Today's blog will be about playing a designated marskman role within your team. We’ve talked about designated marksman rifles (DMRs) as far as equipment goes as well as gave a brief overview of the role in a previous segment. If you’re curious about that you can check back on our previous video and blog.
When you go to your local airsoft field or event, you will be put into a role by default based on how your gun is modified and performs based on the rule set used by your local field or event host. At our local field for example, we have a DMR restrictions built around guns that shoot at up to 2 Joules, compared to the 1.5 Joule limit we have set for riflemen. With the DMR you are allowed that higher velocity, but your gun must be incapable of full auto fire and you must use a magnified optic. You also are required to observe a 75 foot minimum engagement distance (MED) as a courtesy to other players and for safety sake. If you must engage within that distance, you are required a sidearm or another gun that fits within rifleman limits.
Compared to your normal sniper role, the DMR offers a good hybrid of extended range play with some ability to assault objectives. You deliver accurate fire over volume compared to your teammates.
If you build your gun up nicely or have a nice shooting one with just some minor upgrades, you can enjoy fast, crisp, semi-auto laying down accurate fire for your team. One reason we have a magnified optic rule at our local field is because we don’t want to allow someone to play with an inappropriate airsoft gun that takes advantage of DMR velocity benefits and just using it as a platform to spam semi-auto shots. Some guns have really fast semi auto that rivals full auto so we have to draw the distinction there to keep people from breaking game balance. Other venues might enforce the weapon style for DMR classes to maintain a level of immersion for their patrons.
So how does one play the DM for their team?
So let’s say you’re playing with a group where everyone’s gun is pretty much stock or close to the field limit for a rifleman. It’s great to have rifleman class players who are flexible and can be the jack-of-all-trades around because these people will be the tip of the spear for your team. These people will push the objective during a game, deliver suppression, and do other things that your MED prevents you from doing. However, as a designated marksman, your job is to give them support from a distance to make all that happen. The whole point of playing a designated marksman at an airsoft game is 1) you prefer to have more range than your normal players and 2) you don’t mind trading away your full auto capability to get that extra edge. (Or perhaps you are lazy and want to hang back!) MEDs can vary from field to field so check with your venue what their rules and restrictions are before you start purchasing or modifying your equipment.
The first thing you can do is help observe. With a magnified optic you can see further than your teammates and you can call out threats and objectives being moved upon so your team can react. That type of information is very helpful for your team and having that edge can help you crush your opponents.
Another thing you can do is extend the range of your fireteam. You don’t have to have a legitimate team or group you play with. In this instance, you might find some teammates pinned down or trapped. You as the designated marskman can easily help them push up and take more ground with your rifle. That extra bit of range might be enough to outclass your opponents who were keeping your teammates down. If I’m playing a designated marksman, I always find opportunities like this to help out. Likewise, if I am embedded in a group of players and we’re not making progress, I will often single out someone on my team who has the setup that can get us that edge and ask them to put down some accurate fire.
One more thing you can do is provide overwatch. That means you can cover your teams advance as they push up. Or you can watch over an area while your team is trying to accomplish an objective. Since you have your MED you can’t be pushing up that close anyway, but you should be able to form yourself a nice perimeter.
Playing this role, there are many subtle nuances you have to be mindful of like MED and equipment modifications. I think if you put yourself in a position to help your team win rather than just kill farming, I think this style of gameplay is very rewarding in its own right and certainly worth giving a go.