Confidence and aggression
If you lack confidence then this leads to confusion, delay and indecision.
Players can be suppressed not by the volume of their opponents' fire,
but because they are worried about coming out and taking a shot. Initially
this can make them very difficult to dislodge from a position, but if
they simply sit in position without firing much then it is usually possible
to outflank them and use a firing location which they are not in full
cover from. People who play aggressively are more dangerous than defensive/passive
players, because they are unpredictable. If they are inexperienced then
this may well be something foolish, but if you are not expecting them
to do it (because generally it would be a tactical mistake) you may
be taken by surprise. The flip side of this is that inexperienced aggression
is usually reckless, so if you are expecting your opponent to do something
wild, they may make an easy target. I always wear my own gear for several
reasons. On a practical level it is lighter and cooler which helps reduce
goggle misting. It also assists communication by making it easy for
friends to recognise me. As well as these practical reasons, there are
also two psychological ones. There is a minor effect on me in that there
is a semi-superstitious comfort in the items, but more important is
the effect on other people. No-one wants to face someone better than
them, and most people will assume (correctly or not) that someone with
their own gear is experienced and a threat. This make much less inclined
to attack, and can lead to critical miscalculations.
Frequently a team on the defensive breaks apart surprisingly quickly
near the end of the game. The least confident players often decided
to defend, so if the forward players are shot out, the attacking team
will only be opposed by the weakest in the other team. The defenders'
confidence will be further sapped by the loss of their teammates and
with 'If they got shot, what chance have I?' ringing in their heads
they will be attacked by the best and most aggressive of the opposition.
If defensive positioning is poor (as it often is) then they will also
be surrounded, which has a further psychological penalty, as well as
making it difficult to take cover. Because of this if your team has
been on a losing streak, and is likely to find itself in a desperate
defence of its flag, it is worth holding back a couple of your experienced
players to try and hold the defence together if the worst comes to the
As a successful player you should feel in control of the situation.
You should be in a position because you have deliberately selected it,
not because you have been forced into it. Your opponents should be forced
to react to your initiatives rather than you fighting back as best you
can when attacked and to ensure this happens is to always be cautiously
This may seem like a contradiction but the difference between being
cautiously aggressive and plain gung-ho is the level of forward planning
and risk reduction. Always aim to put the pressure on and attack. If
you can't be a direct threat then attempt to restrict their movement
and choice of cover. If you sit in cover passively then it allows your
opponents to manoeuvre up on you and before you even realise it, you
will end up in a tricky situation. Instead of this, by pressuring them,
it gives you more room to manoeuvre yourself. Before you move or shoot,
think about what is likely to happen, and whether this will present
an unacceptably high risk to yourself. Judging this accurately comes
with experience, but deliberate awareness of the issues will help even
the complete novice.
Being calm and confident also helps you to keep track of the big picture.
Don't get tunnel vision and just think about your little patch of the