Playing the Angles
Paintball is a game of angles. For our purposes, angles are the precise viewpoint from which something is observed or considered. Basically, angles are everywhere you're looking. If you can see the dorito from the back center, you have an angle on it. You might be able to see the dorito from many angles – left side, right side, standing up, kneeling down. You might have an angle on something without being able to see it. (These are called blind shots.) Paintball is about finding the best angle to attack a bunker and using your position to gain the upper hand. This article will teach you how to find the best bunkers to play, how to pinch your opponents and when to make a move.
You can use angles to get the upper hand on your opponent, putting yourself in the least amount of danger possible by limiting your exposure.
For example: Back corner guys often have a good angle on the snake because they're cross-field and at full height. It's easy for a corner to drop paint in on the snake and hard for the guy in the snake to shoot back at the corner. The corner has the advantage.
As you crawl down the snake, you find much better angles on the other players in the center of the field. To hide, you can simply drop down low or play behind the knuckle of the snake. The players inside the field are hopeless. They're exposed completely to the snake player, who's almost parallel with their position. Their only option is to face the snake to try and live behind a wall of paint. In this situation, the snake has the advantage. Though the players in the center of the field have a good shot on the snake, their angles aren't good because they're totally exposed.
When you're fighting your opponent head-on, you're basically flipping a coin to decide the winner. This will come as a shock to those who rate their snapshooting skills second-to-none. Of course the better gunfighter will emerge over time, but there are so many other factors determining how someone gets shot: Paintballs aren't accurate and could curve into your bunker, or you might bounce your guy on the arm. In the game of paintball, sh-- happens, and it happens a lot. You're not making things any easier on yourself by choosing the straight-ahead attack. Being a game of angles, paintball logic dictates that you find a new position where you'll have an advantage on your opponent. It's much easier to shoot a guy in the side than squaring off against him, right? The more you use your head, the less you have to use your gun.
Who should you be shooting at? Where should you move to gain the upper hand? You always want to widen the field, which means getting closer to the tapeline than your opponent. Holding the tape means you don't have to worry about one side of the field. If you occupy the furthest bunker on the right tape – a stand-up, a snake, anything – you don't have to worry about being flanked down the right tape. You might have someone in your mirror, but they have to come toward you, not around you. You can't be flanked or back-doored. This way, your only concerns are what's in front of you and what's to the left of you.
By widening the field you have cross shots on everyone inside of you. If you're battling your mirror, then shift to the right; you can usually get a better angle on your opponent. Shooting out the left side of your bunker at an opponent to your left (or vice-versa) allows you to shoot into his bunker rather than straight at it. By shooting into the bunker you're reducing the area your opponent can hide behind, effectively making his bunker smaller. This is called pinching, and it forces your opponent into a smaller area under pressure.