It’s officially mid-summer now so I thought I’d throw some more tactics blog posts into the mix, for any of you planning on hitting Bedlam Paintball Edinburgh, Glasgow or Dunddee/Aberdeen this weekend. Saturday and Sunday are set to be hot and dry – perfect paintballing weather!
So, this little tutorial is all about the knack of retreating successfully under fire. Whoa, did you say retreat? In paintball? Yep, and don’t pretend it’s never crossed your mind. I’m sure some people will probably stop reading now, as retreating is as good as jumping up and down in your ooponenet’s face shouting ‘Me me, shoot me now!’ in many old school books. However, this isn’t the case.
When I say retreating, I mean retreating back to a better position. For example, you’ve worked hard all game and found yourself right at the front, almost pinned to the enemy’s bunker and ready to open fire. But you look around you and realise your team mates haven’t been quite so courageous, or lucky. Your numbers are down and you’re the only guy at the front of attack: not a good place to be. It’s time to man-up and realise that, to be back in the team, you have to retrace a few steps.
The first way to do this is to be prepared. Not in a cub scout sort of way, but beforehand. Whenever you’re playing paintball and pass a decent looking bunker, or strategically well-positioned tree, take a mental note of it; as you might need it later in the game. Don’t always assume that moving forward is your only option.
Don’t be a hero. This is a solid golden rule that has applied itself to many different nuggets of paintball strategy. But at the same time, don’t be a wuss. Simply being shot at is not a reason to retreat. You retreat when the good of the team is at stake; that’s pretty much the only time to do so – unless you’re heavily bunkered in and can see an escape behind you.
Don’t rush it. As soon as the idea pops into your head start looking for a way out, ‘cos you can be damn sure your opponents wont let you go without a fight. Pick your moment well, ideally when it sounds/looks like they are changing position or reloading (like in the movies). If you can signal to your less adventurous team mates to give you some covering fire, then all the better.
Finally, don’t assume it’s back to square one for you and your team at all. A well-made retreat can bring with it a barrage of decent opportunities for a team. For example, while the enemy are busy trying to fire at you as you back away, another team member could be sprinting up the flank and getting them that way.
The point is, sometime it shows more (paint) balls knowing when to back away a little.