual fire and movement side of tactics. We won’t get in to movement formations now, as that should be adapted to the benefit of the squad, as per the objective and the necessity of speed to accomplish the mission. As the squad is either patrolling or moving upon an objective you may take fire. When you began taking fire all personal should find cover with the front Fire Team watching forward, the middle Fire Team watching the flanks, and the back most Fire Team securing the rear. Cover is defined as any that protects you from enemy observation and enemy fire, which is different from concealment. Concealment is anything that protects you from enemy observation but not enemy fire.

Camouflage is what you use to simulate the effects of concealment. Cover is concealment, but concealment is not cover as it does not meet the requirements of cover, being protected from both observation and fire.

Each fire team leader should call out casualties on their teams and anyone should call out contact. When calling out contact you should call number of enemies, direction, cover if any, distance, and weapon type:  ex. “CONTACT! 2 tangos, 7 o’clock, behind the tire pile, 15 meters out, automatic weapons.”

Once contact has been made and the enemy target identified, you should begin to advance. Individuals should provide covering fire while others advance forward or move to flank. That is the most basic tactic for standard engagement and should be used in the woods, fields, or any areas with cover.

These are just the very building blocks to tactics and should be used as a basis to establish your teams tactical play style. With the correct amount of determination, trust, and practice, a squad of spring shotguns can end the reign of a squad of PolarStars. It’s all about how you play them. Most importantly keep it fun, and have good sportsmanship.

That’s all for now, Play Hard, Play Fair, Play Fun. -$pades Customer Service – Call Sign: $pades

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