Do you hide?

Yeah it sounds a stupid thing to ask a sniper. Of course we do, hence the camouflage. We’d be lost without it. The question I got yesterday though was quite an interesting one, so I thought it worth an answer. “How do you build a sniper hide?”

I guess for most people, mention of a sniper hide conjures up images of a sniper team in a shallow trench, with all their kit, perhaps covered by camo netting or a shooting hide or similar. Sat for days, unnoticed, observing targets and perhaps passing that intelligence on. Its a bit too stationary for airsoft games, where things need to be done in hours rather than days, or less. The enemy would discover it fairly quickly on a small site. There’d be little point in setting up a hide at a skirmish.

I use hides a lot. I’ll explain…

If we break down the idea of a hide being a camouflaged sniper base, and think of it as a concealed firing position instead, it makes a lot more sense. It’s not somewhere you might spend a lot of time like real steel snipers, but will give you extra cover from sight and incoming fire (yeah, your leaf suit can’t do that) and hopefully offer a good vantage point over an area.

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Here’s a good example. A picture of Dirty Dog Airsoft in the UK (my local). Here is a very good vantage point for a sniper onto the village below, with pre built hard cover. While all the action was in and around the containers, I used to enjoy sitting at the top picking them off. However, there was a problem with being there. It was a very obvious sniper position. They knew I’d be there. The construct stands out at the top of the hill and once people know where you are, you’re in trouble. We can’t fight AEG users. Snipers have to stay hidden so the enemy can’t easily locate and eliminate us.

Heres another hide :

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Doesn’t look like much does it? There’s no roof. I wouldn’t spend days living in it. But it does the job of being a (lightly) concealed firing position.

Not brilliant from this angle, but from the front, I had put a couple of small branches just in front of the rifle to the right, to cover the right hand side and used the tree on my left to cover the other side. It’s hard to see, but there’s a natural dip where I’m lying which rises up in front and gives me a little bank to cover the bottom part of my profile. The camo does an okay job here too. This is a very basic hide, but shows the approach I take with firing positions. As with all things sniper, it’s about time, effort and preparation, rather than just buying off the shelf stuff.

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The hood makes this suit great but it was really hot so I’m a bit visible in the picture with the hood down. Thankfully this position had me covered from enemy players.

Unbeknown to the players and perhaps the site (unless they’re reading this), I sometimes sit a game out now and then or disappear on lunch for a little walk around the site. I look around for little covered firing positions that give me the biggest angles to shoot from, at key points where I know players will be, but not obvious places either. You want to be able to see across open ground too, otherwise your rifle is useless. Look for tufts of grass, ditches, and of course, vegetation to hide behind (but remember you need to see past it, so it may need a couple of twigs snapped or branches moved to give your rifle some room). Don’t make it look unnatural or man made, overdo it and it’ll look obvious. You don’t want people discovering these little positions and either ruining them, or using them against you. What else you use to build with will depend on what is available at the site. I once used a tire as partial cover and laid a couple of branches next to it, but be careful about moving man made items; players will notice if they’re not where they were. Natural stuff isn’t as recognisable, but use stuff in the immediate area. If it doesn’t grow where you put it, it will look odd.

And that’s all you need really. No roof over your head, or a hole to crap into. If you can make a few around your site, it means you can move from good firing position to good firing position during a game, staying mobile but having prepared places to help keep you covered and play to your strengths.

Hide.

 

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