Paintball Gear - What's the best gear for the position I play?
Once you start learning how to play paintball, you'll find out that there are several different positions you can play on the field. As it turns out, the different positions play different roles from each other and have specific strategies to follow to help the team accomplish it's mission. For example, the Frontman hardly stops running during a match and ends up shooting very little (compared to the other players); considering this, it would be wise for the Frontman to carry very light gear and few paintballs. This article will focus on what equipment would be the best choices for the specific positions played during a paintball game.
An electronic trigger is also a very smart choice for the Back player to have on his gun. This will give his paintball marker the option of semi-auto, 3 round burst or fully automatic; these can come in real handy when trying to hold down an opponent long enough for your front players to move. The Backman will also need plenty of paintballs so he should carry extra pods on his belt, harness or legs. In a scenario game, a tactical vest is a great way to carry tons of ammo. Tactical vests are also a great way to carry more air supply/power for your paintball gun.
If the Backman shoots the most paintballs during a match, he will also use the most air; this means he must also carry the most air. Most tactical vests can hold several CO2 tanks depending on what pouches you choose when you buy it. Keep in mind also, most vests are also somewhat cumbersome and may hinder your ability to move as fast on the field. But then again, the Backman doesn't move much during a game anyway.... get a vest if you're a backplayer.
Another role of the Backman is to communicate with the front players to update them on the movements and position of the enemy. He also tells the mid player/inserts/roamers when to take over for the pointman (or anywhere else on the field) if they get eliminated. With larger fields, this could cause the Backman to scream/yell too much, wearing out his voice and risking possibly not being heard. This is why it's also smart for the backman to consider using some type of communication device that all the other players are linked to. The Socom Throat Mic and radio system is great to use for this.
The best paintball markers used by the Frontman position can be any type of competition gun; these are super light, fast and accurate. For scenario paintball games, the frontman can use a sub-machine gun or even a tactical paintball pistol. If using a pistol, the smaller guns are probably best.... the P99 or RAMX50 are excellent choices. The advantage of using a paintball pistol is the CO2 cartridge is carried within the handle, so it's one less thing you have to carry; the disadvantage is their magazines only carry 9 paintballs - but of course they're small and you can carry several very easily.
A great sub-machine gun paintball marker to use as a frontman is the Tippmann 98 Crossfire CQB. This gun is light, short, easy to move with and super sturdy. But remember, you will be carrying your air tank attached to the handle of this gun. The T68 SMG is a sub-machine gun that is magazine-fed (eliminating the cumbersome hopper) and you can also hide the air tank inside the buttstock (with the flexi-air system). T68 magazines also hold 18 rounds of paintballs, giving an experienced frontman plenty of ammo.
It's also advantageous for the frontman's paintball gun to be very fast. One easy way to speed up your paintball gun is to speed up the loader; electronic hoppers such as the Halo B Belt Drive or the Spyder Fasta Electronic Loader are great additions. These will serve as not only a resevoir of ammo to use (carrying 200+ rounds) but also a way to greatly speed up your firing rate.
The Floater/Mid Player
An excellent paintball gun for this position is the Tippmann A5 outfitted with a Flatline barrel and electronic trigger. The A5 is a reliable, yet fast and compact paintball gun; it's light, accurate and easy to use. The electronic trigger will offer full automatic or 3 round burst for excellent cover fire. The flatline barrel will also allow for a longer, straighter, more accurate shot in case he needs to act like a sniper. It's also highly recommended that the floater position have a clear view of the entire field so he can quickly recognize when one of his teammates are in trouble. Depending on the size of the field, it may also help to have a Red Dot sight mounted to your paintball marker to observe enemy player movement and quick targeting for precision shooting.
Remember, the floater/mid-player is also responsible for providing cover for the frontman, so he will need to carry a lot of paintball ammo. Do this by wearing a tactical vest with extra pod pouches and even consider a couple extra pod pouches strapped to your leg. Don't get too weighted down with gear though, the floater needs to be ready to move in a second's notice! Some mid-players use remote lines on their paintball guns to free their gun up from being weighted down by the CO2 tank; wearing a tactical vest will also allow you to carry your air tank on your back. By removing the tank from your gun, it will make your marker much lighter, allowing you to handle a larger weapon or one with a longer barrel.
Obviously, some type of sniper paintball gun is the best choice; consider the T68 Commando Sniper Paintball Gun. This gun comes with an 18" sniper barrel, 3-9x40 scope and is very light, accurate and easy to use. It would be smart to choose the flexi-air buttstock options to carry the air tank inside the buttstock, keeping it out of the way. You may also want an electronic trigger upgrade to have 3-round burst and fully automatic firing options. You can also add a bipod to help with steadying the gun for more precision shots, however the ability to use a bipod may depend on the size of the field and length of the game. If the game is so short and fast, you're constantly on the go, you will not have time to set up with a bipod to use it effectively.
Another great sniper paintball gun is the T68 Genocide with an 18" barrel. This gun comes stock with a Trijicon 4x32 scope and G&P PEQ IV Laser; your targeting won't get anymore accurate than this. It also comes with a couple grenades and launchers attached to sides for added destruction of your opponents! The great thing about the Genocide (as well as most of the new T68 Gen6 markers made now) is you have the option of the new Splitfire system. This allows you to switch between magazine feed and hopper feed in case you run out of ammo. Remember the sniper not only picks off key players, but is also responsible for important cover fire for the players in front of him; so the more ammo the sniper player can carry the better.
After you've decided on which position you like to play, choose which paintball marker suits that position's needs the best. Some players fall in love with a certain paintball gun and choose which position to play that will allow them to use it the most. Either way is fine; just make sure your gear is specific for the responsiblities of the position you choose - otherwise you could be left without ammo, carrying a marker that's too heavy or using a paintball gun that just doesn't do what you need it to when you need it. It's smart to know the actions/responsibilities of the positions on the field to know what paintball gear you will so you can be a valuable asset to your team.
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