Usually, the objective of the game is either one of the following two types.
1. Havoc Play – This is also known as elimination. In this form of game, you have to mark every one of your opponents. The last man or team standing wins the game.
2. Capture Play – In this form of play you have to usually capture an object such as a flag from your opponents. However, in some variations, your team might have to gain physical control over key opponent buildings or strongholds, such as bunkers or a fortress.
Wherever permitted, players usually wear camouflage or solid color fatigues to improve stealth. They usually wear uniforms of different shades or an arm patch to distinguish friends from foes during the game play. The duration of the game play is highly variable. It could be anything from a few minutes to a few days. All these variables depend upon the venue of the game play. For instance, if the game is being conducted in your backyard, you can expect it to be over in a relatively short time. However, for actual battle re-enactments, the game may continue for a number of days.
As stated earlier, paintball is a game that depends entirely on equipment. Here is a short guide that gives you basic introduction about your equipment. You will also find important instructions about cleaning and maintaining your expensive markers.
1. Essential Weapons
A paintball gun, better known as a paintball marker, or simply a marker, is the primary weapon of paintball wars. It is the most vital piece of equipment, apart from the security gear. They throw paintballs at you at speeds of around 200 miles per hour. However, this is not hazardous as it can cause nothing more than minor bruises in worst cases. They are available in two types: the old style spring loaded mechanical markers with a limited rate of fire; and the advanced electronic markers with a very high rate of fire that is quite similar to machine guns.
The next in your list will be propellants for pumping the paintballs. They come in small cylinders that are attached to your markers. These propellants are usually of three types: carbon dioxide, nitrogen and propane. Out of these three, nitrogen is usually preferred due to its safety, performance and affordability. Carbon dioxide might cause some technical problems in markers like leaking, and propane is usually overkill. If you are a newbie at paintball wars, it is recommended that you use nitrogen tanks.
You cannot win a war without bullets! Before buying paintballs, ensure that they are of decent quality and purchased from a reputable provider. You must ensure that they are completely non-toxic and compatible with your model of paintball gun. If the manufacturers of your markers recommend certain brands of paintballs, you should stick to those.
2. Safety Equipment
Safety should be your foremost concern while playing this game, from masks and padding to safety pants. Without the proper safety gear, you can sustain a permanent injury, especially in your eyes. The main pieces of safety equipment that are used in this game are masks and barrel blocks.
Masks: Sometimes called "goggles", masks are safety devices that players are required to wear. These completely cover the eyes, mouth, ears and nostrils of a person. Some masks even feature throat guards. The lenses are designed to protect against paintballs traveling up to 300 feet per second, but are not guaranteed to withstand impacts at greater speeds.
Generally, more expensive masks tend to be smaller (which in turn makes the player a smaller target), more comfortable, have more interchangeable parts and be made of soft enough material to get some bounces.
It should be noted, that while playing paintball, even just shooting at the ground or trees, wearing proper paintballing masks is mandatory for safety. Some paintballs are very thick and can bounce off the ground, and other objects, and hit people
Barrel Blocks: A barrel block is a family of safety devices that mechanically obstruct the end of the marker`s barrel. They are intended to ensure that, should all other safety devices incorporated in the marker fail or be deactivated, a paintball fired by the marker will not leave its barrel and cause injury. Barrel blocks are usually required by commercial fields, to be used on any marker that is in an area where masks are not required. Forgetting to replace it after leaving a game and entering a safe zone will usually earn a warning. Repeated infractions will often result in ejection from the site. This is done for liability reasons and to lower possibility of unexpected injury to anyone around, especially important when involving eye safety.
Please note that safety equipment is mandatory for use in all paintball ranges and also according to the laws imposed by various governments. You should not attempt to play paintball without this safety gear.
4. Cleaning and Maintenance
Paintball equipment is not only expensive, it is also critical for your safety. Therefore, it is very important that you invest enough time in its maintenance and cleaning. Poorly maintained markers may result in critical malfunction in the thick of the fight, jeopardizing not only your victory but also your safety as well as that of your teammates and your opponents.
O-rings are one of the most sensitive parts of your marker. You should check them at least once every 30 days, or after every game, whichever is earlier. The only way to ensure that your O-rings last long is to apply lubricants regularly. If you feel any air coming out of these rings, replace them before the next use.
Markers require a thorough cleaning after every game. When you disassemble a marker, you will find lots of paintball residue inside. They tend to create obstructions in the path of the projectile during fire. This could lead to a very serious malfunction, such as the bursting of paintball inside the barrel. You should clean with a squeegee dipped in a mild solution of soap. After that, wash it one more time with clean water and leave it until it dries
5. Rent or Buy
Most newbies are confused about whether they should buy new gear or rent it for the day. If you think that you will not be able to put your equipment to regular use, then it is better that you rent it. This is because paintball gear demands a lot of care and maintenance. If you are not going to use your gear for a long time, it might not be of any use to you when you try it the next time.
However, if you do decide to rent the equipment, you must ensure that it is of acceptable quality. If it looks too old or if you think that it is not in good condition, you should ask your provider to arrange for other pieces. You may need to shop around a little to find top-quality rented equipment for a good price.
Markers usually range from $80 to $200. If you want small paintball handguns, then you can get them for less than $80. A top-notch paintball rifle might even cost you up to $700. However, for most people, a $120 marker will be more than enough.
While buying masks, it is important that you choose only anti-fog or thermal masks. They are available in the range of $30 to $70. Some funky masks might also cost you $135. However, it is important to ensure that you are paying because it really works and not just for the flaunt value. Safety should be your priority, not looks.
The air tanks cost you from $30 to $60, depending upon their type and volume. They are easily and cheaply refilled. However, you should keep in mind their expiration date. It is not legal to get a tank refilled after it has expired.
The paint balls come dirt cheap. You can buy a thousand of them for less than $20.
7. Where to Buy
The best place to but such merchandise is the internet. Most online stores sell paintball accessories and gear at very affordable prices and come with free shipping. However, if you know of a reputable hobby shop in your area, you should definitely try that. This is mainly because of warranty. If ever any problem arises with the guns or other equipment, it will be easier to get it serviced or replaced by your local merchant. If, in any case, you decide to buy from the internet, you should make sure you understand the warranty and returns policies from the merchant. Make sure that you are buying only reliable equipment so that it lasts a long time.