Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Scumfuck Praxis: Stealth (Best of CBTT's ZS Posts)

The number one component of stealth is patience. Expect extremely slow going if you intend to avoid all contact.

Mobile stealth is 10x harder than static stealth. In a static position, if you are well camoflaged (by debris, ghillie suite, behind a blind) and do not move and remain quiet, the majority of people will not notice you. But if you want to be moving around it is going to be much harder to remain undetected. First off, movement is one of those things that draws the eye instantly, especially rapid or jerky movement. Second, even with noise discipline, the sound of your own footsteps (you will not have 100% silent footsteps with all your gear) can drown out other sounds in the area that you might be alert to otherwise, in addition to giving away your position to others. And thirdly, part of the awareness you could be using to search for potential contacts in the area is going to be given over to the basic task of moving and navigating the busted ass landscape.

Notice these tips are mostly about perception. It is exceedingly hard to hide from someone you do not know is there. So your awareness must be razor sharp if you truly want to move through an area undetected. Here are a couple of tips.

(Editor's note: I am not anybody high speed, but I played a lot of jailbreak as a kid)

1: When in doubt, freeze in place. Again, movement is the absolute first thing that the eye notices. If you suspect but do not know you have been spotted and you are not immediately being fired upon, there is no reason not to take a few seconds to look around.
2: Do not look over the top of things. Cresting a hill or peeking over a fence means that your silhouette is easily visible.
3: When trying to maneuver around potential contact, go farther than you think you need to. People move and if you are going around them it is unlikely you will have any idea what they are up to.
4: Almost more important than good camouflage is good optics. Again, it is highly beneficial if you see them before you can hope to evade them. Good binocs and maybe an NVD are a big help here.
5: Step slowly and carefully, but don't obsess over it. It is more important that you do not trip or knock over anything huge than it is to try some ninja rice paper walk. Most noises are relegated to background noise unless they stand out, so you can get away with more small noises than you think.
6: Be aware of ambient noise and how it can help you. A loud truck, gunfire or a siren can cover the noise if you need to move fast. On a similar note, use distractions when you can. I'm not saying try some ol' Manhunt shit here but the less someone's attention is focused in your direction the better off you are.
7: Sentry removal: Don't try it. There is almost never a reason not to evade in the first place, and that is the kind of stealth that is nearly impossible for us mere mortals. Remember, proximity negates preparation in almost all cases-if you do it right, you don't need to be garrotting motherfuckers.
8: A guy with a spotlight is blind to nearly everything outside it. You would be amazed at how often a spotlight can sweep just over or around you without giving you away. We used to play with a massive 8 D cell monster spotlight and it still only projects a beam 2 feet wide that you can play tag with all night if you are good.
9: Have an immediate plan of action if you get spotted. Depending on the situation, that might be fight or run away, but know what to do immediately and how to signal others to do the same. You will only have a split second in some cases so it is best to know now.
10: Smooth, deliberate movements. When you have to move, you can go faster than you think to if you keep all the movements very smooth. Don't power walk your arms or jerk your head around to look at stuff; instead make every movement flow together.

Ugh, I didn't mean for this to turn into some long pedantic lecture from a guy with a shitload of hide and seek under his belt and nothing else. But rest assured that each of these little truisms has been religiously field tested. :D

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