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Old 02-24-2016, 01:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: 518 NY

Advice for a new(ish) player?

So, not many years ago I managed to get myself shanghaied out to a paintball field for the first time with a gaggle of my fellow noobs. The place was unsafe, unfriendly, and expensive, I proceeded to get stomped on by the few regulars who showed up. Despite this, and to my own great surprise, I gradually realized I was having the time of my life. A few days spent renting with private groups (at thankfully much better fields) soon left me with an addiction, one which I have sadly had to put on the back burner for the past couple years. Recently, I've had the inspiration to get back into 'balling, and there seems to be quite a few veteran players with some great info on this site.

My question to you is this: What tips, tricks, and general advice do you have for a guy showing up to open play for the first time? What (other then my recently rehabilitated autococker and my own fat ***) should I bring? Any field etiquette I should know? Any info is appreciated, thank you in advance for your responses.
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Old 02-24-2016, 02:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Vancouver

First and for most: GET A GOOD MASK. Wear it at all time on field.

Second, regardless of your skill level, you are now an example of paintball. What that means exactly is up to you, be it good or bad.

As far as etiquette is concerned, there can be lots... Like asking a player off the field if you can see their marker, not just going ahead and picking it up. Lots is common sense and just asking questions and being polite.
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Old 02-26-2016, 02:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Oregon

Bring a microfiber to wipe your mask in between games. I always carry one in my pocket that gets washed with those pants. I also keep a few in the gear bag. Bring a lock in case the place has lockers. I always bring a back up marker or different play style marker (such as a semi and a pump). Bring basic tools to tech your marker in case it goes down. A hat/sandana/headwrap to protect the top of your head (I get scalped a lot), and gloves are nice (those close up knuckle shots are terrible). Lastly, if the field doesn't have a fountain, bring water. I always carry a gallon, if nothing else, to wash my mask.
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Old 02-26-2016, 04:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: San Antonio, Tx

If/when you encounter a bad player, just tell a ref. Don't get caught up in the 'shoot them a bunch to teach them a lesson' mentality. If the refs don't care, find a new field.

Buy used gear to make your budget go farther.

It's handy to also carry a squeegee with you on field; barrel breaks happen, and they suck.
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Join Date: Oct 2006

1) Mask:

I agree on getting a good mask. You really do pay for quality and (unless things have changed since I've last bought a mask a decade a go), there is a huge increase in quality at the $50 price point. Try it on before buying, make sure it's comfortable, durable, has adequate protection, you can breathe well, and has a quick-change lens. Diminishing returns seem to begin at about $100.

2) Eye-protection off field:

I know this sounds extra paranoid, but I'm always wearing safety-glasses or similarly spec'd sunglasses in the staging area. One of the last times I've played, a guy in the staging area was swinging his gun around while telling a story... loaded, gassed, finger on the trigger, safety off, no barrel bag. Kindly asking him to put a barrel bag on aggravated him into pointing the gun at me. "We're all adults here. You keep to yours and I'll keep to mine." Upon returning to his group he accidentally shot one in the foot. The field refs and owner did nothing about him.

Even the most professional people in the most revered occupations make mistakes, so egotistic idiots are more than capable of doing the same. I don't trust my safety to anyone else.

3) Field etiquette:

Safety and fair play are all a given, go along with what the field owners like. Some fields want their refs to handle everything. Some encourage their regulars to help enforce safety and/or fair play. Some go further and want their regulars to help newer players to learn the game. Don't feel compelled to be involved in any part of this, but also don't be the guy that argues against this. Going against a field's culture can cause problems for you. If the field's practices in this regard are unsafe or problematic in other ways (not fair, not fun, etc), then say what may need to be said to the right people to sort it out. If that doesn't help, find somewhere else to play.

4) Stuff to bring:

Bring water and food. Options at fields tend to be limited, crappy, and expensive. Bring tools to service your equipment and have a way to keep them organized. Allen wrenches are very easy to lose. Bring cleaning gear like paper towels, a spray bottle, q-tips. Eventually, I would have both a backup mask and a backup marker. I wouldn't have anything special as an extra gun, a used entry-level marker, well maintained, would be fine. Such guns are more than adequate to lend to a friend.

5) Keep your stuff secure:

Even the most tight-knit community at a field is susceptible to thievery. Some people might accidentally grab something of yours thinking it was theirs. Rental crowds can be entirely honest and upstanding citizens or loaded with thug wannabes that will steal for fun. Even without ill intent, people will think it's OK to check out your "AWESOME GUN DUDE!" by grabbing and fiddling with it when you're not around. People will accidentally put heavy gear on a bag of paint they don't see. If you think of a stupid way your things can be lost or broken, someone has already done it and someone will do it again.

Playing the game.

1) Resist the urge to go into games with more than a hopper load of paint:

You will get better faster when you limit your paint use. If you need to suppress someone, 5 slow shots that almost graze a person's head are more effective than a thousand that hit his bunker. Movement gets you kills.

2) Be bold:

The newbie squat, while taking pot shots 50 yards away from the action, does nobody any good. The only way to learn how to move between bunkers is to go for it even when the situation isn't ideal. Be willing to play against and with people of every equipment layout and skill level. Be willing to play in every environment. A lot of players don't like playing speedball due to the stereotypical player and play style. The sooner you learn how to play in uncomfortable environments, the sooner you learn how to enjoy it, and the more options you will have for play on any given day.

3) Communicate:

Experienced players will take notice. Your team will be more effective.

4) Post:

Never fully cover yourself behind a bunker when there's nobody to hide from. You should always have eyes out/gun up when you can.

5) Be calm:

Often there's no reason to get emotional about anything. I don't mean just about getting shot or observing unfair play. A lot of people get stupid just yelling for the sake of teamwork. A lot of people move around their bunkers and dodge shots like they're trying to bust the sound barrier with parts of their bodies. You'll save a lot more energy and have much greater awareness with a calm disposition.

Alright, I'm done.
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Join Date: Mar 2013

One thing I always try and help the new players with is encourage aggressive play. (not mean or A-hole stuff. but getting out of the starting bunker. Flanking, moving/pushing up)

And point your marker where your looking.
If your peaking out of a bunker. Make sure your marker is primed and ready to fire in the direction you are looking. If you see someone make a break for it you are already ready.

Don't put your barrel past the cover your behind. Don't push it trough a window/hole whatever. When your in your ready to fire stance, your barrel tip should be about an inch behind your bunker, you peek out, and clear your sector. Then go back in, readjust to take a peek at another "unknown" sector. Always be mindful that someone could be hiding in that "cleared" sector.
This greatly speeds up the in and out. I do enjoy watching a new player stand with his back to the bunker. And swing around like an action hero, firing from the hip. But if you do that against anyone who played before, you will get nailed.

All the other stuff posted is sound advice. A good mask IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.
Seriously, Think about it. You have something that will spend the majority of the day on your face. Have you ever like, sat on a zipper or a bad couch with pokey springs? After about ten minuets it feels like there is a needle in your butt. It'll be like that, but on your face.
Any tiny bit of discomfort will be magnified to the point of absolute distraction after about 20 mins.

Always, YMMV.
I play on a quite small tactical field using a TIPX.
I have successfully converted about half dozen players to a TIPX because the noticed I tag them out quite often.
They think its the marker (which is great for me). But its the play style. I run around like a mad man and am always pushing forward trying to get behind enemy lines. It forces the enemy teams hand and limits their movement options which helps my team.
Even if you get tagged out 12 times in a row, The other team will play differently if they think you might be bumrushing them at every moment.
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Old 03-02-2016, 05:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jul 2014

All of the posts thus far are pretty spot on, though I would add another piece of gear that, while overlooked can make a large difference in your playstyle, especially if your local field is like mine and has rocky scree or roots on some fields - some kneepads. Kneepads will let you play more aggressively if you're into sliding or dropping into a quick crouch without busting your knees. I personally recommend types that slide over your legs rather than the types that strap on, those types tend to slip around I find. If you're in the mood to do a bunch of superman dives I'd also suggest some elbowpads or some of the speedball style gloves that pad from the back of the hand all the way above the elbows, my teammates are particularly fond of the DYE ones and they seem to hold up pretty well.
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Oh yes, Pads and gloves.
I personally use the Empire long sleeved padded shirt. I get pinged in the shoulder more often then any place else and it bounces about 80% of the hits, And get some gloves, I use knock off hard knuckle Oakley. They are super cheap, and thick to blunt the hits. I get a new pair every season.
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Old 03-22-2016, 12:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Washington DC

I would also add in some cleated running shoes if you end up playing in doors. Nothing sucks more than trying to stop at a bunker and instead landing on your *** a few feet past it.
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Southern California

One thing i found helps a bunch is to bring a small spray bottle of water. I use it after games to spray my hands, arms and face. It beats taking the time to hit the restroom while your game is being called

Last edited by Snowking63; 04-07-2016 at 12:20 AM.
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