I have a world where the different countries feature various types of organized groups, some are criminal groups (mafia type organizations) and others are non-criminal but they are both armed and willing to fiercely defend themselves. This works quite well for in-fighting within a country, but what if one of these groups decided that a rival group in another country is a threat, has something they want, or they just want to kick their butt as a show of strength? How would a group like that have it's members travel to the rival's country, transport any weapons, vehicles etc to conduct said attack? Would they take their things with them from their "turf" or organize equivalents to be available near the rival's location to save on the transport logistics? If a large number of members needs to travel, would there need to be ways to not make this suspicious to authorities that something big is about to go down?

I would imagine that a better option would be to simply hire someone local to complete this task, so happy for a reality check here, but I would prefer it to be the group vs group scenario just because of the increased excitement and stakes of this kind of battle, over a simple sniper assassination of the rival boss. Also, neither side would have access to any sort of aircraft or military-like vehicles as a part of it's arsenal: just firearms, explosives and everyday vehicles.

The world is essentially very similar to modern day today in every way (minus COVID :), so the usual travel related security checks would be in place. I am also assuming that the two countries in question are at peace i.e. not active war zones. Happy to provide any further details on that, please just ask.

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    $\begingroup$ ? They don't transport weapons and vehicles. They transport credit cards. (And if they insist on transporting weapons, then private aircraft are a real thing. No security. Or they could travel by boat or by car.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jul 4, 2021 at 13:20
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    $\begingroup$ Armed conflict is both hugely expensive (hospital bills, legal fees) and very risky (death, agony, permanent disablement, imprisonment, enslavement). In order to have "battle" --more likely an ambush-- the rewards of victory must outweigh the cost and the risk. If there is lots of fighting going on, then your world has either greater rewards, or lower costs, or lower risk, and therefore cannot be "very similar to modern day today in every way" $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Jul 4, 2021 at 13:34
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    $\begingroup$ @user535733 I partially agree, but add "Or is happening in South America..." $\endgroup$
    – mishan
    Jul 4, 2021 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP And perfume bottles. And they are admiring cathedrals. $\endgroup$ Jul 4, 2021 at 23:07
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    $\begingroup$ The spires of salisbury cathedral are quite lovely $\endgroup$ Jul 5, 2021 at 11:12

3 Answers 3


Step 1. Get the guns and vehicles there.

By smuggling, having people on the other side make them or buy them, there are lots of options. You're about to kill a bunch of people so you want a load of expendable weapons you can blast away with and cars you can burn. You do this before the big crime, because it's best to not do two crimes at once, crossing the border with a small army and smuggling weapons.

Step 2. find a good time to attack.

You want to hit them when lots of people are there. Look on social media and with your contacts for a large gathering like a birthday, or funeral, or anniversary where there's lots gathered in one location.

Step 3. Sneak across the border with friendly guards.

You don't want the guards tattling to everyone that you're going across, so make an excuse, get across, and be in the other country.

Step 4. Pick up your burner vehicles and guns, and do a drive by shooting.

You're not an army, you don't want a shoot out. Put on masks and cover up identifiable signs. Drive by in your vehicles and lay down a ton of firepower, killing as many as you can and leaving your token.

Step 5. Run away, burn your vehicles and guns.

You don't want to be connected to a ton of murders. Dump your vehicles and guns somewhere, in a friendly scrap shop or in the woods with a ton of gasoline and fire to clean them.

Step 6. Return to your country happy that you did a good job and helped protect your homeland.

Well done, you did it. And hopefully nothing will go wrong along the way.


The method depends on the goal.

If I want to infiltrate your house and steal your magic pants, I want subtlety. I do not want you to even know they are gone until you are rooting around in your closet, pantsless, and cannot find them. But if I want to teach you a life lesson, I drive your car thru the wall of your house, let your (many!) cats out into the yard, put on the pants and dance on your roof to loud music, where you see me on the news, because your neighbors all think it is you.

If you want to steal their stuff, it will be all about subtlety and minimal violence. Persons capable of slipping in and out will slip in, steal and slip out.

If you want to kill people, that requires violence. Persons capable of the violence will slip in. They will either bring their weapons or confederates on the inside will provide them. Once the violence is done they will dispose of weapons and leave, or lay low for a while and then leave.

If you want to make a show of force then you make a show of force. Blow stuff up. Scare people. Everything is obvious and blatant and can be traced to you, because what is the point of a show of force if it is attributed to someone else?


The process is done slowly. Take, for example, the drug gangs running over the US-Mexico border. At first organization, the gangs were within one country and had business dealings with another gang over the border. Over time, the gangs infiltrate members over the border till they have enough on the other side. (In this case, it is mostly moving north of the border.) Now, we have gangs that are cross border and can both move the drugs and conduct armed conflict on both sides of the border. This is also the thinking behind a number of "infiltration" operations (such as Germany in WW I). See also the Special Forces Unconventional Warfare doctrine https://fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm3-05-130.pdf which works with and by local groups.

The counter example would be the Viking raiders. They carried everything they needed in the ship, ran it quickly up the shore, jumped out, did the raid, and got back to the ship in time to push off and escape. We see the same thinking in US Marine Corps "Raid Operations" https://www.marines.mil/Portals/1/MCWP%203-43.1.pdf

So, the job is done either slowly, or self contained.

  • $\begingroup$ Very interesting. I am working through your attachments but just quickly RE the viking's approach, would you still see this as viable in this day and age? $\endgroup$
    – FrontEnd
    Jul 5, 2021 at 1:44
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    $\begingroup$ @FrontEnd It is both viable and has been done. Instead of just being in the ship, think of a couple of helicopters carrying the strike force. Or if just to destroy, think of jets streaking into an air space, firing rockets at the Iranian nuclear enrichment site, and getting out of there. The concept is to get in, destroy, and get out - all self contained. $\endgroup$
    – David R
    Jul 5, 2021 at 13:56

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