Max V: Tactical Planning Tasks – Exercise #1

Max + Ivan
Statement of Problem/Commander’s Intent; excerpt below:


This is the first of series of planning tasks. This first one has been submitted by FormerSapper. I will pose the problem today, and then in a day or so I will post his solution.

This is how I want these problems to run:

1) A tactical mission is posed. These can come from me or be submitted by readers. I need Google Earth coordinates for the location.

2) These are not *real* missions. They will take place within a fictitious scenario.

3) Readers can then submit their solutions, for which I need any relevant maps and a description of your scheme of maneuver. I snip out of Google maps/earth and annotate using paint or similar.

4) There is no *right* answer. This is a planning and learning exercise. a TEWT: Tactical Exercise Without Troops.

5) The comments section is for questions/comments/feedback, not your solution. Submit that by email to me. Glib BS answers in comments will be deleted.

6) I advise that you exercise your mental faculties by using a planning process. I recommend the Combat Estimate planning tool as given in ‘Contact.’ You can bang on about MDMP, but I have little sympathy for that cumbersome staff planning tool as a tactical planning tool.

7) In order for readers to be able to plan, scenarios will require:

Situation (scenario)
Enemy Forces
Friendly Forces
(Civil Considerations)
Specified Tasks
Commander’s intent and desired end state.
Any constraints including rules of engagement.
8) When planning, as a general rule, you are looking for:

Mission Analysis:
What to achieve and the desired end state.
Main effort
Factors, leading to “So What?’ analysis, leading to:
Considerations (such as balance of enemy/friendly forces, enemy/ground considerations etc.)
Your list of specified and implied tasks will lead to:
3 courses of action.
Choose 1 = the plan.
Edit: there is no deadline for this. Plans will be posted as received, and can be used as an educational medium for others, even as they do their own. It’s not a test or a competition, there is no right or wrong answer, it is food for thought, training and learning.

It does help to stick to some good solid principles. The principles of attack are as follows:

Seek surprise.
Maintain security.
Seize key terrain or targets vital to influencing perceptions.
Achieve superiority of fires and other effects.
Exploit maneuver.
Concentrate the effects of force or the threat of force.
Plan to exploit success.
Keep it simple.


Do the work FIRST.

Then review the solutions proferred to date:






Post your solutions at Max’s place.

But do the work please.

There will likely be a Zim airfield in your future.

Remember – there is no merit badge for “Got my ass strafed”.

Live hard.

Die free.

6 responses to “Max V: Tactical Planning Tasks – Exercise #1

  1. “a TEWT: Tactical Exercise Without Troops”

    This reminds me of a funny episode. I overheard another soldier in the hallway between team rooms, speaking to the company commander when planning for an MTT. The conversation went something like this,

    Commander, “So, Sergeant, are you going to conduct a TEWT?”

    SFC Dave, “Sir, we’re gonna conduct a PENIS.”


    “Yes Sir, a Practical Exercise Not Involving Soldiers”

    I about split my side.

  2. I sent mine to Max but he has not posted it yet. Cant wait for the review of it.

    • Max Velocity

      I’ve posted all I have received so far – if yours is not up, let me know/resend it. Thanks. I am not discriminating between solutions.

      • Grenadier1

        Okay my email seemed to give me some trouble when I sent it so its in route again.

  3. ” …. there is no merit badge for “Got my ass strafed”. ”

    They tried to make one but couldn’t figure out how to fit “Dear Mrs. G, It is with deep sadness that I must inform you that your son/husband/brother was a dumbass, or was led into battle by a dumbass.” on a merit badge.