Monday, April 5, 2010

Airsoft Tips: Using Support Gunners Strategically

One of the most important roles on the airsoft field is that of Support Gunner. Also known as Gunners, Machine Gunners and Automatic Rifleman, a Support Gunner is responsible for providing rapid, high-power fire in both defensive and offensive tactical capacities on the airsoft field. Not only are Gunners a critical strategic element, but they also have the good fortune of operating high-powered, rapid fire, high capacity SAWs (Squad Automatic Weapons.) An effective Gunner understands his or her weapon, the objective, and how enemy forces tend to move. They need not be fast and maneuverable, like snipers and infantry, but they must control their weapon to hold key areas of the battlefield.

The following is a list a specific uses for a Support Gunner on the airsoft field.

  • Offensive Ally Advancement. Perhaps the most traditional use of a Gunner is for ally advancement. The Gunner provides rapid, suppressive fire against enemy forces, which essentially forces the enemy into a protective stance, allowing allies to advance. There are two areas of risk to keep in mind with this strategy. The first is friendly fire. The Gunner needs to be aware of allied movement at all times and be able to separate the friend from foe on the field. The second is reloading. The enemy will naturally wait for a Gunner to run out of airsoft ammo and exploit that moment. For this reason, temper your rapid fire to include natural breaks. Army Gunners are trained to maintain a steady volume of shots, usually 7 or 8, with short breaks between. Not only does this prevent overheating, but it keeps your enemy guessing.

  • Defensive Suppressive Fire. Just as a Support Gunner can allow allied movement, they can also prevent enemy advancement. This is especially useful in games where guarding a target is critical, such as capture the flag. With this strategy, again, reloading can become an opportunity for the enemy. Long-term continuous rapid fire that suddenly stops is a dead giveaway that a Gunner is reloading and grants the enemy the opportunity to advance on the target.

  • Defensive Cover. Similar to defensive suppressive fire, defensive cover is useful during times of retreat or escape. The Gunner provides a wall of bullets to cover team members when they are pinned down or escaping, a popular scenario with games that involve evacuating hostages or prisoners. Gunners can also provide excellent defensive cover for medics who are helping a wounded player.

Since the main objectives of an effective Support Gunner are to suppress the enemy, provide cover, defend an area, or wipe out a large group of enemies, it is critical to choose an effective, rapid fire weapon. Once you have selected a powerful field weapon, train yourself. Being an effective Gunner is about more than spraying the field with bullets. It is an exhilarating experience that requires coordination, strength, training and discipline.

About the Author: Mike Zhang is the VP of Operations of Airsoft Megastore, an airsoft retailer offering electric and gas powered airsoft guns. Please visit Airsoft Megastore to shop for airsoft AEGs and airsoft blowback pistols, and check out out wide selection of airsoft clips.

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