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Advanced Tactics and Complex Strategy
By /* Buttars */
Planning and executing strong, well thought out, strategy and advanced tactics to overthrow the enemy. An in depth advanced guide to real life strategy and how to apply that to Squad gameplay.
This guide is going to go in depth on real military strategies and how to apply them to Squad.

Although this tutorial is not going to go too indepth about specific maps, areas, ext.

Simply, this is an advanced strategy guide on how to take the Squad Leader roll to the next level, it's not going to go too Squad Game specifics but it will be addressed.

This is a work in progress, so take everything with a pinch of salt and make sure you post comments about how to improve this guide! :D

DISCLAIMER: If you don't want to go overboard or overcomplicate things with understanding strategy and tactics, than just skip to the "Squad Specifics" section and read there.
General Tactics
General tactics are very broad and nonspecific but extremely important in battle, large or small scale.

Fire Attacks- reconnaissance by fire is used by apprehensive soldiers when they suspect the enemy is nearby.
  • Used to gain information when enemy's location is unknown.
  • Use small teams of recon units(or a small fireteam branched off the unit) to keep the main forces location unknown.

Force Concentration-the practice of concentrating a military force against a portion of an enemy force
  • Small Scale-Placing units around the enemy to ensure control of an enemy force and their power.
  • Large Scale-Keeps the friendly force directed at the enemy.
  • Sun Tzu emphasises on having the ability to control as much area with the least amount of people.

Reconnaissance-a mission to obtain information by visual observation or other detection methods, about the activities and resources of the enemy or potential enemy, or about the meteorologic, hydrographic, or geographic characteristics of a particular area.
  • Information is key to winning any battle
  • Gaining information should be one of the main priorities to any leader.
  • Organising small units to move undetected to report back is a necessity.

General tactics conclusion:
Information is what wins wars. As a squad leader, the duty of gaining information is essential. Apply the tactics where applicable and the battlefield will be yours.
Small Unit Tactics
Small Unit Tactics apply to infantry when dealing with enemy contact.

Individual Movement

Fire and movement
(also known as leapfrogging) – working in 'fire teams', one team attempts to suppress the enemy while the other moves either toward the enemy or to a more favourable position.
Basic drill
a standard drill that all individual soldiers are supposed to perform if they come under fire.
Contact drill
a sub drill to a basic drill, extremely similar but instead of taking the contact, the team breaks contact and moves off.
Immediate ambush drill
a drill that simulates what the team and individual soldiers should do when coming under fire from an ambush

In Squad, drills are not common practice, speak to your squad about what they should do if these instances occur and their duties that follow.

Common Engagement Tactics

Infiltration tactics-involves small, lightly equipped infantry forces attacking enemy rear areas while bypassing enemy front line strongpoints and isolating them for attack by follow-up troops with heavier weapons.(Keeping undetected is key)

Marching fire- a form of suppressive fire used during an infantry assault or combined arms assault. Advancing units fire their weapons without stopping to aim, in an attempt to pin down enemy defenders. Please never do this is Squad, you still be gunned down by contacts better positions. Rather use the more modern version of this, the Overwatch and bounding overwatch tactics.

Overwatch, Bounding Overwatch and Center peel-
Overwatch is a force protection tactic: the state of one small unit or military vehicle supporting another unit, while they are executing fire and movement tactics.

Bounding Overwatch-alternating movement of coordinated units to allow, if necessary, suppressive fire in support of offensive forward movement or defensive disengagement


Center Peel-or simply "Peel" for short is a type of retreat practiced by modern-day infantry.[1] This particular tactic is more specifically designed for situations where smaller groups of infantry withdraw from an engagement of a much larger force.

-Notice how always have fire down range, someone is always shooting.


Patrolling is a military tactic where small groups or individual units are deployed from a larger formation to achieve a specific objective and then return.
There are many different types of patrols that vary for the mission.

Patrol type
Combat Patrol
a group with sufficient size (usually platoon or company) and resources to raid or ambush a specific enemy. It primarily differs from an attack in that the aim is not to hold ground.
Clearing Patrol
a brief patrol around a newly occupied defensive position in order to ensure that the immediate area is secure. Clearing patrols are often undertaken on the occupation of a location, and during stand to in the transition from night to day routine and vice versa.
Standing Patrol
usually small (half section/section) static patrols intended to provide early warning, security or to guard some geographical feature, such as dead ground.
Reconnaissance (Recce) Patrol
usually small whose main mission is the gathering of information. Generally speaking recce patrols tend to avoid contact, although it is not completely unknown for recon patrols to "fight for information".
Screening Patrol
combines a number of patrols to 'screen' a large area. This type of patrol is used by armored formations in desert theaters, and also by ground troops operating in urban areas. A screen is generally composed of a number of static observation posts.]

Patrols are also uncommon in Squad because it's extremly fast paced gameplay and movement but still can be used to your advantage instead of just blindly sitting in an objective.


An ambush is a long-established military tactic in which combatants take advantage of concealment and the element of surprise to attack unsuspecting enemy combatants from concealed positions, such as among dense underbrush or behind hilltops.

Ambushes are complex and have to be planned very carefully. The steps necessary to creating a successful ambush are...

  1. Find a suitable kill zone-the place where the ambush will be laid
  2. Identify aspects of the environment that can be used to gain an advantage
  3. Execute and extract

Ambushes can be described geometrically as:
  • Linear, when a number of firing units are equally distant from the linear kill zone.
  • L-shaped,when a short leg of firing units are placed to enfilade (fire the length of) the sides of the linear kill zone.
  • V-shaped,when the firing units are distant from the kill zone at the end where the enemy enters, so the firing units lay down bands of intersecting and interlocking fire. This ambush is normally triggered only when the enemy is well into the kill zone. The intersecting bands of fire prevent any attempt of moving out of the kill zone.

A few extra non-necessities that gain an advantage:
  • Observation Posts
  • Marksman
  • Explosives

Ambush units (based of the NVA/VC)
  • lead-blocking element
  • main-assault element
  • rear-blocking element
  • observation posts
  • command post
    -Other elements might also be included if the situation demanded, such as a sniper screen along a nearby avenue of approach to delay enemy reinforcement.

Command posts: When deploying into an ambush site, the NVA first occupied several observation posts, placed to detect the enemy as early as possible and to report on the formation it was using, its strength and firepower, as well as to provide early warning to the unit commander. The OP's were located so that they could observe enemy movement into the ambush and often they would remain in position throughout the ambush in order to report routes of reinforcement and withdrawal by the enemy as well as his maneuver options. Frequently the OP's were reinforced to squad size and served as flank security. The command post was situated in a central location, often on terrain which afforded it a vantage point overlooking the ambush site.

Recon methods: Recon elements observing a potential ambush target on the move generally stayed 300–500 meters away. Sometimes a "leapfrogging" recon technique was used. Surveillance units were echeloned one behind the other. As the enemy drew close to the first, it fell back behind the last recon team, leaving an advance group in its place. This one in turn fell back as the enemy again closed the gap, and the cycle rotated. This method helped keep the enemy under continuous observation from a variety of vantage points, and allowed the recon groups to cover one another.

Guerrilla warfare

My personal favorite, Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which a small group of combatants such as paramilitary personnel, armed civilians, or irregulars use military tactics including ambushes, sabotage, raids, petty warfare, hit-and-run tactics, and mobility to fight a larger and less-mobile traditional military.

The Seven Classical Maneuvers Of Warfare
  1. Penetration of the Center: This involves the creation of a gap in the enemy line and its exploitation. Two ways of accomplishing this are separating enemy forces and using a reserve to exploit the gap that forms between them (e.g. Battle of Chaeronea (338 BC), the first use of the penetration of the center) or having fast, elite forces smash at a specific point in the enemy line (an enemy weak spot or an area where your elites are at their best in striking power) and, while reserves and holding forces hold your opponent, drive quickly and immediately for the enemy's command or base (i.e., blitzkrieg).

  2. Attack from a defensive position: Establishing a strong defensive position from which to defend and attack your opponent. However, the defensive can become too passive and result in ultimate defeat (e.g., Siege of Alesia and the Battle of the Granicus).

  3. Single envelopment: A strong flank beating its opponent opposite and, with the aid of holding attacks, attack an opponent in the rear. Sometimes, the establishment of a strong, hidden force behind a weak flank will prevent your opponent from carrying out their own single envelopment (e.g., Battle of Rocroi).

    -Battle of Issus, a classic example of the single envelopment

  4. Double envelopment: Both flanks defeat their opponent opposite and launch a rear attack on the enemy center. Its most famous use was Hannibal's tactical masterpiece, the Battle of Cannae and was frequently used by the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front of World War II.

  5. Attack in Oblique order: This involves placing your flanks in a slanted fashion (refusing one's flank) or giving a vast part of your force to a single flank (e.g., Battle of Leuthen. The latter can be disastrous, however, due to the imbalance of force.

  6. Feigned Retreat: Having a frontal force fake a retreat, drawing the opponent in pursuit and then launching an assault with strong, hidden forces. If morale is not high enough, your feigned retreat may rapidly become a real one.

    -Battle of Maling, the earliest known use of the feigned retreat

  7. Indirect Approach: Having a minority of your force demonstrate in front of your opponent while the majority of your force advance from a hidden area and attack the enemy in the rear or flank (e.g., Battle of Chancellorsville).
General Tactical Formations
These are some good formations to know of the top of your head well enough to describe to someone who might not know what they are.

Column-A military column is a formation of soldiers marching together in one or more files in which the file is significantly longer than the width of ranks in the formation.

Line-Units form a horizontal line facing the enemy.(Used when max firepower is needed front)

Square-also known as a hollow square, is a combat formation an infantry unit forms in close order usually when threatened with cavalry attack(historical).

Flying Wedge- or more simply Wedge, units in a V-shaped arrangement.


Echelon Formation-formation in which its units are arranged diagonally.


Vic or Vee-close formation with the leader at the apex and the rest of the flight en echelon to left and right, the whole resembling the letter "V".

Staggered Column
-often used for walking along roads where squad members will walk in a zig-zag pattern.

Herringbone-the person at the front of the squad faces forward, while the rest of the squad lines up behind them, facing left and right, alternating as such. The final member of the squad in the herringbone formation faces backwards.

Offensive Tactics
There are an uncountable amount of Offensive Tactics so I'm only going to list the tactics that most fit the position of squad leader in Squad.

Base of fire
a supporting force that provides overwatch and covering fire to other advancing units while they are executing fire and movement tactics.
Flying wedge
A flying wedge (also called flying V or wedge formation, or simply wedge) is a configuration created from a body moving forward in a triangular formation. Diagram of the flying wedge[upload.wikimedia.org]
a military term for the situation when a force or target is isolated and surrounded by enemy forces.
Inverted wedge
The inverted wedge is a military formation resembling a "V" or inverted triangle, and is sometimes known as a "V-formation". In the inverted wedge, two units advance abreast of each other, and a third unit follows behind and between the two, in reserve. It is roughly the reverse of the flying wedge formation.
Frontal Assault
a direct, hostile movement of forces toward the front of an enemy force (as compared to the flanks or rear of the enemy). By targeting the enemy's front, the attackers are subjecting themselves to the maximum defensive power of the enemy. It is often a commander's last resort when he has run out of tactical options.
Pincer Movement/Double Envelopment
forces simultaneously attack both flanks (sides) of an enemy formation. The name comes from visualizing the action as the split attacking forces "pinching" the enemy. Pincer Movement Diagram[upload.wikimedia.org]
Flanking Maneuver
armed force around a flank to achieve an advantageous position over an enemy. Flanking Maneuver Diagram[upload.wikimedia.org]
a military blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by attrition or assault. The term derives from sedere, Latin for "to sit".
Defensive Tactics
Just like the offensive tactics, there are too many defensive tactics to list them all here, so I'll list only the tactics that are relevant.

There are some basic principles that need to be understood when defending and need to be considered when out in the field.

Basic Principles

Defence in depth- (also known as deep or elastic defence) is a military strategy that seeks to delay rather than prevent the advance of an attacker, buying time and causing additional casualties by yielding space. Rather than defeating an attacker with a single, strong defensive line, defence in depth relies on the tendency of an attack to lose momentum over time or as it covers a larger area.

Mutual support (e.g.,by crossfire)-by where two units are placed in two different areas to give different angles of fire while defending. These units (in theory) equally support each other in defending a position.

Echelon formation-is a (usually military) formation in which its units are arranged diagonally. Each unit is stationed behind and to the right (a "right echelon"), or behind and to the left ("left echelon"), of the unit ahead.

All round defence-all-around defense and perimeter defense are synonyms for one category of the (relative) positioning of defensive fighting positions that are supposed to give military units and sub-units the ability "to repel an attack from any direction by being organized or sited for all round defence". This defense can be used by military units from squad up.

Defensive Tactics

Fighting withdrawal
when withdrawing from a defense location, fighting while backing out.
the general objective is to negate or thwart the advantage gained by the enemy during attack, while the specific objectives typically seek to regain lost ground or destroy the attacking enemy.
Delaying defence
where the objective isn't necessarily to hold an area rather delay forward advancements of enemies.
Break contact
The platoon/squad leader directs one squad/fire team in contact to support the disengagement of the remainder of the unit.
military constructions or buildings designed for the defense of territories in warfare, and also used to solidify rule in a region during peace time.
Spider hole
A spider hole is military parlance for a camouflaged one-man foxhole, used for observation.

In defence, you should use your environment to your advantage. Look for these to gain an advantage.

-High ground
-Natural barriers-e.g., rivers
-Reverse slope defence(A reverse slope defence is a military tactic where a defending force is positioned on the slope of an elevated terrain feature such as a hill, ridge, or mountain, on the side opposite from the attacking force).
-Obstacles and barriers – man made such as
  • Barbed wire
  • Barriers
  • Sandbags
Inner Squad Communication
Aloysius has a great guide regardingAce Reports and SALUTE-P reports! Go show him some love!


Aloysius Guide

ACE Reports
A - Ammunition
C - Casualty
E - Equipment

Green - Good status (Operable or not injured/light injuries)

Yellow - Moderate status (Semi-Operable or mildly injured)

Red - Bad status (Barely Operable or critically injured)

Black - Bad status (Non-Operable or dead)

Ammunition - Amount of ammunition left. When you collect this from your fireteam, they should send it up to you as a color. Green means that you have plenty of ammunition remaining, Yellow means that they have expended roughly half of their initial load, but are still capable of continuing mission, and Red means that they are dangerously close to running out of ammunition (less than 2-3 magazines) and are unable to continue the mission effectively. And of course, Black means that you are completely out of ammunition.

Casualty - Casualties sustained. Green means that your soldiers have sustained no injuries, Yellow means that they have sustained an injury that will not impede their ability to fight, Red signifies a critical injury that needs immediate attention or an injury that prevents mobility. Black means that you have a soldier KIA, and you should report up his name in this section after calling Black.

Equipment - Any equipment expended/lost. If there is no change, report up as Green. If any equipment was expended, report up the type and number of equipment that was expended, eg. 1 AT-4 rocket fired. Yellow if you have expended your rounds mildly. You would report Red if you had lost (not expended) mission critical equipment, such as a laser designator or satchel charges. You should report Black if your special weapon has been damaged or is inoperable.
ACE reports should be collected and sent to squad leader as soon as any contact is complete. You, as a team leader, need to take the initiative and call on your team to send up a ACE report to you without prompting from the squad leader. This way, once the SL has dealt with his own responsibilities (informing higher of contact, etc) and calls on you for an ACE report, you can deliver it without any delay.

Applying ACE Reports
1. First the element leader would call out they wish to have an ACE report from their said element over a communication device.
Ex: Sergeant Kleiner “Alpha Company, First Platoon, ACE report.”

2. The element and it’s appropriate units under it would reply with 4 simple words, stating their status, and their name.
Ex: Corporal Jankowiak “Jankowiak, Green, Yellow, Red.”

3. The element leader assesses their element’s situation in accordance to the reports given over the communication device.
Ex: Sergeant Kleiner “Interrogative, Janko, equipment inquiry.”
Corporal Jankowiak “Roger sergeant, weapon is partially damaged and cannot be used, using a back-up.”
Sergeant Kleiner “A-Firm.”

SALUTE-P Reports
(Be aware, this is for reporting enemy contacts.)

S - Size of enemy force. When reporting, simplify when possible. For example, if you see roughly 20 soldiers, call it in as a platoon. Vehicles should usually be identified, if you aren't comfortable ID'ing them, at least include what type, eg. Main Battle Tank, Armored Personnel Carrier, etc.

A - What the enemy is/was doing. Important information here includes posture, (relaxed, aggressive, defensive etc.) movement speed and direction (if stationary, include the general direction the unit is facing) and actual activity (emplacing IEDs, fortifying positions, manning a checkpoint etc.).

L - Location of the enemy. ICly calling in grid coordinates would be acceptable if this is from air-to-ground, otherwise say however many meters in whichever direction.

U - Not as important ingame. Generally, you should just simplify this. If you know you are fighting Russian troops in the woods, uniform is going to be Russian woodland fatigues. Any important information for High Value Targets (HVT) can also be passed up here. For example, in a mission where you are trying to locate a HVT wearing gold sunglasses, informing higher that you have a enemy combatant seen wearing glasses would be important.

T - When the enemy contact was observed, such as “Two mikes” referencing to how long since you’ve seen them.

E - Any weapons, equipment, etc that the enemy has on or near them. Important items to note are support weapons, anti-tank rockets, communications equipment, IEDs, or intelligence.

Many leaders will not include this in their SALUTE reports, but it is often the most critical element of the report. PIR is anything that a commander specifies is vital to the mission. A commander who is operating with a mounted element may specify that IEDs and Anti-tank weapons are PIR, as knowing the enemy's capabilities are critical to how he chooses to develop his plan of battle. If a leader fails to specify PIR, use initiative to determine what is most important that he knows. For example, if you are conducting air assault operations and you spot enemy with MANPADS, but the commander has failed to define the PIR for the operation, use the PIR section to report up the threat to friendly air assets.

The most important thing to keep in mind while writing up your SALUTE-P report is not to assume anything. If you see two men with scoped rifles, prone in the grass watching a road, do NOT call it in as a sniper team. You have no way of confirming that the enemy's intent is to use the weapons in a marksman role. Instead, call up only what you see and can confirm. For this example, you would call up a two man team, observing the road, armed with scoped weapons. The commander can interpret this information at his discretion.

Squad Specific Guidelines
Although tactics are all great, some have to be changed or altered to apply to Squad (this actually applies everywhere).

  1. Squad Leaders, use your binoculars more than your rifle. Your squad should be doing the shooting.
  2. Don't place rally points without meaning, place them tactically where a flanking position can be operated.
  3. Information is the most powerful weapon in squad, use it and you will never lose a battle.
  4. Squad Leaders, enforce trigger discipline. Random engagements without reason gives not just your location away but also puts you at an extreme disadvantage whilst trying to direct your squads fire.
  5. Smoke grenades are key, never die with a smoke on you, use it whenever applicable.
  6. Squad Leaders, if a squad member is disobedient or lacks the ability to follow orders, don't be afraid to kick them to allow more room for more applicable squad members.
  7. Fill your medics first, than firesupport rolls and optic rolls, than riflemen rolls.
  8. If on the militia team, use your DMR roll as overwatch, let them watch you for security. Or alternatively---
  9. Direct the DM's fire, use your binoculars to direct the fire of the DM to take out an enemy Squad Leader or Medic to put them at a disadvantage. Never let them fire freely(unless the situation calls calls for that which is rare).
Conclusion and Sources
The Squad Leader roll is the most important roll in Squad. They have the ability to make or break a battle/game. Applying more than just sudo tactics and understanding combat will further your success as a squad leader.

If you guys liked my guide, feel free to give it a like and/or a rating! :D

Anyone who wants to add or improve my guide, feel free to PM me or leave a comment!

This is a WIP and I will be actively adding things to the guide to improve it.

Massive credit to wikipedia for I copy pasted a TON of stuff from their site, thanks to the contributors! Link to the Military tactic[en.wikipedia.org]

Other good videos to watch for more visual's of these tactics:

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/* Buttars */  [author] Nov 5, 2017 @ 4:09pm 
Very true Ninja, I have stopped updating this guide though. If you would like to write up a section, I would love to add it and credit you.
Ninja Gaijin Nov 5, 2017 @ 9:30am 
Hi, just one small thing I would suggest adding (or a link to another guide you like) - CQB/CQC tactics - I think most Squad players could use some CT style room clearing drills xD
solid_Fox Jun 9, 2017 @ 7:18pm 
good guide
Rommel (Ret'd) Jun 25, 2016 @ 1:52pm 
9/11, Did not contain suicide bomber tactics..
/* Buttars */  [author] Jun 11, 2016 @ 12:13pm 
@UScF.ForestBob|6.SS| That's what it's more oriented toward. Thanks for the awesome rating! :D :steamhappy:
Dr. Zyklon Jun 10, 2016 @ 2:10pm 
Realy great guide 11/10 a lot of usable information
Could use them in Mil-sims
/* Buttars */  [author] Jun 8, 2016 @ 10:37pm 
@Clone, Thanks man! :D

@Trithus, it only gets better the closer we get to vehicles...
Trithus Jun 8, 2016 @ 8:33pm 
Okay this guide made me wanna buy the game. Waiting a few days to the summer sale...
[51st Div.] iv-jo Jun 5, 2016 @ 3:15pm 
Awesome guide man, I´m not playing Squad ...yet.
But your guide was so informative and useful .
That I will keep these Tactics in Mind. :steamhappy:
/* Buttars */  [author] May 30, 2016 @ 9:36pm 
Thanks man, I was typing for about 4 hours making this and it sliped my mind, I love The Art of War so I can't believe I missed that! XD Thanks!