HOW TO BEAT YOUR MATES AT PAINTBALL IN WAGGA

First things first - Paintball with your mates is supposed to be fun. There's no sheep stations on the line and everyone walks out having had a good time and keen to exaggerate their stories about how many people they hit that day while they're at the pub enjoying a beer...

And Paintball IS FUN. But, if you're anything like me, it's MORE FUN, when you win.

So, you want to beat your mates at Paintball. Here is some tips from us with over 5 years experience running and watching games as well as our experience playing competitive paintball all over Australia.

TIP #1 - TEAMWORK
If 18 people took to the AFL field, each with their own ideas and plans on how to win and decided they wouldn't utilise the other 17 people on their team they would find themselves easily beaten. Unfortunately, that is how a lot of people play paintball. Your best chance of winning in any team game is by working together. Simple strategies are often the best and make sure everyone knows their role.

TIP #2 - COMMUNICATION

Further to Tip #1 - Communicate with your team mates. It's common to hear after each game someone say "I didn't know where they were" or "I don't know who shot me". It really pays to talk to your team mates. For example, if you can see a person but cant quite shoot them, your friend nearby might have a better angle and not even know it. A quick, informative chat might  be all you need.

You: "Hey mate, there is a guy behind that car who I can't shoot, can you get him?"..
Your mate: "Yep, I can see him... Got him"

That sounds really simple... because it is. You'll be surprised how often this works.

TIP #3 - HIT + MOVE

This might be one of the most over looked parts of paintball. Paintball games with us usually have objectives. Raise a flag, detonate a bomb, collect the money bag etc. It's not much good to sit in the one location and shoot 10 opposition players if your team still loses. (PTFO! Gamers will understand)...

The best way to achieve the objectives is to shoot opposition players and progress up the field whilst they're walking back to their base to re-enter the game. We should also mention, you don't need to necessarily hit the opposition player to move. Using your teamwork and communication from Tips #1 and #2, you can either work with a team mate to shoot the person whilst you move OR they can provide covering fire (Yes, that's really a thing) keeping the opponent hidden whilst you push forward.

TIP #4 - BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS

Try to be aware of your surroundings. Firstly, be aware of yourself. Don't expose any part of your body to the opposition if you can avoid it, giving your opposition the smallest possible target to try and hit. Also take note of how many team mates you have near by, you can work with them towards the objective or use them as pawns to direct around.

Listen. Listen for the referee, who might announce when there is limited time left in the match. Listen for team mates or occasionally, you might even hear the opposition talking about their plans.

Watch. From behind your barricade you can often see paintballs flying around the field. If you can, you may notice the angle it is travelling and you can work out which direction it is coming from which is important so you can use Teamwork + Communication (are you seeing a theme here yet?) to eliminate that player.

TIP #5 - DON'T BE AFRAID

There is no need to be afraid of paintballs. Sure, they can hurt a little, and even leave a mark sometimes but mere seconds after you're hit, you'll forget about it. New players first priority is often to find the biggest barricade, the furthest from the opposition and set up camp. If you're truly looking to enjoy your experience, get amongst the game, get in to the action and yep, even get hit once or twice so you can realise there is no need to be afraid. The worst that will happen is you get hit and have to return to your base ready to have another crack at the opposition.

Paintball has been around since the 1980's. Literally MILLIONS of people play every year. If they hurt as bad as your friends, neighbours, cousin told you, why would anyone ever play again? The truth is, they can hurt, but not that bad. 

TIP #6 - CHAT TO YOUR REF

Our aim at Project Paintball Wagga, is to make sure you have the best time you can whilst you're with us. In between games whilst having a few minute break, your group referee (often, it will be me) can give you and your mates hints, tips and ideas on how to win. Think about it... Who has seen the field more than the guy who built it? Who has watched more games on each field than the referee? No one. 

CONCLUSION

You're making memories with your mates at Paintball. It's a game of risk and reward. Whilst I firmly believe teamwork, strategy and communication can win you  games, sometimes you can be selfish. Be bold. Run for the flag. Carry your whole team on your back. If it works, you'll be the hero who won the game. If it doesn't work, you might have a few bruises but you will have one hell of a story to tell and EVERYBODY who plays paintball has a memory or story to tell, so why not make yours epic!

Remember, Paintball is always fun, but its MORE fun when you win.

Hope to see you at the field soon.

- Dwayne Nicholls