Monday, May 05, 2014

Saturday With Paintball

I was invited out by a friend last Saturday to go to a paintball event he had setup with about 24 other people. Having only done paintball one time before, about 12 years ago, I was interested and agreed to come along and give it a try.

One interesting thing about paintball is how into it people can get - there's a very strong player base that likes to play and heavily invest in their equipment.

Here's just a couple of my friend's paintball markers:

That's a Tippmann 98 , sort of the AR-15 of the paintball world - apparently its a solid reliable performer that can be modified with different sized barrels, hoppers, triggers etc. He kindly let me use this one and it was quite fun indeed.

The other one that looks like an AK is a Tippmann A-5 , with modifications to look like an AK added.

In short, you have people who are very dedicated to the paintball game and very good at it, and who know how to wring the most accuracy out of their markers to paint the opposing team.

Masks and eye shields are mandatory when playing, and with good reason. With those .68 caliber balls heading towards you at 285 fps, they hurt. They hurt even more when they don't break and instead whack you and bounce off. Gloves and full skin coverage with clothing are good ideas as well.

In the group, there were various munchkins playing and they were tigers on the field. They were small targets and hard to hit, and had no compunction about aggressively letting the opposing team have it.

Here's one, all armored up against incoming rounds, and a padded chest protector not seen in this photo but worn later rounded out his protection striking a pose:

"What's the matter, Colonel Sandurz? CHICKEN?"

We played at the Lone Wolf Paintball field by the Gibraltar trade center.

For a couple hours we played 8 different matches on 3 different playing fields. From a small speedball field to a very large field, to one

Paintball guns have neither the range nor accuracy of real guns and have a bit of a parabolic arc to the shots. The paint does tend to get everywhere.

It's quite an experience being under paintball fire, and it does make you seek cover quite quickly. You also learn the difference between cover and concealment quickly, as paintballs have a way of finding holes in your cover to zip through and whack you.

One interesting lesson when playing paintball is that movement, any movement, draws fire, and lots of it.

A corollary to that is that movement can result in paintballs to the ribs, and paintballs to the ribs, especially when they don't break, hurt and leave really interesting colored bruises.

Another lesson is that you run out of paintballs really fast when trying to suppress other players, and then you're reduced to firing air and trying to psyche out anyone on the other team from rushing you until they figure out you're firing blanks. I actually held the flank of our team's position for about three minutes firing air alone until the other side finally figured out there was no ball traveling with that air, and then I got flanked and whacked.

We won a few games, lost a few games, and had a good time win or lose.

It was a lot of fun with a good bunch of people, all of them good sports.


Brigid said...

I had a coworker who was taking a promotion opportunity far away. He asked that we not give him the usual, cake and accolade send off. I arranged paint ball. Huge hit, and though my backside looked like a topographical map of color and swelling, it was SO worth it.

Aaron said...

Brigid: Great idea for a send off indeed. Sounds like a lot of fun.