The Paintball Sniper
What fulfills your paintball sniper craving? Do you and a friend skirt the edge of the field and try to flank the opponents, picking them off one by one? Do you find the highest shooting position on the field and go for the one shot one kill technique? Or does simply looking the part with your gear(a ridiculously long barrel) and demeanor make you feel like an accomplished ghost shooter? What defines you as a paintball sniper?
Using paintball snipers as an effective weapon.
A person usually thinks a sniper is a lone gunman who sneaks up and makes a one shot one kill. This is typically not what a sniper is in paintball. You may hideout and wait for someone to come along, but you more than likely will be shooting ropes of paintballs at a person to take them out. Especially if the shooting starts at longer distances. There certainly are cases of one shot one kill, but don't expect it to be the norm.
In real life, Snipers always work in groups of at least two and commonly sit in a single place for long periods of time to never take a shot. Many people think of themselves as being a sniper who floats around and shoots who ever they see. A good paintball sniper is always on an assignment given by his leader and serves the purpose of the team.
Technically a person posing as a sniper is actually a sharp shooter. The term sniper would indicate a person who has the ability to shoot beyond the reach of his targets shooting back. That is almost never the case in paintball. Even with a Flatline Barrel, many of your opposing enemies will probably also be carrying this same paintball barrel.
There are several tactics that a paintball team can use a paintball sniper for. A sniper can make his position know and appear to be alone. This can be used to draw a group of attackers into an ambush situation where the snipers team mates have remained hidden until opponents pass. Then they unload on the unsuspecting players. This tactic can work very well with minimal practice, cooperation and a strong team discipline.
Another tactic includes using several team members as sharp shooters and spreading them out in a series of waves(two people set apart, then two more further back). They fight until they are eliminated, then the next wave would begin to engage. This tactic is great for slowing down a group of people who are trying to get to an area. Many scenarios include missions that require a team to hold an area for a certain amount of time. Slowing down an attack on the area will lead to a victory.
What could set you apart from the other "wana be" paintball snipers?
Get to know your effective accuracy at great distances
Understand that if you need to arc the paintball, it's going to have a longer time in the air, and more likely to be seen by your opponent. If you are shooting a Flatline barrel, understand the inaccuracy and factor that in. Know how the oval field paintballs are going to effect your shot.
Ability to effectively take orders
This isn't about just you making a score as a paintball sniper. Do what's needed for the greater good of the paintball team. Even when that means sacrificing yourself or not shooting at times.
Don't get "antsy" and give up on a mission or assignment because you have been sitting and waiting longer than you care to. Have the discipline to see the assignment through, even if that means you are loosing out on some action you would rather be doing. If you took the assignment as a paintball sniper, own it.
Ability to choose your targets
Know who you are shooting at. Try to figure out who is the biggest threat. Just because someone has a fast/expensive paintball gun doesn't make them the best target.
Let's get down to the guts of what makes a paintball sniper...
Camouflage yourself and your movement:
Certainly, your clothing can be a huge help. Most people find themselves some decent camouflage clothing and stop there. You don't need a full on ghillie suit to blend in. The two most recognizable items are your mask and your hopper. Break up the appearance of your mask by adding some leaves and maybe some goggle skins to the lens. Keep your hopper signature to a minimum. Consider using a Q-Loader or covering your paintball loader with a small ghillie made with natural terrain items. Leaves and small branches can cover easily visible items. Keep some Velcro(hook and pile tape) on your hopper for this.
Time your movement with theirs. If they are sitting and scanning for you, don't move. Lot's of people will look at the ground to move. There are branches to trip on and logs to fall over. When they are looking down and moving, thats your opportunity. Have your path already figured out and move.
Another great time to move is when there is a lot of noise. If there is some action in the opposite direction that could take peoples attention away from your movement, act on it! If the wind is gusting hard it may also work in your favor. We all make noise when we move about, minimize yours. Know if you have a paintball loader half full of paint, it's probably going to make a lot of noise.
Using light to your benefit can be a little more challenging. Of course having the sun shinning in your opponents eyes would be great, but just as often, it will be in your eyes. Instead, look for dark colored areas that don't provide much definition of object for your opponents eyes. Darker rotting tree stumps are great to hide by. They tend to lead the other persons eyes up and over them vs. a full tree that will lead their eyes down to the ground.
Where to hang out:
Busy paths through the woods can lead to troubles. It maybe a great way to pick off an unsuspecting opponents, but sniping close by will make for a traffic jam. When you shoot one person, they will go back and report your location. Then, because it is a main path, the people can come back quickly and prepared. If there are others on the path when you shot, you may not have the opportunity to move. You may find your self bogged down and eliminated in a fast furry of fire.
One of the most effective ways of being a sniper is having a good escape path. When you are pinned down, move down your path and stop to snipe them with the occasional paintball. They rarely expect it and can really cause them to hang back out of their effective range. Be innovative and have sniper positions all the way back to heavier cover.
Look for areas that will provide you with options. Can you move around and relocate if needed? Are you in an area that you will get pinched down? Keep your options open and learn to read the terrain for opportunities.
Know your limits and have fun. Go out with a mind set that will allow you to be flexible. If you want to be a paintball sniper, you may have to do somethings you don't want to. Prepare your equipment for playing different positions. Pace yourself and learn something new every time you go out.
Posted by Redwood on 03/18/2009
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