Field Manual: Deployment

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The squad commander upon landing must perform the following actions:

  • Assess the characteristics of the landing zone, namely the terrain and any natural / artificial obstacles around the Skyranger.
  • Identify all hostiles in the vicinity of the transport that might endanger the landing operation
  • Deploy forces to engage and neutralize them, taking attention to both flanks of the transport and also the area around the cockpit.
  • Establish a safety perimeter around the craft by the use of smoke covers, maintaining proper distance between the squad members and securing the rear of the squad.



The fireteams that are the first to deploy have one of the most hazardous duties on the battlefield. Upon landing their immediate task is to eliminate any hostile opposition that is directly facing the ramp of the transport. Their actions are determined by the following list of conditions:

  1. Enemy in front of the ramp and directly looking at it - engage and eliminate target, then move one square to the front and another to the side to clear the ramp. If there isn't any read #2.
  2. Enemy in front of the ramp but facing another direction - do not fire to avoid reaction shots that might hit personnel inside the transport! (unless they have already fired) - move one square to the front and another to the side to clear the ramp and read #3.
  3. Enemy on another location and facing the ramp. Fire one/two rounds but make sure that there's enough TUs to clear the square right next to the ramp by moving to another direction.
  4. Enemy on another location but not facing the ramp. Engage only after all enemies on #1, #2 and #3 have been eliminated. If there are several hostiles then engage first the dangerous one - the closest and heavily armed.
  5. No hostiles visible near the transport - the soldiers should take cover under the landing gear until the end of the turn, then start scouting the area near the Skyranger.


If condition #5 applies the rest of the soldiers might start disembarking the transport and widen the perimeter around the transport. If any aliens are detected they must be eliminated as soon as possible. In case the front row fireteam has been taken out by the aliens, the next team becomes the front row team and must act accordingly to the previous list of conditions. If there's insufficient lighting the back soldiers must deploy electroflares to the area surrounding the transport. Also if there's a heavy enemy presence close to the landing zone, it's recommended the use of smoke covers.


If there's an HWP present on the transport then it should be deployed according to 1003.3.1.4 and used to scout and spot all hostiles while drawing fire from them. After it has finished moving them the soldiers can disembark using 2001.2. procedures.


After the landing area has been successfully cleared of any enemy opposition the squad can reorganized to perform its mission. At this point there are two major factors that should be taken into account: a quick dispersal of the squad members to maintain safety distances and the position of the landing zone.


The location of the landing (LZ) zone on the area of operations is a major factor in determining the direction to which the squad must be deployed. The rear of the squad should be set against a corner or side of the map to prevent any rear attacks by hostiles as it moves forward to complete its mission. It can be either easy or difficult, depending on the location of the LZ.

2003-1.1 CORNER LZ

It's when the Skyranger lands on one of the corners of the tactical map that the LZ is easiest to secure since there are only two directions from which enemy contact can be expected. To establish a safe perimeter the squad must have cleared the corner of any hostiles. The squad can then set up a quarter-circle perimeter and start moving towards the rest of the battlefield.

2003-1.2 SIDE LZ

When the Skyranger is positioned next to one of the sides of the map, it protects one side of the squad against possible attacks but it still leaves three others open. After the squad has successfully exited the transport, it is recommended that the squad set a half circle perimeter as it pushes forward.

2003-1.3 CENTRAL LZ

The hardest landing zone since hostile attacks can be expected from all directions. After clearing the landing site of aliens, the closest edge of the map should be located by the scouts and secured. Then the squad can expand in the other directions, with that side being the rear and using the half-circle tactic as in the side LZ. You will probably have to hold some units at the LZ while expanding the map edge site into a proper perimeter.


Single units moving without caution through unsecured areas and without fire support will often get in over their heads. This means dead. See Movement section.

Two soldiers is the smallest fireteam unit. The immediate advantage is that if one soldier spots or is shot by an alien, the second can return fire, throw grenades (indirect fire), come administer first aid, call for backup, etc. The first key rule is that the soldier spotting the alien should not move until the second soldier has decided on an appropriate action plan, to minimize movement-based reaction fire. See Scout/Sniper tactics.

Two soldiers also works well for a heavy-weapons fireteam, as the second soldier can aid in carrying ammo and of course taking over the weapon if necessary.

Three or four soldiers is preferable in more open areas. Division of the teams by skill into scouting or fire-support roles is still important. Four skilled soldiers with laser or plasma weapons are often enough to deal with a terror unit on the turn it is spotted.

More soldiers than this - including the typical bunching around the Skyranger - attracts grenades.

Medics often run alone through poorly secured areas. This is part of their job. Throwing the medkit to a closer soldier from behind cover might be safer.