Anatomy of a Tactical Paintball Squad
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Just like a competition speedball team, a tactical paintball squad is also put together with players of different roles.  Each man on the team occupies a different position and relies on different paintball guns and gear from one another.  Communication is key, but each player has their own responsibilities that will ultimately aid in accomplishing their mission.  In a tactical game, some positions/units are occupied and executed by more than one player. 

Basically, there are levels of a tactical paintball team as they move forward on the field, from the front men to the players in the rear.  The first in line is the Point man/Scout Unit.  The second row in is the infantry/Mid Players, followed by the Backman.  Finally, there is the Sniper unit that often travels somewhat independently of the man squad, when not required to be used as cover fire for the forward players.

The Pointman/Scout Unit are usually the quietest of the whole bunch; they travel first in line and are the first encounter with the enemy.  Being in the front, this is also the team who will make first contact with boobie traps, mine fields and ambushes.  This unit will require fast shooting paintball markers, accurate for short and mid-range distance firing.  They should also have accurate and the most complete camouflage uniforms as they will often need to move silently and undetected in the brush. 

The Pointman/Scout unit should be equipped with radios to contact the main personnel behind you.  As they are the tip of the spear, their job is to also set up observation points, supply caches and a trail for the main body to follow.  If your team is large, there may be several Scout Units sent out to recon.  A Pointman/Scout Unit generally consists of two operators, one carrying a pair of binoculars to overview the situation before moving closer. 

The Infantry is the second row of players, traveling behind the Scout Unit.  The Infantry is designed to be the most numerable and overpowering in the line up, with as many players as you have to make up the heaviest force.  Basic camouflage will be needed, however should match the playing environment as close as possible.  These players are the ‘grunts’ and are the driving force of the battle.  Depending on how far behind the Scout Unit, the Infantry provides back up for the front players, but mainly moves in once contact is made to lay down heavy fire. 

These players should be ready to lay down tons of paint when called on; other than cover fire, their goal is total annihilation of the enemy unit.  Precision shooting is never bad, however the spray and pray tactic is commonly used by the Infantry.  Mid-long range distance firing paintball markers with full auto capability works best for this position.  The Infantry players are not required to wait and calculate how to win, they are to run and unleash hell on the opposing team. 

The Backman/Rear position can be one player but it is best if there are several.  This position is there to provide cover fire for the more forward players, pick off key opposition when possible, however this is the sniper’s primary role.  Back players are important because they can help minimize flanking and crossfire situations; they can also be the driving force of the squad pushing forward from the rear.

When others retreat, the rear positions must continue to keep their line.  These players need to be experienced with their paintball rifle; mid-long range shooting is most common, however they should also be adept at close quarter battles should the enemy penetrate this far into your territory.  In the rear position, camouflage is not mandatory, however basic camous will help out when moving with a group, as well as add to the cohesiveness of your unit.

Finally, there is the Sniper Unit.  This is by far the most quiet and pestering unit yet; their job is to provide intel on a situation, and take out key players from a distance or hidden spot.  They may also provide needed cover fire during a strike or aid the rest of the team in an ambush or flanking maneuver.  The sniper is valuable in any of these situations because of his stealth movement and invisible tactics.  This unit can instill a fear of the unknown or an anger that makes logic take a break.  Picking off key opposing players one by one from a hidden vantage point not only causes extreme mental anxiety for enemy targets, but is a great way of thinning down the opposing team. 

Paintball snipers must possess an uncanny steadiness and accuracy on the field that is unmatched.  For maximum stealth, snipers need to be well camouflaged, matching their environment as closely as possible.  A sniper unit generally consists of two operators: one spotter to sight, range and give backup with a quick and light marker; the other being the shooter who takes the shots confirmed by the spotter. A spotting scope or a pair of binoculars for the spotter, a couple of ghillie suits and a sniper paintball gun are the essentials needed for this position.  Often, the sniper unit travels ahead of or independently of the rest of the team, so they may also use remote radios to keep in contact.

No matter which position you play, it is imperative at all times to be with another squad mate.  If your partner is eliminated, you must get out of danger by any means necessary; then return to HQ or meet up with another element of your squad. Your operating tactics will vary from which type of unit you are, and how many men you have in your element. Choose which position best suits your style of play, personality and your favorite paintball gear. 
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