Airsoft Tactics


Task Organization
One of the most essential aspects of team play and team work is the concept of task organization. Task organization is defined by the means of a team leader or commander organizing his force, to match certain tasks that need to be fulfilled in the fight. Pretty much assigning everyone their specific role on the team. We'll modify the basic concept to fit more towards Airsoft and mil-sim games that are played. These tactics can also be carried into paintball play.

For example, we will use a 9 man team/squad, just to break it down evenly. We will call this a squad because there will be fire teams in this squad and using the word team too many times could get confusing.

So you have 9 players. A Squad leader and 2 fire teams comprised of 3 riflemen and a Team leader. Here is how the team would look;

Squad Leader

Fire Team One Leader

Fire Team Two Leader

The Squad leader’s role is the overall commander of the team/squad. He is the one with the most experience and knowledge on the playing field or the one that organized the squad to begin with. He also is the one in charge on the field. He uses his skill and leadership to command his squad to work as a team and eventually be victorious in the mission. The Squad leader communicates directly to the two fire team leaders. He is the sprinter on the playing field going from team leader to team leader commanding the next move. It would be wise at minimum to have the Squad leader and two team leaders on a radio, this would make the squad leaders job much easier.

The Fire Team Leader is the commander of his small unit. He takes his orders from the squad leader and directs his men to fulfill the squad leader’s commands. A fire team will very rarely split up, they use their organization and numbers to work a fluid single unit and complete the tasks of the squad leader. When we get into basic tactics you will see certain moves a squad leader can make using his fire teams such as flanking and getting on line.

The Rifleman is the grunt, the trigger puller, the guy that sole job is to take an order and attack with full force. Now one thing to think about here is, if you are going to operate as an organized team, do not get the “Rambo” complex. You need to stay organized and stay on your team taking the directions from the fire team leader. Do not go off fighting the battle yourself trying to get all the kills by your lone. As we get into basic and advanced tactics you will see where the fire team leader will have a lot of leeway to decide how to approach and successfully complete his task given by the Squad leader. This will require the riflemen being always alert, and always ready for their next direction from the team leader.

This was the basic explanation of task organization.

Special Teams
Integrating Other Assets

We have already talked about the task organization of a squad sized team.
In this section we are going to touch on special jobs that could be added to a milsim team and how to incorporate them. Usually each job requires a specialized loadout. These aren’t required for success, but more advanced players will benefit by the skirmishes becoming a bit more interesting and challenging. Examples of these special roles are the following:

Heavy Weapons

Of course, by involving a heavy machine gun, grenade launchers and Airsoft demolitions that you are upping the "expense ante". But, this is just a way to incorporate these platforms into a squad if you have them available.

The grenadiers should be placed singly in the fire teams. An ideal setup would be to have 1 grenadier per fire team for maximum edge and fire power on the enemy. The grenadier is perfect to initiate an ambush on your enemy because the initial round will have a much larger kill zone than small arms fire. Having a grenadier also simplifies work against bunkers and fortified locations.

The sniper is where things will be dramatically changed form real world tactics to the Mil-Sim Airsoft realm. You will see much detail on this when we talk about sniper tactics. With the range being minimized by an Airsoft sniper rifle you are going to have to seriously focus on cover, camouflage, concealment, and security.
I would not put a sniper in a fire team. A sniper would work best in a team of two, the shooter and the security. If the sniper is lying down covered by his ghillie, looking down the scope, he needs someone watching his flanks and covering his back while he chooses his targets. Ideally, you should have the security element place himself 15-20 ft behind the sniper’s position offset with either a slight right or left offset. This will allow security to take down any enemy trying a flanking maneuver against the sniper team. Much more detail will be written in regards to snipers in a later section.

If you are lucky enough to have someone with a SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon) or other dedicated heavy support weapon you can master a tactic known as support by fire. This is best utilized with larger sized squads or teams with enough people to have 3 fire teams, one of which being a “Weapons Team”. Your heavy weapon is mainly used for keeping the enemies attention and head down while your fire teams advance and maneuver onto them. We will get more detail into this when I get into the actual tactics and different assaults you can perform on an enemy.

The engineer and medic are a case by case deal.
As a team and the opposing team need to set the rules and guidelines for the medic. If he has props (such as gauze) is he allowed to treat extremity hits and regenerate a player? You can get creative with this and even go as far to creating a casualty collection point in which wounded players may be brought back to for "revivial". This is all up to you.
In reference to the engineer: if you are lucky enough to have a few claymores by all means use them when you can. Try to lure your enemy into a choke point where you have placed the claymores and take them out. Ways to do this will be talked about more in depth in the actual tactics portion.

Well, that was the brief overview to special teams and how to incorporate them into a squad.

Getting On Line
Giving your Airsoft team the ability to move like a team

Last section we talked about how to organize your team, now that we have established a baseline of what we are working with, we can slowly walk through the basics of tactics and move you through how to utilize advanced tactics on the battlefield. Again the advanced milsim tactics are only going to be successful if you have a team following the orders form the Squad leader and working together as a team.

The first thing your team is going to need to master, is the different types of formations you can move and hold in. Reacting to contact is one thing but you need to know how to patrol and get to your objectives in a safe and secure way so if you do encounter an attack you have the ability to easily counteract what the enemy was trying to do. Your basic means of movement formations are the File and Wedge. The file is when you and your teammates move in a single file line, one behind the other. This formation is used for very thick brush and has great security on you flanks but very little security to your front and rear. The other main formation is the Wedge. With a squad sized team you will actually have 2 small wedges where fire team will form a V shape and the second fire team will form another V shape behind them walking in the same direction. The wedge gives you great Flank and front security, but still limited rear security.

The biggest and most important thing your team needs to practice and learn is how to get on line. Whenever you encounter an attack this is always the first step to reaction, Getting On Line. This is where all your soldiers will run to the fire team leader or squad leader and get in a horizontal line together facing the enemy. This is now where the Squad leader is going to make the decision on what needs to be done, break contact or start a Squad Attack. Having all his men in one large line getting in the prone or taking cover and returning fire to the enemy lets him gauge the situation at hand and then easily issue orders because everyone is right there.

Breaking Contact
After coming in contact the Squad leader will assess the situation and decide what needs to be done. In the US Military we use a 3:1 ratio. We will not attack unless we have 3 coalition to every 1 enemy we have come in contact with. So if the squad leader feels he does not have the firepower and manpower to defeat the enemy he may make the decision to break contact. One of the main methods of breaking contact is the Australian Peel. This is where you will bound backwards with your team taking turns laying suppressive fire down on the enemy. As one guy runs backwards everyone is firing to the enemy, once he gets behind everyone and lays down and starts to fire himself, the next guy starts to retreat backwards and goes behind him. This is designed to have the team suppress the enemy as they pull back.

Do not look at breaking contact as retreating, later on we will explain how to do a baited ambush or diversion attack in which you can use the breaking contact as a trap for your enemy. This just means you want to pull back for a bit and give you Team leaders and Squad leader the ability to possibly formulate a new plan.

Squad Attack
On the other end of the spectrum is the basic squad attack move. When the squad leader decides it is time to go after the enemy and attack them he can use the basic squad attack method. This should start with the whole squad on line suppressing the enemy. One fire team will stay on line facing the enemy and continuing to fire at them in hopes to keep their heads down and their attention drawn. The second fire team will then get up and sprint to the enemy’s flanks either right or left, and then get on line as well. So now you have an “L” shape of fire being thrown at the enemy. If you outnumber your enemy this quickly overwhelms them and you will see if properly executed is very successful.

There is a ton of detail that goes into these moves but these are the brief and general breakdowns in attempt to try and get the basics drilled in and laid down.


Stopping in a Hostile Area
If you are behind your opponent’s lines and you are in a danger area of being found or ambushed and need to stop for whatever reason you need to know how to be secure when you stop. The main and easiest means of having a secure stop, is a tight 360. Make sure all your guys form a circle facing out while your squad leader and fire team leaders meet in the middle of the circle. You don’t want to leave any portion uncovered and let someone sneak up on your team because you had your backs to them.

Okay now that we have some basic movement techniques and organization to the team we can start getting down right sneaky with some very fun and cool tricks to play on your opponents.

Ambushes & Counter-Ambushes
We'll now talk about ambushes and counter-ambushes. As with all of our tactics, there are as many ways to conduct them as there are people out there, so take what you want from them, and through the rest away. We're merely listing out the concepts, if you will, that have worked for us in the past, successfully. We’ll be discussing, and diagramming, different types of ambushing techniques and counter-ambushing techniques throughout this article; so with the introduction out of the way, let’s jump right into the topic.

Classic “Linear” Ambush:

The classic “linear” ambush is a quick, easy, and effective ambushing technique; not many people are required for this type of ambush, and it can be set up rather quickly. As you can see in the photo above, the blue team has set up along a road, trail, etc and have waited until the enemy force, the black team, has crossed into their fields of fire.

Some things you’ll want to keep in mind: if possible, you want to have some kind of rear-guard to cover the team’s flank in case of enemy scouts, or in case the enemy doesn’t take the path that your team believes it is going to take. Also, the last guy in the ambushing team (in our example, it would be the far-left blue teammate) and the point-man (far-right blue teammate) should initiate the ambush once given a signal by the team-lead. Why the rear-guard and the point-man? Think of it as two walls closing in on the black team. If you cut off the way they came from and the way they are advancing, the black team is pretty much stuck for a few seconds; during those few seconds, the entire blue team opens up on them and can quickly eliminate them – simple, yet if done right, highly effective.

Where can this ambush be set up? Practically anywhere – ambushes don’t always have to be set up on a road, trail, etc – although, those are the best options in most circumstances. As long as your team has more cover then the enemy and can get a good field of fire on the enemy, then you are good to go. One thing to keep in mind when picking an ambushing spot – a good military friend of mine used to tell me, “If the enemy can’t get into your location, then you’ll, also, have a hard time getting out.” The point of that – don’t pick a location that you and your team can’t easily get out of. Lastly, people…most players out there are LAZY. After a few hours in the woods or desert, a good number of them get lazy and don’t remain focused; they see a trail that could take them to the next objective or whatnot, and they take it. Bingo – all your team has to do is get into the right position along the trail, and you should be good to go. Oh – and as a reminder…don’t become lazy; it’s a fast-track to getting spotted or killed.

Counter-Ambush to the “Linear” Ambush:

Now for a QRD (Quick-Reaction-Drill) for the “Linear” ambush. Alright, your team just got ambushed...what are you going to do? Well the first thing the TL (Team-Leader) should have done before the mission started was to have a QRD procedure if an ambush was to happen to his team. One of the best bets that your team will come out alive is to have a good QRD – that and mental toughness.

One way to do it is the Australian Center-Peel. It’s a successfully and fast drill that gets your team out of a bad situation in little to no time. Here's the layout so you can see how this type of reaction is done.

You’re team needs to be in a “zig-zag” formation – basically like a long chain of “Z’s”. Note – completing an Australian Center-Peel is somewhat difficult when being ambushed in the “Linear” formation, but it works flawlessly if you and your teammates are in sync.

Ok – your team is patrolling. All is quiet – then “crack-crack” – contact is made. In this situation, we’ll say that the ambushing team had bad aim and didn’t hit their targets. The red, blue, and green units fire together (see photo above ); after a few rounds, the red unit pulls back through the center of the team and sets up back behind the black unit – far enough away so he can continue to provide suffice fire-power. The green unit then pulls back, taps the blue unit on the shoulder letting him know he’s the “last-man”, and circles around behind the brown unit. Then the blue unit turns 180 degrees, taps the brown unit on the shoulder, and heads back down the center of the formation. Lastly, the brown unit turns 180 degrees, taps the black unit on the shoulder, and goes down the center of the formation – the entire cycle is then repeated over until contact is broken with the enemy.

A couple of tips – once tapped on the shoulder, usually you fire a complete magazine down range. That way, when falling-back via the center of the formation, you can swap out magazines and get back into the fight by the time you get to your next location. Second, the Australian Center-Peel is hard to do when being attacked in the “Linear” ambush technique, but we’ll show you how it is works better in other ambush techniques; and when we say “harder”, I mean communication-wise. Each teammate has to know who goes first and has to react very quickly – in any of these counter-ambush techniques, your team needs to react quickly.

Traditional “L-Shape” Ambush:

The classic “L-Shape” ambush formation works great. It’s better to have more men, but if you squad is small, it’s still doable. Basically, you want to have the long-leg of the “L” along the main location that the enemy will be traveling; the short-leg of the “L” is set up directly in front of the enemy – this way, you’ll catch the enemy from two separate directions without having to worry about friendly-fire. This type of ambush is by far one of the most effective that I’ve used; also, with any ambush, be very aggressive. The more sound, fire-power, etc that you can make to create more confusion, the better your chances of winning the fight. Use whatever you’ve got – sound devices, airsoft grenades/mines, your voice – seriously! One of the best tools you can use is free – your mouth. Yell, scream, do whatever you can to create chaos for the enemy. The more time the enemy is confused, the more time you and your team will have to place accurate fire-power on them.

Counter-Ambush to the “L-Shape” Ambush:

Here, the Australian Center-Peel works very well. Note – We have the ambushed team falling back directly from where they came from – what’s wrong with that? You’re correct if you answered, “Hey, they are still in ambushing team’s trap.” Right - even though they are falling back, the long-leg of the “L” is still in close contact; a better fall-back route is shifted about 45 degrees to their left (45 degrees to their right from looking at the photo above); that way, they are falling back from the entire ambush team and not just part of them.

Anyways, the point-man fires a complete magazine once contact is made, falls-back via the center of the formation, taps the red unit on the shoulder as a sign of “last-man”, and sets up shop behind the green unit. The red unit finishes what is left of his magazine, falls back via the center, taps the grey unit on the shoulder, and sets up behind the black unit. This cycle is repeated down through the team and over and over again until your team is safe from enemy contact.

“V-Shape” Ambush:

The “V-Shape” ambush is also just effective as the “L-Shape” technique; as you can see from the photo above, your team encloses the enemy team in a “V-Shape.” Simple put, once the signal from the TL has been given, your team opens fire on the enemy catching them in the “V” shape.

Yet the trick is that the enemy can break through at the neck of the “V” – the weakest point – i.e. the least amount of combined fire-power. As most of you know, conventional military units are told to take the offense when ambushed – instead of falling back, they are taught to focus their fire- power on the center of the ambushing force and break through using superior fire power/suppression. It’s not a bad idea – take the fight to the enemy, but with milsim airsoft, usually we are dealing with small teams of five-ten members per unit; either falling back (I.E. Special Operations/Recon units’ procedure) or taking the fight to the enemy can work for the ambushed team.

From our experience with this type of ambush, it’s been 50/50, and it all depends on how well your team communicates and operates with each other. The times that it has succeeded, it went very well, was lighting fast, and shocked the hell out of the opposing force; the times it hasn’t...well, let’s just say that it wasn’t pretty.
Counter-Ambush to the “V-Shape” Ambush:

For this counter-ambush section, no diagrams are needed – or ones that we haven’t already shown. There are two main QRD that work well in this situation, and they are both very simple; one, use the Australian Center-Peel and haul ass out of the ambush location – this I would not recommend that much in this situation, though. Why? Because your entire team has to turn tail and fall back through enemy fire by the ambushing team in the “V-Shape”. Second, and what I suggest doing if you get caught in a “V-Shape” ambush, is to forge on through the center of the ambushing force – use speed, suppressive fire, and aggression to gain the advantage and win the fight – turn a typical defensive strategy into an offensive one. All your team needs to do is to keep moving and always firing – in a sense, it’s like a reversed Australian Center-Peel. Either way, one of your best bets in any fight is mental toughness – always value living more then, “Oh well – I’ll only have to respawn and start over.” Having the right kind of mindset is a key advantage in any fight – get your “Type A” personality on.

“Dual Linear” Ambush:

Now for a little twist on the classic “Linear” ambush technique –the “Dual Linear.” Some of you may have been wondering, “Why not set up two teams across from each other and catch the enemy squad in a crossfire/broadside?” Well, common logic tells you (or it should…) that, unless the enemy is in a valley and your two teams are on hills firing down, friendly-fire is likely to happen – i.e. not good; in airsoft, you’ll have pissed teammates while the still-alive enemy laughs, but in real life, your best friend of six years is now dead.

Anyways, the “Dual-Linear” is a modified broadsides ambushing technique. As you can see in the photo on the page above, the enemy squad passes the first ambush team on the right (from looking at the photo); the second ambush team on the left waits until the enemy enters the team’s field of fire and then opens up on them. The ambushed team will usually fall back in some sort of fashion, and that is when the other ambush team on the right comes in. While the enemy is falling back and trying to get fire on the primary ambushing team, the secondary ambush team waits until they arrive in their fire sectors – once the enemy gets in the team’s fire-zone, open up and finish them off. Again, this technique is very simple and easy to set up and is one of the most effective ways to take down a squad.

Now – back to the tactical aspect of this method. Alright, the enemy is retreating, and all of a sudden, the secondary team opens fire on them; now they are really caught off guard – two different enemies from two different directions. What I suggest is that the primary ambushing team – the one the initiated contact first – circles around and turns the “Dual-Linear” into an “L-Shape” ambush. See the photo on the page below; once your team is in position, open up fire on the enemy again, thus eliminating them for good.

But what if the enemy doesn’t retreat and takes the fight to the primary ambushing team? Or what if the enemy falls back directly across from the primary team (to the right on the picture two pages above)?

For the first question, one possibility is for the secondary ambushing team to turn the “Dual-Linear” into an “L-Shape” ambush by moving to their left (from looking at the photo).

For the second question, another possibility is, again, to turn the “Dual-Linear” into a “L-Shape” ambush by having the primary team focusing their fire on the retreating enemy, directly across from them; while the secondary ambushing team turns their field of fire downwards (from looking at the photo) onto the enemy.

For any ambush, there are a number of different possible scenarios that your team and/or the enemy team can, and will, do. The best tip I can give you is to have a general plan in mind, but always be ready to adapt to a new situation that your team hasn’t planned for. Also – communication is vital.

Counter-Ambush to the “Dual Linear” Ambush:

There’s really nothing new that I’ll discuss that I haven’t already done before for other counter-ambushing methods; but one idea that stands out in my mind, and has worked a few times, is to take the fight to the enemy when ambushed in the “Dual-Linear” type. Unless the ambushing force has a large number of people in it, then, usually, each ambushing unit (primary and secondary) would be half the strength of a normal ambushing force – i.e. split one team into two smaller ones. If that’s the case, then your team will have more members then either one of the ambushing teams, and there’s a good possibility that your team can take the fight to one of the ambushing units and win; or at least get out of there alive and take out some of the bad guys at the same time.

You’ll just have to remember that, somewhere, there is a secondary team that can reinitiate the ambush if they get into the right position – keep that in mind.

I hope you all have liked our brief look into different methods for ambushing and counter-ambushing tactics. Take some of these methods and apply them to your team – have a general plan, rehearse, and also be able to adapt to new situations when they arise. Until next time – have a good one and be smart out there on the field.

Tips For Clearing a Room
In airsoft battles, you may encounter separate rooms that may have enemy soldiers in them. These enemies may be sniping from a window or just waiting around the corner for you to come in. It is important to be able to safely enter that room and neutralize your enemy before he gets to you. There are many ways to do this. Here are some tips for safely clearing out a room.

If you are working with a teammate or many teammates in your airsoft team, they should be supplying cover fire for you in all directions. Before you enter the room, stop and listen for enemy activity in there. Quickly open the door and begin your attack. You should have a strategy worked out before hand. You need to know who is going to take what direction and what weapon will be the most appropriate.

Airsoft M203 grenade launchers can be very effective at neutralizing multiple enemies. These attach to almost any M4 or M16 Airsoft Rifle. The grenade shells can launch 18 to 168 airsoft bb's in one shot. The actual grenade never leaves the launcher. These grenade shells are powered by green gas. You should burst into the room and fire the grenade in the direction of the highest concentration of enemy soldiers. You can also use a window if there is one.

An airsoft grenade such as the ICS or Deep Fire Grenade Launcher are very useful for clearing out a room. Crack the door and roll one of these in and your sure to get a kill or two. Imagine that there is an airsoft sniper up in a second floor room shooting out of the window and you can't shoot him. Toss an airsoft grenade up there and light him up! Some airsoft grenades have powder packs in them. The powder acts as smoke and can confuse the enemy while you are laying heavy fire into them and they can't see you. You can also consider Airsoft Flash Bangs, these are a great distraction device.

Landmines and claymore are a great trick to picking off the enemy as they enter or leave a room. Set up a claymore at the door. Throw a powder grenade in the room through a window and force the enemy out. When they leave, the claymore will blast 100 bb's at them. This technique works like a charm.




Intro to Sniper Roles
Sniping is an art and should not be thought of any other way. This is not a glorified job. Sniping is a profession and we have communities for our profession. The biggest thing that sets The US military trained sniper apart from the rest of the world is that we have the best sniper schools in the world...from entry level to our most advanced schools. It takes a special person to want to be apart of this community, for it is not a profession that is smiled on. If you are doing you job correctly then no-one; and I mean no-one will ever know that you were there, but if you make a mistake, the BS starts, and everyone has an "expert opinion" about your profession. With that being said: don’t screw the pooch and you will never have to answer for a dumb mistake.

"What is a sniper?" you ask yourself. Many folks may have an answer to this question, but not necessarily the right answer.
Allow me to give you a little history behind the sniper. The term SNIPER comes for a little bird in Africa called a snipe, (yes, this true. For most of us that have grown up in the country remember taking our friends snipe hunting. And, if you don’t know this game ask someone who does and he or she will teach you... I am sure of it). The snipe was a little ground bird that ran very quickly across the earth. Those who could identify and shoot this fast little bird were given the title "sniper".
Another time in history where the sniper had made his mark was during our Civil War between the Union forces of the United States and the Confederate Force of the south. Both sides used them very well, the Union had an organization know as the United States Sharp Shooters(USSS). If ever you have the opportunity to visit a civil war cemetery and you see this on a head stone, this is what it means. The Confederate Army of the south employed snipers just as well, some of the biggest kills during the war from both sides were done by snipers. To be a sharpshooter one had to try out and place 10 shots into a 12" pie pan at 200yds. With the weapons of the era this was a task all in itself!

The mission of the sniper is simple: deliver long precision rifle fire at , key targets, select targets, targets of opportunity, and to gain battle information for further ground combat operations. 98 % of the snipers mission is surveillance and reconnaissance and only about 2% doing direct target interdictions(shooting).
The snipers specialized skillset includes camouflage, marksmanship, and surveillance. Today I would like to discuss the factors to camouflage with you and explain how basic and easy it can be!

Skillful camouflage techniques can not only determine the success of a snipers' mission, but whether the sniper lives or dies. Snipers have outstanding marksmanship skills which are honed through schools and know-how with much formalized training in the craft. However, his camouflage and concealment is solely up to his imagination. Knowledge of camouflage allows the sniper to carry out his target mission rather then becoming a target himself. The sniper must conceal himself, equipment and his position. This not only applies at all times while moving to the ORP and hide position. but sometimes more importantly when exiting enemy territory and entering friendly lines.

To master camouflage, the sniper must first understand target indicators. Target indicators are certain actions, or lack of other actions that determine whether or not a friendly or enemy soldier is detected. A sniper team must know and understand what target indicators are in order to remain undetected when moving or operating in a hide position. Knowledge of target indicators is also used by the sniper team to detect the enemy

This indicator is particularly noticeable in the dark. Although some sounds, including certain sounds of movement, might be dismissed as natural, other sounds of movement, such as the rattling of equipment, and talking, are distinctly unnatural.

This indicator requires sufficient light. The human eye is attracted to movement, and it detects quick or jerky movements more easily than it does slow movements.

Reflections (shiny facial planes or inanimate surfaces), outlines, and shapes that contrast with their backgrounds draw certain attention to a position

The sudden flight of birds, the abrupt cessation of animal sounds, or the fearful reaction of animals to unknown stimuli will draw the enemy's attention and can compromise the sniper.

A sniper must use three basic methods utilizing proper camouflage. They are HIDING, BLENDING, and DECEIVING. Hiding is when the sniper places him behind any obstruction that hides him and his equipment from the target. Blending is used when a sniper is within the surroundings and using tactics to avoid visual detection. Deceiving is when the sniper draws the enemy to a false position.

There two types of camouflage NATURAL and ARTIFICIAL.
Natural camouflage is when the sniper uses that vegetation and his surroundings Be sure to use to proper camouflage! For example, if in a position for a long period of time you should change out the natural vegetation that you have used, for it will slowly die and change colors which would lead to visual detection by the enemy.

Team members use materials or substances produced for the purpose of concealing with color or coverage. Examples include camouflage sticks or face paints, nets or veils with which members can cover all of their exposed skin such as their faces, hands, and the backs of their necks. When using camouflage sticks or face paints they lighten the shadowed parts of their faces and darken the shiny parts. They can use stripes, blotches, or a combination of both depending on the local terrain:

A sniper is a master at camouflage and deception of the enemy.
This is what I like to call sniper "arts and crafts". We pride ourselves in being able to stay concealed while the enemy operates all around our positions. As I said earlier: 98% of the sniper's mission is reconnaissance and surveillance. It is paramount that a sniper uses all natural and artificial camouflage to keep himself hidden from the enemy, because his whole mission may depend on it.

One of the biggest thing to remember is that as a sniper you are only a small instrument used in the big battle. Having said that, you are an important asset by virtue of being the eyes and ears of the mission.
Another point is that your discipline is what makes the mission. Discipline is probably a snipers' most important tool. Discipline to stay focused at your task and not trying to glorify the job are what are important.

During Sniper school stalking exercises are practiced starting with concealment exercises first. This is were the sniper builds a good position using camouflage to the best of his ability, and then the observer burns his area, and tells him exactly what he sees, this, however, is not for a record, but to allow the sniper to understand the proper use of his camouflage and concealment.

One of the biggest problems I have seen with young snipers is that they do not understand how to use the vegetation around them. A vegetation block is defined as placing vegetation between you and your target.

It is a lot easier to burn out of a veg block than it is to see into it from a distance. This is were deception applies, by making the enemy thinking you are in a different position than you really are. When you view something with Binoculars you loose your depth perception. This helps the sniper, for it is very difficult to see through vegetation at great distances.

The sniper wants to look as much like the environment as he can. If you can’t do this, standoff is the next best thing. A lot of young snipers think that you have to be up into their veg block and this is very wrong. Even if you are using a ghillie suit, the ghillie is not natural, and with a trained observer he will notice this big blob of ghillie crap where it does not belong in the environment.

You have to remember that the ghillie suit is only a tool, and not cloaking device! Many folks think that you are invisible if you wear a ghillie, but actually it can hinder you more than help you if you do not know how to properly use it.

The ghillie can be an outstanding tool. When used right, can conceal you a great deal from the enemy. When constructing a ghillie there are many different ways to do it and you should find the one that best meets your mission. One thing to remember is; “always start light in color, because you can always go darker, but if you start dark you can never go lighter.”

I do believe that a one piece ghillie is probably more feasible than a two piece. You can construct a one piece out of a night desert smock, which is what I have been using for years. It is meant to be worn over your regular uniform so it’s big enough to make it over your KIT, and comes with a hood that makes a great veil. It is long enough to cover half way down your legs, now you can use your imagination for the rest, but I would recommend tie- in’s about 12” long every 1 to 2 inches for natural veg.

One of the biggest things I like to use in my ghillie is; “manila rope”. It is outstanding when you uncoil it, and strip it. When you tie this in, it looks natural and moves the same way when the wind blows across it. Again your ghillie construction is a part of the "Sniper’s arts and crafts" that I speak about. Remember: a sniper is a master of his world and all those tools he uses to accomplish his mission.

On to "stand-off"

Stand-off refers to not crawling all the way up into your veg-block, once you have found a FFL or FFP (final firing line or position). Stop and asses your situation. Use your optics to burn thru the vegetation. Once you can see the target area you are golden. It does not have to be in great vision at this point; we will soon address that.

Make sure that you have a nice set of shears so you can cut into your veg-block until there is only a front to the block. Remember to take into account your lighting considerations and shadows behind you. Once you have cut into the block, back off of it a little and re-acquire your target again, you should have great vision and you are burning thru a little vegetation rather then a lot, and those observing you must look through it all to find you. Using depth and color, you are creating an optical illusion.

You should always wear your KIT under your ghillie. I suggest that you make pockets in side of your suit so if there are items that you need to quickly get to, you can reach them. If you decide to put any pockets on the inside or outside, I suggest at least two, one which should be for your cutting shears (remember to tie these off to you so you don’t lose them....I am telling you that because it happened to me). Make a big enough tie off that you can work with those shears and then roll it up and PUT THEM AWAY.

This brings up another debate, Velcro pockets or buttons? I always have used buttons and probably always will, for there is no sound with buttons and hook pile tape has a tendency to collect crap in it. The other pocket should be for some type of optics. I use an 8 to 10 power monocular. It is small and easy to use. I prefer the monocular for it gives you the same field of view as you rifle scope, so if you can burn thru that veg-bloc with it then you will have no problem with your rifle scope.

I understand with milsim AIRSOFT that our range is limited, so you need to hone your movement skills in order to stalk up on your targets, and this is something that needs to be practiced a lot. Sound and improper camouflage are the 2 biggest target identifiers. Remember, a good sniper’s movement is measured in inches and not feet.

You must be very deliberate when moving within such close proximity of the enemy. When close to the opponent, sound will be your biggest enemy. If you are lucky. there will be a lot of activity going on at the OBJ... but still consider your movement and try to be as deliberate as possible. One thing to remember is "always keep some type of veg-bloc between you and the OBJ, that way it will always screen your movement". You can also use the sound of the enemy to guide you to your FFP.

Your movement is key to your success. Movement techniques need to be practiced. would recommend that you find a route to the target that will not cause a lot of sound. When traveling in open areas you need to have extra discipline. If you are in a dry leaved area or pine needles there must be trees, so use them to block, this what we call a tree stalk, line trees up in an row that screen you from the enemy. This is one way that you can establish an FFP as well.

Another thing: don’t get into the mind set that you have to shoot from the prone all of the time! If you learn to stalk properly and use the terrain and vegetation to your advantage you can do a lot of engaging from different positions. I know I reference a lot to your skill at stalking...a lot of you probably would like me to explain the proper movement and stalking techniques, but there is no right or wrong way to do it.

Stalking is something you must practice, but I can tell you this, once you learn how to stalk you will never forget it.

Here is a stalking exercise, and is pretty much the same one that I did when I was a student and an Instructor. You and your teammates find a good area to stalk, with vegetation, and at one end set up a table for the observer. Now, one the observer is set, he can not move the table, (it would better if you could elevate the table into a truck bed or something to give the observer a full field of view). Remember this is not supposed to be easy for you. The harder you train, the easier it will be once you do it for real.

Be mindful of your weapons' max range and what the max effective range is. This range (max effective) is where you want to shoot from so you can score a first round hit! The old axiom “One shot one kill” comes to mind here.

Have your other teammates walk the lane with some type of radios so they can talk to the observer The walkers are not to hurt you. They play no role but to walk where the observer tells them to. They are not to give the observer hints to where you are EVER. That would be completely counterproductive to the exercise.

When you reach your start point, I recommend at least a 500 meter stalk to start with. Take so time to camo up and then let the observer know when you are ready to move. Once the observer is ready he will tell you to move and set a time limit on the stalk. For example, at the school house we had 3 hours to make your first shot.

As you move to the target the observer will be scanning the area with some binoculars (I recommend about 8 to 10 power only). As the observer sees something in the lane, he should direct the walkers or every one who is stalking freeze, then the observer will move the walker to what he is seeing. The observer then gives the walker commands over the radio trying to walk him right to the sniper. When the observer thinks he is on the sniper, he will call out; “sniper at your feet” and if the walker can reach down and touch any part of the sniper including his gear, he is busted. If there is nothing there the observer gives the “continue to move” command and everyone continues to move.

Once the sniper has reached the FFP and shot the first shot, the observer will walk the walker close to the snipers' location and give the command “go within 10”. This means the walker is within ten feet of the sniper. The observer burns that area looking for the sniper, if he can not see anything after a couple of minutes, the walker ins instructed to move within 5 feet of the sniper. Once within 5 feet the observer will watch you as you fire your second shot.

At the school you are being observed while you have to reload and fire but for you, it is just fire, so if you can come up with a technique that will allow you to reload under observation it will help you hone your skills even more. After you take your second shot and with the muzzle velocity of your weapon the observer should not bust you out for your BB but for improper camo.

Once the sniper has taken a second shot have the walker touch him on the head so the observer in the truck can see the sniper's position and describe what he sees.

This, my friends, is a real basic sniper stalk and should be helpful. However, do not limit yourself to just grass stalks, do all kind of stalks! You never know what environment you may find yourself playing in .