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Last Revision: 1.24.2007

On Snipers and Sniping


My opinions, when it comes to snipers and sniping, have changed drastically over the years.  I think that for most Nerfers, when starting out, sniping is without a doubt their golden ticket to glory on the battlefield.  I was no different when I began modifying, as my thoughts constantly came back to "If only I could just get hold of one of those crossbows."  A Blowgun was my standard for a long time, but it still didn’t come close to what I imagined a sniper should really be capable of.


Fascinating, then, I find it, that when I finally “became a man” and held my first Crossbow, my thought process was already shifting.  At first, I was gung-ho to fulfill my dream.  I set upon modifying it with fervor.  But by the time Armageddon 2005 came around, after using my crossbow in two major wars plus three clan wars, I wasn't seeing myself camping for the distance shot all that much.  I found myself closer in, maneuvering and shooting.  I had some serious aim and a heck of a shot, but I wasn't sniping.


I was, put simply, sharpshooting, and this is a perfectly legitimate alternative.  It's not every day you can watch someone take a shot, track their dart with your eyes, eighty, ninety feet, to their target.  It is as effective as it is incredible and intimidating.  But most importantly of all, it gets the job done and keeps you safe at the same time.  But rarely will one find him or herself with the opportunity to do this.


The “Sniper’s Weapon” in nerf has been debated time and time again.  The legitimacy of a sniper in our garage sale sport has been beaten to death and back again.  But it may still have a place.  Depending on your terrain, you may very well find yourself with excellent opportunity to actually camp for the shot, and do some incredible damage.  But alas, this is always not the case.  If you play in wooded areas, there is a very good chance that holing up in a bush for a few minutes may present a very nice, juicy target to go for.  But are you going to shoot at that target while it’s still ninety feet away?  Of course you aren’t!  But will you remain in your position of concealment, allowing this opponent to come closer, and then take him out?  Absolutely!  It makes perfect logical sense.


When sniping is put down as related to nerf, the leading argument has always been that snipers will set up camp, but all that has to happen is one missed shot and they will be rushed.  That should come as no surprise.  No matter what position you find yourself playing, if you miss a shot, your opponents will (or should) rush at you to take advantage of your lack of defense.  So in reality, a person in a “sniper” role is in just as threatened a position as any other on the field.


This is why most find that the term “Sharpshooter” fits them better, because it alludes to more movement on the part of the player, and less waiting.  It is a player who is still close in and on the front lines, but still maintains the standard of the distance shot.


So why all of the fuss?


Hollywood has glorified the title of Sniper through such movies as “Enemy at the Gates” and others excessively, but has also then tainted their persona.  Those very experienced in the nerfing world have not found success with head-to-toe camouflage and a good spot to sit, so the line is drawn there.  But if we all keep an open mind about it, I believe sniping could become considered less like a thing, and more like an action.  A Nerfer is a Nerfer, is a Nerfer.  So then what is there to stop any Nerfer from taking to a bush, waiting for an opponent to approach, and pop them?


I will always refuse to ghille up and take to the brush in an army crawl and chew on saltines while waiting for the perfect shot.  I will always consider myself a well-rounded player with an affinity for Sharpshooting.  But I still feel that there is a place for sniping, when used as an action.  When executed properly, it can be one of the deadliest weapons in the game, so long as the player selects the right time and place for its use.


These are just a few thoughts to keep in the back of your mind.  I do not believe that Sniper is a role to be actively sought after.  But the action thereof cannot hurt your performance.  In fact, it may very well enhance it.  In the right place and the right time, sniping as an action is justifiable and has a purpose.


Yours in Foam,