The Re-Envisioned Team
The downfall of a single commander
And rising of self-sustained micro-units
The primary theory for a paintball team has been based upon the effectiveness of one commander to issue explicit orders to their team members and maintain constant communication with those members for the duration of the game to ensure that their objectives are reached.
The purpose of this article is to explore the possible of, what I refer to as â€śOrder and forget unitsâ€ť or â€śMicro-unitsâ€ť. These units are made from anywhere between 2-5 people depending on the scenario. Then, at the beginning of the game the commander sets a list of objectives for each unit, and then realises them to go about it their own way.
Prior to each game the commander takes stock of his situation, such as:
1. Size of the field
2. Amount of cover and its relationship to the terrain around it
3. The number and experience (best guess) of the opposing team
From here, he divides his team into specific Order and forget units. These teams are lead by people how have been chosen before hand and have had practice leading these units. The Commander issues what kind of attack he wants executed, e.g. Strong Side etc, and tells each unit commander what objectives he/she wants them to take. The commander then lets the unit go off on their own, trusting the unit leaders to their duties. This also frees up the commander to participate more actively in the team’s advances.
This is shown in the following example:
You are on a field about 210m in length, 120 in width and you are facing your opponent length ways. There is fairly good cover dispersed throughout the field, though the majority is concentrated on the two ends and near the middle leaving some fairly empty â€śNo-man’s landâ€ť type areas. The game is CTF. You have 15 people on your team and you opt for a strong side attack moving up the defenders right. You allocate two members to stay at base to defend and co-ordinate the attack with the other13. This is where it gets different.
Rather than giving very explicit instructions to your remaining soldiers you and then ensuring that they are all following your plan by making sure you stay in a spot that has a view of most of the field and staying in constant communication, you trust your units to themselves.
Say you chose to send 10 men (sorry ladies, but it is just a generalization nothing personal) up your strong side and 3 up your weak side. The idea is that the three can draw fire to help the five make it across the sparsely covered area between the middle of the field and the enemy’s base. This could just as easily be by the traditional theory, except for one thing.
The opponent acts a way you didn’t expect, they pull a strong side themselves on the same side as you did. No you men are caught in an intense firefight with an opponent of roughly equal strength in the open ground between your base and the middle of the field. Having your units be self sustained, or order and forget units will increase your ability to use a reactive strategy. Rather than a commander having to co-ordinate his/her teams withdrawal to better cover the units can effectively do so without any command input. This saves any time that would be wasted by having the commander issue and explain orders and increases the mobility of the team’s resources.
As your strong sides commences a fighting withdrawal, your 3 men one your weak side will automatically shift to get a good angle on your opponents strong side attack. Their goal would not be to eliminate all of the players on the strong side, only to get them aught in a cross fire to enable the safe exodus of your remaining strong side attack force.
Once that force has made it to the safety of better cover, the roles will be reversed and the opponent is now the one caught in the open. Again, your weak side can move to obtain better angles on these opponents, hopefully forcing them to retreat back to their own side, or to shift position away from the weak side fire and back into that of the strong side.
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I am aware that that example may not have utilised the best tactics, but that was not the point. It showed who a team could function automatically, which would reduce the need for radios, and specifically help the teams who cannot afford them. But all of this requires a lot of practice and confidence in the men chosen as the micro-unit leaders.
For this strategy to work, all members of your team must be well versed in reactive strategy. Simply the best way to do this is through dry runs. Get your team out to some empty field near your houses and go through some dry runs. Over and over, forwards, backwards, left and right. Your guys may complain, but it is the only way your team will know what to do in every situation.
What you are effectively doing is training all of your soldiers to think like commanders so they can make the same decisions at the same time.
Having only tried this briefly on a non-professional team (some friends and I at a farm) I am not sure if you can really considered these real results, but I feel it is at least a god indicator.
Before the game, I divided my team up into their micro units, assigned them their own commanders and away we went. I had got some other friend to oppose us, and told them my teams plan. The purpose of that was to see who my team reacted when our strong side was met head on by the opponent’s strong side. The results were almost exactly that as the scenario, our strong side fell back as the weak side got better angles for a cross fire.
I would really be interested to hear if any professional teams have tried this and what their results with it were. As always any ideas, comments, suggestions and criticisms are always welcome.
This post has been edited by ColonelD: 20 October 2007 - 04:49 PM