Fighting In Built Up Areas
By Aaron “Ghost” Grubin - OSOK #10


FIBUA is a dangerous and expensive endeavor for anyone attacking a fortified location. Defenders always have the advantage and they are the ones who are familiar with the layout of the ground. Battles in cities and towns have been focal points of campaigns and wars. The French town of Bastogne was held by the US Army against overwhelming numbers until relieved. Stalingrad was regarded as the turning point of WWII where snipers played a large part. House to house fighting had always been hard and costly in men and material. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s have some fun.



                Defending a building is one of the easier jobs you could be tasked with in a game. In a building, it is almost impossible to get flanked and surprised. Entry points can be observed, covered and booby trapped turning any building or shack into a paint grinder for both sides.


Windows- Don’t crowd the windows and, stay in the shadows. Staying in the shadows will make it harder to spot you. Can’t hit what you can’t see. Stay low, don’t pop out from the same place twice. Don’t silhouette yourself by standing out in the open. Watch for light coming in from the other side of the room. Light means holes and holes mean you can be hit.


Doors- Stay back from doors and stay down. Grenades and automatic fire tends to go in doors before the opposition. People tend to enter and assault from the doors.


Rooms- have a way out. Most fields don’t let you go at their buildings with chain saws so look for pre cut spider holes from one room to the other, through the floor, or keep the dive-out-the-window option open. The eye is attracted to corners of rooms so stick to the side of the room away from the corner if no cover is available.  Don’t be afraid to fall back into another room. It resets the situation making the opposition have to enter another room blind burning up his paint. If you have to leave the building go out the window and come back in be a pain in the butt all over again.


Practice and Tips:

1.     Learn to shoot from the opposite side. If you shoot from the right, practice shooting from the left. This increases your options for making accurate shots when shooting from the right side of a door, corner, or wall.

2.     The average shooter shoots from the “right shoulder”. Try to arrange it so that you fire on them from their right side. It will take them a little longer to line up on you from the right than to the left of him. If you are to his/her left, then all they have to do is turn their head and shoulders. If you are to their right, they have to turn their entire body to shot accurately at you.

3.     When people enter a room or building, people tend to turn immediately to the right. Good spot for an ambush or a booby trap.

4.     When walking into a room in your day to day life, make mental notes of how you go in, and the first places you look. Remember this when you are setting up to defend a built up structure.

5.     Hit the range and practice shooting from around walls and corners. Inside a building, instinctive and snap shooting play a big part.

6.     Keep your eyes open, and your head down.



                Taking a building must be done with a maximum of speed and aggression. The defenders have all the advantages except that you choose the time of the assault and you can generally cut them off from re-enforcement. Taking a building or a room can take a lot of ammo but it must be done quickly. You will take heavy casualties if you don’t do it right.

                Entry- If possible, try not to enter the building using the doors. Human nature is to hold the door at all costs. Come in through the windows. Taking a building is done room by room. Room entry can be done in two ways.

•        Mass entry- Use mass numbers of troops and pile them into the room ‘guns blazing.

   Pro- Large volume of fire overwhelms small pockets of resistance that are likely to be scattered throughout a building.

•  Con- One well placed grenade or booby trap can wipe out your whole group.

      Two man entry team- Use one man to throw in a grenade, and after it either blows or stops spraying, both troops charge in. One sprays as he goes in and the other one goes in back to back covering the rear.

   Pro- If things go wrong, you loose only two troops. Better control of troops and less confusion in the room.

  Con- Reduced volume of fire from only two people entering the room.

After you have taken a room, leave one person behind to secure it! The last thing you need in the chaos inside a building is the opposition retaking a room and hitting you from behind. Keep the pressure up and keep pushing through the building with maximum speed and aggression. If it is possible, hit a building from the top floors down. That way, you have the momentum of falling down hill. Besides. If you toss a grenade into a stair well, if you miss, well, Mr. Grenade is no longer your friend and comes bouncing back down at you.


In conclusion, buildings add an extra dimension to a game by adding another environment. Frequently in scenario games, important objectives are associated with towns and buildings. Taking them and holding them are two different jobs and can be a blast. Fortunately you can practice this at home just walking through the house with your gun mentally rehearsing. “How would I take this room?” “How could I hold this place?” The enemy is everywhere can pop up anywhere anytime. Perfect paranoia is perfect awareness.