TDG 13: Quick Reaction Force

Originally posted on American Partisan on May 31, 2022

A TDG is a Tactical Decision Game, a mental wargaming exercise designed to get you practice making tactically sound decisions in a hypothetical scenario.  The ability to make sound and timely decisions based off incomplete and imperfect information is a critical skill to have, especially as a team leader.

You will be given a scenario, confronted with a tactical problem, and given a time limit to think about and write out your answer.  The time limit is to simulate the pressure of a real-world tactical decision, where you must quickly assess the information you are given and come up with the best answer you can.  Then comment below with your answer so you can discuss each others’ solutions.

TDG 13: Quick Reaction Force

Week 5 into WROL.  You live in a very small town of 200 people in an area surrounded by forested, hilly terrain with scattered farms.  Law enforcement in your county has become non-existent with the Sherriff’s department tied up maintaining order in the county seat.  The people of your town have banded together for your security and by this time have a set schedule for everyone to take turns on guard duty.  While the town itself is not self-sufficient, your mayor has made trade agreements with neighboring farmers and similar groups with the agreement to also provide security for the area with security patrols and a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) to respond to any lawlessness that may ensue.  This is seen as an invaluable service since the Sherriff is unwilling to risk his deputies by sending them outside his secure perimeter.

A large part of your security work has been locating and intercepting groups of refugees from the state capitol and directing them to alternate routes around your area of control.  In the last week your security patrols and observation posts have reported 3 large groups of 10 or more refugees that your QRF has had to intercept and turn back.  Due to these groups being large, and some of them armed, your QRF has been increased in size recently from 10 to 20 men who can use vehicles, although you try to conserve your fuel by responding on foot to closer threats or small groups.

You are the guard shift leader standing by on QRF duty today.  When you take over the watch at 0800, the man you relieve tells you that yesterday they had tried to respond to a group of 14 people on foot that your observation post spotted, but the QRF could not locate the group when they arrived.

At 2017, just after sunset, the alarm signal sounds to summon the QRF to the town’s TOC.  Upon arrival, you are briefed that a nearby farmer, Jared Hegel, called on his CB radio to report that he and his family of 4 are under attack at his house by at least 5 men who are demanding that he give them all the food and liquor in the house.  When he refused they began firing on the house and wounded Jared’s 19 year-old son in the arm.  Although he cannot see the shooters, he does know that most of the gunfire is coming from the front of the house (East side).

The QRF is tasked by the mayor with responding to Jared’s house to save him and his family.  Your QRF consists of the following:

  • 3x 6-man squads each with:
    • 1x NVG
    • 5x assault rifles (mixed types)
    • 1x scoped .308 rifle
    • 1x handheld VHF/UHF radio
  • 3x Pickup trucks (can fit one squad each)
  • 1x drone operator (the drone has a max range of 2km, no night vision or thermals)
  • 1x command vehicle (Jeep with a CB radio)
  • Your personal AR-15, NVG, and handheld VHF/UHF radio
Headset and PTT for Baofeng radios.
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The time is 2020.  Weather is clear but windy (10mph from the West).  The moon is a half-moon.

In a time limit of 10 minutes, create a tentative plan for how you would get to the objective and accomplish your mission.  Since there are a lot of unknowns, try to build flexibility into your plan.

The green shaded areas represent evergreen forest with thin undergrowth.

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

7 thoughts on “TDG 13: Quick Reaction Force

  1. I stand by my original answer:

    – – – – –

    Tell Jared that we are on the way, hold tight, and keep up enough defensive fire so that the bad guys don’t feel emboldened to rush the house.

    Rally the mounted QRF at hill 246 (4000 2190). Proceed up the road, mounted, slowly, watching for ambush. Someone without NGV (guy with best nightvision) should be looking for any glow that indicates a camp or artificial lighting for an OPFOR TOC/FOB. If this is the group of 14 (not confirmed to me) then there’s got to be a sizable camp setup somewhere.

    Dismount SQ 1&2 at the bend at 4000 2188. Squad 3 waits there as reserve/pursuit. SQ1 &2 go down the road with the jeep to the fork at 3980 2214, SQ2 goes just to the left of the road, cutting the bend and stopping 100m south of the driveway. SQ1 goes west up the hill to the clearing at 3600 2200 with the jeep, searching for OPFOR reserves/camp. If no contact (very likely there is a camp here, have to be ready), SQ1 and me leave the drone op on top of the hill and start down the hill going NE. Attack on contact, SQ2 joins the attack when SQ1 starts. Have drone OP tell Jared when we have started the attack and have him cease fire unless directly assaulted (no friendly fire). Drone op has discretion to use his drone as he sees best and feed me what intel he has. Going to suggest that he at least keep an eye on the road for headlights.

    Push them N/NE. If they are well dug in and fighting hard, bring SQ3 up to turn it into a full L from the road. (Trying to avoid this to not put more rounds into Jared’s house.) If they flee, SQ3 comes up the road as dragoons to pursue, goal is to keep them moving and disallow them to rally, not to try to wipe them out (too likely to take casualties we can’t afford.) They turn south down the road, radio SQ3 to setup an ambush using their best judgment.

    Assuming a successful battle, have the drone op search for a camp, focusing on the direction they fled to, and send one of the squads to secure the house (hearts and minds) and to administer first aid to Jared’s son. Evac him to town if there are better facilities there (maybe not.)


  2. truck no.1 drive by drive way for a little recon and try to gather any new intel on size of enemy party. truck no.2 park in woods near bend in road south south/west of jareds house. truck 2 squad gather intel while moving toward Jareds house threw the woods. truck no.3 part of squad will get out and link up with truck 2 squad. truck no.3 with two men one with radio will then drive near jareds driveway and do burn outs and eventually get truck stuck in a ditch laying on the horn and trying to cause a destraction at Jareds house. truck no.1 squad will park truck somewhere north on the road and move by foot towards the sound of the horn blowing. relay any new intel to command vehicle which i will drive by jareds house. If squad 2 and 3 make it to jareds house with out being seen and enemy is still out side and the destraction from the horn worked squad 2 and 3 will then fire on any enemy that can be identified. truck no.1 squad on standby providing protection for stuck truck and men in truck in case the fight is at the road and not Jareds house.


  3. Assuming it’s dark and there’s a 10-15mph wind, the drone is a non-starter. I agree with using the CB to contact Jared. If bad actors are listening they may break contact and bail. Since intel says the group is at least 14, the attackers probably have a team (number possibly 7) watching their six at some point along the road to act as an ambush for a QRF. The most likely ambush point would be the area of the intersection at the junction of the two roads grid 3980/2250. If I was leading the ambush team I would want to hold the high ground above that intersection. Therefore moving the convoy along the eastern road following the ridge line to grid 4000/2208 would maintain more of an over watch position there. The disadvantage is possible incoming rounds from the house, but dismounting Team 1 along the ridgeline would be an acceptable compromise. The other is the distance shooting at night. The long gun from Team 3 will join Team 1 and one AR from Team 1 joins Team 3 . Dismount Team 2 across the road just south of Team 1 for forward/flank security. Team 3 is rear security. Team 1 notifies me when ready. I notify Jared of our approximate position and will open fire in 30 seconds. Team 1 engages attackers on my command. If we are attacked Team 1 ceases firing and rejoins QRF with Team 2 in bounding over watch to regroup to vehicles for exfil.


  4. Send all squads with haste, to rally at start of s curve before the intersection immediately to the east of Jared’s house. Squads 1 and 2 will assault on line to the west, and provide relief to Jared and his family. Squad 3 will head north to the intersection, clear it, and set a hasty ambush/ blocking position. If immediate threat is eliminated, squad 2 will clear route to intersection and link up with squad three and secure intersection. Squad three will send three personnel to retrieve vehicles, and go to Jared’s to retrieve squad 1 and any casualties or family members that want to evac for the night. Back to
    intersection to pickup squads 2 and 3. Assess humint for next steps.


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