Following on from other nuggets of paintball advice, I’m gonna talk a little bit today about paintball bunkers. A ‘bunker’ is really just another word for any kind of cover or shelter in a paintball game – it doesn’t just apply to the World War-era ditches in the ground. But those apply here too!
A big part of playing tactical paintball is to know how to either (a) ‘bunker’ someone or (b) develop an effective ‘bunkering style’. Confused? Basically, the first applies to keeping your opponents behind their shelters so that they can’t advance forward. This is done through a combination of open fire and good team communication, to make sure all angles are covered. A bunkering style, on the other hand, is how you get either out of a bunker unhit, or move from one bunker to the next safely – therefore advancing forward.
I’m going to cover the latter in this post, as it’s a little interesting.
So you’re pinned behind an old oil drum and paintballs are hurtling passed you at an unbelievable rate? Everyone’s been there. Here’s what to do. First of all, consider your profile. You need to make yourself as small as possible without restricting your movement and accuracy too much, and the biggest mistake most paintballers make here is pointing their elbows out when they raise their marker. Remember: it’s not an assault rifle, it’s a paintball marker, so you don’t need to point your elbows out as if you’re about to absorb significant recoil. Tuck them in, instantly reducing the amount of body space your opponents have to aim for. Similarly, if you’re able to point your marker at oncoming fire, tilt the hopper so it’s literally in front of one of your eyes instead of pointing out to the side; again reducing your overall profile.
Next, if you’re able to peek out from the side to assess the situation, do so wisely. Only use half your face and try to do it at an unexpected angle. For example, they’ll be waiting for you to pop up from below, so if you quickly snap your head out to one side and back again, they won’t have a chance to get a shot in. The next time you check though, use a different angle, so they can’t pre-empt your moves.
If you can’t subtly and affectively get your team-mates attention to cover them with fire whilst you escape, then you’re going to have to lone-wolf it – hard but fun! To do this, first pick your next destination. Moving directly forward probably isn’t an option, so instead think tactically again and consider what cover you have available. Is it possible for you to crawl directly backwards whilst still maintaining cover from the shelter? If so, this could put you in a good position to unexpectedly dart to another cover, or join a team-mate, whilst the opposition still think you’re sitting tight. If not, then you have to engage in a Western-style rally of back and forth. For some reason, players tend to fire, duck, fire, duck etc., until someone wins. Assume your opposition will take this tactic. So, do a couple of rounds of firing and ducking and then, when you’re ready to make a mad dash for it, fire but don’t duck, so when your opposition pops back up from their stronghold, you’re instantly ready to get a shot right on them. Simple but very effective!
Once they’re down run like a man possessed to your next base and, whatever you do, don’t get cornered again! Stay safe in the game zones!