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Headscratchers / Rainbow Six

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  • Is it just me, or does Clancy forget how to count several times? During the World Park assault, Team-2 is told that there are only eight terrorists in the control room (one's on the roof, and Andre left to go to the courtyard), but once the shooting starts, I definitely counted at least nine separate kills in the control room. And then when the PIRA attacks Hereford, somehow the group that got flash-banged by Connoly was ignored in the after-action count, and during the action; it was stated that out of the fifteen that attacked the hospital, only six were alive: there's Grady, the one from Paul Murphy's truck, and O'Neil's group of four that surrendered inside the hospital, Connoly's three were ignored. Plus, the total count was sixteen: 3x3 in the trucks, Grady and Sands, O'Neil plus four.
    • See Writers Cannot Do Math
      • Still, it's rather odd considering the level of technical detail in his novels. And let's not forget that he's a former insurance salesman. You can't sell insurance without knowing maths.
    • Bad intel.

  • Why is Vega assigned an M60 anyway? A 7.62 x 51 NATO round has a lot of penetration power that can punch right through walls that aren't made of concrete or something harder. Doesn't that make the weapon useless for Rainbow's mission statement? Vega himself admitted that he'll probably never really use the M60 in his tour in Rainbow. Wouldn't it make better sense to assign him an M249 or FN Minimi, both weapons are more accurate than the M60 but still have just enough punch to take out a bad guy with body armor or a vehicle.
    • Sometimes "just enough punch" can become "not enough punch". Enemies are smart, they can wear new, tougher body armour, or add a few more mm to vehicle plating. That's where "more punch" is needed: the 7.62x51mm NATO round. Sure the M60's accuracy is poop, but if you're able to nail the opponent, he's toast, with or without armour.
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    • Also keep in mind that Vega's nominal role is suppression; the M60 may not be the most accurate MG out there, but it still does a damn good job of spraying a lot of lead in the general vicinity of the target which is what happens in the climactic battle with the Horizon execs, Vega shoots out the windows and that's enough to get them to surrender. Furthermore, as the book repeatedly points out, the M60 is really more of a last resort, to only be used if everything really goes to hell. So while an M249 may be a more practical firearm, an M60 suits Vega well for the job he's been given.

  • Chopper pilot Dan "Bear" Malloy is said to be a Marine, but his backstory is more in line with an Army or Air Force pilot. He states that he started out in search and rescue before moving into special operations, but the Marines don't have any aviation units dedicated to either. Similarly, of the five helicopters he claims proficiency in three out of the five would be unusual for a Marine to have flown, particularly their special ops variants. He could have flown a training variant of the Little Bird at the Navy's Test Pilot School, but there is no mention of him having been a test pilot; likewise he could have flown the VH-60 presidential transport version of the Black Hawk, but his service in HMX-1 is said to have occurred after his posting to Rainbow. And the only way he could have flown a Chinook is through an exchange program with another service. Ironically, the Huey, which he claims to be least current on, would be the most likely helicopter he would fly on missions to insert and extract Force Recon teams, as he is stated to have been doing before joining Rainbow.

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  • How was Bishop not able to tell that the NSA agent was Gabe? Did he not recognize his voice or, more importantly, his eyes?