The more I watch the global sniper community on social media, the more I see people willing to show sometimes a little too much. Between ourselves, when it comes to tech or ghillie work, sharing these ideas is a great thing. Ideas can get passed around and developed, analysed, criticised (see Mission : Critical), before coming back as a viable solution. But how much is it wise to share?
I’ve always been open about sharing info to help others with gear, camouflage and tactics. And hopefully a lot of other stuff inbetween. I’ve never charged for it, nor excluded anyone from it either. It makes sense to me to have snipers working together, as a minority on the field, in order to show that we can be competitive. Increasingly so in the face of huge technological advances in airsoft that have really improved our opponents, yet left us standing still. We still largely run single shot weapons in an age of high speed spray and pray tactics.
One thing I don’t share though, are my personal tactics. Yes, I wrote the Tactics Guide. I do believe in everything in there. But I wouldn’t show where I hide at my local site for example. Or what routes I take through the site; that information is between me and my buddy only. And yet the growing number of gameplay videos, when you think about it, are doing exactly that. These players are willingly showing people how they play, where they hide, and what tactics they employ, in exchange for a number of subscribers. It almost feels a little suicidal. Why give away your advantages and hand them to the opponent? In addition, due to the popularity of some videos, it can cast a very large spotlight on snipers at airsoft sites, both good and unfortunately the bad, which has implications for us all if, for example, event organisers decide we must all be aiming for heads or breaking rules. Already I know of sites that have increased MED’s to almost unworkable distances, or banned ghillie suits, because of this negative attention brought upon us
If your game is stealth, and it should be unless you’re on a static shooting range or playing cqb (MED though), then showing everyone where you are is a bit counter intuitive. It’s a bit like scoring a nice clean kill in a game, and jumping up and shouting “that was me! Look at me here! I killed you from this spot!”.
So too, the positioning in a game and revealing yourself unnecessarily. Speaking to a couple of good snipers this evening, they were recounting times when they switched to pistols to storm an objective building. I replied that I didn’t carry a pistol, and didn’t see it as my job to go rushing buildings. Thinking about it afterwards, it would mean you getting up and revealing your position, to then run forward and take an objective (that the aeg lot should be doing arguably). I applaud the skill and aggression, but I’d be very wary of where I was coming from.
Although there are times when you’ll get rumbled anyway, try to minimise how much you give away to the other players. One of the old tactics was never to go straight to your position from a safety brief, where you’ll be watched. Do a zig zag or disappear into the terrain before changing direction to throw people off. Either that, or try and sneak out before anyone else starts moving (or set up the night before…).
As above, my sniper buddy knows how I play and I will always ask his advice. Then I know that he knows where I am/should be, my likely behaviour, and vice versa. Nobody else in the world needs to know that.
Stealth is stealth, its not an opportunity to set off fireworks and yell “LOOK AT ME!”. It’s about details and building as much of an advantage as possible.
Be careful when showing your hand.