I was lurking around some of the conversations and stumbled on this one. If I may, I can add some insights and considerations to some of the questions and plans you're wresting with.Thanks!
Some good points. The big question though still stands: what is the sweet spot size wise. I know that there are considerations for regions, weather and so on. There is though a "starting point". A minimum around which you can build out. I'm curious what other people see that as.
What-if scenarios will drive you out of your mind. No plan ever survives first contact. The best you can do is to acquire sufficient technical and tactical proficiency and training, so that you can reasonably and soundly address, and dynamically adapt to, whatever circumstances you find yourself in.
I agree with the poster who said "neighborhood" as the more likely and plausible. But, since we're in the "What if" scenario, there are some realities to point out. Apologies in advance if this causes additional stress and worry, but I'll focus on just a few of the most basic points as it relates solely to the tactical and defensive, rather than the overall logistics:
I post this for only 1 reason - to reinforce the point that just designated "security" personnel is not sufficient.
In these types of scenarios and what-ifs, too many think just having guns and a few people who can shoot decently and calling them "security" might be enough. Or worse, a "team," "patrol" or "quick reaction force." Almost always completely overlooked is the need for training and at least a base of tactical knowledge beyond airsoft and paintball, as well as training as a team and group - long before any balloons go up. It's one thing to be able to shoot and be reasonably proficient by yourself. It's entirely another to do it dynamically as part of a team. Throwing together a handful of people with guns who have never trained together, and expecting them to be an effective team, let alone much more than a danger to each other, is something most don't consider. If you really want to do some serious planning, and plan for "security," include plenty of training in your plans.
First, the question of number of people. By the way you are describing your plans for a compound, it sounds like you expect a contested environment. To give you a rule of thumb, in the military the magic ratio of assaulters vs defenders is 3 to 1 (3x the number of assaulters vs defenders are used to suppress, assault and overwhelm the enemy to ensure victory). This is because well placed and fortified defenders will produce higher amounts of casualties on an attacking force, who must leave positions of cover in order to assault. So as a baseline, if you had 5 people in your group and they are ALL well trained and have a solid and well planned and practiced defensive strategy, you could possibly hold out for awhile against a group of up to say, 10 or 12 perhaps if the stars and planets are aligned. That's best case scenario if your attackers aren't terribly well trained and your people are well trained and equipped. It is highly unlikely, however, that every member of your group will be a fit 20 or 30 something with considerable training and relevant experience. Your group may have children or elderly who aren't well trained or capable of serving as effective defenders. At the very least, you hope to make the assault losses sufficiently unbearable to cause the assaulting force to withdraw and seek out a softer target, and hope they don't simply come back with larger numbers.
Just some quick down and dirty critical variables that impact all of this include, but are not limited to:
- How well trained and equipped are the assaulters? (combat veterans or civilian, weapons systems, ammo capacity, calibers, long distance marksmen, plate carriers/body armor, up-armored vehicles or technicals, etc)
- How well trained and equipped are your people? (same factors as above)
- How much have your people practiced as a team and rehearsed? How much have the assaulters?
- What type of fortifications, visibility/observation and interlocking fields of fire, avenues of approach and defensive funnels, obstacles, fallback or secondary defensive positions do you have?
- How large a compound are you attempting to defend? (5 people don't stretch very far)
- What force multipliers do you have? What force multipliers do the assaulters have? (night vision, thermal, drones, explosives, heavy weapons, etc)
- When was the assault initiated? (broad daylight, EMNT, EENT, 0130, shift change etc)
- Do you have a means of escape and a plan, or are you planning to Alamo it?
If needed, a small but well trained and equipped assaulting force can easily roll up a much larger defending force with a sound assault plan executed with copius amounts of speed, surprise and violence of action.
One absolutely critical point - Do not underestimate how most people will react to being the target of withering well placed volumes of fire (real bullets, not airsoft BBs or paintballs). If you haven't experienced it, I can assure you it is quite unpleasant even for seasoned vets, let alone a civilian who has never been shot at or the subject of violence. It will cause them to drop down in the fetal position and want to crawl in a hole and hide, rather than return fire and defend. Your defense is only as strong as your weakest points. If 3 of your 5 are well trained and the other two are not, it will be quickly apparent to the assaulting force and those weaknesses will be promptly exploited.
Next, you mentioned "with a minimum of three sentries per shift and 8 hour shifts."
The maximum amount of time you would want to have a sentry on duty is 2 hours. Beyond that, the level of alertness and situational awareness plummets as the mind relaxes and simply starts to drift off. Rather than being alert, that sentry is now thinking about a million other things, and checking his watch to see how much longer he has to stay on duty. After two hours, that guard is essentially useless.
Lastly, you mentioned "Add to that 2 teams of 6 scouts each that forage, bring back what they find, hunt and also act as a quick reaction response force." I can't possibly emphasize enough that, if you plan to have such "scout teams" and "quick reaction forces", these people need to undergo proper training in military dismounted patrolling and small unit tactics. YouTube videos and old military training manuals are NOT sufficient. The training must be realistic, dynamic and frequent, and include force on force. Otherwise, they will not last beyond their first contact and are just as likely, if not more so, to die from friendly fire as from any hostile force contact.
Apologies that this post became longer than I had planned. Hopefully you find it beneficial and it provides you some useful food for thought in your planning and preparations.
You or others may disagree and your mileage may vary.