In the recent ‘Perimeter Security: Use of an Obstacle Plan‘ article there was some discussion in the thread (on the MVT Forum) about the numbers required to secure / defend a retreat location. Like many tactical questions, the answer is “it depends” but we do cover this in detail on classes such as the HEAT 2 (formerly Combat Patrol) class. There, we talk about how you could create a rotation with trained fighters, and the numbers that you would need to make that possible. Each small team element rotating through roles such as patrol, quick reaction force (QRF), security (sentry or observation post) and rest. This is of course mainly talking about the trained ‘shooters’ that hopefully you have available, not the totality of people at that location. Thus, this is a solution that derives from military experience and training. As such, D Close writes in the forum thread:
The most valuable resource in this topic are trained shooters, working as a team. This should put to bed the notion of the porch-sniper-homesteader being in any way a viable option.
Max mentions the need to identify key terrain. Anyone who has taken the Force on Force class or similar, knows how this determines outcome to a large extent. If you’ve lost the high ground, you’ve in all likelihood lost the battle.
I liked the point about keeping obstacles under observation. That seems to be a manpower intensive exercise that most are not prepared for. My question is, how many? I realize without specifics this is impossible to answer, so I would post assumptions. A five acre lot, roughly square, with a secondary paved road on one side and a mix of fields and wooded on all others. Say one other side of the property allows approach by vehicle through a field while two other sides allow concealment. A single family house sits back from the road but well within small arms range. How many shooters, would be needed to secure such an area? Given: a threat of roving gangs and thieves, not military or rogue LE and a weapon threat of semi-auto rifles. What kind of watch/patrol schedule is desired? How big a QRF would be recommended? What would those patrols look like?
The question that he asked can, and have been, answered. We can tell you all day what a security rotation would look like at any given location, how you would rotate groups through the various duties, the sort of numbers that you would need, and all that.
But what if you do not have that?
The rest of the article is on the MVT Forum, along with a lot more information, and troll free rational discussion.