Sunday, October 7, 2012

Bucking the Trends

I was reminiscing today at the field about the good old days of being a teenager.  We were talking about the parties we went to.  They were usually house parties with a lot of attendees where everyone gathered to get drunk.  The music was usually blaring so loud; you couldn’t have a conversation with the person beside you.  Every once in a while someone would put their thumb up and say something along the lines of, “Isn’t this great?”  Of course I would agree, because to disagree would make you an outsider.  People would think you were weird.  Looking back at my youth, those times were not very memorable.  I can honestly say that i didn’t actually enjoy those big, loud parties and I have a feeling most of the other people, if they were truly honest with themselves, didn’t get a lot out of them either.  But it was the thing to do and if you wanted to fit in, you attended.

That’s sort of the way I feel about big scenario paintball games.  I hear people who go to these games and they come back and say stuff like, “It was just insane.  There were so many people there and there was so much paint flying, it was crazy”.  And I believe them.  But was it fun?  I’ve been to big games and it was OK, but I have to say that for the most part, I found it quite frustrating and less fun than the average day of paintball at the local field.  With the number of people on the field there was much less chance for movement.  Being the type of player that likes to be at the front lines and get as close to my opponent as possible, I got shot by my own team in the back more than by the other team.  When I did hit players (with a pump, I only hit them once), more often than not they didn’t call themselves out.  There were never enough refs to make sure people followed the rules.  In general, I just didn’t enjoy it that much.  And I’m quite perplexed that others do.  But apparently they do, because they keep going back.  I’m just not sure why.  Is it just because it’s a big paintball event and they want to be able to say they took part in the insanity?

As I’m getting older, I’m feeling quite comfortable in my skin and I really don’t care a lot about what others think.  I like to make up my own mind about things and I try to form my own opinion, based on how I feel rather than how I am expected to feel or react.  Maybe I’m just not cool anymore. Maybe.  But I just don’t care.


  1. It's funny, years ago one of my regular players moved from Sask to Alberta. We do play pretty hard here, and have played at the top levels too. We were not prepared to cheat to win, so we stopped playing at those higher levels. We like pump best, with no cheaters. We play very aggressive.
    There was a group that invited him out to play at a local AB field. The field owners son was playing too. My player was on the opposite team as the son. The first few games, he thought he shot out the other team, but they still played on. He figured he missed. Then at a break he realized they were playing that hits from the new guy don't count and were whipping. So instead of quitting, he went after them with a vengence. They had no cap for ROF, so he took out his electric cheap Dragon (with a ROF of near 20 bps). So he would shoot the player once, and if they wiped he would put 20 to their head. Can't wipe that much from their goggles. He owned the field. If you get used to cheating to win, you really suck at staight up paintball.
    Now when I play in a Big Game, I expect players to cheat. If they don't, I'll help them improve. If they cheat, be prepared to be owned, because my next shots will be at your head. I love my camo, in one Big Game, I came up behind 2 speedball players. I shot the first one in the back, and he tried to spin and "simul" me, so I gave him 20 to the head. He couldn't see me, let alone hit me (no idea where I was). Had to do the same thing to the second guy too. The couldn't beleive my ROF for a bushballer. Ion with a Virtue Board, took out their $1500+ speedball guns. Don't cheat, it just makes you a poor player, because you don't learn from your mistakes.
    I enjoy meeting all the players from all over at Big Games. We just came back from EMR Fall Castle Conquest (8 of us). The game was fun, and the field very interesting. But it does show my guys, how great a local field we have. That's were we learned the basics at home. The game was fun, because we had 8 guys, and I could always join up with one of my guys to reinsert with. Great team work.
    I got shot by my own team too, but my guys would help at getting our own players to stop shooting at me as I was fairly aggressive, just like the rest of us(which was good). Meeting the other players was a hoot, after the game. Nice Sat. night party at EMR. Tour the paintball museum was cool too.
    Learned a few things to help with my games/field too. It's easier to borrow ideas, than re-invent or come up with things from scratch. Just like anywhere, some refs suck, but most of these refs did a great job, and cared about the players. Blue was an awesome host.
    I quite enjoy Big Games/ Scenario Games, but I talk with everybody so maybe I get more by meeting players than playing paintball. But I really love paintball.

  2. Wow, you are really accurate if you can put 20 on someone's head. Why not just gog them the first time if you are so accurate?

    1. Because I'm shooting from the rear or side. Hate to shot someone with no protection.

  3. George, I think for many players, the social aspect of going to a big game is the key part. It's more about socializing, showing of and talking about gear and hanging out in the staging area than it is playing paintball. Personally I'm more of a competitor than a socializer (not a real word). But I do understand the social aspect and can see why some people find it important.

    But I compete for fun and when there is little structure and little enforcement of rules, I don't find it fun. Your example of taking the law into your own hands and teaching the other guy is not what I do, nor will I ever do that. It's just not in me.

  4. If your response to cheating (wiping) is more cheating (over-shooting) it is just going to contribute to a downward spiral in player behavior and unsafe situations, fights, etc.

  5. I agree Anon and that's what I tend to see at the bigger scenario games I've been to. Insufficient reffing and the "well everyone else is doing it" attitude leads to rampant abuse or discarding of the rules and then for me at least, it becomes no fun. It’s no different than playing a game of pick-up basketball with your buddies. Everything is going just fine and everyone seems to be having a good time and then one guy starts ignoring the fact that you have to dribble the basketball and starts running with the ball without dribbling. At that point, the fun stops. There’s no point playing anymore.

    I get that there will always be cheating, in paintball and every other sport. But when it’s rampant and there is no chance at all of controlling it, what’s the point of taking part? Therefore I personally don’t anymore. I’m just amazed that there are so many people out there who are willing to. Coming to that realization saddens me.

    1. Small games and games where "referee is creative game master and cares about player involvement" are best. Games where the ref hopes certain people win but isn't afraid to call his game-playing friends out if they're hit, those games are best. When there's little 10 or 12 year old kids playing, and the ref whispers hints to them on where the opponents are, those games are the best. 3-player battle royales with psycho misfits are the best. Or 28-minute capture the flags with 7 or 10 or 12 people per side, with 7 minute "get out of jail" recycles, those are best. Especially when the refs are on patrol and running around. Big games? They're just silly. Worth going to maybe once or once a year just to see everyone at once.