In the previous article of The Sport of Airsoft vs. The Sport of Paintball, we established one of the major differences between the two sports is the actual guns, and not necessarily the cost. I would now like to turn to the conditions of each sport and what they entail. I have recently seen more and more professional Paintball games being played and broadcasted on Television.
I watch the teams compete and the strategy they import to the playing fields. With no offense towards these Paintball teams, I have to say I don't see much strategy used, especially in "SpeedBall." It always seems to come down to the same thing and same strategy for every team. Get your sprinters to get in close, making sure the first line is spread out while the back field players shoot as much and as fast as they can. Now, I know that most people think that this is strategy, but in my experience any Joe Blow who can move their index and middle finger fast enough can get into the sport.
When I first started participating in Paintball games I had a rental gun that wasn't so accurate or effective from a long distance. I remember that a guy on the other team had a great gun with a double tap trigger and stood in the very back of the field shooting tons of paint towards our team. I understand that he was using the only strategy that he knew to work, but to me that contradicts the game. In that specific case there is no sport involved, it has everything to do with equipment. I could only imagine if they had five other people standing back there doing the same thing. How much fun would that be? So is strategy involved in Airsoft, or a better strategy that involves more than just equipment? I want to make a note that better equipment will definitely optimize your sport experience, but I don't think a sport should solely rely on having the best equipment.
It takes the fun out of the game and sooner or later it takes the strategy out as well. Personally, I would much rather be holding a sniper rifle with a long range scope, backing my team up from an elevated level several hundred feet behind them and making sure that their every move is safe. Or posted on the flank while skirmishing through a thick set of woods holding an M16 fully-automatic machine gun, backed up with a 9milimeeter strapped to my ankle incase I needed it for some close combat. Gaming can take place in an open field with no barriers or a 100-yard field full of trees, brush, and bushes. This all happens while talking on the radio, knowing every location my team is in. This makes for some extreme planning and strategy, not to mention some extreme fun.
So what sport is emerging and what sport is becoming the 'equipment war' rather than a sport? When it comes to The Sport of Airsoft versus The Sport of Paintball I would have to choose Airsoft, and not just because of the costs or the clean up, but simply because of the realistic features and adventures involved. From the guns to the gaming it makes more sense to have fun in a realistic game of warfare without the death part. In any case, when it comes to sport, I would have to say crawling on the ground under brush or posting yourself 35 feet in the air decked out in camouflage sniping people from an elevated position is more sport than standing in the back of a field loading and shooting, loading and shooting as fast as you can.
In other words I think it is evident which sport is actually emerging and unfortunately which equipment race is on its way out.
PJ Ace is a writer and administrator for Flynt Airsoft & Paintball, a site that specializes in Airsoft and Paintball.