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The Last Blast
Viper vs. Pac-Man - There can be only one!
by James R. Morgan, Sr.
It’s December, and before most of us have to stop spending all our money for paintball and start spending it on Christmas presents, we just have to go somewhere and get the last bit of paintball withdrawal out of our systems. As for me and my daughter, it would be at the Clash of the Titans Scenario Game in near Baton Rouge, LA. Viper Enterprises, along with Guerrilla Warfare Paintball have gotten together to hold the last large scenario game of the year 2000. On the 50+ acres of Guerrilla Warfare’ field in Greenwell Springs LA, more than 300 players would show up to play in the cold and muddy fields to combat for their two generals. This would be no ordinary scenario game, but was a professionally run scenario game which brought along or drew in some of the top names of the sport, the player’s list ran like a “Who’s Who” of writers, scenario players, and personalities. In addition to myself, there were Hollywood, White Feather, Chaos, “Blue” Hanse, and many others, it almost seemed like a meeting of the “Writers and Field Reporters” list you see in page 2 on Paintball News.
In addition to the already impressive player’s list, several well-known teams who only play scenario games like the “Lost Boys” showed up as well. (They made an impressive entrance with their standard proudly displayed and marching to the sound of bagpipes.) Sponsors kicked in enough prizes to be able to raffle off a marker an hour, including an Angel and several tricked Cockers and Tippmanns. This was going to be a game to enjoy, since my daughter was turning 13 on that weekend, I brought her along as a birthday present. Here she would get to see one of the best scenario games close up and see if she wanted to play more in the future ... I knew I would.
The field for once wasn’t hard to find, this time “Map Quest” gave me directions I could follow and got to the field in plenty of time. (Field location is 19989 Greenwell Springs Road, Greenwell Springs LA.) But as I got there, I found out that Mother Nature did as well, she decided to rain out the first day of play (designated to be Stock Class Play). All day it varied between a light drizzle to an outright downpour, I thank the field and sponsors for bringing the many tents who kept us dry and relatively comfortable.
But the day wasn’t a total loss, I gave me and a lot of players time to see many of the newfangled gadgets that have been invented for the sport. The first was a paintball mortar, this thing, while similar to other one’s I’ve seen, is more “user friendly” than most, launching those apple scented grenades in a cheap, reusable, cardboard tube. Its range was over 200 yards and was surprisingly accurate: I witnessed over three shots land within 10 yards of each other. Another newfangled and lethal gadget was a device known as “THE LOAD.” This “Frank-N-Stein” contraption of 12-16 barrels, connected to a gas source, is essentially a paintball version of the ultra deadly claymore mine. This device is designed to be left in an area of heavy traffic, and there it sets with 1-5 paintballs in each barrel awaiting victims. When your victims are in the “Splat Zone,” you remotely detonate your “Load” and witness the carnage. These things aren’t cheap, but are reliable and are available from First Shot Paintball (732) 537-1700.
We spent most of the first day shooting the breeze and finding out about the storyline behind this scenario game. The time line is in the not too distant future where unchecked wars and industrial pollution have rendered almost the entire world unliveable. Water, Food, Seeds, and medicine are more precious than gold and are vigorously defended. On the largest and least contaminated piece of land (our playing field), Harold Wilkinson, along with his friend and lawyer “Chronos,” and his two sons have established an empire. All seemed to be well, as his inventions to decontaminate the soil and water seem to offer the promise of a new life for the earth until he is murdered. Now there is dissension, who did this awful thing, the two major suspects are his two sons, Patrick “Pac-man” McKinnon and Kerry “Viper” Rosenberry. And to make matters worse, “Chronos” has announced that the will stipulates that the son who wrests control from the other will emerge as the new Overlord of the Realm. The Titans will clash until there is only One.
At the evening, things picked up a bit as the band “Shadowland,” a group out of Houston, entertained the crowd with many modern, and hit songs. I’m not as much into modern music myself, other than being a “Weird Al” Yankovic fanatic, I found them alright, but was very impressed as they managed to somehow stop the rain that had been falling all day. Maybe we should get you guys at other events, I can’t remember how many paintball events I’ve gone to where it rained. I mean my old saying was: “How do you end a drought . . . hold a paintball event!”. We were also treated to a live web broadcast at by. I thousands of people on the web heard the trash talk between Viper and Pac-man as they prepared for play.
In the early dawn hours of the second day, both sides met in front of the stage to hear the safety briefing, game rules, and inspirational words of their leader. The safety briefing was the usual, and the specific rules were more complex due to the scenario game, a lot of equipment that isn’t allowed for tournament play was accepted here, (but not burst or full auto play), and the event would be event paint only (PMI yellow/red with yellow fill), players chronoed in at 285 going in on days, 235 at night. Each player showed that he had been chronoed by having a specific punch taken out of his “Event Card” which every player must display at all times. For specific game rules for this and other Viper Scenario Games, contact Viper Enterprises at (713) 690-4311.
Next came the inspirational speeches; Viper spoke first, dressed in glittering roman style armor, he announced his intention to throughly destroy his brother. Even going to the step of making a batch of “Anti Pac-Man” shirts, which were displayed by all the officers. Pac-Man was next, and didn’t mince words as he had only a short speech and threw down the gauntlet literally, Tossing the knife that killed their father and announcing he would use it to avenge their father’s murder by placing it in Viper’s back. Then he demonstrated his new and powerful artillery as he launched a paintball grenade onto the field from the staging area with his mortar.
For the ‘Clash of the Titans’ game, the recycle spot was the headquarters of your leader and you were alive when you arrived. Then the commander could assign you or your team missions to complete for points. If you were a player with specific skills assigned to you, such as Engineering, Demolition, Medical Training, or Piloting Skills, you were to valuable to be risked on simple search and recon missions. Demolition experts were needed to blow up targets for points, and engineers were needed to rebuild them. Medics were particularly prized as they could quickly ‘heal’ eliminated players, saving the team their loss because they didn’t have to walk back to headquarters. And Helo Pilots could move and land troops behind enemy line, and while ‘airborne’ could only be shot down by players packing a ‘Stinger’ missile. Other very special talents were also assigned, which I’ll go into later. But unlike many woods games, this game wasn’t simply a large game of capture the flag, in order to win here you needed to complete missions for points. Players achieved points one of several ways, by completing missions and having a referee witness the action, or finding & retrieving any of the scenario game Props; (Bottles of uncontaminated water, piggy banks, packets of seeds, pieces of the decontamination machine, biological or nuclear weapon components, . . . you get the idea).
Soon all the players were assigned their identities, taped up, chronoed in, and whisked off to their starting areas, but the best laid plans of the field owner soon went awry. It seems that the rain of the past day wrecked havoc on a couple of places and even the venerable six wheel drive deuce’n a half got mired in the mud. Forcing the Viper’s and Pac-man’s players to use their walking shoes to get to the starting area. Although most of the field was pretty useable, there were some really bad areas out there. The field, while large had some problems. First, the only large open areas (The Ceres Flats & Demeter Plains) were right in front of Viper’s Lair (at the west end of the field). Second, the area around Pac-man’s headquarters, known as the Black Forest, was severely limited by the staging area. (Which cut his southern border just about in half. In addition, his mobility was jeopardized due to the fact that the severely contaminated “River Styx” was between his headquarters and the area where the field widened out again. The Styx is a severely poisoned estuary and any player who waded into it would die quickly of toxic shock, so the only way to cross them safely was by one of five key bridges which would see plenty of action all game long. But it seems that both warlords found ways to compensate for it.
The game started promptly at 10:00 as a single flare was launched starting the conflict. Pac-man’s troops, comprising mostly of the Lost Boys and “Blue” Hanse ran quickly up the east tape, sending the remaining Pac-man players to the northern tape. Surprisingly, the Pac-man’s quickly entrenched themselves in the tree-line next to the Demeter Plain and Ceres Flats to control over 70% of the field in the initial half hour of the contest. It seems that Viper didn’t allow his men to disburse until all had a mission and Pac-man took advantage of it to clear most of the field of the initial scenario game props. For about an hour, the Pac-man team held off repeated attempts by Vipers’ minions to push down the left and right tape. “Duckman” lead a bold but fruitless charge down by fort “Olympus” but was quickly “roasted’ as he made it to the tree-line. But after wearing down the eastern side, the Vipers managed a breakthrough and quickly pushed the Pac-man’s team back to the river Styx.
For the rest of the day it was a similar play on a theme. The Pacman’s would stage a breakout from the river-front, taking the Orchard and Hades Hollow, and push into Diana’s Hunting Ground. But they would never gain farther than their initial surge. They would then be pushed back behind the river, one time almost up to Pac-man’s Headquarters. Many missions were given and attempted, some with success, and others were disasters with the entire team being termipainted into oblivion. Bridges and strategic points were destroyed, then rebuilt again. Helo insertions behind the lines wreaked havoc, but the players heloed in generally had a one way ticket. Two helos were shot out of the sky with near the bridges, which taught the warlords not to be too prolific in their use. And during the day, the independent third team, led by the family lawyer “Chronos”worked with both to pick up the action. No one knew why Chronos was doing it, but this would come apparent later.
At the first day break, it became apparent that Pac-Man had jumped out into an early lead, having picked up so many props. But Viper was undeterred and was determined to win. With each new command, mission, or package received from scenario command or Chronos, he sent out team after team to complete missions. As night fell, both he and Pac-man negotiated with Chronos to get the parts to make an operational water and soil decontamination machine. (The foundation of their father’s business empire). But Pac-man smelling blood, managed to gain access to a short range missile with a chemical warhead. But despite having his specialists taking it to near point blank range, the attempt to hit Viper’s headquarters went disastrously wrong. The missile went almost straight up, then straight back down again, taking out 60% of the players in Ceres flats, Demeter Plains, and Diana’s Hunting Ground (which was the majority of both side’s combat strength). To paraphrase Pac Man . . . “Oops!”
And to make matters worse, referees equipped with special lights began finding player’s infected with “the Plague.” Somehow, someone had managed to spray players of both sides with a Plague spray which glowed brightly when under ultraviolet light. A small number of “Vaccination” stickers had been issued to both commanders, but nowhere near enough to vaccinate everyone. So players from both sides were quickly sent to the staging area to “Heal.” With the player population decimated from both these events, things would only get worse for Viper, as a member of the other team managed to infiltrate his lair and assassinate him. (I was able to find his trail the next morning by following the trail of business cards he dropped as a “Calling Card.”) And as both sides decided to stop for the evening, the minions of both Pac-man and Viper began to wonder if Chronos was really as good a friend as they thought.
The next morning, the combat proceeded anew. Most of the fighting was concentrated around ‘Hades Hollow’ and “The Orchard.” Then Viperian troops managed to stage a breakthrough on bridge one, turned their attack 90 degrees and take out the troops guarding bridges 2, 3, & 4. This left a huge hole in Pac-man’s defense as the Viper minions managed to drive back Pac-man forces to within sight of his headquarters. Pac-man himself got aboard one of his helos for a quick retreat if his headquarters was overrun. But although Viper troops got within range to plink the headquarters building. The only once managed to actually reach it that morning. Pacmanians did manage to counterattack and pushed the snakes back across the River Styx, and that was how most of the morning was spent. With combat seesawing from Medusa’s trail and the Black Forest.
Just before the last break, both sides were informed of the presence of an operational tactical nuclear weapon somewhere in Diana’s Hunting Ground. Pac-man players attempted to reach it, but never managed to get near it. However, a Viper player did manage to stumble across it, but didn’t know that the weapon was not only armed and live, but was equipped with a trigger designed to detonate if the weapon was moved. But what did the guy do, well he sat on it. (There’s a sure cure for Hemorrhoids). To put it mildly. BOOM!!!!. Everyone back to the staging area for the final battle.
Now the final battle sequence is for all you people who love to spray as much paint as possible in the smallest amount of space and are bored with scenario play. This final battle was to be fought only on Diana’s Hunting ground north of “Hell’s Highway” and west of Medusa’s trail. Recycles were immediate upon reaching either the west tapeline for Viper or the east tapeline for Pac-man players. The object of this game, to get more live players from your team within 20 feet of the safe containing the last will and testament of Harold Wilkinson. This would be for control of the area and the domination of the world, so both teams would go after it full bore. Me and my daughter did get in on the action on Viper’s team, which did manage to hold a slight edge in controlling the area around the safe for almost the entire time up to the last few minutes. But as the clock ticked down, confusion reigned among Viper’s minions as to when the last minute was. Pac-man’s troops managed to get a much better timing, and with less than two minutes left, gave an all out charge to eliminate the entire Viper gang near the safe to win the final mission and the game.
With his foe vanquished, Pac-man opened the safe and read the proclamation, It announced that he “Pac-man” was now the heir apparent of the land. But it also gave him a grim realization, it appears that Viper may not have been the murderer of their father. It was revealed that the long time family friend and lawyer “Chronos” suffers from multiple personalities. It was he who most likely murdered his father, spread the plague to both sides throughout the night, messed with the guidance system of the missile, and armed the nuclear warhead to go off after telling both sides of its existence. One of his personalities wants to rule the land completely, another one wants to create as much anarchy as possible, and hopefully turn both brothers against each other in the hopes of having them destroy each other. The other, the family friend they’ve known for years has been trying to cover up and fix the problems caused by his alter-ego. It seems that it’s up to Pac-man to decide what happens next. That’s a scenario for next years “Aftermath” game.
In closing, I would like to thank the Mother, Pac Man, Viper and all the organizers and players who invited me to this event. As well as the many players and people I met in the staging area during and after the games. Almost everyone was happy with the game and met around the stage to await their chances at the raffle, the sponsors: Scott, JT USA, Psycoballistics, Cobra Gear, PMI, T&M Ordinance, Redz, Worr Games, and Tippman were extremely generous. (I especially want to thank everyone who participated in the well executed ambush of my daughter. She had no clue that the real reason she was asked to go up on stage was to be serenaded with “Happy Birthday” from over 200 players.). A lot of awards went to the most outstanding team, outstanding player, and best sport of both sides, and they deserved them. But I feel the best award should have been reserved for the team of referees who oversaw the entire game, (The Outlaw Crew out of Texas.) They did a superior job and are to be commended. I hope that I can be around next year for another of Viper’s events.
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