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by Clair Stewart
D-Day. Even the mention of the battle brings back memories of
titanic struggles between fighting nations. It reminds us of heroism
of the highest caliber, and a pride in the individuals who gave their all
that we might have the freedom we take for granted. All of these
emotions were present in the latest version of the D-day recreation at
the The Bunker in Wyomette, Oklahoma on June 1-3. We had heard of
this game last year at the Grand Finale from J.J. Brookshire from Air Guns
Design. He has played this event every year and
We actually missed out on some of the event due to flight arrangements. We were only able to fly in late Friday and missed out on the Sniper School produced by Dwayne Convirs, owner and operator of The Bunker. The school covered such topics as camouflage, moving quietly in the bush, positioning oneself for the attack and waiting on the right shot. Those individuals attending the school who practiced their skills during the game were eligible for awards based on most kills, and the type of leader taken down during the event. Dwayne’s crew even teaches persons on how to develop their own Gillie suit using the proper colors to match the terrain.
The field for this event is awesome. Just imagine 400 acres of rolling hills, trees, with a river and pond to play in. There are also several bunker-enclosed firebases with earth mounds for protection and towers to watch enemy movements. There is so much variety to the terrain that no two attacks ever occurred in the same way. It also lends itself to hundreds of scenarios and battle schemes which is why this field is so much fun to play.
The real game was Saturday. After introducing the generals for
each force the
Throughout the day the action was close, throughout the field there were blue and red flags. Capturing these flags was worth points to that team. In addition there were other props such as a skeleton dummy, which was to be transported back to the command base to be counted. Some props were booby trapped with flash bang type explosives. We saw this first hand as a group of players with us picked up an old ammo container setting off the bang. Then the referee informed them that their next of kin would be contacted as they were now going to the dead zone. The dead zone was also an area of concern. Every half an hour the previous “dead” player would regenerate and be allowed to move to the nearest line of their army to begin to play. This created some confusion as you had newly regenerated players with guns up walking with new “dead” players in a stream. On more then one occasion a player was reshot by mistake for not having his gun up and barrel plug in while going to the zone.
After traveling with Tank #5 for most of Saturday morning we went back to our vehicles to reload and reair. We also visited the tents of Warrior Sports, Brass Eagle, and Air Guns Design, which were selling their equipment to the players. Brass Eagle had a shooting gallery at their booth with 18 plates that would fall when hit. The player with the fastest time for hitting and knocking down all the plates would not only win a prize from Brass Eagle but would acquire 20 points for his team. The fastest time was 8.31 seconds by Ben “Radar” Post using Bud Orr’s new Black Magic Auto Cocker. Ben is also team captain of the Sin Sity Raiders.
With more paint and air we were headed back on to the field when we were assigned to assist in the taking of Firebase Alpha, which was under Allied occupation. We set out on foot moving along the Ghost Village and through the forests to come in behind the firebase. All of our deception was really in vain as there were two ultra lights circling the field giving troop movements to the allies. Still when we got to the base we found the allies encircled with additional support troops trying to relieve them. At this point we split up our team and sent two members of the Raiders behind the Allied support units while we drew their fire from the front. It took a long time of crawling to get in position but when they got there all they could see was the backs of Allied players. Without firing a shot they barrel tagged several players quietly and would have done the same to others but they drew fire from the firebase. Still without reinforcements the Allied firebase finally gave way to the frontal German assault and the last battle of the daylight was done.
Nighttime fighting was even more unusual because of the use of flares to light up the combat areas. The flares cast weird shadows over the field causing several players to shoot into the air on what they thought was a person. This was the time for the snipers to take full advantage of the cover and attack the enemy’s leaders. Each team was placed in a firebase and then sent to attack and take over the opposing firebase. Several good battles occurred but finally the German force overcame the Americans. This put the Germans into the leading coming into the final day of fighting.
Sunday morning brought in rain and wind. By the 8:00 am start
time the players were still getting ready for the game. Heavy rains
in the night had caused the river between the field and town to swell over
its banks and delay traffic on the roadways. This delay kept some
players from playing Sunday and prevented new supplies of CO2 and air from
arriving on the field. Still the final battle was to occur in the
valley of the Ghost Town. This battle would decide the winner of
the event. The Germans were still leading on points but by a small
margin. A win by allied forces would sway the points to them. As
a goal new flags were placed at each end of the valley and each side would
start with their flag and proceed up the valley to take to opposing flag.
You were allowed up on the sides of the valley but were not to cross over
the ridges. On signal each side ran through the valley at one another.
As the Germans crossed the river they met with a strongly defended Allied
force. It was stalemate for 20 minutes as each side dug in and blasted
away at one another.
We want to thank Dwayne of The Bunker for a great event, one that we
will schedule as an annual pilgrimage for us. Thanks to Jessica Sparks
and Dan Reeves of APG for their help in taking pictures and introducing
us to our new found friends of Tank Crew #5 Bill Bailey and company.
In the same voice our thanks to all the referees, officials, and crew for
putting together a well organized game in spite of adverse weather conditions
they all were very good. Most of all thanks to all the players were friendly
and courteous and played
Clair L. Stewart “Stew”
Copyright © 1992-2012
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