It is extremely difficult to get a team of amateur players, comprised of small groups of strangers to play together in any sort of co-ordinated way. However if you can get some strategic planning, then the following is a reasonably simple basis for a group effort.
Split into units
At the beginning of the game split the team into groups of three.
These groups should try to work together and support each other. Make
sure you know the names of the rest of your group so that you can attract
their attention. Working in small units allows a much larger range of
tactics which are discussed in the next section.
Attack and Defense
It is a good idea to designate a group of players with the primary
responsibility of getting the enemy flag and another with the primary
responsibility of defending your own. However this should not mean that
one group hides around your base while the other disappears off into
the woods. This splits your forces and could well result in giving the
enemy local superiority of numbers. Instead you should aim to get as
many players as possible in simultaneous contact with the enemy team.
This maximises your fire and the increased number of firing positions
and angles will minimise your opponents' ability to take advantage of
cover. The defense group should be small and come as far forward as
possible while still being within site of the flag and the adjacent
boundaries. They are there principally so that stray opponents cannot
sneak round the back and make off with the flag while team attention
is elsewhere. Generally UK paintball fields are small enough that you
can form a continuous line across the field, with each player being
in visual contact with his neighbours on either side. Consequently you
can advance as a single skirmish line with a couple of players hanging
back slightly to intercept anyone who breaks through the line and attempts
to rush for your flag base.
Defense is not for inexperienced players
Commonly inexperienced teams will split themselves in half. One group
will attack and the other defend. The defenders are usually made up
of the most timid and inexperienced, (and there's usually a gender divide
too). The only time these defenders are going to be in play is if their
team is losing. At this point they will be surrounded and generally
outnumbered by the most skilled and aggressive players in the opposing
team. In the panic they will probably forget how to fire their guns
and get mowed down in a hail of close-range paint, and this unhappy
experience will reinforce their lack of confidence. If they play further
up the field, however, they will get to exchange a few paintballs on
a more level playing field, and if things go wrong they can fall back/run
away rather than be trapped and slaughtered.
The strongest positions for both attack and defense are the flanks.
This is because the angle from which you might be shot at is substantially
narrowed. For someone who is right handed the left flank is usually
best, because less of your body will be exposed when firing in towards
the centre of the field. Before the game starts, take a close look at
the available cover as this will define the strategy. Large solid pieces
of cover located right on the tape are the most important features in
the game, as they are extremely hard to advance against. The initial
objective should be get players into cover as far up each flank as possible,
so have people ready to sprint when the whistle goes. Work out who will
run for which bit before you set-off, or it could turn into a sort of
musical chairs under fire as people jostle for the available cover.
Put the best players at the point of the flank, because you will be
relying on them to lead the advance. The rest should trail back, usually
with one per large tree or piece of cover each all the way across the
Gauge your Opponents
Different tactics are effective against different levels of opponents.
Beginner players tend to position themselves badly on the field, leaving
them wide open to aggressive flank attacks. With low tactical awareness
they do not notice opponents moving round the side of them, and even
if they do, they are too inexperienced to understand what this means.
Talk to each other
Exchanging information with team members in your close vicinity is
vital. This sounds very obvious but most inexperienced players don't
talk to each other nearly enough. Make sure everyone else knows about
enemy in your vicinity. If an enemy player moves then shout a warning
to your team mates. Their attention might be elsewhere and they may
need to get in better cover or shoot defensively. Tell team mates when
you are moving. This will allow them to cover you when you move, possibly
take advantage of your new position by concentrating on enemy players
who can be caught in a cross fire.
Dead men aren't allowed to talk, but when you have just been hit shout
'I'm hit' so that everyone is aware that you are out of the game, otherwise
your team mates may be unaware that you are no longer covering a particular
angle etc. You have the valid excuse that you were just making sure
your opponent knew he had got you and could stop firing.
Don't waste a winning position
When marshalling and playing games, I have seen countless teams who
were in a winning position fail to capitalise on their advantage and
end up with no points. In spite of vastly outnumbering the other team
they have sat behind trees until the final whistle has gone. Keep a
close eye on what is happening in the rest of the field. If you can't
see anyone in front of you then cautiously move up ensuring that you
are supported by adjacent team members because going up ahead on your
own is an excellent way to be shot from the side or behind by an enemy
you hadn't noticed or an over-enthusiastic fellow team member.
The Two-minute Rush
Massed rushes are highly effective, particularly against inexperienced
opponents who will not react rapidly, but they do carry considerable
risk. At the end of the game when the number of players has thinned
out, they stand far more chance of successfully punching through than
at the start when every piece of cover has a gun poking out from it.
When you rush by definition you have virtually no cover, which might
imply that you will be shot to pieces. Possibly, but rushing has a lot
of advantages. As you move forward, the angles on opponents will rapidly
open up and you will frequently have opportunities to shoot them from
the side and behind.
Tailing a Rush
When players charge forward, the enemy's attention will be exclusively
on them. To capitalise on this back up any rushes with a couple of players
who stay in position and concentrate on picking off any targets which