As for sniping, these guys are all right man. Don't waste your cash on a bolt action rifle unless you can afford to do the work to it. I've had a wide variety of guns, including a KJW M700 and I find sniping to be way to much work to enjoy airsoft. I like AEG's, and I like long range. So save up some cash, and pick up a CA SL8 or a Sr-25. There sniper rifles that give you the best of both worlds. If you want power, upgrade to 400, shoot with .25's, and you will have a satisfactory rifle for most big games.
First, let me introduce myself. My call sign is Frostee and I fill the role of what most airsofters call “Sniper”, for the Michigan airsoft team, Geist Kompanie. Presently I have more than a year and a half worth of experience practicing, playing and observing airsoft. All of which has been focused on perfecting techniques and tactics used by military and police snipers in an outdoor environment. This does not mean, by any stretch of the imagination, that I am an expert. Actually, I consider myself only little more than a “newbie” on the subject. However, one must admit that I have spent an inordinate amount of time studying and playing the role, which has led me to the revelation… I am not a sniper.
“Not a sniper,” you say,”...of course you’re not a real sniper, but you do play one in airsoft.” My response to you is no… no I do not. Sure, I may hide in dark corners waiting for my target to come into range. And, sometimes I even camouflage myself with brush and wear a ghillie suit. But, these things do not a sniper make. Real military snipers do so many more tasks. Forward reconnaissance, communications relay, observation, mapping, and security watch are only a few of the tasks they perform, besides hiding and making long shots. When you look at the tasks they perform and my feeble attempts at recreating them on the airsoft battlefield, it is laughable.
So, why make the distinction? For my own peace of mind, really. I have so much respect for those who do the difficult tasks asked of them by their country, that as I learned more I thought, “Why even pretend?” The term “sniper” has already been given a negative connotation by the media, because they refer to any heartless killer who hides with a gun as one. There is no need for me to further sully the profession, by running around calling myself a sniper on the airsoft forums. So, some time ago I determined to call my position a Designated Marksman.
What does it mean to be Geist Kompanie’s designated marksman? Well, it means that I get to fill a very special role, that whether we realized it or not, has very specific dimensions. As our team developed this summer it became very clear to me what my main responsibility is as designated marksman. In short, I provide long-range directed or suppressive fire, usually under the protection of the team’s close-range firepower. This means that I usually stay with the group while we move, affording the group some protection from far-off targets while taking advantage of their up-close automatic firepower. It also means that when a firefight does begin I may have the opportunity to eliminate non-friendly reinforcements before they can take effective positions. While this may seem a bit limiting to the airsoft sniper purist, in the world of airsoft this can be a very useful tactic. It basically gives your support group, which would normally throw quantities of bb’s downrange, a longer and more accurate capability. This, of course, does not eliminate the need for support gunners. The marksman role is really a supplement to support gunners.
There is a psychological advantage to keeping a marksman with the group also. The realization that your team is under sustained close-range automatic fire, as well as accurate long-range fire can be disheartening and confusing. It makes retreat a less appealing option to those closest to the battle line, because they will most likely be within range of the distance shooter for the most amount of time while retreating. And, every second they delay moving to a safer location is another second that my team has to advance on or flank their location.
I would like to make it perfectly clear that I do not always travel with the team. Sometimes the most effective use of my talents is with another team, off on my own, or with another team member as spotter. I do perform reconnaissance as well as individual target interdiction. Sometimes I may even split from the group to create a diversionary target, by engaging a small manageable group with hope that a larger group will lend assistance and be drawn from their position. Thereby leaving themselves vulnerable for a flanking maneuver, or some other tactic.
The psychological benefit that my position contributes to the team is also something to consider. Taking an educated guess, I may make as many as thirty percent of my shots for psychological effect alone. This is a huge number of shots taken, just to make the enemy react. However, I should mention that the reaction is not always one planned for. Sometimes even the most well though-out plans backfire… Murphy’s Law.
My hope for this article is that it will cause some readers to analyze there own positions and tactics and perhaps write down their own philosophy for others to ponder. Increasing the level of communication between airsofters can only lead to faster learning curves and better access to interesting and creative ideas.
See you on the field.
A good thing to read, when you are unsure about being a Sniper. That article was written when I started being a Sniper, 5 or so years ago. Took me about 3 years to decide if I wanted to roll with a bolt action or Semi auto long rifle, It all just depends on your playing style and how well you can hold your own.
Think about a bunch of guys coming up on you with AEG's, just you alone with your bolt action thinking of what you are going to do... Do you run? Do you sit and wait for a shot? Wait for them to pass? What if they see you? So many extra factors come into play if your playing style is being the sneaky guy.
If you strongly feel that you belong behind a long rifle then be my guest and try it, but remember the whole reason behind a long rifle is to make the one shot count. You always need to keep a calm mentality and take control of the situation, no matter how much pressure is on you.
I aim I squeeze, Pause for a moment a passing breeze. My finger steady, my trigger cold, I feel the recoil and watch him fold.
Post by Kilo Oscar Tango on Nov 8, 2008 14:41:50 GMT -5
Due to the highly mobile nature of the game I prefer to go with a DM role. I play with shootermcgavin and he probably knows me as the "guy in Flecktarn" or the "guy that uses semi-auto" whenever we play, but I prefer the DM role. I don't do short rifles or CQB (typically).
I'm at the point where my rifle isn't 100% up to potential yet, but it's getting there, but beside the rifle, knowing the field and positioning to most effectively use the lay of the land is the most important aspect of Airsoft, more important than the gear. By placing yourself in a key position you can set the movement of your opponents, move them to a position you have the greatest advantage (without them knowing) and relocating to reap the rewards. Setting choke-points and suppression also helps with team tactics, but setting up successful suppression requires good placement, somewhere you can fire out and not get tagged yourself.
There are a few things that really add layers to the game, such as varying ranges, volumes of fire, and team tactics, but on an individual level I think the most important aspect is positioning.