free web stats Lost in the Eternity of the Here and Now: Beware the Sniper
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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Beware the Sniper

I wasn't even sure I would get to play this time. I sent my stock off to be repaired because it was leaking air. Luckily, the guys at SpecOps rock, and it arrived Friday aftenoon, the day before we played. Now... if only we have more people show up! We had a better turnout this time than we did last time (three if you recall), but still far less than I had anticipated: Randy, Stephen, Justin, Chris, Tommy, Jarod, and myself; seven in total.

There are several rolls that a paintball sniper can assume. Two of my favorites are the Ambush Sniper and the Ghost Flanker. As always, the sniper position is best used as part of a team tactic. If left on his own, a sniper lacks the firepower to hold his own against a well-organized opposition.

Get your Ghost Flank on

One of our first games was four (us) on three (them). I had Chris, Stephen and Tommy. The plan was to have those three stay left-center while I circled around to flank. Good plans can easily fall apart once the whistle blows, and this was no exception. As I made my way along the right edge of the field along the creek I heard several exchanges of fire. Since I was out of contact with my team, I wasn’t sure who had been eliminated, my teammates or theirs. An eerie silence fell on the field. Then I knew… it had been my teammates who fell. By this time I had made my way to a good vantage point from which to see a considerable amount of the field. Judging by the lack of movement on their team though, they had no idea where I was, and not wanting to walk into an ambush, were reluctant to move forward. Suddenly I glimmer of hope filled me. From the far left I heard a whistle. I could tell by the pitch that it was Stephen. He was still hiding behind a bunker. The odds were stacked against us, three of them, two of us. From his whistles I imagined what he must be thinking. “Mike… help… there’s three of them, and they know I’m up here.” “Mike, where are you.” “I could use some help here.” They were feeling confident, having taken out two of our four. Confidence should be guarded when a sniper is on the loose. They started firing at him, and I knew I had to move fast. I would only get one shot at this. I got on my belly and crawled under the branch of a short tree. I saw my first mark. Randy was launching a volley at Stephen who was pinned down from three angles behind a bunker on the hill. I slowly raise my gun, put Randy in my sight and fire a few shots his way. Two hit true. Now it is two on two. I fall back, having given my position away, and swing around a fallen tree and hug the bank of the creek. I hear more fire now. The other team is desperate to eliminate the man on the hill so they can focus on me with force. “Mike’s on the hill!,” I hear Justin shout. …Excellent, they think that’s me up there they’ve got pinned down. I move quickly up the steep bank edge, slipping and falling back twice. Time is short, and Stephen is taking heavy fire from two people, and I want to capitalize on their confusion. I see my next mark. Justin is behind a tree across the field firing at Stephen about 40 yards away from me. The tree blocks Stephen’s return fire, but Justin’s side is completely open to me. I raise my gun, find him in my sight, adjust for the distance, hold my breath, and squeeze off a single round. THWAP! A single, deadly shot finds its home on Justin’s chest, and my spirits soar! One shot, one kill… that’s the motto. He is amazed, not seeing me, or even hearing the shot, but nonetheless, knew he had been eliminated. Two down, one to go. Jarod, realizing what is happening, quickly runs for cover. He makes a daring move between us and crosses behind us. However, now Stephen and I have the upper hand, and he is pinned down. After running around a bit, playing the rabbit, we finally eliminate him. Walking out I congratulate Stephen and Jarod on a game well-played. Stephen’s distraction proved invaluable to my ghost flank, giving me the anonymity and time needed to get into position. My only regret is that we lost two men. Hopefully they learned from whatever mistake caused their elimination. Ghost Flank, w00t!

Unfortunately Tommy had to leave after another game. The teams, however, were now even.

The Ambush

An Ambush Sniper uses stationary concealment as his primary tool. Once the whistle blew I dashed as far up field as I could. I found a nice fallen branch with considerable surrounding brush and fell to the ground to wait. My team, Chris and Justin, though lacking Action Ghillie, took up positions on my flank and hid. Minutes ticked by. The other team is playing cautious. Knowing a sniper is on the other team and the lack of movement on our part smells of a trap. I see movement. Randy is slowing creeping up the field, ever so carefully, so as not to walk into the ambush he must know is waiting for him. He is really close, no more than fifteen yards, but there is too much brush to make a clean shot. I know he can’t see me, because I’m in my ghillie, so I just wait. Suddenly I hear a small burst of fire. “Out!” I recognize my teammate Justin’s voice. He never even got a chance to return fire. I found out later that his leg had fallen asleep and when he moved it to get the blood flowing again, Stephen (on the other team) saw him and quickly eliminated him, leaving us in a sticky three vs. two mess. In order to exit the field Justin would have to walk right past Randy, and I knew this was my chance. Just as I had anticipated, he stopped a moment to talk to Randy. While they were talking and I knew Randy’s attention was diverted, I sat up and took aim through the brush. Justin exits. Randy resumes his advance. He takes two steps and I launch three shots at him. He looks in my direction moments too late as two paintballs strike him in the chest, another in the arm. Now the teams are even again. I drop back down and wait, knowing that my position, while no longer secret, is not exactly known either. Stephen and Jarod (opposing team) are even more cautious, because they know I’m there, just not where. Stephen makes a bold move to a bunker to my right, but is unable to drop behind it completely. I take aim and start firing, not wanting to give him a chance to find better cover. I hit him in the hip as he futilely pushes against the bunker trying to avoid my barrage. Now only Jarod remains. Chris and I quickly dispatch him and secure victory for our team.

Overall, it was a good day for paintball, for me especially. I left the field with seven kills and no eliminations. I wished more people had been there so I could have really wreaked havoc, but it turned out okay. gg.

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