TDG 5 Recap and Analysis

TDG 5: Convoy Ambush” finds us deep in an enemy rear area near their support units. This is perfect for a Guerrilla force, which can bleed the enemy by attacking his vulnerable supply routes. Our intelligence (which we had to gain ourselves through a recon patrol) tells us when and where an enemy supply convoy will pass, and we must decide how to ambush them. I will approach this TDG with a list of the “phases” of this operation, listing our options as we go.

Stopping the Convoy

Simply sitting on the hillside pouring rifle fire into the convoy will not work, as they will be quickly through our kill zone before we can do any real damage. Since we do not have any heavy weapons (like an AMR), we have to get creative with whatever we have on hand.

Reader “John” suggested sending an unarmed element to drop trees across the road, a simple task with the chainsaws that every farmer has in their shed. He went a step further to drop trees behind the convoy as well, to slow down reinforcements and cut off escape. “…if we get caught, our cover for action is we are cutting firewood…. Totally innocent since we are unarmed.” Cover for action is always good to consider for a guerrilla.

“Teddy Bear” wanted to commandeer school buses (or other large vehicles) to block the road. This could work, as even a Tigr wouldn’t be able to simply push a school bus out of the way.

“Vikingwanderer” suggested using nails and other sharp objects to pop the tires. However, as “John” pointed out, “Most, if not all, [military] wheeled vehicles are equipped with run flat tire inserts. Popping the tires isn’t going to do much to degrade capabilities.”

A couple other readers suggested, without getting too specific, the use of improvised explosives or explosive projectiles. Assuming that we have the resources and skills to pull this off, it could possibly work. Although most readers focused on taking out the armored vehicles, I would add that an incendiary device (especially a launchable one) could potentially burn a supply truck if we time it right. If we can pull this off, we may even be able to accomplish our mission (destroy supplies and vehicles) without getting into a messy gunfight.

The last consideration here that was largely ignored is the question of where do we conduct the ambush? “Teddy Bear” wanted to do it at the bridge to the South, rather than on the straightaway that dominates the center of the map. This location has a couple of advantages, among them the fact that the bridge follows an S-curve in the road. Stopping the enemy on that curve would mean that some of the escort vehicles would be out of sight of our ambushers, reducing the threat to ourselves when we open fire. It also means that they would have less time to see and react to any blockage we lay down on the road. This leads to the next phase: the ambush itself.

The Ambush

The next consideration is how to initiate the ambush. We should time our method of stopping the convoy so that they don’t realize that they are being ambushed until it is too late. This means that it’s a bad idea to let the enemy see trees/buses/whatever blocking the road before we open up on them, as that lets them take evasive action and costs us a bit of the surprise that we need to prevail.

We can either hide our roadblocks or wait to emplace them at the last second. The only way to “hide” trees or buses across the road is to place them at a bend or after the crest of a hill, so the enemy comes upon them too suddenly to react. This is another advantage to ambushing at the S-bend right before the bridge.

If we ambush on the straightaway, we need to wait until the last second to block the road and spring the trap. Driving buses across the road is easy enough, but the drivers will probably be engaged immediately by the lead escort vehicle. Dropping the trees across the road last second is doable with the chainsaws. Or, as “Mighty Tortuga” proposed, we can “use tannerite to blow the trees over.” The options are only limited by the imagination.

The biggest danger to ourselves in this ambush is time. Once we kick off the ambush, the clock is ticking before the enemy QRF and ISR assets arrive. As “John” said, “Suprise, violence of action, and speed are key here.” We need to quickly cause as much damage as possible and then leave. An easy way to control this with a half-trained team is by limiting ammo expenditures. “Everyone on the ambush engages for a mag or two (mad minute) and then withdraws to the ORP.”


Once we’ve decided to break contact, we should get as far away as possible from the ambush site before the enemy drone arrives looking for us with its thermal cameras. If the drone arrives before we’ve cleared out, it could follow us back to our base camp or homes, and then we are in real trouble.

Withdrawal routes/methods were not discussed in the replies to this TDG, but they are important nonetheless. Whatever our route/method, it should either be well-concealed or very quick. There is a lot of tree cover, so there are many concealed routes out of the area. If we use vehicles, we should egress to the North along the road. The enemy cannot be allowed to see our trucks, or they will put a BOLO out on our vehicles and track us down later.

Another option is using the four-wheelers. The horizontal line in the NE part of the map is a power line cutaway, which could be an excellent high-speed escape route for the four wheelers. Just another option, the downsides are of course that we are easier to spot if the drone happens to arrive earlier than expected, or if we are forced to engage the enemy longer than planned.


Heavy weapons are nice to have, but we can’t always count on having them. The solution is to get creative and improvise low-tech options to overcome these shortfalls. This TDG was designed to get you thinking outside the box, which a couple of you did. There are infinitely many ways to solve this TDG, and I encourage you to share it with your friends. Their creativity will surprise you, and open your eyes to a world of options you never knew existed.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this TDG. In the future, I will hold off on the recap for a few more days to give more people a chance to play. The more participation a TDG gets, the more everybody learns from them. The more we learn, the more dangerous we become.

Semper Discens. Stay dangerous.

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

5 thoughts on “TDG 5 Recap and Analysis

  1. A few more days time to ruminate would be good. But no matter, I really enjoy reading your opinions on these decision games Mike. A weekly “game” would be great if you can, you’ve got the creativity for it.


  2. –are we talking about going up against a military force, or a SHTF group of crackheads? if it’s the military then forget about it, you’ll be screwed. if you can even hear a A-10 or an Apache gunship then you know that you were not the target, you may be the next one on the target list. ya just can’t hide from them.
    your right about disengaging from an enemy force. a retreat seldom works out well, planned or not unless it’s to lure the enemy away from their main support into an ambush and divide their forces.


    1. A guerrilla force who knows what they’re doing can be quite effective, especially in rear areas like in this scenario. And you don’t always need to hide from aircraft, you just need to make it so that they cannot get PID.


  3. to somehow take out their comms. would be an important first step. i think in any attack, taking out their command and control first is important.
    i agree with Reader, A weekly “game” would be great if you can. and thank’s again for all of the great articles. this is one of the best sites i have run across in a while.


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