Is a Paintball Sniper Really Effective on the Field?
I wanted to comment on the controversial topic of the paintball sniper.
It seems that a bunch of guys are debating if a sniper can really be effective in our sport, and I admit I had to do some research and thinking on the subject.
There are several aspects to why this role of the Sniper may or may not even exist in our little community.
I thought long and hard on three key components to this issue, and came up with some ideas/ thoughts on the matter.
What our actual paintball gear has to do with it, the aspect of fun in the game, and location, location, location. All set? Here we go . . .
Equipment and Physics
First off, I need to get a little technical on you: I know, sorry for that. The paintball itself might be the worst design to aerodynamically prohibit (I told you!) long range/ high impact fire needed to make the Sniper a reality.
You see, the sphere is really bad on drag, meaning the paintball actually decelerates every second because of the shape of it. For instance a real sniper bullet is long and sleek, so it can travel much further than normal bullets. Well let’s just extend the paintball barrel you might say?
No can do, because that actually causes the paintball to decelerate even worse, since there is more drag for longer on the paintball itself, slowing it down even worse. What about a sniper-shaped paintball?
Well, how the heck are you going to load it into the chamber, and how often will it load sideways and burst inside your paintball gun, causing you to misfire, get tagged and a then have a big mess to clean up?
Also, you have a scope on that thing? The paintball mask alone will prohibit the shot you are trying to take. And let’s face it; the paintball trigger is not exactly a precise mechanism like a real sniper rifle. So the actual equipment prohibits the ghostly Paintball Sniper in his traditional form from our sport. Technical jargons aside, are we clear? Ok, moving on…
Patience vs. Fun
So the paintball gear we use rules it out, but what about the whole reason we go fourth into the fray in the first place? I remember when I used to play first person shooters on the computer (ok, who am I kidding, I still do J) I used to HATE the campers. HATE I am telling you.
Nothing ruins a gaming experience quicker than running along trying to get somewhere, when <bam> you get tagged at the same place you did last time, because some smart-alec found a place to camp and pick you off to boost his stats. It’s not fun for anyone, and why are we here in the first place?
That’s right ladies, fun. So having the patience to stash yourself in the bushes and wait for some yokel to wander by your spot so you can shoot him in the back is not my idea of fun. I like orchestrating a good old fashioned ambush with my team, or even scouting behind enemy lines and grabbing the flag. Just gotta watch out for those lone Paintball Snipers, which brings me to my final point . . .
Game Impact and Sniping Location
The ONE place I think the Sniper is useful is in a capture-the-flag situation. Find yourself a good defensible (and hidden) location with a good sight of the flag, and you could be your team’s saving grace.
Just remember though, the patience I mentioned in the last section is essential: Any flag-raider worth his salt will scout the flag location before charging in and grabbing it. And what team doesn’t leave at least one guy behind to guard the flag?
My biggest problem with the Sniper role… you have to be near an objective worth guarding, otherwise your day will be boring and lonely. When all your buddies are laughing about the raid they staged, or the “OK Corral” they survived together, they will look over at you, the lone Paintball Sniper, and you won’t have anything to say. Don’t be that guy, ‘nuf said.
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