How to bunker someone in paintball

by michael on May 25, 2011

in Paintball Information,Paintball Tactics

how to bunker someone in paintball

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Moving on slightly from tips on how to win a game of paintball, I’m going to let you in on a time-honoured paintball move which isn’t so much a strategy, but more a ‘he who dares, wins’ kind of manoeuvre.


A lot of you will know what bunkering is and will probably have given it a bash at some point too. Loads of you wont really know what it is but, almost undoubtedly, will have done without realising at some point too. The name suggests it’s something to do with bunkers, right? Well, kind of. Bunkering is essentially eliminating an opponent at close range – e.g. less than 10 feet. Sure lots of you would have done that – that’s not a move! – but the difference is that bunkering is doing it for a specific reason.

The name comes from the initial move, which was to run up and hit someone as they were cowered behind their bunker – hence the close range. But since it was first introduced, it’s become synonymous with any close-range shot carried out to better aid a tactical decision. I know what you’re thinking, how on earth could deliberately running up to an opposing player and shooting them at close-range be part of a tactical move, especially as the likelihood is that you’ll get shot yourself?

Well, that’s the point I’m afraid. Bunkering is often a kamikaze mission, and here’s why: you play in a team. Your team has three players left and you’re advancing up the game zone towards the opposing team, who also have three players left. Unfortunately they are all holed in behind a bunker, which is proving almost impossible to get past. What do you do? You could fight it out and see who runs out of paintballs first, or you could try a flank manoeuvre, but this isn’t really possible with 3-on-3. So this is where you decide to sacrifice a team-mate for the greater good. When the opportunity strikes, one of your team runs up towards the bunker firing and, hopefully, takes out at least one of the opposition. Yes they get hit too, but with a bit of luck it will actually leave your team in a stronger position. This is why you don’t bunker unless you have a really good reason to.

It can be used for other reasons too (e.g. when you’re running out of paint or gas and have nothing to lose, or maybe someone’s just annoying you and you want them out the game) but ultimately bunkering is only recommended as a last ditch attempt for victory.

When the decision is being made, keep it quiet – as nothing will waste a good player like giving away the element of surprise. Likewise try to strike when their heads are down and not expecting it, so hopefully shots can be fired before they start retaliating. A simple way to do this is to get your remaining team members to keep the opposition’s heads down with suppressive cover fire.

Once these elements align, run like hell.

Don’t fire at point-blank range as it hurts and isn’t very sportsmanlike, but don’t waste the opportunity if you have it either: once they’re in range, fire at them and even the playing field a little.

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