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A tactical discussion

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SR_Crewchief View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SR_Crewchief Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: A tactical discussion
    Posted: 11 October 2004 at 6:28am
I see that yesterday there was a little flame fest over tactical role of a sniper, the tactics involved, and whether or not it is effective in paintball. Several of you have the wrong perception of what defines a sniper. For you edification I post my basic lesson for you....again.

Read and learn. If you wish to comment, please keep it civil. If you disagree, be prepared to back you statements with more than 'my opinion' or 'says you'.

Remember the point of this forum, much less this topic, the exchange of ideas and the education of all players.


First some basics need to be established. The game is paintball and for the purposes of this class it is played in the woods where the terrain dictates that youíll be engaging each other most of the time at between 20 and 25 meters. (In other words close range) It is played most often by 2 opposing sides of roughly equal size. For all intent and purposes this game is modeled on military small unit combat.

Now several you are going "whoo hoo, my kind of sniper country"Öwithout knowing what makes a sniper. Many of you have gone to the dictionary and found a reference saying something to the effect that a sniper is someone who fires from concealment and have used this a your basis for your claim to being one in paintball. That's all well and dandy, except you ignore the rest of the definition.

snip∑er ( P ) Pronunciation Key (sn p r)n. A skilled military shooter detailed to spot and pick off enemy soldiers from a concealed place. One who shoots at other people from a concealed place.

Source: The American Heritageģ Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth EditionCopyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Now youíll note that this expanded definition is still quite general in it scope, after all anyone who squats behind bush to fire is a sniper which is not the case.

So, since the dictionary has not resolved this we must consult the experts for a better definition of what makes a sniper in our chosen environment. It happens that Iíve had the opportunity to do just that from time to time in my 22 years in the Army.

In summary here are the extreme basics of what is an effective sniper:
∑ A superior marksman
∑ Expert knowledge in the art camouflage for concealment
∑ The ability to approach the target without being detected
∑ Engage the target from beyond effective range of return fire
∑ The ability to engage the target without revealing your position
∑ The ability to egress the area after successfully engaging the target without being positively identified and engaged

The first three of these points are possible in the game of paintball, but do not make you a sniper, they just take some training and practice.

Letís look at them one at a time.

A superior marksman

Basically someone whoís shooting skills are well above that of the average player. No big problem here, skill levels very, some people are just plain better than others.

Expert knowledge in the art camouflage for concealment

This one is a little tougher. It takes knowledge of what will fool the eye into not seeing what is really there. Itís still doable though. Trained military have an advantage over the someone whose camouflage skills are solely based on hunting. Not because the non-military hunter is any less skilled but because of who the camouflage is intended to fool. But once armed with the knowledge of what the differences are this isnít even a problem. So, yes this can be effectively applied to paintball.

The ability to approach the target without being detected

This one is a bigger problem. If just taken as being able to move close enough to a player that is already in place to make your shot undetected is very difficult. Since instinctively humans are hunters, our attention is automatically drawn to movement or things that are out of place. Itís takes someone that is extremely skilled in moving undected to pull this one off. But I have seen it done.

I should add to this the ability to setup a position that provides an undetected position from which to shoot that covers an area you expect your opponent to move through. A basic ambush.

Both require an undetected shooting position and can be effectively applied to paintball depending on skill level


The last three points are where the concept of a sniper in paintball fails.

Engage the target from beyond effective range of return fire

No matter what you do, as long as everyone has the same approximate muzzle velocity, everyone has about the same effective range. Yes, that means Flatlines too. While Flatlines do have the ability, do to an aerodynamic backspin, shoot farther than other barrel systems the paintball still loses velocity at the same rate. What this means is that a paintball from a flatline loses the energy to break its shell at the same rate as one fired from a conventional barrel. The advantage of the flatline is initial flat trajectory that paintball has, which allows someone to fire under foliage that would otherwise break the ball. (The first failed point in being an effective sniper)

The ability to engage the target without revealing your position

Since the effective range is around 20-25m means that when you fire you have effectively revealed your general position. What I mean is this. Your shooting from such a close range that either the pop of your ball leaving the barrel or the sound of your bolt cycling (or both) will give your general position away to anyone with average hearing as far away as 40m. Unless you are only engaging 1 or 2 people or are extremely lucking you yourself can now be effectively counted as a mission kill. (The second failed point in being an effective sniper)

The ability to egress the area after successfully engaging the target without being positively identified and engaged

What this means is the ability move to a new shooting position after having engaged a target without being detected and counter-engaged your self. Since itís been demonstrated that you canít effectively engage a target without revealing your initial shooting position and exposing yourself to effective counter fire this one automatically fails. (The third failed point in being an effective sniper)



Now just because you canít effectively apply all of the above tactics of what makes an effective sniper doesnít mean that the first 3 listed canít be applied to paintball. Do they make you a sniper? No. But they do give you the ability to setup an effective close ambush. Just a word of advice here, bring along several friends and you might even be effective at it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BearClaw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2004 at 7:13am
Alright this was a well written post my only argument here is that the above player can simply be called a good player not nessisarily a sniper. 

I do now alot of players that play in a very similare fashion to what you have said.  BUt they thems selfs dont call themselfs snipers there just more advanced players on the team.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MROD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2004 at 7:22am

Props to you for serving in the Army. For 20+ years too. W00t

I for one think snipers can be a very important factor in the game. As long as everyone on the team doesn't decide they want to be one. With my friends I usually play with only a 4-6 man team. We always choose one person to be the sniper. I love being the sniper mostly because it gives me more time to thin kabout stuff because I don't really have to run around alot.

About the moving undetected part my friends and I recently came up with an effective way. I thought it might be cool to try this because one time when I plane was flying over I snuck right up on someone who was trying to flank my team by crawling around. I had all the noise cover from the plane I needed so I jus ran up took aim for alost a second in the copmplete open and shot one shot which hit him in the shoulder. To take advantage of this I bought a few reall really cheap  way radios and to disstract ppl I throw it to to the other side of them where there is no rocks to break the radio and have my friends make some of noise into it so hes distracted. I can easily come up and shoot him without hm noticing or even if he does notice he thinks hes getting flanked so he panics.

My Flaltine really helps because I have alot of range so I can pick off kids from on top of a liff who think they are safely out of range.

My favorite sniper points are usually on tp of rocky cliffs or the like so I have a great bray and brown with a little green camo suit.

I think the sniper can be very useful because you can have 3-4 guys running around making the other team move whil your out of the action and just have to take aim at someone who thinks their safwe and noone is behind them. As long as the sniper ghas regualr combat skills as well then he wil lbe a good asset to the team. Becasue if the enemy finds out his position he will most likely have to evade and attack like a regular soldier. So as long as he gets it out of his head that he's only a sniper and cant run or do anything else he will be an effective asset to the team.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SawMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2004 at 8:01am
Very good post!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Betterdays Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2004 at 10:02am

I knew SR_Crewchief or Old Soldier would show up sooner or later...welcome to the same old party 'chief.

To MROD and Sawman...you guys both sound like stand up, know what you are doing players. You must see what you call a sniper isn't really a sniper. You're just assigning a word to a role. No one disputes the usefulness of the role but the term "sniper" is a misnomer. The real world term for the role you describe is "Interdiction Rifleman." (thank O.S. for educatin' us all)

Please join those of us trying to stop the constant misuse of the word sniper in paintball. It doesn't apply and it perpetuates a mythology among young and/or new players which isn't helpful. 

And Sawman, welcome to the forum.



Edited by Betterdays
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A5abuser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2004 at 10:08am

well good post, i guess you can't get a true sniper in paintball but half of one, i think that we should all come togther and ignore the ones that call themselves snipers and let them wallow in their own fantasies.

or we could just insult them and say how stupid they are for even thinging that!!!!!!

 

if it moves it becomes a target

and snipers don't exist in paintball!! get that in your heads people!!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whack-a-mole Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2004 at 10:22am
 well said
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SawMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2004 at 10:23am
Thank you Betterdays, good to be here! I now understand completely, the term sniper is being misused in context. Possibly the word "Scout" is a better decription. I've just found the term "sniper" or directions such as "snipe from over there" earier to use, not to mention for others to understand. Most people will just look at you funny if you tell them to "employ Interdictory (sp?) fire from over there".

Edited by SawMan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SR_Crewchief Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2004 at 9:28pm
That's much better. Most of you understood that, when properly defined, the skills of a sniper cannot be effectively applied to paintball without being so deluted that they are virtually indestinquishable from successful application of basic infantry tactics.

Better yet everyone kept it civil. And by doing that you kept an open mind.

Those were the two major points that I was trying to make.


Something everyone to remember for the future, when you see someone post a subject that you disagree with, don't automaticly jump on them with both feet. When subjects like snipers, which barrel, and the like show up help make it a discussion. If someone isn't willing to do that, let them know that they are out of line and then just ignore them. If it really gets out of hand and a moderator hasn't stepped in, you know how to bring it to thier attention, let them deal with it.

With that said, keep the discussion going.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote @5 M@$T@ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2004 at 9:45pm
Your post matches my description whenever I play woodball. I do almost all of the above^^^. I am not the greatest at sneaking up on a target but I am a marksman, I am great at blending in(ive been steped on), Im effective to about 220 ft., maybe a little under, I can engage without being spotted(semi auto, every 2-3 seconds), I never move...I pick a spot and stay there. (+)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mehs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2004 at 9:49pm
This, is a damn good post, that's all I can say, it seems sticky worthy, it will save a lot of people from humiliation on fields. 

I think that like sawman said, the name should more of be "scout", because a sniper "can" be in paintball, but it would be nearly impossible. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robert_Hawker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2004 at 10:15pm

I have never seen a better post on the topic of snipers

But i agree hole heartedly that "Snipers" dont exist in paintball!! i have a designaed sharpshooter on my teem, sad to say its not me but, my sharp shooter is kinda rich and pracktices every week with 2000 rounds on moving targets (The rest of us). We all get 30 paintballs and try to eliminate him from a long ridgeline. its near impossable as the rige is 50-60 ft tall so he comands a 150 yard area!! with a few big trees as bunkers we have only eliminated him once!!

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NotDaveEllis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2004 at 10:55pm
Just give the sniper a swift tactical kick to the crotch.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote keithx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2004 at 11:04pm

Crewchief, here is one point that wasn't brought up in the other thread about sniping (Which Gun is Best?). The "sniper" misnomer transcends paintball. Rewind your memory to the "DC Sniper". He made shots from a hundred yards with a semi-automatic assault rifle and the media labeled him a "sniper".

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evil_fingers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 October 2004 at 2:28am

So far so good....no one hasnt flamed on anyone in this thread

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SawMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 October 2004 at 5:04am

RE: DC "Sniper"

∑ A superior marksman - one could argue both ways.
∑ Expert knowledge in the art camouflage for concealment - ingenious, (if that is the word...) use of camouflage modifications with the vehicle 
∑ The ability to approach the target without being detected - Yes 
∑ Engage the target from beyond effective range of return fire - Chose the targets carefully, they couldn't return fire anyways.
∑ The ability to engage the target without revealing your position - Yes 
∑ The ability to egress the area after successfully engaging the target without being positively identified and engaged - Yes, seeing it took a long while for him to be caught.

My thoughts.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote keithx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 October 2004 at 2:04pm
  • Superior Marksman - to me a superior marksman means they are capable of firing a 1" group at 300-500 yds... the shots the "DC Sniper" made were erratic and if i recall a few of the victims had to be shot multiple times at around 100-150 yards... you wouldn't pass basic training let alone sniper school with shots like that....
  • I'll give him the concealment factor, he used a high traffic urban setting to his advantage...
  • Being undetected, that's kind of a hard one being that in a combat situation you are constantly looking for threats and assessing those threats as friend or foe. In the civilian world, most people aren't thinking, "watch that ridge for potential snipers", so its kinda like playing hide and seek with the blind.
  • Theoretically someone COULD return fire if they had any type of rilfe... beyond range of fire means by typical infantry weapon... so if the effective range of 5.56 NATO is somewhere between 100-200 yds he was making shots at the low end of the spectrum. You can't even own a gun let alone carry on in DC so this point is still up for debate.
  • Several times he did reveal his position because he had to make multiple shots on his targets which goes back to not being a marksman...
  • The last one I'll give him

I think another point for the sniper debate would be the type of weapon used. I see a lot of so called paintball "snipers" and their gun specs are like "double trigger, super fast hopper, r/t or egrip".... ROF is not even a consideration for a sniper... for the most part bolt action .308 rifles are the standard for real snipers... every shot counts...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ph34r Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 October 2004 at 3:34pm
SR_Crewchief, you have hit the proverbial nail on the head with that post. One cannot ascertain all the qualities of a military sniper on a paintball field. Pseudosniper would be a good name for a marksman on the woodsball field.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shadowminion Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 October 2004 at 6:17pm

The surprising thing , I am seeing is more  "new Players " willing to accept the differentiation , between a "Sniper " , and a "Sharpshooter" .

I think the word is slowly getting out ,or the average IQ of members in the forum is increasing ,maybe both !!

Great thread !! 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Detz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 October 2004 at 9:21pm
I totally agree with ur post, but really if people want to call themselves snipers in paint ball who cares.  They are just being ingnorant pricks? but then again it is just a game, we are not playing with 50 caliber rifles that are capable of tearing some ones head off at 900 + meters.  so yeah ur right in paintball u cant be a sniper, but if some one wanted to call themself that why should u or anyone care... as long as we know (and of course let them know too) that they are just being stupid
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