Listen up, Marines!

It's A Bug Hunt

Welcome to the Fleet, Marines.

Whether you're fresh out of SOI or been on a few other deployments, it's time for a quick refresher on fireteam tactics. I know maybe the cryo gave you the brain scramblies, but these are straight out of the Six dash Five. Your own experiences and lessons may have you changing it up a bit, but a basic, common groundwork to build from is what's important.

I don't care how you did it at your old unit; there you were surrounded by your buddies and pals and could freeball your way through any mission. These following principles are Corps-wide simple basics for three-Marine teams out on the frontier.

So, whether you need a review, are new to the fleet, or are just waiting for the cornbread to warm up, listen up and let's get started.

Movement To Contact

Bascis: Marines are about mobility and speed, people.

Strength in numbers, teamwork, all that good stuff.

A fireteam works because all its members work in concert together, in a complimentary manner.

The sum is greater than the parts, spirit of Gung-Ho action, get it?

The simplest way to get this through you peoples' heads is to still you to stick together. That's a package deal; we don't leave our people behind, but that also means that a single Marine doesn't get to run off, leave your teammates behind and get yourself killed while crying for help from teammates and Mama.

I'm looking at you, Private Jenkins. Don't do it.

Your big guns or shield should be up front, leading the way. This is the point man. The POINT MAN IS NEVER WRONG. You follow them, wherever they go. They talk the left catwalk or gantry, you take the left catwalk right behind them. Stay together. For those on point: even though the Point Man is never wrong, that doesn't mean that point man can't be a dumb*ss, so you pick the safest, easiest route to get your team where they need to go. You shouldn't have to turn around and see if your team is following you, that's the second Marine's job. Keep that big gun pointed towards the unknown.

Trust that your fellow Marines are right behind you.

Guy/Gal in the Middle: GITM isn't an easy-breezy job either, you've got to pay attention to both the Point Man, and the Rear-gunner. You've got to make sure the all three Marines are close enough to provide mutual support, so head on a swivel. Its also up to you to remain alert so if the point man does get into contact, you react quickly enough to get a clear lane of fire and start bringing down pain in a fast, orderly, military manner ( more on that in a second ). Remember, don't ride the point man to close, or you'll create a gap between you and the last man, leaving them hanging out in the wind. Don't do your slow, little cousin like that.

Tail-end Charlie: the last man in the formation, you'll need to keep up and occasionally check six to ensure no hitchhiking bugs are trying to cramp your fireteam's movement.

So, what happens when we spot that big, nasty drooling in the corner?

Elastic Defense

Mission profile says likely xenomorph threats in an enclosed non-vacuum area; that means bugs on ships or orbital platforms. Bugs are wonderful; they charge, shriek and run straight into your line of fire, all you need to do is make sure that you're set those fire lanes and position points up correctly. Because if you don't, you'll all die...horribly.

So, let's say the point man spots a contact ( he should first in this scenario, as his big guns are always pointed forward, which means in the direction of the mission objective ). Remember: the point man is never wrong ( but he can be an idiot ). We'll use a corridor in this example. Everyone is where they should be. Point man spots targets and let's loose. He needs to slide his or her butt to the side to make a clear lane of fire. Which side? Well, he can't be wrong, so whichever he wants, preferably while engaging targets.

GITM then reacts to the opposite side that the point man took. Point goes right, middle-man goes left. Pretty simple, right? Now we've got two guns putting in work. And what's better than two Marines raining hate and discontent on the enemy? That's right, it's three Marines doing it. In order to get that third gun, GITM needs to make a quick decision, because third man, instead of being tail-end charlie, is going to also pivot to the front and take up a supporting position. Behind first man, or second, let the tactics decide.

I know Rear Man/TEC/the Slow One is going to transition to the front now too. Its impossible to get one of you jokers to shoot at something without all of you wanting to do the same. In a way, it's almost cute. Last Man: don't forget to check behind the team from time to time while blasting away, those bugs love to sneak up behind and launch ambushes.

Here comes the questions: But, Sarge, how can three Marines shoot down one narrow hallway, if one Marine is on the left and the other is on the right? I'll tell you: trust. The Marines in front of you are going to, this is important: HOLD VERY STILL. You can trust them to do that. In return, you will sling your weapon to port- or starboard-side presentation ( that means left-should or right shoulder, Jenkins ) to get a better angle. Then, you, being a good team mate WILL NOT SHOOT THEM.

Rinse, repeat until the enemy stops moving.

Final note: this is a simple, flexible way of moving to contact. You can easily flip it around if a bunch of nasties come up the rear ( TEC becomes Point man, GITM stays GITM and the Point man needs to provide support and occasionally check six.

Static Defense

Sometimes, Marines will have to defend an area for a certain amount of time. Sometimes you'll be able to prep the battlefield, sometimes you won't. You'll make do.

Basic concepts are these: orient yourselves in a position where you can a) cover a sector of fire and b) be able to provide support to another sector of fire if need be.

I know you think you'll be covered by dropping all those gadgets and gizmos you people like to carry around with you, but I caution you: you'll always want to be able to put well-aimed rifle fire on any likely point of ingress that the bugs will use. You'll also want to be able to support your teammates who are doing the same thing in their respective sectors of fire. If you have to reload, I need to be able to take up the slack on your sector, and vice versa.

Say you've got one sector of fire, like in our hallway example, then just pore it on.

Two sectors of fire? Then have the third man pivot and transition back and forth as needed.

Three sectors of fire is the same. You're going to each have to be able to take up the lane and support one another. If one side gets flooded, and your flank rolls up, then you're all in a world of pain.

Four, five, even more sectors are crappy places to defend; avoid it. Change the dynamics and scout around for the optimal location.

You'll want to leave some room for those contingencies, and you don't necessarily have to defend every inch of a battlespace. Identify killzones, let the enemy get to them and then zip 'em up.

Oh final note here. Static means stationary, not moving. You'll want to keep some room to react, but that doesn't mean you need to be dancing all around. I've seen you people dancing on shore leave on Arcturus and you're all horrible dancers. STOP DANCING.

A Little Lesson In Physics

Speaking of dancing, that reminds me: just kidding, you suck at it. Stop it. STOP DANCING AROUND with an automatic weapon in your hand.

Moving around in a firefight happens, someone may go down and need buddy aid, some doo-dad may need to be recalibrated, etc.

Do yourself a favor, move behind your fellow Marines, don't move in front of them.

I never understood the obsession of Marines to run in front of automatic weapons fire, then try to do some bastard two-step shuffle with a drooling xeno and get themselves schwacked.

I don't know why I find myself explaining this, but here I am. Stop dancing, move behind the firing guns. Simple.

Why? Because bullets in your back are just as bad as bullets in your front.

Your buddy can't shoot the big nasty that you're dancing around with, hooking and jabbing, because you're dumb*ss is blocking their line of fire. Get the hell outta the way ( all the way ) or get dead.

Even if you're pal wants to support your silly-self, you'd still probably get hit by that acidic bug juice, so get away, stay far way from the xenos. Good teamwork and good positions with over-locking fields of fire is a good way to avoid the old chomp-chomp two-step.

A dead Marine pisses me off for a myriad of reasons. One, the firepower of your surviving teammates is diminished. Two, you'll probably be dragged off to the nest to be throat-banged and make yet another damned bug. Three, because you didn't listen to the other Marines that tried to teach you how to stay alive. Some of those lessons were paid for with blood, scars and even lives.

Don't be an *sshat and piss on the legacy of those Marines. They'd want you to accomplish your mission and I want you to all come out on the other side of that mission.

Even you, Jenkins.

Teamwork Makes The Dream Work.

We get it, you're a Colonial Marine. You are one bad hombre.

We all saw the same recruitment vid.

Now, what's tougher and nastier than a Colonial Marine? I know your drill instructor would have you answer "Nothing!" but that's not exactly in the pipe.

The only thing nastier than a Marine is TWO Marines working together. What's tougher than that? Three Marines. You get where I'm going with this.

A good fireteam is based on trust. It's all about trust. I trust you to pick up your sector of fire. I trust you to check our six and you trust me to come back for your shredded ass if something nasty comes outta the big black, tracking?

You gotta communicate out in the field, Marines. Ping with your target reticule, use hand-and-arm signals, get common freq channels if the radios are working, whatever. Slow it down and rally up after a contact and make sure everyone's on the same page or doesn't need a bandaid, ammo or wants to show you something before you tear off onto the next contact.

Work as a team, survive as a team.

These basics can help you boots learn to keep up with, contribute to and help out your fellow Marines. Remember, the mission always comes first, and however you accomplish the mission is what matters. This is only a framework. Tweak to your specifics, but remember to trust in your teammates as much as they're trusting you and you'll get through it together.



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