Lets say that we are in the modern world, which looks mostly the same as it does today. However, rapid healing has become available, in my world due to sudden influx magic but for this question you could easily hypothesis some new technology, nanotec healing whatever. The point is that a small number of trained folks can rapidly heal wounds when sustained. The healing has a few limits
- Healers can heal most kinds of traumatic wounds in anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes depending on severity, type of wound, and how focused they are. It requires close contact and dedicating most of your attention to treating the wounded
- Healers can heal someone for variable amounts as they see fit, but are capable of healing even severely wounded back to fighting strength rapidly. They can not heal brain injury and brain death is permanent. They can't heal heal a severed body part to reattach it and certain types of extreme trauma may be either impossible to heal or simply too expensive to be viable.
- Healing expands the healer's resources rapidly, amount expended depends on severity of wound mostly. Generally they can heal severely wounded back to fighting strength a few times (say 3-6 depending on type and severity of wounds?) but will eventually run out.
I'm looking to see how this would effect combat strategies for small scale battle. By small scale battle I mean at least one 'elite' team (think something like seals, small group of 4-10 extensively trained and equipped expert soldiers, above and beyond standard infantry). The elite team would be fighting either against another elite team or a larger group of less elite common infantry soldiers, but not entire armies, and without tanks, artillery, attack helicopters etc that come into larger scale battles. Basically, the sort of forces seals are usually dispatched against currently.
The obvious first answer is shoot the medic first, I already have a question about this in somewhat related situation: Convention for Healers during a war where some rapid healing is available? so I don't want to focus on this part as much. Assume that an Elite team would have one or two healers, but they would be trained combatant's as well, fair game to be shot, and would not wear any identification to mark them as Healers. Small enemy infantry platoons if they have healers likely would be fair game if they were healing anyone beyond the "don't die" level.
I'm wondering how tactics of both the elite forces and the more traditional infantry fighting against elite forces may be modified by the presumption of rapid healers being available.
As a general example of the sort of things I'm talking about, not a list of things that must be answered, I'm looking at questions such as will different ordinance be preferred (is a bullet type more desired as more likely to be instantly fatal or do more physical trauma to be more exhausting to heal, maybe more explosives used?). Will the focus on suppression fire be the same, or will the lowered threat of suppression fire (if you get hit by an targeted bullet you probably won't die) change how it's utilized. Will a focus on making sure you completely finish off one target (beyond modern focus) occur, or will they just try to hurt the enemy enough for the healer to 'run dry' etc.
One obvious answer is that head shots will be preferred, specifically for the elite team with better trained soldiers, which I'm sure is true. However, given the difficult of head shots, and the presence of suppression fire that isn't aimed at all, I don't see this being the primary target except in ideal circumstances.
I don't know if this is too open ended or not, due to my ignorance on modern weaponry and tactics mean that I don't know how hard it is to analyze changes to tactics. If deemed too open ended I mostly want to focus on general tactical changes with this question, and specifics such as ordinance used or how to implement higher level tactical differences can be made as follow up questions.