One major concept in paintball is movement.
Movement down the field is vital to taking key bunkers and increasing your angles, but your risk of being shot increases significantly.
One basic concept to understand is that the fastest route is not always the shortest!
To see why we need to take the angles on the field into account. When playing paintball you always need to keep your opponent’s angles in mind and play against them.
Let’s Compare Different Routes
Take a look at the example illustration to the right.
The yellow area is the opponent’s field of view. As you can see, it is not perpendicular to the route running straight to the Dorito (red line).
Although the overall distance is shorter, you spend more time exposed in the open.
Instead, you could follow a route similar to the green line which is the most efficient route. You would cut across the field of view as fast as you can, then safely moving up to your bunker.
While the overall distance is longer, the exposed distance is less. The dashed red line shows the extra distance while exposed.
Effect of Distance
If your opponent is farther away then what is represented in the illustration which is often the case, their angle will be narrowed. Generally the further away they are, the faster you can cut across if you follow this technique.
Why Route Efficiency Matters
Comparing the two routes above, the distance saved seems minimal.
However, keep in mind your opponent’s reaction speed and the time for paint to travel down the field. Most of the time the last few feet into your bunker is when the paint will be flying at you!
Remember Multiple Opponents
Don’t forget about the other guys shooting at you!
If you have more than one opponent looking at you, you need to factor both of their angles in to make the most efficient route.
With the second example, the straight red route puts you in the open for the longest amount of time through two opponents zones!
Instead, you could take a wide route cutting through the first zone, then dive into the safe area.
The blue zone represents the outside limit, where you’re exposed on the other side of the bunker. A common mistake when making a move is to over slide right into the opponents paint.
By cutting wide at first and angling in, you get through the orange area as fast as possible, then set your self up for a nice entrance into cover. You can plant your feet as you start to change directions, and push off into a dive.
The green route would likely be more of a slight curve than a straight line through the entire length.
The bubbles 1 and 2 refer to equal distances between the green and red route.