24hrs Of A Game "While You Were
60 degrees and overcast after a previous day of steady rain -perfect for
some outdoor ball at Compete's field near Rochester, NY. Game start was 3pm.
Due to last minute this and that, I arrived a little after 3:30. Just in time
to miss a brief Revolutionary War reinactment, Check in, and buy 1/2 case of
GAP paint. Every 7 out of 10 balls is dimpled. Should make for some interesting
shots. Only 4 markers made the trip. The Illusion Pro, PGP, Splatmaster, and a
Point Zero Beetle I received for pre-registering. At last year's big game, I
was one of only 2 pumpers; this time around, I count at least 9 other stock/pump
shooters. Chrony up, turn on the radio to our team channel, and the games are afoot.
Pretty much all of the pumpers were on the same team; it was almost
like going back in time. The 45 minute games on 30-plus acres played
pretty evenly; depending on what forts were under siege.
At dusk, they started the "ghost" missions. As players were eliminated, they would
return to the staging area, put on a white pullover, and return to the
field, gunning for both the band and non-armband teams. We were just outside
of the large, 3 level fort when my teammate Jason started yelling, and
proceeded to trigger a wall of paint at 6 ghost players that drifted up
a nearby ridge. He and several others got lit, so I ran into the fort
for cover. Once inside, I notified the players around me about the
incoming ghost patrol, and they all began to scatter for good shooting positions. A
sinking feeling swept over me upon the realization that out of the 9
other players in the fortress, I was the only one NOT wearing an armband.
After a minute or two of soaking in cold sweat, another player
approached me to ask who I was. I promptly held the AM Illusion up and
surrendered him. Another player came up behind me "guys, what's going on?"
Surrender number 2. I surrendered a third by the main door, but he answered me
with a barrage of expletives, insisting that I had been in the fort earlier during
a mass-surrender and I was out, so he wasn't, and kept shooting through
a window. Sadly, the ref next to me seemed clueless, and did nothing
about the situation. Fine. I was on a roll after surrendering 2 more, and
the ref exclaimed that "someone should really surrender this guy before
he cleans out the fort" An armband player finally raised a marker at me
"uhm...I guess you're out" Just as I covered my barrel and walked out
of the fort, the horn blew to signal the game end.
It was now starting to get dark, and everyone rallied in the staging area to receive
their glowing light collars. Red for the armbands, blue for non, and the refs
had yellowish-green. It was now a little after 9pm, and over a third of the players
left for the night to sleep at home. Each team had a large bonfire and 50 gallon
drum of water at opposite field ends. Protect your fire, extinguish theirs.
Due to a scheduling problem, the halogen lighting for the field and staging area
was never picked up, so the woods were completely dark except for the 2 fires.
I replaced the Illusion with the PGP and marched out with our platoon. It was so
dark that we could see almost nothing - including tree roots, gullies, and low
stone walls. Even the borders were gone, which is how we became "The Lost Patrol"
It was so dark, that even the referee near us wasn't sure exactly where we
were. After some time, we wound up near the opposing base.
They became alerted to our position, and started to fire towards us. I
hit the ground with the PGP ready, and became invisible in the mud and
low grass to the point where 2 teammates almost stepped on me. After
some blind shooting, a tactical retreat, and thirty minutes of wandering
in the dark - game over. The other team dumped 45 gallons of water on
our fire, and redered it unlightable. A few more games of general
elimination, and it was now around 2am. I grabbed the Illusion for the castle
siege, and assembled at the staging area. Roughly 11 red bands were
there. Myself, and Phantom-toting Colin were the only blue players. 2
pumps vs 11 semis in the dark. Doable, but more would be better. Time to
beat down some doors. After giving some snoozers a rude awakening, things
evened up and it was time to hit the field. We attacked the fort first.
At less than 30ft away, it was so dark that we couldn't see the fort -
just the occasional red collar floating through the ramparts. To break
things up, a bunker near me yells "yo mamma's so fat, when she sits
around the house, she sits AROUND the house!" A red collar stands up to
respond. PopPopPop. One elimination. My turn. "yo mamma's so fat, that
after sex, she rolls over and smokes a ham!" 2 more red collars rise up.
PopPopPop. This tactic went on for a few more jokes. Although not the
most ethical, it was good for at least 3 eliminations.
After taking turns holding the castle, and a dozen smoke grenades later, it was
time for a break. Some grumblings were heard walking off the field due to the
fact that some players were not using the honor system when taking hits in the
dark. Just a hair after 5am, with some light in the Eastern sky,
I took to the truck for a 45 minute nap, I awoke to a group of guys
playing hot-potato with 6 smoke grenades near the target range. It was a
blast to watch, but not something to try at home. At around 6:30, my
friend Berger from Team Compete nabbed me to help with the wake-up call. 7
smoke grenades were lit, and hooked into the camping area. Berger
ripped on siren, and yelled "Fire!" Nothing quite like seeing 20 burned-out
paintballers stumbling through a barnfire in their underwear.
With breakfast over and several cups of coffee later, I loaded up on paint for some
plinking on the target range. The first game of the day was ready to start,
so I made sure all the tubes and 12 grams were loaded, and headed to
field with only a holstered Splatmaster. After almost 4 straight hours of
continual firefights, and many players running out of paint and air, I
was finally eliminated after snapshooting with a "Terminator"- a
non-biased shooter that couldn't be taken out. It was around 2pm, and due to
my continual vibrating, I finally decided to call it a game. In just
less than 23 hours, I used under 500 paintballs. After playing alongside
some great players and saying my goodbyes, I spent the drive home in
anticipation of next year's game.