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Rules of Paintball Mercy Kill – Should I have pulled the trigger?

Alright, it was an excellent opening day for our local scenario club.  I was in the mood to get warmed up.  Through the course of three hours, I fired 53 rounds and eliminated 7 players, in each case without being detected.  1 player was a mercy kill when he nearly stepped on me.  4 of the other 6 players received two balls, center mass(ish).  I typically will fire two quick rounds, just in case, from my hide.

BUT, here’s the one that gets my goat.

It was a “3 team” scenario.  Prison break style.  Two teams, each trying to get to the opposite side of the prison grounds with 6 snipers occupying towers/buildings in the middle.  I opted to be alone in a building with two doors.

Long story short, after I eliminated three guys, a fourth figured out I was sniping in the building.  I heard him stack up on the other side of my wall.  I crouched down, pointed my barrel to where his chest would show up and waited.  He entered by sticking his gun around the corner and calling “Mercy” on me.  As he entered his gun, hopper and hand all went right in front of my barrel.  Then his head comes around the corner just after he called mercy.

Here’s my question to you.

Should I have pulled the trigger and blapped him?

Should I have accepted his “mercy” kill?

Should I have called a “mercy” as well?

What say you fellow snipers?

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50 Comments

  1. Jarrid
    Posted April 22, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    I dont have to read this to know the situation and yes you should’ve blasted his a&^ cause imo if some one was dump enough to call mercy on me i’d turn around and shoot the sh%$ outta him.

  2. Michael
    Posted April 22, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    if the rule was optional then no. while i am personally a proponent of the rule, it is still optional. the only time that i get upset is when i have somebody dead to rights, they have no idea that im there, and they refuse to take it. in this situation, im being nice and feel that a good sportsman will realize this and accept the surrender. however if the person is aware of my presence then the story changes completely and i hold no ill-will if they decide to not take the surrender. but as stated in your situation i would say no.

  3. Austin
    Posted April 22, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    He chose to enter a CQC situation. You had the prepared advantage and he should understand those types of situations end up with people getting shot under close circumstances. Next time, shoot him.

  4. bonescraps
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    Yeah as long as there was an option, I would’ve shot him. If you’re worried about hurting him, you could’ve just shot the crap out of his gun and hopper!

  5. Chillistarr
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Depends on the rules of the day. If someone has the skills to get close enough to offer a surrender without being spotted, I’ve no problem taking that, and will shake their hand after the game, but in this situation, you both knew each other’s position, it’s a CQ deal…I’d have shot the marker if gun hits counted, or the hand when it appeared, or if I was feeling charitable, wait till some other solid bit of kit appeared. I’d be more wound-up about the potential for blind-firing in this case. Squeeze the trigger.

  6. Cither
    Posted April 24, 2010 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    Shoot him. If he calls mercy while not having a visual on you… That’s his fault.

  7. Boogyman
    Posted April 25, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    I’d have definately popped a couple his way. Even if mercy rule is applied, it should be that a distinct advantage on you. As he was still on the other side of the wall about to enter, he did not even know if you were in the room, much less on the other side of the wall. If he had of made it into the room without you knowing and got behind you then called mercy from behind your back(what i woulda done) that’d be a decent mercy to take.

  8. cool0
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    Ive been the guy comming arround the corner exactly like that. I knew exactly where the guy was I could have shot him very easily. I yelled surrender and he freaked out and shot my gun afew times(gun hits don’t count). then he called himself out. I found myself in the exact same possition 3 weeks ago. same corner same situation. except this time I came arround fireing. guess what, I nailed him. It’s a good thing that I was low on co2 because if I wasn’t that would have really hurt him because all he was wearing was a t-shirt.

    Here’s my question to you.

    Should I have pulled the trigger and blapped him?

    not at that range. I shot a guy in the mask once and he started bleading because the shell fragments went through his mask vents.

    Should I have accepted his “mercy” kill?

    I would have.

    Should I have called a “mercy” as well?

    no, double mercys never work out well.

  9. Weedlayer
    Posted April 29, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    No way… I know it sucks and all, but at those distances, your paintball gun can do some damage, break the skin, draw blood, and the like. Even if there is no safety range rule in place, it’s still a good idea not to hurt your opponent. I mean, you never know who it could be. Some of the teams that I play have teen age kids on them, so rather than hurt one, I’ll surrender if need be and recover my dignity the next match. Take the high road on sportsmanship. Besides, not everyone wears body armor.

    That being said, I am back on this 53 shots thing from a hide. My main is a Tiberius T-4 with First Strike. (I keep a Tiberius 8.1 with FS for backup and close encounters of the ugly kind). When I fire it’s a fair bet that anyone out to 100 yds has a good idea of my direction, and when I miss, my round whistles when it goes by. My question to you would be *how* you kept your rifle quiet enough to get off 53 shots and take seven players *before* the last one figured it out????

  10. Boogyman
    Posted May 2, 2010 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Weedlayer, try re-reading that, its over the course of 3 hours. so he’s under 20 shots/hr(a shot roughly every 3 minutes if taken 1 at a time) and a skilled sniper DOESN’T stay in the same location, as once he makes numerous shots from the same location, he’ll be found. AND the part where he got mercied, was a whole different story, cause it says he’s taken out 3 people and the 4TH figures out where he was. so the first story to my guess is, over the course of an entire day, and the mercy question is just a round out of an entire play.

  11. tritowns
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    We play, lead with your head, or no blind fire. Accept a mercy from someone that can’t even see you? Are you kidding? I would have shot him as he entered the room.

  12. CHRIS
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Pointing his gun around the corner and calling mercy? I wouldn’t have taken it. Shoot the gun (assuming they count… which they always should) and call it a day. This is all assuming the mercy is a voluntary call.

  13. MIDNIGHT
    Posted May 13, 2010 at 4:30 am | Permalink

    Just a few thoughts here guys…

    First off, on my field, the definition of a “Mercy Kill” is as follows, and my arguments are based of that definition. A mercy kill is where you sneak up on someone unawares to within a range that could cause considerable trauma to an inexperienced player. You then MUST offer that player the chance to surrender or “Mercy” without being shot at close range to prevent injury. That player then has the option to accept the Mercy or to turn and fire. Granted this puts the attacking player at a considerable disadvantage, but it’s honourable and gives the defending player a chance to get out without being hurt… but the key point here is that the attacking player HAS a visual while the defender does not.

    Therefore, in your situation, CQC where both players know that the other is there, the mercy rule simply DOES NOT APPLY. That player chose to enter CQC, and he had the right idea. Given his position, I would have made you an offer of 1 for 1. In other words, I’d be yelling into the room “I don’t want to be shot at close range bud! And I don’t want to tag you at this range either, so I’ll offer you a deal! I’ll walk off, call myself out, if you do the same. We can sort this out next game! What do you say?!”

    A simple yes or no from my opponent usually does the trick at this point. I get my “kill” and so does he and we both don’t end up bleeding.

    More over, I’d like to point out because the other player didn’t have a visual on you, I would have done the following. First off, he calls Mercy… remember, you are NOT OUT until YOU ACCEPT! Don’t accept, pop two into the wall he’s behind, then get into the position you mentioned and wait. He’s libel to come charging through that door just like you said… BUT YOU DON’T HAVE TO SHOOT HIM! There is a universal rule in paintball, that since the invention of semi-auto and full-auto markers isn’t used all that much anymore. BARREL TAG! Wait for those hands and gun to come around the corner and then tap his hand with your barrel. Guarentee he’ll fall over, and if any argument arises and you tell a ref you barrel tagged his hand, the ref will call him out.

    This is one of my favorite methods when I am compromised and don’t have anywhere to go, and in many situations, the contact of a barrel on a person freaks out that player so much that they practically fall over. If you’re worried about that player swinging and shooting regardless of the tag, grab the marker GENTLY and push it away with your free hand while aiming with your gun hand. Granted it breaks the physical contact rule on many fields, but it’s for safety sake, and the effect usually causes some great stories back in the staging area after the game.

  14. Pat
    Posted May 17, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Doug,
    A question for you.
    What would a Scout have done?
    Better yet…
    What would Grandfather have done?
    You both knew he was dead already. Calling mercy just shows he knew
    he was finished. I have no problem with it.
    Yet on the other (evil) hand … no pain no gain. I probably
    would have shot him. I admire your restraint.

  15. Posted May 30, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    i would have shot for one reason….( and i dont know if he did) did he repeat himself? if not i would have shot him

  16. Ghost
    Posted June 3, 2010 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    I agree with MIDNIGHT 100%. That’s what I have had to do in the past. I have even been able to crawl up next to an opponent on the other side of a barrier peak around on their blind side and barrel tap them and be ready with my free hand to grab a barrel swinging around toward my face. Had one guy try to argue it, had the ref come over and call it. Ref called him out and he was a bad sport about it and left for the day.

  17. rOYCE
    Posted July 13, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Okay heres the deal… As stated in other post, he knew you were there and you knew he was there… he had no visual on you and from the sounds of it was already engaged… Its close quarters combat… i say shoot.

  18. Steven R.
    Posted August 26, 2010 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    In my opinion if the guy can not see you when he yells mercy then you don’t have to accept it, exspecially if he’s still walking towards you He obviously can’t see you if his gun is not even pointed in your direction and is just hoping to get the mercy without a fight. You should of blasted him and let him know that he was looking in the wrong spot.

  19. justin
    Posted September 20, 2010 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    I don’t know thw layout of the building you were in, but it sounds like you would have had the upper hand. I would have given the player the option to surrender, as they didn’t have an exact location on your position. If the surrendeer wasn’t accepted, then I would have taken the shot.

  20. austin
    Posted October 9, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    you should have blasted him i have a rule he/she has 1.33 seconds to say mercy or light him up
    its not your fault. ive had a guy who has shot me in the neck when i asked him to surrender. i had the barrel right next to his chest. plus he was not even looking my way i was hiding and shot me so next time dont hessitate

  21. Michael
    Posted October 11, 2010 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    in this case you should have shot him. the mercy rule is only effective when you sneak up up on someone from behind. the fact that you heard him hit your wall must have made him think that you knew he was there also. it was stupid of him to call mercy.

  22. Adge
    Posted October 22, 2010 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    If he had eyes on me at that close range I may have taken the mercy but I agree with everyone else. I would have shot him. But be aware of the consequences. If this guy was an asshole he probably would have lit you up. Every else I have played, the mercy rule is always optional, unless they physically touch you.

  23. Dan
    Posted December 30, 2010 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Had similar encounter in woodsball. After belly inching for 15 or twenty minutes to get within range of a guy (40 or 50 feet) who was sitting in a hide with what he thought was good concealment ( only from his left flank though). I came up on his right and when I felt it would connect, I took the shot. Hit him in the shoulder. Said he didnt even hear it fired.
    After getting him I went to take his position, pretty quick, as I was now beind the enemy lines. He had a counterpart who was really well concealed. Him, I did not see and was standing 2 feet from him and did not know it. All i hear is ” I could shoot you where you stand” and i looked for a split second and then raised my hand to surrender the shot.
    Touche’

  24. jonathan oliver
    Posted January 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    surrender rules are always tricky, on the site i work at, almost everone forgets to call it and just shoots the crap out of eachother. our rule is that if you call the surrender within 3 meters the player you surrendered is out and it’s non optional. it’s a pain to get surrendered because you always feel cheated, but at the end of the day if someone gives you the option of getting out without being shot point blank that’s a good thing, if it was the other way around would you use the surrender rule.

  25. craig
    Posted January 13, 2011 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    I would have taken the mercy, he was the attacker and he called mercy on you in which you should take it, it would just be bad sportsmanship to shoot him when he called mercy on you because he was nice enough not to run around the corner shooting full auto trying to light you up. You should do the same to him.

    Also if you said mercy back you should be the one going back, the aggressor wins mercy situations.

  26. Lily Blaike
    Posted February 25, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    It’s scenario. Pull the trigger.

  27. Nichole
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    I may not be a sniper (yet), but I had a similar situation once.
    I was hiding behind a small barrier w/my team-mate, when I looked over and saw a guy from the opposite team move up really close, behind another small barrier in front of us. He had no idea we were there, until he came out of hiding. I surprised him, jumping up and saying “surrender”. Ended up getting shot. lol
    At the time, it was frustrating (me being a total newbie, and still am). But now I’ve learned from it, and I’m going to shoot if they don’t surrender. Putting myself in his shoes, I wouldn’t have surrendered either.

  28. Posted April 11, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    My opinion on this situation involves the following variables:

    1) Experience of the sniper vs. mercy caller.
    2) Rate of entrance into the room.
    3) Field rules regarding blind firing and mercy kills.
    4) Sniper distance from room entrance.

    I think I agree with the player who said pop some shots at the doorway before he even attempts to enter. This shows him that you know he’s there, and that you will shoot, so there is no question in his mind.

    I do think you did the right thing though. It’s frustrating, but nothing in paintball is perfect. I think once I walked off I would ask a ref to restate/clarify the rules of “Mercy Kills” to everyone before the next match, and ask clarifying questions. This keeps you from having to call him out, but still ensures that he knows how it should play out in the future.

    Also, I never hit someone point blank. Personally I think that’s a speedball-only technique, and I don’t play speedball.

  29. Justin
    Posted May 4, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    I have a feeling I would have shot him as soon as I saw him and blamed instinct :).

  30. Copperhead
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 3:20 am | Permalink

    With the mindset of the guys I play with I would have opened up on him.

    We try the mercy rule only if we get close enough to touch the opposing player in the shirt with the barrel or if we have a newbie to the game. With that being said I have got within touching distance of opposing players a few times but usually they try to turn & shoot back (I would do the same). The way we see it is a little blood wont kill you, sure it’ll hurt for a while, but you will heal.
    At the end of the day nobodys mad at anybody else if somebodys skin breaks, cause we all understand the rules and we aint panzies. (shoot or take a chance at being shot)

  31. Caleb
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    I would NOT have shot him… I have been hit at point blank and would not want to shoot someone else like that. We normally play with a 10-15ft limit.

    Also if you are playing with say like little kids 12 and under you don`t want to blast them at close range.

  32. Owen
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I know that it was said ages ago (April 24 2010), but I have to agree with Cipher.

    Technically he should not have called for your mercy as he didn’t have a visual on you, and in my book anyone who gives away his position or makes mistakes like deserves to be shot

  33. Ted
    Posted June 25, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    It depends on the person you are playing with. If they were anything like the guys I play with, shoot away. If not they will shoot me. Now, if he was close enough I would have barrel tagged him. Otherwise, anyone who calls a mercy without seeing where you are and assuming you will give up deserves to get shot. Just my opinion.

  34. Ghost
    Posted July 4, 2011 at 4:29 am | Permalink

    The fact is, you never know which player will except your ‘mercy’ kill. I myself am a ‘never surrender’ type, and I laugh at the idea of someone surrendering me… I am fully prepared to take a point blank paintball hit, and honestly, as a sniper, I assume I will be shown no mercy and so I head into the game with that mindset. I would have hit him with my standard two shots (I do that too 🙂 I call it the kill shot and the insurance shot). Barrel tagging is another thing I mock. Is there a paint hit from a barrel tag? Then I’m not out, sorry BANG! Being a good sport is all well and good, but like I said, you never know what that guys mindset is gonna be; he might whirl on you spraying. Just shoot!

  35. Matt
    Posted July 6, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    I agree with copperhead if you close enough to touch your close enough to mercy. I assume you weren’t going to head shot this guy as he walked in. One to the hand or gun should sufice. Its a cowardly move to mercy when you have no visual. Take the shot.

  36. Infamous
    Posted July 24, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    In my opinion, the mercy rule has two principles to meet: safety and sportsmanship. Both are designed to avoid the situation shown on youtube link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mAX0njd8x0 ; go forward to 1:20 to see the moment in question). How does that promote or expand the sport? Don’t we want people to come back and invite friends?

    Both situations require the shooter to have an immediate, pending shot before yelling mercy, not just blindly calling out mercy within range of an opponent. Barrel is on the target. Almost all such situations involve some sort of blind spot and/or surprise.

    If safety is the primary concern, then the mercy rule is mandatory. If a player comes within a certain distance of an opponent (10-20 ft), the player/shooter must yell “mercy” and the opponent must call themselves out immediately. The “touch” version seems more appropriate in tag than paintball at 280-300 fps.

    If sportsmanship (courtesy) is the primary goal, then mercy is optional. The player yells “mercy” as a courtesy but the opponent is not mandated to comply. If the opponent does not clearly call themselves out in a split second, both can shoot.

    So, based on your description. your opponent did not actually see you; you saw them. In my opinion, it was your responsibility to yell mercy. What happened next depends on whether the rule was manadatory or optional. If you shoot, you could shoot a less painful area (gun, mask, etc.), as one last courtsey to the opponent.

    But remember, it is not the shootee’s responsibility to call mercy, it’s the shooter’s. See a good example at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38I3FhZ37Sc (advance to 1:40). For me, I’m like Ghost. Unless it’s mandatory, I probably wouldn’t use it. So for the sport, I support mandatory.

    Hmmm, prey… ; ) ~

  37. Oneblood
    Posted August 18, 2011 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I would have Shot his hand, most gentlemanly thing to do

  38. Posted September 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like he was being a bit over confident. I woud have
    tagged his gun as soon as he pushed it into the room. He
    had no grounds to complain as you weren’t in his sight as
    he called Mercy.

  39. havoc236
    Posted October 6, 2011 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    As he didn’t have a visual on you, just a general knowledge of where you were, wouldn’t call but as for the cq shot wouldn’t take it. As others have said shot the weapon or barrel tag him either way

  40. adam
    Posted November 4, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    well ive seen people get hurt from people not calling mercy to close ( they were little kids at the age of 11) but anyway i do follow the mercy rule, although a lot of fields i play at also have a rule of no blind firing. so in this case, i would not have accepted his mercy and called him out on it. but if he would touch my gun, like he did to your barrel i would shoot his hand for sure. nothing upsets me more then when someone grabs my $1000.00+ worth of gear without asking.

  41. Will
    Posted November 5, 2011 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    Hey Doug

    I think you should of blasted the wall giving him warming and basically telling him to take that mercy kill and shove it, He couldn’t see you so how is he able to call it. You seriously should have lite him up. To me thats kinda a wimp move calling it before he even sees you. I could understand if he was walking up behind you which I’m sure is hard as hell to do, but no the less if he didn’t see you forget it no mercy kill unless you see the person, shoot him next time man.

  42. Posted November 30, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    It sounds to me that he knew you were in there but not sure where. He was playing it safe by just stick his gun around the corner, while he had no idea where you were. That last thing he wouldve expected was you to open up on him. Which is what I wouldve done. You don’t have to accept his mercy call. You had the advantage and I believe he knew that. He was at your mercy and I believe he knew that. I would like to add I think one of the pre-req’s to being a sniper is to be humble. The minute you think you’re hot shit, is the minute you get tagged out.

  43. Ivan
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    haha tough choice but just for the fun of it and to make sure he will get out i would have just shot him right after i c his barrel haha. 🙂

  44. Yay
    Posted March 22, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    If blind firing was not allowed there, shoot him, easy enough.

    If blind firing was allowed, still shoot him. Because he wasn’t looking with his gun, he could have very easily blind fired and missed, allowing you to shoot him.

    If someone honestly caught me off-guard and had true potential to shoot me, I take the mercy out of respect and gratitude.
    However, if I know someone’s coming and they pop around the corner saying mercy, I will shoot them.

    Mercy is a courtesy, not a weapon.

  45. Kevan
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    I would have said to give up then shot if he didn’t

  46. James Ruppert
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I would have given no response. Waited and shot. Don’t engage or better yet don’t play if you’re not prepared for the pain that comes with the game. You were at the advantage. Put it back on him. Man up and breach or puss out and wait for you…. His call n let the chips fall as they may….

  47. Posted December 9, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    When I play if I see you I shoot you if you see me shoot me no such thing as mercy in less you can sneek up close enough too but your gun right tight to my body that’s it

  48. Unknown
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    I would’ve maybe shot over his head, to prove my point then called mercy on the kid. If he didnt reply then KABLAM he is out

  49. Hrld123
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I would actually just shouted “i’m not surrendering” which would still be fair but you will still have the tactical advantage because he doesn’t know where you are exactly. Then shoot

  50. Mike Lindsey
    Posted January 30, 2014 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    He did not have LINE OF SIGHT to you and was guessing as to your exact location. SHOOT HIM…

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