I was just looking over some of the photos that we’ve got in from the weekend and they got me thinking. What is the bare essence of paintball? Is it the equipment? No definitely not: we’ve seen total noobs take down heavily armed fiends many times. So is it experience then? No probably not that either, as paintball’s pretty darn exciting from the first pull of the trigger, and beginner‘s luck is usually hanging around too. Strategy? Yeah, getting close now. I mentioned strategy before and, even though having one and being part of a team that knows how to use it is essential to winning, a game of paintball can be boiled down even further to its absolute most elemental core.
Attack and defend.
Yeah it’s a lot of fun, something you and all your mates can get into for a day in the woods but, when you’re out in the thick of it, it’s all about attacking them and defending you. So if you can’t master either of these essentials, then you better hope the rest of your team can.
Attacking is undoubtedly the most obvious stance to take in a game like paintball. Everyone seems to inherently now how to attack (or at least how they think they should attack), and I’m confident that even two teams of brand new players would quite quickly start inching their way closer to the opposition’s side with little or no command or strategy. Well, even though this is reassuring, it’s hardly going to win any games without at least a little bit of weight to it. The next time you’re attacking, look to your team for support. Always think “front & back”.
The front attackers should be slowly inching forward whilst the back attackers should be providing covering fire to keep the enemy’s heads low. If the back guys keep their fire fairly steady and as accurate as possible, there’s every chance that the opposition won’t even see the front guys coming, let alone have a chance to stop them. Here’s a quick video of some classic attack and defend play.
So, you’re holding down your fort or bunker of burnt out bus and you see that the enemy is approaching and, worst still, their backline of attack is keeping you and your team penned up like sardines. What do you do? Jump out all markers blazing? Sit tight and prepare for the imminent attack of your base? Well, both and neither really. The first rule of a good defence is that it shouldn’t be purely defensive: you’re always attacking, it’s just your enemy got a lot closer to your base than you did to theirs. So never ever share a cover with your team-mates. If a couple of you are crouched behind a log, defending an entrance to your base, there’s every chance a rogue sniper will easily take you both out in a couple of shots. You need to split up and, first things first, find out where the covering fire is coming from. It can’t possibly cover all angles, so have a quick look, establish which of your team will ‘deal with it’ and then quickly move on to the front attackers.
If you’ve managed to dislodge their covering fire, they’ll quickly become far less fearsome: fact. One way to deal with these guys is to move straight past them, not even bothering to hit them as, when they realise you’re starting to get too close to their base, they’ll soon turn about and focus on you instead of the prize.
So, to wrap up this little attack and defend tutorial; always make sure each players knows their role, don’t be predictable and always, always, have a wingman at your back.