Alright crew, welcome back to Ghosts school of paintball, class is now in session so pick up your guns, put on your masks and get ready.
We already went over those first key seconds of a game for a front runner but what about the guy who is the real meat of the team? The Chessmaster? The one who keeps glory hog front player like me in the kill zone and out of the dead box? Well let's take it from the top:
Walk the field: I think people are starting to get sick of me saying this, but knowing your field is more important then anything as a back player. You need to be able to watch someone out of the corners of both eyes at the same time and know exactly (not guess) where those people are going. Something to think about is to ask a front "Where would you go off the break?" The first thing to find on any field is what is called the "Key 3, 5,7 or 10". These are the bunkers that 50%+ of the teams will hit off the break. Once you can imagine where they will go you can direct your battlefield.
Coordinate: Your front and you should be thinking as one, but remember all he can see is a wall of bunker, you have to fill in his gaps for him. If he looks left to shoot cross field you had better be looking at his right for someone to come do him. If your front does not trust you to keep him safe from getting bunkered he can't focus on his job. So while you may be in charge of the field, your front decides which side of the field you look at by the way he is playing.
Communication: Oh, you think this is a no brainer? We do a little drill at PSU where we force our back players to play front and our fronts to play back...guess what those backs find out very fast? They can see jack! A well communicated to team is a happy team. So let him know everything....and I mean everything. The number of times I hear someone yell "Back can is hot" I shake my head as I know he might as well have told his team "I like chocolate Ice cream"...it would have given them the same amount of useful information. Your team needs to know what bunker, coming out of what side, high or low, what color gun he has, what color shoes he has, who he is shooting at...every bit of information. You want your front to one ball that guy who is pinching you? Then you need to tell him "Back right stand up, coming out of the left side, he's showing his hopper and left foot to me, he's standing up and he's pinching my right side." Now your team knows all they need to know to mess the guy up.
Be calm: It's tough to beleive and sometimes tough to do but whatever you are doing emotionally moves up the field. Remember, your fronts are trusting you. When they hear you yell "I'm getting lit to S**T" or "I can't see any of them" One thing goes into my head "I'm dead". So no matter what, keep your team calm and collective. Larry (my back center) is the best at this. He knows when the count gets down I start to get antsy. Not a single game goes by that I don't hear "Breath Rob, stay tight and shoot your gun, Look left I got your right..."
Keying: One of the best powers of a back player is to change an entire game at the break. When you get into your start you need to examin the other team. Look how their players are standing, and follow their eyes. You can 90% of the time tell exactly where they are going off the break. When the whistle blows you need to get your gun up fast...don't worry about getting hit, most of the time the amount of paint coming at you will be limited and so far off it won't break. What you do want to do is to aim at the bunker where your target is moving to. DO NOT AIM AT HIM....he is running, your shoots wil miss. You want to send a straight beam to a spot that you know he is going to run through. It is very tough as the natural reaction si to aim at your target and not to waste paint on the grass...but when you see him run right into a laser beam of paint it's all worth it.
Play your position: Way too many times I see back players move up to, or even past their fronts. Yes it is much more exciting in the front, but your team needs you where they put you, and you must follow your plan...stay put.
Painting: When you take aim at a player (even moreso a good front) remember that they try to snap shoot. It's tough for them to change positions alot in those small bunkers and human nature tells them to repeat what worked the last second. So if someone pops out of a bunker chances are they will do it from that side again. Also remember 93% of the world is right handed...so they will be coming out of you left side the majority of the time. Now all you have to do is send paint to where they head is going to be...don't shoot at the bunker, shoot just to the side of it, so when they come out again you've already got your shots in the air. A good front can snap shoot fast enough that you won't be able to pull the trigger before he is back in his hole...so it's important to beat him to it.
Chessmaster on the field: The back center is the chessmaster of the field. He makes the calls and there should be no doubting his word, for anything. This puts a lot of pressure on the back center so make sure it is someone you trust. He is also the communication HUB on the field. Information can move from the left tape front, to his back, to the center, to the right back, to the right tape front. Without the middle men the two fronts could never talk. As chessmaster though you have to be able to think for not only yourself, but the other 2,4,6, or 9 other people on the field. Watch a good team play. The back center is prolly going nuts, It prolly sounds like one long run on setance "Keppy look left Allen look right to cover Keppy's right Rob do the center 50 Pat cover Rob's run to the center I got your left Rob Pat watch the snake turn 2 is hot!"
Duck and cover: So what is your mission on the field other then PA system? In reality your not expected to get many kills. If you do, great. But what your looking for are the angles, you want your fronts to be able to dance to their bunker in a bright pink too-too while you make any opponent think that Thor the God of thunder is on the other side of his bunker and want is ....NOW! I heard a good comeabck that explains it rather well a front and back were talking "If I'm your remote control death machine, then your my laser defence turret". An opponent who can't even hear themselves think, or is too scared to come out of their cover for sake of getting hit, is a crippled opponent.....and I pick on cripples
Playing back is one of those positions that gets very little credit for doing all the work. Sure you may not walk off with any kills, but your fronts know who is really their God on the field. I know there is no feeling in the world like working with someone you trust enough to sprint in front of his line of fire and know 100% that there will be a 3 ball gap for you to run through....