Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Room Drills

by Deltapooh

This section contains some excellent information on the art of Room clearing using CQB techniques.


Close Quarters Combat (CQB) is considered to be the most dangerous and stressful form of combat. Engagements occur at distances of 25 feet of less 95% of the time. The battles are fierce and quick, often lasting no more than a few seconds. The screams of terrified hostages, and the injured merge with the common sounds of battle, adding to an already chaotic situation. High casualties and fatigue makes matters worse. The side who is better trained, equipped, led, and prepared for rigors of CQB achieves victory.

SWAT 3: Close Quarters Combat was designed to simulate the dangers and situation real tactical teams must face everyday. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) of the game’s officers does incorporate some of the actual tactics SWAT teams employ. However, limited technology and constantly changing doctrine makes it impossible for the game to employ all the techniques used by tactical personnel.

Fortunately, Sierra has introduced Multiplayer to SWAT 3 in its Elite Edition. Now real individuals may replace AI. Some limits still exist. However, players now have the opportunity to utilize new CQB techniques in order to enhance gameplay and win more easily.

This brings us to the purpose of this article. US Army Special Forces have introduced a new method for clearing rooms in a structure. The drill focuses on tight coordination, rapid fire, and room domination. I think this technique can be employed in SWAT 3 EE multiplayer games.

CQB Basics

Before we discuss The Improved CQB Drill, I would like to go over some basic Close Quarters Combat tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP). They are the foundation for the successful employment of the battle drill. The information can also apply to other areas of gameplay, including single player.

First, you must understand SWAT 3’s Rules of Engagement (ROE). These instructions will guide you throughout the operation. They also set parameters that must never be violated. Keep the ROE in mind, both during the mission and in practice exercises.

According to your SWAT 3: CQB manual, an assaulter may only employ deadly force when an armed suspect is pointed a gun at the player or another officer/hostage/civilian. You must obey this policy at all times.

First Three Rules of CQB

The first three rules of CQB are practice, practice, and practice. Entry teams must practice in the same manner over and over. Train until you can perform each drills in an exercise as you would in an actual situation. CQB engagements are very rapid. Techniques must be executed quickly. There is very little time to stop and think. So practice until it is second nature.

Three Principles of CQB.

1. Surprise, is key to a safe and successful mission. It means you are prepared, and the threat is not. The element of surprise makes it safer for you, and the individual(s) to be apprehended.

2. Speed, better described as a "careful hurry," enables the entry team to maintain the vital first few "surprise seconds", and exploit them to their complete potential.

3. Violence of Action is best described as a sudden & explosive presence that eliminates the threat with the least possibility of compromise, or in other words, aggressiveness.

Special Forces Six Basic Fundamentals on Room Combat.

One of 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Operations Group primary missions is to train SWAT teams across the country. Their extensive knowledge of CQB tactics has led them to create six basic fundamentals for fighting in a room. They are dominate the room, eliminate the threats, control the situation & personnel, search the dead, search the room, and evacuate personnel. I should stress many of the fundamentals are conducted simultaneously or in sequence. The element leader determines how they are employed in gameplay.

Under an ideal scenario, the entry team should maneuver to points that will allow control of the room with proper fields of fire (discussed later). Then, employ accurate, discriminating fire to eliminate hostile individuals. The entry team may control the situation by ensuring that no one resist, and all people (both enemy and friendly) strictly adhere to all instructions given by tactical personnel. Hostiles that have been wounded should be searched for weapons. The room may or may not need to be searched, depending on its complexity. Once the room & all occupants have been secured, personnel can be evacuated. Please keep in mind this is a simplified procedure, of an ideal scenario. It can be much more difficult.

Two Additional Tips.

There are two other tips I would like to provide players with. The first you should already know. (If you don’t, shame on you!) The second may be new to some. In any case, both are very important.

1. Watch the hands: It is normal to make eye contact, or to look at people’s faces. However, in CQB, you must focus on the hands. You should enter a room training your reticule on all individual(s) hands. It is another rule that should never be broken.

2. Never Flag: “Flagging” is when you lead with the weapon around windows, corners, and especially interior doors. It gives away your location to anyone waiting around those areas. Flagging also provided them with the direction you are heading. It is a very big problem when employing full assault weapons like the M4. “Slicing the Pie,” as well as, turning into corners and sliding toward the opening, are the best countermeasures to Flagging.

Brief History About the Improved CQB Drill.

In the late summer of 1993, elements of the 3rd Battalion, 75th Army Ranger Regiment, and 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment D (better known as “The Delta Force”) trained for deployment to Somalia. Their mission would be to apprehend the warlord, who was believed responsible for the deaths of UN Peacekeepers. The commandos used the CQB drill explained in Army Field Manual 7-8. This technique calls for soldiers to throw a fragmentation grenade into a room. Wait for it to go off. Finally enter the room using indiscrimative fire to neutralize any remaining threats.

The problem was the ROE for the mission prohibited this exercise. Officials wanted the warlord alive. Additionally, deadly shrapnel from the grenades would easily pierce the thin walls endangering friendly personnel. Another problem identified was the fact of the explosion kicking up dust from the dirt floors common in Somalia, thus limiting visibility. In short, the CQB tactic taught to hundreds of thousands of soldiers was inadequate for restrictive close quarter’s combat in modern structures.

Therefore, the Special Forces operators created a new technique. This one focused on tight coordination, rapid-careful movement, quick discriminative fire, and preserving life on both sides. The troops constantly rehearsed their new drill, and completed training on October 2, 1993, while in Somalia. Twenty-four hours later those same soldiers were involved in a raid that went very wrong. Troops came under heavy attack from thousands of angry people. 99 commandos were besieged for seventeen hours. They managed to holdout until a rescue force could extract them. Soldiers were killed and wounded. However, this small group managed to fend off thousands. A major reason for their survival is this CQB drill.

Improved CQB Drill.

First off, you must understand the basic layout of a room. It usually has six sides (roof, floor, and four sides); each connected by 90-degree angles. Each room has an entry doorway, which is also called “The Fatal Funnel.” It is given this name because it’s where the enemy expects you to enter, and is the most vulnerable and critical point (or decisive point).

It shows the basic room with the fatal funnel. It also identifies the “Points of Domination” (POD) and direction of fire (“No Man’s Land”) using the Four Corners of the room. The location of No Man’s Land is determined by the side, which the entry team enters. The main point of the drill is to mass the maximum amount of firepower possible at the fatal funnel and move quickly through to your assigned POD. All weapons should be oriented toward No Man’s Land. Each assaulter’s single mission is to secure their designated POD. Any perceived threat should be engaged while maneuvering to each POD. Don’t employ flashbangs or C2 charges everytime your team enters a room. It can provide the enemy with a pattern to predict when you are about to attack.

Stacking is critical to successfully moving through the fatal funnel. POD assignments are determined by the positioning of each assaulter in the stack. The old battle drill attempts to synchronize and push two men through a doorway at once. Nor does it call for sending a single individual to clear a room alone. Synchronization is provided by the physical contact of the assaulters as they rapidly enter a room. The casualties fatigue, security, and confusion that goes along with close quarters combat makes maintaining team integrity difficult. Knowing the responsibilities of each individual in a stack lessons the negative effects.

This diagram shows the responsibility of each man in the stack. No matter the side of entrance, the duty of each assaulter remains the same. The two primary positions, 1-Man and 2-Man, are responsible for the left and right limit PODs. Depending on which way the doors opens, one of these men must ride the door all the way to the wall to ensure it’s clear. 1-Man always moves across the doorway and goes to the deep corner of the room (or straight & long). 2-Man always hooks the doorway and moves to clear the near corner (or hook & short). 3-Man and 4-Man follow the 1-Man and 2-Man respectively, and establish their PODs. These men must be prepared to complete their lead man’s mission in the event the assaulter is wounded. Use 4-Man to place breaching charge, pick the locks, and for tossing in CS gas and flashbang grenades.

It is possible to execute this drill with three men, but four men are preferred. Four assaulters clearing a room provide the flexibility to the team necessary in the event there are additional, unknown rooms, or casualties. The probability of success decreases greatly after three men, and only under the most extreme circumstances should two men attempt to clear a room. One man should never attempt to clear a room alone.

Figure 3a-4a to 3e-4e illustrates the Improved Drill using 4 (left) and 3 men (right)


Everyone should understand some key points. Massing combat power at and through fatal funnel doesn’t mean you race through flagging the door. Assaulters should still Slice-the-Pie upon when entering, just move quickly. Your movements must be deliberate and synchronized with each team member. Stack up tight. To prevent friendly fire, only 1-Man should engage any sudden threats that might appear in front of the formation. When the team is stacked, 4-Man should signal 3-Man. 3-Man then signals 2-Man. Finally, 2-Man signals 1-Man who begins the assault. (You may want to utilize the chat utility for signaling.) When 1-Man moves, everyone in the stack must follow closely behind. As you enter each man should shout out several general compliance commands. Engage those threat whom refuses to comply with short controlled burst. You should shoot on the move. Do not stop until you reach your POD. Finally, make sure you keep your shots within your assigned fire zone. This may be difficult to do if you see a bad guy pointing a weapon at you outside your zone. You must trust that your teammate will engage neutralize him before he neutralizes you.

Figure 5a to 5e

This figure illustrates PODs, No Man’s Land, and Zones of Fire for teams stacking on different sides of a door.

5th Man Duties.

Now what do we do with 5-Man. The Element Leader must answer this question. You might be tempted to seen him into the room. This might not be a good idea. Unless the individual stands in the doorway, he will be positioned within someone’s zone of fire. It is too dangerous. My advice is to keep this assaulter outside the room. He can provide cover for the entry team. As you all may know, suspects do have a tendency to maneuver toward the action. 5-Man can prevent such individuals from attacking the team from behind.

Of course, this assaulter will see little action. Few people would be willing to play this position. A simple solution would be to rotate the position. Each assaulter on the team takes his turn as 5-Man on each room entered. Another idea is to allow the Element Leader to play this position. It is hard to make decisions while being fired upon. The Element Leader must be able to see not only the current fight, but also the fight ahead.


I know this drill may appear complicated. However, with a little practice, it can easily become routine. Yet, I still advice you to practice other maneuvers. This technique is primarily reserved for Dynamic Mode. A good tactical team strives to remain in Stealth Mode for as long as possible. Also, you might not want to use this drill where booby traps may lurk. In that situation, speed can be deadly. In short, apply this technique when you (I mean the Element Leader) feel it will save lives and ensure victory.