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Following Up Your Offensive Action

Written by DX
Last updated on 2007-05-29


  • Subject Type: Battle Concept
  • Subject Level: 2 [Fairly Basic]
  • Degree of Complexity: 2 [Simple]
  • Recommended Progression Levels:
    • NP: Firepower, Progressive, Hardcore [All]
    • PP: Standard, Advanced, Hardcore [All]
  • Recommended Game Type Families: OHK, OHS, OSF
  • Recommended Battlefield Types: Natural, Semi-Natural, Suburban, Urban [All]

The title makes this article pretty obvious. Basically, regardless of what kind of ambush, attack, etc. it is, you should follow it up. If the enemy recoils even an inch, you should follow it up. For beginners, following up is to continue after the initial tactic, maneuver, or role has been completed. Almost any time an enemy gives ground, you should extend whatever you were doing. There are a few exceptions, but we'll deal with those later.

Follow up after an offensive action

Especially follow up one that is intended to be a trick or linked with a trick.

After surprising an enemy, that enemy will tend to recoil. Ambushes are especially effective for that, as even the most experienced veteran may not be able to produce a counter for an ambush in a split second. The window for an enemy reaction is so brief that their only choice may be to run. The absolute best situation is if you can get them running. DON'T let them just run away or back up slowly either. Now is the time to show full aggression. If they turn and run, follow up with a Sprinters' Pursuit or similar attack. If they back up, follow up with some type of charge or rush. Either way, your follow up should be swift and fierce, grant them no time to recover or rally. This seems like plain common sense and that is because following up IS just common sense. Yet throughout history, generals have been reluctant for whatever reasons. Take the Battle of Gettysburg, for example. After the failed two division charge against Meade's center [you non-Civil War buffs might know it by the inaccurate name "Pickett's Charge"], Lee withdrew from the field. Upon reaching the Potomac, Lee was forced to wait until the river level, swollen with rainwater, fell enough for a crossing. Here was an opportunity to smash the Confederacy's most important army in a highly vulnerable position. Yet Meade did not, and Lee escaped to fight another day.

Follow up after a reverse

The above example brings up another important point. Whenever a reverse occurs in your favor, you should follow up with something offensive. A reverse is when something [intended or unintended] happens that causes a strong and often instant swing in momentum [and sometimes in initiative as well]. In water wars, a common form of reverse is simply when a team attacks and comes away worse-off than the defenders. The defending team is suddenly the recipient of a large momentum swing. When this happens, don't just sit there with it, USE that momentum! Don't let the enemy retreat, hit them fast and hit them hard. There is a rare exception, however. A highly skilled enemy might counter by spreading out in an Offensive Defense formation [wasting no time whatsoever,] ready to absorb your attack. In this case, they want to counter your follow up and possibly push you back. This is a dangerous situation, so you might as well abandon your follow up and deny them the possibility of a countering it. However, the enemy may try to hide the fact that they are capable of such a move. If you know your enemy well, watch for telltale body language. They may accidentally or unwillingly display signs.

Follow up after a single time mission, route, or role completion.

This is the type of follow up that is unique to the Tactical Theory. Just about every other guide I have read says to run away after completing/if seen during a scouting/recon mission, sniping shot, etc. Why would you ever want to do that? If your cover is blown while scouting, the enemy most likely will have great numerical superiority when they come to "get you". What an excellent time to hit them with the Outnumbered Defense! Even if you are playing a OHK variant, you still have good odds of making 1 or more kills before you are killed. They also don't have good countering options. You can't use an Overrun or Divide and Conquer against a single person Outnumbered Defense. You can pull back your weakest guys and try to counter with your best, but you've got to coordinate that in real time while the sole scouter is actively gunning for them. Now if your game type family is OSF, the choice of whether to follow up in this situation would depend on your gun. If you've got good range and output of 5x or better, you have a chance to pull off a limited Outnumbered Defense. You'd just try to soak as many enemies as possible before you are soaked. The option to break off the follow up and run would remain open so long as you have an escape route. You also have more options open if you know how to position-switch or use the ubiquitous position.

If guarding or patrolling as a sentry, you have the same options as above when sighted by a host of enemies. In fact, any solo or dual role of scouting, patrolling, and skirmishing has those options. It does change if you are on a sharp shooting assignment. Say you've taken your shot and now the enemy has been alerted to your position. The choice to fight or flee depends on your gun for all three organized game type families. Many long range guns are quite versatile, such as the CPS 1500/1700, CPS 2500, CPS 2000, CPS 2700, and all k-modded guns. You may want to take a few more shots and then get out of Dodge. You might be able to directly engage and then leave. If you have an advanced position style [switching or ubiquitous], switch and counter accordingly. Personally, I would never have any sharp shooting action take place out of supporting distance. There's a great opportunity for a reverse in your favor. If you've got team members in supporting distance, you can set up an ambush and unleash a nasty surprise upon your pursuers. Another thing you can do is retreat to a strategic position. Let the enemy follow you into an area that puts them at a disadvantage, such as a bottleneck, open field, etc. Then you could attack, defend, or bring up support. Be creative! There are many more options that I cannot possibly touch upon because of the endless variability in local water wars and on local battlefields.

Whatever you do, DO NOT just run after role completion! Evaluate the situation and your enemy capabilities first. It may just be that running is your best option. Never assume that though. If you've got a mission, follow it up whenever possible. Heads-up plays like this could be the difference between sweet victory and tough defeat, especially in close battles.

When NOT to follow up

Whenever considering whether or not to follow up, beware of your enemy. Experienced enemies are often full of surprises. Never underestimate them. You've got to watch out for the Anti-Sprinter Defense, which can be an instant reverse if you are chasing down retreating enemies blindly. Other deadly counters include the Split Ambush, Defenders' Ambush, Sprinters' Pincer, Offensive Defense, and of course, the Distraction Ambush, which is a good counter for just about anything. Really good enemies might combo their counters, increasing the chance of a reverse. Remember, all this often occurs within a matter of seconds, so you need to be thinking on your toes at all times.


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