The situation in TDG 2: Neighborhood Defense finds us tasked with organizing our untrained neighbors into a defensive force to keep out looters and gangs during a partial collapse. Although not as exciting as conducting a raid on a commie roadblock, this scenario is nonetheless a very realistic one that you may find yourself in someday.
Untrained troops, civilian concerns, and limited equipment make this a less-than-ideal scenario. This will force us to adapt to our situation with some creative solutions. Since this TDG got very little participation, I’ll do this recap by going through the priorities of work in the defense: SAFESOC
Our first priority should be 360 degree physical security so that we can detect and engage hostiles approaching from any direction. This means having fixed security posts on each side of the subdivision, with good observation.
Avenues of Approach
The paved roads to the East and South present the most likely high-speed avenues of approach to the subdivision. Once we’ve identified our avenues of approach, we should place any special weapons (such as the AMR) so that they can engage enemies using that avenue of approach.
Reader “St. Leibowitz” commented, “I would put the AMR team [at a barricade along the avenue of approach], as this seems like a likely avenue of approach for a narco tank or similar vehicle if the bad guys have one.” This is exactly the kind of threat an AMR is suited to counter, and is why I teach its use in the Support Weapons Class. A good position for the AMR would likely be in a concealed Guardian Angel position on the second floor of one of the houses on the corner of the subdivision, so that it could shoot over any friendlies below.
Fields of Fire
Now that we’ve set security and placed our AMR, we need to clear our fields of fire so we can detect and engage any enemies trying to sneak close to our perimeter.
“St. Leibowitz” notes; “I REALLY don’t like all that vegetation to our west. One of the tasks of the men not manning the posts after the initial barricade construction will be to clear as much brush as possible. This will give us clear line of sight and make a deadly open area for bad guys. It will also potentially provide us with fuel and barricade/concealment material.”
Reader “Some Guy” was on the same page. “Clearing obstacles around the subdivision would be crucial, I would want open sight lines for my marksmen in all directions.”
In a light infantry context, we might be concerned about removing too much vegetation because it would make it obvious that we have a defensive perimeter here. However, given the threat we face, we may not care if the local ruffians know that we are here and we are prepared to fight.
Our next priority is hardening our position by fortifying it. We should use anything we have that stops bullets to make our barricades and fighting positions more protective. Sandbags are great for this, at least temporarily. In the absence of sandbags, you can improvise by filling cardboard boxes with packed dirt or sand and they will do the same thing.
Other methods for building fortifications can be found in Joe Dolio’s book “TW-03, Defensive Operations“.
Secondary and Alternate Positions
In the face of a determined adversary, we will take losses and may be forced to pull back our perimeter. Having secondary positions already prepared inside the subdivision will buy us time by giving us hardened positions to fall back to. Attackers who break through our first line will then find themselves confronted with fire from our prepared secondary positions, giving us another chance to kill them or drive them off.
Alternate positions are set up to enable a team of men to relocate in case the enemy attacks from an unexpected direction. This gives us flexibility in our defense, and allows our teams to better support each other if needed.
An obstacle is anything that impedes, slows, or redirects movement. Obstacles can be man-made (barbed wire) or naturally occurring (rivers and cliffs). Ideally, we position obstacles not to stop the enemy, but to funnel him into our fields of fire where we can destroy him.
The question here is whether to emplace obstacles on the NW/SE road to our east. On the one hand, we don’t want an enemy getting that close to our homes. On the other hand, that’s a main road into the town, and we would probably have to tie down a lot of resources trying to sort through all the people trying to enter (or flee) the town as the looting gets worse. But if that road is a big enough threat, maybe we are willing to expend the manpower.
A possible alternative is to leave the road clear of obstacles but heavily observed, with barbed wire and other obstacles lined up on the near side. Then again, there is another way to keep people away…
The two answers to this TDG differ on their approach to this topic. “St. Leibowitz” wanted a low-profile approach, and sought to camouflage the subdivision as already looted. “Smash some windows on the outlying houses, toss some empty brass in the streets, burn some trash/tires in the front yards, maybe leave some dead dogs lying around. There should be some around…”
“Some Guy”, however, chose a more overt approach. “The frontage along 2657 would need to look as undesireable as possible…” His solution consisted of a hard roadblock/vehicle checkpoint, barbed wire along the roads, booby traps, and even posting signs.
What do you guys think. Overt or covert? Should we harden our position so much that nobody even thinks of attacking us, or should we try to look like we have nothing of value to steal? Feel free to continue this debate in the comments below.
Defensive planning is not a flashy task, but it is a necessary one in situations like this. A lot hinges on our manpower and firepower. The more of these that we have, the more overt we can be. If we are short on either manpower or firepower, a lower profile approach may be desired.
When I ran this TDG last year, some people complained about how few resources they had. That’s the nature of this kind of scenario. When it comes to defending your neighborhood, your town, or your “tribe”, you need to face the fact that not everybody is as prepared as you. You may need to take a second look at your “preps” and consider what this means. That 1,000 rounds for your rifle won’t go far when you need it to stretch for 5 more empty rifles that your neighbors bring to the fight, and your Baofeng radio is useless without other radios to talk to. I recommend stockpiling some spares, if you’re able.
You may need to trust your friends and neighbors with your life some day, and it is your responsibility to make them as ready as you can. If organizing your friends into a team sounds intimidating, come to a Team Leader Class. You will learn how to train your tribe so that you can one day be ready to go to battle together. You can also share my guide to progressively building a kit on a budget so that your friends and family know what they need to be ready for the fight.
5 thoughts on “TDG 2 Recap and Analysis”
I miss these… Just like I missed the point in some of my “solutions” proposed.
This is why “wargaming” tactical responses to odd situations is such a good thing – one can fail but it isn’t the end of the world.
Keep ’em coming…
Thanks for the shout-out. I’d use the wood from the clearing operation to build Abatis’ along the heavily travelled road.
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Of course sir. Your books are excellent and I’m happy to recommend them as reference material.
Thanks Mike, for reposting this.
Keeping extra supplies/ammo/whatnot on hand is important. I try to stock a minimum of 1k per rifle I own but I also like keeping several hundred extra rounds in case to give out to family/trusted friends who may show up with little. That and a few extra inexpensive weapons.
My opinion is that targets of choice will be those that are easy. It’s a simple psychological choice that an enemy will be confronted with A) do I choose a target where there may be nothing or there may be something but regardless I’m standing a low or at least lower chance at being shot at than B) fortified area 100% guaranteeing to be shot at but obviously guarding something of value (food, munitions, young women).
I guess the real variable here would be the level of desperation. Are they near starvation and don’t care to be shot at?
Actually, I’m all for a happy medium in this approach. The same method of camouflage could be used (burnt siding above windows indicating a fire, plywood over windows, etc.) and also the use of trees and barbed wire for barriers. This sort of indicates that those inside the barricaded area might have something of value, but are already seasoned fighters who remain standing and prepared for the next conflict and also psychologically could indicate the valuables could already be partially looted. Minimally it indicates that whomever is there is ready, prepared, and tough. I personally would avoid that and seek an easier target.