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   Speedball - Dead End to Tactics?

As a novice in the sport of paintball, I guess I am not the best person to discuss about game tactics. Starting a new sports means that I have a lot to pick up and learn from scratch. As several kind and friendly advance players share their knowledge with me on different occasions, be it during training sessions, over-the-counter chat or before a tournament game, there seems to be this similarity threading through their words of wisdom which triggered a thought in my mind. As I soaked up their advice over time, the same words seem to be brainwashing my mind. While my newbie brain is being washed, a comment made by a contributor to the Facefull magazine (issue 47) forum dumped sandbags in my mind and stopped the brainwashing momentarily. Alex Bizzar wrote (if I may quote him), “… has paintball reached its own dead end in tactics? Every single time I watch a Speedball match or participate in a woodsball match, everyone seems to do the same thing…”. His comments fished out the half-buried thoughts I had – a similarity threading through the advice on tactics.

In reference to a 5-men tournament, it appears that the tactics come out of a template – left forward, left back, center back/mid, right back and right forward. Left/right forwards’ role is to dive in to the bunker and move up from there with cover from their backs and center’s range of fire alternating left and right. If everyone has this game plan, everyone will know everyone’s game plan. Shouldn’t someone have countered this game plan? If everyone has such similar game plans, does it boil down to winning by a stronger firepower, losing by marker technical failures or player’s suicidal mistakes? I have yet to see any variation from this as yet (which you could largely attribute my narrow views to lack of exposure to tournaments – c’mon, I am a novice!).

Nevertheless, positions of players, individual responsibilities on the field and the team strategy all add to the overall game plan. Since the positions and individual responsibilities have hardly changed, it boils down to the team strategy. I have yet to see an exciting switch in strategy – anyone ever thought of putting 3 backs on the left/center while 2 forwards move down the left flank also? Like China army’s famous inhuman defending tactic in the past (human fort!), just push forth with the numbers to take down the mirror left’s opponents and infiltrate through the left to take out the center and right backs. Leave the opponents wondering where the right forward or back is. Possible? Who dares try shall be enlightened.

Perhaps paintball strategists or players can consider taking a leaf out of the book called Sun Tsu – The Art of War. This book is now at the top of my shopping list.

Till the next review,

Jane aka ELLE


p.s. I am not a dealer nor promoter for this book. Just get it off your local bookstore’s shelves.

Common in breakout?