The Sabre is the most versatile position on the team. He flanks, he suppresses, he runs point, he snipes and he serves as the team’s all-around backbone. He covers any position that has been left empty by a downed comrade. With a balanced gearkit, he carries enough paint for a series of tough engagements, but not so much as to slow him down.
Photo: Special Ops – A-5A2 Digi-camo The Light Riflemen pivot off him, the Heavy Gunners tee off his base of fire and the Commander relies on him to anchor the team’s position. Even though he can (and sometimes does) pull a flanking maneuver, he more often sets the center and trades punches with the enemy position. While he’s keeping the bad guys occupied, his flankers and snipers are moving in for the quick, side-door kill.
Since he spends a lot of time assaulting and trading fire, the Medium Rifleman plays best with a low-profile paintgun that lays flush against the ground. He carries enough paint to justify a full vest and, as with all positions, his radio is his lifeline to the team.
The team couldn’t function without the Sabre and his challenge is to master all positions. Because, when it really hits the fan, he’s the one who will be holding center and covering for his fallen buddies.
Tips for Medium Riflemen
* You may have to lay a lot of paint, so your gearkit should be balanced and probably even include a couple of grenades. Plenty of paint, plenty of air, but not so much that it slows you down significantly.
* Low-profile and high-volume are best when it comes to choosing a Sabre gun. You will spend a lot of time on your belly, trading shots. You want to present a VERY low profile when you’re lying on the ground. With your air on-gun, you will sit high and you’ll have to crane your neck to shoot. That’s not a good thing. Consider buying a remote air system to get your paintgun down and your head tucked right into the nap of the earth.
* You are the backbone of the team, so take as few chances with your life as you can. If you’re getting taken out more than half of the games, your probably playing too aggressively. Most paintballers play way too aggressively, so don’t feel bad about it. Just get it fixed!!
* Every time you get taken out, take a few minutes to figure out why. Pick apart the situation and determine what you did to get your butt blown off. Then, figure out what you can do in the same situation next time to stay alive. If you’re having trouble figuring it out, go ask your Squad or Team Commander what he thinks you should’ve done differently.
* You’re the do-it-all guy on the team. Stay flexible and keep close tabs on your Squad Leader.
Field Tactics for Medium Riflemen
* You have several main jobs: providing a base of fire for flankers, suppression fire, flanking pushes and assaults. Also, you may be called in to replace one of your buddies, so know their jobs, too. When the Dagger gets taken out, who do you think will be on point? (Answer: you!)
Providing a Base of Fire
* When your pointman encounters enemy, your squad will respond by building a base of fire
and sending flankers. As soon as your pointman hits resistance, you should hustle up and join him. Begin trading fire (it’s not important that you make a kill at this point) with any known enemy.
* Don’t trade fire from a position where there is a substantial threat to you. If your opponents are vigorously returning fire, then you’re probably too exposed. Back up a little until your cover improves. If you’re taking fire from multiple angles, then you’re way too far out. Retreat quickly, turn and bump up until you engage with one angle of fire (only!)
* Even if you don’t have a good shot at your opponents, keep up
consistent fire. You need to keep their attention locked on you so that your flankers can get around to their side without being noticed.
* Watch your paint supply. While it’s important that you keep the enemy engaged, you can’t run out of paint in the process. Shoot enough to keep them interested, but not enough to burn up all your paint.
* Establish a code with your flankers so that they can radio and let you know when they need you to step up the covering fire. When they call, you can inch forward and begin to pour it on. Soon, your flankers will open up their own angles of fire and the opposition will be taken out or retreat.
* When a teammate is preparing to make a bold move (maybe a rush or a leapfrog forward) they will need suppression fire to cover their advance. By laying paint heavily into a known or suspected enemy position, you put heads down to clear the way for your buddy’s push.
* It rarely works to try to suppress more than one angle at a time. You can cover one small bunker or one window of a pillbox. If you agree to cover more, you will probably fail to fully suppress the opposition, and this can get your buddy taken out.
* When you suppress, give it all you’ve got. Time your fire to match the exact moment when your buddy will be making his move. As soon as he’s under cover again, let up so you don’t run out of paint.
* Watch your buddy’s move carefully so that you can pull your stream of paint if he runs into it. Don’t stop shooting, just raise your fire or angle it to one side.
* Full-auto is best for suppression fire. If your home field doesn’t allow full-auto, try a Firestorm crank. The Firestorm is legal on most fields and it lays down enough paint to make anyone think twice about putting their head up.
* When you’re setting up to provide suppression fire, you shouldn’t be so far forward that you’re a feasible target. You should be firing from the very edge of paintball range. It helps, if you do a lot of suppression fire, to carry a Flatline-equipped Tippmann A-5. The Flatline can out-range most paintball guns by twenty-percent or more. Though the Flatline isn’t as accurate as most barrels, you don’t need tight accuracy for suppression fire.
* Truth be told, if you’re doing a lot of suppression fire, you’re probably better off changing over to the Heavy Rifleman position.
* Once your squad has the enemy position engaged and trading fire, the flanking elements are released to one
or both sides. To flank, move cross-ways to the enemy
and push a little up-field. The idea is to get angles from
the side of the enemy shooters. When you begin to
pummel them from the side, and your squad’s hitting them from the front, you will have them in a cross fire and they will need to retreat or be eliminated.
* When flanking, stealth is key. Don’t hesitate to belly crawl. Belly crawling is a great way to spook a shot without exposing yourself to danger. Also, nobody expects you to belly crawl in paintball, since paintballers are typically too lazy to get their cammies dirty.
* Beware of other elements of the enemy force. You may
be flanking right into another piece of their ambush. If you do encounter more resistance, radio your Squad Leader and have him dispatch another Medium or Heavy Rifleman to set another base of fire in front of the extended force.
Then, begin a new flanking move.
* Remember, if your guys and theirs’ are trading fire, you
can use the noise as cover. Also, you have the security
of knowing that the shooters, at least, are totally focused
on their little firefight. You can probably move freely without them noticing. (Just be sure to watch for another ambush!) Paintballers usually scoot to a firefight like moths to a flame. A fully engulfed firefight will draw attention and should give you a clear crawl into side-door position.
* When you execute an assault, you will be attacking a static (stationary) enemy position. Maybe you’re assaulting a bunker or maybe you’re assaulting the flag. In either case, you’re moving hard on an entrenched position that has a defensive advantage.
* The biggest key to a successful assault is to put the enemy under fire from multiple angles at once. If you’re attacking a defensive bunker from only one direction, then you’re putting yourself at huge risk by assaulting. Your squad must hit that bunker from two or three sides, at least. You need to make life really, really stressful for the defenders before you go busting ass out there in the open.
* So, the main assault should come after several mini-assaults that buy you all kinds of angles around the defended position. Then, you can have players move in from all sides at precisely the same moment. The Commander will typically call the moment of assault over the radio when all the chess pieces are in place.
* Another key to a safe assault is suppressive fire. You can cover the most dangerous paths of assault, such as pillboxes, by assigning one or more of your squad to supply suppressive fire.
* Don’t count on any ONE player to suppress any more than ONE angle. In other words, your suppression dude can cover one small bunker or one window of a pillbox. If you’re taking fire from more angles than you have suppression men, then don’t make the move. This also applies to enemy shooters who are across the field. When you move in, you have no way of knowing beforehand the angles you’re giving enemy players. Make reasonably sure that you’ve limited the number of enemy players who have a shot at you before you charge in.
* One handy form of suppressive fire is the leapfrog. A two or three man team can trade off hammering a fixed position with suppressive fire while one guy runs past. As soon as the runner is five yards ahead of the suppressive fire guy, he drops and starts his own suppression fire thing while his buddy picks up and runs five yards past him. This routine keeps going – fire, run past, fire, run past – until cover is reached or the bunker is overrun. Leapfrogging is a great way to attack an enclosed pillbox.
* When you assault, don’t forget to ask yourself what exposure you’ll have once you’ve overrun your objective. Too often, an assault will take a flag base only to discover that there is an ambush waiting behind the flag. Clear all dangerous angles before going in.
Running Point (If your Dagger is toast)
* Your main job on point is to draw enemy fire and not get killed. Spook the ambushes and trick the snipers into taking marginal shots at you. Then, dive backwards and bring your squad up to engage the
* “Spooking” the ambush is an art that you must master. When you’re running point, keep behind
cover as much as possible. Look ahead and assess each possible ambush point, then offer yourself as
a target, but a bad target. Get them to shoot at you when the shot’s still too long or the shot’s through
too much brush.
* Once you’ve spooked the ambush or hit any kind of op-force, you become part of a quick trap that will engulf the opposition. To do this, drop backwards,
just a little, the instant you encounter fire. Then,
your Squad Leader should send up Medium or Heavy Riflemen to create a solid base of fire. They will trade fire with the enemy and give you (and other flankers) a pivot off of which you can slide to one side and catch the ambush in a side-door cross fire.
Ideal Attributes for Medium Rifleman
* Somewhat aggressive. The Sabre is aggressive, but not as hard-core as the Light Rifleman. He needs to have a healthy urge to mix-it-up but not so much that he’s uncontrollable.
* Good physical fitness. Most any physique, other than seriously hefty, can make a good Sabre. He needs to be able to keep up with the squad, but he doesn’t need to be a sprinter.
* A good spread of paintball skills. The best Sabres have played a lot of different positions. They have good command of flanking, rushing and assaulting basics.
* Team players. Since they hold the center of the squad, a Sabre must be willing to let glory slip past to better serve the squad. Guys who can’t be held back from a fight are no good when setting bases of fire and executing on solid squad tactics.
* Newbies. If a new player is looking to learn fast, playing in the middle of a good squad is the best way to pick up experience. Coaching from the Squad Leader and his bros on the squad will improve his game fast.
Medium Rifleman Skill Progression
Requires at least one paintball day playing Sabre position.
Sabre is a great position for someone just starting a paintball career. Tucked in the middle of the squad, the Medium Rifleman learns the squad’s moves under the watchful eye of the Squad Commander
and his squad buddies.
The Medium Rifleman can carry just about any paintball gun, as he starts out, but he’ll always play better with a gun configured for woodsballTM. Generally, he begins with a basic pod pack and
camo. A radio is a must for all team play.
Even experienced woodsballers play Medium Rifleman because it requires so many different skills. Fire and maneuver, flanking, marksmanship, suppression fire and assault; the Sabre finds
himself in the middle of everything.
So, grab your gun and get cracking in the good ole school
of hard knocks.
Requires at least six paintball days playing Sabre position.
Having spent a respectable amount of time mid-field, the Senior Sabre is a solid asset to his team and squad. He can trade paint with the best of them and he’s starting to get a feel for the game. He’s learning not to mad-dog rush the opposition, as he sees that rushing isn’t as good for his team as proven fire and maneuver tactics.
Hearing and following orders under fire was tough at first, but he’s getting the hang of playing at the center of a coordinated squad. His Commander can count on him to be where he’s supposed to be.
The Senior Sabre’s gearkit is coming together, but the biggest improvement has been his mastery of radio communications. After much confusion and many false starts, he’s using his radio and headset effectively. It’s a huge relief for him to know where he should be and what he should be doing.
He was scattered at first, but as he gains experience, his team is counting on great things from the Senior Sabre.
Requires at least fifteen paintball days playing Sabre position.
The Master Sabre rocks the field. He can play any position almost as well as the specialist and he’s a force-to-be-reckoned-with when he’s anchoring his squad. If he’s not already in command of his squad, he’s definitely second in command.
His squad works the field like a lawnmower cutting grass. They scythe through the competition methodically and with care not to lose a single member of their team. It’s remarkable to see the Master Sabre at work – he bumps upfield, hacks apart fixed enemy positions, then bumps again.
The Master’s gearkit is finely honed, now. His marker is perfectly customized and his load bearing equipment is in perfect order. He’s a master at radio communications and he fits into the team plan like the last piece of a puzzle.
Requires at least fifteen paintball days playing Sabre position and a special commendation from Team Special Ops Paintball.
When Team SpecOps came across this guy, it was obvious
that he had massive experience in dealing destruction to the opposition. To observe him on the field is to think that he’s impervious to paintballs. However, if you watch closely, you’ll
see that the Elite Sabre takes no chances – he risks himself and his buddies only to maximum advantage.
Any team would be lucky to play alongside the Elite Sabre. He carries his weight and