These are the articles posted by Oldsoldier. He used to have a website but do not think it is up any longer.
The New Guy
31 March, 01
1968-RVN I arrived in Vietnam as a "new guy" a "<poopy>
" in the language of the times. I had just enough training and knowledge to be dangerous for both the enemy and our own troops. I was assigned to CoA, 2/503 Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade and after all the company paperwork was sent to my new squad I was sent to the arms room and handed an M-60 Machinegun, tripod, spare barrel bag, and all the other equipment with little or no fanfare. I wandered over to my squad hooch, a reinforced hole in the ground and sat there for awhile, the "old
-timers" and "short-timers" keeping a distance.
Later in the day we were told we had the night ambush for that night, my first "combat mission", and I was a little scared. We assembled for the "Patrol Order" and I understood little of what was going on, words and phrases I did not understand, and my one question was answered with a gruff "just follow him" response. All I knew is we were walking a good distance, setting up an ambush on a known trail and waiting. After dark we departed out of our wire, I was scared and alone among many, I saw VC behind every tree and in every shadow. We walked for what appeared to be hours; I was loaded down with my gear, the gun, and 500 rounds of ammo, and could barely keep up with the conditioned veterans. We finally stopped and set up, still I knew nothing, my sergeant just pointed and said "when the claymores go, shoot there" and vanished into the night. I was alone and in combat, and I was tired, cold, and wet. After what seemed like hours, and as I dozed, it happens, the claymores go off, small arms fire, ours and theirs starts, and I fire my gun in the direction, I hope is right. Welcome to combat.
2001- Any Paintball Field- The new guy show up for the first time at his local field. He has read all the magazines, talked the talk with his friends, but he knows little on what he is about to experience. He sees the veterans of the game walking around with gear he does not recognize, and talking in phrases he doesn't understand. The old
timers just ignore him and the little band of newbie’s. He signs in and is handed an unfamiliar marker, a bag of balls, and a mask and little else. He looks down on the marker, figures it out he hopes and maybe wanders over to the chrono area to fire a ball or two to make sure he knows how it works. The briefing happens and he again understands little, and the mob heads towards the field, he is alone among many. He stands at his flag, waiting for the start of the game, a whistle, some unfamiliar shouts and orders from the veterans and he is on his own. Soon balls are screaming by his head as he dives for a bunker, the thud of the balls on the wood filling his ears. He is alone and now scared. Welcome to Paintball.
This needs not happen. We were all "newbies" at one time and wanted some help. I challenge you as experienced players to seek out and find these new players. Walk and talk them through the sign in- explain their marker to them, walk them through firing it, loading it and what to do if something happens to it. Explain the safety briefing to him, and walk with him up to the field. At the start of the game take these "newbies" under your wing and help them through their first game. Leadership is a talent known and understood by few, and the impression you make here will make friends, and influence the game as a whole.
That is my challenge to you, from an Old Soldier, you would have wanted the same, I know I did.
The Long Night
15, April 01
1969- For those of you who have seen Platoon, the rainy season in VN was a miserable time for all. Red clinging mud, tree leeches falling down your neck, you feel like you are molding in your skin. We were sent out on a night ambush, couldn't see 10 meters to our front, rain beating drum beats on our floppy hats so we couldn't hear anything either. We moved about 6 K's out into the bush, and set up along a small stream. The rain was just enough to make life miserable, we laid prone in the water and mud just waiting. Everyone did fall asleep it was natural, we humped all day, set up a quick perimeter, and then went out on ambush or perimeter guard, so 4 hours sleep a night was a good nights sleep. Finally a stirring was heard, our senses started to awaken and we tensed over our weapons. There were shapes moving down the stream bed. They got closer and closer, weapons were drawn up we looked down the sights, and then a break in the rain. There they were, a family of "rock apes" 5 of them, a mid sized primate, strolling up the stream. Not a care in the world, the little ones in the rear and they passed to our front never acknowledging our presence, and the male knew we were there. We settled back down and resumed our routine, daylight was still 4 hours away and we would move just before dawn.
I was lying there, awake, too tired and miserable to sleep, and our flank guard pulled the commo wire, a signal that something again was coming down the stream. We heard metal on metal clanking…men, how many we did not know. Again weapons up and we were ready. And down they came, 3 in sight, then 8+, 15, 25, a solid line of men. We looked at each other we were 6 and there was a company plus in front of us. We slumped down trying to get lower than our buttons, and let them pass, we dared not breathe. They passed and we again waited, an hour later it was decided to move and move quickly back to out platoon perimeter. We didn't even use the radio till we were a click or two away. We entered our perimeter and slumped down; we were tired, scared and relieved. Fate had intervened, we did not fire on the apes, which would have alerted the NVA we were there and we all without a word knew not to fire on the NVA column. Patience and calm saved us, we did not over react, and we lived and were glad we all knew the correct action.
Ambushes are an art. And in paintball scenario's if you can master the small close ambush the enemy will be hesitant to move at night. We set out on roving ambush patrols during the Rylos 7, 24 scenario, there were I believe 12 of us, a little larger a group than I would have liked, more means noise. We set up along the west trail just south of the narrow gravel patch and waited. I could see our troops putting their heads down, they were tired, there was a slight mist rain and it had rained on and off all day. I moved among them, just watching, the memories of years gone by flooding my mind. There was a burst of fire and a loud yelling, a single player (Gil) wandered down the trail and was eliminated by our flank element. I had to correct the player, let them into the kill zone, and I went further out on the flank to see if we had attracted attention.
No movement quiet, and I returned to our area. We sat a while longer and we packed up to move again. We moved down the trail (big mistake) and came face to face with a larger enemy group. The rest is another story.
Lesson here is sometimes you get contact, other times it just a rest, but no matter what, when you get lazy, bad things happen.
30, April 01
During the many training exercises in my career there are many similarities between those mock battles and paintball. Being Light Infantry we were trained to strike hard and fast and not to stand and fight unless we have a definite numerical and weapon advantage. Many times we would ambush a column of troops, a group of trucks, or individual armored vehicles and every engagement was the same. We would distract the enemy with something they want to see and hit them from somewhere else while they were occupied with the ruse. This is a well known combat technique and when mastered multiplies your combat effectiveness.
Each time the leaders of the enemy column would not react to the main threat till too late, or change his technique in dealing with the engagement.
Many a paintball game I have used the same technique. We were playing in the West Point Combat Classic, and I was in charge of a small group just harassing the enemy. We would hit them, back off, hit them, back off, and they began to get tired and lazy. I just kept repeating till they did not react. Now they were set up, I communicated with my main force to set a defensive position and I would lure the enemy in. The enemy group saw us, I let them and the urge to "get us" overwhelmed common sense and they rushed us in mass, I retreated quite visibly over the ridge and took position with the remainder of our main force. As the majority crossed the ridge they came under the concentrated fire of an overwhelming force and were eliminated to a man, with only 2 losses on our side.
The young LT in charge of the enemy came over to me before he walked back to the safe zone and said, "I saw this in Ranger School and should have known better, good job there TOP."
Just remember, what you see may not be what it seems, think before you react.
10, October 01
It was day two of The Tippmann Challenge 01, and I was a hurtin’ puppy. Old age, my knee, and pure fatigue was catching up to me and I was "drivin’ on" with pure will power alone. We were involved in a firefight south of Edith, but it again turned into a "paint trading" contest, both sides standing off and lobbing rounds hoping for a hit. For some reason my mind drifted, was it frustration, aggravation or what, but something in me snapped. Instincts took over, I checked my Magazine (45rd hopper, and 4oz bottles) topped them off, checked my weapon function, and turned to the enemy. Giving the Infantryman’s Command of "fallow me" I charged (limped) forward. I canted my weapon into an "assault" mode, and began "double tapping" suspected enemy positions and personnel. Immediately there was a lull in the enemy’s fire, and the baffled look from the enemy as this large individual was charging forward, the "thump-thump" of select fire "double taps", and cries of "out" resounding from the yellows positions. I turn for a second and looked back, but alas I was alone, there were my teammates still standing back and "trading paint". Even Fran stood there with a baffled, "What the ****" look on his face, as I again turned, canted my weapon and continued forward. The odds finally caught up with me and I was hit, but I took more of them with me in those few seconds, than the "paint trading" did for the minutes the remainder of the team spent. It was years ago in my mind and those memories and training flooded back and I was 19 again for those few seconds. I hate getting old.
31, March 01
As an Infantryman preparation for combat meant the difference between life and death on the battlefield. Equipment and personal preparation was essential and the slightest detail missed could cause you or your unit’s mission failure.
October 1983--Somewhere over the Gulf of Mexico-- I was the Platoon Sergeant of 3rd Platoon 2/75th en route to a Combat Jump on a small island named Grenada. We had received a sketchy Operations Order and were improvising plans on the aircraft. My Lt, a young West Point Graduate, knew the terms, knew what to say, but you could tell he was a little shaken by all this. My troops were up and ready to go, there were no VN veterans on board but me and I was acting as the cool father figure. I went through the aircraft talking and checking each trooper, and making 100% sure we were ready to go. When you are scared you make mistakes, and several of my troops had made some. One young specialist had put a blank adapter on his M16; he was so used to the training environment he did not even think. I found several training magazines filled with blanks, equipment not properly secured so in the jump it would break lose, and these were experienced troops. I calmly walked through, fixing and looking till it was time to "Stand in the Door!" My troops exited the aircraft and the rest is history.
No matter how many times you prepare your equipment unless you have a set drill, a pattern you will make mistakes, and you will forget something. Paintball equipment is no different than combat equipment. You need to have your marker up and ready, cleaned, lubed, charged up, and tested. All your gear needs to fit comfortably, tangle gear (things that will catch branches, edges, marker, whatever) needs to be secured and taped. Nothing is worse than cranking around a corner and part of your harness snags on the corner and leaves you standing there as a standing target.
Make an inventory of your equipment, everything that you carry on the field.
Make a packing list of your equipment; know which pouch, which pocket, where everything you have on your body and carry is and how to get to it.
Practice loading yourself up, move the equipment till you are 100% satisfied and finalize you packing list. Memorize your list; laminate a card with the list printed with checkboxes, whatever you need to do till the drill becomes second nature. Then practice your pre-play drill, put everything on, check it, do a buddy check and then check it again.
Every break recheck and re-secure everything. The 7 "P's" are more important than you think.
The next time you reach around for that squeegee and its not there, this will come back to haunt you, at least here you are only marked.
Personal SkillsSoldier I learned a long time ago the basic combat skills required to survive. The three basic skills that were drummed into our heads were Shoot, Move, and Communicate. My introduction to combat was the close in fighting of the jungles of Vietnam, where 25 meters was long range, and automatic weapons were the norm. But I was trained to select my targets, and to control my fire, the only ammo we had we had to carry so we could not afford to hose down the jungle. I learned how to move, and survive in the jungle. And I learned how to communicate effectively.
31 March, 01
The skills of the Light Infantryman and the Paintball Player are one in the same; each need personal skills, and to develop them from the basics.
As a Light Infantry
1. SHOOT- In order to effectively engage targets there are some simple skills that need to be mastered.
• a. Know your marker- the first thing you need to do is to know your marker and understand how it operates. You need to sit down with your marker and your manual, identify each part and how it acts in the operation of the marker. The sit down and identify possible malfunctions and how to clear them in the field. Clear jams, change bottles, clear broken balls, anything that can go wrong have a drill to fix it.
• b. Effective Range- Know your markers effective range. Effective range is defined as the range where your marker has a 50% chance of hitting a stationary man sized target. As a guideline 20 meters (63feet) is the norm for a marker at 290 fps. Each additional variable decreases that effective range, is target moving, angle of deflection, wind, and any condition that affects the flight of the ball.
So learn to engage within your effective range; that will increase your individual combat power.
• c. Shooting Habits- Target shoot and familiarize yourself with your marker. Learn to aim, to sense shoot, to use all the good techniques in firing a marker.
Learn Fire Discipline and Control- It is a proven fact with real weapons and markers that a weapon that fires more than a 3round series becomes more inaccurate with each additional round. This is caused by your body having to breathe within that time frame, hence your sightline moves, and control of the weapon is lost. So learning to aim between shots or 3 round series, take deliberate aimed shots and work towards 1 round 1 hit. Again this is a combat multiplier and will improve you marker skills and individual combat power.
2. MOVE - In order to move about the field during the game, there a few simple skills that must be mastered.
• a. Field Awareness- You must know and understand your environment. You need to be able to identify terrain features, identify the sounds and sights of the field. As in chess every move you make must be planned 2 steps ahead.
Too many times haste puts you in a far worse position than you left. THINK, where am I going to move and WHY. Learn what is natural for the field area, you will see color differences in camo, goggle glint, off color straight lines, anything that is not normal, this takes practice.
• b. Personal Awareness- From the moment you leave the safe area and game is on you are 100% aware of your environment. Laziness will get you eliminated. Learn to move with you marker in the low ready (marker shouldered, muzzle pointed slightly down, eye and muzzle line always in sync). Move off the beaten path, walking down the center of a trail or road, walking through open areas, will get you eliminated quick. Know where the cover is and what is the closest in case you do come under fire.
• c. Movement Technique- In patrol mode always move as if you will come under fire at any minute. As you are moving and scanning the field the only thought going through your mind should be "Where would I be to engage me, HERE" and that is your danger area. When you do come under fire proper cover and movement techniques are the difference. It is standard practice to move in 3 to 5 second rushes. Any more exposure than that gives the enemy time to acquire, aim and shoot. Again plan your moves, "why do I need to be there" and how do I get there by the most covered route. Above all practice.
3. COMMUNICATION- Communication is what wins battles. The Team and individuals who communicate more effectively will win.
• a. Learn how to communicate, if it is by voice, hand signals, or ESP learn how to give information clearly, plainly, easy to understand, and quickly. If you are the member of the Team make sure each individual knows the commands and terminology used.
• b. Chain of Command- what is your position and what are your duties. If you are the Leader, YOU issue the orders and plan based on the information from your troops. If you are Joe Private you relay information to the leaders and follow the orders. Simple idea, well proven and it works.
• c. Radios- ONLY THE LEADERS OF SEPERATE TEAMS WITHIN THE OVERALL TEAM NEED RADIOS- If not, once engaged the chaos and confusion of radio chatter, confused orders, screaming, etc downgrades the combat effectiveness of the individual and the unit. Learn how to keep it simple, to many people with radios clutter the picture to the leader and makes his job 250% harder. Learn to communicate with the basics first.
15, April 01
1969- As a reference when I was selected to join a LRRP Team I had to rethink and relearn all I knew about Infantry tactics. LRRP Teams were 5-6 man Teams inserted deep in "Indian Country" (NVA/VC controlled areas) by helicopter and did "snoop and poops" for up to 5 days. We were not to fight but to find the enemy, and hold them by the nose as the rest of the Battalion's assets were brought in to do battle. But we were trained to fight, if required, but differently than the standard Infantry Squad. During movement the terrain dictated our formation, and our reaction drill on contact.
For firepower we carried a assortment of weapons, point carried a 12ga or a M-79 with a M-16 backup, Compass man carried standard M-16, Team Leader M-16, Cover man a M-60, and slack man carried a M-79 with a M-16 backup. We had a limited ammo load since we had to tote it, and re-supply would compromise our mission and or position so we learned to fight smart.
In paintball the same tactical formation works, and quite well. A well practiced Team utilizing the basic concept can achieve results in the woods or the speedball field. But they must understand the basic drill for each situation. As a Paintball Example I will use my rec-team "The Herd" as an example. Seeing that our effective engagement range is established at 20meters open terrain and 15meters closed our formations and battle drills reflect these ranges.
We will cover woods play first. Upon the start of the game we distance ourselves from the "mob" rushing forward. This gives us an open field and most paintball players get tunnel vision and will concentrate on the main force. We then break into a staggered wedge formation, establish our "fields of fire and responsibility" and then move out. We move fast and use the worst route available; the enemy will not expect troops moving through nasty terrain. We have a set objective and move towards that. We bound as we get closer, each troop covering the 5 meter bound of the troop in front of him, and we alternate till we get into striking range. Then the gunner (Troop) moves to a cover position with the SAW. At a set signal he opens up and suppresses suspected or known positions with 3-5 round bursts. The 3 man "assault" element moves to flank and advance, and the slack man covers our rear and observes the overall battle, keeping the leader informed of developments the leader can not see himself.
We have a set time schedule and if we have not advanced to a point to take the objective we break contact, Troop continues to suppress and we all then move back to a rally point. The slack man and gunner last to arrive, the assault element is set to repel or ambush the chasing enemy if there is any. We then move away and approach from a different axis, and repeat the drill.
Speedball is a different drill, select fire and movement more important than pure firepower. We move quickly to secure the center and the flanks, 1 man each on tapes, 2 in center and a slack man to move to the trouble spot. We act in unison to suppress and then we maintain the suppression by not allowing the enemy to poke their heads up. Once the enemy is down, with proper movement the game is one.
You move guarding your exposed flank and alternate movement, major threat targets are eliminated first. The most used man is the slack man with the SAW. But he does not hang back he moves forward and depending on the field and enemy position he positions himself to suppress the most target areas, and selects them by priority. As a rule we stay up and firing, once you duck you are done, you are blind to movement and surprises are eliminations. Gun up and snap shots at positions as you move. Watch a SEAL, RANGER or SWAT CQB team in action same concept, select firing and movement, never taking eyes off the situation.
I will go into the actual individual positions and techniques next lesson.
15, April 01
Movement on the battlefield or playing field is 85% of your battle. Control of your Team, and practiced drills will develop a cohesive force that can move freely in the field and be prepared to fight whenever required. Formations and movement techniques will standardize how your team operates and each member will know with practice where to be and what to do and the leader will know where his players are without looking. This will multiply your team’s effectiveness. Below is a link to the US Army Ranger Handbook Chapter on movement. There are several terms that will not apply to the paintball environment but with improvisation you can develop from these basic guidelines. Movement- US Army Ranger Handbook Practice these movement formations and techniques and develop a Team "Play Book" that each player knows and understands.
30, April 01
The 3 basic requirements:
• COLOR- In order to properly camouflage yourself, your equipment, and your position you must understand how to use color. Stand outside and look at a tree line, what are the basic color combinations of your area. That is how you determine what color clothing to wear for the area you play in. In the North American Forested terrain of the NE, SE and NW the standard BDU woodland or Jungle Tiger pattern is best. In the plains, grasslands, and deserts of the Midwest, and SW the 3 or 4 color desert BDU is best. Now comes the fun part, commercial camouflage is designed not to be seen by animals, not humans. Humans are a predatory species, and we have bi-focal vision, so color contrast is a primary hunting instinct. Where game animals have opposing vision, more acute to movement rather than color.
So wearing tree bark will fool a game animal but a trained human eye will pick it out readily. Also commercial hunting camouflage is designed to be readily identifiable by another hunter as a human shape once the movement is detected. Check your buddy out- have him put on tree bark or any commercial camo and have him stand in a wood line, then do the same with the appropriate BDU, you will see the difference.
• SHAPE- In nature, there are no straight lines or rounded simple curves. Everything in nature is a ragged shape. So you need to break the outline of yourself and your equipment. Wear loose clothing, a floppy hat as compared to a ball cap, and get a supply of burlap strips spray painted in flat OD green, flat earth brown, and flat black.
Now take your floppy and tie some burlap through the loops, take your mask and tie some burlap through some of the vent holes, and take your carry gear and tie burlaps on the harness straps and carry pouches themselves, break up the straight shapes. Then again get geared up and have a bud take a look at your against the background, and you do the same to him, correct as needed, and then look at a plain camo dressed troop against the background, you will notice the difference.
• MOVEMENT- This is the most neglected part of camouflage. Again man is a predator and the bi-focal vision is designed to lock onto movement within the peripheral vision. You will see movement a long time before color or shape contrasts. So when you camouflage remember as part of the overall skill movement techniques must be learned. First watch a game animal in the wild, he moves, stops and remains perfectly still as he observes, and he repeats, he never just trots along when he knows there is a predator in the area. You should move the same way, short movements, stop, observe, and repeat. Once in position have your body within a limited facing towards the enemy with flanks covered, put your weapon in place along the centerline of your field of fire, put your vision along your field of vision and go still. If you are required to move your weapon or face do so as slow as possible a quick move will be seen real quick. Also put some foliage down in front of your position to cover your mask, that is what is seen 9 times out of 10 in the paintball world. A round mask sticks out in a world of ragged shapes. Use ground foliage and put if about a foot in front of your mask, use just enough to break up the shape and cover any slow movement, and not too much to limit your vision. Remember also maple leaves are up high, so a trained eye seeing fresh maple leaves on the ground will say your position is there, you need to use that nasty moss and bramble brush that’s found on the ground.
Practice these techniques with a buddy, each trying to ID the other in the bush till you get it all down, how to camouflage and how to hunt for a camouflaged individual. It works both ways.
Shooting on the Move
18, June 01
Shooting on the move is a very difficult situation both in real life and paintball. Since you cannot maintain a steady weapon position, accuracy is minimal. The standard technique in the real world is just a short suppression series or burst in the general direction of the target, this will give you some time to move to your next position.
Several techniques can be used to improve the accuracy, and several armies use a "fire on the move" technique as operational policy.
The Soviet forces during WW2 developed a "fire on the move" technique during their mass wave attacks. Mixed into the rifle companies were troops issued the PPsH41 sub-machine guns, and their task was to advance forward with the rifleman suppressing suspected German positions. The men were issued vast amounts of ammunition and were not expected to be accurate, just suppress. During the cold war the Soviets continued this tactic and the AK47 series assault rifles were designed expressly for this purpose.
Today US Troops are taught a basic technique wherein the troop advances with his weapon at high carry and he engages targets with individual shots, again more to suppress. But shooting on the run is not encouraged due to the waste of ammunition and the accuracy is minimal, the Bounding Over watch group movement is stressed instead.
Fire on the Move- Paintball
If you are in a situation where you need to "fire on the move" during a game there are two techniques which will help.
First is the "suppression fire" technique," where you fire a short series or burst at suspected or known enemy positions as you move to your next cover; you would plan your movement route, identify suspected positions, you would fire at these positions, get up and move, fire a series or two on the move, and then drop to your cover. Again accuracy is minimal, and ammo usage is excessive.
Second is an "Assault Fire" technique, where you advance toward a enemy position with your weapon at High Carry, and you fire individual shots to suppress the enemy in his cover.
Both techniques are "high risk" moves and the chances of your elimination are higher than a co-ordinate group movement.
Preparation of Mind and Body for Battle
27, June 01
• Conditioning- Being in good physical shape is a given. Fatigue is a killer in battle or the game.
• Vitamin C- Vitamin C or Citric Acid has a benefit in your body. Prior to going to the field at least 3 days prior start taking 500mg tabs twice a day. The benefit here is the Vitamin C raises the skins natural Ph level to an acid. Insects are drawn to the Co2 that you exhale, and biting insects will avoid you once they sense the high acid level of your skin they will go elsewhere for their meal.
• Aspirin- Aspirin is a natural diuretic. Thinning of the blood prior to a strenuous activity has several benefits. First increased blood flow reduces pain and inflammation of joints. Second increased blood flow cleans the muscle tissue faster of lactic acid which causes muscle cramps.
Then there is the standard pain reducing effect of aspirin.
Again 3 days prior to going to the field take 1 tablet twice a day.
• Hydration- It is essential that you are well hydrated. Drinking water, not juice/beer/soda or any other sweetened or high protein drinks will build your body’s hydration level and cleanse your system.
Drink plenty of water in the days prior to play, and the day of play drink plenty of water with supplemental sports drink for the replacement of electrolytes lost during high intensity activity.
• Pain Killers and Incidentals- The day of play ensure you have some "Ranger Candy" a pain killer such as aspirin, Tylenol, etc. Pain brings on fatigue and fatigue brings on mistakes. Take them as you need them and being "hardcore" will not make you any more effective.
Insect repellant- Using a repellant or "bug juice" will make you more comfortable. Avon's "Skin so Soft" is the unofficial "bug juice" of the Rangers with the added benefits of the newer version also has sun block to prevent sunburns.
• Dew Rags and Headbands- Sweat in the field is another fatiguing problem. In paintball wearing a mask sweat is a real problem. Wearing of a cotton cloth bandanna as a headband will absorb more sweat than the mask's foam cushions. Also a brown or green towel worn around the neck gives you the added benefit of leaving your uniform top open to release excess body heat and to increase airflow in your uniform keeping you cooler, also a good neck guard and a good cleaning cloth for wiping off the hits in the dead zone.
• Glasses- For those who wear glasses there are a few tricks to keep fogging down. I wear "combat glasses" designed to be worn in a protective NBC mask so they are comfortable in the Paintball mask. If you can find frames with no hard ear pieces they will be more comfortable. A good sports frame with a cloth strap is better than hard frames. Lens preparation using "Never Fog" or any commercial anti-fogging liquid is essential.
• Preparation of the Mind for battle is almost two thirds of the battle.
• Proper rest- a good 8 hours sleep the nigh before is essential- a tired troop is a lazy troop and jeopardizes the rest of the unit. Set a bed time and stick to it.
• Proper Nutrition- A good meal of non-heavy but filling items will make you more alert and increase energy level. A full stomach with heavy items will make you lazy and as above.
• Now the Killer- NO Beer, cigarettes, cigars, alcohol at least 12 hours before play. Dulled senses again jeopardize the rest of the troops for you are not totally in the game.
Recon by Fire
10, October 01
A combat technique to locate your enemy while under fire is called "Recon by Fire". There are several applications for this technique.
1. Possible Ambush- If you are moving and suspect an enemy ambush ahead and are not sure of the location a quick "Recon by Fire" will get an undisciplined enemy to expose his position by movement or return fire. Once you identify the suspected position, put several members of your Team in an over watch position, and have a small section open fire with 10 to 15 rounds each into the suspected position, then cease firing. If enemy moves or returns fire you have accomplished mission and can now fire and maneuver on the target.
2. In Contact position identification- Once you are in a sustained contact and need to ID the positions and types of weapons firing at you, you need a disciplined "recon by fire". Pick a suspected position and on a signal troops open fire with a "Mad minute" of 10-15 rounds each and then all friendly troops cease firing. Enemy troops will continue firing allowing you to ID their positions and weapons types, and then you can prioritize your fires.
Fire discipline and control is the sign of a good leader and a good team, and proper use of fires is an asset to your overall combat power.
1, September 01
There is a new tactical application that was started in the late 80's. With the downsizing of the US military the concept of Light Infantry Units was expanded to include non "airborne" or "air assault" units. The start up of the 10th Mountain Division and the changing of TO+E's of existing units went to a lighter, more mobile force. The military understood that the heavy armored force was a burden the taxpayer wasn't going to tolerate much longer with the Soviet Union in its death throws. So the concept of a LIGHTFIGHTER was developed.
The parallels to the paintball world are relevant. The military went to a smaller more compact weapon, the M4, and full auto was eliminated. This improved the troop’s accuracy rate and fire discipline since the troop could only carry so much and each individual round must now count. As with the Rangers and Seals the military decided a light mobile force hitting hard and disengaging was more combat effective than a stand and fight strategy. A fluid battle by a trained force was more morale damaging to an enemy, for he never knows where he is going to get hit and how hard. We experienced the same effect in Vietnam.
As the OMHW have observed this tactic and it works in paintball, we deal with short ranged combat and we can hit hard and move and be more effective than standing and trading paint.
More and more players today go out and buy high firepower markers and still can not comprehend why they can not win. We will continue to practice this way of fighting and I will explain more as we progress through the winter months. But remember when the rounds hit and stop and no-one is there someone learned a lesson here.
Individual Movement Techniques
27, January 02
Several questions have been raised on Individual Movement Techniques, I will go over a few.
1. Equipment Prep- In order to move Silently and Quickly through the bush your equipment and uniform must comply with several basic tenants.
a. Eliminate tangle gear- that is anything on your uniform and equipment of anything that will catch brush (wait a minute tangles) that increases your noise signature and slows movement.
b. Ensure uniform is loose enough to be comfortable, but not loose enough to catch brush. All pockets buttoned, pants tucked in boots, sleeves either folded up tight or at length buttoned.
c. IMPORTANT- footwear has more to do with stealth and speed than anything. A good lightweight boot (jungle or Hi-Tech style) helps you "feel" the footfalls and helps with sound suppression. Also a good tread pattern elimintaes "slip" when moving again reducing noise.
2. Techniques- In order to move quiet but with speed and stealth several basic techniques must be mastered.
a. PLAN YOUR ROUTE- Look ahead and cut brush through the natural "paths". Go into your local woods and practice moving through the bush without moving or brushing against vegitation. Start searching for the natural paths. RULE 1- If it appears too hard to move through, that's the way you go, for the enemy will not be as intent on covering approach routes he feels no one can move through.
b. Follow terrain contours, do not profile yourslf against sunline, do not cut sunlines in the bush, do not profile yourself against contrasting color backgrounds. Use shadows, depressions and natural "concealment" to move.
c. Move your Body, not the vegitation- learn to move through vegitation by moving and contorting your body to avoid the vegitation, instead of moving the vegitation. This will make your noise level much lower.
d. Use the toe/heel walking technique. Put your toe down, test for noise (dry leaves, small sticks, etc) and then apply weight gradually, as you roll your heel down to support your total weight. Again lightweight boots (jungles, Hi-Techs) make this a lot easier than big heavy hikers or black leather "combat" style boots.
e. Walkin on Water- Another not well practiced technique is "walkin on water", the ability to move through swamps and wet areas quietly and quickly. Most swampy areas have an abundance of ground vegitation, (grass and weed clumps) imagine walking across a field of basketballs, as you move place your boot against the side of the clumps and bounce from clump to clump, never applying your full weight on any given clump.
Remmember the darker the water, the deeper, avoid deep water whenever possible. If you are forced to cross deep water allways use the "kick and strike" walking technique. Deep water allways has the potential od "trip hazards" and the ability to find them and cross them is essential in crossing deep water fast. All you do is kick out you lead leg, without splashing, and move foward. Once you strike an object sense the object, cross the object, ID the object for following troops, and continue on.
Years of "paddy humpin", "tundra trottin" and "yama humpin" taught me these basic skills, it did not happen overnight.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
Interdiction Rifleman as Adapted to Paintball
4, January 03
The Art of Interdiction Rifleman is readily adaptable to paintball, be it from a medium range or long, the technique is a combat multiplier if used correctly.
The term "Interdiction" militarily in laymans terms is to prevent, stop, or change the plans of an attacker, or attacking force.
Understand your first mission is just that, not to inflict casualities.
SCREENING MISSION: Your unit is set in a defensive position expecting an attack along a given route. After terrain annalisis you determine the best "kill zone" and then plan to route the enemy into this area. After setting a return plan with your unit, you set out to "Interdict" the advancing unit. You see the lead element of the advancing enemy and determine that their route of advance is not where you want it. You then maneauver yourself between the advancing enemy and your unit. You find a good concealed position and at long range lob 1 round into the advancing unit, ensuring your round is seen or felt by one of the enemy. This will stop them and make them deploy. Then lob another round at who you percieve as the leader, this will build "motivation" to find you and now you have destroyed their original plan. At a given point "accidently" expose yourself and begin moving toward your pre-planned "kill zone", the enemy will begin persuit. Again from long range lob rounds to "keep their interest" and keep moving. Once you are close to your "kill zone" stop shooting, run thru your covered and concealed unit awaiting in ambush and once the enemy enters the "kill zone" mission accomplished.
PYSCOLOGICAL MISSION: This technique and mission is used to "demoralize" your enemy more than to inflict casualities. Again in support of your units mission you find the possible advance routes of the enemy. You then from a concealed position cover this route. If and when the enemy is seen, at range lob a round their direction and scoot, this will again disorganize their unit and change their plan. Take a 90deg tangent to their movement and again lob a round, this will change their direction again, repeat as long as tactically possible till you can co-ordinate with your unit to engage the now disorganized enemy. The enemy will now be "PO'd" and will do whatever you lead them too, their attitude overwhelming tactical sense. Again your mission is not to inflict casualities but to "interdict" their plan. You must have the ability to move fast and use good terrain annalisis to preplan your firing positions on the run.
The skill here is to prove to the enemy he is never invalnerable, and can be hit from anywhere, it is your mission to keep him off his plan, and to fall into yours. Remmember, speed, stealth, and good tactical planning are the keys, your mission is not to inflict casualities, "Interdict" CHANGE THEIR PLAN TO FIT WITHIN YOURS.
HOW TO DO IT RIGHT: In order to understand the mission and skills needed maybe a little background would help. An Interdiction Rifleman is used in support of small units (platoons and squads) his primary mission is to support that units mission. In my day I was armed with a XM-21 Sniper System (M14 mounted with a 8X Redfield) and I traveled within the platoon or squad formations until needed. Normally I would fight within that formation. Once a tactical situation developed where support was needed I would back off the line, and do a map and terrain analisis. Again my primary mission was to Interdict, not to inflict casualities. I would move fast to get out in FRONT and used speed over camoflauge. No tangle gear, just a Lightfighter. I would engage targets at 800meters plus where the chance of a hit was negligable but the disired effect was maximized. A single round coming from nowhere would have the disired effect of slowing and or changing their plan. And once they closed the effect of individual spaced rounds would continue to distract the enemy from their mission. And then once they were close enough for the main unit to engage I would join them using the semi auti mode. The main unit had M16's whereas I had a M14 and the loud report of the weapon was then used as a pyscological weapon.
In paintball if and when I used the technique it was modified accordingly. I used my modified 68Special for those missions, I had an extended lob range, and my past expieriance with the ole "Thumper" (M79) helped in accuracy. The loud report of the weapon and the lob range gave the desired effect, and when the enemy did final close within range the weapon was then fired in semi in support of the main unit again the loud report adding to the pyscological effect.
You must get away from the slow, overburdened, Ghillie suit mentality to fight this way. Speed, terrain, cover and concealment are the difference, you fight with your unit, in support of your unit, you do not fight as a loner, you accomplish your mission with and using your unit as the firepower base, you just guide the targets to them. Using your weapon as required, single shots on your mission and at range to INTERDICT not to inflict casualties, and only use semi if comprimised or within your main formation. Make it LOUD, you want to be heard.
SKILL TRAINING: The first skill to master is terrain. You must understand the terrain, the foliage(trees and ground cover), the hills, ridges, cuts, streambeds, etc. This is your primary concern while moving, placing terrain features that mask your movement between you and your enemy. Before the games arrive early and do a field walkabout recon, make yourself a map if possible, just scribble some features on some paper, make notes on where prominant features are and then place map in a plastic file folder so you can use a grease pencil during games to highlite your plan for that game. Map recons are the real way since in combat you cannot usually "walk the field" without getting shot at. Also terrain will dictate your weapon employment during engagements, identifying "fire lanes" and avenues of approach that need to be covered. Idendify Clear fields of fire extending out to your markers maximum "lob" range (40-90meters) understand your rounds will not break on soft targets unless you get lucky and hit a hard part, the mission here is to get them to notice the incoming round, you aim at the bunker, tree, whatever they will notice or hear, a round thuding against a metal or plywood bunker side makes quite a sound.
As you move foward you pick your fall back positions based on your plan to use your team as the primary base of fire. Speed over camoflauge, terrain will also dictate your equipment, limit tangle gear (remote hoses, excess gear, GHILLIE SUITS, etc) you cannot afford to get hung up while you are moving back, you got to get out of sight as fast as posible, making a small a trail as possible and not disturbing the surrounding foliage.
SKILL TRAINING- Selection of POSITIONS: The selection of positions is the second most important skill. The position you pick must be "concealed" from your target area, a quick easy masked egress route to your fall back position, and with good fields of fire. I prefere a masked position with a prominant terrain feature between myself and the target area. I use large trees with good ground foliage surrounding it, and if posible a depression to limit my exposure and to give me a covered egress route. In more open terrain I pick the best concealed position and give false paths and misdirection when I displace.
After I engage I displace and then take tangents to their movement route to my PREPLANNED fall back position and re-engage at a direction the enemy will not expect. Again picking a concealed position and engaging at the maximum range posible, and repeating. You must get them in the "attitude" to make mistakes as you lead them back to your main unit.
You are not responsible for producing casualities, you are responsible for getting them off their plan and fitting into your teams plan.
HISTORY LESSON: Before I continue lets explore the differance here between a "sniper" and an "Interdiction rifleman". My expieriance is based on LIGHTFIGHTING, small unit tactics, not HEAVY INFANTRY fighting. We usually fought outnumbered and outgunned, and this is the reason the tactic I use is more adaptable to paintball. Snipers are used more towards the fixed defense mode of HEAVY INFANTRY, not the fluid style of LIGHT INFANTRY. Snipers prepare fixed positions, whereas Interdiction Rifleman fight on the move with little or no position preperation. Snipers have the same basic mission but only delay or use pyscological fire, whereas since Light Infantry is usually fighting at a disadvantage Interdiction Riflemen must use a higher skill to get the enemy in a position to his base units advantage.
HISTORY LESSON II: Recieved my e-mail from the Ft Benning Range Commitee, this course is no longer taught as a formal subject. They stopped in 1990 when the ARMY shifted to a heavier approach to LIGHTFIGHTING relieing on artillery and airstrikes, the radio taking the place of the Interdiction Rifleman. The Ranger Battalions and Special Forces still find individuals with the skills and train from within with the old timers guiding them along.
As a side note we learned and adapted this technique from the VC/NVA who were masters at it, their light units would take on units 2-3 times their size and with vastly supperior firepower, and the "Sniper", usually was an Interdiction Rifleman leading the American unit into an ambush. Effective technique until it was taught to our units and counters were developed.
The Way of the Warriorsoldier once again, and my troops understand and the confidence level of these troops rises accordingly.
5, January 03
Battle, combat, paintball require a combination of skills where the mind and body are 99% of the warriors tools. Paintball is a "combat" sport, where you are equiped with a weapon and the goal is to accomplish a mission and eliminate any opposition that hinders your completion of the mission. All this other politically correct crap is total BRAVO SIERRA. The tools required to accomplish your mission are as varied as the mission.
First off you must understand what is required by your mind and body. I play this game as if I were again in true "combat" where I strive to accomplish my and my teams mission while limiting casualities of my troops and maximizing my infliction of casualities on the enemy. Putting my mind in that mode and thinking about my survival on the field makes my game that much better over the less expierienced troop on the field. Ask any OMHW, once I step foot on the field I am a
Those of us who have "seen the elephant" understand combat and we either develope the skills as a second nature or we are shipped home "bagged and tagged" or maimed for life due to our mistakes. Thinking and using all the resources and training outweigh any weapon or tool of the trade. Proper time usage, training, practice of base skills and physical conditioning will make your game far better than any high speed low drag equipment. When I step out on the field with my low tech weapon I fear none of these wanna be warriors with their expensive paint hoses, for once in the bush I have the advantage, for I think, plan, and use the training and expierience I have, and I let the enemy think he has an advantage which breeds overconfidense in that less expierience troop, that is the way of the Warrior.
Take a look at your game, and then your attitude. Self examination and practice are the true test of a warrior. Look at what you do on the field, what your attitude is on the field, the quite warrior is more feared than the brash trash talker with all his high speed toys.
Look back at our history, look at the faded pictures of our soldiers in Vietnam, Korea, WW2, look at what they all have in comman. Once you can recognize the warriors from their look, apart from the clerks and jerk wanna be heros, you may be able to understand.
My New Role and Resurrection of a Talent
5, January 03
With my now limiting physical condition I am forced to "adjust" my style and I have decided to revert to one of my old skills. I have recieved limited permission from a higher power (momma) to play again only at larger events as long as there are no signs of pain and or continued injury.
For those who attended my little class at the Tippmann World Challenge I do have a little hidden talent from a long time ago.
Myself and Troop are going to become "Paintball Interdiction Riflemen". Troop will get a crash course in "how to do it right" and he will be my spotter/security as I stalk the fields, slowly and stealthy.
I do not need any high speed low drag equipment, just my hide net, hide cloth cover, my aim stakes, my specialized SL68II, and the training and expierience of years. No percieved concepts, a true proven battle skill.
Ask any OMHW I have the ability to vanish on the field anytime I wish, troops have followed me, turned and I have disappeared before they again face foward. That is a talent trained and practiced for years.
I enjoy the stalk, and the look from an opponant as I shoot, then arise from close cover nod and move on.
And during the Monster Game I used my talents to get 2 large enemy forces to fire on each other several times before they realized what happened, I inflicted @25 eliminations with 2 well placed rounds, and that can be verified by troops from both sides.
Do not call me a Sniper, for that mission can not be adapted to Paintball effectivly, but I will use a combination of skills, from Light Infantry, Interdiction Rifleman, to Sniper to maximize my equipment effectivness, the terrain and overall Team mission to inflict command and control and physcolgical damage on my enemy.
I will give the oppertunity to watch and learn and will give classes during play breaks to all who show an interest, but you must come to me I will not hunt you out, that will show me that your interest is genuine. I will announce where I will be playing trhoughout the year.
11, January 03
The art of movement and camoflage is an aquired skill taking months to years to perfect. The basics of your body, your clothing and equipment, and the surrounding terrain must be mastered. All of these aspects used together will make you almost invisible in the woods.
1. Your body- You must learn how to move in the woods. The most simple aspect is "move your body, not the terrain". That means as you are moving through the vegitation you contort your body around the obstruction the best as possible, the less movement of the terrain the less noticeable you are. Re-learn how to walk, toe/heel sensing the terrain under your feet and applying weight gradually. Also a pair of lightweight boots (Jungle, HiTeks) work a lot better than the average clod hopper you get at Wallymart or your local sporting good store, full leather "combat" boots are not the most quiet and a little discomfort outweighs price and availability, and the Munster style hiking boots sound like an 18wheel truck smashing through the woods. The human eye locks on movement, and the more of the terrain you move the more chance the enemy will see you, attracted by the movement. Learn to move slow and methodical, "haste means incoming". Take your time, scan the terrain in three phases, long range for enemy, mid range for the next projected movement location and short range for actual movement through the terrain.
2. Your Clothing and Equipment- as in written in previous articles your uniform and camoflage must match the terrain, and the less "tangle gear" hanging off you the better. Review those articles.
3. The Terrain- this is the hardest part, and mastering this takes the time. Look around you and look at the color backing and light and shadows. Always move in the shadows, never cut a sunpath, never profile yourself in the light, and always plan two movements ahead. The more cover that you use to mask your move the easier your move will be. All of you are basically lazy and will look at and for the easy path, that is your first mistake. Learn to "cut brush" and use the terrain to cover and mask your movement. The enemy is as lazy as you and will be looking at these easy paths as he plans his fires, so the harder the terrain to crose the less likely the enemy will be observing there.
That is how I disappear in the woods, no secret trick, just as the basic amateur you look for me where you expect to see me, and I am where I am maximizing my cover, instinct takes over and that is how I move. I can be within meters of you but you are not trained to what you are looking at, and hunting Bambi is a little different than hunting man.
Practice with friends, move through your local woods and have your friend critique you and learn from it. Repeat and practice and you will begin to see the difference.
Special Scenario Teams and Positions
11, January 02
In scenario play the breakdown and distibution of troops and "special" task assignments are the differance between winning and losing.
1. Generals and Leaders- The choice of General and the individual Team Leaders are the most important choice that must be made. Individuals that can "command and control" are more important than popularity. Also a leader that Leads instead of hides and deligates is paramount. Radio communications and overall "command and control" must be practiced and controled. Several people shouting and screaming on radios confuses and makes the Generals job just that much more difficult. Also a Map whether hand drawn or done with great graphics makes the Leaders job that much easier. Make a grid pattern and ID all prominant game features and terrain features. This makes navigation and mission assignment easier.
2. Squad Assignments- a good leader balances his team assignments with personnel. Allways try to keep groups that show together in the same squad, but assign a known and differant leader to them. This ensures no favoritism and the leader commands instead of gets "concenses". Pick the most knowledgable and the individual with leadership potential, popularity again is not the prime concern.
3. RECON Units- OMHW uses the LRRP concept- small 4-5 man units whose entire mission is recon, NOT combat. They are the generals eyes and ears, and NEVER return to the base, they stay fluid and maintain a seperate patrol base away from the HQ area. Good radio commo and good maps ensure good performance.
4. Long Range Rifleman- Sometimes it is required to use a small 2 man unit to harrase and interdict enemy movement and delay. The sole mission of these individuals is to lob a round or two into enemy formations, start the confusion, and scoot. The never stay and fight, they shoot and misdirect the enemy formations. The are assigned "choke points" to guard, and report before executing mission. And once engaged they report as the scoot advising General on where they are directing enemy push.
5. Specialty Members- Medics, Demo and other "specialty" units must be well chosen and the talent must match the mission. Ensure the player or players totally understand the mission and the RULES for their specialty mission. Nothing is worse than a voided mission that was accomplished but rules were not followed.
A good leader can balance Leadership and keep the morale of his Team up. These players are not allways motivated and "professional", and the Lone Wolf player is the norm instead of the Team PLayer. Use all your skills to balance all you have to accomplish the total mission, not individual motivations.
25, January 02
Leadership in any sport or business is what seperates the successfull from the failures. In paintball there are challenges for anyone who decided he wants to be a leader.
For the most part individuals who show to an event are just that, individuals, and our nature as a society is "who are you to tell me what to do". And that alone is the primary problem in the major scenario events.
Leaders are generally picked due to popularity, not skill or talent and that is the first mistake. A good Leader will be able to present himself not only as a knowledgable player but also as an organized leader. OMHW always show with all the equipment needed, maps, radios, preplanned operations, and a knowledge of what is required. A firm knowledge of the rules of the game is the primary and most difficult thing for the leaders of the game to understand. We have had several events where one of us is appointed "General" and for the most part our success rate shows. But again that leads to another problem, selection of the individual "squad" leaders. Groups or ad-hoc units revert to the "who the hell are you", complex immediately when a leader is appointed from outside their group, and as a military leader I can tell you from expieriance that is the most effective way to appoint leaders to a "squad". An expierianced leader from the base group is to be appointed to each squad till that leader can report to the "General" that that "squad" has an individual capable to accomplish the mission and then and only then is a leader appointed from inside the group.
Anyone who wants to be a successfull leader in this sport must understand a few basic concepts.
1. This is a game and not the Military, so a totally authoritative style may not work.
2. Consenses leadership NEVER works.
3. Understand all the RULES, and requirements of the game to be played before you consider being a Leader.
4. Prepare yourself before you show to the field. Have the proper intell on the event, hand drawn or graphic maps, have at least 2 FRS 14/38 radios (one command net, one squad net), a portable CB radio to communicate with game organizer for missions if you are forced to displace from primary HQ location, and have a "Lead by example attitude".
5. Understand that this is a game and everyone will not want to be part of your "plan" and will want to do their own thing. Learn to intergrate them into the overall "gameplan" and drive on. Do not dwell on the malcontentes, they will return to the fold as soon as they see success comes with "Teamwork".
6. IMPROVISE, OVERCOME and ADAPT- use all the talent you have both in youself and your teams, for the hardest missions send the expierianced troops, for security use the newbies, but again you will have to rotate all teams into missions so morale stays up. Even if a newbie squad is going to get eliminated to a man in your mind on a certian mission, send them, its a learning expieriance for them, and they will learn more from that than constantly being your "guards".
7. Deligate Authority- As a rule do not tie yourself to your HQ, use your XO and 1SG to communicate your intentions to the troops you concentrate on the overall plan. Stay away from the simple running of the op- that is what your XO and 1SG do, form a "staff" and give them jobs, Security SGT, Intell SGT, etc and let them do their jobs. If you start to micromanage your leadership will reflect and command and control WILL breakdown.
8. Praise in public, critique in private. A squad does good commend them and their leader in front of all the troops. A squad or troop does bad or starts "_____ing" take him or them aside and fix the problem in private. Morale is a fragile thing, and once the troops lose faith in their Leader, there is nothing you can do to retrieve that respect in the limited time frame of the games.
Accuracy vs. Firepower
The controversy rages, as ROF increases accuracy has decreased, and it can be directly attributed to that ROF.
As the Vietnam era proved, giving the soldier the ability to "spray and pray" on full automatic was a mistake for several reasons. First off it put a strain on the logistics system, troops needed to be resupplied more often, and with more, and the weight savings that the 5.56mm cartridge was intended for was just negated by the volumn of rounds the soldier carried, and the soldier was less inclined to "aim" as he was convinced that "indirect fire with the M16A1 rifle" was more effective than actually aiming, and was proven wrong so many times and in so many ways.
Also as it has been proven by testing ,3 rounds, either full auto or rapid semi, is the norm before target sighting is lost thru body movement(breathing), muscle wobble, and then of course recoil, so any rounds fired after the initial 3 were ineffective. So the next M16 series rifle was modified for a three round burst mode in place of the full auto mode, as well as many other weapons of the world armed forces.
OK.....now on to paintball. The same dynamics apply here also. Higher rates of fire is a drain on the troops logistics in that more rounds means more money, more money for paint means less money for more playdays, and the cycle only gets worse as the ROF increases.
I find believe it or not easier to play against the "spray and pray" crowd, because of the reasons sited above, thier accuracy "inhales deeply". No matter what barrel, after round 3 leaves the barrel the rest of the string are somewhere in the grid square, and the troop firing is usually oblivious to where they are going or where they went. Watch em, the hosers, as you are playing, seldom do they sight along or anywhere near the sight line, it is a pure "spray and pray" exercise. And luck more than skill is the comman denominator. Along with the inaccuracy factor of high ROF's, for those on a budget, slower firing gives CO2 a chance to expand into a gas in the bottles more consistantly, again an ease on the pocketbook instead of all the high priced add-on bobbles and whistles.
I get asked all the time by troops why such a small bottle and small hopper, and my response is allways the same, "You only need to hit em with one" and you can see in the faces that these troops just can't understand, nor know how to play effectively without their "painthose" and a "case to a kill".
All my markers are set up as "rifles", accuracy FIRST......again it only takes one to hit the target, anymore than that shows a lack of skill or confidense.
By the way my WG65A1 has a stock 21in barrel, and my XM177E2 uses a 14in Tippmann CA-SB, and my accuracy because of my technique is greater than 99% of the troops with the high priced "smoothbore tubes" and a really large hopper.
And one of my proven faults and I try not to do it, is I constantly "double tap" targets, one center mass, and one towards the ole "brain housing group" habits are hard to break.LoL
I just finished reading the "simple tactics" posting which in itself has some merit but in woodsball many issues arise.
One of the reasons I along with OMHW are so succesfull is we break from the norm, we do not respond in the ways that are profitable to the fields "paint sales", and the new "paint howitzer" norms found at the fields today.
Lets look at the posts subjects and disect them,
1. "Make Like a Tree": simple direct, but in all of nature I have never seen a tree "move". All the camoflauge clothing and techniques in the world are useless if you do as most, stand and move. Look at any treeline or forest there are two distinct levels, from the ground to about 3 feet up, which is called the foliage line and then the branch line from 3 feet and up. And we play the game from 3 feet and below, and many match thier camoflauge to the 3 feet and above. Just sit and watch a buddy move thru the trees and you will understand. Slow dileberate movement in short infrequent or non-predictable times will do more to not get you seen, than all the camo in the world. The human eye looks on movement being a bifocal visioned preditor, color and contrast are for focus, movement locks the eye. So you can wear a clown suit and not get seen in the woods if you do not move.
2. "Run, dont' walk": old addage, you will just die tired. Speed in the woods will get you killed. Think, plan, act.....Think about where you are moving to, plan your route to get there, and act on that plan. Too many times young troopers move "fast", in a predictable straight "beeline" to the predictable position, and end up in a worse position than when they stated, all in the rush to play "howitzer" ball. I never run, never had to, I allways think out my positions, angles, blinds, and most of all use that to get the younger player impatient to move to where I want them, as they percieve my lack of speed as a weakness, where I am actually moving them to where I want them. THINK, just don't blindly run foward to that next bunker, that is where I want you, isolated and unsupported, easily out maneauvered and eliminated, by patient, thinking, planned steps.
3. Be unpredictable: The problem is that 99% of you are, you will head directly and actually get in that bunker, building, whatever, in a totally predictable move as seen by the expierienced. Again you will NEVER see me inside a bunker, or building, I would rather have you in thier, isolated and unsupported, once you can not move I have the advantage. Use these bunkers and buildings as "off cover" between yourself and the enemy, make him commit to move foward to the static cover position while you maintain your maneauverabilty, as you isolate and imobilize him. NEVER pop up in the same position as many of you once in static sover are required to do, being the only good firing lane available, and THREE round series at most, shoot three, break sight line, watch impact and adjust, and fire next three for effect, and repeat as required, "painthoses" are too easy to fight since there is NO accuracy after the third round leaves the barrel, shooter has to breathe or move eyeline to track target, natural shooting problems in amateurs. Even real life machine guns only fire a 3-6 round burst, if it is a expierience and compitant gunner, not a continuous stream heading downrange to who knows where.
4. "Cover up, Time to move": as in the #1, in order to move in the three foot line you must THINK, PLAN, and then ACT. Impulse movement will get you killed. I as your enemy will see and predict you movement with the simple "if I was going, there to here, how would I do it" and place my fires along with my suppresive fires accordingly. There are times that you can not move foward, or lateral, but must break back and arc around, too many never see that as an option, would rather "painthose" foward, and charge blindly into the guns.
THINK, PLAN, ACT...
Editorial: Most of the articles you read in these "paintrags" are designed to promote the sponsored products. The more highspeed, low drag marker you buy with the $1000's of do-dads, bobbles and whistles, will allways outplay my old 68carbine with 4oz and 40round hopper, because you can spray 100's of balls hoping for a hit (as the fields paint sales profit skyrockets) or as I, hit them with one of the three accurately fired rounds from a planed and correctly maneauvered position. But the rags need the advertising dollars and would rather you burn a couple 100 dollars on paint and use thier bad techniques.
"Play the Game", "An Oldsoldiers Guide to Paintball" is almost done..............just some more edits, and photos to shoot and place, hoping for fall release
One of the primary problems in paintball is who is who, and do I shoot or not. My primary focus is not on an armband, but on muzzle direction, if weapon is pointed my direction for all practical purposes he is a "badguy" warrenting "special" attention. I look at both arms, at range if I do not readily see a armband, I pop a round in a tree next to him for reaction and then with a centermass target give him that 3 sec and put one in em. Either the troop yells whatever color I am looking for when the round hits the tree, shows me a color, or he is done. Simple direct and has not failed me yet.
Sense Shooting- or as many of you call it "snap shooting". Sense shooting is the ability to use the sight/fire line of your weapon as an extention of you pointing finger. Many times you do not have time to raise the weapon to actually aim, but must be able to put rounds on target quickly. Proper carry position and practice is the key. Keeping the weapon up on the shoulder, muzzle slightly down by moving with your eyeline will make the drill that much easier. Whereever your eyes look the muzzle of the weapon is pointed that direction, where if you need to shoot you raist the weapon and begin to "walk" your rounds into the target for at least suppression, before you get to the full aim position and take the aimed shot if needed.
Sense Shooting Drill- Set up a target range walk, where you walk down a set lane, and a freind (who does not mind getting hit) pops up at various ranges, from behind various terrain, and with varied body positions, and you engage with no more than 5 rounds, while friend two walks behind with a stopwatch and times from sighting to hit/suppression or duck. Anything more than 3 seconds will get you killed. (remmember that you will be target for freinds too, this is a TEAM drill, we used "popup" silloutte targets in the real world, but a good paintball "dummy" will work here just as well)
From a LightInfantry standpoint, (fighting outmanned and undergunned) is the effective use of firepower to achieve the best result in a limited amount of time. In major scenario events I prefer to operate in a small group, away from the wandering mobs who tend to play "howitzer" ball, and pray for a hit.
Once the game starts we seperate ourselves from the masses and then try to get behind the lines, no shooting, our objective is to get behind the lines. We then lay dormant for a while, to be "forgotten" by enemy forces.
We then activate and find a high speed avenue and set up an ambush, (usually at a curve of the trail or approach to limit the target view of the kill zone till too late), each marker is firmly planted within its designated field of fire, and locked down, no barrel movement. A flank security member then runs fishing line thru each position and the trooper there makes a loose loop knot around finger. Then the flank security plants himself 15m to the flank. His job is to watch and count if enemy comes up trail. A single tug alerts the ambush party that an enemy is coming down trail. Then after 10 sec or so after he can get a full count of enemy he tugs the line with the number of troops in the enemy column, guideline is up to 3 times your number in the kill zone, ie you have 5 members in your ambush party, you can safely and with a high probability of success take on 15, any more than 3 to one, command decesion time, because the probability of success goes down, so leader need to make decesion then to shoot or wait for next group.
The ambush is initiated once the lead enemy reaches the far member of the ambush party and a high volumn of fire is then put on the kill zone, within your field of fire, it is guns free at that point. 15-20 sec of concentrated fire and you then "scoot"....pull back quickly, form up, and move off fast, on the move put a terrain object between yourselves and the enemy, and then cut a 90 deg tangent course for 15 to 20 m and drop, and porcupine your group. Any persueing enemy will think linier and follow your original course and you will again be in a perfect spot to re-engage, and repeat the drill. NEVER STAND AND TRADE PAINT, "shoot and scoot", hit and run whatever you prefer. Works and works well, a standard drill for the OMHW LRRP teams....and the motto of the Light Infantry is "To light to fight, to Heavy to run".
We have done this exercise for hours, and racked up more eliminations than standing at range trading paint, and at night we are masters at it.
Many years in "Indian" country, with no support, where we learned to fight "smart" or.................
Edited by Rambino - 03 December 2006 at 4:36pm