Robbie Newbie … What would we do without him to entertain us on the field? Sure, sometimes he can be frustrating, but we’ve all been there one point in our lives playing paintball.
Who else can we watch pick up paintballs on the field that are two weeks old and swollen to three times their original size and expect them to fit through their hopper?
Maybe he’s running down the field with fogged up goggles and gets a little confused as to what team he is on and starts a barrage of friendly fire.
Perhaps, he is the person who leaves his paintballs out in the direct sun, only to come back to a bag of goop because his balls have melted.
Or, quite possibly, he is the person who forgets to fill up on gas and runs out in the middle of a game. Either way, he needs help out there if he is going to survive.
So, here is a ruthless shot of reality to help the village idiot phase of Newbie along a little faster. The sooner Robbie learns the basics, the quicker he will stop shooting me in the back.
Rule #1 - Safety, safety, safety
Ok, Robbie, two major things here.
Number One. Invest in an anti-fog mask. The extra money spent could help save you vision. Also, if you wear glasses, try spraying them with anti-fog spray. Lenses in masks that don’t fog up are great, but you might as well be pissing into the wind if you glasses haze over.
Now that you have your mask taken care of, never, never, never take if off or even lift it during play. If condensation happens to form, walk off the field into a designated safe zone to clear it. All it takes is just one stray shot to slip under your mask as you lift it up to bust out an eye.
Second, even before you think about playing the field, make sure you barrel has a condom. Unwarranted shots fired are completely prohibited and violators will not be permitted for return play.
Almost every field now has moved from barrel plugs to condoms (or socks). When you are finished on the field, cap that barrel ! If not, you could accidentally fire a shot off and hit they guy who has his mask off to clean it.
Remember, you are responsible for that paintball once it leaves the barrel.
Rule #2 – Never recycle paintballs on the ground
Even if you have no balls left, resist the urge of picking up someone else’s dirty balls off the field and recycling them. “Oh, my precious ! My precious little paintball !
Let’s take a brief moment to review the make up of a paintball.
A paintball consists of a gelatin outer shell filled with a water-based paint. Simple enough. However, when the gelatin shell comes into contact with water, it tends to swell up like a balloon. Not only does this make the shell extremely soft, but also it will really screw up your maker if you try and fire it.
Also, if you are ever refilling your hopper during play and spill some balls on the ground, don’t pick them up and try to reuse them. It does not matter if it is 90° out and dry, they will pick up dirt. Sending these defiled paintballs through your marker can cause it to jam up and scratch everything on its way out. You might as well be firing sandpaper through your barrel. Remember, those balls are diseased !
Rule #3 – Don’t fan the trigger
No matter how ugly looking the bunkers are, unless you are an aspiring artist (and I don’t think you are), they do not need a fresh coat of paint. We are a paintball field, not an art gallery.
“Fanning the Trigger” is the act of using your index or middle finger to bounce the trigger back and forth in hopes of a higher rate of fire and should be removed from the vocabulary of everyone.
The problem with this technique is that your accuracy is greatly reduced because you are bouncing the marker all round. The only thing this is good for is looking stupid and wasting an enormous amount of paint.
However, before you concern yourself with a higher rate of fire, you should first work on your accuracy. The person who can tag a player out with just a couple shots is much more effective one the field than the person who sits back and “Sprays and Prays”.
When you have your accuracy down, then you can explore increasing you rate of fire. Rather than fanning, try walking the trigger. This is done by alternating trigger pulls with your index and middle finger. Generally speaking, this technique works better with an electronic marker that has a short trigger pull. The added benefit of walking the trigger is its ability to help maintain accuracy and reducing wasted paintballs.
Remember, Robbie. It’s not the quantity of the shots, but the quality that wins games.
Rule #4 – Think before you shoot
OK, you might think that fragging your teammates on console games is funny, but out here you will be introduced to the reality of pain if you try it.
If you really want to piss off your team, then rip into them a couple of times and see what happens. However, I will not be responsible for the beating you will take.
But, if you want to be a valuable part of the team, just think before you shoot. Too many times people are eliminated in paintball matches because someone is not paying attention to who is on their team. It is important to know where everyone is on the field at all times to help reduce friendly fire.
Rule #5 – Don’t shoot the long ball
Unless you are independently wealthy, shooting paintballs well beyond their effective range is a complete waste. So, Stop It !
A paintball has to be one of the most in accurate projectiles you could shoot. And to top it off, shooting well beyond your markers effective range just makes you look like an idiot.
Generally speaking, the effective range of a marker depends on many things:
The quality of you barrel - If you have a decent barrel on your marker, you will reduce friction on the ball and allow it to travel further. The better your barrel boar to ball size match the better.
The type of marker – Some markers are just inherently more accurate that others. Manufactures usually achieve this by their parts and mechanical operation.
The quality of Paintballs – A higher end paintball is more evenly round, consists of a higher quality shell and a tighter tolerance on diameter. Cheap paintballs are fine for test shots, but generally curve really bad after 40 feet into their flight.
Overall, a general rule of thumb is to keep your shots within 60 to 80 feet from your target. Anything further than that is going to yield unpredictable shots.
Rule #6 – Sportsmanship
If you are caught cheating during play, prepare to receive the beating of your life.
The cold hard truth is that people don’t like to play with cheaters. If you are playing, own up to the hit and call yourself out. Wiping off hits only fuels the disgust of other players and is a major cause of over-shooting.
Also, tempers can flare up and mouths can run. Try to refrain from swearing on the field, physically abusing equipment, field property and people. If you gain a reputation as someone who is trouble, good luck finding a field to play at.
Let’s keep it clean out there and enjoy the sport.
Rule #7 – Moving on the field
As you hide behind a bunker having your own personal tea party, try contemplating your next move. If you are not going to progress down the field, then slip on your little pink dress and invite Barbie on over for a tea party.
A lot of new players in paintball like to find a nice cozy bunker to hide behind while the battle continues about them. Are they afraid of getting hit or do they just suck at utilizing cover ? Either way, learning how to move on the field can make all the difference.
First, find cover that can completely conceal your body. Nothing is worse than being tagged on your ass or on your shoe because you cannot fit behind the bunker. So, chose you cover wisely.
Second, when popping your head out, be sure to look out from different areas. If you prairie dog out of the same spot every time, someone is going to anticipate your next movement and hit you in the mask.
Third, mix up your tactics. The more unpredictable you are out on the field, the harder you will be to hit. Not only does this make you a harder to target, but it will also help increase the level of your game. Remember to keep you opponents guessing!
Rule #8 – Tunnel Vision
Every once in a while, you might want to try out the brand new concept in paintball. Look Around !
Newbies are often so focused on one target; they often forget that there is a game going on around them. If you find yourself getting shot by ghost balls, try looking around on both sides of you. The more aware you make yourself of your surroundings, the less likely you are to be shot out.
A lot of people in general also fall prey to tunnel vision, but being able to keep focused on your complete surroundings and identifying people who are stuck with tunnel vision can work to your advantage.
Even though these are some good starting points to work on, nothing is better than practice. The more you play the better you will become. Remember, the pros were Newbies at one point too !