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The Run-Through

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Picture yourself behind a bunker on the edge of a field during a heated match. You peak out and shoot a burst of paint, only to be driven back by an opponent who has the angle on you. You look to your left and your teammate is stuck in the same situation in the middle of the field. Your back man is still going strong, but the far side of the field is collapsing and your team is down bodies. What do you do? It's time for the most exciting move in paintball - the run-through, more aptly described as a mad dash to glory.

Comparable to an interception for a touchdown in football, a successful run-through can change the direction of a game, whether it's speedball, woodsball or scenario. It not only has the potential of decimating the other team's numbers, it also shifts momentum and puts the other team on their heels. All it takes is a willingness to run and a lot of luck.

Ideally, a run-through will take place in only two situations - when you heavily outnumber the other team or you're heavily outnumbered. When you get ready to run, you should make sure of three things: the route you're going to run, the location of the opposing players and who is going to help you. The first two necessities are self explanatory, but the third is what can make all the difference.

When you prepare to run, you need to open up a window of opportunity. Depending on the situation, there are two good ways of doing this - pinning your opponents for a moment or giving a decoy. In the first scenario, your teammates will lay down a burst of fire to get your opponents to drop their heads just long enough for you to make your move. If that doesn't work, one of your buddies is going to have to become a guinea pig and put himself in the line of fire to draw the attention of the other team - this could be the back man stepping out and shooting from the open, a middle player moving sideways to another bunker or even another run-through on the other side of the field. Whatever the distraction, once it's made the key is to not hesitate and to run like mad. Keep your gun up and shoot at anything that moves. With a perfect run-through you will be able to make it to an occupied bunker, eliminate the player there and then have an angle on the other players on the opposing team.

The sad truth about the run-through is that it typically doesn't work out. For every time I've flanked a team and eliminated a bunch of players, there have been multiple runs stopped short with a burst of paint to my goggles or chest. While the odds aren't great that you'll pull a James Bond and beat the odds and win the envy of your team, if you're down late, the risk of victory sure beats hunkering down just waiting to get shot.

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