In Top Gun it was Goose, in Die Hard it was Argyle…in Castaway it was undoubtedly Wilson. The point is that everyone needs a wingman from time to time. They’re not just for picking up the fairer sex in a bar, but they’re also not just for action heroes either. When it comes to paintball, there are a lot of reasons why you should buddy up with a wingman the next time you’re about to hit a GameZone.
Sure paintball’s a team sport, and as such you should always be ready to play your part and no doubt take a few commands now and again too, but say you’re usually on the attack or the defence; in both of these positions, working in pairs can be very effective. Better still, chose a mate and play together a number of times and, after a while, you’ll notice that you’ll no doubt develop a kind of playing language between you, and any strategies you adopt will become all the more potent for it as you learn to work together well.
On the attack, for example, a paintball duo is the perfect way to cover-and-move: one of you covers the enemy with fire, whilst the other moves forward – and vice versa. Likewise I talked about paintball pyrotechnics the other day. They’re a great tool for distracting your opponents, but used all the more efficiently when one of you causes the distraction and the other acts upon it – by either moving forwards, getting in shots as the other team run from the grenade, or by simply better positioning yourself for the next move.
Likewise when you’re defending your team’s base. It is much easier to communicate between a smaller team and in a pair you can easily differentiate exactly which patch of the field you will be mutually defending, so there is no danger of cross-fire. A classic move of deception you can use if defending in a pair is to use one of you as the decoy. One of you quite openly fire and defend as usual, whilst the other one bunks down unseen (maybe taking occasional pot shots sniper-style). As the enemy approaches, with a bit of luck they won’t know that their chosen bunker is currently being manned by a well-armed defender, so when they make a move for it, they’re in for a big surprise.
Give it a shot the next time you’re split into teams. The important thing is to choose a team-mate who doesn’t match you exactly in playing style – as you’ll no doubt clash. Ideally you’re looking for someone you makes up for your own playing shortfalls and vice versa. No paintball player is perfect, but as a pair it is much easier to cover all of the necessary bases in terms of speed, skill, strategy etc!