What is SWAT?

A S.W.A.T (Special Weapons And Tactics) team is an eliteSpecial Operations tactical unit in American and some international law enforcement departments. They are trained to perform high-risk operations that fall outside of the abilities of regular officers. Their duties include performing hostage rescues and counter-terrorism operations, serving high risk arrest and search warrants, subduing barricaded suspects, and engaging heavily-armed criminals. A SWAT team is often equipped with specialized firearms including assault rifles, submachine guns, shotguns, carbines, riot control agents, stun grenades, and high-powered rifles for snipers. They have specialized equipment including heavy body armor, entry tools, armored vehicles, advanced night vision optics, and motion detectors for covertly determining the positions of hostages or hostage takers inside of an enclosed structure.

The first SWAT team was established in the Los Angeles Police Department in 1968. Since then, many American police departments, especially in major cities and at the federal and state-levels of government, have established their own elite units under various names; these units, regardless of their official name, are referred to collectively as SWAT teams in colloquial usage.

Source: Wikipedia

SWAT equipment

SWAT teams use equipment designed for a variety of specialist situations including close quarters combat (CQC) in an urban environment. The particular pieces of equipment vary from unit to unit, but there are some consistent trends in what they wear and use.


While a wide variety of weapons are used by SWAT teams, the most common weapons include submachine guns, assault rifles, shotguns, and sniper rifles.

Tactical aids include K9 Units, flash bang, stinger and tear gas grenades.

Semi-automatic pistols are the most popular sidearms. Examples may include, but are not limited to: M1911 pistol series, Sig Sauer series  (especially the Sig P226 and Sig P229) Beretta 92 series, Glock pistols, and H&K USP series.

Common submachine guns used by SWAT teams include the 9 mm and 10 mm Heckler & Koch MP5. The H&K UMP[ has begun to replace the MP5 due to its lower cost and larger caliber, though the UMP has a shorter effective range, and more recoil.

Common shotguns used by SWAT units include the Benelli M1, Benelli M1014, Remington 870[ and 1100, Mossberg 500 and 590.

Common carbines include the ColtCAR-15 & M4 and H&KG36 & HK416. While affording SWAT teams increased penetration and accuracy at longer ranges, the compact size of these weapons is essential as SWAT units frequently operate in CQB environments. The Colt M16A2 can be found used by marksmen or SWAT officers when a longer ranged weapon is needed. The Heckler & Koch G3 series is also common among marksmen or snipers, as well as the M14 rifle and the Remington 700P. Many different variants of bolt action rifles are used by SWAT, including limited use of .50 caliber sniper rifles.

To breach doors quickly, battering rams, shotguns, or explosive charges can be used to break the lock or hinges, or even demolish the door frame itself. SWAT teams also use many less-lethal munitions and weapons. These include Tasers, pepper spray canisters, shotguns loaded with bean bag rounds, PepperBall guns, Stinger grenades, Flash Bang grenades, and tear gas. PepperBall guns are essentially paint ball markers loaded with balls containing Oleoresin Capsicum (“”pepper spray””).


SWAT units may also employ ARVs, (Armored Rescue Vehicle) for insertion, maneuvering, or during tactical operations such as the rescue of civilians/officers pinned down by gunfire. Helicopters may be used to provide aerial reconnaissance or even insertion via rappelling or fast-roping. To avoid detection by suspects during insertion in urban environments, SWAT units may also use modified buses, vans, trucks, or other seemingly normal vehicles.

Units such as the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Special Response Team (SRT) used a vehicle called a B.E.A.R., made by Lenco Engineering which is a very large armored vehicle with a ladder on top to make entry into the second and third floors of buildings. Numerous other agencies such as the LAPD, LASD and NYPD use both the B.E.A.R. and the smaller BearCat variant.

The Tulsa Police Department’s SOT (Special Operations Team) uses an Alvis Saracen, a British-built armored personnel carrier. The Saracen was modified to accommodate the needs of the SOT. A Night Sun was mounted on top and a ram was mounted to the front. The Saracen has been used from warrant service to emergency response. It has enabled team members to move from one point to another safely.

The police departments of Killeen and Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C. use the Cadillac Gage Ranger, as does the Florida Highway Patrol.

The Beijing SWAT Team of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) uses a specially designed Hummer in addition to other armored vehicles.

Source: Wikipedia

Tactics Manual

I. Introduction.

Welcome to The Visionaries Of War Specialists Swat 4 tactics manual. This manual will cover the standard operating procedures that you will be expected to know if you play on the VOWS Swat server.

II. Basic Definitions.

In this section we will cover some basic definitions that will give you a better idea of the way we do things as well as helping you to understand further sections of the manual.

A Swat Element usually consists of 5 team members, These are Red 1, Red 2, Blue 1, Blue 2 and the Element Leader although sometimes it is necessary to have additional officers and they are issued the position of Spec Ops. Red 1 and Red 2 form Red Team and similarly Blue 1 and Blue 2 form Blue Team. Both teams are under the command of the Element Leader (EL) who is responsible for directing the teams under his command in order to complete the mission. It is important to note that Red and Blue team are not restricted to any entry points and are not linked to the Red and Blue teams provided by the game. Below is a small description of each position detailing what particular roles are required from them

Red 1 (R1)

Pointman for Red Team, is first in the room and must be capable of making split second decisions while keeping a cool head. They must be a crack shot in the unfortunate scenario that a suspect is uncompliant and has to be neutralised. Red 1 is also tasked with the following duties unless the Element Leader orders otherwise: Lockpicking, Mirroring, Placing Wedges, Removing Wedges, and Door Breaching. The typical loadout carried by Red 1 is a Lethal Primary, Tazer/Cobra, Optiwand, Door Wedge, 3 Tactical Grenades, C2 Explosive, Mask/Helmet (depending on the choice of tactical Grenades). This Loadout is subject to change by the Element Leader however only in unusual circumstances so all officers are required to know the standard loadout

Red 2 (R2)

Coverman for Red Team, Stays to Red 1’s 6 O’Clock at all times unless ordered otherwise by the Element Leader. The covermen are the backbone of the element. They enter after their pointmen, and end up saving lives more often than not. Red 2 is also tasked with the following duties unless ordered otherwise by the Element Leader: Arresting Suspects or Civilians, Deploying Tactical Grenades, Deploying Lightsticks. The typical loadout carried by Red 2 is a Less Lethal Primary, Lethal Secondary, 5 Tactical Grenades, C2 Explosive, Mask/Helmet (depending on the choice of tactical Grenades). Again this Loadout is subject to change by the Element Leader.

Blue 1 (B1)

Pointman For Blue Team and therefore has the same responsibilities and loadout as R1

Blue 2 (B2)

Coverman for Blue Team and therefore has the same responsibilities and loadout as R2

Element Leader 1 (EL1)

Is the Mission Commander, makes all the key decisions. He therefore must have a sound knowledge of Swat Tactics and be capable of acting decisively to make the important decisions. Before the mission he is tasked with issuing positions to each officer in his element, he is also responsible for deciding what types of tactical grenades each member should carry and he can modify the standard loadouts of each officer if he determines it necessary. The Element Leader alone is in charge of the mission plan, he decides how to utilise his element to give them the best chance of saving as many lives as possible, the officers under his command must follow his orders without question, hesitation could cost the lives of not only his team but of innocent civilians. Due to the nature of his role within the Element it is of the upmost importance that he is not unecessarily put into the line of fire

Element Leader 2 (EL2)

Commands the second element in the eventuality that there is enough officers to form a second element. In this case Element Leader 1 and Element Leader 2 will both be in constant communication with one another during the planning phase through to the conclusion of the mission coordinating the actions of their respective teams

Spec Ops (SO)

This is the most free roaming position, his job is to add to the element in any way possible, The Spec Ops officers has no standard loadout as his duties change from mission to mission. Typical duties are being employed as a sniper or as an operator of the Grenade Launcher however this is at the complete disgression of the Element Leader. Unless specifically ordered otherwise the Spec Ops Officer is to stay at the 6 O’Clock of the Element, note that there can be multiple Spec Ops officers

III. Movement.

In this section we will cover a variety of different movement techniques that can be called for by the Element Leader. Movement plays a very important part in our teams success. Proper movement can minimize casualties so therefore it is required that every officer has a good knowledge of the various formations. We begin with a list of the basics formations each with a short description as well as animations and videos to aid in your understanding of them

Standard Formation

This formation is the most basic one within our operations and is the default until another formation is required. This is a free form movement that allows officers to adapt to their surroundings the best. Red Team is the primary team and takes the point with Blue team on their 6 O’Clock and finally with the Element Leader taking up the tail. Below is a flash animation of a full Element advancing in Standard Formation

As you can see from the flash animation Standard Formation is a loose grouping of officers that allows for flexibility while moving, there is also a Spec Ops Officer present and as expected he takes up a position to the 6 O’Clock of the main element

File Formation

File Formation is a restricted version of Standard Formation. Again Red Team is the primary team and takes the point with Blue team on their 6 O’Clock and finally with the Element Leader taking up the tail. All officers form a single file column that will minimise exposure of the element. Below is a flash animation of a full element advancing in File Formation

The above animation shows how narrow File Formation is allowing the element to minimise exposure when it is desirable to do so. File Formation is typically used when “”hugging”” a wall or when advancing through narrow corridors.

Element Leader Formation

Again similar to Standard Formation. The difference is as the name suggests the Element Leader takes the Point followed by Red team on their 6 O’Clock and finally with Blue team taking up the tail. Below is a flash animation of a full element advancing in Element Leader Formation

Element Leader Formation is typically used when advancing through areas deemed clear or if the Element Leader feels he has better intel on what lies ahead and wants to personally oversee a particular action.

Bounce Formation

This is perhaps the most complicated of all the formations but can also be the most effective if used properly. It is best used in large enviroments or outdoor terrain where the Element is exposed to fire from many directions. Like the previous formations Red team takes point, Red 1 advances approximately 10-15 feet and searches for cover, once Red 1 is in position Red 2 advances approximately 20-30 feet taking him beyond Red 1 and searches for cover while Red 1 covers his movement. Once Red team has advanced a sufficient distance Blue team will begin the same process. Below is a flash animation of a full element advancing using Bounce Formation and due to the complexity of this formation there is also a video clip showing Bounce formation in action

From the animation and video we can clearly see that with the exception of the beginning no officer advances without cover from his team mate, Red team advances first with Blue team advancing in a delayed but similar fashion to Red team and finally Element Leader and Spec Ops take up the rear positions. We can see that there are several compliant but unsecure contacts ***NEEDS TO BE FINISHED***

Movement Speed

There are no hard and fast rules in place for movement speed, often it will depend on the environment the officers are in. Therefore the officer on point will set the pace. Typically Running will only be used in areas deemed clear or where speed is desirable.

Movement Stance

Similar to movement speed there are no hard and fast rules in place for movement stance. Typically the officer on point is crouched while trailers are in the standing position to allow the trailers to have a clear line of fire, but there may be occasions where it is neccesary for the officer on point to be in the standing position

IV. Room Clearing.

This section will cover the basic tactics used by VOWS to clear rooms in Swat 4


You will not be successful if you don’t start off right! Stacking saves lives and its important to do it right. When ordered to stack approach the wall to the side of the door where the handle is and line up in single file with covermen standing and pointmen in the crouched position. As usual Red team is primary team so stack order is Red 1, Red 2, Blue 1, Blue 2, Element Leader, Spec Ops. Please note that Stacking does not involve optiwanding doors, picking locks or any similar activity, it simply means to move to the side of the door in order to minimise the risk of injury when the Element attempts to clear the room. Below is a diagram of a full Element stack as well as a screenshot showing a full Element stack in action.

We can clearly see from the images above the stack order as well as each officers stance when he is stacked, pointmen are crouched and covermen are in the standing position. Again the stack order and stack side of the Element or individual officers can be changed if the Element Leader deems it beneficial

Room Entry

The order by which an Element enters a room is the same as the stack order. It is important that officers follow this order to ensure there is no delay when entering the room. Therefore Red 1 is first in the room and Red 2 follows him in before Blue team enters, only after Red and Blue are in the room can the Element Leader and the the Spec Ops officer fall in as trailers. covermen will cover any compliant contacts to allow pointmen to clear the room. After the all clear is given the order will then be given to the covermen to “”wrap and report”” any compliant contacts by the Element Leader. Below is a flash animation and a short video clip of an Element clearing a room

We can clearly see from the animation and video that the entry is as smooth as possible. We can also see that the entry teams body block the doors to prevent any alert suspects entering after the room is secure, body blocking may not be 100% realistic but it is effective. only once the room is secure is the order given by the Element Leader to “”wrap and report””

V. Conclusion.

Rules Of Engagement

Our idea of a succesful mission is to neutralise the situation while bringing in as many people out alive as possible. We take loss of life very seriously and that includes not only our officers and innocent civilians but the lives of the suspects.

In Swat there is a very strict scoring system. Even the most experienced officers can make mistakes which is part of what makes the game so great.

there are only three scenarios where use of lethal force is authorised and in each case the officer in question must have a clear shot

1. A Suspect threatens You
2. A Suspect threatens a Teammate
3. A Suspect threatens a Civilian


Good Communication can be the difference between a succesfull mission and an unsuccesfull mission. It is key that the Element Leader is recieving a steady flow of information that will improve his situational awareness. At the same time its important not to give the Element Leader information overload so reports must be accurate but concise. Do not report irrelevant or obvious information as it only serves to confuse. Typically the Pointman of the respective teams will be responsible for reporting any significant information to the the Element Leader and therefore any other officer should refrain from doing so unless the officer in question feels its vitally important.


Following orders is critical. This is one of the things that sets VOWS apart from many of the other available clans out there.

Do not assume the EL will order for CS, or any other type of deployment and start pulling out your gas can before he even orders it. When ordered to cover an area, keep your sights on that exact location. Don’t look behind you to see if we are still there. Don’t look behind you when you hear gunshots. we realise that you mean well, but you MUST cover your position. Dont take a peek around a corner because you think its clear, If you wouldnt risk it in real life then dont do it here. There is no exception here, When you choose to ignore orders, this compromises the entire mission. Remember that you will never be criticised because you decided to follow your orders instead of taking things into your own hands even if it results in the failure of the mission

Equally the reverse is true if you are ordered to do something, then you do it, No questions asked! Hesitation can result in the loss of life so that is why the Element Leader alone is in charge of the operation. He is completely responsible for the missions outcome, good or bad.

We have fun playing this game, but playing seriously is fun too and takes a game to another level entirely

There are no heroes here

Source: V.O.W.S.