TDG 4 Recap and Analysis

This week’s TDG finds us in a civilian QRF action, a modern equivalent of the Minutemen of the 18th century. Our friend Kevin is under attack in his home, and it falls upon us to save him. Nobody else is coming, it is up to us.

Fortunately, our group has planned for this possibility and trained to respond to each others’ houses. We are at a pre-established Objective Rally Point (ORP), ready to take action. We have many options and a couple tools at our disposal. Let’s take a look at some of them.

The Drone

We have a small quadcopter drone, and some readers wanted to use it to do reconnaissance of the objective, confirming the actual location of hostile forces. There was a healthy bit of debate on this topic, as some readers argued that the drone could do more harm than good. Reader “thefinalappeal” said, “Forget the drone. unless it has thermal capability, it is going to be useless at night. As someone else said its noise alone could give away the op.

This raises a fair point. It is currently 2am, so it is quite dark. However, if the area is illuminated by street lights, we may still be able to see some of what is going on. However, this limited gain in situational awareness must be weighed against the time it takes to get the drone airborne, not to mention the risk of losing our surprise if it is seen or heard.

There are also other ways to use a drone, besides pre-mission reconnaissance. One needs only to look at the conflict in Ukraine for a vast number of ways to use this revolutionary battlefield asset. I cover this in detail during the Jäger Course.


Our 2-man AMR team is able to detach and function independently. Several readers chose to do so, sending them to engage the MRAP while the fire team assaults the East side of the house. This is good weapon-to-target match, as the AMR is perfect for engaging light armored vehicles with the right ammunition.

However, the question arises; do we need to engage the MRAP? Reader “Ghostman” had this to say:

“…ignore the MRAP, kill the cartel members at the rear and have your friends run out the door and into the woods to the escape vehicle. The MRAP is an obnixous pos in that situation that can’t chase you into the treeline.”

Our adversary has strength in their numbers and the armored vehicle in the street. If we can avoid engaging the enemy’s strength, we can accomplish our mission with minimal risk by only striking where our opponent is weak. It is very easy to get tunnel vision on the biggest threat, armored vehicles are as much psychological weapons as they are physical weapons. Play it smart and you can avoid the biggest threat altogether. Our mission is not annihilation of the enemy, it’s the extraction of Kevin and his wife.

On the other hand, a 2-pronged attack would help slow the enemy’s reaction time. This leads to the next topic.

Speed as a Weapon

All the answers submitted by readers acknowledged that we do not want to stick around for long. The enemy outnumbers and outguns us, so our best chance of success is to act quickly and leave with Kevin before the enemy has time to realize what’s happening and bring his numbers to bear on us.

“Ghostman” said, “…move with speed and employ violence suddenly and effectively.” Reader “Bryan” also pointed out, “Entire process should be executed with speed and surprise as a priority, as ammunition is at a premium.” We can’t afford a long, drawn-out gunfight due to our limited ammunition. This is yet another reason to move in with violence, create confusion, and disappear into the night.

The longer we stick around, the more time the enemy has to maneuver his forces to flank us or (worst case) cut off our exfil route. We can, perhaps, buy ourselves a couple more seconds of time by attacking the enemy from two different directions with the AMR team. Fire from two directions would hopefully slow down the decision-making process of the enemy commander, helping our assault team to do their job and get away. Smoke grenades would be a good asset for breaking contact in this situation.


There are two main points I want to leave you with. First, just because you have a tool doesn’t mean that you need to use it every time. Choose the best tactics and then decide which tools enable them.

Second, speed is a weapon. You are up against breathing, thinking humans. If you can make decisions faster than your opponent, you maintain the initiative and the advantage. A quick, precise application of violence can enable a small force to get the best of a larger one. Apply the right amount of swift violence to accomplish your mission and get out.

Third, this scenario is not possible without prior planning and coordination. If the group of men in this TDG had not planned to respond to each others’ houses, if they had no way to alert each other, then they would have simply woken up the next morning to find that Kevin and his wife were dead. If you have a mutual assistance group, make sure you train together and train realistically for whatever missions you see yourself conducting in the future. Failing to plan is planning to fail.

If you want to learn how to organize and train your people, come to a team leader class. I will teach you how to organize, train, and lead your group of friends so you can mold them into an effective team.

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

3 thoughts on “TDG 4 Recap and Analysis

  1. Mike,

    I love that you recap the TDGs and offer advice and ways to skin the cat.

    Can’t wait for the newest TDGs on AP.


  2. Unfortunately for me, I took too long, having turned the posting into what amounts to a short story. I think it’s 9 pages almost done. However, I did address several of the recap points in a positive manner consistent with your analysis, so I’m good on that. Next time I’ll try to get the paper in on time professor.


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