many times have you watched a teammate make a spectacular dash to a bunker,
only to get pinned down behind it. Since every player on the other team has a
shot at his bunker, he can't expose as much as the tip of his barrel without
being splattered. He picked the wrong bunker and over extended his position,
and now his contribution to winning this game has become yelling for you to
"Get them off of me!" Not very effective paintball play.
extending, stopping at a position too far back from the opposition, is safer
but also ineffective. You have to pick a bunker that puts you close enough to
the opposition for your shots to have an affect on the game. You may not be
getting eliminations, but your shots put pressure on them, force them to duck
behind cover, keep them from advancing or retreating to better positions.
a game you must adjust your position, move from bunker to bunker, to stay
effective. If you are about to become over extended, it's time to retreat. And
when your current bunker no longer offers effective shots, it's time to advance.
Before You Move
moving from one position to another you must consider two factors: How exposed
will I be while moving, and how effective will I be once I get there. These two
aspects, the amount of exposure and the effectiveness of a position, have to
balance out. Is the risk worth the advantage?
you need to get an overview of the field. Determine which bunkers, if you could
get to them, would give you the most effective angles of fire. Once you know
where you want to go, look for ways to get there. Which opposing players will
have a shot at you while you are moving? Are there lanes of cover you can move
through? Figure out a step-by-step approach to get you from point A to point B
before you move.
When You Move
advantages of crawling have been discussed in depth in previous articles, so we
won't repeat them here. Fact is, most players prefer running to crawling. They
feel more confident running from one bunker to another because it minimizes the
time or duration they are exposed as a target. The disadvantage of running is
it increases the amount of exposure. When you run, your entire body exposed.
And while you are running, usually more than one opponent can see you and get a
shot at you.
you have to run from bunker to bunker, move laterally. A sideways moving target
is harder to hit than someone moving directly forward or backward. Additionally,
your lateral movement often will encourage the opposing shooter to lean out
from behind his cover as he traces you with his paintgun. This makes it easier
for your teammates to eliminate him.
Timing a Move
timing of an advance from one bunker to another happens in two stages: First
you and/or your teammates have to distract or suppress opposing players who
have a shot at you. You need to get their attention somewhere else, so they
aren't sighted in and prepared to shoot as soon as you expose yourself. The
suppression can be direct (shoot at them until they duck behind cover) or it
can be indirect (draw their attention away from you, or away from the direction
you will be moving).
second stage of the advance is the movement. Be quick! Move fast! Stay low and
go hard! Don't slow down until you are behind cover. You have to move without
hesitation, but you also have to keep your awareness of the field.
good bunker players are able to run without losing sight of their target. Like
a baseball player stealing a base, they take a quick glance over their shoulder.
Experienced players also rely on their ears. Balls shot in your direction have
a specific sound, and hearing the shots tells you a lot about range and
field awareness with your eyes and ears as you run determines how you will
finish up the move. If you don't see a player aiming at you and don't hear
shots coming in your direction, it means you can slide into cover ready to
shoot. If you hear shots and see players aiming at you, that means you need to
get all the way behind cover and hesitate before sticking your paintgun out.
Finishing the Move
most versatile way to finish a bunker run is with a feet-first, baseball style
slide. Laid out on your back with your legs extended toward the bunker, you can
roll onto your left or right hip to shoot around sides. Or, by pushing up with
your lower leg as you slide into cover, you can pop up on one knee to shoot
over the bunker. If you are being shot at and need to get as tight against the
bunker as possible, just bend both knees and curl your torso when you slide.
Take care--bunkers are notorious for having sticks, rocks, and other obstacles
in the area where you would slide.
major disadvantage of head-first slides or dives is you have to take one hand
off your paintgun to brace yourself. Aiming is slower, and you can't get up
into a kneeling position as quickly.
the techniques in this and last month's article will make you a better player.
You will be a harder target to hit, and you will be a more effective member of
your team during a fire fight. Understanding the principles of cover and
movement also will elevate your paintball strategy abilities. Walking a field
and preparing a game plan for your team takes on a new perspective when you
recognize crawl lanes, effective bunkers, and all the other aspects defensive
and offensive positioning.