Tactical Paintball Skill - Stealth
Stealth is a critical skill in paintball because it allows you to take an enemy by surprise from his flank or the rear – with devastating effect.
This article contains content mostly taken from the Paintball Warrior Tactics book (Chapter 3, Paintball Warrior Skills, Stealth).
Stealth is a critical skill in paintball because it allows you to take an enemy by surprise from his flank or the rear – with devastating effect. Use stealth to remain undetected by your opponents as long as possible. Trade space for time and try to maneuver around him more if you can.
Moving stealthily involves controlling these three things:
- What terrain and/or foliage you are moving over or through.
- How your body is moving.
- How much noise your gear makes when you move
STEALTH AND THE TERRAIN
For example, piles of dry branches on the trail may be worth going around if you can, they will make a ton of noise. Watch out for terrain or foliage that will give you away. Trade space for time – move around noisy obstacles.
Also, consider the cover elements between you and your opponent(s). Use cover to your advantage and stay “blocked out” from your opponents FOV. Keep hard cover elements like buildings, large copses of tree’s and bunkers between you and the opponents to keep them from spotting you. Move through dead ground when you can, like deep ditches, or ravines.
STEALTH AND HOW YOU MOVE
The CQB Stance is the most commonly used position to move stealthily through a danger zone. Crawling generally makes a ton of noise and is extremely slow for paintball. See: “Stalking”.
If you are moving through close ground cover foliage (like ferns or brush) as you step, point your toe downward to penetrate it. Try to step through any foliage, and not on it.
Regardless, your heel should always contact the ground first, and then fold your foot down slowly and slightly rolled outward.
When you start to move in an area where you might be within an enemy FOV, start the move very slowly. Sudden movements are easily detected by the human eye versus slowly accelerating motion.
If you accidentally make a noise which might have alerted a known nearby enemy position – freeze. If they are not firing at you, slowly, lower your body profile to a deeper crouch and move to cover – stay very low.
Mastering stealth allows you to pop out and eliminate opponents when they least expect it. Use cover elements to “block out” your enemies FOV as you move stealthily up to his position. Stealth is not always just about “hiding in the bush” - it’s simply being undetected.
STEALTH AND YOUR GEAR
Check your gear. Go for a jog through the field alone to warm up with all your gear and your marker ready. Listen to how much noise you make. Fix any noisemakers on your personal gear. The prime suspect for noise will be improperly filled pods. Other noisy gear includes gun slings, tactical-vest accessories (carabineer’s, etc) and loose pistol holsters. Some types of fabrics (pants and jacket) may be noisier than others.
STEALTH AND PICKING YOUR MOMENT
When you are sneaking up on an opponent(s), don’t be too eager to shoot. Doing so may give away your position too soon. Many engagements are started too soon, before the opponent(s) are within effective range of your marker. If you fire too soon, you blow any surprise advantage you and your fire-team may have had on the opponent(s) and may turn what could have been a slaughter into a 50/50 confrontation.