Sometimes I wonder if the topics I use and language I explain them with the is the reason I don't get more traffic on the blog but I hope those who have been reading along this far have realised I'm trying to make the content appeal to as wide an audience as possible without them having to break out the Paintball to English dictionary. Today's topic is probably something that a lot of die hard paintballers are familiar with but one that those novices such as the majority population from my local field are only slightly aware of. Like that which exists between airsoft and paintball, there is still another rift sitting between speedball and milsim paintballers which I only started to become fully conscious of in early 2010.
|They don't Look the Part at First, But These are Some of the|
More Terrifying Guns to Encounter on the field
There's a lot of attitude in competitive speedball, no denying that. Plenty of speedball teams I've heard of and have had friends on and even speedballers who don't have a team yet just seem to hate each other and given that I haven't played speedball in any sort of professional capacity I can't say I know precisely where it comes from. Maybe it's cheater modes on their electric guns, adrenaline, testosterone, paint wipers, bounces, bonus ballers, lousy ref calls, or some kind of superiority complex that accompanies high end sponsorships and worrying about losing a top spot. It could be any number of those things but there's friction there and the attitude seems to instill fear in regular ballers and Milsimmers and they don't want that around so they ostracize anyone with a gun that isn't black or olive drab. Crazy, right? I do know of several fields and leagues who will literally turn anyone with a speedball gun away, sometimes even if the gun just resembles one, like a 70$ Spyder Victor. This happens for two reasons: the aforementioned fear of overpowered guns and attitude and another sillier reason: becuase “they don't look real.”
I won't lie, I've met some of the god-awful whiny speedballers before but I've also met some really great ones who follow rules better than field employees, and come to play with a great attitude and I get choked to think of someone as dedicated as any milsimmer getting turned away from a scenario big game because of the color or nature of his gun. Almost reminiscent of racism, no? Surely the problem can be solved between the two camps if the speedballers who demonstrate they know how to adapt, grab a 50 round hopper, and play nice are allowed to stay while the rest who just can't stomach the thought of shooting that little paint are turned away though...
Not so. Speedballers don't really have a hope of trying to argue a point or play with people who have this sacred-cow-of-milsim mindset. If they lose to someone with a magazine fed marker it's because they play carelessly, aren't picking their shots, and sling paint willy nilly. If they win it's because they're wielding a grossly over powered, rope throwing paintball gun which is unfair to possess on the field. Talk about double-bind situations, there's just no winning, even for the good sports. The strangest thing is that I still know of judgemental milsim paintballers like that who praise guns like the BT TM7 and TM15 which are Invert Mini speedball guns in assault rifle clothing and it really aggravates me when they pull that sort of epic cognitive FAIL!
So let's break it down: there's a lot of milsim paintballers who think the lot of speedball players are whiny cheaters with space guns and clown clothes (which I might add are much higher quality than any battle dress uniform I've ever tried out). Then there are a lot of speedball players who find milsimmers to be closed minded ballers who play paintball while over encumbered by their heavy milspec gear. I'm going to drop the issue here though because it's as annoying to write about as it is to see on forums and the field and I'll explain a few reasons why some players are like this in a week or two.
A fun day of paintball depends on two things: rules and player attitude. If the field or event you play at imposes a rule of no automatic markers, no ramping, and a semi auto cap of 10-15 balls per second, then an experienced Tippmann Custom 98 operator should be fairly evenly matched when facing a speedball gun. If someone with a gun capable of exceeding the caps in these rules can tone down their gun then there's no reason to not allow them to play. Attitude wise, a whiny milsimmer is just as bad as a whiny speedballer who won't swap out his Dye Rotor for a gravity fed hopper. Preferential treatment should not be granted to the milsim player on account of his gun looking like a Colt M4 while speedballers resembles a Ferrari. With caps imposed or not, both milsim and speedball guns can serve great purposes if used cooperatively with each other. If we saw a 'fusion' of the two play types we might just be able to make some magic happen.