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Texas Revolution is Viper Scenario games largest annual event. This year it broke two records. First it was the largest scenario game ever held in Texas with 315 participants, and second it was the first time that the "bad guys" won a Texas Revolution game.
As players gathered in the staging area of Brazo's Survival Games, a light rain fell and turned into a heavier rain, then alternated between light and heavy throughout the day. This showed a big difference between scenario game players and tournament players. They didn't whine about the weather, they went out and played in it. Where the mud was deep they sloshed through it. Where areas were pooled with water, they waded in, hungry to complete their missions.
Patrick "Pacman" McKinnon, owner of BSG briefed the players of field rules and safety, then got things rolling with a drawing. As an incentive to make sure that there would not be a rush on the chrono station minutes before the start of the game, only players who had gone through the chrono station were elidgible for the drawing. Two Specialty Research Products LAW Rocket Launchers were given away. Paul "Sprocket" Hoskings, was one of the winners, and he tucked his new toy under his arm with a huge grin on his face.
Patrick went on to explain about the tank. That's right, a tank. Austin brought his World War II Ferret armored car. He had purchased it some years before and fully restored it to operational status and then some. Not only did the deisel engine purr, but humming next to it in the engine compartment is a 3,000 psi air compressor that keeps a couple of SCUBA tanks inside the cab filled. It can also be used from the rear fender as a fill station. Feeding from the SCUBA tanks is a fully automatic ATS AT10R paintgun mounted in the swiveling turret. As Patrick explained paintball hits would not take out the tank, only hits from an SRP LAW would do the trick. As the tank drive, Austin was not a member of either team, but could be contracted to complete missions and transport scenario props.
Keith Hoppe, of J&J Performance Products was introduced as the general of the terrorist team. His motivational speech was short and swet. "All my guys.... Anything we want, we take."
"Viper" took to the stage (well, the picnic table) and began making more introductions. He pointed out a number of photographers and reporters that would be out on the field. "Hollywood" was reporting and taking pictures, Kevin "Kocker" Kolinski was taking notes for his column in Paintball News, and Mark "Snakebite" Dollack became known as the barefoot photographer. Mark travels to paintball events taking pictures for Skirmish Whitewhater phogotraphy. At the event these pictures are sold to players, and they are later supplied to magazines like Paintball Sports International, Action Pursuit Games, and Paintball Games International. Unfortunately Mark forgot to pack his boots on this trip, so rather than destroy his shoes in the mud, he traveled the field barefoot, taking pictures all the way.
J.P. Hunter, president of Paintball Games Supplies, was introduced in his role as the general of the Texan forces which included CIA, National Guard, Houston Police, and armed citizen groups. He vowed to prove that "they aren't going to mess with us here in Texas."
When the whistle blew players sprinted from their stations in a rush to cover ground the fastest and gain control of many of the fuel drums scattered througout the field. These 50 gallon plastic drums were returned to their bases for game points and game money. Also on the field were small orange boxes with game scenario and weapon cards, as well as goodies like coupons for prizes provided by National Paintball Supply, one of the game's main sponsors. Large locked tubes were chained and padlocked to trees and bunkers almost everywhere. Austin began heading back and forth between the two sides bartering and buying keys to be able to unlock the padlocks on these tubes, then transporting them on his tank back to the staging area, where they were unlocked. Most contained game weapons cards, game money, or keys to other tubes.
True to the plot in the movie, a number of terrorists were disguised as Houston Police Officers (given blue armbands) and set about attacking other Houston defenders. This caused a lot of confusion on the blue side, as the defenders just didn't know who to trust after that.
As the evening came, the catering truck rolled up and started cooking up dinner. A very nice feature of this game was that dinner and breakfast were included in the price of admission. Viper doesn't skimp on the food, roast brisket was the main course with salad string beans and baked beans - a full meal. As players filtered through the food line their ID badges were punched to make sure there were enough of the generous helpings to go around.
Preparing for evening play, players once again hit the chrono station, getting dialed in, and getting their cards punched early enough to be eledgible for the evening raffle. Two players were the recipients of RTC Tracerball units and a couple hundred Tacerballs. These flash lamp assemblies attach to a paintgun at the end of the barrel and charge the glow in the dark Tracerballs for illuminated night time play.
As an extra incentive for players to get out and play at night, Viper placed a number of envelopes in the trees around the field. These envelopes contained coupons for prizes provided by National Paintball Supply, and the coupons expired at sunrise. Viper's plan worked as play stayed active through the dark hours.
In the morning the catering truck returned with breakfast burritos and hot coffee to get everyone ready for the final battle. The central point of Brazo's Survival Games' field is "the city". This field is packed with bunkers, trenches, multi-floor buildings, and even a downed airplane. Most of the city is visible from the screen protected staging area, and quite a crowd of non-players came out to watch the big showdown.
The terrorists began slowly moving in toward the city, staying on the outskirts at first, remaining in the cover of heavy vines and shrubs. "Pacman" kicked things into high gear by tossing out a dozen smoke grenades which players quickly used for cover to move in from the edges of the city, and the paint started really flying.
With that many people shooting in such a small area, there were a lot of cases of mistaken identity, and players being lost to friendly fire. Fortunately the refs were turning around player resurrections at a fast pace so no one was out of the fray for long. Trond Finholt was one of two members of the Norwegian Trolls, a European team taking a scenario game tour of the US (they also stopped in at the Dollack Aliens game in Florida two weeks later) to pick up tips and ideas for a 48 hour scenario game they are planning on a small island off of Norway. In all of the confusion of the last battle Trond walked out on the field without a paintgun, and simply wandered behind "enemy" lines. One by one he stepped up behind players, picked up a paintball off the ground, and squirted its contents onto their shoulder, eliminating them. He didn't do this just once, he managed to pull it off ten times before walking back off the field to get his paintgun!
When it was all said and done, Viper totaled the scores and determined that for the first time in Texas Revolution History, the "bad guys" had one the game. Each of the generals gave awards for the most valuable ref, and most valuable teams, and then... loads of raffle prizes. The game's sponsors had really provided here. In a great show of cooperation the event sponsors were working together to grow scenario paintball in their area. An example of this was the grand prize, and super-tricked Spyder. It came with a couple of J&J barrels, and loads of accessories and customization provided by National Paintball Supply, Paintball Game Supplies, Psycho Sports, Paintball Maxx, and Keith Kaminski, the BSG resident airsmith. While many of these companies are direct competitors, they have taken the view that by working together to build up paintball in Texas, they will all benefit. You can see this also at the Texas Paintball web site, where their cooperative work is providing regional paintball information via the internet.
Personal notes by Bill Mills:
This game really was a blast. Partly because Dawn and I were able
to get out and play. Most of the time when we cover events we are just
reporting, but we got some time out on the field ourselves at T Rev IV,
and had a grand time. The sayings about Texas hospitality are certainly
true. Viper, Pacman, and the rest of the Blitzkrieg crew made our stay
very enjoyable, plus we got to meet a lot of other internet folks like
Choctaw, Robert Moobery, PBPaintball, and others. A big thanks also to
Brad "Q" Nestle and Cliff Herring from PaintballMaxx, who shuttled us to
and from the airport, making sure we made our flight on time. Thanks also
to "shoeless" Marc Dollack for getting this picture of us with our rain
gear on. The characters we were assigned to play were Connie Chung and
Ted Koppel. How Viper learned that my college dorm nickname was Ted Koppel
due to a goofy high school yearbook picture, I will never know.
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