Wargaming, by Pudge

Editor’s Introductory Note:  This article was written by an active-duty Special Operations Forces officer. I’ve confirmed his bona fides. You may recall reading his article on SOP writing, which we posted in April of 2020.

I’ve been thinking about writing on the topic of Wargaming for quite some time but recent events really pushed me to get it done and hopefully pass on some sage advice. We are currently in some tumultuous times and it pays to be as prepared as possible.

Now that you’ve got your perfect homestead all set up ready for the Schumer to hit the fan, what’s next? Your answer should be wargaming. If you are being honest with yourself, you should have started wargaming far before this but now is better than later. What is wargaming? Wargaming (sometimes called Red Teaming) is a simulation of an armed conflict between multiple parties. It helps stimulate ideas, highlight critical tasks, and provides insight that might not otherwise be discovered. (For some details on wargaming from the U.S. Army SF perspective, see the Special Forces Detachment Mission Planning Guide, GTA 31-01-003) It is a process used to visualize how an event may or likely will unfold and can be used to our advantage in order to improve our position. You should always be improving your foxhole.

Why you should wargame

The key benefit of wargaming is that it allows you to shoot holes in a plan in order to better it and increase the likelihood of success. You should do this before any risk may come to you. It creates a deliberate process to help discover useful insight that may otherwise have been missed. This can also be a good way to work on and verify SOPs. (I’ve previously discussed SOPs in SurvivalBlog.)

Another benefit of wargaming is that it helps you find out where your decision points will be. A decision point is where a key decision must be made in order to follow a certain course of action. These decision points can be time-based or event-based. By already having some of these assessed, you can anticipate them, and in turn make a quicker, more informed choice. It is preferable to make a decision that you can foresee rather than blindly choosing. A very simple analogy to illustrate this point would be knowing your spouse is going to ask what you want to eat the moment you come home. Is it easier to answer when you’ve been busy all day and haven’t thought about it at all, or, if you thought on the way home and know what food is at the house or where you like to eat? If you know it is going to happen, and a decision must be made, then why not be prepared?

Prep work

Prior to wargaming the plan, you must decide what is the desired goal or best achievable outcome. Now you must define your acceptable outcome. (How much stuff are you willing to lose? How many people are you willing to lose? Et cetera.) This can be harsh and scary but you must be realistic when defining your acceptable outcome. If you aren’t realistic, then you will not gain the necessary insight needed for a successful plan.

I’ll use the example of a home security plan. This is a good time to try implementing some of those SOPs. You first have to define what it is you’re preparing for. I suggest starting by looking at your most likely assessed risk, which is probably going to be robbery. What steps have you done to keep someone from robbing your home? From there you can branch off into further scenarios. Such as, looking at it from a Schumer hitting the fan perspective. A well-equipped group of 15-20 marauders shows up and wants to take what is yours. Realistically, what will make them leave and what will ensure they leave?

How to conduct a wargame exercise

First you must choose your director or judge, a recorder, a Blue Team (friendly) and a Red Team (enemy). If you are the director, you need to remain objective and impartial. Do not get too invested in the plan as to skew the results. Additionally, no one should be overly invested in a plan so much that they cannot or will not make changes. (Just like in Special Forces, it is usually best to remain adaptable and flexible, thus ready for unknowns and changes.) It is usually best if the director is one of the leadership of the group.

The recorder should be able to take quick, in-depth notes and be able to expand upon them in later discussions. Your Blue Team should be led by someone who created the plan and is going to be the decision-maker in this type of situation. This means that they have the most intimate knowledge of why certain decisions were made while constructing the plan and also gives them insight how they might make decisions when the time comes to do it for real. However, more important is choosing your Red Team.

There are some things you should consider when choosing your Red Team. In this instance, you may want to ask the following questions: Do you have an intelligence team? Who has the most knowledge of your perceived adversary? Who has the most tactical knowledge? Who is most knowledgeable of the area? You will preferably choose a team that can think and act like your potential threat. If you do not have group and are trying to do this alone, you must remember to be as objective as possible during the entire process.

Once teams are set, it is time to establish the rules of conduct. What is your timeline? Obviously, we can’t always take the true time we may be under siege. Just like in a chess tournament, a pre-agreed upon time for each teams’ moves should be established. This keeps the exercise from getting bogged down. (However, remember to keep note of these sticking points.) And lastly, what are the rules, or lack thereof, to be adhered to by each side? You may have certain morals that the enemy does not subscribe to. It is up to the director to keep the wargame moving and be the deciding vote in any split decisions.

Now that your teams are set and you have a realistic outcome defined, it is time to get out there and wargame the plan. Start from the very beginning. Wherever you are most likely to realize someone may be coming for you or your stuff is a good start. Do you have an early warning network? What is your realistic timeframe from warning to needing action? This is similar to in Patriots where the LP/OP would give a warning on the field phone and everyone at the retreat knew how long they had to be in their hidey-holes. If there is no early warning, what are some triggers that you may see/notice that will cause you to initiate your plan? We’ve only just begun and may already be identifying ways to better our defense through different warning systems.

Get out there and walk the ground from the enemy’s perspective. Consider what the enemy would do. Remember that in desperate times, humans are capable and willing to do things that they would never dream of during times of fruition. Depending on where you live, you should also do this in each season due to the variances in foliage or other environmental factors. A row of trees full of leaves and underbrush is vastly different than a row of leafless trees and snow on the ground. The Red Team should look at this as not only testing their security but also as a training exercise to increase their team’s capabilities.

If you are the Blue Team, you are able to observe someone else walking as the enemy. What can you see/counter them with? When can you see them? Do you need to be able to see them or just know where they are? Can they see you? What can affect your position? (ie: weapons, obscuration devices, location of sun, day versus night, etc.) Answering these questions can draw out what you need to do in order to improve your posture.

As you are conducting the wargame, make sure the recorder is noting all of the sticking/friction points and all of the decision points as well. Have an in-order list of them prepared to discuss after for improving the plan. The recorder is crucial in keeping track if you want to go back after a decision to test other possible options. Think of the Choose Your Adventure books that so many of us have read. You didn’t always like your outcome so you went back and tried a different route.

Like anything, there are limitations of wargaming. Unless you have lived it, it can be impossible to understand what humans are capable of at their worst. The enemy always has a vote. You can make all the right decisions, do everything perfectly and still get shot. In the words of the fictional Captain Jean Luc Picard, “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life.” Even though anything is possible, I will tell you that you greatly increase your chance of winning by wargaming. It doesn’t cost you anything besides time and is a great way to test multiple facets of your group or plan at the same time.

I briefly mentioned wargaming during different seasons earlier, but how often should you wargame your plan? What causes a need to wargame/change the plan? The primary reason to conduct another wargame is that you’ve had to change your plan for whatever reason. This could be due to anything from new buildings/structures, new equipment, or new personnel. It does not always have to be a full-blown wargame. For example, say you changed security systems and can respond differently than before; you can now start from this point and continue from there. You can also conduct a tabletop wargame and discuss it over a map or imagery.

No plan will ever be perfect for absolutely every scenario, so it is best to work from most likely to least likely to happen.

Aftermath

What’s next now that you’ve shot a bunch of holes in your plan? It’s time to implement the lessons learned and make the plan better. Take your list that you created of points of concern and order them from your greatest risk to least. After doing this, figure out what you can change. This needs to be your starting point. I recommend making the changes for greatest risk first but you can also start at what is the easiest to change. There is no right or wrong answer as long as you take the lessons learned and make changes for the better.

Take this information and implement it in any scenario you can. It can help you look at things from a different perspective. Go be the best you can be.




85 Comments

  1. Wouldn´t neutrals be also needed or useful, in 18th century(french revolution time) in prussia wargaming was used as a test and training tool for the military,
    Civilian and neutral were included, like civilian players in the area of operation, e.g. banker in the city you were deployed

    1. ThoDan,
      It can indeed be very useful. You just have to note from what lens you are viewing from. In a true SHTF situation, civilian players probably won’t be as much of a factor as normal day to day life in an urban area. Sometimes adding too much can muddy the end-state you are trying to achieve. And other times, as you noted, it can help identify other issues that may arise. This is why it is crucial you define what you are preparing against.

      1. that was prussian wargaming during the french revolutionary – napoleonic wars.
        A very true SHTF situation for years with war raging nearly continuos for about a quarter of a century from Portugal to moscow, egypt to sweden.
        Conventional with small – insurrection and guerilla

  2. A good 10,000 feet analysis. Not coming from a bona fide SF sort may I suggest some quick fixes. Time is getting short before the excitements of the probably contested election. About 30 days more or less.

    Talk honestly with your families about the situation, and what they have to do if trouble erupts in your neighborhood. SOP’s for getting home from work-school and so on. Rally points if your forced from your home by assault or fire. Nothing is worse as a EMT to arrive with the firetrucks to see panicked parents searching for their kids.

    Duress codes to let your family know SOMETHING IS WRONG with out shouting to the “visitors”. For example if I refer to my wife by her first and second name she knows SOMETHING IS WRONG and goes from normal life to alert.

    Walk your property to get a view from the attackers perspective. Have your spouse with a note pad note everywhere your knees are concealed. That’s a crawl route for attackers. Make plans for that. Note where your home has blind spots. Those are good routes for sneaky folks. Plan for that.

    Note your property with lines of sight using Red-Yellow-Green ranges. Red being with in 30 yards, where a pistol-shotgun or a charging person with a Molotov can hit you your house. That’s danger close. Yellow 30-100 yards where pistols-shotguns less effective but rifles a real threat. Green is 100+ yards.

    Establish range cards with number codes so when you tell your wife yellow 3 she knows where to look.

    Establish fighting positions. Your home unless an solid brick (not brick veneer) is NOT Bullet Proof against even the lowly 22 long rifle bulk 36 grain HP ammo.

    Most of all get your trusted friends onboard. Normalcy bias will kill a lot of us before we react properly to violence. You cannot defend your home alone. You need extended friends and family involved.

    Threats will range from simply hungry folks trying to mooch or steal food, to armed thugs trying to rob you, to gangs trying to Burn Loot and Murder you and yours to Antifa assault teams. Not looking the best target in the area might help a little but we must be ready to defend with a fierce vigor. We might not win as we flee our burning home BUT they will KNOW they were in a fight and not a roll over like a Target Store.

    The ability to repair broken windows with sheet plastic (maybe black out black plastic), put up welded wire over the windows to keep out thrown Molotov’s (IF you think their BAD outside the home wait until you see on INSIDE a home) and airlock style welded wire and fence posts to protect sliding glass doors and our generally weak doors from visitors.

    In Bosnian Civil War-Ethnic Cleansing they lived mostly in Concrete and Stone homes, they still suffered but they had a decent amount of protection from small arms and fire weapons. We do not. Plan for that.

    1. Michael –
      Re: ballistic protection of homes. Was just thinking I should keep a few cans of spray expansion foam around in case someone adds extra ventilation. Won’t look nice but will help keep the heat in.

      Re: broken window glass- I have already considered this and decided to screw plywood over the windows. Keep sheets on hand.

      1. 3AD Scout, good idea about the spray foam, will add that to my Chaos Kit. Thanks.

        Plywood would work but Momma likes light. I’ve TESTED the 1 inch by 2 inch welded fence wire idea with 1 liter wine bottle full of water. They Bounced away before breaking on the ground. Very Hard to rip off and it’s nice to be able to see out of the house.

        When it comes to Ballistic Protection time the “Hobbit Castle” I described below will be manned. The niceties of a roomy American Firetrap home will be less Momma approved than bullet resistance I think.

    2. Michael,
      Lot of good points mentioned. This is the type of thinking that this article was meant to generate. Again, hard to prepare for everything but it can at least help identify vulnerabilities. Also, range cards are amazing. Great way for anyone to come to a position to immediately know what is what and where.

    3. Their is a great iOS app simply called ‘Golf GPS’ that I use for both hunting season and for range cards. It provides you with the 50m (or 50 yard) radius measurements from your location out to 300m (or 300 yards). It is almost like an instant range card with a screen snap, and it will also let you ‘pin’ locations that will give you your distance to the pin.

  3. “A good 10,000 feet analysis.”

    Well said, Michael.

    Pudge,

    Personally, I am very excited that this is your second article, and I hope that you contribute more. But, there are several military perspectives here, and wargaming as you describe it has been taking place on this blog almost weekly for a long time.

    Could you be more succinct in your work, with perhaps not such a broad scope? Maybe being closer to 1000 feet, rather than 10,000 as Michael described?

    Food for thought.

    1. Muddykid,

      I appreciate it.

      I wish that I could give everyone their own 1000 foot perspective but everyone’s situation is different and being too specific could alienate others looking at things from a different perspective or circumstances. This article is meant to explain the processes and importance of conducting wargaming. It is up to everyone, like Michael, to provide their thoughts and inputs.

      In my current position we always say “if you’ve seen one embassy then you’ve seen one embassy.” What this is getting at is that no matter how many embassies you’ve been to, everyone is different. Just like each scenario, there are many similarities but they are not the same.

  4. A sorely needed push in the right direction. Sadly, even after years of attempting to get my local survivalist friends to accomplish the basics, they are only now beginning to develop a warrior’s mindset. Only current events caused them to shed a little more of their normalcy bias. 95 percent of them have a long way to go. They are preppers, but they are not warriors. Huge difference. War gaming of sorts has been apart of my former job, yet they are not even on first base. Most will still choose mostly butter instead of guns. Half of my meager income goes to guns. We are not there yet. Part of the problem is pride and denial. Many falsely believe they are warriors, or some simply do not know what the terms really means, and believe they are ready for what wickedness comes…or the violence of civil war simply does not fully registrar in the brain (denial) Stuff ain’t enough! ARrrGh! I even have a retired SF MSgt. friend who has no ammo! You would think he would be leading the charge! Given many examples like this, I’ve learned not to rely on retired military. We are on our own….

    1. Tunnel Rabbit,

      Hopefully that push can continue to your friends. It is scary what may lie ahead of us and even more so that some people have to live through such a huge event to decide that maybe they should prepare. Usually this happens too late.

      On being warriors, a lot of people suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect, in that they think their abilities are more superior than they really are. Being a warrior is a lifestyle that few have truly walked. I think if all these people who talk of civil war and violence had been through what they are proposing then they would not be so keen on it happening.

      Some guys retire and decide they’ve had enough of that life. Even so, there is probably a wealth of knowledge that can be tapped into there.

      1. I’ll look up the Dunning-Kruger effect. The description fits very well. You are probably correct. My SF friend has seen waaay too much action, 28 years. He has 3 college degrees and a massive amount to offer. I learn what he is willing to share. He’ll probably snap out the daze only when he must. I certainly do not want to see war. I know he is indeed very sick of it.

    1. Hey Tunnel Rabbit, last time I checked there were plenty of separatist black nation states. I wonder how theirs would fare any better than these in the link? Maybe instead of going to all the trouble of setting one up here, they should go there and help improve the ones already in existence. If Black Lives really Matter that is:

      http://www.ghnewsnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/6772182-Color-map-of-Africa-with-countries-on-a-white-background-Stock-Vector.jpg

  5. We’re now doing our annual move to a decidedly left, southern city, with a large university and significant homeless population, just two weeks before the election. Our house is close to downtown and although we have tried to strengthen its perimeter without it being obvious to others, both Pudge and Michael are absolutely right that wargaming and SOP preparation are critical to move to a more warrior perspective to defend in place. Our range of passive to active defensive measures are large, and we have enough to apply in a graduated range, but Murphy has us most worried. Application of as much wargaming and eventual written planning should move us to be more ready should conditions warrant.

    1. Darrel,

      Good luck in your move and hopefully the mindset you have will see you through safely. It definitely sounds like you are pushing in the right direction. The better planned and prepared the less you have to worry about Murphy but it is always good to be ready for those contingencies because it is not always up to you. Keep pushing

  6. The gaming scenario is a good concept to use for established groups.

    Much more emphasis should be on building solid home and related facility structures. Our expensive hollow wall OSB/insulation/drywall does nothing for ballistic protection.

    Several people in our state have been killed and others wounded by bullets fired…….not in survival scenarios…….just innocent, uninvolved victims.

    Two years ago a guy shooting at a car thief instead killed a grandmother when the bullet went through her wall. Install protective ballistic barriers for yourself.

    I’ve worn body armor. It ain’t comfortable for aged and infirm with worn out backs and body parts. Make your landscaping with bullet barriers. Rent a small excavator and get creative.

    Watch for those farm store galvanized water troughs to come on sale. They make excellent raised bed gardening containers and great dirt-filled ballistic sheilds.

    In real life given a choice of either helmet or plate carrier, its a helmet for me. Practice wearing it. Your neck muscles need time to adjust to the heavy weight, more so if you add NODS/radio/cameras.

    Wargame your survival of those first rounds fired at your family.

    1. RE: Galvanized water troughs: If all that you need them for is planters, then you can find used ones free for the taking. Just ask for old “leakers”, on Craigslist.

    2. Wheatley Fisher,

      Great idea for a nice shield. Having solid structures will help greatly in a defensive plan. You just have to make sure that this doesn’t create a false sense of security. Even the most well built castle is easily sacked if not correctly defended.

      The beginning of most engagements/fights can make the difference between winning and losing so be prepared however possible.

      1. Fobbits mostly survived in AFGN. But that isn’t us now.

        I saw HESCOs collapse from monsoon rains at FOB Naray, but cubic yards of dirt cover preserved lives.

        I saw plenty of mud brick walls that had been penetrated by 7.62 x 54 in the whole region from Khost to Nuristan. (Just another reason I say an MBR starts at .300 and goes up)

        Mobile defense is best if you have no air assett, MRAP, indirect fire asset, or QRF.

        Wood houses go up in smoke with just a cheap Molotov, and get penetrated with anything larger than 36 grains.

        Cover is life, but as one RVN-veteran instructor said to our 1970’s era class, Never sacrifice Visibility for Cover.

        Think fire resistant and mass for construction. I really like the look of those concrete barriers with grass sloped up to the top, on the outside, but vehicles could drive right up them.

        Great reminder from JWR- there are many leaking water tanks and troughs farmer/ranchers would be glad to give away. Check around.

        If you go with the flower planter idea, I suggest your terrain analysis include seeing if raising up mounded areas slightly on the perimeter would work to put the planters on them for higher cover while lowering the outside occupancy area might work.

        Don’t forget your irrigation system and container drainage when planning for your crops. I’m liking Goji berry and sea buckthorn in these days.

        God Bless

        1. Mobility is a great asset that is often overlooked in favor of heavily laden armor. Finding a way to give yourself proper cover without allowing your opponent to use it is important when putting in something like a large flower planter.

          Sometimes we have to make do with what we have. A strategically placed bookshelf full of hardbacks next to or below a window might be all you have but it is better than just having the wall between you and a foe.

  7. 99% of homes are indefensible from any attacking force intent on destroying it and killing it’s occupants. It may be defensible from one or two thugs who are easily convinced to move on but in a real attack the home is a trap for the occupants. Prepare to defend but also prepare to abandon the home.

  8. Pudge-
    Great article. I was wargaming the election and used some other organization’s wargaming results. Specifically I used the Transition Integrity Project’s results as part of my war gaming. I looked at the various outcomes and possible reactions by left and right. In my opinion there isn’t an outcome that doesn’t result in one side being “upset”. Considering how insurrections start and especially leftist “revolutions”. Think back to Some of the more recent civil wars or revolutions and they pretty much all started with “riots” and “protests”. And if you believe the current “protests” are spontaneous and there is no organization behind ANTIFA you probably believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny too.
    I put my thoughts on paper and sent them in to share with everyone on SurvivalBlog.

    As Eisenhower is famous for saying “plans are nothing, but planning is everything” so is the same with wargaming. War gaming is sort of like those books where you fill in key parts to the story – so if the bad guys get to an obstacle they can choose more than one option- they can turn around, go left, go right, try to remove it- war gaming allows you to develop a contingency for each course of action they choose.

    I can tell you that there is a lot of wargaming going on right now, specifically at some state emergency management agencies concerning the post election environment. Don’t succumb to the normalcy bias and think “it can’t happen here.” In a recent poll over 50% of democrats polled said it was “possible” versus 32% of Republicans. Folks why do you think 50% of democrats think it is possible? Because they are planning to take to the streets when they don’t get their way – again.

    1. 3AD Scout,

      I appreciate it and look forward to reading more from you. I also appreciate that you’ve pointed out how wargaming can and is used at all echelons.

      Sometimes giving the enemy options can be used to great advantage as it can cause a pause as they move through their own decision making process.

      Now is definitely the time to prepare or continue improving your foxhole. I very much agree that people need to be careful about getting sucked into the normalcy bias of thinking ‘it can’t happen here.’

  9. Unfortunately I have to agree with Anon. Unless you live on the high ground in a stone or concrete home, or possibly rammed earth with a metal roof you are at the attackers mercy. A tunnel and escape route are a must. What are the alternatives?

    1. Pete,

      This is an example of why wargaming is so great. You can identify what your threshold is and against what type of enemy you can realistically defend against. Everyone’s alternatives may differ but it is wise to have a contingency plan. Living to fight another day is more important than getting killed for your stuff.

        1. Pudge, What a wonderful article. Thank you for
          sharing your wisdom and experience. I’m
          making one of your quotes as a sign for my soon to be cabin.

          “Living to fight another day is more important than getting killed for your stuff.” Pudge

          1. Krissy,

            Thank you for your kind words. And remember that even if all seems lost, if you can still fight, it isn’t.

            Congrats and good luck with the soon to be cabin.

  10. Hey Pudge or anyone one else, what I’d like to see is some ideas for us lone dogs. While I know our chances are pretty minimal, it would still be nice to be aware of some of the possibilities. We’d need some French Resistance tactics vs Special Forces. My neighbors wouldn’t be interested in any of this until the roving hordes were already bearing down on us.

    My primary interest is in how to make the roving hordes want to go elsewhere. Since my area is approachable on two sides due to geologic features, my first thought is to block their easy access by dropping trees and cell towers in locations where it would be easier for them to turn north at a country intersection instead of towards my neighborhood a five miles further on. What other ways are there to get the roving hordes to follow the path of least resistance for those of us in areas with only two access points?

    1. St. Funogas,

      Going it alone would be extremely difficult but it is not impossible. The biggest thing you would need is a good early warning capability or a very good place to hole up in between bouts with your opponent to get rested up and refit. Depending on what situation and type of roving horde you are expecting, being able to melt into the crowd is a great way to remain able to fight again.

      I think you hit the nail on the head about a nice obstacle to reroute incoming hordes. The great thing about hordes is that they prefer to move in the path of least resistance and will usually be looking for the easiest targets. Most of these hordes are ‘brave’ but each individual person is not. The best way to turn hordes is to create an easier route. Enough obstacles and eventually even the most stubborn people will decide whatever is at the end of that particular path is not worth it. You have to identify what mode of travel you are blocking against though. Vehicles are easy compared to foot.

      I know some of us are wary of technology but if using the right stuff correctly, this can be a huge force multiplier for lone personnel. Multiple obstacles, multiple firing positions (if it comes to that) that you can rove between easily without being seen can make it seem like you are a larger force. (If you have multiple types of effective weaponry, having different ones at each position can aid in the fact that it seems like they are facing multiple defenders.) Whether it is lights, noise, or some other device, try to utilize them like it is multiple people.

      On the flip side, your other option besides trying to deceive your opponent with how big you are is to make them think you aren’t even worth wasting time and resources on.

    2. Same here. There’s 2 ways in/out of this mountain valley I live in. Both can be closed as they are only 2 lanes each and anyone veering off the roads will certainly be shot if considered a threat. The surrounding mountainous terrain would make it terribly difficult for marauders to get here. Most folks here have zero tolerance for intruders, everyone is armed. I expect no trouble in the winter since we get a good 6ft of snow. Summer time brings tourists. It’s my extended family that I fear for – they are not as well situated.

      1. SaraSue,

        That is true for many of us. Our families are not always in the position we hope they will be but we must do everything we can to find ways to improve their position. It is rarely ideal, but something is better than nothing.

    3. I keep thinking about multiple levels of resistance. Barbed wire at diferent levels, trip wire/Claymore mine-type setup, random holes, spiked boards all slow down people on foot.

      Large logs, boulders, longer spiked boards will slow down regular vehicles.

      And, having a place to shelter after retreat is good planning. A reminder for me to establish.

      Carry on

  11. Alternatives to an All American Firetrap house? The 50.00 and Up underground home springs to mind. I’ve helped build them, I’ve lived in one for a couple of years in ID. Very comfortable. Cool in the summer, like a basement, easy to warm in winter with a small trash burner. You can build them as a “Farm Structure” and modify as needed.

    A Underground log and plastic sheeting Tractor Shed with the ability to close up the front in a double wall log structure with sand-gravel filling would make a solid “Hobbit Castle” with a sandbag fighting position (or three) on the top for a 365 degree view. Helped a friend build one in a week with a back hoe but the logs were delivered by a logger.

    Add a sand point well inside the shelter, hide it along with the well pump and your well ahead of most. Not possible to di a sand point well? Maybe a few 375 gallon IBC totes buried under your Tractor Shed Floor and some plans for Rainwater collection and a hand pump to bring it up for use. A pre-selected out house dug with a tractor driven post hole digger and hidden from inspections by a false floor until needed.

    There are alternatives if your willing to let go of the classic American Stick Built house.

    What is the maximum effective range of an excuse?

  12. Civil Defense Manual. 2 books. Volume one and two by Jack Lawson. I ordered them after recommendation by Matt Bracken. GET them. IF youre serious about defending your neighborhood. As readers on SB know, you cant defend your home from inside your house. It takes some encouragement but Ive finally got neighbors that are taking neighborhood defense seriously

    1. WV Joe,

      Getting all our neighbors to chip in and see what it takes to defend an area is difficult. Always good to hear about success stories when it comes to getting prepared.

  13. It is relatively easy to make safe and secure firing positions in a frame style house with the creative use of gravel wall technology. The simplest way to go is steel C channel studs faced on both sides with 3/4″ plywood. A 4″ thick version will stop any rifle round. A 6″ thick version will even stop a .50BMG. The space inside the wall is filled with 3/4″ gravel. The bullets simply run out of energy quickly moving the gravel around. Typically the wood on the struck side closes in and it is very difficult to see the entry hole. A three sided or four sided small shelter near windows could provide a very safe and secure firing position. An outside porch that has a gravel wall up to the normal rail height of 4′ could both look nice and provide an excellent defense barrier against small arms fire.

    Gravel walls could also be used to protect propane tanks and solar panels from small arms fire. Outbuildings, barns, and garages could have gravel walls built on the inside up to a level of 8 feet or more using standard studs. It would protect everything inside from errant or intended bullets. Even a garage or barn door could be protected by building a gravel wall that could be rolled into place as protection.

    Turning off the gas and electricity prior to a firefight would be prudent anywhere to help prevent fires.

    1. Newell Franks,

      Thanks for the ideas. These things do a great job at stopping bullets. If it comes to it, with scrap lumber you could build an expedient mini wall for at least one window per side and use dirt/gravel from your yards. Building and designing a castle is fairly easy compared to living a normal life in one.

  14. St. Funogas: Years ago there was a fellow named Fernando Aguirre (FerFAL) who wrote a book “Surviving the Economic Collapse”, he wrote about Argentina’s economic collapse.

    Paraphrasing: Gangs or small groups would attack ranchers and farmers out n the boondocks for food and other wealth items. Their first step was to poison the dogs, then they could easily overcome a lone family and/ or single defenders.

    I live in an HOA in a small town near a left leaning southern city. I’ve since been trying a few people in firearms and getting together to lay out how we will defend the HOA.

    If things get sporty, we’ll be heading for the hills to two alternate sites, we are welcome as we bring more shooters, ammo, guns, gold and silver, food and equipment.

    If you’re alone I’d recommend getting a group of your neighbors together. I wish we were out rurally but circumstances prevent that right now.

    Take care and God Bless.

    1. Francis and St. Funogas,

      This sounds like a good example of building up your network. But for St. Funogas and others that may have to ‘go it alone.’ There are ways to stay alone but increase your chances. Think about the nosy neighbor that posts everything they see on the neighborhood social media. You can use this to your advantage. Knowing someone near the crossroads and having them give you a simple phone call if a suspicious group turns your way can give you the slightest head start that you may need. The answer is not always right in front of us but there are many ways to achieve a desired outcome.

  15. Since rioters can get away with anything, and if arrested, they are let out of jail…what would the DA think of this activity when you have to defend yourself, but there is still ROL? I like all the ideas, but I think this can also get you into some trouble when you need to defend yourself…I like the paintball idea! 🙂

    I’m not saying not to do any of this, I’m just thinking implications when you do, and there is still the law around to prosecute you…

    Peace…

    1. I’ve thought a lot about that. But, methinks that at the point where neighborhoods, small towns, and large rural areas are closing off roads in order to defend themselves, the local Marxist District Attorneys, Mayors, and City Council members will be irrelevant because at that point, we will be in CWII.

      1. SaraSue,
        If neighborhoods, small towns, and rural areas plan on terrorists marching in orderly columns on pavement, they lost before the invasion started.

        We have a small organic teaching farm near the outskirts of Eugene Oregon.
        Every minute of every day, around the clock, the drunks and dope-fiends — the ‘goofballs’ — do drive-bys around our fences on bicycles and walking.
        We try to downplay their efficiency by calling them ‘goofballs’, but how easily is their information purchased by those with motivations along the lines of extermination instead of merely stealing batteries to sell at the recyclers?
        The goofballs know every lock, every dog, every hole in every fence.

        Their handlers are intent on our extermination.
        They say this, their advertising says this, their trail of destroyed nations proves this.
        I tend to believe them.

        My suggestion:
        * Walk your neighborhood.
        * Walk your BugOut route.
        * Walk during rain and snow and a new moon at 3am.
        * Walk while making written notes about ambush points.
        * Photograph the homes of your neighbors to verify the ease you, an untrained unmotivated dork, could annihilate them.
        * Visit a title company and the county recorder to verify the ease of acquiring information about residential square-feet to get an idea of the number of residents that property could shelter and support.

        Assume multiple parties are surrveilling you right this minute.
        Assume they use drones to record your routines.

        A ‘defense’ attitude is merely prolonging their inevitable invasion.
        Instead, think like the goofball, think like the exterminator.
        Just don’t advertise your intentions.

        *****

        Last evening while visiting a pal, we watched twenty minutes of the Netflix semi-documentary THE OUTPOST.
        I quit because every act by the inept Americans was the opposite of effective:
        * driving a road with trucks, almost as dumb as armor and a front-facing cannon on a locomotive.
        * making peaceable gestures to non-peaceful people.
        * occupying an established fort in a valley.
        * believing your opponent’s beliefs your beliefs.
        Good grief.

        Think like a Talib.

    2. Michael J.

      You have to know what you are willing to do. You should also be thinking of what dictates the transition from peace, slight instability, and a full breakdown of law. This answer will not be the same for most because it is very area specific.

      1. Pudge, you put your finger on it:
        “You have to know what you are willing to do.” That, for me, is the bottom line. Wargaming gives each of us practice in discovering that.

        Carry on

        1. Once a Marine,

          It is very important to know your line in the sand. Lots will say they won’t stand for ‘such and such’ then next thing they know they are trying to find their line in a different ball field because of little concessions here and there. Identifying this is important.

  16. Michael J., at sometime we have to decide to make a tough decision quickly and worry about the law later. If things get real sporty the law and police will be trying to survive and keep their families safe, they may not be around for awhile.
    Don’t hesitate if you feel under attack. Run the scenarios through your mind, practice and trust in the Lord.
    Today if you are white in a Democratic city or county you are at a disadvantage: YOU are a racist! Accept that fact and live with it.
    Over 200 people killed in Charlotte, NC by illegal guns in 2019, 13 of the killers were people who had been previously arrested and released for carrying an illegal gun. No riots, broken windows, stores destroyed etc, just some candlelight vigils.
    Accept it this way but do the right thing, worry about the law latter…..but get a good lawyer first!

  17. We have a question we are really hoping ya’ll can help us with. We have been wargaming with very dismal success… We have repeatedly put together a plan based on our best projections of what will occur… and been horribly wrong… ie: … just before Hillary was booted, we maxxed out all the credit cards… took out a couple of high interest loans… and… then we went bankrupt a year later. Seems like when we make plans based on our best guest scenarios, completely unexpected events occur and change everything. A great job offer comes along, a beautiful home and acreage becomes available, the wife gets a chronic disease… etc..etc..
    We are Christians, as I know many of you are. So a part of us thinks, “we just need to trust God and walk the day by day walk” We know there is truth in both trusting and preparing… but finding the fine line and discerning the potential scenarios we might find ourselves in has been very difficult… Looking for some wisdom from our favorite online community.

    1. Fighting the Fight… You’ve really been through some tough trials. Many SB readers have shared their struggles through these, and will understand — and will lift you up in prayer. Based on our own experiences, and in large part because we care for our youngest son (a developmentally disabled and medically fragile adult), we try to build safety nets and elasticity into every decision we make. We tend to be very, very risk averse — not paralyzed by indecision, but very cautious. We tend not to make big leaps, but to move through life with slow and steady steps. I would add that we have become more risk averse with time. When we were younger people, we were quite adventurous — sometimes landing on the happy side of those adventures, and other times enduring the difficult consequences of the same. Keep the faith. You are among understanding friends within the SB community!

    2. I’m not sure what wisdom you are seeking. I always tell my kids, “I go therefore to show you what NOT to do in life”. I’ve made just about every important decision/mistake that an adult American can make. I have also had disaster visited upon me several times. I tell myself that if I had been 100% walking with the Savior, none of this would have happened, but that’s just not true. Bad things happen to good and bad people. I do accept, however, what choices of mine were misguided and vowed to not make them again. Now I hesitate, sometimes quite a bit, before making an important decision, and I pray, and I “wait on the Lord” after telling Him my desires. Now, I don’t move forward until I have peace about it (she says in her head, but doesn’t always stick to the commitment of Thy Will, not mine). I should say I TRY.

      I will tell you this: I had the desire to move to the Redoubt over a decade ago – to a safer place. It was not to be, no matter how much I wanted it. Then, while I was physically very weak after a year of chemotherapy, an opportunity popped up to buy a cabin in Idaho. I had been on the Internet looking on and off for many years and had decided that it just wasn’t to be. Seemingly, just like that, an opportunity appeared, AND I wasn’t going to die. I think I stunned everyone around me because I just up and bought it and moved.

      I guess I had finally come to the end of myself, having tried everything to live a good life – so I thought. In a way, I had given up – not on life – but on my insistence that things go my way. Obviously, “things going my way” were somewhat disastrous. God decided to drop in my lap a beautiful home in the mountains – the sequence of events were not lost on me. Finally, I say, Okay God, it’s up to you, I’m done, and then He gives me the desires of my heart. When I walked in the cabin, down to the last detail, were the things I’d dreamed of. I haven’t been this happy since my children were born. And slowly my health has improved so that I am self-sufficient in most ways, not needing drugs, or medical care other than annual lab work. I get stronger every day. One day I may physically decline again, and I accept that. I accept that treatment could once again (or not) be in my future. I accept that I might die way too young.

      In my humble opinion, the key is to realize that you could die at any time, and that your life really is in the Lord’s hands. Forgive yourself of every error you ever made, because that’s what the purpose of the Cross was. If you need to list all your mistakes, do it, then light a match to the list and watch it burn while you thank God for His everlasting kindness and mercy. Then, with prayer and thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to Him who is actually able to make things happen, mostly when we let go. Sometimes God keeps us in a certain place for His purposes, so don’t despair. Believe Him. And then rest in Him. We don’t really know what will happen. I could move to the furthest mountain in Montana and just my luck a nuclear strike would hit on my mountain. lol. I prep, for sure, because I think it’s biblical, but the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.

      Not sure if any of this helps you. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

      1. I very much appreciate your humble perspective, SaraSue.

        “I prep, for sure, because I think it’s biblical, but the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.” When we do whatever it is we choose to do without demanding a particular outcome, we have opened the door for peace and grace to enter.

        Carry on

      2. Thank you, SaraSue. I’ve been dragging around too many mistakes lately. They get heavy. You said the same thing as a song lyric I heard the other day: “You were never meant to carry this beyond the cross.”

      1. @ ThoDan

        I have noticed that when I act out of fear I make bad decisions. This includes fear-motivated purchases as well as actions. It’s hard, especially now, but I have to remind myself to take a deep breath and THINK before I act. That doesn’t include when in a crisis situation(fire, armed attack etc) of course. But when considering purchases or other actions, fear, at least for me, often leads me to making choices I later regret.

  18. Always enjoyed the phrase “No plan survives first contact”. Not saying people shouldn’t plan (I plane SHTF all the time ) but the best laid plans of mice and men . . . . .etc.

    Used to think the first problem would be hungry neighbors. Then a large die off with only the worst of the worst left behind. However the BLM riots have given me a new perspective. We’re kind of lucky in a way. Their tactics are displayed every night on cable TV.

    Matt Bracken talks about an intersecting fire with these rioters . Sounds like it would be effective. They’ve enjoyed the support of local government until now. Maybe after a few of them were to expire it would take the enthusiasm out of burning and looting

    The “We’re not f-ing around anymore ” movement seems a little bit more concerning. A large group of armed felons is definitely a more formidable threat. Either way it seems it would be better engaging them out in the street then waiting for them to show up at a indefensible home

    Sadly my neighbors idea of defense is putting BLM lawn signs in front of their houses. After wargaming my situation have decided staying in good physical condition is first priority since the only real option will be a hasty retreat. 😉

    Good luck to all fellow Patriots

    God bless

    1. Sir Lancelot,

      It is very true that most plans are thrown awry upon first contact, however, by planning you are already looking at possibilities and know your options. This will help you make better, quicker decisions.

      I agree that getting yourself physically able and mentally agile are probably the best preparations any of us can make.

  19. Very useful article. (Including the comments). I have archived this page for future reference. I have planned layers of defense.
    1. .22LR single shot rifle to scare away bandits
    3. .410 single shot shotgun
    4. 12 ga semi-auto shotgun
    5. Scary black rifle if it gets serious
    5. semi-auto pistol and revolver if it gets close
    6. derringer holdout gun just in case

    1. Gerry,

      I appreciate it and am glad that you are able to take away some information.

      Always great to have increasing layers of defense. I would however caution against starting too small and being outgunned. No one has ever wished they brought less gun to a fight.

    2. Something to be thinking about friends. NOBODY wants to be shot even with a 36 grain bulk 22 LR. A gut wound even today from the Surgical Viewpoint is MAJOR Surgery eating up literally dozens of liters of Sterile Saline AND Hours of Surgical Team effort washing your own fecal matter out. Not exactly ditch medicine stuff.

      Folks will die from a minor gut shot when things get crazy. As a OR member I can deal with a sucking chest wound so much better with out the fecal contamination issues.

      HOWEVER if the fear of a wound would stop Everybody, a Platoon of Soldiers or a ravening Gang would be stopped by a mere 22 single shot ringing out. Doesn’t happen because a group of people have group “Bravery” that each person think’s “I will not be shot”.

      SO Unless you have the man power and established fighting positions to establish a “Honey Pot” ambush their is little to be gained by starting small in firepower. That give “Bravery” to the attackers of your weakness.

      A “Honey Pot” or Briar Rabbit Ambush uses Sun Tzu’s thoughts (in Quote Marks)

      “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”

      “Those skilled at making the enemy move do so by creating a situation to which he must conform; they entice him with something he is certain to take, and with lures of ostensible profit they await him in strength.”

      A brave volunteer emplaced in as strong a defensive situation as can be done armed “poorly” “Guarding” a valuable target draws in the attacking group

      “Bravery without forethought, causes a man to fight blindly and desperately like a mad bull. Such an opponent, must not be encountered with brute force, but may be lured into an ambush and slain.”

      Then your also defensive position prepared ambush forces destroys them.

      WHY the focus on defensive preparation here? It’s NOT A video Game, No Reset Button, Bullets goes BOTH Ways. A couple of concealed sandbags and firing from the prone reduces the chances that poorly aimed fire from the ambushed gang will get your friends and neighbors shot.

      OR as my old Drill SGT said “The more you sweat the less you bleed”. I’d rather do shovel work in hidden sandbags then burial detail for a friend.

      In my tour of Bosnia during the Civil War-Ethnic Cleansing I noted the families that survived the best had a few things in common. They bunched up in the BEST Stone walled Defensive Home WITH a Water source AND Sanitation plans for human waste, so they had Man Power for 24-07 guard duties as well as the other duties needed to survive.

      They filled their soon broken windows with brick debris from other homes. Dirty nasty and dark in there for the most part. Like medieval castles. They used a ladder system that required someone from INSIDE the home to put out the ladder to get back in AND again Sun Tzu:

      “Convince your enemy that he will gain very little by attacking you; this will diminish his enthusiasm”

      They looked like NO Return for a LOT of Trouble. Even Gangs think risk Vs Reward.

      An ARMY will destroy you per their orders so sometimes your Spiritual Preps will get the best testing. There is Always the un survivable Situation. Thus Spiritual Preps.

      I heard that well placed country homes with solid defenses and good water were sometimes taken by Army Units as Command Posts. Often the owners were allowed to leave with some small things, sometimes not and murdered on site because of the Ethnic Cleansing. I never saw that, just heard.

      Now not to give offense but look at some of the plans I read about. Patrols wearing the best looking military gear? Are you BEGGING for an ambush friends? Your walking around like someone wearing a nice suit flashing a Gold Necklace and Rolex in a nasty neighborhood…..

      It’s not a Video Game, Bullets goes both ways, Body armor barely covers your chest so gut shots are REAL ISSUE. NO Magic Helicopters will show up at your request for ammo-food-supplies-MEDIVAC- and replacement soldiers.

      Bad times are coming. Plan for it.

      1. Michael… Many thanks for the sharing of your experiences. Your message calls us all to keep closely in our thinking the grim reality of civil war, and what it takes to survive such a scenario.

        From your post: “It’s not a Video Game, Bullets goes both ways…”

        This is a message we must all keep in our active thinking, and we’ve received a strong nudge from contributor Pudge in this direction as well. When war gaming, remember 1) war is not one sided, and bullets do go both ways; and 2) the “left field corollary” — as predictable as you believe your adversary is, that same adversary may be equally unpredictable.

    3. A thoughtful consideration… In the event of kinetic war, perhaps there should be more focus on the ability to stall out or stop the threat from the greatest distance possible.

      1. @Tessilla- Yes, that was my thought in my layers of protection. My thought was to use the .22 rifles at the longest distances to convince the bandits to go away and pick a different target. If this doesn’t work, I may have to go to the scary black rifle next rather than the shotguns. I have been studying the later comments and been rethinking some of my strategy. The readers here are the best and the brightest for this topic that I have found. Thank you all and keep the comments coming.

        1. Gerry McGuire,

          I am appalled at the suggestion to divert terrorists from you to your neighbors!

          Let’s game:
          * your plinking drives the terrorists away, then
          * the terrorists learn to adapt their tactics, then
          * the terrorists destroy your neighbors using their new skills, then
          * the terrorists eat all your neighbor’s storage food, then
          * while resting and growing stronger and recruiting, they plan a return to the source of their humiliation… you.

          I think defense is a terrible idea.

          The terrorists say they will destroy us and our heritage.
          The long line of destroyed nations prove their intentions are real.
          The terrorists are incapable of empathy, of understanding human suffering… a few hundred million starving and dying of designer diseases — ‘covid-19’?– means nothing compared to ThePlan©.

          Believing the terrorists is the first step to keeping intact our heritage.

      2. Telesilla and Gerry,

        The best way to stop a large fight and give the ‘insurgent’ a chance is to do exactly what you are talking about by stopping the enemy at distance and forcing them into your territory. This has been done to great effect in many South American Countries by the insurgents fighting there. They hide in the jungles and hills where armor and large formations of Soldiers cannot go. This effectively makes them evenly matched in battle over what should be a much superior fighting force.

  20. I think a good prepper war games all the time. I’m looking for land for a retreat to rest and for a bug out location. I’m looking at natural water on the land or nearby, slope of the land, trees, where are neighbors, are there places to hide a shelter, can I disguise a shelter, can I dig to go underground, potential for solar or wind energy,
    is there a good place to put a garden that is hidden, closest big cities, neighbors, etc. All the answers impact various threat scenarios and how those threats can be mitigated. For example, I want to put up a big pole barn and then line the inside walls with rocks in wire. This would provide ballistic protection that would be invisible from the outside and that could be camouflaged on the inside. Originally I was thinking cement blocks with rocks/sand or even cement walls but they were war gamed out due to cost, ease of repair, ease of construction, durability against fire, or time for construction. The author provides a slightly more formal process, one that would be ideal for a group.

  21. I agree that fighting a defensive battle against multiple assailants from inside your home is a prescription for disaster. Our home is the classic American fire trap waiting on one Molotov cocktail to go up in flames. It sits on 20 acres in a semi-suburban part of a 150,000 population county. 3 sides of the property are naturally protected by thick brush, 6′ saw palmettos and tangle vines (very slow penetration even with a machete). The property is field fenced with barbed wire and has a paved gated driveway leading from the main road. This is adequate to protect from most trespassers but in the event of any ‘real’ civil unrest our plan is to leave the house and camp across the way in the woods, leaving the gates open with only a marginal barrier (no trespassing signs) to entry – trusting that the majority of bad-guys will follow the path of least resistance right down the main road. From our predetermined position we can see the house, monitor movements and identify intruders. The position is prestaged with non-obvious log barriers as both cover and concealment. The access route to the position is both circuitous and cluttered off-path with tanglefoots of barbed wire. A drum fed 7.62×51 MBR with NVG (really need a thermal scope!) provides primary area defense while PDWs are 11.5″-barreled AR pistols with arm braces and EOTechs, (and a shotgun or two). Our plan in the event of SHTF is to stay on the property, use the main home as a storage/cooking/ base area but sleep away from the house as long as needed. Worst case is the house and most supplies are looted/destroyed (and we have to rely on cached items), but it is unlikely our defensive position will be overrun by anything but a very determined/well equipt force.

    1. @Earnest- You are right about fighting from inside your home. You should be out of your home if at all possible even if you only have a front and back yard to do it in. I have a fence to hide behind and bushes and trees to conceal my position. True, the fence and bushes will not stop a bullet but the trees are very large and WILL. I also have outbuildings to shoot from and other cover.

    2. Earnest,

      It sounds like you have a pretty well thought out defensive plan and the equipment to back that plan. Not necessarily a comment directed towards you but for others still learning, make sure you have the ability to maneuver away from your predetermined position besides towards the house. The reason being that a cave is a great place to fight from because they are almost impenetrable but if you don’t have adequate supplies those on the outside (in this case those that took the house) can just sit and wait as you starve yourself. The worst part is, this doesn’t take a very large force.

  22. Fighting the Fight: The Lord gave us free will but with a stunningly simple set of rules as to how to carry on through life.

    Nothing goes according to plan, read about Black Swan events or read JWR’s books.

    Planning is good, how we decide to deal with disasters defines us. We have all had them.

    Take care and God Bless, I’ve always read the Bible but continue to think of the man who went to heaven and saw his footprints in the sand, when he saw two sets of footprints it was because HE was carrying him. And yes, all of us have cried in desperation at times.

  23. Pudge, hopefully you are still taking time to answer comments on here because I am hoping you will “drill down” to a specific suggestion or two because our eastern property line, about 1,500 running feet, borders thick woods that do NOT belong to us. A side door to the home, which is a child’s bedroom, is literally 10 yards from the wood line. I won’t say it keeps me up at night thinking about how vulnerable we are but I know if a WROL situation comes, it is doubtful I can start cutting down trees for a good field of fire.

    1. Bravo Delta,

      Still here! Without seeing it here are a couple of thoughts. First off, reinforce that door. It doesn’t have to last forever, just long enough. If the door is difficult enough to get in it will slow down any intruders long enough for you to reposition or will make them decide to try another route in. However, make sure it is still usable from the inside so you can use it if need be to evacuate or potentially flank.

      The next thing you can do is place largish, sharp rocks behind any of the trees that could provide your opponent cover. It may not seem like much but jumping on a big jagged rock while hurrying so as not to get shot can ruin anyone’s day. They can cause injuries by themselves or slow down the enemy long enough to provide a better shot for you. If you go with the rocks, make sure you only put them on the side that is of use to the enemy. That way if you need to make a getaway or use that side door in order to flank a threat, you are able to use those same trees for cover without fear of jumping on those same rocks that your enemy has to worry about.

      Do you have any fence of sorts on that side of your property? Even a small fence can create a slow down.

    2. @ Bravo Delta

      Yeah, my place is rather like that as well including 2 glass doors! I own none of the treeline on one side and very little on the other. I’ve concluded that my place is non-defensible to any determined mob. Somewhat defensible to just a few attackers. Best defense is that it’s up a driveway in a rural area so people would need to be willing to be exposed and venture up off the road a ways. And it’s small and simple looking so not a place that screams money or “stuff”. I can only clearly see to one direction as the trees screen the other 3. It is what it is to some extent……. Hoping to be able to swing replacing one of the glass doors with a steel one soon; that’s motivated by energy efficiency and privacy just as much as security.

      1. Ani, glad to see someone is in a similar situation as me! I also have a decently long driveway, approximately 60 yards in length, which would easily expose bad guys if they stay out of those thick woods. And I think the bad guys, unless they are military-trained, would have a clumsy time trying to sneak through those thick woods especially at night.

        As far as defenses, I have lots of barbed wire and I would tie LOTS of strands between trees to slow their approach. Like I told Pudgy, it’s impossible to cut down literally 50-60 full grown trees to extend the field of fire BUT, the more I thought about it, those trees would provide thick cover for prone fighting AND firewood for cooking. So maybe some of them can come down if the balloon goes up. But here’s another thought that might help you: leave about 10-15 yards of trees adjacent to your property, and then cut down trees beyond that point, because that would block the bad guys from getting a good bead on you from 50 yards into the woods….I think.

        Pudgy also asked about fence in his response: Yes, there is field fence over some of that property line with barbed wire ready to be strung, too.

        1. Billy Davis,

          Barbed wire works really well when strung out as a tangle foot obstacle. This really slows people down and can funnel them into a pre designated killbox.

          Also, if you want to remain covert in your defenses you can string the barbed wire on your side of the fence right at the top of it. That way someone approaching from the opposite side can’t see it but as soon as they grab the fence to jump or crawl over they will grab it. This will cause pain to slow them down and can catch gloves/clothing as well.

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