Camouflage Is Your Best Friend

4524428481Camouflage clothing has great advantages in paintball; it’s cool, cloaking and also protective.  Most players wear camouflage to help become invisible in their environment.  In woodsball, the sniper’s best friend is his paintball marker, but the gun is useless if he stands out like a sore thumb and is spotted immediately.  Camouflage clothing helps keep a sniper invisible and it’s the only way this position will have success.  Whether it’s military BDU’s or hunting gear, camouflage clothing is one of the best ways to out-smart and out-play your opponents.  The most crucial point about camouflage clothing is it’s ability to help you hide.  Camouflage works best when still, movement will cause the opponents eyes to see the blur and focus in on you.  When someone walks up on you, stay very still.  A sudden flurry of movement will probably catch their attention; no less than the slight rise of your barrel.  Even the best camouflage can be spotted and shot at, but being harder to see can help you stay a live longer in a match.

Another advantage of camouflage clothing is intimidation factor.  When a team moves together well as a unit, camouflage clothing can somewhat confuse the eyes of your opponent.  Moving as a group creates a brief ‘hazy’ look that plays a trick on the mind.  When the opponent is briefly confused he will begin to have a slight sense of uncertainty.  After the enemy has this uncertainty, every bush and branch and noise is going to make him nervous, possibly causing him to give his position away.  Don’t forget the camaraderie that develops when your entire crew is all dressed in matching camouflage clothing.  Camo’s can bring a certain amount of necessary ‘togetherness’.  Creating more uniformity in a group also tends to increase the intimidation factor by your opponents.  Camaraderie is one of the most important factors in winning a competitive paintball match; you have to trust each other and know your teammate is going to be there in a pinch.  Matching camouflage paintball uniforms help build this very quickly in a team and should be mandatory paintball gear in all tactical scenario paintball teams.

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Hawkeye Paintball Mask Review

ahawkeyeYour mask is one of the key pieces of equipment in the game of paintball.  Without a mask you cannot participate in play (and if you tried you would risk having your eye shot out).  When choosing the right paintball mask, remember… many players judge you by first looks.  When they give you this first, look, they are looking at your paintball equipment – your paintball marker and mask.  When buying a mask, choose one that’s flashy looking and gives the impression you’re experienced.  The fanciest paintball masks make you look like a division 1 pro.  This is one reason I recommend buying a Hawkeye mask.  The Hawkeye is a Rap4 mask and said to be one of the best in paintball.  Hawkeye paintball masks are widely used by beginner and experienced players alike.

Recently, I bought one of these masks to see if all the hype was real or fake.  I was impressed; it was comfortable and extremely convenient to use.  It was very lightweight and made me play better while wearing it.  It slides on easily and adjusts even easier.  Better yet, after a full day of paintballing, the lenses never fogged once.  The Hawkeye paintball mask performed far better than what I expected.  The Hawkeye paintball mask was definitely designed for tactical gaming and comes in black, tan, olive and clear.  It also has a very easy-to-use chin strap that secures it nicely even during the most active matches.  The main body of this mask is made of a flexible soft goggle frame; lightweight and soft against your face for maximum comfort.  The Hawkeye lens has a 190 degrees wide angle view for better peripheral vision on the paintball field.  You can also get awesome attachments for this mask, such as a helmet camcorder.  This option allows you to record your games from the way you see it exactly as it happens.  The Hawkeye also fits nicely in all kinds of different paintball helmets.  I give the Hawkeye paintball mask two thumbs up and a tiny gold star sticker with a smily face on it.  My recommendation would be to definitely buy this mask.

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Aiming On The Run

progreenWhen playing paintball there are a few aiming variations which come into play often.  A common variance is the one-handed shot.  This is used often while blind shooting,  crawling, or diving.  Its main advantage is that it allows for a greater freedom of motion that allows the player to crawl, dive, or maneuver more easily while still lobbing some shots at the opposition.  This is a handy position to learn and get good at, because its uses are numerous.  Another common variance is attempting to shoot while running.  Bunkering and run-through maneuvers are dependent on this technique.  The easiest way to employ this method is to not rest thepaintball marker or CO2 tank on the shoulder, but to rather carry the paintball marker with only the hands.  This will eliminate the majority of the bumps and vibrations caused by running. Trigger speed will be affected by this, so aim carefully and squeeze off a few shots at the target. And remember, before attempting a bunkering maneuver, always find a position to run to after eliminating the target!

Here’s another aiming technique that will improve the aim of any position that can be used.  This magical technique is actually not a technique at all, but a natural characteristic of the body.  It is called muscle memory, and can only be formed by practice.  Muscle memory is a natural aspect of the body which causes the body to “snap” to a certain position while performing a familiar action.  A prime example of this is the action of talking.  Yes, talking.  The mind knows that the body needs to say something, so it tells the body to move the lungs and mouth in accordance with the phrase to be spoken.  The perfect synchronization of the lungs, tongue, jaw, and other parts is a product of muscle memory.  The body has practiced talking so many times that it knows what to do and when, and it becomes second-nature.  Practicing enough at something will result in it becoming part of muscle memory.  A paintball marker will snap towards the correct place to eliminate the target, fingers will move with a practiced and familiar motion as to maximize the rate of fire, and the target will put up his or her hand and yell “OUT!” because of experience, practice, and familiarity.  Get to know your favorite technique, and use it often.  And remember, practice does not make perfect, but perfect practice does make perfect.

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Intimidation Strategy

Paintball1How can a player use intimidation, and what advantage can this give you or your team? Here’s an example: You’re playing in your first 5-man tournament and getting ready to walk onto the paintball field, you look across the field and see your opponents all decked out in matching paintball jerseys and covered in sponsor stickers from head to toe, they all have the same Invert Mini paintball markers and are chanting their team name over and over. How does this make you feel? Scared, doubtful, worried, or all the above? You may not break as far down the field if you’re intimidated. You may not make a move to get a better angle on your opponent if your intimidated; you may even hesitate when firing your paintball marker.  What do all these things have in common?  You will probably lose the game.

Now that you have the other team doubting their very manhood, let’s get inside their head a little.  When you arrive at the field keep a positive attitude and walk around like a rooster in a hen house.  Don’t slump and mope around like you just lost your best friend, be confident and KNOW your team is going to win.  Your mental confidence will be picked up by other teams and puts a seed of doubt in their heads.  Remember that games are won and lost on mental mistakes and breakdowns, if you can get in the head of your opponents; you are half way to victory.  Our team has gone so far as to bring all of our trophies and plaques to the tournament and display them on a table under our canopy. Teams will come by and say, “Wow, I hope we don’t have to play you”.  With a smile I’m always thinking, we have already won the mental game, and normally the actual game follows suit.

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Basic Marker Maintenance Tips

First of all, make sure all o-rings are in good condition.  The worst thing you can do is go to a field with a horrible leak that no one has the o-ring to fix it.  Your paintball marker comes with at least one extra o-ring, keep them with you.  Also, add the proper lubrication to your paintball gun.  Most all low end Spyder/Tippmann paintball markers will use oil (note this does not mean engine oil! Go to your local store and buy a bottle for $4.99).  For your high end markers (Dye, Planet Eclipse, ect.) you will want to use the proper grease. Do not use regular bearing grease on high end markers; it’s best to use the oil that comes with the gun or you often purchase more from the manufacturer.  Proper lubrication will keep your paintball marker running smooth and keep your o-rings from cracking and tearing.  Second, threads are important.  There are lots of them and some will destroy your marker if you destroy them. Note: if it doesn’t fit, don’t force it! Use lubrication on your threads, it will make it easier.  Clean the broken paint off every time you play.  At the end of the day completely strip your paintball marker and clean everything.  Worse than paint is water from playing woodsball.  Rusty paintball guns do not work, no matter how much lube you have.  If it gets wet, dry off your paintball marker before it goes back in the bag.  That goes for mud too.

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Tactical Movement

4524428481In scenario paintball, the way you and your team moves is crucial.  Most of the time, when the game starts, the team generally breaks up into a bunch of individuals.  Everybody wants to do something different; everybody wants to go their separate ways.  The best way to move is to copy the way a military squad moves; which by the way is practiced over and over and over again until their movement is totally automatic.  The squad has a leader and a scout and team members.  It can be as small as three or as large as 10.  One good way to do it is to have 2-man buddy teams.  This way, one player provides covering fire while his buddy moves to the next covered position.  The team must maintain visual and audio contact with each other at all times during the movement.  As you move forward, you either take fire or see an opposing player up ahead.  If he hasn’t seen you, then the hand signal is given to drop and freeze while the lead man (or whoever else wants to join in) takes aim and blasts a few paintballs at the target.  Anyway, when the coast is clear, the team continues to move.  When the lead man sees the target, he alerts his teammates by yelling ‘Contact!’ and starts shooting.  All team members also start shooting in the direction of the opposing player.  If the opposing player is not hit (and not advancing), then your rear team members start rushing forward, all the while the front players are laying down a barrage of paintballs.  As soon as the rear members have leapfrogged the front players and the NOW rear players continue to move up.  This continues until the opposing player either wets his pants and runs or gets hit.  Obviously the lead man and his buddy should have paintball markers fitting for medium to close range shooting…. any M4 Carbine replica paintball marker will do.  The guys in the very back may want the same but there should be at least 1-2sniper paintball guns on the team who can pick people off with a long range paintball scope.  If your team runs into opposing strength, reverse this movement to leapfrog retreat until you have picked off enough of their members to start advancing again.

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Storing Paintballs In The Cold

240-fate-paintballs-red-yellowPaintballs become very brittle in the cold.  This is apt to cause breakage in the carton, loaders, hopper, barrel, and of course, on the target.  While break- age on the target is preferred, anywhere else can be a mess.  So keep the paint in a warm car while you are playing.  Between games, store your butt packs, loaders, and hopper in the car.  Refill your hoppers just prior to heading out to the field.  Keep in mind the exposure times mentioned above.  Also, keep the paintballs sealed in the bag.  If left in an open bag, the paint will dry out, adding insult to injury.  Some people report an above average number of balls rolling out the barrel when they play in cold temperatures.  This could be due to contraction if the paint is very cold.  Choose a barrel diameter to suit the day’s conditions.  Freezing temperatures and conditions will cause dimples to appear on paintballs.  Dimples will not come out of a paintball.  If you suspect paint has been frozen, throw it out.  Do not confuse dimples with flat spots.  Flat spots are often found at the bottom of case and do not adversely affect the performance of a paintball.  If you find flat spots on paintballs throughout the case, it may be an indication of exposure to high heat or humidity.

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Alternate Players On Your Team

prosbigtimeAlternates have multiple benefits when accompanying your paintball team, but many people are uncertain as to what being an alternate entails. The first mistake commonly assumed in reference to an alternate is that they are not going to play in the tournament unless there is an emergent situation (injury, down marker, etc.).  The person in this situation would not be an alternate, he would be there for support.  An alternate is a regular member of your paintball team, who plays with the team, practices with the team on a regular basis and will play in the tournament equally.  In the case of a three man event the alternate player would sit out the first game, the second game he would be in, while someone else would sit out and it would continue to rotate through the squad until the conclusion of the event.  An alternate pays his share of the entry fee and plays his share of the tournament.  A general rule of thumb is to have at least one alternate on the roster for a three man event, two alternates at a five man event and three alternates at a ten man event.  Often the number of alternates is limited by the tournament promoter, check with them and see how many you can have appear on the roster and utilize this to you fullest advantage by filling these spots.  It would be much wiser to run a three man squad with one alternate than to run a five man squad with no alternates.  You never know what is going to happen at the last minute, who will not be able to attend or who will not be able to complete the tournament for any number of reasons. 

Another benefit of having alternates on your paintball team’s roster is reducing the cost of your tournament.  Instead of five players paying sixty dollars each for a three hundred dollar entry fee, if you have two alternates it would drop the cost to forty three dollars each.  This is extremely beneficial to a paintball team just starting out, without sponsors tournament entry fees can be extreme at times, not to mention the cost of lodging when you travel to tournaments.  By including alternates on the roster you lower the expense of the entry fee to more reasonable and affordable level, this is extremely helpful when you look at some of the national events who’s fees can be in excess of six hundred dollars per event.  When the team is at the crony, so are the alternates.  In the event that a paintball marker is too hot, will not come down to permissible levels or is malfunctioning, the alternate will either exchange his paintball marker with his teammate or the alternate will assume the other players position entirely. The alternate is there in the event of an injury, which prevents another player from continuing with the tournament.  An alternate is there when someone needs a break.  An alternate can assist in the staging areas by working on paintball guns, loading hoppers, getting air or paintballs and cleaning old paint off fellow teammates and their equipment when the alternate player is not playing. In a tournament environment every available hand is a plus, especially in the staging areas between games and the alternates are the ones who assist in picking up the slack by not only assisting the team but playing as well.  An alternate is a valuable asset to a team, make the most of these positions on your team roster and fill all the available spaces.

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Tactical Vests Vs. Pod Harnesses

1molle_tiberius_tactical_paintball_vestCarrying enough ammo with you on the field is important. It’s no fun running out of paintballs in the middle of a game because all you can do is dodge bullets until the end of the match. Carrying paintballs is done with either a pod harness or tactical vest. Whether your playing speedball or woods ball picking out which pod carrier or vest to use is important. If you play speedball, smaller, easy accessible type of carriers for quick reloading are best. You need to be able to grab the pods quickly as this game is timed and ultra fast, so every movement counts. Speedball players also shoot a lot of paint very quickly so a pod holder with a large capacity is smart. If you prefer woodsball, a good tactical vest to carry can be modified to carry tons of ammo plus all the gear you need on the battlefield. These camouflage garments can also be modified for the new mag fed markers that are all the rage now. Compared with a pod harness, paintball vests are good because you can carry a lot more than just ammo pods; they can also be customized with different pouches to cater to your exact needs. Other advantages of tactical vests are extra protection and a more even distribution of weight. Most vests allow you to place their pouches how you see fit, allowing you to set them up for the most comfortable and convenient arrangement around your body. Check out a huge selection of tactical paintball vests here…

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Planet Eclipse Geo 3 Gun Review

Planet_Eclipse_LTD_Geo3_Paintball_Gun_-_Estar_Blue__50265_zoomThe Planet Eclipse geo 3 has a completely new look and feel. From the trimmed down milling to the raised grip frame and the brand new solenoid adjustment screw. This Planet Eclipse paintball marker is super small and extremely lightweight; perfect for high stakes speedball and tournament style paintball. It comes in a variety of colors to match your team uniform or just your favorite color. This gun is the perfect height and size too. The Geo 3 has by far the best performance out of all the geo’s. It has the perfect design for the fastest action games. So much so, a beginner with this gun in his hand may have a difficult time. The Planet Eclipse Geo 3 shoots smooth and consistent, but can be a bit much for a newbie to handle. The high price point of this marker generally keeps them out of reach of most new players however. For the experienced paintballer who knows what he’s buying, this gun has it all. The soleniod screw will help you adjust your geo the way you want it. This Geo 3 comes with an electronic board that allows you to ramp, three round auto and semi auto. On semi auto alone the gun is ridiculously fast leaving the other settings as almost a bonus. You also don’t need tools for maintenance of this marker. Like most high end tournament guns, you should take extra care keeping it clean and in good condition it will definitely be worth your investment. It may take saving all your pennies for a good long while, but ff you can get your hands on one of these guns, buy it.

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