TDG 3 Recap and Analysis

In this week’s TDG, we are greatly outnumbered and outgunned. A company of troops has set up just a few miles from our camp and is most likely looking for us. Fortunately, we still have time to take action. The mission I gave was for you to conduct a security patrol to locate and attack enemy LP/OPs. However, as many of you pointed out, that wasn’t the only course of action available to us.

Conduct the Security Patrol(s)

Since we anticipate that the enemy is looking for us, we could conduct the patrols as planned to hunt for their LP/OPs. This would hamper their efforts to find us. However, this Course of Action (COA) is a bit risky.

The enemy, in static LP/OPs, will be much harder to detect than our security patrol. That means that our patrol will most likely be spotted. If the infantry was our only concern, we could argue that this is an acceptable level of risk. However, this is a conventional military unit with organic indirect fire (IDF) weapons such as mortars, which we are well within range of.

Once detected, our security patrol would most likely be targeted by mortar fire, with the LP/OP spotting and adjusting the impacts. Our patrol would be attacked and likely take casualties without ever seeing the enemy.

Build a Decoy Camp

One commenter suggested the idea of building a fake camp away from our location to draw the enemy’s attention. If possible, he recommended ambushing the enemy when they moved to attack the decoy camp.

When I worked in a Regimental COC, our command actually tried this once during a training exercise. They had us build a fake command node, partially camouflaged and with a few radios, to draw the eye of the OPFOR’s aerial surveillance. It was a massive failure and didn’t fool anybody. When the enemy went to observe it, they quickly realized that it was fake because there was almost nobody there, and nowhere near the level of activity our actual COC had. There were other factors too, but they’re beside the point.

When you plan to raid a target, you get eyes on it and watch it for hours or days to collect as much info as possible before you risk lives assaulting it. The enemy would quickly realize that the decoy was bogus due to the lack of activity, which is exactly what happened to us when we tried this.

Even if they were fooled by the decoy, remember the mortars? They’d probably use those to blast the hell out of the place and then send in a squad to to a battle damage assessment.

All that said, a decoy may indeed be useful if we just wanted to distract the enemy long enough to buy us some time to do something else. If that’s our goal, the decoy may be worth our time and efforts after all.

Ambush the LP/OP Teams

If we do manage to locate the enemy LP/OPs, rather than attack them in place, we could ambush them en route to and from their base. This way we get to choose the time and place of the fight, and have a better chance of breaking contact before mortars rain down on our heads.

The only difficulty with this is that the enemy must make the mistake of settling into a pattern. They must use the same routes, and we must be able to locate these routes and identify the patterns so that we can exploit them. However, if the enemy is competent, they will use different routes and different LP/OPs each time, making their movements far less predictable. We can still set ambushes, but it will be difficult for us unless the enemy gets lazy.

Direction-Find the LP/OPs using radios

This is a very viable way of locating the enemy hides. If our team is equipped with directional antennas (or the means to make them), we can locate the enemy positions by triangulating their radio transmissions. This is much easier than it sounds, and I recommend you take a SIGINT class to learn how to do this.

Relocate the Camp

It can be argued, with merit, that the enemy presence here is too much for us to handle, and that we ought to pack up our camp and relocate NW. There is a lot to be said for this course of action. For one thing, our camp being within IDF range of the enemy is a very bad thing, rendering any compromise immediately fatal to us. For another, we are heavily outmatched, and the odds of us being outgunned in any engagement are high. It is probably wiser for us not to pick a fight, and to instead move our outpost to a more secure location.

Even if we do attempt an aggressive action against the enemy LP/OPs, it is still a good idea to move our camp. The longer we remain here, the better the chance of detection.

Bonus Solution: Davy Jones’ Locker

The last COA here is my favorite because it involves thinking outside-the-box. Reader “BH” proposed the following solution to our problems:

“The PLA camp appears to be in the flood plain of Marvel Lake. No mention of explosives in the brief, but maybe the dam can be infiltrated and opened? This should at least force the camp to move, which may force them to recall/reposition their OP’s, which in turn should allow for ambush opportunities.”

This plan is brilliantly simple. Why risk a gunfight when two guys in civilian clothes with no weapons can just walk into a civilian facility and wash all our problems away? If this can be done fast enough, we can essentially neutralize the bulk of the enemy’s strength in one fell swoop.

At the very least, it will cause the enemy to pack up very quickly and redeploy their camp. This would grant us a window of time where no mortars can attack us, which gives us the opportunity to either attack the OPs or slip away into the night with our camp. This kind of plan is exactly the creative thinking that a guerrilla force needs.


There’s a good amount of options available to us here. Mitigating risk is always a key consideration; we don’t want to bite off more than we can chew. Sometimes the best thing we can do is break contact to fight again another day. And often the best solution is the simplest one. Just because we carry guns does not mean that the answer to every problem is a gunfight, so get creative. If time permits, consult your people to tap into their creativity. One man rarely has all the good ideas.

There was a good amount of participation with this TDG, which allows for a better recap. Thank you to everyone who participated. If your plan wasn’t ideal, don’t sweat it. We make mistakes in TDGs so we don’t have to make them in real life. And if you disagree with anything I said in this recap, feel free to debate me in the comments. The more intelligent discussion we have, the more dangerous we all become.

Published by vonsteubentraining

Mike is the owner and chief instructor of Von Steuben Training & Consulting (VSTAC). A self-described “Tactical Scholar,” he spent 6 years in the Marine Corps as a radio operator and small-unit tactics instructor. He has dedicated his life to honing the tactical prowess of himself and his fellow patriots, guided by the wisdom of his commanding officer, Jesus Christ. He can be contacted via email at

2 thoughts on “TDG 3 Recap and Analysis

  1. ….. Blow the dam…. I REALLY like that idea. The are is remote and civilian damage would be low (assuming that the lake is not used as a reservoir for drinking water). If you blew in in the middle of the night, reaction time would be significantly reduced. High potential for significant losses to enemy troops and equipment.


  2. First time to play a game like this, as I usually don’t do games. Very informative for myself as I got to evaluate the attempt by my ego to argue the evaluation, great to have feed back. Will play again.

    Blow the Dam? That requires a significant amount of well placed HE, particularly to create a sudden release of flood stage waters. Be cool to do if you have em. See video link below.


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