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For The Beginner

Beginner's most common mistakes

A. Wrong positions
A beginners first concern is usually to protect themselves rather than being a threat to their opponents. They choose the thickest bush or the deepest hole available and settle down right in the middle of it. They don't see anything and are unable to provide information or cover fire.
But thay think they're in a great ambush position. Those who go further go too far and have to dive behind a tree which roots they decide to closely examine. They don't even shoot back to improve their situation, nor ask for help.
And when hit, they'll wait for the incoming paint to stop pouring before they stand up and walk away, which means they'll get out wearing two or three layers of bright colors.

Choose your first shelter before the game starts. A good shelter is one that will provide you with reasonable cover, while allowing you to look and shoot around.
So you must be within range of your opponents, but not too close so you can still move behind your tree/barricade. If the shelter you're behind is so small that you can't stick your head out, make sure you'll have a teammate behind you to pin down your opponents at times, so you'll have openings.

B. They can't look
Usually, if you see your opponent before he spots you, you've won. But beginners think that if they stick their head out, they'll be an easy target. So they never look around.
Those who decide to use their eyes focus them in one single direction. To concentrate on such a wide area, they close their ears to all noises, especially those coming from their sides.
Don't be afraid to look around. You need as much information as you can get. Of course your head will be a target, so look by the side of your barricade rather than above the top of it.
If you decide to look above the top, don't do it for more than one or two seconds. It'll take that long for your opponents to: 1-spot you, 2-aim at you, 3-shoot at you and have the paint travel.

C. They Don't Move!
They don't move enough. If you're not useful where you are, don't stay there. For instance, deciding to stay behind to "protect" your base is ALWAYS a mistake: if the rest of your team breaks through, it means they would have done better with you among them and anyway, there are no opponents left to protect your station against.
If the rest of your teams gets beaten, it means they'd have done better with you among them, and when your opponents arrive to your base, boy will you feel alone... Another example. Look at a newbie who's being shot at. He's trying to make himself as flat as possible. As flat and useless as a flat tire.
When you're in a position where you are easily pinned down, with no close help at hand, there are only three things you should think of doing:
1. Going away as fast as possible
2. shooting back
3. Yelling for help and indicating your opponent's location. Yell, if they're shooting at you, it means they've spotted you, so don't be affraid to give your position away.
Another wrong -or lack of- move. When a beginner spots you, he focuses on you and become blind and deaf to anything else. Most of the time, he won't even imagine that you, sly as you are, have moved to a place where you'll shoot from a different angle.
When you are spotted (when you shoot at someone, you usually are), be prepared to move so your opponent won't know even where you are nor from where your next shot will come from.

D. Not enough Communication!
Beginners very seldom talk too much. Most of the time, a beginner who talks is a) drunk b) in the dead zone.
A beginner keeps his problems to himself (he doesn't ask for help when needed) and doesn't brag about his knowledge (he doesn't tell you about the opponents he's spotted).
The only good reason to be quiet is to remain stealthy. But once you're spotted, there's no reason not to yell, scream. You'll get the help you need, and give your teamates the information they need to kick in.
Only exception: be careful when asking for paint, unless it's in your face you want it.

E. They don't shoot
Usually, beginners are very accurate and seldom miss a player who's 10 feet away, aspecially if he is on the same team (told you, they can't look).
They imagin that a marker is a gun, and try to nail targets 100 yards away (thus giving away their position). They shoot too soon, and at averything that moves.
The opponent who doesn't shoot (yet) will know where to find them (they never move), and will pick them out when wanted.
If you haven't been spotted, your first shot must take your target out. Wait until the flight path is clear, or until the opponent sees you. Be patient, especially when you're defending.
The price of paint being what it is, they think that a ball that doesn't end on an opponent's camouflage is lost, so they never provide cover or intimidating fire.
Sometimes, you have to shoot at opponents you can't see. To help a teamate out of a dear situation, to make an opponent nervous behind his tree, to keep his head down while one of your teamates is closing in on him, to make noise to distract their attention...
In my team, we all share the cost of paint because we know that our front players (who use less paint) can only play if someone behind them throws paint, but you need a team to do so.

How to Win on your first day out

A. Get aquainted with the marker
I won't deal with safety matters nor with how different markers work. Listen carefully to what the site managers will tell you. But if they don't explain to you how to use the marker, if they don't tell you never to remove your goggles even and especially when you're hit or you have fog on them, turn around, go away and never come back on this field, it is ran by clowns. [Remember to use your barrel plugs as well!

Now you have a marker and feel an urge for shooting some paint. Be patient. It's a wild horse and you need to know it before the ride.
Check the inside of the barrel, it must be clean and dry, otherwise your paintballs will fly like superman after too many whiskies.
[NEVER look down the barrel of a gun, unless the barrel has been removed or unless you have removed the C02 source. If it is dirty, borrow a squeegie to help clean out the barrel.

If the marker is a pump gun, try out the pump a few times so you'll know the strength require to cock it.
Pull the pump all the way back, push the pump all the way forward, and shoot.
Don't try to shoot too fast, the ball won't have enough time to drop into the barrel, or the marker won't cock well.
Shoot a few rounds to different targets to check out the how the paint flies, to see how fast it dives and which parts of the marker you should look at to aim.
Don't hold the marker as if it were a pistol. Let the tank rest against your soulder. [if it is a bottom line setup.]

B. Walk the field
You don't need to sketch a map, nor to have a satellite take a picture of the surroundings. Look where the stations are, and where the central line is.
The central line is the place where the opposing teams will most probably meet, the farthest you can run on the whistle before looking like an ice cream cone. Check the main shelters such as big rocks, big trees, barricades, ditches and rigs, and crawlers paths.
This will give you an idea of where to look for hostile aliens from outertown.
A good shelter is not a underground bunker complete with cushions and stereo. It must protect you from your opponent's paint while allowing you to look around.
Because if your main concern is only to stay clean, you might as well stay in the club house listening to heavy bubble gum music on your radio.
Look for a series of shelters that will allow you to move forward. You are going to move forward, aren't you?

C. Be friendly

You came on your own and know nobody. Trouble is, you won't win the game by yourself. You need teamates, you want teamwork.
Go and talk to the other players. Ask them if they've already played, if they know each other, if they know where they are going to on the whistle, where do they come from, what are we here for and what is the meaning of all this.
Ask them if they've split into sub-groups and about what they want to do. Then try to fit in. If they have no plan nor organization, try to spot who has come with who, and assign each group to a portion of the field. [with an objective?]
"Would you like to go on the right side, all four of you? Great. Tom and Jerry, do you want to go behing those big rocks and watch the center? Perfect. You'll be protecting the four musketeers left side then, remember to tell them about anything you see.
And you, do you mind if I join in? Thanks, we'll go on the left side. You two more to the center, and me and you by the tape. What's your name? Cindy? Nice, same as my goldfish. Ok Cindy, we stick together..."
That's it. It didn't look like you were, but you gave orders and set up a structure that is not perfect, but way better than the messy bunch you'd have been without.
Everyone knows where to go, what to do, and thus feels more confident. Easy, isn't it?

D. Switch to stealth/dangerous mode
Now you've organized the team, Cindy's looking at you starting to find you attractive, show yourself trustworthy. You're a cold blooded gremlin remover.
When moving, novices make two common mistakes. First one is going behind a shelter and staying there for the rest of the game, sometimes the end of the day when they're deaf.
Second one is walking at a steady pace, never stopping but to frantically shooting distant opponents, but besides from creating new breeds of colorful birds, the results of such shooting are otherwise very limited.
To move properly, you must go from shelter to shelter. Go to the one you spotted before the beginning of the game. Look around, try to see where the closest opponents are.
If you don't see any, look for another shelter further along, rush behind it, and start looking around again. See, you don't move and look at the same time. You look, move, look again, move again.
If you do both at the same time, chances are you'll imprint the shape of your ear on an innocent tree that wasn't fast enough to get out of your way. Within a group, there must always be at least someone looking around.
Don't switch off altogether your anti-hostile radars. The first shot would take you by surprise, changing your pack of hounds into a bunch of fleeing chickens.
Those of you who are in front look around, then signal to the others they can move on. By the way, they musn't come behind the same shelters. You'd make a bigger target while still covering the same angles. This technique is very easy to learn, and very efficient.

E. Don't play lonewolf
Try to find the balance between your hunting instinct and the uncomfortable feeling of smelling like fresh ham. Feel at ease, Cindy's by your side, and so are Tom and Jerry.
You know the principle: "concentrate your forces". Move or have your wingmen move if you are too close or too far from them. If you are going to crawl and won't be able to answer their calls, let them know.
And when you meet a prey, share it! Give information about spotted opponents, eliminated teamates or gremlins. You spot an alien? Let your teamates know about it, and organize the removal.
It doesn't mean you have to sit down and deliberate for hours about the best way to do it neatly. It comes very easily. You spot a lone rabbit, some of you pin him down, the others move sideways to get better shooting angles, or if he's really isolated, rush to his shelter and nail him at close range.
Look at your teamates through the whole process, so you'll be able to signal them to provide cover fire or to shift or to charge. If you stumble upon more than one sprite at a time, don't focus each of you on each of them.
It will be like that at the beginning, but what you should do fast is determine which one is the easiest target (or the most threatening -- you want to eliminate them first), protect yourselves from his teammates shots, maybe leave one of you to entertain them, and concentrate on the former.
You have better chances of winning three a 3 on 1 than 1 on 1.
Concentrate your forces!

F. Stay calm There you are. Some careless ignorants are begging you to change their outfit's color. Don't miss your move.
You'll be surprised to see how many of their first shots will miss their targets. You make them nervous (yes, they think that poor you is intimidating) and they'll fire back in panic. Don't make the same mistake. Aim each of your shots, for at least half a second. Remember to be precise if you use a pump gun.
Pull, push, aim, shoot, pull, push, aim, shoot... Don't try to go faster than you pronounce the words. Believe me, the first opponent who'll see you will miss you because he'll try to empty his loader in the same burst. But if you take the time to aim, he'll have to lower his head, or to clean it.
If you shoot from behind a shelter, very well. But if you took the risk to stand (and sometimes you should), please realize how provoking you look to the primitive barbarians ahead.
Pretty soon, let's say in less than 3 seconds, they are going to react and shoot at you. Don't try to impersonate the invincible hero. Get down again and keep on asking for information.
If you get pinned down and the opponents are redecorating the right side of your barricade, aim at them through your shelter, then keeping your barrel in their direction, stick it out and start firing, then throw a quick look.
Nine times out of ten, your opponent will have put his head and marker back behind his shelter. I know it's surprising, but that's the way it goes. If you're the one whose head is out, you have the advantage.
So if an opponent uses the technique I just described, stay out. Lucky shots happen, but they are rare. Aim at your opponent's marker/hopper/head, and calmly dispose of him.

Closing Remarks
Be organized, be calm, feel confident. You're dangerous. You're a serial painter, a natural born paintballer, a pump fiction hero. Just remember to be humble enough to acknowledge and analyze your mistakes.

Tactics Page Main Page
Edited by: Martin Guerrero
Created by: Jean-Manuel
this page maybe altered from its original format