To the untrained eye, a paintball match looks like a random bunch of players running around, hiding behind various items as cover, shooting at one another, with no real plan in mind. While it may look chaotic, the players are actually fulfilling specific roles and positions within their teams and have very specific goals in mind. Thus, each position has unique responsibilities that are coordinated with his teammates, ultimately that fall within an overall strategy. This article will help you gain a better understanding of the various positions on a paintball team, the associated responsibilities and the best-suited equipment and paintball gun for each position.
Since paintball requires an offensive and defensive strategy, the backman’s (sometimes also called the “back player”) job is to provide a protective front for the team’s flag and players who are advancing further into the battle field. As you might imagine, this is a critical role and requires a LOT of shooting. Whether it is cover fire for his team members or fire toward possible enemy team members to make their approach more difficult, the backman will use a lot of paint in a short amount of time. Thus, one of the most critical things for this player to do is have the right marker and know how to use it. The backman needs to be able to fire lots of shots quickly and accurately, and be able to reload rapidly and with little advance notice. Requiring lots of firepower means two important things: lots of ammo and lots of air supply. If the backman runs out of either one, the game is almost certainly lost. The backman will need a way to carry this extra equipment without impeding his ability to shoot quickly and accurately and move as needed. The backman also needs to be someone competent in the overall team strategy and be able to make good solid decisions. For this reason, the team captain often plays this role on the team.
The Frontman, also known as the ‘Pointman’ is a very high profile position; he’s in the front with the most action and has the most aggressive spot on the field. He makes all the dangerous moves at the front of the field, like bunkering and attacking the enemy flag. As soon as the game starts, the frontman usually moves as far as he can off the break; he spends the most time at the enemy’s end of the field. The frontman’s primary job is to move up the field, dart from bunker to bunker and position himself to accomplish the team objective. He must be fast to run and respond to any fire, as he is closer to the enemy than any of the other players. In most situations, the frontman is supported by a position called ‘the lockman’ who covers him with fird and takes over his position in case he gets hit.
Unfortunately, because of his position on the field and the dangerous proximity to the enemy, the frontman is usually one of the first players to get hit. He should be backed up by several of his teammates… the lockman, sniper and even the backman. The frontman should also be an experienced player, a natural team leader; someone who can predict the moves of the opposition before they happen and make last second decisions 7.62×39 ammo for sale about changes of his position or the enemy. The best frontmen are thrill seekers who take the most chances and aren’t afraid of getting hit – because they will be where the most paintballs are flying around. The frontman will cover a lot of ground on the field and do the most running, so he should be well conditioned for this. His paintball marker should be ultra light, smaller and easy to wield considering how much diving, rolling and sprinting this player will do. The frontman fires the least amount of paint and uses the smallest air tank.
Another name for the Frontman position is the ‘Tape Runner’. In Capture The Flag type games, the tape runner/Frontman is the player that will actually ‘capture’ the flag. This player is also often called on to bunker someone, or even to sacrifice himself for the good of the team. As the tape runner, it is wise to get as far up the field as possible right out of the gates, secure a bunker and find a key vantage point to shoot down the opposition. This will give the mid players an established spot to take over so the frontman can move on – closer to the opposing team’s backman and flag!
The floater (also sometimes called the “roamer”) doesn’t really have a beginning spot on the team. As his name suggests, his role is to roam around the battlefield providing support to his teammates and taking over in case one of them is hit. For this reason, the floater should have some experience playing all the various positions as he may be expected to do so at any moment. He needs to be fast, like the frontman, but more flexible in his ability to play offense AND defense. Mentally, this position is tough because there are lots of options the floater may have to deal with during the game.
Just like the position itself, the floater’s marker needs to be well equipped for most situations. It wouldn’t make sense for this position to have a sniper rifle or a small pistol-style marker. Instead, the floater needs to be extremely adaptable in both his strategy, his position and his shooting abilities.
The Mid Player
The Mid Player controls the field in between the Frontman and the Backman. He must be a skilled player though, because he is the first one called on to take the place of any downed position. Basically, the mid player is the fill-in man. Because of this, he will move up and down the field throughout the game; so he must be well conditioned for constant running, sliding behind bunkers and shooting constantly. If the backman or frontman/tape runner is eliminated, the mid player will take over their positions. The mid player is also called the ‘Insert’ player, the ‘Rover’ or support players.
Another key role of the mid player is he is the information center of the team, relaying codes and commands to the front and back players. It is also the responsibility of the mid player to protect and provide cover for the frontman. Considering this, it’s smart for the mid player to carry a lot of paintballs. His paintball gun should be smaller and lighter than the backman’s so he can move quickly with it, however not so small it’s range may be limited, effecting his ability to take over the backman’s position if necessary. Some mid players use remote lines on their paintball guns, allowing them to carry their air tank on their back. This frees up their marker, making it lighter and easier to move with.
The Sniper position is often the Backman’s job but sometimes there is a designated sniper position. His job is to pick off key players from the opposing team and provide cover fire for the other teammates in front of him accomplishing the mission. Sometimes the sniper will stay in the back field as long as they have the best vantage point to make the most accurate shots. Having the best view of the field is a key element in the sniper’s game plan, so the sniper position should move accordingly to keep finding more advantageous spots to shoot from – remember, your targets are always on the move too!
The best gear for a sniper is obviously some type of sniper paintball gun – something with a longer than average barrel (16-18″+) and maybe even some type of optics/scope or sight to hone in on specific targets better. Decide on how powerful your scope should be based on the size of field you’re playing on. Scenario games may have much larger fields and more powerful optics may help for longer shots or to seek out the opposition from farther away. Speedball fields are much shorter and a less powerful sight (like a Red Dot) would work fine if you even need anything at all. Precision shots is what the sniper is all about, but remember their other job is also to provide cover fire for the mid and front players – so they should carry enough paintballs to be able to do this. The sniper doesn’t move quite as much as the other players, so carrying around more ammo is not as much of a problem.