Force on Force Team Tactics October 1-2 2016 Student Review: Mike


Force on Force Team Tactics October 1-2 2016 Review: Mike

This was my second time taking the Force on Force Team Tactics class offered by MVT. I had a blast. The class was full with 18 students and two instructors (cadre). Over half of the class was a single group from the Florida, Georgia area; AKA “The Swampdogs”. The rest of the class was made up of other MVT alumni from all over the East Coast – plus one ex-Canadian! (You know who you are EH!)

This was the second time the class was run and it had improved greatly since the first iteration. This is one of the things I love the most about MVT – it’s always evolving!


The format for the class was as follows:

Day one started with admin (distribution of ammo, loading of mags, safety brief, etc.) It was then followed by about an hour of refresher instruction in SUT movements. (i.e. bounding forward, bounding back, peel right, peel left, etc.) Basic hand signals were also covered as well. Then we headed into the hills for two scenarios before lunch. Followed by 2-4 scenarios after lunch. Each scenario was a capture flag style game. Each squad (Swampdogs vs. Deplorables) started at separate locations; 300 to 400 yards apart, as the crow flies. However, as the crow flies is drastically different than what we get to deal with at ground level.

Each squad was split into two teams of 4 with an additional squad leader. Each 4 man team placed one of its members as a team leader. Each team leader and squad leader received a map. No input was received from the cadre during this phase. Each squad and team leader came up with their own plan and executed it. Once each squad was ready the signal was given and the two squads began the exercise. Each cadre followed their squad to watch the action unfold and could therefore critique after the scenario ended.

At the end of each scenario the cadre ran through what each saw from their point of view. They gave credit to those who did well and pointers to those who needed it. No one had their feelings hurt because of the corrections given by the cadre. Every correction was done in a professional manner with a few jokes thrown into the mix. Every correction was based upon real world experience. For example – when I was squad leader I placed myself too far away from each team and was easily recognizable by the opposition. According to the cadre “ was the first guy they’d shoot!”


Day two started out with two scenarios of 13 attackers hitting a base filled with 5 defenders. The attackers were broken into 3 teams of 4 and one squad leader. This scenario was a blast. After lunch we played 2-3 more scenarios just like we did on day one.

Everyone performed much better on day two. Some were tired but the knowledge gained from just one day of FoF garnered a lot of experience. Some of the dumber actions which occurred on day one were not repeated on day two.

A lot of people may look at this class and think “Hey this is just paintball with AR’s”. Well I’ve played paintball for years and this is nothing like a paintball game. No paintball game actually uses tactics. The only ones which come close are speedball games and those players go through 1000 rounds a game and are shooting at each other immediately. This class uses only SUT. Never once did anyone not use SUT. It just doesn’t work very well. You have a very limited number of rounds for the entire weekend. You tend to get thrifty with the rounds – just like you would in real life should you ever go “hot”. In fact, there were several games I didn’t fire any shots or no more than half a mag. (Those games I was either a squad leader, or died quickly).


Some lessons learned were as follows:

  1. Try and avoid franken guns – several of these went down continuously all weekend. Luckily several people brought spares and could loan them out.
  2. Plates are good to run – I died once where plates would have “saved” me.
  3. Bring your own protective face mask, goggles, etc.
    • Goggles fogged up because of temperature and humidity. – come up with a way to reduce that.
    • Practice sighting your rifle with the protective gear on. – I run an ACOG and I had to cant my rifle about 30 degrees to see through the scope.
  4. No plan survives “CONTACT!”. Being able to adapt to a situation is key. Fighting with a buddy you are familiar with is so much easier than someone you just met.
  5. Volunteer to be a squad and team leader. Even if you think you’ll suck at it. DO IT! It’s the only way to learn.
  6. If using radios, make sure they work and your teammates can hear you.

I have two bruises from the weekend – one on my knee where I wacked a tree root and one on my back (had I been wearing my plates – I would not have that bruise) I’ve had far worse bruises playing paintball.

I’m taking this class again in November and every chance I can. Making Ivan go down is fun and all but when someone is shooting back at you is the best way to learn. Cover versus concealment are drastically different when rounds are zipping at you.